After releasing her first album as Palehound in 2015, Ellen Kempner struggled with grief and anxiety after the death of a close friend and her grandmother. Those experiences inspired the songs on the Boston singer and guitarist's sophomore LP, "A Place I'll Always Go." As a result the album is heavier and more experimental than the trio's debut. Palehound stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before a gig at Lost Lake Lounge. Kempner played four songs from "A Place I'll Always Go" and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about maturing as a songwriter over the past two years and her inclusion on the New York Times' "25 Women Making The Best Rock Music Today."
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.
The band mixes hypnotic space rock influences with indie pop melodies to create an interstellar listening experience.
Ghost Tapes creates a blend of classic genres on its debut self-titled LP. Singer Ishka Phoenix leads the Denver quintet with remarkably soulful vocals while the band borrows elements from jazz, R&B and hip-hop. The band's energetic live show won them new fans at this year's Westword Music Showcase and Underground Music Showcase in Denver. Ghost Tapes stopped by the CPR Performance Studio last month before its album release show. The band members played four songs and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about waiting over a year to release the finished album, their songwriting process and creating a "shrine" to acknowledge their appreciation for the Denver music scene.
Kerstan Wallace has made music for years, both under his own name and as Human Milk. But the Denver singer-songwriter had never shared the songs from his debut LP "Head Bender" with a live audience until he stopped by the CPR Performance Studio last month. That record features upbeat experimental pop that compelled us to include him on our latest Colorado Music Sampler. Kerstan Wallace played three songs from "Head Bender" in our studio. He also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about balancing his work as a geologist with his music career, spending as many as 50 hours writing one song and combining his music with video art.
Ian Cooke is one of our favorite recurring guests in the CPR Performance Studio. Last month the Denver experimental folk artist made his fifth appearance at CPR's OpenAir to share music from his forthcoming LP "The Flight I Flew." Music from the record will serve as the soundtrack for Celestial Navigation, the new show from Denver dance group Wonderbound opening Oct. 13. Ian Cooke and his band -- featuring Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa -- played three songs from "The Flight I Flew." Cooke also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about creating an "intimate" vibe on the new LP, writing a narrative that takes place in outer space and what it's like to see his music interpreted through dance.
Shoegaze pioneers Ride visited us in the CPR Performance Studio before a show in Denver. The band played acoustic versions of two "Weather Diaries" tracks along with two songs from "Nowhere."
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.
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.