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Leer43 have been playing in the Springs for a decade now, though vocalist/guitarist Brandon Metz is the only remaining original member; they're signed to a Colorado-based production company, Bendiksen Productions; and they've got a fancy-schmancy trailer. (They're working on touring more soon.) The Gazette even went so far as to appoint them "Best Local Band" this year, and they're poised to take on the big time with the release of their newest LP, pine trees never change, an emo-rock album. See what the hubbub is about for just $7 at their CD release party with Ten After Eight, Rent to Own and Abracastabya at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21 at The Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave.)

Last Wednesday's ZZ Top concert at the World Arena drew out aging party girls, paunchy car dealers and young stoners. Dressed in matching lime-green boiler suits, the bearded gnomes of heavy blues reached pinnacles of guitar brilliance as well as trenches of utter suck. Highlights included plush fur guitars on "Legs" and "Tush," and arms-raised headbanging in the crowd. Lows included a horrible cover of "Jailhouse Rock" and old-timers winking over the sex jam "Pearl Necklace." Good times rolled: A security guard was seen catching a kid smoking a joint. The kid wasn't detained, but the guard did make him put it out.

Hallelujah! The Black Sheep (aka Venue Formerly Known as Darkside, 2106 E. Platte Ave.) has been bestowed a liquor license. According to co-owner and Soda Jerk promotions guru Marc Peralta, the last few shows have suffered extremely lackluster attendance, and he's hoping the license will bring back the masses. In addition, The Black Sheep crew have been busy making the place awfully purty, including cleaning the sticky floor and installing a new PA system and stage. It's all for you, lucky scenesters, so make sure to show 'em some love by catching their upcoming concerts.

In town: -itis, Union Station (2419 N. Union Blvd.), Oct. 20; leer43 CD release party, The Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave.), Oct. 21; The Martini Shot, Southside Johnny's (528 S. Tejon St.), Oct. 22.

Go north: The Motet, featuring the music of Michael Jackson, Fox Theatre, Boulder, Oct. 29; Blackalicious, Fox Theatre, Nov. 1; Buckethead, Bluebird Theater, Denver, Nov. 10; Detroit Cobras, Bluebird Theater, Nov. 11; Front 242, Ogden Theatre, Denver, Nov. 12; Spoon, Boulder Theater, Boulder, Nov. 12.

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