Lower Dens at Hotel Utah, SF

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Lower Dens

With low
key local press build up and apparently some venue confusion courtesy of Last
, Lower Dens rolled through SF’s ancient Hotel Utah saloon last Tuesday. It
was great to have some of the Baltimore buzz ringing out here in the Bay, although
it took the enthusiastic crowd ‘til around the third number “Blue and Silver” to
finally fill in the cozy quarters of this old honky-tonk.

And while on the
topic of the Bay Area’s atrocious press coverage, I’m still scratching my head
over why the San Francisco Bay Guardian gave a cover article to LA duo Kisses with but a
passing mention of Lower Dens’ excellent Twin-Hand
album and the Hotel Utah show. Then again, these are the same alleged
taste makers who did boast
those wankstas Girls as the great “hip” hope. Despite all
this I must admit that the SFBG still retains certain credibility in particular
with their half-way decent Bay Area hip-hop coverage.

earlier indications
I had reason to believe Lower Dens would turn the Victorian wooden ship-walled
venue into driftwood. Creative powerhouse Jana Hunter accomplished this with
the aid of Will Adams’ crunching guitar and excellent pedal effect maneuvers,
while Geoff Graham’s bass bounced in time to Abram Sanders’ big beat.

You could
hear the lush manner by which the band’s instrumentation would often blend in
with each other’s respective sound, especially their moody performance of “Tea
. Also, hats off to Will Adams for the dazzling finale. His Hendrix-like
display of kneeling before his guitar, cluster of loops, effects, pedals,
folderol, adderall gave him an opportunity to forge the sound with his own bare
hands. The effect was a wild aural display of bouncing distortions, spiraling
loops of Jana’s hypnotic murmurs and hums that circle until interrupted by
clasps of feedback buzz. Top notch for real.

Catch Lower Dens on the road:
09 Frisco, TX – Lochranns
10 Austin, TX – Club Deville
11 Houston, TX – Walter's
13 New Orleans – Circle Bar
14 Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
15 Atlanta, GA – 529
16 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506

19 Baltimore – The Windup Space
22 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
24 Cincinnati, OH – Midpoint Music Festival