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Your best bets for shovelheads, shepherd's pie and Pueblo punks

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Pueblo is known as a blue-collar town, and its music scene reflects such a sensibility. To wit: Phil's Radiator (109 E. C St.) is located in an old downtown Pueblo mechanic's shop, where customers are invited to kick back in the popular beer garden.

There's also Kim's Pixie Inn (440 S. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo, 719/542-8370), an excellent place to get your fix of internationally acclaimed underground acts — which is not as oxymoronic as it sounds, so be quiet. The Adicts, Agent Orange and Voodoo Glow Skulls are among the bands who've recently graced the Pixie stage.

Not to be outdone, the Senate Bar (219 S. Grand Ave., 719/545-8501), once frequented by politicians and newspaper publishers, is now home to fans of bands like Pueblo's Sonic Vomit, Portland, Oregon's Quick & Easy Boys, and the Springs' own Broken Spoke. And for more Pueblo good times, check for local and out-of-town bands at Red Raven (1143 E. Evans Ave., reverbnation.com/venue/902343) and Smitty's Greenlight Tavern (227 N. Santa Fe Ave., myspace.com/smittysgreenlighttavern).

The Springs tries to class it up with a couple Broadmoor-related attractions. At the Tavern at The Broadmoor (1 Lake Ave., broadmoor.com), the Tavern Orchestra with Lewis Mock will gladly play every classic rock song you've ever wanted to hear, all with style, panache and an excess of talent. Or you can just catch a buzz at the Golden Bee (1 Lake Ave, broadmoor.com), where lines form for nightly piano sing-alongs starting at 8:30. Our advice: Get there early and first enjoy a shepherd's pie in this fully restored, 19th-century English pub.

If you happen to be in the service industry, the Hatch Cover (252 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., hatchcover.biz) will recognize your hard work Sundays and Mondays during industry nights, with drink specials starting at 9. The Hatch also offers a full bar menu (with wing deals and solid nachos) in a spacious layout with plenty of flat-screens, plus karaoke upstairs every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night.

And yes, there's more: The C'mon Inn (711 Dale St., 382-7562) serves residents of the Fountain area, along with anyone else who wants to c'mon down and play pool on Wednesday nights, sing karaoke at 8 on Fridays and Saturdays, or take advantage of happy hour specials from 4 to 7. The Farside Lounge (4375 Airport Road, 574-6275) is home to sweet specials from 3 to 7, and karaoke every Saturday night. And Time Out Sports Lounge (3721 Drennan Road, 390-7257) provides an unexpected alternative to high-end steak places with a 12-ounce New York strip dinner for $7.75. Stick around after you eat to play pool, while enjoying nightly drink specials.

And speaking of alternatives, the Shovelhead Saloon (4130 S. U.S. Hwy. 85/87, shovelheadsaloon.net) invites all bikers and their families to stop in and enjoy the house specials in this laid-back atmosphere, serving the south end of town near the Security/Widefield area. (Think nothing of the buxom cartoon woman gyrating on the website's homepage, and do ask about the monthly Improv Jam with Improv Colorado.)

— Additional reporting by Bill Forman

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