Steal This Track: The Haunted Windchimes and the MicrodotsBy Eryc Eyl | May 16th, 2011 | 3 comments
If you like your music with fancy picking, close harmonies and a little twang, then prepare to meet your new favorite band — the Haunted Windchimes from Pueblo, Colorado. A down-home family band with a taste for authentic string band music, the quintet features guitarist Inaiah Lujan, his sister Chela on the banjo, his girlfriend Desirae Garcia on ukelele and kazoo, upright bassist Sean Fanning and Mike Clark holding down harmonica, mandolin and a few other odds and ends.
On the group’s 2006 debut EP, the Haunted Windchimes presented a beautiful chamber pop sound. However, with last year’s “Honey Moonshine,” the band perfected an old-timey hoedown sound, executed with passion and precision, well timed with the popularity of like-minded groups like the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. On Saturday night — in conjunction with Blank Tape Records, the same label that brought us Changing Colors and Joe Johnson — the band released “Live at the Western Jubilee,” a celebration of its career so far. Recorded in December 2010 at the Western Jubilee Warehouse, a legendary Colorado Springs venue, the record’s 13 tracks capture the five musicians in peak form in front of an appreciative audience. Though live albums can sometimes be a bore for all their applause and stage banter, “Live at the Western Jubilee” focuses on the music. Heartfelt performances, a healthy dose of humor and seemingly boundless energy make the record a treat for the ears.
Even if you don’t think you like banjos and mandolins, you owe it to yourself to steal “Shadows and Pine” up above. If you like what you hear, you can catch the band’s Denver CD release party at the Walnut Room on Saturday, May 21. Tickets are just $10.
Speaking of CDs, Denver alt-rock foursome the Microdots will release its debut CD, “Orkid,” on Friday, June 3, with a show at the Gothic Theatre. Together for just over a year, the Microdots draw influences from shoegaze, psych rock and even dub to create a lush, organic and radio-friendly sound. The album has more than its share of memorable melodies and lyrical gems, and overall, has the loose confidence of a talented band’s first album. Unfortunately, it also has some sound quality issues, but those don’t stand in the way of a solid, pleasantly listenable debut effort. This is a group to keep an ear out for as they continue to mature. Steal “Crazy Maraca” above and you can be really smug with your friends when the Microdots achieve the potential that “Orkid” promises.
If you like Steal This Track, you’re gonna love Steal This Track: a Reverb Dance Party at the Hi-Dive. We’re taking over the South Broadway indie rock institution on the last Thursday of every month with special guests, giveaways, drink specials and more. In the later hours, DJ Savior Breath (a.k.a. Reverb’s own Eryc Eyl) turns the shindig into a pants-dropping dance party. And just like Steal This Track, it’s absolutely free. You won’t want to miss it.
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 — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — 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 for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout for stories about Denver musicians doing extraordinary things. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom.