Jazz : gyros : hipsters : PBR — the untold story

This goes to print a week after the Great Cover-Up has ended, but some things should be mentioned. The crowds for the event were great, even with it being placed on school/work nights. A lot of money was raised, which is the point of the whole event. Those searching for video content on YouTube (which has at least one song from each set) might have even seen video from other similar events from all over the country. The idea seems to be spreading like crazy. Some of my favorite moments from the second and third nights: John Hoeffleur and Co. in tux shirts was particularly amazing, and it was clear that they had put some serious time in as they sounded incredibly tight; Ryan Groff’s wig (as Beck); Kayla Brown’s wig (as Beth from Portishead); Terminus Victor taking on Elliott Smith and totally rocking it; and seeing Aaron McCallister sing the Jeff Tweedy parts as Tractor Kings took on Uncle Tupelo. It was great to see so many bands go out of their comfort zone and/or musical style for the event. Brother Embassy doing White Zombie is a great example. It was really cool for us (Darling Disarm) to go from being a four-piece to having keys, a DJ, strings and horns for the Portishead set. Elsinore (now officially capitalizing the “e”) also ballooned into a huge band for the Beck set. Costumes weren’t as frequent as in previous years, but a lot of bands chose to cover acts who dressed exactly as they did. The event was great fun and a huge success, and it was a pleasure to watch it unfold. To those of you who skipped it: Shame on you.
Tonight brings another installment of jazz at Zorba’s. The gyro restaurant, for those who don’t know, also doubles as a music space on Thursdays. Some of the best jazz acts in the area have performed there over the years, and tonight will be another example of jazz greatness. Jazz Sandwich is a group made up of guys you’ve seen in tons of other bands of various genres. Drummer Josh Quirk also plays with Angie Heaton and the Brat Pack, the latter also featuring Jazz Sandwich keyboard player Jesse Brown. Trumpeter Jeff Helgesen fronts his own quintet and has appeared on many local releases. Bass player Josh Walden has backed damn near everyone in town once or twice and was the bass player in the seminal lineup of Temple of Low Men. On keys/flute/other random instruments is Tom Paynter, another local jazz regular. Put them all together, and you’ve got a group of some of the most talented musicians in the region performing songs that bend the boundaries of the jazz genre. You can check them out at myspace.com/jazzsandwich, or just drop by Zorba’s tonight between 9:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. where $3 will get you in the door. Get there early if you want to eat, though — unless they’ve changed their shameful policy, the food isn’t served all night long. For more info on upcoming jazz shows at Zorba’s, check out myspace.com/zorbas73.
Also on the schedule for tonight is an eclectic lineup at the Highdive. Zimbabwean outfit Mhondoro Rhythm Success (apparently now going by the non-shortened name) will share the stage with The Beauty Shop (just coming off of a Great Cover-Up performance as the Temptations) and Krukid. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and carries a $5 cover charge. The Highdive is stepping up its offering of live music in the wake of Cowboy Monkey’s (possibly temporary) closing, and this show is a step in a great direction. This show will get you dancing, rocking and bouncing again, and for those who haven’t been to the Highdive in a while, seeing a show now will serve as a reminder of how great the room sounds.
Decibully is returning to CU to play at the Canopy Club Saturday. This excites me because Decibully is one of my very favorite bands. When they toured with Headlights and the bands shared members during their respective sets, I remember being absolutely floored. The band’s two full-length releases on Polyvinyl Records, Sing Out America! (2005) and City of Festivals (2003) are among my favorites in my collection. Check the band out at myspace.com/decibully for an idea of what you could catch for only $5 (if you get your tickets in advance). Also appearing: Tall Tale and Tractor Kings. The show starts at 9:30 p.m.

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