Here's reason to celebrate: Bender's 13th Avenue Tavern (314 East 13th Avenue) marks its one-year anniversary on July 22 and 23 with performances by the Railbenders and Slim Cessna's Auto Club, just two of the many acts that have passed through its doors in the past year. Bender's has worked hard to create a name for itself, not just as a great local venue, but as a national one as well, with artists such as Reckless Kelly, Jesse Dayton, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Eddie Spaghetti stopping by, to name a few.
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"We're really surprised that it happened so quickly," says partner Tyson Murray. "We are a local-music venue first and foremost, but it's great that we've had so many national artists as well. It's about fifty-fifty, I'd say."
They've made a lot of changes to the physical space, too, opening a kitchen, putting in booths and adding windows to the front of the club. "We really want to be a comfortable neighborhood bar on one side, and a kick-ass music venue on the other," Murray says. The owners are confident that this is just the beginning for Bender's, which is very good news for the local-music scene.
Whiskey Bill's (7290 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood) is bringing true metal to that part of town with a new weekly feature on Thursdays. The night will showcase DJ Inferno (otherwise known as Ivan from Throcult) spinning all genres of metal -- death, black, doom, grind, thrash and heavy classics -- except for watered-down, radio-friendly metal.
Inferno says he started the metal night because there wasn't anything like it going on around town, and that when he walks into a bar, this is the kind of music he wants to hear. Whiskey Bill's will couple the music with two-for-one drink specials all night in hopes of drawing a larger crowd. And Inferno not only promises to play local music, he'll take requests.