Photos: 2014 Underground Music Showcase

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Photos from Day 2 of the 2014 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase, July 25, 2014. To see the full photo gallery, click here.

Photos by UMS co-founder John Moore, now Senior Arts Journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Find more of his work at  MyDenverCenter.Org

The UMS is Denver’s premier indie festival, now in its 14th year. Yesterday, The Denver Post said, “The Undergound Music Showcase has become the juggernaut of indie music in the West.” While national acts like Blonde Redhead and Real Estate are  welcome, The UMS is a non-profit endeavor known  for its focus on local bands and for  benefiting the local community.  This year’s UMS will showcase 400 performances at more than 20 venues along South Broadway over four days.

The music continues Saturday and Sunday from noon through 2 a.m.. Single-day passes  still available for $35 per day. Go to TheUMS.Com, or buy a pass at the box office on the corner of Broadway and Archer Streets.

 

Photos: 2013 Underground Music Showcase: The UMS

To see caption information for any photo above, or to see the gallery if watching on a mobile phone, click here. (The information is posted on the lower-left corner of each photo.) Or just click the “show info” option on any photo.

By John Moore
July 21, 2013

Photos from the 2013 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase, a little party I started in 2001 that now offers more than 350 bands over four days on South Broadway. Photos by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org

 

To read our biased rant on the Comics Vs. Media Face-Off, click here.


Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper introduces one of his personal favorites to the UMS main stage: Sunday headliners Nathaniel Rateliff and Born in the Flood. Read more about it here.

 

Click here to subscribe to the CultureWest.org Monthly E-Newsletter

 

How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Video: Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper introduces Nathaniel Rateliff at the UMS

By John Moore
July 23, 2013

When he first became Denver’s mayor, I saw now Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sneak into the Lion’s Lair at midnight to catch a little bit of a John Doe set. He has introduced the Avett Brothers the past two years at Red Rocks. A few years ago, he introduced the Flobots before their headlining performance at the little music fest I started in 2001 — now a sprouting teenager called the Underground Music Showcase. The UMS just featured early 400 bands over four days along eight blocks of Broadway in the Baker neighborhood.

The UMS is now — and I did not know this until Mr. Hickenlooper said so on Sunday night — the second-largest live music conclave west of the Mississippi. I was already in hog heaven when Gordon Gano made an appearance playing violin — in a Violent Femmes cover band.

Hickenlooper was back at the 2013 UMS to introduce one of his personal favorites to the main stage: Nathaniel Rateliff, who is also the frontman for the final-day UMS headliners, Born in the Flood. Hickenlooper’s giddy enthusiasm for music, and the arts in general, are palpable. He sounded just like a kid when he boasted, “I will tell you right now that Nathaniel Rateliff is going to become one of the biggest musicians in this country.” … And the part of the clip where Hickenlooper theorizes on the possible origin of the name “Born in the Flood” is priceless.

The band lineup on Sunday was Rateliff, Joseph Pope, Nathan Meese and Patrick Meese.

(And thanks for the shout-outs to Ricardo Baca and me, UMS Event Director Kendall Smith!)

Here are just a few of the photos I took at the 2013 UMS. I still have two days worth to add — they will be updated by the end of the day.

 

Click here to subscribe to the CultureWest.org Monthly E-Newsletter

 

How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

UMS comedians on their hate/hate relationship with critics

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By John Moore
July 21, 2013

Easily the most aggravating hour of this or any other UMS was the (Not) “Funny Face-­Off: Comedians vs. the Media,” during which one contradictory comic lambasted the largely friendly media coverage comedians receive here. First he gave it to them for somehow destroying the life work, hopes and ambitions of apparently the most hypersensitive performers on the planet. And then, 5 minutes later, the same motormouth charred them for never writing anything negative.

This panel was all over the map, lacking even a basic understanding that the two remaining writers who actually write regularly on comedy — John Wenzel of the Denver Post and Josiah Hesse of Westword — primarily pen trend stories, celebratory profiles and advances, not reviews. (When is the last time you saw an actual, honest-to-goodness, critical review of a comic’s live performance in the newspaper?). But the conversation never strayed from these phantom “reviews.”

Despite moderator Joel Warner’s best efforts, comic and panelist Ben Roy came here looking for a fight. Even when one, among this group, was hardly warranted. Instead of a potential thoughtful dialogue on how technology and the dire financial condition of mainstream media are changing (for the worse) how both comics and the media must evolve and innovate new ways of getting the word out about comics, Roy called into question not only a critic’s right to write about comedy, but pretty much his right to exist on this planet. Not a particularly conducive (or original) approach for a panel discussion, especially at the UMS, which has welcomed comedians into the fold and woven them into the fabric of a music festival that’s all about love, not this kind of cliched, venomous chum.

But this forum was pretty much doomed from the start when former Bill Owens staffer (and Denver comic) Jodee Champion opened the conversation with a quote from her former boss calling critics “thumb-sucking, algae-eating, diarrhea-ridden bottom-feeders.” Oh yeah, Jodee? Well, among other political atrocities, your beloved ex-boss is the man who eliminated every single penny of state funding for the arts in Colorado, so, pretty much … F*** him.

And I’m pretty sure that Owens’ petty spite toward his critics has nothing to do with the two guys who write about comedy in Denver and bring publicity to struggling comedians like yourself, so your petty interjection brought no helpful relevance to the conversation. It just established that it was going to be icky. But it did serve as an effective reminder of one small reason why snide, mean-spirited Bill Owens was the worst governor in modern Colorado history — and it’s kind of delicious that it was his own moral hypocrisy that brought down his national political ambitions.

Full disclosure: I was a music and theater critic at The Denver Post for 12 years. And since no one else was standing up for the essential nobility of the profession yesterday, I am happy to do it here. As that pertains to comedians, very few ordinary readers even try to keep informed on who all the relevant, up-and-coming local comics are. I patron all of the arts in Colorado, which means that when I have a rare opportunity to seek out a stand-up comic in Denver, I don’t have an evening to waste. Journalists like John Wenzel and Josiah Hesse serve an essential function in steering consumers like myself toward rising comics in a helpful, curated way. If I see John Wenzel mention Phil Palisoul often enough in print, then I know Phil Palisoul is a guy I am going to want to check out when my schedule allows it. And when Phil Palisoul warrants that recommendation by delivering an insanely funny set, that makes it more likely that I will go out and spend my money seeing someone else. So journalists serve an essential function in the comedy ecology in Denver. Without them, you all would be just that much more screwed when it comes to getting yourself noticed.

So next time, ditch the faux antagonism and have a real and meaningful conversation instead. And leave all unfunny and irrelevant former governors out of it.

OK, good talk!

 

To see our gallery of photos from the 2013 UMS, click here.


Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper introduces one of his personal favorites to the UMS main stage: Sunday headliners Nathaniel Rateliff and Born in the Flood. Read more about it here.

 

Click here to subscribe to the CultureWest.org Monthly E-Newsletter

 

How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):