Wednesday, October 23, 2013

St. Louis vs Boston brass

A World Series appearance by the hometown team is usually something civic leaders cheer, but a St. Louis Symphony official worried the Cardinals' good fortune would affect ticket sales as people headed to the ballpark instead of the concert hall.

Hark! A marketing campaign is born! Take a look at how the brass of the Boston and St. Louis symphonies are having fun with the World Series with some trash talking.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What's on our reading list

So many books, so little time. Here's a few we're reading / about to read / hoping to read soon.

Wild, Cheryl Strayed
This memoir by a woman who set out to hike the Pacific Crest trail after losing her mother and marriage was one our book club picked. A movie version is coming soon with Reese Witherspoon.

Moloka'i, Alan Brennert
We started reading this one for book club but got sidetracked, but we're going to read, daggammit. Especially because the first few pages were compelling, but we had to set this book aside to finish Wild.

Vacationland: Tourism and Environment in the Colorado High Country, William Philpot
KW told us to read this non-fiction book for fascinating tidbits like how I-70 nearly didn't exist and how there's a whole ghost town there underwater at Dillon Reservoir.

A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
A Pulitzer Prize winner. We're trying to avoid hearing too much more about it before we turn the first page.

What do you recommend reading?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Naked and Famous

The crowd braved the cold, and Alisa of Naked and Famous braved a cold/flu for a show at the Fillmore in Denver last night. The Colourist started things off with a fun set that had the boys swooning for drummer/singer Maya. Then Naked Famous came out to perform with a full light show. The band said it can be tough being on the road touring a lot, but to feel the energy they get back from crowds like the one at the Fillmore makes it much easier. The night ended with Alisa saying, "This one's for you, Denver," as the encore ended with "Young Blood." Naked and Famous will be back in Denver 3/15 to play with Imagine Dragons.

adidas + snowboarding = ?

As snowboard season gets under way (A-Basin and Loveland have opened for the season, and Wolf Creek is operating on the weekends for now), we're curious to see whether adidas' entry into making and selling snowboard gear will take off.

Some longtime snowboarders are skeptical of a big brand like adidas getting into the snowboard game. Adidas is sponsoring pro riders like Jake Blauvelt to try to build cred.

Adidas has said it was going to go after core snowboarders in its first year of marketing, in part with advertising in snowboarding publications. They've managed to work their way into the editorial pages too.
The latest issue of Transworld Snowboarding includes adidas among its very limited number of "best boots you can buy" for both men and women. The issue also has a 10-page article on Blauvelt's new snowboard film, "Naturally," which adidas sponsored, and the issue has some full page ads for adidas. Also included on Transworld's best boot list: Nike.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bear Mountain

This song from Bear Mountain isn't too bad. Called "Two Step."

Thursday, September 05, 2013

To Nebraska!

For Labor Day weekend, we ended up in Nebraska to watch Big Red take on Wyoming at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. Not quite sure how that happened. It seems like one minute we were nodding along to a friend's "what if we..." conversation about college football over beers, and the next minute we were hurtling down I-80 in a Honda Civic at 92 mph and eating Cheez Frenchees* at Amigos.

There are few places louder than Memorial Stadium on game day. Before the game, a sea of fans dressed in red headed to their seats, and the band riled up fans.

It was so hot in Lincoln (somewhere around 95 degrees before kickoff?), and the stadium tunnel leading to our seats got so clogged with sweaty people that it seemed certain some fan in ill health would faint or pass out. Once we emerged into the fresh air, this is what the packed stadium of 90,000+ looked like:

There is this tradition where Nebraska fans release red balloons after the first score (though some people decided to release their balloons after the first TD, not the first score which happened to be a field goal.) It was quite delightful:

*breaded, fried, grilled cheese sandwiches. Served with pickle slice

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Denver County Fair

The Denver County Fair is a place for the unexpected.

As you enter, you're greeted by Timothy C. Flood's "Stranger Reduction Zone" sculpture, encouraging people to get to know each other, thereby reducing stranger danger throughout the land.

Directions for "Stranger Reduction Zone." When you press the button, funny phrases come out of the speaker, like "Hellooooo, baaaabe!"
Hi! We're now friends! Stranger reduced!

The Denver County Fair does have the usual farm animals....

...but there also was a camel.

And a unicorn? Can't be the Denver County Fair without a unicorn.

Here, the ringmaster of the flea circus sets up the cannon that will shoot a flea that will supposedly be caught by...

...this adorably focused guy who was unwittingly plucked out of the audience. Look at his face! He looks like he's taking his job very seriously, mixed with a little fear that he's not gonna see this flea come out of the cannon and ruin the whole show. (Don't worry. The ringmaster peered really close and somehow tweezed the flea out from the center of the mitt after the cannon went off.)

The best part of the fair, in Robin's opinion, was the indoor racecourse they set up for people to race trikes that really do look like adult Big Wheels. The best part is when the trikes would spin out! They're called High Rollers, and people could race them for free, or give a donation to support people recovering from severe injuries.

The fair also had food trucks, lots of art, a "best tattoo" competition complete with male and female contestants doing catwalk runs to music, R2D2 roaming the grounds, a model train set that took 2 days to set up, and one artist's rendition of PeeWee Herman with crops.

The fair runs through this Sunday, 8/11. You've still got a few hours left.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

the hotel rehearsal : pop-up, inflatable hotel room

So have you heard about that pop-up, inflatable hotel room that was created as an art piece but is now being offered up as a place for people to stay for $50,000 a night?

Perhaps the funniest part about it is the directions on the doors:

One door tells you how to operate the scissor lift so the room can rise out of the van into the air. It also includes instructions on how to get in the room and take a shower.

The other door has important rules, like "no sudden movements," "no smoking" and "do not unzip the entry door while the hotel rehearsal is elevated."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Izakaya Den

Sushi Den's sister restaurant and next-door neighbor Izakaya Den has sushi but also a global menu with tapas-style plates like lobster gnocchi, fried brussel sprouts, sweet pea ravioli, but also duck and noodle dishes, etc. Izakaya Den has a clean, modern, pure design, and it's worth a visit just to get to dine on the beautiful second floor. A small portion is open-air, if you want to eat outdoors. Here's a glimpse:

We went there early, like, right at 5 p.m. for dinner and managed to escape with paying under $40 per person with sushi rolls, lobster gnocchi, a couple beers, and tiramisu (one slice, two forks). You'll pay more if you feel like drinking a lot.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New music

Lots of new music we're excited about.

Naked and Famous will have a new album out in September. Here's a taste. They'll be at the Fillmore 10/18.

Lumineers play two sold-out dates at Red Rocks in September. The deluxe edition of their Grammy-winning debut album comes out Aug. 20, and one of the bonus tracks is available

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's new EP, with brand new wailing, is available now.  Stream it

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Food dehydrator

So T has been testing out the Food Dehydrator 3000.

So far, this humming contraption has turned out (clockwise from top left) dried mango chips, onions, rice, beans, peas, and that last one is homemade fruit rollup. We'll let you know how these turn out when people attempt to eat them on the next camping trip.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Speed painting

In the spirit of speed painter Denny Dent, Tim Decker attacked the canvas at Cherry Creek Arts Festival over the weekend, creating a portrait to music in under 7 minutes. (If you don't have time to watch the whole clip, watch the first 1:30 or so, then skip ahead)

Images from the Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Todd Cameron, of Minneapolis,

Todd Cameron, of Minneapolis,

Sarah Giannobile, of Missouri

Sarah Giannobile, of Missouri

Dolan Geiman, who says he makes art with a southern accent

Detail of a paper piece by Dolan Geiman

Detail of guitar, Dolan Geiman

Obligatory arts fest booth with bottlecap/household item creatures

If you've been to Taos, this artist may be familiar. It's Nnamdi Okonkwo,

Nnamdi Okonkwo, celebrating women w/ sculpture

More Dolan Geiman

Friday, June 14, 2013

Veggie lunch

A quick summer lunch snack that won't make you sweat too much. Halve (have) an avocado, stab a knife in the pit and twist it out. Sprinkle lemon juice on the avocado meat, and throw both halves on the grill for a minute or two. We spooned roasted tomatoes and chopped cippolini (cipollini?) onions in the middle.

Saw this car downtown the other night

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Live Basil Pizza

Tom Ryan (he came up with the McGriddle, Smashburger, Tom's Urban 24 and more) and Rick Schaden (he's worked with Ryan on Tom's Urban 24 and Smashburger) have launched their latest fast-casual concept, Live Basil Pizza, with plans to open 100 around the country in the next four years.

Live Basil Pizza takes Steve Ells' Chipotle Mexican Grill concept (natural ingredients, customizable entrees, made quick, with an option to have liquor) into the fast-casual pizza world.

Basically, diners queue up and grab a menu card. They choose what kind of thin-crust 11" pizza they want (or choose customized ingredients themselves) and mark their choice(s) on the card. They hand it to someone behind the counter, who starts ladling on the sauce. The pizza moves through the line with each worker adding various ingredients til it gets put into an oven that cooks the pizza in just 2.5 minutes (150 seconds). "It's fast, fresh pizza, made before your eyes," Ryan says.

Balls of pizza dough get prepared into crusts
The dough is rolled, sauce and other ingredients go on
It goes in the oven for 2.5 minutes
A handful of shops in California also have tried quick-cook pizzas (think 800 Degrees in LA or Blaze). Ryan and Schaden are posturing their chain as an option for lunch or dinner. There are some booths but also high top tables and stools. Live basil plants are key to the decor.

Live Basil offers 13 different kinds of pizzas (menus will be localized for different states, like Ryan does with Smashburger). The pizzas do well at layering flavors so that you want to take more bites to taste everything.

Examples of menu options include the Live Basil Margherita (left) and Arugula, Truffle and Wild Mushrooms (right)

There's also The Hot One (below), which includes pepperoni, spicy giardiniera, jalapenos, red pepper flakes, spicy oil.

Other notable ones include The Colorado (ingredients include bison sausage, green chile, goat cheese, roasted sweet corn, cilantro, Italian cheese blend), Maui BBQ Natural Chicken (includes smoky bbq sauce, fire-roasted pineapple, cilantro). Gluten-free crusts for the pizzas are available ("This is Colorado," Ryan quips.)

Smoothies made with Haagen-Dazs sorbet and fruit (peach mango or mixed berry) and salads also are on the menu for those looking for lighter fare. 

The cooler is stocked with Boxed Water is Better water, Mickey's malt liquor, cans of Fat Tire beer, etc. Chardonnay and Malbec also are available. The soda machine has Boylan sodas.