Glowing House - 'When The World Stands You Up' from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

Glowing House, is about to set off on their 'Middle America' tour with Chicago's Exit Ghost, kicking everything off with a show tonight in Denver at Unit E before wrapping up in Chicago on September 9th. Denver's indie-folk darlings Glowing House just released their sophomore album Days Run Out this summer, and now they are set to hit the road to share their music. We're sharing a song you may not have heard if you haven't caught Glowing House live yet - a song that debuted about the same time as their new album but hasn't yet been released. This video was recorded at the first live performance of this song at Mile High Spirits in June.

"When The World Stands You Up" is a short and sweet piece that is loaded with Glowing House's characteristic lyrical attention to detail. The song is built around the idea of an elder passing on advice, with the poignant chorus, "Never write in stone, you'll leave nowhere to go. You'll find what you're made of when the world stands you up."

Glowing House's tour kickoff show begins at 9PM tonight at Unit E with Exit Ghost and special guest Anthony Ruptak. The show is all ages and tickets are just $5. Or you can catch them on the rest of their tour at these dates and locations:

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On Saturday, September 1st, a new music collective called Holy Underground will be celebrating its launch with a party at Larimer Lounge. What is Holy Underground? In their own words:

"Holy Underground is a multi-faceted music company that takes pride in operating with a collective mentality. We represent a variety of independent artists who we feel are putting out the best music Denver has to offer, and who have a conscious commitment to pushing the boundaries of our scene. We offer these artists services such as booking, management and publicity, in addition to running a record label HUG Records on the side. Our goal is to get our bands the local and national attention they deserve, and offer a lifeline for our artists to reach their full potential inside and outside our beloved Denver island."

So what does all that mean? It means that Holy Underground is committed to enriching and bringing more attention to the vibrant Denver music scene. Holy Underground is launching with a stable of ten strong local acts that cover a range of music styles: Achille Lauro, Cerulean, Flashlights, Force Publique, Hollagramz, LUST, ManCub, Mombi, Sauna and School Knights. Their goal is to allow these and other future local acts to break outside of the Denver market and garner national attention while allowing them to maintain Denver as a base, in turn making Denver more important to the overall national music scene.

It also means that this Saturday night is shaping up to be a great party, as Holy Underground will be showcasing the electro side of their lineup with ManCub, Force Publique, Cerulean and Flashlights. Steffi Graf from L.A. will keep the party going with a late night DJ set, and DJ Babyshoe will keep the party going in between sets. CRAP Eyewear will have sunglasses on hand to give away as well. Come out and celebrate and be a part of Holy Underground's mission to further the Denver music scene!

The Holy Underground Launch Party is at Larimer Lounge on Saturday, September 1st. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. The show is 21+ and the doors open at 8:00PM. Tickets and more information are available online here.
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The focus of our Local Shakedown series is to provide a documentary-style behind-the-scenes look at various band's experiences on the radio show, but this often means we don't show the whole on-air performance in those particular videos. From time to time, Concerted Effort will be digging back into our archives to share some of the previously unreleased performance footage in the form of the live performance music video series Local Shakedown Extra.

Local Shakedown Extra: Young Pharaohs - "White Shadows" from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

This video features unreleased footage from Young Pharaohs' on-air performance back in June 29. If you caught the Local Shakedown documentary, the band spoke of performing three songs, which you can hear in its entirety via the Local Shakedown blog. This video features the on-air version of "White Shadows", a song that comes from Young Pharaohs' album by the same name available here. Check back soon for more Local Shakedown episodes (Hindershot is up next), and more unreleased footage from Local Shakedown Extra.

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FaceMan is a Denver band that performs with props and an element of mystery.  Presentation: how does it really measure against the substance?  I don't know.  However it seems that FaceMan is prepared to show you substance, too.  David Thomas Bailey is known to play the 7-string guitar, and along with drummer Dean Hirschfield the two are accomplished jazz musicians whose musical talents extend into another band called Micro Marauder.  The vocalists' identity is often concealed, and he is known to some as FaceMan Steve.

"TalkTalkTalk" has strong guitars and vocals, relying more on the refrain to really carry the song.  The tempo picks up, stays steady, goes away completely and comes back, eschewing a conventional rhythm without really denying its conventions.  Towards the end of the song, a digital breakdown, mixes things up a little.  For the most part,  the song is catchy enough so you will get the main repeated line stuck in your head:  "I can't sleep / It's my curse / Talk talk talk."  Willowy background vocals weave in and out similarly to the changing tempo; its patterns are really what makes this song enjoyable and fun.

This may be a song you'd like if you are into music that is pop at heart but bends towards experimental.  The earnestness of the vocals, even though there are only a few lines of lyrics used in this song, are a clear indication towards the self-reflective substance of FaceMan's music; even with the sparse words of this track in particular, thoughtfulness is still represented.  When a feeling and a reality can be conveyed in less words, I think that shows a mastery of the songwriting form, similarly to poetry or short fiction.  Keep your eyes out for more new material from this band on their Bandcamp page. This song is a taste of their yet-to-be-released, full-length album that'll be out next February.

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We are getting close to that time of year known as the end of summer.  It seemed endless and infinite for a while there, but it does indeed have an expiration date.  Summer's demise can be a bit dubious; summer is more officially over when the fall equinox occurs on September 22, or one could say Labor Day weekend is the symbolic end, and maybe others would contend that the first day of school is really the nail in summer's coffin.  I think all of those are acceptable answers, not that I really want to dwell on the end of our sunny season.  What also occurs to me as being a sign that summer has ended, is the prevalence of contagious diseases that really come into their own when all the kids are back in school and as we get closer to cold winter months.  For a group whose songs refer to more diabolical endings, death by disease isn't so pertinent to what Murder By Death offer their fans, but it is pertinent to what I experienced this weekend while I was slow to get out this review.  For that I apologize, and would just like to say I'm officially ready for the fall.  Germ-y children everywhere are welcome to find me, and knock on wood, do their worst as I am certain my immune system must be somewhat fortified after whatever it was that I survived and am still surviving.

But back to the heart of the matter here:  Murder By Death played back-to-back nights at the Bluebird Theater last week as they began the first leg of what will be mostly a fall tour.  So, in a way, what I'm trying to pull together in this allusion to death is a general feeling that the fall season is being summoned in different ways, some of them more pleasant than others, and what better way to begin the fall with new music, and friends and some boot-stompin' good times.  Boot-stompin' not only for the bluesy, alt-country music of all three bands performing last Thursday but also due to the prevalence of boots on the stage.  Lots of boots.  And they were mostly of stompin' variety.  See pictures from the night conveniently on our Facebook page (boots not so much included).

The 4 On the Floor is a band from Minneapolis, MN whose band name might refer to the four band members incorporated, or the four kick-drums they all have set up as part of their stage ensemble, or to the rhythm pattern also known as 4/4 time; most likely the answer is "D. All of the Above".  Very energetic with a raw, bluesy sound that came from the guitar virtuosity of both vocalist Gabriel Douglas and guitarist James Gould.  They played a great cover of "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" by Sir Paul McCartney, and offered many great guitar solos and facial expressions.  They also invited the audience to play bloody knuckles with them after the show.  And that's how you get a party started.

Ha Ha Tonka was back in town after just being in Denver this past June with Langhorne Slim, now on tour with labelmates Murder By Death.  I saw them with Springfield-mates, Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin, at the Hi-Dive back in November and they seem to be further perfecting their style of a capella, toe-tappin', indie hoedown music that I had seen for the first time not too long ago.  And I say hoedown only using the utmost respect for the term; the sharp skills both vocally and instrumentally of Ha Ha Tonka would make good use of the intricate fiddle solos and line dancing associated with hoedowns and will admit both are far above my skills to ever attempt.  On songs such as "St. Nick on the Fourth in a Fervor" you would hear an excellent example of the style of loud, choral singing during instrument breaks that this band performs so well.  Then things take a turn for indie hoedown again when vocalist Brian Roberts urges the crowd with the heartland credo: "Everybody say hell yeah!"

For their last number, "12-inch Three-Speed Oscillating Fan," the group invited Scott Brackett on stage from Murder By Death.  The multi-instrumentalist was in charge of the keyboards, accordion, trumpet, mandolin and theremin that evening and it was nice to see him introduced early to shred a little with Ha Ha Tonka.  The song in particular gives the group a chance to really show it's form; it's actually a cover song from another band from Springfield called Big Smith.

Murder By Death was playing an excellent mix of new and old songs, and had mentioned to the crowd that they were making some choice selections so as not to disappoint any fans making it by the Bluebird for both nights of their Denver performances.  They started off the evening with "The Devil in Mexico" with a great audience reaction, and soon transitioned into crowd-pleasers like "I'm Comin' Home" and "Foxglove."  This band is about a decade old, and most likely have had many fall tours under their belt to date.  I always wonder what it is that keeps a band going, keeps them excited and inspired to play the same music night after night, year after year.  Is it the subtle variations that skilled musicians can improvise to their tried-and-true tunes on a whim?  Is it the thrill of getting to play the new material that no one has heard before, mixed in with the old stuff?  I mean, orchestra musicians probably play the same songs their entire lives; maybe as a professional, you constantly seek to make each next performance more perfect than the last.  The band that embraces the macabre should know best that when you have resigned yourself to accepting the routine existence of repetition without meaning, then you have truly embraced death.  Murder By Death look every bit alive when they're playing to a crowded house, even ten years later.

Murder By Death have a new album coming out in September titled Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon.  As the album title might suggest, the band is sticking to their whiskey-stained style of music.  And true to form, the song matter is still brooding and murderous as singer Adam Turla noted while introducing one new song:  "This [new song] is about a lover who died drowned in the river and is trying to take [their other half] down too from beyond the grave.  We're Murder By Death and we're from southern Indiana."  The group deserves a toast for their overly successful Kickstarter campaign and if you pre-order their album, you get a special edition paper lantern.  I really love the creative spirit this band has, and it's very exciting to see them off on what will surely be a great fall tour!

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The fourth day of the Underground Music Showcase meant that the festivities would come to a close, but not  until after one last string of great performances. We were able to catch images from eleven more acts that performed on the last day, including: Allout Helter, Atlas Sound, Esme Patterson, Ian Cooke Band, M & The Gems, The Marrow, Paper Bird, Rachel & The Kings, Rubedo, Shaky Molars, and Wheelchair Sports Camp.

This video features the song "Shrine" by M & The Gems available online with other music to stream, buy and download at their Bandcamp page.

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The third day of the Underground Music Showcase was packed with well over a hundred performances throughout the day. We caught as much as we could, capturing images from 17 different acts including: Air Dubai, A Place To Bury Strangers, BLKHRTS, Class Actress, DJ Tower, Flashlights, Gauntlet Hair, Kissing Party, Montbello Drum Line, Panal S.A. de C.V., option4, Pink Hawks, Shabazz Palaces, Slow Magic, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Soundboy Punishment, and TREES.

This video features the song "Alpenglow" by Panal S.A. de C.V. available online with other music to stream, buy and download at their Bandcamp page. Check back soon for the video of the last day of UMS.

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The second day of the 2012 Underground Music Showcase crammed even more great music into another fun-filled night. With the festivities beginning earlier and the main stage open, day two definitely made it known that the festival was in full swing. There were plenty of highlights that happened this day - check out images from these performers: A Shoreline Dream, Big Freedia & The Divas, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Force Publique, Il Cattivo, Le Divorce, ManCub, Men In Burka, Narky Stares/Teena Pizza, Peter Black, and Signal Path.

Underground Music Showcase 2012 Day 2 from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

This video features the song "Summer Rain" by ManCub available online with other music to stream, buy and download at their Bandcamp page. Check back soon for videos of the remaining days of UMS.

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Murder By Death are coming through Denver for a two-night stint at the Bluebird Theater.  The Bloomington, IN group were here last year when they played a sold-out show at the Bluebird, hence the extra night this go-round, and were Main Stage guests during the 2011 Westword Music Showcase; it may be safe to say they have a dedicated following here in Denver.  The band's new record label as of this past June, Bloodshot Records, announced that their sixth full-length album, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, would be available September 25.  To help fund their vinyl release of the newest album, the band took to Kickstarter and just yesterday were named the site's third highest-funded music project ever.  Very exciting news for this band, and exciting news in general for all of the artists out there who are looking for ways to more directly connect their work with their fans.  Denver hip hop artist Sole told Concerted Effort about his Kickstarter plans a few months back and it looks like he also successfully raised enough money to release his next album on his own.

It will be great to see some new music from this seasoned group, and I'm also looking forward to their addition of Scott Brackett, formerly of Okkervil River, whom has been performing with the band for a while now but I just haven't been able to witness it first hand.

Also playing tonight will be label-mates Ha Ha Tonka, who bring an alt-country sound to the stage befitting the headliners.  I saw them play at the Hi-Dive last year and it was a great performance; perhaps with a bigger venue, we will get to see a few new tricks from these Missouri boys.

Tonight's show is at 8 PM, and doors open at 7 PM.  Ages 16 and up are welcome, and more details about the event can be found on the Bluebird's website linked here.
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It's been a long time coming, but the wait is over: To The Night, the debut official release from Denver DJ and producer option4 is available starting today. About three years ago, option4 was slated to release an album, but an unfortunate incident robbed him of all his hard work. Understandably devastated, option4 had to start the process all over again, but that didn't come until he found new inspiration in the city he currently calls home.

After some time as a resident DJ at Lipgloss and founding a house music movement of his own called TheHundred, the moment seemed right to hit the production studio again to create a collection of songs that reflected his emotions and experiences influenced by the places he's seen and the relationships that he has built. Seeking to combine an appreciation of techno, and funky soul with house music, the four tracks on To The Night represent his interpretation.

The EP opens with the bass-laden "Sunny Side" that juxtaposes a dark tech-house feel with a hint of acid house layered under airy vocals from Aubree. "Darkworld" envelops the listener like a thick, hypnotic fog; sobering yet infectious. "Mile High Bounce" was made with Denver in mind, a tribute to the vibrant late-night/early-morning dance music scene that thrives week after week. The whole album is rooted around the fiery single "Ride On", a tech-house western inspired by a gloomy drive on the west coast that mixes acoustic guitar with thumping bass and delivers an incredible hook.

The album will be available exclusively on for one month before hitting other outlets like iTunes, so head on over there to grab a fresh copy for yourself. To celebrate the EP release, option4 will be headlining the Larimer Lounge this weekend - Saturday, August 18. This all-Denver affair presented by TheHundred and Holy Underground will include local support from Babyshoe, Jinro, Matt Ferry and London Dungeon. RSVP on Facebook and get your tickets and more information online here.
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The Underground Music Showcase has come and gone but so much took place during those jam-packed four days that there is still a lot to reflect on. The Concerted Effort video team was there with the mission of capturing as many bands as they could throughout the festival, and here is what they caught on the opening day of the showcase. We managed to gather images from 10 of the 49 bands that performed that day, including Bad Weather California, Black Amex, Cloud Nothings, Fairchildren, Wire Faces, Mr. Pacman, Munly & The Lupercalians, Petals of Spain, School Knights, and StaG.

Underground Music Showcase 2012 Day 1 from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

This video features the song "Summerfoot" by StaG available online with other music to stream, buy and download at their Bandcamp page. Check back soon for videos of the other days of UMS.

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This time we took the trip to Radio 1190 with Denver's Rubedo. Starting at their D.I.Y. venue Unit E, get a glimpse of the personalities and philosophies that make up this band. Catch a behind the scenes look of what it's like to be on Radio 1190's Local Shakedown, and watch Rubedo's performance unfold. From our experience, we can say that Rubedo is an incredible band to catch live, and if you haven't done so or been wondering when you can see them again, they'll be performing at Colorado Music Buzz' Higher Ground Festival which takes place August 24-26.

Rubedo: Local Shakedown from Concerted Effort on Vimeo.

Head over to Rubedo's Bandcamp page to stream and purchase their album Massa Confusa released in May of this year and produced by Ikey Owens.

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It was a dark, cool evening in August of 2012.  It was First Friday, so many people were afoot in the Five Points neighborhood where the RiNo Art District opens it's doors to the many city-dwellers who enjoy this popular summer activity.  This Friday in particular seemed perfect for a acoustic-folk jams in an intimate setting.  The Meadowlark's basement entrance was glowing red on the corner of Larimer and 27th Street.  The red light had an attractive quality to it for anyone who had happened by, as was the case with two unknowing gentleman who thought they were at the Larimer Lounge.

The scene was humming with sound check wrapping up and conversations drifting from the back patio, but you never know what you are walking into when you descend the staircase and enter the quaint underground lair that is the main bar and venue of this avian-labeled joint.  As I waited for a friend's arrival, I got word from him that he was close by, just "under a blanket of lights."  The night was getting more intriguing with these poetic riddles, and I wondered about what it meant for the rest of the evening.  What it meant immediately was that I shouldn't always try to read between the lines, as this friend in particular was simply on the wrong side of town.  But it did set the tone for some thoughtful wordplay, similar to the music we were about to enjoy from the talented and lyrically-savvy group of performers on the night's bill at the Meadowlark.

The night humbly began with The Belle Jar, of which the singer Ryan James let us know that we would be party to an acoustic set due to their missing drummer, JJ Chamberlain, absconding to the My Morning Jacket/Red Rocks show for the night.  Luckily there was a cajon, and I say so not for any lack of percussion in the group but for the fact that it really added to the performance and feeling of the evening.  Anthony Ruptak, another performer from the evening's lineup, volunteered to take on cajon duties for the first few songs after which Ruptak drummer, Anthony Carroll, took his place.  Cajon: it's just a fun word to say (or read, even).  With excellent timing, Ruptak made a great addition to the four Belle's on stage.  An occasional ukelele here and there, and sweet sounds of Courtney Wilson Emily Lewis on the violin (Editor's Note:  Lewis was filling in for a missing Wilson) filled the small Meadowlark bar.

Hearing the difference between the acoustic instruments versus their album version of most of the night's music from Fall Systems Go, I'd have to say that we were witness to a sonically delightful evening that may not be your typical Belle Jar experience.  The album's first track, "Little Red Thread," is buzzy and a bit fast-tempoed on the recorded version, but live and with the cajon keeping a steadier beat, the notes and the vocals stretched and lingered for a moment while the audience soaked it in.  It was like the Meadowlark's basement was a little oak casket, and the Belle Jar's music was pouring into our ears before the aging process began.  The finished product would most likely give hints of relaxed head-bobbing and toe-tapping, and would be most suitably paired with a blanket of lights I think.   James made mention of a new album in the works and possibly out as early as October. "I can't do anything without a deadline," he told the crowd.  So send him a text in the next few months and make sure he's staying on top of it.

Next up was Max Winne, of the Maykit.  You may have noticed that I had posted an interview with Winne earlier this week.  As the small room of the Meadowlark filled, Winne forged ahead with some quieter acoustic jams.  The Maykit is sometimes joined by two additional members, as they were the last time I saw them perform at the Hi-Dive, and tonight was just Winne.  Similarly to a blanket of lights, a blanket of noise was covering the cozy Meadowlark and muffling the sounds of Winne's heart-strings.  It's hard when you struggle both as an audience member and as a performer to try and ignore the conversations, the clanking glasses, the squeals and high-pitched laughter of those in the immediate vicinity that just don't give a damn what you are doing.  Similarly, I imagine that those lucky musicians that go out busking have the same experience.  While there was little banter in between songs, Winne was a champ and played through his set giving little heed to the milieu of distraction in front of him.

Anthony Ruptak came on stage next, accompanied by three bandmates whom he referred to as the band that might be known as the "Midnight Friends."  Ruptak's set list was written on his hand and with a quick introduction he began the evening, immediately grabbing the attention of all the small basement bar's various attendees.  Ruptak's on-stage ensemble were very attentive and didn't miss a beat.  One exuberant female onlooker upped the ante for audience participation by coercing another to occupy the large tract of space in front of the Midnight Friends with some fancy footwork.  From that point on, participatory clapping, dancing and tambourine-playing ensued.  Ruptak's multi-faceted singing prowess was an easy crowd-pleaser, and the cello of Julie Schmidt added to the audible voracity that the Midnight Riders offered that evening.  Ruptak's songs make you want to sing along, like any good folk song should, but also have a timeless quality to them as if someone pulled out the sepia-toned filter on our evening that had already set out with the feeling of being under a blanket of lights.  Should you have a chance to catch Ruptak and friends, I would not suggest missing them; I would suggest dropping whatever other plans you may have and see them play instead.

Serious Moonlight was the evening's final performance and helped set the close the show with a bang.  "This might be our last show",  said singer Alan Andrews jokingly, quickly followed by something about boners.  Six band members filled the stage area, and the room filled accordingly as they began to play alt-country tunes reminiscent of what one might hear from the hey day of Saddle Creek Records.  The trumpet and slide guitar, and sometimes the melodica, all added to a full and rich sound that was intoxicating.  Forty minutes later, the bar was on it's feet and loudly protesting the end of the evening's Serious Moonlight.  The evening had turned cloudy with a small chill in the air, as I made my way homewards; there was no blanket of lights, but it was but a small detail to the perfect evening of local music all-stars at the Meadowlark that Friday night.
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Timing is everything.  Timing and luck.  And good people.  A lesson, or a question perhaps, in how music is shaped by those forces that are just beyond our grasp is what Max Winne can attest to with the music he performs as The Maykit.  Winne has a new album, the yet-to-be-release Over Water, and he talked with Concerted Effort about a few considerations a self-promoting folk artist might have when creating and sharing their craft.

Some things about the business side of music can be confusing: I mean where do you start, anyways?  What is easy to understand is the unexplainable urge to keep playing music, as Winne points out.  And maybe it's as simple as knowing you have one base covered, and you're ready for the next batter up to hit that home run.

The Maykit will be performing this Friday August 3 at the Meadowlark with Serious Moonlight, the Belle Jar, and Anthony Ruptak.  The show is 21 and up, and begins at 9:00 PM .  See the Meadowlark's website for more details.

CE: You are a singer-songwriter, but you have recorded some songs solo and other songs with a full band.  Whether you're recording or playing live, what makes you choose one over the other?
MW:  In high school when I was in a band, I realized I have a hard time getting along with people for a long amount of time.  I didn't want to recruit my friends and end up hating them.  Now that I'm an adult, I can get along with people for a longer amount of time.  For shows I wanted to start bringing in a band because I recorded my new album with a full band.  It's silly and unfair to play live completely by myself all of the time.  It's too different from [the record].  Compared to [what I was playing before], it's like night and day.

CE: What's the name of your new album?
MW:  It's called Over Water.  I haven't released it, but it's been done for a while.  I'm just trying to figure out the best route to take.  I have been sending it around to buddies at labels and stuff hoping that somebody will point me in the right direction at least.  But we'll see.  I'm just kind of letting it do whatever it has to do, letting it run its course . . .  But I want to give it to people.  To people that actually seem like they'd want to hear it.

CE:  So are you waiting for a deal for promotion through a record company before you release this album?
MW:  No, not really.  I don't really know what I'm waiting for.  It would be nice to have better distribution and [not set up my own tours]. . . It's hard to explain; I'm not worried about a label release.  I'm completely fine with releasing it on my own, but right now I don't have money to.  So I'm just passing it around, and seeing if anybody is interested in releasing it or promoting it.  Or just if anybody is interested in it at all.  I'll probably end up releasing it by myself.

CE:  Do you see yourself going on tour at all?
MW:  Touring is one of my main priorities; I'd like to see myself on tour as much as possible.

CE:  You have two brothers that are your band right now. 
MW:  No, they aren't actually my brothers.  Oh, but they are brothers, yes.  I just like to say that we're all brothers, but we're not really.  But they're brothers with eachother

CE:  When you're doing things on your own, how do you fund a tour?
MW:  I've done it before; I'd like to get it into the hands of someone who would like to assist me.  It's hard doing my day job, the entire business side of the music, and playing shows like I have been every week since I played with David Dondero in Denver (this past June 19, at the Hi-Dive).

CE:  What are the other records you have released to date?
MW:  I have two.  One is a split EP between me and my buddy Adam Fisher, and my friend Angela out in California.  Adam was in a band called Fear Before the March of Flames, that was like kind of big.  They are like metal or something.  He (Fisher) started doing solo stuff and we decided it was stupid not to release a split EP.  That one's called Hangs.  Then my other record is full-length, it's super quiet and it's called Songs About Things That Lack Definition.  I just wanted to make the title as long as possible.

CE:  That's great.  One of the things I noticed when you were performing with David Dondero was that you have a sense of humor.  
MW:  Yeah I try to.

CE:  Do you think that comes through with your music, or makes sense with your music?  Because folk singers aren't usually funny, or sometimes they are and it's really subtle.  Do you try to put personality in your songs, or does it just happen naturally?
MW: Well I hope they have some personality.  They're (the songs) all pretty heavy-hearted, lyrically.  But live, I've learned that just playing by myself it's harder to, I don't know . . .  they're super sad and I have to lighten the mood in-between them.  Or else you're just going to bum people out

CE:  How long have you been playing music?
MW:  I started playing live in 9th grade.  I wasn't playing music like this; it was heavier, more angsty.

CE:  When was that?
MW:  2001.  Yeah, it's scary to think about it.  That's a long time.

CE:  Wow, you're younger than me.  I usually assume that musicians as far along the road as you are have to be older than me for some reason.  But that obviously has nothing to do with anything; it's all luck or chance, and being in the right place.  Right?
MW:  I lucked out.  I think when I started playing, the people that started booking me for some reason seemed to believe in me, which was nice.  And they just have taken care of me since.  Ben DeSoto and James  Irvine.  And Ben's girlfriend, Lisa, too.  They have just been a big help.

CE:  Where is your favorite place to play in town?  And, is there any other places you like to play not in town?
MW:  My favorite place to play is the Hi-Dive.  All of my favorite bands that I've played with have played there.  Not to say the other places I've played are bad by any means, but the Hi-Dive has always been great to me.  Ben always puts me on something that I want to be on.  James is great about that, too, but there's just less folk-acoustic stuff at Larimer Lounge and other places like that.  When he puts me on shows, they're great shows but I feel like the Hi-Dive is kind of my home base.  But I play Meadowlark all the time, too, or not all the time but more and more often as time goes on, and I've always had a blast.  They have a really small room that fills up really fast.

Outside of Denver . . . When I was a kid I used to go to this place called Club 156 in Boulder and I played there once.  I liked that place, it was on campus.  If you get the right show, it can be a good time.  I didn't really get the right one, but I still had fun.  I played this place in Ogden, Utah called Mojo's that was great.  I don't know.  I prefer the Hi-Dive, and I prefer Denver.  It's nice seeing all your friends, and seeing people in the music scene that have helped you.

CE:  What would you say is a Denver artist that you like a lot?
MW:  There's an old band called the Alan Baird Project; they were great, but they're not a band anymore.  I love Churchill.  I love In the Whale.  I love the Photo Atlas.  I mean there is too many to really name.  By buddy Dwight Forsee, he's an amazing folk musician and he's starting to play more and more.  It's great to see him play, it's incredible.  Oh, and Lizzie Huffman, I don't know if you have heard her, but she's amazing.  I highly recommend her.

CE:  Do you have more Denver shows planned?
MW:  Yeah, Denver shows - I can't NOT play them.  I tried to take some time off and focus on real life, and see what that was like for a while.  But I just wanted to play too much.

CE:  Why do you want to play music?
MW:  I have no idea. I've always liked writing and I've always envied people that can play the guitar really well.  When I first was getting on stage and playing in front of people, I had the worst anxiety ever.  I remember a show where I turned the microphone and faced the wall.  But after a while I just had to do it.  An itch.  A habit.  It was a strange thing.

The Maykit has some music for you to listen to on their Bandcamp page.  You should check it out, and go down to the Meadowlark this Friday and listen to Max perform some new songs from Over Water.
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