Mile High Madness: A celebration of hip-hop in the Mile High City

Categories: Last Night's Show

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Kate Levy
Check out our slide show for more photos from the night by Kate Levy.

The Mile High Madness DVD release party proved that Hip Hop is not only alive and well in the Mile High City, but thriving. Presented by Big Joe Thunder and Box State Music, the DVD is Thunder's tenacious effort put Denver's underground art and music on display. The party was hosted at Denver Creative Co-Op Studios on 4th and Lincoln, and it ended up being the perfect venue to showcase the four pillars of hip-hop on a local level. The backpacks, spray cans, hoodies and clouds of smoke were right at home amongst the colorful graffiti, hard floors and booming bass.

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Hunter Dragon brings raw emotion to Glob, while Bongo Fury transports to another world

Categories: Last Night's Show

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Night of Ultraviolence

Bongo Fury • Night of Ultraviolence • Aenka • Hunter Dragon
05.14.10 | Glob

Jason Isaacs is probably better known for his stints in Bio Bitch and Friends Forever, but for this show, he performed as Night of Ultraviolence, a project that's been going on for at least a couple of years. With three banks of keyboards, Isaacs created a swarm of noise through which he executed warped yet driving melodies reminiscent of 8-bit video games. At the end, the crowd demanded one more song, so he treated us to a cover of "No Quarter" by Led Zeppelin played entirely with synths and keyboards -- surprisingly faithful but not reverent.

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Akron/Family at Quixote's: Turn Knobs to Freedom

Categories: Last Night's Show

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Akron/Family. Photos by Kiernan Maletsky

Akron/Family • Bad Weather California • Widowers • Candy Claws
05.15.10 | Quixote's True Blue

Obsessive record collectors, potentially-autistic sonic geeks, students of the craft, this one's for you. It was 1:30 in the morning and we still had a half hour to go. Akron/Family were well into its second hour of a night that started as long-hair harmony and got weird from there. At one point toward the end of a song that lasted half an hour, guitarist Seth Olinsky was making nails-on-a-chalkboard sounds with feedback from his microphone.

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The Westword Music Showcase pre-party: preparing for drunken music-loving with some drunken music-loving

Categories: Music Showcase

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Aaron Thackeray
​To get ready for the orgy of musical drunkenness that is the Westword Music Showcase (June 19), we staged a pre-orgy of musical drunkenness at City Hall, with a performance by Big Gigantic. See more photos by Aaron Thackeray at westword.com/slideshow.

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City Hall

Lunar Fire, Gypsy Nomads rock the mountains at Beltania

Categories: Last Night's Show

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A Flickr photo.
Beltania 2010
05.06.2010-05.09.2010|Florence

First things first: Beltania is primarily a festival for people practicing Earth-centered religions -- paganism, Wicca, Native American religions, or even a very steward-centered (and non-exclusive, non-judgmental) form of Christianity. The four-day festival in the mountains included rituals for men and women, a sweat lodge, workshops on everything from using herbs in ritual to mead-making, children's workshops, a full Maypole processional, ritual and dance, and much more. But the highlights for me were the musical performances, including the all-night drumming and dancing around a fire.

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Summit Music Hall opens, and other drunken nonsense from around the weekend

Categories: Last Night's Show

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Aaron Thackeray
​The Epilogues and Della helped welcome the Summit Music Hall (1902 Blake Street) to the scene on Saturday -- just one of the things our nightlife photogs captured over the weekend. See the fruits of their labor on the slideshow page.

KVDU releases compilation, Mike Marchant releases astral distortion

Categories: Last Night's Show

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Old Radio. Photos by Kiernan Maletsky

Mike Marchant • Blue Million Miles • Old Radio
05.7.10 | Hi-Dive

It's 2010, where we can start show reviews with social media: Approximately ten hours before Friday's show at which his album was to be released, Mike Marchant posted the following on his facebook page : "just got a bunch of cd's in the mail! double cd release at the hi-dive tonight...."

That, friends, is a hell of a buzzer-beater of a delivery on an already much-delayed release from one of Denver's most-prolific and pickiest musicians. The wait was worth it. Indulgent Space Folk Vol. 2 is intricate and densely layered yet still deeply personal. Marchant went more rock and roll for the show, playing third behind fellow noisemakers Old Radio and Blue Million Miles

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Denver Noise Fest lives up to its name at Old Curtis Street

Categories: Last Night's Show

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Raven Chacon makes his talkbox sing.

Denver Noise Fest
04.30.10-05.01.10 | Old Curtis St.

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Mexico's Raven Chacon performed with the expected harsh noise soundscaping at first -- a combination of pummeling and shrill sounds textured like a nearly intangible sculpture that flooded the room and made the walls and the floor vibrate. But a shift to bringing in -- and completely transforming beyond recognition -- acoustic guitar sounds and vocals set his performance apart from most circuit bender terrorists.

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DMC Denver 2010 Regional: DJ Notch tops the competition

Categories: Last Night's Show

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Aaron Thackeray

DMC Regional Turntable Battle
05.01.10 | The Walnut Room

How do you know there's been a four year gap since the last Disco Mixing Club (DMC) battle? When the valiant effort of a kid from Highlands Ranch is completely eclipsed by the DJ Notch, who breezed through his set with technical ease, the clear champion from the beginning.

While Notch was great and certainly worthy of winning, the reason he was the clear front runner really had just as much to do with the fact that most everyone he was up against, with the exception of a choice few (Skip Ripkin, among others), either had no true concept of what it takes to win a DJ battle of this caliber or simply didn't have the skill to make it an actual battle.

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Paean album release at the hi-dive: Egg shakers and dirty dancing

Categories: Last Night's Show

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Bad Weather California. Photos by Kiernan Maletsky
Paean • Bad Weather California • Mehko & Ocean Birds

04.31.10 | hi-dive

Paean spent eighteen months working on its debut full-length, Songs For Us To Sing. Three of the band's six members are siblings, and the album was recorded in a studio in their parent's garage. So there was no pay-by-the-hour recording sessions, just twelve songs that are finally fine-tuned enough to send into the world.

To help celebrate the release, Paean got friends Mehko & Ocean Birds to play before them and Bad Weather California to play after. An impressive lineup under any circumstances, and this was hardly that: In addition to Paean's CD release, the show also marked Mehko & Ocean Birds last before a hiatus (or "sleepless hibernation" according to the myspace).

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