Jul 182012

Photo: Christopher Kuehl

Continuing our preview of Denver locals featured at this year’s Underground Music Showcase (which starts TOMORROW! WOOT!)…

Denver pop/rock songstress Rachel James has been quite busy lately. Since releasing some great new songs last fall (0ne of which made my top picks for 2011), Rachel has launched a new act called Rachel and the Kings, and is preparing to release a new album with the band this fall. Shortly after forming, Rachel and the Kings beat out 700 bands nationwide to win Ford’s 2nd Annual “Gimme the Gig” competition in Los Angeles, California. The prize: a $55,000 video shoot and a track recorded by legendary producer Don Was.


Rachel and the Kings will be sharing some of their new material with the Denver crowd at the UMS. You can catch them on the main stage (behind Goodwill) on Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. (Interestingly, the night before, the band will be featured on the Gimme the Gig special slated for broadcast on KTLA-TV in Los Angeles–but we UMS attendees get to see them live.)

Jul 182012

Photo: Adrian/photoroadies.com

As the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase approaches, I’m highlighting a few of my favorite local acts that I think you should come out and see.


I first profiled The Raven and the Writing Desk here in January 2011, and their overall sound and vibe has continued to evolve since then. Loosely falling into the category of “indie chamber pop”, their collective sound is actually quite diverse, blending classical and rock elements together into something that sounds much bigger than the band’s six members. Epic, cinematic, literary, the music itself seems to tell a story.


I’ve seen this band perform live several times, and my experience is that TRATWD’s sound is enhanced in an acoustically live environment. For that, they’ve been perfectly slotted at South Broadway Christian Church (where they played at last year’s UMS), for Friday, July 20 at 8:00 p.m. Trust me–hearing The Raven and the Writing Desk perform in this room is an experience. You won’t want to miss it.

Jul 152012

Next weekend, the Baker district of Denver will be flooded with thousands of music fans who have come to see over 350 indie acts perform on over a dozen stages over a 4-day period. The event? The Denver Post Underground Music Showcase, which happens July 19-22.

Hailed by many as Denver’s answer to SXSW, the UMS is the region’s largest summer indie music festival, a healthy blend of touring acts and plenty of great local talent. Among the out-of-town acts on this year’s lineup are Atlas Sound, The Melismatics, A Place To Bury Strangers, Desert Noises, Maudlin, Mrs. Magician and many others. As for the local acts, I’ve covered many of them on this here blog, and will be previewing several of them over the next several days.

If you’re an indie music fan, it’s worth the trip to Denver to come check out some of the best indie acts in the country. Perhaps the best part about the UMS is the price: four-day wristbands are only $40 ($50 on opening day). For all the info, check out the UMS website.