There were no women on the faculty when Helen Redman went to the University of Colorado in the early '70s as a graduate student in art. Virginia Maitland, who was living with an art instructor, found herself assigned the invisible ranking of "faculty wife." Other women artists were struggling to sculpt or paint while taking care of their families and raising children. Amid the heady politics of the time, these women gave birth to Front Range Women in the Arts in 1974. Their exhibits leavened serious purpose with humorous iconoclasm, such as 1978's Portrait of the Woman as a Young Artist, which was promoted by a poster showing a naked man holding a baby. In 1979 they helped organize Colorado Women in the Arts month; they also toured their work through Colorado and other states and created exchange programs with women artists around the country. The structure was loose, meetings were often suffused with wine and sometimes tears, members came and went. Yet the group helped change the status of women in art. Three years ago, several members were celebrating the sixtieth birthday of one of the founders, Sally Elliott. The millennium was approaching, and Front Range Women in the Arts members were coming up on 25 years of art-making and activism. It was time for a reunion. Elbows and Tea Leaves: Front Range Women in the Visual Arts (1974-2000) will show at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art through August 28. "What we did was against the current," Redman says, "against traditional training. And there's a woman heading the CU art department now."

There were no women on the faculty when Helen Redman went to the University of Colorado in the early '70s as a graduate student in art. Virginia Maitland, who was living with an art instructor, found herself assigned the invisible ranking of "faculty wife." Other women artists were struggling to sculpt or paint while taking care of their families and raising children. Amid the heady politics of the time, these women gave birth to Front Range Women in the Arts in 1974. Their exhibits leavened serious purpose with humorous iconoclasm, such as 1978's Portrait of the Woman as a Young Artist, which was promoted by a poster showing a naked man holding a baby. In 1979 they helped organize Colorado Women in the Arts month; they also toured their work through Colorado and other states and created exchange programs with women artists around the country. The structure was loose, meetings were often suffused with wine and sometimes tears, members came and went. Yet the group helped change the status of women in art. Three years ago, several members were celebrating the sixtieth birthday of one of the founders, Sally Elliott. The millennium was approaching, and Front Range Women in the Arts members were coming up on 25 years of art-making and activism. It was time for a reunion. Elbows and Tea Leaves: Front Range Women in the Visual Arts (1974-2000) will show at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art through August 28. "What we did was against the current," Redman says, "against traditional training. And there's a woman heading the CU art department now."

With Dan Kase's departure, D-town's fine jug-powered combo is no more. Tarnation! The 32-20s were a welcome drink of musical moonshine, and their departure leaves a hole in the hearts of many. That's reason enough to want to empty a bottle or two.
With Dan Kase's departure, D-town's fine jug-powered combo is no more. Tarnation! The 32-20s were a welcome drink of musical moonshine, and their departure leaves a hole in the hearts of many. That's reason enough to want to empty a bottle or two.
Folk-grounded exuberance with startling elements of random noise might best describe Nounsville, the fifteen-song offering from Montana transplant J-ME Smith, aka Dang Head. Fans of musical deconstruction could argue that the ornery fella is merely skippin' down the junkyard path of poetic stray animals with a butterfly net -- and they'd be right. But the critters, duly nabbed (with the help of a few long-lost members from Questa, New Mexico's Lords of Howling), deserve a zoo of their own, and they get one on Smith's homegrown Discobolus imprint. It's an arresting batch of enjoyable songs, all right, strewn with dadaist humor, the occasional broken instrument and that unique mix of blessings and curses that can't help but glitter in the dust.

Folk-grounded exuberance with startling elements of random noise might best describe Nounsville, the fifteen-song offering from Montana transplant J-ME Smith, aka Dang Head. Fans of musical deconstruction could argue that the ornery fella is merely skippin' down the junkyard path of poetic stray animals with a butterfly net -- and they'd be right. But the critters, duly nabbed (with the help of a few long-lost members from Questa, New Mexico's Lords of Howling), deserve a zoo of their own, and they get one on Smith's homegrown Discobolus imprint. It's an arresting batch of enjoyable songs, all right, strewn with dadaist humor, the occasional broken instrument and that unique mix of blessings and curses that can't help but glitter in the dust.

Former Boulderite Jello Biafra provides a spoken-word introduction to this collection, a two-CD, 45-track crash course in the very best modern music emanating from the Front Range. Sponsored by the good people at Radio 1190 (KVCU-AM), the student-run station affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder, Local Shakedown highlights many of the artists played on the station's weekly broadcast of the same name. A mishmash of styles ranging from punk and pop to ambient and plain ol' rock and roll, the compilation is a solid -- and wild -- ride through the complex terrain of local sounds. A good starting point for the newcomer -- and a satisfying recording that stands on its own.

Readers' choice: Here & Now, Saxxon Woods

Former Boulderite Jello Biafra provides a spoken-word introduction to this collection, a two-CD, 45-track crash course in the very best modern music emanating from the Front Range. Sponsored by the good people at Radio 1190 (KVCU-AM), the student-run station affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder, Local Shakedown highlights many of the artists played on the station's weekly broadcast of the same name. A mishmash of styles ranging from punk and pop to ambient and plain ol' rock and roll, the compilation is a solid -- and wild -- ride through the complex terrain of local sounds. A good starting point for the newcomer -- and a satisfying recording that stands on its own.

Readers' choice: Here & Now, Saxxon Woods

If you're in the habit of thumbing through publications like Flipside or Maximum Rock 'N Roll, you may have noticed that Owned & Operated Recordings has branched steadily outside of its Fort Collins base in the past year. A record company started by former members of ALL and the Descendants, Owned & Operated has put out some of the finest and most professional-sounding releases of the past year, including fine offerings from locals Tanger and Someday I and regional acts like Shiner. Primarily a punk concern, O&O also operates Upland Records, a spin-off project created as a vehicle for more difficult-to-define artists like Drag the River and Spot. O&O's professionalism and quality output just might be proof that some old punk-rockers never die. They just figure out how to run cool, artist- and listener- friendly companies.

If you're in the habit of thumbing through publications like Flipside or Maximum Rock 'N Roll, you may have noticed that Owned & Operated Recordings has branched steadily outside of its Fort Collins base in the past year. A record company started by former members of ALL and the Descendants, Owned & Operated has put out some of the finest and most professional-sounding releases of the past year, including fine offerings from locals Tanger and Someday I and regional acts like Shiner. Primarily a punk concern, O&O also operates Upland Records, a spin-off project created as a vehicle for more difficult-to-define artists like Drag the River and Spot. O&O's professionalism and quality output just might be proof that some old punk-rockers never die. They just figure out how to run cool, artist- and listener- friendly companies.

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