This Saturday night Shane Evans and friends will celebrate two years since Crash 45, a neighborhood bar in Denver, first opened its doors with free whiskey, beer and DJ Paris.
Crash 45 was Shane's second bar venture, the first being Liquid Lounge in Breckenridge. When he heard that his good friends were selling the White Owl, located at 321 E. 45th Avenue, he decided to jump back into the fray, "I'm always a sucker for punishment."
And while running any businesses does have its challenges, the rewards have been great. "We have many supporters who really make it what it is," Shane said. "I have learned how important it is to treat people good and take good care of them."
The idea for Crash 45's identity came about from its location and the building itself.
"It is off the beaten path, in a forgotten neighborhood of Denver. The interior is mostly decorated with discarded and forgotten things. Kinda like Globeville. But things are changing. In the two years I have been there, I'm starting to see the influx of more people moving into the area. We just hope lo-do does not creep our way. WE don't allow 'White Hats' in the place."
Thank God for that.
Back in the day, the cultural comedy series 'In Living Color' featured the "Hey Mon" skit of Jamaican a family whose self worth was based on the number of jobs one had. The more jobs you had, the more worthy you were, and a doctor with only one job was thought to be a "lazy coconut blood clot." Ty Segall with his own band, numerous side projects, annual record releases (sometimes two in one year) and touring could have easily fit in well with the Hedley family…if he were Jamaican and the age he is now back in 1990.
While London was piling up the punk rock bricks in the late 70's and the Ramones were on the east coast, contributing to the invention of the 1 minute punk rock song, the members of OFF! were part of the SoCal music underground making history on their own island, emerging from such iconoclastic bands as Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Rocket From The Crypt. No, OFF! is not some lame-ass 'super group' that relies on their past exploits, they're four guys who have been bringing punk rock fans to a frenzy for over three decades, and together through this band, are ready to keep the insanity going.
A natural tendency for many concert goers is to get there just in time for the headlining act to come on stage. But what they don't know does hurt them, and they end up hearing from early birds about how great the opening band was. In the case of IO Echo, who has been on tour with Bloc Party since the beginning of this month, this is one of those 'arrive at door time' occasions.
There we were, holed up at the Walnut Room the night of the presidential election, glued to the glowing TVs as CNN spewed their gibber-gabber on one and on another, to Comedy Central, awaiting for Jon Stewart's Daily Show to weigh in. Before Mr. Stewart could weigh in, Tosh.O was in the house…donning a Japandroids T-shirt. My friends and random peeps at the bar chimed in with glee at the fact that soon, Japandroids would be returning to Denver.
This past summer, London was one of the stops during my holiday. One of my main goals was to hit the record shops, buying vinyl that was a bit harder to come by in the states. This included snapping up Northern Soul 45s. As I flicked through the choices I was reminded that honestly, these artists were made in America. The soul, the R&B that has resonated so strongly in the British clubs over the decades is what still packs out Denver’s Meadowlark at Mile High Soul Club’s (MHSC) dance nights to this day. I didn’t need to import soul, it was already ingrained in this American woman’s DNA. This timeless essence is what will no doubt draw many to see Nick Waterhouse when he comes to Larimer Lounge this Wednesday, September 26, performing with Allah-las, a surf group out of Cali, and of course, the MHSC DJs.
Last fall Frank Turner more than made his presence know when he and his band mates came into Denver and tore up the crowd at the Marquis. As expected, there were many sing-alongs to fan favorites, including "I Still Believe," "If I Ever Stray," "Wessex Boy," and other tracks from his 2011 release, England Keep My Bones, all the way back to his 2006 E.P. Campfire Punkrock.
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.
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.
For the past few years, Denver has seen dance music nights expand from the larger clubs, where patrons seem more concerned with copulation and “being seen” than the music, to smaller, more intimate venues where dance fanatics and the DJs come together for nights to remember. Tonight, the latter is in store with a mix of local talent London Dungeon and Dylan Le Disko, performing with national acts Autoerotique and Mustard Pimp at the Marquis.