Demi Demitro Of The Velveteers Told Us About All The Eerie Inspirations Behind Their New Record

By: Brody Coronelli

Velveteers frontwoman Demi Demitro reflects on the band’s debut EP, their roots, and what’s on the horizon for this young duo who are already making their mark on the scene.

The only way to get to the stage at the Hi-Dive, a small punk rock venue on South Broadway in Denver, is through the crowd. There’s no door or curtain onstage where the musicians emerge from, dressed in black, wearing leather and ivory boots. Instead, they’re reminded of the tightness, the body heat, precariously shaking drinks, and shallow breaths of the crowd before they come onstage. This didn’t stop The Velveteers from making a grand entrance to their release show for their debut EP on February 9th.

The Velveteers. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss Photography

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss Photography

Instead of simply getting onstage, setting up, and starting their set, the band, fronted by Demi Demitro on vocals and guitar, carried in rhythm by her brother John, and aided by their third drummer and relatively new addition Noah Shomberg (who also plays with The Yawpers), set their gear in place and stepped back into the crowd only to confidently re-emerge onto the stage like three rock stars playing the O2 Academy.

This infectious, rock‘n’roll bravado isn’t something the band picked up along the way. It’s been there since the start. Their intense, convicted aesthetic and sonic identity has already brought on huge accomplishments for a band their age. They’ve toured the UK with Deap Valley, playing to massive crowds, played motorcycle festivals in Joshua Tree with sound by Hutch, Queens of the Stone Age’s longtime sound engineer, and they’ve had vinyl pressed of their newest album at the Third Man Records factory in Detroit. Each of these accomplishments spawned from their time spent as a centerpiece in the Colorado and Midwestern DIY scenes.

“Some of our favorite shows we’ve ever played have been at DIY venues. The people in that scene are really genuine, they’re not trying to rip you off, and they’re there to listen. What they do [for younger bands] is important, because I know it shaped who I am as a musician,” frontwoman Demi Demitro said over tea at the Yellow Deli, one of her favorite Boulder haunts.

Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss Photography

There’s an energy to seeing The Velveteers play. Onstage, the band occupies a tangent world of pointed shoes, glitter jackets, bones, and candles. It’s like hair metal if it were born out of Dracula or The Nightmare Before Christmas instead of big hair, zebra print, and leather pants.

“A lot of the inspiration we have for our band comes from places other than music. I’m really inspired by Tim Burton, Walt Disney, and Andy Warhol. The Walt Disney version of Snow White has this gothic-ness to it, and that’s something that really inspired our album,” she said.

The theatrics of these non-musical influences leave a lasting impression. The band’s merch table looks like a séance just took place, adorned with candles and skulls. The face of the band’s new album shows them with blacked out eyes and upside down crosses on their foreheads. Demitro even claimed that a chunk of the album was written in a graveyard.

“When [the song ‘Death Hex’] came out, I had all these Wiccans and Pagans following me around asking me if I was a witch. It’s a metaphor-- I don’t really mean it,” she said, laughing.

Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss Photography

The immediate fear with a band like The Velveteers is that they’re all show. One listen to their debut self-titled EP sends that assumption into the dust. Finding a loud, irresistible, and cryptic balance between the spacious grit of Queens of the Stone Age, the pummeling, percussive thunder of The White Stripes and The Dead Weather, and the sheer lightening of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the band has crafted a presence built on their own unique visual bravado guided by thundering, melodic songs that aren’t easily forgotten.

The EP, recorded mostly live and to tape at Silo Sound Studios in Denver, CO over the past year opens with “Just Like The Weather,” a driving, aggressive cut that places Demi’s tectonic, rhythm-heavy guitar playing and vast vocal range to the forefront, as the band occupies a musical storm that viciously encircles you until the words have found a way into your veins. The band’s songs have a habit of doing this, often effortlessly. They’re written with emotional sincerity and performed with bombastic assertion.

“When I write, it’s almost like being in a daze. [Sometimes it feels like] I’m not really there when I’m writing, which is this magical feeling. I got that feeling with every song on the album,” Demitro said.

“Anastasia Sings” is another song that takes you for a ride. With a piercing scream kicking things off, the track features some of the band’s most dynamic guitar playing yet, which reaches a jagged crescendo following the chorus.

“[That’s] another one of my favorite tracks [on the album]. That one was really inspired by Iggy Pop, ‘cause I had seen him live with the Post Pop Depression band,” Demitro said.

The band doesn’t lock themselves into a specific sound, though. In similar fashion to their haunting, non-album single “This Love Lasted,” “Darling Beloved” takes the album in a cryptically stripped-back direction.

“I did ‘Darling Beloved’ in one take. Vocals, guitar, everything. That song is really special to us, because it was completely in the moment. One of my favorite parts of going into the studio is when stuff like that happens, and in no way will you ever be able to recreate it,” she continued.

The stripped-back, horrorshow “Darling Beloved” and it’s stylistic sibling “This Love Lasted” aren’t currently fixtures in the band’s live set. Instead, their performances rely on roaring guitar, clamorous drums, and a fuzz that hits you right in the chest. The band doesn’t use a bass player, so Demi Demitro’s guitar playing has evolved into a versatile and rhythmic barrage that covers the low end, high end, and everything in between. The band is a sound to be reckoned with live; they pull the audience straight into their world of dark, irresistible magnetism.

In promotion of their debut, the band recently embarked on a two-week national tour in promotion of the record, have more dates in the works for the rest of the year, and are also set to play an unofficial showcase at SXSW in Austin, TX this March. Listening to their album and seeing them live leaves the impression that this is what the band was working towards all along: a sold-out release show for a triumphant debut record, a national tour (with many more shows to come), and a spot at one of the most popular musical festivals in the nation. Despite all appearances and affirmations of success, this is only the beginning for this band, and if their start is any indication, what’s to follow will be all whirlwind, heat, and flash.

Keep up with The Velveteers here.

-Brody

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

The Velveteers' Release Party Was Bloody Good Rock'N'Roll

By: Mirna Tufekcic

The Velveteers sold-out the iconic Hi-Dive in Denver last Friday for their self-titled EP release party. An hour after the doors opened, the place was packed with both young and seasoned heavy rock’n’roll fans.

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The keen energy in the room was stoked by Denver’s own hard rock/punk band Plastic Daggers, who by the end of their set decided to smash their bass against the stage. Their drummer also brought so much thrill to the performance that he left the stage with bloody hands. There is nothing like blood and broken instruments to start off a good night of music at the Hi-Dive.

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

During set break, fans were getting excited for the main event of the evening. As sound check started, people eagerly stared at the stage in anticipation for the first riff from The Velveteers to send them off. When you have fans getting this excited for sound check, let’s be real, you must be doing something right.

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The lights dimmed and The Velveteers walked onstage, accompanied by grave-like organ instrumentation blasting over the speakers. Noah Shomberg and John Demitro hit the first beat on two synced drum sets positioned on opposite sides of the stage as Demi Demitro, the front lady set dead center between them, sent out her signature harsh and heavy, yet elegant strokes of baritone guitar off into the crowd.

Demi Demitro. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Demi Demitro. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

If you haven’t already heard, Demi Demitro is a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Her undeniable talent and presence on stage demands attention and awe as she sings mesmerizing lyrics with enchanted vocals seasoned to put a hex on you. But it’s the song “Just Like The Weather,” the lead single from the band's new self-titled EP, that is ripe with vivacity and momentum to take this band to even higher places than they've already been. Their entire performance was the guitar-scraping-monitors, head-banging blast that the band has come to be known for.

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers’ Hi-Dive show kicked off their release tour, which will take them around the Midwest for the rest of the month. For their upcoming shows, keep up with their Facebook. May the rock’n’roll be with you!

-Mirna

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

The UMS Set The Tone For A Great 2017 Festival With Recent Fox Theatre Show

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Underground Music Showcase recently brought three great Colorado acts together for one rocking show at Boulder’s Fox Theatre in celebration of the upcoming festival, which takes place this July 27th-30th.  

Ned Garthe Explosion.

Ned Garthe Explosion.

Party-hardy Ned Garthe Explosion kicked off the night, a Denver four-piece known for their garage rock anthems and good times. Though the night started with a smaller crowd, NGE kicked up the energy and commenced to get down by making fun of each other onstage, sipping Coronas, and rocking out. Frontman Ned Garthe told us the story of how he once spray painted his name on the side of a police station, only to be immediately caught, lending more credibility to the crazy punk antics of this band. They closed out their set with their popular “Forgot Your Name,” and by that point, a solid crowd had settled in and was singing along. 

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

Boulder’s The Velveteers took the stage next, with Noah Shomberg (The Yawpers) and John Demitro (The Bandits) on drums accompanying guitar prowess and vocalist Demi Demitro. It was the band’s first Fox Theatre show in their hometown, and they once again proved live why they are one of Colorado’s fastest rising acts in rock’n’roll. Demi’s vocals are gentle and melodic at times, and whipped with raw attitude and grunge at others. All the while, she slays on guitar, and it’s here I’d like to point out an observation I had checking out this set: The entire first two rows near the stage were comprised of headbanging dudes. Now that’s what I call rock’n’roll.

Demi Demitro.

Demi Demitro.

Demi has harnessed her artistry in every aspect of her show- from her writing, to her commanding stage presence, to her skilled instrumental abilities. She’s hypnotizing to watch and she’s talented. With continued grind, this is a Colorado act I see going national.

Flaural.

Flaural.

Denver’s Flaural closed out the night with a drippy shoegaze psych show. The four-piece started their set with groovy instrumentals and very little vocals. They played several tracks from their recent release, Over Imaginary Cigarettes, and a few older tunes as well. Formed in 2015, this band has already done a lot of national touring and had some notable festival appearances, so it was exciting to have them back in state for a show. They kept things very poppy and psychedelic, keeping the crowd swaying before it was time for many to jump on the Bus to Show back down to Denver and the remaining Boulderites to wander home. 

The night definitely set the tone for a great UMS this year, so make sure to grab passes while they’re still cheap here!

ICYMI: Check out our full photo gallery from this show!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

The Velveteers Release New Psychedelic Music Video "This Love Lasted"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder’s favorite rock’n’roll duo The Velveteers released their newest music video today for their track, “This Love Lasted.” The video, which was filmed in Boulder, transports the viewer into a psychedelic world that follows members Demi and John Demitro through lush garden landscapes and a cemetery, all in kaleidoscopic hues of red and blue. The video has a classic Super-8 film vibe, and also features cupid animations between shots of Demi and John spinning around and moving in reverse through what feels like a trippy dream. Some sort of grim reaper-esque character even appears at one point behind Demi, stirring themes of youth and death the inevitable in this new track.

“This Love Lasted” has a psych rock sound we haven’t yet heard recorded from The Velveteers, who have previously released more heavy rock tunes like “Death Hex.” Their new song features the beautifully haunting vocals that Demi Demitro is known for backed by fuzzy guitars and unsettling chimes. It’s psych done well, and has a fresh appeal that has us curious what else this explosive two-piece have been recording in the studio. Make sure to check out The Velveteers’ new video above and catch them at The Fox this Thursday, and at The UMS later this summer.

-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.

Sting Like The Beeves

By: Pete Laffin

Honest question:

When was the last time you moshed?

It had been a while for yours truly. By my mid-twenties I abandoned the more aggressive music of my youth, swapping volume and distortion for lyrical poignancy and musical nuance. Like many in my station, I held my nose up at the blustery rage of the still-young youth (which, it occurs to me now, can be easily explained with basic psychological insight: my disapproval of the kids and their raucous music was displaced, and the real culprit was the lingering memory of my own immature youth.) Music, as important as ever at the ripe-old age of 33, became something to be meditated upon rather than moshed to. And that was fine and good and purposeful. (As you age, it becomes suddenly important to do “purposeful” things.)

And then, a few months ago, I went to the EP release for The Beeves, comprised of the Ehrhart brothers, Ian and Will, along with Matthew Sease, at Seventh Circle Music Collective.

A mish-mash of seemingly disconnected events led me there. (If I may indulge in another bit of old-man wisdom, nothing is disconnected.) Suffice it to say, a grungy, all-ages, DIY warehouse venue is not where you would expect to find me on a Saturday night.

When I found the venue’s entrance in a neglected industrial park in the Denver periphery, I was greeted by a scraggly, weather-worn row of teenagers sitting behind a desk taking the expected donation for entry and exchanging remarks in a terminology and inflection I couldn’t attempt to decode. I handed them my credit card, but their machine wasn’t working, but I could go in. Just hook us up next time was the vibe I got.

I snaked my way through a few dark hallways and found myself in a gravel courtyard. The Beeves had a merch table just before entrance to the performance space, which looked like something between a backyard shed and a wheat silo. I peeked in through the entrance and saw a dark, frantic scene straight out of Altamont while opening act The Velveteers, fronted by rock prodigy Demi Demitro, shook the shanty’s shingles. Not ready to enter the hellfire within, I nosed around the courtyard looking for a place to buy a beer, until I realized no such place existed. A friendly and perceptive young kid intuited my struggle and informed me of a liquor store a few blocks away. If I had said I was going, he would have probably asked me to buy him a bottle.

The Beeves.

The Beeves.

At the merch table, I became disoriented, aghast. I was at an EP release, but there was no EP. Not in the conventional sense, anyway. I’d been to hundreds of these types of events in my seventeen years in music and never seen anything like this. Rather than rows of glossy jewel cases or neatly splayed, plastic-wrapped sleeves, the “albums” offered were burned CDRs packaged in the poster for the show.

Scandalous, I thought, in my stuffiest inner voice (which is somehow always British.)

I scanned the area for other embarrassed looks, embarrassed at The Beeves for not offering a more polished product at such an event. I didn’t see any. All I saw were a bunch of young, deliriously hyped-up hyenas bouncing off one another and rocking out to the vibe. No one gave a shit but me. I took the hint that I, and perhaps the majority of my music-scene generation- in all of our sensitive-guy mustache and pensive-girl thick-frames glory- had fallen out-of-touch. We didn’t see the storm coming (this was a theme in 2016.) We still give a shitit occurred to me. These kids really, really don’t. And they don’t have to.

The Velveteers closed out their riotous set and said goodnight. As I watched the stage through the doorway (I still wasn’t ready enter the dragon, as it were), puzzled at how Demitro could be playing such sophisticated, badass rock-and-roll at such a young age, an announcement was made for the performance area to be vacated while The Beeves set their stage. A swarm of show-goers drifted through the exit to the courtyard like clowns out of a car- it is amazing how many people that little place can hold- and stood around in circles, their hot, moshed-out lungs breathing thick into the freezing Denver December.

Amid the horde, I saw an older guy, the only person I’d seen thus far clearly older than I, who looked suspiciously similar to Beeves frontman, Ian Erhart. Eager to see if there was a connection, I wormed my way toward him. Indeed, it was Ian and Will’s father, John Erhart. He was a songwriter himself, and he wrote and performed songs for Ian while he was in the womb. He didn’t have to say how proud he was of his son, nor proud of himself for making the musical effort back then; his face was lit with pride in it all.

And then some kid in the circle next to us got punched in the face. Hard. Full-fisted.

Braced for bedlam, I stepped back, knuckles tight. But rather than swing back, the kid who got hit smiled and asked for another. The crowd had gone restless waiting for The Beeves to call us back inside. John and I shared a smirk. We had both taken part in similar youthful hijinks, it seemed.

The Beeves' EP Release Show.

The Beeves' EP Release Show.

Inside, the stage was draped in a cartoonishly scraggly, misshapen sheet, the stage lights flashing out around the edges. The buzz in the crammed room rose; I was sure another backyard wrestling match would break out. But then The Beeves, in all of their earnest goofiness, kicked the curtain down and commenced with the thrashing. Their energy was unbelievable, and their affect, so entirely devoid of self-seriousness, spread around the room like an infectious, airborne disease.

I enjoyed the shit out of their set, as did all in attendance. It was arranged for maximum impact with a spirited selection of covers and originals, the latter so impactful I decided to pick up one of those poster-wrapped EPs from the merch table on my way out.

I was richly rewarded for my open-mindedness.

Photo Credit: Veltrida

Photo Credit: Veltrida

The album kicks off with the track “Skagua,” featuring Ian on guitar, Matthew on bass, and Will on the drums. It’s a hard-driving neo-ska spine breaker that serves as a fitting introduction the band, as its chief purpose is to punch you stiffly in the nose. The melody, rhythm, arrangement- none is particularly ground-breaking. In fact, the sound (along with the record in general) is rooted most evidently in the mid-nineties skateboard scene. But The Beeves offer a qualitative alteration to this well-trodden sound, one that’s as obvious to the ear as it is difficult to put a finger on. It’s as if Sublime and The Offspring had been reanimated and struck repeatedly in the tuckus with a cattle-prod. The following track, “Jesus, he came,” follows much in the same vein as “Skagua.”

“Shoelace,” the third track, is the anthem of The Beeves in the ears of their fans. By the time this song is played in a live set, the band is shirtless and possibly naked; it’s not for the sake of vanity or shock-value, but rather, it’s as if the freedom they derive from playing this song demands such release. In “Shoelace’s” three quick minutes, the entire experience of the band is had. If pressed to express what this is in three quick words, I could do it in two: goofy sincerity. The beat rocks (the younger Ehrhart, Will, is a revelation on this track); the melody hooks clean at the chorus where Ian and Matthew croon a startlingly honest question, one to which both a teenager and widower could relate: “Without you/How am I supposed to tie my shoe?”

Listen to The Beeves’ track “Oogamy”:

The fourth track “Oogamy” could slide easily onto the backend of your favorite Sublime record. Recording engineer Oliver Mueller does his best work on the album here capturing the tandem, note-for-note vocals of all three band members. This is no small task, especially given the free-wheeling, loose nature of the vocal style. The track also features a seriously funky clarinet solo performed by friend-of-the-band, Michaela Nemeth. The lyrics at the refrain are most poignant: “When I said leave me alone/I didn’t mean leave me/I wish I had could say what I mean/I wish I had something to mean.”

“Jerry the Drifter” is a fine display of punk thrashery with surprisingly musical flashes. The instrumental that comprises the song’s first half features guitar with flamenco overtones and a theatrically plucky bass, dipping and rising in volume as the moment demands. This all leads into a more conventional pop-punk song with melodic sensibilities. “Jerry” offers shades of early Car Seat Headrest, with its sweet hooks, advanced musicality, and unapologetically raw delivery.   

The best is saved for last on The Beeves’ self-titled EP. “Moe” is an instant classic, with the emphasis on classic. This is high praise, I know, but I can prove it. Well, kind of. You just have to believe what I’m about to tell you is true: In preparation for writing this review, I stealthily played the song in social settings to gauge reaction.

The first time was at my place, where one of my most musically sophisticated buddies came over to hang. As he stepped inside, he cocked his head and lifted an eyebrow at the sound.

Weezer?” he asked. I said nothing. “Is it old Weezer?”

Later that week, I took control of the sound system at a local pub that lets its patrons seize control of the music via bluetooth. From the table next to mine, some guy tapped me on the shoulder.

“Weezer?” he asked, that same sifting-through-old-memories look on his face that my buddy had.

“Moe” is a slow-time rockabilly blues jam with the kind of punked-out irreverence Rivers Cuomo rode to stardom. It’s as if he could have written the song himself as an alternative ending to The Blue Album. The bridge features a single guitar note crescendo, reminiscent of moments in “Heroin” by The Velvet Underground, which leads to the hook at the chorus, sung with wistful abandon and gaiety. It’s doubtlessly a keeper for the band moving forward.    

When ametuer athletes are scouted by professional teams, they are often evaluated in terms of their “floor” and their “ceiling.” The former indicates the kind of players they are at the moment, for better or worse, while the latter expresses their potential to improve. On rare occasions, a player is considered to possess high degrees of both. The Beeves appear to be in this rarefied category, as their sound already astounds, and their potential to improve is a certainty.

The ceiling is high for these kids. High enough, even, to inspire their elders, (your humble correspondent included) to toss themselves recklessly, once again, into a pit of flying elbows and whirling knees.

Make sure to see The Beeves at The Gothic for their show this Friday, February 10th with Mustard Plug; tickets here.

-Pete

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

(Un)Traditional Love Songs: A Playlist For Your Valentine's Day & So Much More

By: Joliene Adams

Forget complaints about Valentine’s Day commercialism. Let’s think instead on the limitations of the kind of love that gets advertised to us. Love comes in all shapes and sizes far beyond romantic, and this playlist reflects all those feelings and shades of love. Wherever you are at in your love life and whoever you love in whatever ways, whether the burning embers of passion or the charcoal heart of getting burned from love; from your lover to your mother, it’s all here:

Listen to BolderBeat’s “(Un)Traditional Love Songs” Playlist:

1. “Death Hex” – The VelveteersDeath Hex (2016)

No one said love came without barbs. Hook, line, and sinker, The Velveteers rock straight for the jugular. John Demitro’s drums thunder with the urgency of foreboding storms while Demi Demitro’s tight, heavy guitar licks smack you awake. Staggered vocal notes build tension up to lift off as Demi lets melodic hollers unapologetically rip. If their rock doesn’t shatter the teacups on your shelf, you haven’t turned that heavy grit up loud enough.

And this one’s lyrical content doesn’t dote expressly on love. Demi speaks to this in an interview covered by BolderBeat’s Hannah Oreskovich, “‘Death Hex’ is about awakening from the dead and saying goodbye to the past. It was really inspired by a sense of magic I felt happening. It’s a story of coming back from a bad situation and coming out on the other side better than you ever imagined.” It might not be about love, but it’s an ages old story, that of the lover who rises from the ashes. Take your heartbreak, wipe the floor clean with it, and rise from the ashes bigger, better, stronger, faster, badder-asser.

2. “Didn’t See You There” – Red Fox RunRed Fox Run (2015)

Ever turned around or glanced sidelong at your buddy and all of a sudden SPLAT, you think, “I did NOT realize my friend was this cute let alone that that I was in love with them this whole time?” This number cascades and careens as your own feelings might at such a realization. Red Fox Run fearlessly showcase vocalist and rhythm guitarist Daniel Rondeau shouting out a proclamation from the truths that sit in the center pit of a heart. He’s proclaiming hopeful, but it’s clearly uncertain since “I couldn’t love you more than I do right now” isn’t the end of the sentence. Red Fox Run keep it playful, but in the end, they’ve said all they need to say.

It’s the year anniversary of Red Fox Run being no longer, an anniversary that may bring with it many a fan’s broken heart. But the good news is that three out of four original RFR members continue on in their new Denver-based project Wildermiss.

3. “I Like You” – Ned Garthe Explosion Flashlight Tan (2016)

Crash forward, skid in sideways, stop abruptly- you’ll travel at all different speeds in Ned Garthe Explosion’s capable hands. Splaying themselves across diverse elements is something familiar to Ned Garthe Explosion and their fans. As Andy Thomas of Westword notes, 2016’s Flashlight Tan finds frontman Ned Garthe and his co-conspirators messing around with genre and intent “writing deliberately toward a certain genre, in an earnest near-parody that’s so good you can’t tell it’s a parody. It’s a depth of vision that can only be achieved late at night, when the cops are nowhere to be found.” But isn’t that love sometimes? Crashing forward, landing backwards… and even sometimes ending in a weird parody you sort of knew existed.

4. “Call Through the Wire” – Inner Oceans Call Through the Wire (2016)

“If I leave you in the night...” The suggestion alone leaves you indignant, does it not? The sentiment wells up from something clearly much deeper as Inner Oceans’ frontman Griffith Snyder sings lushly of the story unfolding. “I see you all the time and it hurts to think you were right,” he sings. The sound is atmospherically absorbing while the message delivers clear adoration with a twinge of regret and a still-in-love/lust-with-you. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the two, in life or in music, and I can’t come down on which it might be here but I’m ok with it.

5. “Shooting Star” – RossonianYou Are Your Own Dentist (2013)

Rossonian use space and astral phenomena as metaphor, delivering dreamy and delicate wonder. This one is absolutely a love song, but also earns love for the success of their symbolic narrative. It propels, then floats, taking pause to deliver changes in emphatic subtleties. Rossonian is master of small sound shifts across a slow build, lending the song a complexity that doesn’t announce itself like a smack to the face, but rather comes at and through you like the feeling of slowly waking up. This one’s a gentle journey from one end of conscious awareness to another, starting gently and sleepily as it comes to burn bright-eyed awake.  

6.  “Day I Was Born” – 5ive, Jessica Jones – Radioland (2016)

There’s romantic love, and then there’s the love for your mother. Both can overpower. If I had any doubts as to which it was here at first (the word “mama” is sufficiently vague enough terminology to always throw me off without further clear direction), Jessica Jones’ vocal turn sways results to the latter. “Mama you believed in me, even when my skies were gray, you gave me the entire world… people asked me how’d I got so strong. I tell ‘em that my mama showed me the way. You always raised me up right, with all the love you gave.” Where 5ive (Quinn Lynch) and Jessica Jones put the soul in your playlist, your mother put you and your soul into this world. So if you tell anyone you love them on Valentine’s Day, make it your mother and be sure to thank her.

7. “If I Grew a Violet (You’d Ask for a Rose)” – Andy Sydow A Little Messed Up (2016)

Ever read the children’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie? This is an adult version of that tale in more ways than one. If you give a mouse a cookie, they’ll want a glass of milk. They will want something else and more after the glass of milk, so on and so forth until eternity. Sydow dishes up love pangs boiled over lost hopes in the spirit of said book. Emotionally honest, raw words of disappointed love come in, combined with loving, earnest, even sweet melody. The message delivered could interpret as one lover's greed or the other’s embittered pessimistic complacency. You can’t tell who is at fault but you can tell who fell short of the two: the “I” of the singer. It sounds at once an apology, and at once a screw you.

But this tune is also for the times everything you give or have isn’t enough. It’s a song of love exhausted and felled short. Although heartbreak does lead to some great songwriting, as Andy Sydow reminds. Thank you for breaking your open heart for us, Andy.

8. “Tilt-A-Whirl” – The RailsplittersThe Faster It Goes (2015)

If Colorado’s associated with bluegrass, The Railsplitters play a huge support role in buttressing the strong reputation and taking it on tour across the nation. Clear-ringing harmonies usher in a fast-paced minimalism foregrounding wise essentials and together, they come carrying melodies at different speeds, much as a Tilt-a-Whirl carousel making circles. Research lends insight here, for when Dusty Rider songwrites he, “writes with the full band in mind, imagining an entire song in his head before it’s even heard it out loud.” This one is a reflective reminiscence on the memories of someone who came before, but is gone now. And with mind racing, you start to question yourself and all that was.

Lauren Stoval’s lead vocals are clear as sunlight on snow, while Dusty Rider and Peter Sharpe’s alternations between plucking each note and full-bodied strumming chords lend interest and supplement with distinctive, rhythmic filler. Leslie Ziegler’s bass comes in barely, but richly, serving the more invisible role, like that of editor to writer. And of course, there’s Joe D’Esposito’s fiddle coming in on the top to send the song off into its final soars of that gloriously spinning Tilt-a-Whirl.

9.  “Someone Like Me” – SF1 Inamorata (2012)

From hand drums to lyrical repetitions, SF1 keeps their sound light, and their message relatively straightforward. There’s a serious sense in which this song seems at once upbeat, and then anything but. It’s a song that wouldn’t have to come without heartbreak, but it takes its pride on walking away in fulfilled request from another. “You’ll never find someone like me” could come out all wrong in a breakup, but the cheerful sonic delivery here gives this song a quality of what you sing in your head knowingly to comfort and uplift your own self on the walk home, giving props to your emotional regulation in honoring a request, and moving on.

10. “Bloodstream” – IoliteBloodstream (2016)

Bloodstream’s sophisticated stormy pop comes through even better on headphones, as Iolite’s (Elina Odnorlav) full-bodied indie-electronica pounces at you with confident authority. She fuses an ear, talent, and a decade of piano work with electronic assets wisely, and all at the ripe old age of seventeen. Laying down this kind of sophisticated, well-calibrated arrangement with undergirding convinces you she’s worth your ear time. The sheer carnal sensuality of this tune pulses at you with a cosmopolitan sensibility, one that makes the heart beat fast. Iolite is fierce, and if you need more proof, read BolderBeat’s interview with Odnorlav by Sierra Voss.

11. "Wait to Rust” – Kayla Marque, Kid Astronaut, Sur EllzLive and Die Like This (2016)

Triple Denver whammy! This Kayla Marque, Kid Astronaut (Jon Shockness), and Sur Ellz (Khalil Arcady) collaboration 110% comes out the most natural thing in the world. Lyrically and vocally caressing you with emotion, this trio allures in their fervent R&B/soul blend as soft finger snaps and harmonies soften your ear and melt into your heart chambers.

Marque caresses your emotions with intimacy in both lyric and lead vocals. Muted cymbal, reliant drums, and the hushed guitar unobtrusively lend rhythm, combining together and across this song to create instrumental romance and a certain sense of enchantment. The heart, bloodstream, nervous system, and muscle memory in you recognize the message: wanting something at a cellular level you know at a cognitive one is only going to destroy or undo you. Having a heart is a wonderful gift and real son of a gun, ain’t it?

12.  “They Love to Hate” – Molina Speaks, DJ Icewater Sex Money Ego (2016)

Robust, fresh beats thump and bump as they palpitate at heart rate speed. Chill, smooth, and with a pinch of lyrical sass, this one’s also purely carnal. It’s got sexy love and wantingness combined with a creed of holding-your-cool and enjoying all the spontaneous pleasures of life. It’s definitely a turn-up tune for cruising in your car, or even cooler, on your low-rider bike with the sweet speaker you should probably have. Molina Speaks and DJ Icewater have collaborated to make something seductive, both in romantic passions and in making you just want to live out loud to the full. So get to it.

13. “Lucid Recall” – Sunboy Yesterday Is in Love With You (2016)

Yes to a song that I’d enjoy instrumentally, yet do with its lyrics just the same. Sunboy give it a good 55 seconds before vocals seep in though, setting the feel first. If only we all had lucid recall, but memory doesn’t always work that way. Yet, at the same time, it’s by dint of the lyric “haven’t felt this way in a long time” that we remember: sometimes it isn’t the memory, but the feelings evoked that bring back lucid recall in all its vivid glory. And what a robust memory sensation it is when it hits.

Synthy sounds and a certain protraction allow emotions here to take flight. Vocals and piano instrumentation undergird a sound that might be tinny and emotionless otherwise, which would be the last desirable thing in a song so emotionally charged in content. Like Iolite’s “Bloodstream,” headphones are most recommended on Sunboy’s “Lucid Recall” for best up-close-and-personal vibes.  

14. “Medicine” – Rose QuartzAxis of Love (2015)

In the abstract, medicine is there to make us better. Humans are no strangers to using or abusing another person in this way at some time. Sometimes leaning on others is necessary and appropriate. But there is a difference between asking for help and being soul-suckingly co-dependent or reliant. Like a prescription drug, it can be toxic, and this song rails against the notion that one partner serves that role. You can use medicine or abuse it, and this one splits the difference.

A combination of electronic space-esque warble, full-bodied guitar notes, and clips on the drum machine set the scene. Lyrically unapologetic, this is a power number for those times you need to speak to your decision to leave someone who treats you like something to be used up rather than given to. Rose Quartz build and release tension with efficacy, establishing a subtle back and forth strain that fits the bill in the stark truths this electronic groove-pop song seeks to sing out and deliver sans apology. The only thing bigger than its sound may be the heart behind it. This is definitely one to get sassy to under lights on the dance floor, and that sounds like a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to take a listen to this playlist and more Colorado music playlists at BolderBeat.

-Joliene

All songs per the artists featured. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Your Guide To Colorado Shows For New Year's Eve

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s time to pop bottles Colorado! Here are our picks for New Year’s Eve shows this weekend:

Berthoud

Jeremy Mohney at City Star Brewing in Berthoud 9PM-Close

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

Boulder’s Jeremy Mohney released multiple EPs this year, both of which definitely caught our ear. The jazz/swing artist is throwing down at City Star Brewery to welcome in 2017, and we definitely recommend getting your swing moves on at this one. Mohney will have your feet tappin’ in no time, and after a few celebration libations, you won’t want to sit still. Details here.

Boulder

Andrew Sturtz & Friends at The No Name in Boulder 10PM-Close

Andrew Sturtz.

Andrew Sturtz.

Soulful singer/songwriter Andrew Sturtz will be holding things down behind the big brown door tomorrow night for NYE. Known locally for his solo work and his performances with The Constellation Collective and other groups, Strutz will croon you into the new year in style. Plus, there’s no cover. What’s not to dig? Deets here.

Lady and The Gentleman at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

Boulder’s Lady and The Gentleman have made some changes to their lineup this year, but they’re still bringing mad grooves to the Colorado scene. Tomorrow they’ll grace the stage at The Lazy Dog, and no cover means no excuses. Get to it! More info right here.

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

The Alcapones.

The Alcapones.

If you want to be shaken up Boulder, here’s your chance! The minstrel show of The Alcapones will be taking over Conor’s to dance you into the wee hours of 2017. Come hang and get rowdy! There will be lots of funky horn playing for your listening pleasure. More info here.

Yonder Mountain String Band with The Railsplitters at The Boulder Theater in Boulder 8PM-Close

Yonder Mountain String Band.

Yonder Mountain String Band.

Nederland’s Yonder Mountain String Band are holding down the BT for NYE. The five-piece bluegrass band well-known around these parts will share the stage with Boulder’s The Railsplitters. Get over to get down! Tickets here.

Denver

Flobots with Nahko and Medicine For The People at The Ogden Theatre in Denver 8PM-Close

Flobots

Flobots

Denver’s Flobots members have been locally active in several awesome events this year, including Denver’s “Our Neighbors, Ourslves” refugee benefit and the Rock Against The TPP event. Tonight, the crew will swing you into the new year with Portland’s Nahko and Medicine For The People at The Ogden. Tickets here.

Fox Street & Friends with Tiger Party at The Bluebird Theatre in Denver 9PM-Close

Dever’s Fox Street & Friends will be rolling in the new year tomorrow at The Bluebird with a 12-piece band and double sets, which will include music from the movies Boogie Nights and Blow, and tracks by Rick James, David Bowie, and Prince. The band’s frontman Jonathan Huvard is relocating to NYC in 2017, so this show is your chance to catch this crew together in what may be their last local performance for awhile. Tiger Party will open the night with songs by LCD Soundsystem. Tickets for this dance party here!

Itchy-O with Total Unicorn at Summit Music Hall in Denver 8PM-Close

We actually spent our NYE with Denver’s Itchy-O last year, so we’re here to tell you this show is going to be a magical time! The mysteriously masked band will have you boogieing all over Summit Music Hall; Total Unicorn is opening. Enter the dark. Tickets here.

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club with Kid Congo Powers at 3 Kings Tavern in Denver 10PM-Close

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club will be laying out their ‘Commandments’ for you tomorrow evening at 3 Kings Tavern, and we’ve actually got a whole interview with Slim himself for you here. This show will be one crazy ride into 2017, so take it! Tickets here.

The Yawpers with The Other Black at The Oriental Theater in Denver 7PM-Close

The Yawpers. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

The Yawpers. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

We love The Yawpers. And we love The Other Black. And both of them are sharing the stage tomorrow night at The Oriental for NYE! The Moved and Evan Holm & The Restless Ones are opening the show, making for a full lineup of Denver badassery. Get to this gig- seriously. Tickets here.

Winehouse Masquerade Ball with Judge Roughneck at Mercury Cafe in Denver 930PM-Close

Winehouse.

Winehouse.

Denver’s Amy Winehouse tribute band Winehouse are ringing in the new year at Mercury Cafe with plenty of sultry, soulful vibes. Presales are only $20 and Judge Roughneck is opening the night, so grab tickets while you can! This will be an awesome show. Deets here.

Durango

Nappy Roots with Jerney at Animas City Theatre in Durango 9PM-Close

Jerney.

Jerney.

Nappy Roots are closing out the year in Durango tomorrow, and Denver’s Jerney is opening the gig. Jerney has been dropping new music like crazy this year, and this is one of his last Colorado shows, so make sure to get to it! Tickets here.

Greeley

The Burroughs with Bryce Merritt at The Moxi Theatre in Greeley 8PM-Close

The Burroughs.

The Burroughs.

Greeley’s The Burroughs dropped some sweet new music this past year, and they’ll be playing that for you tonight + more tunes at The Moxi. The nine-piece soul pop outfit will be joined by Bryce Merritt for good measure. Wicked. Tickets here!

Fort Collins

Rose Hill Drive with The Velveteers at Hodi’s Half Note in Denver 9PM-Close

The Velveteers. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Denver’s The Velveteers are arguably one of the most successful acts coming out of Colorado right now. Fronted by Demi Demitro, the heavy rock two-piece will make you headbang all the way up until Boulder’s Rose Hill Drive takes the stage at Hodi’s. Go get yourself hypnotized. Tickets here.

Rollinsville

Jaden Carlson Band at The Stage Stop in Rollinsville 10PM-Close

Jaden Carlson.

Jaden Carlson.

Teenage musical prodigy Jaden Carlson has had quite the year in the Colorado music scene. From impressive opening slots for bands like The Revivalists to her own headlining performances at The Fox, Carlson has proved she knows how to break. things. down. Head out to her last performance of the year tomorrow at The Stage Stop! We guarantee it will be an impressively good time. More info here.

That’s it for us for NYE Colorado! See you in 2017!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Colorado's The Velveteers Release Debut Single + Music Video for Track "Death Hex"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Colorado rock duo The Velveteers released their first music video and single today for their original track, “Death Hex”. Recorded at Silo Sound Studios, the track features commanding vocals by frontwoman Demi Demitro over heavy guitar and a slammin’ rock’n’roll drumbeat courtesy of John Demitro.

John & Demi Demitro.

John & Demi Demitro.

Demi’s presence in the accompanying music video for “Death Hex” is as equally hypnotic as the single itself. In it, we enter a black and white world lit only by candles, and are hexed with prismatic visions of Demi playing in front of dual drummers in gothic makeup. Visions of Demi’s smile, eyes, and headbanging hair flash before us as if part of a spell.

Watch The Velveteer’s new music video for their debut single, “Death Hex”:

Said Demi of the video, “‘Death Hex’ is about awakening from the dead and saying goodbye to the past. It was really inspired by a sense of magic I felt happening. It’s a story of coming back from a bad situation and coming out on the other side better than you ever imagined.”

Though The Velveteers have been around for a year and a half, “Death Hex” is the first music that they have actually recorded. They’ll be supporting the single, and showcasing a number of other original tunes, on their upcoming UK tour with California’s Deap Valley, and they’ve got more studio plans in the works as well.

On top of being a talented player, Demi’s got the attitude of a real rock goddess in creative control of all she does with this project, and that’s one reason that checking out The Velveteers is a must. Make sure to listen to “Death Hex” for yourself, and peep The Velveteers' UK tour dates here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Denver's The Velveteers Join California's Deap Vally for UK Theatre Tour

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for Demi Demitro, frontwoman of Denver’s heavy rock duo The Velveteers. After a slew of shows around the state, including appearances at Belly Up Aspen, The UMS 2016, and performances opening for bands like The Yawpers and Plum, The Velveteers announced some major news last Friday: They’re headed out on their very first tour, which happens to be going down in the UK.

Demi Demitro of The Velveteers. 

Demi Demitro of The Velveteers. 

Demitro has managed to garner a ton of buzz over the past year, with features in our publication, Westword, and Scene Magazine. The Velveteers have been touted as one of Denver’s must-see acts, and once you’ve had the chance to see Demitro rock a stage, it’s easy to understand the hype. Demitro puts everything she has into her shows, and the crowd always gives it right back, making for magnetically energetic performances. Whether you’re watching Demitro jump into mosh pits with her guitar, headbang her massive mane at the edge of the stage while she strums away, or fall to her knees as she scratches her guitar on the monitors, it’s clear: this chick knows how to rock.

So it makes sense that The Velveteers (which often features Demitro’s brother John of BANDITS on drums) are jetting overseas with California female rock duo Deap Vally in just a few weeks. Ironically, The Velveteers played one of their first-ever shows with Deap Vally back in 2014, when Demitro was just 17. Deap Vally, which consists of Lindsey Troy (guitar/vocals) and Julie Edwards (drums/vocals), have been described as “a scuzzy White Stripes-meets Led Zeppelin rock and roll duo”. This will be one return of many for the two-piece to the UK; in the past they have played Latitude, Reading and Leeds, and Glastonbury festivals. They’ve also supported acts like Dinosaur Jr., Muse, and The Vaccines. And on this particular tour, Deap Vally are dropping their second album, Femijism.

The Velveers have a few shows left stateside, before their UK tour with Deap Vally begins in September. See them before they hit the air, and if you’re in the UK, catch them at a theatre near you!

Colorado tour dates:

  • August 22nd Belly Up Aspen- Apsen, Colorado
  • August 27th Hodi's Half Note- Fort Collins, Colorado

UK tour dates:

  • Sept 15 Thekla- Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Sept 16 Islington Assembly Hall- London, United Kingdom
  • Sept 17 Leeds University Stylus- Leeds, United Kingdom
  • Sept 19 Electric Circus- Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Sept 20 Invisible Wind Factory- Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Sept 21 Concorde 2- Brighton, United Kingdom

Keep up with The Velveteers here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

The Final Day of The UMS 2016 Showcased Powerful Females & More

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The final day of UMS 2016 started off slow, which was unsurprising given the late night slew of shows on Saturday. Small crowds of zombies, still with a rock’n’roll twinkle in their eyes and glow stick goo on their shoes, wandered into the main stage area around 2PM in a noticeably lower attendance than the day before, but no matter. There was shade. And shade at The UMS is a hard commodity to come by.

DeCollage.

DeCollage.

As I wandered around South Broadway in those early Sunday hours, I found myself reflecting on what was overall an amazing weekend in local music. Having the chance to bounce around from venue to venue for four straight days checking out bands was this girl’s dream come true. It was a heck of a weekend Denver! So let’s chat about yesterday’s shows:

My favorite thing about Sunday at The UMS was the number of female-fronted performances I saw. Say what you will; the music industry is still very male dominated, whether you’re looking at artists or those behind the scenes. But ladies repped The UMS stages yesterday, from the smaller venues to the main shabang.

Millicent.

Millicent.

Let’s start with Millicent. Fronted by Emily Knurr, Millicent is a vibe pop project making Colorado waves. Knurr delighted a growing crowd at 3 Kings Tavern, many of whom admitted to being pulled in by the sound of her voice echoing outside of the venue. Her deep and magnetically smooth vocals pulled people close to the stage as she sang songs from her last EP Deux, a Drake cover, and some of her newer music (which has been all over OpenAir, so tune in!) She was stellar.

Shady Elders.

Shady Elders.

Shady Elders took the stage next, an indie rock/dream pop four-piece out of Denver fronted by Fox Rodemich. Rodemich also plays lead guitar and soon after starting the set, she turned the dance floor into a vibey haven of indie. 3 Kings was really the spot to be for indie over the weekend, and Shady Elders fit right in. They had an impressive crowd for an early Sunday show, and kept people groovin’.

Adia Victoria.

Adia Victoria.

Adia Victoria played the main stage mid-afternoon Sunday. The Nashville-based songwriter and vocalist's most recent album, Beyond the Bloodhounds, was produced by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney). Her lyrical poeticism wrapped us up in Victoria’s world, which she describes as, “falling in love, dealing with loss, confusion, anger, love, and loving myself”. Victoria had an Erykah Badu sound wrapped in a tasty indie sandwich. It was delicious.

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

Ready to rock, I rolled to the Hi-Dive, where The Velveteers were already performing. Frontwoman Demi Demitro was ablaze onstage in a glittering golden jacket belting out powerful heavy rock tunes. Her golden curls covered her face, giving her a mysterious glow that you couldn’t look away from. She jumped around stage while slamming on lead guitar and headbanging with the crowd, and her drippy choruses were catchy and captivating. Demitro is one lady you have to see live, Denver.

Cold River City. 

Cold River City. 

Cold River City, who dropped their latest full length album Thank You. Sorry. Love You. earlier this year, took the Hi-Dive stage in the early evening. The Boulder/Denver five-piece, who describe themselves as, “the love child of funky soul and dirty blues” brought a party. With grooving bass lines, strummy licks, and frontwoman Emma Fields’ killer voice, the crowd boogied throughout their set. Fields jumped between guitar, shakers, lead vocals, and even some toy instruments. CRC rocked, and they kept the evening moving along with a fun energy.

San Fermin.

San Fermin.

San Fermin took the main stage next, a Brooklyn-based eight-piece who are as fun to watch as they are to listen to. The group has had a lot of steam behind them recently, thanks to their release Jackrabbit, and after hearing them live, it’s easy to see why. With a robust horn section (John Brandon, Stephen Chen), Rebekah Durham’s violin playing, and lead vocals running between Charlene Kaye and Allen Tate, this group brought incredible instrumentation to the outdoor stage that echoed throughout the bellows of Broadway.

Polica.

Polica.

Polica then closed out the main stage as Sunday’s headliner. The brainchild of Channy Leaneagh, Polica played across their catalogue for their set, but are currently touring on their release, United Crushers. And that’s fitting since the Minneapolis-based project crushed their set! With dual drummers and Leaneagh’s commanding vocals, Polica was the perfect outdoor close to a great weekend of music.

BANDITS.

BANDITS.

Once the main stage shuttered shut and the crowds funneled to smaller venues, I took to the Hi-Dive again, where Denver’s BANDITS were straight shredding. Sibling duo John and Lulu Demitro are the creators of this three-piece, with the multi-talented Andrew Oakley on drums. John (guitar/vocals) was an alluring showman, with a rock’n’roll edge that kept us locked on the band’s set wondering what he would do next. Whether he's scratching his guitar on the monitor or running into the crowd, energy at any BANDITS set is guaranteed to be high. And Lulu, on bass and vocals, was equally powerful in her stage presence, holding down tight bass lines, and getting the crowd to sing along with her on tunes like, “Kill Tonight”, which she’s described as a track inspired by “a modern day Jekyll and Hyde, a psychotic way of looking at yourself and letting the crazy side take over”. The crazy did take over, as BANDITS slayed into the final night of the festival.

Beyond all of these female-fronted acts, I caught some rockin’ dudes on Sunday as well that are obviously worth mentioning. Denver’s DeCollage helped people get weird with their opening set of the day, with crazy visual props, a live painter onstage, and even a dancing oyster. Ian Cook brought a beautiful grace to the stage with his amazing cello playing and a set of songs inspired by fossils and dinosaurs. Modern Leisure, who we recently wrote about here, had a super chill and groovy set at 3 Kings that kept the afternoon moving along nicely. And last but not least: Denver’s The Yawpers managed to not only rile up a half-dead crowd into a riotous dance party of foot-stompin’, head shakin’ fun, but they somehow even got the sun to come out for their set. They brought life to the stage in more ways than one; you just gotta love these guys. Seriously- take a listen.

We had a blast at The UMS this weekend, and hope you did too Colorado! Make sure to head over to our Facebook for all of our exclusive photos from The UMS!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

Rock and Roll: A Revival Hits The Boulder/Denver Music Scene

By: Mirna Tufekcic

At a coffee shop, “Take it Easy” by the Eagles plays over the speakers as I begin writing a piece about what the revival of rock and roll looks like from where I stand, and where I stand is somewhere around Boulder/Denver, Colorado. Like the age-old mathematical proof goes, IF rock and roll is dead, THEN it’s rising from the grave as we speak. But rock and roll never really died.  It’s been in a lull; now reawakening. Hence why I’m choosing to use the word revival over resurrection.  

The rock and roll revival is happening in the Boulder/Denver music scene. Not just because the music is hard, raw, and will make you sweat, but because people are living it heart first. Today’s rock stands on the shoulders of rock and roll giants, and that’s why I believe it has this potency and capacity to move you; to get under your skin. Boulder/Denver is the place to witness it firsthand, but you’ll have to seek it out before it’ll find you. Still fluttering its eyes from decades of sleep, rock and roll around these parts is slowly rising from underground, but underground it is still.

BANDITS. 

BANDITS. 

The recognition of this revival started for me a few weeks ago at Boulder’s Lazy Dog, when the BANDITS played their homecoming show after touring the country. Their hard rockin’ tunes injected a potent dose of “wake the fuck up, it’s rock and roll time!”, and I couldn’t help myself. Apparently, neither could the people around me, who found themselves rocking back and forth to the BANDITS music: reminiscent of the 70s, metal like the 80s, and with an in-your-face alternative flare of the grungy 90s; the latter you can partly, one-third precisely, thank the lovely LuLu Demitro for, the vocalist/bassist/keys of the band. As she sang, “Oh, baby, who’re we gonna kill tonight?”, I found myself remembering the days of women-led bands like Garbage, The Cranberries, and The Cardigans. Vocalist/guitarist John Demitro didn’t half-ass his presence on stage, either. Truly putting up a hard-rock performance, he jumped on the drum set, walked down into the crowd guitar-first, and played on his tip-toes at the edge of the stage, beckoning the crowd to move closer and closer to him.

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

After that night, rock and roll was in me; it was coursing through my veins. I remembered what I seemed to have long forgotten: rock and roll is life itself. I started fiending for another hit the very next day, where I found myself in Denver at the Hi-Dive for a Plum show, a rock and roll band based out of LA. But I was really there to see The Velveteers, a local duo who project some heavy, hard sounds right into your rockin’ soul. The Velveteers’ frontwoman Demi Demitro is nothing short of breathtaking. Not because she’s beautiful, which she certainly is, but because her guitar shredding and sharp lyrics ooze talent like raw honey off a fresh honey comb. (Warning: hearing them live will make your mouth water). There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a budding, 19-year-old female artist making music-lovers’ jaws drop. It’s powerful.  

Witnessing The Velveteers perform in admiration, I told myself to keep both eyes and ears open for their next appearance around town. Lo and behold, the very next day my music-loving compadre hit me up to tell me about an upcoming event with Denver’s beloved Yawpers at Lost Lake. “The Velveteers are opening for them at the Sunday BBQ show,” he added. He didn’t have to say more. I hung up and went straight to the Google app on my phone to buy tickets.

The author with #Nate from Denver's Yawpers, Cosby sweater and all. 

The author with #Nate from Denver's Yawpers, Cosby sweater and all. 

Sunday’s BBQ show at Lost Lake was a more intimate setting than the Yawpers’ sold-out Larimer Lounge show the night prior, which you can read more about here. There were mostly “friends with the band” peeps attending this event, and it made for quite the view into real rock and roll. Nate Cook, the frontman of the Yawpers, led a high-level, party-on-a-Sunday energy with vibrant, ridiculous antics particular to Nate. #Nate exists for a reason (thanks for this, Pete Simatovic!). Just to give you an example: At 2:30 pm in front of Lost Lake, Nate walked out wearing cutoffs just short of exposing his balls with a vintage sweater straight out of the Cosby show, cigarette in mouth. His energy attracted those around him to start chatting about music and his show at the Larimer the night before. The conversation moved back to the bar, where all involved shot whiskey.

Blackfoot Gypsies. Photo per BolderBeat by   Hannah Oreskovich  .

Blackfoot Gypsies. Photo per BolderBeat by Hannah Oreskovich.

Outside, Blackfoot Gypsies, who had been touring with the Yawpers, congregated around their van in front of Lost Lake to take pictures. And if you didn’t know what year it was, you would have mistaken it for being 1971: the group was outfitted in tight bell-bottoms, long unkempt hair, aviator ray-bans, and flowery t-shirts unbuttoned to the chest and all. But it’s 2016 and these guys were making a statement: “We’re bringing back the true rock and roll!” And that they did. The Yawpers, The Velveteers, and The Blackfoot Gypsies revived the sound of rock and roll with every tune they played.

The Yawpers. Photo per BolderBeat by  Hannah Oreskovich .

The Yawpers. Photo per BolderBeat by Hannah Oreskovich.

As Sunday funday at Lost Lake slowly rolled on, people got more involved in the music: they danced and sang along, feeding off of the rockin’ energy each band emitted. And that’s when I realized rock and roll isn’t just about the music: it’s a lifestyle. You either feel it, or you don’t. And to feel it, you’ve got to be there. It’s dark, it’s emotional, and it will take a toll on you. It’s irresponsible sometimes, and it’s about living in the moment.

Whiskey Autumn at Studio 700. Polaroid per  Becky Guidera .

Whiskey Autumn at Studio 700. Polaroid per Becky Guidera.

This past weekend I went to Boulder’s Studio 700 to feed my soul with rock and roll once again. A long list of musicians were paying tribute to The Beatles with short sets. Boulder’s Whiskey Autumn headlined the event, with members of Cold River City, BANDITS, and other singer-songwriters contributing to the revival of rock and roll through Beatles covers. It was, like the rest of my recent adventures, a night to remember.

Rock and roll, from where I stand, sure has a palpable energy ripe with life. Hope to see you there.

-Mirna

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 03/04 & 03/05

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s feeling like spring around here folks, so get out there and catch a show! No snow means no excuses. Here’s The Six:

Today (Friday 03/04):

CITRA with HiFi Gentray at Illegal Pete’s in Denver 8PM-Close

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We just dropped a bit on CITRA and their debut EP Ocean this morning. Check that feature out here, and then head to Illegal Pete’s on S. Broadway in the D to catch this groovin’ four-piece live. They’re opening up a night of margs and burrito bowls for Denver’s HiFi Gentry, the rockin’ outfit composed of Andrew Kobil, Max Rutherford, Mark McKenna, David Beuerman, and Derek Slate. It’s gonna be a fun one kids. Check it out!

Peep a live performance of CITRA on KUNC:


Amoramora with The Elegant Plums at Merchant’s Mile High Saloon in Denver 9PM-Close

The wagon IS the original party bus people. 

The wagon IS the original party bus people. 

Remember “the band so nice they named it twice”? That’s Boulder’s Amoramora and they’re taking the stage at Merchant’s Mile High Saloon “for a night of high energy jams and pizza funk.” As doubled as their name, these boys are also playing dual sets this evening after classic rock and blues opener The Elegant Plums hit the stage. The two groups have actually teamed up with Bus to Show this evening too, so if you want to hop on the AMORAMORA RAGE BUS (WAGON), $10 gets you a ride both ways + entrance to the show. Get the details for that here. Party!

Listen to Amoramora’s get-down-funky “Behave Yourself”:

Ben Hanna & The Knighthawks at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Ahh how we love Ben Hanna. And tonight he’s in one of our favorite spots, rocking out with his full band behind the big brown door. Rumor has it Hanna’s dropping a new album in the near future. But until then, you’ll have to see him in person to hear all his recent thangs. So head for The Hill and catch Hanna’s rocking set tonight. It’s sure to be a sweet show.

Watch Ben’s latest viral video for one of his new songs here.

Tomorrow (Saturday 03/05):

Eldren with The Velveteers and Phallic Meditation at Hi Dive in Denver 8PM-Close

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Denver’s psych-space pop six piece Eldren are headlining a show at the Hi Dive this evening. Their mashup of “jazz, prog rock, jam, power pop, indie rock, and more” is bound to keep you entertained. PLUS Boulder’s The Velveteers will be warming up the stage with Demi Demitro’s killer guitar playing/vocals and John Demitro’s sick beats. Phallic Meditation is opening the night- the name alone tells us that’s one set we gotta see. So go get weird with these three awesome acts! Tickets here.

Lend your ear to Eldren’s song “Girl”:

The Letters Home and Boulder Sound Lab at Boulder House in Boulder 930PM-Close

If you want to explore some dirty soul partnered with some booty-shakin’ grooves, then hit Boulder House tonight for The Letters Home & Boulder Sound Lab show! The Letters Home, a six-piece from LA, recently dropped their mashup collaboration Mother Freakin’ Mashups Vol. 1. They plan to keep you dancing after Boulder’s BSL gets the party started!  So go grinddddd.

Check out Boulder Sound Lab’s groovy track “Psilos”:

The Next Day (Sunday 03/06):

Miles Wide Album Release Concert at Washington Park United Church of Christ in Denver 7PM-Close

Denver’s Miles Wide recently added two new members and dropped an EP, The Kindness of Strangers. Formerly the solo project of Kyle Donovan, the now trio actually recorded the EP in the church they’re performing this concert in. The Marquee called the album the “long lost love-child of Carly Simon and Art Garfunkel” so you know it’s good. This show sounds perfect for a Sunday evening- get yourself to it folks! Tickets here.

Listen to The Kindness of Strangers for yourself:

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PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Augustus! The rock trio are playing The Fox Theatre next Friday with Trout Steak Revival and Caribou Mountain Collective. Head to our Facebook page for your chance to win free tickets! And tune in Sunday to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to listen to Augustus’ track “Bloodbath” live!

See you soon music lovers.

-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.