Don’t call Renegade just another tap room

John Leyba/The Denver Post

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Does Denver really need another tap room?

Renegade Brewing Company, which opened in the heart of the Santa Fe Arts District last summer, answers that tired question with a definitive “yes.”

Everything about Renegade is definitive. And it’s exactly that gusto that separates the brewery from some of the city’s more traditional, comfortable venues for high (rather than mass) alcohol consumption. (more…)

The ‘Broment': As hipster stock dips, pop culture bets on a new breed of ‘bro’


Mike Cassese/Reuters

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Peyton Manning — 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, the knowing grin, that moonish forehead stretching nearly all 71 yards of his 400th career touchdown pass last Sunday — that guy, he’s the guy.

The guy with the most popular jersey in the NFL. The one selling us DirecTV packages between downs this season; the guy who persuaded us to buy a bunch of Papa John’s pizza during the Super Bowl back in February. The man who, at 36, is not just a Denver icon, but an icon for American bros young and old, far and wide. (Not least his little bro, Eli.)

We have arrived at the moment of the bro — “the broment.” Hipsters can leave now. Hipsterdom is dead. Bros reign with an iron fist pump.

Need proof? (more…)

Finding comfort at the last dive bar on South Broadway

Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

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“I need a shot. I got bit by a wolf.”

It was a half-wolf, half-German Shepherd, Derick Courtney later admitted. He was trying to get intimate with its owner, and the mutt objected. He has the scar between his fingers to prove it.

It’s Wednesday night at Badger’s Pub, the last dive bar on South Broadway.

Principal bar owner Kyle Gaines does not look down at Courtney’s hand — he merely pours him a shot of whiskey alongside one for himself. The two clink cheers. Down. (more…)

Back to the stoner age: 4/20 pot celebrations abound in Denver


Joe Amon/The Denver Post

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When Damon Metzner needed a quick fix to boost ticket sales for a concert late last August, he found the answer on an increasingly popular website: Weedmaps.com.

The event was a Monday-night hip-hop show at the Larimer Lounge, where Metzner works as marketing director. Advance sales for the concert with rapper Afroman, known best for the decade-old stoner anthem “Because I Got High,” were not meeting expectations.

Metzner used Weedmaps — a comprehensive directory of medical marijuana dispensaries nationwide — to find Denver’s most popular pot shops. Among several dispensaries, he mailed a stack of tickets to The Clinic, a two- story house with lime green trim on East Colfax Avenue. Each dispensary ran the promotion differently, but the idea was simple: Free tickets with purchase. (more…)

The faded glory of Penn State


Jim Prisching/AP

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There’s a deflated Adidas football sitting on a bookshelf inside my parents’ house a few miles outside Philadelphia.

“To John, Joe Paterno.”

He wrote it twice; once in gold and a few inches below in silver. The gold version is a little hard to read — I suppose he realized this after the first inscription and wanted to make sure I could see his name. I don’t know that for sure; I’ve never met the man. I’ve never even really seen him up close. Why does Joe Paterno even have a gold pen? (more…)

Wall Street Occupiers reveling in high-tech exposure


Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images

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Flash to an image of a shaggy-haired 20-something with his lips puckered against Brooklyn Bridge asphalt, arms crossed behind his back, wrists being zip-tied by a burly member of the NYPD, and it almost looks like a real revolution.

Almost.

Log on to livestream.com/globalrevolution — the official Internet video stream of the Occupy Wall Street movement — and it looks and sounds like a few teens regurgitating anarchist literature on a webcam in some suburban basement. (more…)

Social media changes riots’ clip, coverage

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Three years ago, notorious street artist Banksy turned heads with his iconic “One Nation Under CCTV” three-story graffiti commentary on a wall near London’s Oxford Circus — done stealthily as closed-circuit TVs monitored the area.

Those ever-present security cameras peering over much of central London’s business districts, however, can’t seem to deter rioting teens in an age of social-media aliases, encrypted text messages and trending topics buzzing up-to-the-minute riot info in pants pockets.

Unlike the Middle East uprisings earlier this year, the relationship between this week’s riots in Britain and Facebook, Twitter and other social-media platforms is not entirely clear. (more…)

Wilco’s ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ captured 9/11 horror before it even happened

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From the first moments of the first song on Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” — the definitive record from one of the definitive bands of the past 20 years — a sense of pain and confusion prevails.

Infusing the melancholy tunes: a gurgling antenna drone, a radio dial searching for a signal, a chaotic drum beat and a ringing alarm clock that leads into the lyrics:

“I am an American aquarium drinker
I assassin down the avenue
I’m hiding out in the big city blinking
What was I thinking when I let go of you?”
(more…)

Did art play a role in Tucson’s tragedy?


Pima County Sheriffs Department/MCT

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Piecing together what we now know, Jared Loughner is not that different from many other 22-year-olds in this country.

He found work at mainstream employers such as Quiznos and Banana Republic. He was restless in school, spent a lot of time online, enjoyed using drugs to trip out and uploaded a few half-baked videos to his YouTube channel.

He likes the heavy-metal bands Drowning Pool and Slipknot — the latter of which more than 5.2 million people also “like” on Facebook. (more…)

Tennis, at break point: On the road with Denver’s next big breakout


John Hendrickson

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Meet Tennis, an indie-rock daydream.

The band members are young and adorable. They wear cool clothes that complement their retro pop sound. They are swooned over by bloggers, and their back story is a little too good to be true (but by all accounts, is).

Tennis, the husband-and-wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, went from playing living rooms in Denver to touring nationally in less than six months. Now, as they prepare to release their debut full-length album in January, the pair wonders whether the tailwinds that carried their surf sound forward this past year will remain once winter comes. (more…)

Meet the Beatles (again) in 8 short essays

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The lawsuits are settled, the egos soothed and, finally, the Beatles have come to iTunes. For music fans – of all ages – the long and winding wait for history’s greatest rock band to hook up with the digital age’s most prominent music distributor ended Tuesday. And no doubt millions of ear buds are now channeling contemporary pop’s fab forefathers. Suddenly, the Beatles are new again, revived for loyalists’ playlists, reinvented for the download-only generation. The moment seemed right for some insight, in hindsight, about how the music played, and plays, four-plus decades later

Wander into any college dorm room, say, Farrand Hall at CU-Boulder, and odds are you’ll find at least one piece of Beatles memorabilia. Most common is the Abbey Road posterall grainy and precious and filled with fabled symbolism — the perfect fodder for stoned college conversation.

Or maybe it’s the “Sgt. Pepper” album cover, or a black-and-white shot of John in his sleeveless “New York City” T-shirt. Maybe it’s a crumbling album sleeve of “Rubber Soul” tacked to the ceiling, the actual record nowhere in sight, never to spin on a turntable. (You say you want a revolution? Run your thumb around that iPod clickwheel.) (more…)

First person: With Facebook, you can be all that you care to be

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“The Social Network” has everyone talking about the birth of Facebook, and that has inpired much discussion about what it has grown up to be.

When I look at my Facebook profile (as I did before, will soon after, and will certainly a few times before finishing this piece), I don’t necessarily like what I see. And that’s frustrating, seeing as I created this image of myself, an image that more people will view than I ever care to know.

Facebook is our consumer medium for self-actualization. It’s the wonder product on the 3 a.m. infomercial that we simply can’t live without.

It forces us — the more than 500 million Facebook users worldwide — to define ourselves by breaking down our existence into words, images, videos and hyperlinks. But defining ourselves was never meant to be that easy. This thing, this virtual organism meant to simplify our identity and bring us closer to our friends and family, usually leaves us with more questions than answers. (more…)

Are these people freaks?


Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post

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Monday night is when the freaks come out. In droves.

Old freaks, young freaks, gay freaks, straight freaks. Freaks in drag and freaks with cancer. They flock to the Bug Theatre, an old nickelodeon house in northwest Denver.

They pay $5 for admission and a plastic, bottomless cup the freaks of proper age can fill with not-so-freaky Breckenridge microbrews. (more…)

Classic pinball: The call of the silver ball


Daniel Petty/The Denver Post

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On a warm Thursday night in July, 11-year-old Josh Henderson of Chicago nervously shuffles on the patio of Lyons Classic Pinball. He’s waiting for Kevin Carroll, the long-haired, sleepy-eyed owner, to scribble the name of his next opponent on a piece of poster board taped to the outside window.

In the 6 1/2 years since it first opened, Carroll’s establishment has become a celebrated destination for pinball addicts. His third-Thursday summer tournaments routinely draw players from around the country, and, on some nights, the world.

“We’re on a cross-country family trip,” said Mark Henderson, Josh’s father and promoter. (more…)

Colorado’s dome on the range


Denver Post file photo

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In the spring of 1965, three former University of Kansas students purchased a 6-acre plot of land a few miles north of Trinidad for $450.

Their dream was to create large works of art in which they would live.

“Our long-term vision was that Drop City would function as a ‘seed’ for future communities that would sprout around the world,” said Clark Richert, one of Drop City’s chief architects, now a professor at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Lakewood. Drop City was among the most well-known rural communes in the United States, though all signs of human life had vanished from the property after less than a decade. Forty-four years later, its impact as both an artistic and social experiment is the subject of a documentary in progress. (more…)