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Daniel James Eaton returns with new Briffaut album 

click to enlarge Briffaut singer Daniel James Eaton (right) with drummer Alex Koshak. - KITTY COLVIN
  • Kitty Colvin
  • Briffaut singer Daniel James Eaton (right) with drummer Alex Koshak.
When last we’d been graced with a record from Daniel James Eaton’s folksy psychedelic outfit Briffaut, the band released the album Maud, which contained favorite selections from Eaton’s rather monumental “Year of Songs” project, wherein the singer-songwriter posted a new song every day throughout 2012.

Well, the wait is over for new Briffaut material, as their sophomore LP, Helsinki, is set to be released digitally and on cassette through Denver-based label GROUPHUG on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. There will also be an album release show at Denver’s Syntax Physic Opera on Friday, March 2, with In/Planes and Down Time in support.

Eaton describes the new album as a “conceptual piece” that examines issues such as climate change and war in a subtle yet haunting fashion.

“In war, one fights for peace, and this album has songs that represent the destruction and violence of human nature as much as it has songs of surreal peace and tranquility,” explains Eaton.

As well as the universal themes present, Helsinki is deeply personal, as it is dedicated to the memory of Eaton’s grandmother, who passed away following a battle with ovarian cancer.

“She liked cowboy movies with John Wayne — ‘shoot ’em ups,’ as she called them,” says Eaton. “She also read books about spies a lot. So I set off to make this album about cowboys and spies and Dirty Harry, and I threw in outer space because I had just seen the new Star Wars movie. It’s funny how an idea can take 20 seconds to have but two years to see to fruition, but that’s art.”

The album was recorded with Adam Hawkins of Right Heel Music. In addition to cassette and digital releases, it will also appear on CD thanks to a funded Kickstarter campaign, the success of which Eaton attributes to “amazing support from the local Colorado Springs community.”

In other news, the phrase “not your grandmother’s grindcore band” might seem absurd on the surface, as if language itself is gradually becoming devoid of any object meaning. But what if I told you there was a grindcore band — wait for it — fronted by a grandmother?

Yes, indeed, a 68-year-old Canadian grandmother is the vocalist of Grindmother (which seems to serve as both band name and frontwoman nom de guerre, like Alice Cooper). While the inherent curiosity factor is obviously high, the band has received warm critical notice for the music itself, earning features in Noisey, Consequence of Sound, Vice and Decibel Magazine.
Along with a cover of Sepultura’s “Slave New World” released as a single, 2016 saw the independent release of debut EP Age of Destruction, where Grindmother offers 10 blistering treatises on social and environmental issues. It doesn’t sound quite as unhinged as, say, the band Full of Hell, but it doesn’t have to. You can experience Grindmother in all their glory at the Black Sheep on Wednesday, Feb. 14, with ALONE and Sonic Vomit.

The Black Sheep, incidentally, has something for just about everyone this week, but two particular shows will be of great interest to local hip-hop and reggae fans.

Los Angeles-based emcee Murs, former member of Living Legends and holder of a Guinness world record for rapping 24 hours straight (during a Twitch livestream, making it not only a world record but the single definitive act of 2016), makes his Black Sheep return on Thursday, Feb. 15, supported by Stay Tuned, Audible, Milogic and Earsiq. Murs’ new LP, A Strange Journey Into the Unimaginable, is set to be released on March 16 through Tech N9ne’s label, Strange Music.


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