Jay Som + The Courtneys 4/6/17, Denver

Dates: April 6, 2017

Location: Lost Lake Lounge, Denver CO

Lost Lake Lounge plays host to one Flying Nun band and one Polyvinyl band. TMOQ, no lie.


Man, I really wanted to get there early enough to catch Denver’s Shady Elders who, though I’ve heard some of their tunes, have yet to catch them in a live setting, but it was not to be. By the time I showed up they were breaking down.

I sure as hell wasn’t going to be late for Vancouver, BC’s Courtneys. I love their new record (II, out now on New Zealand’s classic Flying Nun label…I’d heard it’s the first non-NZ band to be signed to Flying Nun and there’s some truth to that).  The band is three gals who I believe are all originally from cowtown Calgary but headed west to Vancouver to seek their fame and fortune. Ok, probably not that but to at least make some noise with friends. They were each in several different bands before finding their groove as a trio making fuzzy, infectious pop. Said new record is just fabulous but live you see their interplay, the drummer (Jen) does most (all) of the singing while the bass player (Sydney), the talkative one in the band, held down the low end and the quiet, tattooed guitarist (Courtney) eked out some of the coolest sounds out of her instrument. Cuts like “Silver Velvet,” “Virgo” and “Minnesota” take on the feel of classics the first time you hear them. If The Courtneys come to your town do not miss them.


I’d only heard about Jay Som (pictured at the top) a week or so ago, but my pal insisted they were worth staying for and they were (though due to some unforeseen circumstances, a babysitting snafu, my pal and I had to leave after about 30 minutes).

Still, though the band looked and seemed pro (I snickered to my buddy that the guitarist looks like a high school gym teacher (“One more smirk like that Hinely and you’ll be running laps for the whole class!”) while the long-haired bassist looked like a member of Soundgarden, rocking back and forth for the whole set, and the versatile drummer was flat-out excellent.

Up front is Jay Som (real name Melina Duterte) a short, laid-back woman with loads of low-key charisma. I still have yet to hear her 2016 debut Turn Into (Polyvinyl) but the latest one Everybody Works (on the same label) is a real head turner with sneaky melodies and danceable bits all over the place. We had to leave just as the groove was sinking in but I was glad that I was able to catch at least part of Jay Som and her band. I’m staying to the end next time!


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