Aside from having one of the most dubiously vague genre labels, "world music" usually gets overlooked in comparison with rock, hip-hop, and even the terminally insular realms of jazz and classical. But music fans of all stripes should find something to appreciate at Colorado College's Kathryn Mohrman Theatre on Sept. 30, when the Guy Mendilow Band bring their collection of songs from the somewhat obscure tradition of Ladino.
Ladino comes from the traditional songs and stories brought by Sephardic Jews as they moved from Spain and settled in the Mediterranean region. The music's lyrics are frequently populated by runaway brides, men thrown in wells and other cutthroat affairs.
Mendilow himself suggests that Ladino songs — with their mix of modal tonality, tango-esque flair and dramatic narratives — can be fully embraced by fans of Game of Thrones. So, if that's your thing, be sure to make your way there in between debating how many ways Hillary Clinton is like Daenerys Targaryen.
Meanwhile, Sept. 10's Independent Music Artists Showcase had its share of spirited performances spread out across the sun-baked six downtown blocks that comprised the 2016 What IF... Festival. If you were among the music fans who caught the performance of instrumental post-rock trio Blind, the Thief and liked what you heard, here's good news: The group is celebrating the release of their new EP, Luma, with a performance at the Black Sheep on Sept. 30 with Confluence, Comrades and See-You-Home-Wolf.
Blind, the Thief is made up of guitarist Shane Cahn, bassist Zachary Irish and drummer Reggie Thompson, who are familiar faces from the local indie-rock scene. Irish had previously played in Those Space Animals, while Thompson is a member of genre mainstays We Are Not a Glum Lot and had previously performed with Cahn in Foster and War Parts.
"Reg and I have been playing music together since we were 14," explains Cahn. "We would jam Led Zeppelin covers in my room after school."
The band went through a few different bass players before hooking up with Irish, who teaches music for a living. "We never have to tell him what to do or explain any parts to him. He just gets it."
With Irish on board, the group has built upon Cahn and Thompson's longstanding musical chemistry, while continuing to hone its own sound and identity.
"I feel like our songwriting has really evolved into something more uniquely 'us' and a bit more complex," says Cahn. "We went from writing 4/4 indie-pop songs to more experimental songs with lots of signature changes and complex melodies."
Luma was recorded with local producer Wes Spero at Windogo Studios. "Wes was kind of a no-brainer, considering his work with other local bands such as Autumn Creatures and Dead Set," says Thompson. "Tracking with him was fairly laid back, loads of fun, and it took less than a week to finish. Not long after that, Wes dialed in the mix and, about a month later, Luma was done."
You'll be able to pick up your own copy of the EP at the Sept. 30 Black Sheep show. After that, Blind, the Thief is also set to play at the Flux Capacitor on Oct. 7, along with Mobdividual and Baltimore's psychedelic duo Darsombra.
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