September 17, 2008

Friday :: Monolith kicks off in hot style

I survived Monolith, but I might not survive this subsequent week. Sad but true. It’s been a brutal one. For now, let’s talk about all the fun we had in the halcyon days of yore (okay 3 days ago) and the excellent variety of music that rocked Colorado this past weekend.

The Second Annual Monolith Festival started with a bang, a clatter, some violins and paintings on easels — and lots of really good tunes. Friday night at the Bluebird was the official kickoff party for all the folks coming from far and wide, including my blogger friends at My Old Kentucky Blog, Gorilla vs Bear, You Ain’t No Picasso, Muzzle of Bees, and Between Love and Like. Thanks to the unique naming preferences of bloggers, that sentence looks like a randomly generated collection of nouns.

The air was electric with anticipation when the Young Coyotes took the stage, in a bit of a coming-out party (there were some folks from labels in attendance to see them, something they deserve every bit of). Several friends that I ran into kept asking me if I knew who this band was and how good they were. Their propulsive melodies and massive percussion started the festival off right. As I recently wrote for the Colorado Music Buzz, “Young Coyotes play earnestly and with joyful abandon, and that’s something that will always be worth hearing.”

Momentary Drowning – Young Coyotes

I unfortunately missed the set by Seattle duo The Dutchess and The Duke in the middle of the evening (mmm I wandered off) but the final act on the bill was riveting: the epic multisensory performance of Cloud Cult.

It was an experience unlike any other show I’ve been at. I have always been fascinated by the visual arts and the vibrancy of the brushstroke, the choice of colors — so I was left amazed by the creation of art springing fertile from the music as it was performed. The music was dramatic, ethereal, and powerful. Some of the songs were sung with one shoe off and one shoe on. We’re not sure why.

Chain Reaction – Cloud Cult

See the rest of my colorful pics from opening night here.

September 10, 2008

CONTEST: Cloud Cult totally wants to party with you at Monolith like the VIP rockstar you are

The denizens of Colorado and surrounding states are gearing up this weekend for the second annual Monolith Festival. The party kicks off Friday night with a headlining show from indie chamber-pop collective Cloud Cult, along with Young Coyotes and The Dutchess and The Duke.

Because they love you, Cloud Cult has given Fuel/Friends one VIP pass to the entire Monolith weekend for a lucky reader to win!

So this VIP pass gets ya:
- into both days of the fest
- premium reserved soundboard seating
- VIP Parking in Red Rocks upper North parking lot
- access to Monolith VIP Lounge w/ private bar
- Monolith 2008 limited edition CD sampler & poster
- access to Exclusive VIP Afterparty 9/13/08 at Red Rocks with special performances from The Hood Internet, Passion Pit, White Williams, Candy Coated Killahz, Boyhollow, and Jackola
- limited edition Monolith Eco-Tote Bag from Trek Light Gear
- unlimited use of the Oxygen Bar in the Red Rocks Underground (weak out-of-towners!)

Cloud Cult has been making sweepingly gorgeous, thoughtfully incisive music since 1995, and their most recent album Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-partying Through Tornadoes) is out now on Earthology Records. The winner of the contest will also get a copy of the album. Seeing them Friday will be my first experience face-to-face with the group (I missed their second-stage headlining set at Monolith last year for reasons we don’t remember).

What do I have to look forward to? “[A band of six] waving their stringed instruments about while wailing in unison in support of the lead singer. Songs that give you goosebumps, and shows that make you happy to be alive and breathing air and listening to music that is played with the same kind of passion that it was written with.”

Okay, yes. I’m in. I also hear that they paint live artwork on stage at their shows, shaped by the music, and that’s just beautiful.

Everybody Here Is A Cloud – Cloud Cult

TO ENTER THE VIP PASS CONTEST: EMAIL ME WITH “MONOLITH/CLOUD CULT” IN THE SUBJECT HEADER. I will pick one random winner from all entries received by Thursday at 9pm. You may also want to include your phone number in the email.

Please note — obviously if you want to win this you have to either be in the general Colorado area or be able to get yourself here by Friday (or Saturday morning). The pass will get you into all the festivities starting Friday night at the Bluebird. The contest will end in t-minus 24 hours.

Cloud Cult will also play tomorrow (Thursday, 9/11) at 11:30am for 600 kids at Cerebral Palsy of Colorado during the Monolith Festival Reforestation Project, then at the Aggie in Fort Collins tomorrow night. Aaaand they’re also on Carson Daly tomorrow if you are sitting at home.

* Final caveat: Cloud Cult may not actually want to party with you, per se, but the part about you being a VIP rockstar is totally true.

[top photo credit Scott West, live photo credit Laurie Scavo]

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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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