Ten Musical Projects Ikey Owens Made Great

Categories: Lists

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David James Swanson
Ikey Owens on October 11 in Mexico City, performing with Jack White. More photos here.
When Isaiah "Ikey" Owens passed away last week, the musician and producer left behind a massive legacy. Most recently the Long Beach, California native was on tour playing keyboards and piano with Jack White -- but he was also a member and founder of Free Moral Agents and was known for his role in seminal rock group the Mars Volta. Beyond his big time projects, Owens had also produced and played on dozens of records in his career, including maintaining a strong Denver connection that had him producing and playing on Rubedo's first two records, as well as being an active member of the band (Owens and Rubedo also formed Double Ply Translucent Caterpillar, a group that featured a rotating cast of musicians and most notably played at the Denver Art Museum for Nick Cave's Soundsuit performance last year.) He had also worked on Holophrase's 2012 album and had just finished up tracks for Wheelchair Sport Camp's forthcoming record, as well as a gear collaboration with local pedal makers Mantic Conceptual.

But still, there was so much more -- Owens had been an integral part of the third wave ska revival in the '90s, worked with hip-hop, noise and R&B artists, toured the world with pivotal rock acts, all while continuing to play with and produce up-and-coming bands. His resume is pages long, but we've compiled just ten of the pieces of music you may not know Ikey Owens contributed to for your listening pleasure.

See also: Denver Musicians Pay Tribute to Ikey Owens: "His Voice Screamed Through the Keyboard"

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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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Eleven Famous Musicians Who Recently Moved to Colorado

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Wikimedia user Casliber
Gordan Gano of the Violent Femmes: Now a Coloradan.
With the legalization of cannabis for recreational use starting January 1, 2014, Colorado has become a destination for touring bands. However, a steady stream of artists have been moving to the state for years. Some seem to use it purely as a base of operations, but some have engaged with the local community in at least semi-regular local performances and collaborations. Here are a few of the big names who now call Colorado home.

See also: Holy Crap, Great White was incredible at the Buffalo Rose this weekend

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Ten Things You Didn't Know About the Mishawaka

Categories: Lists

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Courtesy of the Mishawaka
The Mishawaka was homesteaded in 1916, which makes it one of the oldest venues in Colorado. It sits 23 miles from Fort Collins, in Roosevelt National Park, nestled between the raging Poudre river and a canyon wall. It has hosted legends such as Leon Russel, George Clinton, Bela Fleck and hundreds more on its rustic stage.

Its age and location aren't the only thing that makes the Mish an interesting venue. Its a place with a remarkable, improbable story -- much of which is detailed in this week's feature. But we couldn't fit every odd fact or close call into that story, so we've also compiled a list of the highlights.

See also:The Rescue of the Mishawaka

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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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