Sunday, September 29, 2013

Help Find Chris Daniels' Guitar!

Here's a note from local musician (and legend!!) Chris Daniels, coming home from his gig last night:

"Hey All, on the way home from playing a benefit at Williams and Colfax the back of the truck came open (didn't know it) and my Taylor acoustic and the blue mic box fell out. If anybody happens to have found a blue mic box and a Taylor drednaught acoustic/electric with an indain beaded strap in the green felt line case, -- would have been found on Colfax to Grant Grant to logan and then to Radclif in Englewood - please get in touch with Chris Daniels asap, thanks thanks Big hugs CD"

Please return the guitar if you found it, it's a lot like losing a child!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Colfax History: Original Downtown Aurora

Hope you enjoy this historic photo of original downtown Aurora, in the heart of the Aurora Cultural Arts District. Hard to miss the iconic Fox Theater marquee! (Thanks Gayle for the photo!)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Park House Tavern Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Park House, the “classy yet quirky” neighborhood tavern and live music hotspot on the corner of Colfax and Madison, will celebrate its one year anniversary this month by throwing a Parking Lot Party on Saturday, September 28th starting at 1pm.  Park House and Listen Up Denver! have fused their creative party-centric minds with the beer-slingers over at Breckenridge Brewery who will be taking over the taps with their classic drafts and special releases during a weekend-long tap takeover.
The Saturday Parking Lot Party will feature live music by Trout Steak Revival, Springdale Quartet, Vine Street Vibes, and other special guests yet to be announced.  Ticket prices are $5.00 in advance and $7 at the door.
The anniversary weekend and Breckenridge Brewery Tap Takeover at Park House will begin Friday, September 27, at 9pm with a FREE Funk and Soul show by The Recovery Act, one  of Denver's hottest new musical acts.  The Saturday Parking Lot Party will begin outside on September 28th at 1pm and will conclude at 7pm.  After the Parking Lot Party, Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels will be playing a free honky-tonk show inside Park House for the CD Release Party of their new album, Honky Tonk Bastard World.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Smoky Hill Trail

Statue marking the end of the Smoky Hill Trail
     The East Colfax neighborhood has roots dating back to the late 1850s, when a branch of Smoky Hill Trail brought gold seekers arriving by horse and wagon on what today is East Colfax Avenue. Over time, farms and houses appeared along the trail, which soon became known as the Kansas City Road, because it connected the early village of Denver to the nearest big city to the east.
     In 1858, gold was discovered in the Kansas Territory east of the Rocky Mountains (now Colorado), and when the news reached the Kansas City area, a trail was needed to travel across the plains. What was once an old Indian trail that ran along the Smoky Hill River became the most direct route to the gold fields in 1859, and it was named the Smoky Hill Trail. There were cutoff routes to Denver from both the Oregon and the Santa Fe Trails, but the Smoky Hill Trail was the most traveled; it was also the most dangerous of the three trails because of the possibility of Indian attacks and the scarcity of water.
     Emigrants using the trail outfitted in Leavenworth, Kansas City, Abilene or Salina and followed the Smoky Hill River to southwest Colorado near Old Cheyenne Wells where the headwaters of the Smoky Hill began. From there, the Smoky Hill trail divided into two trails, a north and a south trail, both of which went to Hugo and then to Lake (just south of Limon). At this point the North Trail continued on a route similar to present day Interstate 70 / U.S. 40 coming into Denver from the east; the South Trail went to more of a western route to present day Kiowa and then northwest to Denver. It is not hard to imagine how desolate this area was at that time. If you have ever taken the Kiowa road to Denver from Limon, you will know that, even today, there is not much of anything out there for miles and miles.
     A third section of the trail, called the Middle Smoky Hill Trail, went west from Lake, then turned northwest to Denver where it met the South Smoky Hill Trail. This portion of the trail became known as the “Starvation Trail” because of the gruesome story of the Blue Brothers who resorted to cannibalism in 1859. Daniel Blue’s survival story was written by Henry Villard, a newspaper correspondent who joined in the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in 1859, which appeared in the Cincinnati “Daily Commercial” on June 3.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Last Week of Civic Center EATS

This is the last week of Civic Center EATS 2013! Join the Civic Center Conservancy for lunch and live music in Denver's Civic Center Park this Tuesday and Thursday (11a-2p) to get your fall food truck fix. Photo by Evan Semón Photography

Monday, September 23, 2013

Robert Boswell at Tattered Cover

Critically acclaimed novelist Robert Boswell joins us TONIGHT, in conversation with novelist David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. They'll discuss Boswell's new novel TUMBLEDOWN. Tumble down to this link for details.⤵

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Smell of Jesus

Excerpt from Raw Edges: A Memoir,  by Phyllis Barber (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2010)
          “I smell Jesus on you, honey,” the stranger said to me. He sat across from Spinner and me in the padded vinyl booth at Roslyn’s, a bar on East Colfax where Spinner invited me to hang out for the evening. He’d moved into my place the summer before when he’d needed help with his daughter. He’d stayed.
         “Come again?” I asked the man with three missing teeth and three hoops in his left ear. Four minutes ago, he’d slid into our booth, uninvited, with a glass of something that looked like whiskey in one hand. “Do you mind?” he said, then sat quietly sipping his drink until those words popped out of him.
                 The music was too loud, there were too many Christmas lights that felt phoney, too many bikers and too much snow outside the massive front window.
                 “I smell Jesus on you,” the man said again, louder this time, then rested his forearms on the formica.
                 “What’s with the Jesus stuff?” Spinner spoke loudly into my ear, and even then he was hard to hear.
                 “Did he say what I think he said?” I shouted back over a heavy metal strain of ‘White Christmas.’ Spinner shrugged his shoulders.
                 I played with the clipbacks of my star earrings, the ones I always wore at Christmastime, the ones I wore when David and I used to have our neighborhood Christmas parties. I unclipped the rhinestone star to rub my too-long-pinched ear lobe and felt a point of the star sharp against my palm. These were the earrings I’d worn to accompany my son Jeremy when he played Bach and Vivaldi on his violin. The same ones I’d worn when I played piano at the Heather Restaurant near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City where bagpipers piped on Friday nights. I thought of the white satin blouse with the string of rhinestones on the collar and cuffs. The crepe tuxedo I’d worn for those occasions another lifetime ago.
                 The stranger sipped his drink and rocked his head to the beat of the music. I scoped the big window where winter raged against the glass. I looked back at the man who held his glass up against the light and squinted at the remains.
                  I wanted to make a joke and say that Jesus was a fisherman and did I smell like a fish, but then Spinner wouldn’t laugh. He didn’t understand my sense of humor.
                  The man set his drink on the table, then thumped his thumb to the last of the “White Christmas” beat. “He comes like a thief in the night,” he said in the space between songs.
           I unclipped the other earring and propped my head on Spinner’s shoulder. I felt tired, weary, hanging out in this foreign territory just before Christmas, the season of the year when I should be nestled in bed with a good man and my children safe asleep in the next room. But I was doing time for thinking I knew things, for thinking I knew what it meant to be “in the world but not of it.”
                  Spinner twirled his glass.
          Spinner, I thought. The beat up bad boy dressed in a Harley-Davidson Reunion T-shirt. He’d probably brought me to the bar tonight to find a connection. With my empty ring finger, I felt the sticky edges of an old strip of duct tape on the vinyl seat.
          As the beginnings of a quieter “Silent Night” bled through the speakers, the stranger stretched his arms toward me. “I’ve lost my feeling. Give me some.”
          Spinner pulled away from my head on his shoulder and slid back into the corner of the booth to watch.
          I smiled at the stranger with my smile that fit around whatever came along and ignored his outstretched arms. I reached for Spinner’s hand instead, squeezing his fingers, but his hand limped out on me as if it were a dead trout. I gave it back and clipped the stars onto my ears again, trying to keep myself busy, trying not to think of my other life in the beautiful home David and I had remodeled twice—the big step-down room with its panoramic views of Mt. Olympus, our grand piano with its brass candelabra where I’d accompanied scores of musicians as well as our sons. There were so many dreams in those refinished wooden floors, the leaded glass windows and the over-sized dark blue Persian rug.
         “People call me Rev,” the man with mustard and brown eyes said from across the table. His faded blue baseball cap didn’t hide the wrinkles in his forehead and the loose, sagging skin around his eyes.
                 “So, if you’re a Rev,” I said, “give us a sermon. We could use a good sermon.”
         “Pull yourself together,” Spinner whispered. He was an elemental man easily embarrassed by public display. “Why did I buy you a beer? You’re the cheapest drunk I ever met.”
                 “Here is the church and here is the steeple.” I played the children’s game my mother had taught me: interlocked hands, raised index fingers for a steeple. “Here’s a church for you,” I said, holding my hands out playfully to the man who was dusky above the collar of his black T-shirt and striped vest with a torn lapel.
         The Rev’s eyes put a hole in me first, then Spinner. “What’s with you two?” he asked, his hands pointing to each of us at the same time.
         I looked over at Spinner and his ever-present cigarette. My shoulder muscles stiffened. His skin seemed colorless in the strange light of the bar. Surrounded by a cloud of smoke, he re-positioned himself in the sticky red booth.
         “This woman,” the Rev said solemnly, pointing his slightly crooked finger at me, “is love, Man.” His gaze zeroed in on me, one eye squinted, his chin on his wrists on the table.
        The inside of my head spun with the effects of the beer I wasn’t used to drinking. The sound of the clashing glasses and the throbbing bass beat jangled my head, made it slide like a trombone. This wasn’t my home or my place or my shore.
         “You’ve got a fan,” Spinner said, exercising his hands on the formica.
                 “I’ll take what I can get.” I laughed, then reached over to pat Spinner’s cheek.
         “Don’t,” he snapped, twisting away. I could feel the way his face wasn’t there, that it was gone all of a sudden. The face I thought I loved. I looked out the window again, suddenly hoping someone was watching, maybe even Jesus since we were on the subject. He might be out in the cold tonight, looking for his lost sheep, waiting to take us all back to the other ninety and nine safe in the pen. Maybe he was standing out there on the curb, his arms stretched out, his eyes beaming with the holy light of I love you/the stars love you/all the Universe loves you.
         The stranger, a crabbed-up old man in eight-day-old clothes, sat across the table staring. His eyes seemed the kind that could see under every layer of a person’s clothing and all the layers of their skin. Maybe he recognized something I’d lost. Maybe, even though I was dressed in Levis and a turtleneck and had buried my graying hair under a champagne dye that did no justice to my skin tones, he could really see me.
         “You glow,” Preacher said as the bossa nova ‘Silent Night’ played on and he took another sip of his drink.
         I wanted to say ‘like a round yon virgin?’, but didn’t. I smiled to myself at the improbable thought. I’d been a virgin once. David and I’d both been virgins when we married.
         “This guy’s something else,”Spinner said, itching the corner of his square jawbone with two fingers and tapping ashes into the sandbag-bottomed ashtray.
                 The “Silent Night” tempo cranked into a turbo beat.
                 “Dance with me, Spinner,” I said, knowing he’d shake his head no. I wanted to capture Christmas somehow, to feel it inside and out. I wanted to sing “Holy infant, so tender and mild” like I had for so many Decembers.
         The stranger slid his hand across the table. “Put your hand in the hand, woman.”
                 I closed my eyes where water was gathering and bent over to wipe my eyes with the ribbing of my sweatshirt. Nobody knew what they were doing when they were drunk. I hated drunk and how nobody was there for anybody else when they were.
                 “I need to go home,” I said.
                 “Don’t do your disappearing act,” Spinner said.
                 “Love is everything,” I said. “Right, Rev?”
                 The man suddenly became mute, like a neo-sphinx swaying his head subtly from side to side.
                 After a community roar at the bar—the favored Denver Broncos rallying in the fourth quarter—I turned to Spinner. I leaned in close to keep things between us. “Do you really love me?” I asked in an as-private-as-could-be whisper.
                 He leaned to the left to frisk his jacket for another cigarette, leaving me with lots of air around myself. All the time the stranger, even though he couldn’t hear us, watched our every move as he sipped his whiskey.
         “Love is a suffering thing,” the man finally said. Then he sat still, as if listening for inspiration from the PA system. “Would you like to dance with me?” he asked, making moves to slide out of the booth.
         I was speechless.
                 “Dance with him,” Spinner said. “You were just saying you wanted to dance.”
                 The Rev bowed at the end of the table, one hand flat against his ribs, the other at his back. “May I have this dance?”
                 “Why not?” I finally decided.
                 He was six inches shorter, about five foot three. His body seemed scrawled carelessly together like illegible handwriting, a curling spine holding a frail skeleton in place. I didn’t care, though my breasts seemed too close to his nose as I stood up and faced him.
                 He led me to the postage-stamp dance floor as Elvis sang “Blue Christmas.” Miniature lights chased each other around the window. That man put his hand on my back. We assumed the traditional slow dance position. A pre-fab Santa’s boot stood on the bar, the patchy velour on the toe rubbed white. A few random candy canes wrapped in cellophane, most of them broken at the crook, were stuffed into the boot.
                 When he laid his head close to my neck, I didn’t object. Maybe because it was Christmas and maybe because I didn’t care about much anymore.
                 “You’ve got Jesus in every pore, woman,” he said, his ear pressed flat against my collar bone.
                 We shuffled across the floor as if there were no one else in the room. Next to him I felt especially large and especially small at the moment, a raw-boned woman standing a head over the Rev, bigger and broader than he was, and yet....
                 “You can’t change anybody. Look what they did to Jesus.”
                 “But I love the man,” I said. Then I felt even smaller, not unlike a bottle tossed against a curb that wouldn’t break and kept on rolling.
                 The stranger put his hand on the boney part of my chest—a firm palm against the tops of letters stenciled on my sweatshirt. I didn’t flinch because this moment felt right. I felt his life surge into mine. I put my hand on top of his and bowed my forehead against the top of his baseball cap. The song ended. It left a sudden space of quiet in the room, a sparse little comma of calm.
        He escorted me back to the booth where Spinner sat against the corner with his jacket buttoned and his arms folded. “Adios, my friends,” the man said as he helped me into the booth and pecked a kiss on my cheek. Then he walked to the bar, held up his finger to order another drink and squeezed his misshapen body onto a stool. As he bent over the bar, a large gap between his T-shirt and pants appeared. The laundry-grayed elastic of his underwear stretched across the dark skin of his lower back.
                 “Welcome back,” Spinner said, crushing his cigarette into the already full ash tray. “Did you dance your feet off?”
                 “Right up to the ankles.”
                 “He was sure cutting in close. Is that a good idea to let a stranger get that familiar?”
                 “It’s Christmas,” I said.
                 “Don’t they all want the same thing?” he said.
                 “Does that include you?”
                 He twisted the ashtray with his thumb. “So what are you trying to say?”
                 “Please take me home. The storm’s over.” I looked outside. Everything was white and still. Enough snow to make the world seem soft.
                 He picked up the ash tray, then let it fall back to the table, a solid thunk of  deadweight sand on formica.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Legend of Sleepy Hollow coming to Aurora Fox

The Aurora Fox presents The Regional Premiere of
Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
adapted by Christopher Cook

  Aurora, CO – The Regional Premiere of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Christopher Cook (directed by Charles Packard) opens October 4  and runs through November 3, 2013 at The Aurora Fox Arts Center (9900 East Colfax Avenue).  Tickets are $26 for adults and $22 for seniors and students. For tickets and/or group rates call: 303-739-1970 or visit:
  About the show:      When bumbling schoolmaster Ichabod Crane (Liam Speros) arrives in the peaceful little hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, he is greeted with cautionary tales of ghosts and goblins, a favorite being that of a beheaded Revolutionary War soldier who still rides at night in search of his head.  Crane, being the superstitious type, believes every word.
   In no time, Ichabod settles into his role as teacher, disciplinarian, choir leader, and rotating houseguest. It doesn’t take long for him to develop a crush on Katrina Van Tassel (Heather Taylor), the lovely daughter of the town’s wealthiest family. But Katrina already has a suitor, Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt (Michael Travis Risner), notorious for his boisterous personality, love of pranks, and great skill at wielding a sword.  Tensions rise as the romantic rivalry brews, culminating in a terrifying midnight ride and the mysterious disappearance of Ichabod Crane. 
   With a host of characters as colorful as they are authentic, and the tapestry of Washington Irving’s original words painted in rich images, suspense abounds in this tale of dark humor and gothic horror.
  PRODUCTION STAFF    Stage management by Lindsay Sullivan, Set Design by Jen Orf, Lighting Design by Shannon McKinney, Costumes by Sharon McClaury and Sound Design by El Armstrong.

Fridays                                 October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1 at 7:30pm
Saturdays           October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2 at 7:30pm
*Saturdays         October 12, 19, 26 and November 2 at 2:00pm
*Sundays            October 13, 20, 27, November 3 at 2:00pm
  * Matinee performances will be less graphic (more suitable for younger kids) than evening performances.
Pay-What-You-Can Preview
Thursday, October 3rd at 7:30 pm
Opening Night After Party -
Friday, October 4th
Super Senior Sunday
- Sunday, October 13th at 2:00 pm (Senior tickets are just $18. Free hot beverages).
Costume Contest – Saturday, October 26th (Come in costume to either the matinee or evening performance
and compete for prizes)!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Soul Spooktacular coming to The Fillmore Auditorium

Halloween Night 2013

w/ Zach Deputy, The Cosmic Horns and more TBA
Fillmore Auditorium
Thursday, October 31


Live Nation is pleased to present ‘Soul Spooktacular’ – Halloween Night 2013 featuring        KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE at The Fillmore Auditorium on Thursday, October 31. Special guests Zach Deputy, The Cosmic Horns and more TBA will open the show.                   Show time is 8:00 PM.  Doors open at 7:00 PM

Karl Denson has led a storied career as a multi-faceted recording and performing artist who first came to prominence as a member of Lenny Kravitz’ band debuting on his first release, Let Love Rule, and staying on for the next five years. While developing a following overseas, he joined Fred Wesley’s band, touring and recording with him on multiple releases. This led to five straight ahead jazz albums by Denson on Minor Music, the last of which was released to rave reviews and featured Karl in a trio setting with Miles Davis alumni Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. In 1993, Denson joined DJ Greyboy in creating Greyboy Records and released the legendary acid jazz staple, Freestylin. Out of that collaboration, Denson formed The Greyboy Allstars, which became world renowned as the ultimate groove band, spreading their “West Coast Boogaloo” style worldwide.

Denson took this formula to the next level by putting more emphasis on vocals and adding some funk, R&B and hip hop elements. It turned out to be a winning combination, which set KDTU on the top of the heap in the touring world and selling over 250,000 records to date. “My style is based in dance” shares Denson. “I love the idea of creating something that naturally makes people want to move.” KDTU has headlined and performed at US Festivals including Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, All Good Music Festival, Wakarusa Music Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival and many more. Global festival appearances include the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, North Sea Jazz festival in Holland, Moscow Jazz Festival in Russia, East Coast Blues and Roots Festival in Australia and the Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe has shared the stage with acts as diverse as Jack Johnson, D’Angelo, James Brown, Dave Matthews Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Allman Brothers, Keene and Maroon 5.

Denson’s latest release, Brother’s Keeper, continues his artistic evolution fusing sounds from Rock to Funk to Afrobeat. Meshell Ndegeocello (bass) and Marc Ford (guitar, Black Crowes, Ben Harper) are just some of the special guests on the album. Denson notes, “I’m not one to live in the past. I am very much a forward thinker.
Brother’s Keeper is a continuation of my general worldview, which is that we should be loving each other, having fun and taking care of one another.” He concludes, “This record is the culmination of all my life’s work up until now.”

at the Fillmore Auditorium Box Office, online at or call 800 – 745 - 3000 

Tickets are $26.00 GA ADV and $30.00 GA DOS plus applicable service charges.


The Fillmore box office is open Monday - Friday from 12:00 Noon - 6:00pm & Saturdays from 10:00am - 2:00pm.  On days of Fillmore shows, the box office is open from 12:00 Noon – 9:00pm. 

The box office accepts cash, MasterCard, Visa and American Express – No checks!  Service charges may apply. 

Part of the Bud Light Concert Series
 Ages 16+

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Denver Man Washed Into Culvert

During the floods last Friday, a man in the East Colfax neighborhood in Denver fell into Westerly Creek, got sucked into an underground culvert that takes the creek below Colfax Avenue, and emerged in Northwest Aurora. And he lived to tell about it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Poetry @ Play

Poetry@Play Poetry Event! 
Aurora Cultural Arts District
Join us for this very special event in the Aurora Cutural Arts District this Saturday, September 21st from 6:30-8:30pm. Poets will be reading their favorite original poems at the ACAD Gallery & Studios, located at 1400 DallasWe're pleased to announce Suzi Q. will be hosting the evening!
Suzi Q. is a dynamic Poet performing for audiences of up to 30,000 people and lighting up stages throughout the US for more than a decade. She has shared stages with the late Gil Scott Heron, Les Nubians, Dead Prez, Rev. Run, Talib Kweli and many more, performing at Colleges and Universities, night clubs, coffee houses, and festivals throughout the U.S. She is currently among the highest ranked slam poets in the country.
Also enjoy our Featured Poets Wayne Gilbert and Micheal Levell who will also be reading. Other highlights include a special Poetry & Art Exhibition along with a beer tasting by the districts new brew pub Mu Brewery!
Saturday, September 21st from 9:00-11:00pm, the evening will continue with poets reading their favorite Original Poems at the Collection Gallery, located at 9801 E Colfax Ave. It's Open Mic, sign up on site to participate. The beer tasting will continue at The Collection courtesy of Mu Brewery.
Thank you to our sponsor Councilwoman Debi-Hunter-Holen!
Interested in sponsoring the district? Learn more about our donation levels and the special perks for our sponsors.
Visit our web site:
Follow Us!
About the Aurora Cultural Arts District
The Aurora Culture Arts District (ACAD) is an independent non-profit organization leading local creative businesses, individuals, the local business community and area residents, partnering with the City of Aurora and other entities in efforts to enhance the district as a destination through cultural and educational experiences.
The Aurora Culture Arts District provides events for artists to share their work with the community via our annual Aurora Art Festival and other special events throughout the year. We support the arts in the community.
Membership has it's benefits!
Help us activate the Aurora Cultural Arts District! Join as a ACAD Creative Business, District Non-profit or an ACAD Supporting Business. We can help you get the word out.
All Rights Reserved.
Aurora Cultural Arts District
1400 Dallas Street
Aurora, Colorado 80010