Period Piece

Making great-looking videos on a shoestring budget.

Size does matter: Nathan & Stephen rocked a cheetah's ass. Ditto the Photo Atlas, whose Morning After debut, No, Not Me, Never, is slated to be re-released next month on Stolen Transmission, the imprint being distributed by Island/Def Jam and headed up by Rob Stevenson (the guy who inked the Killers). I've yet to be disappointed by this band.

The Photo Atlas is a tough act for anyone to share a bill with (ask Head Automatica), much less follow. But Born in the Flood isn't just anyone. Plowing through songs from its fantastic debut full-length, If This Thing Should Spill, the mighty foursome was in top form -- a stark contrast to the underwhelming set I caught last August, when Flood warmed up for Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots at the Bluebird. The guys had looked downright frustrated that night as they struggled to hold the crowd's attention with new material that struck me as both tired and uninspired.

This time out, though, the Flood played with passionate precision that brought the house down. As the floor-to-ceiling, Coldplay-esque LED lights scrolled up and down behind the musicians, making them truly seem larger than life, I was flooded with wistful memories of those times, just three years ago, when I'd watch the then-unknown act try to cram its arena-rock ambitions into a dank LoDo basement to the bemusement of a few dozen people.

Now, with the Flood already packing mid-sized theaters, I have a sinking feeling that it won't be long before we'll be paying fifty-odd bucks just to stand next to some clueless steakhead in a puka-shell necklace and flip-flops as he pumps his fist in the air and drunkenly screams along to "Anthem."

Upbeats and beatdowns: On Thursday, February 15, Chris Adolf, who recently put together a new version of Bad Weather California (aka the Love Letter Band), will play his last acoustic show at the Larimer Lounge. Then on Friday, February 16, HemifuckinCuda returns to the stage after a nearly two-week -- er, make that two-year -- hiatus (that show last month at Herman's was just a tease); expect nothing less than Thick Riffs 'n' Tasty Licks when Karen and Anika bring sexy back to Bender's Tavern.

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