Bay Area Showcase by Balanced Breakfast at UMS

In SXSW fashion day parties have become a staple amongst The Underground Music Showcase the last couple years. It has become a great outlet for bands from out of town to come in and establish a Denver presence. This year we have delegations from Treefort Music, CU Denver, Spokezbuzz and the Bay Area Showcase. We had a chance to talk to Joe Markert, lead vocalist for Cure For Gravity who will be playing for us on Sunday at Skylark.

(U5280) How did you come across this festival?

 (Joe) This is our third year coming out to UMS. Four years ago we played a show in San Francisco with The Epilogues and made a connection. We were chatting them up about coming out to play in Denver when their drummer, Jason Hoke, invited us out to hit UMS. We loved the vibe of the festival  - it was all about the music with a whole lot less corporate music influence.  Not to mention it’s in Denver and we love it up here.  I (Joe Markert) have family up outside Boulder so this is quickly becoming a second home for myself and the band.

(U5280) Do all of the bands on this bill know each other pretty well and have you guys ever collaborated on any projects in the past?

Most of the bands know each other through Balanced Breakast ( ) a Music Industry Meet-up started in San Francisco by Stefan Aronsen, Andy Freeman and others.  Balanced Breakfast has helpd forge a good deal of community so we’ve all gotten to know each other pretty well and support each others shows.  Denver also has a Balanced Breakfast chapter, as well as is a sister city to the Grammy Recording Academy chatper back home in San Francisco so we wanted to forge a connection.

We hope this will be the first of many years we bring the day party out and will forge collaborations not only among our SF showcasw bands but with Colorado based musicians as well.  We’re hoping to help Kendall Smith bring a UMS stage to NoisePop in SF back home next year and hopefully drive an SF stage to TreeFort the way Kendall has done with UMS.

(U5280) Five bands will be joining The UMS festival this year, are their similar festivals of this scale in the bay area?

NoisePop ( is our UMS back home!  As I mentioned above we’re hoping to get some reciprocation going on bringing a UMS stage to NoisePop this coming year.

(U5280) This festival continues to grow each year, what do you see from an artist perspective as challenges to play festivals as compared to regular touring?

Festivals definitely present a whole new set of challenges in terms of logistics and organization required of the artists.  Showing up to a club and playing a set is pretty straight forward.  Hitting a festival or showcase event like UMS requires an entirely different level of planning and preparation to ensure you can get yoru gear into and out of a location as quickly as possible so as not to blow the event schedule. If you weren’t organized with your stage show before playing a festival, you’ll learn quick!

But festivals and showcases are a much better opportunity than normal club tours as you can get many more eyeballs on your project in one fell swoop than you can hoping for a good turn out at a local club on a Wednesday night.

(U5280) Describe three things about Denver?

The Rockies, Stranahans. Great Music.  Denver has been super welcoming to us and we hear this time and again from our fellow Denver converts.   Or, as our guitarist, Dave Walcott, put it, “Hot, High and Hail.”  I’ll leave discerning that one to your readers.

(U5280) Are there any bands on the bill you guys are looking forward to seeing?

We were super stoked to see The Epilogues as it’s a bittersweet this time around being one of their last shows ever.  Definitely into Slow Caves, The Oh Sees and Polica!

(U5280) Finally where is the music industry heading today? In terms of touring, streaming music, live shows, labels and industry?

That’s a question I’m not sure any one of us can succinctly answer or intuit.  I can say that I think with the tools we all have now to get our music created and out there for consumption, as well as the expansion of groups like Balanced Breakfast it’s getting easier for dedicated artists to forge a living off of their art.

Be sure to check out the Bay Area Showcase this Sunday at Skylark Lounge. Get familiar with some of the bands visiting our fair city.*

Unlikely Heroes: 12:00-12:40 PM (Skylark Lounge)

DREA.M: 1:00-1:40 PM (Skylark Lounge)

D. Edward: 2:00-2:40 PM (Skylark Lounge)

Cure For Gravity: 3:00-3:40 PM (Skylark Lounge)

Beautiful Machines: 4:00-4:40 PM (Skylark Lounge)

Jon Boland: 5:00-5:40 PM (Skylark Lounge)

Hang Rounders: 6:00-6:40 PM (Skylark Lounge)

*Aside from the Bay Area Showcase each band is also playing a different set throughout the festival.