Pearl Jam Celebrated its 24th Birthday With a Rousing Denver Show and All the Wine

Categories: Last Night

Eric Gruneisen
Pearl Jam's 24th anniversary - which the band celebrated last night with a raucous, rarity-filled, tour-ending barnburner of a concert at the Pepsi Center - closed with lead guitarist Mike McCready playing "the Star Spangled Banner" Hendrix-style while the rest of the Seattle quartet sprayed champagne on the Denver crowd.

It began with Justin Morneau (your 2014 National League batting champ) finding his seat as frontman Eddie Vedder said "Welcome to the last night of our tour" as Pearl Jam settled into the euphorically mellow "Release," which is where the group's 10-million-selling 1991 debut Ten concluded.

See also: The Ryan Adams Comedy Hour Last Night was Awesome

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Quiz: The Sixteen Most Surprising Cameos By Musicians in Movies

Categories: Commentary

Anthony Kiedis, Point Break (1991).
Not all cameos are equally coveted: A good cameo creates an undeniable rush (I know that person!) that widens the eyes and forces the viewer to blurt out the musician's name when he or she appears on the big screen, like Anthony Kiedis in Point Break. An even better cameo, in which the musician is cleverly disguised or appears so briefly, leaving you puzzled, forces you to rewind. (Was that just Alex Van Halen in Robocop?!) A bad cameo, like Vanilla Ice's dance routine in 1991's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret Of The Ooze, is a mockery. Despite which kind of cameo we find, one thing is certain: We always enjoy seeing a familiar face in an unfamiliar territory.

Let's test your knowledge where movies and music collide. Can you correctly name which musician appeared in the following films? Check your answers on the last page.

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Why the Hell Do I (Still) Love Metro Station?

I had to go alone. I mean, it was partially by choice -- I had an extra ticket, but I was too embarrassed to ask anyone if they wanted to go with me. Ultimately, I went to Summit Music Hall last night to see Metro Station by myself because I not-so-secretly love them, but very-secretly am ashamed of how I feel about the band. I'm embarrassed because I preach honesty when it comes to music taste -- you should like what you like. Fuck guilty pleasures. All music that is good to you is good music.

But there I was, alone on the side of the stage in a room less than half-full of screaming teenagers, singing along to every word of "Kelsey." "I'll swim the ocean for you" I sang, (to a girl with a name popular for almost whole generation of people younger than me.) "Whoa, oh, oh, oh, Kelsey." I think it was right then, as I watched a room of Kelseys screaming "oh, Kelsey," that I decided to say fuck it. I love Metro Station, even if the band is kind of the worst.

See also: Miley Cyrus' Bangerz Tour proves she's pop music's greatest role model (seriously)

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Behind the Vital New Jazz Program at Metro State University in Denver

Categories: Interviews

Courtesy of MSU Denver/Trevor Davis.
Ron Miles serves as director of jazz studies for MSU Denver's new program.
It's been a busy month for the Department of Music at Metropolitan State University. Its accreditation was renewed by the National Association of Schools of Music, and it added a new Jazz and American Improvised Music Performance concentration (also accredited). We interviewed Peter Schimpf, associate professor and chair of the Department of Music, and MSU music lecturer Dave Devine about the new emphasis and the importance of keeping jazz fresh.

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Altas's Powerful New Album Anticipates the Destruction of the Human Race

Categories: Playlist

Adam Rojo
In the mid-2000s, guitarist Enrique Jimenez was playing outside the usual circuit of rock clubs and DIY spaces in town, on stages in northwest Aurora and southwest Denver. And that exploratory spirit has benefited his current band, Altas. Formerly known as Panal S.A. de C.V., Jimenez formed the band with his brother Israel on drums and Juan Carlos Flores playing additional guitars and keyboard. They changed the name to Altas (Spanish for "heights") in 2014 in order to usher in a new chapter of the group's history. Altas's debut full-length album, Epoca de Bestias ("The Age of Beasts"), which the band will release this Saturday with a show at the hi-dive, reflects the fruition of the trio's experiments in sound, songwriting, textures and arrangements. The music is entirely instrumental, but Altas's songs have always suggested a cinematic narrative and vivid imagery.

See also: What to see at UMS, according to Enrique Jimenez of Altas

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Denver Rapper Jericho Son of None Helps Struggling Kids Find an Outlet in Hip-Hop

Courtesy of Jericho Son of None
"Everyone else in my family was an addict, and I was an addict of creativity, and that saved my life," says rapper Jericho Son of None. He's been active in the Denver hip-hop community for years, spending time in a group called Educated Figures.

He now teaches history and geography -- as well as an after school music program with an emphasis on rap -- at Ace Community Challenge School, located at Santa Fe and 8th. The school is set up as a way to help kids who struggled mostly with discipline issues in traditional schools get credits toward a diploma. "These are the kids who are considered by everyone else to be the hard ones to deal with. Personally, I don't consider them that," says Jericho. "I consider them the ones who have more potential, because no one has tapped into them yet."

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J. Roddy Walston on the Identity of the South

Categories: Interviews

Courtesy of ATO Records
By Roy Kasten

Onstage -- his hair whipping like a battlefield banner, his piano splintering, his gnarled voice bellowing and his band crushing out something like rock, something like the blues -- J. Roddy Walston is surely a force, but not really a force of nature, as he is often deemed. His reckless music and wild delivery is the artful sum of the sounds he's always heard in his head: driving honky-tonk, Sun Records rockabilly, Stax singles and heavy classic rock. And he had to work at those sounds to translate them into music that struts off the stage and burns off a record.

Born and raised 30 miles east of Chattanooga in Cleveland, Tennessee (population 41,000), Walston is a son of the South and a son of a musical family, a songwriter's songwriter even if his lyrics are often no more discernible than the slurry phrasings of "Tumblin' Dice" and no less primal than major influences like Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis or, undeniably, Led Zeppelin. The stories in his songs are nothing if not meant to be felt in the music.

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Iceage Has Evolved Beyond its Knife Era

Categories: Interviews, Punk!

Isabel Asha Penzlein
Iceage (due this Sunday, October 26, at the Hi-Dive) from Copenhagen, Denmark made a splash when it first started playing in the U.S.A. over three years ago. Synthesizing the raw energy of hardcore with the moodiness of post-punk, Iceage was and still is an electrifying live act. Even then, though, the group courted controversy with the 'zines its members produced and the selling of knives as merchandise. It was claimed that the imagery in one of the old 'zines referenced the Ku Klux Klan, an allegation easily dismissed because the Klan really doesn't have foothold in a place like Denmark. And there weren't a spate of knifing injuries at the shows. Its then debut full-length, 2011's New Brigade, was one of the most exciting punk releases in years.

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Oko Tygra Is Proud to Represent Denver at CMJ in New York This Week

Luca Venter
Oko Tygra
Oko Tygra is one of the Denver bands representing the Mile High City at this year's CMJ in New York City. The group is slated to play at Niagra on Wednesday, October 22. For a group that started in March 2014, getting selected for CMJ is certainly an achievement. For songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Joshua Novak, it's also a bit of a way for him to break with his past and establish a new musical identity as well. Recruiting a couple of old friends, bassist Tyler Rima and drummer Neil Robertson, as well as a gem of a Craigslist find in guitarist Russell Ault, Novak was able to realize a vision for starting the kind of band that had bright, hazy atmospheres and finely textured melodies.

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Six Reasons I Won't Like Your Band On Facebook

Categories: Nitpick Six

Leon Fishman via Flickr
Every week, we get thousands of notifications on Facebook, and because our lives are privileged and lonely, we pay attention to them. Everyone has commented on everything. It is everybody's birthday today. Everyone but you has had a baby and is also celebrating their four year anniversary with a decent human being. Facebook is a constant hum of people begging for your attention without looking you in the eyes.

If that's not enough, the network puts you in the awkward situation of dealing with a constant flow of hellish invites. A high school friend wants you to come to their pre-engagement party. The barista from the coffee-shop down the street has invited you to visit his new art gallery composed entirely of Lolcats and pictures of trees at the zoo. Your aunt really, really, really wants you to play Candy Crush Saga. And of course, some asshole wants you to like their band on Facebook.

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