Red Bull Sound Select
Interview with Denver Curator, Kendall Smith of UMS
Schomp MINI is once again excited to present the 2015 Underground Music Showcase, taking place on July 23-26. Working with local artists and people passionate about the music scene is Denver is thrilling for Schomp MINI and we’ve enjoyed being apart of Denver’s biggest and best independent music festival. Since we’re a few months out, we recently spoke with the UMS’ Kendall Smith, event director, about another aspect of the UMS: Red Bull Sound Select. If you are familiar with this platform, it’s a national program that enlists local “curators” to organize monthly concerts where the public RSVPs and pays a small fee to claim their spot at the show. It’s a way to get locals an up close and personal look at emerging acts.
See what Kendall Smith has to say about being a part of Red Bull Sound Select, why it’s good for Denver, and what’s to come for UMS 2015.
Schomp MINI: Why did the UMS want to get involved in the Red Bull Sound Select Platform?
Kendall Smith: Red Bull has been a longtime supporter of the Underground Music Showcase. When they approached us with the opportunity to curate for them, it was a no brainer. We appreciate the opportunity to help them support local music in the Denver market. To be included alongside curators in other cities like Brooklyn Vegan in New York, Amoeba Music in Los Angeles, and Sub Pop in Seattle is quite an honor. Our participation has opened doors to meaningful conversations with many of the Curators in other cities.
Do you think this program is a good fit for the Denver music scene?
KS: I think most any program wishing to support local music and local venues is a good fit. We have so much talent in this town. These monthly events with compelling acts for such a low ticket price are very fan friendly. Making them first-come first-serve also ensures we have great crowds from the start of the show to the end and benefits all the artists on the platform.
The shows are only $3. Why are they so inexpensive?
KS: We can thank the generosity of Red Bull and the Sound Select program for that.
Explain a little about the curators in Denver. Is there only one or are there several, meaning multiple Sound Select shows in town?
KS: We have four curators in Denver who take turns presenting a monthly show. The UMS – Denver’s premiere independent music festival, DJ LowKey – a DJ, promoter and Mr. X with Red Bull Music Academy, Souls in Action – a collective focused on artist management, event production and social activism, and Holy Underground – a management firm and promotion company focused on artist development. We are pleased to be associated with these folks making positive contributions to the Denver Music Scene.
How does the UMS select the bands to showcase?
KS: We have a stellar talent acquisition team lead by James Irvine (Larimer Lounge/Holy Underground) and Jason Hoke (The Epilogues). James books hundreds of shows a year and has a pretty good feel of what is going on in Denver as it relates to our indie rock festival. We will be opening up submissions this month. It is always great to learn about new acts. The interest in playing The UMS is always growing and appreciated.
Will some of the Sound Select bands be performing at the UMS?
KS: Most certainly. Last year we had 13 bands from the Sound Select platform playing UMS. They mostly represented Denver, but we also had acts from Austin and Portland. You can be sure we will surpass that number this year.
The next Sound Select show that is a must-see is Brownout presents Brown Sabbath at the Hi-Dive on Tuesday, February 24th. Local acts The Yawpers and Dragondeer will also be performing. Brownout presents Brown Sabbath is a latin funk band, which released a record of Black Sabbath covers last year.