Seeing as how it's my job to investigate all possible sources of what we call "fun," I took myself down to the State Fair last Saturday night. How'd that work out, you ask? Except for the fact that it's impossible to find a beer after 10 p.m., it worked out well. I especially recommend the mechanical bull, the giant piggy bank that sings a subversive melody about escaping from repression, the late-nite swine hall, the rodeo and, of course, the concerts, of which I will be advising you throughout this week's column. For State Fair concert tickets, call 800/444-FAIR. Get your pencils ready.
Eighty-four singers ... I wonder what living on that tour bus is like. Somebody's making a killing on earplugs. The 84-member group calls themselves Dutch Voices, and they're from -- no, wait, guess -- the Netherlands. They're performing tonight at First United Methodist Church, at 420 N. Nevada Ave. Admission's free and the show starts at 7 p.m.
At the Fair: the handsome, the heroic, the one and only Randy Travis.
Laura Reilly and Paul Rogers are showing some of their works in Smoke and Shadow, the new show at Commonwheel, 102 Cañon Ave. in Manitou Springs. The big opening to-do begins at 6 tonight and the paintings hang until Sept. 18. Call 685-1008 for more.
It's Mountain Music Festival time in Manitou again, and Manitoids are getting Soda Springs Park ready for the mass influx of world-class Celtic, dulcimer and bluegrass musicians. Robert Force, Neal Hellman, Bonnie Carol, Coyote John Blosser and many more will play today and tomorrow, and of course there will be a selection of food, arts & crafts and massage vendors. Do everybody a favor and park at the Safeway on 30th and Colorado and take the free shuttle in. There are only so many parking spaces in Manitou. Call 685-5089 for details.
What better to do on a Friday night than see a drag show? The Turnabout Show with Prince Royal XXIII Douglas Lewis at Hide 'N' Seek, 513 W. Colorado Ave., starts at 10:30 p.m. To R.S.V.P., call 685-5284.
At the Fair: Kings of the bootscoot, Brooks & Dunn.
At the Fair: Kings of the bootscoot, Brooks & Dunn.
O Beer, glorious Beer. How wonderful you are to me, how you love me unconditionally! Beer is the wind beneath my wings. I plan on tasting every single beer at the Microbrewers' Exposition this afternoon. I figure 23 brewers, 5 beers per brewer... yeah, I'll need a designated driver (and an airsick bag come morning). It will be well worth it, though; it only costs $6 to get in and that includes your mug. Tokens are a buck a piece after that, but 10 or 11 dollars into it and you won't even notice the money's gone. Sister X, One Man Gone, Lazy Spacemen and Head Full of Zombies will play throughout the day. The Expo takes place in the street on Pikes Peak between Cascade and Tejon streets. The organizers need volunteers (to do some actual work -- be realistic), so call 597-4748 if you're interested. Beer flows from noon to 7 p.m.
At the Fair: Mr. John Michael Montgomery and KC & The Sunshine Band. (Performing separately, of course. A shared billing would be even too surreal for the Fair.)
The nimble fingers of the California Guitar Trio will skip and prance through acoustic surf, classical and original works with the help of drummer Pat Mastelotto and bassist Tony Levin at the Smokebrush Theater, 235 S. Nevada Ave. Tickets are $18, and every time these guys come through town, they sell fast. Call 444-0884 a.s.a.p. if you want one. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m.
At the Fair: Englebert Humperdinck. No, I'm not kidding.
Mo' Kauffey's moving. That's right, the Pueblo-born guitarist who has long been a staple of the local music scene is leaving us for the sunny shores of, well, I forget, but it sure ain't here and that's the sore point. To say goodbye, Tres Hombres up in Woodland Park is hosting Mo's last concert, and his pick-up band will be made up of local music superstars come to wish Mo' a good trip. The Evening with Mo' begins at 7 p.m. Call 687-0625.
There ain't nobody at the Fair tonight, but they still got the midway and the rabbit house ...
I am feeling very guilty for not telling you all about this sooner. Turns out the last few weeks of the Fine Arts Center's Classic Film Series has been devoted to the best of classic Westerns, the ones with the big vistas, narrow-gauge trains and tragic dancehall beauties. Tonight the series wraps up with Yellow Sky, in which Gregory Peck plays an outlaw whose gang stumbles across a town inhabited only by an old man and his beautiful daughter (Anne Baxter). Are they crazy? Are they hiding a rich gold claim? Suspense ensues in this Tempest-like film directed by William Wellman. Tickets to the show are only $3; call 634-5583. The movie begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Center, 30 W. Dale St.
At the Fair: The vintage remnants of what was once The Beach Boys.
Let's talk about slam poetry for a little while. Now, it's my opinion that subjects like kittens, happy rays of sunshine, or autumn leaves as a metaphor for lost love really have no place in the world of slam. If, however, you do have an edgy piece that you feel confident sharing with the general public, by all means share at the Slam Poetry Open Mic tonight at 8. It's at Acoustic Coffee Lounge, up by the Farm Crest on Centennial Blvd. The number there is 268-9951.
At the Fair: Well, I ain't never ... tonight Mel Tillis does what he's been doing for the past 45 years.