High Plains Underground Archive

The Underground Bands of Denver Music's Dark Ages: Part One

Editor: Please see the Author's note on this new photo-driven series at the end of this article.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Denver music was in a time of transition. It was the local cultural equivalent of the Dark Ages. But like the more well-known Dark Ages, there was plenty going on, including a vibrant punk scene and the indie-pop phenomenon pioneered by the Apples in Stereo and other bands involved in the Elephant 6 collective. A lot of the most interesting music was happening in warehouses and other DIY spaces, dive bars and house shows.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.