SoDown Lifted and Lit Up the Fox Theatre Last Saturday

By: Will Baumgartner

A Saturday night at one of the top-rated music venues in the country, which happens to be within walking distance of my house, surrounded by joyful energy and kept moving by irresistible dance grooves- not a bad way to spend an evening, right? Add the pleasure of getting to review a headlining set plus a consistently mesmerizing light show with a packed crowd of young friendly faces, and the end result was a music lover whose walk home felt elevated.

I also felt enlightened, because to be honest, electronic music isn’t my field of expertise. That being said, I learned long ago not to ignore it because I love to dance. And what SoDown does-Bass music- is specifically designed for dance lovers. One of the things I’ve learned from talking with those immersed in the culture is “Don’t call it Dubstep!” Also sometimes called “UK Bass,” this music is clearly influenced by dubstep, but also draws on so many different types of sounds that it’s asserted itself to the point where it has its own identity and commands special attention.

SoDown.

SoDown.

So how does SoDown, a relative newcomer in an already exploding field, distinguish itself within the burgeoning Bass pantheon? And who exactly is SoDown? The answers to these questions are interconnected. As is often the case in the electronic music galaxy, we’re talking about one person here: his name is Ehren River Wright. He stands out because he’s an accomplished saxophonist in addition to his clear mastery as a producer, and a fascinating young star whose rise is an exhilarating thing to experience. In the interest of trying to share a bit of that experience, let’s go back to Saturday’s show for a minute.

The crisp autumnal spark outside the theater became a surge of crackling energy inside. Supporting act Megan Hamilton pumped the swelling crowd with her own brand of uplift, blending some live vocals and bits of drumming on a set of pads mounted next to her rig. Everyone was engaged and the smiles exploded toward the entry of SoDown, whereupon the bliss meter hit the high end of the spectrum. From the first notes and flashes of stylized imagery, through the entire barrage of thumping rhythm, soaring melody and spectacular light show, SoDown ascended to some new and dizzying heights.

When young Mister Wright raised his tenor sax to surf the swells and crests on this sea of sound, it was like we were all riding these waves together, light breaking through storm clouds, all surge and spray with a good dose of sway. I’m not sure where all the voices came from, but the familiar backing bits (including, of all people, some Britney Spears) brought a somewhat grounding effect to the ensemble; a reminder that music is a continuum which leads us into an ever-expanding future while holding the power of its own past. Wright came onstage already dancing to the music in his head, and the dance kept growing throughout the night, and throughout the crowd. Even when the “show” experience was “over,” the dance continued on.

SoDown.

SoDown.

Being considerably less well-versed than others in the Bass world, I needed to make allowances for a few things at SoDown’s set. For one, in my research leading up to this night, I’d expected something a bit different. The recorded music that SoDown has released led me to expect something a little more low-key, a tad more downtempo. So it took me a few minutes to adjust my consciousness to the heavier side of his music, until I remembered that if you’re going to create a party or keep one going, it’s necessary to bring some of your heaviest gear with you. As someone who’s attended countless shows by live bands using no electronics whatsoever, I knew this: virtually everyone plays louder, faster, and harder live. That’s the nature of the beast. Once I’d navigated this shift, a handful of the aspects that make up the whole of who and what SoDown is reasserted themselves: the soulful, sometimes even moody smokiness that belie Wright’s love of jazz, soul, and funk were still there. They simply made their presence a little more of an unassuming and pleasant thing, like the quieter guests at a party- they might be bopping a bit more unobtrusively on the periphery or in the midst of all that more frenzied activity, but they aren’t about to leave.

So, ultimately, this is one of the greatest things about the fully alive and ever-evolving world of music we’re so lucky to be part of: there’s room for everyone and everything, all types of people and emotions, all levels of experience and knowledge. That openness was in great evidence at this gathering. There’s no one watching the door at a dance party thrown by SoDown, and if it takes you a minute or three to fold yourself into the crowd, they’re more than happy to make room for you to get in there and be your unique and indispensable self. This element, like the music itself, resists being pigeonholed because there are so many parts needed to make it whole and keep on lifting.

-Will

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

Stacked All Local Lineup Slated for Fox Theatre This Weekend (07/06)

This Friday, July 6th, the Fox Theatre will host some of Colorado's finest. 

Ashley Koett sounds like Mac Demarco and Ella Fitzgerald made a band and Cuco produced the record. That said, the Boulder artist's combination of slack rock and jazz with "memorizing melodies" is exactly how you want to spend your Friday night this week. We promise.

Flanked by a four-piece band live, Koett is the singer and multi-instrumentalist behind most of her recorded work, which she creates in her Boulder bedroom. She's "not afraid to get personal in her songs" and often "even makes light of her dreary situations" in her music. With a roster opening for bands like Cuco and Frankie Cosmos, it's honestly hard to imagine Koett will remain local for long, which is just another reason this weekend's Fox show should be on your to-do list .

Ashley Koett.

Ashley Koett.

Tyto AlbaCorsicanaAmerican Grandma, and The Milk Blossoms will also grace the stage on Friday. Tyto Alba's female-fronted indie rock vibes mixed with Corsicana's shoegaze is already reason to show up early. But then you add in the shadowy post-rock sounds of American Grandma and the dark pop productions of The Milk Blossoms and well, you'd better just show up at doors. Honestly. (By the way, they're are at 830PM.)

KGNU Community RadioRadio 1190, and Twist & Shout Records are presenting this all-local lineup of stacked proportions and tickets are only $10 in advance. Get yours here and we'll see you at the show.

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

Whitacre Bringing New Brand Of Folk Rock To Fox Theatre This Week (09/28)

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Earlier this year, we premiered singer/songwriter Paul Whitacre’s music video for his track “Beth.” The Indianapolis transplant had recently settled into the Denver scene and was playing his acoustic folk originals at venues around the state. But since we last caught up with Paul, he’s added more rock to his folk sound. How? By adding several Denver players to his new project: Whitacre.

Whitcare.

Whitcare.

Under his solo project, Paul played a few Denver shows with Chase Perry (banjo) and Kyle Miner (electric guitar). But after Mark Cunningham slid into Paul’s DMs and the two had a productive jam session, Cunningham and his roommate Brent Perkins also joined the crew, which at this point was turning into a full-fledged band. That's when Rachel Hartman (fiddle) also connected with the group, and Whitacre the band was born.

Whitacre have since been supporting The Ghost of Paul Revere at shows this fall, with their next performance slated for Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Thursday, September 28th. The show will also feature Denver blues rock outfit Dragondeer, who released their Topanga Canyon Sessions Vol. 1 earlier this year.

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Whitacre told us they're excited to share their new sound at The Fox this week, so make sure to snag tickets to check out their new brand of folk rock for yourself! You can listen to their latest record Coming of Age here.

Keep up with Whitacre on 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.

The Velveteers Release New Psychedelic Music Video "This Love Lasted"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder’s favorite rock’n’roll duo The Velveteers released their newest music video today for their track, “This Love Lasted.” The video, which was filmed in Boulder, transports the viewer into a psychedelic world that follows members Demi and John Demitro through lush garden landscapes and a cemetery, all in kaleidoscopic hues of red and blue. The video has a classic Super-8 film vibe, and also features cupid animations between shots of Demi and John spinning around and moving in reverse through what feels like a trippy dream. Some sort of grim reaper-esque character even appears at one point behind Demi, stirring themes of youth and death the inevitable in this new track.

“This Love Lasted” has a psych rock sound we haven’t yet heard recorded from The Velveteers, who have previously released more heavy rock tunes like “Death Hex.” Their new song features the beautifully haunting vocals that Demi Demitro is known for backed by fuzzy guitars and unsettling chimes. It’s psych done well, and has a fresh appeal that has us curious what else this explosive two-piece have been recording in the studio. Make sure to check out The Velveteers’ new video above and catch them at The Fox this Thursday, and at The UMS later this summer.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

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

White Denim.

White Denim.

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

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

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

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

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

 -Sierra

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

The Malai Llama Lit Up The Fox Theatre's Stage Like A Wild Fire

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Spring has sprung, and Colorado has been keeping it as colorful as ever with vibrant sunsets, cool breezes, and music that won’t quit. Friday night at the Fox Theatre was one for the books, as experimental rock’s bad mama jamas The Malai Llama put on a headlining performance that exploded with color and rhythm.

The Malai Llama at The Fox Theatre last weekend. Photo Credit:   Kaotic Design Productions

The Malai Llama at The Fox Theatre last weekend. Photo Credit: Kaotic Design Productions

The venue was packed with new grads and rascals alike, all greeting the weekend with smiles, twirls, and yes- even a few dance-offs. Local improvisational rock group Intergalactic Peace Jelly took to the stage first, inviting attendees onto their spacecraft and blasting off for the night. Their experimental, jam-heavy set was the perfect launching point for the remaining performances.

The second act, Woodshed Red, brought up the energy in a totally different way, covering a variety of songs, with my personal favorites being “Ramble On,” “Nuthin’ But a G’Thang,” and “Colt 45.” The way they incorporated the fiddle and standup bass to create gritty twists to classic tunes made my heart sing.

By the time The Malai Llama took the stage, the crowd was fired up and ready to be wooed- and this band absolutely did not disappoint. There were so many aspects of Malai Llama’s set that blew me away: Jennifer Hartswick’s slay-worthy vocals in the “Immigrant Song” cover, the band’s mesmerizing onstage chemistry, and of course, the incredible lightwork with colors galore. However, what stood out to me the most was their dynamic force that made each song so unique. They managed to fill their two-hour set with so many different emotions and energies, playing songs such as “Allocamelus,” “Gentle Giant,” and “Cockeyed.” They toyed with metal-like riffs, hip-swaying funk beats, and electrifying dance music. Progressions were seamless, and no two songs sounded the same, leaving the crowd feeling satiated and at peace.

The band finished their performance with a cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” which had everyone embracing and feeling the love. The vibes were strong on Friday, as The Malai Llama welcomed the crowd acapella sing-along to their closing song.

Jennifer Hartswick. Photo Credit:   Kaotic Design Productions

Jennifer Hartswick. Photo Credit: Kaotic Design Productions

As an established musical dynamo within the Colorado scene, The Malai Llama has fearlessly put their killer chromatic tunes out in the world for all to hear. Their music moves as freely as the wild winds of Colorado, and the even wilder people living here. Be sure to check them out next time they hit the stage!

Connect with The Malai Llama on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

-Jura

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

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

By: Mirna Tufekcic

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

The Alcapones. 

The Alcapones. 

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

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

Listen to Mountropolis:

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

-Mirna

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

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

By: Mirna Tufekcic

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

Na'an Stop. 

Na'an Stop. 

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

The legend that is Gnar'V. 

The legend that is Gnar'V. 

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

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

NS at The Fox.

NS at The Fox.

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

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

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

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

Life on the road. 

Life on the road. 

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

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

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

The album art for the self-titled record.

The album art for the self-titled record.

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

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

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

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

-Mirna

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

Marco Benevento Returns To Colorado With Another Jumpin' Set

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The king of pianist-meets-experimental-rock graced The Fox stage last weekend, and if you’re not familiar, let me catch you up on Marco Benevento.

Marco Benevento. 

Marco Benevento. 

Starting in the experimental jazz scene around 1999, Benevento is known in multiple genre circles for his piano playing. In fact, his first studio album as a pianist, Invisibile Baby (2008), was nominated for an Independent Music Award. In his second solo record, Me Not Me (2009), Benevento dipped more heavily into the jazz collides with experimental rock realm and has been soaring through it ever since.

Benevento has a special history with Boulder. He’s been playing the local scene since his involvement with Joe Russo in what they dubbed the Benevento Russo Duo. Russo called Boulder home for a period of time, and as such, Benevento developed a following here and let me just stay- it’s still strong. Benevento’s Fox crowd exploded in applause when he entered the stage in his trademark sunglasses and a top hat after a super-groovy set by opener Envy Alo, and fans only boogied more from there.

Check out Benevento's Woodstock Sessions:

Benevento started the first half of his set with Side A of his 2016 release, The Story of Fred Short. The band then mixed in a few covers (including fan favorite “Heartbeats” by the Knife, which was a cover released on Benevento’s Me Not Me record). They also played a number of originals from Benevento’s catalogue throughout the second half of the set, including a few from the recently released Woodstock Sessions; “they” referring to badass female bassist Karina Rykman and energetic drummer Andy Boger. Though mostly positioned behind the keys (which were stacked with various pickups, toys, and electronic gadgets to facilitate Benevento’s circuit-bending styles), Marco jumped off of his piano a number of times to the delight of the crowd, and overall brought a ton of energy to his performance.

Benevento put on an electrically-charged show last weekend, and the trio’s current tour continues. Get the rest of his tour dates here and make sure keep up with Benevento’s newest music moves on his website.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

From Death to Dawn Comes 'Resurrection': Catch The Gasoline Lollipops at The Fox Theatre This Valentine's Day

By: Mirna Tufekcic

There’s a reason why a band gains momentum. Sometimes people connect through the language of music, and what comes of it, well, it’s undeniable. That’s kind of the story of Gasoline Lollipops, a band escaping genre confinement as they set every show ablaze with heart-forward, stomping, growling tunes.

Jeb Bows, an exceptional fiddler from the tiny town of Ward, CO, talked about this language of music with me recently, in an interview about his role in the Gas Pops.

“I was four years old when my eye caught a violin posted on the wall of the cabin I was born in.” Jeb told me, taking me back to the start of his music career.

Jeb Bows.

Jeb Bows.

“I learned to play music as someone would learn to speak their native language.” Jeb said, “It’s called the Suzuki Method, invented by Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist. The premise of the method is listening to sounds and figuring out how to produce the sounds you’re hearing, not unlike a baby learns to speak from watching and mimicking its parents… Music’s been my life path since.”

Jeb plays the fiddle with the Gas Pops, but he also dabbles in other music projects.  

As he says, “I stay really busy, but rarely do I say no,” when it comes to playing with other musicians and singer-songwriters. You’ll see him playing a sold out Red Rocks shows with Gregory Alan Isakov or in a local coffee shop swooning a small crowd with his violin alongside other, lesser known, but no less talented musicians. Bows has a keen ability to sync with anybody he plays with, a gift and a privilege he is very well aware of having.  

The Gasoline Lollipops. 

The Gasoline Lollipops. 

But not all of Jeb’s life was as smooth as the vibrations he creates on that fiddle of his. He spent a chunk of time in Los Angeles walking down a dark, dead-end road and lost himself in the process. He stopped playing music for a while. It took a few years of meandering in the dark for fate to finally come knocking. And she gave him a choice, “What’s it gonna be, Jeb Bows, music or death?”  

Right around the time Jeb was figuring out his way back to sobriety, Clay Rose, the frontman of the Gas Pops was fighting his own demons and self-destructive behavior. Clay grew up in the South, always an outsider bullied by other kids for being different. He was a rebel without a cause, maybe, but he was definitely someone who wanted to make himself stand tall… but not before hitting rock bottom first. As fate would have it, when Jeb moved from L.A. back to Boulder, and Clay moved to Boulder from Nashville, Clay started the Gas Pops and Jeb joined very shortly afterward, the two having met through a mutual friend.

Clay Rose (left) and Brad Morse of Gasoline Lollipops.

Clay Rose (left) and Brad Morse of Gasoline Lollipops.

When I asked Clay about his inspiration for Gas Pops he told me, “If you put a tin can over my chest and listen you would hear this… The [Gas Pops] songs are extremely personal. It’s where I come to play, to confess, for redemption, and where I flog myself.”   

Music for Clay is a way of coping with feelings that have no place in this world; it’s what saved him and gave him a purpose. Though his start in the language of music was admittedly a little different. One of his earliest musical influences was a random cassette tape he found in his mother’s closet with Leonard Cohen on one side, and Tim Buckley on the other.

“That’s when I started writing poetry, because I realized Cohen was writing about things I didn’t know you could talk about. I didn’t know there was language for it. He validated that these things exist and that they can be expressed.”

Clay went on, “There’s a lot of songs I write that I won't play for anyone for months, because I think, man, I can’t be that transparent. But, eventually, I’ll present it to the band and they’ll urge me to play it at our shows. So, I’ll play it and cringe for months.Then the people from the crowd will come up to me and affirm that that song means alot to them, and I start to feel better about it. And that’s when I remember the reason I’m doing this in the first place. My function, my validation as a musician, is to validate the lonely and suffering.”

And Jeb’s musical mission isn’t far from Clay’s.

“I’ve dedicated my life to sharing in the light and love and connecting with everyone who wants to play and listen, because, in the end, we’re all better for it.” Bows smiled.

The truth is, if you get the Gas Pops in a room, the whole crowd will undoubtedly perk their ears and pay attention. The band taps into something others can relate to, whether through the language of hardship or love, and they prove time and again that their music is something to get down and dance to no matter your life experiences.

Gasoline Lollipops’ music has been called alt country, gypsy folk, and punk rock among others. Even the guys themselves can’t quite tell you what genre they sound like. But really, who cares? If we can connect through the language of music itself without having to confine it to genre, then I think times are ripe with progress. These days you’re a good musician if you can pluck from the tree of knowledge and make it into something totally your own. Sometimes it takes a group of people to create a special work of art, and sometimes trials and tribulations to show you the way. That’s the Gas Pops.  

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The Gasoline Lollipops just finished their new album Resurrection, the final piece of their Lucky 7 Trilogy, and are celebrating this Valentine’s Day with a CD Release Party at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. Foxfeather and Kid Reverie will share the stage. Explore the Gas Pops’ language of music for yourself on a night where we could all use light and love- get your tickets here!

-Mirna

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

Boulder's The Fox Announces Special Shows for 25th Anniversary Concert Season

By: Hannah Oreskovich

This morning, Boulder’s The Fox Theatre announced a number of special shows for their 2017 concert season, celebrating their 25th Anniversary in business. The Fox is one of Boulder’s premiere concert venues, and has even been recognized by Rolling Stone as one of the “best clubs in America.” The Fox are celebrating their 25th year making noise with groups who have local roots, and classic bands who have generally been a big part of the Fox’s concert history.

The list includes 3OH!3, Big Gigantic, G. Love, Leftover Salmon, North Mississippi Allstars, Poolside, Rose Hill Drive, The Funky Meters, The Greyboy Allstars, The Motet, The Magic Beans, The New Mastersounds, & The String Cheese Incident. All tickets are already on sale for these spring shows, so grab yours to celebrate 25 years with The Fox 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.

 

Your Guide To Colorado Shows For New Year's Eve

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s time to pop bottles Colorado! Here are our picks for New Year’s Eve shows this weekend:

Berthoud

Jeremy Mohney at City Star Brewing in Berthoud 9PM-Close

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

Boulder’s Jeremy Mohney released multiple EPs this year, both of which definitely caught our ear. The jazz/swing artist is throwing down at City Star Brewery to welcome in 2017, and we definitely recommend getting your swing moves on at this one. Mohney will have your feet tappin’ in no time, and after a few celebration libations, you won’t want to sit still. Details here.

Boulder

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

Andrew Sturtz.

Andrew Sturtz.

Soulful singer/songwriter Andrew Sturtz will be holding things down behind the big brown door tomorrow night for NYE. Known locally for his solo work and his performances with The Constellation Collective and other groups, Strutz will croon you into the new year in style. Plus, there’s no cover. What’s not to dig? Deets here.

Lady and The Gentleman at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

Boulder’s Lady and The Gentleman have made some changes to their lineup this year, but they’re still bringing mad grooves to the Colorado scene. Tomorrow they’ll grace the stage at The Lazy Dog, and no cover means no excuses. Get to it! More info right here.

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

The Alcapones.

The Alcapones.

If you want to be shaken up Boulder, here’s your chance! The minstrel show of The Alcapones will be taking over Conor’s to dance you into the wee hours of 2017. Come hang and get rowdy! There will be lots of funky horn playing for your listening pleasure. More info here.

Yonder Mountain String Band with The Railsplitters at The Boulder Theater in Boulder 8PM-Close

Yonder Mountain String Band.

Yonder Mountain String Band.

Nederland’s Yonder Mountain String Band are holding down the BT for NYE. The five-piece bluegrass band well-known around these parts will share the stage with Boulder’s The Railsplitters. Get over to get down! Tickets here.

Denver

Flobots with Nahko and Medicine For The People at The Ogden Theatre in Denver 8PM-Close

Flobots

Flobots

Denver’s Flobots members have been locally active in several awesome events this year, including Denver’s “Our Neighbors, Ourslves” refugee benefit and the Rock Against The TPP event. Tonight, the crew will swing you into the new year with Portland’s Nahko and Medicine For The People at The Ogden. Tickets here.

Fox Street & Friends with Tiger Party at The Bluebird Theatre in Denver 9PM-Close

Dever’s Fox Street & Friends will be rolling in the new year tomorrow at The Bluebird with a 12-piece band and double sets, which will include music from the movies Boogie Nights and Blow, and tracks by Rick James, David Bowie, and Prince. The band’s frontman Jonathan Huvard is relocating to NYC in 2017, so this show is your chance to catch this crew together in what may be their last local performance for awhile. Tiger Party will open the night with songs by LCD Soundsystem. Tickets for this dance party here!

Itchy-O with Total Unicorn at Summit Music Hall in Denver 8PM-Close

We actually spent our NYE with Denver’s Itchy-O last year, so we’re here to tell you this show is going to be a magical time! The mysteriously masked band will have you boogieing all over Summit Music Hall; Total Unicorn is opening. Enter the dark. Tickets here.

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club with Kid Congo Powers at 3 Kings Tavern in Denver 10PM-Close

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club will be laying out their ‘Commandments’ for you tomorrow evening at 3 Kings Tavern, and we’ve actually got a whole interview with Slim himself for you here. This show will be one crazy ride into 2017, so take it! Tickets here.

The Yawpers with The Other Black at The Oriental Theater in Denver 7PM-Close

The Yawpers. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

The Yawpers. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

We love The Yawpers. And we love The Other Black. And both of them are sharing the stage tomorrow night at The Oriental for NYE! The Moved and Evan Holm & The Restless Ones are opening the show, making for a full lineup of Denver badassery. Get to this gig- seriously. Tickets here.

Winehouse Masquerade Ball with Judge Roughneck at Mercury Cafe in Denver 930PM-Close

Winehouse.

Winehouse.

Denver’s Amy Winehouse tribute band Winehouse are ringing in the new year at Mercury Cafe with plenty of sultry, soulful vibes. Presales are only $20 and Judge Roughneck is opening the night, so grab tickets while you can! This will be an awesome show. Deets here.

Durango

Nappy Roots with Jerney at Animas City Theatre in Durango 9PM-Close

Jerney.

Jerney.

Nappy Roots are closing out the year in Durango tomorrow, and Denver’s Jerney is opening the gig. Jerney has been dropping new music like crazy this year, and this is one of his last Colorado shows, so make sure to get to it! Tickets here.

Greeley

The Burroughs with Bryce Merritt at The Moxi Theatre in Greeley 8PM-Close

The Burroughs.

The Burroughs.

Greeley’s The Burroughs dropped some sweet new music this past year, and they’ll be playing that for you tonight + more tunes at The Moxi. The nine-piece soul pop outfit will be joined by Bryce Merritt for good measure. Wicked. Tickets here!

Fort Collins

Rose Hill Drive with The Velveteers at Hodi’s Half Note in Denver 9PM-Close

The Velveteers. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Denver’s The Velveteers are arguably one of the most successful acts coming out of Colorado right now. Fronted by Demi Demitro, the heavy rock two-piece will make you headbang all the way up until Boulder’s Rose Hill Drive takes the stage at Hodi’s. Go get yourself hypnotized. Tickets here.

Rollinsville

Jaden Carlson Band at The Stage Stop in Rollinsville 10PM-Close

Jaden Carlson.

Jaden Carlson.

Teenage musical prodigy Jaden Carlson has had quite the year in the Colorado music scene. From impressive opening slots for bands like The Revivalists to her own headlining performances at The Fox, Carlson has proved she knows how to break. things. down. Head out to her last performance of the year tomorrow at The Stage Stop! We guarantee it will be an impressively good time. More info here.

That’s it for us for NYE Colorado! See you in 2017!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Brooklyn's A Shadow of Jaguar Release New Music Video For "Keep On Knocking"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

This past fall, Boulder, CO rock duo A Shadow of Jaguar made the move to New York. Now based in Brooklyn, members Brian Hubbert (lead vocals/slide guitar/bass) and Andrew Oakley (drums/vocals) actually laid down several tracks before their Colorado departure at Denver’s Silo Studios back in 2015. One of these tracks, “Keep on Knocking,” is a tune originally written and recorded in 1976 by pronto-punk band Death. The track itself was not released until 2009, and now, ASOJ have put their own spin on the rock’n’roll hit “as an homage to America’s rock pioneers.”

Just last week, A Shadow of Jaguar dropped an accompanying music video for their version of “Keep on Knocking.” The video features shots of the duo gallivanting around several Boulder hometown haunts, including The Fox Theatre, Dot’s Diner, and The No Name Bar, where Whiskey Autumn’s Matty Schelling actually makes a short cameo appearance. These scenes are interspersed with action shots of a lady friend rocking out, skateboarders, and an ASOJ live performance. Filmed and directed by Colin Anders of Slice Cinematics, you can peep the video for yourself below:

Currently, ASOJ are busy gigging around NYC, but have plans to release more singles for your ears in 2017. Keep up with their tour schedule 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.

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.

Fruit Bats Flying Over to The Fox This Saturday

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Formed in 1997 by singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson, Fruit Bats came up with the early ‘00s indie folk rock boom. The four-track solo project that soon evolved into a full band, (with original members from Rowboat, another Johnson pastime) the group’s debut album Echolocation was released on Perishable Records in 2001. After touring with big bands of the time, including Modest Mouse and The Shins, Fruit Bats were picked up by Sub Pop, where they released four more records over the course of almost a decade.

Eric D. Johnson.

Eric D. Johnson.

After a personal tragedy forced Johnson to end the project, he hit the road with The Shins, Vetiver, and Califone. He then went on to produce a Breathe Owl Breathe record, scored films, and focused on the success of his growing Huichica Music Festival. But the deeper Johnson dug to find himself and start anew, the more he realized that his identity was within “this dumb fake punk rock name that I put on a four-track tape.” Johnson missed Fruit Bats.

Watch the music video for Fruit Bats' "Humbug Mountain Song":

To the delight of fans internationally, Fruit Bats reformed in 2015, touring with My Morning Jacket and recording their album Absolute Loser, which dropped last spring. The album gained a lot of buzz, with Consequence of Sound calling it the record which “brings the best of Fruit Bats’ diverse discography together.” Following its successful release, FB hit the pavement on a headlining tour, which brings us to now. This Saturday, November 5th, Fruit Bats are headlining The Fox Theatre. Front Range favorites The River Arkansas will open the evening, with Fruit Bats to follow. Tickets are only $15 in advance, and can be purchased here.

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Fruit Bats are stoked to be back on the road, so you can expect Saturday's gig to be one of their best live performances yet. They’ll be playing tunes across their catalogue, and are sure to be raising the Fox’s folk rock roof.

Come check them out! We’ll see you there.

-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 Growlers' Latest Colorado Visit Was a Beach Goth 'City Club' Dream

By: Claire Woodcock

There’s nothing like getting hit in the face by the drop of a lead singer’s sweat. BolderBeat was at the foot of the stage to Brooks Nielsen, frontman of The Growlers, last Saturday night at The Fox Theatre.

Brooks Nielsen of The Growlers. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Brooks Nielsen of The Growlers. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s DJ boyhollow played ‘80s pop hits from Bowie and The Stones; basically he played anything a little too dark to be included on the soundtrack of a John Hughes flick. But the show didn’t really start, meaning the crowd didn’t really get down with the goth-pop, until the Orange County psych rock revivalists took the stage, and Nielsen started jiving to the percussion on “Big Toe”.

Growlers lead guitarist Matt Taylor. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Growlers lead guitarist Matt Taylor. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Nielsen joked that he was excited to play new songs off The Growlers’ latest release, City Club, “because who wants to listen to Chinese Fountain anymore?” I laughed, but I’m also really into their directed professionalism onstage. City Club is The Growlers’ eighth album in six years. The City Club Tour is a classy time warp that essentially revived Creedence Clearwater Revival. But The Growlers evolving style is taking an obvious clue from The Strokes.

Life in the 'City Club'. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Life in the 'City Club'. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Don’t worry Chinese Fountain fanatics. They played the title track of the release, “Dull Boy”, and “Black Memories” as well. Earlier tracks were included on the setlist too, like 2010’s “Empty Bones” and 2013’s “Tell It How It Is”, which was like hearing The Growlers restored years before Urban Outfitters releases the 10-year anniversary vinyls. So if you’re listening to the new Hot Tropics anniversary drop in 2020, just know that BolderBeat heard “Sea Lion Goth Blues” first, ok?

Double mics, alright? Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Double mics, alright? Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Full disclosure: Post show, post going home to write this review, I found myself sipping on good whiskey and dancing to my now Chinese Fountain pastimes in my living room. I’m here to tell you that sometimes it’s okay to do that, but “I’ll Be Around,” one of the singles from City Club, made for catchy encore repertoire that clearly has producer Julian Casablancas’ magic all over it.

Suit game on point. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Suit game on point. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

In Boulder, this California surf-pop-rock band was as polished as I’ve ever heard or seen them. White suits with floral decals complimented the “city club” get-up that was going down. The signature clean guitars and distorted vocals that have made The Growlers such a staple on the Colorado music scene were all around. And Nielsen was all business when he rocked the stage with his classic two-step, two-mic performance.

Whispers. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Whispers. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Though he’s known for being notoriously shy, eager fans took every chance they had to get close to Nielsen. It’s a really surreal experience to be conjoined at the hips to the people on every side of you swaying. At that point, there’s really nothing left to do but submit, and let everyone crawl over you to take pictures, touch Nielsen’s surprisingly clean white Converse, and reach around you to tug at any part of the man they could attempt to grasp. Fans boosted fans trying to get onstage to hug Nielsen, talk to lead guitarist Matt Taylor about an after party, or stage dive into the dancing crowd. Which had me wondering, “When the band doesn’t initiate crossing the fourth wall into a mob of fans, shouldn’t fans not only be cognizant of that, but honor the stage space, no matter how much you love them? Or does being a fan entitle ticket buyers to create their own experience out of the evening, even if it could impact the musicality of a band’s set?” Leave your thoughts on this one in the comments folks.

Front row Bettys. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Front row Bettys. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Fortunately, The Growlers are one of the most talented national bands I’ve seen this year, and even with all of the attention at Saturday's show, they managed not to miss a beat. This was The Growlers’ fourth show in Colorado this year; they played Belly Up Aspen, The Ogden Theatre, and Mishawaka Amphitheatre before returning to Boulder’s The Fox  to premiere City Club. We’re looking forward to the album, which drops next Friday, September 30th, as well as future shows from these top notch dudes. Maybe even with a little more sweat.

Keep up with The Growlers here.

-Claire

All photos per Hannah Oreskovich for BolderBeat. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

BolderBeat Will Be Covering The Growlers' Sold Out Fox Theatre Show Tonight

By: Claire Woodcock

Are you hitting up the much anticipated Growlers’ show in Boulder this Saturday night? You better believe that we are!

BolderBeat has received confirmation that we’ll be bringing fellow music gurus exclusive coverage from The Growlers show at The Fox Theatre tonight. The anticipation has been building on our end for weeks- we have the email chains to prove it.

The Growlers.

The Growlers.

I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to go ahead and say that these “beach goth” rockers from California have been on my mind since summer 2014, when their fifth album Chinese Fountain came out. But the band’s November 2013 release Gilded Pleasures could possibly be the album that helps me justify selling my soul to the music journalism world.

Listen to Guilded Pleasures:

The Growlers continue to prove themselves prolific with City Club, the band’s eighth album in six years. City Club drops next Friday, September 30 on Cult Records, and we’re ready to let you know what’s up with these new Julian Casablancas-produced tracks. You can bet that “I’ll Be Around” and “City Club” are the beach goth group’s Strokesiest songs yet.

Denver DJ boyhollow will open the show tonight. Also known as Michael Trundle, boyhollow is the founder of Lipgloss, the country’s longest running indie/soul dance club. He'll be spreading goth vibes before The Growlers hit the stage.

Look for us wearing our beat buttons at the foot of the stage tonight, and stay tuned for my forthcoming, unfiltered thoughts and contributor Hannah’s action shots. Colorado is so hot for The Growlers, and we think we might know why. Can’t wait to let you know what’s up at this SOLD OUT show, Boulder!

-Claire

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

Colorado's Edison Announce New Album, 'Familiar Spirit', & String of Hometown Shows

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Most bands dream of touring the nation and hitting the pavement on the reg, and Denver’s Edison have spent the last year doing just that, playing shows from coast to coast, and everywhere in between. The Colorado folk rock trio, consisting of Sarah Slaton (vocals/guitar), Dustin Morris (drums/vocals), and Grammy-nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers), made the joint decision in 2015 to quit their day jobs and pursue music full time. And that choice has sure paid off: Edison was recently signed to Rhyme & Reason Records, are coming out of a busy festival season with another full tour planned for the fall, and their album, ‘Familiar Spirit’, drops next Friday, 09/16/16. In anticipation for its release, Edison are actually headed back to the CO for a bit, with hometown shows planned at Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Friday, 09/09/16 and Denver’s Larimer Lounge next Tuesday, 09/13/16. Make sure to snag your tickets now, and in the meantime, check out our interview with Edison below:

How did the three of you come to be a part of the Colorado music scene?

Dustin and Sarah were initially involved in the Denver music scene, and Max had strong roots in his hometown music scene up in Fort Collins. In 2014, Sarah opened for Dustin and his former project on a tour to SXSW. By the end of the tour, they were collaborating on stage, and continued working together after returning home. Fast forward a year later, and Maxwell joined the Edison duo project on a co-headlining tour to SXSW 2015. [Edison’s] missing piece came together on that trip, and we've been a band ever since. 

Edison. Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Edison. Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

We know that you made the decision to hit the road and foster relationships with people on tour before releasing much music as a band. How did you have the courage to take this approach? And how has this route defined this project for you?

The courage to commit to such aggressive touring came after years of each of us touring solo with our own music. Within the last decade, each of us had traveled alone across the country with just our instruments and clothes in our car. When we finally made it into a car together, the chemistry clicked and we immediately agreed to give this project 110%. The road feels like home to all of us already, and [this project] has been defined by our joint love of traveling, and trying to carve out our future. [We will continue to tour this fall] with Jared & The Mill after Familiar Spirit is released next week, and we're so excited to take this record to the West Coast.

Denver is quickly becoming a massive launch pad for national acts, two of which you’ve had the chance to share a stage with (ie: Hughes as formerly of The Lumineers and Edison’s performance with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats). In your experience, why do you think Denver is a growing music hub? And what do you dig most about the Denver scene?

The scene in Denver stands out from other markets because there is a culture of collaboration. Musicians build community with one another instead of opting to view it as a competition. There are more systems in place to support the scene [in Denver] than most cities too. Things like CPR’s OpenAir, Illegal Pete’s, Levitt Foundation, SpokesBUZZ (R.I.P.), The UMS, and Youth on Record all make supporting local musicians part of their core mission. Artists in Denver have access to music business education, philanthropic opportunities, and media exposure all at their fingertips. It's something special.

Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

Sarah- As an out female fronting a successful indie folk project, you’re in a position of power to bring your background to your audience. How do you harness that power in your artistry to empower women, and LGBTQ individuals?

I'm proud to be an out woman and to stand on stage beside two men who support me and the LGBTQ community. It's been really rewarding to get feedback after a set from girls who are wanting to pursue music, or who have questions about my experience being an out musician. I hope that they take away something from the set that adds to their confidence in wanting to go for it themselves. 

When it comes to releasing ‘Familiar Spirit’ this month, what are you most excited about? Sharing the new tunes? Getting back on the road? All of the above?

All of the above. This record is something we've been sitting on since recording [it] last spring, and we have been anxiously awaiting the release date. We're so proud of the album, and to finally see people take the music home at shows will feel like Christmas.  

Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

What can your audiences expect from your sets while you’re in Colorado for these hometown shows?

Our hometown shows will be the perfect cap to the first leg of our 2016 tour. We have been working hard on the set for each show, and can't wait to get in a room with our hometown audience. They're family. We may have a few tricks up our sleeves for them, but folks will have to come see for themselves!

Well played, Edison. Stoked for the shows.

Make sure to catch Edison at Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Friday, 09/09/16 and Denver’s Larimer Lounge next Tuesday, 09/13/16. And keep up with this Colorado folk rock trio 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.

Mac DeMarco Brought The Boys Club to Boulder's Fox Theatre

By: Claire Woodcock

Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it: It was really weird when Mac DeMarco was jerking off to his band in the crowd at the end of his show at The Fox on Thursday. The audience held him up with one of his hands while the other was in his pants, as he blatantly touched himself to guitarist Andrew Charles White, bassist Rory McCarthy and drummer Joe McMurray. Both musically and literally, “Together”, the song he and his friends close out every show with, became a unified, ten-minute-too-long musical jerkoff.

Mac DeMarco. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Mac DeMarco. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Hail to the bucket hat wearing, PBR chugging, current king of indie rock. Since McBriare Samuel Lanyon “Mac” DeMarco’s 2014 release Salad Days, the Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has become a cultural master of the dirtbag aesthetic. DeMarco saturated the Colorado scene this week, opening for Tame Impala at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, playing The Ogden in Denver, and taping a podcast episode with eTown before his last stop in the Centennial state, a sold out show at Boulder’s Fox Theatre.

Justin Renaud of Sunboy during their Fox Theatre set. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Justin Renaud of Sunboy during their Fox Theatre set. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The moshing began well before Macko and his crew took the stage. Denver based psych-pop outfit Sunboy gave a knockout performance, with lush instrumental arrangements that gave this relatively fresh local band a crowd ready to lose their minds for Mac. Sunboy put out their first EP this August, Yesterday Is in Love With You, and are still riding that album release high. Frontman Justin Renaud, who alternates between acoustic/electric guitars and keys, usually in-between an enthusiastic “whoop” or two, had a charisma and stage presence that made for a daring and mature performance, before the immaturity to come.

Jon Lent. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Jon Lent. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

After that, wild doesn’t even begin to cover it. I lost my shoe in “Salad Days”, the second track in DeMarco’s set. By that point, the crowd was in full mosh mode to songs like “The Way You Love Her” and “Just To Put Me Down”, from the 2016 mini-album Another One. Comfort zones didn’t exist after that. College girls launched an assortment of lace panties at Mac, and even broke the fourth wall to deliver him a “crown” of cigarettes. I found my sneaker a couple of songs later, after slamming into BolderBeat photographer Hannah Oreskovich, and the teenage girls at the very front of the crowd.

DeMarco and White's onstage makeout. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

DeMarco and White's onstage makeout. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The same teenage girls must have had a premonition about Macko and friends’ displays of mind-altering public affection. Gushing over their first kisses, or wishing their first kiss was a Macko kiss, all three of the BolderBeat writers at this show had to ask themselves, “Are we too old, too jaded to love Macko?” The answer is maybe, but we’re also critics.

Macko. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Macko. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Personally, I’ve always been a little skeptical of magic Mac. He’s been on my radar since his Salad Days EP release in 2014. I’ve taken to tracks like “Treat Her Better” and “Let My Baby Stay.” I’m empathetic to these tracks because they remind me of an archetype I met in college: the sympathetic stoner that’s feeling a little blue about his relationship prospects. But Demarco’s live show aesthetic is much more like a performance of “Let Her Go” on steroids.

Bucket Hat Glory. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Bucket Hat Glory. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

If you caught Macko and friends’ opening act for Tame Impala at Red Rocks Wednesday night, Thursday night’s show was four times the methodological madness, with singer/songwriter and guitarist Ryley Walker (who also taped a set Thursday with eTown), dousing himself in PBR between crowd dives after DeMarco brought him onstage, just for the hell of it. Demarco and White visibly tongued each other during their behind-the-back guitar solos, and most members of the band were shirtless by the end of their set. Mac DeMarco brought the boys club to The Fox on Thursday, giving all the Boulder bros in the crowd the excuse to go mad, and the rest of us a chance to watch the insanity in splendor and shock.

-Claire

All photos per Hannah Oreskovich for BolderBeat. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Refueled and Ready For Liftoff: Booster’s Front Range Funk/Fusion Sound Rises to a New Level

By: Will Baumgartner

Boulder-based “funk/fusion/rocket fuel” quartet Booster have been one of my favorite local groups for awhile. I first caught them at The Lazy Dog in early 2015, drawn by curiosity and loyalty to old friends who had also been my musical cohorts (bassist Alex Vouri and drummer Mike Lehman had both played in The Pamlico Sound with me). What I heard at that first show was satisfying and exciting beyond anything I could have expected: the duo, with their first keyboardist Aaron Pettine (now of Envy Alo, who we last covered for BolderBeat here), were simply on fire with funky/jazzy compositions, infectious energy, and top-level musicianship. When trumpeter Les Miller joined a couple of months later, it was like their rocket ship had burst through a whole new level of space, breaking some unknown sound barrier, and I went from ardent supporter to rabid fan of the band. I wanted more; all I could get of Booster’s sounds. Then, toward the end of 2015, Pettine announced that he would be leaving the group to focus on Envy Alo, and I was (as I’m sure other fans were too) greatly disheartened. Alex Vouri told me they were going to get someone new in on keys, but I wondered how anyone could fill Aaron’s shoes. Still, I told myself to just wait and see.

As it turned out, all I needed was a little patience and faith: Booster are about to do their first show with new keyboardist Evan Morris, and as Alex said to me in a conversation a little while back, “this guy is straight fire”. There’s nothing like taking an already great band and bringing in some new blood and creativity. And so, on the eve of a new dawn for the exploratory vehicle known as Booster, I was more than excited to have a conversation with Alex Vouri and Les Miller about what the group’s been up to and what to expect from the band next:

I’ve been a Booster fan since the beginning, which wasn’t all that long ago, and have seen you grow and change a lot in a short time. What were the circumstances of the group’s formation, and how have things changed since then?

Alex: Well, it started as most groups do- I wanted to form a group to perform instrumental music that would be equally fun to listen or dance to; good for the brain and the booty, ya know? So I called up our drummer Mike Lehman, we jammed a few times just the two of us, and then we started bringing in players we knew and already had chemistry with. Mike brought Aaron in on keys and after a few shows, we felt we could really use some solid top end melodic focus, so we brought Les Miller in on trumpet.

Alex Vouri of Booster. 

Alex Vouri of Booster. 

For your first year or so, your keyboardist was Aaron Pettine, and I know y’all loved working with him. Now that your lineup has changed, you seem super excited about new keys player Evan Morris. How has bringing him into the band affected your overall scenario?

Alex: Evan is a monster player, and a perfect fit for Booster. His phrasing and voicings really open up the tonal pallet when we improvise, which allows us to be more harmonically complex, and at the same time, a little looser in feel since there are so many paths to choose from. He really dropped right in chemistry-wise, and it feels as if he’s always been here! He’s a good guy too, which is always nice.

One of the most interesting and impressive things about this band is the way each instrument- bass, drums, trumpet, and keys- feels like a lead instrument, yet fits into an organic sound. Do you all take active roles in composing?

Alex: Being a quartet without vocals or a familiar focal point is deliberate; we’re very much a traditional jazz quartet lineup of horn, keys, bass, and drums. We want to spread the focus evenly across the band, allowing each player to feel fulfilled and invested. In a band of such great players, it’s pretty easy to do! In terms of working up material, it’s definitely a group effort. Sometimes someone will have a pretty specific arrangement for a tune and sometimes not, but everyone is typically in charge of their part or contribution: we don’t micro-manage each other’s playing.

Les Miller of Booster.

Les Miller of Booster.

I hear echoes of a lot of familiar sounds and styles within the Booster sound: Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis come to mind, but I’m sure there must be many influences at work here. Who have some of your main influences been, both compositionally and in your individual styles as players?

Alex: Herbie and Miles are right on for sure, I also really love Jaco Pastorius, Grant Green, Christian McBride; all the greats. Weather Report is a big influence for me in terms of instrumental quartets, and Critters Buggin too. They’re one of my all-time faves in terms of chops and pure originality.

Les: My main influences improvisationally are Lee Morgan, Maceo Parker, Jerry Garcia, & as you mentioned, Miles Davis. I really enjoy the 1968-69 output of Miles, and I think albums such as Miles in the Sky, Filles de Kilimanjaro, and of course Bitches Brew have influenced Booster’s sonic direction. It’s interesting to note that the keyboard player on those albums is the other player mentioned in your question, Herbie Hancock.

Mike Lehman of Booster. 

Mike Lehman of Booster. 

Your music is richly rewarding on both an intellectual level and a visceral one: musicians get plenty to appreciate in terms of skill and complexity, while your average concertgoer gets a solid dose of dance music. Has this been a conscious thing? How do you approach creating music like this?

Alex: Yeah, that’s always a goal for me personally. It’s good for everyone at a show. It’s important as a player to be interested and invested in what you’re doing, while at the same time not becoming totally self-gratifying, and alienating your listeners, which can happen in a chops-heavy improvisational band.

Les: I’ve wanted a band like this for a long time, one that combines in-the-pocket groove playing of funk music (making it eminently danceable), the harmonic complexity of jazz & Western romantic traditions, and the rich, constantly expanding sonic palette available to musicians today.

You’re an entirely instrumental band, but since you’re also clearly a band that keeps expanding its concepts moving restlessly forward, I’m curious: Have you considered adding vocals at any point in the future?

Les: No plans for a permanent vocalist, but we have some guest vocalist ideas brewing.  And I’ve been known to drop a mean 16 on very rare occasions.

You began as a trio, with drums bass and keys, then added trumpet. Any chance of the group expanding beyond its current quartet form? And if so, what other instruments might you bring in?

Alex: I think we’ve struck an ideal balance for ourselves instrumentally. We all have just enough room, but we do love having folks sit in with us, that’s always a good time.

Les: I’m very happy with our current lineup. That being said, I have a long history of playing in horn sections with a sax player, so if Skerik wanted to join the band, I think we’d become a quintet pretty quickly.

Ha! Who wouldn’t say yes to Skerik (legendary saxophonist of Garage a Trois etc.) joining their funk fusion group? So… If Skerik came asking what y’all were like, what would you say? What’s your vision? Can you give our readers a capsule version of the “Booster Manifesto”?

Alex: We’re a band in which each player is free to do whatever they want. No limits, no preconceptions, no particular concrete goal or genre is in mind. We’re not trying to corner a market, we all just really love to make music we’re proud of, and want to grow as players and artists together, while putting on a good show of course! But in terms of a description? Funky, high energy, jazzy, adventurous… it’s always changing.

I’m very excited for your performances this week, starting tonight at Boulder’s Southern Sun followed by this Saturday’s Vine Street show in Denver. Can we expect any special treats at these gigs?

Alex: Yeah! The unveiling of Booster 2.0! Our sound has really changed, and we’re excited to share that with people. We’re very invigorated right now. We’ll have a lot of new tunes, and probably some special guests!

What’s on the horizon for Booster? Anything our readers should know about in advance, or would you rather milk the mystery?

Les: After this week, we have a show lined up at The Fox this fall, and are planning dates in Denver, Fort Collins, and all around the Front Range. We are excited to share the new tunes being forged in our rehearsal space, “The Launchpad”, and we can guarantee song breakouts at every show over the next few months! We play mostly original music, but will continue the tradition of surprising the crowd with a cover medley occasionally. In fact, I’m arranging two new ones right now. I won’t reveal both, but I will say that it is a nearly impossible task to choose just two or three favorite Steely Dan tunes, and we will probably invite our fans to choose an artist they’d like to hear us perform in the near future.

Make sure to check out the re-formed and re-charged Booster tonight at Southern Sun, and this Saturday at Vine Street Pub in Denver. Get the details on both events on Booster’s Facebook; keep up with the band on their website here.

-Will

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured, No Coast, and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.