Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Noelle Coultrip at Noelle.Coultrip@colorado.edu
Soothing guitar: Jesse Cook — Boulder Theater on Friday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m
Global guitar mastermind Jesse Cook uses his music as a way to connect all the different parts of the world, working with musicians from Columbia, Cuba and Cairo to construct his multi-dimensional sound. Born in Paris and raised in Toronto, Cook approaches his work with the belief that “music is a constantly evolving thing,” a concept that is clear in the varying perspectives present in his music.
Cook’s guitar style is inspired by flamenco, jazz and classical music, creating a type of sound that earned him 11 nominations at Canada’s Juno Awards and a reliable fan base. Cook’s ninth studio album One World came out on April 28, 2015, prompting him to tour and showcase his new approach to music-making. Recorded in his home, One World is revolves around the idea that there truly is only one world and all branches of music burgeon and intertwine from the same trunk. The album puts much more emphasis on digital components compared to past albums, setting aside the ancient instruments and adding in metallic and electronic sounds.
In his latest works, Cook used the city of Istanbul as inspiration, mixing ancient sounds with modern ones.“Shake” is an upbeat song filled with snaps and claps that invoke images of foreign lands, adding color to the album. On the other end of the spectrum, “To Your Shore” is much slower-paced and has a romantic, starry-eyed quality to it, highlighting Cook’s musical finesse. Cook’s two-and-a-half year process of album creation birthed an adventurous spirit in his music that was not present in his previous works.
Boulder-based rock: Eminence Ensemble — Fox Theatre on Friday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. with openers Moontang and Neon Sines
Progressive rock fusion band Eminence Ensemble returns to its Boulder roots to perform at the Fox Theatre. The five-member group’s musical aspirations came to fruition when the musicians were students at the University of Colorado, spurring them to start creating music. Citing Rush, Steely Dan and Michael Jackson as inspirations that get their musical juices flowing, Eminence Ensemble put the work in to create their first album Mouse Hunt, which was released on March 20, 2014.
For Eminence Ensemble, the process of creating and recording music is akin to the art of putting ships in bottles, due to the delicate intricacies of the task. After six and a half months of writing and recording musical content on tour, the band’s hard work came into focus. Eminence Ensemble’s sound is comprised of shredding guitar parts paired with catchy piano pieces, generating the band’s personal musical style.
Strange sounds: Ween — Friday, Feb 12, Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.
Alternative rock group Ween formed in 1984 in New Hop, Pennsylvania, after Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo met in an eighth grade typing class. Soon establishing the nicknames Gene Ween and Dean Ween, Ween accumulated an underground fan base, ultimately releasing 17 albums over the course of the band’s career. Ween made the decision to not compromise its sound or way of creating music by signing onto a big label.
In the end, Ween’s willingness to not dilute its unique over-the-top sound, even including songs that seem “too weird” to put on a record, is what aided the band in achieving the level of success it has today. Ween’s sound is weird, funky and unlike any other, combining voices and sounds that certainly do not adhere to traditional, run-of-the-mill music.
Music for the metal heads: Bullet For My Valentine — Ogden Theater on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m., with openers Asking Alexandria and While She Sleeps
UK-based metal band Bullet For My Valentine recently released their fifth studio album, VENOM, debuting at number one on the Billboard Hard Rock Album chart, number eight on the Billboard Top 200 chart, and snagging the title of number one album in Australia, number two album in Germany, number three album in the UK and number four album in Canada. With production done by former producers for Slipknot and Machine Head, the album was in good hands. The 11-track album echoes the sound of the band’s earlier days, reminiscing on the struggles and inner turmoil the band faced in the beginning stages of their musical career.
Bullet For My Valentine’s new musical content is darker, heavier and more aggressive, emphasizing the choice the band made for its music. VENOM’s focus is primarily depressing topics because people tend to connect better to the darker themes, giving them something to listen to that they can relate to. VENOM is filled with “stuff from the heart,” teeming with deep growls and vocals that sound like they come directly from the devil himself. The deep, dark emotional nature of the band’s music drenches its listeners in the intense emotion and meaning that the metal genre assuredly provides.