Race To Neptune Are Either the Black Sheep of Fort Collins or It's Next Big Thing

By: Brody Coronelli

With a new lineup, the band’s heavy, technical, and invigorating new EP Abandon Fashion showcases their evolution as a band, and what sets them aside from their counterparts.

Race To Neptune.

Race To Neptune.

With a spellbing conceptual precision that blends scuzzy ‘90s grunge-rock, darkwave, and the teeth-kicking emotional thunder of punk in a manner that makes heads bang, dice tumble, and PA systems growl, Race to Neptune are one of Fort Collins’ loudest, eclectic, and ferocious rock bands.

The band made their debut in 2016 with Oh Contraire, an album that had a few moments of brazen, fiery chargings into up-tempo punk-rock, but for the most part stayed on the melodic side, using dark, midtempo, and gritty instrumentation to surround frontman Brian Maier’s personal and biting lyrics in a shadowy glow. On the Thurston Moore-reminiscent “Wanderlilly,” the guitars are loud and fiery, but immensely tasteful and bright as the band uses a catchy refrain and echoing harmonies to guide the song into a warm resonance. The song is forceful and delicate all at once; a balance the band had no issue finding on that album.

On their new EP Abandon Fashion, the band has kept the technical sensibilities of their debut intact, making use of raw, punkish energy to play their eclectic and progressive brand of rock’n’roll. Many of the songs have a raw and thundering approach that takes more after punk-rock than it does from brazen, technical, and melodic broods through the dimly lit streets of Oh Contraire. These songs aim to ignite, but not in a typical four-chord punk rock fashion. The band uses this driving energy and delivers it with an array of sonic intricacies in a way that’s more indicative of artists like Jack White, Black Sabbath, and Queens of The Stone Age rather than Subhumans or The Germs.

“I think [Abandon Fashion] is a two word statement that almost signifies that we are going to write, record, and do what we want and how we want, no matter what is cool, trendy, or ‘in fashion’,” says frontman Brian Maier.

The whole EP was cut live at Stout Studios in Fort Collins, capturing a raw and forthright energy that often can’t be found when meticulously multi-tracking or chasing the perfect take. This raw approach, balanced with the driving and aggressive nature of the songs makes Abandon Fashion a fierce, unrelenting pleasure.

“I honestly have always wanted to [record the way we did on this record] because it captures the aggressiveness and raw energy of how we actually sound that can’t be faked. I think if we recorded the first album the same way those songs would have come across just as heavy. Track by track recording is so dialed in and precise in every way from the smallest turn of an amp or pedal knob to how hard we strum or hit a drum or cymbal. This was total freedom and we recorded this just how we practice and this is how we sound live, because it is!” says frontman Brian Maier.

The opening track “Mortal Melody” features a nearly two-minute chugging intro with guitars that gradually grow more jagged, and pummelling drums that grow fiercer with each strike. The song is a garage-driven excursion that has all the thrill of driving down an empty desert highway going fifty over the speed limit. “I’ll be your creature/Can you teach me to teach/Sing to me slowly/In a motor melody,” Maier sings with a quiet growl on top of a scuzzy and aggressive bassline.

The Sonic Youth and Modest Mouse inspired “Departure” follows, a scuzzy rocker with a chanting, harmonic, and arena rock-reminiscent chorus. “Sunsets” is an older song of Maier’s that resurfaced while the band was tracking the album. With a beachy, sunburnt instrumental that feels like a long drive by the coast and lyrics about running off to California, it’s a bright and infectious song by a band that often defaults to the shadows.

The closing track “Abandon Fashion” is a return to form for the band. The entirely instrumental song opens with a fit of siren-esque picking, only to devolve into a showdown of fiery, circling guitars that get more aggressive with every note. What starts out capturing a warm sunset quickly starts to resemble a sky littered with flames, dancing down to the ground.

The album artwork for  Abandon Fashion .

The album artwork for Abandon Fashion.

In more ways than one, Abandon Fashion marks a new beginning for the band. Not only is it a step into new musical territory, but the band underwent two significant lineup changes before making it. With Matt Petersen now on drums and Matt McNear on bass, the band’s sound is shifting in a different direction. Their influences are made loud and clear, and their presences melding with Maier’s technical and anthemic songwriting have led to Race of Neptune’s most invigorating record so far.

“I think it has been a pretty seamless transition,” says Petersen. “We got comfortable together really quickly. Matt just came on as bassist late February and we were in the studio the first week of April. I think that's definitely a testament to our cohesiveness. [Matt and I] both have a strong jazz background with our instruments which allows us to keep time really well while getting out of the rhythmic box bass and drums can sometimes be confined to in rock music. We are also all involved in the writing process… it’s a very cumulative sound you’re hearing.”

Race to Neptune underwent a quick evolution on Abandon Fashion, and for the better. It’s an invigorating, technical, and fun record that sets the band at the forefront of Fort Collins’ music scene. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t outliers, though. In a scene dominated by folk, EDM, and bluegrass, Race to Neptune are a shining beacon of musical progression and experimentation run through a filter of loud, raw, and eclectic rock.

“There has been a little increase in rock bands and venues in the [Fort Collins] area which is nice, but we are still the black sheep of the music scene up here. It is still very much dominated by jam bands, DJs and bluegrass, but we are trying very hard to support other local rock bands as well,” Maier says.

When the musical cohesiveness, energy, and vision of a band like Race To Neptune are all working together, maybe being the black sheep isn’t a bad thing; maybe it’s a sign that they’re at a the forefront of new sound and identity for Northern Colorado. It’s too early to say, but considering how far they’ve come as a band on only two records, anything is possible.

Abandon Fashion is out now. You can keep up with Race to Neptune here.

-Brody

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

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

By: Mirna Tufekcic

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

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

Demi Demitro. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Demi Demitro. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

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

-Mirna

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

The 'Get Free Tour' Proves Why Post-Hardcore Is Still A Rockin' Scene

By: Nathan Sheppard

After coming off of a very busy 2017, releasing their eighth studio album, playing all of Warped Tour, and traveling across the world, Silverstein started 2018 right where they left off -with their Get Free Tour. Tonight Alive is co-headlining the tour; Broadside and Picturesque are also on the lineup. The show made its Denver stop at Summit Music Hall last Friday, and everyone packed it in early to start the weekend off jamming to some epic tunes.

Broadside was unable to make the show due to van troubles, but Colorado band Saints of Never After filled in with a solid opening spot. Picturesque followed up with their set, and have a sound which has hints of Circa Survive and Sleeping With Sirens baked in. They had most people intrigued by their unique mix of heavier guitar rhythms/breakdowns and high-pitched vocals, and even had fans asking lead singer Kyle Hollis how he gets his vocal range so high.

The room was buzzing with electricity ready to get crazy for Silverstein, who played second to last for the Denver show. One reason Silverstein remain one of the legends of the 2000 post-hardcore scene is because they put on one of the best live shows around. All of their members put in everything they have for each and every show, and this one was no different. They started their set off with a few songs from their past three albums to get the party started. Frontman Shane Told then talked about the importance of sticking to their roots and playing older songs, following this speech with their first big hit “Smashed to Pieces” which brought the house down. Continuing the old school theme, they also played “Smile In Your Sleep” and “My Heroine” which caused a massive wave of crowd surfers. Mixing things up with a couple of slow songs after that so that everyone could catch their breath, Silverstein closed with “Afterglow,” topping off a fantastic set.

Tonight Alive was the closing act for the night, and while a good amount of people left early, they missed out on an incredible performance by Jenna McDougall and Co. One thing that stands out is Jenna’s ability to make everyone feel like they are included in the band’s set- she can take a large crowd and make the show feel small and intimate. Playing a mixture of songs from their newest album Underworld, along with older favorites, Tonight Alive finished to roars with “Lonely Girl.” Overall, the night really showed why these bands have such loyal followings, and why post-hardcore remains a popular genre. 

The Get Free Tour continues on through February, and you can check out the remaining dates and Silverstein’s newest album Dead Reflection here, along with Tonight Alive’s new Album Underworld here.   

-Nathan

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

Anti-Flag Bring Together Local Artists & Organizations For Punk Against Trump at Denver's Summit Music Hall

By: Nathan Sheppard

Anti-Flag’s Silence=Violence Tour is making its stop in Denver January 20th at Summit Music Hall, and will feature ten bands for a Punk Against Trump event including Stray From The Path, The White Noise, Sharptooth, Line Brawl, Over Time, Cheap Perfume, Allout Helter, The New Narrative, and Rotten Reputation.

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Anti-Flag is known for being very outspoken on a number of political and human rights issues. For this show in particular, they are teaming up for a fundraiser for Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. For each ticket sold, $2.00 will go to the coalition. Anti-Flag are also bringing along friends from peta2, A Voice For The Innocent, Love Hope Strength, and Amnesty International USA for the length of their entire tour.

Anti-Flag.

Anti-Flag.

Anti-Flag are currently traveling in support of American Fall, their tenth studio record released last November. American Fall is a hard hitting rebuke of many controversial events that occurred in 2017, with tracks like “American Attraction” and “Racists.” We are sure to get a good mixture of classic Anti-Flag and some of their newer sound at this Punk Against Trump show.

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Doors are at 3PM this Saturday, so be sure to arrive early and check out all of the opening bands and organizations who are sure to make this event feel like a festival-like sort of day. You can find tickets for the Punk Against Trump event here and find other dates for Anti-Flag’s tour at their website.

-Nathan

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

Gasoline Lollipops Brought A Storm Of Sound To Debut Red Rocks Performance

By: Hannah Oreskovich

There's a certain feeling of pride you get when you see local artists accomplish something big, like when The Yawpers were signed with Bloodshot Records or when Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats got their first Jimmy Fallon gig and blasted into the international spotlight. This week, that same heartwarming feeling was much aglow as fans watched Colorado’s Gasoline Lollipops take the stage at the state’s best, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Clay Rose.

Clay Rose.

The GasPops, as the band is more affectionately known to fans, first started back in 2009. Founding and original member Clay Rose, who is also the project’s frontman, grew up between Boulder & Nashville’s music markets. Piecing together sounds from each city’s scene, along with other influences, GasPops music combines punk, alternative, folk, country, and rock’n’roll. The Boulder band have been called everything from gypsy punk to “dirt floor folk” and played just about every venue in the state to date over the last six years.

Except for The Rocks. And that's why Monday’s show was just so special.

As the opening entertainment for the film Twister, the last “Film On The Rocks” of the summer for Denver Film Society’s series, Gasoline Lollipops brought a real storm of sound to the stage. There was a boot-stompin’ thunder of drums and standup bass (courtesy of Adam Perry and Brad Morse respectively), tempestuous, warm crackles of sound from Rose’s harmonica mic and Jeb Bows’ (Gregory Alan Isakov) violin solos, and a whirlwind of tight, raining vocal harmonies between Alexandra Schwan and Rose. Donny Ambory’s electric guitar playing also added a swirl of heated rebelliousness to the mix, an element the Gasoline Lollipops are well-known to evoke in their live shows.

GasPops on the Rocks.

GasPops on the Rocks.

The band opened their hour set with “Smoke and Steam” and played songs from several of their records, including “Death,” “Longest Night,” “Love Is Free,” “The Wire,” and “White Trash.” The six-piece also introduced us to some new tunes from their upcoming record Soul Mine, “Leaving Alone” and “Burns.” And the crowd, who sat for the film, were on their feet for the entirety of the GasPops’ set. There were hollers, cheers, and a lot of dancing happening between the night’s glowing rocks, which seem to be common sights and sounds at the punk rock hoedown that is a Gasoline Lollipops show.

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Overall, Gasoline Lollipops played a very Red Rocks-worthy performance for their debut at the venue. After the show, several crowd members voiced that they hoped for a GasPops storm to hit the rocks again next year. I'm hoping for it too but until then, catch them at the Fox Theatre this December for their Soul Mine vinyl release show, or drop everything and roll with them on their upcoming overseas tour this fall, where the GasPops storm of sound will be raging on.

Keep up with Gasoline Lollipops 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 Gamits Are Still Killing It, In Case You Were Wondering

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Last weekend, Denver’s punk rock veterans The Gamits came out of hibernation and tore it up, with performances in Colorado Springs (The Black Sheep), Denver (The Marquis Theatre), Fort Collins (Hodi’s Half Note), and in Laramie, Wyoming (8 Bytes Game Cafe).

The Gamits.

The Gamits.

I had the pleasure of seeing the guys grace the stage on Friday night at The Marquis, along with Samiam, Armchair Martian, and Hotel Bar. I even scored a few minutes of face time with three of the members: Chris Fogal (guitar/vocals), Forrest Bartosh (drums), and Johnny Wilson (bass/ backing vocals). I didn’t get a chance to chat with guitarist Michael Marti, but still got to see him shred onstage.

How does it feel to be back at the Marquis, a venue where you most certainly get a lot of love from fans?

CF: It feels good. Our last show was almost exactly a year ago, on St. Patty’s Day Weekend. So it was a big mess, but still awesome.

Since you all got back together in 2009, you’ve released 'Parts,' and also went on a worldwide tour, hitting up places in Europe. But more recently, what have you guys been up to?

CF: We go into hibernation, and then when we get asked to do fun stuff, we consider it and look at what’s going on in our lives, and then we go, “Okay! We can do that. That’s worth getting together and practicing for.”

At this point of the conversation, I couldn’t help but notice Chris super gluing Johnny’s fingernail.

What’s that about?

FB: “Oh yeah, this is a good one too. All of their fingernails get torn up.”

CF: “Yeah, we do a lot of down picking.”

JW: “Playing in The Gamits is not easy!”

CF: “Yeah, I’m about to do mine too. It turns into blood and then it starts to hurt. But it feels cool. It’s like having a little superman shield on your finger.”

Forrest Bartosh. 

Forrest Bartosh. 

The Gamits are obviously widely known, especially in the Denver area, and people clearly have mad love for you at your shows, going wild and all, but what’s a performance like for you guys?

CF: Well, a good one is like tonight. We’re stoked when people are singing along and going nuts. But it’s like any band, crowd reactions and things of that nature. Also, the older we get, we tend to play with older bands. But we stay pretty current; we like a lot of bands. Johnny runs For the Love of Punk; I run a recording studio (Black In Bluhm). So when we get to play with younger bands, it still feels awesome too. It feels like we’re doing the exact same shit we were doing in in ‘98, or generally around that time period.

Who are some of the younger “up and coming” bands you guys like?

CF: Hotel Bar- they’re killer, and just played first tonight. Also The Bombpops, Red City Radio, Russian Girlfriends, and Redbush. Just bands that have been doing exactly what we’ve been doing, working hard and playing good music. Some of the bands might end up more under the radar, or maybe huger.

Chris Fogel. 

Chris Fogel. 

Playing for such a long time, you know the ins and outs, and have established a more mature mindset when it comes to playing music. Some might even say you are “pros” at this. So how do you keep it interesting? How do you keep yourselves on your toes?

CF: We won’t play shows for months! And it’s never not interesting. There’s always something interesting going on- usually something out of our control.

What are some of the challenges you face now that you didn’t in your earlier years?

JW: Not practicing for a while. And if you don’t sing for a while, it takes a bit to get back to it. We’re not a slouch band in the vocal department.

CF: And I’m even a little sore from playing a show last night.

FB: Playing with bands like Bud Bronson & The Good Timers is a lot more mid-tempo, whereas The Gamits are at a turbo level. So when you haven’t done if for a while, it’s tough.

CF: You rip your fingernails off!

Johnny Wilson.

Johnny Wilson.

I also really like the lyrics in your songs, and that is something I’ve always liked about punk music: the poetic nature of the lyrics, paired with a heavier sound. Is that something you guys always like to incorporate into your music?

CF: Totally. Especially if you’re playing “pop punk,” which is the genre we usually get put into. Some of that is teenagery bubble gum lyrics, so I like to combine those with something a little more, as you put it, poetic. I like the combination.

It’s often said the topics musicians talk about in their music is a product of what’s happening in their own lives- is that true for The Gambits?

CF: Write about what you know. Otherwise, you might come across as a bullshitter.

So do The Gamits have any other other releases coming up in the near future?

CF: Nope, just playing shows and figuring out what the next thing is.

Also, I was asked to ask you guys if you have any plans to release your music besides 'Parts' on vinyl?

CF: Yeah, repressing in Canada has been talked about forever. And I’m sure if someone wanted to do it, it would be cool. I doubt that would happen though unless we came out with a new album.

Again, having been in Denver’s music scene for so long, exiting, and then coming back in, what kinds of things have you noticed? How has the scene changed?

CF: Well we’re always involved in the music scene; we’re never out. We’re always doing other shit in other bands besides The Gamits. So we’ve been able to be in the music scene here and watch it grow, and it’s totally different now. Obviously it’s a bigger city and people are moving here, but it’s also still landlocked, which it always will be, which is pretty cool.

So besides the size, what else do you think has changed? How else has it developed?

JW: I think there’s a resurgence to people looking back to older bands.

So you guys have played a number of bigger name venues, but I’d love to hear about your favorite underground houseparty-type show?

JW: Russia was hands-down my favorite place. We’re the only band I’ve ever heard that has done twelve days in Russia. We did the really depressed areas, and went into the thick of it. Most people do Saint Petersburg and Moscow, but we did some of the most insane places, like the early scene of punk rock.

FB: Yeah the kids were like, “What the hell you doing here?” And they’d be bouncing off the walls, man.

JW: They would pick me up and sing the songs, and I couldn’t even play. It was just the strangest thing.

Shortly after this, we split ways, and I watched the guys blow the roof off the joint, playing their hits, new and old, for a crowd of diehard fans.

It’s safe to say that The Gamits are a group of regular, genuine guys who just like to have fun and play good music. So if you have the rare chance to see them play, then peel yourself from your couch and do it!

-Jura

All photos per Joel Rekiel of BLDGBLKS Music Company. All videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

From Death to Dawn Comes 'Resurrection': Catch The Gasoline Lollipops at The Fox Theatre This Valentine's Day

By: Mirna Tufekcic

There’s a reason why a band gains momentum. Sometimes people connect through the language of music, and what comes of it, well, it’s undeniable. That’s kind of the story of Gasoline Lollipops, a band escaping genre confinement as they set every show ablaze with heart-forward, stomping, growling tunes.

Jeb Bows, an exceptional fiddler from the tiny town of Ward, CO, talked about this language of music with me recently, in an interview about his role in the Gas Pops.

“I was four years old when my eye caught a violin posted on the wall of the cabin I was born in.” Jeb told me, taking me back to the start of his music career.

Jeb Bows.

Jeb Bows.

“I learned to play music as someone would learn to speak their native language.” Jeb said, “It’s called the Suzuki Method, invented by Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist. The premise of the method is listening to sounds and figuring out how to produce the sounds you’re hearing, not unlike a baby learns to speak from watching and mimicking its parents… Music’s been my life path since.”

Jeb plays the fiddle with the Gas Pops, but he also dabbles in other music projects.  

As he says, “I stay really busy, but rarely do I say no,” when it comes to playing with other musicians and singer-songwriters. You’ll see him playing a sold out Red Rocks shows with Gregory Alan Isakov or in a local coffee shop swooning a small crowd with his violin alongside other, lesser known, but no less talented musicians. Bows has a keen ability to sync with anybody he plays with, a gift and a privilege he is very well aware of having.  

The Gasoline Lollipops. 

The Gasoline Lollipops. 

But not all of Jeb’s life was as smooth as the vibrations he creates on that fiddle of his. He spent a chunk of time in Los Angeles walking down a dark, dead-end road and lost himself in the process. He stopped playing music for a while. It took a few years of meandering in the dark for fate to finally come knocking. And she gave him a choice, “What’s it gonna be, Jeb Bows, music or death?”  

Right around the time Jeb was figuring out his way back to sobriety, Clay Rose, the frontman of the Gas Pops was fighting his own demons and self-destructive behavior. Clay grew up in the South, always an outsider bullied by other kids for being different. He was a rebel without a cause, maybe, but he was definitely someone who wanted to make himself stand tall… but not before hitting rock bottom first. As fate would have it, when Jeb moved from L.A. back to Boulder, and Clay moved to Boulder from Nashville, Clay started the Gas Pops and Jeb joined very shortly afterward, the two having met through a mutual friend.

Clay Rose (left) and Brad Morse of Gasoline Lollipops.

Clay Rose (left) and Brad Morse of Gasoline Lollipops.

When I asked Clay about his inspiration for Gas Pops he told me, “If you put a tin can over my chest and listen you would hear this… The [Gas Pops] songs are extremely personal. It’s where I come to play, to confess, for redemption, and where I flog myself.”   

Music for Clay is a way of coping with feelings that have no place in this world; it’s what saved him and gave him a purpose. Though his start in the language of music was admittedly a little different. One of his earliest musical influences was a random cassette tape he found in his mother’s closet with Leonard Cohen on one side, and Tim Buckley on the other.

“That’s when I started writing poetry, because I realized Cohen was writing about things I didn’t know you could talk about. I didn’t know there was language for it. He validated that these things exist and that they can be expressed.”

Clay went on, “There’s a lot of songs I write that I won't play for anyone for months, because I think, man, I can’t be that transparent. But, eventually, I’ll present it to the band and they’ll urge me to play it at our shows. So, I’ll play it and cringe for months.Then the people from the crowd will come up to me and affirm that that song means alot to them, and I start to feel better about it. And that’s when I remember the reason I’m doing this in the first place. My function, my validation as a musician, is to validate the lonely and suffering.”

And Jeb’s musical mission isn’t far from Clay’s.

“I’ve dedicated my life to sharing in the light and love and connecting with everyone who wants to play and listen, because, in the end, we’re all better for it.” Bows smiled.

The truth is, if you get the Gas Pops in a room, the whole crowd will undoubtedly perk their ears and pay attention. The band taps into something others can relate to, whether through the language of hardship or love, and they prove time and again that their music is something to get down and dance to no matter your life experiences.

Gasoline Lollipops’ music has been called alt country, gypsy folk, and punk rock among others. Even the guys themselves can’t quite tell you what genre they sound like. But really, who cares? If we can connect through the language of music itself without having to confine it to genre, then I think times are ripe with progress. These days you’re a good musician if you can pluck from the tree of knowledge and make it into something totally your own. Sometimes it takes a group of people to create a special work of art, and sometimes trials and tribulations to show you the way. That’s the Gas Pops.  

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The Gasoline Lollipops just finished their new album Resurrection, the final piece of their Lucky 7 Trilogy, and are celebrating this Valentine’s Day with a CD Release Party at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. Foxfeather and Kid Reverie will share the stage. Explore the Gas Pops’ language of music for yourself on a night where we could all use light and love- get your tickets here!

-Mirna

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

Alternative Punk Rock Group American Blackout Debut 'Yeah So What' EP

By: Jura Daubenspeck

The gifts just keep on coming this holiday season with today’s release of the newest 'Yeah So What' EP by alternative punk rock group American Blackout. Hailing from Fort Collins, CO, members Craig Miller (vocals/guitar), Damian Schoenecke (guitar), Ross Dougherty (bass) and Gus Mircos (drums) have been anticipating this release for almost a year. Needless to say, the band is excited for today’s debut, so we sat down with frontman Craig Miller to get the scoop on American Black’s new music and more. Here’s our chat:

The 'Yeah So What' EP is your third and final release of 2016. How long have you guys been working on this for?

For a while now. We released our first single “Pants on Fire” last January, and just released “Shots Fired” in September, so [the whole EP] has been about one year in the works. We recorded all five tracks at The Spot Studios, recording two at a time, then recording one last song to finish it up. Lately we’ve been getting it all packaged, mastered, and ready for release.

American Blackout. Photo Credit: Studio Ardesco.

American Blackout. Photo Credit: Studio Ardesco.

There’s been quite a bit of hype leading up to this release, with little sneak previews, bundles, and free giveaways. How have people reacted so far?

Everyone seems pretty excited about it. We’ve received really good reviews on the singles. We just previewed our title track, “Yeah So What” yesterday, which is our favorite song to play live. It’s upbeat and high energy, which is perfect because we get down at our live shows.

What can fans expect from this new EP? What kinds of sounds and influences are embedded in it? Any themes?

What I like most about it is that it’s a little bit of a deviation from our last EP, Summer’s Gone. It’s a much more matured sound and a lot less “poppy.” The last EP focused a lot more on relationships, whereas Yeah So What is more raw and edgy, especially “Shots Fired.” Our lyrics have matured and our sound is a bit more gritty. As always, we’ve got a clean, crisply produced sound from working at The Spot Studios, but [this new release] just ended up being more energetic rock’n’roll versus pop. We like the direction it’s going in.

Listen to American Blackout's new Yeah So What EP:

Are there any special guest features on this release?

No guest features. One major difference is that this EP was recorded with our old drummer Jason LaBella. We have a new drummer now, Gus Mircos, who will be playing at the EP release show with us. We’re grateful to have worked with Jason, and are excited to have Gus with us now.

What was the creative process behind this release? Any particular reason why you’re aiming for an end of year release VS a new year release?

An end of the year release was just how it ended up happening with the availability and materials. Our last full-length release was in January 2015, so we are due for another one. Also, December is a great time to go out, given the holidays. Regarding our creative process, we’ve been writing a lot, and have been picky about what songs we wanted to record and what songs we wanted to included. We’ve been much more selective, starting with a basic idea, gathering new ideas, and continuing that effort until those ideas materialize into a song.

AB. Photo Credit: Talia Lezama.

AB. Photo Credit: Talia Lezama.

Will there be a tour to accompany this release? Any holiday pit stops you plan to make?

Our EP Release Party is this Saturday, December 17th at Downtown Artery. Then we’ve got a series of shows in late January, including a show at The Moxi Theater. We plan to hit the road in March 2017, working our way through the Southwest, California, and Nevada.

Finally, as an alternative punk band in Colorado, where do you most find your niche?

We’ve been able to make a lot of friends in different genres of music. We love playing with Wiredogs, who will also be playing at our EP Release Party this Friday along with I Am The Owl. We like playing with those guys quite a bit. We met so many different bands through the SpokesBUZZ program and we have played with many other genres, like the Gasoline Lollipops, who are more bluegrass/folk. We like to mix it up and tailor our sets to the other bands’ styles. That’s what’s great about the Colorado music scene: everyone likes to work together, meet new people, and experience new styles of music.

Keep in touch with American Blackout via their Facebook, Instagram, and website. And be sure to grab your tickets to their EP Release Party this Saturday, December 17th!

-Jura

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

Sad13 & Vagabon Have Joined Forces For One Sluggin' Feminist Rock Tour

By: Claire Woodcock

As Sadie Dupuis and I listened to Laetitia Tamko, who was opening for Dupuis’ new pop-synth band Sad13 (pronounced “Sad Thirteen”), the one-woman-band Vagabon from NYC lit up the room with heavy riffs and smoke-toned vocals. On “Cold Apartment Floors,” I started feeling like I was at an East Coast basement show again. Then this happened, which totally confirmed those sensations:

Then on “Shadows,” Tamko sang, “You said you moved to Colorado, where the sun and moon always blew,” and I remembered where I was again: The Larimer Lounge in Denver, standing with Dupuis from Speedy Ortiz, the singer with the dolled-up voice that pops over heavy guitars and melodic distortion who I’ve been listening to regularly for 3+ years standing with me, her fuzzy blue cat ears nodding in approval of her friend Vagabon onstage.

VAGABON.

VAGABON.

That’s a big theme on Dupuis’ new album Slugger: women supporting women, which Dupuis demonstrated IRL on Saturday. The tracks on Slugger, like “The Sting,” have Dupuis alternating between slaying rigid hooks, fluttering keyboards, and electronic beats that make Sad13 an unapologetically synth-pop band who gravitates away from the grunge sound Dupuis is known for in certain indie-rock circles. But the truth is, Sad13 was feminist girl rock that Denver wasn’t ready for and didn’t show up for in the same masses who turned out for Speedy Ortiz when they were in the city back in April. And Denver missed out.

Sad13.

Sad13.

I got talk with Dupuis for a hot second about the “de-escalation strategies” she had printed out for people to take from her merch table, before her set with Jade Payne from Aye Nako, a Brooklyn punk band known for songs about the experiences of being black, trans, and queer on lead guitar, and with Emily Reo, on bass, a solo artist in her own right. Dupuis and Sad13 are slaying stereotypes by being totally inclusive and genuine about it, while also promoting this empowering “third space” for people like us, who find themselves show-hopping throughout our weekends. 

“Claws protracted, but we’re not scratching/We boost each other up… I just want to hype my best girls,” Dupuis called out when closing their set with “Hype.” The women who came together to bring Denver Sad13 modeled the efforts of women, people of color, and non-binary artists to slug home runs for the third places they’re trying to cultivate into safe spaces. And that’s why we need Dupuis and her friends being the new champions of protest music, and of feminist punk rock right now. We need ladies that will be louder, bossier, and will fight like hell for people like me to be able to go to my “third place” solo to support my ladies without hassle. Right?

Try and catch the Sad13 tour if you can. Dupuis plays baseball game themed music in-between songs and they even have a Christmas tune! This is the next generation of feminist punk rock in action.

-Claire

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

The Ephinjis: How Being Banned From a Local Venue Only Fueled the Fire Behind Their Punk Rock Debut LP

By: Claire Woodcock

When I first moved to Boulder and started getting involved with the local music scene, I quickly began wondering, “Where are all the punk bands?” Enter The Ephinjis: a Boulder-based band that’s making noise in Denver. They remind me a lot of Green Day, or Dead Kennedys, but with hints of Latin music that come out with a close listen.

“All those punk bands were and are angsty white boys. That's not a bad thing, it really isn't, but we don't exactly fit those parameters. We're Latino; she’s female. That is already outside of the norm for punk,” member Ivan Armendariz told me.

Ivan and Christian Armendariz are twins; when they were 13, their parents gave Ivan a guitar and Christian a drum kit. They spent years learning to play and eventually started up the band, playing with 12 different bassists until Alexandra Flynn came into the picture. The three of them have been making music together ever since, and in the fall of 2014, they all decided to leave college to pursue their careers in music. Their decision was sort of a musical rebirth as a band, and as bandmates.

Ivan Armendariz.

Ivan Armendariz.

“It’s been two years of nonstop: you breathe it, you eat it, you think about it, you tell people about it, you’re proud of what you do, and you share it. We’re doing everything.” said Ivan.

Alexandra Flynn.

Alexandra Flynn.

The Ephinjis definitely don’t fall into the Americana/folk/acoustic-Beatles-covers acts that venues often showcase in Boulder. They admit that it’s tough to be a punk band in Boulder because it’s not marketable to the music scene there:

“We definitely don’t fit in with Boulder. We got kicked out of a venue here.” Ivan said.

He’s referring to The Forge, a DIY venue that’s been closed since September allegedly for fire code violations. During a show back in January, the band was playing a song called “Killing Never Goes Out of Style”, a sort of cowboy-influenced ballad that alludes to the chauvinistic practices of men being entitled to women. Lyrically, it’s about a boy who falls in love with a girl obsessively and when she rejects him, he kills her. While Ivan acknowledges the explicit nature of the song, he says the band’s intent was misinterpreted and construed to the point where The Ephinjis were no longer welcome at that venue.

"It was pretty disturbing to me when I first heard about [being banned] because the point of the song is to reflect our sexist society and to reflect brutal honesty [about] what is going on and how women are being treated. And being a female bass player in a band, I see a lot of shit,” said Alexandra Flynn, “The fact that Ivan writes music that’s so honest, and the fact that they totally twisted it into the opposite of what it’s meant for disturbs me, because that’s silencing the whole feminist movement in what was supposed to be a safe community where you can express ideas.”

Christian Armendariz.

Christian Armendariz.

The band talked about the stages of grief they went through after learning they were no longer welcome at The Forge: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and eventually acceptance through the recording of the band’s first full-length LP The Unfortunate Life of Bob: A Guideline to Dying Amongst the Living. It’s a concept album that follows the demise of a fictional character named Bob, and explores what it’s like to live a life of complacency in a society that does not have your back.

Ivan says that Bob’s life goes through three phases, similar to the stages of grief: fear of not being good enough and aiming for a standard or substandard lifestyle, acceptance of that complacency and turning to drugs and alcohol to get through the motions, and then the resignation of saying, “I did the best I could with what I had”. Ivan though does not agree with choosing to resign in life:

“That’s bullshit. I don’t care who you are, you always could have done more. There’s always an option to jump a little farther and step a little more beyond that line than you’re supposed to and take that risk. It’s disturbing and uncomfortable, and kind of pisses people off, but I think once the thrill of living is gone, you realize maybe you didn’t do what you could have done. And not because it totally was in your control, but honestly, you didn’t do what you were capable of if you were meant for bigger [things]. You still could have done it. I think everyone always a lot more potential than they ever reach. Your brain blocks you, you're inhibited from breaching a comfort zone, and people don't want to see it like that but I do. So Bob reaches the end basically and realizes, “Yeah, I could have done better, but I think I did my best with what I had.” And then he does reach the breaking point of looking in the mirror, drugged out, and says, 'No, you f*cking failed.' I think that's similar to the process of grieving or getting over the death of a loved one. It almost plays out throughout the entire album of his life. So we're talking about death in one moment, and encompassing his entire 45 years of existence in 10 songs.”

Listen to The Ephinjis' debut album:

The Unfortunate Life of Bob drops today and is available here. The Ephinjis are celebrating the new record’s release with an “unofficial” show party tonight at Seventh Circle Music Collective, where they will play with LiquidLight, Meeting House, and Sorry Sweetheart. Tommorrow, September 24th, The Ephinjis will also play “The Swifts Back To School Show” with female punk band The Hits at the Dickens Opera House in Longmont. Make sure to check out one of these gigs to hear their new music live!

If you’re like me, constantly looking for that latest local punk band, this crew is worth the listen.

Update 09/27/16 @7PM: The allegations as to why The Ephinjis were banned from the now defunct venue, The Forge, have been left in comments you can read on our Facebook page. We did reach out for official comment via the venue's Facebook page, but do not have an official statement from The Forge at this time.

-Claire

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

Five Bands to See at Riot Fest & Rodeo in Denver This Weekend

By: Sierra Voss

Riot Fest is ripping through the Mile High City with a rowdy lineup this Labor Day Weekend. Over 70 bands will crush performances on the festival's four stages, set in the heart of Denver at the National Western Complex. Here are the top 5 bands we are crazy stoked to see:

Culture Abuse

IMG_5590.JPG

Wanna see a ripping, authentic, crush-worthy punk band? Cool, me too. Culture Abuse is known for their dreamy punk rock vibes. Their new album Peach integrates a lighter, brighter punk sound with a foundation that drives their music forward, and songs that are carried by some pretty raw lyrics. Catch them playing on the Roots Stage Sunday at 12PM.

The Original Misfits

IMG_5591.JPG

Danzig, Only, and Doyle will play a full-set alongside each other for the first time since 1983 at Riot Fest on Sunday. The Misfits are an iconic band, often recognized as the creators of horror punk, blending punk, rock, and horror imagery into one massive set. They’ve been influential in just about every late 90’s and early 2000’s rock, punk, and heavy metal bands. So this is definitely going to be a historic set you don’t want to miss. Watch them close out the fest Sunday at 840PM on the Riot Stage.

Wolf Parade

IMG_5592.JPG

Wolf Parade is another Riot Fest band returning to the stage after a long hiatus. It’s been six long years since the release of their album Expo 86. Wolf Parade took the indie rock world by storm ten years ago with release the of their album Apologies to the Queen Mary. The band's newest release, EP 4, is just that: four singles deep. Fans (including myself) will gather this weekend to see if their desires and dreams will be fulfilled by the band's revival. We can only hope that Wolf Parade will showcase a deeper look at what’s to come, while letting us be nostalgic on our fond memories of their past and longing for their previous work. See them Friday at 435PM on the Riot Stage.

People Under The Stairs

People Under The Stairs continue to release classic West Coast-vibed hip hop tracks. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, this band has a reputation for punching out funky beats since 1999. If you want to get your groove on this weekend, I highly suggest making your way to the Radical Stage at 3PM on Saturday.   

Violent Soho

IMG_5594.JPG

Violent Soho have traveled all the way from Australia to deliver powerful grunge riffs, abrasive song structures, and dynamics that range from loud, louder, and loudest. We love these guys. So get to the Roots Stage at 210PM on Saturday. Just do it.

Tickets for Riot Fest can still be purchased here. Get yours before they’re gone. And stay tuned for BolderBeat’s coverage of Riot Fest this weekend!

-Sierra

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See This Fourth of July Weekend

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Three day weekends rule, and so does ‘Merica:

Today (Friday 07/01):

Ramaya & The Troubadours at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

Ramaya Soskin plays The LG tonight, and will share the stage with some of his talented friends. Soskin’s sound has been described assimultaneously blending echoes of Iron & Wine, Ryan Adams, Wilco and Jeff Buckley”, and he’s a familiar face on the Goat’s stage. Ease into the party-filled weekend with some good tunes from Ramaya and a glass of wine tonight. Can yah dig?

Check out a Ramaya original, “All In Good Time”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 07/02):

BANDITS Vinyl Release Party with Blanket Empire and Meeting House at Larimer Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

Colorado favorite BANDITS are dropping their highly anticipated 7” tonight at the Larimer, and local talents Blanket Empire and Meeting House will also grace the stage for the show. We’ve seriously been diggin’ on BANDITS tracks “Kill Tonight” and “Wheels” lately, so we’re stoked to hear ‘em on wax. This is a sweet lineup and one of BANDITS’ last hometown shows before they hit the road for the summer! Come party!

PS: Make sure to catch our most recent features on BANDITSBlanket Empire, & Meeting House yo.

Listen to BANDITS’ tune “Wheels”:

Wow! Signal with Portobello Road and Hi-Fi Gentry at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

Denver’s Wow! Signal, self-described as “90s punk rawk with a bit of heavy throw in” are headlining a show at the triple L tomorrow evening which promises to “ROCK YOUR FACE OFF!” The band will be sharing the stage with Portobello Road, a blues and punk rock four-piece, and Hi-Fi Gentry, one of our favorite Denver indie outfits. Wear your best American flag memorabilia! It’s gonna be a fun one.

Have you peeped our recent Hi-Fi Gentry coverage? Iz right here.

The Next Day (Sunday 07/06)

Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers with Dirty Few and Lizard Police at the Hi-Dive in Denver 8PM-Close

Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers want to celebrate America with all the things they love this weekend, which means “hot dogs and domestic brews and good friends and rock and roll”. The crazy Denver rock group are sharing their show with local outfit Dirty Few (who just killed at Westword’s Showcase) and touring Tulsa group Lizard Police. Did we mention they’re screening Independence Day before and after the show? Yeah. This is gonna be a good one.

Check out BBATG’s album Fantasy Machine:

Tomorrow & The Next Day (Saturday 07/02 & Sunday 07/03)

Dead & Company at Folsom Field in Boulder 630PM-Close

Dead & Company are resurrecting the concert atmosphere that once existed at CU’s Folsom Field in Boulder this weekend. For the first time in 15 years, the field will host a public show for not one, but two nights in a row! Dead & Co. are currently on their summer tour, which has consisted of a slew of festival appearances. Anddd there are plenty of after parties following their performances if you missed your chance at tickets- check out Owsley’s Golden Road, Sancho’s Broken Arrow, The Lazy Dog, The Fox, and The Boulder Theater for some late night options Deadheads.

Watch Dead & Company’s live performance of “Bertha”:

The Holiday! (Monday 07/04)

Xavier Rudd with Dustin Thomas at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 830PM-Close

The ever-traveling Xavier Rudd plays The Fox Monday night, so spend your final eve of the weekend with him! He’ll be coming straight from his Mishawaka show on Sunday to the good ‘ol B and bringing lots of talent along for the ride. Plus, singer/songwriter Dustin Thomas is opening. Catch the show and walk outside for Folsom’s fireworks afterward. Should be a sweet end to a great holiday weekend of music. Tickets here.

Watch Xavier Rudd’s “Let Me Be”:

Happy Fourth Colorado!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

VANS Warped Tour: New Sponsors, Returning Attractions, & The Same Good 'ol Warped

VANS WARPED TOUR® 2016 ANNOUNCES FIRST WAVE OF SPONSORS, NEW AND RETURNING ATTRACTIONS, AND MORE

The 41-date Vans Warped Tour® 2016, presented by Journeys®, is the largest traveling music festival in the United States, and the longest-running touring music festival in North America. Originally conceived by founder Kevin Lyman in 1995 as an eclectic alternative rock festival with a focus on punk rock, the multi-stage tour has grown over the years to include a multitude of genres, including metal, hip hop, reggae, and pop.

Vans Warped Tour has been able to remain an affordable destination for music fans of all ages for 22 years thanks to its enduring partnerships with brands and organizations. The first wave of 2016 featured sponsors/partners include: Vans, Journeys, Monster Energy, the U.S. Army, truth, Full Sail University, peta2, Twix, Trojan Condoms, Fueled By Ramen, Cool Gear, Ernie Ball, Depop and The Entertainment Institute (TEI). A complete list of participating sponsors, partners, nonprofits and labels is available on the tour’s website.

“Without the support of our sponsors, it would be impossible to put on a tour of this size and caliber, for a fair price," Lyman says. "I'd like to thank all of our great sponsors for continuing to support us, and for seeing the true value in engaging with our fans."

In 2016, fans will see an increased presence from featured sponsor Journeys, a leader in the teen specialty retail scene. In its third year of sponsorship, the company is taking over both main stages, which are being re-branded the Journeys Left Foot Stage and the Journeys Right Foot Stage. "Our involvement with The Vans Warped Tour supports our long-term music strategy and aligns perfectly with one of our top brand partners, Vans," says Jim Estepa, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Journeys Group. "Just like the past two years, we plan to bring this Tour to life across all of our available channels to celebrate the partnership with both our customers and employees through special on-site, online and in-store activations."

Festival-goers will also experience the new Monster Energy Party Zone. Presented by long-standing Vans Warped Tour partner Monster Energy, this area will feature matching side-by-side stages of non-stop heavy music from bands such as Atreyu, Every Time I Die, Motionless In White, and Chelsea Grin.

“Every few years or so, we need to make tweaks to the Vans Warped Tour," Lyman explains. "In 2016, that will be the addition of the Monster Energy Party Zone. I am excited to deepen our partnership with Monster Energy to build this area out and bring heavier bands from the Warped family to our fans.”

Another innovation from Lyman’s festival is brought to you by Full Sail University, an award-winning educational leader for those pursuing careers in the entertainment and media industry. Lyman worked with long-time record label partners to curate the Full Sail Stage and present up-and-coming bands such as Cane Hill, Like Pacific, and Bad Seed Rising. "Over the years our relationship with Vans Warped Tour has continued to grow and evolve," says Full Sail University's VP of Alumni Relations, Jay Noble. "For example, graduates have experienced internship and employment opportunities throughout the multi-city concert tour, while Full Sail’s campus recently hosted the Warped Tour lineup webcast. We couldn't be prouder to continue this partnership on this year's tour by presenting The Full Sail Stage.”

The popular annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, during which unsigned bands compete for the chance to perform on select Vans Warped Tour dates, will also shine a spotlight on tomorrow's stars – this year evolving into a place where artists compete to win a chance to play on one of the Journeys Main Stages. “I started this program twenty years ago because the opportunity to experience playing music live seemed to be dwindling," says Ernie Ball CEO Sterling Ball. "Because the opportunities are even fewer and far between today, we're even more passionate about continuing to create the programs that give bands the exposure and experience of playing these world-class events.”

To compliment this jam-packed full day of music, this year's Vans Warped Tour festival village will offer a wide-range of lifestyle attractions, information and educational activities. These initiatives speak to the festival's commitment to nonprofits and organizations dedicated to socially conscious causes. "Warped has evolved into a festival comprised of three equal parts: music, philanthropy and education," Lyman says. "With the 2016 tour, we have truly accomplished this balance."

Vans Warped Tour will be in Denver 07/31. For more information on the tour, and to get tickets, head here.

Mosh at Your Desk with the Sounds of Spain's Alternative Rock Group Sarajevo '84

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Spain's Sarajevo '84 are picking up some steam. 

Spain's Sarajevo '84.

Spain's Sarajevo '84.

As you might have read in our Corner Cafe Chronicles article last week, we’re stepping up our game and bringing you sounds from around the world on BolderBeat. Today, we’re pumped to introduce you to Spain’s alternative rock four-piece Sarajevo ‘84. Formed in 2014 in Granada, the band’s sound “primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on grunge, as well as elements of punk rock.” Comprised of Andres Martinez (vocals/guitar), Victor Rojas (bass), Juan Marin (guitar), and Ivan Garcia (drums), Sarajevo ‘84 recently dropped their debut EP, Waiting for the Sun, which you can download for free here. Currently, the group is on tour in the south of Spain; they also have performances planned in Madrid and Barcelona later this year.

Overall, Waiting for the Sun’s angsty, guitar-heavy tracks bring me back to my Warped Tour days. “20 Things” will make you want to start jumping, you’ll be moshing by “My Perfect Day”, and “The Key” will close out the show before the band breaks their gear and demands you keep running in a giant, moshing circle. Is it Warped Wednesday? Can we get our angry youth back? Sigh. No. But you can turn up Sarajevo ‘84 and mosh in your cubicle kids, and I highly recommend it.

Give Sarajevo ‘84’s title track “Waiting for the Sun” a listen:

-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.

BLVD: The 90s Rock'n'Roll You Know You've Been Missing.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Paul Kimbiris has a new project and we dig it. 

BLVD. Four letters, three guys. And their first show under the new name is happening this Friday at The Fall Showcase. So who are they?

Well, we’ve brought you info on Paul Kimbiris before. You might remember him headlining the Fox back in May with backing band The Paper Stars. Or maybe you saw him at Augustus’ CD Release show at The Lazy Dog in June, where again, he was referenced as a solo artist with a backing band. Well guess what kids. Paul’s got a new gig in this town. And he wants you to know it’s “a little less sad bastard and a little more punk rock”. F*ck yes.

BLVD is composed of Leor Manelis (drums), Danny Rankin (bass), and Kimbiris (guitar, vocals). When I met up with Paul to learn a little more about his new project, he told me he’s played with these guys forever. They were with him for the Fox show last May. And practicing for that is actually where BLVD kind of kicked off.

“We were practicing for the Fox show and- you know we were practicing pretty stuff- melodies, a waltz. And just joking around, I played one of my old songs and [the guys] were like ‘Hey what else do you have like that? That’s the best song I’ve heard you play.’ I mean I wrote these songs like late 90s. I’d put them to bed. But when you play songs with really good musicians- you can play two chords and it can be fucking awesome. And so that’s what we’re playing. These old songs I wrote and we’re rock and roll, you know?”

I told him I didn’t- BLVD hasn't put anything out yet (though they will be this winter). And they haven’t exactly performed live yet with their new material and under the name BLVD. So Kimbiris explained the sound to me like this:

“70% of what BLVD plays are songs I wrote late 90s- so they’re influenced by things happening then. The Pixies; British rock bands like Blur. You’ll hear it; you’ll hear it. Like right around the time OK Computer came out- I mean that record was huge for me as I’m sure it was for a lot of people. Minor keys, delayed pedals, that atmospheric sound. That’s what we’re doing with these songs. And no acoustic- this is all electric. But these are songs from another life.”

And what other life are they from?

“Well they sound like they’re about a guy who was living in Philly. Because that’s what I was doing at the time and they’re all about my experiences.”

And is the name somehow from that other life too? Why BLVD?

“Back in Philly, there’s this street called Roosevelt Boulevard. It’s where we used to buy drugs and it’s, you know, ‘one of the most dangerous streets in America.’ Bad traffic, pushers, everything. And I used to hang out there. So I felt like it fit this. And I liked the name- it looks good on a t-shirt or a hat.”

I laugh. So what is BLVD most looking forward to about playing The Fall Showcase?

“I’m looking forward to playing louder and to an audience that’s a little bit younger than me. And for the folks that are coming to see Whiskey Autumn and Ben Hanna [and the Knighthawks]. Ben was one of the first people I met when I moved to Boulder and we lived together. I met him at a Conor’s open mic.”

Boulder’s crazy that way.

“You know, I had no plans to play music here when I first got here. I came from Austin and met some folks like Philip Parker and Gregory Alan Isakov and they heard me a couple times. And they said to me, ‘You’re good. But you should try harder.’ And sometimes, that’s all people need to hear.”

Definitely- and those are pretty awesome people to hear that from. So what’s next for BLVD?

“We’re playing Chautauqua on November 20th but that’s going to be a very sit-down and like bring your mom. Like my mom will be there. And wear a nice shirt. We’ll be doing things different for that- we’ll have a cello, more strings, an organ. We can’t rock there- it’s a hundred year old building. And then I want to put something out. Something we record live maybe and do overdubbing on. My last solo record took a year; I want this next one out quick. Like a month. And then in January or February we’re going to be doing an OpenAir session. And from there- play a lot in Denver; we’ll play a lot in Boulder too. But Boulder’s venues are pretty limited.”

They are indeed. Which is one reason The Fall Showcase is happening.

“Yeah it’s gonna be a great show. The middle slot’s the best slot and that’s where we are so it’s gonna be great.”

Though they're just revving up their 90s engine, something tells me BLVD’s going to be taking off pretty quickly. So come see their first show together as BLVD this Friday at The Riverside for The Fall Showcase!

Join the FB event here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Punk's not dead. In fact, it’s not even aging.

By: Nikki Steele

Rancid has the same punk rock energy they always have.

Rancid headlined a show at the Summit Music Hall this weekend (with opener 7 Seconds ) and both bands proved that punk rock is still kickin’.

the stage setup.

the stage setup.

Let’s be honest- the guys from Rancid and 7 Seconds are all older dudes who have been playing for 20+ years. None of these guys look like they’re in their 20s anymore. In fact, it was Lars Frederiksen’s (Rancid guitar/vocals) 44th birthday the day of the show. But what hasn’t aged is the power of their performances. Though  Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds vocals) told us, “we’re out here acting like we're 20, but feeling like we're 60,” you’d never know it. Both sets were full of kicks, spins and punk rock dancing. And this was after both bands had just played Denver’s Riot Fest, Rancid on Saturday and 7 Seconds just eight hours before their Summit set. Colorado usually welcomes out of breath singers, due to our altitude, but no such excuse was needed Sunday night. Neither band put their energy on pause for even a second, and neither did their fans.

The electricity of the punk fans was apparent even at the beginning of Rancid’s set. As Lars started to introduce a song, he got cut off by the crowd screaming his own album titles at him. It didn't take long for the screams to turn into the entire crowd singing “Happy Birthday,” which brought a look of surprise and satisfaction to Lars’ face. He was stoked, and so was everyone around me.

crowd love.

crowd love.

And even when you might have expected things to slow down, they didn’t. At one point, Lars’ amp blew out and the show was paused for ‘technical difficulties.’ Lars shouted, “This is just punk rock!” and proceeded to entertain us with jokes while the roadies worked to get the show going again. Though there wasn’t music happening, everyone was still having a great time.

Sometime after this, a fight broke out in the crowd. Here, Lars actually stopped the set and basically told us that he didn’t care what had happened, that the fight had to stop, and that “this is our time right now, and on our time there is no fighting.” Everyone was quiet. And this is when I had the chance to look around the crowd and realize that one of the most amazing parts of any punk rock show is the fans.

punk rock worship.

punk rock worship.

The crowd was made up of old rockers in their 1991 Rancid shirts, the new punk rock kids whose leather hasn’t even been broken in yet, and a bunch of people wearing Misfit clothes from Hot Topic. And then there were the ones who looked like they didn’t even listen to punk. But no matter which category you fit into, the crowd moved and worked with each other for the rest of the night.

Punk has always been about giving people a place to go to do what they want to do: to dance, to jump around, to mosh, to whatever. The entire crowd moved with the music, from the front of the barricade, to the circle pit in the middle, to the people in the very back of the venue. The mosh pit was crazy; there were even small children moshing! There were crowd surfers flying, people falling down, and beer cans being thrown left and right. The crowd pushed and moved, but when the music stopped, so did all of the chaos, and everyone walked away just fine.

When I left for the night, I couldn’t believe it: Here were these middle-aged guys with a (mostly) middle-aged crowd and everyone was getting down like nothing’s changed. But I guess that's just punk rock for ya.

-Nikki

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

Watch a Rancid video here:

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 07/30 & 07/31

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s that time of week again Boulder, aka the best time: the weekend. And here are the six shows you should see the next two nights:

Today (Friday 07/30):

Dear Landlord at Pearl Street Pub and Cellar 5PM-9PM

It’s been a minute since we’ve seen a good punk show around these parts. But luckily, Denver-based band Dear Landlord is gracing the Boulder scene tonight. Headbanging is a must and we might try to start a mosh pit. Not sure if The Pub knows what they’re in for…

Oh how I've missed your veins punk rock.

Oh how I've missed your veins punk rock.

Chris Kroger and Friends at Under the Sun 830PM-Close

Jazz and a good beer sounds nice right about now (too early, I know). But that’s what Under the Sun is gonna give you tonight with Denver musician Chris Kroger and Friends. So drop on in for a cold one and some piano pieces.

The Johnny O Trio at License No. 1 9PM-Close

The Johnny O Band has been playing shows throughout Colorado for 17 years. Hear a few of their members jam the blues for you over a nice No. 1 Old Fashioned. This show sounds like an especially good fit for you if you’re looking to reminisce on your love life over bourbon and blues.

Tomorrow (Saturday 07/31):

Steepland String Band at The Lazy Dog Sports Bar and Grill 8PM-Close

If there’s one thing Boulder loves, it’s a string band. The SSB have a rock and bluegrass sound, which you can check out on their EP Little PayThe Lazy Dog has a decent stage setup, so roll down to dance with these guys tomorrow!

Really hoping this pistachio-ness is repeated tomorrow.

Really hoping this pistachio-ness is repeated tomorrow.

Pistachio at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8-9PM

Though Pistachio aren’t a local act, their funky dance rock beats will bring some grooviness to the LG tomorrow night. They’re Oakland bred, and are currently on tour, so prepare for an energetic show. They just released a new music video, so check out their intergalactic style here.

El Javi at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 9PM-Close

El Javi is a latin-flamenco fusion outfit originally from L.A. But in recent months, El Javi has been hanging around Boulder and playing a number of local venues. Javier Gutierrez is the gypsy force behind the project, but sometimes he has other musicians on stage with him. He’s got a flair that is fascinating to watch. Check out his show!

So there it is Boulder! You weekend six! Hope to see you out. 

-Hannah

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

You Can Check Out Shows Nightly at Denver's Larimer Lounge

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Things are bumpin' pretty frequently at The Larimer Lounge.

The Larimer.

The Larimer.

This week, we’ve tried to bring you different local venues where you can catch a show any night of the week. Today, we’re featuring Denver’s Larimer Lounge. The Larimer has an intimate rock-club vibe where you can mosh one night and dance away the next. They book a variety of shows and it’s the type of place that no matter where you stand, you have a great view. It’s a smaller venue, so performances are always electrically energetic. They book both local talent and touring acts, which is one reason we really love them. And they're in a cool Denver neighborhood where other music is happening. So without further ado, here are their headlining acts for the next week:

Friday July 10th - Eternal Summers (9PM)

It’s Friday and it’s summer! So it’s a great night to go catch Virginia-based “noise pop, power rock trio” Eternal Summers. They’ll help you pretend it’s summer (and the weekend) forever with some dancey fun. Not too long ago, they shared the stage with Surfer Blood, who we just featured here. Check out the ES sound here.

Vibes.

Vibes.

Saturday July 11th - K.Flay (9PM)

K.Flay has already played some big name festivals, including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and The Governor’s Ball. So catching her in a small setting if you’re into her indie-hip-hip ways would be a super treat. She released her debut album Life as a Dog two years ago and is still riding that wave. Listen to her here.

Sunday July 12th - The Griswalds (9PM)

We’ve been digging on a bunch of Australian artists this summer and The Griswalds have been on our radar. They call their sound “pop-punk, crazy fun psychobilly” and we imagine their live show is as entertaining as this description makes it sound. They’ll bring the party before you’re stuck in another work week. Check them out here.

Party with these Aussies.

Party with these Aussies.

Monday July 13th - The Garden (8PM)

To keep the punk going, Orange County’s The Garden will be at the Larimer Monday. Composed of twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, “together the twins are an acidic concoction; unstable, sexy, and probably toxic”. These are the boys your mamma said to stay away from. Listen to them here.

Tuesday July 14th - Jay Brannan (730PM) and late-night Dorsia (10PM)

Here’s what we mean when we say The Larimer books an awesome variety of things. After two nights of punkin’ it, Jay Brannan will be bringing his “sweet and sad folk songs” to the stage. He’s a singer-songwriter you can listen to here. And then following his set, the Larimer is hosting death metal band Dorsia for a late-night deal, who are sure to scare all of Jay Brannan’s crowd away.

SBN.

SBN.

Wednesday July 15th - Sarah Bethe Nelson (9PM)

Nelson is a bartender turned rocker chick from “San Francisco’s close-knit rock and roll community.” She was recently signed to Burger Records (awesome!) and is touring on her recent release Fast-Moving Clouds. Let her kiss you with guitar ballads and listen to her here.

Thursday July 16th - Signs and Signals EP Release Party (8PM)

Local, local, local! That’s what we love! And EP release shows are the best! So roll to the Larimer next Thursday and support Denver band Signs and Signals, an alt-rock band who say their music is “genuine, heartfelt, and all original.” If you can’t make this show, catch them at UMS on July 25th. Or listen to them here.

Space.

Space.

That’s a lot to pick from Boulder! So make the drive and check out the Larimer this week!

-Hannah

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

David's Desk: King Tuff Are MY Kind of Rock'n'Roll

By: David Landry

King Tuff is badass rock'n'roll.

Magic, Captain, & a King. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Magic, Captain, & a King. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The scene: April 9th at the Ogden Theatre. Father John Misty and King Tuff sold out show.

The opener: King Tuff starting the night off just the way you want- with a swift kick in the balls and a kiss on the cheek. King Tuff jumping around in a hat that reads: “Ice Cream”. He’s hitting a fog machine that is blasting off thick smoke for every guitar solo. Magic Jake is on the bass, smiling his goofy smile the entire set like every moment is the best he’s ever had. And President Gary is holding things tight with his Bonham-esque drumming. Energy. Punk Rock. The perfect way to get you jazzed for the man of the hour. Which is...

The Headliner: Father John Misty. He enters the scene with dapper flair, silhouetted by red stage lights. Father John Misty. Breaking your heart and sewing it back with the string that he holds. Lights. Sex. Rock ’n’ Roll. Party On!

-David at the desk

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

Duck and Cover: Desaparecidos Rock The Fillmore in Denver

By: Hannah Oreskovich

I missed you punk rock.

Desaparecidos (Denver, CO) 

Desaparecidos (Denver, CO) 

I’ve always been a Conor Oberst fan: Bright Eyes was one of my whinier favorites in high school, I frequented Saddle Creek Records when I lived in Omaha during college, and last year Conor killed it at his solo Boulder Theater show. But with the reunion of Desaparecidos, Conor has definitely entered a whole new level of cool. Maybe it was the gutteral screaming, maybe it was the jumping off the kick drum mid-guitar solo, or maybe it was the mosh pit. The Desaparecidos give zero f*cks and I’ve missed the attitude that is this band.

In true punk-rock style, before the Desaparecidos actually walked onstage, the audio for the 1950s propaganda “Duck and Cover” played. And that’s when the high school me reawakened: the skater-shoe-and-fake-lip-ring-wearing-wannabe-anarchist kind (because, like, fuck the corporations man). It was like being back at Warped Tour 2007, except it’s exactly where I wanted to be right now. The boys started off with “Left it Right” and the “Underground Man” and between every song of the set, the lights went dark and some sort of propaganda audio played. Then the lights would burst on and guitarist Denver Dalley would wail us into the next song with some sick guitar scratches that were almost as cool as his name. The band then tossed us into a new song, “City on the Hill” where Conor screamed at us that justice is blind/and so is love and we’ll all get rich together in America. WHERE DID THE EMO MOVEMENT GO? I WANT IT AND MY OLD SKATEBOARD BACK. Drummer Matt Baum kept us nosediving with the beat on this one and Dalley ripped a sweet solo near the end of the track. The Desaparecidos dudes followed this with another new one, “Ralphey’s Cut”, which has not yet hit the interwebs.

One of the best parts of the show was when the crowd erupted into a circular death-pit of moshing during “Greater Omaha” which is an awesome screw-the-suburbs mantra. Who knew the Midwest could bring such badass vibes?

Desaparecidos closed with “Hole in One” for their ten-song set, channeling an inner rage toward the ‘american dream’ with screams and (what else?) HEAVY SYNTH. Thank you Ian McElroy. And thank you Epitaph Records for bringing back this supergroup (with the recent annoucment of an upcoming album) that gives us exactly what we need every once in awhile: a good solid dose of angsty, middle-finger-to-the-institutions punk rock.

Read more about this Fillmore show in the Brand New article on our site.  

-Hannah

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