The Broke Music Fan's Guide to Denver: Libraries and Museums

Denver Public Library
Denver Public Library

Hey, we all pay our taxes, right? Some of that money goes toward the upkeep of city facilities like libraries and museums, so in a way, we pay for music without knowing it, because many of those places host musical events and/or have music to borrow. If you haven't already, check out your local city amenities. It's not as completely uncool as it sounds. Here's why.

5. Renting Music
Every public library has its own rules regarding fees for borrowing CDs, but if there is a charge, it’s minimal. Libraries are still a great way to hear music you might not otherwise hear. Meanwhile, the Denver Public Library has an excellent biography section, featuring plenty of great books about musicians. It is also one of the best resources for local music.

4. Concert Series
The Boulder Public Library has some wonderful concert series, including a lunchtime series on Tuesdays. They’re usually free, and forthcoming events include Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards at 6 p.m. on August 27, Banshee Tree at noon on September 20, and CU Pendulum at 4 p.m. on October 16. The Longmont Museum has a summer concert series in the garden, but that has ended for 2016. However, the newly renovated (and gorgeous) Stewart Auditorium plays host to regular concerts, from classical music to world music. Beware, though — they’re not always free.

Delta Sonics performing at Longmont Museum.
Delta Sonics performing at Longmont Museum.
Brett Callwood

3. Recording Studio
Denver Public Library has the ideaLAB Recording Studio, which locals can use for one hour at a time. Inside is a PC, mixing board, and various microphones and instruments. It is sound-treated (but not soundproof) and has a door to close out the noise from the rest of the library. Employees are available to help, and the room is big enough for a modestly sized band. That's quite a resource.

ideaLAB Studio
ideaLAB Studio
Courtesy of Denver Library

2. Workshops
Local libraries often host musical workshops for children or adults. The Boulder Library is particularly good for this, and at 1:15 p.m. on August 16, Annie Savage, the Savage Hearts and the Young Pickers will teach a bluegrass-fiddle workshop called “Learn to Jam.” “Bring your fiddle,” they say, so one has to assume that you already have to own a fiddle and have some interest in fiddling prior to the class. But still, a free class. Yay.

1. Check out these cheap live shows for a deal IRL.
When you're done with free streaming of your music, here are a few options happening this week in Denver:

Lipgloss, Friday, August 5, Bar Standard, $5
Rhythm Junkies, Saturday, August 6, Riffs, free
City Park Jazz, Sunday, August 7, City Park, free

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