We're here to help maintain your sanity and financial stability this holiday season with a couple movies, a photo show, dance parties, art and more. If you need some spots to blow off some steam after blowing two paychecks on stuff for yourself on Cyber Monday, we've got you covered. For a full listing of what's going on Denver, check out calendar page at westword.com/calendar. Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields at Denver FilmCenter (Friday, $9.75) Fans of Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields won't want to miss this showing of a documentary about the man behind the music tonight. Filmmakers spent ten years with Merritt, and Strange Powers offers an intimate look at his life and work. We're just hoping to catch a scene of one of Colorado's own fans making out with Merritt, a story we've heard plenty of times, but have never been able to verify. Golden in Focus: Historic Show and Sale (Friday, free) Golden has a long and illustrious history. As one of Colorado's most industrious cities, it's the home to the Coors Brewing Company and many other fascinating businesses. Golden in Focus aims to look at just a few photos from the city's past; fans of Colorado history will certainly not be disappointed.
Denver Open Media Four-Year Anniversary Party at Denver Open Media Studios (Friday, free) Denver Open Media has been a public access staple for Colorado for four years. To celebrate this illustrious event, DOM is throwing a party. On hand will be tons of clips from some of DOM's best moments. The whole thing is getting a live broadcast, too, in case you'd rather sit in your parents' basement and watch other people having fun.
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Xi Zhang Awakening Dreams at Plus Gallery (2501 Larimer St, Friday, free) It's the last first Friday of the year, which means a lot of the galleries are pulling out all the stops to end their year with a bang. Plus Gallery is no different, bringing on Boulder artists Xi Zhang and Nick Musaelian, two painters with some of the most distinctive, interesting styles in Colorado. You won't want to miss this one, and checking out the rest of the North Denver galleries should be an excellent way to top off your year. Lipgloss at La Rumba (Friday, $5) Sure, Lipgloss happens every weekend, but this weekend is a little special. Accompanying the usual Lipgloss DJ crew will be Snake Rattle Rattle Snake's James Yardley. Accompanying him will assuredly be some
fat phat beats and dance jams. Holiday Handmade Alternative Craft Fair at 1770 Sherman Street Event Complex (Friday-Saturday, free) As far as we're concerned, Colorado is the epicenter of the craft movement. Every single month we have at least one big-deal craft fair showcasing Denver's best handmade designers, but none of these fairs can hold a torch to the Fancy Tiger's Holiday Handmade Alternative Craft Fair, which operates as one of the biggest catalysts on the scene. Two days of awesome crafts, all local and handmade. That's how you kick out your Christmas shopping without going to the mall. Vision at Landmark Esquire Theatre (Friday, $10) Historical films usually tend to capture one of two things: war or the eccentric. Vision takes the more eccentric road, telling the story of Hildegard von Bingen, a woman who was a philosopher, seer, mystic, abbess, visionary and a polymath. Oh, and a composer. Since this is a film and not real life, all this creative energy means one thing: wackiness. Lidia Bastianich at Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue (Saturday, free) Since the Internet has destroyed the ideals of copyright, especially when it comes to recipes, cookbook writers have had to really push their images a bit harder. Enter Lidia Bastianich, who's new book, Nonna, Tell Me a Story: Lidia's Christmas Kitchen is part cookbook, part storytelling, part memoir and part illustrations. Now that's an extra helping. Have her sign your copy this afternoon, but there's no guarantee she'll cook something up for you on the spot. The Way of Things and Abstract Clay at Ice Cube Gallery @ Dry Ice Factory (Saturday, free) This is your last chance to check out the crazy combination of clay and paint with an underwater theme from artists Jean Smith and Deborah Jang. It's an interesting take on nature's scariest locale, and one you certainly don't want to miss. If you pop in on Saturday, you'll also find wares from Jean's Jewelry Show. Eat and Greet with Ben Nichols at Illegal Pete's (1530 16th St., Sunday, free) How does a big-ass burrito and a chat with Lucero singer Ben Nichols sound for a kickass way to spend your Sunday afternoon? Rumor has it Nichols might be performing a short, acoustic set as well, but let's be honest: All you really want to do is ogle him eating a burrito.
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