Stacked All Local Lineup Slated for Fox Theatre This Weekend (07/06)

This Friday, July 6th, the Fox Theatre will host some of Colorado's finest. 

Ashley Koett sounds like Mac Demarco and Ella Fitzgerald made a band and Cuco produced the record. That said, the Boulder artist's combination of slack rock and jazz with "memorizing melodies" is exactly how you want to spend your Friday night this week. We promise.

Flanked by a four-piece band live, Koett is the singer and multi-instrumentalist behind most of her recorded work, which she creates in her Boulder bedroom. She's "not afraid to get personal in her songs" and often "even makes light of her dreary situations" in her music. With a roster opening for bands like Cuco and Frankie Cosmos, it's honestly hard to imagine Koett will remain local for long, which is just another reason this weekend's Fox show should be on your to-do list .

Ashley Koett.

Ashley Koett.

Tyto AlbaCorsicanaAmerican Grandma, and The Milk Blossoms will also grace the stage on Friday. Tyto Alba's female-fronted indie rock vibes mixed with Corsicana's shoegaze is already reason to show up early. But then you add in the shadowy post-rock sounds of American Grandma and the dark pop productions of The Milk Blossoms and well, you'd better just show up at doors. Honestly. (By the way, they're are at 830PM.)

KGNU Community RadioRadio 1190, and Twist & Shout Records are presenting this all-local lineup of stacked proportions and tickets are only $10 in advance. Get yours here and we'll see you at the show.

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 Sole To Release 'Let Them Eat Sand' At Marquis Theatre This Friday (02/02)

Denver hip-hop artist Sole is releasing his new album Let Them Eat Sand this Friday, February 2nd. The record, which explores the current US political climate, along with social commentary on pop culture elements like “generations lost to memes and smartphones” was self-produced by Sole and funded through his Patreon. As Sole has said, the record is about “An ‘apocalypse’ that isn't coming, but already here.” Sole has already released the single from the record, the title track “Let Them Eat Sand”:

Sole’s album release show, which is sponsored by KGNU, will be at Marquis Theatre the same night as the record’s digital release. Denver’s Mux Mool, Entrancer, and The Maybe So's will open the evening; tickets here.

Sole.

Sole.

Make sure to catch this Colorado hip-hop artist, listen to Let Them Eat Sand, and catch Sole for yourself at the Marquis this Friday!

Find more on this event here.

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

Folk Fights Back: Rachel Baiman Brings New Protest Songs Through Colorado

By: Riley Ann

Folk music is no stranger to politics, and Rachel Baiman isn’t afraid to make waves. Her new album Shame is getting accolades from NPR’s All Songs Considered, Paste Magazine, and The Bluegrass Situation, among others, and for good reason. The album is fierce, playful, even snarky, and it’s the perfect patchwork of the Americana tradition, spanning grooves reminiscent of Sam Bush (like the title track, “Shame,” and “Never Tire Of The Road”), to classic country fiddle (like “In The Space Of A Day”), to the Gillian Welch-esque melody of “Take A Stand,” all blended with her Old-time roots and modern voice. The album is available to stream and purchase in digital, CD, and vinyl formats on her Bandcamp.

She’s sharing her new batch of tunes on tour in Colorado this week. Aside from performing live on KGNU’s Kabaret show on Tuesday, August 8th, Rachel is playing the Starhouse concert series in Boulder along with local favorites Natalie Tate and Gabrielle Louise this Wednesday from 7:30PM-10PM (more information here). She’s also playing a show in Denver at Globe Hall on Thursday, August 10th with The Wind and the Wave, an indie-folk/alt-country band from Austin, Texas.

Similar to Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and so many other folk musicians that have walked this path, Rachel’s songs are steeped in the social commentary of the times. She said, “They originated from broader political issues, but with what’s happening in the world today, they get more and more specific in their meaning every day.”

Rachel Baiman.

Rachel Baiman.

Her politics don’t stop with her own music. She is one of the co-founders of Folk Fights Back, a non-profit organization that curates concerts around the world to raise money for local organizations working for social and political changes. Previous concerts have raised funds for environmental justice, immigrant and refugee rights, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and more. Rachel said, “It was really a way to channel our energy into things that are important to us. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re making a difference, but we’ve raised thousands of dollars for local non-profits doing really important work, and it brings people together in a positive way. There’s so much power in our solidarity.” Learn more about setting up your own Folk Fights Back concert by visiting their website.

While this is Rachel’s first full-blown tour in Colorado, it certainly won’t be her last. However, it might be your last opportunity to see her in such an intimate space as the Starhouse. You can find more about that show and her other tour dates on her Facebook page and her website.

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

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

The 2017 Underground Music Showcase Brought Together Artists & Fans For Four Days Of Awesome

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s annual four day music festival The Underground Music Showcase rocked South Broadway last weekend. We crawled the strip, ate nothing but pizza, and almost refused to sleep in the name of good music. Here are some of our favorite things about this year’s festival:

The Bands

Of course we went to as many shows as possible and of course most of them really rocked our socks off. But here we’re going to be shameless and first tell you about the killer acts who played our packed official day party.

Xavier Provencher & Sean Culliton of Retrofette.

Xavier Provencher & Sean Culliton of Retrofette.

BolderBeat & KGNU combined forces this year to bring you Brunch with a Beat at The UMS, which was five hours of sugar and synth by some of Colorado’s most promising electro acts.

Greg Laut of Whiskey Autumn.

Greg Laut of Whiskey Autumn.

Mirror Fears kicked things off with her industrial goth pop, Church Fire kept things movin’ with their Crystal Castles-esque electronic primal therapy, and DéCollage wrapped the front of The Irish Rover in Mylar and swept the stage with their avant-garde pop. Retrofette’s synth stylings followed, and created a massive dance party full of hip-shaking & flash tattoos. Whiskey Autumn’s indie synth pop closed the show; their unreleased track "Birds That Flew" had many whistling along to its chorus. And in between sets, DJ Erin Stereo crushed sweet beats. We gave away tickets to upcoming Future Islands and Thundercat shows, and we passed out donut lollipops, which many showgoers expressed they hoped were laced with weed (they were not kidz).

As for the rest of our UMS:

Anthony Ruptak.

Anthony Ruptak.

Our first official set at UMS 2017 was at Hi-Dive on Thursday with Anthony Ruptak, who started us off with amazing tunes from his new record Don’t Let It Kill You, and even streamed a Facebook live anti-Trump vid from the stage. Punk rock.

Ishka Phoenix of Ghost Tapes.

Ishka Phoenix of Ghost Tapes.

Ghost Tapes were a funky, neo-soul standout at Skylark; frontwoman Ishka Phoenix had the crowd melting as she delivered tasty R&B sounds from her ice cream microphone.

Ben Pisano of Corsicana.

Ben Pisano of Corsicana.

Corsicana gave us tasty indie tunes while we nommed hard on an Illegal Pete’s burrito, which was the only non-pizza item we allowed ourselves for sustenance. The four-piece are playing a couple of big Colorado shows with Hippo Campus this month, so make sure to roll to those.

Chris Scott & Chris Kimmel of OptycNerd.

Chris Scott & Chris Kimmel of OptycNerd.

OptycNerd describe themselves as “eclectro indie pop hop sexy time,” and well, we wish we’d written that ourselves. Their sexy time at Hi-Dive was enjoyed.

Zola Jesus.

Zola Jesus.

Zola Jesus brought her dark, operatic vocals to the main stage; Red Fang spouted the classic rock stoner jams they’re known for to a headbanging crowd.

What is cooler than wearing glow-in-the-dark face paint? Glow-in-the-dark guitar strings- DUH. Motion Trap had ‘em at their Rover set on Saturday, and they played their electro sonic disco tunes to a packed house that boogied with them from start to finish.

Mic Carroll of All Chiefs.

Mic Carroll of All Chiefs.

All Chiefs kept us out of the rain at Hi-Dive with their indie rock vibes, Evan Holm & The Restless Ones kicked up some folky soul at Gary Lee’s Motorcycle Club, and GALLERIES played a heartfelt tribute show celebrating the life of late Denver music prodigy Kyle McQueen.

The Outfit.

The Outfit.

Rock’n’roll’s The Outfit played their final set ever at 3 Kings Tavern on Friday to a mosh-ready, beer-heavy crowd who were clearly sad to see them go.

Rebecca Williams of The Savage Blush.

Rebecca Williams of The Savage Blush.

The Savage Blush had a killer psych rock-dripping set at the main stage, Slowcaves brought us chill wave surf rock sounds, and Dragondeer managed to blues rock us almost straight through a downpour, though they had to cut their set a bit short when the rain just about flash-flooded the festival parking lot in true Colorado fashion.

Esmé Patterson.

Esmé Patterson.

Brent Cowles revived a soaking crowd with “Cold Times” when the sun came back out, Esmé Patterson slayed her evening dream rock set with unreleased music and a touching tribute with Kitty Crimes to the late Tyler Despres, and Benjamin Booker crowd surfed his way right into Colorado’s heart, closing out the main stage of the festival Sunday evening.

The Booze

Dewar's Whiskey Emporium.

Dewar's Whiskey Emporium.

Breckenridge Brewing was a main sponsor for The UMS this year and we sipped many an Avalanche by the main stage throughout the fest. Dewar’s had what felt like a tiny house made for drinking with free smells and scotch eggs. It was delicious and why you would have wasted your tongue on any other mixed drink in the hot sun and the pouring rain is beyond us.

The Bunny

Yeah. This one.

Yeah. This one.

Mixed Up Gifts’ pop up shop on South Broadway had some sweet merch for sale from Sacred Bones Records and a creepy night light if you’re in the market to wake up afraid of the dark only to find Jason lurking in your bathroom. But best of all was their bunny, who tried to coerce festival-goers into the shop while eerily reading children’s books through the window.

The Budz

No, not that kind you typical Denverite. Overall, we had a rad time at The UMS this year, and we highly encourage you to check out all the bands we mentioned, all the acts we live-interviewed with Zach Dahmen, and any of the performers on the local lineup in general. Because if there’s one thing we came away with after four days of music-hopping insanity, it was with community- from the performers themselves, to the UMS staff and volunteers, to the eager ticket holders bouncing from show to show hoping to find their next favorite band- Denver came out to support its own. Whether we were playing beach volleyball in the artist tent during a downpour or running from the main stage with our best budz to get back to Broadway for a set (those smarter ones took the Meow Wolf bus), this weekend really showcased you- the local music supporter. And for that, we and apparently Governor Hickenlooper, thank you.

Check out our full photo gallery from The UMS here.

-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.
 

BolderBeat & KGNU Hosting Official Day Party at 2017 Underground Music Showcase

This year, BolderBeat is proud to be partnering with KGNU Radio to host an official 2017 Underground Music Showcase Day Party during the Denver festival on Sunday, July 30th from 12PM-5PM at The Irish Rover Pub. 

IMG_9055.JPG

Join BolderBeat & KGNU for sugar and synth! We've got a photo booth, giveaways, & lots of surprises in store for this Sunday event. Here is our official day party lineup: 

12PM Mirror Fears

1PM Church Fire

2PM deCollage

3PM Retrofette

4PM Whiskey Autumn

*beats between sets by DJ Erin Stereo

So make sure to get your festival tickets here & stop by our party! Join our Facebook event for more info to follow in the coming weeks! Sweet sounds provided; sprinkles optional. 

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 04/29 & 04/30

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Deep breath. Dance. Weeeeeeeeekend!

Today (Friday 04/29):

The Heartstring Hunters with Molly Kollier and LeesaAnn at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

Indie-folk act The Heartstring Hunters are headlining a show at the LG tonight, and will likely be playing some new music for you, as their first full-length album is rumored to drop this summer. Local singer/songwriter LeesaAnn will open up tonight’s entertainment, followed by Boulder-based soulful folk singer/songwriter Molly Kollier. It should be an awesome lineup to listen to as you jump headfirst into the weekend, so go check it out!

Peep The Heartstring Hunters’ “Let’s Let Go” (Live):

Banshee Tree at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

Experimental swing/blues outfit Banshee Tree are playing Conor’s tonight! This five-piece will definitely make you groove, so come ready to dance! They’ve been called a mix of “gypsy jazz, folk pop, and swing”. They always draw a great crowd, so come grab an Irish Car Bomb and hang out.

Listen to Banshee Tree’s live performance on KGNU:

Tomorrow (Saturday 04/30):

Halfoween at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 9PM-Close

It’s halfway to Halloween (weird, right?) and tomorrow LLL is celebrating with “Frankenstein bands”, aka five groups of musicians who have been put together from a pool of 18 different Colorado bands. There will, of course, be a costume contest with treats from Twist & Shout Records and Illegal Pete’s, cash prizes, and more. So put on last year’s costume, or grab yourself some fresh threads, and hit the town tomorrow night for Halfoween!

More info on this event here.

Many Mountains at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Acoustic rock/blues act Many Mountains will be hitting the floor behind the big brown door tomorrow night. The three-piece dropped their self-titled EP last summer and boast “acoustic rhythms with melodic, reverberous riffs”. Sounds like a solid night! Head on over.

Listen to Many Mountains’ “Lost In Love”:

Both Nights (04/29 & 04/30):

Sonic Bloom Pre-Party Show at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver

Giraffage.

Giraffage.

The 11th Annual Sonic Bloom Festival is coming up in June and tickets are still available for the 3-day music party here. This weekend, SBF is actually throwing a sweet pre-party, which begins tonight at Cervantes. The lineup features over 20 acts, including Giraffage, Louis the Child, Phutureprimitive, Pumpkin, and more. Things are gonna get wild before you hit the Unified Field this summer, so join the fun this weekend and meet some of your future best fest franz at these shows!

Check out Giraffage’s “Make You Love Me”:

All Three Nights (04/29-05/01)

Spread the Word Music Festival at Various Venues in Boulder & Denver

Jay Bianchi is at it again, and this time, the Quixote’s True Blue, Owsley’s Golden Road, and Sancho’s Boulder Arrow owner is bringing a massive festival your way. Some of our local favorites on the lineup include: Caribou Mountain Collective, CollieRAD, Cycles, Foxfeather, Intuit, Jus Sayin, Lula Granji, Mama Magnolia, MOONTANG, Policulture, Punch Drunk Munkey Funk, Technicolor Tone Factory, The Jacob Cade Project, and The Pamlico Sound. We’d pay the fest costs just to check out these amazing acts, but you get even more! There are a total of 50 Colorado bands playing this three day music extravaganza! Get tickets for single and full weekend passes here.

BCFM

Boulder County Farmers Market is every Saturday from 10AM-2PM. We’re working closely with BCFM to promote the music at the market, and this week, Longmont’s Bella Musser is playing. Stop by to hear her acoustic tunes, nom some of Cafe Aion’s paella, and sip some Happy Leaf Kombucha. It’s going to be a great one.

Listen to Bella Musser’s “Think I’m Falling In Love”:

It's gonna be a sweet weekend yo. See you out there!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

It Goes Beyond: An Imaginary “Interview” and "Concert" Review with The Itchy-O Marching Band

By: Will Baumgartner

Denver's Itchy-O are one crazy awesome crew. 

PART ONE: THE “INTERVIEW”

I’m in my apartment waiting for The Itchy-O Marching Band to arrive for our interview. I don’t really know what to expect. I’ve heard a lot about them, seen a few photos, and heard their music. I know they can be kinda weird interview subjects because I heard them live on KGNU recently, and when the DJ asked them questions, she was answered by electronically distorted voices delivering cryptic messages which seemed to come from another dimension. What I don’t expect is… what happens.

First, drums. A whole LOT of drums. I hear them before I see them. In fact, I can’t see much at all at first, because my apartment goes dark. Then, BOOM! From somewhere outside the walls, somewhere in the hall, the pounding of drums- a whole lot of them: pounding polyrhythms coming for me. It’s a little spooky, maybe, this invasion of the unknown, but really, it’s a lot more exciting than any kind of scary. There’s something absolutely irresistible in this mystery.

The Itchy-O Marching Band. Photo Credit: Patrick Anderson

The Itchy-O Marching Band. Photo Credit: Patrick Anderson

Then, simultaneously, two things happen: electronics and lights. It’s still pretty dark in my apartment, but as my eyes begin to adjust, I see dark figures (they’re all dressed in black from head to toe, with face-covering masks, black suits, and, on some of them, giant black mariachi hats). I hear, from some other place or universe, sounds coming from what I can only describe as… I don’t know, “intergalactic radios”? All of these sounds, as disparate as they may seem if they were listened to separately or picked apart mentally, are actually working together to create something which is, undeniably, music.

And then there are the lights. Rings of tiny red lights glowing on the brims of the mariachi hats, and other, bigger lights shining from various corners of my apartment. The drumming becomes more insistent and even more polyrhythmic and… WHOA! Suddenly there are lights all over the dang place: pulsing strobes here, sweeping searchlights there, lights worn by the members of the band on their costumes, and, on one end of my apartment, a tower which emits a Tesla-like, crackling, twisting band of electricity. It is now when it becomes more and more clear to me that Itchy-O, while knowing that I had wanted to talk with them, have come to do anything but talk. No, what they want to do is… DANCE!

Sombreros.

Sombreros.

And their want travels to me just like that: This sudden, unavoidable demand and need to dance. I can’t resist it; who could? I’m dancing! How very delightful!! And better yet, I’m dancing with the band!!! They wear giant megaphone-like speakers on their backs, they play drums banded on their torsos which they carry around the room with them while they play various electronic setups also attached to their bodies like food vendors wandering the crowd at a baseball game (or something like that), One member even has a portable Theremin that he carries in front of him; another rides a freakin’ BIKE around my apartment with a computerized music-making setup on the front and a giant megaphone speaker on the back. Some of these lovable freaks are just dancers with no drums or electronic gear or speakers and, wait, look over there! Here comes a big shaggy, sparkly dog-dragon-like-creature, which puts my befuddled and bedazzled mind into some Chinese/Mexican carnival setting. And all the while, the music just keeps playing and swirling while the drums keep pounding and layering, and…

Well, you get the idea. (Or do you?)

Despite the volume of the music, and the fact that all of the Itchy-O members mouths are covered by their masks (all I can see are their eyes), I attempt to begin some semblance of an interview.

WB: This is quite an experience, and it makes me wonder where it all started. What can you tell me about the origins of Itchy-O?

I-O: ____________________

WB: Umm… Okay. Well can you give me some idea of your influences and inspirations?

I-O: _______________________________________ (accompanied by what looks like a smirk of the eyes).

WB: Well, sheesh. We’re not getting very far with this, are we?

I-O: (Gives me the grinning eyes) (Shoves me gently, playfully)

WB: Ah, why do I bother trying to talk to you?

I-O: (shrugs!)

WB: (slightly frustrated, while undeniably still amused; charmed even) Are you intentionally messing with me? Just to get on my nerves, or… or make me feel foolish??

I-O: (shakes head “No!” emphatically) (Grabs me and hugs me- hard!!!)

And so what do I do? Well, what can I do? I surrender, give up on my insistent and rather silly idea of an “interview”, and helpless to resist the pull of the music and Itchy-O’s exhortations to resume the dance, I resume the dance. And it’s wonderful, isn’t it? Oh yes. Yes it is.

*********

PART TWO: THE "CONCERT" REVIEW

The experience described above, while it obviously didn’t “really happen” to me (OR DID IT?), does (I hope) give you, Dear Reader, some idea of what an Itchy-O “concert” is like. At least, the one I went to recently at Denver’s own Home of the Weird (Oddball Haven? Misfits Paradise?), the 3 Kings Tavern. I’d been wanting to catch an Itchy-O’s “show” for awhile, and when it was all over, I was… how shall I put this? I was DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY that I’d gone.

Yes. That’s what I meant to say. Capitals intentional.

Drums. Photo Credit: Patrick Anderson

Drums. Photo Credit: Patrick Anderson

You probably noticed that I put the words “concert” and “show” in quotes. Why? Well, because it’s hard to know what earthly terminology can accurately encapsulate what I was so deliriously, happily engulfed in that night. Itchy-O’s aggregation of 20 to 30 musicians and dancers doesn’t so much “perform” for an “audience” as they do invite everyone who’s there with them to become part of something bigger- much bigger- than the sum of its parts. Itchy-O goes beyond “audience participation” to the point that it’s really difficult to tell who’s putting on the “show”. And that, I think, is the whole point. Itchy-O simply goes beyond. And they insist that we come with them.

Of all these drummers, electronics players and dancers, only four or five of them were onstage: the rest of the group wandered incessantly through the crowd, engaging us all in dancing, playful interaction, etc. A few times, Itchy People (my own term) would come up behind me and play with my pork pie hat, bobbing it around on my head or taking it off of my head and putting it on someone else- and I didn’t mind, not a bit! You can feel the love and the sense of delightful mischief in everything they do; it just makes the experience that much more fun.

3 Kings Crowd.

3 Kings Crowd.

The Itchy People had no qualms whatsoever about coming up and dancing with us. At one point, I was dancing really hard (with my wool pea coat still on), and felt cool air up inside of my coat. I opened my eyes (they’d been closed; I was so into it) and saw that one of the Itchy People was doing this, using some hairdryer-type thing to cool me off. Yikes. How cool is that?

So for heaven's sake, let’s get Itchy-O up here to B-Town SOON because really, until you’ve gone where they go (into another universe?), you truly don’t know what you’re missing. You’d swear you were in some kind of heaven- one way beyond your wildest imaginings. And if you have any dancing bones in your body, well.. Oh boy. You’ll definitely be dancing.

Watch a live Itchy-O performance:

-Will

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

An interview with Boulder's Silent Bear: A powerful musician; a powerful spirit.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

From his work with Pete Seeger to his new protest songs, Silent Bear isn't so silent.

My first impression of Silent Bear was that his name fit him well: towering above me in his over-six-foot-tall frame, he was soft-spoken with kind eyes as he sat down across from me with a cup of coffee at The Laughing Goat. His ponytail touched the back of his jacket as he moved toward my tape recorder and clinked his cup against its saucer.

“So I started in open mics here [in Boulder],” he tells me, “and it was a lot different back then.”

I ask him when “back then” was, and Silent Bear tells me he moved to Boulder in 1993 when he drove his sister out to CU and ended up sticking around. And the difference?

“If you walked into a coffeehouse back then, it was before the digital age. So there were a bunch of people sitting around tables and they’d actually be talking to one another. They might not even know each other. But there would be artists drawing up posters for musicians, like, ‘Hey you got a gig Wednesday? Here’s some artwork for it.’ There would be people spreading the word about their gigs for the week, and there would be groups of us in philosophical conversation. And it’s different now. The world is so much bigger in some ways, but it’s a lot smaller in others. I miss that sometimes.”

I glance around. Save for the one soul actually reading a book by himself in the corner, every other person in the place (and it’s packed) is in front of a screen. As I ponder commenting on this, he beckons to me with a smile, “But certain things are the same- there are some artists who are still around and there’s still a great scene here.”

Silent Bear is one such scene staple himself. After becoming a Boulder transplant in the 90s, SB started out playing local open mic nights and worked his way up to co-hosting one at the late Penny Lane Coffeehouse with Chuck Nehring. Together, the two would tape the nights live to cassette, and the recordings were then played on KGNU. Silent Bear met a lot of local artists this way and started practicing his material in front of crowds, but after a few years in the scene, he had the itch to jump back to his origins in New York. There, he found himself inspired by the jazz club scene.

Silent Bear. Photo Credit:   Dancer Productions

Silent Bear. Photo Credit: Dancer Productions

“There was a real collective there- there were the jazz elders- the legends- and the up and comers. And I dabbled in jazz playing but my roots are more in folk and blues. There were ‘Big Band Mondays’ with 16-piece bands- there was a lot happening.”

Silent Bear connected with percussionist Kahlil Kwame Bell to record his first album, and although they were signed to a label, it was a jazz label. So when it came to booking shows and getting real distribution, things didn’t quite pan out. Their sound just wasn’t a fit for the jazz clubs Silent Bear was so inspired by. But he kept on.

Eventually, Silent Bear’s musical journey brought him back to the B in 2004. He found other artists to play with, and also kept doing a lot of solo work. One of his biggest music moments happened in 2012 when he played a benefit concert with Pete Seeger and the two became friends. Wanting to record and release some new material around that time, Silent Bear approached Seeger about working together. And soon after, he found himself in Seeger’s living room.

“Pete played banjo on a track- we recorded a couple of songs together in his living room in New York. My last album The Green Lion- it’s great because it’s a real honor that [Seeger’s] on there, but there are also a lot of local artists on there too.”

And that’s the thing about Silent Bear- he’s got the sort of spirit that welcomes you into his work whether you’re a music legend or an amateur.

Silent Bear performing with Pete Seeger. Photo Credit:   Skyhook Entertainment

Silent Bear performing with Pete Seeger. Photo Credit: Skyhook Entertainment

As Silent Bear and I continue to chat, I ask him about his name.

“You know a lot of people think the name is Native American but it’s not. I do a lot of work with Native Peoples- I’ve been honored to be a part of  of their traditional ceremonies, I’ve played benefit shows for Native causes, and I have been close with a lot of people in the community. They are my spiritual brothers and sisters and friends, but my blood ancestors are Russian and Polish. I’ve thought to myself, ‘There are bears in Russia as well as here in North America.’ But the way I actually got the name ‘Silent Bear’ was on a roadtrip when my sister Debra and I were just making up names for each other. She came up with Silent Bear and it kind of fit and stuck, you know? The bear is the guardian of the dream and the subconscious. The Big Dream. I like that. And it’s a strong image. I can be quiet, but when I get on stage, people are sometimes surprised by me; by my voice, by my performance; by the paradox. So you have the quiet nature of my character up front with the power and intensity of the bear behind it.”

I tell him I like that. And then I wonder aloud, “From Penny Lane, to your jazz days, to recording with Pete Seeger. . . what’s next for you at this point?”

“Well, we released The Green Lion album last year, but I’ve already got a lot of new material I want to record now and so I’m looking for avenues for that.” he smiled. “And I’m doing a lot of work with what I call my ‘Electric Band,’ my three piece. We’re a little louder, you know, a little different energy than what I do myself.”

Album Artwork for  The Green Lion .

Album Artwork for The Green Lion.

Silent Bear is also hosting an open-mic night at Sancho’s Boulder Arrow on Monday nights, which is ironically where he played his first Boulder gig back when it was Branden’s Cafe. I comment on how that seems to bring things full-circle for SB’s Boulder career, and Silent Bear laughs in agreement.

“I want to create a musical community there; an artist’s community. Kinda back to the Penny Lane days, where people come and support one another and get inspired. There might be someone playing a song that you like and you go home and write one because you get inspired. Or you might meet somebody, like I met Kahlil at the jazz clubs, and they might be your musical soulmate. Maybe you get together and form a band. Maybe you’re looking to record and somebody will come and say, ‘Oh yeah I got a studio and I’m looking to take on some projects, you know.’ The possibilities are endless.”

Listening to someone with so much experience, I agree with him that they are. Silent Bear is more than just a well-known musician in the local scene, he’s someone who has watched it transform over 20+ years. I tell him this as he hands me a copy of The Green Lion

He softly smiles.

“I want you to have this.” he says.

And that’s just like Silent Bear: Humble, but talented. Kind, but determined. Giving, but quiet. Strong on stage, but soft-spoken in conversation. A powerful spirit. A powerful musician.

Listen to Silent Bear here.

And check out Sancho’s Open Mic Mondays with Silent Bear here.

Watch the artistic video for the track “The Green Lion” below:

-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.

It's Here: The Fall Showcase Tonight at The Riverside!

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Come party with us tonight. 

The day is here! It’s time for The Fall Showcase, Boulder! While we’re not bringing you a Weekend Six this week, we’ve got more details on our event tonight to share with you, so readddd on:

The Fall Showcase   headliners Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

The Fall Showcase headliners Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

LINEUP

Have you checked out our exclusive interviews with each of the bands on the lineup? Read about Whiskey Autumn, BLVD, and Ben Hanna and the Knighthawks meow.

TIME AND $$

The show starts at 8PM & ends at midnight. It’s $5 and all proceeds go to the bands and the sound guy! We want to recognize local talent, so you’ll be supporting them with your admission.

The Fox King.

The Fox King.

GIANT BOLDERBEAT MERCH TABLE

Remember when we brought you Boulder artist Michael Maloney aka Ohh Mika the Fox King? Well he will be at the show tonight selling his art and talking to you about his different pieces! He’ll even be signing original prints. So stop by our giant BolderBeat merch table, say hi, and check out all of the interesting art he’s been working on!

We will be giving away buttons, stickers, and free band merch! So come get yoself some.

Buttons for you.

Buttons for you.

Don’t forget to signup for our monthly newsletter at the giant BolderBeat merch table! Doing so gets you a free sticker and a chance to keep up with all of Boulder’s local talent- you’ll have a shot at free tickets to shows, exclusive content from bands, and the opportunity to win lots of cool thangs.

Stickermania. Come get yours.  PHOTO CREDIT:    HANNAH ORESKOVICH

Stickermania. Come get yours. PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH ORESKOVICH

All bands will be at the merch table following their sets for a meet and greet. Want a signed EP? Now’s your chance! Get to it.

Look it's The Riverside!

Look it's The Riverside!

VENUE

Do you know where The Riverside is? Did you know it’s surrounded by FREE PARKING?

We thought so, but let us just remind you that:

The Riverside is at the corner of Broadway & Arapahoe (1724 Broadway)

PARKING: THERE IS FREE PARKING IN THE LOT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE RIVERSIDE (NEXT TO COLONEL MUSTARD'S LAST STAND). THERE IS FREE PARKING ON 13th BEHIND THE RIVERSIDE WHERE BOULDER'S FARMERS MARKET POPS UP ON SATURDAYS (NEAR THE PARK). THERE IS FREE GARAGE PARKING ON PEARL JUST A FEW BLOCKS FROM THE RIVERSIDE. THAT’S A LOT OF FREE PARKING!

STREAMING DA SHOW

Big thanks to our official sponsor, Colorado Community Radio Network (CRN). They’ll be streaming the event live on Green Light Radio, which you can check out here! Plus listen up for live interviews with the bands!

PS:

You do not have to be 21 for this show; everyone will be ID’d at the door.

PPS:

Are you in a local band? Or are you a local musician? Interested in participating in something like The Fall Showcase? Stop by tonight to support local music and tell us! We’d love to work with you and plans for another show are already in the works!

LOOK IT’S SOCIAL MEDIA

Join The Fall Showcase Facebook Event Here

Like Us On Facebook Here

Follow Us On Instagram Here  

Follow Us On Twitter Here

Can’t wait to see you tonight Boulder. 

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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