Spectra Art Space Is Our Favorite Thing Happening in Denver Art Right Now

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Last Saturday, BolderBeat entered the neon-lit doors of Denver’s Spectra Art Space to an at-capacity crowd. The gallery and event space’s latest art opening party “Colorado Vibes 3” was in full swing with walls dripping in local photography and paint work, fashion models strutting down a catwalk outfitted with black-lights, and musicians playing in the venue’s outdoor patio space. The exhibit, which is available to view over the next month, features all-local artists and a slew of mediums: pencil work, hand-drawn illustrations, mixed media, sculpture work, clothing, fashionable eyewear, photography, jewelry, and more. Whether your eye is drawn to Lexie Lund’s girl-power glitter guns and metallic tampon display, the psychedelic colored pencil work of Nick Fast, Nova Lee’s ominously friendly “ET Phone Ohm”, C.o.l.t.A.l.i.t.Y’s polaroid posters, glitchybb’s kitties, or iamnotunique’s illustrated boxy creature collection, there’s something for every art fiend at Spectra. To check out all of the artists in the “Colorado Vibes 3” showcase click here.


All photos in this feature by Ana White Photography.


Owned and operated by Sadie Young and Kayla Smith, together this lady duo have transformed their storefront on Denver’s South Broadway into a full-on art escape. Young has been hosting music and art events in Denver for nearly 10 years, and has a BFA from MSU Denver with a focus in painting. Smith is an actress and theater aficionado when she is not working at Spectra.

Says Young, “It's important for us to showcase local art because every single artist/musician/actor etcetera is a small business and small businesses are what hold communities together.”

Most everything in Spectra is for sale, with proceeds from sales and events benefiting both the space and the artist. The one-room gallery features a ton of winding niches to explore; behind it there is a covered patio and a retro CD-decorated gazebo equipped with heaters perfect for early spring nights. For “Colorado Vibes 3”, the outdoor area had bite-sized food and drink options with various singer/songwriters playing to the socializing crowd. Indoors, a DJ booth which looks as though it were blasted onto Broadway straight out of a spaceship, had artists spinning tunes while attendees gallery-perused until the synthy percussiveness of DR3AM CA$T took the stage and started a dance party.

The evening’s fashion show was a definite highlight and featured Denver designers including Ellen Bronson, Smasher Robot, KatDog Couture, iLit Designs, and Impek Apparel. From Bronson’s flashy fabrics with a rock’n’roll feel, to the black-light button-ups and bow ties from Smasher Robot, there was enough stylish garb for any Denver fashionista to drool over. Hair & makeup for the show took six hours to complete and was fabulously done by Amanda Brooke of Wonderland Hair Parlor.

Says Young, “My favorite part of the ‘Colorado Vibes’ showcase is how many new artists it adds to our growing family of makers. One of the things I am most proud of Spectra for is being a lot of artists’, musicians’, and designers’ very first taste of being a professional creative. We have been several artist’s first show and first sale, we have been musician’s first show, and designer’s first fashion show. I think we are especially unique because we actually believe in our artists and our creative community, and we would do just about anything to support them and encourage them to pursue their passions. The ‘Colorado Vibes’ format we created is a way for us to highlight the amazing underrepresented talent in Denver and present art and the creative scene in a way that's accessible to everyone, patrons and artists included. I started Spectra because I love being a resource for artists and I wanted to present the art world in a unique way including fashion, fine art, lowbrow art, music, comedy, installation, and performance in one space.”

Spectra’s mission is to “support artists and provide a space that cultivates creativity through highly curated contemporary art exhibitions, events, and detailed immersive experiences” and the opening party for “Colorado Vibes 3” was all of these things wrapped into one glittery, psychedelic ball of smiles and awesome dance moves.

Needless to say, if you haven’t yet explored Spectra Art Space in Denver, it’s time you made the trip. Not only will they send you down a rabbit hole of haute creativity; every time you go, you benefit the local Denver arts scene in more ways than one.

Says Young, “I would like for people to know that we offer several creative classes each month, as well as a plethora of fun events. We are also looking to raise money so that we can renew our lease and hire an additional employee so we can grow and continue to support the hundreds of artists in our family. We have just started a Patreon with a ton of amazing reward options [too]!”

An   iLit Designs    eyewear look by    Ana White Photography  .

Spectra has two upcoming events on their calendar: a performance night by Ahee with • AVRY • on April 25th and their “Bombastic Plastic Toy Show” on May 4th with Meow Wolf, Ratio Beerworks, and others.

Turn up your imagination today and visit Spectra! Learn more about this amazing art space here.

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

Whiskey Autumn & The Beeves Talk to Us About Why They're Excited to Play Benevolence Festival This Weekend & Their Upcoming Tour Plans

In honor of Benevolence Festival which we’re presenting to benefit RAICES this Saturday, August 18th at Boulder’s Twisted Pine Brewing from 2PM-10PM, we recently chatted with Denver bands Whiskey Autumn and The Beeves. They’ll be playing Saturday’s fest along with headliner Augustus and bands Native Station, Ben Hanna Band, and ChinaRose. We sat down with Whiskey Autumn frontman Greg Laut and The Beeves’ Matthew Sease to learn about why they felt called to play this benefit and what their bands are up to this year:

Why was playing a benefit for RAICES important to you?

Laut: Separating families is unquestionably inhumane and raising awareness about the ongoing crisis is imperative. Hundreds of children still remain separated from their parents and the Trump administration's efforts to reunite the families has been weak and insincere. RAICES is an amazing organization that provides crucial legal support to underserved migrants and is putting quantifiable plans in place to reunite families. Anything we can do to raise money and awareness for the cause feels right.

Sease: We're happy we have a platform to make some kind of difference in this epidemic of evil. Despite the small scale of the event, we hope the money raised will benefit the cause in some tangible way. This is important to us on the most basic human level, as [it] should be to all people.

Whiskey Autumn. 

Whiskey Autumn. 

What has your band been working on this year?

Laut: We've been recording a new album throughout 2018. The first single was released earlier this summer and our next track premieres with CPR’s OpenAir next Tuesday, August 21st on “Mile High Noon” with Alisha Sweeney. Keep your eyes peeled!

Sease: Last February we began work on our debut album with producer, Nate Cook of The Yawpers and engineer Tyler Imbrogno of Eldren. The album is set to release in late 2018.

What can we expect from your set this weekend at Benevolence Fest?

Laut: You can expect a high energy set of rock'n'roll, synth pop, and good time vibes that get you up on the dance floor. We may even play our new song!

Sease: Tuba?

The Beeves. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Beeves. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

What’s on your agenda for the rest of 2018?

Laut: We'll be touring the Pacific Northwest in late August and early September. It will be our first time performing in that part of the country, so we're very excited to meet some fresh faces along the way. After that we'll be finishing our new record, which you can expect to hear soon!

Sease: As of now, our focus is on the album. Tours are imminent, and an album release show is in the works. Follow our social media accounts and stay tuned!

Anything else you’d like to catch us up on guys?   

Laut: Big ups to Augustus for organizing this festival. They have been close friends of ours for some time now and have put together a great lineup. We're excited and honored to be on the bill!

Sease: We would like to thank Augustus for having us on this important event, and you all at BolderBeat for covering it.

Looking forward to it! Benevolence Fest is just $6 for six bands this Saturday. Come through!

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

Augustus Talks To Us About Headlining Benevolence Festival & Why This Benefit Show Is Important to Them

Earlier this month, we announced that we’re presenting a mini-festival to benefit RAICES this August. Featuring Colorado bands Augustus, Native Station, Ben Hanna Band, Whiskey Autumn, and The Beeves, along with Chicago’s ChinaRose, Benevolence Festival is slated for this Saturday, August 18th at Boulder’s Twisted Pine Brewing from 2PM-10PM. Throughout this week, we’ll be bringing you info on each of the artists involved. Today, we’re featuring the festival’s headliner, Augustus. We sat down with festival director and Augustus member Jim Herlihy to chat about Benevolence Festival and why the issue of family separation at our nation’s borders needs our attention in the music community:

Augustus.

Augustus.

Jim, what made you want to organize the Benevolence min-fest benefit for RAICES? Why is this issue important to you?

This issue is sort of a "straw that broke camel's back" for me. The psychological trauma that these children have to endure because of our government's actions made me sick to my stomach. I sometimes get into a cycle of thinking, "Well I didn't help out that situation, so why should I help out this situation?" And that just perpetuates itself and I often times end up doing nothing. This was a time I wanted to do something and putting an event like this together is a small part towards helping people in need.

There is a lot of political turmoil in our country right now. Do you have any other comments on it?

It's almost hard to describe all that is wrong with the current political environment in a few sentences. For starters, the fierce tribalism that has seemed to intensify over the past couple years and a growing distrust of media is worrying. The fact that our president perpetuates these tendencies for his own political gain is irresponsible and reckless. His flaunting of long-standing norms from not fully divesting from his business, to exacerbating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to antagonizing the media shows a man less concerned with governing a nation and more concerned with his own image. His lack of understanding about complex issues makes him totally unfit for the job and the fact that it feels normal to have his as our president is incredibly sad.

What is Augustus working on currently?

We recorded a five-song EP titled 'Idle' late last year and we have released two singles from that record this year with a full release slated for fall of this year. We've also been releasing one song for $1 every month through our Patreon campaign. These songs are part of our Rarities series and feature acoustic versions, live songs, covers, and alternate versions of our tunes.

What can fans expect from your fest set this weekend? Anything special planned?

This fest will be unique here in Boulder because of the lineup. It features local rock bands in a town not typically known for a rock scene, and this will be the first time all of these bands will be on a bill together. We're even bringing in ChinaRose, a band we recently played with in Chicago.  All of the bands are donating their time for this cause and all of the money made from the event will go to RAICES.

What does Augustus have planned for the fall?

We're releasing our fourth EP this fall with a California tour, and a couple of headlining shows here in the Front Range area.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I was incredibly encouraged by everyone that wanted to be involved in this event. Twisted Pine, Bolderbeat, and all the bands were so willing to get on board and it made me very proud to know that we were all in the same scene together.

We can’t wait! Tickets are $6 at the door. Stay tuned for chats with the rest of the artists on the bill. 

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

A Magical Midnight Carnival: Esmé Patterson, Kitty Crimes, and DéCollage Get Wild At The Hi-Dive

By: Riley Ann 

Wizards danced, Mylar dolphin balloons bobbed above the microphones, giant cellophane-wrapped cardboard crystals sparkled from the stage, the costumes were loud, and the energy was palpable. The crowd packed the house to welcome Esmé Patterson back home to Denver on Sunday night for a show at the Hi-Dive along with local favorites Kitty Crimes, joined by the Blondetourage, and DéCollage.

DéCollage.

DéCollage.

Not only was the show high energy, the artists exuded themes of love, acceptance, and pride throughout the night. Kitty Crimes introduced one of her songs by saying, “This song is about being gay as f*ck!” Esmé Patterson introduced another, saying, “This song is about having the courage to be exactly who you are...” Each time the crowd roared with delight.

The evening also illustrated the sense of community within the Colorado music scene. Natalie Tate, another local favorite songwriter and performer from the Denver scene, joined both Esmé Patterson and Kitty Crimes for harmonies. The pairing of Patterson and Kitty Crimes on the same bill celebrated their former band Harpoontang. In addition to past projects, the show recognized the loss from the community. One of Patterson’s new songs honored the life of Tyler Despres, the guitarist for the Gin Doctors, whom the community unexpectedly lost late last year.

Natalie Tate (right) with Kitty Crimes (Left).

Natalie Tate (right) with Kitty Crimes (Left).

Patterson alternated tunes from her recent 2016 release of We Were Wild with a fair number of brand new ones. Her performance featured more experimental sounds on guitar through her pedalboard, feedback against her amp, and manipulating her guitar in unexpected ways, like dragging the strings against her mic stand. Based on her performance, it seems likely that a new album is underway. Based on the new tunes and the crowd’s reaction to them, the possibility of a new album is bound to be a solid addition to any record collection. 

Esmé Patterson.

Esmé Patterson.

If you missed Esmé Patterson this time, you can catch her again in July when she headlines the Underground Music Showcase, which is happening in Denver from July 27th-30th. The festival features over 350 performances on 15 stages along South Broadway, and over 100+ artists have already been announced. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.

You can find out more about Esmé Patterson on her website, along with the websites of DéCollage, Kitty Crimes, and Blondetourage.

 -Riley

 Find out more about Riley on her blog

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

Music Masquerade: A Thank You

By: Zach Dahmen + a note from Hannah Oreskovich

Last Saturday's #MusicMasquerade was a huge success! A big thank you to the bands and those that joined us at the rockin' Studio 700 show. It was a good night of music in Boulder and BolderBeat was on hand for the event, detailing the night so you don’t miss a beat. Check back with us soon to hear about Studio 700's next show! Until then, here's our recap:

IMG_3508.jpg

Everyone's mask game was on point.

Three-piece Noctogon started the night out with a fresh sound for Boulder. Their melody-driven vocals and use of keys over some very heavy guitars lit up Studio 700.

Noctogon getting the party goin'.

IMG_7698.jpg

Full bar with a masked tender.

Villain Baritone brought the party together, first with their groovin' originals and then with a little help from their friends...

Andrew Sturtz and Hunter Stone shared the stage with the trio, keeping the tunes flowing. Sturtz powerfully crooned the crowd for his entire appearance. The group's rendition of "Sex and Candy" was a sweet treat.

Whiskey Autumn really got people moving! The band has been settling into a more eclectic set recently, and their indie/R&B sounds had the crowd swaying in all the right ways.

The WA boys were a stage-breaking good time (right David?).

-Zach

Note from Hannah: Ah! Another successful event in the books- we love you Boulder! A huge thank you to Joshua Thomas, Hunter Amabile, Buckles, all of the amazing people at Studio 700, Whiskey Autumn, Villain Baritone, Noctogon, and all of the music-loving, masked souls who came and rocked out with us! The night was a real win for local music and we're so glad we got to spend it with you. Thanks for sharing a show with us Studio 700- DIY game sooo stronggg... 

All photos per Hannah Oreskovich. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 12/11, 12/12, & 12/13

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Snow or not, we’re hittin’ shows this weekend! Here’s where you should trek to franz:

Today (Friday, 12/11)

The Haunted Windchimes at Chautauqua Community House 730PM-Close

The Haunted Windchimes. 

The Haunted Windchimes. 

We always love a cozy show at Chautauqua Community House and tonight The Haunted Windchimes are playing. They’re a folk/roots four-piece from Pueblo, CO signed to Blank Tape Records who have been touring the state quite a bit this year. They’ve played A Pairie Home Companion and OpenAir CPR

Haunting is an accurate inclusion. Listen to their track "Make It Rain" here:

Samsonic at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

The No Name.

The No Name.

Samsonic is one part Miles Wide and one part we’re not sure what else! But we always love a good No Name performance. There’s nothing like sipping whiskey in a warm, wooden room with all of your best friends and great tunes. Go check ‘em out.

Tomorrow (Saturday, 12/12)

BolderBeat Presents: The 9th Annual Homevibe for the Holidays Concert at The Walnut Room 630PM-Close

John Craigie. Taylor Carson. Augustus. Danielle Ate The Sandwich. We’ve brought you holiday tidbits with these performers every day this week. And tomorrow is finally the night! We are ecstatic to be hosting a show with Homevibe Presents and can’t wait to see all of you in your best ski-themed clothes! Come eat pizza with us, escape the cold, and listen to some amazing tunes. Tickets still available here. See you soon.

Get stoked with a John Craigie vid from "The Day Off Sessions":

Whiskey Autumn at Jamestown Mercantile Co. 8PM-Close

Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Jamestown’s even prettier in the snow. So join the WA boys for dinner and a show at The Merc this evening. They just dropped a new single this week (see below) and rumor is they’ll be playing it tonight for your listening pleasure, harmonies and all. We’ll be bringing you more info on them next week when their new music video drops. So stay tuned! And in the meantime, go catch these boys tonight.

Listen to their latest single 07.04.07 here:

XMas Sweater Soiree with Ben Hanna & the Knighthawks and Hunter Stone and the Getaway at Studio 700 930PM-Close

You're our idol too Ben Hanna.

You're our idol too Ben Hanna.

We recently checked out Studio 700 for a feature we’ll be bringing you in January, and we gotta say, it’s a pretty dang sweet spot. Formerly an insulated recording room, the guys at Studio 700 have worked hard to turn the place into an awesome performance space with cool lighting and great sound. Tonight, for only $5, you can check it out and wear your best Christmas sweater while Ben Hanna and Hunter Stone croon your ears off with their bands. Go go go!

Watch Ben Hanna’s latest music video here.

The Next Day (Sunday, 12/13)

Sister Speak with Riley Ann and Emily Shreve at The Walnut Room 8PM-Close

Sister Speak. Photo Credit: Jill Dedman

Sister Speak. Photo Credit: Jill Dedman

San Diego’s Sister Speak is led by musician and vocalist Sherri-Anne and backed by various instrumentalists. This is their last show before they head to British Columbia for the rest of the month. So go check them out! Boulder’s own one-woman-band Riley Ann will be opening for SS and Denver’s Emily Shreve is also making a set appearance. Sounds like it’s gonna be a powerful show! Roll to it.

Watch Sister Speak cover Nirvana here:

That’s all we’ve got for you! See you out!

-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.