From Dusk to Dawn: The Fifth Annual CommUnity Share Fest Stood Out in Its Efforts to Give Back

By: Moriel O’Connor

Home is found in places near and far, where you take off your shoes and no one tries to step on your toes; where you can dance however you please, free of all worries, judgement or insecurities.

There is a place like this in downtown Denver: Circus Collective, a warehouse home to ecstatic dancing, music for all, and classes of creative and mindful movement. The walls are dressed in exceptional decor such as weaved electrical cords, Alex Gray paintings, and lights bouncing to the floor. The ground, slate and stable, is for gathering, grooving and growing. On the ceiling you’ll see wooden beams and aerial silks spun up and up and up. While the setting is serene, the sights fall behind those who show up to be the artistry in action.

The Gaia Experiment.

The Gaia Experiment.

On January 11th, from 7PM-7AM, the collective converged for the fifth annual CommUnity Share Fest. I was greeted with warm smiles on the icy evening. The night began with a gong-sound healing session that swam into an ocean of high and low notes. Music was provided by underground and local Colorado musicians. To name a few acts, The Alcapones spread joy with their love of ska. Totem, Treaphort, Eartha Harris, and Miraja each bestowed their electronic oasis. B Love beatboxed with the best of them. Mackenzie Page , Chloe Brooke and Random Temple formed a sensational trio of strings and sweet rhythm. Tubby Love  even made a surprise appearance, bringing his roots reggae a Mile High. Fierce Le Fey took us on a journey of ‘cosmic pop poetry” after Dank P.H.A.R.T the Pirate Poet spoke his peace. And as always, it was uplifting to witness and participate in Alexis Kegel’s Gaia Experiment, a production of improvisational magic. The community was encouraged to add their flavor while she stirred up the sounds.

The space was complete with local vendors, an elixir bar, floor cushions, cuddle puddles, and world-class art. There was a shallow pool for artistic purposes at the surface floor, with droplets coming from above. This made for many moments spent admiring nature’s patterns and getting lost in reflections. Artists Maya Sierra and Ransom Kennedy also live-painted by the stage all night, offering visual brilliance to those dancing and passing by.

CommUnity Share Fest stood out in its efforts to give back. With an emphasis on unity, success was found in integration rather than profit. Tickets were affordable with no fees. Proceeds went right back to the artists, and everyone was rewarded with appreciation and inspiration. There was a even coat drive at the front door and donations were brought to the Denver Rescue Mission the next day.

After dancing from dusk through dawn, I was Bay Area bound. Feeling grateful to discover such festivity in the winter, I was reminded of the importance of community and celebration. I had the jet plane blues while saying my “later dude” to colorful Colorado. Call me when the wildflowers bloom again, and maybe I'll return with cooler dance moves.

-Moriel

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.

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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See Memorial Day Weekend

By: Hannah Oreskovich

If you’re not at the ‘Squatch, you should probably be at these spots:

Today (Friday 05/27):

Natural Motives and Intergalactic Peace Jelly at Boulder House in Boulder 9PM-Close

Boulder House has recently been booking live music, and for a venue that was formerly known for only booking DJs (Absinthe House), this place has the possibility to bring a refreshing jolt to the local scene. Tonight’s lineup at the House will really get you movin’! Local jam/funk band Natural Motives is joining forces with Boulder’s Intergalactic Peace Jelly, an improv rock band, for a night of experimental and groovin’ sounds. Catch their sets; show starts at 9PM.

Check out Natural Motives’ latest release “Stress Less”:

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

Jus Sayin.

Jus Sayin.

Funk neo-soul outfit Jus Sayin are holding down the stage at Conor’s tonight for the holiday weekend! Fronted by Boulder’s own Dechen Hawk, the five-piece boasts a solid lineup of accomplished musicians who are prepared to help you get down on the dance floor this evening. Roll over to Pearl and check these guys out!

Listen to Jus Sayin’s live version of their tune “Questions”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 05/28):

Denver Day of Rock at the 16th Street Mall in Denver 230PM-Close

King Cardinal.

King Cardinal.

Amp the Cause is throwing a free one-day music festival on the 16th Street Mall tomorrow! There will be food trucks, a beer garden, and 25 bands sprinkling performances across five outdoor stages. Dearling, Gipsy Moon, HONEYHONEY, King Cardinal, and The Burroughs are on the list of our acts to see at the fest, and you can view the whole lineup here. Stop by and dance around! (PS: Peep our exclusive chat with King Cardinal and our recent review of The Burroughs’ new singles.)

Read more about Denver Day of Rock and how Amp the Cause gives back.

Slow Caves Desert Minded EP Release Show at Downtown Artery in Fort Collins 8PM-Close

Slow Caves.

Slow Caves.

Just this week, we dropped a review on Slow Caves’ new Desert Minded EP. We dig the band’s surfer rock vibes, and we have a feeling you will too. Tomorrow night, the group will be shreddin’ for you live in their hometown at Downtown Artery. They’ll have physical copies of their new release ready for you, and they’ll be playing the tunes live. Get ready to stage dive! This is gonna be a fun one.

Read our review of Slow Caves’ Desert Minded EP.

Card Catalog featuring Georges Octobous at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Card Catalog.

Card Catalog.

There’s a new bluesy folk act on the scene and tonight is their debut performance at The No Name Bar. Card Catalog is a recently formed four-piece comprised of Jenn Tatro (vocals/guitar), Dalton Clayton (lead guitar/bass), Rob Spears (bass/guitar/synth/drums/backup vocals), and Ricky Brewer (drums/bass/guitar/backup vocals). Each musician packs their own punch, which is why this new project is totally worth checking out live! Plus they’ve got a special guest on the lineup, George Octobous. Get yourself a seat behind the big brown door tomorrow night! We’ll see you there.

All Weekend

Boulder Creekfest at the Boulder Creek in Boulder - Various Times and Stages

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Eats, music, and brews! That’s how we want to spend our Memorial Day Weekend. And lucky for us, it’s time for Boulder’s annual Creekfest! There is a slew of local talent on the lineup, including: The Alcapones, Analog Sun with Special Guests, Augustus,The Delta Sonics, Farmer Sisters, Gasoline Lollipops, Let the Beat Speak, Monocle Band, Riley Ann, Whiskey Autumn, and more! Grab your raincoat and head out peeps. See you from the Ferris wheel!

Get Creekfest’s full schedule for the weekend here.

Cheers to the holiday weekend!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 05/20 & 05/21

By: Hannah Oreskovich

TGIF! Let’s get to the tunes:

Today (Friday 05/20):

Battle of the Beer Round One with MOONTANG, The Alcapones, and Pro-Leisure at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 830PM-Close

Tonight kicks off Fox Theatre’s monthly Battle of the Beers, and all your favorite brews will be there: Avery, Boulder Beer, FATE, Odell, Oskar Blues, and Upslope. They’re competing for most brews poured, so come thirsty kids! Some of the night’s proceeds will go to charity, but entrance is free + it’s an all-ages show. And of course, there will be music! Boulder’s MOONTANG future-soul collective will be headlining the night, sharing the stage with folkadelic/reggae outfit The Alcapones and funky/jam rock group Pro-Leisure. Get down! (PS: Eye our exclusive Alcapones interview.)

Listen to Moontang’s “Higher Places”:

Lula Granji with Asalott at Tony P’s Music in Denver 10PM-Close

There’s been a lot of Boulder talent at Tony P's lately, and that’s the case tonight, as Boulder’s Lula Granji and Asalott take the stage. Jazzy-psych/funk five-piece Lula Granji will close out the evening, after a trance/dance set from Asalott. This is a show to groove to folks. $5 cover; lots of drink specials. Head on out! (PS: Catch our exclusive Asalott interview here.)

Listen to Lula Granji’s “Orama”:

Midnight Strange at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Everybody needs a little Strange once in awhile, and tonight’s the night Boulder! These indie twangin’, boot swingin’, booze slingin’ boys will be busting out their best bolos for you at The No Name Bar this evening. The five-piece has been working on some sweet new tunes for the summer! Come on over and dance along!

Check out Midnight Strange's "Miniature Lake":

Tomorrow (Saturday 05/21):

The 3rd Annual Upslope Get Down Festival at Upslope Brewing in Boulder 1PM-10PM

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It’s American craft beer week, and Upslope wants to celebrate it with you! They’re throwing a massive bash at their Flatiron Court location that will include brews, several food trucks, 3 stages, and thirteen local bands. The best part? Thanks to Flatiron Subaru, it’s free! Get out in the sun and see Eminence Ensemble, Freekbass, Lady and the Gentleman, Gipsy Moon, Zee Jackson 4, MOONTANG, Punch Drunk Munkey Funk, Booster, Steepland String Band, Realtalk, Reckon, K-Law, and Zen Mustache. Festival deets here. Can’t wait to see you there!

Peep Eminence Ensemble’s album Mouse Hunt:

Project Pabst Music Festival in Denver’s Larimer/RiNo Neighborhood 1PM-10PM

Though there have been a few changes in the lineup (most notably when Courtney Barnett was swapped with Best Coast), tonight’s Project Pabst festival is still going to be rad. Hometown heroes Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats are headlining the gig, with a slew of talented local and national acts tagging along. The Violent Femmes, K. Flay, and others will be helping you party with your PBR tall boy. We will be snapping pics and covering the fest. Stay tuned for our full review; it drops Monday! Full lineup and tickets here.

We know you’ve seen this Nightsweats video already, but watch it again, will yah?:

John Craigie with Dustin Reid at Swallow Hill Music in Denver 8PM-Close

The last time John Craigie was in Colorado, we caught his back-to-back Boulder to Denver shows, and we loved him. Craigie’s troubadour lifestyle gives his music, and his sense of humor, a crafty wit that weaves between his talented songwriting and musical prowess. Craigie has performed all over the world, and it’s easy to see why once you’ve had the chance to catch him live. Also aboard this Swallow Hill gig is Denver’s talented folk and blues singer/songwriter Dustin Reid, who will be opening up the evening on guitar, banjo, and dulcimer. Get tickets while you can! (PS: Here’s that one time we chatted with Craigie.)

Listen to John Craigie’s “Coldest Colorado” (of course we chose this one):

BCFM

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Boulder County Farmers Market is every Saturday from 10AM-2PM, and this year, we’re working closely with BCFM to promote the music at the market! Tomorrow, David Coile will be holding things down at the big red tent near the vendors! Stop by to hear this local singer/songwriter and grab some tasty eats!

Check out David Coile’s original “Change Myself”:

GREEN LIGHT RADIO

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This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Colorado Springs’ Hydrogen Skyline. Want the scoop on this female-fronted indie electro rock act? Read our feature on the band here! Make sure to tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light Sunday night between 9-10PM to catch their tune “Victory”!

Happy Weekend!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

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 03/25 & 03/26

By: Hannah Oreskovich

One blizzard over and another on the way! Get out there for The Six:

Today (Friday 03/25):

BANDITS with Brandon Hagen and the Inquiry at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

BANDITS.

BANDITS.

Fresh off a badass tour with several SXSW appearances, Boulder’s BANDITS are back in town kids! “Straddling the line between psychedelic and downright explosive”, this rockin’ three piece are bound to bring your head-bangin’ heart to its knees. Plus Boulder’s Brandon Hagen and the Inquiry will be opening the gig. So party down and get to this show at The Lazy Dog tonight! Details here.

Listen to BANDITS track “Wheels”:


Tomorrow (Saturday 03/26):

The Alcapones with Kyle Williams at Jamestown Mercantile Co. in Jamestown 730PM-Close

Boulder’s folkadelic six-piece The Alcapones are playing a show at one of our favorite mountain town venues, The Merc. They’ve promised to “cook up a special homegrown Spring Fling” for you, “party mountain freakk style”. So make the short drive in your well-equipped Subi and check out the show! PS: The Merc’s dinners are not to be missed…

Peep The Alcapones album Happy:

The Ugly Architect, Whiskey Autumn, & Michael McGraw at Downtown Artery in Fort Collins 8PM-Close

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

Join Boulder’s R&B/pop rock trio Whiskey Autumn at Downtown Artery with Colorado singer/songwriters The Ugly Architect and Michael McGraw tomorrow night. There’s a sweet printmaking exhibit up for view right now in the gallery and the venue has a tasty cafe attached. Sip on some wine, check out the art, and support these local musicians! Stoked. Tickets here.

Listen to Whiskey Autumn’s “07.04.07”:

Plum with The Velveteers and Josh Moorehead and the Guestlist at the Hi-Dive in Denver 9PM-Close

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

LA’s rock’n’roll four-piece Plum are hitting the Hi-Dive stage tomorrow with two of our favorite local acts, heavy rock duo The Velveteers and western swing outfit Josh Moorehead and the Guestlist. Now that’s a sweet lineup! We’re pumped for this one. Tickets here.

Press play on Plum’s Light Years, Dark Years:

Andrew Sturtz at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Andrew Sturtz.

Andrew Sturtz.

Ladies- we know it’s cold out, but Andrew Sturtz is just the man to keep you warm tonight. And he’s playing one of our favorite digs, The No Name. The Boulder transplant by way of Michigan will be croonin’ to you all night with special guest Sierra Voss. Come get down with these two and a brew. Can’t wait!

Check out Sturtz’s live performance of “Push to Fade”:

The Jauntee with Envy Alo at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Boston’s psychedelic/jazz/blues trio The Jauntee have a show in the B tomorrow evening. And getting the party started will be Boulder’s Envy Alo, who just dropped their sick debut EP this week! The four-song EP titled One Time is energetic and groovin’ from start to finish, complete with shredding guitar solos, wave-crashing cymbals, and jazzy piano bits. So come party with this crew as they celebrate their new release and support The Jauntee at the LD! It’s gonna be a funkin’ great time.

Check out Envy Alo’s debut EP One Time:

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PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Envy Alo in honor of their new EP release! 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 an Envy Alo original courtesy of Rocky Flats!

See you in the snow.

-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 02/26 & 02/27

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Picks! Picks! Here they are yo:

Today (Friday 02/26):

Analog Son featuring Jason Hann with The Pamlico Sound at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 8PM-Close


Denver’s funky duo Analog Son will rock your socks at The Fox tonight with Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident) and other special guests. And Boulder’s The Pamlico Sound will open this magical show, a spot they had to compete for in a recent Battle of the Bands contest. Go get baptized by all these talented funkadelics, and if you’re in Denver, catch both acts at Ophelia’s tomorrow night. Or be a rockstar and see both shows! What a sweet start to the weekend- get tickets to tonight’s performance here.

Listen to Analog Son’s “Shady Nights”:

Jaden Carlson and Friends Birthday Celebration at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Earlier this week, we dropped a sweet feature on Jaden Carlson and her headlining set at The LD tonight. Did we mention Jaden is 15 and has played with Michael Franti and SpearheadThe Revivalists, John Popper, and Blues Traveler? We might have, but you know what? This lady is insanely talented so it’s worth mentioning again! Come celebrate her birthday- she’s sharing the stage with musicians from TAUK, Eminence Ensemble, Lady and the Gentleman, The Drunken Hearts, Mama Magnolia, the Jacob Larson Band, and more. Get to her gig!

Listen to The Jaden Carlson Band’s album Polychromatic:

The Alcapones at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Reggae/ska six-piece The Alcapones will take the Conor’s stage this evening. Formed on the Front Range, they “bring a new-school feel to what was made popular in Jamaica in the 1960s”. Righteous. The band plans to make you dance alllll night, so come by and get down. And grab an Irish brew while you’re at it!

Listen to their song “Molotov Dub”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 02/27):

Antonio Lopez CD Release Show at Swallow Hill Music in Denver 8PM-Close

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We just brought you a feature on Antonio Lopez’s Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP when it hit the interwebs a couple of days ago. And now it’s time for the release parties! The first one is tomorrow evening at Tuft Theatre at Swallow Hill in Denver. Get your tickets before they’re gone and celebrate with Lopez and opener Theresa Peterson. These two talents are going to put on one awesome show!

Listen to Cloud 9000: Vol. 2: The Alamosa EP:

ASA Martin, Ludlow, Patrick the Pirate, The Real Lyin’ Rohr, & Crust-E the Katt at The Forge in Boulder 630PM-Close

Look- we could give you the info on all of these awesome acts, but half of the fun of walking into a Forge show is not knowing what the h*ll is going on. So we’re not going to. If you just really have to know more, check out the event page right here and preview the bands.

And you know what, here’s ASA Martin’s new EP for your curious listening pleasure:

Anna Englander Trio at Johnny’s Cigar Bar 9PM-Close


Cozy up to some jazz, some bourbon, and a stranger at tonight’s Johnny’s show. Why? Because it’s fun. Anna Englander, Adam Sammakia, and Alex Heffron will light your jazz fire. And Johnny will light your cigar (only in the back room, of course). Read more about the event here.

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PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Denver’s Miles Wide! The trio released their new EP this week, The Kindness of Strangers, and they’re throwing a release party next weekend. So tune in Sunday to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to listen to Miles Wide’s new song “California”!

Thanks Boulder- see you around!

-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.