I am SXSW and CMJ. I am Urban Outfitters. I am the youth of today, and the New York Times, with its trend pieces on fixed-gear bikes and Southern Lord Records, cannot get enough of me.
I am in with the inner circle.
I am a buzzword -- a selling point, really, with a menial income that is nonetheless an important cog in the capitalist infrastructure. I buy dumb shit because I am cool, and the marketing people love that.
I am a dollar sign with scene cred.
And so when Spin magazine approached Club Scout a few weeks ago, needing help navigating the Denver music scene in order to find a band suitable for a Knob Creek-sponsored event, I knew exactly what they wanted. That's because the e-mail from Dan Mims, Spin promotions guy, told me that "Knob Creek wants to reach an exclusive 'tastemaker' crowd."
It reminded me of a few years ago when PBR started promoting itself to dirty rocker kids, finally realizing the strange hold that it already had on the underground masses as the cheap beer of choice. Or, more recently, the free, Camel-sponsored hipster events that teamed up lung cancer with acts like the Faint.
And now Knob Creek wanted in with the in crowd.
So I sent Spin a list of my favorite local bands, some recommended on personal taste alone, a few on the outfit's ability to draw a certain type of cool-kid audience. The Spin-sters chose Denver-based psych-rockers Moccasin for their event. And last week at the Walnut Room (3131 Walnut Street), I got to see my target-demographic work in action.
The RSVP-only event was exactly as I had pictured it: packed with indie-rock-type scenesters, intermingled with serious business-casual types and a Knob Creek street team handing out T-shirts and plenty of tastes of the Jim Beam-made bourbon. Moccasin played through a quick set, without any hiccups but without any big surprises, either. The show ended early -- by rock standards, anyway -- and I walked out with a belly full of booze and a handful of Knob Creek swag. Because when you try to sell your product to me by packaging it with rock music and free booze, I am a sucker every time.
Scout report: Do good, and get good and wasted at the same time. Since it opened last year, Slim 7 (tucked into 1443 Larimer Street, entrance on the alley) has donated half of its bar profits every night before 10 p.m. to such charitable foundations and nonprofits as the Ascent Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Denver Film Society. "When I opened up Slim 7 initially, that was the kind of master plan behind it," says owner Bill Ward. "I work with a lot of local charities, and I knew that we wanted to somehow be involved in giving back to the community in our everyday operations. And based upon how well we can do, this seemed like the best way." And now the LoDo club is opening up its program to other worthy local organizations that need a little financial boost. Book an event at Slim 7, promote it yourself, and the bar will give you 50 percent of all sales that night. "Sometimes it's a wash, if not pretty much a loss," Ward admits, "but we get people into the space and we get to give back. I don't know if our bottom line is any better, but it makes me feel good."
Good enough that over the next several months, Ward plans to launch two new clubs in the Larimer Square area. The first, Ti, will be a combination bar-and-pizza joint, open late-late into the night for the after-hours set. The second, Below, will be a higher-end spot with a posh lounge.