Join Curious Gage for a night of romance and love. Unless you’re single - in which case, join Curious Gage for a night of a capppella bachelor and bachelorette celebration! Singles, couples, children and parents, everyone is invited for Curious Gage’s annual Valentine's concert. The only Valentine's event that is 100% free!
We have two bits of exciting news this month, starting with the addition of a BRAND NEW MEMBER! We're thrilled to introduce you to our newest alto, Britony Orwick!
Britony is a staple of Colorado vocal music, lending her talents to music theater, local bands, and church choirs. We're so excited to have her performing with us, and can't wait for you all to see her.
Which brings us to the second announcement. We're going to be performing at the RIST CANYON FESTIVAL tomorrow, Sep 4th, at 2pm! The Rist Canyon Festival is an annual tradition that raises money for the volunteer fire department, and we're so happy to be returning this year. Come check it out, here Britony in her debut performance, and grab some pie and discount books. Can't wait to see you there!
*applause sign … applause sign …
There's something that sets this concert apart from our others: Christmas is always a nice way to finish the year and usually has some extra ballads, so it's a tiny bit more serious (as serious as we can ever be during a show); Streetmosphere is like bootcamp, wherein we do the vocal equivalent of three thousand Burpees over three hours; our other private or public shows tend to be tailored to the event, and with that comes a certain level of individual coiffing—after all, who hires a schlubby-looking band?
But Countdown to Candy? We do what we want!
Since last year, we've adopted a few songs we used to reserve only for Halloween into our standard set. They're just so freakin' fun, and it's hard to resist a song like Styx's immortal "Mr. Roboto" when it makes everybody giggle uncontrollably … and the audience laughs a bit too. But now we're bringing back the big guns. Danny Elfman, Michael Jackson, and Ray Parker Jr are all on call, along with some more obscure tunes like our zombie-fied version of The Script's “Nothing” and an homage to Dungeons & Dragons nerdiness, which is just an excuse for us to pull off some auto-tune effects.
And my personal favorite part of this show? The costumes. My first year, we dressed up as members from the board-game-turned-cult-classic-movie “Clue”, complete with an outline of Mr. Boddy, a white boa and feather duster for Mrs. White (who was an audience member … and a dude … ), and a pretty hysterical collection of props for each member, like a monocle, a pith helmet, a pipe, a fan, a cigarette holder, and cold hard cash. Last year, in response to Marvel's “The Avengers”, we decided to bust out our favorite DC comic book heroes in t-shirt form—Wonder Woman, Batman, The Green Lantern, and Superman. Coolest and easiest costumes EVER.
Want to know what we're doing this year? I guess you'll just have to come and see! We're performing at Saint John's Lutheran on Friday, October 25th. The show starts at 7:30pm, but please get there early to show off your Halloween costume; we've got prizes for the best, along with tons of other giveaways … AAAAAND … our still-slightly-warm-off-the- presses EP will be available, so you can buy a little Curious Gage to take with you wherever your life needs a little more a cappella (which, frankly, should be everywhere, I think). We will also be collecting donations for Saint John's Social Outreach, which will include projects such as flood relief.
We'll see you (in your best costumes, we hope) on Friday, Oct. 25th! It'll be a scream … you might say, a thriller of a concert … sort of a “graveyard smash” … a real ghostbuster …
Well, it's finally here: our latest recording. We've been working on it for … well, a long time. Depends on how you count:
We've been promising it since we recorded our first demo, within the first few years of the group's founding. So, seven or eight years?
We started it about a year ago when we laid down a scratch track of each song. (We're all performers first and foremost, and find it much easier to get into a song if we can interact with each other rather than the blank wall of a recording studio. So we got together and recorded a live performance of each song. This four-track recording was our scratch track.)
We've been working on it for months. (Each person had to come over several times to the "recording studio"—apartment—where I was set up with my computer and a microphone. Each singer recorded their part, several times, section-by-section, until we were happy with the results. After the singing was done, Nic came back to record the vocal percussion tracks. Yep: that's a special treat on the CD. You get to hear Nic's amazing vocal percussion!)
We've been finishing it for a few weeks. (I processed each part, choosing the best takes, lining up and cleaning up each track and balancing the mix. Then Nic and I met to figure out what effects to apply. Could the vocal percussion benefit from some extra sizzle in the cymbal crashes? Tweak the EQ. Need a little more depth in the vocals? Add some reverb. This is where Nic came up with the idea of making the backgrounds at the beginning and end of Zombie "ghostly", which I did by turning up the reverb on the voices while turning down the actual microphone input.)
Final touch-up took a few days. (A few very long days. I finished tweaking parts, applied effects, and shifted the backgrounds left and right in the mix to widen the stereo effect. Then more volume adjustment, re-checking the balance, and constantly trying to get maximum volume while avoiding distortion, or "clipping". With the individual songs finished, had a little more work to do to put them all together and make sure they matched each other.)
And, in the last few hours, production. (Putting together the cover and label from Lindsay's designs. Uploading them along with the completed tracks. Then, waiting … waiting … and, finally, receiving the email with a tracking number: the discs are on their way!)
After all this time, the CD arrived. It looked great. It sounded good. And it was done!
We hope you've had a chance to check out the album. You can hear samples here. We'll be selling the disc at our performances, or you can message/email one of us for a copy. Just $5, cash or credit. Digital versions of the songs for download should be available at your favorite online music store soon!
Being a member of an A Capella group gives you a different view of what it is to be a singer, a soloist, and a part of a band. You're one part instrument; guitar, piano, trumpet, synthesizer, harmonica, violin, saxophone, chimes... whatever is called for. You're one part background vocalist; doing your best to channel The Supremes sans 40 pound beaded dress and nonstop dance moves. You're one part soloist; trying desperately to combat stage fright, remember the key changes, remember the damn words, and hoping to God you don't fall flat on your face and embarrass yourself and your group.
I've been in Curious Gage for almost 3 years, and it's changed me as a performer, completely for the better. For the second summer in a row, we've participated in Streetmosphere, a program sponsored by Beet Street and various businesses in Old Town Fort Collins. Throughout the summer months, groups and artists will take over busy sections of Old Town and spend three hours showing the city what they can do. Because of this program, Curious Gage has become an even tighter group: we arrange faster, choreograph faster, set up and take down equipment faster, perform better, support each other better, get our business done better.
But here's why I settled down to write this evening.
Our last appearance was at Oak Street Plaza. Sooooo many things had been happening behind the scenes. Between our outside jobs, our efforts to complete our upcoming album, buying and replacing sound equipment, setting up our fall concert schedule, and our genuinely busy lives, we were all spent. We had been preparing for a possible rain-out, given that most of July and August had afternoons and evenings that dissolved into massive storms, and in fact, that day's weather forecast had suggested the same would happen during our three hour performance. Instead, we had blistering hot sun for a majority of it, leading us to some profound discomfort as our clothes started to stick to us from sweat, our faces hurt from squinting under interrogation-style blinding sunlight, and our giant water bottles becoming subjected to our intense frustration as they rapidly emptied in less than an hour.
We spend at least two evenings a week rehearsing, fine tuning our current 26-song set, meticulously smoothing away any and all bumps. Some songs smooth out better than others. We've had an arrangement combing The Police's "Every Breath You Take" and U2's "With Or Without You" in our repertoire for some time, long before I joined the group, and we've had to change keys and soloists and background vocals many, many times. It's not the easiest arrangement in the world to get through, let alone perform consistently well. So with that in mind, factoring in all the random crap I mentioned above, when that song came up in our show, it's not exactly like we were jumping up and down to perform it. It was more like, "Just get through this (insert expletive here) song and then we can finish this set and hunt for shade so we don't collapse from heat stroke."
The song went well. That set... hell, our whole show went well. We had somewhere around 10-12 different people or couples come up to us and compliment us, request songs, or ask us questions about how we do what we do. That, for us, is a good day! But the topper was a man who approached us at the end of the night. He was brand spanking new in Fort Collins, dropping off his son at CSU, and had been spending his first day in town wandering around, familiarizing himself with his new surroundings. He heard us singing "Every Breath", and stayed to listen to us for the remainder of our final two sets. He told the two soloists on that song (Nic and Carleen Widhalm) that "Every Breath" had been the song he and his wife had danced to at their wedding. I usually laugh when I hear something like that, given the song is a romantic-sounding story about stalking, and Sting himself rolls his eyes when people share with him it's "their song" and then sarcastically wishes them luck. But I kept quiet to hear the rest of his story. Not only was it his first day in FoCo, not only was he dropping off his first child at college, but he had recently lost his wife to cancer, and was perhaps not having the best of days. When he heard us, he thought we performed the song perfectly. It reminded him of many good things, and whenever we would make eye contact with him during our show, we could see him grinning and clearing enjoying our work. He didn't have to share any of his story with us, but he was so happy from hearing us sing one song that he ended up making all four of us speechless.
Sometimes, I don't like what I'm trying to make into my career. The business of art is at times catty and degrading. There are far too many people who hoist their unfounded opinions onto an ignorant public, and far too many people who take advantage of everyone's love of gossip and trash-talking famous people's failures. Then there are times when a shy four year old comes up to me to ask if I could sing her favorite song to her, or couples start dancing Lindy Hop while we sing a song most people have never even heard before, or strangers stop mindlessly walking by and find seats to listen to four people who absolutely love what they're doing. Getting recognized and pulled into appreciative conversation while out running errands, or being complimented by someone who, it turns out, used to live in your hometown and is beaming because you two share something so random in common... it makes all the bad stuff go away. I have loved the arts since I was two years old and capable of understanding that people did this for a living, but throughout my twenties, I've reached an understanding that it's not always about the performer. It's not about the escapism of a role, or the therapy of expressing the things you can't share any other way, or the applause, or the lure of fame and success. It's about knowing that you are appreciated for doing the things most people wish they could do. It's about the times when you can be proud of your talents rather than feeling excluded or ostracized because of them.
And it's especially about the moments when someone shares with you why you've made their day better.
If you've been wondering where your favorite Northern Colorado a cappella band has been hiding these last few months, wonder no more. We've spent the better part of winter locked in Tom's recording palace, picking away at some new tunes for our upcoming CD!
Yup. That's right. Curious Gage is getting ready to release our first (really? Really) CD in just a few months, and we can't wait to share it with all of you. We've have five brand new tracks fresh from the oven and ready to burn your fingers. Which tracks you ask? We'll be releasing that information on our Facebook page over the next month.
And speaking of Facebook, feel free to head over to The Social Network and friend us. If you want the most up-to-date info, candid rehearsal pics, and musings, there's no better place than the Book of Faces.
May can't come soon enough!
For those who've been with us for awhile, this will come as no surprise. For those just joining us, welcome to the ride.
The Countdown is about to begin!
The Countdown to Candy, that is. We're pleased to announce that we've finalized the date and location for our annual Halloween concert, and this year we'll be holding the holiday smorgasbord at the Bas Bleu Theater, October 19th, at 7:30pm.
Yay! Candy! A Cappella!
The three sweetest words in the English language.
If you've never been to a Countdown to Candy concert before, let me tell you, you are in for a treat (pun intended). There will be costumes, some of your favorite Halloween tunes, more costumes, candy, sweet swag for the winning, did I mention Halloween songs, a robot, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
You have to see it to believe it.
So start spreading the word, make sure to order your tickets from Bas Bleu, and join us for this unique, spooky, scary, sometimes silly, often startling, concert of mammoth, Halloween-y proportions!
I think I've sold it enough for one day.
It's summer time, and that means one thing up here in Northern Colorado--A CAPPELLA! (And slushies.)
We're delighted to announce we will be performing several dates this summer with Streetmosphere, a celebration of music, art, and culture in Fort Collins, CO. This program is completely free to the public, and produced by Beet Street, an organization created to highlight the arts in Fort Collins.
If you haven't seen this program before, Streetmosphere is a collection of artists, actors, and musicians who perform every weekend at several spots in Old Town, Fort Collins, as well as South East Harmony, in Front Range Village. Streetmosphere gives you an opportunity to get out of the house, grab the little ones (or the big ones...they need fresh air too) and come experience some of the best live entertainment in Fort Collins.
There will be jugglers, painters, weavers, jazz bands, fusion bands, quartets, balloon artists, comedians, and of course--Curious Gage.
And it's all free! Some come out and join us this summer, we can't wait to see you.
All performance times and locations can be found on our schedule.
It's always an exciting time for Curious Gage when the first leaves begin to fall. Autumn means two things to those who worship at the a cappella alter in Fort Collins--smores, and Curious Gage's Annual Countdown to Candy!
The concept for Countdown to Candy began six years ago when the members of Curious Gage sat down and started looking at our fall calendar. There was a big gap right between October and Christmas, and, being the restless vagabonds we are, we needed to fill it. It was at that moment that a big light bulb flashed above Tom's head, leading the rest of us to grumble in irritation as our eyes adjusted. "A Halloween concert, we must have," Tom declared in his best Yoda Voice (editor's note: it's possible my memory might have been augmented by the copious amounts of Star Wars I was watching at the time. Who can say?). It was a brilliant plan, but Halloween fell on a Monday that year, and really, who would want to spend time listening to a cappella when they had a chance to fill their maw with sweet, sweet candy? "Worry not, we shall," Tom said. "A Countdown, we must." And, thus, the Countdown to Candy was born!
It's been an annual tradition ever since, and we're pleased to announce that we've finalized the date and time for this year's Coundown to Candy, and we expect it will be the best yet! Filled with spooky a cappella, fabulous costumes, prizes, and even a rap or two, don't miss what is sure to be the premier a cappella Halloween-themed, Clue-costumed event of the year!
Visit our Schedule for more information, including pricing and advanced ticket sales!
Countdown to Candy
Wednesday, October 19, 7:30 pm
Bas Bleu Theatre (401 Pine Street, Fort Collins)
$10/$7 tickets available at 970-498-8949
For Online ticketing: http://basbleu.org/tickets/details/125-curious-gage-presents-countdown-to-candy--october-19
We have a very exciting month coming up here in Curious Gage, and it all starts in just a couple of weeks!
First, we are very excited to announce that we will be guest performers in this year's Caring for Kids Benefit Concert, hosted annually by the Colorado Academy of the Arts. For those unfamiliar with the event, it is a huge smorgasbord of music and dance, with all proceeds going to helping fund performance education for children in Northern Colorado. We are extremely excited to be joining the Academy at this fantastic show, and hope that each and every one of our fans will come out to support us on May 7th, at Mountain View High School in Loveland, CO. More information, including ticket pricing can be found on our schedule.
Curious Gage has been performing in Northern Colorado for over eight years. With a style all their own, this award-winning a cappella group can't be missed!