Five things to do in Denver
Vail CO, Colorado
Music snobs, this is your night: Tom Moon authored “1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die,” and while his selections of rock, jazz, classical, roots and more is likely well considered, you’re bound to have a few bones to pick. Still, this comprehensive guide is a fantastic way to dig deep into the foundation of virtually any band you like to learn what came first and inspired them. This book serves as an audio complement to to Patricia Schultz’s “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” The Beatles, The Stones, Elvis, Chopin ” who will make the cut, and which songs did Moon choose? Come and learn how music journalist Moon settled on his list, and debate what he missed and what he should’ve cut. With over 1,000 recordings on hand, you’re bound to agree on something. Then you can have him sign your copy of the book.
What: Tom Moon, author of “1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die,” speaks.
Where: Tattered Cover, Denver.
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Info: http://www.tatteredcover.com or 303-322-7727.
Remember when you were a kid and dinosaurs were the coolest thing in the entire world? Well, if you’re smart, you never got the memo to quit them, because dinosaurs are still the coolest thing in the world. Starting today, the new exhibit “Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries” at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science underscores this with fantastic displays and hyper-informative features. Highlights include a 700-square-foot recreation of the dinosaur-infested Liaoning Forest, hands-on opportunities to dig for fossils and set plaster casts, and education centers with interactive tools and games. It’s worth it just to have a microraptor model glide over you in the forest, transporting you to a place you wish you could have gone when you were little. And when you get tired, you can always sit back and watch the IMAX film “Dinosaurs Alive,” which uses advanced scientific data to recreate these incredible beasts in 3-D.
What: “Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries.”
Where: Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
When: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., begins Friday.
Cost: $11 for adults; $6 for kids.
Info: http://dmns.org/dinosaurs or call 303-322-7009.
Baltimore is home to more than crippling poverty, crime and “The Wire”: A burgeoning music scene has revitalized Charm City in recent years, and hometown heroes Ponytail are the current darlings of the indie noise-rock circuit. Combining the noisy theatrics of Lightning Bolt with the DIY-fuzz pop of The Pixies and precision of the nearby D.C. post-punk scene, Ponytail emerge as something joyous and different. Imagine a band of kooky kids exploding into squeals with the abandon of The Who, but only after downing a case of Pop Rocks, and you’re closer. Even though they remain mostly wordless, something about their punctuated hoots, hollers, and croons stays infectious and exciting. Their new record, “Ice Cream spiritual,” is out now on We Are Free Records. Live, Ponytail is known for both over-the-top exuberance and musical precision, which is pretty much how they sound on record, only sweatier. Catch them at Denver’s premier DIY venue, Rhinoceropolis, which is about as dirty as you’d expect but with much cooler art on the walls.
What: Ponytail performs.
When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
What is it about Iceland? The tiny country with almost no trees but plenty of natural wonders seems to sprout musical groundbreakers fully formed from the ground, like the gnomes and trolls of its folklore. Of course, Bjork has been the standard-bearer for many years, but ambient/spacey/whatever rockers Sigur Ros are no slouches either when it comes to pure experimentation. Known for creating sprawling aural dreamscapes and singing in made-up babble, they’ve inexplicably found themselves a place in modern pop music. Their latest, “Med sud i eyrum vid Spilum Endalaust,” features their first song sung in English rather than Icelandic or the made-up Hopelandish. This is cemented by the fact that they’ll play Red Rocks, a signature venue to signal your complete ascension into rock permanence. Sigur Ros might be one of the best-suited bands to play Red Rocks; their primal, autumnal sound reaches to capture the grandiosity of nature, and they’ll be performing in a stadium half-formed by it. Should be a night to remember.
What: Sigur Ros performs.
Where: Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Great American Beer Festival might get all the headlines, but that doesn’t mean Denver’s Oktoberfest isn’t a smorgasbord of incredible brews, food and fun. On this, the last weekend of the free festival, you’ll get to chug gigantic $5 beers, nosh on pretzels and bratwurst, and engage in all manner of goofy competitions, including beer-belly, pretzel-eating, chicken-dancing, keg-rolling and beer-pong battles. This year, the new Long Dog Derby races wiener dogs to raise money for the Colorado Dachsund Rescue foundation. Those looking to burn off their beer bellies can engage in the 10K/5K Das Hustlehoff, a running and walking race that takes off from the festival. All events go down in the Ballpark neighborhood on Larimer between 20th and 22nd streets, and remember, the shindig is free, free, free.
What: 39th Oktoberfest Denver.
Where: Larimer between 20th and 22nd streets.
When: Friday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Info: http://www.oktoberfestdenver.com or 303-685-8143.
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