Does Drag the River still exist — and if so, in what form? That's a difficult question to answer. The band allegedly broke up in 2007, only to reunite in order to promote You Can't Live This Way, a first-rate CD issued by the Suburban Home imprint. Afterward, the players drifted back into the shadows, but a bio included on the outfit's still-active MySpace page concludes with the phrase "It never ends." That's good news, if true. If not, it's a real Drag.
The one-man band is not a new thing. Not even in Denver. Reverend Dead Eye was once, and is again, a one-man band providing percussion, guitar, harmonica, guitar and vocals. Rather than inspired gospel blues, however, Dugout Canoe produces a rougher, much more experimental indie pop that defies easy categorization, since it incorporates elements of drone and folk as well as collage sound. This one-of-a-kind one-man band doesn't really fit into any scene and plays only warehouse spaces and house shows, but he's clearly a leading light showing the way to something new.
Littles Paia is known for his always-fascinating blend of folk and psychedelia — so it came as a surprise when he announced that at his show last summer at Rhinoceropolis, he would cover Nevermind in its entirety. Turns out Littles Paia (actually Adam Baumgartner, also of Bad Weather California and Navy Girls) grew up listening to early-'90s alt-rock and long ago taught himself every song from Nirvana's commercial breakthrough. Donning a headlight to trip his wah pedal, he ripped through the classic record in under half an hour. Was it a per-note-perfect performance? No, but it perfectly captured the unfiltered, splintery spirit of Nirvana.

Best One-Off That Deserves to Become a Permanent Fixture

Stand By Your Band

What if members of Born in the Flood joined forces with musicians from Hot IQs and other local bands to interpret the classic soundtrack from Chariots of Fire? The result would be incredible. We know, because we've seen it happen. The premise of Stand By Your Band — randomly mixing up members of Denver's best local acts into new, temporary "supergroups" — is intriguing, and the results are often brilliant, as the ephemeral collaborations interpret their favorite songs in ways alternately hilarious and heartfelt. Side projects and guest slots are always a good way to spark inspiration, and the lighthearted, circle-of-friends vibe of this event makes it a low-risk, high-reward effort for bands and fans alike.
Buying tickets for Swallow Hill shows has become downright fun since the folk- and acoustic-music haven instigated this selective web-radio option in February. Featuring aural previews of premium cuts by upcoming musical acts, it gives the discerning concert-goer a chance to test the milk before buying the cow. Plus, it's just a swell listen.
La Boheme Gentlemen's Cabaret
The slutty schoolgirl has got to be the most overworked, cliched sexual fantasy of all time — not to mention the most overused Halloween costume ever. Still, there's a reason the archetype endures, perhaps because it's just so much fun to don the lowest-cut crisp white shirt you can find, along with the shortest plaid skirt available, and start gathering looks from all the oglers. Last year's School Girls Gone Bad party was the third annual at La Bohème and featured DJ sets and free entry for women dressed in their naughty-schoolgirl best. That's reason enough to break out the uniform once again, but the parties also feature such staples of high-school fantasy as the sexy school nurse, cheerleaders and hot jocks, and the older-woman inspiration behind Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher."
How We May Know Him is a brain-tease of a play that acts on your cerebral cortex, not your guts. It's a story about four women: Val, a Christian zealot; Simone, a new-agey television host; Nicola, a soldier of fortune; and Nicola's partner, the sometimes waspish but usually lost and bemused Wren. The action is surreal and much of the meaning metaphoric — but that doesn't mean that Ellen K. Graham's script is murky or hard to follow. A series of short, sharp, freaky scenes make up the action, and in Paragon Theatre's production, there were all kinds of things to engage your intellect and attention.
Sure, Amy Adams was a sweet princess in Enchanted — but nothing says Colorado like John Elway. Fortunately, this state's biggest celebrity didn't have to say much in Resurrecting the Champ, the Josh Hartnett/Samuel Jackson vehicle that came out last summer. The script was loosely based on a story by former Denverite J.R. Moehringer, who lived in Los Angeles when he wrote the piece — but for the film, the action was ostensibly set in Denver, and a couple of scenes were actually filmed here. In one, Hartnett, who plays a reporter, is having lunch with his young son — who believes his dad's story that he knows Elway. And when the kid spots Number 7 himself, he runs over to say hello. Fortunately, Elway doesn't drop the ball — or the truth — during their quick encounter, and then shrugs it off. Critics did the same for the movie.
While New Mexico keeps raking in the movie business, Hollywood continues to snub Colorado. But at least the Pepsi Center could get ready for its close-up when the Democratic National Convention hits town come August in Blades of Glory, the Will Ferrell/Jon Heder figure-skating extravaganza. Although the stars managed to skate right past this city, a nice aerial shot of the Pepsi Center made the final cut. Here's looking at you, Denver.
Here's the setup: a man and woman are seated at a bus stop after a pleasant first date, and she suddenly reveals that she'd really like to have a baby before her biological clock runs out. As the woman, Alicia Dunfee began sweetly but became more and more aggressive as she attempted to coax, bully and physically force her unsuspecting date into giving up his sperm. She pleaded. She danced. She stomped. She placed her purse at her breast and attempted to nurse it. Finally, she toppled the hapless male onto the floor and straddled him. The scene brought down the house — but since Dunfee is now visibly pregnant, perhaps it was an early hormone flush that made her performance so boldly unforgettable.

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