With the sordid events of November now on the brink of memory and the holidays looming, I hope all local music fans are enjoying the prelude to Year Zero. So far, it's basically a balmy summer, except it gets dark at four o'clock in the afternoon and Christmas lights are up. If it snows, it does so ironically, which is befitting the climate in general.
Things indeed seem confusing, which conflates with the recent news surrounding messianic hip-hop artist Kanye West, who not only cancelled his Nov. 28 date at the Pepsi Center, but the entirety of the remaining dates on his "Saint Pablo" tour. West recently made waves by proclaiming that he would have voted for President-Elect Donald Trump and directing strange comments toward Beyonce and Jay-Z during concerts. As of this writing, West has been hospitalized for exhaustion. Since strange is the new normal, it might be worth noting the musical response to a nascent era where psychotherapists are rapidly running out of space for patients.
In much more positive news, however, Flux Capacitor is marking its two-year anniversary with a two-day concert series, taking place Dec. 2-3. The "Fluxiversary" features a multi-genre array of local and national talent, which is fitting given the wide variety of eclectic and exciting acts that have graced the stage at the Flux over the past two years.
"To be completely honest, I didn't think we were even going to last one year," says co-founder and manager Bryan Ostrow, discussing the unfortunate habit DIY venues have of quickly flaming out. "But what it has become has completely surpassed all of my expectations."
Performing at the anniversary celebration is Connecticut-based folk-rapper Ceschi — whom Ostrow raves about for his raw energy during performances — along with fellow Connecticut emcee David Ramos. Also appearing is Ostrow's own crust/doom metal band Blighter, melodic hardcore quintet Dead Set, high-energy hip-hop group Bullhead*ded, Denver-based electronic "hip-pop" act Dreamghost, instrumental post-rock trio Blind, The Thief, riot grrrl provocateurs Cheap Perfume, tuneful garage-punk trio Shiii Whaaa, Denver-based post-hardcore trio Swells, death/doom metal act Alone, thrash metal outfit HellHound, Denver death metal offering Modok, and local punk/grunge rockers The Youthful Nothings.
Ostrow founded the venue with his brother Sean Ostrow, Nick Pryor, Caleb Butcher, Damian Bertollini and Greg Mulleneux in October of 2014, with Josh Austin, Quintin Gamer and Naboth Gonzalez later coming into the fold. In the time since, the Flux has developed from an idea into an established venue, Ostrow says he has been overwhelmed and thrilled by the sense of community solidarity he has witnessed.
"We are extremely tired, but thrilled all the same," laughs Ostrow. "The amount of community I've seen in this town since we've started is unbelievable and extremely heartwarming. People feel as if they have a purpose."
Ostrow says having a community-minded DIY venue has also enabled him to meet and develop friendships with people from all over the globe, and to witness people meeting at the Flux and starting their own new bands.
"Being a part of something is what we love to see and encourage," Ostrow says. "Art is extremely important, especially in a world that seems to be constantly against you at times."
While one might overlook ideology as a motivating factor when considering music venues, it should be readily apparent that the Flux is solely about the music and energy contained therein. There's no bar, all donations from show attendees go toward the touring bands to help get them to their next shows, and the caretakers of the venue make no money from the endeavor. Ostrow is adamant that the Flux is a concert venue where everyone should be able to have a good time, even if you happen to be broke.
"People often go to a place for a party, and there happens to be music," muses Ostrow, who views his venue as the opposite. "Music is what people come here for, and that itself is the party."
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