The Velveteers Kickoff Their Third UK Tour with an Electric Farewell in Denver

By: Emily Shuey

Last Saturday night, Boulder natives, The Velveteers, kicked off their headlining show in Denver at The Bluebird Theater to inaugurate their third UK tour, which begins in less than a week. The three-piece band includes frontwoman/lead guitarist Demi Demitro, a 21-year-old with a unique sound conjured as a mix of Joan Jett and Bonnie Tyler, and a siren-esque raspiness defining her personal brand. Her long curly hair (think Claudio Sanchez), jewel-encrusted jacket, and leather pants, accompanied with the bands’ goth-like decor set the scene for a Tim Burton meets Zeppelin-era inspired ambiance.

Demi Demitro of The Velveteers.

Demi Demitro of The Velveteers.

Demi is always accompanied by two drummers, John Demitro (her brother) and Adrian Pottersmith, who have crafted their own unique dual-drum kit, bring a reverberant and flexible base to all of the band’s performances. 

Adrian Pottersmith & John Demitro.

Adrian Pottersmith & John Demitro.

Fans were prefaced by support including The Bitter Suns, The Kinky Fingers, and Boot Gun, but it was obvious The Velveteers have been pulling a loyal crowd following at their shows since the band’s birth in 2014. Fans were decked out in DIY band t-shirts, appropriate goth punk rock attire, and were ready to throw down for an intimate and interactive experience that The Bluebird is known for creating. 

A fan in the band’s merch.

A fan in the band’s merch.

As soon as Demi plugged her guitar into its amplifier, the crowd anxiously waiting, went wild. Moving into their first song, she embodied a confident and nonchalant presence that puts the crowd at ease, but also gives the go-ahead for madness. The crowd hosted fans of all ages, united over their mutual love for moshing, head banging, and theatrical rock. 

Pottersmith in the crowd.

Pottersmith in the crowd.

The band played favorites like the provoking “Death Hex,” and their catchy single “Eyes Tell Lies” sending the crowd into a full-blown, relentless circle mosh, which was a common scene for most of the show. (I might have a few bruises and worn quite a few PBR’s to prove it). The show was made even more intimate with the absence of a pit, allowing fans to cheer and be involved from just inches away. The drummers kept the energy high throughout the show, especially when Pottersmith removed one of their snares, placed it in the crowd, and performed an interactive, punk rock-style drum solo. 

Saturday’s UK tour kickoff show proved that The Velveteers are capable of holding their own as headliners, and seemed symbolic of good things yet to come. They are currently self-managed, self-taught, and sans record label. The European market is volatile for even some of America’s most successful outfits, but with perseverance, it can be career defining. The band will be kicking off their third international tour in Glasgow on September 10th. 

See more photos from this show here.

-Emily

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

Premiere: Watch Pink Fuzz's Murderous New Video for "Turn"

Denver rock’n’roll favorites Pink Fuzz have been hard at work since the release of their 2018 record ‘Speed Demon’. The trio, comprised of sibling duo John Demitro (The Velveteers) and Lulu Demitro with drummer Forrest Raup, just dropped their music video for their single “Turn.” We’re excited to premiere the video here at BolderBeat, which is a follow-up to their last video “Enough” and features some familiar characters including Fast Finger Frank (David Landry of Boot Gun). Prior to the video’s release, we caught up with Pink Fuzz to learn more about their latest cinematic endeavor and their upcoming Midwest tour. Check it out:

Where was “Turn” recorded and who is featured on the track? Did you have a producer involved?

“Turn” was recorded, produced, and mixed by Pink Fuzz and Todd Divel at Silo Sound Studios in Denver. Jim Wilson mastered it.

What inspired the video concept and who all stars in this follow-up video?

 The video for our single “Enough,” which we released in 2017, was part one of the storyline of this tale. “Turn” is the follow-up to that video. In “Enough,” we see a psychopathic serial killer trucker named Fast Finger Frank chasing after a drugged runaway driving a 1975 Firebird down a desolate desert road. Fast Finger Frank collects fingers as trophies, and is on a drug-fueled mission to get every single female digit that he comes across. Inspired by style of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Grindhouse, in the video for “Turn,” we dive into the life and killings of Fast Finger Frank. The band has always been  fascinated by serial killers and what will drive a human being to stoop so low. This is the recurring theme behind our album Speed Demon and our music videos for the record. “Turn” stars Pink Fuzz, David Landry of Boot Gun, The Velveteers, and Noah Shomberg.  

Pink Fuzz.

Pink Fuzz.

Did anything interesting happen during the filming of the video?

Well there are quite a few gory scenes that we shot outside in public places. We had a lot of people walking by or driving by as we were “killing” our victims. That’s always hilarious when you have people genuinely concerned in the background of a shot. Another funny thing was going to the store and buying severed fingers, a turkey baster, fake blood, and then checking out. The cashier’s face was priceless!

Pink Fuzz. Photo Credit:   Vossling

Pink Fuzz. Photo Credit: Vossling

Why did you decide to film a video for this track from ‘Speed Demon’?

This track has a good, fast-driving beat behind it, as well as lyrics that match up to the video content like, “This is the end of the line my friend. Can’t go back now. Seeing life pass on day to day just counting on you. Fading, you’re fading away.” We wrote “Turn” in the perspective of the serial killer. It seemed like the best follow up to “Enough.”

Spooky! What else is Pink Fuzz planning for 2019?

We’ve been working really hard on new a 5-song EP. We wish were able to release it before our upcoming Midwest tour, but audiences will get to hear some of the new tracks live! In our opinion, it is some of our strongest songwriting and best sounds we’ve captured in the studio! We will be releasing it before summer is over. We’ve also got more videos and tour dates to announce sometime soon. For now catch us on the road starting this week at:

6|13 recordBar | KANSAS CITY, KS

6|14 Replay Lounge | LAWERENCE, KS

6|15 AUNTIE MAES | MANHATTAN, KS

6|18 TOTAL DRAG Records | SIOUX FALLS, SD

6|19 The Zoo Bar | LINCOLN, NE

6|20 TBA | COLUMBIA, MO

6|21 TBA | ST. LOUIS, MO

6|22 Liar's Club (ANNIVERSARY PARTY) | CHICAGO, IL

Can’t wait Pink Fuzz! Make sure to check out the band’s video above and keep up with them this summer here.

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

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

By: Mirna Tufekcic

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

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

Demi Demitro. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Demi Demitro. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

-Mirna

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

Review: When The BANDITS Give You 7" (But You Want All 12)

By: Riley Ann

The new 7” EP from the BANDITS showcases the band’s prowess bridging the heaviness of rock with the intricacies of metal guitar riffs, balancing relentless forward-driven rhythms with syncopated lifts. Yeah, it’s good. And it’s going to leave you wanting more.

BANDITS.

BANDITS.

The A-side features John Demitro on vocals for “Enough.” While the verses hammer down an almost static melody over a trance-like guitar & bass duet, the choruses open up vocally and instrumentally, and the bridge gives a taste of John’s iconic guitar soloing, reigned in from his wild solos in live settings. The stops after the choruses and the bridge let the song bottom out just long enough to give it shape. The arrangement of “Enough” balances perfectly, driving it forward and letting the song breathe.

Tear You Down” on the B-side features Lulu Demitro on vocals, and she drives the song on the back end of the beat with bass. Less ornate, more percussive, and more weight on each beat give this an ominous backdrop for the chorus to climb above the wreckage as Lulu’s voice sings, “I’ll tear you down, down until you’re nothing...” The transitions in and out of the half-time feel give the song more density, and the bridge turns into a haunting duet over sparse instrumentation, only to build back into the chorus. While her previous single “Kill Tonight” compels you to dance, “Tear You Down” will have you headbanging for days.

John Demitro offered his take on the new singles, saying, “I think these two songs are some of our strongest material to date. We’ve had these songs in our repertoire for awhile and I think they are a mile marker in the direction of where our sound was going. I think we have finally found the sound of BANDITS, and “Enough” and “Tear You Down” are a perfect preview to what is coming soon.”

The arrangements are tight, the studio production is solid, and their live shows leave even non-smokers reaching for a cigarette. The band plans to record a full-length album in August, so keep up with them on their website and social media. Your next chance to catch them locally is on this Sunday, July 30th for the UMS at the Skylark Lounge (tickets here) and then Monday, July 31st at Globe Hall in Denver with Slothrust and Gleemer (tickets here). In the meantime, you can get your hands on their music on their merch page, and snag digital copies on Bandcamp.

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

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

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

Ned Garthe Explosion.

Ned Garthe Explosion.

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

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

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

Demi Demitro.

Demi Demitro.

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

Flaural.

Flaural.

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

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

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

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

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

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

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

By: Joliene Adams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. “Bloodstream” – IoliteBloodstream (2016)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Joliene

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

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

John & Demi Demitro.

John & Demi Demitro.

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

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

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

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

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

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

Demi Demitro of The Velveteers. 

Demi Demitro of The Velveteers. 

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

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

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

Colorado tour dates:

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

UK tour dates:

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

Keep up with The Velveteers here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

DeCollage.

DeCollage.

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

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

Millicent.

Millicent.

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

Shady Elders.

Shady Elders.

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

Adia Victoria.

Adia Victoria.

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

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

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

Cold River City. 

Cold River City. 

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

San Fermin.

San Fermin.

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

Polica.

Polica.

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

BANDITS.

BANDITS.

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

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

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

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

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

By: Mirna Tufekcic

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

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

BANDITS. 

BANDITS. 

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

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

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

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

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

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

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

Blackfoot Gypsies. Photo per BolderBeat by   Hannah Oreskovich  .

Blackfoot Gypsies. Photo per BolderBeat by Hannah Oreskovich.

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

The Yawpers. Photo per BolderBeat by  Hannah Oreskovich .

The Yawpers. Photo per BolderBeat by Hannah Oreskovich.

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

Whiskey Autumn at Studio 700. Polaroid per  Becky Guidera .

Whiskey Autumn at Studio 700. Polaroid per Becky Guidera.

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

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

-Mirna

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

Today (Friday 03/04):

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

12509842_922258791196826_406793870152991798_n.jpg

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

Peep a live performance of CITRA on KUNC:


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

The wagon IS the original party bus people. 

The wagon IS the original party bus people. 

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

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

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

12115921_1204153859611634_2865353120131128073_n.jpg

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

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

Tomorrow (Saturday 03/05):

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

414932_420492391304538_577483755_o.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

The Next Day (Sunday 03/06):

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

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

Listen to The Kindness of Strangers for yourself:

download.jpeg

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

See you soon music lovers.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Boulder’s BANDITS Release Two New Singles - Listen Here:

By: Zach Dahmen

BANDITS premiered a new single this week.

BANDITS. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

BANDITS. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder’s psych-rock band BANDITS are preparing to release some new music on a 7” vinyl in March. The first single “Kill Tonight” was released just after the first of the year. The song is a thumping anthem of heavy synth and crunchy guitars. This is the song that you put on at the beginning of your night when just want to let go. Bassist and vocalist Lulu Demitro takes lead with haunting vocals. The midway break down is an explosion of what makes BANDITS stand out in the Boulder scene.

Check out “Kill Tonight”:

Their B-side, called “Wheels”, drives the band in a different direction with John Demitro taking lead vocals for this wailing song. “Wheels” just premiered on Diffuser Monday and drops everywhere tomorrow. It’s a psych-rock wet dream with bluesy blaring guitars and just the right touch of reverb to put the vocals into the stratosphere; especially at the culmination in the song’s final minute. It is a non-stop ride from first click. The single displays their talent as a band and makes it clear why they stand out as a peerless rock trio in the Front Range.

Listen to “Wheels” on Diffuser before it drops everywhere tomorrow by clicking here.

Both songs off of the BANDITS forthcoming vinyl, which is aptly titled “Kill Tonight” were mastered by award-winning engineer Brian Gardner. Gardner has worked with both The White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age, both of which are influences of BANDITS. Currently, the band is preparing to head out on tour for the month of February. You can see their dates below. Make sure to see them the next time they play locally before it’s too late!

Feb. 17: The Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS

Feb. 18: The Bridge – Columbia, MO

Feb. 20: Garden Bowl – Detroit MI

Feb. 21: Annabell’s – Akron, OH

Feb. 25: Don Pedro – Brooklyn, NY

Feb. 26: Bowery Electric – New York City, NY

Feb. 28: Elbo Room – Chicago, IL

March 1: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA

March 2: Duffy’s – Lincoln, NE

-Zach

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

On The Record with Zach & David: The Un- "Branding" of BANDITS

By: David Landry and Zach Dahmen

BANDITS rebrand and talk to us about their history and their horizon.

BANDITS.

BANDITS.

One night over whiskey and records, we came up with a cool idea: we wanted to sit down with musicians, listen to music, and just talk about how they got to where they are. For our first interview, we jumped on Boulder’s own BANDITS. John and Lulu Demitro walked into the Gingerbread house and the first thing they both said to us was: “Nice- Rubber Soul is on.” That’s when we knew it was going to be a good evening, with The White Stripes and The Greenhornes to follow.

So let’s just start with the fact that the BANDITS are opening for fucking HEART tonight- yes Barracuda at the Budweiser Events Center. But how did they get here?

The BANDITS are a Boulder band through and through. Though they don’t play here often due to Boulder’s lack of hard rock venues, their family started here, with their grandfather being one of the first Colorado University students to attend school for bass guitar. He even owned a music shop, located where The Riverside is today. So the Demitros grew up here and still love it. John embarked on his first band (Baseline) when he was 17 and started out on bass guitar. Baseline began as a four piece, fresh out of high school; a rock band playing 21+ shows for pennies and no tab because they ‘couldn’t’ drink. John has always been influenced by the heavy hitters of rock and roll, like Zeppelin and Sabbath. Trying to fill out the sound of the band, he looked to his sister Lulu to play keys. Lulu started playing piano as a toddler and taught herself how to read music by playing Beatles songs over and over. But with John being the older brother, it took some convincing for her to even come to a practice. Eventually, she joined the band.

Rock and Roll.

Rock and Roll.

Baseline played some gigs to empty basements but nothing too serious. Together, the group’s first gig under the moniker Branded Bandits was opening a show at The Fox Theatre for West Water Outlaws, and with guns blazing the Branded Bandits kept playing. When the guitar player left the band, John told Lulu, “You will have to learn bass and I am going to learn the guitar parts.” And so they did. Non-stop practicing made their shows go smoothly from there, but what really came from the change was that they liked their new three piece outfit. Compressing the band changed the sound, and all they wanted was a badass rock band.

“The thing about rock and roll [is] there are no rules, you can do anything you want.” -John

Andrew Oakley.

Andrew Oakley.

Finding new influences like Queens of the Stone Age, The Kills, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club showed Bandits that they really didn’t need a lot to sound heavy. Working on finding their own sound made drummers come and go, but finding current drummer Andrew Oakley (formerly of West Water Outlaws) was a sign that they were moving in the direction they wanted. They felt more at home with Andrew on the kit. They were trimming off the extra and creating BANDITS.

“[Andrew] is a pocket drummer and we needed that; he’s all about the song and the collective.” said John.

Added Lulu, “With Andrew we were falling into our sound.”

The unbranded BANDITS quickly started working on new songs and hopped on the road. A touring rock and roll band in their early 20’s brings debauchery, and they have stories to tell. They stayed on the road as much as possible and then jumped into the studio to record. For the first time ever, they got to record like their idols. They taped and pressed a 7-inch.

“It was the first time we got to see how recording a tape worked.” they told us.

BANDITS Bring It.

BANDITS Bring It.

Which brings us to now, with BANDITS opening up the Heart show tonight. BANDITS were contacted a few months back about the show, but didn’t hear much until two weeks ago when they got a call that said, “You’re in.”

“They are the female Led Zeppelin, such a unique, powerful, and original sound,” Lulu smiled, “Two leading ladies: one plays guitar and they write their own tunes. [When it comes to our set] we are going to do what we are going to do and have a good time doing it.”

Spoken like a true rock and roll band. If you are seeing Heart tonight, make sure you get to the show early to see this fantastic three piece. Or you can catch them around Colorado- they play the Snake River Saloon this Saturday. Keep up with their performances here.

Listen to a Bandits track here:

-David and Zach on the record

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

David's Desk: Blood Was Spilt on Friday the 13th

By: David Landry and Zach Dahmen

What's a rock'n'roll show without a little blood?

Friday the 13th is known as a superstitious evening. Most of us give it the middle finger and get tattoos for 20 bucks and hang out at Crystal Lake. The virgin dies, so get to it. But we spent last Friday the 13th at the Hi-Dive. And though no one was slashed and all three bands on the lineup KILLED it, the vocal mics that evening were unfortunately cursed.

The night was a sonic smorgasbord: blaring guitars, chest rattling bass, and passionate artists who left their guts onstage. We were transported from surf rock to outright wailing rock’n’roll that you could feel in your teeth. The sound didn’t give the performers vocal justice, a guy in the audience blacked out and face-planted on the floor, blood was spilt, beers were guzzled, bodies moved, and the ringing in our ears wasn’t the only thing we took home with us. 

Slow Caves. Photo Credit:   Zach Dahmen

Slow Caves. Photo Credit: Zach Dahmen

Fort Collins’ Slow Caves started the night pulling no punches. Their style had surf heavy guitars and electric energy, but their tenacious vocals were often lost in the mix. Bodies were grooving hard to this four piece. They set the tone of the evening for a memorable night.

Drop to Your Knees and Choose the Outfit. Photo Credit:   David Landry

Drop to Your Knees and Choose the Outfit. Photo Credit: David Landry

The Outfit took the stage next and had the best sound of the night, but only because an overly enthusiastic fan jumped onstage and no one could hear Eric Johnston telling her to get fucking going. So Johnston grabbed the bass player’s mic, and with his soapbox voice coming through, the sound changed dramatically and the crowd definitely responded. Nasty lead bass lines, distorted harmonic guitars, and a booming kick drum made the show move with the thrashing heads in the crowd. We can tell you that BolderBeat will be going to The Outfit shows more often.

Groupies. John Demitro of Bandits. Photo Credit:   David Landry

Groupies. John Demitro of Bandits. Photo Credit: David Landry

Finally, Bandits hit the stage blaring. The high energy from the cursed evening coursed through all of our veins. Halfway through a crowd turning performance, their vocals began to fade to nothing due to the hexed mics. But in true Bandit fashion, the trio played a blistering set to a fever pitch of crash amps and a very damaged drum set. Each member had their sonically shining moments. John Demitro on guitar played with a real fearlessness and took advantage of every inch of that stage. Lulu Demitro on bass and keys was a highlight with all of the melodic parts. She shined on the band’s dark interpretation of the Beatles' Happiness is a Warm Gun. And Mr. Andrew Oakley on drums crashed through the stage with ferocious rhythm. His set-ending drum solo was a catalyst for a defiant stage destruction. Bandits are back with a new, grittier sound and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

All three bands made Friday the 13th a hit. We’re hoping for a sequel very, very soon.

Get a taste by watching vids from each of the bands here:

-David and Zach at the desk

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

A Shadow of Jaguar's Debut Single: "Mama Needs the Bottle"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

A Shadow of Jaguar's new single is tasty.

ASOJ.

ASOJ.

As you might recall, we covered an A Shadow of Jaguar show back in June at the Pub. Comprised of Cold River City’s Brian Hubbert and former West Water Outlaws’ drummer Andrew Oakley, desker David Landry described the boys as a “super-powered project” with “a thumping kick drum and a whip-cracking snare.” Following that performance, the duo played The UMS and various gigs around Colorado. The pair then hit the studio, The Crucible Recording Studio to be exact, and worked with producer Robbie Stiefel and bassist John Demitro of Branded Bandits to lay down a few licks. After tossing things around in mixing with John Peacock and having their jams mastered by Brian Gardner, A Shadow of Jaguar have released their debut single, “Mama Needs the Bottle.”

Cheers to new music! Check it out here and leave your thoughts in the comments:

-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.

David's Desk: Party with the Pack: A Shadow of Jaguar

By: David Landry

A Shadow of Jaguar are high-energy blues rock.

ASOJ in their natural habitat.

ASOJ in their natural habitat.

Pearl Street Pub and Cellar has music most Mondays and Wednesdays, and they keep it pretty calm on Mondays. But recently, things were a little different. Here’s the scene:

You walk up to the Pub and you’re instantly hit with a thumping kick drum and a whip-cracking snare. That’s when you first realize, this isn’t going to be your normal Monday at the Pub. You expected acoustic, sad-bastard music to be playing so you could sit in the corner and drink your whiskey alone.

Instead, just inside the door, you are greeted with a bluesy slide guitar. And a two piece rocking band. At the helm is Brian Hubbert (of Cold River City) and on the skins is Andrew Oakley (formerly of West Water Outlaws). It’s a super-powered project. It’s A Shadow of Jaguar.

Let these boys take you for a ride.

Let these boys take you for a ride.

ASOJ plays you a bunch of originals, and some fun covers like Death's “Keep on Knockin’”. To make it even more of a party, at one point Will Buck (formerly of West Water Outlaws) hops in with some tasty licks screaming over Brian's slide guitar parts, and John Demitro (of Branded Bandits) jumps off his normal guitar playing to keep the rhythm section tight on bass. The four play together like they’ve been doing this for years; they never skip a beat. Neither you nor the Pub were ready for this high-energy set, but you and everyone there want more. And that’s your Monday night.

A Shadow of Jaguar just finished recording with Robbie Stiefel over at The Crucible and the boys are playing UMS in Denver at the end of the month. See them when you can, because jaguars don't travel in packs very often.

-David at the desk

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