John Common
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John Common

Denver, Colorado, United States | MAJOR

Denver, Colorado, United States | MAJOR
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
21
John Common @ Chautauqua Auditorium

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Aug
15
John Common @ Dick's Sporting Goods Park

Commerce City, Colorado, USA

Commerce City, Colorado, USA

Aug
07
John Common @ Saxon Pub

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, Texas, USA

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Music

Press


AWARDS

2011 Westword Nominated Best Singer/Songwriter
2010 Top 20 Albums (Beautiful Empty) -- Colorado Music and Radio
2010 Mover and Shaker -- Westword
2010 Denver Post Top 20 Underground Bands
2010 Westword Best Indie Folk/Acoustic Artist
2009 Westword Nominated Best Pop Artist
2009 Denver Music Scene Top 10 Songwriters
2009 Lyons Folks Festival Finalist
2008 Telluride Troubadour Finalist
2008 Westword Nominated Best Singer/Songwriter
2007 Lyons Folks Festival Finalist
2007 Mover and Shaker / Best Local Release -- Westword
2007 Best Local Release -- The Denver Post
2006 Most Intriguing Discs - The Onion
2006 Westword Nominated Best Singer/Songwriter

SELECT PRESS
Beautiful Empty
10 of out 10 stars
Bohemian, intriguing and introspective, this is an acoustic rock masterpiece. Gorgeously harmonized and deftly orchestrated, the album is a perfect 10. From the sneaky French-bistro sounds of “Go To Hell (With Me)” to the heartfelt, mature poetry of “Walter Whitman,” each track has a unique flavor. Soulful lyrics are on par with John Mayer’s early work, expressive male/female vocals are reminiscent of Jesca Hoop, and the instrumentation is soundtrack quality. Be ready to spend an entire weekend with Beautiful Empty before your ears will accept anything else. – Music Connection Magazine, Los Angeles
“John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light emerged through smoke dressed to kill in black and red. From the second they took the stage until the second they left it, they played with the sort of blind joy that will make you believe in whatever they're doing -- it's pure passion and happiness.” – Westword
"John's clever lyrics and perfectly crafted songs are outdone only by his huge and prolific body of work. This guy puts out a solid album twice a year. No wonder his songs are good." – Denver Music Scene, Top Ten Singer-Songwriters
"Beautiful Empty showcases a songwriter of remarkable depth and maturity." – Denver Post
“By the third song, I was a fan. By the fifth song, I wanted to join the band. The music was very nearly flawless. It was one of those “good for the soul” music moments for me.” – The Examiner
"Raw, yet sophisticated pop." – The Onion
“Common's vocal approach and powerful guitar work seems designed to fill an amphitheater, but it works just as well in an outdoor, open-air venue. The frontman's philosophical lyrics and novel chord structures find their real power in the work of the ensemble, a group that features bright Moog work, refined cello and clarinet lines and a compelling female vocal complement in the form of backup singer Jess De Nicola. Indeed, the sound feels downright epic at times.” – Westword Live Show Review
"There are songs that make me want to drink till morning you see... Songs that make me wish I'd somehow gone home with that handsome stranger who smiled when I looked up from my book... Songs that make me want to be loud and messy and get into lots of trouble, when normally I am quiet and neat and only get into medium amounts of trouble... Songs I've caught myself putting on repeat when it's 2 am and I have to wake up at 6..." -- A GIRL

PRESS

“I admit I’m a bit of a skeptic. When I hear or see a lot of buildup or hype over something, I usually get a little put off, because too many times the “something” doesn’t measure up to the hype. When John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light finally took the stage, my doubts faded away. By the third song, I was a fan. By the fifth song, I wanted to join the band. The music was very nearly flawless–great sound, great arrangements, great vocals, great musicianship. It was one of those “good for the soul” music moments for me.” – THE EXAMINER REVIEW OF LIVE SHOW

“John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light emerged through smoke dressed to kill in black and red and goggles. From the second they took the stage until the second they left it, they played with the sort of blind joy that will make you believe in whatever they're doing… DeNicola’s voice is an arrow, unmistakable and full of personality. Common's voice, by contrast, is steady and broad. It swallows you. His band, composed of his choice of local talent, is of unmistakable high caliber, each capable of holding a song by himself. But this is John Common's music -- it's pure passion and happiness.” -- WESTWORD REVIEW OF LIVE SHOW

"The first thing you notice about Beautiful Empty is its spaciousness: The voices of Common and DeNicola blend together seamlessly. The lyrics on Beautiful Empty are every bit as affecting as the instrumentation, and as varied." - WESTWORD


"Beautiful Empty, with its lush and spare arrangements, demands a broad audience. It's one of the finest records out of Denver in years." - NORTH DENVER NEWS

"Beautiful Empty showcases a songwriter of remarkable depth and maturity. The album’s rich textures, orchestral arrangements and Common’s weathered-yet-optimistic vocals deliver a package that is sophisticated without being too slick. It invites you to poke beneath the surface, and rewards you with soul, insight and some musical surprises." - DENVER POST

"Empty beds. This was the first thing I noticed about Beautiful Empty when it came in the mail. The album art depicts beds: empty, slept in, sheets all askew. As the opening track 'Can You Hear Me' began to roll out of my desktop speakers, dreamy sounds and words filled my ears. John Common begins by taking stock of the situation. “Woke up alone, where’d you go?” he asks. His bed is empty, it is a strange beauty. Beautiful… Empty." - OREDIGGER

“A talent as real and rich as John Common’s deserves to be spoken about.” – BUCKETFUL OF BRAINS / UK

"Hard to classify, John Common plays a brand of upbeat indie rock that makes use of a wide array of instruments from trumpets to xylophones. His band Blinding Flashes of Light is comprised of several talented musicians culled from the vibrant Colorado indie scene who provide the backdrop to his insightful and powerful lyrics." -- DENVER METROMIX

"John's clever lyrics and perfectly crafted songs are outdone only by his huge and prolific body of work. This guy puts out a solid album twice a year. No wonder his songs are good. He also has a killer band." -- Denver Music Scene, Top Ten Singer-Songwriters

"A brilliant, extremely ambitious disc... Denver's finest rock recording of the past decade." -- WESTWORD MAGAZINE (Good To Be Born)

"Why Birds Fly is even more uncommon than its acclaimed 2006 predecessor...the aural environment Common creates is so sumptuous that it rewards repeated listens even as it confounds expectations." -- WESTWORD MAGAZINE (Why Birds Fly)

"It may seem difficult to imagine a guy named John Common living a highly individual life, but believe it... his creative curiosity and detail-oriented aesthetic distinguish him from the drooling pack of earnest singer-songwriters." -- DENVER POST

"Raw, yet sophisticated pop." -- THE ONION

"Is something really going on in Denver’s music scene? If we need any more evidence that speaks to the vitality of our expanding catalog of acts, John Common’s new album, “Good to be Born” is that kind of prescription...It’s out. And not to be forgotten. " -- SYNTAX

MOST INTRIGUING DISCS OF 2006 - THE ONION
"With all the craft of a consummate songwriter, John Common builds songs that dig beneath thick skins and lazy thinking. He deconstructs them with the abandon of a mad scientist, resulting in a disc that's as rich in texture as it is drenched in tenderness." -- THE ONION

"Every aspect of Common's squirrely melodic sensibilities and unerringly tight playing and production are featured here." -- THE DENVER POST

"A rich mix of samples, guitars, and lyrical intensity in a quieter version of 'Bends'-era Radiohead or the missing step in Wilco's leap from 'Being There' to 'Summerteeth'. The music is complex and innovative without sacrificing catchy hooks or raw energy in a wide range of styles and tempos. " -- COLORADO MUSIC BUZZ

"John Common has plenty of natural talent. But a more literal interpretation also applies to his latest recording, Why Birds Fly. Throughout tunes such as "Moonlight" and "Unseen Things," Common weaves traditional instrumentation with the sort of found sounds heard in forests at night: the ambient noises of creatures that creep, crawl or take wing. These subtle touches make his work seem natural in every sense of the word." -- BEST OF WESTWORD 2008

"He always seems to have the right words... with a repertoire that ranges from haunting to hopeful, pensive to provocative." -- COLORADO LOCAL LEGENDS

"Far too many performers settle for predictability — but Common constantly pushes himself, his songs and his arrangements onto paths that few travelers have trod. While his work can seem inconsistent at times, even the misses are intriguing — and the high points (like "Moonlight" and the preternatural "Not So Bad") truly take wing. — WESTWORD

"Denver's John Common has cracked the code of modern-day songwriting and delivered us something surprisingly refreshing... "Good To Be Born," is full of energy, passion, creativity, variety, personality and most importantly, sounds you've never heard before. He is a damn good songwriter. " -- KCSU MUSIC DIRECTOR / ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGIAN

MOVERS AND SHAKER 2006 - WESTWORD
"The auspicious debut of former Rainville frontman John Common shares intellectual shelf space with mid-period Remy Zero and Radiohead. With supple vocals that glide from intoxicating purrs to forceful croons, Common weaves his way through intelligent, cinematic material that's thoughtfully augmented by well-placed samples, subtle brass accompaniment and murmuring keys." -- WESTWORD MAGAZINE

"This album portrays a band with the skills to embellish a writer who has a foot in the motherlode of great songs." -- AMERICANA UK

"Common has achieved the musical equivalent of picking up seven tiles in a game of Scrabble and being able to lay down “bezique” on the first turn. " -- FIVE MAGAZINE, TAOS, NEW MEXICO

"It would be much too easy to use John Common's last name as a pun to describe his 'uncommon' skills as a singer-songwriter, but what the hell." -- SANTE FE REPORTER

"John approaches songwriting as though each song is a scene from a movie. The music and lyrics traverse in opposite directions. Music that grinds and roars, exhales and charges again in a fashion reminiscent of early Rolling Stones or Neil Young Two contrasting streams of expression meet to create an energetic dissonance that is pleasant to the troubled ear, in a word rock." -- BOULDER WEEKLY

"John Common has a keen melodic sense and the requisite ability to take the basic pop formula and turn it on its head. The mix of goodies on his new release, Good To Be Born, bring together a host of elements and styles that, although diverse, avoid the abrasion that many artists suffer when trying to blend too much The blossoming Denver scene should be plenty proud to have Common in its quiver of emerging artists." -- KAFFEINE BUZZ

"His face is a familiar one around town - although it's not as recognizable as his voice." -- DENVER POST

"Drawing as much from Radiohead and Yo La Tengo as it does from Wilco and the Jayhawks, the group folds elegant melody into brooding experimentalism -- an epic, adventurous sound that will be showcased on an upcoming full-length debut." -- WESTWORD MAGAZINE

"Common writes a great song just about every day... 'Good To Be Born' is a Matthew Sweet-meets-Queen rock opus filled with catchy songs and layers of clever vocals... Damn him." -- 5280 MAGAZINE

"Common is a gifted songwriter with a playfully weird sensibility." -- DENVER POST

"Singer-songwriter John Common first won over Colorado audiences with the appealing Americana of his band Rainville, releasing two albums before the project came to an end in 2004. Since then, Common has changed directions with his music, and his new album, Good To Be Born, leaves his earlier alt-country sound behind to focus on innovative pop-rock, enhanced with computerized sounds, Spanish phrases, and other sonic surprises. No two songs sound exactly alike." -- NEW WEST, BOULDER

"Good To Be Born is a compilation of 11 powerful songs with multiple layers and complexities..." -- NORTH DENVER NEWS

"John Common refuses to cave to category." -- DENVER DAILY NEWS

"There are songs that make me want to drink till morning you see... Songs that make me wish I'd somehow gone home with that handsome stranger who smiled when I looked up from my book... Songs that make me want to be loud and messy and get into lots of trouble, when normally I am quiet and neat and only get into medium amounts of trouble... Songs I've caught myself putting on repeat when it's 2 am and I have to wake up at 6..."
-- A GIRL

“Wow. You have punched me in the gut, watered my eyelids, and knocked me for a loop. What a grand and aching and sweeping bittersweet and beautiful song. Harmonies to match.” -- A GUY

Best guitar tone (2000) -- This one makes me laugh!
John Common
Rainville frontman John Common sports a six-stringed timbre that's anything but common. With a Fender Twin, a semi-hollow-bodied DeArmond "Starfire" and a pair of Boss pedals, Common creates a dinosaur tone that groans and growls, squawls and squeals. Pair it with his deft rhythm-to-lead workmanship (and his picking smarts) and you've got fully realized guitar glory. Let it reign. -- BEST OF WESTWORD

- Various


Discography

Side 3 - 2011
Beautiful Empty - 2011
Why Birds Fly - 2007
Good To Be Born - 2006
The Longest Street In America - 2003
Collecting Empties - 1999

Photos

Bio

JOHN COMMON and BLINDING FLASHES of LIGHT
John Common says he dreams about being a filmmaker or a painter, but we’re lucky he ended up with an obsession for making music instead. His voice, his songs and his band, Blinding Flashes of Light, can pin you to the wall, break your heart, or just send you off smiling and thinking.

Their debut record, Beautiful Empty, was released in the U.S. nationally in April of 2011 on indie imprint, Free School Records (distributed by Sony/RED). It’s an eclectic, cinematic record with songs like ‘Can You Hear Me’ that moves from a haunting cello-laden intro to an epic, almost full band love fest; ‘Turnaround’ – an achingly beautiful heartbreaker that will crack you open; and ‘Same Scar’ – an indie rock tango masterpiece about the loss of innocence. It’s already garnering rave critical reviews, national radio play, and earning the band a growing fan base and committed following.

Formed in Denver, Colorado in 2008, John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light offer cinematic songs with lush orchestrations and gorgeous harmonies. The band’s powerful and emotional live show has been honed as evidenced by winning Westword's Best Indie Folk/Acoustic Act, being named a Top 20 Underground Band by Denver Post, and playing Red Rocks, Mile High Music Festival and many more amazing and well-attended theater shows.

BLINDING FLASHES OF LIGHT
Blinding Flashes of Light stretch the traditional definition of a band. It’s more like a collaborative crash pad where musicians, artists and friends cycle through, making music, films, written and visual art. Each musician in Blinding Flashes of Light is an artistic force in their own right. Come to any show and you'll hear it.Visit www.johncommon.com for music, films, pictures, stories and collaborations.

DISCOGRAPHY
Beautiful Empty - 2011
Side 3 - 2011
Spill (EP) - 2007
Why Birds Fly - 2007
Good To Be Born - 2006
The Longest Street In America (Rainville) - 2003
Collecting Empties (Rainville) - 1999

AWARDS
2011 Westword Nominated Best Singer/Songwriter
2010 Top 20 Albums (Beautiful Empty) -- Colorado Music and Radio
2010 Mover and Shaker -- Westword
2010 Denver Post Top 20 Underground Bands
2010 Westword Best Indie Folk/Acoustic Artist
2009 Westword Nominated Best Pop Artist
2009 Denver Music Scene Top 10 Songwriters
2009 Lyons Folks Festival Finalist
2008 Telluride Troubadour Finalist
2008 Westword Nominated Best Singer/Songwriter
2007 Lyons Folks Festival Finalist
2007 Mover and Shaker / Best Local Release -- Westword
2007 Best Local Release -- The Denver Post
2006 Most Intriguing Discs - The Onion
2006 Westword Nominated Best Singer/Songwriter

"10 out of 10 stars. Bohemian, intriguing and introspective, this is an acoustic rock masterpiece. Gorgeously harmonized and deftly orchestrated, the album is a perfect 10. From the sneaky French-bistro sounds of “Go To Hell (With Me)” to the heartfelt, mature poetry of “Walter Whitman,” each track has a unique flavor. Soulful lyrics are on par with John Mayer’s early work, expressive male/female vocals are reminiscent of Jesca Hoop, and the instrumentation is soundtrack quality. Be ready to spend an entire weekend with Beautiful Empty before your ears will accept anything else."
– Music Connection

“John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light emerged through smoke dressed to kill in black and red. From the second they took the stage until the second they left it, they played with the sort of blind joy that will make you believe in whatever they're doing -- it's pure passion and happiness.” – Westword

"John's clever lyrics and perfectly crafted songs are outdone only by his huge and prolific body of work. This guy puts out a solid album twice a year. No wonder his songs are good." – Denver Music Scene, Top Ten Singer-Songwriters

"Beautiful Empty showcases a songwriter of remarkable depth and maturity." – Denver Post

“By the third song, I was a fan. By the fifth song, I wanted to join the band. The music was very nearly flawless. It was one of those “good for the soul” music moments for me.” – The Examiner

"Raw, yet sophisticated pop." – The Onion