Nicki Bluhm channeling Grace and Dolly at this weekend' Folks Fest in Lyons.
No matter the breadth of talent booked by Planet Bluegrass for each year’s Folks Fest in Lyons, a significant number of Festivarians arrive with a set agenda in mind.
For this weekend's 25th anniversary event, the planned draws included Sufjan Stevens’ first Colorado performance of the acoustic "Carrie and Lowell," an unusual joint appearance by Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin, an emergence from seclusion by the elusive Gillian Welch, and the first showing by guitar virtuoso Richard Thompson since his stunning new album Still.
Even fans with the most predetermine agendas often run into utter surprises during each year’s festival, and Saturday's festivities were no exception, thanks to the gypsy folk act Taarka, the experimental spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan, indie-rock choir The Family Crest, and the madcap jam band Session Americana, produced by Anais Mitchell.
Still, the most interesting acts of any given year are typically ones that balance surprise and expectations – a hybrid of the set agenda and the total unknown. Lucy Kaplanskyand Richard Shindell's Pine Hill Project, for example, combined two beloved folk songwriters in an unexpected duo. Shindell in particular rarely appears in the U.S. since his move to Buenos Aires. The Pine Hill Project’s Kickstarter-funded album featured Kaplansky and Shindell offering 11 unusual cover songs. Some of these, like Dave Carter’s powerful “Farewell to St. Dolores,” were performed at Folks Fest. But so were some unreleased Shindell tunes like “Deer on the Parkway,” and a haunting Sept. 11 ballad by Kaplansky, “Brooklyn Train.”
Another artist that insiders thought they had pegged was The Gramblers, led by San Francisco’s newest chanteuse, Nicki Bluhm. Bluhm is a remarkable singer, but few in the audience expected her to channel elements of Grace Slick and Dolly Parton. Bluhm led The Gramblers through a set that steadily increase in power and decibels.
Even the well-known alt-country artist Jason Isbell, who closed Saturday’s show, brought along some surprises. Isbell had a reputation for abuse of pills and the bottle, while he was in Drive-By Truckers and in his early solo years. Saturday night, however, proved a clean-and-sober salute to 12-step redemption. Isbell provided a powerful and crisp tour through his two most recent albums, Southeastern and Something More Than Free, minimizing the appearance of the more relentlessly depressing tunes in favor of those emphasizing hope. His violin player, Amanda Shires, was nowhere to be seen, as she and Isbell have married and are expecting a baby within weeks.
Isbell still knows where all the bodies are buried in the Deep South, but he’s given up pill laments for patter about diapers. The Folks Fest crowd loved it all, treating Isbell’s performance as just one more surprise in a weekend festival loaded with the unexpected.
So, what's going with Dave Chappelle? First, the big news: He's touring again, and he's coming to Colorado Springs. Otherwise, he's:
• Discussing police encounters with the Associated Press: "A kid gets killed by the police and I buy a T-shirt and before I can wear that one, there's another kid (killed) and I'm running out of closet space."
• Visiting jail to talk to a New Mexican dude who threw a banana peel at him. "According to Englander, Chappelle asked him: 'Don't you know bananas are racist?'"
• Telling jokes, as quoted by spiked-online.com: "‘Black skin is thick skin’, he says, launching into a hilarious, absurd routine about walking into a Kentucky Fried Chicken, unperturbed when he finds all of the staff wearing KKK hoods, before opining on the ethics of ejaculating after your white girlfriend inadvertently drops racial epithets during sex."
But, like we said, he's coming to the Pikes Peak Center on Wednesday, Sept. 16 for a live performance.
Colorado Springs, CO – Dave Chappelle, known for his popular TV series ‘Chappelle’s Show’ and iconic character roles such as Rick James, will take the stage for one live show, September 16 at Pikes Peak Center.
Tickets to Dave Chappelle go on sale Friday, August 14 at 10 a.m. Tickets may be purchased online at www.PikesPeakCenter.com, all TicketsWest locations by dialing 520-SHOW or by visiting the Pikes Peak Center or Broadmoor World Arena Box Offices.
We are proudly offering pre-event dinners in the ANB Bank Room located on the Mezzanine level at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts. Call our concierge at 719-477-2102 to make your reservation.
In 2003, Chappelle debuted his own weekly sketch comedy show on Comedy Central called Chappelle's Show. The show parodied many aspects of American culture, including racial stereotypes, politics and pop culture. Along with comedy skits, the show also featured musical performances by mostly hip-hop and soul artists. He promoted the work of other black comedians as well, most notably Paul Mooney and Charlie Murphy.
Due to the show's popularity, Comedy Central's new parent company Viacom reportedly offered Chappelle a $55 million contract (giving Chappelle a share of DVD sales) to continue production of Chappelle's Show for two more years, while allowing him to do side projects. Chappelle has said that sketches are not his favorite form of comedy and that the characteristics of the show's format were somewhat like short films.
In June 2004, based on the popularity of the "Rick James" sketch, it was announced that Chappelle was in talks to portray James in a biopic from Paramount Pictures, also owned by Viacom. James's estate disagreed with the proposed comical tone of the film and put a halt to the talks.
That same month, Chappelle recorded his second comedy special, this time airing on Showtime, Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth, at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, where his idols, including Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Robin Williams, had performed. He joked about the city being "the gayest place on earth," touched upon an encounter on a public bus, in a New Mexico Wal-Mart, smoking in a strip club, and cultural differences in food and other topics.
As much as people love describing Ed Wood’s goofy 1959 classic, Plan 9 From Outer Space, as THE worst science fiction film of all time, Vic Savage’s decidedly less charming The Creeping Terror, released five years later, was far worse.
So it’s only fitting that both directors’ exploits have generated their own twisted biopics.
First came Tim Burton'sEd Wood. Now comes local writer/director Peter Schuermann’s The Creep Behind the Camera, which was released today through numerous video-on-demand and pay-per-view services, including Comcast, DirecTV and The Dish.
Schuermann’s film began making the rounds on the festival circuit last fall, earning praise from the likes of Gremlins director Joe Dante and the creators of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
In fact, later this month, Shout Factory TV will be including an extended trailer for The Creep Behind the Camera as bonus material on its release of the MST3K’s “Creeping Terror” episode.
Meanwhile, you can get your very own high-definition version of the film through iTunes here. You'll also find an Indy interview with the director here.
Bristol Brewing Company’s Freewheelin Music Fest announced today that Charles Bradley and Phosphorescent will be the headliners at this year's inaugural event. The two-day festival, to be held on multiple stages at Ivywild School on Sept. 11-12, will feature more than a dozen acts, including Joe Pug, Paper Bird, Pujol, Chimney Choir, and Natural Child.
In addition to the main festival (tickets for which are available at the Bristol Dry Goods Store or through Ticketfly.com), the event will include a free Indy Music Awards stage featuring winners of this year’s reader’s poll, who will be announced in our Sept. 9 issue.
Like this coming weekend's Blues Under The Bridge headliner Naomi Shelton, the Brooklyn-based Bradley is a veteran soul artist who was rediscovered by Daptone Records, as were Sharon Jones and Lee Fields. You can click here to read our 2013 interview with the artist.
Phosphorescence, aka indie-folk artist Matthew Houck, is also Brooklyn-based. His album, Pride, was chosen as the Number 12 album of 2007 by the staff of Stylus magazine
Oh for piss sakes, this has got to be the stupidest thing I've read all day.
People are stupid and the media is even worse
Anyway, in the spirit of media collaboration and the ultimate interest of our readers and viewers, i.e. the greater Colorado Springs community, I'd like to suggest a few other potential news leads (headlines) for KRDO for which to be on the look-out:
• Man stubs toes on way out of bathtub
• Cat found meowing at overhead bird
• Witness the door that squeaks every time it is opened
• Socks stained during soccer match
• Bar says its customers like to drink
• Church also called 'House of God' by congregants
• Boy claims bike tire became flat after run-in with curb
• 'Doctor, what's this all over my body?' ... The miracle of skin
• Baby apparently scared by bloody clown
So, just remember folks: a worm could be lurking inside your fruits and vegetables, just waiting to ruin your day. Cuz ... you know, god forbid a worm would be on a f_cking farm in the first place!
Our digital editor Craig Lemley captures our excitement best:
I've been thinking of nothing but Talladega Nights for the past two days. I climb in through the window of the car to find a portly, red-faced driver waiting to greet me. "My name's Ricky," he says, his voice muffled by his helmet. "You ready to go fast?"
True story. Last Thursday, we ventured to the Pikes Peak International Raceway for a media preview (I suppose I could call it the "Rev It Up Mixer" as they did) of three entertainment attractions available as of July 3 at PPIR:
If all you might want to know is "what was it like?" then the easy answer for all of the above is AWESOME. See for yourself in these two videos we filmed during our rides:
But if you care to learn a little more, you can of course click on the above links for details on each opportunity plus pricing info (the three-lap ride-along we did is $99, for example).
The newsiest bit of it all is that PPIR is now a permanent host of the Richard Petty Driving Experience year-round, as that company also operates driving and riding programs in more than a dozen other U.S. cities.
Our three-lap ride along was seriously thrilling. Swapping stories afterward with other media guests, we found that common side effects to the ride were a mildly queasy belly from the G-force around turns, a goofy perma-grin the whole time, and a little fear and apprehension mixed in with a lot of excitement.
As for adrenaline opportunities, I'd place a ride-along above ziplines and up there with bungee jumping and just short of skydiving. It was at-first terrifying to head into turns at such high speeds, feeling like surely we'll spin out or tumble off the track and slam into the wall. The perspective from inside the car is totally incomprehensible from the bleachers. With such a long track, they just don't look that fast roaring by, but from inside, the metal fence posts above the wall blur by as perhaps the easiest point of reference of the excessive ground speed.
It takes a dedicated pit crew to orchestrate racing.
There I was thinking that thumbs up meant how much fun I was having.
Again, this pic gives no sense of how fast that car is actually moving and what it feels like to be inside.
For the Time Attack course, we got to get behind the wheel ourselves and drive these sports cars:
That's one muscly car hood.
But we didn't reach too-high of speeds on account of an obstacle course of cones set up to make us weave back and forth around tight turns — best times were just under 30 seconds.
Some cones act as gates you must pass through. Others force you to weave back and forth.
And for the Zero1 off-road experience, we once again climbed in next to professional drivers to this time kick up large dust clouds and experience three separate jumps where the vehicles catch air. The suspensions on these guys are amazing; my driver said the shocks travel as much as 18 inches to absorb our landings, which were remarkably smooth. The first time we caught air I couldn't help but tense up for the landing and expect a sore butt, but they really come down easy.
I, of course, joked that I needed one of these buggies (which cost around $90,000) to properly hit all the potholes around Colorado Springs, since there's often no way around them and so many sneak up on you. Trust me, you wouldn't feel a thing anymore. No more teeth rattling and spilled coffee: It'd be Mad Max fantasies all the way.
Driving on pavement in these guys is like riding your full suspension mountain bike on the streets: the nearby dirt and grass just call to your soul.
Turns are taken tight and the buggies compensate beautifully.
In closing, I'll say that even though I grew up in Alabama (not far from Talladega), around much NASCAR culture, I've never been a fan of the sport or car enthusiast of any sort for that matter. So my opportunity to experience what it's like on the inside at least informed me as to why other folks go obsessive around race cars.
They're hella fast, and loud engines and exhaust and dirt and grease and sweat — it's hot inside those cars — all appeal to our primitive brains, for some reason. This is knuckle-walking and chest-pounder territory for guy and girl alike.
I caught myself pondering why we would be amused by going around and around in circles and building machines capable of ramping over logs — what's the point of it all? All I could reduce that to for an answer was this: It's fun.
Why do we do so many other things for amusement? Someone's kayaking is another person's gaming or knitting. Most of us do drive on city streets and highways and occasionally mountain roads, and left to our own devices many of us would probably speed if legally given the chance. God made us with lead feet, seemingly. These experiences help us safely exorcise those curious demons.
I'm probably overanalyzing all this to an annoying degree, but could that be called a public good?
I don't know. But to answer Ricky's question, yes, I am most certainly ready to go fast, sir. Please, may I have another lap?
A fair number of well-known hip-hop artists have played Colorado Springs in recent years, including political rap forefather KRS-One, former beatboxer DMX, and — this coming Sunday at the Speak Easy Vape Lounge — post-punk horror-core band BLKHRTS.
Yet not one of them has been a declared presidential candidate.
At least, not until now. In what’s either a local booking coup, or a triple platinum downsizing, Waka Flocka Flame will be playing the Black Sheep on August 15, with tickets going on sale this coming Friday.
Best known for his 2010 debut album Flockaveli, the Atlanta rapper recently debuted his campaign video via Rolling Stone — on 4/20, of course — with a platform that includes marijuana legalization and banning people with big feet from walking on sidewalks. (Seems reasonable.)
There are obstacles, of course, not least of which is being 28 when 35 is the minimum eligibility age.
The emcee also recently showed off his literary tastes on XXL’s site, which posted clips of him reciting excerpts from “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
You can watch Waka Flocka's very, um, blunt announcement below.
Backstage at an Amnesty International benefit, Lou Reed once told some journalists — in his famously flat monotone — that if any of us actually knew the real Bono and the things he does behind-the-scenes, we'd all be worshipping him.
These days, of course, Bono's humanitarian achievements are far from secret. There's also no shortage of fans eager to bow before the altar of U2, as readily demonstrated Saturday night during the first of two sold-out shows at Denver's Pepsi Center.
Ireland's biggest export opened the evening with "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" from Songs of Innocence, an album that, as you may recall, just showed up one day in half a billion iTunes accounts, thus spawning a cottage industry of U2 removal software.
From there, the band segued to the title track "The Electric Co." from its debut album, Boy, which was soon followed by its first single, "I Will Follow," rekindling memories of a time when Bono was still more choirboy than messiah.
There have been more than a dozen albums since, which means the band can now play for two hours and still just skim the surface of its repertoire. Set highlights like "Until the End of the World" and "Vertigo" also proved they can still do the U2 anthem thing with as much passion and precision as ever.
Visually, the show makes artful use of a "transformable LED screen," which runs down the center of the arena and mixes surprisingly edgy animation with, less surprisingly, a ton of special effects and band member close-ups. Most of it works well, actually, although Bono's strut down the catwalk with a red-white-and-blue megaphone during "Bullet the Blue Sky" is a bit much.
And yes, there was, is, and ever shall be preaching, with Bono name-checking Ferguson and citing developments in his homeland as proof that "you cannot have peace without compromise."
Toward evening's end, the frontman further drove home his message of compromise, somehow managing to praise both Amnesty International and Bank of America in the same breath.
As of this writing, online resale outlets are still offering Sunday night tickets to well-heeled U2 enthusiasts, with prices ranging from $178 to $4,273.
Denver’sRiot Fest is is investing heavily in the nostalgia market this year, with its biggest names hailing from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
The just-announced lineup for the three-day music festival — which this year will take place at the National Western Complex from August 28 to 30 — ranges from generation-spanning hip-hop (Run DMC, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, GZA, Doomtree) to punk icons (Iggy Pop, The Damned, Rancid, The Vandals, Off!) to indie-rock stalwarts (The Pixies, Modest Mouse, The Black Lips, Drive Like Jehu, Eagles of Death Metal).
The Denver Post’s Kiernan Maletsky was first out of the gate with the complete artist roster, which is as follows:
Ice Cube & special guests
Coheed and Cambria
Drive Like Jehu
Explosions in the Sky
The Airborne Toxic Event
Bootsy Collins' Rubber Band
Babes in Toyland.
Eagles of Death Metal
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
De La Soul
The Dead Milkmen
The Lawrence Arms
Reverend Horton Heat
The Black Lips
The Get Up Kids
Less Than Jake
The Joy Formidable
The White Buffalo
Post Malone with FKI
The Bunny Gang
Fit For Rivals
The Moth & The Flame
Sleep On It
Cold War Kids
It's a six-hour haul from Colorado Springs to Telluride, but fans of seasoned blue-rock, gospel and R&B artists will want to consider grabbing tickets for the Telluride Blues Fest, which announced its lineup earlier this morning.
This year's festival headliners are Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, ZZ Top, Greg Allman, John Hiatt & The Combo, Taj Mahal and Anders Osborne.
Other performers at the event, which will run from Sept. 18-20, include The Blind Boys of Alabama, Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, Otis Taylor's Hey Joe Opus, The Revivalists and The London Souls.
Look for more information at tellurideblues.com. You can also find a guide to less distant summer festivals in this week's Indy.
Bad news for local music fans: According to a post on its Facebook page this evening, Colorado College's Llamapalooza Festival has been canceled due to weather conditions.
The annual event was to set to take place this Saturday with a lineup that included Brooklyn's highly-touted art-funk band Phony Ppl, as well as Kithkin, Netherfriends, Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire, and Moon Hooch.
The cancelation follows a previous decision to move the festival from Worner Quad to the nearby Armstrong Hall parking lot in order to avoid a sinking stage and damaged grounds.
Flux Capacitor is rapidly establishing itself as Colorado Springs’ "little venue that could." Less than six months after opening, the alternative music space has been bringing in several all-ages shows a week, most of them featuring national touring artists, while showcasing a broader range of music than many of us expected.
Now comes the good news that Gift of Gab, emcee for the hip-hop duo Blackalicious, will be headlining the venue this Thursday night.
It’s a pretty big score for Flux Capacitor, and for Colorado Springs in general. The Bay Area rapper is widely regarded as one of the best in underground hip-hop, with Pitchfork drooling over his “astonishing verbal dexterity and enunciation.”
And just in case you think this booking is a fluke, you should also know that Rhymesayers artist Blueprint is slated to play Flux Capacitor on June 19.
The perennially nomadic Riot Fest today unveiled the location and date of its 2015 festival, which will be held at Denver’s National Western Complex from Aug. 28-30.
While this year’s lineup won’t be announced until May, those who want to take a leap of faith can purchase $69.98 presale tickets starting tomorrow at noon. Given the quality of the two previous years’ acts — including The Replacements, The Cure, Die Antwoord, Wu-Tang Clan, Weezer, Flaming Lips, Rocket From the Crypt, Iggy Pop and Slayer — it should be money well spent.
It’s also a reasonably safe bet that the event won’t have to change locations this year, as it did when the bite-sized town of Byars — which had hosted 2013’s inaugural festival — made an eleventh-hour decision to pull the plug. Promoters managed to save the event with a last-minute relocation to the less-than-ideal parking lots outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Although best known as the site for the Denver County Fair, the National Western Complex also plays host to the Great Western Alpaca Show, Tortillas for Tepeyac, Foam Wonderland, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling, and the much-anticipated Rocky Mountain Reptile Expo.
In keeping with its new location, this year’s event has been dubbed Riot Fest & Rodeo, and will feature a host of thematically linked attractions that may or may not include blood and clowns.
Find more information as well as early bird tickets at riotfest.org