Ever wonder what your favorite local musicians are doing during the week? Presumably, the majority of them are working at jobs, like normal people. At least that's what you'd think until you stopped by the Denver Message Board and sorted through the myriad posts. Musicians and scenesters go to the DMB (whose unofficial motto is "You can't spell dumb without D-M-B and U") to vilify one another for sport -- anonymously, of course -- and respond to such cerebral threads as this one posted by a user named Eww: "Local singer who likes to secretly fart into the mike at shows." Obviously, there's not a lot of actual work getting done.

Too late for the mountains? Too early for the bars? Too drunk to drive? Kick back at home and log on to rockdenver.com, where, for the price of a dumb look, you can enjoy live monthly webcasts from Herman's Hideaway. The shows feature many of Denver's emerging acts: the Fray, the Railbenders, Yo, Flaco!, Aggressive Persuasion, Battery Park, Chronophonic, Ion, King Rat, Rexway, Carolyn's Mother, Drug Under, Orion's Room and the Fong Jones Band, just to name a few. The site also archives more than 300 local music videos. Finally, agoraphobia makes sense.

Take the computer flirting scene between Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy in Pretty in Pink, multiply it by a few bazillion gigabytes, and you've got myspace.com. With millions of profiles of computer-addicted geeks around the world, it's basically a glorified, digitized singles bar. But the site is more than Friendster's hipper usurper; it's also the best way for local groups to connect and be heard. While real websites require cash and a modicum of computer savvy to maintain, any idiot can set up a free profile on myspace. Within minutes, bands can upload photos, MP3s and press kits onto a page that's easy to read and, most important, easy to find. It's kind of like purevolume.com -- only with way more hotties.

Best Place to Find Blackmail Pictures of Local Musicians

www.rockoncolorado.com

Founded by longtime local-music champions Tommy Nahulu and David Barber, rockoncolorado.com is more than just a collection of snapshots. The site also contains music-related articles and reviews, as well as a calendar and message board. But the primary attraction is the massive searchable database of live photos. From bigger shows at the Bluebird and Gothic to smaller gigs at places like Cricket on the Hill, Soiled Dove and Herman's, Rock On Colorado is documenting the scene one frame at a time. And it ain't all pretty.

Although some dyed-in-the-wool vinyl-lovers cling to the romance of crate-digging, more and more jocks are embracing digital technology. They're also embracing Beatport. Led by lauded DJ Jonas Tempel, the site is helping to revolutionize the way DJs approach their craft. Tempel and his crew have amassed one of the most comprehensive dance-music repositories on the Web. Last year, when the site launched, it offered roughly 2,000 tracks from 72 labels; by the beginning of this year, there were 20,000 titles from more than 700 labels. From drum-and-bass to trance and everything in between, the hottest dance music is now just a click away.

Looking for the latest disc from P-Nuckle, GasHead, Lisa Bell or Drag the River -- but don't feel like scouring the bins of your nearest independent retailer? How 'bout a DVD of Xiren's live set at Red Rocks? Billie Tolles's hard-to-find Chapulteset? A hardback copy of G. Brown's Colorado Rocks! or a reissue of Lannie Garrett's Doubleback? On milehighmusicstore.com, Hapi Skratch's latest online venture, hundreds of CD titles from Colorado-based artists are just a click and a credit-card number away. You'll find everything categorized by genre -- whether it's children's music, easy listening, spoken word, self-help, hard rock, metal, punk or pop. What could be easier?

With all the energy its name implies, Kaffeine Buzz is a scattershot, ADD-fueled cornucopia of music journalism. Covering local as well as national punk, indie and hip-hop, the site features interviews, club listings, weekly show picks and CD and concert reviews. Editor Kim Owens, who also pens an impressive portion of the text, employs a solid, personable writing style that displays a deep knowledge of popular culture without sounding overbearing. Kaffeine Buzz also touches on art, fashion, cinema, even snowboarding -- but it's the great music coverage that keeps it bookmarked.

A professor at Colorado College, Scott does more than just teach about music. He also makes it in a very singular way. Rather than play the piano using the instrument's keys, he and his assistants physically pluck and manipulate its strings with the assistance of everything from guitar picks and percussion mallets to nylon fishing line and horsehair. This approach sounds absurd, but recordings of Scott's so-called bowed-piano works, including Paisajes Audibles/Sounding Landscapes, recently issued on CD by Albany Records, are consistently fascinating. Listen and learn.

The authors of this tome draw from a wealth of experience. Bliesener once drummed with ? and the Mysterians, a group remembered for the garage-rock hit "96 Tears," and went on to become a successful promoter and manager of bands such as Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Knopper, for his part, has written about music for newspapers such as the Boulder Daily Camera, and is currently a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone. These pedigrees inform Guide, which should give even the densest person a fighting chance to win, or at least survive, the music game.

Ironically, many creators of contemporary experimental music are too stuck in academia and orthodoxy to truly forge their own voice. But Michael Andrew Doherty, after earning a bachelor's degree in philosophy and religious studies at CSU, ditched his musical studies and began orchestrating sound according to the dictates of his own soul. The result is a string of releases and collaborations over the past few years that fuse severe minimalism with wit and humanity. His latest work, Preface: Found Score, is a prelude to numerous upcoming projects in 2005 -- including a chamber ensemble that will interpret '80s new-wave hits. "Rock Me Amadeus" as read by John Cage, anyone?

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