October 31, 2007

"I Know You Want The Candy"

So, today is Halloween, which means 2 things: I'm currently dressed up as a lion, and will continue to be so for the remainder of the day, and The Raveonettes are playing a show in Denver and, because of other responsibilities, I can't go and am, therefore, kind of bummed.

The new Raveonettes album, Lust, Lust, Lust, is beyond good. It might be because I'm all of a sudden in a Velvet Underground-y mood, but I'm thinking it's more because the new album is freaking unbelievably well composed, everything more spot on than all but about 2 albums released this year. The feedback is magnificently manufactured, the vocals are hopelessly haunting, and other such alliterations that allude to the fact that this album is not only their best, but one of the best albums of the year. And I have to miss their show tonight. Bum ... mer. Oh well. If you have a chance, see them, if you can't, then see them next time ... you'll be sure to spot me there.

Some tunes off of Lust, Lust, Lust, the new album:
The Raveonettes - Hallucinations
The Raveonettes - Black Satin
The Raveonettes - You Want The Candy

Visit their myspace for even more awesome tunes from Lust, Lust, Lust

October 30, 2007

"I'd Do Anything For You"

So apparently the president of Indonesia has released an album... let me be the first to say I want a piece of that, and if anyone knows a way to get it, send that info to me.

Also, apparently a certain band, whom I will not name (though I thought of doing so purely for ironic purposes), has been getting so much hype that it has forced a fairly prominent blogger to take a stand, and I'm not the first to agree with him and bashfully admit that I've taken part in over hyping. Sorry folks, I'll have to start giving no more than seven thumbs up from now on (hehe) (but, seriously, maybe I am part of the problem ... haha, still funny to me though).

In other news I just realized that all those live sets I've come across were recorded by the same guy, Hoshwa, for 5432fun! (whom I gave mad props to), which means that I can't go on a hosting frenzy, because I'd essentially be stealing all his hard work and claiming it for my own, and that'd be lame, so I'm only going to host a few, and I'm even going to link directly to where he's uploaded the files, so as to give him as much credit as he is due, because he's a rad fella. Anyway, here's a live set by my lady-friend Brittany under the moniker Married in Berdichev! and my buddy Nick AKA Transistor Radio Sound (both of these acts, if you didn't all ready know from previous posts, are Denverites, and Rhinoceropolisites. Like the last time, some of the titles are just assumed, so don't take them literally. But since it's the music that matters, that really shouldn't be an issue)

Band: Married in Berdichev!
Date: 2007-03-24
Venue: Storke Tower Library, Santa Barbara, California

I Love You
I Need to Stop Listening
Sweet Sweet Summer
I'd do Anything
Water Balloon
In the Woods
Those Woods

Band: Transistor Radio Sound
Date: 2007-03-24
Venue: Storke Tower Library, Santa Barbara, California

Setup / Intro
I Know
So Strong
Where Did the Stars Go?
Planet Earth
Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh

October 25, 2007

"Shout, Shout, Let It All Out"

Did anyone else notice that the new Michael Jackson album, which is so new that it has yet to even be titled, has supposedly leaked? From what I've read about the new album, what has leaked is most likely just a few versions of a few B-sides and possible demo versions of possible new songs. Whatever the case, if these demos are any indication as to what the finished product is going to sound like, then prepare to be unconcerned, because not only are the tracks forgettably boring, but some of them are about the quality of the majority of the songs you'll find on Acidplanet (come on, we all know that, while there is some stellar material on that site, the majority is BS).

Here's the tracklist:
Gangsta (No Friend of Mine) (supposedly w/ The Fugees)
Let Me Let Go
Someone Put Your Hand Out
I Need You (w/ 3T)
Ride With Me (W/ Rodney 'Darkchild' Jenkins)
Get Out of My Mind
Mamacita (w/ Santana)
Why (w/ 3T)
What More Can I Do? (English Version)
What More Can I Do? (Spanish Version)
What More Can I Do? (Spanglish Version)

All I have to say is that it's probably the creepiest album ever ... check that, I've got more to say:
Most of the beats are either cliched or straight up ugly and forgettable, which you actually have to have a certain amount of talent to pull off, so maybe I should be giving MJ props. "Gangsta", "Someone put your hands out", "Biggerman", and "Why" forgettable and just dumb. "Let Me Let Go" and "I Need You" are about being in love, which, from the scandal that surrounds Michael, just makes the songs sound like desperate attempts to make him seem like a normal guy who's in love ... which I have a hard time believing, and this is coming from a guy watches no TV or reads any rag-mags. "Ride With Me" has the most awkward beat I've ever heard, which is basically all that were was to the song. If there is anything that supports the case that this "leak" is just a compilation of demos and old B-sides, then the song "Ride With Me" is it. The "album" rounds out with 3 versions of his 9/11 benefit song "What More Can I Do," which follows the example of every other song similar to it, and just ends up sounding like the "Super Bowl Shuffle" but geared toward people in need (actually, Do They Know It's Hallowe'en is pretty good)

There were 4 almost shiny moments in the "album" though. "Shout" had good verse, but the chorus was a rip off of every other song named "Shout." "Get Out of My Mind" had an interesting beat, but it was still mostly dumb an cliched. "Xcape" is another one that is actually pretty good, except when he squeals or writes lyrics regarding relationships ... that's just so awkward to think about. "Mamacita" is probably the only good song on the leak, and, while I'm no expert on R&B, it's seems like a pretty competent song all around.

So you can see I'm not just pulling your leg, I'll give you a sample:

Get Out of My Mind
Ride With Me (Seriously the worst beat EVER!!! You need to hear it to believe it.)

I really REALLY hope this is no indication as to what he's doing in the studio, because I'd really prefer not to have it turn out like Brittany's new one (i.e. awful).

October 24, 2007

"Whether You're a Brother, or Whether You're a Mother"

There were times when I wished that the Denver scene were more like the Phoenix/Tempe scene, because the Arizonians that I've come across have all been exceedingly friendly, allowing as many people as they could to get up and play with them, forming multiple "side-projects," and just being some of the greatest people you could ever hope to meet. That wish lasted about 4 seconds before I realized that Denver is as intimate as the Phoenix scene, with members of basically every local band doing side projects with each other (The Wheel, the various incarnations of Transistor Radio Sound) and the bands supporting each other during hard times (Magic Cyclops Support Show). What spawned the desire to have a scene like the Arizonians? Seeing acts like French Quarter, Foot Ox, Alas, Alak, Alaska, Yourchestra, Andrew Jackson Jihad, and many others who hail from our southern neighbor-state who come through and warm our hearts with their songs of joy, woe, good times, and bad. No set of studio recordings could ever compare to the warmth felt by seeing these bands, especially when they play in our humble city of Denver, along side our own set of wonders.

So I went out and tracked down some live recordings of some Arizonians and of our own Denverites, and this is one of the shows I've come up with (the titles in parenthesis aren't known, so those are just the best guesses made by the recorder, Hoshwa, for 5432fun! [mad props]) :

Band: French Quarter
Date: 2007-04-25
Venue: Biko Garage, Isla Vista, CA

(Randy's House)
Bold With Fire
Stayin' Alive (Bee Gees Cover)
(Song About Smoking Cigs)
(You and I)
Build Fires
(Home Away From Home)

I'll have more goodies later. This is gonna be a good "series."

October 21, 2007

"What Lesson Were You Trying to Teach? Was It 'Happiness Is Always Slightly Out of Reach'?"

Denver is the love of my life, and one of the biggest reasons for this is a little place that goes by the name Rhinoceropolis. Rhinoceropolis is run/lived in by some of the sweetest, most charming folks in Denver. These people open up their house weekly (some weeks it's almost nightly) so that a smattering of the underground scene can get away from the craziness that is living in (or, possibly, around) this world. Part sanctuary, part art house, part a great many other things, Rhinoceropolis has become like a best friend to me ... a best friend who knows everyone cool and talented, and invites those people over for a good time, and that is exactly what happened last Tuesday.

Every time I go to Rhinoceropolis, I attempt to bring as many friends as possible, not because I don't like to go the shows alone (2 summers ago that's basically all I did ... now since I know the people who live there so well it'd be nearly impossible to feel like I've gone there alone), but because I think everyone needs to experience the gloriousness that is Rhinoceropolis. Because of it's location (it's a little hard to find), and the late hours the shows usually go to (they usually start around 9 or 10PM and end 1 or 2AM), it's hard to get my friends to understand how crucial these shows are to their culturing. This time I was able to convince my friend Sean, who had gone with me once before, and understood the importance of the shows at Rhinoceropolis, and Royce, who had heard me hype up the shows, and was eager to get in on it.

We arrived early, so we chatted with the bands and the people who live there, looked at art, and generally BS'd with each other and the other random people who were there. Time passed, and finally Brittany of Married in Berdichev! (one of the residents of Rhinoceropolis) went over to her equipment, said she was starting, turned the main room lights off, and began. Married in Berdichev! started out as a side project for the Mannequin Makeout lead singer, but, from the lack of MM shows, I'm left to assume that it has morphed into her main project. I've mentioned her in older blogs, but, to refresh memories, Married in Berdichev! is mainly an A Cappella project, where Brittany utilizes a looper pedal, building off of beats she makes with her voice, and then singing over them. She has long since abandoned solely using her voice, and has picked up multiple mixing pedals and random instruments, looping them into the song by recording them with the microphone. She has been experimenting with a sort of "wall of noise" sound for a few months now, and all I can say is that it is by far her best material. Her performance was a mixture of her "wall of noise" material, and then her pop songs, which she said she only performed so that the touring bands got a taste of what else she could do. Always a treat. I wish the recordings I have by her matched the intensity of her live shows.

Married in Berdichev! - Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening
Married in Berdichev! - It's Hard Replacing
Married in Berdichev! - Nose Knows

Alphabets, a new project by the multifaceted Colin, was up next. I recognized Colin from his other projects and stints as an additional member of some of the other local bands, but this was the first time I'd ever seen him perform solo. His music was dance-oriented distorted noise which, really, couldn't seem to get loud enough. Don't get me wrong, I had the ear plugs in and was glad for it, because it was hella loud, but the bass just didn't seem to hit as hard as it should have. His stuff was interesting and weird, two things which I certainly love, but, as of now, I can say I'll be happy when his stuff progresses a little.

Alphabets - They Must Be Invisible
Alphabets - I Can Feel the Earthquake
Alphabets - Tropics, Billions

The Blank Tapes was the first touring band to play. I'd spoken with Matt (the man behind The Blank Tapes) prior to the show about this and that, at one point talking about Paleo, and through this I discovered that Matt is a genuinely good guy, which I really think shines through in his songs. Unlike Foot Ox and French Quarter, one couldn't instantly associate with his lyrics, but his music spoke for itself, pacifying and conciliatory, but still full of passion. Opening Paleo style (standing and singing un-mic'ed playing a ukulele), then going on to perform Scott H. Birim style (playing guitar and using his feet to hit a bass drum and high-hat), the Blank Tapes was a great beginning to the rest of the evening.

The Blank Tapes - This Is What's Inside

The Blank Tapes - Why Must I Fall In Love
The Blank Tapes - Part The Clouds

Foot Ox was the first of the Arizonians to play. Since Foot Ox was basically just Teague and his guitar, his set up took all of a minute or so, and we were quickly back to sitting in a semi-circle, in a story-time fashion, and listening to Teague rattle off his short tales of woe and regret. Channeling folky guitar-punisher's of the past, Foot Ox wailed some of the most touching, if not down right arresting, lyrics I've heard in a long time. "You're staring at your sleeping 3-year-old daughter, just remember she can't survive on Top Ramen and tap water," the title of this blog, "We are a split personality parody, you're lacking in sincere sincerity," lines pertaining to crying out birds that pick away at the crier's bones, "." Apparently playing nearly every song he could remember (which were not hard to fit, as the majority of his songs are under 2 minutes), his leaving the "stage" was met with general woe, but excitement for the other acts.

Foot Ox - Carriers
Foot Ox - Wet Blanket
Foot Ox - New Boyfriend
Foot Ox - I Take My Life Seriously

Alas, Alak, Alaska, the stage name of Jocelyn Noir, was up next. She set up the Blank Tapes' bass drum and high hat (which were only utilized for a song or two), wrapped herself up in the random Christmas lights that were on the ground, set up the mic, and just laid into her set like hobo to a steak. Her almost dead-pan delivery and continuous flow between songs, stopping only twice to coordinate with Stephen of French Quarter, who occasionally provided backing vocals, put me in a somnambulistic state, lulling my senses and putting me adding to the euphoric state started by The Blank Tapes. Loved it. The weirdest of the 3 Arizonians, but just as good.

Alas, Alak, Alaska (unfortunately she was the only one I didn't get any music by, but here's her myspace, which has 4 wonderful songs)

3rd of 3 Arizonians, French Quarter was the closer for the glorious evening. Stephen (the main/usually-only member of French Quarter) went on so close to right after Alas, Alak, Alaska that no one bothered to turn the lights back on or get up or anything. Looking back, I'm honestly suprised I didn't mention him on my blog the first time I saw him. It's not the fact that he sounds surprisingly like Ben Gibbard, or the fact that he does a most terrific cover of "Stayin Alive" (I am SO not kidding), but that no matter the season, no matter the make up of the audience, when he performs, you feel like it's just you, him, and 4 or 5 friends on a camping trip, trading ghost stories, stories of past loves, and dreams of how the world could be. His songs are depressing and hopeful. French Quarter is why I hate the friends I have who don't believe me when I tell them they need to join me at Rhinoceropolis.

French Quarter - Bold With Fire
French Quarter - In June
French Quarter - Stay

The show ended rather late into the night, but it was more than worth it. Rhinoceropolis, and, I suppose, Denver ... well done ... well done. I'll be hosting a French Quarter live set soon. Be on the lookout.

October 15, 2007

"Have Fun, and Be Safe With It. Just Kidding, Fuck Shit Up!"

So the other day I heard that UNC was having a free concert by the Forecast, so, being that I'd never seen them before, and it was free, and I had nothing better to do, I found myself at the show. The whole thing was part of UNC's homecoming shindig, and there was, thusly, an event tied to the show. The event was an attempt to break the world record for largest pillow fight, something I'm pretty sure they missed by a long shot.

Playing before the pillow fight was Greeley's own Set Forth, a band that is to music what top ramen is to food. What Set Forth does is takes other people's music, strips it of all inventiveness and interesting qualities, and then performs it as though they know that what they're doing is wrong, but they can't stop themselves from doing it. After the show they had the audacity to "apologize" to their "fans" because they didn't know they would only be able to play 4 songs, as though they thought everyone was there for them. You know, I probably wouldn't be so hard on them if they weren't so arrogant, and, say, if they actually tried to create music that was even remotely innovative. Seriously, the boys are good musicians, and have potential, but the direction they're heading in is just ... well ... lame. Moving on...

I walked around the campus with a friend while the pillow fight commenced, and rounded my way back as the sounds of music drifted through the buildings. The Forecast were all ready tearing it up as I approached the stage. The crowd was depressingly small, which doesn't say much about the UNC community (seriously people ... free music ... why were you not there?). The sound wasn't mixed astonishingly well, but it wasn't bad enough to warrant leaving. It's probably hella hard to get this little outside theater sounding good. I'd not really listened to the Forecast to any depth (when I had heard their albums I had them on as background music), but they delivered what I expected: hard, fast, energetic, and overall feel-good variation on the pop-punk/hardcore sound. I wouldn't pay to see them, because they're not different enough to really warrant my interest for too long, but they were fun to see nonetheless.

The Forecast - Freebird 2: This Time It's Personal
The Forecast - I Lost Everything on Re-Entry
The Forecast - Late Night Conversations
The Forecast - APR

Switching gears slightly: The Forecast put me in the mood for something similar, but more my style, and after the show I found myself gravitating to the songs I have by Be Your Own Pet. Be Your Own Pet is just a raucous good time. Don't believe me? listen for yourself:

Band: Be Your Own Pet
Date: 2006-08-27
Venue: Reading/Leeds Festival, Reading/Leeds, England

Girls on TV
We Will Vacation
Bicycle, Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle
Lets Get Sandy
Fire Department
Damn Damn Leash
Chicken Wings
Threshers Flail

In going with the Oct. 15th Blogger Theme, I'd also like to point out that Be Your Own Pet encourages people to ride bikes. Well, I'd have to say that I think that's a damn nifty idea, and I encourage people to walk, ride bikes, skate board, long board, rollerblade, or whatever ... if not because it's better for the environment, then because it's better for you. Just think: I wouldn't have gotten front row seats at the Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem show if I hadn't trained the weekend before by walking up and down Red Rocks at the Monolith Music fest. Haha, okay, enough of that. Enjoy your week people.

October 10, 2007

The Arcade Fire is the "Led Zeppelin" of Our Age

(there were many CO bloggers at the show, and I'm sure if you go to their sites, they'll have even more amazing pics. this one came from Wyoming Beat, a wonderful blog)

1) After accessing Jimmy Eat World's wiki page, I've found out they do not have a new lead singer after all ... did any one else think they did after hearing their new album?

2) Helloween's new album leaked, and I'm one of very few people I know who actually care. In case you're wondering, it rocks, and I can't wait to buy it. You should to.

3) Radiohead's new album dropped, and it's good. ... duh.

4) The Darjeeling Limited ... movie of the year. Period.

5) I like lists when I get tired, and I'm finally going to blog about the Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem show ... right now:

Monday rolls around, it being 1 day after Monolith, and come 2:00PM I'm back in my car, driving to Red Rocks, a route now well known. One thing lead to another, and I found myself finally arriving at the venue around 3:00PM. While walking to the (short [thank god!]) line, Julio comes walking up and says hi (apparently we got there at the same time ... fancy that shit :D). So Julio, his buddy John (who I also met at Monolith), some people I think John and Julio knew, and I just chilled out in line and BS'd about music. Sometime around 6:00PM they "opened the doors" (i.e. allowed our line to walk up the path to the gate), and basically the whole line bolted up the ramp, a few people from the back mixing in with a few from the front (much to the dismay of the rather unfit members of the front of the line). Being fit as hell, I secured my place basically at the front of the new line, Julio and co. right behind me. Gate opens, I jet, run up the long way (i had thought they closed off the short cut), bolt down the stairs, and find myself 3 rows from the front, right in the center. The only people in front of me were people who had been there as volunteers and were guaranteed spots front and center. My spot was the best in the house, in my opinion (by the way, I'm not usually a front-row-whore, but if you read anything I wrote about Monolith, then you understand that, at Red Rocks, unless I'm up to my eyes in noise, I'm not going to have a real great time., and the only way for me to be submerged in noise at Red Rocks is to be hella close). Yay for fitness. I am proud that I not only waited there for enough time to justify the good spot, but I didn't push anyone over or fight anyone for my spot.

Then Win came out and did a short little meet-and-greet, and then scurried back stage again. The dude has big hands and a warm style. Win for President. Aaaannnnyway, there was still a lot of time before LCD Soundsystem was to go on, and I wanted to check out the merch table, so I got to know the people around me, made temporary friends with them, and got them to watch my spot and my stuff. I went down, saw that the LCD shirts were really quite tame and not my style, and there was really only one Arcade Fire shirt that appealed to me, so I bought that and took a gander at this kind of righteous blue hoodie. The hoodie was pretty expensive, so I told myself that if, after the show, I still wanted it, I'd get it, and I went back to my seat, where I sat and chatted with the people around me for a bit, once or twice going and talking with Julio and co., who were in the front row, but all the way to the left.

Lights dim, show begins. I honestly have a hard time telling you about LCD Soundsystem's set. They were good ... so good I was worried that, realistically, few acts could follow it. You know those dance moves I got from Ghostland Observatory? I definitely put those to good use. Their music put me in such a trance. I was all at once the sexiest person I have ever been, and the most outragously weird dancer I have ever been (I suppose that's not that big of a stretch, is it? haha), and all because of the funky tunes of LCD. I bet that, for the first time since Daft Punk came through, the mountains shook like a poloroid picture. For god's sake the band had a dude who, at first, only played the cowbells. They had a freaking cowbell xylophone apparatus. Right on LCD, right on. The only let down was that, because of the altitude, James Murphy couldn't get as screamy, because he was afraid he would pass out. I'm glad he kept calm enough to perform, and was spirited enough to live up to my expectations. The live set I posted by them no longer works, so I'm going to re-post that shit right here, right now (now all I wish is that I had another live set by them):

Band: LCD Soundsystem
Date: 2005-09-04
Venue: Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co. Laois, Ireland

Beat Connection
On Repeat
Daft Punk is Playing at My House
Losing My Edge

Franz Ferdinand-All of my Friends (LCD Soundsystem Cover)
LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations (Shallow Version)

LCD left the stage, and their things were slowly carted off after them. At this point some people started to, in the semi-confusion that comes with the between-set-bathroom-breaks-and-food/beer-gathering shuffle, try to sneak up and crowd the heck out of the people who, well, straight up got there first. I'm usually the kind of person who will push new comers out of my spot if I've got room, but really, we were packed pretty tightly, and these people didn't care at all, and seemed to think that because they were enormous, they could get away with anything. I asked if they were planning on staying in front of me for Arcade Fire's set, and they looked back at me, scoffed, and said nothing. I was incredibly confused, because I knew these type of people existed, but because I was having such a good time, I didn't think that anyone around me would be THOSE kind of people (jerks that is). And while I'm no novice to making one's presence known at a concert (I used to be really into Death Metal), I wasn't about to start throwing elbows at one of the best shows I've ever been to ... plus these guys were twice my size (not a relatively difficult feat, mind you, but still impressive) and, even if they weren't, I HATE to fight, for so many reasons (think of all the reasons fighting is dumb and you've probably got the jist of it). No sooner did they scoff and turn around did everyone around me started yelling at them to leave, and one of my temporary-concert buddies, who was three times my size, just grabbed a shoulder of one of the guys and used him to shove the other one out of our way. The two guys left without another word, and the stage because to flicker and light up.

There were 6 or 8 stage large stage-light-looking things which acted as small projectors or, dare I say, television screens. Old black and white footage of a religious figure talking giving the "in order to get into heaven you must give money, so call this number and you'll be saved" schpeel, which lasted a good minute and a half. Then, slowly, the image of the Neon Bible began to show on the back of the stage, with the roar of static coming in (again) [lol], accompanied by the sound of pages flipping. 6 or 8 red, vertical, lights slowly turned on, giving the stage a kind of "prison in hell" motif. Then the band took the stage, and burst into Black Mirror.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The Arcade Fire is the Led Zeppelin of our age.

It is hard to even think about without swelling up and getting emotional. Memories of outrageous stage antics come back to me most readily, like band members coming up to metal the stage barrier and hitting it with drum sticks to the time of the song, splintering their sticks, then running back to the stage, where they would hit strategically placed cymbals at the crescendo. Semi-terrifying images projected onto the back wall. the fact that the what was coming out of the speakers wasn't only sound, but pure emotion, blasting through me in ways I've never experienced. I feel awkward admitting it, but good god ... that show ... god it was astonishing. They were the most genuine band I've ever seen ... period. Now, I know people are used to hearing about this, but, at that time, I had no idea that this went on: after they played the last song in their main set, Rebellion (Lies), the entire crowd continued to sing the hooky backing vocal part until the band came back on stage. We freaking crooned the band back on stage. Not clapped, not yelled, not cheered, but crooned. It was religious. It gave me hope for humanity. All of Red Rocks (the place was full) coming together and singing ... it was like we were trying to get god in on the act. The Arcade Fire came back out, and gave Red Rock's it's "happy ending," if you will.

Maybe the best show of my life. Almost needless to say, I went back and bought the blue hoodie.

See them. Dear god see them. I can only imagine that the next time they come through they'll be playing the Pepsi Center, and, even though I hate the Pepsi Center, I will pay for the ticket, and I will see them, because I will never miss a (reasonable) chance to see them ever again (unless they become nazi's or something. EFF that noise. But I don't think that'll be happening).

Here are some rare tracks (loosely) by The Arcade Fire:

The Arcade Fire - Broken Window
Norah Jones - Ocean of Noise
Foo Fighters - Keep The Car Running
The Arcade Fire - Poupee de Cire Poupee de Son

If you're really interested in hearing more of them, go to The Great Arcade Fire Post, quite possibly the best resource for the Arcade Fire's rare-ass music. Plus the other stuff on the blog is really great :).

Man, good to get that off my chest. Not as well written as I would have liked, but whatev. I'm still super busy, so posting will be sparse, but full of words :). Expect a post on The Forecast and then, after that, French Quarter and Foot Ox.

October 2, 2007

I Was Kind Of Harsh To These Last Few Bands...

Monolith Fest day 2 wrap up:

Nathan and Stephen were the only band that I saw on the ... quaintly titled "Rock Room" stage. These local guys remind me of a Christian hardcore version of the Polyphonic Spree. These boys and girl danced and sang their way through the hearts and minds of the packed room. There were few bands at Monolith with more intensity than Nathan and Stephen, every spark of their spirit floating out with each note. I'd seen them a few times before, but this show is definitely the top of the pops.

Nathan and Stephen (their myspace)

From there I rushed down to the acoustic stage just in time to see William Elliot Whitmore take the stage. After announcing his gratitude for so many people showing up (apparently his set was one of the biggest draws for the Acoustic Stage), he told us he would only be playing requests. Feeling a little out of place, I awkwardly felt ashamed for not knowing his material better, because as soon as the thought that maybe no one there knew enough of his songs, everyone around me started requesting songs. William loves a good crowd of people who just want to sit around and hear him do his thing. He was probably one of the most outwardly appreciative artists that I saw at Monolith. If you don't have a grasp on his sound, just think of Roscoe Holcomb style banjo, Skip James style wailing, but with more soul than any man ought to rightfully have.

William Elliot Whitmore (daytrotter set)

Art Brut. Hmmm... have I mentioned that I'm not a real big fan? I'm thinking I have. But, I recognize a live band that needs to be seen when I see one, and this is one of those bands. Basically, all I can say is that they're better live ... but not by much. Though, come to think of it, I really enjoyed the version of Direct Hit they did, and the banter that preceded it (the only song to go #1 in Space).

Art Brut (everything you'll ever need by them)

I was talking about Earl Greyhound with some people prior to seeing them live, and one line stuck with me: "I liked the album when it came out in 1968." I don't, and will never, claim to be any sort of expert on classic rock, but now, after seeing Earl Greyhound, I understand the sentiment behind the statement. Maroon 5 in the 60's/70's is what came to mind when I saw them. They really just felt like a rock band, through and through. I was bored, but, like I said with the Laylights, maybe I'm just to into looking for something innovative and inventive. Truthfully, their staleness wasn't what really turned me off, it was their bass drum. The damn thing was enormous, and just too bassy. It drew attention away from everything else, because every so often there would be this big annoying "Bloosh!" which didn't mix well with any part of the song. That shit annoyed me.

Not entertained by Earl Greyhound, I decided to go see Cameron McGill, someone I had previously decided to skip over because I had seen him last year at the South Park Music Festival, and I didn't want to see too many bands that I had all ready seen. But, seeming how there was nothing better, I decided to see how the old boy was doing. He is doing well. His music grabs you, sits you down, and makes you pay attention. He has lyrics that make you think "well I know what that means to me, but what does it mean to Cameron, or that guy over there, or that girl over there?" He has apparently been writing like a mad man, pumping out albums faster than Jandek, and the new songs I heard him perform only prove that he is only improving. Near the end of his set he brought up Leslie from Leslie & the Badgers to sing a few songs. He might as well asked Jenny Lewis. (that's a compliment). She was amazing. Check her stuff out too.

Cameron McGill - Love's Worst Day

Spoon was another band that fell victim to the lack of intimacy that I felt while watching a majority of the main stage bands. Everyone else seems to think they did really well. I'd go by what they say, because I'm just a bit biased to wanting my sound loud and in my face.

Bored with Spoon, I went upstairs to wait near the front of the New Belgium stage in anticipation for Cloud Cult. At one point I debated going downstairs and seeing Au Revior Simone, but since I'd been anticipating seeing Cloud Cult for the last year or so, I wasn't about to miss out on my amazing spot. Honestly, I have trouble describing their set, because throughout all of it I was screaming the lyrics, jumping up and down, and tearing up. Religious experience doesn't even scratch the surface. This is why I love music. Cloud Cult re-introduced me to myself. Cloud Cult is magic.

Cloud Cult - The Deaf Girl''s Song

I got to The Flaming Lips performance a little late, but I was okay with that, because nothing was going to keep me from seeing everything Cloud Cult had to offer. I got kind of close, so the whole "lack of intimacy" thing wasn't as bad. But, in truth, I just wasn't close enough and it just wasn't loud enough. Probably the most touching moments of their set (not counting everyone at Red Rocks singing Yoshimi) were when Wayne Coyne talked to the audience. At one point he talked about this interesting little instrument ... but I think that I want to keep that experience to myself. If you want to read about it somewhere else, feel free, but I'm not going to be the one to ruin it if you plan on seeing them any time soon. They were good, no doubt, but not exactly the show I had expected. Definitely worth it to see them though. Here's the newest Lips:

The Flaming Lips - I Was Zapped By The Lucky Super Rainbow

And then I went home, and slept forever, and then I got up, and went to class, and then went back to Red Rocks to see The Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem, but that's a tale for anther day. Until next time peps.