Photos: The 2014 Westword Music Award Winners

Danielle Lirette
We've just announced the winners of this year's Westword Music Awards. See the winners in each of our forty categories in the post that follows -- the names of the artists who came out on top of the public vote are bolded and enlarged.

We took a few photos of the winners (and friends) last night at the Awards party -- you can see them above certain categories below. Congratulations to every nominee! There is truly an embarrassment of excellent talent in the Denver music scene.

More »

We'll announce the 2014 Westword Music Award winners tonight at Casselman's

Focus 4 Design
The votes have been tallied for this year's Westword Music Awards, and the trophies are almost ready. We won't blow the surprise, but suffice it to say they will not bludgeon as effectively as last year's. Find out what they look like tonight: Thursday, June 26 at Cassleman's. An Awards' ceremony open only to the nominated artists will take place prior to an open party for the public -- you're welcome any time after 8:30 p.m.

We have not chosen to lead this announcement with a photo from last weekend's Westword Music Showcase just because it looks cool. The Showcase and Awards are parallel projects: All of the more than 150 Denver bands that played this year's festival are nominees for an award. So are some 150 more -- in total, there are forty categories in this year's Westword Music Awards. Bands made their way onto the ballot via a nominating committee of local experts, and winners were chosen by a public vote.

More »

Highlights from the Westword Music Showcase

Focus 4 Design
The twentieth annual Westword Music Showcase brought over 11,000 people to the Golden Triangle to watch more than 150 bands of every possible variety. Our writers and photographers saw excellent lunacy and affecting songs -- the bands and artists of Denver have built a music scene that contains the best of this city.

We're looking forward already, talking about how we can make the Showcase even better next year and preparing for this Thursday's Westword Music Awards ceremony at Casselman's. As for the events of Saturday, we leave you with this -- a guide to the coverage you'll find elsewhere on Backbeat and a few lingering thoughts and images. Thank you to everyone who played, and thank you to everyone who showed up to sing along, find new things and generally enjoy what Denver music has to offer.

More »

CP 208's Tripp Wallin on why he performs in drag

Tom Murphy
Tripp Wallin of CP 208 at Roostercat Coffee House
CP 208 closed out the night at Roostercat Coffee House for the Westword Music Showcase. Most of the crowd had filed out following Echo Beds' set. Their loss. The four-piece took to the stage and sprawled out a herky- jerky, noise-jazz, No Wave-esque post-punk. Its sounds are used like a calligrapher's brush with a strong, dense sections of sound and thinning, sometimes abruptly, in tone while employing unconventional melodies and inventive rhythms. Fronting the band was William Wallin III, known to most as Tripp or even Tripp Nasty, his solo-performance moniker. His vocal style for this project is reminiscent of the nearly atonal poetry of Witch Doctor's Justin Kinnett -- fitting, as guitarist Doug Mioducki was in that band. But it is Wallin who leans into the crowd with his blond wig, see-through blouse and large-lensed sunglasses, like something Kim Gordon would wear.

More »

One spectacular photo that sums up this year's Westword Music Showcase

Focus 4 Design
A view of your city during the 2014 Westword Music Showcase
After months of planning and lead-up, the twentieth Westword Music Showcase arrived promptly at noon on Saturday. I started my day watching SF1 both tap dance and absolutely nail down a cover of "Bombs Over Baghdad," and the next ten hours passed in a blur of sweaty singers and silly string and familiar faces. In addition to the coverage you can find elsewhere on the Westword website this morning, we'll have a final round of observations for you first thing tomorrow.

But for now, we leave you with this photo taken by Gabe Rovick of Focus 4 Design from a balcony above the main stage at 12th and Acoma during Diplo's headlining set. Our title here is somewhat misleading, in that it would be impossible to summarize this thing in one photo. But Rovick did capture the scope beautifully.

More »

Video: Westword Music Showcase attendees on fashion and festival essentials

From our video on fashion at the Westword Music Showcase. Watch it below.
We've talked plenty about the artists who played at this year's Westword Music Showcase. But, as many of them noted, there isn't much worthwhile about a music scene without fans. So videographer Bailey Geoghan talked to attendees at this year's Showcase. She collected advice from them on summer festival fashion and asked them how they prepared for the festivities. Watch both videos below!

See also: Ten things I learned at the Westword Music Showcase

More »

Shout-outs from bands who played the Westword Music Showcase

Brandon Marshall
The Westword Music Showcase brought several thousand fans to see over 150 bands in the Golden Triangle over the weekend. You can find more coverage of the festivities elsewhere on Backbeat, but we wanted to give the bands a moment to weigh in. Earlier, we asked several artists playing the Showcase if they'd like to offer any shout-outs to anyone or anything at all. Here are a few of our favorites.

See also: Ten things I learned at the Westword Music Showcase

More »

Photo: King Khan and the Shrines buy (legal) weed in Denver

Arish Ahmad "King" Khan with legally purchased marijuana chocolate.
Although Arish Ahmad "King" Khan (of King Khan and the Shrines fame) lives in Berlin -- which isn't too far from Amsterdam -- he says it's not common for the crew he runs around with to travel to the Netherlands for pot. But he was beyond thrilled to purchase marijuana legally from a dispensary while he and his band were in town to play the Westword Music Showcase.

More »

Ten things I learned at the Westword Music Showcase

Brandon Marshall

Editor: We're sitting here among the folded banners and deflated massive cartoon rum bottles after another Westword Music Showcase. You can relive it with a fairly comprehensive set of photos, and we'll have some more thoughts from the writers of Backbeat in the coming days. For now, here are some immediate thoughts, both general and specific, from first-time attendee Isa Jones.

I've been on the Front Range for five years, but this was somehow my first Westword Music Showcase, and I hate my music-festival-loving-self for waiting so long to be a part it. There's so much to say -- about how hard it is to play tambourine for twenty minutes straight and how amazing it was to see people so excited about their city's music. For now, here are ten things I learned at my first Westword Music Showcase.

See also: The people of Westword Music Showcase 2014

More »

The Westword Music Showcase is happening, it's really happening!

We are live from the twentieth Westword Music Showcase. Friends, I can now give you the exclusive news that there are tiny ferns on every table in the VIP section.

There are also many bands. More than 150 bands, actually, playing seventeen stages in the Golden Triangle. Stop me if you've heard this song before, dear Backbeat readers.

We will be here when I'm a Boy kicks things off at Krewe at noon. We will be here when DJ Cavem Moetavation raps about the nourishing qualities of kale. We will celebrate Colorado's wonderful plant life and get real into nodding our heads to Dragondeer. We will use quantum physics to split ourselves into seventeen Denver music-loving parts and see all the excellent music this city has to offer. We will be pretty drunk by the time 2 Chainz and Diplo hit the main stage, I bet. And we will see you here.

More »