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 biggest weekend of Lily Fangz's promising young career

Categories: Tip Sheet

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Jeremy Pape of Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game
Lily Fangz bounces on the balls of her feet, looking out on the crowd from the stage at Red Rocks. Her long hair flows past her shoulders. She raises the mic. It's time to go.
Fangz, aka Lileana Krenza, is a rapper and hip-hop artist, and she's diving into reggae work. Her "merch" is made up of drawings rather than T-shirts. Her songs are like a breath of fresh air. Her lyrics challenge gender expectations and encourage personal spiritual consciousness.

Krenza has had a fascination with rhyme and spoken word since she was a kid listening to East Coast hip-hop. She started doing slam poetry, which she put to music as producer friends started giving her their beats. Her career really took off when she joined the Souls in Action booking agency -- a local Colorado group -- and when she was initiated into Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game, a creative community.


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Itchy-O signs to Alternative Tentacles and prepares debut full-length and coloring book

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Tom Murphy
Itchy-O Marching Band at Botanical Gardens performing after David Byrne and St. Vincent, July 13, 2014
Itchy-O Marching Band announced its signing to Alternative Tentacles last Thursday, May 8th. It becomes the latest in a roster of creative weirdos on Jello Biafra's long-running imprint. Those not familiar with the band in Denver should make an effort to catch it when you can for the sheer spectacle of thirty-plus costumed figures performing what can only be described as experimental marching band music.

With its full drum section, synths, a guitar, bass and sundry noise-makers with dancers roaming through the crowd, Itchy-O puts on an unforgettable performance. The group's debut full-length is scheduled for a release in the fall. Itchy-O (its members wished to remain unnamed and collective) answered some questions for us recently about its signing to Alternative Tentacles as well as some memorable shows inside and outside of Colorado.

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Skypin' with Jesus, eating hot wings and flying high with Denver party rappers Bald Eagles

Categories: Tip Sheet

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Courtesy of Bald Eagles
"Skypin' with Jesus on the Eagle Hotline.
Flyin' so high, looking for a good time?
Dial 8-1-3, EAGLE 69."

The Bald Eagles Hotline is real. If you dial 813-EAGLE-69 and Arthur Jimenez, a.k.a. Pimp Eagle, and Dominic Esparza, a.k.a. Sun-Ray Eagle Boi happen to be in the same room, they will answer the phone and talk to you. The number actually rings to both rappers' cell phones, but they made a pact not to answer a call unless they are together.

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The Denver Noise Fest 2014 lineup, featuring David Wright and Mark Hosler of Negativland

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Tom Murphy
Mr. Sturgeon at Noise Fest 2010.
Denver Noise Fest just announced the line-up for its 2014 festival, running Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26. The annual festival is one of the largest and most eclectic of its type in the country. Both nights will feature an eclectic array of noise artists from across the country. And the "Harsh Toast" event held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday will comprise the more ambient side of the festival's offerings.

Friday night's headliner is experimental electronic act Not Breathing, the project of David Wright, whose collaborators have included Cluster, Crash Worship and Steve Roach. The headliner for Saturday is Mark Hosler, who some may know better for his work in art-prankster sound artists Negativland. Tickets are $20 for a two day pass and $15 for a single day. For more information, visit www.denvernoisefest.com. The full listing is below.

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Thug Entrancer's Ryan McRyhew on Death After Life and his fondness for The Notorious B.I.G.

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Jonathan Galbreath

Thug Entrancer (due tonight at the Sidewinder Tavern) is the latest musical project of Ryan McRyhew. For years McRyhew has been involved in various experimental Denver bands, including The Devil Made the Dinosaurs, Thundercade and Hideous Men, the project he helms with his wife, Kristi Schaefer. Thug Entrancer is something McRyhew developed most fully while he and Schaefer were living in Chicago for graduate school.

See also: Ryan McRyhew and Kristi Schaefer about the origins of Hideous Men, Riot Grrrl and the role of politics in their songwriting

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Toy Box's Carter Matthews: "I want to express something you can't record and have in song"

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Bronwyn

Carter Matthews, better known these days as Toy Box, is bringing a new voice to the Colorado EDM scene. With a live show complemented by live instrumentation -- namely, a 1911 Gibson mandolin -- Matthews is putting a new slant on dance music. We spoke with the young producer about the multitude of influences he draws from, how he got into producing music when he was in high school, and what he believes makes the most audience-engaging show for a one-man performance.

See also: New local dance music/mixes from PowTron, Paul Basic, Mux Mool and Toy Box

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Meet Denver Disco resident Falcon Punch

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Denver Disco resident DJ Falcon Punch -- or Avery Henderson, as he's known to folks back home in Minnesota -- recently moved to Boulder from Los Angeles. After graduating from Occidental College, where he majored in sociology and minored in music, he took a job at an ad agency in Boulder and immediately tuned into the local music scene. Through a friend, he found the Denver Disco thread, submitted some music and earned a spot in the crew. Combining his fluency in bass, guitar and piano, Falcon Punch is reviving the funk and disco movements by inserting a modern, upbeat tempo into the flavors that founded the best dance-music era of them all.

See also: Friday: Falcon Punch at Denver Disco at Bar Standard, 1/31/14

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Gabriel Otto of Pan Astral: "Our music really spawned from the visual place."

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Drawing from influences from nearly every genre, Pan Astral (due this Saturday, January 4, at Larimer Lounge) is pushing the barriers between sound and visual elements in a live show. Similar to the likes of bands like EOTO, which improvises audio and visuals live in each show, Pan Astral strives to create more of a performance art piece, rather than just a typical concert with banging drops and sloshed beer. We recently spoke with founding member Gabriel Otto about what sorts of elements influence the band, how each member plays a crucial role in developing the music and how film and fine-art play a major role in the sound design.

See also: All upcoming concerts in our constantly updated Denver concert calendar

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A.G. Flux of Black Mask and A.V.I.U.S. of Prime Element talk about their new EP, How Cliché

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Prime Element and Black Mask are two local hip-hop outfits making compelling music, and now members of the two acts are making music together. How Cliché, a new EP featuring A.V.I.U.S. from Prime Element and the multi-talented AG Flux from Black Mask, dropped today. In advance of the release party next Wednesday, December 18, at Cervantes' Other Side, we spoke with the pair about the new record and how they ended up collaborating.

See also: Prime Element is a hip-hop act that's more concerned with being timeless than relevant

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