Edward P. Jones grew up in Washington D.C. with a single mother who washed dishes and cleaned hotel rooms to feed her children. "I am beginning to realize now all the indignities she suffered ... and, God, I want to be humble as I can as I go through life," he said in a 2004 Guardian interview. As if you needed another reason to see Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World and two other lauded books. He kicks off this year's Colorado College Visiting Writers Series at 7 tonight in Gates Common Room (1025 N. Cascade Ave.). The reading is free; visit coloradocollege.edu or call 389-6607 for more. KW
Barry Brown's photography has created portrait memories for many Colorado Springs families, but he has captured more touching, compelling emotions with his series, In Their Own Words: Images and voices of those infected and affected by HIV. The powerful black-and-white, poster-size photographs are on display at Smokebrush Gallery (218 W. Colorado Ave.) along with other AIDS-related artwork by Sue Coe. Between 5:30 to 8 tonight, Brown and Coe will be making appearances at Smokebrush for a reception benefiting the Southern Colorado AIDS Project, with a suggested donation of $10 (wine, beer and hors d'oeuvres to be served). For information, call 578-9092. RR
If you made a list of this region's most famous, and long-lasting, bands from the past four decades, it's safe to say Flash Cadillac would be at the top. The band's repertoire of classic oldies, from the Beach Boys and Sha Na Na to Neil Young, has endured through the years without losing energy or appeal. Flash's fans can bathe in nostalgia by flocking to "Rockin' at the Aud," from 5 to 9:30 tonight at City Auditorium (221 E. Kiowa St.) to benefit Greccio Housing, which helps find housing for low-income families. Tickets are $50 each, covering dinner followed by the 1960s-style dance. Call 475-1422 for tickets. RR
Today marks day two of the alternative energy-powered eighth annual Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair at New Belgium Brewing Co. (500 Linden St., Fort Collins). It's basically Woodstock for greenies, with 175 national exhibitors, 50 workshops and demonstrations and keynote speakers like Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and noted Colorado photographer John Fielder. And don't forget heaps of organic food, kids' activities, a beer garden and music. Admission costs $5 per day; hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Check sustainablelivingfair.org for more details, including ride-sharing information and shuttle services. MS
You've heard of Arcade Fire, right? Please tell me you have. They're only like the greatest band ever (well, at the moment), thanks to their soaring sound filled with keys, strings, horns and, well, you name it, basically. The Montreal-based octet (which tours with even more members) only has two full-length albums 2004's Funeral and 2007's Neon Bible but they're both must-owns. You've got to go catch them at 7:30 tonight at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison). As a special bonus, the show also features dance mastermind LCD Soundsystem. Tickets are $40.50; visit ticketmaster.com. PF
If you say you care about Colorado Springs, the Chamber of Commerce is asking you to prove it not only by attending "Colorado Springs 2020: The Future of Our City," but by paying $10 or $20 to do so. Oh, and you may have to exit work early, since "networking" begins at 3 p.m. today, and the interactive forum runs from 4 to 6:30. Hmmm. Hopefully, what this event lacks in inclusiveness and convenience, it makes up for with impassioned discussion of our city's future. City Councilor Jan Martin is emceeing, and interested residents (especially those 21-to-39) can save a spot at the Pioneers Museum (215 S. Tejon St.) by calling 575-4383 or by visiting coloradospringschamber.org. KW
I can sit still and be quiet like a champ. My preschool teacher cracked the whip during naptime, and I had to look like I was sleeping, whether or not I really was. A birder, or someone who searches for and identifies wild birds, would agree that this helps in scouting rare avian species. "Birding for Kids" is a seminar with games and crafts to teach the wonders of birds to kids and adults. Presented by the Aiken Audubon Society, the free event runs from 7 to 8:30 tonight at the Colorado Division of Wildlife Office (4255 Sinton Road). Call 531-7076 for information. EA
This week's 7 Days contributors: Edie Adelstein, Pete Freedman, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.