How DJ Fat Trak plans to finish the work he started with the late Marcus Arrilius

Categories: Playlist

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Jeremy Pape
Marcus Arrilius surrounded by the D.O.P.E. game cast and his family.

In February 5th, 2013, Denver MC Marcus "Arrilius" Hayes passed away. He left two-thirds of a trilogy of albums unfinished, and producer David "Fat Trak" Williams has spent the last year and a half putting together the pieces. Part two -- The Meditations of Marcus Arrilius -- is the first posthumous release featuring Hayes's voice, and it's now available via iTunes and elsewhere.

Williams calls Hayes a brother. It's not a title he uses lightly; in fact, Williams is an identical twin. It was his twin, Daniel, who introduced him to Hayes. "Marcus changed my life," Williams says. "He changed me from just a beat-maker to a producer."


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Bullet Wilson distances himself from gang life, honors his grandfather and his city

Categories: Interviews

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Bullet Wilson
Denver's Bullet Wilson, formerly known as Kevin Pistols, has accomplished a great amount since entering the rap game in 1998, recording songs and videos with the likes of Bun B, Snoop Dogg and E-40. But after a personal epiphany and after visiting some of the biggest record labels in the game, Wilson takes on a new persona to not only help Denver develop an original sound but also to help change the social atmosphere as well and get away from the gang mentality.

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Photos: The great disappearing shirt crisis of Global Dance Festival 2014

Categories: Photos

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Aaron Thackeray
Global Dance Festival -- by some metrics the largest EDM festival in the region -- brought a typically powerhouse lineup of bass purveyors to Red Rocks over the weekend. Over three days, thousands of fans flocked to the park for sets by the likes of Adventure Club, Zedd and Waka Flocka Flame (GDF has recently been experimenting with new genres). By all accounts, it was a solid progression for a music festival a decade-plus in existence.

But we regret to inform you that tragedy dampened the otherwise-upbeat mood on the event's first night. Suddenly, without warning, huge numbers of attendees found their shirts shrinking and even disappearing. Some tried to make do with makeshift replacements -- the effect seemed lessened for costumes and reflective materials. Veteran photographer Aaron Thackeary did not flinch, and we are able to bring you this report from Backbeat's reporters, supplemented by his photographs. A word of caution: This account contains images that may be upsetting to some of our readers, particularly the parents of teenage girls and office managers seeing this over the shoulders of their employees.

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Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden are better than ever, especially live

Categories: Last Night

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Brandon Marshall

It would be easy to dismiss a show like this as something aging fans of '90s alternative rock take their kids to. But Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden still have plenty of intellect and challenging music. And opener Oneohtrix Point Never, an experimental electronic and ambient artist, likely challenged the sensibilities of more than a handful of people in attendance.

What the show proved is that bands that slightly pre-date the alternative rock era and continued through its eras collapse still have an enthusiastic audience. They can also still produce new work that pushes their existing artistic boundaries.

See also: Ten famous musicians before they were stars


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Why reunited Denver punk legend Planes Mistaken for Stars has aged so well

Categories: Last Night

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Brandon Marshall. Full slideshow.
When Planes Mistaken for Stars made its return to Denver over the weekend after a long break, it attracted an assemblage of old fans and new. This included some people you don't much see at shows anymore -- a true testament to the enduring impact of Planes. There wasn't a song during which more than a few people in the audience knew the words and sang heartily along. Perhaps "audience" isn't the right word, though, for Planes, because the band treats those who show up as friends and partners in going through the internal struggle which its songs articulate so powerfully on record and on the stage.

See also: Planes Mistaken for Stars is back

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OneRepublic, Beats Antique, Brother Ali on sale this weekend

Categories: Mile Highlights

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Erik Hess for City Pages. Full slideshow.
Brother Ali plays the Black Sheep in September
OneRepublic, who just played Red Rocks Amphitheatre in May, return to the venue on Monday, September 1, and tickets ($39.50-$44.50) go on sale on Friday, July 25 at 10 a.m.

Beats Antique, who have played the Ogden Theatre and Fillmore Auditorium on past visits to the area, are set to headline 1STBANK Center on Thursday, November 6. Tickets, which start at $29.50, go on sale on Saturday, July 26 at 10 a.m.

Brother Ali will be at the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs on Tuesday, September 16 (tickets are $18/$20) and at the Fox Theatre in Boulder on Thursday, September 18 (tickets are $17/$20). Tickets for both shows go on sale on Friday, July 25 at 10 a.m.

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The engineering report that helped convince Arapahoe County to deny Riot Fest's permit

Categories: Music Festivals

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Aaron Thackeray
Riot Fest will not return to May Farms outside Byers this year after Arapahoe County Commissioners denied special-use permit applications from both the festival and the farm. The denial came just two months before the music festival and carnival was set to bring Wu-Tang Clan, Slayer, Primus and more to the town forty miles east of Denver -- Riot Fest will go on with the same schedule at a new location: the parking lot outside Sports Authority Field in downtown Denver.

The two main factors that led to the decision were comments collected in a public hearing earlier this month and a traffic impact report commissioned by the County's Engineering Division. May Farms and Riot Fest proposed improvements in traffic flow and parking for this year, but the report suggests that more would be needed.

"While these changes will mitigate some of the queues accessing the event, it is likely that there will still be extensive queues unless vehicle arrival time is spaced out over several hours," the report concludes. It suggests additional changes to roads, signage and traffic redirection, among other things to help accommodate an estimated crowd of over 17,000 people, which is roughly 17 times the population of Byers.

See also: Riot Fest announces new location and issues a statement: "Simply, we were duped"

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The nine best shows in Denver from July 21 to 24

Categories: Best Concerts

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Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck have an eTown taping this week.
This week's concert offerings include Dierks Bentley at the big stage in Morrison and Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn taping at eTown in Boulder.

There are a few good ones in the actual city limits of Denver -- read on for our picks this week.

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Rufus Baxter gets a record deal/tries to buy coke

Categories: Comics

Jason Isbell on Twitter: "It's a good thing to waste time with"

Categories: Interviews

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Michael Wilson
Jason Isbell, playing Tuesday at the Boulder Theater and Wednesday at the Ogden, embodies all the traditions, influences and stories that make up Southern folk and country. He was raised in rural Alabama and immediately took to singing and playing guitar. He toured and wrote with Drive By Truckers. He got married, divorced and re-married. He spent many years on stage with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand and now has just a couple under his belt without it. Over those years he's become a master storyteller, mixing his smooth Alabama accent with complex guitar melodies and traditional country themes that will make you weep, fondly reminisce on old loves and adventures, clap-along, or just yearn to spend time in a bar with one of the characters he creates.

See also: Planes Mistaken for Stars is back

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