UPDATE: An earlier version of this column included an incorrect deadline for Independent Music on Tour grant applications. The 2013 deadline and guidelines are still being determined, after which they’ll be announced on the IMTour website and the Western States Arts Federation’s Facebook page. Further questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For readers of this column who are musicians but don't have massive trust funds, we'll let you in on a little secret: The Western States Arts Federation has been giving out some serious tour support grants.
Last year, the nonprofit arts group's Independent Music on Tour (IMTour) program awarded grants exclusively to Front Range musicians of the indie variety. Inaugural recipients were the Springs' own Changing Colors plus five Denver artists: political rapper Mane Rok, avant-cellist Ian Cooke, and indie-pop bands Paper Bird, Photo Atlas and Snake Rattle Rattle Snake.
The fact that all these musicians are really good speaks not only to the quality of the applicants, but also the promoters and agents judging the competition, who are clearly more discerning than whoever keeps leaving my favorite artists out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The fledgling program was sufficiently far under the radar that last year's applicants numbered around 60. But given that award recipients got the services of an agent and a publicist — as well as something called money — for the length of a full tour, that's likely to change next time around
The 2013 deadline and guidelines are still being determined, after which they’ll be posted on the IMTour website. In the meantime, you can keep up the date by "liking" the Western States Arts Federation’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, for the less musically proficient among us, there's still good news this week. This coming Tuesday, Nina Storey will be headlining a free show at UCCS' University Center.
Prior to moving to L.A., Storey received Vocalist and Songwriter of the Year awards from both Westword and 5280 Magazine, thanks to a sultry musical style that would fit nicely on a bill with Tori Amos or Fiona Apple. Let's just put it this way: You can see her Tuesday for free, or wait and pay $18 for one of the better seats when she headlines Denver's Soiled Dove Underground on April 19.
Showtime, by the way, is 5 p.m. And while Storey is slated to hit the stage at 7, it's still worth slipping out of work or class or whatever to get there in time for opening sets by some of the Springs' finest, including Hopeful Heroines and A Black Day.
Before we send you on your way, a handful of weekend shows worth considering: Paul Myrow will be playing Front Range Barbeque on Friday to celebrate the release of his third album, Love Takes Me, which the local singer-songwriter recorded down in Austin last year. Then on Saturday, Mike Clark and Todd Bruington are bringing the Jack Trades back to the stage after a hibernation that, with the exception of a couple benefit performances, dates back to the days when you still had a MySpace page. Catch them at the Triple Nickel with the Joe Johnson Band.
Also on Saturday, Agents of Sound's soul series on the upstairs patio at Brewer's Republic will depart from its DJ-centric format with a performance by Flodignatic, the mutant-funk/hip-hop congregation featuring Stoney Bertz, Earsiq Radke, Big Ro, Animus Invidious and Charlie Milo. It's a free show, although donations will be accepted to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Meanwhile, Indy Music Award winner DJ Gravity, plus DJ Status of Ann Arbor, Mich., and a couple more turntablists will also be on hand to keep Agents of Sound regulars from suffering too many withdrawal symptoms.