Review: The Yawpers' 'Boy In A Well' Is An Intensely Dynamic Psychobilly Concept Record

By: Norman Hittle

The Yawpers’ third album, Boy In A Well, is a conceptual album set in World War I France where a mother abandons her unwanted newborn child. Yet, despite the tragic plot line, the music carries an intrigue that’s difficult to ignore.

The Yawpers. Photo Credit:    Demi Demitro   

The Yawpers. Photo Credit: Demi Demitro 

Recorded with Alex Hall in Chicago at Reliable Recordings with production assistance and instrumental contributions from Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Bash & Pop), Boy in a Well extends The Yawpers’ sound with intense, dynamic, animated, and at times, deeply personal tunes.

Boy In A Well, which is a followup to the band’s Bloodshot Records debut American Man (2015), was imagined by lead singer Nate Cook after a "reckless combination of alcohol, half a bottle of Dramamine, and an early morning flight." The result is a 12-song onslaught mingling psychological fascinations (German realpolitik, Freud, Oedipus,) and the lasting social and cultural fallout of WWI interspersed with Cook's own emotions surrounding his recent split from his estranged wife. 

Listen to The Yawpers’ first single “Mon Nom” from their new record:

The album’s psychobilly/rock-swing sonic approach seems to have influences ranging from Reverend Horton Heat, to Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, and the Cramps. And I couldn’t help but hear some very Lemmy Kilmister-inspired vocals nodding to the late and great Motorhead.

“Armistice Day” lethargically takes form with haunting piano, harmonics and chanting, leading way to “A Decision is Made,” the rockabilly-blues fusion laced with sliding guitars and guttural howls. The sobering “A Visitor is Welcomed” then takes place with an almost gentle caress of acoustic guitars in the wake of the former tracks, and leads us to an equally somber “Room With a View.” All of that ceases thirteen seconds into “Mon Dieu” with a gradual galloping climax into seeming chaos that crescendos into track six: “The Awe and the Anguish.” Here we find a lo-fi recording of twangy guitars and an almost backwater country vibe until the final half minute of anthemic post-rock.

The album artwork for  Boy In A Well .

The album artwork for Boy In A Well.

“Mon Nom” builds from sporadic muted notes into a decisive cadence that marches into “Face to Face to Face,” where a blues/swing builds into straight southern rock. “No Going Back” comes to light featuring a pensive bass line that swells into a solid, yet muted distorted finality. “God’s Mercy” brings us back to a peaceful and calming moment from the maelstrom just before plunging into the surf-rock meets grunge in “Linen for the Orphan.” “Reunion” wraps up the odyssey that is Boy In A Well with a seemingly straightforward (at least for The Yawpers) rock/folk-blues vibe that would fit well in a 1970s Americana collection, drawing out on a final piano note of the angst-ridden, yet sorrowful tale of searching and longing.

The Yawpers will be in Denver at The Oriental Theater Saturday, September 16th for their record release show, with Jesse Dayton, Evan Holm & The Restless Ones, and The Beeves. Get tickets here and keep up with The Yawpers on Facebook.

-Norman

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 Set The Tone For A Great 2017 Festival With Recent Fox Theatre Show

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Underground Music Showcase recently brought three great Colorado acts together for one rocking show at Boulder’s Fox Theatre in celebration of the upcoming festival, which takes place this July 27th-30th.  

Ned Garthe Explosion.

Ned Garthe Explosion.

Party-hardy Ned Garthe Explosion kicked off the night, a Denver four-piece known for their garage rock anthems and good times. Though the night started with a smaller crowd, NGE kicked up the energy and commenced to get down by making fun of each other onstage, sipping Coronas, and rocking out. Frontman Ned Garthe told us the story of how he once spray painted his name on the side of a police station, only to be immediately caught, lending more credibility to the crazy punk antics of this band. They closed out their set with their popular “Forgot Your Name,” and by that point, a solid crowd had settled in and was singing along. 

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

Boulder’s The Velveteers took the stage next, with Noah Shomberg (The Yawpers) and John Demitro (The Bandits) on drums accompanying guitar prowess and vocalist Demi Demitro. It was the band’s first Fox Theatre show in their hometown, and they once again proved live why they are one of Colorado’s fastest rising acts in rock’n’roll. Demi’s vocals are gentle and melodic at times, and whipped with raw attitude and grunge at others. All the while, she slays on guitar, and it’s here I’d like to point out an observation I had checking out this set: The entire first two rows near the stage were comprised of headbanging dudes. Now that’s what I call rock’n’roll.

Demi Demitro.

Demi Demitro.

Demi has harnessed her artistry in every aspect of her show- from her writing, to her commanding stage presence, to her skilled instrumental abilities. She’s hypnotizing to watch and she’s talented. With continued grind, this is a Colorado act I see going national.

Flaural.

Flaural.

Denver’s Flaural closed out the night with a drippy shoegaze psych show. The four-piece started their set with groovy instrumentals and very little vocals. They played several tracks from their recent release, Over Imaginary Cigarettes, and a few older tunes as well. Formed in 2015, this band has already done a lot of national touring and had some notable festival appearances, so it was exciting to have them back in state for a show. They kept things very poppy and psychedelic, keeping the crowd swaying before it was time for many to jump on the Bus to Show back down to Denver and the remaining Boulderites to wander home. 

The night definitely set the tone for a great UMS this year, so make sure to grab passes while they’re still cheap here!

ICYMI: Check out our full photo gallery from this show!

-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.

15 Must-See Bands at The Underground Music Showcase 2016

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Denver’s premier indie festival, Underground Music Showcase, is back for its 15th year and ready to kick it into high gear. The four-day festival (July 28-31) will take place in the eclectic Baker Neighborhood, with over 400 performances showcasing an array of talent. With so many incredible performers to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. Even so, we thought we’d help out by sharing our picks of must-see artists (in no particular order) at this year’s festival.

RL Cole and the Angels

With a voice like warm molasses and a sinfully inviting way with the guitar, RL Cole’s music will take you to another dimension that resembles the underground New Orleans Voodoo rock scene.

Gasoline Lollipops

"Dirt floor folk with the energy and rebelliousness of punk" is one of the phrases used to describe Gasoline Lollipops. You’re sure to get a high-energy set with these guys, who are no strangers to entertaining large crowds.

Plum

Psychedelic rock fans will not want to miss Plum’s performance. Their groovadelic sound and overall stage persona will make you move between headbanging to swaying with trance-like delusions.

Lee Fields & The Expressions

With a worldwide music career that spans over 40 years, Lee Fields set will be history unfolding in front of you. From lo-fi rock to Southern blues, all soul fanatics must get themselves to this show.

Porlolo

It’s “creep rock” mixed with folk flavor and dream-like vocals sure to bring out all the feels. If you’re in the mood to float into some music, check out Porlolo and let yourself vibe a bit.

Open to the Hound

Enter into singularity with Open to the Hound, who are not afraid of exploring the weird. They’re wilderness rock, grunge folk, and a ton of fun to watch.

Methyl Ethel

Australian-made and internationally-known alternative pop group Methyl Ethel aim to dissociate their fans from the present and bring them into their musical multiverse.

Sunboy

Another psychedelic treat for any attendees who want to escape themselves for a bit, Sunboy’s multi-layered musical concoctions will leave you talking about their set for weeks.

Thee Oh Sees

Garage rock, psych-pop rock, or however you interpret their style, Thee Oh Sees are a headliner you do not want to miss.

SPELLS

Often known for saying “screw it” to the stage, SPELLS will have you moshing, flailing, screaming, and sweating all over each other.

Dirty Few

Dirty Few is the perfect group to celebrate your Saturday night second wave with. Their party ‘til you drop mentality is sure to blow the roof off of the devilishly fun Hi-Dive.

KITTY CRIMES

If you’re a fan of badass chicks who can rap, sing, and play guitar, check out KITTY CRIMES, who will keep your booty shaking even after her set is over.

Bud Bronson & The Good Timers

Playing at their second home, the Hi-Dive, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers are a group of hilariously charismatic rockers who just want their fans to have a good time. Their feel-good summertime party rock is impossible not to like, so grab a beer and get in on the fun.

DéCollage

One of the most unique sets I’ve ever witnessed came from DéCollage. With costumes, lights, fog machines, and shiny mylar galore, you won’t be able to stop your body from moving.

The Yawpers

Rock music resembling the moments right before a fever breaks, The Yawpers will leave you wide-eyed and craving another dose of their mania.

The UMS this year is bound to be one for the books, and with so many talented performers on the bill, it is encouraged to see every band you possibly can. If you can barely walk by day four, you’ve done it right. So grab those tickets, coordinate your schedule, and prepare yourself for a wild weekend. We'll see you out there!

-Jura

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

Rock and Roll: A Revival Hits The Boulder/Denver Music Scene

By: Mirna Tufekcic

At a coffee shop, “Take it Easy” by the Eagles plays over the speakers as I begin writing a piece about what the revival of rock and roll looks like from where I stand, and where I stand is somewhere around Boulder/Denver, Colorado. Like the age-old mathematical proof goes, IF rock and roll is dead, THEN it’s rising from the grave as we speak. But rock and roll never really died.  It’s been in a lull; now reawakening. Hence why I’m choosing to use the word revival over resurrection.  

The rock and roll revival is happening in the Boulder/Denver music scene. Not just because the music is hard, raw, and will make you sweat, but because people are living it heart first. Today’s rock stands on the shoulders of rock and roll giants, and that’s why I believe it has this potency and capacity to move you; to get under your skin. Boulder/Denver is the place to witness it firsthand, but you’ll have to seek it out before it’ll find you. Still fluttering its eyes from decades of sleep, rock and roll around these parts is slowly rising from underground, but underground it is still.

BANDITS. 

BANDITS. 

The recognition of this revival started for me a few weeks ago at Boulder’s Lazy Dog, when the BANDITS played their homecoming show after touring the country. Their hard rockin’ tunes injected a potent dose of “wake the fuck up, it’s rock and roll time!”, and I couldn’t help myself. Apparently, neither could the people around me, who found themselves rocking back and forth to the BANDITS music: reminiscent of the 70s, metal like the 80s, and with an in-your-face alternative flare of the grungy 90s; the latter you can partly, one-third precisely, thank the lovely LuLu Demitro for, the vocalist/bassist/keys of the band. As she sang, “Oh, baby, who’re we gonna kill tonight?”, I found myself remembering the days of women-led bands like Garbage, The Cranberries, and The Cardigans. Vocalist/guitarist John Demitro didn’t half-ass his presence on stage, either. Truly putting up a hard-rock performance, he jumped on the drum set, walked down into the crowd guitar-first, and played on his tip-toes at the edge of the stage, beckoning the crowd to move closer and closer to him.

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

After that night, rock and roll was in me; it was coursing through my veins. I remembered what I seemed to have long forgotten: rock and roll is life itself. I started fiending for another hit the very next day, where I found myself in Denver at the Hi-Dive for a Plum show, a rock and roll band based out of LA. But I was really there to see The Velveteers, a local duo who project some heavy, hard sounds right into your rockin’ soul. The Velveteers’ frontwoman Demi Demitro is nothing short of breathtaking. Not because she’s beautiful, which she certainly is, but because her guitar shredding and sharp lyrics ooze talent like raw honey off a fresh honey comb. (Warning: hearing them live will make your mouth water). There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a budding, 19-year-old female artist making music-lovers’ jaws drop. It’s powerful.  

Witnessing The Velveteers perform in admiration, I told myself to keep both eyes and ears open for their next appearance around town. Lo and behold, the very next day my music-loving compadre hit me up to tell me about an upcoming event with Denver’s beloved Yawpers at Lost Lake. “The Velveteers are opening for them at the Sunday BBQ show,” he added. He didn’t have to say more. I hung up and went straight to the Google app on my phone to buy tickets.

The author with #Nate from Denver's Yawpers, Cosby sweater and all. 

The author with #Nate from Denver's Yawpers, Cosby sweater and all. 

Sunday’s BBQ show at Lost Lake was a more intimate setting than the Yawpers’ sold-out Larimer Lounge show the night prior, which you can read more about here. There were mostly “friends with the band” peeps attending this event, and it made for quite the view into real rock and roll. Nate Cook, the frontman of the Yawpers, led a high-level, party-on-a-Sunday energy with vibrant, ridiculous antics particular to Nate. #Nate exists for a reason (thanks for this, Pete Simatovic!). Just to give you an example: At 2:30 pm in front of Lost Lake, Nate walked out wearing cutoffs just short of exposing his balls with a vintage sweater straight out of the Cosby show, cigarette in mouth. His energy attracted those around him to start chatting about music and his show at the Larimer the night before. The conversation moved back to the bar, where all involved shot whiskey.

Blackfoot Gypsies. Photo per BolderBeat by   Hannah Oreskovich  .

Blackfoot Gypsies. Photo per BolderBeat by Hannah Oreskovich.

Outside, Blackfoot Gypsies, who had been touring with the Yawpers, congregated around their van in front of Lost Lake to take pictures. And if you didn’t know what year it was, you would have mistaken it for being 1971: the group was outfitted in tight bell-bottoms, long unkempt hair, aviator ray-bans, and flowery t-shirts unbuttoned to the chest and all. But it’s 2016 and these guys were making a statement: “We’re bringing back the true rock and roll!” And that they did. The Yawpers, The Velveteers, and The Blackfoot Gypsies revived the sound of rock and roll with every tune they played.

The Yawpers. Photo per BolderBeat by  Hannah Oreskovich .

The Yawpers. Photo per BolderBeat by Hannah Oreskovich.

As Sunday funday at Lost Lake slowly rolled on, people got more involved in the music: they danced and sang along, feeding off of the rockin’ energy each band emitted. And that’s when I realized rock and roll isn’t just about the music: it’s a lifestyle. You either feel it, or you don’t. And to feel it, you’ve got to be there. It’s dark, it’s emotional, and it will take a toll on you. It’s irresponsible sometimes, and it’s about living in the moment.

Whiskey Autumn at Studio 700. Polaroid per  Becky Guidera .

Whiskey Autumn at Studio 700. Polaroid per Becky Guidera.

This past weekend I went to Boulder’s Studio 700 to feed my soul with rock and roll once again. A long list of musicians were paying tribute to The Beatles with short sets. Boulder’s Whiskey Autumn headlined the event, with members of Cold River City, BANDITS, and other singer-songwriters contributing to the revival of rock and roll through Beatles covers. It was, like the rest of my recent adventures, a night to remember.

Rock and roll, from where I stand, sure has a palpable energy ripe with life. Hope to see you there.

-Mirna

The Weekend Six VIDEO EDITION: Six Shows to See 11/20, 11/21, & 11/22

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Weekend! Weekend! Let’s go to these shows:

Today (Friday, 11/20)

Paul Kimbiris and The Dark Side of Pearl Concert at the Chautauqua Community House 7PM-9PM

Joined by the talents of cellist Philip Parker, percussionist Leor Manelis, keyboardist Danny Rankin, and vocalist Beth Preston, tonight is one of Paul Kimbiris’ last shows of the season. Kimbiris and these powerful players will be performing a number of songs off of his album, “The Dark Side of Pearl.” Though it’s a bit softer than what you saw with Kimbiris' project BLVD at TFS, it sure sounds like the cozy type of night we want to be a part of. There are only a few tickets left, so get yours here. PS: Say hi to Paul’s mom, and wear a nice shirt.

Watch Paul performing for CPR OpenAir here:

Ben Hanna & the Knighthawks, Whiskey Autumn, & Hunter Stone at Shine Gathering Place 730pm-Close

Get ready for Ben Hanna to electrify an entire room once again kids! We were crazy for Hanna’s performance at TFS and we can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve tonight. The show is only $5 and Whiskey Autumn and Hunter Stone will be opening things up, making for an overall tasty lineup. Word on the street is Whiskey Autumn is dropping a new single soon; yum. Anddd we caught up with Stone earlier this week before his rehearsal for tonight’s show so we can tell you, it’s gonna be a good one. Leggo.

Watch a Ben Hanna original right hurr:

Funky Friday at The Armoury featuring Vance Romanca, Amoramora, & Booster 8PM-Close

Vance Romance. 

Vance Romance. 

Head on down to the Larimer part of town tonight in the D and catch this funky fresh lineup at The Armoury. Rumor has it that tonight is Vance Romance’s last show for awhile, so catch it while you can. Plussss Boulder bands Amoramora and Booster will be kickin’ thangs off! The place is gonna be straight groovin’. Peep the set times here and head out.

Already ready to funk? Peep Booster’s “Slinky” vid here:

Augustus at Gold Hill Inn 9PM-Close

Augustus.

Augustus.

Augustus is making their Gold Hill Inn debut tonight and it's gonna be a party!! It's only $7 at the door and the Boulder rock trio is even setting up rides for fans and friends on their FB event page here. Head for the hills with these boys- the mountain views + their rockin' tunes will be well worth it.

Watch an Augustus video here:

Tomorrow (Saturday, 11/21)

KUNC Presents: Yawpers Album Release Party at the Hi-Dive 8PM-Close

Now that looks like rock'n'roll. Photo Credit:  Kirsten Cohen

Now that looks like rock'n'roll. Photo Credit: Kirsten Cohen

The only way you’re lucky enough to check out this one is if you already bought your tix friends because it’s SOLD OUT. Which isn’t totally surprising since Boulder--->Denver--->Bloodshot Records band The Yawpers are hanging out at home for the release of their newest album “American Man.” They’ve got quite a badass tour schedule, which you can peep here. So here’s to hoping you’re one of the lucky few shotgunning beers with these good ol’ American boys tonight.

And whether you’re headed to the show or not, watch The Yawpers “Doing it Right”:

The Next Day (Sunday, 11/22)

The Lovebirds and Theresa Peterson at Vapor Distillery 7PM-9PM

Lady projects + Vapored libations= All good things.” That’s what’s up with Sunday’s gig at Vapor Distillery. San Diego duo Veronica May & Lindsay White are The Lovebirds and they’re going to be bringing some “folk that pops” to you Boulder. Local staple and Boulder-in-the-Round creator Theresa Peterson will be opening the show. So go check out all three of these lovely ladies! It’s going to be a great end to the weekend.

Check out The Lovebirds “UNI” here:

So many killer shows. See you out there Boulder!

-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.