Hello from the new Westword music editor: Here's how to get in touch

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Backbeat has a new music editor. My name is Kiernan Maletsky -- I'm a Colorado native who has spent the past three years first in St. Louis and then Dallas. Last Saturday, I filled my sedan with whatever clothes fit once my record collection was in there and made what I sincerely hope will be my last drive across the Great Plains.

On Monday I took over Backbeat, taking the handoff from Dave Herrera. He was on the job for more than a decade. In his time at Westword, Herrera oversaw the development of Backbeat into Denver's largest and most vital online music media presence. I plan to maintain that reputation by approaching this city's musicians, venues, organizations and fans with respect and curiosity.

I know some of you from my first stint in Denver, covering music for this very section from 2009 to early 2011. After that I was the music editor for a pair of alt-weeklies that are siblings of Westword: first the Riverfront Times in St. Louis, then the Dallas Observer.

The experienced Backbeat writers and I will keep our ears open, but we need your help to make sure that we're considering everything worthwhile in Denver music. If you heard a great new band last night or noticed a change at your favorite venue, send an e-mail to musictips@westword.com. If you're taking the plunge and opening a new music venue or starting a festival, send us an e-mail about that, too. It takes a lot more than just musicians to build a scene, and we plan to cover every aspect of it.

Bands, send us your new EP or music video or ambitious collaborative project. Let us know when you find yourself with something compelling to say or are experimenting with a new recording tactic or hiring backup dancers or whatever. If you promise to keep us posted, we promise to build a music blog that entertains and informs the existing community here and attracts new people to it.

That email address, again, is musictips@westword.com. Bookmark it, add it to your venue's suggested contact list, write it out in script beside your bed. If you'd like to talk to me about something that isn't a prospective story, you can email me at kiernan.maletsky@westword.com.

The Internet, of course, is only one medium in which Backbeat has engaged Denver's music fans. Expect to see great, knowledgeable writing in the pages of our print edition as well.

And I look forward to seeing you in person on Saturday, June 21, at our twentieth annual Westword Music Showcase. In addition to the headliners we've already announced, including Southern hip-hop party-starter 2 Chainz and dance-music ambassador Diplo, we'll have over 150 of Denver's best bands playing in multiple venues around the Golden Triangle neighborhood. Tickets are $30 at the moment and on sale now. There will plenty more to say about the Showcase, and you'll find updates in the coming months on Backbeat.

I love guitars, punks, Springsteen and especially guitar punks who love Springsteen. I'm into Burt Bacharach records on sunny afternoons and Merle Haggard ones when it's rainy. I'm listening to that new Schoolboy Q album for the millionth time as I write this. I'm so happy to be home and I can't wait to hear your band.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.