• Blogs

    December 31, 2013

    New Denver concerts: Hot Tuna, the Bad Plus, Funky Good Times Benefit, tickets on sale now

    Hot Tuna, featuring former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, returns to the Oriental on Sunday, February 23; tickets are $30 and on sale now. The Bad Plus are due at Dazzle on Tuesday, April 23, and Wednesday, April 24. Tickets are $25 and on sale now. Mountain Sun hosts its annual Funky ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2013

    The ten best shows in Denver this week

    TUES | THE NATIONAL/LOCAL NATIVES at RED ROCKS | 9/17/13 After finishing their tour in support of 2010's High Violet, the members of the National didn't have any immediate plans to record again. But guitarist Aaron Dessner, whose daughter had just been born, ended up with a lot of time on his hands. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2013

    The ten best concerts in Denver this weekend

    YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND @ RED ROCKS | SAT, 8/10/13 If any band typifies the Colorado approach to contemporary bluegrass, it's Yonder Mountain String Band. The quartet built up its chops playing in venues in Boulder, Nederland and beyond in the late 1990s, and its fusion of traditional instrument ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2013

    The ten best hip-hop shows in Denver in August

    AMERICA'S MOST WANTED FESTIVAL @ FIDDLER'S GREEN | FRI, 8/23/13 The America's Most Wanted Festival features some of the most talented and successful artists to come out of the South in a long time, including Lil Wayne, whose name speaks for itself and whose March album I Am Not a Human Being II has ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2013

    The ten most brutally honest songwriters

    Let's be real: Most songwriting amounts to a bunch of vague amateur poetry with pretensions of profundity. In the midst of all the babble, though, periodically a lyricist will emerge who has the courage to write about things that are real, raw and personal. That kind of truly honest songwriting reli ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2013

    So that guy you see twirling the sign on the side of the road? He's probably listening to Slayer

    Alright, how many times have you driven past that dude on the corner, the one twirling his sign like a madman, and thought to yourself Wow! That dude is rocking out. Wonder what the hell he's listening to? Wonder no more. Mystery solved. It's Slayer. At least that's what this particular gentleman wa ... More >>

  • Music

    October 18, 2012
  • Blogs

    April 19, 2012

    Slaughterhouse at Cervantes', 4/18/12

    SLAUGHTERHOUSE @ CERVANTES' | 4/18/12 Emerging onto the stage one by one -- Crooked I first, followed by Joell Ortiz and then Royce da 5'9" and, finally, Joe Budden -- the members of Slaughterhouse came together like a perfect storm and immediately proceeded to murder the game. Royce da 5'9" climbe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2011

    Review: Hopsin at the Bluebird, 11/25/11

    HOPSIN at THE BLUEBIRD THEATER | 11/25/11Hopsin is a rowdy young man from Los Angeles who is mad at everyone, from the wife of late rapper Eazy-E to Lupe Fiasco. Some, for good reason, others possibly for shock value. No matter, the crazy-eyed rapper stormed the stage at the Bluebird last night with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2011

    "Don't touch her like that!!" school-crossing sign in touch with times: Kenny Be's Sign Language

    School crossing sign with a hand-written touch.​ The school crossing sign seen above is commonly known as the "S1-1 School Advance Sign" and features a male and female student connected at the arm. Some may interpret the graphic as an intimate gesture of concern between an older brother and yo ... More >>

  • News

    April 21, 2011
  • Blogs

    February 25, 2011

    Top 5 Worst Product Placements in Videos

    ​It's understandable to sneak in a little ad placement all up in your video, but when the product makes more appearances than the musician? There's a problem. As of late, advertising in music videos has become disgustingly apparent. It's not just the sweet, sweet jams that are bringing in mill ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2011

    Five Super Bowl XLV moments that could enter the pop-culture lexicon this year

    Nothing made it to this level in 2011.​Love it or hate, the Super Bowl crosses almost every cultural subgroup in the United States, and as befitting of such a massive national holiday, it also inspires new pop-culture touch points. From Mean Joe Green to Betty White, from Janet Jackson's wardr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2010

    A letter to Weezy F. Baby: Welcome back!

    Lil Wayne (aka Lil Tunechi, Weezy, Bird Man Jr., Mr. Carter) -- Thank god you're finally free! It has felt like a decade has passed in the pop world since you've been at Rikers. The Black Eyed Peas/Will.I.Am reign of Billboard terror has continued, most recently enveloping one of your own. And ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2010

    Sufjan Stevens, Belle & Sebastian, Lil Wayne top sellers at local stores

    ​Sufjan Stevens' The Age of Adz, released last week on Asthmatic Kitty, and Belle & Sebastian's latest release on Matador, Write About Love, took the top two spots at Albums on the Hill and Twist & Shout for the week ending October 17. Lil Wayne's new album, meanwhile, I Am Not a Human Being ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2010

    Air Dubai, the Heyday, Bad Religion, Superchunk, Waka Flocka Flame top sellers

    ​On the heels of their dual CD release party a few weeks ago at the Gothic, Air Dubai and the Heyday claimed the top spots at Twist & Shout for the week ending October 10. Up at Album's On the Hill, meanwhile, Bad Religion topped the charts with its latest Dissent of Man, Superchunk's latest e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2010

    Iron Maiden, Arcade Fire top sellers at local stores

    ​ Final Frontier, Iron Maiden's fifteenth studio effort and first album in four years, debuted at second spot at Albums on the Hill and came in third at Independent Records. Arcade Fire's latest effort, The Suburbs, is still performing well and took the top slot at Albums on the Hill for the w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2010

    Arcade Fire, the Books top sellers at local stores

    ​The Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, released last week on Merge, claimed the top spots at Albums on the Hill and Twist & Shout while checking in at number five at Independent Records. The Books' latest effort, The Way Out, meanwhile, and the Black Crowes' Croweology, a double album of the band's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2010

    20:12 video release party at Casselman's offers slightly different hip-hop experience

    20:12 Mixtape and Video Release Party 07.30.10 | Casselman's Bar and Venue Maybe it was the free vodka. Or maybe it was the hundreds of ladies dressed to the nines. Or perhaps it was the unmistakable family vibe. Hard to say. Whatever it was, though, 20:12's release party at Casselman's on Friday ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2010

    Big Head Todd & the Monsters, the Books top sellers at local stores

    ​Big Head Todd & the Monsters' ninth studio album, Rocksteady, released last week, took top spots at Albums on the Hill and Twist & Shout, while the Books' latest effort, The Way Out, also issued last week on the Temporary Residence Limited imprint, debuted in top four slots at the two stores, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2010

    The Chain Gang of 1974, Jónsi, Wire Faces and more top our weekly playlists

    ​As people who think about, talk about, listen to and make music, the most common question we encounter is, "What are you listening to right now?" So whether you're looking for recommendations, trying to get a feel for our individual sensibilities, or are just curious, we've compiled a list of ... More >>

  • Calendar

    March 4, 2010
  • Blogs

    February 13, 2010

    We Are the World 25/2010 performers pull off impressive performance

    All right, so we were admittedly skeptical of how this whole "We Are the World" remake was going to turn out with the seemingly random cast of characters organizers assembled. When we first glimpsed the initial list of those present the night of the recording, there were some head scratchers in the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2010

    Moving Units: New releases from Album Leaf, Lil Wayne and Vampire Weekend top local sales charts

    Vampire Weekend's Contra claimed the top spot at Twist & Shout last week.​Although Spoon has dominated the local charts over the past few weeks, there were no clear winners across the board for the week ending February 7. New releases from Album Leaf and Lil Wayne -- his ill advised rock album ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2010

    Moving Units: Spoon still strong seller at local record stores

    ​Although Spoon's latest effort, Transference, didn't have quite the pull it did the week it came out, it was still a strong a seller among local record stores for the week ending January 31. Magnetic Fields' Realism, released last week on Nonesuch had a decent debut, and Vampire Weekend's Contra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2010

    We Are the World 2010: List of performers seems a little underwhelming -- the idea is to get people to buy the song, right?

    Our friends over at CNN just posted a partial list of performers appearing on the "We Are the World" remake. From the looks of it, we put more thought into this whole thing than the organizers did. Okay, sure, there were a handful of bona fied stars that took part -- and we're assuming they've be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2010

    Young Money still on top at Independent Records

    ​While Vampire Weekend's Contra is dominating the charts nationally and locally, it came in second to the Lil' Wayne-produced Young Money's We Are Young Money, which has sat at the number one slot at Independent Records for a month now. Snoop Dogg's Malice N Wonderland, Gucci Mane's State vs. Radr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2009

    We're speechless: A look at the year's most unintentionally funny lyrics.

    Royce Da 5'9" remembers that new mom smell​The lowest common denominator having been achieved in 2005 with the release of the Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business, popular musicians have had to work extra hard in recent years to find new and inventive ways to be inane. They found great success in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2009

    Jay-Z grabs top spot at Independent Records

    ​Blueprint 3, Jay-Z's highly anticipated follow-up to his two previous Blueprint albums, grabbed the top spot at Independent Records while Raekwon's latest effort, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 came in second for the week ending September 13. Insane Clown Posse's Bang! Pow! Boom!, which was the top se ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2009

    Grizzly Bear top seller at Twist and Shout

    Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest, released last week on the Warp imprint, knocked Green Day down to the second slot at Twist & Shout for the week ending May31. Phoenix's new album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, grabbed the third slot while Steve Earle and Bob Dylan rounded out the top five. See the full b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2009

    The blog shortcut, May 26 edition

    Trouble Andrew. Is it almost the weekend again? Today in Backbeat Online: • Over the Weekend: Trouble Andrew at the Bluebird. • Over the Weekend: Iwrestledabearonce at the Marquis Theater. • Over the Weekend: Moderat at Beta. • ManeLine breaks in the Deuce's live stage as first local hip-h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2009

    The Jukebox Effect

    I deejayed a Valentine's Day party at the Horseshoe Lounge on Saturday. The bar had a great vibe, as always, and the ample crowd was in the mood for a good party. It was the first time I ever had to play music for four and a half straight hours, and I was initially worried that I would: a) run out o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2009

    Mile High Makeout: My head is spinning

    Photo: Lucia De Giovanni Last night, I had the honor and privilege of guest deejaying at Matt Fecher's New Music Mondays at the Larimer Lounge, playing music from my collection next to the incandescent DJ Ginger and firestarter DJ Hot to Death. Ginger played a couple of body-rocking sets, including ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2008

    Rocky Mountain News thinks fiscal crisis is something to sing about

    Other appropriate AC/DC songs: "Money Talks," "Thunderstruck," "Shot Down in Flames" and "Meltdown." At this writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is considerably higher than it was at the day's open, and that's good news for all of our 401(k) plans, as well as for those who fear the Rocky Mou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: DMX, VH1 Hip-Hop Honors, Forbes Hip-Hop Cash List

    "Where my reality show at, dogs?" DMX gets a reality show Even though DMX is sitting in a Miami jail waiting to answer to a variety of charges including drug possession, weapons possessions and animal cruelty, some television producers think his life would make for some great entertainment. The sh ... More >>

  • Music

    August 14, 2008
  • Blogs

    June 13, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: Showcase Hip-Hop History, Grandmaster Flash, Nas, Eminem and LL Cool J

    LOCALS ONLY With Westword’s Music Showcase going down this weekend, let’s take a quick look at what the last five hip-hop winners have been up to the last five years: The Pirate Signal (Yonnas and DJ A-What) who won in 2007, has just released its new mixtape The PS Pt. II: Of Gods and Gangster ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2007
  • Music

    April 12, 2007

    Brother Ali

    Tuesday, April 17, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.

  • Music

    April 12, 2007

    MC Frontalot

    Sound Bites

  • Music

    January 4, 2007

    Rap Sheet

    Comeback kids, rhymin' Limeys and songs about partying defined Hip-Hop Nation in 2006.

  • News

    December 21, 2006

    A Cutler Above

    The Broncos new quarterback is looking good. And so am I.

  • Music

    November 16, 2006


    Saturday, November 18, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 303-297-1772.

  • Music

    July 6, 2006

    Paul Oakenfold

    Tuesday, July 11, Vinyl, 303-860-8469.

  • Music

    December 8, 2005
  • Music

    December 1, 2005

    Listen Up

    Fast reviews of recent releases

  • Film

    October 6, 2005

    Goy Gevalt

    In Her Shoes is pretty but useless, a Prada with a broken heel.

  • Music

    August 12, 2004

    The Beatdown

    Don't start no stuff, won't be no stuff.

  • Culture

    July 4, 2002

    Ice Ice Maybe

    A decade after Vanilla Ice melted down, he's back with the man who made him.

  • News

    June 6, 2002

    Not-So-Funny Business

    Are gays fair game for jokes on Denver radio?

  • More >>