Television Generation's New EP Fuchsia + Their Move Into the Denver Music Scene

By: Claire Woodcock

Will Hayden (vocals/guitar), Katy Johnson (bass), and Anthony Elio (drums) split from Boulder for the Denver area after their respective exits from CU, where Television Generation came to be. That was in 2012, when the EDM scene was exclusively big in Boulder and there was little wiggle room in the music scene for a punk rock presence.

"I think Boulder has a problem with being a transient kind of place,” said Hayden. “Tons of people go [there] for college; these people come and most of them go. People just move away. And a lot of the bands that we saw pop up when we were in college are no longer active.”

Television Generation.

Television Generation.

TVG set their sights on the Denver scene and recorded their first EP If Only I Had A Brain with Mammoth Cave Recording Studios in 2013. After some feedback from producer Lance Bendiksen (The Fray), Hayden and Elio broke out the metronome and put more hours into mastering their ’60s pop, ’90s grunge, alt rock energy. Johnson joined TVG a few months after the band released their second EP Digital Static (2015), a release that includes a track called “Space Invaders” mixed by Jack Endino from Nirvana.

A year later, Television Generation has released their third EP Fuchsia with Todd Divel of Silo Sound Recording Studio in Denver. Hayden says they went into their first session thinking that they would only have time to lay down one or two tracks. But the result was an EP’s worth of tunes recorded over the course of just a few hours. It could have been the Simpsons references exchanged between TVG and Divel that kept things grooving. Or it could have just been, as Johnson said, “We were having a really good day.”

Check out Television Generation’s latest EP, Fuchsia:

Fuchsia operates on a sliding scale between garage rock, post-punk, super punk, (if that were legitimate genre) and alt rock. Television Generation told me they drew inspiration for this release from The Beatles, The Who and most notably, Sonic Youth. Johnson employs a Kim Gordon-esque style on Fuchsia by creating a lot of garage rock noise and manipulating the distortion and delay pedals to produce all kinds of uncomfortable, yet totally satisfying feedback in the middle of pop songs.

Will Hayden of TVG.

Will Hayden of TVG.

Back on the subject of the Denver scene, Hayden said that when Johnson joined the group, the trio started checking out other punk acts, which has become a huge support system for TVG.

“That’s what a music scene is and should be.” said Hayden.

Branching out from Boulder to Denver allowed TVG to not only meet talented bands, but to get a sense of the quality of the younger bands popping up from all over the place.

“The flux of people to Colorado probably helps because there's a lot of fresh blood out here and they're looking for places to play, and that's kind of what I was saying about Boulder [being transient],” said Hayden. “There are a lot of people coming in from out of state obviously for the weed and all that, and a lot of people see it as a bad thing, but I think it's really good for the music [scene]. It brings in a lot of fresh, excited people and I think that’s what we haven’t seen in years past: that excitement in people finding local bands. There’s enough talent and enough people interested, so let's blow it up as much as we can.”

TVG thinks that these trends in the Denver music scene will only continue to soar.

“We could make Denver the new Seattle.” Hayden added, with enough conviction in his voice that the possibility could someday be true.

TVG.

TVG.

This Sunday, November 6th, Television Generation will ‘Rock Against Trump’ at Seventh Circle Music Collective with an anti-Trump CD release show, featuring a whole laundry list of bands in the Denver punk scene. If you’re looking to rage the day before the election, this is where you should be. Proceeds will be donated to the Standing Rock protesters and Amnesty International.

Keep up with Television Generation here.

-Claire

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

D'Angelo & the Vanguard: You Will Melt & You Will Love It

By: Hannah Oreskovich

D'Angelo killed it, but would you expect anything else?

D’Angelo strolled out onto the Ogden Theatre stage Wednesday night & melted his audience in one of the most incredible performances to ever grace my eyes. Truly.

D’Angelo and his current band the Vanguard played an almost three hour set that felt like a 1920s supperclub show, a harmonic worship service, a rockin’ metal production, & a sexy R&B swoon all in one.

How often do you see all of the stage security smiling and bopping their heads along to the beat with you? And how often are you at a show where everyone is dressed to the nines in heels, collared shirts, and dresses? D’Angelo and the Vanguard brought an infection of movement, music, and mirth to Denver this week.

D'Angelo & the Vanguard - Ogden Theatre. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

D'Angelo & the Vanguard - Ogden Theatre. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

The musicianship of the Vanguard is incredible. Let’s talk Chris “Daddy” Dave first. His spiral trash cymbals fascinated me from the moment I walked in. When Dave tapped the bottom of the stacks, the metal swirled upward toward the cymbal on top and reverberated in a smooth, jazzy timbre. Daddy Dave was locked in tight to D’Angelo’s direction the entire night, slamming out beats whenever D’Angelo held up his hands. At one point D’Angelo yelled into the mic “45 & Goodnight!” and Dave proceeded to hit us with 45 consecutive strikes before D’Angelo’s first of three exits (they played double encores). Awesome.

Guitarists Jessie Johnson and Isaiah Sharkey were equally badass band members. They bumped funk, they spewed rock, they fingered jazz, and they straight shredded at points. Johnson (who brought more rock vibes) literally sparkled under the stage lights- the gleaming diamond watch on his strumming hand was only out-shined by his glittering guitar and perfect playing. Sharkey’s style was injected with jazz-fusion; he and D’Angelo jammed back to back in a synchronicity so strong that it was impossible to look away. Flawless.

Sharkey & da D. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Sharkey & da D. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

And who was holding down bass? The legendary Pino Palladino, who grooved us into oblivion with three different Fender basses. When you have a former member of The Who in yo clique, you’re bound to create an inconceivable performance. And they did.

Also of note was backup singer and dancer Kendra Foster. Kendra had power behind every move she made. Whether it was commanding the microphone with smooth vocals, her choreographed movements with the other two (male) backup singer/dancers, or her solo ballet performance when D’Angelo made one of several outfit changes, Kendra’s energy was unparalleled. She never stopped moving. And I didn’t want her to.

The Vanguard also boasted the talents of keyboardist Cleo “Pookie” Sample, a two-manned horn section, and the male backup singers I mentioned. All were incredible performers.

Rock on D. Photo Credit:  Hannah Oreskovich

Rock on D. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

And then there was D’Angelo, who was so great it’s almost hard to write about. For someone who had a fourteen year hiatus, you’d never know he left the stage. Whether he is crooning you on keys, sliding you around his extensive vocal range, or making you jump up and down with his guitar bridges, D’Angelo brings you into his musical creations and makes you an active part of his show. You want to be, because everything he does is contagious. He claps; you clap. He jumps; you jump. He sweats; you sweat. Seriously- you and everyone around you are drenched by the end of the show. The air is charged by the D. The air is charged by D’Angelo.

D’Angelo felt like a powerful amalgamation of musicians before him. There’s a little Jimi in there, there’s an element of Brian Wilson’s genius composition skills, there’s a piece of Prince’s stage presence, and of course there is a noticeable influence of James Brown. D’Angelo is one of the greats. His soul feels like it’s in every note.

So what did they play? You can see the setlist here. But it didn’t matter. You didn’t care because this performance was so much more than just hearing your favorite D’Angelo song.

Bonnaroo, you’re next in line for the amazingness that is this collective of souls. Don’t miss it.

See D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s entire tour schedule to get yourself to a show 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.