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Seven days to live 

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21 Thursday

film

Shakespeare long ago taught us all that "brevity is the soul of wit," and since the advent of moving pictures many filmmakers have proved that conciseness in that craft can also display great acumen and intelligence. Hence many people's love (not just those with attention-deficit disorder) of short films, best celebrated locally by the free Colorado Short Circuit series, now on its fifth installment, at 6:30 tonight at Venue 515 (515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, ifsoc.org). The organizers say they landed more Colorado-made films this go-round, and they'll be giving out prizes (as always) and throwing candy at your face (supposedly); booze and more available for purchase. — Matthew Schniper

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22 Friday

sports

The 10th annual Rocky Mountain State Games kicks off today and features a whopping 34 sports and 7,000-some all-age and all-ability athletes. As might be expected, individual events take place at venues all over town. As might not be expected, the opening ceremonies with a performance by American Idol Taylor Hicks will happen during the second of the two-weekend games, on Friday, July 29 at the World Arena. For many of the sports, you can still sign up to participate, so get all the details at coloradosprings-sports.org. If you just want to hear Hicks belt out a few tunes and see a parade of athletes, it'll cost $7 for adults and $5 for those 18 and younger via worldarena.com. — Kirsten Akens

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23 Saturday

food and drink

Who wants to see me drunk on wine? Well, stop by my house any Friday — er, any day, for that matter. Or, you could join me at the eighth Annual Castle Rock WineFest from noon to 6 today. Twenty-five of Colorado's finest wineries will be showcasing their wine selections at The Grange in the Meadows at Historic Castle Rock (3692 Meadows Blvd., Castle Rock, castlerockwinefest.com). For only $37, you can enjoy wine tasting, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, food and live jazz entertainment (and walk away with purple teeth). Designated driver tickets are also available for $16, and children under 17 are admitted free with a paying adult. — Cherise Fantus

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24 Sunday

music

"Where you come from, you never had no grits?" A word to the wise: when you're down in Mississippi, don't admit to your waitress that you've never eaten grits — you will disturb her. But do mention that you went to the Shivers Concert: An Evening of Inspirational Song at 4 p.m. in Colorado College's Packard Hall (5 W. Cache la Poudre St., coloradocollege.edu). The concert features Minnie Holloway, a Southern Colorado singing sensation who hails from Mississippi. (That's why you get brownie points with the waitress.) Tickets can be purchased at the door for $15, but it's only $5 for students or $10 with a CC ID. — Jenny Rackl

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25 Monday

county fair

Going to the fair is always a mixed bag of sorts for me. From the smells of the food to the spinning carnival equipment, there are some "rides" I'd rather skip. That said, El Paso County's 106th fair (366 10th St., Calhan, elpasocountyfair.com) should be its usual fabulous self, owing to rides, food and stock shows, as well as performances (magician Jay Mattioli from America's Got Talent anyone?), a demolition derby and fireworks. Hit it with $3-$7 for admission anytime between today and July 30 for the smells, tastes, sounds, thrills and, uh, stomach movements that accompany a day out at the fair. — Demetrius Burns

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26 Tuesday

film

Everybody knows it's hard out here for a pimp, but one looking to make a career change — in the throes of a midlife crisis and the job of choice being a rapper in the music biz — makes it damn near impossible. It may be a clichéd story, but one that the 2005 indie film Hustle & Flow executed so well it garnered the audience choice award for drama at that year's Sundance Film Festival and best original song at the Oscars. Now see how it relates to American music and film as part of a series of free screenings and discussions at Colorado College. Things kick off at 6:30 tonight at CC's Cornerstone Arts Center (825 N. Nevada Ave., coloradocollege.edu). — Edie Adelstein

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27 Wednesday

music

When it comes to Khaira Arby, one quote from the New York Times should do the trick: "Her 2010 album, Timbuktu Tarab, was one of the decade's best African albums, and on stage her music was even more electrifying." The opportunity to catch a free performance by the Malian singer and cousin to the late, great Ali Farka Touré is definitely not one to be missed. With her lilting vocals and her band's electric guitar-driven African rhythms, the much-acclaimed diva's performance, which will be the second installment in this summer's World Music Series, is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. The show begins at 7 p.m. in, weather dependant, either Armstrong Quad or Armstrong Hall (14 E. Cache La Poudre St., radiocoloradocollege.org). Entry is free, but a donation of a non-perishable food item for Care & Share is suggested. — Bill Forman

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