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Less is more at three20south in Breckenridge

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"Loud enough in there for you?" a guy asked as Lori and I stood outside of three20south (320 South Main Street) in Breckenridge. Too loud, we told him.

Turned out the guy was the soundman for the New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band, which would be headlining at the mountain club later that night. He told us he'd also done sound for Modest Mouse, "and they're a loud band," he said. "But it's still too loud for me in there."

Before we went outside, we'd struggled through a few songs by the Family Groove Company, a Chicago-based funk band, but every pop of the snare felt like it was shooting daggers into my brain. My ears have endured a lot over the years, but I just couldn't handle the volume. Three20south is roughly the size of the Walnut Room, with a concrete floor and room for maybe 200 people, tops. But there weren't nearly that many people in the place when we were there, so there was nothing to absorb the sound.

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three20south

As we talked outside with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band sound guy, we learned that he'd been touring with the group playing trumpet and doing sound since he was thirteen, and that the Dirty Dozen had been coming to this club for ten years, since it first opened as Sherpa and Yeti's. The address got a facelift and paint job (the walls are bright red) when three20south moved in about two years ago; it's Breckenridge's main spot for live music. But while it's cool that the venue brings in high-caliber national funk, jam, hip-hop and reggae acts like Eek-A-Mouse and Lyrics Born, we told him it kind of sucked that the entire place was loud as fuck while Family Groove Company played its set.

He promised to try to keep the volume down.

By the time we went back inside, the place had filled up considerably. And when the Dirty Dozen kicked into some funky jazz, the volume was definitely lower – even as the energy in the place escalated. Just goes to prove that louder isn't always better.

Club scout: On Friday, August 21, Beta (1909 Blake Street) will host bebe's Fall Collection Fashion Show. It starts with a cocktail reception from 9 to 10 p.m. with Rachelle Pisciotta, the national "bebe it" girl of 2009; the first hundred ladies will get a bebe gift card. The following night at Beta, DJ Wyatt Earp celebrates the release of his new CD.

Also on August 22, Club 303 (2301 Blake Street) will kick off Sultry Saturdays with California-based DJs Backside and Smocha, as well as local DJs Quote, Shadoe and CoJones; there's no cover for ladies until 11:30 p.m., and the first hundred gals in the door will each get a free shot of Patrón. And Spill Lounge (1410 Market Street) has introduced Wednesday-night happy hours that run until midnight, with $2 PBRs, Bud, Dos Equis and Sol, and $4 You-Call-Its.

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