When I interviewed for a job with the Colorado Daily in September 2011, then-editor Dave Burdick asked me what I would do with extra time and resources. I told him I’d bring music into the newsroom.
Less than a year later, with hard work from Dave, sound engineer Duncan Taylor, photographer Paul Aiken and executive editor Kevin Kaufman, Second Story Garage was born. With the help of my co-host, Quentin Young, producer Kevin “Moose” Huhn and many others, it grew beautifully.
It’s strange to look back at videos of Rob Drabkin — a stranger who greeted me with a hug and became my friend — playing in an empty studio and leaving behind his hair pick. Now, as I bid adieu nearly two years later, the Garage has seen nearly 90 performances and the shelves are cluttered with mementos.
I’ve been tasked with picking my favorite performances, and it was a lot more difficult than I expected. I gave myself a limit of five and ended up with seven after having to trim from the list so many fantastic musicians whom I can’t thank enough for performing in our studio. In no particular order, here they are:
Above, the super-fun Whiskey Shivers. I noticed that every song I chose was also the song Duncan thought was best. I listen to our recording of “Jealous Heart” all the time. And when I saw these guys barefoot in a bar in Austin, Texas, I knew they needed to play in the Garage. They didn’t let me down.
Also filed under Way Too Much Fun, I Sank Molly Brown. “Sticks and Stones” never fails to get stuck in my head, and their interview was just absurd.
The Shivers weren’t the only Austin band I was hoping to get into the Daily Camera’s newsroom studio. Ringo Deathstarr came in off the road and got very loud and a little crazy for us during a performance that came to a crashing, screeching end with “Nowhere.”
Speaking of loud, In The Whale might have been the loudest band we’ve brought in. In “Ed Gein Blues,” a song about a man who made a human skin lampshade, you can see that the band shook things off the shelves.
The Lone Bellow‘s performance of “You Never Need Nobody” gave everyone chills.
The Epilogues‘ “Hunting Season” never fails to stick with me, either.
South of France was a nice change of pace for us (and for Boulder, while they were here). “Kings” is a catchy indie-pop gem.
So… that’s that. I can’t wait to see what Second Story Garage does next.