>All you need is a lawn chair to enjoy some fine local blues this summer in Old Colorado City. Last week kicked off Paint the Town Blue, a summer concert series from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Thursday (through Aug. 14) based at the Bancroft Park Pavilion (2408 W. Colorado Ave.). The best part it's free. The series holds a spirited lineup of individuals and bands accentuating the vitality of American blues music in the West. This week's performer will be the five-piece Brickyard, and Front Range BBQ will be selling food. For more information, visit pikespeakblues.org/events or call 685-1861, ext. 42. MM
Before finding fireworks tonight, head downtown at noon to see Tejon Street turn back into a one-way with the free and entertaining Texas Longhorn cattle drive. (I'm talkin' real cows, not tourists in orange.) This, of course, heralds tomorrow's always-awesome Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo at 5:30 at Norris Penrose Event Center (1045 W. Rio Grande St.). Among the events in which 100 working cowboys from 25 historic Western ranches will compete: sorting, branding, stray gathering, bronc riding and wait for it wild cow milking. (Show Mama that milk mustache ...) Tickets run from about $5 to $30 at ticketswest.com and 520-7469. For more, visit rideforthebrandranchrodeo.com. MS
Every time I see a modern art exhibition, I come away thinking, "Hey, I could do that!" And for the next few days, everything from my dusty, broken alarm clocks to discarded fruit peels seems to sparkle with potential. At Manitou Springs' First Saturday Art Immersion Weekend, local mosaic artist Juanita Canzoneri will show you how hard it really is to make a masterpiece out of your recycling. Watch her work at 1 p.m. at the Commonwheel Artists Co-op (102 Cañon Ave.), and while you're at it, see the rest of what Manitou's art scene has to offer. Fifteen galleries will be open from noon to 8, with original artwork and jewelry for sale. For more, call 685-1589. MA
Go east (Salvation Army Corps, 908 Yuma St.) today and you'll get a free show and barbecue from the Colorado Wranglers. Go west (Woodland Park) and you'll get a USO Rewind Concert, part of the first-ever Woodland Music Week. Fine choices, both. But if we had to choose, we'd recommend you split the difference and head downtown, to An Evening of Inspirational Song. East Texas gospel "singing sensation" Ann Warren headlines the 4 p.m. Shivers Concert Series event, which also features choirs, dancers and other local talent. Tickets are $5 to $15, available at the Packard Hall (5 W. Cache la Poudre St.) door on Colorado College's campus. KW
Manitou folks like to step back in time, and that's the case again this evening with the annual Good Old Summertime Ice Cream Social & Pie Baking Contest. It's a memorable family outing, but nothing's wrong with going by yourself to Soda Springs Park (1016 Manitou Ave.) between 5:30 and 8. Pie slices are just $1 each; another buck gets you ice cream from Colorado City Creamery, and there's a 7 p.m. concert by the Little London Winds. If you make a great pie, enter the baking contest; a top-three pie in either the fruit or cream category will get you a gift certificate provided by the Manitou Kitchen Shop. Try 685-5089 or manitousprings.org to learn more. RR
Great live rock 'n roll almost inevitably conveys a working-class sensibility which is part of the reason why the Clash, Hunters & Collectors and Rocket from the Crypt were great rock 'n roll bands while groups like, say, Vampire Weekend, are not. To the former category you can add the Constantines. The Canadian band's YouTube performance at Sasquatch during a punishing hailstorm tells the story: great, raspy but melodic post-punk vocals, revved-up guitars, a keyboardist who drops from the light rigging in perfect time to come in with his part, and a sensibility that's actually more eclectic and literate than their prep-school counterparts. Makes a midweek trek to Denver's hi-dive (7 S. Broadway, 8 p.m., $10 to $12) awfully tempting. Just don't show up late for work Wednesday. BF
- Everybody loves ice cream even the Constantines.
"Indulgent" is the theme of this calendar entry yes, obviously indulgent in that this is the second time this week we recommend you stuff your face with ice cream. But the folks over at the El Paso County Parks Department have insisted on hosting a thoroughly "indulgent" evening, not only with free ice cream from the Colorado City Creamery but with Celtic rock music provided by the most appropriately named band ever the Indulgers. The decadence (in celebration of Recreation and Parks Month) lasts from 7 to 9 at Bear Creek Regional Park (21st and Rio Grande streets). For info, call 520-6387. MR
This week's 7 Days contributors: Mike Alberti, Bill Forman, Mandy Moench, Maddie Rogers, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.