Sounds from Colorado: The Centennial State is a Hole

After the death of Ron Miles in 2022, Colorado has little to offer. Local networks are deficient, show spaces generally relegated to Denver, with the state as a whole treated as an after-thought on bloated touring schedules needing to check-off the western market.

Trying to get to the heart of any local scene since I first arrived in Colorado has been fruitless. My long time go-to’s for finding local acts is through mom’n’pop record stores. Whether I’m on tour or visiting family, if you’re looking for ‘the good stuff’ in a local music scene there is no better place to turn than the town’s record shops. Yet, here ‘local’ sections in record stores are usually limited to 5 lackluster CD-rs and/or include bands from a fair share of any non-coastal, non-southern states (Illinois in one instance).

There is nearly no-point in talking about music outside the sprawl that is Denver because the state itself seemingly refuses to acknowledge it- exceptions for legacy acts playing at Red Rocks and the occasional rumblings of a house-show once had in Fort Collins, of course.

Talk is guarded in Boulder county, fair. The Boulder PD have raided shows before. Yet there is a heightened culture of individualism which is conducive to scene-killing. Is it pretension? Is it cool detachment? 

Atop this is the transient nature of Colorado residency (eg. college students, tech industry diaspora). A vicious cycle to cultural growth efforts, few people ever seem to live in the state longer than 5 years. How can local scenes and sounds grow organically in such a high turnaround environment?

Detached from significant touring networks, Colorado isn’t a feasible touring option for smaller acts from outside the immediate region. Those who can make it are more significantly backed, big enough to draw festival spots and bigger guarantees.

So it’s been everywhere in all facets of music that instagramable moment-making approaches to showmanship triumphs over solid musical performances or artistic ingenuity. Cost of living in Colorado has been and continues to be incredibly high, making the travel to shows even more costly. All of this discourages new and old residents alike from going to smaller shows in neighboring towns with bands they haven’t heard of before.

Given Colorado’s general inaccessibility and the internet age’s low bar for content, jam music- whose devotees are seemingly always willing to have an excuse to drop out for a few hours- and legacy acts have conquered the public sphere of music in Colorado. This proliferation of established acts only contributes to the nagging feeling that Colorado is culturally 10 years behind the rest of the country in many, many ways.

Colorado is a destination for musicians no more. The 1970s are over, yet it still clings to the past. Unless the guards of local scenes adopt a militant ‘high tide raises all ships’ approach to growing Colorado’s internal and regional music networks, The Centennial State’s music scenes will remain under a doomspell.

The Centennial State is a hole.

The Resurrection of Goonew, + Brief Thoughts on Grief

Grief is an inevitable part of life. How we each handle grief is a whole other bag.

Metro area rapper Goonew (given name Markelle Antonio Morrow) died late last month on March 18th at the age of 24. Shot in Prince George’s County, Maryland, he died later that night at an unspecified hospital.

So why is our cruel ‘chew’em’up spit’em’out’ news cycle returning to him a few weeks later?

On Sunday, April 3rd, Goonew’s embalmed body was propped up at Bliss Club in Washington, DC. The headlines ran something like this:

“Body of slain Maryland rapper Goonew propped up on nightclub stage in ‘horrifying’ display for public showing: reports” – Brian Linder, PennLive Patriot News 4/04/2022

Club Responds to Backlash for Goonew’s Deceased Body Standing on Stage” – Trent Fitzgerald, XXL 4/04/2022

“Corpse Propped up In Nightclub … On Display During Funeral” – n/a, TMZ 4/04/2022

You can almost hear the disappointed mumbling on the [relatively] sobering TMZ headline.

Some reports made more clear of the event’s purpose. Billed as The Final Show, some articles make a point to call the event at Bliss Club a memorial or a funeral and not just a general club night or concert. While I haven’t found any promotional materials (flyers, graphics, etc.), how the event was promoted will likely gauge the intended effect of the show, be it anything from a loving final send off to a Barnum-esque promotional stunt.

It’s a tricky situation in which we don’t know all the details. Speculation leads to accusation and justification; the fascination with death, the pursuit of wealth, internal and communal grief collide.

If you’ve ever had a friend that’s been drunk, or just feeling goofy, they’ve probably said something along the lines of ‘when I die, do _____’: some non-traditional funeral process like shooting them into outer space, burying them in a corvette, etc.

We, the speculating public, don’t know what Goonew asked for or would have wanted. And so it’s important to remember as we wait for things to uncover: Markelle Morrow was a person, and in being so lived a life that ought to be considered equally grievable to all others.

Let his family and friends go through what they need to go through, let his community go through what they need to go through. If they want you to party, they’ll come out and say it.

Rest in Peace.

Resident Sound: 2021 recap!

As our first calendar year comes to a close, we take a look back at some of our hits! Be they blessed by the search engine algorithms or that people actually liked them, here’s Resident Sound’s top 5 most viewed articles of 2021!

In Memoriam: Cesar Alexandre, + Brief Thoughts on Legacy

Unfortunately, this article wouldn’t have been possible without the loss of one of Vaporwave’s early stars. The article started off Resident Sound’s +Brief Thoughts blog column, which is something we look forward to doing more of in 2022. Let’s remember Cesar as we go into the new year. Keep your speaker systems bumping. Take a look back at In Memorium: Cesar Alexandre, + Brief Thoughts on Legacy.

The Fast Paced, Lighthearted World of DOOM JAZZ

Probably also doubling as Resident Sound’s most internally linked article, our guide to Doom Jazz was incredibly fun to put together. Both our first genre guide and our first feature of the Doom Jazz genre, we look forward to bringing you more Doom Jazz-y goodness and more guides over the coming year! Take a look back at The Fast Paced, Lighthearted World of DOOM JAZZ.

Rethinking Southern Gothic Music: 10 Songs You Need To Know

One we wear on our sleeve. It was close to home and made us homesick. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. Keep your eyes out for a part 2 sometime in the coming weeks! Till then… Take a look back at Rethinking Southern Gothic Music: 10 Songs You Need To Know.

5 Twin Peaks Inspired Albums Worth Your Time

Angelo Badalamenti’s original score can’t be beat, but that doesn’t mean good Twin Peaks music ends there. Like our Southern Gothic Music guide, look out for further updates and coverage on Twin Peaks music as we fight our way through the new year. Take a look back at 5 Twin Peaks Inspired Albums Worth Your Time.

5 True Crime Podcasts Worth Your Time

If anything, 2021 needed more tension, more stress, right? No? Are you sure? Well, either way, we chose 5 True Crime podcasts that we thought were, well, worth your time. It is what it says on the tin, and we like to think our readers appreciated that. We look forward to making a part 2, as well as covering more podcasts in the coming year. Take a look back at 5 True Crime Podcasts Worth Your Time.

Thank you so much for coming along for the ride in our first calendar year! We hope we see you next year!

Sound in Residence 12.25.21

Sound in Residence is the weekly track-oriented recommendation list from Resident Sound and Lubert Das. It’s a Patreon exclusive regularly available to all Resident Sound Patreon members. But since the holiday season is coming to a close, and to thank you all for being with us for our first calendar year, we thought we’d go ahead and share the 12.25.21 Christmas installment of Sound in Residence here on Resident Sound for all see. Enjoy!

Our weekly track-oriented recommendation list. Only the good stuff! Xmas edition!

Whoa! It’s Christmas! Hopefully you haven’t torn your hair out yet. Whether you’re with family, friends, or alone, we hope your holiday season has been a fun one. And if not, well, here’s some tunes!

1. Mad Tea Party – Oh Shit it’s Christmas Time (2010)

Ukeabilly for your ears. Mad Tea Party had a reputation for doing kid-friendly music, which makes this track all the more enjoyable. And hey, who can’t relate at least once in their life? Listen to Mad Tea Party – Oh Shit it’s Christmas Time 

2. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Skating (1965)

If you somehow don’t know already know this, I don’t judge you, but now’s the time. Guaraldi’s work is beloved, and how could it not be? We all know it as ‘The Peanuts music’, but sometimes it’s great to sit back and appreciate the music by itself. From the soundtrack, I think Skating is my favorite, which is why it’s here. A close second place favorite is the instrumental version of Christmas Time is Here, but the whole album is so good. I recommend checking it out after listening to Skating. Listen to Vince Guaraldi Trio – Skating 

Let’s change tracks, shall we?

3. Agoraphobic Nosebleed – The Ghost of Christmas Past (2011)

“Seth Putnam; a dick in a box.” I agree, though I think they might be somewhat joking. Anyways, nothing says Christmas morning like hyper-violent drum machine-laden Grindcore. So enjoy! Listen to Agoraphobic Nosebleed – The Ghost of Christmas Past 

4. Sparks – Thank God It’s Not Christmas (1974)

I hate to break it to you, Russel, it’s Christmas. Man, this list took a turn. I hope people don’t think I hate the holidays. But hey, this song is enjoyable year round, and since today is Christmas, I need to give you something more evergreen.

It’s classic Sparks! What’s not to like? Listen to Sparks – Thank God It’s Not Christmas 

5. Outkast – Player’s Ball (1994)

The original version is way better, so I’m sticking with it. It might be the only ‘Christmas’ song that makes you deeply consider anything, so for that reason (and because it’s such a good song) it’s making the list. Listen to Outkast – Player’s Ball (Original Version) 

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Drive safe!

If you’d like to support Resident Sound and receive weekly Sound in Residence posts and other bonus blog content, consider signing up for the Resident Sound Patreon here, or checking out our Support Us page.

The Crumb Pile + Brief Thoughts on Adding Value as a Music Commentator

Is this all I am to you? Words on a screen? Consumable content? If so I’m delighted you’re reading this, for one. And two, I would be achieving the basic goal for contemporary music media.

Contemporary ‘music media’ is an extension of the music-based lifestyles we buy into. Much of the time it’s forced positivity in the age of hype; a digital onslaught of quick consumable media reassuring our tastes, opinions, and associations to the point of borderline enforcement.

Hype-content, alongside its contrasting partner hate-reviews, is vapid. And this vapid content flows through our social channels at a torrential rate.

We’re consuming crumbs out of couch cushions to sustain ourselves culturally. While my love for the obscure and irrelevant has allowed Resident Sound to stand apart from other outlets, it only adds different crumbs to the pile.

How we reject our crumb pile outputs as music commentators is up to personal direction, but relies on one core element: providing value.

I know, I know. The bar is incredibly low here. You could say that’s the basis to almost all writing. But how to provide value as a music commentator in the most effective way possible still alludes me. I turn to critics, thinkers, and just about anyone who is smarter than me. Who brings value to my life? How do they do it?

Of all music commentators, a favorite of mine (and many, I hope) is music thinker and taste-maker Oliver ‘Oli’ Kemp, better known as Deep Cuts on YouTube. Kemp has slowly built a catalog of artist discography guides, genre introductions, reviews and discussion topics among other work. His passion and intellect surrounding his choices are both thrilling and insightful while remaining accessible for nearly any viewer.

DeepCuts is “a channel dedicated to music, for lovers of music” and is essential viewing for any would-be music commentator. Whatever lesson is to be learned here I’ve yet to fully embrace it to my own liking, but I hope to get there soon.

But like DeepCuts, the output at Resident Sound has dropped significantly, in part due to the jobs that pay the bills (or pay anything). It is more or less a 1-being team at the end of the day. But with this time I hope to discover what brings value to my life as a consumer and what I can in turn offer to you, the reader.

If you enjoyed this, consider checking out more +Brief Thoughts pieces on the Resident Sound blog.

Looking for a music recommendation? We highly recommend these:

REVIEW: Kaputt – Carnage Hall (2019)

REVIEW: Susumu Yokota – Symbol (2005)

REVIEW: Oxbow – Serenade in Red (1996)

The Gruen Effect + Brief Thoughts on Retail Relationships

What is the relationship between a commercial space and the consumer? The American pastime of wondering late night department stores; an ongoing surreal relationship between a commercial entity’s physical manifestation and the passive consumer, a cultural element encapsulated in the vaporwave school of art.

In a recent review of Maroon 5’s Jordi, music critic Jensen Ooi shares disdain towards commercial radio’s proclivity for any band once deemed successful. “You’ll get to listen to it when you’re forced to listen to it when it comes on in any public space…”

It’s true, in a way. The best of errands usually have an underlying lack of forced exposure. I know, I know. It’s hard to believe that something as flawless as top 40 radio and commercially branded playlists would fall to the subjectivity of music like the Roman Empire to the Barbarians (/s), but it’s true.

Bombarded by the unsocial of social media at nearly all times, further forced exposure brings us all a step closer towards going postal.

What happens when the lure of commercial pleasantries becomes a red-card in the ‘company to consumer’ relationship? It’s a dynamic based entirely in underlying desires and manipulation, albeit manipulation we’ve come to accept as a function of life. A commercial entity depends on luring in consumers to a passive state of comfort and excitability over products (think ‘homeyness,’ music, food courts, etc.). But a lasso of amenities can quickly become a noose of aggravation.

So how do we design the sonic landscape of commercial entities in a mutually beneficial way? Companies have sunk more money into this than I could ever imagine (though, perhaps not including the consumers’ benefits).

Twenty Thousand Hertz, an audio podcast about audio, explores these topics in their episode “Muzak,” written and produced by Carolyn McCulley.

You can listen to the episode here:

Make sure to check out Jensen Ooi’s work over at Turntable Thoughts, a blog with “a Malaysian-focus on music worldwide.”

The Best Hip Hop Collab That Hasn’t Happened (Yet)

Forget the Judgement Night soundtrack (I wish I could), what the world needs is collaboration between UK hip-hop greats Strange U and American industrial dub maker skintape (stylized in all lowercase).

Strange U

Strange U is Kashmere (MC) and Doctor Zygote (producer). First coming on the scene with EP #2040 in 2014, Strange U’s ability to take humorous imagery (The Cake is A Lie, Falcon Punch) and incorporate it seamlessly into the dark world they create is incredibly rewarding. Doctor Zygote’s minimal sci-fi beats pull from a wide variety of source material ranging from Dragon Ball Z to Throbbing Gristle. Strange U’s world is completely their own, but you know who would make a great addition?


Often overlooked from other regional scenes, North Carolina’s skintape pulls from industrial metal pioneers Godflesh as well as beat projects like The Bug and Scorn. skintape also took a lead role in creating Cenobites, an instrumental industrial hip-hop album created with electronic musician Badrich in which all sounds on the album are derived from the Hellraiser horror movie franchise.

Strange U and skintape’s fondness for industrial source material, dystopian sci-fi sound design, and their shared disregard for rap game antics would create a killer album. It’s the hip hop collaboration we need.

On second thought, the Sonic Youth / Cypress Hill team-up on Judgement Night wasn’t too bad.

First linked up top, we recommend Darren Paltrowitz’s article for Please Kill Me, JUDGMENT NIGHT: THE SOUNDTRACK THAT BLEW UP POP MUSIC

The Best Show No One Attended + Brief Thoughts on Non-Anglophone Music

A few years ago I made a point to work non-anglophone bands into my music listening habits. I started off picking a country. In this case Japan, as city pop was starting to blowup in the west and, let’s be honest, they’re some of the best pop records released in past 50 years. But what really drove me not only to start with Japan but to make an active decision to listen to non-anglophonic music was seeing the Japanese punk band X-L Fits.

As recounted in my review of Cal Folger Day (Ireland), it was another rainy Tuesday night. I worked at a record store that doubled as a show space. X-L Fits played to a room of maybe 7 people including myself and the owner of the shop. I was blown away, practically the best punk (or even punk adjacent) band I had ever seen.

The 5 attendees stood there beer in hand, watching these 3 guys grind and groan, rock and slam. They finished, the attendees left, and I had a brief conversation in which one of the members and I hand signaled and gestured the best we could to get across his beer order (PBR) and about how great the set was.

I bought all their merch, then X-L Fits packed up and left. I closed the shop and walked to my car, thinking about all the people who had missed out on such a life changing show.

It was at this moment I realized I was missing out as well. The barrier of learning another language, or even deciding which language to dedicate myself to loomed over me. I still haven’t made that decision (unfortunately), but I did make the decision to know more non-anglophonic music.

This was all stirred up again while reviewing Sophia Chablau e Uma Enorme Perda De Tempo’s self titled album. Their song Hello even toys with language barriers, or maybe it mocks monolingual English speakers (guilty).

But there is a world of music out there that is overlooked by American audiences due to language barriers. Why does that stop us? Even when people can understand the lyrics, the message is usually lost on most people willing to talk about their supposedly ‘favorite’ bands. Not understanding what is being said has never stopped monolingual audiences from enjoying music.

So pick a genre you like, pick a country you are intrigued by, and dive in. You’ll be rewarding yourself with more than you realize.

Wanna discover some non-anglophonic music right now? Here’s what we recommend:

Sophia Chablau e Uma Enorme Perda De Tempo (Brazilian indie rock)

Hazy Sour Cherry (Japanese indie)

Lyon Estates (Italian hardcore punk)

We also recommend the article Why Russia’s Indie Musicians Don’t Sing in English Anymore by Marco Biasioli over at The Conversation.

Take Our Survey on Sleep And Television!

Do you feel a close bond with your favorite TV characters? Are your favorite shows feeling like a dream? You can now help us explore ideas surrounding television and dreaming!

Whether you can’t fall asleep without the TV on or can’t imagine being near the thing, we would love your help with an upcoming article on Resident Sound. Our survey is hosted via Google Docs and your answers will remain anonymous. We don’t collect your emails, just your answers!

Take our survey: Television and Sleep – Resident Sound 2021

Enjoy this survey? Are you part of a TV show fanbase? Share this survey with your fellow TV show lovers!

A Proposal for 80s Worship

This post originally appeared on the 10th Dentist blog on Tuesday, March 4th, 2021. The following version has been lightly edited for clarity.

    As if standing in stark contrast to taco-laser-cat t-shirts and ‘millennial whoop’ overdosing (how noble), the rise of 80s worship in the mid-teens has brought back the worst of bad hair days and their musical counterparts. So if you’re looking to spice up your new-found identity or if you’ve finally realized that Africa by Toto isn’t worth it, than this list is for you!

Soft Cell – The Art of Falling Apart (1983)

    Soft Cell (a band that, yes, has released more than 2 songs) started in 1978 and rose to prominence in the early 80s with their hit cover of Gloria Jone’s 1964 single ‘Tainted Love’. But enough of that. 1983 would see the release of Soft Cell’s second full-length release The Art of Falling Apart and the glory of it’s titular closing track. ‘The Art’ is a song about drugs that isn’t trying to be anything other than a song about drugs. Big synth stabs and an under swelling reverb makes this a ‘no duh’ for anyone looking to dip their toes in the weird and wacky world of the 80s (FOETUS is only a few steps away from here).

Naked Eyes – Promises, Promises (1983)

    There is always something there to remind me that there were much better songs on Naked Eyes’s 1983 album Burning Bridges. The best album to ever be recorded at Abbey Road Studios (Flippant? Maybe. The truth? Definitely), Burning Bridges gave us great songs like its titular track, When The Lights Go Out, Fortune and Fame, and Voices in My Head. But it’s Promises Promises with its minimal production, back and forth melody, and vague funk influences that rounds out this album as one of the best closing tracks on a pop album ever. Naked Eyes is 2 British guys, a Fairlight CMI, and a lot of vague romantic dance tracks. Do I need say more? Well, except to clarify I mean that entirely as a good thing (in this case).

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – So In Love (1985)

     So In Love may not be stupid enough to meme-ify, but it’s an emotionally powerful song with all the melancholic nostalgia seeding you could possibly want. In this dreamlike state, you may feel as if your feet will lose rhythm to it’s smooth dance beat as you float away off the dance floor. Don’t worry, no modern DJ will be playing this any time soon, and your drinking that night will likely leave you face first on the floor. Look, were they a great band? No, not really. But if we’re going to collectively obsess over singular 80s pop tracks, OMD has all the trappings (and just enough good songs) to get a mention here.

Sharon Redd – Can You Handle It (1980)

    While you were busy fetishizing the 80s, disregarding the AIDS epidemic and the CIA starting a racialized drug war, black and/or queer people were out there making some of the best music of the decade. If you’re looking for peak 80s (in a good way), this is it. Just because it’s not Madonna-white doesn’t make it not so. So, can you handle it?

    You may think, ‘why Sharon Redd? Why not something even more 80s like Chaka Khan, Cherrelle, Evelyn King, etc.?’ Those artists are amazing, but they’ve all had second-winds in the age of music streaming and cock and bull ‘I grew up with this’ nostalgia boasts. Either way, if you’re a trend sycophant than you’ve probably stopped reading a while ago. So kick back and enjoy this 6min+ jammer.

General Public – Anxious (1984)

    Why are we culturally pining for the 1980s to begin with? Has sociopolitical pressures made us look for a ‘simpler time’?  Is it 70s babies grasping for a time that they were the forefront of commercial culture? Can we simply blame all of it on vaporwave and Stranger Things? Who knows. Maybe culture is dying. In a press-play world that awards content and volume over quality and craft, why would anyone take the time to enrich their lives culturally? It may be my upbringing that put General Public on this list, but if the 80s are relevant now, than a track like Anxious is more relevant than ever.

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