Meow Wolf: Sometimes Epic Adventures Involve Cats & Dogs & Itchy-O

 

So readers, your dear Funky went on a pretty darn amazing, life-altering, trip at the end of March. I found another local band to love, and I followed them all the way down to Santa Fe, New Mexico just to see them play in the infamous (in my crowd) Meow Wolf. Looking back at my own stories, I am very surprised to see that I have yet to discuss the band, Itchy-O….SHAME ON ME!!

Itchy-O is an experience. Whether you are trying to just listen to them, or looking them up online, or you are actually there, you will never be really ready for what you are about to encounter. The way that I describe them, is, “They’re a marching band on crack…and acid.” To put it another way, they are like a marching band on steroids, and their vibe is cerebral, to say the least. There are about forty members in the band, and every single one of them wears a mask–complete anonymity. (I happen to now know several members of the band–they have been unmasked–but I am not allowed to publicly mention their names, haha.) The main instruments are drums and computer-generation-manipulation of sounds. Most of the band members invade the crowd, their “instruments” being mobile–some carrying their drums like on-the-front backpacks, others with a “table” strapped to their chests to hold their laptops and giant amplifying speakers on their backs–or just being creepy wraith-esque figures dancing/ crawling/ disturbingly still tucked in a corner to startle you. The only exception to the rule of them all infiltrating the crowd are those with the BIG drums–they are usually on the stage or somewhere where they can be the central focus.

I have been to several Itchy-O concerts….you could say that I am something of a groupie, hahaha! And the show never gets old, honestly. My favorite part? When you suddenly stop being an individual and become part of the whole. It was rather startling the first time! I mean, if you have read any of my blogs, then you know that I am a dark, proud, daring individual; I like being able to stand out from the crowd. But an Itchy-O concert is different…

It really is hard to explain, but the best similarity I can think of is how a crowd feels during a ceremonial practice. I know, I know…there aren’t a lot of those in our mainstream world anymore, so look it up, haha. Check out the Maasai Adumu Ceremony (don’t forget that I work at a museum, hahaha!). Anyway, there comes a moment during an Itchy-O concert where the individual ceases to exist. You form one consciousness, move together as one–feel every soul and molecule of energy converge into one giant seething mass of feel-good unity. It’s breathtaking!

Although no mere words could ever be enough to truly capture the experience that is Itchy-O, lets move on to Meow Wolf…where again, no mere words could ever be enough to adequately describe that experience.

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Meow Wolf is an “art-collective”, nestled in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to Wikipedia, it was established in 2008 by a collection of artists who desired to provide their city with a unique art house and music venue. But I did not know any of this when I headed down there, so let me attempt to explain the experience in my own words, while still keeping the mystery alive enough that you all will have to venture down there yourselves, without any spoilers…

I will start at the beginning: I woke up the morning I was supposed to leave for my trip, to my brother panicking that he couldn’t get out of the driveway because of snow! What? I admit it, I was stressed TFO! Well not to mention that up until that point, I was dealing with my father’s health issues, I had gotten into that age-old trap of being annoyed and complaining about my job and therefore hating it, and “The One” (see https://funkylollipop.com/2016/08/11/can-i-read-my-book-please/) came back and left twice since November and this last breakup was over the trip to Meow Wolf–so yeah, you could say I was very close to a breakdown, haha! In any case, the panicked wake up call started the day off bad, and then an insensitive text from my brother’s boss to my brother, but recieved on my phone because his phone doesn’t work at our house, sent me over the edge! Basically, I responded rather harshly and then immediately apologized (in a mean way) but my brother’s boss must be an amazing person because he felt that I “seemed stressed”, so he bought me a giant bottle of wine and made my brother promise to make sure I had a great weekend. This, of course, made me bawl like a baby, lbvs! So from that moment on, I promised myself that I was going to do just that–have a great stress free weekend.

By the afternoon the snow had cleared up completely–yay Colorado! So, four people and a dog left Colorado around 10:00 Friday evening, in a nice little rental car, because all of us drive older cars that we do not trust to take out of state, haha! We headed south, (I left my stress and pain at the Colorado State line) and after a few–sometimes questionable–rest stops, we made it to our buddy’s hotel room at around 4:00 am Saturday morning, in Santa Fe, NM. We had a lovely two-bed room, and five people and a Scruffy to sleep in it. I got to share a bed with only one other person (who happened to be a handsome fellow) and the dog, so I was happy.

The next day we went to lunch at a vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant for our newly vegan boy (it was yummy, haha, even though I still had meat.) Then half of us went to peruse the random shops, while the boys and the dog went to sniff out that skate park! (I found an awesome shop called “Mira’s” but it might as well have been named “Rachel’s” it was so perfect.) Around five, we met back at the hotel to greet the three new-comers who would bring our hotel-room occupants total up to eight people and a dog!! Talk about a packed house! Thankfully, these three brought an air mattress for them to share, hahaha!

The best part was that our hotel was within walking distance of Meow Wolf, so I dug into that gifted bottle of wine, before we headed down. We showed up a little bit early, so we could traverse the venue…but little did we know, we could have come as soon as they opened, and still would not have enough time to catch it all.

Built in an old bowling ally, Meow Wolf is vast and full of mystery. Around every corner, in every nook and cranny, through every hidden fireplace and cupboard under the stairs, a new wonder waits to be discovered. Even the bathrooms were a place of fantasy and visual excitement. Several worlds merge into one under the high warehouse-esque ceilings, and stepping over the threshold imbibes in you the sheer joy and innocence of a child on a Wonderland adventure.

Then you add Itchy-O, and you suddenly have a heady mix of mystique and euphoria.

At one point, one of our buddies had a bit too much fun, and we lost him. What could have been a major bummer that we were missing some of the show, ended up being a blessing in disguise, since the hidden recesses of Meow Wolf were abandoned for the Itchy-O show in the center. We discovered rooms that we had missed in our quick inspection before the show. My favorite room, of course, was the Eyeball Room, in which singular orbs of every size and description graced the surface of the rounded cave-like room. But that wasn’t all to see….

The amazing night ended, and we all trooped back to the hotel, and we found our lost friend soon thereafter, so everything was good. After a quick dip in the pool with some fellow Colorado pals and customers at the same hotel, we all went to bed. Eight people and a Scruff, two beds and an air mattress–one big happy family.

After a scattered morning, the eight of us (and a Scruff), left in our respective vehicles, to head home. We stopped for a quick bite at an Indian vegan restaurant (yes, readers, I ate a meal without meat…), then got back on I-25 for the long trip home. This time, I was the one who drove first (I did drive about an hour in the wee hours of Saturday morn), because my car-mates had a little bit more fun than I did, haha, so they all fell asleep, leaving me to enjoy the drive by myself. Which I certainly did, for it had been a very long time since I’d had that much time to think all to myself. Deciding I was happy driving, I drove the whole eight hours, while they mostly slept.

I had several epiphanies on that drive. Again, if you have read any of my blogs, then you know that I am very capable of dark, painful thoughts. I’ve seen some things in my lifetime that have left me sad and fairly broken. But I have also always said, “Everything happens for a reason.” Well, either I believe that theory, or I don’t. If I do–and for sanity’s sake I think I better–then every single bad experience was meant to be, meant for me. Lessons learned, life taught….every death, every bad relationship….was meant for me to make me who I am.

For example, all of the breakups with The One–meant to be. I had buried my heart in anger, after my mom died. He was the one who helped me find it again. (“It does exist!”) I didn’t know how much I actually wasn’t feeling. I mean, I know I love my friends, and I enjoy all the good times that we have–but I wasn’t actually feeling it. It was like a facade, window dressing on an abandoned building. And what would it take to break through my healthy coating of anger? Love and pain, of course! I cannot fault him for anything though. Once I left the pain on the state border, all I was left with is love, and that is what I brought back with me from Santa Fe. Love–love that actually hurts with it’s severity and sincerity–for everyone and everything. Even my anger at “the powers that be” has left me. It also made me realize how scared I actually was. I have been on a lifelong search for love, but it scares the heck out of me, and it always has. For to love, you become vulnerable to that person–the absence of their love can hurt you. Death is an old family friend, and he comes often for a visit. Because this is what I know, my impatience to start living the “happily ever after, ” is expounded! So I have the impatience, but I am terrified of loving someone, so I don’t actually tell them, but then I have ridiculous expectations in which they must live up to. *Sigh* I had no idea I was so confusing, lbvs!

The moral of the story is….sometimes adventures are weird from the get go. Itchy-O = Weird, Meow Wolf = Weird. Itchy-0 + Meow Wolf = Best Weirdness of Your Life!! And sometimes beauty is born out of that weirdness…life-altering beauty.

I had such an amazing trip, and I strongly suggest visiting Meow Wolf and witnessing Itchy-O live. It will be something you cannot forget.

 

Carpe Adventure: Let’s Take A TripLip Down Memory Lane…Sometimes Adventure Involves Amazing Hair

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from their FB

The first time I saw the current members of TripLip, Kevin and Pat, they were members of a different band, and they were playing at the Kacey Jones Pavilion in our little hometown. These boys were still in high school, and I…well I was not, hahaha! But I could already see the budding talent.

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Several years later, I saw them again, just the two of them, and they were jamming under the name of Judge DDrugs. Thistriplip001 time, I really paid attention! We were at a dive bar, fondly dubbed BarBar (probably not the name of the bar now) in Downtown Denver, Colorado. Instantly I was intrigued as these two oddly handsome fellows with AMAZING hair, took the “stage” (which was on the same level as everyone else–basically they took the corner of the room); one picking up a bass, the other climbing behind the set of drums. Before this, I had only ever seen one other band with this set up–a bass and some drums–and that was Red VS Black, another infamous group in my small town. Clay, the bassist for Red VS Black, was the first one to really make me take notice of the bass as an integral part of a band (as I mentioned in the blog about Facial)–I was honestly and superficially amazingly impressed by Clay’s arm muscles; takes a lot to play a bass that well and thoroughly, hahaha! (The drummer for Red VS Black is pictured above as the drummer for Pat and Kevin’s previous band. His name is Sam Tallent, and he is an accomplished comedian. Definitely look him up–he has even worked with the amazing T.J. Miller!)

But with Judge DDrugs, aka TripLip, it was the hair I noticed first, hahaha! This “experimental progressive” rock band was sporting some locks that would make Brett Michaels jealous! And I was in love, hahaha!!

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I am now a full-fledged fan, but I still have the boy-band-groupie love that revolves solely around their hair! I cannot explain enough how upset I was when Pat cut his off, hahaha!!triplip025 triplip023 triplip015

I have known them as TripLip for longer than Judge DDrugs, and I have seen TripLip play many times. In fact, when my photo gathering for this blog started to head towards triplip040, I had to back off. These two are my absolute favorite band members to photograph (again, because of the hair, hahaha!). Also, the faces that they make. Even if this is not the type of music that you enjoy listening to, I guarantee that you will totally enjoy watching them!!

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triplip019Pat is the man to know when it comes to going anywhere musically. He has been thetriplip021 frontrunner in every Mile High Festibowl–the main guy who sets up the locations, sets up the bands….he is just phenomenal. He is also a really nice guy! He has personally made me feel so special and needed at his shows. Although he is capable of playing other instruments, I really love watching him on the drums. No matter what band he is playing in (there happens to be quite a few), from heavy metal, or experimental progressive, to surf rock, to a little bit of a Macklemore vibe (sorry Preston, hahaha! I know you dislike that reference), he is crazy good! Pat is consistently maintaining a connection with both the fans and his fellow band mates. Pat lets you know that he sees you, and he appreciates that you are there. And he is an outstanding drummer! He puts his all into drumming–forces you to notice that he is there, hahaha! You never forget about the drummer when he is around! And he makes the best faces ever!!!triplip006triplip022

Kevin….what can I say about Kevin….hahaha! Just kidding! I would call Kevin “the Mouth!!” Not triplip028only does he possess one of the biggest orifices that I have ever seen, he is also super loud!! Kevin is always in the triplip027crowd while the other bands are playing, and one can easily hear his “Yip! Yip!” above any noise, as he shows his support for his fellow musicians. He is also in the crowd while playing, hahaha. He has a really long cord and super supportive fans who never let him get tangled. In addition to being a bassist, Kevin is also the lead singer. Yes, most of the lyrics are screamed at you, but he has such an interesting and identifiable voice, you can’t help but enjoy it. And his bass skills….I will really dive into it in a later post, but I recently went to a TripLip concert at the Lion’s Lair on the 17th, and, unfortunately, Pat could not attend. Instead of cancelling the show, Kevin decided to do it solo. Honestly, I was like, “Really? How is a bassist alone going to entertain this crowd?” Man, did he make me feel guilty for even doubting him!! Keven went up there with a bass and a looper pedal (unsure if that was the technical term for that particular piece of equipment, I’m mainly a photographer, hahaha!), and blew my effing mind!! This guy had the entire audience enthralled. He didn’t sing or anything like that; he just played every inch of that instrument–strumming, plucking. taking a tour of the entire neck of the thing–forearm muscles moving and bulging and veining the whole way. This huge-mouthed, loud, long-haired rebel is a beast on that thing! Truly talented!

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from their FB

TripLip just got back from a national tour. Sure, they packed a bunch of dudes in a van, as opposed to a spiffy tour-bus, but they still received great reviews and got to play with some sweet bands–like Daikaiju (so amazing!), Giraffes? Giraffes! (so talented!), Snail Mate (just saw them and I love them!), Lucida Tella (awesome), and many many more–from Colorado to Louisiana to Buffalo, New York, these boys have been all over!!

Richard Ingersoll, a former member of Cosmic Sound Child (mentioned in Facial), is a phenomenal guitarist and an absolutely jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring artist, sometimes joins the two for shows here in Colorado, and on tour.

from their FB, with Richard

from their FB, with Richard

Recently, TripLip has begun to wear masks during their performances, but due to an unfortunate accident with my harddrive, pictures for these amazing occasions are not available. But I do have several videos, the link to one of which, is listed below.

I strongly suggest to never limit your musical tastes, or let appearances detour you from attending an event, because you could miss out on some phenomenal talent! Again, I was a boy-bander. Pop music is my thing. Slowly, rock filtered in during high school, then a little rap and R&B. But it was not until I was 21 that my musical tastes exploded! If you would have asked me at 15 if I would go to a punk concert, the answer would have been a huge N-O. But my “brothers” needed a ride to Antiflag and The Casualties, and I was it. I treasure that concert because it brought me to where I am now–surrounded by a vast array of amazingly talented musicians. I can now say I love punk, math rock, surf rock, screamo, emo, and even a bit of dubstep (Shout out to DJ Thumper and DeadHand!!!). Carpe Adventure, people. And the very best thing? The people. Those dirty, scrouty punks are the best. They will pick you up when you fall, they will accept you as you are, if you are good to them they will go out of their way to be good to you….let’s just say that, if you get kicked out of a punk concert, you 100% deserve it, because you are a….jerk, yeah, let’s go with that, hahaha, a JERK! I mean, I still listen to “horrible music” on my own time, I rarely rock anything of these bands when they’re not in front of my face, but I find I am hard-pressed to turn down a TripLip concert!!! Good people, good vibe, good music, talented artists, and very very entertaining performance!

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So keep an eye out for TripLip!! They very well could be playing at a dive near you sometime soon!!

Watch their YouTube video, TripLip at Pho Cao: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0E7YZon9sc

Listen to their album: http://triplipdenver.bandcamp.com/

Check out their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TripLip-160031120718417

To check out their masked look, here is a decent video I shot (I am short and pliable, so it is shaky, hahaha!) at the Armory, Festibowl 2015: https://www.facebook.com/rachel.campbell.71271/videos/1132047610155001/

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from their FB

*all other photos were taken by me! 🙂

Getting a Facial with “Math Rock”–Sometimes Adventure Involves Math

Math Rock, you say? What in the world is “Math Rock?” Is that some newfangled lingo you youngin’s have come up with to try and make math cool? Well, I do approve of that…

According to Wikipedia, Math Rock is defined as:

  • Math rock is a rhythmically complex, often guitar-based, style of experimental rock and indie rock music that emerged in the late 1980s, influenced by progressive rock bands like King Crimson and 20th century minimalist composers such as Steve Reich.

I assure you, I giggled the first time I heard the expression “Math Rock” because I was sure that it was a reference to Adventure Time–a show that my young adult brother was obsessed with. When asked, my brother defined it as, “making music with math equations.” I’m still unsure what that means, but I was simply excited to give this new genre a whirl! It turns out that math rock is just really really cool rock music!

(The following pictures came from their website)

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The band Facial, is currently my math rock obsession. Its members include Joe Hatfield on guitar, Alex Norrel on drums, and Ethan Evanchek on bass. I do admit to some bias where its members are concerned, seeing as I have known Joe and Alex long enough and well enough to claim them as “brothers,” and have been impressed with Ethan for at least five years, having seen his spectacular bassist skills in several other bands. Prior to Facial, Joe and Ethan were members of Cosmic Sound Child–which is the band that really made me take notice of the drummers and bassist, and appreciate the necessary impact that they provide to any band! When I first witnessed Cosmic Sound Child play, I cried! Hahaha! I honestly did. I was devastated when they broke up, my sunny skies instantly turning a stormy cloudy gray. But a ray of hope burst through that cloud cover when I heard about Facial!

(The following pictures I have taken at their concerts)

facial010See, Joe has been a musical staple in our small country town. He is the go-to-guy for anything music related. Writing, performing, recording, filming, and producing, Joe is your man. And if you need a drummer? You better call Joe. In fact, I had seen him as a drummer so many times, that I was actually astounded the first time I heard him play the guitar–He is flipping amazing!!! It was literally a jaw-drop moment to see him run those magic-fingers up and down those struts! Wow, that sounded, ah, interesting, hahaha! Seriously though, it was fan-fricking-tastic!! Then to find out he could play other instruments too? Well, Joe, you might as well add yourself to the “Coolest-People-I-Know” list right now. Add in that he is highly intelligent, insanely deep, generous, kind, open-minded, nonjudgmental, and a superb conversationalist, and you have an outstanding specimen for a great human being!

I have known Alex almost as long as I have known Joe. I always kind of paired them together, because they were so similar infacial009 temperament. Intelligent, deep, philosophical, strong-willed, and just plain strong–he is another of my most favorite people. My friend and I fondly dubbed him “Alex the Great”–the great hugger! He was still in high school when I met him, but he towered over me even then, and he grew taller still. When I first saw Alex behind a set of drums, it was at an impromptu musical night at a random gathering. I was instantly impressed. Out of all my “brothers,” (besides my real brother) he was the only one that was not in the punk band, Ha Ha Hooligans–the band that got me into the Elizabeth music scene to begin with–so I had no idea he could even play! He surprised me again that night, by picking up an adorable strawberry-shaped guitar, and was a perfect participant to one of my all-time favorite memories where several of us sat in a close circle and played/sang Santeria, by Sublime.

facial013That was also the night I met Ethan–or at least the first time I remembered Ethan. Concerts at Kasey Jones Park were usually dark, loud, and wild–high school boys in a mosh pit?? And being the older sister, I tended to hide on the sidelines, hahaha! However, it was not until Cosmic Sound Child that I fell in love with Ethan! It was he who helped me to appreciate the bassist. In fact, until I heard Red vs Black–an amazing two-person band with a bassist/singer and a drummer/singer–I honestly did not really notice the bass. Once I saw Ethan, though….the bass is an integral and necessary component of the band! It is absolutely amazing the sounds that the bass can create. Both Cosmic Sound Child and Facial could not be as amazing as they were/are without Ethan.

It was the Mile High Festibowl, 2013, down at the aforementioned Mouth House (the best form of insanity!!), when I facial006witnessed Facial play together for the first time….and it was magical. I cannot find the words to describe the music…intricate? Complicated? Phenomenal? There are not any lyrics, but your body responds as if there are. Happy, sad, the chaos that infuses the brain in high school…you can feel all of these through the music. There is no need for words. I have seen them several times since–I try not to miss a concert. If I know about it, and my old-man car is happy, I am totally there! I once described them as, “Mars Volta meets The Grateful Dead, on crack.” You have the astounding intricacy of Mars Volta, with the jam power of the Grateful Dead, multiplied by 100, hahahaha!

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Now, being a girl of the 90’s, I am, unfortunately hahaha, a boy-bander. So talent, to me, could easily just be a pretty face (although I will vehemently defend that most of the boy-bands of the 90’s had pretty faces, sweet voices, and amazing dance moves!), at least that is the view point that most have towards a former boy-bander. However, my adult life has been saturated with all sorts of musical influences–that I would have never found on my own–and I have been drenched in punk, indie, screamo, emo, metal, math-rock, surf-rock, and whatever other term they use to differentiate the technical nuances that delineate the various genres–I am fully soused, hahahaha! But Facial is my favorite! They don’t need a ridiculously handsome front man–although they are all studs in my book–a sexy lead vocal, or some sweet poppin’ and lockin’ dance moves to be anything more than what they are, which is simply sensational.

I fully recommend checking them out! I have included several links, but if you cannot see them in person, definitely listen to them on bandcamp!

Watch them perform at the Armory in Denver, Colorado, via YouTube:

Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FacialMusic

And listen to their music: http://facial.bandcamp.com/

The Mouth House: Sometimes an Adventure Looks Insane!!

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What would you say if someone invited you to a show in some random house in Denver? If they told you that you should probably bring your own toilet paper and sanitary wipes? If there were at least 13 people actually living inside of this music venue? Well I would hope that you would say yes, because quite a few of my favorite shows of all time ended up being in a grungy, run-down house in the middle of this burgeoning city!

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In 2011, a group of musically inclined friends from Elizabeth, Colorado, decided to move to Denver to create their own music venue—mainly for their own bands. So on the corner of 29th and California, on the outskirts of Denver in an area locally known as Five Points, sat an oddly built seven bedroom house….perfect!!

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Although the Mouth House is no longer, the depth of love I have for this house and its former occupants moved me to include it in our Carpe Adventure section. Oh man, what an adventure it was!! The only way I can really describe it is through pictures. From the moment I set foot on the threshold, I became the official unofficial photographer. I knew most of the bandmates from before, anyway, and the ones I didn’t, soon came to accept and love me as much as my Hooligans. In fact, Pat, one of the founders of the Mouth House—and the subsequent Mouth Bomb Records that came forth—started personally requesting my presence, because I took “hott pictures of him.”

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Let me paint the picture, this looming three-story disheveled leviathan of a house looks like it came directly out of a scary movie, like Amityville Horror or Texas Chainsaw Massacre; except it is located in the heart of a downtown suburb, across from a school. A black fence surrounds the house, and you enter through the side gate in which to reach the “main door” located in the backyard. Up three janky concrete steps, you enter the mudroom, where some member of the household normally sat to beg you for donations. It was definitely for a good cause though, and they didn’t ask for much, so even I—practically a member of the house—felt compelled to donate what I could. From the mudroom into the kitchen, where the evidence of the house’s previous life as a special needs home is most prevalent, seeing as the cabinets were set way up by the ceiling—only reachable by ladder, I swear. Most of the occupants being men of the six-foot and above variety, I found it comical that they couldn’t reach them either. From the kitchen, you can reach most of the areas of the house, including the access to the basement. First of all….AAAHHH!! That place was scary. The wooden steps were steep, and went straight down into a dirt floor. My first night there, I believe I incidentally started the rumor that this is where they hid the bodies…..I will not tell you the rest, because it is morbidly unpleasant, hahaha!

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Back upstairs in the kitchen, you can enter the “dining room.” The first time I walked into this room, it was where they had the bands set up. Later, it became the audience section, while the living room—connected by an open arch—became the stage. Off of the dining room lies the main bathroom, and access to a couple of the bedrooms—which were heavily guarded while there were shows. I mean, why wouldn’t you keep them locked up? People still have to live here, haha! From the living room, there is another side door that is primarily used as a loading dock area for the bands to bring in their gear. Through another doorway is a hallway, which leads to the original front door. This one is rarely used during shows, seeing as the hallway is used for backup storage space for equipment. To the left of the door is the main set of stairs which leads you to the second floor. At the top are most of the bedrooms—surprisingly, I have only ever been in one—and further down sits the second bathroom. A cherished space for most of the original Mouth Housers, seeing as the main bathroom was always so busy. I will never forget, however, the night of the first Halloween celebration, when, after I finished my business, I randomly peeked at the bath tub—lo and behold there was an alligator in it! Aaahh!!

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Beyond the bathroom was the “game room,” later to be turned into a wall-less bedroom. Also, on nights when there were several “stages” set up, this room also became a stage. One of my favorite features of this room was the window—it overlooked the backyard. I frequently traversed up to that window after a set, because as soon as the music stopped, everyone rushed outside to catch some fresh air! That many bodies shoved into one space generates a lot of heat! So I rushed up to take a picture of the crowd in the yard.

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Beside the window were the stairs to the third floor—what most would assume to be an attic. Not these guys though! There were several bedrooms up here, as well as their make-shift studio. Mouth Bomb Records was essentially born in this attic!

Heading back downstairs toward the “game room” and taking your immediate left would lead you to the back stairs—the weirdest stairs I have ever been on! It was curved, oddly mind you, and the steps were too tall. The handrail fell off long ago, and they were so steep and twisted, that I am honestly surprised that there weren’t any major accidents! Although, plenty, including me, fell down those stairs at least once! This stairway was a particular favorite of mine, because as the members of the house blossomed and expanded, so did the whole house. Artwork covered the walls, and this stairway was absolutely no exception! It was literally beautiful! Traveling artists covered the entire area with melty, trippy, random beauty! I loved it.

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Mouth House became a legend. Closing down, due to circumstances beyond their control, broke a lot of hearts, haha! And I know that Halloween will never be the same! Although I still see the members of the household, and still get to see the various traveling bands that had come in and out, I miss that house! Situations like these only come around once in a lifetime, and I am so proud, amazed, and honored to have been a part of it!

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So we have to settle now, for the annual Festibowl, held in Denver and run by my buddy Pat, the founder of Mouth Bomb Records. In fact, there is recent buzz surrounding Mouth Bomb Records, as Westword just wrote an article on them. I would definitely suggest checking them out! If you love music, if you love the gritty realness and the Woodstock vibe of so many bodies pressed together to really enjoy the music, if you want to support local music, or become involved in it—check out these guys! Mouth Bomb Records on Facebook, is a great place to start! And if you want to see the multitude of pictures not included in this article, go check out my FB! You will also see the continuation of the Festibowls and other shows that spotlight these amazing people!

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Some great bands to look out for: Tell Me About Bruce Banner, King Guy, Vampirates, Red vs. Black, Tomorrow’s Paramount, Parafunk, Cosmic Sound Child and Ha Ha Hooligans (both are broken up, but they are still amazing!), TripLip, SpeedWolf, DJ Thumper, DeadHand, Solterra, Blind Man Deaf Boy, Little Fyodor, Fiction is Fun, Third Seven, and my personal favorite Facial—just to name a few!