Thee Commons have crafted a rousing blend of psychedelic rock and Mexican cumbia music over the course of three albums, the latest of which is this year's "Paleta Sonora." The trio -- featuring brothers David and Rene Pacheco and bassist Jose Rojas -- has a reputation as one of Los Angeles' best live bands for its feral energy and unique sound. Thee Commons stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before a show at Denver's Lost Lake Lounge. The band members played four songs off "Paleta Sonora" and spoke with Bruce Mitchell about the musical upbringing in the Pacheco household, their love for '90s pop stars like Mariah Carey and Backstreet Boys and how the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" influenced the new record.
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.
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas describe their music as "Latin-punk-Motown-soul." The Detroit band released two versions of its latest album: An English version called "Telephone," and the Spanish "Teléfono." Regardless of the language, Hernandez and her band bring a raw garage-rock energy to their songs. Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas played four songs from "Telephone" in the CPR Performance Studio. Hernandez spoke with Alisha Sweeney about channeling her Cuban heritage on the new albums, translating her English lyrics to Spanish and how her pregnancy has affected her recent live performances.
King Cardinal recently made its second appearance in the CPR Performance Studio. The Denver folk-rock six-piece is set to release its debut album "Great Lakes" this week. Singer Brennan Mackey and his band headed to Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, Texas, to record with producer Ted Young, whose resume includes work with Kurt Vile and Sonic Youth. King Cardinal played four songs from "Great Lakes" in our studio. The band members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about their admiration for Young's work and the story behind the song "Chicago."
Greg Gonzalez started making music as Cigarettes After Sex in 2008. After nearly a decade of relative obscurity, the El Paso singer and guitarist released his debut album in June. The dreamlike ambient rock of the self-titled LP quickly won over fans and critics alike. Cigarettes After Sex joined us in the CPR Performance Studio this week before a headlining show at the Bluebird Theater. The band played four songs from its album and Gonzalez spoke with Jeremy Petersen about how moving to New York changed the trajectory of the band, receiving high praise from French singer Françoise Hardy and his aspiration to work on film soundtracks.
The Yawpers last joined us in our studio in 2015, shortly after the release of the album "American Man." The Denver trio continues to meld blues, country and punk rock on "Boy In A Well," the band's third LP. Tommy Stinson of The Replacements produced the new record, which is a concept album set in France after World War I. The Yawpers returned to the CPR Performance Studio last weekend to play three songs from "Boy In A Well." The members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about how the concept for the album came together, its comic book companion piece and an upcoming international tour.
Mount Orchid takes cues from surf, pop and psychedelic rock on the new EP "Wallflower Child." The quartet hails from Grand Junction and recently visited Denver for a headlining gig at The Curtis Club. Mount Orchid performed a few songs from "Wallflower Child" in the CPR Performance Studio earlier this month. The members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about how Mount Orchid was originally a studio-only band, recording in a particularly cozy home studio in Grand Junction and the music scene in western Colorado.
Pickwick last joined us in the CPR Performance Studio back in 2014, when the Seattle indie rockers were on tour in support of their debut album, "Can't Talk Medicine." The six-piece returned to CPR's OpenAir last month following the release "LoveJoys," a sophomore record nearly five years in the making. Pickwick played four songs from "LoveJoys" in our studio. The band members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the long break between albums, working with hip-hop producer Erik Blood and taking inspiration from disco artists like The Bee Gees.
Denver musician John Runnels began performing as Morning Bear in 2014. He draws inspiration from indie folk artists like Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver while adding classical instruments like flute and cello to his music. Next month the band heads to Brest, France -- one of Denver's sister cities -- to perform as part of a cultural exchange program. Morning Bear stopped into the CPR Performance Studio with string quintet Denver Nexus Project. In addition to playing a few songs, Runnels spoke with Jeremy Petersen about his teenage street performances on Denver's 16th Street Mall, how he started the band after a spontaneous trip to Europe and his forthcoming visit to Brest.
Motion Trap's music ranges from party-ready dance music to ethereal synth-rock. The Denver duo of Kyle Williams and Nathan Rogers formed the band in 2012 and this month released its sophomore album, "Heavenly Bodies." Last week Motion Trap stopped into the CPR Performance Studio for the first time. Williams and Rogers played four songs and spoke with Scott Carney about forming the band in a college dorm in Nebraska and taking inspiration from dance-rock bands like Cut Copy for "Heavenly Bodies."
The music of Ancient Elk is hard to define. The Denver quartet has won a Westword Music Award in both the "avant-garde" and "Americana" categories. But it also incorporates jazz, psych-rock and folk on its debut self-titled album, which it released this week. Ancient Elk visited the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs from the LP. The members also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about writing the album over the course of three years, the coloring book they're offering with "Ancient Elk" and their connection to the Moon Magnet music collective in Denver.