The Denver metro area has a lot going on these days. Like, a lot. When you couple that with all the options there are for artistic consumption (movies, albums, television, podcasts, theater, semaphore versions of classic novels) it’s easy to feel like you’re always missing something.
To help with this, we put our heads together for our new bi-weekly feature, Out of Office (or O3 as the youths call it), where both Matthew and Clarke pick five things happening over the span of two weeks that are worth your time.
Look, we both know it’s difficult to get out of bed most days, but if you’re going to go out in the world, here are some less oppressive ways to while away our worthless lives…
Video Game Summer Backlog
In the old days of video gaming, summer absolutely sucked. The Electronic Entertainment Expo was in June, giving a glimpse into the future lineup of games coming out in winter for all of us to ask for in our Christmas list.
These days, it’s a full year lifecycle, and new, amazing games come out almost weekly. It’s impossible to keep up.
My advice: stop trying to keep up. Find the games you bought years ago and never beat. Find a cool, dark corner of the basement, toss some hip-hop on the stereo (if the games music sucks, but not always recommended) and crush out some summer backlog! Here’s my choices for this summer:
Persona 5 (PS4)
Final Fantasy 7 (available on every system almost ever made since PlayStation)
(also, a look at the Final Fantasy 7 remake!)
Stardew Valley (PC, Switch)
Also, don’t be afraid to buy used! Most places give guarantees on them working properly.
Union Station (nightly, but especially on Rockies baseball home nights)
If you are reading this and haven’t been to Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St. in Denver, in a few years, you probably live under a rock. The entire station has been re-imagined, adding a ton of hip new restaurants, a Tattered Cover mini-store, and a speakeasy mixology bar (name is spared, go explore and find it!)
However, for just an evening of relaxing and top-tier people watching, I highly recommend the Terminal Bar. Their appetizers aren’t near the price of getting a Rockie Dog in Coors Field, and their drink list is top quality, no matter what your poison is.
Their info and hours can be found at www.terminalbardenver.com.
✨Watch the birth of swamp creatures from the patio of REI in Platte🤦♂️
STOP 👏PLAYING👏 IN 👏THE👏 PLATTE 👏THAT👏 SHIT 👏IS 👏GROSS (literally)
However, if you and your soon to be three armed children absolutely must indulge in the horrific and smelly sludge, I will happily come and watch. The best spot is at the REI flagship store, 1416 Platte St. in Denver. They have a full-service Starbucks, great lounge chairs, and plenty of dining options nearby (if you still have an appetite after watching someone take a big drink of the Platte Water Soup of Life.
✨‘Pose’ airs new episodes on FX 💃
There’s nothing particularly special about these episodes of FX’s “Pose,” (that I’m aware of, since I haven’t seen them yet) but the show is so fucking good every single time, it’s worth celebrating anyway, particularly in a time when it seems like all the progress we’ve made as a society is being eroded by a bunch of hateful assholes.
The series focuses on the African-American and Latino trans, gay and gender-nonconforming ballroom scene of New York City in the 1980s and 90s (for reference, check out the classic documentary “Paris is Burning”). It deals with everything from HIV and cultural appropriation to the families we build and the world-saving power of empathy and acceptance. The cast is uniformly spectacular (special shoutouts to the luminous Indya Moore and note-perfect MJ Rodriguez) and the talent behind the scenes is just as remarkable. But the god Billy Porter damn near steals every scene he’s in as Pray Tell, master of ceremonies at the of the ball. 💃
In a single episode, “Pose” can absolutely shatter and dazzle you with the creative power of the human spirit. It really is that good.
Catch it at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16 and 23.
The Beths at the Globe Hall
As a listener, it’s always exciting when a band totally owns their shit on their first album, like they’ve worked out all the kinks before you’ve heard the first note.
New Zealand four-piece The Beths did just that on their debut album Future Me Hates Me, which was one of the best indie rock albums of 2018. It took everything that was great about their 2016 EP Warm Blood and made it bigger and better.
Made up of guitarist, lead vocalist, and primary songwriter Elizabeth Stokes, guitarist Jonathan Pearce, and bassist Benjamin Sinclair, they met at the University of Auckland, where all they were studying jazz. At first listen, that background might not be readily apparent, but their top-notch musicianship owes as much to jazz as the more obvious guitar rock of the 1960s influences.
The group will be performing at the Globe Hall, 4483 Logan St. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17. Get your tickets at www.globehall.com.
DISRUPT Festival featuring Sum 41, The Used, and Atreyu at Fiddler’s Green
Why does this get the festival tag? Sounds like another moderately cruddy rock show at one of the lamest venues in Colorado. Nonetheless, if you’re a 30-something, have a babysitter, and need to go release your teenage angst on some other suspecting rock-fans-turned-hipster, this is your best bet! Beer will be overpriced, it will be hot, and the mosh pit will be weak, probably with a bunch of people throwing fists and hardcore dancing. Bring your medical insurance card for the ambulance ride.
The show begins at 12:45 pm on Wednesday, July 17 at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, 6350 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. in Greenwood Village.Tickets can be found here: https://www.stubhub.com/sum-41-tickets/performer/44893/.
Colorado Renaissance Festival
If you answered “no” to needing a turkey leg halfway in your mouth, Ye Olde Coors Light to wash it down, and an epic joust battle forming in the middle of a high-mountain heat wave, turn around and try that answer again. The Colorado Renaissance Festival, 650 Perry Park Ave. in Larkspur, gives an average look back to the darker years of our past, and livens it up with plenty of modern fare.
**Side note. If you go dressed as a robot to warn people of the future, send me a picture and I will come shake your hand, master troll.**
You can warp back in time from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21, 27 and 28 and Aug. 3 and 4.
Additional info can be found at www.coloradorenaissance.com.
Band of Horses at Mishawaka Amphitheater
The music of Band of Horses is made for being played in open air, and if you can add the stars and the Poudre River, then what the fuck else could you ask for?
If at all possible, you should get yourself up to the Mishawaka Amphitheater, 13714 Poudre Canyon Highway in Bellvue, to see Band of Horses play with alt-country firebrand Nikki Lane at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 21.
Band of Horses, fronted by Ben Bridwell, have been making spacious alt-rock since their debut, Everything All the Time. They made it big with Case to Begin, which features “No Ones’ Gonna Love You,” but they’ve remained pretty damn listenable through all five of their albums.
Head to www.mishawaka.ticketforce.com to get your tickets.
Freddie GIbbs & Madlib’s Bandana gets physical release
I don’t foresee my commitment to supporting artists by buying the physical versions of their music (blame it on the fact that I was practically raised in a record store). So, I’m glad that a lot of hip-hop artists haven’t totally jettisoned the idea of releasing CDs and vinyl of their tunes a month or so after their music is released digitally.
Which makes Friday, July 26 an exciting day, since the best rap album of the year thus far will be released on disc and wax. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Bandana is the long-awaited sequel to Piñata and if possible, it’s even better. Bandana doesn’t have as many features as its predecessor, but the few they have are used with razor precision. It’s always great to hear Black Thought and Yasiin Bey do their thing, and Pusha T was made to rap about coke with Gibbs. But the two marquees names make the whole project worthwhile.
Here’s to hoping there’s a trilogy in the works.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens in theaters
I am absolutely one of those film nerds who gets all kinds of excited when Quentin Tarantino has a new flick on the way, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood might be his most crowd-pleasing release yet. For god’s sake, it stars Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie doing their best 1960’s cosplay.
You’ve probably seen the trailer, so you know that DiCaprio plays a preposterously pompous actor who has a regular stunt double, played by Pitt. Somehow the pair ends up chopping it up with Bruce Lee and eventually come into the orbit of Charles Manson and his Family. With Tarantino, you never know what kind of shit will go down next.
Tarantino has always been more than a little drunk on the history of cinema and making a movie that takes place in 1969 Los Angeles must have been ridiculously fun for the director. And on Friday, July 26, you can see the final product in theaters.
Get tickets at www.fandango.com.