Behind The Scene Episode 28 – Fox Rodemich, Miles Eichner (Shady Elders)

“when I was playing this like really pretty, folky music I was like ‘gosh, this sucks…I’m not even having a good time’.  You know like, I wouldn’t go out and buy my music…So I put it to bed”

Shady Elders has been one of those bands for me here in Denver.  I was a fan the first moment I clicked play. Shady songs themselves embody everything I love in music.  Dark, looming and weighted emotional pull married with delicate melody and thoughtful prose.  It’s dream-pop/post-punk/sometimes gothy/sometimes poppy awesomeness.  Their live sets are heavy, loud and engaging.  I have followed this band for almost 5 years now and my fanship only grows with each release.

So naturally, I was thrilled to finally get them on the show to tell their Shady story.  Listen below as I talk with both Fox and Miles about their individual musical pasts, the start of Shady Elders, making music that you yourself are a fan of, the struggles of personal relationships affecting the band’s dynamic, going out of state to record and so so so much more!

Official Site: www.shadyelders.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/shadyelders

Listen above and as always, subscribe direct on iTunes and RSS.

This episode was graciously sponsored by Renegade Brewing Company!  Visit their taproom on 9th and Santa Fe or pick up their wonderful assortment of beer at any local liquor store.

Renegade Logo

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COScene Live @UMS 2016 – Night 2

By Cherie Rae Cobbs 7/30/16

Night 2 of the 2016 Underground Music Showcase.

At the end of a long sunny day comes the reprieve of mysterious clouds crowding sunset skies, cool breeze lifting damp hair from glistening foreheads and fresh air to lift the mood and heighten the senses. It was the kind of night you long to get out into. There were so many great shows to see at all of the cozy clubs and venues but on a night like this you are drawn to the open air afforded by the Mainstage.

As hoped we found the streets of South Broadway full of the friendly faces that make this city home. For our second night at UMS, we made it to 7 shows in total and took a few notes below. These acts were all new to me, but therein lies the fun of exploration at UMSIMG_20160730_094705.

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6pm @Irish Rover – Ambit

We started our evening at the Irish Rover to check out Ambit. I loved them. They were long lines of thoughtful space to get lost in daydreams, sparse droning, repetitive vocals, post-punk dreamy drum beats with loops that stung with their own unique brand of friction. The trio’s set included hazy vocals, siren sounds and brought to mind what we love in reflective, rocking, moody Interpol.

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7pm @Main Stage – Lee Fields and the Expressions

Lee Fields is a smooth, classic, stylish, full-grown man that was there to entertain, school and inspire. He leads the best looking, suit wearing GQ band including a Dexter (Michael C. Hall) look-alike on saxophone. Lee was intent on sharing uplifting messages as most songs delivered messages like “…are you happy today?…Keep on tryin, you just might win!….Why can’t we talk and have a good time?…” All told Lee delivered swagger, slinky dance moves, charisma and led the tightest band all night including a highly impressive bass player. The sun was setting, the audience was willing and a good time was had by one and all under the open summer sky.

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7:30pm @Blue Ice – Kid Astronaut

We left the mainstage early so as to try and catch Kid Astronaut at Blue Ice. After the loud, boisterous fun of Lee Fields at the mainstage crossing the threshold into Blue Ice was a marked (but pleasant) shift. The venue was dark, the audience thin and hushed, up front was a single figure with guitar and a crystalline voice that illuminated all dark corners and climbed to the ceiling with ease. Kid Astronaut was informal, sweet, sang with an effortlessness and lightly flew fingers in simple patterns over his pretty guitar. Kid explained that he wanted the venue to “…feel like his living room..” and in response the audience was welcome and open. He asked “does anyone have any questions?” (which is not something I’ve heard at a show before) and while there were no questions asked, one brave comment came late from the back, “thank you for doing what you do.”

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8:30pm @Main Stage – Allah Las

Earlier in the day I listened to a quick sample of Allah Las and was impressed. I enjoy the mellow carefree sounds of Real Estate, Phosphorescence and Tame Impala and thought they had a similar vibe. Their set was driven by long winding intros, mild surf guitar meanderings and beachy breezes of harmony. The overall effect was a mix of classic rock tinged, smooth/chill energy at the hands of laid-back, easy-going guys gently imploring “tell me what’s on your mind…” They were loose, light and definitive in their own brand of outdoor summer-sway concert music.

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9pm @Irish Rover – Kissing Party

Heading into the Irish Rover I had heard only one Kissing Party song before called “Winter in the Pub”.

With that song in mind I was expecting a somber, thoughtful, perhaps bashful group so we were much surprised to find a group eager to dance and attempting to play 15 songs in 40 minutes.   They were loveable hyperactivity, race-paced indie rock playing short powerful songs imploring the audience to jump and move. They were sweet, welcoming and it felt like everyone belonged. Deirdre Sage was particularly impressive, she continually joined dancers on the floor which filled the room with light and life.

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10pm @Skylark Lounge – Helvetia

As the night wears on the lines get longer, the rooms get smaller and the beautiful sunset breeze begins to falter. It is about this time that we headed over to the Skylark Lounge to check out Helvetia. The Skylark Lounge is full and the band is already playing as we work our way in through a skinny snake trail. We take refuge near the pink neon jukebox and enjoy what we hear of Helvetia. They were something like Crowded House to me – on a small PA, stuck in the corner of that hot red room. They reminded me of vampire-like Lost Boys and they exude a timelessness that I could not put my finger on. In truth we could not stay long as the late night open air was again calling. We headed down to Illegal Pete’s to find our second wind or at least a cold, strong margarita.

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11pm @South Broadway Church – Poet’s Row

We stopped into the South Broadway Church for our final show of the evening. We had seen Poet’s Row before and well-remembered the pitch perfect lullaby’s for which they are known. The church was absolutely stifling. The heat when mingled with the music created a powerful analgesic. I was lulled sleepy and my thoughts would trail off into quiet places. This soundtrack embodied the sweet cocktail of lemonade, campfire song, the love of your grandma’s house, the limp summer dreams of youth, crushes and love and was a perfect bookend to our second night at UMS.

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COScene Live @UMS 2016 – Night 1

By Cherie Rae Cobbs 7/28/16

Night 1 of the 2016 Underground Music Showcase.

There was a sea of passersby’s adorned well in smiles and gold lame without explanation. There was the sweet/dream/sugarplum breeze of fresh ice cream cones perfuming the dewy night air. The first foray into Denver’s largest music festival was polite and organized, illustrated by countless show posters clinging so evenly to saran-wrapped street poles. There were parking spaces, swung-open venue doors, cheer and anticipation. The locals in attendance were the early-birds, the curious, the ones who took Friday off, they were clean, energetic and the low-hung dinnertime clouds seemed to set the tone for a tame and melodious evening.

We will be walking for miles up and down South Broadway these next 3 days hoping to bump into friends and fellow musicians, looking for inspiration and stories, unique performance, new music, good food and the general communal merriment such a fest promises to deliver.

All told we enjoyed ourselves. We made the requisite food stops at Pie Hole and Senor Burrito. We had nice summery beer at the Irish Rover and watched three performances detailed below. We hope to see you there!

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8pm @Irish Rover – Beautiful Machines

The self-described ‘cinametronic group’ from San Francisco, Beautiful Machines kicked off the night at Irish Rover setting the stage for an electropop affair. This was a buoyant trio which brought driving beats, happy faces, neon lights and new wave inspired upbeat numbers to a large, amiable audience. The sound was interesting and best described as glam-rock infused Bret Michaels/Jon Bon Jovi vocals (if they were doing something cool) intermingled with feel-good dance retro 80’s strokes (like Erasure) utilizing ample synths, keytar and textured lush sounds. Beautiful Machines is Conrad Schuman (Vocal/Guitar), Veli-Matti Mattila (Drums), Stef Ku (Synth/Keys). They were light and fun.

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9pm @Irish Rover – *Repeat Repeat

Repeat Repeat was a scrumptious, stylish band hailing from Nashville, TN. They were golden go-go boots, a darkened stage, “…can you turn the lights down more, a little more, let’s get sexy in here…” they instilled drama by way of a mysterious illuminated brief case poised up-front (hands reaching in for nothing easily understood) swagger and sass. They were all energy, urging, surf rock meets punk influenced delivery where laundry-list vocals were spit with articulation, emotion and passion. They sound like a Popsicle wishes it could, all vibrant color, brilliant flavor and smooth, refreshing coolness. It felt like road trip, carefree music, something Jack White/Modest Mouse and MGMT may team up to concoct in days gone by.

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10pm @Irish Rover – Bollywood Life

We finished our evening (early) at Irish Rover with local EDM hero Bollywood Life.

Anton Krueger was a joy to behold. His set included quirky, chasing, percussive, electropop, vibrant with videogame undercurrents and unexpected remix prowess. Anton donned a black sleeveless tank with a torso sized white tiger and did not sit still for a moment. He asked the audience, “…anyone ever played a remix of My Humps…cuz I’m about to!” The fun was a constant, somehow My Humps was fresh and fun and parlayed seamlessly into Tender Roni – classic late 80’s Bobby Brown and a personal favorite of mine. Anton was frenetic, he spins, jumps, sweats profusely, habitually pushes up his glasses, dashes, and sings along with every syllable. He knows exactly what he’s doing and you can’t help but crush a little, he’s infectious, sincere and fun.

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Behind The Scene Episode 27 – Kendall Smith (The UMS)

“It could have gone two directions at that point.  It could have become a straight up marketing event for the Denver Post, or it could become a community event, and we have a community foundation….and they chose to move it into the community foundation and let me grow it slowly…and keep it as a non-profit”

 

Mr. UMS.  That’s his name to me.

There is a team of people who make UMS (the Underground Music Showcase) happen each year.  It’s a large team full of very talented and dedicated people with extraordinary skills ranging from Talent Buying, Marketing, and event operation and logistics.  But at the helm of that team is a guy with a passion for what he is doing that is nothing short of infectious.  Standing a head above most (literally), is Kendall Smith, or as I like to call him, Mr. UMS.

Every conversation I have had both within the context of this interview and outside it, his passion for Denver’s premiere local music showcase is evident in every sentence.  It won’t take but a minute or two in conversation with him before Kendall is genuinely seeking your thoughts on the scene and of course the UMS.

This genuine drive to constantly innovate and improve is evident in this wonderful talk where we learn about Kendall’s past, how he got into the UMS, the importance of keeping the UMS a community event, the obstacles he faces and the battle to simply…keep it awesome.  Being the man behind what has become the biggest independent music festival in the region is not an easy chore.  But Kendall handles it with absolute grace.  Listen above and get to know the festival that we all hold so dear by getting to know the man behind it.

Official Site: theums.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/theums

 

Listen above and as always, subscribe direct on iTunes and RSS.

This episode was graciously sponsored by Renegade Brewing Company!  Visit their taproom on 9th and Santa Fe or pick up their wonderful assortment of beer at any local liquor store.

Renegade Logo

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Song Effusive Episode 10 – Molybdomancy By Pythian Whispers

Song Effusive Episode 10 – Molybdomancy By Pythian Whispers

07/06/2016

By Cherie Rae Cobbs

The dust is what I think of first, for it bled into every pore.

The amber light, the trapped heat of deserted buildings, industrial equipment piles, chaotic clusters of tumbleweed, insipid trash, the wind caressing the tops of skinny trees and the somber shadows cast in the orchard by endless, orderly rows all set to a serenade of some distant, wild animal.

We were a collective of sorts (especially at night) just castaways tucked into a sprawling ranch house that could eat you whole without regret.  The place was thick with energies, it was a series of well-appointed secret-keeping bedrooms, winding hallways full of right angles, brute heavy doors and locks of all kinds.  There were a surplus of exterior doors, maybe 14 all told and nothing typical about them either.  There were doors with thicker outer doors and rusted metal bars that would moan and swing without reason all day and night.

But we found comfort there.  We found routine.  We had a splendid sort of sanctuary at the end of the day once exhausted from idea, experiments, collaboration and music.

At this –my favorite time–we all sought something in the middle of that lonesome border house, community or a little conversation.

So we find solace and calm at a table as heavy as any I’d ever known.  I would scrape together a meal for us there, our sweet little restless family.

And in that way we were fleeting.  The “we” that set our group apart from our everyday.  You were mine, I was yours, a gentle domesticity blooms from nothing at all.

One would pour wine, another would dim the lights, the wind hushed into darkened corners, light heady music lulls us into drink and our spirits create wavelengths that tie us to the night.

Energy exchanges, we laugh full-throated or slip in comments that could be missed under our breath.  I don’t remember the stories now and I barely recall the food.

I remember your faces lit by a lone candle and I know that room.  I feel the closeness of a passerby at the kitchen sink or a tilt of a smile on your lip…still.

You have been listening to Pythian Whispers and this is the Song Effusive podcast.

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Behind The Scene Episode 26 – Jason Hoke (Epilogues, The UMS)

“We had the final contract in our hands…we were ready to sign it and then it was done…just gone. “

There were a few things that made an impression on me when first moving to Denver and checking out the scene.  One of them was the Underground Music Showcase (naturally), and another of them was the band The Epilogues (one of the first live sets I saw after moving here).  I loved the live energy of the Epilogues.  Seeing their set comforted my fears about the Denver scene. I knew at that time that if this was a sample of Denver’s output…I was in for a treat.

Jason Hoke is my guest for this week and he is forever connected to my initial impressions of Denver.  He is the drummer for the Epilogues and is now one of the primary talent buyers for The UMS.

We had a wonderful discussion about his personal history in music and the excellent origins of The Epilogues.  We talked about growing up with supportive parents, learning how to put on your own shows, navigating through the murky waters of label shopping, booking strategies for The UMS and so much more!

The song for this episode is an exclusive preview!  It is called ‘Best Friends’ and will be available on The Epilogues upcoming album.

Official Site: http://www.theepiloguesband.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/theepiloguesband

Bandcamp: theepilogues.bandcamp.com

Listen above and as always, subscribe direct on iTunes and RSS.

This episode was graciously sponsored by Renegade Brewing Company!  Visit their taproom on 9th and Santa Fe or pick up their wonderful assortment of beer at any local liquor store.

Renegade Logo

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Behind The Scene Episode 25 – Megan Burtt (Singer-Songwriter)

“So much in my life is just about a namesake.  If I had a band name…my whole life would be different.  Somehow the name changes everything because you’re not a band.  You’re a hired gun.”

In today’s world, making a living making art can be extremely difficult. With the fact that album sales alone will rarely be enough to sustain most artists alone, it’s imperative that artists start thinking outside the box and experimenting with different ways to make this passion something that is sustaining.

In this episode, Megan Burtt schools us all on that very topic.  From playing in piano bars in Vietnam, touring prisons in Pennsylvania, to crafting and selling custom guitar straps or diving into commissioned songcraft, Megan Burtt has always found a way to move forward.

Listen above as we talk about her history in music, taking a dive on college entrance exams, Mississippi dreams, life changing illnesses, being in a band, watching stabbings and riots happen at your show and oh, just so much more!

The song for this episode is called Spin and is available on Megan’s latest album, ‘The Bargain’.

Official Site: www.meganburtt.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/meganburttmusicpage

Bandcamp: https://meganburtt.bandcamp.com/

Listen above and as always, subscribe direct on iTunes and RSS.

This episode was graciously sponsored by Renegade Brewing Company!  Visit their taproom on 9th and Santa Fe or pick up their wonderful assortment of beer at any local liquor store.

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