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BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011

Joni Lissak:

The Lady of a Thousand Faces Kelly Cook BandWagon Magazine At just 25 years old, Joni Lissak is an old soul. Her poignant and authentic work has graced my walls for years. Her fluid lines and amazing understanding of color is at the center of very thoughtful pieces. Now, as her second solo show opens on Friday, I can say it’s going to be nothing short of stunning. Graduating from UNC with a degree in Art Education in 2008, Lissak started teaching art at University Schools two years ago. Many who teach in the arts lose sight of themselves as an artist, but when your students see their teachers create, they come to understand in a tangible way that art is valid. “You shouldn’t teach something unless you are passionate (about it).” Says Lissak. Her students and the Greeley community will have no trouble grabbing on to the deeply moving work in this show. Seeking a focus, Lissak was inspired by musician

Regina Spektor. Spektor’s album Far concludes with the deeply moving song “Man of a Thousand Faces.” Lissak, related to the song as a woman and was moved to create paintings and art dolls that speak the story of a Lady of a Thousand Faces. As the dolls dream, the paintings appear. The multimedia works carry Lissak’s signature of birds and deeply affecting colors, complementing the ultra fresh and dreamy imagery. Along with dolls and paintings, Lissak hand built birdcages to create a variety of pieces. She built these with her father in his garage. Because they got to do this work together, and because Lissak adores her parents, the cages are her favorite pieces. Opening at the Atlas theater on September 2nd and running through the month of September, The Lady of a Thousand Faces is an event not to be missed. Information on this show and others at the Atlas theater can be found at: atlasgreeley

BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011 BANDW



ALBUM REVIEWS Matt Smiley Quartet Art

Joe Lee Parker BandWagon Magazine Welcome to Greeley, the Jazz capitol of Colorado! Don’t believe me? Then check out Matt Smiley’s new album “Quartet Art.” Selfproduced at UNC Studios with Greg Heimbecker engineering; it is top-notch talent that compares to the best anywhere. Matt’s superb compositions and bass playing are matched with Matthew Coyle on drums, Josh Reed on trumpet, David Pope on tenor sax, and Greeley resident Ryan Fourt on guitar. The result is something new, and it’s full of cutting edge and traditional styles that are unique to northern Colorado. This 14-track album starts with a couple of improvisational pieces, highlighting each member. By track three, we’re planted firmly in melodic terrain, with lush sax work on top of solid rhythms. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, we’re launched into an experimental universe that takes us into uncharted waters, and the album clearly starts to shine. These guys know what they’re up to and how to blend their instruments into a highly enjoyable

audio experience. I would not be surprised to find they had a blast as well. The music has a way of being both pure and complex. The production meanwhile is clean and precise. Admittedly, the casual listener might be challenged, but anyone with an ear for the “good stuff ” will find listening to this album over and over again, is time well spent. Rest assured, our local jazz scene is in capable hands and our own jazz visionaries are on the right path. Take a trip to the outer reaches and return safely back home. Here’s your soundtrack for the journey! The album is available on iTunes,, and You can catch Matt at his regular weekly gig at Ace Gillett’s in Ft. Collins, ThursdaySaturday from 8-midnight, and in Greeley, starting August 29th at Zoe’s Matt will launch his ongoing experimental music concert series. Go to www. for more info.

Joshua Bell & Edgar Meyer Short Trip Home Evan Ballinger BandWagon Magazine If you’re about to embark on a scenic journey through the country, with your best friend at your side, the mountains at your back, and nothing but adventure before you, this album is meant to be your soundtrack. “Short Trip Home” by Joshua Bell, Edger Meyer, Sam Bush, and Mike Marshall flawlessly mixes virtuosity and classical style with a homegrown country edge. The music is practiced and polished, yet it retains and explores the free-jamming quality of bluegrass. Meyers’ compositions pull every part to the front, allowing each player to lead with tall, lyrical melodies, supported by thick arrangements, and utilizing each player’s stylistic talents. This group jams hard, frequently on odd time

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728 16th St. | Greeley, CO | 970.352.9511 signatures, which only tightens the groove and hints at probable jazz influences. There is an illusion of spontaneity, as if these four men somehow found themselves together with their instruments and time to kill. The second half of the album is a four-part Concert Duo that further demonstrates Meyers’ compositional tact. Meyer and Bell stretch their instruments to bridge a wide sonic gap while still holding on to the bluegrass feel. I recommend Short Trip Home to fans of all musical genres, because it stands as a realization of the perfect jam session: a seamless blend of rhythm, voice, and harmony.


BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011

In Review: Win Win

viewer to feel like another member of the family. The film follows the everyday ordeals of Mike Flaherty, a husband, volunteer Justin Roberts coach of a horrible wrestling BandWagon Magazine team, and father of two, doing his best to keep his law firm This year, Hollywood went from going under. Strapped about its usual business of for cash, he discovers that he flooding the summer season could make $1,500 a month with an excess of average to become the guardian of and terribly mundane films, which should come as no surprise. Thankfully there were a couple saviors of the summer movie scene, and one in particular struck a chord with me. Win-Win, directed by Tom McCarthy, was a breath of fresh air, offering a humanizing portrayal of a family going through the motions of everyday life. From the opening credits, the viewer realizes that every aspect of the cinematography is intentional, and McCarthy has a clear vision of precisely what he wants to communicate. The bright yellow clothing of a slightly overweight jogger contrasts a grey landscape, immediately focusing your attention on the Leo Poplar, an elderly man character that commands the who has been declared scene. Very quickly, we are legally incompetent; Mike introduced to Mike, played by jumps at the opportunity. Paul Giamatti, and it seems What originated as a as if McCarthy wants the seemingly uncomplicated

situation quickly evolves into something much more when the teenage grandson of Leo, Kyle (played by novice actor/2010 New Jersey state-wrestling champ Alex Shaffer), shows up to live with his grandfather. With no place to go, the family takes Kyle into their home, only to discover that he has an incredible ability to wrestle. After Kyle joins the school wrestling team, the family battles over custody of Kyle as well as guardianship over Leo. Through it all, the affect that human relationships can have on a seemingly hopeless situation is examined. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this film is its amazing believability and humanity. None of the characters are overly attractive or exceptional; in fact, by all accounts, they display a picture of the average American family simply trying to get by. In what is arguably one of Giamatti’s greatest roles, he puts forth an incredible performance that leaves you feeling inspired and satisfied. Immensely funny, relatable, and full of emotionallycharged scenes, Win-Win is a film that shouldn’t be missed.

Watching the Tree Grow:

Reasons to Love and Hate the Tree of Life Zach Martinez BandWagon Magazine

of the movie, if there even is one, is hidden behind a series of nonlinear scenes It’s hard for me say exactly that seem to be played in how I feel about Terrence some nonsensical order, the Malick’s The Tree of Life. That movie does raise questions is mostly because the sum of about God and the problem the words that I use to describe this movie will probably be greater than the sum of the words spoken in it. That’s not to say I hated this film, but I cannot say that I will be waiting in line to buy it when it comes out. During his childhood, main character Jack O’Brian (played by Hunter McCracken as a child and Sean Penn as an adult) is forced to wrestle with the meaning of his father’s hard-line discipline and his mother’s loving affection (played by Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain, respectively). As Mr. O’Brian’s livelihood is slowly of evil. Voice-over whispers slipping away, he reflects on are played throughout the film the way he has treated his asking things like, “Where son Jack over the years. And were you?”, and one can through all this wrestling and only assume these voices are reflecting, some truth about speaking to God. However, the God is revealed, but I couldn’t viewer would have absolutely tell you what the characters no ground on which to stand learned from it. and no idea where this movie Although the basic plot was going if it were not for the

quote from the Old Testament book of Job (chapter 38, verse 4) at the beginning of the film. On the positive side, the cinematography in The Tree of Life was incredible. Fans of Malick’s characteristicly wide-angle shots will not be disappointed. Stylistically, the film is reminiscent of other Malick projects, including New World and The Thin Red Line. Visually, this is an incredibly beautiful movie, and I almost wonder if it would be better suited to be played in an art gallery while people can come and go as they please. In reality, this movie is long and pretty hard to follow. I feel like The Tree of Life had a very specific audience: the super artsy, whom Malick had no problem catering. If you don’t fall into that artsy niche and beautiful cinematography and cool music aren’t enough to hold your attention, my friend Megan Roberts has a very comparable alternative. She says, “Save yourself two and a half hours, go rent or buy a Planet Earth DVD, and think about God while you watch it.”

BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011


Local Teacher Runs for Mayor Marte Samuelstuen BandWagon Magazine



A Sonnet to Silence’s new CD Give All, Gain All is intense, not quite as intense as being dragged off of the roof of UNC’s Garden Theater, like vocalist Lucas Wingfield was at the Block Party, but it’s still pretty damn good. It is an ode to all the great hardcore bands, like As I Lay Dying, Oh, Sleeper, and August Burns Red and nearly matches the greats in musicianship. I was especially

impressed by “Wasteland” and “The Sentinel.” I have to admit that I’m a little bit of a snob when it come to lead vocalists in hardcore bands. I have very strict standards for screaming that I can tolerate, but Wingfield is very good at what he does. Screamo vocals are highly under-respected, but I think there really are many layers of quality in screaming, the highest being

where Wingfield is found. Vocals, however, are only as good as the music over which they are laid. The guitarists, Josh Romero and Mike Machado, are extremely talented. The rifts are highly technical both melodically and rhythmically, and the drum beats are creative and responsible for the dynamic nature of every single song. Its not often that breakdowns stick out amongst today’s

hardcore music, but in this album, they are highly creative and unique by any standard. You can get their new album on iTunes and CD Baby, and I’d say that it is definitely worth paying for because “It might not be long before this band is touring Japan and Southeast Asia,” says Ely Corliss the band’s manager. “The majority of iTunes sales are coming from across the

By: Zach Martinez

Pacific.” Of course that’s not to say that locals don’t love them; they frequently draw large crowds to venues like The Marquis in Denver and brought a few hundred to the Garden Theater during this year’s Block Party. Check them out on Facebook and keep up with their local performances to make sure that you don’t miss out on seeing them while they are just a local band.

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BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011

True Politics

Local Teacher Runs for Mayor Marte Samuelstuen BandWagon Magazine If you’ve ever participated in Monday Night Trivia at Patrick’s Irish Pub, ridden your bike with The Greeley Revolution, enjoyed a cup of coffee at Margie’s Java Joint, or attended a local show at A.F. Rays, then chances are you know Nick True. C’mon BandWagon readers, after name-dropping that kind of a list, it’s pretty apparent that True is one of you. What sets True apart from the rest of the 20-somethings who frequent all the same coffee shops on their fixedgear bikes is the little detail that True happens to be running for Mayor of Greeley. Greeley’s current Mayor, Tom Norton, was preparing to run unopposed in the November 2011 election, but True recently joined the race and just in the nick of time. After completing his degree in Biological Sciences Education at UNC in 2008, True decided to stay in Greeley, to begin his teaching career here, and to put down

some roots in a community that he had already come to love. “I see Greeley as a young, dynamic culture with an exciting future still ahead of it,” says True. “I love how accessible and nonpretentious this city is. The entrepreneurial spirit is really taking off here; we are seeing downtown bustling with life again, and people are taking ownership by investing in their own community.” True describes his decision to run for mayor as one based on a desire to contribute to his community, not as a stepping stone in a political career. If elected, True still plans on continuing as a high school science teacher at Frontier Academy. “I don’t want to be a politician,” says True. “I want to invest in Greeley’s future by actually living and working in Greeley, not just acting as a figure head.” In looking through Greeley’s history, True said city mayor is promoted as a 10-20 hour/week job, so he sees his current career as an educator working in

conjunction with the position of mayor. “Local government is where the common person can actually attain change,” says True, “and I want to see Greeley succeed.” Some of True’s vision for Greeley include integrating the overall city culture with the university culture, keeping the momentum of the Downtown Development Authority going strong, and supporting the “blossoming arts and music scene” here. BandWagon Readers will be especially interested to hear that True’s favorite local bands/musicians include In The Whale, Mouse and the Marrow, Paul Beveridge & Company, and Renée Swick. His favorite local graphic artists include Liz Blasi and Armando Silva. With not a lot of money backing him, True describes his campaign as a grassroots movement based on “extremely talented and passionate supporters and friends: people who want to see Greeley changed for the better.” True continually emphasizes the fact that he wants to partner with the people of Greeley to shape the city’s future together. “Greeley is at a point where

Pictured Above: Mayoral candidate Nick True campaigning at The Block Party - 8/26/11 it’s really coming into its own and beginning to redefine itself,” says True. “It’s a place where you can actually be a culture-maker instead of following something that’s already existed... You can be a part of the Greeley movement.” Visit: to read more about True’s vision for Greeley, to request a “True For Mayor” yard sign, or to send him your thoughts/

questions/favorite recipes/ etc. {One must be registered as a Greeley resident/voter by October 1st in order to participate in this year’s nonpartisan mayoral election which will be conducted solely through mail-in ballots. Once ballots are mailed out to voters, they must be returned by November 1st in order to be counted!}

BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011

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BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011


BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011




BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011

A MAN OF MANY WORDS Jed Murphy BandWagon Magazine

Mac Lethal has been making a name for himself in the last few years. When he signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment in 2004, a big step was taken, and there has been no turning back for this Kansas City-based hip-hop artist. If you’ve never heard of Rhymesayers, then there is only one name I need to drop… Atmosphere. Everyone who lives north of Mexico and south of Calgary knows and loves Atmosphere. Mac Lethal really began to step into the limelight during 2007 where he opened for Atmosphere in support of Lethal’s debut album with Rhymesayers, 11:11. Lucky for us, on September 2nd, Mr. Mac “I Want to Make Out with Someone and Never Talk to Them Again” Lethal will be right here in Greeley at A.F. Ray’s. Mac Lethal has built his success on the foundation of

his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. There is no mistaking where he comes from with one listen to his most recent album North Korean BBQ. With his references to his own Kansas accent in his earlier work, and the comfort he describes when he’s back home with his family, it is apparent where his heart is. Years of underground shows in Kansas City created a base strong enough to hold him up as his career moved forward. His roots are evident throughout his music, and it really characterizes the message he tries to get across. Home is also a bittersweet topic for Lethal. His songs are filled with the pain of failure and regret he has faced in his life, but he uses that feeling as a vehicle to say what he really wants to say. The song “Shannon” is a perfect example of this as he repeatedly describes his failed relationship which I’m pretty sure he has been alluding to the entirety of North Korean BBQ. It is a soulful lover’s lament where he pulls out all the

Promoting his new album,”North Korean BBQ” Mac lethal brings his brannd of midwest hip hop to Greeley 9/2/11. stops describing his life with Shannon in brutal detail. It’s almost painful at moments as he relives some very personal and very real situations. That is where I believe his greatest strength as a songwriter lies. He creates a common man, middle class persona for himself that resonates well with audiences in the Midwest. His songs are easy to relate to if you grew up in those lonely suburbs outside the city with little to do and way too much time on your hands. He knows this is

his audience, so honesty seems to be foremost in all of his songs. This goes for his party songs as well, as he has plenty of tunes dedicated to the clubhopper in all of us. He even has a few songs for the pub lover, reminiscent of our favorite places to get a brew and think. Lethal says he’s not a poet but that’s hard to believe with the way he can turn a phrase and create multiple layers to a line. Many of his songs come with a lot of depth where he paints very metaphysical pictures using common

imagery. His songs lack a certain pop-friendliness that the music industry is looking for, but they hit spots where it’s obvious that radio play is not important. For Mac Lethal, telling his story in the way he wants it to be told is more important than ever becoming a superstar. Make sure to catch him Friday, September 2nd at A.F. Ray’s for a rare chance to see one of hip-hop’s greatest upand-comers.

BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011

UNC’s Open Mic Nights At The University Center

Dan Barton BandWagon Magazine

There’s hardly a better way for a local songwriter, comedian, or poet to hone their craft than at the open mic nights on Monday at the University Center’s Fire Side Lounge. Many pop music gems and comedy superstars have come up through this artistic safe zone. Unfortunately, they can also be harrowing and groan-worthy affairs, but half of the fun is that you never know what you’re going to get. As the host and

organizer of UNC’s Open Mic Mondays via the University Program Council (UPC), I’m not an unbiased source. But objectively, I can also tell you that our open mic nights are not your average amateur hour; last Wednesday night, listening to acoustic Destiny’s Child medleys with 250 other people, proved that. This record level attendance at the August 22nd open mic hopefully sets a precedent for a semester full of memorable talent. Open Mic Mondays at UNC hope to live comfortably between low-pressure performance

opportunities and highprofile entertainment. Bones Muhroni promises to be a staple this year, bringing their crowd-pleasing folk/ blues/pop/rock as always. Starbucks will provide the free caffeine. So far we’ve seen spoken word, classical piano, cup-tapping, tableslapping folk/pop, ukulele Justin Bieber and more. Touring R&B singer Trevis Prince will be making his way through the area as a featured performer in October, with a full scale poetry slam to follow a few weeks later. Other featured acts hope to include local comedy, hip-hop, and a professional jazz singer—no one will not be entering winter break uncultured at UNC. The members of UPC have ties in every corner of campus, including PVA, Greek life, and student athletics. We’re bent on all of them coming to see what we’re about. The invitation now extends to you, so this month, come to the UC from 9 to 11pm on Sept. 5 and Sept. 26 to witness what UNC has to offer.


BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011


The Stubby Shillelaghs:

Tuesday Nights Will Folk Your Face

Zach Martinez BandWagon Magazine

Greeley has become known as a place where there is nothing to do. For those of us who came to UNC expecting the typical college town experience, we might think that Greeley has been a let down. Weekday nights seem to drag on, and everyone waits impatiently for the weekend when they can drive to Denver or Ft. Collins to finally find a good time. This image of Greeley is a caricature at best, and a perfect example is the

Stubby Shillelaghs live show at Patrick’s Irish Pub every Tuesday. Stubby Tuesdays, as they have come to be known, are some of the best shows you can go to in Greeley, but better yet, they are proof that Greeley doesn’t suck. The Stubbies offer listeners the best Irish folk Greeley and the surrounding area have to offer. The band is comprised of Andy “Ace” Mithun, Jacie McConnell, Shaughnessy “Shag Nasty McD” McDaniel, and Ryan “The Knabler” Knaub. “ Not only are we the hardest working band in Greeley,” said lead vocalist Andy, “we

folk your face.” What Andy said couldn’t be more true. The Stubbies play two shows a week, every week, including their threehour set/marathon on Stubby Tuesdays. Patrick’s offers incredible deals on their best Irish drinks, i.e. Guiness, Jameson and Car Bombs, to try and lure as many people possible. Although, I’m not sure the deals are entirely necessary with this mix of talent. All the musicians in the band have dazzling resumes with many of the members playing their instruments since they were children, and everyone knows that alcohol and great musicianship mix wonderfully. That being said, Stubby Tuesdays should only be for people who either don’t have 8:00 a.m. classes on Wednesdays or don’t care about them. For those of you who just can’t get enough Stubby in

Stubby Tuesday at Patrick’s Irish Pub Photos By: Anna Martinez you, the band has an eighteen song album out called Stubbies Assemble!, and it has all the best that The Stubbies have to offer, including “Top O’ the Morning Wood,” “Beer, Beer, Beer,” and my personal favorite, “Seven Drunken Nights.” Picking up the CD would be a great way to learn the songs so you can sing a long with the band, but if you can’t come up with the ten dollars for a CD, don’t feel left out; there are always song books lying around. Tuesday, October 1st will be the one year anniversary of Stubby Tuesdays at Patrick’s. If other Stubby Tuesdays tell us anything, this event might be the biggest party of the year. I can’t imagine anywhere else to be on a Tuesday night, even if I have some homework to do.

The long and short of it is no one should complain about having nothing to do on a Tuesday. There’s always a party going on at Patrick’s, and the Stubbies throw one hell of a good time. So if you haven’t been out to see the Stubbies, I would encourage you to go, grab a pint, maybe some peanuts and sing a long. It is a really a cool experience.

BandWagon Magazine Greeley’s live music and entertainment magazine SEPTEMBER 2011


The Best Dressed of


Here’s what trending this season: denim paired with floral and geometric patterns, lace, and all-things early 90’s. Yes, you should still see plenty of stripes and flannel, but pair those classics with interesting accessories to make your look stand out from the rest. Notice how these ladies and best-dressed couples of the Block Party prefer their look: over-sized glasses, hats, scarves, and leather bags. You’ll still see skinny jeans but the trouser is also making an appearance. The Oxford is the perfect shoe for transitioning from summer o fall. Watch for more fashion trips in the October BandWagon.

All photos by Mallory Leasure.


HUMORGreeley’s on The Wagon - Slightly - Humor on Themagazine Wagon BandWagon Magazine live music Relevant and entertainment SEPTEMBER 2011

How To Survive the Zombie Apocolypse In Greeley Jed Murphy BandWagon Magazine We have all had that conversation. You know the one where you’re sitting with your friends and you try to decide how to best survive the zombie apocalypse. The best is the situational zombie scenario where you take your current situation and decide if zombies were to suddenly come in the room, could you survive? Try it now, wherever you are. Look around at the exits and all the people in the room and say half of them were zombies. Do you think you would have what it takes to make it out alive? A few ground rules need to be established first: fast zombies or slow zombies? I personally prefer the light jogging

undead because walking zombies are for pussies and the fast ones are just flat out terrifying. If you’re a living dead enthusiast like myself, then you know the worst place to be is a busy city like Denver and especially Ft. Collins. Let’s face it, the people of Ft. Collins are doomed if the dead started to rise. Greeley, on the other hand, would be a pretty good spot. True, Greeley has a lot of people, but if you could survive the initial outbreak and not get eaten in the first couple of weeks, I bet you could make it by taking supplies from all the abandoned houses. All the smart people would go to Wal-Mart to stock up, but you have to be smarter than those smart people. Wal-Mart

would probably be the worst place to go because for one, everyone is there, and two, their low quality products would inevitably fail on you mid zombie attack. Personally, I wouldn’t go anywhere that people are gathering unless it was completely necessary. If I had to, I would head to the Big R on the other side of the tracks. They’ve got it all for when this kind of shit goes down, but I bet they would get cleaned-out pretty quick. I would just find a toolbox and a crow bar and do it Gordon Freeman style and then try to survive on what all the desperate people left behind. If you could get a couple of fellow survivors with you, the University Center would be a pretty sweet place

Pictured Above: The Zombie Apocolypse

to hole up: plenty of exits for a quick escape, supplies for a long stay, and a nice place to get a haircut for when your wasteland mutton chops get a little out of hand. Let’s be honest though, I’m writing an article on surviving the zombie apocalypse. Most likely, if I witnessed a zombie

eat someone, I would probably shit my pants and forget every plan I ever made. It’s all fun and games until the undead start to rise. If that’s the case, I say let it happen and forget it all. It looks like zombies get to at least do what they love.




BandWagon Magazine - September 2011  

The BandWagon is a monthly publication. Our goal is to help cultivate and report upon live music, arts, and entertainment in Greeley, Colora...

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