Colorado Halloween 2017: Your Guide To All The Best Halloween Shows Happening This Month

By: Mirna Tufekcic

‘Tis the season of witches and warlocks, zombies and monsters, and some kick-ass parties honoring All Hallow’s Eve. If you’re anything like us, you’ve already started gearing up for the most fun weekend of the year- the one that celebrates the weird with music, costumes, and more music. Colorado music lovers, we’re here to tear you apart with choices of all the celebrations taking place around the state for this year’s Halloween weekend.

Boulder

Papadosio.

Papadosio.

Thursday 10/26: The Boulder Theater presents the unmistakeable: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Colorado’s Elusive Ingredient- Denver’s Rocky Horror Shadowcast will perform along with the film. Whether you’re a seasoned attendee or a virgin to this interactive movie and theatre performance, it’s sure to make a great start to a funky weekend. The key word for this event is interactive.  Expect to touch or be touched.  

Friday & Saturday 10/27-10/28: Halloween weekend at The Boulder Theater will host a two-night “Rave from the Grave” party with Papadosio and friends. Papadosio plans to pay tribute to some of the 90s and early 2000s electronic artists that influenced their path as a band. To pop the cherry of this event, Boulder’s own Dynohunter will take guests on a journey through deep, grounding house tunes, just to lift you up through organic electro peaks and valleys you can rave about all over the dance floor. Saturday night, the party will start with Bass Physics, a one man show put together by Denver’s esteemed Arja Adair guaranteed to provide positive tunes while mixing up acoustic guitar and electronic sounds. Two-day passes are already sold out for this weekend, but click here to buy a one day ticket before they’re all gone. This event is likely to sell out soon.

Sunday 10/29: The Fox Theatre is hosting Sinful Sunday Halloween Party with Midnight North and All Chiefs. This ought to be an upbeat, dancey, bodies-grinding-all-night kind of show as Midnight North brings their soul, country, rock’n’roll, and All Chiefs their indie beeps, boops, and digital sprinkles to make any body groove. The show is free to industry folks; if you’re not one of those get your hands on some tickets here.

Tuesday 10/31: Snakehips make their return to Fox Theatre for Halloween, where we expect to see lots of fun costumes groovin' to their bass drops. Tickets here.

Denver

Marilyn Manson.

Marilyn Manson.

Saturday 10/07: The Mile High City has big things on the agenda throughout October in almost every music venue. The spirit of the season starts with thousands of living dead wannabes at Denver’s Zombie Crawl, and the city will no doubt be bustling with dark spirits from then through the end of October.

Thursday 10/19: Marilyn Manson will bring his tour to the Fillmore Auditorium, as long as he’s healed up from his recent stage injury. While not a Halloween weekend event, it’s close enough, especially since he’s known for having the most disturbing Instagram account around. Enjoy. UPDATE: This show is rescheduled for 01/20/18 - details here

Friday 10/20: The Gasoline Lollipops are bringing you one scary hoedown at Denver's Lost Lake tonight. Hosted by 105.5 The Colorado Sound, Grayson County Burn Band and Whipperpool will join Colorado's favorite alt-country outfit on good 'ol Colfax for an eerie time. 

Friday 10/27: Lost Lake Lounge is throwing their Terrified Halloween party with Modern Suspects, a “popternative trio,” Optycnerd, an electo-indie-pop beats duo that bring the heat to the dance floor, and Vynyl, an electronic hip-hop pop duo. This one’s set for a full house of Denver-based musicians and beat-makers bound to terrify you into dancing the night away.

Friday 10/27: Syntax Physic Opera will host an early event starting at 7PM called Hell Toupee, A Lounge Night in Hell, which is a comedy and variety show. Then starting at 9PM, you can check out Lillian’s album release party.

Friday & Saturday 10/27-10/28: The Oriental Theater will have a weekend packed full of halloween celebrations. Friday night is the Third Annual Monster Ball with Alice in Chains and KISS tribute bands. Need I say more? Saturday night is reserved for a costume contest event called MORTIFIED, an international storytelling event where adults share their most embarrassing and hilarious childhood artifacts in front of total strangers. Dare I say terrifying?

Optycnerd.

Optycnerd.

Saturday 10/28: Bar Standard/Milk Bar will host a Colorado HELLoween Ball with TR/ST. It's the biggest event of the year from promoters Ritual Noize. TR/ST is considered a popular goth/industrial/dark electronic artist and HELLoween is a party for just such fans, so it should be a hell of a time if you’re into that scene. According to Ritual Noize, “HELLoween has always been about mixing club culture, the Halloween tradition and live musical performances with a horror theme attached.” This year the decor will be Psycho-themed; hurray for Hitchcock fans!

Saturday 10/28: Halloween Hootenanny at The Bluebird Theater will feature Denver DJ Wesley Wayne and a costume competition that can score you year passes to some of Denver’s most beloved venues. Click on the Hootenanny link above for details and if you plan to attend, you’d better come in your best costume yet.

Saturday 10/28: Gothic Theatre is throwing Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery party with Deer Tick and special guest Chris Crofton, who will open up the event with, hopefully, a very funny set before things get groovy and ghosts begin to apparate. Deer Tick hails from Providence, Rhode Island with a rebellious take on alternative, folk, rock’n’roll, and country vibes.

Saturday 10/28: Larimer Lounge is hosting their Halloween Edition of Dance Yourself Clean with DJs inspired by the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Grimes, Blood Orange, and more. Shake off the sugar with this one.

Estes Park

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Saturday 10/21: The Shining Ball at the Concert Hall of the famous Stanley Hotel will have yet another yearly Halloween staple with Denver’s beloved Gasoline Lollipops. We imagine the band will truly bring the spirit of Halloween to life, with growls from frontman Clay Rose and howls from the audience over the band’s poignant lyrics and dark, stompy tunes.

Saturday 10/28: The legendary Masquerade Ball at the Stanley Hotel will conclude the Halloween events at the haunted property with live music by Jonny Mogambo backed by a full band.

Fort Collins

Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Friday 10/13: Mishawaka Amphitheatre will host a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening all its own with a troupe of actors, games, and trivia. There will also be a costume contest and drink specials. Practice your time warp now.

Friday 10/27: Hodi’s Half Note is getting metal with Skinned, A Flood Foretold, Inficier, and Voracious Souls. Headbang until witching hour.

Greeley

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Friday 10/27: Sweaty soul outfit The Burroughs are headlining Moxi Theatre’s 4th Annual Halloween Extravanganza, and chill wave beach band Slow Caves are opening. No word on if the bands are dressing up yet, but fingers crossed.

Sunday 10/29: The Moxi is also throwing a purely metal Halloween show this weekend with Bash, Skinned, Last Word, Infinited Conscious, and Cyber Zodiac. Go get weird.

Jamestown

The Alcapones.

The Alcapones.

Saturday 10/28: If it’s in your interest to get away from all the debauchery and chaos of city life during Halloween, then the quaint town of James has something for you. They are hosting The Alcapones at the good ‘ol Merc. A ska/reggae band with a mountain flare, The Alcapones will definitely bring the house down and set this mountain roof on fire.    

And finally, for those of you wanting to see and hear live music without all of the Halloween hype, here’s what’s good:

Friday 10/27: Tonight at the Hi-Dive in Denver is Jocko Homo, an event to pay tribute to 90s and 2000s alternative rock bands like Incubus, Weezer, and Modest Mouse, with cover bands honoring all three respectively. Sidenote: Actual Incubus and Weezer play Red Rocks this month.

The Infamous Stringdusters.

The Infamous Stringdusters.

Friday & Saturday 10/27-10/28: Denver’s The Ogden Theatre will host two nights of The Infamous Stringdusters this weekend. Party down.

Saturday 10/28: Red Rocks Amphitheatre will be abuzz with Russ, an American hip-hop singer/songwriter, recording artist, and producer.

Tuesday 10/31: Dream pop four-piece Alvvays  are ringing in actual Halloween night at Denver's Bluebird Theater with Jay Som.

Tuesday 10/31: Denver's own Itchy-O play Summit Music Hall on Halloween, which is fitting for this avant-garde and experimental marching band. The show is sponsored by Meow Wolf, so expect to get weird. 

See you out there somewhere Halloweenies.

-Mirna

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

Have something to add to this list? Let us know here.

The Alcapones Are Gangsters of Love On Their New Record 'Mountropolis'

By: Mirna Tufekcic

One time at Boulder’s staple, and sadly now defunct, Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub, I spent an evening dancing the night away with friends to a band that was really keeping the heat going despite the winter weather outside. And that band was The Alcapones.

The Alcapones. 

The Alcapones. 

The Alcapones are gangsters of love, and they’re expressing and sharing that love through some good vibes of reggae and ska with a mountain flare. They call their music folkadelic, an infusion of folk, psychedelics, and jazz/jam sprinkles. In essence, they’re a group of happy, high-vibin’ musicians out to make you dance and have a good time.

The Alcapones recently released their new album, Mountropolis, as an ode to mountain living and moving your body to stay warm. The record features both songs and instrumentals for your listening and dancing pleasure.

Listen to Mountropolis:

So if you’d like to get yourself moving until the music stops, then go ahead and check out this crew at The Fox Theatre this Thursday, May 11th with Amoramora and The Jive Tribe. Tickets here, and more Colorado tour dates on their Facebook.   

-Mirna

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

Na'an Stop And Their Gnar'V Are Headed To A City Near You On Upcoming Record Release Tour

By: Mirna Tufekcic

“Everyone thinks we’re a food truck. We’re driving through all these beach communities playing shows and people are like, what kind of food do you sell?” laughed Caton Smith, bassist of Boulder’s Na’an Stop, as he playfully acknowledged that their name does in fact have the name of the Indian bread we all love served as a side to our Chicken Masala. It sums them up in a way though- the Na’an Stop fellas are a bunch of goofy, fun-loving musicians out to have a good time as they make their dreams come true.

Na'an Stop. 

Na'an Stop. 

Na’an Stop stands for “never stopping the pursuit of your dreams.” This becomes obvious once you start to know their music. It’s the van that confuses people. Colorful and painted in graffiti, it’s easy to see how passersby would mistake it for a food truck. But Na’an stop will not sell you food from the vehicle they’ve dubbed “Gnar’V.” They may, however, sell you a lifestyle. If, that is, they’re selling anything other than tickets to their shows, which are always a riot of good, positive vibes as reggae and ska music should be.

The legend that is Gnar'V. 

The legend that is Gnar'V. 

The first thing you’ll learn about Na’an Stop is about their aforementioned lifestyle. Personally, I was intrigued and had to dig deeper into what that meant. Lucky for me I got to go to the Na’an Stop lair for aninterview and see NS in their true habitat to talk about their upcoming CD Release Show at The Fox Theater this Wednesday, April 26th.

Na’an Stop started six years ago as five college friends playing at The Lazy Dog and (now defunct) The Goose. One of the first times they played an impactful gig was opening up for Boulder’s West Water Outlaws, a beloved rock outfit from Boulder that fell apart some years back. That show took place at The Fox, and ever since then, the venue on The Hill has been their home. Naturally, it’s the perfect spot for Na’an Stop to make their next moves known.

NS at The Fox.

NS at The Fox.

Released in 2015, their album From the Deep won accolades, climbing to #2 on iTunes Reggae Charts and #5 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. Following that, the weight was on their shoulders to make something cohesive and whole.  

“For our From the Deep album, we had a great sound engineer, but no producer. Nonetheless, I think we did a great job on that one,” said Caton.

It’s the album that opened doors and platforms in the reggae music scene for the group, and though From the Deep is an impressive body of work coming from very young musicians, they knew that they needed to get a bit more professional after the record’s success. So the five-piece put together a Kickstarter Campaign for a new album. They met their goal and went to Virginia to record the self-titled record with producer Danny Kalb at White Star Sound Studios. Kalb has worked with other established reggae bands like The Green, The Movement, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and Hirie who put out one of the best reggae albums of 2016. He’s also worked with artists like Beck and Ben Harper.

But don’t fret- the Na’an Stop guys are still keeping true to their fun roots, even as they grow their sound. When I walked into the NS crib, the boys were setting up to record a short dance video as a token of appreciation for their fans. That’s when Caton revealed what the Na’an Stop lifestyle means, “Time, practice, and dedication and having fun while doing it. The thing is, we’re all in this world trying to find our way and make a life for ourselves. Each of the members of Na’an Stop are giving their all, putting 100% of ourselves in everything we do, but also not succumbing to the pressures of American society to follow a cookie cutter career and climb ladders. It’s important for people to realize that you can do what you want to do if you actually take yourself seriously, but not too seriously, and have commitment. And we’re committed. We’ve made sacrifices in our lives to make Na’an Stop a priority, and that’s really what it takes to succeed in any career path you take.”

Life on the road. 

Life on the road. 

The “having fun while doing it” part is certainly true for these guys. Their video release for the single “Lazy Susan,” off the upcoming self-titled album, clearly shows the boys having fun. So does the video previously featured by BolderBeat for “Win a Bagel,” the single from From the Deep.  

Watch Na’an Stop’s video for “Lazy Susan”:

I asked Caton what else people can infer from their videos, because they’re pretty silly and have little to nothing to do with the actual song. His response was, “That we like to party. That we’re all friends. That it’s not a hard process for us to have fun on or off camera; on or off stage. We don’t want to follow any trend. We want to show our creativity and put out funny videos that haven’t been seen since The Foo Fighters crushed it.”  

The album art for the self-titled record.

The album art for the self-titled record.

Browsing around, I also noticed Na’an Stop’s upcoming self-titled album features a new logo for the group.

Said Caton, “We want to keep it fresh and show that we’re growing as musicians and artists. Each song that you record, looking back, shows you where you were and where you are now as a musician and as a group. ‘Win a Bagel,’ lacks harmonies in the recordings. It’s something we missed for being so green. But we definitely add them in our live sets now. Our new self-titled album shows how far we’ve come.”

You’ll definitely be able to notice the more refined, matured, and sophisticated rendition of the band with their new record available on all music platforms Wednesday, May 3rd. Hear them for yourself before the record drops as they kick off their spring tour at The Fox this Wednesday before heading west, where the people have “been really good to the band with legitimate fans and venues,” said Caton, “It’s a beautiful thing to watch the rise in our following and dedicated fans as they come out and support us. We’re really looking forward to it.”

Keep up with Na'an Stop here and make sure to wave hello if you see their Gnar'V in a city near 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.

Thrash Vibes, Garage Rock, & Green Things- Oh MY!

By: Trevor Ryan

Last weekend, I found myself once more at the University of Colorado’s Memorial Center attending another incredible show put on by Club 156. The vibe was familiar, only this time, an almost hardcore energy filled the room. It was very hype-y; the sound crew seems especially stoked for the coming show. I arrived early, and a few fans already lined the walls of the intimate venue; a small room hosting a quaint stage bursting with grungy potential.

Listen to Loretta Kill’s “Too Cool For You”:

First onstage was Loretta Kill. With a very garage rock sound, the trio utilized heavy distortion accompanied by growling vocals. Theirs is not always an easy sound to master in a small room, but Loretta Kill definitely killed it. They emit a bit of that nostalgia you had listening to Nirvana in your youth, combined with experimental gestures and a “too cool” attitude that is somehow instantly appealing.

Princess Declaw. 

Princess Declaw. 

Next up was Princess Dewclaw. An act that I will not soon forget, this five-piece held absolutely nothing back. The first thing to hit you was lead vocalist Amanda G.’s pipes. The self proclaimed “no wave trash pop” frontwoman gave literally everything she had with ear shattering wails, followed by abrupt near-whispers. And the whole time, she rolled her eyes excessively, apathetic in stature, and in an almost character-like way. Meanwhile, behind her, the band used intricate synth work and some sick rhythm to really make it all POP!

The Beeves.

The Beeves.

Following them, the show’s headliner appeared: The Beeves. This trio is an insanely tight act in their appearance and their sound. Their glances to one another while playing had me wondering what move they’d make next; that unspoken language that keeps everything flowing in a good set. But just as you’re distracted by their tight playing, that’s when it enters: The Green… Thing. A mascot of of sorts parades around the stage, holding a seemingly pointless purpose, until you realize how pumped you become watching him. You want to dance; you want to mosh and The Beeves will get you to do it with classic ska elements set to a hard rock theme and a punk/thrash vibe. Move.

Listen to The Beeves’ self-titled EP:

Once again, Club 156 put on a fantastic show. You'll go for the people; you'll stay for the friggin’ insanity! Keep up with their upcoming events here.

-Trevor

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 07/15 & 07/16

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Brews, burgers, and bands- this weekend’s got it all folks:

Today (Friday 07/15):

Foxfeather at The Gold Hill Inn in Boulder 830PM-Close

The classy folks of Foxfeather.

The classy folks of Foxfeather.

Boulder’s folk five-piece Foxfeather will be helping you dance your way into the weekend tonight at The Gold Hill Inn. Most recently, the group has been hard at work in the studio recording their first full-length album after the success of their most recent Kickstarter campaign. So make sure to drop on over to The Inn tonight- you just might hear some of their new tunes!

Listen to Foxfeather’s original “Math Problems”:

SleepWalker, The Swifts, & Wild Love Tigress at Boulder House in Boulder 9PM-Close

SleepWalker.

SleepWalker.

Boulder House is hosting “a night of rock, punk, and funk” this evening with Denver acts SleepWalker, The Swifts, and Wild Love Tigress. For a venue that used to only consist of college kids doing the DJ and drinks thing (the spot is formerly Absinthe House), Boulder House is really trying to make a name as a local mid-level venue. So go check out what they’ve got goin’ tonight! The show is $5 at the door; 21+ only.

Listen to SleepWalker’s “Lady in the Sky”:

The Red Petals at Pizza Bar 66 in Lyons 930-PM-Close

The Red Petals.

The Red Petals.

It’s been a minute since we’ve caught a Red Petals set, so tonight's the night folks. The Colorado blues rock trio will be playing over pizza, so come grab a slice and hear ‘em at it! With influences like John Mayer Trio and White Denim, these dudes are bound to break your heart over a Pizza Bar beer. Get outta town and check ‘em out!

Peep The Red Petals’ cover of “Come On In My Kitchen”:

Tula’s EP Release Party at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Tula, the “Colorado funk quartet with Chicago roots”, is throwing their EP Release Party at The Lazy Dog tonight. The funk and jam rock band will be celebrating and performing their latest release, Follow The Beast Inside, and this show is free! So roll over and trip the funk fantastic. PS: If you’re seeing The String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks tonight, here’s your perfect after-party spot!

Listen to Tula’s single from their newest EP, “Bus Stop Booty”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 07/16):

Park Burger Presents The Denver Deluxe with The Original Wailers, Hip Abduction, & More at Park Burger RiNO in Denver 12PM-8PM

Park Burger is shutting down Walnut Street tomorrow in Denver for a beer garden, burger station, and good tunes. And Denver Deluxe is on board the shebang, in support of Denver Urban Gardens, a nonprofit dedicated to creating neighborhood community gardens. Bands on the bill include The Original Wailers, The Hip Abduction, Rob Drabkin, Musketeer Gripweed, Jonathan Boogie Long, Technicolor Tone Factory, and Atomga. $30 gets you entry, a burger, and two beers. Support local sustainability and check out this event!

More details here.

One Flew West, The Longest Day of the Year, & Whiskey Autumn at The Fox Theatre in Boulder

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

Blending the sounds of rock and roll with folk and pop”, Denver’s One Flew West will headline The Fox tomorrow night. Boulder’s alt-rock Americana outfit The Longest Day of the Year will share the stage, and it’s rumored this may be the band’s last performance for 2016. Plus Boulder pop rock trio Whiskey Autumn will open the evening with a killer set that will be their last around these parts for awhile, as the group is hitting the road for the third time this summer on tour. We love all local lineups, so come hang out! Tickets are $11 if you message Whiskey Autumn today; otherwise they’re $14-$16 here.

Watch One Flew West's new music video for their cover of "Come Together":

Stoked to see you out Colorado!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

Sharing The Merry Madness of the Moment: The Alcapones

By: Will Baumgartner

There are three things I can pretty much guarantee if you go to an Alcapones show:

  1. You’ll leave feeling shaken up, stirred, and poured into a very pretty vessel.
  2. You’ll have trouble finding enough wild words to describe what you’ve just experienced.
  3. You’ll probably dance all the way home. I mean, unless you’re, like, DEAD! But even then, by the time the show is over, you’ll probably have been brought mysteriously and miraculously back to life.
The Alcapones.

The Alcapones.

This Boulder-based band hits the stage like a traveling minstrel show, determined to breathe as much life and fun into (insert your town name here) as they possibly can, and they do just that with their driving rhythms, delirious horn harmonies, and pointedly silly/ridiculous/wise singalong songs. The group is relentless in their determination to have as much fun as they possibly can, and to make sure their audience feels as much a part of the madcap show as the band itself. During their recent party/performance at the Boulder Theater, I don’t think I heard a single, stale exhortation to “get up and dance”, a phrase you so often hear from other bands. Why? They didn’t need to try to make the audience dance, it just happened.

A huge aspect of this instant dance-party atmosphere (and one that every band who aspires to create a similar feel with their show could learn from) is the Alcapones’ instinctive understanding that if you want your crowd to cut loose and be spontaneous, you’ve got to embody that same spirit onstage. This is a quality The Alcapones have in spades: a huge percentage of what’s going on up there when they play was not scripted or rehearsed. It’s the overwhelming, joyous madness of the moment taking them over. So if you go to one of their shows and find yourself inexplicably unable to loosen up and go a little crazy, perhaps you should have your vital signs checked. And if you find that you are in fact clinically dead, don’t worry: The Alcapones probably have a cure for that too.

Now let’s move on to our interview (in which the group repeatedly made me laugh hard): like all the best interview subjects, these brilliant maniacs have a way of eclipsing my rather simple questions with the overflowing poetry of their answers.

I saw one of your shows recently and was swept up in the powerful, dance-friendly music, and the overwhelming spirit of fun you create onstage. Although your Facebook page and website describe you as being primarily ska and reggae, I heard many other influences as well. What artists have influenced the Alcapones most directly?

Early Jamaican music from the 1960s influences our music most heavily. Artists like The Skatalites, Toots and the Maytals, Lynn Taitt, The Pioneers, The Ethiopians, Prince Buster, Lee Scratch Perry, Laurel Aitken, and The Specials have had a very direct impact on our sound. Naturally, as a ska/reggae band, we have some tributes to Bob Marley thrown in; however, our sound is more 'early Bob' in that we focus on a faster, more upbeat ska-feel, rather than a slower reggae sound that's more typical of 70s and 80s Jamaican music.  Our “other” influences would include Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Parliament Funkadelic, Fela Kuti, Taraf De Haidouks, Dusty Fingers, and a smorgasbord of international/world/middle eastern Yiddish and Klezmer music.  

You had a few guest musicians onstage with you at the show I saw. Do you use guest/sit-in players often? What are the most people you've ever had onstage at once? 

Our core group is six or seven members (when Johannes is in town), but we are lucky enough to feature a heavy hitter from time to time. Occasionally some renegade jazz cats show up unannounced. We’re methodized misfits and we attract other methodized misfits, who also miraculously play horns.  

What's the history of this band? When and how did the group start, and what changes have occurred since that formation?

Several members started a reggae dub project called Weapons of Mass Creation back in 2011. That group fell apart in 2012 but some of the members wanted to keep playing together, and to make the sound more of a ska feel. And so begins our story:

Sam (on accordion) and Shaun (on sax) met and jammed out to some Joe Gibbs and Lee Perry, realizing that they had a mutual love for the music. They began playing on Pearl St. as a two-piece.

Eventually, Sam introduced Shaun to Clay and Johannes, and Clay happened to know a metal drummer (Jake). Prior to The Alcapones, Jake had never played one drop rhythm, but his youth and aggressive backbone beats have become part of our signature sound.  

In 2014, the Swedish international superstar, Johannes (trombone) moved with his wife to Chile. But he still frequents a couple of shows a year dressed in a red onesie; he always brings some punk rocker poetry and plays a mean shaker.

Tom, the replacement trombonist, was sourced from Wyoming’s Craigslist. He was looking to make a buck doing some church gigs, and later confessed that he was actually armed when he came to the first rehearsal, as he didn’t know what we were all about.

Finally, hot off the boat from Hawaii, Jayma (clarinet) took a quick job as a ski instructor up at Eldora, where her fateful path would cross with the band on a night when The Alcapones played at a party. She had just come from a jazz jam at an old folks home when she hopped up on stage, unannounced, and ripped a few solos while metaphorically punching us upside the head with her circus antics. Needless to say, she fit right in, and she’s been in the band ever since.  

While watching the group onstage, I kept thinking of Gogol Bordello. I know your core sound comes mostly from Jamaica, but I wonder: are y'all familiar with this group and has their Eastern European gypsy-carnival style influenced The Alcapones at all? 

To even be remotely compared to Gogol Bordello is an honor. We have been tinkering with the Klezmer sound and studying some of the scales and the basic Hebrew idiom that make up their music. For us, that sound is especially enhanced when Shaun is on accordion. The clarinet also adds to this flavor. Our partycore modus meshes naturally with the street party style that Gogol bring to their shows. It’s spontaneous combustion. It’s in our blood, and so we cough up whatever comes up from the infinite spastic envelope of a liberating process.

We also find a lot in common with the upbeat bluegrass styles that are popular in the CO mountains, and play shows with bands like Caribou Mountain Collective frequently. That's why we sometimes call our music island-grass or mountain ska, to distinguish ourselves a little more. A lot of people think of ska as being third-wave ska like Voodoo Glow Skulls, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, or Reel Big Fish, but we're much more first-wave oriented. It's all part of the ska revival and the street party ethic making music for the common people, and it can be found in a lot of genres of music.

Horns on horns.

Horns on horns.

Does (lead vocalist/guitarist) Shaun Garin write most or all of your material, or is songwriting a collaborative effort?

It's a split between Shaun 62% and Sam 28%, with the others supplying the anamorphic 10% injection of whatever gets invented and connected. It’s like a bin of socks: lots of matches with a few strays.  Sam has written a lot of the horn lines and thematic impressions for our original songs, drawing heavily from the Jamaican influences we mentioned. Shaun has written full songs, but also helps meld the horn lines into more natural progressions, and he writes most of the lyrics. The other members add their opinions musically and it kind of melds together organically. It's a joint effort that takes a lot of jamming and practice to figure out what sounds the best. We’re an amazingly egalitarian group.

One of the things I'm most impressed by are your horns, so I feel compelled to ask: Who writes your horn arrangements? 

Sam usually writes the melody, or composes it after humming ideas into his phone, and Jayma and Tom add in amazing harmonies. The horn lines are constantly evolving, and each show can be dramatically different when premeditated execution gives rise to monotony. It’s a kind of Ouija board method combined with an extemporaneous Mandelbrot series. A recent fan described it best when he said "gushing horn-lines." We want to make ourselves cry while we pull your heart-strings; to balance that in-your-face funky aggression with the sweetness that could make Saint Cecilia weep.  

Listen to The Alcapones album Happy

What can an audience expect from an Alcapones show, and what do you hope they'll take away from it when they go home?

Rawness. Sincerity. The REAL. Whether it’s a spontaneous circus show that erupts or an introspective interpretation of a disquieted dark star, you better believe it’s going to evolve directly out of the present moment. Drop off stress and drama, insert happy and dance your face off. It's the medicine for a dark night of the soul experience. We want you to snap through! Self-express that badass self you are! And share your own unique thang, whatever that may be! We had a gal doing push ups last night front and center and we were cracking up on stage. Do whatever you want! Sit in a pimp daddy chair and simply go “yeh” and enjoy the vibe. We’re sharing and hope you share too! We want kids springing on the dance floor whirling around like a dervish… we want grandpa with his walker boogying down… (all of which has happened!). More so, we want to be that therapy for a good and grateful life.

So what’s next for The Alcapones?

Recording our second album with a desire to continue to grow in gladness by playing shows for our people. Lady Gaga say’s she’ll be the first to play a show in space. We say we’ll be the first to do some extreme banding in a hot air balloon with bungee jumping.

The Alcapones will perform at the Dark Horse this Saturday (04/23), and at the St. Julien in May (05/06). For more news, photos, videos and fun, visit them on their website or Facebook.

-Will

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 12/18 & 12/19

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The holidays are on zee way so spend this weekend with great music, great drinks, and great shows. Here’s where to be:

Today (Friday, 12/18)

The Kinky Fingers VAGABOND Release Show at the Hi-Dive 8PM-Close

Denver’s pysch/surf/rock mashup band The Kinky Fingers dropped the digital version of their mini-album VAGABOND a couple of weeks ago and tonight they’re celebrating its vinyl release with all their favorite friends. They’ll have limited 7” for purchase and there will be performances by Bark Wilson, Josh Moorehead & The Guestlist, Dead Palms, & Scary Drugs. Plus the theme of the show is “Western Surf Wars” aka wear a cowboy hat with your Darth Vader suit kids! Get tix here.

Give VAGABOND a preview here:

Contraband at Bohemian Biergarten 10PM-Close

Been itching for a night of ska and reggae with a sprinkle of afrobeat and jazz? Then Denver’s Contraband is gonna scratch it for you tonight! Chase things down with a bierrrrrrrr and dance the night away. There are so many people in this band that the party is sure to boil over into the crowd. So get to it at the BB.

Peep a Contraband original below:

Jababa at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub 10PM-Close

Boulder’s own Jababa will be taking the Conor’s stage tonight for an evening of funk and fusion jazz. This five-piece wants to party with you- finals are done, you haven’t left town yet, and it’s the weekend. What more do you need? Go get funk nasty with these guys tonight.

Listen to a Jababa track here:


Ugly Sweater Party with Whiskey Autumn at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

That's an ugly sweater.

That's an ugly sweater.

The WA boys dropped a new music video this week for their track 07.04.07. We’ll be bringing you a feature on it early next week, but in the meantime, go see these boys live in the flesh at The No Name tonight! They’ll be dancing with you in their ugly sweaters and the whiskey will be flowin’. Come hang!

Watch the new music video for 07.04.07 here:

Tomorrow (Saturday, 12/19)

Holiday Tequila Dinner with Suerte featuring Hunter Stone & Augustus at Cafe Aion 5PM-Close

Impress your Tinder date with more than a burger and fries by bringing them to Cafe Aion tomorrow night. There’s a crazy collaboration happening between Aion, Boulder’s Suerte tequila, and local acts Hunter Stone and Augustus. If you wanna do everythanggg it’s $55- steep yes- but you get a ton of food + cocktails and, c’mon, the music is obviously rad. Get fancy. 

Here’s a Hunter Stone original:

And here’s a sweet Augustus track:

El Javi at The No Name Bar 10PM-Close

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Denver-based flamenco guitarist El Javi is making the trek to the B tomorrow night to play a sick show for you at The No Name. If the snow hasn’t already melted Boulder, his guitar will demand it. El Javi is one incredibly talented dude so we’ll definitely be hanging here. Come say hi! Listen to El Javi here.

Stay warm at a show with us! See you soon. Happy holidays!

xoxo

-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.

Music Video Release: Na'an Stop "Win a Bagel"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

These party animals just dropped a new vid.

Boulder band Na’an Stop have been bringing their reggae sounds to the Front Range and beyond for quite some time now. The five-piece produces mad party vibes at their shows with what they call “The Na’an Stop Lifestyle” aka “a commitment to living life 100%. . . acting on your own terms, in your own way, and taking whatever you’re doing to the next level.” And taking things to the next level is exactly what the NS boys are doing this month as they launch their West Coast Morning Dew Tour, starting with their show this Friday at Belly Up in Aspen. But don’t worry kids! They’re making their way back to Boulder in February when they’ll headline The Fox with Boulder openers Policulture and Realtalk. More info on that here. But since you’ll be missing their sweet reggae-ska-dub-partyyyy antics while they’re away the next few months, we suggest you check out the crazy, ridiculous new music video they dropped today for “Win a Bagel,” a track off their debut album From the Deep. Watch it 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.