These days, CDs are seen as outmoded technology — a point made in a witty way by EP01, whose sleeve duplicates the design of an '80s-era floppy disc. Unlike a floppy, however, the CD inside will work in a modern computer drive. That way, Able Archer fans can go old-school in a new-school way.
Gypsy House Cafe
The Gypsy House, situated on the southeast corner of 13th Avenue and Marion Street, isn't just the place to get some of the best chai in town and relax in a calming bohemian setting. On the second Sunday of every month, it also hosts Textures, a showcase for underground ambient music and sound art from around the country and beyond. Performances take place in the basement, where the furniture and layout make you feel like part of a secret society. Since its debut in May of 2008, Textures has featured performances from the likes of Denver's own Temples as well as better-known artists such as Shelf Life, CloudLanD and Haunted Sound Laboratory. Always hauntingly fascinating.
Mercury Cafe
Louis Vuitton Night proclaims itself "too smart for New York, too hot for L.A." And indeed, Denver ought to be flattered that the $3 anarchist variety show takes place here every so often at the Mercury Cafe instead of one of those two other places. They even do kid-friendly; the most recent incarnation of LVN took place at noon instead of later at night. The important thing to remember is that it's not at all scary. It's just a big party, usually with a theme, showcasing musicians, community organizations, zinesters, drag royalty, performance art, poetry, and DIY projects and fashion designers. A companion publication gets handed out with each show; the Louis Vuitton Review includes pieces on everything from community goings-on to celebrity gossip to anarchist theory — basically the party in book form. Anarchy is the answer.
Conceptual artist Christo and his collaborating wife, Jeanne-Claude, want to put fabric panels over the Arkansas River in southern Colorado, a $50 million project called "Over the River" that they've been working on for more than a decade. It's the second time the two have chosen Colorado as a site for their outrageous creations; the first was 1972's "Valley Curtain," in which they stretched an orange nylon curtain across Rifle Gap. Despite the fact that the curtain ripped almost immediately, the piece became internationally famous. This year, Jennifer Garner and Cecily Cullen, of Metro State's Center for Visual Art, worked with the artists to present Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Prints and Objects, one of the most significant exhibits in Denver last year. It was made up of more than a hundred items, including sketches and designs for "Over the River" demonstrating why the couple deserves to complete it.
At last count, this quixotic effort to crank out soft-wool caps to serve as helmet liners for our troops overseas had produced close to 10,000 noggin-warmers — almost double the initial goal of 5,280. That's a lot of wool, a lot of volunteers knitting away at a pattern posted online, and a massive organizational effort on the part of Fresh City Life's accomplished knitter Chris Loffelmacher and able co-conspirator Francine Lovato, in conjunction with the USO and a host of local sponsors. Regardless of how you feel about the politics of our current foreign entanglements, the soldiers deserve the best in headgear, and the DPL's heads-up contribution makes for a great yarn.
Sometimes, all you need to know about a band is its name to know that it is some kind of awesome. For our money, Sega Genocide is just such a name. Combining nostalgia for our 16-bit, Blast-Processing youth with the bad taste inherent in any reference to genocide, Sega Genocide is a name that captures the imagination in that special, blackly humorous, WTF sort of way that pretty much compels you to check the act out to see what they're all about. And isn't that exactly what a band name is supposed to do?
Once upon a time, an Achille Lauro show was a rare and remarkable event. With multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Brian Joseph on the road working sound for hotshots like the Fray and Bon Iver, the group just couldn't pull together very often. A few months ago, however, Achille Lauro and Joseph decided it made sense to head in different directions. This decision has made for more frequent public appearances and has also completely transformed the band's sound. More electronics have been added, giving the outfit a Steely Dan-meets-Radiohead vibe, and dueling frontmen Luke Mossman and Matt Close make an even stronger impression with their voices and musicianship. Even the songwriting seems to have taken a turn that is simultaneously more experimental and poppier. A recent gig at the hi-dive proved that Achille Lauro is a Denver act to watch — now more than ever.

Best Band Playing Country the Way It Was Meant to Be Played

The Hollyfelds

The Hollyfelds five — Eryn and Keith Hoerig, Kate Grigsby, Tim Mallot and "Magic" Sam Spitzer — are blessed with talent to spare. The music on Saratoga, their most recent full-length, and the forthcoming EP Black Heart Blue, offer up crystalline harmonies, irresistible melodies, sturdy playing, and lyrics that feel lived rather than invented. But arguably their most important quality is sincerity. Instead of smirking at country music's verities, the players unabashedly celebrate them — and that makes all the difference.
Barker Lounge
Ask Barker Lounge co-owner Patrick Vigil whether dogs are allowed in his canine-themed bar, and he'll laugh like you've posed the most obvious question he's ever heard. Look around, he'll say, aiming his arm at every man inside his stray (straight + gay) establishment. Of course they're welcome! All men are dogs. (Get it?) But the four-legged variety? "We see dogs every day," Vigil says. "Dogs get bones before their owners get drinks." As long as hounds stay on their leashes, they're all invited, day or night. "When people are out walking their dogs," Vigil adds, "the dogs walk them to the Barker lounge." And then, at the end of the night they can walk their owners home.
Stadium Inn
Sarah James
Be it fact or folklore, the Stadium Inn claims to sell more Jim Beam per square foot than any other bar in the country. This stat means $2 Beam drinks and shots all day, every day. It also means that each October, the first fifty lushes to sample all seven varieties of Beam that the bar offers receive a Degree of Bourbonology, an honor confirmed the following January in a cap-and-gown ceremony and other shenanigans. With these wallet-friendly (and resumé-building) incentives, how can you afford not to wander into (and later stumble out of) the Stadium Inn for some cheap, cheap Beam?

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