Sunday, September 12, 2010

Surfacing @ First Unitarian Church 9-11-10

If I had to sum this show up in one word, I would pick mind blowing. I found about this gig last Saturday when I was sill kind of sad that I missed out on this great metal/ punk gig at my favorite record store. So I though thought that I would go and check out 4 new "surfacing"  bands at the local, and even international level.

So I left my house at 6:30 pm after eating some vegetarian nachos and some power drink that I found in the fridge. I looked under my bed and I found the 7 dollars that I needed to get in. I got there the usual way that I get to Denver, I took the highway and I got there in about 35 minutes. I went inside to pay my lucky $7.00 then I got my radial re entry sharpie star with dots where the points were. Did I mention that it was in Orange?

So they kicked everyone out to the stairs and sounding area because they were preforming a "top secret" sound check. I was standing on the wheelchair ramp right by the pretty cool glass window and I really didn't hear a thing. I thought that was strange because I really didn't hear anyone tuning any loud instrument. No drums being pounded on, no guitars tuned, no microphones being checked, no sound. So instead I was listening to the side conversations of the hip people.  I can't tell you the whole conversations because I'm not that nosy, but here are some of the things that stood out:

"They stared this concert late! They said 7:00 its already 7:30. I want my $7.00 refund."
"Can I drink my Pabst in this church? It doesn't really smell like beer."
"Her girlfriend isn't as hot as her exes girlfriend. That is kind of an understatement"
"Where can I get more of those magic cancer sticks?"

This is my favorite:

"Aren't you having a house party today?"
"No, not today. I'm here duh."
"Well you should have one and it can be a "Sleepover house party slumber party."
"Totally rad."

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What  you aren't seeing is the the churches 4 bicycle racks full of these fixie hipster bicycles. I was going to get a shot of all of these bikes but I didn't want to get scoped out by the outrageous amounts of the "hip club" that was on the stone stairs. Even if I was, I'm pretty sure that they were too drunk and high to fight me anyway (why would I fight anyone?  And why why would I fight someone at a church?)

So then I started to see a line form and I started to walk into the lobby. The guy in front of me had this pretty hip looking backpack with a super duper Batman and Robbin Pin, like the 60's one. But being the Batman fan that I am I kind of died inside because I knew that he only had that pin because it "Looked rad man" but who cares? So we went into the "Church" part of the Church and then I sat down in the 5 row right hand side isle seat.  So then more waiting. I look around to find 2 hymn books and no bibles! That is my kind of church. Right when I close the hymn book,  the presenter lady said her thing about their "musical collective" that they have every month.  I like what they do, but I'll talk about that later. Then right after she closed her mouth the first band took the stage.

Pillow Garden.
Pillow Garden dropped a 20 minute set that was not mind blowing (like I tweeted) but more mind melting. So I was kind of sitting far back, and couldn't really see the stage, but what I did see was the guy (Jason Corder) playing this guitar and this girl (Sarah Chung) singing. They started off looping  the vocal track and soon I was in awe. Then the gutiar started to loop in and join the girls vocals. Then they broke out this bird cage thing and I can just say that it did not sound like a bird cage. After that then, I just started to drown in the noise. They played the same song that is on their website and that son gigs only 3 minutes or so long. I'm not sure if it they started with same song and just rolled it out into 20 minutes, but whatever they did was pretty awesome. I fully enjoyed this. I hope you will too.  Check out their website.

Pollination Population.

Pollination Population (Katherine Ersing)  Took the stage and pressed the on button on one of her many tape decks that brought about the noise of rising drums and something that sounded like church bell.  This went to another button pressed on another tape deck that started to talk to us about a conversation. More drums and bells followed. It looked like she had some trouble with a mixing box (that is just my guess on what it could be) and then this really high feedback noise was caused some pain to the some of the "hip kids".  After that  She started saying something like "I'm done. I'm done! I'm messing up." I enjoyed it anyway.  Katherine did a good job regardless, but I wish she didn't quit halfway through it because the song was about to get good. If you go to the Myspace page and click on the "Live Set" you can hear the full song.Check out this Westword interview too.

After the folly, we took a 10 minute break. Being the Isle seat that I was, I seen just about everyone leave, and I'm guessing it was for a "home rolled" smoke break. I wasn't outside but then I'm guessing that they were smoking something, because that wasn't tobacco smoke. I know tobacco smoke (my friends at school smoke the tobacco and that other stuff). I made a mean joke in my head "I bet they applied for Medical Marijuana cards because they had premature aging and wanted to get a break for it." (If you are not a Colorado native, you should know that Marijuana is legal here if you apply for a medical card). I started to mobile blog a "sorry, I'm not doing a Saturday Friday Five because I can't right now" but then Voladores started warming up and I stopped everything that I did, because I didn't want to be a rude cell phone person. So I then waited for the hip people to come back from their "moonshine and smokes" break. I knew thats what it was, just believe me

"This band is so new, I can't find any links for them.  So indie right?" (I guess if you wanted a link, you could check out Sin Desires Marie)-- Sorry, that was my inner hipster speaking, back to my real voice.This is a new super group with three members (Claudine Rousseau - Sin Desires Marie, Frieda Stalheim - Munly,  Joseph Sampson Bad Weather California and Wentworth Kersey)  So they got off to a good start, can't complain about that.  The first song felt complete and done, but it just started to just... Stop. The hope didn't leave though.  I'm kind of glad that I didn't say that Voladores had a punk-y vibe to their bass because I would have been hit with a tote bag by a hipster. But just listen to one of those Sin Desires Marie songs. I'm right, right?  Ok, back to the gig. Second song: Drums kick in, here comes the violin, sounds pretty good. Bass joins in, I start nodding my head and keep time with my foot. Then the bass guitar runs away. Bassist talks and says "I'm soooo sorry. I just can't remember this song." So they try anyway. It starts off the same, sounds good, keeps going for a while, they finish early. I felt bad for them because they sounded so good, but ended too soon The other song that they managed to get done with was great. After the announcer lady says that they were done, Claudine goes back to the Piano and makes another attempt to play something. It took about four minutes to get it right. Regardless, I have hope for this band. Not Matson Jones yet, but have hope with me and I'm sure that they will get better. I love violin based indie rock music.

Then we went to another scheduled break so the one and only Kría Brekkan could have the kinda stage area set up the exact way that she wanted too. Then everyone bailed, like ran out of that place. I brought my friend along and we decided to talk for a little while this random person started to light some candles around the stage and plug in some white Christmas lights.
"Hey man, that tall chick kind of looks like your friend from Debate Team"
"In the front, by that lady who introduces everyone"
"Oh, yeah. How do you know about my Debate friends?"
"I don't know man, I just know who you hang with on Saturday." 
So right when we closed my mouth this lady with black hair walked past my isle seat and to the piano which was 5 rows in front of me and to the left. She sat down and pulled this classical sounding masterpiece and started doing some vocal scales. "This can't be itt, I know there is more people than this here tonight." she said.

The door closed, the lights went out and the room went silent. I look around and then we see Kría dancing and howling her way down the isle to the kind of stage with no shoes in a yellow unitard with flowers on it. Well, it looked like a unitard, it could have been a jumpsuit though. There was a recorder and some guy was on the floor messing with it, so in my head I was thinking "Oh no, she is going to have to jump over him or or fall or something like that." but no, she kept on doing her song and dance and in a swift way she like leaped over the recorder dude, I have no Idea how she did this, but 15 seconds after that she was at the piano greeting us all and "thanking us for showing upp on this wonderful evening". Then she busted right to it on this 15 minute rendition that she later called her "warm up" for her left hand.  The story was "I didn't really practice my piano ever since I came to the states, I've been playing soccer instead" My mind did a back flip when I heard that that was her "warm up". If you were there you would know that was in no way a warm up. That was just too great to be a warm up. 

She then went to talk about "how her mom said to drink lots of water", just a normal thing to say right? But when she was done saying that, a guy handed her a pitcher of water, and she just downed a good quarter of the thing. She then did a quick vocal warm up and then merged into a pretty good Nat King Cole cover of I song that I heard before, but a name that I don't remember. After hopping off of the piano stool, she went into another story about how she "forgot her guitar back in Iceland and she had to borrow it from one of the other performers there. She played it, but she played it backwards, like a violin backwards. She plucked with her fingers right by her shoulder and fretted with her left hand in an awesome way. She then told us to "sing the chorus like a little choir." which was all "ooh" "ahh" and "oooh". Good effect though and I hoped that she was pleased with our singing skills.

Kría went back to the piano and told a little story on how she got the inspiration for this song from "looking out the window and seeing the snow fall" it was a pretty song, but she stopped and said "Do you like classical music or is it boring?" and we all nodded our heads. The song continued into a fifteen minute classical number by this composer who name escapes me. We all applauded, but she told us "not to" because she "wasn't done". I guess she was happy because she played us a song that she had never played before. She took another drink from her pitcher and then the "water boy" came back and gave her some sheet music. It was all crumpled and old, but it was a good song that entranced all of us. Everyone was very entranced with every note, and I was too.

From The Sound Collection

I wish I took a picture of the candles reflections on the pipe organ, and the candles on the glass plate, but they told us "no flash on the pictures please, it kills the aura of the music" so, I took a picture of the recorder instead to just show you all what it looked like inside and how bright and powerful the music was.
Kría did a last song that was kind of short, and then we all clapped for a long time and she stopped us all and asked, "Can I play something else? You all have been a great audience." And we let her. She said it was kind of "morbid at first, but then became honky tonk and happy." I didn't know the name but it was one of the best things that I have heard in my life. I really wish I could have video taped this so you guys could feel the passion in the music. Another round of applause and then the lights were allowed to come back on. Announcement lady also said "someone is playing at the Marquis next Tuesday and Porlolo's playing next Tuesday too" then some random person stood up and announced "Yoga at the Mercury, we do yoga to Kate Bush and Bjork?? Please come, it's great!!"

I left after that, I wanted to stay but my friend wanted me to leave with them, so I did. I have to say that this is one of the best things that I seen in my life and I'm happy that I "didn't miss it for the world." Thanks for reading, I know it was long, but it was worth it right? Yes, this was a step out of my "safe zone"even if I do listen to almost everything and that I'm biased towards punk and Alternative. And the bigger leap was sharing the space with hipsters....That's another story though. I'll keep bloging about the goings on in Denver and the surrounding areas. Hope I see you soon, you know I have more. 


Lance said...

My recorder looks a little lonely in that shot. Thanks for coming down to the show!

riotxgrrlxamy said...

I was looking at the recorder and I thought "hey, I can take a picture of that, it's bright enough", but then I got home and I realized that I should have used the zoom button. Oh well, its a neat picture anyway.