Best Rapper East of Colorado Boulevard

F.O.E.

While Jewell Tyme Music may be the best hip-hop label in Colorado, the star of the label has to be F.O.E. (Father of Enemies). Last year he dropped the excellent King of the Mountain mixtape, shined on the Music, Money, and Roundtables comp and kills every venue he's booked at. He's also been tapped by ManeLine, Diamond Boiz, Joe Thunder and other notables to appear on their projects, and he rips it every time. If that's not enough, his plate is full with a new album (A New Welcome), a mixtape with B Blacc (Return of the Drama Kings) and a mixtape with DJ A-What! (The Format), plus his hands are on everything Jewell Tyme puts out.

Best Rapper West of Colorado Boulevard

Whygee

The curious case of Whygee: He's an unaffiliated Colorado hip-hop nomad who wanders all around the city but is mostly found near the center. His unique gruff voice is instantly recognizable and, with his thought-provoking and brash lyrical prowess, he's one of the best MCs in Colorado. He's proven this not only during his live show, but also on the excellent Suicide Watch EP, a collaboration with rapper Sunken State and producer Kid Hum. He's currently working with Naeem Oba as N.O. Why, on a project titled You're Not One of Us, which is due out in April, followed by a new mixtape with DJ Sounds Supreme featuring DJ Low Key that will drop sometime this summer. After that, there's a hip-hop/soul collaboration on tap with singer charleyBRAND slated for sometime next year. And he promises it will all be free. Word, gee!
In the fall of 2007, investor Andrew Kalmar opened the elegant Gallery T at the corner of West Ninth Avenue and Santa Fe Drive and hired Ron Judish to run it. An art-world veteran, Judish was an early member of the Spark Gallery co-op and later ran two of his own galleries. When the second of those galleries closed some years ago, Judish thought his days in the art world had ended — at least until he met the young and brash Kalmar. Under Judish's guidance, T has shown a mix of local and international art stars. And thanks to Kalmar, we've got Judish's accomplished eye back on the local exhibition scene.
The original "Electric Fountain" was designed by Frederic Darlington for Denver's first Democratic National Convention, in 1908. Located in City Park's Ferril Lake, it combined acrobatic water displays with theatrical lighting shows, back when electricity was still fairly new. Sadly, the fountain was allowed to deteriorate over the ensuing decades and had become a ruined fragment by the time engineer Larry Kerecman found it in the 1980s. A few years ago, Kerecman mounted a campaign to bring it back, an effort that culminated just in time for Denver's second DNC, when the city unveiled a replica of the work, complete with state-of-the-art computerized technology. Clearly, the rebirth of "Electric Fountain" makes for a picture-postcard addition to the Mile High City.
Known for her luminous performances with Phamaly (Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League), Lucy Roucis suffers from Parkinson's disease. In 2008, she underwent the surgery she'd been thinking about for years, in which a battery-operated medical device is implanted in the brain to stimulate targeted areas and block abnormal nerve signals. As the medical staff worked, she found herself weeping for her father, who had died two years earlier. "I felt like he came to me and said, 'Toughen up. Get through this.' I felt like he was holding my hand." Since the surgery, Lucy's tremors have decreased markedly — and she's back on stage.
Calling 3 Kings Tavern a rock bar just hints at the entertainment to be found here. From hosting an array of dance nights, burlesque revues and art shows in the basement gallery to presenting a full calendar of top-notch local talent (including a rare appearance by Slim Cessna's Auto Club) and compelling national acts (Red Fang and High on Fire among them), this venue is almost always a sure bet. Couple that entertainment lineup with a staff that's as welcoming to the customers as it is to the bands (which are all treated like rock stars, whether imports or exports), and it's easy to see why this joint has so many fans — even if the sound occasionally leaves something to be desired.
In 2008, Aurora Public Art Program manager Deana Miller got a call from development company Trammell Crow asking whether the city wanted an old sculpture for free or whether it should simply go to the scrap yard. Miller researched the piece and discovered that the monumental red and yellow steel spike, installed in an office park, was the work of Lyman Kipp, a prominent Chicago minimalist. The sculpture, called "Alto," dates to 1984 and is one of only two pieces by the artist in Colorado. The Kipp was removed from its original site and will be erected later this year outside the Hoffman Heights Library, at 1298 Peoria Street in Aurora.
If you remember, As You Like It's Celia is one of those forgettable roles, cousin and sidekick to the far more vivid and poetic Rosalind. But Jamie Ann Romero made Celia real, listening with deep sympathy to her cousin's problems, cavorting about the stage when things went well. This Celia was so funny and charming that she almost romped away with the entire production.
There were many art events scheduled during or in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention last summer, but some of the most relevant were mounted and paid for by local artists. Two of the best were Hijacked, a Susan Goldstein installation about the need for abortion rights, and Gayla Lemke's Enough, which took on the topic of the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich during the Bush years. Although it's unlikely that many of the delegates made their way to Edge, we wish they had.
In the spirit of such acts as Dashboard Confessional, City and Colour and Bon Iver, Danielle Anderson opted to go with the clumsy Danielle Ate the Sandwich rather than her given name. Fact is, with a bewitching voice that sends shivers down any listener's spine and a lyrical sensibility and sense of humor that recalls Kimya Dawson, the Fort Collins-based chanteuse could call herself Bob the Freaking Builder if she so chose and she'd still have folks eating out of the palm of her hand. Her primarily ukulele-driven odes are as awkward, clumsy and personal as they are charming, poignant and affecting — as the number of views of her homemade YouTube videos can attest.

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