Le Divorce
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Le Divorce

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
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"Le Divorce: Review "The Sting and The Light""

The Sting and the Light, Le Divorce's latest effort, starts off with "Six Feet Under," a bit of a rocker that quickly evolves into a surprisingly straight ahead pop song with jazzy undercurrents. In "Under Boxcars," a breezy melody meets textured rhythm, while the layered atmospherics of "Splinter Song" evoke early-'90s dream pop without sounding retro in their long arc of sonic momentum. "I Won't Call Them" and "I Shout" are reminiscent of Pulp, minus the decadence and undertone of resigned desperation. And in closer "Make Up Your Mind," Le Divorce proves itself capable of expansive, orchestral songwriting. Emotionally poignant, filled with an eclectic but never diffuse sensibility, The Sting and the Light finds Le Divorce staking out its own voice. - Westword Denver


"Le Divorce’s favorite overlooked ’90s albums"

By Matt Schild February 3, 2012

Although the cool kids tend to give music from the ’90s a chilly reception these days, Kitty Vincent isn’t ashamed of her slacker-era roots. The Le Divorce singer-guitarist has been unabashed about her love of ’90s artists, openly gushing about the alternative era’s influence on her band’s music and going so far as to mastermind a Nirvana tribute concert to celebrate Nevermind’s 20th anniversary. With Le Divorce set to unleash its latest album, The Sting And The Light, at Hi-Dive Saturday, Feb. 4, Vincent reflected on five of the decade’s albums she feels unfairly fell through the cracks.
American Thighs by Veruca Salt
Kitty Vincent: It’s one of those albums that I listened to on repeat in high school, and will still sometimes. It’s a band that people don’t even remember, but that album was so great. It just really rocks. It really has that ’90s guitar rock, and they did it so well. It was women, too, which was still kind of unusual at the time. They were just talking about weird things. They had a song about a Victrola record player and Levelor blinds, but they always gave it a double entendre.
The A.V. Club: Do you think the band’s came-from-nowhere success made people overlook Veruca Salt?
KV: They had that big radio hit, “Seether,” and they were probably written off a little bit. I never know why bands get remembered and some don’t. I don’t think any kid today knows who that band is or has ever heard that song.

You’d Prefer An Astronaut by Hum
KV: I always liked how that record really felt really like a perfect marriage of British shoegaze and American indie rock, which not many bands did well. It’s one of those records that audiophiles know; those of us who love music, most of us know that album. Again, it’s never something that pops up in a “top 100 records” list. It’s one that people seem to forget about. They have diehard fans for sure, but it’s not part of the general populace.
Their songs didn’t necessarily have really strong pop hooks, though some of them did—like “Counting Stars” kind of did. His voice was never really strong. He was always off-key a little bit. The Flaming Lips do that, but we still remember them.

Whiskey For The Holy Ghost by Mark Lanegan
KV: It’s just beautiful. I think we remember [Lanegan’s former act] the Screaming Trees pretty well, although they weren’t Nirvana status or anything. His solo stuff was pretty overlooked. If you like Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen, it’s the same. His voice is so gravelly and lonely and just beautiful. You can really picture him sitting in a room, drinking and smoking and writing that record. It’s one I like to put on when I’m by myself.
AVC: Unlike Vercua Salt and Hum, Lanegan’s still making music.
KV: Again, it’s not talked about much. I think he has a small, devout following, but it’s not one that makes lists or gets talked about on blogs. Tom Waits fans don’t even know about him, and they should. He has a really similar quality.
What’s interesting is Nirvana’s cover of Leadbelly’s “In The Pines,” it turns out that that was a cover that Mark Lanegan did before Kurt Cobain did it. Kurt Cobain did it in Mark Lanegan’s style. He copied him almost exactly. I found it on YouTube recently.

Cure For Pain by Morphine
KV: It’s just sort of haunting, the way that sax is and the way his speech is. It just sort of has this very haunting quality to it. It’s another one that I like to listen to by myself. That record is so great. It’s hard to qualify what overlooked means, as there is still a core group of people that love this record. It’s, again, not one I ever see when people talk about the ’90s. They talk about Hole and Smashing Pumpkins; nobody ever mentions Morphine.
AVC: Even at the time, Morphine was really out of step with the loud-guitar fashions of the ’90s.
KV: They were always sort of the oddballs. I’m sure their baritone sax had something to do with it. They made some really good pop music with it.

Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse
KV: That’s a band that’s really well known today. Everyone knows “Float On” and all the stuff they released that was playing on the radio. Everyone forgets all the records they put out in the ’90s. They were obviously way ahead of their time. People finally caught up with them in 2004, or whatever it was. When “Float On” came out, I was like, “I don’t know. They seem way too cheerful. Where’d they get this happy?” I remember listening to that record a couple years after it came out and just thinking, “This is brilliant. Where has this been? Why is no one talking about this record?” Still, no one talks about that record.
Even people who like them, they don’t talk about the records that came out in the ’90s. There were a whole bunch of them that were great. Something about Lonesome Crowded West—it’s their saddest, their darkest, and their loneliest. It has so much raw energy underneath it. Their guitar is so weird. His voice is so strange and off-key most of the time, and then he goes into fits of yelling, but it’s not emo or anything like that. - The Onion AV Club


"Photo Essay: Le Divorce @ Hi-Dive"

One thing I've found in Denver is that there never really is a shortage of concerts. Every weekend it seems the options are plentiful. Usually, that means I have to make tough decisions as I can't be in multiple places at once for coverage, but somehow I managed to do just that. Although I couldn't cover the whole show at the Hi-Dive Saturday night, I found a window of opportunity to catch the headliners, Le Divorce, perform for their The Sting And The Light EP release party.


Le Divorce
Le Divorce had a recent lineup change, losing former bassist/vocalist Ryan Stubbs and drummer Chris Durant. New bassist Michael King and new drummer Kim Baxter make up Le Divorce's new lineup, and they performed in this new configuration for the first time Saturday night. Even with the new faces, Le Divorce performed as tightly as ever, delivering a polished set that seemed as if this new unit had been together for years. Guitarist Joe Grobelny took over backing vocal duties, matching up very well with Kitty Vincent's lead vocals and guitar. The new lineup seemed to have a very strong dynamic, as they performed Le Divorce's '90s styled post-rock with fervor and poise. I'll be interested to see how this affects future Le Divorce material; I surmise it bodes well for this band.
- Concerted Effort


"Looking Back: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. with Le Divorce and Eye & The Arrow @ Hi-Dive"

Last night was nothing short of amazing. I can say that easily because I went into the evening with pretty high expectations and what I got in return was far more than I could have imagined. I'd been looking forward to seeing Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. since the day they announced Denver would be the first stop on their fall tour, so I knew no matter what I was going to be at the Hi-Dive. But for the longest time, the Hi-Dive website did not list any openers for show. I kept checking daily to see if that would change but it wasn't until about a week ago that another name popped up on the bill, and until about three days before the show that a second band was added to the gig. It was cool to see two new-to-me Denver bands opening up for one of my favorite bands, but since the announcements were made so late I didn't have as much chance as I usually do to get a feel for them before the show. Still, I thought I knew what to expect, but it turned out I really had no idea it'd be so good.


Eye & The Arrow

The first of those local bands was the new Eye & The Arrow. A little less than two weeks ago, Eye & The Arrow emerged as a band, offering up a recorded practice session with six songs titled The Center of the Sea. At about the same time they came onto the scene, they were booked for their first gig as openers for the show last night. The first time I listened to The Center of the Sea, I instantly caught onto the folk vibe but other than that I was a little underwhelmed. Still, I put the album onto my iPod and gave it a few more listens and suddenly their songs, as crude as the recordings were, started to stick into my head. Once that started happening, I couldn't wait to hear what these guys could do live where I'd be able to hear their full sound cleanly.


Eye & The Arrow

Eye & The Arrow took their places on stage and started with the song that stuck with me the most on their recording, "Mexico". Right away I was captivated by what they were doing. This song featured no drums, instead the drummer had an electric guitar on his lap and he would created ambient sound by sliding across the strings. The singer/guitarist joined in with a nice classic country-esque guitar riff and began to softly but passionately sing. The crispness of the sound in the live setting was at least 1,000 times better than the recorded version, and I love the moody folk-country sound they've got going on.


Eye & The Arrow

They continued to play more songs I'd heard off of the EP and each live version was incredible. My favorites besides the opening "Mexico" were; the blues laden "Tamales", the Paleo-esque "Lights Down Lown", and the folky country-blues "Stutter Beat". I really enjoyed the drum work of this band. It's hard to pick out the different things they do on drums in their recording, but in performance it all comes to life. The drummer is constantly tweaking his kit between songs; adding shakers, switching symbols, going from mallets to brushes - all the while keeping a seemingly simple yet intricate beat. Paired with the folky-blues guitar and solid bass work of the other two band members, they deliver a splendid sound. It was an honor to catch these guys in their first live performance, because that just means it gets better from here on out. If you are a fan of indie folk/country/blues, check out Eye & The Arrow.


Kitty Vincent and Ryan Stubbs of Le Divorce

Next up was Le Divorce, a band with a lot of local accolades but one I hadn't yet seen. At first, I wasn't sure how their somewhat grungy nineties alternative rock sound would blend with what I'd just heard from the previous band and what I'd hear from the headliner, but then they started playing and it didn't matter. For a lot of the crowd (especially those at the show specifically for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.), I think it was an unexpected change of pace that the audience wasn't quite sure how to react to. For me, I knew what I was in for and was ready for some high energy grunge and post-punk alternative rock 'n' roll.


Joe Grobelny of Le Divorce rocking in the Corporate Lounge

I'd heard that the band had a lot of stage presence and they did not at all disappoint. Throughout the set they performed each song with fervor and all members of the band were incredibly dynamic on stage. They have a sound that pays homage to a lot of nineties alternative rock greats; The Pixies, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey among others, but they do it in a way that is definitively their own rather than being a carbon copy of anything before. It was a good call when they made a set change to pick up the energy level and tore into the song "In The Waves". I really liked the moody "Under the Boxcars" and "6 Feet Under" was absolutely amazing, starting with the feedback loop and ending with guitarist Joe Grobelny coming off stage and playing the guitar amongst the crowd while taking a seat in the Corporate Lounge (Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. had a small roped off area to the side of the stage where they would seat a few lucky fans, complete with tables and massage chairs).


Le Divorce had incredible energy

This band is not only high energy but they seem to understand each other very well, keeping the whole listening experience very fluid but highly entertaining. If you're into that nineties alternative-rock and post-grunge sound, you need to make it out to the next Le Divorce show. Their style may not have been the best fit for what other music was happening at the show last night, but they are extremely good at what they do and would flourish in an ideal setting.

Finally it was time for the main event, and having listened to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. for a while now, I thought I had a good idea of what to expect. If you've listened to their album It's A Corporate World, you'll know it's a collection of electronic infused slightly folky indie rock. Like most shows with folkish bands, I expected to see two guys out there on stage delivering heartfelt songs in minimalist fashion. But Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein are from Detroit rock city, and they sure as hell know how to rock as hard as any band I've seen.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s live drummer

They are touring with a live drummer, and he started the night off on stage drumming fiercely to a rework of Fedde Le Grand's "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit" as Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein stormed the stage in slick Detroit Tigers track suits and took their places; one behind a large wooden "J", the other behind a large wooden "R". Another set of wooden letters framed the background, another "J" and "R" to spell out Jr. Jr. From there the band went immediately into the anthemic "We Almost Lost Detroit" to instantly stir the crowd into a frenzy.


Joshua Epstein of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

The first difference I noticed between their record and their live set is how much more energy comes out live. They went into the dance-pop song "An Ugly Person On A Movie Screen" next and it sounded way more energetic and fierce, in an incredibly good way. Having live drumming as opposed to a drum machine adds so much dimension to each song it was unreal. I always wondered where all the ambient background vocals came from, and it turns out Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. samples their own singing live, singing into an old '80s handset converted into a microphone that changes the texture of the vocals, looping and layering back the singing into their songs.


Daniel Zott of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Even the calmly mooded "Morning Thought" got some extra rock 'n' roll treatment, giving the song incredible oomph and forcing every member of the audience to dance wildly. The quirky and humorous "When I Open My Eyes" had much of the crowd singing along. Little did the crowd know that they'd be singing along to some Whitney Houston, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. masterfully transitioned from "If It Wasn't You" to a short cover of "I Will Always Love You". That was absolutely amazing. They also dropped a completely brand new song, performed for the very first time, which I think is called "Don't Tell Me" - such an incredible song, complete with their usual smart lyricism. If this is a preview of what else is to come, then I cannot wait for the next round.


Bubble party!

I really didn't expect much for stage production from this performance, but this time I was glad to be wrong. Those wooden letters would light up to the music, flashing Jr. Jr. to the beat while the band would rock out to flashing strobe lights. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, it did. They finished their set with "Simple Girl" and "Vocal Chords", two of the most iconic songs on the album. As the crowd was already dancing furiously, they were treated with a shower of bubbles from bubble machines, heightening the party atmosphere. We're talking about the Hi-Dive here, and you usually never see any sort of extra production at shows at this venue. But Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. stopped at nothing to deliver the most amazing experience. Somehow, even that wasn't enough for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. It came time for an encore, and although the Hi-Dive has no backstage, you could already tell the crowd was incredibly worked up and needed some more of that Detroit rock medicine. Plus, they hadn't yet performed my favorite song on the album, so I knew Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was about to hit us with some more goodness.


Joshua Epstein in a fluorescent jacket

All the lights went off, and out of nowhere the stage was illuminated by black lights. The drummer was wearing a fluorescent orange trucker hat so that immediately caught my eye. Little did I know it'd get even better. In each far corner of the stage, Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott slipped on checkered fluorescent jackets; glowing brightly yellow, pink, green and blue. In the center of the back of each jacket was a fluorescent "JR". I'm always game for a black light party, and the soundtrack for this one was nothing short of superb. For the first song of their encore, they rekindled the spirit of Whitney Houston and gave it a heavy dose of Detroit rock in a magnificent cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". If there was a body in the building that had somehow managed to keep from dancing for any previous song, there was absolutely nothing they could do to keep from moving wildly during that song. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. then proclaimed their love for the city of Denver and serenaded the audience with my favorite song, "Nothing But Our Love".


Daniel Zott had to come back for one more

I don't know if Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. really knew how much Denver loved them too, because that was supposed to be their final song. But after constant cries for one more song from a still frenzied crowd, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. pulled out the final trick they had up their sleeves. "We'll play another song, but we haven't practiced this one in three months!" said Daniel Zott. They gave the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. treatment to another '80s dance classic - Steve Winwood's "Higher Love". By the end of the night, everyone was a sweaty mess. It was definitely the most passionate audience I'd ever seen at the Hi-Dive. I'm still amazed at how perfectly Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s music translated into a live performance. I was already a huge fan, but after last night, I can't even begin to express how much I love this band now. It was easily one of the best shows I've seen this year, so check them out the next chance you can. They are just that incredibly good.
- Concerted Effort


"Looking Back: Le Divorce Presents Come As You Are @ Hi-Dive"

Lately, most of my time spent with music has been focused on the here and now. I've been hopping from show to show, trying to make sense of the current local music scene while at the same time keeping an eye out for what's coming next. Because of that, I haven't spent much time listening to music from the past, so I was feeling extra nostalgic all day Saturday in anticipation of seeing Come As You Are: A Tribute to the 20th Anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind presented by Le Divorce. It gave me a reason to break out all the Nirvana albums I used to tirelessly listen to growing up, and as I played them back each song came back to me as if I'd never stopped listening to them at all.

It was truly amazing listening to all those songs again; having all the words come right back to me and reliving all sorts of great past memories. Nirvana was one of the first bands I listened to while I was young and just starting to figure out what music was "my own" - not what my parents or siblings were listening to, or what the top 40 charts said I should listen to (Top 5 radio groups in 1996: Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Everything But The Girl, The Tony Rich Project, Alanis Morisette ). Nirvana wasn't exactly a complete departure from the mainstream, but it was a welcome alternative to what was available to me at the time and it inspired me to seek out much more music and convinced me that I should learn to play the guitar.

In other words, I was reminded of just how influential Nirvana was in making music an important part of my life, and when I walked into the Hi-Dive Saturday night, it became immediately apparent that so many people must have been similarly influenced by this band. Not only were there several local bands ready to pay tribute, but there was a massive crowd of people from a wide range of age groups and several different walks of life there to go back down memory lane. I couldn't wait to see what each band had in store and how each band would interpret the songs that were a big part of my musical foundation.


Tyler Despres of Courtney Did It

There was a short delay to the start of the show due to the last minute absence of the originally slated opening band Pacific Pride, so the show got started with the second band on the list, Courtney Did It. If you are wondering where Courtney Did It was on the original list of bands, they took the place of Science Partner. Tyler Despres was the only musician from Science Partner in this group, so he called the band a different name for this tribute show. Tyler was on vocals/guitar, accompanied by a drummer, saxophonist, and a third member who played harmonica/mandolin/accordion - their bassist didn't show up. Still, these guys did a phenomenal job with what they had and managed to play some awesomely styled Nirvana covers.


Kevin Larkin performing for Courtney Did It (A member of Chimney Choir)

Courtney Did It performed three Nirvana covers. The first was "Heart-Shaped Box", and although they didn't have a bass player, it didn't really matter because I was focused on how the addition of saxophone was such a good idea. They performed an awesome reinterpretation of "Come As You Are", where the combination of harmonica and saxophone gave it an almost jazz-folk feel. They finished with "Sliver", which included Tyler Despres adding a second layer of drumming to give the percussion extra punch while they managed to make the saxophone and accordion really rock hard. I'd have to say that Courtney Did It did the best job of reinventing Nirvana songs while still making them instantly recognizable, and I commend them for their originality.


Il Cattivo

Next, local metal band Il Cattivo took the stage to share their versions of three more Nirvana songs. Of course, being a metal band, I was expecting to hear interpretations of the heaviest songs in Nirvana's catalog, and they did exactly that. Il Cattivo drenched each of their covers with the attitude and intensity of hard, heavy metal, and their whole set definitely raised the pulse rate of everyone in the venue.


Il Cattivo

Il Cattivo started with "Negative Creep", somehow bringing more energy to an already intense Nirvana song. "Tourette's" went similarly, with most eyes focused on the impassioned delivery of screams coming from singer Brian Hagman. Il Cattivo finished with "Territorial Pissings", even including the introductory "Come on people now/Smile on your brother..." before tearing into their meaty, blow-to-the-temple heavy/hardcore version of the song. I'd say Il Cattivo did the best job of performing a set that represented the band's own style while still being readily identifiable as Nirvana.


Night of Joy

Night of Joy was the next in line, and they performed a set of Nirvana covers that seemed straightforward and true to the originals at first, but were distinctively Night of Joy by the end of it all. To me, Night of Joy is an anti-pop/punk group whose usual repertoire includes songs that sound like deconstructed pop, put back together with post-punk attitude and scattered guitar work. They gave that same stylistic treatment to four Nirvana songs.


Night of Joy

They started off with "About A Girl", and it began like a pretty true-to-original cover, but then the vocals were delivered in Valerie Franz's it-doesn't-matter-if-it-sounds-like-I'm-drunk-this-is-some-artsy-shit vocal style coupled with guitar work that continually devolved into a lower than lo-fi aesthetic. That continued to be the case with "In Bloom", "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" and "Paper Cuts". It was an interesting way to present Nirvana songs, but I can't say I'm a fan of the deliberately sloppy vocals and guitar work. It works in the context of Night of Joy, and it was actually somewhat appropriate for "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter", but overall I was kind of expecting something else. EDIT: I understand now that it was a recreation of a prior Nirvana mistake-riddled live performance, and that's pretty cool. It still wasn't my cup of tea. I guess I'm just not that hardcore.


Hearts In Space

Hearts In Space was the next act up, and their set caught me completely off guard - not in a bad way, just not what I was expecting. Everything I've heard from them before suggested they'd deliver covers that were stylistically similar to the band's atmospheric, elevated dream-rock sound. Instead, they played high-energy versions of some of the more intense songs in the Nirvana catalog. Of the three they played, I could only recognize one of the songs. It seems they chose to dig deep into Nirvana's collection of songs and decided to play a couple lesser known B-Side tracks, demos, earlier Bleach songs or some stuff off Incesticide (which I admit I'm not the most familiar with), but whatever songs they were, I couldn't readily pick them out.


Hearts In Space

Despite not being able to pick out two out of the three songs they played, I do know their whole set was played with ferocious passion that ignited even more energy into the rabid crowd. The one song I could pick out, "Stay Away", was delivered with appropriate attitude and intensity, magnified with the assistance of Il Cattivo's Brain Hagman on vocals. I went into Hearts In Space's performance expecting to hear dream-rock versions of more mellow Nirvana songs like "Something In The Way", "All Apologies" or "Pennyroyal Tea", but I'm pleased with what they did instead, as it was a solid surprise.


Le Divorce

Le Divorce was up next, and I was definitely eager to see how they would cover Nirvana's songs, as the Le Divorce sound is deeply rooted in and influenced by '90s alternative rock. I wasn't sure if they would go for the more indie alt-rock/post-punk sound that they're known for or incorporate more grunge into their cover songs, but once they started to play, it became apparent they were really trying to stay true to the original versions of the songs, and they did an impeccable job.


Joe Grobelny of Le Divorce

They played four songs altogether, two Nirvana originals and two songs in the style of Nirvana. The first was a cut off Incesticide, "Son of A Gun", originally by The Vaselines. Le Divorce covered it in much the same way Nirvana did, complete with a heavy dose of punk. Next they performed a faithfully recreated version of "Polly". They then performed "Where Did You Sleep Last Night", a traditional song that Nirvana performed on MTV Unplugged In New York. Nirvana's arrangement was similar to the way Great Depression era blues-folk singer Lead Belly recorded the song in the '40s, and Le Divorce performed it in much the same way, although with the clever addition of harmonica. They ended their set with "Lithium", another faithful recreation, although delivered with the energy and dynamic stage presence characteristic of Le Divorce, complete with guitarist Joe Grobelny coming off stage and playing guitar in the midst of the crowd.



Le Divorce plus harmonica

Le Divorce's faithful cover versions proved just how important Nirvana is to this particular band. It's as if extra attention was spent to make sure they could pay tribute in their performance by trying to bring back the original feel and spirit of each song they played. Kitty Vincent did well to keep her vocal register close to Kurt Cobain's, despite, you know, her being female and all. I'd say Le Divorce did the best job in performing a true-to-the-original set, they did some things differently and the harmonica was a nice touch, but all the songs had an authentic feel.


The Swayback

The Swayback was responsible for closing out the show, and they closed it out with a bang. The Swayback is known for their garage rock meets post-punk sound, but the set of covers they played were straight energetic rock 'n' roll. They started off with the mosh-inducing song "Breed", played in a grunge rock meets punk garage fashion. Their version of "Drain You" seemed to have an extra burst of rock 'n' roll as well, although it was pretty true to the original. The Swayback had the honor of playing Nirvana's most signature song, and for this one they called up members from previous bands to help sing the song on stage.


The Swayback

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" is another one of Nirvana's songs that has extra special meaning to me. Of course, it was the very first Nirvana song I ever heard and of course it was the first song I'd blast off of Nevermind every time I popped the album into my CD player, but it was also the first song I played when I finally got an electric guitar. I plugged that baby into my amp, cranked up the distortion as high as it'd go, turned the volume as loud as my cheapo amp could stand, and had an out-of-body-like experience the first time my teen-aged self laid into that F power chord.

I pretty much relived that same feeling watching The Swayback bring back that song. Structurally, they kept the song true to the original, but somehow it felt like one of the most powerfully energetic performances of anything I'd ever seen. It had to be the combination of so many things creating a perfect situation so that everything would culminate beautifully in that moment. Not only were all the past memories of that particular song swimming through my head, but I was in a jam-packed room of people who were probably reminiscing the same way. The energy was unreal as everyone in the entire venue was singing along to every word. It was absolutely incredible.

The Swayback played one final song, a song I didn't recognize. But honestly, at that point I was still on an emotional high about the song that proceeded it, and I can barely remember that another song even happened. I'm sure for those that knew the final song, it was a good capping moment, but for me it was all about "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

Come As You Are was an incredible tribute night, and it was made even more special because so many people came out to support it. I'm thankful so many good local bands took the time to put together renditions of songs for a one-off performance, because it was worth it. It was a great way to look back and pay homage to an incredibly influential band and reminisce about a previous time. It was truly a trip back in time, as not only did each band play Nirvana songs, but boyhollow kept the nostalgia going by playing a lot of other grunge and alt-rock from that era; Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters and more. He also played some of Nirvana's influences and the originals of Nirvana covers like David Bowie and The Vaselines.

Although I will continue to move forward, trying to sort through the present and future of music, it was refreshing to look back in time for a night. It helped reinforce that all the music that exists today is in one way or another a product of something that was there before, and that it's always important to understand the history of music. I can't wait to experience something like this again, as there are so many other bands from the past that were highly influential to my appreciation of music, but until then, I'll keep heading out to shows to see if I can't find the next paradigm shifting band.
- Concerted Effort


"Le Divorce wants full custody of ’90s angst"

Denver is full of young musicians who want to bare their souls and be your friend, becoming the sort of promising and respectable group that catches the ears of the folks at NPR. Le Divorce isn’t one of them. “I miss the angst,” singer-guitarist Kitty Vincent declares. “I miss the darker qualities that rock used to have. I don’t understand why younger kids aren’t more pissed off. We always talk about why don’t the younger kids want to rock anymore. What’s up with the folk revival? Where are your distortion pedals?”
Vincent leads her band into its debut EP, the five-song Pull Yourself Together (to be released this Saturday at Larimer Lounge), with a suitably angst-ridden sound to match her views on the kinder, gentler indie generation. Vincent’s had a lot of time to reflect on the matter: Since her last act, Façade, imploded in the early ’00s, she’s sat and watched from the sidelines for most of a decade. Once again joining forces with ex-Façade guitarist Joe Grobelny (who spent the last few years playing with Everything Absent Or Distorted), Vincent dips all the way back to nascent, early ’90s indie for inspiration. Checking everything from Pavement’s pockmarked pop aesthetic to the cascade of light and shadows of bands like Juno and Absinthe Blind, Le Divorce isn’t afraid to make ears ring.

Unlike all the shoegaze revivalists that have materialized in the past few years, the band’s not an excuse to stumble into an effects-pedal orgy. Beneath the piles of distortion, Le Divorce has consistently focused on songwriting rather than textures since Vincent and Grobelny regrouped last June. Those finer qualities have a tendency to get lost in the mix at a live show, as most listeners cue in on the band’s atmospheric (read: noisy) qualities rather than its songwriting foundation. “We definitely base our songs in songwriting and dynamic,” Vincent says. “Some of the elements we add might give it an atmospheric quality, like, I like to turn my distortion pedal way up sometimes. We don’t set out to be shoegaze in that way. We do have those qualities. It’s a key element you can fixate on if you want to.”
The handful of local music diehards who still remember Façade may not want to hold Vincent and Grobelny’s previous outfit up as a yardstick for their work. By anyone’s standards, that band’s ancient history. “We were kids,” Vincent says of their days together in Façade. “I didn’t even play guitar in Façade. I learned to play guitar in that time. Joe’s sensibilities have certainly matured as well. That’s what a decade will do for you, I guess.” - The Onion AV Club


"LIZ PHAIR With Le Divorce 01.18.11 | Bluebird Theater"

As Le Divorce got things going last night, the room was pretty crowded, a nice change from the typical turnout for opening acts. It was entirely appropriate that Le Divorce opened for Liz Phair, seeing as how frontwoman Kitty Vincent has a way of turning awkward between-song banter and seemingly clumsy, self-effacing humor into something curiously endearing, not unlike the headliner.

Beyond that, the group's mixture of dusky atmospheres and sometimes charging, sometimes spinning dynamics coupled with occasional undercurrents of jazz structure allowed for subtle emotional textures. Chris Durant and Ryan Stubbs provided the perfect springboard for Joe Grobelny's borderline spastic stage antics to match his musical gyrations on guitar. By the end of its set, people seemed to be refreshingly into Le Divorce, which closed with one of its best numbers, "Splinter Song." - Westword Denver


"Live review: 200 Million Years, Le Divorce @ the Hi-Dive"

Le Divorce, a Denver “supergroup” that’s rising quickly in popularity (they opened for Liz Phair earlier in the week before Saturday’s show), played a strong set focused on their unabashedly ‘90s sound before 200 Million Years, and nearly took the night away from the headliners. Anchored by Kitty Vincent’s powerful, throaty vocals and accomplished guitar, the foursome had no trouble endearing a large crowd with their 50 minute set. Vincent, who sings with Johnette Napolitano’s depth and PJ Harvey’s intensity, filled up most of the stage with her personality, and was well met in banter by bassist Ryan Stubbs and guitarist Joe Grobelny between songs, and in noisy, passionate sonics during them, while drummer Chris Durant maintained the rock beat from behind the three.

With characteristically easy comfort, the quartet played songs about heartbreak and made them sound almost happy, funny. Coupled with the laughter between songs, they completely belied the implication of their moniker while they slayed the crowd. - The Denver Post: Hey Reverb


"Mike Marchant's Outer Space Party Unit, Le Divorce and I Know You, Rider at Larimer Lounge, 12/11/10"

Le Divorce has always been good, but it seems the quartet has really honed its stage craft and sound in the past few months. Shrouded in a bank of fog, the band's visual presence matched the lush vibe of its songs. Performing "Analog" with confidence and the kind of power some people miss because it doesn't hit you over the head, Le Divorce showed how you can rock and still be playful without missing a beat. The deft mixture of clean and fuzzy tones and the diversity of the group's dynamic schemes made for a set that never seemed samey. - Westword Magazine


"The Beatdown: CMJ NYC"

CMJ NYC: The second round of artists tapped to perform at this year’s CMJ Music Marathon in New York City October 19 through October 23 was revealed last week. In addition to DeVotchKa, an act that had already been announced, five Denver groups were added to the lineup, including the Chain Gang of 1974, the Photo Atlas, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake (listed alternately as Snak Rattle Rattlesnake and Snake Rattle Rattlesnake), Le Divorce and The Foot.

There might actually be more locals slated to perform at CMJ this year; to be honest, our eyes started glazing over by the time we neared the end of the massive list of 700 or so artists. Be sure to check the Backbeat blog for updates. - Westword Magazine


"Live review: Overcasters, the Buckingham Squares @ the Larimer Lounge"

A fairly crowded Larimer Lounge saw one of the better 1-2 punches to close a local band show in recent memory last Saturday night. The Buckingham Squares (featuring members of several current and former Denver bands, notably Slim Cessna’s Auto Club and the Fluid), and Overcasters, in a somewhat rare performance, rocked and droned the late night audience.

After a very capable set by the relatively new Le Divorce, the Larimer began to slowly fill. It was the closest thing to an “all ages show” you’ll witness at the place, except the ages coming in were people in their upper 50s — with their even-older friends!

For a town that embraces rockabilly and other older rock offshoots, there’s surprisingly little ’60s garage rock to check out in Denver. The Buckingham Squares brought loud and snotty back in a big way, performing songs garage rock fans may have listened to for over 40 years, but rarely heard performed live.

The Buckingham Squares, without slavishly trying to replicate the sound of the songs they covered (the Sparkles’ “No Friend of Mine,” the Haunted’s “1-2-5,” to name a few), superbly recreated garage rock’s unique sonic atmosphere with the added dimension of Hammond B-3 sounding keyboards and lead singer Sam Schiel’s tambourine and maracas playing, as well as adding a grittier edge with some excellent guitar playing.

The band repeatedly encouraged people to dance. After all, nearly all ’60s rock was dance music. Go- go dancers would have been a nice touch and fit right in. There were a handful of dancers at the front for the last few songs, including the finale, the Troggs’ insanely primitive paean to teen horniness, “I Want You,” which ended somewhat incongruously with an extended jam that tore the song inside out.

Under most circumstances, the exuberance of such a set might be hard to follow, particularly at 12:45 in the morning, but Overcasters brought the evening to a near perfect close, about as complimentary a lineup as one can hope to hear.

Unlike some Overcasters’ shows, the band played with virtually no lighting, letting the music be the focal point of the experience. And the experience is what one takes away from an Overcasters show, you bathe in the twin guitar attack, led by Kurt Ottaway and let the pounding rhythm section (drummer Erin Tidwell is a star) take you where it will.

Overcasters’ slower, psychedelic sound saw the now slightly smaller crowd gear down from dancing to head nodding, the preferred stoner rock form of dancing. Utilizing several guitar effects, and a judicious use of drone, there were more than a few moments in their short set where trance became transcendent — exactly what you want from music like this.

Before playing The Denver Post’s 10th annual Underground Music Showcase this summer, Overcasters are headed to L.A. to record their next album with Rick Parker (who has worked with Black Rebel Motorcycle, among others) producing. - Denver Post: Reverb


"Steal This Track: Able Archer, Le Divorce and an exclusive from Magic Cyclops"

Though the Denver outfit known as Le Divorce clearly likes a good rock moment as much as Able Archer, that’s probably where the similarities end. The quartet of frontwoman/guitarist Kitty Vincent, guitarist Joe Grobelny, bassist Ryan Stubbs and drummer Chris Durant plays a darkly sensual and moody strain of indie rock that borrows as much from Concrete Blonde as it does from Joy Division.

But comparisons are a lazy man’s criticism. Le Divorce is its own creative and fully-formed beast, with one impressive pedigree. Vincent and Grobelny played together many years ago in Facade, before Grobelny and Stubbs went on to play together in Everything Absent or Distorted. Meanwhile, Durant can be found behind the kit with (die) Pilot, Roger Roll and a number of others, depending on the day of the week.

The foursome’s experience and maturity shine through on Le Divorce’s debut EP, “Pull Yourself Together,” a collection with narrow emotional range (most songs occupy the melancholy-to-downright-morose area of the spectrum), but enormous musical ambition. Though the middle of the EP drags a bit, the impossible-to-ignore beginning and introspective end pack a potent punch. Steal that powerful beginning, “In the Waves,” right now! - Denver Post: Reverb


""Westword Best of Awards" Best Musical Re=Partnership: Le Divorce"

Not nearly enough people remember the band Facade. The act was a charming mixture of dream pop and jazz that played low-key shows for a couple of years right after the turn of the millennium. Then the band's singer, Kitty Vincent, dropped out of music for the better part of the decade, while guitarist Joe Grobelny went on to Jet Set Kate and the highly lauded Everything Absent or Distorted. Vincent and Grobelny really had something as a musical unit, though, and after EAoD disbanded, Grobelny and Vincent got back together as the atmospherically bombastic, energetic and engaging Le Divorce. - Westword Magazine


"Le Divorce at Summit Music Hall"

Only a handful of people who have been part of the circuit of underground-rock shows in Denver since the early part of last decade remember Façade. Part dream pop and part jazz-inflected rock, the band put out one album before fading into the background in 2002. Its talented guitarist, Joe Grobelny, went on to later projects, including Jet Set Kate and, most prominently, Everything Absent or Distorted (a love story). In 2009, Grobelny teamed up again with Façade's charismatic frontwoman, Kitty Vincent. With the addition of bassist Ryan Stubbs and drummer Chris Durant, Le Divorce (due at Basscamp at Summit Music Hall on Friday, June 11) has quickly become a potent, atmospheric rock band. Like Failure minus all the fuzz and with a bit more emotional urgency, or Hum without the trappings of mid-'90s emo, Le Divorce makes splitting up sound like a painful yet healing process. - Westword Magazine


"Divorcees: It took breaking up to bring Le Divorce together"

In 2000, Kitty Vincent and Joe Grobelny started a band with some friends after meeting through an ad at Albums on the Hill in Boulder. Facade was the name of that outfit, and its music was kind of a cross between jazz and dream pop, with Vincent's velvety voice weaving through tight rhythms and Grobelny's precise yet creative guitar work.

Facade split in 2002, and Vincent all but dropped out of the music scene for the better part of the rest of the decade. He eventually regrouped with Grobelny, who had gone on to play in the short-lived Jet Set Kate, followed by a stint in Everything Absent or Distorted (a love story). When the two reconvened, Grobelny called upon former EAOD bandmate Ryan Stubbs to play bass and recruited former (die) PILOT Chris Durant to keep time for Le Divorce, as the new band was christened.

Le Divorce's new EP, Pull Yourself Together, features songs with evocative atmospheres that display a masterful use of dynamics, creating subtle yet cathartic tension. We caught up with Vincent and Grobelny recently and asked about the significance of the name and the new album.

Westword: Assuming you didn't name yourselves after the Merchant-Ivory movie or the Diane Johnson novel, why did you pick the name Le Divorce?

Kitty Vincent: When we started this project, Joe was in the middle of a divorce, and I was about a year off of one. It's kind of a weird thing to be divorced in your twenties. Everything Absent or Distorted had just broken up, and we were hanging out, and we just started writing songs together not knowing what it was going to be. This project almost started as therapy more than anything else. I thought it up in my car, and Joe said, "That doesn't suck," and we weren't going to spend months trying to figure out a band name.

Joe Grobelny: And French sounds fancy.

At what point, as a band or as individual musicians, did you realize you had outgrown your influences and were writing songs in your own voice?

KV: I think we felt that since day one. We all had bands that we loved and drew from, but I don't think we've ever set out to sound like anything in particular. I don't think we knew what this band was going to sound like when we put it together. When I list influences, it's mostly an arbitrary thing, because people need some idea of what they're coming to see.

Ryan Stubbs: I think what makes bands unique is the personalities of the individual people. Eventually, the touchstones of what they like comes out, and that evolves over time. - Westword Magazine


"Le Divorce "Pull Yourself Together" EP Review"

"A Pixies album at 3 a.m./'Cause it's the small things that win in the end," sings Le Divorce's singer-guitarist Kitty Vincent on "Analogue," one of five songs on the band's debut, Pull Yourself Together. But don't read into that too literally. Le Divorce doesn't sound anything like the Pixies; rather, the quartet imagines PJ Harvey and the National bashfully flashing each other their psychic scars. Aided by former members of Everything Absent or Distorted and (die) PILOT, Vincent sings her life in a voice full of tooth and muscle, and she backs it up with big, loose, raw guitars — not that there isn't a brooding and nuanced undercurrent to her ink-black vignettes, one that makes Pull Yourself Together less of an admonishment and more of a mantra. - Westword Magazine


Discography

- Pull Yourself Together (E.P. Self-Released)
-The Sting and the Light EP released February 4th, 2012

Photos

Bio

Le Divorce is a guitar driven indie-rock foursome from Denver, CO. They formed in the summer of 2009 and began playing shows five months later. That same year Westword Magazine awarded them Best Musical Re-Partnership for the reuniting of songwriting team Kitty Vincent and Joe Grobelny.

The band was largely formed out of the ashes of Denver-based band Everything Absent or Distorted. Upon EAOD's break-up, Joe Grobelny reunited with Kitty Vincent who he had played with in Façade years before. The recent additions of Mike King on bass and Kim Baxter on drums have helped to define their sound and an even tighter group.

They are inspired by early indie rock bands like Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, and Joy Division. as well as contemporaries like The National, Blonde Readhead, and The Kills. They draw from music that is raw and honest and mixs melody with distortion.

Le Divorce has been nominated for Best Indie-Rock Band in Denver by Westword Magazine for the last two years, and recently played at Red Rocks, SXSW 2011, the Westword Music Showcase, and the UMS.

Le D has shared the stage with national touring acts, including Liz Phair, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, , Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., The Generationals, Stellastarr*, Adam Franklin & the Bolts of Melody (from Swervedriver), Asobi Seksu, , Octopus Project, Bear Hands, My Gold Mask, French Horn Rebellion, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, The Delta Mirror, BM Links, and Transfer - as well as popular local acts including The Swayback, Overcasters, Dust on the Breakers and Mike Marchant.

In their first year together, Le Divorce played the Westword Music Showcase and The Denver Post Underground Music Showcase, and played at an Official CMJ Showcase in New York City. they also released their first EP titled Pull Yourself Together, which garnered praise from Westword, The Denver Post, and the Onion AV Club.

"Under the Boxcars", the first single of their forthcoming EP The Sting and the Light, has received airplay on FM radio Channel 93.3 KTCL-FM and local radio and college stations.

Le Divorce's new EP "The Sting and the Light" just released 2/4/2012