In addition to fronting the explosively guitar-centric Abdomen, Mike Jourgensen records and distributes music through www.noisetent.com, an indie hub of punk-friendly Denver-based bands including Jet Black Joy, Dumbass Brothers, Stuttering Bishops, Blast-Off Heads, Negative Man, Fast Action Revolver, Tanger and Bio-Bitch. Jourgensen's affordable studio space -- a stone's throw from neighboring Children's Hospital in Denver -- can boast the production of full-length offerings from both the Perry Weissman 3 and the Pin Downs (both of whom appear on Noise Tent 2000 Spring Sampler), as well as fits of experimental passion by the likes of In Ether, Mike Serviolo and Mark Stookesbury. Mastered by the magnificent Bob Ferbrache, this limited-quantity release pays homage to some of the area's hardest-working and most underrepresented bands. Most important, all proceeds help fund a sanctuary for smiling lambs.
Herman's Hideaway
Eric Gruneisen
Herman's Hideaway is not exactly known for hosting the best local music. But it does deserve kudos for hosting the most. With live music every night of the week, Herman's offers bands ranging from the well-established to the unknown; the New Music Showcase series on Thursday nights is often dominated by bands who've never performed in front of live (non-family) audiences. No matter the act, though, the wide-open room and excellent sound system make it an attractive space in which to survey it all. As with any sampler, not everything will be to your liking, but there are usually a couple of tasty morsels in the mix.
For more than a year, pundits the world over wondered whether John Barton's Tantalus would be a millennium-defining hit or flop. Much like the nature of Greek myths themselves, the grand, lavishly staged show was less absolute, and the joint effort of the Denver Center Theatre Company and England's Royal Shakespeare Company leaned more toward triumph than failure. The virtuoso performances, masterful directorial touches (the piece was co-directed by British theater legend Peter Hall and his son Edward) and astonishing design elements made for an event that brimmed with brilliance, wit and beauty. Despite its marathon length and exorbitant admission price, the epic showed itself to be a bold experiment about the dangers of aspiring to be godlike before understanding our own mortality.

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