Get your head out of Spin magazine and dig some Colorado sounds
I’ll admit it. I’ve been guilty in the past of writing off the Colorado music scene as a bunch of banjo wielding hillbillies and mindless guitar shredding Trey Anastasio wannabes (that’s a jam band diss in case you didn’t catch it).
I blame Spin magazine. Read that for too long and you to will start to think that all good music does in fact come from Brooklyn, more specifically Williamsburg.
The Brooklyn scene is great, but good music can come from anywhere.
Historically, there have been several pockets of musical creativity in the United States: the Pacific northwest; Athens, Ga.; San Francisco; and Austin, Texas.
It’s time to add another region to that list. It’s official. I’m declaring Colorado a hot spot for music.
There are exciting new bands coming from all corners of the state. It’s not just Denver leading the charge. The Mile High City does have a lot to do with this creative explosion but don’t give it all the credit.
Take Fort Collins for example. Pretty Lights, one of the biggest names in the electronic dance music (EDM) scene, and electro dance rock band Common Anomaly both hail from the college town and are headed down to South By Southwest (SXSW) to play an unofficial showcase.
If you remember any Fort Collins band, let it be You Me and Apollo. It plays acoustic rock a la Josh Ritter/M. Ward and it’s headed our way with a show tentatively scheduled for late March.
One of the most blogged about bands of 2011 and 2012, and perhaps the crown jewel of the Denver music scene, is a band called Tennis. This band is so indie, the info tab on its Facebook page isn’t filled out.
The first song that really caught my attention was “Marathon” off Tennis’ 2011 release, “Cape Dory.” Interestingly enough, the entire “Cape Dory” album is about a sailing trip the husband and wife duo took down the Atlantic Coast, which explains the band uniform of boat shoes and rolled up khakis.
Tennis’ latest album, “Young & Old,” is so good it makes me a little sick. It’s indie beach pop that your body just eats up like sunlight.
Tennis’ music is so easy to listen to and it doesn’t hurt that is heavy on female vox. I’ve always been a sucker for foxy lead singers, and Tennis is game, set and match.
There are several bands in Denver worth a listen.
If Tennis is a little to bright for you, then delve into the shadow world where Snake Rattle Rattle Snake resides. Its music is heavy on rhythm and attitude, and somewhat reminiscent of Jack White’s Dead Weather project.
One of the most interesting Colorado projects is BLKHRTS. This goth rap group claims to have been “born in the pits of hell, but you can’t put that on a birth certificate, so we will say they are from Denver.”
Apparently, growing up in hell makes you a fan of indie Brit pop. The group sites Joy Division, The Smiths and Radiohead as lyric influences. Go figure.
For me, this is an exciting time for music. I’ll selfishly claim any cool music being made in the state as my own because this is my home.
My parents are Colorado natives, most of my family is scattered between Denver and Pueblo. I’m not just a Grand Junction resident, I’m a resident of the state.
It’s time to get excited about this expanding music scene. They are putting the rad in Colorado.