September 16, 2005
If the music world has passed you by, the antidote might be the very old-school soul of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Jones was born in James Brown’s hometown of Augusta, Ga., and brought up in the church, a one-two punch that has made her voice the essence of soul. In 1970s Brooklyn, Jones did a good deal of backup singing for gospel, disco and blues artists. But in the ’80s, Jones herself was passed over, and she became a corrections officer at Rikers Island in New York. It wasn’t until 1996 that Jones was discovered singing – in church again – and was given a recording contract with soul label Desco Records. She finally made her debut with 2002’s “Dap Dippin’,” and this year she has scored with “Naturally,” a beautiful shot of soul that would make Aretha Franklin proud. The album’s throwback feel runs from the sound to the album cover, to the track listings, divided into side one and two. Backed by the eight-piece Dap-Kings, Jones makes her Aspen debut Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the Belly Up.
The sport is technically no longer known as “Murderball,” a name that tends to drive away corporate sponsors. But it is a most appropriate nickname for Quad Rugby, the full-contact sport played by quadriplegics that is the focus of Henry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro’s documentary. As one participant comments, after laying out the game’s simple rules, “It’s basically ‘Kill the man with the ball.'” For the most part, it’s easy to see quadriplegics as fully functioning in mind and spirit; it’s harder to envision a physical life. But one glimpse of Joe Soares, the most interesting character in “Murderball,” is evidence enough that quadriplegics don’t need to lose their competitive machismo, or hunger for aggressive, physical behavior, along with full-body motion. Soares is as domineering off the court as he is on it, which is saying something. After failing to make the U.S. national team, Soares goes so far as moving to Canada in order to continue competing – and try to beat the Americans. “Murderball” takes viewers away from the game to explore anger, adjustments and another physical concern, sexuality. What the film does best is just what these quadriplegics want: It focuses on what they can do, not what they can’t.
When it comes to culture, Glenwood Springs can’t match what Aspen has to offer. But Glenwood has some attractions of its own that Aspen can’t match, and they are on display this week. The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, on Glenwood’s Iron Mountain, presents its Music on the Mountain event, Friday, Sept. 23, and it breaks out the goodies: The Iron Mountain Tramway will run folks up to the caverns and park rides – the Canyon Flyer, Alpine Rush and Swing Shot – which will be open into the evening. The Iron Mountain Saloon will be serving its pizza and dogs, while the Exclamation Point restaurant will have its regular menu. Capping the event is music: local band SoulFeel at 6:30 p.m., followed by Denver r & b/swing group Chris Daniels & the Kings. The bash is a thank-you to Adventure Park pass holders, who attend for free, but all are welcome.