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Tuesday, May 11, 2010



     Hours before the party started, Mr. Black and I wandered into Civic Park in downtown Denver. The day is Hitler's 121st birthday and the mood is festive. Upon arrival I was greeted by some teenagers who were kind enough to share a blunt with me. Paranoia did not set in because the law enforcement officials were just there to observe and break up any fight that broke out. In this case, only one broke out and shut a quarter of the park before I stepped foot in it. Besides the ton of paper trash my feet were stepping on and all the dispensaries trying to "trap" me, it was a general good experience. I walked around in circles and took photographs of the event. Even the Bloods and the Crips were getting along. We didn't hang long because our friend Andy invited us to partake in a limo ride from a house to a show at Cervantes. What were we going to say?, No?, yeah right. This would be the beginning of our evening.

      We were invited with open arms by a woman named Dan. You see, it was her 21st b-day and her father had arranged this limo experience for all 18 of us. Her entourage were also pretty friendly. We had mutual friends intermingled with theirs. They shared bottles of alcohol (with mixers), marijuana, and great conversations. We chilled for a couple of hours until the jet black Dodge SUV limo pulled up and we pulled in. Not like a can of sardines but like a bucket of soup with plenty of room for our feet to swim in. Of course the booze and the narcotics were right behind us. And when I say narcotics, i don't mean coke or meth, I mean good paper and a certain girl named Molly. We cruised around Denver before arriving to our destination at Five Points. The limo came equipped with all the perks like soothing laser lights, mini bar, and great company. The only thing that was lacking was a mini toilet. We departed the vehicle towards the venue to purchase our tickets and to stand in line. In this particular case it wasn't too long, but long enough that Mr. Black and I took a shit in an alley cutty corner from the event. After releasing my turd, I was ready to listen to music and get my full 30 ducats worth.

     I get manhandled lightly by the Cervantes security staff and walk into what looks like a medium sized venue. The time was around 11 in the P.M. and I was equipped with my camera. The drinks are a little pricey and the heat is borderline from a scale of lukewarm to just plain hot (depending on your body temperature and what you are ingesting). Cervantes does has its upsides though, it's easily accessible by light rail (D-Line), they got a coat check, pizza stand (for those of you that don't mind eating that), an alright laser light system, great sound, and security that really don't mess with you unless you're being over the top causing your ass to get kicked out. In my case I kept it cute with a couple hits of acid, a few vodkas with juice, and good ol' maryjane. Feeling relaxed and groovy, I make my way through the crowd to observe the performers they hired for the night.

     The people from Natural Alternative Medicine and The Pnuma Trio teamed up to cover the cost of this event named "Medicinal Bass." Like I said, the ticket was a little expensive, 30 American big ones. "Was it worth it?", my inner jew asked. I replied, "I'll get back to you." The crowd seemed like a hippie commune all hopped off a bus running on vegetable oil and filled every possible crevice. Good thing they were mostly from Boulder because they are at least friendly, tend their dreads, keep their composure on drugs, and have money. There wasn't too many under-agers, so any single man (or woman) could mingle without having to see an identification card for age verification. The occasional ethnic person and/or creepazoid lurking the shadows but not enough to detour the woman which was a good ratio at this party. Oh, and when I mean "ethnic", I mean anything non-American. The lineup was, The Pnuma Trio, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. vs. Crowdrock, Jasper, DversusJ, Two Fresh and Virtual Boy. So, allow me to critique...

     The Pnuma Trio consists of Ben Hazelgrove, Alex Botwin, and Lane Shaw under STS9's 1320 record label. This trio has been around since 2004, are from what I believe is Atlanta, GA, and don't sound bad at all. 808 electronic sounds, turntables, and band instruments made this band semi-unique in what I would call the "Electro-Band" genre. Their stage presence was well executed even though they looked a bit busy turning knobs, pressing keys, and stroking strings. Their sound was 100% electronic, with trance/glitch-like sounds infused with a deep groove melody. In other words, some really fuckin good music to dance to even if you're one of those people that don't. Their music will at least make you wiggle your butt a little bit from side to side (no homo).

     If you like the bits and samples of the 1990's, infused with the backbone of a downtempo break, mixed with a dark whomp glitch sound with a touch of electronically manipulated hip hop sounds, then S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and Crowdrock are the guys you're looking for. Denver locals belonging to the Jungle Lab,  Bass Lab,  and members of the Denver Bass Squad (DBS), these guys make crunkadelic sound good. Now I'm not saying they're spectacular or that they're totally innovative because there are others like them on this planet. What I am saying is that they are almost spectacular and semi-innovative in which they execute their music and work the crowd. You can definitely dance to it even if you're "leaning."

     Now everyone knows that you don't have to be from Cali or Colorado to enjoy good dubstep. Jasper, a producer, and performer from Chicago, IL hooked up his computer and started to click and play. Now I don't know what goes on behind these computer screens but my guess it's not as hard as using turntables or actually playing the motherfucker. I was back and forth from stages and this artist slipped my attention. I don't know if he connected with the crowd or if he was just glued to the computer. I like dubstep, but if it sounds like every other dubstep track out there, I usually look for something better. I don't think this was the case. I think I was just too fucked up like every other person in there and had a short attention span. Next time I'l take some Adderall for focus.

     DversusJ from Boulder's Skunk Boys and Natural Alternative Medicine? What to say? Sounds like a fuckin commercial to me. I mean I like marijuana like the next guy, but really? Might as well work on a 30 second commercial that you can put on you're backdrop, or at least hand five sacks at the door. More dubstep and again, it must've not sparked my interest. This kind of dubstep is the kind that is good to fall asleep to after a long night of partying. Thanks for putting up cash for the party though.  
     On the other hand, there was Two Fresh from 1320 Records. Two for the number of twin brothers, and Fresh because they're only a couple years old. Sherwyn and Nicholis are the brothers handling the electronic equipment and Colby Butler is the guy banging on the drums with sticks. I expected something different since they're an electro/hip hop/jazz group from Nashville, TN. They blew my expectations out of the water. They rocked the house as everyone from all over the venue crowded the main dance floor and danced (or at least tried). They pulled me out of what could've been a bad acid trip into a soothing almost nurturing one. From that other shit to this? Yeah, they were great. The Hip Hop beat wasn't too repetitive and they tweaked the sounds in a way that a told a story. A story with no plot, protagonist, or antagonist. More like a coloring book with geometrical shapes. The jazzy feel lightened up the mood, and not to mention the power of Apple laptops. Thank god they didn't do too much "mash" because that is so three years ago. Maybe five.
     My trip almost at full peak and I get thrown Virtual Boy, also from 1320 Records, my way? There couldn't be a better choice. This double duo from Los Angeles, CA, consisted of  Henry Allen and Preston Walker. Their fusion of harmonic glitch and deep classic Nintendo synth sounds made me feel like I had to save the princess over and over again. Once again how an old synthesizer, when used properly, can turn the most common sounds into an eclectic masterpiece. They did a wonderful job.

     The party ended and the after party started. We all gathered in the limo to go back to birthday girl's house. More booze, more drugs, more company. I chilled until Mr. Black and I walked to his home on an epic LSD journey 21 blocks away as the sun came up. He stole some beef jerky and I grabbed some nuts and juice. I fell asleep like a baby with synth sounds in my head.


Pnuma Trio (Elmand Oak/1320 Records - Electronica/Experimental/Hip Hop):

Two Fresh (1320 Records - Hip Hop)

Virtual Boy (1320 Records - Electronic/Experimental/Hip Hop)

S.P.E.C.T.R.E. (Basslabs/DBS - Crunk/Glitch Hop):

Crowdrock (Basslabs/DBS - Crunk/Glitch Hop):

JASPER (Skunk Boyz/ - Dubstep)

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