23 March 2010

"Sun and Moon" Wentworth Kersey

It's been a while since the last Wentworth Kersey listening opportunity. If you haven't heard them before, today is a good day to start.

As the sun turns to snow today, I'll be taking some time to listen to the beautiful and comforting combination of Joe Sampson's unmistakable song-writing and song-singing and Jeffrey Stevens signature ambient styling. Treat yourself to a listen.

The thoughtful gentleman have today released "Sun and Moon" for your listening enjoyment. It is the first song released from their third of three EPs, forthcoming this summer.

18 March 2010

It's a sad day. R.I.P. Alex Chilton

Alex Chilton (1950-2010).

The sky is a little dimmer tonight.

I really wish I had a clearer memory of the time I saw Alex Chilton perform. I can't find a reference to it anywhere and hope it really happened. If you remember it, please speak up and let me know. The show, it was in Lexington, Kentucky I am sure. I think it was at a club on Limestone called Babylon Babylon. It must've been around 1987 or 1988. I think.

The things that stick in memory seem a little disjointed, but here goes. I remember the guy as seeming kinda moody. It was a small venue. I was stunned when he played "The Letter" and perhaps didn't even know at the time that it was his song. I certainly didn't know he was a teenager when it hit number one. The overall feeling that really left an impression is that, in spite (or maybe because of) my ignorance of the influence of the man's songs, the evening felt momentous. I mean, sometimes you are in the presence of a great talent...the real deal...and you don't need to be told. You just know it, it's so obvious that you are witnessing something special. Even if you are a silly teenager without a clue. Alex Chilton was a real star. Seeing him play was enough to know it. You didn't need an internet full of it to tell you so.

That's all I remember.

I did come across this today at work and it almost brought me to tears. At work.

Over the years I got more familiar with Big Star and both #1 Record and Radio City grow on me a little more with each listen.

I dunno. Maybe the stars are actually a little brighter tonight.

16 December 2009

high school students at the book store

I'm not naming names on this one.

So. I volunteer to help at the high school fund raiser at a local bookstore. The kids perform music by the coffee shop while we parents of young musicians stand several feet from the front door with plates of cookies and a carafe of coffee hoping to lure shoppers close enough to tell them to please mention the school at the counter when they check out so the high school music program can grab a cut of the purchase they were gonna make anyways. It's a pretty ok fund raiser, as far as those things go. It beats bingo and chocolate bars anyday. Nonetheless, with my rapidly growing anxiety condition, I am really dreading the whole thing.

Past a couple saxophone players outside the door, belting out some jazzy holiday tunes, I walk into the book store and stop in my tracks as I catch an unexpectedly familiar tune. So unexpected, it takes me a minute to place what I am hearing. Some kid is strumming away on the guitar belting out a respectable rendition of Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" and segues right into an Elliott Smith cover. I'm stunned. What sort of 2009 teenager is into such stuff? I walk over and take a look at some boy in a hoodie and jeans playing away. I am heartened and hopeful. I pass out little flyers to potential book buyers with an all right feeling. Even the other mothers talking about ski vacations can't bring me down.

There's always more of "us" out there. Young and aging outsiders like me. And you.

17 October 2009

Record Store Performances for Local Shakedown Vol. 3

Despite the fact that a record store is not typically designed to comfortably handle a live performance and the crowd that comes along with such an event, I love a record store performances. Recorded music and live music are different worlds, in a common universe of course, but I dig it.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow three great local record stores host performances from some great local bands to celebrate the release of Radio 1190's Local Shakedown Compilation Volume 3 out yesterday on Smooch Records. My review of the cd can be found on The Donnybrook Writing Academy.

Details of the record and its release can be found at the Radio 1190 website.


The Local Shakedown Vol. 3 CD was kindly co-released by your favorite local record stores: Twist and Shout, Wax Trax and Bart's CD Cellar. To celebrate its release there will be live music at each store the weekend of October 16th. The double CD will be for sale at each location for $11.90.

Friday, Oct. 16th
Twist and Shout
2508 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
6:00 PM - The Kissing Party

Saturday, Oct. 17th
Bart's CD Cellar
1015 Pearl St., Boulder
2:00 PM - Thee Goochi Boiz, otem rellik, AĆ«nka

Sunday, Oct. 18th
Wax Trax
638 E. 13th Ave., Denver
2:00 PM - Bad Weather California, Magic Cyclops, The Fire Drills, The GetDown!

06 September 2009

The 2009 Denver UMS!

The UMS, I think, is the indie music fans version of the county fair to farming folk: it's a chance to say hey to a number of friends you haven't seen since last year, maybe see a new thing or two and best of all, catch a few well-loved familiars.

I should've written this in a more timely manner, a month ago or so. But I didn't feel like writing about it until right now. It's not that I didn't enjoy the UMS this year. I did. And it's not that it was too exhausting (though four days were truly too much for me--I took Friday off.)

I will probably never get used to that sampling buffet-style mode of music listening of a festival. There were, as usual, too many bands to even catch a sample of properly. And predictably, I missed a good share of those I would've liked to have seen. The four days were more than I could set aside the time and energy for, so I deliberately skipped Friday and having the underage entourage in tow, I skipped the evening hours of Saturday and Sunday as well. The kids were bummed that they had no all ages opportunity to see the #1 voted band of Ian Cooke. He's pretty all-ages friendly too. Alas, there was still much to see and hear that made it well worth the price of a wristband.

And the UMS does seem to be growing, not shrinking. I heard tell that there were folks who made the trip from outside the rectangle of Colorado to play for the South Broadway crowd. I'm not sure if I caught any of their acts, but I think I must have seen at least one of them on the outdoor stage, which turned out to be a good place to hang out with my all-ages entourage. The skate shop also had a nice little setup with the little bouncy outdoor stage. Fancy Tiger and Rock the Cradle were good places to stop in and catch some acoustic singer-songwriter fare. The church on Lincoln also was a beautiful and unique place to catch some exceptional sounds.

For me, the highlights were: Thursday night at the 3 Kings Tavern with Snake Rattle Rattle Snake and Bad Luck City; Saturday afternoon at Fancy Tiger with Joe Sampson and the church on Lincoln with Kal Cahoone. For my teen-age son, Everything Absent or Distorted on the main stage on Sunday seemed to be the highlight. Chalk drawing on the parking lot also seemed to amuse the very youngest of rockers. I was glad that I bought Walgreens out of the last of their summer sidewalk chalk, because not a speck was wasted. Next year I'm bringing a bucket of chalk.