Sunday, October 17, 2010


With the room upstairs done, I spent this weekend going around the property trimming many dead limbs off the pines and scrub oak, with a pole mounted saw followed by the chain saw, which I had trouble starting after a year of having been unused. It's boring work but at least it was outdoors on a pleasant weekend. I spoke to a couple of guys doing the same across the street for a neighbor, getting their card with the intent of having them come out to chip the growing wood pile.

I had plans for some live music Saturday night!

I learned that local indie-rocker and singer-songwriter Joshua Novak was having a CD release party at Hi-Dive, 7 S. Broadway in Denver. What made it a done deal was that Patrick Meese, singer-songwriter for the now disbanded Meese was Josh's new drummer. I reserved tickets online, picking them up at the night of the show. The Hi-Dive is directly across the street from Jack Jensen's Mutiny Now Bookstore. Also appearing with Josh were Kissing Party and Candy Claws.

Doors opened at 9PM. I also took advantage of this opportunity to try out a new camera and a microphone I'd never used before.

First up was Denver's own dream pop band Candy Claws. A very interesting sound that I thought was attributable to a poor sound mix that did not emphasize the vocals enough, but it turns out that's what they are doing intentionally, voices coming more from the back of ones head.

"Candy Claws, an experimental dream-pop outfit from Fort Collins, CO, have quickly become one of the most talked about new bands of 2010. After turning quite a few heads with last year’s debut album, In The Dream Of The Sea Life, the band built quite a bit of buzz and this year’s acclaimed follow-up Hidden Lands has gotten them even more well-deserved attention from both bloggers and listeners. Perhaps part of their appeal is the band’s unique approach to recording, on their first album they blended their own electronic creations with ocean sounds recorded on various sea shores in Italy, Spain, and The Phillipines. On Hidden Lands, each song contains a sample of every other song on the album (which must have been a huge undertaking)."

Get a taste of their sound here:

Candy Claws brings a fresh perspective to the phrase "environmentally friendly," but that's not to suggest that the band is calling for an eco-uprising. Even if the hushed vocals were halfway intelligible, the words are nothing more than pleasant-sounding nonsense.

It's really just the music: The Colorado group's sound evokes vibrant images of a natural world that's more Disney than National Geographic. Electric birdsong and clop-along percussion stand out among the most prominent noises in "Silent Time of Earth," but they coexist nicely with sparkling keys and a bridge characterized by its strange bass throb. While most of the songs on Hidden Lands sound like spring, this one doesn't feel pegged to a season.
The vocals of Ryan Hover and Kay Bertholf guide the procession with their lithe half-whispers. While their vocals aren't always audible, there's something to be said about their invention. Hover recently revealed that the band took sections of Richard Ketchum's The Secret Life of the Forest, entered each into an English-to-Japanese translator online, and then translated the symbols back into English. The result, as he calls it, was "jumbled poetry."

Download the Candy Claw's show here:

Next up was Kissing Party. I was not overly impressed.
Wikipedia describes them as:

The Kissing Party is an indie rock band from Denver. The band is composed of Deirdre Sage (vocals), Gregory Dolan (vocals, guitar), Joe Hansen (lead guitar), Lee Evans and Shane Reid (drums).

The Kissing Party released their debut album, Hold Your Hour and Have Another, in 2006. Their follow up album Rediscover Lovers, in 2007 has garnered attention and acclaim from critics at The Denver Post, The Onion, Westword, and Filter Magazine while circling the underground Denver music scene. In their 2007 music review, The Denver Post named Rediscover Lovers the 3rd best album to come out of Denver that year.

Download Kissing Party's show here:

The highlight of the night was definitely the very talented Josh Novak. I really liked his sound and the hour long performance. I bought Patrick Meese a drink before the show and learned that he and his new band, Centennial, were going to perform at the Hi-Dive in late November. I also learned that his wife was now part of Josh's band, keyboards and backup vocals.

"Joshua Novak burst onto the Denver music scene in early 2000, young, carefree and seemingly touched with effortless pop magic. Since then, he has become a celebrated fixture of the scene. Recently he placed in the top 20 out of 560 bands in the Denver Post's Best Of The Underground. He is a five time Westword Showcase nominee, one of fifteen winners in the Modmusic Records Indie Band Search in N.Y. and has played Red Rocks as part of the epic Monolith Festival which included acts like TV On The Radio, The Kills, Justice and others."

More on Josh here:

Download the show here:

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