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2 Thursday

music

San Francisco's Birds & Batteries come out this way pretty regularly, and it's easy to hear why the experimental indie-pop group has built a local following. Its recent EP dabbles in a more synthetic sound than prior efforts — they're blaming it on an obsession with Bowie's Scary Monsters and the P-Funk dynasty — but there's still a good dose of Americana in the mix. This is, after all, the band that broke out the Fender Rhodes and pedal steel for a supremely odd version of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold." Catch them with the Springs' equally arty Tango Red Tapestry beginning at 8 p.m. at the Rocket Room (230 Pueblo Ave., 21-plus; myspace.com/therocketroom) for $3. — Bill Forman

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3 Friday

ink fest

Immersed in Ink, starting at 2 today and running through Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (2886 S. Circle Drive, immersedinink.com/colorado.htm), isn't your average touring tattoo show. Sure, there will be a slew of human-canvas artists on hand, as well as contests in just about any category you can imagine, but there will also be midget wrestling by Spike TV's Half Pint Brawlers and human suspension by the Aztlan Arts Suspension Team. Midget wrestling is pretty self-explanatory, but if you don't already know what human suspension is, I'll leave it to you to Google it. (My delicate stomach is kind of wishing I hadn't.) Twenty bucks (in cash) will get you in for one day; $35 for the whole weekend. — Kirsten Akens

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4 Saturday

festivals

It's Labor Day weekend, which means outdoor activities will be winding down soon, but not just yet. Today, in fact, you have two choices. There's the second annual Indian Arts Market & Powwow from 9 to 5 at Woodland Park's Memorial Park (Center Street and Henrietta Avenue, free, woodlandindianmarketandpowwow.com) with 20 invited, renowned Native American artists, plus dancers, singers and food vendors following the theme. Also, crowds will flock to Manitou's version of Memorial Park (502 Manitou Ave., free, 577-7700) for the 36th annual Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Monday, with the usual wide array of artists and vendors from this part of the world, plus day-long entertainment ranging from Celtic music to belly dancing. Check the full schedule at commonwheel.com/festival/index.html. — Ralph Routon

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5 Sunday

music

Pitchfork.com names the 1973 album cover for Shotgun Willie as one in a long list of all-time awful covers. OK, it's a little cheesy, with two identical photos of Willie Nelson grinning through a double-barreled shotgun, but it's not nearly as revolting at its screen neighbor, Ted Nugent's Scream Dream. Here, Nugent, clad only in a shiny yellow loincloth, has sprouted guitars for hands. Yeah. Well, placement on that list certainly doesn't seem to bother Nelson, who's playing Red Rocks Amphitheatre (18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison, ticketmaster.com) at 7:30 tonight with Ryan Bingham and son Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real. And you know this gig so isn't his first time. Tickets start at $66.60. — Edie Adelstein

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6 Monday

music

Fresh off a tour through the United Kingdom is the littering-est social protester to ever play both Woodstock '69 and the lawn just west of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center: Arlo Guthrie. The man famous for songs like "Alice's Restaurant" and "City of New Orleans" will play in Monument Valley Park (170 W. Cache la Poudre St., csfineartscenter.org) at 7 tonight; $32 tickets get you Guthrie and local darlings the Haunted Windchimes. Bring a chair or blanket and rain gear, and leave your bullhorns and recording devices at home. — Bryce Crawford

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7 Tuesday

history

"Emma Goldman is a woman of great ability and of personal magnetism, and her persuasive powers make her an exceedingly dangerous woman." So wrote U.S. attorney Francis Caffey in 1917, and so suggest the Emma Goldman Papers, a sample of which are coming to Colorado College's Coburn Gallery (902 N. Cascade Ave., coloradocollege.edu/ideaspace). We'll get only a relative few of the photographs, letters, government documents and more that Cal-Berkeley has collected since the Goldman project began in 1980, but they attest to the anarchist's incendiary work on behalf of workers' and women's rights, free speech and basically every progressive movement of the turn of the 20th century. The exhibition opens today, but you can see it anytime 12:30 to 5, Tuesday through Friday, through Sept. 29. — Kirk Woundy

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8 Wednesday

art

With chunky shells in blues, whites and coral pinks spiraling out from boxes, mirrors and lamps, Kendall Merrill's work looks like it's just rolled up onto the beach. "By nature, I am an individual of very eclectic interests and influences," she writes in an e-mail. "By combining the organic and inorganic, and a wide variety of styles and techniques, I create a diverse aesthetic that is an expression of who I am." Look for her Eclectic Expression show at art-scene newbie Raven's Nest Coffee (330 N. Institute St., 632-3433), through Sept. 30. — Bryce Crawford

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