Many people, particularly people of the gothic and industrial persuasions, still miss Rock Island, the club that opened back in 1986 at 1614 15th Street, long before lofts crowded the area. The sketchy neighborhood didn't keep fans from flocking to the venue to dance and see acts like Skinny Puppy and MC 900 Ft. Jesus, though. And when owner David Clamage closed Rock Island in October 2006, he promised fans that it would reopen after a remodeling job the next year; three years later, the club's website still states, "We'll be back." But today an office occupies the building.
Now the former Rock Island faithful seem to have found a new home at Milk (1037 Broadway, underneath Bar Standard), which hosts gothic, industrial and retro nights on Wednesdays and Saturdays. My girlfriend spent a lot of time at Rock Island, and on a recent Saturday, when we went through the alley entrance and down into Milk, she recognized many regulars from that club's heyday. It was a fascinating mix of folks, including some decked out in full goth regalia, as well as a half-dozen hefty transvestites. And the space's decor — including black-and-white geometric designs on the walls and chairs right out of the Korova Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange — provided just the right setting.
Resident DJ Mike Rich was spinning a thoroughly decent set of '80s new wave, with some old-school goth scattered into the mix; FashioNation owner Paul Italiano, who spins at the club once a month, was also throwing down the '80s mix. Between the two of them, they offered everything from the Smiths' "What Difference Does It Make" and Howard Jones's "Like to Get to Know You Well" to the Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl" and Peter Murphy's "Cut You Up."
If you still miss Rock Island, don't miss Milk.
Club scout: Just a few months after Club Ra's short-lived resurrection in the former Loft Space, at 821 22nd Street, Gallery 22 celebrated its grand opening at that address on New Year's Eve. Francois Baptiste and Alvin LaCabe, whose 3 Deep Productions has been promoting nightclubs for fifteen years, have teamed up with fellow promoter Kevin Kain and Andy Mansfield, the building's owner, to create Gallery 22. Baptiste says the club will host a variety of events, not just the urban-centric soirees of 3 Deep.
A few weeks ago, it looked like the Rocket Room (230 Pueblo Avenue in Colorado Springs) might have to close before the new year because of some disagreements with the landlord. But according to the club's Facebook page, owners Shalonda and Dave Cantrell were able to get an extension, and the bar will remain open at least through January 15 — so you might want to rocket down to the Springs this weekend.
The Wynkoop Brewing Company (1634 18th Street) is hosting the Parade of Darks, a microfest of sorts, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, with over 25 brown ales, porters, doppelbocks, stouts, dunkels, barley wines, dubbels and other richly colored beers from the 'koop, plus more from breweries including Lost Abbey, Left Hand, Stone, Boulder Beer, Great Divide and Backcountry. A token for one sample is $1, or get a wristband that allows you to sample all you want for $25.