In the late 1980s, it was nearly unheard of for Japanese underground rock bands to play in the United States. But Shonen Knife, appearing at the Oriental Theater this Thursday, October 16, played a show in Los Angeles in 1989. By then, the band's music had already spent several years circulating i ... More >>
I am a devoted video-game fan and a constant cheerleader for them to be considered art, but honestly I would give up most of the compelling stories and high-definition graphics in the world for simple pinball machines. They're crafted and mechanical, and when built with a loving hand they can turn a ... More >>
A few spectacularly heavy hitters come to Colorado this week -- both Nick Cave and Merle Haggard are in town. Sharon Van Etten, playing Tuesday at the Bluebird, has plenty to show for her own relatively short career. You can read our extensive interview with her elsewhere on Backbeat this morning. ... More >>
The Westword Music Showcase brought several thousand fans to see over 150 bands in the Golden Triangle over the weekend. You can find more coverage of the festivities elsewhere on Backbeat, but we wanted to give the bands a moment to weigh in. Earlier, we asked several artists playing the Showcase i ... More >>
The wedding invitations are coming in fast now, and although we typically don't enjoy sitting in a church and staring at comb-overs, there are two things provided at weddings we can all agree on: food and alcohol. I can live like the lord of the event center, alternating between sips of coffee and b ... More >>
Thrash metal flayed disco Kiss before binging on high speed guitars, rapid double bass drum and foul lyrics. The emergence of thrash in the early '80s poked fun at a hardcore fan base of metal historians worshiping at the alter of loud and slow. These thrash bands did the world a favor and took meta ... More >>
40TH DAY @ LARIMER LOUNGE | 7/20/13 The whole 40th Day set felt a bit like me traveling and a creative resurrection at the same time. For whatever reason, it just didn't feel like a reunion show. The felt show felt like the five members of the band were playing music they had written and just hadn't ... More >>
These are the phantoms of the metal opera. They are the faceless. Human? Alien? Robot? Beast? Pinky and the Brain? Luke Skywalker's father? Nobody knows for sure. The only way we could ever find out is if we go back in time to the '50s to collect a bunch of UPC codes for some X-ray glasses. For now, ... More >>
Salt Lake City-based Epic Brewing, which announced in January that it will build a 20,000-square-foot brewery and taphouse in Denver, updated its followers on social media this week with a couple of pictures and some potential opening dates. The Facebook pictures (like the one above) show the brewer ... More >>
Oh, sweet baby Jesus! The search has ended. I think I've finally found my soulmate. Isn't she a beauty? Only problem is she's a little pricey. Anybody have a spare $10K lying around that they can spot this card-carrying member of the KISS Army? C'mon! Can't you just see the two us cruising around? M ... More >>
Just as music collections say a lot about people, a jukebox can do the same for a bar; it often reflect the place's personality. A lot of times, variety is key to a well-stocked jukebox, and 3 Kings Tavern, this year's winner in the Best of Denver, had that with balls, to boot. Here's a look at the ... More >>
Low Gravity (hosting its dual CD release party tomorrow night at 3 Kings Tavern with Jaded Poet) got together in the summer of 2009 when Jess Ellis -- who used to play in the noteworthy, and unconventionally literary, sludge metal band the Nod, as well as Half of Zero -- started jamming with Austin ... More >>
Ah, yes, welcome to the weekend! Don't you just love living in the Mile High City? Besides the glorious weather we're enjoying right now, we have yet another weekend filled with a ridiculous number of enticing options: Lucero kicks off its two-night stand at the Bluebird, in addition to an in-store ... More >>
Metal is often stereoptyped as being a violent genre. And while violence is a indeed a common theme in the lyrics of many bands -- and granted, even the concept of mosh pits is violent -- when you combine that with the violence we're all exposed to in movies, TV and video games, it's easy for metal- ... More >>
Megadeth (due tonight at the Fillmore Auditorium) may be one of the Big Four of thrash, but in many ways, its frontman Dave Mustaine is largely responsible for the sound and aesthetic of three of the Big Four. As a member of Metallica before that band recorded its first full-length, Mustaine's name ... More >>
Iced Earth (due tonight at Summit Music Hall) came out of the rich heavy metal scene in Tampa Bay, Florida in the late '80s. At a time when melodic heavy metal, especially the glam variety, was on the wane, Iced Earth came in with the wave of metal that produced a melodic speed metal as well as the ... More >>
House heavyweight DJ Dan will no doubt rock the dance floor at Beta on Saturday night; the UK's Kirk DeGiorGio and Pinch will also be gracing our city with their presence this weekend. Sex Panther returns to Beauty Bar tonight for the regular dubstep, Moombahton, funky dance party with Max Kl ... More >>
Wednesday, February 15, Pepsi Center, 303-830-8497.
Tom MurphySpeedwolfSPEEDWOLF at the MARQUIS THEATER | 12/16/11Speedwolf vocalist Reed Bruemmer feigned surprise at the end of the band's set last night and asked the audience if they actually wanted to hear the band cover KISS. Of course everyone did, so the guys closed the record-release show with ... More >>
Can you guess which member of Team Backbeat bought this record?Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money? Of course you do! It's like the first person you kissed or the first one who broke your heart -- it's a monumental, life-changing moment in your life that's unforgett ... More >>
Lori Midson"It came to me in a dream one night," says Larry Bigay. "I have a pad of paper by my bedside, and I woke up early one morning, and started to draw what I'd seen in my dream." What he saw were visions of hot dogs dancing in his head.
NECA is gearing up to release a topless, Skeletor-esque Iggy Pop action figure onto unsuspecting fans this coming June, a fact that might seem a bit odd for those who aren't familiar with rock stars' long and illustrious history with action figure manufactures. Over time we've seen plenty of ... More >>
Aaron Thackeray WARLOCK PINCHERS with Il Cattivo 12.31.10 | Gothic Theater Around 9 p.m., the safety videos started up and it looked and sounded like something straight out of Wonder Showzen. Puppets and people in a gorilla and a robot costume interacted as they would on a warped, faux kids ... More >>
As the leader of Sepultura for over a decade, Max Cavalera helped put Brazil on the map. From the beginning, the outfit was clearly influenced by punk rock as much as it was by other metal bands, as evidenced by its socially conscious lyrics, its grassroots efforts to get its music out into t ... More >>
Here's why some fans have reasonable doubts when they hear an artist say they're retiring.With the regular football season getting ready to kick off, Brett Favre has once again pulled a fast one and decided to return for one more season. Sure, he can say retired; he just can't seem to stay re ... More >>
As I crossed the festival grounds toward the Bison tent, where BoomBox was scheduled, I caught strains of Matt Morris and his amazing voice, and Ozomatli getting their reggae-style funk on. I reached my destination just as BoomBox took the stage and immediately knew I was in for a good time. They op ... More >>
Erykah Badu • Janelle Monae 06.16.10 | Fillmore Auditorium Before Erykah Badu's set, a DJ was spinning and doing live mixes of pop hits of yesteryear, stopping or slowing down the music every now and then to let the crowd enthusiastically fill in the blanks. During "Poison" by Bell Biv D ... More >>
Jason Arthurs Superchunk never tried to be the biggest band in the land, but it did make music on its own terms and became an iconic outfit in its own right by embodying what it means to be an indie rock band. While the band didn't enjoy nearly the same level of commercial success as many of ... More >>
Today's song of the day comes from an utterly bewitching Swedish duo known as jj. Comprised of Joakim Benon and Elin Kastlander, the group is in the midst of embarking on its first ever tour of the States with xx, a kindred act with an equally google defying moniker. Bummer or all bummers: The tou ... More >>
Primasonic's frontman Sin says the band's latest effort, Unadorned, could have easily been called No Bullshit. With some help from the Overcasters' Kurt Ottaway acting as co-producer and Module Overload's Jamie Hillyer, Primasonic made a no frills, rock solid album that captures a lot of th ... More >>
Norma Jean, HORSE the Band, The Chariot, Arsonists Get all the Girls Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 Marquis Theater Better than: Seeing an actual Kenny Loggins show -- this show had just the right amount of Kenny Loggins. Though, to be fair, I've never seen the guy play. It might be pretty badass, for a ... More >>
Wilco and Okkervil River Friday, July 3, 2008 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Better than: Wilco's show at the Pikes Peak Center last year. Just as Wilco took the stage, the theme from the Price is Right played and two people cloaked in a camel suit pranced across the stage. Sure, it might have been a ... More >>
All right, we know what you're thinking: Ugh! Another mash-up, right? Wait a sec. This one -- assembled by the furiously talented pop tart known as Tyler Ward -- is different. How so, you ask? Well, for one, he played all the instruments and sang all of the parts. When we stumbled on the clip, we we ... More >>
Bruce SpringsteenWorking on a DreamColumbiaReviews for Springsteen's latest tend toward extremes, with most critics declaring it to be either a work of absolute genius or an exercise in vapidity whose lyrics could use a major infusion of seriositude. The confusion is understandable. After all, Worki ... More >>
Red Orange Yellow, Michael Trundle, Autokinoton and the Swayback Saturday, April 5, 2008 Bluebird Theater The drummer is often the most overlooked member of any rock ensemble. Providing the rhythmic foundation and propulsion for a band’s songs, the drummer is rarely noticed, unless he or she rea ... More >>
Brief reviews of current shows
The '80s return in Chris Deutschs photographs.
The hits just keep coming on radio.
Coming to grips with the killer inside me.
A stab at the majors can be painful.
16 HP rides high with Hoarse, a new collections of live cuts from local performances.