Wars produce a multitude of stories. “Turtles Can Fly” is a war story, set in Iraq as the American invasion becomes imminent. But the film barely touches on the fall of Saddam, the casualties in Baghdad or the global politics behind the war. Set in Kurdish northern Iraq, “Turtles Can Fly” reveals the condition in which the Kurds have long lived under Saddam’s regime – the muddy refugee camps, the mines, the missing parents. The film takes a kid’s-eye view of those conditions, focusing on two teenage boys: one a quiet young man with no arms trying to keep his makeshift family intact, the other the brash leader of the village children. The bittersweet, touching “Turtles Can Fly” shows at the Wheeler Opera House Sunday and Monday, May 8-9.
Just how the Carbondale Clay Center hit on a Cajun theme for its annual fund-raiser has been lost in a haze of gumbo and hurricane cocktails. But entering its seventh year, Cajun Clay Night make a lot of sense to a lot of people. The event draws more than 300 people each year for a celebration of ceramic arts and Louisiana culture. This year’s Cajun Clay Night, set for Saturday, May 14, features the usual: rice and beans, Crocodillyicious cake, silent and live auctions, and a gumbo cooked up by Russets restaurant, all amidst a carnival atmosphere. Local band Acoustic Mayhem has worked up a set of Bayou tunes. And people will line up early to get their pick of handmade, take-’em-home ceramic bowls, created by a fleet of potters at two Throwathon events.
Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez sound as if they’ve been singing together forever, so perfectly do their country-folk voices blend. But the two only met in 2001, when Taylor, a veteran songwriter whose hits include the Troggs’ “Wild Thing,” came across the young fiddler at Rodriguez’s gig in her native Austin, Texas. Straightaway, Taylor brought Rodriguez on the road, where she found herself singing lead for the first time. After two promising albums, the duo rounded up Bill Frisell, the guitarist noted for merging jazz and country tones, for their latest, “Red Dog Tracks.” The album, set for release May 24, is a wonder of elegant songwriting, duet singing and understated but precise production. Taylor & Rodriguez preview “Red Dog Tracks” with a show at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale on Friday, May 13.
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The coronavirus pandemic provided an unlikely springboard for the Aspen Brain Institute’s programs, allowing them to go virtual and global and sustain a large audience outside of its Aspen bubble.