The Beet Street Blog

Archive for the ‘Northern Colorado’ tag

The end is near…

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Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting in the grass, listening to music on a warm weekend afternoon. I had the opportunity to do this three times this past weekend—twice listening to the jazzy beats of the Steve Johnson Group and once enjoying the softer melodies of the Seers. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

The Steve Johnson Group is a Streetmosphere regular. They wedge themselves into the back corner of Oak Street Plaza, fitting at least five people and more than five instruments, plus a water cooler, amps and speakers, and all sorts of other equipment under a big, blue tent. They may be located way in the back, but their music can be heard from all around the plaza and beyond. They play old favorites, such as Steely Dan, as well as non-lyrical jazz tunes.

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Community Members Join In

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dAccordian plays with a community member Sunday at Front Range Village

This past weekend, New West Fest brought crowds into Downtown Fort Collins, spilling out over the festival area, enjoying music, art, and the wonderful atmosphere. There was a true sense of community this week, with people coming together to celebrate and enjoy the festivities together. But not just Downtown! At Front Range Village, Streetmosphere was building community as well, encouraging patrons of the shopping center to stop and have a listen. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Con Brio

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Despite construction closures and tremendous traffic jams, people came out to the streets Friday night to hear a variety of Streetmosphere musicians. This was the first weekend of the summer where the majority of performers have been musical, with Susan K. Dailey being the only visual artist on the lineup.

People loved the unique sounds of the four musical groups: MDT 3, the Steve Johnson Group, the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet, and the String Quartet Con Brio.

I’ve already written about the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet and the Steve Johnson Group, but MDT 3 and the String Quartet Con Brio deserve some attention.

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Enthusiastic Streetmosphere Fan!

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Branden Sipes performing with Streetmosphere, photograph taken by Tim Van Schmidt

Tim Van Schmidt is a craftsman, and a freelance writer and photographer. He specializes in writing about contemporary music on the local and national level. An experienced writer, Van Schmidt wrote for The Coloradoan as the music columnist, for the Fort Collins Forum as the entertainment columnist, as well as edited for Scene Magazine, of which he is a co-founder. Since then, Van Schmidt has been publishing his writing and photographs online.

Van Schmidt’s photography career really blossomed because of his writing. When attending concerts to write a review, he was always asked, “Do you also want a photo pass?” Since then, he has photographed many artists, such as Clapton, Springsteen, U2 – and of course our Streetmosphere performers!

Tim followed the end of the 2011 Streetmosphere program and photographed eight of the performers in Old Town. This year, Van Schmidt says that “checking up on Streetmosphere is a regular part of my summer!!” He has photographed twenty-two of our artists so far in both our downtown and Front Range Village locations.

Live music is what keeps Van Schmidt ticking, and Fort Collins doesn’t disappoint. Out of the hundreds of cities he has visited, he says that “Fort Collins has gone way beyond the average city.” Our city provides programs like Noontime Notes in Oak Street Plaza, concerts in Old Town square, FOCOMX, Bohemian Nights at New West Fest, and of course Streetmosphere to promote live music and its native artists.

Van Schmidt enjoys the diversity and accessibility Streetmosphere offers and says that “it would be a crime not to take advantage of what is offered in so much abundance.”

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Dancing is Encouraged

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Sawmill

Sawmill performing in front of Cache Bank this Saturday.

There is just something about old-timey music that makes people want to dance, and Sawmill’s music is no different. The duo set up on the corner of Mountain and College, in front of Cache Bank, last Saturday night where they were met with an enthusiastic crowd who, you guessed it, couldn’t help but stop and dance.

The banjo and fiddle pair consists of Beth and Eric, who have casually been playing music together for three years, but only formed Sawmill about a year ago. In previous years, Beth and Eric attended Streetmosphere as spectators, but decided this year it would be fun to audition and here they are!

Sawmill draws in crowds with a fun, relaxed set, encouraging people to interact and dance along. The duo’s laidback attitude helps to create a carefree performance environment where people can just enjoy themselves and have a good time.

Sawmill will be performing at both the downtown and south locations of Streetmosphere all summer long. For more information about the band, including a schedule of their upcoming performances, check out their website.

To find out more about the Streetmosphere artists and schedules, be sure to check out our Facebook page or our website. While you’re there, be sure to take our survey to let us know what you think for a chance to win a prize! And don’t forget, while you’re at next week’s event, pick up a guidebook to learn more about the sponsors that make Streetmosphere possible!

A Variety of Visuals

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HalfMoon Arts

All of Streetmosphere’s performers are impressive. The musicians invoke spontaneous dancing by people walking past. The dancers draw huge crowds of people to watch and participate. But the visual artists often don’t receive the recognition they deserve. They sit quietly in front of their project for hours, painting, drawing, carving or sewing, and occasionally stop to chat with a passerby. Their craft doesn’t gather as much attention as the noisy musicians or the lively dancers, but the visual artists are just as important to Streetmosphere’s success as any.

Among the performers of this past weekend, some notable visual artists deserve some attention. These visual artists include HalfMoon Arts, Art on Mountain, and Chris Bates.

HalfMoon Arts is an arts apprenticeship program for youth ages 13 to 21. The youth who participate in Streetmosphere all design, carve, and paint totem poles in Oak Street Plaza. They begin with a log that has been flattened on one side. The artists must first shave down the surface of the log until it becomes smooth. Then they draw out their design in pencil on the log and begin carving into the wood. Once it has been carved to their liking, they paint it, mount it, and add any additional features—one of the artists added a tiny strand of lights to her totem pole. The artists can then opt to sell their work to the public and generate a small income.

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Three, two, one… Tuba!

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Cody Krueger of the Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet

When you become a street musician, you want your performance to be memorable. You want people to stop, watch, listen, and groove to the music. You want people to take pictures, grab your flyers, and tell their friends. You want to entertain, and you want to do it well, obviously.

No one masters the art of street performance better than Streetmopshere’s Fort Collins Four Tuba Quartet. The quartet played outside of Cache Bank this past Friday evening.

Their first attention getter: they are a quartet of three members. This isn’t entirely true, but it happened to be the case Friday night, which was highly confusing to the people on the streets of Fort Collins. The Four Tuba Quartet played for three hours with only three tubas… a trio, according to most dictionaries. Their fourth band member had prior commitments, but that didn’t prevent the three remaining tuba players from pouring their heart and soul into their performance.

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Get Your Game Face On!

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Stage Manager Jan is welcomed by FRV staff!

Streetmosphere was welcomed by Front Range Village staff during their second week of operation. Stage Manager Jan paused for a photo-op on the vehicle used by the Front RangeVillage’s security team.

Streetmosphere has expanded to the shopping mall at Front Range Village, located on Harmony and Ziegler. You can find lots of different shops and places to eat, but if eating and shopping isn’t your thing, you can check out a book at the public library!

Through the weekend of August 19th, Streetmosphere will be operating both at Front Range Village and in Old Town! Hours do differ a little between FRV and Old Town, so be sure to check out the hours below, or you can check out or website for a more detailed schedule!

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A Weekend of “Firsts”

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The Honey Gitters' guiar player, Greg, sings to the crowd using a megaphone.

Front Range Village, located south of Old Town on Harmony and Corbett Drive, is the perfect place to escape for the day. The Village has places to eat, shop, relax, and as of last weekend, watch performers display their talents. That’s right, Beet Street’s signature program, Streetmosphere, has expanded to Front Range Village for the first time ever!

With a new location, new crowds, and new surprises, Streetmosphere experienced a weekend of “firsts.” The Honey Gitters, along with ARCINDA and Susan K. Dailey, were the first of Streetmosphere’s dedicated musicians and artists to test out the new location.

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Have you seen The Seers?

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The Seers perform with Streetmosphere, Sunday July 1

Sunday afternoon was a host to great weather, bustling crowds, and of course Streetmosphere!! Along with many other performers with Streetmosphere on Sunday, The Seers entertained crowds downtown at Old Town Square.

The Seers, a rock/blues duo, is comprised of two talented musicians, Brian Collins and Sean Waters, who perform on guitar and piano, as well as sing. They perform many pieces they have written themselves and even take song requests!

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