From the week of December 25, 2008

"Moovers & Shakers 2008," Backbeat, December 18

Vocal About Locals

Despite the fact that I have been notably critical in the past of some of the local bands that Westword's music department has deemed worthy of praise, the fact remains that the paper has played a pronounced role in the support of all the local acts, regardless of genre, that the city has to offer. In an age where "We support local bands" is nothing more than a laughable marketing catchphrase, Westword has distinguished itself by actually getting out to, and reporting on, a multitude of performances. This "best local releases" list is a brilliant synopsis of Denver's up-and-comers, and will serve as a weekend-entertainment Yellow Pages for the upcoming year.

Chris Walsweer


"Ask a Mexican," Gustavo Arellano, December 18

Read and Buried

Carlos Fuentes's The Buried Mirror should be required reading for every high school or college student in the U.S. Unfortunately, the most ignorant are the least likely to read it.

Jon Leventhal


In Ask a Mexican, "Bourbon Bobby" stated: "If we literally let everyone in, not having to do anything to achieve it (U.S. citizenship), we will be breeding a population of people who expect things to be handed to them..." 

A question, "Bourbon Bobby": What did YOU do to achieve your citizenship?

Rob Levinson


"Join the Club," Patricia Calhoun, December 11

Room for One 4

Thanks for your article on Club 404. I'm 32 and have been going to the bar for over five years. I took my now-husband there on our first date, celebrated birthdays there, and have established an unconventional family of friends there over the years, including the Feld family and their employees.

The 4 (as we regulars like to call it) is our living room where we watch Tuesday-night movies, rest after a long day's work, gather during the weekends for football games and poker, and, believe it or not, discuss politics during a long election year.

And yet all that said, the very idea of someone taking over the joint gives me the worst kind of heartburn. You don't find places like Club 404 anymore, where the service is like family (literally and figuratively). It may seem uncommon in this era to think of the bar as a true public house as in Europe, but the 4 definitely has that vibe. You can be certain to be safe there if you're a woman who wants to sip a cocktail alone or find good conversation with the bartenders. Go ahead and ask David (the day bartender) anything about gardening or music and he'll have something to say. Or ask Nonnie, the best waitress ever, the story about Slim Cessna's Auto Club's song "Kristen & Billy," which features her in the lyrics.

A family, indeed. A true Denver family, at that.

Dina Paz


Dude, you're not in "the club."

I awoke this morning and squished my face at the sun. Hello, hangover, there you are again. Ugh. Then I started cracking up at the night that gave me this blessed hangover and decided it was worth it. The 404 was the establishment that made me laugh off such a cursed, water-deprived headache, and it's been doing so for a while. 

The 4 is right across from my apartment, and I wandered over there the night I moved in. Freaking deliteful. I've come to describe the 4 as my Cheers. I will often go to the 4 alone, laptop on shoulder to use the free wi-fi, and just wait to see what will happen. Something always does, from people crashing into the pool tables while swing(ish) dancing, to deep discussions about things like semen cookbooks (seriously), to meeting cute eccentric boys (the 4's totally my pimp).

Anyone who loves obscurely amazing music, quirky ambience and cheap booze, and is drama-free, hilarious and random, please quell the rumors and come join the stumblingly fab club that is the Felds' 404.

Meghan Grunow



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