Blast N’ Scrap is Back on Track

May 17, 2022

Blast N’ Scrap has become the de facto community hub for underground music in Fort Collins, but the organization does far more than event production. Its projects include a 6-week theater program for school kids, weekly screen printing classes using sustainable and recycled materials and Band Blast Off, a music education program teaching professional skills to aspiring musicians ages 7 to 17.

The prolific volume of Blast N’ Scrap initiatives is due, in large part, to the scruffy 38-year old at the helm. Michael Gormley is bursting with ideas.

And though Blast N’ Scrap events now include established local bands, Gormley adamantly says they will always be there for local bands to play their first show.

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Son Lux Scores Everything and Frees Up Their Tomorrows

May 11, 2022

If André 3000 playing a Mayan double flute for your band’s movie score isn’t proof that the multiverse exists, we don’t know what is.

But it exists. And there’s so much more. André, Moses Sumney, Randy Newman, Mitski, and David Byrne are among the guest artists Son Lux acquired for what became a 49-track film score with more musical ideas than one universe can hold.

Son Lux (Ryan Lott, Ian Chang and Rafiq Bhatia) have been making music from their own universes for years. In 2019, they were contacted by film directing team Daniels to score their mind bending, multiverse movie ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once.’ It was a match made in multi-heaven.

Now on tour supporting their recent, triple album ‘Tomorrows I, II & III,’ Son Lux bring an organic approach to represent their cinematic, layered and dynamic music.

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Horse Feathers: The Endearing Nature of Justin Ringle’s Earnest Sound

May 5, 2022

Horse Feathers’ spin on traditional folk and Americana spans barn dance to backyard reverie, airy ballads to full-blooded country jigs.

Justin Ringle launched Horse Feathers shortly after moving to the Pacific Northwest at a time he says “all the cliches from Portlandia were being developed.” Rent was cheap and you just needed a shitty job to keep your creative aspirations afloat.  
  
“It was really less preposterous for me to try to become a professional musician than it was to get a job in graphic design at the time,” he said. Though dispelling any romantic notion, Ringle points out, “There was really high unemployment in Portland and it was just kind of tough going. Everything was really close to the bone.” 

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Goatwhore: With a Vengeance

May 4, 2022

Even with a name like Goatwhore, there’s room for subtlety.

Yes, there are Satanic overtones in Goatwhore’s lyrics — duh — and their music reflects it, with the kind of hardcore black metal crunch you’d expect in the drums, guitars and, of course, the vocals (also duh). But the last record’s lyrics come from a concept album, Vengeful Ascension, which portray Lucifer as an underdog slighted by a God who was equally oppressive.

L. Ben Falgoust II, the band’s singer (and keeper of one of the best metal monikers in history), uses historical references to color the themes, but Zack Simmons, the drummer, likes to apply the lyrics to real life.

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Cloud Catcher: Carry the Heavy Torch

May 3, 2022

Some kids grow up listening to Barney, Elmo or Little Einsteins. Rory Rummings listened to Dio, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. 
“My Dad raised me on the classics,” Rummings tells BandWagon, and you can hear it in Cloud Catcher, the Denver band he formed nine years ago. Rummings is the frontman and main songwriter, and he loves paying homage to the classic metal of the 1980s as well as the bands that started it all, such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. 
But Rummings insists that Cloud Catcher isn’t just another replica.

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Pink Fuzz: Blood Runs Deep

April 12, 2022

If you notice a particular sweetness in the vocal harmonies soaring above the sludgy riffs, ripping guitar and ruthless drums of Denver rock trio Pink Fuzz, you’re on to something. If you pick out stylistic parallels to another Denver trio The Velveteers, you’re getting even warmer.

The sound you hear in the voices of John and LuLu from Pink Fuzz is called blood harmony. That sounds pretty metal, which is appropriate, but it’s a term used to describe the unmatched accordance that happens when blood relatives sing together.

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Joshua Ray Walker: King Of The Honky-Tonk Misfits

April 8, 2022

Joshua Ray Walker’s role model for his hit “Sexy After Dark” was not Tim McGraw, Billy Ray Cyrus or Keith Urban. It was Conway Twitty.
Twitty, Walker said in a phone interview with BandWagon, was sort of a goofy guy who managed to sing some of the most romantic songs in country music. It’s not like Twitty belonged on the cast of Hee Haw, but he wasn’t Elvis. One of the intentions of “Sexy After Dark,” Walker said, was to pay a backhanded but lighthearted tribute to all the people like Twitty.

“There’s a history of country crooners who aren’t sexy – putting out sexy songs,” Walker said. “‘Slow Hand’ is one of my favorites. Twitty is so goofy-looking, but he sold it. He really sold it.”

The other intent, Walker said, was to poke fun at himself. He knows he’s also not Elvis.

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Corb Lund: Country Muse, Clean Water and Frontier Justice

March 11, 2022

Corb Lund is the son of a ranching family that goes back eight generations in Southern Alberta. If he can tell you something in three words, he won’t use 20. “Pretty country,” was all he needed to say in an interview with BandWagon to evoke the rolling sage brush on his family’s ancestral homestead. 

While Lund may be conversationally economical, he is lyrically verbose. Over the course of twelve full length LPs, he has become one of Amercana’s most beloved songwriters; lyrically and sonically a modern embodiment of life on the range.

Last May, the Alberta provincial government rescinded a 1976 ban on open-pit coal mining on the slopes of the Canadian Rockies which threatened to scar the landscape and taint the water of nearby communities.

“It pissed off everybody up here, not just the lefties — ranchers, hunters and the first nations people,” Lund said. “It affects the water I drink. This was too egregious to let go.”

Lund collaborated with other Canadian musicians to re-record his 2009 song “This Is My Prairie,” in protest. A few months later, the government backed down and even introduced new protections.

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