Saturday, April 2, 2011

Between Your Ears

Question of the day...What is playing on your MP3 player right now?  I currently have some Kings of Leon playing and I must say, Come Around Sundown is a spectacular display from these guys.  You should definitely check them out!

I wanna hear what you all have to say about the music you are listening to.  I need some help from my readers of what you want me to write about.  What do think is trending? What is driving you crazy?  Who will be the next to fall?

Rock n' Roll,


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Watts Up Bro?

Motet: n, [mōtĕt`]: an unaccompanied choral composition; to make you dance your ass off.

Lead by drummer Dave Watts and a long list of talent including: Joey Porter, Garrett Sayers, Gabe Mervine, Dominic Lalli, Matt Pitts, Dan Schwindt, Ryan Jalbert, Jans Ingber, Scott Messersmith and Paul McDaniel, The Motet has been funking up the Colorado music scene for over 10 years now.  With influences in Afro-beat, Jazz, Funk and Samba, these guys know how to make people move.   "Dance your ass off" is the rich sound and unique fusion of cadence that fuels the crowd from show to show, and these guys don't disappoint.  Driven by the energy of the audience, they weave your soul through a musical journey that leaves you wanting more.  The rhythm, the groove or the feeling, as some followers call it, is a roots driven force that was created in Colorado.

The Colorado music scene has had many faces including The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, DeVotchKa and The Fray, and yet The Motet finds a way to stay, perhaps, as one of Colorado's best kept secrets.  Cult-esque with their followers, The Motet has made their home in Boulder.  The diverseness and creativity of show selections sells out each club all over the front range and the mountains.  I had some time to chat with Dave Watts a while back, here is what he had to say.

ROCKINROLLA: Can you tell me about some of your influences growing up in your music career? 

WATTS: My first influences were from the rock side of music: John Bonham, Keith Moon, Ringo Starr and Peter Criss....  Then I got into jazz: Jack Dejohnette, art Blakely, Max Roach, Steve Gadd...  Then I got into old school funk: Fred and Maurice White, Clyde Stubblefield, Harvey Mason, Jerome Brailey, David Garibaldi... Then world music: Tony Allen, Jimmy Branley, Samuel Formell, Raul Pineda... Then contemorary R&B: Chris Dave, Quest Love, Terrien Gulley, Sonny Emory.... And now I listen to all of it!

ROCKINROLLA: Boulder, Denver and the mountains can be very diverse as far as music; hip hop, rock, punk, jam and blues, how do you stay in your own flavor? Where would you put yourself (genre)?

WATTS: I just do my own thing and let other people categorize me.  20 years ago what I do now with the motet (instrumental music)would have been called jazz, but people have become much more open minded about music without vocals so it has morphed into something else.  This is what I appreciate the most about modern electronic music.

ROCKINROLLA: You have been in the Colorado music scene for some time now, if you could say anything to aspiring musicians, what would it be?

WATTS: Buy a good laptop! With the right tools, we now live in a completely DIY world.

ROCKINROLLA: With all that is going on in Colorado, do you think it has found it's own sound, ie., Chicago blues, motown etc.?

WATTS: Not really.  I would say that Colorado musicians tend to migrate here from all over the country so the sound that is happening here is reflective of what is happening all over. 

ROCKINROLLA: Listening to "today's" pop music, Justin Bieber, Bionce, Lady Gaga etc., do  you think the right message is being put out there?

WATTS: I don't listen to pop music so I really don't know what their message is, although I am inclined to think it's pretty self centered.

ROCKINROLLA:What would you say is your message?   

WATTS: Our message is: "Listen to the music!"

ROCKINROLLA: I've seen you in a handful of music festivals, including Mile High, and you have played several others including, Jam Cruise, High Sierra Music Fest and recently Ned Fest, what would you say was your best and favorite experience and why?   

WATTS: Jam Cruise!!  After 4 days of playing continuously and working on about 7 hours of sleep total, I found myself standing behind my kit at 11am with a triple latte in one hand and a bloody mary in the other, getting ready to play outside on the upper deck while looking over the bow at the mountains of southern Cuba.  'Nuff said!

ROCKINROLLA: Looking back on your accomplishments, what stands out?   

WATTS: Having a kid.

ROCKINROLLA: Would you change  anything?


ROCKINROLLA: As you have many side projects, how much has that influenced the sound of The Motet over the years?

WATTS: All of it really.  The Motet is ever evolving, ever transitioning, always in motion music of the moment.  There are very few songs that we play that are more than a couple years old.  We have written/ recorded/performed over 200 songs in the last 10 years, but we still have a repertoire of less than 20. 

ROCKINROLLA: What's playing on your mp3 player right now?

WATTS: Big Gigantic

The Motet is currently on their spring tour. Don't hesitate, don't think about it.  Just get out there and "dance your ass off!"

4/16 MT. TABOR THEATER PORTLAND, OR (perf. the music of EWF)
4/23 FOX THEATRE BOLDER, CO (perf. the best of halloween)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby Music

Just got back from a long hiatus from writing and wanted to hear some comments from those who have a little one at home and can still get out to the shows.  The real question is, what is too young to take your kid?  Now having a young one myself who can't even hold her own head up yet, I want to get her grooving.  Of course taking a newborn to a show would be appalling, but what age is acceptable?  I would love to hear some stories of your child's first show.  Who did you see?  What are your kids listening to today?

Peace on you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Croweology Revealed

There is nothing better than a band doing a tribute to themselves, acoustically.  It's the raw sound and the heart of the songs that appeals to us all.  This album is anything but short.  It consists of 20 tracks and 2 bonus tracks ranging from everything from the early 1990's to the mid 2000's including a few classic covers the band has made there own.  Listening to this album makes you feel as if you are sitting on the couch with the band playing right next to you.  Luther's mandolin, Rich's soft touch and the distinct soulful voice of Chris on Girl From a Pawnshop is absolutely immaculate.  This album demands the respect of any musical ear whether it be country or blues, these guys have poured their heart out on this one. 

They can appeal to many audiences for sure, but it seems that they get the most criticism for not being as hard as they were in the 90's.  There is no doubt that the sound has changed over the years, but you wouldn't notice it in there live performances.  The edge is still there and the soul that fills the voids.  Croweology is feeding off the soul in this one.  When you listen to "My Morning Song," it's like sitting in on a Sunday morning choir with the neighborhood baptists. 

I for one would recommend this album to anyone, and I give it 7.5 out of 8 guitars.
I think, for the money, these guys will pay off and hopefully they keep touring after their hiatus.

By Dan Allen

P.S. All My Love

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Can There Ever Be A Perfect Playlist?

I was loading up the mp3 player with the perfect playlist, chalked full with everything from Anita Baker to Warren Zevon. I thought this was it. I finally have a playlist that will soothe the beasts at the workplace. It should have all the bases covered, yet by the second song, Neil Young has offended two people and I am ridiculed for putting one of the legends of rock & roll on the playlist. About an hour later I hear from someone in the back, “if I hear another Cake song, I will go postal.” Can there ever be a “perfect playlist?”

Why is it that people can’t get through a song these days? We all used to do it listening to the radio. Remember when MTV actually played videos and we would watch it all day just to catch the latest Bon Jovi video? We would put up with Cindy Lauper and Simple Minds and not think twice about changing the channel. Well, the luxury of having everything controlled in our life by the touch of a button has left us spoiled and rotten. Next, not in the mood for that one…next, that’s too slow…next, oh yeah I haven’t heard that one in a while…next. Before you know it, you are pushing the next button more than you are actually listening to the music. Maybe a heavy dose of music Adderall is what this world needs.

What would be on your perfect playlist??? Let me have it. I am in the search of the “perfect playlist” and I want your feedback. Post your songs in the comment section of this article.

By Dan Allen

Monday, August 23, 2010

Will The Music Of Today Survive The Mayans???

The end of the Mayan calender is approaching, December 21, 2012.  Do you have your water, canned goods and armaments stocked away?  The real question is NOT whether mankind will survive, but rather, will the music of today be destroyed?

Some may think that today's music is the best thing since the invention of instant messaging, while others believe there is some kind of conspiracy against good old fashion rock 'n roll.  I would fall into the latter of the two.  Other than a few true rockinrollas,  I am counting on Katy Perry to go down with the ashes.  With little than dozens of "one hit wonders" that are popping up on the scene every week, it's only a matter of time before Justin Bieber will hit the, Peter Brady voice crack, that ended Hanson, 'Lil Bow Wow and list of other young pop singers that fell into the shadow of music.

Can there be light shed on bands like Kings of Leon, or Wolfmother?  These guys are touring hard and are writing all of their own material.  There is something to be said about a song that has true meaning behind it.  You won't catch a true rockinrolla buying a song from the national archives, it comes from the heart and the experience of being on tour.  That's why rock 'n roll has survived all these years.

It's good to know that when the end of the Mayan calendar reaches it's final day, rock 'n roll will still be there to guide you away from the fireballs of the apocalypse.  You won't find Brittney Spears, or Lady Gaga slaying the zombies of the underground, and lord knows that Justin Bieber will be trying to find out how to log on to his Twitter account to tell his fans that he needs some electricity to blow dry his hair.

One Hell of a Run

It's been 20 years, minus a few years of turmoil, not speaking to each other, and changing some guitarist out for The Black Crowes.  There epic run began in 1990 when the Brothers of a Feather, Chris and Rich Robinson released their first single.  From that moment on, I became a fan. 

There sound has gone through many diverse tunings over the years, but so did the Stones and the Beatles.  That is why they have survived through the changing tides of music.  It's about being a chameleon.  It's about celebrating the sound  Lets face it, it's about not letting go of something that makes you feel good!  There sound, ounce per ounce, is worth its weight in gold, my friend and ff you haven't seen a show, this is your last time you will catch these guys for a while. 

This blog will help keep the flame burning, while the band is on hiatus.  I am counting on all of you to post stories, experiences and questions to fuel the anticipation of their return.  Please tell all about this blog by sharing a link on your website.

Peace Anyway,