Monthly Archives: November 2016

Elton John is coming to Colorado Springs on limited U.S. tour

Tickets for his March 16 date are on sale at 10 a.m. The 69-year-old musician, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, said he’s touring less these days so he can spend more time with his sons: “I am all too aware of how precious the time ahead is …. Their early years are just flying by and I want to be there with them.”
Fans can expect to hear sing-along classics like “Rocket Man,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and more performed by John’s crack backing band, which includes Nigel Olsson (part of John’s original three-piece band) on drums, Davey Johnstone (who first recorded with Elton in 1971 and joined the band a year later) on guitar, John Mahon on percussion, Kim Bullard on keyboards and Matt Bissonette on bass, according to promoters. 9, via, the Broadmoor World Arena Box Office, or by phone at 888-929-7849. 20, 2014, and in 2010 as part of a dual (er, dueling?) piano setup with Billy Joel. Friday, Dec. (Denver Post file)
Elton John & His Band are playing just 11 U.S. cities during his forthcoming “Wonderful Crazy Night Tour,” and Colorado Springs is one of them. Elton John performs with his band at the Pepsi Center on Sept. John previously played Denver’s Pepsi Center on Sept. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter will return to Colorado on Thursday, March 16, to play the 8,000-seat Broadmoor World Arena in a show that will feature “iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible five-decade career, as well as selected tracks from his latest release, ‘Wonderful Crazy Night,’ ” according to a tour announcement. This story was first published on 20, 2014, in Denver. He has not played Colorado Springs since 2009, according to the Broadmoor. Tickets are $49-$89 before service fees and taxes.

Dedicated Denver fans wait hours for a few seconds with Bruce Springsteen

After the September release of his hefty autobiography, the length of which is rivaled only by the raucous four-hour-plus shows he puts on, Springsteen has launched a book tour visiting a select cities, meeting and greeting the lucky few with tickets and time. Fans respond accordingly — they see themselves in his songs and now in his self-deprecating and nakedly honest writing. 6., if anyone needs any Christmas gift ideas for the fans in your life.)
The things that make Springsteen’s songs beautiful and timeless come shining through in his writing — mainly Truth, with a capital T, with a dash of humor and plenty of lyricism. Sure, there is the dive-bar and hand-to-mouth life of a starving artist as a young man and the stark, bright light of stardom, but his problems are much like the people he sings about: painfully honest and ordinary. That he can share his story so eloquently in the poetry of his music and the prose of his memoir is just what makes him the Boss. There are happy moments, too — the birth of children, the magnetic pull of performing, finding love, acceptance and Klonopin. A failed marriage. It’s why people got up at ungodly hours of the cold morning to stand in a line around a book store. Regrets. (The audiobook, which Springsteen will narrate, comes out Dec. Depression. It’s his burden and his gift. Over a thousand fans waited hours to get a photo and a signed copy of his new book, “Born to Run.” (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)
Forget about Bruce Springsteen the iconic rock star. Colfax November 30, 2016. All of this is laid bare in the book, unfolded in a conversational tone, almost as if you can hear Springsteen telling the same stories in the back of a dark New Jersey bar over beers. This man has given a lot of thought to his life, how he lives it and how he endures. Forget about the Bruce Springsteen the winner of countless Grammy Awards, an Oscar and, as of last week, a Presidential Medal of Freedom. And he shares it all with his audience. And forget about Bruce Springsteen the harmonica-slinging folk hero who channels Woody Guthrie. There are plenty of rockers who put pen to paper, producing memoirs full of sleazy bars and cheap motels and then hitting it big — only to experience the seemingly inevitable drug-fueled or disease-induced crash. Because the man who appeared at Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store on Wednesday was Bruce Springsteen, the lauded author whose writing — not his guitar — does the all the talking. Here, Springsteen stands apart. Morgan Schwartz, 11, gets a hug from super rocker Bruce Springsteen at the Tattered Cover book store on E. A distant father. Of course, the nearly 1,200 fans who lined up outside for a chance to own a signed copy of “Born to Run” and a photo with Springsteen have not forgotten any iteration of the man known as the Boss.

Download “New Beginnings” from Kind Dub, only in Steal This Track

Image courtesy of Kind Dub. But still, the production is the most impressive element. Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. Along with Kind Dub music, the Kind Dub Krew also has a Colorado ganja themed apparel line, a video production business and a music production arm. Below, download “New Beginnings,” a track about hope in a troubling world. We only feature tracks not available for free elsewhere. Fort Collins hip-hop duo Kind Dub are an ambitious couple of guys. Related Articles

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“Year of the Dragonfly” shows how Kind Dub is developing as artists. This gives the music a certain gravitas missing in previous releases. Lyrically, they take on matters both political and personal with an almost spiritual sensibility. Kind Dub is not concerned with what is expected from them as a Fort Collins hip-hop group, and instead makes music that is true to themselves. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live. With slow beats and creative flourishes, the production is reminiscent of Ant from Atmosphere without feeling like a carbon copy. If you’re a Colorado band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration. These guys are going for mogul status! But their latest release, “Year of the Dragonfly,” proves that the music is what takes center stage.

Slow Caves signs to Old Flame Records

5. They embody exactly what I look for in a band…a humble bunch of youngsters who are wise beyond their years in their approach to the game. For more information on the band’s upcoming shows, check out its website. “Hopefully, this will help more people outside of Colorado hear our music and help us grow as a band.”
Related: Cloud Nothings will never be your One Direction
Slow Caves has been active in Colorado’s rock scene for the last two years, racking up memorable shows around Fort Collins and Denver all the while, like its stage-breaking set at the Denver Post Foundation’s Underground Music Showcase. Slow Caves will embark on a brief tour in January 2017, kicking off in Grand Junction on Jan. While 2016 hasn’t been a bucket of raspberries in the music world, Fort Collins four-piece Slow Caves is ending the year on a high note. I’m beyond excited to see what we can accomplish together when all is said and done!”
Catch Slow Caves’ next show on Saturday at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, where they’ll open for IZCALLi. Seasoned players with top notch abilities who want to hit the road as hard as possible. Slow Caves jump into a new record deal. “There are a lot of really great bands on Old Flame, and we are really excited to work with them and be exposed to new audiences,” the band said in an emailed statement. Photo by Dylan Adams. Their music excites me the same way that I felt when I first heard Arctic Monkeys or The Bravery…super polished but still wearing those rose colored glasses…their whole lives ahead of them. In an emailed quote, Old Flame Records founder Rob Mason likened the band’s vibe to that of Arctic Monkeys and The Bravery:
“I’m so excited to welcome Slow Caves to the Old Flame family. The synth-swaddled garage rockers have inked a deal with Cincinnati’s Old Flame Records, former home of Cloud Nothings and Dead Confederate.

John Prine and Kasey Musgraves announce joint Red Rocks show

Musgraves joined Prine on his latest duet album, “For Better, Or Worse,” released earlier this year. Kacey Musgraves at the Bluebird Theater on April 20, 2016. Listen to them perform a cover of Buck Owens’ “Mental Cruelty” below. photos by Evan Semón for Reverb
The big summer shows keep on coming. Two generations of songwriting talent will collide at Red Rocks when folk elder-statesman John Prine plays a show with up-and-coming country crooner Kasey Musgraves on June 4. While rowdier Red Rocks concerts like Chromeo, Nathaniel Rateliff and Opeth have already cut a hole in the pocket of weekend warriors, the venue’s latest announcement should please the folk and country crowd. 2 via Tickets to the show are $49.50-$110.00 and go on sale Friday, Dec.

Photos: Hi-Dive’s 4th and 13th anniversary party

Reverend Deadeye performs at The Hi-Dive’s 13th Anniversary Party on Nov. On Friday and Saturday, Denver’s Hi-Dive celebrated its 4th & 13th anniversary party with a menagerie of local bands like The Dirty Few, A. Tom Collins, Reverend Deadeye and The Shaloms, Colorado’s favorite Hasidic-style Ramones cover band. Photos by Michael McGrath. Check out our photos of the weekend above. 26, 2016.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats to headline Red Rocks again in 2017

28. of B-sides called “A Little Something More From Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.” Read our review of the E.P. via Last week, the Denver troubadour-turned-soul revivalist released an E.P. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are coming home for the holidays (Marc Hobelman, The Know file)
So, I guess we’re making this a thing now: After making his Red Rocks-headlining debut on Aug 21 this year, Nathaniel Rateliff will return to Red Rocks with the Night Sweats for another round at the venue around the same time in 2017. 2 at 10 a.m. 16 and 17. No supporting acts have been announced as of press time. here. Rateliff is set to play the hallowed amphitheater next year on Monday, Aug. Tickets go on sale Dec. Rateliff is set to play two very sold-out shows at Denver’s Ogden Theatre on Dec.

Chromeo, Rufus Du Sol, D.R.A.M. announce joint Red Rocks show

In addition to locking in shows by Opeth and Nathaniel Rateliff for its upcoming summer season, Red Rocks announced funk-a-teers Chromeo and electronic music trio Rufus Du Sol will jointly headline a show at the venue on June 1, 2017. Tickets to the show are $41.00-$46.75 and go on sale Dec. and singer-songwriter Hayden James will perform in support. Chromeo headlines a four act show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre Tuesday May 27, 2015. Rapper D.R.A.M. 2 at 10 a.m. Photos by Evan Semón for Reverb
Red Rocks’ summer 2017 started to take form in earnest this morning. via

From the hit TV show “Pitch,” Black Violin shatters stereotypes, inspires kids in Denver

In between, they’re selling out venues that in some cases seat thousands of fans. “If someone says you can’t do something, you should use that as fuel to prove all of them wrong and break stereotypes,” Marcus said. Since they came together, they’ve tried to take what they love and do it in a way that’s different than everyone else. The title of their latest album, “Stereotypes,” sums up in one word what motivates them. They’re the first to admit that their image doesn’t match the stereotypical violinist. “I understand these kids. and Europe. The pair’s message to the kids was as much about music as it was about inspiring the children to overcome the odds and chase their dreams. Wearing hoodies and baseball caps, they look more like hip-hop artists than classically trained musicians. They shared a music stand at Dillard High School of Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wil B plays the viola; Kev Marcus plays the violin. They grew up playing classical music in the school orchestra, but what they listened to on their own time was hip-hop. Now, two former high school classmates have found a way to blend the two genres in the breakout duo Black Violin. Earlier in the day, Wil B and Kev Marcus performed for the elementary students at STRIVE Prep-Ruby Hill school, where all children are on the free and reduced lunch program. This year alone, they have performed for nearly 100,000 students across the U.S. “When we were growing up, we were always talking about, ‘How can we do this in a way that no one has ever done it?’ ” said Marcus, whose actual name is Kevin Sylvester. Black Violin visited Denver last week to perform at the annual fundraising gala for the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation. That’s why we do what we do,” Wil B said.  
“I could have been a seriously troubled kid, but yet I found art, I found the viola,” said Wil B, whose birth name is Wilner Baptiste. Now, they spend their lives traveling the world, sharing their music and their message. “People will be like, ‘Oh, this isn’t cool, the violin isn’t a cool instrument.’ Well, we said, “We’re gonna make it cool,’ and that’s what we did,” Marcus said. In 2005, Black Violin won the coveted competition “Amateur Night at the Apollo,” putting them on the national music map. Black Violin band members Kevin Sylvester, left, and Wilner Baptiste play at Stride Prep Ruby Hill K-8 November 15, 2016. “We want you guys to do the same thing,” Marcus told the kids. That’s what they did, and it worked. Now about 15 years later, they’re scoring the soundtrack for the FOX TV show “Pitch.” They’ve performed or toured with Aerosmith, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Linkin Park, Tom Petty, Lupe Fiasco and the Wu-Tang Clan, among others. “If you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a basketball player, whatever you want to do, just find a different way to do it  than anyone has ever done it.”
This story was first published on — and they’ve been creating music together ever since.

Holiday gifts for the jazz obsessive in your life

Saxophonist John Irabagon, who helps to illuminate the new disc, will make the trip to Dazzle with bassist Thomas Kneeland Dec. 8-9. It’s three discs of rehearsals and studio alternate takes from the trumpeter’s most accomplished quintet, the ’60s band with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Records got scratched easily, they skipped…the artwork was always lovely, though, and anyone who collects LPs and admires this “defiant giant,” as she referred to herself in conversation with me shortly before her 2003 death, will be delighted with this package. Heretics who still like CDs can obtain the same material in that format for roughly a third of the $140 vinyl set retail price, by the way. Alternate suggestion: the just-released “Swiss Radio Days Vol. And Rudy Royston, who grew up in Denver but now calls New York home, returns to Colorado to promote his just-released, model trio recording, “Rise Of Orion” (Greenleaf Music). So you’re seeking holiday gift suggestions for that particular Jazz Obsessive in your life? 41 – Zurich 1961” (The Montreux Jazz Label), a perfectly recorded evening of the man at his peak. 5” (Columbia-Legacy): What have the Miles Davis Vault Gods at Sony placed before us this year? Clarinetist Don Byron and The Adam Bartczak Democracy are slated for Nocturne on Nov. 2. These ’60s recordings represent the cream of this singer-pianist’s massive discography. Get tickets at 29 and Dec. “Orion” is a stunning recording, with plenty of drama and virtuosity, and it should be a late entry for numerous 2016 top 10 lists. The accompanying booklet is authoritative, and the inventive music is of similar sound quality to the recordings Young made for Blue Note. These are, of course, hugely influential records from “The Genius,” cut between 1957 and 1961, melding blues, gospel and jazz, resulting in some of the most glorious soul music ever conceived. Louis Hayes, who powered innovative bands for Cannonball Adderley and Yusef Lateef, performs with the UNC Jazz Faculty ensemble for two sets on Dec. Ray Charles, “The Atlantic Years (In Mono)”:  Another vinyl box set, this time available in an MP3 edition as well, but how exciting could MP3s possibly be as a gift? Nina Simone, “The Philips Years” (Verve): Speaking as someone who grew up with vinyl, I’ve never been as committed to the reinvigoration of the format as people a decade (or more) my junior. Hey, it’s my pleasure! It’s instructive to hear how these monumental recordings came together, and it works as a audio documentary, though it’s probably important to seek out the albums that were the result of these sessions first: “Miles Smiles,” “Nefertiti” and “Water Babies.” It’s worth mentioning that Denver-bred Don Cheadle’s Miles movie, “Miles Ahead,” would be a nice DVD or Blu-Ray gift for the Davis fan in your life as well. Larry Young, “In Paris – The ORTF Recordings” (Resonance Records): I’ll bet he or she doesn’t have this — one of the finest sets of 2016, showcasing nearly two hours of previously unreleased soaring majesty from the ridiculously neglected organist. Miles Davis Quintet, “Freedom Jazz Dance – The Bootleg Series Vol. 30…
This story was first published on 6…Big Bad Voodoo Daddy plays The Oriental Theater on Nov. Meanwhile … Two drummers from different generations are scheduled to appear at Dazzle Jazz in the days to come.

Best shows: Paper Bird and Booka Shade

Turkey aside, Denver’s own Paper Bird are coming home to roost at the Bluebird for a two-night stand. Tickets: $17-$30 via Image courtesy of Autonomic Media. Evolving from synth pop group Planet Claire in the early ’90s, Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier disregarded what was popular in favor of expertly curated sonic collage, patching techno, disco and electro-funk together into a sweaty, functioning whole. In October, the duo marked 10 years since the release of “Movements,” the sophomore album that broke it to the world beyond the die-hard club scene in Berlin. Fresh off a new, self-titled album, the band has rarely sounded so dialed-in, as they at times push firmly into anthemic territory that has the sextet earnestly angling for prime time rather than just CPR’s OpenAir. See you there, and if you don’t make it out, follow our music musings on Twitter and our selfies on Instagram. Merziger and Kammermeir play the Gothic Theatre on Nov. The hometown heroes will invite a different local favorite to join them on each night: Friday brings funk singer and trumpet player Wesley Watkins and Saturday sees them joined by Badlicks. 9.  
Paper Bird and Booka Shade are our picks for the best shows around Denver this week. 25 + 26

Provided you’re a folk-rock loving meat-eater, you could manage to nab three birds with one weekend this Thanksgiving. Booka Shade — Gothic Theater, Nov. 27. Paper Bird — Bluebird Theater, Nov. Berlin duo Booka Shade is a prime example. Paper Bird’s self-titled sixth album comes out on Sept. 27

Like wiener schnitzel or international soccer, no one does house music like the Germans. Tickets are $25-$28 via

How Fender’s trying to convince people to put down the Playstation and pick up a Stratocaster

Last year, they brought on Mooney, a veteran executive who held posts at Disney, Nike, and Quiksilver, to make Fender more digital- and consumer-focused. Over the next few years, the company will be releasing a suite of digital products to help keep new guitar players strumming along. And people quit electric guitars more often than acoustic ones, he said, because of the pain factor: Steel strings hurt delicate hands. “When the kid plugs it in for the first time, it doesn’t sound like a screaming cat when it comes out of an amp,” said Mooney. In late 2012, as Fender fought to stay profitable, private equity firms TPG Growth and Servco Pacific took control of it. Detractors have predicted the death of the electric guitar for years, pointing to the rise of rap and electronic dance music on pop charts. Beginning players, whether they’re fickle teens or too-busy adults, have always quit the guitar at high rates. Fender says it hauls in about a half-billion dollars a year in revenue and is on track to grow in the high single digits this year. Almost everyone who picks up a guitar, about 90 percent, abandons it within the first year, according to Mooney. Once, all anybody wanted was black, white, or sunburst. “We want to help with a lot of the basic stuff.”
Fender is also looking to release a practice-room app that can teach someone to play any song in their music library, along with a tone app that lets an amp emulate the sounds of famous guitarists. More women are playing guitar these days, he said — something he credits largely to singer Taylor Swift — and Fender now sees as many women as men playing the acoustic guitar, if not the electric. So how do you convince someone to put down the iPhone, pick up a Stratocaster, and keep playing? But it is a big deal for Fender Musical Instruments Corp., the 70-year-old maker of rock ‘n’ roll’s most iconic electric guitars. retail market for musical instruments has been stagnant for five years, according to data compiled by research firm IBISWorld, and would-be guitar buyers have more to distract them than ever. That’s still down from its $700 million in revenue in 2011, a number revealed when the company filed for an initial public offering in 2012 that was later withdrawn. (The company acquired Aurisonics, a maker of medical and military-grade in-ear monitors, in January and announced new lines of the headphones.)
When it comes to selling guitars, color palettes have become more crucial than ever, said Mooney. Fender says about 60 percent of its business is in guitars, both electric and acoustic; the rest is a mix of related products such as amps and picks. Now fashion is coming into play, and Fender is looking to collaborate with artists to create styles. Fender’s newest amp model, to be released next year, will be able to connect to apps wirelessly, through Bluetooth, to let players alter and share sound effects. The task of keeping kids hooked on playing is a tricky one for a company still crawling back from post-recession struggles. That all means more cash for Fender. The hope is that players will get hooked early on cheap starter models, then upgrade to fancier guitars as they commit themselves to playing, with the most devoted among them evolving into collectors, their walls hung with high-end instruments. The first, a tuning app, teaches players how to change the pitch on their guitars, whereas most of the dozens of existing tuning apps assume some level of guitar proficiency. “The pendulum swings back and forth.”
This story was first published on That means more apps, more connected devices, and a newfound focus on helping folks learn how to play their guitars. But Mooney isn’t worried. Taylor Swift performs to a sold out crowd June 2, 2013 during her Red Tour stop in Denver at Pepsi Center. Nearly all Fender’s business is done through traditional retailers; online sales from its own website make up less than 2 percent of total sales in North America. “A pretty big milestone for someone adopting any form of instrument is getting them through the first song.”
The $6 billion U.S. Guitar makers have never before made much of a concerted effort to keep them, Mooney said. But Fender estimates that nearly half its customers are first-time players, and it’s making an effort to treat them as such. They giddily pluck at the detuned strings, thinking how cool they’ll be once they’re rock stars — even if almost all will give up before they ever get to jam out to “Sweet Child o’ Mine.”
It may not be a big deal to them when they relegate the guitar to the back of the closet in favor of the Playstation controller. This spring, its top-selling hue was metallic blue. By Kim Bhasin, Bloomberg News
Each holiday season, thousands of teenagers tear gift wrap off shiny, new guitars. And although the mix of instruments sold is constantly shifting, guitar sales have actually grown over the past decade, he said. Every quitter hurts. “The industry’s challenge-or opportunity-is getting people to commit for life,” Fender CEO Andy Mooney said. Mooney doesn’t see that as a problem. Some people bounce to another instrument. Many give up within three months, frustrated or unwilling to commit. Players need to touch, feel, and play a guitar before they buy one, he said, and his company prefers to use the internet as a learning tool for shoppers, rather than to drive sales.

Rarities and esoterica: Our 2016 gift guide for music nerds

CMOY Headphone Amplifier
If you’re going to gift a set of high-fidelity headphones, you might as well pair a headphone amp to go along with it. If you’d like some personalized recommendations for albums, shoot our music editor an e-mail, and he’ll get back to you with a few ideas: (AP Photo/Simon & Schuster)
Here’s the great thing about the buying gifts for music nerds: No matter how knowledgable the ones in your life claim to be (they’ll say they know it all), it’s impossible to get a handle on everything that was released this year. He puts on a career retrospective every time he takes the stage, but for nearness to the man himself, this account of how he got here is unbeatable. Well, sort of. Why choose between a guitar, synthesizer, violin or a drum pad when you can have all of them in one? Then, just rip that sucker onto a thumb drive, wrap it in a bow and pray he or she doesn’t upload it to Facebook. Worn Free recreates the T-shirts music legends like John Lennon, Blondie, Kurt Cobain and many more wore, and includes a photo of the artist and where they were when they were wearing it. $72.99
Numero Group’s “Cosmic American Music”
Gram Parson’s 1969 Southern soul-country band The Flying Burrito Brothers gave rise to a sub-genre that provided a link between the home on the range and the wide expanse of stars and galaxies that hung over it come sundown. It may seem excessive, but if there’s any one year of Dylan’s so-called Never Ending Tour to catalog, this is it. A portable amp like the CMOY boosts the signal needed to power larger and more complex headphones, allowing them to play music at a quality near their potential. It might not have the cut of a Fender’s metal strings or satisfying give of a piano, but pressure sensors do allow auditory dynamic control when you’re strumming, plunking and/or bonking the thing. Battery powered or plugged into a wall, it sounds and looks phenomenal, mimicing the style of the tube amps of yore — right down to its grate, which glows orange when switched on. With this guide, you’ll find a curated selection of diamonds in the rough from another stout year of albums, gear, books and miscellaneous gadgets that you and your beloved audiophile probably didn’t know existed. $127.98
Image courtesy of Nasty Little Man.  One drawback: They’re open-air headphones, which means that loud outside sounds can seep in. $32.50
“Imagine Me Gone,” Adam Haslett
Adam Haslett’s latest novel isn’t strictly concerned with music — it’s told from the perspective of a family of five, focusing on the eldest child, Michael, who suffers from depression. These hand-made, on-ear cans are routinely listed among the best sounding headphones in the $100 range, a price point it owes to its no-frills approach to design. Haslett proves frightengly capable in capturing the sense of duty and purpose in spreading the gospel of a beloved band that’s typical of the musically obsessed, and through the painful course of the novel, cuts a sharp figure of their hearts. Free  
You don’t need to know that Ben Ratliff is a well-pedigreed music journalist for The New York Times to check out his new manual on music appreciation in the age of music saturation; you just need to read the introduction. If you have a computer, you have recording equipment, if not instruments. (On modern listening habits: “The unit of the album means increasingly little to us, and so the continent-sized ice floes of English-language culture that were Beatles and Michael Jackson records are melting into the water world of sound.”) If nothing else, check out the book’s Spotify playlist, which highlights if not every song ever, an example of Ratliff’s encyclopedic knowledge of music’s far reaches throughout its recent history. It was arguably one of the singer-songwriter’s most formative periods, just after his infamous unplugged escapade at Newport Folk Festival in 1965 through the bumpy transition from an acoustic to an electric guitar. In language and metaphor, Ratliff’s “Every Song Ever” takes the scenic route, relishing in the subject of how music from artists as disparate as Ke$ha and Benny Goodman share commonalities as much as he does writing about it. Shirts from rock history
It’s one thing to wear a band T-shirt; it’s quite another to wear the shirt that that band used to wear. The new four-LP box set collects a remastered version of the original album along with demos, unreleased outtakes and a DVD of previously unseen live footage. That’s the aim of Artiphon’s Instrument 1, a glorified MIDI controller that pairs up with your smartphone and computer to become whatever instrument you want it to be. With Apple’s Garageband (free), which provides a library of looped sound clips to serve as a jumping off point for your magnum opus, you don’t even need instruments (although it’s probably best if you know your way around a guitar or a piano). Dylan was joined on this international tour by a then little-known band called The Hawks, who would later become The Band. That’s good news for you. The Boss has collected a rabid base of followers in the 50 years since he started wrenching out songs, then as just a teenager in Freehold, N.J. In other words, a perfect gift for this generation’s musically minded. Grado Labs has been making world-class headphones from its Brooklyn outpost for more than 60 years, and the relatively affordable SR80e is no exception. “Born to Run” traces Springsteen’s historically little-known path from then to now, still selling out massive stadiums around the world and playing well past curfew. Grado SR80e Headphones
Believe it or not, you don’t have to shell out a month’s rent to get audiophile-quality headphones. Ryan Adams’ “Heartbreaker” box set
If Bob Dylan is too obvious, Ryan Adams’ “Heartbreaker” might be just right. You don’t need to hit on a chord progression that’s never been done before (as if that were possible) or come up with an original melody (just ask Bruno Mars). All you really need is an hour or two, a crumb of inspiration, and the trust that the person you’re giving the song to will love you more than you’re embarrassed by it. Most purveyors of the genre — what the obscure music revivalist label Numero Group has classified as “cosmic American” — didn’t take off, landing with a thud in sundry bargain bins across the country. For the songwriting itself, keep it simple. $26
Grado Lab’s SR80e headphones. For free. In the instrument world, it’s a bit of a conundrum: everything and nothing. $26
“Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen
The tricky thing about recommending “Born to Run,” the autobiography of one of the most celebrated everymen of rock music, is that the Springsteen fan in your life probably already has it.  But it is deeply informed by music (as is clued in by an epigraph on the subject by poet Jean Genet), which Haslett writes about, often profoundly, under the guise of Michael. Music Books
“Every Song Ever,” Ben Ratliff
Image courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $400
Write a song
The most thoughtful gift on this list is also the cheapest. If not a watercolor painting from his new collection in London, how about the just-released 36-CD set of every known recording from his 1966 tour? $30.  $300
Etc. Image courtesy of Grado. FILE: An early but undated publicity photo of Bob Dylan in New York City from his autobiography, “Chronicles Volume One.” “Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings” collects all of the known recordings from Dylan’s famous 1966 tour in one massive box set. Eat your heart out, guy at the concert who thought he was cooler than you. $35-$50
Artiphon Instrument 1
Image courtesy of Antiphon. Lucid Labratories’ CMOY is not only affordable but — thanks to its MacGyver-esque Altoid’s tin case (it also comes in Newman’s Old and plain-old stainless steel) —  your mustachioed audiophile hipster boyfriend’s music will not only sound superior, but he’ll think he looks superior, too. Yamaha THR10C
Right at the crossroads of fashion and function, this personal amplifier is a personal favorite. Released in September 2000, Adams was firmly in his Dylan phase here, penning songs like “To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High),” his “Like A Rolling Stone,” and “Oh My Sweet Carolina,” which stands alone as Adams’ most plainly gorgeous song. Albums
Bob Dylan’s complete 1966 tour box set
What do you get the Dylan fan who has everything? Weighing in at six pounds, it isn’t a hassle to take it to the moutains for a plugged-in acoustic session (it features eight effects knobs if you want to get weird) or just play your favorite Bing Crosby jams via your smartphone through its 3.5mm jack. This two-LP collection dusts off some of the finer needles in the hay, like Jeff Cowell’s “Can’t Make Nothin’.” $25
Personalized recommendations
The inherently difficult thing about listing music recommendations for a general audience is that your loved one’s minutely nuanced tastes will vary from those of your neighbor.

The Lumineers’ video for “Sleep on the Floor” doubles as saddest Colorado tourism ad ever

Their video for “Sleep on the Floor,” the opening track from “Cleopatra,” is no different. All these good vibes pile up, and they decide to get married in what looks like a backyard in Denver’s Baker neighborhood. They pal around in Denver, cuddle in a friend’s spare bedroom and by an insane coincidence, catch a house show by none other than The Lumineers. In other words, strap up for another 100,000 transplants, Colorado. The Lumineers have spoken. > The song follows a girl who glimpses her life if she ran away from home with a boy after a funeral, with all the requisite ups and downs of a road trip with no defined end in sight. The band hosted a Q+A about it via Facebook Live Thursday. In the final third — and you can’t see it, but I’m holding the spoiler from my Subaru Forrester right now to indicate I’m about to share major plot points from the video, which is heart-rending and totally worth your three minutes — the couple ends up whizzing into Colorado, where everything turns rosy. If you are a human in the United States, you’ve probably heard of the Lumineers, the Denver-via-New Jersey band that sparked a pop-folk movement with its debut album and solidified its status as a songwriter’s band in its second, 2016’s “Cleopatra.”
The band has been releasing a steady stream of music videos from the new album throughout the year, typically featuring a sort of split-life effect where the song’s main character can see what would happen in their life if they decided to zig instead of zag. Minus the it-was-all-a-dream ending, Hickenlooper himself couldn’t have cooked up a more effective state tourism video.

Nathaniel Rateliff’s “A Little Something More” EP: Not bad for B-sides

Seeing Cooke is a recognizable inspiration for “Howling at Nothing” from last year’s debut, it’s smart that Rateliff decided not to use these two tracks on his debut. There’s a twangy friendship song called “How to Make Friends.” There’s even two takes of a middling track called “Out on the Weekend,” one that’s a regular stomper and another that’s a forgettable, washed out indie rock recapitulation dubbed “Late Nate Party.”

Despite any filler, the funky blast of “I Did It” — thankfully not a cover of that DMB song — is a welcomed treat, along with the cinematic sway of “What I Need” and the feel-good dance vibes of “Parlor,” which are both styled after one of Rateliff’s biggest soul idols, Sam Cooke. The new Rateliff is back, again. 18 via Stax Records. And while the record exemplifies just how good Rateliff is at being a gruff soul man, it understandable why these songs didn’t make it onto his self-titled debut. No one wants to be an older, heavily bearded white guy just aping greats like Cooke. Either way, down another shot, chew another fry, light another smoke and get to tapping your toes already. (Or do they?)
Then again, Rateliff and the Night Sweats’ ability to blur the lines between their own music and classic soul – their knack for freshening up something we’ve heard so many times before – is what sets the band apart. There’s a typical acoustic blues number called “Just to Talk to You,” akin to something John Mayer might throw onto an album to slow things down. Each of the eight tracks (minus that rousing live cut of “Wasting Time”) sound more like homages to his biggest influences, the type of tunes a songwriter might pen when playing around with a new genre. To that end, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats have supplied another ear-pleasing dose of their agreeable soul sounds with “A Little Something More From,” due out Nov. Like another shot of whiskey during last call, an order of extra-large fries or the final drag of a post-sex cigarette, we’ll never get enough of the good stuff. Rateliff’s “A Little Something More” comes out on November 18. Image via Sacks Co. To clarify, this EP is a quick collection of B-sides and alternative versions, plus one live recording from The Stax Museum of American Soul Music (which gives some insight as to why The Night Sweats are such a beloved live act at the moment).