Zebroids, The Skeleton Show, Ezra Furman, the Marrow, Emily Wells, The Morning Clouds, You Me and Apollo, Safe Boating Is No Accident, Hot Robots, Fingers of the Sun, the Don'ts and be Carefuls
7 S. Broadway
Denver, CO, 80209
Doors 2:00PM / Show 3:00PM
This event is 21 and over
The 12th Annual Underground Music Showcase takes place July 19-22, 2012. More than 300 performances on 25 stages along South Broadway for FOUR days. Tickets available at www.theums.com!
The fucking best band EVER in the history of recorded music. There maybe was a band better before the advent of music recording technology, but not since. Zebroids, fuck you.
The Skeleton Show
Genre: Garage Rock
William Tyler Campbell
Zay Di Camara Rios
Biography: 2 guitars, 1 bass, 1 drummer, laying in a pocket of space, like a bag of bones
Americans have an undeniable and insatiable appetite for voyeurism. Readily feeding them hearty portions is front-man Ezra Furman, who makes no qualms about peddling the deeply personal to the public and draws no drapes between himself and an audience thanks to his pulsating, confessional songwriting style. Through his eponymous Chicago-based quartet, Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, Furman employs the same open-chest honesty that drew ire for Ginsberg's Howl and spawned speculation of Cohen's Chelsea Hotel as he pines for his Wild Rosemarie and recounts bouts of transience during the making of the band's upcoming third studio LP, Mysterious Power.
With lyrics featuring the fittingly dualistic motif of blood – representing both the humor d'amour and the stomach-turning stains of tragedy – Furman's music madly swings between wide-eyed sentimentality and brutally truthful accounts of life's grotesqueries. Forging ahead with Furman's brazenly rust-tinged croons, the band solders rollicking rockabilly rhythm and love-struck doo-wop sensibility with punk-rock ferocity and immediacy. In a musical alloy as unlikely as it is engaging, Furman finds release for bleeding-heart sensitivity and bloody-knuckled brawls of conscience as he "declares open warfare on jadedness, cynicism and irony." (Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune)
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons are putting forth their tautest album to date with Mysterious Power, as produced by Doug Boehm (French Kicks, Starsailor). There is an impressive range of styles and sounds in this newest set of songs, but there is also a palpable cohesiveness that can in part be attributed to the full incorporation of guitarist Andrew Langer. A veteran of the Chicago-area outfit The Redwalls, Langer was used only in guest spots on the band's second album; however, his being woven into the fabric of Mysterious Power, along with the eruptive energy of Adam Abrutyn's drumbeats and the volatile McCartney-wails of Job Mukkada's harmonies, lends a complementary sonic counterweight to Furman's lyrics that drives the music forward.
The Marrow is 5 honest people creating honest music. They blend beautiful, meditative music with experimental rock and roll and psychedelic sounds. They take their influences of past and present, and create a sound they can call their own.
Emily Wells has been hailed for her multi-instrumental ambidexterity, a symphonic embroidering of swirling strings, ingenious electronics, and intricate, irresistible beats, sewn together with celestial vocals and deeply personal song-craft. Her new Mama Acoustic Recordings, out June 11th, sees the NYC-based singer/musician/producer casting it all aside, re-imagining songs first heard on 2012’s acclaimed Partisan Records debut, Mama . Where that collection was marked by Wells' extraordinary fusion of hip hop, experimental dance music, lyrical introspection, and classical complexity, the new album is stunningly austere, recorded solely with voice and guitar. Songs like “Dirty Sneakers” refract the singer and songwriter in a fresh light, illuminating altered emotional perspectives and melodic colors. With Mama Acoustic Recordings, Emily Wells has stripped off her own armor, leaving only her crystalline voice and equally unambiguous songwriting on display.
“There was nothing to hide behind,” she says. “I’m always wrestling with that, because so much of the music I love is incredibly simple, but what I usually do is very far from it.”
The Morning Clouds
Life has a funny way of coming around full circle when you least expect it. Take, for example, Josh Wambeke and The Morning Clouds. He spent the better part of the previous decade as half of Phineas Gage's psychedelic songwriting axis then leading Fell through shoegaze and space-rock realms. After trampling to the farthest reaches of the cosmos and center of the mind, he found himself straying back into the realms of late-night solo songwriting that marked some of his earliest forays into home four-tracking.
As easily as Wambeke slipped back into the one-man explorations of classic pop, he's worlds away from his days as a budding home recorder. To start, this time around he had his own local recording studio – which has quietly been making a name for itself among Denver rock circles – at his disposal. He also had a decade to hone his craft. Those luxuries immediately made themselves apparent. Instead of drifting around in his other acts' densely crafted soundscapes, Wambeke curls up comfortably in his bedroom, dipping into the same well of inspiration that guided everyone from The Ronettes to The Ramones to The Jesus And Mary Chain through the years.
Wambeke slinks into a record-collector pop aesthetic on Wasted Youth. There's still enough cosmic dust left over from Fell's travels to the edge of the universe to coat The Morning Clouds' songs and cast an ethereal shimmer over that comfortably familiar classic pop framework. Just like the Ramones roughed it up with punk and JAMC's C86 aesthetic yanked it into the new wave, Wasted Youth filters the sound through Wambeke's spaced-out sensibilities.
Wambeke casually floated a couple early tracks – "A Walk Home" and "The Wrong Things" – to a handful of friends and Fell supporters in late 2010. To his surprise, the response was overwhelmingly positive. These were the sort of tracks that needed a proper release, and he got to work. He coined a band name, crawled back to the studio and fleshed out the rest of Wasted Youth Blues. A band was formed, practices began and shows were booked. Once little more than a lark for a musician playing around in the studio, The Morning Clouds was on its way.
Written, performed and recorded entirely by Wambeke, Wasted Youth isn't so much a departure for the songwriter, but a return to his roots, touching up the pop performances that formed the basis for his earliest solo dabbling. Sometimes, when you're as prolific as Wambeke, moving forward his bands isn't enough: You have you stop and reflect on your past.
You Me and Apollo
Fort Collins/Denver based band You Me & Apollo “injects the fury of rock’n’roll and the heartfelt spirit of blues into a folk/Americana sound that really comes alive [during their] performances”
-Peter Washington of Concerted Effort Blog.
The music of You Me & Apollo ranges from quiet folk to groove infused rock and has been described as an unholy union of Hank Williams and Otis Redding. The birth of You Me & Apollo, in 2007, consisted of singer-songwriter Brent Cowles. Now, In 2011, Cowles joined with some very talented friends and the result has been a unique and explosive sound something that makes you put your beer down, swivel your bar stool toward the stage, and watch with anticipation.
Safe Boating Is No Accident
Safe Boating Is No Accident crawled out from the morass of disappointments, disillusionments and muted desperation that can really only be found in the Midwest. But at least Leighton Peterson and Neil McCormick found the comic possibilities inherent in those experiences and a vehicle with which to create the musical equivalent of David Foster Wallace's great novel Infinite Jest. Rather than write some heavy-handed purely topical lyrics, these guys are postmodern tricksters who blur the line between humor, biting social satire and solid pop songcraft.
Initially part folk and avant-garde performance art, Safe Boating put on the kinds of performances people talk about for a long time afterward--from disturbingly dramatic faux break-ups on stage, to a reenactment of 2001: A Space Odyssey and a show that can best be described as a staged hostage-taking of the band where it was forced to perform in an alley and the audience saw McCormick's death and resurrection.
For its next chapter, Safe Boating is temporarily setting aside its overtly miscreant ways in favor of sculpting cathartic pop songs akin to what you heard out of the early Elvis Costello and The Jam. Still firmly in place is the sharp wit and playfully caustic conceptual humor that has been the group's hallmark from the beginning. The inspired hijinks will return without warning but Safe Boating has never been about gimmicks so much as involving those who show up in the moment if they dare.
Hot Robots are a Power Pop band that aims to put the POWER into Power Pop. Song after raucous song Hot Robots give crunching proof of their dedication to power chords and melody. Catch Hot Robots at one of their energetic live shows!
Fingers of the Sun
When Homer talked about "young Dawn with her rose-red fingers," in the Odyssey, he was probably putting down for the ages the oral tradition of the Greeks passed on for hundreds of years through lyrical phrases set to a kind of primeval music. So it seems as only fitting that some band would come along to likewise borrow some strands from an older era and put them side-by-side with modern elements in a way to make it all resonate with a vibrant creativity. Fingers of the Sun from Denver does exactly that. This lively sextet takes classic pop structures and warps the lines with psychedelic flourishes while grounding it all with impeccable four-part harmonies. Built on the ruins of the indie pop band The Pseudo Dates, this group picked up where the Pseudos left off and turned into a more sonically ambitious outfit lead by the talented songwriting team of Nathan Brasil and Suzi Allegra. Musically, this charming bunch of rapscallions are the descendents of Arthur Lee, Syd Barrett, Ray Davies and Anton Newcombe. But instead of mimicking their artistic forebears, Fingers of the Sun are forging something their own by truly crafting material almost in reaction to how sloppy so much songwriting of the present seems to be. If indeed Fingers of the Sun is indirectly named after the goddess Aurora, it's fitting enough for a kind of music that has elements of the familiar but always feels like something new
the Don'ts and be Carefuls
Since 2008, The Don'ts and Be Carefuls have been dreaming up electrifying songs that have been known to incite whole crowds to break out in dance. Known for what have been described as intense, fun songs, The Don'ts and Be Carefuls send tremors through sweaty limbs, their wall-of-sound electro pop seeping from their very pores. Amping up for their long-awaited second release, The Don'ts and Be Carefuls will turn your head, and make you shake to your bones.
"…proof that rock music played with unself-conscious abandon is never boring." Westword
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