Kyle Emerson comes to The Side Door, and more from the local scene 

click to enlarge Denver’s Kyle Emerson is going to give us that folk-rock, psychedelia, country sound we love when he hits The Side Door April 6. - SAM KEELER
  • Sam Keeler
  • Denver’s Kyle Emerson is going to give us that folk-rock, psychedelia, country sound we love when he hits The Side Door April 6.
First things first: True, this week’s live music offerings might collectively be a little less ostentatious on the marquees than Stevie Wonder’s recently announced, first-ever headlining show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 24 (prepare your body and mind to fight your loved ones to the death in the Thunderdome for tickets). But don’t let that discourage you — there’s still plenty of interest going on.

For instance, Kyle Emerson’s appearance at The Side Door this Saturday, April 6, caps off what must be a quite satisfying monthlong tour for the Denver-based singer-songwriter, which featured stops at the 2019 editions of Treefort Music Fest and South by Southwest. It’s richly deserved exposure for Emerson, whose 2017 debut LP, Dorothy Alice, showcases him not only as a talented guitarist, singer and writer, but a gifted curator of many songwriting conventions worth preserving from the past five decades.

Led by nimble guitar work and affable vocals, Emerson’s sound marries folk-rock, psychedelia and distinctly desert-like country tinges to its classic pop songcraft. Thus, the songs on Dorothy Alice are satisfying in both their small details and their grander scope. The Bert Jansch-inspired fretwork on “In My Mind” is nearly as mystical as the track’s cosmic lyrics, “Naked in the Night” recalls Elliott Smith in its drama and pop sophistication, and the title track punctuates its emotional resonance with a bit of twang in its otherwise elegant, almost chamber-pop framing. Emerson recently recorded a “currently unreleased” track, “Alone Tonite,” during a session with KUTX 98.9 while in Austin on his recent tour, which certainly whets the appetite for new material in the (hopefully near) future.

Emerson has already shared stages with a fairly impressive bevy of acts, such as The Districts, Twin Peaks, JEFF the Brotherhood, and the late, great Charles Bradley. At his Side Door performance, he’ll be joined by locals Spirettes, who likely need little introduction given their status as collective and individual indie-rock standouts.

Elsewhere, at The Black Sheep on April 6, fans of both jazz and Phish can come together for Jazz Is PHSH, an instrumental jazz tribute to... well, you’ve probably already caught on to the conceit here. Formed in 2015 by brothers Adam and Matthew Chase, also of James Brown Dance Party, Jazz is PHSH features a revolving door of acclaimed musicians — members of Snarky Puppy, Victor Wooten Band, Lettuce, and even the Sun Ra Arkestra have made contributions at various points, and the band has received critical praise everywhere from All About Jazz to the Huffington Post to alt-country bible No Depression.

Currently, the group is on its self-described “biggest tour to date,” and joining them at The Black Sheep is beloved local Grateful Dead tribute Big Sky, which I’m pretty sure will result in some sort of ecstatic, jam band mass-ego-death for all in attendance. It also makes for a well-rounded evening, conceptually, since the “Jazz is PHSH” name is a play on the popular Michael Gaiman-created Dead tribute Jazz Is Dead.

On the new music front, fans can look forward to a new release from the extremely talented local emcee MILOGIC, who celebrates the release of Primate Philosophy at Gold Camp Brewing Company on Friday, April 12. It’s been a while since we’ve received a proper release from MILOGIC; though in 2018, he guested on Teqnik G’s LP Apparition in the Shadows and released “The Jump Off,” a track recorded with his two sons as Cerberus Crew, which sports chiptune-inspired production and an impeccably timed Street Fighter “Shoryuken!” sample. Naturally, it will be a welcome addition to have a new, longer-form effort from “Mighty MI” added to the local hip-hop canon. Primate Philosophy was recorded in collaboration with Michigan-based producer AATMA (who, incidentally, also worked on the aforementioned Apparition in the Shadows).

Finally, another reminder to swing by the Triple Nickel Tavern this Friday, April 5, where Earsiq hosts a stacked evening of hip-hop to benefit Violet Martinez, who is battling pediatric cancer.

Send news, photos, and music to collin@csindy.com


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