The best shows in the first six years of legendary experimental music festival Communikey

Categories: Field Guide

Stephen Cardinale
Xavier Van Wersch at Communikey Festival 2010
Communikey Festival starts this Thursday, April 10, and runs through Sunday, April 13. Though Communikey is in its tenth year as an organization, this will be the seventh time it has hosted the festival, bringing in some of the most innovative and visionary artists in the realm of electronic music to Boulder.

The organizers of the festival have proven canny in their selection of talent over the years -- Communikey has frequently been a place to see artists on their way to wider acclaim, such as Nicolas Jaar of Darkside, MEN and The Books. The festival has also been selective about their choices in workshops and installation art. For more information on passes (there are also free events), visit the Communikey web site. We spoke with one of the organizers, Matthew Krall, who gave us a rundown of what he considers the best performances in the festival's history as what he's most excited about for the 2014 fest.

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The ten traits of the perfect frontperson


The best frontmen and -women all have something in common. Whether it's their ability to connect with a crowd or the swagger with which they carry themselves, their fashion sense, the intrigue that surrounds them or their reckless disregard for their own well-being, they all have that ineffable "it" factor. We recently conducted a highly scientific examination of a host of individual performances, and we took the data we gleaned from that analysis and combined it with our own anecdotal observations over the years and came up with the ten traits of the perfect frontperson. Keep reading to see what they are.

See also:
- The five best local musical missed connections on Craigslist
- Five more biggest concert buzzkills
- The original ten biggest concert buzzkills

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Five more concert buzzkills

Noah Van Sciver

So a couple of weeks ago, we laid out what we thought was the complete compendium of the biggest concert buzzkills. Turns out, though, we left a number of entries out, and so with your direct input (Whiskey Bulldozer and Surf's Up), we went back to the drawing board, literally, and came up with five more concert buzzkills. Keep reading to see if you recognize any of the newbies and feel free to let us know if there's still some we missed. We're already planning another edition featuring the Human Metronome (genius!).

See also:
- The original ten biggest concert buzzkills
- The complete Denver music fan field guide
- Noah Van Sciver draws Ryan Adams at the Temple Buell

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The complete Denver music fan field guide

all illustrations by Noah Van Sciver

Denver is known for its various species of beer geeks, outdoor enthusiasts and sports fans. More and more, it's becoming known for its music, and the varied climate of the scene cultivates a diverse cluster of fans, from metalheads to hippies to Juggalos. Here we have the complete Denver music fan field guide. Keep reading, and you'll find colorful illustrations and descriptions of the most common fans in the Mile High City. Consider this a cheat sheet for astute people-watchers to help identify the fans that inhabit our fine city. This edition is new and improved, with brand-new illustrations and descriptions of seven more types of fans, from hip-hop purists and jaded DIY dudes to Fraydians and folk guy, all alphabetized for ease of navigating.

See also:
- The twelve types of Denver musicians
- A field guide to the ten biggest concert buzzkills
- Noah Van Sciver draws Ryan Adams at the Temple Buell

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The ten biggest concert buzzkills

All illustrations by Noah Van Sciver

As vastly different as our tastes are when it comes to music, there's one thing we can all agree on, and that's our distaste for and subsequent amusement/bemusement/resentment with certain individuals who insist on behaving badly at shows. You know who we're talking about. The Talker, universally loathed by everyone, and there's The Setlist Adviser, The Overserved, The Show-off, The Director. Not that we're judging here or anything. God knows we've all broken at least one of these supposed rules of rock. Have you? Check out our field guide of the ten biggest concert buzz killers to find out.

See also:
- Five more of the biggest concert buzzkills
- Denver music field guide, chapter one: Five kinds of music fans and how to spot them
- Denver music field guide, chapter two: Five kinds of music fans and how to spot them

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