Modern Mart

Everything new is old again at the Denver Modernism Show.

It says something about our collective cultural irony that the once-towering term “modernism” has been consigned to describe the detritus of the past — namely, the kitschy and angular trappings of mid-twentieth-century America. But even in today’s so-over-it world, there remains a real love for the bygone decades of chrome, exotica and twangy guitars. And for the faithful, the Denver Modernism Show is church and orgy rolled into one.

The annual convention is a smorgasbord of retro art, collectibles and music that celebrates and (of course) sells bits and pieces of yesteryear. And while the show is never short of eye-popping antiques and artifacts, its organizer, Dana Cain, has set her sights especially high for this weekend’s festivities. “This year's show is utterly and completely over the top,” she says. “Our guests are coming in from all over. We have live bands all three days. It’s going to be leagues beyond the first three Modernism Shows we’ve done. Every aspect is being ramped up many notches.”

Besides a vintage car show and a tiki bar, one of those notches belongs to Richard Cheese, the Weird Al of lounge music; Cheese will sign autographs — and, Cain hints, maybe play a song or two — between 7 and 10 p.m. during Friday night’s preview party at the National Western Complex (4655 Humboldt Street) in advance of his sold-out concert at the Gothic Theatre Saturday. Preview party tickets are $15; admission to the DMS, which runs through Sunday, is $5 to $35. For details, visit www.denvermodernism.com.
Fri., Aug. 28, 7-10 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 2009

 
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