Best Bands at UMS, Day Two, by the Hour

Best Bands at UMS, Day Two, by the Hour

July 28, 2017 Off By Billy Thieme

The Underground Music Showcase is SEVENTEEN, and showing some adulthood. So many bands – it seems there are more every year – and so many venues. How’s a hipster supposed to know where to go, or what to see?

Something like 400 bands, across a bajillion stages on South Broadway. Tough choice, for sure! But – as we always have -we’re compiling listings of bands that DenverThread recommends, by the hour, to help make grounded, strong decisions that’ll enhance the experience. Just check DenverThread.com before too late for quick descriptions of the bands we think are the best bets, every hour of the day.

Here’s the list for Day 2: Friday, July 28, 2017

 

8:00 p.m. 

Champagne Charlie

3 Kings Tavern

This hometown roots/folk band is sick with Tom Waits, but lunges into a quick, jazzy psychedelic, almost stoney vibe in the midst of  many songs. The trombone may be the highlight of your night. Have a taste to the right.

Teacup Gorilla

Illegal Pete’s – Inside

Guitar-driven dark pop oozes from this four-piece, channeling equal parts Pixies, Joy Division, and Minutemen. There may be a little taste of Violent Femmes in there as well, just for safe measure. Maybe they seem a little all over the place – but the bands they’re all over are great ones, at least. Their debut album “The Holes They Leave “ is a worthy challenge. We’re loving “Just Like That” a lot today. Check it out to the right.

9:00 p.m. 

Gasoline Lollipops

Hi-Dive

A little bit country, a little bit punk, a little bit AC/DC, and a sweet, nostalgic whiskey-trickle of Denver BumCore! heroes Slakjaw, the Lollipops make a mix that sets the stage for the square-dancingest mosh pit in history. Imagine skanking to the commands of the barker in the Hi-Dive – how could you miss it? Our favorite from the debut ep “Dawn” is “White Trash.” Check it out just to the right.

The Milk Blossoms

Gary Lees Motor Club and Grub

This experimental 3-piece leads you down a luxurious rabbit hole directly into David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” Experimenting with soulful vocals, beatboxing, ukelele and dark, sinister and sad melodies, they first recall CocoRosie, but The Milk Blossoms seem to feel the funk and despair just a little more. They’re definitely one of Denver’s finest experimental bands – “Worrier” is a challenging, beautiful album – and we’re in love with the ultra-dark and haunting “Ghost No More.” You can get haunted by it, too, just over there, to the right.

10:00 p.m. 

Soft Skulls

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Imagine Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in an orgiastic, sweaty pile on the floor with Ty Segall. Brian Jonestown Massacre playing Strokes and Jesus & Mary Chain covers on a flatbed truck, speeding through a mountain pass and loud enough to hear for miles. That’s Soft Skulls, the latest local super group led by Jim McTurnan, longtime Denver scene heavy. Check out “Trance,” from their debut, right over there —>.

11:00 p.m. 

Beat Soft Pop

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Lyrically informed by poets like Allen Ginsberg and Jim Carroll, Beat Soft Pop recalls early CBGB’s punk rock in NYC. Musically, they recall Television, James Chance and the Contortions, a more melodic Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, and more from the Bowery scene of the ’70s – guitars, reverb, chorus pedals, drums; a little atonal, passionate, noisy, and exciting. “Northwest Girlfriend” tells the story pretty well. Check it out…..

Hotel Bar

The Hornet

Hotel Bar are not only a pretty raucous punk rock trio in the tradition of  bands like Descendents, Blink 182, Sum 41, or Alien Ant Farm – they’re also apparently beer slingers & bartenders around Denver. In other words, they’re all your best friends, making some exciting, melodic punk, just for you. Check out “Calm,” over to the right, and see if you disagree.

I know, right?

12:00 a.m. 

Bad Licks

Hi-Dive

I guess it seems pretty unfair that there’s only one band playing by midnight tonight. Too bad – life isn’t fair. At least there’s one band playing – why not focus on the positive? And Bad Licks isn’t just a band – they’re a great band. A Denver Super Group, featuring members of The Blue Rider, Rootbeer and Mermentau, and with drums being handled by local hero A. Tom Collins. They’re a psychotic, psychedelic soul band, straight out of the garage. Well, more accurately, straight out of the Hi-Dive Basement, where they recorded the “Demos,” to the right, straight to tape.

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  • Billy Thieme

    Aging punk rocker with a deep of all things musical and artistic, enough to remain constantly young and perpetually mystified. Billy has journalistic dreams, but of a decidedly pastoral, Scottish nature.