- Get your fix of scantily-clad athletes and hotties in uniform at the FACs Athlete/Warrior exhibit.
Tonight at the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover (1st Avenue at Milwaukee Street), catch a signing and discussion by award-winning Colorado author Kent Haruf. Writer of the acclaimed and beloved Plainsong, Haruf returns with yet another inventively compound-word-titled classic, Eventide, which chronicles more McPheron brothers adventures in the High Plains town of Holt, Colorado. Free tickets for the event will be distributed at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 303/322-7727.
If you've always wondered what our nation's military elite look like beneath those epaulets and medals, now's your chance to find out -- without visiting sizzlingcadets.com. Attend an opening reception for Athlete/Warrior this evening from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.). This photography exhibit features images of students at the country's three military academies training for both the sports field and the battlefield, captured by the London-based duo Anderson and Low. Tonight's event is free of charge, which is a freakin' bargain for pictures of hunky gymnast Marines. For more, visit csfineartscenter.org.
Dude, check it: Blast off with a rock 'em sock 'em evening of fun at Darkside (2106 E. Platte Ave.), where a benefit for the Lavender Film Festival is vini vidi vici-ing tonight. Expect to get your wiggle on with bands like Cobra Kai, Malakai, 3 Round Burst and the triumphantly returning Phil E. Favorite (ne Fatale). See films by local filmmakers, take in some spoken word and groove to DJs Sioux and Michael Michelle. With a flyer featuring a rhinestone-bedecked Divine, there's really no excuse not to go -- you know, other than utter lameness. It starts at 8 p.m. and admission is $5.
- Touch this illafifth dynamite with hip-hopsters The Roots.
Have yourself a jazz affair this afternoon at Castaways (107 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs), where the Brad Bietry Jazz Group is smokin'. Led by USAFA Falconaires pianist and authentically nice guy Brad Bietry, the concert is one of the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society's monthly events. There's dancing, raffles, door prizes and a cash bar, all calibrated for maximum ass-kicking. It's running from 2 to 5 p.m. and the cost is $7. For more information, or just for kicks, twirl on over to ppjazz.com or call 685-9451.
It's worth a trip to Boulder tonight to see hip-hop legends Digable Planets at the Fox Theatre (1135 13th St.). With laid-back rhymes over truly feel-good samples of funk and jazz, the Planets epitomized smart-ass jazz hipsterism (rather than hip-hop bravado) and introduced artists like Herbie Hancock and Curtis Mayfield to another generation. They've reunited after nearly nine years and are touring amid rumors that they'll record their first studio album since 1994's Blowout Comb. Joining them tonight are the Procussions, DJ Idiom and DJ Vajra. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $22.50. Head to foxtheatre.com to find out more.
First half of the week got you down? Join what's bound to be an aging groupie-palooza at the Universal Lending Pavilion (1700 7th St., Denver) tonight. The Rock Never Stops Tour rolls into town, featuring a bunch of blasts from the past, including Cinderella, Ratt, Quiet Riot and Firehouse. If nothing else, it presents an occasion to bust those leather pants out of retirement and pump your fist in the air while talking about how rock 'n roll, like, totally used to mean something. You kids can keep your Britney Spears and your Snoop Dee-Oh-Double-Gizzle; I've got my memories and this show. (Oh, and a little something I caught from a Scorpions roadie in '89.) Tickets are a very reasonable $20. Call 520-SHOW, drop in on a Ticketmaster outlet or log on to ticketmaster.com.
It's a twang-hop night at Red Rocks -- bust out your summerteeth and see Wilco join forces with the Roots. With relentless energy and smarts, the Roots will precede Wilco's genuinely resonant y'allternative pop -- an unusual mix that both bands score points for trying. Wilco is touring on last summer's A Ghost is Born, a sometimes muddled but organic testament to the band's studio chops and singer/guitarist/songwriter Jeff Tweedy's proclivity for experimentation. Tickets for the show are $36.50 and up. To get yours, visit ticketmaster.com, call 520-SHOW or pay a visit to any of the billion Ticketmaster outlets. And say hi to ?uestlove for us.
-- Aaron Retka