The gist on Clyfford Still, one of the most celebrated Abstract Expressionist artists in American history, is that for over three decades, nearly his entire body of work has been sealed away somewhere far from public and scholarly view. Part of the agreement stipulated in his will was that none of his individual works were to be sold posthumously. The sale of individual Still pieces was rare even during his lifetime, making his work extremely hard to find, but his entire estate was instructed to be given to whichever American city creates a permanent home for the entire opus.
Jump to November 18th, the opening night of Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum, where 2,400 works entered into public viewing for the first time since Still’s death in 1980. Exhibits are arranged by states in which Still spent parts of his life painting, with really cute models (though they claimed to be volunteers) in ’50s airline stewardess costumes posted at the entrance to each new state.
The event was incredibly beautiful and incredibly exclusive, but TVD made it inside for Denver hometown heroes DeVotchKa, performing for that evening’s entertainment. Recently featured at the top of our Colorado’s Top 5 Bands, Devotchka is a gypsy punk pastiche of Spanish, Latin American, and Eastern European world music build atop modern rock arrangements, Grammy-nominated for the amazing soundtrack to Little Miss Sunshine and with a new album 100 Lovers in stores everywhere as of this year.
Robed figures emerge from white light, her backing band like golems at her bidding fill the several levels of the stage. One figure in the center seems to move differently from the rest until, as she begins dancing forward, the crowd realizes it is Lykke Li and erupts into applause.
Aesthetically, everyone’s saying her new aesthetic was black magic at least a year before we decided dressing like a witch would be the next big thing. The best way to describe Friday night at The Ogden is that Lykke Li conjured her crowd into a frenzy. Even in the balconies there were crowds ten deep dancing wildly out of control.
The Walnut Room’s behind-closed-doors, back-room venue exudes the air of delicious exclusivity. At first I thought I had the wrong place last Saturday; the small laid-back pizza parlor seemed like a foreign and gauche environment for a live show.
I quickly tried locating the stage before my confusion became blatant to the boozing patrons, when someone asked me if I was there to see Orbit Service. I was then led to the very back; a door was opened then shut, incasing me in a shadowed, intimate arena. Facing the stage, which was now hard to miss, I exhaled in relief and allowed myself to relax into the ambience.
Orbit Service siphons its psychedelic space sound from a masterly reserve of talent. The members are Randall Frazier, Kim G. Hansen (Antenne), Dennis Swanson (Dissolved Day Dream), and Kirill Nikolai (Still Light). This is their first new album in five years, and it is not messing around. Featuring guest performances by Edward Ka-Spel (Legendary Pink Dots), Anna Bronsted (Our Broken Garden), Elin Palmer (Violin), and Esther Hernandez (Pee Pee), Orbit Service has raised the bar to a cosmic level with A Calm Note From the West.
Raging from Oakland, California,Wallpaper. will teach you how to throw a party. They’ve got the party anthem beats down and when it’s time to get white boy wasted, they’ll set you in the perfect mood.
Wallpaper. consists of a foursome led by the cheeky Ricky Reed, two explosive drummers, and the funky, yet gorgegous Novena Carmel. Their latest club hopper, #STUPiDFACEDD, remains a dominant force that bends your ears in multiple musical genre directions. In a good way.
Well, you made it through the week, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than shaking your booty to great music in Denver. To aid in your mission to get loose and to sooth your weekend show cravings, here is a quick list of what is going down. Happy Friday!
When I first got into Eisley I could still sing the high parts on “Invasion” from their Combinations album. That made it all the more charming to sit down in the tour bus with the familial five-piece a couple years and a bit of puberty later at the outset of their ValleyScapes tour.
Kicking off the tour at The Black Sheep in Colorado Springs, I got to see the newest incarnation of Eisley and the darker more visceral sound of The Valley album released this year. Moving the tour to The Marquis Theater in Denver the next day, I was invited aboard the big blue bus to ask the band the questions everybody really wants answered, like what color lightsaber would you have, and what’s your natural hair color? The answer is blond, for every one of them.
These kids were crazy fun, and the espoused Darren King of MUTEMATH, new hubby to Eisley’s Stacy Dupree, was there on the bus to be a welcome obstruction. They promised to be back in CO again, so look out for more to come from Eisley in the future.
Colorado and I are finally on the same wavelength. At least when it comes to music. Specifically, bringing in the music of Frank Hoier and Moselle Spiller of Boom Chick.
Fresh-faced old souls Frank Hoier (Guitar/ Vocals) and Moselle Spiller (Drums) bring a contemporary elegance to their early American-rock inspired sound. The duo is giving a complimentary touch to the Colorado music scene this weekend in one extremely stylish and talented package.