Daily Archives: December 7, 2016

Best shows: Wood Brothers, Brent Cowles and Kool Keith

See you there, and if you don’t make it out, follow our music musings on Twitter and our selfies on Instagram. Cowles has been cooking up his debut EP for the last year, releasing the promising single “Cold Times” back in October. A playful rapper and progenitor of countless alter egos like Doctor Octagon and Black Elvis, Keith became known as an eccentric of the genre, a title he lays an even more assured claim to today. Expect Cowles to share songs from the new project when he plays Denver’s Larimer Lounge on Dec. Brent Cowles

In case you haven’t heard, former You Me & Apollo frontman Brent Cowles has gone rogue. Since 2006, the brothers have turned Americana on its head, walking bass lines down the scenic route and introducing the world to the shuitar, a guitar-turned-cajón played by third member Jano Rix. Catch Kool Keith at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox on Dec. Kool Keith

Long before Drake, Kanye or Jay Z, there was Kool Keith.  
The Wood Brothers will play the Ogden Theatre on Dec. 7. From its ashes, Cowles has emerged as a formidable stand-alone singer-songwriter, belting out jangling, home-on-the-range folk in a resounding voice that betrays his slight frame. The Wood Brothers

Brothers Oliver (singer/guitarist) and Chris (bass) Wood are sons of Boulder, and you can hear it in the duo’s freewheeling take on acoustic folk. 9. Tickets are $15-$25 via opheliasdenver.com. 9. “Paradise,” the band’s latest album, shoots their sound through with jazzy grit as they investigate the elusive nature of satisfaction with guests like Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi as well as Black Keys guitarist-turned-producer Dan Auerbach. Well, sort of — he split off peacefully from the Denver folk-rock five piece back in 2014. Tickets are $26 via axs.com. Catch The Wood Brothers at the Ogden Theatre on Dec. The M.C.  
The Wood Brothers, Brent Cowles and Kool Keith are our picks for the best shows around Denver this week. arose out of hip-hop’s golden years, before any norm for what hip-hop was supposed to sound like could be established. But even as rap’s weird uncle, Keith hasn’t lost a step. Tickets are $12-$15 via larimerlounge.com. If you do, mind where you put your jacket. Get there early: The show has two great local openers in The Velveteers and Kid Reverie. In September, he released “Feature Magnetic,” an album that prizes rapping for the sake of rapping and reaffirms the value of Keith’s singular mind. 10.

Download “Sweet Clavier O’Mine” by Spinphony, only in Steal This Track

This past month, the quartet released its first LP, which contains some of their more popular mash-ups as well as original neo-classical songs. Though they sometimes seem under the radar, Denver has Spinphony, a quartet of classically trained string players who mash classical songs with rock songs. During the day, these ladies play in professional classical symphonies and groups, but by night they turn into rock and classical mashing goddesses. All images of string players sitting respectfully before a music stand are gone. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live. Below, download “Sweet Clavier O’Mine,” a mash-up of music from Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Cavier” with Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine.”

Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. These ladies dance about the stage like rockstars, dressed in short skirts and high heels. Artists like Girl Talk find common ground for songs that sometimes seem like they have nothing in common. Most often, this is music for DJs, but there are the rare live performers, like Apocalyptica, which began as a classical string trio mashed up with Metallica songs. In 1976, Walter Murphy released “A Fifth of Beethoven,” a disco-infused version of Beethoven’s famous symphony. We only feature tracks not available for free elsewhere. A Spinphony show, which sometimes includes a backing DJ, is a bombastic event. Today, mash-ups comprise a genre all its own. Perhaps the earliest mash-up, the song reached number one. 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. If audiences don’t recognize the classical songs being mashed, they will certainly recognize the classical interpretations of the rock and pop songs like Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” or AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”
Spinphony performs at a lot of private corporate events each year, but this past year they held a weekly residency at The Clocktower Cabaret and plan other public shows in 2017.

Q+A: D.R.A.M. knows what you should get mom for Christmas

Do you feel like these apostles of hip-hop are still the new generation of rap? I might try it anyway. What other genres have a place in your heart? But the other records we’re working on, we were in the studio in Dallas in the springtime. What gift would you recommend getting for mom? I can’t be out there on a crutch. A: I wish I could play piano. Shelley Massenburg-Smith loves being D.R.A.M. I might start taking lessons once my schedule isn’t so crammed. The slogan we said was, “piano is key.” We’re working on the next installment, and I’m sure it’ll be the same. Afterward, we laughed about how piano driven it is. A heartfelt card always means something, too. Now, we’re waiting on quadruple platinum.”
D.R.A.M. Q: The holidays are here, and moms are impossible to shop for. will bring “Broccoli” and the rest of his major-label debut, “Big Baby D.R.A.M.,” to Breckenridge’s Riverwalk Center on Dec. Tickets to the concert, which also features Joey Bada$$ and DJ A-Trak, are $37.50 via dewtour.com. I also love doo-wop and musicals. And perfume. Fast-forward to Dec. Do you play? A: You have no idea how ecstatic I am that we’re even at this point, making music at this level. Q: You grew up singing in a gospel choir. 10 in tandem with Dew Tour, a snowboarding festival. It does look fun, though. Q: You worked with 19-year-old rapper Lil Yachty on “Broccoli,” who wrote off hip-hop elders like Tupac and Biggie. But my studies go deeper than just classic hip-hop, although it is a huge foundation. Every woman appreciates very good perfume. So yes, homie, I am an official funkateer. Put a small card there inside of the perfume box and put that in a ballin’ type purse. Q: Erykah Badu features on “WiFi,” off your Atlantic debut “Big Baby D.R.A.M.” It must be almost disappointing to check off working with a legend of her stature so early on in your career. A: Absolutely not! (The son of a military mom, Massenburg-Smith was born in Germany.)
But, one of that EP’s tracks was “Cha Cha.” Over a hastily sampled clip from Super Mario, D.R.A.M. “For some odd reason, this record has grown into the fabric of America,” Massenburg-Smith said of “Broccoli.” “When we weren’t even sure if the song was going to do anything, it was on its way to double platinum. D.R.A.M.’s latest single, “Broccoli,” has just gone double platinum. (Parliament Funkadelic’s) George Clinton, the G.O.A.T. Are they out yet? Q: Your first show in Colorado was at Red Rocks, which is a huge feat. One where you can’t turn the pages — the wind turns them naturally. A little buddy told me they charge over 800% on what they need to be charge. I love piano in general. A: I feel like in general we need to stop criticizing one another for what each other’s generation feels and how they approach things. Q: Can you talk more about those other tracks you cut with Badu? went down a warp pipe: The song went viral in fits, and then — blessing among blessings — Beyoncé posted a video of herself dancing to it for her millions of Instagram followers. Then, consider that in 2014, he was just releasing his first-ever group of songs, “#1EpicEP,” which was at the time barely anticipated in his adopted hometown of Hampton, Va. It was an experience. If there’s one thing you can learn from ten minutes on the phone with the 28-year-old artist, it’s that. A: Listen: Don’t go the jewelry route. A: Somebody over there sent me a snowboard, so I I might try to get on top of one of those jumps if it has training wheels. We didn’t work on “WiFi” in the same room — I sent those tracks to her. I think you’d be better off getting her a nice designer purse. It’s just like its always been: The younger generation is quote-unquote misunderstood. He’s calling from somewhere in the Hollywood Hills, gearing up to perform at Cali Christmas 2016, an annual holiday concert put on by Los Angeles’ hip-hop radio station Power 106 where he’ll share time with the likes of 2Chainz and former N.W.A. We talked to the artist about working with Erykah Badu, his favorite musical and what to get your mom for Christmas. Between puffs of weed, you can practically hear him grinning. member Ice Cube. Overall, this project does have a lot of keys in it. A: Red Rocks is by far my favorite venue that I have performed at. “The Sound of Music” is my favorite musical. What was your impression of it? himself, told me I was a funkateer. The space, that atmosphere, the way it’s laid out and the people … they really love to show that love back. Consider that D.R.A.M.’s first Colorado show was Red Rocks, for September’s Mad Decent Block Party. If it doesn’t … I don’t know. Q: “Big Baby D.R.A.M.” is full of bouncy piano lines, including your two current hits, “Broccoli” and “Cash Machine.” What is it about that sound that draws you? I was born in ’88, so I was around when (Tupac and Biggie) were still in the game. If all else fails, go to those ladies that are super-duper hip in the middle of the Macy’s — the ones with the glass all around them, where it smells so good — and ask them, “What would you kill to have here?”
Q: You’re going to be performing in Breckenridge. She’s been a fan and a huge influence on my sound, so for her to embrace that and want to make music work with me … it’s another chapter of this book of dreams. It wasn’t on purpose. Piano doesn’t ever stop being key. A: I consider myself a funkateer.  I’m deep into the Hot Buttered Soul movement of the late sixties and early seventies. Are you going to get out on the slopes at all? — forget the world. 2. It’s no wonder: The singer-rapper has checked off more career milestones in two years than most artists do in a lifetime.