CMKY Opening Night
It’s back! April 25th kicked off Boulder’s finest four day electronic music festival, Communikey (CMKY), at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art premiering Brandon Wolcott, M. Demeranville, Ivy, The Bones, and Language of Fish. CMKY started as just a fledgling organization in 2004 for local music heads. It was founded by Kate Lesta and supported by artists and individuals involved in the underground Colorado electronic music scene. Originally the group put on stand-alone shows but received enough of a warm reception to form the full-fledge festival we have grown to know and love in 2008. For some of us, CMKY is that old friend we wait to visit us every spring, embrace us with her warm laughter, let us borrow a tube of screaming cerise-colored lipstick, invite us to throw off our oversized sweaters and leave our walls and dance. She is that cozy little corner of light that allows us to just curl up and get lost; a safe space for the local wayward kids to converge; a place for Boulderites and out of state fest stalkers to unite and ignite.
We arrived halfway through opening night to the entire venue being shuffled to the front steps of the BMOCA. Baffled, we asked what was happening, why we were waiting, why we were not inside getting destroyed by DJs yet but no one seemed to know what to expect. We watched silently as the volunteer continuously pushed gawkers off the steps exclaiming this was not a “safe space to stand.” And like a beautifully orchestrated ballet, to our left came a sudden undulation and a flash of lights. The energy shifted, the lighted people made a mad dash to the steps and out of a literal left field came a pack of parkour acrobats cartwheeling to the entrance and hopping from the edge of the steps to the fire escape. Exerting such little effort in the show, I immediately felt useless in my own skin and completely out of shape. Yeah, I was impressed. They continued their routine for a few moments; a gang of feral cats dancing from the rooftops to the ground smoothly landing on their feet every time. They ended to a round of roaring applause and a very impressed and very unfit girl.
Once inside, we were directed upstairs to the top level and welcomed by a very large irradiated sign that said “It’s Electric” along with a crowd of well-dressed and overzealous twenty-somethings. Wolcott was center stage and though the venue was small so was the crowd, with an estimated one hundred or so people in attendance. Clannish and cozy, the room had good energy, the DJ had an amazing set and there was plenty of room to dance. For once, at least half of the room was actually doing it! We were surrounded by the usual suspects. There were the effervescent dancers who stayed near the DJ booth all night, bobbing and hopping along to every set breaking only for the bathroom or to take a quick drag. There were the smokers/heavy drinkers who attempted to dance but had the more pressing issue of getting their fix and often left to recharge their batteries. Then there were the huddlers, the wallflowers, the “watchers,” as I have so creepily dubbed them. These are the ones that look like they either want to play with us but don’t know how to move, are too desperate for a bump to move, or they want to set the moving girls on fire. I loved them most. M. Demeranville came on next and the crowd had grown a bit more with about the same mixture of dance and chatter and, something I am always grateful for as a woman attending these events, there was a decent amount of men in the crowd. That always makes for a better evening. Demeranville did a really good vaudevillian-type remix of the Gorillaz “Sunshine in a Bag” spliced with the typical indietronica house sounds. It was a very good second set and while I couldn’t stay to finish the final performance, I was satisfied with the night and imagine the rest of the fest was just as revitalizing.
Opening night of CMKY was comfy, cute, and well crafted; an intimate house party that the whole town was invited to. I am truly bummed that I was unable to attend any of the other events due to my unforgiving work schedule. It is a festival full of REALLY good music and REALLY good people. Kids come from different states just to experience the hospitable embrace of the locals and experience their fervor for dancing. The bonus being there are no superfluous lyrics to get in the way of constructing our own stories while we attend. CMKY has grown expansively in the past few years and I hope it continues to grow and attract out-of-towners to receive the attention it deserves. It is an amazing production, a bud that needs water, needs soil and light to blossom. It needs more promotion. It needs more light. Invigorate it. Water it. Grow it. Talk about it. Join us. Be a part of something.
Review by Sarah Gawricki.