Daily Archives: April 12, 2017

An argument: Bon Iver and Velvet Negroni at the FirstBank Center

He uses these weird images that get pretty slippery under the weight of scrutiny. DO: This video is why Bon Iver didn’t let any photographers into the show last night. Vernon’s show also proved divisive, too, as I found out in a morning-after Google Chat with The Know music writer Ian Gassman, who took in the same scene in starkly different eyes and ears. IG:  I’m not saying the music sounds like “church” music. Like the middle-aged dad in front of me, grinding on his wife in ways that escaped the imagination of the surrounding twenty-somethings. I didn’t have too much of an issue with how the old stuff was done, even if it was a little scraped out. DO: I actually thought it was one of those bands where the lead from the headliner plays in another, fake band that he made up as the opener. The dad is grinding his wife so hard, but keeps slapping his son away from his girlfriend, like “Three feet rule, Derrick! Just look at all the religious iconography, the reference to Psalm 22 (on “’33 GOD’ “), and number play in all the visual elements during the show. IG: Yeah, it ain’t just about chewing on “For Emma’s” candy bar anymore. But on the surface, Velvet Negroni is the “hard guy” from … EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN? Then again, some dug it — a lot. What’s up? He’ll probably smite us for not believing in him, which Bon Iver might do more sheepishly: “Okay, you don’t believe in my stuff. I was too busy watching that dad in the crowd slam dance with his wife in front of his son and his son’s girlfriend. IG: Yeah, I didn’t know about him before, but he’s hard not to dislike. I’m probably just out of touch. I think, for him, it’s about numerology, nature, humanity, traveling, etc. Bon Iver’s new music is littered with stuff you want to like and stuff you want to hate. All that is holy stuff to him. Come on, son! Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) didn’t let any professional photographers into his FirstBank show on April 11, hence these cellphone photos. IG: Yeah, I think Velvet Negroni might be Eric Andre and those audience members were plants. I don’t know if you heard it, but behind me, every time Bon Iver sang with soul, this guy was like, “day-um.” I feel like this was “going to church” for most people there. DO: Not satisfying how? I thought it was about his obsession with Dan Brown novels. Ian Gassman: I’m listening to Corey Feldman and his Angels. (Dylan Owens)
Bon Iver, AKA Wisconsin’s Justin Vernon, came through Broomfield’s FirstBank Center on Tuesday for the first North American show of 2017. IG: Perhaps. Backed by three dudes in fencing gear, it was hard to tell how much of the show was a parody, down to the ham-fisted lyrics (“Life gives you lime after lime”). It’s about taking in all of what Bon Iver has to offer, and evolving with him. IG: To me, it wasn’t a satisfying show. They’d rather be like “preach, man” than “make me dance.”
Bon Iver seems like he’s trying deliver God or spirituality to hipsters. Because he galvanizes the squall of it all. IG: It’s quite Bon Iver. And maybe I’m selling music listeners short. Bon Iver don’t wanna be no child star. And Bon was “preaching” to them. IG: Yeah, maybe that’s it. DO: I never thought of it as a traditionally religious album. IG: I thought that was also interesting. IG: Perhaps. DO: Is it worth watching? The singer-songwriter played his new, dark electronic album, “22, A Million,” in its entirety, split down the middle with a handful of songs from his two previous albums like “Michicant” and everyone’s favorite love-sick anthem, “Skinny Love.”
But first, the all-but unknown Velvet Negroni (Jeremy Nutzman) opened the show with a set of slow-chugging indie R&B. DO: Was it because you didn’t have your bae with you? Honestly, I don’t know what the hell Vernon is talking about during most of his songs. But with a bit of post-“Man on the Moon” Kid Cudi thrown in, AKA the worst kind of Kid Cudi. Stop it!”
DO: Velvet Negroni sounded like a watered down version of any of those PBR&B singers that have sprung up since The Weeknd. Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) didn’t let any professional photographers into his FirstBank show on April 11, hence these cellphone photos. DO: Listen, I think you’re selling Bon Iver fans short. For his other recent shows, he just played “22, A Million” and left. It may not even relate to the normalized idea of God. IG: Exactly. IG: It’s a good theory, because Vernon has always been in different projects. DO: I’m pretty sure it was part of the show. It’s whatever, I still love you.”
So, that brings me to the my overarching point about this whole show: how the crowd took it in. DO: Until he has no more Bon-cores left to give. On the reals though: Velvet Negroni kind of set up the pacing and contrast of the whole show. People’s tastes have evolved. DO: Can’t speak to the crowd for Bon Iver, but Velvet sure was getting a lot of Ne-groan-is. DO: I was a little too primed to hate Velvet Negron-ski. That was a show to bae-down at, I guess. IG: Because the old songs were rushed and got played very differently. Question is, when we yell up to Velvet Negroni to save us, will he whisper back down, “no”? They’d follow him anywhere. IG: It’s just strange to me that people would rather have a semi-religious, elating experience than a show with throwback classics and sing-a-longs. And because they all had fencing outfits that obscured their faces, I thought one of them was Bon Iver (Justin Vernon). That’s what I was trying to say before: Bon’s music has always had a sense of spirituality to it and now it’s more present than ever and I think half of the people went to this Bon Iver expecting to sing along or tap their feet to the classics and the other half, perhaps unconsciously, or because they paid more than $40 for a ticket, fell into a “this is spiritual” moment…
DO: Wait, you mean spirituality in the traditional, organized religion sense? But that didn’t matter — I just kinda dumbly enjoyed the show for what it was: well-executed live renditions of fascinating songs. DO: He met them at the blood bank. DO: I missed that part. DO: You should be grateful he even played an old song. (Dylan Owens)
Dylan Owens: Ian, pal. He wasn’t enveloping me last the same way he was other people. I mean if he’s actually from Eau Claire, he was trying too hard to, well, be hard. It’s that this music came after Vernon/Bon Iver had a spiritual awakening. Seeing as his only claim to fame seems to be being Vernon’s friend, and didn’t really deserve to be playing in front of 1,000+ people.  
IG: I saw him in 2010 and that was far more moving.

Download “Funky Aggressive” from Choice City Seven, only in Steal This Track

Like a family, this band seems to have formed because they were biologically forced to, but they stay together out of straight love for the funked up music they play. The band has just released its first LP, “Freshman Year,” and you can download “Funky Aggressive” below. (Provided by the band)
You can pretty much find out all you need to know about Choice City Seven by looking at the photo above. Well, Choice City Seven formed when three members of 12 Cents for Marvin got together. The music has tons of heart, yet still is so damn fun. We only feature tracks not available for free elsewhere. Don’t they look like they’re posing for a semi-awkward family photo? As the story goes, each time they performed they not only added fans but gained new members, like cousins hooking up at a family reunion. If you’re a Colorado band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration. It’s easy to imagine how this band of seasoned musicians is incredible live. Revisit it right now. Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. Download “Funky Aggressive” from Choice City Seven via in Steal This Track. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.   Old school Colorado music fans will certainly remember the Fort Collins ska revival band 12 Cents for Marvin, which formed 21 years ago and helped put Colorado on the musical map when we mostly just had jock-rock bands. And that’s the truth. Perhaps this is why a band from the Choice City with eight members is called Choice City Seven. Despite the background the music is not exactly ska. It’s a super funked up soul with a killer horn section. Also, they will host an album release show at the Fort Collins Downtown Artery on May 6.