Bears of Manitou @ Martini Ranch

It hasn't taken long for Kickstarter to seem as played out as a months-old Internet meme (I can haz money, plz?). But the fact remains, the crowd-funding service is all the rage with indie musicians trying to raise capital. For the average price of a record, you can secure your purchase ahead of time (and maybe get your name included in the credits for a few extra bucks). The process is simple, but standing out in a sea of bands who have their hands out is more challenging. Local indie folkers Bears of Manitou pulled it off, offering to write songs for donors or take backers camping, and promising to donate excess funds to the Colorado Wild Fire Tees charity. The band's relationship with the Centennial State is a close one: Gabe Williams traveled to Manitou Springs and was told about the region's black bears, inspiring the band's name. He didn't see any, but his experience looking for bears was inspirational: "This is how life works. The people we meet, the time we spend. It takes years to truly know a person." The resulting album, Origins, is full of heartfelt, toe-tapping sounds and will be available just in time for the album's release party this weekend.


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