Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Titwrench 2011 - Day One 7-28-11

From August 2, 2011

I'm happy to be back! I had a fun academic vacation. I sat in classes for a while (like 8 hours a day), then we did various lame activities. No one really talked to me, but that was a given anyway. So, while people were chatting it up, I decided to write down anything and everything that I remembered about this awesome concert. I did, and at the end of last night, I had 10 pages of notes and doodles (I might post them up on tumblr later). The sad thing is that I didn't have any internet all weekend, so I couldn't post this to you all sooner. But that is ok! I remember last Thursday like it was Friday night, so this will be a good review. In case you haven't read my other Titrench related review, you can look at it here.

Titwrench 2011 - Day One

I went into the G.L.O.B. not knowing what to expect. However that quickly changed when I started to look around. I knew that I was at the right place when I seen the fixed gear bikes and the party balloons (mostly the bikes). I couldn't really find a place to park, but when I did, I realized that this concert was going to be in a Warehouse! I didn't know that a music venue could be in a place like this. I always passed the G.L.O.B, but I had no idea that it was a music venue.

When I walked around int the hallway, I seen various rooms, but the doors were closed and I didn't want to look in. I did see a bathroom, but I didn't go in there either. The hallway that connected to the back was green, but It felt kind of small. At the end of the hallway, there was a garage portion that looked attached to the building. If you walk down a little further, old rickety stairs brought you to the main section of the venue. (Those were old stairs! I felt like they would fall down! I'm glad a old Fender amp was under there!)

The stage area was open, and I loved that! I've been to a lot of basement shows (I should say that this show wasn't in a basement), and one of the things that I love about those shows is that the stage is "open"; you can interact with the band if you want to and the feeling is always intimate. You really feel like the music at you, and not away from you like the lager stages at other festivals. There was a screen near the back of the stage that had various images projected on them. I didn't really pay attention to it then, but it was really important later. Christmas lights and lanterns made the stage bright, like a "soft" light, but not a blinding bright. That was an added plus for me because I really hate bright lights on a stage, it totally kills the vibe.

Going back even further, I found something like a "truck dock" in the back, something that just told me that this "Had to Be" a warehouse in a past time. I didn't really walk around in the back, but there was a deck and "sitting area" to the right. Whenever I see a sitting area with multiple couches and a barbecue I automatically give a place 5 stars. On the left, there was a garage that was screen printing shirts and things. I wanted to go home and get my white v-neck screen printed, but I was just trying to arrive on time! Well, to be honest, I forgot all about the screen printing, so I'll just have to settle for my DIY stenciled shirts.

Call me what you want, but I brought my Mom with me, just like the last time I went to a concert. Well, I didn't take her with me, but she really wanted to go because she "really likes some of these bands". I didn't believe her at first, but after I played some of the music for her, she really wanted to go! I talked to her for a little bit and we did what we always do when we went to concerts, talk about people (in a nice way!)

"Hey, did you see all of those bikes?"
"Yes. I feel like it wouldn't be safe to ride a bike at night in mostly black"
"That is true. What if they get hit by a bus?"

After that, I was approached by someone in a sailor hat. The conversation went roughly like this:

"Hey, do I know you?"
"You might"
At this point, We exchanged names, and handshakes (yeah, I had a weak handshake, that was on me. Sorry)
"Is this your Mom! Hi Mom!"
"Are you here to blog about the festival?"
"Yes and no. I'm going on "vacation" tomorrow, and I can't go to the other venues because I'll be at "nerd camp" (yes, I used the air quotes) "But you know what? I'll blog about today"
"Oh Really! That's Great! So you can't leave your camp?"
"Nope, I could try to escape, but I don't think that I can."
"Oh no! But enjoy your time here!"
"Ok, this should be easy!"

Seriously, I didn't want to sound like a smart ass, but that is what happens when I'm tired and around hipsters. No, the person in the Sailor hat was not a hipster (or at least not to my knowledge) but when you have a non hipster in an enviorment with hipsters, you have to have a keen eye to see what people are worth talking to. So if you are reading this "Sailor Hat" I just want to say sorry for the bad handshake and the vagueness, I was tired. I didn't bring my Monster with me and I really needed that. So if you ever run into me again, talk to me! I'm pretty nice, and not "groggy" all of the time. Trust me.

Not too long after they left, the DJ cut off the song that was playing, and then Sailor Hat (the MC) instructed us to "Circle up" near the stage. We assembled in a circle, but that wasn't good enough.
"No Closer! You want to be as close as possible to this!" so we reluctantly got closer to each other and then, we had to hold hands to let the positive energy flow. After holding hands with some tall guy, we were instructed to sit down, and then the first act arrived.

"Guy's this is really special to me! My friend is going to open the Festival for us!".

I honestly thought that Bast was going to be a band, but nope, I was wrong. Bast was...let me think here... an intertitive dancer? (yes, that fits). I really don't know how or what to describe Bast as, but I liked it. It wasn't intertive dance, it wasn't belly dancing, it wasn't modern dance, it wasn't anything I've seen before.

One moment, she had scarves. The next moment, she had rose petals and she was tossing them around in the air. After that she was on the ground having a "moment" with Sailor Hat(Not that kind of moment gosh!), but it was a special moment. Then after that she got back up and started to look at me! Ok, I was already tired, but after that "eye contact" I wasn't tired anymore. I don't know if it was juts me paying attention, or if I received energy, but it sure was exciting to watch. The "set" ended with a bunch of rose pedals being thrown about in the air and then to be left on the floor. When everyone got up, I took one of the rose petals and put it in my pocket so I could take a picture of it later.

Then after everyone went back outside, I started to look around to see if I could find anything cool. I didn't really find anything cool to look at or anyone to talk to, but I didn't find anything interesting this time around. I guess people were still arriving. Anyway, the next band showed up not too long after I got bored, so I started to watch them set up.

Kirtan Choir
So I'm sitting down directly in front of the microphone. I see one Cello, and then a bass violin. "Ok" I thought, "so this is going to be one of those acoustic boring sets." but I kept looking because I was bored and then what do you know, I see a boss double loop station (RC-30), A Boss Digital Delay, and some vox foot pedal

Then I knew that this wasn't a typical Cello Bass violin duo. I started to get excited! Then I realized, "How are they going to use effect pedals on a violin?" I looked back up, and what do you know, they are putting a instrument cable right into the tailpiece! I guess it had a pick up. I've never seen something like that before, so I was really bewildered.

Not too long after that, they started playing. I really didn't expect their sound. It honestly sounded like "acoustic shoegaze". It had all of the regular elements of shoegaze, it was light, but not "heavy" in sound, the loop effects created a great atmosphere. 10 minutes in I started to really get into the music. I would have been dancing around by then, but there were too many people in my way. Because I couldnt' dance around, I had to look at the video playing in the background.

"Wait a minute, is that the animated Masters of the Universe Movie? Oh this is AWESOME!"

Trust me, that movie wasn't normal. The colors kept on changing, and the screen kept on flipping around and I don't even know what was up. All I knew what that some dragons were talking, and the screen had some kaleidoscope effect on it. I loved it, but I quit looking at the screen and shifted my attention back to the music.

By then, a new song started. The bassist took the bow and slowly dragged it across the bottom part of this xylophone. It made a high pitched whistle noise, and I thought: "What are they going to do next? Is it going to be awesome?". And then the Bassist broke out a E-bow!

"Holy Cow! They are using an E-bow on the Upright Bass? Now this is something I've never seen before!"

Then I shifted my gaze on to the Cello. They were laying down some pretty good loops! I couldn't really see the other pedal, but I do know that it was a foot pedal; if I had to guess what it was I'd probably say that it was distortion pedal.

Something caught my eye after I finished looking at the Distortion pedal:

"Ok wait, first it was the xylophone, then it was the e-bow, now the Bassist brought out a Harmonica!"

I tried putting all of the elements in my head, but I stopped. Strangely, I thought that it was better not to put words to the music because if I did, the music itself would be ruined (do you get it? Am I being too complex and detailed?). Because of this, I highly entourage you to visit their website, and listen to some of their tracks for yourself.

By then we had another break, and the DJ started playing House music. I finally found one of my friends and they asked me:

"I came kind of late, so I seen the last part of the last band. What was the first act like?"
"Um...It was...Well...Someone was Dancing, and there were rose petals all over the place. I don't know what the heck it was."
"I'll take your word for it. That is what my other Friend said too! Hey, do you know about the next band?"
"Dangerous Nonsense? Yeah, I seen them about a year ago. I have their demo. I think they describe their sound as Art Metal."
"Cool! I can't wait to see them!"

Dangerous Nonsense
I seen them live once before. I was mind blown. I heard their demo and I was mind blown. I knew that this set was going to be great, and I would be mind blown again. But something was different this time, they sounded better! A lot better.

They had a lot of equipment to set up, so I found my Mom and I talked to her for a little.
"Are you ready for Dangerous Nonsense?"
"Yes! I can't wait! I liked the demo when you played it."

Yes, I was surprised, but at the same time, I was excited! I knew that this set was going to be good, so I turned my observation skills on, and started to observe.

By then, the band was still setting up. I thought that it was ok though because it show that they came here to play! The first thing that caught my eye was the drum set. It wasn't your standard 5 piece drum kit. If I had to guess, I'd say that was about 15 ~ 20 pieces. Being a former drummer, I must say that you don't have a large kit because it looks cool, you have a large kit if you really want to make a statement. Trust me, Dangerous Nonsense did indeed make a statement that night.

I then shifted my attention to the bassist, particularly, the pedal board. I seen about 5 pedals; again, if I had to guess I would say that I've seen a distortion pedal, 2 Reverb, a wa-wa pedal and probably a flanger (I honestly don't know what the last one was).

After looking around I took a quick stretch break to make sure that my neck didn't break when I was headbanging, and I did some stretches so I wouldn't tear or pull anything wile pogoing. While I was doing this, I heard the sound check going on. This wasn't even a normal sound check. I guess they got the memo "Check 1,2 Check 1,2" gets annoying after a while. So why not start a mic check by singing the first couple of verses of this song? That right there was a win on the bands behalf. This is just another reason why I love this band.

Right after the mic check was over, the music started with a bang. A literal bang. They came out of the gate running and they didn't stop. I was happy that I had at my place at the front because I really got into the band quickly. I started to pogo during the first song because no one was around me, but right when the first song was over, I looked over my shoulder to find the entire area packed. Although I had to head bang, the music just kept getting better! Everything was highly energetic, and fun to watch. And everyone else agreed with me. After the set was over, I seen the friend I was talking to earlier.

"What did you think?"
"Holy Cow! That was great! I wasn't expecting that! You were right! It was so great! Do they have an album?"
"Not yet, I think that they are recording one."
"Well, I can't wait to get it when it comes out!"

If I was running this concert, I would have closed with Dangerous Nonsense. It is highly energetic music, and it was just great! What else can I say? If you want to check out their music, look at their myspace page (yeah, I know that myspace is dead and everything, but I like myspace for music,unsigned bands in particular.) Like them on Facebook too! (They want to be your friend! They are nice! Trust me!)

By then, the DJ started to play more music, and then everyone started to go outsde for a smoke break. I really wanted a Mountain Dew, I didn't know if they had them there, but I really wanted. One. So I walk to the back, where everyone is smoking and I tryed to find the Garage with the drinks. I honestly didn't stay out there long because it was second hand smoke paradise out there.

"Wait a minute, I know this smell, it isn't tobacco smoke... Its! Its!"

I couldn't finish my thought, I seen another person that I knew.

"Hey! How are you? Are you enjoying yourself?"
"Yeah! I am!"
"Do you know where the garage is? I need a soda"
"It should be right around the corner"

I was so close, but yet so far away I really needed a drink, but I almost knocked over some guys Corona Light, so I decided to walk out to my car and get a water. Before I went outside though I seen a box of Pizza. If you know me, you know that I love pizza. I live it, I breathe it, and I eat it. I'd probally end up with a tattoo of a pizza slice sooner or later. When I seen that pizza, I knew that I was blessed.

"Hey! Help yourself!"
"Is it free?"

Something was specal about that night. I don't always get free pizza that has a really great taste.

I got my water and came back in, but the band was still setting up, so I decided to dance around for a little. I didn't care if I could dance, all I cared about was killing my boredom.

After the drum set was changed the band started to warm up. Because I went outside to catch a breeze, I was really far back when the band started this time, it really didn't matter though because I just needed to hear the band, I could pogo and see everything else. (Why do I pogo? I bet you are asking yourself that. I pogo because I'm short! I can't be in the back of the audience of a concert! That is like suicide for me!)


This is the only band that I haven't heard of when I went to this concert. I really didn't know what to expect this time around. I had to look at the band for a moment and think about what they would play based off of their musical style.Or, I could have just looked on their website...

“Oh, they look like punks, this must be a punk band”

I was wrong. They weren't a punk band, but they weren't entirely a punk band. I'm going to say that it was more of a post punk revival band with elements of funk. No mater what you call it, it was fun to listen to. This is definably a band that you can dance (or in my case pogo) to because it has a good beat. I couldn't pogo though because I would have knocked over some guys beer and I didn’t want to pay for a new one.

I should say that their bassist looks exactly like John Lydon...

Halfway through Tine's set, I started to feel kind of happy. But at the same time time started to slow down. Like really slow down. I had bought a new watch that day, and I kept looking at it, but no, time wasn't changing. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks:

“Oh no! I'm getting a contact high! I'm enjoying it!”

I thought that my friends just made up the term “Contact” high, but nope, I'm pretty sure that they were right. I'm pretty sure that someone there had a medical card because that stuff was pretty intense. (FYI, Marijuana is legal here in Colorado if you have a doctors recommendation and pass a background check. You have to be medically sick to get one of those cards. But you know...not EVERYONE is sick when they have those cards...)
But the set was over for good and then I went back to sitting down on this ottoman thing. I started to look at the lights that were by the stage and then I started to zone out (not on my own will though). I was broken out of my trance by another one of my friends:

“Hey are you all right? You look kind of tired”
“Yeah, I'm good, I just really need a Monster or something because I can't stay awake”
“I'm sure you can stay awake. Are you leaving anytime soon?”
“Nope. I should be able to stay up for a while”
“Good! You want to stick around!”

More sitting and waiting, and then I seen the next band set up. I knew that I had to go to the stage then.

Sin Desires Marie
When I was looking at the line up last week, something rang like alarm bells in my head.

“Wait a minute, a Sin Desires Marie show? I thought they stopped playing a while ago? Is this like their last show ever? I should listen to their songs on myspace"

Ok, if you clicked the link that I told you to click earlier, you would realize that Claudine Rousseau (The Guitarist) has a new band called Voladores. I said, that they are a “good band, but they need to work on some things” I feel like they read that. I don't know if they did or not, but I feel like something got these 3 back together to play Titwrench. It was a really great set. And it was truly one of a kind too.

I came into this set tired, but I left this set awake and sad (I'll explain why). But the MC used an analogy that went something like this:

“Once upon a time, there was a boat full of sailors (points at hat). They were sailing around the road until their boat sank. The sailors were about to be killed by a giant squid, but 3 mermaids came with musical instruments and and saved the sailors! These are the mermaids!”

Yes, that analogy was all over the place (I had to clean it up a little bit so you could understand it) but I felt like it was fitting in a way, although I had no idea why or how it applied to anything, but Sin Desires Marie started playing after that.

The set started off slow (trust me) but after a while, I started to pogo, and then then I migrated to some headbanging. I guess other people started to pick up on my vibes because the people around me started to head bang! I guess we could agree that this band was pretty great. They were all very exciting to watch because they had so much energy! I don't know how they had that much energy because it was getting kind of late (it was around 11 then) but you couldn't tell. I want to describe their sound as post-hardcore, like the good post hardcore, not that bad post-hardcore that we have now. Let me just say this, you can get mad at me all you want to, but they kind of sounded like Sleater-Kinney, just a little, you probably agree with me.

When the third song started, I looked behind me and I seen that the place was entirely full. I started to get excited because they wanted to experience something really great. And everyone there did enjoy the set, but I knew something that some people knew, but the band just told us anyway:

“This is our last show Ever. Thanks for coming”

I knew that already, but it struck a nerve inside of me. I knew that things were over, but I didn't want things to end. It is like a relationship that ends on both peoples terms (sorry, I can't explain it in a better way!) but I know for a fact that each of the members are involved n other projects and I'm sure we can expect a lot more from these members.

Right when the set was over, the band finds some guy not too far from me in the front row:

“Hey! You were at our first show! And you are wearing one of our first shirts! How cool is that?”

Their set ended at midnight, and while they were playing their last song I started to cry (just a little) but I suddenly stopped and thought

“There is no crying in Punk! I need to stop” (fine, there might be some crying, but I sure wasn't doing it that night).

Most people left after their set, but some people sicked around for a while. Once again, I seen my friend from earlier and we talked for a little while.

“Did you like it or did you like it?”
“I didn't like it I loved it!”
“That is good to hear!”
“The sad thing is that I have to go”
“Oh, Ok. See you around”

At this point I was prepared to leave because I really started to get tired, but something told me to stay. I started to walk around for a while, but I couldn't find anything interesting. I was surprised because it was midnight outside and it was still 85 degrees. I had to make the decision and go back inside because it was cooler in there (isn't that ironic?)

I sat down again, and I encountered my friend who broke me out of my trance.
“You're still here! Yes!”
“Yep, I'm exhausted, but I'll stay around for one more set.”

Something told me to stay, and I'm glad that I did!

I seen people setting up. But this wasn't going to be a normal set.

First of all, I see 2 guys in dresses, and another guy in a mu-mu. I'm all for artistic expression and everything, but this really caught my eye. When do you see guys in dresses? Secondly, I see some circuit bent goodies being set up into this mini mixing board. I see something that looks like a speak and spell, a kiddie phone, and some kind of cat doll with knobs in it. You don't see this every day, and I don't even know what they were going to do with it. Third, I see two people moving this old beat up organ. “You have to be kidding me what are they going to do with this?” Fourth, I'm pretty sure that the guest guitarist is Lust Cats of the Gutters (I have several of their band pins on my awesomesause jacket). Heck, I knew that this set wasn't going to be normal, but I knew that I would enjoy it.

Sara Centuries Bitch Circus.

I was still spacing out and then I hear:

“Hey want a pop sickle?"
“Oh sure! Thanks”

I struggled to open that thing. I tried biting it open. I tried ripping it open. I even put one under my arm and tried to tear the opening off. Somehow, I opened it right when the set started.

“Yes! Time to enjoy this cold, half melted delight!”

But then right when I started to eat my pop sickle...

“Hey! See this kid right here (points) this kid is awesome and I'm dedicating my set to you!”

Right at that second I thought “Holy Shitake mushrooms! No effiing way!”

I probably looked kind of stupid just standing there with a bright blue pop sickle, but I had to say something.

“Hi! Like she said, I play guitar. I'm happy to be here!”

Man I sounded stupid.

Anyway, the set started.

SC/BC (I'm using this acronym because I'm getting lazy and tired, I've been typing this for 3 hours straight) might possibly be the best band name ever. Is it ironic? Is it supposed to be ironic? I don't know. Whatever it may be, It is amazing.

I was looking at the set list for a while while the first song was playing. I didn't have my glasses with me, so I couldn't see the name of the songs, or how many there were, but that really didn't matter in the long run.

Right after the slow acoustic first song was over, things picked up in the second one. I only remember this song because Sara's guitar strap failed. I was right there when it happened, and I tried not to laugh. But when I started to laugh my pop sickle broke. I guess that is karma for you.

SC/BC isn't quite acoustic rock, it isn't quite post punk, it isn't “pure” noise rock, it isn't no-wave. I guess I'm going to call this “no gaze”; its a nice mix of shoegaze noise and circuit bent goodness. I enjoyed it. Very nice!

I looked at my watch, and it was 15 past one in the morning. I found the closest person I knew and told them that I have to leave.

“Don't leave! We got one more band!”
“I know, I really want to stay, but I have to get 3 hours of sleep.”
“Oh well, you can leave then. See you around!”

Bury My Bones
Because I had to leave, I can't really say anything about Bury My Bones live preform ace, but I can' tell you that it is guitar based rock music, it is almost borderline dream pop. Go listen to their song on their myspace page.

And that is the end of my review! If you read the whole thing, then you are just totally rad. If you didn't read the whole thing, then I understand your pain and fear of words. All of my concert reviews are long because I pay attention to detail. But trust me, I'm not going to hate you if you didn't read it.

If you were at Titwrench and you want to talk about the festival, fell free to leave a comment here! I think that this is a good time to connect and talk about the festival as a whole. especially for me because I missed 2 days of awesome music.

One last thing, if your band needs a guitarist, fill in or whatever it may be, just let me know by sending me an email. Although I run a bunch of clubs (debate captain!!!) I should be available, but just don't let me know on short notice.

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