OK, so they're famous now. That's no reason to miss indie-rock titans Modest Mouse, playing tonight at the Fillmore (1510 Clarkson St. in Denver). Touring on their 2004 tour de quirk, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, the Mouse will be sure to rock you from your Chucks to your messenger bag. Perhaps you feel betrayed that the band who supplied the soundtrack to your adolescent melancholy is now on MTV, but hey, you still understand them better than anybody who just happened to jump on the bandwagon recently. Head over to www.fillmoreauditorium.com, where you can buy tickets for $25 plus applicable service charges. You could also call 520-9090, or visit any Ticketmaster outlet.
If I were so inclined, I could make a delectably distasteful pun about this one: Heads: Exploring Individuality and Expression in the Human Head opens at the Smokebrush Gallery (218 W. Colorado Ave.) this evening. This multimedia show features the work of several local artists illustrating the expressive potential of human faces and heads. The opening reception, tonight from 5 to 9, will include refreshments and a live performance by composer Ashley Raines. The show will run through April 19. For more information, head (ha!) over to www.smokebrush.org or call 444-1012. And while you're there, wander next door to the Bridge Gallery and Phototroph, both of which also have new, sure-to-be-stellar shows opening tonight.
Also this evening is an art show opening/fund-raiser at the Plantera Group (731 N. Weber St.) featuring work by local artist Jeff Brown, photographer Carol Dass and sculptor Doyle Svenby. The opening reception runs from 5 to 9 p.m., with entertainment provided by the Colorado Springs Conservatory. The admission fee of $15 will benefit the local Humane Society.
Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of blues legend Lonnie Brooks, is touring on his new album, Golddigger, and is bringing his act to Classics (5943 Delmonico Drive) tonight at 8 (doors open at 7). Tickets are $10 in advance and are available through www.pikespeakblues.org.
<>Stuff those kids in the car and get over to the Business of Art Center (515 Manitou Ave.) this afternoon for Manitou Art Theater's presentation of the internationally renowned Griot (that's an African storyteller, just between you and me) and Denver native Opalanga Pugh. She'll delight with a high-energy performance of participation stories, songs and games collected during years of travel. Showtimes are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. today, and the cost for the event is $8. Tickets will be available at the door 30 minutes before each show or can be reserved by calling 685-4729. For more information, check out www.themat.org.
Also today, get your dose of spirited pre-Civil War boyish antics at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo (210 N. Santa Fe Ave.), where the Children's Playhouse Series presents a musical version of Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We can hope for songs such as "Got Me Some Cornpone and a Fat Sack of Fatback" and "Paint it White" and Huck's touching aria, "Sleepin' in the Hogshead (Again)." OK, so I made all those up. It'll still be rad. Shows are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the cost is $6 per person. For tickets or more information, call 719/295-7222.
Poet David Whyte has traveled the world, bringing poetry to the workplace. He rejects the limitations of corporate language, insisting that poetry belongs in the place where we spend the bulk of our time, providing a way to converse about what really matters -- creativity, integrity and time spent using our unique gifts. Tonight, Whyte brings one of his most popular talks, "The Three Marriages: Work, Self and Others," to the Heritage Ballroom, Antlers Hilton Hotel (4 S. Cascade Ave.), courtesy of ABC Bank and the Colorado College Visiting Writers Series. Not just another motivational speaker, Whyte has published four acclaimed collections of poetry and several nonfiction books, including the national best sellers The Heart Aroused and Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity. The talk is free and open to the public and begins at 7 p.m.
-- Aaron Retka