Premiere: Dream Feed's Music Video for "Hey Now" Is a Raw, Animated Look at Their New Music

Dream Feed.

Dream Feed.

Denver’s Dream Feed, formerly known as Miguel Dakota and the Differents, have had a busy year. You may remember frontman Miguel Dakota from season nine of America’s Got Talent, where he was a “Top 6” finalist and was offered a national tour with a backing band, but declined to remain in creative control of his work. Dakota continued on with his former project Miguel Dakota and the Differents, and this year, launched Dream Feed. The current band is comprised of Dakota on lead vocals and guitar, Ryan Wagner on lead guitar and vocals, Brian Nolan on drums, and Will Gaines on bass and vocals.

Recently, Dream Feed won the grand prize in the KTCL 93.3 and Pabst Sound Select “Demo Derby” contest with their track “Push and Pull.” Then, after this year’s Underground Music Showcase, Jimmy Siler of Tri Lakes Radio declared Dream Feed, “the best surprise of the festival.” The band also won the grand prize in last summer’s Road to Velorama contest (as Miguel Dakota and the Differents), beating out over 200 local bands and being awarded a performance spot in the Velorama Festival. Last month, on September 14th, the band dropped their debut track “Hey Now” from their self-titled record and subsequently sold-out their show that night at Syntax Physic Opera. Needless to say, their buzz has been building.

Today, we’re excited to premiere the band’s video for “Hey Now,” which was animated by Gary Tussey. Tussey is known for his work depicting musicians like Bob Marley and Miley Cyrus.

Said the band about working with Tussey, “We're a fan of all of Gary's work and saw some sketches he did of other musicians. We thought that the rough style fit well with the gritty, raw vibe of the track ‘Hey Now.’"

Though “Hey Now” is rather lyrically ambiguous, the band wants you to “focus on the raw, gritty, go-getter energy of it,” and there’s plenty of that to go around.

“Hey Now” was recorded at RiverRock Studios in Minneapolis by Eric Blomquist with the rest of the band’s upcoming debut record. The track was mastered by Randy Merrill at Sterling Sound in NYC.

Said Dream Feed, “[‘Hey Now’] was a lot of fun to record. At one point, we stood at one end of the studio screaming at the top of their lungs with the mic at the other end of the room.”

As for the rest of their 2018, the band is heading back in the studio at Third and James in Denver to continue recording new tunes. They’re planning shows and tours, and you can keep up with Dream Feed here.

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

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.

Tyto Alba Release Haunting Video For "The Hunger"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s indie rock outfit Tyto Alba released their newest music video this week for their track “The Hunger.” The song is from the band’s EP, In Our Own Time, which dropped earlier this year.

Frontwoman Melanie Steinway’s haunting vocals combined with eerie masked figures make “The Hunger” and its accompanying music video a mysterious and emotive track. The video, which was filmed by Slice Cinematics (A Shadow of Jaguar), showcases Steinway performing at Syntax Physic Opera surrounded by men in feathered masks interspersed with eldritch church scenes and Steinway calling out at her own reflection. Colorado’s Brent Cowles makes an anonymous appearance as the band’s “voodoo priest” at the start of the video as well.

A scene from "The Hunger."

A scene from "The Hunger."

Tyto Alba held their release show for the video last night at Syntax, a venue which has turned into a local haven for many musicians, and which was a new addition to this year’s Underground Music Showcase spots.

Brent Cowles as the "voodoo priest."

Brent Cowles as the "voodoo priest."

Check out the band’s video for yourself above and stay on the lookout for more new music from Tyto Alba by keeping up with the band 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.

Review: Get Along's New 'Let My People Go' EP Explores Eclectic Indie Dance Punk

By: Norman Hittle

Monument’s most amazing music couple is back on our radar with their newest EP: a five song track list featuring their previously released single “Death of a Spirit Animal,” and four other brave and eclectic compositions focusing on breaking one’s own chains and embracing destiny.

Listen to Get Along’s single “Death of a Spirit Animal”:

Get Along is indie dance/punk duo Nick and Cara Yanez, and since 2012 they've been constantly upping their musical game with each successive release. Let My People Go is no exception to their continuous upward trajectory, and along with it comes an array of new sounds that should impress existing fans and new ones alike.

Get Along.

Get Along.

The EP christens us with “Death of a Metal Band,” an Arcade Fire type of upbeat, yet mercurial dance/pop number built upon piano and complimented by heavy guitars in the chorus. “Death of a Spirit” animal follows in a Feist-ish indie/pop array featuring delayed guitars and a brass section, flowing into “Let My People Go I” with its nods to Florence + the Machine in a drawn-out orchestral intro that bleeds into an electronic body of the song. “Let My People Go II” follows with an altogether different vibe. This part of the composition features hints of MUSE along with some intelligent usage of a vocoder for backing vocals. Finally, we arrive at “Exodus” and it's somber yet longing brightness in a style that’s familiar to FUN. in it’s piano man lounge-style which invokes a heavy feeling of reminiscence.

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You can check out Let My People Go on all major streaming services. And you can also join the duo in person at their EP Release Show this Friday September 22nd, at Syntax Physic Opera along with Turvy Organ and Ghostpulse. Details here.

-Norman

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

Premiere: Dear Me,'s Debut Single "The News" Is Catchy Comedic Pop

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s indie rock trio Dear Me, are self-described “socially relevant, humorous songwriting.” Members Andrew Rogers (guitar/vocals), Sam Columna (guitar/vocals), and Jamie Beekman (keys/vocals) have been playing shows together since 2014, though they didn’t start gigging consistently until close to a year later when Sam told us, “It wasn’t until f*cking July 2015 when we agreed to play a gig at The Gothic with Chemistry Club that I honestly did not think we were ready for. But we somehow managed to survive and after that, shit was real.” It’s comments like these that kept me smirking during my recent chat with Sam about Dear Me,’s new single, which we’re stoked to premiere exclusively on BolderBeat from the band’s upcoming record Present Perfect.

Listen to Dear Me,’s new single “The News”:

“The News” is an undeniably timely tune in subject matter, and expresses a sentiment I think most of us can relate to: as informed as we want to be, the current media whirlwind of world news can be overwhelming at times and force us into one story before we’ve processed the others that came before it.

Dear Me,.

Dear Me,.

Said Columna about the track, “Part of me maybe wants to evolve past the magic of hearing something that you’re feeling expressed in a song- like it’s sort of cliche and basic and that makes it a character flaw. But every single time a song nails my inner monologue- dead to rights, word for word, kills me softly- it’s like a transformative experience. I’m reminded how lucky I am to be able to make art. If anything I make has that impact on anyone, then probably I am doing a good thing."

Sam continued, "[With “The News”] I was just hoping to capture some of the Groundhog Day-esque overwhelmed horror that I found myself feeling all the f*cking time. I actually wrote the hook, ‘I need something stuck inside my head besides the news,’ in like 2014 when I was a sunglasses salesman and I couldn’t afford to be in touch with my feelings at work or else my numbers would suffer. And that year planes disappeared out of the sky, Ebola happened, the Israel-Palestine conflict flared up, Michael Brown was murdered, there was that hostage crisis in Sydney… and yes I’m looking at a list of 2014 events right now... Robin Williams also died... and all of this happened to coincide with me falling in love with NPR, so I was hyper-aware of everything. And all of it was immediately politicized. There was no acknowledgement or time taken for human suffering- everything immediately felt like currency, or else like a weapon. I couldn’t f*cking deal with it. The hook [from “The News”] was super, ultra, mega-literal for me.”

Sam Columna.

Sam Columna.

Though the subject may seem a bit dark, Dear Me, manage to express Columna’s inner monologue of that time with a catchy hook and poppy vocal melodies, driving keys, and a strong percussive build interspersed with quick guitar breakdowns, while also weaving their stylistic humor within “The News.” This ability has had the trio previously described as “Louis C.K. meets The Beatles.” Though Columna admits there is definitely a comedic element to their work, it’s clear there is an important balance to Dear Me,’s songwriting.

Regarding this balance Sam, told me, “Oh man. Well when this comes up I always like to make it clear that we’re not Flight of the Concords or Axis of Awesome. We’re not a comedy band. We just sing songs with lyrics that are often blunt about social circumstances, and are sometimes funny, in a caustic, dark, Louis C.K. kind of a way. I actually didn’t really think of my songs as being particularly humorous until I started hearing people laughing during open mics. But I’ve always been a person who has found a lot of life to be depressing, or awkward, or uncomfortable, or shocking, or whatever, and I’ve always responded to those parts of life by laughing at them. I think Andrew is that way too. And since art is an outward expression of inward shit, it was inevitable that some of that would make it into the songs.”

“The News” is the first single from Present Perfect, Dear Me’s debut album. The record is a followup to the band’s three-song 2015 EP Name On a Page. The nine-song record was, in some ways, five years in the making.

Said Columna, “Present Perfect has lots of fingerprints on it. It was tracked either at Streetlight Audio or at Beyond the Infinite Multimedia, run by Dae Dupont, George Till, Quinn Blue and Leo Cashin. It was mixed and mastered entirely at Streetlight Audio, which is run by Tyler Paul Glasgow, Jack Roberts, and Jeff Hummel. Tyler Paul Glasgow produced and added some tasty slide guitar and synth layers on a few of the tracks. Elliott Cook played drums on any track with drums on it, and bass responsibilities were split between myself and Casey Cormier. That just leaves the core members of Dear Me,: Andrew and I both played guitar, Jamie played keys. Andrew and I split lead vocals on the album, and the songs were written by either me or Andrew, and arranged collectively by me, Andrew, Jamie, and whoever happened to be in the rhythm section at the time. Jamie mostly arranges all of our vocal harmonies, and we credit her with keeping us from sounding like a bag full of cats in a burning dumpster.”

Jamie, Andrew, & Sam.

Jamie, Andrew, & Sam.

When asked about whether Present Perfect is comprised more of old tunes the band has played over time, or new songs written just this year, Sam told me, “In some ways it’s like a greatest hits collection of a band no one knew about that had been skulking around in living rooms and cigar bars for five years and finally managed to stumble into a studio.”

More seriously, he added, “The vast majority of the songs are relatively recent, like written inside the last couple years. But something we really wanted to capture with the album was sort of the breadth of all the junk that we’ve kicked around over the last however many years. We wanted the album to capture everything we’ve been over the last five years, [and] I think it does that. Some of the tracks were multi-tracked in studio, some were tracked as full band performances with overdubs, and some were live acoustic trio tracks. That’s all the stuff we’ve been. And I think we managed to massage it into a mostly cohesive product. So I feel pretty dope about that.”

It’s this play between laughs and seriousness (and those same interplays throughout the band’s new record) that had me wondering who some of Sam’s influences are in the comedy and music realms.

“Beyond Louis C.K., I’m a fan of Mike Birbiglia and Dave Chappelle. I like storytellers. Obviously there’s innumerable musicians that I love, but my three desert island albums would probably be Abbey Road by the Beatles, Curse Your Branches by David Bazan, and Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chili Peppers.” he told me.

And local artists?

Danielle Ate the Sandwich is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard. Andy Sydow and I have peed in many backyards together. He’s my closest non-Jamie friend from CU Denver, and he got me a job teaching music. I really admire his musicianship, and his tenacity. He puts on a pretty sassy live show too. Corsicana went on tour with us last October, and together we discovered the healing properties of cayenne pepper. Ben has the voice of an angel and is irritatingly young. Andrew actually taught him to swim a billion years ago.”

After the release of Present Perfect, Dear Me, have a CD Release Show booked at Syntax on June 10th and are planning to tour around Colorado and the region. They also want to jump back in the studio.

Said Sam, “I feel a little bit like releasing this album was the top of a roller coaster, and the five years before that were the long slow ticking part while we climbed up. And hopefully from here it’s screaming and raising our hands in the air for awhile.”

We’re definitely raising our hands for Dear Me,’s newest release, so give their single “The News” a listen for yourself above, and make sure to grab tickets to their Syntax show by contacting the band here. Keep up with Dear Me, on their Facebook.

-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.

A Light in the Darkness: An Interview With Wesley Watkins of Other Black

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Wesley Watkins is a powerhouse. To have a frontman with so much momentum will inherently draw attention to a band as a whole. But Watkins is just one member of an assortment of artistry that demand its presence on stage: what started with nine musicians back in 2012 has fluxed in members since then, but at times has been as many as 24. Meet the Other Black.


All photos per George L. Bosser.


I had the pleasure of seeing Other Black perform at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver recently and interviewed Watkins post-show. The small stage of the venue was crowded with somewhere between 12-16 artists throughout the set who played three hours of original tunes and featured several local artists whose voices carry a worthy message.

“When I thought about getting features for this show, I asked people who are gonna say something everyone needs to hear. If you’ve not experienced injustice, it’s my job as an artist to bring awareness to the fact that this injustice is around. And I want to encourage those who are strong enough to speak up to continue doing so.” Watkins told me.

Watkins and Heffernan.

Watkins and Heffernan.

Kalyn Heffernan from Wheelchair Sports Camp and Stephen “Brer Rabbit” from Flobots, both of whom have been through a lot of injustice in their lives, each made appearances within the crowd at Other Black's Syntax show to speak about current events in the world with fellow audience members.

Wesley Watkins.

Wesley Watkins.

My conversation with Wesley very quickly took a political, bigger-picture kind of turn. I want to believe it was because our heartstrings tuned in as two agents of change trying to shine light on darkness and bring awareness where awareness is so desperately needed during these hard times.

He went on, “As musicians, especially those staying true to what they sound like, [we] have a responsibly to talk about what is happening in our modern world. We have to be careful of what we put out there- this world can’t take any more bullsh*t. And as a musician myself, I want to encourage other musicians out there to stay true to themselves and not try to be a part of a product.”

I agreed with him wholeheartedly. We, as a people, definitely need inspiration and positive, good-hearted individuals to wield social and cultural sentiment, which music and art (and free press!) is ripe with the power to do.  

Watkins with Other Black.

Watkins with Other Black.

So, where does Other Black fall in this spectrum of empowering agency and bringing awareness?

The Other Black is a music project created out of love for hip-hop, jazz, soul, and gospel music, all of which are genres born out of slavery and life struggles experienced by the oppressed, specifically the black population of the US.   

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. It’s what I grew up with and what I wanted to tap into with this band.” Watkins said. “Most of the songs Other Black plays today, I wrote when I was homeless and on the streets back in 2009. And I want people to know that it was by no fault of mine that I ended up homeless.”

Wesley has been in several different bands including Air Dubai, Petals of Spain, and most recently, he toured with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. But he realized that having his own project was what he needed to do to fulfill his purpose as an artist.  

“By the time 2012 rolled around, I was just getting out of being homeless and had been in several different bands with some of my closest friends. But I kept quitting bands. That’s when a close friend of mine brought it to my attention that I needed to start my own. I started Other Black because of my love for soul and hip-hop.”

But when Wesley talks about soul and funk music, he is talking about the “old-school sh*t” like Sly Stone and Sam Cooke, whose music shed light on the daily struggles of black people in America, and 90s hip-hop, which gave a powerful voice to the still oppressed and marginalized black Americans.  

“We have a system that’s really bias. So what you see from black powerful figures in our media today is so bias and it’s perpetuating a stereotype. To have today’s hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar speak the hard truth they don’t want to hear, but need to, is important and it’s empowering the people. At the very least, what I can do with my music is bring awareness to what is unjust in the world.”  

When I started the interview with Wesley, I wanted to know what Other Black implies in its name. I forgot to ask, but now I’m left with only room for interpretation, which is a good thing. What I infer after talking to Wesley and seeing Other Black on stage at Syntax is that the Other Black is a light amidst the darkness. It’s the mold breaking the stereotype. It’s an attempt at bringing awareness through music by making people get down.

“I want to encourage people to experience themselves, because if people can experience themselves to the core of their being and be comfortable with that, then all of a sudden we have people who are comfortable with how other people are starting to experience them.” Watkins told me.

If you want to find out what Other Black means to you, you can. They will be rockin’ in the New Year with The Yawpers at The Oriental Theater on December 31st for New Year’s Eve. You can check out their Facebook page for more information, and to hear their music, click here. Be on the lookout for the Other Black’s first album too, which is still in the works and will feature 14 songs which more than likely will encourage you to experience yourself. And that’s powerful.

-Mirna

All photos per George L. Bosser. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Balanced Breakfast Bash Warmed Up Denver On Its First Snowy Night Last Week

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Each month the creative minds at Balanced Breakfast gather to discuss various key topics in Denver’s music scene. With the help of the organizers, hosts, and the equally passionate members, Balanced Breakfast serves as a group of local music industry professionals paving the way for an even more fruitful music scene for artists and music-lovers alike.

Last Thursday, November 17th, Balanced Breakfast hosted the Balanced Breakfast Bash, a music showcase where the walls of Syntax Physic Opera came alive with the musical stylings of Twin Flame Medicine, Amy Kress, and The Lollygags.

Twin Flame Medicine. 

Twin Flame Medicine. 

Syntax is easily one of my favorite intimate music venues in the city. Its cozy, warm-lit atmosphere and intricate wall decorations have your eyes wandering constantly, and the lounge-style arrangement near the stage keeps vibes cool and classy. Not to mention that they happen to serve the best Old Fashioneds, or “Corn Punks,” I’ve ever had.

Twin Flame Medicine took the stage first at the Balanced Breakfast Bash, serenading everyone with their soothing, groovy vibrations. Fronted by lead singer and ukulele player Monalicious, this band is one to most definitely check out if you have the chance. Their bluesy feel and funky melodies will beckon you into a calm and positive mindset. Check out their song “Style” for a little taste of what they’re about.

The Lollygags.

The Lollygags.

Rocky Mountain locals The Lollygags brought up the energy and kept true to their form next, gracing the stage with their grunge rock’n’roll vibes. Frontman Jonathan Snyder’s facial expressions and guitar solos were enough to grab anyone’s attention, but the entire band's presence was confident, cool, and ready to rock. Listen to their EP People I Know and you’ll quickly see what I mean.

Amy Kress.

Amy Kress.

Finally, electronic pop artist Amy Kress closed the evening with her booming vocals and soulful style. Switching between pure vocals, piano, and with Joel Rekiel on drums, Kress delivered a powerful, dance-worthy performance that had me humming her songs days later. She played a number of fan favorites, including hits from her recent album Fly.

Reed Fuchs.

Reed Fuchs.

Reed Fuchs, a Balanced Breakfast host who also happens to front Denver’s surrealist group DéCollage, provided the mellow but sultry interludes between artists with his DJ sets.

Balanced Breakfast Bash was the perfect way to warm up during the season’s first chilly snow. Keep in touch with the folks at Balanced Breakfast on their Facebook, and stay tuned for more upcoming announcements, meetups, and info on shindigs like this awesome bash from BolderBeat.

-Jura

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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 11/11 & 11/12

By: Hannah Oreskovich

If there is one thing we want to do after this week, it’s roll to local shows and celebrate art and music. Here are our picks:

Today (Friday 11/11/16):

TAARKA with Caribou Mountain Collective at The Wildflower Pavilion in Lyons 7PM-10PM

TAARKA. Photo Credit: Anne Stavely.

TAARKA. Photo Credit: Anne Stavely.

Earlier this week, we brought you a sweet feature detailing TAARKA’s performance tonight. The Lyons-based bluegrass and gypsy jazz band play Planet Bluegrass’ WildFlower Pavilion, and Caribou Mountain Collective will open the evening. Bring your bluegrass lovin’ buds, treat yourself to a beer or coffee, and spend the start of your weekend listening to a slew of talent on this semi-outdoor stage. The weather alone at this point in November should compel you. Tickets here.

Listen to TAARKA’s Making Tracks Home:

Colfax Speed Queen’s Album Release Party at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 9PM-Close

Colfax Speed Queen. Photo Credit: Matthew Novak

Colfax Speed Queen. Photo Credit: Matthew Novak

Denver’s Colfax Speed Queen are dropping their latest release today, an 11-track record titled Talk To Your Doctor. We had a chance to preview the record earlier this week, and man did we like what we heard! This one is guaranteed to pull at your rock’n’roll heartstrings, and after watching CSQ at The UMS just a few months ago, we guarantee their live show will too. Fort Collins’ Serpentfoot will open the night, followed by The Golden Apples of the Sun. CSQ’s release is dropping on Heavydose Records; make sure to get yourself a vinyl copy of this bad boy. You won’t regret it.

Check out Colfax Speed Queen’s Talk To Your Doctor:

Envy Alo at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Dance away the week tonight at a place we’re so happy didn’t close. Funk rock’s Envy Alo will be playing a free show at Conor’s, and have promised to groove you into oblivion (which may be exactly what you need right now). The trio also play The Fox November 30th opening for Jaden Carlson, so pick up some tickets while you’re there from the crew. Get to it!

Peep Envy Alo’s “When I Play”:

Coral Creek at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

Coral Creek.

Coral Creek.

Golden’s UllrGrass Festival is just a few months away, and tonight the music and beer fest is hosting a kickoff party for the event with Colorado’s Coral Creek at The Lazy Dog. The Americana/country and bluegrass jam band will sport their stringin’ sounds while you enjoy a brew and nab your discounted UllrGrass passes before they go on sale. Check out the full UllrGrass lineup here.

Listen to Coral Creek’s self-titled album:

Tomorrow (Saturday 11/12):

Silent Bear with Adam H. at The Gold Hill Inn in Boulder 7PM-Close

SILENT BEAR AND THE LATE PETE SEEGER. PHOTO CREDIT:   SKYHOOK ENTERTAINMENT

SILENT BEAR AND THE LATE PETE SEEGER. PHOTO CREDIT: SKYHOOK ENTERTAINMENT

With the future of the DAPL looking more terrifying than ever thanks to President-elect Donald Trump’s current 100 Day Plan, tomorrow night’s show with DAPL protestor and artist Silent Bear seems like a perfect way to spend your Saturday in solidarity. SB, who has spent his musical career working for and with Native Americans and other marginalized populations, plays The Gold Hill Inn tomorrow evening. Singer/songwriter Adam H. will open the night, which sure sounds like a powerful one.

Watch Silent Bear’s recent protest video against the DAPL below:

Oscar Ross with Ol’ Hickory & M. Florea at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver 9PM-Close

Oscar Ross.

Oscar Ross.

Denver’s Oscar Ross recently released his latest album, Get Along. Known for his work as the frontman in Denver stoner metal band Lords of Fuzz, Get Along takes you for a whole different kind of ride in Ross’ solo country-esque project. Golden’s rowdy outfit Ol’ Hickory will share the stage; Megan Fong’s latest project M. Florea will open the night. Tickets are only $7, so get yours and make sure to grab a copy of Get Along for yourself after the show!

Give Oscar Ross’ Get Along a listen:

Music always feels like the right thing to do, Colorado. See you at a show!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

Today (Friday 09/16):

Dylan Mathews at Still Cellars in Longmont 630PM-Close

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

Learn more about Mathews here.

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

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

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

Tomorrow (Saturday 09/17):

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

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

Grab more event details here.

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

Josh Moorehead & The Guestlist.

Josh Moorehead & The Guestlist.

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

Check out JMATG’s “Free From It All”:

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

Downtown Boulder Fall Fest in Boulder- Various Sets and Times

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

More event details in this link.

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

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

More event details in this link.

See you out Colorado!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Show Review: Open to the Hound "Way of the Critter" EP Release Party @ Syntax: Physic Opera 4/1/16

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Open to the Hound just released their long-awaited EP titled, Way of the Critter on Friday, and celebrated by throwing a kickass release party at Denver’s Syntax: Physic Opera. The seven-song EP consists of both lyrical and instrumental pieces, each pulling you through various segments of the universe.

Their performance was bookended by fellow Denver indie rock groups Tyto Alba and Blanket Empire. It was my first experience at Syntax, and the venue could not have been more perfect for Open to the Hound’s vibe. The red lighting fed into the mysterious nature of the night, and the walls were covered with paintings of oddities such as hipster pigeons and pregnant Power Rangers. Everything about this venue, right down to the penny mosaic bathroom floors, grabs your attention, just like Open to the Hound.

I had a chance to listen to Way of the Critter in its entirety prior to attending the show, but listening to the music live was a totally different experience. Their instrumental songs, each of which harness the spirit of the elements: (water), (air), (fire), and (earth), took on very different forms, completely washing over me.

At times I felt entranced, allowing myself to be led into the multiverse. But just as I began to be comfortable in this mode, they pulled me away from the hole and unleashed the wild beast in the form of heavier grunge improvisations.

Listen to Way of the Critter:

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With everyone dancing in unison, Open to the Hound’s music truly brought the audience together, and even the multi-colored lights above seemed to be rushing toward the stage. The group played fan favorites such as “Family Name” and “Liquid Lady,” which was particularly special, seeing as the Liquid Lady herself, Gioja Antonette, was present, front row, guiding us all into singularity with her dance moves.

The stage seemed to be form-fitted to the group, a perfect shell for their unique spirits to shine for us. They encored with “Big Deal”, which almost everyone was singing along to, making it the perfect close for a fantastic transformation of a performance.

After the show, everyone mingled and enjoyed delicious cocktails, such as the exclusive “Liquid Lady” served in honor of the group. The mixture of Open to the Hound’s music, great company, and a unique venue with delicious drinks made this release party a sweet, trippy delight.

Way of the Critter is available for your listening pleasure, so go check it out! And connect with Open to the Hound to stay in the loop on their upcoming performances.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.

Denver's The Clearwings Are Guaranteed to Folk You Up

Denver's The Clearwings. Photo Credit: Jason Paul Roberts

Denver's The Clearwings. Photo Credit: Jason Paul Roberts

The Clearwings are a Denver based duo guaranteed to "folk you up" with their uncomplicated and unclad musical stylings. The band, consisting of Raven Adams (vocals) and Mark Phillips (vocals and guitar), wandered nameless through a few open mic nights before a moniker was required of them. They settled on naming the band after a moth. This may seem a questionable concept, until you hear the story of when they were in Taos, New Mexico one spring evening and had the surreal experience of seeing dozens of hummingbird moths around them (a.k.a: clearwings) in a field of flowers at sunset. Said Mark of the experience, "It was an amazing and other-worldly moment; these bugs that look like birds on invisible wings in golden light [fluttering around] and all the while [we were] looking up at sacred Taos Mountain." After that blissful eve, the name "The Clearwings" just felt right.

Watch The Clearwings music video for their song “Driving Around”: 

The duo currently consider themselves "alt-folk". The folk flavor comes from the simplicity of vocals and guitar, while the alt-ambiance is reflected in their ability to launch off into alternative rock covers and acoustic electronica dance tunes with ease. The end result is that two convey a lively, authentic presence without a lot of pretense.

The Clearwings are currently finishing up their EP entitled Rocks in My Shoes, which will be released as a seven-inch, lathe-cut record with Meep Records. The release party will be at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver on Saturday, May 14. They will be touring this summer, and are scheduled to appear on the 2016 season of “The White Wall Sessions” in South Dakota.

Listen to The Clearwings Nothing to Say

You can get show information and keep up with this Denver duo through their website and Facebook.

-Dawn

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 04/01 & 04/02

By: Hannah Oreskovich

You know that spring has sprung when the Boulder County Farmers Market begins, and that deliciousness starts tomorrow peeps. We’ll be covering a lot of musical acts at the market throughout the season; get the details on our plan for that below! Make sure to stop by and say hi tomorrow morning, and spend the rest of your weekend at these local spots (there is so much new music being released- weeeeeeeeeee!):

Today (Friday 04/01):

Augustus at Twisted Pine Brewing Company in Boulder 7pm-Close

The rockin’ guys of Augustus will be playing their First Friday residency at Twisted Pine tonight, so come over and grab a tall boy with this crew. The trio have been working hard recording a ton of new music for you over the past month, and they’re rumored to drop a new music video sometime soon too. This is the perfect way to start your weekend. Get to it!

Listen to Augustus’ track “Iceberg”:

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Official Album Release with Aqueous & Booster at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 9PM-Close

Baltimore’s psychedelic funk outfit Pigeons Playing Ping Pong dropped their new album Pleasure today and they’re celebrating with you at The Fox tonight! New York’s groove-rock trio, Aqueous, will be joining these funky dudes, along with Boulder’s own funk/fusion/rocketfuel band Booster. Love when we’ve got a local act on the bill! This is going to be a wildly fun show with awesome new music, so get your tickets here before the show sells out!

For a taste of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, peep their live performance album below:

Open to the Hound EP Release Party at Syntax: Physic Opera in Denver 9PM-Close

Denver’s wilderness rock group Open to the Hound are dropping their new EP Way of the Critter tonight at Syntax: Physic Opera. We just brought you a feature on their new music video for the song “Liquid Lady”, and if this show is anything like it, it’s bound to be a trippy good time! Denver’s Tyto Alba will share the stage for a set, along with gutter glam band Blanket Empire. Tickets are only $7; get other details here.

Watch the “Liquid Lady” vid if you haven’t yet:

Technicolor Tone Factory Digital Album Release Party at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

Boulder’s improv/funk/jazz five-piece Technicolor Tone Factory are releasing their first full length album at their Lazy Dog show tonight! We’ve been told it’s “60 minutes of pure TTF goodness”, so that’s something to get excited about peeps. The group has promised to make you move at the show, so come get down and check out all of their new jams!

Listen to TTF’s track “Breakbeat”:

Hunter Stone at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Hunter Stone hits one of our most favorite digs, The No Name Bar, tonight. He told us to “be prepared for some new stuff, including mandolins and drum sets and harmonies over new originals.” Joshua Thomas has been announced as special guest. Sounds saweeeeet! More new music? We’re game. Head to this show!

Listen to Hunter Stone’s song “Pedestal”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 04/02):

Eric Dorr, Sawyer Bernath, and Ben Hanna at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

Three talented gentleman are holding down the lovely Laughing Goat stage tomorrow night. Indie folk/rock artist Eric Dorr is currently working on an EP “layered with harmonies, electric guitar, and keyboards”, some of which you can expect to hear at the show. Sawyer Bernath, a Boulder singer/songwriter describes his writing as, “bleak, occasionally redemptive, and usually about memory, aimlessness, and/or girls.” Cool. And one of our faves, Ben Hanna, who is dropping an album soon, describes his sound as “punchy folk” and “kids songs for adults.” We guarantee you’ll love it. So get over to the good ‘ol LG and see these three live tomorrow night!

Check out the event for videos of each performer. 

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BONUS: Every week starting meowww we’ll update you in The Six on who is playing the BCFM on Saturday through a new partnership we formed! Whiskey Autumn’s in the AM tomorrow. Maybe you’ll stop by after a productive morning bike ride, or maybe you’ll just be hungover scarfing down falafels. We don’t judge. We just hope to see you there.

And last but not least...

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This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Denver’s Open to the Hound in honor of their new music video and EP release for Way of the Critter! Tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to catch their song “Liquid Lady” on Rocky Flats’ show!

All of these new sounds have me drooling. Tasty-

See you soon Beaters.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

Emily Shreve: EP Release "Bliss and Gravity"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Emily Shreve's new EP will haunt you in a good way. 

Denver-based artist Emily Shreve.

Denver-based artist Emily Shreve.

The first time we saw Emily Shreve was at the June Boulder-in-the-Round. Her haunting vocals captivated us during her performance, so when we heard she was releasing her new EP, Bliss and Gravity, we wanted to catch up with this Denver-based singer-songwriter. Recently, we had that chance! We chatted with Shreve about her use of dream-like qualities in her sound, why the best parts of recording always happen after midnight, and about what’s next for this intellipop and avant-garde influenced artist.

Bliss and Gravity feels like a dream sequence painted for your audience in the form of stirring vocals, flowing piano pieces, whispery lyrics, and ambient sounds. Talk to us about what inspires you to inject this dream-like quality into your music.

I’ve always been one to use dreams as my inspiration and I love them because they can be weird and impossible, and they can make no sense while simultaneously making perfect sense. I like music that is transportive and takes you out of your normal mindset. Not that normal life is so bad, but it’s important to take your brain to other places. I think that is what good art does, and what a good musician does. They create a moment in time that everyone is a part of; they captivate you and pull you in and take you somewhere you haven’t been before, or haven’t been in awhile. I want to keep going further into dreaminess and go to some different abstract places.

Shreve in the Studio.

Shreve in the Studio.

Bliss and Gravity definitely accomplishes those affects! Speaking of- your howling vocals on “Falling Down” seem to do just that to this listener- to push us deeper into your story; your sound. What was the process like recording this particular track in the studio?

“Falling Down” and “A Temporary Bliss” were actually intended to be instrumental pieces, but I decided to add vocals the day I recorded the piano for those tracks. The vocals were the only part that weren’t technically recorded in the Differential Productions studio. Michael Zucker and I finished a session late, and I was still in music mode, so I used the studio at my dad’s house just down the street to play around with some layers. I was just experimenting, but I ended up writing and recording the vocal part that night and getting it right the first time. I stayed up until 3 am layering everything, and then I found a wav file of a rainstorm on the computer I was using. It just worked so well sonically when I added it, and it fit poetically with the whole concept of the album. Sometimes the best things happen after midnight when you have a microphone.

It sounds like you really got experimental with it, which is awesome. We read in your Colorado Music Buzz interview that you are looking for venues other than noisy bars to perform in, due to your music’s haunting and intimate aspects. Has finding such venues been a challenge for you in the Denver music scene? Where are some of your favorite spots to perform?

I’m not sure I have a favorite yet. I love places where people go to actually listen to music and you don’t have to compete with normal bar noise. Syntax Physic Opera and Mercury Cafe are great spots. There are also places that normally host heavier bands, but that I really like playing, like Lost Lake Lounge or Seventh Circle. I really enjoy nonconventional, intimate settings like house concerts. I once played a backyard speakeasy too, where I got to perform outside, which doesn’t happen often since I am married to my Kurzweil. Anywhere that already has a piano gets major points from me too.

Album Art for  Bliss and Gravity .

Album Art for Bliss and Gravity.

Tell us about one of your very first intellipop influences.

Ahhhh the genre game. I love it so. I’m not sure that I fit into intellipop as it’s often defined, but I like and use the idea of intellipop because I write pop song structures, I use abstract lyrics, and I’m not afraid to change time signatures or use a polyrhythm every once in a while to make a song really creepy (like “Insanity”). I love music that is simple and well written (Andrew Bird, Tori Amos), and I also really love progressive “out there” avant-garde music (Bjork, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum or anything Carla Kihlstedt is on).

Sweet! So beyond your upcoming EP release party for Bliss and Gravity at Mercury Cafe on August 28th, what’s next? Any other big performances on the horizon? A tour? A music video?

I will be doing a music video with the very talented writer/director Olivia Carmel. We actually met where I work and it seemed a little serendipitous that she already had an idea for a video for one of the songs from Bliss and Gravity. We’ll be exploring the visual interpretation of some of the lyrics on one of the tracks. I’ll be booking lots of shows locally for the coming months, and I’m rearranging my life to set myself up to tour by next year. In the meantime, I am really excited to be an introvert this winter and dive into composing another album.

That’s our chat Beat kids! Now go get dreamy with Emily Shreve’s music here, and don’t forget to hit up her EP release party next week. Event details are right here. And you can get info for pre-ordering Bliss and Dreams if you click me.

-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.

Colorado Open Mic Nights: Supporting Local Talent

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Catch an open-mic at any of these spots.

Today we’re talking Open Mic Nights- they’re a cool part of the Colorado music scene for a few reasons. If you’re just a casual listener, they can be a great place to grab a drink with more than just the radio in the background. If you’re a musician, they’re an awesome way to connect with other artists and industry professionals in your area. And if you’re like us and you’re always on the lookout for new talent, Open Mic Nights are a sweet spot to try and find up-and-coming musicians. A ton of the artists we’ve interviewed have had their start in Open Mic Nights; many have even gone on to host them at various venues. Most digs have a reserved weeknight for these shows, so depending on when you’re looking to find an Open Mic Night, here’s where to go:

Sundays:

Lucky Joe’s Sidewalk Saloon in Fort Collins 9PM

Mondays:

Johnny’s Cigar Bar in Boulder 8PM

Jamestown Mercantile Co. Cafe in Jamestown 6PM - Hosted by Jovan

Bootstrap Brewing Company in Niwot 6PM

Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Tap Room in Longmont 6PM - Hosted by The Prairie Scholars

Mulligan’s Pub in Fort Collins 7PM

Tuesdays:

Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder - Hosted by Danny Shafer

Twisted Pine Brewing Co. in Boulder 6PM - Hosted by Jim Herlihy of Augustus

Syntax Physic Opera in Denver 830PM

The Pioneer Inn in Nederland 9PM

Wednesdays:

The Swing Station in Laporte 7PM

The Mercury Cafe in Denver 9PM

Thursdays:

Vindication Brewing in Boulder 530PM - Hosted by Foxfeather

Swallow Hill Music Cafe in Denver 7PM

The Dickens Tavern in Longmont 7PM

Mishawaka’s Spokesbuzz Lounge in Bellvue 8PM - They give you free beer for playing!

That’s our list. Support local talent and check out an Open Mic Night near you.

-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: Tyto Alba "Turn to Stone"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Tyto Alba dropped a new video and it's rad.

Denver-based indie rock outfit Tyto Alba have been playing together for almost a year. In that short time, they’ve managed to record and release their EP Oh Tame One, put out a video for their song “Turn to Stone”, and they’re on the UMS lineup at the end of this month. Obviously, they’re doing something right. So we wanted to sit down with the four-piece’s frontwoman, Melanie Steinway, to chat about Tyto Alba’s creative process for the “Turn to Stone” video, what it has been like to perform in both the Boulder and Denver music scenes, and the other creative projects she’s involved in as a visual artist outside of her band.

Classy Group Right Here: Tyto Alba.

Classy Group Right Here: Tyto Alba.

Melanie, we really enjoyed the video for “Turn to Stone”. Tell us what it was like storyboarding ideas for the video and what elements you really wanted to connect your audience to visually.

Ian [the director] and I were trying to brainstorm a basic plotline for the video and I mentioned that I had four animal skulls in my apartment - coincidentally, one for each band member! That’s how we developed the idea of each member departing into the woods and finding their own personal skull, which then sits atop their gear as they’re playing inside. Ties to nature run through Tyto Alba’s lyrics as well as our visual imagery, so it felt like an appropriate theme. In all of my work I explore death and life, creation and destruction, and how opposing forces can be juxtaposed in a compelling way. I’m constantly intrigued with our connection to the natural world in a time when we’re surrounded by grey, urban life and seem to have lost our animal instincts. I aim to address the animal hidden inside everyone and often find it an appropriate metaphor for describing people and situations.

Those are interesting contrasts to play with visually. You mentioned working with Ian Glass Media. We’ve noticed he’s done a number of cool projects with musicians lately. What was it like working with him and how did you connect with him to shoot?

Ian and I have been friends for several years and had worked together previously on several video/photo projects, but nothing as big as this before. He’s an insanely creative and energetic dude, and he was psyched when I approached him with the music video project. We managed to do all of the filming in one long day up at my father’s house in Sunshine Canyon. We spent a lot of time walking up and down forest-y inclines- it was definitely a workout! Filming indoors was a lot of fun too- our bassist Ryan had made all of these glowing light bottles that made for some pretty neat decor. Overall, Ian was a blast to work with and I would definitely recommend him to anyone needing photo or video work. It’s refreshing to work with someone so enthusiastic about what they do.

Melanie Rocking Out.

Melanie Rocking Out.

We noticed those light bottles! They made for such a cool ambiance behind your indoor performance. So we know you were involved in the Boulder music scene before working with Tyto Alba in Denver. Talk to us a little bit about moving music scenes.

I spent a brief amount of time living in Boulder after graduating from college in Rhode Island. As soon as I arrived, I put together a folk-rock band called Howl Moonshine Howl, which disbanded shortly before Tyto Alba was formed. I think it might have been a challenge to be an indie-rock band [like Tyto Alba] based out of Boulder [because I feel it’s] a town that caters more to acoustic music, bluegrass, reggae, funk, etc. Denver’s music scene is incredibly diverse and there are more venues to play here for a rock band, so that was refreshing. Since we formed around a year ago we’ve played at almost every venue in town: Larimer Lounge, Lost Lake, Lion’s Lair, Hi Dive, Meadowlark, and even Syntax Physic Opera. Recently, it’s gotten tougher in Denver to get paid decently for playing a show though- a four person band shouldn’t walk out of a venue with $30 after a night of lugging expensive gear and performing their hearts out. That being said, we’re all very excited to be part of this scene and to be performing at UMS for the first time alongside all of the biggest bands in Denver.

Thanks for sharing your perspective. We noticed on your personal website that you do a lot of art on woods, including on guitars. And we saw your guitar in the video has some work on it. Have any big-name artists reached out to you yet for designs? Is this something you’re hoping to do a lot more of?

I’ve worked with Fender several times on some woodburned acoustic guitars that have gone off to NAMM for display. One really exciting commission I did a few years back was a woodburned electric guitar body for Ritzy, the singer of The Joy Formidable. It was a birthday present put together by her boyfriend, and she played it on stage at the Boulder Theatre opening up for Passion Pit. She gave me a shout out for the guitar mid-set and I think I might have cried a bit- it was so amazing to see someone like her playing something with my artwork on it! Guitar woodburning projects are pretty involved so I don’t do them too often, but I always love when people approach me with projects! I had fun woodburning my own Fender telecaster a couple of years ago as well, which is the one I now play in my band.

That must have been pretty cool to see a fellow rocker chick jamming on your art. So what’s next for Tyto Alba after UMS? And what’s next for you as a visual artist outside of the band?

After UMS, Tyto Alba will probably hunker down and write some new material in preparation for a full-length [album]. We’re also going to pop into Coupe Studios at some point to record a new single or two. I’ve been collecting footage in preparation for making another music video as well, once we have a polished new recording. [And] as a visual artist I’ve been really happy lately developing myself as a tattooist. I’d love to have more time to work on more personal projects and larger-scale fine art. Sometimes it can be a tough balance between being a visual artist and a musician, but I wouldn’t give either of them up!

So there it is kids- another sweet interview with another band on the UMS lineup. Keep up with Tyto Alba here. Peep Melanie’s artwork here. And watch their video for “Turn to Stone” below:

-Hannah

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