Don't Miss the 13th Annual Boulder International Film Festival's Singer/Songwriter Showcase

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Sunday evening’s Academy Awards Ceremony was certainly one for the books. So to keep that energy up, we’d like to give some love to the 13th Annual Boulder International Film Festival (March 2nd-5th). The festival has quickly earned acclaim for being one of the most influential young festivals in the U.S., featuring a variety of stellar feature-length narratives, documentaries, animation shorts, tributes, symposiums, and much more.

Nestled in the middle of the festival is the BIFF Singer/Songwriter Showcase, which will be held at The Lazy Dog from March 3rd-4th. The showcase will give festival goers the exclusive opportunity to hang out with their favorite filmmakers in the Filmmaker Lounge while listening to great tunes - for FREE.

Ten musicians will grace the stage at this year’s showcase, all with different stories to tell and unique ways of telling them.

Friday’s lineup consists of: Kenny Lee Young, Bethel Steele, Antonio Lopez, Girlfriend Duties, and Bryce Merritt.

Kenny Lee Young will kick off the evening with his soulful, rhythmic acoustic tunes, followed up by the fellow acoustically-driven sounds of Fort Collins’ Bethel Steele and Longmont’s Antonio Lopez, both of whom have been recognized at various independent music award ceremonies. The evening will close with Girlfriend Duties, consisting of sisters Savanna and Jenny Wright, as well as good friends Nils Jenson (lead guitar) and Patrick Smith (drums). With a sound that blends Americana, indie, soul, bluegrass, folk, and rock/pop, they’ll bring the energy right up in time for the evening’s final act, Bryce Merritt. Merritt’s soul-pop vibe will leave festival goers toe-tapping their way out of the venue and ready to take on the rest of the weekend.

Saturday’s lineup kicks off with the sultry indie/alternative acoustic stylings of Bella Musser, followed by the electronic-pop artist Amy Kress, whose story is just as impressive as her commanding vocal presence. The soulful and jazzy Halle Tomlinson will take the stage afterwards, leading nicely into the more moody, introspective John Common’s lyrical grooves. Award-winning singer/songwriter and Youth Educator Melissa Ivey, also known as the “gypsy rocker,” will close out the evening of killer local music.

For a little taste of what’s to come, give the Sounds of BIFF 2017 playlist a listen, and check out the other artists who will also be making appearances at the festival here.

Check out more on the Singer/Songwriter Showcase event on 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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 02/26 & 02/27

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Picks! Picks! Here they are yo:

Today (Friday 02/26):

Analog Son featuring Jason Hann with The Pamlico Sound at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 8PM-Close


Denver’s funky duo Analog Son will rock your socks at The Fox tonight with Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident) and other special guests. And Boulder’s The Pamlico Sound will open this magical show, a spot they had to compete for in a recent Battle of the Bands contest. Go get baptized by all these talented funkadelics, and if you’re in Denver, catch both acts at Ophelia’s tomorrow night. Or be a rockstar and see both shows! What a sweet start to the weekend- get tickets to tonight’s performance here.

Listen to Analog Son’s “Shady Nights”:

Jaden Carlson and Friends Birthday Celebration at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Earlier this week, we dropped a sweet feature on Jaden Carlson and her headlining set at The LD tonight. Did we mention Jaden is 15 and has played with Michael Franti and SpearheadThe Revivalists, John Popper, and Blues Traveler? We might have, but you know what? This lady is insanely talented so it’s worth mentioning again! Come celebrate her birthday- she’s sharing the stage with musicians from TAUK, Eminence Ensemble, Lady and the Gentleman, The Drunken Hearts, Mama Magnolia, the Jacob Larson Band, and more. Get to her gig!

Listen to The Jaden Carlson Band’s album Polychromatic:

The Alcapones at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Reggae/ska six-piece The Alcapones will take the Conor’s stage this evening. Formed on the Front Range, they “bring a new-school feel to what was made popular in Jamaica in the 1960s”. Righteous. The band plans to make you dance alllll night, so come by and get down. And grab an Irish brew while you’re at it!

Listen to their song “Molotov Dub”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 02/27):

Antonio Lopez CD Release Show at Swallow Hill Music in Denver 8PM-Close

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We just brought you a feature on Antonio Lopez’s Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP when it hit the interwebs a couple of days ago. And now it’s time for the release parties! The first one is tomorrow evening at Tuft Theatre at Swallow Hill in Denver. Get your tickets before they’re gone and celebrate with Lopez and opener Theresa Peterson. These two talents are going to put on one awesome show!

Listen to Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP:

ASA Martin, Ludlow, Patrick the Pirate, The Real Lyin’ Rohr, & Crust-E the Katt at The Forge in Boulder 630PM-Close

Look- we could give you the info on all of these awesome acts, but half of the fun of walking into a Forge show is not knowing what the h*ll is going on. So we’re not going to. If you just really have to know more, check out the event page right here and preview the bands.

And you know what, here’s ASA Martin’s new EP for your curious listening pleasure:

Anna Englander Trio at Johnny’s Cigar Bar 9PM-Close


Cozy up to some jazz, some bourbon, and a stranger at tonight’s Johnny’s show. Why? Because it’s fun. Anna Englander, Adam Sammakia, and Alex Heffron will light your jazz fire. And Johnny will light your cigar (only in the back room, of course). Read more about the event here.

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PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Denver’s Miles Wide! The trio released their new EP this week, The Kindness of Strangers, and they’re throwing a release party next weekend. So tune in Sunday to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to listen to Miles Wide’s new song “California”!

Thanks Boulder- see you around!

-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.

 

Antonio Lopez Just Dropped New Music- Listen to "Cloud 9000: Vol.2: The Alamosa EP"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Antonio Lopez's newest EP will put you in one easy-listening mood.

Antonio Lopez.

Antonio Lopez.

Local singer/songwriter Antonio Lopez dropped the second volume in his Cloud 9000 project yesterday, titled Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP. Lopez dropped his first EP in this eventual trio series back in 2011, which you may remember as Cloud 9000: Vol.1: The Minneapolis EP. For Lopez, each chapter (or EP) in the project is the chance to work in and reflect on a place that has inspired this Colorado songsmith.

So it was no surprise that for the recording of Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP, Lopez made his way back to his hometown of Alamosa, where he worked on the EP with the musical mentors of his youth. Said Lopez, “Growing up in that type of rural environment was invigorating as a boy seeking adventure and also as a young musician. Sure, there wasn’t [a] ton of live music happening every night of the week, but that just left me more time to hang out in my bedroom jamming along to Red Hot Chili Pepper records.”

Listen to Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP:

But the songs on this EP don't just reflect on Lopez’s childhood; they’re also inspired by his time at Adams State University, where he double majored in guitar performance and music composition. His time at university is what Lopez describes as a “pivotal point in my musical evolution.” Said Lopez, “After each lesson with my composition professor Matthew Schildt, I felt like a kid who [had] just received a new box of Legos. I’d go home and try and build something cool utilizing what I [had] just learned.” It made sense then that Schildt, along with musicians Don Richmond, Don Conoscenti and James W. Doyle, were the core team of musical mentors that Lopez worked with on his newest EP.

This week, Lopez will actually have two chances for you to celebrate his release with him. The first is at Tuft Theatre at Swallow Hill this Saturday at 8PM. Boulder-in-the-Round creator and singer/songwriter Theresa Peterson will open the show. The second party will be held at Still Cellars next Thursday at 7PM. For that show, Wilson Harwood (who just released new material himeself), will share the stage as opening act.

When asked about the inspiration behind Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP, Lopez told us, “This collection of songs is my farewell to the past. While I have cherished memories from those days, there are also some I'd rather not mention. This EP brings closure to that chapter of my life.”

So make sure to celebrate beginnings and endings with this talented local artist this weekend and next week! More information on both shows can be found 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.

A New Era of Music at Cafe Aion

By: Pete Laffin

Cafe Aoin is ready to bring on the tunes. 

A few months ago, the guys at Cafe Aion asked me to come in and talk about the possibility of creating a weekend music program. I arrived as they were closing up for the night, and I as I made my way up the stairs to the dining room, all I could think was: Fuck, this place is beautiful.

View of the stage at revamped Cafe Aion.

View of the stage at revamped Cafe Aion.

The last time I’d been in there it was called Burnt Toast, and significant upgrades had been made to the interior. A big, unnecessary wall had been removed, which opened up the room and made it seem far larger than before; a new bar had been built with significant space surrounding it for late-night patrons. Coupled with what the room already had going for itself (a red-brick fireplace, hardwood flooring, wide windows looking out on Pennsylvania Avenue), these upgrades made the place glow with late night potential. When I learned that a new stage would be built as an extension of the window platforms, I signed on to the project without hesitation. This looked to be the kind of venue I and many other Boulder music lovers have long awaited: a beautiful, classy room tailored for acoustic acts (and small band set-ups), but with a true nightlife atmosphere (premium cocktails and craft brews).

Cafe Aion, the nightlife version, doesn’t project to be another small, rock venue that caters to obscenely loud acts, nor does it project to be anything like the acoustic alternatives in town: coffeeshops with loud machinery where half the room ignores the live music in favor of glowing laptop screens.

Cafe Aion: The Nightlife Version.

Cafe Aion: The Nightlife Version.

The potential of this project has me giddy. There is an overflow of local acts who are a perfect fit for this type of space, with very few, if any, comparable alternatives. Since taking on the booking, I have done my darnedest to pack the calendar with premium local acoustic acts. On February 5th, Paul Kimbiris (whose latest album I had the pleasure of reviewing) will christen the new stage, followed the next night by the fantastic folk ensemble, Foxfeather.

I will be writing up profiles right here on BolderBeat every Wednesday for each of the weekend acts during our first month of operation, so keep an eye out! All weekend shows begin at 10PM, and we can’t wait to share with you, the music lovers of Boulder, what we’ve put together.

Look over February's full schedule & check back for artist bios every Wednesday on BolderBeat:

For information on booking, please contact me at aionbookings@gmail.com, and I will get back to you post-haste!

-Pete

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See Labor Day Weekend

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Three day weekends are the best kind! So celebrate your Labor Day weekend checking out these shows!

Today (Friday, 09/04)

Pete Laffin and Coby Mandell at Johnny’s Cigar Bar 8PM-Close

Pete Laffin is a well-known name in Boulder. Laffin’s played around here for years, at local gigs and at two Fox Theatre shows. He rarely makes appearances anymore, so anytime you can catch a Laffin set, it’s a real treat. He also happens to be our talented staff album reviewer! 

And then there’s Coby Mandell, a Boulder-based singer/songwriter who has played shows in LA and throughout Colorado. Though he’s only in highschool, you’d never know it by the sound of his voice and his musical prowess. Seriously- check out this video of Coby and his sister Carly covering The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow.” Amazing.

Come support these two and read more about the event here.

Intuit at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub 10PM-Close

Intuit has been playing Boulder gigs since they formed at Naropa in 2011. The band’s got a fresh reggae funk sound, that you can listen to here. They played an extensive Colorado tour this summer, which is just starting to wrap up. If you didn’t catch them at Nedfest last weekend, here’s your chance to funk out!

Tomorrow (Saturday, 09/05)

Amy Kress at The Laughing Goat 10PM-Close

Kress is a Denver based pop solo artist who has recently garnered a lot of press and has played just about every Denver venue around. She’s got powerful pipes and released her debut album, Secret Music, this year. Watch the video for her track “Numb” here and then head to the show!

Antonio Lopez at the Boulder County Farmer’s Market 10AM-2PM

We’ve been digging on Lopez since we caught one of his performances last June. He’s become such a popular name around these parts that it seems he has shows almost every night of the week somewhere in Colorado. Go listen to him and buy some local goodies. Here’s to hoping he plays our favorite track, Cloud 9000.

Kronen at The Lazy Dog 10PM-Close

Using years of jazz and classical music theory, in addition to their profound knowledge of hearing science, Kronen integrates rhythmic and harmonic elements from European, African, Caribbean, and American music.” This is how Kronen describe themselves, which sounds pretty sweet to us. The show is free, and all of their merch proceeds will actually go to CU Boulder’s Student Academy of Audiology, which is super awesome. Check them out before their set here.

Labor Day (Monday, 09/07)

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Whiskey Autumn at The Pearl Street Pub 7PM-Close

We figured we’d toss a show on for the holiday, so here it is. If you haven’t heard the Whiskey Autumn boys yet, jump over to the Pub before the work week begins. They released a video this summer for their track “My Dear Miss Claire” from their latest EP Call You Mine, which you can watch here. They'll get you to groove.

Happy longgggg weekend, Boulder. Can’t wait to see you out! Add the shows you're hitting up this weekend in the comments!

-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.

Boulder-in-the-Round Event Showcases Local Singer/Songwriters

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder-in-the-Round is bringing the local singer/songwriter community together the first Wednesday of every month.

Were it not for the giant black letters above the corner garage entrance tugging at your curiosity from the otherwise industrial-looking parking lot, you might miss the Vapor Distillery in East Boulder. When you enter, there are a couple of red, oversized booths to the right, a few tables down the center, and black and red seats along an L-shaped bar to the left. Gin, an arrosta coffee liqueur, and a pumpkin cordial are just some of the delights you browse on the menu to sip before the show begins. You’re there for Vapor’s Boulder-in-the-Round event.

Vapor Distillery. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Vapor Distillery. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The Boulder-in-the-Round is a monthly gathering put on by Boulder musicians Theresa Peterson, Hunter Stone, and Wilson Harwood. For each BITR, this trio invites four local musicians to play. The artists sit in a row near the garage entrance of Vapor and play original songs, one after the other. When they get to the fourth person, it goes back to the first artist and another round begins. The format is a refreshing break from the traditional open-mics around town, and Theresa credits the "round" idea to Hunter, though she is the force driving the monthly production.

“It’s something he picked up back East!” she smiles. “Originally we were playing at Hunter’s house and were inviting people over monthly and then things with the venue sort of fell into place. We’ve been having these since December. It’s great! It’s an excuse for me to gush to local musicians and be like ‘I love what you’re doing but I also have something to offer you!’” 

Tonight, you’re watching Emily Shreve, Eric Elliott, Antonio Lopez& actually Theresa, who hasn’t played in a round since they started this event.

Ready in the Round. (Emily, Eric, Theresa, & Antonio) Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Ready in the Round. (Emily, Eric, Theresa, & Antonio) Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Emily: This girl has some power in her pipes. She’s up first in the round and is on piano with a commanding presence. Her melodies are dreamy behind her low-toned, sultry vocals. She’s from Denver and is self-described as intellipop, a genre categorized by ‘pop structures and lyrical smarts’ represented in bands like Alt-J and Django Django. She builds crescendo swells on the keys that lead you into her musing lyrics and just when they sound the most forceful, she lets them fall faintly into a soft silence. Awesome.

Eric: Eric’s next & is switching things up with his Appalachian dulcimer. I dig this. Eric is more folky, cradled in the mountain roots of his instrument. He powerfully plucks away, holding the dulcimer as if it’s an extension of himself. It’s entertaining enough just to watch him play, but on top of this, you realize his choruses are Americana-catchy when you have a moment to stop watching his fingers. Lucky for you, he’s Boulder based so the chances of catching a live show are in your favor.

Shreve on keys. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Shreve on keys. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Theresa: Theresa (also Boulder based) is third in the round on guitar. Her voice is clear, bright, and flows through the air with a gentle but persuasive pull. One of the most powerful moments of the night is when Theresa plays her waltzy “Sing Me to Sleep”. Slowly, the bar mellows into a hush and is eventually silent halfway through the piece, intently focused on her drowsy, whirling lullaby-like sound. It’s beautiful. Watching everyone remain quietly present in her playing is a testament to her talent.

Antonio: Antonio resides in Longmont, CO and wraps up each round for these Front Range artists. He calls himself a “small town, big soul songwriter” and this rings true most in his song “Cloud 9000”. It's a song that you would listen to on a Sunday morning drive through Sunshine Canyon, or at dusk on a summer night cracking beers with friends around a campfire. His lyrics find home in the simple life of small town living (he’s even got a track titled “Simple Life”) backed by soft guitar strumming for an overall easy-listening energy.

Speed. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Speed. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

After seven or eight rounds, the night winds down and you finish your gin. You chat with Theresa, Hunter, and Wilson, who are great hosts and make you feel welcomed and a part of their event (and who by the way have a gig coming up together where awesome harmonies and Stone on a ukulele have been promised). You walk out of the garage and down the ramp to you car until next month, when a new set of artists will bring you into their individual music worlds one after the other, again and again. Boulder-in-the-Round.

Keep an eye out for the next Boulder-in-the-Round 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.