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Fans of Drag the River, the beer-soaked country rock band with a punk rock soul, were left crying in their beer after the band's unexpected breakup earlier this year. But the latest announcement out of Drag the River camp will certainly cheer them up.

See, not only is there an album of all new material, You Can't Live This Way, coming out soon, but the guys also have announced plans to get the band back together for a handful of exclusive shows. The three shows, which will hit Fort Collins' Aggie Theatre, Denver's 3 Kings Tavern, and Colorado Springs' Triple Nickel Tavern, will take place in late January. When prodded as to whether there were any permanent reunion plans, our local Drag the River member, bass player J.J. Nobody, replied with a cautious and uneasy, "Baby steps."

Jon Snodgrass, the band's co-founder/guy-with-the-glasses-from-Armchair Martian, was even more elusive with his retort.

Expect what you'd expect, he said.

Interesting.

Well, after 10-plus years of gritty, bar-style, outlaw country, cold-filtered through pure Colorado punk rock, I suggest you show up early. These shows will draw full houses.

In related news, you can catch Drag's other co-founder, Chad Price (formerly of ALL), as well as Snodgrass, in separate solo sets at The Triple Nickel Tavern's second anniversary / grand re-opening on Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, respectively. The Nickel, which was already one of my favorite downtown bars (simply for having so many pinball machines), has recently been remodeled, and is now, I hear, even more rad. Get over there next weekend and check it out! In the meantime, buddy up with them over at myspace.com/555nickel.

Unfortunately, whenever there's good venue news, theres surely some bad news lurking about in the shadows. Laura Belle's, the dank little watering hole on the Springs' west side, has once again shuttered its doors. Despite renewed efforts at promoting live music, economic factors prevailed, and it was forced to close.

Most previously scheduled events have been canceled, although the planned concert on Dec. 21 with Rough Around the Edges will now take place at the American Legion Hall downtown (15 E. Platte Ave.). Ah yes, the Legion hall: Where else can you find ridiculously cheap beer, pull-tabs and mind-bending tales of death and destruction? Like our fearless leader GWB would say, "Bring it on!"

But wait: Like I always say, "You have to take the rough with the smooch." As a venue falls silent, surely another must rise loudly in its leave. The Silver Moon Event Center is the latest. Located in the old Bingo Palace at 117 E. Las Vegas St., it has an upcoming events list that covers the good, the bad and the ugly of classic blues, country and rock, offering sets from Taj Mahal and David Allan Coe in March. Other big-name shows at the Silver Moon include this Sunday night's concert by The Orchestra (featuring former members of ELO!), and a New Year's Bash with Canned Heat. And if that isn't enough to turn your head a little, ladies, they have the Men of Playgirl Magazine revue on Jan. 12! Remember: What happens on East Las Vegas, stays on East Las Vegas!

That's all, smell you later!

Keep Adam up to date on all the latest comings and goings in the local music scene by sending band photos, demos and show updates to adam@csindy.com.

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