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Solid Gold (and Black)

Beaten back by Montana State, can the Buffs charge ahead with this new anthem?

Man, it's been a tough couple of weeks for the People's Republic of Boulder. As if morale wasn't already at an all-time low -- what with that embarrassing JonBenét/John Mark Karr debacle just barely in the rearview -- the Colorado Buffaloes, the last bastion of hope in a town marred by one scandal after another, brought things down a few more rungs this past weekend when they were trampled by Montana State. (Hands up if you knew that school even had a football program.)

But hold off on ingesting those cyanide caplets a few more days, Boulderites. As the black-and-blue Buffs try to return to black and gold against their intrastate rivals from Fort Collins this weekend, we've received word that D.O. the Fabulous Drifta and Dow Jones, two of the Mile High City's finest MCs, have composed a brand-new anthem that's sure to revive your spirits faster than popping fistfuls of Zoloft.

The track, titled "The (Official Unofficial) CU Fight Song," starts off with a brief marching-band interlude, which gives way to an absolutely bangin' beat and a sinister synth line over which D.O. hypnotically chants "CU" before dishing out lines like this: "It's the home of the black and gold/Now everybody shout it, CU Buffaloes/It gets real on the field at Folsom/Home of champions/So we beat 'em like they stole somethin'/30,000 fans stampede, rushin', crushin' your quarterback/We are a hundred miles and runnin'."

"I'm a big fan, and you see what happened with Montana State," explains D.O., who just finished work on Industry Guys, his followup to the excellent Guns: The New Watermelon. "I felt like we needed a pick-me-up, you know?"

We know.

D.O. and Dow plan to unveil the song -- which makes it clear who put the "Big" in "Big 12" while tossing out a few fuck-yous to other rivals, including Nebraska and K-State -- at Saturday's showdown against Colorado State University, with guerrilla performances in the Invesco Field parking lot. And on that same day, the song will also be available for download ($1.99 via PayPal) at FivePointsPlan.com.

Out to lunch: Last Wednesday's unveiling of Daniel Libeskind's designs for the Civic Center featured several shockers -- including one private aside from a Rocky Mountain Newsreporter to a civic booster that Rockystaffers don't like eating lunch in the park outside of their new home at 101 West Colfax Avenue because the homeless (eewww!) folks there make it too scary. That sentiment was echoed in a reporter's public question regarding the city's plans for reducing the park's homeless and drug problems, which Mayor John Hickenlooper answered by pointing to Denver's two-prong attack: continuing with the ten-year plan to end homelessness, and bringing more activity to the Civic Center, which will push out the "onslaught of kids causing trouble." (An onslaught that started when the kids were kicked out of downtown's Skyline Park,after Lawrence Halprin's design was destroyed by the bland ambition of Thomas Balsley.)

At lunchtime the day after the Libeskind launch, Off Limits headed to the Civic Center, smack into the underbelly of the beast, to see just what was so scary. Here's what we found: Children eating lunch in the park. Festival workers setting up for A Taste of Colorado. Bums sleeping it off in the groves. Scary, scary stuff.

Much scarier right now is the potential for the park's destruction. While Libeskind is an undeniable genius, he's better with a blank slate on which he can create with few constraints -- as he did with the Frederic C. Hamilton Building for the Denver Art Museum, set to open next month. But the Civic Center comes complete with a century of buildings and designs, many of them dear to residents of this "second-tier city" (as an article in the August 28 New Yorker called Denver), and any calls for change? Them's fightin' words.

Libeskind's plan calls for keeping all of the structures and sculptures currently in the park, but the architect is also proposing the addition of a seventy-foot-tall water fountain and a bowtie-shaped pond with six inches of water, which could be drained for events or frozen for ice skating; a giant bridge stretching from the Civic Center to the 16th Street Mall; tenting the Greek Amphitheatre and other promenades; and adding retail kiosks along Broadway. Those kiosks were part of the Civic Center Master Plan, which was adopted by the city in October 2005 and is supposed to guide any future rehabbing of the area. And as controversial as Libeskind's "icon" water feature may be (in the Great American Desert!), a new fountain is also part of the Master Plan, because one was included in Edward Bennett's 1917 design for the park.

In the August issue of Metropolis, Libeskind claims "the sky of Denver and the streets of New York" are his favorite spaces. Over the next three months, there will be public hearings on his proposal, and in January we'll find out if we embrace him as much as he's embraced us.

In the meantime, Off Limits is sky-high on at least one part of his plan, even if Libeskind touched on it only briefly: redeveloping the Carnegie Library/McNichols Building into restaurant and retail space. Having an upscale eatery in the park should make the town's intrepid reporters feel much more comfortable about lunching there.

Scene and herd: It was fun while it lasted, but MTV's crew packed up and headed out of Denver this past weekend after holding a wrap party at the Uptown Tavern. Goodbye, cruel Real World!

 
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