Who: Lenka with Gregg Laswell
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver
It’s a slow week for Boulder shows, so drive down to Denver tonight and check out best-selling indie popsters Lenka and Linda Perry.
Besides, this is a great chance to check out some of Denver’s best underground clubs.
Lenka earned a huge American fanbase with her emotive brand of indie pop and very creative stage shows. Tunes from her debut CD were played so frequently on TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy” that they became the show’s unofficial soundtrack.
These days, the Aussie calls America home and she’s hitting the road with tunes from her new CD, Two. Tonight, Lenka headlines Denver’s Marquis Theater.
“I started out as a TV actor,” Lenka said. “It took me a long time to do my music. I tried everything else in the arts first — I love all forms of creative expression.”
Lenka puts her arts background to good use, as the musician creates very unique stage settings and homemade videos.
The performer’s career took off with her self-titled debut album. The record featured Lenka’s hit “Trouble is a Friend,” and collaborations with AFI’s Hunter Bergen and Howie Day.
“That record gave me wonderful opportunities and a lot of new fans,” Lenka said. “The album had a worldwide flow and I got to visit so many different countries. It was quite unexpected and things really blew up.”
There’s always pressure for artists to make that great sophomore record, but Lenka thinks she’s sealed the deal.
“It’s kind of weird, you have your whole life to write your first album and six months to write the second one,” Lenka said. “I did have a few aims for this record.”
“I wanted to make it softer and a little punchier — not so sweet and childlike. I experimented more with sounds and production techniques. It’s pretty optimistic and about finding ways to get over the harder parts of your life.”
Now Lenka’s ready to take the music to her fans.
“My fans have been waiting patiently. The last release came out in 2008,” Lenka said. “I feel a sense of responsibility to make music they want to hear.”
Linda Perry penned Pink’s rock anthem “Get the Party Started” and helped make Christina Aguilera a star with her song “Beautiful.” She’s also written and produced tunes for Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys and Courtney Love.
Now Perry’s returning to the stage with her edgy new act Deep Dark Robot. The garage pop band’s already played SXSW and its hitting the Larimer Lounge tonight.
“This music’s really giving me the opportunity to express myself and that’s pretty fucking awesome,” Perry said. “I spent a lot of time focusing on my label and the bands I signed, but now I’m just focusing on what I’m doing with me.
“Today’s music business is so screened by people who have no idea what to do and there are a lot of fakes out there. I want to see fans and artists raise the bar.”
Perry hopes to carve a place in the industry for Deep Dark Robot and the band’s new CD, 8 Songs About A Girl.
“Our vision was just to have fun with this music,” Perry said. “If people don’t like it, we’ll be OK. This music is spontaneous, and you can feel the emotion and fun.
“Listen to it with an unexpected ear. We’re hoping to grow this band organically, and still be creative and have fun.”