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Meet 100(ish) of Denver's best bands: Part one

Clockwise from left: Amanda Hawkins, CRL CRRLL and Black Lamb
Clockwise from left: Amanda Hawkins, CRL CRRLL and Black Lamb
Jason Carncross, Jason Hayes and courtesy of the band.

Your new favorite band is from Denver -- you just have to find it! No small task in a city with thousands of artists and hundreds of venues, we know -- but you can start this weekend at the Westword Music Showcase. More than 140 of our favorite local artists will play sixteen stages around the Golden Triangle neighborhood, and we'll tie the whole thing together with an outdoor main stage featuring a few party-starting out-of-towners, including Diplo and 2 Chainz.

This is our twentieth year putting on the Showcase, and it's a great place to find those new favorites. But it's also just one part of our ongoing effort to introduce you to the best of this city's music. All of the local bands playing the Showcase are also nominees for Westword Music Awards. That list is even more daunting, featuring over 300 bands and artists selected by our expansive nominating committee as the finest Denver has to offer. You can see the full list of nominees and vote for your favorites here.

See also: Meet 100(ish) of Denver's best bands: Part two

That list is organized by genre. You can find other introductions elsewhere in this section, including a playlist featuring many of the bands and some advice they have for newcomers to the scene. There will be more this week, including this series, where you'll find over 100 Westword Music Award nominees (those who filled out our survey) in alphabetical order. You can watch a video of each artist in action and read the one thing he/she/they hope you know about the project. If you're interested in what you see or hear, you can click on the name of any artist to go to a website, facebook or bandcamp page where you'll find information on buying music and upcoming shows.

No matter what kind of music you like, there are bands and artists making it right here in Denver. They've got that guitar tone that just sounds right to you, and harmonies that fill your head so perfectly, they must have been built specifically for you.


A Band In Pictures

Westword Music Award Category: Rock - Indie

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

How we write our songs, and how we decide each little noise and beat.

-- Emerson Murphy


Aires Jackson

Westword Music Award Category: Hip-Hop Group

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

We take pride in giving the listener truth and honesty in every song we do. We don't try to make music to "turn up" or "get jiggly" to. We make music for the everyday person that may need to know they are not the only one going though it at the moment.

-- James Ray


Allout Helter

Westword Music Award Category: Punk

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

If you're a fan of thrashy, melodic hardcore that's a blend of technical finesse and ferocious energy, then you've come to the right place.

-- Ross Hostage


Amanda Hawkins

Westword Music Award Category: funk -- soul -- R&B

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

This year I'm debuting new music,and a new sound. I'm just now getting back on stage after having two vocal cord surgeries and I'm feeling better than ever! If you like screaming guitar, with a grimy beat and R&b vocals, this is your show!

-- Amanda Hawkins


Andy Thomas' Dust Heart

Westword Music Award Category: Singer-Songwriter

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

I called my last album Wicked, Dark, I write and sing a lot about death, but I'm actually a pretty pleasant guy who fosters dogs and cats.

-- Andy Thomas


ATOMGA

Westword Music Award Category: World

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

"What is afrobeat?" A dance music, with lots of horns and percussion. Be prepared to shake your ass and sweat it out at an ATOMGA show.

-- Leah Concialdi


Babah Fly

Westword Music Award Category: Hip-Hip--MC (male)

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

The Music opens minds and chakras

--Babah Fly


Best Creeps

Westword Music Award Category: Rock -- Garage Punk

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

We love you, let's hang out.

-- Jeremy Spira


Black Lamb

Westword Music Award Category: Rock -- Heavy

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

"1999AD: On the eve of what would be the most uneventful Apocalypse in the documented history of human hysteria, a Black Lamb was born. A promise decades in the making that could be realized by simply combining equal parts: (a.) Punk-rock's Orwellian dystopia, blooming in full view, (b.) those venerable words of the profit Prince Rogers Nelson, to "Party like it's the last day on Earth," (c.) reverence for the cantankerous and bombastic, ruler of all it surveys, the almighty Riff! and (d.) a handful of warrior monks to follow the teachings as they have been ordained

"2014AD: "Glory Bound" the latest offering will spill its life to all, anointed or not, this summer.

"A Black Lamb was born, went forth, and lives this very day! Harbinger of HEAVY RAAWWKK and ROLL for the next Apocalypse and beyond."

--Brian Hagman


Bold Type

Westword Music Award Category: Punk

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

Group of fellas not so different than you, having fun writing, expressing, and living the music they love.

-- Mike Waterhouse

More artists are on the next page.


Calder's Revolvers

Westword Music Award Category: Rock -- Traditional

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

We make people dance.

-- Andy Schneider


Call Of The Void

Westword Music Award Category: Hardcore

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

We make dirty angry music, but we are all really happy fun dudes.

-- Patrick Alberts


Casey James Prestwood and The Burning Angels

Westword Music Award Category: Country

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

How much we care about what we do. We are not the young bucks on the scene with minimal responsibility and an abundance of time. We all have families, full time jobs and all the things that make most bands break up or fizzle out. We love it so much, that we just keep grinding. There are quite a few of us (bands) in that category, and sometimes you wish the fans could see that.

-- Jeff Martin


Chase Ambler

Westword Music Award Category: Punk

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

Punk Rules. Love yourself.

-- Anthony


Chimney Choir

Westword Music Award Category: Avant-Pop

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

Chimney Choir is an exploration. It is the culmination of the interests and inspirations of everyone involved. It has a mind of it's own, which can change at any point in time. It all comes out of a love of a moment and the people in it. It's about taking what we've got and making something out of it, finding what is inherently magic about right now. If we don't have the resources, we make them out of cardboard, scrap wood, spray glue and fabric. Imperfection is what gives a creation it's personality, so we say we are "Janky-Fantastique!" As soon as Chimney Choir establishes a form it changes into another. What began with Americana, a singing 3 part harmonies around a campfire with banjo, mandolin and guitar, soon became an electronic, poly-rhythmic percussion, found-sound, field recordings, performance art and dance. At this point, we just do what we want, and we don't know what it's going to want tomorrow. What if we did know? Then we would be bored.

-- David Rynhart


Church Fire

Westword Music Award Category: Electronic -- Pop

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

Go out, be kind.

-- Shannon Nonnahs


Colfax Speed Queen

Westword Music Award Category: Rock--Garage

What's the one thing you wish a prospective new fan knew about your band or project?

Brothers and Sisters of the revolution, unite!

-- Matthew Loui

Band profiles continue on the next page.



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