Giddyup Kitty is a Bluegrass Band With Punk and Pop Pedigree

Categories: Playlist

giddyupkitty.png
Courtesy of Gittyup Kitty
Marni Pickens wasn't always the easy-going bluegrass picker she is today. "I'm a rocker chick," she says. "Even though I grew up in Colorado, I never listened to much country or bluegrass at all."

After moving from Colorado to New York City at eighteen years old, Pickens started playing bass in punk bands. In the twenty years she spent in the city before she moved back home, she played in a slew of projects and alongside legends like Joey Ramone and Ronnie Spector. It wasn't until she joined Giddyup Kitty that she began to really appreciate bluegrass.

More »

Songwriter Kate Brady's Brush With Internet Fame Left Her a Music Industry Skeptic

Categories: Playlist

KDSC_9938-2_opt.jpg
Kelsey Huffer of Poppies and Paisley Photography
Music has always come naturally to Kate Brady. "When I was little, teachers always had to tell me to stop singing in class," she says. "I mean, I never even noticed I was doing it." When she was a senior at Steamboat Springs High School, a classmate asked her to write something for her graduating class.

"It started off really morbid," Brady says of the song. But she eventually gave the lyrics an upbeat twist, and the resulting track, called "Sailing Ships," reached an audience much bigger than her school. In fact, it was featured on the front page of Reddit and then the Huffington Post. Soon after, talent agencies started calling. But Brady, now entering her junior year at the University of Colorado, is skeptical of the music establishment.

More »

Ancient Elk Is One of Denver's Most Unpredictable Bands

Categories: Playlist

ancient-elk-photo.jpg
Tom Murphy
Founded by Anna Smith, Megan Crooks, Cody Coffey and Derrick Bozich in the summer of 2013, Ancient Elk is actually only a little over a year old. Smith and Crooks had played together before in Birds of a Feather, a kind of avant-garde band with roots in bluegrass, folk and jazz. That mixture proved fruitful when the two were developing ideas for Ancient Elk, which will play this weekend at Denver Psych Fest, but the band's sound really crystallized when Smith and Bozich started playing Velvet Underground songs together. Smith, in particular, has been a fan of the influential group since she was a child growing up in a one-room cabin in Evergreen.

See also: The Potential of Dryer Plug Studios as a Music Venue

More »

Big J. Beats Is an Unusual DJ: "I Wanted to Take the Computer Off the Stage"

Categories: Playlist

bigjbeats_opt.jpg
Courtesy of Big J. Beats
The album art for Computer J. Fox appears to be straight out of the '80s. On it, a Patrick Nagel-style woman crouches over a soft-pink desktop computer, its clunky screen and keyboard juxtaposed with her sleek frame and Jem and the Holograms blue hair. A listen to the record reveals a continuation of the throwback theme, from synthesizer melodies to excerpts from Revenge of the Nerds and a decades-old clip of David Letterman broaching the topic of computer technology.

So, who is Computer J. Fox, exactly? "Originally, I toyed with the idea of changing my name to Computer J. Fox," says producer Justin Alvarado, who performs and records as Big J. Beats. "I had about half of the album produced, and I was playing it for people as Computer J. Fox." But explaining the album as a new persona or alter ego became tedious, so he eventually scrapped the idea and released the record earlier this summer under the Big J. Beats moniker, which he's used since before he moved from Pueblo to Denver in 2008.

More »

How Denver blues royalty the Hornbuckles overcame heroin addiction and estrangement

Categories: Playlist

hornbuckle-live-pic_opt.jpg
Courtesy of Hornbuckle
Michael Hornbuckle (left) has recently reconciled with his brother Brian
Michael Hornbuckle was twelve years old the first time he shared the stage with his father, legendary Denver bluesman Bobby Hornbuckle, and at thirteen he was playing weekends with his dad. While he was getting an education on stage, he was also schooling himself in blues guitar by listening to the likes of Luther Allison, Johnny Winter, Robert Johnson, Bukka White and three Kings: B.B., Albert and Freddie.

But around the time the younger Hornbuckle was seventeen, he says, he developed a nasty heroin addiction. "From the start, I was always on hiatus, going to fucking rehab or jail, or overdose after overdose," he says. "I was always in trouble with the law."

More »

How DJ Fat Trak plans to finish the work he started with the late Marcus Arrilius

Categories: Playlist

287795_438868069479057_649311295_o.jpg
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."


More »

Tommy Metz has developed auto-mastering software to go with his new album

Categories: Playlist

tommy-metz-album.jpg
Tom Murphy
Tommy Metz works as a web developer and is unassuming and friendly. He's also one of Denver's more prolific musicians. His voice is unexpectedly powerful and brightly melodic, and it floats over his finely crafted beats. Lately, Metz has separated his work, releasing his darker, more experimental pieces under the Iuengliss moniker and issuing his more uplifting, pop-oriented material under his given name. The latest offering from Tommy Metz is Fruitions, a refreshingly coherent set of pop electronica.

More »

Ben Donehower concieved his band after a day spent digging a pig-roasting hole

Categories: Playlist

a0729036657_10_opt.jpg
Part of the cover for Traffic Cat Stick.
In his tongue-in-cheek rock-philosophy book, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock 'n' Roll Group, Chain and the Gang's Ian Svenonius argues that band names must appear mystically in a musician's dream or revelation, and he offers such strategies as eating mold and running from the police until exhausted for helping to create the right mental state for that to take place. Svenonius's suggestions unexpectedly worked for Ben Donehower, who stayed up all night digging a hole in the ground in preparation for a Kalua-style pig roast that took place during a Boulder house show last summer. When Donehower finally tried to sleep, his new band name revealed itself to him. "All of a sudden, what I attribute to the soul of this pig wakes me up, and Original Sin, the band name -- and the whole concept for the band -- comes to my mind, all in about two seconds," he says. "I took it as an omen that this is what I need to do, and I woke up fully energized."

More »

Max Winne of the Maykit: "I've always preferred reading to actual music."

Categories: Playlist

02TheMayKit_TomMurphy_June9_2014_opt.jpg
Tom Murphy
Those who know Max Winne from his current folk project the Maykit might be surprised to learn about his first band. As a teenager, Winne played in the hardcore band Call to Arms with Jeremy and Adam Fisher (the latter was a founding member of Fear Before). But as he grew out of his teens, he became more interested in the literary possibilities offered by folk.

"To be perfectly honest, I prefer lyrics to actual song structure," says Winne. "Obviously, if it's a bad-sounding song, the lyrics aren't going to matter. But I've always preferred reading to actual music.


More »

Dear Rabbit's Rence Liam: "If you can play two or three notes, that may be all a song needs."

DearRabbit_RenceLiamWeb.jpg
Rence Liam
Dear Rabbit
Tonight, June 17, Dear Rabbit is releasing its latest record, In a Desert Without the Book at the Hi-Dive. The album features a collection of existential explorations cast in gypsy folk pop songs. Dear Rabbit delivers them with a combination of passion and delicacy of feeling. The project is often just singer/multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Rence Liam, but for this show he will be joined by Grant Sabin and Alex Koshack of Briffaut as well as David Strackany of Paleo. Following the Denver appearance, Liam will kick off a nine week tour across the country, including a set at Missoula, Montana's Total Fest, an event that has hosted many Colorado-based bands since its 2001 inception.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...