BEST ELECTRO-POP CD 2006 | The Metapolitan Blusom | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Blusom blooms thanks to the contrasting talents of partners Mike Behrenhausen and Jaime "Jme" White. Behrenhausen is a gifted singer-songwriter with a rare ability to translate his thoughts and emotions into relatable tunes, while White is an electronics expert blessed with endless curiosity and the skill to transform the mundane into the marvelous. Together they make The Metapolitan a great place to visit.
In the past, detractors of Dressy Bessy vocalist Tammy Ealom have complained about the thick layer of sugar she spoons onto most of her songs. Fortunately, Electrified features a modified recipe. Ditties such as the title cut and "Second Place" are still sweet, but because they're leavened with more substantial riffs, melodies and performances, they seem a lot more nutritious than their predecessors. Bring your appetite.
Some CD singles contain more musical data than does Be Mine, Valentine, which lasts a mere twelve minutes. Nevertheless, Drop Dead, Gorgeous makes every second count, spitting out six relentlessly energetic, emotionally intense songs whose impact is epitomized by the title "Knife Vs. Face: Round 1." It's music that leaves a mark.
Computers can be terrific musical tools, but only if artists use the technology to enhance their ideas rather than as a substitute for innovation. Justin Gitlin, who goes by CacheFlowe, strikes just the right balance. On Automate Everything, he refuses to limit himself to just one or two electronic styles, and his eclecticism pays dividends. Creatively speaking, CacheFlowe cashes in.
Back in 2004, veteran local bluesman Dan Treanor hooked up with R&B vocalist Frankie Lee for African Wind, a surprisingly effective hybrid of American blues and indigenous rhythms. Lee doesn't participate this time around, and his absence is felt. Nevertheless, the current lineup is strong and sympathetic, and Treanor's mastery of instruments ranging from the diddley bow and cane flute to the guitar and harmonica makes this a more-than-worthy sequel. Have Mercy.
Typical CDs have an eighty-minute capacity, and Tha Revolushun fills nearly every second of that span with musical invention, ambition and achievement. The album's introductory track declares that "hip-hop will revert back to its original essence. Purity, rawness, originality: That will be part of the equation." Foundashun members Solpowa, Shunfist, Keo and Dent are clearly committed to this vision, and they spend the rest of the recording living up to it. Intricate production, conscious rhymes, excellent performances and memorable beats make this one Revolushun worth joining.
One-upping Steve Albini ain't easy. The world-famous sound engineer has recorded everyone from the Pixies and Nirvana to his own legendary bands Big Black and Shellac. In 2004, he also recorded Bright Channel's eponymous debut at his Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago. The result, though, wasn't as stellar as it could have been. While the songs and performances were brilliant, there seemed to be too much of a cold distance between the disc and its listener that blunted the impact of its droning, skyward-fixated sound. The trio's sophomore effort, Self-Propelled, is a vast improvement, at once heavier, breathier, more celestial and more intimate than its predecessor. And the kicker? Singer/guitarist Jeff Suthers produced the whole thing in his basement studio, Flight Approved. Let's hear it for do-it-yourself.
Much more than just DJs, Friends in Stereo takes traditional deejaying a step further by incorporating live instrumentation, real-time effects and live vocals into a style that can be described as groovy performance art. Friends Colin Chapman, Reggie Lafaye and vocalist Orange Peel Moses have each played an integral part in the Denver dance-music scene's development and maturation for more than a decade, and while it's recently become fashionable to abandon pure electronic music in favor of dance rock like LCD Soundsystem, Friends in Stereo has remained true to its roots and to pure electronic music. With sharp breakbeats, electro riffs and Orange Peel's vocals in the mix, the collective just may be the best thing to happen to Denver dance music since the advent of turntables.
Vinyl remains the answer to Denver's Saturday-night blues. With three floors of music, from hip-hop to '80s retro to the best in techno and house, most anybody can find something to like in the impressive SoCo club. As a stop on nearly every major electronic act's tour, Vinyl plays host to the world's biggest DJs on a weekly basis. Bad Boy Bill, Sasha, Dieselboy and Richie Hawtin are all regular faces in the main DJ booth; boosted by the club's killer system, they've never sounded better. And the rooftop patio, with its city views, is one of the best spots in town.
Courtesy of La Rumba
Overheard recently at Lipgloss: "Hey, bro, you gotta get down here, fast! Guess who's on the dance floor right now? That hot chick!" Yes, that hot chick -- plus about 300 of her best friends -- are in attendance at La Rumba every Friday night. And the guys are just as dolled up as the gals, resulting in a veritable breeder feeding frenzy. Of course, resident DJs Michael Trundle and Tyler Jacobsen urge the whole orgy on with their patented mix of Brit pop, dance punk, garage rock, glam and soul. There's absolutely nothing gay-unfriendly about Lipgloss. Just be prepared: The hetero hookup factor is off the meter.

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