Music News

Listen: A FoCoMX 2016 Playlist From OpenAir


(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.

The Underground Music Showcases Reveals Initial Music Lineup For 2016

The UMS Main Stage in 2014.

(photo: CPR / Michael Hughes)

The Underground Music Showcase returns to Denver's Baker neighborhood July 28-31. Festival organizers today announced its initial headliners and a selection of Colorado artists who will perform over the event's four days.

National 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.

Colorado highlights include The Yawpers, Strawberry Runners, Sound of Ceres, Flaural and more.

See the full list of UMS 2016 artists below. 

  • Polica
  • Thee Oh Sees
  • Allah Las
  • San Fermin
  • Lee Fields & the Expressions
  • The Yawpers
  • Adia Victoria
  • The Bright Light Social Hour
  • The Bunny Gang
  • Covenhoven
  • Dirty Few
  • Rob Drabkin
  • Emerald Siam
  • The Epilogues
  • Flaural
  • Fort Frances
  • Methyl Ethel
  • Plum
  • Porlolo
  • Promised Land Sound
  • Shady Elders
  • Slow Caves
  • The Raven & the Writing Desk
  • So Pitted
  • Sound of Ceres
  • South of France
  • The Still Tide
  • Strawberry Runners
  • Sunboy
  • Ultimate Painting
  • Wiredogs

​Watch The Yawpers perform "Doin' It Right" in the CPR Performance Studio below.

OpenAir hosts Denver's own The Yawpers in a performance of "Doin' It Right" from their 2015 release "American Man" on Bloodshot Records. Recorded on October 9, 2015 in the CPR Performance Studio.

Divide Music Festival: New Winter Park Event Announces Music Lineup

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

(Photo: CPR / Daniel Mescher)

Add another name to the list of new Colorado music festivals: Divide Music Festival is set for July 22-24 in Winter Park.

Festival organizers today announced the inaugural music lineup. It features Kid Cudi, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Passion Pit, Blondie and more. 

Camping will be available for festival attendees. Additional Colorado acts will be added to the lineup later.

Divide is the latest new music festival in Colorado. Vertex Festival in Buena Vista and Project Pabst in Denver will also hold inaugural events this year. 

See the full Divide lineup and watch the video for Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness" below.

LCD Soundsystem Announces Two Reunion Shows At Red Rocks

LCD Soundsystem will reunite to headline this year's Coachella Festival.

Electronica act LCD Soundsystem has announced two reunion shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison this summer. The shows are set for Aug. 2 and 3 and will feature openers Savages and Museum of Love.

LCD Soundsystem split up in 2011 after releasing three acclaimed albums. The band played its first reunion show on Sunday and is set to perform at major music festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo this year. 

The band previously performed at Red Rocks in 2007 with Arcade Fire.

Read NPR's review of the first LCD Soundsystem reunion show in New York City.

Watch the video for LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge":

Lollapalooza Announces 2016 Music Lineup

Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead

Lollapalooza, the annual music festival in Chicago, has announced its music lineup for 2016. 

This year's headliners include Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, J. Cole, Disclosure and Lana Del Rey.

Denver's Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Flume, Grimes, M83, Leon Bridges, Bloc Party and many more will also perform at the four-day event, which takes place July 28-31.

Check out the full Lollapalooza 2016 lineup

Watch Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats perform "Thank You" in the CPR Performance Studio below.

OpenAir hosts Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats in a performance of "I Just Want to Thank You." Recorded in the CPR Performance Studio on December 18, 2014. Watch more videos from the session.


SXSW 2016: Watch Performances From Lucius, Anderson .Paak And More

Thousands of artists flooded Austin, Texas, last week for another South By Southwest music showcase. While chronicling every SXSW performance would be a Herculean feat, NPR Music was on the scene to film many of the shows.

We've highlighted a few of their selections below, including rapper Anderson .Paak, a "SXSW Lullaby" from indie pop band Lucius and more.

(Note: Some of these videos contain profanity.)

Mitski (Full Performance)

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals: "Green Light"

Charles Bradley: "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"

Lucius: "Dusty Trails"

Read about Colorado's musical presence at this year's SXSW, including Dressy Bessy, The Yawpers and Sound of Ceres.

NPR Tiny Desk Contest: Colorado's Rossonian Featured As Runner-Up

NPR Music recently announced the winner of its second Tiny Desk Contest: singer and violinist Gaelynn Lea of Duluth, Minn.

More than 6,000 artists from around the country submitted original videos for the chance to perform at NPR headquarters in Washington. Denver's Rossonian was among those artists, and NPR Music today highlighted the band's entry as one of "10 More Tiny Desk Contest Entries We Loved."

NPR Music writes:

Rossonian's entry, "Love In A Wasteland," was unique from basically every angle. Everything about lead singer Seth Evans' pants is superlative. The band's cosmic R&B is delightfully strange. And it even managed to play behind an exceptionally tiny desk. Yet perhaps the most singular element of this entry happens off-screen and takes less than a second. They recorded at Blue Silo in Colorado near the train tracks, and you can hear a train rush past at 1:04. It's the only thing that grounds this extraterrestrial band firmly in our earthly realm.

Watch Rossonian's submission above.

NPR's article also highlights an entry filmed in southwestern Colorado. The submission from New Mexico artists Def-i And The Delbert Anderson Trio was shot in Cortez:

Read our roundup of 10 favorite Colorado Tiny Desk Contest entries -- which includes Rossonian -- and listen to OpenAir's Alisha Sweeney chat with CPR News's Ryan Warner about the many Colorado submissions in 2016.

New Colo. Music Festival Vertex Announces Inaugural Lineup

Alabama Shakes

The inaugural Vertex Festival comes to Buena Vista Aug. 5-7. Organizers today announced the initial music lineup for the outdoor event. 

Highlights include Seattle electronica duo Odesza, roots-rockers Alabama Shakes, Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals, Houndmouth and more. 

Vertex will offer camping passes for the three-day event. Tickets go on sale Friday.

Check out the full music lineup so far:

  • Odesza
  • Alabama Shakes
  • Trey Anastasio Band
  • Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
  • Big Wild
  • Classixx
  • Dawes
  • Dopapod
  • Duke Dumont
  • Fruition
  • Graham Nash
  • Hiatus Kaiyote
  • Houndmouth
  • Jai Wolf
  • Robert DeLong
  • Ryan Hemsworth
  • Seven Lions
  • SunSquabi
  • The Claypool Lennon Delirium
  • The Revivalists

Read our "Recommended If You Like" feature about Alabama Shakes.

Want To Record An Album With Flobots? Here's Your Chance


(Photo: CPR / Michael Hughes)

The members of Denver hip-hop band Flobots are working on a new album of protest music, "NOENEMIES," and they want your help.

The band will host an open choir recording session Saturday at Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church in Denver. Participation is free and open to all ages. The recordings will be used on the forthcoming Flobots album.

The session will also feature members of local music groups 303 Choir and Gora Gora Orkestar. Get more details here.

Watch Flobots perform "Stand Up" in the CPR Performance Studio below.

OpenAir hosts Flobots in a performance of "Gonna Be Free." Recorded on July 15, 2015 in the CPR Performance Studio.

Watch more videos from the session.