BY TIM HINELY
I know that san Francisco outfit Rose Windows as they have a new record out on Sub Pop, but had heard very little of their music. When I walked into Denver’s Hi-Dive, seven very hirsute folks were standing on stage, some with no shoes on, and the smell of patchouli was in the air (or maybe I was just imagining it). I first counted 7 folks on the small Hi-Dive stage but then saw an 8th guy tucked behind the guitar player. Female singer had flowing robes on and smiling the flute player stood next to her. The music was a heady brew of whirled folk, woozy post rock, barely country, grizzled psych and whatever makes a jam band tick. One minute I thought Jefferson Airplane and the next? Aw …heck, maybe some Blue Cheer (one song got real loud). Not completely my thing but the band was having a good time and the crowd seemed to love ‘em.
I’ve been itching to see Seattle’s Moondoggies (pictured above, from an image posted on their Facebook page) since at least three records ago (which is from the beginning as they have three records out) and they came to town to drink beer and play some music. They finished their beer and kicked into a rollicking set that any band would have been proud of. The set pulled from all three of their records, 2008’s Don’t be a Stranger, 2010’s stellar Tidelands and this year’s terrific Adios, I’m a Ghost thought most were from the recent Adios… (released August 12th on the Hardly Art label which I the home to all three of their records). The band wavers between soaring folks (they do some cool 3-part harmonies) and woodsy Americana and they excel at both. From the new record they also played “Don’t Ask Why” and “A Lot to Give” and plenty more (single ‘Red Eye” was especially righteous). Vocalist/guitarist Kevin Murphy occasionally mumbled some pleasantries to the crowd (at least some decked out early in their Halloween outfits) and speaking of which, I thought the drummer, Carl Dahlen, had a wig on for Halloween but no, that’s his real hair, but I digress.
This band is doing things the old-fashioned way, through hard work and it’s paying off in spades.