The wonderful world of radar guns and livestock scales comes alive today during something a little bit different--a Colorado Measurement Standards Open House. It's being thrown in celebration of National Weights and Measures Week, which commemorates the March 2, 1799, passing of the first weights and measures law in this country. Hosted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, under whose auspices measurements are calibrated, the event offers the public a chance to learn how and why it's done. Ho-hum? It's up to you to weigh the evidence. Drop by between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at 3125 Wyandot St.; call 303-477-4220 for details.
The Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center's multi-layered spring cultural series, Red Scare/Black List: McCarthyism and the Arts, takes yet another turn in the road by adding folk music to the mix. Sing Out! With Peggy Seeger brings one of the genre's most time-honored partisans to the stage of the center's Shwayder Theatre, 350 S. Dahlia St., in conjunction with a screening of The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time?, part of the Naming Names: HUAC and Hollywood film series. A member of one of America's great musical families, Seeger followed brother Pete, who is featured in the film, into folk music's then-burgeoning political arena of the 1950s, giving her a unique perspective that she'll share tonight at 7 with help from Harry Tuft and Dick Weissman, two of our most firmly entrenched local folkies. Admission for the film and program is $5; call 303-321-6360.
Some photographers seem to thrive on the human spirit, finding countless ways to give that spirit flesh in a two-dimensional medium. One of the best in that field, Phil Borges, made waves a few years back with his first Rizzoli monograph, Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion, a stunningly beautiful and prize-winning work with text by the Dalai Lama. His second book, The Enduring Spirit, a collaboration with Amnesty International, follows in the earlier work's footsteps, using portraits of indigenous peoples from around the world to draw attention to their dwindling, threatened ranks. An exhibit of limited-edition prints from the book go on display tonight at Hal Gould's Camera Obscura Gallery, 1309 Bannock St., with the artist appearing in person for a reception and book signing from 5:30 to 8:30. The works remain on view through April 25; call 303-623-4059.
He was the man who twiddled the knobs behind the scenes when John, Paul, George and Ringo changed the course of pop music in the Sixties, and most critics and historians agree that the classically influenced ear of producer Sir George Martin was an integral cog in the wheel of their success. The famous Beatle collaborator, responsible for the strings on "Yesterday" and "Eleanor Rigby" and those then-daring sound effects on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, now tours with The Making of Sgt. Pepper, a multi-media affair that includes video segments with the surviving Beatles and a question-and-answer period with the sound mastermind himself. Martin appears tonight at 8 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl.; for tickets, $24 to $29, call 303-830-TIXS.
Few bands ever rise to fame on nothing but a groove, but the legendary Meters played grooves like they invented them, weaving them through the kind of funky, polyrhythmic New Orleans-style street beat that commands audiences to dance. Ceaselessly. Reincarnated now as the Funky Meters, the band--including founding members Art Neville and George Porter Jr. on keyboards and bass, with new drummer Russell Batiste and guitarist Brian Stoltz--brings back the old but timeless Meters sound tonight and tomorrow at 9 at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. Wear comfortable shoes and a sweatband. For tickets, $25, call 303-443-3399 or 303-830-TIXS.
Saint Pattie's is right around the bend, and local promoter Pat McCullough of Celtic Events is already pulling out the stops, bringing a steady stream of grade-A Celtic music through town all month long. That lyrical string begins tonight at 7:15, when Irish band Clannad's supernaturally sweet-sounding vocalist Maire Brennan appears at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., to do her thing. Tickets are $16 in advance ($18 at the door); call 303-329-6353 or 1-800-517-SEAT. Wednesday finds the Black Brothers, members of a family that also includes Irish music stars Mary and Frances Black, on stage at Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 E. Yale, beginning at 7:30; admission is $12 to $15. Then the young and feisty band Solas presides over an early St. Pat's party on March 13 from noon to 5, after the annual downtown parade, at the Paramount Theatre; tickets range from $9 to $18. And on the day itself, March 17, up-and-coming songstress and Irish Manhattanite Susan McKeown and her band, Chanting House, turn that moldy old green-beer tradition on its nose with a rousing set beginning at 7 at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St.; admission to that show is an easy $10. You won't even have to wear green if you don't want to. To reserve tickets at all venues except the Bluebird, call 303-830-TIXS.
What's the trouble with all those endless fundraisers? How about...they're boring? Well, here's an antidote: The Bloodhounds of LoDo Scavenger Hunt turns the art of raising money for charity into a game--literally--by setting six-person teams loose on the streets of LoDo to search for mystery items using clues gleaned from a crossword puzzle. There will be prizes galore for the winning teams, as well as awards for best team name, costume and song, but the real winner is the Bonfils Blood Center, recipient of the day's returns. After the hunt, participants can chill at the Wynkoop Brewing Company for a pool tournament and white-elephant junk auction featuring celebrity castoffs. The fun begins at 2 p.m. at the Wynkoop, 1634 Wynkoop St.; call 303-363-2356 to register your team.
There's been a quiet little revolution going on for years in the hills of Marin County that's part grassroots (as in bluegrass roots), part gypsy jazz and part chamber music. And at the bottom of it all is the David Grisman Quintet, an accomplished instrumental group led by the virtuoso mandolinist and creator of "Dawg Music," his own stylistic hybrid. When Grisman's not picking, he's busy putting out selective and handcrafted recordings on his own Acoustic Disc label, collecting rare instruments and polishing the acoustic string-band genre like a diamond. Tonight, Grisman and his band begin a three-night run at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder. All shows start at 9 p.m., and tickets are $20; call 303-443-3399 or 303-830-TIXS.
They couldn't have picked a better time for outspoken conservative essayist, social critic and baseball nut George Will to speak at the Denver Distinguished Lecture Series--on the brink of baseball season and in a period of general political upheaval. There's a good chance he'll have plenty to say about both when he appears tonight at 7 at the Auditorium Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets. Admission ranges from $25 to $52 (proceeds benefit University of Denver scholarships and Junior Achievement economic education programs); to reserve tickets, call 303-830-TIXS.
The usual word on the CU-Boulder Visiting Artist Program is this: You had to be there. But, alas, you weren't. Unless you're a fine-arts student at CU, it's quite possible that you've never attended the ongoing series of public talks given by artists from across the nation, all of whom are working in cutting-edge media. This time around, visiting film and video artist George Kuchar, a veteran of the New York underground film scene of thirty years ago who switched to video in the 1980s, will lecture on his verite style tonight at 8 in Room N141 of the Sibell-Wolle Fine Arts Building, 18th and Euclid streets on the CU-Boulder campus. Admission is free, so go--you might learn something. For more information call 303-492-6504.
On another front, CU-Boulder will also host a two-part Festival of Post-Soviet Culture this week, beginning with The Soviet Composer in a Post-Soviet Society, a festival of concerts, classes and lectures, and ending on March 13 with a daylong Symposium on Post-Soviet Culture, which will focus on film and visual-arts issues evident since perestroika. Events, all free and open to the public, take place in the Imig Music Building and Hellems Hall on the CU-Boulder campus; for information call 303-492-8008 or 303-492-7404.