Sonic Youth

Today’s Denver music scene is about much more than jam bands and Top 40 ear candy. Meet five Front Range artists that are making noise locally—and beyond.

June 2011

the chameleon

George Inai/ The latest incarnation of George Inai’s career is something even the creator himself has difficulty explaining. The lushly orchestral, yet quirky songs—there are hints of ragtime jazz, Nat King Cole, and Leonard Cohen, among other influences—comprise the soundtrack to an upcoming (and ongoing) visual-musical Web performance dubbed A Curious Ghost. “It’s becoming more of a multifaceted, multisensory experience,” Inai says. “It’s more visual than simply musical. I’ve been messing around with video, and various art projects have somehow fastened themselves to it.” This follows Inai’s earlier work, somber lullabies that conjur images of moonlit deserts and empty, desolate bars where Tarantino-esque misfits gather to plot their next heist. “My wife says my sound comes from memory and imagination,” says Inai, whose ethnic influences—from his own Japanese heritage and his wife’s Mexican background—have shaped all his work. “Colorado’s Latino culture, the Old West, and its history all evoke some kind of feeling that I somehow identify with.”—LH

Listen if you like: An unpredictable artist who incorporates a bit of everything—from jazz to classic country to hauntingly dark ballads—to create completely original songs
On the Web: georgeinai.com, myspace.com/georgeinai
Track: "Serenade to a Satellite"