Industrial Nation (2106 E. Platte Ave.) goes back to its greasy punk roots with a hard-core rockabilly show tonight. Rocket 350 from Georgia headlines with something called "junglebilly," kind of like if Johnny Horton and John Waters had a baby and raised it inside of a leopard-print slap bass at CBGBs, circa 1978. Also playing are our own Mansfields and Reno Divorce. Tickets are $7 and the show starts about 9. Call 520-0980.
Well, they've already done the Women of the Blues, so now, thanks to the sexual equality movement, I suppose it's only fair that the men get a shot. Singers & Shouters --Pikes Peak Men of the Blues happens tonight at the Business of Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave. They're all local -- John Wise with his dirty, lowdown growl, Joe Jaquez (who may or may not be a black woman trapped in man's body), the silvery-voiced Mike Nelson, Jake Jacoby and Steve "Homeboy" Williams, who really has more spark in his voice than is decent for a man his age. Ticket prices are ridiculously low -- $2-$4 -- and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Call 685-1861.
Pikes Peak International Raceway south of town on I-25 (near Fountain) hosts the Radisson 225 Indy Racing League Series AND... the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series today and Sunday. Tickets run $5-$25 more or less, not counting the special packages. One gets you hot dogs. One gets you hot dogs, in the garage. Yeah. That's what I'm talkin' about. Call 888/306-7223 for details.
It's never officially spring here in Our Fair Burg until you've spent the day pounding the hot, sticky tarmac with a sno-cone in one hand and a bag full of free replacement window brochures and CS utility jar openers in the other. But don't worry if you missed Territory Days -- you can re-create the magic with Colorado Springs' largest one-day festival, Springspree. All of downtown hosts live concerts by local and national acts, exhibitions of all sorts, vendors, races and more today -- mostly along Tejon Street from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. For a full schedule, check out http://www.springspree.com.
The Winstons are the featured performers at tonight's Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage in Black Forest, at the Community Center (the low log building on the northeast corner of Shoup and Black Forest Road, behind the Fire Department). Admission to the 7:30 show is $2-$4. Call 278-8108
Get to the bar early. That is the best possible advice I can give you. Get to the bar early. See, during the FIBArk (First In Boating on the Arkansas) Whitewater Festival, river rats of all shapes, sizes and classifications descend on the tiny mountain town of Salida for one of the most outlandish weekends in Colorado. The town usually decks itself out with an art fair and carnival, while the river serves as host to races with (or without) all kinds of boats, rubber duckies, and whatever other manner of junk people can throw together and convince to float. But back to the bar -- there's really only one in town, the Victoria Tavern, and you can count on a line out the door by sunset. This year's band is Brad Thompson and Undulating Band, from Ft. Worth, Texas. For directions, schedules of details, visit http://www.fibark.net.
The Senior High Choir of Independent Presbyterian Church of Memphis, Tenn. is taking part in the services this morning at Village Seven Presbyterian Church, 4050 Nonchalant Circle South. Like I said, the 50-voice choir, directed by a one Mr. James Brown (no lie) is from Memphis. Mem, phis. Do you understand? This gives them soul by default. One cannot miss a choral event of such epic proportions, regardless of denomination. Services begin at 9 and 10:40 a.m. Call 574-6700.
When I first heard Debbie Davies' latest album, Love the Game, I was duly impressed with her gusty blues vocals. When I found out she was playing lead guitar too, I became a serious fan. You don't hear many female blues guitarists of this caliber out there. Davies, former sidewoman in Texas bluesman Albert Collins' Icebreakers, can play and sing the blues with the best of them. A 2000 W. C. Handy Award nominee, she has cut seven of her own albums since 1993. She's a talented singer, songwriter and guitarist playing Texas and Chicago style blues. Check her out at The Annex Ballroom, 509 Main St. in Caon City at 8:30 p.m. $10 cover at the door. Call 719/276-3088. -- Sunnie Sacks
-- Kristen Sherwood
Down Under Extreme caving adventure chronicled in Beyond the Deep
Imagine climbing through narrow passageways far below the Earth's surface. That's one thing. Now imagine descending through a sump, a completely water-filled tunnel also referred to as a siphon, thousands of feet below the surface. That's something else altogether.
Deep-cave explorers who do the latter are a unique breed. With the aid of high-tech equipment, they are able to explore some of the deepest and most treacherous underground terrain in the world.
In April 1994, Bill Stone and Barbara am Ende, both veteran deep-cave explorers, found themselves stranded in pitch darkness, 3,975 feet below the Earth's surface, with damaged breathing equipment. One member of their expedition into the Huautla Cave System in southeastern Mexico had recently died. Others, at this point, had quit.
But Stone and am Ende persevered and their exploration of the San Augustin sump stands as one of the unique caving accomplishments in recent history. Although the Huautla system is outranked by four other cave systems in the world in terms of depth, those other systems are largely dry. Just to begin the descent into the Huautla caves requires days of climbing, swimming and hiking through miles of tunnels, making it probably the most technically difficult system in the world.
The story of the 1994 San Augustin expedition comes to life in Beyond the Deep, a recently released book written by Stone and am Ende with the assistance of veteran investigative reporter Monte Paulsen. On June 20, Paulsen will talk about the book and the expedition at downtown's Mountain Chalet. The Chinook Bookshop will provide copies of the book for sale and signing.
And if that doesn't quench your curiosity for things murky and down under, head up to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for the newest IMAX show, Journey into Amazing Caves, featuring expeditions through the limestone caverns of the Grand Canyon, the ice caves of Greenland and the underwater caves of the Yucatan. Narrated by Liam Neeson, the adventure travelogue is produced by the same folks who brought you the IMAX hit Everest. The museum is also sponsoring a series of lectures and field trips on caving throughout the summer, including a field trip on July 10 into the 450-million-year-old Manitou Grand Caverns, a section of the Cave of the Winds generally not open to the public. Colorado adventurer Rick Rhinehart, author of Colorado Caves: Hidden Worlds Beneath the Peaks will lead the trek.
-- Kathryn Eastburn
Monte Paulsen discusses and signs Beyond the Deep: The Deadly Descent into the World's Most Treacherous Cave
Thursday, June 20, 8 p.m.
Mountain Chalet, 226 N. Tejon St.
Co-sponsored by The Chinook Bookshop, providing books for purchase and signing
Journey Into Amazing Caves IMAX presentation
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver
Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for adults; $5.50 for children
For IMAX times or to find out about the summer lecture and field trip series on caving, call 303/322-7009 or 800/925-2250 or see: www.dmns.org
Installation art at the FAC examines constructed environments
Since installation art began popping up in galleries in New York and L.A. in the late 1960s and early '70s, the medium has baffled and thrilled curators, viewers and other artists alike.
For one thing, installation art is difficult, if not impossible to define or possess. Unlike framed wall art or sculpture, installation usually involves the creation of an entire space (think habitable sculpture), and an art collector simply can't buy a whole room full of objects, drawings and constructions that have been specifically designed for that space. Some museums purchase installations for permanent exhibit, though rarely because it usually means monopolizing valuable gallery space.
Part of the Fine Arts Center's current grouping of exhibitions includes two installations: Cory Mahler's On Longing: The Physicality of Absence, and Larry Kledzik's The Diet: The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker.
Integral to both installations is the use of construction materials. Plywood, drywall, spackle and particle board all figure prominently into the surfaces of their otherwise entirely distinct pieces.
For Mahler -- a visiting professor of art and textiles at UCCS -- construction and building materials make "metaphorical reference to building ideas and built experiences."
A blue-and-white plywood cake with spackle frosting sits atop a melange of green bath rugs in the corner as you step onto the grid of particle board that plays heavily with what Mahler calls "our cultural sense of place and expectation." "We're taught an ideal palette of blue skies and green grass," said Mahler.
Grass grows out of a white bench at the back of the gallery in front of a series of postcards in which everything but the sky has been whited out. Cloud paintings made from blue paint and sanded spackle are stacked in the corner. The internal and the external are thoroughly blurred into one crafted space of idealized contemporary craft and domesticity.
In Larry Kledzik's, the ideal is shorn away for an exaggerated examination of the landscape of excess. A pair of binoculars on top of a podium/pulpit as you enter the room identifies the space as a surveyable landscape with grotesquely constructed and deconstructed references to food, diet and place that are the elements. Brown pieces of Swiss cheese made from Masonite and pieces of rubber mingle with abstracted ceramic tongues and worm-like shapes in an industrial bondage.
Kledzik was drawn to installation because, he said, "I see the empty cathedral -- the space that is everyone's consciousness." That's a great way to view both of these pieces: as a perfectly strange stroll through the chambers of our collective conscience.
-- Noel Black