Pining for those salad days of the 1940s, are you? Then get to the Imagination Celebration's 2nd Annual Family Block Party, taking place at Ruby's Diner (3020 New Center Point), for an evening of '40s-themed food, swing dancing, classic cars and more nostalgia than you can shake a vintage stick at. Perplexingly, a dragon also will be in attendance. It's happening from 5-8:30 p.m. this evening, and 20 percent of all proceeds will benefit continuing efforts of the Imagination Celebration. For more, visit imaginationcelebration.org.
If you're half the blues geek I think you are, it's imperative that you get to Classics (5943 Delmonico Drive) tonight to catch bluesman Bernard Allison. The son of the legendary Luther Allison, Bernard has been whippin' the strings since age 13. He has apprenticed in Koko Taylor's Blues Machine, picked up tips from Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and, in 1990, embarked on a solo career. Tickets for the 8:30 p.m. show are $17 in advance by calling 260-7057, or $20 at the door. For more info, get to pikespeakblues.org.
Polish up that broadsword of yours and head for the Briargate Barnes & Noble (1565 Briargate Blvd.) this afternoon for a signing and discussion by Springs-based fantasy author Donita K. Paul. Paul is signing copies of her new book, DragonQuest, sequel to the popular DragonSpell. You just may learn something about meeches, tumanhofers and eternal truths. The former teacher gets things going at 2 p.m. For more, give those fine folks at Barnes & Noble at call at 266-9960.
Or, brachiate to Boulder to see living legend Dr. Jane Goodall at the Boulder Theater (2032 14th St.). The primatologist and conservationist is perhaps the world's leading authority on chimpanzees and is in Colorado to lecture, show film clips and sign books. An explosive open-stage jam with Alice Cooper, Buckethead and Stewart Copeland is rumored, but could not be substantiated as of press time. Actor-vist and Austin Powers alumnus Michael York also will read some of Goodall's poetry. Tickets start at $21, and proceeds benefit the Jane Goodall Institute. For more, head to bouldertheater.com.
Here we go again. Stock up on the Aqua Net for a hot night of hair, hair, snakeskin spandex and more hair with '80s rockers Whitesnake at the Universal Lending Pavilion (1700 7th St. in Denver). Frontman David Coverdale admits band members got to a point where they looked like "over-decorated Christmas tree(s)," and says they are returning with substance, to their blues roots, on this tour. Too bad. Christmas in July works for department stores -- why not Whitesnake? Show starts at 8 p.m. More info available at ticketmaster.com.
Give it up for the U.S. tonight in -- where else? -- Pueblo, where the 101st Army Band will be Sousa-ing away as part of the July 4th Extravaganza. You can expect tons of patriotic music, a salute to veterans and vendors and fireworks galore -- all to give props to the Little Colony That Could. The cost is $5 per carload at the CSU-Pueblo campus. Parking opens at 3 p.m., followed by vendors at 5 p.m., the concert at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Call 719/549-2126 for more.
Say your goodbyes at Colorado College's Packard Hall (5. W. Cache La Poudre St.), where the CC Summer Music Festival draws to a close this evening. The final concert highlights works by Felix Mendelssohn, Sergei Prokofiev and Johannes Brahms and features Mark Fewer on violin. Sadly, a breathtaking finale of fire-breathing bassoonists, cartwheeling bears, organ-grinder monkeys on tricycles and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival Chorus Line doing high-kicks as surprise guest Robert Goulet belts out "My Way" is not in the plans. Sigh. The concert is at 7:30. Tickets are $15 for the public, $10 with CC ID and $5 with student ID, available by calling 389-6607
It's a whirl-a-twirl-a-palooza at CC this week. Check out the photography exhibit by nascent shutter-clicker Bill Starr at Colorado College's Cossitt Hall (906 N. Cascade Ave., northwest of Worner Campus Center). Starr has put together a collection of dance photos from past years' Extraordinary Dance festivals at the school and now is displaying them solely for your enjoyment. The exhibit hangs through July 15, at which point the photos may be destroyed forever. OK, maybe not. Either way, get your ass over to CC. The exhibit's free; for more info, call 389-6607.
-- Aaron Retka