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Have you ever seen a folk artist put down their acoustic guitar, throw a chair and go into an intricate hip-hop song? Have you ever seen a hip-hop artist grab an acoustic guitar and go into a beautifully touching folk song? Have you ever seen either work the crowd as if it is a punk/hardcore…

For some, the term orchestrated pop is synonymous with syrupy overproduction. But a deft touch can occasionally yield remarkable results. Oakland-based Chrystia Cabral is on her third album as SPELLLING, and once you get past the voice of equal parts Kate Bush and Betty Boop, it’s clear she …

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My Life as a Bear is a new Colorado Springs alternative rock band born out of several other projects. In February 2020, Brandon Metz and Kyrt Ellis, formerly of Audible and Sound Studies, joined Jeff Krieger, previously of GhostRadio, to create on their terms. The result: fun, raw music.

Isaac Brock would be the first to agree that there is something untoward about a sullen band with roots in the 1990s, led by a guy in his late 40s who likes to play golf. But unlike the wildly misnamed Sonic Youth, Brock has decided to go along with the joke, making the new Modest Mouse rele…

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Tigerwine is a band that has been doing huge things musically, helping put Colorado Springs on the map. They have a unique sound that combines elements of ’90s grunge, post rock, shoegaze and modern post hardcore. If Linkin Park, Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine and Thrice all had an adorable li…

On a cold morning in late February of last year, the singer-songwriter Tensas is driving out to Victor for a photo shoot. In the backseat, his 11-year-old daughter clutches a plague doctor mask, the kind worn by physicians while treating infected patients back in the 17th century.

When The Mountain Goats play The Black Sheep Aug. 18, they’ll bring three albums’ worth of new material since their last Colorado visit, all produced and mixed during the pandemic. Dark in Here (Merge) was recorded in Muscle Shoals in March 2020, but the common themes of emerging from places…

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Ozonic have been Colorado Springs purveyors of poppy prog rock since their inception in 2015, with an energetic and fun live show that feeds off of crowd energy. When they didn’t get to perform live last year, they took the time to perfect their craft, which they will be sharing with everyon…

In an era when either subtlety or absurdity rules many genres, it’s often hard to find a 1990s-style rock epic. Luckily, Garbage and Wolf Alice have answered the call with two distinct approaches. Since Shirley Manson reunited Garbage five years ago, she’s tried to drop the band’s cool disda…

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It is a very refreshing feeling to be seeing live events come back to life, and hearing the projects that were worked on over the past year finally come to fruition. Many bands have worked hard during the pandemic creating music that reflected the space they were in, and now it is finally be…

As Colorado’s preeminent guitar-and-drums noise-punk duo, In The Whale have achieved a lot over the past decade. They’ve played music festivals like Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, toured with bands ranging from Agent Orange to Gogol Bordello, and released a series of full-throttle EPs …

Let’s clear the air: St. Vincent’s production role in Sleater-Kinney’s 2019 The Center Won’t Hold had little to do with their new electro-pop sound, or drummer Janet Weiss’ decision to leave. Their latest self-produced album, Path of Wellness (Mom + Pop), engineered by Adam Lee, finds Carrie…

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On Thursday, June 10, I attended the memorial service for Jonathan Ellis at Hillside Gardens. Upon arriving and seeing car after car parked, I realized this was going to be something special. After the three-hour ceremony, I left feeling like this wasn’t just a memorial, this was Iggy Igloo’…

Liz Phair won a loyal group of fans in the late 1990s with sassy, original indie albums like her parody of The Rolling Stones, Exile in Guyville. But some wrong turns in the new millennium, including moving into glamor-pop, made her a parody in the eyes of many supporters. She’s spent the la…

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When it comes to music, creativity and new ideas are very important. That creativity may manifest in the way an artist writes lyrics, or the way they perform. Human Inferior is a three-piece band that has been playing garage rock in Colorado Springs since they formed in 2017.

North Carolina rap superstar J. Cole was missing in action through much of the pandemic, then unexpectedly released an album in mid-May that broke all Spotify records, save those of Olivia Rodrigo. The Off-Season (Dreamville/Interscope) doesn’t solely address the weighty topics he’s handled …

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It’s begun to return — the body heat, the mic checks of the bass drum, the loud enchantment of music pouring through a venue. Live music has been coming back around the country and here in town. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a few places closed their doors to rebrand, planning to come back w…

Two weeks ago, we listed new British art-punk pioneers. This week, two British jazz-centric albums add unpredictable vocals and crazy rhythms. It seems high time to declare a third British Invasion, after the Beatlemania 1964-65 era, and the early punk years of 1976-77. We might dub it MESS,…

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Whether flying solo or hanging out with friends and family, there are plenty of outdoor and indoor music and community-based events worth coming out of your hole for this Memorial Day weekend. Here are just a few fun ideas for those who find themselves re-entering civilization.

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Just about everyone’s heard the 1971 megahit “American Pie,” by Don McLean, who famously sings a line about “the day the music died.” While actually an oblique reference to a 1959 plane crash that killed rock legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, listeners who don’t know t…

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Shows have slowly been making a comeback at The Black Sheep. So far, the venue’s done a few reduced-capacity events with bands like Wildermiss, Letters From the Sun, Sensi Trails and Tejon Street Corner Thieves. Colorado Springs rockers Dirty Kings just announced an event with Lamb Bed on Ma…

The first thing attendees at this year’s MeadowGrass Music Festival should experience is a degree of familiarity after a year of pandemic. Nicole Nicoletta, executive director of festival sponsor Rocky Mountain Highway, said that dream came closer to fruition last month when the county eased…

MeadowGrass is all about great music, including local, regional and national acts, and this year will be no different. Utah five-piece Ryan Shupe & The RubberBand, with their blend of bluegrass, Americana, country and rock, will play Friday night.

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Finding new music can be tricky. Some people search the radio or Spotify, while others turn to zines, liner notes, word of mouth and compilation albums. Compilations are an integral part of underground music. From mixtapes to playlists to full-on compilations, it gives music enthusiasts a ch…

Local poet and vocalist Jeremiah Walter always found the Norse myths centered on Odin, Freya and other deities a rich stew that was relatively untapped in modern interpretations. His new album, Eighteen Magic Spells (Jeremiah Walter Music), would fit in the pantheon of low-fi classics, excep…

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Amy Whitesell and her husband George have been staples of the Colorado Springs blues community for nearly two decades. In 2003, Amy was one of the founders of the nonprofit Pikes Peak Blues Community, which supports blues and American roots music along the Front Range. In 2006, she parted wa…

Since leaving Carolina Chocolate Drops for a solo career in 2015, Rhiannon Giddens has boldly stretched with each successive album, not only redefining Black American traditions, but adding flourishes of the avant garde to the result. Her first collaboration with Italian multi-instrumentalis…

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Blindworm Guitars has been an instrument manufacturing and repair shop since 2008. Founder Andrew Scott has been known for his extremely intricate woodworking skills and incredible instrument designs. After a year of worldwide pandemic and some health issues, Blindworm will continue, but wil…

In 2014, Jamie Stewart told the Indy that his Xiu Xiu project was dead. Yet the ensuing seven years were among the San José band’s most prolific, even if Stewart at times felt like he and collaborator Angela Seo were simply phoning it in. The last Xiu Xiu album, 2019’s Girl With Basket of Fr…