The weekend is upon us, and with it three worthy CD release shows from local artists.
Tonight, local hip-hop collective Bullhead*ded is celebrating the release of its long-awaited debut album, 4Play, at the Black Sheep.
Then on Saturday, two acoustically inclined groups are playing sophomore CD release shows. Burn the Maps will perform songs from Take Stars at Smokebrush, while Changing Colors launches Joan & the King at the Loft.
You’ll find more about all of the above, plus an interview with Changing Colors’ Conor Bourgal, in this week’s Reverb.
Now if that sentence didn't trigger an endorphin rush, it may well be that you don’t belong to a certain demographic, the same one that’s hormonally predisposed to worship Justin Bieber.
With a smooth auto-tuned croon and a fondness for showing off his much-tattooed torso, Diamond has become a genuine YouTube phenom, boasting some 45 million views and 214 thousand subscribers.
How all that will translate to the stage is anyone’s guess, at least until Joey D makes his way to Sunshine Studios for a June 14 date on his Long Live the Dreamers Tour. In the meantime, here’s an “intimate” interview and performance to tide you over.
Granted, Colorado Springs doesn’t always get the best-known musicians coming through, but we’ll soon be getting a lot of their offspring. In a genuinely odd coincidence, at least three of them have been booked so far to perform here this summer.
The influx of celebrity spawn kicks off July 13, when Arlo Guthrie, son of revered folk singer Woody Guthrie, comes to the Pikes Peak Center.
Then on Aug. 6, the same venue will play host to Amy Helm, who is both the daughter of the Band’s Levon Helm and the stepdaughter of Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen.
After that, Stargazers gets in on the act with a Sept. 7 performance by A.J. Croce, son of ’70s singer-songwriter Jim Croce.
While Guthrie managed to slip out from his father’s shadow, Croce and Helm are still relatively new to the game. (Give them time.)
Meanwhile, here are videos of Arlo singing Woody’s “Pastures of Plenty," Amy talking about her musical family, and A.J. playing his dad’s “Operator” on the 40th anniversary of its release.
Tomorrow evening, you’ll be able to get a small preview of things to come, while also lending support to help pay for the musical acts who’ll be performing at the three-day fest. (This year’s artists will include Blitzen Trapper, Kristin Hersh, Dawes, Todd Snider & Great American Taxi, and Anais Mitchell with Jefferson Hamer.)
Two local acts who’ll be playing the festival — Chauncy Crandall and the Joe Johnson Band — will also be performing at Wednesday’s Jack Quinn’s fundraiser.
While the event is free, a bunch of celebrity bartenders — including members of Peaks and Pasties and the Pikes Peak Derby Dames, plus FOX 21’s Craig Coffey and Goose from 92.9 Peak FM — will be donating their tips to the MeadowGrass fest.
Coincidentally enough, if you missed last year’s MeadowGrass headliner, you’ll be glad to know that Son Volt has just been booked to play the Black Sheep. The July 16 show is bound to sell out, so invest now if you want to go.
Actually, if there are any hardcore electronic music fans on your Facebook timeline, you probably have already seen their obsessive posts this week about “BOC,” which normal people would assume stands for Blue Oyster Cult.
But this particular BOC is a semi-obscure electronica duo that hails from Scotland and has been teasing the public since Record Store Day with snippets of digital code conveyed via the BBC, NPR and, this past weekend, a Cartoon Network ad. It’s all led to a kind of music-geek treasure hunt, where the prize, assuming there would be one, remained unknown.
Earlier today, Warped Records sent out a press announcement that Boards of Canada’s new album, Tomorrow’s Harvest, is due out June 11. They also included a link that takes you to a retro MS-DOS page, complete with bright green text, ominous black background, insistently blinking cursor, and a prompt for a log-in password that the label chose not to provide.
Of course, after posting this to my own Facebook page, it took little time for my most electronica-obsessed friend to post her fully-assembled password in the comment section. And it is:
699742 628315 717228 936557 813386 519225
If you want to check it out, be advised that you have to type in the numerical sequence by hand, which is a very strange thing to do in our cut-and-paste world. Once you've done that, you’ll be "rewarded" with a screen full of wavey static, the kind of thing rural folks would get on their TV sets before the arrival of cable. This goes on for minutes — long enough to bore even Andy Warhol — before unexpectedly dissolving into some pretty cool synthesized music followed by an image of the album cover art.
And ... that’s it. At least for now.
Whether the album will live up to all the crypto-hype is anyone’s guess. But in the meantime, click below for Boards of Canada’s “In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country,” from an early EP of songs thematically linked to the Branch Davidian cult and its doomed Waco retreat.
Then scroll down a bit further to watch an ad for “Fair and Lovely” skin-whitening product.
We'll leave it to you to decide which one’s weirder.
“I had the pleasure of just spending the evening before with her, and it was like spending an evening with my grandmother,” said Whitesell. “And the next night, all of a sudden here's this grandma onstage and getting the whole audience going. That was great. You know, the trains passed by as she was singing a song about trains, and the audience goes nuts.”
It’s the sort of special moment that could really only take place at Blues Under the Bridge. And while the festival’s newly announced 2013 lineup doesn’t feature anyone’s grandmother, it’s otherwise pretty diverse. The July 20 event will include sets by JustUs League, DB Rielly, Slide Brothers, Blues Caravan, John Hammond and Watermelon Slim.
You’ll also want to set aside the evening of the 19th, when festival headliner Watermelon Slim and local blues giant Big Jim Adam will be playing a free Blues Under the Bridge 2013 Kickoff Party at the Mining Exchange.
So we just got word of a free outdoor show with Cassie Taylor this Saturday evening, and with predictions of clear skies and high 60s throughout the weekend*, that's gonna be pretty hard to pass up.
For those who aren't familiar, Cassie is the daughter of blues legend Otis Taylor, and as you'll hear below, a powerful singer and guitarist in her own right.
Spider Murphy & the Pushovers will be opening the show, plus there'll be free brats and tofu dogs. (BYOB though.) More details on the above poster.
* The Independent accepts no responsibility for accuracy of Weather Channel predictions.
There's a full-on revolution in Colorado music, driven by last November's passage of Amendment 64. OK, actually maybe there's just been a handful of songs, but that's still more than Amendment 65 has generated. What, musicians: Limiting corporate contributions and expenditures doesn't jazz you the way a mom-and-pop weed shop does? Well, guess I can't argue with that.
So, after entertaining the hip-hop strains delivered by the Rocky Mountain Kyngz, then Jay the 420 Kid, we bring you local group Bear Scat Mountain's "Amendment 64," a bouncy little bluegrass number with a message of celebration.
"After a while, you know, I came to find / I got more done when I was of clear mind / But when I want to escape the Rat Race / and put my mind in a different kind of place / One thing that can help with that need / is if I find a little God-given weed / and since we live in the Land of the Free / there's no way this should be a felony."
As befits post-legalization Colorado, Record Store Day 2013 is happening this Saturday, which happens to be 4/20. Here in town, you can shuttle between two shops that are featuring some of the town’s best live acts.
A hip-hop showcase at Independent Records' Platte Avenue branch gets underway at 1 p.m. with sets by seven area acts, including Stoney Bertz, Reflecshaun, Che Bong and A Black Day members Jayoin and Hott.
Over at the Leechpit from noon to 4:20 p.m., look for indie-rock and roots musicians ranging from the Grant Sabin Band and Joe Johnson to Drug Flowers and We Are Not a Glum Lot.
Meanwhile, as a preview, here’s a video snippet released earlier this week from Stoney Bertz’s forthcoming album. Her set at Independent Records is scheduled for 1:25 p.m.
The lineup for this year’s Telluride Jazz Fest, which runs from August 2-4, will feature “Guest of Honor” Dr. Lonnie Smith and his trio. (You can read an Indy interview with the good doctor here.) Other distinguished performers will include Meshell Meshell Ndegeocello, the Stanley Clark Band, John Scofield’s Uberjam Bandand, and Son Como, plus closing sets from four of New Orleans finest: Galactic, the Stooges Brass Band, New Orleans Suspects, and the Mike Dillon Band.
Find full schedule, tickets and more info at telluridejazz.org.
But for those who prefer to focus on the future, San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival just announced its 2013 lineup this morning. Tickets go on sale here this Thursday at 1 p.m. MST for the three-day Golden Gate Park festival, which will run from August 9-11.
Outside Lands, which started in 2008, is a relatively upstart in the field of big festivals, but nevertheless draws some heavyweight acts. This year’s performers will include the aforementioned Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, D’Angelo, Pretty Lights, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Yeasayer, the National, and — for fans of yacht rock and blue eyed soul — Hall & Oates. Acts that are a bit more under-the-radar, but nevertheless worthy, include Kurt Vile & the Violators, Gary Clark Jr., the Smith Westerns, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, the Head & the Heart, and Dawes.
Actually, Colorado Springs folks won’t have to wait until August to see Dawes, since the band will be among the headliners at our own Meadowgrass Music Festival this Memorial Day weekend.
Meanwhile, you can go to here for the full Outside Lands 2013 lineup.
Still making plans for this coming Friday? Then definitely consider catching Desirae Garcia’s record release concert at the Loft.
The Haunted Windchimes cofounder is celebrating her solo debut, a self-recorded seven-inch vinyl EP called Ill Fitting. She’ll be joined by a backing band featuring fellow Windchime Inaiah Lujan on guitar, Blank Tape labelmate Grant Sabin on bass, and the Flumps’ Alex Koshak trading his drums for keyboards.
Garcia also promises “some super-amazing Colorado girls singing you their songs and causing a ruckus,” namely opening acts Laura Goldhamer (a banjo-wielding folkstress coming down from Denver) and Chela Lujan (who formed the Pueblo band with Desirae and Inaiah back in 2006).
You can read a full interview with Garcia in this week’s Reverb.
As the local promoters who gathered together for last week's Indy cover story pointed out, putting on house shows can be the gateway drug that leads to becoming a club or concert promoter. Of course, there can be obstacles along the way, like visits from the police due to noise complaints or vans being set on fire.
Residential rock and underground rave promoters should also be on the lookout these days for the likes of Joe Sly. At least, that's the concern of the Boston Globe, which posted last week about what appears to be the most clueless undercover cop on the planet.
With his green-mohawked "Boston Punk Zombie" avatar and Onion-worthy hipster jargon, the mysterious Mr. Sly has been infiltrating the city's DIY music scene with inquiries about under-the-radar events currently being targeted by a police crackdown. "Patty’s day is a mad house I am still pissing green beer," he wrote in one Google+ private message. "The cops do break balls something wicked here."
After being stonewalled by the Boston police department's press relations officer, the Globe filed a a public records request for info on any fake social media accounts the department may be using.
Since then, a number of parody sites have begun springing up. We especially recommend DJ Boston PUNK Zombie's Facebook page, where you can enjoy posts like these:
• "i like to do pot at a diy show. send me the names and phone numbers of some cool grass dealers"
• "yo dawgZ! im part of BOSTON BEAT GANG! and im ready to hit it UP! DIY Style, know what i'm sayIN???? 420 friendly."
• "Hey teens/adults, post all of your wicked pisser DIY shows/delinquent activity here! (Full names and addresses)"
As to whether the original Joe Sly is a cop or performance artist, only time will tell. (Or won't.)
Meanwhile, all you local DIY promoters and cool grass dealers out there, be sure to let us know if and when you hear from one of Punk Zombie's Colorado Springs counterparts.
Here’s a unique challenge for all of our guitar-strumming readers who want to get maximum exposure this evening.
Chauncy Crandall has begun hosting a Thursday night open mic at the Blue Moose Tavern, which recently rose from the ashes of the Silver Tongue Devil in Green Mountain Falls. The weekly event runs from 8 p.m. to midnight, opening with an acoustic set by its exceptional singer-songwriter host.
Now if that isn’t enough, there are two other Thursday night open mics around town: Stolen Idol Productions starts its open mic at Manitou's Ancient Mariner at 8, while the Jerry Roskin Band hosts its long-running event at Benny's in Colorado Springs beginning at 9.
So here’s the challenge: Shuttle between all three open mics and perform at each. Remember that you typically need to sign up at the beginning of the evening, then be present when it's your turn to play. All of which adds up to some 60 miles of driving, with plenty of highway patrol for company along the way. (Actually, please don’t even attempt this, but do have fun at whichever venue you choose!)
As reported in yesterday’s IndyBlog, Shocked actually has a substantial history of more outrageous, if largely forgotten, incidents that suggest a pattern of insensitivity toward minority issues. Among them was a treatise, co-written with then-husband Bart Bull, that equated hip-hop with minstrel shows. The couple also filed a lawsuit against the musician’s label, bizarrely invoking the anti-slavery 13th amendment as a ploy to get out of her record contract.
In the midst of the current uproar, venues across the country have now cancelled virtually all the dates on her upcoming tour. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which cited its 20-year relationship with the artist as reason for delaying a decision, pulled the plug last night.
Meanwhile, Shocked has finally ended her silence by issuing two back-to-back statements, in which she contends that her comments were actually critiques of other Christians' anti-gay views that she does not share.
“I may disagree with someone’s most fervently held belief, but I will not hate them,” writes the musician. “And in this controversy, that means speaking for Christians with opinions I in no way share about homosexuality. Will I endorse them? Never. Will I disavow them? Never.”
Shocked also insists her support for the LBGT community “has never wavered” and that activism has always been part of her work. “I'd like to say this was a publicity stunt,” she adds, “but I'm really not that clever, and I'm definitely not that cynical.”
You can go here to read the artist’s statements and listen to a recording of the incident that touched off the controversy.