Music News

Westword Music Showcase Announces 2016 Headliners

Cold War Kids

(Photo: CPR / Daniel Mescher)

The Westword Music Showcase, one of Denver's biggest summer music festivals, will take place in the city's Golden Triangle neighborhood on June 25.

Today Westword revealed this year's national acts that will perform on the event's two main stages. The list includes Dillon Francis, Matt & Kim, Cold War Kids, Brick + Mortar, HEALTH and more.

The showcase will also include dozens of Colorado acts performing at smaller venues. 

Check out CPR Performance Studio footage of some of the artists on last year's roster, including MisterWives, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake and Clouds & Mountains. And see our recap of the 2015 Westword Music Showcase for snapshots from the event. 

The Lumineers Are Back With New Album 'Cleopatra'

The Lumineers

(Photo: courtesy of the artist)

The Lumineers have announced the details of their long-awaited sophomore album, "Cleopatra." The follow-up to the Grammy-nominated Denver trio's 2012 debut is out April 8.

Stream the first single, "Ophelia," via the link below.

The band wrote the album in Denver and New York's Catskill Mountains last year. Singer Wesley Schultz told NPR Music: "The album is sonically pretty different from the first one. The common thread is a lot of the percussion has remained."

The Lumineers have also announced a 2016 world tour that includes a performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on June 7.

Read about the time The Lumineers donated their tour van to OpenAir last year.

Watch video of The Lumineers performing "Dead Sea" with the Colorado Symphony below.

Trevor Powers Says Youth Lagoon Is 'No More'

Trevor Powers of Youth Lagoon.

(Photo: Matt de Jong)

Trevor Powers, the Boise, Idaho, musician behind the indie pop band Youth Lagoon, posted a message to Twitter today saying the project is finished.

Powers writes Youth Lagoon "is no more" and "this upcoming tour will be the final YL performances." The band's final show is scheduled for June 11 at London's Field Day festival.

Youth Lagoon released three albums since 2011. The most recent was last year's "Savage Hills Ballroom."

Listen to our interview with Powers from last October in which he discussed how discomfort was a motivating factor behind "Savage Hills Ballroom."

Read Powers' full statement below.


Send OpenAir Your Valentine's Day Dedications

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. This year, we want your song requests and dedications for our Valentine's weekend programming.

Tell us the name of your special song and to whom you'd like to dedicate it by sending an online request, leaving a comment our Facebook page or sending us a tweet.

We'll also be rounding up your special songs for a Spotify playlist. In the meantime, keep those requests coming in!

Watch the video for David Bowie's "Valentine's Day" below.

Hear Elephant Revival Recorded Live In Concert Saturday, Jan. 30

Elephant Revival performing at The Ogden Theatre for their Winter Ball shows.

(Photo: CPR / Dave Fender)

We're airing a full concert from Colorado band Elephant Revival Saturday at 6 p.m.

The band played two nights of sold out shows at Denver's Ogden Theatre last month. Fans were treated to a "Winter Ball" theme complete with lights and aerial dancers to accompany the band's atmospheric folk music.

OpenAir was on site to record the first night's performance. Hear it Saturday evening at 102.3 FM, 88.3 FM or stream online at

Watch video of Elephant Revival performing "The Obvious" in our CPR Performance Studio below, and hear the entire session.

OpenAir hosts Elephant Revival in a performance of "The Obvious." Recorded in the CPR Performance Studio on July 15, 2014.

Watch more videos from the session.

This Weekend On Retrofit: Secrets

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Retrofit is one big secret this week. Of course there's only one way to keep a secret between three people, but in music everybody knows what is up.  

Coverups, mysteries, silent crushes -- secrets come in all sizes starting with the dirty little ones. Want to know a secret?

Retrofit: Secrets airs Saturday at 5 p.m. 

Shhhh ... here's a companion playlist. 

Watch St. Vincent Describe Her New Signature Guitar

Annie Clark of St. Vincent has designed a signature electric guitar model for the Ernie Ball Music Man series. In a new video, Clark describes the inspiration behind the project and takes a trip to the Ernie Ball factory to oversee the model's production. Watch it above.

"A guitar can be so many things," she says. "For me in my life it's been a shield. It's been a weapon and a vehicle by which I've gotten to have an incredible artistic and emotional life."

Clark was inspired at a young age by a guitar seen in the Ritchie Valens biopic "La Bamba." She spent much of her youth sketching her own guitar models. 

"It had to be really, really, really friendly," Clark said of her model. "It had to be the kind of guitar that you pick up and you don't want to play any other guitars."

Read our Recommended If You Like feature on St. Vincent.

Bonnaroo Music Festival Announces 2016 Lineup

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, the four-day event now in its 15th year, has revealed the list of artists performing at the 2016 edition.

Headliners include LCD Soundsystem, Pearl Jam, J. Cole and Dead & Company. Also on the bill are Tame Impala, Death Cab for Cutie, CHVRCHES, Ween, Father John Misty, Waxahatchee and Denver band Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. See the full lineup.

Bonnaroo will take place June 9-12 in Manchester, Tenn.

Watch a video of Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats in our CPR Performance Studio below. Read our coverage of Bonnaroo 2014. 

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.

More Colorado Artists Added To 2016 SXSW Lineup

The Yawpers perform at the Colorado Music Party at South By Southwest in 2014.

(Photo: CPR)

South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual music, film and interactive festival in Austin, Texas, has announced new additions to the 2016 lineup. The list includes three Colorado acts: Denver rockers The Yawpers, Fort Collins shoegaze act Sound of Ceres and folksinger Judy Collins performing with Ari Hest.

This wave follows the announcement that long-running Denver band Dressy Bessy will perform at the event.

SXSW Music takes place March 15-20 in various Austin venues. Notable acts on the bill include Waxahatchee, Thee Oh Sees, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down and many more. See the full lineup.

During an OpenAir studio session last year, Nate Cook of The Yawpers told us about how performances at SXSW 2014 led to a record deal with Bloodshot Records. Watch a video of the band playing in our CPR Performance Studio during that session 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.

In 1980, David Bowie Wowed Denver With His Acting Chops

David Bowie as John Merrick in "The Elephant Man."

(Photo: YouTube)

Today the world awoke to the sad news that music legend David Bowie had passed away two days after his 69th birthday, the same day he released his 25th studio album, "Blackstar."

We'll be celebrating the music of David Bowie all day today, but we'd also like to highlight the time when Bowie took the stage in Denver for something other than his music.

In 1980, Bowie made his live stage debut as John Merrick in the Bernard Pomerance play "The Elephant Man." The show debuted July 29 at the Denver Centre for the Performing Arts and ran until Aug. 3. It would go on to have successful runs in Chicago and on Broadway in New York City.

Bowie would receive praise from the New York Times, BBC and Rolling Stone for his portrayal of the Victorian era British man who suffered deformities from Neurofibromatosis. Bowie said at the time that the role was "undoubtedly the single biggest challenge of my career."

Watch a video of David Bowie describing the role along with excerpts from the play,

Check out the recent video for "Blackstar" below and read CPR Classical's take on Bowie's orchestral works.