Raccoon Tycoon Records started in 2004 in Fort Collins, Colorado by a group of friends as a vehicle and imprint to release and distribute their band’s music.
The first bands emerged in summer that year, Jerky Jelly & The Bears, a band made up of aging hardcore kids who all hung out at the same bar. The band was known for their antics locally, but never really played out much. Although they did manage to get themselves banned from three different venues in Ft. Collins. The first Raccoon Tycoon release was their demo cassette, which featured such smash hits as, “American Furniture Warehouse”, “I Turned Into Louis Gossett Jr.” and “Hobo with a Tire Iron”. Their nascent punk rock attitude got local audiences excited for live music, their whirlwind shows were short and loud. Pretty soon, other punk and HC bands were forming around this same time in Fort Collins: Toobtop Shakur, Heartfelt Bastard, Rusty Shackleford, Last Horse to name a few. Pretty soon there were enough bands and enough people that we had a miniature scene. Chainsaw Bear released their demo shortly afterward, along with Hand-To-Hand Wombat, both bands often sharing the stage in Fort Collins and occasionally living on the same house boat. During this same summer, Guns N Rosa Parks formed by five friends who were looking to bring back certain quality vibrations to shows and recording. They quickly took over the Ft. Collins area, playing out multiple times a month. Unfortunately, they had so much damn fun and got so many shows that the members had to abandon all their other side projects to focus on the machine that would become GnRP. In the winter of 2004, GnRP released their demo, “One Life Drama Free”.
In 2005, GnRP was going full steam. They spent most the spring rehearsing and playing shows around Colorado. In June and July, the band recorded 19 songs in their basement studio at the House Of The Dead. Immediately after recording, the band got in the van and did a west coast tour.
Raccoon Tycoon is a DIY record label based in Denver. We are still a collective of ladies and gentlemen! Our mission to release music from our friends and their bands continues! We’ve shifted from “live” mode to “archival” mode basically, we’re getting old and that’s what happens! Now we can focus the energy of the label into the old bands and keep everything alive ad nauseam. But ladies and gentleman, it’s not the end; there are still things in the vaults, there are still reunion shows to be played, records to be released!
Seventh Circle is the best DIY venue in Denver!
Raccoon Tycoon is a DIY record label based in Denver. We are also a collective of ladies and gentlemen who book all ages shows in the Mountain Standard Time Zone.
If you’re looking to book a DIY show or need help setting something up let us know, we might be able to help. There are four or five active all-ages venues right now in Denver, most are hugely successful and have found new ways to thrive in a scene normally dominated by lazy promoters and national touring circuits such as live nation and AEG.
When we say DIY, we mean: Show should be all ages. Band members can be under 21 years old. We do not require a non-compete agreement or other radius clause contracts and neither should you. We believe that bands should not pay to play. We believe that bands should not be required to sell and/or purchase tickets to their event or any other event. Furthermore, bands should not be forced to purchase strange lunch meat sandwiches. Additionally, we appreciate freedom of speech and freedom of expression and include that in our DIY ethos. The following venues will NOT ask you to do things that we consider to be negative/detrimental for the artist ie; curbing your language, appearance or controlling your message. We believe that music is a form of creative expression, not just a vehicle for generating alcohol sales.
If you’re a touring band and you want to book a house show or an all-ages show in Colorado, contact Mark Masters at handoflaw at gmail dot com.
Info on playing DIY shows in the mountain time zone:
(last update Oct 2013)
Blast-O-Mat – Still going strong. The venue has changed hands and is now called the Seventh Circle Collective, but still retains it’s location on 7th and Federal. Venue is a full-time operation, now completely run by a dedicated team of volunteers.
Mouth House – an excellent all ages venue with a great team of people. Probably the best all ages venue in town.
Rhinoceropolis and GLOB – two back to back Denver venues that have their own kind of noise / post-electronica scene happening. Both venues put on incredible shows and will book touring bands.
Lost Lake – a bar that books DIY bands. Shows are 21+. Very good place for a show. Low-key, wood paneling, whiskey specials.
Skylark Lounge – a bar that books DIY bands. Shows are 21+.
Physic Opera – art bar / music venue that is opening fall 2013 on South Broadway.
Bar Bar – Dive bar that occasionally has shows. Shows are 21+. Downtown Denver.
Unit E – closed.
Yellow Feather Cafe – closed.
Sox Place – closed.
The Construct – closed.
Monkey Mania – closed.
Fallen Skate Warehouse – closed.
Less Art Warehouse – closed.
GNU – The only legit all-ages venue in northern Colorado, located under Old Town Square.
Surfside 7 – bar in Fort Collins that has shows occasionally, mostly weekday evenings. Shows are strictly 21 and over. They will not book bands on weekends (unless you convince them otherwise, good luck) which kind of limits activity. But still a great bar, great food, mostly wonderful people. Their booking agents have been questionable in the past and are somewhat notorious for “forgetting” about booked shows or double booking when a better offer comes around. Be sure to double (or triple) check with the promoter if you book a show months in advance.
The Airport – closed
Thrashin’ Manor – closed
House Of The Dead – closed
Club Static – closed. Building and existing structure was torn down. Now a bank.
Club 156 – Medium sized venue on the CU campus. Inside is an all ages venue / video arcade / bowling alley / bar which is just as ridiculous as it sounds. They still have shows, but the person booking rotates and changes with the CU school year, which makes booking somewhat difficult. Youth Of Today played there in 1988 and people still talk about it. See website for details.
Astroland – Incredible DIY venue. Now closed. Apparently they failed a fire inspection.
Sherriff’s Posse House – temporarily closed for legal reasons. Future unknown.
Ernie November – Record Store in downtown Cheyenne. The only record store in Wyoming, run by Keith from Dead Speak. They occasionally book shows for punk and DIY bands, especially touring bands. Get in touch with the store for details, their phone number and email is listed on their website. Bands play right in the store. Lots of kids show up. Well worth the trip if you are passing through.