Review: Retrofette's New Single "Lover In Japan" Is a Tasty Summer Splash of Synthwave

By: Norman Hittle

Denver-based Retrofette are an electropop act with 80s era funk and a splash of synthwave. Their latest single, “Lover in Japan,” is due out just in time for summer. Check it out:

If you left it up to me to describe Retrofett’s sound, I would liken it to what might have happened if Broken Bells, Julian Casablancas of the Strokes, Prince, and David Bowie had the chance to record a song together. Is it that good?! Yes, yes it is.

Frontman Sean Culliton pretty much nailed the overall feel with his comments on the song when he told us, “Lyrically, (it’s) a melancholy note written to an estranged lover. But sonically, it's a sunny day at the beach with neon sunglasses and volleyball montages.”

Retrofette. 

Retrofette. 

The band is the byproduct of keyboardists Sean Culliton and Xavier Provencher's love for vintage synthesizers and sweaty dance floors. Joined by synth bassist Ben Weirich and drummer Dylan Johnson on stage, the quartet’s brand of 80s-tinged synthpop was born in March of 2016. Aside from this single, Retrofette released its debut three-song EP I Don’t Mind in 2016. They have also played BolderBeat’s Official Showcase at 2017’s Underground Music Showcase, been listed as one of 303 Magazine's top Denver acts to see, and selected as the “Best Pop” act of 2017 by Westword Magazine.

The guys will be celebrating the release of “Lover in Japan” this Saturday, June 2nd at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. The night will also feature sets from Motion Trap and DJ Clay Cornelius. Tickets and show details here.

-Norman

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

Rumours Follow Set to Release New Wave Single "Mr. Miserable" This Week

By: Norman Hittle

Denver based new wave act Rumours Follow have been steadily gaining momentum in the Colorado scene since winning Denver alternative radio channel 93.3’s Big Gig in 2014. Nearly four years later- not to mention four years stronger- the band are set to release their new single “Mr. Miserable" later this month with a show at Lost Lake Lounge. 

Rumours Follow.

Rumours Follow.

To say the least, the track is an exciting blast from the past, fortified with the tech of modern electronic music. It’s easy to call it new wave and synth pop on the surface, but there’s a lot more going on than can be gleaned on a first listen, such as the band’s nods to 80s greats like Prince and Duran Duran.

Rumours Follow successfully fuse elements of jazz, funk, synthpop, and alt-rock together, while maintaining a high-fidelity production value that definitely couldn’t be heard in the 80s when their brand of music inspiration was in its heyday. Yet regardless of era, this band is making 2018 a staple in their career. Just earlier this year, the band released their single “Spitting Rain."

In accordance with continuing to be noticed, Rumours Follow will be officially releasing their single for “Mr. Miserable” with a debut release show at Lost Lake Lounge Saturday, May 19th. Event details and tickets here.

Keep up with Rumours Follow on 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.

19-Year-Old Ben Pisano Proves You Can't Underestimate Young Artists With Current Project Corsicana

By: Will Baumgartner

When Denver band Corsicana took the stage at Boulder Theater as openers for local-gone-international heavyweights Devotchka, one couldn’t help wondering how much such a young, slender band could deliver live. I’d heard the album Haven online, and while the music had definitely drawn me in and left me impressed, I also noted that all the instruments and electronics had been played by Ben Pisano, the group’s 19-year-old frontman. Like Prince’s first recorded efforts, where he also played everything on the recording, my question was, “Great stuff, but what’s it gonna sound like live?”   

Corsicana. Photo Credit:  Montana Martin

Corsicana. Photo Credit:  Montana Martin

Corsicana onstage was indeed a small, young-looking band. Pisano in the middle with his guitar and sensitive look, two petite women flanking him on guitar and bass, and another member on drums. By the middle of the first song of their set though, most of my skepticism about the band had vanished, and I found myself reminded of two things: 1) Never underestimate the power and scope that can be drawn out of two guitars, a bass, a drum kit, and a little bit of electronics. And 2) Never assume that the young have little of depth or substance to deliver.

Steinway & Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Steinway & Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Being the first of two opening acts (Pandas & People, another rising local band from Fort Collins, were coming up next), Corsicana only had a half-hour to win me over, which they unequivocally did. In the first song, Haven’s “Revelry,” I heard why the term “dream pop” is used right after “indie rock” in the “About” section of their Facebook page; the swirling music and ethereal vocals of the verses definitely invoked a floating, dreamy feeling. Then, the wait to see how hard they could rock was over, as the song’s chorus kicked into passionate overdrive.  

In the second song, “Attrition” (also from the Haven album), I began to hear the more “pop” side of Corsicana, as I was reminded of a sort of Death Cab-meets-Radiohead combination of delicate verse with beautiful falsetto vocals leading into a hard-driving bridge. Guitarist Melanie Steinway (also of Denver band Tyto Alba), bassist Jordan Leone, and Amos Chase on drums and synthesizer all worked beautifully together with Pisano to create the feel of a real band, not just a solo artist with backing musicians.

The third song, “Empyrean,” showcased more of Corsicana’s well-crafted way with linking a wistful verse with sparse instrumentation to an explosive chorus. It also boasted a killer arrangement, showing that Pisano and company are more than familiar with the art of balancing and bouncing musical colors off of each other with a masterful use of dynamics.

Ben Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Ben Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

One of the things that I find so impressive about Pisano’s songwriting is his lyrics. Though I couldn’t always make out what he was singing at the show, I later asked him to send me the lyrics, and was a bit blown away by how literary his writing style is. His songs read like short stories, with imagistic sentences creating little snapshot-like flash fictions where one can picture a whole scene or even a period of time in people’s lives. “Empyrean” also boasts the added feat of being a story told entirely in dialogue; the song is a conversation between two people, with each line separated from the next by quotation marks. And apropos to the rather epic scope of the music, all the songs have either direct references to history and myth, or an overall mythical/historical feel. Epic battles, exiled characters, big cities and small hallways, funeral pyres, and people locked in or out of a “prison of heart”. In these days of illiterate solipsism, it’s really something to read lyrics that evoke whole worlds and complex lives.

The next song, “Kokytos”, continued Pisano’s fascination with myth: Kokytos is one of the five magical rivers of the underworld in Greek mythology, and translates as “The River of Wailing.” This was, ironically, the most upbeat and insistent song of the set, at least musically. The lyrics imply more of the story of heartbreak and frustration that seems to be the central theme of this young man’s songs- at least for now- but the music is so insistent that I couldn’t resist grooving and bopping a bit to it. Again, Pisano showed exquisite vocal prowess, veering between his falsetto and a full-throated howl. And like a lot of the songs in this set, the ending featured the band’s ability to power-drive upward to an instrumental climax.  

The set’s closer “Patron,” another song from the Haven album, again reminded me a bit of the Death Cab/Radiohead combo I’d heard at first, while also invoking a sort of stripped-down version of the Icelandic experimental rock band Sigur Ros. (This was actually not the first time in their set that I heard echoes of that band.) This song had a bit more pop and drive to it, while still having an unhurried groove, and gave an appropriately powerful ending to their set as it rocked harder and harder through the instrumental section that closes the song.

corsicana_0276.jpg

When I asked Pisano where he got the band name, he told me it was the title of a song by The Antlers, one of his favorite bands. Listeners may hear all kinds of influences in Corsicana’s music, and considering Pisano’s powerful and expansive voice, it’s not hugely surprising that he was chosen to open for Devotchka, whose singer Nick Urata arguably possesses one of the most impressive voices in modern music. But Pisano’s ultimate achievement, so early in life, is that after hearing his music for a while, it sounds like no one else as much as Corsicana.

Corsicana will be taking some time off from performing to go back into the studio for the rest of 2017, and according to Pisano, these sessions will make use of not only of his live bandmates, but also of several guest artists contributing. Given what Corsicana has already done, I’m sure the new recordings will be an event well worth the wait and anticipation.  

Keep up with Corsicana on Facebook and their website.

-Will

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

England's Fenech-Soler Talk With Us About 'ZILLA' & Their New 360° Music Video

By: Hannah Oreskovich

English electropop outfit Fenech-Soler have been a project since 2006, though you probably know them best from their 2010 self-titled record, which made major waves on BBC Radio and brought the group the attention that soon after found them signed to Warner Bros. Records. The group’s album Rituals was released thereafter in 2013, spurring them into a massive UK tour and an eventual spot playing the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In 2016, founding members Daniel Fenech-Soler (from which the band’s name stems) and Andrew Lindsay left the project, but brothers Ross and Ben Duffy kept writing. This year, the duo dropped ZILLA on So Recordings, and are currently on tour in support of it. Next Monday and Tuesday, May 15th and 16th, Fenech-Soler make their Colorado appearances on their North American tour, with a stop in Greeley on Monday at The Moxi Theater and Lost Lake on Tuesday in Denver. We recently chatted with the Duffy boys to learn more about their latest record, their new 360-degree interactive music video, and their plans for the summer. Check it:

ZILLA is arguably your most pop-leaning record yet. How did (mostly) self-producing this record influence its sound?

It hugely influenced its sound because every production decision was made by us and limited by the equipment we use. We tend to work pretty quickly when we start an idea, so [we] use a lot of things on the computer, but then re-record sounds using outboard gear if we feel it's needed. A lot of the sounds from ZILLA actually came from one keyboard that we bought as kids, so we feel it's a distinctive sound. The keyboard has these perfect faux-vintage synths, which we loved.

Fenech-Soler.

Fenech-Soler.

Your single “Kaleidoscope” was described by Noisey as “3:39 of pure joy.” What was the inspiration behind writing this hit track?

We just wanted to write the most concise 'to the point' pop song we could. It really is the most emblematic song of the ZILLA sound, so I guess the inspiration was to be as simple as possible in our approach. It was a kind of a less-is-more affair. We've always been influenced by lots of different artists, so in many ways, there's tons of inspiration wrapped up in there somewhere, but I couldn't really say one specific influence. The other songs from ZILLA guide it stylistically.

Your new video for “Conversation” is filmed in 360° and is super interactive for the viewer. Who did you work with to film the video? Why did you choose this platform for “Conversation” over other tracks? Is the location in your Northamptonshire studio?

Thanks very much! We had a lot of fun making the video and we choose a white art space in west London for the location. We wanted a minimalist colour scheme to again reflect a simplicity in the sound. The 360-degree element also felt right for this song because it's one of our favourites to perform live, so an immersive platform where the viewer can control what they see, combined with the clinical aesthetic, just seemed like a good idea. Toby at Blind Club directed the video. He's very talented.

Photo Credit: Ed Whitmarsh

Photo Credit: Ed Whitmarsh

Having played all over the world since your inception in 2006, what is one of your favorite things about playing shows in North America?

There's so much of North America we haven't seen. This tour is taking us to some new cities, and giving us the opportunity to play to fans who we haven't managed to get to since we started the band. Oh, and we also love the American food options. It's the best.

Tell us one thing you make a habit of doing on your off days on tour.

Sleeping! Even though to be honest, on this tour, we said on the flight over that we have to do more tourist things. There's so many incredible things to see, and it's a privilege getting to travel around with your best mates playing music.

Any festival spots planned for the summer?

We're hitting the UK and Europe, and then hopefully getting out to some in the US. It's always a lot of fun as festival crowds can really transform a set. The songs can take on their own energy. We've never played a US festival, but any festival where the weather is good is fine by us! [The weather] is not usually like that in the UK. (laughs)

Listen to ZILLA:

What does the rest of 2017 look like for you guys?

Well we're going to release a cover EP in a few weeks, which we're looking forward to. We've covered all the people you shouldn't really cover, like Prince, Bowie, and Janet Jackson, so it will either be a positive or a career ender. We like them though, so I reckon people will dig them. Then after that just more touring. Hopefully [we’ll be] back in America very soon after this tour.   

Make sure to catch Fenech-Soler at their Colorado stops- tickets 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.

Your Guide To Colorado Shows For New Year's Eve

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s time to pop bottles Colorado! Here are our picks for New Year’s Eve shows this weekend:

Berthoud

Jeremy Mohney at City Star Brewing in Berthoud 9PM-Close

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

Boulder’s Jeremy Mohney released multiple EPs this year, both of which definitely caught our ear. The jazz/swing artist is throwing down at City Star Brewery to welcome in 2017, and we definitely recommend getting your swing moves on at this one. Mohney will have your feet tappin’ in no time, and after a few celebration libations, you won’t want to sit still. Details here.

Boulder

Andrew Sturtz & Friends at The No Name in Boulder 10PM-Close

Andrew Sturtz.

Andrew Sturtz.

Soulful singer/songwriter Andrew Sturtz will be holding things down behind the big brown door tomorrow night for NYE. Known locally for his solo work and his performances with The Constellation Collective and other groups, Strutz will croon you into the new year in style. Plus, there’s no cover. What’s not to dig? Deets here.

Lady and The Gentleman at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

Boulder’s Lady and The Gentleman have made some changes to their lineup this year, but they’re still bringing mad grooves to the Colorado scene. Tomorrow they’ll grace the stage at The Lazy Dog, and no cover means no excuses. Get to it! More info right here.

The Alcapones at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

The Alcapones.

The Alcapones.

If you want to be shaken up Boulder, here’s your chance! The minstrel show of The Alcapones will be taking over Conor’s to dance you into the wee hours of 2017. Come hang and get rowdy! There will be lots of funky horn playing for your listening pleasure. More info here.

Yonder Mountain String Band with The Railsplitters at The Boulder Theater in Boulder 8PM-Close

Yonder Mountain String Band.

Yonder Mountain String Band.

Nederland’s Yonder Mountain String Band are holding down the BT for NYE. The five-piece bluegrass band well-known around these parts will share the stage with Boulder’s The Railsplitters. Get over to get down! Tickets here.

Denver

Flobots with Nahko and Medicine For The People at The Ogden Theatre in Denver 8PM-Close

Flobots

Flobots

Denver’s Flobots members have been locally active in several awesome events this year, including Denver’s “Our Neighbors, Ourslves” refugee benefit and the Rock Against The TPP event. Tonight, the crew will swing you into the new year with Portland’s Nahko and Medicine For The People at The Ogden. Tickets here.

Fox Street & Friends with Tiger Party at The Bluebird Theatre in Denver 9PM-Close

Dever’s Fox Street & Friends will be rolling in the new year tomorrow at The Bluebird with a 12-piece band and double sets, which will include music from the movies Boogie Nights and Blow, and tracks by Rick James, David Bowie, and Prince. The band’s frontman Jonathan Huvard is relocating to NYC in 2017, so this show is your chance to catch this crew together in what may be their last local performance for awhile. Tiger Party will open the night with songs by LCD Soundsystem. Tickets for this dance party here!

Itchy-O with Total Unicorn at Summit Music Hall in Denver 8PM-Close

We actually spent our NYE with Denver’s Itchy-O last year, so we’re here to tell you this show is going to be a magical time! The mysteriously masked band will have you boogieing all over Summit Music Hall; Total Unicorn is opening. Enter the dark. Tickets here.

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club with Kid Congo Powers at 3 Kings Tavern in Denver 10PM-Close

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club will be laying out their ‘Commandments’ for you tomorrow evening at 3 Kings Tavern, and we’ve actually got a whole interview with Slim himself for you here. This show will be one crazy ride into 2017, so take it! Tickets here.

The Yawpers with The Other Black at The Oriental Theater in Denver 7PM-Close

The Yawpers. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

The Yawpers. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

We love The Yawpers. And we love The Other Black. And both of them are sharing the stage tomorrow night at The Oriental for NYE! The Moved and Evan Holm & The Restless Ones are opening the show, making for a full lineup of Denver badassery. Get to this gig- seriously. Tickets here.

Winehouse Masquerade Ball with Judge Roughneck at Mercury Cafe in Denver 930PM-Close

Winehouse.

Winehouse.

Denver’s Amy Winehouse tribute band Winehouse are ringing in the new year at Mercury Cafe with plenty of sultry, soulful vibes. Presales are only $20 and Judge Roughneck is opening the night, so grab tickets while you can! This will be an awesome show. Deets here.

Durango

Nappy Roots with Jerney at Animas City Theatre in Durango 9PM-Close

Jerney.

Jerney.

Nappy Roots are closing out the year in Durango tomorrow, and Denver’s Jerney is opening the gig. Jerney has been dropping new music like crazy this year, and this is one of his last Colorado shows, so make sure to get to it! Tickets here.

Greeley

The Burroughs with Bryce Merritt at The Moxi Theatre in Greeley 8PM-Close

The Burroughs.

The Burroughs.

Greeley’s The Burroughs dropped some sweet new music this past year, and they’ll be playing that for you tonight + more tunes at The Moxi. The nine-piece soul pop outfit will be joined by Bryce Merritt for good measure. Wicked. Tickets here!

Fort Collins

Rose Hill Drive with The Velveteers at Hodi’s Half Note in Denver 9PM-Close

The Velveteers. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Denver’s The Velveteers are arguably one of the most successful acts coming out of Colorado right now. Fronted by Demi Demitro, the heavy rock two-piece will make you headbang all the way up until Boulder’s Rose Hill Drive takes the stage at Hodi’s. Go get yourself hypnotized. Tickets here.

Rollinsville

Jaden Carlson Band at The Stage Stop in Rollinsville 10PM-Close

Jaden Carlson.

Jaden Carlson.

Teenage musical prodigy Jaden Carlson has had quite the year in the Colorado music scene. From impressive opening slots for bands like The Revivalists to her own headlining performances at The Fox, Carlson has proved she knows how to break. things. down. Head out to her last performance of the year tomorrow at The Stage Stop! We guarantee it will be an impressively good time. More info here.

That’s it for us for NYE Colorado! See you in 2017!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Television Generation's New EP Fuchsia + Their Move Into the Denver Music Scene

By: Claire Woodcock

Will Hayden (vocals/guitar), Katy Johnson (bass), and Anthony Elio (drums) split from Boulder for the Denver area after their respective exits from CU, where Television Generation came to be. That was in 2012, when the EDM scene was exclusively big in Boulder and there was little wiggle room in the music scene for a punk rock presence.

"I think Boulder has a problem with being a transient kind of place,” said Hayden. “Tons of people go [there] for college; these people come and most of them go. People just move away. And a lot of the bands that we saw pop up when we were in college are no longer active.”

Television Generation.

Television Generation.

TVG set their sights on the Denver scene and recorded their first EP If Only I Had A Brain with Mammoth Cave Recording Studios in 2013. After some feedback from producer Lance Bendiksen (The Fray), Hayden and Elio broke out the metronome and put more hours into mastering their ’60s pop, ’90s grunge, alt rock energy. Johnson joined TVG a few months after the band released their second EP Digital Static (2015), a release that includes a track called “Space Invaders” mixed by Jack Endino from Nirvana.

A year later, Television Generation has released their third EP Fuchsia with Todd Divel of Silo Sound Recording Studio in Denver. Hayden says they went into their first session thinking that they would only have time to lay down one or two tracks. But the result was an EP’s worth of tunes recorded over the course of just a few hours. It could have been the Simpsons references exchanged between TVG and Divel that kept things grooving. Or it could have just been, as Johnson said, “We were having a really good day.”

Check out Television Generation’s latest EP, Fuchsia:

Fuchsia operates on a sliding scale between garage rock, post-punk, super punk, (if that were legitimate genre) and alt rock. Television Generation told me they drew inspiration for this release from The Beatles, The Who and most notably, Sonic Youth. Johnson employs a Kim Gordon-esque style on Fuchsia by creating a lot of garage rock noise and manipulating the distortion and delay pedals to produce all kinds of uncomfortable, yet totally satisfying feedback in the middle of pop songs.

Will Hayden of TVG.

Will Hayden of TVG.

Back on the subject of the Denver scene, Hayden said that when Johnson joined the group, the trio started checking out other punk acts, which has become a huge support system for TVG.

“That’s what a music scene is and should be.” said Hayden.

Branching out from Boulder to Denver allowed TVG to not only meet talented bands, but to get a sense of the quality of the younger bands popping up from all over the place.

“The flux of people to Colorado probably helps because there's a lot of fresh blood out here and they're looking for places to play, and that's kind of what I was saying about Boulder [being transient],” said Hayden. “There are a lot of people coming in from out of state obviously for the weed and all that, and a lot of people see it as a bad thing, but I think it's really good for the music [scene]. It brings in a lot of fresh, excited people and I think that’s what we haven’t seen in years past: that excitement in people finding local bands. There’s enough talent and enough people interested, so let's blow it up as much as we can.”

TVG thinks that these trends in the Denver music scene will only continue to soar.

“We could make Denver the new Seattle.” Hayden added, with enough conviction in his voice that the possibility could someday be true.

TVG.

TVG.

This Sunday, November 6th, Television Generation will ‘Rock Against Trump’ at Seventh Circle Music Collective with an anti-Trump CD release show, featuring a whole laundry list of bands in the Denver punk scene. If you’re looking to rage the day before the election, this is where you should be. Proceeds will be donated to the Standing Rock protesters and Amnesty International.

Keep up with Television Generation here.

-Claire

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

The Halloweekend Six: Six Shows to See 10/28 & 10/29

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s been a minute Sixers! But we had to give you a Halloweekend guide, so party down at these spots in your best costumes this weekend:

Today (Friday 10/28):

In The Whale EP Release with One Flew West, CITRA, & Loretta Kill at Larimer Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

In The Whale.

In The Whale.

Denver’s In The Whale have been traveling around the state this month in support of their new EP Quicksand, which you should definitely peep below. Tonight, the rock duo will be blasting the walls at the Larimer in a show of ghoulish delight that screams happy heavy Halloweekend. The always entertaining One Flew West will share the stage for the evening, along with Denver favorite CITRA, and rock duo Loretta Kill. Come dressed as a beardbanger and get ready to party.

Hand your zombie ears over to In The Whale’s new EP Quicksand:

Ben de la Cour, The Heartstring Hunters, Alex Maes, & Theresa Peterson at The Walnut Room in Denver 8PM-Close

Ben de la Cour.

Ben de la Cour.

Denver’s Walnut Room will be full of haunting vocals tonight, ready to launch you into all that is Halloweekend. Folk artist Ben de la Cour will headline the evening, with opening appearances by Boulder’s The Heartstring Hunters and Theresa Peterson, plus Salida’s Alex Maes. Sounds like a chilling good time to us.

Give Ben de la Cour’s Midnight in Havana a deep, dark listen:

Whiskey Autumn’s Halloween Bash at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

Boulder’s Whiskey Autumn are holding down our favorite Boulder joint tonight, where rumor has it the vibes of legends past will make eerie appearances, including our favorite grunge god Kurt Cobain. The winds have whispered something about Prince too. Roll over and dance with this indie pop rock trio while you sip on all your favorite spirits…

Get your creepy carnival on with Whiskey Autumn’s “Coney Island” video from CPR:

Tomorrow (Saturday 10/29):

The Great Halloween Pumpkin Bash Block Party at Deviant Spirits in Boulder 630PM-Close

Kronen Band.

Kronen Band.

Deviant Spirits Distillery is hosting one trick or treatful celebration tomorrow night with J Wells Brewery, Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha, and The French Twist Food Truck. The music planned is equally sweet, with performances by Last Minute Blues Band, Kronen Band, and Emmanuel Dali on the books. Who needs candy when you can brews?

The visuals in Kronen Band’s “Artfully Answered” will get your Halloweekend tripppin’:

Ultraween6 Presents: Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, The Velveteers, & DJ E-Trane at Azatlan Theater in Denver

BBGT.

BBGT.

Our friends over at Ultra5280 are throwing a massively cool monster bash this Halloweekend. Performances by Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, The Velveteers, and DJ E-Trane will melt you. And if you roll VIP (which why not, Halloweenie?) there is a fashion show, goodies, a meet and greet, and more. Get other details plus tickets right here to party at this Denver haunt.

Rock your skulls out to Bud Bronson & The Good Timers’ Fantasy Machine:

Tenth Mountain Division’s Boogie Nights Halloween with Guerilla Fanfare at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

14633203_942685029209675_4805865601883093447_o.jpg

Mustaches have been grown, extremely tight pants will be worn, and Boulder’s Tenth Mountain Division will be throwing one crazy ski rock party at The Lazy Dog tomorrow night. Guerilla Fanfare will join the crew on horns for the Boogie Nights-themed bash, which will feature music from the iconic film and a number of the band’s originals. Feast on that.

Boogie down to TMD’s “Storm of the Century”:

Can’t wait to creep with you Colorado! Happy Halloweekend!

-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.

Eryn Allen Kane: A Powerful Force in Soul and Beyond

By: Annie Kane

“Little light you've lost your glow, you just cry and no one knows
That love isn't your friend, your friends are gone
But I say, it's okay, it's okay…”

-“Slipping” by Eryn Allen Kane

These are the lyrics from the song that made me fall in love with the soulful powerhouse that is Eryn Allen Kane (no relation to the author). I had the chance recently to sit down with this artist at her recent Bluebird Denver show, and her strength as more than just a vocalist quickly became evident.

Eryn Allen Kane.

Eryn Allen Kane.

Hailing from Detroit, Kane now calls Chicago her home, after a move to study acting at Columbia College. It was there she realized her passion and knack for singing.

Listen to Eryn Allen Kane’s “Slipping”:

When prompted about the origins of “Slipping”, a tune that mixes heart-wrenching lyrics with an uplifting melody, Kane revealed that it’s about a close friend of hers; a beautiful and talented person who supposedly could not see this about himself, and withdrew into a deep and depressive hole.

“He latched onto me in a parasitic way,” Kane said, adding that her friend believed his only happiness could be found in her. Kane’s pursuits in trying to make him aware of his beauty led her to this song.

Drawing from the people around her is Kane’s common source of creative power.

“I just absorb from my surroundings,” she said.

That being said, she also lets her listeners choose their own interpretations for her music, saying, “People can interpret my meaning however they will”. It is through this symbiotic relationship between herself and her fans that Kane is able to delve into her own emotions and understand them better, and it’s also how her listeners are able to find empowerment through her work.

Eryn Allen Kane strongly believes in self-empowerment. Despite being surrounded by some of the top emerging artists right now, she wants to be recognized for her individuality and capabilities. Her latest releases, Aviary: Act I & II, were done mostly solo. Though she comes from an environment she describes as a place where women didn’t encourage each other to do things, Kane now strives to do just the opposite. In fact, the majority of her music is written and produced by females. “Women should really empower each other,” she told me.

Another current force of female artistry in the industry is Brittany Howard, lead singer of Alabama Shakes, who happens to be on the short list of Kane’s most admired artists. In fact, I could see her eyes brighten as she spoke about Howard to me, excitedly raving, “She’s mixed like me and screamin’ like me!”. Coincidentally, Kane actually helped bring Alabama Shakes to the limelight through her friendship with the late, world-renowned Prince. After Kane introduced the band’s music to Prince, he actually brought the group to Paisley Park, his own recording studio, rehearsal space, and performance venue. Prince was a vital part of Kane’s discovery of her own inner power, and at her Bluebird Denver show, she even dedicated her last song of the set to him.

Prince is not the only musical genius to recognize Kane’s gift. Back in Chicago, she has connected and collaborated with numerous notable artists.

“I met everyone organically,” Kane humbly remarked.

And by everyone, Kane has quite a list. She’s now collaborated with Towkio, Noname, Saba, and of course, the squad of the Social Experiment, which includes Chance the Rapper and Donnie Trumpet. One of her latest collaborations, “Reality Check”, was written and recorded the day before rapper Noname dropped her debut project, Telefone. Kane spoke of Fatima (aka Noname) admiringly saying, “She’s one of the smartest human beings I’ve ever met… she’s wise beyond her years… a true poet”.

Kane’s admiration for her Chicago family doesn’t end there. When asked about the possibility of a shift in the environment since Chance and Vic Mensa’s recent jumps to stardom this year, she answered with a response on how much both artists care for their city:

“The Kanyes and Commons just up and left,” she noted, whereas Chance and Vic are giving so much of their fame-derived power straight back to the city. Her closeness with Chance really came through in this part of our conversation when she smiled, “He’s a good dude to the core… [he’s] paving the way for everyone else”.

It’s reasons like these that Eryn Allen Kane appears on so many artists’ tracks. She doesn’t collaborate simply to get her name featured, but does it for the sake of art and friendship.

“I do it because they’re good people,” she told me.

Eryn Allen Kane is spritely and genuine. The love she emanates toward everyone is unavoidable, and her unfaltering belief in her own art, as well as others, is uplifting and liberating. Hopefully you had the chance to catch her at the Bluebird this week, but if you didn’t, peep her tour schedule and get to a show.

Listen to more Eryn Allen Kane’s work here.

-Annie

Connect with me on instagram and Twitter.

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

Brian Wilson, Blood Orange, & Anderson Paak: Day Two at Pitchfork Music Festival Was a Success

By: Annie Kane

Day two at Pitchfork was quite a success.

Pitchfork Music Festival.

Pitchfork Music Festival.

The weather yesterday was something festival goers wish for every year, and in Chicago, those humidity-free 80 degree days are quite a rarity. With a crowd that seemed almost double in size compared to the day before, every stage was bumping and filled with trendy music listeners.

Blood Orange.

Blood Orange.

Blood Orange’s set was just as magical as I was hoping it would be: donning simple jogger pants and a headband, Devonte Hynes started things off by playing the audio track off of the first song from his recent album, Freetown Sound. The woman’s voice on the track echoed off the park, as she spoke in slam-poetry style about feminism and media representation in today's society. You could feel the audience’s emotion as cheers swelled up in the strong points of her speech. Hynes then sat down on his low-set piano, playing simple notes that hushed the enormous crowd gathered to see him perform. As he rose to grab a mic, two of Hynes’ fierce backup singers strutted across the stage to their mics and the saxophonist grabbed his instrument as they all, in perfect synchronization, began “Augustine”. Later on, Hynes brought out Carly Rae Jepsen for the tune, “All That”. Hynes’ unique style blends the culture of off-pop 90’s music with clear inspiration from David Bowie and Prince, tied into his own unique vision. Hynes seemed so relaxed on stage, as he twirled around singing dreamy notes and with the sun shining behind him, the atmosphere of the set was almost ethereal.

BJ The Chicago Kid.

BJ The Chicago Kid.

BJ The Chicago Kid surprised me with a heartfelt emotion reflected on his face during his performance, and his hardcore drumming skills between songs. His backup guitarist absolutely shredded a few solos of his own, and BJ covered a lot of songs, including tunes from other notable Chicago artists like Kanye West (“THat Part”) and Chance the Rapper (“No Problem”).

Brian Wilson.

Brian Wilson.

Brian Wilson started his set early, and as I ran up to catch the last spot in the photo pit, I found myself pausing for a second as the group sang “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. The song sounded exactly like the Pet Sounds recording, making me question if The Beach Boys were all somehow back together on stage. Wilson remained behind his big grand piano for the length of the performance, staring at his sheet music and occasionally glancing into the jeering crowd. One fan at the front screamed out during a quiet pause, “This is my favorite album ever!” The band members all smiled, and for the whole set, they seemed happy to be performing some of the most beautiful music ever composed. Chicago natives John Cusack (who played Brian Wilson in the film “Love and Mercy”), along with his sister Joan, both came out for a song and sang at the front of the stage with one of the backup singers. Everyone seemed as if they were in a sweet stupor of nostalgia during Wilson’s set.

Anderson Paak.

Anderson Paak.

Since catching Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals at Red Rocks, I have had my eye set on snapping Paak again. I was buzzing with excitement as he ran onstage and went right into “Milk N’ Honey”. Standing between two speakers that were blasting bass so hard that my dress was being blown around, I couldn’t hear Paak’s voice well over the mic, but I was close enough to actually hear him from my spot near the stage. Being so close, I could feel the energy radiating off of Paak and his whole band. He brought so much more power to this performance, keeping energy high by going right into his almost trap-like song, “Drugs”, from the album Venice. He jumped over to the speaker next to me, singing down into my lens before stepping over my head. After the first three songs, security pushed press back, as I reluctantly left the pit. Despite being back in the crowd, the energy was still palpable as Paak got the audience to dance their faces off. It was fantastic.

Hands Up.

Hands Up.

I can say I’m glad to be here, and yesterday’s shows were incredible. Stay tuned for more Pitchfork coverage!

Check out more Pitchfork Festival photos here.

-Annie

Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

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

Card Catalog: Move And Feel And Dance

By: Kelly Harthan

“My intentions are to relate to others and to share my stories. I want to make people move and feel and dance.”

-Jenn Tatro

Card Catalog labels their sound as classic American, ranging from blues to alt-country to rock, and I would have to agree, with maybe a hint of “rockabilly” added in the mix. The Colorado trio consists of Jenn Tatro (vocals/lyrics/guitar), Dalton Clayton (lead guitar) and Rob Spears (bass/backup vocals). Tatro’s strong voice packs a Pat Benatar punch, ridden with subtle rich tones and emotionally charged melodies reminiscent of a classic Patsy Cline. Accompanied by Clayton’s aggressive guitar licks and Spears’ strong dance-oriented bass lines, the trio create a distinctive sound of their own, with an energy resemblant of JD McPherson. In short, Card Catalog makes you want to dance as they showcase their originals, along with covers from Johnny Cash, Queens of the Stone Age, and Prince.

The band name Card Catalog came from Tatro, who believes it reflects their music: “I want to be able to do a broad spectrum of things with our music, and not get stuck in one sound. I feel like the possibilities are endless when searching through an actual card catalog."

Card Catalog.

Card Catalog.

With this group, it’s apparent that friendship and collaborative creation are at the nucleus of their sound. Clayton and Tatro had been a duo for several years prior to the addition of Spears, who they met when he jumped onstage uninvited during one of the duo’s open mic sets a few months ago. After Clayton and Tatro let Spears sing a Prince cover, he was officially in. Reflecting on the creative process and accompanying sense of accomplishment of the band now that their momentum as a trio has begun, Clayton said, “those moments only happen because we support each other and help drive each other”.

When I first sat down to do a little research on Card Catalog, I was surprised at how little I could find of their actual music. “We have been hesitant to put too much recorded material onto social media sites until the quality is where we'd like it,” explained Spears. But after getting a sneak peek at two songs from their upcoming EP, I was impressed and set out to do my best to describe this local band’s unique flare. As a songwriter myself, I couldn’t help but pay close attention to Tatro’s lyrics, and the emotion that translates through her vocal melodies in the tracks on the band’s upcoming EP, Can I Be.

“The story behind Can I Be comes from my desire to have someone in my life that lets me be exactly who I am. At the time I wrote that song, I had just come out of a relationship that didn't go the way I was expecting. I just kept coming back to the feeling of wanting to be the gas for someone's fire, and to have something where we lifted each other up.” Tatro said.

In talking with Card Catalog about their recent entrance into the local scene, Clayton added, “People around here really love and support live music. I feel lucky I get to play for these folks.” As a native Coloradoan, I could not agree more. So there you have it- great music and great people with something to say.

Card Catalog has several shows coming up this summer in Boulder, as well as an upcoming EP release for Can I Be. Get details on their Facebook and Instagram.

-Kelly

Why To Turn Your Eye To Solo Woods

By: Annie Kane

Some of the most slept on artists are the ones right in front of us.

Openers for headlining artists are usually skipped, ignored, or booed offstage in anticipation for the main performer. Little do people know that those artists aren’t just thrown on stage to fill time, but are actually picked with the support of either the artist they bought the ticket for, or other influential people in the industry. If you were able to catch Leon Bridges’ performance at the Paramount Theatre in Denver recently, I hope you got to catch his opening R&B act, Solo Woods.

Solo Woods.

Solo Woods.

Hailing from Chicago and currently based in Brooklyn, Solo Woods is a powerhouse artist. His moving voice links his interchanging styles, ranging from soulful R&B to funky synths reminiscent of 80’s Prince. He’s grabbed the attention of Pigeons and Planes and AfroPunk. With regard to his song “Long Ways”, P&P writer, Katie Kelly said it “makes me feel something I didn’t think was humanly possible”. This just about sums up my first interaction with Woods too.

Though I was unable to snag a ticket in time for Leon Bridges’ sold out Paramount Theatre performance, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time for the intimate performance by both Woods and Bridges at Goosetown Tavern’s open mic in Denver. Half of the tavern was emptied out to make room for a small stage, and there were roughly 30 people in the room as Woods stepped up to the mic, guitar in hand. His drummer, Themba, set up behind him.

Solo Woods at his Goosetown Tavern performance.

Solo Woods at his Goosetown Tavern performance.

As Woods started singing, the chatty crowd quieted down and gathered closer to check him out. His acoustic set was minimalistic and focused attention on his voice and pure artistry. Curious people from the other room filed in at the call of his voice. Leon watched intently, nodding in approval and smiling in awe of his skill. The breadth of Woods’ ethereal voice swelled the energy in the room, and stopped me dead in my tracks. You know that feeling when you hear a new song for the first time and you feel high from the refreshing new sound? That’s how I felt with every song that Solo Woods performed. I could tell I wasn’t alone, as the crowd sang along to his live performance of “Long Ways”, encouraging him to continue the song and add a few more guitar riffs.

On their last tour, Leon Bridges brought along Kali Uchis to open, who has since skyrocketed and collaborated with Vince Staples, Major Lazer, Goldlink, and Tyler, the Creator. Singer songwriter Brittni Jessi confidently confirmed that the same fate awaits Woods when I spoke to her at this show. Solo Woods’ music is available on SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Music. Make sure to go give it a listen!

-Annie

Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

All photos per the author.

D'Angelo & the Vanguard: You Will Melt & You Will Love It

By: Hannah Oreskovich

D'Angelo killed it, but would you expect anything else?

D’Angelo strolled out onto the Ogden Theatre stage Wednesday night & melted his audience in one of the most incredible performances to ever grace my eyes. Truly.

D’Angelo and his current band the Vanguard played an almost three hour set that felt like a 1920s supperclub show, a harmonic worship service, a rockin’ metal production, & a sexy R&B swoon all in one.

How often do you see all of the stage security smiling and bopping their heads along to the beat with you? And how often are you at a show where everyone is dressed to the nines in heels, collared shirts, and dresses? D’Angelo and the Vanguard brought an infection of movement, music, and mirth to Denver this week.

D'Angelo & the Vanguard - Ogden Theatre. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

D'Angelo & the Vanguard - Ogden Theatre. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The musicianship of the Vanguard is incredible. Let’s talk Chris “Daddy” Dave first. His spiral trash cymbals fascinated me from the moment I walked in. When Dave tapped the bottom of the stacks, the metal swirled upward toward the cymbal on top and reverberated in a smooth, jazzy timbre. Daddy Dave was locked in tight to D’Angelo’s direction the entire night, slamming out beats whenever D’Angelo held up his hands. At one point D’Angelo yelled into the mic “45 & Goodnight!” and Dave proceeded to hit us with 45 consecutive strikes before D’Angelo’s first of three exits (they played double encores). Awesome.

Guitarists Jessie Johnson and Isaiah Sharkey were equally badass band members. They bumped funk, they spewed rock, they fingered jazz, and they straight shredded at points. Johnson (who brought more rock vibes) literally sparkled under the stage lights- the gleaming diamond watch on his strumming hand was only out-shined by his glittering guitar and perfect playing. Sharkey’s style was injected with jazz-fusion; he and D’Angelo jammed back to back in a synchronicity so strong that it was impossible to look away. Flawless.

Sharkey & da D. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Sharkey & da D. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

And who was holding down bass? The legendary Pino Palladino, who grooved us into oblivion with three different Fender basses. When you have a former member of The Who in yo clique, you’re bound to create an inconceivable performance. And they did.

Also of note was backup singer and dancer Kendra Foster. Kendra had power behind every move she made. Whether it was commanding the microphone with smooth vocals, her choreographed movements with the other two (male) backup singer/dancers, or her solo ballet performance when D’Angelo made one of several outfit changes, Kendra’s energy was unparalleled. She never stopped moving. And I didn’t want her to.

The Vanguard also boasted the talents of keyboardist Cleo “Pookie” Sample, a two-manned horn section, and the male backup singers I mentioned. All were incredible performers.

Rock on D. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Rock on D. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

And then there was D’Angelo, who was so great it’s almost hard to write about. For someone who had a fourteen year hiatus, you’d never know he left the stage. Whether he is crooning you on keys, sliding you around his extensive vocal range, or making you jump up and down with his guitar bridges, D’Angelo brings you into his musical creations and makes you an active part of his show. You want to be, because everything he does is contagious. He claps; you clap. He jumps; you jump. He sweats; you sweat. Seriously- you and everyone around you are drenched by the end of the show. The air is charged by the D. The air is charged by D’Angelo.

D’Angelo felt like a powerful amalgamation of musicians before him. There’s a little Jimi in there, there’s an element of Brian Wilson’s genius composition skills, there’s a piece of Prince’s stage presence, and of course there is a noticeable influence of James Brown. D’Angelo is one of the greats. His soul feels like it’s in every note.

So what did they play? You can see the setlist here. But it didn’t matter. You didn’t care because this performance was so much more than just hearing your favorite D’Angelo song.

Bonnaroo, you’re next in line for the amazingness that is this collective of souls. Don’t miss it.

See D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s entire tour schedule to get yourself to a show 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.