A Long Time, A Recap, Some Ideas and Free Money

It’s been over six months since I last updated this dealy. That sucks.
I’ve been busy/lazy and I keep meaning to do it but don’t.
So here are a couple recaps for the past six months.
  1. There was a smattering of good shows.
  2. There were much more bad shows.
  3. I worked at the Boulder Theater a couple times. This is fun because it gives me a nice change of venue (ha, get it?) and lets me get out my element for an evening. Plus it’s always relatively easy and they pay quite well.
  4. I fell down the stairs at the Fox. It was good. I am working on getting the video, and if I do I will put some audio commentary on it and pop it on here. (But don’t hold your breath)
  5. I am planning a relocation to Denver in June/August. This means I will be leaving the Fox. Sad day. But I will be gaining employment at at least one of the many fine venues in Denver.
Phew…one list out of the way. For my next list, I will be giving you some ideas I have for future blag posts. If no one responds I’ll do all or none of these. I haven’t decided yet.
  1. Shows I plan on seeing or shows I think you should check out.
  2. More posts in general.
  3. Music reviews….
Last but certainly not least, I’m trying to make some free money.
I had the brilliant idea of putting ads through Google’s AdSense on my page. I hate to think I’ve sold out so please don’t make me feel worse. I am not supposed to tell you to click on the links. So I won’t.

As always, please tell your friends to check my blag out; especially now that I could be making money off it. Just kidding. Not really though.


Low Turnout and Production Values

Nothing is worse for a band than playing to a small audience.

Last night the B-Side Players headlined at the Fox. Overall the music was pretty good, but I have a feeling that if more people had showed up to the show the energy would have made the performance better. Usually when shows aren’t selling very well the higher ups at the Fox distribute free comp tickets to businesses around Boulder just so we get people in the venue, but even with a thousand comps out and about, less than 100 people showed up.

Local bands Onda and P-Knuckle opened up for B-Side. P-Knuckle has opened up for a ton of “big name” ska bands in the past so I had actually seen them a couple times before. They put on as good a show as ever, but again it would have been better with some energy from the audience.

What made last night a little different was that I got a chance to help out with production instead of my usually security duties. All that means is I got to stay late and help the band pack up. Doing this job gave me an insight into how much work truly goes into see a band perform live.

It was an interesting experience hearing the band talk about the show. They were pleased with the sound and how nice everyone who worked at the venue was, but they were understandably bummed out about the low turnout. C’est la vie.


Folk Runs Amok.

Imagine, you work somewhere that gives you the opportunity to see up to seven strangely mediocre bands a week. Also imagine that on some days you get to see a band that you’ve seen a couple, if not several times before. Now, before you get carried away and start yammering about how wonderful a job this must be, let me shoot you down a bit.
Every now and then you take a look at the night’s festivities and you see an act you’ve never heard of before. Two key questions pop into your head; what genre are they and what kind of patron will this band bring to my doorstep/facial space?

I will get to both of those questions as the post continues. I want to start by saying that I may now enjoy bluegrass. I don’t want anyone to pigeon hole me, but bluegrass, just like folk and other “mountainy” genres, can have the same punk-rock attitude I look for in music.

Trampled by Turtles blend the “four guitarish instruments and throaty singing” of bluegrass with the speed and fervor of punk rock. Imagine a blazing acoustic guitar mixed with an acoustic bass, mandolin and banjo, all also played at ridiculously high rates. Don’t get me wrong, punk rock isn’t all about speed, passion is also very important. There were times when the lead singer looked and sounded more like Greg Graffin and less like, well, any popular bluegrass singer.
The crowd was very calm as well. No one getting crazy drunk and no one trying to mess with the staff. Always a plus. There was one interesting group of drunken women from Wyoming, or so they say. I want to clear something up for everyone right now. An offer for a free strip show will not get you backstage, fact.

A little word on bluegrass bands though: they apparently don’t have the energy that most punk bands do. While bands like Black Flag and The Deviates could go song after relentless song, Trampled by Turtles had to mix it up a little bit with some slower, more traditional bluegrass songs. They kind of reminded me of one of my new favorite bands, This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, in that instead of a bunch of minute and a half songs they changed it up with some slower stuff too.

TBT was very good, and I'm very glad to say that there were at least 200 people in attendance to witness their awesomeness. If anyone gets the chance to see them anytime soon I would highly recommend it. They are playing in Fort Collins Wednesday and Denver Thursday.


Chasing an Open Mind.

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Either I was to “busy” or no noteworthy shows have come through the Fox. Since you probably wouldn’t believe the latter even if it were true, you can blame the whole thing on my laziness and we can move on.

Thursday’s show was a CD release party for one Gregory Alan Isakov. As a human being, Gregory was a pretty decent guy. He was nice the bouncers and his fans, so I have no room to complain. The music wasn’t my cup of tea, but in this day and age, what is?
This story
isn’t about Mr. Isakov and his two dozen special guests. No, tonight’s story is once again about the crowd that came to the concert.

Before I start this story, I must preface it with a disclaimer. I have nothing against lesbians.
I don’t say this is with the frat boy tone of “cause lesbians are hot,” or any other tone for that matter. I truly have found no reason to dislike or put down any lesbian I have ever met. I wish them all the happiness that I wish upon myself and everyone else in this world. Truly.

That being said, as I stood at stage right during the opening act, Tiny Television, I began to notice that a good portion of the crowd appeared to be of the “lesbian persuasion.” The best way for my one-track chauvinistic mind to describe the crowd was females with short haircuts, baggy pants, t-shirts and baseball hats.

I will again say that I am not trying to apply a label to any woman who chooses to dress this way or any lesbian who chooses not to. I am only stating my observations and how they correspond with the fact that society (who I blame COMPLETELY for any judgments I might make) has put labels on people who dress and act certain ways.

Like I was saying, I was standing stage right and “observing” the crowd. They were all having a good time, enjoying the opening band, and none of them were causing any trouble for me. Two thumbs up. As I looked upon these wonderfully behaved, possibly deviant, individuals I began wondering what it was that brought this concentration of them to the Fox on a Thursday night.
The line-up of bands was this: Tiny Television, then Chris Pureka (link), then Gregory Alan
Isakov and his amazing feature band. Looking at the production schedule, nothing jumped into out to me as overtly “lesbian” in nature to draw a crowd such as this.
As Tiny Television finished their set I watched as a single female began setting up the stage. This is not out of the ordinary by any means because as it turns out, women are far more proactive when it comes to stage setup than men.
When the stage was clear and only this woman remained, she was holding a guitar and tuning the strings. Suddenly, the house music went down and the stage lights went up. The woman began to sing.

This was Chris Pureka.
I looked to the crowd as she made her way, wonderfully I might add, through the first song. The crowd went nuts; this is who they had come to see.
I felt something like Jason Lee’s character Banky in the movie “Chasing Amy.” I panned the crowd with a “
riiiiiight, I get it,” look plastered on my face, complete with an “I am a dumbass” smile. All the puzzle pieces had fallen into place.

What does this story prove? It could be any number of things. It could be that I am an ignorant human being that only classifies people by the way they look and how masculine their names sound. It could mean that the lesbian “conglomerate” of Boulder and Denver counties run in a pack and support “their own.” It could mean that all these wonderful people had made the same choice to come see a show on a Thursday night. It could mean nothing.
Whatever the “moral” of this story, I hope none of you judge me because of what I’
ve observed and reported. This is, in fact, just a mildly humorous anecdote I have chosen to share with you.

In other news, Tiny Television was REALLY good. If any of you get the chance to catch them at any manner of venue/coffee house/backyard I would highly recommend it.


A Notice, A Mistake and A Band.

It has come to my attention that at some points in my writings, certain things are missing. Specifically, more information about bands. So, with that in mind, I will begin to give more information about each band that is included in my rants and raves. Instead of me telling you what each band is like, and whether or not YOU would like them, I will be linking to each band’s article on Wikipedia. This way, if you are so inclined, you can hop on over to their article and decide for yourself if you would be interested in learning more about the band. I will continue to put in my interjections, so think of this as a supplement to my writing.

Sunday night was the second night of Drive-By Truckers at the Fox. I will get to the band in a moment. First I have to tell you about someone who made a pretty monumental mistake.
At the Fox, we don’t “enforce” too many rules. However, the ones we do enforce are done so vigorously. Most of these vigorously enforced rules involve alcohol. Two such alcohol related rules are that outside drinks can’t be brought in and drinks bought in the venue can not be brought outside.
Towards the beginning of the Drive-By Truckers’ set I was working the front door. This job includes, but is not limited to: checking IDs, taking tickets, making sure people have been stamped and keeping my eyes out for alcohol being brought in. Someone else was watching the exit door to make sure no alcohol was brought outside. A guy walks in, on his cell phone, and sticks his hand under the black light to show he has been stamped. As he’s walking away my manager Ben says, “hey, what’s he got in his back pocket?”
Long story short, the guy had bought a beer, put it in his back pocket, walked out of the venue without being stopped, did his thing outside and then attempted to come back in with the beer.
I, for one, can not say if this was done intentionally or with malicious thoughts in mind. I do not know if he drank the beer outside, let alone if he was even aware that he had the beer in his back pocket. When I grabbed the beer and asked him about it he said he had forgotten it was there. That is all well and good, but it isn’t going to get him back in the show. The rules are clear: anyone caught bringing alcohol into the venue is denied admission and anyone caught taking alcohol outside the venue is denied re-admission. This guy broke two unbendable rules.

“You gotta go man.”
“But I didn’t know it was there.”
“Doesn’t matter, the sign says no alcohol outside and your ticket says no outside alcohol. You can’t come back in here.”
“I paid for three tickets man, and my girlfriend is still in there.”
“There is no discussion here. You can not come back in.”

I threw away the beer and escorted him outside. He didn’t fight me, probably because I had six inches and fifty pounds on him. When he got outside he tried to “reason” with me.

“Come on man, you gotta let me back in.”
“No. My boss caught you and my other boss is right there. At this point, if you come back in this venue, it will be my mistake.”
“At least let me go get my girlfriend.”
“Can’t do that man. You are not coming back in here. I will try to find her for you though.”

I found his girlfriend, informed her of his stupidity and escorted her to the door. She was nice enough to go back inside, close his bar tab and leave with him, thus avoiding any further altercation.
Here is the question I pose to you: am I the asshole for not giving him a second chance, or is he the asshole for breaking the rules and asking for a second chance? I’ll let you think it through.

On to more (or less) pressing issues.
As I said before, the Drive-By Truckers played at the Fox on Sunday. This was the last show of their current tour, and they had played the previous night at the Fox as well. Working the door I saw a good portion of the crowd come through with the stamp from the night before. This means that there were at least 150 people at Sunday’s show that were also at Saturday’s show.
I can definitely appreciate a band whose fans are willing to shell out money to see them two nights in a row. On top of that, the set was really good. I got to catch the last part of it from the stage and I must admit I kind of enjoyed it. Don’t tell anyone.



Sunday was a strange night. The band was Kingspade, two guys who are a part of the Kottonmouth Kings, a stoner rap band. The music wasn’t great; just rap covered with lyrics about pot, “bitches,” drinking and weed. None of this came as a surprise for me, even the drunken/strung out crowd wasn’t to bad.
The crowd was on par with other rap shows; very angry, very high and overall very caustic. As usual I had to say over and over that drinks couldn’t be brought into the pit. It’s a simple idea. Since, there are kids under 21 down in the pit, no alcoholic beverages can be brought down.

“But I’m over 21. See I have a wristband.”
“Yeah, I see that. The fact is that kid right there is something like 16 years old. That means when he steals the drink out of your hand, the venue is liable.”
“You suck man, I can’t believe you won’t let me take this down there. I paid for a ticket so I should be able to do what I want.”
“OK, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll throw out the drink and you can go wherever you want. Then, when you get thirsty, you get to think about how much money you wasted just to get ten feet closer to the stage.”

I don’t want to be a dick to these people, I really don’t. It just seems that the only thing they understand is empty threats.
Back to the performers. Most of the time bands have a rock star complex where they only talk to people who work at the venue if they happen to be in their way. Otherwise, us lowly employees are just there to have someone to talk down to when their bottled water is to warm. The cool thing about Sunday night’s bands was that these guys were very polite to the stage crew and security guards. Don’t get me wrong, they were walking stereotypes with tattoos EVERYWHERE, (a special thanks goes out to Big B for taking off his shirt and showing everyone the canvas that is his gut) and saying things like “yo dawg, where the women at?” But I have a feeling this was just a façade that they put on to sell little kids rap albums.
We can all agree, being appreciated at your job is a wonderful feeling. Working as a bouncer you don’t always get on people’s good sides, so when a band thanks you for your help at “keeping the peace” it is a good thing.
Another cool thing about Kingspade: when a fight broke out in the pit, the guys stopped the music long enough to tell everyone in the crowd to calm down. “Come on guys, this is a pot party. There’s no need to fight.” Ahhh, stoner logic, nothing tops it.



Tonight the genre-bending band Cake played at the CU campus. They played at a corporately sponsored venue, a tragedy for another lengthier post.
Anyway, even though the show wasn’t at the Fox, I would still like to share the experience. If that’s all right with all of you, of course.
The show started at 8, but my cronies and I weren’t to interested in seeing the opening act, so we showed up around 9. Our mistake. As it turns out, only the first 1500 people through the doors got an all-mighty wristband that allowed them onto the floor. Everyone else had to sit in the stands and watch the band from afar.
So, me and a couple people were sitting at the top of the stands trying to figure out how we could sneak in to the pit. As we were sitting there someone came up and tapped me on the shoulder. I turn around and it was a fellow bouncer. He had on the requisite “security” shirt and had a big smile on his face.
“Hey buddy, I just want you to know that you are my friend. Its pretty bold of you to wear a Leftover Crack shirt to a Cake concert.”
He, of course, was talking about the shirt I was wearing. I had gotten it on a road trip to New Mexico to see the band at a tiny venue in Santa Fe. Long story short, I decided to try to take advantage of my situation.
“If you were in fact my friend, you could scrounge me up a wristband to get me down onto the floor.”
So he handed over a bright pink wristband. Mission accomplished. Now I just had to get a couple more for my buddies so they could join me down on the dance floor.
I chatted up my newfound friend and found out he was also a bouncer at the Boulder Theater, another venue in town. It also turns out he was a friend of my roommate Dan.
Danny, our new friend, went and got a couple bright green wristbands and each and every one of us got to enjoy the concert from a little less far away. That’s right, no lousy uncomfortable stadium seating for us!
The moral of this story, because what good is senseless rambling without a moral, is that knowing people who know people is a very good “skill” to have.
There’s a couple off nights at the Fox coming up, so I’ll see you kids in a couple days.