May 20, 2014

Fuel/Friends House Concert: Paleo, w/ Tyler Lee Holter (June 1)

Paleo star glasses

Before there was a diet that that one dude from Crossfit that you dated for a little while a couple of summers ago was following and kept trying to get you to do too, Portland musician David Strackany began playing music under the name Paleo. It ties in with the things that are primal and old, and it’s a fitting name for these quirky, rustic songs with teeth, sung boldly.

We are very lucky to be welcoming Paleo for a special Sunday night house concert on June 1. His music is out on the excellent Partisan Records (home of other house show alums and friends like Field Report, PHOX, Dolorean, and Deer Tick). His latest album is called Fruit of the Spirit: recorded in Davenport, Iowa, it features a collaborative effort of friends and artists from across the Midwest landscape of Chicago, Minneapolis, Iowa City and more. Recorded with the analogue aesthetic and equipment with Daytrotter sound engineer Patrick Stolley, Fruit of the Spirit represents a modern day DYI symphony with David Strackany as the conductor and songwriter.

Over The Hill And Back Again – Paleo

46_Dick_Cheney_3x4Prior to creating Fruit of the Spirit, Paleo spent a year writing a song a day for his ‘Song Diary’ project. VP Dick Cheney even congratulated him on his massive accomplishment in a personal letter stating, “writing 365 songs in 365 days is a feat that took determination and dedication. Completing this project must bring you great satisfaction.” I bet it did.

I am also thrilled that Tyler Lee Holter (from Denver) will be opening the night. Tyler makes gorgeous modern day cowboy music, and I mean that as the highest compliment. He will make you want to hop a train or ride off on his horse with him, that is a promise.

Plus One – Tyler Lee Holter
(another name-your-price song from Tyler is here)

tyler lee holter

See y’all Sunday, June 1 at 7pm. Generous donations for the musicians are highly encouraged, because you are a person who supports live music and the continued growth of art that means something. YES. Do it.

March 17, 2014

House show Tuesday! Hip Hatchet


Dinner and some good music, anyone? It’s been too many months since we had a house show. Tomorrow I am excited to welcome Hip Hatchet (the nome de musica of Philippe Bronchtein) from Portland, Oregon, by way of Middlebury College in Vermont, and formative roots in New Jersey & Montreal. He’s just finished traversing the U.K. and Europe with his rustic, carefully orchestrated folk songs, and is winding up a week at SXSW.

Phil writes big, brave songs that he bellows and croons, with a richness that stirs something up in me. He cites Bruce Springsteen, Will Oldham, Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan amongst his influences, and you can hear the threads of their rich storytelling woven into his songs.

I’ve also decided to make this a potluck for everyone who comes, since I’ve missed you guys. I’ll make a double batch of Cuban black beans; we will have food starting at 7pm, Philippe will do one set, then more time for food and conviviality, and then he will do a second set. It will be a concentrated, wonderful night of thoughtful music and good food together.

BYOB (this is totally whiskey-sippin’ music), and I recommend a good solid donation to Philippe, who is traveling on the road these weeks and can surely use the gas money! SEE YOU TOMORROW.

FB Event Info Here

November 20, 2013

house shows & music summits in Colorado this weekend!


This weekend is a terrific one in Colorado music.

First up, on Friday night I am hosting a Fuel/Friends House Concert & Dinner with Alex Dezen of The Damnwells! The Damnwells are a band that I listen to a lot, over the last eight years or so, and I never get tired of them. I may not talk about them as often as they merit but every damn time I put their albums on, I marvel at the rich romanticism and melodic power in Alex Dezen’s voice and songs. “Forgive me baby, I’m so full of hearts / swelled up with sadness and broken in parts.”

Kung Fu Grip Kiss – The Damnwells

Originally the band was from Brooklyn and released my favorite album of theirs, Air Stereo, on Rounder/Epic Records in 2006, and many other tremendous songs that I have followed closely over the last decade – oh, and that great documentary about them that sprinted across the indie film circuit a few years back.

I’m thrilled that Alex is heading across country and stopping to do a special, intimate house show for Fuel/Friends readers on Friday night! For the house address and all the good details, check the FB invite, and I hope to see you there. The dinner part is full, but there is still room for folks at the show.


Then on Saturday & Sunday, you’ll find me at the Denver Music Summit again! This type of community-oriented musician education and creative vitality-infusion is one of the best things that our city has done in various iterations over the years, and I am happy to be a part of it once again.

I will be speaking on a panel for musicians Saturday morning with the luminous Storm “Hey Now” Gloor, professor of Arts & Media at University of Colorado Denver (and keeper of some of the best/nerdiest spreadsheets about music that you will ever see). We will be talking about branding yourself as an artist (AT TEN AM SORRY) and tips for reaching out to music blogs. You should preregister for the Saturday & Sunday workshops – it’s only ten bucks for all the sessions.

Saturday night I was thinking of telling a story again with The Narrators and friends like Will Johnson and Dave Bazan, but buckled because my brain is too addled lately. I do believe in the power of public storytelling (especially around music themes!), and there are some wonderful storytellers involved, so come on out for that!

The whole weekend of musical guests for the Denver Music Summit reads like a Fuel/Friends House Concerts hall of fame. If you’re reading this post, you’ll like it.

Some of the friends in town / playing the Summit include PHOX, The Changing Colors, Ark Life (the new endeavor of Jesse from These United States), Josiah Johnson of The Head and The Heart, Chimney Choir, Yonnas Abraham of Pirate Signal, Dave Bazan, Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Joe Pug, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Esme Patterson (Paper Bird) – and many more. Whew.

shows_ive_seenGIVEAWAY: I have two full all-access passes to give away for the Denver Music Summit weekend! Please email me with “Denver Music Summit” in the subject line and some good reasons about why you deserve it & how you’ll use it, and I will judiciously find good homes for them.

Full schedule details for the Summit here. See you all out there this weekend!

October 24, 2013

new house concert: Edmund Wayne w/ Covenhoven (Dec 15)


The first time I heard Edmund Wayne, I was driving across Central California in the summertime.

I remember it was one of those long two-lane highways where the center line flicking its yellow bursts can be mesmerizing, and the rows and symmetrical rows of crops and orchards open up off into the distance on either side of you, so far you can’t see the end of each row, and then you pass it and it’s gone.

This is similarly mesmerizing music that weaves and curls around your ears when you listen, in a very hypnotic, elastic way. Frontman Curt Krause has quite the range on him, and I can’t wait to hear him sing with that voice bouncing off my wood floors on Sunday, December 15. We’re planning ahead, but mark your calendars — the band is touring through some of these Western United States, braving the snows of December, and I look forward to giving them a warm welcome all the way from Seattle.

To The Bugs On My Ceiling (with River Giant) – Edmund Wayne
(from the Fuel/Friends Springtime mix 2013)

Denver’s much buzzed-about Covenhoven will open the show. Joel Van Horne (previously of Denver’s Carbon Choir) recorded and named this record after his family’s cabin in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. There is a kind of spare and haunting melodic power in his songs that has garnered him comparisons to Blind Pilot and Gregory Alan Isakov, not bad company to be in.

My Search Party – Covenhoven
(from the Fuel/Friends Autumn mix 2013)


The show is Sunday evening, December 15. Let’s all warm up together, there will be a fire in the fireplace, and maybe let’s have some hot toddys. I’m predicting magic.

August 7, 2013

Saturday’s house concert: Small Houses & Tyler Lyle!


I almost can’t sleep, so great is my excitement about the upcoming house concert with Small Houses and Tyler Lyle on Saturday night at my place in Colorado Springs. You should come.

Small Houses definitely released one of my favorite records of the year so far, the incisive and beautiful Exactly Where You Wanted To Be (Yer Bird Records), and I have written about Tyler Lyle (one of my favorite albums of 2011, and a chapel session alum) so very many times because everything he does amazes, rivets, and pierces me.

Come, for this kind of goodness:

[videos by Kevin Ihle, house concert photo by Lindsay McWilliams]

July 9, 2013

Thursday’s house concert: David Wax Museum w/ Chimney Choir!

photo (1)

This week I find myself in a part of the world that’s just ri-goddamn-diculous, as my friend Sailor Jay would say. I whiled away this afternoon swimming and paddling in a kayak on Alice Lake, a little sapphire in the valley’s hand out in British Columbia. As I paddled, and listened to my paddle dripping water onto my legs and the waves lapping against the boat, I watched hundreds of little cerulean blue dragonflies flit and hover and sun themselves. I glided silently under where the mossy trees dip down to touch the water and make a natural cave of leaves.

The song that I started singing out loud for myself was “When You Are Still” by David Wax Museum (and not just because they are playing at my house on Thursday, nor to set up this post)…

I’m flying home from this intellectual summer-camp adventure on Thursday so that I can be back in time to host David Wax Museum for a Thursday night house concert at my place. You are invited.

This is a band that is wonderfully different from anyone I have hosted before, as their music blends this cool Appalachian-folk style with Mexican Son music. David Wax plays a traditional Mexican guitar called a jarana, while his musical partner Suz Slezak plays fiddle and a donkey jawbone called a quijada. This will be the first time that a band has experimented with animal bones in my house, sooooo….. come for that.

51zvjvVxAjLYou’ve heard their music, at minimum, on several of my seasonal mixes — “Born With A Broken Heart” to start the springtime, “The Least I Can Do” in late lazy summer, and “When You Are Still” for the autumn. You should also definitely get my favorite full-length from them, Everything Is Saved. They shipped some ahead to my house, so get one Thursday.

Opening the night will be Denver’s own amazing Chimney Choir! In their own words, “Chimney Choir conjures colorful avant-pop by mixing old time acoustic instruments with droning synths, junk percussion and 3 part harmonies in a theatrical show.” I love junk percussion; Imma start saving cans now.

One last rad recording of them, so you know what we’re in for: I still love this line, “Some of us come with new hearts, most of us come with used hearts — baby, why do you look so sad?”

w/ Chimney Choir

Thursday at 7:30pm-ish

We suggest a generous donation for the bands, please, and you ought to BYOB.

June 28, 2013

she was trembling as i held her hand / but we kept singing

Tonight, Colorado! Tonight I am hosting a Fuel/Friends House Concert with Some Say Leland from Austin, Texas at 8pm, and Isaac Pierce with Ten-Speed Music after that. Remember — Isaac’s marvelous perfect little EP was on my top albums list of last year; I have been in love with his way of seeing the world through music since the first time I heard “Warm Bruise.”

The show tonight is BYOB and BYOGDFTTB (“bring your own generous donation for the traveling bands”), and will be preceded by front porch happy-hour.

Here’s a sampler of what it will sound like tonight.


Warm Bruise – Isaac Pierce

…and, just in case you’re still making lame excuses about that other thing you have to do (and since it worked so well with Field Report), here is a picture of Isaac with a kitten.


See you at 7.

June 24, 2013

Field Report house concert recording (October 8, 2012)

photo (2)

Back in October, those Wisconsin-grown purveyors of carefully-crafted songs Field Report came through Colorado to record a chapel session and play a Fuel/Friends house show. I’ve been listening to an audience recording of that house show often because it gives such a marvelous, vibrant reflection of the intimacy that makes house concerts special — how raw and affectingly all their voices ring out together in the room, the banter with the folks who are there, the improvisation in the instrumentation.

Field Report returns to Colorado Springs tomorrow (Tuesday night) to play a FREE SHOW at the new rad Ivywild School project, where I will be booking music. Come on down to the Principal’s Office bar, have a Colorado-crafted spirit, and enjoy music like this.

Mike Clark opens, music at 8pm.

October 8, 2012

Route 18
I Am Not Waiting Anymore –> In The Year Of The Get You Alone
Taking Alcatraz
Chico The American
Circle Drive
Fergus Falls


Also, this is another reason to like Field Report: BECAUSE THEY LIKE PUPPIES. Resistance is futile.

May 30, 2013

Next house concert: Vandaveer! (with Joe Johnson)


We are looking ahead to a long summer filled with all sorts of good folks coming through to play us some Fuel/Friends House Concerts! Our next one is Thursday, June 6th with Vandaveer, and has been a long time coming.

These are songs that resonate with echoes of old, rich music: spirituals, dirges, and songs of rejoicing. It often feels primal and organic in the percussion (lots of handclaps), elegant in the wending warmth of the cello. The lyrics are also dang smart; one just needs to listen to a rich allegory on songs like “Spite” to know that.

But the real currents that pull me through these songs come from the vocal pairings of Rose Guerin’s icy deep low harmonies and Mark Charles Heidinger’s wending ripples and currents that tug us around the rocks. Heidinger’s voice has this vinegar of sadness around it that actually reminds me of Nina Simone (something I would never expect); they both have that slight metallic tang and bitter aftertaste that sounds regretful all the way through.

smallVandaveer has a new record out of traditional folk murder ballads and other dark things, called Oh, Willie, Please. I am looking forward to being drawn into those complicated stories on a warm summer night.

And off their last record (one of 2011′s favorites of that year), the title track, which I still love so damn much. I thought of this song over and over in that Barcelona cathedral, and all those dazzling dizzying colors still come to mind every time I hear it.

Dig Down Deep – Vandaveer

As our opener for the evening, we are in for a real treat. Fresh off one of THE most insanely long and awesome shows I have seen in a very long time (at Meadowgrass this past weekend), opening the night will be Colorado Springs’ own Joe Johnson. He may also know a folk murder ballad or two, and man — can he also wail when he sets his mind to it. Check out this video he made last weekend amidst the pines, with friend Kevin Ihle:

EARLY SHOW: Please note that we have a multitude of musical riches in town on this same night, and we are doing this house concert as an early show (from 7pm to 9pm), so as to allow time for all of us to hop on bikes (those who have bikes) and ride the few blocks over to the Triple Nickel for the second act of the night with more good friends: The Changing Colors, with Ark Life and Roo & The Howl, which will get started shortly after 9pm!!

A generous donation is encouraged at my house show next Thursday, to support homegrown quality music and musicians. BYOB. You can RSVP via Facebook here — hope to see you here!

Also –

June 28 – Isaac Pierce (Ten Speed Music) & Some Say Leland
July 11 – David Wax Museum & Chimney Choir
August 10 – Small Houses & Tyler Lyle

May 13, 2013

out from my window, please hear me ohio

I have what’s considered a good view.

Here’s the last song of our house show with Damien Jurado last night in Colorado Springs. A lot of wanting and waiting led up to this fairly exquisite moment.

Damien is on tour right now, a combination of house and venue shows. You should get on that.

Older Posts »
Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

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.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →