Monday, January 29, 2018

"Music Modernization Act" introduced by songwriting senator

Posted By on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 9:18 AM

  • Photo: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock
For those who think music has been getting a bit stale of late, a new bill introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, and Sheldon Whitehouse might sound like the perfect solution.

Unfortunately, the “Music Modernization Act,” which was introduced earlier this week, isn’t quite as beguiling as its title may suggest. In fact, the legislation would have little or no impact on the music itself, but would instead update copyright laws while changing the manner, and amount, of royalties paid by broadcasters and streaming services to music creators and copyright holders.

Not surprisingly, musicians and those who love them (publishers, drug dealers etc.) are all for the legislation, while lobbyists for the National Association of Broadcasters are spending their hard-earned dollars to kill it.

The plight of music creators is particular near and dear to the heart of Senator Alexander (R-TN), who co-wrote Nashville country artist Lee Brice’s 2010 semi-tearjerker “Falling Apart Together,” which begins:

“My baby's sweet talkin' the cable man
While I'm a diggin' around up here
Sweatin' my ass off in the attic
Trying to find the rabbit ears”

The senator actually came by his credit the easy way, since his sole contribution was relating a story to the songwriters about an elderly couple he’d met who were going through hard times and told him they’re “falling apart together.” Brice ran with it, and the rest is history. (These sort of things happen in Nashville all the time.) According to his 2016 financial disclosure statement, the senator's royalties that year added up to $101.75.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Brian Wilson, Raekwon, and Gillian Welch announce Colorado dates

Posted By on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 at 11:27 AM

Brian Wilson and his band have  booked to perform a  the Pikes Peak Center on April 18. - PHOTO: TAKAHIRO KYONO
  • PHOTO: Takahiro Kyono
  • Brian Wilson and his band have booked to perform a the Pikes Peak Center on April 18.
Fans of Wu-Tang Clan and neo-dustbowl folk will be glad to hear that Raekwon and Gillian Welch have both announced Denver shows over the past week.

But here in Colorado Springs, the big news is that Brian Wilson, who is universally regarded as one of the true pop geniuses of the past half century, has been booked to play the Pikes Peak Center on April 18.

While Wilson's cousin Mike Love owns the rights to the Beach Boys name, and continues to use it for live shows that center around early surf-rock hits like "I Get Around" and cheesy MOR fodder like "Kokomo," Wilson's band has, in recent years, leaned toward heartbreakingly beautiful renditions of classic material from albums like Pet Sounds and Smile. (You can read more about all that in the Indy article “Inside Brian Wilson.”)

The bottom line: If you see just one Colorado Springs show this year — which would admittedly be a weird thing to do — you need to make it this one.

Meanwhile, here's this week's full rundown of new show announcements:

• Raekwon, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Jan. 27
• Lockjaw, Marquis Theater, Denver, Feb. 3
• Tatanka, Black Sheep, Feb. 9
• Lucia, Marquis Theater, Denver, Feb. 25
• CupcakKe, Marquis Theater, Denver, Feb. 26
• Prince Fox, Marquis Theater, Denver, Feb. 28
• Ramzoid, Marquis Theater, Denver, March 7
• Rings Of Saturn, Marquis Theater, Denver, March 11
• Forever Came Calling, Marquis Theater, Denver, April 3
• Frankie Cosmos, Black Sheep, Apr. 16
• Brian Wilson, Pikes Peak Center, April 18
• Red Sun, Black Sheep, Apr. 18
• Hall & Oates with Train, Pepsi Center, Denver, May 10
• Wolf Parade, Ogden Theatre, Denver, May 22
• Imparables, Paramount Theater, Denver, May 26
• Odesza, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, June 15
• Umphrey’s McGee, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, July 5-7
• Def Leppard with Journey, Coors Field, Denver, July 21
• Erasure, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Aug. 10
• Shakey Graves, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Aug. 30
• Gillian Welch, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Sept. 17

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Friday, January 19, 2018

71Grind festival announces 2018 lineup

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Closet Witch performs Friday, June 8, at the Black Sheep.
  • Closet Witch performs Friday, June 8, at the Black Sheep.

71Grind, the festival that consistently delivers more decibels per cubic foot than any other Colorado Springs event, has just announced its full 2018 lineup.

Highlights of this year’s three-day festival, which runs from June 8-10, will include:

• The Mutations, featuring former members of the D.C. area hardcord band United Mutation, one of the few NON-straight edge bands on Ian Mackaye’s Dischord label

• Portland, Oregon’s Mizmor, whose music, according to promoter Bryan Ostrow, is “the most depressive, heavy, yet beautiful thing”

• A conjoined set from legendary power-violence band Bastard Noise and grindcore outfit Transient

• And an ever-expanding roster of one-named international acts, including China’s Demerit, Brazil’s Test, Venezuela’s Zeta, and Canada’s Wake

With that, here’s this year’s full 71Grind IV lineup; find more information at the event’s Facebook page.


At the Black Sheep:
Transient w/ Bastard Noise
Telekinetic Yeti
Shawn James & The Shapeshifters
Of Feather and Bone
Vermin Womb
Closet Witch
Age of Collapse
Portrayal of Guilt
Anonymous, Inc.
Salem’s Bend

At the Triple Nickel:
Tejon Street Corner Thieves
Ice Sword


At the Black Sheep:
Young & in the way
Despise You
Stapled Shut
Cryptic Void
Dead in the Manger
Funeral Chic
Pavel Chekov
Greedy Mouth
Sentient Divide
Aerial Ruin
Apocalyptic Noise Syndicate
Minimum Wage Assassins
He Whose Ox Is Gored
Bädr Vogu
Fortune’s Fool

At the Triple Nickel:
The stalk
Sentient Divide


At the Triple Nickel:

The Mutations
Remain and Sustain
Dead Set
Nite Kidz
Inoculated Life
The Munsens
Still Valley
Gut Pest
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dead & Company announces July Boulder dates

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 9:37 AM

  • melissamn / Shutterstock
Jerry Garcia may be gone, but the Grateful Dead — or at least original members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — continue to forge onward as Dead & Company. On Thursday, Jan. 18, The psych-rock survivors announced their spinoff band will be performing July 13 and 14 at Boulder’s 53,000-capacity Folsom Field, which is home to UC-Boulder’s Buffalos football team.

This will be the third time Dead & Company have played the venue since 2016, when they broke a 15-year live music drought at the venue that was largely caused by noise complaints. Tickets to see the band, which also features pop star John Mayer on guitar, Oteil Burbridge on bass and Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, will go on sale Friday, Jan. 26.

This news follows on the heels of recent concert announcements that include Jack White, David Byrne, Bishop Briggs and Tech N9NE, a sure sign that the winter booking slump is being to thaw, even though winter itself is less than a month old.

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Jack White, Bishop Briggs, David Byrne and Bon Jovi top new show announcements

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 8:11 AM

  • Jo McCaughey
  • Jack White

By all appearances, the new year’s drought is finally over, at least for a week. A plethora of new shows have just been announced, ranging from veteran acts (Bon Jovi, George Clinton, David Byrne) to new-ish artists (Bishop Briggs, Anna & Elizabeth, Kane Brown), with the likes of Jack White and Tech N9ne falling somewhere between. And so, with that good news, here are this week's latest area concert offerings:

• Anna & Elizabeth, Tuft Theatre, Denver, Feb. 9
• Lights, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Feb. 13
• Khemmis, Gothic Theatre, Englewood, Feb. 26
• Steel Panther, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, March 9 (on sale Jan. 19)
• George Clinton & P-Funk, Ogden Theatre, Denver, March 11
• Ring of Saturn, Marquis Theater, Denver, March 11
• Bon Jovi, Pepsi Center, Denver, March 14
• Kane Brown, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, March 16 (on sale Jan. 19)
• Gloria Trevi & Alejandra Guzman, Pepsi Center, Denver, March 23
• Bishop Briggs, Ogden Theatre, Denver, May 8
• Tech N9NE, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, June 23 (on sale Jan. 19)
• Jack White, 1stBANK Center, Broomfield, Aug. 8 (on sale Jan. 26)
• David Byrne, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Aug. 28
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What's in a band name?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 4:09 PM

In our Jan. 10 cover story, no less than 25 Colorado Springs acts — from the Haunted Windchimes and The Nobodys to Shiii Whaaa and Bullhead*ded — reveal the secret origins of their band names.

And while many of them are unpredictable, none are unpronounceable.

For the latter, we can turn to The Guardian, who printed a story a Jan. 9 piece called “The Most Unpronounceable Band Names Ever.”

Granted, their stories beat ours to press by one day — and even Colorado Springs’ Thegoodmorningaccordionterrorist can’t compete with international artists like SHXCXCHCXSH and Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum — but there's no question that our local bands have better origin stories.

In any case, we recommend reading both.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Crown Magnetar releases The Prophet of Disgust, Black Sheep show date

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 8:57 AM

  • Courtesy Crown Magnetar
Local deathcore band Crown Magnetar has been on the scene for around three years now, playing many a show with touring acts and locals alike. On January 2, they released their debut EP, The Prophet of Disgust, and in celebration, they'll be playing a release show at the Black Sheep on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Thing is, deathcore exists in a peculiar spot in the gamut of way-too-specific metal sub-genres and sub-sub-genres. To oversimplify, the metal press/blogosphere doesn't give the genre a lot of love, yet genre stalwarts like Suicide Silence, Chelsea Grin and Fit For an Autopsy sell albums and fill seats — hell, Suicide Silence's 2014 album, You Can't Stop Me, hit #16 on the Billboard top 200 chart that year. Often, deathcore prioritizes moshpit fuel in the form of breakdowns and chug riffs over writing unique, cohesive songs. Y'know, as opposed to every other metal sub-sub-genre that prioritizes adherence to genre tropes over songwriting.

Anyway, here's a track-by-track review of the new Crown Magnetar EP — listen along via Bandcamp at the bottom of the page.

Track 1: "The Eyes of Discontent"
The band chose this as their lead single and even got a music video made. The longest song on the album, it feels like I get a new riff every 20 seconds, from blisteringly fast to ultra-slow and br00tal for a breakdown. There are some cool harmonies, and on some of the chugs, they've got a noise gate effect that makes the guitar and bass sound very sterile and digital — according to guitarist Nick Burnett, it's an Axe FX plugin. There's a lot going on in this song, and the band's technical chops are undeniable. Props for the creepy melodic and atmospheric touches, too. Vocalist Dan Tucker's low death-growls and higher-pitched rasp sound wholly functional, conforming to expectations. But some of those rapid transitions feel choppy, and the song doesn't feel super cohesive.

Track 2: "Immolation"
"Immolation" starts out heavy, fast and slamming, with more of that gated chug. Faster passages get little guitar flourishes here and there, which is cool. It’s mercilessly intense but feels pretty cohesive as a single piece of music. The song proper gives way to a functional ambient interlude after going hard for 2:20. Unfortunately, the drum lead-in for track 3 comes at the end of this song instead of the start of the next one. Damned if this isn't a solid track, though.

Track 3: "Detestable Impurity"
Right off, track 3 is a wall of swirling guitar chugs, bringing in more higher-register atmospheric notes over the breakdown, which then shifts into a BIGGER, SLOWER, HEAVIER breakdown. Expect a few cool, irregular timings here and there. Expect also near-constant jumping from riff to riff and tempo to tempo. The end of the song features repeated jumps between palm-muted percussive chugs and high-speed technical leads.

Track 4: "Mountain of Flesh"
Right at the beginning, there's a thrashy guitar intro that keeps popping up throughout the song's 2:32, but it doesn't stick around long enough to hook me in. The breakdown's fine. Their use of melodic guitar parts as atmosphere serve them well. The periodic chugs in outro section feel a little aimless, then the band comes together to conclude. The technical skill here, again, is undeniable, but it's not the most cohesive song on the album.

Track 5: "Execrator"
Fast, chuggy right off. Getting some good change-ups from the drummer, and there's a palpable groove. I’m between this and "Immolation" for album favorites. I’m not getting lost in the change-ups. My most favorable comparison, and these little sections have been coming up all album long, is to the last two Cattle Decapitation albums. This track’s actually pretty fun, all told, especially the tremolo riff starting around 1:30. The band sounds tight throughout this track — it’s less show-offy, and that’s very much to their benefit in terms of cohesion.

Track 6: "Fetus in Fetu"
The album closer starts in a chuggy breakdown. That sample on top of the intro is nice, and the guitar leads here stand out when they happen. There's a brutal breakdown out of nowhere, about 15 seconds before a speedup. I feel like the rhythm section holds this song's constant transitions together better than on other songs on the album, excepting a disorienting beat change around 2:20. A brief ambient break precedes an outro that's all beatdown.

It's easy to mosh to Crown Magnetar's debut effort, and the musicianship is definitely there. The riffs are good, but I didn't find any to be particularly hooky or stand-out. That said, there are cool moments to spare, and to produce something this technically tight as a debut EP is a testament to the band's pure ability to perform. Check them out at their album release party, The moshpit is sure to be choice.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Local concert announcements show New Year slump

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 2:29 PM

Born A New
  • Born A New

This first week of 2018 is a textbook case of the post-holiday slump when it comes to high-profile show announcements. In fact, the biggest new Colorado date — the Killers at the 1st Bank Center on Feb. 5 — was announced to the press on January 4 at noon, and sold out within the hour.

Admittedly not the best start to 2018, but the year is still young, so give it a chance.

• Sharone and the Wind, Marquis Theatre, Denver, Jan. 5
• Scalafrea, Summit Music Hall’s Moon Room, Denver, Jan. 14
• Ice C.R.E.A.M., Marquis Theatre, Denver, Jan. 26
• Born A New, Black Sheep, Jan. 31
• Wastewalker, Summit Music Hall’s Moon Room, Denver, Feb. 2
• The Killers, 1st Bank Center, Denver, Feb. 5
Weekend Classic, Summit Music Hall’s Moon Room, Denver, Feb. 8
Distinguisher, Marquis Theatre, Denver, Feb. 12
• Galactic Empire, Marquis Theatre, Denver, Feb. 20
• Young Culture, Marquis Theatre, Denver, Feb. 21
• Eyehategod, Marquis Theatre, Denver, March 1
• Norma Jean, Marquis Theatre, Denver, March 18

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Triple Nickel saved by Flux and friends

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 1:42 PM

Thursday's Billy Don Burns show is on, and the future's looking brighter.
  • Thursday's Billy Don Burns show is on, and the future's looking brighter.
What a difference a year makes!

Following this past Sunday, Dec. 31's Facebook message from Triple Nickel owner JJ Grueter that the venue would most likely shut its doors after its New Year's Eve show, the venue did indeed go dark.

But help is now on the way, courtesy of the local music community — in particular, Bryan Ostrow and the other folks at Flux Capacitor, a venue that also rose from the dead last year.

Here’s a post that went up on the Triple Nickel’s Facebook page:
Hello! We have a special and important announcement.
Jj was ready to stay closed and was very overwhelmed with the bar being the one person running it. But he was even more overwhelmed with the response, support, love, and outcry from everyone. He was offered help in many directions and was convinced to NOT have this be the end. We are excited to announce that The triple nickel and our friends at the flux capacitor will be partnering up. There will be changes at the bar including some layout, getting the kitchen running full on, consistent hours (open until 2 always), Bryan will be taking over more responsibilities with the bar aspect of things so that jj is not so overwhelmed, and more. All shows currently booked will be going on. And more news about this partnership will be discussed further. We will be open tomorrow night for a show with billy don burns and more! Also lookout for a couple fundraiser shows to help get a little more on track. No need for a gofundme, just simply come out and see us more often! We have shows and fun all the time! We are very eager to explore these new changes and partnership and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the tremendous outpour of support and love. You are the reason we are giving this another shot.
As noted, Thursday nights show with Billy Don Burns is still on, and you can find info on the show's own Facebook page.
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