Queen City Sounds Podcast S2E25: The Legendary Pink Dots

The Legendary Pink Dots 2022, photo courtesy Randall Frazier

The Legendary Pink Dots have left an indelible imprint on the worlds of psychedelic rock, post-punk, Gothic rock, the avant-garde, noise, ambient, industrial, synth pop and electronic music since its inception in1980. Fronted by Edward Ka-Spel, the Pink Dots have evolved through various lineups and shifting musical styles exploring musical and non-directly musical ideas for over four decades now leaving in the wake of that path of experimentation and rich a prolific body of work all worth a listen. From the late 80s through the early 90s there was a sea change in the band’s music as its membership expanded and its songwriting style shifted toward the kinds of lush atmospherics and dreamlike melodies and textures of 1990’s Crushed Velvet Apocalypse and even more fully on the 1991 album The Maria Dimension (now released in a 3 CD extended edition). That era of the band reached wider audiences and established The Legendary Pink Dots as a cult band with a wide international following from the alternative rock era to this day. Its enigmatic yet colorful and highly emotionally charged story songs provide a kind of parallel narrative to established cultural paradigms, sagely commenting on the prevailing culture in which we all live and which we all navigate and offering insight into civilizational themes and expressing deeply personal reactions to and thoughts on he lived human experience. The group’s highly imaginative and creative music never abstracts feelings but finds a way to make the complicated and difficult explicable. The live shows are a cathartic celebration of life and dreaming and seeking and finding deeper meaning set to sonically rich and transporting soundscapes. In 2022 the Pink Dots released its latest album The Museum of Human Happiness on Metropolis Records and following that, welcomed long time booster, publicist, tour manager and friend Randall Frazier of Denver space rock/ambient band Orbit Service into the current lineup alongside Ka-Spel, long time multi-instrumentalist Erik Drost and live engineer/producer Joep Hendrikx.

Listen to our interview with Edward Ka-Spel on Bandcamp and follow the further adventures of The Legendary Pink Dots at the links provided. Catch the band currently on tour in North America including two dates in Denver: Saturday November 19, 2022 at the Mercury Café with Orbit Service and The Drood and Sunday November 20, 2022 at the Mercury as well with Dead Voices on Air and Edward Ka-Spel doing a solo performance featuring Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa.


Queen City Sounds Podcast Ep. 32: Oliver Holloway of Knuckle Pups

Knuckle Pups at 1010 Workshop October 18, 2021, photo by Tom Murphy

Knuckle Pups is a rock band with roots in the DIY and indie underground scene in Denver. Its music has a bit of that solid pop song craft, accessibility and a touch of the experimental infused with punk spirit. Singer and guitarist Oliver Holloway was born in and grew up in Denver and attended Jefferson County Open School as well as coming up in the Universalist Unitarian Church which gave him a foundation in pursuing his creative and intellectual interests in a supportive environment. Out if high school he became involved in the local DIY scene of house shows and spaces like Monkey Mania and Blast-O-Mat. His then band The Fainting Fansies were charged with the kind of amateur exuberance one would hope from a folk-punk band but also strong songwriting. Holloway followed that band with Henry Sugar which had a similar degree of exuberant performance but more informed by emo. Mega Gem came along shortly after that with its blend of punk and orchestral arrangements in a pop format and unlike most musical bands out of Denver at the time and now. Along the way Holloway toured the country and connected with DIY and activist communities broadly including the members of folk punk legends Defiance, Ohio and Ian Vanek of Japanther and Howardian. Hollowway still subscribes to the communitarian spirit of DIY music and culture as a core component of his approach to being in bands. Knuckle Pups is releasing its debut full-length TV Ready which combines the disparate influences of the members of the band with a unified vision of making music that is brimming with emotional authenticity, sensitively observed lyrics and strong vocal harmonies. Its eclectic aesthetic fortifies the effectiveness of the music and reflects the aforementioned punk and DIY ethos by drawing upon the collective strengths of the members of the band and embraces any perceived flaws and rough edges as part a unique creative work.

Listen to our broad ranging interview with Holloway on Bandcamp linked below. Knuckle Pups will perform at Mercury Café in celebration of the release of the album with home made CDs and t-shirts on Friday, July 15, 2022 with Jeff Cormack of South of France and Earth to Luna. To further explore the world of Knuckle Pups music and to find out about shows and to connect with the band follow the group’s LinkTree.