The 10 best punk and DIY shows in Denver this March
Sat | Propagandhi at Summit Music Hall | 3/8/14
In an era where many punk bands form and release their first album less than a year after starting, Propagandhi's development seems remarkably long. Formed in 1986, playing its first live shows in 1989, the band released its early demos a years after that and its first full-length, the now classic How To Clean Everything in 1993 on Fat Wreck Chords. Propagandhi spent all that time honing its irreverent humor and songwriting skills, and became the sort of cult band with a widespread underground popularity. It's pointedly political but always with a sense of humor and humanity and ultra catchy songs to carry the message. While in later years Propagandhi took on a more metallic edge in its guitar sounds and sonic quality, it has never lost its gift for writing songs that are fun but which also challenge conventional thinking.
Guantanamo Baywatch @ Rhinceropolis | Saturday, 3/8/14
Portland, Oregon's Guantanamo Baywatch formed in early 2009 and mulched the aesthetics of early surf rock with punk and the early psychobilly of artists like Hasil Adkins and The Cramps in threading together its core sound. The result is music that sounds like it could be from the '60s but is just ineffably weirder than most of that stuff. Stylistically, this group's music has more in common with modern outfits like Shannon & The Clams and Hunx & His Punx than with something from fifty years ago.
American Culture @ Rhinoceropolis | Saturday, 3/15/14
Chris Adolf made a name for himself in his home town of Grand Junction for his diverse musical skills and his heartfelt, unabashedly earnest songwriting. Whether as a member of his long-running indie pop group Love Letter Band or the more noisy V-Tech Orchid, Adolf made an impression on people as someone who was doing it for real and not as a ploy for popularity. When he established the DIY venue The Pop-Up House, Grand Junction became an unlikely stopping place for touring bands on the underground circuit of the early 21st century. When Adolf moved to Denver he started performing solo as Bad Weather California and commanded rooms full of people with just his emotionally-charged vocals and an acoustic guitar. That project evolved over time into a full band that became one of the most beloved acts in the Denver underground before calling it quits in the summer of 2013. Immediately following the demise of BWC, Adolf and most of the then members of the band formed American Culture, which has released a couple of tapes of American New Wave-esque rock. This work is some of Adolf's finest songwriting to date.
Formed in 1995, The Ataris from Anderson, Indiana started off as kind of a bedroom recording project. In 1996, the band got a demo to one of the members of The Vandals, who contacted singer/guitarist Kristopher Roe about putting out an album on Kung Fu Records. The resultant release, 1997's Anywhere but Here was fairly standard, if decent, pop punk fare. Roe moved to California and put together an actual band. He wrote and recorded the follow-up EP, 1998's Look Forward to Failure, which included one of the group's most popular songs, "San Dimas High School Football Rules." The Ataris entered more into the musical mainstream with the release of its 2003 album, So Long, Astoria and after some more years being inactive than active of late, the band's current tour features a performance of that album in its entirety.