When we hear the words "live music" in Boulder, we typically tend to think of only two venues: The Boulder Theater, and The Fox. Let's be honest, these two venues bring in some pretty awesome talent on a regular basis-- (like Ice Cube at the Boulder Theater last month, and Atmosphere at the Fox in May); but these two aren't the only local hot spots for live music. Several of Downtown Boulder's bars, restaurants and coffee shops are throwing themselves into Boulder's music scene as well. Whether you seek a quiet evening of dignified jazz, dig the jam band scene, or feel like dusting your glowstick off for some DJ beats and mmmcha mmmcha sounds, check out these other musically inclined businesses in Downtown Boulder.
Relaxed, Comfy Music- Just because it's the weekend, and you feel like briefly hittin' the town, but aren't looking to get too crazy-- doesn't make you a loser... it makes you a grown up. And grown ups head to places like the St. Julien, Cuvee, Music at the Mezz at the Hotel Boulderado and Saxy's Cafe, to catch some tunes that are relaxed, in an environment that doesn't force you to scream when you break the news to your friends that you have to leave because it's past your bedtime.
Jammy-Jam Bands- Being a product of the original Oskar Blues Grill and Brew in Lyons, I got pretty familiar with the local music scene in Boulder County. (The kind of music you'd tune into when you pass through Lyons, and turn your radio station to Redstone Radio). Whether it be bluegrass, blues, rock, "American-Songbook" (whatever genre that is...), or some good old fashion rockabilly, Boulder has a dedicated group of local musicians that frequent the music scene in the Downtown area. To catch the soulful tunes and jammy-jam jams of local artists like Wendy Woo, George Nelson, Pete Kartsounes, Ash Ganely and Interstate Stash Express, head to the Ribhouse, Lazy Dog, the West End Tavern, The Laughing Goat and the Conor O'Neils. Conor's even offers a bluegrass pick... and we all know how the people of Boulder feel about bluegrass.
Mmmcha, Mmmcha Beats- If loud music, hipster beats and flashing lights is more you're thing, check out Tahona and the Absinthe House. Both places have DJ's on the weekend and usually have a packed dance floor. High energy, dim lighting and mmcha mmcha beats. Get some.
Vain Music- If nothing that I've listed above sounds like your thing, then get out there and make some sweet music of your own. The Cup, Johnny's Cigar Bar, and the Pearl St. Pub all offer Open Mic nights throughout the week. And if you feel like giving an impromptu performance for your adoring fans, Sushi Zanmai and Catacombs both offer karaoke nights. Karaoke is basically a seven letter words that means 'humiliation', but that's why only places that serve booze offer it.
So there you have it. Next time the show you were going to see at the Boulder Theater sells out, check out one of the venues listed above for your contingency plan.
Rock on Boulder,