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

By: Jura Daubenspeck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gasoline Lollipops. Photo Credit:   WeTubers  .

Gasoline Lollipops. Photo Credit: WeTubers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clay Rose.

Clay Rose.

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

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

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

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

And when will 'Resurrection' be released?

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

Kickin' it live. Photo Credit:   Joshua Elioseff

Kickin' it live. Photo Credit: Joshua Elioseff

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

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

Would you consider yourself a religious group at all?

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

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

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

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

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

Are you working on any new music?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just that the Gasoline Lollipops love you.

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

-Jura

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

Coastal Wives EP Traditions: Love at First Listen

By: Dawn Raymond

Denver's Coastal Wives released their debut EP Traditions recently, and are already scheduled for a UMS performance this summer.

Coastal Wives is an indie blues rock band based out of Denver, CO consisting of Forest Knauff, Logan Bishop, Austin Perkins, and Kyle Misencik. Their name comes from a time when Forest and Logan were into "surf sound" bands like The Babies, Beach Fossils, and Real Estate, and the two initially wanted to create music in that vein. But their music had other plans, and now borrows more from bands like The Black Keys and Radiohead instead. The name Coastal Wives, however, stuck.

Denver's Coastal Wives.

Denver's Coastal Wives.

Forest and Logan wanted to create a band as an outlet for their songwriting, and so together, they engaged in some healthy competition, trying to outdo each other in the songwriting department. As you might imagine, this caused them to hone their skills quite nicely. Soon, they converged their talents to create music together. As Logan said, "Coastal Wives was us really biting the bullet and saying we are better together than on our own".  

After joining forces, Coastal Wives released their Traditions EP just last month. It consists of 4 songs- a total quality over quantity proposition for the listener. You will find this group striving to evolve musically and instrumentally, but also lyrically on the EP. The writing is an integral part of this collaboration, with the intention to create cathartic, "real" music that stems from an unflinching reflection of life, for better or worse. This is the perfect release for commitment-phobes, as the entire EP is short enough to try on for size, but more than enough to be completely immersed in, and it's strikingly easy on the ears. It's a kind of "love at first listen", which might be because the vocals are reminiscent of another band and another time, or it might be Coastal Wives’ heartfelt lyrics and tightly knit instrumental execution. Whatever it is, it works.

Coastal Wives have a number of Denver shows this summer, including a UMS appearance. You can check out Traditions on the band’s website, and keep up with their shows on Facebook. Go give them a listen!

-Dawn

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited.

Joseph Tonelli's Debut Album "Dust and Snow": A Review of One Sincere Singer/Songwriter

By: Dawn Raymond

Joseph Tonelli's debut record presents more than just his soul.

If Joseph Tonelli's music were a season, I think it would be fall, with its aromatic romance and the slightly sad sense of endings. His music ponders the timeless topics of things like love and loss, and it finds a striking, restful acceptance of the two. Tonelli doesn't specifically write songs about heartbreak, but he does write about the deep-down heart of life, with it's beauty and it's pain. He likes all of his lyrics, and this just exemplifies the consistency of his soul: Joseph Tonelli presents himself in a simple and sincere way, with an honest transparency that sometimes borders on discomfort, but ultimately gives you a sense of his soul.

Boulder's Joseph Tonelli. 

Boulder's Joseph Tonelli. 

In creating his upcoming June 2016 release Dust and Snow, all 7 songs presented themselves to be a part of the album, which suggests that the music travels through him to it's destination. Tonelli recorded the album in his living room, sometimes even with his son sleeping close by, and every track is a sort of hand-crafted work of art.

Some of Joseph's songs have a sort of rustic and lonely feel; the kind of music you listen to in honest, quiet moments of contemplation, but each track is totally relatable for pondering, wandering souls. His lyrics sometimes communicate the thoughts that he can't convey in any other way, with personal themes and messages weaving their way throughout:

"I'll probably end up at some bar down the road,
can't tell if it’s heaven or hell sort of reminds me of both." (June 15, 2009)

"Sometimes I can catch a sight through these cracks in the night
of the man that I once knew that I could be,
he's covered in dust and soot and grime
a deadly sin, a heinous crime
but man i swear he's just one breath away" (Sometimes)

Joseph plans to continue writing, collaborating and performing live after the release of Dust and Snow, and it will be interesting to see what lyrics and melodies present themselves for public consumption for his future projects.

In the meantime, preorder Dust and Snow on vinyl, flashdrive, and CD right here. Stay tuned for upcoming show information by liking JT’s Facebook page, or checking out his website. Want to read more about Joseph Tonelli? Check out our exclusive interview with the Boulder artist here.

-Dawn

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited.

Redline Alchemy: No Genre But a Lot of Fun

Redline Alchemy consists of a trio of brothers, along with two others (Joe, Dan and Nick Ausmus, with Corey Golon and Nate Wilson). They are a group of native Coloradoans and their genre is nonre, because you can't pin 'em down to one; don't even try. They've been gracious enough to cough up enough categories to give a general feel for the landscape of their loudness, so let's put it this way: if you could make a Redline Alchemy sandwich, you might have some mellow acoustic goodness with some zesty metal and warm, melty country nestled between slices of reggae and rock. Frankly, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with something that ISN'T on that sandwich. But one thing these guys always serve up is fun. Who doesn't need some of that?  

Check out Redline Alchemy’s Demo Tracks:

This is a band that likes to push their musical experimentation to the upper limits, hence the name "Redline" being the upper limits on a tachometer, and "Alchemy" being the pseudoscience of making gold from less valuable materials.  

Redline Alchemy is currently hoping to build a strong local following,  write more tunes, and perhaps perform at Red Rocks one day. No plans for complete world domination are currently in the works, which means you can kick back and fearlessly enjoy the show.  

And speaking of show, the gentlemen play this Friday, April 22nd at Riffs Rock and Roll Bar in Wheat Ridge from 9pm to 1am (free/21+ age limit). It’s a celebration for member Dan’s birthday, and the five-piece have some fun things planned for their set. RA are also compiling a mini tour in July, with shows in Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, and Moab.  

Keep up with their shows and more on Facebook, or on their website.

-Dawn

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited.

King Cardinal's Latest Will Have You Feeling Right at Home

By: Dawn Raymond

King Cardinal is a band that's been coined "alt-folk" by some, but Brennan Mackey, founder of the Denver based band, tossed out the word "Americana", and rightly so: It feels like home.

Once A Giant, King Cardinal's most recent release, was recorded mostly live in a living room and was then sent out to be professionally mixed and mastered. This approach lends the project it's earthy, yet polished finish. The addition of the steel guitar to songs like "Into the Wind" and "Gasoline" tops off their sound beautifully, like maple syrup on a short stack. The EP is also lyrically satisfying, with poetic musings and bits of melancholy that give it a soulful feel.

Watch King Cardinal’s music video for “Gasoline”:

King Cardinal is: Brennan Mackey (Vocals, Guitar, Banjo), Scott Roush (Drums), Andrew Porter (Bass),  Ben Waligoske (Pedal Steel) and Texanna Dennie (Vocals).

See the guys live this Saturday 04/16 at the Lost Lake Lounge in Denver and later this month at FOCOMX. Check out their other tour dates here.

-Dawn

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited.

Denver's The Clearwings Are Guaranteed to Folk You Up

Denver's The Clearwings. Photo Credit: Jason Paul Roberts

Denver's The Clearwings. Photo Credit: Jason Paul Roberts

The Clearwings are a Denver based duo guaranteed to "folk you up" with their uncomplicated and unclad musical stylings. The band, consisting of Raven Adams (vocals) and Mark Phillips (vocals and guitar), wandered nameless through a few open mic nights before a moniker was required of them. They settled on naming the band after a moth. This may seem a questionable concept, until you hear the story of when they were in Taos, New Mexico one spring evening and had the surreal experience of seeing dozens of hummingbird moths around them (a.k.a: clearwings) in a field of flowers at sunset. Said Mark of the experience, "It was an amazing and other-worldly moment; these bugs that look like birds on invisible wings in golden light [fluttering around] and all the while [we were] looking up at sacred Taos Mountain." After that blissful eve, the name "The Clearwings" just felt right.

Watch The Clearwings music video for their song “Driving Around”: 

The duo currently consider themselves "alt-folk". The folk flavor comes from the simplicity of vocals and guitar, while the alt-ambiance is reflected in their ability to launch off into alternative rock covers and acoustic electronica dance tunes with ease. The end result is that two convey a lively, authentic presence without a lot of pretense.

The Clearwings are currently finishing up their EP entitled Rocks in My Shoes, which will be released as a seven-inch, lathe-cut record with Meep Records. The release party will be at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver on Saturday, May 14. They will be touring this summer, and are scheduled to appear on the 2016 season of “The White Wall Sessions” in South Dakota.

Listen to The Clearwings Nothing to Say

You can get show information and keep up with this Denver duo through their website and Facebook.

-Dawn

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

Hillary Susz is a Denver Mod Rock Queen Hitting The Boulder Scene... Tonight!

By: Dawn Raymond

Mod Rock: Meet Colorado. 

Hillary Susz is a Denver based mod-rocker originating from Seattle. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Western Washington University and draws her musical influence from a variety of genres: freak folk, ambient pop, psychedelic, jazz, and soul.

Denver's Hillary Susz.

Denver's Hillary Susz.

Perusing Susz is a bit like sampling fine wine. Between her rich and varied vocals, and guitar that ranges from gently melodic to good ol' grunge, you sense some of the influences that round out her sound. Those influences range from Nina Simone to PJ Harvey, but I swear I detected a little essence of Interpol and Johnny Cash as well (go figure).

Susz’s lyrics are hauntingly poetic, as one might expect from an artist with a bachelor's degree in writing. There are too many worthwhile phrases to begin to list here, but if you get the chance to let her lyrics roll around in your mouth, you will find them quite satisfying.  

Hillary has a summer tour in the works to support her upcoming LP release of The Heart Will Jump (With Nowhere to Fall). You can find tour updates on her website, or on her Facebook page.  

Fortunately, you can also find her in person tonight at The No Name Bar at 10PM. It will be a gratifying evening of auditory entertainment for all.

Watch Susz’s official music video for her track “Swat Team”: 

-Dawn

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

*This feature was originally published 03/23/16, but due to a snowstorm, Susz's show (then at Innisfree) was cancelled. As such, we're re-publishing it for her new show, tonight (at The No Name Bar). 

Britt Margit: A Preview of Her EP "Melisma" & More

By: Dawn Raymond

Britt Margit will preview her new EP live this weekend.

Britt Margit is a budding singer/songwriter from Aspen, Colorado. Her interest in music started at 5 years of age, when she wrote her first song. It appears that she's been pursuing music, or perhaps it's been pursuing her, ever since. Her musical influences include Taylor Swift, Florence and the Machine, and Fleetwood Mac, among others, but you can't nail her sound down to any of their genres: She's got a style all her own.  

Britt's sound blends folk and classic rock with a bit of a poppy flavor that is soothing to the soul. If you want to check her artistry out in advance of her EP release Melisma, you can find her at The Laughing Goat this Sunday, March 20th.  For more information on this preview show and the upcoming release of her full-length album, click here.

Listen to Britt's track “Peace And Harmony (In The Bleak Midwinter)”:

-Dawn

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

Listening to Gina Sobel Feels Like a Mid-Summer Celebration

By: Dawn Raymond

Gina Sobel will transport you to summer.

Gina Sobel.

Gina Sobel.

Listening to Gina Sobel and the Mighty Fine feels like a mid-summer celebration- you can almost feel the sun kiss your face. The down-to-earth style and the upbeat tempo of their sound nearly demands that you get on your feet and get your groove on. Gina's winsome vocals are sometimes accented by her flute or saxophone skills, and the band members (David French- vocals/guitar, Ryan Lee- guitar, Simon Evans- bass, Pat Hayes- drums) mesh quite well, with David's vocals being a welcome addition to the mix. There is a serious vibe about the band, but also a light-heartedness that is genuine and welcoming. 

Gina Sobel and the Mighty Fine have made several appearances in Colorado during the month of March, the last of which is tonight at The Pearl Street Pub. If you want to get your summer on this spring, check out their website for other show dates and locations.

And give Gina Sobel and the Mighty Fine a listen for yourself below:

-Dawn

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

Flint Eastwood: Detroit's It Girl Who We Can't Wait to See Live

By: Dawn Raymond

Flint Eastwood won't let anyone or anything break her (except sick beats).

You have to take the punches life throws and transform them into something your mama would be proud of. That's exactly what Jax Anderson, aka Flint Eastwood, did with her six song EP released in November 2015. The song entitled "Find What You're Looking For" was inspired by her biggest fan's final words to Jax before her death. Those words were: "Don't let this break you". That biggest fan? Her mother. In homage to all final words, mothers and biggest fans everywhere, this track deserves some love.  

Flint Eastwood

Flint Eastwood

Listen to “Find What You’re Looking For”:

On a brighter note, the poppy "Glitches" is a catchy, rhythmic total keeper. Much of the rest of the new EP has an upbeat and danceable tempo to boot. Flint Eastwood is slated to swing through the Denver/Boulder region sometime this spring, so shine up your dancing shoes and stay tuned. For a show schedule and more information, check out her Facebook page.

Listen to “Glitches”:

-Dawn

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

CITRA: The BUOYANT Denver Four-Piece & Their Debut EP "Ocean"

By: Dawn Raymond

What's born on Craigslist can be a great thing.

You know how so often your Craigslist encounters go awry? Well here's one that went aright. Not so many moons ago, a fella named Brandon Arndt posted an ad on Craigslist looking for fellow musicians who wanted to work hard and create some high energy entertainment. After assembling some respondents, and with only 2 practices under their collective belt, the chemistry was magically on point: Denver’s CITRA was born.  

CITRA, in a word, is BUOYANT, most notably in their the song entitled "Settle Down". Another fave from their January 2016 debut EP Ocean is the darker feeling "In the Ground", with its militant, drum-beat-driven-guitars and slightly more sunny sounding chorus. Trust me, it works, and these grooves really grow on you.

So who makes up this winning collective? CITRA is: Brandon Arndt (Vocals, Guitar), Augie Menos (Lead Guitar), Dan Naddy (Drums) and Sean Slattery (Bass). The boys play Denver’s Illegal Pete’s on South Broadway tonight at 8PM.

For more show info, humor, and more things CITRA, you can follow them on Facebook or visit their website here.

Listen to CITRA’s EP Ocean:

-Dawn

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