Concert Reviews

Sole's stage banter highlights: "Real gangsters wear black and burn ski resorts"

At this show at Seventh Circle Music Collective, Tim Holland (a.k.a. Sole) commanded a crowd that stretched well beyond his (storied) hip-hop roots. In addition to those fans, there were supporters of the punk bands that played on either side of his own set, there were people involved in the Denver Anarchist Black Cross and there were people who didn't fit directly into any particular category. It's a testament to Sole's broad appeal to anyone with an appreciation for language. He has a gift in speech and in his lyrics -- "official" or improvised -- to amuse and to distill a concept to its poetically essential elements. Here are a few of the things he said on stage this weekend (with annotation where necessary):

--"I'm Sole, I live down the street. If you call that living." The crowd was silent, so Holland added, "I'm kidding, I love my life." He was not, however, kidding about living down the street.

--"Real gangsters wear black and burn ski resorts." Presumably this was a reference to the incident in Vail in 1998 when members of Earth Liberation Front torched five buildings and four ski lifts in protest of the expansion of the resort into land housing an endangered species of lynx.

--"I must be doing something wrong, the Fed ain't on my dick."

--"This song is another uplifting, feel good track -- 'People Piss Me Off.'"

--"I don't want to see a Facebook post about how much Facebook sucks."

--"I just got paid a lot of money from to write this song. Just kidding." Said before performing a new song, the sarcastically titled "Don't Riot."

-- "We've got CDs and t-shirts for sale. Dead cops in the back." Clearly a joke, but certainly not the usual sales pitch.

Sole's new record, Death Drive is a barn burner, set for release in May. All interested parties in helping to make that happen and get some sweet premiums for donating should click here.

Critic's Notebook

Bias: I love Sole's most recent work more than what some consider the classics.

Random Detail: Ran into Lloyd Arcesia, photographer and former Mood Syrup frontman, at the show.

By the Way: Also on this bill was Seizure Rights, Jack's Smirking Revenge, Pat the Bunny of Ramshackle Glory playing solo folk-punk and Blind Man Deaf Boy. There were no less than great and powerful performances that left no doubt in my mind that punk is alive and well in Denver and beyond.

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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.