Rock and roll is here to stay: Detractors of retro rock call it tired, but when a band as solid as Scotland's Del Amitri comes along, the genre is transformed into a sinewy animal that's nothing short of classic. The combo does it up like pros--they write songs that straddle the dark side, catching listeners with a pile of dangerous hooks, Justin Currie's gorgeous, tuneful vocals and a helping of sharp guitar work by Iain Harvey. Del Amitri plies its soulful craft (these days, you've got to appreciate a band that can both sing and play live) tonight at 7:30 at CU-Boulder's Glenn Miller Ballroom; for tickets, $15, call 830-TIXS.
Thursday September 14 Micro-blues: Small and sweet, the Boulder Blues Festival, featuring three consecutive evening concerts at the Boulder Theater, gives you just enough and no more. Tonight, Baton Rouge guitarist Tab Benoit gets down to basics, playing his unpretentious version of bare-boned "skinned" blues at 8; tomorrow, the Fabulous Thunderbirds pick up the ball, also at 8, and Junior Wells, a blues harmonica blower of unparalleled virtuosity, finishes up at the same time Saturday. In addition, Colorado blues artists will provide free tunes from noon to 5 on Saturday at Boulder's Court House Lawn on the Pearl Street Mall. Concert tickets range from $12.60 to $15.75 nightly, or purchase a three-day pass for $36; for information and reservations call 830-TIXS or 786-7030. The Boulder Theater is at 2030 14th St.
Friday September 15 A kiss is just a kiss: Some of the most lasting--and universal--photographic images of the century depict the simple act of putting lips together, with results ranging from demure to funny to torrid to just plain romantic. The Art of Kissing, a new exhibit opening this evening from 5:30 to 9:30 at the Camera Obscura Gallery, 1309 Bannock St., is certain to make you feel all squishy inside, with its famous works snapped by a shutterbug's who's who of the world's great photographers. The show continues through October 29; call 623-4059.
All that jazz: This year's batch of Park Hill Golf Club Mainstream Jazz Evenings--a classy, danceable series featuring highly respected names from the traditional, but absolutely grooving, corner of jazz legend--starts off this weekend with a guaranteed toe-tapper: regular Ralph Sutton, powerhouse pianist and the glue that holds this series together, joined by a pair of tenor saxmen--Ben Webster-influenced Scott Hamilton and consistent Downbeat award winner Flip Phillips, guitarist Howard Alden and, providently keeping the beat, sage bassist Milt "The Judge" Hinton and former Basie drummer Butch Miles. Doors at Park Hill, 4141 E. 35th Ave., open tonight and tomorrow at 5, with bistro dining available from 5:30 to 9 and music beginning at 7; tickets are $30. For reservations--they're recommended--call 333-5414 or 333-2940.
Prehistory repeats itself: Any good follower of dinosaur lore knows about Dr. Robert T. Bakker, the bearded dino raconteur, maverick paleontologist, author of The Dinosaur Heresies and oft-filmed and -quoted expert. Bakker has now channeled his ideas (which inspired the book and film Jurassic Park) and theories that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, crafty thinkers into an entertaining novel about just such a creature, Raptor Red. He lectures and signs copies of the book tonight at 7 in Bunker Auditorium at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. Admission to the rare speaking engagement is $17 ($14 students, teachers and kids under twelve); call 1-800-444-SEAT. Bakker's speech should get you ready for something totally primordial but unscientific--The Dinosaurs That Took Hollywood, a two-day film festival that begins tomorrow at the Denver Museum of Natural History's Ricketson Auditorium, 2001 Colorado Blvd. Cartoons (Gertie the Dinosaur and the dino segment from Fantasia), B-movies (One Million B.C., Raquel fans!) and corny Japanese classics (egads, Godzilla!) are the fare here, sandwiched between lectures and a little hands-on museum fun. Sessions run from 8:30 to 5 tomorrow and 10 to 5 Sunday; full two-day admission ranges from $10 to $24 (individual tickets, $4 to $12). Call 322-7009 to reserve a seat. Yabba dabba doo!
Saturday September 16 All dolled up: To call this a doll show doesn't do it justice--this weekend's Show and Sale of Miniatures and Dolls, sponsored by the Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, will not only overflow with the elegant precursors to Betsy Wetsy, G.I. Joe and Barbie, but also will feature miniature baby carriages and period furniture, a matchstick cathedral, teddy bears galore, dime-sized paintings, Indian artifacts and much more. The show, open from 10 to 5 today and 11 to 5 tomorrow at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, I-70 and Chambers Road, costs $5 ($4 seniors, $3 kids under twelve; tickets good for both days). For additional information call 322-1053. And meanwhile, back at the museum, located at 1880 Gaylord St. near City Park, don't miss Toys and Dolls of the Native Americans, a new exhibit that opened last Tuesday and continues through next year. Admission is $3 ($2 seniors and kids); for museum hours call 322-3704.