The twentieth annualWestword Music Showcase
is tomorrow. There are over 150 bands on the bill, which is a lot. Too many to see in a day. We've come up with a few ways of helping you make your decisions. But just in case you need a few more, we present an assortment of random facts about a random selection of bands playing this year's festival. See you tomorrow!
• The Belle Jar (2:15 p.m., 100% de Agave) frontman/singer/guitarist/banjoist/mandolinist/ukeleleist Ryan James recorded the band's debut album in 2011. He played every instrument on it himself, Stevie Wonder Innervisions-style. He also drinks champagne through Twizzlers.
• Nashville's Cherub (5:20 p.m., Main Stage) dropped a single with Boulder's Big Gigantic earlier this year titled "The Night Is Young." It has received more than 500,000 plays on SoundCloud.
See also: The Westword Music Showcase schedule
• Chimney Choir (3 p.m., Curious Theatre) rehearses in an architectural warehouse that stores everything from human-sized statues to the entire inside paneling of rooms.
• Despite the pop-cultural cachet of twins, there aren't too many bands that pull off the identical-bro game like The Dirty Few (5:15 p.m., Broadways). Brothers Seth and Spencer Stone made the move from Nashville to Denver nearly five years ago, but thankfully they haven't lost their drawls or their ability to put on a wild, reckless and booze-fueled live show.
• Rob Drabkin (3:00 p.m., Stoney's) graduated from Trinity College with degrees in biochemistry, molecular biology and Spanish. He says the only time he uses any of them is when he's ordering burritos.
• As frontman and bassist for the Swayback, Eric Halborg kept his hair shaggy. He's now focusing on the bluesier Dragondeer (2:15 p.m., Bar Standard), and he's switched to a slick pompadour. Regardless of his style, Halborg is still leading the sonic charge with his distinctly strong and hammering voice.
• Three of the members of Foxfield Four (3:45 p.m., Stoney's) are classically trained musicians. In 2007, lead singer David James won the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's John Lennon Scholarship for Songwriters for his song "Alcohol.edu." It's about overindulging on college campuses.
• Go Star (3:45 p.m., Dazzle) is master trumpeter Josh Trinidad's improvisational project. Trinidad isn't just a renowned player; he also created KUVO's Jazz Odyssey, a rare radio show that not only covers the genre's fifty-year history but also remains consistently interesting.
• In 2013, Hot Apostles (6 p.m., Stoney's) released a video for the song "Get It On," which features the sexiest classroom gyrating this side of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher." Not to be missed is the scene in which bass player Bret Ahroon hands lead singer/sexy teacher Eryn Swissdorf a banana and she crushes it. Subtle.
• The lead song from the first EP by Inner Oceans (6 p.m., Bar Standard), "Read Your Ghost," was written by founder Griff Snyder in about five minutes. He then stayed up all night to complete the details of the song.
• iZCALLi (1:30 p.m., La Rumba) Leadman Miguel Avina started playing in his dad's band, El Cro, when his family lived in central Mexico. The band is named after their home town and includes Miguel's sister Brenda on bass.
• Better known in Denver for his vocal achievements as one of the fastest rising hip-hop acts coming out of Colorado, Turner Jackson (1:30 p.m., City Hall Amphitheatre) was once a weatherman in the U.S. Navy.
• Kitty Crimes (2 p.m., City Hall Main) is the hip-hop/R&B yogi-diva alter ego of Maria Kohler. Before she started rapping, she was known around Denver for her heavenly singing voice, which can be heard in bands like Science Partner, Harpoontang and Mercuria and the Gem Stars.
• MF Ruckus (2:15 p.m., City Hall Cue Room) is willing to make sacrifices for the music. Singer Aaron Howell once slipped off a monitor while playing at the Larimer Lounge and ruptured a testicle.
• Native Daughters (6:45 p.m., City Hall Cue Room) bassist Gene Martinez was once romantically involved with comedian Kristen Schaal, when they were high-schoolers in Longmont.
• Jeff Suthers plays in Pale Sun (12:45 p.m., Bar Standard) now, but one of his old bands, Bright Channel, went on a brief tour of the Southwest with Brian Jonestown Massacre. For its final show, Bright Channel opened for the Fray at Red Rocks. • Before they started Petals of Spain (12:45 p.m., Stoney's), singer and pianist Hunter Hall and frontman Nic Hammerberg were members of the Colorado Children's Chorale. Recently, they've both put their vocal training to work in odd jobs: Hall has been a director with Vintage Theatre, and Hammerberg does singing telegrams. Petals of Spain recently signed a deal to license the song "Lady Luck" for the History Channel's Modern Marvels, so those odd jobs might not be needed before too long.
• The Photo Atlas (6:45 p.m., Krewe) has had the song "Red, Orange, Yellow" featured in three video games: two Burnout Racing editions and MLB 07: The Show. Another song, "No, Not Me, Never," was featured in Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam. • Pink Hawks (12:45, Main Stage) has added some unusual wrinkles to its live shows, including handing out fish-tank gravel frozen into ice cubes.
• The overt nastiness of Rowdy Shadehouse (5:15 p.m., La Rumba) might seem over the top to some, but the band pairs its perversion with some of the most technically proficient musicians around. Rowdy's secret weapon is frontman Jon Thursday, an unlikely fireball of sex appeal. By the end of the set, he'll have even the prudiest of audience members singing along while he swings a three-foot dildo over his head.
• The members of The Royal (5:15 p.m., Krewe) have cool day jobs. The keyboardist, Colby Rogers, is a Ph. D. candidate in psychology who works with at-risk youth. The bass player, Matt Clark, is co-owner of the hi-dive. And guitarist Jack Schuler is an art director. Lead singer Tyler Hayden managed to gather all these characters together thanks to his former post as a bartender at Lost Lake Lounge.
• Safe Boating Is No Accident (3 p.m., Bar Standard) is known for not taking itself too seriously. Highlights from the band's Twitter feed include "How do you weigh your face?" and "Is there anyone that can build me a pyramid? Like, a little pyramid. Nothing fancy. Maybe with a deck."
b>And here's a bunch more information about the Westword Music Showcase: -Eight reasons it's great to be a musician in Colorado, according to the bands -Build your own schedule with the Showcase app. -The 36 best songs you might hear on the main stage at this year's Westword Music Showcase -The 2014 Westword Music Awards nominees -The people of Westword Music Showcase 2013 -Ticket page for this year's Showcase
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