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Dance and Dems

6 Wednesday


It's easy to envy the shorter, small-money election campaigns that run in places like the UK, especially when our presidential election season starts more than a year in advance. Especially this time, a little peace and distance might be nice. But without our ludicrous, expensive electoral process, we wouldn't have the opportunity to attend wacky events like tonight's Belly Dancing & Bern'in Burlesque! Peak Progressives are taking over the Zodiac for a belly dance and burlesque fundraiser. The money will help cover the estimated $6,000 required per local delegate to participate in the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. And now we've wrapped back around to the fundamental insanity of election season. Praise your bartender and tip heavy. 9 p.m., 230 Pueblo Ave., $10/$17 for VIP, — Griffin Swartzell


7 Thursday


Tim Davis' photography doesn't always look like it came from a camera; that's by design. Rather, he makes his art by looking closer. With his eye, cracked paint and rust takes on its own new forms. In one of his newest pieces, "Phobos," an eye- or planet-like green-and-red circle shape hovers over a white horizon and a black skyscape. His Landscapes of Mind exhibit, currently running at Kreuser Gallery, includes many more new pieces in that same vein. The show runs through July 29. So you have plenty of time to take a closer look — you never know what you might discover. 218 W. Colorado Ave., free, — Griffin Swartzell


8 Friday


The first Khadijah Queen poem I read was titled "__________ my loved blacknesses & some blacknesses I knew," which manages in about 200 words to capture Queen's love of and pride in her dark skin, horror at the murder of her "brothers and potential husbands" and profound disillusionment with a society that condemns and stereotypes her race. It packs one hell of a punch and gives you a good idea of what you can expect from her award-winning published works. Tonight, Queen will read alongside Mathias Svalina, another accomplished Denver-based poet, whose poetry is beautiful, delicate and simultaneously powerful, giving voice to a speaker who longs to be so much more than he is. If you want an evening of equal parts thinking and feeling — and I mean really feeling — you don't want to miss this. 7 to 8:30 p.m., Mountain Fold Books, 121 E. Costilla St., — Alissa Smith


9 Saturday


Chilled Monkey Brains have a knack for gathering attention that extends beyond their Indiana Jones-inspired name. Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida — which is quite a bit closer to the West Indies than we are — the six-piece band's ska-soaked excursions are largely rooted in an era before Bob Marley took Jamaican music and slowed it down enough to attract really stoned white people. That said, CMB's uptempo music is likely to splinter off in any number of directions during a typical seven-minute workout: Dual-trombone parts suggest the Northern Soul reclamations of Black 47 and very early Dexy's Midnight Runners. The singing is way more punk than pop, and the two guitarists' arpeggiated riffs betray obvious hard-rock inclinations. Surprisingly, it all works together way better than it should. KnightBeats, Passing Out on Porches and Street Priests round out the bill. 8 p.m., Triple Nickel, 26 S. Wahsatch Ave., $6, 477-9555, — Bill Forman


9 Saturday


It starts with a fun run in cowboy costume and continues into the evening with tasting sessions featuring more than 80 breweries and distilleries: It's the inaugural Steers and Beers 5K Run & Brewfest at the Norris-Penrose Event Center. All the action kicks off the 76th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, hence a mechanical bull that's sure to punish a guest or two, plus proceeds benefiting the Pikes Peak or Bust Foundation, which supports local military charities. 10 a.m. fun run, four tasting sessions between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, tickets start at $35 for the run, $40 for the fest, — Matthew Schniper


9 Saturday


The time is now. Be proud of who you are, be proud of your friends and family, and be proud of our LGBTQ community. The hate-filled tragedy in Orlando will not soon be forgotten, but as we continue to celebrate PRIDE events around the country, we carry the loving memory of the victims as we move forward. Today and Sunday, it's the Springs' turn to celebrate, with the 26th anniversary of Colorado Springs PrideFest at America the Beautiful Park. It's been an emotional year for the community, both joyful and tragic — marriage rights, the transgender bathroom saga, hate crimes and more — so blow off some steam with live music, food vendors and more fun for the entire family. Be loud, be proud, don your rainbow colors and let the love shine. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 126 Cimino Drive, $2 to attend, — Craig Lemley


11 Monday


Nothing declares summer has arrived more resoundingly than the cool delight of an ice cream social. Ice cream parties bring out the kid in all of us and make the heat of the day just a bit more bearable. The city of Manitou Springs is throwing a giant community party complete with live music from Little London Winds and a good old-fashioned pie baking contest. Yes indeed, tasty pie will also be available, as local bakers go crust-to-crust for the chance to win the title. After judging, slices will run you $2 and a scoop of ice cream a mere dollar, but beware, the pie is first-come, first-served and when it's gone, you'll only have ice cream left to console you. 5:30 to 8 p.m., Soda Springs Park, 1016 Manitou Ave., $2/slice of pie, $1/scoop of ice cream, — Bridgett Harris

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