• Blogs

    October 17, 2014

    The Top 10 Power Ballads of All Time

    If we're being completely honest, power ballads are responsible for some of the most resonant music-listening experiences in the entire world. They're a beautiful blend of sentiment and obviousness, a band willfully becoming emotionally available. Everybody makes fun of the power ballad, because som ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2014

    Neil Young, Devo And More Will Be Covered at My Favorite Bands Festival

    While Colin Bricker, owner of Mighty Fine Productions, is one of the area's best sound engineers, he's also played in the cover band Peter, Paul & Gary since he and some buddies formed the band they were in high school in Greeley. Over the years, some of the band members moved away, he still wanted ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2014

    How I learned what it means to be a music fan

    The first time I met with my doula, she asked me about all of my feelings and fears about going into labor, about what was important to me. Much to her surprise, I told her one of those things was music. But she was supportive. She told me I should make two playlists to help set the mood. One shoul ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 18, 2014

    Do at the Zoo celebrates 25 years with Under a Blood Red Sky this June

    The Denver Zoo has nearly 4,000 mouths to feed every day of the year, and that adds up to a hell of a grocery bill. But events like the annual Do t the Zoo gala help a lot toward filling zoo coffers. And this year's Do on June 19 -- the gala's 25th anniversary celebration -- will go extra-big to rai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2013

    Under a Blood Red Sky screening canceled

    Update, 9/24/13: If you haven't heard yet, this special screening of U2's Under a Blood Red Sky has been canceled. According to the Denver Film Society, after conferring with the Feys, it was determined that any fundraising efforts would be better directed to raising funds for flood victims. All cre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2013

    Billy Bono of U2 tribute band Under A Blood Red Sky on how life works in "Mysterious Ways"

    Like any other town, Denver has its share of cover bands. For the most part, the outfits here don't merely perform somebody else's music; rather, they put time, energy and effort into really channeling the acts and eras they're emulating. This is especially true of this week's cover band, Under a Bl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 13, 2013

    The 50 worst rock/pop lyrics: The Complete list

    Well, here we are, at the end of the road of lyrical idiocy. As our countdown to crappiness finally culminates, we've trained our eye on some of the greatest lyricists in rock, who during select moments, greatly disappointed us with their valueless verse. These lyrics are all bad on their own terms, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2013

    Here's what we're all listening to right now. What's rocking your world this week?

    As people who think about, talk about, write about, listen to and make music, it's not surprising that the most common (and favorite) topic of conversation among us is the same: "What are you listening to right now?" Stick a quarter in us, and, boy, wouldn't you know it, off we go, on and on about t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2013

    Paul Oakenfold on dubstep, coming to Denver and how Beta is one of the best clubs in America

    One of the first true superstar DJs, Paul Oakenfold has done more to popularize electronic dance music in the United States and in his native Britain than any constituent of the current EDM explosion. Long before Skrillex and Deadmau5 brought styles like dubstep and electro into the mainstream consc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2013

    Backbeat's top five spins: This is what we're listening to this week. What's on your playlist?

    As people who think about, talk about, write about, listen to and make music, it's not surprising that the most common (and favorite) topic of conversation among us is the same: "What are you listening to right now?" Stick a quarter in us, and, boy, wouldn't you know it, off we go, on and on about t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2012

    Backbeat's top five spins: This is what we're listening to this week. What's on your playlist?

    As people who think about, talk about, write about, listen to and make music, it shouldn't be surprising to find that the most common (and mutually favorite) topic of conversation among us is the same: "What are you listening to right now?" Stick a quarter in us, and, boy, wouldn't you know it, off ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 3, 2012

    Why the Obama campaign might want to rethink continuing to use U2's "City of Blinding Lights"

    There's no question that the President -- in town this evening to debate Mitt Romney -- is a huge music fan. From quoting Sam Cooke during his '08 acceptance speech to randomly singing Al Green verses during a fundraiser to citing Stevie Wonder as being responsible for his marriage, Obama is far and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 13, 2012

    Five acts with more taxing problems than you

    See Also: • Tax Evasion: How to live like a rock star -- and pay taxes like one, too. As the saying goes: There are only two things that are certain and unavoidable in this life -- death and taxes. And while both might be causing folks to lose sleep these days (you didn't forget tax time is upon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2012

    Max Bemis of Say Anything: "We're stripping away the loud, distorted guitars and the redundant self-destructive imagery"

    On March 13, Say Anything, the indie rock band that came of age in the 2000s, released its sixth album, Anarchy, My Dear. The band soon launched its tour, which will hit the Mile High City this Friday, March 30, at the Summit Music Hall. In advance of the show, we spoke with frontman Max Bemis about ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2012

    The Fray Scars & Stories: A track-by-track breakdown from Isaac Slade and Joe King

    Westword caught up with the Fray's chief songwriters, Isaac Slade and Joe King, for a track-by-track breakdown of Scars & Stories, the new record. If you've bought the record and you're listening right now wondering what "Run for Your Life" or "Here We Are" is about, wonder no more. Or if you came h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2012

    The Fray at Red Rocks on Friday, May 11

    Update (2/7/12): Isaac Slade and Joe King give a track-by-track breakdown of Scars & Stories, the Fray's new album. On the eve of releasing their third full-length album, Scars and Stories and almost exactly a year after playing at Invesco with U2, the Fray has announced plans to return to Red Rock ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2011

    Musician visits local haberdashery, purchases hat

    An artist's redering.​The Edge, a musician with the popular band U2, is a man known for the wearing of hats -- and while the hat he is primarily known for is his trademark black beanie, we have it on good authority that he also wears other types of hats. Or at least buys them. During his time ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2011

    Isaac Slade on the Fray's new album, working with Brendan O'Brien and opening for U2

    ​Isaac Slade sounds at greater ease these days, like he's completely comfortable in his own skin. After spending the better part of his career grappling with the pressures of trying to live up to everyone's expectations, he's reached a point where that's no longer as big a consideration, which ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2011

    Have you heard about the secret show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder this Thursday?

    Checked the Fox Theatre's website lately? Notice anything special happening on Thursday night?The Juarez Street Fighters are playing. So? Uh-huh. Ever heard of 'em? Right. Neither have we. And yet, somehow, they're headlining the Fox? No big. It's happened before. Little known band plays the Fox bef ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2010

    Tonight: Hell's Belles at the Fox Theatre

    ​There are plenty of U2 tribute bands, Beatles impersonators and more Sublime cover bands than there are Sublime albums. But perched on top of the replication heap is definitely Hell's Belles, a riotous AD/DC tribute that has been doing serious justice to "Highway to Hell" since 2000.

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2010

    Record Store Day: Black Friday Edition

    ​The super-official, absolutely real, Record Store Day might have been earlier this year, but there's no reason why we can't celebrate our favorite holiday twice. Instead of cutting each other's throats and arguing with old folks at the mall today, maybe you'd like to consider spending your Bl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 30, 2010

    Ten songs proven to make you cry -- if you're British

    ​Hey, ladies, think your male friends are resilient to emotion? Perhaps you've never seen them tear up, save for that lone teardrop that forms at the end of Rocky IV. Well, if you're looking to evoke a little emotion from a partner, a recent study suggests you can do it with a song. The stu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2010

    The Weekend Showdown: Here's to Tribute Bands

    We would hate for you to miss out on all the awesome that happens every weekend in our fair city, so we've decided to run down three of the best shows in one easy-to-swallow post, with video and audio. Tell us -- and the rest of the world -- what we missed in the comments. ​

  • Blogs

    October 26, 2009

    U2's 360° Tour skips comes to Denver

    Update: Just received word that U2 will be bringing its 360° tour to Denver on Saturday, June 12, at Invesco Field. Oh happy day! No word yet on when tickets will go on sale, but they Tickets go on sale on Friday, November 6, and will reportedly range from $55 to $250 online at the Invesco Field bo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2009

    Four is the magic number for Slayer and U2

    ​Dear, metal heads, prepare to be stoked: Slayer has unveiled the artwork for its forthcoming album, World Painted Blood, which is slated for release on Tuesday, November 3. While the music is sure to be dependably bludgeoning, the enticing aspect of this album is the fact that it will be issued w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 23, 2009

    Bonnie Prince Billy grabs top spot at Twist & Shout

    After two weeks of U2 and Neko Case sitting at the number-one and -two spots, Bonnie Prince Billy's new album, Beware, knocked U2 down to the second spot and Case moved down to the eighth slot at Twist & Shout for the week ending March 22. Les Claypool's new disc, Of Fungi & Foe, came in at ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2009

    U2 top seller at Twist & Shout

    U2's No Line on the Horizon and Neko Case's Middle Cyclops, both released on Tuesday, March 3, showed some of best numbers at Twist & Shout in many months. The Fray moved back up into the top five, followed by Van Morrison and Beirut for the week ending March 8. See the full breakdown after the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2009

    Meet the Fraysayers

    Dull. Boring. Formulaic. Uniformly bland. Uninteresting. Calculated. Inoffensive. Forgettable. These are just a few of the adjectives that various critics from across the country have used to describe the Fray's self-titled sophomore release. As observed in this column last week, the band is clearly ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2008

    Q&A with Ryan Hendrix of Colourmusic

    My first interview with Ryan Hendrix, one of the co-founders of Oklahoma's Colourmusic, didn't happen for one reason or another. But he more than made up for it the second time around. He was incredibly generous with his time, and extremely interesting and honest, too. These qualities come through i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2008
  • Blogs

    October 3, 2008

    Rearview: The Week in Review (9/27/08-10/3/08)

    Due to a crippling, worldwide shortage of seventeen-minute solos, Phish has decided to reform Here's a friendly, easy-to-use index to all the great content you might have missed this week on Backbeat Online while you were busy doing that weird stoner hippie dance in celebration of the recent news t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2008

    The blog shortcut, October 2 edition

    "I eat candidates like you for lunch..." Content? We can help you out when it comes to both meanings of the word... Cafe Society leads with Jason Sheehan's guide to the care and feeding of political volunteers. That's followed by the evaporation of one 8 Rivers, a recommendation about where to fi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2008

    Barack Obama Post Speech Analysis

    Alright, alright, admitedly, the headline of this post is a little misleading. By no means am I a political analyst, nor am I even going to pretend to be. I have my own thoughts on Barack Obama's speech, but I'm gonna go ahead and leave the analytical dissection to far more qualified talking heads l ... More >>

  • Music

    July 17, 2008


    Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2008

    Rearview: The Week In Review (5/31/08 - 6/6/08)

    Here's a wrap up of all the exciting stuff you missed this week while you were goggling in amazement at Metallica's insistence that a blogger take down his preview of their upcoming album, thus demonstrating the group's continued lack of anything resembling a clue when it come to these here internet ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2008

    45 Second Reviews: The Cool Kids, Scarlett Johansson, The Myriad, The Ting Tings

    The Cool Kids The Bake Sale Chocolate Industries 01:05-01:50 of “What Up Man” Don’t get me wrong, I believe that hip-hop, like every other genre, has a lot of elbow room to explore and expand styles – but, well, this just isn’t there yet. I see that the Cool Kids are trying really hard to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2008

    45 Second Reviews: Colour Revolt, Ours, Tokyo Police Club, Jordan Zevon

    Colour Revolt Plunder, Beg and Curse Fat Possum Records 02:00-02:45 of “Ageless Everytime” Every once and a while someone gets the late '90s right. Colour Revolt seems to capture the sounds of bands like Cop Shoot Cop, Shiner and Hum in all the right ways to make what appears to be a solid albu ... More >>

  • Music

    September 13, 2007

    Kanye West

    Island Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella

  • Music

    February 8, 2007

    Born in the Flood

    If This Thing Should Spill
    Morning After Records

  • Music

    January 12, 2006

    Unlikely Requiem

    On the road to recovery with the Drive By Truckers.

  • Music

    June 10, 2004

    Critic's Choice

    Carolyn's Mother

  • Music

    May 23, 2002

    Higher Powered

    Jars of Clay rocks on the fringe of Christian music.

  • Music

    April 25, 2002
  • Music

    April 26, 2001

    Various artists

    Now That's What I Call Music! 6 (Epic)

  • Music

    May 18, 2000

    Postivly Negativ

    Sampling ad infinitum with America's sonic outlaws.

  • Music

    December 3, 1998

    The Major and the Minor

    A roundup of big-name recordings that live up (or down) to expectations.

  • Music

    May 8, 1997
  • News

    April 24, 1997
  • Music

    December 20, 1995
  • Music

    September 7, 1994



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