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Current events

Aspen Times writer
Rock singer and guitarist Ben Harper and his band the Innocent Criminals play a two-night stand at the Belly Up. (Michael Halsband)
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Thirty-six-year-old Ben Harper has exhibited multiple personalities over the course of his popular music career, from acoustic folkie to electric funkie. His new double-CD “Both Sides of the Gun,” reflects many of Harper’s various influences, from folk to soul to gospel music, and it was recorded predominantly live in the studio. As Harper put it, “one or two takes and then get out of the way.” All of which bodes well for Harper’s sold-out Sunday and Monday appearances at Belly Up, with his band the Innocent Criminals. Expect everything from raw, full-band rock ‘n’ roll to quiet, spiritually tinged tunes.

The difference between feature films and cinematic shorts is not unlike entrees versus appetizers or tapas. There is no less variety, skill or depth, only a different style of preparation and consumption. Aspen Shortsfest provides a rich annual glimpse at some of the very finest in short filmmaking, from potent documentaries to lively animation to short-form filmic storytelling. The April 5-9 program includes events in both Carbondale and Aspen, and a host of special events, from a local filmmakers showcase to conversations with individual directors.

One of the best parties every year, at least for those who spend more time skiing than socializing on Red Mountain, is the closing bash at Aspen Highlands. And it should be an especially raucous occasion this year, with a base depth of nearly 100 inches and 100 percent of the mountain’s famed terrain open. When you’ve skied your legs to a soft putty, head for Iguana’s at 2 p.m., where deejay Dylan will play tunes on the outdoor deck. Soul Feel will perform inside beginning at 3 p.m. The festivities should continue well beyond the chairlift closure, until around 7 p.m. Since parking will fill quickly, the Aspen Skiing Co. recommends skiers and riders take the free shuttles.


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