Daily Archives: December 15, 2016

Best shows: South of France and Jans Ingber’s Funk Fellowship

(Pretty Lights Live Band, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band); and Ingber himself, whose towering falsetto should do a fine job introducing itself come Dec. South of France and Jans Ingber’s Funk Fellowship are our picks for the best shows around Denver this week. 17 at the Hi-Dive along with fellow local rabble-rousers Modern Leisure and Inner Oceans, who are using the occasion to launch their new record label, Guilty Pleasures. South of France — Hi-Dive, Dec. 17 at the Fox Theatre in Boulder). 17

It’s been almost exactly a year since vocalist Jans Ingber left storied Colorado funk band The Motet. Like Cold War Kids and Dr. Kelly); drummer Alvin Ford, Jr. 17

Perhaps no Denver band has owned modern pop rock’s license to marry opposing vibes like South of France. Among the ten-piece’s notables: guitarist Isaiah Sharkey (D’angelo, Anderson Paak); bassist Sharay Reed (Aretha Franklin, R. Tickets are $10-$12 via hi-dive.com. Photos by Adam Good, heyreverb.com. Dog before them, the band consistently lines up genres as far flung as funk, post-punk and synth-pop and pulls a glowing thread through them, which shakes out into nifty singles like “Civilization” and “Washed Up.” If you haven’t heard them on your Discover Weekly yet, it won’t be long. 13, 2015. You can catch the band on Dec. See you there, and if you don’t make it out, follow our music musings on Twitter and our selfies on Instagram. 16; Fox Theatre, Dec. 16 at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom (or Dec. Jans Ingber’s Funk Fellowship — Cervantes, Dec. Tickets: $16-20 via cervantesmasterpiece.com.   This weekend, he’ll make up for lost time with back-to-back shows under the guise of new project Jans Ingber’s Funk Fellowship, an all-star squad of genre players. Venus Cruz’s What Young Men Do opens. If you do, mind where you put your jacket.  
Jans Ingber performs with The Motet at The Ogden Theatre on Sept.

Q+A: Guilty Pleasure Records knows what Denver’s music scene secretly needs

But bands can’t live off of buzz, and the numbers just didn’t add up. A: [Jeff] New albums for all the bands. People in New York and L.A. “We were tired of putting our energy into getting other labels interested in giving a s**t about a Denver band,” Snyder said. “It started to make more sense to do it on our own, so we started getting serious about it. Q: Griff, you mentioned you were tired of trying to get labels to care about Inner Oceans as a Denver band. For South of France’s second single, we told our PR that it was very different from our first, so the process should be different. A: [Griffith] There’ll be a bunch of pink mylar balloons. If there are five dance-rock bands that are all vying for a label, they’re going to pick the people they’re drinking with at a bar in Echo Park. Is it wrong to love pop music? We want to hit as hard as we can, in focused ways. [Jeff] This isn’t management — it’s a home, a brand. Q: You’ve both been around the industry enough to get a sense of what does and doesn’t work. The world is based on relationships. I wish we spent that money on plane tickets to go have fun at a festival instead of breaking our faces against the industry. After shopping it around, they got pitched deals from a handful of “good-sized” indie labels, as Jeff said. The city’s most prominent rock scene is an unpretentious one, priding itself on grit and raw energy, not minutely timed bridges or vibe-absolving choruses. It’s much more of an NPR single, not a AAA single. Do you feel artists from Denver are written off on the national scene? When Griff came on board, it was official.”

Snyder, who’ll soon be moving to help operate the label from Los Angeles, was just as disillusioned with courting the music industry, a gauntlet he likened to a series of bad dates. (Left to right) South of France’s Kelly Cormack and Jeff Cormack team up with Inner Ocean’s Griffith Snyder for Guilty Pleasure Records, a new pop-forward Denver label. 17. Q: What will Saturday’s label launch show look like? A: [Jeff] (Hiring PR) is a waste of time. That’s when I realized I should be doing this. are getting drunk in bars with their friends. [Griffith] Yeah, Inner Oceans spent our entire budget on PR. We’re gonna put a lot behind the album release. A: [Griffith] I don’t know if it’s being written off. The internet is a jungle. Inner Oceans first, then Modern Leisure and then South of France. They still gave it the same treatment as the other single, and it didn’t get picked up by half as many radio stations. And a bundle package of our band merch. We spoke with Jeff Cormack and Griffith Snyder about their respective bands’ futures, what Denver’s music industry needs and how Guilty Pleasure can help. That’s it right now. We’re just gonna take the first half of the year to finish our record and develop a good release strategy for it. At the end of the day, (the music industry) is in New York, L.A. South of France has one show planned — May 27. [Griffith] This is the last Denver show for Inner Oceans indefinitely. The best PR I got was hanging out in Iceland one day. But having a tie to New York or L.A. They’re the people that are gonna matter. We see it as guerrilla warfare. If you kick around Denver’s music scene long enough, you might get that impression. A: [Griffith] I was going to move before Jeff and I met. Along with South of France frontwoman Kelly Cormack and Griffith Snyder of fellow indie poppers Inner Ocean, Jeff co-founded the label with a simple premise in mind: “We’re gonna put good pop music out.”
Jeff and Kelly started kicking the idea around after struggling to find a home for the latest South of France album. I want to grow the network of people I’m drinking beers with and funnel it back here. How will your strategy differ under Guilty Pleasure? “Pop is a dirty word in Denver’s music world,” said Jeff Cormack of Denver indie-pop group South of France, “but we’re just straight claiming it.”
That’s the hook for Guilty Pleasure Records, Denver’s latest record label. I didn’t know this dude was a blogger and he wrote us up on his blog, which was way bigger than anything we’d spent money on. The bands will play a label launch show along with fellow signee Modern Leisure at the Hi-Dive on Dec. Everyone’s been following the same rules. and Nashville. It was recently featured on NPR’s Here and Now. Q: Is that why you’re moving to L.A.? is a must if you want to do music. “As the world saw with Chance The Rapper, it’s coming down to building it yourself and maintaining that level of freedom.”
On Saturday, Inner Oceans, South of France and Modern Leisure, Guilty Pleasure Records’ initial roster, will play a label launch show at the Hi-Dive. Photo courtesy of Jeff Cormack. And a lot of beer. “The amount of money was pretty small, and they wanted fifty percent on everything,” Jeff said. And we may have a couple other hidden gems up our sleeves, too. Q: What do your bands and Guilty Pleasures have planned for 2017?

From The Who tour to Larimer Lounge: Boulder’s Rose Hill Drive is back after 6 years

“We were compensating in the studio, adding stuff for the lack of a solid core. “So we started with chisels, ‘Shawshank Redemption‘ style, and it ended up being this 5-foot deep hole.”
“She eventually found it and thought we were going to kill her and bury her in it,” Jake reveals. From touring to recording to hiatuses, the Boulder-born rock trio has always done things on a grandiose scale. It ain’t soul revival or surf-punk, just a unique blend that incorporates classic rock’s founding fathers (Led Zeppelin, Cream) and genre-defining indie outfits (The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age) to make a no-gimmicks Molotov cocktail. This sensibly modernized, semi-hip small town just north of Denver is where Daniel decided to raise his family and make music alongside Jake. “If they want us, we’ll play, if they don’t, we won’t. “I think we always really struggled pulling those songs off live,” Barnes says. Each of them have found a way to make a living playing music, but nothing really compares to Rose Hill Drive. “To me it sounds like what we were trying to create when we were young, but with a newfound originality,” Daniel says. “We were thinking what Rose Hill Drive would look like right now, so why don’t we just get together and do that,” Jake said, digging into a tostada. “The experiences we’ve all had doing different stuff for the last six years. But once creation was confined to a computer program, he began to long for the visceral elements of good, old fashioned rock. “I realized how much I missed being in a band,” Barnes agreed. Without the creative freedom he provided, Rose Hill Drive wilted. Together, they recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered the new effort, which makes it pure and personal. After the band broke up, Jake found a steady job composing commercial soundtracks with Daniel and started making his own electronica music. Just like that, the band was put to rest and only memories remained. Nearly 17 years later, the longtime friends are working to recapture those long-lost feelings on an upcoming, currently untitled album. Touring with The Who was rewarding but tiring for a relatively green band, and playing in support of 2008’s “Moon is the New Earth” only compounded the exhaustion. In short order, the band released its self-titled debut in 2006 and booked a tour with legendary British outfit The Who. After a six-year hiatus, Rose Hill Drive (left to right: Nathan Barnes, Jacob Sproul and Daniel Sproul) return to rock on Saturday. I was so into ‘Songs for the Deaf’ when it came out because we were still trying to write songs, and dig a hole to grow to pot.”
Daniel drops his fork and covers his laugh, remembering that they once tried to cultivate marijuana in his grandmother’s basement and blasted “Songs for the Deaf” to mask the sounds of digging. After all that time in the studio, replicating it live also proved to be a chore. 17 show at Larimer Lounge (a venue it’s never played before) and tickets to its Hodi’s Half Note New Year’s Eve bash are going fast, it’s clear that Rose Hill Drive’s resurrection and pending redemption hasn’t gone unnoticed. With this immediately catchy if familiar sound, Rose Hill Drive was quick to make waves. When we took it out on the road, it was frustrating because it didn’t sound like we wanted it to.”

They settled that with the addition of bassist Jimmy Stofer (The Fray, Flobots), who helped Rose Hill Drive flesh out their sound on stage by giving the band a dedicated low-end backbone. We’ll do it because we love it.”
Go big or go home. Photo: Devin Stinson. Barnes, also a family man, resides in nearby Longmont. This new reunion gig could launch a significant comeback; it could amount to nothing at all. Go big or go home. Heck, maybe Japan will send more love. The high — not to mention money — paled in comparison to their time with Stone Temple Pilots. It’s a motto that the members of Rose Hill Drive know a little too well. 17, Rose Hill Drive will play its first show in nearly six years. Case in point: This Saturday, Dec. But brothers Daniel and Jake Sproul and drummer Nate Barnes don’t care. Six years is a real momentum killer. “When we opened up for Queens of the Stone Age, we didn’t think Josh Homme saw our set,” Jake said. To keep up with expectations, Jake, Daniel and Barnes withdrew into the studio for nearly two years and ended up recording close to 60 songs for their last record, 2011’s “Americana.” Only 12 tracks made the album, which gained little traction outside of Japan. “It’d be great to have it be sustainable but, if not, (forget) it,” Jake concluded, leaning back in his chair, content with this sentiment, if not just the tostadas. Seeing the band has already sold out its Dec. After a long day of rehearsal, the guys are winding down at Efrain’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Lafayette’s bustling downtown corridor. After the tour was over, the band did a short-yet-demoralizing Colorado mountain circuit, complete with poorly attended stops in Breckenridge and Vail. “He walks over to our van and says, ‘Hey guys, your set was (amazing).’ That was the best. Stofer soon left the band for his home state of Minnesota. The Sproul brothers met Barnes while attending Boulder’s Fairview High School and began practicing in that (since demolished) house way back in 2000. I feel like there’s a maturity in us now that wasn’t there six years ago. “Pete (Townshend) enjoyed our ‘Beatles’ quality,’” Jake said. Compared to six years ago, the current musical climate has been sorely lacking in Rose Hill Drive’s brand of bombastic rock. “We practiced in her house on Rose Hill Drive and the crawlspace was so small you’d bump your head,” Daniel notes. As Jake signals for the check, Barnes loads up his to-go box, and Daniel scrapes the last few bites off his plate, nostalgia sets in. Revitalized, the group set out for a lengthy run with its childhood idols, Stone Temple Pilots. They just want to rock again. That’s a huge break for any band, and especially one that had climbed to the level of opening for The Who and Stone Temple Pilots before abruptly stopping. But really, it’s whatever.