50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community

Categories: DIY, Denver, Lists

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Brandon Marshall for Westword.
Hindershot performing at Unit E.
The way a do-it-yourself music community/scene works is exactly like it sounds: by doing it yourself. DIY is an ethos that transcends genre. Regardless of what your music sounds like, you can create it, perform it and essentially sell it, through your own channels and own means without the hand or monetary support of a larger entity that can compromise your art. But it takes more than just musicians in a music scene to do-it-yourself; it takes the people who book shows, do sound, make merch and spread the word about music, too.

So what can you do if you want to be more a part of your community? To get started in the right direction, we've compiled a list of just some of the ways you can help support and be a crucial part of your DIY scene.

See also: Why DIY Venues Are Vital to the Health of the Entire Music Scene

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Fort Collins Music Fans Won't Throw Their Trash on the Ground Even if You Ask Nicely

Categories: Lists

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Flickr user Paul L Dineen
The Piggies play a previous Bohemian Nights
There was in interesting policy on trash over the weekend at Fort Collins' biggest music festival. More on that later.

Bohemian Nights is a three-day Fort Collins music festival featuring around a hundred local performances and several national headliners, all free to the public, funded by the Bohemian Foundation. It runs in conjunction with New West Fest, a city-run street fair featuring hundreds of vendors, carnival rides, and food and drink stands. This year's Bohemian Nights headliners were Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo and WAR. This year it celebrated it's tenth anniversary, and I went, just as I have for every year for as long as I can remember.

See also: FoCoMX Proved Fort Collins's Potential As a Music Hub


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The ten best smoking sections at Denver's music venues

Categories: Lists

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Aaron Thackeray
If you smoke outside at EXDO, you might hang out with these fine people. They may or may not smoke with you.
In spite of its jogging and vegetable addiction, plenty of people in Denver still smoke. No, the other kind. The one you can get in gas stations. Some music venues are better equipped to serve smokers than others, so we've put together a roundup of the best places in town to light up. Remember, pot is still completely illegal to consume in these places. No one should even consider smoking pot at a concert. Not even for a second.

See also: The people of the Inkmonstr pool parties

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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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The ten best hip-hop DJs in Denver

Categories: Lists

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Ken Hamblin
DJ Ktone with B.o.B. at his birthday celebration earlier this year.
Denver's hip-hop scene is ripe with talent, especially in terms of the great DJs that fans have access to. You can walk into dozens of clubs, bars, patios, pool parties or even corporate events that just happen to be hosted by one of the town's best. The competition is stiff, and a following here can easily be lost virtually overnight. The ten DJs (plus a few honorable mentions) on this list have the accolades, longevity, technical skills, marketing ability and hustle to keep their crowds.

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The seven best songs about resurrection for Easter

Categories: Lists

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Flickr/Dan Century
Easter is upon us. The holiday celebrating the death and resurrection of the Christian messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Pontius Pilate washed his hands, the Roman emperor Tiberius probably heard nothing about the incident from a far-off province of the empire. To Pliny the Younger, Tacitus and Josephus he was not much more than a footnote. But here we are, just shy of two thousand years after the execution of Christ and, as the late Bill Hicks noted, celebrating the event with chocolate candy and bunny rabbits hiding eggs in the night. As a perhaps more fitting tribute to the capacity of the offspring of divine beings to return from the dead, here is a list of some of the best songs about creatures that have returned from the grave.

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The ten best stoner metal bands

Categories: Lists

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Weedeater
No other musical genre (aside from reggae) has a stronger connection to the cannabis lifestyle than heavy metal, hence the term 'stoner metal.' But of course, this term describes a subgenre that can encompass different types of metal music and mean different things to different folks; whether you're into that slow burning, hazy sound or a faster heavier more intense variety, there are as many ' stoner' metal bands as there are strains of marijuana. The following artists are best heard in a more mellow state of mind; but be warned, while some of these bands might look stoned in appearance, they all possess similar sound waves and patterns that heavy are enough to shatter your glass bong. So burn a bowl of your best stash, and turn your speakers up loud for the following. Here's our list of the Top 10 Stoner Metal Bands.

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The seven best band tour documentaries

Categories: Lists

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From the Kids Like Us trailer.
The Black Lips are heading to Denver April 2 in support their new album Underneath The Rainbow and also a new documentary featuring their 2012 tour of that took them through Egypt, Cypress, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Watching this rough yet intimate look at what it's like for a Western indie band to draw crowds in the Middle East post-Arab Spring got the Backbeat crew thinking about other intriguing tour documentaries. Here is the list of seven must-watch for any music enthusiast. Let us know what your favorites are in the comments.

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The five best places to hear traditional Irish music every week in Colorado

Categories: Lists

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Westword file photos
Comparing a traditional Irish music session to a typical jam session is more than misleading; it's just plain false. A casual jam session could easily consist of an unplanned meeting of friendly musicians who just happen to be carrying around instruments, and it could feature extended riffs on any number of improvised or cover tunes. The Irish session (more accurately, seisĂșn in Irish Gaelic) is much different.

Sure, there's an element of spontaneity to the tradition of Celtic fiddlers, pipers, guitarists and other musicians meeting to play live music, but it's far from casual. Traditionally, the Irish session has stood as a connection to a musical tradition that spans centuries. The players stick to a very specific set of tunes, whether they're ballads, jigs, reels, hornpipes or polkas. A musician's chops have to be consummate -- there's not piddling around on a serious jig played in a breakneck tempo. The Irish session is a tradition unto itself, and it's alive and well in several Celtic bars in the Denver metro area. If you've got faith in your skills as a player, you're welcome to show up and try your luck. As we prep to casually become Irish for a weekend of drinking and abandon, we've rounded the top five local sessions that are liable to connect a Coloradan to the storied musical ritual of the Irish session.

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The ten best thrash-metal bands

Categories: Lists, Metal!

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Slayer guitarist and expert yeller Kerry King. Photo by Brandon Marshall
Thrash metal flayed disco band Kiss before bingeing on high-speed guitars, rapid double bass drum and foul lyrics. The emergence of thrash in the early '80s poked fun at a fan base of metal historians worshiping at the altar of eyeliner. These thrash bands did the world a favor and took metal in a much-needed direction, helping the genre develop into the massive beast that it is. Here are the top ten thrash-metal bands of all time.

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