Music News

OpenAir's Jessi Whitten Contributes To NPR Music's 'Heavy Rotation'

Each month, NPR Music asks 10 public radio music curators across the country to share a new song that they love for their "Heavy Rotation" feature. 

OpenAir music director and afternoon host Jessi Whitten contributed to this month's edition. She highlighted David Bazan's song "Both Hands," off his new album "Blanco."

Jessi says this about the former Pedro the Lion frontman's latest:

"There are bigger, catchier songs on 'Blanco,' but the way this one keeps such a confidently chilled-out pace with a swirling layer of distorted sound running over the top makes it uniquely alluring."

In addition to OpenAir, this month's edition features picks from WBEZ in Chicago, KCRW in Los Angeles and KEXP in Seattle.

Watch David Bazan perform "Both Hands" at KEXP earlier this year.

OpenAir's Alisha Sweeney Returns To NPR's 'Here & Now' To Talk Colorado Music

OpenAir host Alisha Sweeney appeared today on the nationally syndicated NPR news show "Here & Now" to discuss the Colorado music scene. 

Audio: Alisha Sweeney Talks Colorado Music On 'Here & Now'

In the program's "DJ Sessions" segment, Alisha highlights an eclectic mix of artists creating music in the Centennial State. She points to the summery pop sounds of South Of France, Denver's underground hip-hop scene, the wild punk shows of SPELLS, psych-rock from Eye & the Arrow and more.

Hear the entire "Here & Now" segment above. Sweeney previously on the show in 2014

Watch SPELLS and Eye & The Arrow perform in the CPR Performance Studio below.

SPELLS: "80% Is Good Enough"

OpenAir hosts SPELLS in the CPR Performance Studio on Feb. 12, 2016.

Watch more videos from the session.

Eye & The Arrow: "Tiger"

Follow @OpenAirAlisha on Twitter.

The Underground Music Showcase Adds Over 100 Artists To 2016 Lineup

The outdoor Main Stage at UMS 2015.

(Photo: CPR)

The Underground Music Showcase returns to Denver's Baker neighborhood July 28-31. Festival organizers today announced 138 more artists who will perform over the event's four days.

Highlights from today's announcement include national acts Sunflower Bean, who Rolling Stone recently named "NYC's coolest young band," Austin, Texas, teenage rockers Residual Kid and Seattle punk band Tacocat. Colorado artists include A. Tom Collins, Brent Cowles, Ian Cooke and Inner Oceans.

Previously announced headliners for the 2016 edition of UMS include Minneapolis synth-pop group Polica, San Francisco garage rockers Thee Oh Sees, Los Angeles band Allah-Las and Brooklyn's San Fermin. 

See the full UMS 2016 lineup so far below.

  • A Shadow of Jaguar
  • A. Tom Collins
  • Adia Victoria
  • Allah Las
  • ALTAS
  • Ambit
  • Ancient Elk
  • Andy Thomas’ Dust Heart
  • Automatic Iris
  • The Baltic
  • BANDITS
  • Best Creeps
  • Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir
  • Jon Boland
  • The Bright Light Social Hour
  • Bud Bronson and the Good Timers
  • Blake Brown (solo)
  • The Bunny Gang
  • The Cabin Project
  • Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels
  • Church Fire
  • Cold River City
  • Confluence
  • Ian Cooke
  • The Corner Girls
  • Cowboy Dave Band
  • Brent Cowles
  • Covenhoven
  • CRL CRRLL
  • Crystal Ghost
  • déCollage
  • Dirty Few
  • Rob Drabkin
  • Dragondeer
  • Dressy Bessy
  • Dusty Heart
  • Edison
  • Emerald Siam
  • The Epilogues
  • Eros & the Eschaton
  • FL
  • Flaural
  • Fort Frances
  • Foxxes
  • Gasoline Lollipops
  • Gin Doctors
  • Great American House Fire
  • Hands of Midnight
  • Hang Rounders
  • Helvetia
  • High Plains Honky
  • Holophrase
  • Hot Apostles
  • Hotel Bar
  • Hydraform
  • I’m a Boy
  • Inner Oceans
  • Input
  • iZCALLi
  • The Jeffrey Dallet Band
  • Just Say PLZ
  • Jux County
  • Kid Reverie
  • The Kinky Fingers
  • The Knew
  • La Fin Absolute du Monde
  • Lee Fields & the Expressions
  • Leon & the Revival
  • Loki Loke
  • The Lollygags
  • LSD Bags
  • Male Blonding
  • The Maykit
  • Me Me Monster
  • Megafauna
  • Rod Melancon
  • Methyl Ethyl
  • Modern Leisure
  • Montoneros
  • Montropo
  • Morning Bear
  • Muscle Beach
  • Nasty Nachos
  • Ned Garthe Explosion
  • New Mexican
  • Nightbrunch
  • OKO TYGRA
  • Omni
  • Open to the Hound
  • orKa odyssey
  • Pale Sun
  • Palo Santo
  • Panther Martin
  • Patrick Dethlefs
  • Petals of Spain
  • Plastic Daggers
  • Playboy Manbaby
  • Plum
  • Plume Varia
  • POLIÇA
  • Ponder the Albatross
  • Porlolo
  • Post Paradise
  • Promised Land Sound
  • Quantum Creep
  • The Raven & the Writing Desk
  • Remember the Radio
  • *repeat repeat
  • Residual Kid
  • Retrofette (fka lzrwlf)
  • RipRats
  • RL Cole and the Angels
  • Shelly Rollison
  • Rootbeer and Mermantau
  • Roselit Bone
  • Rossonian
  • Matt Rouch
  • The Roxy Suicide
  • RUMTUM
  • Safe Boating is No Accident
  • San Fermin
  • The Savage Blush
  • School Dance
  • Scott Schumann
  • Set Sail
  • Shady Elders
  • The Sharrows
  • SIR
  • Slow Caves
  • Smoke & Honey
  • So Pitted
  • Sound of Ceres
  • South of France
  • Space In Time
  • Space Suits for Indians
  • SPELLS
  • Sputnik Slovenia
  • StaG
  • Staying for the Weekend
  • The Still Tide
  • The Stonewalls
  • Strange Americans
  • Strawberry Runners
  • Sunboy
  • Sunflower Bean
  • Super Bummer
  • Tacocat
  • Teacup Gorilla
  • Thee Oh Sees
  • Thick Business
  • Through the Mountain
  • Tjutjuna
  • Tom Waits for No Man
  • Tomahawk Fox
  • Tommy Freed and the Sound
  • Tommy Metz
  • Turvy Organ
  • Tyto Alba
  • U.S. Tygers
  • Ultimate Painting
  • The Velveteers
  • Tana Victoria
  • Viretta
  • Kent Washington
  • We Are Not a Glum Lot
  • Wire Faces
  • Emily Wolfe
  • YaSi
  • The Yawpers

Watch Brent Cowles' recent performance in the CPR Performance Studio below.

OpenAir hosts singer-songwriter Brent Cowles on April 21, 2016.

Riot Fest Denver Expands 2016 Music Lineup

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie

(Photo: Paige Parsons)

Riot Fest organizers announced today the expanded music lineup for the Denver event taking place Sept. 2-4. The announcement follows last week’s news that Glenn Danzig will perform at the festival with punk band The Misfits for the first time since 1983.

This year's Denver lineup includes Sleater-Kinney, Ween, Death Cab For Cutie, Jane’s Addiction, Nas, Wolf Parade, The Hold Steady, Yo La Tengo, Meat Puppets, The Dandy Warhols, Sleigh Bells, White Lung, Vince Staples and more.

See the full lineup announcement from Riot Fest.

Read about Riot Fest and other music festivals in Colorado this summer.

Watch the music video for Sleater-Kinney’s “A New Wave” below.

The Misfits To Reunite With Singer Glenn Danzig For Riot Fest

Glenn Danzig will perform with The Original Misfits on Sunday night at Riot Fest Denver.

Riot Fest organizers announced today that punk band The Misfits will reunite with original singer Glenn Danzig for the Denver event taking place Sept. 2-4.

Billed as “The Original Misfits,” the lineup will include Danzig along with founding bassist Jerry Only and guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein.

The Misfits formed in 1977 and disbanded in 1983 after releasing two albums inspired by horror and science fiction films. They reformed in 1995 without Danzig, who continued to perform in the band Samhain and under his own name.

The full lineup for Riot Fest Denver is still forthcoming. Check out highlights from the 2015 Riot Fest, which included sets by Modest Mouse, The Pixies and Iggy Pop.

Read about Riot Fest and other music festivals in Colorado this summer.

Listen to The Misfits’ “Die, Die My Darling:”

Courtney Barnett Cancels Project Pabst Denver Appearance; Best Coast To Replace Her

Recorded in the CPR Performance Studio on July 1, 2014.

More videos from the session.

Courtney Barnett has canceled her appearance at the inaugural Project Pabst Denver festival on May 21. She'll be performing on "Saturday Night Live" that evening instead.

The festival quickly added California indie rock band Best Coast to replace Barnett. 

Project Pabst will also feature Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Violent Femmes, Charles Bradley and more in Denver's RiNo neighborhood. The event also features a series of "night shows" across the Denver metro area.

Listen to our interview with Best Coast from last year. 

And even though you won't be able to see Courtney Barnett in Denver this month, you can still watch her perform at OpenAir above!

Six Of Rock's Biggest Names Team Up For California Concert

The Rolling Stones are merely one-sixth of the classic acts performing at Desert Trip in October.

The Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan. Paul McCartney. Neil Young. The Who. Roger Waters.

Each of these acts could easily headline large concert arenas across the world in 2016.

But all of them together? It's happening this October in Indio, Calif.

The Desert Trip three-day concert event will bring these six iconic rock artists together for the first time. Tickets go on sale May 9 with prices ranging from $399 to $1,599.

Update: The festival has expanded to a second weekend. The event will take place both Oct. 7-9 and 14-16. 

Watch the video for The Who's "The Kids Are Alright" below.

A Friend Shares Prince Memories From Paisley Park

Prince

(Photo: Scott Penner/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons)

The music world is still reeling today from the news of Prince's death.

Fans and journalists in Minnesota -- which the artist called home throughout his remarkable career -- mourned en masse outside Prince's Paisley Park home in suburban Minneapolis.

Andrea Swensson, music reporter for Minnesota Public Radio's The Current, was on site today at Paisley Park. She had gotten to know Prince over the past few years after he took a liking to a drawing she had made of one of his performances.

Swensson spoke with us over the phone to share some touching Prince memories and describe the reaction in the Twin Cities. 

Read and listen to those below.

On the scene outside Paisley Park immediately after news of Prince's death:

"There's a memorial wall that has started. The fence around Paisley is being covered in purple balloons and purple flowers.  

"When we got word that it was in fact Prince that had died, that was a really rough hour or so of people flooding the scene and crying together and holding each other. Even the journalists were hugging."

Listen: Andrea Swensson On The Scene Outside Paisley Park

On her first time meeting Prince one-on-one at Paisley Park:

"I was so taken aback by how funny and down to earth and genuine he seemed. He was obviously very shy. He kept a very private life. But in that moment he was very candid and sweet."

Listen: Andrea Swensson On Her First Time Meeting Prince

On Prince's impact on the city of Minneapolis:

"He was Minneapolis. There's an entire genre of music that we know now as the Minneapolis sound, and he created it. ... I don't think we're even going to understand the full impact of his legacy for years."

Listen: Andrea Swensson On What Prince Meant To Minneapolis

On her favorite Prince memory:

"The last time I saw him perform was alone at the piano. He played 'Purple Rain.' ... At the end of the song he got up, walked offstage and came back and said: 'That song, I guess it still means something to me.' And he was visibly crying. Shaken from the experience of playing it.

"That he was that moved by it, I'll never forget that."

Listen: Andrea Swensson On Her Favorite Prince Memory

Listen: A FoCoMX 2016 Playlist From OpenAir

Qbala

(Photo: CPR / Daniel Mescher)

The eighth annual Fort Collins Music eXperiment (FoCoMX) takes place Friday and Saturday.

More than 250 Colorado bands will perform at various Fort Collins venues. If that sounds a bit overwhelming, OpenAir is here to help.

We've highlighted 10 artists to see this weekend including Denver rockers Bud Bronson & the Good Timers, rapper Qbala and folk band Pandas & People.

Listen to OpenAir's FoCoMX 2016 mix below and follow us on Spotify for more playlists.

2016 Film On The Rocks Program Announced

A concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater at night. 

(Courtesy Visit Denver)

The Denver Film Society today released the schedule for the 17th season of Film on the Rocks, a series of screenings at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre with opening performances from local and national artists.

Highlights include a screening of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" with Strawberry Runners and The Baltic and "Labyrinth" with School of Rock: A Tribute to Bowie.

Update: The Film on the Rocks program will open early on May 12 with a screening of "Purple Rain" and a "special local all-star Prince tribute."

The full schedule:

  • May 12: "Purple Rain" with local Prince tribute
  • May 23: "Grease" with Lissie and Megan Burtt & the Cure For Love
  • May 30: "The Big Lebowski" with Anthony Ruptak & The Midnight Friends and The River Arkansas
  • June 15: "Citizen Kane" in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the dedication of Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  • June 20: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" with Strawberry Runners and The Baltic
  • July 11: "The Sandlot" with special guests and Brent Cowles
  • July 25: "Labyrinth" with School of Rock: A Tribute to Bowie
  • Aug. 23:"Deadpool" with The Blue Rider
  • Sept. 6: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

Watch videos of Megan Burtt, Strawberry Runners and The Blue Rider in the CPR Performance Studio below.

OpenAir hosts Denver singer-songwriter Megan Burtt in a performance of "Fast As I Go." Recorded on Aug. 3, 2015 in the CPR Performance Studio.

Watch more videos from the session.
 

OpenAir hosts Denver's Strawberry Runners in a performance of "Hatcher Creek." Recorded on May 4, 2015 in the CPR Performance Studio.

OpenAir hosted The Blue Rider in a performance of "Year of the Horse." Recorded in the CPR Performance Studio on February 17, 2015.

Watch more videos from the session.

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