With six albums under his belt, Brooklyn underground hip-hop artist/producer El-P has been enjoying commercial success with his most recent recording, I'll Sleep When You're Dead. The son of jazz pianist Harry Keys (who appeared on his 2004 High Water album), El-P spent nearly four years working on this thoughtfully titled magnum opus, which includes guest appearances by Trent Reznor (for whom he remixed a Nine Inch Nails track), Cat Power and the Mars Volta. Of course, none of these artists will be appearing with him at 8 tonight at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave.), but he will be joined by Colorado duo the Reminders and Sever Truth. Tickets are $18 to $20, all ages; call 227-7625 for more. BF
One might consider being called "an expert on geologic time" a put-down, but in the case of Dr. Kirk Johnson, chief curator of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, it's actually a compliment. (My girlfriend getting ready for a night out: another such expert, for the record.) Johnson's also an expert on fossil plants and dinosaur extinction, and at 2 this afternoon, he'll be at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum (215 S. Tejon St.) to discuss paleontologic findings specific to areas of our town. Call 385-5990 to reserve a no-cost seat or visit cspm.org for more. MS
Dance is indisputably on today's agenda. Ballet's beauty and grace will abound first at Ormao Dance Company's fall concert, which includes modern-style dance influenced by artists like Picasso, Matisse and even Dale Chihuly. Today's 2 p.m. show follows Saturday's 8 p.m. performance; both cost $17, and both happen at the Louisa Performing Arts Center (21 Broadmoor Ave.). Call 471-9759 or visit ormaodance.org for more. Second up, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic will join the Ballet Society of Colorado Springs for Classic Fairy Tales, featuring Stravinsky's "The Firebird Suite" and Delibes' "Coppelia Suite." Family activities begin an hour before the 2:30 p.m. show at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.). Tickets are $9 to $15, available at 520-SHOW (7469) and ticketswest.com. EA
It's a Monday in the Springs, so you know where everyone is for fun tonight: Boulder! Well, at least for music. If you want to join them, your best bets are Matthew Sweet at the Fox Theatre (1135 13th St., Boulder) and Yael Naim at the Boulder Theater (2032 14th St., Boulder). You probably remember Sweet most for his big hit "Girlfriend," from the 1991 album of the same name. Israel's Naim recently took off when her song "New Soul" was picked up for an Apple ad (you'll know it immediately), but the good news is she's bringing Peter Von Poehl, a Swedish folk/acoustic act you're sure to like if Nick Drake or Jos Gonzlez are on your iPod. Visit bouldertheater.com and foxtheatre.com for more. MS
Everybody loves extraterrestrials, but many of us have yet to be swept off our feet, let alone taken beyond Earth's gravitational pull, by aliens. If that's you, then your prayers may well be answered by Lisette Larkins' book, Extraterrestrials: 11 Steps to Inviting Your Own UFO Encounters. This uncompromising tome a lesser author would surely have rounded it down to 10 steps will be the subject of this month's UFO Institute International meeting, to be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Children's Meeting Room at Penrose Library (20 N. Cascade Ave.). Whether you're a lonely human or one of the 3 million Americans who claim to have communicated with ETs, rest assured that the truth is out there. Call 200-2523 for more info. BF
It's so easy to forget about fun stuff in Denver, including the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (2001 Colorado Blvd.). Today adds to that appeal, because admission is free to all Colorado residents throughout the day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (It's normally $11 for adults, $6 for children and seniors.) You've still got to pay for either the IMAX or the planetarium, but everything else is gratis, including programs on healthy meals presented by Kaiser Permanente dieticians from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This day also includes shows with life-size dinosaur puppets. For more, go to dmns.org or call 800/925-2250. RR
This week's 7 Days contributors: Elizabeth Anderson, Bill Forman, Kevin Kehl, Ralph Routon and Matthew Schniper.