The 21 Best Events in Denver, December 27-January 2
Clyfford Still Museum
Ring in the new year with a tasty dinner at Cart-Driver, then put on your dancing shoes for Decadence 2016. And don't drink and drive: Let RTD take you home for free! Keep reading for more of the best events in Denver from December 27 to January 2.
Tuesday, December 27
Are your visitors getting antsy? Send them to one of Denver’s best-kept secrets: the Clyfford Still Museum, at 1250 Bannock Street, whose world-class collection has amazed art lovers from around the world. Now showing is Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper, a surprisingly vast collection of drawings that this master of abstraction created throughout his career. “These pieces demonstrate that Still was fascinated by modest gestures and minimal markings,” writes art critic Michael Paglia, “and he returned to them again and again, finding a seemingly endless variety of ways to express them.” (You can read Paglia’s complete review of the show at westword.com.) The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today; for more information, call 720-354-4880 or go to clyffordstillmuseum.org.
Wednesday, December 28
Have the holidays given you a bad case of the blues? Turn that around at Dazzle, where Otis Taylor’s “trance blues” will hypnotize you out of any funk. Taylor is a legendary musician who’s earned raves around the country, but he’s lived in Colorado since he was a kid, and his music can be as haunting and soulful as an empty prairie or as exhilarating as a climb up a Fourteener (and the dance floor can get about as crowded as one of those when he pulls out his harmonica). The Otis Taylor Band will perform at Dazzle, Westword’s Best Jazz Club of 2016, at 6 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28, and Thursday, December 29. Tickets range from $22 to $25; get more information at dazzlejazz.com.
Celebrate the fifth night of Chanukah with the Nuggets and the Jewish Community Center of Denver at the Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Circle. While religious ceremony and basketball may seem like strange bedfellows, JCC leaders are steadfast Nuggets supporters, frequently organizing group trips to home games. These outings provide a fun way for Jewish Coloradans to gather as a community while raising awareness of the JCC as a vital cultural resource. In addition to watching the Nuggets defend their home turf from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the event includes a Menorah-lighting ceremony with JCC CEO Ali Hill. The game starts at 7 p.m., and tickets range from $15 to $50, depending upon seating. Visit jewishnightout.com to RSVP and for information and tickets.
Thursday, December 29
Silverton Mountain kicks off its season on Thursday, December 29, and will offer guided-only skiing and snowboarding that day (to make reservations, call 970-387-5706). If you want to make a weekend of it, do it up right with the $539 three-day package, which includes a welcome party on December 29, three days of guided skiing or riding through January 1, lunch and après drinks at the base-area yurt, a dinner party on December 30, and a fab New Year’s Eve dinner and after-party. Lodging at the Grand Imperial starts at $130/night; other nearby spots are listed on silvertonmountain.com.
The Flaming Lips have brought their grandiose stage show to the 9,500-seat Red Rocks Amphitheatre many times over the years, including last summer, when they performed their landmark 1999 album, The Soft Bulletin. Around this time of year, though, the Oklahoma City-based band makes a habit of stopping by the much more intimate Belly Up in Aspen. It’s a great opportunity to get a close look at Lips' over-the-top freak show in a 450-capacity venue — though the Belly Up's size can also present a challenge, as it did in 2010, when a stage light punctured frontman Wayne Coyne’s space bubble. While there are bound to be a few surprises at the show, expect some songs from the band’s forthcoming album, Oczy Mlody (due out next month), which Coyne describes as “Syd Barrett meets A$AP Rocky, and they get trapped in a fairytale from the future.” The Lips will perform at Belly Up on Thursday, December 29. Doors open at 9 p.m., and tickets start at $95. For more information and to buy tickets, visit bellyupaspen.com/the-flaming-lips.
Friday, December 30
Got a lowbrow-art fan in your circle? Sally Centigrade in Larimer Square will oblige with Souvenir Shop, a two-person show of mostly affordable smaller works by Andy Herod and Myah Bailey that incorporate printmaking, drawing and painting. Also in the gallery for gift-giving: collectible prints by lowbrow artists Eric Joyner, Camilla d’Errico, Tara McPherson and others. The shop is located at 1423 Larimer Street, Suite 80; the show runs through January. Learn more at sallycentigrade.com.
Glenn Miller, a recent inductee in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, is the focus of a new documentary.
Glenn Miller, a recent inductee in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, graduated from Fort Morgan High School in 1920. His early musical experiences there made a big impact on the big-band leader’s signature sound. Find out just how strong when Glenn Miller: The Birthplace of His Music, airs on Colorado Public Television at 9 and 11 p.m. Friday, December 30. “The most surprising thing I learned while working on this film was how big a role classical music played in Glenn Miller’s approach to arrangements,” says Eden Lane, who produced the documentary with Morgan Community College’s Center for Arts and Community Enrichment. “Once you begin to look at the music, that foundation becomes clear. Honestly, it’s also surprising so little attention had been given to Glenn Miller’s early music education before.”
Since the early ’90s, singer-songwriter Silent Bear has been using his blues-tinged folk music to fight for Native American rights. In 2012, he helped organize a concert to raise awareness for Leonard Peltier, an imprisoned Native American civil-rights activist, and this year, he sang out against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Silent Bear not only attended protests and demonstrations, but he wrote “The Dakota Access Pipeline Dirty River Blues,” a song adapted from Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm." Because of the Army Corps of Engineers' recent decision to reroute the pipeline, Silent Bear's free show at Baur Restaurant, 1512 Curtis Street, may turn out to be more celebratory than politically charged, but as usual, Silent Bear's contemplative stage banter and soft-spoken charm will be on full display. For more information, visit baursrestaurant.com.
Texas-bred Mauro C. Martinez brings his work to Svper.
Courtesy Mauro Martinez
Svper Ordinary Gallery closes out 2016 with something new and different for 2017 with The Birth of the Clinic, an exhibit of works by Mauro C. Martinez. The Laredo, Texas-bred painter layers surfaces with a dissociative blend of photorealism, graphics and paint abstraction aimed at capturing the ambiguities of modern life. This is Martinez’s first solo foray in the U.S. outside of Texas. Svper Ordinary, located inside the Source at 3350 Brighton Boulevard in RiNo, will host a free opening reception with the artist in person from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 30; The Birth of the Clinic runs through January. Visit svperordinary.com for information, and learn more about Martinez and his work at maurocmartinez.com.
Attention, bass-heads: Celebrate the coming year with all your favorites — including Bassnectar, the Chainsmokers, Disclosure, GRiZ and Tiesto — at Decadence, which starts Friday, December 30, at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street. If past years have proved anything, it’s that the two-night concert extravaganza offers heart-racing, head-bashing DJ sets that you’ll remember for the next 365 days. Doors open both nights at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are still available for the eighteen-and-over show. Get all the details at axs.com.
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