After the Labor Day holiday, don't let the grind get you down this week. Tuesday, September 5, is International Art Drop Day, an event created by Provo artists Jake Parker with the goal of creating "random bonds between strangers through the act of creating and giving. Denver Arts & Venues is coordinating the Colorado version, and dozens of artists are hiding art around town, just waiting for you to discover it. Find out more here, and keep reading for five more of the best free events in the Denver area this week, listed in chronological order.
CU Faculty Tuesdays: The Quest
Tuesday, September 5, 7:30 p.m.
University of Colorado Boulder's Grusin Music Hall
A world-renowned baritone with a particular affinity for the Baroque repertoire, Andrew Garland has performed with a number of prestigious orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony, National Philharmonic, the Handel and Haydn Society and the Washington Master Chorale. He's also a regular on opera stages, with roles in high-profile productions of Die Zauberflöte, La Bohème and La Cenerentola; he also sang the oratorio for George Frederic Handel's Messiah with the Colorado Symphony. While the majority of Garland's performances are black-tie affairs with steep admission fees, he'll be appearing for free at CU Boulder's Faculty Tuesdays concert series on September 5. He and pianist Jeremy Regar will present a collection of songs organized around the theme "The Quest: Don Quixote and Other Wanderers," including works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Franz Schubert, Gabriela Frank, Maurice Ravel, Steven Mark Kohn and Mitch Leigh. Visit CU Presents online to find out more.
Ratio Comedy: Battle Royale
Wednesday, September 6, 8 p.m.
Westword honored Ratio Beerworks with a Best of Denver Award in a notably specific category earlier this year, but it bears repeating that few other breweries in town put as much thought into aesthetics and entertainment as Ratio's brew crew does. Every Wednesday, comedians and crowds fill Ratio's showroom, a venue that's equally adept at hosting concerts, trivia nights and weekly comedy shows of every variety. One of Ratio Comedy's monthly staples, the Battle Royale pits comic against comic in a bracket-style joke joust, where each performer must generate three minutes of extemporaneous riffs based on a topic assigned mere days before the show. This month's lineup features contestants John Bueno, Laura Lyons, Nolawee Mengist, Kacey Dahl, Michael Seyedian, Noah Reynolds, Mollie Pea, Dan Raney, Elene Ingraham, Zach Welch and Gabby Gutierrez Reed. Check out the Facebook events page for more details.
We Still Like You #13
Friday, September 8, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
Most comedians have a trove of embarrassing stories and painful memories under their belts long before they first pick up a microphone, but they tend to keep them to themselves or enshroud ugly truths in punchlines. At We Still Like You, however, performers are encouraged to dredge up their very worst tales and lay the truth bare for a supportive crowd that chants "We still like you" at the close of each story. Based on Chicago's live storytelling show and podcast of the same name, the current iteration of Denver's We Still Like You is hosted by Rachel Weeks of the Pussy Bros. This Friday's show spotlights local shame-sharers Brent Gill, Phil Palisoul, David Rodriguez, Abby Palmer and Erin Rollman, along with traveling comics Merrill Davis and Samantha Ruddy. Admission is free, but donations are strongly suggested. Visit the Facebook events page to learn more.
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Sunnyside Music Fest
Saturday, September 9, noon to 7:30 p.m.
This year's musical lineup stays true to the Sunnyside Music Fest's bluegrass roots, while adding elements of funk, jam and good old-fashioned rock and roll to the proceedings. Sets from Mama Magnolia, Ritmo Jazz Latino, Silverplume, Kerry Pastine and the Crime Scene, Erica Brown Band and the DeadPhish Orchestra will allow guests to catch nearly every kind of groove while sipping libations and noshing great eats from all over the state. With vendors selling their wares and a variety of kid-friendly activities, the annual Sunnyside Music Fest holds delights in store for the whole family — including that weird cousin who does too much acid. Learn more on the Sunnyside Music Fest's Facebook events page.
Monthly Local Record Store Day
Saturday, September 9, 11 a.m. to midnight
Mutiny Information Cafe
Mutiny Information Cafe's Monthly Local Record Store Days are always a fine way to get great deals on vinyl and enjoy some live entertainment while supporting an endangered business model, but September's event is driven by an even greater sense of purpose. With much of the Texas coastline (including large swaths of the Houston metropolitan area) still suffering under the ravages of Hurricane Harvey, many dry-landers feel compelled to offer help. While donating to the Red Cross is usually a good way to start, Denverites can lend their support in a more convivial and communal fashion by gathering at Mutiny for a daylong fundraiser on Saturday September, 9. Kicking things off with John Ham and the Pancake Feed, the ceremonies continue with the Book It comedy showcase, performances from Calamity Champs, DIVORCE and Ross Hostage, before winding down with DJ sets from KGNU and Suspect Press Records for Writers. Visit the Facebook events page to learn more.