Boogie Down at Euforquestra’s Fort Funk at The Aggie Theatre This Friday

By: Benjamin Jewell

As you are undoubtedly bummed-out about this weekend's weather and wondering how to wipe that frown from your face, I will now give you the prescription for your woes: Fort Funk. I am sure you’ve listened and danced to Euforquestra (EUF) at one time or another. If you haven’t, press pause on your Jock Jams CD and prepare to groove all night. If you are a fan, this is the last time you’ll be able to see this band live for awhile in Colorado, and with special guest Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds sitting in, maybe ever.

Proof that Eddie Roberts can jam:

Let me give you a few more reasons why you need to head to this show. The night opens with Moves At Midnight. This quintet is the special reward for coming around 9ish. You’ll get a funky-pop-soul instrumental feel and if you want awesome vocals, those are right here. If you close your eyes, you’ll swear Adam Levine’s much cooler guitar-wailing brother is fronting this band. Enough said.

Denver based TNERTLE will step up next to deliver some electro funk hip-hop. They’ll likely dip into their album MataMata, and hopefully play “Dance All Night.” You’ll get vocal harmonies, rap, horns, and a rhythm section that is reminiscent of Flobots. Come ear hungry, for this show will be a musical buffet.

Euforquestra will light you up this Friday with FIRE:

Then, as if Christmas and your birthday had a baby and it’s name was Euforquestra ft. Eddie Roberts, it gets better. I last heard EUF in Iowa City more than ten years ago and they’ve never disappointed. Their newest album, FIRE, and hopefully one of Eddie Roberts’ tunes from The Nashville Session will be on the set list. The combination of these two powerhouses is going to be really special. If you fancy yourself a budding guitarist or musician you should come for the inspiration alone.

EUF.

EUF.

I recommend getting your tickets in advance right here. I’ll see you there and we can forget about the bad weather together.

-Benjamin

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

A Light in the Darkness: An Interview With Wesley Watkins of Other Black

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Wesley Watkins is a powerhouse. To have a frontman with so much momentum will inherently draw attention to a band as a whole. But Watkins is just one member of an assortment of artistry that demand its presence on stage: what started with nine musicians back in 2012 has fluxed in members since then, but at times has been as many as 24. Meet the Other Black.


All photos per George L. Bosser.


I had the pleasure of seeing Other Black perform at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver recently and interviewed Watkins post-show. The small stage of the venue was crowded with somewhere between 12-16 artists throughout the set who played three hours of original tunes and featured several local artists whose voices carry a worthy message.

“When I thought about getting features for this show, I asked people who are gonna say something everyone needs to hear. If you’ve not experienced injustice, it’s my job as an artist to bring awareness to the fact that this injustice is around. And I want to encourage those who are strong enough to speak up to continue doing so.” Watkins told me.

Watkins and Heffernan.

Watkins and Heffernan.

Kalyn Heffernan from Wheelchair Sports Camp and Stephen “Brer Rabbit” from Flobots, both of whom have been through a lot of injustice in their lives, each made appearances within the crowd at Other Black's Syntax show to speak about current events in the world with fellow audience members.

Wesley Watkins.

Wesley Watkins.

My conversation with Wesley very quickly took a political, bigger-picture kind of turn. I want to believe it was because our heartstrings tuned in as two agents of change trying to shine light on darkness and bring awareness where awareness is so desperately needed during these hard times.

He went on, “As musicians, especially those staying true to what they sound like, [we] have a responsibly to talk about what is happening in our modern world. We have to be careful of what we put out there- this world can’t take any more bullsh*t. And as a musician myself, I want to encourage other musicians out there to stay true to themselves and not try to be a part of a product.”

I agreed with him wholeheartedly. We, as a people, definitely need inspiration and positive, good-hearted individuals to wield social and cultural sentiment, which music and art (and free press!) is ripe with the power to do.  

Watkins with Other Black.

Watkins with Other Black.

So, where does Other Black fall in this spectrum of empowering agency and bringing awareness?

The Other Black is a music project created out of love for hip-hop, jazz, soul, and gospel music, all of which are genres born out of slavery and life struggles experienced by the oppressed, specifically the black population of the US.   

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. It’s what I grew up with and what I wanted to tap into with this band.” Watkins said. “Most of the songs Other Black plays today, I wrote when I was homeless and on the streets back in 2009. And I want people to know that it was by no fault of mine that I ended up homeless.”

Wesley has been in several different bands including Air Dubai, Petals of Spain, and most recently, he toured with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. But he realized that having his own project was what he needed to do to fulfill his purpose as an artist.  

“By the time 2012 rolled around, I was just getting out of being homeless and had been in several different bands with some of my closest friends. But I kept quitting bands. That’s when a close friend of mine brought it to my attention that I needed to start my own. I started Other Black because of my love for soul and hip-hop.”

But when Wesley talks about soul and funk music, he is talking about the “old-school sh*t” like Sly Stone and Sam Cooke, whose music shed light on the daily struggles of black people in America, and 90s hip-hop, which gave a powerful voice to the still oppressed and marginalized black Americans.  

“We have a system that’s really bias. So what you see from black powerful figures in our media today is so bias and it’s perpetuating a stereotype. To have today’s hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar speak the hard truth they don’t want to hear, but need to, is important and it’s empowering the people. At the very least, what I can do with my music is bring awareness to what is unjust in the world.”  

When I started the interview with Wesley, I wanted to know what Other Black implies in its name. I forgot to ask, but now I’m left with only room for interpretation, which is a good thing. What I infer after talking to Wesley and seeing Other Black on stage at Syntax is that the Other Black is a light amidst the darkness. It’s the mold breaking the stereotype. It’s an attempt at bringing awareness through music by making people get down.

“I want to encourage people to experience themselves, because if people can experience themselves to the core of their being and be comfortable with that, then all of a sudden we have people who are comfortable with how other people are starting to experience them.” Watkins told me.

If you want to find out what Other Black means to you, you can. They will be rockin’ in the New Year with The Yawpers at The Oriental Theater on December 31st for New Year’s Eve. You can check out their Facebook page for more information, and to hear their music, click here. Be on the lookout for the Other Black’s first album too, which is still in the works and will feature 14 songs which more than likely will encourage you to experience yourself. And that’s powerful.

-Mirna

All photos per George L. Bosser. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Project Worthmore Combines Art + Music For One Awesome Benefit Event

By: Claire Woodcock

Driving to Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, I couldn’t help but notice the pockets of newly constructed neighborhoods I passed through. As I pulled up to the fourth annual “Our Neighbors, Ourselves” benefit art show and music experience, it made me wonder how many of the thousands of refugees that have relocated from across the world to this city are able to afford to live in these cookie cutter homes.

The answer to that is Project Worthmore. Since 2009, Project Worthmore has been helping refugees find affordable housing and resettle in the suburbs of Denver. The nonprofit highlights a foodshare program, English language classes, a dental clinic and community navigators that welcome refugees to become self-sufficient with their families.

At the “Our Neighbors, Ourselves” event recently, the Stanley Marketplace gallery debuted a collection of original mixed media works, paintings, and photographs by over 35 artists, many of whom are Colorado-based. Inspired by this year’s theme, which was “Finding Refuge,” proceeds from the event and artwork sold went to support Project Worthmore.

The "Our Neighbors, Ourselves" event.

The "Our Neighbors, Ourselves" event.

In addition to the art, there were several musical performances. Singer/songwriter Joe Sampson played a sweet acoustic set, and Tom Hagerman of the Denver-based rock band DeVotchKa gave a knockout performance with the Grande Orquesta Navarre, a group made up of bassist Sue Cahill, bandoneon player Hector Del Curto of the Colorado Symphony, and pianist Sara Parkinson. These original compositions were a series of intimate, string-heavy tango serenades that appeared to captivate attendees.

“It’s funny, I read all these books on climate change and how that’s going to lead to these refugee crises in the near future, and it’s already happening,” said Tom Hagerman in an interview leading up to the event about his choice to perform for the “Our Neighbors, Ourselves” event.

Added event emcee Jamie Laurie of Flobots: “I think it’s almost this weird thing our brain does where if someone doesn’t speak our language that well, we can’t help but think of them as a less complex human being, but that’s only because language [is so] complex. If we were speaking their language, we would come off as not very complex either.”

The “Our Neighbors, Ourselves” event brought awareness to the local community on the status of many Denver-area refugees. It made me think about myself in their position as people who have most likely fled a world of violence for another chance. I encourage you to imagine yourself in that position too. And to check out Project Worthmore for yourself. It’s one way to eliminate stigmas and provide a little relief for the many refugees facing hardships in our local communities, and that is something big.

-Claire

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

"Our Neighbors, Ourselves" Fundraiser This Saturday with DeVotchKa and Flobots Helps Refugees

By: Claire Woodcock

This Saturday, September 24th, the Our Neighbors, Ourselves art gallery and fundraiser will be held at the new Stanley Marketplace in Denver. The gallery event will be accompanied by local music acts including Porlolo, Tom Hagerman of the Denver-based rock band DeVotchKa with members of the Colorado Symphony, and special appearances from members of the Flobots.

Hagerman, who will be performing with the Grande Orquesta Navarre, called the collaboration a “miniature swan orchestra”. Composed of bassist Sue Cahill, bandoneon player Hector Del Curto of the Colorado Symphony, and pianist Sara Parkinson, Hagerman said these members are some of the most accomplished musicians he’s played with.

“I know [music] and I’m struggling to keep up with them. They are pretty hardcore classical players and I’m from this rock band world,” said Hagerman, “I did that stuff at the beginning- I went to college for violin, but it’s just when you have not been sort of busting your chops and practicing for like 20 years, you’re just not in shape. But it’s fun for me to play with such great players.”  

Tom Hagerman.

Tom Hagerman.

Hagerman and friends will be performing several original pieces written by Cahill, as well as some classically arranged showpieces with tango elements that have been “stripped down to work with four people”.

In addition to music, the Stanley Marketplace gallery will debut a collection of original mixed media works, paintings, and photographs by over 35 artists, many of whom are Colorado-based.  Inspired by this year’s theme, “Finding Refuge”, proceeds from the event and artwork sold will go to support Project Worthmore.

Jamie Laurie.

Jamie Laurie.

I caught up with Jamie Laurie of the Flobots for this event, who’s actually on the board for Project Worthmore. The Denver nonprofit works with refugees providing hands-on support to local refugees from countries like Burma, Congo, Sudan and Somalia, helping them settle in the Denver/Aurora areas.

"With war and with climate change, and with all the things happening in the world, there's going to be more refugees and we're going to have to get better at being a community of people that might not all speak the same language or might not all be the same religion, but who all are living together,” said Laurie, “If you go where Project Worthmore is, you'll see this beautiful and incredible community, where on the same block there are folks from Burma, folks from Nepal, from the Congo, people from Iraq, [and they are] all just living in the same community. Maybe they can speak a little English to each other, maybe they can't. But that neighborhood has formed something really incredible.”

“Beautiful things happen when you have people all in the same place that are from different parts of the world,” Laurie added.

For more information about Project Worthmore tickets for Saturday’s event, check out the organization’s website. Hope to see you there!

-Claire

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

The Best Weapon To Rock Against the TPP? Protest Music

By: Claire Woodcock

“There has never been a successful social movement in this country that has not had a great soundtrack,” Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, Prophets of Rage, and Audioslave explains in a recent Los Angeles Times op-ed piece on music and activism. “But what is the responsibility of the artist in troubled times to speak to the issues of the day?” he continues, “I believe the only responsibility we have as artists is to tell the truth as we see it.”

Tom Morello. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Tom Morello. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

And that’s exactly what Morello and friends did on Saturday at the Summit Music Hall. Joined by punk band Anti-Flag, Denver’s own hip-hop outfit Flobots, buzzworthy bi-lingual rockers Downtown Boys and Golden Globe nominated actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit), Morello and friends mobilized a folk, funk, hip hop, rock ‘n roll, heavy metal throwdown to shut down the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Ryan Harvey. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Ryan Harvey. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Organized by Morello’s new social justice record label, Firebrand Records, and digital rights group Fight for the Future, the event brought out other activists and performers to shed light on multinational corporations with new rights and powers under the TPP that threaten good paying jobs, Internet freedom, the environment, access to medicine, and food safety.

Taini Asili. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Taini Asili. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

The setlist for the evening was a mixture of originals and covers that were meant to sound the alarm on all the harm the TPP can do. Musicians shared protest tunes reminiscent of musical activists like Ani DiFranco and Woody Guthrie. And then there was Morello, shredding hard:      

Speakers from Food and Water Watch, the Sierra Club, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and other groups described the TPP as a corporate power-grab disguised as a trade agreement that could empower corporate elites while having adverse effects on jobs and wages, the environment, public health, and democracy both in the U.S. and abroad. For years, the TPP was negotiated behind closed doors between the United States and other Pacific Rim countries with the aid of hundreds of corporate lobbyists, while the public and the press were barred from even reviewing what was being proposed in our names.

Anti-Flag and the Flobots. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Anti-Flag and the Flobots. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

“When folks learn about the TPP, they become opposed on a trans partisan basis- Democrats, Republicans, Independents- and they get engaged. We’re here on the dracula strategy tour. We need to drag this sucker into the sunshine, and when people find out about it, they join our fight to stop it,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch said.

Brer Rabbit of the Flobots. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Brer Rabbit of the Flobots. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Denver was the launching pad for the Rock Against the TPP roadshow, a nationwide series of activism-fueled music events designed to raise awareness about the toxicity and dangers of this deal. For a full lineup of Rock Against the TPP tour dates, roll here.

“Working people everywhere have had enough,” Morello said, addressing an eager Denver crowd, “The TPP is nothing short of a corporate takeover of our democracy. That’s why people are rising up to stop it. Corporate lobbyists want to sneak the TPP through Congress quietly; that means it’s time for us to get loud.” And get loud they did.

Do It. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Do It. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

To get involved locally, check out Colorado AFL-CIO, Colorado Jobs with Justice and Communications Workers of America. Learn more about the TPP here.

-Claire

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