It’s been 15 years since I said farewell to my Bay Area homeland and set out for Colorado. After checking out the line up of bands set to perform at the inaugural showcase of Bay Area bands, sponsored by Balanced Breakfast and the Recording Academy at this year’s Underground Music Showcase, the Bay's music is just as diverse and spirited, as dark and gritty, and as subdued and haunting as ever.

In addition to the Balanced Breakfast showcase that takes place Sunday, July 31st at Skylark from noon to 5pm, each of the acts are playing other UMS slots during the festival.

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It's the first day of Denver's Underground Music Showcase, so pace yourself. There's 4 days and 400 bands and 20+ venues. Drink lots of water 'cause you have to work in the morning. You know I'm fucking with you, right? It's UMS bitch, time to get to some ringing-ears-the-next-day-in-the-AM action. Here are but a few recommendations for the first day, Thursday, July 18, with more to come for the rest of the show.

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Powerpoint

Day 2. Hopefully you're not too hungover from last night to make it out tonight. Pace yourself. After this, there's two more days to go. Grab a Kumbacha at Whole Foods. Get two more for Saturday and Sunday. It works wonders.

Ready?

Ryan Auffenberg (6pm at Michelangelo’s Coffee & Wine Bar) describes sound as “driving music.” I would agree, but would venture to go a few miles further. You’re sitting in stop and stop traffic, the kind that make Peter Gibbons and Samir want to tear their dashboards apart with their bare hands. And although your air-conditioning’s broken and it’s topping 100 degrees, the cool fog of the San Francisco bay pours over your sweaty brow within the first few notes of Affenberg’s “Alright Okay.” Ahhh.

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Hawks of ParadiseTake your Omega-3 and CoQ10 supplements. Drink plenty of water. Stay away from trans fats. Hand your cell phone to your best friend after your fifth drink so you don’t drink and dial.

These are just a few words of advice, survival tips if you will, for the many, many of you who will be hitting South Broadway for the 2009 Underground Music Showcase (www.theums.com), affectionately known by music fans as UMS.

It’s now running four days, Thursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26, so if you have yet to take any vacation time, now would be a good time to send the boss a “gone fishing” email.

Helpful links:

So let’s get down to it.

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Well, we've made it past Day 1 of UMS. If you were there, you may know of the packed-ness that was 3 Kings for the Cloud Nothings set.

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Yes, the Underground Music Showcase is upon us with over 300 and something bands (didn’t have the patience to count them all myself). Let’s just say there’s something for every ear. While it’s always a good time to see and support our favorite bands, and many of them they are playing, it’s yet another experience to discover something new, whether it be local or national.

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We've made it to the last day, Sunday, July 24, of the 11th Annual Underground Music Showcase (UMS). In today's picks is a reminder to check out EyeRock Art and Music show, Colfax Speed Queen, Flashlights,Timber Timbre, along with A Shoreline Dream, The Down and The Outfit.

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BNLX Performing at UMS July 23

Whew. Day 3. Late-night / early-morning afterparty after a day of heated venues and blasting music, and then waking at 9:00am; the combo just doesn’t mix. Okay caffeine, do your magic. Please. If I don’t recognize you on the street its because I’m sleepwalking. Here are my UMS picks for Saturday, July 23.

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Time is flying and so will most people I know when the annual Underground Music Showcase (www.theUMS.com) kicks off Thursday, July 21. I hope to see the event's organizer with a full head of hair, if he hasn't pulled it all out by then. This music festival in Denver has grown significantly over the years and in 2011, the event boasts over 300 bands. So pack your ear plugs and get out your comfortable shoes, 'cause there are four fun-filled-non-stop-music days ahead of us. Here are my picks for Day 1.
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So now we’re on to night number 2, Friday, July 23, of the Underground Music Showcase. Pace yourself. You still have two more days to go. Or, if this is your first night out know that there is every genre possible playing in the various venues along and around South Broadway. Most of the picks I plucked for tonight are electronic in nature, but as you'll see from Ilan's picks, there's everything from Mexican indie rock to Americana and hip-hop.

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