Ray LaMontagne always knew there was music in the back pocket of his hand-me-down genes. Still, because his musician father was an abusive man who abandoned his family, he thumbed his nose at fate for as long as humanly possible. Choosing instead to toil in a shoe factory following high school graduation, LaMontagne was awakened to his sacred destiny by a melodic alarm clock--Stephen Stills' drug smuggling cut â€œTreetop Flyerâ€. Shunning shoes and wedging his soon-to-be wet feet in the door of the music industry instantly became a substantial priority. LaMontagne's genes did not let him down.
Although I've witnessed more than one 4/20 rally since, the first time I'd ever seen anyone openly and defiantly smoke pot in public was at Lollapalooza. Members of Cypress Hill were the perpetrators of the civil disobedience in question. Fiddler's Green security guards looked the other way, probably because greenbacks put their bosses in the black. Simple as that. Mile High Music Festival staff will likely follow similar protocol (â€œpotocolâ€?) this weekend when the hip hop outfit blazes into Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Although a few established acts have dabbled in the free download gameâ€”Radiohead and NIN are obvious examplesâ€”Pretty Lights' Derek Vincent Smith built his entire career that way--from the ground up. The Fort Collins-based producer is practically in a league of his own. Name one other artist who hasn't made a single penny on recorded music and is now capable of packing Red Rocks--a feat Smith is reprising this Saturday. It is a trajectory that many will inevitably imitate. Girl Talk might his only near-peer--business model-wise--but unless Crickets Chirping is the alias of a band not yet on my radar, the answer is clear.
The original Nero wasn't exactly a hero. Although he may have been popular with the people, some historians believe the Roman emperor ordered his own mother murdered at one point. On the bright side, he apparently founded a festival--somewhat vainly called Neronia--featuring poetry, games and theater. The UK dubstep duo who commandeered his moniker several millennia later are appropriately slated to murder this Saturday's Love Festival in Colorado Springs.
If the festival's attendance figures are correct, The Post's Underground Music Showcase is indeed on pace to become Denver's version of South by Southwest--an event it eagerly compares itself to. SXSW, gearing up for its twenty-fifth year, pulls approximately 15,000 heads to Austin, Texas. The UMS, which just closed the books on its first full decade, is already approaching 5,000. No small feat at all. The scene on South Broadway yesterdayâ€”especially last night--definitely reminded me a little of SXSW's main artery in Austin--Sixth Street.
Ladies nights have long been staples of nightclubs and bars. Get a hen party started and the men will follow. Getting said hen party started in the first place is the hard part. Martinis and manicures, a promotion NY-based Beauty Bar claims to have originated, works like a charm, though. Where else can a girl get her nails done while simultaneously getting hammered? Not many salons have liquor licenses, after all. Stiff cocktails and hand maintenance aren't the only things Denver's franchise has going for it either. Thursday's Kitty Kat Social is hosted by recent Westword â€œBest Non-Traditional DJâ€ award winner Ginger Perry.
Aurally, Boulder-based Savoy could pass for an adept electro DJ deftly blending others' cuts together. The truth? Savoy is erecting all their bangers from scratchâ€”barring a few borrowed samplesâ€”and discharging them live via three-piece PA. It's a savvy formula that's caught on like the brush fire that destroyed a portion of my southeast plains hometown. Destruction is definitely an ingredient in Savoy's live recipe, where decimating decibels keep attendees in a perpetually perspiring frenzy.
Like Michael Jordan or Jay-Z before it, Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair is coming out of retirement. The estrogen-fueled tour bus rolls into Live Nation's Comfort Dental Amphitheatre--formerly Fiddler's Green--Tuesday. Colorado's lineup isn't my personal favorite, but there are certainly some "sexcellent" specimens involved with the festival's reanimation. Janelle Monae, La Roux, Sia, Suzanne Vega, Erykah Badu and Marina and The Diamonds, to name a few. Sadly, not a single one of them is doing Denver.