March 9, 2009

Mile-Hi Monday Music Roundup (SXSW Party announcement!)


Something different for the Monday Music Roundup this week: Seven songs from the seven Colorado bands that we are presenting at SXSW for our first Mile-Hi Fidelity day party!

A bunch of my favorite Colorado people are getting together to throw y’all a nice little fiesta with some of the finest tunes being made in our state. We will also ply you with free drinks, and the famed Gigbot Photobooth will be there (free high-quality hipster Glamour Shots of you and all your friends!). We plan to rock it. Please do come by and say hello on Friday, and take a listen here today.

King Arthur – The Epilogues
Starting with a very enthusiastic countdown, this Epilogues track hints at the sound of the brother-fronted Denver band: dark but danceable, brooding but melodic.

Twice My Weight – Meese
Just saw the new Meese album performed live last week (my Denver Post photo essay here), and it sounds catchy as hell, all glitchy hooks and fraternal harmonies. As Julio says, “call me crazy, but I could see a number of songs off of their forthcoming album on one of those Gossip Girl (in a good way) type shows at the part when the main couple in the show are about to break things off, but they decide to give it another go by having an intense makeout sesh.”

Red Orange Yellow – The Photo Atlas

The Denver dance-punk phenoms The Photo Atlas released their debut album on the hip and happenin’ Stolen Transmission label, founded by the fascinating Sarah “Ultragrrl” Lewitinn. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them live; I look forward to pogoing around a bit on a Friday afternoon.

When I Was In The Fire – Young Coyotes
I don’t even know what I need to say about Young Coyotes that hasn’t already been proclaimed from the rooftops. Despite a personnel change and a new coyote in the fold, they still have the shout-out-loud exuberance, shimmery songs, and heart-thumping percussion that made me want to run away with them the first time I saw them, back at the Underground Music Showcase last summer.

Anthem – Born In The Flood
I saw Born In The Flood open for Kings of Leon two years back, and I was mightily impressed. You can hear why they were such a good match to share the stage with KOL here on this song– an anthem worth blasting loud, indeed. They also won our Denver Post Underground Music Showcase that summer, and keep getting better. En fuego!

Who’d Stop The Rain – Dressy Bessy
Part of the Elephant Six Collective, Dressy Bessy is fronted by a ferocious guitar-wielding female who reminds me of quietly-foxy Daphne on Scooby Doo (it’s the boots?). A Dressy Bessy show is bold, hollering, snappy fun from start to finish.

Hey Hope – Overcasters
Formed from members of half-a-dozen other Denver bands, The Overcasters have an otherworldly grip on the stage when they play, all haunting echo, reverb, and an undercurrent of elegant melody. We’ll end the day with their set, which one Denver music fan wrote is all “volume and beauty … in equal parts, oil lamp projecting trippy colours behind them. Your clothes vibrated, the rest of the world melted away and you were immersed in pure sound, a make-you-smile-for-hours great sound.”

We hope to make you smile for hours. See you next Friday.


Also… since we’re talking about my favorite Young Coyotes, tomorrow they have two new EPs for sale! On March 10th, you can get both five-song EPs for digital download on Brother Bear Records.

The Basement EP consists of five tracks previously recorded in the band’s basement. The Exhale EP contains all new material recorded at Coupe Studios in Boulder, CO. Both EPs will be available for sale at all major online retailers and Basement will also be available for free download (!) on the band’s website. Sounds like:

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[Mile-Hi Fidelity poster by “Denver icon of rock” Jonathan Till]

March 3, 2009

Meese plays special pre-release album party tonight!


One of Denver’s best success stories in recent years (behind their buddies The Fray, perhaps) Meese is preparing to release their sophomore album on Atlantic Records in the coming months. The album is completed and tonight they are unveiling all the songs from the new album for fans, family, and friends.

featuring DJ HOT TO DEATH
9PM / $5 / 21+

SPRING TOUR DATES (with Valencia)
Mar 12 – Lawrence KS – the jackpot
Mar 13 – Orland Park IL – moejoes
Mar 14 – Detroit MI – the shelter
Mar 15 – Cleveland Heights OH – grog shop
Mar 19 – Purevolume House (6PM)
Mar 20 – Mile Hi-Fidelity at the Jackalope (2:45)
Mar 21 – Maggie Mae’s Rooftop (9PM)

WATCH: Snippets from the 2006 show opening for The Fray at Red Rocks. Aw, look how they’ve grown since then.

LISTEN: If you sign up on their website, you can get a free download of their new song “Count Me Out.”

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September 17, 2007

Monday Music Roundup, Monolith edition

Attending a music festival could be my favorite way to spend a weekend. But you always end up seeing fewer shows than you thought, especially when there are five geographically disparate stages. Next time I go to a festival, I am going to hire me a scheduling assistant to do nothing but look at the clock and tell me when to move it along, please, to the next show. And then physically force me to do it (“Get up, Heather. Walk now.”).

So I didn’t see all the bands I wanted to, but what I saw was pretty rad. Festivals are like big appetizer samplers where you really just get your appetite whetted to know who you oughta see when they come back through to the small clubs near you. This week’s roundup is five finger-lickin’ bands from Monolith that were more or less new to me, and perked up my ears.

Sad, Sad City
Ghostland Observatory
I missed almost all of Ghostland Observatory‘s set on the main stage early on the first day because my interview with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club went so well that we just kept talking and lost track of real time. I emerged from the cavernous maze of backstage hallways to see an imposing DJ dude in a spangly blue cape with a huge star on the back, a frantic lead singer, and bunches of indie rock kids wildly flailing in time to the beat in the broad daylight. It was awesome. I will absolutely make time to see these guys when they come back, because the song and a half that I got to see only left me wanting more of this stuff. Ghostland Observatory is from Austin, TX and their newest album is called Paparazzi Lightning (2006, Trashy Moped).

Kid On My Shoulders
White Rabbits
We saw these guys on Saturday afternoon on the indoor stage with about 12,482 people all crammed into a very small space. It was hot and I couldn’t get any pictures worth crap. But I loved the sounds emanating from the White Rabbits. The band had a disproprotionately high number of short guys wearing dapper suits in it, and I thought that it was fronted by Fred Savage at first, which was awesome. This song boasts a ferocious thrumming piano line that I miss each time it stops, and ska-pop harmonies that blend with a welcome aggressiveness. I like it! Fort Nightly is out now on Say Hey Records.

Duck & Cover
The Hot IQs

I am all in favor of girl drummers (being an aspiring one myself), and I was pleased to see a few this weekend. Elaine A of the Hot IQs kept a fierce beat, and I loved her style. She played with panache and confidence, giving backbone to the new-wave/Devo/danceable sounds of her band. Not only is this Denver band hot, they are also smart, and took home the Best Indie Pop Band award from our local alt-weekly The Westword. This tune is off their Dangling Modifier EP (that title just wants someone to make a joke about it. Yeah, I’ll dangle your modifier. What?). To hear more, check out their recent feature on with some exclusive in-studio performances.

Yea Yeah
Matt & Kim

Yeah, so speaking of girl drummers, Kim from NYC duo Matt & Kim is insane. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a pair perform with as much energy as they did Saturday afternoon. They were, like, vibrating with sheer unbounded elation, just like that picture above. I was kind of expecting fey poppiness like Mates of State, but Matt stormed the stage like an even-more-enthusiastic-for-life Ben Folds, accompanied by a wide-mouthed-in-excitement, about to fall off her drum stool whirlwind of Kim. This tune is off their self-titled album (IHEARTCOMIX Records), and they pack a lot of punch for just two people. Sebastian from Merry Swankster was standing a few rows in front of me for the show and took a tiny video clip so you can see a bird’s eye view of the stage.

The Start of It
If the Hot IQs are the best indie pop band, then The Westword anointed Meese the best pop band in Denver. Go figure the difference. Both are good. While I speculated that perhaps their name referred to more than one mouse, it’s actually the last name of the two brother-member-founders Patrick & Nathan in the band. To borrow a lyric from the song, these “kids of the frozen Front Range” surprised me with a much poppier sound than I had remembered – keyboard-driven indie rock. This particular song sounds like something lost from the Third Eye Blind files, and is listed on their MySpace as “Winter 2007 Recordings.” Solid.

[the New Belgium second stage with Meese playing]

For each artist I saw and enjoyed (see more pics; other reviews coming), there were at least three that I missed. Didn’t see Rocky Votolato, Born In The Flood, Monster Maker, Bob Log III, Cat-A-Tac, Kid Sister, YACHT, Broken West, Das EFX . . . so many more. I guess there’s always next year to try again (happily).

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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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