The 45-year-old Vincent – made famous by starring on NBC’s The Voice and in the first national tour of Rent – emerged onstage at Macky in a choker necklace, a black dress shirt, tight blue pants and black leather shoes Saturday night, leading the Boulder Phil and members of Windborne Music. The ensemble’s “Music of David Bowie” production was able to fill about three-fourths of Macky’s 2000 capacity, and those who snoozed on the event missed some incredible moments.
Austen Grafa plays bass in the Denver pop-punk band Bud Bronson & the Good Timers and has performed with Porlolo. He has also been making a name for himself in the Colorado alt-country realm the last few years as the frontman and singer-songwriter for Grayson County Burn Ban, which has built local love for its self-proclaimed “campfire country” sound. Now, the Texas-bred, Denver-based singer-songwriter is playing under his own name, too.
This Friday, Grafa will celebrate the release of his first solo record, do it while you can, which continues the simultaneously funny and thought-provoking Grayson County vibe in a more stripped-down fashion. Acoustic guitar and the supportive twang of electric lend flavor to do it while you can tracks like “Guilt Trip Blues,” which makes light of a notoriously touchy subject in a music scene: balancing the promotion of one’s own shows with making sure to support your friends.
“In these times, everyone is so sensitive. It’s so hard to call people out on things,” Grafa says. “No one wants to be criticized. Specifically, straight white men don’t want to be criticized. I see it as my responsibility to call attention to some of these things, and I think the best way to go about that is with a little bit of humor. If I just wrote a song that was like, ‘Hey, I’m sick and tired of people asking me to come to their shows, because I need people to come to my shows,’ no one wants to hear that. But if you say, ‘Hey, isn’t this kinda funny? We’re all sort of cogs in this bigger machine helping each other out,’ that message is a little more digestible and allows people to reflect on it.”
SHOW REVIEW: Joan Osborne Covers Dylan at the Caribou Room
by Adam Perry for Westword, 4/19/2019
Wednesday, the deeply respected Joan Osborne – who made it big with “What if God Was One of Us” in 1995 and later attracted the jamband crowd by touring with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead – played an intimate mid-week set at the Caribou Room, flanked by a keyboardist and guitarist.
Osborne is currently writing and recording a new record while promoting her 2017 album of Bob Dylan covers on the road. During her Caribou Room set, Osborne sang strong, sweet and true on heartbreaking Dylan love songs such as “Tangled Up In Blue” and “Buckets of Rain”; her mesmerizing delivery was quite a contrast from what David Bowie famously called Dylan’s “voice like sand and glue” in his immortal “Song for Bob Dylan.”
Photographer George Lange, known for his celebrity portraits, has been shooting photos since he was a seven-year-old kid growing up in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
Now 63 and living in Boulder with his wife and sons, he cherishes a photo of himself standing in the driveway of his childhood home, holding a camera. It reminds him of how he got his start.
“There was a chute where they used to keep the coal for the furnace before I was born,” he recalls. “It was kind of disgusting, because there was still coal on the walls, and I scrubbed all that off when I was in seventh or eighth grade and built a darkroom in there. I took pictures just because I liked how the paper felt in the chemicals — this heavy German paper.”
After graduating from high school and doing a brief stint at Ithaca College, Lange studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and then moved to New York, where he spent a year as an assistant to famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. By religiously knocking on office doors in the Condé Nast building in the early ’80s, Lange started freelancing for magazines while living in a $7-per-night YMCA room. That feverish work ethic helped him find success shooting for Entertainment, Esquire and other popular magazines.
The 10th-annual Trash the Runway (previously known as Recycled Runway) packed the Boulder Theater, and then some, on Tuesday night. Local teenagers – mostly, but not all, girls – spent months designing and constructing outfits from found and recycled materials, and the competitive, fun-loving atmosphere was part fashion show, part basketball game, part Beatles concert.
With short white hair, a dark button-down shirt, Chuck Taylors and a death stare that could rival that of legendary Oakland Athletics pitcher Dave Stewart, Louie Pérez — one of four founding members of the enduring L.A. band Los Lobos — cut a unique figure on stage at the Stanley Hotel on Saturday. Although Pérez only stands about as tall as Los Lobos singer/guitarist David Hidalgo’s shoulders, the smaller man (the band’s longtime drummer, but now mainly a jarana player, guitarist and songwriter) has always been the quiet but powerful force behind Los Lobos’ lyrics and ethos.
Author of a collection of poetry, songs and art called Good Morning, Aztlán (Tia Chucha Press) that’ll be released later this month, Pérez spoke with me before Los Lobos returned to the Stanley on Saturday about the band’s long history in Colorado, his reaction to the Trump presidency and the meaning of Aztlán.
SHOW REVIEW: Los Lobos at the Stanley Hotel
by Adam Perry for Westword
Last October, I had the honor of attending a traditional Mexican wedding in Querétaro, and one of its unforgettable peaks was an otherworldly performance by a local mariachi band. Saturday night at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, the legendary East Los Angeles group Los Lobos took me back to Querétaro, and Los Lobos’ jubilant 1970s roots as a busy young wedding band, with a soaring set of Latin folk music on traditional acoustic instruments.
Around 8:30 p.m., the four O.G. members of Los Lobos — who started making music together as teenagers 45 years ago — entered the Stanley’s concert hall and mesmerized the seated audience with an hour in which each musician took turns singing lead. “We’re going back to our roots tonight with some Mexican folk music,” the sun-glassed Cesar Rosas told the crowd — really the only time during the opening acoustic set that Los Lobos, with the pace of a Ramones show, took a breath between songs.