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Current events

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There are worlds of music coming to Aspen in the days ahead. The tour begins Monday, Aug. 6, as Morgan Heritage, comprising five offspring of Jamaican reggae singer Denroy Morgan, hits Belly Up. The following night, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s Lyrically Speaking series brings South African singer/poet/activist Vusi Mahlasela to the club. Sly & Robbie, the brilliant and in-demand rhythm Jamaican duo of drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, hits Belly Up Wednesday, Aug. 8. And it’s a wide world of music doubleheader on Thursday, Aug. 9: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, a group formed in a Guinean refugee camp during Sierra Leone’s bloody civil war, opens with an appearance on Snowmass Village’s Fanny Hill, with Infected Mushroom, an Israeli psychedelic trance duo, hitting Belly Up afterward. Beats looking at pictures of exotic, faraway places on the Internet.

Michael Moore has cast his left-leaning eye on such topics as American gun fanaticism (“Bowling For Columbine”) and the current Bush administration (“Fahrenheit 9/11”). With his latest film, Moore becomes more populist than ever, taking aim at a societal ill of concern to virtually all Americans, regardless of their political leaning. “Sicko” takes the pulse of the country’s health-care system. Comparing it to socialized systems of treatment in France, Canada and even relatively impoverished Cuba, Moore finds the American way ailing. Some of the episodes – an insurance company employee confessing before Congress that her job was to turn down coverage to sick people – make the case that the system is in critical condition. Reviews portray Moore as less comedic – and thus, less effective – than in previous films. But given the subject matter, he might have figured that “Sicko” didn’t need many laughs. The film is showing in Aspen.

In an honors program at Amherst College, Lloyd Schermer studied mathematics logic, a field that opened the door to the technology revolution. Schermer went on to a prominent career in journalism, doing everything from reporting and printing to serving as CEO of the Iowa-based newspaper chain Lee Enterprises. His latest career, as an artist, has had Schermer exploring the journalism aspect of the past, with sculptures made of metal and wood type-print that he collects from across the continent. Now the 80-year-old Aspenite is adding an element from his earlier work. His “On Again, Off Again” series features his signature pieces, but uses only binary code – the zeroes and ones that are the foundation of this digital world. Schermer’s latest exhibit, Type Sculpture, opens at Magidson Fine Art with a reception on Thursday, Aug. 9. The show includes “Gutenberg’s Puzzle,” a huge piece that features a scale-model of the Gutenberg press. From Aspen, it goes to the soon-to-open Newseum in Washington, D.C., where it will be installed in the lobby.


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