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Seven days to live 

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16 Thursday

music

The lyrics for Train's ultra-massive hit "Hey Soul Sister" ring alarmingly of what your unfailingly faithful shaggy dog might write to you: "The smell of you in every / Single dream I dream." "I'm so glad you have / A one-track mind like me." "I'm so obsessed / My heart is bound to beat / right out my untrimmed chest." Cling much? Well, if you're into that kind of thing, see the band with openers Smash Mouth (yep, really) for $50 at 6 tonight at the Fillmore Auditorium (1510 Clarkson St., Denver, livenation.com). — Edie Adelstein

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17 Friday

music

It's not very often that people go to the Pikes Peak Center expecting to dance. That's why the place has seats, right? But that changes at 8 tonight as the ageless Flash Cadillac shares the stage with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic (190 S. Cascade Ave., csphilharmonic.org, 520-7469) for "The Ghost of Christmas Past," also the title of the rock 'n roll band's 1996 holiday album. Songs from that CD, such as personal favorite "All I Want for Christmas Is You," will be on tap as well as other familiar holiday songs sprinkled with rockin' staples from the '50s and '60s. Tickets are just $12 (student) and $18, a great deal considering Flash Cadillac has played with orchestras across the nation, most recently last month in Kerrville, Texas. And if/when they do "Shout," usually on their symphonic playlist, the crowd will be dancing in the aisles. — Ralph Routon

marijuana

While the initial KushCon last April filled 200,000 square feet and attracted 12,000 people, the second go-round, KushCon II, is expected to take up 300,000 square feet at the Colorado Convention Center (700 14th St., Denver, kushcon.com). And what will you get for your $20 a day, or $50 for all three days from today through Sunday? Performances by Asher Roth, the Flobots and Mickey Avalon, among others; the chance to win a Growbot, an all-in-one, hydroponic, plug-and-grow system; speeches from the state's Matt Cook and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis; tons of exhibitors; and, oddly enough, not a shred of weed — medicinal or otherwise. — Bryce Crawford

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18 Saturday

stage

Denver will welcome Brulé & AIRO (short for American Indian Rock Opera) to an Indian market in January, but we're the only Colorado city to get the troupe's much-awarded holiday show, Red Nativity. Full of traditional dancing, contemporary Native American music and indigenous rhythms, it'll give you an idea of how the South Dakota group has sold more than a million records worldwide. Come out at 7:30 tonight to get a little culture along with some holiday cheer at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., pikespeakcenter.com). Tickets run $33 to $38. — Edie Adelstein

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19 Sunday

music

If George Frideric Handel had not endured the year 1741 in a state that Wikipedia calls "depressed and in debt," we may never have gotten his Messiah oratorio. So boot your own depression and catch the Colorado Springs Philharmonic's Christmas Symphony Spectacular at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., pikespeakcenter.com). The Colorado Springs Chorale will help kick out some choruses, as well as holiday standards, all in addition to a presentation of the beautiful (and dialogue-free) The Snowman. Show starts at 2:30; tickets are $12 to $18. — Bryce Crawford

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20 Monday

film

If you've already spent lots on holiday gifts, don't let that dissuade you from going to tonight's 6:30 screening of What Would Jesus Buy?, wherein Morgan Spurlock and Billy Talens warn us of an impending Shopocalypse, at Manitou Springs Public Library (701 Manitou Ave., manitousprings.colibraries.org, free). Though "Reverend Billy" can be a little preachy, he's not puritanical, and neither is the 2007 documentary that follows him, his wife, and their "Church of Stop Shopping Choir" cross-country; rather than urge a complete boycott, the movie asks us to think more seriously about what we're buying, and from whom. I think everyone can get behind that. And I'm not just saying so because our Last-Minute Gift Guide begins on p. 29. — Kirk Woundy

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21 Tuesday

stage

I finally made it to my first Iron Springs Chateau (444 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-5104) performance last year, and despite a mediocre pre-show meal, my guest and I thoroughly enjoyed the melodrama. Drinks in hand, we even sang during the olio. It's an experience that most everyone with even a slight appreciation of camp should have at least once, and if you're ready to see elves, Elvis impersonation and much more during one night this winter, catch the conclusion of the 2010 Holiday Extravaganza Revue tonight or tomorrow. Dinner starts at 6, the show at 8; seats for both are a fair $29.50 ($15.50 for kids) and seats for the show only range from $9.50 (kids) to $15.50. — Matthew Schniper

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22 Wednesday

animals

Annually during my formative years, my parents adopted a giraffe from Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. I always wanted to take the gangly creatures Christmas presents, but our relationships pretty much began and ended with a mailed photo and letter. This year, though, I can not only see nearly 1 million lights and 40-plus animated sculptures at Electric Safari at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, cmzoo.org), but I can fulfill my gifting desires. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Dec. 17 through Jan. 2, the zoo is offering event admission discounts every night (except for opening night and Dec. 24, when the zoo closes early) for those who act as Secret Santas to its residents. Wish list items include coconuts, honey and duct tape. Because all creatures, great and small, love duct tape. Details on prices and other wish-list items at cmzoo.org. — Kirsten Akens

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