The next installment of our series chronicling Radio 1190's Local Shakedown features the Denver experimental/progressive rock band Holophrase. Flashback to their practice space and ride along with them to Boulder for a performance on Local Shakedown. Then listen to their on-air interview. Features unreleased Holophrase songs performed live at the station.

Holophrase: Local Shakedown from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

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When in festivals, don't do as the festival-goer's do.  It can really be a testament of the human spirit if you are able to pace yourself and survive a multi-day festival.  Even the single-day festivals, like the Westword Music Showcase, can take down the most stout-at-heart music lover among us.  There is something about the excitement and the non-stop action that can be intoxicating, and you have to listen to the voice of reason that says, "There is a greater purpose in store for you, my son;  don't lose hope now."  I am possibly making this out to be more than it is, but for me surviving a four-day festival is a journey.  Let me take you on my journey.

The second day of UMS started with a whimper; alas, my ear drums aren't what they used to be.  I was sad to have missed two acts that I was really hoping to catch: the Maykit and Big Freedia.  Slow and steady wins the race, as some might choose to point out; festivals are all about endurance and I was trying a new approach that would hopefully allow me to slowly take in as much music as I could, without "losing" the experience if you will.

The Driftwood Singers were playing at Gary Lee's and were the first band of the evening that I was able to catch on Friday.  I am so glad I was able to catch this couple, a "deja-vu" feeling compared to the duo I had seen the night before during the same timeslot (Shovels & Rope).  A man and a woman dressed impeccably (leather boots and lace for the missus and a sharp vest and straw hat for the mister), upon first glance I thought I was looking at what might be the star actors of a new horror movie.  The two talk innocently enough, but there is something about them, more than just their clothing, that imparts the look of timelessness, just like an old black-and-white photo; it would not surprise me if the two were actually long dead singing ghosts traversing the country for eternity.  Their songs aren't exactly happy ditties, either; once during the night, singer Pearl Charles mentions, "This song is about my parents divorce," and at another point her counterpart Kris Hutson conceded that he liked to write love songs and death songs.  A little creepy, but full of inviting melodies and handsome singing, the Driftwood Singers were a cool act to catch and a great way to kick off Friday night.  I just wouldn't invite them home to crash on my couch or anything.  Just in case.

There were a few bands playing at the same time that my roommate wanted to see, so I followed her north down Broadway and ended up at 3 Kings to catch Hindershot.  By the time we got to the venue they were already a few songs into their set.  Knowing the sets were not terribly long I decided to forego the trip across the street to the Hi-Dive for Maynard with my more adventurous counterparts so I could see what these guys are all about.  I know that the group has been covered for this blog before, but I'd never seen them.  I like that even though the stage was full of band members, I was able to hear every note and every instrument clearly and that nothing was lost in muddled sound.  The songs were catchy and the group attracted quite a crowd.  I was surprised to see a man dancing with a baseball bat, and thought it nothing more than some type of UMS hi-jinx.  As I moved around the crowded stage I began to notice all the candy on the floor and then the remnants of a piñata.  I missed the piñata!  The half-Mexican inside of me felt ashamed that I wasn't aware of the piñata in my proximity, and I would have very much like to have seen it being burst open by the dancing man's baseball bat.

Miss America is a Nathaniel Rateliff project that sounds like a Nathaniel Rateliff project.  He is joined by the same people that make up the core "band" or however you would refer to those near and dear to the singer.  They are good, but I kind of get lost on what is the distinguishing characteristics between Miss America, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel; and so, I'm a horrible Denver resident.  I have gotten the distinct notion that anyone living in this city loves Rateliff, and to not know of his work and enthusiastically support it is akin to being an American and not loving apple pie.  With good reason: the man can sing and his songs are fucking good/kind of intense.  And so, the quaint, auto-mechanic themed joint known as Gary Lee's was filled to the brim with Denver devotees eager to see the man, the myth, the Denver legend known as Nathaniel Rateliff, along with his friends Joseph Pope III, James Han, Julie Davis and Patrick Meese.  Standing room was limited, and wanting to see more action I went outside to the glass garage door to get a good gander at the tinkering and humming of all the unique parts that make up Miss America.

It was time to leave and seek out more music, but the choices were endless and I looked at the Friday night schedule while scratching my head and slowly meandered back into the heart of the UMS commotion.  It was a good thing that there was a kareoke truck parked along the side of the road to distract me while I made up my mind.  I had noticed this contraption the other night, but now that there was someone truly killing it (murdering kareoke, I mean it was dead and gone) on the truck, I remained by the curb, in between 3 Kings and the table of volunteers registering drunk people to vote, to see what this guy had to say.  I was quickly convinced to make a decision, and I chose the more interesting of the band names I saw on the roster and just went with it.

Horse Thief was a really nice surprise.  This band was playing at the 404 Wheel Club, which was one of the most outlying venues of the weekend.  For anyone that happened down that way on this particular night, your trip would have been rewarded with a free beer at a headshop midway between Walgreens and the Wheel Club.  Genius idea, by the way.

This band took their catchy, indie rhythms and added a lot of sweeping, cymbal-crashing, guitar-strumming energy.  There were a decent group of people collecting outside the Wheel Club, and being hypnotized into the stage area because the music was magnetic.  Singer Cameron Neal was completely obscured by hair, yet you could still see his eyes looking hard out into nothing as he paced across the stage and climbed onto amps.  There were no breaks and the band looked to their fearless leader as they continued rush ever onwards like a runaway train, except they were a runaway thief on a stolen horse (perhaps).  There was a lot of commotion going on towards the end of the performance as the alcohol finally started to overpower the soothing loud noise of four guys from Oklahoma.  This was enough for me, as the day had rang it's silent death knell and so concluded the second day of my UMS experience.
The third day began with Gauntlet Hair who were on the mainstage in the parking lot of Goodwill.  Again, I was not out the door as quick as I could have been; but I was ready to make it through the evening.  And the sun was out and we all know that heat and dehydration will get you tuckered out faster than anything else.  Saying my "hello's" and getting lost in the crowded masses, trying to find an open spot of asphalt to park for a few, I overheard Andy R. mention that this was their last show in Denver.  This isn't true, they have a farewell show at Larimer Lounge set for August 25; but the way the remark was so casual and devoid of any emotion made my ears perk immediately.  I know these guys have been in the process of moving to New York for a while, and that's probably going to help propel their career to the lofty heights, and they deserve as much.  It just seems like they're "over it" and the indifferent remark made this all too clear.  Gauntlet Hair is awesome and I will definitely be at their farewell show; I hope those dudes find what they're looking for.

While the time flew by, it was all too suddenly nearing the 9:00 hour, and having little-to-no substantive nourishment that evening it was time to make a choice.  There were food vendors everywhere: the Mexican truck next to the dumpling cart next to the tapas stand; there was barbecue food outside of Gary Lee's and there were delicious sweet potato fries at Sputnik; there was Go Fish and there was the Hornet.  But the time was right for Famous Pizza, the South Broadway staple that seems to emanate the most pizza smells at the drunkest hour.  Grabbing a slice and running to the next performance was so convenient and perfect for any festival-goer's needs.  Easily one of my favorite acts of the weekend; not that I need to justify myself, but let me just add that I was very hungry and I'm a big pizza fan.

Filled with delicious, greasy cheese, it was soon time to go and see the Overcasters at the Hi-Dive.  Undoubtedly the thought of many a UMS-er at the same moment; as me and a few friends approached the mammoth line out from of the venue we quickly ascertained that the Hi-Dive was at-capacity and couldn't allow more people in the door until more people went out the door.  The music started wafting out to the street as I scratched my head and thought about "Plan B."  Better to wander around and get a good spot for The Kissing Party, I decided, and proceeded to slowly meander down the crowded sidewalks which might as well have been "at-capacity," too.  I would recommend always giving yourself time to do nothing at a music festival: that's when you find the cool stuff you may have missed otherwise.

And thusly, while walking by 3 Kings I overheard a song that sounded familiar but I couldn't think of where I had heard it from or what I was listening to: an opportunity was presented.  It turns out what I was listening to was "Cold Feet" by Lost Lander, and I still am not sure where I've heard this song from before but it's good.  These two good-looking kids put on a great show.  Taking folk-pop melodies and adding solid vocals that combined range with harmony, Lost Lander's performance sounded really professionally arranged for just two people.  Well, it turns out that these two are indeed professionals (Portland professionals, to be exact) and their last album was produced by Brent Knopf of Menomena.  I'm glad I randomly caught these guys after being turned away from another venue, it was like instant festival karma.

Their attitude was fun, but their demeanor was serious; dressed in black and sunglasses a la the Kills, Diedre Sage and Gregg Dolan tossed out carnations and tiny tambourines with "the Kissing Party" scribbled on them.  There was dancing, and there was a cheerleader; I'm pretty sure I saw this same cheerleader at Ben Kweller's Bluebird show back in May.  The lights were dimmed and the crowded bar room of the Skylark Lounge became the shaking dance floor any UMS band would have dreamed of.

And the night wore on, as the small cadre I had around me found ourselves at Compound Basix to see Class Actress perform at 11:00 PM.  This venue is located on the corner of 2nd Avenue and South Broadway on the small strip where you can find a gay bar or two, and conveniently pick up your ball-gag leather mask and a bottle for the after party.  While I am not a stranger to the male revue a few doors down, I had never been to Compound Basix.  My first impression was not a good one; the bar was packed, the girls room was an impenetrable fortress and there was no hopes of hydration.  The main room has a fancy fluorescent tube-light display that reminded me of neon peacock feathers, and had it not been for the immense crowd and low lights I would have been able to notice the large expanse and second bar area that could have made for a more pleasant evening.

Feeling a little bewildered, I slinked to the front of the room where I ran into Peter who was running around SoBro all weekend getting some choice footage of the festival events.  The film crew were literally everywhere at once, I caught glimpses of them here and there but it was almost as if I was seeing their Back-to-the-Future personas because it was physically impossible that they were able to cover the ground they did.  Class Actress is one keyboard/sound-effects dude and the beautiful Elizabeth Harper; as happened many times during the weekend, the crowd vehemently objected to their set being cut short by the pre-set timeslots.  The electro-pop jams were perfect in Compound Basix.  Sure, no one could move but we couldn't help to try and dance along, it was impossible not to.

After mistakenly traveling to Delite in hopes of seeing Total Ghost but I got the times wrong and Atomic Mama was full-swing into their set.  Given the option to hang around the open garage door which was attracting quite the crowd, I decided that the 7-hour stretch of music and festival what-have-you's had worn on me enough that a Total Ghost performance just wasn't in the cards.  Good thing that those two dudes will most likely be around playing another show soon; they are my favorite fake German synth duo in the Denver Metro Area.

The final day of UMS started with a bang at the ripe old hour of 7:00 PM; so much music in so little time can really take it out of a girl.   The final day of the festival was scheduled to be end things with a bang as main headliner Atlas Sound, as well as Denver favorites Paper Bird and Nathaniel Rateliff, but the real bang came from the on-again-off-again lightening threatening to halt all main stage activity.  A light shower sprinkled over the South Broadway area in the early in the day, making for an atypical sticky afternoon.  Things had cooled off nicely as the wind and clouds rolled in that evening.  There were small families gathering in the credit union parking lot outside of the fenced off area of the main stage, most likely coming from the surrounding Baker neighborhood.

Pacific Pride was playing at Compound Basix, and I was looking forward to seeing them play ever since I ran into the Rob, my old roommate, and Trevor, my old coworker, outside of Lost Lake when they were setting up for a gig.  I didn't get to catch them that night, so I figured this was a great opportunity.  Getting to see Compound Basix in the light of day after my somewhat dispirited episode the night before was unexpectedly refreshing.   I came to find out how accommodating that large area inside was now that it wasn't pitch black, and with a small back patio to boot this place was a great venue for shows.  I'm sorry we got off on the wrong foot, Compound Basix; I take back everything I said before, it wasn't your fault.  Pacific Pride was fun; girls were dancing, boys were dancing and a blow-up Goldfish was being passed around.

Paper Bird is like Denver's singing telegram or the singing introductory credits to any movie that would feature and star Denver, Colorado.   It was very fitting to have them play back-to-back with Rateliff, whom all could easily qualify as Denver rock royalty.  It was fun to see them play, and hear Sarah Anderson slightly modify "Colorado" with what I think was a Cookie Monster impression; I'm just guessing by the reaction of all the kids running around by the credit union fence.  Speaking of which, it's so entertaining to see little kids get excited about music; they are the masters of "dance like no one is watching."  And let me tell you, little children love the shit out of some Paper Bird.

Before Rateliff and crew made their appearance, I thought I'd go check out some of The Morning Clouds set over at the Hi-Dive.  I hadn't gotten a chance to see a performance at the Hi-Dive all weekend, so why not.  Not knowing much about the band, they started off well enough with poppy tunes and melodic male vocals.  But then things just started going downhill; there was possibly 20-odd people watching the music, but there was nowhere to stand without being in the way.  Tables and chairs were being moved about from merch areas, the previous band was loading their equipment in their van out front, and then a film crew snaked through the crowd of which one hanger on turned to me and said,"Excuse me, we're shooting a TV show here."  It was fairly preposterous (what TV show?) and too distracting; sorry Morning Clouds, maybe next time.

Myself and a few folks heard that Nathaniel Rateliff's set had been temporarily postponed due to lightning, so we mosied across the street for some Science Partner.  I love that group, and have the fondest memories of accidentally hearing them for the first time when I showed up at the Larimer Lounge for what I thought was a show but turned out to be a private birthday party.  And they open-armed invited me to this birthday party without so much as asking what my name was; that was cool.  So Science Partner will always remind me of crashing birthday parties.  They played to a packed house, and as we stood outside watching through the open garage door, we were joined by a few intoxicated individuals which may or may not have been traveling hobos.  Missing teeth, missing shoes, barely able to speak coherently; maybe they were just hardcore UMS-ers and had been sleeping in the Goodwill lot through the weekend.  The door guy came over to the rowdy bunch a few times to ask them to stop touching the drummer, but for the most part these guys made air guitar and head-banging gestures in a harmless fashion that only enhanced the auditory experience for us sidewalk watchers.

Standing outside, I ran into my old friend Kody who happened to be playing in a band called Hills and Hollows scheduled to play after Science Partner; wanting to catch part of Nathaniel Rateliff, I decided to wander back across the street to see what was afoot.  Even though Nathaniel Rateliff's set was postponed by lightening, the band wrapped up at the same time they were scheduled to which meant that they played for twenty minutes.  I guess the Denver Post was on a tight schedule; or on they were like me and kind of feeling festivaled out, so didn't feel the need to prolong things more than necessary. I barely had enough time to stand in the bathroom line and be privy to a drunken debate between four men in blonde wigs about government responsibility and STD's before Rateliff and crew said, "Goodnight!"  Back to Delite we went to catch the five-piece Hills and Hollows, and this weird bunny dude with the Vitamin Water.  The band was good; honestly, by this point my hearing had kind of made everything sound like beans in a tin can, so I think they probably sounded better than what I could hear.  The group did put on a good show for being one of the last performers of the weekend, and were competing with the same timeslot as Atlas Sound.

Atlas Sound was the lullaby that put the baby to sleep.  This baby, right here.  Singer Bradford Cox exclaimed that he had much more than forty minutes in him, and would play for the rest of the night if anyone had an attic they wanted to invite him to.  I wordlessly invited him to the attic of my mind as I drifted off into a sweet sleep that night, dreaming about all the great UMS music I was able to hear before my journey was over.
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Last month's TheHundred party with Christian Martin

Into its ninth month and showing no signs of slowing down, TheHundred is back again this weekend with another sure-to-be sweltering dance party, this time right at midsummer. They key to TheHundred's success thus far has been providing hot up-and-coming acts with local talent to create an atmosphere filled with good vibes for large, dance hungry, house music loving crowds. This weekend's lineup is no exception and should prove to be another night to remember.

The headliner is Moon Boots, a representative of the excellent French Express record label. Moon Boots' repertoire consists of nu-disco originals and remixes that are tailor made for hot summer nights. True to his name, Moon Boots creates dance music that pairs a futuristic spaced out feel with weightless ease - veritable rocket fuel for the dance floor. Check out "Got Somebody".

Also joining the lineup is Chicago based via New York DJ Lani Love. Also a fashion blogger, Lani Love incorporates her eye for style and eclecticism in her music selection, bringing that same dose of personality into her sets. The result is something fresh and infectious that'll keep people crowding the dance floor. Check out this Lani Love spring mixtape.

The local support for this hot night of dancing starts with TheHundred founder option4, who will get the night started with a mood setting deep house set before getting the sweat flowing later in the night with some summertime house music. Jinro will keep the party going with nu-disco and bouncy, funky grooves. Hollagramz will keep the party going with a DJ set that shows off the versatility of the acclaimed local experimental electronic group.

Be sure to get to Beauty Bar early, as TheHundred parties are known to reach capacity. The fun begins this Saturday, July 28 at 9:00PM. The show is 21+ and entry is only $6! RSVP on Facebook here!
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I may have just gotten back from the amazing marathon music weekend known as the Underground Music Showcase, but I'm ready to keep it going with another show at the Larimer Lounge tonight, especially with the lineup they have in store. Two innovative east coast imports share the headline, with a hot new local act getting the night of music started.

Young Magic is trio composed of world travels, two from Australia and one from Indonesia, that came together and formed their band in New York. Their collaboration meant melding together influences culled from the globe and from across time, creating a sound with an electronic hip-hop/bass footprint that mixes in tribal rhythms and '60s psychedelia. Check out "Sparkly".

Quilt is a band from Boston that can instantly transport listeners back in time about a half century with their sunshine-pop drenched indie rock sound. Ethereal vocal harmonies intertwine with bright guitars and deliberate beats to create something soothingly energetic. Check out "Rabid Love".

Cerulean opens the night as local support, but the duo and their innovative electronic dream-pop sound should definitely not be missed. The brother-sister duo took the internet by storm with the couple tracks they have released so far, and tonight is a rare opportunity to see them both live, as while brother Elliot Baker lives in Colorado, his sister Marilyn resides across the pond in London. Check out "Future Wind".

The Larimer Lounge doors open at 8:00PM and the show begins at 9:00PM. The show is 21+ and tickets are $10. Tickets and more information are available online here.
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Bug bites, bruised shins, hair sticking to the back of your neck and wishing for a cool dip in any body of water that’s available but you’ll settle for a cold drink until then; that was my memories of summer break as a kid, and it’s funny that I get to relive those same experiences in small doses as a grown adult. Summer is for music festivals. Music festivals are for memories. Summer, music and memories is a delicious combination for the young at heart or adventurous in spirit. The summer in Denver is typically mild compared to the hot, humid weather you might get in the Midwest and Southwestern regions neighboring Colorado. The rains are short and sparse and the nights cool down by 10,  sometimes 20 degrees. And so, while every music festival can boast about what makes theirs so special, the magic that comes with a cool Denver night is not to be missed. And neither is UMS, which is Denver’s best kept secret. But why? Why don’t people come out to South Broadway and listen to the dozens upon dozens of excellent local and non-local acts that the Denver Post brings into town (twelve years running now), and come see the excellent comedy shows, and check out the niche dive bars and . . . be alive. The cost is a pittance for what you receive in return: Memories.

Shovels & Rope is a good time condensed into two small people with two big voices. Sincerely: wow. I mean they attracted a small mob within minutes of their set beginning and were in step with representing their upcoming album titled O, Be Joyful; the pair were all smiles and warmly engaged the crowd in between songs.  Cary Ann Hearst has an amazing voice, as does Michael Trent, but the pair do not audibly duke it out on stage in battle to win the hearts of the crowd like you might expect from two people who used to be their own lead singers in separate bands.  Hearst would mosey on over to the drum kit while Trent belted out a tune, and then they effortlessly switched places as Trent strapped on his harmonica while Hearst's voice rang loudly throughout Gary Lee's Motor Club.  My favorite part of the act was when I went outside the glass garage door to take a picture of the two with the audience in the background, and a photographer asked if he could take a picture of me taking a picture.  So meta!

Next up that evening was the 3 Kings Tavern and Mrs. Magician, whom I had seen a few months back with the Cults.  Flying in from San Diego, CA, this relatively new group attracted quite a following in the roomy interior of 3 Kings and their loud, surf-rock inspired songs about the absence of God ("There is No God"), the metaphorical existence of Heaven ("Heaven") and the space in between.  Singer Jacob Turnbloom's Hawaiian shirt was an excellent pairing to the band's tunes, and has inspired me to reconsider the "cool" Hawaiian shirt idea (they could be cool!).  The misters of Mrs. Magician played a forty-five minute set even got the burly, bearded man beside me dancing.  It's hard not to dance along to songs with pop-py refrains of "Fuck the world / fuck the kids" and Dick Dale-esque guitar riffs.

There was a stellar lineup at 3 Kings so I stayed put for three hours, and after Mrs. Magician was the great local treasure known as Bad Weather California.  I've seen these dudes play a few times, and they never disappoint.  The used every last minute of time available to them, and as the audience grew in size the Bad Weather guys responded with equal enthusiasm and energy.

It was very interesting to see the change in climate as Chris Adolf's chants of "Bad Weather California is street level music" at the end of their set segued into Dylan Baldi's refrain of "I need time to stay useless" with the Cloud Nothing's first song.  The audience went from almost ballroom dancing to mosh dancing in zero to sixty.  I was left holding my bruised shins and guarding my camera against flying beer as the Cloud Nothings proceeded to make all of us bleed from our ears and melt into puddles in the sweatbox that was 3 Kings.  So far, that has been my favorite experience of the UMS; but it has been only the first night of four.
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Last month Flashlights celebrated the release of their EP So Close To Midnight on limited edition pink cassette tapes with packed out Larimer Lounge show, but that wasn't the only thing new Flashlights debuted that night. For this first time in Denver, Flashlights performed as a three piece band enlisting the help of live drummer Taylor Thomas. Furthermore, in addition to performing the new music they were releasing that night, they debuted as of yet unreleased material. Flashlights mentioned that they were heading more towards dance music, and the last song they played, "Haunt Me Forever", was preview of that new direction. Check out the music video of that song made from the live audio and video recording from that night!

Flashlights - "Haunt Me Forever" (Live) from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

Keep your eyes on the Flashlights Facebook and Bandcamp pages to follow their updates and get a hold of their new music!

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For a while now, Radio 1190's Local Shakedown has been a great outlet for Denver's vibrant local scene. Every Friday from 4PM-6PM, the radio show delivers a well curated mixture of Denver's best home grown music to its station's listeners. To sweeten the deal, Local Shakedown often brings in bands to do live performances in studio and on broadcasts them on air.

This episode features Young Pharaohs, who narrowly made it to Boulder in time for their show due to unexpected problems with their converted school/tour bus. Thanks to their determination and a little generosity from those at Radio 1190, Young Pharaohs were able to get in and out with amazing quickness. Check out how it all went down in this video. You can listen to their on air performance in its entirety at Local Shakedown's website

Young Pharaohs: Local Shakedown from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

Tune in today to catch an on air performance from Denver's Rubedo, and keep your eyes out for the next installment of the Local Shakedown web series featuring last week's guests, Holophrase.
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Recently, I was given two excellent music recommendations: one was for Tristen's show at the Hi-Dive, and the other was for a track by MVSCLES, "sweet n sour."  Both were excellent recommendations for different reasons, but there is nothing that one has in common with the other except that they happened to be good recommendations.  Any good advice or personal endorsement is something you can't help but give away when you have it, but seems like such a gift when you get it.  Have you tried this great burrito place (Veggie breakfast burritos at Taco de Mexico)?  Do you watch this great new show (The Newsroom, y'all)?  Have you heard of this great music festival in town (UMS!)?  I like how this MVSCLES song is about knowing what something is because you know what it isn't.  Tristen's show last Tuesday wasn't very crowded, it didn't end very late, and the opening band wasn't trying to make you feel better about how sad and lonely you may be.  It was great.

The evening started with Conor and Ian Bourgal, the brothers that make up The Changing Colors, taking the stage.  They immediately began their set without need for introduction for the five or so people that had made it into the Hi-Dive at that moment.  The Bourgals have a sense of humor.  While the songs he sings are somber, Conor is able to speak bluntly about his craft.  Being able to laugh at yourself means things are not as bad as your songs make it seem.  In between songs, Bourgal mentioned  "I like to write sad songs.  And love songs.  And sad, love songs." Songs about coffin races, as well, he explained for "No Wedding" which is a track off of their 2010 album Ghost of Red Mountain.  But the band smiles, takes requests for "more sad songs" and lists Nirvana as their only musical influence on their Facebook page.  I know a couple of jokesters when I see them.  The Changing Colors played a few new songs  from a yet-to-be-released and unnamed album.  One such song was a little number Bourgal mentioned was inspired by a Tom Petty documentary; you would think this may have broken the sad, love song trend but you would be wrong.  One Bourgal left the stage, and the remaining Bourgal went unplugged and sat on the edge of the stage for an intimate, sad song to end the set.  If you feel like taking a moment to think about death, sadness and/or love lost during the UMS festival next weekend (or anytime in the future), give these bros a listen.

In a white collared shirt, Tristen was a dapper package of adorable: her shiny, short tap pants to match her cropped hair-do, with a bolo tie to wrap it all together.  Simple,yet elegant, like a singing Audrey Hepburn with a country accent.  Too.  Cute.  Even more endearing was the fact that a good deal of her family was in attendance for her show that night; after her first song "Save Raina," she addressed the crowds by first saying hello and then asking "How is my family doing?" which warranted a response of roughly half the audience. So here's an interesting "Would You Rather . . ." scenario: would you rather perform in front of a crowd of strangers or a crowd of your family members?   Tristen pulled it off well with both, as she twirled around the stage while singing a song about gangsters ("No One's Gonna Know") and seamlessly transitioned from various instruments in between songs.

Tristen's on-stage band members were Buddy Hughen on guitar (he was introduced as a Denver native), Jordan Caress on bass, and Doris the Japanese drum machine. Apparently Doris is thirty years old, but she carries herself well; the songs Tristen performed lacked nothing from the synthetic fourth bandmate. Hughen and Caress harmonize excellently with the pint-sized singer, whose perfect vocals sound just as clean and precise as Doris' percussive rhythm.  As cute and Tristen is, she is not singing songs that disclose any sort of "cute agenda;" one of her new songs called "I Can't Get No Stimulation," which she unabashedly introduced to a dozen or so family members.  She may look like your kid sister but the adult themes in her music demand respect.  I see on Tristen's Facebook page that the new album, Caves, is due out in the Fall. 

Check out a few more photos from the night on the Concerted Effort Facebook page, and make sure to keep your ears open for a great recommendation - you never know when the next one will fall in your lap.
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Tristen is a singer-songwriter, with a debut album under her belt and a song to share more than a year after its release. She calls Nashville home, and shares a record label (American Myth Recordings) with another buzzing songstress, Lissy Trullie.  Tristen is a fresh voice; it's something I noticed right away when I recently listened to Charlatans at the Garden Gate.  Her songs are adorned in catchy, pop melodies, but sounds strong and like a folk song without "the extra fat."  Maybe you're like me, and you openly admit to being absorbed by the shininess of pop music but hate the aftertaste, and you love the heartiness of lyrically-substantial folk songs but freely admit that it's not as appealing.  And Tristen seems to bring both together, like a well-balanced meal that tastes too good to be true.  Even so, Tristen sprinkles a country twang on top and it sounds so good.

The Changing Colors are a folk pair that really hone in on the hearty lyrics and well-crafted guitar hooks that are equal parts comforting and catchy.  Not like pop music catchy, but there is definitely something about the simplicity of the lyrics that makes me want to sing along or hum along if I'm feeling shy.  The band calls Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs home, and their last release was an album called Ghost of Red Mountain; an eerie coincedence that conjures up images of the recent fires, though the album predates the tragedy by almost two years. Given the new perspective of current events, maybe these songs will be even more poignant performed live than they already were.

Head down to the Hi-Dive tonight, doors open at 8 PM and the show begins at 9 PM.  This is an 18 and up show, and you can see all the information online here.
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Holophrase, a local Denver rock band with a myriad of influences and an eclectic sound that leans towards experimental and progressive rock is releasing their new EP, Horizons of Expectation, tonight at the Hi-Dive. Although guitarists Luis Etscheid, Jared Henning, and drummer Caleb Henning played music together since they were in high school, the band didn't coalesce until two years ago when they met singer and violinist Malgosia Stacha. Now they are releasing their first EP, with a live show that promises the fusion of both their auditory and visual art. Bad Weather California, Jason Anderson, and Wire Faces also join the night's bill. Check out this video to learn more about the Holophrase story.
The doors open to the Hi-Dive tonight at 8PM, and the music starts at 8:30PM. This 18+ show is $8 at the door. Tickets and more information are available online here.

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On Friday, July 6, ManCub will be rocking the Larimer Lounge once more, this time with Drop The Lime and Cassian on the bill. If you're not familiar with ManCub or you just want to know how ManCub's electro-noise pop sound is made, check out this video. Concerted Effort spent some time in Alex Anderson's studio. The mastermind behind the band talks about how he makes and performs his music. Watch the video before heading out to Friday's show. You can win tickets to this show on Facebook, courtesy of Early Bird // Night Owl and Holy Underground!

ManCub from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

The live ManCub experience is one that is constantly changing. Alex Anderson strives to stay innovative and deliver something new and better every time he takes the stage as ManCub. This Friday will be no exception. ManCub will perform as a duo, but instead of another person on effects pedals and backing vocals, Alex Anderson will be joined by DJ Babyshoe. Together the pair will play a set where they will perform a DJ set with music live remixed and manipulated both through the DJ decks and ManCub's array of effects pedals to deliver a unique live experience.

ManCub will open in local support of these great artists:

The electro, nu-disco producer known for his club-ready, Euro-infused beats just released The Love Cuts EP  a few weeks ago. The Sydney native has been touring the festival circuit, including SnowBall Music Festival a few months ago. Signed to Windish Agency, alongside A-Trak, Washed Out, Chromeo and M83. In 2011 Cassian completed a slew of well received remixes for artists such as PNAU, The Rapture, Bag Raiders, Gigamesh, Citizens! and Miami Horror (who he collaborated with for a joint remix). Denver is his last stop on his US Tour before playing three dates in California before heading to the Dominican Republic.

Drop The Lime:
NYC native Luca Venezia aka Drop the Lime is an electronic producer and DJ and founder of dance label Trouble & Bass. He is best known for his distinct twist on the Trouble & Bass sound, combining his love of Rockabilly with his own take on bass-driven music. Vivian Host describes Venezia's sound as comprising "chopped-up breaks making hairpin turns, breakdowns coming out of nowhere, a foundation of wobbling goblin bass often cut in with tropical, clacking snares", with "enigmatic lyrics in his singularly scratchy, bluesy notes." In other words, Drop the Lime takes the rowdiest parts of electronic, rock and bass music to create an unforgettable dance experience.

The show takes place at the Larimer Lounge on Friday, July 6. The doors open at 8PM and the show starts at 9PM. Tickets are $12.50 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets and more information are available online here.
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