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High Art and Bum Core!! “Night of the Living Barn” comes to The Lion’s Lair Oct 24, 2009

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Bassist and Art Promoter Matt Hunter, atop his "Gut-Bucket-Bass." (Photo: MySpace)

Bassist and Art Promoter Matt Hunter, atop his "Gut-Bucket-Bass." (Photo: MySpace)

This Saturday night, October 24th, the Lion’s Lair has a special night planned that will include  art, Bum- and Old-Tyme-Core and corn on the cob. And Matt Hunter, who plays the “gut-bucket bass” for local legends SlakJaw, wants all of you to join us for it. He’s dubbed the evening “Night of the Living Barn,” and explained in an interview this afternoon just what the whole dang thing is about.

“Well, it started a few months ago, when a couple of us artists were just sittin’ around drawing barns,” said Hunter. “We decided to put on a show here at the Lion’s Lair, showing off our “Barn Art.” So that’s what we’re doing.”

The first of its kind at the Lair (as far as I can remember, or find out), the evening promises to be something else. Artists have been asked – commissioned? – to bring in their best hang-able pieces of art depicting barns for an art opening in the legendary dive bar on Colfax.

“Well, it started a few months ago, when a couple of us artists were just sittin’ around drawing barns,” said Hunter. “We decided to put on a show here at the Lion’s Lair, showing off our “Barn Art.” So that’s what we’re doing.”

“We’ll be having a reception at 7:00, but we won’t be serving cheese and crackers,” said Hunter. “We’re serving corn on the cob.” Seems to fit nicely with the theme of the evening.

Local Denver legends SlakJaw will play at the "Night of the Living Barn" show, this Saturday, 10/24/09, at the Lion's Lair (Photo: MySpace)

Local Denver legends SlakJaw will play at the "Night of the Living Barn" show, this Saturday, 10/24/09, at the Lion's Lair (Photo: MySpace)

For Hunter, what started out as some harmless “barn doodling” a few months back has come to fruition, and may grow a lot more in the next few months. “We’re going to come up with more themed art shows, probably once every other month or so,” he said. “I haven’t thought up the next theme just yet, but we’re hoping it’ll happen in the next few weeks.” Hopefully, the trend will catch on, and we’ll be able to visit this brand of unique local culture regularly from here on out.

More than a few local artists have been asked to participate, also. Besides Hunter’s, the show will feature barn pieces from Twig, Johnny K., Andriko, and Brandy Darling, to name a scant few. The show has a Halloween-, or zombie-apocalypse-sounding name, but that’s just for show, according to Hunter. “It’s just about barns, just because,” he said. “All of the artists will broker themselves. The bar doesn’t take a cut, I don’t get a cut – it all goes to the artists.”

“We’ll be having a reception at 7:00, but we won’t be serving cheese and crackers,” said Hunter. “We’re serving corn on the cob.” Seems to fit nicely with the theme of the evening.

He also pointed out that, if you or any art or barn loving friends want to get in on it, you’re welcome to bring in your own. “As long as they’re hang-able,” said Hunter, “we’ll hang it for you. Just has to be pictures of barns, is all.”

After the reception, at 9:00, local bands Denver City Saltlicks and SlakJaw will play two sets of some of the best Bum-Core and Old-Tyme-Core you’ll find in the city – probably in the country – for a $5 cover.

SlakJaw plays a heartbreaking blend of booze and bum-core. (Photo: MySpace)

SlakJaw plays a heartbreaking blend of booze and bum-core. (Photo: MySpace)

For the uninitiated, SlakJaw plays a brand of jug band-based blues that drips profusely with alcoholism, heartbreak and pure beauty. The quartet features Hunter, who plays standing on the overturned washtub of his bass, singer/songwriter Floyd Hill (an old-school Denver scenester not many degrees of separation from another legendary local band, The Denver Gentlemen) on guitar and heart-wrenching, drummer Ero Guy on snare and sticks, and guitarist Bobby Genser. Their place in the Lion’s Lair seems more congruent than the famous black linoleum bartop and bright red  ceiling. Expect to be regaled with booze-soaked stories of damnation and redemption, beauty and pain, hobos and hookers, most set in bars just like the Lair.

Also in the lineup will be the return of The Denver City Saltlicks, who play a surf and punk infused bluegrass style that defies real pigeonholing.

Denver City Saltlicks will also play at Lions's Lair's "Night of the Living Barn," This Saturday night, 10/24/09. (Photo: MySpace)

Denver City Saltlicks will also play at Lions's Lair's "Night of the Living Barn," This Saturday night, 10/24/09. (Photo: MySpace)

Behind the leadership of ‘Bama Slim and his ukelele or Mandobird, the band sports four other members: Cate Hate on the bloody knuckled washboard, Fish on the standup bass, Rev. Spooner on various jugband percussion tools – including a wicked set of spoons – and Dray (with the once-broken neck) on drums. Their overall punky, “fuck you!” attitude really fills out the simple bluegrass-with-washboard rhythms, and brings a true flair to their show that’s well worth witnessing.

DCS's 'Bama Slim tellin' you where to step off! (Photo: MySpace)

DCS's 'Bama Slim tellin' you where to step off! (Photo: MySpace)

The whole gig, from preview to the inevitable stumble back out into the snowy Colfax night, promises to be one-of-a-kind. At least until the next one. . .

Y’all come!


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