Monday, July 27, 2009

Denver Underground Music Showcase - Sunday

During the last day of the Underground Music Showcase, I wavered back and forth between wanting to see as much music as possible before it ended, and also not wanting to hear music ever again. For the most part, I was able to stick with the former, although I wouldn't say I made it to the bitter end. As a disclaimer, I am well aware my photos are not of the best quality, and they get progressively worse as the daylight fades. You can click them to make them a bit larger and maybe a little easier to see. Disclaimers being stated, here's some photos and most of what I can remember:

Started the day off with Hawks of Paradise on the main stage. I think 3 Kings was more of their ideal venue, but still not a bad show by any means for the middle of the afternoon. Glad I checked out the Denver Post blog before I posted this, but apparently this band announced at the end of the show that this one might be their last, but have since recanted on such claims. I'm a little less impressed with them now. Maybe I'll check them out again when the angst is out of their system.

I knew this festival was missing something, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. Oh, that's it...pedal steel guitar. Thanks to the New Ben Franklins for making that happen. The steel guitar and cowboy hats were a nice break from all the loop pedals and headbands over the past 4 days. Plus, what better venue for this type of band than the Skylark?

Next up on the Cartoys stage was Houses, another local indie rock band. Nice tight rock set, and they did a good job of moving past some technical difficulties that involved getting shocked when they touched the microphone.

The next band I can remember seeing (not from drunkenness, just music overload), whether they were the next one I saw or not, was Everything Absent or Disorted. With this being their next to last show, I expected they would pull out all the stops, and their set was no disappointment. This was the last show on the Cartoys outdoor stage, which was a huge benefit for them, in that they didn't have to rush, and they could play about as long as they wanted. Despite some technical difficulties, the set was about everything the band's long time fans could have asked for.

The band and crowd loosened up a good bit as the set wore on, although I doubt it was from the Rolling Rock, as I don't know anyone who has gotten drunk off of that, but rather it was just a band soaking up every second of the near-finale of their 4-plus year tenure in the Denver scene.

I don't have any pictures where you can see the accordion being played, but it didn't really matter in the long run, as the accordion didn't survive the rock show intact. Eventually, the show evolved into something that looked a lot like this:

In a heartfelt gesture of appreciation for their support, they brought up their wives/partners/girlfriends/friends for the last song (before their other last (encore) song). I didn't get a great picture of it, but you'll also notice the pink airbrushed EAOD shirts, which the band apparently had no idea were part of the day's plan until the start of their set when the wives/significant others showed up:

The band announced that they'll be doing their last show at either the Hi-Dive or the Bluebird, some time in November, at which time they'll also be celebrating the release of their final EP, that I *think* they said will be a free digital download.

Following this set, I regrouped for a short time, before heading over to the Hi-Dive for the night's (and the festival's) finale. I caught most of the set by North Carolina's Megafaun, who are on tour with the Bowerbirds. Apparently Justin Vernon, i.e. Bon Iver, is a good friend and huge fan of this band. The band gave a strong set to the near packed house, most notably keeping the crowd quiet enough to hear their unplugged final song (a feat that a band earlier in the festival was unsuccessful at).

The Bowerbirds were next up and gave a very solid performance. I went in not knowing any of their music, but came out with a strong appreciation for them. "Northern Lights" is an initial favorite of mine, which you can check out on their myspace. If you've read this blog before, you know I don't often quote lyrics, but for some reason, I just love the line: "and I don't expect a southern girl/to know the Northern Lights."

My pictures really took a downturn when I got into the Hi-Dive, which you might find hard to believe. However, turns out the cheapest Kodak digital doesn't do indoor night all. Here's about the best picture I got (well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little):

Check out the Denver Post's blog for better pictures and a recap of all the acts I missed. I may post one more time about the UMS before I give it a rest until next year, not that you care, but nonetheless, that about does it for a great 2009 UMS. In the meantime, take heed:

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