There are a couple of Rocket Room "debuts" worth noting this weekend. Firstly, on Friday, Feb. 20, joining well-established local power pop pushers Calling All Cars and evermore polished alt.rock.ers Aria Tari will be brand new local powerhouse R.J. Fletcher. Featuring two former members of City of Vanity and one from Icarus Planes, this MySpace-described "Southern/punk rock band with some country and blues influences" was formed "in response to the growing popularity of a 'boring' music scene plagued with little boy blue jeans and Toni & Guy haircuts." Considering the band shares its name with the Kevin McCarthy character in UHF, no such worries here!
The next night, Saturday, Feb. 21, the hardcore metal maniacs in Step to Every Pit (S.T.E.P.) celebrate nearly a decade of annihilating eardrums across the Front Range by making their initial assault on the Rocket Room. They're currently in negotiations with Ahrue Luster's (Machine Head, Ill Nino) production company, Illustrious Productions, to produce their latest disc, and will be joined by Habitual as well as Dr. Ustin & the Magical B.L.T.
Also on the elpee front, Hellstrum will release its second disc, Chronicles Vol. 2, Friday at Union Station. This show is the first for the local thrash metal "martyrs of doom" with new drummer Dino Cuneo, recruited to take the throne of the legendary Mike Pittman, who passed away unexpectedly last year. Although the void Pittman left in the music community could never be filled, Cuneo's "wealth of experience and professionalism" would certainly make Pittman proud. Also appearing will be the infamous Jag Panzer, Try Redemption, Smaug and Frozen Eternity.
Craig Tomanini, drummer for the Nocturnal Tomatoes and owner of the Green Room (3530 Chelton Loop North), Colorado Springs' only 24/7 band rehearsal complex, says that, due to booming demand, he's built another level of secure, climate-controlled band studios. Give him a call at 201-2592 to set up a tour.
Continuing SoDo's ongoing campaign of curious bookings, the club that brought us Dokken on Wednesday night will host Top 40 "contemporary" country artist (and former Kylie Minogue backup singer) Jamie O'Neal on Thursday, Feb. 19, from 4 to 8 for an exclusive Y96.9 "Acoustic Happy Hour." Now, I usually wouldn't cover something like this, but with the state of the economy and politics the way they are these days, a couple of her songs seemed particularly relevant: "God Don't Make Mistakes" and "There Is No Arizona." Did you hear that, Republican "leadership?" There is no Arizona!
Finally, etown broadcasts its Flobots and Matthew "I'm in Nada Surf!" Caws episode at 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, on KRCC-91.5 FM. Recorded in December at Armstrong Hall, the show will most likely edit out the fan excitations that interrupted an advert for its soy milk sponsor, but will surely include Flobots' performances of "Rise" and "Handlebars." Also listen for an unlikely rendering of the Turtles' "Happy Together," which pairs Caws' sing-song croon with freestyling from Flobots emcees Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit. You'll almost hear them smiling, which, for the fairly didactic Flobots, is a rare thing.
That's it. Smell you on the flipside!