Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Annual Festival -- City

    Denver Blues and Bones Festival

    No bones about it: Over the past few years, the Denver Blues and Bones Festival has grown into a great weekend. There are much bigger festivals -- the Taste of Colorado, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, the People's Fair -- and much smaller neighborhood fairs, but Blues and Bones is just the right size, every inch and minute packed with… More >>
  • Best Ring Leader

    Heath Rezabek

    As part of the Denver's Public Library's Special Readings Project, children's librarian Heath Rezabek held a birthday party last fall for Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two of the heroes in J.R.R. Tolkien's masterful books on Middle Earth, followed by a ten-week reading of The Fellowship of the Ring, book one in Tolkien's trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Rezabek, who… More >>
  • Best Performance by a Denverite in The Vagina Monologues

    Hazel Miller

    Many tried, but after several area runs of The Vagina Monologues, it was local chanteuse Hazel Miller who really shone among the guest actors participating in touring versions of the acclaimed show. Monologues typically pairs local female celebrities -- swimmer Amy Van Dyken and radio DJ Nina Blackwood are examples -- with professional actors to perform the various readings, which… More >>
  • Best Comeback

    Barry Fey

    Barry, Barry, Barry: How can we miss you if you won't go away? Last summer, in a battle plan that rivaled the Invasion of Normandy for buildup and strategizing -- although the plans for D-Day were kept secret -- longtime concert promoter Barry Fe re-entered the fray, joining up with House of Blues (the outfit he sold his concert-promotions company… More >>
  • Best Annual Festival -- Mountains

    Lou Bunch Days

    Call her madam! Lou Bunch ran the most successful whorehouse in Central City back in the days when the mining town was known as the "Richest Square Mile on Earth." These days, it could be the saddest square mile on earth, since Central City's plan to mine the wallets of would-be gamblers was blocked by nearby Black Hawk, which literally… More >>
  • Best New Festival -- Mountains

    Frozen Dead Guy Days

    Cool! The little mountain town of Nederland came up with a novel way to heat up the winter tourism business: Frozen Dead Guy Days, a festival celebrating Bredo Morstoel, the Norwegian man whose body was frozen after he died back in 1989 and is currently stored in a shed behind the former home of Morstoel's grandson -- a skinny-dipping nutcase… More >>
  • Best New Festival -- City

    Dragon Boat Festival

    Dragon-boat racing originated some 2,000 years ago in China. But here in the United States, it's an up-and-coming sport in which anyone who's willing (and has a strong constitution) can participate. All that you and your twenty-person team have to do is paddle like hell and hope you can maneuver your dragon-headed, canoe-shaped vessel faster than the other teams. Denver… More >>
  • Best Literary Tours

    Denver's Beat Poetry Driving Tour and
    Denver's Literary Landmarks

    Introduced on the City of Denver's Web site in February, Denver's Beat Poetry Driving Tour and Denver's Literary Landmarks were designed to give both visitors to and residents of the Mile High City a little lesson in local literary lions. The first tour focuses on Beat Generation legends Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, who spent some time in the area… More >>
  • Best Literary Homage

    Evil Companions Literary Award

    Back in the '50s, a group of Denver journalists and authors would gather at local watering holes to trade wet witticisms about writing. The Evil Companions, they called themselves -- and not without reason. A decade ago, this admirable tradition was resurrected in the form of the Evil Companions Literary Award, an honor presented to poets and writers living in,… More >>
  • Best Literary Legacy

    The Best American Novels of the Twentieth Century, Still Readable Today

    Eleanor Gehres, who spent 25 years as head of the Denver Public Library's Western History/Genealogy Department and made it the institution it is today, is gone -- but very far from forgotten. Before her death from cancer last year, she had almost finished a massive mission: determining the "best" fiction of the twentieth century. Golden-based Fulcrum Publishing finished the job… More >>
  • Best Literary Series

    Rocky Mountain Land Series
    Tattered Cover Bookstore

    How much do we love the Tattered Cover? We don't have enough time to count the ways. And now this Denver institution has given us yet another reason to give thanks. Not content with bringing in an impressive lineup of national authors for readings and signings on an almost-daily (and often thrice-daily) basis to its LoDo and Cherry Creek locations,… More >>
  • Best Place to See Big-Budget, Big-Picture Flicks

    Continental Theatre

    When an epic like The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring comes to town, a typical suburban-style multiplex simply won't do. Most movie buffs are going to want a wide screen with a booming sound system in order to appreciate Gandalf in all his wizardly splendor. In that regard, the Continental Theatre delivers. With 875 seats and… More >>
  • Best News for Moviegoers

    The Starz FilmCenter

    Featuring six screens and a policy of booking foreign, independent and classic films 365 days a year, the new Starz FilmCenter in the old Tivoli Theaters on the Auraria campus represents a major advance in Denver's cultural life. Operated by the Denver Film Society, which produces the Denver International Film Festival each October, and Dallas- and New York-based Magnolia Pictures,… More >>
  • Best Campus Flicks

    International Film Series

    Since 1941, cinephiles have been showing classics and contemporary art films on the Boulder campus, and the schedule in Muenzinger Auditorium this spring is as strong as ever, ranging from Takashi Miike's Audition, which addresses marriage and sexuality in contemporary Japan, to Together, a smart ensemble comedy that won four major Swedish film awards when it was released last year,… More >>
  • Best Cheap Features

    Tiffany Plaza Movies 6

    For those who missed the Coen Brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There the first time around or who feel the urge to watch Mulholland Drive again on the big screen to try and figure out what the hell happened and sort out who all those women really are, Tiffany Plaza Movies 6 is the second-run multiplex for you. Daytime tickets… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language Cinema

    Cinema Latino

    Let's go to the cine! These days in Colorado, you can rent lots of movies with Spanish subtitles or voice-overs. But finding a Spanish-language movie theater is rare. In Aurora, though, you need look no further than the King Soopers shopping center at 6th and Peoria, where Cinema Latino offers Spanish-only movies, English-language movies with Spanish subtitles, and Spanish-language movies… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater for Comfort

    Westminster Promenade 24

    It was at a Harry Potter screening that we began to feel the magic: The seats at the Westminster Promenade 24 seemed to enhance the viewing of the sorcery-soaked tale. Maybe it was the seat backs, which created a feeling of privacy -- a nice trick in a room filled with people. Or perhaps it was the legroom, which allowed… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater for Food

    The Mayan

    Operators of the Mayan Theatre have long known that the art house crowd likes specialty snacks, something beyond the realm of a crusty Milk Dud. But those who think the Mayan has grown stale should sink their teeth into some of these recent additions: an expanding collection of Ben & Jerry's gourmet ice cream bars, flavors of Republic of Tea… More >>
  • Best Drive-In Movie Theater

    Cinderella Twin - CLOSED

    There aren't many drive-ins left in the Denver area, but judging from the lines that snake out from the entrance to the Cinderella Twin on weekend nights during the summer, there's still plenty of demand. This south metro area drive-in boasts two screens, each showing a double feature -- PG for the early show, R-rated later -- a full-dinner snack… More >>
  • Best Drive-In for Summer-School Students

    Holiday Twin Drive-In

    It's too bad that most drive-ins are only open in the summer; otherwise, they'd be the perfect year-round cheap date for the starving -- and horny -- college student. As it is, only students attending Colorado State University's summer session get to make out at the Holiday Twin Drive-in. Although the pictures tend toward family fare, the location on the… More >>
  • Best Drive-In With Accommodations

    Star Drive-In/Best Western Movie Manor Inn

    These are rooms with a view -- of the motel's giant outdoor movie screen. The sound is piped into your room, and you can watch the show from the comfort of your own bed through huge picture windows. Don't get the wrong idea, though: The Star shows only G, PG and PG-13 flicks from May through September. And yes, if… More >>
  • Best Drive-In Movie Web Site

    Colorado's Drive-In Theater Guide,, lists features and showtimes for all twelve of the state's active drive-ins, plus drive-in news and links to plenty of other drive-in-related sites. It hasn't been updated since the end of August, but Web master Michael Kilgore plans to start up his labor of love again at the end of April, when more screens open… More >>
  • Best Art Films

    Museum of Contemporary Art

    Film is an art form, one that Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art recognizes with Reel Love. Curated by Denver Art Museum film curator Tom Delapa, the current series traces the history of avant-garde filmmaking in this country.… More >>
  • Best Big Museum Exhibit (Since March 2001)

    Alice Neel

    The reputation of late New York artist Alice Neel has been on the rise for decades, and her work became especially important to expressionists and to women artists beginning in the 1970s. It was then that Dianne Vanderlip, living in Philadelphia, organized the first-ever retrospective of Neel's career. In so doing, Vanderlip found herself on the ground floor of the… More >>
  • Best Museum Show -- Solo

    Between the Lines: Word Works by Roland Bernier

    Letters of the alphabet -- painted ones, wooden ones, mirrored ones -- made up a total environment for Between the Lines: Word Works by Roland Bernier at the Denver Art Museum. They climbed the walls and were stacked on pedestals covering the floor. Some were arranged into short words, though the meanings of the words were irrelevant, since Bernier's point… More >>
  • Best Museum Show -- Group

    5 Abstract

    When the well-known and highly regarded Cydney Payton took the helm of Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art last year, the art world held its breadth and waited for the unveiling of one of her signature shows. The wait ended with 5 Abstract, a look at five of the state's most significant abstract artists: Al Wynne, Bev Rosen, Bob Mangold, Clark… More >>
  • Best Gallery Show -- Solo

    Clark Richert: Recent Paintings

    The smart-looking Clark Richert: Recent Paintings, at Rule Gallery on Broadway, showcased a small but significant group of the latest geometric pieces by Clark Richert, a former hippie and current art guru. Richert first came to fame in this area in the 1960s, when he designed and helped start Drop City, an art commune just outside of Trinidad in southern… More >>
  • Best Gallery Show -- Group

    Martha Daniels, Amy Metier, Betty Woodman

    William Havu Gallery

    The three well-known artists in Martha Daniels, Amy Metier, Betty Woodman represent three distinct generations of Colorado artists, even if the show's title listed them out of order. Woodman is the elder stateswoman, having lived in Boulder from the 1950s until a few years ago, when she retired to New York. Daniels came next, having moved to Colorado in the… More >>
  • Best Emerging Artist Show -- Solo

    Internal Automata
    Cordell Taylor Gallery

    Combining materials traditionally associated with sculpture, including steel and wood, with some untraditional ones, in particular a Texas Instruments Speak & Spell, upstart artist Zach Smith was the subject of the magical Internal Automata this past winter. The wonder-filled show marked Smith's formal introduction to Denver's art world. It makes sense that this new kid on the block would make… More >>
  • Best Emerging Artist Show -- Group

    Andenken Gallery

    The inner workings of the art world are hard to explain. Consider last winter's 32/26, at the Andenken Gallery, which paired 32-year-old painter Karen McClanahan with 26-year-old sculptor Jonathan Stiles. Though neither artist had a familiar name, the show somehow generated a tremendous buzz. In fact, the word on the street was out before anyone had even seen the work.… More >>
  • Best Theme Show


    A couple of years ago, Mark Masuoka resigned as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art just as his first major show, Colorado Biennial, was set to open. The exhibit was his view of contemporary art in Colorado, and because he quit, he was never able to follow up there. Luckily, he's been able to do it as the exhibition… More >>
  • Best Realist Show

    John Hull

    In John Hull, Ron Judish Fine Arts presented a series of ten riveting paintings that laid out a tension-ridden and sorry tale in a downright cinematic way. The saga begins at a picnic from which an underage girl runs off with a roughneck biker. She's eventually found, but not before a gun is drawn and the police are called. The… More >>
  • Best Surrealist Show

    Wes Hempel: Fictional Accounts

    Wes Hempel: Fictional Accounts was the perfect title for this show, because every picture told some kind of story. But truthfully, it's hard to say what those stories were, despite the fact that all of the paintings were done in a strictly realistic style. Over the years, Hempel has conjured up various surrealist worlds in a number of ways, and… More >>
  • Best Mix of Local and National Artists

    The Human Factor

    Though abstraction began pushing aside other styles almost a century ago, modern artists have persisted in their desire to capture the human figure. The Human Factor, at Metro State's Center for the Visual Arts, proved the point. Half of it was a traveling exhibit highlighting objects from Nebraska's Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, including paintings, prints, drawings and… More >>
  • Best Photo Show

    déjà-view: A Retrospective Exhibition: R. Skip Kohloff

    Although Skip Kohloff has long been one of the guiding forces behind the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, he has almost never allowed his work to be exhibited there. But when he retired from Cherry Creek High last June after 25 years as the head of the school's photography department, he finally let CPAC give him a richly deserved retrospective. And… More >>
  • Best Ceramics Show

    Colorado Clay 2001

    Since the 1970s, the Foothills Art Center has consistently presented the region's most important annual ceramics exhibit. The most recent version, Colorado Clay 2001, lived up to the tradition. Center director Carol Dickinson called on Wayne Higby, a world-class, New York-based ceramic artist with considerable Colorado connections, to help. Higby grew up in Colorado Springs, studying with artist Mary Chenoweth… More >>
  • Best Craft Show

    Quiltspeak: Stories in Stitches

    Alisa Zahller had just been hired as the assistant curator of fine and decorative art at the Colorado History Museum when she was handed the job of organizing the season's major exhibit. The result was Quiltspeak: Stories in Stitches, an intelligent, engaging and beautiful show that examined the history and sociology of quilt-making in Colorado. Ably designed by David Newell,… More >>
  • Best Installation Show

    Chain Reaction

    Although Chain Reaction highlighted six installations by Boulder artist Gail Wagner, all six came together as a single, seamless work. Wagner's specialty is forms made of crocheted rope that is dyed, painted and accented by tiny, sewn-on charms. Her preferred shape is a circular appendage that sometimes looks like a worm, sometimes like a tentacle, and sometimes like some unknown… More >>
  • Best Look at the Recent Past

    US Design 1975-2000

    Only the stout of heart and the sharp of eye have the courage to historically evaluate the material culture of our own time. But that's exactly what R. Craig Miller, the Denver Art Museum's curator of architecture, design and graphics, has done with US Design 1975-2000. Still open, the exhibit includes photos and models of buildings, chairs and teapots, posters… More >>
  • Best Colorado History Show

    Colorado Landscapes and the New Age of Discovery

    Maybe it was the change in the millennium that put everyone in a retrospective mood, but for whatever reason, history has gotten a lot more popular lately. Cable TV and popular magazines are jammed with it. Colorado's art world has not been left out, with a number of historical exhibits having been presented over the past few years. Colorado Landscapes… More >>
  • Best Political Show

    Revolutions: Generations of Russian Jewish Avant-Garde Artists

    Simon Zalkind, director of the Singer Gallery of the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, has long been known for his high-quality exhibitions. The most recent case in point is Revolutions: Generations of Russian Jewish Avant-Garde Artists, which is still on display. It's a knockout that examines modern and contemporary art by Russian Jewish artists. To produce it, Zalkind teamed… More >>
  • Best New Public Art

    "Common Ground" Barbara Grygutis

    The Gates Family Foundation, in celebration of the millennium, commissioned Barbara Grygutis of Tucson to create "Common Ground," a mammoth sculpture, for the recently completed Commons Park. Northeast of the intersection of Little Raven and 15th streets, the park is close to where Denver's first settlers established their camp. The sculpture, completed last fall, is a serpentine stone wall that… More >>
  • Best Art News for the City

    The Harmsen Collection

    For most of its history, the Denver Art Museum paid little attention to the art of the American West, so vital to our region. But if the museum turned up its nose at Western painting and sculpture, private collectors did not. Among the top rank of these collectors are Bill and Dorothy Harmsen, the couple that started the Jolly Rancher… More >>
  • Best Art News for the Suburbs

    Museum of Outdoor Arts

    Last year, the powers that be in Englewood took stock of their town, and they didn't like what they saw. Possibly for the first time, the complete lack of cultural amenities seemed to matter -- so city leaders began casting about for something they could do to change the situation. At the same time, the Museum of Outdoor Arts, facing… More >>
  • Best News for Latin American Art

    Museo de las Américas

    Denver's Museo de las Américas is one of the only institutions anywhere that focuses on the art of the Southwestern United States, along with that of Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and it programs it all from within the modest facilities on Santa Fe Drive. But Museo director Jose Aguayo has always been a big dreamer. Ten… More >>
  • Best Rediscovery of a Nearly Forgotten Colorado Artist

    Edgar Britton

    It's common wisdom that once an artist dies, his or her work should soar in value, but more often, the artist fades from the collective memory. That's what happened to Edgar Britton, who in the 1950s, '60s and '70s was Colorado's most famous sculptor. But last year, nearly twenty years after his death, in 1982, Britton was back in the… More >>
  • Best Denver Art-World Mystery

    The missing work of Max Lazarus

    In 1939, German-Jewish artist Max Lazarus came to the United States from Trier, Germany, where he was that city's most important expressionist painter. Prominent in the Jewish community, Lazarus was commissioned to paint a mural on the ceiling of Trier's main synagogue. But the 1930s was not the best time to be a Jewish modernist in Germany, and Lazarus emigrated… More >>
  • Best Example of Art-World Perseverance

    Phil Bender

    In 1980, a group of friends opened an alternative art space in a then-rough part of town and gave it the difficult and unconventional name of Pirate: a contemporary art oasis. But the co-op's name perfectly reflected the difficult and unconventional work that has so often found a home in the space at 3659 Navajo Street. Now, more than twenty… More >>
  • Best Arts Commune

    The Other Side

    You have to hand it to the folks who strive to try something different, and the Other Side is just such an effort. Rather than being just another artist cooperative, it's more of a true collective, where artists not only share studio and gallery space (and daycare), but attempt to give back to the community by offering classes and workshops,… More >>
  • Best Swan Song

    Lonnie Hanzon's haircutting ceremony

    Hair today, gone...well, you know the drill: When local artist/entrepreneur Lonnie Hanzon decided to cash it all in, sell his workshop and auction off nearly everything in it, he also decided to drop his three-foot tresses, what he liked to call his "greatest work of art," and put them on the block, to boot. To his credit, he turned the… More >>
  • Best Art Class Carved in Stone

    MARBLE/marble XIV
    The Marble Institute of Colorado

    They used Colorado Yule Marble for the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In fact, anytime someone wants to make something look grand, they call for the sleek stone that's quarried in the town of Marble, near Aspen. At the Marble Institute of Colorado's MARBLE/marble XIV classes this summer, sculptors of various levels of experience and expertise… More >>
  • Best Strange Dance

    Abbott's Bromley Horn Dance

    Who can argue with a tradition that's been handed down for centuries, has its origins in a mystical fertility ritual, and involves grown people dressed in white holding antlers on their heads? That's the core of the solemn annual rite known as Abbott's Bromley Horn Dance, which leapt across the Atlantic decades ago and embedded itself in Denver's folk-dancing community.… More >>
  • Best Early Training for Debutantes

    Sugar Plums
    Colorado Ballet

    This program for young dancers places an elite crew of twinkletoes in the spotlight for the annual Colorado Ballet staging of The Nutcracker. It's a wonderful experience, of course, for any second-grader keen on turning pro, but the fast-track connections that come out of the mingling of so many upper-suburban stage mothers at related social events may be an even… More >>
  • Best Display of Equine Elegance

    Cheval Théâtre

    Hard to say if it was dance, theater, circus or dressage, but whatever it was, Cheval Théâtre provided an astonishing evening of entertainment during its extended Denver run last fall. Sitting in the audience, you sensed some mysterious, Cirque du Soleil-influenced story must be responsible for the goings-on in the sawdust ring under a tent in the parking lot of… More >>
  • Best Theater-Company Season

    Denver Center Theatre Company

    Denver should be grateful for the foresight and dedication that originally gave birth to the Denver Center Theatre Company, which has assembled a talented group of artists and every year offers an eclectic and intelligent mix of plays -- classic and contemporary, angry and light, humorous and tragic. The production values are almost always impeccable. This year's standouts were a… More >>
  • Best Theater Production (Since March 2001)

    Coyote on a Fence
    Curious Theatre Company

    Coyote on a Fence opened soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and it says much for the production that it retained its strength and seemed both true and important in the face of those terrible events. Bruce Graham's play examines the death penalty in America and concerns two men on death row. One is a psychologist convicted of murdering… More >>
  • Best Creator of Experimental Theater

    Thaddeus Phillips

    We don't quite know what to make of Thaddeus Phillips, who managed -- all by himself -- to perform two full-length Shakespeare plays, King Lear and the Tempest, during one strange and coldly electrifying evening at Denver's Buntport Theater and who later amazed a sparse crowd at the historic Rossonian Hotel with a loose narrative about how he learned to… More >>
  • Best Reader's Theater

    The Dead

    Around Christmastime, the Hunger Artists brought James Joyce's The Dead to lyrical life amid the gleaming lamps and dark wood of the Byers-Evans House Museum in Denver. The reading was adapted and directed by Jeremy Cole, and it was a jewel, glowing and multi-faceted, communicating all the wistful power of Joyce's short story as well as the expressiveness of his… More >>
  • Best Original Script

    The End

    This is a play about the sole survivor of a nuclear holocaust. Or about a man playing that survivor on a stage. Then again, the man may be Adam, tending the Garden of Eden. There's a woman directing the play. Sometimes she's helpful, sometimes mocking, sometimes downright capricious. Maybe she's God. Israeli director Ami Dayan's The End, created in collaboration… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Nancy Cranbourne
    Two Women Avoiding Involuntary Hospitalization: A Hormonal Cabaret

    It's impossible to imagine anyone matching Nancy Cranbourne's lunatic genius in Two Women Avoiding Involuntary Hospitalization: A Hormonal Cabaret. Since she's also a dancer, her comic bits -- most of them created through improvisation -- involve her head, her heart, her soul, her mind, and every nerve and muscle of her body. That's why she can have you howling with… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Bill Christ
    Cyrano de Bergerac

    There's a lot of acting talent in Denver, so best actor is a hard call to make. How do you compare a larger-than-life performance like Bill Christ's Cyrano with Gene Gillette's affecting portrayal of a skinhead in Coyote on a Fence? Or to Brett Aune's squawks and flutters in The Swan? What about Nicholas Sugar as the leering emcee of… More >>
  • Best Theater Ensemble Work

    Spoon River Anthology

    Director Ed Baierlein knows his onions. For his production of the Edgar Lee Masters classic Spoon River Anthology at the Germinal Stage, he kept the production values low-key and snared the services of six fine and very different actors. The script is less a play than a collection of monologues, spoken by the imagined dead of a small town; some… More >>
  • Best Actress in a Musical

    Rachel York
    Kiss Me, Kate

    Rachel York is a spectacular performer, larger than life and meriting a boxload of descriptors: beautiful, passionate, volcanic (yet subtle), able to rage or weep on the instant, mesmerizing. The finest element in a very fine production of Kiss Me, Kate, York gave Cole Porter's brilliant score everything it required, singing "So in love..." with profound warmth and emotion, finding… More >>
  • Best Actor in a Musical

    Marc G. Dalio
    Beauty and the Beast

    "Over the top" doesn't begin to cover Marc G. Dalio's performance as Belle's oafish and ultimately rejected suitor, Gaston, in Beauty and the Beast. He came across like a huge, muscled and inexplicably animated cardboard cutout, prancing and preening, utterly in love with himself, his grin revealing teeth as large and white as pillowcases. Dalio has a big supple voice… More >>
  • Best Date Show for Young Couples

    I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!

    There's a reason that I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! has been running forever: In it, four attractive, talented and energetic young people whip through the joys and traumas of dating and coupling (and re-coupling) in scene and song. There are a couple of insightful comments and touching moments, but for the most part, the evening is pure peach… More >>
  • Best Date Show for Long-Marrieds

    Dinner With Friends
    Denver Center Theatre Company

    Donald Margulies's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Dinner With Friends, muses on marriage and the substitute families that married people form with other couples. Two people, immersed in their own misery, separate. Their close friends -- a pair of trendy and dedicated foodies -- immediately sense the cracks in their own relationship. The original two move on, but the second two continue… More >>
  • Best Set and Lighting

    The Immigrant
    Denver Center Theatre Company

    Normally, when you find yourself paying attention to technical details in the theater, it means you're bored and the production's a flop. Not so with The Immigrant. Lighting designer Don Darnutzer's effects were both lovely in themselves and integral to the musical's theme: transparent skies with clouds flowing across them, the amber light of Sabbath candles. Ralph Funicello managed the… More >>
  • Best Proof That Action Can Be Worth a Thousand Words

    A Skull in Connemara

    Playwright Martin McDonagh has a wicked way with words, but he also understands that they're only one of the ways theater communicates. Mick Dowd, the protagonist of A Skull in Connemara, is a handyman who has to dig up old skeletons in the village cemetery every year to make room for more. In the particular year in which the play… More >>
  • Best Transformation of Space

    Annex Theatre - CLOSED

    The Everyman Theatre Company has done wonders with the bland, inhospitable 1950s-style office building it calls home, making one room into a snack area, another into a focused and inviting theater through the use of platforms and artfully placed lights. As for the sets, they reveal the same vision and attention to detail. Using a few props and a stack… More >>
  • Best Theater for Fun

    Heritage Square Music Hall

    Heritage Square offers fun in down-home style - first with food in a large, friendly dining room, followed by an outrageously hammy melodrama acted by seasoned and talented performers who are clearly enjoying themselves. These productions aren't weighted down with either concepts of high art or the huge costumes, multimillion-dollar sets or over-miked sound of the commercial, Disneyesque variety. They're… More >>
  • Best Disco Revival

    Gloria Half Gaynor
    Denver Buffalo Company

    Songbird Lannie Garrett is the ultimate survivor, and her recent incarnation as Gloria Half Gaynor displays her savvy show-biz instincts. Not content with having created a Patsy Decline alter ego, Garrett now transforms herself into a disco diva one night a week, backed by a seven-piece band and singing all those songs you prayed you'd forget. For several frightening hours,… More >>
  • Best Drag Queen With a Degree in Quantum Physics

    Anita Cocktail

    Bud Bradshaw makes an imposing woman. He, er, she, is 300 pounds and nearly seven feet tall in custom-made platform heels and towering wig. But the most unusual thing about Bradshaw is the fact that she, er, he, has a degree in quantum physics. He doesn't much like to talk about that part of his life, though. It was only… More >>
  • Best Variety Show -- Live

    Love Show

    Not content with winning hearts and saving pooches with his appearances on cable TV's Emergency Vets (on Animal Planet), funnyman/animal doc Kevin Fitzgerald stages an irregular (very) variety show that seems to have found a home on major holidays at the Comedy Works in Larimer Square. What's not to love about the Love Show? An evening's lineup always includes… More >>
  • Best Variety Show -- Televised

    @altitude: Life in the Mile High City
    Channel 8

    Most of the humor on Denver's Channel 8 is inadvertent: It's tough to take those endless city council committee hearings seriously. And while the people featured in @altitude: Life in the Mile High City aren't putting on an act, either, the production team definitely takes an entertainingly skewed view of life in Denver. This is altitude with an attitude. "Our… More >>
  • Best Secret Denver Celebrity

    Denise Nickerson

    As a youngster, Denise Nickerson participated in projects that have garnered her eternal fame among members of two separate cults: She was in the cast of the 1960s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, and she co-starred as Violet Beauregarde, the obsessive gum-chewer who turned into a giant blueberry, in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Nickerson subsequently left show business,… More >>
  • Best Repeat Performance by a Denverite at the Grammys

    Dianne Reeves

    Dianne Reeves has definitely found her calling. The jazz diva, who was raised in Denver, won a Grammy Award this year for The Calling -- Celebrating Sarah Vaughn. It was her second consecutive win in the category of Best Jazz Vocal Album; Reeves won the same award the year before for In the Moment -- Live in Concert. Both albums… More >>
  • Best Breakthrough

    Akil LuQman

    Twelve-year-old Akil LuQman promises to be a roaring success as an actor. On April 17, the Denver sixth-grader makes his debut as Young Simba in the road show of The Lion King. Catch him while you can.… More >>
  • Best Old-Time Melodrama

    Don't Shoot the Piano Player

    Although it takes place early this year -- the first three weekends in April -- Silver Plume's annual community melodrama, performed by the Plume Players, should be filled with just as much tiny-town drama as ever. Don't Shoot the Piano Player, a nod to the old mining town's Wild West history, has a cast of ten (approximately 5 percent of… More >>
  • Best Change of Tune at DIA

    Revival of the International Performance Series

    The big wheels at Denver International Airport have done plenty wrong over the last year, but here's something they did right: They allowed the International Performance Series to continue inside the airport over the Christmas holidays, despite the post-September 11 security concerns that forced them to cancel it during the Thanksgiving rush. For more than a decade, musicians have roamed… More >>
  • Best Game Dedicated to Aurora

    Aurora Bingo

    It's possible that you have to live in Aurora to truly appreciate it, and sometimes even that doesn't work. But how many citizens of Denver's much-maligned suburb to the east actually know anything about the place where they wake up every day and go to sleep every night? Here's a way to learn. Staff members at the Aurora History Museum… More >>
  • Best Song Dedicated to Broomfield

    "The Broomfield Song"
    Phil Long

    New York's got a bunch of songs; Chicago's got a few. Hell, even St. Louis has been the subject of a couple of ditties. So why not Broomfield? That's what Phil Long, who grew up in once-sleepy Broomfield, thought when he returned to his now-overgrown hometown after many years on the road as a singer and musician and found it… More >>
  • Best After-Hours Club

    Enigma Afterhours

    With the closing of a couple of clubland staples over the past year, the nocturnal socialite has fewer options from which to choose. Fortunately, Enigma Afterhours -- which began as Rezodanc in the spring of 2001 -- has swiftly filled the late-night void by opening its doors at the unsaintly hour of 1 a.m., Thursday through Saturday nights. With a… More >>
  • Best All-Ages Venue

    Club Pulse

    What's the matter with kids today? Not a thing, if you ask the young crowds who populate Club Pulse, a Littleton hot spot that welcomes teenage patrons as well as the over-21 crowd. That's good news for younger hipsters who prefer to spend their Saturday nights on the dance floor rather than cruising the 16th Street Mall. True to its… More >>
  • Best All-Ages Night

    All Agez Ragez

    Last fall, when the Denver City Council was debating an ordinance allowing mixed-age crowds at cabarets, Rock Island owner David Clammage -- or, as his patrons know him, "Uncle Dave" -- was a vocal advocate of allowing local venues to provide safe and exciting entertainment options for the under-21 contingent. With his weekly All Agez Ragez, Clammage puts his booking… More >>
  • Best Teen Dance Club Founded by Teens

    The Grind

    It started with a bunch of Longmont area high school students who wanted their own dance club. They pulled together the resources, gathered community support and wrote a business plan that sold the Longmont City Council on the idea, to the tune of $91,000 in funding. With student managers, DJs and security -- adults are "advisers" only -- the Grind,… More >>
  • Best New Club (Since March 2001)


    For those who prefer stylish settings to sports bars, Citrus is a juicy addition. This clean, Euro-style eatery boasts one of the city's finest selections of Champagne and top-shelf vodka. But five nights a week, the LoDo spot opens its floors (and its upstairs V.I.P. room) to the dance-music contingent, with DJs spinning all manner of house music, from Chicago-style… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Alley Cat

    If you've got cat class and you've got cat style -- or just a Ben Franklin for you and a friend burning a hole in your velvet pants -- this quasi-underground club is the hottest spot in Denver to strut your stuff. Entered via an alley behind the Diamond Cabaret strip club, Alley Cat features house music spun by the… More >>
  • Best Club DJ

    Ty Tek

    Every DJ in the Casa Del Soul crew excels at his craft. They all know how to read, and lead, a crowd. They all religiously mine the record bins at Casa Del Soul Records (owned by the collective's founder, Nate Uhlir). And they all play out regularly at the biggest dance clubs in Denver. But if you favor a hybrid… More >>
  • Best Place to Drink Up Dance Culture


    New clubs come and go, but there's really no challenging the staying power or superiority of Boulder's Soma. Less a traditional venue than a full dance-music environment, Soma maintains its status by constantly revamping its future-tech vibe and opening its spinning space to talent from all record crates and corners of the world. The club's excellent local residents spin hard… More >>
  • Best V.I.P. Room

    Club Sanctuary

    The price for a table inside Club Sanctuary's luxuriously appointed and well-guarded room for special people is $200 for the night, which is right in the range of the club's competition and still includes your first bottle of premium liquor free. Split between four people at a table, that's not bad, especially since it also buys the doting attention of… More >>
  • Best Morning After


    There's got to be a morning after -- sooner or later, you're going to have to open your eyes, listen to that hammer hitting your head and remember every stupid thing you did last night. Well, almost everything. Pure, the nightclub that occupies the old Casino Cabaret, makes a good argument for facing the music sooner: the Recovery Room. This… More >>
  • Best Club Night

    60 South

    Every Friday night, the glam, the gay and the gorgeous converge on the newly renovated 60 South on Broadway for Lipgloss, a welcome new addition to the face of Denver club life. Friendly, funny bartenders (who just might ask you to sample new drinks they've concocted on the spot), an energetic but open vibe, and a daring crew of revolving… More >>
  • Best House Music Club Nights

    Skunk Motel and Phrunky Fridays
    The Snake Pit

    Devotees of house music are advised to start the week off right by checking into Skunk Motel, the wildly popular theme night at the Snake Pit hosted by Denver's DJ Skunk every Monday. Those with fun-forbidding Tuesday-morning commitments, or those who merely wish a bigger chunk of dance floor for themselves, will find an attractive alternative on Phrunky Fridays, where… More >>
  • Best Acid House Club Night


    On Mondays, 1515 hosts Textiles, a weekly beat happening that fuses the prolific talents of local jazz saxophonist Pete Wall with those of Denver trip-hoppers Equulei, various live percussionists, and turntablists from the Mile High House crew, including Ivy, Todd Colletti, and Tom Hoch. Together these players cut a deep, chilly, down-tempo groove that makes for exceptionally easy yet edgy… More >>
  • Best Jungle/ Drum 'n' Bass Club Night

    Breakdown Thursdays
    The Snake Pit

    The Snake Pit is little more than a black box, but the music that fills it on Thursday nights is legendary. Breakdown Thursdays are one of the best and best-known jungle/drum 'n' bass club nights on the planet. To be sure, the fluttering drum beats and cortex-rattling bass lines are an acquired taste, but there's no better serving of the… More >>
  • Best Sunday Jazz Joint

    B.J.'s Port

    B.J.'s Port, a cozy neighborhood bar in Five Points, features jazz only on Sundays, from 4 to 8 p.m. But what music! Pat Bianchi, a hard-driving young jazz organist, leads a smokin' trio composed of the fine Boulder guitarist Bill Kopper and drummer Tony Black, a whirling dervish with the quickest sticks in the business. On vocals you've got singer/actor… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club

    El Chapultepec

    Not much has changed at El Chapultepec over the past couple of decades -- not the interior, not the food menu (the beef-and-bean burritos go surprisingly well with bebop), not the fact that the place is packed like a submarine on Saturday nights. Owner Jerry Krantz knows there's simply no need to try to improve things. The teeny club is… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Away and Get Down

    Herb's Hideout

    When jazz saxophonist Laura Newman took over Herb's Hideout at the beginning of the year, she created a welcome den for live music on the fringes of LoDo. Though Herb's has always opened its stages to area players, it's now a bona fide venue nearly every night of the week, with emphasis on R&B, funk, jazz and even big band… More >>
  • Best Acoustic Music Room

    Daniels Hall
    Swallow Hill Music Association

    For players who are accustomed to competing with the bar-room din at many music venues, Daniels Hall can be a tough room to tackle. The loyal legions who attend concerts in the small, intimate space inside Swallow Hill hang on every lyric and lick and honor performers by giving them their full attention. A sort of sanctuary of pure sound,… More >>
  • Best Faux Honky-Tonk

    Skylark Lounge

    Most of the time, the Skylark Lounge is just a bar -- albeit a great one, with an old-fashioned atmosphere (checkered floor, vinyl booths and soda-fountain-style bar stools) that draws the hipsterati from the Baker neighborhood and beyond. But on Thursday and Saturday nights, the staff clears a few tables and sets up a makeshift stage for some of the… More >>
  • Best Hometown Hootenanny

    Denver Barn Dance
    Mercury Cafe

    Held the first Friday of every month, the Barn Dance has quickly become an event worth looking forward to -- a family-oriented, music-heavy and just plain fun community happening. Because its organizers know grownups sometimes have a hard time rocking into the late-night hours, the Barn Dance starts and ends early and is designed to offer a little something for… More >>
  • Best Latin Club


    Denver Pavilions

    Though Sevilla recently relocated from its cavernous corner on Wynkoop Street to new digs in the Denver Pavilions, nothing was lost in the move. It still provides the most appealing environment for south-of-the-border musical expeditions, with a huge dance floor, exotic decor and a stimulating menu of live and DJ music. For those who like to move to merengue, tear… More >>
  • Best Midsize Venue in Boulder

    The Fox Theatre

    Earlier this year, the Fox Theatre notched its tenth anniversary -- but it also celebrated its tenth year as the best-sounding room of its type in the area. Since its 1992 birth on the Hill in Boulder, the space has become a favorite of both artists and fans. Simply put, the Fox provides the finest acoustics imaginable, whether the star… More >>
  • Best Midsize Venue in Denver

    The Gothic Theatre

    When he bought the Gothic in 1999, owner Steve Schalk, a former Hollywood set designer, poured his vision (and his bank account) into salvaging the south Broadway space from its formerly sorry existence. The result was a magnificent house with old-world charm, great sound and a progressive booking policy. Beyond its aesthetic qualities -- and there are many -- the… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Burger With a Side of Death Metal

    Sports Field Roxxx

    With above-average bar grub and a stage that plays host to the area's heaviest bands, Sports Field Roxxx offers patrons the chance to fill up their stomachs and blow out their eardrums in one sitting. Sports Field has recently expanded its entertainment menu to include punk and rock acts in addition to its trademark heavy metal, industrial and hardcore. The… More >>
  • Best Musical High Dive

    Buffalo Rose

    Bands wade into the deep each night at Golden's legendary Buffalo Rose: The bar's music room is built on top of what used to be the City of Golden's municipal pool. The stage itself sits right over the pool's now-empty deep end, adding an extra measure of bottom boom to the sound and giving new meaning to the term "sink… More >>
  • Best Place for Any (and We Mean Any) Local Band to Get a Fair Shake

    Cricket on the Hill - CLOSED

    Whether they are truly talented or simply interested in using music as a bludgeon, untested Denver bands have long had a wide-open outlet for their art at Cricket on the Hill. Sure, the place is far from cuddly, but management understands the bar's symbiosis with local rock. The standard deal is straightforward: Three bands split a third of the bar… More >>
  • Best Place to Scope the Next New Thing

    New Talent Showcase
    Herman's Hideaway

    You don't have to be terribly accomplished to secure some stage time during the New Talent Showcase at Herman's Hideaway. In fact, the whole point of the Wednesday-night series is to give fledgling acts a chance to test the waters of the live-music experience, even if they only play to an audience of friends and sympathetic strangers. Often the shows… More >>
  • Best Punk Club


    Technically, Tulagi is not a punk club. About half the time, the smallish space -- which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year -- is booked by the staff that operates the Fox Theatre next door. But a couple nights a week, the calendar belongs to indie promoter Mike Barsch, who draws on his years of running Denver punk staple the… More >>
  • Best Reason to Take a Trip to the Bathroom

    Quixote's True Blue

    When the owners of Quixote's True Blue moved into the old 7 South space on Broadway, they began redecorating with a vengeance -- and a vision. Colorful and kaleidoscopic, the entire room is a museum of musical memorabilia and art (including plenty of original posters and photographs) that also serves as a venue for local and national jam-based, bluegrass and Grateful… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    15th Street Tavern

    Scott Campbell and Jason Cotter, booking managers for the 15th Street Tavern, must have a psychic grasp of which artists are about to break out: Many of the bands that play their club wind up on the cover of the College Music Journal or headlining a showcase at the South by Southwest music conference soon after stopping in Denver. Fortunately… More >>
  • Best Reason to Go to LoDo on a Sunday Night

    Colorado Music Association monthly meetings
    Soiled Dove

    Getting more than 100 people into the Soiled Dove to discuss Denver's music scene with Monday morning looming is no small feat. However, the 1,000-member Colorado Music Association routinely does so on the third Sunday of each month. Popular features include member introductions and a free spread, courtesy of the Dove. Networking, panel discussions and industry news and advice make… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn What Rhymes With Orange

    Nashville Songwriters' Association International
    Academy of the Arts

    The Nashville Songwriters Association International's Denver chapter meets the first Monday of every month at the Academy of the Arts. There, good ol' boys and girls explore the intricacies of songwriting in a friendly setting. Group members come to have their work critiqued by peers, a process that can generate heated line-by-line discussions but never loses the spirit of camaraderie.… More >>
  • Best Bizarro Fashion/Rock Act

    Mr. Pacman

    Take an oversized Ronald McDonald, Tron-inspired costume design, giant plastic lobster claws, low-budget martial arts and moon boots. Throw in some warped synthetic ditties dedicated to the Atari classic from which it derives its name, and you're just scratching the surface of the city's strangest multimedia phenomenon, Mr. Pacman. The ranting "No Ghosts" alone is worth the cover charge when… More >>
  • Best On-Stage Getups

    Bobby Collins Death Metal Armada

    Skulls, devils and pentagrams are not involved, but the Bobby Collins Death Metal Armada's fashion sense perfectly complements its spacey, nitrous pop. The Armada's revolving wardrobe includes jumpsuits, milkman duds, cardigans, cheesy Christmas sweaters, space-age fabrics, 3-D glasses and beanies. Rumor has it that bubble-wrap coveralls might be in the works. Fortunately this atmospheric pop combo puts equal emphasis on… More >>
  • Best Band Name


    If Bio-Bitch doesn't pique your interest -- or at least elicit a chuckle -- then the terrorists really have won.… More >>
  • Best Rock Range

    Worm Trouble

    Moving from singer-songwriter-style pop to intricate noise rock, Worm Trouble bridges the chasm between wispy melodies and blistering riffs with ease. A typical set weaves dozens of radically different sonic threads into a slew of textures that range from delicate to explosive, melancholy to sarcastic. Despite its name, there's no trouble in this trio -- at least as far as… More >>
  • Best Jazz Singer

    Teresa Carroll

    Classically trained and jazzically inclined, Teresa Carroll knows her way around a song -- almost any song -- because she's lived a few lyrics herself. A graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, she studied opera in New York in the 1970s and early '80s, but she was always drawn to the Holy Trinity -- Billie, Sarah and Ella -- as… More >>
  • Best Female Vocalist

    Madame Andrews

    Move over Hazel, Nina and Lannie. Though she's not exactly glamorous and hardly a diva, Madame Andrews is in possession of the city's most divine set of pipes. When the Heavenly Echoes vocalist and host of KGNU-FM's Gospel Chime sings her joyous, old-school testimonials to faith, she sends skin crawling and Satan heading for parts farther south. Andrews's current CD,… More >>
  • Best Soundman

    Shane Hotle
    Mercury Cafe

    Too many of the area's soundmen think a successful night on the job means causing tinnitus in the clientele. Shane Hotle knows better. He keeps the wattage in check and fills the Merc's glorious upstairs room with a smartly mixed, just-below-capacity sound. The result allows auditory indulgence up front and conversation in the back bar -- which is just as… More >>
  • Best Bluesman

    David Booker

    For a city of its size, Denver comes up short on compelling, cliche-free blues acts. But David Booker sings a different song. He's moved crowds here for decades, thanks to an eye for great material and supporting players -- not to mention a voice that wraps around standards like a sharkskin scarf. Add in his car-salesman/street-huckster persona, and you've got… More >>
  • Best Bluegrass Band

    Open Road

    Open Road has undergone a few changes in personnel since its acclaimed debut, Open Road, but that hasn't slowed the band. The acoustic combo from Lyons continues to serve up pure, traditionally spirited music of the finest kind -- an approach that's drawing attention from around the nation. If the players can hang on to the good mojo and chemistry,… More >>
  • Best Rockabilly Band

    The Lee Bradford Trio

    As a member of Open Road, Brad Folk handles himself as a country gentleman, a stately vocalist in a traditional bluegrass band. When fronting his trio, however, he turns into something else entirely -- a restrained, yowling wildcat. His act is real gone, all right, dishing out the meanest early-'50s rockabilly around. Is it fair that one guy gets to… More >>
  • Best Country Band

    Dalhart Imperials

    For almost ten years, Les Cooper and his Dalharts have carried the torch for honest-to-gawd country. Good thing they had the patience to stick it out, because the Dalharts have matured into one heck of a fine band. Thanks to Les's rich bray, Tim Cooper's sugarcane steel-guitar playing and the seasoned craftsmanship of the rest of the Imperial cast, locals… More >>
  • Best Indie Label

    Smooch Records

    Run by Andrew Murphy, a spry and indefatigable supporter of homegrown music, Boulder-based Smooch Records has done more than just put out records: The label has helped cultivate an identity for the grassroots network of independent artists who make and record music in the Front Range. The sporadic Smooch live showcases are sampler-platter style concerts that give listeners a chance… More >>
  • Best Blast From the Past -- Acoustic Division

    So Long of a Journey
    Hot Rize
    Sugar Hill Records

    Cut live at the Boulder Theater in 1996, So Long of a Journey captures one of the finest acts to emerge from the contemporary bluegrass scene in all its glory: From the traditional favorite "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning" to the joyous "Won't You Come and Sing for Me," the playing and singing of Pete Wernick, Tim O'Brien, Nick… More >>
  • Best Blast From the Past -- Electric Division

    Denver Sessions '79
    The Corvairs
    Prefab Int'l Records

    The Corvairs never made much of an impact nationwide, but the band was among Colorado's hottest new-wave acts in the late '70s and early '80s, and Denver Sessions '79 perfectly captures the era. The music can be goofy at times -- "T.V." interpolates the theme to The Munsters -- and the recording quality is rather primitive (for information, visit… More >>
  • Best Blues Recording

    Respect the Dead
    Otis Taylor
    NorthernBlues Music

    Otis Taylor is among the most ambitious blues performers on the planet, as Respect the Dead demonstrates. Rather than churning out good-timey blues for tourists or mimicking the styles of yesteryear, he uses his compositions to explore issues of love, history, race and justice. Songs like "Ten Million Slaves," "32nd Time" and "Jump Jelly Belly" may seem to be heavy… More >>
  • Best Jazz Recording

    Fred Hess Quartet
    Creative Improvised Music Projects

    Exposed is about as pure a jazz CD as you're apt to find: Like all Creative Improvised Music Projects offerings, it was recorded directly onto a computer without compression, echo or any post-production tampering. As a result, listeners can hear every nuance in regularly enthralling performances by saxophonist Fred Hess and his worthy associates: trumpeter Paul Smoker, bassist Ken Filiano… More >>
  • Best Recording for Little Jazzbos

    Swingset Jazz
    Michael Friedman
    Swingset Jazz Records

    Dotsero bassist Michael Friedman reaches beyond his usual smooth-jazz audience with Swingset Jazz, an album of adaptations of children's standards like "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Though the album is meant to be educational as well as fun, Friedman may be able to trick kids into thinking it's just the latter. Whimsical and high-spirited, Swingset Jazz adds another volume… More >>
  • Best Local Recording

    The Ugly People vs. The Beautiful People
    The Czars
    Bella Union Records

    We all know the altitude is to blame for everything, from a cheap pop-up at Coors Field turning into a tape-measure home run to the somewhat sorry state of sushi. But since when did it cause locals to become hard of hearing? What else could explain the release of a disc as engaging as the Czars' The Ugly People vs.… More >>
  • Best Musical Recommendation of the Mile High City

    Andy Monley
    Velveteen Records

    Former Jux County frontman and current Czar Andy Monley released Denver, his first solo CD, in January. A collection of songs Monley wrote in his downtime over a couple of years, the album features guest cameos from a fine group of local players, including guitarist Janet Feder, Mike Serviolo, Monkey Siren's Glenn Taylor and Mark Harris and the Czars' John… More >>
  • Best Pop Recording

    Sound Go Round
    Dressy Bessy
    Kindercore Records

    Those who've resisted the charms of Dressy Bessy in the past complained that the four-piece's music was too cute, too sweet, too cuddly. But on Sound Go Round, too much feels just right. Each ditty here is an irresistible hook-o-rama whose allure is magnified by lead singer Tammy Ealom's winsome crooning and guitarist John Hill's unfussy production. Anyone who can… More >>
  • Best Power-Pop Recording

    34 Satellite
    Hideaway Records

    Singer-songwriter/guitarist Marc Benning understands that power pop only succeeds when its two primary components are kept in perfect balance -- and on Stop, he achieves his aim more often than not. "Get Out Alive," "Caroline," "Smoke From a Funeral" and many other tracks here are compulsively hummable without seeming wimpy, and they rock with conviction that never degenerates into mere… More >>
  • Best Punk Recording

    Live Plus One

    When the members of All relocated to Fort Collins, many observers of the scene didn't expect them to stay there for long -- but seven years later, they're still in place, and they've created quite a scene around their studio, the accurately named Blasting Room. Live Plus One, their latest effort, definitely provides bang for the buck. Its first disc… More >>
  • Best Roots Recording

    Drag the River

    Drag the River's Chad Price is the lead vocalist of All, and colleague Jon Snodgrass hails from Armchair Martian -- so Closed must be high-energy punk, right? Not even close. The album is filled with hard-drinking tales of life and loss accompanied by plenty of cohort Zach Boddicker's pedal-steel. It's not country, it's not rock, and it's not a combination… More >>
  • Best Ska Recording

    Electric Boogaloo
    Five Iron Frenzy
    5 Minute Walk Records

    During Five Iron Frenzy's years of existence, ska has gone in and out of style (and given the success of the No Doubt single "Hey Baby," it may be on the rise again). But the band has stayed steadily on course, developing a tight, exciting variation on the style. The membership's Christian beliefs sometimes surface overtly, as on "Far, Far… More >>
  • Best Brand-New, Decade-Old Red Rocks Release

    Live at Red Rocks
    Artemis Records

    The concert that singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones gave at Red Rocks on July 5, 1990, is brand-new all over again, thanks to Live at Red Rocks, Artemis Records' recent release. Although On Hold at Red Rocks might be a more accurate title, the CD is authentically enjoyable, a quick trip back to the late '80s, when Jones released her classic… More >>
  • Best Metal Zine

    Throat Culture Magazine

    Every few months for three years running, writer/editor/publisher Rod Brown has unleashed a new edition of Throat Culture Magazine, boosting its distribution and circulation with each press run. Brown's passion for "abrasive music" fuels this beast, a dense glossy loaded with articles, reviews and interviews regarding all things headbanging. In the case of this Throat Culture, the results usually come… More >>
  • Best Red-Eyed Return of a Local Zine

    Modern Drunkard

    As long as it pertains to getting ripped to the tits, local filmmaker/writer/boozebag Frank Rich prints all the news that's fit to drink. Whether it's the wisdom of forty-ounce philosophers, true stories from the sozzled side or the savvy drunk's guide to low-cost quaffs, Modern Drunkard -- which took a hiatus in 1998 after a dozen issues -- covers the town… More >>
  • Best Indie Comic Collection

    Captain Missiletoe: The First Collection 2000-2001

    Artist/illustrator Lucas Richards's work may be familiar to buyers of local recordings: He's done covers for the Volts, the Dinnermints and the Pindowns, among others. But it's within the pages of Starving Magpie, a quarterly comic-book-style publication, that his vision is most fully realized. Richards and collaborator Soapy Argyle -- an area guitarist who crafts Starving's stories -- have compiled… More >>
  • Best Web Site for Music Collectors

    Founded in 1972, Music Disc has exchanged its storefront on Hampden Avenue for a warehouse space at 3895A Newport Street in Denver; 45s are available for browsing by appointment, but the rest of the stock isn't. Fortunately, though, the entire library is accessible on the Web -- and what a library it is. The site has a huge collection of… More >>
  • Best Web Site With Bite

    "Headbanger and Zombie Fag Extraordinaire" Maris the Great is up to his neck disemboweling Denver's heavy-metal finest -- a fiendish plot that the little ghoul expects will launch his own band to the forefront of the underground scene. As a contributing critic to Throat Culture Magazine (and the now-defunct Soundboard), His Greatness has already offed the likes of Drudgery, Black… More >>
  • Best Concert (Since March 2001)

    Down From the Mountain Tour
    Music from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    Paramount Theatre
    Monday, February 11, 2002

    When Ralph Stanley invited the sold-out crowd at the Paramount Theatre to hold hands and join him in a call-and-response version of "Amazing Grace," few in the audience declined the offer. When else does the average country-music lover have a chance to join in a chorus with Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss and Union Station, Norman Blake and Patty Loveless, not… More >>
  • Best David and Goliath Battle

    Nobody in Particular Presents vs. Clear Channel Entertainment

    Both the business world and the music industry offered a slack-jawed response to the news that Nobody in Particular Presents, the tiny local promotional firm, had filed an anti-trust lawsuit against promotional behemoth Clear Channel Entertainment in federal district court last August. Full of nasty allegations of illegal power-mongering and plain old bad behavior in the Clear Channel camp, the… More >>