It's a very interesting time to be a Boulder band. The town's at a low point for venues, the economy's rough and we're competing against the Denver music scene.

That just gives local bands the chance to be creative and come up with new ways to be seen and heard.

Local bands are finding new places to play.

It's tough to get into the Fox or Boulder Theater if you're a baby band, so local acts are finding new places to perform.

CU's Club 156 has suddenly become a hot spot and local bands are lining up to play gigs at the intimate venue.

Bands are also finding more hidden places to play like Astroland or the No Name Bar on the Hill -- and the Lazy Dog's making a play to become one of the music hotspots in Boulder.

Boulder groups are also playing a lot more house parties, special events and outdoor music parties to keep their name out there.

Local Bands are hitting the road early in their career.

Back in the day, Boulder bands built up the local market to attract fans and record company interest.

Not anymore.

Since there's only a handful of venues in town, bands are hitting the road in their baby stages.

New bands such as West Water Outlaws are already logging out-of-state time. Good for the country, not so good for Boulder.

Everybody's doing multiple genres

Boulder bands used to fall into set categories. You were a rock, jam, jazz or rootsy folk group.


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Times have changed.

Local bands have to be able to plug into a variety of venues, so they've expanded their musical approach.

That's why Boulder bands are adding lots of genres to their resume. Jam bands are no longer jam bands -- they've added electronic sounds and become jamtronica acts.

Other acts throw everything but the kitchen sink into the mix. That's why you see multi-genre groups like Hot Soup and Smack Thompson scoring lots of local gigs.

Ditching the idea of getting signed to a record label --it's all DIY

National record labels used to hover over the Boulder and Denver music scenes. These days, the music business template has been thrown out the window and local bands are figuring out how to master their own fates.

Blame it on Pretty Lights!

The local electro act set the pace by giving away free downloads and coming up with direct ways to interact with fans online.

These days, many local acts are giving away their music online, networking with fans via Facebook and Twitter, and developing their own street teams or promotional tools.

Finding new ways to get music out

Full-length albums and CDs are going the way of the dinosaurs, and local bands are finding alternative ways to get their music out.

The latest trend with Colorado bands is to release music one song at a time, as opposed to making a full-length record. It's more affordable for the bands and fans can get free downloads or purchase the individual songs on-line.

Releasing three or four song EPs on a regular basis is another local trend. It takes awhile to make a full record, so this way groups can get their music out in a timely fashion.

Finally, some bands are finding unusual ways to raise money for their record projects. Local groups are using websites such as Kickstarter to generate funding -- and some acts are offering unusual items to generate cash.

Yes, Meniskus did offer to let album sponsors name the unborn children of a band member.