Garrett Dutton III and his band were already favorites, and frequent visitors, to Aspen. But Dutton and his mates – better known as G. Love & Special Sauce – continue to deepen their status as honorary homies. The trio was featured as the main attraction during last January’s opening-week festivities at the Belly Up nightclub, a gig that lined up well with snowboarder Love’s role as on-air commentator for the X Games. Love and his rhythm section – drummer Jeffrey “Houseman” Clemens and bassist Jimi “Jazz” Prescott – return for the honor of playing the Belly Up’s inaugural New Year’s Eve. The trio’s blend of hip-hop rhythms with the feel of Delta blues, most recently heard on 2004’s “The Hustle,” should be an excellent soundtrack for turning 2005 into 2006. G. Love & Special Sauce should be equally perfect for Friday, Dec. 30, the first night of their two-night stand.
Aspen Filmfest’s Academy Screenings is intended to spotlight the likely contenders for Academy Awards. But a handful of the films to be presented in the series this week are already positioned to battle for awards. The Golden Globes, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, announced its nominations last week, and among the most-recognized films are “Mrs. Henderson Presents” (showing in the Academy Screenings Monday, Dec. 26) and “The Squid and the Whale” (Wednesday, Dec. 28). “The Squid and the Whale,” a bitter comedy about divorce and its effect on kids, earned nominations for both of its lead actors, Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, and another for best musical or comedy. “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” a musical comedy about an eccentric society lady in pre-World War II London, got nods for best musical or comedy, and for leading lady Judi Dench and supporting actor Bob Hoskins. Also in the series: best foreign film nominees the French war movie “Joyeux Nöel” (Thursday, Dec. 29) and the South African crime drama “Tsotsi” (Friday, Dec. 30); coming-of-age story “Breakfast on Pluto” (Wednesday, Dec. 28), starring best actor nominee Cillian Murphy; and offbeat family tale “Transamerica” (Sunday, Jan. 1), starring best actress nominee (and Aspen product) Felicity Huffman. All films are at Harris Hall.
The exhibit opening this week at the David Floria Gallery introduces not only new work, but new artists. New Yorker Robert Kelly, New Jerseyan Gary Komarin, and Naomie Kremer, who splits her time between San Francisco and Paris, are all making their Aspen debuts in the three-person show, “New Paintings.” The three are united by more than making their first local appearances together; they also share an attraction for the abstract. The artistic similarities end there, though. Kelly’s work, often inspired by personal experience, explores ordered structures of geometric form. Komarin keeps a tension between the abstract and representational, with rich color prominent in the work. Kremer’s paintings are the most energetic and intense, with ribbons of color furiously intertwined, even fighting for space on the canvas. The show, which runs through Jan. 8, opens with a reception Tuesday, Dec. 27, from 6-8 p.m. Kremer is expected to be in attendance.
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