Steal This Track from Xmaslites and Eryc EylBy Josh Johnson | March 4th, 2013 | No Comments »
Chances are you’ve never heard of Xmaslites. And if you have, you likely know Dominic Cicere, the sole member of Xmaslites. It’s not that the music sucks – it doesn’t – it’s that, for now, the band’s public face consists of some songs posted to Bandcamp – no shows, no physical disc, and, really, no band. But Cicere is hoping that will soon change.
Cicere moved to Denver from Washington DC two years ago. In DC, he played in indie rock and avant garde bands, but he likes the Denver music scene, saying that there’s a broad spectrum of great bands and the scene does not adhere to a specific sound. In DC, he says, “the spectre of the ’80s hardcore scene still lingers,” drawing influence from bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains. Bands like New Rock Church of Fire will begin with a post-hardcore sound and develop from there. Or artists like Laura Burhenn, who is heading out on the road with the Postal Service reunion, get their start in DC but soon move on.
Xmaslites are here to stay. Cicere is simultaneously writing an album he hopes to release later this year and looking for bandmates on Craigslist. As anyone who has bought or sold on Craigslist knows, it can be a crapshoot, and thus far Cicere has had little luck.
For now, Xmaslites have a solid start. Download “Island in the Sky” below for an example. Heavy on the synth and moody lyrics, the sound is dreampop with a touch of slowcore, perhaps recalling the latent DC hardcore sound. Really, it’s a great start, but Cicere could benefit from a band. Bands tend cut the broodiness a bit with some energy and bring a dynamic quality difficult to coax out alone. So, if you know anyone, apply within.
Some time ago, Denver comedian Andrew Orvedahl launched The Narrators, a monthly storytelling series where Denver notables would take the mic and spin a yarn around a topic like “Adults Only.” ‘Twas a huge success.
More recently, Orvedahl, busy with stand-up and a sitcom, enlisted master storyteller Robert Rutherford to share hosting duties, and the series is gaining even more popularity. The free show is standing room only at The Deer Pile above City O’ City on the third Thursday of every month. The Narrators also recently revitalized its podcast.
February’s theme was “Record Stores and Rock Shows,” and Steal This Track’s founder Eryc Eyl was on the marquee. He talked about the intersection of a-hole and music critic, as well as using rock shows to escape life. We offer you his story here to download, and you can read more of his writing on his website.
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 Steal This Track for consideration.
Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and Reverb contributor. He is also a co-host/co-producer of the Denver podcast Denver Diatribe.