All About Music in Fort Collins: by Argento Studios

Tim and Angel were recently interviewed by Cynthia of Argento Studios for an epic look at the Fort Collins music scene. We think it highlights all the best parts of who we are as a town. The article includes in-depth interviews with local heroes like Greta Cornett, Julie Sutter, Erin Roberts and Tim Massa. If you are new to Fort Collins or just curious to learn more about how we work as a music city, this is a must read for musicians and non-musicians alike.

“The thing I have learned because I haven’t been in the music industry except through Cohere Bandwidth is that the people who are supporting the musicians in Fort Collins are musicians. They form the foundation of the fan base.” -Angel

Read the full article: Fort Collins is the Startup City Built on Rock-and-Roll.

Facebook Promotion for Bands

Aside from texting your friends an hour before your show, Facebook is the absolute cheapest way to advertise your band. You can easily get more people to shows for as little as $5 if you know what you are doing.

In this ultra-affordable class you’ll learn:

  • the top reasons to use Facebook for promotion
  • the difference between “boosting” and “back-end ads”
  • the right budget for each type of ad and concert
  • how to target (or not) your ads
  • when to promote your show and when and how long to run your ad

We will start at the very beginning, and discuss what types of ads are more effective for shows vs. albums.
BONUS: The first 3 people to sign up will also get custom ads drafted for them.

Just $5, only 12 seats available. Pizza included. Tickets here.

Thursday, May 25th 5:30-7:30 pm

Cohere Offices

418 South Howes

Timo Massa is the Marketing Director of the Mishawaka Amphitheater and formerly the Aggie and Hodi’s Half Note. He has actively Marketed somewhere in the ballpark of 450 concerts, with marketing budgets ranging from $0-$250.

New Membership Program for Musicians

We’ve changed up our musician membership program to be available to ANY musician who wants to be in our community regardless of whether or not you need to rehearse at Cohere Bandwidth. Since we opened, we’ve tried to gather up partner businesses that offer services that make sense for bands.

Our 2017 membership program includes all these amazing discounts, which you can use over and over again to quickly recoup your investment:

Surfside 7 20% off food

Illegal Pete’s free fountain drink with purchase of adult entree

Downtown Artery Cafe 10% off

Ink Works 10% off printing handbills/posters

Leapin’ Lizard Labels 10% off band stickers

Akinz up to $100 off screen printing screen fees

Music-Go-Round buy 2 get 1 free sticks/strings/accessories

Benderublesound 30% off PA rental

Kirsten Cohen Photpgraphy 15% off band photography

Sunday Supply Company 10% off clothing

Membership Cost: $5/year

To join, come to any of our events and find a staff person. We’ll be able to take cash or credit card payments on the spot and get you set up with your card and discount list right away!

Rock Solid Review

In our ongoing quest to give you the nitty gritty details of running a band practice space in Old Town Fort Collins, we present you with this infographic reviewing what kind of 2016 Cohere Bandwidth had. TL;DR we’re not in the black consistently but we consistently improve the number of rehearsals and bands that use us as their preferred practice space.

Having a Show in Fort Collins

What you need to know about having a show in Fort Collins.

Hey Neighbor: Meet I Am The Owl

When it comes to being a band in Fort Collins, look to I Am The Owl. They have set an example as supportive, professional and hard working musicians. We are proud to call them members of our shared practice space, Cohere Bandwidth!

I Am The Owl

Place in the Neighborhood: Cohere Bandwidth Member Band

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I Am The Owl from left Josh R. Kyle K., Corey H., Josh H. -photo by Jess L. Paul

How long have you been a band, and what made you decide to seek out shared rehearsal space for band practice? What is your favorite part about rehearsing at Bandwidth? 

I am the Owl started in September of 2014. We had been practicing in Josh H.’s basement, and when he moved to a new place, we were out of a space. We love practicing at Cohere because of the bass/drum/PA backline, and the ability to practice late into the night if need be!

Who are the members of your band (and what instruments do they each play)? 

Josh Rivera: Vocals & Guitar

Josh Harrelson: Guitar

Kyle Krueckeberg: Bass & Vocals

Corey Hatch: Drums & Backing Vocals

How did you meet?Josh R and Josh H met in 6th grade (1998!). We met Kyle around 2008 when he was playing in The Metal Band Crow, and he later played with us in Nutricula. When Nutricula broke up, we decided to stick together and start something new. After going through a bunch of drummers that weren’t really a great fit, we found Corey when he responded to a Facebook ad!

What do you do for work … and play?

Corey: I am the sound designer/ board operator at Midtown Arts Center here in Fort Collins. In my free time when I’m not playing music, I like to be doing something outside.

Kyle: Music falls under both. Video games and frisbee golf for fun. Store manager at 7-11 for work.

Josh H: I work as a scientist…when I’m not working I enjoy doing outdoorsy stuff with my family and riding my mountain bike.

Josh R: I work at Madwire Media in their Social Media Management department. For fun I like skateboarding, playing with my dogs, drinking whisky and beer, riding bikes, and playing table tennis

What makes your band unique?

Kyle: No one knows what genre we are… even us

Corey: We are mostly categorized as “punk”, but the guitar parts are much more intricate and heavier, plus having multiple vocalists in the band gives us a more unique sound.

Josh H: We strike a solid balance of an incredibly raw sound while showing technical proficiency on all of the instruments. The energy is hard to contain within a recording and makes for an explosive live performance.

Josh R: I agree with what everyone else has said, but on top of that, we have a lot of fun. I’ve been in a lot of bands where fun eventually falls to the wayside, but we manage to keep that at the forefront, which makes being in the band a blast.

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I Am The Owl -photo by Jess L. Paul

Are there any other local bands that you find inspiring? 

Corey: Attack on Venus, Amy and the Peace Pipes, American Blackout, Little Vicious (if that still counts), ARRAS, Slow Caves, Wiredogs.

Kyle: Cheiftain because you can see/feel how much fun they are having when they’re playing together. In The Whale for their success and reach outside of Colorado.

Josh H: I’ve got huge appreciation for the musicianship of Chieftain and American Blackout.  The Bomb Threat dudes seriously bring it live too.

Josh R: I love all the bands my friends are in, like Chieftain, American Blackout, Bomb Threat, Men of Letters, Slow Caves…too many to list really! The Fort Collins scene kicks ass, and there are lots of great Denver bands too, like Allout Helter and The Windermeres. Colorado music in general is in a great place right now!

Current soundtrack to a day in your life — (what band(s)/song(s) you’re listening to, local or otherwise?)

Corey: All of the above (local bands), Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Them Crooked Vultures, Blink 182, Iron Maiden, Every Time I Die, Slash, Nirvana, Rise Against, lots of classic rock, Clutch, Primus, Rage Against the Machine, many others.

Josh H: Gallows, Meat Wave, and Every Time I Die have been in heavy rotation lately.

Kyle: The Dear Hunter, Norma Jean, Lamb of God, The Offspring, Circa Survive, System of a Down, The Receiving End of Sirens

Josh R: Let’s see, looking at my recently played on iTunes…. I listened to Every Time I Die, Propagandhi, Mastodon, Periphery, Revocation, the Stranger Things soundtrack, Kanye, Katy Perry, Third Eye Blind, Hootie (and the Blowfish), Slipknot, The Dear Hunter, Steven Wilson, and Guthrie Govan today.

Any goals you’re working toward as a band? 

Mostly, we are working on writing our second EP right now. Besides that, strengthening the local scene here in Ft. Collins, and expanding our regional following by playing more shows down in Denver.

What’s the most important thing you accomplish at band practice? 

Our most productive practices are when we can fine tune the small details that make for cohesion. Most of our rough drafting happens at home and practice allows us to get a sense of how the song will play live and what we can do to create the best flow. As long as there is some forward progress, and we are having fun, we’ve accomplished what we set out to do

Where can people find you/your music?

Our next show will be on 10/27 at the Artery.

We are on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Bandcamp, Amazon, Google Play, and Tidal, and you can find us online anytime at www.iamtheowl.com. Stay up to date by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Hey Neighbor: Meet Combatillac

When it comes to practicing at home, being loud is hard. Fort Collins band Combatillac got first hand experience with that and slapped with a $1,000 fine before they found a better place to practice called Cohere Bandwidth. Members Eric and Craig gave us some insight on their band in prep for our Collaboration Brew Concert next month where they will play a set and reveal their Pils ‘Em All double pilsner from Pateros Creek Brewing.

Band Name: Combatillac

Place in the Neighborhood: Cohere Bandwidth Member Band

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How long have you been a band, and what made you decide to seek out shared rehearsal space for band practice? What is your favorite part about rehearsing at Bandwidth?

We have been a band for a little over a  year. We sought out Bandwidth because our neighbors are the worst. Our favorite part about band practice at Bandwidth is not paying noise violation fines and knowing the cops won’t come.

What do you do for work … and play?

Craig is Graphic Designer and likes to play music, snowboard and drink. Eric sits at a desk by day and rides his bike or sits at a bar by night.

What makes your band unique?

We open a lot of shows for other bands and our name and band members are unique.

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Who are the members of your band (and what instruments do they each play)?

Craig, plays drums in the band, but also a good guitar and bass player. Seth plays bass in the band, and apparently guitar, but I’ve never heard him. I’m Eric and I play guitar in the band, but can kinda play anything like a guitar, and the drums.

How did you meet?

Eric met Craig through his old band, he would always tell me he wanted to play drums for us, because our drummer didn’t hit hard enough. That drummer moved away and Craig got to drum for the Denim. We met Seth at a memorial for a friend.

Are there any other local bands that you find inspiring?

Eric: Nick Halm that plays in Electric Shoes, and Bomb Threat is my guitar hero. Craig: Muscle Beach in Denver.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life — (what band(s)/song(s) you’re listening to, local or otherwise?)

Craig: Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, The Weeknd, Sports Talk radio. Eric: It sounds stupid, but I don’t really listen to music.

Any goals you’re working toward as a band?

We look forward to turning out the sweet tunes, learning new songs and perfecting old ones.

What’s the most important thing you accomplish at band practice?

Getting there on time and not leaving anything behind.

Where can people find you/your music?

We play a lot in Fort Collins. Our next show is 10/27 at the Artery. Check out our Facebook page. We would like to work toward recording an EP soon so people can find our music online.

Hey Neighbor! Meet Stilted

Band Name: Stilted

Place in the Neighborhood: Cohere Bandwidth Member Band. Fort Collins band Stilted has been practicing at Bandwidth for almost a year!

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“We tend to be a little more focused at Bandwidth, and we definitely accomplish more in the same amount of time, versus playing in a basement. …so my favorite part is the increased productivity, and the general lack of a police presence.”

How long have you been a band, and what made you decide to seek out shared rehearsal space for band practice? What is your favorite part about rehearsing at Bandwidth?

Thom: KJ and Cody started playing in the spring of 2015, and I joined up a month or two later. We started practicing at this dive KJ was renting and had no issues. Then he bought a house in a swanky neighborhood and his new neighbors immediately called the cops on us, probably because of this hippie-looking tapestry he had hanging over the front window…certainly not because of the bass. I think we tend to be a little more focused at Bandwidth, and we definitely accomplish more in the same amount of time, versus playing in a basement. …so my favorite part is the increased productivity, and the general lack of a police presence.

KJ: The police issue that Thom mentioned is why we sought out a shared rehearsal space. That and the opportunity to network with other bands. My favorite part about rehearsing at Bandwidth is watching the other sorry saps in my band lug gear in and all I have to do is bring a pair of sticks. Not getting hassled by the man is a nice perk, too.

Thom: Guess who gets no help loading in the drums at gigs?

Cody: Well…I’ve been my own band for years now. Turns out it’s hard to play three instruments at once, so I went ahead and let Thom and KJ in as well. I’m a very big fan of the Cohere space because it’s about five blocks from my house. All I have to really carry is my guitar and pedals and I’m good to go; makes for a single trip from the car! Sometimes I’ll make a second trip for a 6-pack, though…

What do you do for work … and play?

Thom: I’m a software developer, mostly working on web applications and the occasional phone app. I also read comic books, play video games, brew beer, bike around town, make up stupid songs for my kid, and generally engage in shenanigans and/or hijinks.

KJ: I am a beer rep for Zwei Brewing. I can also be found bartending in their taproom a few nights a week. I don’t play, I’m a dull boy.

Cody: I’m a part-time astronaut, part-time rockstar (obviously). I also spend a lot of time in the water, tubing, with beer. I also research and experiment with music production techniques. I make a lot of lists.

Thom: I have not ONCE seen him near a rocket of ANY sort. He does make lists, though.

What makes your band unique?

Thom: I think that trying to be ‘unique’ is a trap that musicians tend to fall into. Stilted is just one in a long line of guitar/bass/drums bands that have existed since the early days of rock and roll. Why try to reinvent the wheel when the wheel is already so awesome? Having said that, we try to be the best band we can be, and add different elements into our songs from a variety of influences. We work really hard to make sure that our music doesn’t suck…I don’t think that’s unique to us, though. I think a lot of bands try to not suck.

KJ: Thom answered that well, but to build on that I would just say that we don’t write songs intentionally trying to box ourselves into any specific sound. We don’t try to sound like anyone else, or even ourselves for that matter. We just write songs as they come along and our sound is a result of that. I don’t think that makes us unique per se, I think all bands should have their own sound, but that’s just where the ‘Stilted sound’ comes from.

Cody: I’d say our wheel has gold rims, though. OK, maybe not gold rims, but at least one worn-out tire. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, though some might just call me obsessive compulsive. We’ll be perfect someday, I’m sure. I think our songs do sound like us…you should hear them for yourself.

Stilted_7

Who are the members of your band (and what instruments do they each play)?

Cody Hitchcock – Vocals / Guitar
Thom Miller – Bass
KJ Osenenko – Drums

“My favorite part about rehearsing at Bandwidth is watching the other sorry saps in my band lug gear in and all I have to do is bring a pair of sticks.”

How did you meet?

Thom: Craigslist. Cody had an ad up that said, “Bassist wanted. Must tolerate drummers and be in tune.” I tuned my bass and contacted him, figuring one out of two wasn’t bad.

KJ: Me and Cody met through a Craigslist ad that I put up. Thom we just let in because we felt bad for the old geezer; I guess being around us young guys makes him feel cool. And he’s not half bad at the bass guitar, either.

Thom: I do feel that I bring a certain level of maturity to the band…

Cody: It’s quite interesting that we weren’t all friends before and that we’re coming from different directions (although we are all from the East Coast). It actually took a huge amount of searching and playing with people before actually finding something that works well. I’m really stoked about this project.

Are there any other local bands that you find inspiring?

Thom: John Hodge’s hair is always finely coiffed, though he usually wears a cowboy hat when he’s playing with a full band, which I’m not fond of. Shane’s hair always looks amazing when Wire Faces plays live. The Echo Chamber has managed to create a rock/electronica hybrid sound that I really dig (not sure about their hair, though). Travis Mason (Attack on Venus) has this neat NASA jumpsuit that he sometimes wears when he’s playing live. Kris Hodgell (Chieftain ((also a Bandwidth member band))) looks kind of like Thor, which is cool. Brian Kittrell (Maxwell Mud) does this awesome thing where he stumbles around on stage like he’s drunk…actually, now that I think of it…he might just be drunk? The Combatillac (also a Bandwidth member band) guys are really loud.

KJ: If you want to talk about my personal inspirations, you’re talking Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc.. As far as local bands go, Musketeer Gripweed always puts on a great show. They’ve also accomplished a lot – they regularly get the headline slot at the Aggie during FocoMX, they’ve done South by Southwest, they got to open for a major act (Lynyrd Skynyrd) at the Budweiser Events Center. I would like to see Stilted earn similar success, so my hat’s off to those guys..

Cody: Thom mentioned a lot of the good ones. I also really like Marti and The Dads a lot. It’s fun and it just clicks, ya know? I like all the bands from Grouphug records actually. I really do feel that this town is on the way up as far as the music scene goes. It’s starting to be it’s own island, instead of just being close to Denver.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life — (what band(s)/song(s) you’re listening to, local or otherwise?)

Thom: I have a Spotify playlist that’s titled, “The Greatest Songs Ever Written” and consists solely of ‘I Am… I Said’ by Neil Diamond. I just listen to that on repeat. I think KJ mostly just listens to Top 40 Pop.

KJ: As long as I don’t have to listen to some god awful pop hit off the radio it’s a good day. Seriously, hearing that crap makes me wish I was deaf. So subtract that from the entire catalog of music that exists in the world, and that works just fine for my life soundtrack.

Thom: Cody’s Music: Latin, Bulgarian, whatever world music is trendy this week…

Cody: Hey, don’t put words in my mouth, Thom…but that actually sounds like something I’d be into. Two things are important about listening to music for me: First, you’ve got to expand your horizons and always listen to stuff you haven’t heard before (this includes pop music for me, despite KJ’s furrowed brow; it’s got good and bad just like any other genre). Second, you’ve got to listen to the good stuff over and over again until you know it well enough to learn from it. So that’s pretty much what I do. That and listening to a lot of my old scratch material. And bird sounds.

Any goals you’re working toward as a band?

Thom: We just finished tracking our first EP over at Stout Studios and are currently having that mixed and mastered, so our short term goal is to get that out where people can find it, and also get some associated merch ready to go along with it. Our long term goals are to keep writing, keep recording, and play some more shows.

KJ: Total World Domination!

Thom: …and, uh, total world domination is also a goal, I guess.

Cody: Well, it really is if you listen to our subliminal messages close enough. That and MAKE GOOD MUSIC – music I would listen to – music you would listen to (whoever you are).

What’s the most important thing you accomplish at band practice?

Thom: We always manage to hug out our differences before we end practice…no one ever leaves in tears. Also, we usually do a pretty good job of making our existing tunes a little tighter and of finding a bit of time to work on a few new songs, too.

KJ: Making new music and/or making our current songs better. I mean that’s the name of the game, isn’t it?

Cody: I just hope no one can hearing us butchering covers through the walls when we try to play through them for the first time.

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Where can people find you/your music?

At our next Collaboration Brew Concert on 10/27!

https://www.facebook.com/stiltedband/
https://www.reverbnation.com/stilted

Cohere Bandwidth: A Practice Space’s First Year in Review

We’ve compiled data on how many Fort Collins bands rehearse at Cohere Bandwidth, which bands practice the most and our goals for the next year.

The Real Preferences of Musicians in Northern Colorado

Thank you for taking our recent survey about your preferences. We’ve compiled the results from 89 northern Colorado musicians and it’s fascinating!

Have a Merch Table Your Band Can Be Proud Of

When it comes to making music in Fort Collins, making money is the hardest part. Having and selling great merch at a good margin can be the ticket to getting paid. T-shirts, buttons and cds are probably staples of your merch table and probably sell well. Take it to the next level and try out one of the following product and display ideas–just be sure the thing you pick is actually relevant for your type of fans!

Weed grinder

Who wouldn’t love a pocket sized herb grinder branded with your logo?!

weed grinder

Drop off Productions or Peculiar Press: Keep-worthy screen printed posters

Amy Bradley of Peculiar Press encouraged the bands at the FoCoMX Pro Dev panel to offer more than just a T-shirt. People LOVE to support their favorite bands but not everyone wants to wear the brand. Amy suggested a limited edition custom screen printed poster. I’d have to agree. It’s SO hard to throw away the posters we get from Drop Off Productions. They are little works of art.
drop off poster

Signed Washboard (or other instrument) 

When you hit a certain level of celebrity, you can sell off your old instruments to your fans. Check out Elephant Revival’s Washboard!

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Toothbrush

Chemistry Club of Denver believes in three things: music, science and oral hygiene

chemistry club toothbrush

8 more ideas included hand-made mugs and cell phone cases.

Bonus Add-On: add a custom sticker from Leapin’ Lizard Labels with every purchase! We absolutely love our die cut stickers from this Fort Collins company and we have a legit addiction to the silver matte laminate paper. #sexy

IMG_5927After you have a nice assortment of relevant products, maximize your table with one of the following.

I found most of these on craigslist for about $20 each (except for the assistant but you never know).

  • A responsible and handsome merch assistant who is GREAT at selling
  • Vintage suitcases (an obvious choice as they are storage and display!)
  • Mannequin head or torso to display tshirts, hats or sunglasses
  • Old snare drum creates height, or cut a hole in the head to make a raffle box
  • Rope lighting to draw people over to you
  • Chalkboard to list prices

3 Ways to Enjoy FoCoMX 2016

FoCoMX is near! Here are THREE ways to enjoy it on April 22nd and 23rd: low stress/easy, medium difficulty, and early bird/can’t stay out late.

Low Stress/Easy. Julie is an 8 year veteran of FoCoMX. If she tells you to park your ass somewhere for the best lineup without the hustle, you listen!

Friday: Park yo’self at Hodi’s.

Saturday: Snag a bench at The Aggie. Easy peasy.

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Chieftain

Medium Difficulty/Genre Smorgasbord. Angel doesn’t get out much after dark so naturally, she’ll try to do ALL THE THINGS. Efficiency is queen in her world. Tag along on her schedule**:

Friday
4:30pm
Equinox Brewing | All Ages
Matt Mahern
Singer-Songwriter

5:30pm
Downtown Artery | All Ages
Emma Marie w/ Benji Smith
Singer-Songwriter

5:45pm
Illegal Pete’s | All Ages
The Little Black Bottles
Indie-Alternative

7:00pm
Illegal Pete’s | All Ages
Shaley Scott
Rock-Pop

8:30pm
Hodi’s Half Note | All Ages
Shatterproof
Rock-Pop

10:00pm
Lyric Cinema Cafe (Theatre) | All Ages
ComBATILLAC
Metal-Punk-Hardcore

12:00am
Aggie Theatre | All Ages
The Patti Fiasco
Country-Bluegrass-Americana

Saturday
2:00pm
Illegal Pete’s | All Ages
Paradox
Rock-Pop

5:30pm
Downtown Artery | All Ages
Senorita Sometimes
Rock-Pop

7:00pm
Blue Skies Winery | All Ages
Elyse Miller
Singer-Songwriter

8:00pm
The Whisk(e)y | 21+
Chieftain
Metal-Punk-Hardcore

8:30pm (literally couldn’t decide between these two)
Hodi’s Half Note | All Ages
Eldren
TBA

Surfside 7 | 21+
Serpentfoot
Rock-Pop

10:30pm
Tap N Handle | 21+
Cool Hand Juke
R&B-Soul-Funk

11:00pm
Lyric Cinema Cafe (Theatre) | All Ages
I Am the Owl
Metal-Punk-Hardcore

11:45pm
Downtown Artery | All Ages
Wire Faces
Rock-Pop

**build your own schedule by creating an account at http://focomx.focoma.org/.

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Wire Faces

Early Birds/Can’t Stay Out Late: Go to the Whisk(e)y on Saturday from 4:00-6:00p. You’re guaranteed to see LOTS of surprise musicians joining DJ Alf on stage. You’ll be wrapped up in time to grab an early dinner and head home.

What Fans and Bands Ought to Know About Having a Concert in Fort Collins

We learned a lot by having our own concert in Fort Collins last week. Please enjoy this picture of Steve from Pateros Creek and an infographic that shares all the details, numbers, financials and how much each of our member bands made.

The Secret to Finding a Rehearsal Space

Finding a solid place to rehearse with your band can be a long and often disappointing process. Lock-out rooms are few and far between in Fort Collins and the low vacancy rate in rentals means that your neighbors are always close by to hear what you’re up to and they’re never shy about calling the cops.

“The police came once to warn me. The second time I was issued an “unreasonable noise” violation. That ticket carries a $1000 fine. I went to court and had it reduced to $250 with the understanding that if the police were called again I would be fined the remaining $750. If I am contacted twice in the next 2 years I will be labeled a “public nuisance”.”  -Craig Powell, Drummer, Unreasonable Noise

Craig did a smart thing and joined Cohere Bandwidth before he could get that second violation. Hopefully, you never have to be in that situation so we’ve put together this handy checklist so that as you visit the many shared rehearsal spaces in Fort Collins, you can make an educated choice that will benefit your band.

Is this a legit practice space?
Aka, not a turkey coop or storage locker or abandoned warehouse? Is it branded as a rehearsal space? Are there any other business operations in the space that give you pause to wonder what the hell is up? Massage parlors, spare warehouse spaces or barns are always a risky proposition. If the space isn’t rehearsal space 90% of the time, this should give you pause. The owners probably aren’t properly insured, equipped or even helpful when you keep tripping the breaker every 15 minutes.
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Is the space in a neutral zone?
By neutral zone, we mean that it doesn’t belong to anyone in your band. Your buddy’s basement or your girlfriend’s garage do not count as neutral territory. Why does this matter? Because when rehearsal happens at a band member’s house, that band member is doing all the heavy lifting. They most likely store a lot of your stuff. Your stuff probably isn’t insured when it’s in your friend’s basement. They bear the burden and police record for any noise complaints that come in and rehearsal ALWAYS has to work with their schedule, their partner’s schedule and the neighborhood.

If your band likes to hang out before or after rehearsal, is the neighborhood conducive to grabbing a beer or slice?
One of the potential drawbacks of using a shared rehearsal space is that you are paying for the time so your band will feel less like having a beer for the first hour and you could miss out on that valuable bonding and creative time. Using a rehearsal space that is super close to your favorite haunt ensures that you band can still bond and you won’t lose any budgeted rehearsal time.

Does the space appear to be professionally sound proofed?
We’ve heard stories about rehearsal spaces being lined with used mattresses from a nursing home (cringe-worthy) to painted egg crates and blankets tacked up on walls. While there are certainly many online resources for DIY sound proofing, you’ve got better things to do with your time than combing message boards for whether MLV actually works.

When you tour the space, ASK about how it is sound proofed. Any rehearsal space owner or manager should be super knowledgable about how their space it built, why it matters and how you won’t have to worry about pissing off neighbors while you rock.

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Is the space and gear in good repair/clean?
You don’t need to be able to eat off the floor but a practice space with clean bathrooms, solid equipment and nice lighting will save you time. If you think you might have to spend time scraping mouse droppings off the snare drum before rehearsal, run.

“Hands down, most pleasant practice experience anywhere! The backline is tremendous (Fender Hot Rod Deville 410? Gimme that!), the rooms are clean but not fussy, booking time is easy, and the vibe clears all the brush to get back to what we love most about playing music. 10’s across the board.” -William Knudsen, Singer/Songwriter

What vibe do you get from the staff?
We encourage you to visit and try out all the different rehearsal options that are in Fort Collins. You’ll likely find that your band just “clicks” with a particular community. Don’t force it and don’t feel bad if you want to play the field so to speak before landing on your favorite. Staff should be helpful, friendly and bonus points if they are in a band! No one can help your band better than another musician who is really familiar with shared practice spaces.

Are the rules of use clearly outlined?
Do you know what’s expected/allowed in the space? There’s no worse feeling than accidentally breaking a piece of gear and worrying about what horrifying lawsuit will come down on you. Ask about any problems the community has had with gear, damage or people in the past. How was it handled? We’ll tell you all about how we handled a missing microphone a few months ago.

Are there any reviews of the space online?
Do they sound legit and not generated by robots? The Fort Collins music community is fairly well-known. Were any of the reviews written by your friends or bands you admire?

“Great place and space to rehearse! Sound quality is awesome. Setup is quick and easy. Reasonable prices! And a safe place to practice!” Stacy Sevelin, Senorita Sometimes

Does the space offer any value-adds? Is any gear included?
It’s important to think hard about your band’s goals. Is your band still getting established and needs a lot of services like photography, stickers, graphic design or a demo recording? If so, look for spaces that help you connect to resources that you need most. If your band is well-established or on tour, a space that just provides space without any fluff may be perfect for you.

Conclusion
Deciding to practice in a shared space is a big decision and can be a big change from what a band is used to especially if you’ve been in a lock-out space or at home. We really encourage you to give shared rehearsal space a try. You’ll probably find that your rehearsals CAN be super productive even when you’re not at home. Schedule a tour and check us out!

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Backstage Pass to Cohere Bandwidth: All the Stats and Financials

No matter your interest in shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins, we’re answering all your questions about Cohere Bandwidth. How much did it take to start Bandwidth? How many bands have rehearsed there? How many rehearsals happen each day? What’s the most popular time to practice? How much is your rent? It’s all in this handy dandy infographic. Please enjoy and more importantly, share.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Chieftain

Not exactly sure if they qualify as “neighbors” so much as “roommates” in our shared practice space — but we love them, even if they do use all the shampoo to maintain their sweet locks. 

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Chieftain

Chieftain band pic

Courtesy: Chieftain

 

How long have you been a band, and what made you decide to seek out shared rehearsal space for band practice? What is your favorite part about rehearsing at Bandwidth?

We started this band in 2012 after a short break from our previous projects.  We practiced out at the turkey coops all the way until early summer of 2015 when we were asked to move.  That’s when Angel and my old/current Bill the Welder drummer Shane, offered us their space when it opened.  We spent a month in a warehouse that Mitch was able to provide until Cohere Bandwidth opened and we commenced the rocking at their sweet space.

CohereBandwidth_05

Courtesy: Craig Okraska

What do you do for work … and play?

Derek is an Environmental Compliance Technician for work and enjoys fishing, riffing and fun.  Kris sells guitars at Guitar Center Fort Collins and is a freelance illustrator/graphic designer.  He enjoys hanging out with his rad wife, drawing, painting, playing bass, watching live music, playing video games, camping and hanging out with these jerks.  Brian is a landscape foreman. His favorite thing to do is watch his favorite bands play with all his buddies.  Mitch brews beer at New Belgium.

What makes your band unique?

Chieftain is a culmination of all our influences and previous projects (Mashadar, Fear the Vacuum, Bill the Welder, Pterrordaktyl, BeastLeg).  We are unique because we blend 70s rock n roll, stoner metal and sludge that is so common these days with a heavier thrash metal, punk edge that brings a lot of fun dynamics and newer takes on some of the standard or classic type riffs.

Who are the members of your band?

Derek Hall – Guitars & Vocals

Kris Hodgell – Bass

Brian Leavitt – Drums

Mitch McGuire – Guitar

chieftain

Courtesy: Chieftain

 

How did you meet?

Kris met Derek at Guitar Center Ft Collins in 2007.  They started hanging out outside of work where Derek introduced Kris to Brian.  Brian was the drummer in Brian and Derek’s band Mashadar.  Kris was in Fear the Vacuum at that point and those two bands started playing shows together.  Both of those bands eventually ran their coarse and fell apart.  Shortly after Derek and Kris started a speed punk project called Pterrordaktyl, which lasted about two years.  After that project fell apart Brian, Derek and Kris started jamming and working toward what would become Chieftain.  Mitch says he replied to a flier that was in the mens restroom at Surfside that said “looking for long haired gentleman to get down with”.  When in fact, he has been a friend of ours for some time who we asked to join the ranks, thus Chieftain was born.

Are there any other local bands that you find inspiring?

There are many bands past and present: Bronze, Men of Letters, Descendants, Wretch Like Me, Deadspeak, Fear the Vacuum, Bill the Welder, Wire Faces, Crow, The Echo Chamber, John Hodge, Native Daughters.  We’re forgetting lots of bands, no doubt.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life?

Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top, Uncle Acid, Misfits, The Sword, Intronaut, Between the Buried and Me, Graveyard, Mastodon, Opeth, Joe Bonamassa, Witchcraft, Revocation, A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi and Black Sabbath all day every day.

Any goals you’re working toward as a band?

We are planning on recording a demo with about 3 tracks very soon.  After that, we would like to record a full length album but we need to save up a bit more for that one.  We want that full length to be the best sounding/feeling record any of us has ever made.  We are always writing new material and are working to finish up our newest song. Several more riffs await their time to shine!  We have new art and merch on the way too.

kris and mitch

Courtesy: Chieftain

 

What’s the most important thing you accomplish at band practice?

Ever since we started this band, before it even had a name, we made sure we would keep one thing in mind at all times: have fun and write badass tunes.  It sounds a little cheesy, I know, but we have all been in other serious bands that have had their shares of band issues or drama or whatever you want to call it.  Every practice is a great time.  We may dial in our sets for gigs one practice, where another practice focuses almost entirely on a new song.  We are always striving for progress towards writing new songs and playing around with different styles while capturing all of our individual sounds and techniques. Yes there are frustrations and things of that nature, but it’s always for the good of the song and the band. It’s always fun.

Where can people find you/your music?

We’ll post updates about our recordings on our Facebook page .  Our next show will be at the new Surfside 7 location on November 12th.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Wake Breakers

Not exactly sure if they qualify as “neighbors” so much as “roommates” — since they have become our first Cohere Bandwidth member band! We plan to see Wake Breakers quite a bit in our shared rehearsal space in downtown Fort Collins. Possibly in their bathrobes, or in whatever they feel comfortable wearing around the house. Like pirate-punk eye patches.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Wake Breakers

Landlocked - Hey Neighbor!

Wake Breakers taking a moment to pose at our private opening party. Photo: Chromatic || Craig Okraska

How long have you been together as a band?
Since February 2015.

What made you decide to seek out shared rehearsal space?
Because the conditions were bad in our past space: no air conditioning, small, not enough equipment.

Editor's Note: Here's a "before" picture of Landlocked at practice. Hot. Cramped. Decidedly not five-star.

Here’s a “before” picture of Wake Breakers at practice. Hot. Cramped. Sad pirates. Photo credit: Mom

What do you do for work … and play?
Group hacky sack. Video games. Abe teaches uke. Trip and Parker have dreams. (<<Editor’s Note: this is what we *think* this read; the interview sheet was completed with a certain amount of youthful zest. We hope Trip and Parker have dreams. Everybody has a dream.)

Who are the members of your band?
Trip: Vocals and guitar
Parker: Lead guitar
Abe: Bass
Sam: Drums

Band Manager: Michael Goldstrom

How did you meet?
School.

What makes your band unique?
Pirate Punk
Young — and with talent and publicity
Editor: they’re not kidding about the publicity — see below for a photo of  Wake Breakers at band practice celebrating their front page Coloradoan feature story:

Landlocked - Coloradoan

And here’s a story via the Rocky Mountain Collegian complete with a video interview:

Any goals you’re working toward as a band?
More publicity
More gigs and $

Current soundtrack to a day in your life?
FIDLAR
Jack White
The Growlers

Are there any other local bands you find inspiring?
The Burroughs
Wire Faces

What’s the most important thing you accomplish at band practice?
Improving music and band coherence

Where can people find your music?

Upcoming Shows: playing Northern Colorado Pride
(Pride OUTside – August 1)

Connect Online:

Rehearsing: at Cohere Bandwidth!

Fort Collins: 7 Days of Rockin’ Christmas Videos

No matter if your holiday travels take you out of Fort Collins or shuffling to your couch in bunny slippers, we’ve put together some of our all-time favorite Christmas music videos to help you pass the time, avoid your family or bring you cheer. Come January, bring your band to Cohere Bandwidth, your rock solid rehearsal space!

The 12 Beers of Christmas

River Bottom Nightmare Band

Bing Crosby & David Bowie Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy 1977

Taylor Swift Last Christmas

SHEL Sleigh Ride

Holiday Road Cover by Shane Zweygardt & Alana Rolfe

Muppet Christmas Carol: Marley and Marley

Bonus Song: Carol of the Bells by Post Paradise

Bonus 8th Video: Josie Carey and Fred Rogers (on Organ and Piano) “I Know It’s Time for Christmas”

This Week in Music December 6th-12th

This Week in Music is out! Notable: Surfside 7 is finally open on Linden Street! Wahoooo!!!

This Week in Music Nov. 21st-28th: Fort Collins

This Week in Music Nov. 21-28: Fort Collins

This Week in Music Nov. 15th-21st: Fort Collins

Picking this week’s music was HARD but we couldn’t pass up the lady who signed our custom ukelele, a gal who rocks a leopard suit or the band who used whiteout on our bathroom poster.

Electric Smile by Patti Fiasco

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Listen to this epic 80s mashup by Danielle and David Bashford

Friday, November 20

7:30pm: Acoustic Treatment with Alysia Kraft of Patti Fiasco at Otterbox Digital Dome

8 pm: The Yawpers CD Release at Hodi’s

Saturday, November 21

8 pm: Danielle Ate the Sandwich at Avo’s

 

This Week in Music Nov. 8th-14th: Fort Collins

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Angel feels especially excited about this week in music in Fort Collins. First, our exterior sign got installed on Jefferson Street. Wooo! And Second, two of her all-time favorite bands are on the lineup this week.

Special thanks to our show calendar partners, Vionza and our on-location film site, State Line Studios.

Listen to Eldren’s song We Just Want the World.

Tuesday, November 10th at The Aggie: The Covz with Eldren and Landecay

Friday, November 13th at Avo’s: Meadowlark Jivin’

Saturday, November 14th at Swing Station: Winchester Holiday CD Release

This Week in Music November 1st-7th: Fort Collins

rocksolid

There’s no denying that Fort Collins, Colorado is a Music City. The musicians and staff of Cohere Bandwidth go to A LOT of shows. There are at least 10 venues just within a mile of our shared rehearsal space so keeping track of that many events can feel overwhelming. Luckily, the data nerds at Vionza scrape up ALL of the shows and venues and put them into one streamlined calendar. To make your music-going even easier, we’re going to hand-pick THREE must-see shows every week and drop them on Sundays.

Shane and Angel will scrutinize the calendar for you and we’ll be sure to get you out to lots of different venues and sampling lots of different styles of music. You can definitely expect us to put our Bandwidth Member Bands on your radar. Chieftain and Wake Breakers don’t have any local shows this week, but they will soon.

Bloopers at the end because Shane is hilarious.

Listen to Replicator by Wire Faces.

Wednesday, November 4th at the Armory: Jonatha Brooke with Solomon Cook

Thursday, November 5th at the Artery: Techno Shaman with live painting by Lindee Zimmer

Friday, November 6th at Lyric Cinema Cafe: The Good Life with Big Harp

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Collin Ingram

Creating shared rehearsal space in downtown Fort Collins means that Cohere Bandwidth has some super-awesome neighbors. Like one of the directors of the Downtown Artery, Collin Ingram: dog owner, bass player, and occasional wearer of skintight latex costumes.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Collin Ingram

CollinIngram

But first: a #selfie. Photo by William Knudsen.

How long have you been in the neighborhood, and what brought you here?
I’ve lived in Fort Collins for about three years now. I grew up in a little town near Yellowstone called Cody, Wyoming. I was lucky to be surrounded by some great musical mentors growing up and started making a living playing bass by the time I went to college. I went to music school in Minnesota for a bit, but after my first winter out there I was ready to head home and be warm again. A couple months later I drove down to Laramie to audition for the music program at the University of Wyoming. Since I was in the neighborhood, I paid some absurd amount of money for Radiohead tickets at the 1st Bank Center. On our way to Broomfield, my friend Dave and I stopped for lunch in Old Town. It took five minutes of me being in Fort Collins to know this was where I wanted to live. I moved down here a few months later.

What do you do for work … and play?
I’m one of the directors of the Downtown Artery, an arts and music organization here in Fort Collins. We have an art gallery, studio spaces, a coffee shop, a bar, a recording studio, a record label, and a live music venue. I mainly focus on our recording studio (State Line Studios) and our record label (Strange Light Records). I get to do fun stuff like produce and release albums, and slightly less fun stuff like working on record contracts.

I don’t play music as often as I used to, though I still perform occasionally with various groups, such as my hip-hop band Party Art and Libby Creek Original, when the opportunity arises.

I’ve recently grown fond of putting on a skintight latex bicycle costume, hopping on a ridiculously light bicycle I spent way too much money on, and riding until my skintight latex bicycle costume smells really bad. After that I’ll usually drink a beer and pretend that everyone in the bar isn’t secretly judging me on how ridiculous I look in my skintight latex bicycle costume and how bad said skintight latex bicycle costume smells.

If I’m not doing any of that stuff above I’m probably cuddling with my dog, Shia LaPup, or looking for someone to argue about TV shows with.

What makes your neighborhood unique?
First and foremost, I really dig how a healthy percentage of the people I care most about in this world live within a four block radius of my apartment. It really does the heart good to run into any number of your friends whenever you take your dog out for a walk or run to the grocery store.

It’s also important to me that I can count the number of chain restaurants, fast food joints, or big box stores in Old Town on one hand. I don’t think people quite realize how important small businesses are to fostering things like a healthy arts and music scene. So many Old Town businesses have local art hanging on the wall and host concerts (even if they realistically don’t have room for them.) That’s the kind of stuff that puts towns on the map. Chipotles and the like are cool but they have the tendency to suck the lifeblood out a neighborhood. When was the last time you saw a great band at Subway, or a local art show at T.G.I. Friday’s?

What makes YOU unique?
Once a year I read a book that I know I’m going to absolutely hate. I don’t really why I started doing this and I REALLY don’t know why I keep doing it. Anyway, past examples include:

  • The O’Reilly Factor For Kids: A Survival Guide for America’s Families by Bill O’Reilly
  • Amish Vampires In Space by Kerry Nietz
  • The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee
  • Left Behind: Nicolae — The Rise of Antichrist by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

I’m thinking about reading Go Set A Watchman this year. Does that count?

Oh! Also! Remember how I said I like arguing about TV shows earlier? Here’s some of my unpopular opinions. If anybody want’s to argue with me about these hit me up!

  • Season 9 of “The Office” was better than any of the Michael Scott seasons.
  • This season of “True Detective” is just as good, if not better, than last season.
  • “The Wire” is WAY better than “Breaking Bad” ever dreamt of being. That being said, Breaking Bad is the second-greatest TV show of all time.
  • Daenerys Targaryen is awful. Like seriously. She’s the worst.

The series finale of “How I Met Your Mother” was nearly perfect. That was the best possible way to end that show. Really. I mean that.

Favorite neighborhood haunts:
Avo’s is a really wonderful bar. Pour Brothers is also a really wonderful bar. Social, The Whiskey, The Forge, and The Mayor are all really wonderful bars. Choice City has really great food. So does The Mainline, Pickle Barrel, Cozzola’s, and The Kitchen. I really want Surfside to open up again. I miss their pizza (among other things). Sometimes I wonder how many gallons of Illegal Pete’s queso I’ve consumed this year. That stuff’s good for you, right? I think I should point out that Mountain Cafe DEFINITELY DOESN’T have breakfasts that are just as good as the ‘popular’ breakfast spots without ever having a wait. Harbinger Coffee is next level and Starry Night has the best Americanos in the world. I get my hair cut at His & Her Salon. They’re wonderful people. Lee’s Cyclery and Peleton Cycles and probably have the friendliest, most helpful staffs in the world.

In your opinion, what makes a good neighbor?
Good neighbors are constantly looking for excuses to help each other out. This is really, really, important. Good neighbors support small businesses in their neighborhood. Good neighbors go to as many of those city council and community meetings as they can possibly bear to go to. Good neighbors go to shows (and buy merch). Good neighbors tell local artists and musicians how much they appreciate their work. Good neighbors tell everyone how much they appreciate them. This is really, really, important.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life:

  • Tame Impala’s new album Currents is genius.
  • Jason Isbell’s new album Something More Than Free is also very good. Much better than I was expecting it to be.
  • Father John Misty’s album I Love You Honeybear finally clicked for me a couple weeks ago. Such a wonderful album.
  • I found this album Peter Gabriel released in 2011 called Scratch My Back. It’s just Peter and a chamber orchestra covering everybody from Neil Young and Paul Simon to Bon Iver and Arcade Fire. It’s stunning.
  • On the subject of Arcade Fire I finally realized last month they are actually an amazing band. The Suburbs is incredible.
  • I’m still completely floored by how good Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and Sufjan Steven’s Carrie & Lowell are. Two of the best albums of the decade released within a couple weeks of each other. What an amazing time to be alive.
  • Meek Mill’s Wanna Know is a bumping track.

Neighbor, You’re Invited to an Ice Cream PARTY!

Neighbor Night Out Party: One of the core values of Cohere Bandwidth is to provide “safe, secure rehearsal space in Old Town Fort Collins.” That’s why we feel our Neighborly participation in National Night Out is so important.

“National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. Together, we are making that happen.”

The local version of this huge event is Neighborhood Night Out and you’re invited to our neighborhood ice cream social and open house in partnership with the Downtown Artery (our next door neighbors).

Neighborhood-Night-Out

Party at Shared Rehearsal Space in Old Town Fort Collins, CO

August 4th

5pm-8pm

317 Jefferson Street

One of the goals of this program is to familiarize the police with our neighborhood. It helps them assess what “normal” looks like for our street as well as putting our businesses on their brain maps. We already met with the Fort Collins Police Department to help us dial in some security features. The most important, they said, is a flood light outside your door. How simple and CHECK!

RSVP on our Facebook Event so we can buy enough ice cream.

Yes! We are OPEN.

317 Jefferson St. Fort Collins

So happy we’re glowing.

All in all, it was a good weekend for celebrations. Two and a half years after two of our best-loved local bands had all their gear stolen from their deplorable turkey-coop-turned-practice-space, Cohere Bandwidth opened its doors. For real! On Friday, we took some time to celebrate and had our friends, family and amazingly patient community supporters come take a look. It looked like this:

allthefeels

When the first band struck up a tune, Angel burst into tears. Dani burst into cheers. Adrian thinks we’re weird. He’s not wrong.

In addition to all the emoting, we got a chance to spend time with our families (both immediate and extended). Angel’s Mom made Tang and Chex Mix, in keeping with our neighborly Mister Rogers’ gestalt. Julie’s sister Jeanie tapped the Pateros Creek Brewing keg. Shane and Adrian celebrated like drummers do, by frantically hauling in a bunch of gear and setting it up, then gazing upon it adoringly.

kitkisses

This is the teaching kit that lives in our Side B rehearsal room. Shane can’t wait to bring his students in.

Several of the downtown Fort Collins neighborhood vendors who offer discounts to Cohere Bandwidth members stopped in to wish us well. Brandon from Music Go Round was on hand with guitars galore for the bands to try out; the store is also providing something we call the “Oh Sh*t” box — filled with items musicians might find they need should things at practice not go as planned. Also, two of our kick-ass photographer friends, Kirsten Cohen and Craig Okraska came all the way from Boulder and Laramie, respectively, to show their support and then have their photo taken inexpertly by us:

photogs

Craig and Kirsten take much better pictures than this one, and are incredibly generous, supportive artists. We’re pretty smitten.

And in an adorable demonstration of cross-pollination, Cohere Community members pitched in to help with the opening party, too. Amanda lent us the perfect Tang pitcher, Janelle helped us get set up for the event, Kevin came by to see the real-life use case behind all the website programming he’s done for us, and Suzi made stoplight-themed Rice Krispies treats (that hopefully someone took a picture of before we scarfed them all down).

In the midst of all this, our neighbors at the Downtown Artery opened their new cafe and venue right next door to us. It is spectacular. You should go see it. Opening night was beyond our ability to describe adequately; just go subscribe to their YouTube channel so you don’t miss out (Stella Luce and Itchy-O pretty much burned the place down. Metaphorically, of course).

The Very Best Part

The bands! They’re the very best part! Several of our musician friends came by on Friday, including Matt Mahern, YettieChieftan, The Lonelyhearts, and an unprecedented number of drummers, from Mama Lenny & The Remedy to (multiple) Wiredogs. We also got a chance to meet our very first member band, Landlocked, in person. Here’s Angel presenting them with their membership cards, moments before they started playing and she started crying:

landlocked

Wishing Landlocked a warm welcome.

On Saturday, Itchy-O got a chance to check out our Side A “green room”, mostly because a 31-piece marching band needs a place to stash their burkas, antennae and lighted sombreros. Duh. Stella Luce and Super Bummer stopped in, too. And then on Sunday, our very first hourly band came in to practice. They are an emerging band currently without a name, so we’ll let them reveal themselves to you when they’re ready. But here’s a picture of their feet in the simulated lawn in Side A. Yes, it so clean you can roam around barefoot if you want.

greenroom

Gathering their creative forces.

Later, the band was spotted in Old Town getting a post-practice beer … another thing to love in our neighborhood. Life on Linden and Jefferson is pretty awesome right now and we expect it will only get better and better.

We. Are. Open. Best three words I’ve been able to type in this last 900+ days. Please take a peek around the website and schedule some practice time! Feel free to hit us up if you want a code for a free hour to give things a try before you buy, or if you would like to schedule a tour of the space. We would love to see you, local bands, friends and neighbors. We made this with you, for you, and we’re ready for you to come play!

“Often, when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” – Fred Rogers

COHERE BANDWIDTH OPENS REHEARSAL SPACE IN DOWNTOWN FORT COLLINS

Shared practice space for local musicians to celebrate grand opening on June 27 in Old Town

Arliss Nancy courtesy Craig Okraska of Chromatic

Arliss Nancy courtesy Craig Okraska of Chromatic

Fort Collins, Colo., June 9, 2015 — After two and a half years of planning, preparation and construction, Cohere Bandwidth announced today that it will open its doors on Saturday, June 27 for musicians looking for rehearsal space. Two fully backlined practice rooms featuring high-quality gear, secure access and state-of-the-art sound mitigation are available for bands to book online at coherebandwidth.com starting today. Located at 317 Jefferson St. in downtown Fort Collins, Cohere Bandwidth is housed in the same building as The Downtown Artery’s new music venue, also scheduled to open June 27.

“While the entire process has been lengthy, the result is completely worth it,” said Cohere Bandwidth owner Angel Kwiatkowski. “The location couldn’t be more perfect. We’ve been able to construct this safe, comfortable, convenient workspace for musicians in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins, and it’s housed within the artistic ecosystem and creative community that’s blossoming at The Downtown Artery. The entire building is filled with people helping, inspiring and collaborating with one another, and the possibilities inherent in that are endless.”

Cohere Bandwidth offers plug-and-play hourly practice space for local and touring musicians, and was designed after extensive research and input gathered from several Colorado bands. Hourly rehearsal rates are set at $20, but a limited number of monthly memberships are also available at $145 for 8 hours of rehearsal time. Members of Cohere Bandwidth are also eligible for discounts and freebies from local merchants, including food, beer, gear, professional creative services, clothing, and more. Members also get advance priority access to booking, so they can choose and reserve regular rehearsal times in the Cohere Bandwidth schedule.

bandwidthmembercard

Kwiatkowski, who owns and operates Cohere Community (shared office space for independent creative professionals and remote workers), was motivated to create shared rehearsal space for musicians after hearing the story of local bands Fierce Bad Rabbit and Wire Faces having their practice space robbed.

“I was pretty horrified at the story, not just of the robbery, but of the conditions musicians typically work in,” she said. “The more I learned about what bands need in a practice space, the more parallels I saw between the coworking community and the music community. Why should our artists be forced to work in substandard conditions? They’re business owners, too, and deserve a workplace designed to suit their needs.”

To make sure the space continues to be inspired and guided by the musicians it serves, Kwiatkowski hired drummer Shane Zweygardt of Wire Faces as Cohere Bandwidth’s General Manager.

shane incognito

“It feels good to know that one of the musicians that was the catalyst for this whole project is now helping to run the rehearsal space,” Kwiatkowski said. “Shane is one of the most respected artists in the community and his input has been invaluable as we build the space.” Zweygardt was formerly a long-time employee of Colorado Drum and Percussion, the now-defunct local music store that was once in the building Cohere Bandwidth occupies.

rocksolid

Cohere Bandwidth will host a private party for friends and family on Friday, June 26, but has purposely scheduled the public opening of the practice spaces to coincide with the Downtown Artery’s venue grand opening, to demonstrate the synergy and camaraderie between the two businesses. “They’re the best neighbors we could ask for and we can’t wait to celebrate with them,” Kwiatkowski said.

Cohere Bandwidth offers 24/7 access via unique door key codes. Online booking for June 27 and dates beyond is available immediately. Bands can register online at coherebandwidth.com and purchase hourly rehearsal time or monthly membership as needed.

The Downtown Artery venue grand opening on June 27 features Denver bands Itchy-O, Super Bummer and Panther Martin, along with Fort Collins favorites Stella Luce.

###

Cohere Bandwidth and Cohere Community

MEDIA CONTACT: Angel Kwiatkowski

angel@coherecommunity.com

(970) 219-4061

www.coherebandwidth.com

317 Jefferson St., Fort Collins, CO 80524

 

For more information about The Downtown Artery, please contact:
William Knudsen, Director of Marketing and Development

william@downtownartery.com – (970) 682-2668

www.downtownartery.com

252 Linden St., Fort Collins, CO 80524

Fix Your Band Practice With One Weird Trick

In a basement in Fort Collins, a viola player must sit because the ceiling isn’t tall enough for her bow extension. In a turkey coop down by the river, two bands get robbed on Christmas Eve. In a warehouse behind Link Lane, a drummer wishes for heat as his fingers go numb.

Rehearsing in Fort Collins feels like a terrible mad lib where the nouns are: basement, garage, shed, warehouse and barn and the adjectives are: infested, cold, hot, damp, dirty, cramped, terrifying, noisy and frustrating.

2012-12-28 21.23.55

The worst version of the mad lib words.

In a world where you could rehearse in your basement or garage, we want you to explore the reality of hourly shared rehearsal space in Old Town.

 

FullSizeRender (9)

One of 21 shared spaces at Austin’s The Space.

 

Here are 5 ways we’ll help you sound better:

1. We backlined our rooms with amps, bass rigs, PAs, mixers and microphones so you only need to tote your sticks and guitars. Stop putting unnecessary wear and tear on your beloved equipment and use ours!

Wire-Faces-pic

Wire Faces perfected the venue that is Menyus’s living room while Shane uses brush sticks.

2. If you’re practicing at home, you’re getting really good at playing the venue that is your garage or living room. Rehearsing in neutral territory better prepares your band for an actual performance especially when you can play at full volume without fear of the neighbors knocking.

3. Ever feel frustrated that your band rehearsals last 3 hours or more? Moreover, does your PARTNER/PARENT feel frustrated? By picking specific start and end times, you can all choose exactly how long you want practice to last (pro-tip, it’s usually less than 3 hours).

4. We planted our collective ass in Old Town for you. Be wildly productive during rehearsal at Cohere Bandwidth THEN go out for a beer together at any of the hundred places in Old Town.

5. Our rehearsal rooms will turn over about every 2 hours. That means there’s a really good chance you’ll run into other musicians. Meet, talk & play a show together, preferably next door at the Downtown Artery’s new venue. We even installed a “bat cave” that takes you directly from the Side A practice room onto the stage at the Artery’s Venue. WHUT?!

Your band can have a 2 hour rehearsal every week for $145 a month. And we added a gajillion other discounts at local businesses to rock your world.

Do the math.

2 person band=$73 each

3 person band=$48 each

4 person band=$36 each

5 person band=$29 each

 

CB Team Photo

 

Much love and go register today. You’ll get first dibs at the schedule when we open.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: John Bradley

Creating shared rehearsal space in downtown Fort Collins means that Cohere Bandwidth has some super-awesome neighbors. Like John Bradley, artist, gelatin fan, and Director of Venue Operations at the Downtown Artery.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: John Bradley

John Bradley - Downtown Artery

photo credit: “my beautiful brother, Aaron Foresthill” http://aaronforesthill.tumblr.com/

How long have you been in the neighborhood, and what brought you here?
Fate brought me from Germany to Fort Collins back in June of 2008, following my parents’ retirement from the military. After finishing out my last few years of high school at FCHS, I made the long move across town, to attend CSU. Summer after my freshman year at CSU, I helped my wonderful sister start a small business that has evolved into the Downtown Artery over time.

What do you do for work … and play?
As an artist, my work is to inspire others, and my play is finding inspiration. As the Director of Venue Operations at the Downtown Artery, I get to work and play with brilliant creators everyday, putting on events, performances, showcases, and planning large collaborations between artists. When I’m not at the Downtown Artery, I am most likely producing a beat, singing, binge eating alone at a restaurant, or watching trashy reality TV with my sister.

What makes your neighborhood unique?
The amount of construction going on, no matter what direction you look.

What makes YOU unique?
My eyebrows, and a few other things.

Favorite neighborhood haunts:
You can see me lurking around the crystals in Nature’s Own, ordering a Benny Goodman with flat and crispy hash at Snooze, getting a chicken bowl at Illegal Pete’s, consuming all of the drip coffee from Cafe Ardour, and getting my sugar rush on at Rocket Fizz.

In your opinion, what makes a good neighbor?
A good neighbor is definitely the one that brings you Jell-O … a good neighbor is a good friend. Someone who is always looking out for you, even when you don’t realize it … and that always includes Jell-O (lime flavored).

Current soundtrack to a day in your life?
Real Cosby – What It Feels
123mrk – Untroubled
Jai Paul – All Night
Ryan Hemsworth – Snow In Newark

Turkey Coops Shut Down by Larimer County

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Courtesy The Yawpers via Julie Sutter

The Turkey Coops turned band rehearsal spaces have been on our radar for years. We first heard about them when our friends who were practicing in these “renovated” coops, Wire Faces and Fierce Bad Rabbit, were ROBBED. A truck pulled up to their unit in the middle of the night about 2 years ago, cut the lock and absconded with ~$15,000 worth of their beloved equipment. The case is still unsolved (missing gear list).

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A turkey coop rehearsal space (post-robbery)

This tragedy is what spurred the creation of Cohere Bandwidth in the first place and it feels a little like our turkey coop story arc is coming full circle. We found out late last night that Larimer County has shut down the turkey coops due to zoning violations (author’s note: and crimes against artistry). Bands have been practicing in these unheated, unsecured, improperly zoned and unsound-proofed plywood rooms where turkeys formerly awaited their pre-Thanksgiving deaths. Bands didn’t elect to practice in these coops because it’s cheap or semi-convenient or goddamn freezing cold in the winter. They practiced there because it was their only viable option to make music and try to stay off the radar and out of their neighbors’ hair.

Deplorable conditions aside, we’re proud to be building rock solid rehearsal space in Old Town Fort Collins BOTH to prevent the mistreatment of our community’s most creative assets and to send a message that MUSIC MATTERS.

That’s why we’re offering a whole month of free rehearsal to each of the three bands that have been displaced from the turkey coops. We never want bands to have to practice in less than ideal conditions ever again in Fort Collins. We won’t stand for it.

If your band has been displaced from the turkey coops, please email Shane right away and request your free month. We’ll be open in about 4 weeks at 317 Jefferson Street under the Downtown Artery.

Bands we know about: Bomb Threat, Endless Monster, Chieftain.

Check-in & Check-It-Out: Open Friday for FoCoMX!

For a while there, it seemed like this moment might never come, but now the week has actually arrived. We are (kinda*) open!

Starting Friday at FoCoMX

*We’re not yet open for band rehearsals … however: beginning at noon on Friday, April 24, we ARE acting as the primary check-in point for the seventh annual Fort Collins Music eXperiment (FoCoMX). FoCoMX, presented by the Fort Collins Musicians Association, is a two-day festival showcasing bands from Northern Colorado in venues throughout Old Town Fort Collins. It. Is. Awesome. ! Festival sponsors, bands and VIPs will have an opportunity to check out Cohere Bandwidth when they check in to pick up their wristbands for the weekend. Will-call and ticket sales for the festival will also be located just outside Cohere Bandwidth on Linden St.

FoCoMX

Visit www.focomx.org to buy your festival wristband!

What this means: we are welcoming literally hundreds of musicians and music lovers into our brand-new downtown rehearsal space to say hello. We are beside ourselves with excitement and joy. It’s kind of surreal — from idea to opening has been a long journey.

More Good News for Musicians

  • Every FoCoMX band will get a nice little gift from us at check-in. (If your band is playing the festival, you can pick up your wristbands from 12p – 10p on Fri. 4/24 or Sat. 4/25; our address is 317 Jefferson St. in downtown Fort Collins).
FoCoMX - Michael Kirkpatrick

Our gift might not be as nice as a mustache riding a bicycle, but … really, what is? You’ll still like it, we promise. P.S. this is Michael Kirkpatrick — he kicks off FoCoMX on Friday at 3:30P at Equinox.

  • Whether you’re playing FoCoMX or not, Cohere Bandwidth memberships are now available and ripe for the picking. A membership gets your band 8 hours of rehearsal time per month at a discount over our hourly rates, plus a ton of other fabulous perks you can read about here. Securing a membership for your band soon! means you’ll have a better chance of selecting the days/times you want on an ongoing basis. Non-member hourly rehearsal times are based on availability after the members choose their preferred times. Contact us ASAP if you’re interested in a membership — we only have 18 left!
  • In addition to the aforementioned fabulous perks we’ve already lined up with our friends at the Downtown Artery, we are also always on the lookout for other sweet deals for our Cohere Bandwidth musicians. Case (heh) in point: we just put together a partnership with our nearby pals at Pateros Creek Brewing Company that will give Cohere Bandwidth members a) free beer at their first rehearsal and b) after 6 consecutive months of rehearsals at Cohere Bandwidth, an opportunity to create a collaboration brew for their band with Pateros Creek. More on that later! FYI, Pateros Creek recently collaborated with Post Paradise on a Rye Pale Ale and they have developed a reputation for being awesome. And for loving local music. And they’re a block away. So yay.

Our Creative Community

We’ll be posting updates and photos throughout the week (feel free to follow along via Instagram for photos; we’re also posting some of our recommendations for must-see FoCoMX shows on our Facebook page this week). If you’re out exploring the festival — and we hope you are! — make sure to tag your social media shenanigans with #FoCoMX and #FoCoMusic so we can all stay connected.

Side note: the 2015 Creative Industries Summit takes place this week in Fort Collins also, on Thursday 4/23 and Friday 4/24. Creative entrepreneurs, emerging creatives, municipal and nonprofit cultural workers, and community leaders from throughout the state will be in town to attend and explore our city’s creative community. Say hi! (Pro tip: pop into Illegal Pete’s on Thursday night at 7:30P and catch a performance by the always-stellar Ian Cooke. After you’re utterly smitten … and you will be … you can see him again at FoCoMX on Friday night!)

Finally: THANK YOU. We’re here. Huzzah. It’s Opening Week!

Ian Cooke - photo courtesy Harper Point Photography/Articulate City

Ian Cooke – photo courtesy Harper Point Photography and Articulate City

Field Report: Road Trip to ToneVille

Those of you that follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook got a little sneak peek at the way we spent last Friday … going on an adventure to fetch a secret gift that will soon be part of our shared rehearsal space experience!

shhhhh

Update — in shocking news, we have procured not just ONE gift, but TWO for you, our beloved Fort Collins music community. Gift #1: we decided the Cohere Bandwidth team needed some more enthusiastic young musical expertise, so we got you a tall and sprightly drummer!

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But not that tall and sprightly drummer. Another one:

shaneadrian

More Awesome Energy!
We are very excited to announce the addition of Adrian Wright to the Cohere Bandwidth team. Adrian is a tall and sprightly drummer who plays in a band called Yettie, and he is poised to step in with his bonafide brilliant musician mind should someone suddenly kidnap Shane and stuff him into the hatch of an SUV, never to be seen again. You can never have too many drummers, in our opinion. Someone’s always needing a spare. Please join us in welcoming Adrian aboard. And you should check out his band. You’ll likely see more and more of him as we move in and prepare for opening.

Speaking of preparing for opening …

More Excellent Equipment!
Gift #2 was purchased with a credit card, and required a bit of a road trip, so we shoved all our drummers in a car and drove off to Colorado Springs to get … an amplifier. It occurred to us at about the Longmont exit that maybe we should have grabbed a guitar player, too.

Julie: “do you think maybe we should have brought someone that could test this thing out?”
Angel: “Shane, can you play (surprises everyone by humming Black Sabbath’s Iron Man)?”

Then we remembered we were picking up said amp at a music store. Lucci Music, to be exact, where someone would surely know how to play some Black Sabbath if needed. Oh, and also Lucci Music is home to ToneVille Amplifiers. Ta-da!

toneville-in-case

We mean … ta-da!tonevillerevealed

Lovingly handcrafted right here in Colorado, ToneVille amps are this beautiful blend of art and science that practically made Angel weep with joy:

angelovestoneville

We purchased the Broadway model, which has insides made from “new old stock” tubes (a phrase, for the uninitiated, that sounds ridiculous but actually has meaning for those in the know; it refers to tubes that were manufactured in the past, but just never used. Good for built-to-last, authentic vintage sound, apparently). The Broadway’s outsides are made from black walnut and hard maple, with gorgeous dovetailed joints and a retro flair that is such a perfect fit with our branding that we nearly had to bring Julie some smelling salts.

Best of all, though, our ToneVille amp was made by Phil. We got to meet Phil and shake his hand, and talk to him about his business, and that doesn’t happen that often when you buy things these days. It was like a music farmer’s market. It was awesome.

phil

This is Phil. We did not make him play Black Sabbath.

Phil wrote down every individual tube included in our ToneVille for our reference. And he gave us ToneVille T-shirts. And he sat cross-legged on the floor and painstakingly took us through the features of the Broadway. If you want something akin to that experience, you can check out lots of demo videos on the Internet, like this one from Guitar World at the NAMM show earlier in January:

But what we would like most of all is for you to come experience your new gifts in person when we open, of course. When do we open? Well, we’re getting closer to exact dates, but for starters — we’ll be acting as the artist and sponsor check-in venue for FoCoMX April 24 – 25. So if yours is among the 266 bands playing at our favorite Fort Collins music festival, then we’ll see you very soon. We’ll open for rehearsal room bookings shortly thereafter and you can come try out all the amenities in our home in the Downtown Artery building, including the ToneVille amp. And the Colorado-made Mantic Effects pedals. And you can high-five our getting-increasingly-taller team.

teambandwidth

In the meantime, don’t forget to get your band on our wait list to stay up-to-speed on our official opening date. It’s all happening, faster than you think. We can hardly wait!

Field Report: Rehearse in Space

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Are we there yet?! Are we there yet?! Shane has been bugging me for MONTHS to visit Space in Austin, Texas. It was hard to say yes given our lack of wheels down here and the distance to get there (a 30 min drive from downtown READ $50 Uber ride each way).

As luck would have it, I arrived in Austin and met a brand new coworking space owner, Shelley, who was willing to give us a ride! Her coworking space is called Orange Coworking and is located in the “Far South Awesome” neighborhood.

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We landed in Space and begged for a spur of the moment tour. They acquiesced despite being wicked busy due to SXSW. Brent showed us around all the Space, which includes THIRTY-ONE rehearsal rooms spread over two floors and a tracking room/recording studio.

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Most of the rehearsal rooms are hourly/shared just like Cohere Bandwidth’s will be be but they offer just the PA, mixer, mic stands and the occasional drum kit. Bands can either bring their own amps/rigs OR rent some from Space. A small number of rooms are reserved full time for a few specific bands.

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I made Shane wail on a drum kit while I stood in the hallway with not 1 but 2 solid doors separating us. I’ve never been more thankful for the sound-lock vestibules our contractors are currently building.

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Summary: we are even MORE excited to bring this awesome concept to Old Town Fort Collins. Join us for our first open house day on April 24th! **we’re waiting on our new address but find us on the Jefferson side of Linden and Jefferson underneath the Downtown Artery.

Ps. Get on our wait list for rehearsal slots

Pps. Rock a Bandwidth hoodie

Rock ‘n’ Stole: Gear. Gone. Gah!

We know way too many bands who have had their instruments and equipment stolen. (Knowing just one is enough, really). Local bands getting ripped off was, in fact, the impetus for Cohere Bandwidth’s inception, and even though we feel like we’re doing our best to create lemonade — some jerk is always showing up with more lemons and making our musician friends miserable.
Such tales are far too abundant. Unfortunately, if you keep reading, you’ll hear another one. Fort Collins musicians Daisy and Brian (she of local bad-ass band The B.A.B.E.S. and he, the bass player for SpokesBUZZ bands Wasteland Hop AND The Echo Chamber) recently had their stuff stolen. We think that sucks.

If there is good news, it’s this: you can help. Here are some ways to do so:

  • A Community Funded project has launched where you can donate funds to help directly with gear replacement, and with Daisy and Brian’s upcoming trip to Austin for the Colorado Music Party. Check it out and give if you can.
  • Speaking of the road to Texas and supporting local bands: there’s a kickoff party in Fort Collins on Sat. March 14 that will feature several musicians headed to Austin (The B.A.B.E.S. among them). You can buy tickets for that and help put some money in their pockets that way.
  • There is also a similar sendoff event in Denver on Fri. March 6 being organized by Illegal Pete’s (Wasteland Hop is playing that one). Buy tickets here for the South Broadway shows.
  • (Super-depressing side note: if you search “stole” on Community Funded you get the Cohere Bandwidth launch project where Wire Faces tells their tale of thievery. However: “successfully funded” is nice. People are nice. Most of ’em. Also: Shane has since purchased insurance for his gear, a mere $14/mo. for $10K in coverage! So that’s sort of a lemonade of its own. Or at least an Arnold Palmer.)

We will let you know if we hear of more ways to help these bands recover their financial losses, if not their gear. It’ll be impossible to “replace” their things, of course — read on if you want to get sad and mad, and then fired up to help them out.

Here’s Daisy and Brian:

Daisy and Brian

We’re two local musicians who had our car broken into while it was parked in our driveway.

…and here, in their own words, is their “Rock ‘n’ Stole” story:

It’s just stuff, right?

Metal and plastic and inanimate things that can be replaced.
Just strings and tin and carbon fiber.
That’s what we had to keep telling ourselves as we smoked too many cigarettes, drove on autopilot, ignored texts. No one was hurt, right? I mean hell, there wasn’t even any damage to the car.
It was just stuff.
Some idiot, some dope fiend, some whatever had broken into our car the night before. The CR-V is an unassuming loser of a car. It’s covered in stickers from New Jersey to California. Its windshield is cracked.
And on the Sunday night after Valentine’s Day, it’s broken into by a thief. Broken into while parked in the driveway. Broken into while the cul-de-sac suburbia neighborhood we live in is soundly sleeping.
Broken into and relieved of close to five thousand dollars of our musical gear.
Our life work.
It’s just stuff, right?
After the moment of panic, the “did we bring it in and forget,” the call to the police, the reeling, Daisy found herself half-sitting, half-lying on the driveway, laughing and screaming and crying all at once like a madwoman.
They had played a show the night before. They’d gotten home at two in the morning, and after driving down to Denver and rocking out, they figured it’d be fine.
She couldn’t understand how it had happened, really.
It’s fine, we live in a little neighborhood far from downtown.
It’s fine, the doors are locked.
It’s fine, it’s only one night, we’ve done it before and nothing happened. 
It’s fine, it’s just stuff.  
Except that stuff is her first and only electric guitar, the Flying V she worked her ass off for to buy herself when she made up her mind to make music her life.
And the pedals – Jesus Christ, the pedalboard she’d painstakingly researched and put together.
Fast forward to the hole in my chest.
The churning in my stomach.
The thought that I have to call my mom and tell her the pedalboard she got me for my birthday in December is gone.
The pedalboard her and my dad ordered custom for me.
The pedalboard they sent to me saying
We want you to keep doing what you love.
We want you to play music
We want to help –
Here.
And some fucking asshole just broke into my car and took it.
Took it for whatever reason that will never make sense to me, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Daisy collapsed back on the driveway, the crying over but the terrible, gnawing, twisting in her gut remaining.
But it’s just stuff, right?

Brian was on total cruise control the whole day. At first it was a typical morning – wake up, pound some coffee, get ready to meet up with Wasteland Hop, the local indie hip-hop group he plays bass in. Then the panic. The police report. The brief false hope. It wasn’t until the band was practicing that night it hit him like a sucker punch to the stomach.
It wasn’t so much like getting the wind knocked out of him. It was like having his lungs ripped out and being put on mass life support, the doctor is the police officer shrugging and saying
That’s really all we can do.
A loaner bass graciously arrives. just in time for practice that same day.
Some purple, good enough, get-the-job-done bass.
It wasn’t until his fingertips were stumbling and skipping over unfamiliar fretboards that the finality of our crisis started to creep in.
I’ve had that bass for ten years.
It’s been to Los Angeles, Wisconsin, Alaska, Austin – you name it. 
It’s been a part of so many projects, it’s been thrown across stages, it’s been abused and loved and the ultimate tool of my trade.
Yeah, remember that time –
No, don’t. Because it’s gone.
Just like that, the thing I used to fashion my soul into a vehicle others could understand and hopefully find help in, is gone.
Brian got through practice quietly suffering, pushing memories of shows and songs out of his head.
It’s just stuff, right?

They drove to Cheyenne the next day, an ultimately useless endeavor. Pawn shops ignored them, the police refused to file a report because the case originated in Colorado.
Out of their jurisdiction.
Out of their hands.
Out of their minds.
It didn’t seem to matter to them that someone could drive an hour north with our gear and it would be lost forever. See, in Wyoming, the pawn shops don’t use the same checking system for serial numbers that Colorado does. So even if something is reported missing in Colorado, complete with serial numbers and description, Wyoming doesn’t get that information.
So Brian and Daisy dropped of their information at as many pawn shops as they could before they had to head back to Fort Collins for work. And all the time, there’s that gnawing feeling.

This biting, tearing, awful plague creeping in them.
As musicians, that’s all we had.
The stuff we sunk everything we had into because we love to create, we have to create.
The stuff we bought instead of food.
The stuff we found sense in when everything else was chaos.
The stuff we used to make audiences happy, angry, awed, dance.
The stuff we worked our asses off for.
The stuff we had just perfected for the upcoming South By South West showcases.
The stuff we treasured and loved.
The stuff we kept our souls in.
But it’s just stuff, right?

2 Years. 2 Hearts. A Bandwidth Anniversary: Again!

With minimal fanfare (aside from a card with an owl on it, and some virtual high-fiving), we celebrated a milestone last week. Unbelievably, it’s been two whole years since the idea of Cohere Bandwidth truly took flight, over a flight of Valentine’s Day pancakes. Yes, our Awakening happened at Snooze, and so many additional ironies have emerged since then that it’s impossible to keep track.

two hearts two years

So, here we are, two years in and on the precipice of announcing an opening date (we can say: it’s in April!) What we can also say for sure is this: our collective heart is still beating wildly, double time, for both our loves — Music and Community. Our second year in Cohere Bandwidth land has found us even more enamored with the neighbors, colleagues and fans that love to support the bands that have the good fortune to find themselves in Fort Collins.

For instance, right here in Year Two:

  • we found ourselves a home and signed a lease to live in beautiful harmony with Downtown Artery
  • we announced a partnership with SpokesBUZZ, our nonprofit BFF
  • we started buying bad-ass gear for the space from Mantic Effects and other local magic makers
  • we started meeting on the reg with other rehearsal spaces in town, like Higher Ground
  • we began a blog series that introduces you to all the nearby people we’re befriending, like this guy

In short, while it’s taking longer than we originally hoped to open the doors to our Old Town rehearsal space, it’s given us more time to enjoy the unity in our community. And that’s something we love just as much as we love the musicians that we’re here to serve.

And finally, there’s all of YOU — the faithful readers, cheerleaders and drum-beaters that continue to send us your ideas, support and good vibes while the construction process chugs along. We just want to say: we heart you. Big time. Double time. All the time. Thank you for hanging tough with us for two years. Just stick around for two more months and we’ll happily show you what happens when love multiplies. xoxo

Save the Date for Cinemusico: This is Spinal Tap!

While we (kind of) patiently wait out Cohere Bandwidth construction this winter, we keep looking for ways to support and connect with our community. Because that’s our favorite part anyway, and it requires zero hard hats. Fortunately, our friends at SpokesBUZZ have just the ticket for keeping our minds off our winter woes. And better yet: it’s a movie ticket! Our favorite nonprofit is bringing back Cinemusico — their music-meets-movies event series that brings songs and cinema together onscreen. The event includes the usual music community camaraderie, with local bands screening their music videos prior to a feature-length music-centric film. Cohere Bandwidth is proud to sponsor the first Cinemusico of 2015 on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m., at the Lyric Cinema Cafe.

Cinemusico-26-Feb-2015

While the last week in February might seem like a distant point on the horizon, let us explain why you should buy a ticket NOW:

  • SpokesBUZZ hasn’t hosted a Cinemusico event since 2012 … and the community tends to turn up in force, bands AND fans
  • This particular Cinemusico will feature music videos by known rockers and current SpokesBUZZ bands Wiredogs and Shatterproof …
  • …AND a brand-new video from SpokesBUZZ alumni band Wire Faces. They haven’t release a music video in 9 months, not since Space Age Trees. It’s like we’ve all been pregnant with anticipation.
  • The new Wire Faces video includes a star-studded cast of young local actors, including members of Slow Caves and Yettie
  • …PLUS it is the product of the geniuses over at NoCoast Artists, including director Tomas Herrera

And that’s just the stuff that happens before the featured movie starts. Cinemusico’s featured movie this time around?

This is Spinal Tap

That’s right, the Rob Reiner rock-mockumentary that Time Out London named The Best Comedy Film. EVER. The only movie that IMDB rates on a scale of one to ELEVEN. The movie that celebrated its 30th birthday last year but still remains ridiculously relevant to rock and roll. We’re so excited to see it with you that it’s as if there’s a cucumber in our pants. And if that doesn’t ring any bells for you, well then you’d really better be there to brush up on your legendary rock films.

Our favorite part of the whole event is the part where we get to hang out with some of our beloved local musicians and laugh and clap and watch music movies together. We’re not gonna lie. However, it’s also pretty neat that a portion of the evening’s proceeds will support SpokesBUZZ, which is why we’re so happy to kick down for the cause. We hope you’ll get a ticket and join us for Cinemusico on Feb. 26!

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Lindee Zimmer

Creating shared rehearsal space in downtown Fort Collins means that Cohere Bandwidth has some super-awesome neighbors. Like Lindee Zimmer, artist and art instructor, Downtown Artery muralist and self-professed magpie.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Lindee Zimmer

Lindee Zimmer

How long have you been in the neighborhood, and what brought you here?
I have had a studio at the Artery since this summer. July I moved in! I had a studio in my home for awhile and needed a change. Also, I was painting a mural on the patio, so it seemed fitting to get a studio space.

What do you do for work … and play?
I recently got a “job” at Whole Foods. Which is super! I also teach art lessons on the side. And of course there is my art! For play I climb, ride my bike and generally follow my heart!

What makes your neighborhood unique?
Location! It is in the heart of downtown Fort Collins! One of the most beautiful places. It is a hop to the river, bike path and my house!

What makes YOU unique?
Well first things first: I can touch my tongue to my nose. Guilty pleasure is glitter or anything shiny. I am pretty much a magpie.

Favorite neighborhood haunts:
Usually The Food Co-Op, Tasty Harmony and the Little Bird cafe.

In your opinion, what makes a good neighbor?
A good neighbor is someone you can drop by and say hello unannounced!

Current soundtrack to a day in your life?
I have been listening to Alt-J, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Classixx, Chvrches and always This American Life, Radiolab, Serial.

Happy Holidays From Cohere: Thanks, Reflection, Future

As the year comes to a close I wanted to take some time to thank you, reflect, and give you a preview of what’s coming in 2015.

Thank You.

I never say it often enough but you make Cohere possible. You choose us. You work with us. You laugh with us. You grow with us. Maybe you’ve been a member for 5 years or for 5 days. You matter. You are important.

Without you, Cohere is just an empty shell, a real estate transaction and a line item on someone’s budget. WITH you, we become a community, a pivot point for new friendships, and a platform for personal growth and change.

Let’s Reflect.

In December of 2009 we started out coworking in a donated reception area once/week. On the 5th week we ran out of chairs (14 of them) and broke the internet.RMI2 coworking test In March 2010, we opened our first location in Old Town with 4 members. Coworking-Cohere

In January 2012 we moved to the Howes location. Last December we had 39 members and 1 location. This December we have 75 members and 2 locations. That’s double. That’s huge. And we’re set to double again in 2015. Whether you told a friend about Cohere or posted an update on Facebook, many of our new members come from word of mouth and it makes a difference.2014-11-07 13.17.06

What’s Next.

2015 will bring Cohere to its final space frontier: Cohere Bandwidth, shared rehearsal space for musicians inside the amazing artist ecosystem that is the Downtown Artery. We’re looking forward to creative new connections between the artists of the Artery, the musicians of Bandwidth and the nerds of Cohere.

While Bandwidth may be located at the intersection of Linden and Jefferson we’re really at the crossroads of combining art, music and brains in brand new ways.

Here’s to 2015, may it bring you meaningful connections, amazing independence, kindness and love.

Love, Angel

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Ps. Hat tip to Julie who’s been with us every step of the way from our first pre-community meeting to today.

 

Guide to Linden Street: Old Town Fort Collins Part 1

IMG_3496In today’s edition of Cohere Bandwidth’s Hey Neighbor series we go beyond learning about the people in our new shared rehearsal space ‘hood but also the spaces and places. We decided that the only way to truly experience our future home on Linden Street would be to re-home ourselves there for the night. And so the Slumber Partery at the Downtown Artery was conceived in Old Town Fort Collins.

Arrival:

The Artery has just opened up two incredible “pads” on Airbnb where you can vacation or staycation at a super affordable price. Check out the listings

Queen bed with en suite bathroom & Sleeps up to 6. The rooms are especially perfect for touring or visiting musicians. Did we mention there will be a music venue right next door to Cohere Bandwidth!?

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Upon arrival, William toured Angel all around the Artery and introduced her to the artists and their studios as well as their shared event and gallery space.

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It took her a while to move in. Oh wait, done.

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Eat and Greet:

First things first, we had to eat. Luckily our friends at the Artery invited us to their member potluck. Wanting to be good neighbors who enjoy word-play we made Cohere Bandwiches to share. We enjoyed great music while we ate good food and met lots of our new neighbors: artists, musicians and scarf collectors.IMG_3512

Angel and Shane have a coed sleepover with predictable results:

After the potluck, Shane and Angel dished about Christopher McAllister, the *cue-TEST* boy in school.
IMG_3505Shane’s bathroom went to 11. Shane said, “The bathrooms were so spacious I was able to rehearse several dance routines for an upcoming musical about G. Gordon Liddy.”IMG_3510

Shortly after, Angel had to introduce fellow art lovers to the DEFINITIVE piece on 39 Renaissance Babies Who Can’t Even.  Angel has never seen tears squirt out of Julie’s eyes from giggling. Check.IMG_3519

We forgot to photo- document that we also visited our Linden Street Neighbors Pour Brothers Community Tavern with included photo booth, Blind Pig  who scammed us some chips after the kitchen closed b/c Angel was “starving” from staying up so late, and Sunday Supply Co. where we will now visit regularly to fondle softly shirted fabrics.

The Morning After:

Unlimited in-room coffee is bringing this blog post to you right now. Win.
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We don’t want to overdo the compliments but we LOVE all the cool kids at the Artery. It makes the months and months of waiting for the right place for our rehearsal space worth it. We could have picked any old warehouse in any number of places in Fort Collins but our patience was persistent and we persevered in our epic quest for the BEST. Okay, we admit to overdoing the alliteration.

In conclusion:

If you need a team get-away, a vacation or the perfect place to braid your neighbor’s hair, the Pads at the Artery are THE place to do so on Linden Street in Old Town Fort Collins.FullSizeRender (2)

Ridiculously Productive Meetings

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I bet you never wonder how 3 people with full-time jobs manage to shoe-horn in the creation of a shared rehearsal space for Fort Collins in their “spare” time. If you’ve been following us, you might wonder why I would brag about our ridiculously productive meetings for Cohere Bandwidth when we’ve been at this for almost 2 years. If you must know, most of that 2 years was spent waiting on real estate with very few DONES getting checked off of our TO-DOS. Skip below to the COMPLETION step if you are skimming.

But now that the space is REAL and under construction we spend every Friday going from Oh Fuck! to Hell Yes! Here is our extremely effective meeting process:

  1. AGENDA: Anyone can create or add to the agenda. We do this in a shared google doc that everyone can edit. The doc contains ALL of the agendas with the most recent at the top. The agenda is usually created the night before or the morning of each meeting. We’re agile and quick so it wouldn’t make sense to create an agenda further in advance than that.
  2. SCHEDULE: Meetings are always at 10am on Fridays at Cohere and last 1.5 hours. The person who is late has to get coffee for everyone else.FullSizeRender (1)
  3. AIRING OF GRIEVANCES: At the start of each meeting we get our feelings out. Yep, you read that right. If anyone is frustrated or flabbergasted or just plain giddy, we talk it out BEFORE we task. This step is key. Due to the nature of our structure, we can’t be together or even talk every day so it’s important to make a real connection to one another before we start doling out chores.
  4. ORDER: We go through the agenda in order. Always. We rarely add anything to the agenda during the meeting.
  5. TIME: Never, ever, ever put an estimated time for discussion on an agenda item. This makes no sense.
  6. COMPLETION: We complete any tasks that come up IN THE MEETING. Example, if Julie needs to email someone about a radio interview then Shane and I talk about a graphic design task or similar. This allows everyone to be productive during the entire meeting, which is something I never got to experience in corporate life.
  7. DELEGATE: If any tasks remain, they are completed directly after the meeting ends or get shifted to me (Angel) if possible since I have the most spare time to complete things. Shane will often do heavy duty graphic design tasks outside of the meeting as it’s part of his creative process.

So there. Now you know how we make the most out of our 12 hours/month together.

Does your team have an unconventional meeting process? Tell us all about it so we can steal your tips for our next meeting.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Brandton Manshel

Creating shared rehearsal space in downtown Fort Collins means that Cohere Bandwidth has some super-awesome neighbors. Like Brandton Manshel, one of our newest (GNU) neighbors. He’s kind of an expert on creating community. Take a moment to say “Hey Neighbor!” and learn more about what Brandton’s got in store for making fun times, art and music in Fort Collins.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Brandton Manshel

BrandtonManshel

How long have you been in the neighborhood, and what brought you here?
I was born in Denver, lived in Washington from 1999-2007, and then moved back here (with wife Sarah) to be farmers and enjoy sunshine mostly.

We (Sarah, Tomas Herrera and I) opened GNU to try to fill the artistic void in Fort Collins that was left when The Gallery Underground closed in May 2011, and we had a ton of fun there, but then that space had run its course by May(ish) 2013. We’ve also done lots of house shows as well and tons of different kinds of events all over the place in that time.

So, (for someone who might not know) GNU isn’t so much a place, as it is a big collective group of friends and artists from around the state and beyond that like getting together in Fort Collins and partying with each other … and I guess that’s what brought us and what keeps up here. All our friends and family are here and life is pretty fun.

We’re currently in the Downtown Artery and are planning a bunch of stuff there in the next few months…

What do you do for work … and play?
I try to make work and play more or less the same thing as much as I can. I basically try to split my time between farming and ‘being an artist’ as far as work goes. For the last eight months I was the ‘general manager’ at Grant Farms CSA. Now I’m done with that and we’re back to doing more shows and pursuing our other artistic endeavors as GNU again. So you could either say I’m presently a full time artist–or–blissfully unemployed.

We also like to rock climb, run, hike, cook, hang out around town, take pictures, hunt aliens and lake monsters, make videos, dance, write books and blogs, travel the world, try our best to expand our consciousness, et cetera.

What makes your neighborhood unique?
I’m kind of an all is one and nothing is absolutely unique kind of person, so this is a tough question for me. I find that we’re all basically the same from place to place. But maybe that’s just how I want to think…….either way, FC does have a certain goofiness that I like. We don’t take things too seriously and we know how to have fun, but we also get a lot of things done. That’s a pretty rare combo.

What makes YOU unique?
Well, I care about stuff an awful lot. That seems to be sort of a unique talent / odd habit / guilty pleasure nowadays. Sarah grows a pretty fine orchid, and we have a mean front yard garden. I made pho the other day and it was delicious if I do say so myself.

Favorite neighborhood haunts:
Avo’s, Surfside, Pueblo Viejo, Old Firehouse Books, Lyric Cinema.

In your opinion, what makes a good neighbor?
Someone who understands how their actions affect others around them, and understands the societal need for cooperation and not just competition and self-centeredness in all our endeavours, and then walks that kind of walk.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life:

**OUTKAST / Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (Diamond D Remix)

**Commodores / I Like What You Do

**SBB / Palamakia

**Men In Burka – Bismillah

**Pizza Time – Quiero Mas

**Laurent Garnier – Man With the Red Face

**La Femme – Hypsoline

**Goat – Hide From the Sun

I’m also listening to some kind of odd disco one of my housemates is listening to in the basement …

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Amy Bradley

One of our favorite things about creating shared rehearsal space in downtown Fort Collins is that Cohere Bandwidth has some super-awesome neighbors. We’re meeting more people every day, and we want you to get to know them better as we do. Take a moment with us to say: Hey Neighbor! … and learn more about the people that make our neighborhood neighborly.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Amy Bradley

Amy Bradley - Downtown Artery

photo courtesy of Shaye Fitzgerald – PHOCO

How long have you been in the neighborhood, and what brought you here?
August marked six years of me living in lovely Fort Collins. I moved here in 2008 to earn my BFA at CSU. In 2011, the year before I graduated, I started a small business (now known as the Downtown Artery) and, now that we’re expanding, I’ll definitely be staying here for a while longer.

What do you do for work … and play?
I’m one of the owners, a founder, and the Director of Operations at the Downtown Artery, a hub for artists, musicians, and all other creative folks. I’m also in the process of establishing an apparel company called Peculiar Press. I truly love what I do, so I often consider it play. In addition to working at the Artery, I thoroughly enjoy going to shows/concerts, drawing weird things and making them into screen prints, listening to music – especially a good record paired with a yummy glass of vino, watching films (good ones… and bad ones), cookin’ up tasty dinners, cliff jumping, reading books – notably ones with some bizarre, screwed up plot, and playing with my cat. I also like doing cartwheels every now and then.

What makes your neighborhood unique?
I’ve been living in the Old Town area since my sophomore year of college and the business has been in the Old Town area since its birth in 2011. One of the aspects I love most about this neighborhood is just how close I am to so many radical people and places.  Being able to walk or bike practically anywhere and running into awesome folks while doing so brings me joy. Fort Collins is filled with beautiful, kind-hearted people and it’s wonderful being reminded of that on a daily basis. In addition to that, I really enjoy the quaintness of so many houses and buildings in this part of town. Each property has its own little quirks that I love. It makes me happy to be surrounded by a bunch of unique homes instead of cookie cutter houses and industrial buildings. The Downtown Artery is in the oldest commercial property in all of Fort Collins, so it has quite a history. Knowing that our building, along with the others on this block, has been here for almost 150 years is insanely neat to me!

What makes YOU unique?
Let’s see… I’m a pro nail-biter. I really enjoy singing and playing the piano (poorly). I was pretty into throwing knives for a period. I think I’m mildly addicted to cutting and dyeing my hair. White walls are the bane of my existence; I feel much happier when I am surrounded by colors! I am somewhat obsessed with essential oils so I make my own lotion, face wash, deodorant, hand cream, and toothpaste. I hope to eventually make everything from laundry detergent to body soap myself. I am quickly becoming a plant lady and have established a habit for naming all of them. Currently, my favorite is a Wandering Jew plant I’ve named Mordecai. As for guilty pleasures… I watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race and I think it’s the best reality TV show ever. Actually, I don’t even feel guilty about that. Ru Paul is an idol.

Favorite neighborhood haunts:
Restaurants: Snooze, Cafe DeBangkok, La Luz, JAX happy hour!, Elliot’s, Little Bird Bakeshop
Stores: The Cupboard, Cira, all thrift stores, Curiosities, Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary, Bizarre Bazaar, Nature’s Own
Other businesses: Hodi’s Half Note, Smokestack Pottery, Fort Collins Plant Nursery, Lyric Cinema Cafe

In your opinion, what makes a good neighbor?
The best neighbors are friends! Having like-minded businesses around who support each other is, I believe, essential. I think a perfect example of this is the ecosystem that’s being created by having Cohere Bandwidth and the Artery under the same roof. By respecting, supporting, and believing in the both businesses, I believe we will truly help each other grow.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life:
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of White Fence, Shakey Graves, Father John Misty (so excited for his new album!), Mac DeMarco, Cass McCombs (perpetual obsession), Future Islands, and the one and only Leonard Cohen.

Rock Solid Rehearsal Space Is Born in Fort Collins, CO

bandwidth logo horizontal   tagline

 

 

We’re so pleased to announce the birth of Cohere Bandwidth’s internet presence last Tuesday 11/11/14 at 8:45am MST. Mother and baby are doing well.

Total gestation for this pixalated bundle of joy was 22 months. That’s like baby elephant long but it was worth it. The worst part was having to pee every 15 minutes from all the coffee we drank.

Cohere Bandwidth Team Photo

A Julie Sutter Sandwich

We wanted to take a moment to thank all of Bandwidth’s baby mamas and papas (who also happen to be members of the Cohere Coworking Community). This pregnancy never would have happened without the support of the whole family!

Egg Donor: Ellen Bryant, creates the backbone of our design which we replicate every time Angel gets a whim to start a new business.

Godmother: Julie Sutter, who provides words, artistic direction, puns and guru support.

Baby Daddy: Shane Zweygardt, twerked the DNA of our original logo to make it 50% more 50’s.

Godfather: Kevin Udy, pays child support to the thing every Wednesday night by donating his time to the back end.

Surrogate Mother: Angel Kwiatkowski carried the thing for 22 months.

Please take a gander at our little love and tell us what you think!

Website

Facebook Page

Instagram

 

Mister Rogers is our Spirit Animal

Fred Rogers might seem an unlikely hero for a rock-n-roll venture like a shared rehearsal space for bands. But as we get ready for Cohere Bandwidth’s debut in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins, we’ve been thinking a lot about our place in the community, and about our soon-to-be neighbors. Mister Rogers has come up in conversation more than once. Turns out he had a lot of philosophies that we agree with and a super-cool outlook on what it means to be a good neighbor. Fred had street cred, and in terms of gurus, he’s pretty much the perfect fit for Cohere Bandwidth.

Come Together

“Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel. A facet of that jewel. And in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not.” – Fred Rogers, in his 2002 commencement address at Dartmouth

One of the things we are most excited about at Cohere Bandwidth is becoming a part of the community that surrounds our new home on the corner of Linden and Jefferson — because fundamentally, we believe that music is about belonging, and art grows more beautiful when it’s shared and explored with other people. We look forward to being under the same roof as the creatives that already call the Downtown Artery home, because we know we’ve found kindred spirits in those artists, musicians, advocates and other crafty kids. We’re also pretty excited to become frequent diners at Illegal Pete’s new Fort Collins location on the other side of our block, to have new music-loving Linden neighbors in Surfside Seven, as they move just a few doors down from us in 2015, and to be able to walk down the alley and emerge at the Lyric Cinema — all businesses that support local music and art. We’ll be introducing you to some of these neighbors via the blog as we begin moving in, so stay tuned.

A Neighborhood of Make-Believe

“In art — the artist can make things any shape and any color they want.” — Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Season 22, Episode 5

Mister Rogers transported his viewers to places — both fanciful and real — that encouraged the exploration of new ideas. We can dig that. We want Cohere Bandwidth to be one of those places, and we know musicians are just the people to make it happen. Check out this clip from Mister Rogers’ 1968 visit with electronic music pioneer Bruce Haack:

Where Music Rules

“It takes a LOT of practice to play a musical instrument really well.” – Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Season 16, Episode 13

Another thing we have in common with Mister Rogers? An affinity for musicians, of course. A musician himself (a talented pianist who graduated magna cum laude with a BA in music composition), Fred Rogers wrote more than 200 original songs and several operas for children. He invited countless musicians to connect with his television neighbors. Here he pays a visit to a music store/rehearsal space to say hello to a young Wynton Marsalis in 1986. He brings the show’s house band, led by musical director (and crazy-good jazz pianist) Johnny Costa, along to jam:

A Place Where You Can Be YOU

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has–or ever will have–something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.” – Fred Rogers, “You Are Special: Neighborly Wit and Wisdom from Mister Rogers”

We believe that being a good neighbor is about being yourself, and giving other people space to be themselves, too. It’s good to be curious. Nobody shared that message better than Mister Rogers. We hope you’ll come by to visit us at Cohere Bandwidth when we open (sign up for our waiting list so we can keep you posted when we complete construction). We look forward to learning from you. Won’t you be our neighbor? We like you! Because you’re you.

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair–
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you–
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys–
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like–
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself,
It’s you, it’s you I like.

– “It’s You I Like” – music and lyrics by Fred M. Rogers, 1970

 

 

 

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Work Interrupted

 

Wire-Faces-pic

As independent professionals, we all hit a point where taking conference calls at our coffee table no longer makes sense for our brand or our sense of accomplishment. It’s the same for musicians. At some point aimless noodling doesn’t make sense for the band or great accompaniment.

Freelancers join coworking communities to add some routine to their day. It turns out that musicians need the EXACT SAME THING. A little structure in rehearsal makes all the difference.

So we wondered, what happens when a band goes from no plan to A Plan? I interviewed Shane since Wire Faces has a pretty great rehearsal system to get songs from draft to DONE.

What elements make your rehearsal so damn effective?

  • Shane-The most important thing is having a consistent schedule. Randomness does not breed harmony. We plan ahead what we’re going to work on: whether it’s to work on these specific songs or to work on an idea. I also prep the practice space in advance to record the rehearsal or we plan to rehearse acoustically depending on what type of venue we’re practicing for.
  • The next most important component is to set a goal: several rehearsals lead up to a finished product whether that’s a finished song, a finished album or prep for a show.
  • We email/text/call in advance what we’re going to be doing so everyone has the right equipment and can prepare. Depending on what we’re preparing for (a show or the album) we’ll practice the whole set from start to finish (and edit accordingly) or record and tweak a song over and over to get it right. There is tremendous value in listening as “3rd party” objective listeners and giving feedback to one another or myself to make revisions. It’s a very iterative process. Someone has to be the engineer to keep the process moving forward towards the goal.

What made you start taking yourself seriously?

Shane-I like to get things done and have finished products. I want to have something to show for all the work and time put in. It’s fun to capture the moments in your life as they go by. They reflect the different eras of my life.

Focus Groups

How will Cohere Bandwidth support musicians in this process?

Shane-The best thing about using hourly rehearsal space is taking all the members out of their comfort zones (living rooms) and into a more neutral space so everyone is more focused. There are fewer interruptions from neighbors, friends and family.

You’ve had some experience at an hourly space in Denver. How was that for you?

Shane-Paying for this great hourly space made us even more focused and we got more done than usual. We were able to stay  on task better because we knew how valuable the room was. You get too comfortable when you live with your jam space. Interruptions would happen all the time: neighbors dropping by, looky loos, they don’t realize that this practice isn’t just a hangout, we’re working.

Shane-The most valuable part of adding Cohere Bandwidth to Fort Collins will be having a sense of insulation from outside distraction in order to focus and create. It’s nice when people can’t drop in on you because they think there’s a secret venue that they’re missing out on.

If your band is ready to take it to the next level, sign up on our wait list. You’ll get first dibs at our schedule when we open. Meantime, enjoy this lovely from Sour Boy, Bitter Girl.

Field Report: Metal, Pedals and Mantic Effects

Now that shared rehearsal space in Old Town Fort Collins is totally, officially a thing it’s time to do some more shopping for gear for the Cohere Bandwidth backline while we wait for construction to begin. On the shopping list: effects pedals. Friday being the perfect day for a little field trip, we decided it was a good idea to detour to Denver. We paid a visit to some of our more intriguing and innovative friends, Luis Etscheid and Caleb Henning, the musicians-turned-mad-scientists behind Colorado’s Mantic Effects.

Mantic (aka Mantic Conceptual) was a business born from a desire to create new sounds, good old-fashioned experimental entrepreneurial drive, and Luis’ self-confessed pedal addiction (“I have a real problem,” he says). The result: a local boutique effects pedal company with national buzz and a rapidly expanding A-list clientele after only two years on the scene.

Yeah. They’re kind of a big deal. So where else would we shop?

Mantic - Luis

Luis, tinkering.

The fellas showed us around their workshop/lab, patiently answered our questions about knobs and thingies, and of course, let us listen in on some of the Mantic magic. It was basically like being backstage at Red Rocks before a Jack White show.

Production Heads: Caleb and the Mantic mascots

Production Heads: Caleb and the Mantic mascots

We’re super excited to combine forces with Mantic and introduce more local musicians to their genius gadgetry. These are two super-duper smart guys. Angel and I admittedly tuned out for a bit when a conversation about circuit bending started blowing our minds to the point where we kinda needed a helmet. Which they totally had. Because they rocked it at Moogfest 2014 (all the way to the finals).

Mantic Moogfest Helmet

Our hope at Cohere Bandwidth is to cater to more basic needs (like reverb and distortion pedals) via the permanent backline gear, then to also introduce a beta testing/prototyping program in conjunction with Mantic so musicians at the space can demo some of the more specialized stuff. And we can, in turn, provide Mantic with some … wait for it … feedback. Heh. Funny every time.

While they recently established their first retailer relationship with Eastside Music Supply in East Nashville, the bulk of Mantic’s sales come from direct-to-musician transactions. So while we all wait excitedly for Cohere Bandwidth to open, in the meantime we of course encourage those of you with a bit of a “pedal problem” to check out the Mantic product line. They make gorgeous-yet-rugged handcrafted pedals that some of our favorite musicians love.

Mantic Faces

Wire Faces “Mantic Monday”

Thanks to Luis and Caleb for letting us into the lab! Enjoy a little music by a Mantic fan — Denver’s Alex Anderson of ManCub and Rose Quartz:

 

Cohere Bandwidth: It’s Official!

Cohere Bandwidth Lease
For some reason, this feels like the Snuffleupagus of blog posts (at least the old-school version, back when Snuffy was imaginary to everyone but Big Bird). But we swear, it’s REAL. It’s news that is so hugeand it’s been such a long time coming that it actually seems somehow anticlimactic now … but still. We’re writing because It’s Official. Cohere Bandwidth has a home! Truly. As evidenced by a SIGNED LEASE for the place where we will construct shared rehearsal space in Old Town Fort Collins. Holy. Cannoli. Amphiboly.

We have shouted this from the social media rooftops already, and have emailed the musicians who have reached out to be on the waiting list, and have told all our initial supporters from our Community Funded campaign. But we figured we’d make it Blog Official, too, just in case this is all news to you, our devoted readers.

Here’s the nitty gritty:

  • Cohere Bandwidth will be located in what was the warehouse portion of the recently closed Colorado Drum & Percussion store at 256 Linden St. (the corner of Linden and Jefferson)
  • our contractor is working on permitting, which is right now taking 4 – 6 weeks
  • we’re aiming for a demolition start date of 10/2
  • construction should begin 2 – 3 weeks later
  • we signed a 10-year lease — we are committed to being in the community for a very long time
  • we’re sharing a building with the Downtown Artery which makes us feel like this … in 2015 you can look forward to a building that houses artists, gallery space, musicians, rehearsal space, a crash pad/hostel for visiting artists and a new venue/cafe for ~100. We also plan to host events and classes to encourage musicians to meet up and talk shop. Squeeee!!
  • the plan is to have two hourly shared rooms with backlined equipment: PA + microphones, drum kit and throne (includes hi-hat and 1 crash), bass amp and guitar amp
  • we’re shopping for some other neat things while we wait for construction to get underway; you can email Angel or Shane if you have equipment advice, requests or curiosities. We want your feedback. And your input. << we can’t stop with the music and sound lingo, now that we’re “in the biz”
  • The moment we open, we anticipate we will be able to serve at least 42 bands. We need your help to help us spread the word to the musicians in our community! 

Pep Squad
So. Nearly two years later, away we go. And by “away”, we mean HOME. We are so very grateful to you for hanging in there with us. Our goal is to get this thing built and regularly occupied before anyone gets frostbitten during band practice.

In the meantime, please join us in enjoying the song we’ve been wanting to post every since we started this project. It’s finally, finally time!

 

 

 

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Kicking It Into Gear

If you’re wondering what all that racket is, well: we’re movin’ and shakin’ over at Cohere Bandwidth. Not so very long ago in the saga of shared rehearsal space, we were getting giddy about structure and infrastructure, and waxing poetic about Magic Mick, of acoustic architecture fame. (Update — digging up the dough to hire Mick has been the smartest money we’ve spent thus far, by far. As in, spend a little, and save a LOT in the long run, that kind of smart.) Since we’re feeling pretty solid about our sound decisions, it’s time to spend some more money, this time to outfit the practice spaces with gear. But what to buy first?

The heart of the band seemed like a good place to start, and to bypass any potential arrhythmia in the process, Angel decided to immediately purchase one of the more critical components of our backline equipment: the drums. To neatly evade any repercussions we might experience from making ill-informed choices, she also immediately enlisted some expertise. She hired this guy:

Shane

Actual drummer! Not to scale.

You might remember Shane from such escapades as “the time we shut him in a portable room to play drums in sub-zero temperatures” or “the time we made him practice in the living room while we listened outside from the curb”. In addition to being a cheerful test subject and one of our favorite actual drummers, Shane also happens to work next door at the drum store and not only knows what he’s talking about, he knows where to get it. Angel went shopping and immediately came home with this sweet kit:

fraggle rock

j/k… she wishes. #notforsale

Making Things Click
As you might recall, one of the primary reasons we started this whole shared rehearsal space project was due to a strong belief that, just like any other businessperson, a musician needs a nice, normal, properly equipped place to work. Angel already knows a thing or two about outfitting a shared workspace, and one of her other strong beliefs is that she, as the owner and community manager, needs to know what’s up with the office equipment. If the going gets tough in Internet land at Cohere, when the com has been cast and the router is pouting, Angel’s the one that endures the tech call required to diagnose the problem. She is the great plugger and unplugger, the one who talks to surly onsite service repairmen, the Restorer of All That Is Right With the World.

Tech Support

Actual tech support call! Exasperation not to scale.

So why, she thought, should owning a shared rehearsal space be any different? Without further ado, Angel purchased a non-Fraggle drum kit from Shane … along with a series of drum lessons.

User instruction manual.

Adult Education
Armed with a  fierce determination and a high school marching band background (legacy: the possibility of playing “ironic jazz flute” at Musak-enhanced business networking mixers), Angel is practicing. Practicing assembling the kit, and learning the proper grip and foot positioning (it matters). Practicing patience and persistence in pursuit of improved on-the-job performance. And, practicing, because according to Shane, she might get to learn how to play Billie Jean pretty soon.

Angel Lessons

Keeping her fingers on the pulse of practice space.

Shane reports that Angel is a good student; Angel’s report: “Shane is fun, drumming is hard, and OMG there’s so much to haul!”  Her next move is to buy a throne, as is befitting the new queen of all she surveys. Well, it’s mostly so she can stop sitting on a child’s chair with a pillow in her basement practice space. After that: probably headphones and earplugs and cymbals. But eventually? She looks forward to practicing in a proper rehearsal space. Good thing we have a couple of those on the way.

P.S. wanna take drum lessons from Shane? Email him — he’s accepting new students of all ages.

P.P.S. we’re bringing back the local music track sample in our posts. Hey, here’s one:
Chain of Command by Wire Faces

Cohere Bandwidth and The Sound of Music

In re: “The Sound of Music” title … for those of you that took a wrong turn at Austria, you might wanna hold up for a second. We’re talking about the sound of music in terms of acoustics and Cohere Bandwidth, our presently-being-blueprinted shared rehearsal space. And while we do have a Julie, we don’t have Julie Andrews. Also, there are currently zero nuns involved with this project.

What we have instead is: an engineer. An architectural acoustic engineer with a rock star name. And we are SO RELIEVED to bask in the warmth of his expertise.

Meet Mick:

Angel and Mick poring over the plans ... "in concert" (hey, that's Angel's pun, not mine, so direct any eye rolling her way)

Angel and Mick poring over the plans … “in concert” (hey, that’s Angel’s pun, not mine, so direct any eye rolling her way)

Mick works for D.L. Adams Associates, and pretty much the minute he walked into our lives with his tape measure and his reading glasses and his ability to immediately answer questions about things like green glue, we felt sure we were in the presence of genius. Mick knows what he’s talking about. Mick sent us DRAWINGS. Mick is going to make sure we don’t make some horrible mistake out of acoustic ignorance that causes our neighbors at The Downtown Artery to curse us due to our insufferable crash-bang-booming at all hours of the day and night. So huzzah.

A Lavatory in the Laboratory
Something else to celebrate: our PLANS include a CAN. Yes, friends and musicians, that’s a working toilet with running water and everything, right there in black and white. Mick even included an armchair in the waiting area. He shares our crazy idea that musicians should be afforded some, oh, you know … amenities.

The Can @ Cohere Bandwidth

The Can @ Cohere Bandwidth

#regram
Some of you may have already seen this very rendering of The Can @ Cohere Bandwidth because a) you are Mick or b) you are Alana, who is our frame of reference for ceiling height standards (“must be able to accommodate the playing of viola STANDING UP at full bow extension, while wearing heels”) or c) you are following Cohere Bandwidth on Instagram. Oh hey, you should follow @coherebandwidth on #instagram you guys! We’re going to start sharing snippets of the space as it progresses. Here’s one we haven’t posted yet of some actual tools we found already on the shelf in the warehouse space where Cohere Bandwidth will live.

Tools for Cohere Bandwidth

They all look pretty useful so we might ask if we can keep them.

If that’s not enticing enough, we’ve got prizes for you if you interact with us on Instagram! Take a picture of yourself at your current band practice space, tag or mention @coherebandwidth, use the hashtag #practiselfie, and we’ll pick a winner in the next two weeks. What do you win? Well … what do you want? We’ll entertain your suggestions (which may not be the same as fulfilling them, but you never know unless you ask, so, yeah). Talk to us! Through pictures or even … videos. Because you know how we love SOUND.

Best Practices: The Sweet Smell of Success

It’s been a whirlwind week in pursuit of our perfect shared rehearsal space. We’ve been a little giddy over here in Cohere Bandwidth land. “Do you realize how much we’ve accomplished in the last 48 hours?!” Angel exclaimed on Saturday after a perfectly lovely meeting with our friends and soon-to-be neighbors at the Downtown Artery. (Well — make that about 16 months … and 48 hours). But who’s counting? Turns out, maybe we are. Or at least we’d better figure out what counts. Which is easier with a little bit of informed insight.

love luck success protection

One of the things helping to point us in the right direction currently is actually a practice that happens both organically and often at Cohere — accountability via coworking. In this case, Angel and I have opted to take this natural byproduct and put a little more structure around it by taking part in a 6-week process called Cotivation, as defined by our pals from NYC’s New Work City coworking community. Angel and I are meeting once a week with three other Cohere members; we each work on an individual project of our choosing. We set goals, report on progress, gather feedback from our fellows and talk about everything from time management tools to the magic of donuts as “carrots”. I’m working on some Cohere Bandwidth projects (which means Angel is, too, whether she likes it or not. I think she likes it.) Out of one of these Cotivation sessions came the idea of using a prescribed checklist for launch that we discovered somewhere. First item on our checklist — after “make checklist”, I suppose — was this: define success. This is harder than it sounds.

Success sucks

Over noodle bowls, a few swears and much head nodding, Angel and I took a stab at success for our shared rehearsal space project. In no particular order, it looks like this:

  • Band practice is as low-stress and low-hassle for musicians as going to work is for us every day
  • Cohere Bandwidth is a trusted, known entity that “sells itself” … through positive word of mouth via the users of the space
  • Bands have a super-amazing technical experience with the website and booking process — it’s simple, fast, intuitive, useful
  • “Big name” bands use and recommend the space, in turn helping support the venue adjacent to the space
  • ALL the communities — Cohere Bandwidth, Downtown Artery and the Cohere coworking spaces — are connected to one another and coalesce by working on shared projects that draw on both their individual and collective strengths
  • Includes a financial return on investment that allows for stability and sustainability; specifically, enough to pay someone who is passionate about it to manage the space
  • A waiting list exists for practice spaces. Not forever — perhaps just long enough to catalyze expansion!

Finally: we talked about patience. Again. And the idea of a distant future, and long leases, and Warren Buffett and believing in the outcome, and getting creative, and staying the course. And microwaving cookies as an olfactory relaxation technique, but that was a tangent.

The Wit & Wisdom of Winston - Oct 2010  - Westerham Pub Wall - Those Two Imposters

Other things we learned this week:

  • Our compatriots at the Downtown Artery have an almost eerily matched set of success-pectations. It couldn’t be a more perfect pairing, really. Amy had this to say: “For me, success doesn’t have to do with money. It has to do with not giving up — it’s about going home and feeling proud that you did a good thing, that you’re providing something good for the community.”
  • We didn’t get the Economic Health Office grant we re-applied for. And initially, we were feeeled weeeth ennui. But the City’s message for us wasn’t completely discouraging; they had this to say: it’s not NO — it’s just not NOW. We just need a W.
  • We did, however, get a completely awesome executive report from the consultants we hired to help us with pricing, David and Lucinda (or “Lucid” as they like to call themselves). They did a bunch of research, complete with fancy spreadsheets, and we found out an incredible amount of useful information about pricing … and much, much more. Of particular interest: having two hourly rooms is far more financially sustainable than having one lockout room + one hourly room. Sharing is not only good, it’s better. More to come there, but bringing in some help to make sure we nail the solid financial stewardship piece? Priceless.

Of course, success defined by us is nowhere near as valuable as understanding success defined by Cohere Bandwidth’s community of musicians. We’d love to hear from you. Success is different for everyone … what will success look like to you? Leave a comment, drop us a line, let us know. Oh and P.S. we really do have a current waiting list, by the way, so contact us if you’re interested on adding your name to it!

 

Crunching Numbers: Sound Choices in Practice Space

As we move closer to construction for Cohere Bandwidth, things are getting real. Really real. Like “sit down and talk to the people who build things” real. Which is precisely what Amy and Angel did last week, spending some quality time with pens, paper, calculators, and Brandon (pictured below), who took some time out from Downtown Artery re-construction to talk through some nitty-gritty rehearsal space details. Mostly: about sound.

Cohere Bandwidth Blueprinting

You know, sound, our familiar frenemy in our quest for shared rehearsal space. We already know more than we ever wanted to learn about constructing soundproof spaces, but Brandon took things up a notch. Not all the way to 11, thank heavens, but — let’s just say it got reaaaal scientific. We talked about green glue (our favorite!) and genie clips and isolation joints and Roxul (<<which, incidentally, may be our new band name) and staggered subfloors and agggghhhhhhhh. But we truly needed this level of detail so we could then ask Brandon to come back again with an even MOAR detailed estimate. So we might then identify places where we *could* cut costs — for instance, perhaps the waiting room needs less attention to sound attenuation than the practice spaces themselves — and places where we under no circumstances should we ever, ever attempt frugality. Like making sure the practice spaces are built so you can get to the electrical and HVAC for repairs without busting a decidedly un-soundproof hole in the wall that you just spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to construct. Smart construction. SOUND decisions. You know.

Because what it boils down to is this:

me: “if we get this right, we’re going to be SO HAPPY.”
Angel: “and if we get this wrong, we’re going to CRY.”

So, we’re using a “measure twice, cut once” philosophy (or a “high-five thrice, cry zero times” approach, if you prefer). Why all the pre-caution? Because Community-Building 101: we want to get this right for the people who are going to use the space, so they’ll actually use the space. Because if we screw up the sound, we diminish the happiness of the musicians. And because, for our little two-room project here, we’re currently talking six-figure construction costs and worrying about band budgets. Because the space we’re moving into is for sure going to have neighbors who have to be kept happy, too, and this has become a little bit more delicate now that those neighbors aren’t going to be drummers after all. Alas, maybe that one was a little too good to be true, but we sure felt extra-lucky there for a bit. 🙁

All that said, we are moving forward. Brandon is sharpening the pencil. Amy and Angel are reminding each other what a beautifully synergistic co-existence Cohere Bandwidth and the Downtown Artery will have for many years to come. We’re planning for green glue shooting parties where the community can invest some sweat equity, and we’re becoming appropriately enraptured by bass traps.

Only moment later, Angel performed a "clap test" -- which just wasn't the same without Ian.

Only moment later, Angel performed a “clap test” — which just wasn’t the same without Ian.

Most importantly, we’re taking our lessons in patience to heart and not being too hasty to make decisions right now that could have disastrous effects in the years to come. Because as anxious as we are to start, we are 500 times more anxious to make sure that what we choose is smart, and that our choices keep the musicians at the forefront, not lost in the background noise.

Composing Ourselves: Blueprints for Cohere Bandwidth

Well, in the land of shared rehearsal space, it’s back to the drawing board … nope, just kidding! — it’s forward >> to the drafting table! Or the computer version of that, anyway. We’re making more progress with Cohere Bandwidth. We’re putting pen to paper. And while we haven’t signed off on architectural plans or anything, Angel did make some drawings in her Moleskine. They don’t look like this, not even a little:

blueprint

She did, however, come back from a meeting with Amy (our soon-to-be landlady, of Downtown Artery fame) and Brandon (Amy’s construction company contact, of Downtown Artery massive renovation fame) with some knowledge and some rough sketches for the rehearsal space.

Here’s what we know thus far:

  • There’s a restroom! It’s small, and unisex, but ADA compliant, fully functional, and fully non-gross, in our plan
  • There’s one lockout room, 22′ x 15′, that band(s) can rent for the longer term, to practice and securely store their gear
  • There’s one hourly rental room, 18′ x 20′, with full backline, which is conveniently located adjacent to the Artery’s planned venue space
  • There’s a small (very small, skinny jeans only) lobby for pacing and quickly pivoting
  • There’s “lab” space allocated in the hourly room, with a repair and rumination workbench
  • There’s a door-within-a-door entry system (more security!) and a room-within-a-room construction concept (more soundproofing!)

… and there’s MUCH more to be done. The space is located in a warehouse area of the Artery building and will get new electrical, and a new HVAC system (the duct work will need careful attention in our area of the building because ventilation = sound escape route). There’s an ancient and problematic sewer pipe that will get capped off completely. There’s stuff to be rearranged and ripped apart. There’s jackhammering that will happen.

Worker with Jackhammer

But first — there’s a Proposal (Brandon’s whipping that up for us), and there’s more Planning, and there’s a Permitting Process. And those are just the Ps, who knows what Qs might need minding? … but, hey: it’s PROGRESS, our favorite P of all. We figure that if we pull the trigger in July, we’ll be open by November if all goes well. Permitting alone is scheduled to take the month of August. We’re continuing to practice Patience (our least favorite P) in the meantime.

Also: we’re looking into Pricing — a very important P for the music community. We’re working with some super-smart people to make sure we do that part right. More on that in the next post. We’re hoping you’re hanging in there and we would love to hear from you as we being to take action on the tangibles. What should we remember to absolutely do to make this work for you? What are all the don’ts and be carefuls? Because while bands will certainly come and go throughout the tenure of Cohere Bandwidth, we’re planning to build this thing to last.

Soundtrack: Risk Assessment by The Don’ts and Be Carefuls

Rehearsal Space(s): Exercising Options

Choices

Oh, hai there — we’re back with a dispatch from Cohere Bandwidth land, where the news is good but our space is still in the initial planning phases. A glimmer in our collective eye (ow!). With dates that are more fermata than firm.

Still: good stuff is happening! Like:

  • Our pals at the Downtown Artery just celebrated their one-year anniversary by flinging wide their doors once again for First Friday. Also: Angel remembered that the Artery folks were the VERY FIRST to reach out to us about collaboration and space, right after we posted our VERY FIRST blog post about the idea. Isn’t it funny how things all come together eventually?
  • Speaking of eventually — while we work on our plans for Cohere Bandwidth, we promised to keep our ears to the ground about other spaces, temporary or otherwise, where bands might be able to practice. The folks at Scene Magazine  clued us into this little tidbit:

    Yum Yum’s/Ma’s Juice Bar is available to you either as a practice space or venue on Sundays 4pm-8pm. They’re located at 1300 West Elizabeth, next to McDonald’s west of campus, on the corner of Elizabeth and City Park – a great time to set out for more live music as the weather warms up.

    Contact Scene for more deets!

  • We sat down with Jahna, one of the very nice founders of the Fort’s forthcoming Higher Ground Rehearsal Studios, and got the scoop from her on their progress. They’re working on three fully-equipped rehearsal rooms that will be available for rental at hourly rates. Rates correspond to room sizes; they’re planning a 19′ x 20′, a 22′ x 25′ and a 50′ x something-gah-I-can’t-read-my-own-writing.(But you know, small/medium/large). While their construction is underway, they have their 20′ x 12′ front room for rent NOW should you simply want to see about temporary practice space. Get in touch and she’ll give you the scoop.
  • We’re still building our waiting list so we can keep interested parties apprised of our Cohere Bandwidth breakthroughs and let you know when we’re ready to rock and roll. Contact us to get on the email list!
  • We submitted a revised grant proposal to the Fort Collins Office of Economic Health — fingers crossed; we’ve added a bit of a laboratory component (which has already inspired more offers of help from the music community, yay)
  • We wrote a piece for a digital publication called New Worker Magazine that has inspired contact and support from across the country, including some funny chats about snake sex (<<you’ll have to read the article), plus an offer of advice/maybe even a field trip from a musician from Manhattan who has been involved in running rehearsal spaces in NYC. He started that email out with “By way of convincing you I’m not a weird rando …” and then included a numbered list of non-weird-rando attributes, which was lovely 🙂
  • We found out about this awesome project going on in Boise and we’re going to make them our BFFs

So — there you have it. Progress is progressing along at its own tempo, like it does. More to come! We’ll let you know if we hear of other opportunities for practicing while we fuss over blueprints and continue to make plans with the help of bands. We will likely be reaching out to some of you for some more advice as we get to delve into MOAR DETAILS soon, so brace yourself for another round of interrogation, possibly with more pizza. Because this is your space, and we love you. And pizza.

I love pizza! (integrale)

 

 

 

Rehearsal Space: Good News … and Good News

It’s been a bit since we’ve reported from the world of Cohere Bandwidth, our plucky (but plagued with uncertainty) undertaking to create secure, affordable shared rehearsal space for Fort Collins musicians. Since we last posted about progress, we received some city support to help further develop the project. A New York-based digital magazine for freelancers and independent workers asked us to write about our trials and tribulations. In the midst of all that, Cohere opened a second location, giving us a second big sister for Bandwidth. Spring sprung, and musicians started resurfacing from their winter writing and recording caves to begin practicing in earnest for the upcoming summer touring and festival season. They continued to call us and email us and bump into us on the streets and ask when Cohere Bandwidth will be open for business; we continued to sigh and struggle and work through the painstaking process of finding commercial real estate that’s suitable for rock and roll. For a season that is supposed to bring growth and renewal, springtime started out with some good stuff — mixed with serious suck.

We almost gave up. Not entirely, of course, but truly, things got difficult enough that we asked ourselves whether we were even going about this the right way, whether we picked the wrong path or were pushing too hard for the wrong results. It’s a long story, but it turns out that at a moment of despair and dissonance, it was a drummer who (perhaps unsurprisingly) got us back in sync. And while much still remains to be decided, we are now in a place where things feel solid enough that we can talk about them. This would be a great time for a drum roll … but let’s just get to it, eh?

Good News: Part One
We are super excited to announce that in our search for space, we are currently pursuing a partnership with The Downtown Artery! <<in a hilarious twist, that link may currently take you to a page that tells you The Artery is under construction. It is. Big time. But a great place to keep up with them in the meantime is the Downtown Artery Facebook page. And here’s the nutshell version of what you need to know: the people who run the Artery are pretty much perfect for us to combine forces with in terms of investing in the creative future of Fort Collins. They care about the people who make and support art and music. They are doing some really neat stuff already and they’re in it for the long haul. They know creativity can be messy and noisy and that things might not turn out the way you thought they would. They get it. They like us. We like them. We. Are. Thrilled.

Much more to come on all THAT, but here’s some

Stuff to Know for Now
At the moment, we’re looking at creating at least two rehearsal rooms for rent: a lockout room (designed for a limited number of bands to rent on a longer-term basis, where they store their gear in the room) and a hourly rental room available for musicians to schedule (turnkey, with backline gear all set up for plug and play rehearsals). The rooms will be in Old Town, and will of course be designed with the most important criteria in mind, as requested by our community of local musicians: Safe. Secure. Affordable. Soundproof. And yes, even this: Bathrooms. We’re also looking at including a “lab” of sorts, to incorporate some teaching and learning within our community. That’s all in its infancy as well. Now that we’re unstuck in the search for space, things will move forward but it still may not be as fast as one might hope. Which leads us to …

Good News: Part Two
There’s another rehearsal space under construction in Fort Collins! Higher Ground Rehearsal Studios is destined for Commerce Drive, in the industrial area east of town. We don’t know many specifics about the project yet, but we have contacted the owners to set up a meeting later this week to find out more, and promise to keep you posted. They have a Facebook page, too, so you can keep up with them as things progress. More options when there have been nearly none seems like a terrific turn of events to us, and we are looking forward to hearing all about it.

In the Meantime

https://flic.kr/p/af7rF9
We are working on keeping things steady. We’re listening carefully. We’re learning, and changing. We’re taking feedback (for instance, we got some great input from the committee that reviewed our city grant application in March; the nutshell version there was: grow slow, and involve the community even more). We’re working on being patient, on not becoming discouraged when things seem unclear, on improvising and enjoying the natural rhythm of this project, which is decidedly different than anything we’ve experienced before. But it’s worth it. We’ve got some amazing companions on our journey, and more appear every day. Stay tuned. Hang in there with us! We expect more good news is on the way.

 

 

Musician Field Report: A Case for Space

(Remember when we went on a field trip to visit Denver rehearsal spaces? Ian paid extra attention, clever musician that he is. We asked him to write this week’s post about his subsequent experience as a happy shared rehearsal space customer, and to fill us in on why a Fort Collins space is as important as ever for bands … and fans).

I have spent the past 10 years actively playing in the Colorado music scene with two different bands, Wire Faces and The Jimi Austin (RIP). Currently we are in our 10th rehearsal space, which daylights as a drum lesson room that sits directly below office space and an apartment. This equates to limited hours, no amplifiers, and no PA system; when we do rehearse, we plug our guitars and mics directly into an interface that allows us to listen via headphones. Although it works, it certainly does not provide one with the necessary experience needed to prepare for a big, loud show.

The rest of the time, we record in our drummer Shane’s bedroom… it’s very intimate, and he has a blanket with cats all over it and Cinderella pillows, which is nice but somewhat incongruent with a band known to play “wild rock”.

musiciansinbed

Each rehearsal space we have had over the years has ultimately resulted in us either being forced out or choosing to leave under some form of duress. We have never been disrespectful tenants, however generally people don’t want loud music next to their living space or place of business. We’ve practiced in living rooms, basements, storage facilities, and gone long periods of time without any place to play at all, which can get weird. Even if I tried, I could not estimate the number of shows we’ve had to play while forgoing a proper rehearsal, or any rehearsal for that matter. Thus creating a possible increase in pre-show anxiety and a much higher potential for missed notes, forgotten lyrics or chords, stick drops, and other unexpected musical blunders.

Subsequently, I have stumbled into seeing the true benefits of a shared space that charges an hourly rate (it only took me 10 years). Although it can be ideal to have a space in which all of your equipment is set up and ready to go the moment you walk in the room, we haven’t been able to find such a place in well over a year – before that we were usually on some sort of wait list or scouring Craigslist for options because whatever we had at the time was insufficient. But I digress. You get the point.

ampcramp

Fortunately, Wire Faces is currently utilizing RocketSpace Rehearsal Studios and Lesson Space, located in Denver. The space has proven to be extremely convenient, and I am not sure what we would have done without the ability to quickly book a few hours of rehearsal time in order to prepare for a big show. Our most recent experiences at RocketSpace saved collective our Wire Ass; without the availability of an hourly room, we would not have been able to rehearse before our trip to SXSW for the Colorado Music Party, or for our recent show for Red Bull Sound Select with The Joy Formidable and The Epilogues last Tuesday. Since we do not currently have access to facilities in Fort Collins that provide us with what is required for a genuine rehearsal, this has been a fantastic option. The downside: it’s not in Fort Collins.

RocketSpace provides a backline (drum kit, bass and guitar amps, a PA, microphones, and cables) and all we have to do is show up, plug in and play. Each room is retrofitted with professional acoustic sound baffling, adequate lighting, and ample electrical outlets and power strips. Did I mention it’s affordable, and they take credit/debit cards? Well it is, and they do. Funk, mariachi, metal, hip-hop, rock, even guitar and voice lessons are some of the diverse sounds emanating from each of the rehearsal rooms. During our last rehearsal at RocketSpace, a nice gentleman gave us his card and asked if we’d be interested in playing a show with his band because he liked what he heard from the hallway. These rooms not only provide a much-needed working space for musicians, but also cater to the inconsistent nature of a musician’s schedule, while fostering both networking and collaboration.

This is why we, via our support of Cohere Bandwidth, are so driven to create a shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins. Although there are already several locations in Denver somewhat consistent with RocketSpace, a counterpart does not exist in Fort Collins. These existing spaces have proven the business model, as well as the necessary demand; RocketSpace is actually in the process of planning an expansion. So although you may be growing weary of hearing what IS NOT (yet) available in Fort Collins, I’d like to remind you what IS possible. We are not giving up until a quality, affordable, secure, shared rehearsal space exists in the Fort Collins area. Our musicians deserve it, and so do their fans.

~Ian Haygood, field tripper, Cohere Bandwidth co-catalyst, Wire Faces guitarist

 

 

Space! One Giant Leap for Cohere Bandwidth

Full disclosure: I’m writing this from a hotel room in Austin, having just wrapped up a trip to the South by Southwest music festival, and despite not drinking anything stronger than a latte all week, I can tell my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders yet. SXSW blows my mind, every year. So bear with me.

Remember how I put all y’all (<<hey, I’m writing from Texas) on notice that we are on a mission to shift some paradigms in our community? That in our quest for shared rehearsal space, we want to cement the understanding that music means business? Bands contribute to the economy. Artists are entrepreneurs! You might as well get used to this chorus, because we’ll keep repeating it until it seems silly that anyone ever thought anything different.

Anyway: HUGE NEWS on this front! Cohere Bandwidth submitted a funding proposal to the 2014 Fort Collins Economic Health Cluster Support Fund and the city awarded us $2500 for our shared rehearsal space project. The money is wonderful, of course, but even better is the message that this award sends: our city’s economic health office understands that an investment in music industry infrastructure makes some solid economic sense. (High five, Fort Collins, for being willing and visionary enough to invest).

Approval Needed

Of course, on the heels of the week I’ve experienced here at SXSW, it’s hard not to feel like this should be a no-brainer. Seeing the impact music can make on the local economy is pretty clear to me as I review my hotel bill and ask myself what I did with that other pedicab receipt. But in case you’re wondering — here’s a little window into the economic impact of SXSW. I am personally here in Austin on business, having helped organize the Colorado Music Party, a two-day SXSW showcase that received, for the first time, some substantial public funding from the state. In fact, Colorado is making enough of a splash in this arena that a SXSW panelist gave us a shout-out during the session “Music and Economic Development for Cities”. And not just any panelist — the guy who served for 9 years in Seattle as the Director of the Office of Film and Music. Yes, Seattle has an Office of Film and Music; seems like a pretty legitimate division for a city that reported $1.3 billion in annual music industry revenues in 2004.

Music Love

But: that’s a macro level conversation. Here at the foundational-starting-a-rehearsal-space level, we are very excited to put this money into infrastructure that supports our local artists. Because in addition to economic impact, there is a very real human impact that music has on a community, and I can absolutely report that this is alive and well in Austin, too. I had a nice weepy moment at the Julian Casablancas show when this kid next to me who was so. excited! that he got in without a badge (“my other friend is outside because he didn’t have $20 for a ticket, but he climbed a tree and can still see pretty good”) explained to me that he “works at Chili’s, but I mostly like to play music, and sometimes they let me do that, and they even pay me and that’s THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD”. All said without a trace of sarcasm. Getting paid. To do something other people value, and to do it well. We can get behind that, and we’re glad our city can, too. So thank you, Fort Collins, for the vote of confidence. We’re getting ready to do right by some of our most historically undervalued entrepreneurs and we are glad to have you in our corner.

Love, Money (and the “we need some space” conversation)

Exactly one year ago today, I sent a text to a musician (a musicIAN, to be exact) to ask him about the logistics of band rehearsal space. Because, against all rhyme and reason, my business-minded friend Angel had a sense that solving  workspace problems for musicians might be not too very different from solving workspace problems for freelancers and other independent workers. One year later, the truth is: it is different, but not substantially so, because guess what? Musicians ARE freelancers and independent workers. In fact, the more Angel and I talk about it, the more connections we see between musicians and the more “traditional” mobile workforce. And we aren’t the only ones.

Daisy Girl Guitar

On this, our Valentine’s Day anniversary of the beginning of the search for shared rehearsal space, while the story continues to unfold (nutshell: we have found a quite plausible location, but as in any relationship worth embarking upon, there is now honest conversation, a dash of negotiation, and some compromise to be considered) the bottom line remains the same: sharing is good. And business is still business, but choosing to approach it from the heart AND the head is the only way I want to go about it. And, thank goodness, I’m still not the only one. It’s been a long road and we’re not quite there yet, but this much I know: I’m not stopping until our community norm is to equate musicians with business owners and treat them accordingly. <<Hell yes, I bolded that. Consider yourselves on notice. Happy Valentine’s Day.

“Work is love made visible.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Progress Rocks!

No, not prog rock — you read it right the first time. PROGRESS. In our search for a shared rehearsal space location that we can call home for Cohere Bandwidth, we’re making progress! In terms of pace and overall coordination, it still looks a little bit like this:
 … but we’re content to be “winning the race” by letting things unfold a little more organically, if not more quickly. Trust is still the key, and the musician comes first, so we want to get it right. It hasn’t exactly been rabbit-rapid.

However, in a nutshell/turtleshell: we believe we have found a location (!)

  • …that we may be able to lease — we’re working through those logistics right now
  • …that has heat, electricity, and even bathrooms with running water
  • …that we can make more secure with a minimum of fuss, relatively speaking
  • …that has neighbors (but neighbors that are likely more tolerant than most when it comes to bands practicing next door)

That said, we still have some hurdles to clear, the biggest one being our old frenemy: soundproofing (there are also a few horror stories about the space that involve sewer backups of a magnitude requiring hazmat suits, but somehow those pale in comparison to the sound barrier).

Other good news: we finally got a response from a firm specializing in architectural acoustical consulting! This is a miracle in and of itself because apparently a hot new small business technique is to not to return phone calls inquiring about estimates. There are times when we weep for the future of entrepreneurship. But: these folks got back to us quickly and professionally and politely.

The less-good news is: the acoustic architects tell us it will cost $2900 for a site visit and recommendation (see also: hyperventilation and panic). Yep, that’s the price for the sound experts to come see the space and tell us what to do with ONE ROOM. We could spend half the money we have raised thus far just to get a plan — no materials, no labor, no rent, just an expert opinion.

Le sigh.

If you’ve been reading along faithfully following our story, you know that every “le sigh” has thus far been followed by a “woohoo!” It’s a good thing, too; otherwise, we might have thrown in the towel a zillion times already. So, having just scratched the surface of the harsh reality of soundproofing costs, our most recent woohoo! has fortunately appeared in the form of an opportunity to apply for a grant from the City of Fort Collins — a grant which requires matching funds (which luckily, we have, thanks to the crowdsourcing campaign many of you helped us complete last fall). Woohoo!

There are many bits of information to compile for this opportunity, but we’re definitely going for it, because what do we have to lose? Sleep? Already doing that, might as well do it in pursuit of some possible funding assistance. One way you can help, if you feel inspired, is to send us a letter of support to include with the grant application. It needn’t be fancy; think of it like a Mad Lib of sorts. “My name is (your name goes here) and I am a (your title here, ranging from “concerned citizen” to “community leader” to “not starving but kinda hungry artist” — whatever). I am writing in support of Cohere Bandwidth, a shared rehearsal space for local bands. I believe our Fort Collins music community needs affordable, secure shared rehearsal space because (your reasoning goes here, ranging from “our musicians need a place to practice their craft so our music scene can continue to drive visitors, attract and retain a creative workforce, and foster local economic growth” to “I can’t stand up to play my viola in our practice space and that impedes my ability to be 100% artistically awesome”). Then your name, contact info, any other (nouns) and (adjectives) that come to mind. We’ll need to collect these by Jan. 27 to really be able to pull it all together, so if you’re up for it, don’t think too hard, just write.

You can contact us for more information about providing letters of support, to hear more about our long and winding road to rehearsal space, to ask us how you might help in other ways, to tell us you want your name on the list for rehearsal space when it opens, etc. You can also just stay out there sending your supportive vibes, and basking in the excitement of woohoos! with us. Things really do feel incredibly positive right now, and we’re reinvigorated all over again. Let’s give this town a jolt, shall we? Woohoo!

Here’s a little Patti Fiasco inspiration for you in case you’re feeling le sigh: 

 

 

Bandwidth: A Look Back

It’s that time, you know. That week between Christmas and the New Year, when you start feeling kind of wistful and reflective, and yet you are pretty sure if you read one more retrospective blog post, you’ll puke. So of course, here it is, the obligatory year-end flashback. Try to hold on to your cookies.

One year ago. When I think about it, that’s when this whole shared rehearsal space quest got started, really. December 29, 2012. I open Facebook and find a chat from Dawn Duncan, who writes: “…our dear FBR and Wire Faces friends were robbed. Their practice space that they share/rent together in N. Fort Collins was robbed clean …” She continues with some details. My initial horrified and none-too-articulate response is: “Oh shit. shit. shit.” Of course, this is not, sadly, the first time I’ve heard such a tale (in fact just a few months prior, I had backed The Heyday’s Kickstarter project after their van was robbed in downtown Denver). It’s not rare, and it’s always distressing. But this has happened here, and these are our friends, and I’m pretty much horrified.

Scream

I recover a little. We try to think up ways to help. Dawn contacts The Coloradoan and they write a story. Social media lights up and the community is similarly aghast. We discuss bake sales. Gear is loaned and loaded, shows go on.

The bands post a list of stolen items (if you feel like maybe you want to throw up some excess holiday snacks after all, peep this):

Sabian 13″ Fierce Hats
Sabian 22″ Omni Crash/Ride Cymbal
Pasha 20″ Ride Cymbal w/ Sandblasted Finish, should say “Made in
Italy” on top or bottom
Zildjian 13″ Amir Hi-Hat Cymbal
Zildjian 13″ K Hi-Hat Top Cymbal
Yamaha DTXplorer Electronic Drum Kit Rack and Trigger Pads w/ NO Controller Module/Brain Serial Numbers on the Trigger Pads will Range (834890-834899)
Zickos 22 x 18 Bass Drum w/ Evans Clear EMAD Batter, + Clear Resonant
Head with 5″ Chrome Reinforcement Ring Hole
Zickos 14 x 10 Rack Tom, Batter Side has single point lugs, resonant side has original stock Zickos Lugs.
Tama Starclassic 10 x 8 Tom Natural Birch
Tama Starclassic 12 x 9 Tom Natural Birch Clear Emperor Batter
Tama Starclassic 16 x 16 Floor Tom Natural Birch Evans EC2 Batter w/
split in head
Mapex Pro M Bass Drum 22 x 18 Transparent Black w/ Remo PS3 Batter, Evans EQ3 Resonant head w/ 5″ Hole, No bass drum mount is attached
Viking 22 x 18 Bass Drum White Wrap, Missing resonant head.
Viking 12 x 9 Rack Tom White Wrap, Evans Clear Hydraulic on Batter head
16 x 10 Junior Bass Drum White Wrap Finish, Remo Clear Pinstripe in batter and Remo Ebony Ambassador on Resonant side,
10 x 5 Junior Tom Tom
Two 8″ Peace Octabons Wood shell w/ Midnight Blue finish
Ludwig Double Tom Stand for Octabons
Wolverine Steel Snare Drum 14 x 5 w/ Evans Genera Dry Batter
Acrylic Snare Drum 14 x 6.5 with Pearl Throw off, Remo Clear CS on
Batter, 40 Snare strands on snare side, crack in shell coming out of the throwoff.
Carvin D44 Bass Drum Mic
Stagg 16 Channel Mic Snake
Yamaha CS 745 Boom Stand
Mapex Snare Stand w/ Yellow Gaffe tape on feet
Tama Double Tom Mount for Starclassic Toms
Yamaha Bass Drum Pedal
Bass Drum Mount for Mapex Pro M Tom Holder
Yamaha Auxiliary Hi Hat Mount
2 Pearl Tom Arms
Stagg Hardware Bag Black w/ Purple straps full of Misc Percussion mounts
Mackie CR1604-VLZ mixing board
VOX Wah-Wah V847A
Boss RC-30 Loop Station
Sears Silvertone Amlifier (Reverb is broken and only one of the channels work)
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Electro-Voice N/D967 Supercardioid Concert Vocal Microphone
Koch Load Box LB120 (power attenuator)
Ernie Ball VP Junior Passive Volume Pedal
Boss Chorus Pedal
Electro-Harmonix Classics Usa Big Muff Pi Distortion / Sustainer
15″ CGM Stage Monitor
Large Fender Bassman Style Cabinet with 2 JBLD130 15″ Speakers
1979 Ampeg V4 Bass Amplifier w/ Master Volume
Roland Micro Cube RX Battery Bass Amplifier
Ampeg BA115 Bass Combo Amplifier
Rolland AC90 Serial# VR24509
Yamaha Motif 6 Serial# 1001266
Fender Jazz Bass American Serial# 9320463
Ampeg SVT4 Pro Serial# DCTCR00014
Sans Amp Progamble Bass Driver Serial# 984161
Korg DTR 1000 Serial# 038258
Boss pedal Serial# ST18882
Boss pedal Serial# ZW47942
Boss pedal Serial# KW20519
Vox AC-30 CC2 Amplifier Serial# C2AC005505

One year later and none of this stuff has been found, mind you.

BUT. Fast Forward. The desire to help doesn’t go away, and throughout the year, more and more people respond to the search for safe rehearsal space rallying cry. Including, of course, at least one Angel and many angels. As I write this today, we have three distinct possibilities to pursue for shared space and despite a bit of a disappointment recently, we’re feeling like the future looks a little bit brighter again. And as it turns out, this New Year coincides with a New Moon — a bit of auspicious astrological abundance. We’ll take it. It’s been a long time coming. In the meantime, here’s to better days. Happy New Year!

Sparks

Proof: But No Roof.

Our latest shared rehearsal space adventure found us thinking outside the box, by thinking inside the box. Having found that our most viable commercial space options almost always include neighbors, and neighbors mean sound issues, Angel had an idea: what if we decoupled the space from the space? (Whoa. Did you feel that? Don’t be alarmed, it’s just our paradigm shifting.)

Plasma Ball, 2 Hands in the Dark

Now I know what you’re thinking (wait … wut?) — but hang tight for a minute while I ‘splain: turns out there are companies that construct portable soundproof rooms. And purchasing a room might mean we could put the space within a space, but without making a substantial permanent investment in a building we are merely leasing. Landlord decides they want us to clear out? No problem! We just take the room with us and put it back together somewhere else.

We got super excited about this idea for about 15 minutes, until Angel did some research and discovered that one of these rooms cost $26,000. Then we were crushed. But THEN: she found a company that makes them for a fraction of that cost — and it turned out that company was right here in Colorado! Less than an hour away. And they had one under construction, in house, that we could test. Right “now”.

As is the way with this quest, a series of misadventures followed — it’s not easy to coordinate the schedules of anyone these days, not to mention finding people with drum kits and bass amps and the ability to use them, who can then take a field trip during the work week to indulge our whims. But as is also the way with this quest, the musicians in our community were once again amiable and accommodating. Maybe somewhat disbelieving, but at least willing to give it a shot. When we put up the bat signal around here, the bands always answer the call.

BAT SIGNAL

  • Scheduled Field Trip #1 resulted in a no-show by the guy who owns the company, and Angel sitting on a curb with a bass player and a drummer (we found out later the guy was in the hospital, and I had to rescind all my swears).
  • Scheduled Field Trip #2 resulted in a snow storm, some van shenanigans and ultimately, a reschedule.
  • Field Trip #3 was “the charm” – though a last-minute schedule switch by the company owner meant the bass player was out, and we would have to do our best to test with a drummer only. A drummer who was willing to load up a carload of gear, take the morning off work and drive down to be shoved into a freezing cold warehouse into an 8×8 room << the available test size.

Let’s skip to the results part of the experiment and let you see (and hear) for yourselves, shall we? Does this seem —> Soundproof?

Well … not so much. “Sound resistant”? Maybe. The whole test took about five minutes once our intrepid drummer got set up in the unheated warehouse. We used a little decibel reader app on his phone to test the sound reduction (about 10 decibels). Angel used an app called her eyes to make note of visible gaps in the construction. I used my mittened hands to clutch my coffee cup, while lamenting inwardly about the bands that are probably practicing in similar conditions every day. Still.

Bottom line? At a price of thousands of dollars and a noise level that is decidedly … audible, we think we’ll pass on the “soundproof” room idea. For what it’s worth, the rooms are generally used for studio voice-over recording and that sort of thing, and maybe aren’t a great solution for entire bands anyway. In the end though, we were left with cold hands AND cold feet, standing back at the drawing board. Eliminating options is a good thing, but it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed when your hopes get dashed. We’re trying to be scientists about this, but I bet even scientists get discouraged. But: the best ones keep thinking and acting. Boxes be damned.

You can put Dr. Who in the TARDIS, but you can't make it soundproof. It's a metaphor, go with it.

You can put Dr. Who in the TARDIS, but you can’t make it soundproof. It’s a metaphor, go with it.

 

Bandwidth Update: Breathing Into Paper Bags

The problem is: the Sound of Music. No, not the holiday classic film or even the impending Carrie Underwood don’t-call-it-a-remake live production. It’s the cacophony created when rehearsing musicians bring the noise. Not at raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens level. Think doorbells and sleigh bells and wild geese, but at a decibel that inspires a dog bite/bee sting rage in your neighbors. Soundproofing rooms is difficult and expensive, and in this search for rehearsal space, it’s the thing that’s proving to be the most maddening. When I asked Angel if she had any advice re: blog topics for this week, her reply was: “Panic?” As you can see, we’re feeling … von Trapped.

So, how do you solve a problem like cochlea? (OK, OK, I’ll stop, I promise! — when I panic, I burst into hysterical musical puns) We’re not sure. We have found two potentially viable spaces, but those spaces have upstairs neighbors and paper-thin ceilings. We did a band practice test drive a couple weeks ago in one of the buildings, at not-even full volume. The result from upstairs was a crystal-clear concert backed by a bone-rattling bass vibration that would possibly require a trip to the dentist to shore up your fillings after one song. The poor bassist felt compelled to defend himself with a demonstration (see?! It’s only on like a 2, I swear!), and I only cried a little in the car on the way home. It’s so. Frustrating.

2

Still, it feels like we’re getting closer. If we can just get this sound thing figured out — pause for nervous laughter — we’ll be in business. But getting there may require an investment in all kinds of crazy stuff (we now know more about things like green glue, double-drywall, drop ceilings, mass loaded vinyl, baffles and diffusors than we ever, ever wanted to). We don’t really have the money for rent AND soundproofing, nor do we think that dumping a bunch of money into a rental is a smart move in terms of sustainability of the space. Etc. Etc. Etc.

However: we do have another glimmer of hope on the horizon this week. But I don’t want to jinx it by telling you too much (the guy we’re attempting to work with on this possibility ended up in the hospital on the day of our initial appointment, so that’s already a bit foreboding thankyouverymuch). The bottom line remains that the musicians themselves have to consider a solution satisfactory, or there’s no point in going down a given path. We’ve been lucky enough to have several band members agree to help us out, taking time away from practice, work, lessons and life to help evaluate options. And we’re not done yet. In the meantime? We’re just taking small steps forward and trying not to hyperventilate every time it feels like two steps back. We still have fa (a long long way to run) to go, you know?


(sorry Ian, you had to see *that* one coming … it was either that or Julie Andrews.)

On Tour: Cohere Bandwidth Field Trip to Denver

For anyone out there who thinks that money changes everything, we’ve got news for you: sometimes, it doesn’t. Don’t get us wrong, we’re thrilled to have successfully raised six months worth of rent money to put toward shared rehearsal space for local bands, but we’ve been feeling a little stuck. And then unstuck. And then stuck again. Progress, that saucy wench, is happening in fits and starts, but we still don’t have a confirmed home (even a temporary lab home) for Cohere Bandwidth. And since it’s been nearly two months since we wrapped up our crowdfunding campaign, we are – not gonna lie – starting to freak out just a little.

So what do you do when you feel an itch to get moving, to explore new ideas, to connect, to stretch and grow, to find inspiration outside your own backyard? If you’re a band, you go on tour. If you’re a merry band of stalled-out rehearsal space catalysts, you TAKE a tour. In this case, to our sister city to the south: Denver.

sign

This is what goes on in Denver. *gasp!*

Angel, probably growing weary of the emotional roller coaster of YES!/NO!/MAYBE!/GAH, WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SO HAARRRDD? (sometimes all in the same afternoon) wisely decided to ask for some help, or at least some insight. She reached out to some people who have been there/done that/are still doing it right now, in fact, and arranged for us to meet with Denver rehearsal space owners and managers from RocketSpace, Soundstructure Studios and Francisco Studios. Here’s what we found:

RocketSpace
RocketSpace (2711 Larimer St.) is the result of a ton of hard work, past and present, by owner/operator/guitar-playing-badass Kate Innes (<<she’s the redhead on the left, in your face). RocketSpace rents hourly rehearsal rooms – you can’t store your gear there, but each room is equipped with drums, PA system, microphones, bass rig and guitar cabinets. This means as a musician, you get to show up, practice, and not load too much stuff in and out. Convenient. Yay! It also means, as Kate, that you are in the repair business and the constant scheduling business. Boo! Luckily, she is a real hands-on type and is very much invested in the space, having put her own sweat equity in over and over again (she showed us the closet where she first learned to drywall before building out all the soundproofed RocketSpace rooms). She is also invested in the community, being a currently performing musician herself. Unsurprisingly, Kate’s advice is to own all your own stuff vs. renting a building where you are dumping a bunch of money into improvements that you then have to leave behind with your lease. She was no-holds-barred about how much work it is, but she also seems to genuinely love the process and the people. And RocketSpace is very, very busy, so that doesn’t hurt a bit. Well, maybe it hurts a little, but it’s worth it. That’s what Kate would probably say.

RocketSpace

Kate dropping some knowledge on us at RocketSpace

Soundstructure Studios
Just adjacent to The Walnut Room, and having been around for 20 years, Soundstructure Studios is the established elder statesman to RocketSpace’s startup sensibilities. Encompassing two different buildings with 25 total studios, Soundstructure offers “lockout” spaces: meaning your band rents a room (which you might decide to share with another band or two), you bring all your gear right on in there, and you set up camp. And if you can manage it: you never, ever leave. Because spaces like this one are pretty much impossible to find. Built from the beginning with the magic of acoustical architecture in mind, these rooms are high-end, rock-solid and designed for silence — or at least to keep the sound contained to your space and out of everyone else’s. Double door systems, rooms with no right angles, some sort of cuts (?) in the floor to mitigate low-frequency noise … Angel and I basically lost track of the details, probably because we were both mentally adding up all the dollar signs that were required as an initial investment. That said: owner (and drummer, of course, like all good sages) John Burr, after a couple of decades of business, was hard-pressed to tell us what the “biggest nightmare” is in terms of managing the space currently. The rooms are constantly booked. No marketing required. An hour or two here and there, mostly in the processing of monthly rents, the occasional bit of wear and tear? John seemed so chill about the whole thing that we started to believe that we could be, too. Someday. But not without some serious upfront stressors (see “mind boggling initial investment”). Then again: maybe money does change everything.

Soundstructure

The unflappable John “Jedi Knight” Burr opens the first of many doors to show us around Soundstructure Studios.

Francisco Studios
Our final stop on our Denver day tour was at Francisco Studios, which apparently is a franchise of sorts, with locations in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tucson as well. Our intended tour guide kinda forgot he was supposed to meet us (to his credit, when he realized later, he was extremely gracious and utterly mortified), but undaunted, Angel and I asked a freshly arrived musician/space renter if he’d let us in to try and find someone to show us around. Turns out said musician became our tour guide, which was perfect, because we got some insight straight from the source. Francisco Studios is a HUGE building, with 50 rehearsal rooms arranged in an eerily familiar labyrinth that felt so much like a junior high school that we were convinced that’s what it used to be (when Angel finally talked to the space manager, Kreston, he explained that no, the building was built that way on purpose). The overall result — lockout room upon lockout room, stretching down long hallways, with no real sounds or movement. (Other than the sound of musicians practicing inside the rooms, unfortunately — yes, the rooms are soundproofed, but only … sort of. Our new musician friend just shrugged and said, “yeah, you can totally hear other bands practicing, but what’re you gonna do?” John and Kate would tell him in a heartbeat). As for the ambience in the building, Angel flatly declared it “creepy as f*ck” and the musician kid confessed to freaking himself out there sometimes, but then chalked it up to smoking too much weed. Check out our slasher flick, A short stroll through Francisco Studios. Really, though, once inside the rooms, it was way less spooky and pretty basic. And the bottom line: busy. Just like all the other rehearsal spaces.

What We Learned
Hard to say what impact our tour day had on us, other than it gave us hope for the future, and a whole lot of ideas for what to consider when it’s time for permanent space. We connected with perfectly lovely people who are making it work, we visited spaces that are at capacity, that are secure, (mostly) soundproofed, and yes, bathroom-rich. We got to feel like we’re on the right path even though the next step seems like it might require a divining rod. Not a bad day in Denver. Now: back home, to the task at hand.

P.S. Speaking of the task at hand, Ian got to perform his highly serious, patented “clap test” at RocketSpace. A+!

ianclap

insert off-color joke about the clap here

Launch Pad: The Search for Space is ON

Well, time flies when you’re having funds. Which we DO, thanks to you! It’s been precisely a month since the community backed our campaign to crowdsource rent for shared rehearsal space for bands. And in addition to wrapping up the odds and ends, and gathering up rewards for the campaign contributors, we’ve been searching for a temporary home where we can put the lab in collaboration for the next six months or so. Yep, we’re ready to let local musicians put a test space to the test. Finding a space that suits, that’s the tough part, even if it’s only for a short while.

Given our budget, the initial temporary nature of our project, the general temperament of landlords when it comes to bands, and the availability of commercial real estate, finding a place to hang our hi-hats is proving challenging. Luckily, we have an Angel (who is coincidentally named Angel) — and this is not her first real estate rodeo. We also have a second angel named Annah who is helping us track down properties to peruse.

Angel and Annah have generally been shielding Ian and me from what I’m privately (and now publicly) calling The Hunt for shaRed October — as it is starting to seem to me it might be easier to find a stealthy Soviet submarine than a secure, affordable space for bands that is not a complete sh*t hole. But last Friday, they pinged us with a live one, so we all went to take a look.

It looked like this:

bucket list and this (WTF?):

ugh

…and just in case conditions needed to be more torturous, this: chain of fools

I am sure I had a semi-permanent cringe-face throughout the tour. Though, to be fair, I tend to see the clouds before the silver linings. Angel noted the spaciousness, the fact that we could “just make sure not to store anything under the places where the roof is obviously leaking” and the ample parking and (kind of) working heat.

Ian put the place to both a sound and sniff test; Annah remarked that she had never shown a property to someone who clapped in every room (gotta gauge the echo). I noted with some distress that he seemed happy that it “didn’t smell too bad” and then cheerfully declared that it “could be awesome”.

In the end, we decided to mull it over some more. It’s temporary and with some (not even that strenuously applied) elbow grease, certainly serviceable. But it’s also got drawbacks aside from the roof-on-the-carpet, the largest being some warning flags related to security. Which is (coming in before even bathrooms and heat) the biggest concern for musicians. Trust! remains the watchword.

Meanwhile, the hunt continues. We’re feeling the pressure with every day of dropping temperatures, with every inquiry from a band that wants to know if we’ve found a place where they can play, with our escalating suspicion that demand is going to outpace supply. So keep your ears to the ground and if you get a whiff of a potentially viable property that doesn’t smell too bad, do make sure you put it on our radar. Or sonar. Or both. We’re ready to move in!

Portable Castles by Wire Faces

Cohere Bandwidth: The Time is Now. And Now. How About Now?

Oh, hi! It’s me, Julie, a founding member at Cohere (is that what we say if we were among the original “card table people”?). I’m also one of the three people consistently beating the drum over at Cohere Bandwidth. Which is not yet a physical place but is about to go from cool concept to “holy crap, it’s really a real thing!” More on that in a bit. Anyway, Angel’s given me the keys to the blog, so here I am.

If you’ve been following along with our Cohere Bandwidth progress on this blog and via the social medias, you’ve surely noticed that we are nearing the end of a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for shared rehearsal space for local musicians. It has been a roller coaster of of a ride, boy howdy. First, we had to get people to “endorse” us, and next, donate money, and it’s all been during this craaaazzzyy time period for me, personally and professionally. When Angel talked to Ian and me about the timing of the campaign, in fact, the first thing I thought was how the timing couldn’t have been worse. Not enough time to do things perfectly, not even enough time to do things the way I know I want us to do them, barely enough time to think, you know.

Bandwidth Time

So of course, we said YES to taking on the campaign. That’s how it works around here. “Here” meaning: in my life lately and, apparently, when rowing the entrepreneurship in general. Because if you wait for the timing to be perfect, you’ll miss out on the good stuff.

Speaking of the good stuff: I’ve been thinking alot about synchronicity lately. (Actually, I think about synchronicity more often than alot; when I sat down to write this post, I even said to myself “I feel like I’ve written about this before.” Which is really more deja vu, but I digress. Turns out I had indeed written about synchronicity in the past. A few times.) When I found that most recent synchronicity post over on my blog, turns out it was precisely two years ago that I wrote it. Must be time again. Especially since I’m noticing a zillion weird coincidences lately. Like stumbling upon this post about octopus synchronicity.

I’m going somewhere with this, I swear. My brain is just working a bit like a labyrinth at the moment.

What happened with the crowdfunding campaign was this: we did quite well with endorsements, we launched the donation portion, and then at crunch time, I got really really busy elsewhere in life just as I was supposed to be helping carry the baby across the finish line. (<<That is the worst mixed metaphor maybe EVAR, but it is indicative of my current mental state). But you know what I mean. I was feeling panicky. And the needle wasn’t moving on our donations. And then suddenly: we were unstuck.

You know why? Because people are generous and good, of course. And because music fans are everywhere and they are drawn to give because they care in that weird way that only music can make you care. (I know several of the donors, by the way, and even though we don’t all spend tons of time together, I can tell you there’s a Jimmy Buffett fan, a Prince fan, and a Little Green Cars fan among them, and even one guy who really wanted to be more impressed by The Romantics, but  just isn’t. These are the nuances you pick up when you’re talking to a music person.)

But I also believe that the campaign is working because everything just clicks into place when it’s supposed to. Because it’s time. It’s time for our community to provide our musicians with a better place to practice. It’s time to give something to a group of people that share so much, so generously, with us. It’s time to move in the same direction. It’s time to wrap up the campaign, roll up our sleeves and find an answer to the question “where is Cohere Bandwidth?” because in a moment, the answer is going to become “it’s here and it’s now.” Don’t miss out on the so-called coincidences. Get involved, give it a chance and stick around to see what happens next. It’s about time.

Crowdfunding update: Looks we’re going to exceed our goal and shoot for an additional “stretch” goal for operations and overhead (i.e. coffee and toilet paper — for the working bathroom! — and MOAR RENT). Hurray!

Join Cohere At The Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair This Weekend!!

RMSLA Sustainable Living Fair

Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not come hang out with Cohere and support lots of other awesome Northern Colorado businesses at the annual Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair?!

Although the Sustainable Living Fair has taken place in Fort Collins for over a decade, this will be the very first time Cohere is participating. In case you’ve been living under a rock, “the fair offers a weekend of solution-based, interactive, family events designed to educate people of all ages and backgrounds about sustainable living practices, renewable energy, green building, natural health, social responsibility, organic and local agriculture and more,” reports the Coloradoan.

True to form, Cohere will be hosting an “emergency charging station” full of a plethora of solar chargers as well as traditional outlets. The idea is that people suffering from low battery levels might like a place to pop a squat, juice up, and chat with other technology geeks (that’s us!). We’ll be giving away a few free coworking memberships, and spreading the word about all the different ways our space can help support sustainability and the local economy.

We’ll also be raising awareness about the Cohere Bandwidth project and crowdfunding campaign which will be in its final hours during the Fair! There have been rumors that Angel will be delivering an interpretive jazz flute performance as a way to rustle up donations. Tell your friends, they won’t want to miss it.

(Seriously though, if you haven’t checked out our page or donated a few bucks to the cause, PLEASE think about doing so right now! We’ve got about a week left, and still need to raise $2,000. That’s only 40 people donating $50. Have I mentioned there are kick-ass rewards for every pledge level?!)

Sound like fun? We’re looking for a few Cohere members who want to hang out with Angel in the booth for 1-2 hour chunks on Sat/Sun 10am-5pm. Those who are motivated to tell interested peeps what it’s like to be a member are especially encouraged to stop by.

The deets:

The Sustainable Living Fair will be take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Legacy Park, 300 Woodlawn Drive, Fort Collins.

A one-day pass is $10; weekend pass, $15; VIP pass, $50. Children younger than 12 are free.

Purchase tickets at the gate or in advance at: www.SustainableLivingFair.org

Cohere Bandwidth: Let The Crowdfunding Commence!

bohemian nights angel

This past weekend was Bohemian Nights at New West Fest, an annual celebration of music and community where Fort Collins really gets to let its hair down.

This was the first year I’d ever attended (crazy, right?!). It was a great experience that further solidified my commitment to building a place where local musicians can perfect their craft without fear of being too loud or getting their equipment stolen.

Which brings me to my update! In case you haven’t been paying attention–Cohere Bandwidth successfully completed the endorsement phase!!! Our momentum lagged a little bit at the end, and we ended up coming in 3rd place. Heck, at the Olympics, that still puts us on the podium, and earned a $750 donation from Community Funded toward our total goal of $5,000!!!

Now, it’s time to dig in for the long haul. As of this very moment, we have 26 days to gather up the remainder of our funding goal. Over the past four days, we’ve had 5 fantastic supporters pledge a total of $345, which means we’re already more than 1/5 of the way there!!

I know that lots of people like to wait until the last second to make their pledges, but that might give me an early-life heart attack.

Please, if:

a) you believe in this project

b) you’ve been inspired by working in a shared office space with other talented people (and believe the same thing could be beneficial to other industries), and/or

c) you had a blast shaking your booty all over Old Town during New West Fest, and want to see Northern Colorado producing even more amazing musicians,

MAKE YOUR PLEDGE TODAY! (I just felt like Terri Gross on NPR during the pledge drive).

We only need to raise $3,905–that’s only 78 people donating $50. And have I mentioned the sweet rewards?! Starting at $5, your donation will earn you some sweet prizes, like stickers, free games of bowling, and free music, from some of Fort Collins’ favorite locally owned businesses. You can see all 17 rewards here.

Just click this link, log-in using email or Facebook, and click the “Support This Project” button.

 

 

Help Cohere Create A Coworking Space For Local Musicians!

Cohere Bandwidth header

Good Monday Morning!

A few days ago, Cohere Bandwidth launched a fundraising campaign on Community Funded, a local crowdfunding platform. Our project is just one of a handful that are hoping to raise at least $5,000 through the My5 campaign.

Here’s the catch (aka opportunity): before we can actually begin collecting contributions, we have to gather endorsements. It’s kind of like proving that we have the chops to go far in the fundraising round. You have to have at least 50 endorsements to proceed to the funding stage, and the project that gathers the MOST endorsements gets a special cash prize from Community Funded before the crowdfunding even begins.

Alright, here’s where we stand:

August 1: Cohere Bandwidth campaign launches, begins collecting endorsements.

August 1: You, our awesome community of supporters around the world totally crushes it! Cohere Bandwidth gets 54 endorsements in the first 12 hours the campaign is live!!!

August 5: WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP! Every extra endorsement we get from now until August 14th puts us closer and closer to securing the additional $2,000 prize.

(Let’s pause for just a moment and reflect on exactly WHY we were so successful so quickly:

  1. We’ve been building a community of friends and supporters in Fort Collins for over three years. My main goal, when I had the idea to start a coworking space back then was to build a community around independence, entrepreneurship, and collaboration. We started in a lobby, sharing coffee and power cords, but we had a blast! I took the time to let the community tell me what it needed, rather than the other way around. From the beginning Cohere members have had a strong desire to support and help each other, whether work related or not. So, when it comes time to mobilize support for something like Cohere Bandwidth, all we had to do was ask.
  2. We know how to use the interwebs. Social media is INTEGRAL to crowdfunding success. You have to know the right words to say, and where to say them. Not everyone’s on Facebook. Not everyone’s on Twitter. It has to be a multipronged approach, and it has to be genuine (that means lots of shares and request from someone else OTHER than me!), telling the real story of why the project is important.
  3. We made it easy. Any time we asked for endorsements, we kept it short and sweet, and explained what people needed to do once they clicked through to the crowdfunding site. That way, they knew they would have to log in, and they knew what button to look for to endorse us.

Here are some examples of how we mobilized our community to support us through endorsements:

On the Cohere Facebook Page –

Clickity click click please! We’re trying to get 100 endorsements for our crowdfunding project to get Cohere Bandwidth off the ground officially. Can you take 3 minutes to help us out?

We only need 16 more votes to get to the funding round! Can we do it in ONE DAY?! I think we can. Be sure to either create an account with Community funded or LOG IN so your endorsement counts!

7 endorsements away from getting to the funding round for “coworking for bands.” Yeah, you like it and you know it. So go endorse us (but create your account or login first).

On Angel’s Personal Facebook Page –

Oh pretty please endorse our crowdfunding campaign for Cohere Bandwidth: Shared Rehearsal Space for Musicians in Fort Collins. We need at least 50 votes but our goal is 100 so we can get a cash prize to contribute towards the project. You have to create an account but can do so by just clicking the Sign in with Facebook button. Hooray!

On Julie’s Personal Facebook Page –

I had breakfast with Alana Rolfe today, who told me she can’t stand up to play her viola at Stella Luce practice because the ceiling is too low. I think that sucks, and am working with some people to find a fix for such ridiculousness for musicians in our community. We could use your help. If you could take a sec to give us your vote for our shared rehearsal space project, we’ll be on our way to making things better.

And of course, we live-tweeted the entire thing from the @CohereLLC handle:

  • We’re only 14 votes away from getting to the funding round for Cohere Bandwidth:shared rehearsal space for musicians.
  • now we only need 13 more endorsements to get to funding 🙂
  • It’s FIVE now. FIVE! I’m literally atwitter right now.
  • And people wonder how the long process (of community building) actually works. Psshhh.
  • If you’re scrolling twitter right now you have time to be the last 3 endorsements we need.
  • It happened. It really happened. We got to our goal of 50 endorsements for Cohere Bandwidth in under 12 hours. You all rock.

Anyway, now that we’ve spilled our guts about the campaign, WE NEED YOU TO KEEP THE AWESOME FLOWING. We want that $2,000 so bad we can taste it. It will be a most welcome chunk of change and the first resources we really had to take Cohere Bandwidth off the drawing board and into reality.

This is basically a contest about who has the best and most supportive community. We know you’re the best, all you have to do is prove it!!

WE need as many endorsements as possible between now and August 14th to make sure we get the top spot and $2,000 cash prize towards our rehearsal space project. To show your support, click this link, then login with Facebook and click Endorse This Project (it’s a big green button). Easy! http://communityfunded.com/projects/angel/shared-rehearsal-space-for-musicians/

Cohere Bandwidth: A Prayer

Are you there God sticky

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth Updates here.

Cohere Bandwidth has been a little radio silent since my live music excursion. I wasn’t recovering from the bar scene but rather completely unsure what we should do next. I rallied Julie and Ian over donuts one morning to figure out how on earth we’re going to pay for shared rehearsal space for musicians in Fort Collins.

We’ve basically landed on corporate sponsors for everything from rent to extension cords. In the meantime we want to test our concept in a temporary space in order to get the musicians introduced to the most basic version of Cohere Bandwidth. We’re calling it Cohere Dial-up in the meantime. It’ll be a dialed down, less ideal version of the finished product. It’ll have all the basics but likely with limited hours and amenities.

Most of my friends know I’m not particularly religious although I have been trying my hand at Quakerism and being quiet and being more helpful to strangers. I’ve tried hard. I also believe that you’ve really got to tell the Universe what you need otherwise you get a bunch of random stuff that makes no sense. So, here ya go, Universe.

Dear Universe,

We believe that Cohere Bandwidth should be free for musicians. Did you know that musicians might make $75 total to split between them after a live show at a venue in town? How can we possibly ask them to pay us. How?! So here’s what we need.

We need a donated standalone industrial building for about 6 months that has  a bathroom, great power and climate control. It needs to be secure-able and have a room or two for equipment storage and a decent sized rehearsal area. The landlord needs to be cool and helpful and is possibly in his/her own band or understands that letting their building sit vacant for years is silly when we could drive traffic and awareness to their location.

We need someone to donate paint so we can at least make the interior minimally attractive. I imagine one 5 gallon bucket of Dolphin Cove blue or Whisper grey would do the trick.

We need Century Link or Comcast to donate 6 months of internet connection.

We need 1 wifi router.

We need 12 power strips.

We need 100 rolls of toilet paper and 75 rolls of paper towels.

We need help spreading the word about Cohere Bandwidth and Cohere Dial-up to anyone who will listen.

Thanks for listening.

Love, Angel

image credit

Cohere Bandwidth: Fort Collins Live Music How-To

By Angel

Read all the Cohere Bandwidth updates about future shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins for musicians.

The last time I intentionally attended a live music concert was in the 3rd grade. Yeah, you read that right. I bet you’re wondering who it was? Randy Travis. Basically my heart throb since I’m a small town rural farm-ish girl. I got a pink-tshirt with his face  on it and wore it until it disintegrated off of my skinny little body. My utter addiction to him makes me wonder why I haven’t attended more concerts. It WAS the event of the decade for me at 9 years old. What changed?

Randy travis shirt

 

It could be priorities or lack of opportunity. There wasn’t much in the way of an all ages venues in my home town. Also, I’m a frugal person and live music just wasn’t on my radar or budget especially in college. That coupled with a version of a sensory integration problem, (self-diagnosed) loud music and crowds just didn’t appeal to me.

Naturally, I would want to start a shared rehearsal space for musicians, right?! All of our field research has been really illuminating. I successfully survived 2 band practices without hearing protection and didn’t want to bash my ears in from the pain of it. However, I knew that attending a real concert would create some anxiety. Crowds with limited personal space? Yikes. Loud music? No thanks. Drunk people hitting on me? Unlikely, but still.  Out after 6pm? What’s that?! Over 50 lady and her boyfriend grinding on her hired and underage 3-way partner? Yeah, that happened.

Thank goodness I have Julie in my life. She’s a live music pro and served as my guide to my first Fort Collins live music experience.

Here’s what you should know if you’re a live music virgin like me. My first concert was a $6 admission at Hodi’s Half Note to see Wire Faces and Post Paradise followed by A. Tom Collins <—-I didn’t last long enough to see the last one. Um, in case you missed it, SIX DOLLARS for 3 bands. I can’t believe I didn’t realize I could see shows for $2 a piece!

  • Try to take Julie with you but know that she goes to be “an introvert in a crowd.” So don’t pepper her with questions or interrupt her zen music listening experience. This recharges her batteries. It’s incredible to see (without her noticing that you’re looking at her.)
  • Go out for snacks in Old Town before the concert. We got all of the food on the menu at Jax Fish House. Awesome.
  • It is HOT AS FUCK in Hodi’s. Glad I wore shorts and a tshirt. Hodi, if you’re reading this, get an air conditioner. Seriously.
  • Stash your id, credit card, phone, cash and chap stick in your pants pockets or take a purse with a cross-shoulder strap.
  • Ear plugs! I used some of the foam earplugs you can buy at Target and they worked awesome. I think you can actually hear the vocals better if you block out a tiny bit of the drums and bass.

Angel and Amy post paradise

Conversation preceding the above photo:

Julie: We need proof that this happened. Amy (Post Paradise Cellist), pose with Angel!

Amy: Do “rocker hands.”

Angel: What are rocker hands? Oh. Whoops. I think I just threw a gang sign.

It was really, really fun to see Wire Faces and Post Paradise perform since we had just seen them rehearse recently. It is especially fun to watch people you know perform.

wire faces bw warm up

 

Wire Faces warming up.

 

Post paradise rehearsal

Isn’t this photo rad? It’s a quickie snapshot I did with my phone at the Post Paradise rehearsal. It looks like an alien touched the screen with her magic blue fingertips.

After Wire Faces and Post Paradise finished playing, we hung around at the bar to see everyone. I asked Ian (Wire Faces Guitar Player) how the bands got paid and this is roughly his explanation, “All the ticket sales will be given to the headliner (a. Tom Collins) and then they will probably pay the other bands but we don’t know how much. We’ll probably get like 75 bucks but we won’t know until they pay us.”

Me.

Angel confused over payment

 

Shane (Wire Faces Drummer) seemed fine.

Shane and Angel the claw.jpg-large

 

Here’s to my continued participation in Fort Collins’ night life!! What are some must-see shows I need to put on my list?

 

Read all the Cohere Bandwidth updates about future shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins for musicians.

 

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Pre-Paradise with Post Paradise

Post Paradise

 

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

I’m continually surprised at how much I learn with each band research field trip. On Wednesday Julie and I trekked out to the industrial area of Fort Collins to examine Post Paradise in pre-paradise practice conditions. Julie and I arrived a smidge early since we didn’t know where we were going. We decided that a band would likely load-in via the back door so drove around the building to the large garage doors. We were a little confused when loud mariachi music was playing out of the unit we were to be visiting. A minute later Nick, Amy, Mark and Chris showed up and quickly realized that their practice space had been double booked.  *big frowny faces*

So, a 6 pack was shared while listening to a Christian mariachi’s practice for about an hour. At 9:30pm Post Paradise rushed in and set up a surprisingly complex system with full light show in about 12 minutes.  Julie and I peppered them with 3 year old style rapid fire questions while they unpacked, plugged in and tuned up:

  • How often does a scheduling mishap happen?
  • Why are you laying out rugs on the floor?
  • How long does this usually take?
  • Why do you set up your full lights for practice?
  • Are you comfortable leaving your equipment here and sharing with a band you don’t know?
  • Do you have insurance?
  • What’s a Direct Support band at a show?
  • Why is your light making that funny sound?
  • Why do you have so many pedals?
  • Where’s the bathroom?
  • How long can you rehearse before diminishing returns set in?

We were able to stay for 2 songs before I had to get back home to the babysitter. The mariachis had also stayed behind to observe, they’re mouths agape at the incredible musicality to which they were being treated.

Julie and I make for an odd band groupie couple as we bury ourselves in our iphones to document our experience. Julie tweets, I take notes, Julie takes a picture, I upload a video to Facebook, Julie and I bow heads together to discuss how easy it would be for a band to file LLC paperwork and so on and so forth.

Julie and I drive back to Cohere and sit in the car while it’s running. It feels a little like the end of a good date. We know we have to part but don’t want to so we stall by talking about the business concerns of baby Cohere Bandwidth by the light of my headlights reflecting off the building. I kind of want to make out with her–like in a I love my friend so much kind of way.

Julie and I have our 222nd date tonight to see Wire Faces, Post Paradise and A Tom Collins at Hodi’s Half Note. Wish me luck at my first intentional live music concert since 3rd grade.

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

Cohere Bandwidth: Briefly Losing Our Way-Except For Ian Who Gave Us the Map We Dropped

weiner dog in a bun

By Angel

Read all the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

My day to day life in modern housewifery is often painfully boring and filled with tedious hours over a high chair or reading the same 4 books over and over again so when we brainstormed the idea of the “Tune Truck/Breaking Band” portable RV/sound studio I got really excited as a solution for shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins. Too excited it turns out. After a brief marination period, Ian sent Julie and I the following email:
So after our meeting last Friday, I felt inspired and excited about the idea of the Tune Truck.  A few hours later I began feeling like this, in itself, is almost a completely separate business idea and am wondering the following:

  • How much is it going to cost to do this properly? (Alot)
  • How are we going to receive a return on this investment and what parameters are we measuring? Probably not $$, perhaps awareness. Is it worth it?
  • Who is going to operate it and how much will that cost? (Both for a driver and an audio engineer)
  • What musicians are going to actually feel comfortable enough to use it?  I know many musicians prepare for weeks or months before they record, and the likelihood of finding enough people on the street to record on the spot seems fairly slim.  Not to mention, the recording process for many of us is a somewhat private (and revealing) endeavor.
  • Other costs to consider: Insurance, gas, a computer, mics, cables, sound baffling, a power supply that does not create noise, security, instruments, monitors(speakers) or headphones etc…

So I’ll elaborate on what I meant about a separate business idea. If we were to retrofit an RV and turn it into a recording studio, then drive it to peoples houses and charge them to record in it – that would seem like a potentially “sound” investment.  Just my humble opinion, but if we were to raise money for something, perhaps that money should go toward the actual space for the following reasons:

  • We know we can charge people
  • All of our research is based off of that idea (not on musician acceptance to on-the-spot-recording/collaboration)
  • We could probably use all of the money we can get.  Although, I doubt we can ask for a grant from the city to start a business… I am sure you two know all about this.

OK, sorry for the lengthy email but I wanted to express my concerns in order to be transparent. If I am being a wiener about this, please tell me to shut up and I’ll move forward.  I feel that having a “collaborative space” within our rehearsal space building would potentially be both easier and much cheaper but also comes with some concerns.  I know this is my fault because I lit the fuze on this collaborative recording idea, so sorry for the wishywashiness.

To which we replied to him, “thank GAWD we have you and no, you are not a weiner.” It’s nice to know we have a more linear thinker AND a musician on our team who can bring Julie and I back from the clouds–where we often find ourselves due to our tendency to “ideate all over people” and ya know, “store documents and stuff up there.”

During a mini-coworking reunion last night Julie and I met to get the idea pendulum swinging back the other direction and member Kevin suggested we keep the location of Cohere Bandwidth a secret in order to gain maximum security. We thought this was clever so we are keeping that as a feasible idea for when we finally DO get a location–which we don’t have yet–which has been very confusing for people. We DON’T have a location for Cohere Bandwidth yet. Stay tuned, though we might not tell you where it’s located.

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Field Research Notes with Wire Faces

 Field notes

By Julie

So. We met with the musicians. We conducted two focus groups. We consumed approximately 7 pizzas, collectively (and fewer beers than you might imagine in a band session – serious business was afoot). We listened. We wrote on some giant sticky notes. We asked a lot of questions. In the end, it all boiled down to one more question: now what?

Well. Having heard from the musicians about what a successful rehearsal space would look like to them, we did our best to use our imaginations (that was fun!) and dream about what *could* be . But we needed to know more. We needed to SEE what they were dealing with NOW. Angel and I figured there was only one logical next step for us, and so … for the first time since we were teenage first-chair woodwind superstars: we were headed to band practice.

Luckily, our trusty colleague Ian is in a band . We asked him if he would mind if we visited during their next practice – after all, they’re used to the media  being all up in their (Wire) Faces. He said yes.

Wire Faces pic

Now keep in mind that Wire Faces is among the many bands in Fort Collins currently without a permanent rehearsal space to call home. Their story, while a little more blatantly terrible than most (they moved out of their last practice space last winter after having ALL their equipment stolen) is unfortunately not that unusual. They’re currently shuffling their stuff between two makeshift practice spaces: the back of the store where their drummer (Shane) works, and (Menyus) their bass player’s living room.

The store owner had to use his space this particular evening, so we got to experience a living room rehearsal. Angel picked me up (me: “fun, this feels like high school!” her: “I know, I wondered what I should wear, but then I remembered, I’m married – it doesn’t matter.”). When we pulled up to the house we knew which one it was because, well, we could hear the music — a common concern for ALL the musicians who talked to us about home practice spaces. “Sometimes our drummer doesn’t even want to practice at all, because he’s afraid he’ll piss the neighbors off,” one of the focus group musicians told us. Oddly, because Menyus lives on a fairly busy street, the noise level from outside the house is not as bad as it could be – the traffic provides a natural sound buffer for passersby. Still, the band let the neighbors know that they’d be practicing tonight (“no problem”, they were told; but, Shane says, “we don’t do this very often”). When they practice in the back of the store, they use headphones, both for recording purposes and because “there are people around – we don’t want to draw a lot of attention to ourselves.”

What we were treated to, mind you, was super-stripped down Wire Faces, with Ian and Shane using about half their equipment (Shane is minus a floor tom and all his cymbals and has no vocal microphone, or even his regular drum sticks; Ian’s using a little battery powered amp and is missing all his effects pedals. Menyus is fully equipped because it’s his living room and his stuff lives here, too). Still — Angel and I leave the house after an hour or so feeling just a little bit deaf.

Wire Faces video rehearsal

The band was gracious enough to allow us to observe, and live tweet (#coherebw) and blog from their practice and take photos and shoot video and they still managed to keep some semblance of normalcy, from what we can tell.

What we learned (or had reinforced):

  • Musicians are incredibly adaptable. Shane, for example, kept pausing between songs to fortify a “drumstick” he had fashioned out of packing tape, for sound dampening purposes
  • Coworking (with freelancers) and – as a friend called it – “coplaying” (with musicians) share some striking similarities. Intervals of introspection interspersed with conversation within the group are evident in their work process. A moment was taken to stop and nerd out a little about software (in this case, the benefits of Logic  vs. Pro Tools). And a fiercely independent sensibility – how you can learn to make something on your own and figure things out and iterate and create and try again over and over, because you’re a little obsessed about it? Reeealll familiar territory.
  • Sound and all its nuances: super important. Power – also important. Security and accessibility? Yes, please. Trust remains the watchword as we continue down this path with the bands.

So, still: now what? We think we’d like to observe a few more band practices in different spaces as nothing really beats getting a window into how musicians work and what they need (also: about halfway through, Angel realized an added benefit – we were essentially at a VIP private concert; Menyus even offered us snacks!) We’re going to continue the process of putting the people before the place[js8] . And we’re going to allow things to unfold a little more, because Angel says this feels just like what happened with the creation of Cohere. Sometimes you have to get comfortable in the fog. Because, counter-intuitive as it is, everybody knows that when you get scared and turn the brights on, you only impair your visibility.

One final note from Julie: I tried to write this in a fairly objective and clinical way because, hey, we’re analyzing. But I can say that watching these guys just cope with conditions is both profoundly inspiring and rather distressing. The band says – and I’m sure it’s true – that the constraints motivate them to get creative. I felt a little like I was bearing witness to the unbouncing of Tigger. Ugh. That feeling makes me want to work even harder to make something awesome, though, so … perhaps they have a point.

Image Credit

Cohere Bandwidth: What’s Trust Got to Do With it?

Trust

I asked Ian to write us a blog post on trust this week because we feel the topic is critical to our process/progress with Cohere Bandwidth and the larger Fort Collins music community. Nothing frustrates me more than a newb bursting on to the scene and then wondering why no one wants to hang out in their “awesome new thing.” Trust has been abused so often by theft in all its forms that we’re finding it takes awhile to gain a musician’s trust and when we do we’ll guard it closely—much like we will your equipment when we finally get our space!

By Ian Haygood

Song: Truth by Alexander Ebert

“You Can’t Shake Hands With A Clenched Fist”

So said the late Indira Gandhi, third Prime Minister of India.   Her words resonate for me specifically because of my experiences as a musician.  Typically, trust is not at the forefront of a musician’s mind during the preliminary stages of creative collaboration.  Instead, the quest to concoct a unique, compelling mix of creativity and talent acts as a catalyst for progress.  Subsequently, many of us get burned.  More often than not, young musicians are very trusting, even naïve at times; especially when it comes to things like contracts or parking the van on the wrong street.   This mindset can act as a “blinder” from a variety of threats: both internal and external.  On the other hand, more experienced, touring musicians have had enough negative experiences to fuel a sense of distrust.  Many of us have been ripped off by a club owner, some of us have been robbed by even our closest friends or bandmates, and don’t get me started on what I like to call interband copulation.

 

So why do we keep putting ourselves in these potentially vulnerable situations? I am sure it is partially due to our innate love of “the ride”, but mostly we are searching for truth.  That is why I have chosen Truth by Alexander to accompany this post.  It is very difficult to shake our past experiences, for they have become an integral part of our personalities.  Although this is somewhat inevitable, we continue to search for truth in each other, in words, in the past, present and future. Music, to some of us, is the only truth.  Which is why we feel we’ve found it while we are creating it.   At this point everything else becomes secondary or tertiary. However, trust is the foundation of relationships and therefore the foundation of a band’s success (not everyone can get by with a Pete Doherty in the band).  Moreover, a band’s success is dependent on the support of said band’s local community.  If you don’t think so, I am afraid you may be mistaken.  Even the Beatles needed it.  As the great Cesar Chavez once said, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

 

Unfortunately, we cannot predict if someone is untrustworthy, we can only surmise a group or individual’s intentions based on shared experience, hearsay or “gut feel”.   This process is done on an individual level.  So you tell us. How do you know you can trust someone?  How can you know someone is trustworthy until you trust him or her first?  How do we progress as individuals and as a community without trust?

image credit

Cohere Bandwidth: Survey Results for Shared Rehearsal Space

Will Work For Bandwidth

Read all of the past Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

The survey is closed and we had a great response from the community. I’m going to channel my inner grad-student and go all scholarly on you. Hang on to your vintage hats.

ONE BILLION people were asked to complete a survey about their current conditions and preferences for potential shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins, Colorado. Responses were requested via email, Facebook and Twitter. We requested that respondents be “in a band” or “a musician” in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The goal of the survey was to find out the current reality for musicians and their rehearsal spaces including satisfaction and cost. We also wanted to gather preliminary data on importance of common rehearsal space amenities, location and to find people to participate in focus groups.

63 musicians completed the online survey. Click on any of the graphs to see larger images.

The average age of those who took the survey was 32 years. The youngest was 18, the oldest; 52.

Surprisingly, the majority of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied (32 total) with their current rehearsal space. Based on our initial talks with band members, we assumed that there would be FAR more unsatisfied rehearse-ers. 20 respondents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their current space.

How Satisfied

We also really need to know how much people are paying for their rehearsal space. The vast majority pay NOTHING. We assume that this means they are rehearsing at home. <—-this sounds familiar. Freelancers, anyone? A shortcoming of our research is that we can’t correlate satisfaction with how much they pay. Right now we assume that those who pay the most are the most satisfied but this is an excellent focus group topic to find out more.

Per month fee for space
We never want to assume that people want to share. Especially when thousands of dollars of band equipment is in the equation. So we asked. To our delight, 78% of the musicians we surveyed are willing to share. Sharing FTW.

Would you share
It’s often not terribly important to get hung up on physical amenities this early in the process BUT with the recent thefts of band equipment we knew we needed to at least ask about security. We also heard that many people rehearse without a bathroom (yikes), heat (brrrr) or soundproofing (sorry neighbors). We researched a bunch of other shared rehearsal spaces online and tossed in some of their common amenities (vending machines) just to see what would happen.

Security, clean electrical, cost and locked storage won. Vending machines failed miserably as did discounts to business services and having an included PA in the space. We’ll dig more in to these things in the focus groups.
Amenities

It was important to communicate how different the price of real estate is in different parts of our town. We indicated this in our survey by using dollar signs. The Mulberry/Industrial area is the most affordable and this got the majority of responses followed by the Old Town as the most expensive area. This leads me to believe that we might have two very different groups of musicians in our group. It will be important to delve further in to this topic at the focus groups.

Location

 

Conclusion: we are stoked. The focus groups are set up and Ian is taking RSVPs from those survey respondents who expressed interest. BTW, 60% of people who took the survey gave us their email addresses which we think is very, very neat.

Read all of the Cohere Bandwidth updates here.

And another shout out to our awesome and generous focus group pizza sponsors. Visit their websites today. Did I mention that they are all Independent business owners in our town? Yeah. They’re cool like that. Oh, they are ALL either current or alumni members of Cohere. How fucking sweet is that?!

Amanda Miller, The Place Setting Company

Molly Hoff, The Freelance Bean Counter

Carson Block, Consultant and Edgewater Juke

image credits: Angel Kwiatkowski

 

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Focusing in Fort Collins

Focus Groups

Things have slowed down a bit this week as we closed the survey with over 60 responses and planned the dates for the focus groups. We had a great response to our call for donations and would like to give a ceremonial VIP ALL ACCESS PASS to the following music friends:

Amanda Miller, The Place Setting Company

Molly Hoff, The Freelance Bean Counter

Carson Block, Consultant and Edgewater Juke

Focus Groups are being held:

  • May 2nd at 4:00pm
  • May 8th at 7:00pm

We will be providing free beer and free pizza for all attendees thanks to the above sponsors!  Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have and let me know which of these two dates works best for you.  PLEASE RSVP to Ian by April 17th.

And now I will leave you with this largely uninformational yet fun chat that Julie and I had about thigh highs, sea horses and break-away mom jeans as well as a small joke at Ian’s expense which only he will get…

me: I am stir crazy/snowed in.
8:09 PM Julie: Don’t go all The Shining on your baby
 me: I think the husband  sensed something and came home early from work today so everyone is alive and the axes have been locked away.
 Julie: Excellent.
  I have been out more than I wanted to be. I’m on my third pair of wool socks.
8:10 PM me: yowza  they last longer if you wear shoes.
 Julie: I thought I might have to kill someone while dragging the trash cans to the “curb”.
  All the snow comes in through your boot tops when it’s up to your thighs.
8:11 PM BUT. I’m home now. Still working but in warm sweatpants
 me: In this case, thigh-high isn’t as sexy as it should be.
 Julie: Srsly
  So. I think we need to set a time to think about focus group questions but I can’t remember whether we have or when or what or who
  I need FOCUS so bad it hurts
8:12 PM me: we haven’t
  I think I need to analyze before that happens. I’m way behind due to the nanny not coming in today.
 Julie: OH, right. Anal.Ysis.
  But, you can’t analyze until survey closes which is … Friday?
8:13 PM me: I believe so. I analyze next week. It won’t be hard at all to come up with focus group questions. I HAVE actually done this part before!
 Julie: Oh, thank Gawd. I keep forgetting that it’s not your first rodeo. Just mine.
  And I hate horses, did I ever tell you that?
me: we need a metaphor for us two.
8:14 PM I’m blind, you’re in wet socks? I got nothing.
 Julie: Hmmm.
  I’m sure there is something.
8:15 PM me: How can you hate horses? What about sea horses?
 Julie: I LOVE sea horses. ALOT.
  Actual horses are large and high-strung and bug me
  In metaphor land: if this were a band, I feel I would be the tambourine player.
8:16 PM Largely decorative, with no real purpose, but enthusiastic and hopefully, someone that inspires the crowd to clap along or something
  You and Ian are the actual experts
8:17 PM Julie: Cowbell requires far more confidence
me: At best, I feel like the guy in a wrestling match who does the LET”S GET READY TO RUMBBBBBBBBBBLLLLLLLEEEEEEE thing.
  and then steps back to safety while shit gets real.
8:18 PM Julie: Except: you also spring off the ropes back into the ring when you remember that you really DO know the things
8:19 PM me: I would like to be wearing some sort of breakaway pants in our metaphor. Maybe I pull off my mom jeans and underneath are skinny black pants or something.
 Julie: THAT. just made me laugh out loud
  Like the pants that are so skinny the get stuck on your calf if you itch your leg?
  (that was hilarious)<—-joke
8:20 PM me: OMG, yes. OMG. YES.
 Julie: These are the dangers of cool.
8:21 PM That’s why I go back to the tambourine. I’m pretty sure that just requires a twirly skirt, maybe some clogs
 me: clogs that squeak? check.
 Julie: I love this zany chat; it’s just what I needed.
Julie: Got it. Will do!
8:37 PM me: Nighty night!
  Can I be the wolf tonight? Warmer fur?
 Julie: Of course. I’ll be Michele Pfeiffer. No fur or fat. Sounds neat
  xo

image credit

Cohere Bandwidth: People Before Place

Field of Dreams

No Place <<<— here is your local song of the week by The Holler!

Unless you like baseball and see ghosts and live on a farm you are unlikely to find success building a collaborative shared space without a robust community in place. I see coworking spaces struggle when they believe that, “if you build it, they will come.” A better matra for fledgling community efforts would be, “we will build it as we grow (and we don’t really need a physical space right now or ever).”

Removing your attachment to finding a physical space is really, really hard. We’re conditioned to look for A PLACE for ourselves at every turn: your first bedroom, treehouse, dorm room, first apartment, house, office building, coffee shop. People like containers that house things. It’s natural but hella hard to remember when we get a call about every 6 hours from somebody claiming that they’ve been wanting to start a shared rehearsal space and already have a building etc etc.

We could easily fall in to the trap of finding a “great” space that works for US (us being Julie, Ian and me) but as Julie constantly reminds us, “are we putting the musicians first?” Afterall, the space isn’t about US, it’s about THEM and until THEY tell US what THEY need, we have no business looking at buildings for THEM, WITHOUT THEM. I’ll stop shouting at you now. If you want more detail on this please buy the ebook I co-authored about the importance of people before place.

Here are the other less philosophical things that happened this week.

  • We continue survey deployment and have already exceeded our goal of 50 respondants! Woohoo. This means we can start analysis sooner than we thought.
  • Focus group planning is in the works. Ian is gathering email addresses and checking dates/times.
  • We need 10 pizza/beer sponsors to keep everyone lively at the focus groups. If you feel inspired by this project and can spare $20 please email Angel at fccoworking@gmail.com.
  • Julie and I haven’t had our zany weekly chat yet but we have pancakes tomorrow so I’ll let you know if any hilarity ensues.

Bookmark this link to see all the Cohere Bandwidth updates together. http://coherecommunity.com/blog/tag/cohere-bandwidth

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Cohere Bandwidth: Widely Announced, Lovingly Received

Cohere Bandwidth Love

Telling you everything is a lot of work–but worth it. Here’s what has happened this week. Catch up with last week’s post.

Last Wednesday Julie invited me to a meeting that the Coloradoan hosted at Avo’s to see how they could further support the local music scene. A few of the attendees were Stacy Nick, the entertainment writer for the Coloradoan, Merry from Bohemian (music events), Andrew from KRFC, Alana from Fierce Bad Rabbit, Dani with Spokesbuzz and Hans Mueller with FOCOMx. There were other attendees, don’t feel sad that I’ve not mentioned you.

I went merely to listen and see what was going on in the music scene because I already admitted that it’s a community that I don’t know at all. Throwing caution to the wind, I announced our plans to work on Cohere Bandwidth as a shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins.

Stacy requested to interview me about Cohere Bandwidth the following day, which I did, which was fun. She is nice and lovely. Meanwhile, I filled Julie in and then Julie and Ian (of Wire Faces and our helpful intern) also contributed to the story.

ALSO meanwhile, Julie and I had a late night google chat to tidy up the survey to distribute to musicians on their current reality and desires. Here are a few excerpts of our chat. We couldn’t publish the chat in its entirety because there was ALOT of swearing. ALOT. I did leave some swears in here for you. To show that even smart articulate women swear in the safety of one another’s online presence even when both parties are aware the the chat will likely be published in a blog post.

9:35 PM
me: herd. I can’t believe I’m working right now. Usually I’m watching netflix at this hour.
me: I think that Ian is going to incorrectly think that I’m some kind of shit kicker badass!
9:38 PM
Julie: Ian’s mind is getting blown this semester; he just didn’t realize how much.

Also: you are a shit kicker badass

me: I feel deeply that i need cowgirl boots. Also, I’m getting hung up on the age collection question. surveymonkey is not helpful.
9:40 PM
Julie: You don’t have cowgirl boots? That’s a travesty. If this thing fucking works, I am making it my mission to buy you cowgirl boots as a opening day bonus. You can kick the fucking front door in at christening time.

me: gently as I will have paid out the nose for that door.

Julie: 🙂

9:41 PM
me: Go in there and look at the age one. It’s going to be way time consuming to type all the dates in if we want it that granular. What if we just ask them how old they are? and they type it in? It’ll be slightly harder to analyze but I might be okay with that.

Julie: I just wanted a “select your birthdate” spinner … but age type-in is same thing, really
9:42 PM
me: there isn’t a spinner that I could find. that would be helpful

Julie: What the fuck is wrong with those people and their FREE TOOL. Assholes.

me: ah success. found the turquoise theme colors

Julie: Yes!

me: I was SO worried.

9:58 PM
Julie: Do we need to tell them in the intro who “we” are or leave that to the emails/social media postings/etc.

me: We have room for 3 more questions. Good point–that might be helpful. Then they’ll know we’re not strangers. Well, you’re not a stranger. I probably am. yes, add it.

Julie: OK.

Later, possibly the same night or early the next morning Julie sent this little wonder email to me. Any entrepreneur needs emotional fuel to keep them going and Julie provides it.

“http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-amen-md/lean-in-and-why-womens-br_b_2974570.html

Huff Post today. Naturally. With collaboration listed among the greatest strengths in the female brain.

The Estrogen Den is the new Bat Cave.” -Julie

The Coloradoan story ran Friday night online and last Saturday in print. Stacy, if you’re reading this I want to make sure that you know how absolutely lovely and well-written this story is. Never has the Coloradoan so accurately captured the spirit of one of my projects. Love. Love. Love. BAND MEMBERS: TAKE THE SURVEY PLEASE! <—-deadline is May 1st.

Within moments of the story going online, I got a phone call from Pho-Co, a local collaborative arts and recording studio and they want to talk with Julie and I about–you guessed it, collaboration. We met on Tuesday. They were really fun and we like them A LOT and their project is going to be amazing. Watch out Linden Street! THEN, I got a facebook message from Kirk Alberts offering to help out with graphic design and from Carson Block, just offering to help. Everyone has been put to work distributing the survey. Also, my friends Andrea, Kristin, Don and Christi posted nice words about the project and most importantly, my mom thinks it’s cool.

I would also field calls from Jody who has an empty building and Mike Sherry who is already on the runway with his project to bring a shared rehearsal space to south Fort Collins. Stay tuned for more on that.

In the spirit of musicality, I tasked Julie and Ian with finding a music selection for each blog post that matches the spirit of our efforts each week. I told them the theme this week is LOVE and here is your appropriately matched song by Justin Roth WITH bonus love scene footage. As you watch the video please keep this metaphor in  mind: as I have already admitted, I have no connections with the music scene in Fort Collins. The music scene seems hot and sexy to me. In this video, I AM THE BLIND GUY. Musicians, YOU are the hotty in the black lacy underwear. You will have to help me find the bed and pretty much lay right on top of me so I can find you in “the dark” but make sure you are wearing a lot of bronzer so I can smell you. Until next week.

Justin Roth

image credit: danielle scott

BAND MEMBERS: TAKE THE SURVEY PLEASE!

Cohere Bandwidth: Shared Rehearsal Space for Musicians–Or Not

Cohere-Bandwidth

I’m not even sure where to begin with this post. So I’ll just dive right in and hope that you can hang on to me as I plummet in to the depths of this announcement.

I’ve been dabbling with the idea of opening another Cohere location for over a year. We started and stopped, almost found what we needed and then my gut told me to bail late last year. It was a painful thing to let go but I knew I should wait for the next great idea to “pop.”

Last December, this POPPED.

Naturally, I would stay awake at night tossing this story around in my head-alternating between the excitement of feeling that I could contribute to the problem (lack of safe shared rehearsal space) and terror (lack of ANY knowledge of the local band scene).

Luckily, one of Cohere’s tenured members and one of my dearest friends Julie Sutter happens to know EVERYTHING about the local band scene and she GETS coworking and ME <

I broke the news to her over a pancake breakfast that I wanted to work on shared rehearsal space. She was instantly on her phone texting her music friends and getting traction for the idea. I hadn’t even swallowed my bite of food.

I’ll stop to interject that Julie has been involved with Spokesbuzz since it started helping local bands get national attention and Spokesbuzz just happens to have their world headquarters at Cohere.

The above announcement is all fine and well. New coworking spaces and their communities get announced like every 2.4 seconds these days. Nothing really fancy there. What IS fancy is that I’m going to tell you EVERYTHING about the process of building a new community AS IT HAPPENS. Yes, Beth and I wrote a couple of coworking ebooks for you about starting coworking communities but that was done AFTER we had gone through it. It’s one thing to remember how you did it and edit it down and make it consumable. It’s another thing to bring you along on the journey in real time where you can really see how complex and often joyous and painful it can be. The number one question people always ask us veterans of the coworking scene is, “how do you create community?” Well, my dear ones, watch for these blog posts to come on Fridays. Not every Friday mind you, I’m not a superhero. I’ll tell you pretty much everything that happened each week or two that will move us closer to or further away from our goal of creating a shared space and community for musicians in Fort Collins.

I say “closer to or further away from our goal” because there are 7 gabillion variables and my gut intuition that will let us know if we’re on the right path or if Cohere Bandwidth will never come to fruition. The fun part is the process. I hope you’ll join us no matter the outcome and learn something along the way.

Instagram

  • The year is 2017. Greeley is getting wailed on. #weather #nosirens #safespace #windowless #twister
  • Totes looks like a book cover. But anyway, we have A/C and we're not afraid to use it. #fortcollins #bandpractice
  • Instagram Image
  • Mainstream below: Metal above #focomusic #fortcollins #ataleoftwocities #dichotomy #playtogether #ourneighborhood #happenedoneblockapart
  • Should you rehearse at Bandwidth? #focomusic #fortcollins #bandpractice cc @catjohnsonland for the idea!
  • #thrash #fortcollins #focomusic
  • Thank you to @leapin_lizard_labels for designing/donating these chic name tags for the giant happy hour event on 6/6 at @officeevolutionfortcollins put on by fo(co)works. #coworking #alliance #focoworks #sharing #fortcollins
  • Earplugs for days.

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