I have a bipolar love affair with this town. I love her and I hate her. She can be orgasmically great or a soul-crushing mistress.
A year ago, I fell into my position at the Triple Nickel. My spare time consists of writing dozens of e-mails a week, making posters, writing newsletters, and losing lots of sleep to a great cause. It's not about money; in fact, I don't get paid at all, unless you count all the free beer.
For some damned reason, live music has always been a hard sell in this town. So it's the best feeling in the world when the bar is at capacity, and heartbreaking when 10 people show up to see incredible music. But this is the business we are in. You win some, you lose a lot.
I scratch my head and wonder why people stay at home rather than venture into the night in search for adventure. I look toward the Manitou Springs crowd and wonder, "How do they do it?"
Go to Manitou on any weekend and you'll find a wide variety of artists hopping from one event to another and supporting each other. Is it the closer proximity of each venue? Or is it that Manitou attracts a certain kind of people who are attracted to supporting an arts community?
Why does Colorado Springs feel so different? Where is our sense of community? Why do we feel so elite and separatist? How can we transform what we have here and leap to the next level?
I've got lofty goals for this town, but I'm just a 28-year-old kid. I hope today to strike a dialogue within each of you, to ask yourself, "What's holding us back?" Ultimately, I'd like to see a demise of our independent scenes and a movement to a full-fledged arts community where we all hold hands and sing "Kumbaya" together.
Week after week, I'll keep on trucking away, spreading the gospel of Colorado Springs. Promoting and imagining newer ways to get the citizens off their couches. I'll continue to love this town, hoping that one day she'll notice and love me as much as I love her.
Damian Burford works a 5 a.m. job stocking at Costco, after working till 2 a.m. many nights at the Triple Nickel. He drinks too much, runs his mouth even more and sleeps very little.