Daily Archives: October 21, 2017

Best Shows: Kesha and Margaret Glaspy

Catch the new Kesha at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium on Oct. Kesha will debut her new sound in Denver in October. See you there, and if you don’t make it out, follow our music musings on Twitter and our selfies on Instagram. Margaret Glaspy

The latest from Red Bull’s expertly curated Sound Select concert series is one of its best in months. 20. Few pop artists in recent memory have made such a drastic leap and land so gracefully. It suits her: Swelling ballad “Praying,” for example, has the performer belting out her vulnerabilities, turning them from a pain point to an asset. 24. Tickets are $42.50-$48.00 via livenation.com. (Provided by Dhore Fire Media)
Rock empath Margaret Glaspy and a re-invigorated Kesha are our picks for the best shows around Denver this week. If you do, mind where you put your jacket.  

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Kesha

From the days of “brush(ing) her teeth with a bottle of Jack,” Los Angeles pop star Kesha is singing an entirely different tune on “Rainbow,” her latest album. “Emotions and Math,” the banging-but-vulnerable lead single from her latest album of the same name, is an ideal introduction to the 28 year old’s hip-shot songs, considering how a relationship reduced a rolling stone of a woman into a kid, counting down the hours until her lover returns. Margaret Glaspy is a child of the 1990s, and the gruff grunge that shook pop music’s foundations in that era rattles out in her raspy rock. Luke, who she sued to break a contentious recording contract, the singer’s latest has the one-time party princess trading in her stool at the bar for one at the piano. After a painful public legal battle with her former producer Dr. Tickets are $5 in advance and $15 at the door via axs.com. Pearl Charles and Denver’s The Still Tide will join Glaspy at the Bluebird Theater for this songwriter showcase on Oct.

To win the people, Arcade Fire had to burn its critics

The band’s latest effort is still a heady commentary but, this time, Butler aimed a few degrees lower. The frontman has hinted that his beloved indie rock band could soon step off the content treadmill. In the Liverpudlian’s three-hour set, one song made Butler jealous: “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” All around him, thousands of people started singing its gibberish chorus. After all, a critic’s pick and the people’s choice are often at odds with one another. “Oh, thank God,” Butler, 37, said during a recent phone call from a tour stop in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It’s like a (expletive) magic trick.”
Butler wanted to capture some of that magic on “Everything Now.”

“Not everything you do has to be, ‘This is the meaning of the world encapsulated in three minutes,’ ” Butler said. If bad press is peace of mind, Butler has been waiting to exhale. That said, the album doesn’t abandon the band’s ambitious ideas. The internet has turned us into content zombies, it pleads, allowing conveniences to suck our time on Earth that could otherwise be spent making love and music. The latter complaint wasn’t an issue to the band members. “Everything Now” is content, running along the same curling lemniscate as the cellphone video games, listicles and social media it’s at odds with — or, rather, competing against. The scathing proto-assessment used critical platitudes to approximate what its readers should think about the album, hitting at the media’s priority of being first over being insightful. 25 is staged in a boxing ring. We’re still pushing extremely hard.”

Arcade Fire will play Denver’s Pepsi Center on Oct. And it’s paid dividends: The single charted higher than any of the band’s other tracks on Billboard’s Rock Airplay and Alternative Songs charts. “It was like, ‘Wow. “If critics liked all these records, we’re doing something wrong.”

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Of course, it’s all part of the spectacle, and they know it: It’s no mistake that Arcade Fire’s in-the-round show at Denver’s Pepsi Center on Oct. But like “Everything Now,” Butler saw “Chemistry” connect with people in an unprecedented way. “That’s the soup we were swimming in,” Butler said. If that sounds exhausting, Butler might agree. In fact, it was by design. That hasty and harsh album review was only the first of many, and.at least one of the band’s fake news stories was picked up the by mainstream press — for example, in The National Post, no less, one of Canada’s major newspapers. In the 1970s, Butler pointed out, rock critics hailed progressive outfit Emerson, Lake and Palmer as essential rock pioneers. If nothing else, “Everything Now” has something to say about that. “Arcade Fire’s ‘Everything Now’ Is a Deeply Cynical, Joyless Album,” read another. “It wasn’t triumphant, like, ‘Yay! Of all the album’s songs, critics put “Chemistry” against the wall earliest and most often. As its commercial catchphrase of a title suggests, “Everything Now” hangs together conceptually as a lash against modern consumer culture. “This might be the last show of this magnitude we do for a very long time,” he said, “so if people are curious to see what our band’s like … I would say, check us out now.”

Nothing is certain, Butler conceded. Butler spent a lot of time listening to its community-centric radio station, WWOZ, “maybe the greatest radio station in America,” as he called it. We proved our point,” Butler said of the media campaign. The album’s commercial success is ironic given the anti-establishment undertones that rumble throughout “Everything Now.” But that middle finger is pointed in the mirror as much as at the corporate powers that be. Then the scathing reviews for “Everything Now,” the band’s latest album, rolled in. This is super depressing.’ ”
If that weren’t enough, the media campaign overshadowed the music in chatter about “Everything Now.” The songs were written off as jingles to low-brow satire, too simple to be effective. Publications tore into its uncomplicated lyrics, reggae rhythm and what was interpreted as an attempt at rap, a claim Butler has repeatedly disputed. 25. “Arcade Fire Is Finally, Officially Too Much,” read a review from The Ringer, an online culture blog. The new album has caught fire outside of the United States, Butler said, taking them through the arenas of Europe and, for the first time in the band’s history, a tour of Latin America. In 2010, he told Spin that rock “is a young man’s game,” predicting the band wouldn’t be together “in a decade.” He echoed that sentiment in a podcast interview with The Ringer a few weeks ago. Until “Everything Now,” the critical consensus has hailed each Arcade Fire album as a stroke of genius. To buoy this idea, Arcade Fire launched an extravagant online campaign. It’s fiercely simple by the standards of a band that wrote an album about the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set to Hatian kompa music. In October, friend and music video director David Wilson sent Butler a video of a dance routine set to “Chemistry” at Los Angeles’ Akbar during an edition of the city’s well-regarded Full Frontal Disco dance series. “We’ll mention the band’s respect for the album as a form, not just a collection of songs,” one line reads, “while also noting that that respect is somewhat lame and pretentious, evoking as it does the specter of progressive rock.”
As happens so often nowadays, that irony calcified into reality. Butler saw The Beatles’ Paul McCartney perform solo for the first time recently. In other words, the albums were ready-made for writers’ praise — even as its hurdy-gurdy-propelled songs launched over the public’s head. One listicle trumpeted the “10 most embarrassing lyrics from the new Arcade Fire album.”
Ever the nonconformist, Butler was relieved. “This Is the Worst Arcade Fire Song Ever,” read one headline. The station mixes a roux of funk, zydeco, disco and other quirky genres into a day’s worth of listening. The band is still respected by those who know music, but it’s a footnote in the scheme of the four decades that have since passed. “They listen to the Bee Gees.”
Butler’s new home in New Orleans also inspired the album’s sound. Colombia’s Bomba Estéreo will open the show. But the band is in fine form. Tickets are $26-$275 and on sale now via altitudetickets.com. Flush with big ideas and adorned with microscopic detail, the band has a knack for unearthing uneasy sentiments that feel both timeless and hopelessly 21st century. “It’s about nothing, and he had 50,000 people singing along. These are the spoils of railing against contentment. Thumbing its nose at the internet marketing machine, it advertised $109 Arcade Fire-branded fidget spinners, released a “Pop-Up Video” version of one of its music videos, and skewered the media with fake news stories. That gave rise to songs like “Everything Now,” a roller-rink-ready disco jaunt that immediately recalls Abba. “People listen to Abba,” Butler said. Crucially, the latter included a satirical review of the album, as written by someone who had only heard four of its tracks. Arcade Fire plays Denver’s Pepsi Center on Oct. It’s playing as well as it ever has, he said, and still considers Arcade Fire “one of the better rock bands in the world.”
More importantly, thanks to taking a chance on a new sound, the band is still gaining new fans. 25. “Chemistry,” a straight-ahead love song that marches along to the horn stabs of a New Orleans second-line parade, was another result of this populist slant. “There’s no other record we’ve made that would have happened with,” Butler said. “What a perfect song,” Butler said. The album strikes out against the cycle of “Infinite Content” that consumers are beholden to while admitting the band itself is complicit. (Guy Aroch, provided by Nasty Little Man)
Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler was starting to doubt that his alt-rock group was a great band. Once critical darlings, “Everything Now” would be an album of the people. “If you don’t push yourself, I’d rather not do it at all. “When people have a lot of preconceived notions about what you are, its hard to get them to (care),” Butler said. It’s the poppiest song the band has cut in its 16-year history.

Denver Art Song Project a “vital little genre” of Colorado’s cultural scene

“To get them comfortable with the rules of how you dress and how you present yourself and offer the kind of feedback that makes singers better.”

The Denver Art Song Project will present “Monsters, Creatures & Legends” on Wed., Oct. 29, at the Wash Park Center for Music and Arts. “We want to help prepare them for what it’s like to compete as a soloist,” said Leubner. Related Articles

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The group has a wide-ranging approach to its musical advocacy and stages events across the Front Range. The group, formed in 2015, is now presenting a regular season of concerts aimed at audiences who prefer their Schubert, Strauss and Schumann pared down to its basics. “And it lends itself to so many different educational opportunities.”
The Denver Art Songs Project is a professional group — and that’s good news for local audiences. The winners will get prizes and opportunities to attend master classes with DASP singers and to perform live at a future concert. 27, at St. To help listeners connect, English translations of the songs, which are often written in German, French or Italian, are projected as supertitles during live events. The fledgling Denver Art Song Project is working to change that. For people who are not familiar with the art song genre, think of it as classical music in cabaret form. The singers and musicians always get paid for their work so the material is delivered at a high level. 25, at Colorado State University’s Organ Recital Hall, in Fort Collins; Friday,  Oct. The next set of concerts, in December, will be “Outsiders: Song Cycles from the Fringe” and that is followed by “Pillars of African American Song” in February. But one thing has long been missing here: recitals featuring art songs — the small, free-standing gems classical composers have created over time that showcase tenors, sopranos and other singers in an intimate fashion, most often with only a piano accompanying them on stage. The final program of the season will be “April Fool’s Songs” in April and it will feature pieces on the humorous side. DASP also has an evolving channel online on YouTube featuring subtitled performances by its singers.  More information at denverartsongproject.org. “We want to make sure we are building the legacy of our artists,”  Leubner said. The pieces are often brief character studies or short narratives, and always full of drama. There are both evening and matinee events and the early shows are kid-friendly. “This is a vital little genre and I like it because it lends itself to conversing directly with an audience,” said tenor Eapen Leubner, one of the group’s founders. (Provided by the Denver Art Song Project)
Classical fans have never had to look hard to find opera or symphonic music along the Front Range. Frances Cabrini Church in Littleton; and Sunday, Oct. There are plenty of orchestras and presenting groups, large and small, professional and volunteer, putting on concerts across the region. A recent post of soprano Sarah Stone singing Schubert’s somber yet spirited love song, “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” is a good example of the top-quality work that DASP produces. Soprano Margaret Ozaki Graves sings with the Denver Art Song Project. They’re not meant as marketing devices like a lot of the video content posted by nonprofit arts groups, but as another dimension of its outreach, as entertainment that introduces singers to the widest audience possible. It wants to develop audiences of the future and singers to entertain them and is currently sponsoring a 2018 High School Art Song Competition and inviting music students from across Colorado to enter. Still, the concerts do have an educational side that aims to be welcoming to newcomers. For the record, (and for classical fans in the know) DASP defines an art song broadly as any composition from the traditions of “German Lieder, French Chanson and Italian Canzone, American Art Songs and American Folk Songs that are arranged by leading composers,” such as Aaron Copland. This month’s program of songs titled “Monsters, Creatures & Legends” will be performed in Denver, Littleton and Fort Collins. Interestingly, DASP is thinking longer than spring 2018. The performers chat with the audience, offering a little history and context for the compositions they’re presenting. Competitors will prepare three songs — two in foreign languages, one in English — and then perform them before a panel of judges. As far as the musical lineup DASP programs for its concerts, that’s meant to cover a lot of ground, as well, and that is evident just from titles of upcoming events.

Denver jazz: Gregory Porter pays tribute to Nat King Cole and more best bets

27) Porter, who has picked up two best jazz vocal Grammy awards in recent years, might want to clear some shelf space for another statuette in the next year or so. 21-22, as she pays tribute to Ella Fitzge
Bret Saunders (bretsaunders@kbco.com) can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. There’s no doubt that the 46-year-old Porter (He’ll perform at Denver’s Newman Center on Nov. “The piano we used was Nat’s piano. (Eric Umphery, umusic)
Vocalist Gregory Porter performs with an inviting baritone that evokes numerous classic singers. … Singer Jonathan Butler plays the Soiled Dove Underground on Oct. 27. Two-time GrammyY-winning vocalist Gregory Porter. He sings very ‘cinematic.’ He’s a great storyteller, and very empathetic.”
Gregory Porter, Nov. Follow him on Twitter: @Bretontheradio weekdays at KBCO 97.3 FM. “His emotion is extraordinary. 26. ***
The innovative saxophonist Greg Osby plays a rare Denver date in the intimate confines of Nocturne Jazz on Oct. Don’t miss out on tickets. “It was crazy,” Porter enthuses. This was a cat who was on the original recordings.”
Judging by the material that has been released in advance of the release of “Nat King Cole And Me,” (out Oct. Get info at newmancenterpresents.com. “To me, he’s an influence and inspiration,” Porter told me about his relationship with Cole’s massive cultural legacy. “It goes back to my childhood, when I was six. The clarity, the diction … but in a way, the emotion is the most important thing. 27, and Freddy Cole, younger brother of the above-mentioned Nat King Cole, sings and plays at Dazzle on Nov. 4, his 47th birthday) will direct a new generation to Cole’s warm, genuine original recordings. … Denver bassist and key local artist Ken Walker brings his sextet to Dazzle Oct. 1. He normally relies on contemporary material, but his newest release, “Nat King Cole And Me” (Blue Note) pays loving tribute to a timeless performer. They were moral messages that I internalized. I sat on (Frank) Sinatra’s stool. … A reminder that one of the finest violinists in jazz history, Regina Carter, is also coming to Dazzle for two nights, Nov. Tickets range from $47 to $78. I needed these male voices and messages that came from his records.” (Porter grew up estranged from his father and was raised by his mother in a single-parent family.) “I had this funny ability to say, ‘Hey, that pertains to me’ when he sang, ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself off.’ ”
“Smile” (one of many Cole hit songs) means something to me. His covers of “Smile” and “L-O-V-E” are as relaxed and majestic as Cole’s original versions. The vibes player was Nat’s vibes player! And Porter continues to find inspiration in the recordings that resonated with him 40 years ago. 4, 7:30 p.m., The Newman Center, 2344 East Iliff Ave., Denver. I’m telling my son the same things that I got from Nat King Cole.”

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Like Cole before him, Porter chose to sing live with an orchestra for the selections on the new album, even recording a couple of tracks at Hollywood’s historic Capitol Records building, where Cole himself recorded.