October 23, 2007
The Emmitt Nershi Band could hardly feature a more sensible pairing of frontmen. Drew Emmitt and Billy Nershi were both part of eclectic Colorado bands – Emmitt with Leftover Salmon, Nershi with String Cheese Incident – and, as they grew more popular and played to bigger crowds, adapted by becoming louder and more plugged-in. Both those groups disbanded in part because of the desires of Emmitt and Nershi to get back to their acoustic roots. Emmitt’s latest recording, 2005’s “Across the Bridge,” was his first fully unplugged CD; Nershi’s most recent recording efforts have been in Honkytonk Homeslice, a modest, folky outfit he keeps with his wife, singer Jilian. Emmitt and Nershi have crossed paths before; Nershi appeared as part of the Drew Emmitt Band two years ago at Belly Up. Now they’re giving it a fuller test. The Emmitt Nershi Band, which debuted this past week with banjoist Chris Pandolfi and bassist Tyler Grant, has a series of dates this month. They perform Friday, Nov. 2, at the Wheeler Opera House.
The works of David Shrigley and Lily van der Stokker aren’t likely to elicit immediate belly laughs; in fact, neither of the artists means to make visual comedy. Poke around, however, and the humor begins to reveal itself. In the Aspen Art Museum exhibit To the Wall, van der Stokker attempts to make ugly art, a means for the Dutch artist to ask herself questions about what is beauty, and if it even exists. She failed to make her piece especially ugly, however, prompting her to change the title of the work from “Sorry, It’s Ugly” to “Is It Nice?” The Glasgow-based Shrigley, meanwhile, known best for his cartoonish drawings, has assembled a piece that features a matrix of black lines, the words “meaningless line,” a sun painted in orange, red, blue and green, and a dreadlocked “gatekeeper” watching over it all. To the Wall shows in the museum’s upstairs gallery through Dec. 2; showing downstairs through Nov. 25 is the Roaring Fork Open, featuring works by local artists.
Director Wes Anderson and his stable of actors have developed a daring way of presenting and dissecting contemporary family life. The insistence on originality has meant a widely varying effectiveness, from the superb (“The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Rushmore”) to the barely comprehensible (“The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”). Anderson is on familiar ground with “The Darjeeling Limited”: The cast features regulars Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Anjelica Huston, and it’s another story of a privileged, offbeat family struggling with unity and polarization. Here, three brothers – Wilson, Schwartzman and Adrien Brody – resolve to bond over a train trip across India. Predictably, things go awry in most unpredictable ways. Sadly, none of those involve a character played by Gene Hackman, the extraordinary title character in “The Royal Tenenbaums.”