At the moment I am sitting at Avogadro’s Number an hour or so before the open mic will be starting. The band is setting up for the featured artist set, and other musicians are slowly filtering in. Tonight’s to-do list is mostly made up of photo sets I hope to have uploaded on facebook before bedtime tonight, from this past exciting weekend. I spent 13 hours taking photos and being a music blogger at shows this weekend, 7 hours at the Aggie Theatre for the CD Release party for Mama Lenny and the Remedy’s second album, and 6 hours at Avogadro’s Number for the Winter Hootenanny.
Mama Lenny and the Remedy CD Release Party
There were 4 bands at this show on Friday, January 17th. The first band, Face Man, started playing at 7:30, a very early start. Face Man is a Denver rock/alt. rock band who reminded me of Fierce Bad Rabbit, maybe blended with a bit of Peter Gabriel. Their studio recordings are a bit less Peter Gabriel-esque, but still similar enough to Fierce Bad Rabbit that fans of one would probably also enjoy the other. I was really not in the right mindset for a rock show when I got to the theater, but this band was very good. The free dinner also helped put me in the right mindset to thoroughly enjoy the rest of the evening (prepared by Mama Lenny’s guitarist Kenneth Monks and his cousin) of penne, sausage and peppers, spinach, and blood orange salad, with a yummy ricotta cake for dessert. I’m waiting for a restaurant to open up, The Remedy, featuring owner/houseband Mama Lenny and the Remedy with all their favorite artists as guest performers.
After Face Man’s set Wasteland Hop took the stage. The first time I saw this band live, they were most definitely a hip-hop band, one that dabbled in other genres but always with a hip-hop core. This time their live show was a lot more of a blend of pop, rock and hip-hop, which worked really well, and which I suspect might serve to broaden their audience base significantly this year. Wasteland Hop’s album, Morph, also has a bit of this pop/hip-hop crossover going on, but I think if they make a new album out of the stuff they are developing now, this band will have an even more mainstream-accessible sound on that new record. They already opened for Mackelmore last year, so maybe Wasteland Hop will be one of our next local bands to make it big nationally.
The third band of the night, Calder’s Revolvers, was here from Denver, as was Face Man. Calder’s Revolvers has had a lot of good attention lately in Denver, and they have a solid show, but out of the 4 bands, this was the one I was least sold on. The sound had been muddy and off-balance all night, and with this set in particular it was very noticeable. So, while I was not thrilled with their set, I could imagine what they might sound like and I liked that version a lot. (I was not the only one, or the first to comment on the sound that night, and people with years more experience were complaining about the same things I was noticing. I am sure that on other nights Calder’s Revolvers is a fantastic-sounding band.) This funk-infused pop rock band was, in any case, a good lead-in to Mama Lenny and the Remedy.
“Mama Lenny” herself, lead singer Laniece, was confined to a grand wooden throne due to a leg fracture, and their show focused naturally around her throne. The colors for this show were teal and coral, so the lads of the band were in pink/coral pants and the ladies were all in gorgeous teal evening dresses, with Laniece in the center in white and coral. As much as I love their music, I also really enjoy how much attention this band gives to their stage appearance- they always look so classy and I always feel a bit under-dressed when they take the stage.
There will eventually be a music video turning up on social media recorded at this show, professionally recorded, not just a bootleg, and I did my best to stay out of the camera’s sights (& we’ll just have to wait and see how well that worked.) Their new album is available at Bizarre Bazaar right now, and will be available on all the usual music sites soon, if not already. Mama Lenny and the Remedy played a lot of their ‘new’ songs at the CD release, including a couple even I hadn’t heard yet. Members of the other bands also returned to the stage as guest artists on many of their songs, even working in a bit of a rap/hip-hop section in two songs to feature the Wasteland Hop emcees. As some of our older bands fade away or dissolve, bands like Papagoya (which officially dissolved a few months ago) and Futaba (not dead yet, but not exactly recovered yet from losing their excellent keyboard-player Mark), Mama Lenny seems to be moving up in the scene to become one of the established stars in the funk/pop/rock subscene here.
Pretty soon their audiences will be turning up in evening dresses and brightly colored pants to match the night’s stage colors at the Mama Lenny shows, and we’ll be seeing cryptic facebook posts from the band saying just “red and black”, or “purple and yellow”, cuing their fans in to what the night’s colors will be. (This is of course my own fantasy, not something the band is planning, but it is an excellent idea.)