Listen to BolderBeat's 'End of Summer' Spotify Playlist

By: Joliene Adams

Every month, we publish a new Spotify playlist for your ears. Make sure to follow us on Spotify and take a listen at BolderBeat. Here is September's playlist:

BolderBeat's 'End of Summer' Playlist:

1. Tenth Mountain Division, “Drunk Man’s Blues”

Song most likely to sneak jam bandy vibes and bluegrass inspirations right under your nose without it mattering one wit.

There’s something about the way the vowels are pronounced. I’m convinced it has something to do with the hints of warm, soulful vocal spice. You won’t have much to say about a mandolin not being able to throw down after this song either. Rock undertones and jam overtones effectively avoid over-indulgence and hit the baby bear right where the Goldilocks counts.

2. Big Gigantic, “Got The Love”

Song most likely to dance in hi-tops on a spaceship to.

Somewhere along the way, soulful hip hop meets orchestral marching band and they all go to Burning Man together and start a band. This is what happens afterwards. If not a true story, it’s a believable back-story. Also, I couldn’t help but think, “Is that a wooden cowbell coming in at 1:44?”, even though I know better. How can that not make a person smile?

3. A Shadow Of A Jaguar, “Mama Needs The Bottle”

Song most likely to be mistaken as coming from Denver.

Denver isn’t the end all be all. But they do have more rock and roll. Bar none. We almost did, until West Water Outlaws broke up. And then there’s The Yawpers, who relocated to and announced themselves officially as a Denver band. Drop into the rock bowl at the sound of charging, down-stroke guitar grit, and quick, punchy drumbeat stalls between classic, unfrilled, rolling rock drums. Watch out for rhythmic vocals with attitude enough to make you want to spill your whiskey. Just buy the cheap stuff before, m’kay?

4. Envy Alo, “Bodzinger”

Song I most want to see the crew of Scooby Doo dance to.

Instrumentals done well drive me wild. I’m no less obsessed with words than music. But music doesn’t need words. It can communicate perfectly fine on it’s own. Also, killin’ it cool on the keyboards. Anyone would look amazing dancing to this song in bell bottoms. Groovy, but in the still totally hip way.

5. Policulture, “Great Respect”

Song most likely to render me unable to think of anything but bunny rabbits in sunglasses dancing in a field throughout it’s entirety.

You can definitely skank to this, but you don’t have to. You can dance like a slinky might to the guitar too. Ska and reggae are certain influences, but the track is in no way walled-in by them. Short, jumping keyboard strokes with a steady low-key bass keeps the groove moving forward.

6. Sunsquabi, “Odyssey” (feat. GriZ)

Song most likely to jet ski in outer space to.

If you hear this song in the elevator on your way to work, by golly you have the right job. Elevator music has a nasty reputation. My words here are no diss and all compliment. Sunsquabi and GRiZ could totally fly on an elevator, and chances are everyone’s day would be better and the world itself would be a better place for it. High five.

7. Gregory Alan Isakov, “Suitcase Full of Sparks”

Song with the best story to tell, and the best way of putting it.

“Travelin’ through the graveyard/suitcase full of sparks/honey I’m just trying to find you.” You’ve got my attention Mister Isakov. Light smatterings of harmonica and banjo punctuate earnest lyricism, and have a way of making new feelings come from old familiars. It’s amazing how light instrumentation and unobtrusive background vocals can hit your heart with a such a thunderous thud. Here is the song most likely to make me feel feelings & get those goosebumps.

8. Augustus, “Virtues”

Song that’s the most unto itself amongst all.

Augustus’ “Virtues” is the most own unto itself amongst the whole set. This number has the most interesting musical arrangements and distinct use of instrumentation. Won’t find vocals that hit so high delicately and then swing low anywhere else on this playlist, period. Cello like molasses that doesn’t stick, and thus doesn’t slow down the way it pours over you so warm and soft.

9. Cold River City, “Time Slips Away”

Song most likely to make me chill the heck out when a bus is late, all the while falling in love with the person at the bus stop next to me.

Now that’s some saxy sexaphone (courtesy of guest Jeremy Mohney). Back and forth male and female vocals lend this song a lyrical, crooning playfulness that doesn’t hinge on catchy word play. It speaks to the still-in-love love struggle when it’s done in reality, but far from it in heart. Hits me like permission to move on from any break up while still knowing the past was special and untouchable. If you think that’s hokey, it still won’t stop my pokey.

10. Sixty Minute Men, “Born This Way”

Song most likely to listen to on a catamaran at sunset.

Possiblly the best transition from and into a song on the playlist. Cold River City to Sixty Minute Men rolls like a board off one wave, up onto another. This song’s not in a hurry, and the slow simmer gives the listener rooted boots on the ground and soaring above the clouds vibes all at once. Put it in cruise control and tap those thumbs on your steering wheel folks.

11. Na’an Stop, “Questions”

Song that sounds most like an album single, and I somehow feel most likely to least question if I heard it on commercial alternative radio.

It’s catchy, folks. It makes me grateful for stereo speakers and headphones. It’s lyrics call you out and leave you feeling encouraged all at once. Keys and horns sometimes make you feel like someone might be laughing at you, but in a way that doubles back and only has you laughing at yourself, life, and all of us. It’s catchy. But it’s way more than a surface tune.

12. Evanoff, “Transcendance”

Song whose title best matches its music.  

Transcen + (d) + ance. That’s how we do on this ditty. The song title works on two levels. I feel like I could transcend my next climbing problem to this at The Spot, then dance the good vibes that follow off at The Fox straight after. Vocal thunder emanating from a teacup, heavy beats that don’t browbeat: this song communicates what it calls itself without riffing off some theme or line from lyrics, because it has none!! Best guitar shredding to boot.

13. The Motet, “Know It Too Well”

Song I’m most likely to dance to on isolated vocals alone.

More cowbell?! How yesterday of you. MORE ORGAN. The Motet knows it too well. I’d call this articulate funk, an ice cream sundae of funky guitar layers cut fresh and so clean. So much more than a wedding song, I can’t help but say that I can picture everyone from grandma to the youngest buckaroo dancing out on the floor having a good sass time at anyone’s matrimony.

Follow BolderBeat on Spotify for more Colorado music playlists. 

-Joliene

All tracks per the artists featured. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

KMG's Recent Zonnefest Hosted Spectacular Talent & Killer Tunes

By: Clinton Henderson

The KMG Studio Music Showcase continued to impress in its second manifestation last week. The fest is a free mini-show put on by KMG Studios on the last Thursday of every month which showcases bands and musicians for thirty minutes per set. May’s show (affectionately called the Zonnefest by many because it is organized by KMG’s Mitchael Zonnefeld) featured Nite Owls, Amoramora, Lady and the Gentlemen, The Last Minute Band, and Technicolor Tone Factory. Last week, the June lineup consisted of Andrew Sturtz and Sierra Voss, Boulder Sound Lab, Shantyman & The Speakeasies, The Last Minute Band, and Sixty Minute Men. Although the show started nearly an hour late, the music was once again stupendous! There wasn’t a bar... but what’s a boy to do?

The showcase stage at KMG. Photo per the author. 

The showcase stage at KMG. Photo per the author. 

KMG owner Greg Kimble introduced the first performer of the night, Andrew Sturtz, who was accompanied with harmonies by BolderBeat’s very own Sierra Voss. The crowd was told in Kimble’s intro how Sturtz had actually been busking on Pearl Street when Kimble happened to hear him. Kimble asked him to drop by the studio, immediately recognizing Sturtz’s talent, and Kimble was spot on; if anything he was slightly reserved in the praise Andrew deserved for his singing. On songs like “Changing by the Second”, a cover of The Beatles’ “You Got To Hide Your Love Away”, and a tune called “Southern Night”, Andrew sang wonderfully soulful and heartfelt folk music that was beautifully optimistic and melancholy all at once. His falsettos were stunning and the harmonies that Sierra sang filled out the duo’s sound. Sturtz’s original, “Bosnia”, conveyed a peaceful sense of loss, “Avalon” was a new song that captured imagination, and a cover of Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” completely re-imagined the original to highlight the quality of Strutz’s vocal range. Keep an eye out for Andrew and Sierra, who occasionally still play on Pearl Street, gig often at at The No Name Bar, and play other spots in Boulder/Denver.

Following that duo was Boulder Sound Lab, a funky group with goofy tendencies. Their first song, “Jeffery the Bagman”, was written by the band’s saxophonist, Lyle Wilner. It had a definite James Brown influence to it before it evolved into a far more spacey jam. Their second song was an instrumental bit that featured strange scales/licks that moved from raw funk to a more rocking-roll funk with driving energy, shredding guitar, and wonderful two-guitar and saxophone harmonies. Their final song, “Muffin Top”, paraphrased the theme from “The Pink Panther” at the beginning and then evolved into a major-key jam. Overall, BSL were a very positive, upbeat, and optimistic jam band with a party-funk sound fueled by members that are each excellent at their instruments. They write their own music and if you want a grand funky time, catch them this Friday, July 8th at Boulder House.

Andrew Sturtz & Sierra Voss. Photo Credit: Mitchael Zonnefeld

Andrew Sturtz & Sierra Voss. Photo Credit: Mitchael Zonnefeld

Next was Shantyman and the Speakeasies. From the get-go, this band had me thinking of Sublime mixed with the Grateful Dead, thanks to their  song “Cherry Pie”, a loose Wah funk sound. This is your standard Colorado jam band, and that’s a good thing in spite of all odds. The bass was funky played through a synth, the two guitarists played some awesome licks and sang harmonies, and their savage drummer was also singing. Their entire set was a groovy good time.

Featured last month at the first showcase, and in the same slot this month for this showcase was KMG’s house band, The Last Minute Band. This is a “Holy-Sh*t-Did-I-Just-Witness-That?” sort of band. With two Grammy nominated musicians in the group, The Last Minute Band will leave your jaw on the floor every time they play. Covers like “Feelin’ Good”, “Respect”, and “I Want You Back” showcased the band’s astounding talent. Greg Kimble hit impressive falsettos in spite of being sick, Ashley Kisner and Cayla Kimble shredded energetic vocals, Mitchael Zonnefeld held a great groove on bass, Zack Markle burned the keys, Chalo Ortiz absolutely amazed on the guitar, Angel Adams played a magnificent saxophone, and Motown played otherworldly drums. The group finished their set with a pulsing, driving tune aptly called “Party” and a song dedicated to Greg’s mother called “Rollin’”, a beautiful, determined bluesy song, followed by a spot-on cover of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.

Shantyman and the Speakeasies. Photo Credit: Mitchael Zonnefeld

Shantyman and the Speakeasies. Photo Credit: Mitchael Zonnefeld

Sixty Minute Men finished out the night. They’re a funky, soulful, prog-rock band. Their burning sax player wrote the tune “Groove Shoes”, which played exactly how the title sounds: it gets you moving. Another song, “Heartbreaker”, was a ripping rocker with some excellent rhythmic stops that kept the audience popping. Other tracks featured beautiful, loving melodies that will have your heart racing when you hear them play. This group plays next in Boulder July 23rd at Souther Sun

All said, the second KMG Showcase, aka the Zonnefest, was a success. Each of the performers were excellent and showed the varied talent that can be found in Boulder, as well as the community that KMG is adding to the already vibrant Colorado music scene. You can learn more about KMG’s studio options here. And you should definitely come out to the next KMG showcase, the third Thursday (July 21st) of this month!

-Clinton

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