Over the Weekend...Pee Pee, Paper Bird & New Denver Orchestra @ Mercury Cafe

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Pee Pee, Paper Bird and New Denver Orchestra Saturday, May 24, 2008 Mercury Cafe Better than: Uh…doo doo?

Just thinking about Pee Pee’s name makes me want to crack up. I was giggling like a twelve-year-old when I told a few people I was going to hear Pee Pee. Sure, you can get mileage out of the band’s name, but Pee Pee isn’t necessarily a joke. All the same, the band did put smiles on a lot of people’s faces Saturday night as it celebrated the release of its first full-length album, Castile Jackine Is Vooded at Broonus Mousin: Volume 1.

Pee Pee singer and founder Doo Crowder surrounded himself with some wonderful musicians. The act opened its lively set with two Beatles-inspired cuts, including “O, Little Boy,” which culminated in a big and beautiful “Hey Jude” climax, with the band singing “na na na na” repeatedly near the end of the song.

Holly Thomas, who had been a member of the band before moving to Tampa Bay a few months ago, flew in specially for the gig. It's hard to imagine the band doing the funky “I Love U 2 Much” without her, so her presence was definitely appreciated. She was all over it, singing her ass off as the song gradually picked up until nearly everyone was caught up in the frenzy — including Thomas, who jumped off the stage, ran back to the bar and grabbed a glass of water. The band continued to play, and Crowder said, “There’s another verse, Holly.” After she made it back to the stage, the group finished what was one of the many highlights of the night.

The psych-folk group also went through a number of songs that weren’t on the album, including a country tune that Crowder plans to release on the next volume. “The Dixie Cup Song” is one I hoped would’ve been included, but unfortunately, it didn’t appear on the CD (bundled in turquoise bags) that the band was selling Saturday night. There was always something slightly magical that happened each time I'd heard Crowder and Thomas sing that song, and when they performed it again on Saturday, it was downright lovely, making for an the ideal way to close out a terrific set.

Earlier in the evening, Paper Bird delivered a superb performance despite its being the first gig the group has played in a month. The seven-piece delivered some thoroughly delightful renditions of songs from its debut, Anything Nameless and Joymaking>, including “Jesus and Arizona,” which was the first song the band wrote. Paper Bird played quite a few new tunes as well.

Two of Paper Bird’s singers also performed with the New Denver Orchestra, which kicked off its set by singing and walking through the packed room before making its way to the stage. The group, which also featured Laura Goldhamer and a lot of local musicians, sang a number of wordless songs, played handbells and hammered out rhythms on washtubs, pots, pans and a bike wheel.

--Jon Solomon

Personal Bias: Is it wrong to the love the sound of Pee Pee? Random Detail: The Qui Quegs played some rousing sing-alongs in between sets. By the Way: Paper Bird headlines at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, May 31, a few weeks before hitting the road with New Belgium Brewing Company’s Tour de Fat, which also features Portland, Oregon’s MarchFourth.

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