The eleven must-see sets at this weekend's Underground Music Showcase

Categories: Music Festivals

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From the Aww Shucks tape cover
High Plains Honky plays Sunday night at Gary Lee's.
The Underground Music Showcase is underway. Last night's kickoff of the 400+ band festival featured standout sets from the likes of Jux County and Homebody. But there's plenty more to see and here. We've picked out eleven of the sets we're most excited about.

See also: Denver musicians talk about the local bands that inspire them

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Great White on Black Flag and writing a song about Denver's most famous strip club

Categories: Interviews

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Shelley Ann Wilson
Great White
Great White is due to play at the Buffalo Rose this Saturday, July 26th. The veteran blues rock band got its start in 1977 during the early days of the Los Angeles Hard Rock scene, when Van Halen was in its ascendancy and the glam metal with which it later became associated had yet to become a going concern. Its 1982 debut EP, Out of the Night quickly caught on in the local radio market and its audience increased dramatically and quickly. Throughout the rest of the '80s, the band had a handful of radio hits starting with its breakthrough 1987 album Once Bitten... with the singles "Rock Me" and "Save Your Love."

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Jared Gomes of Hed PE jumped off stage and punched a fan at the Gathering

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Publicity Photo
Gomes, on the far right, in this Hed PE publicity photo.
While the Gathering of the Juggalos is generally known as a peaceful event filled with unity and togetherness, there are still occasional scuffles. One such incident took the form of a melee early Thursday morning when Hed PE rapper/singer Jared Gomes launched himself into the crowd to confront a rambunctious heckler.

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The Gathering of the Juggalos' Night Court helps wicked clowns bury the hatchet (NSFW)

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Nate "Igor" Smith
A young juggalo faces punishment for his crimes.
Those in the outside world tend to view the Gathering of the Juggalos as a lawless festival of debauchery, with apparently violent clowns -- "gang members," even, if you ask the U.S. government -- running rampant and chaos ruling the day.

In actuality, this notion is far from the truth. Juggalos in attendance not only consistently treat one another with respect, but even have an institutionalized arbiter of disputes for when conflict does arise.

Have an issue with a fellow juggalo? Take them to Juggalo Night Court.

See also: We talked to the cops at the Gathering of the Juggalos

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In defense of Sublime

Categories: Justify My Love

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I thought I would have to wait until the 20th anniversary of Sublime's 1996 self-titled mainstream breakout album to write about how fundamentally misunderstood and judged Sublime is. I have so many feelings, too many probably, about a band whose legacy is beaten up almost as much as Insane Clown Posse's (who are possibly the most DIY music-making motherfuckers on the planet, by the way) by people who tend to lean toward the appearance-based criticism that often bashes music embraced by the working class.

But then The A.V. Club published Jonah Ray's scathing take down of "What I Got" as part of its HateSong series, and I was handed my Sublime platform.

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What to see at UMS, according to Enrique Jimenez of Altas

Adam Rojo
Enrique Jimenez
Enrique Jimenez is a man about town -- if you've been to more than a handful of local shows over the last several years, chances are you've crossed paths with him. His own band Altas (formerly Panal S.A. de C.V.) is an experimental instrumental rock band par excellence and can be caught at Eslinger Gallery tonight, July 25th, at 10 p.m. and at Mutiny Information Cafe on Saturday, July 26 at 6:30 p.m.. Because of his expertise (born of his natural curiosity about the local music scene), we caught up with the affable guitarist about his own top picks for the UMS this weekend. He provided a rather extensive list, but we asked him about ten of his favorites as a kind of shortened user guide for anyone attending the festival.

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I made friends with everyone at the Jason Isbell show

Categories: Last Night

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Ashley Rogers
Jason Isbell shared the billing with Hard Working Americans at the Ogden last night. Isbell took the stage promptly at 8 p.m., and that seemed to throw almost everyone for a loop. At about 8:10, with the club only at three-quarters capacity, Isbell was already into his second song, "Go It Alone," off of 2011's Here We Rest. Worried that I'd missed my favorite song, I spotted a friendly cowboy (complete with a ten-gallon hat) at the bar and asked him if Isbell had opened with "Alabama Pines."

"No, 'Stockholm,'" he said. I breathed a sigh of relief and he clapped me on the back. "Don't worry, you're safe!"

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Tim Gerak of Mammoth Cave Studios is debuting a line of hand-made audio gear

Categories: Tip Sheet

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Courtesy of Mammoth Cave Audio
Denver's Tim Gerak is in love with sound. So much so that, on Monday, July 28 , he will launch his own line of boutique audio gear under the name Mammoth Cave Audio.

This isn't Gerak's first foray into sound, though. While growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, he started making basic four-track recordings in his basement. Then, after several years of honing his recording techniques (as well as his musical chops) Gerak joined the Akron-based post-rock outfit, Six Parts Seven, and began recording the band's albums.


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The sixteen stupidest hats worn by musicians

Categories: Nitpick Six

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Flickr/Joel Dinda
Straw hat left off this list because obviously it sucks. You don't need my help with that.
Recently, my enemies have been accusing me of having a problem with hats. Maybe it's because I am (predictably) a bald, pale music critic, and wearing a hat makes me look like a Nosferatu vampire-creature. But personally, I think someone's choice of headwear can tell a lot about a person -- usually how they suck.

As I am fully aware that most people are not as gifted as I am when it comes to deciphering the inner-character of a human being based solely upon their appearance, I've created an exceptionally important guide. When I die, I will be remembered for my gift to the world: a list of stupid hats musicians wear and what they mean.

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Why Jux County's reunion is the best show at UMS tonight

Categories: Interviews

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Jux County
Jux County is playing a rare show this Thursday, July 24th, at 9 p.m. at the Eslinger Gallery for the UMS. Since forming in December 1986, Jux County has become a fixture in the local music scene. Within the first few years of the band's existence it had released its debut, the Word of Bovek cassette, and hard garnered a bit of a following for its wiry, funk and punk and country sound. In 1990, the band opened for Nirvana at The Garage/23 Parish on that group's tour for the album Bleach, it was featured on Channel 12's Teletunes program and it has the distinction of having been the first band to ever play Lion's Lair in 1991.

"They had a cabaret license, but they never used it and they figured out they could have shows," recalls guitarist and singer Andy Monley. "Some other bands said they played there before us but I don't really know."

See also: Planes Mistaken for Stars is back

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