What: Idlewhile and The Ghost-Towners
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Absolute Vinyl Records and Stereo, 5360 Arapahoe Ave.,Boulder, 303-955-1519
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There’s something both sweet and sad about listening to Idlewhile for the first time.
It might not be immediately clear why the six-piece Longmont band conveys that same feeling you get when you see a sad puppy (so heartwarming, yet so heartbreaking) but it listen a little more and it becomes more evident. Or let guitarist Steven Phoenix explain.
“It’s an indie/Americana type sound. It’s that nice juxtaposition of hearkening back to bluegrass, where you have this happy music, but the lyrics often are telling this incredibly morose tale,” he said. “It’s all Americana, for lack of a better genre. The more indie side of things is, it definitely has a more complex hue to the lyricism.”
No need to take his word for it, though. It’s pretty easy to check them out for yourself. Idlewhile has been playing all over Colorado since the band formed in May 2010, and released a promo album with 11 original songs recorded either live or in the studio.
“We’ve been doing this about 18 months and I’m very pleased to say that there’s been an amazing amount of ground covered. We’ve had the opportunity to make a much more lively, exciting live presentation,” Phoenix said. “We kinda put the band together and started doing our first shows in October (2010), debuting at The Laughing Goat in Boulder. We put on about 32 shows since then, from Longmont to Denver, couple areas in between.”
The Idlewhile lineup includes Phoenix on guitar, Giselle Collazo on guitar and keys, Paul Tedesco on upright bass, Matt Lawlor on drums and banjo, Chad Granoff on guitar, and Miguel Ramos on violin, viola, steel guitar and keys.
They all got together after Phoenix and Collazo had been writing music together for a few years, and Ramos heard some of their songs and suggested making a real project of it. They set out to recruit “musician friends who shared the vision,” as Phoenix put it, and that wasn’t too hard to do in Longmont.
“There’s so much happening there musically. There’s just a great community of musicians there,” he said.
He’s talking about bands like their friends Bonnie & The Clydes, and venues like Oskar Blues and Left Hand Brewery that support local musicians.
“I really enjoy Longmont. I think that as the years go by, it’s really turning into its own kind of place reminiscent of Boulder,” Phoenix said. “It seems like a community that’s really growing in a great direction.”
Next up for Idlewhile is a featured spot on Boulder’s own Adventure Records Cuvee 7 compilation, among other local talent including The Yawpers, SuperCollider, Tommy & The Tangerines, Dechen Hawk, Mr. Anonymous and more.
They’re plotting a full-length studio album, since they’ve built up a catalog of about 40 original songs over the past 18 months. They’ll keep gigging too — this Friday they’ll play Absolute Vinyl with The Ghost-Towners.
“We’re excited to play at Absolute Vinyl,” Phoenix said. “I think that’s kind of turning into a legendary scene with what Doug [Gaddy] has got going on.”
If you haven’t seen a show at the little record shop yet, this show is a good time to see what it’s all about. The audience is squished (in a good way) right up in front of the band, for a super intimate show.