A few years ago, a group of us at the Colorado Daily, Daily Camera and Longmont Times-Call got together to create a new music performance video series. We invited local and touring artists into a studio we built in the Camera newsroom in Boulder, and now we have a stockpile of performances, including interviews with the musicians. We're talking about some of the region's top talent, including The Flobots, The Epilogues, In The Whale, South of France, SHEL and The Yawpers. We've also had some stunning out-of-town talent, like The Lone Bellow, the Whiskey Shivers and Aaron Watson.
But the Garage didn't sprout up overnight. The first seeds were planted in August 2011, and it took months for sound engineer Duncan Taylor, Camera editor Kevin Kaufman and former features editor Dave Burdick to build a studio within the constraints of a, um, modest newspaper budget.
We call it Second Story Garage. The studio is on the second floor of the Camera building, and after some digging in our own garages, we got it looking like one. We ask every artist who visits the studio to help add to the clutter — or, if you prefer, decorate the set — by leaving something with us. The luxuriously coiffed Rob Drabkin gave us a purple hair pick. Young, multi-talented singer Jaden Carlson drew us a picture from a novel she's writing. The Longmont band Idlewhile handcrafted a mock vintage radio. With each new item, the character of the set changes slightly and the presence of the artists who left the trinket is sustained.
We could just write about musicians and tell you what they sound like, but nothing can really do the music justice like hearing — and seeing — it for yourself. It's also a way to celebrate homegrown talent and showcase touring musicians who are passing through town. That's what the Garage is about. (We'll admit we're having fun, too.)
The studio is fairly small, and it's sometimes a tight fit when five-piece rock bands with full drum kits crowd the floor. But it sure makes for intimate performances — as if the bands were just jamming in a garage — and those good vibes come through the performances we've captured.
We — Colorado Daily music writer Ashley Dean and Longmont Times-Call arts writer Quentin Young — book the artists and serve as hosts. The core SSG team also includes videographer Paul Aiken, sound engineer Duncan Taylor and Camera editors Kaufman and Kevin Huhn.
If this is the first time you're hearing about the series, check it out and let us know what you think. You can find videos at secondstorygarage.com, and we also post them to each newspaper's website. While you're at it, sign up for the newsletter to get the music delivered straight to your inbox.
We're excited for you to see what we've done so far. So, meet us in the Garage.