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Current events

Stewart OksenhornAspen Times Weekly

Stewart Oksenhorn/Aspen Times WeeklyMichael Franti plays a two-night stand, Thursday and Friday, July 29-30, at Belly Up Aspen.

The San Francisco sound is no longer necessarily psychedelic or filled with 12-minute guitar solos. But there appears to still be a certain spirit in the music of Fog City that isn’t so disconnected from the ’60s. Two San Franciscans – soul rapper Michael Franti and singer-songwriter Brett Dennen – team up for a two-night stand, Thursday and Friday, July 29-30, at Belly Up to show how they do it by the Bay. Franti is a socially engaged activist who is just as likely to have audiences listening closely to his words as he is to get the dance floor jumping. Dennen sings with a warm soul about coming together, taking care of one another, and the things he loves – including his adopted hometown in “San Francisco,” the opening song to his latest album, “Hope for the Hopeless.”

The mission statement for the Red Brick Council for the Arts says the organization exists to manage the city-owned Red Brick Center for the Arts and to promote the arts. Anyone familiar with the Red Brick, and director Debra Muzikar, knows that they go way beyond those modest aims, that the Red Brick is a hive of creativity that presents one knockout exhibition after another. The Art Auction & Festival, set for Saturday, July 31, gives the community an opportunity to support the institution; expect dozens of objects to be available for sale, with proceeds going to the Red Brick. It’s also a chance to get a taste of other arts; the event features dance (Dance Progressions), theater (Hudson Reed Ensemble), music (Smuggler Mountain Boys) and the spiritual (Tibetan monks).

It’s not too late to get a last hit of the valley’s greatest community gathering, the Carbondale Mountain Fair. The 39th annual fair in downtown ‘Bonedale closes on Sunday, July 25 with a full schedule of bike racing, cake-tasting, wood-splitting, hula-hooping, dance, a kids talent show – and loads of music, ranging from the acoustic rock of Taarka and the gospel of the Colorado Ambassadors to the Jamaican reggae of Sister Carol to the Celtic Pirate folk-punk-rock of Colorado’s Potcheen. For those who missed the first two days, the Fair closes Sunday evening with the 2010 Mountain Fair Slideshow, featuring highlights of the weekend.

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