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Steeped in the tradition and belief that rock and pop music can be both a means of entertainment as well as a form of art, multi-instrumentalist Dylan Blanchard has worked extensively as a collaborator with that in mind. Now he’s decided he is ready to step, both proverbially and literally, from the back of the stage where he’s more experienced and comfortable, up to the front. 17 plus years as a sideman and creative contributor to dozens of varied projects has taught him many valuable lessons, and is still his passion in many ways. Recording and touring with such eclectic acts as the Austin based indie-rock quintet, Tristero (drums), the Santa Fe based garage-punk and grunge band, Babelshack (bass), Delaware based singer-songwriter, Danny Whitecotton (drums, keyboards), and the wildly impractical but equally as fun 25-piece folk/rock orchestra known as Apple Miner Colony (drums) have all helped shape Dylan into the musician and songwriter he is today.
With his ear sharpened for the many different ways songs can speak to their listeners and the possibilities for instrumentation and arrangement to transport a great song to the level of a moving and transformative listening experience, it felt like time to let his songwriting speak with its own voice. The new 7” record, “A Ghost in Arroyo Hondo (Just One of Many)” out on Matron Records this July, marks the first time since his years at the College of Santa Fe that Dylan went into the studio to create something entirely his own. The result is a taste of what will be more to come. Contrasting styles, timbres, and influences come together to make something at times both catchy and dissonant, energetic and dark, joyful and sad.
In preparation for live performances, Dylan has recruited long time friend and collaborator, Ben Clary (Apple Miner Colony, Bipedal Approach), as well as Brendan Carn (Szalt and Place Projects, Grandma Sparrow’s Piddletractor Orchestra), Marcus DiFilppo (Future Scars, Cripple) and Ten Ten Division bandmate, Vonnie Kyle (Vonnie Kyle, Mark Mallman) . The new group is currently making ready to hit the road this July with friends and label-mates, Future Scars. For Dylan, the prospect of honing the chops of this newly formed ensemble on the road is a source of giddy excitement. Not to mention promoting the release of his first ever vinyl record, which has been something of a bucket-list item for him since his late teens.
In a city teeming with newcomers, Rubedo is a rarity: a born & raised Denver band that hasn’t forgotten its roots.
Since forming in 2010, bandmates Kyle Gray, Alex Trujillo, & Gregg Ziemba have released two studio records as Rubedo: Massa Confusa (2012) and Love is the Answer (2013). The trio’s latest record, Vaca (2017), is their first release without Ikey Owens (keyboardist for Jack White & The Mars Volta) at the helm — who recorded, produced and played on the first albums and toured with Rubedo — as Owens passed away unexpectedly in late 2014. Stunned, upset and unsure how to proceed without their unspoken fourth member, the trio decided to push themselves into uncharted territory, recording with musician/producer Johnny Bell at JazzCats Studios in Owen’s hometown of Long Beach, CA.
The result is Vaca, a glimmering pop-minded piece of sonic catharsis, a therapy session created in honor of Ikey Owens. Unlike Rubedo’s past psych-rock leanings, Bell’s production takes the band’s specialty as a live act and translates that spirit into recorded form. It was mixed by the godfather of grunge Jack Endino and mastered by Dave Cooley of Stones Throw Records.
Vaca is a record of Rubedo’s 20-plus years of friendship, a partnership with old school Denver roots, and an indelible Long Beach connection.
“Presently Post Most Things”
Future Scars embodies the coexistence of the calm and calamity of waking life. Founded in 2015 by members of As In We, Future Scars is emotionally rooted in thecontemplative, melodic atmosphere of post-rock and expands beyond a singular genre’s expectations, often times overflowing into the domain of sheer intensity and fervor. The group couples these drastically varied, yet complementary components with the recurrent flurries of heart-wrenching vocals, creating an aura of earnest exhilaration and beauty. Laced with technicality and the prowess of control, Future Scars construct a sound balanced in adversity, soothing and cathartic yet all the while anxious with anticipation.
Undergoing a line-up change in late 2017 in the midst of writing the group’s debut full length and follow-up to their 2016 EP debut, Future Scars has grown into a foursome comprised of the group’s original front-woman, Eliza Lutz, with Paul Wagner on bass, Marcus DiFilippo on drums and Dylan Blanchard on keys. Future Scars record their new album this spring with US regional tours in the works for summer and late fall of 2018.