Arts & Entertainment

  • Rockbar

    Best New Bar (Since March 2006)

    Rockbar - CLOSED

    Rockbar could inspire a confirmed teetotaler to do a swan dive off the wagon within ten minutes of walking through the door. Conjuring the bygone decadence left behind by Perry's -- as the joint was known during the last days of disco -- Rockbar is the ideal place to relive your wasted youth. The decor in this late-'70s time-capsule remains… More >>
  • Best New Neighborhood Bar

    Horseshoe Lounge

    Recently witnessed at the Horseshoe Lounge: Avery Rains, aka Mr. Pacman, dressed in a full-bodied lion suit, head and paws included, stripping down to a very skimpy and curiously bulged pink thong. True fucking story. Unfortunately, this was a one-off birthday-party gig and not a weekly event, but it does prove how superbly awesome the Horseshoe is for allowing such… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar Disguised as a Swank LoDo Club

    The Lure

    At first blush, the Lure is a swank place. Almost too swank. Hang out there for a while, though, and you start to realize that it's pretty relaxed. Like that really hot blonde in high school that you yearned to talk to but couldn't muster up the courage, there's more to the joint than meets the eye. Remember when you… More >>
  • Best Dive Bar in the 'Burbs

    12 Volt Tavern

    Arvada's answer to a Colfax dive bar, 12 Volt Tavern has all the grit and attitude of the city -- without the Colfax freaks. Plopped down in the middle of Olde Town Arvada, the Tavern may seem out of place among its better-groomed neighbors, but its well-worn character is completely authentic. Although the place has only been known as by… More >>
  • Best Free WiFi in a Mexican Dive Bar

    Aztec Sol

    Aztec Sol is best known for its exhaustive collection of more than 200 tequilas, carefully curated by owner Jose Lara. The funky neighborhood spot is a favorite among locals who live and drink on the edge of Highland: Both caballeros and condo-dwellers are drawn by Aztec Sol's cheap eats and potent, imaginative cocktails. In addition to cantaritas and vampiros (two… More >>
  • Best Bar Urinal for Bad Aimers

    Pint's Pub

    One of the best things about being a male is the joy of having a penis. Not only is it fun to hold, but the simple act of peeing out of it feels quite nice! Few men are able to enjoy the simple act of elimination due to the typical height of lavatories and urinals. Most are built so low… More >>
  • Best Denver Answer to Cheers

    3 Kings Tavern

    We all know the words by heart. It's one of the most recognizable TV theme songs of all time: "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name/And they're always glad you came/You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same/You wanna be where everybody knows your name." Why, yes, actually, we do. And fortunately,… More >>
  • Best Denver Answer to Brooklyn


    All the broke, arty types -- musicians, writers, etc. -- in New York can't afford to live in Manhattan. As a result, they flock to less expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn, which is where hi-dive owner Matt LaBarge and his wife, Allison, once lived. In the fall of 2003, when the couple moved to Denver and took over the former Quixote's… More >>
  • Best Bar to Watch Japanese B-Movies

    Mario's Double Daughter's Salotto

    There's something about stepping inside Mario's Double Daughter's on a Sunday night that takes you to a completely different dimension. Dimly lit with subtle red and blue lights, the place is outfitted with chairs that look like they're made out of lipstick. As down-tempo grooves pour out of the speakers, a Japanese flick -- could be the one where some… More >>
  • Best Punk-Rock Bar and Pizzeria

    Pasquini's Pizzeria Uptown - CLOSED

    Seeing a show at Pasquini's may be the closest thing there is to a house party in Denver. The space Pasquini's inhabits was once a house, and when it's music time, tables are cleared out and the band sets up right next to the window. And to see bands like 18 Wheeler, Reno Divorce and Letters From the Front up… More >>
  • Best Leather Bar That Should Be Featured in Architectural Digest

    Denver Eagle

    Owned by two leathermen who sport backgrounds in furniture upholstery, culinary arts and retail clothing-store management, the Eagle is an unholy alliance of industrial chic meets bad-boy bar decor. James Ventrello and James Peck (aka Jim and Jimbo) are the couple who designed and crafted the 4,800-square-foot behemoth of a bar. After $400,000 of renovations and six months of blood,… More >>
  • Best Bar to Test Your Friends for Homophobia

    J.R.'s Bar & Grill - CLOSED

    J.R.'s is a great place to test your friends for closet homophobia. It's so unassuming and under the radar that if your friends aren't up on the gay scene, they might not recognize the name. When you walk up, the bar -- looking like something straight off Bourbon Street, with a row of warm white lights and an old-school balcony… More >>
  • Best Rock Club


    In less than five years, the hi-dive has become a Denver institution. Many of the current top-shelf local bands got their start at this intimate south Broadway bar, which sits smack dab in the middle of the Baker neighborhood. And even though many of those groups can now easily fill places twice its size, they still make it down to… More >>
  • Best New Club (Since March 2006)

    DC 10 - CLOSED

    DC 10 was the hot new kid in town when it opened last summer, but things got a little too heated when a co-owner of the swank club was arrested on charges of drug trafficking. Yikes. Taking zero time to recover from the media hoopla, DC 10 went full-throttle into the SoCo nightlife scene, staying visible with a number of… More >>
  • Best Club for Dancing


    DJ Brian Howe knows what it takes to set off the dance floor -- as well he should. The guy's been spinning in clubs for nearly two decades, has released over 200 mix CDs and remixed tracks for a variety of labels. Dude's on point, which is exactly why he was tapped to host his own XM radio show on… More >>
  • Best After-Hours Dance Parties


    Once a month, the best party in town happens after hours. From 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Afrobeat, deep house and global soul music raise the roof of whatever warehouse is hosting the party. But it's not all about the music: Producers and hosts Peju Alawusa (aka Yorubawoman) and Ashara Ekundayo also invite performance artists to join in this multimedia… More >>
  • Best Spy Dance Parties


    The screen displays a lone silhouette against the backlight. It moves sleekly and stealthily, like a cat. It's carrying a gun. All of a sudden, the music kicks in and the figure begins to dance, gyrating wildly. It's infectious, and it can only mean one thing: gogoLab, the ultimate spy dance musical consortium, is on stage and doing its thing.… More >>
  • Best Club Above a
    Strip Club


    Akio, the uni-monikered general manager of Tabu, is unmistakable with his trimmed eyebrows, slicked-skyward black hair and impeccably pressed suits. He can frequently be found making rounds throughout the club, all politician-like, shaking hands and beaming affably at patrons. His hospitality is infectious, and the rest of the staff is just as accommodating. Need a light? You got it. Need… More >>
  • Best Club Comeback

    The Loft - CLOSED

    As Club Evolution, the two-story building on the corner of 22nd and Champa streets seemed to be in a constant Darwinian struggle, first embracing the GLBT community and then later attempting to adapt to the hetero set. Both endeavors were for naught, as Evo eventually went under and later emerged with new owners, an immaculate interior facelift and open-to-all-party-people programming.… More >>
  • Best Club Move

    Soiled Dove Underground

    A huge improvement on its previous LoDo location, the newer, classier Soiled Dove was built from the ground up, with music as the focal point. Its crescent-shaped seating area was designed so that anyone seated in the 300-person-plus room would have a good line of sight. And while the sound in the LoDo Dove was great, the new Dove's system… More >>
  • Best Club Expansion

    El Chapultepec Too

    Anybody who's ever been to El Chapultepec on the weekend knows that the tiny place fills up mighty fast. Sometimes it gets so boisterous that it's hard to hear the jazzers on the tiny stage. Many times we've wished the club was about four times bigger -- you know, the kind of joint where you can actually find a place… More >>
  • Best Club Night

    Chit Chat - CLOSED

    It doesn't have a line down the block or a slate of superstar celebrity guest DJs. It's not the place to see or be seen. Nor is it filled with fickle hipsters who instantly think everything is so ten minutes ago. What Chit Chat is, is the city's best house party -- er, make that club night. Helmed by Jason… More >>
  • Best Club Night for Hooking Up

    Night of the Living Shred - CLOSED

    Thursdays at Bender's is like a salmon migration. In a sea of dyed black locks and thick mascara, sweaty hormones bubble to the surface as twenty-somethings shamelessly grope each other on the dance floor. Every week, the two-room club is packed, with Balls Deep Karaoke hosted by Jermaine Smith on one side and Night of the Living Shred holding its… More >>
  • Best Comedy Night

    Tuesday nights Squire Lounge

    After three years in action, the Tuesday night open-mike night at the Squire Lounge continues to draw both legions and lesions. A veritable test lab for different types of humans -- from hipster to hep C, transient to tranny -- the Squire is the type of bar that welcomes all with open arms, provided you're not openly toting arms. Add… More >>
  • Ben Kronberg

    Best New Funnyman

    Ben Kronberg

    Ben Kronberg is the shit. No, really. He calls himself the Poop Joke Ninja. At the Gong Show last fall, he rolled out on stage in full ninja-style costume and told, yep, poop jokes. He was gonged. But that's okay, because the experimental performer scored a spot at the invitation-only HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival held in Aspen last month.… More >>
  • Best Karaoke Night


    Bring your competitive edge and those succulent lungs down to Charlie's on Mondays and Tuesdays to battle it out mano-a-limp-wrist with some of the town's fiercest amateur vocalists. The nightly sign-up sheet doesn't care about your sexual orientation -- but if you suck, then you'll be outing yourself in front of the entire beer-swilling community. Because at Charlie's, under the… More >>
  • Best DIY DJ Night

    Bring Your Own Records Party

    Everyone has a little disc jockey inside of them, and once a month (or so), Carioca Cafe -- better known to scene kids everywhere as Bar Bar -- hosts a coming-out party for all the wicky-wicky wannabes. The concept is simple: Bring your records, play your records. Be sure to arrive early because the sign-up sheet fills up quickly. The… More >>
  • Best Goth Night


    Club Boca might not seem like much when you first walk in, but it's the ideal spot for a goth night. Then again, it could also work for an opium den or a high school makeout party. Dark, moody and decked out with plenty of couches, it's the type of place where engaging in heavy petting is almost a prerequisite.… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club


    Going strong for a decade now, Dazzle has become synonymous with jazz in the Mile High City. Whether the club is spotlighting dynamic local talent like weekly residents Ralph Sharon, Rehka Ohal and Pat Bianchi or showcasing internationally renowned artists such as Slide Hampton, Richie Cole and Bob Dorough, the club is bursting at the seams every night of the… More >>
  • Best Jazz Jam

    The Meadowlark

    Joshua Trinidad has a handle on jazz. As host of the Thursday-night Jazz Odyssey show on KUVO, the guy regularly gives spins to cats like David Murray, Matthew Shipp and the Bad Plus. The inventive trumpeter and his Sputter bandmate, drummer David Kurtz, have teamed up as Cougar Legs to host Monday-night jam sessions at the Meadowlark, in which like-minded… More >>
  • Best All-Comers Jam

    Tantrums Jam

    As if musicians needed another reason not to make it into work. The Tantrums Jam, hosted each Wednesday night at Kokopelli's by Tempa Singer and her Tantrums bandmates, has become the mid-week gathering place for local players to get loaded and get down. While guitarists currently make up a majority of the jammers, a fair share of drummers, bassists and… More >>
  • Best Drummer Jam

    Denver Drum Collective

    The drummer is the backbone of a band, holding everything together, and the Denver Drum Collective wants to make that spine stronger. Think of it as a chiropractic session for any drummer interested in sharing ideas and gaining new skills. The DDC has already brought legends Stanton Moore and Zoro to the Walnut Room for clinics, and future events are… More >>
  • Colorado \'88

    Best Jam Flashback

    Colorado '88

    Hard to believe, but as recently as nineteen years ago, very few of the ski bums negotiating the slopes of Aspen and Telluride gave a damn about Phish. Hence, some of the mountain-town club gigs documented on Colorado '88, a three-CD set available at, were attended by fewer than ten people, as is obvious by the paucity of clapping… More >>
  • Best Recording Studio

    8 Houses Down

    In punk-rock years, 8 Houses Down is like a dinosaur. The recording studio, headed by engineers Jeff Merkel and Matt Van Leuvan, has been a staple in the underground scene for over a decade. Its client list reads like the index to a scenester yearbook, with such alumni as Planes Mistaken for Stars, Pinhead Circus, the Gamits and a long,… More >>
  • Best Record Label

    Needlepoint Records

    Needlepoint Records is less of a label than a collective of bands and friends working together to produce top-notch rock and roll. Based in Denver, the little label that could has chugged out a number of stellar local discs by acts as varied as Everything Absent or Distorted, Rabbit Is a Sphere and Cat-A-Tac. Employing the basic principles of a… More >>
  • Best Record Label With Grammy Ties

    Silver Wave Records

    For the past five years, a local indie label has been quietly filling its mantel with Grammy awards for its Native American recordings. Last year, Boulder-based Silver Wave Records took home a Grammy for its compilation Sacred Ground -- A Tribute to Mother Earth, while this year, the multi-talented Mary Youngblood picked up a statue in the category of Best… More >>
  • If This Thing Should Spill

    Best Recording (Since March 2006)

    If This Thing Should Spill

    Although Born in the Flood's debut full-length was one of the most hotly anticipated local discs in years, few expected the quartet to top the watermark it had already reached with The Fear That We May Not Be. The act had all but cemented its renown by delivering transcendent live shows with stunning regularity, and most listeners predicted that Flood… More >>
  • Born in the Flood/Nathan & Stephen CD-release show

    Best Local Concert (Since March 2006)

    Born in the Flood/Nathan & Stephen CD-release show

    It wasn't that long ago that the idea of an all-local bill filling a venue as large as the Gothic seemed outrageous. Nowadays, it happens pretty frequently. Still, few shows over the years have reached the excitement level that surrounded this four-band superbill. Each of the acts slated to perform that night -- Meese, Nathan & Stephen, the Photo Atlas… More >>
  • Tool

    Best Concert (Since March 2006)


    Coming off a well-received outing at Coachella, Tool opted to play a series of rare, intimate theater shows, one of which happened to be at the Buell. Almost as soon as the show was announced, 2,000 rabid Tool fans eagerly parted with $66.66 for a chance to get up-close and personal with their idols. The band didn't disappoint as it… More >>
  • Calvin Johnson

    Best In-Store Show by an Indie Hero

    Calvin Johnson

    Beat Happening, K Records, Dub Narcotic Soundsystem and so much more: Calvin Johnson is a living legend in the world of indie music. Over the years, he's never seemed to lose sight of what makes the music and art special, including the intimacy of performing. So when it was announced that he'd be at Chielle instead of one of the… More >>
  • Mothership

    Best Concept-Album Performance


    When drummer James Barone told his friends about this seemingly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a show at a planetarium, the very idea fired up their collective imaginations. Luckily, his band, Mothership, was fully capable of meeting the expectations. The act had already written an epic song cycle in the vein of Hawkwind's classic Hall of the Mountain Grill, which seemed… More >>
  • Best Solo Outing

    Sarah Lucey

    When Sarah Lucey, Supply Boy's blazingly great guitar player, discovered she had songs that didn't really fit into that band's context, she decided to flesh them out on her own. One night last summer, she headed over to tHERe coffee shop armed with a handful of tunes, her beautiful, unconventional voice and an acoustic guitar. The room that night was… More >>
  • Best Happy-Hour Troubadour

    Jim Yelenick

    Over the years, Jim Yelenick has fronted various outfits -- Jet Black Joy, Zillion Dollar Sadists, a Turbonegro cover band and, most recently, a band called Invasion. As a frenzied frontman, the guy's never been afraid to expose himself, if you know what we mean. And that punk energy spills over into his Friday-afternoon acoustic sets at the Larimer Lounge.… More >>
  • Best Sound Man

    Ron Gordon

    Hearing a show at the Walnut Room is an audiophile's wet dream. There's no doubt that the room was "built for music," as the club's slogan claims. With over two decades of audio engineering experience under his belt, Ron Gordon clearly knew a thing or two about sound dynamics and acoustics when he helped design the club's sound system two… More >>
  • Kingdom of Magic

    Best Live Band

    Kingdom of Magic

    Frontman/guitarist Luke Fairchild is a gnarly motherfucker when you put him in front of a mike. The seasoned musician, who has charmed crowds before in such stellar acts as White Dynamite and Sparkles, is now allied with equally formidable musicians drummer Devin Rogers (of Munimula) and bassist Joe Ramirez (another ex-Whitey). The trio commands the stage with a vehemence that… More >>
  • Pee Pee

    Best Band With the Worst Name

    Pee Pee

    Pee Pee. It's hard to say out loud without giggling even a little bit. It's like a recession back to grade-school vernacular, and it's absolutely the silliest combination of two monosyllabic words since "wee wee." But who needs a clever, well-thought-out band name anyway? This Denver-based assembly of friends makes beautiful music that doesn't need to be weighed down by… More >>
  • Best New Band

    Nathan & Stephen

    At first glance, declaring Nathan & Stephen Denver's best new band looks like a misprint. But while Nathan McGarvey and Stephen Till initially began performing together as an acoustic duo, their project has blossomed into a bulging-at-the-seams nonet thanks to the addition of another seven players, including three (Jonathan, Matthew and Leanor) who share Stephen's last name. Moreover, another Till… More >>
  • Vitamins

    Best Band From an Actual Cowtown


    Every once in a while, a great new band surfaces that seems fully formed -- like Athena, sprung from the head of Zeus. Greeley's Vitamins, which until recently stayed beneath the radar by playing mostly warehouse-type shows, is one such act. Taking an eclectic approach to songwriting, Vitamins' members wed latter-day no-wave guitar tones and textures with melodic song structures,… More >>
  • Tifah

    Best Band to Come Out of Nowhere


    To the Denver-centric, if you don't hail from the metro area, you might as well be from Mars. Maybe that's why the arrival of Louisville-based Tifah seems so, well, sudden and wonderfully foreign. It also probably has something to do with the fact that the group's members -- vocalist/organist Tifah Al-Attas, drummer Dann Stockton, multi-instrumentalist Reid Phillips, violinist Aubrea Alford… More >>
  • 3OH!3

    Best Purveyors of Mile- High Honky Crunk


    Pimp-limping on the fine line between stoopid and stupid, 3OH!3 just might be Ballerado's hip-hop Tenacious D. Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte rock DFA-style low-tech beats, punk attitudes and Ruff Ryder growls that manage to simultaneously lampoon and revere the well-worn signifiers of punk, electro and rap -- with as much interest in twenty-sided dice as twenty-inch rims. In the… More >>
  • Best Diamond in the Rough

    The Heyday

    On stage, the members of Heyday are like precocious four-year-olds trying to ride a bike: cute and determined, yet still wobbly and unsure. In time, though, their inherent charisma will shine through, and they'll become less stilted, more fluid and self-assured. Rather than speed through the arrangements, as they do now, they'll learn how to just let the songs breathe.… More >>
  • Best Singer-Songwriter -- Male

    Gregory Alan Isakov

    Gregory Alan Isakov has a unique, endearing presence that instantly sucks people in. Isakov has rendered us dumbfounded on numerous occasions with his ability to move audiences in a way that performers with much larger profiles would envy. With a captivating voice that evokes a rootsier Glen Phillips channeling Kelly Joe Phelps, Isakov sings rich pastoral songs that conjure long… More >>
  • Rachael Pollard

    Best Singer-Songwriter -- Female

    Rachael Pollard

    Watching Rachael Pollard perform at Chielle recently was a breathtakingly intimate experience. It was like being serenaded by a hummingbird from a windowsill. Pollard sang with a delicate hush that was barely above a whisper, and at one point, she even played her acoustic with her gloves on. It was almost as though she was afraid of disturbing the neighbors.… More >>
  • Best Guy Who Spends Forty Hours a Week at Band Practice

    Andrew Segreti

    Guitar players are a dime a dozen, but finding (and keeping) a decent drummer in D-town? Not so easy. That's why Andrew Segreti is the golden drummer boy of the local scene. His octopus arms reach far and wide into varied musical projects, including Bailer, the Autokinoton and the Horace Van Vaughn. His performances, marked by flying hair and sweat,… More >>
  • Chris Adolf

    Best Guy Playing Music for All the Right Reasons

    Chris Adolf

    Once upon a time, people used to actually play music because they loved it, purely out of joy and for no other reason. No shit. Hard to believe, right? To think that folks wrote and recorded songs with complete disregard for how it would be received or how it would be marketed -- that's just crazy! These days, many musicians… More >>
  • Best Expatriate Still Involved in Local Music

    Andrew Murphy

    When he created Radio 1190's Local Shakedown program many years ago, Andrew Murphy taught listeners that indigenous Colorado talent was more than just a series of transient fads. And even though he eventually moved to the Bay Area to work for Revolver Distribution, Murphy's heart remains firmly dedicated to the scene he so brilliantly championed. Aside from the groundbreaking historical… More >>
  • Best Meeting of the Minds

    The Oriental Theater and the Bianchi Brothers

    Promotions can be a nasty business. The competition is rabid, cutthroat and full of enough shit-talking to make Simon Cowell cringe. So who ever thought that rival promoters could actually work together instead of against each other? To prove that harmonious unions are always better than pretentious bidding wars, the heads behind the Oriental Theater have teamed up with the… More >>
  • Landlordland

    Best Creative Upsurge


    Landlordland used to be that weird indie-pop band that didn't fit in with the other indie-pop bands. The act had a little too much rock and roll in its blood, and its use of samples seemed to be at odds with its more conventionally melodic brethren. As a result, the group's live shows sometimes came off a little stilted and… More >>
  • Best Unlikely Comeback

    Eyes Caught Fire

    Dynamic lead guitarist Dustin Bingham left Eyes Caught Fire in the fall of 2005, which seemed to end the band's long run as one of the most well-regarded acts from Colorado Springs. Though relatively unknown in Denver, Eyes had built a strong regional reputation for its hauntingly cathartic live show. Despite encouragement from peers and fans, nothing was heard from… More >>
  • Best Frontman

    Dameon Merkl

    Dameon Merkl looks like the tall, handsome son of Orson Welles and has the dark vocal intensity of Nick Cave. His deep voice has a presence and timbre that late-night jazz radio-show hosts would kill for, but even an easy laugh from him carries an undercurrent of menace. As the brooding yet diabolically humorous frontman for Bad Luck City, Merkl… More >>
  • Best Frontwoman

    Becca Mhalek

    You just knew that if the woman who made the sax scream, howl and sing in Nightshark ever put her lungs to use as a vocalist, she'd probably be pretty great. With the edgy, ferocious presence of early Patti Smith and the fearless spirit of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks-era Lydia Lunch on her side, Becca Mhalek is a daunting… More >>
  • Avoiding the Consequences

    Best Neo-Shoegaze Album

    Avoiding the Consequences

    The artistic ambition behind Drop the Fear, Ryan Policky and Gabriel Ratliff's previous band, was undeniable, but the act's music felt unfinished. When Avoiding the Consequences swept into stores last fall, all of the hyperbolic critical accolades seemed a bit premature. However, the dreamy, moody atmosphere of this album firmly establishes the band as heirs apparent of acts Sigur Rós,… More >>
  • The Furnace Room Demos

    Best Demo Recording

    The Furnace Room Demos

    The Autokinoton has been around for, like, ever. But constant lineup changes -- including the very recent departure of guitarist Shaun Herrera -- have recessed the band again and again over the years. In spite of this, the act has taken on each subsequent incarnation with a musical fervor and energy that course through each recording. The Furnace Room Demos,… More >>
  • Best Art-Rock Disc

    Laps in the Sleep Saloon

    The old cliche about too many chefs spoiling the soup became an old cliche for the usual reason: In the vast majority of cases, it's true. But the men and women of Rabbit Is a Sphere are the exception that proves the rule. Robert Rutherford, Natalie Winslow and Christopher Nelsen all sing lead, and along with Georgina Guidotti, they contribute… More >>
  • Best Post-Hardcore Disc

    The Always Open Mouth

    It's not always pretty to look Fear in the face. Late last year, for instance, David Marion, the group's frontman, got whacked upside the mug with a bass headstock, resulting in a hole in his cheek "that you could fit a small rodent through," according to a post on the band's website. But Marion's ew-inducing injury was the only thing… More >>
  • The Turner Diaries

    Best Blues Disc

    The Turner Diaries

    Turner is no axman-come-lately. When the late Tommy Bolin decided to leave Zephyr circa the early '70s, Turner took his place -- and he subsequently played guitar for the Legendary 4-Nikators and bluesman supreme Otis Taylor, whose 1996-2003 platters gained much of their power from Turner's searing riffs. However, he didn't truly step into the spotlight until the release of… More >>
  • Best Post-Jam Disc

    Yonder Mountain String Band

    The list of people contributing to this veteran Nederland combo's bow for the famed Vanguard label may fill longtime supporters with anxiety -- but such worries are misplaced. On the album, banjoist Dave Johnston, guitarist Adam Aijala, bassist Ben Kaufmann and mandolinist Jeff Austin join forces with Tom Rothrock, a producer who's worked with the Foo Fighters, among other modern… More >>
  • True by Design

    Best Fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz on Disc

    True by Design

    There's a natural affinity between jazz and hip-hop; the genres each champion improvisation, be it instrumental or verbal, as well as the joy of grooves and the pleasures of cool. So, too, does Future Jazz Project, which brings these sounds together in a way that's all too rare these days. On their new recording, keyboardists Greg Harris and Greg Raymond,… More >>
  • Best Led Zeppelin Connection

    Waterloo, Tennessee

    Local roots-music fans know all about KC Groves. A longtime Lyons resident, she's one-fourth of Uncle Earl, a combo that's played lots of gigs and festivals in these parts and contributed a song to the 2005 Colorado Bluegrass Music Society compilation. Now, however, the outfit is taking a giant step toward national prominence with Waterloo, Tennessee, a new disc on… More >>
  • Best Underground Venue


    Over the years, a number of DIY spots have appeared -- Pancho's Villa, the Junkyard, Garageland, the Hipster Youth Halfway House -- and all have inevitably burned out after short but fiery existences. The latest to carry the torch is Blast-o-Mat, a garage turned totally sweet venue. Attracting city kids on road bikes and punkers in pegged jeans, Blast is… More >>
  • Best Underground Mixed-Use Venue


    Rhinoceropolis has an anything-goes spirit, with a variety of artists and artistic mediums occupying its unassuming space on Brighton Boulevard. At least once a month, 'Nopolis hosts local art shows and promotes them with the same fervor as it does the musical acts that pass through its doors. Whatever you're looking for, you're guaranteed to see -- or hear --… More >>
  • Yerkish

    Best Show Fliers


    In this era of MySpace bulletins, e-mail and text messages, making fliers would seem to be a lost art, an archaic means of promotion. Hardly anyone goes to the effort of making handbills anymore, and those who do are rewarded for their efforts by watching their handiwork being crumpled and tossed into the garbage (or worse, onto the ground) almost… More >>
  • Guerilla Garden

    Best Graffiti Advocates

    Guerilla Garden

    Guerilla Garden ain't no bunch of tag-bangers. The crew is Denver's unofficial graffiti-advocacy organization, and its members are some of the city's top graffers, including Jher, Jolt, Voice, Crims, Koze and Emit. Since forming in 2005, they've worked with several programs that promote graffiti as an artistic endeavor -- not a facet of thug life -- and have become a… More >>
  • Best Collectible
    Graffiti Art

    The Magnet Mafia

    The Magnet Mafia not only has a cool name -- who wouldn't want to join that family? -- but it's also serious about underground art. Dead serious. The Mafiosi create art on -- wait for it -- magnets, then stick them up around town. Find one, take it home and throw it up on the fridge. Plus, the mobsters will… More >>
  • Best New Public Art (Since March 2006)

    "Denver Monoliths," by Beverly Pepper

    "Denver Monoliths," the enormous abstract sculpture in front of the Denver Art Museum's outrageous Frederic C. Hamilton Building, looks like the Flintstones meeting the Jetsons. The primitive forms of Beverly Pepper's charcoal-gray concrete sculpture provide a mighty contrast to the futuristic zigzags of Daniel Libeskind's shimmering silver building. An interesting fact in Pepper's bio is her age: The international art-world… More >>
  • Best New Public Art -- Indoors

    "ENGI," by Tatsuo Miyajima

    Every project built with city money must set aside 1 percent for public art. In the case of the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building, the city-funded piece is Tatsuo Miyajima's "ENGI," located in the El Pomar Grand Atrium. It's a conceptual installation made up of eighty LED displays embedded into the diagonal walls of the vertiginous space. "ENGI" conveys different… More >>
  • Best New Public Art -- Suburbs

    "Kawil," by David Mazza

    Aurora, like Denver, has a 1-percent-for-art program, and among the city's most recent commissions is David Mazza's "Kawil," which is situated on the lawn of the Aurora Fire Department's station #5. "Kawil" is done in the young artist's signature neo-modernist style, with angled steel rods forming an abstract composition. The piece is named for the Mayan god of lightning and… More >>
  • Best Climbable Art

    "Scottish Angus Cow and Calf," by Dan Ostermiller

    There's something downright lovable about the "Scottish Angus Cow and Calf," the massive bovine bronzes that reside on the south side of the new Hamilton Building. They're not as obvious as "Big Sweep," the giant ode to housekeeping at the museum's entrance -- but that's half the fun. The cow and calf seem happy grazing far from the limelight, as… More >>
  • Best Spinning Art

    "The Windmill Project," by Patrick Marold

    Denver artist Patrick Marold makes pieces that address environmental issues, and his latest, "The Windmill Project," in Vail, is staggeringly large, with 2,700 separate elements. Each of those comprises a ten-foot tall transparent tube, which houses a light and is topped by three rotating prongs that terminate in hollow half-spheres. As the "windmills" catch the breeze with their cups, they… More >>

    Best Museum Exhibit (Since March 2006)


    The blockbuster RADAR: Selections From the Collection of Kent & Vicki Logan represents a conflation of art-related events. It's the largest of the three special exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum presented to coincide with the opening of the new Frederic C. Hamilton Building. It showcases the collection put together by Vail collectors Vicki and Kent Logan, who are among… More >>
  • Retirement of Dianne Vanderlip

    Best Fond Farewell

    Retirement of Dianne Vanderlip

    It was 29 years ago that Dianne Vanderlip came to the Denver Art Museum to start a contemporary art department. In the intervening decades some contemporary aged into modern, so Vanderlip's charge expanded to overseeing what is now the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. As early as last summer, it was an open secret that she would be leaving,… More >>
  • Best Gallery Show -- Solo


    Last fall, Ivar Zeile's + Gallery mounted the imaginative COLIN LIVINGSTON: Palettes, Patterns, Logos and Slogans, in which potential collectors were invited to come up with their own compositions by selecting from a menu of -- you guessed it -- palettes, patterns, logos and slogans. Livingston offered several hypothetical combinations at the show, giving patrons ideas on how to help… More >>
  • Directions in Abstraction

    Best Gallery Show -- Group

    Directions in Abstraction

    Co-ops typically present solos by their members, featuring group shows only when a time slot accidentally opens up. Such an unexpected opportunity presented itself last spring, and Edge member Mark Brasuell came up with Directions in Abstraction off the top of his head. He included his own work and that of four others -- Dale Chisman, Clark Richert, Bruce Price… More >>
  • Yoshitomo Saito

    Best Debut

    Yoshitomo Saito

    Yoshitomo Saito moved to Denver just last summer, and he's already had a solo at one of the city's top galleries. That's quite a feat, but 108 Blue Cranes was unbelievably ambitious and stunningly serene. The exhibition was something of a retrospective, covering the past twenty years that the Tokyo-born artist has spent in America. Saito's subjects -- wood, cardboard… More >>
  • Colorado & the West

    Best Old West Show

    Colorado & the West

    Every summer, David Cook Fine Art presents a handsome historic survey of art from the region. It's always one of the finest exhibits of the year, and Colorado & the West was no exception. Then again, since Cook snags first-rate material from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it would be hard not to come up with something great.… More >>
  • Colorado Modernism: 1930-1970

    Best Old Modern Show

    Colorado Modernism: 1930-1970

    Colorado artists began embracing abstraction in the 1930s, and by the late '40s and early '50s, it had become a full-blown regional movement. Unfortunately, much of the work has been mostly forgotten. Aiming to correct this oversight, painter and volunteer art historian Tracy Felix put together Colorado Modernism, a handsome and well-thought-out show. It was filled with gorgeous mid-century-modern paintings… More >>
  • The Armory Group

    Best Show About Former Hippies

    The Armory Group

    In 1966, Boulder was attracting some of the nation's first hippies, many of whom were enrolling in fine-art classes at the University of Colorado. Student studios were then in the Armory, and a group coalesced there, including members Dale Chisman, Clark Richert, John De Andrea, Margaret Neumann and George Woodman. Those hippie-artists went on to write many chapters in Colorado's… More >>
  • Decades of Influence

    Best Recent-History Show

    Decades of Influence

    By far the most ambitious undertaking of the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver in its ten-year history, Decades of Influence was Cydney Payton's attempt at summing up Colorado art from the past two decades. With a topic this vast, she used not only the museum itself, but also the Center for Visual Art, the Carol Keller Project Space and the Gates… More >>
  • Vavra Triptych

    Best Artful Family Reunion

    Vavra Triptych

    No one has done more to promote Colorado's historic artists than Hugh Grant, director of the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art. But Grant only rarely mounts shows at the museum, which is one of the reasons that Vavra Triptych was so special. Grant brought out work by husband and wife Frank and Kathleen Vavra along with that of… More >>
  • Treasures Revealed: The Art of Hungary

    Best Art History Lesson

    Treasures Revealed: The Art of Hungary - CLOSED

    The Emmanuel Gallery on the Auraria campus is such a hassle to get to, it often gets overlooked. But that all changed when Emmanuel presented an exhibit so important that Denver Art Museum director Lewis Sharp spoke at the opening -- even though it was right in the middle of his own opening of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building. The… More >>
  • Japanese Art

    Best Asian Art History Lesson

    Japanese Art

    Aspen-based collector Kimiko Powers and her late husband, John, were connoisseurs of the old school. They were broad in their interests; as a result, they amassed some of the finest art works of art available. Ron Otsuka, the esteemed curator of Asian art at the Denver Art Museum, made friends with the couple over thirty years ago, and he convinced… More >>
  • Best Contemporary Asian Art Lesson -- Museum

    Waves on the Turquoise Lake

    A study of contemporary artists from Tibet is a pretty off-the-wall topic, but Waves on the Turquoise Lake was a spectacular exhibit. Jointly conceived by CU Art Museum director Lisa Tamiris Becker and the Mechak Center's Victoria Scoggin, the show was definitely a situation where the East met West head-on and where the old crashed into the new -- just… More >>
  • Under the Radar

    Best Contemporary Asian Art Lesson -- Gallery

    Under the Radar

    China has long had a rich cultural tradition, but the country has been out of the art picture for a century or more. Times are changing, and now that Wal-Mart has turned the place into an economic powerhouse, its art is again coming to the fore. Robischon Gallery's Under the Radar: Chinese Contemporary Art -- curated by gallery co-director Jennifer… More >>
  • From Nordenskiold to Nusbaum

    Best Historic Photo Show -- Group

    From Nordenskiold to Nusbaum

    You knew the show at the Denver Central Library was serious simply by noting the word count of the title: From Nordenskiold to Nusbaum: Archaeology, Photography and Tourism in the Early Years of Mesa Verde National Park. Whew, seventeen! The Nordenskiold part refers to Gustaf Nordenskiold, who explored Mesa Verde in 1891, and the Nusbaum part addresses Jesse Logan Nusbaum,… More >>
  • Denver\'s Pictorial Photographer

    Best Historic Photo Show -- Solo

    Denver's Pictorial Photographer

    Pictorialism is a photographic style in which images are blurred to create the atmospheric quality normally associated with a painting. It was all the rage a hundred years ago -- and it is again right now. Believe it or not, Denver had its own first-generation pictorialist, R. Ewing Stiffler, who was the subject of Denver's Pictorial Photographer at Gallery Roach… More >>
  • Marilyn Monroe: Beginning to End

    Best Iconic Photo Show

    Marilyn Monroe: Beginning
    to End
    - CLOSED

    When you talk about photogenic, you've got to talk about Marilyn Monroe. After all, more than a few photographers built their entire careers on their memorable images of her. Camera Obscura Gallery, granddaddy of the city's photo scene, hosted an interesting duet comparing and contrasting Andre de Dienes's earliest shots of the glamorous siren with George Barris's moody photos, taken… More >>
  • Best Contemporary Photo Show -- Solo

    John Bonath: Blessings Revisited

    Well-known digital photographer John Bonath had a hell of a year battling cancer. So it's amazing how well he kept his spirits up -- even naming his one-person show at sellarsprojectspace Blessings. Man, what a trouper! In his pieces, Bonath created fantasy worlds that are completely believable because they were made up of images of real things. Most of these… More >>
  • (REAL): Photographic Constructs

    Best Showcase of Photograph Trends

    (REAL): Photographic Constructs

    This dynamite show, put together by Center for Visual Art director Jennifer Garner and assistant director Cecily Cullen, featured eight photographers who were pushing their medium to the absolute edge. Local talents Jon Rietfors, Gwen Laine and David Zimmer were joined by internationally famous artists Zeke Berman, Gregory Crewdson with Susan Harbage Page, Bruce Charlesworth and Meridel Rubenstein. With photography… More >>
  • James Surls

    Best Sculpture Solo

    James Surls

    The star attraction at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art last fall was James Surls: A Cut Above. The sculptor made his name in the 1980s from a studio in Texas, but he moved to Colorado in 1998 and has been here ever since. Surls's medium of choice is wood, which he carves into attenuated shapes based on organic forms.… More >>
  • Matthew Rose: Spelling With Scissors

    Best End to a Daydream

    Matthew Rose: Spelling With Scissors

    Lauri Lynnxe Murphy is a one-woman art scene. In the past, she was involved with Edge Gallery, was one of the founders of the long-closed ILK co-op, which she ran, then opened Pod, a boutique that morphed into Capsule, an alternative gallery. Experimental shows were a specialty, with the over-the-top Spelling With Scissors being the last of them. For this… More >>
  • Martha Daniels

    Best Ceramics Show -- Solo

    Martha Daniels

    Martha Daniels's work riffs off the history of ceramics, combining Mediterranean and Asian influences in the same way as her mentor, Betty Woodman. The most remarkable creations in the show at William Havu Gallery were her delicate -- though gigantic -- towers that subtly referred to work by the great Brancusi. Among Daniels's strengths are her expressive handling of the… More >>
  • Breaking the Mold

    Best Ceramics Show -- Group

    Breaking the Mold

    Wouldn't it be neat to be rich? You could put together a first-rate art collection overnight -- ten years or so in the art world. That's what Connecticut collector Virginia Vogel Mattern did. In 1988 she became enraptured with pottery from the pueblos of New Mexico, and over the next decade sought out the best pieces available. Then, needing to… More >>
  • Best Imitation of Carnival Spin Art

    Something to Consider

    Despite having an essentially meaningless title -- Something to Consider -- this show did have some of the freshest-looking abstracts seen last summer. The paintings were edgy examples of post-abstract expressionism, as done by Quintín González, a Denver artist who just keeps getting better and better. The small acrylic-on-canvas paintings resembled carnival spin art, though they hadn't actually been spun.… More >>
  • Weekend in So Show

    Best Installation Show

    Weekend in So Show - CLOSED

    After years of gurgling in a temporary space, the Laboratory for Art and Ideas at Belmar -- the Lab, for short -- finally started an exhibition program in its finished home last fall. The place aims to bring high culture to Lakewood, an idea out of the mind of founding director Adam Lerner. Lerner loves what's called "new media" --… More >>
  • Best Video Projection


    Last spring, the University of Denver's Victoria H. Myhren Gallery hosted an unusual multi-media installation called Chimera, named after the female demon of myth. Minnette Vári, the artist who created it, put herself in the title role. A South African, Vári has long been interested in racial politics, and for Chimera she zeroed in on the "Voortrekker Monument" in Pretoria… More >>
  • Undergo

    Best Show by an Emerging Conceptualist


    Like most artists, Justin Beard needs to have a day job, and for a while he was a construction worker. It is this grueling experience that inspired the interrelated pieces in his smart solo, Undergo, on view last summer. The exhibit was dominated by a full-sized replica of a pickup truck made of cardboard, but it also included a mechanical… More >>
  • DoubleButter Boontje

    Best Design Show

    DoubleButter Boontje - CLOSED

    Paul and Pifuka Hardt opened P Design Gallery last year, and since then, they've presented a regular show schedule devoted to furniture and decorative arts. What set DoubleButter Boontje apart was that two of the three featured designers live right here in Denver. David Larabee and Dexter Thornton were the "DoubleButter" part of the show, and their elegant, sturdy furniture… More >>
  • Best Place to Find Undiscovered Artists


    Art-O-Mart, the quarterly art smorgasbord at Capsule Event Center, is the perfect place to find quality pieces that won't cost an arm and a leg. Taking place on First Fridays in June, September and December, Art-O-Mart showcases unjuried work in all mediums. You never know what you might find.… More >>
  • Best Drawing Lessons

    Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School

    Life-drawing aficionados usually sketch any body they can find. Few people, after all, have the right personality to disrobe so that a crowd can scrutinize every shadow and wrinkle. For more interesting models, try Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School. The invention of Brooklyn burlesquer Molly Crabapple, it's shown up in Denver under the auspices of local burlesque belle Vivienne VaVoom. Every… More >>
  • Best Clay Lessons

    First Friday mini-shops

    Denver ceramic artist Marie E.v.B. Gibbons is well known for her spooky and evocative clay and mixed-media sculptures, but she's also a great teacher. Since moving to her sunny new studio in the shadow of northwest Denver's Oriental Theater, Gibbons has been hosting monthly clay mini-shops during every First Friday event on Tennyson Street. For ten bucks, visitors can drop… More >>
  • Best Denver Flashback

    Jack Kerouac's On the Road scroll exhibit

    A benchmark of Beat-era lore, Jack Kerouac's famous On the Road manuscript was typed in just twenty days on a 120-foot-long scroll. Kerouac embodied the movement's spontaneous and obsessive nature in one burning semi-autobiographical swoop. And because the alleys and byways of Denver lurk all over the ragged-edged tome, it was only appropriate that it should lie in state all… More >>
  • Best Film Flashback

    On the Road film project

    Beat central, Naropa's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, is commemorating On the Road's fiftieth anniversary by sending a digital video camera to Kerouac haunts in New York, San Francisco, Lowell (Kerouac's Massachusetts birthplace), Denver, Iowa and Mexico City, as well as to such literary figures as Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Amiri Baraka. The resulting composite film, On the Road Now:… More >>
  • Best Local Drinking Film

    Drunk by Noon

    Want to know where to go to get plastered in this town? Drunk by Noon is 21 minutes of classic Denver dive bars threaded together through the story of a Madison Avenue advertising executive who suddenly has an epiphany: He's been destroying the planet through his work. Directed by Eric Galatas and starring local actors Chuck Fiorella and Laura Norman,… More >>
  • Best Local Sports Film

    The Goal

    Move over, Murderball! The latest in quad-rugby films, The Goal, was jam-packed with Denver love. Director Darla Rae was inspired by Jason Regier, president of the Denver Harlequin Wheelchair Rugby Team; The Goal follows the story of two disabled athletes struggling to rebuild their lives. Starring Regier, it was filmed on location at Winter Park's National Sports Center for the… More >>
  • Best Local Hair Film

    Combover: The Movie

    When Denverite Chris Marino was six years old, he saw something at a swimming pool that changed his life: a combover. Decades later, the obsession resulted in a movie about the world's worst hairstyle. Portions of the film were shot in Denver, but Marino found there just weren't enough locals willing to bare their souls -- or their chrome domes… More >>
  • 5 Minute Film Fest

    Best Showcase of Local Filmmakers

    5 Minute Film Fest

    Short, sweet and to the point: That's the 5 Minute Film Fest, hosted every quarter by Denver filmmaker Johnny Morehouse. He collects movies from anyone in town who wants to participate, pops the popcorn, pulls out some beer and has everyone down to his studio for a party honoring shorts that don't top five minutes. Don't be late.… More >>
  • The Shoot Out 24 Hour Filmmaking Festival

    Best Film Festival

    The Shoot Out 24 Hour Filmmaking Festival

    Although it's only in its third year, the Shoot Out is one of the area's most-anticipated film fests. While it may not offer a lot of glitz and glamour, this affair is all about taking the power instead of watching passively. On a designated night in October, teams gather at 8:55 p.m. to get their instructions and parameters; 24 hours… More >>
  • Best Performance by a Coloradan in a Film

    Jessica Biel

    Don Cheadle is usually a lock in this category, but except for The Dog Problem, which has yet to enjoy a wide release, he had no credits in 2006. Meanwhile, Jessica Biel was displaying some major star wattage. We're used to seeing the Boulder hottie in hack-'em-slash-'em thrillers like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or in sappy teen flicks like Summer… More >>
  • Best Performance by Colorado in a Film

    Skills Like This

    When Colorado is cast in a film, it usually gets a bit part that winds up on the cutting-room floor -- or worse, Italy or Vancouver stands in for the state. But when Colorado filmmaker Monty Miranda -- who filmed all of John Hickenlooper's mayoral commercials in 2003 -- decided to make Skills Like This (with a big assist from… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater -- Comfort

    Harkins Northfield 18

    With eighteen regular screens and one mondo screen, there's always something to see at the Harkins Northfield 18. And you'll see it from the lap of luxury, since the seats are deep and plush. But Harkins boasts plenty of amenities beyond incredibly comfortable seating, including a water sculpture out front and a walk of fame engraved with the names of… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater -- Programming

    Starz FilmCenter

    Starz FilmCenter has seen better days. It's a bit tatty around the edges, and the seats make airplanes look comfortable. But no other theater can unseat the king when it comes to must-see programming, including critically acclaimed small fests, special nights and the annual blowout of the Starz Denver Film Festival. There's certainly a place for fast cars/fast music/heist/blow-'em-up movies,… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater -- Food

    Cinema Grill

    A night at the Cinema Grill is a guilty pleasure. There's nothing too healthy on the menu, whether cinematic (Happy Feet, The Astronaut Farmer, The Number 23) or culinary (pepper poppers, potato skins, burgers, cheese dogs, ice cream smoothies), but a few hours here are undeniably satisfying. Plus, there's beer! And margaritas! Yeah, that's the ticket...… More >>
  • Best Cheap Movie Night

    Tiffany Park Movies 6

    The only thing better than the $1 show is the 50-cent show. On Tuesday nights at Tiffany Park Movies, all screens are just two bits. There's no stadium seating or fancy digital sound, and your shoes stick to the floor, but that's a fair price to pay for saving twenty bucks on admission. Plus, a small staff makes it easy… More >>
  • Denver Open Media

    Best Reason Not to Kill Your TV

    Denver Open Media

    When it comes to mainstream TV, the techno-savvy rebels at deproduction are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. So when Denver allowed the local nonprofit to take over its three floundering Comcast public-access channels, it turned them into Denver Open Media. Now insomniac Denverites can enjoy late-night showings of The Art of Bellydancing and Words… More >>
  • Best New Book by a Colorado Publisher

    Golem Song

    Marc Estrin is a smart man. Scary smart. So smart you may wonder if you're capable of reading his books. You are, and you must. Golem Song treads serious turf -- hate, racism, anti-Semitism -- that most writers avoid, but the book redeems both itself and the reader with a wry, sometimes raunchy, sense of humor. Local publishing house Unbridled… More >>
  • Best New Book by a Colorado Author -- Thriller

    Kill Me

    Stephen White has been writing his Alan Gregory novels for almost two decades. You'd expect his work to have fallen into formula by now, but his fourteenth book, Kill Me, is fast-paced and vivid enough to convert new readers to his particular brand of psychological thriller. The lead character, who lives life on the edge, hires a secret firm to… More >>
  • Best New Book by a Colorado Author -- Literary

    Augusta Locke

    If you like Annie Proulx and Kent Haruf, pick up William Haywood Henderson. Having grown up in Colorado and Wyoming, he has an innate sense of how to write Western characters, with reserve and isolation broken up by glimpses of deep emotional currents. Augusta Locke follows six generations through the eyes of a matriarch who defines what it is to… More >>
  • Best New Book by a Colorado Author -- Vampire

    The Nymphos of Rocky Flats Mario Acevedo

    Felix Gomez was a soldier in Iraq. Now he's a vampire -- and a detective sent to look into a sweeping case of nymphomania at Rocky Flats. We're serious. With Gomez, Mario Acevedo has created a new literary hero for Colorado. Though a vampire, he doesn't drink blood; he works for the forces of good instead of evil; and he's… More >>
  • Best Online Poetry Slam

    Conceived in the '80s, propagated in the '90s and formalized in the 2000s, Slam Poetry is once again evolving, this time to meet the demands of the YouTube era. Since last year, has featured dozens of videos of local and national Slammers spitting words, ideas and everything in between for the camera. But rather than just posting slams online,… More >>
  • Best Therapeutic Poetry Organization

    Art From Ashes

    Life isn't always easy for the young. And high-risk youth whose lives are impacted by violence, drugs and alcohol sometimes don't have the opportunity to find their voices or learn to express themselves. To combat that, Art From Ashes collaborates with other youth-service organizations to offer poetry and spoken-word workshops for kids who are homeless, incarcerated, in the court system… More >>
  • A Synopsis of Butchery

    Best Original Play -- Local Authors

    A Synopsis of Butchery

    Buntport mined an odd little piece of Victorian history for this play. Washington Irving Bishop was a mentalist, possibly a bit of a fraud. He collapsed on stage one night, and an autopsy was immediately performed. His mother, Eleanor Fletcher Bishop, was convinced that he had been cut up while still alive, murdered by a doctor's curiosity about his brain.… More >>
  • Best Original Play -- Non-Local Author

    1001, by Jason Grote

    Director Ethan McSweeny had his actors use a deliberately arch, hammy style for the first twenty or thirty minutes of this play, and even though the script is ironic and humorous as written, the style grated. But as the action continued, the play -- a kind of swirl of images and words surrounding the affair between a contemporary Palestinian woman… More >>
  • Best News for Playwrights -- Small Venue

    Curious Theatre Company

    It's very hard for playwrights to get their work produced, yet without production, it's impossible for a playwright to hone his craft. And new playwrights are, of course, the heart and soul of a living theater culture. Curious has joined a group of theaters nationwide that believe in showcasing new work -- even guaranteeing three or more productions for each… More >>
  • Best News for Playwrights -- Large Venue

    Denver Center Theatre Company

    Artistic director Kent Thompson has taken strides toward his goal of bringing the work of more women and writers of color to the Denver Center. He has also instituted an annual two-day New Play Summit. Jason Grote's 1001 was seen at last year's summit before being mounted this February. This year saw readings of new plays by Theresa Rebeck, Evangeline… More >>
  • The Caretaker

    Best Theater Production

    The Caretaker

    You knew from the moment you entered the theater and saw David Lafont's beautifully detailed set -- stacks of papers, a hanging toilet seat, a shopping cart, a bucket set under a leak in the ceiling -- that someone had put a lot of thought into this production, someone with an understanding of subtlety, a passion for detail and an… More >>
  • Buntport Theater Company

    Best Theater Season

    Buntport Theater Company

    You know a theater's something special if you always find people of all ages and types in the audience, and if you keep hearing yourself recommending the place to friends (and, later, the friends call up to thank you). From script to set, this troupe of seven creates every piece they mount from scratch. They're youthful, literate, experimental and unpretentious;… More >>
  • Unnamed audience member

    Best Performance by an Audience Member

    Unnamed audience member

    This charming small musical calls on audience members to join the spelling team on stage every night. On the night I attended, a tall, dark man was one of the people who responded. Word was he was an actor, but we never learned his name. The man's poise was extraordinary, and his delight in being onstage infectious. Furthermore, he managed… More >>
  • Best Audience

    Shadow Theatre Company

    It's just too easy to enter a theater, sit back and wait to be terrified, amazed, moved or entertained. Theater is a live medium that works best when audience members are involved and there's a genuine current between them and the actors. When you attend Shadow Theatre Company productions, you usually feel a distinct sense of ownership among the viewers.… More >>
  • Best Comedy

    Plenty of Time

    He's a would-be Black Panther; she's the spoiled, underage daughter of a Martha's Vineyard couple. After a night of sex, they agree to meet again, and the once-yearly affair continues for decades. He fights overseas. She becomes first a fire-breathing feminist and then a successful businesswoman. Years pass, and finally the couple faces the question of what exactly this relationship… More >>
  • Michael Shalhoub  Tartuffe  Germinal Stage Denver

    Best Comedic Performance of the Year

    Michael Shalhoub Tartuffe Germinal Stage Denver

    Germinal picked a perfect time to stage this update on Moliere, a spoof of hypocritical religiosity. Among a strong cast, Michael Shalhoub stood out in the lead. His Tartuffe was juicy and outrageous, utterly repulsive and periodically rather appealing. Shalhoub's mobile, clearly defined features glistened with lustful sweat as he pursued the beautiful Elmire; the scene in which he rehearsed… More >>
  • Angela Reed

    Best Actress in a Comedy

    Angela Reed

    We first met Ashley while she was watching one of those smarmy television shrinks with her teenage son, Justin. The shrink's advice to a sexually incompatible couple inspired her to reveal far more than Justin wanted to know about her relationship with his father. By conventional standards, Ashley was clearly a rotten mother. She teased and flirted with her son,… More >>
  • John Hutton

    Best Actor in a Comedy

    John Hutton

    Michael is a hyper-literate writer capable of dismissing the work of Rainer Maria Rilke as "infantile nonsense." But he has nonetheless sold out to become a best-selling novelist. His wife has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She wants him to read her diaries after her death -- and she wants to read his before she dies. The result is… More >>
  • Vigil

    Best Nasty Comedy


    A strange, disoriented, misogynistic and clearly half-mad, middle-aged man named Kemp shows up at the bedside of his dying auntie, apparently summoned by a letter from her. He then proceeds to take care of her -- that is, prepare meals and rant while she tries to eat them; ask whether she wants to be cremated and if she's thought about… More >>
  • Best Return to Denver

    Caitlin O'Connell

    We've seen only sporadic appearances by Caitlin O'Connell at the Denver Center for the past few years, so her return to play Lane, the achievement-obsessed doctor who hires a reluctant maid in The Clean House, was a joy. Beginning as a rigid perfectionist in an icy white suit, she evolved into someone far wilder and woollier as the play progressed.… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

    Sydney Parks

    Sydney Parks's big moment was a twisted hybrid reminiscent of both the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet and the courtship of Roxane by Cyrano de Bergerac on behalf of his friend Christian. Maybe there was a little Taming of the Shrew in there, too. Parks played Janice, who, at the play's opening, had driven her husband from the house… More >>
  • Best On-Stage Freakout

    Charlotte Booker

    Charlotte Booker's Virginia loved to clean so much that she offered to take the place of her sister's maid, who hated the chore. Happily, she sneaked over every day to set Lane's house to rights. But at one point, the plot required this devotee of tidiness to create an "operatic mess." She tried. Booker would toss a magazine to the… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

    Erik Edborg

    Over the years, Erik Edborg has provided us with a number of memorable characters, whether he's moping in a curly wig as Cinderella or attempting to slide a roll of toilet paper under a door. He's always been hilarious in a goofy, hyperkinetic way, but in the last couple of years he's also stretched his range to try very different… More >>
  • Best Actress in a Drama

    Trina Magness

    Williams's Talk to Me Like the Rain is more a tone poem than a play, a small, wistful piece between a woman and a man who has just returned to her after a several-day absence. Urged by him to speak, she launches into a long monologue beginning, "I want to go away. I want to go away." The woman imagines… More >>
  • Ami Dayan

    Best Actor in a Drama

    Ami Dayan

    In this taut political play, written by an Israeli playwright, the first Intifada is covered from the perspective of a Palestinian family. Ami Dayan, who also directed, played the older of three brothers, Da'ud. This man was hardly likable. He was a compromised character, tough and clear-eyed, willing to shift, bargain, bully, do whatever it took to survive. As blame… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

    Mare Trevathan

    We've seen Mare Trevathan, one of the region's best actresses, far too little in the past few years, but her presence in what was essentially a cameo role galvanized Aphrodisiac, a play about a congressman and his mistress. Trevathan played Monica Lewinsky, and it was a tribute to her talent and conviction that the performance didn't evoke a thousand snickering… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

    Josh Hartwell

    Josh Hartwell is one of those intelligent, convincing actors who are never flashy but bring a low-key integrity to every role they play. As interpreted by Paragon, Hedda was almost a black comedy, a kind of nineteenth-century Heathers, but Hartwell's Tesman brought a depth and kindness to the evening. The character is usually played as a rambling, irritating bore, and… More >>
  • Scott Beyette

    Best Actor in a Musical

    Scott Beyette

    With the theater's skilled performers having all kinds of fun with the nugatory plot and animating Gershwin's fabulous songs with their fine voices, Crazy for You was an evening of pure froth and fun. Scott Beyette was a lithe, leaping, tapping wonder as Bobby, a young man trying to revive an old theater out west and win the heart of… More >>
  • Best Actress in a Musical

    Jean Arbeiter

    Aldonza is the peasant wench that Don Quixote insists is his beloved Dulcinea. Jean Arbeiter, a fine singer and actress, made her so dirty and fierce, so angered by Quixote's fulsome praise ("Once, just once, would you look at me as I really am?") that when she finally capitulated, singing gently to the dying old madman, it was hard to… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

    Geoffrey Kent

    Among many fine performances in musicals this season, Geoffrey Kent's Officer Lockstock stood out. It's a very clever, funny role as written, and Kent played it with relaxed authority: He made the officer-narrator stiff-necked and formal, but every now and then threw in a moment of pure gyrating lunacy.… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

    Genevieve Baer

    The best comics actually get inside their characters; no matter how outrageous the people they play, they force themselves to believe every idiotic word and gesture. Think of the rich gallery of characters created by Carol Burnett and Tracey Ullman. Genevieve Baer is in this camp. She's a very talented mimic (as well as a good singer), but the best… More >>
  • Leonard Barrett

    Best Season for an Actor

    Leonard Barrett

    Leonard Barrett is a tremendously appealing actor whose jazz-singing background shows in his work; there's always something improvisational and unexpected about it, and also a hint of hidden depths. There's kindness and humor, too. As Norman in Bas Bleu's The Dresser, Barrett's job was to get an egotistical actor whose mind and career were both waning on to the stage… More >>
  • Simone St. John

    Best Season for an Actress

    Simone St. John

    We saw a lot of Simone St. John this season, from her tightly wound Jocena in Shadow Theatre Company's Four Queens through the angry little spitfire she created for the same company's Waitin' 2 End Hell. But she really outdid herself in the lighthearted comedy Plenty of Time, aging convincingly from a bratty sixteen-year-old to a dignified matron as her… More >>
  • Diana Dresser

    Best Performance in a One-Person Show

    Diana Dresser

    This light comedy by Theresa Rebeck had many sharp lines, but it pretty much stayed afloat on the charm and talent of Diana Dresser, playing a young mother about to re-enter the dating scene. Dresser tried on various items of clothing and a few pairs of shoes, periodically asking the audience for an opinion. Prone on the bed, she wriggled… More >>
  • Best Direction of a Comedy

    Jamie Horton

    Okay, a cast consisting of John Hutton, Martha Harmon Pardee and Karen Slack gives a director a lot to work with, but under Jamie Horton's direction, these already fine actors shone even brighter. They worked with feeling and discipline, every gesture and intonation perfect. Written by Steven Dietz, Fiction was a great choice for Curious -- wordy and witty and… More >>
  • Best Season for a Director

    Terry Dodd

    This year, Dodd gave us both a beautifully conceived and executed version of Pinter's The Caretaker and the best production of The Weir we've seen in Denver. The Weir is an odd, spooky piece, a collection of ghost stories told by lonely souls in an isolated Irish pub. Dodd knew exactly how to bring out the strands of longing and… More >>
  • Best Set -- Large Theater

    The Clean House

    Sarah Ruhl's play weaves elements of magic and mystery. Set in the expensive home of a couple of New York doctors and moving to a bright, sunny balcony, with a thematic focus on cleanliness and creative chaos, it requires a designer with a strong sense of color and contrast who's also interested in the dynamic between freedom and enclosure. Alexander… More >>
  • A Synopsis of Butchery

    Best Set -- Small Theater

    A Synopsis of Butchery

    Buntport is located in a cavernous warehouse on the outskirts of town. Some theater groups might find this a difficult space to work in, but not the Buntporters, who use it as a goad to higher and higher flights of ingenuity. They've performed in front of a van that they push from place to place or in a series of… More >>
  • Best Music


    Adding DJ Sara T, one of Denver's best on the turntables, to the mix of stories and styles in Jason Grote's 1001 was a stroke of genius on the part of director Ethan McSweeny. It jacked up the energy and contributed all kinds of electricity, dimension and excitement.… More >>
  • Best Musical

    Crazy for You

    This show is a wonderful compendium of many of Gershwin's best songs, strung along a plot so thin as to be almost non-existent. Sung by the talented regulars at Boulder's Dinner Theatre, all the songs glimmered with life, from such favorites as "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Nice Work If You Can Get it," "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You" and… More >>
  • Best Asset to the Stage

    Annie Dwyer

    We're not awarding this for any one particular performance, though if we had to choose among this year's crop, it'd be Everything Old Is New Again, in which Annie Dwyer revived one of her old tricks: going out into the audience, snatching patrons' drinks -- beer, wine, Scotch, it was all the same to her -- and sucking them greedily… More >>
  • Best Theatrical Politics

    The Exonerated

    This theater piece, put together by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, is about six innocent people who spent anywhere from two to 21 years on death row and were then released. The most unsettling case is that of Sunny Jacobs, who, along with her husband, Jesse Tafero, was found guilty of the killing of two police officers and spent sixteen… More >>
  • Best Theatrical Gamble


    Producer-director (and marketer) Dan Wiley bet he could stage this edgy, contemporary musical about a city suffering a drought so bad its inhabitants are forced to pay to pee -- and executed for freelance urination -- in the Denver Department of Public Works' Wastewater Management Building. He rigged up a stage, cast a group of talented actors, tinkered with the… More >>
  • Best Impact in a Small Role -- Tragic

    William Hahn

    William Hahn is one of those actors who always make an impact; you often find your eyes straying toward him, even when there's significant action somewhere else on the stage. In King Lear, sporting a gentle, soul-shrinking little smile, he brought an element of truly original creepiness to a rather staid and predictable production.… More >>
  • Best Impact in a Small Role -- Comic

    Bill Christ

    Bill Christ played Amadeus's Emperor Joseph II, usually a tiny and forgettable role, to hilarious effect, listening to Mozart's music as puzzlement and a determination to appear cultured chased each other all over his face. The brilliance of Christ's bumbling buffoons -- he knows just how far to take them -- stems in part from his genuine power and heft… More >>
  • Best Lobby Entertainment

    White Christmas Holiday Revue

    There's something magically Christmasy about standing out in the snow and pushing your nose against the glass of a ritzy hotel to see satin-clad girls crooning retro Irving Berlin classics by the fire. In this wonderland setting, former Cabaret Diosa dancing girl Kim Franco and her crack troupe of old compadres performed live in the lobby of the boutique-y St.… More >>
  • Best Sideshow Performer

    Ukulele Loki

    Colorado might have lost the Crispy Family Carnival, but we still have Ukulele Loki, aka Aaron Johnson. A true vaudeville performer, Loki served as music director/ composer/on-stage musician for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival's 2006 production of As You Like It, led the "indie acoustic chamber pop" sounds of the Gadabout Orchestra and acted as ringleader for his vaudeville burlesque circus,… More >>
  • Best Absurdist Cabaret Artist

    Nina Rolle

    What do Zen and cabaret have in common? Nothing, unless you're Nina Rolle. The artist describes Zen Cabaret as "a traveling medicine show that pitches a tent in whatever town it's in, and then these rogues show up and put on a production." Most recently, Rolle pitched her Zen tent in Boulder for Zen Cabaret Version 6.5: Play Money, complete… More >>
  • Best Drag Show

    Demented Divas

    The reviews are in: Local triple-nippled drag queen and fabulous fundraiser Nuclia Waste has a mushrooming hit on her well-manicured hands with Demented Divas. The hilarious Vegas-style drag show, featuring Portia Potty, Gabbriella Butz'In and Iona Trailer, not only encourages the most embarrassing forms of audience participation, but also pokes catty fun at an endless parade of prime drag-queen targets,… More >>
  • Best Jesus Freak

    Devout dancer

    The bearded man held his wooden cross high and bumped and swayed to the indie rock coming out of the Keystone Resort speakers. The young workers scanning lift tickets and passes all smiled in his direction and bopped with him. Kids giggled. Their parents wondered if the strange man was a beggar or a paid performer. A dancing orthodox Christian… More >>
  • Best Place to Find Non-Ironic Mullets on Men

    The Grizzly Rose

    If you've got friends in low places, bring 'em on down to the Grizzly Rose. It's a country wonderland of a bar, complete with a mechanical bull and a stage where live acts perform weekly. Every day, the shit-kickin' saloon is filled with multiple mullet-man sightings -- but an event several years back set a record for the most mullets… More >>
  • Best Place to Find Non- Ironic Mullets on Women

    The Denver Detour

    In the spirit of mullet mania, we shine the spotlight on the lavender ladies who party hearty in the working-class-queero ambience of the Denver Detour. Sheila Keathley and her sporty staff have been slinging stiff drinks in this humble watering hole for the past 23 years. Fortunately, there's also a kitchen dishing up gut-busting Mexican and American fare for lunch… More >>
  • Best People-Watching

    Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court is a cross between a strip club and the tackiest of wedding receptions. Glowing neon signs in every window read "Live Music and Dancing." There are mirrors galore, with a wood dance floor in the midst of an otherwise tackily carpeted room. The bar seats are dominated by lonely, sad-looking clientele -- aside from the occasional bum… More >>
  • Best Place to See a Drunk Liberal

    Drinking Liberally

    Religion and politics: two topics that should never be broached while imbibing alcohol. The religion part is understandable, but sometimes you just need to get liquored up and bitch about W and his administration. Join up with like-minded ranters at Drinking Liberally to toss back some brewskis and talk about...well, anything, as long as it's liberal and progressive. Also try… More >>
  • Best Place to See a Drunk Conservative

    Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Party

    The Golden-based Independence Institute believes in protecting an individual's right to do just about whatever bat-shit-crazy thing that individual wants to do -- including shooting, smoking and drinking. But since this is also a sadly responsible organization, it strongly suggests shooting first, drinking later. Every June, it gathers the faithful to an ATF party, where participants shoot at clay pigeons… More >>
  • Best Drunken Gang

    Geeks Who Drink

    Anyone who's been to one of Geeks Who Drink's seventeen weekly pub quizzes knows that quizmasters John Dicker and Joel Peach have created something far bigger than your average trivia night. They've got a gang situation on their hands, a mobile army of adoring geeks ravenous for a cerebral smack-down. That hunger reached horrific proportions this past February at the… More >>
  • Best Canine Fashion Show

    Mutts & Models

    There's something so satisfying about the perfect outfit. And if that outfit happens to coordinate with one's pet – well, you don't see that every day. You can, however, see it once a year at Mutts & Models, the annual benefit for Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital. Featuring local celebrities rocking Saks Fifth Avenue couture and classed-out canines in complementary attire… More >>
  • Best Paper Fashions

    Paper Runway Fashion Show

    For budding fashionistas, nothing beats a paper doll. They're cheap, they come with an entire wardrobe of two-dimensional clothes, and if you're talented enough, you can make your own outfits. The Art Directors Club of Denver sees no reason to outlaw paper as a fabric substitute, and its Paper Runway Fashion Show showcases more than thirty unusual yet chic designs.… More >>
  • Best Secret Halloween Party

    Pumpkin Follies and Goat Show

    They like to keep it quiet down on Main Street in Littleton, but every October, downtown businesses and the locals gather the Pumpkin Follies and Goat Show, one of the most daft -- and clever -- Halloween parties on the planet. The two-day event begins with a goat-stew dinner and festive crowning of Follies royalty, and continues the next day… More >>
  • Best Kids' Birthday Party


    As if tRUNks, Buntport Theater's ongoing live-theater serial for young people, weren't already the best thing to happen to Denver kids since chocolate milk, imagine what a great birthday party could be built around a performance. Reserve in advance with troupe ringleader Jessica Robblee, bring your own cake, and you'll not only get to enjoy a fast-paced and silly episode… More >>
  • Best Family Freebie

    Target Free First Tuesday Nights

    What could be more brilliant than a free night at the Children's Museum? Catch some quality time with the kids from 4 to 8 p.m. every first Tuesday of the month, when the museum hosts guided play throughout the building and special literacy-building storytimes for children and their busy parents. The sponsor, Target, has hit the bull's-eye.… More >>
  • Best Free Entertainment

    La Piazza Dell'Arte

    For one weekend each June, Larimer Square becomes a giant canvas for chalk artists. Mimicking the street painting of sixteenth-century Renaissance Italy, dozens apply to the Larimer Arts Association for permission to create their masterpiece on some of Denver's highest-rent asphalt. The lucky are selected on a first-come, first-served basis; all materials are provided, and participation is free. It's also… More >>
  • Best New Outdoor Festival


    Last year's inaugural SunStock music festival was R.C. Griffin Jr.'s effort to give acoustic rockers a place to showcase their musical stylings, a place that anyone could access free. A place to spread the love. The only rules were leave nothing but footprints, and hug someone at the festival and express your love. The music-makers at Clement Park included Wendy… More >>
  • Best Place to See a Rainstorm

    Red Rocks Amphitheatre

    It's rare that rain and concerts go well together. But at Red Rocks, the rain makes a beautiful backdrop. From the concrete seats, listeners get a view of clouds gathering over downtown Denver, and bands often keep playing while everyone watches the lightning strike in the background. Getting stuck in the rain at a concert sucks, but there's always a… More >>
  • Best Annual Yuletide Celebration


    Each Saturday morning from late November until Christmas, Golden stages a holiday parade that seems to have time-traveled from an earlier era. School groups, bands, equestrian troupes and more are frequent participants, marching a few blocks through the center of a town that somehow gets more charming as December 25 approaches. Each event draws hundreds of townspeople and visitors, and… More >>
  • Best Annual Celebration of Fall

    Famous Flamethrower's High Altitude Chili Cookoff Weekend

    At the end of August, Winter Park Resort gives you a perfect fall getaway with the Famous Flamethrower's High Altitude Chili Cookoff Weekend. It's a small, elite contest, and the winner earns the Rocky Mountain region's spot in the World Chili Cookoff. Meat and spice are all that's allowed -- no beans or other fillers. A few brave souls have… More >>