Next of Keen: Cult favorites often get that way because of a quirk; for guitarist Robert Earl Keen, it's an oddball brand of deadpan humor that's just weird enough to elicit double takes wherever he plays. But on that second look, you'll usually discover that Keen has a serious side, too, one that's alive with an outlaw's pathos and a weary, rippling voice reminiscent of vintage Jerry Jeff Walker. Public radio's E-Town, in the midst of a magnificent string of live-audience shows, features Keen tonight, along with label-mate and female songwriting wunderkind Abra Moore, at 6:30 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder. E-Town then continues on its roll tomorrow with Weissenborn-strumming pop individualist Ben Harper and a helping of Louisiana zydeco courtesy of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, a traditional bayou band as authentic as a swamp-front crawfish boil. That show also begins at 6:30; tickets for either night are $9 in advance ($11 day of show). Call 786-7030.
The old man down the road: No one keeps on chooglin' better than John Fogerty, once the heartbeat and voice of Creedence Clearwater Revival and still a grand old man of the roots-rock genre. His appropriately named Blue Moon Swamp Tour stops in tonight at 8 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl.; for tickets, ranging from $25 to $35, call 830-TIXS.
The price is right: The organizers of Su Teatro in the Park must have a funnybone: The local Chicano theater group will present No Se Paga, No Se Paga (We Won't Pay, We Won't Pay) during the first of two weekends of free bilingual performances in Civic Center Park's Greek Amphitheater, and you won't pay, either. Dario Fo's farce is long on humor, depicting--a la The Honeymooners--a pair of wacky barrio couples wrapped up in battling political corruption, hysterical pregnancies and all the usual stuff. Performances begin at 8 tonight through Sunday; next weekend (August 21-23), Su Teatro returns to the park with Las Noches de Bellas Artes, a showcase of Latino dance and music that's also free. Civic Center Park is located at 14th and Acoma streets; roasted corn, hotdogs and ice cream will be available both weekends. For more information call 296-0219.
Revival of the fittest: It seems more energy gets expended at one old-fashioned revival meetin' than most of us burn off in a week. After befriending an evangelist on a 1993 trip to South Carolina and becoming fascinated by the reverend's congregation, photographer Stanley Lanzano's greatest challenge became rendering that religious gusto with heart and soul intact--a challenge he met with flying colors. Joyously captured on film in mid-flight at rural black A.M.E. and Baptist churches, the images of Lanzano's pictorial exhibit, Lord, I Wish I Had a Prayin' Church Tonight, will make you feel the rafters shake. And shots of a funeral may make you mourn. "I'm hopelessly drawn to these people," Lanzano says. "Not only their spiritual activities but their daily lives, their comings and goings." His work opens today at the Boulder Public Library's exhibit space; the show continues through August 31. A free reception begins tonight at 5; for information call 441-4492.
Jonesin': You can't say Stax without thinking of Booker T. Jones, a brilliant mastermind of the soul groove whose nimble fingerprints, along with those of MG's bandmates Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson, are all over Memphis-based pop music of the '60s: Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Sam & Dave are just the cream of the countless acts benefiting from Jones's solid backup. The man, a multi-instrumentalist whose subtle direction powered hits from "Green Onions" to "Soul Man," turns up for a solo stint tonight at 7:30 at the Arvada Center outdoor amphitheater, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.; it's a must for devoted soul-music lovers. Tickets are $10 for general lawn seating or $17 for reserved covered seating; call 431-3939.
Legendary fetes: You've heard his rampant defining influences spewed by everyone in pop music from Tom Petty to the Bangles. The ringing sound of a Rickenbacker twelve-string guitar still reverberates through the rock tradition today, thanks mainly to Byrds founder Roger McGuinn, whose soaring, bell-like riffs carried the seminal folk-rock band's tight harmonies eight miles high back in the '60s. A concert by such a godlike individual would probably hold most music lovers till the millennium, but this one's only half over: Joining McGuinn tonight at 8 at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, is Loudon Wainwright III, an outrightly original songwriter who sings dryly and wryly about the vagaries of life better than just about anyone else. It's a whopper. Tickets range from $17 to $20; call 440-7666 or 830-TIXS.
Like nearly everything else, they also grow legends--including the musical ones--big in Texas, and some of the best will be in town tonight as part of the Swallow Hill Music Association's Best of Texas Series. San Antonio-born singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa may encompass the Lone Star aura better than anyone this side of Doug Sahm, easing effortlessly between the conjunto, country and folk traditions that seem to perch on trees down there as thickly as mockingbirds--and she has a strong, sweet voice to match. The same is true of singing spouses Bill and Bonnie Hearne, known to everyone on the Texas songwriting circuit, from Lyle Lovett to Nanci Griffith, for their wonderful vocal rapport and folksy taste and feel. Lovett and Griffith, along with a fair parcel of other Texas legends join the Hearnes on their new Warner/Western CD, Diamonds in the Rough, but tonight the Hearnes pair up deliciously with Tish at 8 at the Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave. Admission is $15 ($13 Swallow Hill members); call 1-800-444-SEAT or 777-1003.
Night riders: Midnight cyclers can find safety in numbers during the Moonlight Classic '97, a unique benefit ride for Seniors! Inc. that rolls under the moon and stars tonight for its fifth year. A 10 p.m. party, with live music, drawings, a costume contest and plenty of non-alcoholic beer precedes the event at 10 at its starting and ending point, Speer Blvd. and Lawrence St. on the Auraria campus; then the wheelers take off between midnight and 1 on ten- or twenty-mile tours among downtown and central Denver sights and landmarks. Midnight snack stops will be provided along ride routes, and a Lunar Fiesta wraps it all up back at Auraria with breakfast, music and hoopla for all. Registration fees are $15 to $20 in advance ($20 to $25 on ride night); call 541-3705 for information.
The sound and the jury: It was the ensemble-cast movie to end them all--when the film 12 Angry Men, directed by Sidney Lumet and boasting a cast sprinkled with the likes of Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam and Lee J. Cobb, opened in 1957, it garnered instant success and an Oscar nomination. Now cable TV's Showtime has spawned a new version of the courtroom classic, in which Juror No. 8, originally played by Fonda and now portrayed by Jack Lemmon, sways the rest of a jury deliberating a murder case. The likes of George C. Scott, Ossie Davis and Tony Danza take over the jurors' roles. William Friedkin directs. Tune in to Showtime tonight at 7.
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On the move: The second annual Denver Jewish Film Festival, in its second day at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., explores the post-World War II history of European Jewry with a pair of documentaries, The Long Way Home at 1 and Exodus 1947 at 3. The mood shifts gears at 7 with The Line King, a portrait of cartoonist Al Hirschfeld, followed by a live forum with the filmmaker, Susan Dryfoos. The festival ends August 21; tickets are $5 to $7 per film. Call 399-2660, ext. 172, for information.
Mixed metaphors: Here's an instance where it works--Patsy and the Beast, a benefit for Project Angel Heart, will feature an unlikely combination of cast members from Always...Patsy Cline and Beauty and the Beast, both currently in production at neighboring theaters in the Plex, at 14th and Curtis streets. A performance and silent auction of showbiz memorabilia, rumored to include an Esther Williams swimsuit and a signed Lena Horne jacket, begin at 7:30 at Patsy's home, the Garner Galleria Theatre; for tickets, $20 in advance ($25 at the door), call 654-7077.
On the road: Need to cool your jets, road warriors? Sate your late-season summer wanderlust tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover LoDo, when author/ photographer Jeff Brouws presents a slide show based on his book Highway: America's Endless Dream, a gorgeous, full-color tome that extols American road culture so effectively, you'll no longer need to leave home to experience it. Then you can get back to the autumn grindstone in peace. The Tattered Cover LoDo is at 1628 16th St.; call 436-1070 for details.
A classic act: As the Colorado Chautauqua's silent-film series nears the end of its season, it does so in style. Comedic French director Rene Clair's brief brush with the 1920s Paris avant-garde resulted in Entr'acte, his second film, considered one of the greats of early cinema. Ridney Sauer and Hank Troy provide music from the original score by Eric Satie. Also on the bill is Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein's epic view of Odessa during the 1905 revolution--complete with its famous steppes massacre scene. The Russians get help from the twenty-piece Boulder Sinfonia. The twin bill starts at 7:30 at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline, Boulder. Tickets are $5 to $8; call 440-7666.