If the old cliche is right and one photo is really worth 1,000 words, then how much is a website full of videos worth? A lot, the creators of Audiovore would argue. So in November, two staunch Colorado music enthusiasts began to develop content for a digital archive of the scene. The idea was simple: Worried that the state's best musicians don't receive enough media visibility, they would create a website dedicated to giving it to them -- no criticism, no commentary, no analysis. Just facts and footage. Officially launched last night, Audiovore.us is a no-frills, no- funding, resource for the state's scene curated by two of its most dedicated fans.
Behind the scenes, executive producer Erin Roberts partners with Colin Bricker, the director of Mighty Fine Productions, where much of the site's video and audio content is recorded. (In total, the site maintains a volunteer staff of five Colorado devotees.) Over time, Audiovore will release clips, songs and interviews through a series of regular features. In "Ours & Theirs," for example, Colorado musicians perform one of their own songs on camera -- and then cover one of their local peers. Through "Release Me," local bands close to releasing a record visit Audiovore's studio to produce a completely live version of their album before it's ever released.
In the site's first life, leaked to the Internet at 9 p.m. last night, its creators feature Bad Weather California, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Fairchildren and the Swayback, among others. If there's one theme running throughout Audiovore, it's the state of Colorado as a center of gravity.
"There is just a wealth of music coming out of Colorado but very little means to document it," Roberts says. "The newspapers and blogs are more focused on national acts and what's happening on a national level in Colorado. A lot of people gauge the success of the scene by what national acts are coming through it, and I don't think that's at all a good way to go about it."
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So for six months at roughly twenty hours a week, Bricker and Roberts focused inward, working with their friends and acquaintances in the community to develop feedback about what the bands themselves would like from a site. Ideally, the two hope Audiovore will function as a resource for both fans and their bands -- a Colorado cross between Daytrotter and Bandcamp.
"Anyone can put photos and a blurb about a band on a page, but that doesn't give you a true sense of what the band is," Roberts insists. "That's more like what the band wants you to think they are. We want this to be an archival glance at what that band actually is."
Right now, the project is a labor of love, not grants, which means Roberts and Bricker donate their equipment and the bands donate their time."We're dabbling with making it a non-profit," says Roberts, "but right now it's just sweat equity."
As it grows, Audiovore is developing ties to Denver's larger art and media institutions, such as Colorado Public Radio's Open Air, the hi-dive and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Every Sunday in July and August, MCA and Audiovore will partner for a $5 local show as part of the site's ambitious "Don't Look Down" concert series. The site plans to coordinate coverage with Open Air in the future to share its recordings over local airwaves. "Just living in Colorado for such a long time, we've built up quite a big base of talented friends and friends of friends," Roberts says. "We want everyone to see them."
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