From Check-In to Check-Out, Hotel Boulderado Provides Luxury Amenities, Historic Charm & Amazing Entertainment

By: Hannah Oreskovich

From check-in to check-out, Hotel Boulderado has all the bases covered for an amazing stay: beautiful rooms built for comfort and charm, a formal and fresh dining experience at Spruce Farm & Fish, poppin’ energy at The Corner Bar, and a nightlife scene of curated cocktails, boot-stomping shows, and skeeball at License No. 1.

Hotel Boulderado.

Hotel Boulderado.

Opened on New Year’s Eve 1908, Hotel Boulderado stands as the first luxury hotel built in Boulder, Colorado. Now a City of Boulder landmark and a member of Historic Hotels of America, the five-story brick building was originally designed by local architects William Redding & Son. Featuring a stunning stained glass lobby ceiling, rich woodwork on every floor, and both modern and classic furniture pieces throughout the property, there’s no doubt the Hotel Boulderado has maintained its luxurious aesthetic over the years.

The author in Hotel Boulderado’s lobby.

The author in Hotel Boulderado’s lobby.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to stay in the hotel’s Historic King Suite, which features Victorian-era decor, a spacious sitting area with amenities like fresh spring water, and plush Boca bathrobes perfect for winding down your day. The floral wallpaper, iron headboard, and soft colors of the room add to the suite’s beautiful decor details while the room’s vintage desk area allowed me to get some much needed work done before exploring the rest of my stay.

The floral victorian-era decor of the Historic King Suite’s sitting room.

The floral victorian-era decor of the Historic King Suite’s sitting room.

Beyond their stellar room accommodations, Hotel Boulderado houses three incredible businesses under their one roof: Spruce Farm & Fish, The Corner Bar, and speakeasy License No. 1. After checking in and touring the property, I stopped by Spruce to make a reservation for dinner. There wasn’t an empty seat in the farm-to-table restaurant. With a little time before my reservation, I headed to The Corner Bar’s patio for a pre-dinner drink. Located just off of Boulder’s iconic Pearl Street Mall, the bar’s patio area allowed for ample people-watching. Inside, several patrons watched the Denver Nuggets game on television; others were crowded at tables sampling the spot’s small plates, burgers, and beers. A mix of hotel guests and locals, The Corner Bar served as an excellent start to my evening.

Spruce Farm & Fish let me know my table was ready about 30 minutes in to my Corner Bar stop, so I finished my Cabernet and headed to dinner. Though the Corner Bar shares some of the more casual eats from Spruce, Spruce offers an extensive seasonal menu with items you can’t find anywhere else. I sampled the Blue Crab Cakes appetizer (delightful and paired with citrus), the Sweet Pea & Mint Linguini (phenomenally fresh with a soft poached egg and delectable English peas), and the Crème Brûlée (a tasty rich custard with fresh berries and a perfectly caramelized top). The wait staff was exceptionally friendly and willing to talk through recommendations while also providing an opulent dining experience.

After dinner, I wandered downstairs to the hotel’s nightlife joint: License No. 1. There is an entrance from the hotel lobby, so guests never have to leave the property. Alternatively, the spot also has an entrance on 13th Street, a run which features several other Boulder bars. Though License No. 1 is perfectly located for a night of bar hopping Boulder’s downtown, there is so much to do inside of its beautiful brick walls that I never left. Along with its more formal seating rooms, the speakeasy also features a game area replete with a pool table, darts, skee ball, and a photo booth. Partnered with great live music in the venue’s listening room, I was constantly entertained by everything there was to do at License No. 1.

Banshee Tree.

Banshee Tree.

Known as the place where Boulder’s first liquor license was issued, License No. 1 features live music every Thursday-Saturday. Saturdays typically showcase Boulder’s Banshee Tree, a talented four-piece who blur the lines between funk, blues, and gypsy jazz. Comprised of Thom LaFond (vocals, guitar, piano), Jason Bertone (upright bass, shouting), Nick Carter (violin, fiddle, hollering), and Michelle Pietrafitta (vocals, drums), Banshee Tree’s skillful instrumentals and strong rhythm section had an entire room of 50+ people boogieing from wall to wall during my visit. It proved impossible to make my way to the front for photos, so I danced near the back before eventually finding a seat to sip one of the bar’s specialty cocktails, the Boulder Mule. Served in a copper mug, the delightfully refreshing drink is a combination of vodka, St. George pear liqueur, house ginger cordial, and vanilla ginger syrup perfect for summer. License No. 1 has an entire book of custom cocktails, some spirit-heavy; others floral focused or sweet. Much like everywhere else I’d been at Hotel Boulderado, the staff were friendly and enjoyed talking about the menu’s different drink options.

As Banshee Tree continued on, the crowd only grew larger. Formed in upstate New York, Banshee Tree have been living and playing across the Front Range now for years. They’ve played a number of Colorado music festivals, so catching them in the intimate environment that is License No. 1 is a serious treat! The band call themselves a “diverse blend of dance and improvisational styles,” making them easy to groove to or just interesting to hear if you aren’t the dancing type. Banshee Tree’s tunes feature long instrumental stretches, giving patrons ample time to stomp around. Each member of the band is equally skilled at their instrument(s), so songs featured guitar, standup bass, and fiddle solos while Pietrafitta kept up the dancey drum backbone of the tracks. The band broke their night up into two long sets, so during their intermission I had time to explore the venue’s gaming area and snap some shots in the License No. 1 photo booth. Banshee Tree had patrons bouncing well past the midnight hour and since the crew is jetting on tour soon, so I highly recommend catching a show near you this spring!

The historic check-in area at Hotel Boulderado.

The historic check-in area at Hotel Boulderado.

As the night came to an end, I wandered back to my room for a sweet surprise. The Boulderado offers a turn-down service in the evenings, complete with a gift of chocolate truffles from local chocolatier Lift Chocolate. Needless to say, I capped my night with the Grand Marnier and Raspberry truffle selection before drifting off to a very comfortable rest.

No matter the vibe you’re looking for in your next Boulder stay, Hotel Boulderado has something for everyone with an unparalleled excellence in dining, nightlife, and accomodations. Whether you’re booking for business, a wedding, or for pleasure, their staff aim for every guest to have a personalized and elegantly hospitable stay from start to finish. Their lavish amenities are the perfect perk, and historically, there is nothing else like Hotel Boulderado in town.

Hotel Boulderado is offering two special experiences with your stay this spring: the Downtown Boulder Shopping package and the romantic Colorado Clear Skies Stargazing package. To book the Historic King Suite I stayed in, or to see the hotel’s other suites, visit this link. Learn more about Hotel Boulderado here.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists or venues featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. This feature is partially syndicated and some pieces originally appeared as part of a series on blondontherun.com.

Portugal. The Man Proved Their Reign In the Pop Rock Sphere at Recent Red Rocks Show

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The Lords of Portland landed in Morrison, CO yesterday at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Portugal. The Man, the progressive rock and recent “Best Pop Performance” 2018 Grammy winners made a sold-out stop at the Rocks between summer festival performances. Formed by John Gourley in 2002, Portugal. The Man originally started as a side project to Gourley’s group Anatomy of a Ghost. After a move to Portland from the group’s origins in Wasilla, Alaska, Gourley and bassist Zachary Caruthers began working on tunes for Portugal. The Man full-time, releasing their debut Waiter: "You Vultures!"  in 2006. The group put out another record in 2007, Church Mouth, and embarked on their first US tour in support of the record. The band then released a series of records with independent label Approaching AIRballoons before signing with Atlantic Records in 2010.

Portugal. The Man.

Portugal. The Man.

With a growing number of festival appearances and the success of their record Evil Friends (2013), Portugal. The Man continued to grow a strong international fan base. After more than a decade of building their brand of prog psych pop rock, Portugal. The Man achieved true worldwide fame for the pop hit “Feel It Still,” which just came out last year. After rising to the top of the Billboard charts, earning the band their aforementioned Grammy, and snagging them a ASCAP Vanguard Music Award, Portugal. The Man suddenly went from that band you once enjoyed seeing at a Bonnaroo tent to a major festival headliner. For this band, that switch appears as though it were seamless, though it took sixteen years.

Now comprised of Gourley and Carothers with Kyle O’Quin, Eric Howk, Jason Sechrist, and Zoe Manville, the six-piece had an incredible Red Rocks performance, both sonically, and in their stage production. Prior to the start of the show, the band had local Lakota tribe members give a blessing to fans before diving into their “For Whom The Bell Tolls” Metallica cover. They then transitioned into their Pink Floyd “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2” mashup with their original “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” before sliding into a catalogue of their originals including “Live in the Moment,” “Noise Pollution,” and of course, “Feel It Still.” The band is known for inserting cover snippets into a mix with their own tracks, and this was evident to listeners with T. Rex’s “Creep In a T-Shirt,” Violent Femmes’ “Children of the Revolution,” The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” and the band’s encore, which featured a crazy mashup of their tracks “Sleep Forever,” “Plastic Soldiers,” and “Smile” with Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die,” and the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” It was also guitarist Eric Howk’s birthday, and the band had the crowd join in for a sing-along during their encore for this, which fans loved.

John Gourley.

John Gourley.

Along with their impressive instrumentalism, the band also had a massive projector onstage which displayed various messages from the band and “their management” since they claim to be bad with stage banter. This allowed for a great visual experience with the show whether you were close or far from the band, something that all major festival headliners know is important for a concert goer's experience. Gourley, who is also an artist, is as well-known to fans for his drawing, designs, and sketches, as he is for his music. Many of the art used throughout the show is his work, and was combined with lasers and projections onto the Rocks themselves, along with traditional stage lights.

Overall, the Lords of Portland proved their reign at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre with their sold-out show this past week. Take a listen to Portugal. The Man for yourselves here and keep up with the band’s current tour on their website.

See our full gallery of photos from this show here

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram.

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.

Denver's The Hollow Are Creating Community Everywhere They Go

By: Hannah Oreskovich

If there’s one Denver band creating community everywhere they go, it’s Denver’s The Hollow. The four-piece rock’n’roll outfit, who released their video for “Sleep Talkin’” earlier this year, are constantly throwing inclusive events. From their actual shows where you’ll find them wandering the crowd between sets befriending every guest, to their monthly Mental Wellness Meetups, this is a band who deeply cares about the Denver music industry community. And it shows.

Just last night, The Hollow previewed their forthcoming EP Contact at Skate City in a 90s-themed rager. Attendees enjoyed nachos from Illegal Pete’s and kegs from Black Bottle Brewery, played a number of arcade games for free, and of course, skated to the band’s new rockin’ record and a ton of 90s jams.

The Hollow. Photo per the author. 

The Hollow. Photo per the author. 

Frontman Spencer Townshend Hughes announced the band’s songs from the DJ booth while the other members hyped up the crowd in the rink. Attendees skated around listening to the band’s new cover of “Pure Imagination,” along with four new tracks including their previously released “Sleep Talkin’.”

Said Hughes when I caught up to him in the rink, “We wanted to do something with this party that was different and brought everyone together. It’s something different from a show- no one’s really done this. People keep asking tonight, ‘When are you performing?’ And we keep saying, ‘We’re not!’ We’re just here to hang out with the people we love and the people who support us. This is for them.”

The Hollow will continue their efforts in the community next Saturday when Hughes will host a Mental Wellness Meetup at Denver’s Underground Music Showcase on Saturday July 28th from 10AM-12PM at Metropolis Coffee. A therapist from the Aurora Mental Health Center will be onsite.

The band in the rink. 

The band in the rink. 

The Hollow have more event announcements on the way as they continue to foster a great community within Denver’s scene. Keep up with their upcoming shows and events 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.

For Being Afraid of the Dentist, Vance Joy Lit Up Sold-Out Red Rocks Show with Nothing But Smiles

Vance Joy.

Vance Joy.

There’s this story that I think you’ll like. This guy decides to quit his job as an Australian football player and heads to the internet with his ukulele. This musician writes a hit and finds himself. He just played the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and sold the 10,000+ capacity place out himself.

Oh, oh. That’s some impressive stuff.

This is the story of James Keogh, best known as Vance Joy. The Australian native, who left a promising football career behind to play indie pop folk tunes for the masses, first released his 2013 hit “Riptide” independently on the interwebs. Shortly thereafter, he signed with Atlantic Records for a five-album deal. His subsequent 2013 release God Loves You When You’re Dancing went triple platinum, he dropped Dream Your Life Away a year later followed by a world tour opening for Taylor Swift, and this past February, Joy’s third release Nation of Two hit the airwaves.

Joy and the rocks

Joy and the rocks

“I never knew when I put this song on the internet what would happen and I’m still surprised.” Joy said at his recent Red Rocks show before playing “Riptide.” The radio jam inspired a massive sing-along between the rocks, with Joy even stepping back for a chorus to let the crowd shout the tune, a song he actually wrote about a hotel on the Australian coast.

Along with “Riptide,” Joy played other crowd favorites including “Mess Is Mine,” “Georgia,” and his latest “Saturday Sun.” He was backed by a five-piece band which included a duo horn section and an upright piano player. Mid-set, the group crowded around the front of the stage together for an acoustic breakdown for “Little Boy” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” Later, they played a Lionel Ritchie/Justin Bieber mashup of “All Night Long” with “Sorry,” which had fans screaming, dancing, and even laughing. A Bieber cover? I know. But it was really good!

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On every track of the band’s 17-song set, it was impossible not to notice Keogh living up to his stage name. His 6’ 3” frame cracked a wide smile before, during, and after every song. Literal joy was plastered across his face as he crooned to the delight of the sold-out crowd under Colorado’s full moon and clear skies.

Backstage before the set, Joy divulged, “This is the best venue in the whole world!” before talking about how surreal it felt to be getting ready to go onstage when he and his girlfriend had been hiking around Red Rocks Park just the day before. “I’ve never seen a show here but this is incredible!” he smiled in the most unassumingly excited tone. Later, Joy’s manager Jaddan Comerford revealed this night was a true highlight not only for Vance, but for everyone involved on his team. And yet for someone about to play one of the biggest shows of their career to date, Joy was relaxed backstage, busting out dance moves, chatting about his Ogden Theatre performance a few years ago, and just generally chilling.

There were fans. And then there were  fans .

There were fans. And then there were fans.

Joy’s Nation of Two Tour continues with shows in the US and Canada through July followed by a massive international run through the end of the year across Australia, South America, and Europe. Several of these shows are also already sold out. And whether you’re a die-hard fan (like the woman above), a recently converted boyfriend following Red Rocks, or the casual singer/songwriter listener, you’ve got to admit: Oh, oh - that’s some really impressive stuff.

See more Vance Joy show photos here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram.

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.

Thunderpussy Are the Storm the Rock'n'Roll Revival Needs

By: Hannah Oreskovich

This Seattle four-piece are shaking up rock'n'roll with a vengeance.

Last Sunday, a thundering snow storm hit Colorado’s Front Range. As the sky rumbled and started spitting fat white flakes instead of rain, Seattle’s Thunderpussy rolled into Denver fresh off of four SXSW sets including an official C3 Entertainment showcase. The band recently made NPR’s “100 Artists to Watch at SXSW” and during the fest, debuted the new song “Show Your Colors,” which they co-wrote with Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready. Their Denver gig was hand-squeezed between a quick trip home and their upcoming Treefort Music Festival appearance and if you braved the storm, Thunderpussy rewarded you with a seductive, spitfire show of rock’n’roll that left the crowd swooning.

Thunderpussy.

Thunderpussy.

“Hi! I’m Molly!” frontwoman Molly Sides exclaimed as she traipsed inside Summit Music Hall, wrapped in a leopard-print coat. As I reached my hand out to hers, she giggled, “Sorry I’m freezing!” and after shaking hands, she held mine and laughed, “But you’re nice and warm!”

As we chatted about Sides’ affinity for snow as an Idaho native, the girls headed to the green room for wardrobe. If you’re curious what that entails, it’s velvet onesies, fishnet stockings, rhinestone bras, and thigh-high glitter boots. And those boots were made for stompin’ on more than just the stage. In a recent interview with Billboard, guitarist Whitney Petty talked about K.Flay’s Grammy nod as the only female artist in the rock category, musing, “I'd say the time is ripe for Thunderpussy to high kick the patriarchy where it counts with a thigh-high, rhinestone encrusted, platform boot.”

And that’s how Thunderpussy rolls- they’ll hold your hand right before serving up their brand of kickass on the stage.

Whitney Petty.

Whitney Petty.

After a session of greenroom pictures where the girls kept apologizing for the cloud of hairspray that hung above us (“Don’t worry! It’s organic!” bassist Leah Julius promised with a smile), the girls paraded out in their heels to the cheers of the crowd.

Currently touring on their 2018 record Greatest Tits with a full album dropping later this spring, the band opened with “Speed Queen,” a song which nods to Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and The Runaways all at once. As Sides sang into a vintage-looking mic, her gyrations soon turned to her crawling on the floor while locking eyes with audience members; meanwhile Petty stood above her with one heel pranced on an amp as she leaned into the crowd ripping on guitar and headbanging. Julius jumped off of drummer Ruby Dunphy’s “Pussy” emblazoned kick drum and jazz-trained Dunphy kept a steady beat while the chaos ensued. And this, truly was just the beginning.

Molly Sides.

Molly Sides.

As a frontwoman, Sides seems to pull from performance artists like David Bowie, Elvis, and even Lady Gaga. She is never found standing still, her soaring vocals envelope a room, and though I didn’t get to ask, I left feeling like she must have a dance background. Her stage persona is rock’n’roll seductress, something you can also see in the band’s music video for “Speed Queen.”

Sides is almost impossible to stop looking at, but when you do Petty, Julius, and Dunphy are equally engaging. Petty slashes on guitar in a way that 80s hair metal bands would look up to. She slays, and her solos bring forth those classic rock’n’roll eruptions you look for in this type of sound.

Holding down the low end, Julius’ performance is highlighted with fits of energy- she headbangs just as much as the crowd when she’s not jumping from amps and the kick drum. And Dunphy, who was flying back to Seattle the next morning so that she could make it to her classes at Cornish College of the Arts, is a damn riot. She’s all smiles whether she’s pounding cymbals on “Velvet Noose” or tapping the snare with a light jazz flair on “Torpedo Love.”

Apart, each of these women ooze talented prowess; together the four-piece have an undeniably intense chemistry, one which builds and disseminates throughout the room from start to finish. It’s no surprise that the band has been selling out shows on their Pour Morals tour at spots like LA’s Viper Room, where Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith was seen checking out the band. At Sunday’s Denver show, Kid Rock’s entire tour crew strolled in for a listen, blowing off steam before prepping for Rock’s Pepsi Center performance later in the week. When industry pros start showing up for you regularly, you know you’re doing something right.

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Thunderpussy closed the night with “Torpedo Love,” which they just premiered a video for with NPR. In it, Thunderpussy perform the track live in an abandoned nuclear power plant silo.

Said Sides about the video, "When working with Magic Mama Massy, enthused wild ideas literally explode everywhere…  As we crept up to the monstrous structures, it seemed as though they'd been waiting for us, and the concrete curtains calling to us. With both nature and nuclear walls hovering, a beautifully eerie collaboration ensued."

And somehow, that sums up Thunderpussy too: one part sensitive, seductive, and beautiful; the other nuclear, explosive, and ready to tear your heart out.

Sink your teeth into Thunderpussy’s newest music and catch them at Treefort and other major festivals all summer. They’re poised for a takeover, so best brace yourself for the storm.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram.

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.

Beyond Bridges Release Debut Reggae Rock Record 'On My Mind'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Colorado’s Beyond Bridges have released their debut EP On My Mind. The reggae rock four-piece, who are based in Pueblo, have made quite a name for themselves in the Colorado reggae scene over the past year. They’ve shared stages with bands like Trevor Hall, The Wailers, HIRIE, and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds, and at their live shows, have developed a loyal following who are referred to as their “coconuts.” Comprised of Tony Garcia (guitar/vocals/bass), Kai Furuto (guitar/vocals/bass), Adrian Hernandez (guitar/vocals/bass), and Kyle Spinuzzi (drums), Beyond Bridges are an act who hold true to spreading positive vibes with their music, and this is evident on their debut EP.

On My Mind starts off with the record’s title track, which captures you with soft reggae sounds before enveloping your ears into harder rock elements. This is the song the band released as their debut single a few weeks back, and it has an uplifting, beachy quality to it with strummy strings and marked, offbeat percussion. It totally belongs on your 2018 summer playlist. “Bad Medicine” follows suit, and has the almost opposite construction- it starts with heavy rock riffs and a thick bass line before opening into more mellow sounds. It also has metal-esque guitars sprinkled throughout that will make you wanna headbang.

Beyond Bridges. 

Beyond Bridges. 

“The Great Beyond” holds down the middle slot on the five-track EP, and is a short, all-instrumental soundscape song. It’s a tune that feels like it might be played first in a live set, used to plant the night’s vibes before pulling in the audience with a real burner. “NSQS” is next, and its chorus is made to sing along with: “when you go/the world moves so slow/and when you go/I feel so alone.” It’s catchy and tells the most straightforward story lyrically on the record.

Furuto, Garcia, Spinuzzi, & Hernandez.

Furuto, Garcia, Spinuzzi, & Hernandez.

On My Mind closes with “Black Widow,” a super groovin’ track which incorporates classic reggae guitar sounds while maintaining a gritty rock edge. You’ll find yourself boppin’ your head along along for the first 1:18, which is purely instrumental. From there, this one jets into a heavy rock song, fit with stretchy string solos and echoing vocals. Beyond Bridges recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced the entire record live with Matt Herrera of Last Leaf Audio & Design.

Said member Adrian Hernandez about the band’s debut release, “We are excited about this release because we are finally getting some music out for our followers to share and enjoy with the ones they love. On My Mind is a raw interpretation of Beyond Bridges since each song is made entirely of live takes. That means whether or not you are listening to us in your car or at a show, we will truly sound like us. We love that transparency because as we move from one album to the next, our followers will hear genuine growth. We hope they can really feel the time and love we promised to put into all of this.”

I feel the love- do you coconuts? Give Beyond Bridges’ On My Mind a listen above and catch the band live at Brues Ale House this Wednesday, March 21st for their release show.

Keep up with Beyond Bridges here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram.

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

J.D. King Just Wants Your Love In New Music Video

By: Hannah Oreskovich

LA’s J.D. King recently release his new video for “Love Me Back,” the single from his upcoming record 'Moon Gardens,' which was recorded entirely in J.D.’s home studio. The “Love Me Back” video, which was directed by his longtime collaborator Avery Wheless (HUSH) stars King, director and actress Kansas Bowling, and cameos from Parker Love Bowling, JuJu Sorelli, and Linda Ramone. It was filmed entirely at Ramone Ranch (yes, Johnny Ramone’s place) in Los Angeles, a place that you’ll want to party at with J.D. (or maybe more so with Kansas?) after watching the video. After a few views, we caught up with J.D. to talk about his most recent release:

Let’s start with a bit about your background. Where are you from and how has that environment shaped your music?

I’m from the city of Norco in Southern California. The environment for music there was interesting [growing up]: oldies radio, learning piano, Catholic hymns, gospel hymns, Gregorian chants, saxophone/flute classes, bluegrass, cowboys, and rock’n’roll. One of my earliest memories is trying to sing into recorders to have a reproduced sound. I made cassette tapes from the radio. I'd also make tapes from vinyl and CDs that I would borrow from the public library and transfer them. I had a genuine thirst to listen to a lot of music and gravitated mainly to pre-1973 stuff. My father found a nice collection of Beatles and Elvis vinyl albums on the beach one time, and I listened to those a lot. I would also watch Hard Days Night often. I found skateboarding videos to have some tasteful music to sample as well. Skateboarders are more often appreciators of non-mainstream music.   

I can definitely feel some of these styles coming together musically and visually for “Love Me Back.” What was the concept behind this video? 

[It’s] “The Fool” who needs love. You’re vulnerable when you love. You fixate, focus, and place your bets; you need the validation of another person to love you back. You are torn to shreds sometimes if they don’t. Make your own happiness and the rest will follow.

J.D. King.

J.D. King.

 Sound advice. What else are you working on?

Paintings, writing more songs, motion films, poems...

Sweet. Any other special plans for 2018?

More beautiful holograms with sound and visions. Probably some live shows.

Speaking of those, when you perform live, what type of environment are you trying to cultivate?

The “I’m gonna take all my clothes off!” vibe. I want the free people to come out, let loose, and listen.

You heard the man. Take off your clothes and give J.D.’s new video a view below:

Keep up with J.D. King 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.

Premiere: J.W. Schuller's Signature Humor Is Apparent In New Music Video For "No mud in Joyville"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

BolderBeat first caught up with Boulder transplant and singer/songwriter J.W. Schuller about a year ago when he released his tongue-in-cheek video for “When I’m President.” Schuller is well-known for injecting his sense of humor into his work, and his recent release for his single “No mud in Joyville” is no different.

“No mud in Joyville” is the title track from Schuller’s newest record, which dropped this past January. The song’s somewhat nonsensical verses and catchy chorus are of Schuller’s signature style, one which keeps the listener wondering what he’ll say next and simultaneously has them singing along after a minute or two. In the song, Schuller imagines a place where there won’t be hate, deer ticks, and of course, mud among other things.

J.W. Schuller.

J.W. Schuller.

The video for “No mud in Joyville,” which we’re premiering here today, brings Schuller’s goofy sensibilities to light. The video features scenes of Schuller and his bearded nephew Jens Larson playing in front of an old stove in a living room of sorts, interspersed with abstract skeleton art sequences, and at one point a scene where they launch skittles from a drum in Larson’s mouth.

Said Jeff about the video, “I conceived and directed the video and it was shot on an iPhone 6 by the abstract artist Jaci Lee Reno, who I'm also lucky to call my wife. The flower and skeleton imagery in the video is an offshoot of my idea for the album cover. I've always been struck by Mexican Day of the Dead folk art and the juxtaposition of skeleton figures and flowers have been a recurring theme in videos and gig posters for me. It’s kind of an off-puttingly cute way to reflect on our mortality, I guess."

Schuller and Larson.

Schuller and Larson.

No mud in Joyville is the second release from Schuller as a solo artist, and is a follow-up to his 2013 release All Important Artists. His latest was recorded and mixed at Underwood Studios in Minneapolis by Mark Stockert, which are Schuller’s old stomping grounds.

J.W. Schuller’s album release show is slated for Saturday, March 10th at The Walnut Room in Denver with Red Petals and Kait Berreckman. Snag tickets here and make sure to keep up with Schuller on Facebook.

-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.

MOXIE Luxe Aims To Blur The Line Of Performer And Observer With Immersive Denver Parties

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Immersive parties are all the rage in other major entertainment markets, but the experience has only recently hit Denver thanks to the brand and event company MOXIE Luxe.

What does an immersive party by MOXIE Luxe look like?

We’re glad you asked:

After buying your tickets, which range from $75-$155 depending on the level of VIP service and bottle poppin’ you plan to do, you receive a mysterious email. Though it’s not announced where the party will take place yet, you will get a notification the day before the show from a MOXIE Luxe concierge telling you where to go. The location could be a warehouse, a nightclub, or even a water tower. Regardless, you’re instructed to dress to the nines.

You don't have to go to this level, but the performers will.

You don't have to go to this level, but the performers will.

It’s the day of the party now and you’ve Ubered your way to the red carpet where you check in. It’s there you’re greeted by models in elaborate costumes and a photo booth staged to look like a magazine cover with props and attractive people to pose with. You’re given a light that resembles a paper lantern on a stick and you’ll need it- the house lights have been dimmed and there are no table lights in the venue, keeping the element of secrecy alive.

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As you make your way to the main floor of the party, your lantern shines upon muscular male acrobats hanging in hoops from the ceiling, women in lingerie cascading around the dance floor on stilts, and various masked people feeding patrons cotton candy by hand.

Before you know it, a masked woman slithers up to you and hands you a card.

“Find the painter!” it beckons. And so you must.

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As you move about the venue, it’s now your job to ask various performers that you come across if they happen to be this painting character you’re questing for. Some will point to another masked individual and some will shake their heads. Eventually, you do find the painter, a man in a Phantom of the Opera mask who requests you actually paint with him on a sketch of a castle.

You can’t paint. But you throw some brush strokes down for fun (that Bob Ross Netflix binge was sooo worth it) and soon you’re approached by another character. This one wants to dance.

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As you’re twirled to the dance floor by the shirtless, masked man, you try to ask questions but he doesn’t speak. Is he part of the show? Are you supposed to quest somewhere else now? You no longer have your lantern in hand, but the dance floor is illuminated by the blue glow of the DJ booth. You move to the beat. 

Just go with it.

After a few songs, you're passed off to a slinking woman in an animal mask who carefully places some rhinestone appliques on your face and blows you a kiss.

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Backing up into the VIP area, you’re surrounded by models dressed in interactive clothing, like a dress made of cups that patrons can drink from. Beyond her, there is someone painting faces while body contortionists move into strange shapes and observers sip champagne. High above, aerialists dangle and coo. 

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This is really just the start of your night, as MOXIE Luxe events hold a number of surprises for guests every hour. Their entire focus is to blur the boundary between performer and observer, and of course, to show you a great time.

Says creator and founder Kara Dupree, “MOXIE Luxe was created to offer experiences where people can let go of the familiar and the ho-hum. Whether they want to be fully involved or just sit back and take it all in, this is an entirely new way to experience an event.”  

If this sounds like your kind of Saturday night jam, you’re in luck! MOXIE Luxe’s next immersive party is this weekend, January 20th, and the theme is The Dark Fairytale: An Akureyri Icelandic Experience. There are still a few tickets left, which you can snatch here.

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Still want a clearer picture as to what you might experience at one of MOXIE’s immersive events? Check out their recently released promo video for a taste below:

Keep up with MOXIE Luxe on Facebook.

-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.

Premiere: Kyle Emerson Invites You Into His Living Room In New Video For "Wise Blood"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

2017 was arguably a breakout year for Denver’s Kyle Emerson. The former Plum member released an EP, Worth It, in May of last year, which he followed up just a few months later with Dorothy Alice, his debut full-length album via Guilty Pleasure Records. OpenAir CPR called Worth It one of the best records of the year, and both Denver Post’s The Know and Marquee Magazine listed Dorothy Alice as one of the top Colorado albums of 2017.

Kyle Emerson.

Kyle Emerson.

Though Emerson’s solo sound careens with components of his former life as a psych-rocker in Plum, there are more traces of jazz and folk in his latest work. He’s combined drippy guitars with synth sounds, a slide guitar with Beatles-esque pop harmonies, and soft, Elliott Smith-like vocals with upbeat and catchy melodies. These elements paired with the slacker-rock revival vibes of someone like Kurt Vile and the production work of Sunboy’s Justin Renaud have formed much of what you’ll hear on Dorothy Alice, and more specifically on Emerson’s single “Wise Blood.”

Today, Emerson has released a video for “Wise Blood,” which you can check out in our exclusive premiere below. It showcases Emerson and his bandmates (who are somewhat of their own Colorado supergroup, with members from Paper Bird, Shady Elders, Bluebook, and Sunboy) in a living room performance interspersed with scenes of the band cruising around Denver and generally hanging out. The video has a vintage film look in certain parts and meanders with the song’s melody from scene to scene.

Kyle Emerson has arguably made more noise in the Denver music scene in mere months than most, and is a Colorado artist you should be following if you weren’t already. Make sure to give Dorothy Alice a listen here and “Wise Blood” a view above.

What will 2018 hold for Emerson and his supergroup? We’re stoked to find out.

Keep up with Kyle Emerson 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.

Premiere: Grayson County Burn Ban Release Second Single From Upcoming Debut Record 'Better Neighbor'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Grayson County Burn Ban first came together in 2014 after frontman Austen Grafa was on the road with another Colorado band and decided he wanted to combine two of his favorite genres: country and rock’n’roll. Having grown up in Texas, Grafa was inspired by songwriters like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Terry Allen, and Robert Earl Keen. After teaming up with fellow Denver musicians Nate Wilson, Travis Page, Brian Beer, and Tyler Brewer (Ned Garthe Explosion), GCBB was formed and Grafa began using his influences to craft what is now considered the band’s “campfire country” sound.

This January, GCBB are releasing their debut record, titled Better Neighbor. The title track from the 12-song release is already out with an accompanying music video (see above), and one that is hard for any Denverite not to laugh along with. It details (rather sarcastically) some of the trials of Denver city life, like trying to park in Cap Hill, or the frustration many have faced when finding recyclable beer cans in the trash bin after day-drinking in Cheesman Park. The song’s refrain, “Are you an idiot? Or just an asshole?” will have you laughing as the band members experience other annoyances while venturing around their neighborhood and asking you to be the exact thing the title of their new record suggests.

Today, the band has released their second single and accompanying video for their song “Up Here.”

Animated by artist, Sarah Letteny, the video follows a character slowly climbing up a ladder in black and white while reflecting on the world down below before it falls through a psychedelic-colored sky back to its colorless reality. As the chorus repeats, “I’m higher than I’ve ever been/looking down at this little world I’m in/Everything is making sense/but I don’t know if I should be alone up here,” things like money and cars appear just out of reach of the video’s character before it crashes through the clouds.

Said Grafa about the video, “Sarah did an amazing job bringing our vision to life for this song, which is, as the lyrics state, all about being ‘a little too high,’ where you can see everything going on, but maybe you shouldn’t be so high alone.”

“Up Here” continues GCBB’s “campfire country” sound with Grafa’s rolling, storytelling vocals over guitar before it breaks into a full-band-at-your-favorite-dive-bar slow country jam.

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Grayson County Burn make the kind of music you want to crush cans to. Just make sure you recycle those when you're finished.

Keep up with Grayson County Burn Ban 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.

Daybreaker Is Officially The Best Way To Wake Up

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Last Thursday, I woke up at 5AM to don my best fur vest with some of Boulder’s happiest people. Yoga mat in hand, I headed to the Boulder Theater for what was the earliest door time I’d ever attended: a spry 6AM. Though it was still dark outside when I arrived, the inside of one of Boulder’s best concert venues was glowing. Ticket-checkers greeted everyone who entered with a hug and a twinkling, “Welcome to Daybreaker!” It was hard to keep even the most “I’m-not-a-morning-person” from smiling.

Inside the theater, DJ Falcon Punch was spinning disco funk tunes. Around me, people were spreading out yoga mats where concert-goers normally post up with a beer to catch a band. There was a lot of faux fur happening, and alongside it, yogis in onesies ranging from your classic Christmas pajama look to your Ninja Turtle of choice. Though it was early, there was no sign of sleep. People were ready to party.

Yoga Pod’s Dan Carbonell and Rob Loud led the morning sun salutations just as the horizon was lighting up outside. They made the practice playful while DJ Falconpunch continued to throw down some fun, meditative grooves for those long-held plank poses. Loud even recommended twerking during saddle pose, and more than one Daybreaker attendee took him up on it.

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After yoga, the bar opened at 7AM with a selection of green juice and tea. There were temporary tattoo stations and face-painting. More penguins, tigers, and unicorns twirled into the venue as the event's emcee, Drew Wyman from Shinesty, beckoned attendees to dance. Which they did. For the next TWO HOURS before most of them hit their day jobs. Somehow, the positive and creative space that Daybreaker fosters with this event will leave you more energized than any morning Starbucks ever could. The event almost feels like a mini Bonnaroo high-five session, jam-packed with love and positive vibes. People left the theater shining with gratitude and smiles, and though I rarely leave a music venue any other way, this was different. I actually questioned if I might be a morning person thanks to Daybreaker.

Daybreaker is coming back to Colorado, in Boulder Thursday, January 11th (details TBA) and in Denver at Club Vinyl on Wednesday, January 17th. Get tickets here and get to it! You don’t want to (hit) snooze on this one.

-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.

This Denver Company Is Connecting The Traveling Music Community One Overnight Stay At A Time

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Colin Bultinck’s business idea started where many great ones do: at a music festival.

Bonnaroo was one of the first things that inspired me to be a musician.” Colin recently told us, with his first trek to the fest’s Manchester stomping grounds being back in 2015 (Kendrick Lamar headlined that year ICYMI).

“People are so positive there and there were so many people who had traveled from all over the place to be there. That’s when I realized friends were staying in hotels, camping, and looking for places to spend the night near the festival.” Bultinck said, “And that’s when I was surprised that there wasn’t something already like this.”

By this, Bultinck means his company Rock n Doze, an online site where users can book a room for a night similar to Airbnb, but with a heavy music focus.

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“I’ve been a lifelong musician and though I’ve never gone on tour, I have a lot of friends who have. Being involved in the music community, I know it’s a struggle for traveling musicians to find a place to stay, and better yet, to practice. I know touring bands who have stayed in their cars or at someone’s apartment who they met at their show. And I know bands who find themselves inspired on the road wishing they could play once they get to their destination, but don’t have the option.” Bultinck said, “Then there are also the fans. I’ve traveled to four Airbnbs specifically for concerts and music events this past year. Rock n Doze brings this entire music community together.”

Much like Airbnb, anyone can book a room for the night on Rock n Doze and anyone can host a room or home. But users are also encouraged to talk music! If hosts have a studio or practice space, they can include that with their room for rent. If they have gear available for use, they can market that as well. Fans can also book with Rock n Doze and expect to have a host who is more knowledgeable about the local music scene than your average Airbnb-er.

Colin Bultinck. 

Colin Bultinck. 

“Before I moved to Denver, I stayed at an Airbnb. I wanted to find a city where the music scene was supportive of local artists so I shared my story with the host and asked about looking at local music spots that I’d be able to play if I moved here. The host didn’t know any music venues. They were right down on South Broadway by Hi-Dive and 3 Kings! I was surprised that Denver could be such a big music city, but they had no idea where the local spots were. That’s when I realized that whether you’re a musician, a tech on tour, or a fan, there should be something to further connect the traveling music community.”

Hence the birth of Rock n Doze, which is currently available in several music markets with a focus on the Denver and Front Range music scenes. The site is currently in its first stages, with a full launch planned around the start of festival season. Still, it’s already seeing business.

“At my house, I offer a studio space with a drum kit and mics and amps. I had a band who stayed at my house recently, and I jammed out with them for a little bit,” Bultinck said, “This could open up opportunities for home concerts, ride-sharing for fans, and even connecting with potential fans on a more personal level if you’re a hosting band.”

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Local industry players can also advertise services on the site- concert photographers, street teams, and other promotional show services are already available for booking.

Which brings us to the dough. Rock n Doze takes only 5% of fees for services and spots booked, which is less than competitor Airbnb. Just one conversation with Colin will tell you that while he wants to grow the business, the goal of Rock n Doze goes far beyond profit margins.

“We offer bands a cheap place to stay and play, and fans a place to meet other music-lovers.” Bultinck said, “[Rock n Doze] is meant to support and connect an industry that really needs it. I honestly think it’s the future of the traveling music community.”

Check out more from Rock n Doze and book a room for yourself 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.

Cisco The Nomad On The City's Gentrification: Denver First, Always

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Cisco the Nomad is Denver born and bred, and proud of it.

“I grew up all over town. My parents split up when I was really young so my dad lived in Central/West Denver, from between Alameda to Federal and Federal to Evans, and my mom moved to Lakewood. I spent the time split between them.” the hip-hop artist told me recently from a SketchFam member’s living room.

“I went to all private schools,” he smiled, “I went to The Colorado Academy for middle and high school with the wealthier kids in town, but I took the public bus three hours to get to that school!” he laughed, “And I wasn’t always comfortable bringing those kids home.”

Cisco The Nomad.

Cisco The Nomad.

Outside of class, Cisco the Nomad, whose birth name is Clay Edwards, spent a lot of time riding around the streets of Denver, and getting to know the city on an intimate level.

“My dad’s a bus driver so I spent a lot of time riding the bus and writing poems about the city. Rapping for me started as poetry. I’ve always identified as a writer more than a musician.” he smiled.

Still, music has always been in his roots.

“My dad’s a percussionist so he was a drummer before I was born. He drummed with Kevin Dooley. I grew up around music and started doing musical theater when I was young and playing saxophone.” he added, “Now I purely do vocal work.”

Edwards showing us a track from his upcoming mixtape.

Edwards showing us a track from his upcoming mixtape.

After high school, Edwards found himself at Colorado College studying theater arts. It was at this point he became more serious about laying down tracks.

“When I got to college, I got serious about recording. My friend Mamoun and I started SketchFam- a collective of beat makers, visual artists, and multiple people across states bringing these talents together.” he explained.

From there, he and friend Henri Katz went on to form Lounge Records, a Denver-based DIY label with a strict focus on Denver artists.

“I put Denver artists first. I am constantly scouring this city for emcees, for talent. I want artists to know that they can launch from here. You don’t need to pull a Trev Rich and go to Atlanta. You don’t need to move to Los Angeles. We’ve got it right here for you. Let’s capitalize on the millions of people who are here.”

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However, Edwards agrees there need to be more performance spaces for hip-hop artists to launch from in Denver. Many venues have shuddered due to the gentrification of recent Mile High neighborhoods.

“I want Denver to be itself- the amount of time and work people have put into this city should shine. I was heartbroken when The Gypsy House Cafe closed down. It was a spot where young poets hung out in Denver. There was coffee, hookah. All of a sudden that spot disappeared and became like an imported sushi place or something. You can’t just expect the soul of a place to grow back in a year. If you take it, it’s gone. And that matters to me. I want artists to come here and exist, but Denver needs to define the artistic hub that lives here. People from New York shouldn’t be coming here and defining that.”

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The authentic culture of Denver is important to Edwards, and I couldn’t help but wonder what he’d see now taking the same bus ride he did as a child.

“Something like ‘RiNo’ is a bunch of bullshit. Why not call it ‘Five Points’? Why rebrand it? Why divorce it from its history and change it from its history? To make it more palatable for who? Why does everything gotta be two-syllables and end with an ‘o’? Who decided this was the identity of the city? Especially growing up where I’m from. It’s so plastic what they’re doing and how they’re marketing it- as a trendy fun place to move- when really [RiNo] is a warehouse district. I don’t see why we need to rebrand a city when people are already coming here anyway. The opportunity isn’t going to go away by calling ‘Five Points’ ‘Five Points’. ‘SoBro’ is South Broadway, ‘LoDo’ is Lower Downtown, The Highlands are just North Denver. I don’t need a LoHi. This isn’t a fast casual restaurant where you can pick your neighborhood like Chipotle options.”

Edwards isn’t alone in feeling this way. Denver’s gentrification has been a hot issue in recent years as more and more locals find themselves forced out of neighborhoods they grew up in and surrounded by corporate chains in place of local joints.

“There’s going to be a point where people who move here look to the city for what it is- for its culture- and that shouldn’t come from people who move here. That should come from Denver and from the people who have lived here.” Edwards told me.

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Edwards now calls a space on 14th and Federal home, where he lives with producer, guitarist, and collaborator Sherman. The two have recently been working together, with others from SketchFam and Lounge Records, to try and expand Denver’s hip-hop scene. Though a lot of this is happening DIY in people’s living rooms and basements, Cisco thinks this can change.

“I want to create space for Denver arts. As the city is expanding and transplants are coming in, there is a point we have to decide who gets to be the tastemakers and I think those should be Denver people. I’m sick of cultural transplants coming into the city and defining this city.”

Cisco is also working on his music, a mixtape called Starter Pack, which will drop later this year. It will be mostly acoustic hip-hop jams, some of which Cisco has already started to play live.

“When I hit the stage, I try to have an all-encompassing sort of presence. I want people to leave there feeling like church- like they’ve done something spiritual together.” he smiled.

Cisco also agrees there are plenty of Denver artists building the local hip-hop scene just like he is.

Edwards with some local members of SketchFam.

Edwards with some local members of SketchFam.

“I love Sur Ellz. Kid Astronaut. Yasi. And they’re not always getting the attention they deserve.” he said.

It is these artists- and others- that Edwards feels should be defining the Denver hip-hop sound.

“I think the way people speak out here is different. Denver’s sound is more lyrical- I think poetry is a huge influence in the Denver scene. I want to bring out a Baroquian lyricism- excessive, everywhere.”

But to Edwards, the issues of a redefined Denver go far beyond the local hip-hop scene, the broader music scene, and the neighborhoods he has watched change.

“I want Denver’s disenfranchised to have a certain amount of voice in the city. And if it’s not in politics and it’s not in real estate, then it damn well better be in the arts.” Edwards exclaimed.

“Denver first always. No matter where I go.”

Keep an eye out for Cisco the Nomad’s upcoming mixtape, which drops this week hereand keep up with his live performance schedule through Facebook.

-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.

Whitacre Bringing New Brand Of Folk Rock To Fox Theatre This Week (09/28)

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Earlier this year, we premiered singer/songwriter Paul Whitacre’s music video for his track “Beth.” The Indianapolis transplant had recently settled into the Denver scene and was playing his acoustic folk originals at venues around the state. But since we last caught up with Paul, he’s added more rock to his folk sound. How? By adding several Denver players to his new project: Whitacre.

Whitcare.

Whitcare.

Under his solo project, Paul played a few Denver shows with Chase Perry (banjo) and Kyle Miner (electric guitar). But after Mark Cunningham slid into Paul’s DMs and the two had a productive jam session, Cunningham and his roommate Brent Perkins also joined the crew, which at this point was turning into a full-fledged band. That's when Rachel Hartman (fiddle) also connected with the group, and Whitacre the band was born.

Whitacre have since been supporting The Ghost of Paul Revere at shows this fall, with their next performance slated for Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Thursday, September 28th. The show will also feature Denver blues rock outfit Dragondeer, who released their Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1 earlier this year.

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Whitacre told us they're excited to share their new sound at The Fox this week, so make sure to snag tickets to check out their new brand of folk rock for yourself! You can listen to their latest record Coming of Age here.

Keep up with Whitacre on Facebook.

-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.

Tyto Alba Release Haunting Video For "The Hunger"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s indie rock outfit Tyto Alba released their newest music video this week for their track “The Hunger.” The song is from the band’s EP, In Our Own Time, which dropped earlier this year.

Frontwoman Melanie Steinway’s haunting vocals combined with eerie masked figures make “The Hunger” and its accompanying music video a mysterious and emotive track. The video, which was filmed by Slice Cinematics (A Shadow of Jaguar), showcases Steinway performing at Syntax Physic Opera surrounded by men in feathered masks interspersed with eldritch church scenes and Steinway calling out at her own reflection. Colorado’s Brent Cowles makes an anonymous appearance as the band’s “voodoo priest” at the start of the video as well.

A scene from "The Hunger."

A scene from "The Hunger."

Tyto Alba held their release show for the video last night at Syntax, a venue which has turned into a local haven for many musicians, and which was a new addition to this year’s Underground Music Showcase spots.

Brent Cowles as the "voodoo priest."

Brent Cowles as the "voodoo priest."

Check out the band’s video for yourself above and stay on the lookout for more new music from Tyto Alba by keeping up with the band 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.

Where To Catch Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs This Fall

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Earlier this summer, BolderBeat’s man on the street Zach Dahmen caught up with singer/songwriter Matt Rouch at Denver’s Underground Music Showcase. It had been a year or so since we’d last chatted with Matt, and the frontman of Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs has been busy.

Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs 

Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs 

After the success of his 2016 self-released debut record, The Beautiful and the Damned, Rouch and his band have been touring the state, opening for acts like Ian Mahan and Kristin Diable. The Americana quartet have also played a number of festivals, like Spread The Word, The UMS, and even Boulder’s Porchfest.

Listen to The Beautiful and the Damned:

Rouch, who describes himself as a “southpaw whiskey-loving Virgininian,” now calls Denver home, along with bandmates Alex Fostar (violin/guitar), Stu Guarney (upright bass), and Ricky Brewer (drums). The four-piece have been in the process of recording new music, some of which you may be privileged enough to here at one of their upcoming fall shows. Rouch still plays solo often as well, which is a special treat to hear if you can swing by one of his shows.

This Tuesday, September 19th, Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs will actually share the stage with renowned jazz and blues singer/songwriter Pokey Lafarge at Denver’s Gothic Theatre, marking one of their biggest shows to date. They’ve also managed to lock down a Summit Music Hall set with Cowboy Mouth on Friday, October 13th. Needless to say, Rouch & Co. are rising fast in Colorado’s scene, so make sure to snag tickets to one of their upcoming sets here. We’re excited to see this Americana folk outfit in action.

Keep up with Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs on Facebook.

-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.

Gasoline Lollipops Brought A Storm Of Sound To Debut Red Rocks Performance

By: Hannah Oreskovich

There's a certain feeling of pride you get when you see local artists accomplish something big, like when The Yawpers were signed with Bloodshot Records or when Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats got their first Jimmy Fallon gig and blasted into the international spotlight. This week, that same heartwarming feeling was much aglow as fans watched Colorado’s Gasoline Lollipops take the stage at the state’s best, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Clay Rose.

Clay Rose.

The GasPops, as the band is more affectionately known to fans, first started back in 2009. Founding and original member Clay Rose, who is also the project’s frontman, grew up between Boulder & Nashville’s music markets. Piecing together sounds from each city’s scene, along with other influences, GasPops music combines punk, alternative, folk, country, and rock’n’roll. The Boulder band have been called everything from gypsy punk to “dirt floor folk” and played just about every venue in the state to date over the last six years.

Except for The Rocks. And that's why Monday’s show was just so special.

As the opening entertainment for the film Twister, the last “Film On The Rocks” of the summer for Denver Film Society’s series, Gasoline Lollipops brought a real storm of sound to the stage. There was a boot-stompin’ thunder of drums and standup bass (courtesy of Adam Perry and Brad Morse respectively), tempestuous, warm crackles of sound from Rose’s harmonica mic and Jeb Bows’ (Gregory Alan Isakov) violin solos, and a whirlwind of tight, raining vocal harmonies between Alexandra Schwan and Rose. Donny Ambory’s electric guitar playing also added a swirl of heated rebelliousness to the mix, an element the Gasoline Lollipops are well-known to evoke in their live shows.

GasPops on the Rocks.

GasPops on the Rocks.

The band opened their hour set with “Smoke and Steam” and played songs from several of their records, including “Death,” “Longest Night,” “Love Is Free,” “The Wire,” and “White Trash.” The six-piece also introduced us to some new tunes from their upcoming record Soul Mine, “Leaving Alone” and “Burns.” And the crowd, who sat for the film, were on their feet for the entirety of the GasPops’ set. There were hollers, cheers, and a lot of dancing happening between the night’s glowing rocks, which seem to be common sights and sounds at the punk rock hoedown that is a Gasoline Lollipops show.

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Overall, Gasoline Lollipops played a very Red Rocks-worthy performance for their debut at the venue. After the show, several crowd members voiced that they hoped for a GasPops storm to hit the rocks again next year. I'm hoping for it too but until then, catch them at the Fox Theatre this December for their Soul Mine vinyl release show, or drop everything and roll with them on their upcoming overseas tour this fall, where the GasPops storm of sound will be raging on.

Keep up with Gasoline Lollipops 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.

Deckhead Records Tells Us Why Cassettes Are Still Cool & How They're Helping Artists Release Them

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Ask anyone over 40 and they might tell you the cassette is dead and then lament over their melted collection, the one that was formerly housed in their red ‘83 Camaro. Heck- even just a few years ago most millennials might have moaned that the tape deck in their car was useful only as a cassette adapter before the ever-present auxiliary (aux) port became standard in car radio. But just as high-waisted jeans and vinyl have made their way back into many of our hearts, so too has the cassette tape. I was recently gifted a Savage Blush cassette by Deckhead Records’ Duncan Bryant, which prompted me to chat further with the classic tape expert about why cassettes are back and how he’s bringing them to ears, cars, and living rooms worldwide with some of Colorado’s own talent. Read on:

Who is Deckhead Records?

Deckhead Records is a two man operation out of Boulder, Colorado. Chris Ferguson and I started the label to help our friends’ bands put out physical music releases. Deckhead is centered around the DIY ethos- we design and assemble all the tapes in-house. It’s definitely a labor of love! We also publish the Chowder Zine, which covers art, music and skateboarding “stuff.”

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How did Deckhead start?

I had the idea of a tape-based record label for a good while. I saw some of the bigger guys like Burger Records and Lolipop Records doing it, and then when I saw what First Base Tapes was doing for the Front Range indie scene, I thought that was something I wanted to do for the garage/psych/alt scene. And it kind of snowballed from there. We’re now working on releases nine and ten, with a few more in the works, so it’s been really rad to see it grow!

Why cassettes?

I’m a big music collector. It started mostly with records, which if you collect records you know how quickly that drains your wallet. Then I rescued an old tape deck out of my work’s dumpster and started getting tapes. At $5 a pop, I could get a few albums for the price of one record, and if I was at a show, I could just shove it in my pocket and carry on. I also started noticing that the bands I love were all putting out tapes in addition to their records. So that whole experience opened up my eyes to how popular tapes are getting (again) and it seemed like a realistic way for Deckhead to get off the ground on a nearly non-existent budget.

Also, from a label standpoint, cassettes are one of the more approachable means of a DIY physical music release. The entire process of making the release can be done in-house for fairly cheap, while still putting out a really high quality tape.

One of Deckhead's releases.

One of Deckhead's releases.

How does Deckhead find the artists you work with?

It’s really a combination of us finding projects and projects finding us. The big thing is we’re not a “tapes for order” company, and we put a lot of consideration into all the releases we take on. I guess what I mean by that is we put out music we’d listen to, and that’s really the first and last thing that we’re concerned with. So if any bands out there have demos, send ‘em to us! We’re focusing on garage/psych/alt stuff and we’re starting to expand into the heavier side of things, but we’re down to check out anything!

What does the tape making process entail?

We basically do the entire process out of my apartment! We get blank tapes and cases, and the rest is on us to dub, design, and assemble the cassettes. It is insanely time-consuming (anyone out there selling a tape duplicator?! hit us up!), but we love doing it, so it’s worth the time and effort that goes into every release. There’s something cool about doing it all yourself and putting out a quality release too.

The Deckhead release that started the author's recent cassette obsession.

The Deckhead release that started the author's recent cassette obsession.

Why do you think cassettes are making a comeback?

I think it all stems from a lot of people still really, really enjoying collecting physical music despite the world being in the “digital music age.” There’s something cool about walking into someone’s living room and seeing a record collection or a tape collection. You flip through that and can learn a lot about a person based on what they decided to make the effort to buy.

Cassettes are funny though. A lot of people seem to be buying them without even having tape decks. It’s kind of the “trading card” mentality. It seems like a lot of people will snag a tape at a show because it’s a cheap keepsake and they can slide it in their pocket and not be bogged down with a big record or poster tube for the rest of the show.

Deckhead's first tape release.

Deckhead's first tape release.

What does the Deckhead current catalogue look like?

We release music we love, and that’s everything from garage/psych stuff, to shoegaze, to stoner metal. We just love good tunes. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve put out since we’ve started:

Past Tape Releases:

  • (DHR001) - GHOSTS (Richomond, VA) - “i don’t know what i’m doing”
  • (DHR002) - GHOSTS (Richmond, VA) - “Ugly Kid”
  • (DHR003) - GHOSTS (Richmond, VA) - “Stupid Boy”
  • (DHR004) - GHOSTS (Richmond, VA) - “Super Star”
  • (DHR005) - False Peaks/Adult Colour (Boulder, CO) - “Split EP” (Local Label Day 2017 Release)
  • (DHR006) - The Savage Blush (Denver, CO) - “DUST EP”
  • (DHR007) - Nocturnal North (Phoenix, AZ) - “Radicle”
  • (DHR008) - The Savage Blush (Denver, CO) - “The Savage Blush”

We also have some more releases in the works for the next six months. We’re really stoked to be focusing more on the Front Range, but we’ll also be doing our first international release early next year with London psych metal band Green Lung.

Coming Up:

  • (DHR009) Slynger (Denver, CO) - “Sharp Teeth”
  • (DHR010) The Amphibious Man (Boulder, CO) - “Silver Alert
  • (DHR???) The Kinky Fingers (Denver, CO) - “Garbage Plate”
  • (DHR???) GHOSTS (Richmond, VA) - TBD
  • (DHR???) Green Lung (London, UK) - TBD
The Deckhead cassette logo found on every release.

The Deckhead cassette logo found on every release.

Righteous. Anything else we should know about Deckhead?

First and foremost, support small music and especially your local music scene! Find shows and go to them. Buy some merch. Tell a band you dig them. “Smaller” bands bust their asses to bring us good music, so we gotta help them stay stoked!

Also, Deckhead Records publishes a zine called Chowder that I mentioned. It’s the brainchild of Deckhead dude Chris Ferguson. It’s art-centric, but also covers skating and music. Volume 1 just came out and is 20 full-color pages of insanity! Check it out!

I think that’s it? Thanks for talking with us. BolderBeat is the sh*t!

Keep up with Deckhead Records and snag a tape for yourself to join the cool kids 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.

Specdrums Rings Turn Color Into Sound With A Drum Kit At Your Fingertips

By: Hannah Oreskovich

When Steven Dourmashkin first went away to college at Cornell University, there was one thing he couldn’t pack up and bring with him to his dorm room: his drum kit. After two years of design and product development, nine major iterations, and one issued patent, Dourmashkin, who is now a PhD candidate at CU Boulder in Aerospace Engineering, finally developed a solution. Meet Specdrums: 

Specdrums, a simple and comfortable ring you wear on your fingers, turn colors into sound, “allowing you to tap on different shades to create an infinite combination of tunes.” That’s right- whether you cover your dorm room in post it notes, tap your clothes on your coffee break, or head to Boulder Creek for a sound sesh like Steven did in the video above, Specdrums will register colors with sound you tap out, all while fitting in your pocket. You can also record your sounds and share them with others, who can add or listen to the tracks, all through the Specdrums app. And the rings can be connected to Garage Band or Ableton, giving those more experienced in music and tech a chance to further produce the compositions they create, and leading us to ask, "Where's that Specdrums sample at?!"

Steven Dourmashkin.

Steven Dourmashkin.

Said Dourmashkin, “Growing up as a drummer, I would tap on everything whenever I was away from my drum set. I was determined to create the most portable drumming machine, capable of turning my taps into real percussion sounds. But what we’ve created is more than just a drumming tool- it’s a new instrument that makes musical creation in general more accessible, welcoming, and fun.”

Specdrums.

Specdrums.

Specdrums recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund further production of the rings- they’ve raised close to 81k (their goal was 15k) with about 930 backers at the time of this publication, and they still have two weeks to go on the campaign.

Needless to say, CU Boulder’s Steven Dourmashkin is on to something, and thanks to him, you may soon have that much needed drum kit at your fingertips…

Read more on Specdrums 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.