Best of 2013 Colorado VIPs: Scott LaBarbera of The Oriental Theater
Scott LaBarbera, owner of The Oriental Theater
- Natalie Tate- Given Day – Angelic yet haunting – sweet yet powerful, Natalie created the most memorable album for me this year.
- Paper Bird- Rooms– Unlike previous Paper Bird Albums, this record took a few listens to grasp the layered depth. But once I got it, it became my favorite Paper Bird album to date.
- Chimney Choir- Compass– Creatively ambitious, this album was released in three installments, with each of the release shows taking place in unique and intimate locations around Denver. Chimney Choir has aggressively toured and performed over the past few years and it’s apparent how well they have bonded as a band on this gem.
- a tom collins- Stick & Poke– This latest from this Ragtime, R & B, soul (and a few more genres I’m sure I left out) is a fun listen and the 3rd track on the disc, “Hospital,” has quickly become a local classic.
- Joshua Novak- Ephemeron-*Disclaimer* -I help manage Josh- but the main reason I help him is because I am a huge fan of his music and his latest doesn’t disappoint- the CD release show (at the L2 event center) with an all-star support cast (including Ian Cooke) was quite a special evening of indie-pop music.
- Spirits of the Red City- Jula– Released by local label Collectible Records (which was founded by Mason Terry -bassist for Paper Bird and Clouds & Moutains) SOTRC only has one member with Denver ties (Tyler Archuletta- former trombonist of Paper Bird) – but do yourself a favor and give this beautiful record a listen.
- Varlet- American Hymns– This album crosses into a indie-lounge-jazz genre that Lilly Scott and her incredibly talented bandmates somehow manage to perfectly pull off.
- Fierce Bad Rabbit- The Maestro and the Elephant– This Ft. Collins-based indie pop rock act got a little bit of national attention with their latest indie-pop/rock release last January.
- White Fudge- Busta Nut– The most underrated band in Denver- the recent addition of former El Chapultepec house keyboardist Chad Aman with an already stellar group of musicians backing Josh Martinez, Jerry Cass and Aaron Howell’s hilarious vocals truly make this a local supergroup to watch.
- Joshua Trinidad- Maritime – I’ve always been a fan of Josh’s Trinidad’s trumpeting, but I am used to hearing him play Jazz or Hip Hop (Go Star / Wheelchair Sports Camp), but on this Tommy Metz (Iuengliss) produced album he branches out playing trumpet over “dreamy Electronica” on this well crafted 6 song EP.
- Changing Colors- Joan and the King– Another Blank Tape Record / Colorado Springs alumni; Folky hipster frontman Conor Bourgal (who also is one of the nicest folks you could meet) released this emotionally charged record, complete with sometime-dark folk storytelling about love and life.
- Joe Johnson- New West Sound -This Blank Tape Records recording artist and Louisiana-native, who is now part of the exciting Roots/Americana scene in Pueblo / CO Springs, has created an album with a raw blend of old-school blues, roots and Americana.
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