Best Pirates 2008 | Rogues of Colorado | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Avast, me hearties! If one day a year — September 19's Talk Like a Pirate Day — is not enough time for channeling your inner pirate, then perhaps you belong with the Rogues of Colorado. These rascally representatives of our landlocked state can be found at the Colorado Renaissance Festival in June and July; look for their flag waving proudly above the Pirates' Pub. The rest of the year they're organizing toy and food drives, participating in highway cleanups or organizing private parties, including citywide treasure hunts, masquerade balls and other charitable events. So track down your ruffled shirt, peg leg, eye patch and parrot, because with the Rogues, you can talk like a pirate all year long. Yarrr!
Chris Soucy ain't Jack Black. But as head man at a new local franchise of the alternative music school made famous by the movie, he does aim to instill youngsters with the collaborative rock-band ethic. Geared toward young musicians ages seven to eighteen, the school's program includes private lessons and group rehearsals focusing on the kind of music that students' parents probably grew up listening to; each session culminates with a live show at a local club. A week-long boot-camp version of the format will be offered this summer. You're never too young to have a professional outlook on what you do, so go, go, go, Johnny, go.

Best Place to Get All Touchy-Feely With a Needle and Thread

TACtile Textile Arts Center

Long before the current DIY movement was even DIYing around on its hands and knees, TACtile director Dianne Denholm was ahead of her time as the owner of the D'Lea's fabric store. But she had a dream, which is now slowly coming to fruition, of creating a kind of collective, in which fiber artists and members of established fiber-arts organizations could meet and work, teach and attend classes, display their wares and buy materials. Inspired by the Textile Center in Minneapolis, TACtile is well on its way to becoming a community work of art, and Denholm should hold her head — and hands — high.
It's no big secret that the Front Range is one of the nerdiest places around: We boast one of the highest concentrations of science and research labs in the country. And what do all of those research geeks do when they aren't watching the latest Heroes episode? They flock to the Wynkoop's Mercantile Room for Cafe Scientifique, the wildly popular free gatherings organized each month by University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center professor J. John Cohen. Each Cafe Sci features a local expert tackling a different, ripped-from-the-headlines topic: for instance, Gwen Huitt, the doctor who treated infamous runaway tuberculosis patient Andrew Speaker, discussing drug-resistant TB, or Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey describing the latest developments in DNA analysis. While the subjects may be heavy, Cohen ensures that discussions are always lively and user-friendly (all the beers thrown back help, too). Get there early if you want a seat: These nerds are a force to be reckoned with.
The Urban Dictionary defines a Spreadhead as "one who is a Widespread Panic fan, on an extreme level. Often characterized by smoking copious amounts of pot, eating caps, and dropping the occasional hit, and traveling through 3 states to attend a WSP concert." In other words, the type of folks you'll find at Moon Time on Wednesdays. Although we can't attest to the pot or the caps, we know that this crowd has a strong affinity for a certain band from Athens, Georgia. At Widespread Wednesdays, Spreadheads gather and trade stories about the group while listening to live Panic shows (a new one each week). After that, there's live entertainment from local musicians like Lake Effect, along with the chance to win prizes.

Best Place to Watch Girls Shakin' What Their Mamas Gave 'Em

Pink Elephant Room

Although burlesque is just now taking off across the country, women have been taking it off — artfully, theatrically, legally — in Denver for more than a decade. And now they have a great place to do so. The Pink Elephant Room features not only the most red-hot burlesque in the city, but also creative cocktails to pair with the tantalizing tease shows, courtesy of Anika Zappe, who spent years bartending before she got a place to call her own. Happy hour, when cocktails are discounted by two bucks, runs from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, but for some even happier hours, stick around for the Shimmy Shaker Show. It features an array of Denver's best burlesquers, including the lovely ladies of Burlesque As It Was plus Mr. Exotic World 2007, Charlie Champale, the Room's own boylesquer. Bottoms up!
As Robert Frost once said, "To be a poet is a condition, not a profession." Poetry is traditionally underfunded, leaving poets poor as church mice yet still determined in their ongoing quest to emote in chiseled language. In everyday prose, that means they're a forgotten bunch, often with only each other to look to for recognition. To formalize — and further fuel — that rarefied poet's network, local cultural couple James and Jessica Belflower started PotLatch, an online alternative book exchange where poetic souls can give away or swap poetry journals, books, chapbooks and more, all with the click of a mouse. That's what we call rhyme with a reason.
Sometimes shows that take on political topics have the character of earnest class projects in a high-school corridor, but that was hardly the case with Weather Report: Art and Climate Change, a mammoth show organized by curator and art theorist Lucy Lippard. It not only filled the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art to capacity, but spilled over to the Boulder Public Library and various other places. Lippard tapped some of the most famous environmental artists in the world along with Colorado artists of the same ilk. The resulting show was as provocative as it was beautiful.
Twenty slides, twenty seconds each: That's the challenge issued to creative types in this international phenomenon, wherein invited presenters may expound upon their private worlds, credos, outlooks or whatever in a visual quickie with strict restraints. Denver is a new spot on the Pecha Kucha map; watch for these structured slide jams quarterly at Buntport Theater. To prepare yourself, visit the P-K website.
No other company in town matches Buntport's humor and inventiveness, and the group's take on Moby Dick was no exception. But perhaps the funniest bit occurred at the very beginning, when Erik Edborg re-enacted the entire leviathan of a novel using nothing but a red plastic fish and a round fishbowl.

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