Last year, on August 29, KGNU made history. The stalwart, Boulder-based independent radio station -- Colorado's home for such lauded syndicated shows as Democracy Now! -- purchased the broadcast frequency of 1430 AM in Denver, expanding its potential audience by millions.
"It's a process, and we're just barely at the beginning of it," says Marty Durlin, KGNU's general manager. "We want to extend the whole idea of community radio into the Denver metro area. You can participate in every way at KGNU. You can become an on-air producer; you can become a decision-maker. That's the point of community radio -- not only offering non-commercial music and alternative and independent news and information, but promoting the whole idea of doing it yourself."
To mitigate the new signal's massive price tag, KGNU has been throwing a series of benefits to raise funds and build awareness of all it has to offer. The latest bash is Dance for Democracy, being held tonight at the Skylark Lounge, 140 South Broadway. The hoedown will feature a performance by the Western swing combo Boulder Acoustic Society as well as a barnstorming set from local Americana act Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams. The party starts at 8 p.m.; the requested donation is $13.90 ($5 for KGNU members). Call 303-449-4885 or visit www.kgnu.org for tickets and info. -- Jason Heller
Famed rock-and-roll historian Paul Grushkin might use clichés like "rock and roll is here to stay," but somehow it sounds fresh coming from the master of rock-poster art. His newest book, Art of Modern Rock, chronicles the art form from 1985 to present day and features more than 1,800 reproductions from 375 artists, including Westword's own Jay Vollmar. "For some reason, people have a great affinity for rock-and-roll posters," Grushkin says. "People see a poster and say, 'Oh, man, I was there, and I was so fucking drunk, the promoter threw me out.'" Gruskin will bring his 100-slide Power Point presentation, Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion, to the Tivoli Student Union (900 Auraria Parkway), room 320, for a free 75-minute lecture and rock extravaganza that kicks off at 1 p.m. today. For more information about the book, visit www.artofmodernrock.com. -- Drew Bixby
Local fundraiser keeps jazz be-boppin' along.
"We want to continue providing a stage for artistic innovators who are doing something different, whether it's in jazz, the avant-garde or experimental chamber music," says Matthew Garrington, president of Creative Music Works. "We want to make sure that kind of music stays vibrant here locally and also bring in different national artists who Coloradans might not get a chance to see."
To that end, Garrington organized the Creative Music Works Benefit being held at Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight. The showcase of Denver's cutting-edge jazz players will include vanguard trumpeters Ron Miles and Hugh Ragin, the Revelation Quartet, and saxophonist Lynn Baker, who will unveil a new piece composed specifically for the benefit.
"We've also added a vocal and piano duo -- Wendy Fopeano and Marc Sabatella -- to kick things off," Garrington adds. "Eric Hughes will be speaking on behalf of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, and Fred Hess will be emceeing the entire evening."
The suggested contribution is $20 to $120. Dazzle is at 930 Lincoln Street; for information, visit www.creative musicworks.org or call 303-860-5372. -- John La Briola
Visit Carhenge without the trip to Nebraska.
Visiting your in-laws can be a grueling exercise in patience and self-control, especially when your wife's parents live in Alliance, Nebraska, home to a mere 9,000 residents. Some guys might pass the time watching television, trading war stories or downing an army of beer. Others might don a Face of Submission and listen to the hundredth retelling of the Summer of '58, when as many as fifty tornadoes collectively made Nebraska their bitch. But David Liban, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado-Denver, weighed his options and decided to make a documentary about Carhenge, a to-scale replica of Stonehenge made of 38 junked cars and located in -- you guessed it -- Alliance.
"It came about initially because I wasn't too thrilled with having to go to Alliance all the time," Liban says, "so I figured I might as well make a documentary on something I found fascinating."
Liban presents his documentary, Carhenge: Genius or Junk?, tonight at 7 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Kenneth King Academic and Performing Arts Center on the Auraria campus. After presenting his thirty-minute "labor of love," Liban will discuss the complications of making a documentary, show deleted scenes and take questions from the audience.
The event is free and open to the public; get more information by calling 303-352-3500. -- Drew Bixby