Feature: "Buy Local" event at Swallow Hill to feature Paper Bird, Bela Karoli - Reverb

Feature: “Buy Local” event at Swallow Hill to feature Paper Bird, Bela Karoli

Paper Bird will play the Buy Local party at Swallow Hill Music on Friday.

Paper Bird will play the Buy Local party at Swallow Hill Music on Friday.

Black Friday has come and gone and the holiday season is breathing hot down our necks. Before you spend your budget at the big box stores and shopping malls during the madness, the Mile High Business Alliance, Swallow Hill Music, Noodles & Co. and Twist & Shout Records would like you to consider spending much of that budget locally.

Besides local publicity and specials for local shoppers, the group is planning a hootenanny on Friday, Dec. 3 at Swallow Hill Music with live sets from Bela Karoli and Paper Bird.

According to Mile HIgh Business Alliance, the idea for “Buy Local Week” comes in part out of the fact that money spent at local businesses is likely to recirculate at least three times in communities where it’s spent, and can give the local economy a much-needed boost. Even a small amount of the billions spent this holiday season, say 10%, can make a tremendous difference for the state’s economy.

“One of the biggest myths about the economy is that the purpose of business is to make money,” said Alliance member Mickki Langston. “While businesses must make money to succeed, there is much more to the role of business in building a community we love. Local businesses, like local artists, help build unique character. And since we invest more in the things we value, this whole local business/art dynamic builds upon itself to nurture even more relationship, connection and recognition of the intrinsic value of people, cities and art.”

When asked about the community’s and the Alliance’s view on the local music scene, and particularly about the bands they asked to play at the event, Langston said “People want more than just the latest soda flavor and cleaning detergent. We want to experience, to be connected, to understand ourselves in the context of the rest of the world…our artists tend to be the people who’ve simply had the courage (or the passionate drive) to share that before the rest of us.”

Bela Karoli plays a unique folky style of music born out of a jazz tradition, with a prevalent Euro-Pop aesthetic throughout. Fronted by Julie Davis’ sensual vocals and jazzy standup bass, the four-piece includes some scintillating accordion work from Brigid McAuliffe, cello and violin from Carrie Beeder and all sorts of keyboard from James Han. The band’s tunes equally inspire rhythmic bouncing, ballroom antics and writhing, smokey dances, with as much influence from Gershwin as from Stereolab.

“Buying locally means investing in Denver’s culture and cultivating our city’s identity, and Bela Karoli is proud to contribute to an event that celebrates what makes Denver uniquely Denver,” said Davis.

The other act on the bill, Paper Bird, is currently enjoying a rise in popularity on both the local and national scene since the release of its second album “When the River Took Flight.” The seven-piece includes sister singers Genny and Esme Patterson, vocalist and trumpeter Sarah Anderson, trombonist Tyler Archuletta, bassist Macon Terry (who plays an upright bass, to be exact), gutarist Paul DeHaven and banjo master Caleb Summeril. As large as the band may seem, they make brilliant, unassuming compositions built around the brilliant harmonies of the three women singers. Their tunes evoke summer festivals in the country (maybe in the early part of the last century, with an Andrews Sisters feel) and a resilient, homey vibe.

In addition to local music, the evening will include locally produced foods, unique gifts, prizes and a silent auction. Tickets, $20, are available throguh Swallow Hill Music. Some of the complementary food will be provided by local restaurant Root Down.

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Billy Thieme is a Denver-based writer, an old-school punk and a huge follower of Denver’s vibrant local music scene. Follow Billy’s explorations at DenverThread.com, and his giglist at Gigbot.