MMMM – Monday March 15

(30 sec samples of one song from each release.)

The Knew – The Knew’s Pulperia
Genre/Style: rock, through and through.
Notes: A very guitar driven album and another fine 2010 release out of John Macy Studio in Denver on the heels of Andrea Ball – Dial Tone, The Congress – The Congress, and John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light – Beautiful Empty.  The band displays the kind of full on frontal attack of a hard old school punk band with the swirling slide guitars and blues influences you’d  expect to hear in more southern rock type styles …

Carbon Choir – High Beams
Genre/Style: Rock, post-rock, alternative adult
Notes: originally released December 2009, we just got this copy in the CS office.  This is another very sophisticated contemporary adult listen for 2010.  It’s very ethereal, very well orchestrated, beautifully arranged, and the performances throughout are among the best I’ve ever heard from a Colorado band at any level.  There’s not a ton of tempo on this record; there doesn’t need to be.  Recommended if you like Radiohead, though don’t expect to hear them wear that influence on their sleeve.  This is a band not bound by any other imagination than their own.  A sure early year contender for many “Best of Colorado 2010” lists.

The Intervention Band – Homey
Genre/Style: Jazz
Notes: this is drummer Bob Levey’s project. Bob’s history is extremely deep.  Bob Levey is the son of Bop drummer Stan Levey who pioneered the original Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie groups in the mid 40’s and then went on to play with every major star in the music business from that period.  He has played with an impressive array of names, and his work has also contributed to the world of Hip-Hop, most notably being sampled on the platinum selling “When the Shit Goes Down” by Cypress Hill and De La Soul’s “Intro” on the hit CD “Buhloone Mind State”.   This is jazz – plain, simple, unobtrusive – think Johnny Mercer, Bill Evans, J.J. Johnson – all of whom he covers twice each on this record.  The pianist and the bass player are young guys – in their early-mid twenties… they are very tasty players – very smooth and mature sounding in the traditions they’re playing to.  Tim Fox plays piano on four of the selections, as well as trumpet throughout the album.  For some strange reason I recall George Shearing in his work – but then, this was the kind of jazz my Dad used to play when I was a little kid, so maybe it’s just those memories coming to mind… I don’t know.  But count me in – this is a great listen… from start to finish.

Chuck Pyle – The Spaces in Between
Genre/Style: Western Pop Folk
Notes: It’s Chuck Pyle.  The man is a Colorado legend.  Chuck’s songs have been recorded by John Denver, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Suzy Bogguss. Country fans know him best for writing, “Cadillac Cowboy”, recorded by the late Chris LeDoux, and “Jaded Lover”, recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker. This album is as full of the gracefulness of storytelling as he’s ever done.  It’s wonderfully produced by John McVey at Coupe Studios in Boulder.  The musicianship is stellar throughout.

I just had a flashback

I’m in the midst of an online debate with some old friends from various parts of the US and Europe about “production” vs. “song” as those things relate to mainstream acceptability – and radio airplay.  While adding an IMO to the thread, I begin listening to the songs posted on the Jonny Woodrose & The Broken-Hearted Woodpeckers Myspace page.  Jonny Woodrose had emailed me a few days ago to invite me to listen.  The first song shocks me.  It’s one of those moments when you sit and think, “is this something great or something horrendous?”  I’m maybe four songs into “Live From The Garage” and I’m sold.

I’m old enough to remember some of the weird experiments of the 60s and 70s when every single rule was broken and then broken again, just to see how many rules could be broken.  This “album” is a riot in the grandest lyrical traditions of Shel Silverstein’s “Freaking at the Freakers’ Ball,” with a hit and miss vocal performance and lo-fi garage production quality to match any early Dylan record… you can throw in some early Bright Eyes recordings for some modern relevence if you want.  This is not to say that I like everything here… as is the case with so many band Myspace pages, there’s some stuff there that I do cringe at – especially the instrumental “Broken Hearted Assholes,” the epitomy of a garage band jam, which brought an end to my listening… with one exception… I went back and relistened to the “Curse of Luann Lilly.”

Maybe it’s because of the alternative country rock vibe emoted throughout the album that this song would bring comparisons to some of the more experimental Wilco stuff…  but really – it’s much more like what I remember as a teenager in the late sixties when so many garage bands experimented with mind expanding drugs, three major chords,  layers and layers of noise and distortion, along with whatever vocal expression came along.  Take that, adding in healthy doses of tongue in cheek political psychedelic country-folk-rock of bands like Country Joe & the Fish, and you get pretty damn close to the flashback I just encountered.

This is raw, unaffected, noisy music with plenty of witty adult sophisticated humor and spirit … and it has perfectly abducted my ears, brain, and heart from listening to anything more mundane and properly produced for this cloudy Sunday afternoon.

Songs of the day – Wed. March 10

Gabrielle Louise – Strange Summer Snow – new single that she has made available for free download on her site  In her email this morning she says she’s hitting the studio in April to record a new album.  She’s been down in Argentina the past few months, so it’ll be nice to hear some new material from Gabrielle.  Enjoy.

Tage Planetell – Don’t Worry About Me — See Tage’s website at to download this single for free from his new album.

New Video “Don’t Worry About Me”

I first heard of Tage Plantell back when he was in the band On Second Thought.  That band called it a day in 2004.  He was also doing some solo stuff back then – kind of a Keller Williams hybrid thing w/ looping and all that — the one chance I did get to see him do this live, at the old Soiled Dove in LoDo when I was hosting an acoustic music night, he was stunning!  He just released a new album today.

Okay — for some odd reason I cannot embed a Vimeo video here … I will continue to work on that … in the meantime, here’s the link to the new video for the first single from the album, “Don’t Worry About Me.”  Enjoy.

Don’t Worry About Me from Tage Plantell on Vimeo.

Edit:  March 17 — figured out how to embed stuff here

So What’sup with CPR?

I got a very interesting email from a long time friend in public radio tonight.

Here it is … I’ve elected to not disclose the author, unless he wants to come on here and do it.    But his email to me does present some interesting issues that those of us involved in ANY kind of radio should pay attention to — public radio or otherwise.  We’re not in radio-Kansas anymore Toto….

Here’s the email:

Chris and friends in the Fort:

I’m not sure if you’ve seen this, but if you haven’t, you should:
Rating Outlook On Colorado Public Radio s Series 2002 Revenue Bonds Revised To Negative

8.2 million dollars in debt.  With a bond rating downgrade, all they can seem to do is re-finance their debt.

I hope the impact on community radio stations around the region will be minimal.  With the economy in terrible shape, Colorado Public Radio’s (CPR) need to sell their Ruby Hill property (the old KVOD location) in today’s real estate climate, and a years-long attempt (with no takers) to sell-off their 1340 AM signal in today’s radio world (CPR bought 1340 for 4.2 million dollars), there’s no place but DOWN from here for CPR.   The downturn goes to the core of operations as CPR staff morale is reportedly down.   Recently, staff began meeting with senior management to discuss items such as “benefits”; items that once seemed untouchable.  Beware of the possible fallout.

Why should everyone else in the public radio world in Colorado be concerned?

CPR is the largest public radio entity in the Rocky Mountain West, a prestigious distinction which can also translate into something much less attractive when finances start to fall apart.  The negative CPR bond rating blowback could make it more difficult for (smaller) public radio entities in the region, when they attempt to secure funding for larger ticket items (capital expenditures for equipment, etc.).

Questions can arise, such as:

–  If the region’s largest public radio entity is a financial risk, why should major lenders or investors (of CPR bonds) invest in smaller budgeted stations?

–  Aren’t smaller public stations naturally a higher risk than an entity the size of CPR?  Or

–  can smaller stations present a “mean and lean” proposal that can secure needing funding?

In this financial climate, it behooves smaller community stations to ask these questions and try to answer them honestly. Stations with solid ties to the communities they serve, with loyal local underwriting accounts, have a good start.  It’s a key part of this puzzle.  Here’s hoping you can move ahead through the financial fog.

Best wishes,

So, where DOES that leave the rest of us?  Do we have a product that people trust, that they want, that the community we live in needs, that creates a sense of urgency to engage in, and that we can afford?

Worth thinking about in this era of media contraction.

Monday Morning Music Meeting (MMMM goood!)

Okay, so it’s Monday morning, March 8. I’m having my coffee and wondering what new feature to add to this here new site… Since Tuesday is the traditional reporting day to the trades, I thought maybe a Monday morning music meeting would be cool. A place to write about new releases that came in during the past week – and that maybe got tested over the weekend. Whatcha think? I can launch it on Monday and those of you who are music directors around the state can post your comments as you see fit during the week? What new Colorado music did you add to your libraries? What releases are impressing your djs? Let’s talk….

New in the RMMN offices this past week.

Tommy Metz aka iuengliss – The Blossom Frontier
Genre/Style: electronica/dance, pop
Website: You’ve got two choices here. You can go to and download the entire new album for free, or go to for information and to hear the trax he’s posted there.

Molina Soleil & Aju w/ DJ Icewater – Soulaju
Genre/Style: hip-hop, neo-soul
Notes: Impressive act heavy on multiculturalism (Aju speaks 5 languages). They have an impressive touring schedule that includes stops throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Missouri, Oregon, California to name a few. According to their website: Molina Soleil & Aju are set to release “Soulaju” on March 23rd, 2010. It features the production of DJ Icewater, who has toured internationally with the Pharcyde and Shing02, and has recently mixed albums for artists like Lyrics Born and Jern Eye.

Romano Paoletti – Story of a Lifetime
Genre/Style: Americana, country, folk
Notes: produced by Eric Thorin (Drew Emmitt Band). Features Eric Thorin, Sally Van Meter, Caleb Roberts, Eben Grace, Todd Moore, John McVey and Mollie O’brien and others. His grandfather, “Ragtime” Bob Darch, was the only living inductee of the Ragtime Hall of Fame. Romano’s mother, Norma Jean, was always a singer and was signed by Smokey Robinson of Motown Records.  He spent a lifetime with both of these people learning his craft.  It shows in his performances on the record.

David Williams & The Wildgrass Band featuring Kristina Murray – The Crazy Kind
Genre/Style: Americana, country, folk, bluegrass
Website: The best place I’ve found to sample tracks is at the CD Baby page for this album – or hit
Notes: The album features performances by Rockygrass mandolin winner Jordan Ramsey, Rockygrass banjo winner Chris Elliott, national fiddle champion (Weiser, ID) Katie Glassman and renowned Colorado bassist Duane Webster.
From website: David is  the 2009 EMMY AWARD WINNER IN COMPOSITION AND WRITING. Influenced by everything from gypsy jazz to folk, delta blues, swing, rockabilly, bluegrass & folk. As a singer-songwriter, David’s known for his way with words and melodies, which conjure up the American musical landscape.  His songs touch on everything from the difficulties of love to the people and places along old Route 66, or a carnival from his childhood, or swing tunes reminiscent of Tin-Pan-Alley—in a wide range of CDs released over the last 30 years.

As musician, David has recorded and performed with Greg Brown, Dave Moore and others; and he studied and performed with the great Jethro Burns, of Homer and Jethro fame.  He has played at many of the large folk music festivals in North America, such as Vancouver and Winnipeg, where he has been recognized as both a songwriter and instrumentalist.

Recently, he has written a new musical/play about Django Reinhardt.  His group DECO DJANGO specializes in this infectious music from the 1930s.

David has also published a number of books with Alfred A. Knopf and Ghost Road Press, as well as short stories and poems. He holds a Ph.D. in English, and he has been a writer in residence at a number of colleges and universities in the US.  A working cartoonist, his work appears around the world through Carlton Cards and Soultrader of London.

He is an ALA and NAPPA award-winning albums for children and is currently the songwriter for the new PBS children’s show The Big Green Rabbit.  As DIRTY LINEN says, no one else writes kids songs like DW.

The Crazy Kind is not a kid’s music record.  David Williams is most definitely one of Colorado’s most literary country-folk artists.

Colorado Music and Radio – March 2010

So, here we go for March 2010

Long live KCUV; RIP. Long live Jack FM 89.3FM…. KUVO (the jazz oasis) has EXPANDED their offerings, launching two HD (not high def) radio channels… Beautiful Empty #1 OTB!!

For all of you who have been used to seeing this column in the Colorado Music Buzz magazine – I will be directing your attention here each month. Hopefully we can build the kind of following here that I enjoy on my blogs at 🙂

So, here we go for March 2010

Long live KCUV; RIP.   Long live Jack FM – the first in the US; RIP.  Welcome “Dealin” Doug Moreland – King of Kidz Autos??  Seems like “dealing doug” is looking for a new place to air his car ads, maybe? I dunno, but it sure does surprise the hell out of me that he ponied up five mil for both 102.3FM and 105.5FM when former owner NRC Broadcasting paid about $15M for 102.3FM alone. Says a lot about the value of radio properties locally, doesn’t it?  There’s been no official word out yet about what Doug and his as yet unnamed partners are going to put on the air, but there’s plenty of guessing going on.  Could it be we’ll have another sports talker on the FM?   Could Vic and Gary and John find a new home? Hmmmm…what’s the odds on this deal going down I wonder?

89.3FM KUVO (the jazz oasis) has EXPANDED their offerings, launching two HD (not high def) radio channels, and the first purely digital HD translator in the US up in Summit County, as well as a new station – 88.5FM KVJC – up in Vail. I spoke with station operations manager and program director Carlos Lando about what’s shakin’ there and he’s all kinds of excited about the changes taking shape. I do have to say too that the HD3 channel, The Other Side, is a pretty tasty slice of something new  … for those who stream or those who have an HD radio receiver.

FEATURED HOT RELEASE – #1 OTB (out of the box) for February!!

Selected samples from album

Top 30 Spins February
1. John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light – Beautiful Empty (Free School)
2. Honey Don’t – Honey Don’t (2Dolla Reccas)
3. Head for the Hills – Head for the Hills (Head for the Hills)
4. Emmitt-Nershi Band – New Country Blues (SCI Fidelity)
4. Euforquestra – Soup (self)
5. The Subdudes – Flower Petals (429 Records)
6. Gregory Alan Isakov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere (self)
7. Aakash Mittal Quartet – Videsh (self)
8. Ethyl & the Regulars – Fill ‘er Up With… (Sweet Crude)
8. Matt Morris – When Everything Breaks Open (Tennman Records)
9. Yonder Mountain String Band – The Show (Frog Pad)
10. The Informants – Crime Scene Queen (Wipe It Off!)
11. Kyle Hollingsworth – Then There’s Now (SCI Fidelity)
12. Boulder Acoustic Society – Punchline (Nine Mile Records)
13. Runaway Express – Howlin At the Moon (Raven Records)
14. Angie Stevens & the Beautiful Wreck – Queen of This Mess (Boss Koala)
14. Fred Hess – Hold On (Dazzle Records)
15. The Beautiful Loser Society – The Long Slow Decline (self)
16. Adam Bodine Trio – The Chauffer (self)
16. Hard Pressed – In A Different Time (self)
16. Hello Kavita – To A Loved One (self)
17. Loose Cannon Bluegrass – Loose Cannon Bluegrass (self)
18. Blue Canyon Boys – House Full of Sorrow (self)
18. Megan Burtt – It Ain’t Love (self)
18. Railbenders – Like A Wheel (Railbenders)
18. The Congress – The Congress (self)
18. Todd Adelman & the Love Handles – Todd Adelman & the Love Handles (Porch Lantern)
19. Chris Daniels & Bmaster – We’ll Meet Again (AmbianZ / Heartselling)
19. Reed Foehl – Once An Ocean (NeverFoehl)
19. Spring Creek – Way Up On a Mountain (Rebel)

KAFM (Grand Junction)
1. Head for the Hills – Head for the Hills
2. The Subdudes – Flower Petals
3. Loose Cannon Bluegrass – Loose Cannon Bluegrass
4. Ethyl & the Regulars – Fill ‘er up with…
4. Honey Don’t – Honey Don’t
4. The Beautiful Loser Society – The Long Slow Decline
5. Euforquestra – Soup
6. Emmitt-Nershi Band – New Country Blues
6. Hard Pressed – In a Different Time
7. String Cheese Incident – Trick or Treat

KCSU (Fort Collins)
1. Sour Boy, Bitter Girl – Songs about the Landscape or Songs about the Wolf Army
2. The Don’ts and Be Carefuls – Risk Assessment
3. John Common & Beautiful Flashes of Light – Beautiful Empty
4. Paean – Songs for Us to Sing
5. Dovekins – Dovekins

KDNK (Carbondale)
1. Ethyl & the Regulars – Fill ‘er Up With…
1. Honey Don’t – Honey Don’t
1. John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light – Beautiful Empty
1. Yonder Mountain String Band – The Show
2. Angie Stevens & the Beautiful Wreck – Queen of This Mess
2. Emmitt-Nershi Band – New Country Blues
2. Matt Morris – When Everything Breaks Open
2. Spring Creek – Way Up On a Mountain
3. A Melodic Daydream – A Little Weird
3. Ben Markley – Second Introduction

KGNU (Boulder)
1. Aakash Mittal Quartet – Videsh
2. Bad Weather California – Young Punks
2. Blue Canyon Boys – House Full of Sorrow
2. Gregory Alan Isakov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere
3. Dango Rose – Banjo Poems
3. Euforquestra – Soup
3. Fred Hess – Hold On
3. Kyle Hollingsworth – Then There’s Now
3. Lelah Simon – Third Week of April
3. Maree McRae – Urgency
3. Reed Foehl – Once an Ocean
3. Yonder Mountain String Band – The Show

KRCC (Colorado Springs)
1. Flashbulb Fires – Glory
2. Houses – Summer EP
2. Jen Korte & the Loss – Jen Korte & the Loss
2. John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light – Beautiful Empty
3. Blue Canyon Boys – House Full of Sorrow
3. Head for the Hills – Head for the Hills
3. Love.45 – Into the Ether
3. Tango Red Tapestry – The Window EP

KRFC (Fort Collins)
1. Runaway Express – Howlin At the Moon
2. The Subdudes – Flower Petals
3. Jon Common & Blinding Flashes of Light – Beautiful Empty
4. Barbara Ernst – April Child: Mistura Bela (Beautiful Mix)
4. Euforquestra – Soup
4. The Informants – Crime Scene Queen
5. Honey Don’t – Honey Don’t
5. Matt Morris – When Everything Breaks Open
5. Megan Burtt – It Ain’t Love
5. Other Side of Clearview – Sweet Release

KVNF (Paonia)
1. Otis Taylor – Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs
2. Honey Don’t – Honey Don’t
2. Rob Drabkin – On These Heavy Feet
3. Bill Frisell – The Best of Bill Frisell, Vol. 1: Folk Songs
3. The Subdudes – Live at the Rams Head
4. Emmitt-Nershi Band – New Country Blues
4. Fred Hess – Hold On
4. Gregory Alan Isakov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere
4. Kyle Hollingsworth – Then There’s Now
5. Los Rojos Calientes – Corazon

KUVO (Denver)
1. Fred Hess – Hold On
1. Lelah Simon – Third Week of April
2. Adam Bodine Trio – The Chauffer
2. Ricky Sweum – Pulling Your Own Strings
3. Aakash Mittal Quartet – Videsh
3. Erik Applegate – Red Skies
3. Keith Oxman – Doing All Right

The Colorado Sound
1. Matt Morris – When Everything Breaks Open
1. The Congress – The Congress
2. Runaway Express – Howlin At the Moon
3. Jon Common & Blinding Flashes of Light – Beautiful Empty
4. The Informants – Crime Scene Queen
4. Megan Burtt – It Ain’t Love
5. Head for the Hills – Head for the Hills
6. The Stone Project – An Art to Life
6. Coles Whalen – The Whistle Stop Road Record
6. Hello Kavita – To A Loved One