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As a musician, industry member and fan, Sarah Slaton sees Denver music from all angles

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Isaac Camargo
Sarah Slaton is the new Artist Development director for SpokesBUZZ.
Sarah Slaton can't stop saying yes to Colorado music. In addition to her avid support of the scene as a fan, she performs in the band Edison, works for the Vinefield Agency as a manager and recently accepted a position as artist development director for SpokesBuzz.

We spent some time with her last weekend at the Underground Music Showcase, which is one of the busiest few days of the year for someone like Slaton.

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Riot Fest's new Denver location: Five places it could go

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Aaron Thackeray. Full slideshow.
Coming to...somewhere near you in September.
While the folks behind Riot Fest were recently denied a temporary-use permit to hold the event at May Farms in Byers the third week in September, organizers will reportedly have a new venue announced in the coming days. Sure, it's a major pain in the ass for everyone involved to scramble to change locations this late in the game, this kind of thing has been happening for decades.

Hell, in the summer of 1969 Woodstock organizers had about a month to find to a new place after the folks of Wallkill, New York Zoning Board of Appeals put the kibosh on the festival on grounds that the planned portable toilets wouldn't meet the town code. Later that year, what would become the Altamont Free Concert, headlined by the Rolling Stones, was slated to be at Golden Gate Park, then the Sears Point Raceway and just a few days before the fest, Dick Carter offered his Altamont Speedway. So it's a proud tradition, and there are some solid options in the Denver area for Riot Fest's new home. Here are the five we think are most likely.

See also: Riot Fest denied a permit by Arapahoe County to host festival in Byers

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Crowd-pleasing Cloud Nothings defy labels at Larimer Lounge

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Courtesy of We Get Press
There's been some discussion as to what to label Cloud Nothings. Punk, noise-rock, garage-rock, grunge and even emo have been tossed around when referring to the Ohio-based trio. But to put it into one of these labels would be a disservice. As the band proved at the Larimer Lounge last night, it is all of those influences and spirits of genres past, thrown together into something new.

Cloud Nothings, as much as it draw from various influences -- and it would be hard to deny that Dylan Baldi's demeanor isn't directly inspired by Kurt Cobain -- works hard to defy any set label. It's the kind of music you blast in headphones while contemplating the lack of meaning in your tormented existence. And in a way that makes perfect sense and no sense at all, is the kind of music you mosh and dance to in the basement-esque Larimer Lounge while sweat and cheap beer fly and hundreds of packed Denverites belt out "I'm not telling you what I'm going through" with big grins.

See also: Why Pujol is the perfect voice for our time

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Eleven lessons I learned at my first metal show

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Eric Gruniesen
Weaponizer
I love music. I really do. But I need to get something out in the air: I have been guilty of not giving all genres of music a chance. Because of that, I have never been to a serious metal show before. That all changed a few weeks ago when I spent the day at City Hall's Cue Room for the Westword Music Showcase. The bands started at noon and the last set went on at 6:45 p.m. Every group that played was generally what I would consider metal, although I know many belong to more specific genres. For me, it was all heavy and loud and awesome. Here are eleven lessons I learned:

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Five must-see Colorado outdoor venues to check out this summer

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Brandon Marshall
It's summer in Colorado which means it's time to enjoy the outdoors before winter arrives again and the beautiful green fades to a snowy white. Summer also means the Denver-area concert calendar is packed, and thankfully, you can enjoy both mother nature and music in the same place this summer. From an intimate venue up a windy-canyon road to the most iconic venue in the country, here are our five picks for the outdoor venues you need to see a show at this summer.

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Cashmere Cat, Holy Ghost! to headline The Hundred's Cloak and Dagger festival

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Gigamesh
We've just received word that the Hundred, one of Denver's most prominent event promoters and show producers, will be hosting a one-day festival called Cloak and Dagger at City Hall and Vinyl, on Saturday, September 20. The lineup looks promising, and given that it's spread across four stages in the Golden Triangle, this new style of show could set a promising precedent for events moving forward. Cashmere Cat and Holy Ghost! are set to headline, and Justin Martin of the Dirtybird crew is on board as well, plus many more international and local acts.

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In defense of silent crowds at shows

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Emerald O'Brien
Kevin Large, aka WIDOWER, plays an acoustic set at music blogger Heather Browne's Colorado Springs clubhouse.
When Gregory Alan Isakov and Nathaniel Rateliff played The Aggie in Ft. Collins earlier this year, the audience was silent. The only time the crowd made a peep during the music was when a diabetic girl fainted in the audience. It was weird. It was beautiful. It may have been related to the venue temporarily losing its liquor license.

But maybe we should spend more time encouraging silence at shows. Audiences at two recent very different Colorado concerts further demonstrated the value of silence.

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Global Glow Festival showed how iPads can be treated like acoustic instruments

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TedX Youth MileHigh
The CU Denver Mobile Device Ensemble performs on their digital devices. Director Todd Reid will perform at Global Glow.
The Global Glow music festival premiered over the weekend in Evergreen. The festival was created to showcase the CU Denver's music program and give faculty a space to showcase their musical and artistic work.

Todd Reid, Percussion Area Coordinator at the University of Colorado Denver played his iPad alongside the students who comprise the CU Denver Mobile Device Ensemble. He hopes the festival inspired thinking about music in a new way, not in traditional terms. "One assignment I give is for students to go outside and record themselves with some found sound in their day to day world," he says.

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Fantasia 2014: part art exhibition, part concert, all interactive crazy aquarium experience

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Colin Ward and Stefan Herrera are the co-organizers of Fantasia 2014.
Fantasia 2014 is billing itself -- at least on Facebook, anyway -- as a "performance festival." But it's not a big, multi-stage summertime throwdown for thousands. Fantasia 2014 is an intimate experience, one that co-curators Colin Ward and Stefan Herrera hope will draw people to fest location Rhinoceropolis, especially those who have never been to the DIY space. It's an opportunity for newcomers to mix and mingle with the built-in audience that has been a part of the art and music created there for close to a decade.

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The true spirit of 4/20 was at Cervantes' insane block party/quadruple concert

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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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