Denver's FaceMan has a reputation for a wild live show. Westword gave the band's 2014 Lost Lake Lounge concert the "Best Stage Art" award for its shark-shaped stage. The trio -- which recently incorporated a horn section -- also organizes festival-sized events like the recent "100 Year Storm" at Denver's Oriental Theater, which brought together 100 Colorado acts to perform over two days. FaceMan recently released the album "Wild And Hunting." The band returned to the CPR Performance Studio for the first time since 2013 to play four songs from the album. They also spoke with Alicia 'Bruce' Mitchell about how they do more with less for live shows, collaborating with a horn section and working with local artists for their album cover art.
Two members of the Colorado band Elephant Revival joined us last week for an unusual session in the CPR Performance Studio. Violinist Bridget Law and singer-percussionist Bonnie Paine played with members of the Colorado Symphony for a special performance that featured music from the band's latest album, "Petals," as well as some older material. Elephant Revival will share the stage with the Symphony Saturday night at Denver's Boettcher Concert Hall.
The members of Chimney Choir have defied genres and labels with their music since they got together in 2011. The Denver band blends folk, electronica, rock and even ballet music on last year's "Boomtown." Chimney Choir will release the album "(dream)" with an interactive live show at the Mercury Cafe on Saturday. The band stopped into the CPR Performance Studio beforehand to preview some music from the new LP. They talked with Alisha Sweeney about composing "sound collages," collaborating with the Denver dance troupe Wonderbound and what they have in store for their concert this weekend.
Loch Lomond might be a new name to Colorado audiences, but the band is well-established in their home of Portland, Ore. Frontman Ritchie Young -- the band's one constant member -- has released six indie folk-rock albums over the last 13 years, the most recent of which is "Pens From Spain." Young and the current Loch Lomond lineup stopped by the CPR Performance Studio before two Colorado shows. They played three songs and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about opening for case/lang/veirs at the Denver Botanic Gardens this summer, the joy of traveling the world, and writing music for the 2014 animated film "The Boxtrolls."
Esmé Patterson has performed in the CPR Performance Studio several times over the past five years. Her latest session marked a milestone: the 400th performance we've recorded for OpenAir Sessions. The Colorado native this year released her third studio album, "We Were Wild." It's an introspective album that reflects on her recent 30th birthday and leaving her former band Paper Bird. It's also the first she recorded outside Colorado, in her new home of Portland, Ore. Patterson performed four songs from "We Were Wild" in our studio. She spoke with Alisha Sweeney about the subject matter of the new album, the contrast between Portland and Denver, and getting whiplash while filming a recent music video.
Sean Hoots founded Hoots & Hellmouth in 2005, originally as a folk duo. The group soon expanded to a four-piece that blends rock, country and gospel music. They're known for a compelling live show in which they stomp on bass drums and play a variety of acoustic instruments. The Philadelphia-based band this month will release the album "In The Trees Where I Can See The Forest," their first LP in five years. Hoots says the album moves toward an R&B sound and incorporates more electric instruments. Hoots & Hellmouth played four songs from the new album and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the constant evolution of their sound, the music video for the single "Diction" and self-releasing their music.
The Shreveport, La., quartet Seratones mixes Southern soul with garage rock swagger on their debut album, "Get Gone." Fronted by the powerful singer A.J. Haynes, the band earned a spot on Paste Magazine's "20 Best New Bands of 2015" list. The band stopped into the CPR Performance Studio prior to a show at Denver's Fillmore Auditorium with St. Paul & the Broken Bones. They performed three songs from "Get Gone" and spoke with Jeremy Petersen about the multitude of genres the band incorporates, the music scene in their hometown of Shreveport and adjusting to life as a touring band.
Denver musician Jon Shockness caught our attention as a member of hip-hop band Air Dubai and his soulful solo work as Kid Astronaut. Now, he's teamed up with Nigerian-born producer Daniel Iyere for the new band HVN -- which is pronounced "heaven." CPR's OpenAir was privy to one of the first ever HVN live performances when we welcomed them into our studio last month. Iyere's synth-heavy electronic production gives a modern edge to the R&B that Shockness has explored throughout his career. HVN performed four songs in our studio and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about the genesis of their collaboration, how living in Denver has influenced their music and some details of their forthcoming debut EP.
Wheelchair Sports Camp has spent years establishing a reputation as "Denver's biggest smallest band" through live shows, EPs and singles that blend Kalyn Heffernan's rap lyrics with rock, jazz and even country instruments. Their music has won them fans like rapper Sage Francis and landed them on the cover of The Village Voice. This month the band released their debut studio album, "No Big Deal." They worked with keyboardist and producer Isaiah "Ikey" Owens on the album shortly before his death in 2014. Wheelchair Sports Camp returned to our CPR Performance Studio this month to perform some music from the album. They also spoke with Alisha Sweeney about working with the late Owens, signing to Sage Francis' Strange Famous label and getting "roasted" by comedian Jeff Ross at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.
If you're familiar with the Elephant Six collective, you'll know there have been several notable bands with a Denver connection to come out of it. In addition to Neutral Milk Hotel, The Apples In Stereo and Dressy Bessy, that list includes The Minders, who have since relocated to Portland, Ore. Fronted by Martyn Leaper, The Minders have been fairly quiet in recent years. But the band returned this month with the album "Into The River," which they released the same day they visited our CPR Performance Studio. Leaper and his band played four songs from the new album. He also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about incorporating string parts into the band's music for the first time, how they spent the 10 years since the debut album, and the history behind the Elephant Six collective.