We're only a week into 2017, but the local music scene is starting to slowly shake off the post-holiday doldrums, with a few more shows rolling in and even the announcement of new releases.
The ever-prolific Charlie Milo is among the first to announce new music for the new year, as the Charlie Milo Trio is celebrating the release of their latest effort, Blue Carpet Adventures, on Friday, Jan. 20, at Stargazers Theatre. Following the release show where the Quartet of Jazz Death will also perform, the trio (consisting of Milo, keyboardist Michael Hawkins and drummer Emily Gould) is set to embark on a short tour during late February and March, consisting of more than 20 shows spread throughout Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
If you've caught Milo before, you'll know the bassist has a reputation for eclecticism and gleeful genre-hopping, mixing rock, funk, jazz and hip-hop with a revolving cast of collaborators. In March 2016, Milo and his band played to a packed house at the Black Sheep with local hip-hop duo Mad Trees, opening for renowned Oakland hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics. The trio has also backed up local hip-hop notables such as Stoney Bertz, Big Ro, Made Up Minds and more.
Milo describes the sound on Blue Carpet Adventures as experimental, but notes it would certainly have a happy home in the rock section of a music store. The album, recorded at Enharmonic Studios, also interweaves earlier live recordings and home recordings, an "anthropological" process Milo describes as "sonic taxidermy."
As for the current incarnation of the Charlie Milo Trio, Milo says he loves working with Hawkins and Gould, and their eagerness to experiment has helped the songwriting and recording processes remain exciting and fresh.
"One of the things I'm interested in is getting better at songwriting, and one of the ways that the band helps me [achieve this] is by not restricting my writing in any way, shape, or form," says Milo. "I may walk in with something that's a little goofy or left-field, but each idea gets tried. I love these guys and couldn't be happier with the new musical tribe in which I've landed."
Meanwhile, if you're bemoaning the fact that Kendrick Lamar, New Order and Father John Misty are all inviting indignity upon themselves and their fans by playing Coachella 2017, here are a few local shows coming up this week to perk up your spirits.
Wednesday, Jan. 11, brings Santa Cruz's reggae-rock act The Expendables to the Black Sheep, joined by fellow island-minded singer-songwriter HIRIE.
The following night at the Black Sheep, Jan. 12, you can catch the hardcore punk fury of Illinois' Capitol Offense, Minneapolis' War Prayer, Denver's Lonely Bones and locals Fortune's Fool.
On Jan. 13, long-running Southern hip-hop quartet Nappy Roots takes the stage at Rawkus, along with D-Stylz and Swizzy B.
Also on Jan. 13, Oklahoma City's riff-heavy hard rock band Locust Grove hits the Black Sheep, with locals Image Of and Pueblo's Cosmic Waste and Seven Days Lost in tow.
Eclectic Israeli electronic music duo Infected Mushroom brings their "psychedelic trance" sound to Rawkus on Saturday, Jan. 14, with Mr. Lang in support.
Finally, at the Black Sheep on Jan. 14, look for a full night of local punk and ska courtesy of Dead Wave, Brown Noise, Minus Well and Knock Blockers.
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