Friday, February 27, 2009

Late February, 09

D plus,

Pop quiz: How are you? Good? Blah? Bad? Circle one. (Hint: choose good.)

After all, this weekend is full of: the special Geeks Who Drink brand of trivia (Thurs 6:30pm), the loungy funk of Boulder band Norman Decibel (Thurs 8:30pm), the island vibe folk rock of Jeremy Dion (Friday 5:30pm), the scarily good musicianship of the kids from The School of Rock (Friday 7:30pm), a fresh new psychedelic rock band on the scene Kahoutek (check out the poster and D Note pic on their myspace (Friday 9pm), a band that takes Beatles tunes and punks them up, RePlay (Friday 10:30pm), another young but smoking blues rock band, Jumping At Shadows (Saturday 3pm), Stapleton's neighborhood basement band The Mitch Lehn Folk Trio (Saturday 7pm) and the progressive indie rock of the Jake Leg Shakers (Saturday 9pm).

If you are still blah to bad after all that please see us after class.


D minus

Extra Credit: Jeni Olin is a friend of ours. She writes gorgeous glam poems that sound like glass breaking and glitter falling. Here's an excerpt of the last poem she sent us via Facebook...


I depend on an air of violence
to cherish more, calm down. Still
please don't nailgun me
again in my sleep tonight.
Interred in the dripping woods of
the blue elves of the 80's
metabolizing their rejection
openly & then in teams, yay
I want to be in a boy gang
in the worst way. I'd like to be
"carried" in a fetish film. You
think you could love me? You
love me in your dreams you better
wake up & apologize.

Mardi Gras, 09

D gras di mar,

One of the unforeseen benefits of the D Note is that we get to experience every holiday to the max. For instance, here is what we have in mind for Mardi Gras this year:

Henry Butler is coming this Friday. Here's the scoop if you don't already know. Henry Butler was a New Orleans star before Katrina. A blind boogie woogie piano player who not only lived in New Orleans, but studied the culture and then rolled it all up into his own transcendent art. There is no better musician we know of to listen to during Mardi Gras, and the fact that Henry chose to spend it at the D Note (he called us), makes us the luckiest people outside of New Orleans that we know. By the way we were in S.F. last week and noticed that the week after Henry plays D Note he is playing Yoshi's in Oakland, one of the most prestigious jazz clubs in the world, so we're in good company. After Henry at 10:30 we'll have our friend Chris Aaron with his band, one of the best blues guitarists we know, with a beautiful gruff voice and plenty of voo doo. We always like to mention that Chris took guitar lessons from Elizabeth Cotton when he was a kid because that blows our minds. There is a high probability Henry will sit in with Chris for awhile, and we'll all listen to sparks fly while history gets made. 8pm $15.

Saturday at 4pm we have our next installment of the Music Train Family Concerts, carnival style with Aden Harrell and friends. Aden Harrell is a musician deeply immersed in New Orleans, super good and there is nobody better at entertaining the kid in all us. $7 adults/$3 kids.

Saturday night we have yet ANOTHER great musician from New Orlean's, the prince of the royal Carrier zydeco family, Dwight Carrier and the Ro' Dogs. Seriously! Opening for Dwight will be local Tom Waits like gypsy blues band Felonious Smith at 7:30pm. There will be a zydeco dance lesson at 9pm and then Dwight and his band will rip it up.

Then, next Tuesday, which is FAT TUESDAY, we have The D Note Mardi Gras players at 7:30pm, which features Moses from the Clamdaddys, Joseph Barton and Aden Harrell among others. FUN. FREE.

I do believe we are giving the New Orleans jazz fest a run for its money this year.

Tonight, Thursday Feb 19, we have Geeks Who Drink trivia. Check out the great D Note blog from Geeks Who Drink here for a little taste of what we have been experiencing. Ephesus plays after Geeks Who Drink tonight, a cool local band.

Bright beads for all of our friends,

; D ::::)

Extra Credit: Our friend Micah Ballard has a new book of poetry about his hometown of New Orleans called "Parish Krewes". The book can be read in many ways, and one is as a kind of reconciliation, full of a quiet solemn mystery, as words try to find their way, bravely, tenderly, through the devastation left by Katrina, finding the truth askance.


Far from hotel, city street & travel
we return not unharmed
but rather come back to scenes
already dreamed.
Given our final votive offering
she is it, Black Amber with Pole Star.
Inverted & hung upon the chest
let there be no regret
For without it dying does not forgive
nor relation rank pure to those
already gone. Without revenge
might they be carried across
& faces from the street turn back
to those passed in a crowded barroom.
Oh it all gets lost, "that's how
their reflection & retaliation becomes
not bound." Hidden from within,
may we serve to interpret the signs
& as a shore to our wanderings
become one with the vast silence
which moves manifold
to their design.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Liner Notes for 6 Year Anniversary Mix

We've had thousands of performances at the D Note over the last six years. And at least once a week something amazing has transpired on the stage, often several times a week. If you don't believe me just ask our door man, Phil. He'll tell you! But, despite so many great performances, capturing a good recording isn't easy. For one thing, these recordings were taken off the sound board, and since you mix the sound board to the room, not the recording, most recordings we get are very uneven. Also, we tend to be busy keeping the boat afloat and therefore neglectful of such things as archiving live performances. Still, we have hours and hours on disc and this mix is a small sampling of some wonderful moments in the last six years. For the newer recordings of the last year or so Greg Rendon was probably mixing sound, and for the older ones I probably was.

1. This is a recording of the Clamdaddys during Harvest Festival 3 or 4 years ago. These great souls have held down a jam every Wednesday at the D Note for 4 or 5 years now, for which we are extremely grateful. There is no better night of free music anywhere, I'm convinced. To hear this recording of the core duo of the Clamdaddys play "Wonderful World" on a sunny day at the D Note during the Harvest Fest is to feel something akin to bliss. At the beginning of the recording you can hear Tommy say, "Look at all those beautiful women out there, man." And Mo says back, "I know. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."

2. Back before the Fray was even formed a very young Isaac Slade used to play and sing jazz at the D Note. I believe the name of the act was After Eight. I don't even have any records that go back five years ago to verify. I also can't remember the name of the girl who sang with Isaac here, but I do remember she was very beautiful. I think they were an item at the time. The Fray played a few shows at The D Note too before their stratospheric leap to world fame. We probably recorded those shows, but who knows where those recordings are now.

3. This is a recording of Elephant Revival from a few years ago. Elephant Revival is a band full of all kinds of bewitching magic. For starters, Bonnie Paine may have the most beautiful voice of all the other beautiful voices to have been heard at the D Note. I can't think of anyone I'd rather hear sing. Bridget Law, on Violin, has played with every one around these parts and is universally loved for her bright spirit and playing. I love the part of this song where her voice subtly echoes Bonnie's. Dan Rodriguez who wrote this song and sings it here with Bonnie is one of our favorite local songwriters.

4. This is a recording from January 23 of this year of the local band Paper Bird. With their beautiful lyrics, melodies, harmonies and unique retro sound, Paper Bird is sure to take over the world.

5. Ian Cooke played the same night as Paper Bird as part of a The Long Spoon Collective, which also includes Pee Pee, Zebra Junction, Bela Karoli and Laura Goldhamer, among others. We were proud to host this remarkable collective at the D. Ian plays Cello and does wonders with the loop pedal. In this song he slowly builds up the melody and harmony into a gorgeous sculpture of a song.

6. This is a band from Oakland California called Free Peoples that came through 4 years ago or so. We've been very lucky to catch some great bands passing through and Free Peoples is one who has stuck in our musical gullet. The message of the lyrics is a good reminder... "Some say that there's a rainbow over me, 'cause I'm satisfied I'm one less greedy man."

7. If Free Peoples represents West Coast Peace and Love here, then we should balance it with some East Coast attitude. The Crooners, from Brooklyn NY, came through and rocked our world one night a few years ago. I remember afterward that one of the fellows was drunk and throwing stuff around our basement after the show. Totally annoying, but somehow it fit the rebellious rock and roll spirit of their music perfectly. If the West Coast music of Free Peoples was all about being satisfied, these guys were all about "can't get no satisfaction." And here we are stuck in the middle of the two coasts.

8. Though we love the bands traveling through, we've got a ridiculous treasure trove of riches in our own backyard. Lion Vibes is a great example. DJ Chaos is throwing down the scratch.

9. We love to hear musicians get together for the first time and explore each other's style. Here the great blind boogie woogie piano player from New Orleans, Henry Butler, is sitting in with local funk band extra-ordinaire U.S. Pipe. During the first part of the jam you can hear little glints of Henry's genius as he plays around in the groove the Pipe is laying down. Then the jam morphs U.S. Pipe leading a rousing version of the Funkadelic song, "Can You Get To That". Though Henry becomes relatively subdued here, you can feel the gravitas he is lending to the music. Citrus . And the Pipe admirably rise to the occasion. The leader of The Pipe, Citrus, another local Arvada boy, probably learned the song from his mentor George Clinton and here he lives up to it.

10. Funny thing about this track. It was on the same CD as the D Note live performance by Ego vs. Id and so I thought it was by them when the CD was compiled. But I found out afterward that this is actually a song by Mason Jennings which was playing as tweener music between the band's sets. Oh well, still a cool a song, but NOT recorded live at the D Note. Well, I guess it's a live recording at the D Note of a recording, so kind of.

11. This is a recording of a flamenco dance performance at the D Note last last year led by the guitar of our old friend Steve Mullins, a terrific player and composer of flamenco music. You can literally hear the flamenco dancers on this recording. Veronica Medina gives the song duende. (See Lorca's essay on Duende)

12. Lionel Young won the International Blues Challenge last year in Memphis and is finally getting some of the accolades he deserves. Back in the early days Lionel used to play the D Note every Friday night. He would always pull out the D Note Pizzeria song and, like a ritual, Matthew and Jeremy and I would go out and dance. The song would usually go on and on until we were falling down on the dance floor in exhaustion. This is a way abridged version.

13. Another local boy with living legend written all over him is baritone sax man Aden Harrell. Here he is with his ensemble The Otone Brass band, with a performance that encapsulates not only Aden's special spirit, but also sums up perfectly what we wish to say to you.

14. This last recording is one of my personal favorites. I asked Wu Fei, who plays the traditional Chinese instrument, the ghuzeng, and Colin Bricker, who plays the very modern laptop, to get together for a spontaneous performance for our Friday night winetasting a few years back. If you listen and follow the players you can hear them listening and responding to each other, creating a unique musical sonic sculpture on the spot. No one else but the performers were really listening, as wine drinkers like to talk, but now, in the privacy of your own head, thanks to the marvels of modern recording, you listen deep to a snap shot of this dynamic performance.

With emphasis to match Aden's,

Thank you!

Adam DeGraff

mid February, 09

D heart,

We have, with your help, lasted six years doing this thing. Thank you!

Friday night we will start the celebrating early with Brethren Fast. We've been trying to get this hard rocking rockabilly band in for the last six years and we're stoked to finally have them. Opening are the Redline Rockets at 8pm and Crowboy at 7pm. All for only $5.

This Saturday night we have our 6 year anniversary party proper. Here are 6 notable things about this coming Saturday night, Feb. 14:

1. Local band, Dyslexic Dinosaurs, will be opening at 6pm.
2. At 7:30 we have a band from Santa Fe, NM that go by the name D Numbers. D Numbers sounds like a perfect band to play on the anniversary of the D Note, no? How did this serendipity happen? D Numbers have friends at New Belgium Brewery. Those friends contacted Matt Kowal from The Reals. Matt contacted us and ta da! Their music is all richly layered instrumentals and really cool.
3. This will be The Reals last show for a long while. They are going underground to mutate and make more music and this will be a kind of going away party for them. So get your fix while you can. It's gonna rain Reals. We love this band.
4. It's Valentine's Day and we're gonna share the love.
5. The first 100 people that ask at the door will get a mix CD of 14 amazing live D Note performances from the past six years.
6. The evening is a benefit for a great new organization If you bring two cans of non-perishable food for the hungry we'll buy you a beer.

Also, don't forget about Geeks Who Drink trivia every Thursday night at 6:30pm (free). Last week was a good beginning with very clever questions and fun, tough competition between 9 teams. Check out the photos on the blog. This week GWD trivia will be followed by the band Latest Vintage at 8:30pm. (Latest Vintage, a new band, features one of our favorite local drummers, Dean Hirschfield.)

And keep in mind Henry Butler will be here next Friday, Feb. 20.

That's probably good for now.


D liver

Extra Credit: A poem from Adam D for his lover.

Poem For G

I was in the shower
and was thinking hard
about a plot, stuck between
two options, this and that,
until my head started to hurt.
Meanwhile my eyes fell
on the can of shaving cream
on the shelf in the shower,
narrowing in on the word "shave".

My mind formed two words from this one,
like on The Electric Company, but in reverse.
The first mouth whispered "shhh"
and the second said "have".


Suddenly I was calm,
no thought of no plot.
I remembered how hot
the water was, and how cold
it was outside, remembered
that I was listening to The Cure,
"The Hanging Garden"...

I melted in the water
like the wicked witch of the west.

My eyes wandered to the next words
written on the can, "Bengal Spice".
One thought led to another and
soon I was purring like a tiger.
Thus I shaved, slowly and with great feeling,
so that later I might show your skin.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Early February, oh nine

D hive,

Here's the buzz:

This week we begin our great trivia run with Geeks Who Drink every Thursday at 6:30pm. It so happens we have mutual friends with the owner of GWD, John Dicker, and so it was a natural fit to host a trivia night for them. We are hoping all of you will come out and help this series achieve lift off. Check out their extensive website for a taste of what they do. We are sure much fun will be had and many new friends will get met.

After Trivia at 8:30pm we have a new band on the scene called Firebird 4000. If you are a fan of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or Royal Trux then you will probably like these guys. We do.

Friday we have THE MOTET presents JUNO WHAT. About time we got the Motet in the D. They seem like such a great fit. If you love to dance to disco funk all night then you will love this. Opening is the fantastic TheSaurus at 7:30pm and, making the leap from New Band Night, Ten Pound Elephant at 5:30pm.

Saturday day is Olde Town Arvada's Chocolate Affair, hosted at the D Note. Tasting is 11am-3pm, $5-$10. Check out the great press for the event from the Westword.

Saturday night is going to be a wild mish mash of music. First at 6pm we have the hauntingly beautiful Bulgarian folk of Planina. $8. At 8pm we have the psychedelic rock of The Mourning Sickness and then, topping off the night like the head on a five barrel ale, we have Mr.Knowitall, a Primus tribute band. All hail Les Claypool. Check out the poster art for this show on Mr.Knowitall's myspace page. $5. We love these one-of-a-kind kind of evenings.

Check out the Clamdaddys jam every Wednesday night, lest ye forget the best free night of music in Colorado. And Salsa night too, lest ye forget the best salsa dancing to be found around here, (which is actually much better than you would think.) And keep in mind Baby Boogie Sunday afternoons too, lest ye forget the kids. We got a terrific review on the baby boogie, read here.

Next week Brethren Fast rocks our world on Friday 13 and we have our 6 year anniversary with The Reals on Valentine's day, Feb. 14th.


D keeper

Extra Credit: A found poem this week, the transcript from a video mashing up 40 inspirational movies speeches:

Inspiration Mash-up

Shame on you. This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're going to let it be the worst. And I guarantee a week won't go by in your life you won't regret walking out, letting them get the best of you. Well, I'm not going home. We've come too far! And I'm going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause. A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day. The line must be drawn HERE. This far, no further! I'm not saying it's going to be easy. You're going to work harder than you ever worked before. But that's fine, we'll just get tougher with it! If a person grits his teeth and shows real determination, failure is not an option. That's how winning is done! Believe me when I say we can break this army here, and win just one for the Gipper. But I say to you what every warrior has known since the beginning of time: you've got to get mad. I mean plum mad dog mean. If you would be free men, then you must fight to fulfill that promise! Let us cut out their living guts one inch at a time, and they will know what we can do! Let no man forget how menacing we are. We are lions! You're like a big bear, man! This is YOUR time! Seize the day, never surrender, victory or death… that's the Chicago Way! Who's with me? Clap! Clap! Don't let Tink die! Clap! Alright! Let's fly! And gentlemen in England now abed shall know my name is the Lord when I tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our Independence Day!

late January-early February, oh nine

D flowers,

Do your hands seem to be swans floating in a lake of fire? No? Fly swans!

Thursday night, January 29, we have an acoustic showcase with Jay Ryan at 7pm and then a new band called Lila Bloom Orchestra at 8:30pm. Lila Bloom has a spooky concept behind their new work. Check out the conceit on their myspace, under "influences".

This Friday night we have a killer show put together by our man Matt Dougherty starting at 6pm with Cody Crump (love this kid, click and listen), Meniskus (violin rock), Ten Percent Genius (click the site to check out Dougherty's sweet poster), Other Side of Clearview (another cool poster here) and Some Friends of Mine batting clean up at 11:30pm. $5.

Saturday night at 8pm we have the triumphant return of Colorado's first lady of soul, Hazel Miller. Come swoon with us. $15 door/ $12 advance. After Hazel we'll have the dancing groove of Clusterfunk .

Saturday day we have The School of Rock doing a tribute show to The Who . There are two shows at 1pm and 5pm. $8. The kids are alright.

Next Tuesday we have The Arvada Center Studio Jazz Ensemble at 5:30pm (Free), and then New Band Night w/ Facing Sunday and Hand Picked Holler at 7:30pm. Free.

Finally we should tell you The Motet is presenting Juno What next Friday and the Thursday after that we start Trivia w/ Geeks Who Drink. John Dicker, the big geek behind this popular trivia series will be hosting it himself. (He is addicted our pizza.)


D nude

Extra Credit: Here's a song turned poem by Denver songwriter Doo Crowder.


Hello madness my old friend
answer me one question, tell me
where are you taking me now?

Please be gentle
I ain't got no insurance
I'm as fragile as the law will allow.

Well now, smarty pants, you have a point,
I chased you down there for so long.

Put your faith in fire.
Have your faith in fire repaid.

I put my faith in fire
and had my faith in fire
repaid for a song.