By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
Mombi (Mom-Bee) is Kael Smith, Matt Herron and Michael Behrenhausen. Sharing a love for solid songwriting and adventurous studio experimentation, the band builds its sound around intimate vocals, carefully textured layers of guitars and keys and a creative blend of beats and live drums. After touring Europe during the summer of 2008, Mombi regrouped in its studio to work on the album The Wounded Beat. Since the record's 2011 release on Own Records, the band has performed around the Denver area and is currently working with Alan Weatherhead (Sparklehorse) on finishing an EP of all new material.
THE MORNING CLOUDS
The Morning Clouds are as amazing as the Beatles and Radiohead jamming together. Yeah, we don't expect anyone to believe that, but like most local acts, we're fans of ridiculously self-aggrandizing hyperbole — we're just unusually up front about it. The godlike Josh Wambeke recorded the now-legendary shoegaze/pop EP Wasted Youth Blues last year. Lefse Records recognized that the songs were monumental enough to simultaneously cure evil and solve entropy and signed him, so Wambeke assembled a group of super-humans to help him tour and raise the dead. More credible, unbiased sources say we sound like the Jesus and Mary Chain or Explosions in the Sky, but what do they know?
As the name would imply, Mr. Midas is the man with the golden touch. Originally from Long Beach, California, the MC runs the town in Colorado. Midas touches on the storytelling and cultural necessity in rap often lacking in today's music. Taking his experiences as the son of an addict, along with his propensity for strength and tenacity, and rather than become overwhelmed with the hand he was dealt, Midas flipped the struggles in his life and displayed them as art. What Midas has created with Son of the Crack Era is an album that tells not only his story, but the stories of many people whose lives are also shaped by hip-hop. Fashioning himself after the influences of the stories that drive his art, there is no glorification of the crack epidemic and its harshness, but an incredibly apt description of ghetto life.
First seen in 68AD in Les Deux Magots, a small Parisian cafe, he was reportedly arguing with Napoleon, Yusuf Islam and Jack Dempsey about the virtues of carrying a string quintet in his Maserati Quattroporte versus employing the new "Stereo 8" technology favored by the bourgeoisie. The carnage left from this argument stained the gutters crimson. He has since been spotted in various guises, debating in each the finer points of audio reproduction and usage with scholars, leaders, musicians and socialites, and in each leaving behind a swath of universal destruction, wailing and gnashing of teeth. This is Mu$a.
MY BODY SINGS ELECTRIC
My Body Sings Electric has quickly risen to become one of Denver's top live acts. The band has been in high demand after two straight top-three appearances in KTCL's annual Hometown for the Holidays contest and the release of its debut full-length, Changing Color. Don't expect the boys to slow down anytime soon. After a fast-paced year including appearances at Red Rocks, SXSW, the Westword Music Showcase and two West Coast tours, the group plans to release new material later this summer and a new full-length in 2013.
THE NEW BEN FRANKLINS
Waging sonic war on modern "country" music, the New Ben Franklins incorporate old-school twang and big walls of guitar to create a unique sound. In other words, take Waylon Jennings and run it through five fuzz pedals: You get the idea. Liberal doses of honky-tonk and rock and roll make for a loud, easily danceable sound. The Franklins recently released a critically acclaimed full-length CD titled [peter gabriel] and have a song featured in the roller derby documentary Derby Baby!
NIGHT OF JOY
Guitarist Valerie Franz and bassist Bree Davies started Night of Joy in 2008 as a shared way to cope with their fucked-up worlds. After a lot of drummers, they found Fez Garcia. You probably know him, because he's probably in your band, too. Night of Joy intersects somewhere between Nirvana, Black Sabbath, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, T. Rex and Mac Dre; what that sounds like can depend on the day. Or if you really want to know what they sound like, take it from some fifteen-year-old kid in East Moline, Illinois, who once told Night of Joy, "You guys, uh, sound like Flipper."
NO FAIR FIGHTS
As a band that has experienced significant musical and personal evolution over its years, No Fair Fights' approach to music is about one thing: Striving to make the best songs the band can make. This philosophy has encouraged the band to be unafraid to draw from whatever influences it may have at the time to create songs that come from a genuine place. At the end of the day, the music is about rocking the listener the way the band themselves would want to be rocked.