[UMS Favorites 2012] The Parlor Pickers + Dear Rabbit

The 12th Annual Denver Post Underground Music Showcase took place this weekend in Denver’s Baker neighborhood, which happens to be my backyard. All the best bands from Colorado (and a few bigger nationwide acts) played in venues up and down Broadway pretty much nonstop Thursday-Sunday. We were lucky enough to be given free passes for living in the neighborhood and it was an amaaaaazing weekend of music.

I figured now would be a great time to resurrect my blog. This week I’m gonna recap some of my favorites from UMS. They’re not gonna be reviews, per say, because I suck at those. I’m just gonna gush about some new and old favorites, and who knows, maybe y’all can find your new favorite Colorado band.

Up first, two great bands we saw at Gary Lee’s Motor Pub and Grub……

{Side note- Gary Lee’s is awesome. If you live in the neighborhood, go check it out. Great vibe and Gary Lee seems like a pretty sweet dude.}

The Parlor Pickers

Listen if you like: whiskey, dancin’, and havin’ a grand ol’ time. (And bands like Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford and Sons)

I’m just going to come out and say it: this was the best set I went to during UMS. My more pretentious friends may scoff at that statement, but it is the truth. The Parlor Pickers once again managed to make the whole room smile and dance like I’ve never seen another band do before. Hell, people were stopping on the street to listen as they walked by. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for artsy, serious music [see Dear Rabbit below], but most of the time I just want to sing and dance and shake my molasses. ☺ And we certainly danced. And sang. And smiled. Isn’t that just how life should be?

Here is their music video for their song called “Country Girls” for your viewing pleasure:

Go see them! You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Dear Rabbit

Listen if you like: artsy + unique music, in the vein of Daniel Johnston, Gogel Bordello, and Devotchka

It was the beginning of my first day at UMS, and Jordan and I were stumbling along looking for something to grab us. We stopped first into 3 Kings and were greeted with a less than stellar metal band. We moved on to Gary Lee’s and THANK GOD we did. We strolled in right as Dear Rabbit was working on his sound check and he caught our attention. He made us stay with the sound check. How often does that happen?

Dear Rabbit is like nothing I’ve seen lately. It’s just one guy switching between acoustic guitar, accordion, and trumpet. You get the feeling that he is a little off— not asylum crazy, but he definitely has the “absurb genious” thing going for him. Sometimes he would talk to himself, and he rambles, and you can see in his eyes that he’s got a million things going on in his mind. I LOVE that about him. He believed in it so much, I wanted to believe in it too. It helps that he is actually really talented. At one point he was playing different melodies on the accordion AND trumpet at the same time which really takes some talent.

Extra bonus: We talked to him for a while before the Varlet show and he is a really cool guy who was so very appreciative to receive our praises.

So there you have it, the first of many great Colorado bands. Check back tomorrow for more. 🙂

*Artist photos are taken from their Facebook pages.*