Music: The beat in Breck and Keystone |

Music: The beat in Breck and Keystone

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Who: Peace Officer

When: Tonight and Saturday

Where: Snake River Saloon in Keystone

Where’d the name come from? Our previous bass player thought of it. It took us months to think of a name, and when he said it we knew it was the one.

Home base: Fort Collins.

Type of music: We call it dub hop. It’s hip-hop with reggae and dubstep influenced beats. When we play mountain town shows, we generally play for up to four hours, so we add a lot of straight up dub to the set, featuring the sweet voice of our singer, J-schugs, also known as Sugar.

If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? It would be the Band-aid your mom put on your knee when you were 6.

Why do people love ya? We’re both intelligent and attractive. What’s not to love? Resistance is futile. And our set is as much fun as you can have without breaking the law, which you are welcome to do after the show, as long as it’s not in the club.

How do you keep it fresh? We incorporate live samples into our set and thereby continually update and refine our sound. With this we try to make every song as unique as possible.

Who: Zen Mustache

When: Saturday

Where: The Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s Benefit Bash at The Riverwalk Center in Breck

Where’d the come from? Story No. 1: That’s up for debate. We had our first paying show scheduled before we even had a band name (also before Kyle and Ted joined the band). So, we started an e-mail chain, just throwing out potential names. The major criteria were that it was original (i.e. – the domain name would be available. There wouldn’t be a “New Originals” situation) and memorable. We weren’t really worried that anyone liked it. We just wanted to be sure they knew it. Somewhere in that process, Zen Mustache appeared. Personally, I simultaneously think it is completely ridiculous and pure genius. Story No. 2: Mushrooms.

Home base: Boulder and Denver.

Type of music: It’s fair to call us a rock/jam band, I guess. We have a lot of funk, bluegrass, reggae, prog rock, even grunge influences, though. More than anything, we’re a live band. It’s all about the show.

If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? A perpetual motion machine. Our drummer is building one. He found the plans on the internet. He swears that the big oil companies have been hiding the technology for decades. Just smile and nod. It’s the safest strategy …

Why do people love ya? We work very hard to build the quickly growing community that is “The ‘Stache.” We always try to share with our fans the immense joy that we get as a band from playing our music. We figure if they have even half the fun we do, they’ll be back – and they’ll bring friends. So far, that’s been the case.

How do you keep it fresh? We try to bring something unique and different to the stage for every show. This includes things like changing up the set list from night to night, constantly writing/learning new songs, switching instruments mid-song, improving every aspect of the production (sound, lights, guest musicians), and ruthlessly pushing each other to new heights whenever we play. We all have a healthy competitive streak that never allows anyone to be complacent.

Who: The Ragbirds

When: Wednesday

Where: three20south, Breck

Where’d the name come from? I (Erin, lead singer and songwriter) use a lot of bird imagery in my art and poetry, so I started my brainstorm with an attraction to birds. I wanted to convey something that was patched together, humble, homemade and yet still had the capability for flight. The “Ragbird” image came out of that brainstorm.

Home base: Ann Arbor, Mich.

Type of music you play/who are you? We call our music “infectious global groove,” which means something like folk-rock with world music influence. We utilize sounds and musical styles from all over the world, including Celtic, African, Gypsy and Latin music, and we bring it into our Americana world. The result is something very danceable and unique with a female lead vocal, fiddle, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitar, bass and lots of percussion.

If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? A passport, because it gives our listeners access to so many far away places and is still very personal.

Why do people love ya? People often say they are attracted to the joy we radiate on stage. We jump around and have a fun time. I think people in general are also over-saturated to the point of boredom, and they’re really looking for something different. We keep them entertained – we’re always changing things up.

How do you keep it fresh? Some of our songs have an improvisational element to them, so we have the opportunity to create a new experience each night. Since we play so many different styles in our show, it is hard to get bored with it – even for us. We play over 150 shows a year and we try to make different set lists each night, mixing our old and new songs together, along with a few covers and some traditional songs from other countries.

Who: Digital Beat Down

When: Thursday

Where: three20south, Breck

Where’d the name come from? We were throwing around a bunch of different ideas, but ultimately we knew we wanted something with “beat” in the name. We tried out every possible combination of the word “beat,” including just “Beat Down,” but it was still missing something. Then we realized we were playing live electronica and put “Digital” in front of “Beat Down” and Digital Beat Down was born.

Home base: Denver.

Who are you? We are a live looping electronica duo that consists of Andrew Lubner, who lays down live drums and triggers samples, and Nick Pilz, who warps the synths, samples, and loop pedal. We play whompy funky high energy electronic dance music fused with the essential elements of rock ‘n’ roll.

If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? Legos: Because we are constantly playing with sound-colored building blocks to form our multilayered Digital Spaceship that takes you to your own personal fantasy Lego Land.

Why do people love ya? Because we throw it down tough, always play different sets, improvise, and bring a filthy disco house party vibe everywhere we play.

How do you keep it fresh? By constantly creating new music, watching other bands, listening and trusting our intuition to take the music to new places.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done/weirdest experience? The craziest thing we’ve done as a band is playing at the base of A-Basin late last April expecting a typical day at “the Beach” and getting dumped on with 18 inches of fresh pow. We shoveled out our spot, hooked up the generator, and played for four hours while our friends listened to us from the lifts and partied at the “Beach.” It was definitely unlike any other show we have played in our lives.

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