March 9, 2009

etown: a Boulder treasure for the whole wide world.

Nick and Helen Forster aren’t just a funny, lovely, happy (in a grounded way) couple that’s worked their butts off for the greater good for nearly 20 years, now. They’re eco/social entrepreneurs and musical movers and shakers—they’re the most affable modern revolutionaries this side of Hope, Change and Progress.

So what’s etown? It’s a musical variety show with green, social trimmings that’s distributed, via the everything old-is-new-again radio air waves, to thousands of towns across the US and world. It’s sponsored by cool companies: Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Ben & Jerry’s, webroot (who I didn’t know about), Chipotle, Silk Soy, Itoen, Bohemian Foundation, Dave Query’s Big Red F restaurants (Dave and Co host public, by-reservation preshow dindins) and others.

Over the years they’ve hosted such musical luminaries as Ani DiFranco, Jack JohnsonBarenaked Ladies…lots of other famous folks…and Ben Harper (who played the first show I saw, way back in ’99, when I first moved back to Boulder, Colorado, my ol’hometown—I was sitting in one of the front rows with a girl dash friend, and right in between two songs he noticed my red white cowboy shirt, and asked if he could have it, he’s a cowboy style aficianado [as would I be if I had the budget] and I stood and roared to the crowd, big funny applause, pretended to unsnap it, instead offered my cowboy hat, which my friend was wearing, and he wore if atop his afro for a few songs). To check out our photos of their all-star gig at the recent Democratic National Convention in Denver, click here.

Last night’s highlight, other than hearing our elephant journal dot com thanked in front of etown’s huuuge audience? The pleasure of discovering The Bad Plus—which are

a fancy highly-skilled classic jazz trio that you might see in any fancy NY hotel


a cover band (Nirvana’s “Lithium,” Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” Wilco’s “Radio Cure,” the Bee Gees’ “How Deep is Your Love,” Heart’s “Barracuda”)


something undefined, exuberant, cocky and totally new—echoes of Theivery Corporation, or RJD2 perhaps. 

Or, as Rolling Stone succinctly put it, they’re 

“about as badass as highbrow gets.”


A few etown videos of from a few shows over the last few years:



elephant journal dot com is proud to be one of etown’s smaller, media sponsors because I’m a huge fan of anyone trying to get the good word out on how to change the world for the better—especially if they have a sense of humor, joie de vivre and a soul-searching irreverence.

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