Shannon And The Clams released their fifth album, "Onion," earlier this year. The Oakland quartet teamed up with producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys for the record, which features the retro rock and pop sound of the band's previous work. Singer Shannon Shaw's lyrics pay tribute to the victims of the 2016 fire at the Ghost Ship venue in the band's hometown. Shannon And The Clams stopped into the CPR Performance Studio before a pair of Colorado shows. The band members played three songs from "Onion" and spoke with Bruce Trujillo about writing about friends who had died in the Ghost Ship fire, playing the songs from "Onion" in Oakland for the first time and how Auerbach's support has affected their career.
Mona Magno (aka Monalicious) is the singer-songwriter and baritone ukulele player behind Twin Flame Medicine. The Denver artist -- who also fronts Flowers of Mass Production -- and her band combine folk instruments with jazz grooves and soulful melodies. The band released its self-titled debut album last week. Twin Flame Medicine joined us in the CPR Performance Studio before the album's release. The band played four songs and Magno spoke with Alisha Sweeney about balancing various musical projects and recording the album in Fort Collins.
Palm released its sophomore album, "Rock Island," earlier this year. The Philadelphia quartet's music is hard to pin down: It incorporates elements of rock, pop, tropicalia, electronica and other genres for a bizarre and exciting sound. The band recorded much of the album in a secluded farmhouse in New York state. The band members brought their eccentric sound into the CPR Performance Studio before a show at Lost Lake in Denver. They played three songs from "Rock Island" and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about constantly reinventing their sound, their experimental music influences and whether or not rock music is "dead."
Stelth Ulvang somehow finds time to balance a solo music career with his demanding schedule as a member of Denver band The Lumineers. The Fort Collins native, who plays dozens of instruments, has released three records so far this year, the most recent of which is his solo sophomore LP, "American Boredom." Ulvang wrote and recorded the album over the course of three years during breaks from Lumineers tours. Ulvang and his band stopped into the CPR Performance Studio last week. He played four songs and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about the political themes on "American Boredom," recording an EP in South Africa and opening for U2 with the Lumineers last year.
Moaning released its self-titled debut album last month on the renowned Sub Pop record label. The Los Angeles trio writes bass-driven rock songs that recall classic post-punk albums from Gang of Four and Joy Division mixed with influences from the California indie scene. The band recently performed at this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, and Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho. Moaning stopped into the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs from its debut. The members also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about playing together since high school, their connection to the distinguished Los Angeles D.I.Y. venue The Smell and the various meanings behind their band name.
There aren't any bands quite like The Milk Blossoms. The Denver trio combines ukulele, beatboxing and keys for a unique experimental pop sound. The band just released the new album "Dry Heave The Heavenly," which was recorded in part at Denver music nonprofit Youth On Record. The Milk Blossoms first played in the CPR Performance Studio in 2015, and we were pleased to welcome them back earlier this week. The band members played three songs from the new record and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about confronting mental health issues like depression and anxiety through music, why they recorded the album live to tape and the raw energy they bring to their concerts.
Straight White Teeth is the synth-pop solo project of Patrick McGuire, formerly of Denver indie rock band Flashbulb Fires. This week McGuire announced the follow-up to 2015's "Medicine Sword" EP. He'll release the record "Physical Truth" one song at a time over the course of 2018. McGuire brought Straight White Teeth into the CPR Performance Studio this month. He played three songs and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about composing music for film, the differences between performing with a full band and as a solo act, and how a recent bicycle accident affected his songwriting.
Dragondeer released its debut album, "If You Got The Blues," last week. The Denver quartet has long been one of our favorite local bands for its lively blend of blues and psychedelic rock music. We welcomed them back into the CPR Performance Studio for the third time shortly before the record's release. The members of Dragondeer played three songs and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about writing music in the bathtub, how "If You Got The Blues" documents the last four years of their lives and incorporating reggae themes into their music.
Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir is one of eight Colorado acts performing at this year's South By Southwest music showcase in Austin, Texas. The Denver Americana-rock quintet formed in 2013 -- the same year it first played in the CPR Performance Studio. Last week the band released its debut album, "Long Way Home," before heading down to perform at SXSW. Brown and his band returned to CPR's OpenAir to share three songs from the new LP. Brown also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about how listening to albums from start to finish as a teenager influences his songwriting and how the band will open for country musician Keith Urban at SXSW this week.
Neyla Pekarek has been the cellist for Denver folk-rock group The Lumineers since 2010. Despite that band's demanding touring schedule, the Colorado native found time to write and record the original folk opera "Rattlesnake," which she'll release as an album later this year. It's based on the life of Northern Colorado pioneer "Rattlesnake" Kate McHale, who in 1925 allegedly killed 140 snakes to save her life and that of her three-year-old son. Pekarek and her band visited the CPR Performance Studio to play four songs from "Rattlesnake." She also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about how she discovered the story of Rattlesnake Kate as a student at the University of Northern Colorado, recording the album with M. Ward in Portland, Ore., and going on tour with U2 last year.