September 19, 2012

Win tickets to Ben Howard and Michael Kiwanuka

Two absolutely phenomenal shows from the Communion Records family in London are coming through Denver a day apart from each other at the end of September, and Fuel/Friends is excited to get to give away a pair of tickets to each!

Ben Howard is playing the gorgeous Boulder Theater in a (sold-out) show on September 29 with Marcus Foster. He was on my spring mix with the glorious, slow-building warmth of “Old Pine,” and also added his unique spin on that cover of “Call Me Maybe.”

Michael Kiwanuka is playing the next night, September 30, at the Fox Theatre with Bahamas. All of these things are good on so many levels; Michael Kiwanuka blew me away at SXSW this past March, and he was on my summer mix. That new Bahamas record has been on constant rotation (and I also love his first album, still listening to it regularly).

WIN TICKETS! Please leave a comment on this post with an interesting fact about something cool. Also indicate which show you are entering for! I will pick a random winner for each concert sometime in the middle of next week.

As a reminder, here is what happens when all these folks make music together. Communion Records is so squarely in my wheelhouse, just curating some of the best music out there lately:

(Filmed at Cacophony Recorders, Austin TX during SXSW Communion Records artists Michael Kiwanuka, Ben Howard with his band, India and Chris, Ben Lovett, The Staves and Johannes from Bear’s Den jam to John Martyn’s ‘Over The Hill.’)

And a feature from NME about the ethos and philosophy behind Communion Records with founders of the label: Kev Jones (who took me out for lovely pints in London in November) and Ben Lovett from Mumford and Sons.

You might want to check out Communion’s New Faces record, to see what other goodness they have waiting in the wings.

June 5, 2012

i took no time with the fall

Before the leader of the free world sort of sang this little ditty, Britain’s marvelous Ben Howard took on a cover of Carly Rae Jepsen’s apparent summer smash hit “Call Me Maybe” on the BBC Lounge. Ben Howard was one of my favorite new artists that I featured on my Springtime mix with that stunner “Old Pine” (thanks Rinker), and Ben’s whole debut album Every Kingdom is a slow-building phenom of deeply-seated goodness.

Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen) – Ben Howard

Ben Howard got his footing as part of the Communion Records family, one of my favorite folk labels in the U.K. right now (um, because of their ability to casually make things like this happen). I got to have beers with one of the founding dudes when I was in London in November, and I was deeply inspired by the slow, community-focused growth of the collective and the consistently terrific sound that they have curated through their Sunday night shows and carefully-signed roster.

I also got word the other day that they’re also opening a Nashville offshoot of Communion Records this Thursday, which, when combined with Third Man, will increase Nashville’s allure to me even more, if that’s possible.

This cover came to me via the laser-eared Adam Sharp, the final track off his new summer(days) 2012 mix. You’re just killing it lately, Sharp.

[if you like world leaders singing The Pop Hits that the kids dig, I still get a kick from these]

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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