Thursday, June 23
Having already fully covered the landscape of non-fiction in a scorching trio of documentary/ memoirs about his own life and the experiences of illegals on the Mexican borders, author Luis Alberto Urrea now turns his poetic pen to fiction, applying gorgeous prose to a new epic novel called The Hummingbird's Daughter. Still, an autobiographical thread weaves its way through Daughter, the story of a Mexican curandera set against Mexico's political backdrop of the late nineteenth century. The book, which Urrea says is based on family stories told by his Great Aunt Teresita, updates magical realism to sparkling critical kudos. Urrea reads from and signs his work tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Cherry Creek, 2955 East First Avenue; call 303-322-7727 or visit www.tatteredcover.com.
Friday, June 24
Pride week is here, which means the area's GLBT crowd will be wearing its colors all over town in anticipation of Sunday's PrideFest finale. But while marching together to celebrate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots is all well and good, the pre-fest atmosphere is all about partying, which is also a fine thing. Here are but a few of the shindigs planned: The lesbian social club Babes Around Denver kicks off the weekend at 6 p.m. tonight with the BAD Pride and U.S. Women's Open Party, at the Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue. Mingle with the misses for just $5; go to www.babesaroundenver.com for details. The rest of the gals might well be carousing at Naughty Haughty, a competing party with live DJs, go-go dancers, Miller girls, drink specials and more, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Fox Hole Lounge, 2936 Fox Street. Admission is $5; visit www.hipchicksout.com for the down and dirty, or call 303-298-7378. For sheer originality and divine scenery (both the decor and the boys), make tracks for Tracks, 3500 Walnut Street, Ancient Babylon Tour, a time-warped version of the cable show's nightclub, Babylon, as it might have appeared in the actual ancient realm, circa 200 B.C. DJ Roland Belmares provides the dance fuel; admission is $15. Call 303-863-7326 or log on to www.tracksdenver.com. At Club Evolution, 821 22nd Street, the first of three nights of what's touted as the "official" (and ongoing) PrideFest party rolls out with DJ Steve Oliveri, CD giveaways and a fashion show. Evolution rocks day and night, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.; call 303-296-4604 or go to www.clubevolutiondenver.com.
Saturday, June 25
Denver: Cowtown or highbrow town? We're all trying to figure out whether or not our fair city's cultural climate has come into its own. Have we arrived yet, or are we still in the sticks? Expect some dynamic tête-à-tête on the subject today when the annual benefit fine-art exhibition and sale Salon d'Arts hosts " Denver's Art Identity: Present and Future," a panel discussion with Mayor John Hickenlooper, Denver Art Museum director Lewis Sharp, and Vance Kirkland Museum founder Hugh Grant. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 2 p.m. today at the Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway, where audience members can also take time to view the Salon exhibit, on display through June 30. For information, call 303-494-0180 or log on to www.salon-d-arts.org.
Sunday, June 26
It's getting harder to tell the pets from the people in the modern American household, but it's not so hard to understand why. Animals, who operate on instinct and often supply the unconditional loyalty we all crave, delight us and provide us with solace from the ugly, stressful world. It's no wonder they've become such big business; they've even got their own cable network. Animal Planet, dedicated solely to programs about the animal world, today will bring its Animal Planet Expo to Denver's City Park, 23rd Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, with a broad, family-friendly palette of exhibits, games and demonstrations, as well as guest appearances by AP celebrities. At the top of that particular list is intrepid globe-trotting animal nut Jeff Corwin, who will sign copies of his new book, Living on the Edge; additional events range from live exotic-animal presentations and disc-dog demos to pet adoption opportunities. Sniff around the park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission is free. For details, visit www.discovery.com and click on Animal Planet.
Monday, June 27
Boomers who remember Leonard Bernstein's definitive narration of Peter and the Wolf with the New York Philharmonic can now pass on the delights of Prokofiev's orchestral work to their kids and grandkids. The annual Colorado Music Festival Young People's Concert presents the cautionary musical tale, with Denver Center Theatre Company stalwart Randy Moore taking over the narrating detail, at 10 a.m. today at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road in Boulder. A family music fair follows, with refreshments, strolling musicians, animal characters, an instrument petting zoo and more. Both events are especially recommended for children ages three to seven; for tickets, $8, call 303-440-7666 or go to www.ticketswest.com.
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Tuesday, June 28
Like a cat, Arthur Edwards seems to have many lives. Probably best known as a founding member of the Arizona band the Refreshments, who had a hit several years ago with "Banditos," Edwards also penned the theme song for the Fox cartoon series King of the Hill. But these days, he's reinvented himself as a self-published novelist; his debut tome, Stuck Outside of Phoenix, touches on the whole rock-band experience as only a former band member can convey it. Edwards's multiple talents will mingle anew when he brings a different kind of reading to town: He'll perform a "musical rendering" of his book tonight at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. For information, call 303-294-9281; for more about Edwards, go to www.defunctpress.com.
Wednesday, June 29
He may not have a name that stands out in a crowd, but John Doe, co-founder of the legendary L.A. punk band X, is one of those rare missing links who effectively combine both the roots and spawn of American music. Not only that, but he consistently writes tunes that matter, which is pretty important work, especially at a time when so little of pop music does. And he's not slowing down, either: A host of music luminaries of his ilk, including Dave Alvin, Grant Lee Phillips, Neko Case and Kristin Hersh, pitched in recently to help make Doe's new Yep Roc release, Forever Hasn't Happened Yet, one of his best. In the area as the opener for Lucinda Williams at the Boulder Theater and the Botanic Gardens, Doe will be on his own tonight at 10 p.m. at the Lion's Lair, 2022 East Colfax Avenue; for tickets, $15, call 303-320-9200 or go to www.nipp.com.