This week’s playlist is very heavily weighted towards the local music scene here in Northern Colorado, I’m sure that most urban areas have more bands and musical talent than most people realize, but in Fort Collins over the past few years folks here have made an effort to recognize and promote our local music scene, as something of particular value to our local culture. As a result, there are a lot of really good local bands and musicians who have chosen to stay and be a part of this scene, rather than bail for L.A., New York, or Nashville. Every year we do lose a few talented people to those giant entertainment scenes, but I’ve noticed that we also regularly get a few of those talented people back who tried the bigger scenes and prefer the scene here. Yes, I have heard musicians who have experienced both scenes compare the current Fort Collins scene with the Austin scene before SXSW got so big, and maybe they’re right. Maybe the Fort Collins scene, too, will become too big for itself in a few years, but not yet.
1. Danielle Ate the Sandwich – “Goodbye Frankie” – Danielle Anderson, with the stage name Danielle Ate the Sandwich, was one of the few local musicians whose music I knew, at least a little bit, off youtube, before I started music blogging. She has recently moved to Minnesota, and plays lots of shows in that scene now, but she comes back every few months to visit her family. Her next show here will be in just a few weeks, at Avogadro’s Number. The ‘Frankie’ in this song, btw, was a family dog.
2. Cary Morin – “Prisoner” – Cary Morin is en route to Austin now, and will be playing 4 shows in Texas and one in Oklahoma over the next week. His next Fort Collins show will be June 14 at Equinox Brewing. If you want more information about his upcoming shows, check out his reverbnation page.
3. Greyweather – “Carbon Copies” – I saw this band last week at one of their Odell Brewery shows. They remind me a bit of Post Paradise at times, probably mostly because they are both cello rock bands, but Greyweather has more of a ‘commercial pop’ sound. Certainly the song I included this week could easily be mixed into the Top 40 playlist that runs on repeat in my local McDonalds every day. Not all their songs sound like pop-rock radio favorites, thankfully- a little goes a long way, really- they have a decent range of songs, enough to play a 2hr set without getting boring, for sure. Their next show will be at the Island Grill here in Fort Collins on Friday, May 31st.
4. Fierce Bad Rabbit – “Wildflowers” – Here’s a new song from another of the more established rock bands from the local Fort Collins scene, one of the bands that was in the SpokesBUZZ class of 2013. Fierce Bad Rabbit just wrapped up a tour on the East Coast, so hopefully lots of people were able to check out this excellent band while they were in New York, Brooklyn, Boston and Philadelphia. They’ll be playing at the Taste of Fort Collins event on June 8th, so if you’re heading to this popular event, be sure to check out Fierce Bad Rabbit when they take the stage.
5.The Patti Fiasco – “Bottle of Wine” – The Patti Fiasco is finishing up a new CD which will be released next month. Their CD release party will be June 21st at Hodi’s Half Note. This was one of my favorites from the show I caught at Road 34 earlier this year, along with their excellent rock cover of “Jolene”.
6. Brooks Williams – “Restless” – This is one of the only artists on this week’s list that is both non-local and not an artist I have seen live. I wish we had this guy in our area, though. Hopefully those folks lucky enough to live near him are appreciative of the fact that they have such a talented singer-songwriter around. We do have Justin Roth and Chuck Pyle in our area, along with many other great songwriters, so I guess it would be unfair if we had Brooks Williams too, but he’d be a welcome addition to the scene if he ever wants to relocate to Colorado.
7. Musketeer Gripweed – “Catfish Bait” – This song is dangerously addictive. Musketeer Gripweed reminds me of Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem, the Muppets band, and they do actually both draw from the same influences.
8. Tyler T. – “Jungle Spice” – Tyler is from Texas, but hopefully we get to keep him a while longer. He has a new band, Tyler T. and the Common Clay, which draws together 4 other very talented lads plus Tyler, and they sound very good already after only one show together so far. Their next show has yet to be announced, but Tyler, as Tyler T., has several shows coming up. He plays, with the help of lots of pedals and electronic gadgetry, as the equivalent of a 4-5 piece band. I chose this song for the list this week because it utilizes one of the non-electric instruments Tyler also had on hand at the last solo show I saw, a slide whistle, along with didgeridoos.
9. Mosey West – “Stone By Stone” – Mosey West is one of the 6 bands/artists on this week’s list that I have not yet seen live, though I probably will see them at least once this year. They have been doing a lot of recording this season, so there will be new music from them soon, probably this summer. Their next posted show will be the Westword Music Showcase in Denver on June 22.
10. Justin Roth – “There And Back Again” – An instrumental song from another of the SpokesBUZZ artists, one of our highly talented local singer-songwriters. Justin Roth was at the Kerrville Folk Festival this week, and will be back in Colorado playing a couple house concerts, including one in Boulder, and a concert for eTown, also in Boulder. He doesn’t have any upcoming dates posted for Fort Collins shows, but he’ll be in Colorado till late August when he is set to play a few shows in Minnesota, where he is originally from.
11. John Common – “In a Bookstore” – I could have sworn I did not pick any songs that even alluded to crushes, but I forgot about this one. John Common played a show with his band Blinding Flashes of Light last year for New West Fest. So, I haven’t met him, but I saw him perform live at least. He and his band are from Denver, not Fort Collins, but he still plays here occasionally.
12. The Echo Chamber – “The summer of our discontent” – Another SpokesBUZZ band. I’ve seen the Echo Chamber several times, though they are still NMG (not my genre) really. The lads in the band are quite nice, and they do interesting things with their stage shows, projecting bits of old movies and other stuff onto the wall or curtain behind the band while they play. This makes for really cool effects for my photos when the drummer is in the path of the projector’s beam. They also have a dummy head named Sylvia that features prominently on their stage. And, the more often you see a band, the more likely it is that their music starts to grow on you. Their only posted date at the moment is for the Hi-Dive in Denver on the 30th, but they are sure to have new shows coming up soon.
13. Of Monsters and Men – “Little Talks”- I heard this song covered twice in just 2 days, once by a rock band and once by a ska band. Of the two, the ska band wins- the Swashbuckling Doctors are after all an excellent ska band, and Scott and Amanda sound great together on vocals for a duet like this one. Swashbuckling Doctors also had a full horns section, while the rock band had to make do with other instruments instead. Of course neither of those local bands’ covers are on spotify, though, so instead the original made the list.
14. Jen Korte and the Loss – “Shoreline” – Another local band I have not yet seen.
15. Keith Harkin – “Here Comes the Sun” – This lad is not local, but I have met him and seen him perform live (with Celtic Thunder, but singing some of his own songs). I wish Keith Harkin was local, but when he put down tentative roots in the US he chose L.A., not Fort Collins, as his home away from Derry, NI. So far he has played solo shows on the East Coast and West Coast, but not along the Rockies. Hopefully Denver (or better yet, Fort Collins) will be in his next solo tour plans.
16. Chuck Pyle – “Moonlight on the Colorado” – This Colorado songwriter has had his songs recorded by all sorts of famous musicians and bands, but he also is a fun entertainer performing his songs himself. He played at New West Fest, and was the last artist I saw at that festival. Great American Taxi was the second-to-last show I saw at that event. Chuck Pyle is playing lots of house concerts lately, but at least from the information on his facebook page he doesn’t have a show here in the near future. However, his name is on the Avogadro’s Number show schedule for July 14th.
17. Nathan Maxwell & the Original Bunny Gang – “My Little One” – These guys were also at New West Fest, as were Devotchka, and I missed this band and only heard but never saw Devotchka. So these are the other two bands on the list I haven’t seen yet.
18. Devotchka – “Strizzalo”
19. Great American Taxi – “Cold Lonely Town” – This band is not local, but they played at New West Fest last year and I was in the front row with my camera.
20. Post Paradise – “When the Rain Comes” – Closing out the list this week is a song from the new Post Paradise album which was released last weekend. This band will also be at the Hi-Dive in Denver on the 30th, and their next posted show in Fort Collins is on June 13 at Hodi’s Half Note. Since they just released their new CD, no doubt they will be planning a tour to promote it in the near future, and if they come to your town, theirs is a show not to miss if you like rock music and pretty light shows.