The Good Place and Philosophy — an Online Discussion. 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28, greyhavensgroup.org/events.
The Good Place is a rare breed of television show: funny, heartwarming, romantic, inventive and deeply philosophical. If you’ve been feeling sad since it ended — or if you’re just itching for a good philosophical discussion — tune into this online panel, hosted by Longmont-based nonprofit Grey Havens Philosophy. Dissect Chidi’s moral philosophy lessons, and what the show has to say about how the universe works. And if you can’t make it this Thursday, no sweat. This conversation takes place every second and fourth Thursday on Zoom. Register for free at Eventbrite. For the most accurate and up-to-date info on Grey Havens Philosphy events, please visit greyhavensgroup.org, or the Facebook page at Grey Havens Philosophy.
Beer history talks with Travis Rupp — 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28; 5:30 p.m. friday, May 29, facebook live/avery brewing.
Grab a beer and join Travis Rupp, CU-Boulder Classics professor and Avery Brewing Co.’s resident beer archeologist, as he discusses his latest research on how beer drove production in fourth century Egypt, and how beer shaped, and was shaped by, 18th century America and England. You can even drink along with the latter, just swing by Avery Brewing, pick up 1752 India Pale Ale and Monticello (a barrel-fermented wheat ale with persimmons) before the Friday talk. More at averybrewing.com/events.
Growing Gardens Virtual Summer Camp. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, June 1-Aug. 7, growinggardens.org/peacegarden/summercamp.
Growing Gardens is hosting virtual summer camps, now open for registration. Each month from June through August, Growing Gardens will have several different themes to choose from each week including: Growing Your Own Garden, Farm to Table Cooking and Art on the Farm for kids ages 5-12. There are two summer camp packages offering technology or technology-free adaptations. Each virtual camp offers supplies, daily Zoom calls, activities for your child and the whole family, hands-on learning video lessons and recipes. So stay safe with your loved ones and let Growing Gardens provide fun and engaging learning opportunities for your kids all summer long. Price: $100 -$150 (price is per child per week). Contact Kennedy Walker: email@example.com, 303-443-9952
Free Range Dairy: Graphic Score Workshop with Nathan Hall. 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2 via Zoom, thedairy.org/free-range-dairy.
Explore making music directly inspired by your surroundings — no musical training necessary — with former Fulbright Fellow Nathan Hall. His works have been performed and exhibited in 14 countries and 12 states, and among other residencies and grants, he was Denver Art Museum’s first Creative in Residence. This virtual workshop will focus on making and interpreting our own “graphic scores” which are music scores that also read as visual artworks. You’ll also learn a little history about where music and visual art collide, and use objects around you to make soundscapes that you’ll perform for other participants online.
• Paper (any kind, preferably 8.5×11 or bigger)
• Drawing tools of various kinds (pencils, ink, crayons, markers, up to you)
• Objects around your house that make sounds (pots/pans, glasses, stones, plants, papers, yourself)
• Optional: instead of paper and drawing tools, you can use a digital drawing pad
Logistx at the Block
The pandemic hasn’t stopped Block 1750 from finding a way to connect with the community. And from helping the community connect with their own bodies.
The dance-based community center will host a virtual fundraiser and hip-hop breaking lesson with Logan Edra, the 17-year-old powerhouse breakdancer commonly known as Logistx.
Studio-founder and owner Alex Milewski first met Edra around six years ago at a breaking jam in Los Angeles. Even then, 10-year-old Edra was a force on the dance floor.
“If you follow her on social media, she’s such a positive presence,” Milewski says. “She’s a bright light in the hip-hop and break scenes. She’s always advocating for people, for goodness, for activism, for veganism — she’s so uplifting in so many ways. Age aside, it’s incredible how much she’s done. It’s so inspiring to see that. That’s what the Block is about. It’s not about doing cool dance moves. It’s about coming together, supporting each other, supporting the community and the values of hip-hop: peace, love and fun. She embodies all of those values with all of her being.”
Before she found her way to breaking, Edra trained in gymnastics and hip-hop dance, giving her strength and fluidity in breaking. She’s competed with some of the best B-boys and B-girls in the game, and won both season 2 of NBC’s World Of Dance with The Lab, and the Taipei B-Boy City Bgirl battle in 2019.
“For me [breaking] was something that was still a dance and an art form that had to do with music where you really had to listen and feel the music, but it’s so physically challenging too,” Edra said in an interview with DanceSportTotal. “I feel the challenge is what keeps me inspired to keep on with breaking.”
The workshop will be hosted on Instagram with a suggested donation of $5, but Milewski says everyone is welcome, regardless of ability to pay. There will be a warm-up session, a lesson in basic breaking choreography and then a short Q&A where Edra will answer questions from participants, “to dig into her journey and her state of mind a little,” Milewski says.
“One of my roles right now as a director of the Block and a community teacher is to keep people inspired,” he adds. “It’s not about teaching them crazy dance moves every week. It’s about having something to work towards and look forward to. [Edra] is such an inspiration on so many levels. She draws people in with her skills as a breaker, but you realize that’s a fraction of the inspiration she has to offer. This fundraiser is not just about raising money for this studio but about raising inspiration for everyone, drawing them in with this dope, well-known B-girl teaching a class. By engaging with her it inspires a whole different level of mindfulness.”
ON THE BILL: Block 1750 hosts a hip-hop breaking lesson with Logistx. 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28, Block1750.com/live. Suggested donations starting at $5. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 303-654-9617.
Turkeyfoot, ‘Promise of Tomorrow,’ out June 5, turkeyfootbluegrass.com/the-band
On its debut album, Promise of Tomorrow, Colorado-based bluegrass outfit Turkeyfoot acknowledge that niggling sense that everything is wrong and there’s nothing we can do about it, but instead of giving into the dread, the quintet instead focuses on the here and now. Like a rustic, homestead mantra, Promise of Tomorrow reminds you again and again that you are not alone in your pain, and while it shapes you, your pain does not define you.
According to mandolinist Jordan Brandenburg, the title track was inspired by his grandparents, who pulled up stakes in Oklahoma at a young age to escape the Dust Bowl for the greener hills of California.
“I’ve always taken comfort in the way my grandparents overcame so many hardships in their lives,” Brandenburg said in a statement about the album. “They never lost hope, and I think their grit has served me well in my life when times get tough. The only thing we really have is hope in each other and the future, and that theme is central to the album.”
While the track reflects on the tribulations of an older generation, the lyrics transcend the literal to offer hope to anyone willing to look for it.
“Some bones ain’t worth digging up,” Brandenburg sings, “So let’s leave them where they lay / The promise of tomorrow / Comes with leaving here today.”
Joining Brandenburg are Michael Rudolph on bass, Bridger Dunnagan on fiddle, Dave Pailet on guitar and dobro, and Alex Koukov on banjo. The band has played together for years as friends, slowly but surely working out original material that eventually won them second place in the RockyGrass band competition in 2017. And though the bluegrass current is strong on Promise of Tomorrow, it dips into Americana on tracks like “Telluride Waltz,” a love song as calming as the electric blue skies of the town after which it’s named.
With Promise of Tomorrow, Turkeyfoot has made the leap from friends playing songs to full-fledged band with a little something to say about the human experience.
“These things you’ve been chasing / Leave you empty, my friend,” Brandenburg sings on “Things You Been Chasing.” “The only thing that we have is this time until it ends / So mend all your fences / Sing a wild song / Because it won’t be long before we’re all gone.”
HOME VIEWING: Writers on screen
Writers themselves aren’t that dramatic or empathetic a subject,” screenwriter Sarah Gubbins says. “As a genus and species they are wont to be solitary, sedentary and sullen. Social mores often elude them. As a breed they are prone to paranoia, anxiety, depression and petty self-absorption. And they tend to go extended periods without bathing.”
Write what you know, the adage goes, and Gubbins’ latest film Shirley — about novelist Shirley Jackson, full review on page 22 — has a lived-in quality only a writer could create. The long hours spent in bed waiting for something to come, the longer hours spent hunched over the desk when it does. The fracturing of time and space, reality and fiction, as the writer disappears further and further into the words. And the inevitable slip into excessive consumption and flights of fancy.
The movies love a good writer, and their image on the silver screen is legion. Here are four to stream at home that will either convince you to sit down and write those stories burning inside, or extinguish the flame once and for all.
Shock Corridor: Journalist Barrett (Peter Breck) has cracked his fast track to the Pulitzer: Have himself committed to an insane asylum to uncover the details of an unsolved murder. It’s an airtight plan until Barrett finds himself in the company of a black student who fancies himself a white nationalist and proud member of the Ku Klux Klan, a captured and brainwashed Korean War vet, and a nuclear scientist so terrified of obliteration at the hands of atomic weapons he’s regressed to the age of six. Don’t worry, Barrett tells his girlfriend, I got a handle on this. The mad ones always do. The titular corridor is journalist/novelist/filmmaker Samuel Fuller’s grand metaphor for America. It’s blunt, heavy-handed and chilling as hell. Even worse, not much has changed since its release 50-plus years ago. Streaming on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy.
My Brilliant Career: Adapted from the novel by Miles Franklin (the pen name for Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin), My Brilliant Career is the Australian story of one woman, two suitors and a passion for the pen. Both men want marriage, and Sybylla (Judy Davis) does not. There’s a parallel here between Sybylla and the land. Australia circa 1900 is being colonized by force with the wealthy establishing their territories by squatting, erecting fences and pretending it was there’s all along. Sybylla has no interest in being squat upon, though she does love Harry (Sam Neill). But she also knows that marriage comes with a price: The end of her career in letters. There are many similarities between Franklin’s My Brilliant Career and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which is probably how My Brilliant Career director Gillian Armstrong got the gig directing the ‘94 adaptation of the March sisters. Streaming on The Criterion Channel.
Little Women: When Beth March (Eliza Scanlen) its down at Mr. Laurence’s piano, she plays Schumann’s “Scenes From Childhood.” A magnificent piece and a nod from writer/director Greta Gerwig to Gillian Armstrong — Armstrong used “Scenes From Childhood” as a leitmotiv in My Brilliant Career. From there, Gerwig makes Alcott’s novel her own. She uproots the linear storytelling, embraces the essence of each sister — and what makes them catnip for the men — and susses out the eternal conflict between the head and the heart. And when Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) clutches her freshly printed book, the act of creation becomes much more than a stack of ink-stained paper. Streaming on DirecTV.
In a Lonely Place: Dix Steele (Humphrey Bogart) is a Hollywood screenwriter with a case of writer’s block. He’s been given a popular novel to adapt, but he refuses to read it. A young hat-check girl loves the book, and Dix convinces her to go home with him so she can recount the plot. When the hat-check girl shows up dead, all fingers point to Dix. Gloria Grahame stars alongside Bogie in one of the most acidic looks at Hollywood — and one of the best. In Dorothy B. Hughes’ source novel, Dix pretends to be a crime novelist. In the film, screenwriter Andrew Solt and director Nicholas Ray transformed Steele into a man on the lowest rung of the Hollywood ladder, the loneliest place of them all. Streaming on The Criterion Channel and Crackle.