September 12, 2013

the only time Kid Rock and i will ever agree on anything


Tonight I am putting on our first show in the restored Ivywild School gym, the urban renewal brewery project in downtown Colorado Springs. Today dawned grey and rainy, and tonight will be perfect to curl up with a pint of Bristol’s seasonal Oktoberfest brew and listen to some stories and music.

Davy Rothbart is headlining – the founder of FOUND Magazine and contributor to This American Life. He’ll be sharing stories from FOUND Magazine and from his book, My Heart Is An Idiot. The review on says this book “collects 16 essays that read like early Jack Kerouac, if you substituted Charlie Parker for Dr. Dre. Rothbart is boozily looking for love in all the wrong places, hitch-hiking, sleeping on couches in cities across America, dreaming of becoming a writer and romanticizing nearly everything in sight, often leaving him bereft.” Reminds me of this Billy Collins poem.

Here he is, hangin’ out with my man Dave:

The show starts tonight at 7pm, with the first supporting artist being one of my favorite professors at Colorado College (where I work). Idris Goodwin is a hip-hop scholar, spoken word artist, and playwright (“How We Got On,” his play about the genesis of hip-hop adoration in a small middle-America town, is one of the best things I have seen in a while). In addition to having been on HBO’s Def Poetry, HE ALSO HE WAS ON SESAME STREET.

After Idris, one of my most-beloved local musicians, The Changing Colors will be playing. Chapel session alums, Conor Bourgal and friends have released a stunningly lovely new record this year with Joan & The King. It’s a record that is redolent with autumnal layers of beauty:

TICKETS ARE HERE (or at the door), only $10. I hope to see you there; I am genuinely excited for this show and for this new creative space in Colorado.

September 15, 2011

Bryan John Appleby TONIGHT: A Fuel/Friends House Concert

This morning is grey and it’s been raining since yesterday afternoon. I slept listening to raindrops on the roof, under my big winter blanket I brought up from the basement, and was completely content.

Bryan John Appleby is from Seattle, so he’ll come into this misty town tonight and feel right at home. After completely winning the stages he played on at Doe Bay, he is playing a house show for me tonight, along with chapel session alums The Changing Colors.

I can’t think of a better rainy September record than his new one Fire On The Vine that you guys helped Kickstart. His songs are literate and richly gorgeous.

Listen to this whole song and tell me that you don’t get shivers just imagining what it’s like live. Yes, it’s like that.

Glory – Bryan John Appleby

See you tonight at 8.

August 31, 2011

Fuel/Friends Chapel Session #6 :: The Changing Colors

There is a sweet intuition in watching brothers playing or sisters singing together. Some of that familial DNA seems to weave its way through the verses, the octave changes and the rhythm shifts. When my sister and I sing together, it’s like singing with myself but in stereo. Watching Colorado Springs’ Conor and Ian Bourgal of The Changing Colors play together, it’s as if one person splintered into two – a river of fraternal goodness.

I’ve come to know Conor and Ian as some of the finest purveyors of good music in Colorado Springs — our town known for many things but not necessarily that. Originally from New York, this twin superpower finesses the audio behind both my chapel sessions and for local label Blank Tape Records (Haunted Windchimes, Joe Johnson), but they also make beautiful music in their own right. I’ve been wanting to feature The Changing Colors in their own chapel session since the beginning, and finally got my chance on a recent Sunday, together with their cellist Aaron Fanning.

I hesitate to even use the word “autumn” in this still-summer context (don’t go, August, please, I’ll change, come back baby) but true to the innuendo established in their band name, these songs usher in a particular crimson and orange wistfulness, and whisper to us about the season that’s just right on ahead. When I first saw The Changing Colors perform live, I was grabbed by Conor’s husky, rough-hewn voice – try and not be reminded of Ray LaMontagne. You can’t. I’ve been listening to this session all day.

On The Side Of The Light
I’m Going Away
Take Care Of All My Children (Tom Waits)


The final song is a Tom Waits cover from the “Bawlers” disc of 2006′s Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards collection, and sounded pretty much perfect in a church. And after you enjoy that sweet, sweet slide guitar in “On The Side of the Light,” listen for the perfect timing of the church bells that started singing above our heads with Conor’s final guitar strum. We always try to time the recording in the fifteen-minute windows between chimes and this time our calculations were off, but also wonderfully so. I hope the Bourgal brothers never go back to their native New York; heaven knows our city needs them here.

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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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