The Beatdown

Return of the living Dead: What would Jerry do?

The last show in Quixote's current space is slated for Sunday, November 9; it's a free "Superjam" featuring Crispy Critters, Purple Buddha and many other local jambozos.

And then, on Thursday, November 20, a brand-new bar called the Hi-Dive and its sister lounge, the Sputnik, will take over the 7 South Broadway address. According to Ben Desoto -- who will be handling booking duties for the Hi-Dive's owners, husband-and-wife duo Matt and Allison LaBarge -- the bar will have local punk and indie music on Friday and Saturday nights, with DJs and a variety of other events rounding out the week.

"We really want to reach out to local bands," says Desoto. "We want them to be treated well, and we want them to be happy to play our place. We really just want it to be a place where people go to hang out."

To survive in a town already pretty saturated with indie rock and punk clubs is going to be challenging, but the Hi-Dive has a plan: It's going to incorporate more diversity when booking its events and put more emphasis on the bar side of things.

"There really aren't any bar/venues in this town that are bars first and venues second," Matt LaBarge says. "They're all either venues or bars that are trying to be venues. So we're modeling it after a couple of places that we hung out at in New York, and at least there it seemed the more the merrier, to get people out and support the local scene.

"Plus, we have a kickass jukebox," he adds. "And we're also going to do more multimedia-type stuff and avant-garde theater. We're going to get more involved with a wider variety of things than just indie music and stuff like that. It's going to be a hodgepodge."

It's a jungle out there, part II: Last Friday morning, hours before most club-goers had finished sleeping off their collective hangovers, Regas Christou sat stoically within the clinical confines of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses' hearing room, waiting to exhale. Denver's most fabled nightclub impresario and his attorneys were all on hand for an unusual second hearing on the license for Serengeti, Christou's new club at 1037 Broadway (The Beatdown, September 25).

Dressed in his Sunday best, the usually outspoken Regas was reserved as he presented his case. He answered a few questions about the club's increase in square footage over original plans, and then Pat Tooley, his lead lawyer, called three residents of the Golden Triangle neighborhood to testify on Serengeti's behalf. Tooley asked each of them the same litany of questions: where they lived, if they were of drinking age, if they patronized dance clubs and enjoyed hearing live music, how they felt about the club's presence in the neighborhood, how it would affect the welfare and safety of its residents, etc. And after each one answered those questions, City Attorney Michael Joyce cross-examined each witness. But this was hardly a Kobe Bryant-level interrogation. Joyce's cross consisted of two questions: "Do you personally feel there's a need for the modification of the tavern license and the dance cabaret license?" and "Do you personally desire both licenses be modified?"

After the last witness was excused, Phil Baca, the hearing officer, asked if there were any dissenters to granting Serengeti's license. There weren't, and the license was approved.

With that, Regas breathed a sigh of relief rivaled only by those of the Yankee faithful the night before, after their team's eleventh-inning win.

Regas says he's still shooting for a Halloween opening. Once he passes all of his building inspections, he'll have cleared the last hurdle to finally opening Serengeti. The club's size isn't the only thing that's changed since Regas started working on it three years ago: Serengeti will now cater primarily to a gay crowd Thursday through Sunday nights, with straight "sections" of the club reserved. On Wednesday nights, the club will be entirely straight. That's the plan, at least.

What about the rumors that Regas is only catering to the gay crowd for its money? "I hate everybody," he replies, and laughs.

But on Friday, he loved everyone.

Upbeats and beatdowns: The Lord keeps his word. On the third day -- of the work week, that is, meaning Wednesday, October 29 -- Theo Smith, aka Lord of Word, will be resurrected at a party at the Foundry in Boulder. In preparation for the unveiling of his highly anticipated solo debut, Lordgasm, Smith has been in rehearsals for the last few weeks, getting ready to bring the party back to the people. Although not as technically advanced as originally conceived (The Beatdown, June 26), the album is fantastic nonetheless, and this is one show not to be missed.

Great news for music fans -- especially local-music fans. Tim Brown and Ray Skibitsky, a radio pioneer previously involved with KBCO and the pre-Howard Stern-era Peak, have launched a brand-new signal at 1510 on the AM dial, which used to be occupied by KNRC (their talk-radio station, now at 1050). Billed as Colorado's Underground Voice, KCUV is a welcome contrast to regional radio's lackluster programming. "The purpose of the station is good music, good programming, supporting the Americana genre," says Brown. "And also live and local performers."

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