Monthly Archives: September 2009

Monolith Festival: Phoenix.

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As Monolith wound down, we sought refuge in Phoenix to preserve our positive outlook on the festival after the Passion Pit farce we had just endured.

And my, did they deliver. Phoenix has a reputation for being an air-tight live band. All six Frenchmen were perfectly efficient, just like Phoenix’s catalog of pop songs.

A few technical sound issues aside, singer Thomas Mars & Co. deftly breezed through their hits for a packed main stage. With their U.S. tour sold out, the scheduling remix was a wise one — Phoenix up top at the SoCo Stage would have probably led to a roof collapse.

We didn’t stick around for The Mars Volta. This is why. Yikes.

And there you have it! Intern Whisperer’s coverage of Colorado’s own Monolith Festival, 2009! Let us know how you enjoyed it and shoot us tips for other music to cover at or Follow us on Twitter @internwhisperer. Cheers!

Phoenix — “Long Distance Call” live at Monolith Festival:

Monolith Festival: Passion Pit.

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Passion Pit. *barf*

Passion Pit. *barf*

I was looking forward to completely avoiding Passion Pit. Unfortunately, because of a scheduling switcharoo, I was submitted to wading through hordes of douchy fans (apparently ready to trample women and children so they could get close enough to lap up singer Michael Angelakos’ spittle) to meet up with my crew who were excited to see them.

Who would have thought piss-poor screeching falsetto could inspire grown men to launch elbows at women, step over dozens of people and spill their $7 Coors (“They don’t have ‘Natty at Red Rocks? Drats, Batman!”) all over helpless bystanders. Maybe they just wanted to get close to Angelakos, sing along, and talk about being huge, misunderstood and complicated meat heads.

Angelakos encouraged all to shuffle down to the main stage to see Phoenix as Passion Pit mercifully ended their set. Preoccupied with imploring what good friends Passion Pit and Phoenix were, Angelakos made his best move of the night: sending people away to see Passion Pit’s “besties 4ever,” Phoenix.

To summarize: Passion Pit sucked. The crowd sucked. Then we went to Phoenix. Hoo-rah!

Monolith Festival: The Twilight Sad.

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The Twilight Sad at Monolith.

The Twilight Sad at Monolith.

Maybe there’s something inherently intense about growing up in Scotland. Maybe I just think every Scot is one small provocation away from going William Wallace, Braveheart-style crazy on any unfortunate chump that is foolish enough to slight them.

Anyway, The Twilight Sad is a noisy, moody bunch. There’s nothing wrong with that. Until some drunk-ass shouts “Billy Corgan!” in reference to frontman James Graham’s very slight resemblance to the similarly buzz-headed Smashing Pumpkins singer (whom The Twilight Sad have toured with, mind you).

“Whut did yew saye? Billly Corrrgan? Funny.” I doubt Graham was being sincere. And then bassist Craig Orzel’s amp crapped out, leading to a frantic change where he borrow Deer Tick‘s bass rig. Despite it all — The Twilight Sad played wonderfully. Definitively one of the best and most surprising gems of the entire festival, these Scots have toured with, but are certainly an improvement over bands like Mogwai, The Smashing Pumpkins and Idlewild.

Grab their new record, Forget The Night Ahead in October.

Monolith Festival: Bad Veins.

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Bad Veins.

Bad Veins.

I’m rooting for Bad Veins to make a splash having finally released their debut album. I first saw them in Cincinnati back in 2007 playing for an art auction benefit for my friends’ son. They were good then, and are better now.

Benjamin Davis employs a vintage reel-to-reel tape deck to cover pre-recorded  backing tracks while he alternates between keyboards, crunchy guitar, a telephone and a megaphone. And it’s hard not to notice Sebastien Schultz plugging away efficiently on the drums.

They’ll be back in Denver Oct. 10 at the Hi-Dive. If you missed one of the better shows at Monolith, you’ll want to check them out.

Bad Veins — “Warm and Gold” live at Monolith:

More Bad Veins at Monolith:

Monolith Festival: Neon Indian.

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Neon Indian. In neon.

Neon Indian. In neon.

Neon Indian is likely to see some breakthrough success when their debut album Psychic Chasms drops this October.

Already awash in buzz, Alan Palomo (of VEGA fame) is crafting a delectable little lo-fi funky groove that should have malnourished hipsters across the nation dancing in their colorful sneakers.

Unfortunately, with their Monolith performance being only the third ever live Neon Indian show, there are definitely some kinks to work out. Still, there’s tons of potential. I, for one, would much rather shake — or briefly consider, then dismiss the idea of shaking — my pale booty to Neon Indian than Girl Talk. Just sayin’.

Palomo even sampled a ‘lil bit of audience participation for a future track. If you were there, you’re famous! Where do we send mailing info for royalties?

Neon Indian — “Psychic Chasms” live (for just the third time!) at Monolith:

Neon Indian — “Local Joke” live at Monolith:

Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo sampling the crowd for a future track: