Best of Denver 2015 Readers' Poll: Nominate Your Favorite Bands and Venues!

Categories: Best of Denver

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Aaron Thackeray
Red Rocks was one of our first winners.
There are more reasons than ever to celebrate Denver's music scene: more venues, more bands, more people finding ways to make this city a great one for fans. We've been documenting the state of that scene in the Best of Denver since 1984. Some of that year's winners -- like Red Rocks Amphitheater -- still deserve accolades today. Today, the people and places making Denver music great are old standbys and newcomers alike, and we're asking you to tell us your favorites.

See also: Best of Denver 2014 Winners

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The 31 Best Colorado Albums of 2014

Categories: Best of Denver

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So active and vibrant are the musicians of Colorado that we could never truly compile a list of the year's best releases. There were simply too many, from big-label full-lengths by exports like Tennis to obscure demo tapes by nascent punk bands. Taken as a whole, the musical output of our state in 2014 suggests a scene that is as fertile, creative and ambitious as it has been in recent memory. You'll find some arguments for a few of our favorite new releases by Coloradans here, but this is just a starting point, with plenty of chances to find your own favorites every night in our myriad bars, clubs, theaters and even back yards.

See also: Ten of the Best Colorado Music Videos of 2014


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Ten of the Best Colorado Music Videos of 2014

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Screenshot taken from Wheelchair Sports Camp's "Dance Off" video.
As artists find more and more creative ways to deliver their music to fans, music videos have left MTV (left it completely, in fact) and become the territory of local creative communities. The medium is much richer for it, as tons of clips produced this year in Colorado prove. A few (but by no means all) of our favorites are below.

See also: Twelve People Who Made Denver's Music Scene Great in 2014

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Why 2014 Was a Breakout Year for Experimental Music in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Brandon Marshall

Although experimental music has been a part of the Denver scene for decades and the bands who perform it have enjoyed some critical acclaim, those artists are still largely unknown in this town. But 2014 was a breakout year for the city's experimental-music scene, with a few key tours, label signings and big-name fans suggesting that the musicians making the most adventurous sounds around may not be on the fringes for long.

See also: 2014 Was the Year That EDM Died


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The Nine Best Rock Bars in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Brandon Marshall. Full slideshow here.
3 Kings during a King Rat tribute earlier this year.
In our continuing effort to spotlight the best venues in town for music fans of all types, we bring you our picks for the best rock bars in Denver (and, in this case, its suburbs).

A rock bar, for our purposes, is a place you can reliably go to find music anchored by electric guitars and a certain undefinable atmosphere: You know a rock bar when you see one.

See also: Denver Musicians Talk About Their Favorite Venues

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Denver's Ten Best Small Venues

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Brandon Marshall for Westword.
Devotcha did a three-night run for Valentine's Day at the Mercury Cafe in 2013.
It's no secret that Denver is blessed with an overwhelming amount of music venues, places boasting calendars packed full of local and national acts every night of the week. We wanted to highlight some of the best of the little guys -- venues that can hold crowds under 500 people. There are some old favorites on this list, untouched and in their original, mildly sketchy glory. But there are also some venerable spots that have had recent makeovers for the good, plus some brand new locations just waiting to be discovered. Dive in and see if there's a venue in Denver you've never been to yet and then get out there and see some music. Stay tuned for more lists looking at Denver's bigger venues, bar rooms and D.I.Y. spaces.

See also: Denver Has More Live Music Venues Than Austin. Does It Matter?

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The Eight Best Shows This Weekend in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Cashmere Cat plays Cloak & Dagger Festival on Saturday.
There are some punk rock bands playing next to the football stadium this weekend. Perhaps you've heard. There are plenty of options for those not headed to Riot Fest, including the inaugural Cloak & Dagger fest, with an impeccable lineup full of some of dance music's most interesting up-and-coming artists. If you go to Grace Potter & the Nocturnals show at Red Rocks, don't miss irresistible opener Lake Street Dive. Also in town this weekend: Sir Elton John. The rest of our picks follow.

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Colorado's Ten Best Breweries for Music Fans

Categories: Best of Denver

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Brandon Marshall
Fans at this year's Breckenridge Hootenanny
It's no surprise that music and beer are meant to be together, especially in Colorado. Still, there are a handful of local breweries that like to turn it up a notch when it comes to supporting Colorado's music. We've picked out ten of the best places for music fans to find their microbrews. You'll find live music at some and others made the cut because of the way music informs everything from specific beers to the brewery's entire identity.

See also: Our extensive brewery coverage courtesy of the Beer Man

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The Ten Best Unexpected Places to See Live Music in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

Rubedo plays at DIA
Every week, there are hundreds of concerts in Denver. Most of them are at the places you'd expect -- dive bars, clubs, amphitheaters, arenas...but the city's love for live music goes beyond conventional settings. You can also hear great local and touring bands at art galleries, outdoor shopping areas and, yes the airport. Those unusual settings often make for an especially memorable experience, so we've rounded up ten of our favorite places to see live music that aren't usually music venues.

See also: A Weekend at Mutiny Information Cafe

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The twelve best concert poster designers in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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Design credits below.
Denver is full of excellent artists and designers, whose images successfully articulate the mood of a show before anyone hears the music. Here are thirteen of the best, from the most commercially successful artists to those starting out, from those who have worked for major music festivals to those who focus on the underground. Most of them are easy to contact if you would like to work with them -- you'll find email addresses or web sites below.

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