A recap of last weekend’s Pearl Street Allstars show at the Boulder Theater
Mike Gordon Band @ Fox Theatre, November 13
There were lots of cold fingers in the air on Saturday as the first truly cold day of the year hit Boulder, the same day Mike Gordon brought his tour in support of Moss to the famously sunny and dry state of Colorado (ironically, moss usually grows best in shady, damp areas). Coloradans are pretty relaxed and don’t worry too much about being late to a show, but there was a line down the street before the doors opened for this one, and the floor was packed with crunchy, bearded people wearing beanie caps well before 9PM.
Fittingly, Cactus opened the first set with Can’t Stand Still, the catchy first track on the new album. Mike breathed a sigh of relief after this one, commenting on his love for The Fox Theater, and perhaps Boulder in general, as he gave us his first installment of what would be the theme for the night. “I’ve got one hand in my pocket, and the other one up for a high five.”
From there, it was the Party Time track Only A Dream, and the Bill Monroe/Peter Rowan tune Walls of Time, and Mike walked that bass line like a dog while guitarist Scott Murawski tinkered around on some country licks. Tom Cleary’s tune I Sure Miss My Mind jumped right on that energy. The hammy lyrics were, if nothing else, enjoyable, and the back and forth soloing between Cleary on the keys and Murawski’s guitar paved the way for the intricacies of Andelman’s Yard. Another round of high fives was passed, and then came Down To The Nightclub, on which Cleary again took the spotlight – removing his shoe and using it to replace his left hand. Murawski took lead vocals on Emotional Railroad, the Max Creek original, whose drawn out jam segued into Traveled Too Far.
READ ON for more thoughts on the MGB at the Fox…
Disco Biscuits – Bisco Inferno Weekend, May 27 – 30
Words: Alexander Wolff
Images: Jason Woodside
Colorado is a funny place for music these days. This beautiful area has been taking the rest of the country’s bands and turning The Centennial State into their biggest market. The Disco Biscuits appear to be to be the latest victim of what is surely one of the more pleasurable trends of the last few years to develop in this scene. Late May’s Bisco Inferno Weekend would indeed make this point clear to all of those in attendance. While many were nervous about Jon “The Barber” Gutwillig’s guitar playing, as he has been absent from live performance for some time due to a fractured wrist, by the end of the weekend it was as though he’d never broken the damned thing.
With little warning, a fair number of would-be attendees for Thursday’s show at the Boulder Theater found themselves observing a strange phenomenon: Marc Brownstein, responsible for the low end rumble of The Disco Biscuits’ electric pulse, announced to the world via Twitter that the band would play an acoustic set at the Pearl St. Mall, across the way from the theater. Several hundred gathered to watch: I say watch because very few were able to hear the performance, with the exception of a few lucky photographers and the rest of us who could hear Allen Aucoin’s dynamic dance drum beat. Jon “The Barber” Gutwillig’s voice could certainly be heard, but his guitar as well as Brownstein’s bass were both drowned out by the conversations of the crowd. Alas, fun was had by all. The best part for those in attendance seemed to be that the Biscuits themselves were having a ball.
Boulder Theater proved to be the weakest of the three Bisco shows this weekend, but it wasn’t without its moments. The first set was relatively uneventful, with Rivers seeing the first exploration of the night; a short, rocking jam that never got going quite as well as it could have. The Story Of The World segment would have been far more interesting if Aceetobee didn’t have the wet blanket of a Boom Shanker dropped in the middle. The second set was a big improvement, with great improvisations showing up in both Save The Robots and Digital Buddha, and Lunar Pursuit was well placed in the Buddha sandwich. The Spy encore got the crowd going, and was a good choice, displaying several angles of the Biscuits’ sound before wrapping up a night that could have been a better showing.
READ ON for more on Bisco Inferno Weekend in Colorado…