Five things to do in Denver, Boulder and … Keystone
This column is nominally about finding fun things to do beyond the mountains and out in the cities way over yonder, beyond the Front Range. But sometimes I’d be remiss to not mention something great going on practically in your backyard. Indie-rock champions Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will do the unexpected and bring their quirky rock tunes to the mountains ” Keystone to be exact. Their carnivalesque, whimsically introspective songs gained major traction on their debut album, but their most recent, “Some Loud Thunder,” showcases the band moving towards maturity without sacrificing any wit or skill. Frontman Alec Ounsworth has a love-it-or-hate-it whine reminiscent of David Byrne from the Talking Heads, but even if you don’t love his voice, he’s surrounded by chiming guitars, sinewy bass, and the bouncy keyboards that keep the songs afloat. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is joined by Boulder/Denver icons DeVotchKa and mashup wizard Girl Talk; best of all, the show is free, free, free.
What: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah perform.
Where: Keystone, River Run Gondola base area.
When: Friday, 8 p.m.
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Info: 800-468-5004 or http://www.keystoneresort.com.
Eating local has never been hotter: It’s good for the environment (less carbon emissions/fuel usage for transport), good for local economies, and hey, it just tastes good. If you’re a fan of trying to eat local, there’s even a name for you: locavore. Luckily, Colorado locavores have plenty of fantastic options, especially if they look just beyond their immediate area. Boulder County’s Cornucopia of Local is an indoor/outdoor farmer’s market with live music, presentations, displays and more, hosted by the Boulder County Farmers’ Market, Boulder Independent Business Alliance, Transition Boulder County, Colorado Friendship and the Outlook Hotel. And of course, there’s boatloads of quality local foods ” you’ll be able to sample everything from fruit to flowers, local squash to next-door-neighbor jerky. Best of all, you’ll learn how to maximize your local eating experience as you head into winter by attending seminars on canning, fermenting, freezing and drying food, extending the growing season, and winter soil building.
What: Boulder County’s Cornucopia of Local food fair.
Where: Boulder Outlook Hotel.
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If ever there was proof that rock n’ roll will never die, you can find it in Australian rockers AC/DC. Their nihilistic, primal approach to rock music boils it down to the finest essentials, and they’ve crafted dirty, humongous rock songs for well over three decades now. But live, they possess none of the geriatric posing of the Stones or faded glory of countless other surviving classic rock bands: They still play the devil’s music, and they play it as fast, loud, evil and unruly as they ever did. While AC/DC could easily coast on their old hits forever and everyone would be happy, they went one better and just released “Black Ice,” a new album with songs that are as shockingly good as they are familiar. With AC/DC, it’s not a question of whether they stick to a formula; it’s that they can wring so many great songs out of that formula. They do just one thing, but they do it better than anyone else.
What: AC/DC performs.
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver.
When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Info: 303-830-8497 or http://www.pepsicenter.com.
Being an underground rapper can be a precarious situation. On one hand, most will make the same boasts and raps about their prodigious rapping ability, or skills with the ladies, or general hardcore-ness. But on the other, clearly they’re not rolling with Jay-Z in a yacht. So how do those aforementioned boasts wash? Los Angeles-based MURS takes a different tack: He dubs his style “Sitcom rap,” wherein he uses elements from everyday life and makes them entertaining and exciting. MURS (which stands for Making Underground Raw S***) might have jumped onto a major label (Warner Bros.) with his latest, “MURS for President,” but he still keeps his Rhymesayers-style penchant for introspective rhymes and innovative beats. Live MURS shines like few rappers do onstage; here’s your chance to catch him, and I’d suggest you do it now ” just in case he blows up and starts hanging out with Jigga.
What: MURS performs.
Where: Fox Theatre, Boulder.
When: Saturday, 9 p.m.
Info: 303-447-0095 or http://www.foxtheatre.com.
I think most of us can agree that by and large, fine art takes itself too seriously. Though plenty of high-art schmancy-pants have incorporated humor into their work, rarely is the point just to be funny. The Art Student’s League of Denver hopes to remedy this with “This Is Hilarious,” a new exhibit that makes being funny the point of all the art within the show. Featuring full works by students, members and faculty, the two- and three-dimensional pieces on display nevertheless diverge to focus on all kinds of funny: You’ll find art that’s satirical, ironic, silly, and even just plain goofy. One piece where all converge showcases Ray Charles, James Brown and Little Richard all trick-or-treating together; it’s a glorious combination of recognizable faces in a truly bizarre situation. But in dark times like these, maybe we could all use a little more laughter from the art world.
What: Art Student’s League of Denver’s exhibit “This Is Hilarious!”
Where: Art student’s League headquarters, Denver.
When: Daily from Friday through Dec. 19.
Info: 303-778-6990 or http://www.asld.org.