Two Nights of Praang in Denver 1.6.12 & 1.7.12

Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man
Audio Recording By Corey Sandoval
(Kind Recordings)
Video By Johnette Perdue (BiggerGuyProductions)

Quixote's True Blue in Denver is a frequent stop for the Kimock train and this past weekend brought two nights of one of Kimock's more obscure projects, Praang. The project is made up of Steve Kimock (Guitar), Jamie Janover (Hammer Dulcimer) and Michael Travis (Bass, MacBook) and Jason Hann (Drums, MacBook), who together make up EOTO. The shows would prove to be an interesting pair of musical nights. Folks poured into Quixote's much like water into a glass, until the glass was near full. The result was pure blissful non-sense and a quite clear contrast in musical performances.

Night One (Friday):

The evening began with Zobomaze in the back room to kick the music off. Their sound was very enjoyable and their energy very high. They have the feel of a house party band with their blend of funk, jazz and progressive music. Their set extended just over an hour and really got the ball rolling in the right direction for the evening. A short time later as folks still filed into the venue, Praang took the stage to a packed house.

The music began somewhat softly and seemed to continue on with little inflection. The repetition of the jams was somewhat hypnotic and tribal feeling as the Denver crowd danced and took in the music. Steve Kimock noodled though modal scales, while Micheal Travis attempted to guide the music through blatant signalling. Jason wiped his brow between consistent drumming, sometimes shifting focus towards his MacBook. Also utilizing a laptop was Jamie, who in between dulcimer melodies would smile and layer the music.

The jams were long and experimental. The compositions were more like a journey through music than they were arranged songs. There were a couple of moments where the music sounded like house music, very singular and boxey. Kimock's playing seemed somewhat reserved, as was that of the rest of the band. A short first set was followed by an extended second that teased at the potential of Praang. Saturday would be a different story all together.

Night Two (Saturday):

Saturday brought snow in Denver and a second night of Praang. Fans once again filled Quixote's. Following a brief sound check, Kimock spent time watching the Lions/Saints game and chatting with thrilled fans. At one point Kimock stood at the edge of the stage talking to a couple of fans about music theory. The conversation progressed with Steve picking up his guitar and eventually moving on to slide, to teach interested fans about his style. Steve was in rare form seeming happier and more outgoing than in previous encounters.

Praang Live at Quixote's True Blue on January 7, 2012.

Good Gravy kicked off the evening in the back room with a rock/jamtronica sounding set. People danced and got down to the local group. Their energy was high and I wish that I could have caught more of their opening set, but I had an interview to do for our podcast, MusicMarauders Live.

The conversation went well and just prior to Praang taking the stage, I joined them backstage for a handful of group shots...

The band that took the stage seemed like a completely different band from the night prior. I was taken with the music's danceability and Kimock's dominance. Quixote's was packed and moving as the band pushed forward as opposed to taking a back seat. There were a few jams where they ventured in dubstep territory, but with Kimock powering through, it had a very tasteful sound. The crowd danced to the grooves and spaced out to the ambiance.

Denver is lucky to have acts like Praang assemble for a couple of rare performances. Quixote's seems to be the perfect venue for such unique and special occasions. It was a interesting weekend of music...

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