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26 Friday

Art and country, country and art.

Opera singer Irene Walden Mende and accompanist Barbara McConnell present Timeless Musical Treasures, a free concert of showtunes and other classics to help celebrate the opening of Clayprints at the Business of Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave. Clayprints features works by 19 Colorado artists in the clayprinting medium, created in the 1960s by Mitch Lyons. Clayprinting is the somewhat intricate process of permanently printing with colored clay slabs, resulting in archival quality. Clayprints opens tonight with a reception at 5 and the concert at 8 p.m. Admission is free but a $1 donation to the BAC is suggested for the concert. Clayprints runs through Sept. 6. Call 685-1861 for more.

What is significant about Bonnie Hearne and her husband Bill is the harmonics at work between them, their innate ability to hear and respond to each other's musical steps. Bill plays guitar, Bonnie the keys, and their old-time country-based music benefits from their 30 years of playing together. The sound is tight; the Hearnes playing like two hands of one body. As they tour through Colorado, they stop tonight at the Black Rose Acoustic Society's open stage at the Black Forest Community Center, in the cabin at Shoup and Black Forest Roads. Admission is $2 to $4; call 278-8108. The show begins at 7:30.

Having a hot flash? Feeling bloated? Fondling Miatas? Joining the Hair Club for Men (I'm not just the President, I'm also a client.)? Why not buy some faux-finished, appliqued furniture -- artists Deb McMahan and Billie Kiernan are churning it out in an attempt to alleviate their midlife crises, enough to fill the new show at Commonwheel Artists, 102 Cañon Ave. in Manitou. Domestic Blitz II ... Midlife Crisis opens with a reception at 6 p.m. and runs through Aug. 20. This is also a good time to check out Marica Hefti's collection of supple sculpture and bas relief, which comes down on July 31. Call 685-1008 for details.

I have prophesized it, and therefore it must be so -- rockabilly has come upon the land, where it will grow and flourish. Marty Jones and the Pork Boilin' Poor Boys arrive this weekend bearing the banners of the Denver Barn Dance, the Internet-based, volunteer-powered grass-roots twang collective designed to give countryfied Colorado acts a hand with booking and promotion, as well as to catch the all-seeing eye of Nashville.
This weekend's DBD Road Show features two nights of quality, (somewhat) wholesome entertainment -- on Friday night, the aforementioned Boilin' Boys with our own Texas Seven; on Saturday, Chester Everett and the Platte Valley Boys play with the Blue Ribbon Boys. Both shows start at 9 p.m. at Jose Muldoon's, 226 N. Tejon St. For details, call 636-2311 or visit www.denverbarndance.com. The shows, Praise the Lord, are free.

27 Saturday

For those of you who care not to pay the high prices and fight your way through the lemmings of the Ozzfest crowds, a group of local musicians has gotten together to produce the Anti-Ozfest at C's Arcade in Pueblo. Fifteen bands, including Snapt, TAB, Great Redneck Hope and Skatastrophy begin performing at 2 p.m. at 323 W. Northern Ave. Tickets are a mere $7. Call 719/543-6513.

30 Tuesday

Exactly who is this man, Boz Scaggs? Is he a guitarist? A composer? A landmark of the sultry '70s? Apparently, all this and now a digital bag of chips, as with his new album, Dig, Scaggs has updated his sound into a blend of understated urban R & B, smooth and fluid, not unlike a fine glass of Courvoisier. Scaggs performs tonight with his live band at the Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave. Tickets are $27.50 to $43.50. Call 520-9090. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

-- Kristen Sherwood

Get a Gripped
Newly welded metal cru set for CD release and Death Row

Chris Forsythe, vocalist for newly formed local metal band Gripped, speaks with some authority when he states: "The metal scene here is really stagnant right now."

But Gripped is hoping to change that. Assembled from the remnants of two recently dissolved metal acts (Color Insane and Filth Industry), Gripped releases its debut full-length album, Rebirth, this Friday at the Colorado Music Hall.

Though Forsythe credits "creative differences" with the dissolution of the aforementioned bands, "with Gripped, everyone plays and writes, and luckily, we're all on the same page. We all want to play heavy music."

The page to which he refers is torn from the oft-copied, but seldom anted "n-metal" handbook written by the likes of Korn, Fear Factory and Ill Nino. Using the tenants of the form while infusing melody into the down-tuned formula, Gripped has created something uniquely its own.

Formed only last October, Gripped has already released an EP titled The Noizelab Sessions, recorded its first full-length album Rebirth, and is already firmly entrenched in the making of its second album. Tracks from the EP have gotten considerable airplay at rock stations across the country, and can be heard as far away as the boomerang-friendly isle of Australia.

Along with the radio exposure, the band has also found itself in negotiations with major labels. One such label interested in Gripped's heavy harmonics is a company renowned for their rap roster, frequent pistol-whippings, and an ever-intimidating CEO. That's right, Death Row (now known simply as Tha Row) has set up a meeting with Forsythe and company when they make their way to Los Angeles on tour this September. What does the band expect when they come face to face with notoriously menacing Suge "Scary Pants" Knight?

"A medallion. I'll sign whatever he's got as long as I get a medallion. I'd even be a No Limit soldier if I got a medallion."

Before they venture west in search of diamond-encrusted platinum though, Gripped will be throwing a CD release party at the Colorado Music Hall this Friday with special guests Hemlock -- Las Vegas natives who make the kind of music that Sepultura would have made if Max Cavalera hadn't left the band. Throw in local stalwarts Addiction Face, Blister 66 and Halfbreed Mafia, and you've got a show that will surely be anything but stagnant.

-- Brandon S. Laney

capsule

Gripped with Hemlock, Addiction Face, Blister 66 and Halfbreed Mafia
Colorado Music Hall, 2475 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
Fri., July 26. Doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $6. Call 447-9797.

Growing Up in Neverland
FAC's youth Repertory Theatre does Peter Pan, The Musical and grows up along the way

Dropping by the Fine Arts Center to watch the Youth Repertory Theatre Workshop rehearse for their upcoming production of Peter Pan, The Musical made me a little jealous. Acting class, as I recall it, was held in a trailer rolled semi-permanently onto the high-school campus and taught by a woman whose attendance was worse than mine.

Not so for the youth of Colorado Springs.

Not only do the Repertory students get to rehearse and perform on the beautiful FAC stage, but the 42 young cast members also enjoy the privilege of working with 10 theater professionals in all facets of musical theater production.

During the three-week workshop students are able to hone their performance skills and work hands-on with lighting, sound, stage and costume designers.

For those working with the stage designer, for example, a typical day might consist of everything from working on a singing number to cutting out paper leaves for the set. Students also worked closely with their teachers in publicizing the performance, contacting members of the press, etcetera.

Because the students in this well-rounded workshop are involved in all aspects of production, many are able to explore talents they might not even know they had. Some may find they prefer backstage tasks to performing, while those who go on to pursue acting will undoubtedly benefit from a broader understanding of how all the pieces fit together in an intricate pattern to create a seemingly effortless production.

More than anything, says director Rhonda Greder Kimball, the workshop promotes the invaluable skills of collaboration and problem solving. "I've seen a lot of growing up here," said Kimball.

Audition dates and information for next year's workshop will be announced at the performance. The staff decided to announce the auditions well in advance so that families can begin to plan for next summer. The workshop is really the deal of the century, and a limited number of scholarships are made available.

Come out to support the Youth Rep and enjoy a wonderful performance of this classic tale of the kids who don't want to grow up. Truly, who can blame them?

-- Marina Eckler

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