Friday Night Fun | Wild High Album Release feat. Turner Jackson

It's the Friday before Christmas and we are smack in the middle of Hanukkah. Even if you don't admit it, this time of year everyone can get a little overrun by the holiday spirit - sometimes you just need a break from the spiked egg nog and ugly sweater parties. If you're looking for a good excuse to get out of your holiday office party, or just looking for a fun way to spend one of the last Fridays of 2014, look no further than Wild High's release party tonight at the Larimer Lounge. 

Local indie-psych rock band, Wild high, has had a huge year. After joining the Red Bull Sound Select roster wowing crowds with sets on the main stage at Denver's UMS, packing the stage at Denver Psych Fest, and performing a CPR Open Air studio session, the band refuses to end this pivotal year without a band. In fact, they are celebrating the end of the year with the highly anticipated release of their debut 10-track album SDREAMS. 

If you're familiar with Ultra5280, the name Turner Jackson might be familiar. A Local hip-hop artist, and entertainer extraordinaire, Turner helped us get "turnt up" at our Ultraversary party this past April. Tonight he will be opening the show for Wild High, and taking this opportunity to debut his brand new live backing band, an exciting change to the rapper's already charismatic live show. 

Tickets are an easy $10 at the door tonight, and this is a show you do not want to miss! Doors are at 8:00pm, the show at 9:00pm, and we hope to catch a few of you getting down tonight. 

CRL CRRLL | Exclusive Video Premiere | CHEERS

For those of you who didn't make it out to The Solution last Friday to check out the video release of CRL CRRLL's "Cheers", no need to worry we have the exclusive online premiere right here for you to see. This song has been burning up our playlist all Summer long and the video was shot at Meadowlark.

Video directed, shot & edited by Jonathan Martin for Black Sock Productions (http://www.BlackSockProductions.com). “Cheers” produced, written & engineered by CRL CRRLL. Video filmed on location at The Meadowlark during both The Solution w/DJ Low Key & Lazy Eyez and Goodness w/DJ Low Key & friends. Still photos by Armando Geneyro aka Knower Of The Ledge. Stay tuned for The Solution Tape #2 in February 2015 and CRL CRRLL’s Ghostwaves double-EP in early 2015 and don’t miss The Solution w/DJ Low Key & Lazy Eyez, every Friday night at The Meadowlark in Denver, CO!!!

Hometown For The Holidays, Episode 2

Tomorrow is it. They day local bands have been waiting and waiting for. At some point during tomorrow night's Not So Silent Night, the staff of KTCL will announce this year's Top Eleven contestants for 2014's Hometown For the Holidays (HTFTH) competition. We've been trying to help you all get acquainted a little early with some potential contenders for this year's show, and today our final installment before the real games begin features Denver based group Wiredogs. 

Originally hitting the scene with the daring name The Hate, Wiredogs changed their name quickly and quietly after their inception in the summer of 2013. They first submitted for Hometown For The Holidays last year, and made it into the Top Eleven with their track "Suicide Queen". Sadly, the band didn't make it into last year's Top Three, but they're back at it again this year, hoping that the glory of being crowned champions might finally be theirs. I chatted briefly with lead singer Dan Aid about what it's like being involved in this competition, the bands progress in the last year, and their brand new record, Kill The Artist Hype The Trash which will be released early next year. 
(In the following interview, questions from Ultra5280 will be marked with "MC" indicating Maddie Casey, and answers from Wiredogs will be marked with "DA" indicating Dan Aid)

MC: Hey Dan! Today we're talking a bit about Hometown For The Holidays. How many years have the Wiredogs participated in Hometown? What Keeps you coming back? 
DA: Last year was Wiredogs' first time participating in Hometown For the Holidays. We submitted again this year because it's an amazing opportunity to have your music heard by some of the biggest musical proponents in this state, and it has the potential to give you airtime on one of the biggest radio stations in the world, AND it gives you the opportunity to (possibly) play one of the largest venues in Colorado. 

MC: HTFTH sees hundreds of submissions from across the state, and has a proven track record with helping break local artists on a national scene. What benefits do you feel like a band gains from participating in an event like this? 
DA: You gain exposure. Getting anyone to listen to what you're doing these days when every fucking kid with a laptop is flooding the internet with their "creative" whatever-the-fuck is really difficult. Hometown gives you a chance to get heard and get feedback on what you're doing musically. Also, If you make top 10, KTCL plays your song for a week during prime air time, and if I'm remembering correctly, they have something like 200,000 listeners at any one time... Then if you win the whole contest, you get to play the next Not So Silent night, which is always a sold out show at 1st Bank Center. 

MC: Last year your band placed in the Top Eleven, what did you learn from that experience? Did you take any of that to heart thinking about this years submission? 
DA: I think we just submitted what we were most proud of and what resonated with us. We don't play a style of music that is very popular on radio right now, but we do play music and record songs that are honest, and thoughtful, and created with purpose. Hopefully that comes through to the listeners and the judges, regardless of perceived genre.

MC: You guys are getting ready to release a new record early next year - what can fans expect from Kill The Artist Hype The Trash?
DA: Kill The Artist Hype The Trash is agressive and honest. The whole record, from writing, to demoing, to recording, happened at a time in this band when there was a ton of transition going on. Stefan moved to Chicago, I ended a relationship and moved, Mark started a relationship, and we struggled as a band to find our relationship with each other and with the music. I think that struggle comes through on the album in some pretty weird, but profound ways. This wasn't an easy record to make. It was really personal. But I think the vulnerability of that time was captured, and I think it will resonate with listeners.

MC: We cannot wait to hear it! Finally, our locals only question - what is your bands favorite pre or post-show snack?
DA: Marquis Pizza! Mosh With It!

MC: Amen! My sentiments exactly.

Check out the bands last EP, Resistance, available on Spotify just below, and be sure to watch for our upcoming feature on their new album next month. 

Denver Music Round-Up | You, Me & Apollo part ways, announce final show

It's with a heavy heart that we report You, Me & Apollo are parting ways. The quickly growing band based out of Fort Collins announced today on their Facebook that it's time to say goodbye, giving fans one last chance to see them perform this month at Hodi's Half Note on Saturday, December 20th. 

The quick post released this morning did not cite reasons for the bands seemingly sudden end, but did tip their hat to their humble beginnings, the local scene that raised them, and the ever-faithful Illegal Pete's, who will be hosting an official after-party for the bands farewell show. 

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the final You Me & Apollo show will take place in our hometown of Fort Collins, CO on Dec 20th. Although, Brent had been performing as a solo artist under the You Me & Apollo moniker previous to this, Hodi's Half Note was where You Me & Apollo had it's inaugural performance as a full band on July 13th, 2011. It only feels right that our last performance as a band also take place on the same stage. We will be joined by our friends and locals, Slow Caves and The Covz. The night will come to completion with an after party at Illegal Pete's Ft Collins. The generous folks at Illegal Pete's have also provided you Denverites with a bundle package that includes a ticket to the show and transportation for $30. There are only 48 spots available, so check out bit.ly/YMAAPartyBus for more details. 
We cannot begin to tell you how much appreciate all of the support we have received throughout the years, we love all of you fine people very much.

Last year the band took a huge leap into the national spotlight, playing a handful of shows at SXSW in 2014, including one festival Official Showcase. We first saw the band play opening for Churchill at The Walnut Room way back in October of 2011 when the group was still a solo project for lead vocalist Brent Cowles. Believe it or not, that was my very first show ever reporting for Ultra5280, so seeing this band break up truly marks an end of an era for me in Denver's music scene. Opening for acts like Brandi Carslile,  ZZ Ward, Paper Bird and more, the band was poised to break on a national level - another Mile High success story. Last fall CU Denver's student-run record label CAM Records chose the group to be the focus of their work for the 2013/2014 academic year, assisting the band with the Kickstarter campaign funding their 2013 release Sweet Honey. It has been a true pleasure watching these impressive musicians take flight from their hometown and reach new levels every time we saw them. As purveyors of local talent, the staff at Ultra5280 are disheartened to see them disappear, and can't wait to see what's next for each of the band's members. 

If you'd like to take a quick walk down memory lane, here's all the Ultra5280 articles about the band, and a quick link to some of the latest music. 

You, Me & Apollo with ZZ Ward. 

You, Me & Apollo Need Our Help

You, Me & Apollo at Snowball Music Festival


A LOVE LETTER TO ILLEGAL PETE'S | Locals Only | November 5, 2014

I would like to qualify this little editorial with the simple fact that I am the only Colorado native working for Ultra5280. I've spent a majority of my life taking pride in the things that you can truly "only do in Colorado", and rubbing it in for friends who live elsewhere. I've watched just as many films at Red Rocks as I have concerts (well, maybe...), spent summers hiking through Chataqua and Rocky Mountain National Park, driven for hours up I-70 in the winter just to get one run in on the weekends between homework assignments, and I promise you that *no* day spent in Colorado could be completed in a better fashion than by eating dinner at Illegal Pete's. Pete's food has been a staple in my diet for as long as I can remember. While I was working my way through college, I took the bus to and from work through LoDo every day from my dorm on CU's Denver campus. On Tuesdays I worked until 12am, and would often not get back to the dorms until 2-3am depending on what bus I managed to catch - far too late to get any food from my dining hall. I had few food options that late in the evening, and Illegal Pete's became my surefire choice for dinner each week. Slowly but surely, the staff at Illegal Pete's on the 16th Street Mall began to recognize my face, and would even sometimes delay their close just so I could run through the door and beg them to make one last Queso Burrito before their register closed for the evening. 

The amazingness that is Illegal Pete's does not start or stop with starving, college-aged Maddie. But grown up, post-collegiate Maddie is heartbroken by the negative words being shared regarding the monicker of my favorite burrito haunt, and i've come to take a stand. The older I've gotten, the more involved I've become in both Denver and the world around me. This deeper understanding has shed light on just how deeply rooted this restaurant is in it's community, and how important it is for us to celebrate. From serving local meat in all of their dishes, to the Greater Than Collective record label they run, Illegal Pete's is a community-based company full of like-minded thinkers who strive to make the world a better place. Their efforts to focus their time and financial resources here in Colorado benefits both their staff members and patrons in ways the average joe could never imagine. Unlike their globally franchised counterparts (who are also Colorado based, mind you), Pete's has stayed local, working to help make our Mile High state the best it can be. The fact that so many people are hung up on their choice of name opposed to the good this company brings to our community is absolutely tragic, and weighs heavily on my heart. Illegal Pete's has been a happily functioning restaurant in Colorado since 1995...that's nearly twenty years of happy people eating happy burritos without caring what the word "illegal" could accidentally ensue. Why must we now, in 2014, find the tiniest thing to nit-pick when Illegal Pete's is merely trying to expand their positive reach to another Colorado community?

CU Denver students rocking out at Illegal Pete's during the 2014 Underground Music Showcase.

No one seems to care that the restaurant's name is an homage to owner Pete Turner's beloved father who carried the same given name as he. It also seems that no one cares to educate themselves on all of the community-focused programs Illegal Pete's has to offer to the great city of Fort Collins. Instead, they've chose to focus on the sad, miscommunicated understanding of one measly little word. Illegal Pete's is more than just a name. Illegal Pete's is more than just a restaurant. Illegal Pete's is one of the few remaining local treasures that we as Coloradans are blessed to have all to ourselves, and they give back to this community in immense ways. Owner Pete Turner took his simple dream to open a place with a "fun and energetic atmosphere with music playing (and) employees having fun" and has turned it into a successful, well known food chain spread across the front range. He's created a hugely successful record label that supports some of Denver's most talented musical artists, and has expanded that support to artists worldwide through the Starving Artist Program, which feeds out-of-town bands at no cost while they travel through Colorado. Pete's also supports charities like the American Cancer Society, the Hatian Earthquake Relief efforts by the Red Cross, stepped in to help the Aurora Police Department after the movie theater shootings, the Colorado Springs Red Cross after the fires, the Boulder Flood Relief efforts and many more. 

How can the people of Fort Collins look past these incredible actions of a business, and get so hung up on one adjective that has taken on a sadly negative connotation in this new era of over sensitivity? Times like these make it clear why the world's good people are growing harder to find, as their actions are overlooked to focus on petty battles instead. I urge the citizens of Colorado to lay their negative thoughts to rest, as they will do no one an ounce of good. Rather, I encourage all of you to become more informed, and choose your battles not based on new-age stigmas, but rather based on facts. I hope that this will make all of you choose to research the companies you support just a bit more, and celebrate local heroes like Illegal Pete's, who've asked for no praise for their goodness other than the simple ability to open a new location. Ultra5280 are proud Pete's lovers, and owe them a great debt for late night business meetings, hangover breakfasts, and stopping the dreaded post-UMS "hanger" episodes. We hope Pete's stays "illegal" forever, and hope that Fort Collins can come to love them just as much as we do. 

-Maddie

 

If you'd like to learn more about Illegal Pete's, please read these articles on their namesake, as well as "Seven Facts You Didn't Know" right here: 
http://illegalpetes.com/blog/community/concerning-the-name-illegal-petes/
http://illegalpetes.com/blog/community/7-things-you-might-not-know-about-illegal-petes-but-you-should/

New Music Tuesday | Kid Astronaut & Bad Rabbits | November 4, 2014

We’re going to try to get in the swing of making Tuesdays “New Music Tuesdays” over here at Ultra5280, and what a better way to kick it off than with one of our favorite local artists, and one of the bands that has stolen our heart time and time again. This week we’re going a little on the soul side, and focusing on Jon Shockness’ new solo project Kid Astronaut, as well as Boston’s soul sons Bad Rabbits. 

KID ASTRONAUT

You are (hopefully) by now familiar with Air Dubai, Denver’s six piece electro-pop hip-hop group. A band who’s been making waves in the Mile High city since before the release of their first full-length Wonder Age was in 2010, lead vocalist Jon Shockness has been working double time recently to begin experimenting with his own material under the name Kid Astronaut. Jon’s efforts working towards a solo career have existed just as long as Air Dubai, but the first track dropped under this monicker came this past July with the song “This Day”. His solo stuff is a sure departure from the upbeat radio hits of Air Dubai, but brings out the same lyrical strength we’ve come to expect. Tracks like “This Day” and “Phone Home” let us hear Jon rap more than we’ve heard on any of his previous releases, and I truly hope this change sticks, as it’s obviously a strong talent that suits him well. With great cadence, and wonderfully smart lines like “I’m feeling happier than Pharrell ever been/ walking on clouds baby this day is on ten” we’re excited to keep hearing more from this solo project. My favorite release so far has been the song “Finally it’s You” simply because of how starkly different it is from anything else I’ve ever heard Jon release. The track features no rapping, very different lyrical content, and to top it off, a beautiful violin humming through the background. The song is beautiful through and through, and you can check out the newly released music video for the track below. We love watching artists grow and change, and this new era for Jon Shockness is one I’m curious to continue to follow. If you’d like to see his work live, he’s playing a show this coming Friday night at 7pm at The Atlas Theatre. You can find more info on the Kid Astronaut Facebook page

BAD RABBITS

Boston natives Bad Rabbits have been around for quite some time, and their EP Stick Up Kids has been on my iPhone since the day I first heard it in 2010. The band has toured with Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, done the Vans Warped Tour twice (in 2011 and 2014), and just came through town this past month opening for singer/songwriter Allen Stone. If you think the list of acts they’ve played with is eclectic, try listening to their music. With hints of soul, gospel, hip hop, and 80’s pop all wrapped into one neat little package, the only thing one can do to adequately process their music is dance about it. The band released their first full length American Love in 2013, and have been touring nearly the entire year in support of the album. Songs like “Booties”, “Stick Up Kids”, “We Can Roll”, and “Doin’ It” are my personal favorite tracks, but nothing in this world compares to this band’s live show. Full of choreographed dance routines, jumps off of bass drums, an insanely impressive vocal performance and more clapping than you could expect (both to keep rhythm, and for applause), I have said it time and time and time again, this band cannot be topped; they are one of my favorite live bands without question. They may have a fascination with booties, but don’t let it deter you, their music is just as fun and beautiful as the butts they showcase on their album artwork. The band only has two shows scheduled through the end of the year, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted the next time they roll through Denver. In the mean time, get your dancing shoes on and put your headphones in - it’s time to study up so you’re fully prepared to have your mind blown when you see them live. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about this band’s addictiveness, and let me be the first to welcome you into the Bad Rabbits fan community by teaching you our motto: BR ALL DAY, BAD RABBITS!

LOCALS ONLY: Ginny & The Bridge Burners | The Aggie Theatre | October 17, 2014

Ginny and The Bridge Burners, photo credit: Matt Smith

Ginny and The Bridge Burners, photo credit: Matt Smith

If you follow Ultra5280 in any sense, you know that local, Colorado music is one of our biggest focus'. We're so proud of this beautiful state that we call home, and all of the amazing talent that it produces, it's only right to take some time to highlight up and coming acts every now and again. 

This past Friday night, photographer Matt Smith headed north to the great lands of Fort Collins to watch local bands Ginny & The Bridge Burners and Hog Magundy. A great southern-style rock group, Ginny & The Bridge Burners were an excellent mix of classic rock with gospel and jazz influences. Lead singer Justine Kurtz's raspy yet pronounced voice made for an excellent vessel for the bands lyrics. Throughout the show, both guitarists took turns performing talent-laden guitar solos that changed from jazz stylings to a more alt rock type sound. Their second to last song, "Ripcord" had the crowd jamming cheering along.

Hog Magundy, photo credit: Matt Smith

Hog Magundy, photo credit: Matt Smith

Hog Magundy took to stage second, and were a bit more traditional bluegrass. With the fiddle player, banjo player, and lead guitarist all taking turns singing lead vocals, it was a unique change of scenery from the traditional "lead vocalist" setting. Although most songs sounded great, there were a few points throughout the show where many of the instruments seemed to be competing for space, making the song feel a bit too busy for our personal liking. The crowd enjoyed the set, dancing along beginning to end. 

Check out photos from the night below! 

-Matt and Maddie