Riot Fest will not return to May Farms outside Byers this year after Arapahoe County Commissioners denied special-use permit applications from both the festival and the farm. The denial came just two months before the music festival and carnival was set to bring Wu-Tang Clan, Slayer, Primus and more ... More >>
FRI | ICELANTIC'S WINTER ON THE ROCKS at RED ROCKS | 1/31/14 More than misogyny or materialism, intelligence and verbal skill are championed by Jurassic 5; the vocabulary is impressive and the verbal acrobatics the guys perform are outstanding. J5 carries the energy and excitement of a newer era gro ... More >>
TUES | WU YEAR'S EVE at CERVANTES | 12/31/13 More than just creating a free-associative style that would be emulated ceaselessly throughout the '90s and to this very day, the Wu-Tang Clan engineered an aesthetic and model for profitability with only a spiritual guide, the GZA, a mastermind producer, ... More >>
The progression of music will always be weighed down by periods of stagnation. Although new rap acts are presented into the mainstream every year, the actual newness of the music is generally overstated. The prime exception to this rule is the so-called "golden ages," pockets of time where innovatio ... More >>
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 >>
Wednesday, November 28, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399; Thursday, November 29, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 303-297-1772.
Before he gained notoriety as an MC with his 2011 studio debut Dr. Lecter, he was well respected as a New York chef (his lyrics are still garnished with references to foods of all sorts). But while he shares a profession with Raekown, another well known New York Chef, the Wu-Tang member he most freq ... More >>
RAEKWON @ ROCK THE VOTE ROAD TRIP / AURARIA | 10/25/12 "Whether there's twenty people or 2,000," said Raekwon, painfully aware of which side of that spectrum this small gathering was on, "I'm always gonna give it 200 percent." And he did, with grace. He spoke directly to the front row, despite the ... More >>
GZA @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | 9/22/12 "I don't have a hypeman, so you're my hype man," Killer Mike tells the crowd two songs into his set. "So get hype, motherfuckers." The crowd is more than happy to comply. Opening with the first three songs from his new album, the emcee emits a raw energy on stage t ... More >>
Saturday, September 22, Summit Music Hall, 866-468-7621.
Black History Month 2012 has been a doozy. Beginning with the tragic and shocking death of Don Cornelius to dealing with equally troubling news of Whitney Houston's passing as the month wore on. Most interesting about this time is the ways in which the music healed us. When Whitney died, DJs played ... More >>
The Lady Wu-Tang, a group of Denver-area female MCs who formed to put on tribute shows to the Wu-Tang Clan, played its one-year anniversary show on Saturday night at City Hall. Photos from the show are below.
Denver blog posts are fruitful and multiply. Colorado Independent's David O. Williams shares a hilarious exchange between a critic and a U.S. Forest Service rep. WhoSaidYouSaid: Scales tip to Dems on new state legislative districts. Denver Egotist: Denver has a Wu-Tang Clan cover band -- and they ... More >>
As you know, MTV turned thirty this week, and man, oh man, what a three decades it's been. No matter who you are, or what side of the music spectrum you represent, the influence of Music Television on popular culture cannot be denied. This is true especially in the development of the hip-hop ... More >>
Clutch could use a cold one.Colorado brewers love their music, whether they are talking about it, naming beers after it or rocking it in the brewhouse at volumes loud enough to malt barley on its own. Boulder Beer recently worked with String Cheese Incident keyboardist and song writer Kyle Ho ... More >>
Raekwon (foreground) and Ghostface Killah (background)Last week, we wrote that Wu-Tang Clan member and solo rapper Ghostface Killah made a sort-of surprising move by okaying the use of his name on a beer made by Boulder-based Twisted Pine Brewing. Ghost just asked that Twisted Pine sent him a ... More >>
This week's cover story, "Word," tells the extraordinary tale behind The Anthology of Rap, released last year to high praise and a bit of heated debate. The Westword story focuses on Anthology co-editor and CU-Boulder professor Adam Bradley, a hip-hop academic whose own narrative is as compel ... More >>
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?" 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 al ... More >>
Brian Frederick Thursday, March 17 And it begins ... 4 a.m. we arrive in Austin, Texas, at Casa de Epilogues greeted by hugs and cases of Upslope, after an amazing day of riding rollercoasters and playing three sets at Six Flags-Dallas and an awesome run of shows with the Epilogues, which i ... More >>
I'll take my coffee with CREAM! (dolla dolla bill y'all). Cafe Europa employees: Serious Wu-Tang fans.Cafe Europa's general manager, Adam Azeris, is bringing a little piece of Brooklyn right here into Denver. The coffee shop at Penn and Bayaud has been respectfully dubbed "Wu-Ropa," in honor ... More >>
Backbeat approved post-punk band Makeout Point broke up a couple months ago. A sad day for Denver music fans, but several of its members are brewing up another project: Bizarre Learning Center. So far it's a tumblr and the promise of demos, but there's plenty to start getting excited about. " ... More >>
Welcome to In the Weeds. Kyle will be right with you -- most likely to complain about something. Usually he is pleasant, but this is his place to blow off some steam. Don't take it personally; he just needs to vent because he's been doing this for about thirteen years. Enjoy your meal. Most ... More >>
The last time we covered the beat battle thrown by the organizers from PMG, there was no clear winner because a fight ensued that shut down the event. Last night, the final round took place between B. Fields, TC Crook and Davey Boy at Twisted Olive. It was a rather subdued evening, despite ... More >>
Saturday January 29, Summit Music Hall, 1-866-468-7621.
Making connections between Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Wonder Mike isn't such a stretch for Adam Bradley. As one of the editors of The Anthology of Rap, a newly released collection from Yale University Press, as well as the author of 2009's Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip-Hop, Bradley has ... More >>
Aaron ThackerayGhostface GHOSTFACE With Sheek Louch • Frank Dukes • Black Pegasus • Liquid Assassin 11.06.10 | Summit Music Hall Ghostface swooped through Denver over the weekend for a performance at Summit Music Hall with Sheek Louch, Black Pegasus and Liquid Assassin. The venue, wit ... More >>
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 >>
Wednesday, August 25, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.
We all know that every single weekend in Denver is like a confectionery of delicious shows: Too many choices, too little time. But if you have a hard time with that status quo, you're going to be ripping your hair out with indecision this weekend, because it's finally here, the Westword Mus ... More >>
Tech N9NE's latest effort, K.O.D., continues to dominate the top sellers at Independent Records and grabs the number one spot for the third week in a row. Jay-Z's Blueprint 3, meanwhile, still holds strong and claimed the second slot, while Wale's Attention Deficit, released last week on Intersco ... More >>
Don't let the tight jeans and thick-rimmed glasses fool you. The brothers who make up The Knux were raised about as far away from the suburbs as you can get: New Orleans' Ninth Ward. Still, Krispy Kream and Rah Almillio (aka Kentrell and Alvin Lindsey) found their sound by listening to just a ... More >>
As music critics, the most common question we get asked (and ask each other, for that matter) is, "What are you listening to?" The pervasiveness of this query is precisely what inspired Heavy Rotation, our latest feature. For the benefit of those who happen to be curious, we've compiled a list of al ... More >>
Colorado rap star -- and yes he is a star -- YtCracker, is one of the most booked hip-hop artists out of the state. For some reason, the Nerdcore hip-hop music he does is in high demand. He's currently on a nationwide tour with other Nerdcore artists like MC Frontalot and MC Lars and, believe it or ... More >>
LOCALS ONLY Colorado rapper Catch Lungs started get his name buzzed about in the local scene when he started working with producers SP Double and Flawless as part of the Boostwell Crew last year. After separating from Boostwell this summer, he began working on his own mixtape, Food for the Famished, ... More >>
LOCALS ONLY Scribble Jam is an annual hip-hop festival hosted in Cincinnati, Ohio. So why are so many Colorado hip-hop artists excited about it? Well, on October 1 at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, a Scribble Jam preliminary event is being held to determine the best rapper and best producer to represe ... More >>
Saturday, August 30, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 303-297-1772.
Backbeat scribes sound off on their favorite releases of the past year.
This may be Jay-Z’s last year at Def Jam Right now Jay-Z is celebrating a pretty good year as CEO/President of Def Jam. His label garnered 26 Grammy nominations last week, his artists Rihanna and Ne-Yo are blowing up worldwide and his own project, American Gangster, is topping year-end lists. But ... More >>
Sam Mickens and his crew have a unique view of pop music.
What's up with the Wu-Tang Clan paying homage to Stapleton and Park Hill?
Tuesday, October 18, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.
Backbeat contributors reflect on the releases that helped them survive the year 2000.
Ol' Dirty Bastard, Richmond Fontaine, Basement Jaxx, Barbra Streisand
One of the best albums of the Seventies is more timely than ever.