As Denver residents adjust to ever-diminishing daylight, our city's creatives are spearheading a number of concerts, literary events, craft fairs and comedy shows, all vying for the attention of a fickle public. These five free events should brighten your dark days until the weekend gets here.
Dar Williams, Reading, Signing and Acoustic Performance
Monday, November 6, 7 p.m. Tattered Cover Colfax
World-renowned folksinger Dar Williams has spent two decades touring the country, both as a headliner and on a shared bill with luminaries such as Ani DiFranco, Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and many more. Over the course of her travels through America's forgotten small towns, Williams collected her observations into a new book, What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities—One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time, $27, which was published by Basic Books in September. Williams analyzes why some communities thrive while others struggle, examining how shared spaces and cultural experiences unite these disparate hamlets and the people who live in them. Find out more from the Tattered Cover events calendar.
Raconteur Denver: Lost and/or Found
Tuesday, November 7, 7 p.m. BookBar
An open-mic night for the literary set, Raconteur Denver invites Mile High City storytellers to share their liveliest tales with their peers and fellow readers. Hosts Donna Bryson, Joseph Chehouri and Andrea Pliner have chosen the theme of "Lost and Found" for the month of November, so all aspiring raconteurs need do is arrive at BookBar at 7 p.m. on Tuesday with a brief and entertaining story fresh in their minds. Speakers have up to three minutes each, and the hosts require that they perform without notes. Learn more and register on the Raconteur Denver home page.
Wednesday, November 8, 7 p.m. Grandma's House
For gamers who came of age in the late ’90s, the pinnacle of the enduringly popular first-person-shooter genre will always be Goldeneye, for the Nintendo 64. Based on the film that launched the Pierce Brosnan era of the James Bond series, the game's legacy has long outlasted its cinematic inspiration. Inspiring fond memories and fierce competition in equal measure, the Goldeneye N64 Tournament at Grandma's House brewery will end in a frenzy of pixelated bullets; the last player standing wins a free growler from the house taps. Entry is free. Visit the Facebook events page for more details.
Aaron Urist (pictured here holding the author's dogs) headlines the DBC Showcasetacular on Wednesday, November 8.
From the Hip Photo
Wednesday, November 8, 8:30 p.m. Denver Bicycle Cafe
The Denver Bicycle Cafe, an Uptown haven for lovers of coffee, beer and bikes, has been steadily improving its comedy shows over the past few months. In addition to a weekly comedy open mic, co-hosts Roger Haak and Zach Welch are producing monthly standup showcases spotlighting some of the funniest people in the city. The Showcasetacular the duo has prepared for Wednesday, November 8, includes jokes from local smash-smiths Edward Bell, Mina Thorkell, Nolawee Mengist and headliner Aaron Urist. And take heart, wage slaves! Not only is admission free, but DBC offers half off drafts for its service-industry night. Visit the Facebook events page to learn more.
Winter Gift Market
November 9 to 11 Denver Botanic Gardens
November may have only just begun, but the present-giving season is just around the corner. So it's certainly not too early to start the search for unique gifts. Luckily, such an opportunity awaits at theDenver Botanic Gardens' Winter Gift Market, where vendors offer their lovingly handmade goods for discerning shoppers. Treasures in store include bath and body products, pottery, jewelry, specialty foods, clothing, antiques, and herbal vinegars and seasonings from the perennial favorites at the Gardens’ Guild. Admission to the Winter Gift Market, as well as the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory, is free from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, and from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, November 10 to 11. Visit Denver Botanic Gardens' events page for more details.
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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.