Cold Crush

Cold Crush is a little slice of hip-hop heaven, layered with morsels of goodness at every level. You might accidentally catch a legendary DJ there, just doing his or her thing on the wheels. DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill stopped in on June 22, delivering a truly surprising set that went way beyond his more well-known production work. If you're headed to the popular bar/juice bar/venue, arrive early. The place fills up with patrons of all backgrounds, and you never know what big names might walk in.

Cervantes' Other Side

In recent years, Denver's electronic-music scene has gained a reputation as the place for new and rising talent. Success stories like Big Gigantic, Pretty Lights and Paper Diamond have drawn both emerging and established artists to the area. And thanks to the Sub.Mission crew, those newcomers have an outlet. Electronic Tuesdays has thrived where other weekly events have failed, thanks to Sub.Mission's careful curation of fresh faces. "E-Tuesdays" does an exemplary job of showcasing new producers' music to fans whose tastes change as quickly as the bipolar Colorado weather.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a high-octane, savagely funny play about desperate, isolated lives. Mother and daughter Mag and Maureen live together in a state of mutual dependency and mutual loathing. Their neighbors are a pair of brothers: sweet-natured Pato, who just might bring a ray of joy into Maureen's bitter life, and insanely irrational Ray. The script is by Martin McDonagh, so you know violence will erupt. Edge Theatre Company's production was one of the most shocking and entertaining shows of the year: Between Michael Stricker's direction and a powerhouse cast willing to go balls-out, the audience was left breathless — though whether from laughter or sheer horror, it was sometimes hard to tell.

There is no one quite like Koffi Toudji. Depending on the day, the drummer, dancer and teacher can be found sharing his fancy footwork and rhythm skills at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance; playing music with the West African Drum and Dance Ensemble or his thirteen-piece Afro-fusion band Koffi Togo Vibe; or organizing family-friendly music and arts events to fund the cultural center he's building in his home country of Togo in West Africa. And here in Denver, Toudji's work with kids and adults alike in the realms of music, dance and cultural education brings nothing but positive vibrations.

This knockout show of neo-abstract paintings and sculptures done by the husband-and-wife team of Conor Hollis and Amorette Lana and ably curated by Adam Gildar, was eye-dazzling with all its toned-up colors and in-your-face forms. The paintings combined freely executed automatist passages with carefully rendered extensions of them. Interestingly, the compositions were completely unified despite the touch of two different pairs of hands. The paintings provided the perfect backdrop to the sculptures, in particular the large tabletop one, "Alterity," which was made of extruded and painted foam. It was an unforgettable debut for the couple.

Edge Gallery

Edge Gallery underwent some transition last summer when many longtime members quit and were replaced by a group of new ones. Heralding this change was Conceptually Scattered, featuring work by the new generation of Edgesters, almost all of them up-and-coming artists new to the scene. The majority of the pieces showed tremendous talent and great skill, with all of the artists having contributed things worth looking at. The show included pieces by Nouman Gaafar, Faith Williams, Michael McGrath, Jessica Loving, Dennis Stowell, John Cross, Rachel Prago, Genevieve Yazzie and Frederick Pichon. Edge has long been one of the co-ops in town, and surely the secret to this success is the way it constantly reinvents itself.

The MCA's Adam Lerner has a thing for art propelled by socio-political movements, and that predilection threw him in the direction of Devo musician/composer/artist Mark Mothersbaugh, a man who Lerner says is the most creative person he's ever met. Those are strong words to describe a pop-culture anomaly who can't let a day pass without churning out twenty or so postcard-sized drawings (he's been creating them for dozens of years). In the interest of sharing Mothersbaugh's postcards, quirky compositions and installations with the public, Lerner coaxed the object of his obsession to let the MCA put together the show Myopia. This will be Mothersbaugh's first-ever exhibit in a museum — in fact, at a series of museums, since it will travel to other venues after its inaugural run at the MCA this fall.

Mark Mosher organized the Boulder Synthesizer Meet-Up to connect with others interested in using technology in music. He found kindred spirits in internationally touring trombone player Darren Kramer and Victoria Lundy of the Inactivists and the now-defunct Carbon Dioxide Orchestra. The trio played through Mosher's audio rig, with Kramer processing his trombone through analog and digital devices and Lundy joining him on her theremin. Playing separate sets with a collaborative performance at the end, Kramer, Lundy and Mosher presented a tour de force on the current state of electronic music and its future.

Without officially branding its programming a feminist endeavor, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art brought women into the spotlight in force in 2013. As part of its Present Box series, BMoCA invited bridal dressmaker Maggie Evans to sew live and artist/lawyer Vanessa Place to present her confessional performance art. The museum's fall series, Craft Tech/Coded Media, gave multiple generations of technology-based artists a great platform for their multimedia work, and companion events like Femcees: Lyrics Decoded brought female musicians into the mix. BMoCA showed that curation doesn't have to be labeled in order to be empowering, engaging and effective.

Sie FilmCenter

Join nearly 55,000 film lovers making their way through more than 200 films at the Starz Denver Film Festival, Denver's preeminent, audience-friendly movie event of the year — for thirty years! Whether you want to watch future Academy Award nominees or gems that might never again see the light of day, the Denver Film Festival has got you covered. And where else in town can you rub elbows with Hollywood directors, brave documentarians and independent auteurs talking about their craft and showing off their latest work? Even without the bonus red-carpet events, multiple parties and panel discussions with film-industry players, this fall festival is a chance to pack a year's worth of movie viewing into ten glorious days.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of