You might as well get your "Why didn't they invite Professor Griff?" jokes out of the way now. Public Enemy frontman/author/producer/activist Chuck D will make an appearance at Colorado College's Armstrong Hall Theater on Oct. 2, not with his venerable group in tow, but as a guest lecturer in the college's 2015 Visiting Writers Series.
Chuck D is hardly a stranger to the lecture circuit. Much like KRS-One, the politically minded emcee has been a fixture speaking on college campuses for well over a decade, in addition to holding worldwide educational workshops and acting as a spokesman for Rock the Vote, the National Urban League, the National Alliance for African American Athletes, and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (now the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids).
And, of course, somewhere in the midst of his hip-hop renaissance-man act, Chuck D has found time to be one of the most acclaimed emcees in all of history. With Public Enemy, Chuck D put together a body of work strong enough that even the legendarily negligent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had to take notice, inducting the group in 2013. PE's 13th studio LP, Man Plans God Laughs, released in July, received acclaim for its socially conscious lyrical concerns, its modern update on the group's signature intricate production values, and its subversive humor (such as the use of a Rolling Stones sample in "Honky Talk Rules").
In tandem with Chuck D's lecture at CC, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center will host the street art festival JAM, featuring graffiti showcases in the Fine Arts Center courtyard, a team B-Boy battle, food, drinks and performances by local hip-hop standouts Stoney Bertz, Bullhead*ded, The ReMINDers, and additional music courtesy of DJ Gravity, DJ Prominent, and DJ Lazy Eyez.
As for the week ahead, I hope you have recovered from the Indy Music Awards and Freewheelin' Music Fest, as there is a fresh array of live music opportunities.
On Wednesday, Sept. 16, Flux Capacitor hosts Arizona-based black metal band Swampwolf, who'll perform with local sludge/doom metal outfit Blighter.
At the Triple Nickel Tavern the same night, Portland outlaw country revivalist Michael Dean Damron comes to play, bringing along fellow roots rockers Fernando Viciconte and Mishka Shubaly.
On Thursday, Sept. 17, London Dubstep DJ SKisM brings his talents to Rawkus, along with Colorado Springs' own DJ GBP and Denver EDM acts Pwnage Method and Vyberationz.
On Friday, Sept. 18, Denver progressive "trance metal" quintet The Dawn Chose Orion stops by the Black Sheep on their "The Awakening" tour, also featuring Colorado Springs' Enduality, Stavesail, Image Of and Nova Crown. Meanwhile, Houston emcee and erstwhile Daily Show guest actor Slim Thug performs at Rawkus. Or, if power-pop is more your thing, Nathan Archer, the frontman of Rough Age (of which I'm also a member) is playing a solo acoustic set at 503W, and will possibly be joined by another shadowy figure.
On Saturday, Sept. 19, Ontario rockers The Glorious Sons hit the Black Sheep with Pueblo art rock trio The Widowhood Effect and local act Smellblind.
Finally, on Sunday, Sept. 20, Las Vegas-based metal band Hemlock celebrates the release of their new album, Mouth of the Swine, at Sunshine Studios. The band is joined by Littleton's Public Display of Aggression, Fall from Silence, Empire in Peril, and reunited local metal veterans The Dub Project.