The Beet Street Blog

Archive for the ‘People and Place to Watch’ Category

The Dog Days of Summer

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Ike poses for a photo at College and Mountain

Not all Streetmosphere fans come out on two legs. Usually, there’s more than one furry, four-legged friend in the crowd, and the last weekend of June was no exception. One of our most dedicated fan-dogs is a little grey terrier named Ike.

Ike, along with his owner, loves to experience the sights and sounds of Downtown. Whether it’s a visual artist painting, such as the lovely Ren Burke, or the whimsical sounds of Fiddle Whamdiddle, Ike is always more than happy to visit. His owner mentioned that he loves to be downtown, and that coming out for Streetmosphere has become a weekly ritual.

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Only in Fort Collins

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One of many musicians unique to the Fort Collins scene: dACCORDion.

Only in Fort Collins can you expect to find a surprise around every corner. That’s Streetmosphere’s slogan, and we’re sticking to it!

The program just completed its seventh weekend of performances in Old Town, Fort Collins. Despite some bad weather and some smoky air, we couldn’t be more pleased with the performances, the artists, and the crowds that have come out to support Streetmosphere every weekend.

All these feelings of nostalgia prompted the “street team” to dig deeper—to uncover the things about Streetmosphere and Fort Collins that are truly different than anywhere else in the world. It wasn’t difficult to find these things; in fact, the list had grown exponentially after just one day of observation.

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Weekend Spotlight: Half Moon Arts

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Alicia Randall, 17, works on painting her piece entitled 'Dragon'

Bright colors, towering animal faces, and wood chips lined College Avenue this weekend, while as many as 4 artists worked away with Half Moon Arts. The local non-profit, run by Rose Moon, works with at-risk youth, ages 13-21, to create an environment both artistic and imaginative.

The program utilizes the process of making totem poles to inspire the participants. From a log of wood, they carve out a unique world, followed by a heaping amount of colorful paint. Creativity is highly encouraged, helping to promote self-esteem and healing. The work produced by these amazing young people sells through local events, allowing for feelings of accomplishment and success. The organization has been commissioned to make totem poles for many organizations in town as well, such as the Fort Collins Cat Rescue.

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Weekend Spotlight: Carolyn Lauttenbach

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Carolyn LauttenbachUkulele strums could be heard throughout Old Town Square Saturday afternoon, followed by a smooth voice singing the words to Paramore’s “The Only Exception”. This unlikely combination resulted in a unique cover by Florida native, Carolyn Lauttenbach, which had crowd members of all ages nodding, clapping and dancing along. Throughout the rest of the set, Carolyn did a mix of classic and popular covers, as well as original material, occasionally trading the ukulele for an acoustic guitar.

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The Sweet Songs of Elyse Miller

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Elyse Miller

Have you had the chance to check out Elyse Miller performing for Streetmosphere yet? If your answer is no, you’re missing out.

Elyse Miller is one of Streetmosphere’s toughest and most dedicated musical artists. Back in May, she would play her guitar through the night despite icy fingers and the risk of frostbite. Now, seven weeks later, Elyse Miller is still braving the elements. This past weekend she conquered the heat; she tucked herself subtly into the shady space between Moe’s Barbeque and Pueblo Viejo, plugged in her fan, and played for hours.

But Elyse Miller is anything but subtle. On Saturday, her voice drifted through the hot air and attracted the attention of many a passerby. (Fellow Streetmosphere musicians, Peter and the Wolves, even stopped by to listen!) Elyse sang many of her own original songs, including titles like “New Life” and “Paper Doll” but also covered some songs by a wide range of artists, such as Green Day and Tom Petty.

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ARCINDA

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A member of ARCINDA teaches 3-year-old, Torin, to play the demung.

The non-profit, musical and dance performance group, ARCINDA, joined the ranks of Streetmosphere’s talented artists when they played in Oak Street Plaza on Sunday. The group of eight performers nestled themselves cozily into a corner of the plaza—they even brought their own carpets to sit on—and brought the sounds of faraway Indonesia to Fort Collins, Colo.

ARCINDA’s mission is to do just that: to combine the eastern and western worlds by performing and educating people about the arts and culture of Indonesia. They do so using a variety of heavy, wooden instruments called Javanese Gamelan, which they play while other members of the group sing and dance in typical Indonesian fashion.

Many of the eight members that played at Oak Street Plaza on Sunday had their own Javanese Gamelan. These instruments grabbed the audience’s attention purely based on their immensity and ornately carved wooden structures, not to mention their uniqueness to western culture. Of the Javanese Gamelan on site, there were two gongs, four demung, a bonang, and a kendang.

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Weekend Spotlight – Peter and the Wolves

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Peter and the Wolves play infront of Cache Bank and Trust on Saturday, June 16th.

What do you get when you add together string instuments, family ties, and a love of folk music? Well, Peter and the Wolves of course!

This past Saturday, two of the three band members, brothers Peter and Dan Workman, drew a crowd with their captivating harmonies and array of instuments, including a guitar, banjo, and mandolin. While the band was formed just last year in 2011, the Workman brothers were playing together long before that, starting in high school and continuing onward. Now, accompanied by a drummer, the group draws inspiration from groups such as the Fleet Foxes and Arcade Fire, creating a folk sound with a rock kick to it! While the drummer couldn’t be with us Saturday, the brothers talked about the enjoyment of “busking” on the street, relating it back to their music roots and the tradition of folk being played for the people.  Both know how to play the instuments they had in tow, and would often switch with each other, even from song to song. Warm and inviting, this group is one you don’t want to miss!

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Oom-pa-pa, Oom-pa-pa!

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Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet: Sam Arrieta, Chris Krueger, Cody Krueger, and Zach Garcia (pictured left to right)

Comprised of professional musicians from the Fort Collins area, the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet embodies everything that is Fort Collins music.

The Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet has performed several Streetmosphere performances this summer and has certainly gathered a lot of local attention. Performing at sites such as Moe’s Original Barbeque and Oak Street Plaza, the Quartet appeals to a wide variety of audiences by playing all types of genres: polka, jazz, classical, ceremonial, and even some modern pop. 

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The show goes on!

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Despite the smoke caused by the High Park Fire, many people were about Old Town this weekend to enjoy many Streetmosphere performances. Chris Bates, a local artist, set up just outside of Austin’s on Saturday evening and mesmerized many community members with his unique artwork.

Bates specializes in pen and ink portraits, acrylic paint, mixed media, and murals.

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Curious Gage – putting a spin on your favorite classics!

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This past weekend, Streetmosphere welcomed Curious Gage to Old Town Square. Curious Gage is an a cappella group that puts a spin on popular instrumental band pieces. Being an a cappella group, Curious Gage only uses sounds that can be made with the voice. They sing – obviously! – but also use different techniques that one wouldn’t normally think could be in a vocal performance.

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