Amanda Palmer on Taylor Swift and Dealing With Internet Negativity

Categories: Interviews

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Credit Shervin Lainez
Amanda Palmer's new book discusses how asking for helped shaped her career.
Amanda Palmer is known for her crazy antics as the leader of the Dresden Dolls and the Grand Theft Orchestra. But Palmer started her career doing something a little more stationary. She worked as a living statue, painted all in white, wearing a wedding dress and giving people flowers.

In her time as a street performer, she learned valuable lessons that she later applied to her music career, which became a popular TED Talk she gave last year. Now, she's back with a brand new book called The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help.

See also: A Sneak Peak at Denver's First Crowd-Funded Jazz Club

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The Five Coziest Music Venues in Denver

Categories: Lists

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Ken Hamblin
DJ Lowkey knows where you can hang out when the mercury drops.
The negative temperatures and piles of snow last week were a pretty solid indication that winter has arrived in Denver. While every day of winter here doesn't involve bone-chilling cold, plenty do, and it gets old, fast. Suddenly, concert calendars look a little bare and the idea of leaving your couch and trekking outside seems more and more far-fetched. It's more than understandable if you never want to leave your bed all winter, but if you start to miss interacting with other humans and listening to live music, that can be arranged thanks to these five venues that will keep you warm and entertained this winter.

See also: Denver's Ten Best Small Venues

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The Hunger Games Soundtrack Is Awful and Not a Soundtrack

Categories: Music News

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Eric Gruneisen. More here.
Lorde is so much better than this.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack is officially out in anticipation of the film release Friday. As is increasingly common practice for these types of blockbusters, it features a ridiculous array of music talent -- Lorde, Stromae, Pusha T, Q-Tip and HAIM are all on the first track. But besides "Yellow Flicker Beat" by Lorde, which is a straight-up fantastic song, the whole thing sucks, hard. But that shouldn't be a surprise.

See also: Why Lorde Isn't a Goth

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Southern Soul Assembly Brings Four Legends Back to Their Roots

Categories: Interviews

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Courtesy of Live Loud CO
Southern Soul Assembly brings together an all-star cast of songwriters.
JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, Marc Broussard and Luther Dickinson are currently touring as Southern Soul Assembly -- but Dickinson notes that the emphasis should be on the "soul" rather than the "Southern" part of the name. The reason, he explains, is because everyone in the group draws from their wide-ranging experiences, not just from the place they call home. The group will play two Colorado shows this weekend: Friday at the Ogden Theatre and Saturday at the Boulder Theatre.

See also: The Ten Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock

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The Ten Best Videos From the Gangsta Rap Era

Categories: Commentary
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Mark C. Austin for the Houston Press. Full slideshow here.
Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys still goes hard.
Gangsta rap, where have you gone?

About 20 years ago at this time, we were in the middle of an unprecedented run of gangsta rap greatness, with Death Row, Bad Boy, Ruthless, Rap-A-Lot and others all functioning at high levels. 

And while the songs and albums from this era continue to get shine, let's not forget the videos, which constitute some of the most visually arresting (and most hilarious) ever made.

Here are the ten greatest videos from the gangsta rap era.
See also: The 50 Best Rap Lyrics of All Time
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Kazoo Buskers of the 16th Street Mall Are Welcome in Coyote Poets of the Universe

Categories: Playlist

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Tom Murphy
Coyote Poets of the Universe is Denver's most serious band.
Coyote Poets of the Universe has cultivated a unique songwriting style over the years in order to accommodate the disparate voices of its nine-piece membership -- the results will be on display during a show this Saturday at the Oriental Theater. But the band did not have ambitious beginnings; in fact, the Poets started out as the soundtrack to a radio show in 1998."The original premise was that we had this radio show called Jazz Tales on KUVO," says bassist Andy O'Leary, also known by his radio handle of Andy O. "We had a group of slam poets who started their own band. I was the musician and the engineer."

See also: The Ten Best Unexpected Places to See Live Music in Denver

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Does Boulder's New Bike Studio Really Feel Like a Nightclub?

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Courtesy of Beat Cycle
Definitely not the author.
After work one frozen night last week, I put on my bike helmet, ski mask and warmest gloves and rode in the snow up 17th Street in Boulder to Beat Cycle, a new music-centered cycling studio on the Hill. "Sorry, I'm early," I said to the four young female employees milling around the front desk as I removed my mask and helmet, shaking off my coat and realizing I was the only one in the place who didn't work there.

See also: 50 Photos That Prove Red Rocks Is the Most Beautiful Venue on the Planet

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Judas Priest's Ian Hill on America and Sexuality

Categories: Interviews

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Travis Shinn
Judas Priest
Judas Priest (due tonight, November 19, at the 1STBANK Center) is one of the most influential heavy metal bands in the history of the genre. From Birmingham, England (the same city that produced Black Sabbath), Priest basically created the blueprint for the sound and look of most of the heavy metal that has come along since. As part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Priest was a direct inspiration for '80s thrash, and its studded-leather attire has been adopted by countless headbangers and punkers alike. The group's singer, Rob Halford, has often been imitated, but few measure up to his power and versatility. But Halford wasn't a member of the band from the beginning.

See also: The Ten Best Thrash Metal Bands

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Mile High Soul Club Moves to Syntax Physic Opera With Guest Nick Waterhouse

Categories: Music News

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Brandon Marshall. Full slide show here.
Mile High Soul Club at its former home of Beauty Bar.
After spending a couple of years at Beauty Bar, the long-tenured monthly Mile High Soul Club has found a new home at Syntax Physic Opera.

Syntax Physic Opera is a much different aesthetic than Beauty Bar, but the space has been hosting music nights and performances ever since it opened back in July.

See also: Best Club Night Denver 2014 - Mile High Soul Club

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Maris the Great on 2014's Best Concerts and the Restorative Power of Semen

Categories: Interviews

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Trent Jacobs
Maris the Great in complete royal attire.
The streets of Denver are safe now that Maris the Great, king of the gay undead, has returned to his crypt for winter hibernation. For those unfamiliar with Denver's resident revenant royalty, Maris can be seen at rock and metal concerts throughout spring and summer clad in elaborate royal attire and zombie makeup. Maris hosts maristhegreat.com, a popular website in which he posts interviews with bands along with pictures of him "killing" them -- highly graphic photo shoots that involve gallons of fake blood, brains and precise Photoshop manipulation. He threatens to kill almost anyone he meets, which has gotten him kicked out of Warped Tour and Denver's gay pride parade.

In an exclusive, raunchy online chat séance with Backbeat, Maris revealed his new targets in 2015 and details of his secret hibernation, and addressed the possibility of emerging before his expected return next spring. The outspoken gay ghoul also announced his "most bangable boy" of 2014.

See also: Methods of Mayhem: Death Springs Eternal for Maris the Great, Denver's Most Lovable Serial Murderer. But Even Killer Zombies Meed a Break From Brutality

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