A Look Back at the First Two Years of Titwrench Fest

Hot White | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Hot White | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Tom Murphy

The sixth edition of Titwrench Fest will be held at Dryer Plug Studios on October 3-4 this year. Last year found Titwrench overseas in Sweden rather than in Denver, taking the inclusive spirit of the event not just out of Colorado, but out of the United States entirely. The festival began in 2009 as a showcase for the talent of female-identified people and those in the LGBTQIA communities. When so much of radio and other music media is male-dominated and very middle-of-the-road in terms of music, Titwrench has been a great peek into an alternative to that world, with a well-curated lineup each year focusing on regional artists. What has made Titwrench noteworthy from the beginning is the premium the festival places on experimental artists, as well as a very inclusive and welcoming atmosphere.

Head organizer Sarah Slater has long been an active participant in the local music and art community, and when she and former Denver Zine Library volunteer Kristy Fenton came up with the name and the concept for the initial festival, it seemed like the natural next step for Slater's longstanding history of booking shows, local and otherwise. As we get closer to the date of this latest edition of Titwrench, I will share images from the two most recent fests in Denver proper. But for now, here are some scenes from the first two years of Titwrench.

2009

Origami Hands | Titwrench | Rhinoceropolis | July 24, 2009
Origami Hands | Titwrench | Rhinoceropolis | July 24, 2009
Tom Murphy
Yellow Elephant | Titwrench | Rhinoceropolis | July 24, 2009
Yellow Elephant | Titwrench | Rhinoceropolis | July 24, 2009
Tom Murphy
Lust-Cats of the Gutters | Titwrench | Blast-O-Mat | July 25, 2009
Lust-Cats of the Gutters | Titwrench | Blast-O-Mat | July 25, 2009
Tom Murphy
Christina the Hun | Titwrench | Blast-O-Mat | July 25, 2009
Christina the Hun | Titwrench | Blast-O-Mat | July 25, 2009
Tom Murphy
Hot White | Titwrench | Blast-O-Mat | July 25, 2009
Hot White | Titwrench | Blast-O-Mat | July 25, 2009
Tom Murphy
Christian Teenage Runaway | Titwrench | Blast-O-Mat | July 25, 2009
Christian Teenage Runaway | Titwrench | Blast-O-Mat | July 25, 2009
Tom Murphy
Astor | Titwrench | Glob | July 26, 2009
Astor | Titwrench | Glob | July 26, 2009
Tom Murphy
Married In Berdichev| Titwrench | Glob | July 26, 2009
Married In Berdichev| Titwrench | Glob | July 26, 2009
Tom Murphy
Becca Mhalek | Titwrench | Glob | July 26, 2009
Becca Mhalek | Titwrench | Glob | July 26, 2009
Tom Murphy

2010

Julie Slater | Titwrench | Glob | July 09, 2010
Julie Slater | Titwrench | Glob | July 09, 2010
Tom Murphy
Concrete Shiva | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Concrete Shiva | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Tom Murphy
Night Of Joy | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Night Of Joy | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Tom Murphy
Hell Kite | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Hell Kite | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Tom Murphy
Bury My Bones | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Bury My Bones | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Tom Murphy
Christina the Hun | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Christina the Hun | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Tom Murphy
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake | Titwrench | Glob | July 9, 2010
Tom Murphy
Piper Rose | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Piper Rose | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Sara Century | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Sara Century | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Elephant Paintings | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Elephant Paintings | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Origami Hands | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Origami Hands | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
European Dance Collection | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
European Dance Collection | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Amy Annelle | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Amy Annelle | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Baby Shampoo | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Baby Shampoo | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Installation / performance art piece by Elena Stonekar and Alicia Ordal | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Installation / performance art piece by Elena Stonekar and Alicia Ordal | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Caldera Lakes | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Caldera Lakes | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Occasional Detroit | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Occasional Detroit | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Milch De La Maquina | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Milch De La Maquina | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Via | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Via | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Forest World | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Forest World | Titwrench | Glob | July 10, 2010
Tom Murphy
Robin Walker | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Robin Walker | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Mano / Tit 4 Tat | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Mano / Tit 4 Tat | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Lazy Mary | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Lazy Mary | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Sarabelle | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Sarabelle | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Ladyparts | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Ladyparts | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Pollination Population | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Pollination Population | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Astral Glamour | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Astral Glamour | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
The Tanukis | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
The Tanukis | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Diane Cluck | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Diane Cluck | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Married In Berdichev | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Married In Berdichev | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
The French Chemists | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
The French Chemists | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Dripfed | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Dripfed | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Neonates | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Neonates | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy
Lisa Frank | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Lisa Frank | Titwrench | Glob | July 11, 2010
Tom Murphy

*Author's Note on the High Plains Underground Archive: In the late 1990s, I started going to local shows on a regular basis. Growing up in the '70s and '80s, I didn't know there was such a thing as local music worth checking out. But I was drawn in after seeing a band called Rainbow Sugar (an all-female punk/hip-hop/experimental guitar rock extravaganza) opening for Sleater-Kinney's first show in Colorado at The Fox Theatre in October 1998. Next, I learned about a show at the now-defunct Rebis Galleries. From there I went to the first Monkey Mania show, and there was no looking back.

Rainbow Sugar was the first local band I photographed at Herman's Hideaway in 1999. But it was in 2005 when I got my first digital camera that my extensive photo archive started. In this series, called High Plains Underground Archive, I will share a small fraction of the tens of thousands of those photos, focusing on specific venues, bands, time periods, movements and whatever else seems to make sense. The title of this series comes from the working title of my book on the history of underground music in Denver 1975 to the present.

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