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.


Music therapy: Rerouting the brain note by note

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Mar 282013

Author: Kelsey Peterson


Music is a universal medium that constantly surrounds us, but it is used for more than just entertainment. Music and its function in the brain play an essential role in rehabilitation. Music is such an incredible medium because it ignites every part of the brain. This allows versatility in the patients it can assist, including those struggling psychologically, physically, cognitively and with their speech. People struggling with speech, for example, can sing words that they can’t normally say, providing a different medium of speech therapy that redirects the brain in a more effective way. As addressed by Dr. Michael Thaut, director for the Center of Biomedical Research, music is a feel-good mechanism, expanding music’s opportunity and ability within the field of therapy. According to Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University, dopamine is involved with motivation and addiction. Salimpoor and colleagues conducted several studies that prove the relationship between dopamine and feelings of motivation, reward, and pleasure. They found that when the brain interprets the electrical patterns produced by music, acoustical energy is turned into neurological activity and that is why music makes us feel so strongly.

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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.





“Music and Peace” Still Sets Stage for Music Festivals

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Feb 182013

Author: Mary Willson


Fans soak in the sun at Wakarusa music festival. Wakarusa is a week long music marathon, where the sun and heat adds to the festivities.



A sea of tents is a common site at any camping-centered music festival.

A sea of tents is a common site at any camping-centered music festival.

“Three days of Music and Peace,” the honed motto of the epic Woodstock music festival, still guides the passionate community and artists that come together for marathons of music, art, and human celebration.

As the reality of warm weather turns the corner, there is little more freeing, passion-building, and exciting as a music festival to truly unwind from the grind of the past semester.



A festival attendee focuses on a stage, as the crowds swell, the community still feels close through a shared bond of music.

“It is an exprience unlike any other planned ‘vacation’ just because of the ultimate freedom you have at festivals,” said freshman finance major, Ryan Fergen. Fergen spent his senior trip at Mulberry Mountain,in the Ozarks of Arkansas at Wakarusa music festival. “It is enlightening to see the way people connect through music and how complete strangers from around the country can become instant friends through a common band or show.”


Music festivals are a golden reality, which pushes attendees into a wonderfully accepting community, while enjoying the passions that music can bring. For this reason, festivals have grown in popularity and stay on the top of the list for rallying through warm weather experiences.

“The biggest difference between festivals and shows is you actually get to live the music. When you are surrounded by thousands of people that are doing the exact same thing you are doing and living out of a tent and eating [bad] food it makes you appreciate the lifestyle so much more,” Fergen said. “Things happen at festivals that you would never even think about doing at a normal show. My friends and I discussed the feeling that once we walked into the ‘boundaries’ of Wakarusa it was like we walked into another country with no rules and different expectations for society.”

Wake up in a tent, slap some sunscreen on, eat anything you can find, grab a drink, go to your first show; rally until early in the morning, back in the tent; repeat. This is the daily grind when on break and at one of the outdoor paradises of music festivals, a complete juxtaposition of life in a student’s society.

Woodstock, the ultimate, historically epic mega-festival from Aug. 15 to 18 in 1969 sets the stage for modern music marathons.  Thirty two acts took the stage including Santana, Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead—all with a crowd of 500,000 watching. As 44 years have passed and technology has increased exponentially, festivals generations behind its day-in-age were truly raw, and community oriented.

As technology has swept into daily lives, spontaneous moments such as this have dwindled. Music festivals bring those feelings into the center-stage, because through lack of outlets, wifi, and cell-phone service, being present in the moment becomes ever-exceedingly the current reality. This, coupled with energetic music and artists who are excited to be at the festival, creates a blissful show experience.

The kindness and community at festivals is felt whether one is at an electronic festival, a diverse music festival, or a bluegrass festival—the atmosphere is the same. Everyone is there to live the music.

“It’s all about the energy. Unlike a lot of concerts, at electronic ones everyone is nice to each other,” said Zaid Hassani, electrical engineering sophomore. “You rarely see fights, everyone is there for the same cause and just give off positive energy.”

Hassani made the journey to Electronic Dance Carnival (EDC) last year, and is preparing to go again. He also is an electronic DJ.

There are thousands of music festivals throughout the nation, and thousands more abroad. The largest festival in the US is South by Southwest (SXSW) with 20,000 visitors.

Popular ones within the festival season include Coachella in California, Sasquatch in May, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Firefly in Delaware, Governors Ball in New York, Bonoroo in Tennessee.

“It’s crazy because there’s thousands and thousands of people there, but you’re all there for the same reason,” said freshman Charlie Anderson, international studies major. Anderson went to Wakarusa least year, Mile High in 2009, and is getting ready to head to SXSW this March. “It feels like you’re a part of something that’s solidified in music.”

The music festival trend is truly timeless, as music is a passion that will be ignited throughout the generations to come. As our society becomes more controlled by technology, pressures of jobs, families and the like, weeks of giving it all up for the pleasure of music is something to experience.

CSU drummer marches to his own beat

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Nov 052012

Author: Lena Howland


Ben Justis, a CSU Music Education senior, has spent nearly half of his life dedicated to playing music. After starting with pots and pans when he was little, and experiencing middle and high school band, he is now the CSU Marching Band’s Drumline Section Leader.

Justis sat down with CTV after a marching band practice to tell his story of success and passion.

Upon graduation, he hopes to be a music instructor and composer.

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Best of CSU: The Aggie Theater, bringing the best beats

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Nov 042012

Author: Nicole Beale

The Aggie Theater. Photo by Logan Martinez

The Aggie has been in the entertainment business for over a hundred years, but not always as a concert venue. The Aggie was originally a movie theater before it was converted into what we know it as today. Fort Collins is becoming quite the hotspot for artists on the hit-parade through Colorado. With the Aggie offering two bars, delicate acoustics, great acts and sometimes live art, it couldn’t get much better for students.

The Aggie is located about two miles away from campus making it convenient for many students. Colorado State University freshman and music connoisseur Juliana Cullen enjoys coming to the Aggie regularly.

“The Aggie is the biggest venue around, which draws in big acts along with local acts, which brings in all sorts of people,” Cullen said. “Since it is close enough to walk or bike to it’s an easy trip to make on the regular.”

Cullen also said she enjoys the party atmosphere that the Aggie offers.

Aggie manager Kyle Stych said he works hard to get the bands that people want to hear up in Fort Collins. More than 50 percent of the bands that come through the Aggie are local to Colorado.

“If people will come to see it then well have it. We’re in the business of selling tickets,” Stych said. “While we like to appeal to all audiences, we do target the generation that’s prominent around our area, a primary age of 18 to 32.”

The music scene in Fort Collins is thriving and the Aggie promises to keep the music flowing.  With many great shows to offer, there’s a little something for everyone no matter what you’re into.

“We try to get every type of music in here that people will listen to,” Stych said. “While dubstep is beginning to decline in popularity, hip-hop is still strong and funk will always be funk. Down-tempo is one genre that is really on the rise”.

Highlighting Local Bands: The Echo Chamber

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Oct 112012

Author: Eli Portell


Since 2010, The Echo Chamber has been representing the Fort Collins music scene with their instrumental, experimental rock. So far their musical feats have included playing in Los Angeles and performing on a tour throughout the Pacific Northwest. They will be traveling to the SXSW music festival in Austin, TX this coming March, along with an array of other local bands.

Local band Good Gravy shakes it up at the Aggie

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Oct 012012

Author: Nicole Beale

Photo Courtesy of Visual Nectar Photography

One of Fort Collins’ very own prodigies is beginning to make their mark on the music scene. A band named Good Gravy is catching the eyes of many. From jam band fans to bluegrass fans, they are turning heads. They classify themselves as a folk/rock/jazz band with a hint of Caribbean influence.

The band consists of Jeremy Page on acoustic/electric guitar and vocals, Ross Montgomery on acoustic/electric mandolin and vocals, Evan Brenton on acoustic/electric upright bass and Ableton live, Nick Deyo on acoustic/electric drums, vocals and Ableton live, and Kyle Vanbuskirk on acoustic/electronic percussion, synthesizer and trumpet.

On Sept. 15, Good Gravy took everyone in the Aggie on an “excellent adventure”. They are known for their live shows, as their high energy performance consisted of live artists, glow stick wars and balloon drops. On Facebook, they warned each fan that this was going to be a special night. The theme was “Good Gravy’s Excellent Adventure”. Anyone who dressed in a costume from 500 b.c. to 1990 received a discount on their ticket.

One thing unique to Gravy is their fan base. Gravy fans were decked head to toe in retro gear along with signs saying things like ‘rage’ and ‘party on’. Gravy set the mood with Chinese lanterns and Christmas lights around the venue.

The band is currently playing at different music festivals, but took some time out of their busy schedule to let us in on how the recipe formed for this Good Gravy.

When asked how they got started Brenton answered, “Jeremy and Ross started out as picking buddies and began playing open mic nights at Avo’s. Soon they added Nick on drums and Kyle on percussion. I started playing bass in the summer of 2008 for the band and its just clicked after that. We all knew we had something special and just ran with it.”

They are planning on coming out with their second studio album in 2013. They are going to be hitting a lot of festivals this summer as well as playing a few shows coming up in Colorado. They will be playing at the Aggie on Oct. 12th and Bluebird Theater in Denver on Oct. 13th.

You can download their album for free on their website: and they have most their live shows available for download on:

Throughout the last few years Colorado has been producing up and coming bands and becoming an extremely popular place for prevalent artists to perform. There are some huge bands from our home of Colorado, such as Big Head Todd and the Monsters, String Cheese Incident, Elephant Revival, Pretty Lights, and Yonder Mountain String Band. Our own Front Range funky town is becoming quite the hot spot as well. With venues like the Mishawaka, Hodi’s Half Note and the Aggie, there are some shows you don’t want to miss.


October 10: Matisyahu

October 11: Brother Ali

October 12: Hot Buttered Rum & GOOD GRAVY

October 14: Ott & All Seeing I

October 17: Michal Menert & Break Science

October 18: Steve Kimock

October 21: Groundation & Trevor Hall

October 24: Zion I & Minnesota

October 25: Motet plays Parliament Funkadelic

October 27: Trichome

November 10: Emanicaptor with Blockhead

Hodi’s Half Note

October 12: Talking Heads Tribute


October 12: Supersuckers with Turn 4

October 26: Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band


The Continuum: Imagine Dragons

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Sep 262012

Author: Kenneth Myers

The combination of social media, word of mouth and immediate availability has made it possible for musicians to very suddenly come into common

Circumaural headphones have large pads that su...

Circumaural headphones have large pads that surround the outer ear. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

knowledge. Such is the case with Imagine Dragons. The four-man-group out of Las Vegas has very suddenly found itself being widely listened to.

At time of writing the group’s song, “It’s Time” stand at #25 on iTunes Top Songs, a list dominated near constantly by only the most popular pop of the moment. Dragons’ alt-rock tune stands alone in a sea of well known acts.

In terms of style, the group does nothing you haven’t heard before. They combine elements of groups like Modest Mouse and The Killers and act as some kind of an amalgamation of the last 15 years of alternative rock groups. They put an emphasis on their almost frantic vocals to create an inconsistent, but solid pace to the album. The inconsistency in the album is rooted in abrupt emotional shifts within the songs themselves that makes songs seem unfocused verse-to-verse. This issue in the songs themselves is only exacerbated on the level of the album with songs that are sorrowful and angry directly followed by optimism. It’s best described as a loud and insistent kind of alt-rock that hasn’t been anywhere near the top of any charts in recent years.

As the next year comes and Imagine Dragons publishes a second studio album, they will have no choice but to either differentiate themselves from other similar acts or fade into obscurity. Dragons will inevitably face a common issue for a group with a popular first album: avoiding the dreaded status of flash in the pan or one-hit wonder.