Music News

Courtney Barnett Cancels Project Pabst Denver Appearance; Best Coast To Replace Her

Recorded in the CPR Performance Studio on July 1, 2014.

More videos from the session.

Courtney Barnett has canceled her appearance at the inaugural Project Pabst Denver festival on May 21. She'll be performing on "Saturday Night Live" that evening instead.

The festival quickly added California indie rock band Best Coast to replace Barnett. 

Project Pabst will also feature Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Violent Femmes, Charles Bradley and more in Denver's RiNo neighborhood. The event also features a series of "night shows" across the Denver metro area.

Listen to our interview with Best Coast from last year. 

And even though you won't be able to see Courtney Barnett in Denver this month, you can still watch her perform at OpenAir above!

Six Of Rock's Biggest Names Team Up For California Concert

The Rolling Stones are merely one-sixth of the classic acts performing at Desert Trip in October.

The Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan. Paul McCartney. Neil Young. The Who. Roger Waters.

Each of these acts could easily headline large concert arenas across the world in 2016.

But all of them together? It's happening this October in Indio, Calif.

The Desert Trip three-day concert event will bring these six iconic rock artists together for the first time. Tickets go on sale May 9 with prices ranging from $399 to $1,599.

Update: The festival has expanded to a second weekend. The event will take place both Oct. 7-9 and 14-16. 

Watch the video for The Who's "The Kids Are Alright" below.

A Friend Shares Prince Memories From Paisley Park


(Photo: Scott Penner/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons)

The music world is still reeling today from the news of Prince's death.

Fans and journalists in Minnesota -- which the artist called home throughout his remarkable career -- mourned en masse outside Prince's Paisley Park home in suburban Minneapolis.

Andrea Swensson, music reporter for Minnesota Public Radio's The Current, was on site today at Paisley Park. She had gotten to know Prince over the past few years after he took a liking to a drawing she had made of one of his performances.

Swensson spoke with us over the phone to share some touching Prince memories and describe the reaction in the Twin Cities. 

Read and listen to those below.

On the scene outside Paisley Park immediately after news of Prince's death:

"There's a memorial wall that has started. The fence around Paisley is being covered in purple balloons and purple flowers.  

"When we got word that it was in fact Prince that had died, that was a really rough hour or so of people flooding the scene and crying together and holding each other. Even the journalists were hugging."

Listen: Andrea Swensson On The Scene Outside Paisley Park

On her first time meeting Prince one-on-one at Paisley Park:

"I was so taken aback by how funny and down to earth and genuine he seemed. He was obviously very shy. He kept a very private life. But in that moment he was very candid and sweet."

Listen: Andrea Swensson On Her First Time Meeting Prince

On Prince's impact on the city of Minneapolis:

"He was Minneapolis. There's an entire genre of music that we know now as the Minneapolis sound, and he created it. ... I don't think we're even going to understand the full impact of his legacy for years."

Listen: Andrea Swensson On What Prince Meant To Minneapolis

On her favorite Prince memory:

"The last time I saw him perform was alone at the piano. He played 'Purple Rain.' ... At the end of the song he got up, walked offstage and came back and said: 'That song, I guess it still means something to me.' And he was visibly crying. Shaken from the experience of playing it.

"That he was that moved by it, I'll never forget that."

Listen: Andrea Swensson On Her Favorite Prince Memory

Listen: A FoCoMX 2016 Playlist From OpenAir


(Photo: CPR / Daniel Mescher)

The eighth annual Fort Collins Music eXperiment (FoCoMX) takes place Friday and Saturday.

More than 250 Colorado bands will perform at various Fort Collins venues. If that sounds a bit overwhelming, OpenAir is here to help.

We've highlighted 10 artists to see this weekend including Denver rockers Bud Bronson & the Good Timers, rapper Qbala and folk band Pandas & People.

Listen to OpenAir's FoCoMX 2016 mix below and follow us on Spotify for more playlists.

2016 Film On The Rocks Program Announced

A concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater at night. 

(Courtesy Visit Denver)

The Denver Film Society today released the schedule for the 17th season of Film on the Rocks, a series of screenings at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre with opening performances from local and national artists.

Highlights include a screening of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" with Strawberry Runners and The Baltic and "Labyrinth" with School of Rock: A Tribute to Bowie.

Update: The Film on the Rocks program will open early on May 12 with a screening of "Purple Rain" and a "special local all-star Prince tribute."

The full schedule:

  • May 12: "Purple Rain" with local Prince tribute
  • May 23: "Grease" with Lissie and Megan Burtt & the Cure For Love
  • May 30: "The Big Lebowski" with Anthony Ruptak & The Midnight Friends and The River Arkansas
  • June 15: "Citizen Kane" in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the dedication of Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  • June 20: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" with Strawberry Runners and The Baltic
  • July 11: "The Sandlot" with special guests and Brent Cowles
  • July 25: "Labyrinth" with School of Rock: A Tribute to Bowie
  • Aug. 23:"Deadpool" with The Blue Rider
  • Sept. 6: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

Watch videos of Megan Burtt, Strawberry Runners and The Blue Rider in the CPR Performance Studio below.

OpenAir hosts Denver singer-songwriter Megan Burtt in a performance of "Fast As I Go." Recorded on Aug. 3, 2015 in the CPR Performance Studio.

Watch more videos from the session.

OpenAir hosts Denver's Strawberry Runners in a performance of "Hatcher Creek." Recorded on May 4, 2015 in the CPR Performance Studio.

OpenAir hosted The Blue Rider in a performance of "Year of the Horse." Recorded in the CPR Performance Studio on February 17, 2015.

Watch more videos from the session.

The Underground Music Showcases Reveals Initial Music Lineup For 2016

The UMS Main Stage in 2014.

(photo: CPR / Michael Hughes)

The Underground Music Showcase returns to Denver's Baker neighborhood July 28-31. Festival organizers today announced its initial headliners and a selection of Colorado artists who will perform over the event's four days.

National headliners for the 2016 edition of UMS include Minneapolis synth-pop group Polica, San Francisco garage rockers Thee Oh Sees, Los Angeles band Allah-Las and Brooklyn's San Fermin.

Colorado highlights include The Yawpers, Strawberry Runners, Sound of Ceres, Flaural and more.

See the full list of UMS 2016 artists below. 

  • Polica
  • Thee Oh Sees
  • Allah Las
  • San Fermin
  • Lee Fields & the Expressions
  • The Yawpers
  • Adia Victoria
  • The Bright Light Social Hour
  • The Bunny Gang
  • Covenhoven
  • Dirty Few
  • Rob Drabkin
  • Emerald Siam
  • The Epilogues
  • Flaural
  • Fort Frances
  • Methyl Ethel
  • Plum
  • Porlolo
  • Promised Land Sound
  • Shady Elders
  • Slow Caves
  • The Raven & the Writing Desk
  • So Pitted
  • Sound of Ceres
  • South of France
  • The Still Tide
  • Strawberry Runners
  • Sunboy
  • Ultimate Painting
  • Wiredogs

​Watch The Yawpers perform "Doin' It Right" in the CPR Performance Studio 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.

Divide Music Festival: New Winter Park Event Announces Music Lineup

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

(Photo: CPR / Daniel Mescher)

Add another name to the list of new Colorado music festivals: Divide Music Festival is set for July 22-24 in Winter Park.

Festival organizers today announced the inaugural music lineup. It features Kid Cudi, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Passion Pit, Blondie and more. 

Camping will be available for festival attendees. Additional Colorado acts will be added to the lineup later.

Divide is the latest new music festival in Colorado. Vertex Festival in Buena Vista and Project Pabst in Denver will also hold inaugural events this year. 

See the full Divide lineup and watch the video for Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness" below.

LCD Soundsystem Announces Two Reunion Shows At Red Rocks

LCD Soundsystem will reunite to headline this year's Coachella Festival.

Electronica act LCD Soundsystem has announced two reunion shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison this summer. The shows are set for Aug. 2 and 3 and will feature openers Savages and Museum of Love.

LCD Soundsystem split up in 2011 after releasing three acclaimed albums. The band played its first reunion show on Sunday and is set to perform at major music festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo this year. 

The band previously performed at Red Rocks in 2007 with Arcade Fire.

Read NPR's review of the first LCD Soundsystem reunion show in New York City.

Watch the video for LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge":

Lollapalooza Announces 2016 Music Lineup

Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead

Lollapalooza, the annual music festival in Chicago, has announced its music lineup for 2016. 

This year's headliners include Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, J. Cole, Disclosure and Lana Del Rey.

Denver's Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Flume, Grimes, M83, Leon Bridges, Bloc Party and many more will also perform at the four-day event, which takes place July 28-31.

Check out the full Lollapalooza 2016 lineup

Watch Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats perform "Thank You" in the CPR Performance Studio below.

Recorded in the CPR Performance Studio on Dec. 18, 2014. Watch more videos from the session.


SXSW 2016: Watch Performances From Lucius, Anderson .Paak And More

Thousands of artists flooded Austin, Texas, last week for another South By Southwest music showcase. While chronicling every SXSW performance would be a Herculean feat, NPR Music was on the scene to film many of the shows.

We've highlighted a few of their selections below, including rapper Anderson .Paak, a "SXSW Lullaby" from indie pop band Lucius and more.

(Note: Some of these videos contain profanity.)

Mitski (Full Performance)

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals: "Green Light"

Charles Bradley: "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"

Lucius: "Dusty Trails"

Read about Colorado's musical presence at this year's SXSW, including Dressy Bessy, The Yawpers and Sound of Ceres.