Boulder Weekly 01.04.2024

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CONTENTS 01.04.2024

FROM THE DIVIDE TO YOUR DOOR! Offering Glass Bottle Options

23 Courtesy: Amazon MGM Studios

05 OPINION New rules for writing opinions and letters BY BOULDER WEEKLY STAFF

12 ADVICE Dear Whole Foods Daddy BY GABBY VERMEIRE 14 COVER Your 2024 performing arts guide BY JEZY J. GRAY AND TONI TRESCA

26 NIBBLES The future of food: crickets, ketchup machines and ubiquitous ube BY JOHN LEHNDORFF


The unhoused, remembered


What’s your local gov’t up to?


Lower bus fares, flyer kerfuffle and more


Where to go and what to do


Romance and racial politics collide under the guise of satire in ‘American Fiction’


ASTROLOGY Prepare for hell, Libra

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29 GOOD TASTE Wing Shack’s secret sauce

31 WEED MAPS, MDA and the FDA


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Volume 31, Number 20 PUBLISHER: Francis Zankowski

E DIT ORIAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Shay Castle ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR: Jezy J. Gray REPORTERS: Kaylee Harter, Will Matuska FOOD EDITOR: John Lehndorff CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Will Brendza, Rob Brezsny, Michael J. Casey, Dan Savage, Toni Tresca, Colin Wrenn, Gabby Vermeire






BOOKKEEPER: Emily Weinberg FOUNDER / CEO: Stewart Sallo As Boulder County’s only independently owned newspaper, Boulder Weekly is dedicated to illuminating truth, advancing justice and protecting the First Amendment through ethical, no-holdsbarred journalism and thought-provoking opinion writing. Free every Thursday since 1993, the Weekly also offers the county’s most comprehensive arts and entertainment coverage. Read the print version, or visit boulderweekly. com. Boulder Weekly does not accept unsolicited editorial submissions. If you’re interested in writing for the paper, please send queries to: Any materials sent to Boulder Weekly become the property of the newspaper. 690 South Lashley Lane, Boulder, CO 80305 Phone: 303.494.5511, FAX: 303.494.2585 Boulder Weekly is published every Thursday. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. ©2024 Boulder Weekly, Inc., all rights reserved. Boulder Weekly welcomes your correspondence via email (letters@boulderweekly. com). Preference will be given to short letters (under 300 words) that deal with recent stories or local issues, and letters may be edited for style, length and libel. Letters should include your name, address and telephone number for verification. We do not publish anonymous letters or those signed with pseudonyms. Letters become the property of Boulder Weekly and will be published on our website.


STRONG OPINIONS, LOOSELY HELD New rules for writing Boulder Weekly op-eds and letters BY BOULDER WEEKLY STAFF


e love the opinion content that’s been populating the pages of Boulder Weekly lately. Thank you to all the community members who have written in. To those who haven’t (yet), a rundown of what we’re looking for might inspire you to get writing an op-ed (short for opinion-editorial, these are longer pieces) or letter to the editor (also known as LTE, these are shorter) that run in the front of our paper. These guidelines are for you, but they’re also reflective of the standards we strive to set with all our coverage.

We hope you’ll hold us to them. If you feel we’ve missed the mark, let us know. Even if you follow all the rules to a T, it’s not guaranteed your piece will run. Sometimes we just don’t have the space. If we missed you the first time, keep trying. We want to hear from you. Introduce yourself. One thing every letter and op-ed needs is your name and a short, 1-2 sentence description of who you are and what you’re about. Example: Shay Castle is the editorin-chief of Boulder Weekly. She

NEED AN EXAMPLE OF A ‘GOOD’ OPINION PIECE? FIND TWO ONLINE: Columnist Dave Anderson talks to Boulder’s new labor leader ( and Fairview junior Emma Weber writes about BVSD’s Green New Deal for Schools (

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OPINION enjoys hiking, yoga and napping in patches of sunlight. What can you write about? Put simply: anything you want. You, dear readers, are the community — the experts on what matters to you. In the past few weeks, we’ve run opeds and letters on international politics, roller skating, disability issues, cycling infrastructure and critiques of our own coverage. The first question to ask yourself is: What do I care about? What do I want to see in my local paper? Is there something you think deserves more

attention? If you’re still unsure, expand that to what’s important in the community as a whole. How many people will be impacted? Bonus points if it’s timely (happening now-ish) and topical (relevant to other stuff we’re writing about). Extra bonus points if you give the readers something to do: an article to read, an elected official to email, a cause to support or even just an idea to reconsider. If you’re not completely sure, send us a note with your idea. We can help you refine it, plan for a publication date and give you pointers.

How do you write a persuasive, thoughtful op-ed or letter? We’ll boil it down to a few simple rules, explained in more depth below: Keep it tight, keep it kind and always, always cite your sources. As with all rules, there will be exceptions. We’re not looking for perfection here, just a solid attempt at respectful engagement and debate.


While we have unlimited space online, the printed pages are more confined. Opinion pieces should be between 450-900 words. Letters should be no longer than 350 words. This is also just a good rule for writing generally. As Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) says in The Office: “Why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?”


If you’re making a factual claim, provide a source. You can do this with your words (“According to ….”), with links to news articles or other supporting documents. Good example (this is acceptable, and we would publish it): “According to the New York Times, Trump said he wanted to ‘root out’ the ‘vermin’ on the Left. This echoes Nazi rhetoric about Jewish people.” Bad example (we would not publish this as-is): “Trump wants to put us all into concentration camps.”


Your opinion should seek to educate, not berate. Information is power: Use your words to empower readers instead of pumping yourself up as smarter or somehow superior. That means kindly explaining things that aren’t general knowledge. Just because you have an intimate understanding of, say, local zoning law, doesn’t mean everybody does. Use language that is broadly accessible. Opinions should 6

JANUARY 4, 2024

enlighten, not confuse. Leave the big words for crossword puzzles. Good: “Like many cities, Boulder doesn’t allow duplexes, triplexes or apartments to be built in most of the city’s neighborhoods.” Bad: “Boulder’s labyrinthine zoning regulations limit development to single-family residences on a majority of parcels within the city.” (See also: anything written by George Will.)


We really can’t say it any better than this. While thoughtful critique of arguments is appreciated (healthy, even), your writing should still respect the inherent humanity of all people — even the ones you disagree with. This one can get tricky at times, particularly when writing about people who have done truly heinous things. Try to focus on the behaviors that are problematic, not the person. Boulder Weekly will edit out any and all hateful speech and libelous claims. They have no place in the paper. Good: “Jane Doe overlooks the fact that not everyone has disposable income.” Bad: “Jane Doe is a stupid and evil person who hates poor people.”


Most of the issues in our community aren’t black-and-white, good-versusevil. There’s room for a little grace. Good: “While it’s true that the shelter has an average of eight unused beds each night, it has also turned away dozens of people — one out of every five nights, when the shelter is full.” Bad: “There are never enough beds at the shelter; anyone who says there are is clearly not paying attention and wants to convince us that Boulder County is providing adequate services.” Now it’s your turn: What rules do you think should govern healthy debate? You can let us know in your very own LTE or op-ed: letters@ (for letters) or (longer op-eds). BOULDER WEEKLY


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‘EACH AND EVERY NAME’ 54 unhoused residents remembered at annual memorial BY SHAY CASTLE


ore than 150 community members gathered Dec. 19 to remember 54 unhoused individuals who died in 2023. It was unusually warm for the week of solstice, a stark difference from last year, when record-breaking cold prompted the opening of an emergency warming center and shelter in East Boulder. The gathering in Boulder was just one of many across America as part of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, typically held on the darkest, longest night of the year. The mortality rate of people experiencing homelessness — already 3.5 times higher than the general population — has been climbing nationally in recent years as the population ages and drug overdose deaths increase. In Denver, deaths rose by 50% between 2022 and 2023, the Colorado Sun reported in August. Boulder County’s deaths jumped sharply in 2019 and have stayed elevated ever since, according to reporting from annual vigils and data from the coroner’s office. From 2013 to 2018, an average of 17 unhoused people died each year. That rose to an annual average of 27 between 2019

and 2022 (data for 2023 will be released by the coroner later this year). The list of the dead honored at Boulder’s memorial event is much longer than the one compiled by the coroner, with 20 additional people, on average, each year from 2019 to 2022. That’s because it includes people who were housed at the time of their deaths but also experienced homelessness at some point. In past years, nonprofit Bridge House — which hosts the vigil — delineated between those who were housed and unhoused when they died. This year, there was no distinction. It was “difficult and pointless,” said Scott Medina, Bridge House’s director of community relations, at the Dec. 19 memorial. “Whatever your day of passing” — housed or on the streets — “you likely lived decades less.” In Denver and Sacramento, the average life expectancy of a person experiencing homelessness was 47, according to a 2018 study. In Seattle, it was 54. Those remembered in Boulder County included 40-year-old Amanda VanMatre, “a bright-eyed, loving moth-

Names of deceased unhoused community members are displayed Dec. 19, 2023, at Glen Huntington Bandshell in Boulder’s Central Park. Credit: Shay Castle

er,” recalled Jennifer Livovich, founder of nonprofit Streetscapes, who experienced homelessness locally herself. David Mentus, father of two, was 49. Candace, “Candi” Weber, whom Livovich remembered as “thick-skinned and snappy — one of my favorite people,” was 46. Adam Fadenrecht was 35; Clinton Desroches, 33. James Patrick Hall shared his memories of Leo Lehtonen, whose “smile stood out.” Hall is the executive director of Rocky Mountain Refuge, a shelter and hospice for terminally ill people experiencing homelessness. “Each and every name is a person,” Hall said of the people remembered at the memorial. “Each and every name is a friend.” The crowd that gathered at Boulder’s Glen Huntington Bandshell in down-

town Central Park was bigger than in recent years. Between 50 and 100 people typically attend; this year, more than 150 people did. For the first time, “servants” of the unhoused community were honored, too, including Widd Medford, Bridge House’s director of its Ready to Work program, and Abel Ramos, one of the first members of Boulder Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). Ramos was “a police officer who treated me and my friends with uncommon respect,” Livovich said. “He drove me to Fort Lyons [Recovery Program]. His last words to me were, ‘Livovich, don’t find a husband in there.’” “He left me with a better taste in my mouth about officers and policing,” Michele Rodriguez said of Ramos.

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David Mentus

Adam Fadenrecht

Diane Boatman

Amanda Vanmatre

Francisco (Cisco) Montoya

Karen Finch Kenneth West

Randy Bonnes

Frieda Burney

Kristen Harsch

Ray (Luke) Bordelon

Leo Lehtonen

Ricky (Shadow) Duran

Billy Shackleford Blake Beverly

Glen Luthjohn

Brad Toay

James Dobson

Bradley Hoffman

James Jacobson

Brenton Honstein

James King

Candance Weber

Janet Shriver

Clinton Desroches Coleman Pearson

Javier SalinasPontifes

Dallas Bradshaw

Jeffrey Briggs

Daniel Creel David Martin

Rodriguez sued the City for excessive force during an arrest while she was experiencing homelessness. This past year saw a marked expansion of homeless services, including targeted solutions for people with substance abuse and other medical issues. Boulder has housed

1,039 adults experiencing homelessness since October 2017, but in some cases, it can still take months to years to find people homes. “I remember watching her name climb up the housing list,” Livovich recalled of Kristen Harsch. “It wasn’t fast enough. It never is.”

Jarrod Johnson

Joseph Sarinana

Nathan Wallace

Joshua Bolt

Penny Benson

Lisa Marie Gregg Mario Gomez

Robert Hawley

Mathew Banuelos

Stephen Alvey

Michael Chase

Terry Sanchez Thomas Allen

Michael Mason

Tranton Gage King

Michael Mondore

William Carter

Joe Starr

Michael Phillips

Jordan Bohms

Michael Schramm

William Crosby

The online version of this article includes memories of some of the deceased. Boulder Weekly found what information it could about the individuals listed here by researching obituaries and contacting providers and volunteers, in addition to public comments shared at the Dec. 19 memorial. If you have memories you would like to add, please email scastle@

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Council will hear the results of the 2023 Community Survey, a comprehensive poll that measures citizens’ satisfaction on a number of issues. The last survey was conducted in 2018. Officials will also check in on Boulder’s facilities master plan, which calls for consolidation of City buildings into two campuses (East and West) and increased investment in infrastructure. 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11 — virtual. Watch on YouTube or Channel 8 (TV)


The Board of County Commissioners will have its 2024 reorganization meeting, which includes the State of the County address, on Tuesday, Jan. 9 starting at 9 a.m. Other agenda items include a public hearing on Parks & Open Space’s 2023 real estate acquisitions (11:30 a.m.) and a Commissioner decision on the proposed changes to short-term and


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vacation rentals in unincorporated Boulder County at 1 p.m. If adopted, amendments would require short-term rental units to be the owner’s primary residence. Those rentals would be allowed in all districts and subdivisions, but vacation rentals still wouldn’t be allowed in subdivisions. Staff also recommended limiting the number of vacation rentals in the county. The Commissioners will also make decisions following public hearings on Thursday, Jan. 11 about permitting a seasonal structure at Boulder Country Club (11:15 a.m.) and a special review request for a vacation rental on Nebo Road at 1 p.m. Agendas are subject to change. Full agendas are published online one day before meetings at boco. org/Meeting-Portal. Attend virtually through Zoom or in person at the Boulder County Courthouse, 3rd Flood, 1325 Pearl St. Visit the open meeting portal to search videos, agendas and live meeting streams: portal



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AT A GLANCE Boulder County news briefs BY KAYLEE HARTER


RTD lowered its rates across the board for the first time at the start of the new year. Three-hour passes decreased from $3 for local or $5.25 for regional to $2.75 for local or regional, day passes (not including airport) went from $6 to $5.50, airport travel went from $10.50 to $10 and a monthly pass including airport went from $200 to $88. Discount fares for seniors, individuals with disabilities, Medicare recipients and individuals enrolled in RTD’s income-based fare discount program are set for $1.35 for a three-hour pass, $2.70 for a day pass and $27 for a monthly pass, all of which include airport travel. The changes came after a yearlong study that aimed to create fares that were more equitable and affordable, according to an RTD release.


Boulder City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde apologized in a Dec. 22 email to the community after the Parks and Recreation department removed “kidnapped” flyers on the Pearl Street Mall relating to missing Israelis after the Oct. 7 attack. The flyers were removed at the request of community member Andrew O’Connor, who wrote in an email to the City that the flyers were “hate speech” and “akin to posting White Supremacists or Neo-Nazi posters or pictures of Hitler.” Rivera-Vandermyde wrote in an email to O’Connor that she and the City organization “disagree with your conclusions that the flyers depicting pictures of Israelis missing after Oct. 7 constitute ‘false propaganda’ or is akin to ‘hate speech.’” She wrote that staff had “good intentions” in removing the flyers, but that “such removal was done too hastily.” “Political speech is protected by our Constitution, and if we as a local government are going to provide a ‘town square’ opportunity for paper materials to be posted in a city park, we cannot make contentbased decisions,” Rivera-Vandermyde wrote. She wrote that the City will be “shoring up” its policies and practices relating to the management of the billboards.

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In Boulder Weekly’s Dec. 21 issue, the “Marshall Fire Recovery” story said Boulder County’s Recovery Navigator program stopped accepting new clients on Dec. 1. That was the original plan, according to an Oct. 12 County press release, which was updated with a clarification on Dec. 21. A second Nov. 9 release said those interested in the program were encouraged to reach out by Dec. 1. “Recovery Navigators will continue to help those impacted by the Marshall Fire through the end of the program in March 2024. A Dec. 1 intake deadline was recommended to allow enough time to receive the recovery support needed,” the County wrote to clarify its Oct. 12 press release. BOULDER WEEKLY

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Your burning Boulder questions, asked and answered


e all have questions and need advice, but sometimes the pseudo therapy in the Instagram stories of astrology girls doesn’t cut it. Or maybe the gate-keeping culture of adventure bros has you fearing the judgment that comes with revealing yourself as a newbie at anything. This advice column exists to hold space for you and your Boulder queries (especially the uncool ones).

wake up, or from some weird Boulder dude who will only bring you down and maybe inspire some art (or memes) in due time. Take or leave this advice from a jaded crone of 27: The magical boy who will see your lowest points and adore the ever-loving poop out of you, or in your words, to love you like you’re brand new — he exists. You probably know where this is going by now, but it’s you, baby. External validation is nice, but you won’t be in the form to receive that love if you don’t recognize how brand-spanking-new you are in the first place.


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For a moment in history, the stretch of Pearl between 11th and 9th streets was briefly the horniest and grooviest place in the universe. Even if the initial reason for closing West Pearl to cars was questionable in hindsight — Was walking close to people outside really worse for public health than indoor dining? — the result was inarguably some super rad pedestrian times. Do I think the Powers That Be saw how quickly folks embraced a pedestrian world and that it challenged the car-worship status quo enough that it had to be shut down? I don’t not think it!



This question feels like seeing a heartbroken early-20s woman with mascara-streaked tears in the Bitter Bar bathroom and knowing exactly how she feels, despite being on the other side of a mature prefrontal cortex. I wish I could hold you and tell you that he’s not worth it, sweetie, even if he is 6’3” and looks like a Fjallraven model. (Oh, he’s actually a Fjallraven model? OK, still not worth it.) Sweet baby girl, of course you’re brand new, but you won’t find the validation you’re seeking in the sheets of a beard-y, leftist CU grad student, nor from the lanky Trident poet whose pretty words only amount to just that. You won’t find salvation from insecurity in the emotionally unavailable ultrarunner who is 50 miles gone and four energy gels deep by the time you


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Me, bitch! Sure, the pasta itself is whatever the exact opposite of al dente is, but it fully serves its purpose as a mushy vehicle for so much cheese. But do we go to Pasta Jays because we want to feel like Tony Soprano at Vesuvio? No! We go to Pasta Jays to crush entire bottles of cheap Chianti until you and the equally drunk Wisconsin dad at the next table are both quoting Moonstruck to each other. In the profane hall of gross decadence that is Pasta Jays, this is the meaning of la famiglia.

3) You might think stuffing yourself with sushi and sake at Japango would bust your budget. However, thanks to the high per-capita rate of lonely, rich older men in this (socially transactional) land of plenty, your cute face can get you as much sashimi as you can shove into it.


Wide, flat-brimmed hat with a feather in it. Imagine kissing a man with a wide flat-brimmed hat with a feather in it. Imagine kissing him in public. Imagine kissing him in the middle of closeddown West Pearl while everyone whose opinion you’ve ever valued looks on in judgment as you kiss a grown man who has chosen to dress like the silliest of period piece villains. This man is a walking pyramid scheme. Pro tip: If you are a man with a pyramid scheme, do not advertise it.

Welcome, sweet summer child. Did you Got a burning Boulder question or land in Boulder, your stomach full of conundrum? DM @wholefoods_ anticipation for your sexy mountain life, daddy on Instagram, or email letters@ but with so much hunger? Here are a with the subject few suggestions: line “Dear Whole Foods Daddy.” 1) I’ll let you in on a secret: Even drunk people can’t finish all their fries at the Pub. Courtesy: Netflix 2) You know how the fancy cheese at Cured Dedalus (old habits die fast) is 1. delicious, 2. rather expensive, and 3. sold per weight? You can finesse this tricky situation by purchasing very, very, tiny amounts of cheese. BOOM, you’re welcome. You can thank me when the cheesemonger is not at all annoyed by what you are doing. BOULDER WEEKLY



1) Kick the minimalist aesthetic

No doubt, the Alpine Modern, Scandinavian-chic interior decorating trend was cool when it was novel. “Wow, this coffee shop is so lovely to look at, all of the surfaces are either white or light-paneled wood, and it’s so bright! This must be what it feels like to live in the land of Skarsgård brothers and socialized healthcare  ” But now, it’s spread like a virus in ubiquity: Every new coffee shop, healthy mid-price range salad chain, co-working space

and niche-retail spot in Boulder adopts the minimalism aesthetic like a construction code. And, the Ikea-core charm is soon lost once the wooden stool of a seat makes your booty feel downright serf-like, and your ass is not getting any fatter from those tiny pastries and Nordic room temperatures. The time has come to bring back utilitarian design and embrace authenticity. Give me Vick’s NoBo (RIP); give me fluorescent lighting and linoleum floors and tables covered with the discarded Daily Cameras of old men past; give me Moe’s Broadway Bagel vibes on every goddamn street corner.

2) Stop gatekeeping the trails

Do you feel like a big man when you make a post on the r/Boulder subreddit mocking people who over-prepare for trails? Do you feel like a very big, outdoorsy boy when you point out how cringe it is for people to bring a back-

pack to hike Royal Arch while your 5-year-old ascends Bear Peak armed with only a Nalgene? Congrats on your kid’s absolutely jacked calves, gatekeeping bro. However, I regret to inform you that you can’t “win” trails or win outside. Maybe in 2024, you greet that fellow traveler, so soft under their hiking aid, with a small smile and then shut the fuck up? (Side note: You can still lose outdoors by blasting music from your portable speakers.)

3) End the generational cycle

At some point, promoting the most overt forms of diet culture became increasingly distasteful. It turns out, you can’t even give teenage girls an instruc-

tion manual to develop an eating disorder without risking being canceled on the onlines. Well fear not, the Boulder moms have and will always pick up the mantle of passing the family heirloom of a terrible relationship with food onto their doomed offspring. To the well-meaning Boulder moms, I’m truly sorry that the Powers That Be convinced you that an extra-brutal morning run is the correct punishment for last night’s extra scoop of low-carb ice cream. It might be too late to deprogram yourself, but it’s not too late for your daughter whose hunger signals have not yet been destroyed by laxative abuse extremely healthy detox supplements. The best part is, you don’t have to do anything — just use every ounce of self-restraint in your body to not comment on homegirl’s Freshman 15.

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TURNING UP ’24 Your guide to the can’t-miss concerts heading to the Front Range this year BY JEZY J. GRAY


t’s never too early to start planning your concert calendar for the year. That’s why Boulder Weekly is looking ahead to bring you a roundup of the best shows coming to our little corner of the Front Range over the next few months. From indie rock standard bearers Yo La Tengo at Boulder Theater to Southern “countrygaze” breakouts Wednesday at the Gothic in Englewood, these are the performances you absolutely cannot miss in 2024.


8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. Resale: $85+ 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, Washington’s, 132 Laporte Ave., Fort Collins. $30 Few contemporary musical institutions are built to last quite like Yo La Tengo. Formed in 1984 by husband-wife creative team Georgia Hubley (drums, vocals) and Ira Kaplan (guitar, vocals), the outfit gelled as the current beloved trio in the early ’90s with the addition of bassist and vocalist James McNew, kicking off a golden era for the celebrated band that continues to this day. From the 1997 masterpiece I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One to last year’s stellar-as-ever This Stupid

World, the New Jersey mainstay’s shapeshifting sound — sometimes hushed and delicate, other times drenched in ear-splitting feedback — have surfed the waves of time and taste over the past four decades by Yo La Tengo. Credit: Cheryl Dunn staying true to a sound that never sits still. My Friends Are Going to Hell” and After last year’s scheduled Boulder “There Is Power in the Blood,” leverTheater performance was postponed aging a straight-faced and strangely due to Hubley’s knee surgery, Yo La powerful spin on a religious folk tradiTengo stops by the city’s historic tion to dazzling effect. downtown venue on Feb. 16 for a “A lot of people see Charismatic make-up show presented by Paradise Christianity and the evangelicals as Found Records and Music — folsmarmy, and there’s truth in that. And lowed by a second Front Range show there’s a lot of ugliness that I’ve found the next night at Washington’s in Fort with many, many, many forms of swinCollins. Whether you’re an old head or dling and scandal and alienating — otha curious newcomer, you do not want ering — of people,” she told Paste in a to miss these living legends in our own recent interview. “But, at its heart, the backyard. teachings of finding communion with God through a miracle, through your personal experience is, I think, really fascinating.” REV. KRISTIN MICHAEL


8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, Bluebird Theater, 3317 E Colfax Ave., Denver. $50

After retiring her trauma-tinged experimental project Lingua Ignota with a pair of sold-out shows last year at the purportedly haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, critically lauded musician and performance artist Rev. Kristin Michael Hayter returns to the Front Range with a divine new record in tow. A warbling and woozy mix of old-timey Christian hymns and haunting new originals, Saved! finds the classically trained pianist and singer trembling with the terrifying power of a fire-and-brimstone revival Rev. Kristin Michael Hayter. Courtesy: Sargent House barker on offerings like “All 14

JANUARY 4, 2024


Mean”), the latest from the BrazilianAmerican musician is the sound of an artist expanding the boundaries of what’s possible in her own carefully crafted sonic universe. “There was a lot less questioning and a lot more strength in execution [on All of This Will End]. It was a wild energy that we were harnessing, and [that] felt more fun, and more explorative at the same time,” the Ashevillebased 26-year-old artist told the LGBTQ magazine Them last spring. “There was so much room to explore within that structure of the album because of how strong the structure was, and the foundation of all the songs. It was a very easy space to move around within; it felt like it offered a lot of space to play.”


8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. $35 Missouri-born pop singer Chappell Roan wants it all — and she gets it on her 2023 debut, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess. The maximalist mission statement from 25-year-old Kayleigh Rose Amstutz thumbs its nose at gate-kept notions of taste, scrambling the boundaries “high” and “low” art in a singular, infectious package that has earned the singer high praise among critics and a growing legion of devoted fans who are no doubt stoked about the emerging star’s

8 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway, Englewood. $25

On the heels of her transcendent third LP All of This Will End, released last spring via independent juggernaut Saddle Creek Records, singer-songwriter Indigo De Souza brings her bigger, bolder brand of popminded, folk-tinged indie rock to Englewood’s Gothic Theater on April 2. From the melancholic loneliness of fading friendships (“Losing”) to white-hot anger sparked by the transgressions of a problematic romance (“You Can Be

Indigo De Souza. Credit: Angella Choe



Chappell Roan. Credit: Ryan Clemens

upcoming April 9 performance at Boulder Theater. “I think Chappell’s a drag-queen version of me because it’s very largerthan-life: kind of tacky, not afraid to say really lewd things,” Amstutz told Vanity Fair in a September 2023 interview. “The songs are kind of the fairytale version of what happened in real life. A lot of the songs are just enhanced versions of what happened — or maybe they never happened at all.”

Gregory Alan Isakov, plus Jeff Tweedy of alt-country legends Wilco and celebrated singersongwriter Joy Oladokun. Featuring three separate events over two days, the festival once again hosts its stripped-back Strings and Stories session alongside its weekend slate of full-speed performances.


Don’t sleep on these Boulder Weekly interviews in the weeks ahead JOHN JORGENSON BLUEGRASS BAND

Jan. 14 - Dairy Arts Center, Boulder


Jan. 23 - Larimer Lounge, Denver

BUCK MEEK OF BIG THIEF Slaughter Beach, Dog. Courtesy: Ground Control Touring

Jan. 27 - Globe Hall, Denver

Any music artists coming to the Front Range you’d like to see profiled in these pages? Email BW arts and culture editor Jezy J. Gray:

Florida, Georgia) and engages his tastebuds (spinach, cheddar, caviar, buttercream, margaritas). He’s tender in bars and funny in cars. And vice versa. Most impressively to me, he consistently finds the divine and sacred in the everyday: church pews in a diner, toast bearing the image of Christ.”

8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. $28

Joy Oladokun. Credit: Hannah Foslien


Various times. Sat.-Sun., April 20-21, Macky Auditorium - CU Boulder, 1595 Pleasant Ave. $49-$259 Once the new kid on the block, Boulder’s Bluebird Music Festival now boasts half a decade of bringing some of the leading acts in roots music to the CU campus. With past performers like Waxahatchee, Ben Harper, Margo Price and more, it’s not hard to see why this annual Americana blowout has become the city’s most anticipated live-music weekend of the year. The 2024 bill promises to be yet another banger. This year’s spring-slated lineup is anchored by a trio of can’tmiss headliners: Boulder’s own BOULDER WEEKLY

Wednesday. Credit: Brandon McClain


8 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway, Englewood. $28


Rising from the ashes of defunct emopunk favorites Modern Baseball, Philadelphia indie rock band Slaughter Beach, Dog has built an equally fervent fanbase in the years since their 2016 debut. That’s thanks in large part to the folk-forward sensibilities and straightforward lyrical prowess of frontman Jake Ewald, who started the outfit as a solo project but has since added a full slate of performers to the mix. Ewald will tap back into the one-manshow vibes for a special solo performance at Fox Theatre on April 17, supporting his latest LP Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling, out now via Lame-O Records. “I’ve always admired Jake’s eye for detail, and it’s on full display here,” Craig Finn of The Hold Steady said in a press release for the new record. “It’s an album filled with gorgeous imagery and vivid worlds built within each song. He careens around the country (New Jersey, Baton Rouge, San Antonio,

“There’s moments of real wonder, ones that are incredibly affecting, even if Parks’ delivery is subtle,” NME reviewer Thomas Smith wrote of the new record upon its release last May. “It’s often not how Parks says it, but the depth of emotion and meaning of the words that tumble out of her; ‘My Soft Machine’ leaves no doubts of her talent as a songwriter, or the deftness of her phrases and structures.”

Arlo Parks. Credit: Alexandra Waespi


8 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $35 British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks holds darkness and joy in equal measure. That much is clear on first listen of her accomplished sophomore album My Soft Machine, which finds the Mercury Prize-winning musician deepening her already fine-tuned approach to storytelling and songcraft. Flexing a maturity and confidence beyond her 22 years, the London-based Parks’ latest full-length collection finds the rising artist with her feet planted firmly underneath.

Fresh off a breakout year, North Carolina “country-gaze” rock outfit Wednesday bring their critically lauded fusion of feedback-drenched guitar and weeping pedal steel to the Gothic Theatre in Englewood on May 28. Led by frontwoman Karly Hartzman and guitarist Jake “MJ” Lenderman, the rising quintet made the biggest splash of their so-far brief but brilliant career with the release of their fifth album, Rat Saw God — a beautiful and bruising collection of story-driven songs that elevate everyday tragedies and triumphs by casting the Southern gothic tradition in a bold new light. “I think it’s worth anyone trying to think about their life as a story,” Hartzman told The Line of Best Fit last year. “Shit is happening to people all the time, even when you’re coming home from work and you see something insane on the street. We’re so desensitized to it all, but if you wrote it down and looked at it a month later, you’d probably realize just how many great stories you have to tell.” JANUARY 4, 2024



STAGING THE NEW YEAR Boulder County’s 2024 theater season promises a suite of unforgettable performances BY TONI TRESCA


oulder County’s 2023 theater season was a mosaic of spectacular highs and poignant lows. The 66th Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s King Lear, featuring the brilliant Ellen McLaughlin, and the world premiere of You Enjoy Myself at the Dairy Arts Center by Local Theater Company were standout events. The Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC) welcomed a fresh leadership duo, Jessica Robblee and Mark Ragan, promising an exciting future. Additionally, the extension of the 2A tax marked a significant commitment to the arts in Boulder. However, the year was also tinged with sadness as BDT Stage, a longtime beacon of Boulder’s performing arts scene, announced it would officially close its doors after nearly half a century of producing dinner theater following its run of Fiddler on the Roof on Jan. 13. BDT’s shuttering leaves a void in the community, with the city now bereft of a full-time building dedicated to theater. Furthermore, according to the Colorado Business for the Arts 2023

Economic Activity Study of Denver Metro Culture, in-person attendance is down 15.6% across arts and culture organizations since 2019. Despite these challenges, local theater companies are gearing up for a 2024 season filled with ambitious productions.

BOULDER ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY (BETC): WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME. JAN. 26-FEB. 11 (DENVER) AND MAY 3-19 (BOULDER) The Savoy, 2700 Arapahoe St., Denver | Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder

BETC kicks off 2024 with the regional premiere of last year’s most-produced play, What the Constitution Means to Me. A finalist for Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2019, this comedic one-woman show is helmed by playwright Heidi Schreck, who traveled the country as a teenager competing in American Legion speech competitions to save money for college. She delves into the four generations of women in her family and how the founding document shaped their

What the Constitution Means to Me. Courtesy: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company


JANUARY 4, 2024

One Man, Two Guvnors at the 2023 Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Credit: Jennifer Koskinen

lives, sharing her perspective on the constitution then and now. “Right now, the Supreme Court has three cases in front of it that will have an enormous impact on the presidential election,” says Mark Ragan, BETC’s managing director. “The nine justices who make up that tribunal can change our lives overnight — and have already changed the lives of women throughout the country with their reversal of Roe versus Wade. What the Constitution Means to Me looks at this outsized influence through the lens of one woman and four generations of women in her family. But this is no dry play. It is funny, poignant, beautiful and relevant.” Ragan says the biggest problem facing the theater industry is “attracting younger audiences, followed closely by the perennial issue of how to pay for it.” However, he remains optimistic that BETC will be able to rise to the occasion, as the new leadership team’s first three shows were all sold out or at 90% capacity. In addition to its mainstage offering, the theater is producing two improv shows, King Penny Golden Radio Show and Mad LIBrarians, in Denver. May 2024 will find BETC partnering with the Boulder Ballet to bring Broadway and Royal Ballet choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and Joffrey Ballet’s Victoria Jaiani to Boulder.


On the student side, CU Presents is staging vastly different offerings this year. First up is Anon(ymous), a play by Naomi Iizuka that adapts Homer’s Odyssey through the eyes of a refugee in the United States. Later in the semester, the uproarious farce The Play That Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields crashes onto the stage as audiences witness the Cornley University Drama Society’s newest production fall apart (to hilarious effect) on opening night. Over the summer, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival will be offering a slimmed-down season to accommodate the massive renovations on the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre and the surrounding Hellems buildings. Tim Orr, producing artistic director of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, has tailored the 2024 season to their new indoor space, the Roe Green Theatre. BOULDER WEEKLY


acts of faith. Credit: Michael Ensminger

“We’ve never produced Macbeth inside, and it’s filled with the supernatural, which begs for a dark, intimate, theatrical environment,” Orr says. “The Merry Wives of Windsor is Shakespeare’s original sitcom. It’s a total gas, and we loved the idea of producing it indoors with sort of a ‘studio audience.’ And Arden of Faversham has long been on our original list of, ‘We’d love to do this someday but it’d never work on the Rippon,’ so this seems like the best year to do it.” Orr sees the challenge of adapting to post-pandemic audience habits but is excited about the potential of the new venue. “I think reminding the public of the joy and thrill of live theater is the key,” he says. “There are very few surprises on a TV in your living room, but come to the theater and you’re in for it. And as for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, with a brand new indoor theater and a grand re-opening of the new Mary Rippon Outdoor Theater on the horizon, the future is very bright.”

LOCAL THEATER COMPANY: ACTS OF FAITH, FEB. 1-18; LOCAL LAB, MARCH 14-17; AND 237 VIRGINIA AVENUE, MAY 2-26 Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder | The Savoy, 2700 Arapahoe St., Denver

Local Theater Company’s 2024 season is a vivid reflection of its commitment to use the stage to tackle current events. Written by David Yee starring co-artistic BOULDER WEEKLY

King Lear. Credit: Jennifer Koskinen

director Betty Hart and directed by fellow co-artistic director Pesha Rudnick, the play acts of faith follows Faith’s journey from a lovesick teen to a warrior seeking justice. Rudnick describes the play as the “most inventive and poetic stories I have encountered in years. I am over the moon to welcome Boulder and Denver audiences who didn’t catch it at the Aurora Fox last year.” In the world premiere of 237 Virginia Avenue, playwright David Myers takes audiences on a whirlwind tour through the history of American home ownership. “A generation ago, a singleincome family could attain ownership, but that’s not the case today,” says coartistic director Nick Chase. “Playwright David Myers takes us on a time-traveling journey through 400 years of U.S. history, showing us that the game was rigged a long time ago. All of this is done through two actors playing 10 characters. Both of these plays grapple with lofty themes in ways that are funny, thoughtful and entertaining.” In addition to these productions, Local Theater Company is excited to bring back Local Lab for its 13th season. The Lab will feature three plays and provide insights into the company’s Democracy Cycle project. This initiative, a partnership with Curious Theatre Company and Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival, is a testament to Local Theater’s commitment to fostering important conversations about democracy in America. “Boulder County is filled with intelli-

Holidazed and Confused. Courtesy: Theater Company of Lafayette

gent, compassionate, curious people who want to have a novel experience; Local Theater Company provides that,” Hart says. “Boulder audiences are willing to see a play before the masses have deemed it great. They are trendsetters. They demonstrated this with the overwhelming passage of 2A: Boulder Country values the arts.”

THE ARTS HUB: NEWSIES, JAN 12-21; SWEENEY TODD, MARCH 1-10; AND RENT, JUNE 7-16 The Arts HUB, 420 Courtney Way, Lafayette

The Arts HUB’s season kicks off with Newsies, a high-energy, crowd-pleasing musical that promises to draw in audiences of all ages with its inspiring story and catchy tunes. According to marketing and events coordinator Clara Wendland, Newsies “is one of the largest productions we’ve had yet.” It is also directed by Jessica Swanson, who was nominated for a Broadway Denver award for her choreography on the May production of Beauty and the Beast. Later in the season, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street offers a darker, more complex narrative, providing a stark contrast with its intense storyline and complex characters. Sweeney Todd returns to civilian life after being falsely imprisoned for 15 years in eerie London, ready for vengeance. This is a special collaboration between The Arts HUB and Tracy Warren, a BDT Stage veteran. Summer

brings Rent, an iconic Pulitzer-winning show set at the height of the AIDS crisis, follows a group of modern-day bohemians who struggle to survive on the Lower East Side of New York City.


Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson St., Lafayette Beginning with Snakes!, a motley crew of wannabe documentarians ventures into the darkest reaches of the Everglades, only to become lost and surrounded by giant killer Burmese pythons. Snakes! is part Cocaine Bear and part Sharknado but with a stronger environmental message. Next up, TCL stages Molière’s The Misanthrope, which aims to blend classic themes with contemporary relevance. The lineup continues with The Vagina Monologues, offering a poignant and often humorous exploration of women’s experiences. Later in the year, Twilight Zone Parody: Serling Centennial promises a foray into the fantastical and surreal, while Holidazed and Confused offers a lighthearted, festive evening of one-act plays to end the year. JANUARY 4, 2024


EVENTS FRI. 1/5 - 8:00PM

Heavy DiaMonD Ring & DaviD LawRence & tHe SPoonfuL w/ oLivia De La cRuz SUN. 1/7 - 5:00PM

LavenDeR SaRR anD tHe wHeeL PReSent aLice in “winteR” wonDeRLanD an evening of encHanting BuRLeSque MON. 1/8 - 7:00PM

oPen Mic witH Steve KoPPe FRI. 1/12 - 8:00PM

JaSon BRanDt BanD w/ PaMeLa MacHaLa BanD anD Racyne PaRKeR SAT. 1/13 - 7:30PM

aLt RocK outeR PLanet SHowcaSe w/ nine wiDe SKy anD MR. KnoBS


Noon-1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, Full Cycle Bikes & Colorado Multisport, 2355 30th St., Boulder. Free End the week on two wheels during Full Cycle’s Friday Lunch Ride series. This casual, 90-minute ride is a great way to let off a little steam and connect with fellow cyclists. Route will be determined by the weather, with riders leaving the shop at noon sharp.



9 a.m.-noon. Saturday, Jan. 6, Boulder. Free (registration required)

7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, Junkyard Social Club, 2525 Frontier Ave., Suite A, Boulder. $10



Fast, fierce and awe-inspiring — birds of prey are a sight to behold. Catch a glimpse of their majesty on this self-guided tour with designated stops around Boulder that offer your best shot at spotting these amazing creatures.

Fire performances, craft cocktails, food trucks and live music are just a few things in store during the Forever Chained Fashion Show — along with handmade chainmail clothing and jewelry at this “metallic fashion extravaganza.”



FRI. 1/19 - 8:00PM

aRi HeSt witH SPeciaL gueSt SAT. 1/27 - 7:30PM

tHe DeLta SonicS (BLueS Dance PaRty) TUE. 2/6 - 6:30PM

BLueS w/ DfK anD tHe LaB RatS, Live BRoaDcaSt on 88.5 Kgnu WED. 2/14 - 8:00PM

coMe fLy witH Me a vaLentine’S Day tRiBute to noRaH JoneS FRI. 2/16 - 8:00PM

DeaD aLive Purchase Tickets at 4747 Pearl Suite V3A 18

JANUARY 4, 2024


1-2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, Longmont Public Library, 409 Fourth Ave. Free Middle and high schoolers are invited to a cozy afternoon filled with crafting and refreshments at the Longmont Public Library. Bring your own supplies or use what the library has to offer at this free event that’ll get the creative juices flowing in the new year.


1-5:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, The StarHouse, 3476 Sunshine Canyon Drive, Boulder. $45 Want to start the new year with clarity? Cleanse your mind, body and soul in the waxing moments of 2024 at The StarHouse’s “ceremony of Kundalini Yoga, breathwork, meditation and gong for clearing the past and being reborn.”

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, Avanti Boulder, 1401 Pearl St. Free We may be in the final weeks of the 2023-2024 NFL regular season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the full Sunday slate of games all in one place. Avanti’s spacious layout offers room to spread out and enjoy offerings from the bar and food vendors while you’re at it. BOULDER WEEKLY





Jan 3r

show timme 8:00p




show timme 8:00p

4-6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. $20

Enrich your moviegoing experience alongside filmmaker, podcaster, programmer and historian Jack Hanley as his film education series continues at the Dairy Arts Center. Culminating with a screening of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite on Jan. 21, this week’s session focuses on the art of sound and music.


Jan 4


Noon-2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8, Firehouse Art Center, 667 4th Ave., Longmont. Free Sometimes the best way to ignite that creative spark is by leaning on others who are in different stages of the process. That’s the idea behind Firehouse Art Center’s monthly artists’ circle, where you can further your own creative projects while sharing ideas and inspiration.




7-8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, Broomfield Library and Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road, Broomfield


Jan 5

In the Bar

Chuck sitero and liz patton In the Bar

Antonio lopez, jeremy

show timme dion, and anna cutler 8:00p

Kgnu Presents




jan 6

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Here’s your chance to dive headfirst into parts unknown — vast fantasy worlds or mind-bending marvels of science fiction. This group is for people ages 18+ who are looking for an opportunity to let their love for these imaginative genres run free.

Hannah porter denecke


Jan 7

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Jan 10

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Jan 11

Greg schochet & little america with clay rose


Jan 12

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Jan 14


4-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, Macky Auditorium, 1595 Pleasant St., Boulder. $22 What happens when musicians with the pedigree of pianist-composer Aldo López-Gavilán and clarinetist Ricardo Morales join forces? Find out when these two giants take the stage at Macky Auditorium as part of the Boulder Phil’s Masterworks series. BOULDER WEEKLY


6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, Brewing Market, 2770 Dagny Way, Lafayette. Free “Amazing things happen when women get together in community” says the event listing for Wine, Women & Health. This monthly meetup offers a chance to connect with other women on the topics of business and wealth management over appetizers and wine.


12:30-2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, Junkyard Social Club, 2525 Frontier Ave., Suite A, Boulder. $125 Want to start off the New Year by picking up a new pastime? Join this fourweek beginner American Mah Jongg class at Junkyard Social Club, offering a brief history and rundown of the game’s major components, plus your own National Mah Jongg League card. Classes are followed by $5 dropin open play sessions at 3 p.m.

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Jan 17

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Jan 18

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Jan 19

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+ $4

$10 + $4

service charge

Aaron mitchell In the Bar

Matt flaherty In the Bar




$13 service charge

$14 + $4

service charge


Vitalwild and Zaje In the Bar

Katie Mintle In the Bar

Cris jacobs with earl nelson

$17 + $4

service charge

Chuck sitero and liz patton In the Bar

JANUARY 4, 2024


LIVE MUSIC TH URSDAY, JAN . 4 CHUCK SITERO WITH LIZ PATTON (OF HIGH LONESOME). 8 p.m. Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St., Boulder. Free

• Gifts for any cook • Fun and colorful kitchenware • Specialty foods, local and imported • Gadgets, cookware, and kitchen essentials • Louisville’s one-of-a-kind kitchen shop 728 Main Street • Louisville • 720.484.6825

DENNY DRISCOLL. 6 p.m. Bootstrap Brewing Company, 142 Pratt St., Longmont. Free ETHAN FRANK & FRIENDS. 7 p.m. Muse Performance Space, 200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette. $20 TIM HILL COMBO. 7 p.m. Tune Up Tavern and Espresso, 2355 30th St., Boulder. Free WORST YEAR EVER WITH TELEVISION GENERATION, TONGUEBYTE AND IF YOU’RE LEAVING. 8 p.m. Globe Hall, 4483 Logan St., Denver. $15 NOCHE SALVAGE WITH LOS HERMANOS MUÑOZ. 9 p.m. Hi Dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver. Free THE FRETLINERS WITH BILLY FAILING BAND AND FRIENDLY REMINDERS. 8 p.m. Aggie Theatre, 204 S. College Ave., Fort Collins. $17

FRID AY, JAN . 5 ANTONIO LOPEZ WITH JEREMY DION AND ANNA CUTLER. 8 p.m. Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St., Boulder. $17 NU BASS THEORY WITH WRENN WANN. 6 p.m. Trident Booksellers & Cafe, 940 Pearl St., Boulder. Free CHRISTOPHER MORSE. 6 p.m. BOCO Cider, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14, Boulder. Free SALOME SONGBIRD. 6:30 p.m. Stone Cottage Studios, 3091 7th St., Boulder. $30 MOON.UNIT WITH KOKI RENWICK. 7 p.m. Muse Performance Space, 200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette. $20 20

JANUARY 4, 2024

HEAVY DIAMOND RING WITH DAVID LAWRENCE & THE SPOONFUL AND OLIVIA DE LA CRUZ. 8 p.m. Roots Music Project, 4747 Pearl, Suite V3A, Boulder. $15 BW PICK OF THE WEEK CASPER ALLEN WITH THE THREADBARONS AND CODY MAC. 8 p.m. Globe Hall, 4483 Logan St., Denver. $15 THE SALESMEN WITH BILLY CONQUER, TUFF BLUFF AND CANDY CHIC. 8:30 p.m. Hi Dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver. $15 FRIEND OF A FRIEND. 8 p.m. Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver. $19 DJ DIESEL WITH LAYZ, SO TUFF SO CUTE AND SOFTEST HARD. 7 p.m. Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop St., Denver. $45 EMO NIGHT BROOKLYN. 9 p.m. Aggie Theatre, 204 S. College Ave., Fort Collins. $15 BAD BRITTON WITH DAYTON STONE AND THE UNDERTONES, KAEPORA AND FRENCH CUFFS. 8 p.m. Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $20

S ATURDAY, J A N . 6 CHRIS KNIGHT WITH ADAM HOOD. 8 p.m. Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. $25 GREGG GREEN. 6 p.m. Canyon Tavern, 32138 Highway 72, Golden. Free GREG SCHOCHET WITH LITTLE AMERICA AND CLAY ROSE. 8 p.m. Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St., Boulder. $14 VON DISCO. 6 p.m. Trident Cafe, 940 Pearl St., Boulder. Free MOUNTAIN REVERB. 6 p.m. BOCO Cider, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14, Boulder. Free BOULDER WEEKLY


DISTRICT COURT, BOULDER COUNTY, COLORADO PO Box 4249, Boulder, CO 80306 1777 6th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

ON THE BILL Front Range folk-rock outfit Heavy Diamond Ring comes to Roots Music Project in Boulder with David Lawrence & the Spoonful and Olivia De La Cruz on Jan. 5. The band returns to the People’s Republic on the heels of their latest album, All Out of Angels, featuring a guest spot from fellow Colorado local Nathaniel Rateliff. Scan the QR code for an interview with singersongwriter Paul DeHaven before you go. See listing for details.

JOHNNY O. BAND (NIGHT 1). 8 p.m. The Louisville Underground, 630 Main St. $15

JOHNNY O. BAND (NIGHT 2). 8 p.m. The Louisville Underground, 630 Main St. $15


THE DROPTINES WITH ESTIN & THE 86’D. 8 p.m. Globe Hall, 4483 Logan St., Denver. $15

TREATY OAK REVIVAL WITH THE WYATT WEAVER BAND. 8 p.m. Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway, Englewood. $99 (resale only) TAYLOR FEST. 9 p.m. Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. $25

SU ND AY, J A N. 7 BEYOND COMPREHENSION. 4 p.m. BOCO Cider, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit 14, Boulder. Free ASHA ROMEO WITH ALAINA DEBELLEVUE. 7 p.m. Muse Performance Space, 200 E. South Boulder Road, Lafayette. $20 BOULDER WEEKLY

MONDAY, JAN . 8 JOHNNY O. BAND (NIGHT 3). 8 p.m. The Louisville Underground, 630 Main St. $15

TUE SDAY, JAN . 9 JOHNNY O. BAND (NIGHT 4). 8 p.m. The Louisville Underground, 630 Main St. $15

Want more Boulder County events? Check out the complete listings online by scanning this QR code.

In the Matter of the Petition of: JACOB THOMPSON (name of person seeking to adopt) For the Adoption of a Child Case Number: 23JA30038 Division: M NOTICE OF HEARING To: Jason Robert Marquez Pursuant to §19-5-208, C.R.S., you are hereby notified that the above-named Petitioner(s) has/ have filed in this Court a verified Petition seeking to adopt a child. An Affidavit of Abandonment has been filed alleging that you have abandoned the child for a period of one year or more and/or have failed without cause to provide reasonable support for the child for one year or more. You are further notified that an Adoption hearing is set on 01/18/2024 (date), at 3:00 p.m. (time) in the court location identified above. You are further notified that if you fail to appear for said hearing, the Court may terminate your parental rights and grant the adoption as sought by the Petitioner(s). DISTRICT COURT, BOULDER COUNTY, COLORADO PO Box 4249, Boulder, CO 80306 1777 6th Street, Boulder, CO 80302 In the Matter of the Petition of: JACOB THOMPSON (name of person seeking to adopt) For the Adoption of a Child Case Number: 23JA30039 Division: M NOTICE OF HEARING To: Jason Robert Marquez Pursuant to §19-5-208, C.R.S., you are hereby notified that the above-named Petitioner(s) has/ have filed in this Court a verified Petition seeking to adopt a child. An Affidavit of Abandonment has been filed alleging that you have abandoned the child for a period of one year or more and/or have failed without cause to provide reasonable support for the child for one year or more. You are further notified that an Adoption hearing is set on 01/18/2024 (date), at 3:30 p.m. (time) in the court location identified above. You are further notified that if you fail to appear for said hearing, the Court may terminate your parental rights and grant the adoption as sought by the Petitioner(s).

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STRAIGHT, NO CHASER Romance and racial politics collide under the guise of satire in ‘American Fiction’ BY MICHAEL J. CASEY


ome people bite the hand that feeds them. American Fiction’s Thelonious “Monk” Ellison wants to chew it whole and spit it back out. Before we get there, first this: American Fiction is funny. It’s easily among the funniest movies I saw last year. If you see it with an audience half as engaged as the one at the Denver Film Festival, where it was the opening night attraction, you’ll need a second viewing just to get all the jokes in writerdirector Cord Jefferson’s script. But American Fiction is also quite caustic. Based on the 2001 novel Erasure by Percival Everett, the film centers on Monk (Jeffrey Wright), a writer with high standards and low

sales who has just written a very childish book trafficking in over-the-top Black stereotypes. It’s bad in an obvious way, and Monk knows that; it’s what he was aiming for. What he didn’t expect — though maybe should have — was that the worse the quality of the book, the more people would want to buy it, read it and praise it as a work of authentic expression. Now, a publisher is ready to ink a deal for three-quarters of a million dollars, with movie rights netting a cool seven figures. Monk wants to walk away and reveal that the book — which he has retitled with an obscenity in hopes of killing the deal — was a pointed criticism of the publishing industry and nothing more. But Monk’s agent, Arthur (John Ortiz),

refuses his ideology. Who cares about principles when there’s money to be made? Monk, that’s who. So Arthur provides him with American Fiction’s central metaphor: Johnnie Walker scotch. For the non-drinking crowd, Johnnie Walker is a popular brand of blended scotch whisky you can find just about anywhere. The most common is Red Label, which isn’t great but sells for $25 a bottle. The Black Label is a bit better and costs $50. Then there is the lauded Blue Label, which retails for a couple hundred dollars a bottle. Try all three side-by-side, and there’s little doubt that Blue Label is measurably better than Red. But Red sells more bottles of scotch than Blue could ever dream of. Do you see where Arthur is going with this? Of course you do — there are parallel examples in practically every industry. But where Arthur’s metaphor falters is in his belief that Monk could be Johnnie Walker and use his poorly written exploitation of Black trauma to fund his highbrow novels. In reality, the publishing industry is Johnnie Walker, and Arthur, knowingly or not, is

trying to convince Monk to accept his role as a Red Label writer. How much American Fiction wants the audience in on that distinction is up for debate. Monk is a cliché, grumpy, selfish artist with daddy issues pushing everyone away. His brother, Cliff (Sterling K. Brown) — a recently out-ofthe-closet plastic surgeon with a drinking problem, a nose full of coke and a revolving door of boy toys — is also cliché. And they’re both funny as hell. So funny it’s hard to tell if Jefferson is mocking them or inviting the audience to laugh along with him. The only one not a caricature is Coraline (Erika Alexander), Monk’s neighbor and love interest. She’s recently separated from her partner and ready for the next step. She finds that in Monk, a person she thinks is funny. Not ha-ha funny, but sad funny — like a three-legged dog. Cliff laughs the hardest when he hears that one. Coraline has read one of Monk’s books and liked it. She has opinions and tastes. And Monk throws all of that out the window when he discovers she’s reading his fake book and likes that one, too. Coraline is the audience that can appreciate Red Label and Blue Label without contradiction. Monk has no time for that. And yet, Monk is the hero of American Fiction, through which Jefferson seems to speak the clearest. And not because Monk is full of wisdom, but because he is filled with frustration about what he wants to say versus what he has to say to get attention. No wonder the movie’s “choose your own adventure” ending is presented more with a shrug than a shout. Sometimes the hand bites back.


American Fiction opens in wide release Jan. 5.

Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison in American Fiction. Courtesy: Amazon MGM Studios


JANUARY 4, 2024



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ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19): The plan I will propose in this horoscope is for temporary use. I’m not recommending you stick to it for all of 2024 — just for the next 15 to 18 days. If you do, I believe it will set you up for beautiful success in the coming months. Here’s my idea: Embark on a free-form extravaganza of playing and having fun. Just for now, set aside your ambition. Don’t worry about improving yourself and producing results. Simply enjoy a phase of suspending inhibitions, creatively messing around, having nothing to prove and being motivated by the quest for joy. TAURUS (APRIL 20-MAY 20): Climate change is impacting rainbows. Rising temperatures and dryer conditions mean that some parts of the world will get fewer rainbows and other areas will get more. Canada and Siberia will benefit, while the Mediterranean will be less well-endowed with sky-borne arcs of color that come from sunlit rain. But I predict that no matter where you live, the rainbow will be a potent and regular symbol for you Bulls in 2024 — more than ever before. That means you will have increased reasons to entertain hope and more power to find beauty. On occasion, there may even be very good luck at the metaphorical rainbow’s end. If you’re an LGBTQ Taurus, be on high alert for breakthroughs in your ability to get the appreciation you deserve. GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20): As one of your inspirational stories for 2024, I offer this tale from singer-songwriter Tom Waits: “Once upon a time, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. They grew next to each other. Every day, the straight tree would look at the crooked tree and say, ‘You’re crooked. You’ve always been crooked, and you’ll continue to be crooked. But look at me! I’m tall, and I’m straight.’ Then one day, lumberjacks came to the forest and looked around. The manager in charge said, ‘Cut all the straight trees.’ And that crooked tree is still there to this day, growing strong and growing strange.” (PS: Here’s more from Gemini writer Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Be true to your own act, and congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant.”) CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22): Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849) developed a fascination for his country’s iconic Mount Fuji. In his seventies, he produced a series of woodblock prints titled “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.” Later, he added three books of prints collectively called One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji. Some art historians say his obsession stemmed from the legend that the mountain was home to the secret of immortality. The coming year will be a fine time for you Cancerians to celebrate and concentrate on your own Mount Fuji-like passion. Sometime soon, identify what it is, and start making plans to commune with it intensely. LEO (JULY 23-AUG. 22): If you will ever in your life go viral — that is, create or do something that suddenly becomes widely known and influential — I bet it will be in 2024. Even if you don’t produce TikTok videos seen by 10 million people, you are at least likely to become more visible in your local community or field of endeavor. Of course, I would prefer that your fame and clout spread because of the good deeds you do, not the weird deeds. I urge you to cultivate high integrity and a wildly generous spirit in the coming months. Be a role model who inspires and uplifts. VIRGO (AUG. 23-SEPT. 22): I expect 2024 to be a free-spirited, wide-ranging, bigvision type of year for you, dear Virgo. I predict you will feel an abundance of urges to travel, roam and explore. You will be more excited than anxious about the prospect of leaving your comfort zone, and you will have a special fondness for getting your mind expanded by interesting encounters. That doesn’t mean you will avoid all awkwardness and confusion. Some of that stuff will happen, though it will usually evolve into educational adventures. And the extra good news is that wandering out in nature


JANUARY 4, 2024

will provide even more inspiration and healing than usual. Treasure this quote from conservationist Rachel Carson: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure: the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring.” LIBRA (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22): I am pleased to inform you that a visit to hell will not be on your itinerary in 2024. You may be invited to take a few excursions into the realm that depth psychologists call the underworld, but that’s a good thing. There you will be able to hunt for treasures that have been hidden and uncover secrets that will illuminate your epic, months-long quest for wholeness. It may sometimes be dark and shadowy down there below, but almost always dark and shadowy in ways that will lead you to healing. (I will reiterate what I implied above: The underworld is NOT hell.) SCORPIO (OCT. 23-NOV. 21): I hope that working hard on togetherness will be a fun project for you in the coming months. To do it well, you must outgrow some habitual ways of doing friendship and intimacy. You will have to be imaginative and ingenious. Are you willing to believe that you do not yet know all there is to know about being a fantastic ally and partner? Are you ready to approach the arts of collaboration and cooperation as if enhancing your skills is the most important thing you can do? For the sake of your best selfish goals, be a brilliant teammate in 2024. SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22-DEC. 21): Each of us is a complex, kaleidoscopic work of art, whether or not we consciously approach our destiny in that spirit. Every day, we use our creative imagination to craft new elements of the masterpiece known as the story of our life. Leos come by this fun project naturally, but you Sagittarians also have great potential to embrace it with glee and panache. I trust you will be especially keen on enjoying this sacred work in 2024. And right now, today and in the coming weeks, will be an excellent time to ramp up the scintillating drama. CAPRICORN (DEC. 22-JAN. 19): “I am against sex education in schools because sex is more fun when it’s dirty and sinful.” So said Capricorn author Florence King. I reject and rebel against that perverse declaration and encourage you to disavow it, too, in 2024. In my astrological opinion, the coming months will be a favorable time to learn everything about sex and eros that you don’t already know. I hope you will dive deep as you gather a rich array of teachings about how to enjoy the art of making love more than ever before. Consider consulting tantric manuals like Margo Anand’s The Art of Sexual Magic: Cultivating Sexual Energy to Transform Your Life. AQUARIUS (JAN. 20-FEB. 18): Singersongwriter Tori Amos says she’s sure she was burned for being a witch in a previous lifetime. I suspect most of us had past incarnations in which we were punished simply for being our beautiful selves. I bring this up, Aquarius, because I think 2024 will be a favorable time to get some healing from any ancient hurt like that. You will have a series of experiences that could help you recover from the illusion that being faithful to your truth is somehow wrong. Life will conspire with you to help you reclaim more of the full audacity to be your gorgeous, genuine self. PISCES (FEB. 19-MARCH 20): I believe 2024 will be one of the best years ever for your education. Your willingness and eagerness to learn will be at a peak. Your knack for attracting inspirational teachers will be excellent. It’s likely you will be exceptionally curious and open to good influences. My advice is to be alert for lessons not just from obvious sources of wisdom and revelation, but also from unexpected founts. Don’t be too sure you know where revelations and illumination might come from.


SAVAGE LOVE BY DAN SAVAGE Q: I’m a 28-year-old woman and I’ve never had a boyfriend or sex. I didn’t focus on dating in order to prioritize my education, career and mental health. I am doing very well in my life overall. I have two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree, a job that I love, I live in a great city (Chicago), and I’m doing well enough financially to buy a condo this year. The only thing I’m lacking is relationship and sexual experience. I am putting myself out there and going to social events to meet guys, but I’m holding off on having sex until I’m actually in a relationship and I’ve formed an emotional connection with someone. Casual sex has never interested me. I’m in therapy and I’m working with my therapist on my confidence as I navigate the dating world. My anxiety is my biggest roadblock. Nobody in my life has reacted negatively to my lack of experience, but my anxiety tells me that no one will accept me and that there is something wrong with me. My anxiety tells me that I am the butt of everyone’s jokes and that I’m a loser. I know that doesn’t make sense. Literally no one has ever criticized me for my lack of experience. My friends don’t care and have been supporting me as I navigate the dating scene for the first time. I guess if I had to boil this down to one question, it would be this: How do I stop being insecure and embarrassed about my lack of dating and sexual experience and be confident? — Nervously Experiencing Wonder A: Own the choices you’ve made

about sex with the same confidence you own the choices you’ve made about your education and career. You were no doubt nervous AF when you got to college… and you nailed that shit. (Three degrees!) You were no

doubt nervous AF when you got your first big job… and you nailed that shit. (Buying a condo!) Give yourself permission to be nervous AF during your first sexual experience, NEW, and trust your track record. You may have flunked a test or two, but you got those fucking degrees. You may have washed out during at least one job interview, but you got a fucking job. Your first time may be awkward, NEW, and you’ll definitely be nervous AF, but you’re gonna nail fucking like you’ve nailed everything else. I know it sounds like a paradox, but a person can be secure in her own insecurities. You’ll feel more confident if you don’t feel like you have to pretend to be any more confident than you actually are. And since you have a good idea who you want and what you want and how you want it, NEW, you’re starting from a better place than a lot of people whose first experiences came earlier in life. Instead of worrying that your potential partners can tell, NEW, tell on yourself: “I’ve never been with anyone sexually — I poured all my energy end effort into my education and my career — so we’re going to have to take it slow.” Some guys head for the door (of your condo) when they hear that, NEW, and not one of those guys will be the right guy. Remember: When you tell someone you’re inexperienced, you’re telling him one thing about you. His reaction will tell you everything you need to know about him.

Send your burning questions to Podcasts, columns and more at Savage.Love! BOULDER WEEKLY


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BITING THE FUTURE On plates in 2024: home-grown crickets, innards, fungi ‘scallops’ and ube everything BY JOHN LEHNDORFF


irst, I want to reassure readers that this Nibbles column is not written by an AI bot; at least not at the moment. However, advanced technology is very much on the menu in 2024. I probed the web to assemble the following real news about what you’ll be eating — and what will be cooking it in the coming year.


A fully automated restaurant called CaliExpress by Flippy in Pasadena, California, will check in customers using biometric verification as robots prepare the food, according to The Robot Report. You will soon be able to browse recipes and order ingredients directly from Kroger stores through GE Appliances’ smart ovens and Flavorly AI. The new Heinz Remix dispenser allows customers to personalize bases like Heinz Ketchup, Ranch and BBQ Sauce with enhancers like Smoky Chipotle and Mango at three flavor intensity levels with 200 potential sauce combinations. We predict long lines at these machines. Mintel Food & Drink reports that 38% of Italian consumers would try augmented reality to enhance their food and drink experiences.


T. Hasegawa named ube, a purple root from the Philippines, as ’24’s Flavor of the Year. Meanwhile, Monin selected ube as its Flavor of the Year. The purple syrup has “nutty earthy, sweet undertones and hints of fig, cinnamon and vanilla,” according to the company. According to McCormick’s, tangy tamarind will be its Flavor of the Year. Other hot flavors: calamansi (a citrus native to the Philippines), sour orange and plum.


It’s scary that Yelp’s 2024 Food and Drink Trends are based on the searches of 33 million users and they want caviar bumps, girl dinners, carajillo (a coffee cocktail) and tsukemen — cold ramen noodles. Dataessential reports Buffalo-style cauliflower is now on 1.4% of menus in the United States. Compare that to tacos, now found on 15.2% of menus, sometimes only on Tuesdays. Calamansi and lemony cucamelons are on the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot 2024 list, along with Nashville hot chicken and birria stew. Technomic’s 2024 Global Restaurant Trends Forecast predicts Korean gochujang sauce and bibimbap will gain fans, along with solo dining, Halal-certified meats and drinking yogurts.


According to DoorDash, the top five most-ordered foods nationwide are fries, chicken quesadillas, mozzarella 26

JANUARY 4, 2024

sticks, garlic naan and spicy chicken sandwiches. According to a new Limitless Cooking national survey, the five mostliked dishes among Americans are mashed potatoes, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese and steak with a baked potato. EzCater surveyed 1,000 workers about sandwiches. About 69% ranked mayo as the top condiment. SPAM, the canned meat product, will

be hot in ’24, according to both Craft Media and Datassential. Using search data from 482 million users, Pinterest Predicts 2024 says that tropical vacation-themed foods like crushed pineapple upside down cake will be hot.


Nourish Ingredients has introduced Tastilux, an animal-free fat that closely mimics the cooking properties, aroma and taste of meat when used with plant-based chicken, beef and pork. According to Tastewise, innards, offal and animal organs are on the table. “Consumers demand it all without compromise, and a surprising ingredient is primed to disrupt the scene, offering health, indulgence and savings: offal,” the company reports. Animal advocacy group PETA reports a ’24 boom in vegan seafood such as “whitefish” made with smoked celeriac root. Whole Foods Market’s top predictions for 2024 include new plant-based meats made with mushrooms, walnuts and tempeh, and faux sushi such as trumpet mushroom “scallops.” An Oxford University food study of 55,000 people found that a person eating a high meat diet accounted for about 22.58 pounds worth of carbon dioxide production per day. Vegans accounted for only about 5.45 pounds per day. Soylent Foods is offering a bright green Soylent Mint Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake. According to the company’s website, Soylent’s green drink is not “people.” “We assure you — no bodies were harmed in the making of our products,” the company writes. “Our formulas are powered by plants, not people.” BOULDER WEEKLY


Chef Marco Monnanni opened Alta Cucina, a new market at 2021 Broadway in Boulder offering imported Italian ingredients. Boulder’s Nopalito’s Mexican Restaurant reopened at 1805 29th St., Suite 1138. According to Colorado-born Chipotle Mexican Grill, Boulder residents are the biggest consumers per capita of Chipotle’s burritos and bowls in the nation. Starting Jan. 1, the City of Boulder’s disposable bag fee now applies to all retail outlets, not just grocery stores. Colorado’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act now requires that polystyrene (Styrofoam) cups and food containers be eliminated, although eateries can use up their remaining Styrofoam supply. The James Beard Award-nominated Casian Seafood has closed at 211 North

Public Road in Lafayette. Longmont Public House has closed at 1111 Francis St. The freshly charred bread and butter service at Denver’s Bruto made the New York Times list of 23 of the Best American Dishes of 2023.


In 2024, Boulder’s Santo will be dishing breakfast burritos, tacos and green chile at Denver International Airport. Other new local eateries opening at DIA are Maria Empanada, Williams & Graham, Tocabe and The Bagel Deli, D Bar and ChoLon.

TASTE OF THE WEEK: THE NEW BIG MAC Clearly feeling the heat from Five Guys, Good Times, In-N-Out and Carl’s Jr.,

McDonald’s just introduced a new, upgraded version of its signature burger, the Big Mac. According to Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s has made more than 50 modifications to their burgers in a seven-year process. Unboxing my first “new” Big Mac in my car, I was impressed by the tastier, golden brown, brioche-like three-layer bun. The beef patties cooked in smaller batches with onions (a la White Castle) are more moist and a little tastier, yet still very thin and cooked very well done. The cheese is indeed meltier because the sandwich is served hotter. More “secret” mayoketchup sauce has been added to the lettuce and pickles. The result is that the Big Mac is a big mess. You can’t actual-

ly pick it up. Sauce soaks the unnecessary middle bun with lettuce flying everywhere. In 2024, the “better” Big Mac I bought for $6.31 — sans fries or drink — is a relatively tiny sandwich. It may be fast food, but it’s far from cheap eats.


“The only limitation we have with preparing and eating insects is with our own imagination.” — Chef Joseph Yoon (In 2024, Netherlands’ Kyran Knauf Co. is releasing Crikorama, a home tabletop device for breeding and harvesting crickets for your tacos and salads.)

John Lehndorff hosts Radio Nibbles and Kitchen Table Talk on KGNU-FM. Podcasts:

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‘THE SAUCE IS THE SOUL’ Wing Shack’s Boulder location is Colorado chain’s 10th BY COLIN WRENN


or owner Brian Seifried, the November opening of Wing Shack number 10 in a strip mall on the northside of 28th Street has been something of a homecoming. Born and raised in Westminster, Seifried spent his teen years in and around Boulder, attending one of the city’s longest-serving independent high schools, September School. “I’ve got early memories of the Boulder Creek Fest, playing in the Boulder Creek and Abo’s Pizza,” he says. In 2004, Seifried opened the original Wing Shack in a “literal shack” in Garden City, a suburb of Greeley known as a base for liquor stores and saloons back when Greeley was still a dry town. “It’s still our rockstar,” says Marketing Director Amber Boutwell, adding that the local chain now boasts locations from Boulder to all the way up to Cheyenne. “People said, ‘You guys are fuckin’ crazy for this,’” says Seifried, reminiscing to his early days on the line, where he perfected his sauce recipes surrounded by greasy smoke and the noise of neighboring dive bars.

and Tenders and The Centennial Public House, all located in Greeley proper. Seifried says he was initially drawn to wings for their communal nature, adding that he feels they’ve become more of a cultural presence in the past decade. “It’s one of those foods you gather with,” he says. “I grew up in a family that wasn’t in the industry, but food was the centerpiece of every social gathering.” At the center of the menu are traditional and boneless wings, with standard options ranging from five to 100

The latest iteration is fashioned much like the original. While Seifried says some of the spots are more palatial and have become beer-oriented hangouts, the Boulder location is intentionally bare-bones. The cozy dining room caps at 25 seats and is built for quick turnover. The menu is equally elegant in its simplicity. There are sides like crinkle-cut and sweet potato fries and desserts like the mini churros, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the namesake item. “It’s pretty straightforward what we’re doing here,” Seifried says. “It’s not rocket science — good Credit: Wing Shack wings for a reasonable price.” That formula is working. Since 2004, per order. Each can be tossed in a range of house-made sauces including Seifried has opened three locations in mild, hot, garlic hot, golden hot and Greeley and additional spots in bear hot alongside some gussied-up Loveland, Windsor, Fort Collins, traditional dressings like BBQ and teriCheyenne, Longmont and Johnstown. yaki. In 2018, he debuted Luna’s Tacos and “The sauce is the soul of Wing Tequila, a passion project that boasts Shack,” says Seifried, adding that one of the better agave lists on the each of the proprietary flavors is proFront Range. “I wanted to challenge myself and get duced at a commissary and distributed to the individual locations, with the out of the wing mold,” he says. He’s recipes remaining firmly under lock since followed with two locations of and key. Sexy Sammies Chicken Sandwiches

There are also off-menu options, affectionately dubbed “Shack Hacks,” which include the Golden Delicious, a combination of golden hot, honey and barbecue sauces; and the Beariyaki, which combines the house’s hottest option with a touch of sweet teriyaki. No matter what wings guests choose, everything should be drenched in either the ranch or jalapeno garlic ranch, both made in-house. “Sometimes I think people like me better for my ranch than for my wings,” Seifried says. A plant-based ranch is currently being tested exclusively at the Boulder location. “I think Boulder is a place I’m connected to from growing up. It also seems to be a place where small businesses can grow and thrive,” says Seifried, noting the ongoing success of both Abo’s and Snarf’s. With wings becoming all the more omnipresent, Seifried says he’s relied on attention to detail and taking care of the community as ways he’s managed to cut through the noise. “I was raised on the idea that giving back is who we are and what we do,” he says. In Boulder, Wing Shack has already partnered with the Emergency Family Assistance Association, and Siefried plans to donate to September School along with other programs promoting youth literacy. “We love giving to schools.” Seifried says he’s excited about the reception he and his team has received. “It’s a small step for Boulder and a giant leap for wing kind,” he says.




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BABY STEPS FOR MDMA mission by thousands,” Doblin wrote in a press release. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), also known as ecstasy or

ation, MDMA was almost completely dismissed as an unimportant precursor to synthesize substances used to prevent blood clotting in surgery. Merk didn’t even test MDMA’s properties until 1927 and then again in 1959 — and they didn’t test it on humans. It wasn’t until the 1970s that MDMA would be revisited pharmacologically. When it was, people immediately recognized its psychological benefits. It was used to enhance psychotherapy

molly, has a long strange history in the U.S. It was first synthesized in 1912 by the drug company Merk and was originally called “Methylsafrylamin.” Medical literature suggested for decades that it was first patented as an appetite suppressor. (A review of Merk’s historical archive put that myth to rest in 2006.) At the time of its cre-

until the ’80s, when it was adopted as a party drug by the rave and dance scenes. In 1985, the DEA classified MDMA as a Schedule I drug, lumping it in with crystal meth, marijuana, LSD, psilocybin, mescaline and many others. According to the feds, MDMA is dangerous, has no known medicinal value

FDA to weigh psychedelic-assisted therapy BY WILL BRENDZA


DMA is one step closer to becoming the first FDAapproved psychedelic drug. In October 2023, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) announced it completed its phase three clinical trial of MDMAassisted therapy for PTSD (Weed Between the Lines, “Relief MAPS” Oct. 19, 2023). The trial was an indisputable success. The results, published in Nature, showed that 86.5% of the 52 participants treated with MDMA achieved a clinically meaningful benefit, and 71.2% no longer met the criteria for PTSD by the end of the 18-week study. The successful trial seemed to justify everything MAPS and its founder, Rick Doblin, have been working toward since 1986. Doblin confidently predicted that sometime in 2024, the FDA would approve the drug for PTSD therapy. On Dec. 13, progress toward that milestone moved forward. MAPS submitted the first-ever FDA New Drug Application (NDA) for MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. If it’s approved, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) would have to reschedule MDMA accordingly. “This milestone is a testament to the unwavering dedication and belief in our

and has a high potential for abuse. At least that’s the agency’s stance for now. Should the FDA approve MAPS’ recently filed NDA, the DEA would have to change that position. “The filing of our NDA is the culmination of more than 30 years of clinical research, advocacy, collaboration and dedication to bring a potential new option to adults living with PTSD, a patient group that has experienced little innovation in decades,” Amy Emerson, chief executive officer, MAPS PBC, a subsidiary of MAPS, said in a press release. Australia rescheduled MDMA in June 2023 to make it available for therapeutic use with a prescription. The government manages the sale, manufacturing and use of the drug, limiting the chances that prescribed users will encounter tainted or cut MDMA to almost zero. Here in the U.S., if the FDA doesn’t end up approving MDMA for prescription use, MAPS could help pave the way for other psychedelics to make their own appeals once they have the science to back their case up, according to Doblin. “By breaking down that barrier, we have opened the doors for others to conduct their own promising research into psychedelic-assisted therapies with psilocybin, ayahuasca, ketamine and more,” Doblin wrote in a post to X (formerly known as Twitter). “The Novel approaches undertaken in psychedelicassisted therapy research have led to fundamental shifts in our understanding of how these devastating mental health conditions can be treated.”



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