Music News

Don Callarman's murals make the walls pop at Quixote's

In The Horse's Mouth, Alec Guinness plays an expressionist painter on a quest to find the perfect wall to paint on. Painter Don Callarman refers to that 1958 movie when he says he might have found the perfect canvas: the blank back wall of Quixote's True Blue (2151 Lawrence Street). But while that wall may have to wait, Callarman, who studied painting under Vance Kirkland at the University of Denver, is already painting murals on the east side of the venue with fellow artist Lauri Keener.

And not just any murals: These are 3-D, something Callarman has been experimenting with for the past four years, ever since his buddy, Scramble Campbell, got him into it. "A whole lot of it is just real simple, basic color theory," Callarman says. "A bright, light, warm color next to a dark, dull, cool color is going to make things pop."

The mural at the front includes everything from Mr. Natural, from the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, to the Little Prince to the dancing bear, which Callarman says represents LSD pioneer Owsley Stanley (the bear was one of the first images printed on acid blotters). Quixote's owner Jay Bianchi considers the 3-D artwork on the patio and the outside of the building almost as an ongoing exhibit; he plans to either give out 3-D glasses or have 3-D lenses put in wooden blocks that customers can borrow.

The murals are just one of the improvements Bianchi has made to this spot. A stage was built on the patio, where there's now live bluegrass on Sunday afternoons, and he also restructured the entrance so that you walk right into the club rather than down a hall, which Bianchi dubbed "the hallway of weirdness." As a result, the club now has a more comfortable vibe.

But with music, Bianchi is sticking with what he does best, "which is just the hippie jam bands rather than trying to conquer the world," he says. "Plus, it's more enjoyable just doing the music I like rather than what becomes popular or whatever's fashionable."

Club scout: The new/old Prohibition opened last Friday in the former home of the Roslyn Grill at 504 East Colfax Avenue. The saloon sports a century-old bar that came from a joint in Indianapolis, as well as a new mahogany bar in front with a Chicago drink rail; in keeping with its name, the place sports Prohibition-era newspapers, as well as a bunch of whiskey prescriptions. Black Crown Lounge also opened last week in the former Cafe Cero/Open Tap space at 1446 South Broadway. Owner Mark Cameron describes the piano bar as having an old-world, over-the-top, decadent country-club feel.

City Hall (1144 Broadway) kicked off its Rockers, Rollers & Riders summer concert series last Sunday; it will continue every week through September 4. The lineup features rotating events including car, bike and scooter clubs, fashion and tattoo shows, barbecue and more; this Sunday, it's local twang rock group 4H Royalty. Doors will open at 1 p.m., and the music starts at 3. Finally, KS107.5 DJ KDJ Above is heading up Elation Wednesdays at Euphoria Lounge (2048 Larimer Street), where he's spinning hip-hop, R&B, neo-soul, reggae and old school. Drink specials include $3 wells, wine, drafts and Long Island iced teas until 11:30 p.m.

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon