Colorado deserves its own Coachella. Commerce City's Mile High Music Festival isn't quite there yet, but we had to start somewhere. The third installment of Denver's biggest aural smorgasbord definitely featured its most diverse lineup to date. Case and point? Day two Bison Tent headliners Bassnectar and Z-Trip--not to mention the mostly local Beta Beach stageâ€”ramped up the event's electronica edge in a major way. Mootownâ€”as Westword's Dave Herrera would sayâ€”ate it up.
Ray LaMontagne always knew there was music in the back pocket of his hand-me-down genes. Still, because his musician father was an abusive man who abandoned his family, he thumbed his nose at fate for as long as humanly possible. Choosing instead to toil in a shoe factory following high school graduation, LaMontagne was awakened to his sacred destiny by a melodic alarm clock--Stephen Stills' drug smuggling cut â€œTreetop Flyerâ€. Shunning shoes and wedging his soon-to-be wet feet in the door of the music industry instantly became a substantial priority. LaMontagne's genes did not let him down.
Although I've witnessed more than one 4/20 rally since, the first time I'd ever seen anyone openly and defiantly smoke pot in public was at Lollapalooza. Members of Cypress Hill were the perpetrators of the civil disobedience in question. Fiddler's Green security guards looked the other way, probably because greenbacks put their bosses in the black. Simple as that. Mile High Music Festival staff will likely follow similar protocol (â€œpotocolâ€?) this weekend when the hip hop outfit blazes into Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Although a few established acts have dabbled in the free download gameâ€”Radiohead and NIN are obvious examplesâ€”Pretty Lights' Derek Vincent Smith built his entire career that way--from the ground up. The Fort Collins-based producer is practically in a league of his own. Name one other artist who hasn't made a single penny on recorded music and is now capable of packing Red Rocks--a feat Smith is reprising this Saturday. It is a trajectory that many will inevitably imitate. Girl Talk might his only near-peer--business model-wise--but unless Crickets Chirping is the alias of a band not yet on my radar, the answer is clear.