Five things to do in Denver and Boulder
Kaki King (born Katherine Elizabeth King) holds a unique place in the music world as one of the few acknowledged female guitar heroes. With her percussive tapping techniques and unique sense of melody reminiscent of Michale Hedges or Preston Reed, she brings unbelievable skill and talent not seen in many guitarists, male or female. While she began as an instrumentalist, she now adds vocals and lyrics to her spare, haunting songs, provng she can sing almost as well as she plays guitar. Her latest, Dreaming of Revenge, gets almost as vocally experimental as her previous albums did with guitars. Her instrumental chops still get her the most notice, though: She was nominated for a Golden Globe along with Eddie Vedder for her contributions to the Into the Wild soundtrack. Her live shows are said to be entrancing, containing both moments of quiet intimacy and stinging guitar heroism. Shes the only woman in history to be named one of Rolling Stones guitar gods; come find out why.What: Kaki King performs with the Mountain Goats.Where: Bluebird Theater, Denver.When: Friday, 9 p.m.Cost: $15-$17.Info: http://www.bluebirdtheater.net.
Comedienne Chelsea Handler has carved quite an empire for herself over at E!, usually a cable backwater for entertainment gossip and third-tier reality television, by using her biting snark to be the pitbull-with-lipstick of late-night talk shows. Her program, Chelsea Lately, skewers entertainers with glee, and by flying just below the radar, she has the freedom to follow her zany comedy wherever it leads her (think early Conan OBrien, but meaner and focused on tearing Tom Cruise a new one). Handler honed her comic instincts by performing cutting standup and writing two surprisingly funny books: 2005s My Horizontal Life and this years Are You There, Vodka? Its Me, Chelsea have topped bestseller lists with a bracing combination of outrageous oversharing and willingness to lampoon the authors foibles. Catch Chelsea signing copies of her latest book at the Tattered Cover; afterwards, she performs at the Paramount Theatre as a benefit for New Genesis, which helps provide transitional homes for the homeless.What: Chelsea Handler performs & signs copies of her book.Where: Paramount Theatre and Tattered Cover Bookstore.When: Book signing at 5 p.m., performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday.Cost: Book signing is free; benefit show is $35 to $75, with special $500 VIP passes available. Info: 303-623-0106 or http://www.tickethorse.com.
Unless youve been living under a rock, by now everyone knows comic books have ascended out of geekdom and into the land of the cool if its good enough for Robert Downey, Jr., its good enough for anybody. But a lot of us probably think we could breathe life into our own comic book, creating a new superhero for the ages. Heres your chance to prove yourself: The Denver 24-Hour Comic Book Challenge gives partcipants one day to flesh out a fully written, drawn and lettered 24-page comic book from 2 p.m. Saturday to 2 p.m. Sunday at Enchanted Grounds coffee house in Highlands Ranch. Winners get published in a national anthology of 24-hour comics, plus the glory of knowing you just became Stan Lee or Jack Kirby overnight. Participation is limited to 32 artists, and the event is popular with budding comic book illustrators, so get registered early. What: Denver 24-Hour Comic Book Challenge.Where: Enchanted Grounds, Highlands Ranch.When: 2 p.m. Saturday to 2 p.m. Sunday.Cost: $25 registration for participants; free for spectators.Info: http://www.squidworks.com/Events/2008d24hcc.html.
With her high, little-girl voice, Sarah Vowell first gained popular attention as an essayist for National Public Radio; shes since gone on to become a best-selling writer of everything from humor to history though most of her works have heavy dollops of both. (Shes also immortalized in one of the best animated movies of all time she voiced Violet, the force-field powered, shy teen daughter in The Incredibles.) Her latest book, The Wordy Shipmate, which chronicles the saga of the Puritans with wit, verve and of course hilarity. By jumping around in time and tracing modern ties with the Puritans, Vowell creates an ambitious, accessible, and dare we say fun account of some of the earliest cultural founders of our nation. Leave it to Vowell to conjure modern humor and relevance from a bunch of dudes with buckles on their hats.What: Sarah Vowell speaks and signs copies of her latest book.Where: Tattered Cover, Denver.When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.Cost: Free.Info: 303-436-1070 or http://www.tatteredcover.com.
The Black Angels may traffic in relentlessly popular psychedelic rock, but they bring a darkness with it. Rather than simply spew out noodly soundtracks to dropping acid, they create spiraling tapestries of guitar noise, often fraught with foreboding melodies and lyrical warnings. This might come from the fact that The Black Angels hail from Austin, Tex., home of such other legendary, dangerous psych-rock groups like the 13th Floor Elevators and Roky Erickson. Package his penchant for wild guitar inspiration with the more droning, menacing side of The Velvet Underground, and youre getting closer to the dark but inviting sound of The Black Angels. Their latest, Directions To See a Ghost, amps up the spook factor just in time for Halloween without getting overbearing or forgetting to rock out. Soon, theyll go on tour with Erickson himself, so we can only expect them to get even more out-there. Theyre also famous for creating intensely visual performances, so make sure and bring your … glasses.What: Black Angels perform.Where: Fox Theatre, Boulder.When: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.Cost: $15.Info: http://www.foxtheatre.com.
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