Brothers O'Hair at Larimer Lounge, 11/13/10
Brothers O'Hair. Photos by Kiernan Maletsky
With Weather Maps • The Fling
11.13.10 | Larimer Lounge
One year and two months since their first show together, Brothers O'Hair returned to the Larimer Lounge with their first recording in tow. And people noticed. You could not stand within thirty feet of the stage without being in physical contact with everyone around you. There were people standing on stools to get a better view of the stage. The front two or three rows were a mostly uninterrupted chorus of every word off Adam Anglin's lips.
The recording: A concept EP about joining the circus that is conspicuously self-titled. So they'll have to allow that it would be easy to see this as autobiographical to some degree. The parallels are not so hard to draw. Anglin came to Denver from Austin and restarted his music career here; the protagonist in the EP starts out by hitting the long and dusty trail.
From there, our hero spends a few tracks introspecting on his rise from shit scooper to high-wire daredevil. It's not a triumphant tale. From track two: "No one know/no one can see/the work I put in/is wearing me thin." And it doesn't get much better on the EP's final track, where his goals are reached. "And my time is now to climb again/I lost myself but I don't mind/I found it all while going blind/I sacrificed my life to this," amidst a chorus of alternating "No eyes are on me now" sung solo with "All eyes are on me now" sung en masse with the rest of the band.
This is dark stuff, and I don't mean to suggest it is literally how Anglin feels. He is mostly the opposite of this character, having followed his wife to Denver at the expense of his art. So think broad strokes here. Maybe it would help to know that they covered Tom Petty's "Into The Great Wide Open," another song with serious misgivings about what happens to artists who achieve their initial goals.
All this about Anglin, when we just learned in this week's feature how the other three members have exerted their influence on the band in the last year.
Indeed, the sound has changed dramatically from the days of "covering" Anglin's songs. The melodies and rhythms are more complex (courtesy of jazz-trained drummer Jon Aisner and metal-trained guitarist Andy Burrow), and the sound is fuller. Bassist Joe Mills has become the biggest part of Brothers O'Hair's stage show, taking banter duties more often than Anglin.