The B-side of a record tells a different story. While the A-side features the promotional material of the album, the radio play, and the projected hits, the B-Side features a secondary recording, a space for historically unique and authentic exploration.
In an old “Couture’s Fabric Care,” a short walk from Wooglin’s Deli, Colorado College’s B-Side Collective has found its home. The space itself is a B-side of sorts: an amalgamation of music creation and exploration, all nestled within 110 years of dry cleaning and laundromat services. Paint boxes line the carpets, as interested members trace spirals of reds and yellows on the walls.
The last remaining member of B-Side from its creation four years ago, Lena Farr-Morrissey ’19, runs the space. “It all started my freshman year by a group of pretty rad ladies,” Farr-Morrissey said. “They’ve all graduated now, and we didn’t do the best job of recruiting people. Last year, we had this space, but it wasn’t really usable yet. We were just trying to get it going and make it so we could have shows here.” Farr-Morrissey sees her senior year as an opportunity for B-Side to grow in leadership, membership, and campus presence.
B-Side was founded with the goal of increaseing accessibility, recognizing the limitations of music and arts on campus. Although the Collective is designed for underrepresented artists – women, femmes, genderqueer, queer and trans folk, as well as POC – it aims to serve the entire CC community. Eboni Statham ’17, the founder of B-Side, said that her past involvement as both events and general manager at the Sounds of Colorado College inspired the organization’s origination. “I recognized that the music scene was full of mostly cis white dudes,” Statham said. “During my sophomore year I believe, I attended a conversation surrounding women and music. A lot of people who attended expressed how they wanted to be involved with music at CC but had various reasons that stopped them. Either they did not have a space to practice, weren’t sure how to start a band, felt looked down and not taken seriously by men, etc.” B-Side was born out of this desire to provide all-inclusive practice space, with focus on underrepresented musicians.
“People can come here, and we have a ton of instruments and amps; they can use all our equipment, meet other people to jam with. And we’re going to have shows here and workshops,” Farr-Morrissey said. Artists can request to use the space on Facebook or become a “volunteer” for the Collective, gaining swipe access to the building from 1 to 10 p.m. No formal experience in music is required. Workshops in the past have included composers collaborating with the Collective, jam sessions with local musicians, and opportunities to establish connections with the Denver chapter.
The space itself is also fairly dynamic. “Each room has a theme, just to make it more interesting. They can all be used as practice rooms; there is a lot of equipment,” Farr-Morrissey said. “I like the ‘Time-Machine,’ the black-light space to the right of the entryway: there’s an organ, keyboards, a Theremin.” The main space includes a stage for shows, while the remainder includes additional practice rooms, screening rooms, and art studios.
Farr-Morrissey is working to fuse the mission of the Collective into the space of the building itself. Statham commented on these efforts: “The original idea was to create a community for people and to brainstorm ways in which the music community can be more accessible and supportive,” Statham said. “At the time we also focused on bringing in a diverse range of musicians to compliment events that were already happening on campus. I think the music space in many ways will allow the group to do a lot of these things and also branch out to new territory and reach more people.”
B-Side is hosting a concert this Friday, Sept. 14, featuring Washington’s Cedar Sap with CC’s Honour Council, at 801 N. Tejon St.