When: 10 p.m. Thursdays
Where: The Sink, 1165 13th St., Boulder, 303-444-7465
Did you know The Sink used to be a live music hot spot? In recent years, the shows have been few and far between, but Danny Meyer (who you might remember as the man who plays saxophone for prairie dogs) and his band FreeBear want to bring regular performances back to the bar. The band’s weekly gig their on Thursday nights has been a good start.
So how did you get involved in bringing music back to The Sink?
I’m in this band FreeBear, which is myself and Alejandro Castano, Stephen Thurston, and Patrick McDevitt, and and we all are playing together so part of it came out of that. We wanted to find a way to really work on this music that we were enjoying playing together. At the time I was connected to a company called Lokalites.com and we were looking for a space to do things with them.
I had always really enjoyed playing there, but I hadn’t seen music there in a long time. So I approached them about trying to do a weekly thing there and build a community … around something positive. It seemed like a good possibility and so we tried it, and so far it seems to be going well.
Tell me about the band.
So we’re all jazz musicians. We all came from the jazz community and we’ve all learned that language, and that’s a really rigorous kind of music. But we also all really love dance music. It’s a common interest for the four of us. So part of what we’ve been doing here is mixing the love of dance music and this understanding of music through rigor and process, and really learning about the language of music and trying to bring those two things together. So it’s a dance party. It’s really fun.
We play a lot of original music. We also cover music that people know, which is fun. We play “Ridin’ Dirty,” by Chamillionaire, we play Stevie Wonder things like “Sir Duke” or “Superstition,” and we play jazz music that’s in our canon.
And so FreeBear is playing weekly gigs there now?
I mean, it’s developing. One thing that’s wonderful is that music hasn’t been there for a long time, so it’s not on everyone’s radar. But for the people who have been coming out, they’ve been coming out regularly. For me it’s been a wonderful experience as a musician. In our area, there aren’t many regular gigs right now, which I think is a shame because there isn’t an opportunity to build a community.
It’s been a case where from the beginning we were playing for a lot of people we didn’t know, and some friends too … but now people are coming back every week.
What do you think makes The Sink a good venue?
Well, first of all, the people that work there — it’s just a great place to be in general. The people there are supportive and nice. The Sink has a history of being a community in general … This is where I used to come every night when I was in college.
In some ways it’s really neat because it’s a really intimate space. We’re setting up and the musicians are three feet away from where people are dancing. In that way, it’s really neat. It’s deep, and exciting, and visceral. And sometimes, more and more, it’s packed. It’s close quarters and just full of people really dancing.
When is the last time they had live music? And why did it stop?
They’ve had music off and on, but it’s been a long time since they’ve had anything regular or really been a part of the community of live local music. I think it has something in general to do with the way that a lot of gigs have turned out to be, where a lot of musicians are doing these one-off gigs where you show up and try to bring as many people as you can and then leave.
I think it probably didn’t help that that’s been the way that things are moving, and it’s nice to see now that there’s more potential for that.