CU alumnus David DiGioia, aka Watkins Empire, with Greg Houston, aka Spoken Emotion, play the Second Story Garage.
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What: Second Story Garage

When: new videos every week


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E arly in the summer, a group of us at the Daily Camera, Longmont Times-Call and Colorado Daily got together to create a new music performance video series. We invited local and touring artists into a studio we built just off the Camera newsroom in Boulder, and now we have a stock of about 20 sets of performances, including interviews with the musicians. We’re talking about some of the region’s top talent, including The String Cheese Incident’s Kyle Hollingsworth, The Yawpers, Rob Drabkin and West Water Outlaws.

But the Garage didn’t sprout up over night. 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 with a, um, modest newspaper budget.

We kind of learned how to do this thing as we went, so, even as we began posting the videos, we never really gave the series a proper launch.

We call it “Second Story Garage.” The studio is on the second floor of the Camera building, and after some digging our own garages, we got it looking like one. We ask every artist who visits the studio help add to the clutter — or, if you prefer, decorate the set — by leaving something with us. The luxuriously-coiffed Drabkin gave us a purple hair pick. The young, multi-talented singer Jaden Carlson drew us a picture from a novel she’s writing. The Longmont band Idlewhile hand-crafted a mock vintage radio. With each new item the character of the set changed slightly, and they help sustain the presence of the artists who left them.

We could just write about musicians and tell you what they sound like, but nothing can really do the music justice like hearing 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 vides 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 Kevin Kaufman and Kevin Huhn.

This marks our formal launch of Second Story Garage, so 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, and we post them to each paper’s site. While you’re at it, sign up for the newsletter to get the music delivered straight to your inbox.

This is just the beginning, and we’re excited for you to see what we’ve done so far. So, meet us in the Garage.

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