Turkey Coops Shut Down by Larimer County

turkey fu

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).

2012-12-28 21.23.55

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.

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?

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

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