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Current events

Contributed photoOregon band "Portugal. The Man" makes its Aspen debut on Sunday, March 28 at Belly Up.
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Good news for Wasilla, Alaska – the town can brag about something other than Sarah Palin. Wasilla can also claim Portugal. The Man as its own. The band – now based in Oregon – formed in 2004. And while Alaska may not be the cutting edge in music, the quartet has developed, over six albums in five years, a sound that mixes funk, psychedelia, synth-pop and more that is supremely up to date (and more than a little reminiscent of Radiohead). Portugal. The Man, which has played Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, makes its Aspen debut Sunday, March 26 at Belly Up, fresh off the release of “American Ghetto.”

A new exhibition at the Red Brick Center for the Arts brings together two organizations – the Red Brick itself, which programs the art shows in its gallery, and the Aspen Writers’ Foundation. It also brings together two kinds of creative types – visual artists and writers. Story Swap pairs local artists and scribes, who develop stories and visual pieces that share themes and inspirations. The exhibition opens with a reception on Thursday, April 1 and runs through the month.

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” falls short of being a great movie. The storytelling veers toward simplistic; the tone teeters between agonizing and humorous – a tough line to walk unless you nail it just right. But the film, about an obese, abused teenager in Harlem, has some unforgettable elements, starting with the performance by Mo’Nique as the nastiest mother the screen has ever seen. It’s hard to be so raw and at the same time so natural, and her Oscar for best supporting actress was a no-brainer. The scene in the welfare office, with Mariah Carey, stripped completely of glamour, as a fiercely compassionate social worker, is brilliant. Not so wonderful is the ending, which can leave a viewer wondering about the wisdom being doled out here. Scale your expectations down slightly, and see “Precious,” which shows Sunday, March 28 at the Wheeler Opera House, with matinee and evening screenings.


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