21 August 2006

Like Bookends to the Summer

originally appeared in Japan Implosion

The first review I wrote for Japan Implosion was the 24 May 2006 show at the Tar Shack. I won't re-hash the review here, but suffice to say I thought it was one of the best shows I had been to in Denver yet and it kind of marked the start of my summer. So, now that school supplies are being bought and temperatures are dropping just enough for me to wonder where I last left my jacket, I feel this summer disappearing fast. But it's cool that I can index the close of the season with a second show at the Tar Shack. Sadly I missed half the bands and cant deliver a first hand account of Absolute Zero or The Hot House. Though from reliable sources the words I heard are that it was great stuff.

I did get there in time to catch all of Cowboy Curse's set. Last time I saw them was just before they set off to the west coast to let as many people as possible know there is some great pop music coming out of Denver. I hope those people were listening well because this band has some really fantastic songs, the type of songs that make your repeat button look a little more worn than the rest. I hope they make more of them. And you'd never have guessed that drummer Erin Tidwell had just played a full set with her other band (Hot House) because there was absolutely no dragging or lagging going on. Impressive. And just to mesh the two bands together a little more, Allie added some perfectly in tune keyboard sounds to the mix. Yay.

And that left the Tarmints to top the night off with their songs. And top it off they did. Tarmints are a great band to see anywhere you can, sending raw and beautiful sounds and energy (from god only knows where they mine it) out there and having it fall on your ears like an unexpected gift. It's energetic punk rock, yes, but that falls short of describing it. And seeing them anywhere is a treat, but seeing them in the Tar Shack is something even better. It's an unspoken genuine hospitality, a feeling of you being there as a guest, whether or not you really know the people who live there. And if you ever get a chance to go to a show at the Tar Shack, you oughta behave like a guest. As they began to play Kurt made some mention of it having been kind of a grouchy day up to that point for a lot of people. I could relate. But as the Tarmints dove into their set I couldn't help but let go of all traces of crabbiness and even as I write this days later, I'm still feeling better. That's a rarity that should never be ignored. That's powerful stuff and when Kurt ran to the back and jumped up on that table and played in front of the giant spirally Tarmints banner--well I just wished someone was faster with the camera so I could show you a little better what this show was like. But if you were there, you'll remember it.

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