Denver's The Hollow Are Creating Community Everywhere They Go

By: Hannah Oreskovich

If there’s one Denver band creating community everywhere they go, it’s Denver’s The Hollow. The four-piece rock’n’roll outfit, who released their video for “Sleep Talkin’” earlier this year, are constantly throwing inclusive events. From their actual shows where you’ll find them wandering the crowd between sets befriending every guest, to their monthly Mental Wellness Meetups, this is a band who deeply cares about the Denver music industry community. And it shows.

Just last night, The Hollow previewed their forthcoming EP Contact at Skate City in a 90s-themed rager. Attendees enjoyed nachos from Illegal Pete’s and kegs from Black Bottle Brewery, played a number of arcade games for free, and of course, skated to the band’s new rockin’ record and a ton of 90s jams.

 The Hollow. Photo per the author. 

The Hollow. Photo per the author. 

Frontman Spencer Townshend Hughes announced the band’s songs from the DJ booth while the other members hyped up the crowd in the rink. Attendees skated around listening to the band’s new cover of “Pure Imagination,” along with four new tracks including their previously released “Sleep Talkin’.”

Said Hughes when I caught up to him in the rink, “We wanted to do something with this party that was different and brought everyone together. It’s something different from a show- no one’s really done this. People keep asking tonight, ‘When are you performing?’ And we keep saying, ‘We’re not!’ We’re just here to hang out with the people we love and the people who support us. This is for them.”

The Hollow will continue their efforts in the community next Saturday when Hughes will host a Mental Wellness Meetup at Denver’s Underground Music Showcase on Saturday July 28th from 10AM-12PM at Metropolis Coffee. A therapist from the Aurora Mental Health Center will be onsite.

 The band in the rink. 

The band in the rink. 

The Hollow have more event announcements on the way as they continue to foster a great community within Denver’s scene. Keep up with their upcoming shows and events here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

RIDE Festival Is One of Colorado's Most Beautiful & Friendly Fests

By: Cy Fontenot

There are few things more pleasing than the sounds of music complemented by the mountains of Telluride. There is a beautifully synchronistic vibe that resonates within this breathtaking box canyon in the Uncompahgre Mountains which seems to pull together the best situations, and last weekend, RIDE Festival once again brought all of this together.

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The first day started off with Tyler Childers bringing some grassy vibes to the stage before a rock’n’roll extravaganza began. After Larkin Poe, Big Something really kicked of the jam vibes and then passed the torch to ZZ Ward, who was a fantastic opener for the wonderful Sheryl Crow. Following these female stronghouses, String Cheese Incident hit the stage and took the crowd on a psychedelic journey, kicking off one of the best Saturday nights RIDE has ever had. Following the Cheese, the late night crowd danced their behinds off to Kitchen Dwellers ‘til the wee hours of the morn, and it was all laughs and bluegrass from there! The crowd at RIDE proved sleep is for the dead.

 Sheryl Crow. 

Sheryl Crow. 

Day two kicked off with New Respects, followed by the Quaker City Night Hawks, who really pumped the rock vibes for next-up Dhani Harrison. Chris Robinson Brotherhood followed, sending swells of sounds into the mountains and beyond, which set a strong, beautiful tone for the evening. Grace Potter’s set was next and took the crowd to the edge of tears, which really put us in a vulnerable state for what was then one of the most inspiring sets of the weekend, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Drummer and band leader Joe Russo has the capability to build an incredible amount of energy and fluidity instrumentally, which really set the stage for Tom Hamilton to channel Jerry better than anyone I’ve seen (and I’ve been to more than a few Dead shows).

 The Cheese!

The Cheese!

That’s when Cheese came back for round two, and I don’t know if anyone was prepared for their Sunday night set. Starting things off with dueling drum solos, the Colorado classic band played one of the most intriguing sets I’ve seen from them. They created such a space for the human experience in their sound that no one wanted the weekend to end.

Overall, RIDE Festival was one of the most beautiful, friendly, and fun weekends of the summer. There’s really nothing like the sounds they set up squished between the awesome peaks of Telluride. Keep an eye out for next year’s Ride Festival lineup; we’ll bring it to you as soon as it’s announced.

To view a full gallery from this year’s festival, click here.

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

-Cy

The Top 10 Must-See Artists at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Beyond the headliners, there are a number of awesome acts scheduled for this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival. Here are our must-sees:

 Pitchfork.

Pitchfork.

Kweku Collins

Kweku Collins is from a suburb just north of Chicago, but has been lumped in with the rest of the Chicago artists on the scene. Collins’ music is a unique blend of self-produced beats over his own lyrics, which float somewhere between rapping and droned-out singing. He performed a wild set at Lollapalooza last year, and is sure to bring that same energy to the Pitchfork stage.

Ravyn Lenae

Pitchfork is notable for bringing a collective of artists together at this festival, but something they’re especially good at is tailoring the talent to represent not only the diversity of the industry, but also the Chicago acts who are hustling to the top. Ravyn Lenae is one of these special acts, along with Saba, Noname, Chicago transplant Smino, and northern suburban Kweku Collins. Ravyn Lenae recently released an EP with one of The Internet’s members, Steve Lacy, and went on tour as an opener for Sza, both have which have skyrocketed Lenae’s career this year. Lenae has migrated from a local Chicago favorite to a worldwide obsession. Still, she hones in on her city’s spirit and is sure to have a truly magical set.

Smino

Smino is a St. Louis native, but moved to Chicago to pursue his career as a rapper. He slept on studio floors while working non-stop and was eventually welcomed into Chicago’s tight knit music scene. Along with Ravyn Lenae, Smino was on tour with Sza, helping boost his tunes up the charts as well. His punchy lyrics and riffs of deliverance set him apart, so his set is sure to smash.

Syd

Syd is the breakout star hailing from two of Los Angeles’ most notable artist groups, The Internet and Odd Future. She worked with The Internet’s album Ego Death, which was nominated for a Grammy and has helped shape the sounds of many of LA’s influential artists. Since her debut album, Fin, Syd has been receiving nothing but accolades for her sultry blend of current hip-hop production with a voice that harks back to 90s R&B pop. Syd is a hallmark artist of our generation and an openly gay female who started off in two all-male rap groups and hustled her way into the world’s most competitive music scene.

Listen to our must-see artists on our Pitchfork playlist:

Saba

Saba is one of Chicago’s most special artists, and is the performer you should count yourself lucky to catch this year. At only 23 years young, Saba not only writes some of the most powerful lyrics you’ll listen to, he has also started a foundation and scholarship in the name of his recent friend John Walt. He’s an artist that not only puts on for his city, but he puts on for people. He dropped his second album prior to touring this year called CARE FOR ME, which is a migration from his previous sound but retains his incredible ability for raw storytelling (listen to “LIFE” for a reference on this ability).

Blood Orange

Dev Hynes, better known by his stage name Blood Orange, brought his ethereal sound to Pitchfork a few years ago and we’re more than excited to see his name on the lineup again. His 2016 album, Freetown Sound, combined a blend of sounds in and outside of music to create a textured landscape unlike any other. He claims he sat in Washington Square Park in New York City to write most of this record. It was there where he caught and recorded a lot of the extra sounds you hear throughout this album, such as a saxophone being played in the distance. The integration of these environmental sounds creates a mysterious, diary-like experience for the listener. You won’t want to miss catching these vibes in the late afternoon sun on Saturday.

Big Thief

Brooklyn indie rock band Big Thief are bringing their synth-tinged guitars and rock-influenced siren-like vocals to Pitchfork’s fest. Their songs are a nice mix of slow, dreamy tunes and more aggressive rock beats. This sonic mix has landed them on a tour with Conor Oberst (frontman of Bright Eyes, one of indie rock’s most legendary acts), as well as an NPR tiny desk concert.

Julie Byrne

Being compared to the likes of Joni Mitchell takes a special person, and Julie Byrne is evidently one of the rare ones. Leaving home at 18, she stumbled into music to quench her own happiness and has since established a name for herself. Living a wandering lifestyle prior to her recognition has molded her music into a soft and observant sound, which will sound beautiful outdoors at Pitchfork.

Joshua Abrams

Joshua Abrams will be bringing some much needed jazz to Pitchfork, a genre too often underrepresented especially at festivals. An early member of the group The Roots, Abrams has built up his career in Chicago’s strong jazz scene. His set will be a unique vibe on Friday, and will set the weekend off perfectly for any music enthusiast.

The War on Drugs

Indie rock veterans The War on Drugs recently won a 2017 Grammy for “Best Rock Album.” They tell fantastic stories in their lyrics while also making some thought-provoking statements, simultaneously rocking into immense guitar tangents that take listeners to another dimension, and Adam Granduciel’s voice has a hauntingly beautiful tone guaranteed to give a listener chills.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

BolderBeat Presenting Boulder Music Festival to Benefit RAICES

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BolderBeat is excited to announce that we are presenting a mini-festival to benefit RAICES this August. Featuring Colorado bands Augustus, Native Station, Ben Hanna Band, Whiskey Autumn, and The Beeves, along with Chicago’s ChinaRose, the full day of music is slated for August 18th at Boulder’s Twisted Pine Brewing.

Said festival organizer Jim Herlihy, “Separating children from their families is unconscionable and I wanted to do something about it. The long answer is that this is an event in a string of events that has left me feeling angry and helpless over the last couple years. I spend a lot of energy moving our music career forward and not enough time helping people in need. I genuinely love these bands that we got for this bill and I wanted to shine a light on this side of the Boulder scene and use it to help this cause. Bringing great musicians together to raise money for an urgent cause- I don't know if it gets much better than that.”

Tickets for day are just $6, and all proceeds from the Benevolence Benefit will be donated to RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, which is a non-profit serving immigrant children, families, and refugees in Central and South Texas. Come out for the cause and get event details here.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you details on each of the band’s on our lineup, so stay tuned!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Your Ultimate Fest Guide to Pitchfork 2018: Pop-Ups, After-Parties, & Everything In Between

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Chicago’s annual summertime PItchfork Music Festival is set to occur the weekend of July 20th. The acts range in broad strokes, from headlining artists Fleet Foxes, who have reigned the indie rock scene since 2006, to Chicago’s most developing talent like Saba and Ravyn Lenae. In our next article, we’ll give you the rundown on some of the top acts we don’t think you should miss, but for now we’re going to focus on the extra fun that surrounds the 45+ performances.

Pitchfork is smaller in scope when compared to other festivals, but they do not fall short of extra activities to partake in. On the festival grounds will be local food and drink vendors, where you can probably spot one of the performing artists roaming about with their friends. Nearby, the CHIRP Record Fair will be hosting local record stores and independent dealers to bring you an immense vinyl-browsing experience. Attendees will have the ability to walk through the aisles and pick out records for purchase or to simply sit and listen to the rubber in the moment. The record fair will also host an artist signing table.

The Flatstock Poster Fair at Pitchfork will be showcasing and selling the printed works of poster artists from the around the country. Tucked in-between the record and poster fairs is the Renegade Craft Corner, a cool pop-up which will be displaying and selling the works of modern craft and design artists. Works range from jewelry to clothing to iPhone cases or kitchen accessories. You never know what unique gift you may find here! Also on the grounds is Book Fort, which is on the basketball court. Here, a curated lineup of readers will perform works by themselves and other authors.

The fun does not end outside of Pitchfork’s festival grounds. Circuit des Yeux will be playing prior to the festival July 19th at the Empty Bottle. And then there are the after-parties! Some late-night shows we suggest are Open Mike Eagle and Fess Grandiose at Lincoln Hall on Friday night, Kweku Collins and fellow label signee Ajani Jones at Schubas on Saturday night and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with Cool Maritime at Constellation. Here’s the full list of additional aftershows you can catch!  

Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated over the weekend. Our best advice for getting to the fest is to take the Metra line to avoid traffic, as it drops you off right in front of the gates. Tickets for Pitchfork are still available here!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

Umphrey's McGee Crushed Their Recent Stint of Red Rocks Shows on 'It's You' Tour

By: Will Baumgartner

When you hear the phrase “rock music,” what do you think of? Not one specific thing, probably, unless you’ve only listened to a handful of “rock” bands who all sound the same. There’s a reason for this, and it’s simple: Of all the musical genres, rock is the only one broad enough to incorporate elements of many of the others. If you say “jazz” or “hip-hop "grindcore,” and I’d argue you’re more likely to hear a more blueprinted sound in your head. Rock, however, conjures a field as wide as the sky above at, oh, say, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater in Morrison CO, on a beautiful clear night in early July.

 Umphrey's McGee at the Rocks. Photo Credit:   Cy Fontenot

Umphrey's McGee at the Rocks. Photo Credit: Cy Fontenot

Recently, I attended a concert by masters of cross-wired rock Umphrey’s McGee during their three-night residency at Red Rocks last weekend. While I was admittedly not steeped in their music, I’d heard enough UM that I was sure I’d like to see them live and I’d heard their shows were electrifying examples of tightness, groove, and onstage inventiveness. And also, there was nowhere else I could imagine being happier on my birthday than at Red Rocks absorbing a legendary live band for the first time.

I had not been misinformed on the rumors of UM live, and my intuition was also spot on: Umphrey’s McGee transported me along with thousands of other blissed-out music lovers, to a kind of rock heaven. I just couldn’t believe how good they were. Sure, people can tell you about a band and their shows ad infinitum; you can even watch full-concert videos. But none of that fully prepared me for the actual experience.

 Photo Credit:   Cy Fontenot

Photo Credit: Cy Fontenot

When attempting to describe the show to friends and fellow musicians, I found myself grasping for words beyond ones like “tight” and “inventive,” because they just didn’t seem emphatic or expansive enough. Live, Umphrey’s are tighter than the gear works of a Swiss watch. Their group improvisations are as seamless, creative, and mind-blowing as an MC Escher print. And often, they went even further to where, in keeping with their cross-genre style, it was like being in a sonic world co-created by Escher and cosmic visionary artist Alex Grey, with a score co-composed by the love children of Miles DavisJerry GarciaBootsy Collins, and… uh, I guess a bunch of prog rockers from bands like Yes, and… oh, I give up! Frank Zappa once said something like writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Of course he was right in this observation, and in no case more aptly so than here.

If you haven’t seen UM live yet, you should, and if it’s been a while since your last time, you should go again. If these words are unworthy of their subject in any other respect, if they can get more people to share the Umphrey’s experience, I’ll feel that I’ve done the world some good. Though I can’t count myself as an old fan who knows all their songs, a lot of the material in their two-set show the night I saw them wasn’t stuff I could sing along with, with the exception of their cover of DJ Zebra’s Beatles/Nine Inch Nails mashup “Come Closer.” I didn’t sing along, but that was only because I was too busy digging how they did it.

Another notable aspect of this night’s many-faceted performance was the way these guys could layer and build, and then strip down and rebuild to yet another and even higher climax, to the point where it was hard to tell if they’d gone into a new song, or just taken the one they were doing to some dizzying new height. At one point, I realized that everyone but the two guitarists had stopped, and that was it: no bass, no drums, no percussionist or keys, just these two guitars dancing on a beautiful bridge of sonic sculpture. It was so dense and at the same time, so pointedly connected like a constellation viewed in striking detail. I just kept slowly shaking my head, trying to wrap around the fact that all this was coming from just two guitars. So I thought, “Oh yeah, effects. Effects, pedals.” But when once again, I looked closely, I saw that most of what was going on was coming from just those four hands, sixteen spidery fingers weaving their web.

While a large chunk of the concert not surprisingly came from their January 2018 release It’s Not Us (though the tour is named after the just-released companion It’s You), the band drew widely from their entire 21-year history and, in classic genre-hopping style, kept it all well mixed. They moved from their crunchiest prog-rock burners into the occasional bits of country-folkish type material, and some of their simpler funk-driven dance numbers, which gave guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss ample opportunity to employ his rather cutely effective falsetto. And for sing-along songs, I’d be hard pressed to find one more irresistible than their cover of George Michael’s “Freedom.” The members of Umphrey’s may not spend a lot of time and effort on showmanship- they barely said anything at all between songs, preferring to let the music speak for itself- but there was much more going on at Red Rocks than just dazzling musical wizardry. This is clearly a feel-good band, just one that doesn’t encourage shutting down your brain while your feet are moving.

 Photo Credit:   Cy Fontenot

Photo Credit: Cy Fontenot

Still, while acknowledging the good-time aspect of their shows, I don’t want to underemphasize this band’s outrageous skill on their instruments. Wikipedia’s UM page makes an important point about the group, and it was what I felt most defined the concert I experienced it. While Umphrey’s may be commonly grouped in with “jam bands” because of their varying setlists, improvisation, and encouraging taping of their shows, their overall sound owes much more to progressive rock artists like King Crimson, early Genesis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and the aforementioned Yes and Frank Zappa. I was also reminded of one of the first bands to advance the “jam band” prototype, The Allman Brothers, in the sheer and near-delirious power they cooked up as they brought their jams to full boil. And you just can’t do this without being overtly adept, not only at your own individual instruments, but also at the skillful interweaving of those talents combined with a highly developed sense of composition and dynamics. Guitarists Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, bassist Ryan Stasik, keyboardist/vocalist Joel Cummins, drummer/vocalist Kris Myers, and percussionist Andy Farag all displayed these musical attributes in spades.

I could go on but, okay, I think I’ve done enough dancing about Umphrey’s McGee’s splendid architecture for one article. Let’s just finish by repeating an earlier sentiment: whether you’re looking for virtuosity or just a very good time, get yourself to one of the shows on this tour, get on down to your local record store and pick up It’s Not Us and It’s You and then… well, just relax and enjoy. Umphrey’s will do the heavy lifting from there.

-Will

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Denver's Underground Music Showcase Hosting Pop-Up with Free Beer & Discounted Festival Passes This Weekend (07/13)

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Denver’s Underground Music Showcase is throwing a pop-up event this week in celebration of the upcoming festival. This Friday, July 13th at Black Buzzard, UMS bands Oxeye Daisy, in/Planes, and Tyto Alba will be rocking out to get you excited for the upcoming fest. The UMS is giving the first 100 people through the door a free Oskar Blues draft beer, which means you can choose a Dale’s Pale Ale, Pinner IPA, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Old Chub and G’Knight on the house!

We’ve already laid out for you several reasons why we’re so excited for this year’s UMS but if you missed that, check out The Underground, the multiple outdoor stages, and the festival’s plans for comedy, art, and more to be a part of this year’s weekend.

Festie time is just a couple of weeks away, July 27th-29th, and at the pop-up show this week, you can snag UMS tickets at discounted pricing with NO service fees. Get your party on this Friday the 13th by RSVPing to this UMS pop-up show here! RSVP is required for entry.

See you at the Buzzard soon!

Pitchfork Festival 2018 Will Be a Highly Curated Weekend of Great Tunes You Can't Hear at Other Fests

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BolderBeat is excited to announce that we will be attending Pitchfork Music Festival this year! One of Chicago’s most prominent festivals, alongside Lollapalooza and Mamby on the Beach, Pitchfork will be on the west side of the city in Union Square the weekend of July 20th-22nd.

Pitchfork has been held in Chicago for the past 13 years, and is notable for bringing a wide scope of artists to its stages- from music industry legends to some of the most upcoming and talented acts yet, you never know who you might catch. One look at the roster of past artists, and you can get a drift for this fest’s ability to pinpoint talent. The headlining artists this year are new wave stars Tame Impala, indie rock/folk veterans Fleet Foxes, and R&B legend Ms. Lauryn Hill, who will be performing her 20th anniversary of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Over 40 artists are set to play Pitchfork this year, and around 50,000 people will be attending throughout the weekend. The publication’s keen focus on music brings in a special festival crowd, one that is acutely focused on the music more so than other festivals. Being smaller in size lessens the craziness of the weekend as well, and makes Pitchfork a highly curated event. Additionally, the majority of the acts slated to perform are more known to those with their ears to the ground for up and coming acts. You’re not just going to hear what’s on that top Spotify playlist.

Pitchfork also hosts local vendors, a record and poster fair, a “book fort” with select readings and performances, as well as an entirely dedicate kid “zone.” Tickets are available for purchase here- you can attend one day for $75 or get the whole experience for $175- which is a serious bargain in comparison to other festivals.

We will be bringing you coverage all weekend long, providing your front row experience for one of Chicago’s biggest events of the summer. Stay tuned on our site and socials for any and all updates!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The End of An Era: Denver's Final Warped Tour Was Everything We Wanted

By: Nathan Sheppard

After 24 years, Warped Tour is ending with a bang. 

 Warped Tour had all the feels this year. 

Warped Tour had all the feels this year. 

Warped Tour made its final stop in Denver recently, marking the end of an era. Many of us look forward to the one day of summer where our favorite bands play our favorite songs in a hot parking lot, and Denver showed up in full force to make the most of this bittersweet ending.

The day started off early with some of our favorite local bands- In The Whale and One Flew West- who both rocked the stage and made the Denver music scene proud. We also got our fix of new era of punk/pop-punk with State Champs, Movements, and Waterparks. Also to note- Australia was representing big time for this last Warped Tour- we caught amazing sets from In Hearts Wake, The Amity Affliction, and Tonight Alive.  

 Every Time I Die.

Every Time I Die.

After seeing a few bands, we took a break to talk about something that is especially important in today's current entertainment industry: mental health. We caught up with one of our favorite non-profits, To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) for a little Q&A on the topic:

Tell us a little of what you guys do and how you got started.

We’re a mental health non-profit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with things like addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicide. We started 12 years ago trying to help one of our friends enter treatment by designing a t-shirt and that has evolved into this movement helping hundreds of thousands of people.

What are the main things that you all do to help with mental health?

The biggest way we provide help is providing scholarships for counseling and treatment. Our profits from t-shirts we sell here go towards those scholarships.

What has your relationship with Warped Tour been like over the years?

We’ve been on Warped Tour for 12 years, ever since we started, and they’ve helped us grow and welcomed us to this wild family and we love it so much. It’s a group of people that has a special place in our heart, because every summer we see familiar faces and get to ask how they are, how they’ve been doing since last year, and see it evolve over the years.

With this being the last Warped Tour what are your plans going forward?

It’s bittersweet to see Warped Tour go, obviously, because a lot of us have grown with it, so it’ll be interesting to see what avenues are next. We’ve been getting into the EDM world a little bit; the yoga world which has been fun. There's just going to be some adapting [with] how to interact with these different groups that we’ll be learning about. But we’ll always have Warped to look back on foundly- thanks for the memories Warped!

What are some ways that people can get involved with TWLOHA?

There’s a “Get Involved” tab on our website that can give you a little more detail about bringing the message of hope and health. Whether that looks like bringing a speaker to your area or simply purchasing info cards online to post coffee shops, it’s the little things that really push and make people want to see change and get help. You can also donate directly on the website, and recently we’ve had people donating their birthdays on Facebook to TWLOHA which is an easy way to help us and also get the word out as well. You can find more info at TWLOHA’s website.

 Don Bronco.

Don Bronco.

After our interview with TWLOHA, we got right back at it with some of our favorite hardcore bands Wage War and Every Time I Die, where the crowd surfers made security work overtime! Towards the end of the day, we were hit with a massive dose of nostalgia with our favorite old-school emo bands The Used and Mayday Parade. We knew that the day would have to end eventually, and it closed with Simple Plan. It was a “Perfect” way to end the fest, and many of us shed a tear or two.

 Simple Plan.

Simple Plan.

For 24 years, Warped Tour has been a place for many of us to let go and forget about the worries of the world while listening to the music that means everything to us. This year’s tour had a little bit for everyone, from new up and comers to the classic bands that we all love. It also had all of our favorite non-profits- communities that we have learned about and grown with over the years of Warped, and people that we can always count on and call home. We will always remember all the great times we had at Warped Tour. We can only hope that they bring this fest back to live on in some capacity, even if that’s another Warped Rewind at Sea or having the festival in a single location where we can relive the glory days of summer. What will Warped Tour become as it burns out and shines on? We can’t wait to find out.

See our full gallery from Warped Tour here

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Stacked All Local Lineup Slated for Fox Theatre This Weekend (07/06)

This Friday, July 6th, the Fox Theatre will host some of Colorado's finest. 

Ashley Koett sounds like Mac Demarco and Ella Fitzgerald made a band and Cuco produced the record. That said, the Boulder artist's combination of slack rock and jazz with "memorizing melodies" is exactly how you want to spend your Friday night this week. We promise.

Flanked by a four-piece band live, Koett is the singer and multi-instrumentalist behind most of her recorded work, which she creates in her Boulder bedroom. She's "not afraid to get personal in her songs" and often "even makes light of her dreary situations" in her music. With a roster opening for bands like Cuco and Frankie Cosmos, it's honestly hard to imagine Koett will remain local for long, which is just another reason this weekend's Fox show should be on your to-do list .

 Ashley Koett.

Ashley Koett.

Tyto AlbaCorsicanaAmerican Grandma, and The Milk Blossoms will also grace the stage on Friday. Tyto Alba's female-fronted indie rock vibes mixed with Corsicana's shoegaze is already reason to show up early. But then you add in the shadowy post-rock sounds of American Grandma and the dark pop productions of The Milk Blossoms and well, you'd better just show up at doors. Honestly. (By the way, they're are at 830PM.)

KGNU Community RadioRadio 1190, and Twist & Shout Records are presenting this all-local lineup of stacked proportions and tickets are only $10 in advance. Get yours here and we'll see you at the show.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

World Cup Anthems

The 2018 World Cup is here, and there’s no better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than with a sing-along to some of your favorite World Cup anthems. From the old to the new, these tunes have been adopted by fans across to world to raise spirits and get everyone ready for the exciting events ahead. These songs help to promote the event, unite people in support their country and enjoy one of the best sporting occasions the world has to offer. So what are some of the best World Cup songs we’ve seen over the years?

Possibly the queen of the World Cup anthem, Shakira has released two songs to commemorate the biggest football event in the world. In 2010, the Colombian singer released the massive Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) that skyrocketed to the number one spot in 14 countries, while her 2014 hit Dare (La La La) for Brazil’s World Cup reached nearly one billion youtube views.

Rewind a few decades to the 1994 World Cup in the USA and Queen’s iconic We Are the Champions was released to commemorate the occasion. Widely regarded as a classic hit and an undeniably catchy tune, this is a song that nobody will ever forget, and even today fans can be heard chanting this timeless tune.



Infographic: World Cup Anthems

Latin American stars seem to be amongst the most prolific in releasing these anthems, and it’s hardly a surprise given the sport’s popularity in South and Central America. Pitbull’s We Are One (Ole Ola) featuring Jennifer Lopez & Claudia Leitte was the official FIFA anthem for the 2014 Cup in Brazil and achieved popularity across the globe, reaching number one in three different countries.

They say music is the universal language, and some World Cup songs really did attain worldwide success. K’Naan’s Wavin’ Flag for the 2010 Cup in South Africa was even officially remixed into 10 different languages, with dozens of unofficial versions too, making it a perfect example of how football can bring the world together.

So now you’ve got all the information you need to compile the perfect World Cup playlist and enjoy this year’s games in Moscow. Whoever you’re supporting, it’s sure to be a fun event for everyone to celebrate together and will doubtless prove to be a highlight of this summer. Check out this infographic for some more football anthems.

No Small Children- a Band of Elementary School Teachers- Is Rockin' Summer Break

By: Nathan Sheppard

School’s out for summer and these elementary school teachers are living the rockstar life. L.A.’s No Small Children are making the most of their summer break and hitting the road to promote their new album What Do The Kids Say? and last week the band made their first stop in Denver at Lost Lake.

 No Small Children.

No Small Children.

The ladies shared the stage with local bands The Lollygags and The Patient Zeros. From the first note, NSC let us know we were in for a fierce punk rock show. The stage presence from each member was clear as they took charge of the venue to get everyone dancing along with them. The ladies had the intimate crowd singing along with them too, and entertained us with the occasional joke between tunes. It was a great show all around and a must-see when they come to a town near you!

On What Do The Kids Say?, which was released this past May, each song is put together brilliantly and has a flow that makes it really enjoyable to listen to. “Then It Woke” is a fast-paced rock song that is hard-hitting to get you head banging. “It’s All for Love” is another banger, and one that is super catchy.

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No Small Children have a short stint of shows in California planned before heading to the East Coast to continue their summer touring, which includes a stop at Chicago’s Riot Fest.  

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Race To Neptune Are Either the Black Sheep of Fort Collins or It's Next Big Thing

By: Brody Coronelli

With a new lineup, the band’s heavy, technical, and invigorating new EP Abandon Fashion showcases their evolution as a band, and what sets them aside from their counterparts.

 Race To Neptune.

Race To Neptune.

With a spellbing conceptual precision that blends scuzzy ‘90s grunge-rock, darkwave, and the teeth-kicking emotional thunder of punk in a manner that makes heads bang, dice tumble, and PA systems growl, Race to Neptune are one of Fort Collins’ loudest, eclectic, and ferocious rock bands.

The band made their debut in 2016 with Oh Contraire, an album that had a few moments of brazen, fiery chargings into up-tempo punk-rock, but for the most part stayed on the melodic side, using dark, midtempo, and gritty instrumentation to surround frontman Brian Maier’s personal and biting lyrics in a shadowy glow. On the Thurston Moore-reminiscent “Wanderlilly,” the guitars are loud and fiery, but immensely tasteful and bright as the band uses a catchy refrain and echoing harmonies to guide the song into a warm resonance. The song is forceful and delicate all at once; a balance the band had no issue finding on that album.

On their new EP Abandon Fashion, the band has kept the technical sensibilities of their debut intact, making use of raw, punkish energy to play their eclectic and progressive brand of rock’n’roll. Many of the songs have a raw and thundering approach that takes more after punk-rock than it does from brazen, technical, and melodic broods through the dimly lit streets of Oh Contraire. These songs aim to ignite, but not in a typical four-chord punk rock fashion. The band uses this driving energy and delivers it with an array of sonic intricacies in a way that’s more indicative of artists like Jack White, Black Sabbath, and Queens of The Stone Age rather than Subhumans or The Germs.

“I think [Abandon Fashion] is a two word statement that almost signifies that we are going to write, record, and do what we want and how we want, no matter what is cool, trendy, or ‘in fashion’,” says frontman Brian Maier.

The whole EP was cut live at Stout Studios in Fort Collins, capturing a raw and forthright energy that often can’t be found when meticulously multi-tracking or chasing the perfect take. This raw approach, balanced with the driving and aggressive nature of the songs makes Abandon Fashion a fierce, unrelenting pleasure.

“I honestly have always wanted to [record the way we did on this record] because it captures the aggressiveness and raw energy of how we actually sound that can’t be faked. I think if we recorded the first album the same way those songs would have come across just as heavy. Track by track recording is so dialed in and precise in every way from the smallest turn of an amp or pedal knob to how hard we strum or hit a drum or cymbal. This was total freedom and we recorded this just how we practice and this is how we sound live, because it is!” says frontman Brian Maier.

The opening track “Mortal Melody” features a nearly two-minute chugging intro with guitars that gradually grow more jagged, and pummelling drums that grow fiercer with each strike. The song is a garage-driven excursion that has all the thrill of driving down an empty desert highway going fifty over the speed limit. “I’ll be your creature/Can you teach me to teach/Sing to me slowly/In a motor melody,” Maier sings with a quiet growl on top of a scuzzy and aggressive bassline.

The Sonic Youth and Modest Mouse inspired “Departure” follows, a scuzzy rocker with a chanting, harmonic, and arena rock-reminiscent chorus. “Sunsets” is an older song of Maier’s that resurfaced while the band was tracking the album. With a beachy, sunburnt instrumental that feels like a long drive by the coast and lyrics about running off to California, it’s a bright and infectious song by a band that often defaults to the shadows.

The closing track “Abandon Fashion” is a return to form for the band. The entirely instrumental song opens with a fit of siren-esque picking, only to devolve into a showdown of fiery, circling guitars that get more aggressive with every note. What starts out capturing a warm sunset quickly starts to resemble a sky littered with flames, dancing down to the ground.

 The album artwork for  Abandon Fashion .

The album artwork for Abandon Fashion.

In more ways than one, Abandon Fashion marks a new beginning for the band. Not only is it a step into new musical territory, but the band underwent two significant lineup changes before making it. With Matt Petersen now on drums and Matt McNear on bass, the band’s sound is shifting in a different direction. Their influences are made loud and clear, and their presences melding with Maier’s technical and anthemic songwriting have led to Race of Neptune’s most invigorating record so far.

“I think it has been a pretty seamless transition,” says Petersen. “We got comfortable together really quickly. Matt just came on as bassist late February and we were in the studio the first week of April. I think that's definitely a testament to our cohesiveness. [Matt and I] both have a strong jazz background with our instruments which allows us to keep time really well while getting out of the rhythmic box bass and drums can sometimes be confined to in rock music. We are also all involved in the writing process… it’s a very cumulative sound you’re hearing.”

Race to Neptune underwent a quick evolution on Abandon Fashion, and for the better. It’s an invigorating, technical, and fun record that sets the band at the forefront of Fort Collins’ music scene. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t outliers, though. In a scene dominated by folk, EDM, and bluegrass, Race to Neptune are a shining beacon of musical progression and experimentation run through a filter of loud, raw, and eclectic rock.

“There has been a little increase in rock bands and venues in the [Fort Collins] area which is nice, but we are still the black sheep of the music scene up here. It is still very much dominated by jam bands, DJs and bluegrass, but we are trying very hard to support other local rock bands as well,” Maier says.

When the musical cohesiveness, energy, and vision of a band like Race To Neptune are all working together, maybe being the black sheep isn’t a bad thing; maybe it’s a sign that they’re at a the forefront of new sound and identity for Northern Colorado. It’s too early to say, but considering how far they’ve come as a band on only two records, anything is possible.

Abandon Fashion is out now. You can keep up with Race to Neptune here.

-Brody

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Top 10 Things to Do at Your Final Warped Tour

By: Nathan Sheppard

In it's last year as a touring festival, there is much to do at your last Van's Warped Tour.

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10. Download the Official Warped Tour App

Having the official WT app will keep you up to date on any news or announcements before and at the festival. The app also answers some of the most common questions that people have, from what you can bring to where you can meet your favorite bands. And most importantly, it lets you know which artists are playing at your Warped Tour date. Download it ASAP, and get yourself a portable power pack while you’re at it! You don’t want a dead phone right before that selfie with Mayday Parade.

9. Be Prepared

Warped Tour happens during the hottest time of the summer, so it's important to take care of yourself. This means staying hydrated! There are water stations on the fest grounds, so all you need to bring is a clear empty water bottle and you're golden. Make sure to check the weather before you head out too so you can have the sunscreen on hand. A bro tank sunburn never did anybody no good.

8. Make Friends

Warped Tour is basically a giant party full of people that like the same kinds of music as you do. It’s a place where you are free to express yourself and go a little bit wild without the fear of being judged. So branch out of your comfort zone and talk to someone new while you’re enjoying the festival! Your phone will still be there when the conversation is over.

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7. Check Out the Non-Profits

There are a wide variety of nonprofits traveling with the tour who do amazing work for their communities. From The American Red Cross to To Write Love On Her Arms, there is sure to be a non-profit that interests you. And who knows! Maybe you’ll end up volunteering with them after your Warped experience. Bonus: If you bring either three canned goods, a used cell phone, or a $5 cash donation for Feed Our Children NOW, you can get express entry to the fest. Check out the full list of non-profits here.  

6. Take a TEI Class

The Entertainment Institute (TEI) provides 40-minute backstage workshops with your favorite Warped Tour artists. Workshops can range from drum lessons to insights about the music industry. It’s a great way to see a different side of your favorite musicians and ask them all those burning questions you’ve had. Class sizes are limited, so get a ticket early! You can see which workshops are available here.

5. Get One Piece of Memorabilia

This is the last year of Warped Tour as we know it, which means its your last chance to snag some Warped Tour memorabilia. The first opportunities to grab yours are with the 2018 compilation CD and the collectible 3D souvenir tickets; on the day of your fest there will also be one or two merch tents with official Warped merchandise to peruse. Different organizations and record companies will be giving away free items as well, so keep an eye out!

4. Meet & Greets

Who doesn’t love meet & greets?! Every band will have their own merch tents set up throughout the festival day with a scheduled stop by time. This is a great way to meet some of your favorite band members and get something autographed or grab an infamous selfie.

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3. Discover At Least One New Band

Warped Tour is known for having a number of big name bands, but they also support many lesser known bands as well. Some bills even include local acts playing just your city’s fest. So while your waiting for your favorites on the main stage, make sure to check out the smaller stages like owly.fm Stage and Full Sail Stage. You might just find your new favorite band!

2. See Every Single One of Your Favorites

The final year of Warped is full of some of alt rock’s favorite bands, from icons like electronic duo 3OH!3 to Motionless In White for the metalheads so try and see as many of your favorites as possible! After all- THIS. IS. IT. Make sure you get to the fest early to find out set times on the classic inflatable board or snag a $2 paper schedule.

1. Have A BLAST

This is the last time we’ll be able to experience Warped Tour as we’ve known it for the past 25 years. Whether it is revamped somehow or changed to something completely different is yet to be seen, so it’s time to enjoy what’s left while we have the chance. Take it all in and experience all that Warped has to offer you. And as always, practice safe moshing and crowd surfing and take care of one another. Though it’s the end of an era, it could be the start of your relationship with a new friend or a new favorite band. Here’s to you Warped Tour!

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.


The Ride Festival: Why This Year's Lineup and the Mountains of Telluride Are a Match Made in Heaven

By: Cy Fontenot

There are few things comparable to taking in the mountains of Telluride and experiencing the loving culture of this historic mountain town. Nestled in a breathtaking box canyon of the San Juan Mountains at 8750’ elevation, Telluride is home to some of the most magical musical occurrences Colorado has to offer.

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Highlighted among these is The Ride Festival. With two nights of String Cheese Incident at the top of the bill, Ride 2018 is bound to be a soul-warming experience. The vibe of this magical mountain town complimented by the sounds of SCI is sure to create a strong sense of euphoria amongst anyone is attendance. Also slotted on the lineup this year are Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Big Something, Kitchen Dwellers, and more.

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Town Park still has spots available, so you’ll never have to leave the party! Festival passes also include entry to most NightRide shows, and these unique sets are not to be missed. As the main stage empties out into the streets of Telluride, late night venues such as the Sheridan Opera House, Roma, Liberty, and the Moon at O’Bannon’s will fill up and overflow with sounds until early morning. Check out this year’s NightRide schedule to see you favorites. You can sleep when you’re dead!

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The Ride Festival this year will be a magical, wild ride between the daytime and late night performers, the beauty of those San Juans, and Telluride in full festival vibes.

Check out the full lineup here and get your tickets today at this link!

-Cy

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

2018 Belongs to JJUUJJUU

By: Brody Coronelli

A Q&A with frontman Phil Pirrone on the band’s debut album, their upcoming shows, and how it feels to be on the cusp of their big break.

 Phil Pirrone of JJUUJJUU.

Phil Pirrone of JJUUJJUU.

The Los Angeles psych-rock band JJUUJJUU has a sound that’s entirely their own. Harnessing the collision of psych and desert rock with the ambience of low-fi and a fiery undercurrent of metal that never overpowers the music, they’re one of rock’s most interesting and hard to pin down groups. They’re also on the cusp of a breakthrough.

The band- fronted by Phil Pirrone, the founder of the Desert Daze festival- released their debut album 'Zionic Mud.' The album is an atmospheric exploration of a number of different influences, each coming together to capture an atmospheric, psychedelic daze. A good deal of collaboration followed the release. The band released alternate versions of each single re-imagined by friends and supporters, which include Warpaint’s bassist Jennylee’s synth-driven and danceable take on the title track “Zionic Mud” and Liarsloud, scuzzed-out version of “Camo.” They also released a music video for their own version of “Camo” directed by Flaming Lips animator Michan Burzan.

This summer, the band is set to play a number of shows opening for the heavy metal band Mastadon and experimental rock band Primus; two hugely high profile acts with the potential to send JJUUJJUU into the stratosphere. In between those shows, the band is headlining Lost Lake in Denver on June 19th with support from DeCollage and King Eddie. I had the opportunity to chat with Pirrone recently about the band’s new album and their upcoming tour dates.

You guys just released your new album 'Zionic Mud' last month. How has the rolling out and reception of that record been, and in what ways is it different from your past material?

This record was five years in the making. So it's good to have it out. We had only released an EP before this, in 2013, so in a lot of ways, this is the beginning.

Your songs are definitely more blissed out and bright than your counterparts; they aren't always aggressive, and instead, favor some ambience. How do you go about creating this sound live and in the studio?

Not sure how we get there- I guess it's just our collective influences and experiences informing how we approach a song or jam or what have you. Short answer: happy accidents.

What sound were you trying to capture on 'Zionic Mud', and is it going to send the band in a new direction, or expand on a sound you've already established?

I just wanted it to sound like something I loved, no matter what that ended up being. I don't know what direction we're going in or what we've established. Just putting down what comes out and going from there.

What inspired you to have friends and collaborators release their own alternate takes of the singles? What do these new versions have to offer that the originals don't? The JENNYLEE version of "Zionic Mud" particularly stands out to me; it brings out a danceable element in the song's framework that I didn't catch in the album version.

It was my friend Jason's idea who works at the label. And a great idea at that. These versions are some weird form of collaboration between myself and the remixer, without being in the same room or even talking about it. So, it's very exciting to hear what each of them come back with. Jennylee went the extra mile and reimagined the track through her lens and it's lovely.

What made you choose METZ and Liars to rework the songs? Are there any other collaborations in the works?

Part of the aim of this experiment was to find very different filters to mix these songs through and see what we end[ed] up with. Both seemed like total long shots, but they both said yes (surprisingly). Very happy with how both came out.

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Your music strikes a really interesting balance between psychedelia, stoner-rock, desert-rock, and a cool, low-fi aesthetic. How did you come across this collection of sounds, and how do you go about synthesizing them into your live set?

We really don't talk or think about what we're going to do, we just go for it. Whether I'm on my own or with the group, we just jump into it and follow what comes out, or we don't if it's shit. Performing the songs live with a group is an evolution. It's difficult to replicate what happened on record because so much of it was improvised or literally a happy accident. So the live incarnation sort of evolves and the songs grow and change. I think that's totally a normal behavior for a group like JJUUJJUU.

How does it feel to be opening for Mastodon and Primus, two colossal names in the scene? How'd this opportunity come about, and do you have anything special planned for these shows?

Feel honored and excited and nervous, frankly. Touring with bands this good keeps us on our toes and forces us to bring our best. We've toured with Claypool Lennon Delirium before, so it's great to be invited back out. Les Claypool has some of the best fans in the world. They are there to enjoy loud music and have a good time. So, for that, among other things, we're very grateful. We're going to be playing nice and early, so we'll be having a BBQ nightly from stage. We might perform a few weddings (if needed). First 50,000 people in the gates get a free hot dog and t-shirt (if there's also a wedding).

What's next for the band after you guys finish your expansive touring schedule this year? Do you see the band continuing in the same sonic direction, or is there a new sound on the horizon?

We're playing Desert Daze in Southern California in October. We're working on LP2 right now (early stages). It's going to be different. But the same. But different.

-Brody

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

New Found Glory Proved Their Pop Punk Reign at Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Pop punk legends New Found Glory rocked the Ogden Theater this past friday on their Sick Tour. The now 21-year-old band are right back at it again after recently going on a 20th anniversary tour. This time around, they brought William Ryan Key (former Yellowcard frontman), The Movielife, and fellow old-school punk band Bayside.

William Ryan Key kicked things off with an acoustic set of his newest solo project, a five-song EP Thirteen. It was very mellow compared to his Yellowcard days. The set did end with and acoustic “Ocean Avenue” sing-along which was very fun. The Movielife, who just reunited a few years ago and released their first record in 14 years this past fall, followed with an energetic performance.

New York punk rockers Bayside took things to the next level as they ripped through the first few songs of their set. The usual mosh pits started to form and truly made the Ogden’s 1600-person venue feel like a classic small venue punk show. Everyone sang along to classics like “Montauk” and Bayside finished their part of the show with everyone’s favorite “Devotion And Desire.”

New Found Glory, who are known in their genre for their excellent shows, proved they still reign as last week’s was no different. Kicking things off with arguably their biggest song (though they have many), the band played “All Downhill From Here” to start the night and the show got more insane from there. Aside from the electric energy they developed with the crowd, NFG are also a fan favorite due to their longer setlists, which often feature a lot of classic older tunes and deep cuts. Denver’s show was everything that we could ask for catalogue-wise, and also featured balloons, confetti, and even a lucky few fans getting to share the stage with the guys for some songs. An NFG show is definitely unlike any other, and it's easy to see why this band has built such success over the years. This is one act that don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

 NFG.

NFG.

The Sick Tour is winding down, so make such you catch this lineup while you can! You can keep up with the band here so you can see them at their upcoming BreakFEST Festival performance, which Bayside and The Movielife will join them for as well.

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Dinosaur City Records Has a New Mixtape Out & It's More Important to Listen to Now Than Ever

By: Julia Talen

Dinosaur City Records (DCR), a small independent label out of Sydney, Australia, has been issuing annual mixtapes for the last couple of years. With their third one released at the end of May, Jordanne Chant, co-founder of the label shared, “the mixtapes are a nice way of showcasing a diverse mix of brilliant music that’s being made at the moment.”

 Cody Munro Moore. 

Cody Munro Moore. 

Most of the tracks off Dinosaur City Records Mixtape #3 are unreleased, and listeners can locate indie musicians based in Australia, NYC, and LA across the compilation’s 23 tracks. Moreover, as the DIY music scene continues to go unrecognized or be simply dismissed (ahem Rhinoceropolis and Glob here in Denver), it’s important for people to tune in to what artists are continuing to create and innovate.

Thankfully, DCR is keeping independent music alive. Chant and co-founder Cody Munro Moore clearly have a keen ear for original musicians and listening to this mixtape (via online streaming, digital album, or cassette tape) is a must for any music nerd or curious listener looking for something different than their Spotify “Discover Weekly” playlist.

The mix starts with Ali Flintoff of Denise Le Menice. Her hazy track, “Addiction” casts a lofi DIY vibe that’ll permeate much of the album, weaving psychedelic surf rock undertones into the fiber of the tune. It’s catchy, lovely, and enticing.

As we move through the tracks, we get a taste of a variety of genres. “Tender” a tune by Sophie McComish, the artist behind Tuffence Meringue, soothes the listener with hypnotic vocals and instruments, evocative of authentic musicians like Frankie Rose.

Brooklyn-based band Navy Gang’s tune, “Just Kidding Not” follows. Their infectious and witty tune with lyrics, “I’m indecisive/I fucking hate you/No I don’t/Don’t know if I love you” evokes Animal Collective during its chorus, as the band whales, “I don’t ever wanna be alone again.” It’s pretty brilliant. And this clever, experimental tune leads into “Cockroach,” by Bourgeois Earth, which is probably my favorite of the 23 songs.

“Cockroach” is wildly exploratory, melding electronic sounds with brass instrumentation, and ethereal and alien-like vocals that make their mark. If you like the 2009 album Merriweather Post Pavilion, or really any sort of experimental pop music, you’re going to love this one. Though it’s exploratory, this ingenius track is compact and holds together, not flailing every which way as it probes all sorts of music genres and instrumentation throughout its corners.

Mezko’s “Without You” reminds me of some genius new work from LCD Soundsystem, Bored Short’s “Bar Cards” slows things down a little, reminding me vocally of Alex Cameron’s somber, but brilliant songs. Sadventure’s “One More Night” also breaks ground with its drifty, floaty melody, similar to a song off an old M83 album, getting heavier as it moves along.

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In the latter half of the album, we hear Painter Paige Emery’s lo-fi, hazy tune, “Here Now Stay Go” which sounds like she’s painting pieces of her song into the air to create a masterpiece of sounds.Track 17, Romy Church of e4444e’s song, Volume Two has a rhythmic opening and shifting and folding lo-fi vocals that are calm yet penetrating. And Cody Munro Moore’s new wave tune “As The Empire Fell Apart” definitely evokes the artful, post-punk vibes of Talking Heads.

I’ve only scratched the surface on the myriad of incredible music across this mixtape. DRC’s curated a record that’s original, unique, cutting edge, and incredibly important to listen too. The small label’s mission to honor and acknowledge independent music is of utmost importance to the music scene these days, so be sure to tune in.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Campout for the Cause Was the Most Grounding Music Festival I've Ever Been To

By: Mirna Tufekcic

The 10th Anniversary of Campout for the Cause took place the first weekend of June at the beautiful Meadows in Buena Vista, Colorado. Kicking off the high country summer, Campout was a community gathering of yogis, nature, and music lovers alike. Campout’s mission over the years has been to step away from the party so familiar to music festivals and focus more on community, conversation, yoga, and music while contributing to a meaningful cause. Each year the cause changes, but it generally focuses around environmental, humanitarian, and educational topics, and it’s always for a not-for-profit organization.

 Acrobatics. Photo Credit: Molly McCormick

Acrobatics. Photo Credit: Molly McCormick

This year, however, the cause was a little closer to home. The proceeds went to a Campout for the Cause partner Michael Welle and his family to help pay for their daughter’s medical expenses. Emery, now two years old, has been fighting embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric cancer, since she was five months old. For almost two years, Emmy has been undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments at Children's Hospital in Denver. Her prognosis is encouraging, but this tough little ladybug still has a long road to travel before she gets better.  For more information or ways to donate, you can visit Emmy’s Friends.   

That being said, attending Campout for the Cause this past weekend felt really good. Knowing that the money spent at the festival was going to be an honorable cause while enjoying nature, yoga, music, and learning about sustainable living filled my cup for the weekend and was a great way to start the summer days. It also felt really good to relax and be surrounded by families with children, without the pressure of drinking, taking drugs, or partying to fit in. The vibe of the festival was really grounding and quiet, despite the loud music coming from the stage every evening.

 Pixie and Party Grass. Photo Credit: Zach Malone

Pixie and Party Grass. Photo Credit: Zach Malone

Speaking of the loud music, the lineup was quite enjoyable. Unfortunately I missed Mandolin Orange on Friday night, but I caught the whole lineup on Saturday evening which featured The Lil’ Smokies, Intuit, Tierro with Bridget Law, Grantful Dead Review (Grant Farm’s very own take on the Grateful Dead), and others. Sunday evening, last of the festival, featured Bonnie Paine of Elephant Revival with Friends, while Grant Farm closed the night.

Workshops during the weekend ranged from building a sustainable lifestyle and self-love to belly dancing and hula hooping. Yoga classes were offered each day with instructors like Gina Caputo teaching on the main stage, “Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga” at the pond of the meadows, and aerial yoga for both adults and kiddos. If you think these sound unappealing, think again. All of them filled up before the afternoon!

 Yoga. Photo Credit: Zach Malone.

Yoga. Photo Credit: Zach Malone.

Campout for the Cause is presented by Wondergrass, the same people who put together the annual Winter Wondergrass music festival in Steamboat Springs. So if you like the grassy, rooty, folk feel of a music festival without all the beer and party fuss, come out next year for a real feel-good, wholesome experience at Campout. And give to the cause! See you next year.

-Mirna

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Five Things We Love About the Initial UMS Lineup

 Slowcaves at UMS 2017. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Slowcaves at UMS 2017. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

One of our favorites events of the year announced their initial lineup last week. Denver’s Underground Music Showcase will return to South Broadway July 27th-29th and right now, early bird tickets are just $35. Earlier this year, Two Parts purchased the music festival from the Denver Post, and while the Denver event company will be keeping classic pieces of the fest alive, they’re also bringing new fun into the mix. Here are our five favorite things about their initial announcement:

5. The fest has been shortened to three days.

Previously, the UMS started on the last Thursday of July and ran through Sunday night (some years the fest even hosted a preview show on Wednesday evening and then ran four nights following). This year, Two Parts has solidified the fest to run strictly Friday-Sunday, and while this does mean a few less shows, it also means attendance at Sunday shows is likely to improve. In years past, Sunday was a slower day, especially for afternoon sets. We get it- it’s hard chasing your favorite bands with an Oskar Blues brew in hand for four or five days straight. But this year, with three strong days of shows, no excuses! We expect to see you from dusk ‘til dawn and back again. Or at least everyday from Broadway brunch onward.

4. There will be a lot more happening than just music.

We love music. In fact, that’s most of what we do at the UMS every year. But this year, Two Parts has added in more experiences at the fest- panel discussions, comedy, and even podcasts. Local artwork will be showcased throughout the weekend too. Bringing together the entire artistic community, along with Denver’s incredible music scene, is something we’re excited to witness and connect with at this year’s UMS.

3. 303 Magazine will be curating “The Underground” pop-up events.

In their announcement of the festival last week, 303 Magazine reported that they will be hosting “unique experiential moments in various locations inside the festival for all attendees to spontaneously discover.” It’s these sort of weird surprises that keep things super interesting and build a community that festheads want to come back to year after year. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for this.

2. The headliners rock and the touring acts are so good.

Festival lineups can vary year to year, but this one rocks. Alvvays, BJ The Chicago Kid, Classixx, Cloud Cult, Deerhunter, Digable Planets, Frankie Cosmos… damn. After hitting Alvvays’ sold-out set at the Ogden last fall, we were pumped to see they’re one of the headliners. But in all honesty, every touring act on this year’s lineup is someone we’re stoked to see. Impressive.

1. There is still a MAJOR focus on local.

When festivals are bought and sold, there’s always the risk they’ll become more corporate with a focus on all of the (mostly) same touring acts hitting the festival circuit for the season. We had no doubt Two Parts would keep it real since they’ve helped curate events like Denver Flea and they created the Denver Passport Program. That said, we’re excited to see SO many local acts billed as tier two this year. Favorites like All Chiefs, Chloe Tang, CITRA, Last of the Easy Riders, One Flew West, Slowcaves, The Savage Blush, The Velveteers, and Tyto Alba topping that tier brings a big smile to our faces, as we’ve covered and watched these acts grind over the past year. Plus, the UMS’ overall lineup announcement included a lot of regular favorites and a lot of up-and-coming. There’s a great balance and a lot of different music to see. Overall, the local push was strong and we’ve heard rumors it’s only going to get better with the next announcement round this June.

It may be June, but we’re counting down the days until the UMS per usual. Countdown with us and grab your tickets here.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.