Monday, December 27, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shaq becomes Boston Pops' tallest conductor

Shaquille O'Neal conducts a few songs for the Boston Pops

Friday, December 17, 2010

Free holiday music!

Target has free downloadable holiday music from Blackalicious, Darker My Love, Guster, Best Coast with Wavves, et al.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weezer plays free at Vail today, 12/12, as part of Snow Daze.

Also this weekend, the people who helped launch Beaver Creek Ski Resort 30 years ago got together to share stories and memories.

Next Saturday have some hot sake and cider and snacks at Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast's pop-up store inside Mod Living on Colfax (upstairs). 12/18, 5-8 p.m.

Or check out the Office Holiday party that Central City is throwing for people who don't get to have office holiday parties: karaoke, buffets, live music, dancing and Santa at the casinos

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Fashion in Denver

This Friday, 12/10, DVLP Clothing hosts the Cupcakes & Couture fashion show to raise money for the Denver Design Incubator. There will be fashion show, cocktails and cupcakes for $20 at the Jet Hotel (16th and Wazee). Bring extra dough in case you want to bid on anything at the silent auction.

Then on Sunday, 12/12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. head to the Grant Humphreys Mansion at 770 Pennsylvania St. for Fashion Denver's winter fashion event, Vixen. It's $5 to get in and you can check out designs from local talent like Kimono Dragons and Fashions by Rae Marie

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Northwestern @ Wrigley Field this weekend!

Oh, no, they didn't. They did! Wrigley Field sign painted purple for this weekend:

Readying Wrigley for Northwestern Football from Northwestern News on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jesse LeDoux and Sanrio

Jesse LeDoux does a drawing for Sanrio's 50th birthday celebration:

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Here's a neato interactive from AP on the Chilean miners

And one by The New York Times

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tuesday music club

There's a ton of good music to see Tuesday night, 10/12.

Film School is at Hi-Dive, $12. Check out "Heart Full of Pentagons"

Foals is at Larimer Lounge (Liking the LL's new website by the way) $13

Caribou and Envy are also in CO.

We have similar dilemmas Oct. 18, when The National, Seabear and K-Os are all in town but in different places. It's hard to pick.

Here's some more Film School. Enjoy:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday news

Can't wait for the Chilean miners to emerge ... !
The last time Jukebox the Ghost was in Denver, singers Tommy and Ben both lost their voices for a spell. The vocal cords held out fine this time, and their sound was polished.

This is a band that's built themselves a rep for sunny, bubbly melodies (they even have a blog devoted to gum, fwiw) even if the lyrics aren't always that way. They pull songwriting ideas from lots of influences. And how many guitarists do you know who sing arpeggios for the mic check? Hooray for Earth, which was one of the openers, jumped on stage to play tambourine, shakers and a few keyboard lines for Jukebox's cover of The Cure's "Close to Me." (In their own set, Hooray for Earth had a few glitches with their synth and robots but still did fine.) Jukebox the Ghost played 3 encores, finishing with a cover of "I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis. (They previewed it by saying, "We're going to take you back to 1994. Most of you probably heard this in the dentist office." That prompted one audience member to say, "That's the year I was born!")

The new music model

New music, brought to you by Converse

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Jukebox the Ghost in Denver

Fridays are for celebratin'! Tonight they're in Seattle at the High Dive, but come Friday, Jukebox the Ghost will be at the Hi-Dive in Denver, 10/8. Leave the work week behind, grab a beer, dance around.

Check out their song, "Empire."

Or watch the video for "Schizophrenia":

Observations from Jimmy Eat World, Ogden, 10/3/10

_ Denver loves Jimmy Eat World.
_ We really just wanted them to play their old stuff. They can save "The Middle" for Omaha.
_ How many guitar picks does Jim Adkins have? Ha, he kept throwing them out to the crowd. Also, he must lose 2 lbs of sweat each show
_ We Were Promised Jetpacks opened. The Scottish band sounds like a throwback to the days of when Jimmy Eat World got started: active drumkit, moments of frenetic guitar, single-color vocals. They sold out their own show at the Hi-Dive back in March and got people to the Ogden early. A short set though to make way for Jimmy Eat World

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Free museums

It's the first Saturday of the month this weekend, which means free admission at the Museum of Contemporary Art. (That saves you $10). Right now you can see Christo's sketches of "Over the River," which he and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, envisioned for the Arkansas River. They're waiting to see if they can get a federal permit for the project.

The Denver Art Museum offers free tickets for entry on the first Saturday too. (doesn't include the King Tut exhibit)

Monday, September 27, 2010

All things Stieg Larsson

We finally finished reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Til we get the sequel, we've been reading anything else related to the books we can find!

The Swedes have made a movie out of this book, and now a U.S. remake is in the works. We think Ellen Page would've made a pretty good Salander.

It wasn't easy choosing what the cover of the book would look like in the U.S.

In case you missed it, the New York Times magazine's article on the drama swirling around author Stieg Larsson, his family, his live-in girlfriend and a laptop containing 3/4 of a manuscript for a fourth book...


Just got back from a trip to San Sebastian not so long ago and decided to go to Ondo's for pintxos in Cherry Creek not once, but twice, this weekend to relive it. Actually, two different friends happened to suggest going there for dinner, and how could we refuse.

Chefs Deicy and Curt Steinbecker trained and lived in San Sebastian before opening Ondo's. We've been here before to sit at the bar for happy hour. But last weekend, we tried some new stuff.

Friday night, we started with a strawberry salad with lettuce, walnuts, parmesan arranged in a neat pile, with peach vinaigrette throughout and thin strawberry slices lined up along the side and with a shrimp salad with avocado and cherry tomatoes. The shrimp and avocado combination was cool and refreshing for a summer night. Tasty. Moving on, we tried the Cordero Braseado, a cube of braised leg of lamb that's so soft it crumbles once your fork touches it. It comes with a thin layer of potato puree and a jello-like cube of berry sauce that sets of the lamb nicely. We also got the mussels in white wine sauce. A said the sauce was the best part of the mussel dish. Pretty standard preparation. But the best part was dessert. The deconstructed pina colada (pineapple taste with lots of rum) used to be A's favorite til he tried the bread pudding, which our friendly waiter James recommended over the rice pudding (which tastes good too. I've had it before.) But James was right on the bread pudding: warm, with ice cream, a cinnamon flavor, and they do something creme brulee-ish to the top so it's got a carmelized crisp on top. Delicious!

Saturday night, was there with a former Ondo's cook, so we got nice treatment. We got to taste some croquettes with a creamy veggie filling for the apertivo. The Chorizo y Datiles is always tasty: one slice of bread topped with two slices of chorizo paired with sweet dates and mascarpone spread. Patatas bravas (fried potatoes with tangy picante sauce) here come with the sauce in a bowl, rather than on top of the potatoes, which are cut into small triangle wedges and double fried. This time, the wedges were smaller, so the potatoes were a little crunchier. The solomillo is usually amazingly tender and done rare to medium rare. It was a little more cooked than that this time. Comes with blue cheese sauce over the beef, thin layer of potato puree and a sweet red pepper. A good dish. We also had olives stuffed with salmon. MC said she could taste the salmon but not see it. I could see it but couldn't taste it. Anyway, we also got the langostios: shrimp with a tasty mix of garlic, tomato, cognac. Lovely. We would've stuck around to try a dessert, but the restaurant was getting busy, so we moved along.

The atmosphere here is interesting. From looking at the place and its ground-level patio with a waterfall, you'd think it'd be very upscale, but you can see customers dressed up here or dressed down. The staff wears black shirts with jeans. The bar, which is open to the rest of the restaurant, plays sports on a flat-screen TV. There's also free parking behind the building, which is nice in Cherry Creek.

Haven't tried the foie terrine with white chocolate yet. Next time ...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Olga Kern is playing with the Colorado Symphony this weekend. The CSO says if you can't go in person, you can listen live on public radio. What do you think: a good idea, or shooting themselves in the foot?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good reading

For your Tuesday:

English is dead, Gene Weingarten says!

Money can make life easier, but does it always make you happy? The New York Times

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rufus in Denver

It was a family affair at the Ogden when Rufus Wainwright played there Tuesday night.

His sis Martha opened. Martha charmed the audience with little chatter in between songs. She said it's good touring with Rufus, because he writes a lot. "I feel envious and guilty," she said. The songs she sang included "Black Sheep Lodge" and she also sang one sang a cappella without the mic.

For Rufus, it was a performance in two acts. Part One was more art piece, Part Two traditional concert. For the first part, the audience was told not to clap at all until Wainwright had left the stage. He entered slowly wearing a dark cape on a dark stage and sat at his piano with a big screen behind him continually showing images of slow-blinking, dark eye-shadowed eyes. The first act included slow, melancholy melodies like "Zebulon," with others like the lively "Give Me What I Want and Give it to Me Now" punching things up. Wainwright is an intriguing songwriter, with layered piano melodies underlying the long notes he likes to have himself sing over them. It'd be interesting to hear a classical artist interpret them.

Anyway, in the second act, his playful spirit was back on display. He came out in a bright orange patterned suit and white shoes. He joked with the audience, saying Colorado seems to be the place where people who are really , really poor or really, really rich seem to come to drop out. ("I've done the drive from Denver to Aspen," he said. "That's the whole spectrum of dropouts") Songs in the second half, after an intermission, included his version of "Hallelujah" (Martha sang it with him as a duet)

He left off with "Poses," and "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk," and a song his late mother, Kate McGarrigle, wrote about his parents' courtship

Monday, August 16, 2010

Colorado Symphony

Did you get your ticket for Itzhak Perlman yet? He plays with the Colorado Symphony on 4/27 for one night only. Symphony series subscribers got first dibs on tickets, and single tickets (for Perlman and all the other symphony concerts) went on sale today. The symphony website was buggy all morning, phone lines were ringing busy, and there was a long line out the door at the box office that took a few hours to clear. But there were still Perlman tix available at various prices this afternoon. Idina Menzel, Ben Folds, Olga Kern, Brandi Carlile and Kathleen Battle also are part of the symphony's 2010-2011 season.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rufus Wainwright in Denver

The Rufus Wainwright show scheduled for the Paramount (capacity 1,870) has been moved to the Ogden Theatre (holds maybe 1,500) on 8/17. Still reserved seats, Rufus' peeps say. Should be an intimate show. He's written a French opera, but his latest album "All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu," focuses on just vocals and piano. Here's "Zebulon" from the album:

Friday, August 06, 2010

It's the weekend....

True Love has its pink champagne happy hour tonight, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. If you have a rewards card, you get 15 percent off shoes, or 20 percent off shoes that are on sale. They're doing a summer clearance, and there will be free champagne.

Icelantic Skis is showing off new top sheets and having free beer, 6:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. at their space at 948 W. 8th Ave. tonight, 8/6. Filthy Children playing live.

Free festival at the plaza between Tattered Cover and Twist and Shout on Saturday, 8/7. Porlolo plays 4 p.m., Ian Cooke at 2:15 p.m. And Watercourse will have a food truck there. The whole festival is 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The very last Jazz at the Park is this Sunday, 8/8, at City Park, 6-8 p.m. FREE. Come out! Bring your Frisbee, grill, flip flops, lawn chairs! Fun. E-mail us if you want to try to meet up out there

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sting @ Red Rocks :: April Smith and The Great Picture Show @ the Larimer Lounge

April Smith and The Great Picture Show showed up at the Larimer Lounge last night. Rollicking, moxie, spunk, are words that come to mind. April belted out tunes about not thinking about an ex, keeping a rival away from her man, and good ol' trouble. She got the crowd into it, telling stories, dancing on stage, clapping and keeping the energy up, up, up. Everyone in The Great Picture Show can improvise and throw down, from the stand up bass to drums to guitar to the accordion/keyboard/etc, etc man. All on a night when Sting was playing with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at Red Rocks.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

April Smith and The Great Picture Show

Songs by April Smith and The Great Picture Show are engaging enough, with hints of swing or ragtime and sweet adelines, but word has it their live show is even more of an old-style, entertaining, big tent event. We'll see soon enough when they come to the Larimer Lounge this Thursday, 6/10.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend musings...

Entertaining conversation at the garage sale today when I tried to buy a mini-Igloo cooler marked $5, and a plastic colander and a shrunken CU Buffs T-shirt that didn't have prices on them:

Me: How much for all three?
Homeowner: For all three? It'd be $15
Me: Oh. How much is the shirt??
Her: Each one is $5
Me: What if I just get the cooler and the colander how much is that?
Her: Oh, well, I'll give them to you for $5 altogether.

Don't ask me about the math. I still didn't get the shirt.

Good weather for the Five Points Jazz Festival on Welton yesterday and the pool party at 9th and Pearl. Even better weather today ... a bit cooler. Jazz in City Park starts in 2 weekends. Free jazz in the park!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Free at Twist & Shout

Nathaniel Rateliff (The Wheel, Born in the Flood) plays at Twist and Shout for free 6 p.m. Tuesday, 5/4, the same day his new album comes out on Rounder Records.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The University of Colorado's Conference on World Affairs is going on this week, and Roger Ebert and Werner Herzog are scheduled to appear. Check out the schedule and details

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Music notes

Been listening to new music by Achille Lauro, and boy, the song "Summertime" sounds so gorgeous. "Sandra" is all right too. Their record release party is April 10 at the Hi-Dive.

By the way, Pee-lander Z is back in town and playing at the Larimer Lounge tonight, 3/31. $8.

The Flobots are playing on Saturday, 4/3, at the Colorado Rapids' home opener. Game time is 2 p.m.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

News via The Seattle Times: All the old issues of Spin are available on Google Books now.

-- A

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

Friday, March 05, 2010

Colorado's James Beard nominees

The list of Colorado nominees includes not only Frank Bonanno for outstanding restaurateur (the man behind Mizuna, Luca d'Italia, Osteria Marco and Bones) but also Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ells.

A bunch of Colorado chefs got recognized with nominations for best chef in the Southwest:

Alex Seidel, Fruition, Denver
Mark Fischer, Six89, Carbondale
Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Denver
Kelly Liken, Kelly Liken, Vail
Bertrand Bouquin, Summit at the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
Ryan Hardy, Montagna at the Little Nell, Aspen

Yasmin Lozada-Hissom (Duo, Olivea) picked up another nomination for outstanding pastry chef.

James Rugile from Venue Bistro in Denver was nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

The Penrose Room at the Broadmoor was nominated for Outstanding Service.

Here's the full list.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Denver Restaurant Week

We're in week 2 now of Denver Restaurant Week, when you can get a meal for two for $52.80 (or $26.40 per person) at tons of restaurants.

Three of us gorged ourselves at Firenze a Tavola at 44th and Tennyson (it's attached to Parisi. Just walk inside and head immediately downstairs.) None of us had ever been there before. It's a warm inviting place with staff that's really from Italy. We took advantage of the Denver Restaurant Week menu. For the first course we tried the spinach salad with mushroom, pear, pancetta and gorgonzola vinaigrette; the fried cheese (like a battered grilled cheese with marinara on the side); and the tomato soup (creamy, with basil and extra virgin olive oil). For the second course, we tried scallop and mushroom risotto and peas; braised short ribs with carrots, wine-soaked shallots and potato (didn't even need a knife); and spaghetti (imported, it was gone pretty quick). We went for tiramisu (served in a cup, with ladyfingers dipped in); bread pudding (rich with caramel and chocolate); and the truffle plate (holy decadent, with tiny chocolate squares that pack a punch and a coconutty, sugary ball in the middle). We ate so much, it kind of hurt.

Best of Bonnaroo, FREE

Head to, write to your member of Congress about climate change and download music from artists like Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Pearl Jam, Raphael Saadiq, Dave Matthews and others for free. You don't have to do anything at all if you just want the free music, but of course, they would like you to make your voice heard.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Haochen Zhang with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in Denver

If you didn't get to see Haochen Zhang play with the Colorado Symphony on Fri or Sat night, you have one more chance! Don't miss it! The Van Cliburn Competition gold medal winner plays again at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, 2/21, at Boettcher Hall. Students really have no excuse, because if you get there about 10 minutes ahead, you can get a really good seat for $5. (We sat in the 3rd row)

The program started with Tchaikovsky, Francesca da Rimini, Symphonic fantasy after Dante, Opus 32. The high-energy piece was a nice setup for Zhang, who played the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major. He is only 19. Nineteen! After such a showy, hard-edged performance, the flowing, delicate gentle encore was a nice contrast to show what he can do. Not sure what the encore was. Chopin? (If you were there, please help out)

Then the orchestra finished with conductor Scott O'Neil leading a brisk reading of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, arranged by Ravel. The trumpet was fantastic: clear, confident in the Promenade, precise tonguing. The french horn, I think it was, had some tough breaks on a couple of notes. The final movement was magnificent, especially from the third row. The brass really shined, and the audience was on its feet.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Langhorne Slim

All right. So Langhorne Slim didn't make it out to Denver last time because of snow. Will it happen again??? Langhorne Slim is slated to play Wednesday night, 2/10, at the Hi-Dive. Here's hoping it happens this time.

Friday, January 29, 2010

SIA Snow Show!

photo by EA

SIA's Snow Show is here! After years in Vegas, the trade show where stores and resorts place orders for next year's ski and snowboard gear has moved to Denver for the next 11 years. That makes Denver tourism, hotel and restaurant folks happy, but lots of vendors are disappointed that they no longer have an all-night party right outside their door any more. The Snow Show IS a lot closer to the slopes, and attendees are getting breaks on lift tickets to any Colorado resort. Of course, that prompted one dude at the show to say, "All I keep thinking is why am I not there? Why am I here? I'd rather be skiing!"

Denver is doing its part to keep people happy with an apres ski that pretty much takes up all of the downtown core. Colorado resorts have teamed with bars to offer drink specials and give away swag and lift tickets. Stop by the Rialto Cafe, Rio Grande (Echo is giving out stuff), Appaloosa Grill (Telluride deals), Tilted Kilt, Wynkoop, among lots of others.

Inside the Snow Show, Burton tried to bring Vegas to Denver. Their booth at SIA was turned into a casino floor, complete with fake Elvis, sales reps dressed as card dealers, the whole nine yards.

Smokin' Boards brought out Buck Ferton. (If you're nice they'll share their beer with you.) The Skullcandy girls are giving away Skullcandy necklaces and bandanas, Volcom is handing out T-shirts.

photo by EA

On-snow demos at Winter Park for SIA attendees, Feb. 1-2.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Matt Morris :: album debut

Matt Morris got a taste of show biz as a kid when he tried out in a Denver-area audition for a new version of the Mickey Mouse Club. There were about 800 kids who showed up, and by the end of the day there were just eight. And after singing "Wind Beneath My Wings," (a song his dad Gary Morris had recorded as a country musician) Morris was among those left. He ended up being on the show with the likes of Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

Today, Morris' album "When Everything Breaks Open" is debuting on Timberlake's record label, Tennman Records. He and his band will be on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Friday, the CBS morning show the next day and then on Ellen on Tuesday.

Morris had kept in touch with his MMC co-stars as their careers went "astronomical," and he has written with Aguilera and Timberlake before. About five years ago, Timberlake mentioned he wanted to start a record label and sign Morris to it.

"Sure, thank you!" Morris remembers thinking. "It was a really generous thing."

Til then, Morris had been going the indie route. Unlike his co-stars, Morris took a break from show biz after MMC to be a regular teen, go to high school, sing in high school musicals. Rather than pursue a big contract, he spent time between his junior and senior year volunteering in Paraguay. "It's sort of the opposite of celebrity life. It's not about the glorification of you. It's about the betterment of others," he said. You might have seen him playing in coffee shops or The Walnut Room.

He planned to go to CU Boulder _ it was the only place he applied _ until he got a look at a syllabus and realized there wasn't much he wanted to do. On a whim, he applied to Belmont in Nashville and got in and called home to say he was moving. He says that's where he went through great change musically.

"When Everything Breaks Open" (produced by guitar great Charlie Sexton and Timberlake) has a breadth of styles, but we think Morris is at his best on the quieter arrangements where you can focus on his trembling vibrato, insightful lyrics and smooth voice.

Tennman head Ken Komisar says Morris came to the table with songs, then he, Timberlake, Sexton and others would work musically together to flesh them out. Here's a rundown of some of the songs on the album:

1. Don't You Dare :: Can't believe this is the first song on the album. Sounds overproduced, but if you like Maroon 5, maybe you'd still like this. The songs get better from here.
2. Money :: This should've been the first song, but maybe they didn't want to make people think too much of Timberlake on Morris' album right away. The song opens with sax, trumpet and trombone alone, to voices, then acoustic guitar. Timberlake does background vocals. It's a rhythmic groove, smart lyrics, not a lot of distractions
3. Love :: Some reggae influences here. Written shortly after Morris met his now-husband. Morris plays guitar and piano on this. Edie Brickell sings backing vocals
4. Bloodline :: A beautiful storytelling piece with strings and Patty Griffin doing background vocals
5. Live Forever :: Produced by Timberlake. Nice anthem
6. The Un-American :: If it were a drawing, it'd be a political cartoon
7. Let It Go :: A pleading ballad, just Morris and the piano. The strings envelope him later. He has such a full tone in the upper notes. Beautiful.
8. You Do It For Me :: Funk to spare. Plugged-in block party song
9. Just Before the Morning :: Inspired / reworked from an ambient song guitarist Dave Preston (now in Morris' band) recorded into a song with separate melody and lyrics.
10. In This House :: Thoughts about materialism and what really matters
11. Forgiveness :: Timberlake adds vocals again. The drums, guitars, loops add a lot of musical layers. Not a religious song per se, but more spiritual tones in the lyrics
12. Someone to Love You :: The album finishes with heavier fare.
13. Eternity :: This one tells a story, takes you on a journey.
**Bonus: 100,000 Strong

And that's it. Kind of makes you wonder what's next in the Matt Morris story, doesn't it?

Morris played recently in Boulder to open for the Flobots. As for Denver bands, Morris is digging Houses and Snake Rattle Rattle Snake.

He's playing in NYC tonight. More touring to come.