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

Categories: Playlist

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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.

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

Categories: Playlist

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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."

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

Categories: Playlist

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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.


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

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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.

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96 of the best songs by Denver bands you might hear at the Westword Music Showcase

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There are more Denver bands than you could credibly hope to get to know right away. It's a good problem to have -- this city is rich with talent and creativity. Over 140 of the best bands in town will play at next Saturday's Westword Music Showcase in the Golden Triangle. We've tracked down 96 songs by bands you might hear at the festival and gathered them in a playlist below.

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Culture Shock's Geoff Diederich on straight-edge and why Denver can be boring

Categories: Playlist

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Culture Shock's demo cover.
Hardcore bands are often the sum of their members' influences. Not so with Culture Shock: The band's music, lyrics and imagery come almost exclusively from the mind of frontman and founder Geoff Diederich. "The whole point of this band was to try and sound like SSD [Society System Decontrol] if they had made a record between Kids Will Have Their Say and Get It Away," says Diederich. "When you listen to those songs, they're angry and desperate and weird, and oftentimes they don't even make sense."

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Denver rapper/DJ/midwife wants to use twerking to raise awareness about fracking

Categories: Playlist

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From the "Hybrid Lex" music video.
Denver's DJ Cavem Moetevation spends plenty of time focusing on the "green" stuff. But his green stuff is not money or weed. Instead, his focus is on kale and being eco-friendly. Cavem -- a former Westword MasterMind award winner -- is a husband and father, a teacher, a rapper, a DJ, a midwife, and an innovator. While other hustlers are out there chasing record deals, shiny cars and monster sound systems, he's busy chasing schools, hoping they will adopt his curriculum, which uses hip-hop to teach students. He's got a new video out in support of his latest project, Eco-Twerk.

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Pictureplane on his new music and the development of Denver since he moved to NY

Categories: Playlist

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Focus 4 Design
Denver is growing so fast that two years here can feel more like ten. So Travis Egedy -- better known as Pictureplane -- has missed plenty since he packed up and moved to New York in 2012. Still, he's practically a native. He spent the better part of a decade here, going to art school, making music, and helping to put local all-ages show space Rhinoceropolis on the global DIY map.

Egedy was back last week, playing a pair of shows in Boulder and at the 1up Colfax for the Red Bull Sound Select Series. He was also in town to meet with old friends, including Tim Holland (aka Sole). The two recently collaborated on "The Helen Keller of Dead Cops," from Pictureplane's just-released The Alien Body Mixtape, which is available as a download for $5 on Bandcamp. "Talk about an inspiring dude," says Egedy of Holland. "It would be cool if he was mayor, because he's such an anarchist."

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FL's new album is about more than weed: "I wanted to show the best qualities of the city"

Categories: Playlist

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Eric Gruneisen
Like many who call Denver home, Jayce "FL" Cabell of hip-hop collective the Foodchain enjoys weed. But the reason his most recent album, Young Amsterdam, includes plenty of marijuana imagery and was released on 4/20 has more to do with the interest in Colorado's weed culture than it does with his own enthusiasm.

"I used the idea of 4/20," he says. "Amsterdam is a hub for marijuana around the world, and I was just saying we're next up when it comes to this type of thing. Weed culture was a constant in Colorado for a long time before it was legal. It is the epitome of the culture itself."


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Denver rapper Plat Maravich: "In 2014, you can't be worried about labels."

Categories: Playlist

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Courtesy of Plat Maravich
In his song "CTW (Change the World)," from the just-released Force of Nature Vol. 1, local rapper Plat Maravich questions the stereotypical rapping paradigm. "Got money, got girls, but can you change the world?" he raps.

It's a lofty goal for any artist, but one that Maravich hopes to work toward with positivity, self-confidence and honesty. "The best thing you can do is be the kind of person who's proud of what he's doing day in and day out," he says. "Do something to make the world a better place for yourself and those around you."

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