"I've always been into social-networking things," Philleo says. Foursquare debuted at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin in 2009, and Philleo was there. "It just seemed like some stupid fun thing to do." But a music festival is the perfect example of how Foursquare can be functional. "It's such a clusterfuck down there, so many people. It's really easy to get lost and lose track of what bands are playing where." With Foursquare, you can find friends and bands that have accounts on it.

The problem, Philleo says, is that only a few of his friends use Foursquare; he is only connected to fifteen people on his account. So why does he keep it around? "It's not something I'm necessarily proud of, but, honestly, Foursquare is a thing where if I'm sitting there having an awkward moment with someone, I can pull out my phone and check in," he says. "It's something I'm going to do for ten seconds."

Philleo is also the mayor of T&R Graphics, where he works; and the men's room at Gabor's on 13th Avenue. He's not the mayor of Gabor's proper, though, and it's something of a sore spot. "When I first got Foursquare, I was like, 'This will be my spot to be mayor,'" he says. And he was, for a while. But after a few months, a stranger with the handle Colfax J swooped in. Philleo describes him as "this mystery bastard with, like, thirty mayorships." Try as he might, Philleo can't unseat Colfax J.

Crawford Philleo rocks Rhinoceropolis.
Anthony Camera
Crawford Philleo rocks Rhinoceropolis.
David Jones takes on all would-be mayors at Sputnik.
Anthony Camera
David Jones takes on all would-be mayors at Sputnik.

And Colfax J has even taunted him, leaving a tip for visitors to Gabor's that reads: "Crawford Pee spends a great deal of time in the men's room. Say hey to Crawford Pee. You can always find him..." Ouch.

So Philleo was surprised on November 6 when he checked into Rhinoceropolis during a Yoda's House show to find out that he had become the mayor there by ursurping the throne from another Denver musician, Jason Cain, who recently stopped using Foursquare. "It made me feel good, I have to admit," Philleo says.

Pictureplane's Egedy isn't familiar with Foursquare, but says his Rhinoceropolis cohorts are pretty tech-friendly. "I use Twitter all the time," he adds. Indeed, Egedy's account was recently named one of the Top 40 Artist Twitters by Pitchfork.

For now, Egedy welcomes the newly minted online head honcho of his house: "We should get him a mayor top hat."

— Kiernan Maletsky


Emma Garrison

City and County of Denver

1437 Bannock Street

Now that Denver mayor John Hickenlooper is moving across the Civic Center to the governor's chair, a host of would-be mayors are considering a run for office.

Lots of big names have been bandied about, but voters might want to think about one they probably haven't heard of: Emma Garrison is already the mayor of the mayor's office — on Foursquare — and it didn't take any campaigning at all.

"I haven't even checked in there since August," says Garrison, a 31-year-old lawyer who was unemployed at the time and volunteering for the City Attorney's Office. "It wasn't a major coup, and I'm kind of surprised I haven't been ousted yet."

Truth be told, Garrison, who now works for a small Denver firm, is actually an accidental mayor. She spent most of her time in another city building but kept checking into the wrong place. (There are several versions of city and county buildings on Foursquare.) "I thought it was kind of funny that it was one of the easiest to get," she says. "Maybe the people who work there aren't that tech-savvy."

A University of California, Berkeley, law-school grad, Garrison moved to Denver four years ago but didn't get into Foursquare until this past June, when she upgraded from her "rotary cell phone," as she calls it, to a Droid-enabled smartphone.

Now she checks in wherever she goes, whether it's the Whole Foods in Capitol Hill — a competitive mayorship that she held for only a few days before being ousted — to the Starbucks at 18th and Stout streets, where Garrison currently holds the honor. But gaining those mayorships has been tough on the pocketbook, she adds.

And although being mayor of City Hall is cool, Garrison's real Foursquare aspirations don't lay in politics. "I was mayor of the YMCA downtown for three or four months. I was proud of that, but I just got ousted." If she can't get that mayorship back, Garrison, who has been running more than she's been working out, says she may go after the current mayor of Washington Park.

Mostly, though, Foursquare is just for fun. "I like getting points and badges," she says, "and I only friend people who I already know in real life."

— Jonathan Shikes


David Jones


3 South Broadway

Potential Foursquare mayors of Sputnik, beware. David Jones, aka LORDSCIENCE, rocks his mayoral status at the South Broadway hangout — and at the next-door hi-dive — with authority.

"I'm always trying to shake down the [potential] mayor, scare him out of there," says Jones, a 31-year-old illustrator who lives in the Highland neighborhood but who has made it down to Sputnik about thirty times in the past two months. "They know me pretty well," he says of the Sputnik staffers, who greet him with some variation of "Do you want a corn dog, a Hearts of Palm salad and a Pabst Blue Ribbon?" Jones acquired the corn dog habit as a result of the frequent visits, but is "trying to limit myself to two corn dogs a week."

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