September 4th, 2022

Westword Music Showcase

Westword Music Showcase

September 9-10, 2022

Denver, CO

RiNo Art District & Mission Ballroom

Tickets available here

In 1995 Westword Weekly started the Westword Music Showcase. As it approaches 30 years, it has gone through changes. Originally staged in LoDo it moved to the Golden Triangle and now is in two Denver hotspots: RiNo Arts District & The Mission Ballroom. It has gone from a one day experience to 2 days. It has gone from July to September. This year’s showcase features over 60 acts, on 12 stages…a third of them women.

FEMMUSIC has covered Westword Music Showcase since 2015 in previews, features and galleries. Through Westword Music Showcase we have found many acts we would have never heard of: both local and national. This year, we are looking forward to:

Wet Leg –  Wet Leg released their debut album in 2021 and have skyrocketed ever since. Rhian Teasdale & Hester Chambers’ have seen their US tour need bigger venues.

Cannons –  Cannons’ released their 3rd album Fever Dream earlier this year. Michelle Joy leads this band that has a sound between lounge and indie rock. They are always a fun show. See our photos here.

Big Richard – This an all women, all acoustic band with Bonnie Sims, Joy Adams, Emma Rose, and Eve Panning. We first heard of them in the Spring at E-Town. They have a headlining show at the Gothic in October.

Bluebook – Julie Davis’ supergroup continues to amaze us. We last saw them open for Marissa Nadler. Whether as a 4 piece or a 3 piece, Bluebook is a sunshine haze of fun. See our live photos here.

Cleaner – This is new group with old friends from Muscle Beach, Fast Eddy, Dirty Few, Keef Duster and Colfax Speed Queen.

Same Cloth –  Same Cloth is a versatile group led by JoFoKe and Soloman J Chapman. They caught our attention with their long residency at Dazzle.

Sophie Gray – Gray is a new singer-songwriter with a lot of buzz.

We’re also looking forward to seeing old friends: Ramhakdandra, Bellhoss, Claire Heywood, Julian St. Nightmare, Kayla Marque, Neoma, Plasma Canvas & Pink Fuzz

Pay attention to Brighton Stage Saturday at 12:15 for the local band who won the opportunity to be on the big stage care of HUDL Music Presents.

 

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July 10th, 2022

UMS

22nd Annual: The Underground Music Showcase 2022

Denver, CO

July 29-31, 2022

Denver’s Underground Music Showcase (UMS) features over 150 acts from all over the nation. The festival, now in its 22nd year has a number of changes. We’re spotlighting 2 of them, and the artists involved here..

Youth On Record

Youth on Record was founded in 2008 with the mission to designs and implements strengths-based, music-centered programs intended to equip young people from historically under-resourced communities with the skills needed to find success in life by advancing their academic success, increasing their economic opportunities and career skills, and strengthening their community connections and networks. This year Youth on Record took a 49% interest in UMS. As part of that they’ve brought their own signature events to UMS including:

Impact Show July 30, 2022 – New to UMS this year, the Impact Show is part of a festival-wide focus on supporting mental wellness and the prevention of substance misuse among musicians and an anticipated 10,000 festival attendees. The inaugural show will feature the Seratones, A funk-soul-rock band from Louisiana that marries spirituality, protest, Black feminism, and Afrofuturism.

Youth on Record will also have Impact Days preceding UMS on July 27 & 28, 2022 from 12-6 MST at Youth on Record.

A two-day intensive hosted by Youth on Record and open to all musicians and artists participating in the UMS, Impact Days will serve as an industry-focused kick-off for the festival. Artists, music industry and community leaders will provide skill-sharing workshops, networking, professional development, and wellness coaching opportunities to local and emerging artists. Focused on artmaking, Impact, and Economic Opportunity, Impact Days are designed to build the foundation for institutional resources that will serve musicians, artists, and the creative industries for years to come.

Dozens of industry and arts leaders will host panels, workshops and coaching sessions; industry and arts leaders will be paid for their time. During the pilot year, the event is free to all participating artists. Between sessions, participants will be invited to participate in “care” practices including yoga, access to mental health resources, sober bars, and healthy foods.

Black FretBlack Fret is a nationwide membership organization with chapters in Austin, Seattle and now Colorado. Black Fret’s goal is to create a global network of connected communities, all supporting their local music economies. And in the process of creating this network, provide opportunities for our Black Fret bands to travel between cities, playing bigger gigs and being paid for shows they would not have had the opportunity to otherwise.

Recently Black Fret Colorado announced its 2022 Black Fret Awardees. The inaugural Black Fret Awardee artists were nominated by local industry experts and founding members in Colorado. They represent a broad spectrum of musical genres and reflect the depth of Colorado’s remarkable talent. They are:

Alysia Kraft*

Bevin Luna

Big Richard

Claire Heywood

iZCALLi*

Kayla Marque*

N3ptune*

Sickly Hecks

Veronica May

Zoe Berman*

*indicates playing 2022 UMS

 

 

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July 31st, 2021

UMS2

The Underground Music Showcase

August 27-29, 2021

Denver, CO

https://www.undergroundmusicshowcase.com/

For over 20 years this music festival has brought big names to Denver while also showcasing the local scene. This year over 170 artists will appear on 15 stages over 3 days. Last year the festival was a virtual 3 hour event. This year’s showcase includes Pinegrove, Remi Wolf, Shannon & The Clams, Sofia Valdes among its 13 headliners. Local acts include returning artists of Bellhoss, Slow Caves, Wildermiss, Izcalli and more. There are also new faces including Lnlygirl, The Grand Alliance, Deadluv and more.

“After 20 years of Underground Music Showcase, we were thrilled to be able to carry-on our tradition virtually last year by raising $75,000 for independent musicians” shares Casey Berry, owner of the festival. “With that said, we couldn’t be happier to be in-person for 2021 to not only support live music and local bands, but to support more than a dozen independent bars and restaurants on Broadway!”

UMS is working closely with city and state officials to make sure we rage safely in 2021. This might include reduced capacity (especially at indoor venues), and potentially limiting ticket sales to ensure proper distancing as required. UMS has every intent to become a good example of how to return to in-person, live music festivals in a safe and celebratory manner, and will be monitoring health directives in real time as the big weekend approaches.

 

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September 3rd, 2019

Bellhoss - Becky Hostetler

There are few local artists like bellhoss. bellhoss is Becky Hostetler, as well as her band. If you’ve haven’t been paying attention, she has slowly been getting on bigger and bigger bills. There was also her sold out EP release for Geraniums. bellhoss is gaining momentum for all the right reasons.

bellhoss’ music stands out. As a band it is filled with arrangements that fill the void between bedroom and rock. As a solo artist the songs have a vulnerability and raw emotion to them. The stagechat at a live show is honest, heartfelt with self-deprecation. All parts of the music hide nothing and invite the listener to share in the emotions.

bellhoss  has 2 completed projects. Her demos, and her recently released EP Geraniums. Geraniums features songs including “naked”, “lunch”, “weight”, “chasing”, “heart apart”, and “geraniums #1”, and “geraniums #2”

We were ecstatic to speak with Becky about the EP and her songwriitng. For info visit http://www.bellhoss.com/

FEMMUSIC:  What was the biggest challenge making the Geraniums album?

BH: Time was the biggest challenge! I have been incredibly lucky to have an amazing band full of talented people who were also very busy when we recorded, so the biggest challenge was working around everyone’s schedules.

FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest difference making Geraniums vs Meek Demos 17?

BH: Having a band was the biggest difference. The demos were my first foray into recording music at all, for posterity’s sake and to see what happens when I put any of my music out in the open for people to hear. The Geraniums EP is a more intentional process of releasing an album, with a band contributing to a much bigger sound.

FEMMUSIC:  I noticed the album was mixed and mastered by your band members. Was there any discussion of an outside producer? How was that process with the band? Were there any conflicts?

BH: For this first album, I really wanted to work with friends. Malena and Payden are both well-versed in audio engineering and are kind souls, so I knew it would go well with them. The songs are very personal for me so I did not feel ready to have a stranger’s opinion on how they should go, especially this time around. Overall, it was a very gentle process working with these friends, which is just what I needed to ease into the whole idea of recording.

Bellhoss

FEMMUSIC: Are you interested in being signed to a label. Why or why not?

BH: At this point, I am seeing where the wind blows and starting to brainstorm about what I want to do with the next album, but yes, I would love if a label was interested in signing bellhoss. Recording an album is a big investment, and having the financial and PR support from a label would be incredibly helpful. Also, I’ve been a music fan for much longer than I’ve been a musician in public, and being signed to a label is a dream I had before I ever thought I could do the music thing in reality.

FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?

BH: For most of my life I have used songwriting as a way to journal my thoughts and process my emotions, so the process takes different shapes for different songs. Sometimes it starts with a collection of words that I wrote processing something, often it starts with a series of chords and a melody and then adding words a bit at a time. I’m trying to come up with a more cohesive process now that this project is a thing, but that itself is a work in progress.

FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?

BH: Probably “Roman Candle” by Elliott Smith- it’s grungy-crunchy and so so sad, and it informed me on the ability to be quiet and angry and loud and sad all at the same time. Elliott Smith really made it okay in my mind to write through hard feelings, when in most other parts of my life I had to keep a smile on.

FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?

BH: Overall, I haven’t encountered any huge challenges. In fact, I’ve received more support than I ever expected, from all genders. I’m at a point where I think my gender is irrelevant to my experience as a musician.

FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?

BH: I love Pinegrove and their whole crowd, they have a friend who started a project called Jodi and I’d love to work and/or tour with Jodi or Pinegrove. They all seem to be very organic in their songwriting approach, with a mix of punky emotions and folky earthiness, which is exactly where I like to exist with my music.

FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?

BH: Denver has been incredibly friendly as a scene and community, and I’d love to see that in more places. I’ve been planning a tour, and have definitely found a lot of awesome people around the country who are incredibly friendly, especially in DIY scenes, but I definitely start to see competition in some places that I wish would heal a bit. In the last couple years when I finally had the guts to get on stage consistently, I realized there’s room for everyone; everyone wants to hear new music at some point and there’s a niche that anyone can fit into. I hope more people who feel competitive can see the space that is carved for them, without feeling threatened by other artists.

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June 15th, 2019

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May 21st, 2018
Mary Lattimore, Hannah Samano, Bellhoss at Lost Lake – Denver, CO
May 20, 2018
Photos by Veronica Lee
 
 

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