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.
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.
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.
Partying under the stars is a quintessential summer activity. From large-scale massives such as Burning Man to intimate affairs like Mother Earth Sound System's Full Moon Gatherings, some of my best memories ever are made on outdoor dance floors. Paradigm Pro Audio's Alexander Brooks can relate. Ever since Moontribe took his dance music campout virginity, Brooks has fantasized about making a venue out of Mother Nature. Horizons, an indoor/outdoor event this weekend near Peoria, will do exactly that. Key scene players who've agreed to get their hands dirty too include DJs mLe, Ishe, Jantsen, Alert, Miraja, Schmid-E, Scott Everett and Trip Coffin, among others. Brooks even got to book two of his idols; desert party legends Brad and Treavor of Moontribe are set to headline. Paradigm and its Turbosound rig have spent years helping fellow promoters realize their own party dreams. Triad Dragons, Sub.mission, Euphonic Conceptions and Floorbangrs have all benefitted immensely from Paradigm's aural support. The time has come for reciprocation.
Metropolis is in trouble. A secret society known as The Great Divide is using time travel to suppress freedom and love among its citizens. Thankfully, heroic ArchAndroid Cindi Mayweather is here to save the day. If this all sounds like the plot of a science fiction flick, that's because it's inspired by the godfather of science fiction flicks, Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
March Fourth Marching Band is a guaranteed blast. March Fourthâ€”M4 for short--is the Boba Fett and The Americans of Portland. Actually, more accurately, Boba Fett is the M4 of Denver, as they long preceded the bounty hunter-clad drum major and his guerrilla marching band brainchild. Anyone who's witnessed Boba and company in action will understand what exactly I'm talking about. Last July, Boba and company descended on an already lively Double Daughters anniversary soiree I was hosting, instantly transforming it into a full-on raucous ruckus.
Kostas Kouremenous has been searching The Mile High City high and low for the perfect set of pipes. Kostas isn't a plumber, though, he's a producerâ€”a DJ and dance music producer, to be exact. Although he's had his fingers in many different Denver pots over the yearsâ€”a shoe store, a modeling agency and a number of nightclubs now (Amsterdam, Pure, Lotus, DC10, Zen)--partnering with Triad Dragons' Ha Hau on Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks was his single most in-the-black business decision to date.
Broken Bells, a collaboration between Shins' singer James Mercer and aural harlot Danger Mouse, breaks its Mile High cherry tonight at The Gothic Theatre. Best known as one half of Gnarls Barkley, DMâ€”born Brian Burton--is easily one of the most sought-after producers in the game. The left field is his field of expertise, though, as evidenced by his track record: Beck, The Black Keys, Gorillaz, Sparklehorse and Beatles/Jay-Z mash-up masterpiece The Grey Album.
The Glitch Mob ain't no one-trick pony. â€œGlitch hopâ€, a genre they're often credited with inventing (or at least popularizing), may have put them on the map, but they refuse to churn out cookie cutter, assembly line club bangers. Drink the Sea, their first fully original full-length, is bound to confound expectations. On the one hand, there are certainly distinctive characteristics that make the record recognizably Glitch Mob. On the other, Sea sees them abandoning many of their signature bells and whistlesâ€”most notably the stutter edits suggested by their moniker.