Show Business

Denver's music scene deserves to be heard.

Just take a look at the Showcase ballot on page two of our pull-out section. The general consensus of the nominating committee this year was that we should leave off the so-called heavy hitters, but even after we did, the dance card is still full! It's stunning to realize just how many artists are creating compelling work. Although there's still a lot of mediocrity out there, the amount of quality music being made is staggering. We only had room to include a fraction of it in this year's Showcase, but even so, the nominated bands provide convenient snapshots of the various shades of the scene. From punk to funk, from hardcore to hip-hop, from jazz to jam, it's all represented on one bill.

The scene isn't perfect — it's still pretty insular and there's not a great deal of fan crossover between styles — but it's becoming more and more inclusive, and exciting, every day. Outstanding artists like Jessica Sonner, Ellison Park, the Magic Mice, Debajo del Agua, the Natural Selection, Paper Bird and Astra Moveo seem to be cropping up with greater frequency, while acts like d.biddle, Hearts of Palm and Achille Lauro continue to evolve, and elder statesmen such as Born in the Flood, Hot IQs, the Photo Atlas, Laylights and the Swayback age gracefully, casually refining themselves as they share the spotlight with newer groups.

Bela Karoli’s Julie Davis (clockwise from left), Paper Bird’s Esmé Patterson, Nathaniel Rateliff and Jessica Sonner are helping create quite a scene in Denver.
Anthony Camera
Bela Karoli’s Julie Davis (clockwise from left), Paper Bird’s Esmé Patterson, Nathaniel Rateliff and Jessica Sonner are helping create quite a scene in Denver.
Bela Karoli’s Julie Davis (clockwise from left), Paper Bird’s Esmé Patterson, Nathaniel Rateliff and Jessica Sonner are helping create quite a scene in Denver.
Anthony Camera
Bela Karoli’s Julie Davis (clockwise from left), Paper Bird’s Esmé Patterson, Nathaniel Rateliff and Jessica Sonner are helping create quite a scene in Denver.

And maybe some face time with Flobots.

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