Profiles

Outgoing Local Shakedown host Amy Moore-Shipley on how to improve Denver's scene

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What were some of your favorite in-studio performances?

The Seven Hats, absolutely, because Julie Davis is an amazing vocalist, and that EP was a remarkable work. I was nervous before because of how much I love them and how respected they were. And they were so nice. They played a session that was so pure and from the heart and perfect. I had goose bumps the entire time. Someone else that really stuck out to me was Il Cattivo -- I was reminded that I love rock and roll.

Why do you love rock and roll? Some people seem very jaded about that sort of thing these days. As if they're over it.

Really? Over it? You're not over rock. It can be in so many things. It's a spirit. It inflicts a certain feeling that is understood by a lot of people who connect with it...it's a nice way to say, "Fuck it all" to anything if you're worried, sad or stressed about. It's like the party spirit. And it doesn't have to be happy or be about a party, but I think that was the type of rock I was connecting to.

Who are a few of the other artists that impressed you?

Patrick Dethlefs always blows me away, because I think he needs to be heard by a lot of people. He knows how to write a solid song. He's a singer-songwriter and he's amazing.

Echo Beds, also -- I was learning about contact mics, and I had never experienced an industrial band, or whatever label you would give to that. Again, they brought a certain spirit, a vibe, not the rock vibe, but whatever it is that makes a good performer and musician. Instantly, I sat down and I was quieted and my attention was demanded. Then we talked about really radical shit on air and that's important to me.

Scatter Gather I had never seen live, and I listened to that album they put out. They were completely different live. They had made this violin-heavy, produced experience and then they were playing really loud and noisy and messy. But they're jazz-trained people and they're great musicians...It reminded me how much I appreciate a classically-trained player or a jazz-trained player, because you're going to make better music if you have better tools to execute it with. I really wish they would do a house show at my new place.

Did you find anything in local music particularly interesting or noteworthy?

This is not just with Denver, it's anywhere, but when people buzz about shit and then they ignore it a little bit later, that's annoying to me because you should support someone long term and not just because it's what's hip right now. I've heard musicians talk about how it's very difficult to keep people coming.

But I think it's even more important that the music should be good. If you're getting on that folk bandwagon thing like Mumford and Sons, sure you'll be able to buy a house with the money you made, but I guess I'm just interested more in new sounds, things that aren't trends. When someone like Rubedo [comes along], because they're their own thing. There's no one like Rubedo.

What's an example of a band flaring up and then people ignoring it?

I didn't identify it, but other people talked about that. If you play too much, you can over-saturate and no one wants that. I understand why musicians want to play shows all the time, but it should be more strategic than maybe what I witness sometimes. Playing every week, you're going to burn people out. Don't do that.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.