By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
Iconocaust delivers a straightforward, heavy-metal twin-guitar assault that twists together influences from both new and classic strains of the genre. The band's music provides the necessary aggression and punctuation expected from any band that calls itself "metal," all the while lacing it with an intoxicating blend of melody, hooks and shred. The band celebrates its fourth release this month with Excidium de Gratia (produced by Ahrue Luster of Ill Nino/ex-Machine Head).
ROCK — HEAVY
Il Cattivo was more born unplanned and bastard, rather than conceived or conspired, in 2009. It was an entity unto its own before this name or any other nomenclature would be assigned to it. The fodder of scribes and sycophants, Il Cattivo was a perfect metaphor and model for the basic physical principles of attraction and repulsion. Il Cattivo spanned the years and experience of all that it consumed (i.e., Planes Mistaken for Stars, Ghost Buffalo, Black Lamb, Machine Gun Blues, Taun Taun, Git Some!, Red Orange Yellow, Black Acid Devil, Burn Sand Burn). In 2011, Il Cattivo released To Bring Low an Empire to acclaim and is poised to follow that up with this year's How to Assess Your Damages. Il Cattivo is the armor-clad bruiser that melts to the lilt of a melody...and the bespectacled girl that can finally breathe in a bludgeoning, broadsword riff.
I'M WITH HER
What should you expect when two established artists like Angie Stevens and Haley E. Rydell come together and collaborate, when bluegrass meets singer-songwriter and has a musical baby? That's I'm With Her. Angie's vocal strength, Haley's musical interpretations and the combined force of their songwriting abilities create beautiful harmonies, emotion-fraught lyrics and, quite simply, immensely enjoyable songs. Both are from Fargo but now call Denver home, with Angie settling in years back while Haley just recently made the journey. But though their origins are similar, their life stories and musical styles are diverse, and they all come together in the unique sound that is I'm With Her.
IN THE WHALE
Eric Riley and Nate Valdez started In the Whale as a fun and informal escape from the bands they were in. When those bands dissolved in 2011, the boys moved to Denver and made In the Whale their focus. Since then, the two have made it their personal goal to resurrect rock and roll, one show at a time. One year later, with a rowdy and energetic show (in spite of their small numbers), they are the name on everyone's lips as an answer to the current musical climate of too much reverb and not enough balls. Brace yourself.
This year marks the triumphant return of the Informants. The band took a much-needed break in 2011. But in true Informants style, some of its biggest shows happened during the "break," including playing Red Rocks. Still, six years of constant playing, recording and hustle had taken a toll, and the band needed time to rest and prepare for what is turning out to be its biggest year. With a slimmed-down six-piece lineup and an upcoming CD of Mark Richardson's best songs yet, the Informants are poised to blow open the doors of what was once called "the blues."
HIP-HOP — MC (MALE)
12:35-1:00 CITY HALL UPSTAIRS
Input is a well-known Denver-based hip-hop artist. His unique blend of rhythm-based music and direct lyrics has made him one of the city's most popular rappers and has helped him gain a devout local following. His appreciation and passion for rap and hip-hop serve as the motivation behind his music. Input's goal is simple: to create music that people as a whole can appreciate and relate to, straightforward music that makes sense. He is known for his ability to pair unique beats with uncomplicated, personal lyrics — creating music that resonates with listeners.
iZCALLi is pushing the envelope to bring a new brand of Spanish rock to the masses. Start off with a base of good ol' rock and roll, add a tint of Latin flare, mix in some indie rock, ska and cumbia, and the result is an eclectic and aggressive — yet graceful — brand of rock. No need to learn Spanish, though, because the raw and potent power of iZCALLi's sound is enough to break down any cultural, stylistic or language barrier. iZCALLi is rock en tu idioma.
J. Carey is an artist who is just as comfortable singing songs under a streetlight as he is in front of a packed venue. In fact, he writes the particular songs that he does because he wants his comfort to be contagious. J. Carey's music is extremely personal, and by allowing others to hear about his shortcomings and experiences, he hopes that everyone else can take a break from worrying about their own. Never one to shy away from a good time, he's out to make sure you have one as well whenever you hear or see him.