An Incredible Twist

On October 20, Twist & Shout invited the public to inspect its new headquarters -- at the Lowenstein Center, 2508 East Colfax Avenue, across the sidewalk from the Tattered Cover's new main-branch home. Longtime fans of the store no doubt had high hopes for the space, and if any of them left disappointed, they should be rushed to a psychiatric institution, stat. Simply put, the outlet is an instant classic, providing everything a fan of music and pop culture could want, and more.

It's no surprise that the CD stockpile is staggering. But there's also an impressive library of new and used DVDs featuring familiar and obscure titles alike; stack upon stack of twelve-inch singles assembled with DJs and dance mavens in mind; tons (literally) of collectible vinyl, much of it recently pried from owner Paul Epstein's own archives; lotsa bizarre curios, including Pee-wee Herman action figures that were officially withdrawn from the market over a decade ago; and an array of gold records, posters and other memorabilia that turns the joint into a de facto rock-and-roll museum.

As a result, today's Twist & Shout is among the truly great music shops in the nation -- and a credible argument can be made for ranking it atop this particular chart. Now the question is whether Denver consumers will keep it afloat for the long haul. As we all know, the digital revolution is killing mom-and-pop outlets and even major chains like Tower Records, which recently filed for bankruptcy. And while the photo here shows that there was quite a throng present when the doors opened on day one, the number of browsers circulating around 6 p.m., when yours truly visited, was relatively modest. The place was far from empty, but it wasn't as packed as it deserved to be under the circumstances despite the fact that free mimosas were offered to everyone of drinking age who dropped by.

Then again, if any record store can survive and prosper, it's this one. It'll make you wanna Shout. -- Michael Roberts

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts