Apr 082013

Author: Nicole Beale

Sell-out artist and local band, Lotus, played at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins on Wed., April 3. The Fort Collins area responded well to the band returning to the Aggie, last visiting in 2008. With a few bumps in the road, Lotus managed to pack in two full sets with songs from a variety of albums. If you missed the show, check out some of their live recordings and their latest album Build.

Jesse Miller, front and center, playing bass guitar.  Photo by Lauren Martin

Jesse Miller, front and center, playing bass guitar.
Photo by Lauren Martin

Lotus released their latest album, Build, in the middle of their tour on Feb. 19. Build came from about 25 songs that were recorded in both St. Louis, MO and Philadelphia, PA.

“What we usually do in the studio is we use old school tape. Do the drums, guitar live and then over dub in the keys and add percussion later. We try to capture that live aspect,” said Luke Miller who plays guitar and keys. The band picked ten songs that had the same electronic up-beat sound, and it became Build.

Build has received both praise and criticism. Some iTunes reviewers have called it more electronic dance music than original Lotus.

“You know we’re just a band that never wanted to just do one thing — we always want to grow and evolve. We play all of our new songs and all of our old songs. I feel that were expanding our range and making our show more of a journey with more variety. I just never wanted to do the same thing twice,” Miller said.

They have plenty of new things for all lovers of Lotus coming out soon. Lotus’ next album is inspired by their love of hip-hop and down-tempo music. One of the songs the band featured at the Aggie, Cannon in the Heavens, will be on their next album. Luke Miller mentioned that the band will most likely be coming out with a series of EPs featuring five or six songs that have a similar theme.

Lotus has played an average of at least 60 shows every year since the band first began to get popular. In this winter/spring tour alone they played 47 shows, taking only a few days’ rest.

“We circled the whole country and we’re finishing it off in Colorado.  The first show was -12 degrees and now were getting into some spring weather finally,” Miller said.

Luke Miller jammin' on keys ready to switch to guitar.  Photo by Lauren Martin

Luke Miller jamming on keys ready to switch to guitar.
Photo by Lauren Martin

The band did this tour a little differently, hitting some smaller venues. Lotus didn’t go to Denver, but gave some other communities around Colorado the opportunity to experience the show.

“We have more fans in Colorado than anywhere else. It’s always one of the highlights of our tour,” Miller said.

The band packed in two full sets at the Aggie Theater after delaying the show as long as they could. New underage drinking policy forces minors to be breathalyzed before they can enter the venue. The sold-out Aggie Theater had a line out the door of people waiting to get in and one operating breathalyzer. Some people said they waited for over an hour.

“We had a plan in place to have an entrance for 21 and over and under 21, but people just don’t listen. We are trying to get new breathalyzers that don’t take so long to heat up so the process will move faster,” said Kyle Stych, manager of the Aggie.

Aside from the long line, the vibe that Fort Collins has married so well with Lotus vibes.

“The environment was great because you could be so close to the band and feed off their good vibes and music,” said Brittany Jackson, a CSU student. An Aggie theater show is unique. Since the venue holds only 650, you will be surrounded by friends that love the same band and just want to have a good time.

“The Aggie is so small the heat was overwhelming and became a sweaty mess, but it was worth dancing all night regardless,” Jackson said.

Check out one of the hits of their new album:


Set List:

Set 1

Blacklight Sunflare

Middle Road



Sodium Vapor


Moon Set

72 hours awake


Set 2

We are Now Connected




Cannon In the Heavens


Bubonic Tonic

Age of Inexperience



Bush Pilot



Papagoya Live at KCSU

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Apr 012013

Author: Nicole Beale

Papagoya played a live set on KCSU on Wednesday, March 27. They busted out an acoustic set, something that they had

Papagoya playing at KCSU. Photo by Nicole Beale.

Papagoya playing at KCSU. Photo by Nicole Beale.

never done before. It was quite the treat for both listeners and for those few witnessing their performance.

Papagoya has an eclectic sound that is as unique as they are. They consider themselves to be in the genre of jungle funk.  For their shows, Papagoya uses electric instruments, creating a different sound than what was heard on KCSU. However, they create an extremely unique sound by combining an odd arrangement of instruments and exposing their culture. Tobias Bank, a member of Papagoya, hails from Sweden. The name ‘Papagoya’ is a play on a Swedish word ‘Papegoja’, meaning ‘Parrot’.

During their acoustic performance on KCSU, Papagoya had five out of their six members and featured an upright bass, slide guitar, an accordion, and a suitcase kick drum. Yes, it was actually a suitcase. Drummer, Tobias Bank, decided to travel smart by packing his bass drum in a suitcase. In fact the drum itself was a suitcase. After their set, Bank was able to put all of the pedals and cymbals he used right into the suitcase and out he went. It created a very low and short sound, adding to Papagoya’s uniqueness.

Papagoya began the night by playing El Pollo Loco and then played Wash Away that featured Colin Boyle on slide guitar. Their third song, Gypsy Kings, was sung in Spanish by Dimitri Zaugg and then the band played Dealin’ with D’s Bedtime. That song title came about because the band was always forced to rehearse early due to Dimitiri Zaugg’s early bedtime. After a slew of callers called in, including one listening in New Zealand, the band decided to play an encore which was called Show ‘em How Good We Do. The band also threw in a few snippets of the songs from their EP, titled Symatree, that was released in August of 2012.

Papagoya are locals from Fort Collins gaining in popularity. They have secured several shows for the summer making it easy to check them out.  Papagoya’s next show will be at FoCoMX and then Wakarusa May 30 to June 3. To get a better feel for what these guys sound like, check out the live recording of the set at KCSU.



Tattoos in Fort Collins

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Mar 242013

Author: Nicole Beale

By the looks of things, Fort Collins is getting inked. There are over 10 tattoo shops in the immediate Fort Collins area and the number is continuing to grow. Some of these shops are booked with appointments for up to six months.  Many popular shops include Freakshow, La Familia, Covenant, Black Atlas, Tribal Rites, and the list goes on.

Lizz Wilson, Colorado State undergraduate student, says she wouldn’t recommend any other place but Freakshow Tattoo. She has three tattoos that were done at Freakshow, including a shoulder and two ankle tats. She has enjoyed her experience every time.

“Everyone in the shop is really excited to be there. It makes you feel good and excited to get a tattoo from there,” Wilson said. “Everyone was so professional and made me feel comfortable when I was uneasy.”

lizz's tats

Lizz Wilson’s tattoos from Freakshow Tattoo shop.
Photo by Lizz Wilson

According to Tribal Rites piercer, Hayley Berendt, Tribal Rites tries to make their store warm and inviting, something that is hard to do when it comes to the cold needle.  The store is splashed with a post-apocalyptic look. The tables are made of metal welded together with blue and green lights glowing through them. It gives the store an edgy feel and makes customers feel good when they come in.  Tribal Rites prides themselves on offering excellent customer service and making sure each customer leaves happy.

Tribal Rites resident tattoo artist Erick Erickson says that Tribal Rites is the place to be because so much love is put into what they do.

“Both of my parents were artists professionally. I grew up doing all kinds of art and it lead to me majoring in graphic design. Did that for a year before I realized I hated doing it. I then started tattooing and doing what I love,” said Erick Erickson. “I had a mentor I trained under for several years and have been tattooing for 12 years now.” Each tattoo artist at Tribal Rites has extensive experience and is able to conjure up whatever is imaginable.

Covenant Tattoo shop has been growing so much they had to relocate. Covenant relocated to a more central location in Fort Collins, along College Avenue, making the trip that much more convenient.

Many of these parlors cater to the student public and offer special deals and coupons on a seasonal basis. Many shops will put discounts in coupon books given out each semester. Keep an eye out for local deals if you’re looking to get tattooed in Fort Collins.

Mar 042013

Author: Nicole Beale

Our very own Fort Collins venue, the Aggie, housed sell out disc jockey duo, Savoy, on Feb. 22, 2013. Last summer Savoy headlined their own Red Rocks show.  To have such a performance in the Aggie that holds only 650 people made this show a must see.

Savoy decided on a Live with Lasers tour, hitting several small venues around Colorado along the way. Savoy showed up in Boulder, Aspen and Fort Collins. Each of these venues holds less than 1,000 people. Savoy calls Colorado home and wanted to make this Colorado run special, according to their many posts on Facebook, getting everyone hyped for the sellout shows.

Keeping it as local as they can, Savoy had two openers, both from Colorado. Bass Physics kicked-off the night and got the party started. They consider themselves to be in the genre of “electronic-soul” music. They incorporated several different instruments into their set, including acoustic guitar, electric guitar and keyboards.

The next opener was J Flash, hailing from Boulder. J Flash is an electro/house DJ that set the tone for the rest of the night. J Flash got everyone jumping and on their feet. It was a bouncy style of music that everyone seemed to enjoy. He was successful in getting everyone hyped to see Savoy.

Anyone that knows Savoy knows Savoy’s lasers. During this Live with Lasers tour, they brought out some new, heavy laser machines that lit up the Aggie like never before. Savoy did something special for the Aggie that is not incorporated into every show. Savoy has DJ sets with two DJs mixing on stage, but they also do a live set with a drummer. It adds a whole new element to their shows and makes it that much more exciting.

Savoy came on with confidence and started the show off with a bang. They began the buildup and as soon as the beat dropped the lasers came on leaving everyone screaming and in awe.  Lasers lit up every inch of the Aggie, flooding it with thousands of colors going in every direction.  Savoy played several songs from their new EP, “Personal Legend,” but they also brought out some old school hits like “Automatic.” Savoy played until the wee hours of the morning, and when they were done, the people weren’t. The crowd brought them back for an encore.

Leaving the show, many people were discussing how awesome of a show it was and how they couldn’t believe that Savoy played at the Aggie. It was an amazing show for everyone who got to experience it. If you didn’t get to, check out the links below.




Colorado DJ plays at AV Dining Hall

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Feb 252013

Author: Nicole Beale

Any college student that eats at the dining hall knows the special theme nights are not to be missed. Aside from the rare, delicious cheesecake and the hot chocolate bar, there were a few other things that made this night at the good ol’ dining hall a great one.

Academic Village Dining Hall asked Colorado DJ and former employee Aaron Holsapple to play a set during the diner service. Holsapple plays under the name Cualli and has played several Denver venues including Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom.

“I graduated from Colorado State University in 2010 for philosophy and English,”Cualli said. “I worked at AV during my years there. The mangers liked my music and asked me to play that night.”The music added a great feel to the dining hall and made it fun to eat there. The mood was upbeat and people seemed to truly enjoy themselves.

Cualli was set up in the middle of the hall so it was easy to see and hear his long guitar riffs mixed with electronic beats.

“I have never been able to categorize my music into a genre,”Cualli said. “I feel I can express myself deeper through music and it’s my own style that comes out.”

The beautiful guitar that Cualli was plucking at with precision is a Gibson ES 137.

“I love that guitar,”Cualli said. “I was a freshman in college when I received that one, but I’ve been playing since my parents bought me my first guitar in fifth grade.”

Holsapples’ main focus is his Cualli project, but he plays in two other bands. One is called the YuYu’s, which is a collaboration between Cualli and Omega, another Colorado DJ. The YuYu’s are a funky, mid-tempo-type group.

The other project Holsapple is involved is called Real Life Actual, which has a more rock-and-roll feel to it.

You can catch Cualli perfomring on March 15 at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver.

Holsapple wants his music to be heard. So he offers a lot of his music  for free.

Cualli: http://cuallimusic.com/

Yuyu: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=214872515319893&set=t.1100267657&type=1&theater#!/TheYuyuMusic