On Music

Some weeks ago I showed a prospective student around Laramie. One of his questions was about the town’s music scene.

Well, okay. This isn’t New York. This isn’t Chicago. Nor is it Denver, or even Fort Collins. This is Laramie. Yes, it is.

We have music, though. We do. I’ve spent five years here—not a consecutive five years, of course, but five years. In that time I’ve seen lots of different shows, including punk shows in a crowded basement, punk shows in a coffee shop, punk shows in the street, punk shows in a rundown bar. This last was one of the final sets by The Gamits, before they broke up (and then got back together).

I kid, but not about the shows. We have more than punk, is what I mean. The same coffee shops featuring punks showcase folk, country, bluegrass, and so on. I once saw a kid at Coal Creek Coffee wail on the banjo so hard it about broke.

Open-mics abound, then. And venues are available and active.

Wyoming’s MFA certainly has a history with musicians too: it’s like James Joyce and counterpoint. Well, it’s not. But we writers enjoy a jam session here and there.

For instance:

This is three of the program’s fiction candidates, including Caleb Johnson, Justin Mundhenk, and me. Note: song written by Caleb. Note: video made by Mike at wellthatscool.com.

So, your favorite bands/artists/singers probably aren’t going to visit Laramie. Let me answer that question right away. They’ll come somewhat close, is all. It’s hard, though, you know? Our region isn’t entirely tour-friendly.

Nevertheless, you’ll find good stuff here, and things to do, and things to hear. If you play, you’ll find opportunities to play with others. It’s true.

It will be good.


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