Friday, June 13, 2014

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 21, 2014

Colorado Symphony privatizes its pot parties

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 10:57 AM

  • Bogdan Bulat / Shutterstock

Just a few weeks ago, Indyblog reported on "Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series," a Colorado Symphony fundraising initiative that aimed to raise funds by providing a "BYOC-friendly experience for music lovers."

The announcement for the summer series would include a number of intimate gallery shows culminating in a Red Rocks concert with a yet-to-be-announced artist.

While no marijuana would be sold or distributed at these events, attendees were encouraged to smoke 'em if they brought 'em.

Hours later, the Symphony's PR department sent out a revised press release, warning that the law prohibits consumption of cannabis at Red Rocks

And now, as today's Reverb column reports, the Symphony is back-peddling once again, this time more feverishly. After consulting with lawyers and city representatives, the organization says its series of fundraisers will now be private "invitation-only" events.

Sadly, the Symphony's "Classically Cannabis" debacle is just the latest in a series of PR disasters, the previous ones being considerably more serious. You can find more details here.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

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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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sugaray Rayford Band to headline Blues Under the Bridge

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 5:01 PM


Blues Under the Bridge
has announced the initial bookings for this summer's festival, and it's shaping up to be an impressive one.

Described last year by Jazz & Blues Report as "a big man with a big voice and plenty of personality," and by Living Blues Magazine as "a first-rate blues artist with a deep-running, church honed soulfulness," headliner Caron “Sugaray” Rayford racked up serious critical acclaim after the release of his sophomore album, Dangerous, last September.

The Texas-born bluesman also sang lead on the Mannish Boys' Double Dynamite, which won Best Traditional Blues Album at last year's Blues Music Awards.   

Other out-of-town acts this year will include Australian blueswoman Kara Grainger, Grammy winner Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Wichita bluesmen Moreland and Arbuckle, with more to be announced in the coming months,

This year's Blues Under the Bridge will take place on Saturday, July 19. Look for more details and updates at

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vinyl solution

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM


While this coming Sunday is a high holy day for devout Christians, Saturday will find hardcore vinyl devotees bowing to the bins.

There'll be hundreds of exclusive Record Store Day releases this year, including such holy grails as a cassette edition of Skrillex's "Recess," picture discs ranging from David Bowie to Katy Perry, and vinyl box sets from the Minus 5 and Neil Young.

You can read more in this week's Reverb column.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Outside Lands announces 2014 lineup

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM


Is it worth the expense of flying to San Francisco for the three-day Outside Lands Festival? To help you decide, check out our handy alphabetical list of the newly announced 2014 performers to find out whether your favorites made this year's cut.

Tickets for the August 8-10 Golden Gate Park event go on sale here tomorrow at 11 a.m. Mountain Time.

This year's big draws include Kanye West, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Flaming Lips, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Atmosphere, Chromeo, Capital Cities, Death Cab for Cutie, Kacey Musgraves and Jenny Lewis.

There are also a number of more recently acclaimed artists, including Dum Dum Girls, Valerie June, Run the Jewels (featuring EL-P and Killer Mike), Warpaint, and Flume.

Meanwhile, all you diehard fans of the disbanded Rilo Kiley will be glad to know that the aforementioned Lewis and Blake Sennett will each be performing sets, the latter with his new band Night Terrors of 1927.

For further details, head over to the festival's website.

2014 Outside Lands Artists:

Arctic Monkeys
Bear Hands
Ben Howard
Big Freedia
Boys Noize
Capital Cities
Christopher Owens
Courtney Barnett
Cut Copy
Death Cab For Cutie
Deer Tick
Duck Sauce
Dum Dum Girls
Finish Ticket
Gardens & Villa
Gold Panda
Greensky Bluegrass
Holy Ghost!
Imelda May
Jagwar Ma
Jenny Lewis
John Butler Trio
Jonathan Wilson
Kacey Musgraves
Kanye West
Local Natives
Lykke Li
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Mikal Cronin
Nahko and Medicine for the People
Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers
Night Terrors of 1927
Paolo Nutini
Ray LaMontagne
RayLand Baxter
Run the Jewels (El-P & Killer Mike)
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Tegan & Sara
The Brothers Comatose
The Districts
The Flaming Lips
The Killers
The Kooks
The Soul Rebels
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Trails and Ways
Tumbleweed Wanderers
Valerie June
Vance Joy
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Stargazers venue for sale

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 11:36 AM


If you've got a spare $2 million and have always wanted to own your own concert venue, here's your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Although shows are booked well into July, the Stargazers Theatre and Event Center is being put up for sale.

"After 5 years and almost 1000 events under Stargazers dome, we are looking for a larger space where we can incorporate a larger venue of 1000 to 1500 seats and a small and more intimate venue," emails John Hooton, who co-owns the business along with his wife Cindy Hooton. The dome-shaped building, which was designed by famed architect Vincent G. Rainey, as well as the 2 1/3 acres of surrounding property, are both on the market.

The Stargazers name, however, is not part of the package. The plan is to use it for the new complex and its ambitious array of operations, including a recording studio, classrooms, a retail music store, and other entertainment-related businesses. Interested parties can contact

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Concert alert: Dancehall reggae legend coming to Manitou

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Jamaican musicians can be hugely prolific, but few more so than dancehall reggae artist Frankie Paul, who’s managed to release more than 50 albums over the course of his three-decade career. All of which means he’ll have no shortage of material to draw upon when he comes to Manitou’s Venue 515 this coming Friday.

One of the most critically acclaimed singers in the dancehall genre, Paul has earned considerable acclaim in Jamaican reggae circles, beginning with his 1983 breakthrough hit “Worries in the Dance.”

Although the singer relocated to Gambia in the late ‘90s, he remains concerned about social issues back home. Later this month, he’ll release a new single, “It’s Not Dancehall (Causing Crime),” a sentiment made timely by deejay Vybz Kartel’s murder conviction last week.

"I don't know where they got the idea that dancehall music promotes crime,” Paul told the Jamaican Observer in an interview published earlier this week. “Dancehall has always been about life and fun."

Friday’s show begins at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and more information can be found at
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

MeadowgGrass announces 2014 music lineup

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 10:50 AM

The MeadowGrass Music Festival, now entering its sixth year, has unveiled its 2014 lineup.

As reported in this week's Reverb column, more acts will be added to the schedule in the coming weeks, including a legion of locals as well as a still-to-be-determined opening-night headliner.

Meanwhile, here's the tentative schedule for the Memorial Day weekend event:

Friday, May 23
  • MeadowGrass illustration by Tanya Shaw Jeffrey

4:45 p.m.: Steve Poltz

6:30 p.m.: The Duhks

8:30 p.m.: TBA

Saturday, May 24

3 p.m.: Cary Hudson

4 p.m.: Ark Life

5:45 p.m.: Grass It Up

7:45 p.m.: Chadwick Stokes

9:45 p.m.: Elephant Revival

Sunday, May 25

11 a.m.: TBA

1:30 p.m.: Taarka

3 p.m.: Willis Alan Ramsey

4:45 p.m.: Birds of Chicago

6:30 p.m.: Caitlin Rose

8 p.m.: The Mother Hips

This year also marks the first time the Black Forest event is being produced by Rocky Mountain Highway, a new organization run by long-time MeadowGrass executive director Steve Harris, who was the long-time host of KRCC's popular Grass Roots Revival show.

You can read more about the festival headliners in this week's Indy writeup and at Rocky Mountain Highway's MeadowGrass site.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Juggalo Alert! (Don't say we didn't warn you...)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 12:24 PM


Just in case you've been planning to escape the Colorado Springs cold, settle down next to the fireplace with a glass of fine cognac, and turn on FUSE-TV — and, really, who among us wasn't? — we feel obligated to warn you that the cable network will be airing a new episode of Insane Clown Posse Theater tonight.

This week, the two uber-Juggalos are interviewing GWAR lead crooner Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus. What that means, of course, is a prolonged exercise in offensiveness and stupidity. Then again, ICP's inexplicable success and bizarre longevity suggest that clown cohorts Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are anything but stupid.

In any case, this is clearly a match made in heaven, as this quote from today's press release makes clear:
"I had a great time in the Big Apple with ICP, making fun of idiotic videos, molesting their girlfriends in the mop closet, and making entire bologna-logs disappear up my ass," said rock and roll's most asinine front-thing. "And once again Fuse had the balls to put GWAR on TV. But isn't it about time we had our own TV show? Who do I need to have sex with?" 
All of which suggests tonight may be a great time to turn off the TV and crack open that book on animal husbandry you've always been meaning to get to.

Still feeling masochistic? Insane Clown Posse Theater airs at 9:30 PM MST, and you can catch a preview of tonight's episode here.

Or you could just scroll down to watch this "web extra" interview with Oderus, in which the cute little guy philosophizes about time being an abyss and other things like that. As he puts it, "There are some things more terrible than death, you know?"

Truer words were never spoken.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Metal weekend update

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 3:18 PM

  • image:

For fans of metal and grindcore who are finalizing their weekend plans, here’s an update on two shows that were featured in this week’s Reverb column.

According to frontman Chris Forsythe, local band Tree of Woe are no longer opening for NOLA sludge-core act Eyehategod Sunday at the Bluebird Theater.

The good news is that Forsythe’s other band, Malakai, will still be playing a set at the Project 5 film premiere this Saturday at the Black Sheep, where they’ll be joined by Denver’s Lola Black.

Meanwhile, you can head over to Reverb to learn more about Project 5.   
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Super Bowl Shuffle: The Remake

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 12:28 PM

It hardly seems possible, but there’s more good news on the Super Bowl front.

Well, kind of. This morning brings us a new version of “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” courtesy of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, wrestler Colt Cabana, and a bunch of other musicians and comedians.

Fans of football novelty rap tunes will no doubt remember the song as originally performed back in 1985 by the Chicago Bears, who went on sell more than a half-million copies

Proceeds from this “all-star” remake will be donated to the non-profit Reading Is Fundamental campaign, so you can’t make too much fun of it. Instead, have a listen below and, if so moved, kick in a dollar to enjoy it for a lifetime.

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