Best Christmas Songs
Dec 2014

250+ of the Best Christmas Songs Ever

I have been building this Christmas playlist for years now. It’s a combination of traditional, alternative, indie, R&B, pop, and rock holiday music. While I do think the Christmas season starts too early, I will admit I listen to these songs non-stop from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Eve. Hope you enjoy!

And please, suggest any songs you love that I am missing!

Press play to hear songs:

List of 2014 Christmas Playlist Songs

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Andrew Belle
Santa Stole My Lady – Fitz And The Tantrums
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – She & Him
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Sam Smith
Yule Shoot Your Eye Out – Fall Out Boy
The Midnight Clear – Sufjan Stevens
Gee Whiz It’s Christmas – Diane Birch
Blood Oranges In The Snow – Over The Rhine Continue reading…

Dec 2014

Parenting To Yourself

Bryan stayed home with Dex for the first two years; it’s always given them a special bond. I have never been jealous (OK, maybe just a little), but I have always attributed their ability to get along to time spent and compatible interests. Not to say that Dex and I don’t have a good relationship, or that we don’t have our own special things we do together. It’s just that we’ve always been able to push each others buttons more than anyone else, ever.

As Dex approaches teenhood (he’s nearly 12.5), it’s becoming more and more clear this is actually because we are so much alike. We both like (need) to be right. We both get defensive (angry) when pushed into a corner. We both get emotional (illogical) when we feel attacked.

One thing no one ever tells you when having kids is how it feels to parent your own face. A lot of people talk about how Dex looks like Bryan, and he does. But his eyes are mine. So I am looking into my own face as I watch my son become a full-blown teen and exhibit full-blown teen behaviors. When I mention this to my mom, I only get a little snicker – or sometimes silence – basically to be interpreted as: PAYBACKS. Continue reading…

New Politics
Dec 2014

Photos: New Politics at the Gothic Theatre

The Danish band New Politics has quite a reputation around Denver. Our indie radio station KTCL has had them play at several large concerts, like last year’s Keggs & Eggs… but for some reason I’ve missed every one. When I saw they were coming back to the Gothic Theatre with Bad Suns and Some Kinda Wonderful, I knew I *had* to photograph the show. Both opening bands were good, especially Bad Suns who I had covered at (again, KTCL’s) Big Gig this summer. Continue reading…

Sam Lee - Storyteller Videos
Dec 2014

Interview With Sam Lee About His Storyteller Video Series

One thing that is about the Denver music scene is some people realize that other cities are better fit and move away. Such is the case with singer-songwriter Sam Lee, who moved to Nashville this year. Lucky for us he still has family and friends in Denver and I was able to catch up with him recently to talk about his new Storyteller video series that are being released every Wednesday throughout the month – and into the new year.

Me: Tell me about Storyteller.

Sam Lee: It started out as just a bunch of videos I made in Nashville this year. They were live recordings in Warner/Chapell Studios with musicians there and we wanted to release them as sort of the series, so we decided to do one a week to build the idea of songwriting and storytelling.

Me: Do the five songs connect?

Sam Lee: Not exactly. The songs I wrote this year have been about the transition from Denver to Nashville and the changes in my life regarding that. There has been some loneliness, of course, with the move and going from such a supportive scene in Denver to not knowing anyone in Nashville. I’ve talked about this a lot but I went through some bouts of depression and the songs I’ve been writing recently have been a tonic for that.

Me: The videos are recorded live?

Sam Lee: Yes. Usually in Denver the studios use the multitracking which means each instrument is recorded separately and brought together in production. In Nashville, it’s more common to record live together and I’ve never been exposed to that. It brought some magic and enthusiasm for crafting the music back to life for me. Continue reading…

Mary Lambert - Heart On My Sleeve
Dec 2014

Photos of Mary Lambert at the Bluebird Theater

You probably know who Mary Lambert is even if you don’t recognize her name, because her voice explodes all over Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ breakout song “Same Love.” When I saw she was coming to Denver’s Bluebird Theater, I immediately requested to photograph the show, because I also love her debut album, “Heart On My Sleeve.”

Performing live, Mary is fairly stationary behind her keyboard, but it really doesn’t matter because the star of the show is her mouth. Both with the power of her amazing voice and her witty words, she had the whole room entranced from beginning to end. There were stories of that Grammy performance with Madonna, but more importantly, about her life and experiences that ring true for all of us. Mary Lambert may not be a household name (yet) but everyone there knew her and her songs. A pretty big feat, given the album was released about a month before the show. This lady talks about things she believes in and makes you believe as well.

And then there was the singing thing. All I can say is this… catch Mary when she performs near you next, because: DAMN.

Mary Lambert Continue reading…

Tabacon Hot Springs
Dec 2014

Costa Rica Hot Springs at Tabacon Resort

When I attended ROAR Retreat recently, I stayed an extra few days with my friend, client and co-organizer of the conference Andrea. I thought we were going actually work, but she had other plans. She insisted there is no way I could visit Costa Rica without going to Arenal Volcano area. Happily, two other friends were able to stay as well and the four of us headed out right after the conference ended. However, this meant that we were driving the very windy roads around Lake Arenal in the dark. While the four of us are pretty travel savvy, all I can say is when we arrived, we were incredibly thankful for the tropical drinks that greeted us in the lobby. (Point being – make the trek during daylight hours, which means roughly before 5-6pm in Central America).

Tabacon Hot Springs Resort Map - Arenal, Costa Rica

We decided that staying at Tabacon Resort was the way to go. Not only because it is a gorgeous resort, but access to their Hot Springs across the street is included, so that made it well worth the costs. (Plus, Andrea found a good deal online for off-season, so look around).

Waterfall - Tabacon Hot Springs - Costa Rica Continue reading…

Riot Fest 2014 Denver - Day 3
Nov 2014

Riot Fest Denver 2014 Day 3 Concert Photos

Finally! My recap and photos from Riot Fest 2014 Denver Day 3. The problem with a music festival that has so many kick-ass artists is that it takes forEVER to get through your photos. But these pics were hopefully were worth the wait – because our final day at Sports Authority Field was soaked in rain. Especially later in the evening, the photos look like I took acid, or at the very least, that my camera did.

Riot Fest 2014 / Denver / Day Three (Sunday):

In The Valley Below • The Dendrites • In the Whale • Brick And Mortar • The Epilogues • The Menzingers • Sole & DJ Pain 1 • Passafire • Bob Mould • Bouncing Souls • The Unlikely Candidates • Touche Amore • Violent Femmes • Radkey • 3OH3 • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes • Cerebral Ballzy • Manchester Orchestra • The Expendables • Dropkick Murphys • Wounds • Sublime With Rome • TV On The Radio • The Picturebooks • Rise Against • The National • Wu Tang Clan

In The Whale

It was another day where local bands kicked it off, and both Nate and Eric are good friends and great musicians. Check out my street interview with them, their site where they list past and future tours (2014 has been a phenomenal year for them) and just basically go see them live whenever you can.

Riot Fest Denver 2014 - In The Whale

Riot Fest Denver 2014 - In The Whale Riot Fest Denver 2014 - In The Whale Continue reading…