[Festival Preview/Playlist] The Underground Music Showcase 2018 – Denver, CO – 7/27-7/29

The 18th anniversary of one of Denver’s most storied music events, The Underground Music Showcase, is rapidly encroaching, bringing with it perhaps its heaviest-hitting lineup ever. What began as a one-night performance featuring just four bands, The UMS has steadily exploded into to a three-day music and arts festival featuring hundreds of performances. As the time draws nearer to what will no doubt be another incredible weekend of performances, this year taking place from July 27th – July 29th, it’s time to get our readers familiar with this year’s crop of highly established headliners and burgeoning local & national artists, spanning a plethora of genres and sounds.

Dotting the top end of this year’s addition of The Underground Music Showcase are more than a few TMN regulars. Among this year’s biggest highlights are the smooth indie-disco stylings of L.A. electronic duo Classixx, the infectious ciphers of B.J. the Chicago Kid, Deezie Brown & legendary hip-hop troupe Digable Planets, a healthy smattering of established indie acts including Greta Kline’s Frankie Cosmos project, ParallelephantsDeerhunter & Mothers, scuzzy rock sets from Alvvays, White Denim & Superchunk; not to mention the most eclectic handling of local talent we get to hear year after year including sets from olorado’s own CRL CRRLL, Aaron Bordas, Slow Caves, Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers and loads more.

Right now, special one-day GA tickets can be found for $40 over on their homepage with weekend passes for just $75. We’ll see you there in full force on July 27th, but until then, get in the UMS swing of things by streaming our playlist below.

’Alvvays – Party Police’
’Classixx – All You’re Waiting For’
’BJ the Chicago Kid – Smokin’ and Ridin’ (Feat. Freddie Gibbs & Problem)’
’Deerhunter – Nothing Ever Happened’
’Digable Planets – Rebirth of Slick (Cool like Dat)’
’Frankie Cosmos – “Sinister”‘
’Overcoats – Hold Me Close’
’Mothers – Blame Kit’
’Cloud Cult – Where It Starts’
’Gang Gang Dance – Glass Jar’
’Superchunk – Hello Hawk’
’Parallelephants – Reason Don’t Define’
’White Denim – Get Back To Love’
’Night Beats – Outta Mind’
’Jeff the Brotherhood – Black Cherry Pie’
’Deezie Brown – Sheepskin / Shayne’
’CRL CRRLL – M O N E Y’
’Aaron Bordas – As We Are (OriginalMix)’
’Bud Bronson & The Goodtimers – Cars’
’Slow Caves – Poser’
Related items:

[Interview] TMN Gets To Know Zach Maxwell

It’s no secret that unearthing new and exciting artists is the main vein running through the pages of TMN. Sometimes an album strikes you just the right way, providing our ears with a dose of dopamine, while also signalling a wealth of untapped potential. One such artist and album is Zach Maxwell and his recent Music for Life EP. A songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Maxwell’s music manages to flit around the edges of multiple genres while offering a completely unique scope to listen through. Recently, Maxwell has been converting his recordings into a live setting behind a highly buzzed about residency in Denver at the eclectic Your Mom’s House venue; building loads of Mile-High hype over the past year.

Zach Maxwell will be playing the final show of his residency this Saturday, June 16th at Your Mom’s House, and we had the chance to sit down and get to know the burgeoning artist a little better before this weekend’s show. Read our interview with Maxwell below, and be sure to listen to Music For Life streaming on all major platforms.

The Music Ninja: First off, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us a little bit. We’ve had the chance to listen to Music For Life a few times through, and more layers seem to reveal themselves with each passing listen. With this being your first official release more than a single, can you speak to the writing and recording process? Was your process any different trying to make a cohesive multi-track statement, or were things pretty routine when it came to getting the individual tracks in order for Music For Life?

Zach Maxwell: Thanks so much for the kind words about Music for Life! I’m glad that more and more layers are revealing themselves in subsequent listens.  It’s interesting, the process for making this EP was super nonlinear for me. Before I decided to release this EP, I spent a few years just making music that I wanted to listen to.  Just flowing with whatever vibe I was feeling on whatever day I happened to be making music. After a few years, I had 100’s of songs to choose from and realized it was probably time to put some of them out in the world! In listening to all the material I had made, certain songs seemed to fit together as a unit more than others.  I wanted my first release to be something that was more of an offering to the listener as a complete unit with a message versus a bunch of songs that I happened to like and put together. Additionally, my friend and longtime music Veteran Jayson Jackson helped me curate the songs and put together something that worked together. So the process was more working backward than thinking from the get-go that I was going to put a collection of music together.

’Zach Maxwell – Are You?’

Continue reading

Related items:

[Synth-Pop/Experimental] John Maus – Running Man

Much to this writer’s delight, we’ve had the chance to shine a welcome light on visionary producer, songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist John Maus in these recent months. With an impending long-player, Addendum, due out May 18th; we’ve been offering a few pieces of that one, including “Episode”, in the wake of its buildup. A collection of B-sides and new tunes alike, Addendum features 12 additional recordings from his Screen Memories sessions including this latest offering, “Running Man”.

Sharing an aural aesthetic with the 1987 film of the same name, “Running Man” layers staccato synths atop one another and over glistening pads & shuffled percussion all heavily steeped in reverb-y delay. Maus experimented working with an all-analog batch of synths to create his last two records, literally building every rumbling, squelch and blip from the ground up before turning them into full, cohesive movements; and his uniquely personal touch towards his production methods is felt in every inch of his latest works. In anticipation of Addendum‘s release, Maus will be conducting a Reddit AMA via /r/indieheads on Tuesday, May 5th at 5:00 p.m. Eastern; so for our redditor family, polish those questions up and be ready for tomorrow. Until then, stream “Running Man” below.

Related items:

[Synth-Pop/Experimental] John Maus – Episode

Avant-pop visionary John Maus has lurked around the edges of alternative pop and indie for over a decade. From being Ariel Pink’s roommate at the California Institute of the Arts in ’98, to serving as keyboardist for Pink’s critically lauded Haunted Graffiti band, and performing as touring keyboardist with both Animal Collective and Panda Bear; Maus’ musical credits stretch far beyond most artists operating within the realm of pop.

Maus is getting set to release an already sold-out, career-spanning 6 LP box set on vinyl which includes his latest offering, 2017’s Screen Memories, as well as all three previous studio albums (Songs, Love is Real, We Must Be Come the Pitiless Censors…) and a rarities compilation which will see release later this month. Maus’ latest LP, his sixth full length, Addendum –originally set to be a part of Maus’ forthcoming box set only- will now see a standalone release on May 18th. A collection of B-sides and new tunes, Addendum features 12 additional recordings nestled alongside the tracks that solidified into last year’s excellent Screen Memories LP. Giving us a bit of a taste of things to come on Addendum, Maus has also gifted us with “Episode”, an intoxicating synth-pop movement in which his melodiously vamping vocals float across arpeggiated beats and icy analog synth lines.

Stream “Episode” above, pre-order Addendum here, and check out John Maus’ impending tour dates after the jump.

Continue reading

Related items:

[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (March 2017 Round #1)

Welp, March is here. Which means in 2018 alone, we’ve already thrown at least 50 new indie jams your way. And what do ya know, today we’ve got 8 more to add to your musical world. You’re welcome.
’Lunablind
Before We Leave’
’Sales
Off and On’
’Lucy Lu
Golden Prairie’
’Ashton York
L.A.’
’Alex Bay
New America’
’Jessica Walters
The Rip (MIST EP)’
’Nzola
Rise’
’Elsmore Carey
Come On Love’
Related items:

[Music Ninja Radio] Episode 105: Eclectic Selections

Music Ninja Radio is a weekly podcast recorded and broadcast live on San Francisco’s BFF.fm  from 4-6PM PST every Friday. 

Music Ninja Radio
Episode 105: Eclectic Selections

Soundcloud || Spotify Playlist  || BFF.fm Archive & Tracklist

This week’s episode featured some serious ketchup across a wide range of sub-genres in indie, hip-hop and house. Highlights include Beach House‘s flawless latest single, Paul Cherry‘s slacker pop, MGMT‘s synthpop anthem “Little Dark Age,” Makeness‘ genre-defying jam, SOB x RBE’s relentless hyphy flows and Crackazat’s jazzy house monster.

Related items:

[Event Preview] One Love Festival – Lake Perris, CA – 10/20-10/22

It’s tough to keep up with the seemingly endless supply of festivals. With only a limited amount of disposable income, it’s a challenge to pick and choose which ones are worth your time. The heavy hitters are always a good route, whether it be Coachella or Lollapalooza, but those come with a hefty price tag, and an endless sea of people all jockeying to get closer to the stage.

Lately, we’ve been checking out a few festivals that fall into the “Transformational” space. Aside from offering up a solid line up, they have a little more too offer — yoga, bonding ceremonies, healers, live painting, and more.

In a few weeks, we’re going to head out to Lake Ferris, California, which is about two hours outside of Los Angeles, for the One Love Festival. It covers all the bases mentioned above, delivering programming that goes well beyond music. Not to say that we’re not excited for a few of the acts playing — Moby, Mark Farina, and Alex Cruz are a few that we’ve highlighted. But, the thought of a deeper meaning to the festival experience is something we’re excited about, especially after hitting so many that are just about the music over the years.

To switch our usual routine up even further, we’re going to skip the camping, luxury hotel packages, and the AirBnB rentals, instead opting for a completely unique experience. It’s called the Lost Hotel, and it’s unlike anything that we’ve ever heard of.

You set the scene – each cube tent is a blank canvas. At the Lost Hotel we take an expansive notion of the word art. Surprise us. Shock us. Illuminate us. Do it however you please, and the floor, or at least one square cube of it, is yours. We’re specialized at vacation de-programming and, if needed, can help co-create a new story tailored just for you.

If you’re feeling lucky, or if you’d just like to help out with a great cause, our friends at Cadence & Cause have a handful of ways to get into the festival and support Fuck Cancer, a charity that helps with prevention, early detection, and emotional support for those battling breast cancer. From artist experiences with Alex Cruz, to the ultimate festival experience for four people, you have a chance to have the time of your life, all while helping something that affects us all.

While you’re checking that out, feel free to jam on the little playlist we’ve curated below, and get amped for your time out at Lake Ferris.

’Mark Farina & Homero Espinosa – Mistreated (Original Mix)’
’Xavier Rudd – Follow The Sun (Alex Cruz Official Remix)’
’Alex Cruz – Rubberband (ft. Tania Zygar)(short edit)’
’Rocket Heart Ft Katie Gray’
’Moby – Porcelain’
’Washed Out – All I Know (Moby Remix)’
’The Polish Ambassador, Mr. Lif, Ayla Nereo – Terra Bella – 01 Shine Bright’
’Karma Fields
’Liquid Love Drops and An
ten
Related items: