Seven days to live 

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9 Thursday


"Everyone walks around with a perpetual smile across their face," sang Ray Davies in the Kinks song "Australia." And surely none of them are smiling more blissfully than the two Antipodean outfits who get to play the Springs this week: The talented Chucks Wagon will bring its Townes Van Zandt-influenced roots sound to the Crystola Roadhouse (20918 U.S. Hwy. 24, Woodland Park, 687-7879) at 8 tonight, for free. And then don't forget to mark your calendar for this Saturday, when the Black Sheep will play host to Karnivool, which is Australian for "a band that sounds like Nirvana and Tool but not really." — Bill Forman

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10 Friday

ghost stories

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? It's getting close to fall — still blissfully warm enough to spend evenings outside — which means it's the perfect time to start sharing chilling encounters with the afterliving. Exchange what you've got at Ghost Night at 7 tonight on the lawn of the Secret Totem Gallery (316 N. 25th St., thesecrettotemgallery.com) for free. This little west side haunt specializes in eco-friendly and recycled art. Owners R.N. Catron and Karen Hall will share their book, The Lesser Known Ghost Stories of Colorado, printed on recycled paper and made in the gallery. — Edie Adelstein

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11 Saturday


What if ... there were so many alluring events going on simultaneously at a new single-day city festival that you got excitedly overwhelmed just trying to map your day on the program? Head to whatif-festival.org to see all of the What IF Festival of Innovation and Imagination offerings available for free from 9 to 6 today throughout downtown. You'll see what I'm talking about: film, dance, performance art, live music, improv, community dialogue, theater excerpts, culinary and technology demos, kids activities, historical lectures. It's no surprise that the folks at Imagination Celebration dreamed it all up. What if ... you could do it all? — Matthew Schniper

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12 Sunday


When I was a kid, I memorized the make and model of virtually every car I'd ever seen from the backseat of my parents' station wagon. (This is just one of the reasons why my wife today unhesitatingly places me on the autism spectrum.) Surely, 7-year-old me would pee himself (myself?) at the 19th annual Cruise Above the Clouds car show, home to 200-plus hot rods, cars and motorcycles. Saturday's the big day for events in both Woodland Park and Cripple Creek — see cruiseabovetheclouds.com for a rundown — but today there's a Cripple Creek "show 'n shine" that starts at 9 and goes until 1 on Bennet Avenue. It's free to attend, and trophies will be awarded at 1:30 at Wildwood Casino. Sadly, I don't believe any are given for best automotive memorization. — Kirk Woundy

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13 Monday


For English nerds, the phrase "red plague" might suggest Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death," in which a gruesome figure strikes a crowded ballroom with sudden, ruddy disaster. Colorado State University professors David Theobald and Jason Sibold might use the term to describe what's happening to Colorado's forests, in which the mass die-off comes courtesy of pine beetles rather than a Gothic metaphor. At 7:30 tonight, go to Colorado College's Gaylord Hall (902 N. Cascade Ave.) for the first State of the Rockies free lecture of the season, focused on the causes, dangers and remedies for beetle-kill, or learn more at stateoftherockies.com. Masque attire not required. — Claire Swinford

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14 Tuesday


During middle school, my great aunt gave my family her electronic console organ, and I began taking lessons. The only piece I ever mastered was the theme song to the television show Happy Days, but I've always held a fascination for those who could take on the challenge of multiple keyboards and foot pedals. Tonight, Frank Shelton, organist for Colorado College and music director at First Congregational Church, will be showing off his mad skills in a free 7:30 concert at Shove Memorial Chapel (1010 N. Nevada Ave., coloradocollege.edu). It's the college's way of sending him off in style to Paris, for recitals he'll be giving at Notre Dame Cathedral and the Church of Saint-Sulpice in October. — Kirsten Akens

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15 Wednesday


Technically, John Quiñones is well-known as an ABC News correspondent, the co-anchor of Primetime and a multiple Emmy Award winner. What I know him for is the guiltiest pleasure I have: the host of What Would You Do? Those secretly recorded ethical dilemmas suck me in every time. (And I swear, I would've totally stopped the guy from luring that drunk girl out of the bar.) Call me if he brings it up during tonight's 7 o'clock free lecture, part of CSU Pueblo's Distinguished Speakers Series; otherwise, just enjoy the Hoag Recital Hall (2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, colostate-pueblo.edu/studentactivities). — Bryce Crawford


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