Thursday, March 29, 2012

See Lucero! See Jewel! For free!

Lucero is doing an acoustic set(duo) at Twist and Shout tomorrow, 3/30, at 6:30 p.m.

As part of NCAA women's final four action in Denver, Jewel plays at the convention center 3/31 at 5:30 p.m. if you get there early enough to get in

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Silversun Pickups

The Silversun Pickups' new album is on its way May 8. You can listen to the single "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)" now:

Friday, March 23, 2012


Verdict: thumbs way down. McBites are pretty terrible
But McD's chocolate chip cookies: thumbs up!!! 39 cents apiece

The Kitchen, Denver

PB and C stopped into The Kitchen's newly opened Denver outpost just briefly last night. It's a sprawling place that still feels cozy and welcoming, yet upscale, thanks to wood floors, exposed brick, metal stools, an open airy layout with lots of room to walk between seating areas, and fancy chandeliers.

We were there just for a cocktail (PB had the terragin, an herbaceous tarragon and gin concoction. Sorry, don't have spellcheck on and not going to look up how to spell it) The waiter said there's also a gin cocktail with lychee in it, for fans of the sweeter side. Then we split a lemon tart, which we both thought was great. The crust was tasty almost like a cookie, and tart itself was tangy with a carmelized top, and it was topped with sort of a sour cream. ($7)

It's a fine dining-ish sort of place, Boulder style ... We got there late, so only the bar menu was available. The bar menu had options including a burger or beet salad for right around $11-13. Also smaller options like hummus, bruschetta, mussels. A fancy place with fancy people, no background music so you can easily carry on a conversation. A little blaring of Pearl Jam made escaped from the kitchen for about 20 seconds (to cheers from the bar!) before they turned it down again.

No idea what the hours for this place are! But they weren't kicking anyone out when we left around midnight. Take a peek through the big glass windows to see if you can still go in. Huge patio. Can't wait for it to open.

YSL at Denver Art Museum

Just got a sneak peek of the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibit first showed in Paris but is now in Denver in its only US showing. The exhibit opens this weekend (Saturday for members, then for everyone, running thru July 8) It's an impressive show of something like 200+ pieces, from his safari jacket, "le smoking" (tuxedos), pant suits, to designs inspired by his travels around the world.

Getting in to the exhibit costs extra, which might turn off non fashion fans. But on the second floor of DAM's Hamilton building, the museum has placed a large movie screen next to the elevators showing YSL's last fashion show to lure you in to see more! The runway show is a good preview of what you'll see inside, or if you don't watch the film until your way out, you can see how the pieces from the exhibit move on live models on the runway.

When you enter the exhibit, there's a dark hall with text to set the scene. Lighting throughout is fairly dim to preserve the clothes. There are also short videos. One of the first designs on display is his feminine take on the leather jacket.

Next, a few examples of the trapeze, swing design (rather than dresses with emphasized waists). There's a replica of his studio, then a line of mannequins showing off pant suits, the safari jacket, the mix of feminine and masculine. There's also a short video setting the mood of the '60s, with women being more independent, taking charge, and with Yves Saint Laurent saying he wants to change women's attitudes with his clothes.

There's a selection of dresses worn by celebrities including Paloma Picasso and the Princess of Monaco. You can see sketches and a short animated film of la vilaine Lulu (naughty Lulu), a character he dreamt up in his early days at Dior, plus examples of the risks he took with sheer dresses/tops. Do you remember ever seeing nude photos of YSL for an ad campaign? Shots from that photo shoot are in the exhibit.

There are also dresses showing influences of Morocco, Africa (animal prints and feathers), Japan.

A movie room has a short film with an interview with YSL himself and Pierre Berge.

The next room has examples of dresses and jackets inspired by art. Take a look and see if you can spot the influences, from Matisse to Mondrian to Van Gogh and others. The short white wedding dress with doves on it is here too.

One room is devoted to Catherine Deneuve, who wore his clothes in film and on the street. You can see sketches of what he designed and then watch clips from "Belle du Jour," where she's wearing one of his coats, for example.

The last room is quite impressive, with a wall of mannequins from floor to ceiling wearing the variations of tuxedo designs (tuxedo with shorts, dress versions, bolero tuxedo, and on and on). Then there is a tiered sort of red carpet area with all sorts of glamorous party dresses. The finale is the dress with the big pink bow in back that appeared in a perfume ad.

It's a fascinating look at the creativity of a designer who took risks and had women looking at fashion and themselves in a different way. What designers today do you think do the same thing?

Tickets for the YSL exhibit are timed and are $14 for members or $22 for nonmembers, with the tix also getting you in to the rest of the museum. On the first floor of the museum is a "fashion studio" where you can get a chance to do what designers do and drape a dress form, talk to a local fashion designer about their process, or walk a runway. The museum store meanwhile has stocked several YSL postcards, books, bookmarks, notebooks, mugs, tote bags, etc. And it's also showcasing clothes and hats from different designers, which is new for the museum.

This exhibit is kind of a big deal for the museum, but then in October, there will be the big Van Gogh exhibit, so busy times for DAM!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Lumineers

Denver's The Lumineers are heading out on tour after SXSW. They play May 11 in Denver at the Bluebird. (Sorry, Seattle, show is sold out)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Williams & Graham

We finally made it into Williams & Graham, the speakeasy on 32nd and Tejon, on our fourth try.

The first three times were all on chilly weekend nights, when we were sent out into the cold to wait for an hour for a table to come open. We ended up instead at Linger and downtown the first two times and never made it back. The third time, the hostess told us if we went down the street to the Highland Tap and Burger, W&G would pick up our first round of drinks. At Highland Tap, T had his favorite cocktail ever, a cucumber that seemed funny for a frigid Feb. night but would probably be perfect in summer. We didn't end up going back to W&G.

But the 4th time of trying to get in, PB+C got in at 11 p.m. on a Wednesday. This place looks like a bookseller, but a bookshelf swings open, and now you're in the bar. There's curtains and high-backed booths, so even when you're inside, you might not know who all is there. There's a fancy bar, tin ceilings. You exit out the back instead of the way you came.

Anyway, by 11 p.m. on a Wednesday, the kitchen was starting to close, so only the late night menu of sandwiches was available. We both got the lamb. It comes out on this crispy toast, with fried eggs on it and greens. The first bite was so delicious, though perhaps a bit salty. PB said it was the best sandwich he'd ever eaten. C advises leaving the top piece of bread off and eating it as it comes out to you: with the egg, greens, lamb on one piece of bread and eating the other slice of toast as just toast. Otherwise, the bread gets too soggy by the time you're done eating the sandwich if you put the second piece of bread on top of the other.

You can also get some fancy cocktails here. This place is pretty loud, so it's not the most awesome place to shout out a conversation, but this place is fun to check out

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Went to TAG for Denver restaurant week, the 2-week period when you can get 3 dishes, sometimes more, for a mere $26.40 per person or $52.80 per couple. The restaurant week experience probably doesn't really do TAG justice, because I'm sure the typical bill here is way more than $26.40 on a usual day. I got the pork shoulder (very tender) with kimchi mashed potatoes for my entree. Don't be scared of the kimchi. The typical sourness is barely noticeable with the potatoes. I had the sweetbreads for first course. I got the bread pudding for dessert, but folks, the fruit tart looked so good going out to other tables. SO get the tart. My tablemates were more timid about the menu and opted for vegetarian options, which again, probably doesn't really show off all TAG has to offer. The chicken entree option with pistachio puree looked really tempting, so if anyone had that, let me know how it was. My tablemates also got the chocolate/peanut butter bar, which looked rich, and they looked happy eating it. So there you go


MC and I stopped by Snooze on 7th and Colorado after a walk in the warm weather yesterday. She got the Bella! Bella! eggs benedict (with prosciutto and Taleggio cheese), and I had the vanilla almond oatmeal brulee with strawberries and bananas. It took a very, very long time for our food to come out, even though it wasn't all that crowded (compared to the typical hour wait on weekends.) The people next to us also had to wait a while for their food. Our server made up for it by giving us a fancy complimentary pancake. I forget all that was in it, but I think he said chocolate chips and cherries, with a butterscotch butter? Anyway, it was pretty much a dessert _ and delicious!! We also got a side of hash browns, which came out in a pretty, round little stack. The fancy pancake and well-prepared food went a long way toward making up for the long wait for food. So good job, Snooze

Lena Dunham

The upcoming debut of HBO's "Girls", with Lena Dunham, got me interested again in Dunham's movie "Tiny Furniture," which she wrote, directed and starred in. It's such a barebones, naturalistically acted indie film (shot for $25,000, finished for $20,000 more). It's the kind of set up that could test my patience, yet Dunham is so charming and real in it that I wanted to keep watching. I like the humor and honesty in it. "Girls" looks like a promising series about being in your 20s and trying to figure out where to go with your life post-college.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Onward, Soldiers (and Kyle James Hauser)

(photos by Thomas Peipert)

The North Carolina quartet Onward, Soldiers like when people dance to their songs. They've turned up the focus on the piano with their second album, and with their lyrics, they rhyme "Oklahoma" with "coma." What's not to like?

The band got a boost from having "Stick to Your Guns" off their first album featured on "One Tree Hill" and "Let the Time Roll By" landing on a CD that helped relief efforts after the Gulf oil spill.

Last night in Denver, it was a bit of a family affair for Onward, Soldiers at the Walnut Room, with lead singer Sean Thomas Gerard's girlfriend, mom and cousins in the audience as they rolled through a bunch of their songs, new and old. The audience was reverent and quiet through most of the set until they finally started dancing up a storm to "Let the Time Roll By" off the first album "Ghosts in This Town." (It's hard not to get up when drummer Kevin Rhodes is standing up behind his drum set, beating the drums.)

The band also played "Telling Nobody" off the new album, which was just released last month. Another highlight was "Cry," with 3-part harmonies (with drummer and Winoca Records co-founder Kevin Rhodes and guitarist Lincoln Morris chiming in behind Gerard)

If you missed them at the Walnut Room, you still have a chance to catch them in Denver at Vine Street Pub tonight, 3/4, around 10 p.m. They'll also be at SXSW.

Frankly, I was just as happy to hear Kyle James Hauser, sans band, opening for Onward, Soldiers (and The Yawpers, who came on after the soldiers).

He played "Oh Oh" off his new album. He also played a song he wrote about a would-be co-writer who would come over ostensibly to write but then shoot up and pass out in a corner. Sorry, I forget the name. Someone help me with that. He also jammed on the banjo, throwing in bits of "Blackbird" and "Norwegian Wood" there for fun. He'll be at SXSW but also plans to play with his band at the Hi-Dive 3/25. His new album (well, it came out in November or something) is $10.