If you've listened to any hip-hop radio station in any major city recently, chances are you've heard some of Frank E's music — that's how big he's getting. He was the man behind the hit records "Please Excuse My Hands," from Plies featuring Jamie Foxx and the Dream; "Me & U," from Flo Rida; and a DJ Khaled/T-Pain mixtape joint called "Superman." He also co-produced one of the most played records so far this year, "Right Round," from Flo Rida; that cut was even used to promote the new season of Dancing With the Stars. And Frank E isn't done yet. He just finished creating joints for T.I., Gym Class Heroes, Sean Kingston and some other major urban artists that he can't discuss quite yet. Be proud, Denver!
Old Curtis Street Bar
A few years ago, the Old Curtis St. Bar had terrible sound and a nearly sub-dive vibe. But it's steadily become a better place to play. There is now a small stage — outfitted with gear from the 15th St. Tavern  — and a rudimentary sound system that provides for decent vocals and kick-drum sound. With Joe Ramirez, Andy Wild and Steve Lawson doing their best with the sound levels, Old Curtis St. has gone from a bottom-of-the-barrel venue to a viable one.
MCA Denver
JC Buck
Wouldn't it be nice to step inside the thoughts and inspirations of your favorite artists? You can do just that at MCA Denver's Open Shelf Library. Composed of books, digital works, found objects, games, journals, models, movies, music and sculpture contributed by MCA artists, the shelves are a physical catalogue of the artifacts used to shape their realities. Computerized information allows museum-goers to dive even deeper into the minds of the artists. The museum also hosts an Open Shelf Book Club for members and weekly Open Shelf Films from late fall to early spring. Maybe you can't be John Malkovich, but the Open Shelf is the next best thing.
Dazzle
After twelve years, Dazzle has definitively proved that it has what it takes to make a successful jazz club. Whether it's bringing in a steady stream of outstanding local jazz talent like Ron Miles and Kenny Walker (or the blues of the Shuffletones on Saturdays) and nationally recognized players like organ ace Joey DeFrancesco, Schoolhouse Rock composer Bob Dorough or alto saxophonist Richie Cole, you're sure to hear stellar music most nights of the week. Sundays are the ideal time to hear big bands like the 9th & Lincoln Orchestra, the Chie Imaizumi Jazz Orchestra and Elevenet. Not only is the music world-class, but the food swings, too: The $5 happy-hour menu alone is reason to check the place out.
Dazzle
Dan Schwindt definitely knows a few things about jazz guitar and improvisation, and he's performed with a ton of the region's heavier players. He's also carved out Tuesdays from his schedule for the past few years to head up the jazz jams in Dazzle's Dizzy room. One of the best ways to learn is through playing with other cats, and these jams give younger students a chance to hone their chops in a live setting and to learn the language of jazz. Schwindt offers a low-pressure, casual atmosphere, and instrumentalists and vocalists alike find the sessions quite comfortable.
Like the place itself, the 3 Kings jukebox has a distinctly personalized feel. From homemade mix CDs to the other handpicked music selections, there's a little something for everybody: new and old punk (the Clash and X to Against Me!), some classic rock (ZZ Top and AC/DC), a little soul (James Brown and Stevie Wonder), as well as a bastion of local releases including discs from Git Some, Cephalic Carnage, Warlock Pinchers, King Rat, Black Lamb, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, To Be Eaten and Get Three Coffins Ready. You won't find a stronger, more eclectic or satisfying selection than this one.

Best Jukebox for Old-School R&B, Soul, Jazz and Country

The Skylark

The Skylark's penchant for mid-twentieth-century pop culture is clear in its jukebox collection, a diverse catalogue that spotlights giants from a wealth of genres. But the musical selection doesn't exist in a vacuum; rather, it adds a degree of authenticity to the 'Lark's collection of kitschy posters and nostalgic decor. Cuts from soul giants such as Etta James and Otis Redding, jazz progenitors like Louis Prima and Ella Fitzgerald and country heavyweights like Johnny Cash and Bob Wills complement the 1950s film posters that line the walls. The old-school inventory isn't limited to greatest-hits anthologies, either. For the distinguishing Louis Armstrong fan, for example, there's an album devoted solely to his early Hot Five and Hot Seven output, recordings that are as impassioned as they are raw. It's the perfect soundtrack for a cold Pabst and a game of pool.
Rockbar
As bassist for the now-defunct Machine Gun Blues, Jermaine Smith is no stranger to the spotlight. The guy is no stranger to karaoke, either, having hosted karaoke nights at another spot for years. So it's only natural for the rock star (he's still a rock star to us) to set up shop at Rockbar, where he now sprinkles some of his karaoke magic on everyone in the joint. The dude's presence is bound to rub off on you, and before you know it, you'll be tapping into your own inner rock star.
Some labels have a sound, others have a mission. Bocumast falls into the latter category, and what a mission it is! The defining characteristics of Bocumast's diverse roster, which ranges from the oddball post-punk guitar funk of Natural Selection to the oceanic electronic bliss pop of Iuengliss, are simple: They're all excellent, and none of them are afraid to take chances. The results are always surprising and consistently strong. At a time when record labels seem to be heading for obsolescence, Bocumast is ensuring its continued relevance by showing us the best stuff we might have otherwise overlooked.
Bluebird Theater
Band reunions that take place more than a decade down the line are generally sad affairs that tend to accentuate the passage of time rather than causing it to stand still. But even though the original members of the Fluid — John Robinson, Garrett Shavlik, James Clower, Rick Kulwicki and Matt Bischoff — hadn't played together since the early '90s, they marked Sub Pop Records' twentieth anniversary by making a racket every bit as thrilling as the stuff they churned out in their heyday, to the delight of a crowd populated by many of Denver's biggest music lovers. What a wonderful exception to the rule.

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