24 Jul, 2014

10 artists we want you to see at The UMS 2014

The Underground Music Showcase (UMS) starts today, and with hundreds of indie artists it will be easy to miss your favorites. Us managers put our musical and slightly unhinged minds together to create a list of 11 artists we think you definitely need to see.

themen1. The Men

This punky, garage-rock band has been gracing us with their hardcore hammerings since they formed in 2008 out of good-ol Brooklyn. They’ve released 5 rock n’ roll studio albums, but their EP Campfire Songs- recorded around (yes) a campfire during their work on New Moon, shows their softer side. We like them because they embody everything that is independent music: they aren’t trying to impress anybody, they make music because it’s what they love to do, that’s it.

See them Sunday at 6:30pm at the Main Stage at SSFCU.

2. Bollywood Life

When he’s not doubling as bass player for the heroic pop-quartet StaG, Anton Krueger fronts his own disorienting, electronic boogie project, Bollywood Life. Taking strands of everything from vaporwave to calypso to big-beat hip-hop and churning it into a warped celebration of dance music, Bollywood Life is a total blast live. It doesn’t hurt that Krueger stays committed to creating a high-energy live prescence, manning duo percussion pads rather than being content with button pushing.

See him on Sunday at Sputnik at 8pm.

copcirlces3. Cop Circles 

We love locals! And Aurora-man Luke Leavitt does it all in this one-man band called Cop Circles. Westword describes his music as “a funky but quirky party vibe with his keytar and playfully askew singing. He then escalates the energy, his gestures becoming more animated, until he can seem like a rampaging maniac. He will charge into the crowd on all fours, sometimes discarding his keytar, sometimes not. He looks like a man possessed, the veins in his neck bulging out, and there is no doubting his intensity and sincerity.”

Find this funky, quirky, bundle of party on Saturday at 10pm at the Eslinger Gallery. 

4. Shady Elders 

Another local band that we’re so excited to see at this year’s UMS. Shady Elders has a breezy, dream pop sound similar to that of Real Estate, but with a female vocalist. Their EP No Favors was released in 2013 but holds a timeless sound, perfect for road trips through the Rockies and summertime hammock breaks.

5. Colfax Speed Queen        

Named for Denver’s historic Colfax Avenue, these Coloradans sure know how to rock. They’ve got a sound like “The Beach Boys’ grandsons drank some Kool-Aid laced with LSD, pounded a few beers, and experimented with their granddad’s instruments.” Three of them grew up in the suburbs between Boulder and Denver, so you’ve probably brushed past one of them at a supermarket, cursed at them during rush hour on Highway 36, or- most likely- heard them on Radio 1190.

See them Friday at 10pm in 3 Kings Tavern.

inthewhale6. In The Whale 

These guys are from Greeley, Colorado, but they don’t stink. Holy Underground describes their sound as “dirty and aggressive, yet surprisingly light-hearted (think Eagles of Death Metal meets TheWhite Stripes).” They’ve been on the scene since 2011 when they sold out the Hi-Dive for their EP Cake‘s release show, and they show great promise. Basically they won’t be local for long, folks, so see them at small venues like these every chance you get! 

Find In The Whale at the Hi-Dive on Thursday, 11:59pm.

nedgarthe7. Ned Garthe Explosion

“We play rock and roll, we get out of control.” These guys are out there, but this weekend they’ll be right here- in Denver. The video of their first-released single Munch off of their newest album ‘Teenage Acid Party’ is super freaky and weird, and you’ve probably never seen as much shrimp shenanigans in a video before. Just watch the video, then you’ll understand.

Catch them Sunday at 4pm at 3 Kings Tavern.

8. Patrick Dethlefs

A nice break from the hardcore rock n roll scene, Patrick Dethlefs’ (pronounced DET-lefs) music “offers folk Americana with effortless sincerity at a time when many acts strive purposefully to revive the stripped-down feel of a musical history long past.” From Kittredge, Colorado, Dethlefs’ song Another Colorado Song is an example of his beautiful lyricism and love for the state we call home. You’ll hear his draping melodies fall over the rolling mountains into the West, farther than we could ever see.

See him Friday at 8pm at South Broadway Christian Church, you won’t want to miss it.

9. Real Estate

We saw them give a beautiful performance at Bonnaroo, and now they’re here in Colorado. Real Estate’s breezy, beachy sound translates into any language and satisfies even the toughest pallets. Basically, they’re great at what they do. Atlas, their latest album, received an 8.8/10 rating from Pitchfork where it’s described as their most forlorn and beautiful album yet. Watch them perform the album in full below:

Find Real Estate on Saturday at 8:30pm on the Main Stage at SSFCU.

10. Varletvarlet

Varlet blends intricate psychedelic rock with experimental folk, indie, and jazz. Their EP, The Drifter, secured the band’s place in Denver music as one of the city’s most watched up-and-comers. This five-piece Denver band has caught the attention of Westword and The Huffington Post, describing them as having a “hauntingly beautiful” sound and “masterful musicianship.” Their music has a unique and captivating sound, which makes for an exciting and undeniably memorable performance.

See Varlet on Thursday at 11:59pm at the Irish Rover.



  1. July 25, 2014

    Shameless plug. I personally think Strange Americans are one to watch this year at UMS. They’re on the heals of a new release and bound to play some brand new songs.

  2. August 15, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about people visit.


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