The Billy Nayer Show, a New York City-based band, has created bizarre story-driven rock for more than a decade. But forget trying to describe its unfolding saga or style. Instead, think of a creepy alien spaceship landing tonight in Boulder at the International Order of Odd Fellows Hall, 1545 Pearl Street.
"I've asked people what they think of the show after we play, and people usually say, 'I've never seen anything like that before,' with a big smile on their face," says singer-songwriter Cory McAbee. "We're just a different rock band with interesting stories to tell."
Rather than employ guitars like other acts, McAbee strums an autoharp, which sounds like multiple instruments playing at once. Drummer Bobby Lurie and bassist Frank Swart round out the sound with garage-rock rhythms. The underground cult favorite will probably play selections from its latest album, Rabbit, a tale of a bunny's struggle while living in "Animal City." (The website www.billynayer.com notes perversely that it's not really about rabbits, but sex.)
The group's artistic offerings don't end with just music; troupe members are filmmakers, as well. In 2001, the band's feature film, The American Astronaut, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and has since won acclaim all over the world. This space-Western musical was directed by, produced by and stars Nayer members.
Because of the cinematic tie, the Boulder International Film Series will play a large role in tonight's show. "There will be 16-millimeter clips of some spooky stuff that will make the show feel like a gigantic sci-fi carnival," says Pablo Kjolseth, the series' director.
Doors open at 8 p.m., and the entertainment starts at 9. Tickets, $20, can be purchased at any International Film Series show or at the door. All proceeds go to the International Film Series and the International Order of Odd Fellows scholarship fund. For information, call 303-492-4494 or visit www.boulderfilmalliance.com.
For those who want to see the oddity in Denver, the Billy Nayer Show will also perform on Sunday, October 31, at the Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer Street. -- Richard Kellerhals
DJs launch a hot new boutique
When Sara Thurston spins, people listen. Under the nom de Technics Sara T, she was voted Denver's best dance/electronic DJ in this year's Westword Music Showcase. But she's going to be peddling more than beats tonight at Chielle's Monster Bash -- a party hosted by the hi-dive that trumpets the grand opening of Chielle, Thurston's ambitious new boutique at 26 Broadway.
To help spread the word about her new venture, the DJ will play one of her typically thunderous sets of electro, hip-hop, funk, sleaze and kitsch, complemented by the synth-driven rhythms of DJ Tower and the boot-knockin' Miami bass of DJ Wigdan Giddy. "All three of us definitely have different styles," Thurston says. "But we cross over just enough."
Likewise, she -- along with co-owners Alisa Dowell and Wendy Marlow -- intends Chielle to blur the boundaries of what a retail establishment is supposed to be. "We want to create a community space," Thurston says of the storefront occupied for the last two years by Sugar Clothing. Besides boasting a selection of edgy apparel, accessories and gifts, Chielle will function as a venue and network center for turntablists, musicians, zine-makers and artists. "I think it's important to be successful with your creativity," she states. "There's a fine line between being underground and making things available to people, and that's the line I want to cross."
The hi-dive is at 7 South Broadway. The decks start flying at 9 p.m.; admission is $3. Call Chielle at 303-722-1877 for information. -- Jason Heller
In September, Mayor John Hickenlooper named nationally recognized Chicano poet Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado, who passed away last July, Denver's first poet laureate. "One hundred years from now, there will be a plaque with a long list of names of Denver's poet laureates, and Lalo Delgado's name will be at the top," said the mayor. That's true, but you might be thinking, "Too little, too late."
Not so. And especially timely is tonight's El Día de los Muertos tribute to Delgado at the monthly Cafe Nuba arts event hosted by the Pan African Arts Society at Blackberries Ice Cream and Coffee Lounge, 710 East 26th Avenue. This is just as Lalo would have wanted it -- to be an honored spirit on the day when Latinos traditionally remember their dead. The mayor and a troupe of local artists and poets will read and discuss Delgado works beginning at 8:30 p.m. during this special Nuba presentation, which also includes featured poet Ebony "Isis" Booth and a dramatic performance by El Centro Su Teatro. Audience members are asked to bring an item to add to an altar for Delgado. Admission is $10.
Call 303-298-8188 or go to www.panafricanarts.org. -- Susan Froyd
Life Imitates Politics
Art by the decidedly decided
Were I to enter a piece of artwork in the exhibition The Political Show, opening today at CORE New Art Space, 900 Santa Fe Drive, it would be a provocative shoebox diorama. I would have George Bush sitting in an electric chair playing with a Game Boy. Dubya would be blissfully oblivious to the fact that his life was on the line, and I'd have a mob of innocent Iraqi people standing at the lever to the chair, watching the clock tick down. Then I would splatter the whole scene with fecal matter or blood to receive the endorsement of the National Endowment for the Arts.
And I would get away with it!
"Anything goes," comments curator Jean Smith. "Our jurors will be looking for pieces that make a statement from both sides of the political spectrum, liberal and conservative. We want to spark discussion."
Because the political pieces are limited only by certain physical dimensions -- they cannot exceed seventy pounds or be over six feet in any direction -- audiences should have plenty to talk about.
"I hope nobody throws eggs," Smith says.
The Political Show runs through November 6, with an artists' reception tomorrow from 7 to 10 p.m. For information, call 303-297-8428. -- Adam Cayton-Holland