October 19, 2007
On the 2006 release “I Stand Alone,” Ramblin’ Jack Elliott sounds like the hard-core folkie he was in the Greenwich Village of the early ’60s, singing Leadbelly and Carter Family tunes in a plain dusty voice, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. But Elliott has never been exactly as he appears. A Brooklyn-born Jew, the son of a doctor, his yearning to be a cowboy came from the rodeos he attended at Madison Square Garden, in the middle of New York City. Elliott was something of a model for the early folk-singing Bob Dylan; Dylan returned the favor by featuring Elliott on his Rolling Thunder Revue, Dylan’s carnival-like 1975 tour that resulted in the bizarro film “Renaldo and Clara.” Even Elliott’s nickname is not what it seems; while the troubadour has done his share of roaming, the “ramblin'” comes from his habit of stretching out a story. On “I Stand Alone,” Elliott’s folk sounds are fortified by the backing of DJ Bonebreak and Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Elliott’s latest ramblings have been through the Roaring Fork Valley, where he’s been visiting friends. He stops in at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale on Thursday, Oct. 25.
When so much of the art on display in the valley comes courtesy of outsiders, it’s easy to lose sight of the local talent. Nothing demonstrates the fact that the valley is a hive of creativity like the Roaring Fork Open. The Aspen Art Museum’s biennial event includes more than a hundred works in almost every medium imaginable, with a large percentage of the work being of the cutting-edge variety. The exhibit, taking over the museum’s downstairs gallery, opens with a reception Thursday, Oct. 25. Also opening that night is To the Wall, featuring two artists from other parts ” David Shrigley, from Glasgow, and Lily van der Stokker, from the Netherlands ” doing something the locals probably couldn’t get away with: drawing right on the museum walls. Both exhibits run through Nov. 25.
With screenplays for the “Bourne” series and “The Devil’s Advocate,” Tony Gilroy showed a knack for fast-paced thrills. With his directorial debut “Michael Clayton,” Gilroy takes his game up a few notches. Aiming for the edginess of early-’70s classics like “Three Days of the Condor” and “The Conversation,” the film combines a breathless pace ” think “The Devil’s Advocate” ” with commentary on political and corporate might, and wraps it in a universe where morality matters. George Clooney is generating Oscar buzz as a shadowy, no-nonsense fixer for a massive law firm, wrestling with his own demons, and the supporting cast features actors ” Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson and Sydney Pollack ” known for consistently intelligent performances. And there’s no exception here.