I’m actually ready for Christmas this year, which is strange if you know me. I’m one of those folks who lives kind of day to day without a calendar, doing things on memory and clearing responsibilities as they pop up.
I’m typically a late December shopper and a birthday forgetter (mine especially). If it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t be half the HBD congratulator my friends think I am.
But this year is different, somehow. I think it’s that my 3-year-old is now getting super excited about holidays and it’s rubbing off on me a bit. That, or as life gets crazier, the jolly spirit of the season seems more inviting than ever.
This year, I’m stuffing stockings with albums and EPs from local musicians. Besides the gift of physical music being a fading gem, and aside from my new-ish return to excitement for the season, this area we live in churns out some amazing tunes and music is always a great gift.
So refill your ‘nog and strap in as I count down three albums I’ll be giving out to friends and family, all originating right here in the Front Range. Space is tight here and there are more albums I want to give, so I’ll likely extend this theme through next week’s column, too. Onward!
‘Evening Machines’ by Gregory Alan Isakov
When I last had a chance for a good chat with Isakov’s cellist, Philip Parker, Gregory’s upcoming album was still a hazy blur of melodies and thoughts. “Greg has a process,” he said, indicating that the world-famous singer-songwriter does not push for the music to be created, but instead lets the ideas come to him organically.
Well fast forward nine months or so, and here I am getting blown away by track after track. For melody junkies like myself, it doesn’t get much better than the chorus hook on “San Luis” or the spacey violin/cello work on “Southern Star,” or the space and gravity of the catchy chorus of “Powder.”
‘Continuum’ by Synth Lordz
Set to be released Tuesday, Dec. 11, the synth/house tandem of Boulder’s Jaden Carlson and Chris Beck, the keyboardist of her titular funk/soul band, are back with a new EP full of floor-stomping house bangers.
I’ve written a lot about Jaden in these pages, and if you’re still not familiar with her, she is a local 17-year-old homeschooled 6-string and 88-key prodigy. “Continuum” will be her seventh or eighth published album of music, to give you an idea about her prolific nature. Typical to her work outside the Jaden Carlson Band, this one is produced, mixed and mastered by her, with help and guidance from Chris. I’ve heard the whole thing, and it is going in the stockings — it’s that good.
‘Between the Outfield and Outer Space’ by Bud Bronson & The Good Timers
I love these guys. I love following them through social media and seeing their glee at every Rockies win and watching them don baseball jerseys at their sweaty rock shows. This is a group of guys who are as real about what they love as anyone.
And if you love the same things — namely tight, head-nodding, lick-filled, happy punk rock and PBR tallboys at the ballpark, you need to run to get this one.