SOLD OUT ** Anxious Little Friends Fest Day 1
Off With Their Heads, Riverboat Gamblers, SPELLS, Dirty Few, BlackDots, Hooper, Modern Goon
7 S. Broadway
Denver, CO, 80209
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
Off With Their Heads
Est. in 2003
There was a point in time before everything fit into neat subgenres, a period when rock music and the nascent punk scene were still discovering their sound and anything seemed possible. Looking back it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when these two genres converged but if you had to sum it up sonically it would probably sound a lot like the Riverboat Gamblers’ latest album The Wolf You Feed.
The Riverboat Gamblers did all the pre-production for The Wolf You Feed with Ted Hutt (Flogging Molly, The Gaslight Anthem) in Los Angeles and then headed down to Dallas put these ten songs to tape with Grammy-Award winning engineer Stuart Sikes (The White Stripes, Cat Power). “There’s four writers in this band and we all instantly got on the same page as far as wanting this to be a darker record that still had lots of hooks,” frontman Mike Wiebe explains. “We really wanted to go for a grittier, less polished sound to get across the true spirit of these songs because that’s what we do live anyway.”
Wiebe adds that recording the record in Dallas meant that the band could step outside of their comfort zone and create an album without worrying about external distractions. “My other bands all have different writing processes and I think it’s cool to shake it up and have completely new musical experiences whether it’s with the Gamblers or anyone else,” he explains. “Doing [the album] in Dallas really forced us to creatively get outside of our box and when you do that the results aren’t always favorable but this time around things really seemed to come together in a way that was natural.”
Listeners just need to listen to the first fifteen seconds of the Hives-worthy opener “Good Veins” to see that the band—which also includes guitarists Fadi el-Assad and Ian MacDougall, bassist Rob Marchant and drummer Sam Keir—achieved their goal largely because they weren’t trying to make a record that fits into today’s musical landscape. “I got really interested in the time when punk rock and old rock n’ roll were all converging and there wasn’t really a term for it yet, like with the Dictators bleeding over into the weirder Iggy Pop stuff,” Wiebe explains. “It’s edgy and intense but it’s still catchy and people could dance to it if they wanted to.”
Despite the fact that The Wolf You Feed perfectly captures this often-forgotten era, there’s a remarkable amount of variance inherent in these songs. From the sweetly scathing anthem “Bite Your Tongue” to the piano-driven, Murder City Devils-esque death march of “Gallows Bird” and classic Alice Cooper-esque feel of “Loser Neck,” the album juxtaposes all of these influences into something that’s got its roots in the past yet still sounds remarkably relevant. Additionally the album features contributions from Mark Ryan (Marked Men, Mind Spiders) and Sean Kirkpatrick (The Paper Chase) each of whom help the band expand their sound even further.
Wiebe not only proves how versatile of a frontman he’s become on The Wolf You Feed—whether he’s belting out the soaring chorus to “Bite My Tongue” or singing like a ‘70s glam icon on “Heart Conditions”—but he also proves what an accomplished lyricist he is on songs like the heartbreaking “Comedians.” “I think there’s a really strong connection between comedians and musicians; they’re ripping their hearts out onstage for people who might not care at all so that was my love letter to how enamored I am with comics and what they do,” he explains. Trust us, when Wiebe croons, “At the end of the day it was really only you who wanted to laugh at me,” it’s impossible not to be moved by the sentiment.
Ultimately all of this relates back to the album’s title, The Wolf You Feed. “It’s kind of referring to an old Navajo saying that you’ve always got two wolves inside you and one is good and one is evil; you have to feed one and starve one and it’s up to you,” Wiebe explains, noting that the cover art represents the constant struggle between good and evil that each of us are forced to undertake each and every day. “Where do you want to go and do you want to deliver your energy to this black horrible thing or channel it into this process of trying something new that could change everything?”
The Riverboat Gamblers can’t make that decision for you, but with The Wolf You Feed they’ve created the perfect soundtrack for it.
SPELLS is a five-piece rock juggernaut from Denver, CO. They are vacation rock to be exact. They produce short
blasts of intense melody and driving rhythms that are custom made to entertain the band members athemselves and
serve as an excuse to go play shows in cities that have beaches nearby. If your city’s best offers include said beach
and a good breakfast joint, count them in. If the best your city can do is a punk house that smells like cat shit and a
Subway restaurant inside a gas station, they will pass.
SPELLS is signed to Snappy Little Numbers Quality Audio Recordings, which is now on the cusp of being a
household name the world over. Focused on excellence in music and packaging, SLN is dedicated to the fine art of
the analog format, especially vinyl (but maybe a cassette on occasion). Take Time/Slice Away”, their debut 7”, was a
runaway hit. “Double Cassingle” is the band’s follow up effort and contains four sure-fire hits that are guaranteed* to
distract you from the worst 10 minutes of your day and probably turn them into the best 10 minutes of your day.
*The band makes no guarantees but thinks this scenario is realistic considering their immense artistic vision and talent
Warm beers. Out-of-tune guitars. Cancelled shows. Broken mopeds. While lesser bands may have crumbled under the weight of such colossal rock & roll bummers, Dirty Few has not only weathered the storm, but emerged victorious, leading an entire army of Denver dive-bar diehards into a rad utopia where the babes are hot, the PBR flows like wine and a little barf is nothing more than a sure sign you’re having a good night.
Born in Nashville and raised in the same Louisiana swamp-country that brought us Red Lobster Cajun-fried shrimp, Bobby Boucher and 8-time National Monster Truck Meltdown champion Bone Crenshaw, twin brothers Seth and Spencer Stone moved to Denver in early 2010, bringing with them only the mopeds they rode in on and the few Twisted Teas they could carry. The boys soon hooked up with veteran bassist Justin Forrest and tambourine-slinging Cambodian sexpot Kim Phat, and in a torrential thunderstorm of exploding PBRs and RealTree-clad eagles, Dirty Few was born.
Since their 2012 debut release “Get Loose, Have Fun”, the garage-rock-&-roll juggernaut has played with pretty much every awesome band in the world, from Andrew W.K., Ty Segall, FIDLAR and Natural Child to Wavves, The Men, Broncho and blah, blah, blah. But in no way has the band had their fill of party. With their upcoming “Party or Don’t” LP to be released in February 2015 on Black in Bluhm Music, Dirty Few is more ready than ever to show up at your house party, beer-bong your mom, puke on your floor, and somehow leave you singing one of their ultra-catchy party anthems as you happily clean up the mess. - Brian Beer
When a baby’s born, I can’t help but think about the parents. Are they ready? Do they know what they’re getting into? Is that kid sorta fucked or sorta blessed? Same goes with bands where you already know their genealogy before the needle hits the groove. April Froschheuser was/is in Vena Cava. John was in The Achievement: two so-honest-it-aches bands that I’ve spent weeks-worth of spins listening to over the years. Black Dots sounds like a wise democracy that’s figured out its infrastructure before putting up flashing signage. Three principle songwriters. Two principle singers—vacillating between Florida ex-pat Wade and John—topically ranging from teenage depression-cutting to “the journey vs. the top of the mountain” headspace of an isolated band playing in Denver. In the background, on the blacktop in the distance, I hear Rumbleseat, Tim Version, long drives to find sympathetic souls, and small, semi-hidden tattoos being way more meaningful than sleeves of brightly-colored ink. Like little black dots. Worth seeking out. –Todd Taylor, Razorcake
Alternative to independent college punk, or at least I'm told.
Aaron, Dave, and Jose's post punk band from Denver, CO. Members of Glass Hits, Drunken Arrows, Mid-Century, O'er the Ramparts, Tired from Now On.