As Karl Marx said, revolution is not a fixed, static phenomenon; it's a perpetual and ever-evolving process. So it makes sense that after seven years of showcasing the progressive and subversive at its current location, Revoluciones Collective Art Space is moving. The award-winning gallery was opened in 1997 at 719 West Eighth Avenue by a cadre of artists intent on bringing new freshness, energy and radical sensibility to the Denver scene. The formerly run-down warehouse space soon took on a life of its own as regular art openings became interspersed with live bands, DJs, film, spoken-word performances and even prominent touring exhibits from all parts of the country.
Beyond that, Revoluciones filled a vital need: With a focus on all facets of the making and dissemination of art, the gallery and its collective of dozens of local creators took a leadership role in the underground community, nurturing upcoming talent and showing the way for small, upstart galleries. The goal continues to be to establish and sustain a niche in the alternative arts scene.
"Since Revoluciones opened, there have been a lot of other art galleries closing in on that Santa Fe neighborhood," says Jeremy Gregory, curator of musical events for the space. "We kind of want to be thought of as more of a freestanding place. Not that we want to be isolationist; we want to be able to keep that underground, DIY vibe. We're going to be able to reclaim that. Plus, the new location is so much bigger. We'll basically have all the walls of a 10,000-square-foot building."
Revoluciones' new turf is contained within the Construct, an ambitious multimedia art and resource center at 3619 Brighton Boulevard that will have its grand opening Friday, June 4. But tonight the gallery is throwing a huge blowout to kick off the transition. In addition to artwork by Jessie LeJeune and Monivone Nonthaveth, live sets by Tha' Fly, the Dinnermints and DJ Doctor Zen will whip up buckets of sweat and misty-eyed nostalgia as well as raise money to help pay for the relocation. A $5 donation is suggested, and the doors open at 7:30 p.m. Come down and help keep Revoluciones in motion. -- Jason Heller
Brit festival returns
The second annual British Film Festival is now unspooling. The Union Jack gang unfurls its works at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Mayan Theater, 110 Broadway, with Bright Young Things. The directorial debut of Stephen Fry features Stephen Campbell Moore, Stockard Channing, Dan Aykroyd and the brilliant Peter O'Toole. Tut, tut, old chap. Not a bad start for a festival that almost didn't see a second year, eh? "This is the only British film festival in the U.S.," confesses festival director Diane Beckoff. "At times, I was tempted to quit organizing the festival, but there was so much interest and enthusiasm from both sides of the ocean." After opening night, the cinema screenings will hop over to the Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli, 900 Auraria Parkway, where more than fifteen films will be shown; appearances are scheduled by Limey directors Peter Duffell and Peter Medak, as well as actors Michael York, Shay Duffin and Virginia McKenna. Critic Shawn Levy will add a dash of Brit wit. "This festival is like joining hands across the ocean," says Beckoff.
The series concludes on Monday, May 24, with posh closing-night festivities. Tickets are $8 to $10 per event and are available through the festival's hotline at 303-388-8152. Visit www.denverbritishfilmfestival.com for a complete event schedule. -- Kity Ironton
Hitting the Rockpile
Native Denverite Lance Ritchlin knows the life. A one-time local rock musician who ended up getting a job and taking the corporate route, he's heard the old war cry: Denver's music scene is just this far from making it onto the map. It's just a matter of knowing the right people. But for Denver -- and Ritchlin -- it seemed like the right people never came along. "So we decided to become the right people and do it ourselves," he says. After watching an old video he made twenty years ago and reading an article on corporate bands in Fortune magazine, he was inspired to make his own independent film. He mortgaged his house and called on his toiling musician friends of old to help. The upshot is the feature film Corporate America Rocks, which Ritchlin says is 85 percent completed -- except for some key scenes, including a culminating battle of the bands.
And that's where you come in: Ritchlin is filming a live Scene 111 Concert tonight, with Colorado bands the Fray, Shotgunn and the Boogiemen and audience members double-dipping as extras. You'll get to be just this far away from becoming famous. The show, which benefits Denver Community Television, is at 7 p.m. at the King Center, 855 Lawrence Way on the Auraria campus. For tickets, $10, call 303-556-2296. -- Susan Froyd
Eddie Palmieri covers all the bases
Eddie Palmieri likens his band to a good baseball team. In keeping with that theme, the Harlem-born pianist has pitched Latin music for four decades. The seven-time Grammy winner's discography stretches back to the early 1960s and includes a collaboration with the late Tito Puente, whose salsa spirit he still invokes. Palmieri can even trace his roots to a Caribbean island where baseball reigns supreme.
"In Cuba, there was a development and crystallization of rhythmical patterns that have excited people for years," he says. "Cuban music provides the fundamental from which I never move. Whatever has to be built must be built from there. It's that cross-cultural effect that makes magnificent music."
Palmieri and his seven-piece band headline the fourth annual "That Jazz Thing" at 6 p.m. tonight at the Soiled Dove, 1949 Market Street; also featured are local songstress Linda Styles and KUVO's Carlos Landro as emcee. Funds raised at the event will benefit the Denver Center for Crime Victims, a sixteen-year-old nonprofit that offers support to hundreds each year. "We're bringing in Eddie Palmieri to a venue where people can see him up-close and personal," says DCCV spokeswoman Sarah Wolfgram. "There's definitely going to be people wiggling in their seats."
Tickets, $40, are available through the DCCV at 303-860-0660, or online at www.denvervictims.org. -- Ernie Tucker