LA LUZ + TELE NOVELLA – 3/20/14, Englewood CO

Dates: March 20, 2014

Location: Moe's BBQ, Englewood CO

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TEXT BY TIM HINELY / PHOTOS BY JD BAMFORD

We arrived at Moe’s BBQ at 9 pm thinking that La Luz were going to be the opener but there was a band playing before them who was not listed in the club’s advertising. Hailing from Austin was the indie psych-pop of Tele Novella and I liked most of what I heard. Songs chugged along with the right amount of melody, and I think I heard words like excalibur and unicorns in the lyrics so maybe we’re dealing with some fantasy-loving folks here—fine with me. I wondered if the tall bassist was the same guy who was in Voxtrot, I was told yes (apparently the band has a member of the band Agent Ribbons, too). These guys are certainly worth of your time next time you see their name on a bill.

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Next up were Seattle’s La Luz who I’d heard had gotten into a nasty van accident recently (my pal asked me if they were still on crutches). No crutches and you would not have known anything happened, as any residual pain these ladies were in didn’t keep them from pushing on and cranking out a terrific set.

Leader/guitarist/vocalist Shana Cleveland has some of the best stage presence for someone so low-key (and love those surfy guitar leads) while the rest of the band (bassist Abbey Blackwell, keyboardist Alice Sandahl and drummer Marian Li Pino) certainly got into it too and seemed to be genuinely enjoying their jobs. They played everything (or just about everything) off last year’s terrific It’s Alive (on Hardly Art Records)  and especially tasty were cuts like “Sure As Spring”, “Phantom Feelings” and the title track. They even parted the red sea of the crowd an encouraged folks to have their own dance contest (I lost).  If they come to your town and your town is flooded, bust out the row boat to get there.

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Photos credit: JD Bamford, http://wellspokin.com/performance (This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.)

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