July 20, 2009

"I hope our candles flicker and die"

No pictures from this show tonight, because I was pooped from Mile High Music Festival. But it was too good to not talk about. More on Mile High Music fest starting tomorrow.

Tonight was absolutely one of the best evenings I've ever had. As some of you may know, I've been at the Monolith Music Festival for most the weekend. Well it started to rain, and I'm not much for getting struck with lightning, so I left. Luckily I was able to get to Rhinoceropolis in time (say, about 10pm) to catch the first of 3 acts tonight, The Drugs Aren't Working, just as they were starting.

A newer band (I think) that went along with the folk punk theme, The Drugs Aren't Working reminded me an awful lot of one of Denver's other folk punk band The Drinking Gourd, or national acts Seasick Steve or Johnny Hobo. Quick paced acoustic guitar, thrashed vocals screaming out semi-political, probably existential lyrics, and a second dude smashing various objects for percussive reasons. Fun and off tempo, I wish I would have been able to understand more of it, but either way I thought it was a spirited effort.

Up second was Harpoontang. You heard me right. Clearly the best name in music, considering the band. The members of the band consist of Paper Bird vocalists Genny, Sarah, and Esme (whom I had seen perform earlier today at the Mile High Fest), Laura Goldhamer (proprietor of Denver's Brooks Center Arts, and local folk artist), and two other beautiful and very talented women ... with mustaches. A few supporters of the band also had a stashes drawn on, which was awesome and weird. They played a strange ... version, I suppose, of folk punk. I think you really need to check out their myspace. They had the crowd eating out of their hands, however. Everyone, it seemed was absolutely buzzing with anticipation for Andrew Jackson Jihad.

The crowd danced to various tracks played by Warren (Rhino's usual sound guy and all around nice fella [also a local musician and artist]) before Andrew Jackson Jihad (Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty) "took the stage." When they did, and started in, magic occurred in the form of sonic orgasm. The room was all ready hot, but by the third song, I was pruning I was so sweaty. Every voice in the house was screaming, not singing, not yelling, but voice grindingly screaming every word Sean sang. The crowd hugged and leaned and cared for the other members, only once getting a little too out of hand (there was a surge toward Sean and Ben and the mic hit Sean in the face). It was almost as crazy as the last time HEALTH came, but there was a less aggressive crowd this time, which I rather preferred. Wine, liquor, and beer would be handed from person to person, finally reaching the band. When the Sean broke a string and replaced it and needed to tune it, the crowd patiently waited. Warren would occasionally play a few random rap songs, much to everyone's delight. By the end of it, Sean and Ben too were pruning, commenting that they sweated less when they played a show in Arizona (or was it New Mexico?) and it was 118°F. It was absolutely, ridiculously, outrageously fun. A fantastic cap to a great weekend. More about the weekend starting tomorrow.

Andrew Jackson Jihad - We Shall Die Alone Someday
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Rejoice
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Bad Bad Things (one of the best songs ever. not so much for the content, but for the amazing way Andrew can tell a story and turn a phrase)

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