Behold Bandicoots, A New Column From Eli Mishkin of Hot IQs

Your taste in music is a cultural bullhorn. In a genre obsessed culture, what you listen to can project your overall aesthetic more than your fashion sense or the car you drive. Accordingly, there’s a part in our brains that organizes types of people based on the music they like. Let’s call it the Pigeonhole Region.

In this primordial corner of our brain we assume the guy who loves Nickelback also eats Taco Bell at least three times a week, is in the armed forces and works very hard on his pecs. Just as we instantly calculate that the hipster girl who hasn’t heard anything good since Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy has Yakuza style tattoos on her back, an on-again off-again vegetarian boyfriend and, from the looks of her blog, way too much free time on her hands. Bird-brained assumptions aside, those that are passionate about music (even crappy music) are far more interesting than the dreaded “I don’t really listen to music” folks -- truly a scary and lesser evolved bunch.

This new column is for those passionate about any music. (Of course, I reserve the right to lambast as I see fit.) Here’s your chance to find out what this cultural bullhorn says about those that create music … the bands, man. Your chance to ask questions about my band, Hot IQs (,, but much more intriguingly, ask questions about your band and the music you like.

Unlike most everyone else you’ll meet in the music business, I have no agenda. I don’t want to make money off your band or your tastes. I don’t care if you’ve received press or made a demo -- or even if you’ve played outside of your basement. I merely hope to provide some tiny insight to better navigate the sea of bullshit we call the Music Industry. Call it a “Dear Abby” for musicians if you must. Better yet, let’s call it Bandicoots, because let’s face it, the Denver music scene is absolutely thriving. It’s also kind of a rat race -- being in a small media market 1,000 miles away from any major metropolis sometimes feel like a maze. So Bandicoots it is, in honor of breaking out of the rat race and into something bigger and better than the corners of our minds.

So what are my qualifications?

Over the past five years, my band, Hot IQs, has toured the country many times over. Playing everything from esteemed music festivals in Austin and New York City to crusty pool halls in Toledo and rock warehouses in Arcata, California. We’ve self-recorded all our music, booked most of our own national tours, worked with several labels to release two albums to some national acclaim and sold out many venues in and around Colorado. We’ve had the honor of meeting the Dali Llama and Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips -- who may or may not be the same person. As such, we’ve accumulated enough awards, stories and experiences to fill several memoirs. On top of that, four years as a disc jockey at Radio 1190 (CU Boulder) has the Pigeonhole Region of my brain working like a finely tuned machine.

Bring on the Bandicoots!

-- Eli Mishkin

FYI: From here on out, Bandicoots will appear every Wednesday, except when it doesn't. Feel free to send all your comments/questions for Eli to [email protected].

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Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera