11/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mayer Hawthorne Brings His Retro Cool to Denver This Week

The Larimer Lounge has one of the loudest paint-peeling sound systems in all of Denver, and I tend to see a lot of raw, thumping shows inside those brick walls -- whether it's the calisthenic melee of the Handsome Furs, the "secret show" with England's mega-power-poppers Supergrass, the facemelt of El Ten Eleven, or even a little set for me to DJ.

Tomorrow night, forget all that, maybe put on your good Sunday slacks and a healthy daub of Brylcreem and come buy me a mint julep for the total throwback sounds of young Mayer Hawthorne, on his first Denver stop.


Born and raised just outside Detroit, this whippersnapper (late-twenties) has come from a background of hip-hop and deejaying, and despite a lifelong affinity for the sounds coming out of his dad's old car stereo, he started making this doo-wop soul stuff just as a joke. Even the label heads couldn't believe this was new material when Mayer first played his demos for them -- even more amazing since he plays all the instruments, and recorded his swell songs at home in his bedroom.

Ever since I was wowed by how sublime vintage soul can sound on a live stage, I've been curious to try and see more shows in the genre. From releasing his first 7" on red, heart-shaped vinyl to covering M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" in a San Francisco bar, Mayer's having some fun with it, and I'd imagine he'll bring the same tomorrow night.

I'm gonna try to buy him a drink (or a "drank," if you will) to see if we can get him a little more feisty and fiery in concert, crack through that pomaded sheen of imperturbability and let loose with some howls, a gyration or two (does he do that?) and other activities better suited to the Larimer Lounge. Come on out and have some fun.

A Strange Arrangement is out now on Stone's Throw Records.

For all of Mayer's tour dates and a free remix download, please visit Fuel/Friends.