- Banjos and Hawaiian shirts whatll the Texans think of next?
To fans of poignant songwriting, any show featuring David Gray, Aimee Mann or Beth Orton would be worth a good long drive. Tonight, in a concert organized by National Public Radio stalwart "etown," all three will perform full sets, back-to-back-to-back, just 75 miles away at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison). This is the only show these indie-ish pop veterans are playing together anywhere this summer, and tickets ($44.50 to $49.50) remain available by calling 520-9090 or visiting ticketmaster.com. By the way, it all starts at 6, giving everyone plenty of time to settle in with food and drink before being serenaded at sunset. KW
Tonight, the Austin Lounge Lizards, a group of string-playing virtuosos and political satirists from Austin, Texas, will perform at the Black Forest Community Center (12530 Black Forest Road). The five-man bluegrass, folk, rock and country band is known for 25 years of witty lyrics and vocal harmonies that accompany a fiddle, mandolin, banjo, dobro and pedal steel guitar. Come ready to laugh at their sharp social commentary and to tap your foot to their acclaimed music. The show is at 7, and tickets are $12 to $15. Call 282-0898 for more. TW
He used to be the next president of the United States, and now he has joined forces with Captain Planet. After the release of his groundbreaking film, An Inconvenient Truth, about the effects of global warming and the future of Earth, former Vice President Al Gore has launched a national tour to promote his book by the same title. Gore will be at the LoDo Tattered Cover Book Store (1628 16th St., Denver) today from noon to 1 p.m. to sign the book, which is being sold for $21.95. Free tickets for the event will be available at 11 a.m. at the store. Call 800/833-9327 for more. TW
Remember the Critters spoof-horror films in the late '80s and early '90s, with those nasty little gremlin-like buggers that did lots of killin' with their teeth? Well, Critter Fest at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (201 S. Fairview St., Woodland Park) should be nothing like those movies. Instead, reptiles, raptors, llamas and cats and dogs will be on hand and well-watched by Division of Wildlife representatives, among others to entertain. You can pay to hear lectures and get into all the museum exhibits; otherwise, Critter Fest is free. The hairy event, which actually begins Saturday, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 719/686-1820 ext. 111, for more information. MS
Everything I thought I knew about the millennia-old art of scrying I learned from fantasy books like Eragon. Then along came the trusty Internet and Google, which really set me straight on the mystic divination method, which employs tools such as crystal spheres or carved skulls, bowls of ink-colored water, candle flames, mirrors and mist over water. Learn how you, too, can see objects that aren't tangibly present from 7 to 9 at Celebration Conscious Living Store (2209 W. Colorado Ave.) with Renaissance Fair Tarot reader Michele St. Michael. Donations will be accepted for payment; call 634-1855 for more information. MS
I've never been much of one for clubs ever since I took a tragic fall from a treehouse when I was younger. But were I to delve back into the social phenomenon, I'd probably join the Tuesday night Jack Quinn's Running Club. Healthy exercise, followed by revelry and beer consumption that negates the benefits of said healthy exercise ... what could be more fun? After a 5K, Jack Quinn's (21 S. Tejon St.) provides a free appetizer buffet and offers happy-hour Bristol beer pints. The dash 'n drink starts at 6; call 385-0766 or visit jackquinnsrunners.com for more information. MS
I'm not ashamed to say that I embraced Billy Idol during his second coming yes, the one highlighted by "Cradle of Love." Though the song may not hold up against his older stuff (or even his appearance in The Wedding Singer), the video, as I remember from my high school years, has no equal. No matter what era of Idol you consider vital, appreciate the 30-year hard-rock veteran and survivor of both a motorcycle accident and drug overdose in the early '90s at 8 tonight at the Ogden Theatre (935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver). Tickets are available to those 16-plus, and cost $35 each. Get yours at nipp.com. KW