Steal This Track: Bad Weather CaliforniaBy | July 20th, 2010 | 3 comments
Tuesday is a great day here at Reverb. It’s the day when we get to just give you free music. And you don’t have to give us your email address or sign up for a newsletter or even feel guilty. We WANT you to have these tracks, and so do the amazingly talented Colorado musicians who let us share them with you. We WANT you to appreciate all that the Colorado music scene has to offer, and though you can read tons about it on Reverb, there’s no substitute for hearing it for yourself.
Bad Weather California comprises four remarkable musicians who are well-known to fans of homegrown indie rock.
Pedal steel guitarist Adam Baumeister played punk with the Navy Girls, but puts most of his creative energy into his one-man band and home recording project, Littles Paia. Bassist Joe Sampson needs nearly no introduction after being roundly praised as one of our city’s best songwriters (performing under the moniker A Dog Paloma), and then turning out truly beautiful ambient cowboy music with Wentworth Kersey, but it’s worth noting that Sampson, too, invests himself most heavily in his home recording projects. Rounding out the quartet is drummer Logan Corcoran, who joined the band only recently, after stints with teamAWESOME! and M Pyres.
None of that, however, prepares you for the psychedelic punk hippie gospel of Bad Weather California. Front man and primary songwriter Chris Adolf first came to the attention of Denver music lovers with the Love Letter Band, after years of home recording in relative isolation. Now, with Baumeister, Sampson and Corcoran to put meat on the bones of his songs, Adolf is able to create ecstatically shambolic, rollicking rock that might best be described as freakout folk.
As a live act, there is an intense catharsis to Bad Weather California that borders on Pentecostalism. And though that’s a difficult experience to capture in a recording, the band might have finally done just that with its latest release, “Live Jammers.” And that might have something to do with the circumstances of its recording.
Back in March, Bad Weather California set off on the road to play a couple gigs in Grand Junction and Salt Lake City, but Mother Nature wasn’t having it. As Adolf puts it, “We almost died on the highway in the Rocky Mountains, so we decided to turn back home.” Once the foursome had safely returned to Denver, they decided to direct the energy that would have gone into their live shows into a spontaneous recording. Most of “Live Jammers” was recorded directly to tape while Adolf, Baumeister, Sampson and Corcoran performed in front of microphones. This gives the EP a raw, direct feeling with just a hint of — well — jamminess. There’s also a ’60s rock quality that evokes the Animals, the Hollies and the Yardbirds, while also reaching back to those bands’ blues and folk roots.
But descriptions and comparisons can only tell you so much. To hear what’s REALLY going on inside “Live Jammers,” steal the incandescent Eagles homage, “About This Time,” right now.
Bad Weather California | About This Time (right click to save to your computer)
If you liked that little taste, you’re in luck! Bad Weather California has decided to make the entire “Live Jammers” EP available for free, as a thank you to the band’s fans, friends, family and supporters. All you have to do is hop over to the group’s Bandcamp site and you’ll have FIVE more new songs to get you pumped for Bad Weather California’s UMS set, at 9 p.m. on Sunday at the Hi-Dive. You won’t want to miss that.
The EP should also tide you over until the band’s next full-length platter, which is in progress, with help from fellow indie folk freaks, Akron/Family.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks to Eryc Eyl for consideration.
Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Check out Steal This Track every Tuesday for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout every Friday. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet.