Seven Days to Live 

click to enlarge ChitChat at GOCA


Though the term "chitchat" usually means some kind of less terrible form of small talk, GOCA has transmogrified it into a mishmash of lectures about unrelated but fascinating topics. Starting tonight and running each Wednesday through March 19, you'll hear local experts talk about Bronies, poutine, lefties and make-up, each with a hands-on or edible component. It all starts at 7 tonight with UCCS professor Andrea Herrera discussing Cuban art and Eric "Harry" Nicol of the Principal's Office covering coffee at GOCA 121 (121 S. Tejon St., #100, galleryuccs.org). Tickets for each ChitChat are $5 for GOCA members, $10 for non, and they go fast, so quit gabbing and get going. — Edie Adelstein

click to enlarge Manhattan Transfer

20 Thursday


For some 40 years, the Grammy winners in The Manhattan Transfer have essentially offered the ultimate stop for fans of catchy background music. I see it as the ideal soundtrack to, I don't know, Look Who's Talking. (The group's 2006 Christmas a capella album ain't bad either.) But whether you're a fan of four-part harmonies or you just dig on pop jazz vocal music, TMT is headed your way, at 7 tonight at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave., pikespeakcenter.com). Tickets start at $38. — Bryce Crawford

click to enlarge Galaxyfest

21 Friday


By day, it's gaming, cosplay, film-viewing, zombie ... um, shuffling about, and all other manner of action that overlaps the sci-fi, steampunk, comic and fantasy genres, among others. By night, it's tilting kilts via a leaf blower and "risqué round tables." Yes, GalaxyFest returns for a third year to the Antlers Hilton (4 S. Cascade Ave., galaxyfest.com), today through Sunday. Nab single-day passes online through Thursday for $10 to $20, or the full three-day pass for $45 (prices higher at the door); VIP options also available. Don't forget to meet some TV "stars" like that one guy who was in Teen Wolf and that other lady who regularly appears on General Hospital. (No joke.) —Matthew Schniper

click to enlarge Steampunk Festival II

22 Saturday


Like postmodernism and other hazily defined cultural currents, steampunk's time of arrival is as subject to debate as the origins of the universe. One obvious birthplace would be The Difference Engine, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's 1990 dystopian novel in which Babbage's steam-powered computer becomes a reality. Or take your pick: Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea — there are as many possible points of entry as there will be costumed devotees at this year's Steampunk Festival II. The Victor Lowell Thomas Museum (298 Victor Ave., Victor, victorcolorado.com/events.htm) is the epicenter for the Feb. 21-23 event, which promises all manner of vendors, lectures, mine tours, and esoteric contraptions, all highlighted by tonight's costume ball and contest. — Bill Forman

click to enlarge Ice Festival in Cripple Creek

23 Sunday


Today's the last day of the Cripple Creek Ice Festival, so that means if you've been paying attention for the past two weekends, you were able to watch artists carve out sculptures of cartoon characters (this year's theme) and take the little ones to the all-ice slides and maze. However, for today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can still catch the sculptures — some of which are even interactive — and icy fun, as well as carnival games and street vendors. It all takes place in downtown Cripple Creek and is free. Call 689-3461 or visit tiny.cc/zhl6ax for more information. — Edie Adelstein

click to enlarge Spine of the Continent

24 Monday


Human activity has driven flora and fauna from their habitats, and climate change has just made the situation worse. Development surrounds many of our largest nature reserves, cutting off the life within from the rest of the planet. But there's a way forward past our mistakes, an ambitious, even audacious, plan to connect protected areas all the way from the Yukon to Mexico — and Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of Spine of the Continent, will bring news of the project to Colorado College's Gates Common Room (third floor of Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave., coloradocollege.edu) for free at 7 tonight. — Mary Jo Meade

click to enlarge Zadie Smith

25 Tuesday


Thirty-eight-year-old author Zadie Smith should be a role model to any writer with a pulse. You can look at her New Yorker bylines, or many awards won for books like 2000's White Teeth, which Time included on its list of the best English novels published since 1923. Or you can just read her response to that eighth circle of hell known as the writers group: "I have a horror of them," she told Random House. "Most writers groups moonlight as support groups for the kind of people who think that writing is therapeutic." Catch more of her sharp insight at 7 tonight, at her free talk at CC's Armstrong Hall (14 E. Cache la Poudre St., coloradocollege.edu). — Bryce Crawford


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