Thrills for the week

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Remember the part about swimming and crawling? Don't forget it's time for the annual KBCO/Budweiser Kinetics Sculpture Challenge, a comical competition featuring one-of-a-kind, human-powered sculptural crafts that make their way across the Boulder Reservoir. Gates open at 6:30 a.m. for a pancake breakfast, balloon festival and volleyball tournament; the race gets under way at 11. Immediately afterward, at 11:30, everyone will be treated to a concert by the Ugly Americans and JackoPierce. Admission is $25 per carload, or $3 for walk-ins. For details, call 444-KBCO.

Just wanna bang on a drum? If spring is doing a number on your hormones, give in to your primal alter ego--Mkono, a Fort Collins ensemble of accomplished world beaters, can help. The percussion group focuses on global rhythms tonight at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St., beginning with a drumming workshop at 8:30 before getting down for a concert/rhythm jam at 9:30. The evening, a benefit for the National and Colorado Rainbow Family, ends with Boulder blues rockers Double Dose at 11:30; admission is $7. Call 294-9258 or 595-1077.

May 4
Bern again: The older you get, the more cynical you become, especially when it comes to speculation over this year's latest New Bob Dylan. But whether you're old enough to remember the Real Bob Dylan or not, angry young folk-poet Dan Bern gives the title a good run for its money, recalling Dylan's bitter, effusive delivery while forging ahead in his own distinct, personal direction. That has lately taken him on the regional rounds, but if you've missed him up to now, you can still catch this rolling stone tonight at E-Town, beginning at 7 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder. Laura Love, who calls her traditionally based musical weave "Afro-Celtic," also appears; for tickets, $9 to $11, call 786-7030.

Pub crawl: How do you raise money for a Bug? Well, you could take your traveling flea circus on the road or camp on the side of the road, selling beeswax and honey. Or you could throw a party with flamenco music, belly dancing, magic tricks, tarot readings, street performers, a silent auction and plenty of microbrewed beer. The Bug Bottom Bash--a benefit for the Bug Performance and Media Art Center on Navajo Street--is all that and more. Festivities take place tonight from 6 to 10 at the Rock Bottom Brewery, 1001 16th St.; admission, which includes two pints and a tasty appetizer buffet (better make a beeline for that), is $15 at the door. Bug members will be admitted free; call 477-5977 for details.

May 5
Screen savers: Independent filmmakers don't expect the kind of recognition given Spielberg and the rest of his Hollywood ilk. That doesn't mean they don't want recognition--kudos from little people like us are just fine with them. So try putting your hands together when the Creative Film Group, a cooperative dedicated to promoting Colorado filmmakers, screens 16mm short works by some of its best tonight at 7 at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave. Call 477-5040 for more information.

May 6
Walk on the wild side: Punch-drunk or punching buttons--you can have it your way tonight. The high-energy Saw Doctors, an Irish band fusing rock and folk in a furious, if good-natured, manner, take the stage tonight at 8 at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave. An updated, rollicking version of the good old-fashioned pub band, the Doctors might just be the next big thing on the Celtic circuit. Tickets are $10; call 322-2308 or 830-TIXS.

On the other hand, The Orb--also from across the Atlantic, though you could say that, stylistically, the U.K. electronic-trance-music duo comes from across the galaxy--will do all the button-punching this evening when they perform at their knobs and dials at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave. Alex Peterson (a doctor of another sort) and fellow twiddler Andy Hughes may not get you to tap your feet, but they'll give you something to talk about. For tickets, $16, call 830-2525 or 1-800-444-SEAT.

May 7
Give 'em the slip: One of the Foothills Art Center's most popular annual juried shows, the Colorado Clay Exhibition 1997 is anything but stuck in the mud. This year's show, a nice scattering of functional, nonfunctional and totally useless ceramic works created exclusively by Colorado artists, includes everything from a pair of leviathan tootsies with toenails you're invited to paint to more familiar and exquisitely crafted vases and vessels you're invited to look at and admire. The clay exhibit continues through June 8; for information, call 279-3922. Foothills is located at 809 15th St. in Golden.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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