UMS Artist Spotlight: DRAMA

DRAMA (Image taken from Facebook Page)

Chicago R&B duo DRAMA were nice enough to chat with us on the eve of their Saturday performance at The Underground Music Showcase.

Ultra5280: If you could sum up the essence of Drama what would it be?

DRAMA: The essence of drama is creating the concept of originality, art and feeling. In general, we’re friends who were brought together by way of music that is way bigger than us. We didn’t know what to expect when we started sharing our art, but our mission was always to love everything we put out and connect with people and their day to day feelings. If you listen to our songs, our hope is that you might find one that will strike an emotional chord.

Ultra5280: Tell us about your music influences. What styles have the biggest pull when you’re creating your music?
Via: Sade and Drake. 100% smooth, simple, clever, relatable and impactful.

Na’el: I gain my influence from many different producers of various different skill sets. Pharrell for his drums, Kanye for his sampling chops, Jon Brion for his beautiful arrangements and overall production. I could go on, but I’ll leave it there for now.

Ultra5280: What was the hardest song to write and why?

Via: Our new single ‘Give No Fucks’ for sure. The beat is unlike anything we’ve done and the process was relatively unorthodox for me. When writing a song, I usually spend a good amount of time listening to the music before words form. GNF came together relatively quickly. The majority of my lyrics come from a dark and cold places of mourning and loss which, for me, help songs write themselves. GNF musically felt like a party everyone was trying to get into, I didn’t even know where to begin. So I had to picture what that might feel like and “what would Pharrell and Bruno Mars do” and let just let it flow.

Ultra5280: I would say my favorite genre of music is sad dance tunes. Why do you think listeners gravitate towards sad dance music?

DRAMA: The same reason the earth is dying but the flowers are still blooming… life goes on.

Ultra5280: What can we expect from your live performance this weekend at UMS?

DRAMA: Lots and lots of love and laughs, possibly some tears and some make out session in the audience… haha. It’s an emotional rollercoaster with us. You gotta come expecting to experience the ride.

Ultra5280: What’s the next move for Drama?


DRAMA: A lot of touring! We’ll be on the road this fall with SG Lewis in North America and back across the pond for some shows in Europe. Looking forward to also releasing our first full album in 2020! :)

11 Latino Artist To Watch For At This Year's Underground Music Showcase

The Underground Music Showcase is just around the corner and we wanted to celebrate the diversity and culture that this years’s festival will allow us to enjoy. Latin music has been around for many years and we are lucky to be home to quite a few bands here in our own city. This year’s UMS spared no expensive to give us a weekend to celebrate latin music at its finest. A slew of national and locals will grace the stages of venues all across Broadway next weekend to showcase the biggest growing genre in music today. (In no particular order)

1. Chicano Batman | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Saturday, Jul 27 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the dapper four piece blends the soulful sounds of the 70’s with an upbeat and infectious romantic pop. The band pays homage to the early bands of yesteryear including the Los Angeles Negros and Los Pasteles Verdes. They have built a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the industry due to their extensive touring and festival appearances. We are lucky to be graced with the amazing sounds for this years Underground Music Showcase.


2. Y La Bamba | Knockout Stage @ Punch Bowl Social Sunday, Jul 28 6:20 PM - 7:00 PM

Y La Bamba is gracefully evolving as a major player in the folk scene. Blessed by the vocals of Luz Elena Mendoza, the band takes us on a journey in which they step over boundaries to connect with their audience with rich narratives about heritage and legacies left behind. The creative songwriting is a warm welcome of a woman whose identity is shaped by her ancestry and we are fortunate enough to live to see the tale. It’s also a homecoming for Julia Mendiolea of Inner Oceans fame who returns to Denver as a member of the band.


3. ALTAS | Moe's Original BBQ Saturday, Jul 27 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM and Skylark Lounge Sunday, Jul 28 11:00 PM - 11:40 PM

ALTAS is one of the most underrated bands in Denver. They have been honing their craft for sometime and deliver with a sound unlike no other. Flanked by ambient sounds and lush dreamscapes the instrumental band reminds us of a latin Explosions In The Sky. The music is unconventional but demands your attention without you realizing you have already been pulled in.


4. Big J Beats | Blue Ice Saturday, Jul 27 3:00 PM - 3:40 PM

Big J Beats is the moniker of Justin Alvarado, hailing from the Mile High City. Ask any hip-hop head or beat junkie and Alvarado’s name slips off the tongue without hesitation. A marksman behind the beat machine Big J Beats delivers uncanny strokes and explosive finger mastery that eludes into a one-of-a-kind show rarely seen. A Denver legend in the making, you don’t have to see it to believe it, just listen.


5. Don Chicharrón | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Saturday, Jul 27 4:00 PM - 4:40 PM

There is only one band in Denver that identifies itself as the Kings of Chicha. Don Chicharón plays a style of music that most of us can relate to as cumbia music. Only difference is they do it with a Peruvian flare that lights up their live shows into a full on dance party. The nine-piece band delivers with an array of sounds that channel folk, cumbia, psych rock and a percussion section that serves up all the fixings all on one plate. A band that truly honors those who came before them, they give the listeners something they will always remember.


6. iZCALLi | Skylark Lounge Saturday, Jul 27 1:00 AM - 1:40 AM

Long heralded as one of our favorite bands for the last few years iZCALLi deliver a supersonic blast of rock in Español. Anchoring the band is Miguel Avina (lead guitar/vocals) and sister Brenda Avina (bass) who deliver punchy guitar driven melodies and backed by the drumming of Luiggi Ramirez (who by the way we consider the best drummer in Denver, fight us!). The band spreads the importance of love and unity in its music and leaves a long lasting impression after all is said and done. We only know of one way to go out on Saturday night and it will be with iZCALLi.


7. Jackie Mendoza | Knockout Stage @ Punch Bowl Social Sunday, Jul 28 4:20 PM - 5:00 PM

An artist we recently discovered at SXSW, Jackie Mendoza is one of the many latin growing artist we are seeing blossom. Hailing from Chula Vista, California ( a bordertown with Tijuana), Mendoza delivers electro-pop and performs in both English and Spanish giving her a unique dynamic which barely exists in the genre. Her songs often relate to the modern day complexities of love and relationships which emphasize the importance of loving yourself to equate happiness in its most complex forms.

8. Los Mocochetes | 3 Kings Tavern Sunday, Jul 28 10:00 PM - 10:40 PM

No other band has equated to the success Los Mocochetes have in the last three years here in the Mile High City. Our 2018 “Band of the Year” has outdone themselves to become a staple in the Denver music scene. Their message of positivity and love comes at a time when it is most needed for us and they explore those relationships through the magic of music. Their sound can only be described as a cornucopia of various elements that exude funk and latin infused elements of cumbia, and socio-political agendas that resonate into their live performances.


9. Vic N’ The Narwals | Showcase Stage @ Goodwill Sunday, Jul 28 1:20 PM - 2:00 PM

Cut from the same thread as fellow surf rockers Los Growlers, Vic N’ The Narwals deliver a live performance unlike no other. The band takes its influences from 60’s rock and and a sound that maintains originality but also infuses a hint of The Doors. The band is slowly leaving their mark on the Colorado scene and is only a matter of time before they get discovered and introduced to the world to enjoy.


10. Joshua Trinidad | Banded Oak Brewing Co. Friday, Jul 26 7:00 PM - 7:40 PM

Joshua Trinidad has been a consistent mainstay as one of the hardest working musicians in our city, an accomplished trumpeter, Trinidad evokes the craftsmanship and extensive list of performers he has had the pleasure to sit in with. Hailed as one of the best Trinidad continues to impress and gift us a sound that is distinctive and one of a kind.


11. Lady Gang | Denver Distillery Saturday, Jul 27 10:00 PM - 10:40 PM

Nobody works as hard as Jen Korte who also goes by the name Lady Gang. Also fun fact, not many know Jen comes from a latino background (we did our homework). Lady Gang isn’t a musician or band, it is more of an experience than anything else. We love witnessing creativity at its finest and with Lady Gang we get that and a second plate to take home. Stepping outside the boundaries of conformity Lady Gang gives us a blissful array of sounds from a loop machine and guitar. We highly recommend catching her set at this year’s Underground Music Showcase.

First Look: Nuancer - "Feel Good Hit of The Summer"

We give you the exclusive first look at the new Nuancer video for “Feel Good Hit of The Summer”. The video channels its inner Dire Straits video nod for “Money For Nothing” with an array of visual characters brought to life with astounding vocals. The video features an all start cast of vocalist such as Babelord, Casey Banker (Modern Leisure) and Melanie Steinway (Tyto Alba). We are digging it, so should you.

Video created by Noel Afan Billups

Post edits by Daniel DiMarchi Song is "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer"

Written, recorded, mixed & mastered by Nuancer nuancer.bandcamp.com

Underground Music Showcase Announces Schedule and Outdoor Stages

19_UMS_logo-stacked-date.jpg

Denver's largest and most iconic music festival, the Underground Music Showcase, has announced its complete 2019 schedule. From July 26 - 28, this mile-long festival on Broadway will feature 350+ live shows from local bands and national acts like Honne, Chicano Batman, Black Mountain, Tuxedo, Earthgang and many more.


The music festival will feature three creatively custom outdoor stages: Showcase Stage @ Goodwill, Odyssey Stage @ Import Mechanics, and new to this year’s showcase, Knockout Stage @ Punch Bowl Social. Additional stages include 15+ indoor music venues along South Broadway. Festival-goers can expect a three-day weekend packed with live music, craft beer, cocktails and wine, food, surprise pop-ups and more.


The festival will kick off with Wildermiss on the largest stage, Showcase Stage, @ 3:20 p.m. on Friday, July 26 and close out with Tuxedo @ 8:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. The full stage and venue schedule can be viewed at https://www.undergroundmusicshowcase.com/schedule.


Festival-goers are encouraged to purchase weekend passes for $50 now before prices increase to $75 beginning soon. Single-day passes also now on sale for $40. Groups looking to save additional money can purchase a weekend pass four-pack for $140. Weekend tickets include general admission access to any show, any stage, all weekend long. To purchase tickets, visit undergroundmusicshowcase.com.


Bumbershoot Day Lineups Announced

Seattle's Music and Arts Festival, has announced the 2019 day-by-day lineup. Taking place over Labor Day weekend, Friday Aug. 30 through Sunday Sept. 1, the 49th annual Bumbershoot will feature an eclectic list of performers including headliners Tyler, the Creator, The Lumineers, REZZ, Louis The Child, among others. Weekend passes are currently on sale. Single day passes starting at $99 and two day passes starting at $165 are also on sale now for a limited time at Bumbershoot.com.


More than 100 artists will perform throughout the weekend on more than a dozen indoor and outdoor stages spread throughout the 74-acre festival grounds, which includes both Memorial Stadium and Museum Of Pop Culture. Days for Comedy and Conversation performers and programming have also been released.

DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULE - 2019

Friday

Music

Tyler, The Creator, *****, Hippie Sabotage, Alina Baraz, Snow Tha Product, SOB xX RBE, Bryce Vine, SOL, Flora Cash, Madison Beer, The Dip, Shaed, Morgxn, Y La Bamba, Evan Konrad, Jagwar Twin, School of Rock Seattle, Tourist Company, Art D’Ecco, Laza

Comedy & Conversation

Ramy Youssef, Punch Up The Jam, Ian Karmel, #Adulting with Michelle Buteau and Jordan Carlos, Quinta Brunson, Shane Mauss, Dulcé Sloan, Irene Tu, Emma Arnold, Mohanad Elshieky, Scott Losse, Evelyn Jensen, Levi Manis

Saturday

Music

The Lumineers, H.E.R., Jai Wolf, LP, Carly Rae Jepsen, Summer Walker, Rival Sons, A R I Z O N A, Alec Benjamin, Coin, Matt Maeson, Two Feet, Donna Missal, half*alive, Alex Lahey, Jasiah, The Blue Stones, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Alex Cade, I///U, Baja Boy, USC Event’s Silent Disco @ Chihuly Garden and Glass feat. Hex Cougar, Lowsh vs. Farraday, Web vs. Coltan Johnson, Hherb vs Vitamin B, DJ Onyxx vs. Night Audit

Comedy & Conversation

Neal Brennan, Ramy Youssef, Ian Karmel, Jak Knight, Zack Fox, Quinta Brunson, Stand Up Science with, Shane Mauss, Jo Firestone, Dulcé Sloan, Irene Tu, Emma Arnold, Mohanad Elshieky, Scott Losse, Evelyn Jensen, Levi Manis

Sunday

Music

REZZ, Louis The Child, Taking Back Sunday, Clairo, Bob Moses, Reignwolf, Gallant, Bea Miller, The Midnight, Kiana Ledé, Pink Sweat$, The Aces, nothing,nowhere., Manatee Commune, Kolars, Ryland James, DJ Scheme, Emily Rowed, Fuzz Mutt, Tracksuit Wedding, L.A. Edwards

Comedy & Conversation

Ramy Youssef, Ian Karmel, Jak Knight, Zack Fox, Jo Firestone, Dulcé Sloan, Fahim Anwar Dance Hour, Irene Tu, Emma Arnold, Mohanad Elshieky, Scott Losse, Evelyn Jensen, Levi Manis

Everyday

Arts & Culture

Totally Legit, Seattle Design Nerds, Urban Artworks, Tariqa Waters presents Martyr Sauce, Electric Sky, Trivia Puppet Company, Drag Queens of Seattle with Arson Nikki, Butylene O’Kipple, Cookie Couture, Solana Solstice, Mercury Divine & Britt Brutality, Laser Dome presented by Pacific Science Center, Hair Flip Comix Newspaper, Kelly O, Alchemy Arts Collective, Design In Public, Eric Nyffeler, Yogashoot presented by CorePower, Sarah Lovett, Polite Society, Art/Not Terminal Collective, SIFF

Culinary

B-Eats: Musang, Wood Shop BBQ, Gracia, Bok A Bok Fried Chicken, Southpaw Pizza, Matt’s In The Market, Radiator Whiskey, Frankie & Jo’s, Adana, The White Swan Public, House, Manolin, Bar Harbor, Sawyer