Don Chicharrón specializes in a type of Peruvian psychedelic rock music called Chicha. Led by vocalist Aldo Pantoja, the Denver nine-piece has a vast sound that's both bizarre and danceable. The band released its self-titled debut album this month and will celebrate Saturday with a release show at Denver's Hi-Dive. Don Chicharrón stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play some new music. The band members also spoke with Bruce Trujillo about the origins of Chicha music, recruiting some family members to play on the new record and the growing popularity of Latinx music in Denver and beyond.
CPR Performance Studio
The Colorado Pubic Radio Performance Studio provides a stage to showcase the depth and variety of both classical, and new and independent music coming to, and from, Colorado. CPR's OpenAir also offers a podcast of interviews and performances from select musicians, and additional performances from the archive available here.
We first met Spirettes at our 2017 "Super Session" in Colorado Springs, which was featured on the current season of our collaborative TV series with CPT12, "OpenAir Live & Local." The band, then a trio, performed songs from its self-titled debut record at that event. Now, Spirettes plan to release a new EP this spring with an expanded lineup. Spirettes stopped by the CPR Performance Studio before a gig at Denver's Syntax Physic Opera. The band members played four songs and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about the band's origin at a 2016 Courtney Barnett concert in Denver, incorporating the cello into their music and their collaborative songwriting process.
Tropa Magica is a new project from brothers David and Rene Pacheco, founders of the Los Angeles band Thee Commons. They released their self-titled debut album as Tropa Magica last year. The Pachecos expand on their "psychedelic cumbia punk" sound on the record by adding jazz and pop influences. Tropa Magica stopped by the CPR Performance Studio last year. The band members played four songs and spoke with Bruce Trujillo about forming Tropa Magica on New Year's Day 2018, taking inspiration from French cabaret singer Édith Piaf and the growing popularity of Latinx music in the U.S.
The Helio Sequence recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the release of its fourth album, "Keep Your Eyes Ahead." The Portland, Ore., duo marked the occasion by releasing a deluxe edition of the record via Sup Pop and embarking on a month-long U.S. tour in which the band performed the album in its entirety. That trek included a stop at Denver's Globe Hall. The Helio Sequence stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before that show to play four songs from "Keep Your Eyes Ahead." The band members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about Portland's music scene, re-learning to play several songs from the album and their plans to get back in the studio.
Anthony Ruptak released his debut album, "A Place That Never Changes," this month. It was a difficult project for the Denver singer-songwriter, who lost his instruments, songbooks and savings when his house was burglarized before finishing the album. Ruptak was able to complete the record with some help from the Denver music community. Ruptak and his band recently stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play three songs from "A Place That Never Changes." He also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the "cinematic" quality of the album, playing 16 different instruments and how he got back on his feet after the burglary.
Wye Oak released the album "The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs" last spring. Led by the songwriting duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, the Baltimore group has made a habit of changing its sound from record to record, and its sixth full-length is no exception. With the addition of new member Will Hackney, Wye Oak's sound has grown fuller and richer. Wye Oak stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before headlining Denver's Bluebird Theater. The band members played four songs and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about expanding the band's sound on the new record, how they write music while living in different cities and the ambiguous meaning of the album's title.
The trio of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker stopped into our studio before a show at Denver's Ogden Theatre.
Why? recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its second album, "Alopecia." The breakout full-length from the Cincinnati band introduced many new fans to frontman Yoni Wolf's eccentric take on indie rock and hip-hop. The band is performing the album in full on its current tour, which included a recent stop at the Gothic Theatre. Why? returned to the CPR Performance Studio before that show to play four songs from "Alopecia." Wolf also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about his songwriting techniques ten years ago, the music that inspired "Alopecia" and why the record is a fan favorite.
Natalie Prass released the follow-up to her breakout debut album last summer. The Virginia singer-songwriter scrapped material she had planned to use for the record and wrote "The Future and the Past" after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The album finds Prass adding disco and R&B sounds to her music. Prass and her band stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before a show at Denver's Larimer Lounge to play three songs from "The Future and the Past." She also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about sharing a stage with Paul McCartney at a recent music festival, why she decided to change her sound on the album and working with producer Matthew E. White.
DeVotchKa recently released its seventh studio album, "This Night Falls Forever." The record arrives seven years after the Denver band's most recent album, during which the four members pursued various side projects. It features an eclectic range of sounds backed by vigorous string sections. DeVotchKa returned to the CPR Performance Studio to play three songs from the new album. Singer Nick Urata also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about how he found a lost notebook filled with song lyrics and how his work on film scores has influenced DeVotchKa's sound.