Some recent alterations to Denver's nightlife have been merely titular, as with the metamorphosis of Club Sanctuary to Butterfly. But in other cases, the change is more formal: For example, Friday, March 7, marks the grand opening of the Starline Lounge -- the makeshift dance-and-performance space in the former Denver Buffalo Company building, at 1109 Lincoln Street -- as a bona fide nightclub. The Starline, which has been hosting a revolving theme-style party on weekend nights, won't look much different to regulars, but it will now carry on with a semi-fixed calendar that includes showcases from local female artists on the first Friday of every month. The maiden bill features headliner Dearly Beloved, a jazzy, alterna-chic new project co-fronted by enigmatic songwriter Whitney Rehr and sometimes-solo artist Jennifer Waters.
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The Starline has also launched an open-mike slam-poetry event every other Wednesday, with the next set for March 19. The small crowd of aspiring bards who turned up for the first round in late February included faces familiar from the weekly spoken-word sessions at the Mercury Cafe, as well as from Cafe Nuba, a performance-poetry session held the last Friday of every month at Five Points' Gemini Tea Emporium.
Elsewhere, changes are afoot in the building that has housed two of the sorrier chapters in the annals of Denver entertainment. Sometime in April, Rise and the Sky Bar at Rise are expected to arise at 19th and Blake streets, in the vast structure that's been abused as both Dick's Last Resort and Alice Cooper'stown. Rise owner Michael Payne (he's also a part-owner of Vega) plans to adorn the multi-use space with all of the usual accoutrements, from bottle service to VIP lounges and DJ booths -- which means the botox-and-Depth Charger crowd can't be far behind.
Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, a music hall opened late last year by the Brothers Bianchi, of Quixote's/ Sancho's/Dulcinea's fame, ups its hipster quotient considerably with the Saturday, March 8, enlisting of Phife Dawg, one of the seminal MCs who made A Tribe Called Quest a hip-hop masterpiece. Phife will be joined by longtime Tribe collaborator Jarobi.
Elsewhere, Matthew Moon delivers XOM to the people of this planet on Saturday, March 8, in a CD-release party at the Gothic Theatre. The disc is described by Moon as a cross between "Tom Petty and Counting Crows," though the comely songwriter has yet to sprout any Adam Duritz-style dreads.... Magmaphonic, a multimedia collective formerly known as the Magma Trio, presents "Scroll Maneuvers" on Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8, at the Oriental Theater. The performance includes the usual elements -- poetry, free-jazz, video projections -- with one important addition: 1,000 feet of art. On a scroll. Constantly moving. Magmaphonic, indeed.