And by night? Vail's Dobson Arena will host a pair of alternative-rock concerts, each headlined by three nationally known bands and a couple of unsigned acts vying for a chance to win big bucks and sign with a major label. Tonight at 7, Leah Andreone, Morphine and Rusted Root perform, along with Battle of the Bands competitors Propeller and the Exceptions; tomorrow at 7, catch the Bloodhound Gang, L7 and Dinosaur Jr, with Salmon Davis and Punch Drunk Monkeys. Concert admission is $15 nightly--or $25 for the adrenaline-pumped two-night package; tickets can be purchased at area Sam Goody stores or charged by calling 1-970-476-7752.
Bring in da noise: The guitarist in 24-7 Spyz calls himself Jimi Hazel. And anyone with a sense of history who sees that name is going to put two and two together: In the tradition of Living Colour and the Chili Peppers, the Spyz marry the metal histrionics of Jimi Hendrix and the funk grooves of late Parliament/Funkadelic axman Eddie Hazel--looking backward and forward at the same time, till death do us part. The trio, reconfigured from a version that almost did part, will undo the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax, tonight at 8, drawing from fresh material off its Boulder-produced W.A.R.? comeback CD, Heavy Metal Soul by the Pound. They aren't kidding, either. Tickets are $7; call 322-2308.
Back in the saddle: The demise this year of the Park Hill Golf Club's mainstream jazz series left a big hole in the area's jazz performance scene. But trad-jazz fans can now let out a huge sigh of relief: The Summit Jazz Foundation is resurrecting the series at a new location, bringing back the same swinging lineups for which Park Hill was once famous. This weekend, at the centrally located Adam's Mark Hotel, 1550 Court Place, an all-star combo that includes violinist Johnny Frigo, reed player Ken Peplowski, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, pianist Derek Smith and others gets down to business for two solid nights of jazz, beginning at 7 today and tomorrow. Reserved cabaret seating is $30 a pop; call 674-4190 or 670-8471.
Voices of America: Is there a songwriters' convention in town? Nearly. How else to explain this powerhouse two-night bill? Thinking songbird Shawn Colvin tops the docket, joined by two of pop songcraft's brightest stars--Freedy Johnston and newcomer Patty Griffin--tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl. Hot off the 1996 release of her entirely self-penned album, A Few Small Repairs, Colvin--already an underground favorite for her astute, sensitive work with material by other writers--has proven herself a formidable, in-your-face lyricist unafraid to speak her mind. And Johnston, a master of the bittersweet melodic narrative, continues to gather speed--and critical acclaim--with the release of his fourth impeccably crafted album, Never Home. Griffin, who counts Rickie Lee Jones and Bruce Springsteen among her earliest influences, seems destined to cover similar ground. Admission to this lyrical stick of dynamite is $22.50, plus the usual fees and service charges; call 830-TIXS for tickets.
Tinseltown follies: Hollywood is not a pretty place--you already knew that. But a pair of new theatrical productions in town will solidify your findings with fresh evidence.
The seedy, drug-addicted, shallow side of show business provides the grist for David Rabe's gritty drama Hurlyburly, which follows four male characters in a disturbing descent into the Hollywood netherworld. The debut production of the new HorseChart Theatre Company, Hurlyburly plays at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, through May 3, at the Acoma City Center, 1080 Acoma St.; two additional "pay-what-you-can" Wednesday performances are scheduled for April 16 and 30. Tickets are regularly $10 to $14 (discounts available for students, seniors and groups of ten or more); call 458-0755 for reservations and information.
Slightly more lighthearted, though not without a modicum of weight, is One Foot on the Floor, a classic Parisian farce reworked by director Marcia Milgrom Dodge and the Denver Center Theatre Company on territory more familiar to contemporary Americans--late '30s Hollywood, in all its brassy splendor. Based on Feydeau's Le Dindon, a nineteenth-century bedroom farce, Foot pokes pointed fun at the industry's attempts to clean up its own morals. Shows are scheduled Monday through Saturday, through April 19 at the Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; for showtimes and tickets, ranging from $25 to $32, call 893-4100 or 830-TIXS.
Exotic chimes: A world of music culled from the most unexpected places can be heard around the area tonight: Argentine tango music--currently undergoing a modernized revival, thanks to the influence of late tango master Astor Piazzola--will dance in the spotlight with a rose between its teeth when Tangata Rea, a throwback quintet from Buenos Aires reviving passionate tango styles of the '30s and '40s, performs at the Temple Events Center, 1595 Pearl St., tonight at 7. A Tango Colorado Milonga (that's vernacular for a dance party) follows the show at 10, at the nearby Denver Turnverein Hall, 1570 Clarkson St. Concert tickets are $20, while dance tickets are an additional $5 to $8 at the door. Tangata Rea returns tomorrow to the Temple Events Center at 3 for an elegant tango tea dance; admission is $18. For details about all events call 444-9667 or 442-7666.
The indigenous music of Argentina's Andean neighbors, performed on a rough-hewn collection of indigenous pipes, flutes, drums and stringed instruments, will provide a folksy counterpoint to the elegant tango when Chaskinakuy, a non-South American duo, perform their plaintive and authentic mountain melodies tonight at 8 at the Swallow Hill Music Hall, 1905 S. Pearl St. Tickets go for $12 ($10 Swallow Hill members); call 777-1003.
Field of dreams: Baseball, more than any other sport, sings with promise each spring--it just seems to stand up with its hand over its heart, ready to belt out the national anthem into crisp spring skies. So it isn't quite opening day. So what? When the Colorado Rockies meet the Kansas City Royals this afternoon for a 1:05 exhibition game at Coors Field, it might as well be, this being the first year of interleague play (and--we can only hope--the comeback year for pitcher Bill Swift). Pray for sun and call 1-800-388-7625 for ticket availability.
Up against the wall: An ancient artform goes thoroughly modern--with astonishing and attractive results--at the American Tapestry Biennial I, currently on display at the Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St., Golden. Featuring 34 handwoven works by artists from around the world, the touring show, whose Foothills stop is its last, is a paean to a painstaking and detailed genre of artistry once parceled out by artists to unsung weavers, who completed the complicated hangings. Nowadays, the artists do their own designing and weaving, using personal imagery. The biennial remains on display at the center through April 13; a complementary exhibit of contemporary quilts completes the viewing experience. Call 279-3922.
Road show: Leave your preconceptions at home for this gallery exhibit: Tonight at 10, the adult-sized kinetic pull-toys of sculptor Diana Ruthers will be promenaded down Boulder's Pearl Street Mall under the moon and stars in what is being called the CAROUSE'lle procession. Accompanied by musicologist John Galm, participants then make their way to the CU-Boulder Art Galleries, located on campus in the Sibell-Wolle Fine Arts Building. Once inside, the actual exhibit, called Rehumanizing Constructs, will remain on display through April 12; an opening reception of the usual sort takes place April 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. The gallery is open daily; call 492-8300 for hours and other information.
Big Broder is watching you: Someone's got to do it. National politicos need their watchdogs, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post political columnist and news-show pundit David S. Broder has taken on the job with a sage and adept style. He's not always in the limelight, but he's not a man to be taken lightly, either. So it ought to be well worth a listen when the unassuming Broder, appearing as the University of Denver's Edward W. Estlow lecturer, gives a talk titled "The System Needs a Change: A Band-Aid Won't Do It," tonight at 7 at the Driscoll University Center Ballroom, 2055 E. Evans Ave., on the DU campus. Following the free lecture, the First Amendment Congress will recognize Broder with its first Anvil of Freedom Award, given to figures deemed most influential in promoting issues of freedom of speech and the press. To reserve a seat for the event, call 871-2360.