Bands I’m Grooving To

2 Nov

I am a great fan of music, all types. But I’ve mostly kept a steady rotation of classic rock going on my iTunes for the past few years. Recently however, I have been listening to a lot of artists that are dumped into the utterly nondescript label indie-rock. Over the last two months I have gone to various shows based solely on my friend Cody’s recommendation. Most of these artists were completely unknown to me and I knew nothing about their sound. This has been a refreshing introduction to new music for me and shown me that there is some really cool music being made right now.

The first show my friend took me to see was Local Natives. And to be honest, I mostly went because my other friend JJ said he would go. Not so much because of Cody’s praise that “they are a really hot indie band”. I was skeptical, but agreed to come. Aside from switching permanently to two ply toilet paper, I don’t think I’ve made a better decision in the last year.

Local Natives rocking my face @ the Fox Theater September 28th 2010

Local Natives rocked my face. Pure and simple. From the moment they started their set with “Camera Talk” until they blew the roof off the Fox Theater with the anthemic finish of “Who Knows Who Cares”, I was completely enamored with their performance. They were tight,  had an amazingly clean sound, and they looked thrilled to be there playing for us. I have been listening to their album Gorilla Manor almost nonstop since that show in September and pining to see them live again. The album is so choice. If you have the means I highly recommend picking one up. But it’s even better catch them live! These guys are hot and my show was SOLD OUT. This show was important to me at least, because it finally turned me into an “indie-rock” fan.

The next show I attended was Surfer Blood co-headlining with The Drums on 10/10/2010, pretty rad. I was already familiar with and digging Surfer Blood’s debut album Astro Coast thanks to my new infatuation with the indie scene. However this was the first of two shows  I have seen at the beautiful Bluebird Theater in Denver, where the opener stole the show.

The Drums played first and appeared on the stage amid copious amounts of fog and a Kraftwerk song. After some test strums and random drum hits, they launched right into “It Will All End In Tears” and won me over almost instantly. They have a distinctly 1980s sound, to my ears, with bouncy beats, desperately romantic lyrics and sweeping choruses.

The Drums killing it at the Bluebird.

They really reminded me of the Smiths, and I really love the Smiths. Aside from The Drums already fun and incredibly danceable music their singer Jonathan Pierce was a show stopper. His presence just dominated the stage as he roamed around with ease, exerting a cool confidence need to deliver lines like “You were my best friend/then you died”. My favorite songs were “Me and the Moon” and “Book of Stories”. Warning: when the chorus to “Book of Stories” drops you may start flailing around uncontrollably. At least I do. Check out these guys self-titled release especially if you’re looking for a really solid dance party album.

While Surfer Blood put on a solid show with some killer bubble machines the Drums were just more fun, partly because they seemed cooler. Just sayin’.

Surfer Blood: Swim To Reach the End!

The last show I’ll rant about  was The Morning Benders with Twin Sister opening which was also at the Bluebird Theater. I had never heard the music of either these bands prior to this show but I went with the impression that I would be more into the Morning Benders. Wrong.

Twin Sister came on after some “meh” opener and the five piece from Long Izzy started playing “The Other Side of Your Face” from their LP Color Your Life. Absolutely fantastic. The only word that I comes to mind to describe Twin Sister’s music is atmosphere. From the opening few minutes of their first song it was clear these guys have a knack for creating beautiful melodies and expansive songs that gradually shift emotions. I’ll post a review of the album later. The band’s lead singer Andrea Estella charmed the hell out of me with her big eyes, breathy singing style and quirky pronunciation.

Twin Sister

After starting with two slow-middle paced, moody, and at times down right trippy songs, the band gradually switched gears and ended with three songs that brought the crowd from a slow gentle sway to a foot stompin’ frenzy.  “All Around and Away We Go“, then a cover song (which i’m still trying to find the title of) that got the crowd dancing like crazy. And finally they closed with their delightfully floaty and insanely catchy song “Phenomenons” which I have played according to iTunes 21 times since I saw them a week ago. Twin Sister caught me completely off guard and made me a fan. Check these guys out here.

These guys need to drink more red bull before performing.

As for the Benders? They have great sounding songs but they played mostly slow, low energy  tunes. The guys just seemed stiff on stage and their bass player looked downright bored. Even when their front man Christopher Chu would introduce a “dance” song (and there were only two) they felt remarkably tame and vapid after the aural onslaught of Twin Sister. Needless to say we exited before their encore and bought Color Your World on vinyl before heading back to Boulder.

I’ll do these more regularly so they aren’t so long.  Enjoy.


One Response to “Bands I’m Grooving To”

  1. Cody November 4, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    WOO WOO, blogging madness! You’re keeping me motivated to keep going with the band blog!

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