Review: The Don'ts and Be Carefuls at Hi-Dive, 9/9/11

Categories: Concert Reviews

Tom Murphy
The Don'ts and Be Carefuls

The Don'ts and Be Carefuls did something at this "Triple EP Release" show that you just knew the band had in it but you might not expect to see: they fused the exuberance and innocence of its original sound with more reflective, melancholy lyrics snd music that could paradoxically embody, encompass and express both. Joined on stage for a handful of songs by Ian Gassman of Spires on acoustic and later electric guitar, The Dont's ran through its own new EP with an abandon that suited the raw emotionalism running through the songwriting.

Tom Murphy
The surfy, garage rock that was one part of Sauna's sound seems to have mutated into different territory for this show. Or at the very least the band used different arrangements and its newer material showed a lot of growth. But even older songs like "Croctopus" seemed more like an eccentric pop song the likes of which The B-52s would have performed at a house show in front of a friendly audience and it could cut loose with being silly in a really inspired way. The new-ish song where Molly Bartlett and Sammi Davis share vocal duties and, occasionally coming together ("Hey Gurl Hey"?) let everyone in the band shine. Finishing strongly with "Buddy Holly Was a White Bitch," and CJ Mcleod dropping his guitar after lifting the strap off his shoulders, Sauna put in one of its most engaging shows by not just playing incredibly catchy tunes but giving its songs a bit of an edge.

Tom Murphy
B. Sue
Before B. Sue played its set proper, Brandi Shigley, wearing a marching band hat with a large, red "B" on the front, told us that she wanted to make sure everything was in key. She then blew on a small harmonica and hit a handful of seemingly random notes. Seemed funny to some of us. Without missing a beat, the band went into a song whose progression sounded a lot like "Ceremony" as done by New Order, slowed down with a few notes left out of the bass line and played on guitar.

Still, it worked and with songs like "Cuteness Overload" and "En Jardin," the band was reminiscent of an updated version of a girl group from the Brill Building in the early '60s with better percussion and guitar work. Especially with Rick Tebelau (looked like Rick Benjamin formerly of The Czars and Perry Weissman 3) on trombone and Amy Rosenberg on violin. Shigley had a disarmingly effective stage presence that was kind of nerdy and upbeat in a way that was charming rather than quaint. The set ended with one of the group's best songs, "Spontaneous."

Tom Murphy
You knew Spires was going to take the volume up a notch when it was setting up on stage and both Justin Sharp and Ian Gassman angled their respective amps back forty five degrees so they would cast forth the sound a little better in that room. Shrouded in fog, Spires started out with what sounded like an Americana song if The Smiths wrote one or if one of the better C86 bands had done so. Jake Lueck and Marlon Chance created such a powerful, steady and assured yet varied rhythm it allowed Sharp and Gassman to float over the music with gorgeous melodies and textures that were at times soothing, at times heart stirring. That music got under your skin.

Location Info



7 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Music

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I couldn't agree more, especially in regard to Spires. Great piece, Tom!

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