Celtic music fills a mighty niche in the independent recording biz, and that will become oh-so-clear tonight at the Celtic Nations Showcase, a Celtic nirvana coming to the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl., in conjunction with the Association for Independent Music's convention, which takes place in Denver this week. The dandy concert features Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, vocalist Susan McKeown, Hothouse Flower guitarist Liam O'Maonlai, Galician combo Milladoiro and New Zealander Steve McDonald, who's made some noise on the indie charts with Sons of Somerled, a musical chronicle based on the McDonald clan history. Admission to the 8 p.m. show ranges from $17.50 to $28; call 830-TIXS.
If you're old enough and have lived here long enough, you may remember when a series of brightly colored, temporary geometric sculptures was raised thirty years ago in Burns Park, located in the triangle between Alameda Ave., Leetsdale Dr. and Colorado Blvd. A number of them remained standing for years longer than they were meant to last, though, and in recent years have fallen into disrepair. Now the city, in hopes of re-establishing the park's presence as an outdoor art oasis, has invited a number of local artists to create new works for the space. The first of those, Jazz, by Barbara Baer, goes up this summer. To help prepare the public for things to come at Burns, William Havu's 1/1 Gallery, in its temporary location at 1058 Delaware St., will host a show of artists' models of proposed sculptures by Baer and others. The exhibit opens tonight from 5 to 8 and continues through May 22; call 893-2360. A free celebration takes place from noon to 5 tomorrow in the park itself, featuring a re-dedication ceremony, hands-on activities, students building their own temporary cardboard sculptures and other festivities.
If you're constantly scratching your head and wondering what ever happened to good old rock and roll, scratch no longer. Edgar Winter, who got his start playing for his legendary brother, Johnny, still boogies like no other, mixing seminal and gutsy influences like any good Texan would. Winter blows into town tonight at the Casino Cabaret, 2633 Welton St., bringing his Wayne's World 2 hit "Frankenstein" with him. Tickets are $20; call 292-2626.
One way or another, you can walk with the animals today, whether they be furry, feathery, scaly or any of the above. At the Denver Zoo, it's time to Walk on the Wild Side by taking a two-mile strolling safari on zoo grounds and around nearby Ferril Lake. The annual benefit walk, designed to be taken with a minimum of huffing and puffing, is a favorite with people of all ages and fitness levels; clowns, live music and refreshments await everyone at the end of the line. Entry fees range from $8 to $14; call 376-4800 for details.
In the meantime, things will also fly at Barr Lake State Park, 13401 Picadilly Rd., Brighton, which hosts Winging Into Spring today from dawn to 3 p.m. A 6 a.m. Lions Club pancake breakfast kicks off the day of bird walks, banding demonstrations, kids' activities and vendor booths selling bird-related wares; admission is $2 (children twelve and under free) plus the required $4 park day pass for vehicles. For information call 659-6005.
What else is up in the air? Your tax situation, perhaps? Stop holding your breath and work out the tangles--it's a breeze on IRS Problem-Solving Day, when folks caught in thorny tax conundrums can iron things out for free. IRS employees will meet with the public today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the IRS District Office in Dominion Plaza, 600 17th St.; for a highly recommended appointment, call 571-4402 or 1-800-829-1040.
An incredibly varied stockpile of art and objects will go on the block tonight at the annual Art Against AIDS Auction from 6 to 10 in the posh new Donald R. Seawell Grand Ballroom, located atop the Plex at 14th and Curtis. Works donated by local and national artists, collectors and galleries will be offered up for silent bidding; Christie's of New York will then take over for a live auction of the most select items. Admission, which benefits the Colorado AIDS Project, is $25 in advance ($30 at the door). Another way you can show support for AIDS causes, without spending a dime, takes place from 6 to 8 tomorrow evening during the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial and Mobilization. The vigil and the rally on the west steps of the State Capitol take an activist look at the future while honoring those who have died of AIDS. For information on either event, call 837-0166 or log on to www.coloaids.org.