The Kaleidoscope Experience Is the One-of-a-Kind Psychedelic Wonderland Experience You're Looking For

By: Benjamin Tillis

Walt Disney once said, “Adults are only kids grown up.” And last Friday, The Kaleidoscope Experience, an event hosted at The Globe Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, proved Walt right. Marketed as “a whimsical playground for adults,” The Kaleidoscope Experience was a one-of-a-kind event that transformed The Globe Theatre into a psychedelic wonderland that sparked creativity and innocent wonder for all those who attended. The experience began the moment you walked into the theater, where funhouse mirrors and fog turned the hallway entrance of The Globe into a trippy maze. A multi-sensory, magical, make-believe land awaited once you completed the maze.

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It was impossible to stay focused once you were inside. On stage was a Pink Floyd cover band, playing with Alice in Wonderland projected behind them. But that was hardly the main attraction. In the middle of the crowd there was a pyramid covered in chocolates and sweet snacks and a wheel for attendees to spin. Depending on your spin, you could take a snack, or even better, press a button to make popcorn explode from the volcano-looking structure. It was glorious!

On the sides of the venues were treehouse structures you couldn’t see into, so you had no choice but to explore. In them, you encountered someone dressed as a rabbit who did nothing but offer you lollipops and tell you to “write your hopes and dreams” on sticky notes and add them to a wall that was already filled with hundreds of these. Also on the same floor as the live music, there was a bottomless tater tot buffet. It was a junk food paradise.

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The Kaleidoscope adventure continued downstairs with countless attractions. There were inflatable horse races, a tunnel maze that led to a secret pillow fort, and a close-up magician. Most notable, though, was the silent disco, which is usually a guaranteed good time. There was a dance floor decked out with lasers and glow sticks, and it was a fun escape from everything going on to dance to either the EDM channel, or a channel playing 80s and 90s classics.

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Although the designated dancing area was fun, it was a whole new experience walking through the rest of the event with silent disco headphones on. Another attraction on the main floor was a free-play arcade. Competing in stand up arcade games like Mortal Kombat and Crazy Taxi while jumping and dancing to your favorite songs was exhilarating!

Later in the night, the band switched to a Led Zeppelin cover group, which performed alongside the original animated version of Lord of The Rings, a cherry on top of all the ridiculousness that took place at Kaleidoscope. I sat in the love sacks in the general admission area and enjoyed the handful of songs they played until the end of the event. And then I headed home happier than I’ve been in a while! Keep your eyes open for The Kaleidoscope Experience coming to your city. For more information, check out out their website!

-Benjamin

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

Why Rock'n'Roll Won at This Year's KAABOO Del Mar Festival

KAABOO Del Mar. Photo per Alive Coverage.

KAABOO Del Mar. Photo per Alive Coverage.

This past weekend, KAABOO Del Mar Festival returned for its fourth year of bringing Southern California music fans together to celebrate and dance to musicians of all genres. Katy Perry brought the pop, Wiz Khalifa and Post Malone brought the hip hop, and Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power brought the funk. But even with these star-studded artists, it was evident that rock’n’roll stole the show this year to make the point that while your streaming service might disagree with us, rock’n’roll is alive and well.

Friday, the first day of the festival, Jimmy Eat World took the stage and set the precedent that although there were a handful of bands performing at the festival that haven’t seen a huge hit in the last decade or so, it does not mean they’re no longer making great music and giving one-of-a-kind live shows. Of course Jimmy Eat World stirred up plenty of energy in the crowd when they played classics like “Sweetness” and “The Middle,” but the group still received plenty of positive reception when they played their 2018 release “Love Never,” a song that seems to captivate everything people love about the band while still providing something new and never-before-heard.

Later on in the day, Calabasas, California band Incubus began their late afternoon set with zero apologies. Lead singer Brandon Boyd opened with arguably two of Incubus’ most rambunctious songs: “Anna Molly” and “Megalomaniac.” The energy stayed constant thereafter. For a group that has released only 40-minutes of new music in the past six years, it was surprising that the younger attendees of the festival were jumping and singing as if it was their favorite band growing up. It goes to show that these rock legends have created songs that remain memorable in the collective consciousness of American rock music.

Foo Fighters. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Foo Fighters. Photo per Alive Coverage.

To close out Friday night, Nirvana-alum-turned-Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl embodied rock’n’roll throughout the band’s set. It wasn’t just the classics he was playing that proved his incredible reign as a rock lord- originals like “Learn To Fly” and covers like Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust” were heard- but the sheer confidence and appearance that he was hardly trying, yet epicly succeeding in firing the crowd up really amped things up. At one point, teasing at his legendary status, Grohl yelled to the crowd, “We have 35 minutes left to play 116 songs!” At another point in the band’s set, a train loudly passed by, distracting the band and fans. Seizing the moment, the band played a one minute blues-sounding song just for kicks. It was just another example that proved these performers are professionals, and are still as lively and fun as ever.

Saturday was another rock-filled festival day, and this time with more of a focus on rock that is currently popular. Early in the day, Austin groove rock band Mamafesta brought a completely new style to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. With a hint of funk and plenty of jam band qualities in their sound, this melodic four piece group is one to definitely watch out for in the near future if you’re not already!

Imagine Dragons. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Imagine Dragons. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Closing out the second night were international stars Imagine Dragons. It seemed that the band played hit after hit for a full 90-minute set. Not only was the music good, but lead singer Dan Reynolds was simply inspiring. Speaking out about mental illness and suicide prevention, he acted as a true leader to the younger fans in the crowd. After his words of wisdom, once again the group got the crowd jumping with the epic number “Believer.

Sunday closed out with, you guessed it, even more rock, this time both new and old. Many fans stayed at the “MGM Resorts Grandview” stage from 3:00PM to festival close to see bands like The All American Rejects, Alice In Chains, and Robert Plant.

The All American Rejects did a great job of not taking themselves too seriously. Although the band played fan favorites like “Gives You Hell” and “It Ends Tonight,” they joked between songs that while they may not getting much radio play now, in the early 2000s, it was “hard to escape our music if you walked in a TJ Maxx.” Still, the group gave it their all and played new songs that they were clearly proud to perform.

Following All American Rejects was Alice In Chains, a band that had a larger crowd considering the KAABOO attendees were a bit older than other festivals. Alice In Chains did not disappoint, and it is safe to say that their hit song “Rooster” had the loudest-singing crowd of the festival.

Robert Plant. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Robert Plant. Photo per Alive Coverage.

As exhibited by a large number of KAABOOers walking around sporting Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant shirts, it was clear that Plant was the most anticipated act of Sunday, even while competing with Katy Perry during the headlining time slot. It was no surprise that Plant payed homage to Led Zeppelin by opening up with the tracks “Good Times, Bad Times” and “Lemon Song.” His 13-song setlist was filled with impressive guitar solos and a little headbanging. Closing with an artist from the iconic Led Zeppelin was the nail in the coffin that rock stole the show this year at KAABOO, and a sign that this genre will hopefully continue thriving at this festival!

Dates for 2019’s KAABOO have already been announced for the weekend of September 13th-15th. Get your early bird tickets and festival passes here! 

-Ben

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

We's Us' Newest EP Was Recorded at Jake Cinninger of Umphrey's McGee's Studio

By: Will Baumgartner

Denver has always been a great town for rock, and the powerhouse quartet known as We’s Us are busy proving that tradition is still alive and well. Their recent EP Zeus is the latest in a handful of strong releases the band has put out since their formation in 2012 – and guitarist/frontman Michael “Weeze” Dawald has a lot more time and focus to devote to the group since leaving the bacchanalian funk band Rowdy Shadehouse last year.

We's Us.

We's Us.

Zeus is a three-song document which showcases the power of the band and also their diversity. While the band’s musical personality falls squarely in the rock genre, their self-proclaimed influences include bands like Soundgarden and Led Zeppelin, but also range as wide as James Brown, George Clinton, and Bob Marley

Zeus was recorded in October 2017 at Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Jake Cinninger’s Boondocks Studio in Niles, Michigan. The engineer on the record was Jim Leep, who has recorded Umphrey’s and Yonder Mountain String Band, among others. It was co-produced by Cinninger, Dawald, and Willie Waldman. Waldman also played trumpet on the third track, an ethereal instrumental called “Passing of a Soul” which was written for Dawald’s grandmother (and played at her funeral). Cinninger also guests on the recording, adding a second guitar to the title track. Keyboardist Stephen Howell, bassist Chris Crantz, and drummer Blake Manion lay down a solid foundation throughout the EP, and Dawald proves himself not only a ridiculously fierce guitarist, but also a strong vocalist. I’ve personally known Weeze for awhile and always been a fan of his playing, but I never knew he could sing like that.

After listening to this and other recordings by We’s Us, you’ll be eager to see the band bring all the fury and passion of their music to the stage! Lucky for you We’s Us play in Denver this Friday the 13th at Your Mom’s House. Get yourself there and in the meantime, give Zeus a listen.

Keep up with We’s Us on Facebook.

-Will

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

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

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

Thunderpussy.

Thunderpussy.

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

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

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

Whitney Petty.

Whitney Petty.

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

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

Molly Sides.

Molly Sides.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram.

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

Public Safety On Why There's Nowhere Else To Go In The Mile High But Up

By: Annie Kane

Four-piece Denver band Public Safety believe that there is nowhere else for them to go but up. I spoke with them recently at a local coffee shop prior to their show at The Biergarten in Boulder to pick their brains on their roots, influences, and what they might expect on their ascent.

Public Safety.

Public Safety.

Do you guys want to start off with your background? Where you’re from and how you feel like that shaped the artists you are today?

Bear: Well, Jimmy and I actually founded Public Safety back in Charleston two and a half years ago. We were down at the College of Charleston, and he and I met and we started [Public Safety] as more of a college party band. And then, I decided I wanted to transfer back here and do music and asked him to come with me and he came and we re-formed Public Safety with you guys. (looks to other band mates)

Jimmy: Yeah, we started in September of 2015.

Do you feel like Boulder is a better platform for your music?

Bear: We’ve only played Boulder like, three or four times. We mostly perform in Denver; yeah we’re out of Denver. That’s where I was born and raised and he came six months after I moved back and I kinda got my feet wet in the Denver scene.

Jimmy: This whole area, just like Colorado, is way more of a scene than what we had in South Carolina where we were at, so definitely a good decision to come out here.

Bear: And it’s crazy how quickly it’s growing, too.

Ethan: Oh yeah, the scene is getting a lot bigger for sure.

How do you guys like the scene here in Colorado?

Bear: I don’t know the Boulder scene too well yet, but I’ve definitely seen a lot of bands in Boulder and a lot of bands come out of Boulder. But the Denver scene is crazy, it’s just exploded. It’s so fun to be a part of.

Ethan: There’s some people doing some cool stuff in Boulder, like the Cosmic Collective guys who we just did a podcast with a couple weeks ago. [Eric] is doing some cool stuff, he’s a super nice guy.

Agreed. What kind of environment do you guys like to create when you perform?

Bear: Rowdy! I like it to be lit to the max! (laughs) But, I’m very into hip hop and that stuff so I try to make it really hype.

Ethan: It’s definitely a party feel.

Jimmy: We definitely like people dancing.

Bear: I hump my mic stand quite a bit. (laughs)

Lem: This will be my first time [performing with Public Safety].

Bear: Yeah he’s brand new. Only his second show with us. We had a different drummer for a little while, and we found this guy right here, and we felt he matched the vibe a lot better and I think it’s just the right move. We’re about to record the first really album at Coupe Studios here in Boulder, actually. So we’re excited about that.

What can your listeners expect from that album coming up?

Bear: What do you guys think? (turns to bandmates)

Jimmy: I think it’s gonna be rolling with a way tighter sound; more production. We’ve taken the time to put the songs together in a better way. Last time [we recorded] we didn’t really have an idea of what to create in the studio and this time we have a way more clear vision. If anything else, it will just be upgraded with the drums, so it’s just gonna be way better.

Bear: Just fuego. There’s gonna be some fire in there. There’s some sensual songs, there’s some darkness in there, and then there’s a couple rock songs. A lot of angry songs about my ex-girlfriend.

Ethan: It’s a lot of emotions! The whole spectrum.

Bear: Yeah, if you watch the progression of my lyrics, they’re very indicative of what’s going on in my life. If I’m in a bad mood, I’m writing songs like ‘Retrograde’ just about being mad. ‘Impulse Control’ is about being mad too.

Ethan: (laughs) You’re just an angry individual!

Bear: I’m actually a very jovial man, full of joy and happiness.

Ethan: It’s good to vent.

Bear: It’s good to vent. Yeah, what better way to get back at somebody who’s hurt you than to throw it in a song?

Ethan: Make a bunch of other people sing it with you.

Bear: Yeah, have a bunch of people sing along.

So do you write the majority of the songs Bear?

Bear: Jimmy writes music and I write lyrics for the most part. It’s kind of interchangeable as well. He’s written some verses for ‘Night Call,’ which is a song I’ve been working on for a long time; it’s gonna be on the album. I had the basic outline and he comes in and is like, ‘Alright, well I hear this’ and we put it together. That’s why I think I had Jimmy come out here because we had such a good connection with songwriting and performing.

What genre would you guys classify yourself as fitting into, or not fitting into?

Bear: We say rock and soul.  

Jimmy: It’s a big variety. It’s definitely rock-based, for sure. It’s definitely hard hitting, but we like to get soulful too.

Bear: We get down and dirty. We also get hype.

Lem: I’ve wanted to play rock too and this is the first band I ever get to play rock with. As much as I’ve wanted to, I just always get R&B or gospel or funk. So this is awesome to change it up.

How long have you been playing?

Lem: Professionally, for like thirteen years. But pretty much since I was three.

Bear: Somehow he wanted to end up with this band, somehow he said yes.

Lem: It worked out.

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Is there anybody that you feel like you make your music for?

Bear: The ladies. I think that we fit into the multiple niches or sections of music. We have the rock stuff, almost Royal Blood. We have one song that’s almost like Rage Against the Machine. But we also fit into the pop scene with Kaleo or Twenty One Pilots that you hear on the radio who have a lot of musicianship but also have that sing-along pop. We have more deep tracks as well.

Are those artists that you named who you draw a lot of inspiration from?

Bear: I think we all have different people who are inspirations to us.

Ethan: I know there’s a lot of bands that I listen to that they don’t. We definitely all pull from different music genres and have a lot of overlap. Like I listen to a lot of classic rock, a lot of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, that kind of stuff. Jimmy listens to a lot of Jimi Hendrix and a lot of rock’n’roll.

Bear: I really like Motown. James Brown is probably, on stage, my hero. That’s the guy I really look up to, how he takes control of the stage, takes control of the entire arena. That’s amazing for me.

Jimmy: I think the one thing we all have in common is that we love jamming. The song is the main goal- at the end of the day we just wanna have a good song to start from.

Bear: [Lem’s] best quote ever is, ‘It’s about the feel not the fill.’

Lem: I know that sounds strange- most people are like, ‘What do you mean?’ I mean the feel- like the soul, feelings, emotions you get versus doing a whole bunch of licks on drums. That nostalgia that you get.

Ethan: It’s more about the melody than anything.

Bear: I was sold when I saw that [quote]. I knew he needed to be in the band. That is the quintessential piece. Something I’ve noticed about all these guys is this drive to be better and know that we can always be better. That’s something that I really respect from everybody here. No one’s ever really happy after a show- we find areas where we need to work on. On stage there’s so much confidence and [we] come out with a bang, but at the end of the day we’re always looking to get better.  

Ethan: I think we’re our own hardest critics for sure.

Where do you see Public Safety going?

Bear: 13 nights at MSG.

Ethan: 17 in 17! We just gotta wait for 3017.

Bear: I wanna be one of those bands. When people think about the Colorado scene exploding, and they think about The Lumineers, Nathaniel Rateliff, Motet… I wanna be in that list. I think we’re on our way. There’s been a lot of traction, it’s just about finding the right people to get in our corner.

Ethan: I think the only place we’re going is to the top, honestly. There’s nowhere else to go.

Lem: It’s definitely the dream. It’s all we’re trying to do forever, and ever and ever. We have to go to the top.

Bear: We work, we show up to gigs on time, we don’t get shitfaced before shows. Everybody is on it, we know our parts. We have a contract and a bunch of agreements we’ve made. I’ve been in good bands but never had the confidence like I do in us right now. All [of us are] excited about what we’re doing which is really inspiring and motivating.

Ethan: We’ve only been playing seriously for about a year, and it’s pretty cool to see all the crazy things we’ve done in that limited time. We’ve toured around a bit; played some festivals in front of a few thousand people.

Bear: We’re headed down to the East Coast, back to Charleston in March doing a 14-stop tour. We’re pretty excited about that, that’ll be a lot of fun.

To the top it is. Keep up with Public Safety here.

-Annie

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.

Catch Funk Quintet Tula's Album Release Show at Globe Hall This Friday (07/28)

By: Jura Daubenspeck

As the end of July approaches and energies are high, you may be wondering, “Where oh where will I get my funk fix tonight?!” Fear not though, as Colorado’s funky quintet Tula has just what you need. The band will be set up at Globe Hall this Friday, July 28th, to celebrate their album release titled, Follow The Beast Inside.

Follow The Beast Inside is the band’s first ever full-length studio album and was recorded at Scanhope Sound with producer/engineer Joshua Fairman, who is known for his work with Analog Son, Sunsquabi, The Motet, and The New Mastersounds.

Fronted by the talented Brian Duggan (guitar/vocals), Tula is comprised of Josh Gendal (guitar), Jon Ham (bass), Jeremy Smith (saxophone), and Logan Firth (drums). Pulling together influences such as Umphrey’s McGee, Phish, Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Metallica, their music stays exciting, ever-changing, and oh so groovy.

Tula.

Tula.

Friday’s release show will also feature opening act KingFriday the 13th, as well as DJ Hug and Frank Asaurus. Tula will perform the entirety of the album Follow The Beast Inside from beginning to end, for a performance that will be nothing less than dazzling.

Tickets for Tula’s Follow The Beast Inside album release show are $5 and can be purchased here. The show starts at 9PM (doors 8PM) and is open to music-lovers 21+.

Listen to Tula's latest tracks:

Check out more details for the event here, and connect with Tula on Facebook and Twitter. Upon release, Follow The Beast Inside will be available on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and everywhere that music is sold or streamed.

-Jura

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

Review: Redline Alchemy's '194 EP' Is As Fluid In Sound As These Multi-Instrumentalists Are Onstage

By: Norman Hittle

The guys in Redline Alchemy don't accept the traditional approach to having a band. To them, playing music is so much of a fluid art, that they themselves fulfill that fluidity by being multi-instrumentalists and loosely structuring themselves in a myriad of genres.

Listen to Redline Alchemy’s new 194 EP:

Comprised of the Ausmus brothers (Joe, Dan, and Nick), Corey Golon, and Nate Wilson, this quintet explores musical wizardry in their 194 EP through rock, jazz, funk, reggae, and jam band feels. With nods to notable bands such as Primus, Sublime, and Silverchair throughout their five songs, I also couldn't help hearing some Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Led Zeppelin influences.

194 EP opens with their single “Soul Searching” in a fun free flow that kicks into a 90’s era alt rock reggae feel that combines the stylistics of Cake and Gorillaz in a garage band format; song two “Pluto” follows suit musically and brings up the comical controversy of the dwarf planet’s categorization as a planet:

“Pluto is a planet, don’t you understand.
Your head’s stuck in Uranus if you can’t handle that.
Unless it is the Death Star then I think it's safe to say.
Pluto got the shaft in every way.”

Song three, “Rhythm of the Dance,” languishes with a sort of Counting Crows jam vibe while song four, “Burning Slow,” unleashes the EP’s best guitar lead lines and some fantastic saxophone soloing. The final track, “Making Moves,” starts out with some accapella, then hits with hip-hop and reggae jam feels to close out the EP.

Overall 194 EP is a solid writing effort from the guys in Redline Alchemy. It’ll be interesting to see where they take their music from here. Catch them at Moe’s BBQ Saturday, June 10th and keep up with the crew on their Facebook.

-Norman

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

Explore The Mystique That Is Foxygen at Denver's Gothic Theatre Next Tuesday (04.04)

By: Sierra Voss

“Theres something about these guys, some sort of exotic mystique. Foxygen was never just one band, Foxygen is the bang of two combusting minds...” -Alex Cameron (from Foxygen’s new tour trailer)

Dou Sam France and Jonathan Rado formed the band Foxygen at age 15 in 2005. They released their first album, Take The Kids Off Broadway in 2012, followed by We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic in 2013 and double album ...And Star Power in 2014. Their last tour in 2015, which they dubbed their “Farewell Tour,” had everyone convinced the magic had sadly come to an end for good. But then this January, the band released their most recent LP Hang and got us all excited again.

Somewhat reminiscent of Bowie, these two treat every album as a separate piece of art with a separate story, different characters, and very different sounds. My best description of the duo is that Foxygen are a masterfully calculated mosaic of pop culture. They pull from every genre and influence to create chaotic order, which has made for some of the most dynamic songwriting out there and certainly been a part of their rumored “mystique.” Their live shows encapsulate a full-bodied artistic performance that has been said to feel like “a 70s London concert hall watching a band open up for The Clash combined with a 60s jazz club and a Led Zeppelin show.”

Needless to say, Foxygen’s youthful and creative spirit matched with their sophisticated songwriting should have you excited for their upcoming Denver Gothic show next Tuesday, April 4th. Get tickets here!

Check out Foxygen’s music video for their latest single “Follow The Leader”:

-Sierra

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist 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.

Blitzen Trapper Trapped My Heart

By: Sierra Voss

It was a sleepy Tuesday night in Boulder when Blitzen Trapper took the stage at The Fox Theatre. The Portland based group rolls five members deep, and were accompanied onstage by two flags repping their Oregon State stomping grounds. Blitzen Trapper has been crushing out music for the last fifteen years, with seven full-length albums under their belt. Their most recent release is a 10-track studio album titled, All Across This Land (2015). The group’s dynamic musical styling, insightful lyrical conquests, and laid back vibes are worth getting out of bed for, even on the sleepiest of weekday nights. So I did.

Blitzen Trapper's genre is definitely eclectic. The members of the band clearly have a deep love and profound respect for 70’s and 80’s classic rock. However, their songs also incorporate bluegrass, folk, soul, psychedelia and metal elements. All of these sounds are then umbrellaed by a feeling of Americana. Lead singer and guitarist Eric Earley put it best when he said: “We like to explore. And sometimes that’s not so easy for people to deal with. But we’re going to just keep on doing what we do.” And no one is complaining. It is this type of exploration, grounded in foundational classic artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Led Zeppelin that truly capture the hearts of Blitzen Trapper’s fans.

Watch the music video for Blitzen Trapper’s “Furr”:

One of the things I respect most about this band is their consistency in delivering an epic show, and Tuesday night’s performance was no exception. Blitzen Trapper is all about subtleties. You will fall in love with the small and quirky moments of their shows. Earley boyishly smiled and chuckled between songs while Erik Menteer (guitar/keyboard) fist bumped the sky after a ripping guitar solo. And Marty Marquis (guitar/keyboards/vocals/melodica) patted his chest close to the mic as a form of stripped-down percussion during the encore set, filling the quiet venue with a heartbeat during their cover of "Helplessly Hoping". It was my favorite moment of the show.

Blitzen Trapper at The Fox. Photo per the author.

Blitzen Trapper at The Fox. Photo per the author.

The band laid down some incredible covers throughout the night including “Cinnamon Girl”, “Knockin On Heavens Door”, and their newly recorded version of “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow”. They played a wide sampling from their new release, including my two favorites: “Rock and Roll (Was Made For You)” and “Love Grow Cold”. Classic Blitzen Trapper songs were also featured in their set: “Black River Killer”, “Love The Way You Walk Away”, “Wild Mountain Nation”, “Not Your Lover”, “Sleepy Time In the Western World”, and there was a powerful audience sing-along to their most well-known song, “Furr”.

I highly recommend taking some time to follow the musical journey of Blitzen Trapper’s seven albums. It’s an impressive collection, to say the least. Oh, and do yourself a favor: don't miss their next show!

-Sierra

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.

The Double Rs: Catch Rachel Ann and Riley Ann at the LG tonight!

By: Hannah Oreskovich

These ladies will be singing their hearts out for you tonight. 

Boulder-based artist Riley Ann.

Boulder-based artist Riley Ann.

“Two one-woman-bands, one stage, and an evening of bold storytelling through song.” That’s what tonight’s show at The Laughing Goat has been dubbed by performers Rachel Ann and Riley Ann. Both Rachel and Riley are Boulder based musicians, and tonight you can catch them doing their awesome one-woman-band thang! Rachel grew up traveling the west and listening to a lot of religious music and folk songs; Riley claims inspiration from Led Zeppelin and old-school hip hop. With that combination of influences, tonight’s show should be a pretty sweet set. Both ladies are multi-instrumentalists who use a lot of looping to create “the energy and dynamics of a full band.” Sounds pretty awesome peeps.

Boulder-based artist Rachel Ann.

Boulder-based artist Rachel Ann.

So head to the LG tonight, grab a hot chocolate, and catch the double Rs in action. Give ‘em each a listen here:

Rachel Ann:

Riley Ann:

-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.

Producer Robbie Stiefel: Wolves, Making Studio Magic, & Finding That Thing.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Robbie Stiefel is a talented set of ears crafting tunes with several of your favorite local bands.

Ben Hanna and the Knighthawks. A Shadow of Jaguar. Whiskey Autumn. Greg Corcione. These are just a few of the Boulder-based acts that producer Robbie Stiefel has worked with over the past few months. And after recently watching Stiefel insert his own beats and sounds to a band’s live performance while he sat next to me at The No Name, I can see why so many local acts are partnering with him. His job is to bring that thing into a band’s recording. That thing. You know, the one that every musician is always chasing. And the one that Robbie can somehow hear in his head whenever he listens to a track. So I sat down with him over a giant calzone to find out exactly how he does it. How did he develop finding that thing? And this is what he told me:

Stiefel’s from the East Coast. He grew up in DC, started playing sax at 11, and followed that with guitar, which is when he says “the addiction started.” Toss in his Dad’s love for James Brown and Stiefel’s own discovery of Zeppelin’s discography at 13 and there was Robbie: a kid obsessed with sound.

“I used to sneak into my high school gym and re-record songs with this rudimentary cassette four-track trying to recreate Led sounds using ambient rooms. I was always trying to capture different noises, different ways to do something. And I played in a couple of high school bands too.”

Robbie at   The Crucible Recording Studio  . Photo Credit: Kristy Gray.

Robbie at The Crucible Recording Studio. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray.

And eventually, playing in bands is actually what brought Stiefel to Colorado.

“My first more serious band project was Ego Vs Id. I grew up with Jesse [Parmet, currently of The Yawpers] and when we first moved here, he had this big house and it was basically just a studio for us. It was like our college- we were just teaching ourselves and experimenting for a couple of years with different recording techniques. Eventually, things got more serious with Ego Vs Id and we had unlimited access to a local studio. We actually just worked for a year and a half on an album and learned to craft songs in the studio, trying to make them sound effortless. Making that album solidified something in me.”

But, like many bands, eventually the guys went their separate ways into other projects. And for Stiefel, the most serious of those became production.

“I ended up moving to the Bay area for awhile. I worked with artists there and made connections at different studios. And then I made my way back here eventually and have kind of been doing that same thing.”

Stiefel at   The Crucible Recording Studio   with Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray. 

Stiefel at The Crucible Recording Studio with Whiskey Autumn. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray. 

Which is when I wondered, what exactly is the producer-artist relationship like? To which Robbie had my favorite answer of our whole conversation:

“Being a producer is like holding a wolf by its ears- I feel so responsible for the project and its success and to make sure that what a band wants done is done. By the end, I want them to feel like I’ve made it more clear as to what they are. I put a lot of pressure on myself- I can be obsessive but I think that’s a good thing. I mean- it’s a lot of money to record. I’m getting paid here. And it’s not like paying someone to fix your deck- it’s paying someone to work on what is most important to you. So I always feel like I’m playing with this very dangerous thing- like a wolf- but it’s only dangerous because I care about it so much.”

Robbie and the wolf. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray at   The Crucible Recording Studio .

Robbie and the wolf. Photo Credit: Kristy Gray at The Crucible Recording Studio.

Though holding a wolf by its ears sounds like an almost impossible task, Robbie assures me that while it’s a challenge and a fine balance of sorts, he puts in a ton of preparation before heading into the studio with an artist:

“What it’s really about in preparation before the studio is synergy. The way I work with projects is that I’m basically being invited in as a temporary member of the band or a collaborator, and so there has to be this initial connection there. Especially with bands- they have this brotherhood-tribal-thing and I’m coming into the mix aware that I’m in that situation and building trust. And sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to do that before you start recording. But I’m an artist too, so when I ask them to make big choices, I get the whole ‘I don’t want anyone telling me how to make my music.’ That’s why building that initial trust and having synergy are so important. I know that what I’m asking an artist to do [in my role as a producer] is a lot.”

And so what does one do when there’s a battle back and forth on finding that thing: on finding the right mix, the right beat, the right shaker for a track? On creating and developing one’s sound and making studio magic?

“In those situations, it goes back to trust. But the best thing I can do is to let a certain amount of any idea be worked through- everyone needs to be able to express what they want. You can’t shut anyone down. And then I have to ask, ‘How passionate are you about this?’ because then I need to let them know realistically I will go down that road with them, even if I wasn’t intending to, but that the consequences and hesitations will be x,y, and z. I can’t beat around the bush- that’s the worst thing you can do in a creative environment. At the same time, they have to feel comfortable- somehow you have to have that.”

Stiefel at   The Mountain House Recording Studio   with Greg Corcione.

Stiefel at The Mountain House Recording Studio with Greg Corcione.

Which brings me back to the night I watched Robbie tapping out new rhythms and making sounds that somehow fit into a song he’d never heard before at that live performance. How did he hear those beats he was making? Where does that come from? When I ask him about this, he laughs:

“I’m at a point now where I do just hear it. It’s hard to explain. But I think the development of that came from having an awareness when I’m listening to something of what excites me. There’s this alarm that goes off and I’m suddenly aware that something has grabbed my attention. ‘Oh that’s where that shaker comes in’ or ‘That’s where that intentional harmony changes.’ And I can pull sounds from so many things that I’ve listened to. Eventually, you just kind of have this idea of ‘Oh that might go there’ and things come together.”

And in listening to music from several of the Boulder artists that Stiefel’s been working with, things sure do. A Shadow of a Jaguar already released their single that Stiefel worked with them on, titled “Mama Needs the Bottle” and you can listen to it here:

And the other artists mentioned have plans for new releases soon. We’ll be featuring those as they come out, but in the meantime, go check out two of the artists Stiefel has worked with LIVE THIS FRIDAY at The Fall Showcase.

Read more about Robbie here.

And get details for The Fall Showcase on our FB event 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.