POPCULT, Flashbulb Fires
3295 S Broadway
Englewood, CO, 80113
Doors 8:30PM / Show 9:00PM
This event is 16 and over
Western Canadian band Imaginary Cities’ debut disc Temporary Resident is so fully realized that it’s surprising to learn that happenstance first brought primary songwriters Mari Sarbit and Rusty Matyas together in Winnipeg’s small but fertile music scene.
It was Marti Sarbit’s voice that immediately captured multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Rusty Matyas’s attention at the Cavern, a Winnipeg bar where Sarbit was fronting a Motown cover band and Matyas had come to mix the sound. Matyas, a major label veteran via his band The Waking Eyes and a touring member of Canadian indie rock stalwarts The Weakerthans, knew he wanted to write something for -- or with -- this innately gifted young singer if only to commit her voice to tape and hear what the results might be. The instantly compelling “Say You” was the song they soon whipped up, and one quick listen to what is now Imaginary Cities’ dramatic album opener clearly demonstrates what caught Matyas’s ear – and what subsequently propelled the duo to the top of Canada’s college charts and year-end best-of lists.
Though Canadian critics often emphasis the soul-music aspect of the duo, Imaginary Cities utilizes a mixture of musical flavors for a more expansive, often stirring, pop-rock palate, as in the albums’ title track “Temporary Resident”, or others such as “Don’t Cry,” or “Hummingbird”. They also take an amusing left turn with “Manitoba Bossa Nova,” which sounds just like the title suggests.
Throughout 2011, Imaginary Cities’ debut has gradually been released in various territories outside of Canada, including Europe and Australia, where they toured last year, backed by a band they’d assembled with other Winnipeg-based musician friends. Their reputation grew quickly, appearing in the North by Northeast music festival, winning a Western Canada Music Award for best pop album of the year and were long-listed for the Polaris Prize. They have snagged opening spots with groups like Ra Ra Riot and Besnard Lakes. Most impressively they were invited to join the Pixies on the entire run of their North American tour last year.
In a little over a year, Rusty and Marti have evolved from strangers, to a pair of musical allies tinkering in the studio to part of a permanent five-piece band preparing for the U.S release of Temporary resident and subsequent tour dates. Imaginary Cities is proof that sometimes the best creative partnerships are simply destined to be.
It's hard to believe a band like POPCULT hails from the American Midwest (Denver, CO). With sounds nostalgic of alternative brit-pop in its heyday (e.g. young Coldplay, early Muse), one would assume the band originated overseas, where they'd at least be old enough to buy a drink.
Currently recording their debut self-titled EP, the band lays under the radar – only playing demos for close friends (and interviewers). Immediately obvious is their commitment to musical integrity – writing for themselves sans obligations to popular culture.
Frontman Justin Renaud explains:
"The best thing about making music rather than listening to it is creating exactly what you want to hear. It's making something that you've been wanting to hear for so long, but nobody can quite communicate it the same way you can. So yeah, In a way it's self-gratification. But I'm always my toughest critic, so the quest to write a perfect song never ends."
And that's just what the 19 year old visionaries are trying to do. Fresh off of an eight-show run at SXSW (backing Denver based electro outfit 'The Chain Gang of 1974'), Renaud and his bandmate Tyler Venter decided to focus on their own project. Now a trio, the band plans to release their self-titled EP this summer. The best part about it:
"Oh it will be free. I've always wanted to give away music for free. And now that we all have day jobs, we can afford to do that."
Can't wait for summer 2011.
-All of Our Friends
Known for their distinctive brand of emotionally rich American indie-rock, Flashbulb Fires has a genuine conviction to push the boundaries of popular music. The Denver band’s knack for combining dynamic song structures with beautifully magnetic arrangements is instantly recognizable, while their live show is immediately captivating, blending polished artistry and raw electricity. With an energy akin to the Arcade Fire and lyrical sketches reminiscent of Pedro the Lion and The National, Flashbulb Fires’ music is both evocative and meticulously crafted.
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