The Underground Music Showcase 2017 just announced their second round of artists for this year's festival! Additions include: Headliner Zola Jesus and artists like Bad Licks, Chocolate Diamond, Dear Rabbit, Decatur, Edison, HERESTOFIGHTIN, The Hollow, innerspace, The Kinky Fingers, Ned Garthe Explosion, Retrofette (we should mention here we're premiering something awesome from this band this Friday), Sleepy Sun, SIR, Sugar Skulls & Marigolds, Sur Ellz, Treehouse Sanctum, Turvy Organ, & more! Make sure to get your tickets for the July 27th-30th festival in the heart of Denver here. And see our previous story for initial lineup announcements at our original announcement link.
All of our music news, streamlined for you to read through continuously so you don't miss a beat:
The long-awaited and highly anticipated Underground Music Showcase 2017 lineup has arrived. With headliners Benjamin Booker, Red Fang, & Esmé Patterson, this year's fest will take place July 27th-30th. Colorado’s Bandits, Britt Margit, This Broken Beat, Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers, Brent Cowles, The Burroughs, Chloe Tang, CITRA, Coastal Wives, Colfax Speed Queen, Corsicana, déCollage, Dirty Few, Dragondeer, Wolf van Elfmand, Evan Holm & The Restless Ones, Gasoline Lollipops, Get Along, Jilly.FM, Joseph Lamar, King Cardinal, Last of the Easy Riders, Loretta Kill, Mawule, Modern Leisure, One Flew West, The Other Black, Povi, RL Cole, The Savage Blush, Silver and Smoke, SIXXXD, Slow Caves, SYCDVK, Television Generation, The Velveteers, Whiskey Autumn, Whole Milk, Wildermiss, and Yasi are just some of the acts on the bill we've featured in the last year, so needless to say, we're stoked on this lineup. And there are more artists still TBA!
Stay tuned for more UMS info and get ready to join us on Denver's South Broadway for one of our favorite events of the summer! Tickets here.
Reminiscing on last year's UMS? Peek back at our coverage of 2016:
I had the pleasure of seeing the guys grace the stage on Friday night at The Marquis, along with Samiam, Armchair Martian, and Hotel Bar. I even scored a few minutes of face time with three of the members: Chris Fogal (guitar/vocals), Forrest Bartosh (drums), and Johnny Wilson (bass/ backing vocals). I didn’t get a chance to chat with guitarist Michael Marti, but still got to see him shred onstage.
How does it feel to be back at the Marquis, a venue where you most certainly get a lot of love from fans?
CF: It feels good. Our last show was almost exactly a year ago, on St. Patty’s Day Weekend. So it was a big mess, but still awesome.
Since you all got back together in 2009, you’ve released 'Parts,' and also went on a worldwide tour, hitting up places in Europe. But more recently, what have you guys been up to?
CF: We go into hibernation, and then when we get asked to do fun stuff, we consider it and look at what’s going on in our lives, and then we go, “Okay! We can do that. That’s worth getting together and practicing for.”
At this point of the conversation, I couldn’t help but notice Chris super gluing Johnny’s fingernail.
What’s that about?
FB: “Oh yeah, this is a good one too. All of their fingernails get torn up.”
CF: “Yeah, we do a lot of down picking.”
JW: “Playing in The Gamits is not easy!”
CF: “Yeah, I’m about to do mine too. It turns into blood and then it starts to hurt. But it feels cool. It’s like having a little superman shield on your finger.”
The Gamits are obviously widely known, especially in the Denver area, and people clearly have mad love for you at your shows, going wild and all, but what’s a performance like for you guys?
CF: Well, a good one is like tonight. We’re stoked when people are singing along and going nuts. But it’s like any band, crowd reactions and things of that nature. Also, the older we get, we tend to play with older bands. But we stay pretty current; we like a lot of bands. Johnny runs For the Love of Punk; I run a recording studio (Black In Bluhm). So when we get to play with younger bands, it still feels awesome too. It feels like we’re doing the exact same shit we were doing in in ‘98, or generally around that time period.
Who are some of the younger “up and coming” bands you guys like?
CF: Hotel Bar- they’re killer, and just played first tonight. Also The Bombpops, Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends, and Redbush. Just bands that have been doing exactly what we’ve been doing, working hard and playing good music. Some of the bands might end up more under the radar, or maybe huger.
Playing for such a long time, you know the ins and outs, and have established a more mature mindset when it comes to playing music. Some might even say you are “pros” at this. So how do you keep it interesting? How do you keep yourselves on your toes?
CF: We won’t play shows for months! And it’s never not interesting. There’s always something interesting going on- usually something out of our control.
What are some of the challenges you face now that you didn’t in your earlier years?
JW: Not practicing for a while. And if you don’t sing for a while, it takes a bit to get back to it. We’re not a slouch band in the vocal department.
CF: And I’m even a little sore from playing a show last night.
FB: Playing with bands like Bud Bronson & The Good Timers is a lot more mid-tempo, whereas The Gamits are at a turbo level. So when you haven’t done if for a while, it’s tough.
CF: You rip your fingernails off!
I also really like the lyrics in your songs, and that is something I’ve always liked about punk music: the poetic nature of the lyrics, paired with a heavier sound. Is that something you guys always like to incorporate into your music?
CF: Totally. Especially if you’re playing “pop punk,” which is the genre we usually get put into. Some of that is teenagery bubble gum lyrics, so I like to combine those with something a little more, as you put it, poetic. I like the combination.
It’s often said the topics musicians talk about in their music is a product of what’s happening in their own lives- is that true for The Gambits?
CF: Write about what you know. Otherwise, you might come across as a bullshitter.
So do The Gamits have any other other releases coming up in the near future?
CF: Nope, just playing shows and figuring out what the next thing is.
Also, I was asked to ask you guys if you have any plans to release your music besides 'Parts' on vinyl?
CF: Yeah, repressing in Canada has been talked about forever. And I’m sure if someone wanted to do it, it would be cool. I doubt that would happen though unless we came out with a new album.
Again, having been in Denver’s music scene for so long, exiting, and then coming back in, what kinds of things have you noticed? How has the scene changed?
CF: Well we’re always involved in the music scene; we’re never out. We’re always doing other shit in other bands besides The Gamits. So we’ve been able to be in the music scene here and watch it grow, and it’s totally different now. Obviously it’s a bigger city and people are moving here, but it’s also still landlocked, which it always will be, which is pretty cool.
So besides the size, what else do you think has changed? How else has it developed?
JW: I think there’s a resurgence to people looking back to older bands.
So you guys have played a number of bigger name venues, but I’d love to hear about your favorite underground houseparty-type show?
JW: Russia was hands-down my favorite place. We’re the only band I’ve ever heard that has done twelve days in Russia. We did the really depressed areas, and went into the thick of it. Most people do Saint Petersburg and Moscow, but we did some of the most insane places, like the early scene of punk rock.
FB: Yeah the kids were like, “What the hell you doing here?” And they’d be bouncing off the walls, man.
JW: They would pick me up and sing the songs, and I couldn’t even play. It was just the strangest thing.
Shortly after this, we split ways, and I watched the guys blow the roof off the joint, playing their hits, new and old, for a crowd of diehard fans.
It’s safe to say that The Gamits are a group of regular, genuine guys who just like to have fun and play good music. So if you have the rare chance to see them play, then peel yourself from your couch and do it!
All photos per Joel Rekiel of BLDGBLKS Music Company. All videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.
Dressy Bessy was one of the first bands remnant of the Riot Grrrl movement in the early 90s based in Denver, CO. Lead vocalist, guitarist, and lyricist Tammy Ealom instituted the indie band, associated with the prolific Elephant Six Collective Recording Company, with guitarist John Hill (who also plays with the E6 band The Apples in Stereo), bassist Rob Greene, and drummer Darren Albert in 1996. After the band released four albums, Craig Gilbert superseded Albert on drums in 2005, and DB released 'Electrified' that same year on a new label, Transdreamer Records.
In 2008, when Dressy Bessy released their second record with Transdreamer, the stock market crashed, and the band learned the consequences of trying to tour through an economic recession. Then the country didn’t hear much from Dressy Bessy. In 2015, bassist Greene left, and the end of the Obama era was in sight. As a result, Ealom, Hill, and Gilbert started recording again, this time in their home studio. The product of this recording was 'Kingsized,' which Dressy Bessy released a year ago. Since then, the band has toured the country on the frontlines of a new wave of protest music.
Recently, Ealom spoke with me about upcoming shows and plans for a new record. Read on:
So I heard you went to D.C. recently for the Women's March on Washington.
I did, I did.
What did you think?
It was completely overwhelming and beautiful, and I'm glad I did it. It was beautiful to see so many like minded people come together to protest. I'm still in shock with all of these politics just like everybody else. I had never been in a crowd that big before and it was emotional. But you actually did feel a camaraderie and to feel in camaraderie with that many people at once can be overwhelming. It was incredible, and I'm glad I did it, and it doesn't stop there obviously.
What was your takeaway from being in D.C. that day?
I learned that we not in this alone; there are a lot of people who are freaked out and not standing for the way our government and our world is going with this new Trump administration. I think I'm suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress syndrome just over this entire year. Our album came out almost a year ago and we toured the country a couple of times all the way around, the whole time just sort of reaching out to people and just trying to get across how important it is and was that we're paying attention. I was a true proponent of Obama and I felt really comfortable with him as our president. He is an intelligent, calm person [who was] in charge of our country and it made me comfortable. I didn't obsess about politics everyday. Now I do. I wake up in the middle of the night and I reach over and I grab my phone just to check to see and make sure we don't have to put on gas masks, you know what I mean? Like this is such a crazy time.
Dressy Bessy dropped 'Kingsized' about a year ago-
February 5th last year.
So coming up on exactly a year after taking a considerable amount of time off, what has it been like to jump back into the world of album releases and tours during an election year?
It’s been amazing. The record came around about the same time civil unrest was starting, so it was amazing because I was able to go and let it out. I live for this shit. I've been doing it for 20 years and we're continuing on. We're planning a new album hopefully next year. I'm halfway there with new songs, and they just keep coming, so I'm going to take advantage of it and get it out there.
Any ideas on what Dressy Bessy’s next album’s going to be like?
That's a tough question because I don't question where my songs come from, I just let them develop like, ‘Okay, cool cool’ and a lot of times I'm not exactly sure where they came from. I don't sit down like, ‘Oh, I'm going to write a song today.’ Sometimes I just get this feeling as I lay there like ‘Oh God;’ it's like a ball of [noise] and I just let it out through song.
Rock, you just rock.
Rock and roll, that's all it is. It's all rhythm and blues.
Dressy Bessy got its start in Denver over two decades ago. How do you see the topics and songs you guys write about and play evolving over time?
Well, the internet was a big game changer. When our last album came out, Myspace was the place to promote your music. So I think [the internet’s] opened up a world where people can get their music out there. One thing, around 2008 before Obama came in, it wasn't feasible for a lot of bands to tour because gas was so expensive and people didn't have the money to go to shows. So that was kind of part of the reason we stepped back for a second too, because that was the way we went out and made a little bit of money to pay our rent. Now there's like a thriving DIY scene that's happening that more people hear about because of the internet. You kind of just take it day by day or month by month, it's like, ‘Okay let's go out and see what's happening.’
That's such a great point you make about the internet being a promotional tool for musicians. A lot of times I feel that my generation, millennials, myself included, take the access that the internet provides for music exploration for granted.
I mean, it used to be you'd have to send flyers out to street teams and you'd contact them through snail mail and then get their address and send packets of flyers. Now it's just as quick as Facebook. People are paying attention and they see [music] that way.
That makes me wonder how the internet has affected both your pre-existing fan base, as well as your new beginning. Because the people who were listening to 'Pink Hearts Yellow Moons' and were turning out for Dressy Bessy shows are a little older now...
We kind of knew that we'd have to rebuild our fan base, which is what we're doing right now and what we have done this year. It's just what we do, but we are finding our fans range from ages 4 to 70, which is pretty incredible. There are literally all ages at our shows, which is amazing. And a lot of our old friends who aren't paying attention every day are finding out. It happens every time we leave a city; the next day we get a load of messages: ‘Oh my God you guys are still going!’ And this happens every day: ‘Oh my God you have a new album! See you next time!’ And then they see us the next time.
I feel like 'Kingsized' definitely lends itself to a new generation of listeners that are looking for or to hear some sort of sanity in music, you know?
I appreciate that. It's a crazy world [laughs] it's just a crazy world. But yeah the struggle is always there and if it weren’t there, I don't think I'd appreciate what I do as much. It makes it real.
So speaking of the internet, your website teases more shows this year. Any idea when and where they'll be?
In March we're doing the Treefort Music Fest, which is a festival in Boise, Idaho. So we're planning to do some Northwest shows around that. The festival invites are coming in and we're sort of just using those as anchor shows to tour sections of the country at a time. Going out and covering the country all at once can be exhausting and physically, mentally taxing. We used to do six to eight week tours and just go do the whole thing and then come back just like [exhausted] you know? We've discovered that [for us] to keep our sanity, it's best that we go out max two weeks at a time, and just do regions of the country, and then come back for two weeks and go out and tour another section of the country. In March, we'll start doing some stuff. And we'll have Colorado shows within there too. We love Fort Collins and Grand Junction.
Awesome, right on.
Yeah it's coming. We're just trying to get a handle on it.
That's great that you're planning Colorado shows.
Oh of course. Denver is great, you know? There's a reason I've lived here for 23 plus years. I've always loved Denver. Whenever I travel, I'm excited to get home you know?
It seems like everything went really well for Dressy Bessy since 'Kingsized' came out. I know you were sort of going into it without any real expectations, you were just kind of seeing what would happen, right?
Right. Just going in and doing what we do. I mean, if you put a record out and you expect the world to embrace you, you're bound to be let down. We do it because we have to, we don't do it because we strive to be rockstars or to be rich. We have to do this, so whether lots of people like it or not, we're still going to do it. It's a life calling for us. It's satisfying to go out for 300 people or 30 people or three people; it doesn't matter. If [the crowd’s] all into it, for us it’s completely satisfying. It’s like I always say, I just keep doing it, I keep doing it, I keep doing it, and after I'm done I'll have a legacy. It'll all be there for other generations to pick up on and perhaps be influenced by and it's much bigger than me. My music will live long after I'm dead and that's awesome. I'll take that. If the planet's still here, oh my God.
That's very forward thinking of you. So you see Dressy Bessy as a necessary voice in the industry right now.
I always have. My lyrics are always up for interpretation but I'm of the girl power generation, you know what I mean? Just speak your voice and don't take any shit. And a lot of my songs come about when there’s some sort of conflict, whether it be in my personal life or the world around us... it's sort of my way to just get it out. It could be protesting a relationship I have with a friend, or whatever. Writing songs is my way of getting any negative energy that I have towards a situation or a person or the world in general, just getting it out through song, if that makes sense.
Dressy Bessy is one of several Colorado bands who will perform at the Treefort Music Fest March 22nd-26th. CPR’s Open Air reported that local bands Trout Steak Revival, The Still Tide, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Dragondeer and Brent Cowles have also made the list. For the full lineup, which includes Angel Olsen, Mac DeMarco, The Growlers and plenty of other big names, go here.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.
Paper Bird knows what I mean. We both get it. Coloradoans LOVE Colorado. With plenty of good reason. This month's playlist is a love note to you Colorado, and all the music scene does to stoke fires in the hearts and minds of its people. To honor that love Colorado artists also have for their art and the people who listen, here’s our playlist of no-shame-sing-your-heart-out-loud for Colorado. We’re listening and thank you!
BolderBeat's 'Colorado Sings Colorado' Playlist:
1. DéCollage, Magnetize (2016), “Denver Hustle”
DéCollage is one of those rare, exceptional beasts whose capacity for innovation is matched by their ability to effectively, cohesively render it on repeat. Their knack is a multidimensional, sensorial experience. I wouldn’t call DéCollage stylistic minimalists, but just as the art form of décollage, (where you remove parts to create your art rather than to add like a collage) this group has a sharp sensibility for which parts to leave in, and all the more importantly, which to leave out. They achieve stylistic versatility across and within songs without giving way to clutter.
There’s also something definitively fashionable about DéCollage’s music. This is in no way to trivialize it or call it fleeting. Quite the opposite. It’s so damn fashionable because it picks up on the numerous textures, trends, and facets available in contemporary and past pop to render a whole new thing from all these roots. “Denver Hustle” sounds runway ready. “Hold that pose,” they lyrically interject, “Hustle, hustle, hustle. Shine, shine. Summer, summer. Glow, glow, glow, glow.” Get it girl, get it.
2. Bop Skizzum, Coloradical (2012), “Coloradical”
What we have here is unadulterated funk’n’roll. This band is eight members thick and it sounds like it. “Coloradical” is fit to start a spontaneous street parade from the second the percussion hits. Crunchy guitar and saxophone raise the bar of this tune, and keep the voracious good times spiraling upwards.
I’ve always prided myself on an immense capacity for fun, and Bop Skizzum renders that passion musically. Though disbanded as of Valentine’s Day, 2014, Bop Skizzum made the final cut of sixteen potential songs found of Colorado musicians playing Colorado-themed music because: A) Colorado lives for the funk; dies for the funk and B) This tune is fun as hell. May the horn section and keys bring the funk to the fore always.
3. Mesita, With Love, from Laniakea (2016), “Chronolorado”
The piano hit me like a rearview mirror. Reflective. You can see forward past it, backwards through it, but both through the ultimate view of now. Emotively drift off to the gentle unfolding of instrumental minimalism on this track. And no worries: the thematically, existentially-heavy material will lighten your load like a backpack lifted from the shoulders at a journey’s end. All in due time, Chronolorado.
4. Head for the Hills, Robbers Roost (2007), “Telluride Song”
Appropriately, we have one of Colorado’s most popular bluegrass bands of the day singing about Telluride. Joe Lessard’s lovely fiddle, (which I’ve heard described as a violin you can spill beer on) gently brings you in. Solo vocals give way to echoing ones as the fiddle breaks things down hard and shows exactly how beer might get spilled on it, being played with such exuberant force and all. Sam Parks’ mandolin definitely shows how to roshambo right proper all the same too. This is a song the whole family will tap their feet to at the farmer’s market or a bluegrass fest. Classic Colorado for everyone.
5. Fed Rez, Folk Rock (2016), “Danver”
Let’s play a word association game. I’ll say a word, and you say out loud the first word that comes to your mind. Your word is: Denver.
What’d you come up with? I’ll hedge my bets it wasn’t diversity.
Fed Rez brings a Chicano/Mexican contingent into their work heavily on this number, both linguistically and culturally. And the song’s as full of food as a belly on Thanksgiving. “Danver” doesn’t eliminate your appreciation of the song as a listener if you don’t happen to know what a pot of hot posole is or chicken mole either. But if you do, I bet your stomach’s growling.
Fed Rez refer to themselves as allegorical hip-hop. Whatever the precise allegory is on “Danver,” food and location are definitive themes, as you ride around Westwood and Athmar Park to Green Valley Ranch and Park Hill, effectively cruising Denver with the Fed Rez Mile High City natives.
6. Grant Farm, Grant Farm (2012), “Funky Boulder”
This one sure sounds like the Boulder I know and love. As with a number of songs that made this playlist cut, this one’s good for dancing away or driving down a road, hand out the window doing that thing where you swerve and wave it against the force of the wind. But keep an ear- the pace of this song keeps at a clip that the brief escalating drum builds with a charging guitar that could easily get you caught speeding. Ride on you mountain roads.
7. The Good Time Travelers, The Good Time Travelers (2016), “Colorado”
My favorite moment on this tune is a very specific, but subtly calling one. “Getting high in the country, above the tree line, my head’s in the clouds. Getting low, in the ______.” Play another word game with me. What goes there? I’d go with valley. The Good Time Travelers go with canyon. And that’s so Colorado of them! This one’s a lighter, more reflective piece. The acoustic singer/songwriter duo keeps it simple and true. It’s an honest homage to home sweet home.
8. Hang Rounders, Bring Your Sister (2015), “I-70 Westbound”
Hang Rounders hang their hats on a simple foundation of guitar, pedal steel, bass, banjo, tenor guitar, drums, backup vocals, fiddle, and the proclamation that they are best heard live and danced to. Sonically? Good old fashioned country western. Thematically? Good old fashioned country western. Pick a highway, any highway. Pick a past or current flame… aim for one you’d most want to hear say or say to, “Daddy, would you please come home?” Add 3AM and snowing literally, or as metaphor, and you arrive at the same place as the listener: memories and/or daydreams of flying down that chosen road toward a chance of love. Nostalgia.
9. Paper Bird, When the River Took Flight (2010), “Colorado”
“Colorado! It’s your mother’s favorite state!”
Paper Bird represent something a lot of folks think of when they think Colorado music: bluegrass, Americana, and rootsy. They inject a sense of humor into this one, hitting the nail on the head that you’ll all whoop and yell “Colorado!” with joy when you make it here, but in all honesty? “No offense, but we won’t miss you when you’re gone.”
Caleb Summeril’s banjo strums undergird harmonica solos with Paul DeHaven’s guitar make you want to take a turn on the dance floor as each instrument takes it’s turn at the forefront. This is good mountain town porch music to the hilt. They ask you to sing along, and that’s a gas. I sang proudly in the shower to this tune more than any other jam, so that’s absolutely something. Coloradans are nuts for Colorado and Paper Bird sings it proudly.
10. Dechen Hawk, Soul Sessions (2012), “My Hometown”
Dechen Hawk’s hometown is Boulder. So this one’s a love song that is, well, just that: a love song. It just happens to take place in his hometown. References to the city don’t come up, but this well known Front Range artist is a staple of a vital, vibrant component of the local music scene. Our solo artist goes soft and soulful with variations in vocal delivery that keep this track interesting while showcasing a certain diligence of Hawk’s songwriting and musical composition abilities. The ultimately cheery melody alongside the sometimes lamenting lyrical content lend an authenticity and a fresh uplift, despite sometimes hard feelings. And that’s love.
11. Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Even Better Times (2014), “Denver Rock City”
“Denver Rock City” comes at you straight with punk’n’party roll. They sing of changes Denver’s undergone or undergoing in the same lyrical breath as they sing of a stubborn personal refusal to change one’s ways or intentions. They tell you flat out, “And I know it’s a shame South Broadway is gone, but we’re all still kickin’ man- the party’s never gonna stop.” Bud Bronson & The Good Timers full-bodied guitar with rock rolling drums brings the perfect backdrop to keep said party going musically without you ever having to reduce yourself to vodka redbull to do it. They even got me to give it up for John Elway without thinking twice, and I’ve never seen The Denver Broncos play. Live or on television.
12. Lotus, Nomad (2005), “Colorado”
Get in the recliner, chez lounge, or down on the ground and lay on your back because it’s time to float off into full relaxation mode. Mike Greenfield’s light whisking of brushes on the drums and tender splashes on the cymbals combined with Luke Miller and Mike Rempel’s warm and restful guitar chords take you there inherently. It’s an instrumental love homage to Colorado. Considering both the song title, and this track’s downtempo lounge music vibe, you can easily imagine yourself wandering on a warm Colorado summer on a sunset mountain trail with zero of effort (either in imagining, or in physical labor). Chill.
13. Small Hands, This is Our Colorado (Single, 2011), “This is Our Colorado”
Small Hands’ (aka Richie Wallace’s) first two influences listed on Facebook are Hunter S. Thompson and Wu-Tang Clang. Chances are good that could be someone from many places, but any Coloradoan familiar with its literary and musical ties know the two are staples on the scene. If you’re even remotely familiar with the Boulder area, Small Hands will give you known coordinates that stimulate crisp mental visuals in no time. If you’re not familiar with it whatsoever, carefully crafted and accessible lyricism create a mental picture that won’t have you missing out on the joyride: “Lookin’ at the mountain silhouette… sky ahead, electric blue… Towering rocks tempting you to climb… Yellow aspen like fire in a sea of pine…” The song cruises and lets the visuals seep through its hip-hop poetics and uncomplicated, rich electronic and drum backbeats. Smooth.
Make sure to follow us on Spotify to take a listen to this playlist and more Colorado music playlists at BolderBeat.
All songs per the artists featured.
It’s been a minute Sixers! But we had to give you a Halloweekend guide, so party down at these spots in your best costumes this weekend:
Today (Friday 10/28):
In The Whale EP Release with One Flew West, CITRA, & Loretta Kill at Larimer Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close
Denver’s In The Whale have been traveling around the state this month in support of their new EP Quicksand, which you should definitely peep below. Tonight, the rock duo will be blasting the walls at the Larimer in a show of ghoulish delight that screams happy heavy Halloweekend. The always entertaining One Flew West will share the stage for the evening, along with Denver favorite CITRA, and rock duo Loretta Kill. Come dressed as a beardbanger and get ready to party.
Hand your zombie ears over to In The Whale’s new EP Quicksand:
Ben de la Cour, The Heartstring Hunters, Alex Maes, & Theresa Peterson at The Walnut Room in Denver 8PM-Close
Denver’s Walnut Room will be full of haunting vocals tonight, ready to launch you into all that is Halloweekend. Folk artist Ben de la Cour will headline the evening, with opening appearances by Boulder’s The Heartstring Hunters and Theresa Peterson, plus Salida’s Alex Maes. Sounds like a chilling good time to us.
Give Ben de la Cour’s Midnight in Havana a deep, dark listen:
Whiskey Autumn’s Halloween Bash at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close
Boulder’s Whiskey Autumn are holding down our favorite Boulder joint tonight, where rumor has it the vibes of legends past will make eerie appearances, including our favorite grunge god Kurt Cobain. The winds have whispered something about Prince too. Roll over and dance with this indie pop rock trio while you sip on all your favorite spirits…
Get your creepy carnival on with Whiskey Autumn’s “Coney Island” video from CPR:
Tomorrow (Saturday 10/29):
The Great Halloween Pumpkin Bash Block Party at Deviant Spirits in Boulder 630PM-Close
Deviant Spirits Distillery is hosting one trick or treatful celebration tomorrow night with J Wells Brewery, Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha, and The French Twist Food Truck. The music planned is equally sweet, with performances by Last Minute Blues Band, Kronen Band, and Emmanuel Dali on the books. Who needs candy when you can brews?
The visuals in Kronen Band’s “Artfully Answered” will get your Halloweekend tripppin’:
Ultraween6 Presents: Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, The Velveteers, & DJ E-Trane at Azatlan Theater in Denver
Our friends over at Ultra5280 are throwing a massively cool monster bash this Halloweekend. Performances by Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, The Velveteers, and DJ E-Trane will melt you. And if you roll VIP (which why not, Halloweenie?) there is a fashion show, goodies, a meet and greet, and more. Get other details plus tickets right here to party at this Denver haunt.
Rock your skulls out to Bud Bronson & The Good Timers’ Fantasy Machine:
Tenth Mountain Division’s Boogie Nights Halloween with Guerilla Fanfare at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close
Mustaches have been grown, extremely tight pants will be worn, and Boulder’s Tenth Mountain Division will be throwing one crazy ski rock party at The Lazy Dog tomorrow night. Guerilla Fanfare will join the crew on horns for the Boogie Nights-themed bash, which will feature music from the iconic film and a number of the band’s originals. Feast on that.
Boogie down to TMD’s “Storm of the Century”:
Alright UMSers. Saturday started off for me with a, “holy wow, is-it-really-this-epically-hot-outside?” kinda vibe.
I’m not scared. I will say it. I woke up Saturday morning exhausted from a 10+ hour day of awesome music the night before. I found myself really starting to wonder if I was going to be able to crush another non-stop day of tunes. Amidst my doubts, I quickly remembered that UMS was created by champions for champions. So I prepped up and started chugging water, coffee, and mimosas. The time was soon upon me. The first band I wanted to see was taking the stage only blocks away from where I pleasantly laid on my friend’s cozy couch. It was time to crush again.
The day was ripping away as I popped in and out of venues strewn along S. Broadway street. Each hosted different genres of music, from soulful singer-songwriters to thrashing heavy metal bands. It was all right there for me, beckoning, as I created my epic Saturday journey through The UMS land. But no matter where I was as the day continued, I found myself longing to return to the Hi-Dive.
The Hi-Dive is truly the beating heart at the core of The UMS. You think about her when you leave. You wonder what’s happening in her life when you’re not around. You make sacrifices in order to see her. You wait in line with other people who love her equally as much, just for a chance to hang out with her for a couple of hours. But at the end of the day, it’s all worth it, because once you’re in there, it feels so good. You stop worrying about all the other venues and you're there, you’re with her, in that pulsing core of it all.
Time truly warps while you’re in the Hi-Dive. Hours become minutes as you thrash around, dancing to show after show after show actually after show, stopping only for bathroom, drink, and picture breaks. The lineup last night at the Hi-Dive was fierce: Dudebabes, SPELLS, Dirty Few, Ned Garthe Explosion, and Bud Bronson & The Good Timers.
My favorite set of the night was Ned Garthe Explosion. They no doubt know how to party. In fact, they started off their set counting down as Garthe himself held up a disco ball and let it drop while the audience cheered, “3-2-1!” The band tossed out glow sticks and champagne bottles as confetti, and their homemade fog machine filled the air. Within what seemed like seconds, people were spraying champagne throughout the crowd. And by the second song, people had cut open their glow sticks in order to create what I like to call a galaxy party, as neon goo speckled the venue walls, and our bodies.
Hot damn that Hi-Dive! She takes you in. She fills you up, and then she spits you out exhausted to the bone, but with a smile on your face, and crazy-fun reeling in your head for days to come.
Day three was an epic one for The UMS books. Who’s ready for round four? Sunday-funday here we come...
BONUS: Yesterday’s stops summed up in one sentence:
Marshall Poole: The band that is perfect for when you just wanna hang, but also wanna rock.
Thee Oh Sees: Awesomely unique sound, repped by a crazy frontman who likes to lick his guitar and suck on his pick.
Dudebabes: Girl dressed as guy and guys dressed as girls with turkey legs, lemonade, and more.
SPELLS: Loves nothing more than to mosh with the audience.
Dirty Few: The lead singer jumped in the air and did the splits at the end of their third song of the set.
Ned Garthe Explosion: Champagne galaxy. See above.
Denver’s premier indie festival, Underground Music Showcase, is back for its 15th year and ready to kick it into high gear. The four-day festival (July 28-31) will take place in the eclectic Baker Neighborhood, with over 400 performances showcasing an array of talent. With so many incredible performers to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. Even so, we thought we’d help out by sharing our picks of must-see artists (in no particular order) at this year’s festival.
RL Cole and the Angels
With a voice like warm molasses and a sinfully inviting way with the guitar, RL Cole’s music will take you to another dimension that resembles the underground New Orleans Voodoo rock scene.
"Dirt floor folk with the energy and rebelliousness of punk" is one of the phrases used to describe Gasoline Lollipops. You’re sure to get a high-energy set with these guys, who are no strangers to entertaining large crowds.
Psychedelic rock fans will not want to miss Plum’s performance. Their groovadelic sound and overall stage persona will make you move between headbanging to swaying with trance-like delusions.
Lee Fields & The Expressions
With a worldwide music career that spans over 40 years, Lee Fields’ set will be history unfolding in front of you. From lo-fi rock to Southern blues, all soul fanatics must get themselves to this show.
It’s “creep rock” mixed with folk flavor and dream-like vocals sure to bring out all the feels. If you’re in the mood to float into some music, check out Porlolo and let yourself vibe a bit.
Open to the Hound
Enter into singularity with Open to the Hound, who are not afraid of exploring the weird. They’re wilderness rock, grunge folk, and a ton of fun to watch.
Australian-made and internationally-known alternative pop group Methyl Ethel aim to dissociate their fans from the present and bring them into their musical multiverse.
Another psychedelic treat for any attendees who want to escape themselves for a bit, Sunboy’s multi-layered musical concoctions will leave you talking about their set for weeks.
Thee Oh Sees
Garage rock, psych-pop rock, or however you interpret their style, Thee Oh Sees are a headliner you do not want to miss.
Often known for saying “screw it” to the stage, SPELLS will have you moshing, flailing, screaming, and sweating all over each other.
Dirty Few is the perfect group to celebrate your Saturday night second wave with. Their party ‘til you drop mentality is sure to blow the roof off of the devilishly fun Hi-Dive.
If you’re a fan of badass chicks who can rap, sing, and play guitar, check out KITTY CRIMES, who will keep your booty shaking even after her set is over.
Bud Bronson & The Good Timers
Playing at their second home, the Hi-Dive, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers are a group of hilariously charismatic rockers who just want their fans to have a good time. Their feel-good summertime party rock is impossible not to like, so grab a beer and get in on the fun.
One of the most unique sets I’ve ever witnessed came from DéCollage. With costumes, lights, fog machines, and shiny mylar galore, you won’t be able to stop your body from moving.
Rock music resembling the moments right before a fever breaks, The Yawpers will leave you wide-eyed and craving another dose of their mania.
The UMS this year is bound to be one for the books, and with so many talented performers on the bill, it is encouraged to see every band you possibly can. If you can barely walk by day four, you’ve done it right. So grab those tickets, coordinate your schedule, and prepare yourself for a wild weekend. We'll see you out there!
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.
Three day weekends rule, and so does ‘Merica:
Today (Friday 07/01):
Ramaya & The Troubadours at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close
Ramaya Soskin plays The LG tonight, and will share the stage with some of his talented friends. Soskin’s sound has been described as “simultaneously blending echoes of Iron & Wine, Ryan Adams, Wilco and Jeff Buckley”, and he’s a familiar face on the Goat’s stage. Ease into the party-filled weekend with some good tunes from Ramaya and a glass of wine tonight. Can yah dig?
Check out a Ramaya original, “All In Good Time”:
Tomorrow (Saturday 07/02):
BANDITS Vinyl Release Party with Blanket Empire and Meeting House at Larimer Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close
Colorado favorite BANDITS are dropping their highly anticipated 7” tonight at the Larimer, and local talents Blanket Empire and Meeting House will also grace the stage for the show. We’ve seriously been diggin’ on BANDITS tracks “Kill Tonight” and “Wheels” lately, so we’re stoked to hear ‘em on wax. This is a sweet lineup and one of BANDITS’ last hometown shows before they hit the road for the summer! Come party!
Listen to BANDITS’ tune “Wheels”:
Wow! Signal with Portobello Road and Hi-Fi Gentry at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close
Denver’s Wow! Signal, self-described as “90s punk rawk with a bit of heavy throw in” are headlining a show at the triple L tomorrow evening which promises to “ROCK YOUR FACE OFF!” The band will be sharing the stage with Portobello Road, a blues and punk rock four-piece, and Hi-Fi Gentry, one of our favorite Denver indie outfits. Wear your best American flag memorabilia! It’s gonna be a fun one.
Have you peeped our recent Hi-Fi Gentry coverage? Iz right here.
The Next Day (Sunday 07/06)
Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers with Dirty Few and Lizard Police at the Hi-Dive in Denver 8PM-Close
Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers want to celebrate America with all the things they love this weekend, which means “hot dogs and domestic brews and good friends and rock and roll”. The crazy Denver rock group are sharing their show with local outfit Dirty Few (who just killed at Westword’s Showcase) and touring Tulsa group Lizard Police. Did we mention they’re screening Independence Day before and after the show? Yeah. This is gonna be a good one.
Check out BBATG’s album Fantasy Machine:
Tomorrow & The Next Day (Saturday 07/02 & Sunday 07/03)
Dead & Company at Folsom Field in Boulder 630PM-Close
Dead & Company are resurrecting the concert atmosphere that once existed at CU’s Folsom Field in Boulder this weekend. For the first time in 15 years, the field will host a public show for not one, but two nights in a row! Dead & Co. are currently on their summer tour, which has consisted of a slew of festival appearances. Anddd there are plenty of after parties following their performances if you missed your chance at tickets- check out Owsley’s Golden Road, Sancho’s Broken Arrow, The Lazy Dog, The Fox, and The Boulder Theater for some late night options Deadheads.
Watch Dead & Company’s live performance of “Bertha”:
The Holiday! (Monday 07/04)
Xavier Rudd with Dustin Thomas at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 830PM-Close
The ever-traveling Xavier Rudd plays The Fox Monday night, so spend your final eve of the weekend with him! He’ll be coming straight from his Mishawaka show on Sunday to the good ‘ol B and bringing lots of talent along for the ride. Plus, singer/songwriter Dustin Thomas is opening. Catch the show and walk outside for Folsom’s fireworks afterward. Should be a sweet end to a great holiday weekend of music. Tickets here.
Watch Xavier Rudd’s “Let Me Be”:
With a dash of absurdity, a pinch of nonconformity, and a few killer riffs sprinkled on top, you’ve got Bud Bronson & The Good Timers. The Denver rock group, made up of Richie Nitro AKA "Brian Beer" (vocals), Vic Bone (guitar), Cabo Wabo (drums), and Scraps Jackson (bass), have been dabbling in the wild and the clever since 2012.
Between the four, each represent very different parts of the country, hailing from Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and New Jersey respectively. Once the group united in Denver, they played in ice-cold garages and managed to record their first EP in January 2014.
If you try hard enough, you may be able to nail down these guys to a genre. But why spoil the fun? Bud Bronson & The Good Timers’ music toys with the identity of a classic hard rock "shred ‘til you drop" group, as well as the identity of a band you are likely to find playing at a sweaty, beer-splattered basement party. Their stunningly straightforward lyrics ensure that matters are not taken too seriously and their shameless ability to have fun with each other is a delightful breath of smoke-filled air.
Fantasy Machine, released in November 2015, is a coming-of-age head banger of an album. Like much of their music, the album tells the story of, well, the good times: hanging outside with friends, chatting up beautiful babes, and shotgunning Coors. But while these summertime vibes are all good and dandy, the album speaks to an underlying question of how much more will my boyish charm let me get away with? Or, put more simply… how long will these good times last?
Listen to Fantasy Machine:
The guys are about to be on the move, with an upcoming 20-day tour they are calling the Electrify the East Tour. They will be hitting up over fifteen cities and states, including: Lawrence, KS, Tulsa, OK, Nashville, TN, Greensboro, NC, Richmond, VA, Virginia Beach, VA, Baltimore, MD, Washington DC, Philadelphia, PA, New Jersey, New York City, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Detroit, MI, Columbus, OH, Madison, WI, Minneapolis, MN, Quad Cities, and Omaha, NE.
They will also be performing with talented artists from each city, including: Skytown, Four Arm Shiver, Varma Cross, Butthole, The SuperWeaks, Lizard Police, Left & Right, Greasy Hearts, Wormhole, Bookmobile, The Pollinators, Jessica Wiles, Nato Coles, Gerald Lee, Briner, and more soon-to-be-announced artists.
The Electrify the East Tour is bound to be a wild time, and here’s to hoping the band comes back all in one piece. If you’re looking for a band whose music will make you want to unapologetically thrash about, then check out Bud Bronson & The Good Timers. Their music can be found on Bandcamp and YouTube.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.
Another weekend means another round of awesome local music. Check out our picks this week:
Today (Friday 04/08):
Gasoline Lollipops at Oskar Blues in Lyons 6PM-Close
Alt-country four-piece Gasoline Lollipops are well-known in these parts, and this weekend, the guys are playing Oskar Blues in Lyons. They’ve been called one of “Colorado’s Best”, and for good reason! Their performances are “high energy and heartfelt, like the American highway’s soundtrack”. That’s something to grab a brew over. Start your weekend at this show!
Check out Gasoline Lollipops’ live performance of “White Trash”:
Residual Kid EP Release Party with Bud Bronson & the Good Timers and Slow Caves at the Hi-Dive in Denver 8PM-Close
Austin’s noise punk/grunge trio Residual Kid are releasing their EP Salsa tonight at the Hi-Dive with special local guests Bud Bronson & the Good Timers and Slow Caves. We’ve got one word for this lineup: PARTY! This show is guaranteed to have stage dives, gnarly shredding, and more! Plus RK are giving away a copy of Salsa to the first hundred people that walk through the door. So get your tickets now and get there!
Watch Residual Kid’s promo video for the show:
The Zimmermans at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close
We recently saw The Zimmermans at a private house show, and man were we impressed. This Boulder-based Bob Dylan tribute group brought mad character to songs all over the Dylan catalogue. Frontman Joshua Elioseff had everyone moving, while regular members, and special guests alike took the stage to showcase their musical talents. Tonight, the six-piece rocks the Conor’s stage, so drop in and dance!
Check out their cover of “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”:
Tomorrow (Saturday 04/09):
Mawule Single Release Party featuring Miguel Dakota and the Differents, Jerney, DJ Zenas, & A Meazy at Club 156 in Boulder 730PM-Close
Denver’s R&B/pop artist Mawule is dropped his newest single this morning and he will be performing it live tomorrow as headliner at CU’s Club 156. His story and his music are super inspiring, so this is definitely a show worth checking out! Mawule’s got a ton of Denver talent on deck too- Miguel Dakota and the Differents will play a set, along with hip hop favorite Jerney, DJ Zenas, and A Meazy. This is a sick lineup you don’t want to miss; tickets at the door.
Hear Mawule’s debut single "Fall for Me":
The Burroughs with Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal at Moxi Theater in Greeley 8PM-Close
We just dropped a sweet review on Greeley’s soul act The Burroughs for their recent release of singles “You Are My Joy” and “1968”. Tonight, the nine-piece are celebrating their new music with a sweet hometown Moxi Theater show. Make the trek, or if you’re a resident, get your tickets here! It’s going to be a great night of soul with Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal sharing the stage. So get to it!
Listen to The Burroughs’ new singles:
The Fremonts at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close
Americana storytellers Stephanie Dodd and Justin Badger will be making their return to The No Name Bar tomorrow night. This duo are not only talented, they’re hilarious. Just check out their blog for a taste. So get your music fix behind the big brown door with The Fremonts tomorrow! They’ve got new music for you, and they’re sure to keep you entertained.
Peep The Fremonts’ track “Echo”:
We now actively cover press at shows, and we do our best to promote those. Catch some of us at the Lost Lake and the Larimer doing press for these performances:
FRIDAY: Hi-Fi Gentry EP Release Party featuring Whiskey Autumn, VWLS, & Griffin at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close
Hi-Fi Gentry are a five-piece indie outfit based in Denver. Tonight, they’re throwing a massive party at Lost Lake for the release of their newest EP, Film Noir. The group have already dropped a couple of singles from the EP, which we really dig, and you can hear one below. Boulder’s R&B pop/rock trio Whiskey Autumn will be sharing the stage, along with experimental psych group VWLS, and Griffin. You get a free copy of Film Noir with your ticket purchase; tickets at the door.
Listen to Hi-Fi Gentry’s new single “The Tide”:
SATURDAY: The Yawpers featuring Blackfoot Gypsies NOW AT Larimer Lounge in Denver 9PM-Close
The Yawpers are back in town. Do we really need to say much more? The badass rock and roll trio from the D are playing double hometown shows this weekend, both with Blackfoot Gypsies, a Nashville band that we’ve literally followed for years and can’t wait to see live. We guarantee BFG’s performance will be kickin’, so get there early for their set! Saturday's show is at Larimer Lounge; Sunday’s daytime BBQ at Lost Lake will feature Boulder’s The Velveteers, the perfect complement to an already sick rock lineup. Get tickets for the Sunday show here.
Watch The Yawpers vid for "Doing It Right”:
BOULDER COUNTY FARMERS MARKET
Boulder County Farmers Market is every Saturday from 10AM-2PM. We’re working closely with BCFM to promote the music at the market, and this week, Denver’s Zen Mustache will be under the red top tent. Stop by to hear their soulful funk tunes and grab some food. And don’t forget about one of our favorite treats… the iced coffee!
GREEN LIGHT RADIO
This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Denver’s Open to the Hound in honor of their new music video and EP release for Way of the Critter! Rocky Flats was out of town last weekend, so he will play them tonight! Tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to catch their song “Liquid Lady”.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured.
We're the first to premiere "Dandelion Girl" and we're stoked on that.
Fort Collins’ synth-punk outfit Slow Caves released their newest music video today and we’ve got it for you right here with all the sweet deets peeps! In honor of #ThrowbackThursday (and as a treat to tie you over until they release their new EP this May) the track in the video, “Dandelion Girl”, is actually a previously released song. But now it’s accompanied by some pretty awesome visuals, thanks to filmmaker Aidan Sean McCarthy. We dig it and we think you’ll dig it too, so watch the video premiere for “Dandelion Girl” below and peep our recent chat with Slow Caves:
So guys- tell us why you chose to release a video for this particular song?
“Dandelion Girl” was included on our first EP, Slow Caves (2014). We had always wanted to make a video for this track, but as time passed it became less of a priority for us. When Aidan approached us about doing a video for the song, we were extremely excited. This video [isn’t] so much in anticipation for our new EP release; it’s more meant to hold you over until the new EP is released.
Very cool. Aidan, what was your process like behind creating this video?
This was a solo project from a production standpoint. When I initially approached Slow Caves I had already put together a short sample of what I thought the music video could look and feel like. The sample was a compilation of the best found-footage without the live performance segments. Most, if not all, of the found-footage from the sample ended up in the final product.
And what about the photos and visuals in the video? How were those chosen?
The process of choosing the images for this video was fairly straightforward. I had seen their lyric video for “Saturns” and really liked how the vintage footage jived with their sound. I got on the web and searched for anything that I felt fit the themes of youthful lust, panic, and/or disorder. Even if these themes aren’t obvious to the audience, my hope is that the images feel harmonious anyway.
Those vibes are definitely felt. Slow Caves, we noticed at the end of the song, we can hear Jakob saying, “Sick huh?” and that your band frequently uses that phrase in your social media posts, etc. What’s the story behind that?
It’s something that came up when we were tracking our first EP in LA. Jakob said, “Sick huh?” while we were recording vocals in Oliver’s old apartment. It just kinda became a catchphrase about recognizing and appreciating the true “sickness” that exists in everyday life. Sick huh?
Sick indeed. So the future! Tell us about yours.
We recorded our new EP with Corey Coffman (Gleemer) and he is producing it with us. We are hoping to have videos for all of the songs on the new EP and have a lot of ideas floating around for those. We’re also hoping to do some serious touring behind this next release, but we can’t announce anything just yet.
Can’t wait to hear more guys!
Make sure to catch Slow Caves at the Hi-Dive April 8th with Residual Kid and Bud Bronson and the Good Timers + keep up with their show schedule here.
And if you didn’t already, watch the video premiere of “Dandelion Girl” above.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.