Wednesday July 6 Belew horizon: Who knew? Adrian Belew may have gotten his start playing covers at the Holiday Inn, but nothing in the transcendent career that followed would indicate it. This thinking guitarist's guitarist has been Lieutenant Punk to Frank Zappa and the pop foil of Robert Fripp in King Crimson; he was a mainstay of the expanded Remain in Light Talking Heads and has also worked as hired ax with David Bowie, Paul Simon and even Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Not to mention the time spent with his own unknown and underrated Bears and a heap of fine solo work. His technical aplomb has redefined and perfected the sonic possibilities of the guitar, but it's all within a pristine pop sensibility--which translates as great tunes. Belew arrives today in Boulder with his current band, the Psychodots, and a menagerie of sounds for a two-night stand at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St. Tickets to either 8 p.m. show are $15 ($16 day of show) and are available by buzzing 290-TIXS.
Shiver me timbers: A swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, hanging majestically off a ship's mast, needs no dialogue. But he'd appreciate the fine musical accompaniment--provided by perennial pianist Hank Troy--when the flickering Fairbanks film The Black Pirate opens this year's Silent Film Series at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Rd. in Boulder. The only people talking will be those in the audience--so shush! (Hissing, gasping and sobbing excepted.) Tickets for series offerings, taking place on Wednesdays in July, are only $2 (kids only $1); for information call 440-7666.
Thursday July 7 Chants meeting: A multicultural and adventurous Colorado Dance Festival returns today to Boulder for a full month of fancy footwork, classes, workshops and lectures. Opening the fest tonight at 8 is a performance by Urban Bush Women, a troupe utilizing movement, music and a cappella field chants and hollers culled from African, Jamaican and African-American cultures. They'll continue their run in the Irey Theatre, on the CU-Boulder campus, through Sunday, before giving way to the Afro-Cuban musicians and dancers of Los Munequitos de Matanzas, who perform at the Boulder Theater July 16. Other upcoming performances include monologuist George Emilio Sanchez (July 20-21), Sin Cha Hong's Laughing Stone Dance Theater Company (July 22-23) and the Trisha Brown Company (July 30). Tickets for Urban Bush Women are $15; for reservations or information about festival events, call 442-7666.
Roux the day: The Arvada Center has cooked up a fabulous three-day fais do do with zydeco's Queen Ida, who has appeared there annually for ten years running. The bon temps begin to roll this evening with a 6:30 p.m. Cajun cooking workshop and dinner party with the queen, who can not only knock you dead with her accordion chops but will polish you off heartily with her shrimp etouffee--the dish of honor at tonight's soiree. The royal one returns with her Zydeco Band on Friday and Saturday for two extra helpings of fun--this time, the kind that will have you shaking your booty, Louisiana-style--dished out in the center's outdoor amphitheater at 7:30 each night. Make reservations for the limited-seating foodfest ($45 per person), the concerts ($20 reserved, $12 lawn) or both ($62 covers everything) by calling 431-3939. The Arvada Center is located at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
Friday July 8 Coastal resources: A new sculpture exhibition curated by Sylvia White of Contemporary Art Services and Gallery in Los Angeles opens tonight at Artyard, the outdoor sculpture gallery located at 1251 S. Pearl St. West Coast Sculpture focuses on the work of six coastal constructors--Richard Godfrey ("psychedelic neoconstructivist" works using light and water), Arlene Waxman (graceful works containing steel scraps, gears and chains), Tamara Patri (works in salvaged iron and wood), Tanya Ragir (figurative sculptures), Tyler Vogel (three-dimensional wall constructions) and Nobuyo Okuda. There will be a reception with White and the artists tonight from 5 to 8; the show stands at Artyard until August 8. For further information call 777-3219.
Stage write: Colorado playwrights will be in the spotlight when the Changing Scene's talent showcase Summerplay opens its ninth season. Six one-acts, some by repeat dramatists and some by newcomers, made the cut; three will run through July 24, with the other three to be staged August 4 through 21. Catch the first batch of plays--which include In Dependence, a comedy by Kristie Atwood about a women who has a three-foot-long fish for a roommate; Free Choice, by Hunger Artists member Andrew Barber; and Craig Sodero's The Man in the Upstairs Room, which places the missing czarevich Alexi, brother of Anastasia, in a communist asylum--Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ($7) and Sundays at 7 ($6). For reservations call the theater, located at 1527 1/2 Champa St., at 893-5775.
Saturday July 9 Have your Lollapalooza and eat it, too: The best in alternative music--and otherwise--will be on tap at Lollapalooza '94, the ever-changing granddaddy of alternative-music festivals. This year's smashing lineup, overseen by Porno for Pyro Perry Farrell, includes headliners Smashing Pumpkins, along with George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, the Beastie Boys, the Breeders, A Tribe Called Quest, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, L7 and the Boredoms. Whew. It all starts at 1 p.m. in the sunny confines of Fiddler's Green. And if the barrage is too much for you but you just can't get enough of that funky stuff, George Clinton headlines his own show indoors, tonight at 9 at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax. Lollapalooza tickets are $36; Clinton tickets are $21. Call 290-TIXS.
Sunday July 10 Jay and Jerry's chunky combo: Drummer Jerry Granelli is one of those sparkling, intelligent jazz artists who doesn't attract a lot of attention and whose work is impeccable. Granelli, who's worked with consummate bassist Gary Peacock and introspective guitarist Ralph Towner, recently released a lovely album, Another Place. And he now has teamed up with vocalist Jay Clayton, a veteran of several recordings and a member of the jazz faculty at Cornish College of the Arts. The result of that collaboration, the Granelli/Clayton Quintet, will perform tonight under the auspices of the Creative Music Works at The Bug, 3654 Navajo. Tickets to the 8:30 concert are $6 ($4 members); for details call the Bugline, 477-5977.
Monday July 11 Watch your language: Just one reason those poetry slams are so exhilarating: The fast-paced and literate competitions, where wordsmiths face off armed with irony and cadence, pump life into a little-appreciated and often unapproachable medium. Which is why Denver's Poetic Intoxication has been throwing slams monthly for over a year. Now, in conjunction with the Monday Night Poetry Series at the Denver Press Club (their new home), the intoxicated ones are throwing a slam manned by the best in the region--the Colorado Slam Team. These intrepid performers will be warming up for their trip to the International Slam Competition, to be held in August, beginning tonight at 8 at the club, 1330 Glenarm Pl. Admission is a paltry three bucks, so go and cheer them on. Call 571-5260.
Tuesday July 12 Caroling in July: Pop-eyed Carol Channing totally defined the character of matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi thirty years ago when Hello, Dolly! first debuted on Broadway, giving a performance that hasn't been matched since. So guess what? She's back, reprising the role that became her trademark. Channing and the musical open for previews tonight at 8 at the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, with performances continuing Tuesdays through Sundays until July 24. For tickets and other performance times call 893-4100.
Get the Events Newsletter
What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.