It's a cherished music-festival tradition: You study the schedule, pick the bands you want to see, plot your day and ultimately throw the whole thing out the window. Still, with more than 140 bands playing this year's Westword Music Showcase, you'll have to at least try to make some decisions. We asked a few Denver music enthusiasts -- and one or two fictional characters -- to tell us what they plan to see on Saturday and why.
Jeremy Pape of Denver hip-hop collective Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game
I will start my day with some Turner Jackson (1:30 p.m., City Hall Amphitheatre)! He will be hot off his Red Rocks show, and this man is one of the greatest performers I have seen. Chances are I will stick around to see Planes! (3 p.m., City Hall Amphitheatre), because I love their energy.
Following Planes!, I am going to pop downstairs to see another one of my D.O.P.E. Game family members, Lily Fangz (3:20 p.m., City Hall Main) wreck shop. She is always a joy on stage. I got to get over to the party to see my DJ homies Ktone (3 p.m., Vinyl Rooftop) and Low Key (4 p.m., Vinyl Rooftop) kill it, per usual. Both Low Key and Ktone have been instrumental in my life and the lives of countless others in the scene. To wrap up my day, I will stop back off at City Hall to see my D.O.P.E. brother Mr. Midas (6 p.m., City Hall Main) kill it before I head to the main stage for Cherub, 2 Chainz and Diplo. It is going to be a stacked day, and I will be sad to miss some of my other favorites, like Eddie Knolls (3:45 p.m., City Hall Amphitheatre), Wheelchair Sports Camp (5:15 p.m.,City Hall Amphitheatre), CRL CRRLL (3 p.m., Krewe), and Devan Blake Jones (3 p.m., La Rumba). But that's what Music Showcase is like -- can't see them all.
Reed Fuchs of Denver's Moon Magnet Studios
• Man Mantis -- Pure celestial bliss. (1 p.m., Vinyl Main) • Turner Jackson -- This dude krawns so hard. (1:30 p.m., City Hall Amphitheatre) • Rumtum -- Watery sweet forensic oscillations. My favorite new act I discovered at UMS last year. (5 p.m., Vinyl Main) • Inner Oceans -- Griff is a modern-day embodiment of Peter Pan. Julia Mendiolea is Wendy...or actually Tinker Bell -- definitely Tinker Bell. (6 p.m., Bar Standard) • Rubedo -- Are they playing? If not, I'll just chill in the Church and reimagine last year. [Ed. note: not playing] • Diplo -- Such a talent. (8:35 p.m., Main Stage)
Walter Sobchak of The Big Lebowski
You want to know what I'm doing at the Westword Music Showcase? I can get you that information, believe me -- there are ways. After washing my dirty undies -- the whites -- I'm going to see Kitty Crimes (2 p.m., City Hall Main). Worthy fuckin' adversary. Then I'm going to see Covenhoven (3:45 p.m., Curious Theatre). That band's frontman, Joel Van Horne, is a pretty good singer, even though he sounds like a pacifist. Smokey and I talked about some mid-afternoon bowling, but if he cancels, I'll go see IAMTHESHOTGUN (4:30 p.m., City Hall Cue Room). That band...world of pain, my friend.
Special Agent Dale Cooper of Twin Peaks
Diane, it's 12:00 p.m. Special Agent Dale Cooper reporting from Denver, Colorado. The air here is so pure you can see clear to the mountains. I'm making my way through a large festival for young music enthusiasts called the Westword Music Showcase. There's still a lot of work to be done on the Palmer girl's murder, but as Roald Dahl once said, "A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men." Diane, there's an enchanting smell in the air in this city that can only be described as herbaceous. I've got to find out what it is. It's really something.
Diane, it is now 1:00 p.m., and I have just finished drafting my itinerary for the day. I will see a band by the name of Dragondeer (3 p.m., Bar Standard). They were recommended to me by the Bookhouse Boys. A kind of blues-rock band, if I'm to understand correctly. Diane, nothing beats the experience of good, hot, black coffee colliding with local music, so I'm happy to tell you that I'll be going to a coffee shop for live music by Church Fire (4:30 p.m., Roostercat). Electronic music: The Palmer girl was a fan of theirs. It might give me some insight.
Here's a tip, Diane: Every day, give yourself a little present. It can be anything. For me, today, it's listening to the haunting melodies of Inner Oceans (6 p.m., Bar Standard) while I drink a cup of joe, black as midnight on a moonless night.
b>And here's a bunch more information about the Westword Music Showcase: -Eight reasons it's great to be a musician in Colorado, according to the bands -Build your own schedule with the Showcase app. -The 36 best songs you might hear on the main stage at this year's Westword Music Showcase -The 2014 Westword Music Awards nominees -The people of Westword Music Showcase 2013 -Ticket page for this year's Showcase