Colorado might have lost the Crispy Family Carnival, but we still have Ukulele Loki, aka Aaron Johnson. A true vaudeville performer, Loki served as music director/ composer/on-stage musician for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival's 2006 production of As You Like It, led the "indie acoustic chamber pop" sounds of the Gadabout Orchestra and acted as ringleader for his vaudeville burlesque circus, the Folderol Follies. His work as the "Talented Talker" for the Crispy Family Carnival has also qualified him to perform as a radio emcee -- currently on Route 78 West, which airs Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon on KVCU-Radio 1190 in Boulder -- and foil for sideshow performers, bands and burlesque legends such as Dita Von Teese. Loki's love of all things sideshow ensures that vaudeville will never die in Denver.
What do Zen and cabaret have in common? Nothing, unless you're Nina Rolle. The artist describes Zen Cabaret as "a traveling medicine show that pitches a tent in whatever town it's in, and then these rogues show up and put on a production." Most recently, Rolle pitched her Zen tent in Boulder for Zen Cabaret Version 6.5: Play Money, complete with audience-interaction elements, a soundtrack provided by Jayme Stone and absurdist retail therapy. "In a way, the whole thing is a practice of how I like to laugh, the kind of laugh I want to bring to people," Rolle explains. So chuckle it up.
The Clocktower Cabaret
Eric Gruneisen
The reviews are in: Local triple-nippled drag queen and fabulous fundraiser Nuclia Waste has a mushrooming hit on her well-manicured hands with Demented Divas. The hilarious Vegas-style drag show, featuring Portia Potty, Gabbriella Butz'In and Iona Trailer, not only encourages the most embarrassing forms of audience participation, but also pokes catty fun at an endless parade of prime drag-queen targets, from Bette Davis to JonBent. Stop by on Tuesday nights and play dress-up with the big girls.
The bearded man held his wooden cross high and bumped and swayed to the indie rock coming out of the Keystone Resort speakers. The young workers scanning lift tickets and passes all smiled in his direction and bopped with him. Kids giggled. Their parents wondered if the strange man was a beggar or a paid performer. A dancing orthodox Christian monk would seem an unorthodox form of entertainment, even for a ski resort. Turns out he was just a Jesus freak of the highest order -- one without the shouted ramblings of the characters on Denver's 16th Street Mall.
Grizzly Rose
Eric Gruneisen
If you've got friends in low places, bring 'em on down to the Grizzly Rose. It's a country wonderland of a bar, complete with a mechanical bull and a stage where live acts perform weekly. Every day, the shit-kickin' saloon is filled with multiple mullet-man sightings -- but an event several years back set a record for the most mullets in one venue on one night. In a bizarre twist of musical mal-scheduling, Joan Jett was slated to perform at the Grizzly. When the foam started to flow, the motley crew of rednecks, headbangers and dykes threatened to erupt into a violent melee as the steers, queers and gearheads clashed. Then Joan came on, and the crowd forgot to be rude and started to rock. So much for a bad reputation.

Best Place to Find Non- Ironic Mullets on Women

The Denver Detour

In the spirit of mullet mania, we shine the spotlight on the lavender ladies who party hearty in the working-class-queero ambience of the Denver Detour. Sheila Keathley and her sporty staff have been slinging stiff drinks in this humble watering hole for the past 23 years. Fortunately, there's also a kitchen dishing up gut-busting Mexican and American fare for lunch and dinner to help stave off that imminent hangover. Along with the booze and the bartenders, the Detour's other attractions are hotly contested pool tables, dart boards, video games and jukebox. Live bands, DJs and wildly popular karaoke nights rule the weekends. Okay, all together now: "We are family..."
The Supreme Court is a cross between a strip club and the tackiest of wedding receptions. Glowing neon signs in every window read "Live Music and Dancing." There are mirrors galore, with a wood dance floor in the midst of an otherwise tackily carpeted room. The bar seats are dominated by lonely, sad-looking clientele -- aside from the occasional bum or pack of convention-goers gyrating wildly while still wearing name tags around their necks. That's almost worth the price of admission, but don't miss the large patio, where there's always a free table. Grab a beer and watch as the 16th Street Mall becomes your personal stage. Between the professionals from the World Trade Center across the street and the mall's colorful characters, you won't want to miss a single act.
Religion and politics: two topics that should never be broached while imbibing alcohol. The religion part is understandable, but sometimes you just need to get liquored up and bitch about W and his administration. Join up with like-minded ranters at Drinking Liberally to toss back some brewskis and talk about...well, anything, as long as it's liberal and progressive. Also try the Screening Liberally get-together at the Mayan Theatre, which includes booze and film. Get out, get left and get drunk.
The Golden-based Independence Institute believes in protecting an individual's right to do just about whatever bat-shit-crazy thing that individual wants to do -- including shooting, smoking and drinking. But since this is also a sadly responsible organization, it strongly suggests shooting first, drinking later. Every June, it gathers the faithful to an ATF party, where participants shoot at clay pigeons (not liberals, contrary to common belief), then retire to a luncheon where they can blow smoke -- through both speechifying and cigars -- and indulge in some alcoholic beverages. Vice is nice.
Anyone who's been to one of Geeks Who Drink's seventeen weekly pub quizzes knows that quizmasters John Dicker and Joel Peach have created something far bigger than your average trivia night. They've got a gang situation on their hands, a mobile army of adoring geeks ravenous for a cerebral smack-down. That hunger reached horrific proportions this past February at the first annual Geek Bowl, where 38 teams competed for over $1,400 in prizes. The six-hour orgy of trivia saw fifteen people badly injured, a rip-roaring domestic dispute and one guy violently shivved in a bathroom stall. Okay, we can't confirm any of that. But damn it, the intensity of these trivia hounds just feels gang-like. Don't turn your back on the geekstas.

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