OK, Thirsty Parrot. This message is for you: When an out-of-town act expresses concern over the news that you're not booking national tours to your stage like you did in times past you know, back in the days of 32 Bleu it might be time to re-evaluate your stance on things.
Brandon Summers, the guitarist and vocalist for the Sub Pop-signed electro-indie rock duo The Helio Sequence, says he fondly remembers playing your stage when his band toured with Modest Mouse in 2003. So when I tell him you're not welcoming too many national acts these days, he sounds a bit taken aback.
"Oh," he says, audibly deflated. "I really liked that venue. I particularly remember liking that venue."
But, alas, times change.
So do trends, apparently like the one we wrote about last week ("Down play," AudioFile) on the scarcity of national shows in Colorado Springs this time of year. That lack of activity is actually how The Helio Sequence found itself coming to Colorado Springs (and Denver and Boulder, consequently).
"We just got a call, kind of out of the blue, from [C.O.W Productions] out of Denver," Summers says. "It sounded like a really fun thing to do after Christmas. It's just a completely dead time especially the few days following Christmas. There's really nothing to do, and a lot of people usually have time off and are kinda kicking around, relaxing."
That Summers and drummer/keyboardist Benjamin Weikel (who at one time played in Modest Mouse) have an album coming out at the end of January helped matters. Keep Your Eyes Ahead, the band's fourth album, is a fun, breezy jaunt in which Weikel's eccentric synthesizer plays as large a role as Summer's soft vocals. You won't flash the devil horns as you listen, but you will gaze at your involuntarily tapping foot as you take in lyrics that center on the theme of forced optimism.
It's no wonder, then that, despite his concerns about 32 Bleu's demise, Summers isn't too worried about Colorado Springs' music scene. After all, acts like The Helio Sequence are still coming to a town that, Summers is quick to point out, ain't such a bad place.
A few months back, between tour stops in Denver and Santa Fe, Summers and Weikel needed an early break in their long drive, and pulled into downtown Colorado Springs.
"We went to a record store there [Independent Records], and bought records we hadn't planned on buying and just kind of kicked around," Summers says. "I bought a Harry Nilsson record there, and a few other things, and we were just like, "Man, this place is actually pretty cool.' It's got a really nice feel to it."
Out-of-towners always seem to able to put things into perspective.
The Helio Sequence with The Mary Timony Band, The Photo Atlas and Killfix
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Saturday, Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 day-of-show, all ages;
visit ticketweb.com or call 866/468-7621.