Westword Music Showcase by Venue: Bar Standard

The Kissing Party
The Kissing Party
Jay Vollmar

Bar Standard, located at 1037 Broadway, will host a range of local Denver musicians at the 2016 Westword Music Showcase. This modern-day speakeasy is known as a popular spot to hear some of Denver’s best DJs on the weekends while enjoying the view of Denver’s skyline from its two patios. On Saturday, June 25, some of Denver’s finest musical acts performing in genres ranging from avant-pop to jazzy rock and roll will take the stage. With music starting at noon and lasting until 6:10 p.m., here are the bands rocking Bar Standard.

Kissing Party at the Hi-Dive
Kissing Party at the Hi-Dive
Tom Murphy

Kissing Party
12:00 – 12:40 p.m.

As the first band to perform at Bar Standard, Kissing Party is sure to start the day off on a high note with its indie power-pop sound. Composed of vocalist Deirdre Sage, vocalist and guitarist Gregg Dolan, guitarist Joe Hansen, bassist Lee Evans and drummer Shane Reid, the band finds inspiration for the music within itself. Kissing Party's latest album, Looking Back It Was Romantic but at The Time I Was Suffocating, released in 2014, features short songs that stay true to the band’s indie sound. With upbeat guitar work and soothing vocals, the songs keep audiences on their feet. 

Westword Music Showcase by Venue: Bar Standard
patient zeros

The Patient Zeros
12:55 – 1:35 p.m.

Despite only being a two-man band, the Patient Zeros are known to put on loud, high-energy shows that electrify crowds with their unique sound. With CJ Kjolhede on vocals and Joe Schramm on drums, their music incorporates aspects of classic rock and roll mixed with avant-garde vibes, all backed by masterful songwriting. Hailing from Michigan, the two found their way to Denver and formed their band in the summer of 2012, releasing their first full-length album, Polycardiac, in April 2013 and a follow-up EP, Epicardiac, in August of the same year. Their newest album, Sirens Calling, released in March, has infiltrated and impressed Denver’s music scene. We cannot wait to hear what they have in store for us this Saturday at Bar Standard from 12:55 to 1:35 p.m.

King Cardinal
King Cardinal
Courtesy of King Cardinal

King Cardinal
1:50 – 2:30 p.m.

King Cardinal’s bandleader, Brennan Mackey, along with bassist Andrew Porter, drummer Scott Roush (from local Denver mainstays Rossonian and The Raven & the Writing Desk), pedal-steel player Ben Waligoske and vocalist Texanna Dennie, have transcended the realm of now-cliche folk-band laments of love and loss. The group injects its music with raw, gut-wrenching emotion, delivering captivating narratives. Its Once a Giant EP, released in June 2015, was recorded in the living room of the Emerson House and was greatly inspired by the band’s arrival in Denver and their experiences along the way. Songs such as “One” feature melodic, soothing vocals backed by strong instrumentals, allowing the listener to close his eyes and sway to the rhythm of the story being told. 

Rossonian
Rossonian
Scott McCormick

Rossonian
2:45 – 3:25 p.m.

The members of Rossonian skillfully combine their diverse tastes in music with various influences to create their own electro-sensual rock and roll sound. Lead vocalist and guitarist Seth Evans, along with bassist and vocalist Kramer Kelly, keyboard and computer master Scott Roush and expert drummer Jackson Hillmer produce songs that place a spacey vibe over their audience and listeners while maintaining a groove that keeps them dancing. The band's first EP, You Are Your Own Dentist, released in 2013, featured its unique use of syncopated beats and distorted melodies. The single “Late Kids,” released in March, from the upcoming Late Kids EP, expresses the concerns of the early-millennial generation. Rossonian strives to incorporate inspiration from fellow Denver bands such as Chimney Choir, as well as music from around the world, into its arrangements.  

déCollage
déCollage
Tom Murphy

déCollage
3:40 – 4:20 p.m.

Listening and watching avant-pop band déCollage perform is much more than an experience for the ears. The band is known to incorporate visual art into its performances, with live paintings and projections that entrance audiences. With the goal to have fun and bring people together with surrealist, hypnotic sound, the bandmembers aren’t afraid to step outside of the box, recording trains, leaves and zippers, among other things, to create a distinct sound. The newly released album Magnetize features collaboration from twenty of Denver’s most ingenious musicians, including members of Rose Quartz and Rubedo. 

Brent Cowles is striking out in new directions: a solo career, philanthropy and a trip to Uganda.EXPAND
Brent Cowles is striking out in new directions: a solo career, philanthropy and a trip to Uganda.
Scott McCormick

Brent Cowles
4:35 – 5:15 p.m.

After his run as the lead vocalist and guitarist of late indie-rock band You, Me & Apollo came to an end in late 2014, Brent Cowles has jump-started his solo career, sharing his music in Denver and abroad. During his recent travels to Uganda, he raised money for health clinics and performed for orphanages and schools. Cowles has never limited himself to writing in one specific style, continually gaining new inspiration. As a newly signed member of the Greater Than Collective, Cowles is working on his solo project, with an anticipated debut EP this fall.

A. Tom Collins frontman Aaron Collins doesn't get naked nearly as much as he used to.
A. Tom Collins frontman Aaron Collins doesn't get naked nearly as much as he used to.
Laurie Scavo

A. Tom Collins
5:30-6:10 p.m.

Local headliner A. Tom Collins is the final band to take the stage at Bar Standard for this year’s Showcase. Frontman Aaron Collins’s smoky voice expertly complements the band's bluesy, jazzy sound. Accompanied by explosive horns and Collins's own impressive piano playing, the band employs unexpected rhythms and never fails to rile up a crowd. The band’s EP OH NO!, released in 2011, tested the notion of what rock and roll is today by introducing its tribal-jazz rhythms and catchy chants.

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