Just outside Santiago, in the lush jungles of Guatemala, rests Lago Atitlán, a lake of crystalline waters and ancient mythical lore. The Maya believe this sacred site is the literal belly button of life and the very center of all creation. Indeed, it was the perfect inspiration for a group of traveling Texans, a handful of backpacking Canucks and a didgeridooing Coloradan to create the primal trance infusion band Kan'Nal. According to lead vocalist Tzol, Kan'Nal is a lively mix of traditional Guatemalan music, interactive theater and Mayan dance, complete with elaborate costuming, intricate masks, and even fairies armed with overflowing fruit platters. "We try to create a magical, dreamlike experience," says Tzol. "Our goal is to create a space that allows people to open up, to move and to dance."
In town to negotiate a record deal, the group will perform at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, tonight at 10 p.m. "There's a vibe in Colorado we really relate to," says Tzol.
Tickets are $5; for more information, visit www.kannal.org or call the Mercury Cafe at 303-294-9281. -- Kity Ironton
Spike & Mike Grow Up
Way before Beavis, when those Powerpuff chicks were known as the Whoop-Ass Girls and South Park was still an unknown blip of a town on the Colorado map, Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation was launching careers. Now celebrating 25 years of noxious fun, Spike & Mike's show is back in town, hammering out 23 new films, including two selections from local animators: Bubble Trouble, from Boulder's Mighty Fudge Studios, and American History -- the first animated film by homegrown Trey Parker and co-creator Chris Graves. Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation 2003 debuts at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 East Colfax Avenue, at midnight tonight for the eighteen-and-over crowd; tickets are $8. Additional dates and screenings will take place throughout the month. For details, call 303-322-2308 or visit www.spikeandmike.com. -- Kity Ironton
Schlong-A-Thon features the woodman
Ron Jeremy is fond of the number 9 3/4, although he doesn't mind if you round it up to ten. Aptly nicknamed "the hedgehog" and appearing in more than 1,600 adult videos, Jeremy is nothing short of legendary. "My intention was to do a couple of porn films, and that's it," he claims. Things didn't work quite as planned, and thirty years later, this infamous film star is still going at it. While the majority of his roles garner X ratings, Jeremy has scored a few mainstream titles. Wanna know more? Yes, you do. Tonight's 1st Annual Denver Schlong-A-Thon, beginning at 8 p.m. at the Ogden Theatre, 935 East Colfax Avenue, offers more than just a tribute to endowment: Audience members will actually get to participate in a Q&A with the schlong-master himself as well as hear Jeremy deliver his standup shtick. The $12 admission also covers music by October Episode (whose members Andre and Garth happen to work for sponsor Shotgun Willie's) and Rogue (described by NIPP's Peter Ore as the band "with the biggest stripper following"), giveaways from Secrets and a wet T-shirt contest offering a $250 prize. (Could there be a more experienced judge?
Tickets to this 21-and-over event are available at www.ticketweb.com. -- Catalina Soltero
Helander looks for a hand
Choreographer Danelle Helander had planned to take her dancers to Australia this year, but a shortage of funds kept her at home. She estimates the budget of her troupe, Helander Dance, to be at "probably about half" of what it normally is. "It's really been discouraging," she says. Nonetheless, being forced to stay at home prompted her to explore new collaborations with local artists. The Boulder-based company has a history of partnership. Helander has visited cities in Nicaragua, Japan and West Africa and brought back elements of those cultures to be incorporated into her own dances. At home and abroad, she has teamed up with humanitarian organizations, using dance as a springboard for social action. This fall, Helander plans to work with local dancers and musicians from differing backgrounds to produce "What's Next?," a work that will draw from various dance styles, including ballet, and music traditions like Japanese shakuhachi.
But money is still short for the project, so Helander is holding a fundraising performance tonight. Dancers and musicians will perform a work in progress and put together an improv jam session for donating guests, who will be served wine and hors d'oeuvres. The benefit, at Boulder's Canyon House, 40420 Boulder Canyon Drive, is from 5 to 7 p.m. Call 303-473-9438 for more information. -- Jonelle Wilkinson Seitz