Westword's New Music Editor: Harvey Danger, Local Music and Being a Transplant
Hey! I'm Katie Moulton, Westword's new music editor. On Friday, I drove twelve hours straight west from St. Louis to Denver. On stretches of I-70, I didn't know whether this was still Kansas or I had just slipped straight into hell. Denver, Damnit became a mantra. For thousands of transplants moving to this city, Denver is the destination, a new home. I hope there's room for one more.
I'm the new gal in a city full of newbies, but Westword's experienced editors and music writers have some of the longest memories in town. Huge thanks to outgoing music editor Kiernan Maletsky for leaving such a strong, locally-focused section. Readers can count on continued thoughtful and diverse coverage of Denver's thriving scene. I want to encourage you — readers, movers, shakers — to reach out and make sure we're considering all that's worthwhile.
We want to cover all aspects of the scene — artists, venues, festivals, fans, labels, studios, collectors — and the weird ways music weaves through arts, business, politics, activism and more. Keep us posted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we promise to listen. If you want to discuss something other than prospective stories, e-mail me at email@example.com.
I started as a contributor to the Riverfront Times in St. Louis and various Voice Media outlets. My background is in creative writing and literary publishing, and in addition to music journalism, I've worked as an editor, venue manager, ticket-seller, festival organizer and promoter, radio DJ and producer.
1. If I could only listen to one band for the rest of my life, it would be Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
2. In the last month, the albums I've listened to most: The Internet - Ego Death, Ryan Adams covering Taylor Swift's 1989 , CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye , and The Front Bottoms - Back On Top.
3. In the last year, the bands and releases that most excited me are all fronted by women: Courtney Barnett, Bully, Colleen Green, Lianne La Havas, Nicki Minaj, Kacey Musgraves, Speedy Ortiz, Angel Olsen, Esme Patterson, Perfect Pussy, Waxahatchee, to name a few.
4. My go-to karaoke jam is "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger.
On Friday, after drinking a few local craft beers in Five Points and Highland, I continued my orientation tour in LoDo, where I caught Parquet Courts at the Marquis Theater. During my first immersion in the Denver scene, these were my impressions of the crowd:
1. Boisterous. I haven't seen that much moshing and crowd-surfing since Warped Tour 2005. A dude in a poncho hopped on stage and skanked, maybe a first for the band.
2. Attentive. Folks shouted earnest thank you!'s in the gaps, clapped for the solos, and closely followed Parquet Courts' (arguably the jammiest purveyors of three-minute punk songs) psychedelic tangents.
3. Embracing history and change. The fans, staff and Uber drivers I met wanted to talk upcoming shows, longstanding venues, beer and especially neighborhood development.
4. I can get down with all of that.
Earlier that evening, after endless hours in my hatchback, I hit Kiernan's favorite stretch of I-70. I came around that famous last bend, and the mountains rose up from the plain. Just then the radio played "Runnin' Down a Dream" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. I cranked it up and rolled down the window, the horizon fading into lavender and gold. Goddamn if it didn't feel something like home.