The closest I ever came to doing hard time was half an hour in a holding cell in Denver police headquarters after I was busted for shoplifting rubbers at the age of thirteen. If I hadn't gotten busted — at Skaggs Drug Store (now Rite-Aid), where they sat me in the manager's office and took a Polaroid of me holding a twelve-pack of Trojans under my chin before sending me off with the cops — I probably would've been cruising Colfax for midget hookers or something. Instead, I was stuck in a closet-sized room with one kid who'd shot out his neighbor's window and another who'd gotten caught stealing comic books.
Yeah, it's far from Folsom Prison, but it's the closest I come to "real" experience when trying to add some authenticity to my interpretation of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" — my karaoke selection at Dubb's Pub (5301 South Broadway in Littleton). I wasn't completely nailing the tune, but I thought I was doing a pretty good job except for the low parts at the end of the verses, and the two gals who'd earlier sung a few country tunes were hooting and hollering.
I was definitely better than the guy who was struggling through Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There for You" when I walked into Dubb's. The guy's white-blond hair and eyebrows reminded me of Krazy George, the nutty cutoffs-wearing/drum-banging cheerleader who pumped up crowds at McNichols Arena in the '70s, when the Rockies were a hockey team — but this singer's monotone delivery wasn't firing anyone up.
A few numbers later, another guy sang "House of the Rising Sun" with a bit of a Shane MacGowan drunken slur, while a guy near the pool table told his friends that it was the first tune he'd learned on guitar. Soon after, a guy added some quivering vibrato to the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" Then a woman sang Fleetwood Mac's "Stand Back," with a vocal delivery that reminded me of Karen Black singing that country song in Five Easy Pieces — but halfway through the tune, I realized it was closer to the woman who played Sueleen in Robert Altman's Nashville.
There were some standout performers, too, though, including one of those country-tune gals and another woman who did a first-rate rendition of "These Boots Are Made for Walking." Besides, it really didn't matter if anyone had singing chops; everyone at the mike got applause.
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And that's true at most places that have karaoke on a regular basis, such as Dubb's and Armida's (840 Lincoln Street). One thing to keep in mind at Dubb's, though: A sign behind the bar says something like "Bring in Weapons, Get Handcuffed." So leave the guns and knives at home, or you might wind up singing "Arapahoe County Jail Blues."
Club scout: Francois Safieddine, who opened the super-deluxe 24K (1416 Market Street) last November and also owns 5 Degrees, Monarck and Mynt, expands his LoDo/Larimer Square club domain with the grand opening of Suite Two Hundred (1427 Larimer Street) on Friday, August 15. That night, the 7,000-square-foot upscale dance club located in the former Lucky Star spot will also host a birthday celebration for Adrianne Curry, who won America's Next Top Model and stars in My Fair Brady. Body-painted models, acrobats and performance artists should kick things off in grand style. The following night, fashion models from Donna Baldwin and local celebrities will be on hand for the Modelista Opening, with the first hundred guests getting gift bags from Jon Ric International Salon.
Paul Ryder of the Happy Mondays will guest DJ alongside Lipgloss residents Michael Trundle and Tyler Jacobson at La Rumba (99 West Ninth Avenue) on Friday, August 15. Former Lord of Word frontman Theo Smith (aka DJ Hottness), who's been spinning at Opal (100 East Ninth Avenue) on Fridays, will take a break from his Saturday-night residency at Aqua (925 Lincoln Street) and team up with DJs Tribal Touch, Chris Irvin, LL Bishop, Sante, 007 and Scott Karr for their Good Stuff party at Funky Buddha (776 Lincoln Street) on Saturday, August 16. The party, which includes prizes, giveaways, drink specials and go-go dancers, gets started at 8 p.m.