Maps & Atlases are on a mission to play experimental rock that’s accessible to pop audiences.
The Chicago band’s touring behind its first full-length CD, Perch Patchwork. Tonight, Maps & Atlases headline Denver’s Marquis Theater.
Who: Maps & Atlases, with Drink Up Buttercup
When: 8 tonight
Where: Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver
“We’re really excited the album just came out,” guitarist/vocalist Dave Davison said. “We started the band when we were in college and we were playing more prog rock. We were discovering a lot of new experimental music, but at the same time we grew up appreciating classic rock.
“That’s why we wanted to frame this new experimental stuff within the context of a more classic pop song. We really stuck to that.”
The members of Maps & Atlases wanted to show off their songwriting skills on Perch Patchwork, and that laid the groundwork for the new CD.
“We wanted to really go back to the classic quality of songwriting,” Davison said. “The record’s really song-centric, but we left a lot of room to be different.
“We tried to meld together all these technical and progressive aspects with enjoyable, catchy and fun songs. The music’s not over anyone’s heads, but we do integrate these experimental elements.”
Thrice has been cranking out its brand of alternative rock since 1998. The band’s changed up its musical stylings over the years, and now the music’s taking on a more energetic, upbeat feel.
The group’s now touring behind its 2009 CD, Beggars. Thrice will show of its newer tunes at the Ogden Theatre in Denver on Sunday.
“We started out playing music 12 years ago — that’s crazy,” bassist Eddie Breckenridge said. “The music’s been changing from the beginning. We’ve always been a rock band with a hint of progressiveness, and we always try to push ourselves to experiment with new ideas and sounds.”
Breckenridge said Thrice wanted to expand beyond the scope of its last few records with Beggars.
“Each of our records tells a story,” Breckenridge said. “Our last record, Alchemy Index, was a concept record. We really pushed ourselves and experimented with new instruments and sounds.
“That’s why we wanted the next record to get back to the basics. The songs are really focused on Beggars. There’s also a certain raw energy on the record that we haven’t been able to capture before. The record feels more natural than a lot of our past records.”
Locals hit the Fox
This is a big weekend for local music at the Fox Theatre.
Tonight, singer-songwriter Kort McCumber hosts a release party for his CD, Ain’t The Same As Before. The local performer’s known for his solo and band shows, and his take on Americana music.
“I tell people my music’s Americana, but it has a lot of influences like rock, country and the blues,” McCumber said. “This new record is more of a rock and blues record, but it’s more of who I am as a musician.
“I wanted to do a big release show with the record, so the timing was perfect to hold a release party at the Fox. It will be a fun night. We’re going to feature the new music and the first 100 people will get a free CD.”
Saturday, The Jeffrey Hyde Thompson Band plays a special tribute show at the Fox. The group will perform tunes from Radiohead’s OK Computer and Jeff Buckley’s Grace.
This will be a bittersweet night for Thompson, as it’s his last show before moving out of Colorado.
“We picked these artists because Jeff Buckley’s and Thom Yorke’s voices are similar to mine,” Thompson said. “These artists and these records are as good as it gets.”
The show will also feature sets by local “American Idol” finalist Lilly Scott and Dechen Hawk.