Monday, December 31, 2012

Good music, good friends, and a damn good time for NYE

Copyright - Peyton Owen
Going to a concert on NYE is someting that I have to every year. Yes many of the shows are overpriced, overpacked, and at times over hyped, but all that aside going to a show usually makes out to be a good time with some crazy stories.

A few years ago I went to see John Brown's Body and the Motet at Cervantes in Denver. As I come back to where my friends were standing, drink in hand, a 40 something year old woman comes out of nowhere and pukes all over my arm. It was only 10 PM and a grow ass woman vomits on me...At least I was wearing a sweatshirt...there was still some splash that wasn't nice. Immediately, I stormed to the bathroom pissed off, swearing violently a loud and at people in my way. They probably thought I was nuts, but I had other things, like how some wasted old lady just threw up all over me and the show hadn't even started!

Once in the bathroom and yelling about how some drunk bitty didn't know how to pace herself and vomited on me, the woman to the left sink lifted here head up and goes "I'm sorrryyyy..." It was the woman who puked on me...and probably others as well since her face, hair, and clothes were covered in pre-digested food and alcohol. It was a terrifying sight.

Copyright - Peyton Owen
After getting past this unexpected event, I went back to having an amazing time at the show. Then the show was over and I had to walk from Cervantes to deep downtown in single digit weather since there were no taxis willing to pick my friends and I up. We wound up waiting in some hotel so our limbs didn't fall off from frost bite.

It's hilarious to look back and laugh at nights like that one, especially because something like this totally would happen on New Years. So cheers to a great night and make it one to remember - well if you are able to remember...I guess have someone with you who can help you remember what happened.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A-Plus comes out with a Pepper Spray: Opens eyes and ears with Chili Peppers

Courtesy -
An underground hip-hop legend, A-Plus of the Oakland based Hieroglyphics, recently played with  his fellow bandmate Del at Cervantes in Denver for an "End of the World" party. Unfortunately I couldn't make it to the show, but seeing the entire Hiero crew together at Statebridge this past summer gave me some comfort, and I know we all got some Pepper Spray.

For A-Plus on his great EP adventure, he took various Red Hot Chili Pepper's songs such as "Californiacation" (which features Del), "Can't Stop," and "Hey Oh" moulding them into tracks that are completely his - style, flow, and rhymes. He chopped, cropped, spit, mixed, edited, manipulated, and repeated all of the RHCP's songs to create a unique take on what is considered by some as remix. Pepper Spray is not a remix, but instead it is an artistic cocktail of great beats, hooks, lyricism, and pure art. It is as if he made listeners a part of the stories he tells by becoming fully aware and connected with the listener.

A-Plus explains more on his website,  "'The songs are all topic-oriented, sonically as well as lyrically. It’s a conceptual EP, certainly. I don’t want people to look at this like it’s MY new album, it’s something I worked on but it’s obviously in a different lane,' emphasizes A-Plus. 'I’m stepping outside of my paradigm to do something new, different and artistic.'"

Any person who considers themselves to "know how to DJ" and "remix" songs, probably has no idea what I'm talking about, due to the fact that A-Plus breaks down the walls of genre and the musical stereotypes that go along with music by how he approached the making of Pepper Spray. I feel like he took his time with the RHCP songs and critically listened in order to choose the tracks and what to do with the songs once they were chosen. It sounds like he got into the nitty gritty of each song, yet at the same time didn't over analyze. This let A-Plus' creativity ignite and roll with the flames put onto the record.

Pepper Spray is a great album and not overproduced as I may have made it seem like that was the case. A-Plus killed it up at Statebridge as well as on this record. If you don't like it, you probably listen to country. That is just an assumption though, people shouldn't assume...sometimes.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cut them some slack: Nirvana and McCartney surprise everyone

For those who recently watched the massive hurricane Sandy charity concert, I hope you didn’t miss Paul McCartney and Nirvana’s jaw dropping performance of their new track, “Cut Me Some Slack.” I suppose the saying, “they save the best for last” really proved to be true here. It was amazing to see Dave Grohl back on the drums, Krist Novoselic on the bass, Pat Smear on guitar. McCartney and his cigar box guitar took on the role of Kurt Cobain. It was astounding and gave me the chills to see all of these musical legends on stage together. 

Last night (Dec. 17), Nirvana and McCartney were at it again, performing “Cut Me Some Slack” on Saturday Night Live in New York. Despite coming from  different backgrounds and genres that the two are associated with as well as an obvious generational gap, the performance was tight with each person flowing smoothly. They were exploding immense amounts of energy that you could even feel watching while not even physically being there. It was as if these guys had been playing together for years.

According to several music news sources, the infamous widow of Cobain, Courtney “Who Has No” Love, decided to childishly use Facebook and TMZ of all things, to cry about Nirvana and McCartney. It was mind-blowing to see how Nirvana-McCartney slammed the door on everyone who doubted them or was opposed to them performing together. For example, the ultimate hater and president of the “Psycho Bitches of America” (drum roll please) Courtney…Love!

TMZ  also stated, that for “their first show together in 20 years…she is ‘not amused’ about Paul's involvement.” That wasn’t the last of it of course. “Most of all, Love seemed relieved that McCartney-Nirvana were steering clear of Nirvana's classics. ‘If they don't do songs they didn’t write (nirvana songs they don’t own) I don’t care,’ " said the selfish, money grubbing Love in a recent article from The Guardian.

I don’t even want to get into her Facebook comments…Grow the hell up!
Instead of wasting space, thought, and breath on the person who Cobain was about to divorce before he died, I believe Cobain would have been cheering for Paul and the rest of Nirvana. It was a nice open handed, hand and arm fully cocked back, SMACK in the face to her, which makes me smile even more. Maybe we will see the bruise if she come out of her crack den?

“Cut Me Some Slack,” will be part of the sound track for Grohl’s latest documentary, Sound City. This is also where the track was recorded and mastered. Unfortuantely Grohl and Novoselic don’t own the rights the music they created while in Nirvana, however, this new track might be start to something special. They own the rights to it too…

Cheers to Paul McCartney and Nirvana! Could this be the start of a potential Nirvana album with McCartney on the vocals? It would be interesting to see how that would turn out. I wonder if they would use all different musicians as vocalists? As long as it pisses off Courtney Love and everyone else is happy, I would be down for a new album. 

Either way, Nirvana getting together with the past aside, was incredible, especially because it was at a charity event and the classic Saturday Night Live. The last time they played on SNL was September of 1993, performing “Heart Shaped Box” and “Rape Me”.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12: Let's celebrate with the most memorable concerts

Copyright - Peyton Owen
Mic check...

one two one two one two...

What was the best concert you have ever been to? I know it's hard to pick just one, two, one, two; so share the most memorable ones.

I definitely can't just pick one, but I would say the most memorable shows I have seen include the Living Legends (photo below) at the Ogden back in 2010. Even though Murs was missing, it didn't matter much because the entire group put on a show that I will never forget. I made sure to be up front and couldn't speak for several days after. Totally worth it.

Copyright - Peyton Owen
Umphrey's McGee at the original Red Rocks and Blue with Galactic,would be my next most memorable show. It was unbelievable how well they played while fireworks were set off in time with their music. It was an amazing set and I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience it. I had high standards for the following Red Rocks and Blue Two, and was quite disappointed with how they approached it the second time around. Either way today isn't a the day to dwell on the negative...

And lastly, a quick run through of Honorable Mentions (only because there are too many to share them all): Atmosphere at Monolith Festival in 2008, Brother AliHieroglyphics - Grieves and Budo - The Reminders - The MTHDS at Statebridge this past summer (broke my foot on the first day too...), Gogol Bordello at Red Rocks with Primus, Primus 3D, Galactic at the Fillmore with Corey Henry in 2010 (photo to right), Puscifer at Rivers Edge Festival in Minnesota, Blueprint in Milwaukee, Del, Evidence, and the list goes on...

Share yours as well...and don't forget to celebrate!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Eligh and The Grouch stole Christmas with their music

Eligh and The Grouchfrom the California based Living Legends, came to Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom yet again for their show, “How The Grouch Stole Christmas.” Both hip-hop gurus are no stranger to Cervantes or Denver, always drawing a large crowd and a good time. There was even a special Broncos colored hat for sale saying “Denver The Grouch” on the front. Denver always welcomes any of the Living Legends crew with open arms.

This year, the stage was dressed with inflatable Santa’s, and Christmas themed lights and colors. That didn’t seem to matter much because the music is why people were at the sold out show.

The crowd was completely immersed into the excitement of seeing Eligh and The Grouch. The duo had an incredible bond and energy that flowed out onto the stage and into the sea of fans with every rhyme, beat, and melody. The audience sang along with the music, while dancing and having an amazing time. I know. I could feel it too.

Copyright - Peyton Owen
Eligh’s ability to spit fast, while keeping to the beats of DJ Fresh without hesitation makes him unlike any other hip-hop artist I have seen. DJ Fresh kills it with his vinyl turntables and knows how to put down a beat to make it completely his own even when playing with G&E. However, Eligh continues to make my jaw drop to the ground, especially when he decides to freestyle. He lays out his heart and emotions for people to grab a hold of and connect with his stories, passion for music and mind blowing rhymes. He keeps me on my toes every time I listen to his music.

The Grouch, on the other hand, rips up the mic with his clever lyricism and “I don’t care what you think” attitude. His song “Artsy” is an example of how catchy and honest he is in his music, while having fun with it. “You ain’t artsier than me, because you shop at Whole Foods in open toed shoes…You ain’t artsier than me, because you speak real soft and drink chi tea…” I laughed the first time I ever heard this song because it’s the truth!

Copyright - Peyton Owen
I can’t say that I have ever been disappointed at any of their shows. Whenever they get together you can feel how they feed off each other’s different styles to put on an amazing performance that is difficult to forget. If you haven’t seen them live, go look up when they are playing next and buy a ticket for the show immediately because the ride is completely worth it.

KlassNine Boards, Inc., along with So-Gnar, came out to support G&E. Nothing can beat great hip-hop and good times. KlassNine and So-Gnar are local lifestyle brands that love whenever any of the Living Legends come out to play a show in Denver. Look out for the up and coming company, KlassNine, at concerts, on the mountain, and wherever life takes you because "How The Grouch Stole Christmas" was just one of many shows and events that the KlassNine team will be getting crazy at, while supporting Denver's music, art, and businesses.

Copyright - Peyton Owen
Copyright - Peyton Owen

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ride the Wave of the Current Swell

Courtesy - Mike Pepperdine

Going from two guys playing music on the beaches of Victoria, Canada, to having an international fan base, Current Swell is a name that isn't heard too often in the U.S. It is a mystery to me why more Americans have no clue about such a great band that puts their souls into everything they do with their music.

The laid back band has a reggae, folk, and grass-roots feel to their warm and enticing sound that can’t help but draw you in. They sing about their travels and people they have encountered throughout their international experiences making listeners a part of the story. Current Swell is a wave that rolls through leaving their mark from their hard work, love for their music as well as their fans.

Current Swell independently put out three albums spanning from 2007 - 2009 with tracks like "Chesterman's Valley" and "Stomach" making you want to sing along and jam out without a care in the world. Their music and talent put a smile on my face every time I crank up their tunes. As said before, at times I even feel like I had been along for the ride in the exciting stories that are beautifully told throughout each album. It is an honest and real experience for listeners to take part in.
Courtesy - Mike Pepperdine

As the band traveled the world and shared their experiences through the unique elements in their Mike Pinto like sound, Current Swell got back into the studio to create their latest album, Long Time Ago. Simply by the title of the album and the first track, the reminiscence of the band's journeys together as well as their reflection on past experiences is instantly prevalent  Current Swell's experiences and time together has also transformed their sound a bit on the record to where they rooted themselves in the ground at the beach with a little bit of folk, rock, smooth reggae, mesmerizing vocals, and even some indie rock influence.

For example, "Brad's Song" is stripped down raw and filled with emotion and the stories are still there, but in songs like "Get What's Mine," you become consumed by the tracks catchy melody and tone of the vocals. Then the song "Up The Hills" sneaks up with a bite, having an indie and upbeat flow with a chorus effect on the guitar that gives it a bluesy/"Where is My Mind" by the Pixies feel to it. It is awesome to see a band successfully step out of their element.

I have been on the wave that the Current Swell created for years, now others need to come join the party.