Project Pabst Slays In Their Return To Denver | Review and Photos

Cheers to Project Pabst (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Last saturday, thanks to our friends at PBR, our favorite block on Larimer Street between 27th and 28th were barricaded for a day of thirst quenching beer and stellar music. Festival goers shuffled from two stages right in the heart of our beautiful city. Meadowlark, The Larimer Lounge, Cold Crush provided sets of both national, and local bands featuring Colfax Speed Queen, Flaural, The Knock, Felix Fast4ward, and Dragondeer. The crowd estimates were bigger than last year, leading to believe that this festival is here to stay.

With a cold, frosty PBR tallboy in hand we headed over to the first set. Twin Peaks set off the day with their high energy beachy, british rock sound. If Cage The Elephant and The Kinks had a baby out would come a fresh little Twin Peaks. The three front men traded off lead singing each song yet their vibe didn’t seem to alter between. Don’t see that every show!

The small but steadily growing day crowd was herded over to the opposite stage by badass female rocker duo, Deap Vally. We saw these ladies at SXSW and gah zamn, can they own a stage. “Smile More” and it’s hard grunge vibe had us teen angst head-banging in delight. One of our favorites of the day.

Considering Noname was a No Show, our local friends, Monteneros took over in place and it was no longer bummerville on the Lazer Horse Stage. The local boys saved the day with an exceptional cover of The Pixies “Gigantic”.

STRFKR hit us hard. Literally. Our crowd surfing astronaut made his way over to us and we may or may not have dropped his ass. With our beer soaked sneaks, we danced through our favorites and the lesser known rest. I think we were all a bit distracted by the hot dogs and pickles flying about. A rousing rendition of “While I’m Alive” set off confetti and inflatable penises and pizza. Yes we said penises and pizza, picture that for a moment.

Danny Brown slaying during Project Past ( Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Oh you wanted to mosh? Our boy Danny Brown had ya covered. Although much more subdued this time than his normal self, Brown still managed to encourage crowd sing-a-longs and participation with his tongue in cheek approach to his recognizable rap flow.

The festival was so great that we even had time to fit in a nap and a burrito during Kurt Vile’s set. The slow indie, melodies weren’t in the cards for us, maybe because we weren't stoned. The rest of the day was high energy and high spirits, that he didn’t quite mesh with the line up. Maybe we’ll catch ya at Coachella 2018, Kurt. 

The always lovely Sarah Barthel of Phantogram (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

The Phantogram team was in full force as Sarah Barthel and Josh “Fucking” Carter made the crowd sing and dance to their catchy hits and awesome display of showmanship. We even got a glimpse of Leroy (Sarah’s famous Instagram dog) on the side rocking out. Hits such as “Black Out Days”, “When I’m Small” and “Fall In Love” had us dancing with our neighbors in the crowd. Phantogram is currently on tour with Tycho so make sure you check them out at a city near you!

Legend Status (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

It’s one thing to see legendary performers, it’s another to get to see them in such an intimate setting. This was our second time seeing Ice Cube and while he didn’t bring out the members of NWA, he did manage to take us down memory lane with his recognizable street anthems. Ice Cube with his intimidating presence (although you may have lost a bit of that with the Are We There Yet? movies) and Westside hand gestures made everybody in the audience feel like a gangsta even if it was for a brief second.

Words by Kelly O'Keefe and Robert Castro

Crowd surfing on a pizza is on our bucket list (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)


All Images courtesy of Robert Castro. All Rights Reserved!

Dear Me, Starting To Feel At Home With New Album On The Way | First Listen

Discovering new music is what this site was built upon, we are constantly sorting through inboxes full of new material from musicians and bands all over the world. Our fondness for local music is always at the helm of our priority and from time to time we get to hear some of the best up and coming material before anybody else (perk #118). We got our hands on this song by Dear Me, who are planning on releasing their new album on June 10th of next month. The track Somebody Else conjures up the early days of Death Cab For Cutie with well crafted lyrics and harmonies that deliver the perfect emotions of the heartfelt song. The band plans to release their album Present Perfect on June 10th at Syntax Opera House. Information on that show can be found on the bands website.

"Somebody Else is maybe the first song that really made me feel like "Dear me," could work out as a project. Andrew and I had been playing as side men in a band, and playing the occasional gig as a duo, but it never amounted to much. Figuring out how to make our voices and guitars compliment each other on this song was really the first step towards taking our own music seriously. We recorded it mostly the way that we originally figured it out, with just Jamie Beekman's third harmony on top and keyboard underneath."

An Interview With DJ Low Key: Goodness Season 6 Opening This Sunday

 DJ Low Key (Photo Credit: Armando Geneyro)

 DJ Low Key (Photo Credit: Armando Geneyro)

With the ever changing musical landscape in Denver, one thing remains a constant, if you are looking for the best patio party in the Mile High, Goodness hosted by DJ Low Key has become a staple of what a perfect Sunday afternoon should look like. We had a chance to sit down with what we consider one of our closest friends in the scene to discuss Goodness and the ever changing industry in our city.

Castro- First off tell us a little about your background?

DJ Low Key- I was born outside of Atlanta, but have been in Colorado more than half my life now. I bought turntables with money saved from a Summer job working at The Garden Of The God Trading Post the Summer after my freshman year. I initially wanted to buy all the cool independent 12"s and rare white label records coming out, which ultimately led to me realizing you could play music for people at parties for a living and a different side of DJing that became my career. 

HUGE shouts to DJ Petey and DJ Chonz for being the two main local DJs that showed me the way. That led to DJing progressional at top 40 club and parties, which eventually led to me doing more of my own thing and starting my own parties like Goodness and The Solution after being inspired by the energy of what DJ K-Nee and DJ Big Styles had created So What! and seeing what was ultimately possible.

Castro- Is there a DJ on your bucket list you have never seen spin?

DJ Low Key- I've been super lucky and over the years have seen most of my favorite DJ before. I'd say the DJ that I'm the biggest fan of that I've never seen rock a live event would be DJ Spinbad, who's a mixtape legend that now DJs for Russell Peters. Sooner or later, I'm gonna get him out to Goodness though - watch.

Castro- Is there an emcee (besides Riff Raff) you would love to DJ for?

DJ Low Key- LMAO! I would say Chingo Bling, but I randomly DJed for him that same Summer as the infamous Riff Raff incident. I've probably peaked as a DJ, but the memories will live forever. 

If I have to answer, I'm sure Jay-Z would be fascinating to work with. Kanye would too, but he's intense enough that it might be overwhelming. Then of course, being a part of a stage show for someone as important to music and culture right now as Kendrick would be insane. (For the sake of DJ Low Key's street-cred we decided not to publish his picture of him dj'ing for Riff Raff)

The crowd at Goodness (Photo Credit: Armando Geneyro)

The crowd at Goodness (Photo Credit: Armando Geneyro)

Castro- What is the state of hip hop in Denver currently?

DJ Low Key- In a word: great. I think the whole of the Denver scene is better than it's ever been. We're such an isolated major city that before the internet leveled the playing field, things were much harder for artists in Colorado trying to advance their careers and while it's taken a while for the knowledge to circulate, years later I think the scene in Denver is easily as vibrant as I've ever seen in in my 12+ years living in the city. The DIY attitude from being isolated is strong, but now we have more resources than ever in the city and that's beautiful thing to see.

The flip side of that is that a lot of cats think that because the city's been getting a lot more attention, it means they're gonna "blow up", but really there's not much of a correlation. Hopefully not too many Denver artists are getting gassed up, but somehow I doubt it - it's a natural thing that come with the city having a moment.

Castro- Tell us were the idea for Goodness (GDNSS) and The Solution came about?

DJ Low Key- The Solution came from a place of frustration and idealism that me and the party's co-founder DJ Sounds Supreme, were experiences in regards to the top 40-oriented gigs that we were mainly working at as professional DJs in the mid-2000s. The gigs we were doing were fun, but they weren't necessarily the kinds of parties where we could really play the music we liked best as much as we'd like. The Solution was and still is, our attempt to make "a solution" to the less fulfilling/eclectic/whatever type gigs that dominate most of the nightlife.

Goodness came about in a similar way. I'd loved The Meadowlark since walking in for the first time and their patio always captivated me. It took a little longer than expected, but eventually I started working with them and developed the relationship enough to where they trusted me to try the idea and since then, it's take on a life of its own that I don't think any of us expected.

At the core of both of them, it's just me and some friends trying to make the kind of parties we want to go to, as people who are a little pickier and more knowledgable than the average club-goer.

Castro- One of the things I have noticed about GDNSS as opposed to other “hip hop” nights/parties is the vibe that comes from it, was that the goal from its inception.

DJ Low Key- Part of that comes from the fact that it's a Sunday day party, but most of it is just because the people that come out to the party are so great. They're good people with good taste in music who come out to have a good time and as simple as that sounds, it's really a rarity when most people just go to whatever bar is close to them or club that their friends talked about during the workweek or something a little less specific. I always describe it as the parties being for everybody, but not for just anybody.

Mackenzie (Photo Credit: Armando Geneyro)

Mackenzie (Photo Credit: Armando Geneyro)

Castro- GDNSS currently resides in the biggest growing area of Denver (RiNo) right now, what are the pros and cons of where you guys reside right now?

DJ Low Key- The pros are that the amount of good food options in neighborhood have improved tremendously and it's incredibly quick and easy to get an Uber/Lyft/etc. 

The cons are that the more intangible things that initially attracted myself, a lot of the crowd that comes to my parties and similar-minded people to the neighborhood are rapidly disappearing. The rawer energy, the fact that RiNo was an alternative to the downtown scene as opposed to what's becoming an extension of it, the freedom that comes from less people coming to an area with any sort of pre-existing expectations because they read it "was a hot part of town"; that's disappearing fast and probably completely. 

With that said, there's still not a part of town I'd rather be in. There's no "new RiNo" to be had in Denver right now and I love the neighborhood and the energy that remains here like none other. The energy of the last few years plus in the area will never be replicated, that's a very special moment in the city's life that I'm thankful to have been a part of, in my own little way.

Castro- The new season starts this Sunday what can we expect this year from previous years?

DJ Low Key- The goal of Goodness, The Solution and everything else is always to try to find a balance between growing organically and still keeping the core of the parties intact. With that said, expect more world class DJs from all over the country, some cool live performances here and there, some art features and I'm sure a lot of cool things that I don't even know that will come together through the magic of the party. And definitely expect more pop-ups and unconventional party experiments, we've done a few to great results and it's got me encouraged to see what other kind of interesting ideas we can bring to life.

Castro- What is your fondest memory of Goodness?

 DJ Low Key- Playing Kendrick Lamar "Alright" at the Goodness Season 4 Opener. It wasn't even a single yet, but you could feel people loving the song and that it was an exceptional record, even by exceptional record standards. The energy was already feeling amazing at that point midway through the first day of the season - the place was packed, the crowd was super open and when I dropped "Alright" after playing the Twin Sister joint sampled on Kendrick's "The Recipe", the crowd went INSANE like nothing I've ever felt before.

It was easily one of the craziest moments of my DJ career. Skillz, who used to MC/host parties for DJ Jazzy Jeff recorded video of the moment and people on his Instagram were mistaking the party for [world renowned LA-based party] The Do-Over, which was quite a compliment. I do things a lot different than them with Goodness, but that party is definitely an inspiration for what's possible in terms of taking something that's really good and turning into a worldwide party/brand/etc and if there's any patio party to get mistaken for, it's them...LOL.

There's been a ton though, having the crowd rock through crazy storms with people holding a tarp over the DJ booth once things started leaking, just to keep the party moving. Going back and forth with DJ Revolution, one of my all-time favorite DJs and easily one of the best DJs to ever touch turntables. Putting out Goodness Hot Sauce and making that crazy random idea a reality. The party's been really good for making memories, I'm thankful for that.   

Castro- Finally where do you see yourself and Goodness in ten years?

DJ Low Key- Hopefully just taking the energy and everything we all love about Goodness and expanding it in more unconventional, exciting ways while still maintaining everything about it that's the core. My whole DJ career has been built off of trusting my instincts, doing what I believe in and giving the public credit for having better taste in music than most DJs assume they have. If I stay focused on those things, who knows how far as this could go - I've already exceeded any and all expectations I had when I bought first turntables at age 15 with Summer job money and if I've learned one thing, it's never to underestimate where life can take you.

Season 6 of Goodness begins this Sunday at Meadowlark. Make sure to get on their e-mail list for free cover and exclusive invites: Info at djlowkey.com

This weeks lineup includes a couple Ultra5280 Party Alums: DJ E-Trane and Sur Ellz who have both rocked with us a few times.

Harry Styles Surprises Music Industry With New Self Titled Album

The transition from boy band heartthrob to grown ass man has previously followed a nice and concrete passage. One which normally includes a lot of ripped jeans, shirtless photoshoots and a few very public breakups. But one teen sensation is set on breaking the mold. 

From donning the streets in high heeled boots to SNL debuts and an understated DGAF attitude, Harry Styles is definitely not your typical child star turned teen sex symbol. His transition may not be the safe option, as we’re sure a lot of his early fan base will not relate to guitar heavy tracks like “Your Angel”. But Style’s is staying true to himself and doing what makes him happy rather than following what would have been a fruitful and lucrative career creating catchy pop anthems.   

After listening to Style’s new self-titled album it’s hard to believe that this is the same person who ran around in the ocean with 5 other boys singing, that’s what makes you beautiful. A catchy chorus and garage band drum track have been upgraded to electric guitar and thoughtful lyrics about past breakups. The album features lots of instrumentals and longing, rustic vocals by Styles. Even more interesting? Styles has writing credit on all of the 10 of the songs in the album. Stand out tracks include, “Sign Of the Times”, “Carolina” and “Sweet Creature”. Rhythmic, unique and a far cry from the spineless radio hits of his yonder year. 

By forging his own path Styles is placing himself among the ranks of John Mayer and Paul McCartney as those who have had a taste of the Justin Bieber lifestyle but yet ultimately chose music.   

Listen Here: spotify:album:1FZKIm3JVDCxTchXDo5jOV 

Povi Gives Us A First Glimpse Of Her New Song "Usta Was" | First Listen

Our girl Povi just hit us with a new jam. The track is produced by Cory Kendrick and Scott Pace. The track gives us a subtle r&b flare with Povi's lyrics coming at you with a rather sultry approach giving the song a great dynamic and easy listen. It's as we are witnessing a modern day Aaliyah, as Povi reaches into a place in which she is in full control leaving the rest of us to feel comfortably satisfied.