The best advice Carrot Eater Music has ever heard

All illustrations by Noah Van Sciver
Editor's note: Each week, illustrator Noah Van Sciver asks a Colorado band or musician four questions and then draws their conversation. We call the resulting comic "4 Questions: Comic Strip Interview" because we have no use for obscurity. You can see more of Van Sciver's work and even buy it on his website.

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The six worst reasons to start a band

Categories: Nitpick Six

Timothy Norris
Look, you're pretty much definitely not going to be Lorde.
For some dumb reason, everyone wants to be in a rock band. Probably because it's a good way to avoid gazing into the inescapable black hole of painful loneliness. That and rock & roll kicks ass, and gets you chicks or dudes or money or something.

The problem with rock music (aside from the talentless assholes with money) is that people don't seem to understand what playing it is really like. Effectively convincing people what being in a band "should actually be" would take a number of expensive hallucinogens and months of intense brain deprogramming. Instead of that, we made a list for you to argue with.

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At the Aurora mall with Cop Circles' Luke Leavitt

Tom Murphy
Luke Leavitt is sitting in the food court at the Town Center mall in Aurora for the second time in a week. At other tables are families with strollers, couples and groups of friends enjoying the cuisine at hand. It's mostly fast-food fare, but there is also what appears to be an independent establishment offering "Asian" cuisine. The mall itself offers an interesting cross-section of the population of Aurora, a place with more ethnic diversity than Los Angeles.

During the week, Leavitt, a musician who performs under the name Cop Circles, does energy retrofits; his work takes him all over the metro area. He enjoys his job because it gives him the chance to interact with people he might not otherwise meet in his life as a musician.

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NORAD Dance Bar is closing at the end of May

Categories: This Just In

Ken Hamblin

In June of 2012, Preston Douglas opened the doors of NORAD Dance Bar in hopes of redirecting the ears of listeners to the underground sounds of house, deep house, and techno music. Since then, the spot has become a fixture in Denver's growing dance and electronic scene, welcoming fans for sell-out nights with artists like Nicole Moudabar, Goldie and the Great American Techno Festival, to name a few. But NORAD will be closing at the end of May.

"We are not giving up the NORAD brand, the vibes, or the scene we've built, or the music enthusiasts that have rallied around us since day one," says Douglas, now a co-owner of the bar. "We are taking some time off and seeing where our options take us."

All remaining listed shows will happen as planned. The NORAD crew will continue on with its two complete sound and lighting rigs, promoting one-off shows at other venues and possibly opening another permanent location down the road.

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The library's new Volume Denver project will help people discover local music

Denver's new home for local music
The library is a building that holds thousands of books. But that doesn't describe the institution's role. Libraries are our memories. They are the place where all the lines eventually connect, where you can trace the progress of time in every direction. With the library's help, you can find the way a single house in Capitol Hill fits into an entire society of millions of people.

That mission extends well beyond being a repository of books. And as media moves away from the printed page, some forward-thinking libraries are finding new ways to connect people to their communities. To that end, the Denver Public Library is launching a new project to document and share local music.

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How the Knife is changing the definition of a rock-and-roll show by removing ego

Categories: Last Night

Brandon Marshall
Before the Knife's show proper got started, a guy who was dressed like a particularly garish Russell Brand got the crowd warmed up with some calisthenics. You know, the sort of thing that's done en masse in Japan and China.

It was part impromptu dance-class primer and part yoga class, with just a hint of square dancing. The commands were delivered with a friendly dose of social coercion while the instructor prepped the audience for the show to come. It was what the guy called "deep aerobics." He also called it "death electric emo party aerobics." He did get most of the crowd to shout especially well-thought-out slogans, like, "I feel so alive I'm not afraid to die"; "Self-consciousness is the illusion that this is only happening to me"; and, in the end, "I move to be moved." This surreal introduction set the perfect stage for what the Knife did next.

See also: The Knife at the Fillmore

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Pretty Lights with the Symphony, Kings of Leon and more on sale this weekend

Categories: Mile Highlights

Eric Gruneisen
Fans the last time Pretty Lights played Red Rocks.
Pretty Lights returns to Red Rocks for a two-night stand on Friday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9 but the this time around local producer Derek Vincent Smith will have a full band on board as well as thirteen members of the Colorado Symphony. Tickets ($44.50 advance, $50 day of show) go on sale on Friday, April 25 at 10 a.m.

On his first major tour since 2010, Maxwell brings his Summer Soulstice tour to the 1STBANK Center on Wednesday, June 18. Reserved seats ($49.50-$120) go on sale on Friday, April 25 at 10 a.m.

Kings of Leon bring the third leg of its Mechanical Bull tour to Red Rocks on Wednesday, September 24. Young the Giant and Kongos will open. General admission ($49.50) and reserved tickets ($74) go on sale on Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m.

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Is playing a festival a waste of time for an unknown band?

Categories: Ask Fan Landers

Nanette Gonzales
Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

We're a nobody Canadian band. Does it still make sense these days to play a showcase with hundreds of other nobodies at a behemoth festival like SXSW or CMJ? It seems to us that unless you're buzzing going in it's just a waste of money (especially if you have to drive from Halifax to Texas). But say we do it anyway (and many do): What is the best way to maximize your time there? Is a festival the best or worst time to approach a booker/promoter/label rep/music supervisor?
Showcase Suckers

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Brown Note Productions, which works with STS9 and more, wins national lighting award

Categories: Music News
Britt Chester
Behind the "Big G Hive" created by Brown Note Productions
Brown Note Productions, Inc. is among the best lighting companies in the country, at least according to its new trophy. The Thornton-based production company won the Parnelli Award for "Hometown Hero Lighting Company of the Year" for 2013. The Parnellis, which is like the Oscars for production companies and event techs, scours the country in search of the best of the best through a rigorous regional nomination process, then a national nomination process, before finally settling in on the winners. We spoke with Sara Knutson, co-founder of Brown Note alongside her husband of eight years, Ryan, about what it means to win a Parnelli, and what it means to have cultivated a company from a two-car garage to a 27,000 sq. ft. warehouse.
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The true spirit of 4/20 was at Cervantes' insane block party/quadruple concert

Ken Hamblin

Method Man and Redman, who were recently immortalized on the cover of High Times with their faces carved into an imaginary "Mount Kushmore," played a sold-out show on 4/20 at Cervantes' Masterpiece. No surprises there. Also Leftover Salmon was playing in the street right outside, with members of Little Feat and Elephant Revival. The relationship between the two shows was...fluid. Wait, what?

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