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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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


All photos in this feature by Ana White Photography.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An   iLit Designs    eyewear look by    Ana White Photography  .

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

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

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

Review: Empress' Industrial Post-Punk Record 'Ink' Is Buzzy DIY

By: Jesse Sandoval

As the semester comes to a close, a buzz is in the air. Most of us, I imagine, are bristling with the months-long amount of pent up energy that wintertime often leaves us with. We’re biding our time, tending to the last of our stifling inside-duties ‘til that special time of release: summertime, summertime, summertime! And what better music to accommodate these feelings than Empress' most recent release, Ink?

Listen to Ink:

Ink is fun. It’s catchy, it's melodic, it’s earnest, it's punk. Over the span of four years, Empress have been honing their own style of industrial/post-punk and with this release, the Denver-based band has proven they have come into their own. Their DIY approach has led them to a state of self-sufficiency that I am sure many bands pine for. Members Santiago (vocals/percussion), Xavier (bass/rhythm guitar), and Alex (lead guitar/bass) all live together and record everything in their house. This allows them to record at any moment of inspiration and, from what I’m told, them doing just this is not uncommon. Several of the tracks on Ink are likely products of some band member’s sleep being interrupted in order to capture a moment’s inspiration before it’s lost in deep dreams…

Empress.

Empress.

The music on Ink is completely enjoyable because of how straight-cut and organic it is. Empress don’t try to be anything they’re not, and don’t try to affect any sound that isn’t true: they do what they do and that’s it. Their music is strong because of it’s simplicity, and ultimately, it works because it accurately conveys some of the most basic feelings we all share: feelings of longing, of unrequited love, of disconnectedness, of humanity.

As Empress have developed their musical abilities, they’ve also taught themselves to mix their own music (I’m a sucker for DIY) and the progress they’ve made in their last four years is very impressive. In the time since they cut Ink, they have actually been working on some new tracks and were kind enough to share some of those with me too. It’s clear that they are expanding and breaking their own molds, and I can see that there will be more to look forward to from Empress. Unfortunately, we will not be able to witness their long-term growth first-hand because come May, they will be moving to LA to shake up what they can there.

Good news is, on Saturday, May 6th they will be playing a show to celebrate their departure at Seventh Circle Music CollectiveThe Beeves, Meeting House, and others will share the stage. So go give Empress a warm Colorado farewell, and keep up with up with the trio after their move here.

RIYL: Joy Division, New Order, Wipers, The Cure, NIN

-Jesse

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.

The Ephinjis: How Being Banned From a Local Venue Only Fueled the Fire Behind Their Punk Rock Debut LP

By: Claire Woodcock

When I first moved to Boulder and started getting involved with the local music scene, I quickly began wondering, “Where are all the punk bands?” Enter The Ephinjis: a Boulder-based band that’s making noise in Denver. They remind me a lot of Green Day, or Dead Kennedys, but with hints of Latin music that come out with a close listen.

“All those punk bands were and are angsty white boys. That's not a bad thing, it really isn't, but we don't exactly fit those parameters. We're Latino; she’s female. That is already outside of the norm for punk,” member Ivan Armendariz told me.

Ivan and Christian Armendariz are twins; when they were 13, their parents gave Ivan a guitar and Christian a drum kit. They spent years learning to play and eventually started up the band, playing with 12 different bassists until Alexandra Flynn came into the picture. The three of them have been making music together ever since, and in the fall of 2014, they all decided to leave college to pursue their careers in music. Their decision was sort of a musical rebirth as a band, and as bandmates.

Ivan Armendariz.

Ivan Armendariz.

“It’s been two years of nonstop: you breathe it, you eat it, you think about it, you tell people about it, you’re proud of what you do, and you share it. We’re doing everything.” said Ivan.

Alexandra Flynn.

Alexandra Flynn.

The Ephinjis definitely don’t fall into the Americana/folk/acoustic-Beatles-covers acts that venues often showcase in Boulder. They admit that it’s tough to be a punk band in Boulder because it’s not marketable to the music scene there:

“We definitely don’t fit in with Boulder. We got kicked out of a venue here.” Ivan said.

He’s referring to The Forge, a DIY venue that’s been closed since September allegedly for fire code violations. During a show back in January, the band was playing a song called “Killing Never Goes Out of Style”, a sort of cowboy-influenced ballad that alludes to the chauvinistic practices of men being entitled to women. Lyrically, it’s about a boy who falls in love with a girl obsessively and when she rejects him, he kills her. While Ivan acknowledges the explicit nature of the song, he says the band’s intent was misinterpreted and construed to the point where The Ephinjis were no longer welcome at that venue.

"It was pretty disturbing to me when I first heard about [being banned] because the point of the song is to reflect our sexist society and to reflect brutal honesty [about] what is going on and how women are being treated. And being a female bass player in a band, I see a lot of shit,” said Alexandra Flynn, “The fact that Ivan writes music that’s so honest, and the fact that they totally twisted it into the opposite of what it’s meant for disturbs me, because that’s silencing the whole feminist movement in what was supposed to be a safe community where you can express ideas.”

Christian Armendariz.

Christian Armendariz.

The band talked about the stages of grief they went through after learning they were no longer welcome at The Forge: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and eventually acceptance through the recording of the band’s first full-length LP The Unfortunate Life of Bob: A Guideline to Dying Amongst the Living. It’s a concept album that follows the demise of a fictional character named Bob, and explores what it’s like to live a life of complacency in a society that does not have your back.

Ivan says that Bob’s life goes through three phases, similar to the stages of grief: fear of not being good enough and aiming for a standard or substandard lifestyle, acceptance of that complacency and turning to drugs and alcohol to get through the motions, and then the resignation of saying, “I did the best I could with what I had”. Ivan though does not agree with choosing to resign in life:

“That’s bullshit. I don’t care who you are, you always could have done more. There’s always an option to jump a little farther and step a little more beyond that line than you’re supposed to and take that risk. It’s disturbing and uncomfortable, and kind of pisses people off, but I think once the thrill of living is gone, you realize maybe you didn’t do what you could have done. And not because it totally was in your control, but honestly, you didn’t do what you were capable of if you were meant for bigger [things]. You still could have done it. I think everyone always a lot more potential than they ever reach. Your brain blocks you, you're inhibited from breaching a comfort zone, and people don't want to see it like that but I do. So Bob reaches the end basically and realizes, “Yeah, I could have done better, but I think I did my best with what I had.” And then he does reach the breaking point of looking in the mirror, drugged out, and says, 'No, you f*cking failed.' I think that's similar to the process of grieving or getting over the death of a loved one. It almost plays out throughout the entire album of his life. So we're talking about death in one moment, and encompassing his entire 45 years of existence in 10 songs.”

Listen to The Ephinjis' debut album:

The Unfortunate Life of Bob drops today and is available here. The Ephinjis are celebrating the new record’s release with an “unofficial” show party tonight at Seventh Circle Music Collective, where they will play with LiquidLight, Meeting House, and Sorry Sweetheart. Tommorrow, September 24th, The Ephinjis will also play “The Swifts Back To School Show” with female punk band The Hits at the Dickens Opera House in Longmont. Make sure to check out one of these gigs to hear their new music live!

If you’re like me, constantly looking for that latest local punk band, this crew is worth the listen.

Update 09/27/16 @7PM: The allegations as to why The Ephinjis were banned from the now defunct venue, The Forge, have been left in comments you can read on our Facebook page. We did reach out for official comment via the venue's Facebook page, but do not have an official statement from The Forge at this time.

-Claire

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

David at the Desk: Billy Shaddox's Transformation from "Working Class Hero" to Americana Artist

By: David Landry

Billy Shaddox has had quite the journey to get to where he is now, which is in Colorado making great Americana music.

The first time I heard Billy Shaddox was live at Birdhouse Concert Series, a once a month DIY concert series with local music, food, and beer. I’d been wandering around the event finding people to talk to, and after bumping into Billy, I learned he was one of the night’s performers. Billy’s songs were strong and short, leaving everyone in the audience wanting more. I was pumped to hear his new music, and he killed his performance. I was curious to learn more about this Colorado transplant by way of California, so we met up at Mountain Sun for a brew.

Ol' Billy Boy.

Ol' Billy Boy.

Shaddox has this attitude that makes you want to get to know him. And the more you talk to him, the more you realize he embodies a “working class hero”. Years before moving to Colorado, he was an everyday man, working as a civil engineer in San Diego to support his family. His job required moving around often, and spending time away from his wife and two kids. So one day, after discussing his fears about playing music for a living, his wife was actually the one to tell him to make the jump.  And so began Billy Shaddox’s musical career.

Billy Shaddox.

Billy Shaddox.

Shaddox recorded at Great North Sound Society in Maine with Sam Kassirer (Elephant Revival, Langhorne Slim, Josh Ritter). This is where Shaddox’s record, I Melt, I Howl was born, an Americana album filled with love and relief about life. The theme of change can be heard throughout the 11-song record. His songwriting has this timelessness to it that makes you remember past feelings and gets you excited for what's to come.  

There is also a visual element to Shaddox’s work. His songs remind me of being in the mountains and seeing every shade of green that exists. Billy’s music has this great country-Americana vibe to it that is perfect for a beautiful summer in Colorado. I can honestly say that I will be listening to it all summer, and hoping for more to come.

Though Billy has been touring for almost two years, he hasn’t played Colorado much. I get the sense that part of that is because that when he gets home from traveling, there’s probably an element of not wanting to do anything but be in the mountains with his family and write new songs. But, for the next few months, Shaddox has a number of shows around the state, including performances in Boulder, Longmont, Lyons. Make sure to catch one and check out Billy’s music.

Listen to I Melt, I Howl, and I have a feeling you’ll be happy Billy made the jump too:

-David at the desk

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 03/11, 03/12, & 03/13

By: Hannah Oreskovich

This weekend is jam-packed with awesome events! Check it out peeps:

Today (Friday 03/011):

Trout Steak Revival with Caribou Mountain Collective & Augustus at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 9PM-Close

12509513_10153316101344135_8585936327122558823_n.jpg

We’ve officially been talking about this show for weeks and it’s finally here! Come get down with us at The Fox tonight with one of Colorado’s favorite bluegrass bands, Trout Steak Revival! Nederland’s bluegrass quartet CMC will be sharing the stage, and Boulder’s rock trio Augustus will get the party started! We gave away free tickets to the show this week courtesy of The Fox, and some sweet Augustus merch from the boys themselves! So come boogie with us tonight. Tickets are only $14 and they’re right here.

Listen to Augustus’ EP Into Frames for a sweet show preview:

Asalott at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

12742136_1253529501327861_1664768161285454095_n.jpg

Awesome four-piece Asalott is breaking beats behind the big brown door tonight! We just launched a whole feature on the Boulder-based band by our contributor Will, which you can check out right here. Come dance with us at the show!

Check out Asalott’s live synth set at a previous No Name performance:

Tomorrow (Saturday 03/12)

Apes of the State, My Friends Worship Satan, The Opiate Poet, Dead Work, & Patrick the Pirate at The Forge in Boulder 630PM-Close


Pennsylvania’s punk folk seven-piece Apes of the State are making a stop in Boulder tomorrow night at one of our favorite DIY spots, The Forge. My Friends Worship Satan, a punk duo, will share the stage, along with The Opiate Poet, and “the most metal folk band that plays ska punk”, Dead Work. Plus, local favorite Patrick the Pirate will open the show. Come one, come all. It’s gonna be a great night.

Listen to Apes of State’s “Things I never meant to tell you”:

WadiRum at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse in Boulder 8PM-Close

WadiRum’s name and sound are inspired by frontman Stewart Erlich’s travels in the Middle East. The music is “raw, powerful, silent and loud in turns, and ultimately healing… with lush harmonies, warm bass and cello, and drums that move from subtle to explosive.” Sounds sweet! Come give the group a listen over a coffee or some wine tomorrow night! We get the feeling it’s going to be something you just can’t hear anywhere else.

Learn more about WadiRum here

Realtalk at The Lazy Dog 10PM-Close

Realtalk.

Realtalk.

Fresh off their first Fox gig, Boulder’s Realtalk are headlining tonight’s show at The Lazy Dog. We love this Boulder-based funky rock group, and are super stoked for this set. Realtalk always brings the party, whether they’re playing Nelly covers or jamming out thoughtful originals like “Freddie”. So make sure to hit the LD tomorrow evening and par-tayyyy!

Watch Realtalk’s official music video for “Freddie”:

All Weekend (03/11-03/13)

Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland -Various Times & Locations-

It’s that time of year again: time to get weird up in Ned this weekend at Frozen Dead Guy Days! There are tons of events happening and, of course, music! Some of the bands on the schedule include Gangsterish, In The Whale, Strange Americans, Intuit, Na’an Stop, Cold River City, The Samples, Dragondeer, Powerlung Rangers, Gipsy Moon, Lady & The Gentleman, Gasoline Lollipops, and a whole lot more. Peep the full schedule here and make your way up to one of our favorite mountain towns! It’s gonna get wild.

Watch Dragondeer’s “Don’t That Feel Good” video by Jam In The Van:

And for our radio feature: 

PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Cold River City! The rockin’ funk and blues outfit are play Frozen Dead Guy Days this weekend (see above) and their new album Thank You. Sorry. Love You. is rumored to drop soon. Tune in Sunday night 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 their recently released single “Could It Be”!

See you out there Boulder bros and babes.

-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.

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Picks! Picks! Here they are yo:

Today (Friday 02/26):

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


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

Listen to Analog Son’s “Shady Nights”:

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

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

Listen to The Jaden Carlson Band’s album Polychromatic:

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

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

Listen to their song “Molotov Dub”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 02/27):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Thanks Boulder- see you around!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

 

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See Valentine's Day Weekend

By: Hannah Oreskovich

We’ve got your weekend picks, so whether you’re spending it with that special someone or a hard glass of bourbon (we don’t judge), here are the shows to check out around town for Valentine's Day Weekend:

Today (Friday 02/12):

Asalott at Goorin Bros Hat Shop in Boulder 5PM-Close

Looking for that last minute VDay gift? Then this show is perfect for you! Goorin Bros. have an awesome hat selection that your mate is sure to dig. Come by and shop with Asalott’s wicked beats in the background, or bring your babe and make it a date! They’ll make your heart thump while you find the perfect Shalone. Drop on in and get down.

Watch Asalott’s recent Tiny Desk submission video:

Silent Bear Trio and Birthday Celebration at Tandoori Grill in Boulder 830PM-Close

Listen to Silent Bear and The Electric Band:

Abstract Solution at Taco Junky in Boulder 10PM-Close

Abstract Solution is a “rock and roll project that will funk you out with the best vibes, energy, and sound you’ve never heard”. They’re bringing that goodness to TJ’s tonight, so come groove over margs and guac. They promise to make all your dreams come true tonight, whatever those may be. Alright!

Learn more about Abstract Solution here.

Whiskey Autumn at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

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Whiskey Autumn will be singing to you and your boo behind the big brown door tonight. Come get baddd with this electric-pop and R&B trio - a sensual rendition of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” has been promised. Things are going to get wild. Come check it out!

Watch Whiskey Autumn’s recent Tiny Desk submission video:

Tomorrow (Saturday 02/13):

February House Concert from The Birdhouse Concert Series featuring Weary Bones and Ben Hanna & The Knighthawks in Boulder 7PM-Close

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Longmont’s Weary Bones will be opening up this lovely evening at The Birdhouse with their “unique harmonies and beautifully odd guitar to bring their honest lyrics to life”. And then Ben Hanna & the Knighthawks will make you sweat. Seriously, you can’t sit still at a BH show. This is an awesome DIY concert, put on monthly by local artists themselves. Go hang in their living room, crack one open, and neck on the couch. It’s gonna be rad.

Watch Ben Hanna's Tiny Desk submission video:

The Next Day (Valentine’s Day- Sunday 02/14):

Valentine’s Concert with The Heartstring Hunters, Ben Rabb, & Shanna Hoar at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

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New York folk artist Ben Rabb will be opening up this romantic evening over your heart-art latte as he ends his most recent tour, with special appearance by Shanna Hoar. Then Boulder acoustic indie-folk group The Heartstring Hunters will swoon you into the night at The Laughing Goat. Treat yoself.

Watch The Heartstring Hunters “Let’s Let Go”:

ANNNDDDD HEY-

Big thanks to all of those who bought tickets to the Homevibe Presents show with Ryan Montbleau at The Riverside this Sunday! The show sold out weeks in advance and we sponsored some press for the event so we appreciate those who checked out our feature and are ready to wine and dine their Valentine with Homevibe!

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Our recent partnership with Cafe Aion Music means we will also recap their upcoming weekend shows for the month of February in our Friday feature. This weekend’s lineup includes Ben Hanna and Whiskey Autumn; read more about both acts here. As you might have noticed, each of these artists actually play Friday and Saturday shows in Boulder this weekend, so feel free to fall in love with one and stalk them at both of their performances.

PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Whiskey Autumn! The three piece recently released their single “07.04.07” with an accompanying music video that you can watch here! They’ve got two shows this weekend -one at The No Name Friday & one at Cafe Aion Saturday- so let them croon you and your honey live. Tune in Sunday to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light to listen to WA’s “07.04.07” on Valentine’s Day!

See you 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.

Joseph Tonelli: Boulder's "Newest" Singer-Songwriter Tells Us About His Situation

By: Hannah Oreskovich

We're pretty obsessed with Joseph Tonelli's situation.

Born in Chicago, former vagabond-turned-Boulder-resident Joseph Tonelli has been playing music for years. The banjo was his first love, and he actually used to strum in a band with friend and fellow musician Dango Rose (of Elephant Revival) back in their highschool days. After college, Tonelli did a lot of traveling, spending years at a time out of the country. But he and his five-year-old son are now settled here in Boulder and through a series of life events, Tonelli turned back to music and is working on his debut solo album.

“The album I’m making now is sort of the tip of what I’ve been doing for a long time; the tip of my story, you know? I’ve been writing songs for years, but never properly produced or shared any of my music. Most of what I have done in the past is loads and loads of demos. This is different. [After recording] DIY in my living room, I sent everything to my friend Valentino in Italy for production and instrumentation. I found that recording was the easy part- now it’s everything else: promotion, distribution, the album artwork, music videos- I’m doing this project DIY in its entirety. But one of the best parts is, I’m working on all of those parts with a lot of friends.”

And Tonelli sure has a lot of those. He’s currently working on the album artwork with a connection in Asheville, his recent music video release was done by a buddy overseas, and he’s chatting with some friends about the possibility of a vinyl release in the spring.

“Vinyl has been a part of my life for a long time- I remember going through my dad’s 45s as a kid and choosing the ones I liked and separating them from the ones I didn't. I just really value the whole experience [of vinyl]- the smell and the weight and the sound; some of it is straight nostalgia. So I’ve been battling with the idea of releasing it that way.”

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When it comes to the stories behind Tonelli’s songs, he told us, “All seven tracks are super personal; uncomfortably personal. That’s the music I love, that’s the music I listen to, that’s the music that keeps me company. So that’s where I write- to move through things or to say something to somebody when I’m not that good at talking to them. The first song [on the album] I wrote in 2006 and the last one I wrote about a month ago, so I’ve picked songs from different transitions and highlights in life. I don’t write heartbreak songs, but a bunch of these songs are in that vein of the heart in relationship to other people. All of these songs have been collected through my experiences and emotional stuff.”

Following his plans of a spring release, Tonelli wants to continue working creatively with collaborators on his music, to play more live shows, and to keep writing new material.

“I felt like I couldn’t move on until I got some of these older songs out,” he said, “But these were the songs that presented themselves. I finally feel like I’ve been able to sculpt the record that I’ve been trying to sculpt for a long time.”

Stay tuned for updates on Joseph Tonelli’s official release date, and in the meantime, check out the new, awesome animated music video he just released for his first single, “My Situation”:

-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.

Studio 700: The Awesome DIY Venue Hosting Tomorrow's #MusicMasquerade

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Gotta love DIY. 

We’re skipping our usual Weekend Six feature today since we’re sponsoring a sweet show tomorrow that we want to tell you a lil’ baby more about, B. Read on:

Studio 700 is a Boulder DIY venue explained to us by three of its creators: Joshua Thomas (of Villain Baritone), Boulder singer/songwriter Hunter Stone, and a man known only to us as Buckles. What started as a group of local musicians looking for a house turned into an awesome DIY venue, complete with a stage, lights, sound equipment, and a curious cutout of Alfred Hitchcock. The place is well lit, insulated, and rumored to have been used by James Taylor’s daughter for recording purposes back in the day. And the idea for its inception started with house hunting on (what else kids?) Craigslist.

Hunter: When I found the house, I was excited. I mean, I knew the potential here. I thought, ‘If we don’t get this space, it will be taken over by beer pong.’ And I knew we could turn it into something more.

Joshua: Yeah we saw this place and we were like schoolboys- we were walking around like we could do this and this and this- just drawing up silly things and mainly just getting excited. Once we saw this space, we were like ‘This is happening.’

And so began Studio 700. The venue has hosted three shows to date, each with a cool theme and an all-local lineup.

Joshua: We do this so that we can support local artists and give them a showcase, so we try to put something on at least once a month.

Hunter: Yeah there are just so many bands in Boulder that are good bands, and there just aren’t enough venues that service the musicians here. I mean The Fox is the ideal destination for most people playing in Boulder, but there just aren’t a lot of other places where music is the focused intent. And so that’s what we want to create here; a community.

Hunter & Joshua at Studio 700 talkin' 'bout Studio 700. 

Hunter & Joshua at Studio 700 talkin' 'bout Studio 700. 

So how did they build this sweet spot?

Buckles: It’s been collaborative between all of us. A lot of the physical things have definitely been Josh- building the stage and getting up the lights. And then we all have contributed different equipment.

Hunter: Yeah, like I set up a lot of my recording equipment in here. I’ve used some of that for my project Hole in the Wall Recording, which has also involved some video production. And you’ve recorded in here too, right Josh?

Joshua: Yeah with Villain Baritone, we’ve recorded a lot of our music in here. The first thing we tracked [at Studio 700] were drums and it actually sounded amazing.

Joshua and Buckles in the s700 shadows.

Joshua and Buckles in the s700 shadows.

But the guys have plans beyond recording and once-a-month shows too.

Josh: Longterm we want to collaborate with more people to see more of what we can do here and what the possibilities are.  

Hunter: I’d like to use it for more intimate things too- singer/songwriter nights and smaller shows. We want to fill the place with art; have live painting during shows. And of course we’ll keep booking bands. We want to use [this] to raise money to pay musicians and to book bands where their fans overlap. We want to keep incorporating small businesses… I mean there’s a lot of potential for it. It’s just about realizing all of the potential.

So come support this rad DIY spot Boulder! We brought you coverage on all three local bands playing tomorrow’s #MusicMasquerade, and if you missed those, click ‘em here: Whiskey Autumn, Villain Baritone with Special Guests Andrew Sturtz and Hunter Stone, and Noctogon. Join the FB event for specifics by clicking this sentence.

We’ll see you tomorrow, masked and all. Happy Weekend!

-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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 11/13 & 11/14

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Heyo Boulder! Another weekend of great music is upon us. Check out our picks! We’ve even included some shows outside of the Boulder bubble for your adventuring pleasure:

Today (Friday, 11/13)

Augustus and Union Driftwood at the Park House in Denver 8PM-Close

The Augustus boys have been on a bit of a journey this week. Denim vests and wood-cutting saws have consumed much of their time, but tonight they’ll be trading in their mountain tools for strings and mics when they play the Park House. And Denver’s rock-funk outfit Union Driftwood will be joining the Augustus trio with their own set, making for an extra sweet listening time. Go get yo sip on.

Bandits, The Outfit, and Slow Caves at the Hi-Dive in Denver 830PM-Close

Formerly the Branded Bandits, the Bandits have undergone more than just a name change as of late. According to member Lulu Demitro, Denver's Bandits have switched up their sound as well: “I would say it’s more contemporary and a little bit darker and heavier, but still melodic.” They’re bringing this new sound to their gig at the Hi-Dive tonight, and they’ve got some sweet friends on board. Denver’s rock’n’roll four-piece The Outfit will be warming up the stage after Fort Collins’ shredderific Slow Caves opens the show. This is gonna be a good one kids.

Von Disco at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

“Progressive jazz fused with hip-hop” is how Boulder’s Von Disco describe themselves. They’ve put on many a slick show at the Laughing Goat and I’m sure their set tonight will be sure to set things off behind the big brown door of The No Name. Beats, strings, and booze. Let’s go!

Tomorrow (Saturday, 11/14)

Miles Wide at The Twisted Pine in Boulder 7PM-Close

Denver-based Miles Wide will be trekking up to Boulder tomorrow for a Twisted Pine show. And while Kyle Donovan of Miles Wide happens to be one of our kickass contributors, he’s also a DIY musician who has toured played shows internationally. Lend him an ear over some pretzels and beer. He won’t disappoint.

The Next Day (Sunday, 11/15)

Jeremy Mohney at The Mercury Cafe in Denver 8PM-Close

Combining swing and jazz elements, Boulder’s Jeremy Mohney will be releasing a new album, “Smile a While” at Sunday’s Mercury show. Though winter seems to be moving in across the mountains, Mohney’s sure to keep you warm with his original hot jazz tunes. Go pick up his new CD (which will also have a digital release) and swing around. It’s gonna be a good time!

Kaia Kena, Many Mountains, Emily Shreve, and Hannah Samano at The Lost Lake in Denver 830PM-Close

Dripping in amazing vocals. That’s how I picture this show on Sunday at The Lost Lake. Centennial’s Kaia Kena will be performing new music as headliner at Sunday’s show and is sharing the stage with duo Many Mountains, Denver’s powerful singer/songwriter Emily Shreve (who we featured on her last release here), and acoustic folk artist Hannah Samano, who will have Grim & DarlingsJessa Raskin performing with her. Damn. Sounds like a lot of talent on one stage Boulder. Make the drive.

You can stick in the B. Or you can hop to the D. See you at a show!

-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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 10/02, 10/03, & 10/04

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s fall! It’s October! And it’s the weekend! Here are our six picks:

Today (Friday, 10/02)

VoodooJulia at Powder Keg Brewing Company 7PM-9PM

Local singer-songwriter Valerie Bhat’s got a band and their name is VoodooJulia. They describe themselves as a “four-piece rock-funk-blues band” with a mix of female fronted covers (Fiona Apple, Amy Winehouse) and a slew of “west Texas driven originals by Valerie.” Make the quick trip to Niwot to check them out over a brew tonight!

The augustus boys.

The augustus boys.

Augustus featuring Pete Laffin at Twisted Pine Brewing 7PM-Close

Local three-piece Augustus will be rocking the Twisted Pine house tonight with an awesome intro set by Boulder singer-songwriter Pete Laffin. Hit their show after your work day for a pretzel plate + a saison, and let these boys spin you into the weekend. It’s gonna be a great time so come out!

ramaya soskin.

ramaya soskin.

Ramaya and The Troubadours featuring David Sheingold at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8PM-Close

Tonight’s LG performance has been dubbed as “Ramaya [Soskin] joined by a rotating cast of fellow songwriters and local favorites at our beloved monthly haunt.” Soskin always puts on an engaging performance, and we’re pumped to see that David Sheingold’s talents will be shaking the stage tonight with the group. This should be a bumpin’ set, so go get your caffeine (or booze) fix and listen!

First Funk Friday at Bohemian Biergarten 1030PM-Close

It’s the first Friday of the month! And that means it’s Funk Friday at Bohemian Biergarten. DJ Shiny Shoes will be opening the night with “some electronic funk flavor” before main act Whiskey Autumn takes the BB stage. The WA boys told us they wanna get down witcha, so go funk out with them!

Tomorrow (Saturday, 10/03)

Saturday Soiree at Studio 700 6PM-???

Afrofunk folktronica outfit Mbanza is rumored to be here, and so is Boulder-based Villain Baritone. Local singer-songwriter Hunter Stone is one of the hosts of this event, and that’s pretty much all I know. Jamming, smiling, dancing, and a generally awesome DIY vibe are bound to be here tomorrow night. Be adventurous and go check out this surprise soiree!

The Next Day (Sunday, 10/04)

Holly & Ken Road Show at Harmony Music House

Ken Stringfellow (formerly of R.E.M., The Posies, and the re-formed Big Star) recently made a country concept album with Texas singer Holly Munoz. Stringfellow describes it as, “going deep into the back story of the n’er do well couple from Doesn’t It Remind You of Something… picking up where Willie Nelson left off with his Red Headed Stranger…mashing that up in the French countryside…and lassoing in YOU to help, cowpoke.” Together the duo are performing said album in what they call The Holly & Ken Road Show, and they’ve got a special Boulder performance at The Harmony House. Tickets are $20- buy them here.

Happy fall!! Enjoy the weekend Boulder!

-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.

I Spent Saturday in a Storage Unit with Bareface & It Was Awesome.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

I spent my Saturday night in a storage unit with Boulder band Bareface and it was awesome.

Driving up, the venue appears to be part warehouse, part storage unit. It’s got a garage, it’s got a front door, and everything else around the unit it is dark and quiet. The location is secret, the vibe is relaxed, and I’m told that the music at this spot is always choice. Where am I? Paradime.

The Paradime Steps.

The Paradime Steps.

Paradime is a local DIY venue that, according to one regular, hosts “primarily punk folk bands and solo artists.” When you enter, there’s an old wooden piano to your left and beyond that, a stage. There’s room for dancing and there’s a small kitchen that’s been crafted from scratch: a counter with bar stool seating, a refrigerator, and a back room with more seating and a cut-out window for show-viewing. On the far wall opposite the door, there are steps that take you to a lofted area, and beneath them is a little hallway with a library and a vinyl collection for anyone to peruse and use. The whole place is also dripping with art: canvases, drawings, scribbles. Paradime is wildly independent and beautiful, a true testament to the DIY community’s talent and passion for this space. But sadly, due to lease issues, Paradime is closing its doors soon.

Bareface Grooving Us On Stage.

Bareface Grooving Us On Stage.

Enter Bareface, who played the final Paradime gig last Saturday. Bareface is a Boulder band composed of Will Parkhill (vocals, guitar, and bass), Robert Collins (also vocals, guitar, bass), Rebecca Oliver (vocals, kazoo), Jean du la Monde (vocals, drums), Lee Garrett (banjo, guitar, lap steel), and Emma Mulholland (violin). Parkhill and Collins met in an alchemy class a couple of years ago, started playing music together, and slowly collected members for what is now the current Bareface lineup.

Dancing with Ghosts. 

Dancing with Ghosts. 

Before the five piece started their set Saturday, a couple of solo performers had played the Paradime stage. Neither were exactly dance-worthy and they had driven a good part of the crowd outside. But the minute Bareface opened their set with a couple of jazzy numbers, everyone wandered inside. And by the time they started into their cool rendition of Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Bluebird,” everyone was dancing and laughing. A girl with blue hair grabbed anyone who wasn’t moving and pulled them onto the floor to groove with her. Soon, the whole place was twirling along to Bareface. It was radical.

Balls to the Wind. 

Balls to the Wind. 

After watching Bareface electrify Paradime with their positive, groovy energy, I wanted to know what this doo-wop lounge-group was up to besides playing amazing DIY spots. Parkhill smiled, “Well, to keep on the DIY theme, we’re actually doing a lot of DIY recording- we’re working in the bedrooms and garages of good friends.” And their plans for release? “Sometime this fall!” shouted Jean du le Monde. Bareface also has an upcoming gig that they’re pretty excited about. “We’re playing the Boulder Outdoor Cinema on August 22nd,” Mullholland laughed, "and it’s for The Princess Bride so we’re dressing up!” Sweet.

Collins Kiling It.

Collins Kiling It.

So Boulder, although you might not have the chance anymore to peep a Paradime show, you should definitely check out Bareface. Listen to them here. And keep up with their upcoming events, including this weekend’s show, here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

A Day in the Life: Your Weird, PBR-Fueled Adventure at The Big Wonderful

By: Hannah Oreskovich

I wasn't sure what the Big Wonderful was, and I wasn't alone.

“An art festival.” “A food truck lot.” “Some outdoor deal with music.” “A DIY-scene thing.”

These were the rumored descriptions of Denver’s The Big Wonderful. Several Boulder and Denver bands had posted about playing the event and the cursive yellow sign occasionally crept into my Instagram feed. So I rolled over to TBW lot on 26th and Lawrence one Saturday. And if you had come with me, this is what you would have seen:

Upon entering (admission is free), the staff try to talk to you about buying various alcohol packages. It’s too hot for you to listen, but you learn over the course of the afternoon that this is a booze-heavy event. There’s a giant tent in the middle of the lot where you can get cocktails depending on the drink deal you buy. There is also a keg truck if you go the beer route. And between musical performances, the emcee (who appears like the ringleader of this hipster circus in his top hat and vest) auctions off cocktail packages and ski shots. That’s all you know about the dranks because you meet some of the bands and hang ‘backstage.’ The artists are paid with a check and a six-pack of PBR, so you dip into some of their free poison water for kicks.

After chatting with the local bands on the lineup, you decide to wander around. The Big Wonderful is set up in one big circle, so you do a lap and make a mental list of what’s up:

1. There are food trucks. The most notable: a giant red one that sells lobster (which appears to be very popular), a real-looking fire truck that sells crepes, and thank god, an ice-cream truck. You are very grateful for Happy Cones Co. in this heat today.

At The Big Wonderful, people love lobster. 

At The Big Wonderful, people love lobster. 

2. You come upon a giant, old abandoned tour bus, the kind with seating on the roof. You want to take a selfie in front of it, but feel like someone may shout “millennial” at you, so you don’t.

You took this instead of a selfie :(

You took this instead of a selfie :(

3. There is a weird, enclosed, wooden hut with streamers that looks like it was used for pony rides years ago by carnies on LSD but it’s currently used for nothing. You stare at it and contemplate The Big Wonderful’s funky circus vibes.

wtf.

wtf.

4. You pass a small windowed house that claims to be full of local art merch, but is empty.

vacant.

vacant.

5. You see fashion trucks. A ton of fashion trucks.

One of many. 

One of many. 

6. You sit under the big beer garden tent at a picnic table for a few minutes with your PBR. Everyone around you is either drinking or napping. This is the only real shade you can find.

Get your booze on.

Get your booze on.

7. Occasionally, you notice cool art painted on various trucks/structures.

Dig. 

Dig. 

8. There are some yard games and a sand pit to your left. You wonder what might be buried in that sand pit.

you can volley.

you can volley.

9. You walk toward the stage, where four bands play through the course of the day. There is no one else anywhere near the stage at any point of your time there, except for a group of girls who hoop for five minutes and then disappear. One of them tells you she has to leave to try to find vegan edibles.

The hoopers braved the sun to get close to the bands.

The hoopers braved the sun to get close to the bands.

10. Suddenly, your curiosity about why The Big Wonderful exists is suddenly overwhelming. You enter what appears to be The Big Wonderful information tent. You ask the 20-something volunteer sitting among all of the TBW merch what this crazy festival is about. She smiles, points at two men chatting in a different tent nearby, and tells you, “Ummmm- why don’t you go talk to the guy over there who started it?” You then wonder if any of the volunteers know more about this event than you do. You ask a volunteer near the exit about TBW and he directs you back to the information tent. You then ask him how long The Big Wonderful has been around. He tells you six months; later a third volunteer tells you two years.

General TBW-ness.

General TBW-ness.

And that’s when you realize, though this event has a lot of potential, it’s just not quite there yet.

The food trucks are scattered and some are even located behind each other, making it impossible for you to mouth-wateringly glance at all of your delicious options at once. And dotted among these food trucks are the fashion trucks. You wish these had their own designated area of The Big Wonderful circle so you could traipse through their wares, one after the other, instead of spending $25 on a crystal necklace and then wishing you still had cash for that all-natural deodorant stand. You hippie.

You look at the band playing and realize that since the stage is so far from any shade and oddly sandwiched between two empty structures (the windowed house and the pony hut), the musicians have had no contact with any sort of audience today. Except the hoopers.

People also get close to the stage for a few seconds for sign selfies. psh. millennials.

People also get close to the stage for a few seconds for sign selfies. psh. millennials.

And speaking of the empty structures, you wonder: Why isn’t the pony hut a trippy VIP booze area or something? Where is the local art that the little house claims to hold? Why isn’t the tour bus repurposed so that it’s more than just something to look at? The pieces stand alone like bones.

You’ve officially sweated out all of your PBR, so you decide to call it a day. You think about trying to ask yet another volunteer questions on your way out, but he appears passed out in the shade, or dead. It’s hard to tell.

Walking away, you wish The Big Wonderful felt a little more like a proper festival. It has the potential to be, with some organization, planning, and general DIY-awesomeness. The bones for a sweet weekend event exist at The Big Wonderful, but someone needs to put this skeleton together.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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