The Aztlan Theater Once Hosted Slayer, Run-D.M.C. and More, but Now It Needs Your Help

Categories: Beneficial

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The Aztlan Theater.
From its rough-hewn exterior, it's hard to tell if the Aztlan Theater is still up and running. It is, technically, but the once-notable building that has been a part of the fabric of Santa Fe for decades is in dire need of some help. There's a lot of love and history in this long-running music venue, but it is currently without a proper sound system. And without that, the show can't go on.

This Saturday, September 20, the "Save the Aztlan: A benefit to restore Denver's musical heritage" show will bring bands back to the stage and all of the money will go to bringing back some of the venue's former glory.

See also: Denver Rock Atlas: The Aztlan Theatre

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The Eight Best Shows This Weekend in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Cashmere Cat plays Cloak & Dagger Festival on Saturday.
There are some punk rock bands playing next to the football stadium this weekend. Perhaps you've heard. There are plenty of options for those not headed to Riot Fest, including the inaugural Cloak & Dagger fest, with an impeccable lineup full of some of dance music's most interesting up-and-coming artists. If you go to Grace Potter & the Nocturnals show at Red Rocks, don't miss irresistible opener Lake Street Dive. Also in town this weekend: Sir Elton John. The rest of our picks follow.

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Failure's Ken Andrews on the Absurdity of Hair Metal

Categories: Interviews

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Failure
Failure is slated to perform at Riot Fest this Friday, September 19th. Though the band enjoyed a great deal of popularity during its first run before splitting in 1997, its influence has loomed large on a good deal of guitar rock that has come along since. If someone writes a book like Our Band Could Be Your Life about the '90s, Failure would certain deserve a chapter as a band whose impact continues to be felt and whose records have aged very well. The group got back together to perform for the first time in close to seventeen years in February 2014 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, its home town. We had the chance to speak with the group's affable vocalist, Ken Andrews, about how a noisy alternative rock band with space rock tendencies functioned in the glam rock era of Los Angeles, his role in contributing to Blink-182's 2004 self-titled album and how becoming fathers was the catalyst for Failure getting back together.

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Radke May Be the Best Band at Riot Fest Not Playing the Main Stage

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Shawn Brackbill
Radkey
While a lot of the focus during Riot Fest this weekend will be on the headliners playing the May Farms stage and the Byers General Store, the festival includes up and coming bands, local and otherwise, worthy of attention. These are generally not the bands riding in large tour buses or flying in for the show and who most often load their own gear and sell their own merch on tour. With the recent announcement of the robbing of its tour van, clearly legendary emo band Mineral qualifies as one of these bands. One of the most promising of these up and coming bands of recent years is the brother trio Radkey from Kansas City who have made quite a buzz for its heavy rock and roll sound and wildly energetic performances.

See also: Allout Helter on the Value of Riot Fest to the Local Scene

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Neil Young, Devo And More Will Be Covered at My Favorite Bands Festival

Categories: Music Festivals

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Peter, Paul & Gary
While Colin Bricker, owner of Mighty Fine Productions, is one of the area's best sound engineers, he's also played in the cover band Peter, Paul & Gary since he and some buddies formed the band they were in high school in Greeley. Over the years, some of the band members moved away, he still wanted to an excuse to have the band to play once a year. So that was one of the reasons Bricker and Damon Smith started My Favorite Bands Festival six years ago in downtown Greeley, where musicians pay tribute to their favorite bands. This year's fest will include bands playing the music of the Violent Femmes, ZZ Top, Neil Young, Devo, James Taylor, U2 and Peter, Paul & Gary will play the Gross Pointe Blank soundtrack.

See also: I lived through this: My life in a Hole cover band

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Colorado's You, Me & Apollo Wins National Award for "I Don't Want to Be Loved"

Categories: Tip Sheet

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Photo courtesy You, Me & Apollo via Unsigned Only
You, Me & Apollo
The winners of the 2014 Unsigned Only Music Competition have been announced, and the Fort Collins band You, Me & Apollo won in the Americana category for its song "I Don't Want to Be Loved." The competition received more than eight thousand entries with a finalist group presented to a panel of judges consisting of famous musicians and other music industry types, including John Oates, Rolling Stone writer Anthony DeCurtis and Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC to decide eleven categories. Selected based on the strength of its songwriting, the quality of the vocals, the overall likeability of the song as well as the originality and creativity of the music, "I Don't Want to Be Loved" stood out from the pack in a style of music that has certainly received a boost in popularity with the commercial success of acts like the Lumineers and Mumford & Sons.

See also: A Reminder of Why You Should Go to Local Shows, Courtesy of You, Me and Apollo

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The Nine Types of People You'll See at Riot Fest

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Aaron Thackeray
Riot Fest isn't just for the punks anymore. This festival, coming to Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High this weekend, is bringing an eclectic, loud lineup, and there will surely be a diverse crowd roaming the Byers-themed parking lot. To help you prepare, and maybe even dress, we've rounded up the nine types of people you'll see at Riot Fest. Please note that this is all based purely on our experience at Riot Fest Toronto, our assessment of the lineup and our random whims.

See also: The Five Best Reunited Bands Playing Riot Fest

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Marisa Demarco of Gatas y Vatas on the Importance of Spotlighting Female Musicians

Categories: Interviews

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Vincent Comparetto via the Titwrench Facebook page.
Marisa Demarco performing as Bigawatt at Titwrench 2012.
Now in its fifth and final year, Albuquerque's Gatas y Vatas experimental music festival is preparing for a grand finale this weekend. Founding performer and festival organizer Marisa Demarco says that it was her experience as a performer and audience member at Denver's Titwrench music festival inspired her to create Gatas, which focuses on spotlighting female solo musicians -- performers she sees as being underrepresented or not acknowledged at all.

As a co-founding member of the first edition of Titwrench in 2009, I first met Demarco back when she came to Denver with her performance collective, Milch de la Maquina, to be a part of the multi-day, DIY music and art gathering. Since then, Demarco has been back and forth between Colorado and New Mexico performing at each year's Titwrench, as well as coming through on tour multiple times over the last six years. As she prepares to put the finishing touches on what will be the fifth and final installment of Gatas y Vatas, I caught up with Demarco and we talked about what makes her unique festival tick and why she's deciding to end it all after half a decade of success.

See also: 50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community

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Privé Social Club, Featuring DJs and Dance Music, Opening Soon Near Larimer Square

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photo courtesy of Privé
Last month, Dorchester Social Eatery opened in part of the space that was formerly Lavish. On Friday, October 3, Privé Social Club, a late-night extension of the Dorchester, will celebrate its grand opening on the other side of the space (with the entrance on 15th Street) with a performance by Grammy-nominated EDM vocalist Nadia Ali.

See also: Denver's Ten Best Dance Clubs

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Les Claypool of Primus on the Benefits of Folk Music

Categories: Interviews

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Jay Blakesberg
Les Claypool
Les Claypool and Larry Lalonde will be signing copies of Primus: Over the Electric Grapevine, an oral history of the band, at Tattered Cover on Thursday, September 18, at 7 p.m.. Primus is also slated to perform at Riot Fest on Friday, September 19. Formed in 1984 in the San Francisco Bay Area, Primus combined funk, humor and the avant-garde. It is the rare band that has successfully transcended what might have been something gimmicky with its supreme musicianship and imagination. Its popularity rose with the advent of the alternative rock era, and its 1991 album, Sailing the Seas of Cheese yielded left field hits like "Tommy the Cat," "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" and "Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers." Throughout the '90s Primus enjoyed mainstream popularity with The Brown Album and Tales From The Punch Bowl but by the end of the decade it was still releasing quality music even as it became something of a cult band.

See also: The Five Best Reunited Bands Playing Riot Fest

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