The Fruit Bats play the Fox Theatre on Saturday.
The Fruit Bats play the Fox Theatre on Saturday.

The Fox Theatre’s fall schedule is looking pretty good, especially since the club booked an amazing array of alternative bands.

Saturday, the Fox kicks off its indie music run with the Fruit Bats. The eclectic Sub Pop band will head up a very cool double-bill with These United States.

If you go

Who: Fruit Bats, with These United States

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder

Cost: $12-$15

The Fruit Bats are fronted by singer-songwriter Eric Johnson. The versatile musician leads this band — and he’s also a member of The Shins.

“The Fruit Bat members come from all over the place, but we’re now based in Portland,” Johnson said. “I started the Fruit Bats and I’ve been the one constant member of the band.

“This started as a bedroom project in the mid-’90s — home recordings were the thing to do then. It was a songwriting thing and there was no huge concept, but there’s definitely a folk-rock vein.”

Johnson said he changes up the Fruit Bats’ sound with each album. This time around, the band’s touring behind its 2009 release, The Ruminant Band.

“The first few albums were definitely quieter, folkier and experimental,” Johnson said. “The last record is more of an attempt at guitar rock, but I’m already starting to work on some new songs.”

Johnson puts most of his energy into the Fruit Bats, but he also plays guitar for The Shins — when the band’s in action.

The Shins have been on extended hiatus and frontman James Mercer’s been working on his Broken Bells project. That leaves Johnson plenty of time to tour with the Fruit Bats.

“I’ve been doing The Shins for three or four years,” Johnson said. “The band’s always had line-up changes, but I’m nevertheless a member. They let me do my own band and now I’m totally in Fruit Bats land.

“It’s been really satisfying doing my own thing.”

The Fruit Bats have never played Boulder, so Johnson has some big plans for Saturday’s show.

“It will be nice to hang out in nature. Boulder is my kind of town,” Johnson said. “Boulder reminds be of a smaller version of Portland.

“We’re going to do our regular thing at the Fox, but be ready for anything to happen. It’s a pretty expansive set, and we’ll jam on things and change up some of the arrangements. We like to shape-shift songs and breathe new life into them — get ready to boogie.”


Chromeo’s on a mission to revive ’80s funk music, but this duo adds pulsating electro beats to the mix.

Friday, locals can check out the band’s dance party at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

Dave 1 and P-Thugg head up Chromeo, and the Canadian bothers-from-other-mothers have been playing music together since they were 15.

Dave 1 is David Macklovitch, and he works on his Ph.d in French lit when he’s not performing with Chromeo.

“P-Thugg and I had a band together in high school. When the band broke up, we went on to produce hip-hop,” Macklovitch said. “It took us a few years to figure out what we were going to do.

“We put Chromeo together slowly but surely. We play electrofunk, because we both had the idea to do a modernized tribute to ’80s funk. We feel that music was underappreciated and we loved it since we were kids.”

Chromeo blends pop, hip-hop and electro into its funk-based mix, but the duo tries to stay true to vintage sounds.

“We tried to remain sincere and genuinely honest with ’80s funk,” Macklovitch said. “It was fierce in-your-face music and it was a whole new experimental sound. It wasn’t taken very seriously, but it was progressive music.

“We just wanted to rehabilitate that sound, and create a juncture between rock, soul, funk and electronic music. Then, we blend in contemporary electronic and hip-hop to create this atmosphere.”

Chromeo’s live shows feature the duo playing laptops and a bunch of instruments. Yes, these guys can really play guitar, bass, percussion and synthesizer.

The group’s live shows and online presence are letting people know that Chromeo means business.

“We’re not a radio-driven band,” Macklovitch said. “We use alternative means like YouTube videos and bloggers to get the word out. Our video ‘Night By Night’ had a million views on YouTube.”