Tag Archives: UMS

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Gasoline Pops at the Soul Mine (Photo: John Spalvins)

Boulder’s Gasoline Lollipops is Ready to Douse Denver

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Gasoline Lollipops in Jamestown, CO (Photo: Laura Folden)

Gasoline Lollipops in Jamestown, CO (Photo: Laura Folden)

Boulder may be too small, too quiet to hold the Gas Pops any longer…

“The Gasoline Lollipops as it stands today – I feel like we’re at the beginning. I mean, we’re starting to pick up steam, and it’s my first experience of that with the Gas Pops,” Clay Rose, frontman of the quickly rising Boulder band told DenverThread.

Rose is a pleasant-looking young man, tall and lanky, and he appears unbeknownst just behind me in line in the front of a Boulder coffee shop as I order, pay, and head back to find a place to talk. He shows up shortly after I find a table, and somehow we know who each other is right away – maybe journalistic clairvoyance, or some communal tie to Naropa (my day job, and Rose’s one-time university).

“I had another band earlier that picked up pretty fast [The Widow’s Bane], but this has been, like, a really epic journey,” he continued. “So many fantastic stories of Gasoline Lollipops, beginning and ending, and the first one starts in, like… 2000… 2004.”

Catch the Gasoline Lollipops at the Lost Lake Lounge on Friday, October 20, and at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park on Saturday, October 21

Gasoline Lollipops is picking up plenty of steam, and has been steadily climbing in notoriety and popularity for the past year or so – and now they’re ready to take on the Denver audience. Their new record – Soul Mine – is slated to drop on December 16, and they’re having a release party at the Fox Theater in Boulder to celebrate. This record might be the catalyst they need to break down the walls into Denver.

Gasoline Pops at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO (Photo: Michael Emanuele)

Gasoline Pops at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO (Photo: Michael Emanuele)

They’re well aware of Denver’s country alt-gothic punk indie imprint – known for some time as “The Denver Sound” and populated by bands like 16 Horsepower, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Munly Munly, The Denver Gentlemen, and more. But the Gas Pops feel they have a sound and fury that can overcome any pigeon-holing, and it’s true.

Gasoline Lollipops is more than Merle Haggard country, and so much more than a Slim Cessna knockoff. Their sound beats with a true, red-blooded American heart, melding country punk, folk, and searing rockabilly behind Rose’s often wild, guttural Tom Waits howl. They tell tails of troubled lives, of the ends of lives, of the hearts broken and stamped out of existence just about every day in this life. And they do it with a danceable – and, yes, moshable – folk-punk presence that leaves audiences exhausted and ecstatic every time.

Danceable – and moshable – country-punk folk with grit and heart

But Rose’s musical history didn’t start that way, necessarily. After spending a childhood dividing time with a truck-driving father and a Nashville mother, Rose found himself with a guitar in his hand at a truck stop one day, where a local asked him if he was playing the local open mic. He’d just learned a few chords, and had written out three songs – likely about the adolescent loves he’d pine over as he left one town and fell in love at another – so why not? One thing led to another, and his passion turned into an obsession by the early 2000s.

“I was just a crazy kid, and I had a big, liberty-spiked mohawk, combat boots, and I was living in this rental house in Lafayette,” he explained. “I’d been playing gigs around solo, under the name Clay Rose – like political acoustic folk/punk – kind of like like the young Billy Bragg, but way more edgy, super fast.”

“It was like Rage Against the Machine if it was only an acoustic guitar and a singer – super fast, me almost rapping, and, like, screaming a lot,” he explained. “I wore very bright clothes – checkered pants, and all.”

Young punk fury fell a little flat on Boulder at first

For a while, Rose tried to build a reputation on his own, playing open mics and scheduled gigs as much as he could, outside day jobs. He kept trying to get people to wake up a little, to look a little further than the Flatirons.

“I had just moved back [to Boulder] from Nashville in about 2002, and – I don’t know – I was trying to stir shit up,” he continued. “But, y’know, Boulder is not really the place – like, people don’t want to be stirred up here.”

Rose began to butt up against the unique activist nature of Boulder’s population – one certainly not known for embracing the more unsavory sides of things. But it didn’t phase him, or stop him from building a band around perhaps one of the strangely tastiest band names ever.

“It’s weird, because, from the outside, it looks like it’s populated by a bunch of hippies, and hippies are known for stirring shit up. But not these hippies.”

After battles with substances, Gasoline Lollipops proved to be the salve he needed

After a battle with alcohol and drugs that became almost too much for him, Rose became sober for a time but continued to make music. When his girlfriend – now wife – took a sabbatical out of the country to answer some of her own questions, rather than diving back into a drunken stupor, he formed The Widow’s Bane. Formed around songs that were to be composed and sung by men who’d been killed by the heartbreak from their earthly relationships, The Widow’s Bane became a sea-shanty, dead-looking staple at places like the annual Zombie Crawl in Denver, among other places. They became pretty popular, but just weren’t and aren’t – the band that Rose had his heart wrapped up in.

Now, in Gasoline Lollipops, he feels he’s found the one.

Gasoline Pops at the Soul Mine (Photo: John Spalvins)

Gasoline Pops at the Soul Mine (Photo: John Spalvins)

“There have been moments in time with the Gasoline Lollipops – quite a few,” he espoused,  “where I was like ‘This is a supergroup!’ There was a time period there where I felt like that – it was a very different band from what it is now. Y’know, we had this guy J.C. Thompson on bass, and he would play an upright, and he was one of the meanest upright players I’ve ever played with until he got deported to Canada.”

“At that point, we were just a four-piece” Rose added. “We had Jeb Bows on the fiddle, and he’s still with us – he’s the last original member other than myself. Things have just changed, and for better.”

As far as how the band reached its current, satisfying state, Rose explained that he’d been following a particular type of strategy – one that got him much of the band he was looking for, without burying him in the responsibility of making any bad decisions.

“I never auditioned anybody for the band, and it was just like, if we needed a player, I just put it in my mind that ‘we need this player,'” he explained, “and then I would casually bring it up in conversation, and someone would say ‘Oh – I know so & so,’ or ‘I play this,’ and that’s how we’d get new players.”

A bad experience with a record exec changed all that and left a record and loads of work on a shelf, unreleased.

“I guess I’ve always had a faith in… destiny? Which I’m starting to rethink a little late in the game,” said Rose.

Taking control of his fate

“I never wanted the responsibility of making my own fate, because what if I choose wrong? So I never chose anything, as far as a musical career goes,” he explained. “I fell into the camp of people who believe so much in destiny that ‘All I gotta do is keep playing, and sooner or later that record executive is gonna walk through the door, and the rest of my life is going to be peaches. Ha!”

“And then the record executive DID walk through the door, and he turned out to be a fuckin’ scumbag! It was bad…,” he added, “yeah…. It was a long time ago. The record I did with the label – we never released it. That’s what I got for letting destiny introduce me to my future, right? But it still took me a long time to learn any kind of a lesson from that, and I’m just now learning it.”

After caring for the wounds of a less-than-helpful executive, Rose persisted, and eventually came to the lineup and energy that is the Gasoline Pops today.

“That’s why I’m saying that we’re kind of at the beginning, because it’s the first time that I’m really kind of ‘taking charge,’ or taking responsibility for my own future, and making decisions – whether or not they’re the right ones, y’know?” he explained. “Just practicing making decisions, and moving forward at all costs, ’cause stagnation is the enemy. I’d rather be moving backward than not at all.”

Their first European tour

One of those decisions came out of the band’s upcoming first tour in Europe.

“We’re doing an upcoming tour in Belgium & The Netherlands November 15 – December 5,” he explained, “and Donny, our guitar player, can’t come, ’cause he’s gotta get hip replacement surgery. So – rather than picking the next person that came along with a guitar, like I normally would, I held open auditions. I auditioned 20 guitar players.”

“I had to say ‘No’ to 19 of them – which I’ve learned is something I’m not at all good at,” he added. “This is mainly why I always wanted destiny to figure it out for me.”

“But this feels good, and now I know that – out of 20 dudes – I’ve got the cream of the crop.”

 


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UMS – Day Three is the Juggernaut. You Should See These Bands!

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The UMS isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon, and Day Three is the middle 15. Long, hot, stretched out and relentless, and the most fun you’ve ever had. Time to settle in and really get a taste of the festival, and we’ve got the band list for you.

Here’s the list for Day 3: Saturday, July 29, 2017

12:00 p.m.

Edison

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Brooklyn-esque folk rock born of bands like The Lumineers (one of ’em was in that one, actually), based in Denver. Easy to love, impossible to forget.

1:00 p.m.

Porlolo

Irish Rover

A Denver local scene mainstay, Erin Roberts has been Porlolo forever. And Porlolo has been ever-changing, moving, growing and supporting the scene with a rock-folk blend no-one else can claim.

2:00 p.m.

Gasoline Lollipops

Irish Rover

A little bit country, a little bit punk, a little bit, and a whiskey-trickle of Denver BumCore! heroes Slakjaw, the Lollipops set the stage for a square-dance mosh.

3:30 p.m.

The Corner Girls

Main Stage at
363 S. Broadway

Glitter–drenched, funky, feminist, pastel punk is what you’ll get from this relatively new trio, pplus some high-energy inspiration to wear unicorn horns, fart rainbows, and throw shoes at the TV when your dad’s screaming at Fox News.

4:30 p.m.

The Savage Blush

Main Stage at
363 S. Broadway

Surf-drenche 60s-esque psychedelic garage rock, by a brother-sister duo from Denver. Need to know more? Go and see!

5:00 p.m.

Kitty Crimes

Syntax: Physic Opera

If you’re not aware of Denver scene heavyweight Kitty Crimes – AKA Maria Kohler,
musician, producer, all-around powerful, unforgettable presence, and member of/contributor to a seemingly unending number of local bands (M and the Gems, Harpoontang, Houses, Science Partner, Mike Marchant) – you can’t really say you’re a Denverite. Fix that, today – see her unique show, now with a full band. One you definitely don’t want to miss.

6:00 p.m.

Quantum Creep

H-Dive

Obviously fans of early Flaming Lips, Yo La Tengo, and a garagey-er Big Star would love these creeps. We do, too. Just go see ’em.

7:00 p.m.

Pretty Mouth

South Broadway Christian Church

Pretty Mouth start off a little smooth for us, sometimes. But – before you know it – sultry, throaty singer/songwriter Marie Litton assaults you with said voice, and leaves you in a somnambulent stupor, to be awakened by the sweet, loud licks from guitarist/cellist Lief Sjostrom. Good luck with getting back to sleep any time soon after.

8:00 p.m.

The Omens

The Hi-Dive

In the tradition of bands like Alien Sex Fiend, Tarmints, and (now) Oh Sees, The Omens will rock you with a psychedelic garage sound that’l make you feel dirty, greasy, sweaty, and elated.

9:00 p.m.

Codename: Carter

The Hornet

We’d tell you what’s so damned good, smooth, exciting, intriguing, and fun about Codename: Carter – but then we’d have to kill you. And, besides, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a band of spies such as this. That is all.

10:00 p.m.

Parallelephants

The Irish Rover

San Antonio-based Parallelephants send out onto their audience a smokey R&B that’s perfect for chillin’ and catchin’ your breath as the final few miles loom ahead.

11:00 p.m.

Nasty Nachos

the Irish Rover

Imagine filling the large tray at 7-11 with the most chips and nacho yellow cheese liquid as you can possibly fit, paying for it, walking home and eating most of it, running into your recording bedroom, and spilling the gallon of leftover cheese and corn chip crumbs directly onto the keyboard of your synth. This is where Nasty Nachos comes from.

12:00 a.m.

The Baltic

Gary Lees Motor Club and Grub

Finally, we get to the shoegaze. If you like Ride, or MBV, or dancing with your eyes closed to bauhaus as you hum what you think are the lyrics, so no-one around you will notice that you don’t know them, The Baltic is for you.

1:00 a.m.

Rumtum

The Irish Rover

Found noises, sounds, animals, people – squashed up and forced through capacitors, wires, knobs and buttons, and out rhough b ombastic speakers, and into your ears. Just be ready.


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The UMS 2016 – Photo Gallery Flashback

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The 16th Annual Denver Post Underground Music Showcase has come and gone, but the images of such a stellar, bombastic weekend remain. Enjoy a selection of moments DenverThread caught – call it a little flashback. We had so much fun, and we can tell you did, too….


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The UMS Day 4 – Cure for the Hangover: Final List of Must-See Bands, By the Hour

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Day 4 – Underground Music Showcase – we’re almost at the end of this fantastic display of talent. And, no doubt, more than a few of us are sporting some monster-sized headaches. No worries – music (and especially live music) is the best cure for any hangover. And the UMS has plenty more to give.

Before you go, have a look through our recommendations for the best music each hour. And remember to bring water. Plenty of water. And underwear (‘cos you never know).

Here’s your hour-by-hour lineup for UMS Day 4

12:00 p.m.

Bella Musser

Punch Bowl Social

Bella Musser’s soft croon may be the perfect solution for your morning hangover, and a great way to ease into the day. But watch out, ‘cos that same voice packs a punch. Check it out —≥

1:00 p.m.

DREA.M

Skylark Lounge

Sultry, soulful, quiet and smooth – Drea. M brings a dose of R&B to her set of what might at first be mistaken for alt-folk. Her melodic constructions, rich with brilliant harmonies and inching into electronic orchestration evoke strong emotion, and lift you up into her realm. Get a taste —>

2:00 p.m.

D. Edward

Skylark Lounge

It’s still early in the afternoon, but D. Edward’s soulful, poppy rhythm & blues may just encourage you to order a cocktail and sit back, and let the smooth rhythms sooth  you. Have a listen —>

3:00 p.m.

Couches

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Couches – straight outta the Bay Area – create an interesting brand of fuzz/grunge that’s maybe equal parts Dinosaur Jr. and Modest Mouse, with some obligatory Ty Segall for good measure. Listen to their muff, then prepare to be lost, like a nickel, deep in their cushions… —>

4:00 p.m.

Qbala

Blue Ice Lounge

Qbala comes from the North in Colorado (Loveland, to be exact), with strong, vital hip-hop. Powerful lyrics, smart, sweeping orchestration and sick beats make up the in-your-face world they encompass. Listen in —>

LSD Bags

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

The psychedelic grunge that LSD Bags deals is both HappyToxic and intoxicating. ’70s-influence mix with vocals that recall early Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This is definitely a soundtrack to take edibles to. Get some —>

4:30 p.m.

Adia Victoria

Main Stage @ Goodwill

Adia Victoria is a juxtaposition. She straddles folk rock and an answer to Afropunk, with huge songs built on strong, smart poetry. Every once in a while, she evokes a little of Suzanne Vega, spelling out melancholy, beautiful stories that will keep you awake into the night. Sample a bit —>

5:00 p.m.

Shady Elders

3 Kings Tavern

Shady Elders keep clawing their way up to the top of Denver’s local scene with their deep, reverb-drenched postpunk and Fox Rodemich’s sultry, sensuous vocals. Think My Bloody Valentine meets Lush. Have a listen —>

5:30 p.m.

The Yawpers

Main Stage @ Goodwill

If they’re not careful – or maybe if they are – this may Boulder’s Yawpers’ last visit to the UMS. They’re moving quickly up to the surface and out of the underground, with a sound that blends mountain-grown furious bluegrass with the best parts of Led Zeppelin or Jethro Tull. Git you some, while you still can —>

6:00 p.m.

Megafauna

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Megafauna play a brand of psychdelic grunge that comes across as big as Texas – maybe ‘cos they’re from Austin. Huge, grungy, twisted melodies and fuzz, all right. Check it —>

6:30 p.m.

Sunflower Bean

Main Stage @ Goodwill

This New York trio takes the best of the Brooklyn folk renaissance and turns it inside out a little, with some serious indie-styled psychedelic pop. Harmonies, jangling strings, huge drums – and it’s danceable. Listen in —>

7:00 p.m.

Modern Leisure

3 Kings Tavern

Modern Leisure, Casey Banker’s latest project – and he has many, many projects and a long local music history (Don’ts & Be Carefuls, Shady Elders, and many more) – features a melancholy pop sensibility inside an almost easy-listening chill-folk container. Good vies, all around – except the stories seem to be all about heartbreak. Listen in —>

7:30 p.m.

San Fermin

Main Stage @ Goodwill

Another Brooklyn-based product, San Fermin play a strong chamber-pop remeniscent of Arcade Fire and The National. Strong vocals, huge musical constructions designed to bowl you over. Hera it —>

8:00 p.m.

Plume Varia

3 Kings Tavern

Denver’s Plume Varia deliver a dark, heavy and brooding electronic/dream post-punk mix. Their music builds from deep, haunting synths and pounding rhythms up to Cherie Cobbs’ throaty & ethereal vocals, evoking winter in an Eastern Bloc country towards the end of the Berlin Wall. Have a taste —>

9:00 p.m.

Bandits

Hi-Dive

Boulder’s Bandits spit out a huge, guitar-centric metal/grunge sound akin to Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins. Huge guitars, truckloads of fuzz, twisted vocals and bombastic drums. Here’s some for you —>

10:00 p.m.

The Kinky Fingers

3 Kings Tavern

This Denver-based duo has refined an American blues meets surf rock sound that blasts away layers of clothing if you get too close. Sort of like a light-hearted Black Keys (in subject matter, not so much sound – Kinky Fingers have a huge, heavy sound that easily rivals the Keys’), informed by Link Wray and Dick Dale, for sure. Look out, In The Whale… jus’ sayin’. Have a bang of this —>

11:00 p.m.

The Other Black

Irish Rover

Cosmic Slim, formerly of Air Dubai, brings a huge funk project to the stage – sometimes consisting of as many as 25 artists – that will blow your mind. If there’s a genre that envelops Parliament/Funkadelic and the explosive, ecstatic gospel that overjoys black churches, this must be it. Have a bite —>


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The UMS: Day 3 – The Motherlode – Best Bands to See, By the Hour

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The first full, long day of Underground Music Showcase – The Motherlode – is upon us. This day requires planning, supplies, water, and – depending on how  you handled your Friday night – painkillers and a little dog hair. This is the day the UMS really gets into form, each new band exploding into the scene, bands stepping on each other from venue to venue, out in the street, lines for drinks, entrance, food, fun. IT’s all building up to the first night of giant crowds in the Goodwill parking lot, screaming, dancing, sweating, laughing as the stages explode with lights, sounds, chaos and love.

All the more reason that you should take heed to this list of bands to not miss in this musical maelstrom. Enjoy!

UMS Day 3: Bands Not To Be Missed, By the Hour

12:00 p.m.

Tisper

Hi-Dive

Tisper is Samwise Carlson, from Boise, ID. The chamber folk Carlson constructs, besides being intricate and ornate, may be the best way to slowly nurse your way into the afternoon. Think Nick Drake, or Joanna Newsom, and dusty sunbeams in a cool basement. Listen —>

1:00 p.m.

Transistor Send

Hi-Dive

Transistor Send – or Casey Cathey – is bedroom chill, made to mix with the early morning, snowing, heating up, realizing, all of it. This is music that cures hangovers by forcing you to simply remember your favorite films, and breathe. Sample a tune —>

2:00 p.m.

Marshall Poole

Hi-Dive

Marshall Poole represents the Boise, ID scene with a heavy psychedelia that recalls just the right amount of Smashing Pumpkins, with a healthy smidge of Monster Magnet. Perfect for really awakening your skin & bones. Take a lick —>

3:00 p.m.

Helvetia

Hi-Dive

We recommended you see these visionaries last night – but we’re doing it again. There’s hope here, wrapped in psychedelic lullabies and afternoon crib tales. So, maybe, there’s a world of sound here that makes everything feel better. Also: Portland. Listen —>

3:30 p.m.

Flaural

Main Stage @ Goodwill

Flaural are, put simply, Denver’s answer to Tame Impala – but close in hand. Strong guitar and synth pop meld into danceable, trip-able tunes that delight. Thoughts? —>

4:00 p.m.

Retrofette

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Retrofette fulfill a late ’80s dance-pop that reminds us of bands like Blancmange, or Soft Cell (without the resentment). It’s refreshing, but also makes us feel old. But that’s no reason for you to miss this brilliant psych synth pop! Get it! —>

Male Blonding

Skylark Lounge

Male Blonding are already enjoying the beginning of a buzz in these parts, and seem destined to take up the diaspora from the Front Range in the near future. Their guitar-driven indie pop/post-punk mix is genuine, enticing, intriguing. Have a go —>

4:30 p.m.

Methyl Ethel

Main Stage @ Goodwill

This project from Perth, the product of Jake Webb, feels as big as the sky, and as heavy as high school. Webb seems to channel Sallie Ford in his vocal style, at times. Transformative chords and blow-out rhythms cajole your ears to keep your eyes open. Check it —>

5:00 p.m.

Holophrase

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Experimental electronic music, with a post-punk feel, makes Holophrase a contender. Their artistic perspective and rebellious ethic produce a danceable, yet abrasive. mix. Listen —>

Best Creeps

Hi-Dive

Best Cresps are the band we were talking about when we mentioned rock ‘n roll induced psychopathydelia. These are the kids that lead your teens back to the garage nuggets that thay’d probably never hear, if it wewern’t for this group of Stooges-minded infidels. Pure insurrection, pure beauty. Have some —>

5:30 p.m.

Residual Kid

Main Stage @ Goodwill

Never let it be said that rock ‘n roll is for anyone but the youth. Never let it be said that rock ‘n roll comes from anyone but the youth. Germs meets Nirvana at the rough and tender ages of 16, 17, and so much more. Let me know I’m wrong. —>

6:00 p.m.

Poison Rites

Hi-Dive

I’ve seen both GBH and Mötörhead; I know both GBH and Mötörhead; this band is neither GBH nor Mötörhead. But they’re goddamned fun, and spew a virulent old school punk that shows that they know where their roots are. Listen. Slam. Chicken walk. GO!! —>

Omni

3 Kings Tavern

I’m a sucker for Television, Richard Hell, Wire, and all the NYC punk from the late ’70s. Apparently, so is Omni – from Atlanta. Guitar-driven, complex, almost math-y, they toy with a refreshingly smooth, complex, and exciting musical landscape. Give it a listen —>

7:00 p.m.

Sunboy

3 Kings Tavern

Sunboy seems to live in the continuum that includes Beck, The Flaming Lips, and Tame Impala, but often brings a cool Mac Demarco chill to the mix, accompanied by the arcade sounds of video games. Maybe it’s poolside – probably not beach side – music. Thoughts? —>

Church Fire

Irish Rover

Do not underestimate a Church Fire – band, building, or otherwise. This incarnation, the band Church Fire, builds an electronic industrial slew that recalls latter-day Ministry, or Nitzer Ebb and the like, but keeps a cool ethereal side to offer cool existential balance. Let us know what you think. —>

8:00 p.m.

Eros and the Eschaton

3 Kings Tavern

The wall of sound is this duo’s hometown. Melodies inspired by shoegaze, vocals piped in over foggy mountaintops, guitars as heavy as tectonics, as far-reaching as the original butterfly. We’re lucky this band calls Colorado home. Get in on it. —>

The Munsens

Skylark Lounge

There is no hope without an understanding of hopelessness. The Munsens know this, and they’re making stoner rock that’s designed to make us pull over in the beautiful terrain around Colorado Springs – the city they call home. Hold onto your earplugs, and play this loud. LOUD! —>

8:30 p.m.

Thee Oh Sees

Main Stage @ Goodwill

John Dwyer’s psychedelic revolution has blessed the UMS with its presence. What more do you need to know? How about some tunes? —>

9:00 p.m.

Sputnik Slovenia

Gary Lee’s Motor Club & Grub

What can you say about Sputnik Slovenia, really? Always a fixture of the Denver scene, and an inspiration, like Carl in “Straight to Hell,” only legit. Here’s a tune to let you feel a little of the magic. —>

10:00 p.m.

Spells

Hi-Dive

We’ll let you in on a secret: Spells is the next big thing. The Next Big Thing. Honest, thrashing, melodic, authentic punk rock, with a purpose – or maybe many. This band started at the frontier beyond the stage – they play right in the audience (drums included) – which means you gould get a guitar in the eye. Totally worth it. Listen, then see. —>

11:00 p.m.

Dirty Few

Hi-Dive

It’s almost like it’s planned. At this time of night, it’s almost like this is where you need to be. You’re dirty. Your friends, at this point, are few. but your resolve is only subject to your state of mind. Or maybe to your ability to stumble to the Hi-Dive and catch this band, the one designed to inject pure fun into you at your most tired hour, and get you back on the road to redemption. Or was that survival? No matter … Dirty Few. ‘Nuff Said. —>

12:00 a.m.

Joy Subtraction

Skylark Lounge

Formed in the space between where Joy Division and Joy Multiplication lived, Joy Subtraction are destined and dedicated to marauding the musical landscape with an sarcastic tongue, and a sardonic wit. Oh, and a severely punk rock attitude. Get a taste. —>

Kitty Crimes

Irish Rover

Kitty Crimes is the explosive, sensual persona that’s embodied by another local hereo – Maria Kohler – worn like the guise of  super hero. Kohler easily negotiates the sine line between rap and traditional R&B, with expertise. Listen. Just – listen. Then get there. —>


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Hacked By K3L0T3X

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~!Hacked By K3L0T3X alias Le Bg!~

Hacked By K3L0T3X

 

Greetz : Prosox, RxR, General KBKB, Kuroi SH, Shade, Sxtz

\!/@ws_k3l0t3x https://twitter.com/ws_k3l0t3x ~Hacked By K3L0T3X\!/

Hacked By K3L0T3X! !


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DenverThread + The UMS = Bands You Should See, Every Day, By the Hour

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The Underground Music Showcase launches tonight – and, with any luck, promises to be much more satisfying than the other two media circuses over the past two weeks.

More than 400 bands, across 20 stages on South Broadway must seem like a mighty big bite to take out of Denver – but we’ve got you covered. Each day, you’ll find a listing of bands DenverThread recommends, by the hour, to help you make those split-second decisions necessary for a full, enjoyable, enlightening, loud and beautiful experience. Each day, just be sure to check in on DenverThread.com before heading out into the heat, to get some quick descriptions on the bands we think are your best bets for each hour of the day.

Here’s the list for Day 1: Thursday, July 28

 

8:00 p.m.

Champagne Charlie

3 Kings Tavern

This hometown roots/folk band is sick with Tom Waits, but lunges into a quick, jazzy psychedelic, almost stoney vibe in the midst of  many songs. The trombone may be the highlight of your night. Have a taste to the right.

Teacup Gorilla

Illegal Pete’s – Inside

Guitar-driven dark pop oozes from this four-piece, channeling equal parts Pixies, Joy Division, and Minutemen. There may be a little taste of Violent Femmes in there as well, just for safe measure. Maybe they seem a little all over the place – but the bands they’re all over are great ones, at least. Their debut album “The Holes They Leave “ is a worthy challenge. We’re loving “Just Like That” a lot today. Check it out to the right.

9:00 p.m.

Gasoline Lollipops

Hi-Dive

A little bit country, a little bit punk, a little bit AC/DC, and a sweet, nostalgic whiskey-trickle of Denver BumCore! heroes Slakjaw, the Lollipops make a mix that sets the stage for the square-dancingest mosh pit in history. Imagine skanking to the commands of the barker in the Hi-Dive – how could you miss it? Our favorite from the debut ep “Dawn” is “White Trash.” Check it out just to the right.

The Milk Blossoms

Gary Lees Motor Club and Grub

This experimental 3-piece leads you down a luxurious rabbit hole directly into David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” Experimenting with soulful vocals, beatboxing, ukelele and dark, sinister and sad melodies, they first recall CocoRosie, but The Milk Blossoms seem to feel the funk and despair just a little more. They’re definitely one of Denver’s finest experimental bands – “Worrier” is a challenging, beautiful album – and we’re in love with the ultra-dark and haunting “Ghost No More.” You can get haunted by it, too, just over there, to the right.

10:00 p.m.

Soft Skulls

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Imagine Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in an orgiastic, sweaty pile on the floor with Ty Segall. Brian Jonestown Massacre playing Strokes and Jesus & Mary Chain covers on a flatbed truck, speeding through a mountain pass and loud enough to hear for miles. That’s Soft Skulls, the latest local super group led by Jim McTurnan, longtime Denver scene heavy. Check out “Trance,” from their debut, right over there —>.

11:00 p.m.

Beat Soft Pop

Illegal Pete’s (Inside)

Lyrically informed by poets like Allen Ginsberg and Jim Carroll, Beat Soft Pop recalls early CBGB’s punk rock in NYC. Musically, they recall Television, James Chance and the Contortions, a more melodic Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, and more from the Bowery scene of the ’70s – guitars, reverb, chorus pedals, drums; a little atonal, passionate, noisy, and exciting. “Northwest Girlfriend” tells the story pretty well. Check it out…..

Hotel Bar

The Hornet

Hotel Bar are not only a pretty raucous punk rock trio in the tradition of  bands like Descendents, Blink 182, Sum 41, or Alien Ant Farm – they’re also apparently beer slingers & bartenders around Denver. In other words, they’re all your best friends, making some exciting, melodic punk, just for you. Check out “Calm,” over to the right, and see if you disagree.

I know, right?

12:00 a.m.

Bad Licks

Hi-Dive

I guess it seems pretty unfair that there’s only one band playing by midnight tonight. Too bad – life isn’t fair. At least there’s one band playing – why not focus on the positive? And Bad Licks isn’t just a band – they’re a great band. A Denver Super Group, featuring members of The Blue Rider, Rootbeer and Mermentau, and with drums being handled by local hero A. Tom Collins. They’re a psychotic, psychedelic soul band, straight out of the garage. Well, more accurately, straight out of the Hi-Dive Basement, where they recorded the “Demos,” to the right, straight to tape.


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The Underground Music Showcase at 16: Priceless

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gauntlet_hairFour days in the summer that change the course of the summer – almost every one of the last 15 times – The Denver Post Underground Music Festival is once again upon us. Featuring more than 400 bands – the vast majority of which are local Denver bands – performing on 20 stages along South Broadway, the Rocky Mountain region’s largest music festival (and, some say, the Only Festival That Matters this (and Every) Summer) starts this Thursday, July 28, and runs through Sunday night, July 31st.

Watch DenverThread.com for daily listings of “Best Bands To See at UMS By the Hour,” all weekend!

During this weekend, if you’re on South Broadway from about 4th Avenue all the way down to Alameda, you’ll probably see hundreds – thousands – of local and regional hipsters walking, both in packs and alone, faces in their phones and (as likely as not) gently stumbling from stage to stage, zombie-like. But this group won’t be the Pokémon Go-playing crowd. They’ll be stumbling from the exhaustion of seeing their 50th band over 2 days – and only half way through Day 3.

Dehydrated, delirious, afflicted by sound – some with earplugs still lodged in both ears. These music fans will be roaming the festival in search of new, undiscovered underground bands. Or they’ll be desperately trying to get to see their hometown faves after catching something they’ve never heard of – destined to become their next hometown faves.

Or, you may see some of them running wildly down Broadway – guitar, drums, bass (and sometimes amp, or mic, or mic-stand) in hand, rushing to get to the gig their first band is playing that started while their second band was finishing up. Denver’s got a friendly, cooperative scene – one that fully supports members of many bands playing in other bands with members from many other bands. Yet, they all sound different, unique.

It’s not the “Denver Sound” anymore

There’s something that comes through in all these local acts that’s somehow intrinsically Denver – despite recent floods of talent (and bodies) from both coasts that threaten to dilute the stream (but fail, for the most part, thank goodness). It’s hard to put your finger on it – and I don’t mean the country-goth “Denver Sound” of the ’90s & ‘aughts, born on the backs of classic Denver bands like 16 Horsepower and The Denver Gentlemen, and that lives on quite well in the sound of the brilliant Slim Cessna’s Auto Club and a few other bands. This sound just as often owes more to ’70s country or prog rock as it does to ’60s hard psychedelia, or to mid-’70s punk, late ’80s shoegaze, or ’90s grunge/metal.

Maybe it’s the sound of a town/scene that has largely accepted just about every genre at one time or another, as well as spawned as many that moved to the coasts and – in some cases, for some short periods of time – took over. I’m looking at bands like The Fluid, DeVotchkaNathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – bands that still (if they’re around) call Denver their home (or at least their birthplace). Denver’s always been a “stop on the way to somewhere else” – San Fransisco, L.A., Chicago, NYC. But it’s always been welcoming, and supported its musicians with more than enough venues, usually filled with more than enough wild, enthralled but discerning fans.

The UMS is a celebration of all of that talent, but it’s also a celebration of those fans, those audiences, the venues, the support systems – all of it. Brave the heat. It’ll be worth it.


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Why The UMS is the Only Festival That Matters

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vinyl-records-945396_1920It’s a pretty bold statement, to be sure. But I’ll stand by it. The UMS – taking place this week from Thursday, July 28 through Sunday, July 31 in over 15 venues on South Broadway and featuring upwards of 400 bands (the vast majority of which are local Denver acts) – is, in fact, the only festival that matters. And here’s why….

I just had the pleasure of taking a class taught by none other than Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore at Boulder’s Naropa University, a part of their famous and influential Summer Writing Program (SWP). The class itself – titled “Rock ‘n Roll Consciousness” – was a mindblowing, bucket-list-kicking, poetic and musical experience I’ll never forget. It was also largely about influences, roots of some of my favorite bands, originators of punk, post punk, and more.

Some of them were poets – Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, T. S. Eliot, Bill Knott, Allen Ginsberg were all major influences for both Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine from Television, and Patti Smith, the central focuses of our class, really – but some of them were records. Not just any records, but records from that quirky, sometimes magical Holy Grail of both new, vital, world-changing music and supremely crappy pop, country, dance, and other music: the “Vinyl Cutout Bin.”

In this digital age, where so many music lovers are unfamiliar with the concept of “listening to an album,” let alone actually owning one, local music scenes, and local shows are effectively the only thing close to the Cutout Bin.

I remember sitting in the class – I myself a few decades older than most of my classmates (well, except Clark Coolidge – a regular teacher and contributor to the SWP since its inception in 1974) – listening to Moore explain to a group made up largely of millennials what a “Cutout Bin” actually was, and grinning nostalgically.

The Cutout Bin = The Holy Grail

So you know, the Cutout Bin was a place that bloated, greedy (and dying) record companies would dump hundreds, even thousands of records that they couldn’t sell, usually in supermarkets, department stores, even record stores, to allow these outlets to sell them at a deep, deep discount (like, ¢.99). For whatever reason, if a label spent the money to record and produce, say, 150,000 copies of some band’s record, and sales came up short, they’d write off the vinyl copies and deliver them to the retailers.

These retailers would usually cut out a corner, or drill a hole in the label, or slice the upper corner of the record, and dump them all into a bin – sometimes hidden in the back side of the electronics section, but just as often even up in the front of the store. Record collectors – mostly teens with very limited access to very limited funds (like myself) – often found these bins the perfect place to discover new music, and build their record collections.

Moore explained how, in his youth growing up in Connecticut, he would mine the cutout bins and found such treasures as Stooges records – something he (and we) might have never heard if it weren’t for the Cutout Bin.

The UMS is Damned Important

This is why The UMS is so damned important, fun, educational – even magical. There are bands you have the opportunity to see on this explosive weekend that you may never have another opportunity to see (unless you’re already a denizen of Denver’s music scene – in which case, you’re probably in one or three of these bands). Sure – someone may tune you into Spells if they’ve seen one of their explosive, literally-in-your-face punk rock sets, or the over-the-edge psychedelic blowout of Best Creeps, or the alt-psycho roots rock of Gasoline Lollipops – but how many friends do you really have that are that cool?

The UMS is your cool friend and is put together once a year to bring you the best of the best from the local scene, mixed with a whole pile of national underground bands that might have also found themselves represented in the Cutout Bin 40 (or so) years ago. The UMS is your opportunity to catch bands that will be the ones you’ll be introducing  your grandkids to as the originators of the beats they’re torturing you with while they refuse to get off your lawn. These bands are the next Stooges, the next 13th Floor Elevators, maybe even the next Beatles.

And, for your convenience, we at DenverThread will be providing band recommendations for EACH. Hour. Of. Each. Day. Check back in every morning, before you head out into the maelstrom of hundreds of bands, and chek out our expert opinions on who we think you should see every hour. You’re welcome.

See you on South Broadway this Thursday. Or Friday. Or Saturday. Or Sunday. If you don’t have tickets yet, get on it!


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#UMS – The Best Music Festival in the West – Announces 2016 Lineup

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Another summer, another UMS. It’s become a highpoint and hope for the festival season around Denver, and continues to gain national and international notoriety every year, and this year’s bound to be no different – and maybe even better than ever!

The 16th Annual Denver Post Underground Music Showcase (UMS) has just shot the first volley of this year’s lineup – which will eventually encompass over 400 local, national and international bands playing in a buttload of unique and welcoming venues on South Broadway in late July. The Baker neighborhood is destined for its annual takeover byt a flood of bearded, tank-top-wearing hipsters and music buffs, aficionados, critics, fans – and the occasional professional musician here and there, from Thursday, July 28 through Sunday, July 31.

You can get your tickets here, right now!

Each year, the UMS celebrates Denver’s constantly thriving music scene, and invites underground acts from across the country and around the world to play out in the summer sun and into the late evenings, serenading lucky natives and tourists alike across miles of South Broadway. Here’s a listing of the first 32 bands:

Flaural

Polica Thee Oh Sees Allah Las
San Fermin Lee Fields & the Expressions Yawpers
Adia Victoria The Bright Light Social Hour The Bunny Gang
Covenhoven Dirty Few Rob Drabkin
Emerald Siam The Epilogues Flaural
Fort Frances Methyl Ethel Plum
Porlolo Promised Land Sound Shady Elders
Slow Caves The Raven & the Writing Desk So Pitted
Sound of Ceres South of France SPELLS
The Still Tide Strawberry Runners Sunboy
Ultimate Painting Wiredogs

Take a look at all the options – and this is just the first volley  – and less that one-tenth – of the overall, four-day lineup. Can you afford to miss any of this? We think not. Especially now that you know – or you will by the end of this sentence – that the UMS proceeds go to the artists, first, and then to the Denver Post Community Foundation and Youth on Record – two heartily worthy causes.

 

Don’t delay – get your tickets here, today.  See you there.

 

 


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UMS 2016 Earlybird Ticket Alert!

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Once again, The UMS, Denver’s premier independent music festival, is literally around the corner! Not as close as we’d like – this year’s festival, the 16th consecutive edition, will take over South Broadway and show off Denver’s eclectic, almost overwhelming indie rock scene for four days, from July 28 – 31 – but it’s close enough that those of you with mad org skills and a love for the music can buy tickets now!

If you’re ready to commit to the long weekend – and we know you are – you can now take advantage of the availability of a limited number of four-day passes on sale now for a measly $40. That’s only $10 per day! Before  you know it, that price will be going up to a (still remarkably reasonable) $55 – only $13.75 per day of rockin’ madness.

The UMS is more than Denver’s best music festival – it’s a juggernaut of bands, speakers, panels, information sessions, innovation, booze, beer BBQ and mayhem, literally packed into a stretch of South Broadway. Past years have featured upwards of 350 bands, in more than 20 venues over the four days of the festival, and that’s just a part of the fun. This year boasts more than 400 acts, all housed in an eclectic selection of South Broadway venues between 6th Avenue and Alameda. The majority of acts are locals, though the past few years the number of national (but still largely underground) acts has increased – proof that everyone wants to be a part of the festival.

If, by some terrible mishap, you’re still unfamiliar with the UMS, take a look at this video recap from last year’s fun:

Now, go buy your tickets, and start catching up on rest – you’ll need it.


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#UMS2015’s DenverThread Recommends Lineup for Day #4

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We know – we’re a little more than hungover ourselves, trying to remember whether the pounding behind our eyelids is more PBR or Zebroids, or if the taste encrusted on our lips is ketchup or blood. But, hey – it’s #UMS2015 – and that’s what it’s all about. Need to get back on the dog-haired horse and jump right back into the swirling abyss – that’s the only cure….

We can help. Each and every day, DenverThread is publishing recommendations – by the hour – for bands you need to see in this crazy, over-stuffed, incredible lineup. Come back here and catch the day’s recommendations before you head out, and while you’re meandering down South Broadway!

Here’s our by the hour lineup recommendation for Day 4, Sunday, July 26…

12:00 PM – Punch Drunk Munky Funk – Illegal Pete’s

There’s probably nothing better to ease you into Day #4 then some groovy, easy, funky jazz, and Fort Collins’ Punch Drunk Munky Funk has the perfect thing. Cure your hangover with pumping, jazzy basslines, tropical drums, and horns galore – and a breakfast piña colada, of course. Here’s a little ReverbNation and Soundcloud action for you to get  you ready.

1:00 PM – Big Wild Wings – Irish Rover

Salt Lake City’s Big Wild Wings comes close to the feeling of Cocteau Twins, Xymox and the like – with an expansive, light feel. Lyndsi Austin’s well-rounded vocals float above symphonic guitars and synth, playing with the horizon and buzzing in and around your thoughts, while you succumb to a calm satisfaction. Test the noise out for yourself on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

2:00 PM – Professor Fox’s One Man Band – Illegal Petes

We love one-man-bands – maybe because this place so often feels like a one-man-operation, with the same frenetic need-six-hands action all the time. Fort Collins’ Steve Jones (Professor Fox) may appear to be a simple folk/Americana act, but he brings a certain intellectual gravity to his music, as well as some downright shit-hot guitar, foot- and bodywork. Get you some on Soundcloud for a bit.

3:00 PM – 40th Day – 3 Kings Tavern

40th Day started in Denver in the mid ’80s, and spent a decade as one of the area’s strongest acts with a definite post-punk, noisy and alt-gothic feel. The band re-formed a few years back and the’re back for #UMS2015, and still going strong, by all accounts. Recalling acts like Siouxsie & the Banshees, Joy Division and the like, they’ll bring a sinister feel to South Broadway, anchored in bass and strong vocals. This act will be well worth it – and gives us all a chance to step back into the days when Denver’s scene was thick with an atmospheric, full beauty. Catch them on Bandcamp.

4:00 PM – Jux County – 3 Kings Tavern

More from 3 Kings’ hosting of the history of Denver Music, Jux County bring together pieces of country and punk in a way that drives hard and frantic. Recalling the sounds of Mission of Burma, Jux County is a sort of ’80s-’90s Denver supergroup, featuring local heroes Andy Monley, Ron Smith and Chris Pearson, and have never really stopped. Check out their alt-country punk rock on Soundcloud.

5:00 PM – Panther Martin – Irish Rover

Panther Martin envelop their audience with a smoky atmospheric sound full of huge drums, heady guitars and whisping vocals. Drenched in ubiquitous reverb and echo, Panther Martin slink into the room slowly, grab your consciousness and pull you along for a dreamy ride. Check them out on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

6:00 PM – Sparkle Jetts – Hornet Restaurant

Arlo White’s Sparkle Jetts fling around a strong, glam-heavy ’70s based rock with aplomb and shock – and it’s only one of White’s Denver-based projects. And all of them rock the pants off this town every week in one way or another. Star-powered, blues-rock based groove is on deck at the Hornet – don’t miss this. Get ahead on them on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

6:30 PM – Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Main Stage at SSFCU

If there’s one reason to see the UMS live and up close, it would be to catch Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. this is a band that not only has defined the Denver music scene for more than two decades, they’ve also got a live set that is impossible to match  – or beat. Slim, Munly, Reverend Dwight Pentacost, Danny Pants, Big Bad Bob Ferbrache (who’s Absinthe Studios has a long history of recording a lot of Denver’s best talent – and more) – all in the frantic milieux of a tent revival. Happy, jumpy, almost overwhelming – Slim Cessna will rock you indelibly. Catch some on Bandcamp.

7:00 PM – The Patient Zeros – Brendan’s Pub

 

The Patient Zeros bring a soulful, punk spirited blues rock show to you as a two piece drums and guitar combo. Catch them on Bandcamp to start.

8:00 PM – Kinky Fingers – Irish Rover

Power pop at its most explosive, Kinky Fingers represent for Denver. They combine Surf, Psych, Soul and Country into a strong, flammable mess that lives in your brain for weeks. Find them on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

9:00 PM – Montoneros – Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que

Montoneros spin out dreamy, spacious rock, and pull you in with solid pop hooks and rhythms. Mathy, edgy, a tad emo (but not too much) Montoneros will leave calm and whole again. Try them out on Bandcamp.

10:00 PM – The Still Tide – Eslinger Gallery

The Still Tide play a simple, yet sweeping, brand of folk pop, with more than a little coloring of shoegaze in it’s roots. The band just moved to the clean air of Colorado from the bustle of New York, with Aaron Latos and Anna Morsett (once from These United States) in tow, and their music sounds spacious and open, like the mountain country. Catch them on Bandcamp – or, better, at the Eslinger Gallery – to make your own decision.

11:00 PM – Black Lamb – 3 Kings Tavern

Black Lamb have been a part of Denver for so long it seems they’re just part of the black in the streets, constantly under construction, constantly cracking and breaking, but always the same streets. Brian Hagman leads this sludgy metal mess like a more conscious Ozzy Osbourne, circa “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath” (but only slightly more conscious). Hagman, though, brings in a wanton carelessness and passion that’s all too real, slow and unflinchingly heavy guitars and impossibly huge drums and bass back him up. End  your UMS experience with about a trillion slow sledghammer punches to the head at 3 Kings, and go home happy, sated and ready for Monday. Get some sound samples on their Facebook page.


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