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So, first let me apologize for not getting out to any of the reportedly stellar shows last weekend, but I was busy getting my ass handed to me at the Peak Scooter Club's fourth annual Pinball Run by Adam Biddle and Willow Welter of the illustrious Kiowa Kartel who, despite allegations of steroid use in their pointer fingers, rose to take first and second place, respectively.

Then on Sunday, most lamentably, I had to blow off my date with Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley at the Black Sheep on account of a visit from my former indie punk mentor, Tom Kipp, one of the Four Corner State's finest skin illustrators. Tom, who helped me cut my hipster teeth back in the golden age of irony, "the '90s," when we both worked at Toons Music and Film, is in part responsible for the fine mess I have become, and is currently based out of Durango at Your Flesh Tattoo. Somehow, after him drilling on my rib cage for four hours, I just didn't feel up for a show. Oh well, 15 hours down, 15 to go!

Moving on then ... In an audacious new twist to the Springs scene, J.C. , thee one and only, announced plans for the inaugural T3/F3 festivals. Confused? Let me break that down for you. Tejon, Tunes and Tapas ("T3") and Films, Food and Fest ("F3") are competitions that, according to the announcement, "were created to bring local artists to downtown Colorado Springs to share their talent with our local community." Oh! And J.C., this time, ain't Jesus, although ... (insert your own joke here). No, the J.C. in question is none other than Joseph Coleman of Blue Star, Nosh and Laauauauaus fame! The live performances will be held at Nosh every Monday from mid-June to late August. Details and timelines for the competitions, which boast some hefty prize money, can be found at nosh121.com or csindy.com. But all music submissions are due no later than May 30, so you had best get a move on!

And the big news for this weekend, most indubitably, is the show this Friday at the Rocket Room with the implausibly awesome indie rock decomposers El Toro de la Muerte, Denver's Still City and the debut of the brand new, local super-group Mike Stephens and the Foxhole Prayers.

In addition to its namesake, the band includes Ed Johnson, owner of the Music Exchange, the finest and most local guitar shoppe in the 719, on the guitar; Don Derby on bass; and Chris Combs, whose percussive skills can be found backing everyone from leer43, Loverleigh and Tango Red Tapestry to the Charlie Milo Trio (who happen to be laying out a platter of improv jazz at Bennys the very same evening), on the drums. Promising a hefty batch of American roots rock, la Tom Petty, Neil Young and, I would assume, a bit of the old Ry Cooder, the Foxhole Prayers are sure to please even the most discerning of listeners.

And all you dirty little punk teenagers best not forget to buy your tickets for Unseen, Tiger Army and War Tapes at the Black Sheep on Wednesday, May 28. While you're at it, buy some tickets for the Queers, Lemuria, Bomb the Music Industry, Andrew Jackson Jihad and Kepi Ghoulie at the Sheep on Thursday, May 29. Can you believe the punk shows this town is getting? That's not even a weekend ... unreal, completely unreal!

Happy trails, and smell you next time!

Send news, music and evidence of steroid abuse by rival scooter clubs to Adam at myspace.com/atomleech or adam@csindy.com.

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