A Fireside Chat with The Beeves on Their Debut Record & More

From left to right: Dahmen, Laffin, Ehrheart & Sease. Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

From left to right: Dahmen, Laffin, Ehrheart & Sease. Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

Since the first installment of “Zach and Pete’s Fireside Chats” went to print a few months back, Zach Dahmen and I had both been itching to get local rock dynamos The Beeves over for a night of campfire, bourbon, and forthright conversation. Coming off the heels of their raw, raucous, and renowned self-titled debut EP, the trio is in the process of rolling out its new full-length record, Adam and Beeve in the runup to their release show on May 17th at The Fox Theatre. We were especially stoked to host them at this poignant moment (with members Ian Ehrheart and Matthew Sease) in our backyard. Also joining us for the evening to take photos was local creative guru Courtney Farrell. The following is a transcript of what went down:

PL: So what’s a Beeve?

IE: Well, technically, a Beeve is just, you know, a Beeve. Slang for vagina.

MS: No, that’s a beaver.

IE: Yes, and beeves is the plural of beeve, meaning one beeve.

ZD: How did you come to this name?

MS: My understanding is that we took this dictionary down to my mom’s basement...

IE: It was a bible.

MS: No, it was a dictionary. I have the dictionary. And we decided the one word we hit was going to be the name of the band, and we had to stick with it. And we did it like three times.

IE: Really? I don’t remember that.

MS: Yeah, because we got, like, “crack.”

IE: It doesn’t say crack in the bible.

MS: That’s because it wasn’t a bible. And we did it again and it was another ridiculous word. And then we hit “beeves,” which was plural for beef, and we were like, oh, that’s actually pretty cool. So we used it the next day for our volleyball team in middle school.

PL: This goes back to middle school?

MS: This was like seventh grade.

IE: This was just after our band The Purple Zebras.

MS: We were going to be The Sun Kissed Nips.

PL: I think you guys made the right call.

MS: So that’s my interpretation of when we got the name. But Ian seems to think we found it in a bible?

IE: We did! It’s in Leviticus. But that wasn’t it. When we actually came up with The Beeves we were looking into a fire quite like this, and in the fire, when we were peeing in it together to put it out, and when the smoke cleared, the red hot embers spelled out “Beeves.”

ZD: So the story here is, they refuse to give us the real story.

MS: Ian and I did go to bible camp together. And we had to stay with the priest the whole time. All of the other kids got to sleep in their own dorms, but we had to stay with the priest and talk to him and confess things.

IE: One time I confessed to touching myself unlawfully.

PL: And I hope you said it just like that.

MS: The only reason I think Ian’s story might be somewhat true is because we were in the religious ed class together.

Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

ZD: How long have you guys been in a band together?

MS: Ian and I have been playing together since sixth grade.

IE: We’ve known each other since elementary school.

MS: I didn’t really like Ian then.

IE: We never got to be friends until sixth grade, when I learned he had a guitar, and we both played guitar. We were in a rivalry until then.

MS: I never liked Ian throughout elementary school because he was really good at sports. And all the girls liked him.

IE: I had the right hair. The swoop.

ZD: You had the Bieber swoop?

IE: It was just at the right time. But then we realized we had guitars and we hung out, and we did it every single day after school. And then we formed The Purple Zebras.

ZD: So when did the third member join?

MS: We had a couple drummers before Will [Erhart]. But he was always part of the picture.

IE: We had some guy who wanted to record us one time when we were in seventh grade and Will did the drums… this creepy guy in Erie who lived in a trailer and just sat there and chain smoked next to us the whole time.

MS: We recorded an AC/DC cover.

PL: When did you know that you wanted to do this seriously?

MS: We always knew we’d do this. We’ve stuck to the same mentality since seventh grade.

IE: We were writing lyrics together in math class.

MS: It’s all we wanted to do.

IE: The first show we did was an open mic in Louisville.

MS: We did our own punk rock version version of “Wagon Wheel.”

IE: Pete, cut that part out.

PL: I talked to your father after your last Fox show, when you guys packed the place, and he was all teared up and he told me this story about how you [Ian] got tossed out of the Fox when you were in early high school.

IE: That’s why we’re doing the release at the Fox. That was where we first saw live music and the potential of what we could do.

MS: The first concert we ever went to by ourselves was at the Fox. We took the bus to the Boulder and we just kind of knew that the Fox was on The Hill. We didn’t even know where it was.

IE: We didn’t even have a ticket because we didn’t know we had to buy tickets to shows. So we just went up to the box office and we were like, “Hi, we’re here for the show.”

MS: We went up to the front, hands on the stage, watching the show.

IE: We told ourselves, “We are going to play on this stage someday.”

MS: That’s why we used to play on Pearl Street. We thought someone from the Fox would like, willy nilly, walk by and ask us to open up at the Fox someday.

IE: We were more lucrative [busking] on Pearl Street than anywhere.

MS: One day we made like $350 and a pack of cigarettes and a condom. But let’s get back to that show Ian got kicked out of. That was at The Expendables. It got a bit rowdy and we’d never crowd surfed before. And Ian was dead set on crowd surfing. So he got up on the stage and fell backwards, and they pushed him back up on the stage.

IE: And then I ran into the bouncer.

MS: And the bouncer immediately throws him out, and I’m like this eighth grader standing there alone.

IE: And from my point of view, somebody just grabbed me and literally pushed me as hard to the curb as they could. And I was like, “What’s happening right now? Is this part of the show?”

ZD: So you definitely weren’t drinking there?

IE: We didn’t even know what alcohol was.

ZD: So this is just sober Ian being pretty extra?

MS: And then we were trying to re-stamp my hand outside on your hand…

The Beeves’ Ian Ehrheart and Matthew Sease. Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

The Beeves’ Ian Ehrheart and Matthew Sease. Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

PL: Let’s talk about the studio recordings. The first one was super lo-fi, and you pretty much did it yourselves.

IE: Oliver from Slow Caves recorded us because we didn’t know shit about microphones or recording. He just loved the songs and really wanted to help us out.

PL: I fucking love that album. But you never play those songs anymore.

MS: Well we kind of got labelled as a “ska” band and that kind of turned us off to a bit, because we never saw ourselves as that.

ZD: You don’t even have any horns.

MS: But we got labelled as a ska band! Fuck!

Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

PL: Who is the best musician in the group? The easiest one in the studio?

IE: Matthew is the best musician and is the best at his instrument.

PL: Who do you rally around in the studio?

IE: It’s equal.

MS: It’s interesting to see when Will chimes in because his input his valuable. Because Ian and I are always butting heads and trying to come up with an answer.

IE: Will has become such a good drummer. At this point he knows probably the most about music. I’ve always been the one who doesn’t know shit but has big ideas. Matthew can usually flatten that out and make something out of it with his bass lines.

ZD: It sounds like elements of conflict are part of your process.

IE: It’s all about compromise. Which is valuable, even though it’s hard.

Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

MS: I think you and I after all these years trust each other’s instincts.

PL: Are you guys going to be together in five years?

MS: Yes.

IE: Oh, yeah. Undeniably.

MS: With all sincerity.

ZD: That’s the right answer. They say if you know someone for seven years, you’ll know them the rest of your lives. You guys kind of have a brotherhood at this point.

IE: It is like that.

MS: Ian is the most important person in my life.

PL: So Nate Cook. Let’s hear it. He’s lifting you guys up quite a bit the past year or so.

MS: He’s just a tornado of creative destruction.

IE: He pushed us in a different direction. We were so surprised he even wanted to do this. I was the biggest fucking Yawpers fan in the whole world. When they asked us to open for their album release show, I was like, “Oh my god…”

PL: In a sentence or two, what has the experience of working with him been like?

MS: He put us on a platform and he didn’t stand for any bullshit in the studio. He just kept pushing us and pushing us until we broke.

ZD: That sounds really intense.

IE: For me, it was every single song. Anyway anything I did was fucking terrible.

MS: It was terrifying to perform for someone like that who we’d idolized like that. But he had a respect for us. We played raw like him. We weren’t musicians who were trained theoretically.

ZD: So this album must have a lot of spontaneity.

MS: It was only five days of recording, and we had ten tracks. Some of the songs weren’t completed when we went into the studio.

IE: I lied to him and told him we had enough songs to record an album. I was going upstairs from the studio in between when I had to play and writing lyrics.

MS: Part of the beauty of the album was that it wasn’t put together before we went to the studio. We had to write it in those five days.

Photo Credit:  Courtney Farrell

Photo Credit: Courtney Farrell

IE: Every day we had to get a certain amount done, so we just did it.

PL: What does this release mean to you?

IE: It means moving on. Letting shit go, and getting onto the next thing. I’m so fucking over it.

ZD: What are you proud of about it?

IE: I think it’s going to be a base for us. I think these songs are good.

MS: I agree. When I look at is as a whole, I think it’s a full entity, ten full songs, and I’m proud at how much we put into that and how hard we pushed each other. We’d never been put under that kind of stress before. I think I’m a bit more proud of it than Ian in that way. I’m proud of what I did in the studio.

PL: That’s refreshing to hear. The default answer when you ask a musician is that they could have done better. But for the most part, people are proud of what they make. It’s nice to hear someone say it.

MS: I really want people to listen to the album. Sit down and listen to all ten tracks. And then actually give us the time of day. Half the time we are trying to get people to just take us seriously because we’re so fucking young. But we’ve been doing this for a long time. It shouldn’t matter anyway. If you care about what you’re doing and care about this art, and you really value the music, it doesn’t matter how old you are.

The Beeves self-titled debut record drops everywhere this Friday, May 17th. Catch them at The Fox Theatre the same night. Tickets here.

-Pete

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

Sting Like The Beeves

By: Pete Laffin

Honest question:

When was the last time you moshed?

It had been a while for yours truly. By my mid-twenties I abandoned the more aggressive music of my youth, swapping volume and distortion for lyrical poignancy and musical nuance. Like many in my station, I held my nose up at the blustery rage of the still-young youth (which, it occurs to me now, can be easily explained with basic psychological insight: my disapproval of the kids and their raucous music was displaced, and the real culprit was the lingering memory of my own immature youth.) Music, as important as ever at the ripe-old age of 33, became something to be meditated upon rather than moshed to. And that was fine and good and purposeful. (As you age, it becomes suddenly important to do “purposeful” things.)

And then, a few months ago, I went to the EP release for The Beeves, comprised of the Ehrhart brothers, Ian and Will, along with Matthew Sease, at Seventh Circle Music Collective.

A mish-mash of seemingly disconnected events led me there. (If I may indulge in another bit of old-man wisdom, nothing is disconnected.) Suffice it to say, a grungy, all-ages, DIY warehouse venue is not where you would expect to find me on a Saturday night.

When I found the venue’s entrance in a neglected industrial park in the Denver periphery, I was greeted by a scraggly, weather-worn row of teenagers sitting behind a desk taking the expected donation for entry and exchanging remarks in a terminology and inflection I couldn’t attempt to decode. I handed them my credit card, but their machine wasn’t working, but I could go in. Just hook us up next time was the vibe I got.

I snaked my way through a few dark hallways and found myself in a gravel courtyard. The Beeves had a merch table just before entrance to the performance space, which looked like something between a backyard shed and a wheat silo. I peeked in through the entrance and saw a dark, frantic scene straight out of Altamont while opening act The Velveteers, fronted by rock prodigy Demi Demitro, shook the shanty’s shingles. Not ready to enter the hellfire within, I nosed around the courtyard looking for a place to buy a beer, until I realized no such place existed. A friendly and perceptive young kid intuited my struggle and informed me of a liquor store a few blocks away. If I had said I was going, he would have probably asked me to buy him a bottle.

The Beeves.

The Beeves.

At the merch table, I became disoriented, aghast. I was at an EP release, but there was no EP. Not in the conventional sense, anyway. I’d been to hundreds of these types of events in my seventeen years in music and never seen anything like this. Rather than rows of glossy jewel cases or neatly splayed, plastic-wrapped sleeves, the “albums” offered were burned CDRs packaged in the poster for the show.

Scandalous, I thought, in my stuffiest inner voice (which is somehow always British.)

I scanned the area for other embarrassed looks, embarrassed at The Beeves for not offering a more polished product at such an event. I didn’t see any. All I saw were a bunch of young, deliriously hyped-up hyenas bouncing off one another and rocking out to the vibe. No one gave a shit but me. I took the hint that I, and perhaps the majority of my music-scene generation- in all of our sensitive-guy mustache and pensive-girl thick-frames glory- had fallen out-of-touch. We didn’t see the storm coming (this was a theme in 2016.) We still give a shitit occurred to me. These kids really, really don’t. And they don’t have to.

The Velveteers closed out their riotous set and said goodnight. As I watched the stage through the doorway (I still wasn’t ready enter the dragon, as it were), puzzled at how Demitro could be playing such sophisticated, badass rock-and-roll at such a young age, an announcement was made for the performance area to be vacated while The Beeves set their stage. A swarm of show-goers drifted through the exit to the courtyard like clowns out of a car- it is amazing how many people that little place can hold- and stood around in circles, their hot, moshed-out lungs breathing thick into the freezing Denver December.

Amid the horde, I saw an older guy, the only person I’d seen thus far clearly older than I, who looked suspiciously similar to Beeves frontman, Ian Erhart. Eager to see if there was a connection, I wormed my way toward him. Indeed, it was Ian and Will’s father, John Erhart. He was a songwriter himself, and he wrote and performed songs for Ian while he was in the womb. He didn’t have to say how proud he was of his son, nor proud of himself for making the musical effort back then; his face was lit with pride in it all.

And then some kid in the circle next to us got punched in the face. Hard. Full-fisted.

Braced for bedlam, I stepped back, knuckles tight. But rather than swing back, the kid who got hit smiled and asked for another. The crowd had gone restless waiting for The Beeves to call us back inside. John and I shared a smirk. We had both taken part in similar youthful hijinks, it seemed.

The Beeves' EP Release Show.

The Beeves' EP Release Show.

Inside, the stage was draped in a cartoonishly scraggly, misshapen sheet, the stage lights flashing out around the edges. The buzz in the crammed room rose; I was sure another backyard wrestling match would break out. But then The Beeves, in all of their earnest goofiness, kicked the curtain down and commenced with the thrashing. Their energy was unbelievable, and their affect, so entirely devoid of self-seriousness, spread around the room like an infectious, airborne disease.

I enjoyed the shit out of their set, as did all in attendance. It was arranged for maximum impact with a spirited selection of covers and originals, the latter so impactful I decided to pick up one of those poster-wrapped EPs from the merch table on my way out.

I was richly rewarded for my open-mindedness.

Photo Credit: Veltrida

Photo Credit: Veltrida

The album kicks off with the track “Skagua,” featuring Ian on guitar, Matthew on bass, and Will on the drums. It’s a hard-driving neo-ska spine breaker that serves as a fitting introduction the band, as its chief purpose is to punch you stiffly in the nose. The melody, rhythm, arrangement- none is particularly ground-breaking. In fact, the sound (along with the record in general) is rooted most evidently in the mid-nineties skateboard scene. But The Beeves offer a qualitative alteration to this well-trodden sound, one that’s as obvious to the ear as it is difficult to put a finger on. It’s as if Sublime and The Offspring had been reanimated and struck repeatedly in the tuckus with a cattle-prod. The following track, “Jesus, he came,” follows much in the same vein as “Skagua.”

“Shoelace,” the third track, is the anthem of The Beeves in the ears of their fans. By the time this song is played in a live set, the band is shirtless and possibly naked; it’s not for the sake of vanity or shock-value, but rather, it’s as if the freedom they derive from playing this song demands such release. In “Shoelace’s” three quick minutes, the entire experience of the band is had. If pressed to express what this is in three quick words, I could do it in two: goofy sincerity. The beat rocks (the younger Ehrhart, Will, is a revelation on this track); the melody hooks clean at the chorus where Ian and Matthew croon a startlingly honest question, one to which both a teenager and widower could relate: “Without you/How am I supposed to tie my shoe?”

Listen to The Beeves’ track “Oogamy”:

The fourth track “Oogamy” could slide easily onto the backend of your favorite Sublime record. Recording engineer Oliver Mueller does his best work on the album here capturing the tandem, note-for-note vocals of all three band members. This is no small task, especially given the free-wheeling, loose nature of the vocal style. The track also features a seriously funky clarinet solo performed by friend-of-the-band, Michaela Nemeth. The lyrics at the refrain are most poignant: “When I said leave me alone/I didn’t mean leave me/I wish I had could say what I mean/I wish I had something to mean.”

“Jerry the Drifter” is a fine display of punk thrashery with surprisingly musical flashes. The instrumental that comprises the song’s first half features guitar with flamenco overtones and a theatrically plucky bass, dipping and rising in volume as the moment demands. This all leads into a more conventional pop-punk song with melodic sensibilities. “Jerry” offers shades of early Car Seat Headrest, with its sweet hooks, advanced musicality, and unapologetically raw delivery.   

The best is saved for last on The Beeves’ self-titled EP. “Moe” is an instant classic, with the emphasis on classic. This is high praise, I know, but I can prove it. Well, kind of. You just have to believe what I’m about to tell you is true: In preparation for writing this review, I stealthily played the song in social settings to gauge reaction.

The first time was at my place, where one of my most musically sophisticated buddies came over to hang. As he stepped inside, he cocked his head and lifted an eyebrow at the sound.

Weezer?” he asked. I said nothing. “Is it old Weezer?”

Later that week, I took control of the sound system at a local pub that lets its patrons seize control of the music via bluetooth. From the table next to mine, some guy tapped me on the shoulder.

“Weezer?” he asked, that same sifting-through-old-memories look on his face that my buddy had.

“Moe” is a slow-time rockabilly blues jam with the kind of punked-out irreverence Rivers Cuomo rode to stardom. It’s as if he could have written the song himself as an alternative ending to The Blue Album. The bridge features a single guitar note crescendo, reminiscent of moments in “Heroin” by The Velvet Underground, which leads to the hook at the chorus, sung with wistful abandon and gaiety. It’s doubtlessly a keeper for the band moving forward.    

When ametuer athletes are scouted by professional teams, they are often evaluated in terms of their “floor” and their “ceiling.” The former indicates the kind of players they are at the moment, for better or worse, while the latter expresses their potential to improve. On rare occasions, a player is considered to possess high degrees of both. The Beeves appear to be in this rarefied category, as their sound already astounds, and their potential to improve is a certainty.

The ceiling is high for these kids. High enough, even, to inspire their elders, (your humble correspondent included) to toss themselves recklessly, once again, into a pit of flying elbows and whirling knees.

Make sure to see The Beeves at The Gothic for their show this Friday, February 10th with Mustard Plug; tickets here.

-Pete

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

Cafe Aion Music: Week Two featuring Ben Hanna & Whiskey Autumn

By: Pete Laffin

The single best part of booking a new venue in town (especially one with the enviable setting Cafe Aion provides (fireplace burning, house lights low, and hardwood floors made for dancing), is that I get to come watch acts I love. Much like at our music opening last weekend, which featured Paul Kimbiris and the Dark Side of Pearl and Foxfeather, this weekend’s acts are ones of which I truly consider myself a fan. 

Ben Hanna.

Ben Hanna.

Friday night at 10, the enigmatic songsmith Ben Hanna will begin performing his unique blend of acoustic folk-rock. Hanna is known locally as a performer whose thoughtful songs will challenge you as much as they will make you hoot-and-holler along. While his songs have a rough edge both musically and lyrically, his utterly authentic performances render his music listener-friendly. “With a sort of gravely, half-speaking, half-singing vocal style, Ben Hanna has easily drawn comparisons to Lou Reed,” writes Marquee.

Whiskey Autumn. 

Whiskey Autumn. 

On Saturday at 10, the night most folks will be out celebrating Valentine’s Day, couples looking for just the right vibe should come dance and sing-a-long with Boulder staple Whiskey Autumn. The indie-pop rock trio with an early 60s Motown flavor will have you swooning to a bevy of originals and covers. Their early EPs have received a great deal of acclaim, and their track “07.04.07” was recently featured on the nationally syndicated Dave Leonard's UNLEASHED. Want the perfect way to end a romantic day with your special someone? Look no further.

Look over February's full schedule & check back for artist bios every Wednesday on BolderBeat:

For information on booking, please contact me at aionbookings@gmail.com, and I will get back to you post-haste!

-Pete

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

Opening Weekend at Cafe Aion featuring Paul Kimbiris and Foxfeather

By: Pete Laffin

This weekend marks the start of music at a great Boulder venue.

There was never any other local act I hoped would play on opening night for live music at Cafe AionPaul Kimbiris, who will be christening our new stage this Friday, February 5th at 10pm, is becoming nationally renowned for his enviable songwriting and for his own uniquely melodic brand of acoustic folk. A self-described “recovering Philadelphian”, he’s been playing around Boulder for the past five years, released a well received record last summer, and can be found on the soundtracks for major network TV shows like “The Shield”, “Gang Related”, and most recently, ABC’s “Forever”. We are honored to have him perform on such a momentous night for our new endeavor.

Boulder's Paul Kimbiris. Photo Credit: Joshua Elioseff

Boulder's Paul Kimbiris. Photo Credit: Joshua Elioseff

Playing the following evening, also at 10pm, is another burgeoning local sensation. The folk ensemble Foxfeather formed in 2013, and has made quite an impression on the Boulder music scene, offering an eclectic mix of styles, from folk to blues to bluegrass to jazz and even to pop. They regularly bring down the house at venues all over town, and are sure to rock the room at Aion.

Boulder's Foxfeather. Photo Credit: CNPhotos.

Boulder's Foxfeather. Photo Credit: CNPhotos.

Please join us in celebrating our opening weekend! It’s sure to be one for the books.

For information on booking, please contact me at aionbookings@gmail.com, and I will get back to you post-haste!

-Pete

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 01/28, 01/29, & 01/30

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Though it’s not exactly the weekend yet, there were a couple of shows we thought deserved some spotlight tonight! And so we decided we’re starting our weekend one day early this week! Here’s our six:

Today (Thursday) 01/28:

Amoramora with Natural Motives at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 9PM-Close

12187773_535797189907251_6014881146191052398_n.jpg

These two Boulder-based bands will be jumping around the Lazy Dog stage tonight with a Big Lebowski-inspired set. When we asked Amoramora what this meant, they told us Ever wondered what it would be like to go to a concert where everyone is dressed up like characters from the Big Lebowski and are drinking only White Russians? Well this is your chance! The four-piece are a mountain-funk fusion jam with earth soul elements so we know you’re gonna love ‘em Boulder! And good vibe tribe openers Natural Motives will start the evening off with some sweet reggae rock beats. Check this show out!

Listen to an Amoramora original, “Rafiki’s Expedition”:

Pete Laffin at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

12525674_1211723058856574_3900110063239784181_o.jpg

Pete Laffin wears many hats in the Boulder music scene- as you probably read in our feature yesterday, he’s booking all music at Cafe Aion, he’s a contributor for our site, and he’s an accomplished musician himself. Laffin’s been playing around the Boulder scene for almost a decade now, with more than one Fox show under his belt. And tonight, he’s playing one of our favorite digs, The No Name! He’s promised “an eclectic mix of covers and originals” for tonight’s set. We can’t wait to check it out!

Learn more about Pete through his website here.

Tomorrow (Friday) 01/29

Tall Heights, Poet’s Row, & Paul Kimbiris at The Walnut Room in Denver 7PM-Close

Tall Heights. Photo Credit: Jeff Fasano

Tall Heights. Photo Credit: Jeff Fasano

The Walnut Room is hosting another amazing Homevibe lineup tomorrow night with touring Boston indie-folk duo Tall Heights, Denver’s folk four-piece Poet’s Row, and Boulder’s own singer songwriter Paul Kimbiris. We’ll actually be bringing you a more in-depth feature on this show tomorrow, but in the meantime get your tickets for this Homevibe event here.

And check out a Tall Heights track, “Spirit Cold” here.

Envy Alo at Taco Junky in Boulder 10PM-Close

Envy Alo at The Lazy Dog.

Envy Alo at The Lazy Dog.

Envy Alo, who we dropped an interview with recently, have a set at Taco Junky on The Hill tonight. The “old-school organ-trio jazz funk” group will be gettin’ groovy while you sip margs and dance! If you’ve kept up with the three-piece, you know they’ve been recording at KMG over the past couple of weeks with plans to drop an EP this spring! So go check ‘em out tonight- the way they’ve been booking around Boulder, they’re bound to be off touring before too long.

Watch EA’s live-performance of “Bobby's Big Boy Bars”:

The Next Day (Saturday) 01/30

The Fremonts at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Boulder’s Americana duo The Fremonts dropped their self-titled EP last year, which we wrote about right here. Members Stephanie Dodd and Justin Badger have been busy since then, playing shows throughout the state and in Iowa, Nebraska, and New York. They recently entered NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest (watch their submission below) and they’ve got some cool new tunes to play for you at The No Name this weekend. So head for The Hill and give them a listen!

Watch The Fremont’s NPR Tiny Desk entry for their song “Echo”:

Soul Saturday with Let the Beat Speak at Connor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

Conor’s is hosting their first free Soul Saturday event this weekend. Performers include Dent (Zachary Wolff), Paige Sandusky, Dechen Hawk, Mikey Smith, Daniel Nash, Jon Frett, and Let the Beat Speak. The crew plans to make the walls melt with their rhythmic sounds, so go grab a drink and a dance partner and check this one out. We know you wanna grind.

Learn more about Let the Beat Speak here.

PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder singer/songwriter Joseph Tonelli! He just dropped an animated music video for his song “My Situation” and we’ll be featuring that and more in an in-depth interview with Tonelli next week! So don’t forget to tune in between 9-10PM to 95.5 in Boulder Sunday night, or stream Green Light for a first listen of Tonelli’s “My Situation”.

That’s it B. See yah ‘round.

-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.

A New Era of Music at Cafe Aion

By: Pete Laffin

Cafe Aoin is ready to bring on the tunes. 

A few months ago, the guys at Cafe Aion asked me to come in and talk about the possibility of creating a weekend music program. I arrived as they were closing up for the night, and I as I made my way up the stairs to the dining room, all I could think was: Fuck, this place is beautiful.

View of the stage at revamped Cafe Aion.

View of the stage at revamped Cafe Aion.

The last time I’d been in there it was called Burnt Toast, and significant upgrades had been made to the interior. A big, unnecessary wall had been removed, which opened up the room and made it seem far larger than before; a new bar had been built with significant space surrounding it for late-night patrons. Coupled with what the room already had going for itself (a red-brick fireplace, hardwood flooring, wide windows looking out on Pennsylvania Avenue), these upgrades made the place glow with late night potential. When I learned that a new stage would be built as an extension of the window platforms, I signed on to the project without hesitation. This looked to be the kind of venue I and many other Boulder music lovers have long awaited: a beautiful, classy room tailored for acoustic acts (and small band set-ups), but with a true nightlife atmosphere (premium cocktails and craft brews).

Cafe Aion, the nightlife version, doesn’t project to be another small, rock venue that caters to obscenely loud acts, nor does it project to be anything like the acoustic alternatives in town: coffeeshops with loud machinery where half the room ignores the live music in favor of glowing laptop screens.

Cafe Aion: The Nightlife Version.

Cafe Aion: The Nightlife Version.

The potential of this project has me giddy. There is an overflow of local acts who are a perfect fit for this type of space, with very few, if any, comparable alternatives. Since taking on the booking, I have done my darnedest to pack the calendar with premium local acoustic acts. On February 5th, Paul Kimbiris (whose latest album I had the pleasure of reviewing) will christen the new stage, followed the next night by the fantastic folk ensemble, Foxfeather.

I will be writing up profiles right here on BolderBeat every Wednesday for each of the weekend acts during our first month of operation, so keep an eye out! All weekend shows begin at 10PM, and we can’t wait to share with you, the music lovers of Boulder, what we’ve put together.

Look over February's full schedule & check back for artist bios every Wednesday on BolderBeat:

For information on booking, please contact me at aionbookings@gmail.com, and I will get back to you post-haste!

-Pete

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

A Thank You From BolderBeat

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Thanks to you, The Fall Showcase was a major success. 

Ben Hanna and The Knighthawks at The Fall Showcase.

Ben Hanna and The Knighthawks at The Fall Showcase.

Hey Boulder! Thank you so much for your support of The Fall Showcase last Friday! We had 100 people check out the event - and almost all promotion for the show was done just through our site and social media. So you rock! Special thanks to The Riverside for working with us. We also had a great time with Rocky and Skylar from Green Light Radio- and we’ve had a number of you reach out to let us know you tuned in to one of the CRN networks. Thank you!

BLVD at The Fall Showcase

BLVD at The Fall Showcase

Six months ago, I had a hunger to promote the local music scene and all of you great people making art within it. I started this site and approached my friends to work on features with me and they said yes! A huge thank you to David Landry, Zach Dahman, Pete Laffin, Alex Cutter, and Greg Laut. Their strong teamwork made TFS possible and they keep our website alive and kickin’ with all of their great contributions!

We’re excited to bring your more events and are already working on the next one :)

Whiskey Autumn at The Fall Showcase.

Whiskey Autumn at The Fall Showcase.

If you’re an artist interested in having us promote or host a show with you, please reach out to us at bolderbeat@gmail.com. We’d love to hear your ideas.

Check out more event photos from The Fall Showcase here.

And if you dig what we’re doing, tell a friend.

Like Us On Facebook Here

Follow Us On Instagram Here  

Follow Us On Twitter 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.

Band of Brothers: A Sit-Down with Whiskey Autumn

By: Pete Laffin

Whiskey Autumn are all about their art.

WA. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

WA. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

I had the great pleasure of sitting down last week with Whiskey Autumn, a band I enjoy and admire, for an in-depth chat. They're headlining The Fall Showcase tomorrow night. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did:

I’ve been a fan of Whiskey Autumn for awhile. What I’ve always been impressed by since the first time I saw you guys is that the aesthetic you present isn’t based on a current “in” trend. Often, newly-formed bands put their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing: “I know, let’s start a new-grass band with a Fleet Foxes twist!” Rather, you guys settled into an aesthetic that’s very much not “in,” namely first-wave British Invasion. That’s what it looks like, what it sounds like; from your originals, to your covers, to the way David and Greg knock their heads around in your music video like a couple of Beatles bobble-head dolls. It’s very bold to go against the grain, but it’s even bolder to pick something so far from the norm. How did the three of you individually contribute toward defining this aesthetic?

Greg: That’s an interesting question. I guess it wasn’t a conscious decision to go toward or against a trend. We were all big Beatles fans. We all had the vinyl. It was the way we first bonded.

David: Greg already had Whiskey Autumn going before we met. Then we found Matty, and it was just one of those things: What do we all listen to? What do you we like? Because that’s going to be the fun stuff to cover. Being a band in Boulder, we have to play three-hour sets.

Matty: We’re not a jam band.

Thank god.

Greg: One of the first covers we honed in on was “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by The Beach Boys.

Matty: Which is not an easy song. If you have the balls to play any Beach Boys song to begin with, that one isn’t high on the list. You need multiple strong vocalists.

Greg: And from a songwriting perspective, it’s incredible how quick the movements come in that song. It’s almost a classical piece in that way. We were really drawn to that. And especially on our first EP, we wanted to play some doo-wop.

Laffin with the Whiskey Autumn boys. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Laffin with the Whiskey Autumn boys. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

That’s the other direction you guys go: Motown. And while the subgenres aren’t the same, they happened within the same few years.

Matty: The one thing we all could definitely agree on was the music we would listen to when we were hanging out, which was Hard Day’s Night or Pet Sounds or Rubber Soul. For all of us, that era shines above everything else.

That’s really strange. That’s a very specific subset of music for three players to run with in this day and age. It must be daunting to think you are attempting to repave a way that has already passed. Your originals reflect this era, too. In light of this, what does success look like to you guys? A week from today? A month? A year? What are the expectations for pushing something no one knows they are looking for?

Greg: The success is making the art.

Matty: Great songs speak for themselves, regardless of the genre.

Couldn’t agree more with that.

Matty: Whether you’re reaching for one aesthetic or another, if the melody is strong and the lyrics are strong, it’s timeless. You can still listen to “Be My Baby” and it sounds just as fresh and magical as it did the first time you heard it when The Ronnettes put it out. In the studio, we just want our songs to be the best they can be.

So is that success to you guys? Making the best song you can make? Does moving up in the industry have anything to do with it?

Greg: I find the joy in the creating. That’s when I feel like we’re doing the real shit. It’s also a beautiful thing not having to answer to anybody, which we don’t right now, outside of budget constraints. The art is what lives on. Live shows are super important, but creating the records is where it’s really at. That’s what will live on.

Matty: The band has grown from a bedroom-folk thing to more of a rock band, and I come from a hip-hop background playing with DJs. We are always trying to build on what we know. It’s like advancing in math, always trying to solve more complicated riddles.

Behind the scenes of Whiskey Autumn's newest music video. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Behind the scenes of Whiskey Autumn's newest music video. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Having played here for a few years, what do you make of the Boulder scene?

David: The Boulder scene is different than the one I grew up in.

Where did you grow up?

David: Dallas. Downtown there were fifteen venues with three or four band bills and everyone supported and watched each other. If you played the nine o’clock slot, you would go over to another bar to support another band that had the midnight slot. Here it’s like, damn, we have to play three hours and be on every fucking song the whole night. Where I came from you got forty-five minute slots where you played the best songs you could in that time. Being here is like being a glorified bar band where you are in the background a lot and noise cancelling.

Do you think that’s because of a shortage of acts here?

Matty: It’s a shortage of venues.

David: That’s why we are working with other artists and BolderBeat trying to create a mid-level venue over at The Riverside.

Greg: You have The Fox or The Boulder Theater, but you have to build up a lot before you can get there.

Right, you have to be invited into the kingdom. Moving on: nostalgia and sentiment. Two very unhip things you also make hip.

Greg: Why thank you.

Everything you play, especially the songs you write, seem to be reaching back in time. Not just the aesthetic, but the lyrics, the mood of the sound.

Greg: I’m always trying to draw on things that happen to me, to think of them in scenes and tell a story. I’m trying to make a song out of the picture in my head that I see of the past. After you have had some time to think about things, you can understand them better. You put them through a different filter. You write a song about it and really understand what happened.

Band of Brothers. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Band of Brothers. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

In order to live together and be in a band together, you guys must get along pretty well.

Matty: There are times we want to punch each other in the face.

David: It’s gotten to brotherhood.

Matty: We have this family dynamic. We aren’t competing. We are a family and we want to do what is good for the family name.

David: Exactly. These guys are my brothers. I want them to be honest with me. Letting them down is worse than hurting yourself.

Matty: This has definitely been something different for me. It’s been very exciting. I was asked if I could fill in at first, which makes you more present. Count to four, count to six; whichever time signature we’re playing in. Stay in the pocket, keep it simple. I went into this thinking I was just filling in, which I love, even if it’s in a scene I’m not really into. It’s going to bring something new out of me. You just make a choice that it will be fun. And here we are nearly three years later, a repertoire of ninety songs we can play together, always having new musical ideas to bounce off one another. I could not have envisioned this is what it would become.

Check out the Whiskey Autumn trio this Friday at The Riverside where they are headlining The Fall Showcase. More details here.

Join the FB event here.

-Pete

All photos per Hannah OreskovichThis interview was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

The Fall Showcase: Everything You Need to Know

By: Hannah Oreskovich

We are throwing one sweet show for you Boulder. 

Our Polaroid Poster was created by   David Landry   with the help of   Zach Dahmen   and GREG LAUT. Colorado Community Radio Network is our official sponsor!

Our Polaroid Poster was created by David Landry with the help of Zach Dahmen and GREG LAUT. Colorado Community Radio Network is our official sponsor!

It’s official Boulder- we’ve been up and running for six awesome months. To all of our readers, musicians, followers, friends, artists, fans, and Colorado music lovers: thank you! We are proud and excited to announce that we are hosting our first official event, The Fall Showcase. Here’s what you need to know:

Specifics: Friday, November 6th from 8PM-Midnight

Where to Roll: The Riverside, at the corner of Broadway & Arapahoe

the riverside looks like this. it's next to conoco and across from colonel mustard's last stand: 1724 Broadway 

the riverside looks like this. it's next to conoco and across from colonel mustard's last stand: 1724 Broadway 

The Lineup*: Whiskey Autumn, Paul Kimbiris' BLVD, & Ben Hanna and the Knighthawks

*We will be posting interviews and tons of exclusive content on these bands over the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out!

Cost: Only $5 -You’re helping us pay the bands, the sound guy, and the event costs. We’re not taking a profit. Plus there will be merch giveaways, free stickers, and the chance to win a ton of awesome prizes!-

Other happenings: Booze, Dancing, Polaroid Snapping, Pete Laffin as Emcee, Free Stuff, & Live Streaming and Interviews with Colorado Community Radio Network (CRN)!

Our official sponsor for this event is CRN- tune in to one of their stations here over the next week and listen for this:

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

this is the riverside on a map guys.

this is the riverside on a map guys.

PARKING: THERE IS FREE PARKING IN THE LOT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE RIVERSIDE (NEXT TO COLONEL MUSTARD'S). 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. 

This is going to be one for the books! We can’t wait to share it with you, Boulder.

Keep up with The Fall Showcase:

Join The Fall Showcase Facebook Event Here

Like Us On Facebook Here

Follow Us On Instagram Here  

Follow Us On Twitter Here

See you at the show!

-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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 10/02, 10/03, & 10/04

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s fall! It’s October! And it’s the weekend! Here are our six picks:

Today (Friday, 10/02)

VoodooJulia at Powder Keg Brewing Company 7PM-9PM

Local singer-songwriter Valerie Bhat’s got a band and their name is VoodooJulia. They describe themselves as a “four-piece rock-funk-blues band” with a mix of female fronted covers (Fiona Apple, Amy Winehouse) and a slew of “west Texas driven originals by Valerie.” Make the quick trip to Niwot to check them out over a brew tonight!

The augustus boys.

The augustus boys.

Augustus featuring Pete Laffin at Twisted Pine Brewing 7PM-Close

Local three-piece Augustus will be rocking the Twisted Pine house tonight with an awesome intro set by Boulder singer-songwriter Pete Laffin. Hit their show after your work day for a pretzel plate + a saison, and let these boys spin you into the weekend. It’s gonna be a great time so come out!

ramaya soskin.

ramaya soskin.

Ramaya and The Troubadours featuring David Sheingold at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8PM-Close

Tonight’s LG performance has been dubbed as “Ramaya [Soskin] joined by a rotating cast of fellow songwriters and local favorites at our beloved monthly haunt.” Soskin always puts on an engaging performance, and we’re pumped to see that David Sheingold’s talents will be shaking the stage tonight with the group. This should be a bumpin’ set, so go get your caffeine (or booze) fix and listen!

First Funk Friday at Bohemian Biergarten 1030PM-Close

It’s the first Friday of the month! And that means it’s Funk Friday at Bohemian Biergarten. DJ Shiny Shoes will be opening the night with “some electronic funk flavor” before main act Whiskey Autumn takes the BB stage. The WA boys told us they wanna get down witcha, so go funk out with them!

Tomorrow (Saturday, 10/03)

Saturday Soiree at Studio 700 6PM-???

Afrofunk folktronica outfit Mbanza is rumored to be here, and so is Boulder-based Villain Baritone. Local singer-songwriter Hunter Stone is one of the hosts of this event, and that’s pretty much all I know. Jamming, smiling, dancing, and a generally awesome DIY vibe are bound to be here tomorrow night. Be adventurous and go check out this surprise soiree!

The Next Day (Sunday, 10/04)

Holly & Ken Road Show at Harmony Music House

Ken Stringfellow (formerly of R.E.M., The Posies, and the re-formed Big Star) recently made a country concept album with Texas singer Holly Munoz. Stringfellow describes it as, “going deep into the back story of the n’er do well couple from Doesn’t It Remind You of Something… picking up where Willie Nelson left off with his Red Headed Stranger…mashing that up in the French countryside…and lassoing in YOU to help, cowpoke.” Together the duo are performing said album in what they call The Holly & Ken Road Show, and they’ve got a special Boulder performance at The Harmony House. Tickets are $20- buy them here.

Happy fall!! Enjoy the weekend 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.

Album Review: Paul Kimbiris' "The Dark Side of Pearl"

By: Pete Laffin

Paul Kimbiris' newest release is his best work yet. 

Ever wonder what Bob Dylan would sound like if he could sing?

First off, I entirely reject the notion that Bob Dylan actually can sing, or that he is an “interesting” or “unique” singer, as people like to say at parties. The man can’t sing.  What’s more, claiming he can only diminishes his genius. The genre known as “singer/songwriter” seemingly requires the capacity to perform two specific functions. And yet, Bob Dylan became the greatest ever without being able to do one of them. Consider Michael Jordan becoming the greatest basketball player without being able to dribble, or Churchill becoming the greatest orator with a stutter. This is what Bob Dylan somehow pulled off. There’s no need to make excuses for him. His accomplishment is otherworldly, akin to Beethoven composing the Ninth Symphony while deaf.

paul kimbiris.

paul kimbiris.

Another qualification: In no way am I equating Dylan to the subject of this review, Paul Kimbiris. Dylan didn’t just write some of the greatest songs you’ve ever heard, he wrote most of them. When a song plays in a bar or a coffee shop and someone asks “who wrote that?” the answer is usually Dylan. In hundreds of years, skeptics will question whether or not any human could be so prolific in a given craft, the same way they question Shakespeare: Was there an enslaved coterie of writers he stole from? Was Satan in on it?

But back to the initial question: What would Dylan sound like with a decent set of pipes? This writer’s contention is that it might sound a lot like Boulder’s own Paul Kimbiris, especially on his latest album, “The Dark Side of Pearl.” His vocals are rich and deep with a timbre that occasionally rattles the ground. And yet, he retains the frantic dips and leaps that define the Dylan aesthetic. His songwriting is pretty darn good, too.

The title track “The Dark Side of Pearl” is where my Dylan musings find their strongest foothold. On the iconic downtown strip of Boulder known as Pearl, one strata of society buys $900 table napkins from knick-knack shops, while another earns its keep juggling flaming swords, or slinging coffee, or washing dishes, or working retail, as Kimbiris himself did years ago. From behind a counter he watched the crowds march down the red brick walking mall with plump shopping bags and blissful expressions. This track is a whimsical meditation on those days. It’s not the biting social commentary familiar to Dylan fans, but simply one man’s recollection of a less-than-stellar sitch: “All your confidence has left you/And you feel no one respects you/A simple hello would make all the difference in the world,” he wails at the chorus with his Dylan-esque vocal abandon. The perky rhythm and melody stand in contrast to the subject of the piece, which provides a satisfying dissonance. The essence of this track is that of the proverbial madman laughing at the rain, and you’ll find yourself laughing and clapping along too.

“Heavy Things” is another tune colored with the markings of Dylan. “Heavy things always come down/Get used to it/Deal with it,” is the bluntly sung chorus, a modern echo to A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall.” Even more than on “The Dark Side of Pearl,” Kimbiris takes the vocal aesthetic of Dylan and infuses it with his own signature opulence. The instrumentation on this track is simply beautiful: the winding electric guitar notes in the deep background, the skillfully placed keyboard notes, and the resonant cello bows (played powerfully by Philip Parker of Denver’s Glowing House; also the record’s producer). The sound is more early-era alternative rock than it is folk, and the combination is damn cool. And more importantly, when he laments the heavier happenings of life, it rings with authority. The qualitative feel of the song is a great match for the message it hopes to convey. This song sounds like the hard-fought acceptance of life’s tragedies.

When Kimbiris first handed me the disc and I saw a track entitled “Sitting Home Alone with Your Guitar” I recoiled. Listening to artists talk about their art to other artists is something I’m just plain sick of. Having played stages for the past eighteen years, I’ve had my fill of listening to this kind of thing. (I’ve similarly been unable to attend a writer’s “talk” since grad school.) At this point it all just seems so (sorry, Mom, I can’t avoid the word)… masturbatory. And worse, the attempt to do so within a singular piece of art is loaded with landmines. It’s just so easy to come off trite or self-involved, or worse, miles off the mark. But after listening to the track dozens of times, I find myself experiencing two of life’s greatest feelings: being surprised, and being wrong. Kimbiris’ secret for pulling off the dreaded artist-explaining-art-in-a-piece-of-art is remaining a few feet off the ground throughout the piece, never committing to maxims, but sticking to abstractions. In this way, he is able to convey his experience without sounding preachy or clichéd. “When you’re sitting home alone with your guitar/The universe expanding, a union torn apart/Counting constellations from the rooftop of your car,” is the line recurring at the chorus, accented by some of the highest and truest vocal notes on the record. The description rings true: The art we make, we don’t really make, but access, from a place somewhere above our heads, and we pull it down and filter it through our souls. What’s more, the song itself is a clinic on quality songwriting. The airy and wispy vocal harmonies are a modern take on Simon and Garfunkel, but not as sleepy as what you might hear on a Fleet Foxes record. The cascading finger-picking gives a nod to the virtue of minimalism in acoustic music, and the nearly imperceptible shifts in volume dynamics keep it interesting till the end. The successful execution of this track is an accomplishment acoustic players from coast-to-coast would like to have under their belts.  

My highest expectation for the record was a song of Kimbiris’ I’ve been familiar with for some time. “Bring Out Your Dead” is a straight up modern folk classic. If you love soulful acoustic music and are a fan of Monty Python (and man, are there a lot of people who fit this description), this might be your favorite song ever. It’s also another track where my Dylan-on-steroids vocal comparison finds a home. While “Dark Side of Pearl” recalls early Dylan protest songs, “Bring Out Your Dead” is more of the 70s Dylan love jam variety. While Kimbiris dips and climbs the length of his range with startling immediacy, the timbre of his tenor sustains. The elegant melody derived from a chord progression familiar to every guitar novice (you can figure out most of these songs in a single sitting, I even covered one at a show last weekend), the bittersweet beat, the lyrics that raise more questions than they answer: It all adds up to some seriously satisfying song-smithing.

Which is why I have to sadly conclude this track an opportunity missed. The magic is in there somewhere, but you have to strain to hear it due to overproduction. There is simply too much going on in the instrumentation, and the elaborate harmonies seem unnecessary, especially if you’ve seen this video on YouTube. The production is too smart by half, and the vocals are sterile in comparison to what Kimbiris achieves elsewhere on the record. Word is he will be re-recording this track for an upcoming project, and I can’t wait to hear how it turns out anew.

the album art from "The Dark Side of Pearl".

the album art from "The Dark Side of Pearl".

I’ll end with the real gem of the album: “Home Soon.” This track more than any reflects modern rock sensibilities; it could stand out in any of Ryan Adams recent releases. It’s got an infectious hook at the bridge, but it doesn’t rely on endless repetition (think “Let Her Go” by Passenger). The vocals are revelatory in their scruffy authenticity and the instrumentation is pristine, yet soulful, especially at the transitions, which are aided by rich cello bows. Local luminary Gregory Alan Isakov aided Kimbiris in the studio on this one (he also has co-writing credit for the track). Kimbiris was emphatic on the following point in the run-up to this review: If you want to make a great record, find great musicians to help you pull it off. He raved about the contributions of Patrick Meese, Ben Gallagher, Jeb Bows, and Philip Parker, each accomplished music makers from various musical outfits.

Though I can’t go into each track in-depth due to space/time restrictions, that’s not to say they aren’t worth some deep listening. If you want to hear how a single major-to-minor note dip can alter the complexion of an entire composition, take a listen to “Mexico.” If you revel in being stabbed in the heart by a single lyric (“Don’t know what I’m going to do/There’s a light in the tunnel and I hope it’s you”) listen to the “Ballad of Alex and Victoria.” And so on. Just buy the record, if only to give me a good old-fashioned bullshit check. You’ll thank me for it.

And if you see Kimbiris’ name on a local lineup, get your ass to that show. (Hint: There's one this weekend.) It’s rare that any local scene should harbor such a talent. Chances are, he won’t be part of it for long.       

-Pete

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See Labor Day Weekend

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Three day weekends are the best kind! So celebrate your Labor Day weekend checking out these shows!

Today (Friday, 09/04)

Pete Laffin and Coby Mandell at Johnny’s Cigar Bar 8PM-Close

Pete Laffin is a well-known name in Boulder. Laffin’s played around here for years, at local gigs and at two Fox Theatre shows. He rarely makes appearances anymore, so anytime you can catch a Laffin set, it’s a real treat. He also happens to be our talented staff album reviewer! 

And then there’s Coby Mandell, a Boulder-based singer/songwriter who has played shows in LA and throughout Colorado. Though he’s only in highschool, you’d never know it by the sound of his voice and his musical prowess. Seriously- check out this video of Coby and his sister Carly covering The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow.” Amazing.

Come support these two and read more about the event here.

Intuit at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub 10PM-Close

Intuit has been playing Boulder gigs since they formed at Naropa in 2011. The band’s got a fresh reggae funk sound, that you can listen to here. They played an extensive Colorado tour this summer, which is just starting to wrap up. If you didn’t catch them at Nedfest last weekend, here’s your chance to funk out!

Tomorrow (Saturday, 09/05)

Amy Kress at The Laughing Goat 10PM-Close

Kress is a Denver based pop solo artist who has recently garnered a lot of press and has played just about every Denver venue around. She’s got powerful pipes and released her debut album, Secret Music, this year. Watch the video for her track “Numb” here and then head to the show!

Antonio Lopez at the Boulder County Farmer’s Market 10AM-2PM

We’ve been digging on Lopez since we caught one of his performances last June. He’s become such a popular name around these parts that it seems he has shows almost every night of the week somewhere in Colorado. Go listen to him and buy some local goodies. Here’s to hoping he plays our favorite track, Cloud 9000.

Kronen at The Lazy Dog 10PM-Close

Using years of jazz and classical music theory, in addition to their profound knowledge of hearing science, Kronen integrates rhythmic and harmonic elements from European, African, Caribbean, and American music.” This is how Kronen describe themselves, which sounds pretty sweet to us. The show is free, and all of their merch proceeds will actually go to CU Boulder’s Student Academy of Audiology, which is super awesome. Check them out before their set here.

Labor Day (Monday, 09/07)

IMG_2771.jpg

Whiskey Autumn at The Pearl Street Pub 7PM-Close

We figured we’d toss a show on for the holiday, so here it is. If you haven’t heard the Whiskey Autumn boys yet, jump over to the Pub before the work week begins. They released a video this summer for their track “My Dear Miss Claire” from their latest EP Call You Mine, which you can watch here. They'll get you to groove.

Happy longgggg weekend, Boulder. Can’t wait to see you out! Add the shows you're hitting up this weekend 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.

Music Video Release: Pamela Machala "Daychanger"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Pamela Machala bakes her sounds. You'll see what we mean.

Pamela Machala.

Pamela Machala.

Local artist Pamela Machala released her video for “Daychanger” yesterday, the first track off of her latest LP, When I Get Home. The video follows Machala through New York City on what seems like a regular day-in-the-life of the average 9-5er: leaving a desk job, taking the subway, grocery shopping, and then cooking dinner. But what Pamela actually cooks up by the end might surprise you! So we chatted with Machala to learn more about working with the production team behind her video, her real-life love of cooking, and her plans for the fall. Read on:

Pete Laffin actually reviewed your LP When I Get Home for us back in June. We’ve had it on rotation since! How did you decide which song to produce a video for?

The lyrics of this song are very visual, so I thought it would work well for creating a video. It’s also one of my favorites on the new album, so I could stomach the thought of listening to it another 1000 times during the editing process!

What was it like filming in NYC and working with Daniel Pleck and David Stolarsky?

Dan and David are two of my oldest friends and have been making movie magic together for many years. We had a great time filming. At one point it kind of devolved into a cooking show, and then later we got kicked out of the subway... basically it was a non-stop thrill ride.

So many of us can relate to your daily routine in the video. Tell us what you’re hoping viewers take away from this after watching it.

This song was inspired by a wise friend who told me that she has certain songs she can listen to after a crappy day that will totally turn her day around. She calls them ‘daychangers.’ The album (and this song especially) is about the everyday grind of adult life and figuring out how to be happy within that, and about finding things that you love and creating time for those things. I like the ambiguity of what the ‘daychanger’ actually is, because I think it’s something different for everyone. I hope it inspires people to think about their own ‘daychangers.’

Do you enjoy cooking in real life? 

Haha, yes. I love cooking! it’s not so different from songwriting or any other creative process. And I usually have a better sense of what should go in a casserole dish!

Do you have plans for any other video releases from When I Get Home? What else are you up to this fall?

A music video for “Barista” is in the works - stay tuned! I’ll be playing a show at Shine on Saturday October 10 with Wilson Harwoodwhich will be a great time.  I'm also pursuing some licensing opportunities for songs from When I Get Home. Mainly, my plans for the fall are to write a lot of new material.

We can't wait to hear it! Watch the "Daychanger" video 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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 08/07 & 08/08

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Hey friends! We’ve been a bit absent on the scene this week working on some cool upcoming features, but you know we’re all about weekend shows, so here’s where to be the next two nights:

Today (Friday 08/07):

Augustus at Twisted Pine Brewing Co. 7PM-Close

We’ve got a piece hitting the site next week courtesy of Pete Laffin on these boys and their new EP Into Frames! Go peep this show, listen to their new tunes, and check back with us Monday to read Pete’s latest on Augustus!

Bateria Alegria at The Pearl Street Mall 730PM

The Colorado Brazil Fest is bringing some awesome Samba percussion to the Mall this evening. There will be music and dance performances by Boulder Samba School’s Bateria Alegria and Samba Colorado right in front of the Courthouse. Their drums will get your heart beating so stop by!

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at The Fox Outdoor Stage 9PM-????

Rateliff has been a Denver-based singer-songwriter for many moons now. But recently, he has picked up mad steam with his group The Night Sweats (peep their performance on Jimmy Fallon this week here, for which they got a standing ovation). They have an amazing folk/rock/R&B thing happening, and believe us when we say that NR & The Night Sweats are one of the biggest bands to be watching out for right now. We have a feeling they are going to jet off into some serious fame here soon. Tonight’s performance is free. Come hang with the cool kids. 

NR dancing with Fallon.

NR dancing with Fallon.

The War on Drugs at The Fox Theatre 830PM-Close

Though they aren’t local, this is going to be an amazing Fox show. These Philly boys will be heartland-rocking you deep into the night, and though the show is a bit pricey, you won’t be disappointed. Start with Rateliff and end with Granduciel? Yes please.

Tomorrow (Saturday 08/08):

Foxfeather at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8PM-Close

Boulder folk outfit Foxfeather will be jamming at the LG tomorrow, and you should be too. Let this female-fronted band croon to you over a tasty latte! Emily Scott Robinson will also be performing at this event.

FF.

FF.

Sumilan at The Lazy Dog Sports Bar and Grill 10PM-Close

These progressive rock/trance dance dudes are going to be jumping around the stage at The Lazy Dog tomorrow night and they have a sound worth checking out! They’re from Athens, Georgia and are finishing up their summer tour. Listen to them here before the show. 

Sumi boys.

Sumi boys.

Get to it Boulder. Happy weekend.

-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.

Pamela Machala: LP Release "When I Get Home"

By: Pete Laffin

Boulder's Pamela Machala just put out a great pop EP.

Pamela Machala kicks and booms on the keys, and she croons with conviction. She has no anxious inner voice warning her to “reach the note” or “nail the transition.” Her songs become her, and when she reaches us, we aren’t quite sure how we feel, but we feel so much. That, to me, is a mark of a great player: one who induces disorientation, who provides the listener a multitude of emotions at once with opposing forces like tumult and serenity, elation and sorrow.

Machala.  

Machala.
 

This isn’t to focus too narrowly on the experience of Machala’s set, which is also precise and musically sophisticated. She told me recently she spends most of her days “thinking up those elusive qualities that make for a perfect bridge” and that she “loves sprinkling the harmonic and rhythmic complexities (especially meter changes) of jazz and R&B into simple pop forms.” You likely wouldn’t notice how tight and sophisticated her music is, the way you don’t notice a referee who goes a whole game without blowing a call. You’re too busy enjoying the experience. It’s as natural as any live performance you’ll see on the local circuit. It’s as if she presses a play button in her mind and shares with us what’s on the track.

For these reasons and more, I fully expected to be underwhelmed by her newly released LP “When I Get Home.” Players with such a natural boom tend to overthink things in the early-going of their studio careers. I expected something clinical and technically accurate with a risk or two taken, perhaps an alien-like quadrupling of vocals on a chorus in a silly attempt to recreate the intensity of her live performance.

But by the second track, “Do It Now,” my fear of such studio follies dissolved. This slick, funky groove is a reflection on jealousy and urgency in the face of seeing the accomplishments of others on social media. It showcases her innate understanding of how to grow a song from small to big using volume dynamics, which is a force she wields well on stage. It also demonstrates her inclination to hop back in time. “Do It Now” has the qualitative feel of “Use Me” by Bill Withers, while delivering lyrics that are decidedly modern. This combination is a gamble for sure, and it takes the listener a verse to acclimate, but it never rings false. Machala’s vocal performance on this track is clear and accurate, but has enough soulful scratch to maintain the integrity of her live set.

The third track “Yestersols” is another bright spot of the album. The production is big and ambitious: the undulating piano line, the electronically infused fiddle lead, the faraway, ghostly high end vocals on the chorus. At first it feels ripped from the Coldplay playbook, but the quality of the songwriting unfurls as undoubtedly superior, particularly at the bridge. You won’t see it coming, as it offers such change both rhythmically and melodically, and yet it fits squarely within the context of the whole.

Red.


Red.

“I Still Love You” is a classic songwriter’s love song. Machala sits solo at the piano and croons unapologetically with her thundering vocals. The leaps she takes from note-to-note are jolting. This is a song Norah Jones or Anne Murray would be proud to sing. It would fly in any generation, and the lyrics are universally relatable. There will be times this song will prick just the right part of your heart, and there will be other times you wish it would challenge you more.

“Barista” is a track that speaks most directly to Machala’s commercial potential. If I had to predict a “hit” on this record, this would be it. It showcases a heavy, modern beat (think Ben Folds’ “You Don’t Know Me”), a freaking sweet sound on the organ, a catchy hook, and cleverly cute lyrics: “I got a degree/I got another degree/And now I got 140 degrees.” My only wonder is, again, whether or not the subject matter matches the depth of the musicality. It is just so damn well executed that, in my opinion, it begs for a broader and more penetrating focus. That said, this song could very well lift-off from local obscurity to national notoriety overnight. It’s that catchy; it’s that well executed by Machala, who may be a transcendent talent; and it’s that well produced.     

"thinking up those elusive qualities that make for a perfect bridge" -PM  

"thinking up those elusive qualities that make for a perfect bridge" -PM
 

The grand takeaway from “When I Get Home” is this: Pamela Machala is a big, fresh talent to keep an eye on. Her musicality is as user-friendly as it is intricate, and Machala’s vocal performances are revelatory. And more than any of that, she seems to want success, and she seems willing to put in the work that success demands.

I would be shocked if Pamela Machala didn’t thrive here in the Boulder scene, and wouldn’t be shocked if she outgrew it in time.

Listen to Machala’s full LP “When I Get Home” here.

-Pete

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

Miles Wide: Kyle Donovan Is a Self-Made, DIY Musician with Boulder Roots

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Kyle Donovan is touring miles and miles as Miles Wide.

Those of the Boulder music scene may hear some familiar sounds around town this week. Just over a year ago, Kyle Donovan and his band Miles Wide were playing gigs around Boulder before Kyle decided to quit his day job, move home to Rochester, NY, and embark on a coast to coast solo tour under the same project name. In that time, Kyle has played over 100 shows.

If you’re looking for an idea of his sound, it’s this: Kyle’s raw, velvety vocal range carries you alongside his strumming melodies and honest lyrics. His intonations are so clear, you feel like he’s in your living room. And if you’ve seen his introspective, folky performances live, you wish he really were.

Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Kyle & chat about his do-it-yourself lifestyle, why he left his 9-5, and what his average day is like on tour.

Quitting your day job and setting out on a national tour is a huge commitment. How did you decide to embark on this adventure?

Well I’m really fortunate in that I have supportive friends and family. A big part of it for me is there are a lot of people in my life who have believed in me and my music. I graduated school [at CU] with a degree in philosophy and political science. I got a day job in my field working for a non-profit, which was great, but I just wasn’t really happy. And my friends let me know that they could tell I wasn’t happy. Two of them said to me, ‘Listen- if there is anyone I know who can make music their full-time job, it’s you!’ And my parents said the same thing.

I was also playing in Boulder [at that time], and it’s a tight knit scene here. When I started going to open mics at Johnny’s Cigar Bar, I met Pete Laffin and he really encouraged me to go for it. The community here was receptive and warm- it took me in as a friend of the scene.

So this drive I have to play 100 shows in a year and to kick so much ass- the drive is because I want to prove them all right. I want everyone to feel like they were right to have confidence in me.

That has to be huge to have that kind of support system as a solo artist. I know you mentioned being big on the do-it-yourself philosophy when it comes to your music. Tell me more about that.

So as far as being do-it-yourself, I started reading a bunch of independent music blogs [of artists] who were kind of out there doing things [on their own]. Once I quit my day job, everything became about my music. I designed my website, album art, and all of my social media. I do my own press; my own booking. A big part of me is that I’m self-made. I taught myself to play guitar, I started writing all of my own music two years ago, and I’ve booked this entire tour myself.

Kyle & Sam Sherman at a recent   Laughing Goat   performance. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Kyle & Sam Sherman at a recent Laughing Goat performance. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

That’s amazing! What were you seeking to find when you set out on tour?

I wanted to see the country and what cities jumped out for me - the really, really big cities are no fun [to play]. Nobody pays attention to you; no one cares. They just want background noise. I love playing in little cities; small towns. If there is one thing that this tour has taught me, it’s that the kindness of strangers is limitless. I’ve met people from all over the world who happen to be in the right place at the right time and they want to share what they have [with me].  I’ve tapped into a community of generous and giving people.

That’s so interesting. So when you’re on tour, what’s your average day like?

I typically spend 2-3 days in a place. If it’s a travel day, I wake up, check my email, get on the road, eat a Clif Bar, and drive to the next city. When I get there, I hit a cafe, get on a computer, and make sure I’m up to date on all the press for the next city I’m going to, and that I have somewhere to stay. I spend hours in coffee shops; they’re my new favorite places. And then I go to the show that night.

Croonin'. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Croonin'. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Awesome! So what are your plans for the rest of the summer?

Boulder is my last leg of the tour. I have a show coming up at the Twisted Pine on the 27th. And then when I get back to Rochester, I want to record 10 new songs I’ve written while traveling. I want to put out a new album, and then I intend to keep touring and meeting new people and seeing more of the country.

Cool- we can’t wait to hear it Kyle. Check out Miles Wide here. And to listen to my personal favorite Miles Wide song, click 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.

Tight, Toned, & Sensual: An Interview with Boulder's Root Rock Trio Augustus

By: Hannah Oreskovich and Zach Dahmen

Augustus is making some great Americana noise in the scene.

In honor of their upcoming Fox Theatre show, we sat down with Augustus recently over some tasty Twisted Pine brews and talked drunken jam sessions, songwriting in the Boulder music scene, and what's next on deck for this Boulder band.

So tell us how the three of you got started playing together.

Jesse: We got together through drunkenness and jam sessions.

Jim: Haha yeah- actually we met at a Whiskey Autumn show.

Colin: Yeah Pete Laffin introduced us. I was doing a bunch of open mics around town like at the Catacombs and Conor’s and I’d seen [Jim].

Jim: Jesse and I used to be in a different band awhile back too.

Jesse: Yeah and so once we were all introduced I was like, ‘Hey you play stuff? Then come to my jam session.’ I was hosting jam sessions once a week and so we got together and started playing.

Colin: At the time, I was hosting The Lab at Amante and eventually the guys started coming in and we would do one song live. I was bringing in a bunch of artists [for it] and playing with some of them. And I remember one of the first times I played a show to no one- like it was my girlfriend and Becky and that was it. But then these guys started coming and we learned more songs [together] and more people started showing up.

And here I have to interject. First- because I remember attending an Augustus lab session that was so crowded at Amante that it was hard to even get inside, let alone order a latte. So these guys are being modest about the eventual success they built there. And second- because as Augustus is telling me about their formation, Hunter Stone has commandeered the previously ended open-mic night and his bleeding vocals are bringing us an awesome version of “Dont Let Me Down” that is worth mentioning. But I digress.

Colin on strings. Photo Credit:   Levi Bechtel    

Colin on strings. Photo Credit: Levi Bechtel
 

So where did the name Augustus come from?

Jesse: We liked Augustus because it’s a Roman, imperial, one-word name. I also liked Brutus and the Backstabbers though. I mean mostly we came up with a lot of awesome metal-sounding band names.

Jim: Yeah like Signwolf.

Signwolf?

Colin: I told them I would not be in the band if we went by Signwolf.

[All three laugh]

Jim: We were Tusk for a month and realized there’s a three-piece from the UK operating under that name.

Jesse: Yeah and a Fleetwood Mac album and a movie.

Colin: Yeah which is funny because a few have popped up after us.

Multiple Augustus’? Augusti?

Jesse: Yeah but now we’re safe! Augustus is trademarked!

Jesse bowing us away. Photo Credit:   Levi Bechtel    

Jesse bowing us away. Photo Credit: Levi Bechtel
 

Nice. So tell us about your writing process.

Jesse: Well it starts with Colin coming in with song ideas. Sometimes fully baked; sometimed half-baked… And definitely the arrangement process is a longer process that evolves over time. Like if we’re adding different bridges or interludes or instrumental parts... that kind of stuff blooms over six months or a year as opposed to thinking of [it] as a creation or performance process. The arrangement and decoration and filling out happens over time. [A] song that sits with us that we thought we were happy with, we will actually revisit or something else will pop out and a bunch of new things will happen and we will be even happier with it.

So you guys mentioned that you met at a Whiskey Autumn show; you connected through Amante. Can you speak to the Boulder scene in music and what that’s been like for you?

Colin: Four years ago, there was a scene here. I would go around and watch bands like Hot Soup or Dechen and those groups are definitely still doing it… but we are amongst this group of folks like Whiskey Autumn or Foxfeather who are kind of the underbelly of the Boulder scene and have started to grab a little more attention. And I think the real affirmation [of this attention] for me was the most recent [Whiskey Autumn] CD release show; seeing how many people walked through the door [for all of us]. You know- [the reason] we all ever went to that Whiskey Autumn show at Johnny’s was because for years I had played there to zero f*cking people and suddenly [Whiskey Autumn] was playing there and it was a 180 degree turn. [They were] bringing in people to check out something different than what other groups were doing. And I think [it’s because] the scene we’re in has taken its roots in songwriting. That’s what I came here to do. I wanted to write good songs and I wanted to be around people who do that and there is a lot of evidence of people writing great songs here. And that’s what breeds a scene that people will give attention to: great songwriting and original music.

Lean with it. Photo Credit:   Augustus    

Lean with it. Photo Credit: Augustus
 

I could definitely see that. So what can we expect from your set at the Fox this week?

Jim: It’s a short set, so we have the ability to make it tight and concise and kind of give a nice splattering of what we have to offer.

Jesse: But just don’t call it a splattering to anyone else

Jim: We’re gonna call it a splattering to everyone.

Jesse: It’s gonna have acoustic and electric and a real tight splattering for everyone. We’re gonna make concise statements with the solos and put the songs end to end and stack as much material as we can get into people’s ears in that amount of time.

Jim recently at Mad House. Photo Credit:   Augustus    

Jim recently at Mad House. Photo Credit: Augustus
 

Awesome! So after this show, what’s next for Augustus?

Jim: Well we’re heading to the studio again- Mad House Studio in Leadville. It’s where we recorded our last EP. Before we tracked the whole thing live with minimal overdubbing and we’re hoping to do kind of the same thing this time.

Colin: Yeah we are super stoked to be doing another album. We have all the songs, so it’s great to be getting them out there. It’s great to get them done and out of the way so there is room for more songwriting.

Jesse: Last time we did 2 days; 30 hours in the studio. We woke up, drank coffee, got in and did 16 or 20 hours, and then we drank heavily and went to sleep and did the same thing again. This one is gonna be tight, toned, and sensual. What’s not to like?

And what about the rest of the summer?

Jim: We have shows once a month in Estes Park, once a month here [at Twisted Pine], and a few cool gigs in places we haven’t played before. A lot of Front Range stuff and we’re talking about doing a long weekend in Durango/Grand Junction, which is in the works. We’d love to conquer Denver. If you’re reading this UMS, we would love to be a part of your delightful festival. Denver’s an elusive place, but we definitely want to play more there.

So there you have it. Get tight, toned, and sensual with Augustus this Saturday at the Fox, opening for Paul Kimbiris and The Paper Stars.

-Hannah & Zach

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter. Connect with Zach on Instagram.

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

Magic On the No Name Moon: Pete Laffin & Moonwavve

By: Zach Dahmen

There was a lot of talent at The No Name last weekend.

The sounds of local Boulder music often flow out of a mysterious wooden door, if you know where to listen. And last Friday night was no exception as Pete Laffin and Moonwavve took over the dimly lit speak-easy that patrons affectionately call The No Name. Atop a stool with acoustic guitar in hand, Laffin started things off jamming a medley of covers with Augustus frontman Colin Kelly. Laffin’s taste is varied, from his performance of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film)” to Neil Young’s folky “Harvest Man”. Laffin moves into each song with a chameleon-like voice, bending his range to fit each song. When I ask him about this later he says, “I want to give each song the respect it deserves.”

Laffin and Kelly then worked in some original tunes. Kelly slid into several melodies with precision-picking, proving a prowess on guitar that is undeniable. Kelly has a voice that blended well with Laffin’s too. After a string of Laffin’s songs, they moved into the LedBelly cover, “In the Pines”. It was here that their harmonic capabilities shone best. Their bluesy rendition was passionate and haunting while showcasing the depth and rawness of Laffin’s vocality. Overall, it was a fervent and engaging performance.

Following Laffin and Kelly, the audience was washed in the beautiful stylings of new trio Moonwavve. Derek Warwick was on the synthesizers and bass, lead vocalist Allison Eason was on guitar, and Greg Corcione kept things steady on drums. Corcione brings the pulse; Eason and Warwick offer the spontaneity. And that is the beauty of this arrangement. Eason haunted the first half of the set vocally, drawing in the audience by pressing into the microphone as if it were an extension of her voice. Her melodic, spacey vocals give personality and life to the beats. One of my favorites was “Song #8”, which has a mellow Tv On The Radio vibe pulsing with a great pop sensibility.  

Eason in blue. Photo Credit:  Alex Braelow

Eason in blue. Photo Credit: Alex Braelow

Moonwavve is a relatively new creation, and a big departure from Eason’s usual acoustic singer-songwriter style. Said Eason, “I was looking for someone to play with, and at a Ridgelings show, Derek mentioned he was looking for someone to get synthy with. A couple of weeks later we played at Derek’s and it just fit.”

Warwick describes Moonwavve’s influences with a range from Mazzy Star to Air. To me, the structure of the band feels like it’s reminiscent of M83 and Chvurches, but with its own take on the indie-synth movement. Warwick later remarked, “We really feel like we are filling a void that exists here in Boulder.” And I agree-  It’s rousing to have have bands like Moonwavve in Boulder because it’s a sound that’s missing on the local scene. Said Eason, “We want to bridge the gap between club and bar music.” It’s hopeful to think that Boulder can sustain this kind of band on the scene.

As Moonwave pulsed on, the night culminated with spirited drunken conversation, the spark of cigarettes, and the feeling that both the Boulder music scene and this group have more to offer than just four chords. Although the venue is one of Boulder’s best-kept secrets, these bands shouldn’t be.


Moonwavve Interview

So what made you two click together musically?

Eason: What we did was honestly getting together on guitar and keys and let the music evolve into something more organic and electronic.

Derek, what drew you to Allison?

Warwick: I was drawn to her voice at first, really. I always wanted to make this kind of music. I want to be a Scotty Pippin to a Michael Jordan. I’ve been the frontman in all my other projects. Mostly because people tell me to do [that].  But all I want to do is the thing that makes it work. Allison is an amazing frontwoman.

Eason: [And] what drew me to Derek is that he allows for the music to breathe.  What Derek provided was a change. As someone coming from the singer song-writer world, lyrics had to shine and they are still important, but I like that this music lets the beat take over and melody take over.

Warwick on synth. Photo Credit:  Alex Braelow

Warwick on synth. Photo Credit: Alex Braelow

And what about adding Corcione to the mix?

Eason: [He] added a grounded feeling. Our music can get you lost on the moon at times. He gives the people something to dance to as well.

How do see yourself and your band shaped by the Boulder music scene?

Warwick: I think that we are filling a void. Not too big of a void, but not many crave electronic music.

Eason: We want to bridge the gap between bar music and club music.

How is the atmosphere playing in Boulder?

Warwick: It’s been great so far with the shows we’ve played.

Eason: That transfer from the band to the audience back and forth is what we love. It’s why people play music, right?

Check out upcoming Moonwave shows here.

-Zach

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