Meet Ello, the Social Network Created Right Here in Colorado

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ello.co
If you have been anywhere near the Internet in the past week, you've probably heard about Ello, a new social networking site that's still in the Beta stage. But it's picked up a lot of steam as Facebook users started jumping ship after Facebook announced its "real name" policy -- which drag performers and other members and allies of the GLTBQ community charge is dangerous and discriminatory.

Ello's Denver-based programming team is is spearheaded by Paul Budnitz -- the guy behind vinyl toy maker Kidrobot, which moved its headquarters to Boulder in 2010 -- along with Mode Set and fellow Colorado designers Berger & Föhr. We recently chatted with Mode Set's Justin Gitlin (also known around town as music and multimedia artist Cacheflowe) to find out what, exactly, Ello is all about -- and how it's been affected by the recent Facebook move.

See also: CacheFlowe Releases Open-Source Robot Vocal Software to Welcome Our Digital Overlords

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Winnie Wenglewick Brings Kink to the Stage with BITE

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From Denver's Dangerous Theatre's Website
Winnie Wenglewick and Denver's Dangerous Theatre present BITE.
Winnie Wenglewick loves showing her audience how to get kinky. The owner, producer and artistic director of Denver's Dangerous Theatre, Wenglewick is currently producing BITE, a "choose-your-own-adventure sex farce" that offers audiences numerous opportunities to vote for what happens next, whether it's a "blowjob fest" or some other kinky escapade. In a recent conversation with Wenglewick, we learned why she choose BITE and how Denver audiences feel about BDSM.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Winnie Wenglewick

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Dick Scanlan on Reviving The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and the Real Margaret Brown

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Beth Malone as Molly Brown.
With a newly revised script and lyrics by Dick Scanlan, it's been smooth sailing for The Unsinkable Molly Brown, which continues Denver Center Theatre Company run until October 26 Westword spoke with Scanlan just before the show premiered last week, and he talked about how The Unsinkable Molly Brown revival came to be and what it was like to delve into the history of Margaret Tobin Brown, separating true facts from the myths.

See also: Beth Malone on Molly Brown, Playing Strong Historical Characters, and Coming Back to Denver


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Brock Wilbur on Recording His New Album, Burning Material and Performing Before Mom

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Spitfire Creative
Screenwriter, actor, podcaster and comedian Brock Wilbur has outsized ambition that matches his mountainous physique. He records at least an hour of standup every year, then starts fresh with new material; he also writes and produces films, and tours the country. He'll be bringing a cornucopia of comedy to Denver this weekend, where he will record his set and also the podcast he co-hosts with Rob Ondarza and Joe Starr. This is the third live album for the industrious Wilbur, which will be recording his free shows Saturday, September 20 at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse. Wilbur is also featured on Friday, September 19 at the Sexpot Comedy Aerial Menagerie showcase with locals Jay Gillespie and Haley Driscoll, along with co-headliners David Hunstberger and Dan St. Germain.
Westword caught up with Wilbur before his trip to town to discuss his slash- and-burn work ethic, balancing screenwriting with comedy, and the motherly guest of honor at his taping.

See also: Tim Heidecker on Bedtime Stories and Touring with Dr. Steve Brule


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Dr. Drew Talks About Addiction, Childhood Trauma and Why He Believes in Twelve Steps

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Dr. Drew Pinsky -- better known as just Dr. Drew -- has been a prominent voice of the medical profession in popular culture for more than two decades, dispensing advice on both radio and television and working with everyone from actors and musicians to everyday folks as an addiction specialist. This Thursday, September 18, Dr. Drew will be in the Seawell Ballroom as the guest speaker at this year's fundraiser for Arapahoe House, a local non-profit with more than a dozen rehabilitation facilities and twenty treatment programs operating across Colorado. In advance of this appearance, Dr. Drew took the time to speak with Westword about his work and how he views the state of addiction in 2014.

See also: Harm Reduction Action Center, Denver's Biggest Syringe Exchange, Moving to Colfax

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George Saunders on Dream Images and Steering Toward the Rapids

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George Saunders is one of America's most celebrated short-story writers, winner of both the Folio prize and a National Book Award finalist, as well as a MacArthur fellowship. Since 1996, he's been a professor at Syracuse, itself an incubator for some of the best authors of his generation. Saunders returns to town this week (he went to the Colorado School of Mines) for the Writer's Studio at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, both to participate in a reading and signing event for fans and to conduct a more focused writers' studio.

Westword caught up with Saunders in advance of his trip to Denver, to talk about finding out which literature is bullshit, writing stories based on dream images, and how, creatively, it's always best to steer toward the rapids.

See also: Comedian Andrew Orvedahl on JG Ballard, George Saunders and airport books

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Tim Heidecker on Bedtime Stories and touring with Dr. Steve Brule

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Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are enfants terrible whose rhythm, aesthetic and sensibilities have informed everything from cinema to sketch comedy and deodorant advertising in the years since Tom Goes to the Mayor debuted on Adult Swim nearly a decade ago. Gallows humor abounds in their new series, Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories, a hilariously macabre horror-comedy anthology that makes its Adult Swim debut on Thursday, September 18. The show is a huge step forward for the duo, who've mounted their second national live tour in preparation for the premiere. What sets this tour apart from their last is the inclusion of Dr. Steve Brule on the lineup. Played by character actor John C. Reilly, who relishes each awkward syllable in the role of a profoundly unsettling physician offering dubious advice, Brule first appeared in interstitial segments on Awesome Show and then spun off into his own series, Check it out with Dr. Steve Brule. To find out more about the live show and to discuss the finer points of Bedtime Stories, Westword caught up with Heidecker before he headed to Denver for the Tim and Eric & Dr. Steve Brule show at the Paramount on September 15.

See also: Eugene Cordero on Drunk History, Andy Juett and the High Plains Comedy Festival

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Podcast Profiles: Adam Cayton-Holland and My Dining Room Table

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Ryan Brackin
Podcasts are in tune with the democratized spirit of Internet media; anyone with a microphone and a computer can offer their listeners unlimited hours of recordings, usually for free. Limited only by their imaginations, podcasters have a freedom of expression unrestricted by commerce, censorship or geography. Indeed, several great podcasts have blossomed from Denver's own flourishing arts community. Here to celebrate them is Podcast Profiles, a new series documenting the efforts of local podcasters and spotlighting the peculiar personalities behind them.

After he successfully navigated the High Plains Comedy Festival through its second year, it would be understandable for Adam Cayton-Holland to indulge in a bit of glad-handing and laurel-resting before moving forward. Instead, he's been busier than ever. He'll be appearing on the series premiere of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail and competing once more on @Midnight, so tune into Comedy Central on September 17 for a "double-dose of ACH." In preparation for an upcoming show at L.A.'s taste-making alt-comedy venue, Holland will be debuting his hour on Saturday, September 13 at the Syntax Physic Opera. With all these developments in the running, the time has never been better to check out My Dining Room Table, an interview podcast featuring national headlining comedians, Denver luminaries and plenty of discussion about Holland's dog, Annabel.

See also: Podcast Profiles: Werewolf Radar Gets Weird

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Artist Sharon Feder on Her Show BUY and Finding Nature in Empty Buildings

Categories: Art, Interviews

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Courtesy of BMoCA
Sharon Feder, Cloister, 2014, oil on panel.
Sharon Feder has been painting for as long as she can remember. Along with studying painting under the mentorship of Colorado modernists like Ed Marecak and Mark Zamantakis, Feder also has had decades of technical experience as a set designer, muralist and sign painter. Combined with her passion for urban archeology, Feder's work often captures the modern-day commercial landscape, for better economic times or for worse.

Feder's latest exhibition BUY, now on view at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, is a collection of paintings based on photographs of big-box stores and vacant and empty store signs taken over the last half-decade. Feder recently talked with Westword about this series of suburban retail landscape paintings and what motivates her to capture this part of modern American life.

See also: Chuck Dorsey's Old-School Window Painting Reanimates South Broadway

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Colorado Springs Artist Heather Bingham on the Joy and Terror of Running Downhill

Heather Bingham
"Running Downhill."

As the daughter of a U.S. Air Force chaplain, Heather Bingham got to see a little bit of the world as a child: she was born in Turkey and spent several years on the island of Crete before her family moved back to Colorado Springs. And it was during her last year of high school in Colorado that Bingham's art career got off to a nice start. Her first oil painting, American Mona, won a regional Congressional art contest and it was shown in the U.S. Capitol in 2000.

Bingham then attended the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she met her now-husband, Dustin. She was also introduced to non-figurative art and avant-garde through the tutelage of Lenore McKerlie and Louis Cicciotello. At the same time, she spent time around Dustin's locally-renowned dream-pop band, Eyes Caught Fire, and was inspired by the music to develop her own visual style that seems informed by European expressionism. There is a quality to her work that seems to tap directly into the subconscious mind and communicating the imagery on that level to the viewer.

Bingham's first solo show, Running Downhill, opens at 11th Avenue Gallery, at 935 West 11th Avenue, on Friday, September 5 from 7 to 10 p.m. We recently spent some time with Bingham to discuss the themes of her current work, her love of fantasy artwork and how an introvert learns to transcend her self-imposed limits.

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