Friday, July 18, 2014

Riot Fest sends olive branch to Byers

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 5:55 PM

  • pashabo / shutterstock

Yes, it’s time for one more Riot Fest update. Promoters have just announced that they’ll be giving complimentary tickets to supporters in Byers, the town that recently kicked them out after tickets had already been on sale for four months.

Byers music fans will also be provided with free shuttle service to Denver, where the September 19-21 festival has been relocated to Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

According to Riot Fest organizers, hundreds of Byers residents had sent letter of support. As an expression of gratitude, promoters are offering the following:
• Any Byers resident who wants to come to Riot Fest this year will receive complimentary tickets as well as free daily shuttle service to and from May Farms and Sports Authority Field. Details will be announced next week on how residents can sign-up for this.

• Riot Fest will also allow several Byers businesses and other I-70 Corridor businesses who supported them free vending space at no cost.

• Riot Fest has also announced a $5,000 scholarship to be awarded to one graduating senior who plans on majoring in music, arts, business or marketing. Riot Fest has now asked other partners, industry friends and other Colorado businesses to contribute in hopes of getting that scholarship up to $20,000.
The scholarship initiative comes just one day after Byers was awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a government agency once vilified for funding an artistic portrayal of a crucifix submerged in urine,

Riot Fest opponents argued that the festival would turn Byers into the “wrong kind of town for farmers and families.”

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Riot Fest relocates to Denver

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 11:43 AM


Good news for Riot Fest fans and Byers haters.

The three-day music festival, which was evicted by its former host town earlier this month, announced its relocation this morning to the Sports Authority Field at Mile High

The 75,000-capacity Denver location is also home to next month's Warped Tour, which has never been held in Byers.

And just to show that there are no hard feelings, Riot Fest has also unveiled a map of the festival grounds, which depicts a Byers General Store Stage and a Byers American Feed & and Supply Stage, as well as apple-dunking and pie-eating contests.

Acts at this year's Riot Fest, which takes place Sept. 19-21, will include The Cure, Wu-Tang Clan and The Flaming Lips

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Indy Music Awards concert and countdown

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 4:07 PM


All things must pass, and one of them is your voting window for the 2014 Indy Music Awards.

This coming Sunday marks the last day that ballots will be accepted. It takes all of five minutes to go to and vote for your favorites.

Meanwhile, if you’re undecided in the punk-rock realm, three of the acts who’ve been nominated have banded together for what they’re calling “The Indy Awards Best Of Punk Category Nominees Concert.” (Whew!)

The show takes place Saturday night at Zodiac and will feature the Nobodys, the Röxy Suicide and the Mostly Don'ts. (The fourth band, 99 Bottles, is unable to attend.)

Find more information on this, as well as the week’s other local music happenings, in the latest Reverb column.

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Riot Fest permit denied

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 1:21 PM


In our July 2 Reverb column, “Farmers Rise up against Riot Fest,” we reported on the growing battle between what was to be the second Colorado-based Riot Fest and community members in Byers, a small town 40 miles west of Denver that played host to last year’s festival.

Now comes word that Arapahoe County has refused to issue a temporary-use permit for the festival, which had been planned for September 19-21. Tickets for the event, which was to have featured bands ranging from Wu-Tang Clan to The Cure, went on sale back in May.

According to the Denver Post, festival organizers only have a 10-day window to appeal the decision.  
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Byers beware: Citizens unite against Riot Fest

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 9:10 AM

  • image: Kunal Mehta/Shutterstock
There’s a riot going on in the sleepy little town of Byers, and it’s all Riot Fest’s fault.

When we last blogged about what’s arguably Southern Colorado’s most impressive music festival, promoters had just announced a second-year lineup that includes The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, Die Antwoord, Rise Against, Social Distortion and The Cure.

Now comes word that the unincorporated town of 1,160 is rising up against the event, which will be held from September 19-21 unless a concerned citizenry can marshal its forces in time.

“RIOT FEST, STOP IT NOW!” pleads an “Opponents of Riot Fest” poster urging friends and neighbors to gather at the local American Legion Hall for a July 1 public hearing. “OPPONENTS OF THE EVENT MUST VOICE THEIR OPINIONS NOW OR BYERS MIGHT BECOME THE WRONG KIND OF TOWN FOR FAMILIES AND FARMERS!”

No official decision will be made at the hearing, so the possibility of a mass exodus will likely continue. Meanwhile, Riot Fest supporters can find a complete schedule of acts, broken down by day, here.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Indy Music Ballot Goes Live

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

  • image: spirit of america

Yes, it’s Year Four, and Indy Music Awards voting begins… now.

You’ll find all of the 2014 nominees, along with write-in categories, on page 36 of this week’s issue, as well as online right here.

The ballot takes all of five minutes to complete — and much less if you limit yourself to the five-vote minimum — so why wait?

Voting runs through July 13, results will be announced in our August 27 Local Music Issue, and winners will go on to perform at this year’s Indy Music Festival on September 4.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Bonnaroo livestream kicks off Friday the 13th

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM


Music fans who are hesitant to step outside on Friday the 13th can go to to spend the day and evening livestreaming this year’s Bonnaroo Festival performances. Here, according to today’s press announcement, is today's viewing schedule:


Umphrey's McGee, 2:30 p.m.
Jon Batiste, 3:45 p.m.
Janelle Monae, 4:30 p.m.
The Head & the Heart, 5:30 p.m.
CHVRCHES, 6:45 p.m.
Pusha T, 8 p.m.
Vampire Weekend, 9 p.m.


Break Science, 2:30 p.m.
Jake Bugg, 3 p.m.
Cass McCombs, 4:15 p.m.
Andrew Bird & The Hands of Glory 5 p.m.
Jonathan Wilson, 6:15 p.m.
Cloud Nothings, 7:15 p.m.
Robert Delong, 8:15 p.m.
The Naked and Famous, 9:15pm

You can also go to the festival site for a schedule of weekend acts, which includes Damon Albarn, Valerie June, Chromeo, Jack White, Die Antwoord, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, A$AP Ferg, Fitz & the Tantrums, Wiz Khalifa, Elton John and, of course, Lionel Richie.
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Smells like teen spirit

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM


High-profile sportwear company Vans and local singer-songwriter Miette Hope aren’t exactly the most obvious pairing.

In the world of music, Vans is of course best known for its annual Warped Tour, which has been hauling punk-pop, alt-metal and other high-decibel acts from city to city for two decades.

But earlier this year, the apparel giant dialed back the decibels with the announcement of its “Vans Berklee Off the Wall Presidential Scholarship," whose inaugural recipient is the Colorado Springs indie songstress. The educational initiative will pay for her tuition, room and board at the Berklee College of Music for the next four years.

According to the prestigious music school’s original press announcement back in February, “Off the wall is a state of mind, thinking differently and embracing people who love art, music, action sports, and/or street culture. The ideal candidate for the Vans Berklee Scholarship will demonstrate the off-the-wall spirit via their personal self-expression through music.”

In addition to her solo performances around town, the recent Palmer High School graduate is also a member of Edith Makes a Paper Chain, the indie-folk group co-founded by her mother Sarah Hope five year ago. You can congratulate both of them at Front Range Barbeque, where the “haunted circus music” act will be performing this evening.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Stephen Hawking, the World Cup, and the power of Oi!

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 5:20 PM

The Business
  • The Business

A bizarrely eclectic array of experts have been weighing in on England’s World Cup prospects over this past week.

First came Dr. Stephen Hawking's hilariously droll unveiling of his “World Cup Success Formula,” which included the observation that, when it comes to penalty kicks, "England couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo."

Next up are a team of economists who announced on Monday that England belongs to a “group of death” unlikely to make it past the first stage.

All of which means it’s time for the Oi! punk movement to weigh in.

Fortunately for Colorado Anglophiles, The Business will be stirring up the punters at Denver’s Marquis Theater this coming Sunday, with Colorado Springs’ own 99 Bottles doing opening honors.

You can read more about the veteran South London Oi! band — whose “England 5, Germany 1” single became a British soccer anthem — in this week’s Reverb. Meanwhile, here's Stephen...

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Monument’s got talent

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM


America may or may not have more talent than the rest of the world, but there’s no questioning our enthusiasm. Miguel Dakota, a 21-year-old Monument native who dropped out of college to support his mom and siblings as a construction worker, will be demonstrating both on the June 3rd audition episode of America’s Got Talent.

Dakota, who is signed to Colorado Springs’ XMG label, can also be found playing around town at venues like the Speedtrap and Copperhead Road.

“I aim to tell stories through my music while being vulnerable with my audience,” he says on his Facebook page. “I hope to reach a level with music where I can cause social change and allow for love to be the focal point of society."
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chico Basin Ranch lands Steve Earle booking

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2014 at 4:01 PM


There's a certain level of acts that rarely find their way to Colorado Springs, and Steve Earle is among them.

A little too raw for the Pikes Peak Center, too big for the Black Sheep, and too expensive for MeadowGrass, the three-time Grammy winner has typically made Denver and Boulder his tour stops of choice.

So the announcement that Earle and his band The Dukes will be headlining this summer's outdoor Chico Basin Ranch fundraiser comes as quite a surprise, one that's sure to cause rejoicing among fans of American, alt-country and whatever other genre you care to place him in.

Tickets for the June 14 event are available now at

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer jams: More outdoor concerts

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 3:24 PM

This week's Summer Guide is hefty on the events, and the calendar continues to grow, with these updates on outdoor concerts.

Without further ado:

30th Annual Jazz in the Parks
Wednesdays; all concerts start at 6 p.m. except the first concert on June 4, which will start at 5 p.m.

June 4: USAFA's Falconaires and Alumni Band
Bear Creek Regional Park, 245 Bear Creek Road
June 11: New Horizons Kicks Band, with director Tom Fowler
Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave.
June 18: Double McGuffin
Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave.
June 25: Colorado Springs Conservatory faculty jazz band and jazz student guests
Bear Creek
July 2: JORICA! +1, with John Turner
"The Glen" at Broadmoor Community Church, 315 Lake Ave.
July 9: Springs City Jazz Band with vocalist Laura David
Foothills Park, 853 Allegheny Drive
July 16: Wayne Wilkinson Quartet with Colorado Springs Conservatory jazz student guests
Fountain Creek Regional Park, 320 Peppergrass Lane, Fountain
July 23: Swing Connection with vocalist Laura Davis
Bear Creek
July 30: Academy Jazz Band, with director Kyle Gregory
America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive
Aug. 6: Inside-Out, with director Cully Joyce
Grand Lawn at Cordera, 11894 Grand Lawn Circle
Aug. 13: Al Eberhardt's Changing Times
Bear Creek
Aug. 20: Springs Contemporary Jazz Big Band
Bancroft Park

University Village Free Summer Concert Series
Fridays, 6 p.m.
North Plaza of UVC, next to Hacienda Colorado, 5246 N. Nevada Ave.

June 13: Dotsero
June 20: Chris Daniels
June 27: Conjunto Colores
July 4: No concert
July 11: Jody Adams & the String Dudes
July 18: R-V-Zoo
July 25: Inman Brothers Band
Aug. 1: Wild Blue Country
Aug. 8: Wendy Woo Band
Aug. 15: Selasee
Aug. 22: Dotsero

Be on the look-out for a schedule for the Acacia Park concert series, as well as the Pikes Peak Community Foundation's Ravens Nest House Concert series.

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Riot Fest recruits Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan and the Cure

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 2:40 PM

The lineup for the Denver area’s much-anticipated Riot Fest was unveiled online last night, and its first “tier” of tickets sold out in a matter of hours.

It’s not hard to see why. The festival, which will take place from Sept. 19 to 21, boasts a genre-spanning assortment of marquee names that include The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, The National, Bob Mould, Die Antwoord, The Cure, Weezer, Slayer, Rise Against and Social Distortion.

There’ll also be unexpected reunions by the Violent Femmes and the should-have-been-huge Failure, who were more interesting than the ’90s grunge peers to whom they were often compared.

And then there are more recent critics’ darlings like Dum Dum Girls and TV on the Radio, as well as post-punk acts, including the Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers, who’ve virtually never toured the States.

Now in its second year, the 2014 Riot Fest will once again be held on multiple outdoor stages in Byers, an unincorporated town located 45 miles east of Denver, with a population of 1160, and a serious dearth of music venues.

As of this writing, all $99.98 and $129.98 tickets are already gone, as prices incrementally climb their way up to $189. Since it’s an outdoor festival, there’s no difference among any of those tickets; it all comes down to a question of how long you choose to wait.

The more extravagantly inclined can pay an extra $100 for VIP tickets, which will get you some shade, air-conditioned restrooms, complimentary bottled water, and free phone charging. More info at


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Friday, May 2, 2014

ASCAP bears down on local lounge

Posted By on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 11:53 AM

  • Photo by Malivan Iuliia / Shutterstock

It’s been more than a half-decade since local bar owner Frankie Patton got sued by Led Zeppelin. "Yeah, Jimmy Page and all those guys, they were hurting for money,” scoffed the Frankie’s Bar & Grill owner in a 2008 Indy cover story. “So they're like, 'Let's sue Frankie, he's got it all!'"

As most music venue owners know (or quickly find out), performance-rights organizations can be relentless once they’ve tracked down a business that books live acts. Since nearly all musicians will include at least one cover song in their sets, buying blanket licenses is virtually the only way to avoid potential lawsuits. In Patton’s case, it was ASCAP — which represents some half-million songwriters — who designated Led Zeppelin as its plaintiff in the case.

Yesterday, it was the Briarhurst Manor Lounge’s turn to feel the heat. Following a visit from an ASCAP representative, it received a lengthy email from the organization. It contained all sorts of friendly advice — including a document entitled “What Kind of Music Sounds Good in Your Establishment?” — before finally getting to the bottom line:
“We realize that your time is valuable and that important matters, such as obtaining the rights to perform music legally, are occasionally postponed. Let us help. Simply sign and return the attached license agreement with the appropriate payment as indicated on the invoice. We will return an executed copy for your file.”
Based on its original plan to move shows outdoors to a spacious patio with the onset of warm weather, the manor's management figures the annual cost of ASCAP licensing fees alone would exceed $600. Meanwhile, that amount could reach $2,000 once BMI and other rivals got wind of the ASCAP arrangement and stepped up to claim their shares of the pie.

So for now at least, the Briarhurst is planning to discontinue its musical offerings following one final live performance this Friday, during which the Mitguards will perform a set of 100-percent original music. After that, the lounge will stick to food and drink, although an all-original open mic is being considered for somewhere down the road.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Musician Chuck Haas leaves behind a much-admired legacy

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 11:06 AM


We just received the sad news from singer-songwriter Jason Bennett that local guitarist and graphic designer Chuck Haas has passed away.

As one of Chuck's close friends and collaborators, Jason can express himself more knowledgeably and eloquently about this than we ever could. Here's the text of his message, which sums up the musician's accomplishments and provides details for an upcoming memorial service.
Hey folks,

I hate to send e-mails like this out, but I felt I had to. I found out this morning that our wonderful friend and local fingerstyle guitar virtuoso Chuck Haas passed away suddenly late Sunday night.

I first met Chuck when I moved to Colorado in early 2001 and he was a true friend and inspiration ever since. As you recall, he was responsible for the graphic design on the Positively Pikes Peak CD (in which he donated his time) and also on ALL of my CD releases. He performed at all three Positively Pikes Peak concerts and was the most generous man in everything he did. He was an incredible guitar player who specialized in alternate tuning fingerstyle techniques and performed on many of my own songs on my CD's, including "Mindchange" and many others.

He performed regularly in Manitou Springs at the Mona Lisa Wine Cellar and many other local venues. I had the pleasure of performing with him a number of times. Chuck had many of his own CD releases which highlighted his incredible guitar talents. His band Simpleman put out a great CD called "LeBeaux's Dance" a few years back.

Please send your thoughts and prayers to Chuck's wife Katie and the entire Haas family. Every time I've been to the Haas home it is always full of fun, music and wonderful people.

We'll be celebrating Chuck's life at Woodmen Valley Chapel next Thursday, May 8th at 1 pm.

I've attached a picture of our concert at the Black Rose Acoustic Society. Chuck is on the far right. You can also see Chuck perform Bob Dylan's, "Girl From the North Country" at the PPP concert here:

Thank you Chuck for all the gifts you shared with us. You will be greatly missed.

Your friend,
Jason Bennett

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