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Five things to do in Denver

Ted Alvarez
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyThe band Math You plays electronic music inspired by old-school game machines like Nintendo. They play at the Hooked on Colfax Bookstore on Saturday in Denver.
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After the platinum-selling run of The Fray, lots of bands in Denver get tagged with “up-and-coming” and “next big thing,” but Born in the Flood is the real deal. Of course, it helps that Born in the Flood are actually really good: Their lush, expansive rock sound recalls bands like Coldplay or U2, but it’s tinged with stronger elements of experimentation and powerful lyrics and vocals filled with hope, sorrow and truth. It’s an emotional blast that luckily never gets “emo,” and it’s on full display in their recent record “If This Thing Should Spill.” Catch them live at the Hi-Dive, before they move to oh, say, the Pepsi Center.

What: Born in the Flood performs.

Where: The Hi-Dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver.

When: Friday, 9 p.m.

Cost: $7.

Info: http://www.hi-dive.com.

Lots of people live as closeted artists, secretly dreaming they could ditch the day job and make their bedroom masterpieces part of their livelihood. Luckily for them, Denver’s Building Creative Businesses expo offers visual artists, musicians, designers and all kinds of other creative types a chance to learn how to take that dream to reality. The Expo offers ample opportunity to network with fellow artists, bands and gallery owners, and workshops at the convention will show aspirants how to build a business plan, get financing and troubleshoot other real-world hurdles to making your art your full-time job. Of course, this ain’t your dad’s old business convention: Refreshments will be served and musical entertainment will be provided by Denver new wavers Cat-A-Tac and hip-hoppers Flobots.

What: Building Creative Businesses Expo.

Where: Wellington Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave.

When: Saturday, 10 to 4 p.m.

Cost: Ground floor exhibits and entertainment is free, but access to the workshops upstairs costs $5.

Info: http://www.denvergov.org/DOCA or call 720-865-4320.

“Chiptunes” describes a new genre of electronic music in which all the beats, melodies and elements are derived solely from old-school game machines like the Nintendo Entertainment System. It’s an inevitability of ’80s nostalgia that this would happen, but several Denver bands take their Mario- and Zelda-fueled inspiration to create wildly different songs, including plaintive ballads, hard-charging dance anthems and well, soundtracks to video games that never existed. Denver’s lucky enough to host several bastions of the scene like Math You, Ate Bitten and Thundercade. This is your chance to check them out all in one place.

What: Math You, Ate Bitten and Thundercade perform.

Where: Hooked on Colfax Bookstore and Cafe, 3215 E. Colfax Ave.

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Cost: Free.

Info: http://www.denvertronic.com.

East Colfax used to be a run-down no-man’s-land where few dared to tread, but the area has experienced a much-needed revitalization in the last few years with the introduction of several cool bars, galleries, restaurants and, yes, hipsters. Four of the hottest spots ” cupcake/cereal bar The Shoppe, fashion/art collective The Fabric Lab, collectible toy emporium Plastic Chapel and art gallery Neapolitan ” have planned a huge blowout to celebrate their newly cool nabe. DJs will spin tunes at all four venues, Fabric Lab will offer clothing sales, local artists will showcase their work at all four stops and revelers can treat themselves to free cupcake and beer at every stop. You can go in any order you want, just be there or be square.

What: East Colfax’s Super Block Party.

Where: Start at The Shoppe, 3103 East Colfax, and go door to door from there.

When: Saturday, 7 to 11 p.m.

Cost: Free.

Info: For event information, call 303-321-3604. For info on block party hosts, check out http://www.theshoppedenver.com, http://www.thefabriclab.com and http://www.plasticchapel.com.

It’s hard to visit the slew of awesome masterpieces on display at the Denver Art Museum and not wish you could take one home for your wall ” but that would get you arrested. The next best thing is DAM’s Magnificent Magnets, which enables visitors to create magnets from images of any of the masterpieces adorning the museum’s storied walls. The museum is providing this activity as part of its Life Meets Art program, which strives to provide museum guests a way to interact with great art in a meaningful way. You might never have a masterpiece on your walls, but it’s nice to know you can always have an Andy Warhol magnet slapped on your fridge to admire.

What: Magnificent Magnets.

Where: Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave.

When: Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.

Cost: $5.

Info: Call 720-913-0051 or visit http://www.denverartmuseum.org.


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