Jen Korte & The Loss
Chimney Choir, Clouds & Mountains
3131 Walnut St.
Denver, CO, 80205
This event is 21 and over
Jen Korte & The Loss
It took Jen Korte a while to get the album she wanted, but the reaction so far suggests it was worth the wait.
"Jen Korte's new album is, like, um ... wow! Just freaking wow!" Dave Herrera, Westword
"It has taken us over a year to get it right. The first time around, we did it in the very customary way of tracking the drums and bass first and then trying to add everything. I just could not connect with it as a whole at all. It was a very different record than the one we are putting out. I decided to scrap most of it and start over. The second time around, we played almost the entire thing in two or three sessions live."
Korte is a musical late-comer. Growing up an hour from Austin, Korte spent a lot of time there checking out the music scene, but her background was theater. "And, aside from being a dramatic child (in every sense of the word), I wrote poetry. Went to a ton of poetry reading clubs from around twelve on. I had a few published when I was very young. Did slams in Austin."
Her first real music experience was in college. She took a course called, "Rock Band Ensemble." "They put me in the lead singer spot in the beginners band. It was totally humiliating and great at the same time."
She played a bit in Austin as part of a "loud rock trio," came to Denver for a couple of months, and decided to stay. She started with local open mics. "I did the usual circuit: Mead Street, the Merc, etc. Someone saw me and asked me to play LILT (an all-women-fronted festival they were having a few years ago). From there, I met more people and played a lot more."
But she didn't find her musical style ("someone said I sound like Janis Joplin and Nick Drake's love child") until teaming up with her current band. "I had to strip down and start over. In one month, I wrote half of the material on here. I just hit a point and it started spewing out of me." What also helped was finding the right players. "Then I felt like I could put the movement into the songs because I had the instruments to back me."
Chimney Choir's new album, (compass), is music played on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and piano and sung in three part harmony. It is layered with electronic drones, field recordings, and conversational rhythms played on junk percussion. The songs were born on the road - it was sketched out, improvised, jammed, performed, scrapped, and reinvented over months of touring in the US, Germany, Holland, and Belgium. They were hashed out around campfires in between gigs, sung in the van during long stretches of driving, and tested in front of a new audience every night. When the recording process started, the band wanted to capture a unique sonic character. The drums were tracked in an historic 1920's theater, they sang in a makeshift vocal booth in an urban carriage house, and retreated to the mountains for the finishing touches. They incorporated field recordings from taken an Belgian train stations, Kris picked back up her childhood fiddle, and a new dimension was layered with the bass of Tom Plassmeyer. Their vision of bringing together acoustic and electronic sounds was developed while mixing with co-producer Jeremy Averitt (Princess Music, Clouds and Mountains).
(compass) was released over four months in a series of semi-theatrical performances at Leon Gallery in Denver, CO. Each monthly performance investigated a cardinal direction in hope to 'find the compass.' The performances were inspired by minimalist Fringe theater, where production was suggested or even imaginary. The shows experimented with sound collage, storytelling, puppetry, dance, and ritual. They lit candles, burned incense, and painted their faces. "We're establishing dreamlike environments where the audience can't really tell the show from reality after a certain point." Rynhart said of the performances. The final episode took place on June 23rd with the full release of (compass). The album was 'found' during a mock game show within a show at an antique warehouse near Denver's Valverde neighborhood, built on an old farm site that was once known for producing the world's best celery.
"Denver-based Chimney Choir is more than just a group of talented multi-instrumentalists looking to evoke an old-timey sound. They are an artistic oddity; a unique homemade collage of sound. Yes, they have the usual roots laced deep in the soil of Americana and folk, though, the character of their melodic folk sound hinges largely on a skillful balancing of freaky vocal interplay with computer synths, traditional acoustics and kitchen sink percussion. Original, catchy and ripe with a strangely warm and welcoming aesthetic"
- Flagstaff LIVE (March, 2013)
Clouds & Mountains
With the ethereal glimmer of sunset clouds and the massive
maturity of ancient mountains, the aptly named Clouds and
Mountains is the new solo project of Colorado music scene
fixture Macon Terry. Best known these days as the bassist of
Denver folkster phenoma-band Paper Bird, Terry has been
cultivating this crop of fresh tunes from his wilderness
refuge on the craggy slopes of Kitteridge, a small community
nestled in the foothills of the Rockies. The effects of
this ruggedly serene landscape on Terry's songwriting are
evident: while the sly quirks and subtle rhythmic tricks that
characterized Terry's previous projects are still present, the
music of Clouds and Mountains by and large echoes the
expansive majesty of the American West, with shimmering
guitar and shuffling country drums supporting
contemplative big-sky inspired lyrics and alluring yet
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