Sure — Boulder is a burgeoning technology metropolis with a small town feel. But did you know that there’s some pretty epic music that’s discovered, fostered, and nurtured here as well? Madison House is an artist management, booking, and event firm that’s one of Boulder’s best-kept secrets. They represent favorites such as The String Cheese Incident and the Greyboy Allstars — and there right here in our own backyard.
We sat down with Nadia Prescher, one of the partners at Madison House, to ask her what she loves about Boulder. Her responses are chock full of hidden gems and local favorites alike. And if you’re a skydiver, you might catch her on the way back down to terra Boulder sometime soon.
When you need to huddle-up with your partners, what are your favorite eat-and-meet destinations in town?
The Kitchen or The Kitchen Next Door are my “go-to’s” when I’m in downtown Boulder. Along with the local/sustainable menus by Hugo Matheson, the atmosphere is fabulous with amazing art and lighting designing by Kitchen co-founder Jen Lewin. Electric Forest, produced by Madison House Presents, supports our friend Kimbal Musk and the Kitchen’s Learning Gardens programs, which create outdoor classrooms for schools across the country. The program was recently recognized by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and awarded some unused NATO summit money. Their plan is to create 180 Learning Gardens in 2013 with 60 in Chicago, 60 across the country, and most importantly with 60 right here in Colorado.
What is your favorite Boulder-brewed beer/Boulder tea house/ Boulder coffee shop?
Who doesn’t love the Mountain Sun or Southern Sun? While I don’t drink beer anymore, I know that everyone loves their Colorado Pale Ale and Chocolate Stout. Kevin, Tim, Jess, and Will always go out of their way to make me and my crew feel at home.
For coffee, I adore The Unseen Bean, located right below our office. The owner, Gerry Leary (who is without sight…hence the creative name) brews some of Boulder’s best coffee and much of it is organic and fair-trade, which is always a plus for me. Great staff, great coffee, enough said.
What are some of your favorite places to shop in Boulder?
Nod & Rose is one of my favorite clothing stores in Boulder…and luckily it’s right below our office in Siena Square. It’s run by a husband and wife team [Nod and Elizabeth] Nod & Rose carries high-quality casual clothing in their cozy Broadway boutique. Another favorite is Chelsea, which was founded by Jessica Helson over 10 years ago, and also a Siena Square tenant. I’m addicted to their Chan Luu scarves and Genetic jeans, and whenever I need to pick up a gift, the shop has great necklaces and earrings, and even treats for dogs.
What’s your favorite place in Boulder to see a live concert?
I don’t think I can choose just one place, but out of the vast list my favorites include: Macky Auditorium, Boulder Theatre, Fox Theatre, Shine, Chautauqua Auditorium and Etown. Every venue in Boulder has something special to offer to both its guests and musicians. That being said, I am really looking forward to the annual Madison House Fall Fête, because you never know who is going to show up!
If someone is new to Boulder, what are a few must-see destinations in town?
The National Center for Atmospheric Research is one of Boulder’s hidden gems. I was reminded of how much NCAR has to offer while on a school field trip with my kids this year. Along with tours, NCAR has science-based exhibits as well as art galleries and interactive activities. There are also some amazing trails for hiking and mountain biking.
Eldorado Canyon is gorgeous. On sunny days, the rock climbers on the canyon walls make for fun scenery. It’s only a few minutes from downtown, but provides a quick getaway that is ideal for getting some “thinking time” into my schedule.
What is your favorite part about living in Boulder?
BALANCE. Many of the music industry people that live in Boulder would probably have the same response. I can enjoy my family, ride my motorcycle, and skydive all in the same day … and usually all before 11AM. The music community is pretty tight here. It’s great meeting up for lunch to talk about new acts or possibilities for charity work. Plus, my office’s view of the Flatirons is nothing to complain about! Balance is definitely a reason why Boulder makes the top of so many “best of lists,” including Forbes Magazine’s “Top 25 Cities to Live Well.”
What brought you to Boulder?
It was January 1998 and several of us from The String Cheese Incident management team were here in Colorado for the grand opening of the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins. During a band meeting on the band bus “Bussy”, the topic shifted to where management was going to relocate that summer. Jeremy [Stein] was joining the management team and Mike [Luba] and I were ready to leave Athens, Georgia after developing Madison House there in 1996. The options were for the band and management to relocate to San Francisco or Boulder. Since we were all relocating together, we decided to put it to a vote. I had done my homework within the band members and I thought for sure we were headed to San Francisco. But one of the band guys changed his mind at the last minute (I won’t name names but his nickname rhymes with “goose”) and 16 years later I’m still in Boulder.
Photo Credit: John Van Horne