November 11, 2010

to believe in this living is just a hard way to go

So, this happened last night…

Josh Ritter Hold Steady eTown 094

Josh Ritter and his talented Royal City Band played the final song, “Angel From Montgomery” with The Hold Steady. Never in a million years would I peg this pairing as one that would work, but it absolutely did. Listen for the eTown show in 6-8 weeks (like the secret decoder ring you sent away for in the mail).

During the eTown interview process last night, Josh spoke of how this current album So Runs The World Away feels for the first time like this is his party, a statement of his permanency, and that he’ll be making music for a long time. He headlines Denver’s Ogden Theater tonight, and I can’t wait.

November 8, 2010

Josh Ritter + The Hold Steady in Colorado this week (win tickets!)



Coloradans! Josh Ritter is returning to our fair state for the first time since his jaw-droppingly rich Telluride set this summer, way off beyond them hills.

This time he is coming closer to the more populated regions, playing Wednesday night (11/10) in Fort Collins for an eTown taping with The Hold Steady (what? really? I know, right?!).

Thursday night Josh is headlining the Ogden with his full Royal City Band, with support from a Denver musician who goes by the name of Thieving Irons.

shows_ive_seenWIN TICKETS, YOU SAY?!
Surely. Fuel/Friends has one pair of tickets for the eTown taping in Fort Collins to give away, and two pairs for the Denver show on Thursday night. To win, you must email me your favorite Josh Ritter lyric, and why you love it, and tell me which show you are entering for. I’ll be at both shows, looking forward to it.

[top image credit Brian Stowell, Ritter merch guy extraordinaire. Second image mine from one of the best SXSW shows ever.]

September 3, 2009

and I don’t wanna break your heart, but I probably will


Langhorne Slim is quietly building a solid backbone of fans through relentless (and scaldingly impassioned) live shows and substantive songwriting. His newest album Be Set Free is out at the end of this month on Kemado Records. The album was produced by Chris Funk (of The Decemberists) who also played various instruments on the record, and was mixed by Tucker Martine who has worked with folks like Sufjan Stevens and R.E.M.

This track from the new album is gorgeous, and rich, and my new favorite from him. And as usual, it was the lyrics that grabbed me primarily and viscerally. It’s always about the words with me.

Back To The Wild – Langhorne Slim

Sit all day pissing away my time
looking into a crystal ball and I don’t know why

Living too fast to live too long
and I don’t wanna die, but I don’t know yet where I belong

I’ve had it better than some, and I know I shouldn’t complain
though my grandfather told me once that all pain hurts the same

Your bottle is empty, but your glass has been filled
and I don’t wanna break your heart but I probably will

Some are born to be good, some are born to be bad
most did the best that they could, and others wished that they had

If I could return to when I was a child
I’d forget what I’d learned and go back to the wild
…back to the wild

Man, I love that song. I am hotly anticipating this album.

Slim has just finished some tour dates with Josh Ritter (and swung through to headline a night of our Underground Music Showcase), and will be doing an eTown taping up in Boulder next Tuesday. I think I’mma gonna have to go.

9/08 – eTown Taping – Boulder, CO
10/15 – Bell House – Brooklyn, NY
10/17 – TT The Bears – Cambridge, MA
10/21 – Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
10/22 – Blind Pig – Ann Arbor, MI
10/24 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
10/25 – 400 Bar – Minneapolis, MN
10/26 – Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
10/28 – Jackpot – Lawrence, KS
10/29 – Hi Dive – Denver, CO
10/30 – Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
11/02 – Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA
11/03 – Media Club – Vancouver, BC
11/06 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA
11/08 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA
11/09 – Rhythm Room – Tempe, AZ
11/11 – Mohawk Outside – Austin, TX
11/13 – The Basement – Nashville, TN
11/15 – Cats Cradle – Carrboro, NC
11/16 – The Southern – Charlottesville, VA
11/17 – Rock N Roll Hotel – DC
11/19 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA

August 6, 2009

New David Gray: “Fugitive” (and win tickets to see him tomorrow!)


My love for David Gray is vast and deep, the astounding way he can turn a lyric (these, for example are some of my favorite) or birth a simple piano melody to make my heart ache. His show in 2006 at the Colorado Convention Center still remains a top one for me.

Gray has just previewed a new track from his eighth full-length studio release, Draw The Line (due out Sept 22 on Mercer Street/Downtown Records).

Listen to ‘Fugitive’

The album has eleven new songs, two of which are duets with great female vocalists: Jolie Holland (on “Kathleen”) and Annie Lennox (“Full Steam Ahead”). I especially love Jolie Holland’s voice (of the Be Good Tanyas), and in an interview with Spinner, Gray said, “I’m a huge Jolie Holland fan. She’s absolutely fantastic and there’s not many people who manage to be so natural and unselfconscious. Her voice is just so warm. It reminds me of Cat Stevens in the best possible way.” Not a bad compliment, at all.

etown-780986COLORADO READERS! Friday night’s eTown taping with David Gray (yes, that’s tomorrow) has long been sold out, but Fuel/Friends has a pair of passes to give away to the first person who emails me and tells me their favorite David Gray lyric and why.

Easy peasy, and you’re welcome. It’s gonna be a marvelous show.

For those of you who don’t win (or aren’t in Colorado) be sure to check out the list of fall tour dates elsewhere, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Oct 23 – Boston, MA, Wang Theatre
Oct 24 – New York, NY, WAMU Theater
Oct 26 – Toronto, Canada, Massey Hall
Oct 27 – Upper Darby, PA, Tower Theatre
Oct 29 – Chicago, IL, Chicago Auditorium Theatre
Oct 30 – Minneapolis, MN, Orpheum Theatre
Nov 1 – Denver, CO, Paramount Theatre
Nov 2 – Salt Lake City, UT, Kingsbury Hall
Nov 4 – Portland, OR, Arlene Schnizer Concert Hall
Nov 7 – Oakland, CA, Paramount Theatre
Nov 9 – Los Angeles, CA, Orpheum Theatre

November 25, 2008

Matthews Caws of Nada Surf and Denver’s Flobots are totally coming to hang with me at work

Nice thing #42 about working at a college? Matthew Caws from Nada Surf comes to chill in the building next door in a few weeks. The eclectic Boulder radio show eTown is doing a taping on December 10th in my humble hamlet with Caws and Denver’s Flobots (an odd pairing, but that’s what keeps the show interesting). I helped interview Caws back in February, and that cemented my fandom of the “magical realism” in his literate, pop-heaven tunes.

Caws will be playing an acoustic set, drawing from songs throughout the sixteen-year career of Nada Surf. It should be lovely. The band just released a retrospective of all five of their studio albums on vinyl. The limited 1,000 copy pressing includes their very first 7″ single and download codes for all their albums, plus a collection of rare and out-of-print bonus tracks and b-sides.

The box set is already sold out at Barsuk, but local indie retailers may still have it around. Here’s one of the bonus tracks that you can download with the box set:

No Quick Fix (b-side) – Nada Surf

Nada Surf is on tour now, with Fuel/Friends favorite Delta Spirit and the soulful, moody, female-fronted Jealous Girlfriends as support. Man, she’s got a voice (Listen to their Daytrotter session too):

Organs On The Kitchen Floor – Jealous Girlfriends

Nov 28 Minneapolis, MN РFine Line Music Caf̩ #%

Nov 29 Chicago, IL – Metro #%

Dec 2 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club #%

Dec 4 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero#%

Dec 5 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club #%

Dec 6 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom #&

Dec 7 New York, NY – Webster Hall#*

Dec 8 Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s %$

Dec 10 Colorado Springs, CO – eTown taping, Colorado College @

# w/ Delta Spirit
% w/ The Jealous Girlfriends
& w/ Gramercy Arms
* w/ Bear Hands
$ w/ Mary Kate O’Neil
@ Matthew Caws solo

[I took that top image last time Caws trucked on through these parts, with a few friends]

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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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