Modest Mouse Gave Us All a Mother's Day Present at Sold-Out Red Rocks Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

For a day filled with Mother's Day events, Modest Mouse put an extra cherry on top of a great Sunday with an epic performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Modest Mouse. 

Modest Mouse. 

With a few sprinkles of rain here and there, Portland natives Mimicking Birds started off the festivities with a very mellow set. It's not easy to be an opener for such a popular band at a place like Red Rocks but they did a solid job. That being said, it didn't seem like many people knew who they were but it’s definitely worth looking them up if you are into the spacey jam band sound.

With people still streaming into the sold-out show as they started their set, Modest Mouse took the stage and played some throwback tunes “3rd Planet” and “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” to get everyone moving and grooving. The band who started out as just a trio over 25 years ago has now grown into an eight-piece supergroup which includes violin, horns, and a few keyboards. Their ability to evolve shows they know how to keep the entertainment going strong by adding all of these different elements to their music, and it showed even more when 10,000 plus people were singing along to their songs. The mix of old favorites like “Float On” and new songs from their latest records filled the 15-song set and was followed with a marathon encore of six songs!  The house lights turned on but people still wanted more and they got what they asked for: a SECOND encore! The guys played another four tracks for everyone and topped off the set with “The Tortoise and the Tourist” from their last album Strangers to Ourselves.

You can follow Modest Mouse and see their upcoming shows here.

See more photos from this event in our gallery. 

-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.

Colorado Music Festivals 2018: Your Official Guide To Fest Season

Festival season is the biggest time of the year for the music world. So here at BolderBeat, we’ll be updating this feature with every Colorado festival announcement that comes our way. Stay as on the pulse as we are:

May Play Music Festival May 11th

Downtown Greeley is hosting their fourth annual May Play fest with artists like The Burroughs, Brent Cowles, Slow Caves, Silver & Gold, and Post Paradise on the bill. There are a ton of other great local artists to check out, so swoop details and tickets here.

Spread The Word Music Festival May 11th-13th

Taking place at Denver’s Fox Street Compound, Spread The Word features a mix of local and national artists with styles including rock, jam, funk, reggae, hip-hop, folk/grass, electronic and fusion. Headliners of this year's fest include Jeff Austin Band (formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band), Everyone Orchestra (conducted by Matt Butler), A-Mac & The Height, and Bass Physics. Full lineup here.

303 Music Festival May 17th

Hosted by Ru Johnson at Denver's The Church, 303 Magazine is bringing you one awesome night of local music. Trev Rich, CITRA, Eldren, and The Other Black are just some of the bands on the lineup. Full details and tickets here

Five Points Jazz Festival May 19th

This FREE annual festival is back this year in Denver's Five Points neighborhood and will feature artists like Jakarta, The King Stan Band, Impulse, The Hendersons, Patrick McDevitt Nation, and more. You can bounce between venues or just walk around and take in all the good sounds. Full lineup and details here.

Mountain Games June 7th-10th

GoPro is putting on a festival in Vail with headliners like Chris Robinson Brotherhood, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Bonfire Dub, and The Wood Brothers. The weekend will also feature a slew of athletic events, including competitions for your dog, a silent disco, and art exhibits. You can grab tickets to Mountain Games here.

Greeley Blues Jam June 8th-9th

The Greeley Blues Jam keeps the blues scene alive and this year, their lineup includes The Devon Allman Project, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, and Danielle Nicole. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.

Taste of Fort Collins June 8th-10th

The 22nd annual Taste of Fort Collins headliners include William Michael Morgan, Eddie Money, Everlast, and Judah & the Lion. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Grab more info on their website.

Country Jam June 14th-17th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 27th annual four-day fest this year. Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Eldredge, and Big & Rich top the headliners list of the 30+ artists that will play to your boot kickin’ desire. Surrounded by the red rocks of GJ, this festival annually hosts some of the biggest names in country music. More info at this link.

Sonic Bloom Festival June 14th-17th

If you like electronic music, there’s no better place to be than Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival. Happening at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, the weekend will feature performances from Shpongle, Keys N Krates, Nightmares On Wax, Liquid Stranger, EOTO and a huge array of other beatmasters. The festival will also feature yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists. And did we mention the visuals? Full lineup here.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival June 15th-18th

Telluride Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 45th year this summer! Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass, and Leftover Salmon top the fest’s 2018 list. We can tell you from past experience that this fest is magical and we’ve even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.

Cover Rock Festival June 22nd-23rd

Looking for tunes from tribute bands? This festival is all about it. Hosted in Avon, Cover Rock Festival will feature tributes to artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, the late Tom Petty (RIP!!), and others. More info and tickets here.

Westword Music Showcase June 23rd

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host their annual summer celebration this year. With Galantis, Bonobo, The Front Bottoms, Joywave, and a ton of local artists, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. More info and tickets on their website.

Van’s Warped Tour July 1st

Warped Tour recently announced that 2018 will be the last year for the traveling festival. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), we’re still sad to see it go. Give these bands a proper send-off- locals 30H!3 are top-billed with acts like All Time Low, Asking Alexandria, and more. Tickets here.

Colorado Rocky Mountain Old Time Music Association (CROMA) July 11th-15th

CROMA's annual Parrish Ranch festival features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. The festival manages to keep old traditions alive while also bringing a modern twist to some elements. Artists at this year's fest will include Bryant and Brown, The Onlies, Betse & Clarke, The Barn Owls, Patt and Possum, Caroline Oakley, Chris Kemiet, and Larry Edelman. Get full details and tickets here.

The Ride Festival July 14th-15th

The String Cheese Incident, Sheryl Crow, and Grace Potter will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Big Something, and others will keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.

Global Dance Festival July 20th-21st

If you’re ready to dance, Global’s got a crazy mix of electronic and hip-hop artists like Deadmau5, Gucci Mane, Future, and Machine Gun Kelly topping their list. The event is at Sports Authority Field this year and you can snag tickets here.

The Underground Music Showcase July 27th-29th

One of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer is Denver’s The UMS due to its focus on local artists, and all the fun that comes along with wandering around the South Broadway venues hosting the three-day event. In news this year, Two Parts has taken over the event. This year's lineup is stellar with headliners like Alvvays, BJ the Chicago Kid, Classixx, Deerhunter, Digable Planets and over 100 local artists who we absolutely adore. Tickets and full details here

Rockygrass Festival July 27th-29th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Last year, the festival showed us the changing face of the genre. This year, Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, David Grisman and Peter Rowan, and Hot Rize are already confirmed for this pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More info and tickets at this link.

ARISE Music Festival August 3rd-5th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its sixth year at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films! Some of the top billed artists for 2017 include Slightly Stoopid, Thievery Corporation, and Trevor Hall. Get more details here.

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest August 10th-12th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. Bohemian Nights headliners this year include The Motet, Blondie, and The Decemberists. The festival also hosts a number of local bands on their stages- get the full schedule and details for the weekend here.

Local Jam Grand Junction August 10th-12th

Known for its "creativity, passion, dedication, style,  [and] massive talent," Grand Junction's three-day festival Local Jam is a celebration of Western Slope bands ranging from metal to bluegrass. Stray Grass, Jack + Jill, Suckafish, Tim + Richard, and others have been announced for the year. Full details and lineup here.

Mountain Town Music Festival August 17th-18th

Back for its fifth year, Keystone’s Mountain Town Music Festival features a mix of rock and grass bands like Ages & Ages, Mipso, Strange Americans, and Shovels & Rope. The fest is a celebration of “all things Colorado” so you can expect some good brews along with the shows. More info and tickets here.

Velorama Colorado August 17th-19th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Velorama is returning to Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood for its second year this summer. Cold War Kids, Matt & Kim, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and The Kills are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party. Plus local acts Brent Cowles, Wildermiss, and Slow Caves are on the bill! More about this new fest here.

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival August 17th-19th

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival showcased artists who brought current politics into their tunes last year, bringing people together in solidarity. Along with its songwriting workshops, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that managed to showcase great national acts too. Indigo Girls, Jeff Tweedy, and Los Lobos have been announced for this year’s fest. Tickets here.

Compound Sound Festival August 24th-26th

Boogie Groove Entertainment is producing this year's first annual Compound Sound. What started as friends performing at a private ranch in 2009 has officially launched into a major music festival. Along with headliners like Cycles, Lucid Vision, Tnertle, and Spectacle, the fest will also have food trucks and vendors, yoga and flow workshops, a healing village and "many more shenanigans." Details and tickets here

Four Corners Folk Festival August 31st-September 2nd

Pagosa Springs 23rd annual Four Corners Folks Fest is ready for a campout with bands like Nahko And Medicine For The People, Amy Helm, We Banjo 3, and Jon Stickley Trio. The weekend will also feature jam camps for kids and adults, and lots of tasty local vendors. See more for yourself and grab camping info and tickets here.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass August 31st-September 2nd

Lionel Richie, Jack Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Fitz and the Tantrums, Gary Clark Jr., Bahamas, and The Record Company are the big acts at Jazz Aspen’s Labor Day event this year. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature Lizz Wright, Leslie Odom Jr., Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Josh Kagler and Harmonistic Praise Crusade, and Georgia On My Mind: A Tribute To Ray Charles. Details on both events here.

Seven Peaks Music Festival August 31st-September 2nd

Dierks Bentley is throwing a three-day music festival in Chaffee County this year with headliners like Miranda Lambert, Brothers Osborne, Elle King, Lanco, Del McCoury, Sam Bush and The Cadillac Three. The new fest is a real treat for country lovers and the scenery of Buena Vista sure won't hurt! Get details and tickets here.

Denver Jazz Festival September 14th-16th

With a mix of local and international jazz acts, Denver Jazz Festival promises over 600 dancers and listeners for their three-day fest. Hal Smith's Swing Central, Jonathan Doyle Swingtet, Red Hot Rhythm Rocket, and many others are on the lineup. Check out news and get tickets here.

Grandoozy September 14th-16th

Superfly, the geniuses behind Bonnaroo, are bringing Grandoozy to Denver this year! In what could possibly be the biggest festival production the state has seen, headliners have already been announced and include Kendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, and Stevie Wonder. Sturgill Simpson, Miguel, and St. Vincent have also made the list; Denver-based acts Tennis, Dragondeer, Gasoline Lollipops, and Flaural will perform as well. This fest is our most highly anticipated of 2018 so don’t snoozy- Tier 1 tickets are already sold-out so grab your passes here.

Telluride Blues & Brews September 14th-16th

As regular festivalgoers of Blues & Brews say, “It's not the altitude that'll take your breath away. It's the views.” That, and of course, the music. This year, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Govt Mule, Booker T’s Stax Revue, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Anders Osborne will headline. Early bird tickets are already sold-out, so grab passes while you can here.

Festivals of The Past

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Project Pabst dissipated into the PBR-fueled mountain air with no Denver announcement this year (but Superfly who put it on is the force behind Grandoozy). Bass Center is now in Virginia after the fest was first moved from Colorado to New Jersey last year; Divide Music Festival, who were rumored to return this year, has now been postponed until 2019 stating, “greater forces are working against us;” Groove Festival’s web presence is still replaced by this Japanese site making us still question everything; Mad Decent Block Party appears to have officially gone off the radar; Riot Fest has again only listed its Chicago date in 2018 after the fest cancelled its Denver show last year; and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) appears to be a distant dream after it was cancelled in 2017.

Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all summer on BolderBeat’s dedicated fest page!

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

Fans Left Their Voice With Senses Fail At Their Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Summit Music Hall turned back the clock to the early 2000’s last weekend as Senses Fail brought the noise. Touring in support of their newest album If There Is Light, It Will Find You, Senses Fail brought along Reggie And The Full Effect, Have Mercy, and Household.

Senses Fail.

Senses Fail.

An enthusiastic Denver crowd showed up early to support the opening acts, starting with Household, who pointed out that this was the most people they had performed for this whole tour. The Minnesota band played their hearts out for Summit and paved way for Have Mercy, who rocked the stage just as hard.

Reggie And The Full Effect, the solo project of James Dewees, keyboardist for The Get Up Kids, started up the night’s throwback vibes with their signature pop-punk/synth tunes. Their set was filled with some old fan favorites like “Karate School” and “Maggie,” and a couple from their latest album 41. They capped off their set with “Get Well Soon,” which had the building bobbing their heads and singing along to the catchy chorus.

Senses Fail was up next, but while the crew was setting up, the crowd enjoyed a mini Emo Nite with a plethora of 2000’s punk songs from Sum 41, Underoath, The Used, and more. The security team even had to work overtime, as the were a couple of crowd surfers during the intermission.

After the sing-along had concluded, lead singer Buddy Nielsen and crew took the stage and turned up the intensity. The place went nuts after the first notes of “Family Tradition,” and a mosh pit opened up and seemed to then last the whole show. Buddy matched the energy by jumping all over the stage and throwing in a cartwheel as well. In between songs, he shared stories about many of his past struggles and how he overcame them, encouraging others to do the same. This openness is what makes Buddy one of the best frontmen there is. The night concluded with a three-song encore of “187,” “Rum Is For Drinking,” and “Bite To Break Skin,” sending everyone home either drenched in sweat or with no voice from singing along.

Senses Fail have gone through almost a complete lineup change (minus Buddy and guitarist Gavin Casewell) since their last album Pull The Thorns From Your Heart, but seem to have hit their stride again after their newest album. If There Is Light, It Will Find You is a throwback to old-school Senses Fail and has had great reception since its release, which was evident at the show as fans sang along to the new songs and the old. There are still a handful of dates left on the band’s current tour. Check out their new album so you can sing along too 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.

Movements Are Bringing Their Indie Grunge To Larimer Lounge This Weekend (03/09)

By: Nathan Sheppard

Movements first ever headlining tour makes its way to Denver this Friday, March 9th at the sold-out Larimer Lounge with special guests Can’t Swim, Super Whatevr, and Gleemer. This tour comes right after the release of Movements’ highly anticipated full length album Feel Something.

Movements mix together grunge and indie with poetic lyrics. There is an element of vulnerability with this band’s sound that makes it easy for people to relate to, which creates a very intimate setting for their shows. Movements are known for touring non-stop since their formation in 2015, and with that comes a better show each time you see them, making this weekend’s set one of BolderBeat’s top things to check out this week.

Movements.

Movements.

If you missed out on tickets for this tour, Movements will be for Warped Tour this summer for the festival’s final run. You can also buy the band’s new record and follow them 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.

Starset Struggled Through Technical Difficulties At Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Starset’s show in Denver last Friday hit a few snags with delays and technical difficulties, but pushed through to have the best show possible. The sold-out show at Summit Music Hall started out on the right foot with a line stretched around the block for the cinematic rock band with a line just as long at the merch table inside.

People went wild during Palisades.

People went wild during Palisades.

New York band Year of the Locust took the the first and put on a solid set highlighted by fan interaction and a sing-along to their single “Sunrise.” EDM up and comer Grabbitz then provided a change of pace to the show with “My Cloud” and a song by Deadmau5 call “Let Go,” which the two collaborated on. While the crowd bobbed their heads along, there seemed to be a lack of expected energy in the building- it just didn't seem to be the right kind of crowd for electronic tunes. Things picked back up with post-hardcore band Palisades, who provided a much needed energy boost complete with a couple of circle pits. The band had everyone singing along to the fan favorites “Better Chemicals” and “Let Down” and really shined as one of the best performances of the night.

Things took a more frustrating turn getting ready for Starset. The band was supposed to start around 9:30PM when the house light dimmed, but were met with the crew working on the projector setup for about 45 minutes until they finally got in to work... for the most part. The guys took the stage and started what was a very entertaining show, but unfortunately mid-way through the third song, their video once again went out. Fans were met with another long wait while they tried to fix the system again. It wasn’t until almost midnight when the band finally gave up on the video and decided to just go with their light show sans visuals. At this point though, about a third of the sold-out crowd had left disappointed. The people that did stay, however, were treated to a quality show that ended around 1AM.

Starset.

Starset.

The frustrated crew and band were able to salvage what they could of the night, but left many underwhelmed by the entire experience. We can only hope that all of the band’s technical difficulties are worked out before their next journey through space and time back to Denver. The rest of Starset’s tour dates can be found here.

-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.

Everett Bird Release Debut Single "Bucket Of Dark Meat"

By: Norman Hittle

Everett Bird is a Montreal based trio focusing on their brand of eclectic alternative rock with washed out psychedelic overtones. The band just released their first single, “Bucket of Dark Meat”:

The single is the first from the band’s debut upcoming record People Person, to be released February 23rd. The LP was recorded with Jace Lasek (Wolf Parade, Besnard Lakes).

Regarding the track, the band had this to say:

“‘Bucket of Dark Meat’ was the first song we wrote for the album. The song is about the feeling of anxiety a person gets when it seems like everyone is being more productive than you. On the other end, the song is about suppressing that feeling with things that make you happy.”

Everett Bird.

Everett Bird.

Keep up with Everett Bird here and keep an ear to the ground for their debut record which drops this Thursday, February 22nd.

-Norman

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

Poets & Wolves Bring Their Alternative Indie Dance Pop Sound Alive At Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Poets & Wolves played Your Mom's House last week, with Adventure Nothing and The Ugly Architect. The intimate show started with a mix of original songs and solid covers by Adventure Nothing. Then The Ugly Architect, an outfit from Fort Collins, took the stage and bumped up the energy with their exuberant performance style and fun-loving stage presence.

Poets & Wolves.

Poets & Wolves.

The Greeley-based band Poets & Wolves finished off the night with a solid set. The alternative indie four-piece use a wide variety of influences and genres to create a sound unique to themselves. They mix slow, melodic bass with catchy guitar riffs to get you dancing while simultaneously keeping alt chill elements strong throughout their catchy, grooving tunes.

The group opened their set with songs from their debut EP To The Moon, having only released two double-single records prior. Poets & Wolves also did a cover of Linkin Park's “Waiting For The End” with their own alt emo twist. They topped off the night with one of their older singles, “Pretty Little Mess,” which sent the night off with a stomping frenzy.

Poets & Wolves (2).jpg

You can stream Poets & Wolves’ music on all platforms and keep up with them on Facebook. Though this was the band’s last show of 2017, you can see them January 11th at Globe Hall with Stereoshifter, Echoes In Reverie, and Wolf Poets.

-Nathan

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

The Hollow Are Making A Lot More Noise Than Just "Sleep Talkin'"

By: Elizabeth Lee

The goal of The Hollow (a band we once joined on tour aboard their "CrowBus") is very straightforward: “to deliver exceptional music that makes you fall in love with rock and roll all over again.” Since the alternative-rock band was formed in 2013, they have done exactly that, aiming to transform the landscape of contemporary rock and roll music. They released their first EP in 2015 and are now on the tail of an extremely successful tour in 2016, which has featured sold out shows, national support appearances, and festival slots.

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“Sleep Talkin” is their latest single, accompanied by a newly released music video, which dropped November 4th. The video is a testimony to all that The Hollow has worked for, collaborating with Kind Dub, AlphaPixel Digital, Evergroove Studio and many others. The song focuses on honesty and open communication in relationships, as the video shows a couple heading to sleep with unspoken words.

Watch "Sleep Talkin'":

Visually, the video is evocative and eye-catching, serving as a metaphor for the narrator’s struggle. The single keeps with the band’s hard-hitting, focused style of rock'n'roll, with a heavy rhythm section, skillfully layered guitar-laced with strong vocals, and powerful lyrics. The Hollow draw their influence from rock icons such as MUSE and Queens of the Stone Age, and it shows even in the mood of the video.

Check out “Sleep Talkin” and be sure to catch The Hollow at their next live show, December 9th at Peak 31 Union Station in Colorado Springs.

Keep up with the band here.

-Elizabeth

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

Rain In July Rocked Their Moon Room Set From Start To Finish

By: Nathan Sheppard

While it was a chilly Tuesday outside, inside The Moon Room at Summit Music Hall, everyone kept warm while enjoying some excellent tunes. For what was arguably one of their best shows of the year, In My Room kicked things off with a bang. Their raw and edgy sound can be compared to Movements, loud and fast.

Coldfront.

Coldfront.

Next was Coldfront, hailing from Ontario, Canada, who put on a solid show with their energetic and upbeat style of pop-punk. They recently released a new album called Float Around that you can check out here. Hot Mulligan, who are on tour with Coldfront, followed with their angsty punk rock, and had the crowd singing along with them.

If I Fail took control of the stage next and showed why they are one of Colorado’s best pop-punk bands. Their infectious riffs had the audience on their feet and the band’s introspective lyrics gave our inner emo kid all the feels.

Rain In July.

Rain In July.

Rain In July was the final band to take the stage, and rocked it from start to finish. RIJ put on a lively show that had the crowd hyped and off their feet. Once everyone was singing along to their songs, they even threw in a cover of “Bodybag” by Hit The Lights. RIJ finished off their set with a fan favorite “Breathe” and a special guest appearance from Andrew Elofson from 1000 Miles of Fire, which was the perfect way to cap an epic show. The guys proved why they are one of Colorado’s best up and coming bands with a very bright future. You can check out their latest EP “Trying To Breathe” on Spotify.

Keep up with Rain In July here and check out the full gallery from this show for more photo madness.

-Nathan

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

The Front Bottoms' Fans Sing Louder Than Yours

By: Benjamin Tillis

On Tuesday, November 7th, New Jersey-based indie rock band The Front Bottoms headlined a packed show at The Wiltern Theatre located in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The band released its sixth studio album Going Grey mid-October, so fans were excited to hear the new songs live. Just as expected, the band began its set with the new album’s opener “Used to Say (Holy Fuck)”. And from there the band played a full 21-song set, a majority of the tracks from the newest release and their 2013 Talon Of The Hawk.

The Front Bottoms.

The Front Bottoms.

Most concerts host a core group of day-one-fans who know most songs, and usually the entire crowd sings the one with the most radio play, but this show was in its own league: no audience member missed a single word. It makes sense though, considering TFB’s most unique draw are its witty and emotional lyrics and lead singer Brian Sella's unique voice that enunciated every syllable. It was clear that the audience truly connected to these songs that they belted out. And it is no coincidence that The Front Bottoms are signed to Fueled By Ramen, the same label as Twenty One Pilots, who also have passionate fans.

The Front Bottoms at The Wiltern. Photo per the author.

The Front Bottoms at The Wiltern. Photo per the author.

The way fans connected to these songs was also interesting. The Front Bottoms definitely does not hold back with its often depressing and dysfunctional imagery in its songs. For example, during the show, Sella proclaimed that the next song was about “drowning someone you’ve been in love with for a really long time.” The songs are sad, but playful, and it’s clear the band doesn’t take itself too seriously. This leads to a close-knit community in the crowd, who smiled and sang to each other, proving that these sad songs are about moving on and improving, not harping on the past.

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Very grateful to its fans, Sella thanked The Wiltern concertgoers multiple times for coming out the the show. Most entertaining was their final encore. Throughout the show, an excited and impatient fan kept yelling for TFB to play “Ocean,” Going Grey’s closing track. At one point Sella even addressed her and assured her that they would play the song at some point. Sure enough, for its encore the band invited the same girl to sit on a couch onstage with the band as Sella played an acoustic version of her requested song. Needless to say, she lost it on stage when she wasn’t taking selfies with the band. It was great to see the group turn a nagging fan, an element that is often an annoying aspect of playing a live show, into a really fun and entertaining situation. Overall it was a great performance and a show that you shouldn’t miss. If you’re not a fan now, you will be after seeing them live.

Catch The Front Bottoms as they continue on tour here.

-Benjamin

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

1000 Miles of Fire Headline Summit Music Hall This Saturday (10/21)

By: Nathan Sheppard

This Saturday, October 21st, some of Denver’s best up-and-coming local bands will take the stage at Summit Music Hall: The Violet Tides, The Backseaters, Saints of Never After, Rosedale, and 1000 Miles of Fire.

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Headliner 1000 Miles of Fire is an energetic alternative rock group from Denver who have built a very loyal following over the past six years. Their captivating live performances and catchy riffs and lyrics have scored them opening sets for bands like The Maine. In fact, The Maine's frontman John O’Callaghan said singer/guitarist Andrew Elofson of 1000 Miles of Fire “commands the audience more than anyone.” This infectious style will be on display this Saturday where you can hear some of 1000 Miles of Fire's newest songs from their EP Moving On, Moving Forward.

Tickets to the show can be found 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.

Review: On Repeat Experiment With Synth And Space Sounds On New Single "Pontoon"

By: Julia Talen

It’s been a couple of years since Blake Britton and Jake Lamos, the artistic duo behind the music group On Repeat, have announced new music aside from their single, “Minus,” released in early 2016. In October 2015, On Repeat issued their debut EP, The Mighty Unkind, and followed up their EP release with shows throughout the Denver area at venues like Larimer Lounge and the Seventh Circle Music Collective. Since February they have not played a live show and have been working away on their latest EP comprised of fresh songs including their recent release, “Pontoon.”

The artwork for On Repeat.

The artwork for On Repeat.

The track, “Pontoon,” shifts away from the grunge-y alternative overtones of their first EP, honing in on mixing and layering harmonies, instrumentals, and vocals interspersed with explorative electronic sounds. The intro of “Pontoon” draws you in slow, as the twangy guitar and subtle, easy bass treks along on an even melody. Soft symbols and steady drumbeats accompany the dynamic notes of a keyboard. The notes sound like the high keys on an electrified organ and begin to elevate the seemingly folksy tune, alluding to the forthcoming experimentation that On Repeat weaves into this track.

Listen to On Repeat's "Pontoon":

A Local Natives and Modest Mouse vibe consistently cradles the first half of the song as Jack and Blake’s vocals meld together swimmingly singing lyrics with the lines, “raised on a pontoon I was used to loneliness/tempted by the signs that I’d finally make it.” The poetic lyrics are vague, yet leave room for creating your own impressions as the song lulls back into a calm composition after the first refrain, thus mirroring the intro.

The single begins to build wondrously with the second refrain. On Repeat fuses together distinctive elements as they subtly thread in underlying vocals crooning, “only want it, ‘til you’ve got it/now you want it, you don’t got it” with experimental sounds like space noises and synthy intentional bits of feedback. The track finishes off with the low-key melody rescinding while blurred and blended sounds erupt and wrap up the song, leaving the listener almost on a cliffhanger, wanting more. I suppose we have more to look forward to when On Repeat releases their latest EP and perform this song and others live with The Ephinjis and Meeting House, Friday, September 29th, in Englewood at Moe’s Original BBQ!

-Julia

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

Gasoline Lollipops Brought A Storm Of Sound To Debut Red Rocks Performance

By: Hannah Oreskovich

There's a certain feeling of pride you get when you see local artists accomplish something big, like when The Yawpers were signed with Bloodshot Records or when Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats got their first Jimmy Fallon gig and blasted into the international spotlight. This week, that same heartwarming feeling was much aglow as fans watched Colorado’s Gasoline Lollipops take the stage at the state’s best, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Clay Rose.

Clay Rose.

The GasPops, as the band is more affectionately known to fans, first started back in 2009. Founding and original member Clay Rose, who is also the project’s frontman, grew up between Boulder & Nashville’s music markets. Piecing together sounds from each city’s scene, along with other influences, GasPops music combines punk, alternative, folk, country, and rock’n’roll. The Boulder band have been called everything from gypsy punk to “dirt floor folk” and played just about every venue in the state to date over the last six years.

Except for The Rocks. And that's why Monday’s show was just so special.

As the opening entertainment for the film Twister, the last “Film On The Rocks” of the summer for Denver Film Society’s series, Gasoline Lollipops brought a real storm of sound to the stage. There was a boot-stompin’ thunder of drums and standup bass (courtesy of Adam Perry and Brad Morse respectively), tempestuous, warm crackles of sound from Rose’s harmonica mic and Jeb Bows’ (Gregory Alan Isakov) violin solos, and a whirlwind of tight, raining vocal harmonies between Alexandra Schwan and Rose. Donny Ambory’s electric guitar playing also added a swirl of heated rebelliousness to the mix, an element the Gasoline Lollipops are well-known to evoke in their live shows.

GasPops on the Rocks.

GasPops on the Rocks.

The band opened their hour set with “Smoke and Steam” and played songs from several of their records, including “Death,” “Longest Night,” “Love Is Free,” “The Wire,” and “White Trash.” The six-piece also introduced us to some new tunes from their upcoming record Soul Mine, “Leaving Alone” and “Burns.” And the crowd, who sat for the film, were on their feet for the entirety of the GasPops’ set. There were hollers, cheers, and a lot of dancing happening between the night’s glowing rocks, which seem to be common sights and sounds at the punk rock hoedown that is a Gasoline Lollipops show.

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Overall, Gasoline Lollipops played a very Red Rocks-worthy performance for their debut at the venue. After the show, several crowd members voiced that they hoped for a GasPops storm to hit the rocks again next year. I'm hoping for it too but until then, catch them at the Fox Theatre this December for their Soul Mine vinyl release show, or drop everything and roll with them on their upcoming overseas tour this fall, where the GasPops storm of sound will be raging on.

Keep up with Gasoline Lollipops 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.

The Rocket Summer & 888 Bring Crowdsurfing Alt Pop Tour To Denver

By: Matti Earley

Local icons 888 returned for a stop in their hometown on Friday at Denver’s Marquis Theatre. The alt-pop three-piece first started gaining momentum in 2015 by winning 93.3 KTCL’s Hometown for the Holidays contest, and ever since then, they’ve been busy on a national scale. Friday’s show marked the start of their second tour of the year, following one with Missio in the spring.

888.

888.

“Gold" was an example of the kind of juxtaposition 888 have mastered in sound. It is the ideal pop radio hit, but not formulaic in the way that some top 40 songs can be. Instead, it feels like a much needed moment of honesty about the uncertainty that comes with trying to find a place in the world. Such underlying fears were explored even further and with a more melancholy overtone in “Creepers,” which came out less than a month ago and was great live. Of course, the trio also played their hit "Critical Mistakes," the song that arguably gave them their start on a national level.

The Rocket Summer began his impressive set soon after 888 ended, and played over 20 songs to fans. Ten years after the release of his record Do You Feel, Bryce Avary is still going strong. His choice of what to play Friday was undoubtedly a culmination drawing from his entire discography, and even included songs that he had never been done live before.

The Rocket Summer.

The Rocket Summer.

As evidenced by putting “So Much Love” near the beginning of his performance, Avary is uncontainably joyous about being a musician. This really showed in his interactions with the audience, who were as much a part of the show as him. After playing on a platform in the middle of the crowd, Avary made his way back upfront via crowdsurfing. In between songs, there were moments on the setlist specifically designated for him to talk with the audience. And rather than a preset encore, he asked the crowd what we wanted to hear before finishing with a few fan favorites. One of those, called “Brat Pack,” came from 2005’s Hello, Good Friend and was a seriously popular throwback that was crazy to hear live.

The Rocket Summer with 888’s tour wraps up in less than two weeks on August 29th at Arizona’s Crescent Ballroom. Make sure to catch a show while you can, and in the meantime, check out both acts recent releases on Spotify.

-Matti

All photos per the author. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Premiere: Compass & Cavern's "Good Enough" Showcases Sound Of Their New Alt-Pop Record

By: Norman Hittle

It’s been two years of cultivation with odd dreams of rock’n’roll legends, bouts with love, and feeling the press of time as temporal beings; and finally the Denver based indie-rock/power-pop duo Compass & Cavern are back with their full-length album Before it Begins, and premiering their third music video from the record for the track “Good Enough.”

Compass & Cavern is frontman/guitarist Will Timbers, and synth-master Chris Frucci. Their name is derived from two concepts that resonated with Will and Chris throughout the project’s formation. “Compass” refers to the phrase, “don’t confuse the map with the territory.” Will first came across this idea in college philosophy lectures and thought it was a particularly beautiful way of describing how we mistakenly claim to “know” things with which we have a surface-level connection. For example, we could learn everything there is to know about the Grand Canyon, but our understanding of its grandeur is incomplete until we actually experience it for ourselves. The “map” pales in comparison to the “territory” it is representing.

“Cavern” is an allusion to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, a parable that uses sweet imagery to help us understand how we develop ideas about what is “real.” Remember the black and blue vs. white and gold dress picture that took the internet by storm in early 2015? That was a powerful and tangible example for how we can experience reality differently because of our varying perceptions of the surrounding world. Knowing this, C&C sees music as the best medium to share perspectives with others.

As far as sonic similarities, I would say C&C’s sound is influenced by some of the more formidable alt-pop acts such as 311, Twenty One Pilots, and Weezer.

Regarding the video, Compass & Cavern told BolderBeat:

“The song attempts to portray a blend of confidence and self-doubt in the context of a relationship (or at least a desired relationship!). It's the feeling of superiority and the recognition of personal shortcomings when thinking about what, or who, is best for a person you admire. It's basically a pride pendulum swing. The video plays on that theme, but leaves even more ambiguity as to who the ‘good guys’ are in the story. With every song we write, my biggest hope is that listeners will understand and identify with the emotion and message, at least to some degree.”

Stream and listen to Compass & Cavern’s Before it Begins on Bandcamp, add them to your Spotify playlists, and take a gander at the creative storylines in their other videos on YouTube!

-Norman

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

Colorado Music Festivals 2017: Your Official Guide To All The Goodness

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Festival season is arguably the best time of year in music. So here at BolderBeat, we’ll be updating this feature with every Colorado festival announcement that comes our way. Stay as on the pulse as we are.


FoCoMX- April 28th-29th

Fort Collins' premiere music festival has announced its lineup, which features hundreds of Colorado artists. Some of our favorites include Antonio Lopez, The Alcapones, BANDITS, Bethel Steele, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Edison, Foxfeather, Gasoline Lollipops, and The Velveteers. Full lineup here


Spread The Word Music Festival- May 5th-8th

Taking place at several Denver and Boulder venues, Spread The Word features a mix of local and national artists with styles including rock, jam, funk, reggae, hip-hop, folk/grass, electronic and fusion. Headliners of this year's fest include Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Euforquestra, A-Mac and the Hight, & Analog Sun. Full lineup on our announcement link.


Denver’s Project Pabst- May 20th

“Project Pabst was a wild success,” contributor Zach Dahmen wrote in retrospect of the 2016 festival that took over Denver’s Larimer Street last year. This year, the PBR-fueled lineup includes Ice Cube, Phantogram, Danny Brown, Kurt Vile, STRFKR, No Name, & more. We’re pumped for this. Details here


Greeley Blues Jam- June 9th-10th

The Greeley Blues Jam seeks to keep the blues alive, and this year, they’re doing just that with a lineup including Walter Trout, Samantha Fish, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Colorado favorite The Burroughs. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.


Taste of Fort Collins- June 9th-11th

The 21st annual Taste of Fort Collins includes headliners St. Lucia, Gin Blossoms, Plain White T's, & Waterloo Revival this year. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Get out and get down! More info on their website.


Country Jam- June 15th-18th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 26th annual four-day fest this year. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett top the headliners list of the 30+ artists that will play to your boot kickin’ desire. Surrounded by the red rocks of GJ, this festival annually hosts some of the biggest names in country music, and clearly this year is no different. More info at this link.


Sonic Bloom Festival- June 15th-18th

If you like electronic music, there’s no better place to be than Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival. Happening at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, the weekend will feature performances from Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, The Polish Ambassador, The Floozies, and a huge array of electronic beatmasters. The festival will also feature yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists. And did we mention the visuals? Full lineup here.


Telluride Bluegrass Festival- June 15th-18th

Telluride Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 44th year this summer. Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley with The Travelin' McCourys, and Brandi Carlile top the fest’s 2017 list. We can tell you from experience that last year was magical and we even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.


Van’s Warped Tour- June 25th

Believe it or not, we attended this event back in 2015 after not having been since high school. Yes. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), this is a fest that still has a cult following and still makes its way around the US. Attila, Bowling for Soup, CKY, & Futuristic top this year's bill- grab the full listing here.


Westword Music Showcase- June 25th

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts at their annual summer celebration this year. With Shakey Graves, The Revivalists, Cut Copy, Bob Moses, COIN, Arizona, and a long list of local acts, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. Don’t miss out on Westword’s fantastic Friday night. Local artists should be announced soon; voting is open. More info on their website.


Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association (CROMA) Festival-

July 5th-9th

CROMA's 2017 festival at Parrish Ranch features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. Artists at this year's fest will include Eddie Bond and the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, The Ozark Highballers, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, and The Musky Dimes and Lansford and McAlister. Get full details and tickets here


The Ride Festival- July 8th-9th

Beck will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Ben Harper, Kaleo, The John Butler Trio, and Colorado favorite Rose Hill Drive will all keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.


The Underground Music Showcase- July 27th-30th

One of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer is Denver’s The UMS due to its focus on local artists, and all the fun that comes along with wandering around the South Broadway venues hosting the three-day event. Benjamin Booker, Red Fang, & Esme Patterson are headlining this year, but we're more stoked on this massive list of local artists (a crazy amount of which we've covered in the last year). Get tickets here. More deets on our announcement link.


Rockygrass Festival- July 28th-30th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, The Del McCoury Band, and The Infamous Stringdusters are already confirmed for this year’s pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More artists at this link.


ARISE Music Festival- August 4th-6th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its fifth year at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films! Some of the top billed artists for 2017 include Atmosphere, Tipper, and Ani Difranco. Get more details at our announcement link.


Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest- August 11th-13th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. CAKE has been announced as one of the headliners with more TBA- keep up with the full lineup here.


Velorama Colorado- August 11th-13th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Colorado’s newest festival Velorama will take place in Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood this summer. Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, The New Pornographers, Saint Motel, and La Santa Cecilia are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party! Tickets for this new fest here.


Rocky Mountain Folks Festival- August 18th-20th

Last year, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival proved to be much more than a music festival. Bringing together local artists for songwriting workshops and more, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that still managed to showcase great national acts too. Gregory Alan Isakov, Lake Street Dive, and Rhiannon Giddens have already been announced for this year’s fest; full schedule and list of acts here.


Jazz Aspen Snowmass- September 1st-3rd

We don’t know how Maroon 5 is jazz, but they are headlining the JAS Labor Day Weekend festival this year. Colorado favorite Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Lake Street Dive, and Keith Urban will also have performances at the Snowmass event. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature John Batiste & Stay Human, Michael McDonald, and Earth Wind & Fire. Details on both events here.


Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 

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Telluride Blues & Brews Fest has Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, TajMo at the top of their bill this year. You can get your grand brew tasting on for three days with these artists and more, plus there is a lot of availability in ticket options, so you can schedule your own fest experience. Get more info here


Festivals of The Past

We'll miss you Vertex.

We'll miss you Vertex.

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Bass Center moved to New Jersey this year, Divide Music Festival has been postponed until 2018, Groove Festival’s web presence has been replaced by this Japanese site making us question everything, Mad Decent Block Party went to India (yes really), Riot Fest Denver will not return due to Sean McKeough's death, and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) was sadly cancelled, but we’re praying it comes back to life with full zombie mayhem next year. Fingers crossed fellow festheads.


Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all season on BolderBeat’s dedicated fest page!

-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.

One Flew West Talk About Their New Lineup & Sound With Us

By: Austin Michon

“Life is a pain in the ass, and music is a way to escape the daily grind. We just want to have a good time and let loose, and we just want to share that experience with other people.”

Longmont’s One Flew West have recently been recording music and planning their latest single release parties for the two tunes I recently reviewed on BolderBeat. Post-review, I got to ask the band some questions about their history and influences, which include, “Kraftwerk, Nickelback, and Smash Mouth. Duh.”

One Flew West.

One Flew West.

Formed in 2010, the guys have been, in some form or another, making music for a very long time. Said the band, “David and Jonah have known each other since 1st grade, and started playing music together in middle school. We sucked really bad. Pretty much nothing but Ramones and AC/DC covers that sounded like a flock of ducks getting run over by a cement truck.”

But OFW has come quite a ways since then.

“We're working with a new lineup, and our instrumentation has changed a bit.” the group told me regarding their two newest singles, which they plan to release with an EP this fall. “As we've gotten older, we've learned how to actually write, produce, and record music. We're really looking forward to this next EP because we'll be entering the studio with the largest skill set we've had since the band's formation.”

The band has gone through some lineup changes as of late, with the departure of guitarist/trumpeter/cowbell extraordinaire Joe Pineda, and the addition of new bassist Dawson Fry.

“We're a four member band now, and there are some restraints with that setup. However, having less people means we're tighter as a band than we've ever been before. Dawson is an outrageously good bass player, and we can't wait for people to see him live!” said frontman Linden Jackson.

And when it comes to their live setup with the new lineup, the band told us, “We're adjusting our sound to fit the new lineup, and we've spent a lot of time putting together a new live show with new music. Our old music is still a big part of our show, so old fans will still enjoy the direction we're heading in.”

Catch OFW for a taste of the new and a reminder of the old at their back-to-back single release shows this weekend at The Lost Lake on March 3rd and Downtown Artery on March 4th. Keep up with One Flew West on their Facebook.

-Austin

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

One Flew West Drop Two New Singles + Headline Release Parties

By: Austin Michon

Hailing from Longmont, CO, One Flew West was formed in 2010. Their unique brand of folk-inspired, catchy rock in conjunction with their entertaining live shows have earned them a place as a force to be reckoned with in the Colorado music scene. Currently consisting of lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Linden Jackson, lead guitarist/singer David DiSalvo, bassist Dawson Fry, and drummer Jonah Bartels, One Flew West has performed at 93.3’s Big Gig, Hometown for the Holidays, and Kegs and Eggs, as well as received a Westword Music Award.

OFW.

OFW.

On March 3rd and 4th, OFW will be hosting two release shows for their upcoming singles, “All In My Head” and “Ten Years Later.” Continuing the trend set by their sophomore EP Selective Memory, the band’s new tunes are dynamic compositions ranging from soft, acoustic intimacy to big, powerful rock and roll sounds with catchy guitar riffs and introspective lyrics carried out in a warm, emotional voice.

“All In My Head” begins with an acoustic, folky, feel-good intro before it transitions to a look into a young relationship, one rife with various problems brought about by the dark, nagging feelings found in the protagonist’s mind, and his battle with these thoughts in order to maintain this relationship. Besides the incredibly infectious whistling motif present, the song and lyrics create a wonderful, catchy rock anthem which fans will latch onto as, if not more, quickly than their breakout hit “Kind of Love.”

In contrast  “Ten Years Later” is a slow, acoustic ballad which brings our attention to thoughts and memories of someone estranged and long gone. While Jackson admits he had a specific relationship in mind while writing the piece, the meaning is universal, one that any listener can easily identify with. According to Jackson, “Everyone has someone they wish were still around and when you peel back the skin, ‘Ten Years Later’ is simply about missing someone you care deeply about.” Longtime fans will notice a call back to the more folky sounds reminiscent of One Flew West’s debut EP Through the Winter’s Ground, while still maintaining the forward progress in songwriting and sound that OFW have been crafting.

As One Flew West continue their musical and lyrical experimentation and progress, the quality does not falter, but rather, continues to grow and strengthen. Be sure to catch them at their upcoming March shows at the Lost Lake Lounge (with Citra and Overslept) and at Downtown Artery (with Ivory Circle and Silver & Gold), and watch for more OFW news because “there are rumblings of a super secret listening party, summer tour, and much more in store from the Colorado-natives in 2017.”

-Austin

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

Alternative Punk Rock Group American Blackout Debut 'Yeah So What' EP

By: Jura Daubenspeck

The gifts just keep on coming this holiday season with today’s release of the newest 'Yeah So What' EP by alternative punk rock group American Blackout. Hailing from Fort Collins, CO, members Craig Miller (vocals/guitar), Damian Schoenecke (guitar), Ross Dougherty (bass) and Gus Mircos (drums) have been anticipating this release for almost a year. Needless to say, the band is excited for today’s debut, so we sat down with frontman Craig Miller to get the scoop on American Black’s new music and more. Here’s our chat:

The 'Yeah So What' EP is your third and final release of 2016. How long have you guys been working on this for?

For a while now. We released our first single “Pants on Fire” last January, and just released “Shots Fired” in September, so [the whole EP] has been about one year in the works. We recorded all five tracks at The Spot Studios, recording two at a time, then recording one last song to finish it up. Lately we’ve been getting it all packaged, mastered, and ready for release.

American Blackout. Photo Credit: Studio Ardesco.

American Blackout. Photo Credit: Studio Ardesco.

There’s been quite a bit of hype leading up to this release, with little sneak previews, bundles, and free giveaways. How have people reacted so far?

Everyone seems pretty excited about it. We’ve received really good reviews on the singles. We just previewed our title track, “Yeah So What” yesterday, which is our favorite song to play live. It’s upbeat and high energy, which is perfect because we get down at our live shows.

What can fans expect from this new EP? What kinds of sounds and influences are embedded in it? Any themes?

What I like most about it is that it’s a little bit of a deviation from our last EP, Summer’s Gone. It’s a much more matured sound and a lot less “poppy.” The last EP focused a lot more on relationships, whereas Yeah So What is more raw and edgy, especially “Shots Fired.” Our lyrics have matured and our sound is a bit more gritty. As always, we’ve got a clean, crisply produced sound from working at The Spot Studios, but [this new release] just ended up being more energetic rock’n’roll versus pop. We like the direction it’s going in.

Listen to American Blackout's new Yeah So What EP:

Are there any special guest features on this release?

No guest features. One major difference is that this EP was recorded with our old drummer Jason LaBella. We have a new drummer now, Gus Mircos, who will be playing at the EP release show with us. We’re grateful to have worked with Jason, and are excited to have Gus with us now.

What was the creative process behind this release? Any particular reason why you’re aiming for an end of year release VS a new year release?

An end of the year release was just how it ended up happening with the availability and materials. Our last full-length release was in January 2015, so we are due for another one. Also, December is a great time to go out, given the holidays. Regarding our creative process, we’ve been writing a lot, and have been picky about what songs we wanted to record and what songs we wanted to included. We’ve been much more selective, starting with a basic idea, gathering new ideas, and continuing that effort until those ideas materialize into a song.

AB. Photo Credit: Talia Lezama.

AB. Photo Credit: Talia Lezama.

Will there be a tour to accompany this release? Any holiday pit stops you plan to make?

Our EP Release Party is this Saturday, December 17th at Downtown Artery. Then we’ve got a series of shows in late January, including a show at The Moxi Theater. We plan to hit the road in March 2017, working our way through the Southwest, California, and Nevada.

Finally, as an alternative punk band in Colorado, where do you most find your niche?

We’ve been able to make a lot of friends in different genres of music. We love playing with Wiredogs, who will also be playing at our EP Release Party this Friday along with I Am The Owl. We like playing with those guys quite a bit. We met so many different bands through the SpokesBUZZ program and we have played with many other genres, like the Gasoline Lollipops, who are more bluegrass/folk. We like to mix it up and tailor our sets to the other bands’ styles. That’s what’s great about the Colorado music scene: everyone likes to work together, meet new people, and experience new styles of music.

Keep in touch with American Blackout via their Facebook, Instagram, and website. And be sure to grab your tickets to their EP Release Party this Saturday, December 17th!

-Jura

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

Behind the 777 Album Set, an LSD Trip, & 'Resurrection': Our Interview with Clay Rose, Frontman of Gasoline Lollipops

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Recently, I had the chance to talk with Clay Rose, the frontman of Colorado's alternative country/folk-punk group Gasoline Lollipops. With the help of producer John McVey and Gregory Alan Isakov violinist Jeb Bows, the GasPops have been putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album Resurrection, thus tying together their 777 album set. Clay and I discussed the band name, the intersection of life and death, and how their music speaks to the evolution of the human soul. Read on:

You’re settled in Boulder now, but where are you all from?

All over the map: I grew up between Boulder and Nashville, our guitar player Donny comes from Chicago, and our bass player Brad is from Niceville, FL. Brad’s the nicest guy you’ve ever met. Adam’s from Pittsburgh, and our fiddle player, Jeb, is from Ward, CO.

Gasoline Lollipops has been a functioning musical machine since 2009. How did you all come to be what you are now?

I’m the last original member of the band; Jeb is another original member, but he’s generally on the road a lot with Gregory Alan Isakov or Brandi Carlile. So whenever he’s not on the road, he’s playing with us.

Boulder has an incredibly eclectic music scene, how did you all come to settle there?

There was no conscious decision to do that. Although, when I moved back here from Nashville in 2002, the music scene was pretty happening, with lots of smaller venues and a wide array of musical styles being played. But, like its architecture, Boulder's music scene has become more homogenized. So now I drive a lot, playing in places like Fort Collins and Denver.

Gasoline Lollipops. Photo Credit:   WeTubers  .

Gasoline Lollipops. Photo Credit: WeTubers.

You’ve got quite a diverse string lineup, with one of my favorites, the stand up bass. How did you come to choose this lineup?

It’s a very natural process. If you don’t try to sound like anything, you’re going to end up sounding like like what you listen to. It’s an extremely diverse collection, and I never try to control how any of the players of the band sound. If I like their style and what I’m hearing, I bring them into the band. Donny has a country/rockabilly background, Brad is from classical jazz, Adam is very punk rock, and Jeb has bluegrass-gypsy feel. I like all those kinds of music, and I listen to all of it. So when you put it together, you get something vaguely familiar and extremely real.

You’re classified as “dirt floor folk with the energy of rebelliousness of punk”. That’s a very colorful description of your music. Is that a description that you guy came up with?

The “dirt floor” saying comes from the style of playing where the musicians would stomp through the floor down into the dirt. Our sound sets us up for that kind of genre.

If you could categorize Gasoline Lollipops' sound by a meal or type of food, what meal would it be?

Holy crap, well it wouldn’t be anything I’d want to eat. Maybe Tex Mex with a scoop of ice cream and cinnamon schnapps poured all over it. We also came up with an acronym for our genre called PAFC*R (punk alternative folk country rock). So that’s a good way to describe us.

Speaking of food, your band name, Gasoline Lollipops, elicits a very visceral reaction, if you ask me. Where does the name Gasoline Lollipops come from?

It comes from LSD, to be honest with you. Actually, the name came way before the band. It came from eating LSD with a friend back in high school, sitting around coming up with band names. I don’t even think I played guitar at the time. The name came up and it stuck with me, like, “Man, if I ever come up with a band, I’m going to name it Gasoline Lollipops”. I think the band kind of ended up growing into our name. We play things that are sweet and sincere, on one hand, and explosive on the other. It really is lyrical folk punk.

Clay Rose.

Clay Rose.

I hear you guys are a fairly superstitious group who dabble in the supernatural from time to time. For example, your “777” album mantra. Would you mind talking more about that?

Yes, superstition rock, which more stems from a gambling addiction. 777 will save your life, you know, when you pawn off the last penny of your chipped college fund. So 777 in that regard, is the same kinda deal as Jesus. Or Elvis, if you’re in Vegas. In Vegas, Elvis and Jesus are the same person. So that’s where all lines intersect, in Vegas.

You guys have two albums released already; 'Dawn' and 'Death'. And your upcoming album is 'Resurrection'. Will you continue your 777 theme after that last release?

No, so the 777 deal is that there are 7 songs on each of the 3 albums. So we’re hoping that once Resurrection is released, that will spark the second coming of Jesus or Elvis… or both.

And when will 'Resurrection' be released?

Nothing is set in stone yet. We keep vacillating between Halloween and Valentine’s Day.

Kickin' it live. Photo Credit:   Joshua Elioseff

Kickin' it live. Photo Credit: Joshua Elioseff

How else does your belief in the supernatural play into your music? What other themes pop up in your music?

I definitely sing about damnation a lot. I sing about gambling, devils, angels, and resurrection, but I always have to believe in resurrection, even in the darkest songs. I gotta put in at least a little peppering of that into each song.

Would you consider yourself a religious group at all?

(Laughs) [We’re] absolutely not religious; we’re the most hedonistic band you can think of. It’s just writing about life experiences, but I have to put it in the context the masses can relate to. Many people in this culture think in a dualistic nature. They want to know if you’re talking about light or dark, black or white. So you have to use that language, but I’m really just talking about the evolution of the human soul.

Are there any songs in particular that you would recommend for somebody who is interested in these themes?

Definitely- listen to the songs “Resurrection,” “Devil's in the Ace”, and “Cannonball”.

Do each of these albums tie-in together, concept wise? Or are they completely different?

Not completely different. Like I said, I try to speak in dualities in practice, but I tried to make Dawn the more idealistic album, and Death the more jaded "falling into darkness" album. Resurrection will kick off where Death left off, but will redeem itself back into the light… hopefully.

Are you working on any new music?

Yeah, we are definitely bringing a lot of new music into our live shows that are not even in Resurrection. We’ve probably got half of our next album already written. We can’t stay in one genre for too long, so it’ll be something new.

You just played at Underground Music Showcase this summer, and at an erotic novel convention in Las Vegas. Any other upcoming performances?

We’re playing one huge show at Caribou Room on September 23, and we’re really excited about that. It’s a fairly new venue and they’re really going all out for it.

If you could pick one of your creative idols to sit down with, alive or deceased, who would you choose?

It would be Leonard Cohen. I wouldn’t want to say a word. I would just want to sit in silence and look at him.

Great answer. So lastly, any final sentiments? Anything you’d like the world to know?

Just that the Gasoline Lollipops love you.

Be sure to catch the GasPops next at their Caribou Room (9/23) show in Nederland, Colorado. Other shows they’ve got on the books include Swing Station (10/14) in Fort Collins, Denver’s Hi-Dive (11/10), and the historic Gold Hill Inn in Boulder on New Year’s Eve. And keep up with them on their Facebook.

-Jura

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