Tip sheet: Meet (the new and improved) Air Dubai

Categories: Tip Sheet

Wowzers! Air Dubai, which began life as a hip-hop duo, has made an absolutely stunning transformation. To our ears, the act already showed tons of potential right out of the gate with the release of its debut long player, last year's The Early October. But from the sounds of the outfit's latest tune, "I Know How," recorded at Coupe Studios with studio time the group earned through a recent CU battle of the bands contest it won, Air Dubai, now a full-fledged seven-member band (yes, we know only five are pictured), has notably kicked it up a couple more notches. Recalling the classic soul flavor and musicality of cuts like "Break You Off" by the Roots, the first new studio track Dubai has shared, is instantly entrancing and offers a promising glimpse of what's to come from this band, which is clearly more than your typical cookie-cutter rap-rock hybrid. At least that's the impression we're convinced that you'll be left with after listening to "I Know How," which has been on repeat all morning over here. Air Dubai is currently in the studio working on its next album, due out next Spring. Check out Air Dubai's studio vlogs after the jump.

<a href="http://airdubai.bandcamp.com/album/i-know-how-single">I Know How by Air Dubai</a>

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Surround yourself with the Normal Ones

Categories: Tip Sheet

​If you don't already have plans for Friday -- or if those plans were to catch some of the last First Friday goodness of the year -- here's an intriguing option for you. The Normal Ones, an excellent act that combines elements of ambient, old-school IDM like Orbital, threads of industrial and the odd torch-song vocal are playing at Theory + Practice, 738 Santa Fe Drive. In addition to an unusual blend of influences in their music, the Ones also utilize a unique six-channel surround sound setup that literally encompasses you in the music.

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New I Am the Dot EP available

Categories: Tip Sheet

​It's turning out that Zach Tipton, the man behind the "apocalyptic pop" of I Am the Dot is not only crazy talented but somewhat prolific. His debut self-titled EP just came out November 4 and here, on the very first day of December, he's released another one. This new release is Rare Creatures, a theme EP about people who've had unusual experiences. We'll let Zach explain the concepts behind the songs:

"Double Vision" is about a Japanese man who was hit both atomic bombs at the end of WWII. After Hiroshima, he went to Nagasaki a few days later to see his family.

"Tunnel of Love" is inspired by a woman in the Middle East who fell in love with a man from another country. Before she was jailed for wanting to leave the country, she escaped by crawling through a twenty mile underground tunnel to reach safety and be with her soon-to-be husband.

"Struck" is partially born from the story of the Guinness World Record holder for the person who has been struck by lightning more than anyone (7). He was never seriously injured from the strikes, but he ended up committing suicide when a woman, thinking he was bad luck, refused to be with him.

The songs that result from those high concepts are all beautiful and haunting, especially "Tunnel of Love," which is the early standout. You can get the EP in a variety of high-quality formats for whatever you'd like to pay (minimum $1) at the EP's Bandcamp page. Technically, you can also download a lower quality version for free from the I Am the Dot MusicFloss site, but a bug prevented us from being able to do so when we tried. Besides, don't be cheap now -- not only is it the season of giving, but as Tipton says, "Remember: the more you donate, the more frequently I get to give away music!" I think we can all agree that's a good cause.

Introducing the lo-fi digital weirdness of Hideous Men

Categories: Tip Sheet

​Take two parts freak folk and one part New Wave, filter it through a dying Gameboy, then melt shards of sampled hip-hop into the mix and allow to congeal into something weird. That should give you some idea of what to expect with Hideous Men, one of the latest and most interesting bands to emerge from the Rhinoceropolis lo-fi experimental electronic scene. Sure, there are plenty of rough edges, but there's also plenty to like. The tunes are full of odd shifts and changes, treated vocals that rub against tinkling digital timbres, burbling washes of noise that chug in and out and hypnotically simple beats that drive the whole thing home.

Fans of the BDRMPPL, the weirder, more experimental side of bands like Enon and/or mixing their ADD medication with medical marijuana then staying up all night to play video games will all find something to like here. They've got four songs up on MySpace, one of which, "Dreamscene," you can download from the band's website. If you dig those, you'll be glad to hear they've just finished an album and all you have to do is hit up the men directly if you want a copy.

Introducing the complex, beautiful Brim Liski

Categories: Tip Sheet

Photo by Leah Maupin
Update 11/11/09: The full Brim Liski EP was released yesterday on Latenight Weeknight Records and is now available for download on iTunes for $5.99.

We've just learned of a promising new group based here in Denver (with a connection to the Netherlands too, apparently). It's something of a local eclectic supergroup, comprising two members of other well-known and excellent acts that work in diverse styles. Mysterious, too -- they aren't revealing their identities to the public just yet (although if you're really into the Denver music scene, and squint hard at that picture, I bet you can figure it out). They're calling it electrogaze dreamhop, and I guess that's a workable description. It definitely has roots in the shoegaze/dream pop of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive and a complex, rhythmic drive. Dense, gauzy and gorgeous, it's a great sound that showcases some solid songs. It's already gotten noticed too -- XLR8R featured the debut track "Fight" on its website as a download/stream, and had some nice things to say about it. You can grab it there, or jump over to the group's own website at brimliski.com and listen to a stream of the whole EP. [posted 10.08.09]


Brim Liski, XLR8R

Sneak a peek at Vitamin D's Hard Times

Categories: Tip Sheet

​Longtime Denver dance music stalwart Vitamin D has a new album coming February 24 and, from the sounds of the tracks he has posted on his MySpace, it should be a good one. He announced it back in July and today, he released this image of the album cover. Not sure if this is the final art or not, but as a fan and collector of vintage vinyl, I certainly hope it is. It fits the music within too, which clearly pulls samples and ambiance off an album or two with a cover just like this one. Plus, it got me to go and give a hard listen to what will be inside (which is great, by the way), and isn't that exactly what an album cover is supposed to do? Have a listen for yourself at Vitamin D's MySpace page.

Boulder electro-savants Savoy are giving it away

Categories: Freeloader

​Due to MSTRKRFT's last-minute Monolith no-show (the flu, I guess) I caught a set from Savoy, Boulder's answer to MSTRKRFT/Justice, after they were moved to the SoCo stage and I had a slot open up in my schedule. And I have to say I was well and pleasantly surprised -- after their extended, body-rocking set, I can't say I missed seeing MSTRKRFT at all. They more than filled that slot in my heart. And the hearts of the ton of other folks crowded around me asking, "Who is this?" while having their faces rocked off.

The threesome (two computer/mixer dudes, one drummer) announced that their EP was available for free and I grabbed it this morning. Guess what? It's pretty damn good! It lacks the gut-wrenching impact of their live set, but on the other hand it supplies some much-needed dynamics that weren't there in their performance -- live it was FULL ON pretty much constantly. As such, it's a solid intro to their work, as long as you know they are a good bit more intense on stage. Anyway, don't take my word for it -- go grab it yourself from the Savoy website. and add them as friends on MySpace so you'll get a bulletin about their upcoming October CD release party for the full album.

Tip Sheet: Arliss Nancy

Categories: Tip Sheet
Darren Mahuron

Speaking of Mile Hi-Fidelity, here's another show favorite. Those who tuned in more than once likely heard "Wrong or Right" by this band, which we spun quite a few times. If you're drawn to the raw, emotionally-charged song stylings of Lucero, then Fort Collins-based Arliss Nancy is going to strike an immediate chord. While various comparisons often get tossed off and attached to certain acts -- only to be parroted ad-nauseum by subsequent music scribes -- most generally fall short of describing a certain band's sound. This one, however, is unmistakable and dead-on. We'd be lying if we didn't acknowledge that the music of Lucero casts a giant shadow on the songs of Arliss Nancy, mostly due to frontman Cory Call's tattered bellow, which instantly recalls that of Ben Nichols.

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Does Denver have a burgeoning urban/top 40 sensation on its hands?

Categories: Tip Sheet
Hunter Brown's boy band-worthy visage earned him the nickname "Baby Beckham" from a Jive Records exec.
Yes. It appears so. Meet Hunter Brown, an eighteen-year-old artist from Denver, who's already amassed an impressive pedigree. Over the past three years, Brown has worked Dr. Dre associate Kirv (aka Kevin Irving) and collaborated with fellow Denverite, Frank E of the aptly dubbed Red Hot Beats productions  -- yet another local artist made good, who's produced tracks for Flo-Rida and Plies -- and Fingazz, a well regarded West Coast producer who's worked with Lil' Rob and Mr. Capone-E, among others. After a stint cutting tracks in Los Angeles with a producer named Sundafu, Brown is back at home and from the looks of it, primed to be among the first urban artists from Denver to make a splash. For those who loathe this style of music, Brown won't change your mind (in other words, keep moving -- there's nothing to see here, really). If, however, you have a soft spot for the type of slick, auto-tuned melodies and prefab beats that are the bread and butter of stations like Hot 107, the Party and KS-107.5, then this shade of Brown was tinted just for you. Check Brown's tunes -- including "I Like the Way," which features a hook built around an interpolation of Hi-Five's "I Like the Way (the Kissing Game)" -- after the jump.

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Tip sheet: Meet Shel, our new favorite band

Categories: Tip Sheet
Paul Arellano

What in the hell are they putting in the water up in Fort Collins? Seriously? Seems like every ten minutes or so our neighbors to the north are churning out another batch of noteworthy artists. Meet Shel, the latest FoCo outfit to cast us under its spell. Comprised of four sisters, the group glides effortlessly atop the lilting, sublime voices of the Holbrook sisters, Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza. But Shel's appeal goes way beyond the vocals. These gals are exceptional musicians as well, with each member playing an array of instruments including violin, electric bass, piano, mandolin to drums. The sisters, which got their start backing their singer-songwriter dad Andrew, have already attracted the attention of soundtrack supervisor extraordinaire, Chris Douridas from KCRW, who listed their six-song EP, Try To Scream, as "one of the most impressive debuts of the year." Couldn't agree more. Check out the video for the Shel song that caught Douridas's (and our) attention, "Latest Greatest Blueberry Rubber Band" after the jump, and then catch the group at Heavenfest this Saturday, August 8 at 1 p.m. on the Rock Stage.

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