Wednesday 23 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Heating up

Heating up

Denver-based garage-rock outfit Sauna rides the wild surf with a new album and summer tour.

Joshua Boydston July 17th, 2013

Sauna with Moloko Litso
8 p.m. Wednesday
The Conservatory
8911 N. Western

Denver garage rockers Sauna dreamed that meeting one of its musical heroes would lead to a record deal. And it kind of did, if not in the way the four members had expected.

“We were 16, just a few months after the band formed,” said guitarist CJ Macleod. “We saw Hunx and His Punx were coming to Denver. Naively, we thought if we gave him a tape, he’d love it and it would open so many doors for us.”

He didn’t.

“He was kind of like, ‘Oh. Thanks,’” Macleod said, laughing. “It’s so heartbreaking when someone you were so excited to see and meet just kind of tosses the thing you made for them into a box with an air of disgust.”

But someone even more important traveling with the band discovered the DIY effort sandwiched between layers of T-shirts, popping it into the tape deck on the way to the next gig, and fell in love. Lee Rickard — co-owner of record label and store Burger Records — was acting bus driver on that tour, and he soon emailed Sauna, requesting more of the tapes to sell in his shop.

The label — which has put out material from Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, Nobunny, Thee Oh Sees and more on cassette tape — has sold more than 100,000 copies of the once-deemed-extinct format since being founded in 2007. Burger Records will put out Sauna’s first full-length album, Cheap Date, in the coming months.

Not bad for a band that formed back in 2010.

“I was enamored with cool DIY shows, because that’s what you do when you’re 15,” Macleod said. “A friend asked if I had a band that could play a show that hers was. Absentmindedly, I said yes, even though it wasn’t exactly true. We put a band together in a week, workshopping songs about five hours a day. It was kind of rushed, but it was fun.”

The crossroads that is the summer after high school graduation nearly tore the band apart last year, as its members went off to different colleges. But then a reunion over winter break fostered new tunes that became Cheap Date, and Sauna is touring in support.

“We decided it was fun, and that we just had to keep doing it,” Macleod said. “It felt weird to stop, so we opted not to.”

Playing tonight at The Conservatory and touring the West Coast this August with Oklahoma City punkers — and fellow young guns — Skating Polly, Sauna is armed with songs that reach far beyond the humble surf-rock ditties found on that fabled, handmade cassette tape.

“The band has that stigma of being a surf-pop band, and that was my intention when we started out. I wanted that reverb-soaked, fun sound,” Macleod said. “As we grew up and started listening to more music, it’s evolved. It’s so much better than our old music. It shows our changes and different paths we’ve taken.”

Hey! Read This:

Skating Polly interview        
Skating Polly's Lost Wonderfuls album review   

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