Carpenter John Hollenbach Taught Himself How to Make Beautiful Guitars

Categories: DIY, Denver

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Oakland L. Childers
Louisville carpenter John Hollenbach started building custom guitars during the sleepless nights that followed the birth of his twin sons nine years ago.
Learning to play guitar came late in life for John Hollenbach. The Louisville carpenter wasn't a stranger to the instrument but had trouble finding the time to really focus on music. "I always had a guitar," he says. "There's always been one around me but I never really took it seriously until the kids were born."

Nine years ago Hollenbach and his wife, Katie, got a big surprise when they found out they were having twins. When they were born, Hollenbach found the inevitable disruption to his sleep schedule to be both a blessing and a curse. "I was awake in the middle of the night with nothing to do," he says. "I started reading a lot and playing guitar."

See also: Master Luthier Scott Baxendale Commissioned to Restore Elvis Presley's Guitars at Graceland

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Phillip Phillips, Cut Copy, Murs shows announced

Categories: Mile Highlights

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Aaron Thackeray
Phillip Phillips stops at the Paramount Theatre on Wednesday, October 1 as part of his North American tour that kicks off next month. Reserved tickets ($39.50-$57.50) go on sale on Friday, August 29 at 10 a.m.

Cut Copy comes to the area for a pair of shows: Wednesday October 29 at the Ogden Theatre ($30 tickets are on sale now) and Tuesday, October 28 at the Boulder Theater ($30.75 tickets are on sale now).

Murs and Mayday team for two co-headlining shows: Tuesday, September 30 at the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs and Wednesday, October 1 at the Summit Music Hall. Tickets for both shows go sale on Friday, August 29 at 10 a.m.

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OutKast - Fiddler's Green - August 22, 2014

Categories: Last Night

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Robert Castro of Ultra5280
There was a moment on Friday night when, in the general vicinity of an IKEA, all six feet, three inches of Waka Flocka was jumping into a crowd of teenagers, waving a Flosstradamus flag. Flosstradamus, meanwhile was sending a cacophony of drums and drum-like electronics and rapid-fire laser noises and blown-out saxophone out onto a crowd of some 15,000 more teenagers who were rubbing against each other with their eyes rolled back in their heads.

But the night didn't belong to Flosstradamus or Waka Flocka. It didn't belong to Griz, who followed them, or Diplo, who orchestrated this whole thing. It belonged to two dudes from Atlanta who started making music long before all those kids out on the lawn at Fiddler's Green were born.

See also: The Slobbering Guide to OutKast's Festival Tour

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MC Frontalot Challenges You to Question the Authority of Bedtime

Categories: Interviews

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Deborah Lopez
MC Frontalot
When MC Frontalot (born Damien Hess) coined the term "nerdcore," which inspired his 2000 single "Nerdcore Hiphop," he wasn't part of a movement. But around then, when artists like YTCracker and MC Hawking became more visible alongside Frontalot and MC Chris, a phenomenon emerged, inspiring two 2008 documentaries: Nerdcore Rising and Nerdcore For Life. The label has come to describe a certain kind of rapping, superficially about nerdy pursuits but containing salient (if surreal) social and political commentary.

As one of the pioneers of a movement, Frontalot (due tonight, August 25th, at Larimer Lounge) hasn't rested on his laurels, and his albums have become increasingly collaborative affairs. Frontalot's new album, Question Bedtime, available tomorrow, pushes the collaborative element even further.

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The Seven Best Concerts in Denver This Week

Categories: Best Concerts

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Future Islands plays the Gothic on Wednesday.
Future Islands, touring on the strength of an album that has demonstrated to a much broader audience what the DIY crowd has known all along (namely that Future Islands are awesome), will be in town on Wednesday. There are a few other good ones, including MC Frontalot at Larimer Lounge and Crab Lab at Rhinoceropolis. The rest of our picks for the week follow.

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The Strange, Stupid History of Pop Music Plagiarism

Categories: Commentary

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Flickr user Heinrich Klaffs
Yeah, even this guy.
Plagiarism in music is a weird concoction of money, pride and misinterpretation. We all know that nobody has written an original rock song since 1953, and the entire music industry is founded on the principle of exchanging blurry photocopies of other people's work. But that certainly doesn't stop artists from realizing a cash opportunity when they see it. Case in point: Tame Impala, an Australian psych band currently fielding accusations that their song "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" rips off Argentinian singer Pablo Ruiz's "Océano," which we can almost be sure is a song that Tame Impala have never, ever heard. It doesn't matter, money talks, and the band will inevitably get sued and be tied up in courts for years to come.

So we decided to look back on some of the more interesting cases of music plagiarism. Who among our favorite artists decided to ingloriously steal (or take inspiration from, depends on your definition,) from others? Can we learn anything, or is this just a never-ending cat fight of litigation and tears? The answer is more obvious than you'd expect.

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Remember Black Kids? They're Amazing Now.

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Black Kids at Larimer Lounge
When Black Kids seemed to disappear from the popular music landscape in the .mp3-blog heydey of 2009, it looked like another example of too much hype, too soon. If the pressure of impossible expectations is weighing on the band's members still, it sure wasn't present at Larimer Lounge, because everyone on stage seemed so engaged and lively. It was like we were getting to see a band on its way up instead of one boosted up by strangers. By having a whole heap of fun on stage, Black Kids made the show fun for the rest of us.

See also: In Defense of Liking Music for No Good Reason

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The Denver Public Library Is Now One of the Best Places to Find Local Music

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Flickr/Rob!
Denver's new home for local music
Back in December of 2013, the Denver Public Library put out a call to local musicians asking for song and album submissions to be considered for a future database that could be accessed by DPL card holders. Just like other media available for free through the system, once in place, users would get a chance to listen to music from artists all over Colorado. A few weeks ago, the Volume Denver project went live and in its first run is offering 38 EPs and full-length records from local musicians, all of which are available to the public for free streaming and download.

See also: The Library's New Volume Denver Project Will Help People Discover Local Music

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The Eleven Best Concerts in Denver This Weekend

Categories: Best Concerts

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From the "A Christmas Fucking Miracle" video.
Run the Jewels plays at the Mad Decent Block Party today.
It's a weekend of superlatives in Denver: The biggest reunion of the year (OutKast), the biggest drum set on the planet (Terry Bozzio), the king of Tex-Mex Guitar (Joe King Carrasco)...All great shows. There are more, including the annual Reggae on the Rocks and NedFest for the people who miss the old Boulder. The rest of our picks follow.

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Mile High Soul Club Will Play the 2014 Westword Dish

Categories: This Just In

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Focus 4 Design
Our annual celebration of the Denver dining scene, Dish, will be Sunday, September 7 in Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Over 40 area restaurants will bring samples, and drink samples are included with the price of the ticket as well.

We're telling you about all this food and drink on this here music blog because of today's development, which is that Mile High Soul Club will play this year.

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