Current events | AspenTimes.com

Current events

Josh Brolin stars in Joel and Ethan Coen's "No Country for Old Men," an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel, showing in Aspen this week. (Richard Foreman)

Joel and Ethan Coen have been in an inexplicable lull. After making five major original efforts in a span from 1996-2003 ” including “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski,” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There” ” the two retreated, turning out a tepid remake, “The Ladykillers,” and a worthwhile segment for the shorts collection “Paris, Je t’aime,” in the year since. Perhaps they were saving it up for their next effort. “No Country For Old Men” is not exactly original; it’s adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel. But the Coens seem to be putting a stamp on the story similar to the one they used for the unforgettable “Fargo,” mixing tension and comedy in a tale of money, murder and mediations on this strange world we live in. The Coens use an all-new set of players, led by Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, in the film, showing this week in Aspen.

Nobody says a community orchestra can’t be an ambitious one. The Glenwood Springs-based Symphony in the Valley is expanding its horizons by entering the opera realm. Symphony in the Valley’s annual holiday concerts will be capped by a performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” conducted by the orchestra’s artistic director, Wendy Larson. Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera ” first performed on Christmas Eve, 1951, for a broadcast audience ” tells of the birth of Jesus from the perspective of a crippled boy who sees the brightest star he’s ever known. Also on the program are holiday favorites like “Joy to the World” and “Coventry Carol.” The concerts are Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Snowmass Chapel, and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Glenwood Springs.

There’s little doubt that a musical gene exists, even if the offspring of famous musicians don’t usually approach the achievements of the first generation. Just among those who have performed in Aspen recently are the children of Carlos Santana, Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, and too many of Bob Marley’s kids to count. Apart from the genetic factor, there is the environment ” kids who grow up watching their moms and dads jamming onstage, or strumming in the living room, tend to soak up the desire and ability to play music. The evidence is present on a small scale in the Roaring Fork Valley, which makes the Musical Genes show such a good idea. The concert ” Friday, Nov. 30, at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale ” features a handful of two-generation local musical dynasties in the making. Among those set to perform are the Dasaros (father Rob, a longtime fixture on keyboards, and 10-year-old Sophie, who has a CD to her credit); Steve and Riley Skinner; and Bernie and Vincent Mysior (dad Bernie played bass in the famed ’70s Aspen band Starwood). Also making an appearance at Steve’s is Steve himself ” the guitar-playing Mr. Standiford, joined by his daughter Shannon.

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