Monday, December 2, 2019

Slayer and co. thrash Colorado Springs

Posted By on Mon, Dec 2, 2019 at 9:01 AM

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, the mind-boggling became real: Slayer headlined the Broadmoor World Arena. No joke, the response when I say I saw Slayer at the World Arena has been largely incredulous, as if the town that hosts Focus on the Family and New Life Church would be hesitant to host the band that wrote tracks like “Disciple,” which has “God hates us all” as part of its hook. I can’t po$$ibly imagine the rea$on behind thi$ deci$ion, but I'm happy as hell about it. But it’s the final leg of Slayer’s farewell tour, dubbed “The Final Campaign,” and the lineup was stacked with headline-grade talent. Check out a slideshow of photos from the event below, and read more about what went down below the jump.
Opening the show, Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals played a set of Pantera covers — Anselmo was vocalist for Pantera during their ‘90s heyday, and his band includes Flesh Hoarder guitarist Mike DeLeon, Superjoint drummer and guitarist José Manuel Gonzalez and Stephen Taylor on drums and guitars respectively, and former Cattle Decapitation bassist Derek Engemann. Anselmo has lept feet-first into controversy in the past through occasional drug- and drink-fueled racist comments on stage, most recently in 2016, though the jury’s still out on whether he's a bigot who keeps his mouth shut when sober or just clears the low bar of “not as racist as Morrissey.” Either way, we wish him health in his sobriety.

After, industrial metal innovators Ministry played a set consisting entirely of classics — not a single track released after 1992. Al “Uncle Al” Jourgensen looked as lithe and deranged as ever in his signature dreadlocks-and-round-glasses outfit, belting out the bands ‘80s and early ‘90s hits. The tour marks the 30th anniversary of The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste, but Jourgensen, who grew up in part in Breckenridge, Colorado, opened with some deeper cuts “The Missing” and “Deity.” Jourgensen’s live band included former Tool member Paul D’Amour on bass, former 3 Headed Snake members Sinhue "Sin" Quirin, Cesar Soto and Derek Abrams on guitars and drums, respectively, as well as former Prong member John Bechdel on keyboards. Between the flashing lights, the scrap-metal cross and the psychedelic-meets-Matrix video reels on the projector, they set a great vibe. Ministry finished their set with industrial speed metal classic “Jesus Built My Hotrod,” a wall of gibberish and riffs that plowed through the crowd with all the forbearance of an eighteen-wheeler with dead breaks, proving that this rock thing is true: Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil.

Looking at the bill, Primus were the clear outlier among thrash metal and thrash-influenced acts, sparking many a “seriously?” from myself, peers and colleagues. But after two sets of full metal guitar theatrics, the trio of bassist/vocalist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry Lalonde and drummer Tim Alexander served as the perfect palate cleanser. These iconic weirdos, Gen X’s freak-pride answer to prog legends Rush, mostly stuck to their stranger ‘90s hits as well, spotlighting Claypool’s bass-slappin’ licks and Alexander’s deceptively complex drum fills alongside Lalonde’s slow-burn guitar work. Claypool, now evolved into his true “quirky gnome uncle” form, shared plenty of energy in his wry lyrics, shuffle-stomping around the stage with abandon. The band slipped in a cover of “Cygnus-X” by the band's heroes in Rush and finished with some heavier cuts from their early albums: “My Name is Mud” from ‘93’s Pork Soda and breakout hit “Jerry was a Race Car Driver” from ‘91’s Sailing the Seas of Cheese.

After Primus’ set, the halls of the World Arena filled with occasional mass-screams of “SLAYER!” as if the band were coming on stage, a reminder that the Bay Area thrash metal co-founders' 38-year career has spawned loyalty and dedication paralleled by few. In metal, Slayer fans have earned a reputation for dedication and going off like lunatics, which they proved with wide, unceasing mosh pits and fervor in tribute to the band’s final tour.

As for the band themselves, remaining original members Tom Araya (bass/vocals) and Kerry King (guitars) performed in uncanny lock-step with guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Paul Bostaph, both of whom split time between Slayer and their band, fellow Bay Area thrash OGs Exodus. Araya may have wanted to retire since at least 2013 and has talked about selling his soul to Slayer, but he kept a strong performer’s smile on his face as he delivered snarling machine-gun vocals and thunderous bass licks.

The band’s stage setup was one of the simplest of the evening: no screens, no projectors. Just lights, smoke, backdrops celebrating the iconic (grim, bloody, blasphemous, bleak) album art created for the band by the late Larry Carroll, and fire. Lots of fire. Walls of fire, gouts of fire shot into the air, flame jets at front and back of stage, and even more flamethrowers forming an inverted cross during particularly blasphemous passages. It’s good to know that Slayer won’t drag their live career on into pitiful, shambling mockery of what they once were, that they’re going out with shows as laser-precise and mad as ever. If we had to complain, we’d wish the setlist had a few of the band’s slower tracks to break up the full-speed-ahead thrash attack. But this is Slayer doing everything they needed to do: fast, heavy, and always at maximum volume.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Tool punishes the Pepsi Center — the band at its best

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 2:41 PM

Tool played the first of its two Denver shows on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the Pepsi Center, in support of the newly released Fear Inoculum. Superfans or those heading to the Oct. 16 show will want to know the set list, which kicked off with the title track and included a thoroughly fulfilling journey through older material as well as half the new album, with a final encore devoted to "Stinkfist" off Ænima (during which frontman Maynard James Keenan told the crowd they were finally allowed to get out their phones to shoot the band, as there was a strict no-phone rule in place during the rest of the set).

Talking with fellow media members with whom I was seated (yes we all stood and danced damn near the whole time) and friends in attendance who've seen many past Tool performances, the consensus was that this was the most spectacular Tool show any of us had seen. The energy was palpable, the musicianship absolutely tight, the light show dazzling and the sound beautifully balanced across the arena for an all around memorable show.

A colleague at Westword who stood scribbling notes to the left of me the whole show, claims the show left him with insomnia, for which he doesn't sound upset at all. Give his article a read for the rundown on everything from Keenan's always-interesting wardrobe to the "surreal"  background projections that colored the stage with Tool's usual creepy-cool and very visceral, morbid, yet somehow spiritual/enlightened vibe.

Hearing the new tracks live for the first time proved especially exhilarating, though on a personal note my favorite track from the new album, "Descending," didn't get played; perhaps they'll whip it out for the Oct. 16 set. However, another favorite track, "Invincible," preceded "Stinkfist" during the encore, and was a particular highlight to the show.

After such a long hiatus between albums, Tool's capitalizing — perhaps feeding off of — all the pent-up fan energy, it seems. Fear Inoculum's been on repeat play for me and several friends. The band's as relevant and outstanding as ever, and never shy on showing an acerbic, humorous side, as noted on our media photo passes, which read: "Toxic Masculinity! A timeless example of the dangers presented by Iwo Jima, Feb 23 1945." 

Yep, play with that next time you can't sleep. The tour continues if you feel like hopping a plane and doing whatever it takes to score a ticket. 
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ghost, Nothing More rock Broadmoor World Arena with theatrical gusto

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 9:36 AM

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, the Broadmoor World Arena hosted local rock radio station 94.3 KILO’s fifth annual Fall Brawl concert, this year featuring Swedish band Ghost as headliners and Texas band Nothing More supporting. It was a stop on Ghost’s nation-spanning Ultimate Tour Named Death, for which the Indy spoke to them, and that’s more than enough with the logistical details, because the Indy sent me to photograph the show, and it was wicked cool.

Nothing More opened the show up with a bang, with singer Jonny Hawkins standing atop a scrap metal ladder and cranking an air raid siren as the band broke into their 2018 single “Let It Burn.” His torso half-painted black, Hawkins bounded across the stage, an energetic and engaging performer, his vocals backed by guitarist Mark Vollelunga and bassist Daniel Oliver. KILO listeners will no doubt be excited to know that Hawkins announced plans to record and release an acoustic version of their song “Fadein/Fadeout” soon.

While the music was solid and engaging, I really dug their stage setup — Hawkins, previously the band’s drummer, added percussion on a kit bedecked with gears and rusty diamond mesh. At one point, he, Oliver and Vollelunga jammed a contraption into it to hold a bass and soloed on it collaboratively. At the end of the set, the percussion kit flipped onto its front, and Hawkins stood high atop it, playing a precarious-looking instrument dubbed the Scorpion Tail, which looks like That 1 Guy’s magic pipe as built by the warboys from Mad Max: Fury Road. They used it to cover Skrillex.

Sweden's Ghost performed at the Broadmoor World Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 1. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Sweden's Ghost performed at the Broadmoor World Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
And then, there was Ghost. I’ll cop to it; this is the third time I’ve seen Ghost live. By all accounts, they’ve changed up their live setup, dialing back the aggressively occult/Satanic shtick as they’ve grown in popularity. Early albums leaned on the Satan thing pretty hard, but their most recent full-length album, Prequelle, shifted from lyrics about human sacrifice and carnal knowledge of the antichrist to metaphors about the black plague. Mainman Tobias Forge’s recent litigious misadventures with his now-former backing band of Nameless Ghouls coincided a change in the live show, too. Their faux-Cathedral setup now shows not images of Satan, but past incarnations of his Papa Emeritus persona, the skeletal pope character Forge played for the band’s first three albums.

But the fires of hell still burn for these ghouls, led by Forge in his newest persona, Cardinal Copia. They’ve always had a knack for the theatrical, and the new band — Forge plus seven instead of just five — sounds just as tight and bigger than Ghost has before. Adding an additional keyboardist and guitarist who also do vocal harmonies has let Forge sing in lower registers, where he’s more powerful and more comfortable, which is especially apparent on older tracks like “Ritual.”

The Ghouls also show more presence and personality onstage, with the lead and rhythm guitarists playing virtuoso and goofball during a solo-off and other elements of the show. During Prequelle (2017) instrumental “Miasma,” a guest musician dressed as glowing-eyed methuselah Papa Nihil was walked to center stage for a ripping saxophone solo.

As for the elements they’ve cut back on, Forge’s banter offering to wobble the asses and tickle the taints of all present with Meliora (2015) cut “Mummy Dust” feels puerile. In the past, he’s had a bit about how the female orgasm was once considered the work of the devil, which led into set-closer “Monstrance Clock” from 2012 album Infestissumam, which makes the “come together for Lucifer’s son” hook stick out more. But live performances of songs from 2019’s ‘60s-inflected EP Seven Inches of Satanic Panic, showed Ghost as sex-mad and catchy as they’ve ever been — see late-set sing-along, “Kiss the Go-Goat.” And of course, older and more overtly Satan-worshipping tracks like “Ritual,” “Satan Prayer” and “Year Zero” got the audience singing along with fervor. Key moment: pillars of flame lighting the faux-cathedral stage like the church scene in Hellraiser III as the crowd sings “Hail Satan, archangelo,” at the top of its lungs.

Ghost’s live show is theatrical in a way few modern bands aim for, and that makes them a treasure to see live. But all the provocative, spooky, horny, Satanic theatrics mean nothing without good rock/metal songs, and it’s no coincidence that I’ve name dropped track after track in this write-up. Consider Ghost a must-see band for rock fans of all stripes, even the ones who need to say a few Hail Marys afterwards.

Check out a slideshow of photos from both awesome performers below!
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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Raconteurs rock Denver's new Mission Ballroom, Jack White shreds guitar as usual

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 1:06 PM

  • Matthew Schniper

The Raconteurs put on a hella energetic performance in support of their new album Help Us Stranger at Denver's new, spiffy Mission Ballroom venue in the RiNo District on Oct. 9.

The setlist included a kickoff with the first track from Help Us Stranger, "Bored and Razed" and a lengthy encore that toured from "Consolers of the Lonely" (the highly popular title track from the band's second album) through "Help Me Stranger" and "What's Yours Is Mine" to an extended finale with some guided crowd participation on "Steady, As She Goes" (the mainstream hit from Broken Boy Soldiers, the band's first album).

Guitar virtuoso and Raconteurs co-front man Jack White was in his usual form, which is to say shredding guitar like few of his generation can and lending now-legendary vocal stylings through various channels of distortion, backing up fellow singer Brendan Benson.

The two moved together at many points during the show to solo atop each other, also joined at interludes by bassist Jack Lawrence (The Dead Weather) for vocal support. Drummer Patrick Keeler (The Greenhornes) and keyboardist Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) held together the tight musicianship; the band's sound bleeds folk and blues at turns with an overall pure rock n' roll vibe.

Help Us Stranger debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 200 list back in June when it was released.

Our only grievance with this spectacular set and show was the absence of a personal favorite track, "Carolina Drama," which we've been pining to see live. Still, after a 10-year wait for this new album from the band, White and crew's showmanship more than satisfied. If you feel like hopping a plane, here's what's left for current tour dates.

Check out the below slideshow for at least a visual taste of the evening's energy:
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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Music venues find it costly to stay on the right side of copyright law

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Lauren Reece, Axe and the Oak marketing director, with a guitar signed by musicians who have performed onstage at the venue. - ERINN CALLAHAN
  • Erinn Callahan
  • Lauren Reece, Axe and the Oak marketing director, with a guitar signed by musicians who have performed onstage at the venue.

Live music is every bit as vital to Axe and the Oak Whiskey House’s business model as its signature malted liquor.

Mondays and Tuesdays are for acoustic music, with a house DJ on Wednesdays, says Lauren Reece, Axe and the Oak’s marketing director. Thursday through Saturday is when the more established bands, many of them based in Manitou Springs, take the small stage tucked away in a cozy corner of the former Ivywild School.

“People know that we’re a place that always has live music,” Reece says. “Especially on the weekends, they really like coming down and having a place to get a drink, but not necessarily to be as crazy as at some of the downtown bars.”

About two years ago, however, Jason Jackson, one of Axe and the Oak’s founding members, received some unwelcome feedback: a letter from a performing rights organization threatening to hit him with a lawsuit for hosting live music without legal permission — unless he paid that organization an annual licensing fee.

“I bet if you were to call any bar in the Springs, you would get the same response,” Jackson says.
These organizations — which include Broadcast Music Inc.; the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; Society of European Stage Authors and Composers; and Global Music Rights — act as intermediaries between music venues and songwriters to protect intellectual property and make licensing more cost-effective and convenient, according to an article posted in November 2017 on the National Restaurant Association’s website.

Restaurants and bars pay a fee to the PROs for a blanket license that grants permission to use all of the music each organization represents, the article states. Those organizations, in turn, distribute the fees to their affiliated songwriters, publishers and composers as royalties.

Jackson eventually paid the fees, but he couldn’t help thinking that the scales were tipped, and not in favor of business owners.

“I fought it [for] forever,” Jackson says. “I was so upset.”

Music copyright law is “not exactly simple,” says Dave Ratner, principal of Creative Law Network, a Denver-based firm specializing in entertainment, intellectual property and business law.

“There’s two copyrights in every piece of music — composition, and completely separate for sound recording. The only thing that the PROs are licensing is the right to publicly perform the composition,” says Ratner, who also teaches classes on entertainment and intellectual property law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. “That doesn’t just mean a live performance. That means performing for more than a few people in a venue that isn’t at your house.”

When it comes to publicly performing another artist’s copyrighted composition, the licensing responsibility generally falls to the venue, not the performer, Ratner says.

“Whether it’s a little dive bar or a football stadium, they all need to have a license,” Ratner says. “The fee will vary, but the fact that you need a license does not.”

A PRO will issue a blanket license granting a venue the right to perform every single song in that organization’s catalogue, Ratner says. Licensing fees vary based on the size of the venue, but are often based on a building’s seating capacity established by a fire marshal, he says.

ASCAP’s rates for restaurants, nightclubs, bars and similar establishments depend on “whether the music is live or recorded, whether it’s audio only or audio-visual, the number of nights per week music is offered, whether admission is charged, and several other factors,” according to the organization’s website.

BMI’s website states that “all fees, less BMI’s operating expenses, are paid to our affiliated songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the form of royalties. Currently, nearly 90 cents of every dollar of your licensing fee goes to our affiliated copyright owners.”
One thing that often gets lost is that “ultimately the PROs are collecting money on behalf of the artist,” Ratner says.

“If you think about when player pianos came out, when I wrote a song, the only way that song was going to be performed was if I performed it. I can control the exploitation of my performance,” Ratner says. “As soon as we had radios, all of a sudden, my song is all over the place and it’s really not feasible for me to go to every bar and restaurant and collect a licensing fee.”

A performing artist can only grant licensing ability to one PRO, but business owners typically can not get away with only getting a license for one PRO, Ratner says. All PROs have searchable databases on their respective websites, but all also include disclaimers stating the information may not be accurate and will not protect a business owner from claims of infringement, according to the National Restaurant Association.

“If I own a song and I’m with BMI, not ASCAP, and you have an ASCAP license and someone plays a song of mine in your venue, I didn’t get paid,” Ratner says. “You didn’t have the right to use my music.”

If that happens, the consequences can be sobering, with fines of up to $35,000 per work infringed, according to a June 2018 report published by SevenFifty Daily, an online publication that covers the business and culture of the beverage alcohol industry.

In Colorado, establishments can face a minimum $2,000 fine for violating the statutes covering performing rights societies, according to legislation passed in 2017.

Each PRO does its own enforcement, with designated teams that look for and find places that allow live performances of copyrighted music without the appropriate licenses, Ratner says.
While Ratner often encounters potential clients who were unaware such a service existed, “ignorance is not a defense,” he says.

Venues offering music have been sued for using songs without permission. - ERINN CALLAHAN
  • Erinn Callahan
  • Venues offering music have been sued for using songs without permission.

Jackson, a musician
himself, says he is frequently told not to perform covers by venues that have not yet paid PRO licensing fees — something that he says can have a chilling effect on aspiring musicians looking for a foot in the door with the local scene.

“That’s not a problem for me, but for up-and-coming guys that haven’t started writing yet and just want to perform, these businesses are paying the price,” Jackson says. “[The PROs] got around the individuality and went after the businesses, and so far they’ve been doing pretty well.”

A statute passed by Colorado lawmakers in 2017 brought some relief to the state’s small music venue owners, Jackson says. A performing rights society is now required to publish and file with the secretary of state: its form contracts, a schedule of fees it charges a proprietor to license music for public performance, a proprietor’s rights and duties for public performances, and a catalog of musical work the society licenses.

Still, Jackson says, monitoring each performance’s compliance involves time and resources not available to many small business owners.

“[The PROs] say, ‘You need to just pay the fee because you might have people in your establishment that are going to play one of our covers,’” Jackson says. “I can’t police that as a business owner. I may not even be there, and my bartenders are serving drinks.”

Jackson added that he has heard of businesses closing their doors because “the lawsuits are for more than the businesses even have,” he says. He adds that he would rather see his money go directly to the artist instead of licensing fees to PROs representing thousands of musicians.

“As a small business owner, $5,000 or $6,000 a year is a lot of money,” Jackson says. “That could go to supplies. That’s artists I could be paying for their time to come in and share their souls with me.

“There’s a lot I could do with that money, and it goes nowhere.”
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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Sonic Bloom: Four days of electronic music, live art and learning in Spanish Peaks Country

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2019 at 2:47 PM

Phase 3 lineup announcements were released May 9.
  • Phase 3 lineup announcements were released May 9.
The days are getting longer, and there's little more than a month left until summer solstice — which means Sonic Bloom, southern Colorado's annual electronic-focused music festival with jam and funk flavor, is almost here.

"SONIC BLOOM remains an event for the true individual; a welcoming, creative community encouraging the exploration human potential, the next wave of art and music and the possibility of a more beautiful and just world," reads a recent release. "We come together June 20-23 to celebrate a global community that believes in the power of art, music and innovation to inspire a future worth believing in."

Headlining this year at Hummingbird Ranch (outside Walsenburg, in gorgeous Spanish Peaks Country) are Gramatik and Opiuo, who'll both be heading to Electric Forest in Michigan the following weekend, along with Emancipator Ensemble (Emancipator and live band).

The Sonic Bloom Orchestra closing out the festival this year includes Opiuo, Sasha Rose and Jordan Polovina, along with members of SCI, Russ Liquid Test and Zilla, organizers announced May 9.

Sonic Bloom also offers a packed schedule of yoga, dance performances, live art and a kids' zone for the wee ones. For a little extra cash, you can attend Sonic Bloom Academy, which offers programs on music production, visual art and permaculture.

Things you should know about Sonic Bloom:

1) There's no reentry allowed during the four-day festival, which means you have to camp. (Don't worry, you won't want to leave.)

2) Keep in mind that although you can bring your own food and alcohol (if you're over 21) in the camping area, rules and regulations apply. (No glass — it's a major risk for the animals who live on the ranch the rest of the year.) There's also plenty of vendors selling local and organic food.

3) "Mom probably told you once 'Don’t take candy from strangers' — and that still applies, especially here," Sonic Bloom's website reminds you.

4) Visit the official site for more information, and to buy tickets and camping passes.

5) Words can't really describe Sonic Bloom, so here's a recap of last year's festival by Matt Worldly Denartket:

Last year, I made the mistake of taking zero work off to attend my first Sonic Bloom. I drove down to Walsenburg after work on Friday, and headed back to Colorado Springs around midnight Sunday. Needless to say it was a difficult Monday. But totally worth it.

This year, I'm happy to say I'll be at Hummingbird Ranch all four days — and sharing a taste of the 14th annual Sonic Bloom with our curious Instagram followers. Make sure you're following @csindependent to stay in touch!

In the meantime, here's the official festival playlist to get you hyped.

Don't feel quite ready to spend four days in the mountains with a bunch of friendly strangers? For a preview of the music genres and the types of people you can expect to encounter, check out one of the following "Road to Sonic Bloom" shows:

The Unified Field: Official Sonic Bloom pre-party featuring Break Science, Schlump, kLL sMTH and more
Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m.
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
2637 Welton St., Denver

Of the Trees with Dorfex Bos and MADDNETO
Thursday, May 16 at 8:30 p.m.
The Fox Theatre
1135 13th St., Boulder

Of the Trees with Dorfex Bos, ELCTRX and Recon
Friday, May 17 at 9 p.m.
Aggie Theatre
204 S. College Ave., Fort Collins

Kalya Scintilla with Eve Olution, Mindex and DRRTYWULVZ
Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m.
Meow Wolf
1352 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe, NM

Tor with Blossomn, Andrew Rothschild and Moon Frog Band
Saturday, June 1 at 9 p.m.
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
2637 Welton St., Denver
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Forget the horrors of senior prom and make new memories at Zombie Prom 2019

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Zombie Prom 2019, 9 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, 230 Pueblo Ave., $5,
  • Zombie Prom 2019, 9 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, 230 Pueblo Ave., $5,
While most might not want to resurrect their senior prom memories from the dead, you can certainly make some new ones at the Zodiac’s Zombie Prom. Enjoy special zombie-themed cocktails, dancing, and a costume contest to crown the zombie king and queen. To top it all off, DJs BatBoy, Matte Black and Agent 17 will spin a spooky soundtrack for you to groove to all night. Benefits to this awesome night out include: a decided lack of teenagers and a much better theme than “under the sea.” 
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Thursday, January 3, 2019

International Duo Piano competition returns to The Broadmoor

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 1:00 AM

United States International Duo Piano Competition, Jan. 4-6, times vary, The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., $5-$15, - TINA JACOB
  • Tina Jacob
  • United States International Duo Piano Competition, Jan. 4-6, times vary, The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., $5-$15,
In its 20th year, this prestigious competition returns again to The Broadmoor hotel, where it attracts some of the most promising and established talent in the genre of duo piano. Unlike a regular recital, duo piano competitions feature pairs of performers who have learned compositions together to be played together. It requires a kind of synergy that creates tension you won’t find in solo performance, and it can be a delight to watch when the musicians have fun with their craft. Finalists will compete from all over the world, representing the best of the best in all age categories and from all backgrounds. Attendees can enjoy the 20th anniversary celebration on Friday night, concerts on Saturday and Sunday, the awards ceremony on Sunday evening, or all of the above, with weekend passes starting at an insanely reasonable $15 per person.
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Friday, December 14, 2018

Unsilent Night offers a breath of fresh air when it comes to holiday tunes

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night”, 5:45-6:45 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., free, - TAYLOR DAVIDSON
  • Taylor Davidson
  • Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night”, 5:45-6:45 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., free,
Music this time of year can get tedious, and I’m not just talking about the annual “Baby It’s Cold Outside” controversy, or the tension between those who hear and appreciate Mariah Carey’s anti-capitalist messaging in “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and those who don’t. Matter stands, these days we hear the same 30 songs on store speakers each time we go shopping. That’s why Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” offers a breath of fresh air when it comes to holiday tunes. Experimental electronic composer Phil Kline created this unique listening experience in 1992, when he wanted to organize a mass caroling march as a kind of art installation. He composed a 45-minute soundscape for the season and copied it onto cassette tapes (remember those?), which were then distributed to friends with boomboxes. They then pressed play in tandem and walked the streets of Greenwich Village with speakers blaring, subjecting everyone within earshot to the sound. To participate in this now-annual event, you can still order one of four cassettes (each containing one part of the full soundscape), and load it into your old-fashioned boombox, but you can also stream the tracks on SoundCloud or download them directly to your phone. Then, with the aid of Bluetooth speakers or other amplification, you can join one of the 40-plus processions participating in this event throughout the country. Our local branch will gather in Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City. While the visual effect may not be the same with folks holding iPhones or Amazon Echoes over their heads in lieu of boomboxes, the sound experience should prove magical in its own way. “It’s the kind of event where more people [is] much better,” says local organizer Mark Jakusovszky. “It sounds incredible!”
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Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Roots, Hozier and Gregory Alan Isakov top new show announcements

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 2:16 PM

  • a katz / Shutterstock
Look, it’s a photo of Questlove celebrating the news that The Roots are coming back to Denver!

Well, actually, it isn’t. But to borrow a line from Facebook users whose furious political posts are shown to be fake: “Well, that’s something he WOULD do!”

In this case, you’re looking at the Roots drummer waving from a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but what’s important is that his band will indeed be coming to the Fillmore Auditorium on Feb. 23. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m., so act fast.

Meanwhile, here’s this week’s full list of new show announcements:

Fox Lake, Black Sheep, Jan. 16
The Green, Black Sheep, Jan. 24
Vic N’ The Narwhals, Marquis Theater, Denver, Jan. 26
Like a Storm, Marquis Theater, Denver, Jan. 29
Gregory Alan Isakov, Stargazers, Feb. 7 & 8
Milo, Black Sheep, Feb. 8
Pedro The Lion and Tomberlin, Bluebird Theater, Denver, Feb. 10
Roots of a Rebellion, Black Sheep, Feb. 17
The Roots, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, Feb. 23
Charlie Farley, Black Sheep, Feb. 28
Within Temptation and In Flames, Summit Music Hall, Denver, March 11
The Brevet, Black Sheep, March 15
Marianas Trench, Summit Music Hall, Denver, May 28
Hozier, Bellco Theatre, Denver, April 5
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Monday, December 10, 2018

Spiritualized, Judas Priest, and The Head and the Heart top new show announcements

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 8:29 AM

  • Jason Pierce of Spiritualized
Experts say that "alone time" is one of the keys to a couple’s success, which may explain why the Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have announced separate solo performances in Colorado. In any case, those aren’t the only shows of note that have been announced this week: Revered and reunited space-rock shoegazer outfit Spiritualized will be making their way here in the months ahead. So will Jenny Lewis and John Prine, the latter playing a Red Rocks show accompanied by the Colorado Symphony. Here’s the complete list:

RitaRita, Marquis Theater, Denver, Jan. 4
Violent J, Marquis Theater, Denver, Jan. 18
Ghost Atlas, Marquis Theater, Denver, Jan. 22
Deeper, Bluebird Theater, Denver, Feb. 4
Shaggy 2 Dope, Marquis Theater, Denver, Feb. 4
P.O.S., Marquis Theater, Denver, Feb. 6
Milo, Marquis Theater, Denver, Feb. 7
Anderson .Paak, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, Feb. 13
Night Beats, Black Sheep, March 17
Donna Missal, Marquis Theater, Denver, March 20
Spiritualized, Gothic Theatre, Englewood, April 6
Jenny Lewis, Ogden Theatre, Denver, May 16
Judas Priest and Uriah Heep, Broadmoor World Arena, June 5
Lettuce, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, June 15
The Head and the Heart, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, July 17
John Prine with the Colorado Symphony, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, July 28
Aesthetic Perfection, Marquis Theater, Denver, Oct. 11
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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Craig Campbell to headline local acoustic country benefit

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 12:28 PM

For Colorado Springs’ contemporary country fans, the feel-good concert of the season is very likely to be Y96.9’s Acoustic Christmas benefit for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Headliner Craig Campbell, best-known for his heart-tugging 2010 single “Family Man” (not to be confused with Hall & Oates’ “Family Man,” which was not heart-tugging at all), soon went on to become a Grand Ole Opry regular. Rolling Stone has hailed his latest single, “See You Try," as a "big, bold song that shoots for the nosebleed seats of arenas everywhere.”

The Dec. 6 event at Cowboys Night Club will also feature performances from llian Jacqueline, Seth Ennis, Dylan Schneider, and Ashlee & The Longshot Revival.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Steel Panther and Backstreet Boys among new show announcements

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 8:25 AM


Granted, there's nothing quite as dramatic as the rumored Rolling Stones Denver show among this week's new concert announcement, but someone out there will surely be excited to know that Steel Panther, the Backstreet Boys and the Glenn Miller Orchestra dates have been confirmed. And if that someone is you, read on.

Phil Keaggy, Tri-Lakes Art Center, Palmer Lake, Dec. 7 & 8
CupcakKe, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Dec. 8
Sore Eyes, Black Sheep, Dec. 8
Orthodox, Black Sheep, Dec. 10
Red Tide Rising’s Toys for Tots, Marquis Theater, Denver, Dec. 14
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club and DBUK, Globe Hall, Denver, Dec. 28, 29 & 31
888, Marquis Theater, Denver, Jan. 12
Party Pupils and Pat Lok, Marquis Theater, Denver, Jan. 17
Badklaat and Space Laces, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Jan. 18
Steel Panther, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, Jan. 19
The Werks, Summit Music Hall, Denver, Jan. 25
The Glorious Sons, Black Sheep, March 4
The Black Queen, Marquis Theater, Denver, March 19
Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, Marquis Theater, Denver, April 1
Conan Gray, Bluebird Theater, Denver, April 12
Glenn Miller Orchestra, Pikes Peak Center, June 16
Backstreet Boys, Pepsi Center, Denver, Aug. 8
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Friday, November 16, 2018

Rolling Stones fan club lists Denver show

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 10:11 AM

  • Magi Bagi / Shutterstock
Are the best-know, longest-lived bad boys of the British Invasion coming to Denver?

Most likely, they are. And not just because a banner with the Rolling Stones logo — yes, the one with the pouty lips and protruding tongue — was recently plastered on the side of Mile High Stadium, albeit for just one day.

So far, the Stones folks have been, let's say, tight-lipped when it comes to confirming a potential U.S. tour. But the band’s fan club site has already posted a schedule of “rumored” dates.

Another hint can be found on the band's official site, which is being less that coy when it comes to encouraging visitors to sign up for its mailing list: "DON’T MISS OUT, AS YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT COULD BE COMING!" (All-caps theirs.)

Meanwhile, here's the fan club's full list:

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Colorado to become three-week staging ground for Crescent City metallions

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 1:58 PM

  • Shutterstock
The next three Saturdays will be a celebration filled with incestuous joy for Coloradans who are into New Orleans metal.

First up is NOLA native Phil Anselmo, who’ll be appearing with his band Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals at the Black Sheep this Saturday, Nov. 3.

The following week, on Nov. 10, Mike IX Williams – who joined Anselmo and Hank III in their incendiary side-project Arson Anthem - will bring his Crescent City sludge-core outfit Eyehategod to the same venue as part of the band's 30th anniversary tour.

And finally, if all that still isn’t enough for you, Nov. 17 will find Denver’s Marquis Theater playing host to Goatwhore, who have served as ambassadors of the city’s metal scene for the past two decades.

Coincidence or conspiracy? You decide.

On a related note, you can read the Indy’s interview with Mike IX — about death, numerology and stuff — in our next issue, available at better newsstands and internets on Nov. 7.
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