Denver's DJ Low Key & Red Bull Music Have Partnered for the Ultimate Block Party This Weekend

By: Nathan Sheppard

This Labor Day weekend Red Bull Music & DJ Low Key are hosting the 7th annual Goodness Block Party; a staple of Denver’s vibrant hip-hop music scene since 2012. The event will take place between 27th and Larimer St. centered around the events long time home The Meadowlark in the RiNo neighborhood this Saturday, September 1st. The party is an 18+ (with valid ID) event and starts at 4PM.

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DJ Low Key has been an integral part of Denver’s hip-hop community for over a decade, beginning with his collaboration with DJ Lazy Eyez and weekly hip-hop parties (The Solution) for over 11 years. His parties have featured local artists and brought in national acts to highlight Denver’s unique hip-hop, soul, and DJ culture. This year DJ Low Key has partnered up with Red Bull Music to feature Denver artists like Sur Ellz and YaSi, as well as national artists TiRon & Ayomari and DJ Jazzy Jeff .

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of, you can purchase yours 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.

Denver's Project Pabst 2017: Ice Cube, Phantogram, Unicorns, & Plenty of PBR

By: Sierra Voss & Hannah Oreskovich

Project Pabst Denver 2017 rolled into town this past weekend for a full day of music and PBR-fueled fun. The RiNo District was alive with the sound of music, lots of people in red, white, and blue Pabst regalia, and a giant unicorn stood in mighty glory at the heart of it all. Festival-goers held PBRs in hand for a full day of music as they strolled the streets for good times and stopped by the two outdoor main stages and the local venues on the block, including Larimer Lounge, Meadowlark (which hosted shows in the kitchen and bar areas), Cold Crush, and Nocturne.

The beer started flowing when the festival gates opened around 1PM as Project Pabst-goers meandered around and gathered near the Laser Horse Stage to catch the first band of the day, Chicago’s Twin Peaks. These boys were a rowdy, rockin’ start to kick off festmode. Headbanging and epic guitar jumps were commonplace throughout their set. Needless to say, the TP dudes started the fest off with killer energy.

Deap Vally. Photo Credit:  Sierra Voss

Deap Vally. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Deap Vally were the next touring act to take an outdoor stage over at the Captain Pabst Stage on the opposite side of the festival grounds. The rock’n’roll lady duo christened listeners with deep guitar cuts and barefoot, drum-stomping beats. They had the crowd foot-stomping along to hits like “End of The World” and at one point gave a shout-out to Denver’s The Velveteers, who toured Europe with them at the end of last year.  

Montoneros. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Montoneros. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The next touring act was supposed to be Chicago’s Noname, who played Denver’s Lost Lake not too long ago. Unfortunately for festheads, she actually pulled out of the show last-minute (and several other tour dates). She was replaced with Denver’s math rock outfit Montoneros, who stirred the crowd with their post-punk sounds and kept the afternoon grooving on.

Surfing space with STRFKR. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Surfing space with STRFKR. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

STRFKR took things up a notch mid-day when they unleashed astronaut dancers who crowdsurfed on inflatables and launched confetti into the crowd. By this point in the afternoon, RiNo was abuzz as the crowd continued to grow and fill in the festival streets. Festivalists stopped at the food truck circle near the Captain Pabst Stage for eats, checked out artwork by Denver’s So Gnar, and explored local acts like All Chiefs, Dave Devine Quartet, Kinky Fingers, Other Black, and Whole Milk.

DB. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

DB. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Outside, Danny Brown took the energy STRFKR unleashed and ran with it. His set was straight fire as he jumped around the stage and stopped mid-phrase to let the audience prove their fandom by filling in the missing words to his tunes. Like his music, Brown’s entire energy was playful and unpredictable, which kept the audience awaiting his every move.  

Kurt Vile. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Kurt Vile. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Kurt Vile slowed things down as the sun started to dip lower into that late-afternoon warmness outdoors. His incredible and unhurried songwriting skills allowed for a much needed break in the day before the shenanigans of the night took over. He kept the crowd smiling with quick quips and played tunes across his catalogue, including his well known “Pretty Pimpin,’” announcing before he started the song’s iconic guitar line, “I’m going to play you my favorite song.”

Phantogram. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Phantogram. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Vile’s set was followed by Phantogram’s sunset show on the Laser Horse stage. By this time, the streets were packed to the brim with showgoers. Phantogram, as per usual, gave their audience an amazing performance with sweet beats, synth sounds, and their duality of strong vocals.

Ice Cube. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Ice Cube. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Ice Cube closed the outdoor part of the festival, opening his set with a mashup of several N.W.A. hits. Shortly thereafter, he yelled, “F*ck this show!” and ran offstage, to which his hypeman announced, “If you paid too much money for Ice Cube to play three songs and leave the show, say this with me, ‘F*ck you Ice Cube!’” It wasn’t long before the crowd began this chant, which Ice Cube apparently loved, as he re-entered with a smile and proceeded to run around the stage crushing his catalogue. At one point, a giant painting of Ice Cube was passed from the back of the crowd to the front, where fans held it up and continued to cheer throughout his set. From the crowded barriers that made it nearly impossible to exit the photo pit to the thousands of fans singing along every word to “Straight Outta Compton,” one thing was clear: Denver loves the Cube.

After Ice, the outdoor stages of Project Pabst closed for the night, and festival-goers packed the block’s local venues for continued sets by Dirty Few, Dragondeer, and Flaural, with Colfax Speed Queen closing out the entire festival.

Denver loves yah PBR. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Denver loves yah PBR. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

At the end of the night, festival attendees left with unicorn koozies in hand, bellies full of tasty food truck eats, and memories of rad musical performances. Missed this year’s Pabst Project Denver? It never too early to start planning for next year Colorado…

-Sierra & Hannah

All photos per the authors. Gallery One per Sierra Voss. Gallery Two per Hannah Oreskovich. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

I Went To A Weed Party & Watched Marco Benevento Rock Out Because Denver

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Some might say that weed and music go together like wind and fire: one sets the other ablaze. Partaking in smoking the herb while enjoying music is by no means something novel; it’s something many music lovers and showgoers know to be a staple of the scene since days of past. And Denver, being the hip, progressive city that it is, has companies and entrepreneurs taking this idea a step further by bringing some class and sophistication to the concept.  

Marco Benevento at Cultivated Synergy.

Marco Benevento at Cultivated Synergy.

Recently, I was invited to a private event at Cultivated Synergy, a co-working space for entrepreneurs in the RiNo district of Denver. Marco Benevento, the psych-jazz guru who BolderBeat just wrote about here, played the party. I met Marco via a Lyft ride in Boulder the weekend he played The Fox Theatre. We got to chatting, and after learning that I write for BolderBeat, he invited me to the event in Denver the following Monday. I agreed I’d come check it out, but I had no idea what I was about to witness.

Binske's Samplings.

Binske's Samplings.

When Monday night rolled around, I showed up at Cultivated Synergy around 8PM. Walking through the door, the first thing that hit me was the sweet aroma of a very familiar scent. The people congregating held joints between their fingers, puffing and passing them along, filling the venue with a smoky, hazy vibe.

The full spread.

The full spread.

As I walked around trying to get oriented as to what it was I just walked into, I came upon a table spread of honey, olive oils, chocolates, and joints. The person behind the table greeted me with a very friendly attitude and proceeded to explain that these foods in front of me were a Binske product, a Colorado-based edibles company with a conscientious ethos and a very artsy character. The friendly gentleman offered a taste of any and all of the products on display, making sure to point out they were not medicated, except for the joints obviously. Smart move on their part keeping the food untreated, or else everyone would have been on the floor drooling before the music even started.

The evening was essentially a Binske tasting party, and since they sponsored Marco Benevento’s tour, he eventually took the stage. Once the music started, people got to dancing and having a great time. Marco Benevento’s band is a trio of bad-asses. As Marco put it, “We use our time for fun!” and that fun radiated from the stage. Marco’s piano skills are sophisticated and playful, Andy Borger on the drums nailed the beat, and Karina Rykman’s bass shredding skills whilst holding a perma-smile on her face kept us grooving.

Another thing that goes with joints? Cake. Duh.

Another thing that goes with joints? Cake. Duh.

After some socializing, I came to learn that the marijuana industry in Denver extends far beyond the dispensary and weed growing business-end you hear about. A space like Cultivated Synergy hosts weed parties, events, and even yoga classes frequently, and is known for doing just that. According to one of the attendees at the party who is himself on a quest to capitalize on the weed industry but wanted to remain anonymous, these kinds of events used to be raided and shut down. But, from the looks of it, after Initiative 300, these days that doesn’t seem to be a problem. So the potential, like the ganj, is growing. If you want to be hip like the cool kids in Denver and you’re 4/20 friendly or curious, then I highly recommend checking out Cultivated Synergy for yourself.

-Mirna

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

Silver and Smoke Gear Up For Upcoming Single Release "Burning Bridges"

By: Jura Daubenspeck

There’s no other way to put it: Colorado’s western rock group Silver and Smoke have been killing it lately. With two EPs, a music video, and a West Coast tour under their belt, the band’s momentum is building, with even more exciting announcements on the horizon.

Silver and Smoke.

Silver and Smoke.

Silver and Smoke has come a long way since their inception in 2015. What began as a musical project started by high school buddies Ty Bray and Dino Ianni has steadily blossomed into a full-fledged rock’n’roll group. In the last eight months, the band has added bassist Rick Brown and reunited with former sound engineer and drummer Diego Valenzuela, creating an epic combination that rocks harder than ever.

Watch Silver and Smoke’s “Hope You’re Happy” music video:

After the release of their first two EPs Workhorse and Marking Time, the band continues to astound, with their evolution from the blues, to country-style rock, to heavy-hitting rock’n’roll. They continue to fill classic venues such as Herman’s Hideaway, Lion’s Lair, The Walnut Room, and various breweries throughout the city, yet still remain as some of the most down-to-earth, genuine music-making folks out there.

S&S. Credit: Grace Jensen. 

S&S. Credit: Grace Jensen. 

The band has been working closely with Denver’s Acacia Jade Studios recently, located in the heart of the RiNo Art District. The studio’s CEO Wesley Henkle shared a bit about what it’s been like working with the band:

“Tyler and Dino have helped us tremendously with our beat production by adding live instrumentation to not only our own songs but working as a rhythm section with other artists from various genres. Their fun high-level of energy combined with a strong work ethic and a drive for perfection makes them a great fix for AJS.”

With an ever-growing fan base, I’d advise anyone to hop on the Silver and Smoke train soon. They’ve got more music coming out, starting with their upcoming single “Burning Bridges,” which will be the first release off their soon-to-be-recorded third EP.

“Burning Bridges” is unlike anything Silver and Smoke fans have heard from them before. Its smooth, dark Santana vibe epitomizes the song’s storyline about packing up and moving on from whatever is holding you back (in this case, a relationship). The single is set to be released and available in all digital music stores on Valentine’s Day. So whether you’re a lonely heart, or a happy clam, there’s no doubt you’re going to dig what Silver and Smoke is about to showcase.

Be to sure catch Silver and Smoke at their (FREE) upcoming show next Thursday, February 2nd at Lincoln’s Roadhouse. In the meantime, subscribe to band’s newsletter and check out their website for the latest and greatest on releases, announcements, and new merchandise.

-Jura

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

Mawule's "Black Is Beautiful" Music Video Premieres This Thursday at The Walnut Room Denver

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Months of grinding have finally led up to this moment: Mawule’s music video for “Black is Beautiful” is set to premiere this Thursday, September 29th at The Walnut Room near Denver’s RiNo Art Districtand it is bound to astound. 

I’ve already had a chance to take a sneak peek at the music video, and even after multiple viewings, I am still blown away by the artistry and depth of it. The video was filmed at Creative Cultures Studio in Arvada, CO, and was the creative brain child of Garrett Hayes, owner of Square Visions. Hayes and Mawule, who have been friends since their days at Colorado State University, teamed up to create this passion project, which will no doubt inspire anyone who watches it.

A scene of Mawule from his upcoming video.

A scene of Mawule from his upcoming video.

“Black is Beautiful” features fellow artists Bianca Mikahn and ILL Se7en, as well as two Colorado State University students, Zelle Moore and Jhasmyne Cooper, who did interpretive dance in various scenes. After much anticipation, it’s time unveil the final product that so many creative minds have contributed to.

The night will also feature spoken word pieces by renowned poets. Slam poet maestro Theo (Lucifury) Wilson, who was been featured on TEDxMileHighSalon for his beautiful piece “Woman: An Ode to the Feminine”, will perform. Alejandro Jimenez, who cuts to the root of the matter with his piece, “For Brown Boys”, will also take the stage. And so will Marthè Ndongala, whose “A Collection of Wild Flowers” page showcases his vivid written pieces that will come to life Friday. Mawule will also be joined by artists Bianca Mikahn and ILL Se7en, who will speak their mind to their own respective tune.

Bianca Mikahn.

Bianca Mikahn.

There’s no denying the overwhelming amount of pain our country is undergoing currently. News sources are teeming with stories of hatred, paired with the desperate cries of, “Why?” I don’t know about you, but I could certainly use a night of cathartic release through creativity.

For every piece of evidence pointing to poisonous thinking, there’s ten more pieces pointing to empowerment and connectedness. Mawule’s “Black is Beautiful” music video is being released at a time in which we need it most. Its message rings loud, and will reverberate far and wide for all to hear.

ILL Se7en.

ILL Se7en.

So if you’re like me, and want some respite from the outside world for some time, join Mawule for the “Black is Beautiful” music video premiere at The Walnut Room this Thursday at 8PM. Tickets are available and can be purchased here. Stay in the loop about Mawule’s upcoming announcements, and check out the “Black is Beautiful” teaser trailers on his Facebook and website. The "Black Is Beautiful" music video will drop online for public viewing on Friday, September 30th, so if you miss the party this Thursday, make sure to view it then!

-Jura

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 09/16, 09/17, & 09/18

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Fall is in the air and it tastes good. So will these shows, we promise:

Today (Friday 09/16):

Dylan Mathews at Still Cellars in Longmont 630PM-Close

Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Dylan Mathews will help you ride into the weekend tonight at Still Cellars. With a mix of spoken word, live-looping, guitar, piano, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, ukulele, and viola playing, Mathews will be bringing a sweet mix of sounds to his set. Playing covers and original tunes, Mathews sounds like a perfect way to start the weekend right. Go check him out tonight! Bonus: If you happen to miss this set, you can see Mathews tomorrow night at The No Name Bar at 10PM.

Learn more about Mathews here.

Jus’ Sayin’ at Conor O’Neill’s in Boulder 10PM-Close

Neo-soul outfit Jus’ Sayin’ are playing a hometown show tonight at Conor’s in Boulder. The band released their first EP this summer, which we brought to your ears here. They've been playing shows around the state since, so catch ‘em in town while you can! Let frontman Dechen Hawk croon to you over a brew at this Irish pub and get your groove on. You won’t be disappointed.

Listen to Jus’ Sayin’s addicting “Drug of Choice”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 09/17):

Colorado Crush Party at Larimer Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

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There’s something a little different going down at the Larimer tomorrow that we think is worth bringing your way: The Crush, a festival on a mission to celebrate art, especially in urban environments, is throwing a party at the Lounge to celebrate The RiNo Art District. In their attempt to “establish a new definition of what art can mean in Denver”, The Crush gathers individuals together “to celebrate art, urban beautification, creativity, and culture”. So go do it with ‘em! There will be art and parties all over the RiNo district and you can check out a ton of featured local artists and their work here.

Grab more event details here.

Josh Moorehead & The Guestlist with Evan Holm & The Restless Ones and Bark Wilson at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver 9PM-Close

Josh Moorehead & The Guestlist.

Josh Moorehead & The Guestlist.

Denver’s Syntax is hard not to love. Tonight, there are three sweet local acts on the all-Denver lineup that you should definitely go lend an ear to. Bark Wilson, a four-piece rock’n’roll project, will open the evening, followed by folk/soul outfit Evan Holm & The Restless Ones. Holm will be dropping new tunes soon, and we’ll bring those your way, but head to his show tonight for a live preview! Finally, Josh Moorehead & The Guestlist, a five-piece western swing act we’ve seen several times and really dig, will close the night out in an outrageous, bluesy buckin’ party. They will be playing a set of almost entirely new tunes, so this is your chance to hear what they’ve been up to this year before they drop it for the masses! Roll down!

Check out JMATG’s “Free From It All”:

All Weekend (09/16-09/18):

Downtown Boulder Fall Fest in Boulder- Various Sets and Times

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Autumn is almost here! And this weekend, Boulder is celebrating its favorite golden season with a giant downtown festival. There will be a beer garden, and all your favorite Pearl spots will be open for tasty food. As for music, this fest only books tribute bands, ranging from the styles of The Police to Steely Dan to Santana to Matchbox Twenty (here's to hoping these last two join forces for "Smoothe"). Hit this list for the full music lineup. Get outside while you still can!

More event details in this link.

Telluride Blues & Brews Fest in Telluride- Various Sets and Times

Telluride is arguably the most poppin’ spot around for Colorado music festivals. This summer alone, we’ve covered a number of fests there, and we’ve always had a rockin’ time. This weekend, the annual Blues & Brews Fest is taking over the mountain town, and headliners include Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., and The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band. There are a number of local artists too, including Jamestown Revival and A.J. Fullerton. The event is almost sold out, but you can still nab 3-day passes here.

More event details in this link.

See you out Colorado!

-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.