Saturday, October 27, 2012

Today in Grateful Dead History: 10.27.71

Onondaga War Memorial
Syracuse, NY

Words By J-man

Grateful Dead Live at Onondaga War Memorial on October 27, 1971.

Set One: Casey Jones, Me And My Uncle, Deal, Jack Straw, Tennessee Jed, Beat It On Down The Line, Sugaree, Playing In The Band, Comes A Time, Mexicali Blues, Big Railroad Blues, Cumberland Blues, One More Saturday Night

Set Two: Bertha, Me And Bobby McGee, Ramble On Rose, Sugar Magnolia, Brown Eyed Women, Truckin', Not Fade Away -> Drums -> Jam -> Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad -> Not Fade Away

A brief dialing in of the sound and the train left the station with "Casey Jones." Right out of the gate the band sounded tight and in command of the material. Keith Godchaux's piano work tore right through the recording with vigor as "Me and My Uncle" followed with Bobby taking over. As the set progressed like a dream, highlights included "Deal," "Jack Straw," "Tennessee Jed," "Sugaree," "Playing in The Band" and a three song blues run that included "Mexicali Blues," "Big Railroad Blues" and "Cumberland Blues" before closing the set with "One More Saturday Night." As if the first set wasn't already fantastic, the Dead step it up a couple of notches for the second. Highlights include the opening "Bertha," "Ramble on Rose," "Sugar Magnolia" and "Trukin'," however the closing run was the clear highlight of the entire show. "Not Fade Away" goes into an eight minute "Drums>Jam" before transitioning into "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad" into "Not Fade Away" to conclude the experience.

Friday, October 26, 2012

MM Presents: Tiger Party feat. Members of Lotus, Octopus Nebula & The Malah 10.24.12

Highland Tap & Burger
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis
Video By Paul Brown

Where can one consistently see members of their favorite bands mixed together in side projects and special live experiences? Denver, Colorado has been the epicenter of this movement for some time and The Highland Tap & Burger, Lohi Productions and MusicMarauders have made a concerted effort to not only continue this trend, but to make it a point to cultivate such mixed musical experiences regularly. Blake Mobley's Tiger Party seemed the perfect fit for the Wednesday Music Showcase as it featured Mike Rempel (Lotus), Fleeb (Octopus Nebula) & Seth Fankhauser (The Malah). Tickets sold for an affordable $10.00 each and included a Left Hand Brewing Company beer, leaving no patron disappointed. As the first substantial snow of the year fell, the project began to unfold for the sold out crowd.

Sitting behind the soundboard, I reflected on how I had gotten to that point. I recalled seeing Lotus for the better part of a decade and seeing my first Octopus Nebula show at The Fillmore in February. Now, not only did we have a sell out on our hands, but I had to run sound for musicians that I both appreciated and had only see perform as a spectator. With the sound quickly dialed it, the band lifted off and the party was underway. Blake lead the charge, calling out changes, cues and digging in deep with some funky work on the keys. Mike subtly crept in and took over with ripping guitar and interesting melodic structure, while the rhythm section of Fleeb and Seth became the clue of the exploration. Seth drumming was tight and extremely fitting for the type of music the project was outputting. Fleeb, who I have seen in several formats, specifically impressed me that evening with strong bass work, funky fills and some mind-bending tones.

As if the evening wasn't already banging, Blake called Ashley Niven up a couple of times for some limited vocal contributions. Though limited, it added that sort of spacey electronic music vibe to the mix. Now, many may consider my opinion on Pete Wall (Particle, Textiles) to be biased from the get go, but let me reassure you, I would love to rip Pete apart and call him out for having a shitty show. Pete very rarely if ever, allows me that opportunity and that night was no different. In fact, quite the contrary to a terrible performance, Pete took the stage, blew my mind, then left me staring with goosebumps and my jaw on the floor. As Pete destroyed, the rest of the musicians looked on smiling and shaking their heads in disbelief.

As the night went on the energy peaked, then peaked again, then peaked some more. Funk turned to jamtronica and each musician did what they do best. It would be great to be able to say one musician stood out above the rest, but there is no way that claim could be made or substantiated. For a mixed group in a "loose" setting, the compositions were tight. The project featured changes and progressions that many actual bands could not properly execute. The night was a huge success! Folks had a blast, the band had a blast and multiple publications and photographers turned out to cover the experience! In addition the event even drew national attention, all surrounding our little neighborhood establishment and scene. The Highland Tap has and will continue to support quality music. If you haven't come down to Denver to check out the Tap and the Wednesday Music Showcases, you probably should. If you're from outside of paradise... I mean Colorado, you should stop in while on your mountain vacation. That night, as is often the case, The Highland Tap & Burger was the place to be.

Carly's Photo Gallery

Trey Anastasio's Traveler

Words By Kevin Hahn

Stream Trey Anastasio's Traveler Here

To be clear, I am not a Trey Anastasio solo-act/band fan. I believe his abilities, which we all have become accustomed to through his many years of consistent shredding, improvisation, and joy from Phish, are hindered by the composure and overall lack of creativity within the Trey Anastasio Band. Trey surrounds himself with a plethora of amazing musical talent (Jennifer Hartswick, Cyro Baptista), but in my opinion his past album releases have been missing something. I couldn’t place a finger on what Trey’s band was missing until I listened to his most recent release, Traveler. What was it you ask? No, it was not the absence of a thumping bass, beautiful piano melodies, or the lack of emotional creativity. Traveler is missing one of the more important aspects of producing/performing for musical audiences each and every day…Soul.

Yes, I said it. Trey produced something that does not interact with the listener in the emotional capacity in which Phish brings us to time and time again. Now, I do not want to compare his solo-act/band to Phish, because that would be inappropriate for all parties involved.  But along with that notion comes the fact that fans of Trey’s musical talents come into all new projects, albums, and anything to do with Trey with very high expectations. Traveler, in most cases does not meet or even come close to exceeding my personal wants from a Trey album. "Corona," "Let Me Lie," "Frost"…the first three songs of the album and not one brings us any insight into what the Trey band can actually do. "Corona" starts with a very interesting piano/synthesizer combo, but goes nowhere from there as the usual “pop” sounds from past Trey albums comes into full force. "Let Me Lie" is a piece that leaves me thinking the lyrics seem unfinished and more adaptable to an orchestral concert setting. (Was an amazing experience seeing this song with the Denver Orchestra/Trey) "Frost"…as many of us PhishHeads know, certain songs just don’t hit that “spot” and this is definitely one of those (think "Time Turns Elastic"). But can the seven songs following make up for the twelve minutes I have already wasted?

"Land of Nod," the fourth song on the album is the first moment of anything funky or interesting to come about. Great sound effects, various use of synthesizers, and overall lack of musical composure push this song into a head-bobbing frenzy. Go Trey go! "Pigtail" and "Scabbard" come next, and even though they lack the PUNCH Trey is capable of dishing out, they are much better composed pieces than the first three songs of the album. "Scabbard" in particular shows off the vocal chord mastery, which is Jen Hartswick, and gives away to a very trippy/Phishy ending. Now, if I were to say guess a cover-song which Trey wants to call his own, I am willing to bet not many people would guess "Clint Eastwood" by the British 3D-Projection band The Gorillaz. With the randomness of the cover comes an actual highlight of the album. Trey and Hartswick do a great job tag-teaming the vocal/rapping responsibilities and with a song that could definitely be a downfall, turn it into a small joy for us phans. Three songs left and not much time for Trey to keep up the course of redemption he has navigated after his abysmal start…

"Architect" is the eighth song of the record…and in order to refrain from a rage of loud cursing, shouting, and overall anger I will move on…quickly. "Valentine" is almost as bad as the previously mentioned, but does not dive into the depths of utter awfulness. The horn section is emphasized nicely with Trey praising the lyrics in a “Time Turns Elastic” sort of way. But does a nicely composed horn section save this song from my wrath? In the end, no…as I skip to the last/title song of the album "Traveler". Lyrically speaking, this is the best and most soulful piece of the entire album and what better time to have it come than the last thing your audience will listen to. "Traveler" also features the only moment of “high shrieking insanity” which Trey’s guitar provides for us time and time again with Phish. The chorus plays well into a smooth melodic song, which highlights Trey as the leader of this uber-talented group. It is a nice end to a generally disappointing album.

So where does the Jedi of JamBand music go from here? Personally, I hope we see some increased levels of Soul and Funk with his future releases and then maybe I will finally become a solo Trey fan. I was hoping to fall in love with Traveler and preach to the skies that Trey has mastered the solo album. Unfortunately, I cannot, and must heed to some very important advice another Jedi received a number of years ago:

“You must unlearn what you have learned.” –Yoda

Maybe if I follow the above Trey’s next album will just hit the spot…just maybe.

Steve Kimock feat. Bernie Worrell 10.19 & 10.20

The Oriental Theater
Denver, CO

Words By Tom McMinn
Photos By Carly Marthis
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)

Steve Kimock Live at Oriental Theater on October 19, 2012.

Set One: Nana's Chalk Pipe, Coles Law > Tangled Hangers, Thing One, Baby I Love You*, Y-Spy^

Set Two: Congo Man Chant/Get Up, Stand Up, Come Together, A New Africa, Stella Blue, Turn On Your Lovelight*, Take Me To The River

Encore: Red Hot Mama^

* = Kim Dawson on vocals
^ = Bernie Worrell on vocals w/ Kim Dawson on backing vocals

Steve Kimock returned to Denver with his new band and a lot of new material. Kimock performed two brilliant shows at the majestic Oriental Theater. The band listed such talents as Bernie Worrell (founding member of Parliament Funkadelic, Talking Heads), Wally Ingram (Sheryl Crow, David Lindley) and bassist Andy Hess (Gov't Mule, Black Crowes). Kimock showed he was still true to form with his technical and articulate guitar playing. The new band really gelled and the synergy between Kimock and Hess was a driving force in the band. Wally Ingram is a master on percussion that both gives the band great structure and really fills out the band's sound. The addition of a keyboardist adds greatly to composition of the band. Not since Pete Sears on keys for the 2000' run has SKB had a dedicated keyboardist. Bernie brings a powerful sound with his Hammond B-3 Organ. Bernie also sang a few tunes to really change up the Steve Kimock Band dynamic.

Friday Kimock played many of his classics like “A New Africa," “Cole's Law” and “Tangled Hangers,” while also mixing in great covers like “Stella Blue” (The Grateful Dead), “Come Together” (The Beatles) and “Get up/ Stand up” (Bob Marley). Bernie contributed to the repertoire with his catalog of Talking Heads classics like “Take Me to the River”. Friday everyone was fortunate to have Kim Dawson (The Motet) sing a few tunes including some nice duets with Bernie. Kim sang lead for a great sing along version of “Baby I Love You” (The Ronettes) and “Turn On Your Love Light” (The Grateful Dead) and sang backup on “Take Me to the River” and “Red Hot Mama” (Funkadelic). Friday had a nice crowd and gave The Oriental a comfortable and welcoming feel. The audience was both appreciative of Steve's artistic genius and subtle but powerful style. I know after Friday night I was really psyched for what was to come Saturday and Saturday sure didn't disappoint.

Steve Kimock Live at Oriental Theater on October 20, 2012.

Set One: Come Back My Love, Crazy Engine, Banana Walk, Five B4 fUNK, TLC, Many Rivers To Cross, This Must Be The Place(Naive Melody)

Set Two: It's Up To You^, 54-46 Was My Number, Sun Sun Sun, You're The One, Hey Man, Tongue 'n' Groove, Burning Down The House

^ = Willie Waldman on trumpet

The word must have gotten out how good the show was on Friday because Saturday's Steve Kimock Band show at The Oriental was packed! Not sold out, not uncomfortable, but definitely had enough people to sustain some great energy in the crowd and get everyone dancing. Kimock got things started with a beautiful version of “Come Back my Love” (The Impressions). The “Crazy Engine” and “Banana Walk” that followed were great, but a little slow. The set really got going with the classic “Five B4 Funk” and the new song “TLC”...  I'll save you from looking it up, it is “Tastes Like Chicken”. The “Many Rivers to Cross” (Jimmy Cliff) ripped and was maybe the single best song of the two night run. The set closed with a rousing sing along version of “This Must Be the Place” (Talking Heads). Saturday's second set started off with the always vivacious Willie Waldman (Banyan), on trumpet, sitting in for the Kimock classic “It's Up to You”. Kimock then changed things up with the band laying down great Reggae beats for the song “54-46 Was My Number” (Toots and the Maytals). The set only continued to get better with the Kimock classic “You're the One”. The new Kimock song “Hey Man” followed and had a good reggae beat that eased us into a great version of the Kimock classic “Tongue and Groove”. The sing along version of the Talking Heads classic “Burning Down the House” that ended the run was a blast and had the whole place erupting. Overall, Saturday's second set was on fire and really had the energy and flow that even the most old school Kimock fans would have loved!

The Oriental Theater, opened in 1927, was a great host of the Kimock experience proving to be comfortable, beautiful, and hospitable. There were no long lines for anything. The drinks were strong, the music great, and the atmosphere blissful. There were food trucks out front for those hungry at set break. Plus, the Tennyson neighborhood is a delight to see shows in as it is beautiful, safe and has plenty of free off street parking. Overall the SKB Denver run at the Oriental Theater was fantastic! This weekend proved once again that Denver is one of the best cities for live music in the country, continually delivering great shows in beautiful rooms to passionate music lovers.

Carly's Photo Gallery

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Steve Kimock feat. Bernie Worrell 10.18.12

Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words & Photos by Nicholas Stock
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)

The once brazen Kimock seems finer in his approach these days. The former phenom of the late era psychedelic scene of San Francisco has come a long way from his early days with Zero and Kingfish. His performances with Rat Dog, Phil and Friends, and Steve Kimock Band have become legendary, and the reason is that Kimock has finally solidified his place within the band dynamic. Instead of going all out and simply shredding, he has found a subtlety to his playing that allows for other musicians to engage and compliment wonderfully. I have seen this shift in Kimock’s performances coming over many years. At the Aggie, he seemed to come full circle. Balancing lead and jamming back and forth with legendary keyboardist Bernie Worrell.

The inclusion of Worrell in this lineup is simply breathtaking. This man has so much musical history that to see him play in a room the size of the Aggie is an awesome experience. Worrell single-handedly invented funk keyboard and played in two of the most influential bands in American musical history. No doubt he is getting up there in age, but at 68 he is still touring regularly with several projects. The rhythm section consisting of troubadour drummer Wally Ingram and former Gov’t Mule bassist Andy Hess are the solid foundation on which this group is built. Hess brought the funk from time to time, but mostly stayed in the pocket. Ingram too stayed consistent and conservative throughout most of the night. They opened with an extended jam on Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up.”

Steve Kimock Live at Aggie Theatre on October 18, 2012.

Set One: Get Up, Stand Up, You Can’t Do That> Super Stupid, Sun, Sun, Sun, Hey Man, This Must Be The Place (Na├»ve Melody)

Set Two: 54-46 Was My Number, You’re The One, Come Together, Y-Spy> Five B4 fUNK, Tongue ‘n’ Groove

Encore: Burning Down The House

Kimock demonstrated his copious skills on the pedal steel for their instrumental take on The Beatles’ “You Can’t Do That.”  They blasted off with Funkadelic’s “Super Stupid,” which saw Worrell on the rapid-fire lyrics and Kimock absolutely exploding on the slide guitar. They went into a jazzy rendition of Zero’s “Sun, Sun, Sun.” In just the first half of the first set we were witnessing a real musical meld between not only Worrell and Kimock’s playing, but their actual song catalogs. Sticking primarily to instrumental tunes, original track “Hey Man” began much like a traditional jazz-infused jam, but soon broke down into the avant-garde realm with Worrell hitting pinging notes on his synthesizer as Kimock wailed away over the top. They ended the set with a much-anticipated trip to the Talking Heads catalog with “This Must Be The Place.” The musical side of the song was top notch, but unlike “Super Stupid” Bernie’s vocals were choppy and he seemed fatigued at times. They jammed on this classic, well past the ten-mark before calling the first set to a close.

The band returned to the stage with Toots and The Maytals’ “54-46 Was My Number.” It was a nice way to ease in the set and really demonstrated the diversity of both Hess and Ingram in the rhythm section. “You’re The One,” another Kimock original jam, contained some heavy give and take between Kimock and Worrell, before they busted out their second Beatles jam of the night with “Come Together.” “Y-Spy” was a funky journey that finally saw Hess really taking it up a notch. They segued beautifully into “Five B4 fUNK” which is another Kimock original. They finished the set with a delicate Kimock tune “Tongue ‘n’ Groove.” It was beautifully constructed from the ground up with the virtuoso guitarist showing his range. They encored with the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House.” Again Bernie sang and it was a little rough, but the enthusiastic crowd backed him up with a massive sing-along. All in all it was one of the best Kimock shows I've seen and best lineup he has put together in years. I hope they continue to tour, write, and grow as a group. There is such an immense amount of talent in the band. It would be interesting to see how they sounded together after a couple years of regular touring.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Break Science & Michal Menert 10.19.12

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel


To quote the movie Deejay's Aren't Rockstars, the definition goes like this:

"Deejay (Dee-Jay) n. a retarded individual who receives undue credit, extravagant amounts of money, fame, recognition and sexual favors in return for playing music created by other people."

My friends will tell you that I am not the biggest fan of electronic music. The definition above has a lot to do with why I wrote electronica off before I really ever gave it a chance. I have always struggled with this, because there are elements of electronic dance music that appeal to me. I like grooves, dancing, partying and watching people get down. What I don't care for is the repetition, the simplicity and the banality of much electronic music. I have heard the same patterns recycled through much of the electronica I've heard. In fact, I have heard the same sound effect used so much, that I associated the entire sub-genre of dubstep with this one sound. To put it in a word... WHOMP.

Last night, I attended the Break Science/ Mike Menert show at Cervantes and decided to get a little more educated on the world of electronica. When we arrived, a DJ named Mikey Thunder was performing. I tried to start with the things that I do like. I got into a groove that drew from honky-tonk piano and Motown soul. It was accompanied by a bass drum pulse that had the room grooving. One guy was taking head-banging to a new level... he was swinging his entire torso like Gumby... a regular windshield wiper from the waste up. I can get down with that. Cartoonish dances to mashed up genres sounds good to me. Mikey Thunder was followed by an attractive young Denver DJ named Illecia. She blended her own vocal stylings in with the mix to create an ethereal and unique sound. At times, she bordered on my pre-concieved notion of electronica, but at others she had a style all her own. To my friends, it would have come as a shock that I made it this far, but I enjoyed the openers more than I expected to and was getting more curious about what the remaining artists had in store.

The next artist, Break Science was the reason I volunteered for this assignment. I am a fan of Adam Deitch (drummer) from his work with funk band, Lettuce, as well as his production credits which includes albums by 50 Cent and Redman. This is a guy who knows how to lay down some hip-hop beats as well as the funk beats that inspired them. The element of a live drummer interests me with this DJ movement. We are essentially expecting Adam Deitch and other electronica drummers to mimic the precision of a machine. I know musicians are good at timing, but we are talking about synchronization down to nanoseconds. Adam's counterpart in Break Science is Borahm Lee and the two of them have blended live drums with sampling and hooks to seamlessly move between electronica, funk, soul, hip-hop and more to blur the genre lines within electronica and create something that fuses organic production with samples of music we love. I enjoyed the show and I credit it to the fact that the organic element of live drums intermixed with some recognizable hooks was moving forward at all times. There weren't prolonged repetitions, there were progressions and transitions. To put it simply, it wasn't just "Whomp Whomp Whomp" all night.

Michal Menert was the headliner and he also had a precision- driven drummer in tow (A.C. Lao). Menert got his start as a friend, collaborator and rival to Derek Vincent Smith of Pretty Lights. In fact, Menert is a co-producer on the first Pretty Lights release. I wasn't sure what to expect, but assumed it would be similar to the Pretty Lights mixes I have heard that blend together disparate tunes to create something new and unique. I can't think of a specific one at the moment, but something to the effect of Madonna mashed together with Led Zeppelin. Pretty Lights found a niche by creating a unified sound that involved snapshots of a musical tapestry that a generation shares. He will pull a song from your local classic rock station and a tune from the old school Motown library and see how they fit together with songs from our collective radio conscious. It works. Michal Menert is a a little less predictable than Pretty Lights. His tunes had familiar nuances, but rarely a full out hook from a popular song. To add to his unpredictable flavor, his appearance was far from what I would consider the DJ cookie cutter. He had a rugged, outdoorsman appearance when compared to the clean-cut macbook tech dj image I have in my mind. I guess I am saying he was a bit more earthy than I expected. Ultimately, I think that translated in his mix. He created a blend of tunes and breaks that marked a keen ear for good grooves that fall into the deep cut/obscure realm of music. In other words, he played songs that you like, but hadn't heard before.

Overall, I would say that both Break Science and Michal Menert touched on areas of electronica that have turned me off in the past, but they diluted them with variety, drive and innovation. It's sort of like how I feed my dog her medicine in peanut butter. I think she knows it's in there, but the peanut butter makes her forget that she doesn't like the medicine.

I won't lie... I got bored at times, and probably won't become a huge electronica fan, but I am beginning to understand where the talent lies, and also that a lot of the electronica fan-base also understands that there are a lot of talentless hacks giving electronica a bad reputation. I will continue to struggle with one aspect though... My college music professor told me that the most important thing in music is truth. He said that the music that can stand up to the test of time is music that is true. That is where the depth lies, and I am wondering where the balance lies for true artistic expression and cutting edge innovation. Should music be made solely to push boundaries, or should there be an element of universal truth, substance and soul in our expressions? Perhaps there is room for both, but I believe I will always err on the side of truth.

Preview: Disclosure 10.29.12

Larimer Lounge
Denver, CO

Words By Karl Kukta

There is nothing remotely controversial about Disclosure. Fresh-faced brothers from the UK Surrey town of Redhill, Guy & Howard Lawrence (ages 21 and 18, respectively) look downright bourgeois in comparison to both the gaudy rave-revivalism and the entrenched hip-hop fashion on display among America's electronic music fans in their age group.

But despite their visual mundanity, Guy and Howard now find themselves co-members of one of 2012's top new acts in electronic music. The duo's 2012 releases – the 'Tenderly'/'Flow' 7” (Make Mine), Face EP (Greco-Roman) and 'Latch' single (PMR Records) – have caught the attention of critics, DJs & fans alike, and the buzz has quickly vaulted Disclosure to a respectable position among artists in the post-dubstep, UK garage revival.

As a result, the duo is now embarking on their first American tour, and the Mile High City has been fortunate enough to score a date on their itinerary – October 29th @ the Larimer Lounge.

The brothers Lawrence grew up in a musical family and were playing traditional instruments (bass, guitar, piano/keys) long before discovering electronic music production. The siblings had different interests in adolescence – Guy was a hip-hop fan, while Howard was into 80s synth-pop – but found common ground in Burial's landmark 2007 album Untrue, which inspired them to unite as Disclosure and begin producing tracks of their own. Burial's Untrue is a moody, haunting affair that - on the surface - feels worlds removed from the sleek club-oriented sounds of Disclosure. So in order to understand the connection between Burial's music and Disclosure's, a little bit of context is helpful.

I'll start with UK garage (pronounced 'garridge'), which is an offshoot of house music that came about in the 90s and was most popular around the turn of the millennium. To put it very simply, UK garage is house music with a syncopated 4-on-the-floor rhythm and stronger emphasis on cut-up/pitch-tweaked R&B vocal samples. UK garage begat 2-step, which de-emphasizes the 4-on-the-floor structure in exchange for a rhythm wherein the prominent kick occurs twice, typically on the first and third beat (thus the name).

2-step became the foundation for dubstep, which (again, simplistically) applies a dub reggae approach to the music by slowing it down/half-timing it – then pushing the minimalistic bassline to the forefront, cranking up the reverb, and - taking a cue from drum n bass – keeping the mood dark.

What distinguishes Burial's music structurally from the (over-simplified) formula I just laid out is the fact that Burial doesn't halftime the drum rhythm. By and large, he utilizes a syncopated uptempo 2-step rhythm in combination with dubstep's melodies/basslines/spaciousness to create engagingly-ambient dystopian urban soundscapes.

Burial's music was the first real exposure to 2-step for the brothers Lawrence, who were too young to experience its first wave. So, as any musician/music nerd would be inclined to do (and in fact were doing all over England and elsewhere), Guy and Howard began to immerse themselves in the music of the recent past...listening through the prism of the present.

And what they've come up with is much closer to the original wave of garage/2-step than it is to Burial. Disclosure's music occupies the hinterland between UK garage, pop and post-dubstep bass music. The brothers' formative years playing instruments has undoubtedly contributed to Disclosure's strong sense of melody - which manifests itself through irresistible r&b hooks – as well as the well-honed, clean craftsmanship in their productions. Their releases typically have the uplifting, sensual quality of deep house, while also maintaining rhythmic diversity and an emphasis on cathartic-yet-stable basslines.

Disclosure's closest stylistic touch-point is SBTRKT (pronounced 'subtract'), specifically his critically-lauded eponymous debut LP from 2011. Both acts display crisp, debonair production and pop (via garage r&b) sensibilities, while retaining a palpable connection to bass music. Overall there's a swanky, VIP bottle-service vibe to their output; and like the best house music, it makes you feel part of the luxuriousness (as opposed to bling-bling hip-hop/rap, which is intended to make the listener envious of the opulence).

The two even share an ally in British pop/soul singer Jessie Ware: SBTRKT enlisted her for his track “Right Thing To Do” and Disclosure had a minor hit this year with their remix of Ware's “Running.” The main difference, to this point, is that Disclosure has hewed more closely to house music principles than SBTRKT has, ie, there is more emphasis on dance-floor engagement in Disclosure's music (see: my favorite electronic track of 2012, “What's In Your Head”) than in SBTRKT's. (1)

The one area where Disclosure still remains questionable is in the live DJ performance. In electronic music, some artists start as DJs and then become producers; others start as producers and then become DJs. Disclosure falls into the latter camp. The brothers Lawrence began producing tracks in early 2010, and did so with no previous experience as DJs. But their releases have been successful enough in such a short period of time that they are now, in their specific corner of the electronic music landscape, a brand... which means a substantial demand exists for them to play gigs.

Guy and Howard have stated in interviews that their ultimate goal is to be able to perform their music as a full band. Disclosure has put on at least one performance utilizing some trad-hardware instruments (snippets of which can be found online), but doing this on a large scale is currently an impracticality, both logistically and musically.

In the meantime, DJ gigs will suffice. And there is only one live DJ set of Disclosure available online – via Boiler Room – which reveals the brothers to still be at a novice level when it comes to beat-matching/mixing. That said, the track selection is excellent. And this quality of discernment has been on display all year: Disclosure has released multiple mixes online in 2012 (comprised of others' tracks interwoven with their own, using DJ-mixing software like Ableton)(2), and on every one, the brothers' keen ear for selection & sequencing has been readily apparent. But the question remains – can they take their skills as producers and taste-makers and turn it into a riotous live DJ performance?

Barely out of high-school, Disclosure is flying over the Atlantic this week to begin their first American tour. To drop their tunes for us & get us to shake our asses. That their music has nothing to do with the brostep/EDM revolution currently capturing the attention of America's youth... well it makes their minor ascent that much more note-worthy (at least for this listener). After a highly-successful 2012, Guy and Howard are poised to break through in an even bigger way in 2013. If they are going to capitalize on this, though, they will need to show that they can translate their skills into the live arena. We'll see how far they have come in achieving this goal when Disclosure headlines the Larimer Lounge next Monday, October 29th.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rob Drabkin Live 1.19.12

Bluebird Theater
Denver, CO

Words By J-man

What better way to debut a collection of unreleased material than to mix it with one of your favorite albums? That is exactly what Rob Drabkin did at The Bluebird Theater in early 2012 when he took the stage on his birthday in Denver, CO. Rob's smooth and fluttering vocals lead the band through a couple of original songs before welcoming his father, Harry Drabkin, to the stage for some added saxophone. "Boy in the Bubble" marked the first cover from Paul Simon's Graceland and a noticeable leap in energy, before taking on and presenting a fantastic version of the title track off of the album. A brief "Happy Birthday" tease translated into "I know What I Know" and welcomed Kim Dawson and Ayo Awosika to the stage for some fantastic background vocals. "Gumboots" featured Harry once again and the final track of the first disc, "Homeless," featured some fantastic harmonies.

The second disc kicks off with yet another beautiful composition "Stay Here With You" that boasts some wonderful tones and melodies. "Don't Worry About Me" is performed solo by Rob before returning to Graceland with "Under African Skies." There is a certain world music sound surrounding the Graceland album that Rob and his friends nail perfectly. Crowd favorite "Call Me Al" followed evoking excitement from the crowd, though a little slower in tempo than expected. The added horn section and instrumentation brightened up the composition and following the song, triggered a roar from the crowd. "Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes" brought even more guests to the stage for a who's who of local talent! "Little Steps," the first song that Rob ever wrote, closed the set with an element of innocence excitement.

Rob and his friends/family returned to the stage. Harry started with some airy and melancholy sax work before the band went into Paul Simon's "Crazy Love, Vol. II." The song continued with the mood of the the music slowly and exponentially brightening. "Don't Come Around" closed the delightful evening of music. Those who attended were treated to a plethora of guests, friends and beautiful music in the form of well executed originals and a great interpretation of Paul Simon's Graceland album. Stream tracks from the album on and be sure to pick up this enjoyable album!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today in Grateful Dead History: Syracuse 1984

Carrier Dome, Syracuse U
Syracuse, NY

Words By J-man

Grateful Dead Live at Carrier Dome, Syracuse U on October 20, 1984.

Set One: Bertha-> Greatest Story Ever Told, West L.A. Fadeaway, CC Rider, Ramble On Rose, My Brother Esau, Bird Song, Jack Straw

Set Two: Shakedown Street-> Samson & Delilah, He's Gone-> Smokestack Lightning-> Drums-> The Wheel-> The Other One-> Black Peter-> Turn On Your Love Light

Encore: Revolution

The 80's aren't my favorite era/decade of Grateful Dead music, however this soundboard recording from The Carrier Dome in Syracuse seemed the perfect pick for today's "Saturday Dead." The sweet, crisp tonal quality of Jerry Garcia's guitar rings loudly at the front of the recording, making up for any undesirable vocals from an over-extended Bob Weir. The show kicks off with a very 80's sounding "Bertha>Greatest Story Ever Told" before venturing into some ups and downs through the first set. The clear highlight of the set was the closer, "Jack Straw."

The second set opened with an extended "Shakedown Street>Samson and Delilah." Though Garcia was lost lyrically during "Shakedown," the jams we fairly extensive. Second set highlights included "He's Gone," "The Other One," and "Lovelight." Though the setlist wasn't mind-blowing, The Dead had a certain hop in their step instrumentally. Sit back, relax and take it back 28 years ago today for this show from "Today in Grateful Dead History!"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Joey Porter Trio 10.17.12

Highland Tap & Burger
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man

The Highland Tap & Burger's Wednesday Music Showcase rolled on with The Joey Porter Trio! Joey was joined by Paul McDaniel (Bass) & Jonny Jyemo (Drums) for an extended two hour set that both packed in the Tap and had it moving! For those who were disappointed by the absence of The Garrett Sayers Trio, the funky output of of Joey's trio quickly eased their minds and moved their feet. Jazz standards and fantastic original compositions filled the intimate room for a non-stop dance party that helped to break up the busy work week for those fans who came to get down!

The HTB Music Showcase continues this Wednesday with Tiger Party feat. members of Lotus, Octopus Nebula & The Malah! Tickets are $10.00 and include a Left Hand Brewing beer ticket! There are just a few tickets left for purchase HERE.

Carly & J-man's photo Gallery

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Preview: MusicMarauders Presents Two Nights of Steve Kimock feat. Bernie Worrell

The Oriental Theater
Denver, CO

Join MusicMarauders this Friday and Saturday October 19th and 20th at The Oriental Theater in Denver, CO for two nights of Steve Kimock Band feat. Bernie Worrell, Andy Hess & Wally Ingram! This fantastic group of musicians boasts a resume that reflects such bands as Parliament Funkadelic, Phil Lesh & Friends, Talking Heads, Gov't Mule and more! Tickets are only $20.00 and can be purchased at the links below:

Purchase Friday Tickets Here.

Purchase Saturday Tickets Here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Preview: MusicMarauders Presents The Henhouse Prowlers

Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Join MusicMarauders on Wednesday October 17th for the final Henhouse Prowlers show at The Quixote's 2151 Lawrence St. location! The Henhouse Prowlers are one of our favorite bluegrass bands, mixing traditional music with a progressive edge. This professional outfit is a must see for any string music fan. That night HHP will also be joined by Useful Jenkins who will be opening the evening.

Click Here To Purchase Tickets!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Euforquestra with Roster McCabe 10.5.12

Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock

Euforquestra returned to Fort Collins for a hometown show at the Aggie with friends Roster McCabe and D. Bess. Euforquestra historically has been a solid draw, but the venue never completely filled in on Friday. D. Bess is the former lead singer of Iowa City reggae outfit Public Property. He currently performs as a solo project utilizing loops and his diverse skills as a multi-instrumentalist. Playing a blend of originals and covers, he slowly built up each song one riff at a time. Having seen D. Bess before, I have to say that he as come a long way with his looping skills. His performance lasted just under an hour before he gave up the mic for Minneapolis’ Roster McCabe.

Roster McCabe is an amalgamation of jam. They blend elements of soul and funk with electronic, dance, and rock. The band has been making regular jaunts out to Colorado for years now and continues to energize audiences throughout the country.

Set One: The Traveler, MMM, Spark A Light, Paper Crowns, Speed, Regulate, Stargazer, Take A Breath

Their one-hour set blasted by rather quickly leaving some fans wanting more. The silky vocals of Alex Steele washed over the crowd, as their consistent rhythm section made up of Jeff Peterson and Scot Muellenberg stayed tight throughout the set. This allowed for some incredible interplay between the guitarists. They ran the gamut alternating between funky break beats and an all out electro dance party. The powerful and progressive “Paper Crowns” acted as the anchor point of the set, but the funky, retro “Stargazer” was the highlight.

After a short intermission Euforquestra took the stage around 11:30 PM. They opened with a nasty version of Herbie Hancock’s “Hang Up Your Hangups.”

Euforquestra Live at Aggie Theater on October 6, 2012.

Set One: Hang Up Your Hangups, Let’s Dance> Called You, Hopscotch, Road Funk, Solutions, Price Is Right, Obatala> Change Me, The Events of December 11, Instant Coffee, Cause A Reaction, Dr. Standby> Sexx Laws

Encore: Yogi’s Day Out

Euforquestra is currently undergoing some changes. With the departure of original percussionist Matt Grundstad and bassist Ben Soltau, there has been a shift in the rhythm section. With Grosso moving back over to bass and newcomer Craig Babineau replacing him on kit, they were joined by yet another fresh face, Scott Mast on percussion. With all of the changes you would think that it would have a distinct effect on their sound, however I was amazed at how well they played together. A vocal rise gave way to David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” which really woke up the crowd and got the night going. The bouncy “Called You” broke down into riff-.y “Hopscotch” which really gave guitarist Mike Tallman a chance to rip it up for the audience. Fan favorite “Road Funk” was a nice addition to the set, with a huge “Solutions” waiting in the wings. The energy-infused “Obatala” into “Change Me” was yet another highlight in this non-stop dance party.

This band has the ability to shoot out of the gate like a bunny-crazed greyhound, or step it back into a funky groove that soothes the soul. “December 11” has become another standard from Euforquestra, but the building groove of “Instant Coffee” was a nice change of pace. They ended the set with “Dr. Standby” into Beck’s “Sexx Laws. Euforquestra performed the music of Beck at this year’s Camp Eurforia and have been sneaking his songs into their setlists from time to time ever since. They are doing a Halloween tour featuring Beck’s music at the end of the month as well. They encored the show with Ross Martin’s “Yogi’s Day Out.” This was definitely an eclectic show from Euforquestra with a little bit of everything. They pulled out a few covers and showed that even with some changes in personnel that they will continue to play well and in a manner that fans have come to expect.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Dead: 5.19.1966

Avalon Ballroom
San Francisco, CA

Words By J-man

Grateful Dead Live at Avalon Ballroom on May 19, 1966.

Setlist: Beat It On Down The Line, Standing On The Corner, Mindbender, It Hurts Me Too, Viola Lee Blues, I Know You Rider, It's A Sin, Sick And Tired, Cream Puff War, Sittin' On Top Of The World, Minglewood Blues, Cold Rain And Snow, Come Back Baby, Silver Threads And Golden Needles, It's All Over Now Baby Blue, Good Lovin', You Don't Have To Ask

For this week's "Saturday Dead" we throw it all of the way back to 1966 for a glimpse into some of the earliest of The Grateful Dead's work. The recording is fantastic, the setlist differs greatly from what many know of the Dead & the show shines the spotlight on the band's early leader, Pigpen! Geared towards the early psychedelic sound of the era, this soundboard recording from The Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco is the perfect start for to a Saturday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

MusicMarauders Presents: Halloween Choices

Quixote's True Blue or The Oriental Theater
Denver, Colorado

Is there another city in the country that provides the range and volume of choices like Denver, when it comes to live music? On any given night, it's a choose your own adventure with a handful of your favorite bands only a page turn away. We figured we'd jump right in and promote multiple options this year on Halloween. On Tuesday October 30th we recommend Cornmeal & Grant Farm at The Oriental Theater. Then on Wednesday, will it be the newly transformed, Cornmeal at The Oriental Theater or Particle's 80's Flashback Halloween with scene new-comer The Recovery Act at Quixote's True Blue? The choice is yours to make...

Cornmeal & Grant Farm Tues. Oct. 30th at The Oriental Theater.

Cornmeal Wed. Oct. 31st at The Oriental Theater.

Two-day Cornmeal pass for Tues. Oct. 30th & Wed. Oct. 31st at The Oriental Theater.

Particle 80's Flashback show w/ The Recovery Act Wed. Oct. 31st at Quixote's True Blue.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saturday Dead: Bobby & Jerry in Amsterdam 81'

Melk Weg
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Words By J-man

We welcome the return of our "Saturday Dead" column with a special acoustic show from Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia! While on their 81' European tour the Dead was forced to cancel a pair of shows in the south of France. Just prior to the cancelled shows, between Bremen and Munich, Germany, Jerry and Bobby made a stop at The Melk Weg in Amsterdam for a special acoustic performance.

Grateful Dead Live at Melk Weg on October 11, 1981.

One Set: Monkey And The Engineer, I've Been All Around This World, Cassidy, Jack A Roe, On The Road Again, Bird Song, Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie

The short set opened with Bobby suggesting that the first song may be applicable to the current situation, before launching into "Monkey And The Engineer." Jerry took over for "I've Been All Around This World" before the duo presented to possible set highlight, "Cassidy." Jerry's sweet tones and lead guitar playing created such a full sound for a duo. "Jack-A-Roe" followed with excitement from the crowd. The short but sweet "On The Road Again" featured both Bobby and Jerry on vocals and was followed by another potential highlight, "Bird Song." The final song of the short set came in the form of "Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie," leaving the appreciative crowd begging for more.

The recording is not of the best quality, the duo's performance wasn't mind-blowing, however what it lacks in sonic quality it makes up for with historical value and intimacy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

MusicMarauders Presents: Juno What 9.28.12

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis

Electro-funk outfit, Juno What, descended from outer space Friday for a near sold out show at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver! The buzz started early with folks talking about the show via Facebook, Twitter and other social networking outlets. The secret is out, Juno What shows are a party! Openers, Sunsquabi and Bedrockk, drew a decent early crowd of friends and fans respectively, however, the bulk of the crowd didn't turn out until Juno What took the stage.

Sunsquabi brought a decent energy as their set progressed through some interesting jamtonica and electronica compositions. Though I was not overly impressed, the set was far superior to what was to follow. Bedrockk hit the stage to an excited crowd. The drummer promptly removed his shirt as the set began. There is no other way for me to say this other than the producer was terrible. Hit shotty vocals collided with weak beats/samples with a drummer adding little to nothing in the way of musical layers. The producer picked up a guitar a couple of times to show us that he indeed had zero musical skill. As their direct support set wound down, their friends and fans chanted "Bedrockk, Bedrockk!"

Juno What brought a much needed change of pace and some fantastic instrumentation. The crowd quickly went from spacious to shoulder to shoulder as the room filled in. An extended set took the party into the late-night and featured fan favorites such as "Shameless" and "What You See" as well as a couple of covers including "Electro City." Special guests included Dan Schwindt (Kyle Hollingsworth Band) & Jordan Linit (Kinetix) for some ripping guitar work. Juno What is a sort of bridge for young fans from the sub-par electronic music that they have come to know, to something different all together. The button pushing parties that young fans have come to enjoy are quickly replaced by something that involves solid instrumentation, tasteful grooves and more energy than a laptop could provide. With the addition of some new tracks, Juno What could truly be one of the most original late-night party bands on the scene.

Carly's Photo Gallery

Monday, October 1, 2012

Willie Waldman Project feat. Garrett Sayers 9.27.12

Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words, Photos & Video By J-man
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)

Willie Waldman Project Live at Quixote's True Blue on September 27, 2012.

I'm a "bean counter." According to Willie Waldman, it's not about the numbers. That's a typical line from a jazz musician and following my conversation with Willie's bass player for the evening, Garrett Sayers, about his trio and upcoming album, Willie had a lot more to say. His moniker reflected the attitude and thought process of a jazz musician. If you don't know, Willie is a hurricane of energy and holds no punches when it comes to speaking his mind about everything. My conversation with Willie was calmer than previous experiences and though him and I have had words in the past, that night he spoke very candidly with me about mistakes he'd made, his life and Live Nation. That night I found myself "counting beans" (gauging attendance) and there were more "beans" than I had seen Willie pull in Denver in some time.

Rumors had circulated leading up to the show about the potential appearance of Red Hot Chili Peppers' bass player, Flea, turning out following his sold out show at The Pepsi Center. The first set started to a near empty room and grew in size with the initial "composition" taking shape. Heavy bass lines from Garrett opened up into some fairly loose drumming and a sort of somber trumpet took over. What followed were two sets of free jazz that included some fantastic moments. Throughout the two sets the project was joined by Jamie Mitchell on guitar, however no Flea.

For folks who had turned out to see the "special guest," there was none. For people who turned out to see Flea, they got a "Live Nation killed us" rant from Willie. If you were there for any other reason but music, you may have left disappointed. However, for those jazz fans in attendance, seeking a free form oasis, there was no disappointment. Music fans were treated to a rare performance of a genre that no longer has a place to call home in this part of the country. Free form jazz has all but faded into obscurity, however, there was Willie keeping the music alive. Ultimately Willie was right, when it comes to jazz, there really can be no "bean counting" and it is all about the music.

J-man's Photo Gallery