It appears our little live entertainment scene may be a juicy plum on the withering tree of capitalism. John and Cindy Hooton, owners of the Timber Lodge, four acres of cabins along Colorado Avenue near Manitou Springs, recently procured the colossal igloo on East Pikes Peak Avenue formerly known as the Colorado Music Hall. It's there that they'll be launching Stargazers Theatre & Event Center, where, in addition to "at least 100 concerts a year," the pair intends to host everything from weddings and family reunions to business meetings and film festivals.
Having had many personal experiences in the building, good and bad, as attendee and performer (including getting to open for the seminal L.A. punks, Fear), I do have my reservations. It is a cavernous room, and with no disrespect to those currently scheduled to appear, it will be difficult to fill without some major, big-draw national acts. That said, with proper management, well-targeted marketing, acutely aggressive booking and some serious brass balls, they may just make a go of it. Scheduled events include Tab Benoit on Feb. 5 and Tyrone Wells on Feb. 13); for more info or to book your nephew's bar mitzvah, visit stargazerstheater.com.
Moving on to another reopening, the newly renamed and renewed Belle's Lounge (formerly Laura Belle's) is shooting for live music come March, according to manager Helen Marshall. In the meantime, you can catch their open mics on Tuesdays and karaoke on some Fridays and Saturdays including Jan. 9 and 10. Among other attractions: new chairs!
Turning to the roots/country/Americana spectrum, Becky Lee and Drunkfoot will seize control of the Rocket Room on Saturday, Jan. 10, with a sweet and crunchy, jingly, jangly "one-woman, one-drunk-foot" stomp-and-howl garage rock show. Reverend Deadeye's No Man Gospel Band and the two-piece blues/soul minimalists American Relay, both from Denver, will do the dirty business of getting everything all warmed up.
Also on Saturday, for the kids, Sunshine Studios (3970 Clearview Frontage Road) is throwing an all-ages metal/core throwdown, featuring Vital Malice, Kaptiv, Kastigation, 13 Graves and Frozen Eternity. Brutal + vicious ... B-R-U-T-A-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!
Moving briefly backward: On Friday, Jan. 9, if you're looking for a little "no strings attached" action, look no further than the Triple Nickel Tavern, where local power-poppers Calling All Cars will be going at it, free for your viewing pleasure, with Oklahoma City punkers Red City Radio. And making their debut that night will be Kings and Thieves, featuring a new indie sound from former members of the scene-core hustlers In Death We Rise, with the Nickel's own Damian Burford on the bass guitar. Grrrow!
Also at the Nickel, on Wednesday, Jan. 14, will be Cleveland's wistful and twangy indie-folkers, the Magpies, who will be stopping through on their way to open for Sam Bush and Co. on Jan. 15 and 16 at Steamboat Springs' Ski Jam festival. Joining them will be an excellent Americana outfit out of El Paso, Texas, called the Lusitania, and local pickers the Genuwines.
Not bad for January, eh? Smell you later!