Don't smack your baseball into Munly's yard -- you'll never see it again. Hear that grindin' noise comin' from his shed? Human bones, most likely. Remember the "Gashlycrumb Tinies" -- that nursery rhyme by Edward Gorey where all them kids die, one by one, from A to Z? Yessir. It's kinda horrible. But kinda funny, too. But for mean ol' Munly, it's just more grist for the mill. He likes singin' about all them dead kids, see. It's probably the happiest he'll ever be. Peculiar fella.

Not since Lothar and the Hand People has a local outfit employed the Russian inventor's electronic-tone generator to such entertaining ends as Boulder's wall-of-noise trio Hoochie. A throwback to cheesy drive-in movie Martians and sweater-bustin' damsels in distress, the oft-snubbed theremin provides just the right blend of faux eeriness and comic relief. It's also living proof, perhaps, that the distance between one's shaky fingers and a simple antenna is equal to the listener's threshold for pure, wavering blissful racket.

Not since Lothar and the Hand People has a local outfit employed the Russian inventor's electronic-tone generator to such entertaining ends as Boulder's wall-of-noise trio Hoochie. A throwback to cheesy drive-in movie Martians and sweater-bustin' damsels in distress, the oft-snubbed theremin provides just the right blend of faux eeriness and comic relief. It's also living proof, perhaps, that the distance between one's shaky fingers and a simple antenna is equal to the listener's threshold for pure, wavering blissful racket.

Weekend pastry-noshers at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Cherry Creek are no strangers to the ambient wizardry of local guitarist Ron Bucknam, a bimonthly fixture for those who frequent the Queen City's sequestered nooks. As much influenced by painting as he is by music (think of minimalist Steve Reich floating through one of Kandinski's geometric playgrounds, and you're in the general ballpark), Bucknam produces a soothing and often beguiling soundscape of seamless tones and colors, rhythms and shapes. The stuff's downright hypnotic and can actually enhance great works of literature. Including Yertle the Turtle.
Weekend pastry-noshers at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Cherry Creek are no strangers to the ambient wizardry of local guitarist Ron Bucknam, a bimonthly fixture for those who frequent the Queen City's sequestered nooks. As much influenced by painting as he is by music (think of minimalist Steve Reich floating through one of Kandinski's geometric playgrounds, and you're in the general ballpark), Bucknam produces a soothing and often beguiling soundscape of seamless tones and colors, rhythms and shapes. The stuff's downright hypnotic and can actually enhance great works of literature. Including Yertle the Turtle.

Best approximation of a turn-of-the-century strip show

Burlesque As It Was

Sisters Michelle and Andrea Baldwin are the driving -- and gyrating, wiggling and titillating -- force behind Burlesque As It Was, a performance group that revisits an era when stripping and erotic dance was an art form. Students of vaudeville and burlesque greats like Gypsy Rose Lee, the sisters and their sequined crew hosted a pair of performances this year: a Parisian-style cabaret and a saucy Valentine's Day fete. They've also been seen shakin' their saucy stuff at shows by bands like the Down-N-Outs. Forget Disco -- Burlesque As It Was takes retro to an entirely new level. Just don't try to shove a dollar bill down the side of the dancers' costumes, please.

Best approximation of a turn-of-the-century strip show

Burlesque As It Was

Sisters Michelle and Andrea Baldwin are the driving -- and gyrating, wiggling and titillating -- force behind Burlesque As It Was, a performance group that revisits an era when stripping and erotic dance was an art form. Students of vaudeville and burlesque greats like Gypsy Rose Lee, the sisters and their sequined crew hosted a pair of performances this year: a Parisian-style cabaret and a saucy Valentine's Day fete. They've also been seen shakin' their saucy stuff at shows by bands like the Down-N-Outs. Forget Disco -- Burlesque As It Was takes retro to an entirely new level. Just don't try to shove a dollar bill down the side of the dancers' costumes, please.
The Partridge Family? Not. The Jackson Five? Please. But cross Selena with the Brady Bunch and you'd be pretty damn close. Mariachi Vasquez is a certified mom-and-dad-and-all-the-kiddies mariachi group: Daddy plays bass, Mama sings tenor, and the three sisters and two brothers join right in there. The group, which hails from Tucson, has been shaking its maracas since the kids wore Pampers. While other children scribbled multiplication tables, these youngsters perfected their chops on violin, trumpet and guitar. Last year the group cut its first CD, Como la Ves, and is compiling its second. Mariachis usually are content to cover the classics, but Mariachi Vasquez spices its playlist with original material and south-of-the-border tributes to Patsy Cline and Elvis. Although the Vasquez kids are still learning their way around a recording studio -- let them make it through puberty first -- they can still put a little rumba into a conga line. And the Mr. Microphone tribute to the King -- as sung by ten-year-old Vincente -- is enough to put a swivel in your hips. If not a black-velvet Elvis painting in your living room.

John Potter can belt 'em out with such force and grace that if you close your eyes and squint just right, you might think it was ol' blue eyes himself swaying between the tables at Patsy's Inn Italian Restaurant, at 3651 Navajo Street. Ask him right, and he'll play your favorite song while you slurp on spaghetti and gulp a glass of vino. Potter doesn't just do Sinatra, though; Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones and even Lou Rawls fill his repertoire. "I do a little bit of everybody," he says. "To do a four-hour show, you've got to come up with more than just Sinatra." Potter is also a part of the sixteen-piece Stephen Paul Orchestra, but he'll be doing it Frank's way at Patsy's on Friday and Saturday nights over the summer. He'll make you feel there are songs to be sung!

John Potter can belt 'em out with such force and grace that if you close your eyes and squint just right, you might think it was ol' blue eyes himself swaying between the tables at Patsy's Inn Italian Restaurant, at 3651 Navajo Street. Ask him right, and he'll play your favorite song while you slurp on spaghetti and gulp a glass of vino. Potter doesn't just do Sinatra, though; Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones and even Lou Rawls fill his repertoire. "I do a little bit of everybody," he says. "To do a four-hour show, you've got to come up with more than just Sinatra." Potter is also a part of the sixteen-piece Stephen Paul Orchestra, but he'll be doing it Frank's way at Patsy's on Friday and Saturday nights over the summer. He'll make you feel there are songs to be sung!

Best Of Denver®

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