Friday, May 23, 2008

Up Nights

5/19 Show
Tons of new music this week, many of it in the way of downloadable mp3s for all y'all. It was a pretty good show, you should have listened. I won't be on next Monday, but I will be on next Thursday (the 29th). My brother will be in the studio helping out, so it should be a good time.

Artist / Song

Ha Ha Tonka / Up Nights
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin / Modern Mystery
Wolf Parade / Language City
Princeton / The Waves
Castanets / City of Refuge
Vetiver / Roll on Babe
Mason Jennings / California Pt 2
Mason Jennings / Memphis, TN
State Bird / The Golden Glowing Mask
Lykke Li / Little Bit
Dr. Dog / Heart it Races
Nik Freitas / Sophie
Tokyo Police Club / In a Cave
Deadly Syndrome / Wolves in the Garden
Old 97s / The Fool
Backyard Tire Fire / Sick of Debt
Backyard Tire Fire / Lost in Durango

Santogold / Lights Out
Ting Tings / Great DJ
Beck / Chemtrails Streaming here
Times New Viking / Mean God
The Republic Tigers / Buildings & Mountains
Port O'Brien / I Woke Up Today
Cut Copy / Midnight Runner
Hot Chip / Wearing My Rolex
Hercules & Love Affair / Blind
Cut Copy / Hearts on Fire (Midnight Juggernauts remix)
Crystal Castles / Crimewave (CC vs HEALTH)
Broken Social Scene / Lover's Spit

Dear Wilco,

Notes from Wilco @ Pikes Peak Center, Colorado Springs, 5/8/08

Dear Wilco,

I was worried about you guys. Your latest album, Sky Blue Sky, was nothing short of a letdown for me. After the greatness of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the slightly less impressive but still memorable A Ghost Is Born, you decided to play it safe. Too many easy rockers, too many by-the-book songs. Nothing inventive or abstract. And to top it all off, you got what I like to call "noodley"! How could you?! Many of your guitar solos (provided by new member Nels Cline) reminded me of the kind of terrible & soulless white-boy blues riffs often relied upon by subpar jam bands. Needless to say, I was distraught about your direction going into your performance at the Pikes Peak Center earlier this month.

I had seen you live once prior, in London during your supporting tour of A Ghost is Born. It was a great performance. The abstract, lingering songs from that album sounded terrific live, even from the balcony. You made my friend cry out of sheer joy. After a disappointing album whose songs don't lend themselves to extended live performances, how could you match that show and experience?

At first, you came nowhere close. Opening songs "Either Way" and "You Are my Face" (both from Sky Blue Sky) only confirmed my worst fears. Boring, stodgy and noddley. Thankfully, you broke into "Sunken Treasure", bringing back some country flavor from the Being There album. In retrospect, it was pretty much all uphill from that point on. As songs from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born worked their way into the set, I got more and more excited. I started taping my foot, singing along, and most importantly, smiling. It wasn't quite like seeing you a couple of years ago, but your performance became moving and memorable just the same.

At times I loved Nels Cline's guitar playing for the obviously & immensely talented musician he is, but perhaps more often (and especially at the beginning of the set) I was annoyed by his playing. Much as described above, I thought his solos were obvious and a gross detour from what made your previous work so great. On the other hand, Tweedy's limited solos brought me back to those days when Wilco was progressive and not regressive. Tweedy's stage banter was engaging and humorous, and served to loosen up a somewhat stoic crowd. He opined that both this show's and the previous night's (in Grand Junction, CO) crowds were mostly from out of town (which was met with a roar). He also bragged that Colorado Springs has a higher mountain than Grand Junction, making it a superior location. Perhaps the star of your live performance was drummer Glenn Kotche, who is easily the most talented drummer I have ever seen live. He is a joy to watch, especially for an aspiring drumbeater like myself.

In the end, I am still a fan of Wilco, Probably more so than I was before your performance. Your older songs still rang true an got my heart racing, even if the set did drag on through 2 encores (lacking of hits) and lasted over 2 1/2 hours. I sincerely hope Sky Blue Sky was brief detour for the band rather than a new direction.


Show Set List

Wilco Official Site
KBUT Music Director Chad's thoughts on Wilco in Grand Junction 5/7/08(scroll down to "LIVE MUSIC REVIEW!!!)
Pitchfork's review of Sky Blue Sky
Pitchfork's review of A Ghost is Born
Pitchfork's review of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dear Ra Ra Riot,

Notes from Ra Ra Riot @ the Black Sheep, Colorado Springs, 5/9/08

Dear Ra Ra Riot,

I've seen you perform live twice now, and I'm as enthralled as ever. Your musical talents are certainly evident in the live setting, but your group dynamic is what makes things so compelling. After seeing you at the Monolith Festival last September I couldn't stop talking about how much fun you were having on stage (I also kept your EP on my car stereo for days). It was an infectious performance. The merchandise tent afterwards was proof enough that you stole the festival from the bigger acts. That performance brought me to a dingy club in Colorado Springs last Friday Night. Once again, you put on an incredibly memorable show. It was a great night with an intimate audience, although I'm sorry only 30 or so people showed up to witness it. Nevertheless, you played your asses off and were humble and entertaining between songs.

My constructive criticism is very short: don't loose your passion for each other and for playing together. There could be hundreds of external factors (especially including your crowd size), but the love you showed each other during your performance dropped slightly from when I saw you at Monolith to the Black Sheep. On that make-shift stage underneath Red Rocks in September you were constantly smiling and making physical contact with each other anyway you could. At the Black Sheep I saw the same actions, just to a lesser extent. Don't let the grind of touring wear out you enthusiasm. Also, it would be amazing if you lengthened some of the songs in the live setting (such as "Dying is Fine").

Normally I single out certain band members for their performances, good or bad, but with you guys I just can't do it. You define the most collective definitions of the word "band" and you are all great performers. If there was only one young, up-and-coming band that I could champion, it would be you guys. Expect to hear your songs on my radio show regularly for some time to come.


P.S. I'll see you at the Westword Music Festival, June 14th in Denver.

Ra Ra Riot official site
my thoughts from the Monolith Festival
Dying is Fine video
Each Year (RAC remix)
Pitchfork's Monolith Photos

Set List: (thanks to the band for filling in the new song titles)
Manner to Act
Too Too Fast
St. Peter's Day Festival
Can You Tell
Oh, LA
Winter '05
Ghost Under Rocks
Each Year
Dying is Fine
Hounds of Love (Kate Bush cover)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Still Snowing

5/12 Show
I'm continuing to highlight upcoming concerts during my radio shows, so this week that meant playing Tapes 'n Tapes, White Denim, Nik Freitas, Margot & the Nuclear So & So's, Cloud Cult, M.I.A., and Stereolab (who just announced a show on 10/14 at the Bluebird). I got a couple calls last night, which is a couple more than normal, so that was nice. Enjoy the mp3s.

If you were curious, huge snowflakes are still falling from the sky here in Crested Butte.

Artist / Song

Santogold / L.E.S. Artistes
Ratatat / Shiller
My Morning Jacket / Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt 2
Stereolab / Three Women
Ting Tings / Great DJ
Holy F*ck / Jungle
Tapes 'n Tapes / Just Drums
White Denim / Shake Shake Shake
Lykke Li / Dance Dance Dance
Shivers / Beauty
Nik Freitas / Sun Down
Margot & the Nuclear So & Sos / Whiskey Jingle
Hayes Carli / She Left Me For Jesus
Gentlemen Caller / The Radio On
Vetiver / Thing of the Past
Calico Horse / Idioteque
Department of Eagles / No One Does it Like You
Jonquil / So Far So Good
She & Him / Should Have Known Better
Cloud Cult / Living on the Outside of Your Skin
Nortec Collective / Tijuana Sound Machine
M.I.A. / Paper Planes
Lykke Li / Everybody But Me (Diskjokke remix)
Hood Internet / Beauty Flies (Lykke Li vs. Gui Boratto)
Daedelus / Make It So (XXXxhange remix)
MANDY ft. Booka Shade / Body Language (Physical Music remix)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Early Monolith Preview

5/5 Show
A theme was fairly easy to come by this week, with the recent announcement of the Monolith Festival's 2008 lineup (see below). I featured songs from many of these artists, along with some newer stuff in the KBUT studio or that I have downloaded. It was the first time in many months that I have had friends in the studio during my show, so it was equally fun and distracting. Things got a bit soulful in the last half hour, and ended with a shout out to all those Neil Diamond fans out there (we just got his new single at KBUT).

Artist / Song
** = Playing at the Monolith Festival

Black Lips / Not a Problem (live in Tijuana)
Vampire Weekend / Oxford Comma **
Pas Chic Chic / En Chaine et En Vogue
TV on the Radio / Wolf Like Me **
Santogold / L.E.S. Artistes
Holy F*ck / Lovely Allen **
CSS / Rat is Dead (Rage) **
DeVotchKa / Transliterator **
Ra Ra Riot / Ghost Under Rocks
Akron/Family / Ed is a Portal **
Cut Copy / So Haunted **
LCD Soundsystem / Big Ideas
MGMT / Time to Pretend
M83 / Kim & Jessie
Justice / Phantom, Pt 2 **
Ting Tings / Great DJ **
French Kicks / Abandon
Kooks / Mr. Maker
Colin Meloy / Engine Driver (live)
Port O'Brien / I Woke Up Today
Jamie Lidell / Wait for Me
Jamie Lidell / Another Day
Modern Lovers / Womanhood
Gabo Brown & Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo / It's a Vanity
Five Stairsteps / Ooh Child
Friends of Distinction / Grazin' in the Grass
Arnie Love & the Lovettes / We've Had Enough
{{{ Sunset }}} / Man's Heart Complaint
Neil Diamond / Pretty Amazing Grace

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Monolith Lineup Announced

This week saw the lineup announcement of Colorado's best music festival: the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks. I must say that at first glance it looks very promising. I'm most looking forward to: Devotchka, Cut Copy, Neko Case, Vampire Weeked, Holy F*ck, White Denim, the Hood Internet, Justice, TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Sharon Jones, CSS, Akron/Family, and Grampall Jookabox, among others. Last year's festival was a great event, but I'm sure they learned some things that will make this year's run even smoother. Hopefully turn out grows so this thing can continue to bring joy to all us indie kids in Colorado.

Official Website
My thoughts from Monolith 2007 Day One
My thoughts from Monolith 2007 Day Two

Maybe I'll actually write a full report of the festival this year...