My D-fest Schedule:

Traffic/level of inebriation willing, this is what I’ll be tracking down this weekend at Denverfest.

Friday:
6 – Ryan Windham: I’m hoping it’s Barry Windham‘s son, but I’m probably wrong.
7 – Brainhammer: From the name, I’m expecting smooth jazz.
8 – Bailer: One of my favorite Denver bands, and one that’s jumped up a notch.
9 – Across Tundras: Sludge, grime, and red sunsets set to operatic doom.
10 – The Forecast/Autokinoton: Tough call. Something you’ve never seen vs. something you love?
11 – Kylesa: See Across Tundras–and rocket fuel.
12 – Red Sparrowes: See Across Tundras, add pretty pictures, Isis (it’s an Isis side project).

Saturday:
5 – Big Timber: Trevor from Bailer will be a busy man this weekend.
6 – El Minotaur: D&D Rock en Espanol?
7 – Low Oriole: Played with these guys not too long ago.
8 – New American Ramblers: Gonna get me some old time religion.
9 – Crestfallen: Heller’s band from back in the day. Denver emo-punk stalwarts.
10 – Planes Mistaken for Stars: FUCK YEAH. RIP.
11 – Christie Front Drive: Back from the dead for one night only.

Sunday:
6 – City of Ships: Just sounds pretty.
7 – Ghost Buffalo: Bros (and sister).
8 – Git Some: Apologies for playing favorites, but Denver’s best punk band right now.
9 – Red Cloud/Mustangs and Madras: Our erstwhile tourmates and brothers in arms.
10 – Golden City: From Brooklyn, with pieces of Christie Front Drive
11 – Think in French: So glad we’re getting to share this experience with them.
12 – TNA plays: One last time, with feeling.

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Your chances to not give a rat’s ass about this band are dwindling.

Denverfest lineup is OUT

DenverFest 3 LINE-UP

It would be ridiculous of me to try and point out all the “highlights” (personal and otherwise) to which I’m looking forward. This will be my first look at Smoke or Fire, The Forecast, and my first look in a while at several others. In the interest of festival spirit, I’ll be posting writeups of a few bands each day in the run-up to the three day festival, which takes place from August 31 to September 2 in the mile high city.

Across Tundras (Denver)
Arms for Hands (Wichita, KS)
Autokinoton (Denver)
Bad Weather California (Denver)
Bailer (Denver)
Battlefields (Fargo, ND)
Big Timber (Denver)
Bosnia (Denver)
Brainhammer (Denver)
Joseph Childress (San Francisco, CA)
Christie Front Drive (Denver)
City of Ships (Richmond, VA)
Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire (Denver)
Concrete Cleaner (Wichita, KS)
Crestfallen (Denver)
Dead Commuter (Wichita, KS)
Dead to Me (San Francisco, CA)
Dugout Canoe (Denver)
El Minotaur (Springfield, MO)
El Toro de la Muerte (Colorado Springs)
Empires (Minneapolis, MN)
The Empress (Wichita, KS)
Epileptinomicon (Denver)
Eyes and Ears (Denver)
Falcon Crest (Minneapolis, MN)
The Forecast (Peoria, IL)
Fucking Orange (Denver)
Ralph Gean (Denver)
Ghost Buffalo (Denver)
The Golden City (New York)
The Green Fuse (Denver)
Gryphyns (Galena, IL)
The Hope Symphony (Sacramento, CA)
Horace Van Vaughn (Denver)
The Ians (Denver)
Jah Tool (New York)
Jor Dan (Tulsa, OK)
Kingdom of Magic (Denver)
Kylesa (Savannah, GA)
La Columna Quebrada (Denver)
Lady Speech (Denver – spoken word)
Lethe (Lawrence, KS)
Lion Sized (Denver)
Los Dos and the New American Ramblers (Denver)
Lost Hands Found Fingers (Cincinnati, OH)
Low Oriole (Hutchinson, KS)
Machine Gun Blues (Denver)
Minsk (Denver)
Modernstate (Portland, OR)
motheater (Denver)
Mouth Movements (Knoxville, TN)
Mustangs & Madras (Denver)
New Dialect (Denver)
The New Rome (Denver)
No Plot Kill (Denver)
The North Atlantic (San Diego, CA)
Paradox (Denver)
Pictureplane. (Denver)
Planes Mistaken for Stars (Denver)
Red Cloud West (Denver)
Red Sparowes (Los Angeles, CA)
The Revenge (Phoenix, AZ)
Scorpion Child (Austin, TX)
Samothrace (Lawrence, KS)
Sherpas Ruse (Iowa City, IA)
The Short Histories of Powerful Nations (Springfield, MO)
Smoke or Fire (Boston, MA)
Spirit of the Stairs (Wichita, KS)
Stereotyperider (Phoenix, AZ)
Tarmints (Denver)
Think in French (Reno, NV)
The Valley Arena (Long Beach, CA)
Viper : Viper (Denver)
The Volts (Denver)
Weather is Happening (Wichita, KS)
Whiskey Kiss (Denver)
Ryan Windham (Wichita, KS)
You’ll Be A Torso (Wichita, KS)

Denverfest lineup out TOMORROW…

…but that’s no reason I can’t engage in some speculation right now.

Let’s start with the obvious:
Christie Front Drive
Golden City
The North Atlantic

I know those guys are playing.

Let’s move to pure speculation, based on things I’ve heard, things people have said, things I may or may not have made up:
Mastodon
Cursive
Avail
The Autokinoton
Red Cloud West
Ghost Buffalo
Bailer
Mustangs and Madras
Across Tundras
Git Some
Planes Mistaken for Stars (one of their last shows)
Hawks and Doves
Think in French
Crestfallen (reunion show?)
Munly and the Harlots
Machine Gun Blues
These Arms are Snakes
High on Fire
Kylesa
Glass and Ashes

The North Atlantic: drummer leaving the band (you heard it here first)

The July 27th show, at Black Box Studios in San Diego, will be my last hometown show with The North Atlantic. Our performance at Denverfest, over Labor Day weekend, will be my last show with the band, period. I’m closing in on a finished dissertation and will be setting my sights on contributing to the world through scholarship, journalism, and playing music in and around my hometown (San Diego for the present). I’d like to invite all our friends and fans in San Diego to join us on the 27th, and help us welcome our good friends Ghost Buffalo to town.

It’s fitting that my last shows will be at Black Box (in SD) and Denver, as that venue and that city really affirm my faith in the power of music to be the foundation for a community based on mutual respect and admiration. This year’s Denverfest will, I’m sure, wind up being one of my fondest memories.

Since getting started eight long years ago, Jason, Jason and I have worked to write inspired music, share it with our friends and fans and form lasting fellowship with other musicians around the country. In my opinion, we’ve been very successful at all three. I love the two of them more than I could ever adequately describe, and I wish the two of them success, courage and brilliance in all their future musical endeavors. Whatever becomes of The North Atlantic in the future, you can be sure I will be their number one fan.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of the people who have sustained our musical pursuits, in ways large and small. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Oh, and touring bands, don’t worry: my living room is still in the game!

Love,
Cullen

Lock up your daughters (and sons): Ghost Buffalo is on their way…

Ghost Buffalo is coming back to San Diego for an August 2 show at the Zombie Lounge. Their last show in San Diego was at the Rosary Room with Jason Hendrix (solo, semi-acoustic) and Red Cloud West, and it was a barnburner. Like Red Cloud West, the most obvious touchstones for Ghost Buffalo’s music are Southern California country-tinged acts like the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Also like Red Cloud West, the story is complicated by their absorption of darker influences, ranging from Nick Cave to neo-noir rockers like the Afghan Whigs and Souxsie and the Banshees. The product is a surprisingly catchy, almost radio-friendly take on country rock.

Ghost Buffalo’s music is the guided by the married songwriting team of Marie Litton and Matt Bellinger. Marie’s voice is soaring and tender at the same time, a beautiful instrument that’s oddly juxtaposed against her tiny frame. Matt played guitar in Planes Mistaken for Stars (up to and including 2005’s Up in them Guts), and his playing in Ghost Buffalo continues to demonstrate his facility for blending conventional guitar-god influences with decidedly left-center, hardcore-inspired flourishes. You’ve got to love someone who plays solos that are equal parts Joe Walsh and Ian Mackaye. They’re also Denverfest veterans, which virtually assures that they’re great folks to watch and get to know.

Thanks to local indie-electro rockers Qu’est-ce Que C’est and Another Zeke Productions for making the show happen. It’ll be at the Zombie Lounge on August 2. I’m excited. If you give their songs a chance, my guess is that you will be, too.