Late fall and early winter sag with routine. The element of surprise has a melting point right around 35 degrees, it seems, and we don’t hear much from it around Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve. So grab your blowtorch, because we’re going to cut our way to a couple of surprises.
Rockers Rumble 6, the latest installment in the annual breakdancing competition and hip-hop get-together, goes down this Saturday from noon until 10 p.m. in the Glenn Miller Ballroom on the CU campus. And it’s free.
CU’s Breaking Club hosts the event, which includes competitive breakdancing starting at 2 p.m. Most people, though, show up around 5 p.m., after the preliminary rounds, says the club’s co-president, Allen-Giang Nguyen. The CU junior says that between 400 and 500 people turned out for one of the biggest events on the Boulder hip-hop scene last year and he expects about the same this year.
“We’re advocating hip hop as a community and not hip hop as just something to do,” said Nguyen. “We’re probably one of the largest breakdancing events in Colorado, probably even in the midwest,” he said.
In addition to the competition, there’ll be DJs, MCs and guest speakers. Among the better known crews in attendance will Denver’s Hype 303 and, all the way from Texas, the Havikoro Crew‘s Marlon. Better known to whom? Not me. In fact, I’d be lying if I said I even knew where to look for Boulder’s hip hop community before talking to Nguyen.
He said that the Boulder community gravitates around The BE Life Studio, 2480 49th St.; Streetside Studios, 6681 Arapahoe Rd.; and the Boulder chapter of Hip Hop Congress.
But if you’re around this weekend, you can just go right to the Glenn Miller Ballroom and see what you see.
And since this column is taking a hiatus next week — don’t get jealous, I’m working on Thanksgiving but we won’t be printing a paper that day — I want to tip you off to one more unusual thing you can do this time of year. It may be the most Boulder-y event anybody has ever pitched me, in part because it took the promoter, a very enthusiastic Rio Damian Gralnick, a full 10 minutes to actually tell me what the Art4ThePeople event at the Fox Theatre is, beyond what it’s listed as, which is a CD release party for Wandering Monks with many other performers.
Here’s where we got:
“I’m bringing conscious hip hop, conscious artwork and the healing arts together,” said Gralnick, after telling me that he considers himself something of a Russell Simmons character. The festival-style event, which takes place Fri., Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. — the day after Thanksgiving — will feature musicians like Wandering Monks, Gaia Experiment, Freedom Movement, the Reminders, Rudie Clash, Mike Wird and others; visual art from local artists including a few from Naropa University and Gralnick’s dad; vegan food, raw chocolate and kombucha and massage.
Gralnick says his event is all about revolution and fighting the media’s idea of the arts — hey, we’re people, too, by the way — and full of positive subversiveness (in other words, as he later wrote to me, “it is the vibration!”).
Seriously, we don’t get enough events that are hard to explain anymore. And I mean that. If you’re feeling your holiday seasons starting to blur together, go hit these unique Boulder events.