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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We talked to the cops at the Gathering of the Juggalos

Categories: Music Festivals

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Nate "Igor" Smith
What's different about this year's Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, Ohio? Well, the cops for one thing.

During last year's coverage of the event, set in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, we encountered minimal security. The gatekeepers and patrol staff, which were seemingly just exceptionally large juggalos in "SECURITY" shirts, peered into backpacks to eliminate glass bottles and fireworks. Aside from that, they pretty much did nothing except hang out and then - only after someone died of a drug overdose -- reactively shut down the Gathering's infamous drug bridge.

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Win tickets to RockyGrass by telling us your Planet Bluegrass memories

Categories: Contests

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Anthony Camera
Planet Bluegrass president Craig Ferguson (left) with spokesman Brian Eyster outside Planet Bluegrass last week.
This week's cover story is about how Lyons developed a music community and how that community has been impacted by the flooding last fall.

Much of the story focuses on Planet Bluegrass, an organization that three music festivals, including two at its ranch in Lyons. This weekend, it will be open for RockyGrass, its first festival since the flood caused $1.3 million worth of damage nine months ago.

See also: Nine months after Colorado's worst flood, the musicians of Lyons are ready for a comeback

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Deep Club's secret parties bring adventure (and excellent sound) to Denver's electronic scene

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Church Fire

Going to a Deep Club event is a bit of an adventure. The label and host of "DIY Parties" hides the addresses of its shows until you RSVP. They're always at a place well off the beaten path, and you never find out the exact location until the day of the show. The sound system is always pretty solid and capable of handling the robust demands of the kind of electronic music, often variations of modern techno, it usually hosts.

We went to the organization's most recent party, featuring Church Fire and several other Denver artists.


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Nine months after Colorado's worst flood, the musicians of Lyons are ready for a comeback

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Anthony Camera
Gary McCrumb stands outside the remains of a home in Lyons' confluence neighborhood, where he lived.
Thick sheets of rain started falling in Lyons on the night of September 11, 2013. Most people didn't think much of it until a few hours in, when sirens wailed through the deluge and a flat voice came over the town's public-address system: Floodwater warning. Move to higher ground immediately.

The sirens interrupted guitarist Gary McCrumb's first date with a fiddle player named Jean Ballhorn; the two were playing songs in the kitchen of his 110-year-old house. McCrumb lived in the heavily wooded neighborhood at the confluence of St. Vrain Creek's north and south branches, and he went outside to investigate. He found six inches of water rushing through the alley and waded one block farther to the creek, which was already bulging at its banks. The scene looked surreal, like something out of a cartoon. "We need to get the hell out of here," he told Ballhorn.

See also: Telluride Bluegrass Festival's longtime MC reflects on Colorado's most storied music fest

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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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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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