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Friday, July 10, 2020

Neil Young & Promise Of The Real 7.9.15 (Photos)

Monday, July 6, 2020

Marc Rebillet at The Drive-in 6.22.20

The Holiday Twin Drive-in
Fort Collins, CO

Words, Photos & Video by Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

Shit’s been heavy all around; from the pandemic to politics there seems to be no respite for the weak-hearted and weary. Given the current state of affairs it is a time to be serious and it is most definitely a time for change. That being said after four months of quarantine we all need a release and Marc Rebillet’s socially distanced show at The Holiday Twin Drive Inn in Fort Collins was just that. A chance to blow off some steam before going back to the real work that is at hand in our various communities.

Cars began lining up at the gate around 6:00 PM and soon the traffic snarl snaked down the road as eager fans queued up for the “Cinema Experience” that was about to go down. Gates opened around 6:45 PM to ease the rush and early arrivers had their choice of spots. Masks were mandatory and people were encouraged to stay in or by their cars if not heading to the bathrooms or concessions. That didn’t stop some old friends from saying their hellos and others from completely isolating in their vehicles. It felt a bit surreal to be at a show where you could only mingle with your immediate group and smiles were obscured by masks on the way to grab a beer.

Logistically the event posed some issues mainly that Marc was set up in a green screened E-Z UP in the center of the venue. He was projected on both screens while performing in his compound. Meaning that some eager to get a glimpse would occasionally gather before security would disperse the clumps of people. Personally, I would have liked them to move his spot to a central but more isolated location to give people a place to look and also keep eager fans at bay. All that being said, this is a first for everyone involved and I commend Mr. Rebillet and his team for even attempting to pull off a live show during a pandemic let alone an entire tour. You can see from my photos that people respected space and generally followed the rules.

The setting sunlight gleamed off the silky robes of Rebillet devotees as people partied in their respective areas. Finally after much anticipation, at dusk the show began with what can only be described as three experimental short films. Specifically one was a POV torture film about being a piece of sushi and another featured animal orgies on Noah’s Ark, as well as a zombie apocalypse. Suddenly a drone could be heard overhead and a golf cart appeared in the distance. Marc gripped the roof with one hand and held a mic in the other as he proclaimed his love to the audience as the cart drove him around row by row.

After arriving at his aforementioned compound he got to business with a series of dance heavy loops that prompted us out of our camping chairs. He jumped the barricade early and was quickly flanked by security as he talked to a couple masked members of the crowd. One woman exclaimed “I love your penis,” which became a launching pad for another looped track. Marc’s own robe soon disappeared as he played on enthusiastically. He took a call from the crowd à la his Quaranstream tour which resulted in the suggestion of “Sensitive Nipples” for a song. Marc was happy to oblige despite the repeated objectification of his body as subject matter for the music. He’s not a piece of meat people he’s a damn human being! I digress. The surround sound effect of the music being pumped through all of the various car speakers made for a unique auditory experience as well.

At one point we looked up to see fireflies dancing above the crowd. I’ve lived in Colorado for almost 15 years and I’ve never seen lightening bugs in this state. It was like our own personal, albeit subtle fireworks display. Marc’s show relies heavily on crowd interactions so it was interesting to see him navigate this potential hazard utilizing security, his mic and most importantly his mask. His set was pretty short and the whole shebang had an 11:00 PM curfew. He ended the show by inviting a request for one of his previously played or recorded tunes. At that point he was approached by some enthusiastic twerkers who put on their own show for Marc. After a soulful rendition of “Work That Ass For Daddy” he closed with “Let Me In I’m Tryna Fuck” also by request.

Marc Rebillet is absolutely blowing up right now and the reason is that he embodies the freedom and at times utter silliness we all crave. Yes, it’s all wrapped up in a silky robe, pencil thin mustache and a sultry voice, but that’s all proof that Marc is not overthinking it. He’s having fun doing what he loves; playing live music. He’s bringing a lot of joy and not only that, he’s been doing some real good for his community. Marc recently marched in New York City and donated to various causes supporting Black Lives Matter. He’s part of the movement despite his label as a “comedy act.” It’s worth mentioning because we as a society need to make some serious change from the ground up. Until that happens these “good times” will just be a distraction.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery


Monday, June 29, 2020

Andrew McConathy & James Thomas 6.27.20

Doug & Lindsay's Backyard
Morrison, CO

Words & Photos by J. Picard
Video by Carly Picard

We walked down the street of a neighborhood in Morrison, CO adjacent to Red Rocks. The fabled venue and landmark where my wife and I met a decade prior and where we spend a lot of time each summer, could be seen in-between each house we passed by, with their backyards set up like a vista over looking the majestic landscape. Over my shoulder was our fully loaded backpack cooler that the party's hosts had gifted us for our wedding a long five years ago. I looked back at Carly who's smiling eyes were peaking over her mask just a couple of steps behind, carrying our two camping chairs for the day's backyard concert. It had been almost five months since we last enjoyed the sweet habitual sound of live music. The closer we got to Doug and Lindsay's house, the clearer we could hear the music of Widespread Panic, who was supposed to be in the midst of their weekend at Red Rocks, but instead was piping through the sound system in the backyard. We headed down the driveway with the epic views ever expanding and located a distant spray painted circle on the lawn, meant to keep people six feet apart. We set up our chairs, I opened a Daisy Cutter Pale ale, Carly opened a Truly and we were in full concert mode. It felt good to be back!

Surrounded by the foothills outside of Denver/Boulder, we soaked up the sun, consumed some cannabis and enjoyed a ripping second set from Widespread Panic, among about fifty WSP fans. We said hello to Doug, who had a full quarantine beard and was dancing his ass off! The evening's performers, Andrew McConathy and James Thomas, arrived, grabbed a beer and began to set up. It was fitting that our first concert following the pandemic would be with Andrew, who is one of our favorite Colorado musicians and folks. I first met Andrew about ten years back at YarmonyGrass, a music festival on the Colorado River that he created and promoted. We've attended Yarmony with friends and family most of the years since and have enjoyed his band, The Drunken Hearts, extensively. I've booked the Hearts several times and even put Andrew in touch with Doug to play his wedding. Doug and I have also hosted The Hearts, as well as members of, at Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies Pre-Game show that Doug produces. I guess the point I am trying to make is that the "roots run deep" and this was a very fitting return to music for all of us. Not to mention J.B. who I have worked with a handful of times and who lived next door to my cousin and his wife in Denver, was running sound.

We chatted with Doug's wife Lindsay, who was bouncing around the yard being an epic host. Just before Andrew and James began, we grabbed our chairs and cooler and headed up to the front where there were a few open circles on the lawn. The set began with Widespread Panic's "Porch Song" as folks danced blissfully and soaked in the experience. The original "Goes To Show" went into "Sakajawea’s Reel" and was followed up with another older Drunken Hearts original "Don't Go" before Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth." I looked over my shoulder to a full yard, comfortably and safely spaced, full of EZ-ups, blankets, chairs, coolers and familiarity and I smiled. Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is" was a fitting selection and sounded beautiful with James' piano work. Andrew featured a new original song, "I’ll Say it First" followed by "Prom Night" before going into the clear show highlight for me in the form of "Raleigh & Spencer," played in memory of Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band). In that moment I really began to reflect on the music community, but more specifically the Colorado music community and the depth of its nuances. The set was rounded out with another original, "Make It Out Ahead" and the Eddie Vedder cover, "Just Breathe," played in memory of Jude Wargo. After hearing a number of classic Hearts songs, it became clear that James was the pianist from the first Drunken Hearts album Live For Today, which holds a special place in my heart.

Hummingbirds buzzed over the outdoor "venue" as the duo saddled up for set two. They set started with one of the neighbors in white slacks and boat shoes singing an Eric Clapton cover. More entertaining than the cover itself was the man's cheesy cruise ship entertainer or MC vibe inclusive of crowd interaction and a number of jokes that fell very flat. The non-shtick was almost masterful. The duo forged ahead with Passenger's "Let Her Go," followed by one of my favorite Drunken Hearts' songs, "Dean Moriarty's Blues." I couldn't help but continuously glance off to my right to see Red Rocks towering in the distance, its Lower South lots completely empty. I had the realization that this would be the closest that we would get to a Red Rocks show this year and it was heartbreaking and strangely healing all at the same time. To my delight Andrew and James performed a couple of Lyle Lovett songs, "If I Had A Boat" and "LA County." Very fitting selections to round out the second set which concluded at 8:00 PM sharp with "Holes In My Shoes."

With our cups full, we packed up our setup and said our goodbyes. Walking uphill down the residential street felt eerily similar to our walk after a Red Rocks show. The air was sweet, the energy palpable and for a brief moment in time things felt normal. So much so, that we headed to our backyard in a far off corner of Denver for a campfire, some additional beverages and grateful reflection. Something that I continued to reflect on was the fact that here I was, a promoter and yet that day, I was getting my live music fix from music fans, creating a space for something that we all love so much. When the pandemic hit and the large companies, as well as, mid and small time promoters ceased operations; in many cases it was music fans themselves that picked up the reigns and made live music happen again...


Set One: Porch Song (Widespread Panic), Goes to Show > Sakajawea’s Reel, Don’t Go, For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield), The Way It Is (Bruce Hornsby), I’ll Say it First (new original), Prom Night > Raleigh & Spencer (traditional, played in memory of Jeff Austin), Make It Out Ahead, Just Breathe (Eddie Vedder, played in memory of Jude Wargo)

Set Two: Eric Clapton Cover (with neighbor Jonny on vocals), Let Her Go (Passenger), Dean’s Blues, If I Had a Boat (Lyle Lovett), LA County (Lyle Lovett), Holes in My Shoes

Monday, April 20, 2020

Getting The Scoop on Rose Room

Words by Derek Miles (Miles Photography)

Let’s talk about Rose Room. Never heard of them? Well that’s why we’re here. MusicMarauders is here with the scoop on a new duo project that is putting out some frighteningly fresh new music under the radar, yet soon to become ubiquitous. The music is a synthesis fused from the minds of Thomas Lafond and Dimitry Bolotnyy. You may know Lafond from Banshee Tree, a successful modern swing band in the area. Some elements of that music can be heard in Rose Room as well, yet leaning more heavily on the hip hop/R&B side of things.

Bolotnyy and Lafond have been making music together since their teenage years in New York. Eventually making their way out west, Lafond settled in Colorado and Bolotnyy was drawn to the Los Angeles area. After they had both spent time travelling between Colorado and California to record music, it became apparent what direction the music was taking. Both of them now reside up in the hills of Nederland, CO. Which is perhaps the environment that inspired the title of their newly released single “Look High Over the Mountain,” the second of two tracks they have put out thus far.

Upon listening to Rose Room, the sound strikes one as distinctively familiar to contemporary R&B/Hip Hop. We hear this especially with “Look High Over the Mountain." You begin to feel the music as autobiographical after knowing the background of these the musicians. There is a nomadic freedom captured by the lyricism and the mountainous imagery while also illustrating the pulse and grit of a big city (LA maybe?). The essence of the track comes out in the opening lyric of the song “Home is a language I never speak,” a sentiment that conveys a feeling of isolation while simultaneously being comfortable in any surroundings. Sparse percussion and lush keyboard sounds lend a wistful groove, decorated with synthesized embellishments and playful chimes.

Kyle VandeKerkoff is to be credited with a fantastic mixing/mastering job on these tracks. His reputation of artists he has worked with lines up appropriately with the sound here. You can feel the style come through in spades. Kendrick Lamar, SZA, & Dr.Dre are just a few names Kyle has worked with. The whole production comes off really clean and meticulously mixed. Hat’s off gents!

“Fighting Feeling” was the first single from Rose Room and takes on more of a soulful and slinky funk. Stuttering staccato guitar, Rhodes-like keyboards, and thick, punchy bass give the impression as if Vulfpeck could have been the backing band. Incredibly tight stuff, and it’s all Lafond and Bolotonyy here. The spanky groove of the song segues into a contrastingly tense but driving interlude which then releases a triumphantly joyous gospel return, “I know just what you need!” Enter church choir and soaring Leslie driven organ (the layering and versatility of Lafond’s vocals really come through here). And then with only about a minute left in the song, a melody that hooks like the best of ‘em comes and hits you when you least expect it, but wanted it most. That feeling is parallel to the sound of Rose Room overall and is a sign of fresh and genuinely impassioned music, where you didn’t even know you wanted it until you hear it. Rose Room has that “Fighting Feeling,” and it’s just what you need.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Album Review | Pearl Jam's Gigaton

Words by Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

Pearl Jam is back at it with their 11th studio album Gigaton. In conjunction with the release they announced a US and European tour that has subsequently been postponed after the full extent of the Covid-19 pandemic became clear. It seemed that Pearl Jam was ready to reignite their still burning fire in 2020 but alas fans will have to be content with the studio output for now. Gigaton is their first LP since 2013’s Lightning Bolt which was praised critically as Pearl Jam’s triumphant return to the sound that made them a household name in the first place. Gigaton continues with the heavier, in-your-face tone that fans have come to know and love since the early days. The foreboding Paul Nicklen photograph of the melting polar ice caps which graces the cover and acts as the first indication that these songs are about more than shaking of the shackles of fame. In fact the term gigaton is a unit of measurement equal to a billion tons and it is how scientists are measuring the amount of water being expelled from the poles currently.

The ethereal tone introducing “Who Ever Said” gives a false sense of wonder before the listener is slapped in the face with Vedder’s vocals backed by his stalwart brothers in Pearl Jam. Rolling Stones writer Kory Grow called it “Grown up grunge” and I think that fits. We’re onto the next phase and Pearl Jam is celebrating all that that made them who they are musically. “Super Blood Wolf Moon” one of the early singles off the album features some incredibly satisfying riff-heavy jams and a pop sensibility that seems to be ever-present in Pearl Jam’s songs. “Dance of the Clairvoyants” another single, again reminds us that bigger things are at play currently here on Planet Earth. “Quick Escape” is some sort of globetrotting post-apocalyptic shred-fest that attacks the senses.

“Alright” is the break this album needs after the onslaught of the first few songs, but this isn’t a throwaway track. It’s perhaps the most poignant and shows a wisdom and self-reflection that was not as obvious in previous releases. “Seven O’Clock” is a wordy mouthful for Vedder and is one of the flattest on the album. “Never Destination” steers the ship back on course with it’s straight forward-rock tone and amazing execution from guitarist Mike McCready. Drummer Matt Cameron penned “The Long Way” and this song is heavy on the rhythm. Gigaton shifted gears with the Stone Gossard penned “Buckle Up” which takes on a bouncy almost playful quality.

“Comes Then Goes” is perhaps my favorite song on the entire album. It shakes away the need to be heavy for the sake of authenticity and the lyrics reek of maturity. Sonically the transition to “Retrograde” is masterful. This song takes a god’s eye view on the planet and delivers us a stark warning. Even the term retrograde means “moving backward.” The album closes with the haunting “River Cross” featuring a Victorian pump organ recorded during a session in 2015.

The rock-centered side A juxtaposed against the slower more lyric-driven Side B gave many critics their only complaint. Gigaton is a bit uneven, but overall it’s an amazing snapshot of a band embracing who they are and writing songs that carry meaning to their aging fanbase. Bands either flare up and burn out or they find true satisfaction in the sounds that made them popular. After a relatively long hiatus from the studio Pearl Jam has made a triumphant return and a stellar record. They continue to be the torchbearers of true rock and in these crazy times they are a voice of reason. You can stream Gigaton wherever you listen to music and I highly recommend giving it a listen. It may be some time before they can get back to do doing what they do best, playing live.


Friday, March 13, 2020

Spafford 3.11.20 (Photos)

Steamboat Springs, CO

Photos by Jason Myers (Memorandum Media)

View Jason's Full Photo Gallery Here!


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Fruition & Katie Toupin 3.7.20 (Photos)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Spafford 3.7.20 (Photos)

10 Mile Music Hall
Frisco, CO

Photos by Jason Myers (Memorandum Media)

View Jason's Full Photo Gallery Here!


Monday, March 9, 2020

Best Coast & Mannequin Pussy 3.7.20 (Photos)

Friday, March 6, 2020

Bob Weir and Wolf Bros 3.4.20 (Photos)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Ghost Light 2.29.20 (Photos)

The Ogden Theatre
Denver, CO

Photos by Derek Miles (Miles Photography)

View Derek's Full Photo Gallery Here!