Connect with us

Music

Rattling with the Haunted Windchimes

Published

on

After nearly a decade of hard work and dogged determination, Pueblo’s beloved Haunted Windchimes have solidified themselves as not only a local or statewide force to be reckoned with, but a nationally-touring, festival-headlining, chart-topping Americana powerhouse (they were recently ranked as the #1 Folk artist globally on reverbnation.com).

But after ten years of grinding it out, what really continues to impress and move me about them is despite the long drives and endless miles, from small scale gigs to big festival sets, good nights and bad nights alike, the Haunted Windchimes now stand as something more than merely a band; they stand as a family unit, quite literally and otherwise. The love and respect that they hold for one another are always on display in the songs they create and on the stages they share.

PULP | So how long have the Windchimes been a band for now? Were there ever plans for a long career with it, or was that even thought about?

 

Inaiah Lujan | Desi and I started the group in 2006 shortly after we started dating. Much like the spontaneity of Desi and I’s meeting and beginning a relationship, the ‘Chimes were born in a similar spirit. We didn’t really plan for the long term or approach the project in terms of it being a career, rather appreciated it for what it was in the moment — something new to explore and get to know each other in the process.

 

Desirae Lujan | I personally didn’t think much about the future of it, I was just happy to be doing it right in that moment.

 

Chela Lujan | I used to write stories when I was a kid about a girl in a famous (pop) group. I think I was supposed to be doing this – I’m just a folk singer instead.

 

Mike Clark | I’ve been in the band around six and a half years with a year of guest performances before that with my old band The Jack Trades. I believe we have always dreamed of “making it”.

 

Is it ever hard at all to retain “the fire” from when you first started as a group?

 

DL | I feel like we have trouble with it all of the time, just never when we are playing. That’s what keeps me going. New material and new sounds help to fan the fire when it feels like it’s dwindling.

 

IL | So long as we are constantly growing and reinventing ourselves, “the fire” lives on, that spirit in which it was created goes and goes and grows and grows. Not to say it doesn’t come with ups and downs, it takes hard work and constantly reminding ourselves why we do it.

 

CL | There are definitely times when you ask yourself “What am I doing?” especially when you played a show that makes you feel like you just started playing music yesterday. There’s also the age-old fact of getting older and starting to think of things like health insurance and a retirement plan. I love to sing and I love to play, and I really love to do both of those things with these three people in particular. That makes all the actual hard work and doubt musicians deal with worth it.

 

MC | Sometimes it is hard, but it seems like every time we are about to give up somebody in the band steps up and stokes the fire all over again.

 

There’s a noticeable shift in sound and aesthetic on your newest album. Am I mistaken?

 

DL | No, I think that’s a real thing. We want to stretch the limits of the genres that we and our audiences have put us in. It isn’t that we have anything against those genres, it just feels really good to open up a bit.

 

CL | The only thing that stays the same is change, right?

 

IL | For me, the “shift” as you put it has been a natural evolution of us growing and maturing as songwriters. “Rattle Your Bones”  is our first studio record since we released “Out With The Crow” in 2012. In that time we have experienced so much as a band, a lineup change, numerous tours, successes and failures and gained perspective that only experience and time could allow. All of this finds it’s way into the material we write in a completely organic way.

 

MC | Some of these songs are as old as the ‘Chimes. I feel like the change comes from the sound of our new arrangements.

 

Was the change up a premeditated decision to do so or a natural shift of focus for the group as a whole?

 

IL | It’s rare we sit down with a particular theme or concept in mind when we write, we write what we feel, and the hope is to write something we’re proud of and are willing to play night after night.

 

DL | A little bit of both I think.

 

CL | There are four songwriters, different ages with different experiences, but we all seem to have some sort of connection that allows us to move together fairly well as a group. I don’t think it was premeditated – we just all arrived there at the same time.

 

MC | As far as my writing goes, I’d say I’m in my classic southern rock phase and the band lets me sneak one in every once and awhile.

 

Being one of Pueblo’s biggest, if not biggest musical export, do you ever feel and kind of pressure to exalt the positives of Pueblo? Or do you even think about that kind of stuff?

 

IL | Yes and no. On one hand we all want Pueblo to be better, to reach it’s full potential as an arts and music community.  We’ve watched it grow and thrive and crumble collapse over the years and grow again… That’s the beauty of it though. One thing for sure is we (Pueblo people) are a resilient bunch, and it is in both our successes and failures that make this town great.  It’s honest and it’s home. So to answer you question, we love to shine a light on all the positive things happening and that have happened in our little town, but not shy away from the negative aspects, or the hard times — but rather draw inspiration from it.

 

DL | We try to have Pueblo’s back without over glamorizing it. We want people to respect and appreciate it, but we don’t want a mob to move here and buy up all the good houses before we do.

 

CL | I can’t even tell you how often we hear “You’re from Pueblo?!”  We feel proud to represent what it is and what it has the potential to become. We also want to help in creating something good here despite all the hardship. Pueblo doesn’t have to stay this dangerous, drug run industrial town just because that’s all we and surrounding areas think we can be. There are lots of locals working really hard to change that and it’s exciting.

 

MC | We are all very fond of Pueblo so it’s easy for us to speak highly of the city.

 

Do you still like touring as much or as often as you all do?

 

IL | Touring like many things in life is a rollercoaster, ups and downs and all-arounds. We love to travel and do it well, but we’ve done some hard traveling too. The trick is to not have unrealistic expectations and to try to keep yourself open to new experiences even in times when you feel like you’re going through the motions. Life on the road can be bountiful and it can be soul crushing, but we rest in knowing that even the harshest of winters has a springtime ahead. We are grateful for the opportunity to travel and bring our music to new people and towns and we have those who support us, feed us and house us to thank for making it tangible.

 

DL | I still love to tour, it’s just a little more exhausting than I remember it being in the beginning.

 

CL | I’ve found touring to be much more enjoyable in the last few years than it has been in the past. Being solid in relationships, feeling like a veteran on the road, knowing just how long is too long, being able to go with the flow are all things that make it easier. We travel pretty well together and touring for 8 plus years certainly helps you know the ropes and know each other.

 

MC | No.

 

What do you want your listeners to come away with after listening to ‘Rattle Your Bones’?

 

IL | I’d like listeners to come away with a sense that they bought the ticket and took the ride and that somehow related to their own life experiences, in that we have all loved and lost, have had joys and pains, extreme highs and lows, so we may as well sing out! All together now.

 

DL | I just want them to feel good like we did when we made it.

 

CL | I hope Chimes’ fans are just excited about taking the journey with us as we are sharing it with them.

 

MC | I want them to feel like listening to it over and over again. It’s a very nice record as a whole and plays great front to back.

 

Does playing music with family ever present any additional or unforeseen challenges?

 

DL | I want to say that we bicker because of it, but I don’t think we really bicker more than any other traveling band. There’s a whole lot of love there; we’re family!

 

IL | I’ve played in a lot of bands, plenty that didn’t include family members, so I know the family dynamic isn’t mutually exclusive to the experience or dynamic of any other band. It has its problems and challenges, but at the end of the day we are a family, not in the literal sense, although it is that too, but in the sense we have each others backs and love and respect one another greatly, and just downright enjoy making music together, which trumps any disagreement we may have.

 

CL | I always wonder what it’s like for Inaiah to be in a band with his little sister and now his wife. Inaiah and I mostly worked out our sibling strife when we were younger, really he’s one of my best buds and I imagine I’m harder on him than he is on me. The other two just get to see how weird we are – they get to see traits and family dynamics amplified.

 

MC | Every once and awhile Inaiah and Chela get into a tiff over who was playing with the Stretch Armstrong first, but after I threaten to turn this car around they usually stop.

 

Is there anything or anyone in Pueblo that isn’t getting the attention it deserves?

 

CL | I used to work on the east side at Diamond Jim’s – now it’s the Pacific Warrior MMA gym. These guys are doing a lot for the community teaching mixed martial arts, MMA stuff. They’re teaching kids how to channel their energy in a good way – with integrity and respect. They just got a interviewed by the New York Times – that’s a pretty big deal!

 

MC | I really like the stand-up comedy scene in Pueblo. I think in time you may see some of them finding success on a larger stage.

 

Any plans for the Windchimes in the coming year?

 

MC | We are hoping to record and release a few singles this summer so keep an eye out for those.

 

IL | Our plans for the future is to focus more on well planned and curated events like our CD release show at the Sangre De Cristo. It’s so easy to get caught up in the play as often as you can rat race of the music world, but we’re taking a step back and focusing more on quality these days, making sure the whole experience is great for all involved.

 

Last Question; What is your karaoke jam and why?

 

IL | (laughs) I have a couple of go-to’s, but I’d have to say “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry is my favorite, don’t think I need to explain why!

 

CL | “Blue” by LeeAnn Rimes. She’s got country pipes for days so it’s good practice.

 

MC | “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding. It’s my jam.

 

DL | Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”. Because I always know it, no matter how many drinks, and because it’s swanky. Not very original, but I love it anyways.
The Haunted Windchimes will release “Rattle Your Bones” 5/13 at the Sangre De Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, CO. Tickets, Pre-Order and more info at www.hauntedwindchimes.com

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Music

CO Indie-Punkers False Report strike gold again with new EP

Published

on

We first brought False Report to our readers early last year, and their Collapse EP, in all it’s indie-pop punk glory, is still an office favorite. We also don’t usually repeat an artist so soon, but what a difference a year makes! In the ensuing mess that consumed 2017, the four young men that comprise Colorado-based False Report have come out better than ever, shaping and redefining their musical parameters on their newest offering Your Addiction Sleeps Tonight.

The album is kicked off proper from the get-go. Submerged is a strong, commanding lead-off; gritty boyish ache personified with guitars and a pummeling and groove-laden rhythm section that gives space and opportunity for frontman Alan Andrews dashboard confessionals; he sings and screams convincingly right through you, his truths and misdeeds laid bare for the world to pick over.

The record thunders on, with album midpoints Thrown Away and Balcony right in step lyrically and musically. But by track 4, the fantastic Clear My Name, something snaps into place and becomes crystal clear; False Report are embracing the Pop in Pop-Punk more than before; the guitars are still as sharp and biting as ever, the rhythm section still bludgeons, but the songwriting and crafting of the band as a whole has taken an adventurous and well thought out turn upwards to indie-pop heaven. By the album’s high gear closer, Lost Again, the transformation and subtle differences in sound make total sense, the band rebirthed aglow in a not drastically different, but nevertheless excitingly new sound that I sincerely hope continues to push forward with.


False Report releases YAST with a few shows around Colorado. Dates and info @ facebook.com/falsereportband

Continue Reading

Music

Onward through the Fog: meet the Spirettes

Published

on

You can’t appreciate the light without the dark, and the newest rays of musical light illuminating from Colorado Springs indie rockers Spirettes (pronounced Spirits) are as powerful and engrossing as a tower of 1,000 watt LEDs, while remaining undeniably and defiantly dark. Spirettes are a fascinating study in contrasts: this 5 song release is equal parts guitar-grit and heavy hypnotism, awash in powerful reverb-drenched harmonies and thunderous rhythms that ebb and flow with an indelible energy and sense of urgency that crash into your ears like a growing ocean tide, pulling you deeper and deeper under with its leaden glory. They are a hazy masterstroke of indie swell and feminine guitar rock ferocity. They are the audio equivalent to diving to the very bottom and finding a light you never knew existed. They are the fabulous Spirettes.


Your new EP is really fantastic; How long did it take to come together?

Kate Perdoni (guitar/vocals): We recorded the last days of August. It was an impromptu recording.

Kellie Palmblad (bass/vocals): We are really excited. It was recorded with a good friend of mine named Andy Jones who used to live here in Colorado. He moved to Denton Texas several years ago, and reached out to me out of nowhere when we posted that we had a new project forming  and said “totally keep me posted on this I would love to do the production. let me know if you want to record.”

Perdoni: Which we before we had even practiced. (laughs)

Palmblad: He said he was a fan of everything we had done in the past and other bands. We knew the atmosphere we wanted to create with our album, so he drove up to visit family and we knocked it out in a weekend.

Was it a lot of pressure to have someone wanting to record the band before you’d ever played together?

Perdoni: The really intimidating thing for me was that I had never let anyone record me before.  I’ve always engineered my own projects, so I was nervous about that.  But I could have not had a better experience working with Andy. It was seamless and amazing to let someone else take the helm.

Palmblad: It was magical. I enjoyed watching the decisions he made and learning from him.  he had great ideas. It was really fun and we geeked out on a guitar pedals and where to place mics and all of the technical stuff.

Perdoni: We had the same sound aesthetic, all of us; and it was like he stepped in with a magic wand to fuse it and gel it all together. It didn’t feel rushed or anything.

Palmblad: With the band, my goal is that there are 3 creative beautiful women that have great ideas, and my job is to support that and bring what I have to the table, but also know when to get out of the way; to get an honest snapshot of our creativity and vision.

Was it an intentional focus to have an all-female band?

Perdoni:  yes absolutely.

Palmblad: yes.

Any particular reason?

Palmblad: I wanted to start a female project, I wanted to do it with integrity, and we’ll hit it really hard.

I was traveling to Denver to see Courtney Barnett the night of the election;  and it was a very surreal experience; watching what was happening politically in the world at that moment and also having the experience of one of the most phenomenal shows I have ever been to. I know so many talented women; we should probably talk at some point about getting together and playing. It was quite a moment, and it made an impression on me. It felt like somewhere inside of me spiritually said now is the time to do that.

Perdoni: Kellie had actually texted me that same night and said it was time.The next day there was a group message sent and it all went from there.

It seems like the election of 2016 has galvanized a lot of different people. People understand that everything we do is political, even creating art.  What do you want this new EP to show the public politically?

Perdoni: It starts personally with personal politics for me; my constitution and force.  And music is such a pure avenue for that expression.

Palmblad: I think the recording actually really solidified that idea, actually. From the first moment we said we don’t know for sure what this is supposed to sound like, but we know all of our anger comes out so sad and angry sometimes. But the more I wrote the more it was bloody and heartfelt; it wasn’t coming out like riot girl music necessarily.

When we started, I didn’t want to start by saying the music had to sound a certain way.  I wanted it to be a product of where we were and what we wanted to bring to it. Even now I catch myself when I’m starting to impose a sound or structure I remember that my job is to sometimes just step back and let it come through instead.

Perdoni: It’s dark, and it’s mysterious. It exists in a different place; almost in a warm humid room to me.

To me it feels David Lynchian.

Palmblad: Yes, definitely. It’s manifesting all the b******* that we’ve been through in our lives and the changes that we’ve had to go through in response to the b*******. It’s the perfect time culturally to offer ourselves in that realm as Who We Are; this is our experience.

Perdoni: So many of the themes of this album are themes of death and rebirth;  phoenixes and Rising Up From the Ashes.  we had to crawl and fight and cry and kill for this. Well, maybe not kill though. (laughs)

Palmblad: Somewhere along the way with the recording, it started to have a very old style rock and roll feeling;  like the classic girl bands.  I kind of was brought back to the Shangri-las and The Ronettes. It’s kind of like that musically, but on acid.

I read recently that Colorado Springs is the one of the new “it” cities in America;  how do you feel about that as a band?

Palmblad: I’m a native to Colorado Springs. I feel like if you stick around long enough,  good things will happen eventually.  It’s nice To be recognized for the great things I’ve seen here. I’ve always believed in this city and where it exists amongst cultures and amongst the mountains. The nature here is always going to produce some really interesting extremes;  the clash of cultures that are here even though it might feel so of oppressive to have mega churches and the military here, to me it’s always been a breeding ground of innovation. We may not have a traditional way of pursuing music here in the springs, but we still make it. We make it what we want it to be.

Perdoni: My perspective is a bit different. I’m not a native here, and I’ve only lived here for 4 years, but I have so much respect for people who grew up here and stuck around. Nothing pisses me off more than the negative connotations and perceptions of Colorado Springs. Rather than focus on the negative or perceived negative elements let’s put as much energy as we would bitching and complaining about everything and instead of harness that energy into something amazing that we want to see. That’s been my ethos since I’ve been here.

Well for what it’s worth, I’ve never seen a more caring and sincere scene than the one you have here in the Springs. Everyone here I’ve met is very passionate and supportive it seems.

Perdoni: Yeah, we really care for each other.

Palmblad: It’s interesting watching the scene develop; now I go to shows end venues where you would expect to see the same core group of people you often see, and there is tons of new faces all the time. There’s a nice feeling from some of the older scene people that “whew, the back up troops have come.”

Perdoni: Yes! I feel just like in the past few years that a lot of the young people who came here for college are staying here; they’re being retained because of the community and culture that is being created. And they are contributing so much to the sustainability of the arts scene.

If you had to describe Spirettes to someone what would you say?

Palmblad: a dark twist on classic girl groups; that’s what it’s sounding like to me the more I hear it.

Perdoni:  An unwieldy wildness! (laughs)

What do you want people to come away with after listening to the record?

Perdoni: I want people to feel really inspired to create their own world. And to feel supported;  to feel everything that we feel when we were making music together; alive, thrilled, expressed, all of the things that until recently not just women but all different types of people were told they were not allowed to express. You don’t have to do that anymore. You can be honest. I want people to feel true to themselves.

Palmblad: It’s bittersweet and also powerful. It’s okay to feel a little bit of nostalgia when you hear it;  it’s okay if you catch the references. But if you can experience the songs and tell us what you hear when they listen to us, we’d love to hear it, too.


The self titled debut from Spirettes is available at spirettes.bandcamp.com. Upcoming live dates and more at facebook.com/spirettesmusic

Continue Reading

Music

Boulder indie-rocker Eric Dorr’s debut EP shines bright from the get-go

Published

on

The indie music camp has sure seen quite the split over the years, with the early college-rock station inspired purists of yesteryear often scoffing at the larger influences that pop and electronic music have had on the genre within recent years, going so far as to call the genres original intentions “dead.” Which, my friends, is dumb as hell. Sure, we all love our Superchunks and our Dinosaur’s Jr, but to call an entire genre dead is to negate the existence and unyieldingly diverse essence of a new batch of DIY artists.

 

 

To do so would also discount Boulder songwriter Eric Dorr, which is something I will not stand for. On his sublime Dream Routine EP, Eric has managed to exude a work that combines the recognizable mishmashes of so-called “original” indie tenets of singer-songwriter espousal and heart and weave them delicately with an undeniable feel-good brash-pop fabric and subtle electronic flourish, with songs like album midpoint track Leaves veering into electronic territory (albeit with heart and songwriting chops firmly intact) and album closer Next to Me echoing the undeniable good vibes of Jimmy Buffettalbeit updated for the youngins but still taking listeners to Margaritaville regardless. The resulting album is full of sweetly tangible indie rock that goes down smooth.

 

 


 

Eric Dorr’s Dream Routine is available for digital and physical purchase now via Bandcamp. For show dates and more, head to Dorr’s Facebook page.

Continue Reading

Trending