January 1, 2009

Hot IQs Record Party: With Young Coyotes and Chain Gang of 1974

(Reprinted from www.ColoradoMusicBuzz.com)
One of the best things about local music is the opportunity to meet the band. Such was the case Friday, December 19th, at the Hot IQs’ record release party. Upon entering the Bluebird Theater, I was greeted by Eli Mishkin, vocalist and guitarist for the band. I bought a copy of the record from him and tried not to look like a giddy groupie as he and the other members — drummer, Elaine Acosta, and bassist, Bryan Feuchtinger — graciously signed my purchase.

The opening act was Young Coyotes, a two-man band that instantly caught my attention. The mellow, synchronized singing coupled with only drums and an acoustic guitar (played by Adam Halferty and Zach Tipton, respectively) created a haunting, echoing sound.

Next, Chain Gang of 1974 performed, living up to its widespread popularity. Another two-man ensemble — well, two men and a computer, this band was raucous and brazen. Frontman, Kamtin Mohager, energetically danced and sang along with the sharp, electronic tracks. However, it was the drummer (possibly the human version of Animal - the Muppet) who really stole the spotlight: wailing on the drums with a crazed intensity and jumping into the crowd.

After an intermission filled by Team Firefox —a bland, ‘80s-themed, dance troupe — and the video premiere of Houndstooth, Hot IQs finished up the night. The band, which was most recently voted Best Indie Pop Band in Denver by Westword, is well known around town for its hip, catchy songs and the members’ playful attitudes. The acoustic, opening song, “Iggy Pop,” was flawless and possibly even enhanced by the accompaniment of Team Firefox’s retro-style dancing. Unfortunately, the usually sparkling band seemed drained during the remaining show. Maybe a night of selling the records themselves took its toll?

Nevertheless, another good thing about local music is the chance to see bands perform again and again, which for these three, I highly recommend. X


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