((( Don’t forget: each My5 title is a link. Click on, NoCo! )))
This month’s Colorado Sound Top 20 is favorite Colorado artists! Here are mine.
1. Tyto Alba – This ‘dream pop’ band from Denver named for a barn owl stopped me in my tracks at FoCoMX ’19. I knew the name but not the sound. Hypnotic!
2. Daniel Rodriguez – He spent more than a decade in Elephant Revival, so he’s got game. I’ve so enjoyed watching him take the spotlight with his beautifully-crafted lyrics and music. “Colorado” makes me feel like I’m driving from Wray to NoCo at sunset.
3. 12 Cents For Marvin – Bill Clinton was still in his 1st term when this NoCo outfit started raising the pulse of ska fans from their CSU dorm rooms. After a “Frank Sinatra retirement” they’ll celebrate their Silver Anniversary next year!
4. Dressy Bessy – I love it when a current band can capture music’s energy from the late 70s. That’s how I felt when I first heard “Lady Liberty”. It’s 2-minutes and 15 seconds of kick-in-the-pants aural adrenaline.
5. Petals Of Spain – It says something when you get a 7-time Grammy winner to produce your album and Frank Filipetti heard what CO fans have known for a dozen years. You gotta like a band who’s bio says “We play music for a living” too.
There are a lot of excellent music documentaries available on streaming services. My top 5 are:
1. The Two Killings Of Sam Cooke – This is part of Netflix’s ReMastered Series. It is hard not to be affected by this documentary that explores the awful circumstances around Sam Cooke’s death and how it affects his legacy.
2. Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World – This documentary highlights the role of Native Americans in music history and the role of traditional Native American chants and rhythms in rock.
3. The Miami Showband Massacre – Another documentary that’s part of Netflix’s ReMastered series. The Miami Showband were a hugely popular Irish band in the 1970s, who made a point to stay away from politics, and got caught up in the Troubles (the name given to three decades of Irish Sectarian violence) anyway, when their van was blown up coming back from a show in Northern Ireland.
4. The Future Is Unwritten – An extremely intimate and touching look at Joe Strummer after The Clash.
5. The Decline Of Western Civilization I – This is actually a multi-year, 3 part series, with II covering Metal and III covering homeless “gutter punks”. The first, filmed between 1979-80 and released in 1981, is the best in the series. It highlights the Los Angeles punk scene of the time and gives great insight into the scene with looks at X, Black Flag, and Germs among others.
1. BTO – Boston Typewriter Orchestra – Yes, it’s an orchestra made up of vintage typewriters. The ensemble, formed in 2004, plunks out tunes via their manual Gundkas, Olympia Werkes and Smith Coronas. Catch the percussive power via the link above!
2. Live Music in New Zealand – After 10 weeks in lockdown, coronavirus restrictions lifted in New Zealand, green lighting the live entertainment industry to come out of hibernation. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said the biggest venues will open with classical and contemporary music followed by dance, ballet, and opera.
3. Pandemic of Love – Shelly Tygielski just wanted to help her community, but she started a movement! It began with a simple Instagram post aimed at connecting those in all forms of need with those who want to help however they can. As of June 4, her grassroots program raised more than $13 million, helping 132,000 people.
4. Uncle Jimmy’s Baseball Stash – When James “Uncle Jimmy” Micioni passed away at age 97, a treasure trove of baseball memorabilia was found in his attic. Among the goodies are autographed cards from Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig as well as a1969 Topps Super Rookie Reggie Jackson card. The collection is expected to fetch several million dollars at auction.
5. Hall of Shame – All I can say is shame on the MLB. The players, managers, agents and the league using these unfortunate times to further their own agendas makes me rethink my love of “America’s Pastime”.
1.Random Sports on ESPN – Having burned through everything on Netflix and Prime, I turned on ESPN to see how they’re handling the absence of pro sports and was treated to the most random things. I found myself cheering on anonymous racers in the Cheese Roll in Great Britain. I grimaced in pain watching the shin kicking championships and felt guilty that I was enjoying stilt racing. I realized I had truly crossed a line when I was upset at the marble I chose only being runner-up in the downhill marble race.
2. Bettye Lavette: “Black Bird” – Covering the Beatles is always a gutsy move, but Bettye Lavette’s version is the perfect song during these challenging times. Her interpretation puts a whole new perspective on the song – especially now. Her is voice filled with pain, hope and an understanding of this world that comes from years of challenge.
3. Drive And Jive – Cabin Fever has hit us all pretty hard. One cure is Drive N Jive at the Holiday Twin Drive In, now through through Labor Day. It’s a chance to get out, see some music and blow off some steam all in a safe environment. There are two great bands performing every Tuesday night.
4. John Prine – “I Remember Everything” – I miss John Prine. Knowing that he is not in this world creating music makes me sad. So when his last recording was unveiled as part of a tribute concert, I was thrilled. The sense of nostalgia in the way Prine pays attention to the mundane and the grand in the lyrics feels prophetic. Rest in peace Mr. Prine. You will be missed.
5. The return of the Tour De France – Not all sports have gone away: the Tour De France is scheduled to start! There will be changes and alterations, but if all goes according to plan, the greatest bicycle race in the world will begin August 29 in Nice. If you have not followed the Tour in years past, the combination of natural beauty, history and some of the finest athletes in the world make it worth your time.