Chicano Batman is having a breakout year. NPR tabbed the Los Angeles quartet to perform at its Radio Day Showcase at South By Southwest in March alongside Spoon and Valerie June. 2017 also marks the release of the new album"Freedom Is Free," a record that finds the band incorporating retro soul and funk music into its sound. Chicano Batman stopped by the CPR Performance Studio before a show at Denver's Bluebird Theater. The band members -- along with backup singers -- performed five songs and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the political themes on "Freedom Is Free," paying tribute to the soul music of the 1970s and how their audience has grown with the new album.
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.
Self-described "surf" band The Kinky Fingers might reside in a landlocked state, but its reverb-heavy guitar licks bring to mind the classic California Sound. The Denver quartet has released a number of EPs since forming four years ago, and its new release "Worst Of" collects those songs onto one record. The Kinky Fingers stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play some new songs. The band members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about the decision to re-release old songs, their recent recording sessions in New York and some tour stories from Mexico.
The Patient Zeros originally hail from Lansing, Mich., but moved to Denver in 2012. The blues-rock trio last year released the album "Sirens Calling" and is scheduled to perform at Denver's Underground Music Showcase in July. They band also plans to release a new EP in August. The Patient Zeros stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play some songs from "Sirens Calling" and some older songs. The members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about establishing themselves in Denver's music scene, the recent addition of bassist Michael Raymond and tackling relationship issues with their lyrics.
Holophrase has crafted music that blurs the line between art rock and experimental electronica for five years. The Denver band last year released the album "Stay Being," which features glitchy synthesizer sounds, horns and guest appearances from members of fellow locals Wheelchair Sports Camp. Holophrase stopped into the CPR Performance Studio and played three songs from "Stay Being." The band members also spoke with Scott Carney about the turtle-starring music video for "Alligatron," recording the album at Denver's Dryer Plug Studios and collaborating with bassist Juan Alderete of The Mars Volta.
Siblings Rebecca and Joshua Williams grew up performing in a church where their father is a pastor. They've since directed their talents outside the church toward rock music: Rebecca sings and plays guitar with Joshua on drums in The Savage Blush -- along with bassist Brian Wyatt. The Denver trio released the "Dust" EP last year and has followed that up with a two new singles in 2017. The Savage Blush stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play a few new songs. Rebecca and Joshua also spoke with Alicia Bruce Mitchell about their musical upbringing, their busy 2017 touring schedule and plans for a full-length album.
Colfax Speed Queen has been a can't-miss live act in Colorado's music scene for several years. The Denver garage rock band's concerts involve crowd-surfing and mosh pits while the band delivers high-energy guitar and organ riffs. Colfax Speed Queen last November released its sophomore album "Talk To Your Doctor." We recently welcomed the band back into the CPR Performance Studio for the first time since 2013. The band members played a few songs from the new album and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about channeling their live energy in the studio, making a split single with fellow Denver band The Ned Garthe Explosion and some recent tour memories in Kansas City.
It's plain to hear that Sweet Spirit has a big sound: The Austin, Texas, rock band has nine members and one of the most energetic frontwomen in indie music. That's Sabrina Ellis, who also sings for A Giant Dog. Sweet Spirit last month released the new album "St. Mojo." Six of the band members stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before a gig at Denver's Hi-Dive to perform four songs from the new LP. They also spoke with Scott Carney about their non-stop touring schedule and their friendship with fellow Austin band Spoon.
The indie hip-hop veteran stopped into our studio on the release day for his new album "All The Beauty In This Whole Life."
The Denver quartet's latest record is set for release on the Denver label Greater Than Collective.
Why? has spent more than a decade crafting experimental rock music with a strong dose of hip-hop. Much of that comes from bandleader Yoni Wolf, who has also toured as a solo rapper. The Cincinnati band's latest album, "Moh Lhean," is a collection of melancholy piano ballads -- some of them written after Wolf suffered a bout of poor health in Central America. Why? stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before a Denver show to play four songs from the new album. Wolf also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about balancing various musical projects, the health scare that influenced "Moh Lhean" and recording the album in his home studio.