Wrap Your Ears In Our 'A Very Indie Holiday' Playlist

Spend your holiday season with your ears wrapped in our newest playlist! “A Very Indie Holiday” by tastemaker Sierra Voss has tunes by artists like The Shins, Fruit Bats, Vulfpeck, LCD Soundsystem, Blitzen Trapper, The Lumineers, Cat Power, and of course, Christmas-loving Sufjan Stevens.

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to check out our many playlists, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our Contact page and do it!

Happy Holidays music lovers.

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

Winter Is Coming So Snuggle Up To Our 'Cozy Vibes' Playlist

With a few snowfalls behind us now and many more ahead for those of us in states with actual seasons, we’ve got a cozy playlist for you to cuddle your ears with this winter:

Tastemaker Sierra Voss has crafted this warm blanket of fireside sounds for us, which features songs from artists like Leif Vollebek, The Haunted Windchimes, Bon Iver, Hallie Spoor, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Whitney, and more.

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to check out our many playlists, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our Contact page and do it!

Stay warm music lovers.

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

Margaret Glaspy's New Record "Took 26 Years To Make" & Here's Why You Should Hear It This Friday (10/20)

By: Sierra Voss

This is your last chance to RSVP for Red Bull Sound Select’s show this Friday at Denver's Bluebird Theater, featuring headlining artist, Margaret Glaspy. Tickets are $5 if you hop on the RSVP list or $15 at the door (if the show doesn’t sell out). Glasby will be joined by openers Pearl Charles and The Still Tide. Show starts at 9:00pm! Will we see you there?

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Glaspy, age 27, recently released her debut album, Emotions and Math in 2016. Glaspy stated she felt like it, “took 26 years to make this album”. We feel it was certainly worth the wait. Emotions and Math is on point, a tightly packaged album full of amazing songwriting and bright, energetic instrumentation. The album has a breezy grunge-rock vibe matched with Glaspy’s honest and raw representation of her life and the world that surrounds her:

“Looks like I near forgot who I was. To be who you want. Yes, I've been sitting silent. Because I thought you liked me quiet. But I don't wanna watch my mouth. No, I don't wanna act like that. Can't figure it out. I don't wanna hold you 'til I'm good and ready to. Oh I don't wanna be on pins and needles around you.”

Margaret Glaspy.

Margaret Glaspy.

Glaspy certainly sticks out from the bunch with her storytelling talents, album production quality and unique rock grunge vocals and instrumentation. Our advice: Get yourself to this show. If you need more convincing check out the song “You and I” from her album, Emotions and Math.  

-Sierra

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

Hallie Spoor Set To Release Debut Record At Denver's Syntax This Friday (08/04)

By: Trevor Ryan

Hallie Spoor, the folky singer/songwriter born and bred in Colorado and currently based in Denver, will be headlining Syntax Physic Opera this Friday, August 4th for her debut record release show. And I for one, could not be more stoked. Why is that you ask? Three words: Those. Pipes. Though.

Hallie Spoor. Photo Credit:  Sierra Voss Photography

Hallie Spoor. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss Photography

Upon listening for the first time, you can’t help but be immediately drawn to the range of Spoor’s voice. Often described as “an old soul” whose sound may remind you of powerful folk ladies who’ve come before her, like Joni Mitchell or Sheryl Crow, Hallie Spoor might just be the Adele of Americana. You’ll know exactly what I mean with tracks like “Till I See You Again.”

Beyond her impressive vocal range, Spoor’s tunes just make you feel good. She rocks the smooth, upbeat, Americana, easy-listening sound that so often define one element of popular Colorado music. This is most evident in her tune, “More To The Sky Than Blue,” which I recommend listening to. The simple rhythm, along with that acoustic/electric lead duo in this track, all accompanied by her amazing voice bleed awesome vibes that are definitely worth seeing live.

Watch Hallie perform the title track tune from her upcoming record:

Spoor will release Side 1 of her debut album The Brave Ones at her Syntax show this Friday. Sam Columna (Dear Me,) and Shelly Rollison will open the evening; you can grab tickets here. Keep up Hallie on her Bandcamp.

-Trevor

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 Newest Outdoor Music Venue: Details On Levitt Pavilion & Our Chat With Andy Thomas

By: Sierra Voss

Denver’s new outdoor amphitheater Levitt Pavilion opened its gates last Thursday night in Ruby Hill Park. The venue was born out of the creation of The Friends of Levitt Pavilion Denver (FLPD), which is an a 501c(3) non-profit, and their primary mission is to build community through music. Levitt Pavilion will be hosting over 50 free concerts per year, as well as select ticketed events. Last Thursday’s opening night was filled with a ribbon cutting, speeches, and for the first time: music. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams and Andy Thomas’ Dust Heart took the stage and filled the grounds with tunes. Free shows are already booked through September for Levitt’s 2017 schedule, alongside some ticketed events including 311, Josh Abbott Band, and Cody Johnson.

Levitt Pavilion’s Community Outreach Director, Andy Thomas chatted with BolderBeat recently, and gave us some amazing insight on how Levitt Pavilion came to be and what we can expect from this venue throughout the summer, and for years to come. Read on:

How does Denver’s Levitt Pavilion compare to the other Levitt venues across the country?

The Levitt Foundation helps get all the venues started, but each cities’ venue operate as a separate non-profit. We all book free music; we all book family accessible music with diverse genres. We all try to make sure there is a low socioeconomic barrier for people trying to find and connect with local arts and music. We [Denver] are different in the way that we have a new venue- some of the older Levitts are refurbished bandshells and buildings. We are really lucky in that Denver’s venue is a brand new, state-of-the-art facility. We have a lot of advantages in creating our pavilion based on knowing how people want to experience music and how bands want to play music.

How do you think Levitt Pavilion Denver compares to the other outdoor venues in Colorado like Red Rocks, Fiddlers Green, or Botanic Gardens?

Every venue has its specialty. However, we are more centrally located and a mostly free outdoor concert experience. There is a bike trail and a lot of people in the neighborhood that can walk here. We hope we help offer a experience that may be a little easier of a commute, where people don’t necessarily have to make a day out of it.   

Will the venue always be open seating?

We will bring in chairs for certain shows that may include an older audience demographic.

Do you have a ratio of how many local artists you will be booking versus national acts each year?

I don’t know about the ratio, but we do have local openers on every show, as well as a Colorado Music Series that features Colorado-based artists exclusively. So maybe a little over 50%.

How do you feel Levitt Pavilion will hold up in terms of being competitive enough to book alongside other local promoters/venues in town?

We are not trying to directly compete with anyone. If people want to do that with us, that's understandable because we are a new entity and were booking quality bands that other people would want to book. We have no interest in getting in a shooting match with anybody. We are a nonprofit at its core, and we have a very specific mission, and that's bringing community to music. That mission can’t succeed if we are distracted by what competitors are doing. We have a great relationship with a lot of independent promoters in town. We truly want to make sure we can bring the best artists we can to the venue.

Top three things that concertgoers should bring to a Levitt show?

  1. BYOB (Bring your own blanket)

  2. Open attitude (For artists you may have not heard of before)

  3. Snacks (All of the snacks. Check our website for guidelines of what you can bring onto the grounds)

We can’t wait to check out more shows at Levitt Pavilion this summer- make sure to get yourself to a set after you peep their full schedule here. Keep up with Levitt’s happenings on Facebook.

-Sierra

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

Rodes Rollins EP 'Young Adult' Talks Of Young Love & Growing Up In Boulder, CO

By: Sierra Voss

Rodes Rollins (Talia Taxman) has been honing her songwriting skills since age eight in Boulder, CO, and it shows. Her first EP, 'Young Adult,' dropped earlier this year and is quite the masterpiece for this artist’s freshman release. 'Young Adult' is an intimate look into Rollins’ story of  young love and growing up. Rollins’ songs embody mystery, naivety, wisdom, passion and grit. I recently chatted with Rodes more about her Colorado roots and the story of how this EP came to be. Read on:  

When did you start singing?

I have been writing and recording since I was eight years old. I worked with a guitar teacher in Boulder and she was so supportive and let me use her home studio to start recording my songs. She often brought in studio musicians to play with me. So I have a lot of recordings from a really young age. I was writing pretty mature content, but my voice hadn’t quite caught up yet, so it’s pretty funny stuff to listen to. 

Rodes Rollins.

Rodes Rollins.

So how did songwriting come into play in your life? I feel like most people get into songwriting later in life, after choir, or taking voice lessons for a couple of years. I’m curious how the songwriting part of singing came at such an early age for you.

It's hard to say. For me, it was kind of the way I learned how to play. It was my exploration of music and of the guitar. Like I never really learned how to play other people's songs. It was just me jumping in and making sounds and trying to understand it that way. Even today, I would never call myself a guitar player- it's more always been a writing tool for me. Writing prose and other things has always been something important to me too. I think more than anything, I used music as another avenue for writing. My parents were also incredibly involved in the music scene in Boulder growing up and had us listening to all sorts of music at home.

What type of music did you grow up with? 

We listened to a lot of Cat Stevens and The Beatles. I was also super into my dad listening to Nirvana and punk grunge. I never really fully grasped that type of music in my younger age, but I remember being super drawn to those darker sounds.  

Did you ever play gigs around Boulder growing up? 

I did little things. I actually got to perform at a songwriter workshop. I was working with Wendy Woo, who was a local singer songwriter. She had me come perform at a songwriting workshop she was teaching to a group of adults. She would always include me in things like that growing up. It was really not up until I moved to New York in college at NYU and studied abroad in Buenos Aires that I started performing on a consistent basis. 

Did you go to NYU to study music?  

I actually studied at the school for individualized study where you craft your own curriculum. I studied- well the title is Iconography- basically it’s the study of what makes a person iconic, looking at the branding of people. So I studied that, which in so many ways relates to music.

So when you studied abroad in Buenos Aires you started performing? Tell me more about that. 

That was my sophomore year. NYU has an campus in Argentina. So it's basically you with other people from the US in Argentina. I felt frustrated with that setup- why would I come all the way down here just to be in classes with everybody from the States? So I started trying to figure out ways to go out and meet local people. I was meeting a lot of people at bars, but it was difficult as a foreign woman to navigate and make friends that way. So I started going to a lot of open mics instead and ended up meeting a really great artist community there. It felt like each gig led to another one. I got to do some radio shows just based on people I met at those gigs. It was a really kind of magical time. That's when I really started getting into performing my songs. 

Once you got back from that semester did you come back wanting to continue pursuing your music?

I think that semester abroad I really struggled with the idea of coming back to New York and being a student. I was so energized to keep doing music at that point. It clicked for me- 'This is what I want to do, full time- I want to dive in.' However, I ended up developing really bad tonsillitis right when I returned and wasn’t able to sing, let alone speak clearly. I ended up having to get surgery for that, which put a huge roadblock on music for me. When all was said and done, that took about a year to recover from. I stayed in school during that time but I kept writing. Once I healed, I started working with Sam Pattillo, who actually discovered my music on Soundcloud. I had recorded an EP at Coupe Studios, so that was floating around. He heard it and I ended up partnering with him on his indie label to do Young Adult. I recorded my EP in LA; Alex Goose (Kevin Gates, Weezer) produced it. That was my senior year of college: going back and forth between LA and New York in order to finish school and record.  

What has life looked like since your release?

It's been great to get my music out there. I ended up going to Mexico City for this release. I went to Casey Middle School in Boulder, which is an bi-lingual school, and from that point on I was very enamored with Latin culture. That led to me studying Spanish and studying abroad. For this EP, we worked on a video there so I ended up going there to release “Young and Thriving,” which is a single from the EP. Since then, I have been in New York playing a lot of shows.

What’s next for you? New music? Touring?

We are releasing a short film we did in collaboration with a group in Mexico. It was inspired by one of the songs on the EP called, “Wes Come Back.” It’s a very dark film, almost like horror. I am really excited to get that out! Hopefully I will be coming back to Colorado to tour. I am going back to LA to record a new album soon, so I am hoping either on the front or back end of that, I will be able to stop in Colorado.

Watch Rodes Rollins' video for "Wes Come Back": 

A lot Young Adult revolves around young love and growing up. Was that a young love you had in Boulder?

Yeah he was. He was my highschool boyfriend and my first love.

Are there any Colorado references throughout the album besides him?

Lyrically there aren’t, but sonically, [there are] for sure. I think a lot of the sounds are Western inspired, from the whistles to the tremolo guitar sounds. I really was envisioning a Colorado Western landscape when I was writing this first EP.  

Take a listen to Rodes Rollins and check out her music video for her song, “Wes Come Back” off her latest EP 'Young Adult' above! Keep up with Rodes here

-Sierra

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

Rock Out To Our 2017 Underground Music Showcase Playlist

By: Hannah Oreskovich

With Denver’s Underground Music Showcase just a couple of weeks away, our very own tastemaker Sierra Voss has created a sweet summer playlist full of tunes from tons of artists on this year’s lineup.

Denver darling (and headliner) Esmé Patterson opens our playlist, followed by fellow headliners Benjamin Booker, Zola Jesus, and Red Fang. There are a ton of Colorado favorites to bop your heads to after that-  déCollage, Dirty Few, Dragondeer,  CITRA, The Velveteers,  Slow Caves, Television Generation, and Whiskey Autumn- are just some of the artists you’ll find on our UMS playlist!

So get ready to pop a cold one at Irish Rover, headbang at Hi-Dive, and dance with us up and down South Broadway at the 2017 UMS! Get your festival passes here!

Listen to our 'Underground Music Showcase 2017' Playlist:

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to check out more of our playlists, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our contact page and do it!

-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. 

Radio Moscow Bringing Raw Pysch Rock Sounds To Denver's Larimer Lounge This Saturday (07/08)

By: Sierra Voss

Want to know what’s going on in today’s underground world of psych rock? San Diego’s rock’n’roll power trio Radio Moscow will be making their way to Larimer Lounge this Saturday, July 8th. Radio Moscow live in the intersection of psychedelic rock and blues, pulling sound influences from bands like Cream, Black Sabbath and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It’s just about guaranteed that this band will be showing off their ripping guitar solos, crunchy chords and driving drum beats all night long, so if you’re into that, you’ve got no excuse not to make your way on over.

Radio Moscow.

Radio Moscow.

Radio Moscow currently rolls three members deep: Paul Marrone (drums), Anthony Meier (bass) and Parker Griggs (guitar/vocals). The band actually started off as Griggs’ solo project, and he happened to drop a demo that caught Dan Auerbach’s ear. Subsequently, Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) helped produce Griggs’ 2007 self-titled debut.

Listen to Radio Moscow's Live! In California:

Griggs released two more albums before RM became a trio in 2013; they then recorded their first album together, Magical Dirt. More recently, the trio pushed out their second album, Live! In California, a record which is insanely explosive and raw, truly channeling back to the era of the great rock bands of the '60s. It’s reasons like these that Saturday’s set will be a show you won’t want to miss!

Grab your tickets for this show here! I’ll see you there-

-Sierra

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

We Glam Rocked Out At Dressy Bessy's Denver Homecoming Show

By: Sierra Voss

Lost Lake was visited by local Riot Grrrl band Dressy Bessy last Saturday night. After a stretch of time on the road touring, the band returned home and sang their hearts out to a room full of their adoring fans. The band released their fifth album, Kingsized last year, which was over an eight year break from their prior album in 2008. This homecoming show proved the rumors were right: Dressy Bessy is truly back, powered up ready to go.

Tammy Ealom of Dressy Bessy.

Tammy Ealom of Dressy Bessy.

It’s hard not to fall in love with lead singer Tammy Ealom. She is the full embodiment of all human characteristics on stage, bouncing back and forth from playful, mischievous, moody, bold and soft all in one song’s worth of music. Audience members showed their love for the band, dancing and singing along, making for a warm welcome home. The band performed songs new and old, spanning throughout their 17-year discography. Dressy Bessy has proven to be timeless- forever mixing rock and glam together like a sour patch kid candy. Also well worth a shout out was show opener Surf Mom. Leave it to a Dressy Bessy show to find Denver’s next generation of rad girl rockers.

If you missed this night don’t worry! DB are playing another CO show in Fort Collins before they jumped back on the road. Snag tickets to their Bohemian Nights show here! You can also find a full live stream video of the entire Lost Lake show on the Dressy Bessy Facebook page.  

-Sierra

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

Iolite Talks About The Headspace Behind Writing Her New Single "Ring of Fire"

By: Sierra Voss

Iolite is about to heat up your summer with her new single “Ring of Fire.” This local pop artist is quite the little fireball, gripping on tight to her fierce start in Denver’s music scene. We have been keeping up with her as she releases single after single, and crushes opening sets at spots like Denver’s The Marquis Theatre and Gothic Theatre.   

Listen to Iolite's new single "Ring of Fire":

With the release of her newest single, we decided it was time to chat with Iolite again. Check it:

Can you tell us a little about what your new single “Ring of Fire” means to you? Is the song about a certain event in your life?

The writing headspace for “Ring of Fire” was unlike anything I've written. Half of the song was written about one situation I was personally in, and the other half was written as an outsider of a relationship between two other people I experienced. The song talks about having someone in my life that I know shouldn't have been in it. I knew this person wasn't going to stay in my life, but there was something charming about that. The other half of the song was inspired by the other relationship- they kept fighting but never got to the point of fully giving up on each other. At the end of both scenarios, the relationships were toxic. They were "dangerously charming."

Is this a newly written song? Or was this a song you had written a while back?

I wrote this song four months ago and it went through many versions before the final mix. The lyrics were written in a few hours, but I wanted to make sure the production was just right before releasing. My team behind the production was so incredible, and really helped me convey what I wanted people to feel when listening to this song.

Iolite.

Iolite.

Did you collaborate with anyone on the track?

I knew exactly what I wanted to write about when I walked into this session with my good friend Chase Martinez and the song just came out really naturally. We then brought in Mason Maxwell, and Yan and Ruslan Odnoralov and they really helped put the extra sparkle on it.

Can we expect to hear more new tracks from you this summer?

Yes. So much new music is coming. I've been writing and learning so much these last few months. Sometimes I get overwhelmed because there is so much content I want to put out! I'm really stoked and proud of the songs that are lining up. I never want to stop growing; it's thrilling.

Keep up with Iolite on Facebook.

-Sierra

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

White Denim & A Shadow of Jaguar Will Keep You Alive After The Dead

White Denim.

White Denim.

White Denim are rolling into Boulder for a Post-Dead Late Night Party at The Fox Theater this Friday night. That’s right! If you are not quite done dancing the night away after The Dead & Company show at Folsom Field, you can head on over to The Fox for a continuation of rock & roll tunes. So lace up your shoes, shake off those jam band vibes and get ready for crunchier, punchier driving drum beats and ripping guitar solos to wrap up your night of music.  

Watch White Denim's "Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)" music video:

White Denim hail from Austin, Texas and have become well known for their unique classic rock approach. Their most recent album release was Stiff, which they dropped last year. The band teamed up with Ethan Johns to produce the record, and collaborated with Cass McCombs to write the track, “Thank You.” The album was a sweet sixteen of sorts, leaving behind the group’s less mature garage rock sound and stepping into a more bluesy, retro rock sound.   

NYC’s A Shadow of Jaguar will be opening the evening. We last caught up with this blues rock duo after their release of their music video for the track “Keep On Knockin’,” which was filmed in Boulder. This band actually formed in Colorado, so their return back to these roots of sorts should be a kickin’ time.

Rumor has it these boys all know how to put on a show. Get your tickets here!

 -Sierra

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

Jump Into Summer With Our 'Pickin' On CO Summers' Spotify Playlist

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Just in time for summer and the many folk & bluegrass festivals that come with it in Colorado thanks to Planet Bluegrass, here’s our ‘Pickin’ On Colorado Summers’ Spotify Playlist:

Tastemaker Sierra Voss has put some serious tuneage together for your summer soundtrack. Trout Steak Revival classically opens our pickin’ playlist, with tracks by Caribou Mountain Collective, Fruition, The Haunted Windchimes, Elephant Revival, Punch Brothers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Blitzen Trapper, Railroad Earth, Sarah Jarosz, and others. Several of these artists play the upcoming 2017 Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to check out our many playlists, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our Contact page and do it!

Happy Summer.

-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.

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.

NYC's DIIV Are Back On The Scene & Playing This Saturday At Summit Music Hall

By: Sierra Voss

New York’s DIIV are back on the scene and taking the stage at Summit Music Hall this Saturday, May 13th via Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Denver as curated by The UMS. The band recently posted on Instagram, “YES… the DIIV is playing some shows. Same clothes, new outlook on life. #soberville #day33.” Sick.

DIIV13thRBhandbill.jpg

DIIV formed back in 2011 by frontman Zachary Cole Smith. The band released their sophomore album Is the Is Are last year after a three year gap from their first release, Oshin (2012). DIIV’s albums are known for there swooshy guitar lines and sonic song structure. The dream pop, shoegazing vibe the band started back in 2012 has been deepened and elongated in their newest release. This Saturday’s showcase also includes openers Candace, a trio of full of psych dream tunes from Portland, as well as Colorado’s own surf pop indie rock outfit Slow Caves! This is a powerful bill, so come check out the show! Just for being a BB reader, you can nab $5 tickets here ($15 at the door kids). Get to it and stay tuned for our photo gallery from the show-

Listen to DIIV’s Is the Is Are:

-Sierra

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

Slip Into The Ether This Monday With Leif Vollebekk at Lost Lake Denver

By: Sierra Voss

Montreal singer/songwriter Leif Vollebekk will take the stage at Lost Lake next Monday, May 8th. If you are looking for a truly beautiful night of serenades, Leif is your guy. Vollebekk recently released his album, Twin Solitude, via Secret City Records. The album was recorded live on tape, a perfect vector to embrace Vollebekk’s silky vocals. The album was released this past February, four years after his first album, North Americana.

Leif.

Leif.

Leif Vollebekk has become known for his poetic interpretations of his life, transporting audience members to relatable memories and stories of “being” in this world:

“Heart's on fire; so is the page. Everybody round here is telling me to act my age, I'm tryin'. Things are only revealed in the light that is given. Oh to be freed from the pardon when all else is forgiven. Rain outside is blowing in the curtains. Nothing is revealed but nothing is for certain. As I recall you was drinking from the sanctuary wine… Well don't worry baby we'll find all of our lost time.”

Transitioning into the busyness of the work week can be rough. Maybe you need to slow down next Monday and get some sweet, warm, nourishing tunes from Leif Vollebekk? Get your tickets here! Mitchel Evan & Clayton Wyatt are opening! Need more convincing? Take a listen to “Into The Ether,” off his newest album below!

-Sierra

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

PJ Harvey Brought Her Forceful Glory To Denver

By: Sierra Voss

A wild and unique force took hold of Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium this week. PJ Harvey and her 10-piece band put on a truly fierce performance for those that made it out to her show Tuesday night. PJ is friction: she is an uncomfortable feeling that pokes at you to engage with her music, and even more so, with her perception of the world around us. Like a human time bomb, you simply wait and watch to see what strange and fascinating things she will do next.

PJ Harvey.

PJ Harvey.

Tuesday night’s performance was everything. It was awkward, punctuated, solemn, powerful, creative and energizing. The show started as PJ Harvey and her 10 piece band walked out in a straight line, like a funeral march, as they took their places on stage. Harvey went almost unseen as she took a place amongst the horn section, playing her saxophone to start off the show. After the musical intro she stepped forward to the center mic and began the next song. Throughout the show she would flawlessly transition from singing, to howling on her sax, to fading back and becoming a part of the horn section between musical interludes and breaks.

Harvey’s songwriting is starkly different then most. Her lyrical phrases sound like she is reading from a book or report. Each song describing the topic at hand with facts, emotions, and opinions all intertwined. I couldn’t help but feel like Harvey was the audience's Alien Leader, dramatically describing to us the world she just visited. Her setlist included many songs from her new album, The Hope Six Demolition Project. They played “The Community Of Hope,” “The Wheel,” “The Ministry of Social Affairs,” “River Anacostia,” and “A Line in Sand,”as well as some old favorites like “Let England Shake,” “Down By The Water,” “The Words That Maketh Murder,” and “When Under Ether.” Harvey and her crew even played a surprise cover of “Highway 61” by Bob Dylan.

In a world full of musical and societal norms, PJ Harvey breaks free. Her recent Denver performance was a brief escape for everyone in the crowd. Check out my favorite song off PJ Harvey’s newest album below.

-Sierra

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

Colorado's Recording and Wilderness Retreat Spot: Mountain Star Studio

By: Sierra Voss

Tucked away in Gilpin County, CO down a long dirt path lies Mountain Star Studio. Its studio barn and main home sit on 120 acres of lands that looks out onto the continental divide. The compound includes a multi-purpose recording studio and performance space, and offers artist lodging.

The property was originally built to serve as a house and horse barn for Mr. Kip Lagorin. It wasn't until four years ago when Kip’s friend Chris came around and suggested they turn it into a recording studio that this magic came to be. Both Chris and Kip have a deep respect and love for music, and more specifically the music scene in Colorado. And so, after the two came together, the property slowly morphed into the artist retreat that it is today.

Keys on Keys.

Keys on Keys.

Bands come through to use the space to rehearse before shows, and to record singles and albums. Some names of the bands that frequent the studio include Andrew McMahon, Chapter: SOUL, Madaila, Gipsy Moon, The Magic Beans, Fruition, Elephant Revival, and Field Division. Eventually, the studio hopes to host intimate shows on the property as well.

Evelyn & Nicholas. 

Evelyn & Nicholas. 

I got a chance to stop by this hidden gem and get to know the studio team and what led each of them to Mountain Start Studio.

Chris Sheldon- (Head Honcho/Father of the Studio/Member of DeadPish Orchestra)

Well, Kip had the place and another friend of mine had a recording machine that needed a home. Once I had the idea I just knew if we built it they will come. I was too young to ever go to Caribou Ranch Studio, but it's a part of history everyone knows about around here. What could be better than recording an album surrounded by the mountains and wilderness? That always sounded so amazing to me. So when this opportunity came, I thought I could put the dream into action.

Mike Pedersen- (In-House Band Member/Jack-of-All-Trades)

Mike.

Mike.

I took a drive across the country a couple years ago. I have some musician friends in the area and knew I wanted to check out Boulder. A week and a half into my travels in Colorado, I knew I was going to stay. I have some buddies in the band The Drunken Hearts and they took me up here to the studio; the rest is history. I’ve been here at the studio for close to a year now. I do all of sorts of stuff: the dishes, graphic design, interior design, [I’m the] in-house bass and guitar player… We all have to be a jack-of-all-trades on this team.     

Evelyn Taylor- (Lead Singer of Field Division/Marketing Manager)

Evelyn.

Evelyn.

About a year ago, [Field Division] were finishing a tour and were invited up to the studio to stay for a bit. We thought it was pretty cosmic because we didn’t have anywhere to go and didn’t want to head back to our home in Iowa. We have always dreamed about moving out to Colorado to start a vibrant art community in the mountains. We really wanted this community to follow the spirit of the Laurel Canyon scene in L.A., where artists lived together and collaborated on so many great records. I thought we would have to build our own property, but then we ran into Kip and Chris and they already had the dream going and needed help.   

Nicholas Frampton- (Member of Field Division/Studio Producer)

Nicholas. 

Nicholas. 

We arrived in late April of last year. We were pretty amazed by the property and actually had a record we were trying to finish, so we just plopped down at the studio to finish it. We ended up staying for a month on our first stay. We came back in July after that, and then again in October. At that point we were working out how we could stay and actually become resident artists and team members at the studio. Both Evelyn and I help with everything around here: branding, marketing, booking, producing records, and being a sort of in-house band for artists coming through.  

Chris Lewarchik- (Cheerleader/Vibe Coordinator)

I’m just visiting. I’m friends with all these mad people trying to do this great thing. I kinda help them cheerlead all the bands I’m friends with and people I see who are doing good things in order to get them into the studio. I am really trying to promote the whole Caribou vibe to get those people off the street in the city, where everything is just so hustle bustle, and here they can just kick back and record in a not-so-city-based environment.

This team is truly creating a unique studio where artists can come record and retreat with the support of a team that are themselves musicians, and are ready to help create each artist's’ vision. So if you are ready to take a break from the city, look out onto the continental divide, and make a record, check out Mountain Star Studio and get yourself up there.

 -Sierra

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

San Francisco's Whiskerman Chat With Us About Their Current Tour

By: Sierra Voss

San Francisco’s Whiskerman are stopping by Denver’s Larimer Lounge this Friday, April 21st, so come dance around to all their sweet tunes! Whiskerman is comprised of members Graham Patzner (lead vocals/guitar/violin/keys), Will Lawrence (bass/vocals), Charles Lloyd (guitar/sitar/vocals), Trevor Bahnson (guitar/vocals) and Dan Schwartz (drums). The band became known in the bay area for their downright foot stompin’ folk tunes. Their 2015 album 'Nomad' introduced the band's new soul-infused sound, and currently, the band exists within a beautiful self-created mosaic of folk, soul, rock and roots music. Recently, I interviewed the band on their way to Denver. Read on:

How did Whiskerman come to be? Where did you all meet each other?

Will went to college with Graham's cousin, who encouraged Will to see Graham play solo. Will immediately recognized Graham's immense and unique talents and knew right away that he wanted to play with him. About a year later, they shared a bill with Charles' progressive rock band. They hit it off with Charles and soon thereafter invited him to come to a few practice sessions; Charles officially took up the lead guitar role soon thereafter.

In the fall of 2015, Dan filled in on drums for a run of shows. When the original drummer left the band, Dan was the obvious and perfect choice. Trevor had been in the same music circle for years, playing solo and with other great bands in the area. In November 2016, he joined Whiskerman on tour to open shows as a solo act, joining them on stage for more and more songs as the tour went on, and it became immediately clear that he should join the band full time.

Whiskerman.

Whiskerman.

Is this Whiskerman's first tour?

This is our second time coming to Denver, but have been touring loosely for the last five years. We really started hitting it hard this year.  

What is the band’s current theme song on the road?

The theme songs for our tours lately have been "Unknown Legend" by Neil Young and "Family Tradition" by Hank Williams Jr.

Graham. 

Graham. 

I hate to ask this question, but I am going to. What does Whiskerman mean? How did you guys come up with the band name?

It was based around a song that Graham wrote off of our first LP release. Whiskerman is a folk legend who returns during the end of days.  

Any future music coming out soon?

We are working on our fourth full length record right now with no release date set.

Any additional tours on the horizon?

We are playing a nationwide summer tour in July and August, including a stop at Denver Blues and Brews on August 12th!

Listen to Whiskerman’s record Nomad:

Get yourself over to Larimer Lounge Friday to see Whiskerman live for yourself, and keep up with the band here.

-Sierra

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

If You Like Soulful Melodies & Tight Folk Instrumentation, Avenhart May Be Your Next Favorite Band

By: Sierra Voss

Denver’s Avenhart have become known for their unique blend of soulful vocals, folky instrumentation, and harmonies. Just last month, they dropped their debut self-titled EP and a live music video. The group is comprised of Andrea Pares (lead vocals), Phil Heifferon (vocals/banjo), Olivia Shaw (vocals/fiddle), Payden Widner (guitar), Alex Drapela (mandolin) and Alex Goldberg (bass). This Saturday, you can catch them at Lakewood Heritage Center's Earth Day Celebration. But before they launch into full summer show mode, I wanted to chat with the crew about their formation, their new music, and their plans for the season. Read on:

How did Avenhart come together?

We formed Avenhart after meeting in Greg Garrison's Bluegrass Ensemble at CU Denver. We loved making music together and got along well, so we decided to pursue something more outside of school. We've been playing and performing together since the spring of 2014, so [we’ve been together] about three years now.

Avenhart. 

Avenhart. 

You guys have a lot going on with a six member band! What does your songwriting process look like?

It really varies from song to song. Sometimes, one of us will write a full song and bring it to the band for arranging. Other times, we craft the whole thing together. Both processes are utterly unique and impossible to compare, but I love that every song eventually finds its way to the group to be fused in a way that is meaningful to all of us. Really bonding with the song through deep arrangement work is a challenge, but it's so worthwhile. It's a little bit like going on a road trip, except that the destination is not a place, but an emotion or well-told story and the road that you take to get there is one of notes and poetry.

Listen to Avenhart’s debut self-titled EP:

What inspirations do you pull from in terms of musical influence?

Our inspirations are amorphous and constantly developing, but we ultimately just want to sound authentic to who we are as people and musicians. Our musical tastes are varied, which really helps us draw on different styles to craft the sound that feels right to us. We love creating intricate arrangements of songs that could be played with much more sparse instrumentation. There's always an element of trying to balance strong, bold grooves with more ethereal and floating melodies.

Without getting too abstract, I think that we try to find the beauty of balance through exploring how we can utilize our instrumentation to communicate something meaningful. Our lead singer Andrea Pares has an amazingly soulful strength to her voice, and we support her distinctive tone through a blend of folky arrangements with gritty grooves and intentional melodies.

Tell me more about your debut EP. What were you trying to achieve with the selected songs? How did it all come together? What do you want people to take away?

Our EP is comprised of four songs that were born from experiences in our everyday lives, or emotions that drive the way we live. I think that we were trying to translate our memories into music that is honest and real. Regardless of what people take from it, we made something that helped us explore our relationship with the world, music, and each other.

If you could have everyone who reads this article listen to one of your songs, which song would you pick?

One of our favorites from the EP is "If I Go." It's a song that represents the paradox between longing to explore the possibilities of a path not yet traveled and the beauty of opportunities that arise through growing roots in one place.

Watch Avenhart’s live video for “The Path”:

Any tours planned for the future?

Although we don't have any tours planned for the near future, we're looking forward to exploring our region more expansively this summer. We're hoping to play in Boulder, Durango, Colorado Springs, Golden, and more.

So make sure to get down with Avenhart’s folky soulful sounds at Lakewood Heritage Center's Earth Day Celebration this Saturday, April 22 at 11:00AM. Keep up with the band here.

-Sierra

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

Dive Into Groovin' Hip-Hop Tunes On Our 'Welcome To It' Playlist

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Wanna groove? Then dive into ‘Welcome To It’ right meow. We promise you won’t be able to sit still.

Deca opens our hip-hop Spotify Playlist tunage this month, with tracks by Nas, Qbala, J. Cole, No Name, Trev Rich, and of course, Tribe Called Quest. Tastemaker Sierra Voss has thrown in some lip-lickin’ numbers into this one.

Trev Rich per Sierra Voss for BolderBeat. 

Trev Rich per Sierra Voss for BolderBeat. 

Make sure to follow us on Spotify for continued tunage, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our Contact page and do it! Welcome to it.

-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.