Denver Cellist & Soundscape Artist Lief Sjostrom Releases New EP 'Counting Breaths'

By: Norman Hittle

Lief Sjostrom, a cellist and guitarist living in Denver, has released his latest cinematic neo-classical full-length album Counting Breaths. Take a listen below!

Lief performs and records his own original, cinematic, and neo-classical/post-rock compositions; he also performs and records with live bands. His first solo EP, Her Prayers Sound Like Warnings, was released in 2017, and according to him, this latest album is a continuation of that EP with a darker edge.

Counting Breaths is a 14-track journey that takes the listener through cinematic soundscapes that alter in movement from track to track. One moment the listener may feel like they’re at the top of a verdant mountain range in Middle Earth, and the next they’ll be guided into the high tension of the misty woods of M. Night Shamylan’s The Village. Next they’ll find themselves gliding through a beautiful glade on sparkling waters along with some Game of Thrones-like heroes all before being taken to the doors of a sepulcher in a Lovecraftian-inspired horror tale. Both beautiful and emotionally captivating, these compositions could easily be on some epic gaming playlists and I know I’ll be adding them to my own.

Lief Sjostrom. 

Lief Sjostrom. 

On the side, Lief has been teaching cello and guitar lessons for four years, and has been a central component of the band PrettyMouth the last six years. He’s also performed or recorded with Edison, Sawmill Joe, King Cardinal, The Patient Zeros, Florea, Chad Price, Tyto Alba, Brianna Straut, Adam Hooks, Poor Me, and The Dead Orchids, to name a few. He’s also crafted music for the score of a documentary by Adam Reynolds.

Keep up with Lief Sjostrom on his social media and make sure to catch his set at Denver’s UMS this week Sunday at 1PM at Baere Brewing Company!

-Norman

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

Denver's Underground Music Showcase Hosting Pop-Up with Free Beer & Discounted Festival Passes This Weekend (07/13)

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Denver’s Underground Music Showcase is throwing a pop-up event this week in celebration of the upcoming festival. This Friday, July 13th at Black Buzzard, UMS bands Oxeye Daisy, in/Planes, and Tyto Alba will be rocking out to get you excited for the upcoming fest. The UMS is giving the first 100 people through the door a free Oskar Blues draft beer, which means you can choose a Dale’s Pale Ale, Pinner IPA, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Old Chub and G’Knight on the house!

We’ve already laid out for you several reasons why we’re so excited for this year’s UMS but if you missed that, check out The Underground, the multiple outdoor stages, and the festival’s plans for comedy, art, and more to be a part of this year’s weekend.

Festie time is just a couple of weeks away, July 27th-29th, and at the pop-up show this week, you can snag UMS tickets at discounted pricing with NO service fees. Get your party on this Friday the 13th by RSVPing to this UMS pop-up show here! RSVP is required for entry.

See you at the Buzzard soon!

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. 

19-Year-Old Ben Pisano Proves You Can't Underestimate Young Artists With Current Project Corsicana

By: Will Baumgartner

When Denver band Corsicana took the stage at Boulder Theater as openers for local-gone-international heavyweights Devotchka, one couldn’t help wondering how much such a young, slender band could deliver live. I’d heard the album Haven online, and while the music had definitely drawn me in and left me impressed, I also noted that all the instruments and electronics had been played by Ben Pisano, the group’s 19-year-old frontman. Like Prince’s first recorded efforts, where he also played everything on the recording, my question was, “Great stuff, but what’s it gonna sound like live?”   

Corsicana. Photo Credit:  Montana Martin

Corsicana. Photo Credit:  Montana Martin

Corsicana onstage was indeed a small, young-looking band. Pisano in the middle with his guitar and sensitive look, two petite women flanking him on guitar and bass, and another member on drums. By the middle of the first song of their set though, most of my skepticism about the band had vanished, and I found myself reminded of two things: 1) Never underestimate the power and scope that can be drawn out of two guitars, a bass, a drum kit, and a little bit of electronics. And 2) Never assume that the young have little of depth or substance to deliver.

Steinway & Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Steinway & Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Being the first of two opening acts (Pandas & People, another rising local band from Fort Collins, were coming up next), Corsicana only had a half-hour to win me over, which they unequivocally did. In the first song, Haven’s “Revelry,” I heard why the term “dream pop” is used right after “indie rock” in the “About” section of their Facebook page; the swirling music and ethereal vocals of the verses definitely invoked a floating, dreamy feeling. Then, the wait to see how hard they could rock was over, as the song’s chorus kicked into passionate overdrive.  

In the second song, “Attrition” (also from the Haven album), I began to hear the more “pop” side of Corsicana, as I was reminded of a sort of Death Cab-meets-Radiohead combination of delicate verse with beautiful falsetto vocals leading into a hard-driving bridge. Guitarist Melanie Steinway (also of Denver band Tyto Alba), bassist Jordan Leone, and Amos Chase on drums and synthesizer all worked beautifully together with Pisano to create the feel of a real band, not just a solo artist with backing musicians.

The third song, “Empyrean,” showcased more of Corsicana’s well-crafted way with linking a wistful verse with sparse instrumentation to an explosive chorus. It also boasted a killer arrangement, showing that Pisano and company are more than familiar with the art of balancing and bouncing musical colors off of each other with a masterful use of dynamics.

Ben Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

Ben Pisano. Photo Credit: Montana Martin

One of the things that I find so impressive about Pisano’s songwriting is his lyrics. Though I couldn’t always make out what he was singing at the show, I later asked him to send me the lyrics, and was a bit blown away by how literary his writing style is. His songs read like short stories, with imagistic sentences creating little snapshot-like flash fictions where one can picture a whole scene or even a period of time in people’s lives. “Empyrean” also boasts the added feat of being a story told entirely in dialogue; the song is a conversation between two people, with each line separated from the next by quotation marks. And apropos to the rather epic scope of the music, all the songs have either direct references to history and myth, or an overall mythical/historical feel. Epic battles, exiled characters, big cities and small hallways, funeral pyres, and people locked in or out of a “prison of heart”. In these days of illiterate solipsism, it’s really something to read lyrics that evoke whole worlds and complex lives.

The next song, “Kokytos”, continued Pisano’s fascination with myth: Kokytos is one of the five magical rivers of the underworld in Greek mythology, and translates as “The River of Wailing.” This was, ironically, the most upbeat and insistent song of the set, at least musically. The lyrics imply more of the story of heartbreak and frustration that seems to be the central theme of this young man’s songs- at least for now- but the music is so insistent that I couldn’t resist grooving and bopping a bit to it. Again, Pisano showed exquisite vocal prowess, veering between his falsetto and a full-throated howl. And like a lot of the songs in this set, the ending featured the band’s ability to power-drive upward to an instrumental climax.  

The set’s closer “Patron,” another song from the Haven album, again reminded me a bit of the Death Cab/Radiohead combo I’d heard at first, while also invoking a sort of stripped-down version of the Icelandic experimental rock band Sigur Ros. (This was actually not the first time in their set that I heard echoes of that band.) This song had a bit more pop and drive to it, while still having an unhurried groove, and gave an appropriately powerful ending to their set as it rocked harder and harder through the instrumental section that closes the song.

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When I asked Pisano where he got the band name, he told me it was the title of a song by The Antlers, one of his favorite bands. Listeners may hear all kinds of influences in Corsicana’s music, and considering Pisano’s powerful and expansive voice, it’s not hugely surprising that he was chosen to open for Devotchka, whose singer Nick Urata arguably possesses one of the most impressive voices in modern music. But Pisano’s ultimate achievement, so early in life, is that after hearing his music for a while, it sounds like no one else as much as Corsicana.

Corsicana will be taking some time off from performing to go back into the studio for the rest of 2017, and according to Pisano, these sessions will make use of not only of his live bandmates, but also of several guest artists contributing. Given what Corsicana has already done, I’m sure the new recordings will be an event well worth the wait and anticipation.  

Keep up with Corsicana on Facebook and their website.

-Will

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

Tyto Alba Release Haunting Video For "The Hunger"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

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

A scene from "The Hunger."

A scene from "The Hunger."

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

Brent Cowles as the "voodoo priest."

Brent Cowles as the "voodoo priest."

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

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Taught By Members of The Flaming Lips, The So Help Me's Are Existential Rock For Your Soul

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Taught by members of The Flaming Lips and best budz with Denver’s Tyto Alba, Oklahoma City’s The So Help Me’s are rolling through Denver this weekend for a performance at The Underground Music Showcase. Slated for a 2PM set Saturday, July 29th at the Hi-Dive, this neo western shoegaze five-piece plan to shower you with plenty of dream pop and existential rock tunes. We recently chatted with the crew to talk about their trek here and all things summer. Read on:

We noticed you came together in 2014 at the Flaming Lips’ Academy of Contemporary Music in OKC. Talk to us about that experience.

John, our guitarist and main songwriter, was studying music education and jazz at the University of Central Oklahoma, along with three of our other members. We wanted to step out and start writing our own music, and The So Help Me’s really developed in garages and living rooms between college orchestra and jazz ensemble rehearsals. In these spaces, we felt free to write weird music and explore sounds and compositions in a way we couldn't in our school ensembles.  

When John transferred to the Academy of Contemporary Music for music business, we were just starting to establish ourselves as a band, and the school welcomed us with open arms. It was really crazy to learn from members of the Lips. We look up to them a lot and it’s an amazing opportunity to get to learn from a band we grew up listening to and really love. It’s almost impossible for me to see our band without the school. It’s a really tight group of world-class musicians and artists there, and everyone’s pushing for each other. There’s a beautiful thing happening in OKC.

The So Help Me's.

The So Help Me's.

Since your inception, you’ve released an EP, 'Relativity' (2016). What are your plans for future recording/releases?

We are putting out a single in the next month, as well as finishing an EP. We’re also in pre-production on a full-length album slated for release at the end of the year.

Listen to The So Help Me's Relativity:

We noticed you’ve had a couple of festival spots this summer. Tell us about those!

This year’s spring festival season in Oklahoma was bananas. We normally play 3-5 festivals in the spring, and this year we were rained out of three in a row because the weather in Oklahoma sucks. At one of the festivals we did play, some dude wandered onstage menacingly and looked like he was going to stab our singer Sophia. This dude got escorted off the stage by security and we were not even halfway through our set.

Whoa. What should Denver know about the OKC music scene?

OKC had a big influx of money due to Thunder basketball and some people are saying the city is going through a sort of renaissance. This being said, it still seems pretty evident to bands that you can't sustain a career in OKC. We know a lot of bands who have relocated, or focus a lot of their time and efforts on touring out of state, and it’s hard to blame them. Even the Lips only play in OKC once every five years or so.

We know you’re friends with Denver’s Tyto Alba- how’d you meet?

I think Tyto Alba were touring through to SXSW and we ended up being booked to play with them twice in one week somehow. They have this huge wall of sound guitar tone that blew us away. We hit it off immediately and became close friends- since then we've played several shows with them in Denver and had them out to OKC.  Our personalities vibe well, and we all share a really intense passion for guitar pedals and making music.

Cool. We’re excited you’re playing Denver’s The UMS! What are you most looking forward to about the festival?

We’re most looking forward to the weather not being a hundred billion degrees like it is in July in OKC. We’re excited to see Tyto Alba, Male Blonding, and The Velveteers play specifically, and we all plan on seeing as much music as possible. Huge festivals like this are amazing because you can walk a few blocks and see different genres and different bands everywhere you look. It’s a beautiful thing to have that many people together who share a common love for playing and listening to music.

Anything else in store for The So Help Me’s in 2017?

We plan on touring regionally several times in the middle of recording our album, and we have shows and festivals booked through at least November, so we’re definitely charging ahead full force.

Make sure to check out The So Help Me’s at The UMS this Saturday- tickets here. Keep up with The So Help Me’s on their website.

-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.

Tyto Alba Release New Live Music Video For "Patterns & Habits"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s indie rock quartet Tyto Alba have been making music together since frontwoman Melanie Steinway and guitarist Matt Rossi met at a singer/songwriter showcase in 2014. Steinway (formerly of Howl Moonshine Howl) had just relocated to the Denver area at the time, but had been involved in the Colorado music scene for years. Soon after the two started jamming together, they added in Andrew Bair (of Male Blonding) and Danny DiMarchi (of DJ ChillBro.gov).

Tyto Alba.

Tyto Alba.

After releasing their freshman EP, Oh The Tame One (2015), the foursome went on to share a stage with bands including Boy & Bear, Widowspeak, Mimicking Birds, and Little Hurricane. They also scored a 2016 The UMS performance.

Most recently, Tyto Alba have been laying down some new tunes. With plans for their sophomore EP release of In Our Own Time slated for the spring of 2017, TA have been busy recording, mixing, and mastering in studio. They also released their live music video for their track “Patterns & Habits,” a video which actually came together around election night just a month ago.

Said Steinway, “On the eve of a rather distressing election, we chose to be creative and surrounded by the warmth of our favorite people.”

Watch Tyto Alba’s live music video for their new song “Patterns & Habits”:

With political frustrations abound among our arts and music community, we’re stoked to see local musicians turn that energy into creative art.

The video for “Patterns & Habits” is the first media release from In Our Own Time, and based on the above, we’re looking forward to hearing more from Tyto Alba’s next EP. Stay tuned for our future coverage on this Denver band.

Keep up with Tyto Alba 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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 05/13 & 05/14

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Graduation is over and summer has begun! Let’s get to it Beaters:

Today (Friday 05/13):

Grandpa’s Gun Spring Party, featuring Open Space and Francis and the Wolf at Shine Gathering Place in Boulder 8PM-Close

Get yer gun grandpa.

Get yer gun grandpa.

Boulder’s Americana outfit Grandpa’s Gun are holding down the Shine stage tonight, joined by alt-country “outlaw bluegrass” band Open Space and Longmont’s rock’n’roll trio Francis and the Wolf. Grandpa’s Gun dropped their debut full-length album, Back Into Town, last October with critical acclaim. Tonight’s show offers a sweet local lineup to sip to, and it’s only $5 at the door. Head over and check these bands out!

Check out the video for Granpa’s Gun track “Snakebite”:

All Chiefs Release Show & Music Video Premiere at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 830PM-Close

All chiefs.

All chiefs.

All Chiefs is back! The Boulder/Denver indie rock and dance pop five-piece have returned to the local music scene after a hiatus, during which it’s rumored they were recording their new EP Fashion Forward. Tonight, the band is premiering their new single, “Pusher”, and its official music video, live at The Lazy Dog. Following the premiere, the band will take the stage (shared by Tyto Alba) for a night of new music, and old favorites. Fashion Forward will be available on CD, which gives you the chance to check out All Chiefs’ new music before it drops across the interwebs. Head over to this show and check out their new tunes!

Watch All Chiefs at Coupe Studios, recording their new EP:

Asalott at Taco Junky & Tequila Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Local beatbreak and tribal dance favorite Asalott is ringing in the start of summer tonight at Taco Junky. The sometimes duo/trio/four-piece recently spent some time recording their first album, and tonight, they hinted to us that their new music might be available for purchase. So roll up to TJ’s on The Hill for a bumpin’ party and Asalott’s new sounds!. It’s gonna be a killer show. Want to read more about Asalott? Check out our exclusive sit-down with the crew.

Watch Asalott’s music video for their tune “Remedies”:

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

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Boulder’s own funk rock/reggae jam four-piece Realtalk are taking over Conor’s tonight and partying with you until the sun (almost) comes up! The local band, who originally gained popularity by playing CU house parties, have had quite the year. They’ve released new music videos, played the Fox, and tonight, they’ll be playing some new tunes for you! Jump over to Conor’s on your Pearl crawl and see these guys live. Read our exclusive interview with the band.

Watch Realtalk’s live performance of “Tied Up”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 05/14):

The Pamlico Sound at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Funkadelic and dancin’ good time band The Pamlico Sound will be raging at The Lazy Dog tomorrow evening. The eight-member, horn-infused funk band always bring a massive crowd to their shows, and an energy that will make you move until the joint shuts down. TPS are stoked to have a local performance on their busy schedule, so come prepared for a crazy congregation! We’ll see you there! Check out our exclusive chat with TPS frontman Pastor Will B.

Watch The Pamlico Sound live on Radio1190:

Tilia Americana and All Hat No Horse at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

Tilia Americana.

Tilia Americana.

Denver duo All Hat No Horse will be opening things up at the LG tomorrow. Their acoustic Americana sounds are sure to croon you into the start of Saturday night, followed by Longmont’s acoustic two-piece Tilia Americana, who weave elements of folk, blues, rock, and country into their sound. Grab a tasty latte and check out these local acts!

Peep Tilia Americana’s music video for “What Happened?”:

BCFM

Boulder County Farmers Market is every Saturday from 10AM-2PM. We’re working closely with BCFM to promote the music at the market, and this week, acoustic mountain blues group Ravin’Wolf will be providing your entertainment. Stop by to hear their “true folk rock traditions” and grab brunch from one of the many delicious vendors on site!

Listen to Ravin’Wolf:

GREEN LIGHT RADIO

This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Longmont’s Francis and the Wolf. The trio recently changed their name, added a new member, and are making new music. 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 song “Ol’ Lady” on the airwaves.

See you in the sun!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

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

By: Jura Daubenspeck

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

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

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

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

Listen to Way of the Critter:

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

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

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

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

-Jura

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 04/01 & 04/02

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

Today (Friday 04/01):

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

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

Listen to Augustus’ track “Iceberg”:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to TTF’s track “Breakbeat”:

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

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

Listen to Hunter Stone’s song “Pedestal”:

Tomorrow (Saturday 04/02):

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

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

Check out the event for videos of each performer. 

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

And last but not least...

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

All of these new sounds have me drooling. Tasty-

See you soon Beaters.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

Capturing the Art of Storytelling in Music Videos & More: An Interview with Ian Glass

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Ian Glass has an eye for storytelling.

When local artist, photographer, videographer, and creative intellectual Ian Glass told me he started photo and video work just a couple of years ago when his dad handed him a 35mm Fujica film camera as a college graduation gift, I was baffled. After working with him on the set of Whiskey Autumn’s 07.04.07 music video, I assumed he’d been crafting his talents for far longer.

Watch Whiskey Autumn’s 07.04.07 official music video by Ian Glass:

Born in Connecticut, Glass moved to Colorado with his family when he was just four. He describes his childhood like most of us Colorado kids spending a lot of time outside doing Colorado things: hiking, biking, skiing, camping, climbing. But he grew up with a lot of art around him as well.

“I have always liked art. My father makes custom fine furniture and his father was an architect. There were always a lot of drawings and paintings around when I was growing up and so I’ve always been inclined to explore art.”

Ian Glass.

Ian Glass.

Combining his passions for art and all things outdoors, Glass stayed in Colorado for school and went to CU, majoring in English and Humanities “so that I could better understand stories and story structure”. The more you talk to him, the more you’ll see that storytelling is what Glass and his art do best: through his still photography work, his video productions, and even his descriptions of imagery and composition.

“I like anything that you have to spend a lot of time exploring. I like the challenge of capturing moments- when you’re in them, you have to figure out how to communicate what’s happening to someone else, to share it and have [your audience] feel as you feel. You have to let that voice inside of you speak to the things outside and simultaneously give yourself the opportunity to try and capture that moment. To be able to take out your camera and take that picture when you see something and you realize, ‘There it is; [it] calls to you when you look at it.' The first step is seeing that and training yourself to see that; letting the voice inside of you speak to that... from there it’s how you refine and capture things. How you frame it, capture the lighting, get the right angle, capture the depth of field, isolate the subject- and then there are the technical skills. It’s all about figuring out, ‘How can I capture what has presented itself to me?'”

Glass first learned how to capture those moments with his Fujica exploring still photography.

“Still shots and getting to explore composition and to look at life through a lens was interesting and I liked it. The transition from that was getting into film- I like how much more dynamic video is. You can explore so much more and it allows the viewer to become more absorbed in the piece if you do it right. There’s the content happening in the composition and then the transition to the next show where you build that content all over again and you allow that flow between the two shots to happen on a subconscious level where the viewer might not be aware of the change. Simultaneously, you’re creating this environment for your subject to inhabit as well. You’re creating this subtle nod of surrealism that doesn't fully take over what’s happening, but it allows you to create something with this little flair of who you are as a person beyond your film. It’s having a relationship with the camera and your art, which can be as meaningful as a relationship with someone else. Knowing that, you have to make your environment and refine your transitions and master those transitions. That’s what I now aim for with every project I do."

And Glass is building quite the list of projects. After starting his company Ian Glass Media just a year ago, Ian’s worked with local musicians like Brett Randell, Natural Motives, Tyto Alba, and Whiskey Autumn on music videos. He’s also done more commercial photo and video work for outdoor adventure companies like Topo Designsand he’s worked with a number of startup companies, including Spark and Revel Gear. He’s interested in documentary work too and has plans for a possible project telling “the stories of grandparents” at a local retirement home. When it comes to the variety in clientele, Glass said:

“Whether it’s creative or corporate, you kind of storyboard something, but that's on a piece of paper, it’s not there yet. So then it’s like, ‘Ok now we have to make this.’ With every project, there is something that calls to you, something that you’re enamored by. You want to bring that creation to the point where you’re smitten with what you’ve made and then you want to repeat that in every single scene. It’s really delicate, but it’s exciting. You’re taking an idea or abstraction and bringing it into a concrete thing that you can share, and you just keep refining it over and over until it’s where you want it to be, where you need it to be. I only take on projects I know I can deliver what I promise. And with every one, I set a higher standard for myself in everything I do. I like what I do, I enjoy what I do, but I want to be better every time.”

So what’s next for Ian Glass?

“My next chapter is knowing I need to branch out and have some set of tutelage and use that as a portfolio to get into a production house and learn more. Of course I’m open right now for new projects too. And then there’s grad school- I want to study more about film and more about culture and anthropology. ”

With Glass, it all seems to come back to furthering his understanding of capturing those moments; of that refinement on creating what’s storyboarded or seen in a scene; of storytelling. That’s Ian Glass- a masterful storyteller practicing his craft with the creative human spirit of others- in imagery, in music, in invention, in film. In life as it’s lived.

Learn more about Ian Glass and check out his numerous projects 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 UMS Starts Tomorrow!

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver's giant rock festival is this weekend.

Tomorrow is a magical day. The Underground Music Showcase begins! Just what is The UMS you ask? Why, it’s Colorado’s biggest indie musical festival! Located in Denver, 2015 marks the 15th year for the festival, which features more than 400 local and national music acts at 20 venues. What originally began as a collection of groups playing one Bluebird show is now a four-day fest spread throughout Denver’s best rock venues. Not only is it huge for local music, but all proceeds come right back to Colorado through the Denver Post Community Foundation. You can buy $50 tickets here, or pay the walk-up price of $75 at the box-office. And if you just want a single-day pass, it’s $35. The UMS is always a whisper of aspiration among local artists, so check out the bands who made the cut! See you in Denver! Here’s the schedule for the weekend.

PS: Don't forget to read about the bands we interviewed on the lineup & check out their shows:  A Shadow of Jaguar, Josh Moorehead & the GuestlistSnake Rattle Rattle Snake, The Strawberry Runners & Tyto Alba.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Music Video Release: Tyto Alba "Turn to Stone"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

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

Classy Group Right Here: Tyto Alba.

Classy Group Right Here: Tyto Alba.

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

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

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

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

Melanie Rocking Out.

Melanie Rocking Out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Hannah

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.