From 5 to 9 tonight, meet local artist Douglas Rouse for the opening reception of his new show, Variety, at the Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery (25 W. Cimarron St.). Rouse, who last exhibited at Rubbish in early 2007, is regarded for his mural and trompe l'oeil work. (You know, paintings with realistic imagery that give the illusion of being three-dimensional. Not Magic Eye.) Variety, which will hang only through July 20, demonstrates his move into fine art, and is a precursor to a show he'll do at the Smokebrush Gallery in October. Call 475-8880 for more information. MS
What's it gonna take to get you into Pueblo's 95-degree heat tonight? Happy hour specials? The beauty of the Jackson Sculpture Garden at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center (210 N. Santa Fe Ave.)? A $4 to $5 ticket to see '80s band Less than Zero, with plenty of room to dance? All of the above mark the first of five Festival Fridays in the Steel City. Juan Alvarez's guitar music always starts things off at 6, and the featured band comes on at 7. You can get tickets by calling 719/295-7222. And if 95 still sounds too damn hot, well, there are also umbrellas. KW
At 8 this evening, Kimball's Twin Peak Theater (115 E. Pikes Peak Ave.) will feature a one-time showing of Body of War, an award-winning documentary on the homecoming struggles of Tomas Young, a 25-year-old soldier who was paralyzed during his first week in Iraq. Directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, the film traces Young's adjustment to civilian life and the maturation of his inimitable voice against the war. After the showing, vet Garett Reppenhagen (who appears in the film) will lead a question-and-answer panel with the local Iraq Veterans Against the War chapter, which is sponsoring the event. Tickets are $10, $8 for active military. Call 685-9702 or visit bodyofwar.com for more. MM
Even if you miss OTC VarmitZ (see Audiofile, p. 43) and the other acts playing the first two days of the Happy Ass Ranch Bluegrass and Jam Festival, you owe it to yourself to get you and your happy ass out to the Lake George ranch to see Emporia, Kansas' DeWayn Brothers, who will hit the stage around 1:30 p.m on closing day. Banjos, mandolin and accordions don't stop this insurgent bluegrass band from conveying the shambolic energy that punk rock and early inbred mountain music must surely have in common. Their catchy original songs will have you smiling even when they're about getting bit by your own rabid dog. The festival runs from Friday through Sunday, and will cost you $20 for one-day tickets, or $35 for the weekend, including camping ($40 day-of). Visit grassitup.com/happyassranch for more. BF
With unemployment rates and gas prices rising, striking out with a pan and a pick and prospecting for gold doesn't sound like such a bad idea. Come get your rocks off today at the 26th anniversary of the Western Museum of Mining and Industry (225 North Gate Blvd.), where you can see gold-panning demonstrations at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. While you're there, don't forget to check out the museum's prize burros, Oro and Nugget, the Pikes Peak region's mascots of the year in 2004. Burros are available for viewing all day, if you get bored on the Steam Engine Tour, and admission has been reduced to $2.60. For more info, go to wmmi.org. MA
"A Colorado History Sampler" might initially sound like "A Guaranteed Nap," one that not even the ghost of William Jackson Palmer could disturb. But don't fear drooling on your shoulder just yet: Local historian Phil McDonald's lecture on his five favorite historical sites within Colorado includes an illustrated slide show, which might inspire your next inner-state day trip or will at least give you some nuggets that'll impress summer visitors. The lecture, a part of a free summer series that continues Tuesdays through July 29, starts at 7 p.m. at the Old Colorado City History Center (1 S. 24th St.). Call 636-1225 for more. MR
San Francisco's Birds and Batteries are back at the Rocket Room (230 Pueblo Ave.) at 8 tonight, and, forgive me for saying so, but you'd be crazy not to catch them this time around, especially for $3. Pigeonholing themselves as, among other things, "Randy Newman meets Gary Numan," they create sophisticated and dynamic soundscapes with keyboards, pedal steel, guitar, bass and drums, all in well-deserved service to frontman Mike Sempert's charmingly off-kilter pop songs. The band's live rendition of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" shifts from slowcore dreaminess to post-punk rock when you're least expecting it. Need more convincing? Track down "Ocarina" on YouTube to see the band navigate post-apocalyptic SF via submarine in a video that's equal parts classic MTV and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Indie pop doesn't get much better than this. Call 447-4990 for more on this 21-and-up show. BF
This week's 7 Days contributors: Mike Alberti, Bill Forman, Mandy Moench, Maddie Rogers, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.