Few of us can even begin to imagine writing poetry with Dad: "Oh chill brew / Quenching the sea-salt thirst of a thousand Lay's." But I love my pop all the same, and that's the heart of the matter with Conrad and Jane Hilberry, who will give a joint reading at 7 tonight in CC's Gates Common Room (1025 N. Cascade Ave., coloradocollege.edu). They recently released a dual poetry book, This Awkward Art: Poems by a Father and Daughter. For another reading by the pair, stop by Gallery Two-Ten (210 E. Cimarron St., 632-2132) at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, part of the opening reception for The Awkward Art, a photography showcase by Tim Davis. Both events are free. — EA
This time of year, the key to shopping sanity lies not in stubbornly refusing to buy presents, but in finding creative alternatives to the mall. Tonight, you can peruse two art gallery openings for one-of-a-kind affordable pieces. At 5:17 p.m. (and not a minute sooner) the Twenty-Oh-Nine show will open at Rubbish Gallery (17B E. Bijou St., rubbishgallery.com). This show focuses on affordable art, with all pieces only $20.09 from local artists. Just next door at Modbo (17C. E. Bijou St., 633-4240), The Small Works will be opening. Also modestly priced for the season, these pieces are all smaller than 24 inches; contact each for gallery hours throughout the month. — JK
Gift Shop, Manitou's newest "Coffeehouse/Music Venue/Art Space," is getting off to an auspicious start with the booking of Cary Hudson, the Mississippi singer-songwriter who launched his career alongside Wilco's John Stirratt in a band called the Hilltops. Hudson and Stirratt's twin sister Laurie continued on as Blue Mountain, which snagged the cover of the dearly departed No Depression magazine's second issue. Hudson's subsequent solo albums continue to draw raves and, hey, if he ends up becoming the next Steve Earle, you can say you caught him back when. Twice, in fact, since he'll play at Gift Shop (739 Manitou Ave., giftshopmanitou.com) at 7:30 tonight for five bucks and again 8 p.m., Sunday at Kinfolks (950 Manitou Ave., kinfolksmanitou.com) for three. — BF
Though the Edwardian era may have technically ended in 1910 with the death of heartthrob King Edward "Cullen" VII, it lives again from 4 to 8 tonight in just one of many events taking place at the Holiday Evening at Rock Ledge Ranch (3202 Chambers Way, rockledgeranch.com). Jingle-bell wagon rides, lantern-light tours, old-timey music, blacksmithing demonstrations and a bonfire for the roasting of that most classic treat, marshmallows, will be accompanied by Victorian celebrations in the Rock Ledge House and the aforementioned Edwardian festivities in the Orchard House. Lastly, look for Christmas gifts at the Heritage Shop. Tickets are $2 to $6. — BC
With more than 35 years' local experience as a singer, musician, actor, director and artist, Jerry Brown has a wide repertoire from which to draw when he plays around town. From 2 to 5 today, he and the Jerry Brown Quintet will pull out popular Christmas tunes as well as jazz standards at the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society's Jazz Affair in the Olympian Plaza Reception & Event Center (975 S. Union Blvd., ppjass.org). Entry costs $7 ($5 for members) and beyond the dancing, expect door prizes, a cash bar and two buffet options (full meal, $15; dessert and coffee $10). — MS
Alesana describes itself as an alternative/hardcore/rock band. It very easily could have added screamo and emo to the list, though; in a word, let's just call them screamotional. Whatever the label, this handsome sextet, which has earned millions of hits on its MySpace player, can be found at 8 tonight in all its screamotional glory (and maybe with weapon and blood props) at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave., blacksheeprocks.com). Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. — LE
Neko Case could probably pull off a song called "My Grandpa's Hands." But that one, "Drifter's Wind" and an unironic cover of "Rocky Mountain High"? That could only be Chuck Pyle, who's lending his Zen Cowboy-ness to a fundraiser for the Palmer Lake Historical Society and Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts at 7 tonight. He'll be joined at the Center (304 State Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake) by photographer John Fielder, in a rare two-Colorado-icons-for-one appearance. (Fielder will be chatting about his new book, Ranches of Colorado.) This is more Colorado than $15 will buy you anywhere else; see trilakesarts.org for info on tickets, or just get yours at the door. — KW
Live hip-hop isn't for the soft-hearted, and tonight at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave., blacksheeprocks.com) will be no exception. With a hard-line underground style that recalls Cannibal Ox and Cage, the Seattle-based duo Grayskul has teamed with producer Maker to push the envelope further with Graymaker, performing at 8. The crew is not as fond of distortion as Cannibal Ox, or as creepy as Cage, but it nonetheless rocks the raw style of the Rhymesayers label that has slowly infiltrated the underground hip-hop scene. The show is open to all ages and tickets are $10 for those under 21 and free for those of age. — JK
Contributors: Edie Adelstein, Bryce Crawford, Lora Elliott, Bill Forman, John Knight, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.
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