'It's been a little while," bellowed Monsieur Incroyable, the charismatic frontman for the exceptionally innovative, yet oddly traditional band by the name of the Peculiar Pretzelmen.
"Every time we come to Colorado Springs — every time! — we do a show after a 10- or a 12-hour drive," he went on from the stage at the Rocket Room. "I think we just like to be nice and strung-out when we get here, 'cause most towns don't give us the kind of energy you do."
And there's been no let-up, judging from the exuberance of Saturday night's crowd, which included an equally peculiar blend of hipsters, hippies, greasers, punks and even a couple of overzealous "dude-bros" desperately attempting to gain female attention with something that almost resembled dancing.
For their fourth visit in the last three years, the L.A.-based Pretzelmen were stripped down to their most primitive form — the power duo.
"We consider ourselves to be musical contortionists," M. Incroyable informed me during a pre-show interview. "We have been through about five band lineup changes in the last 12 minutes."
Joking aside, M. Incroyable and the Deacon, his mad percussionist of an assistant, were the only ones necessary to lead the boisterous crowd through a cemetery of sound that lies somewhere between Tom Waits' most guttural croaking and the exuberant ragtime jazz of the Squirrel Nut Zippers.
"We are definitely rooted in the barker mentality," he elaborated. "The fact that we're cruising around the country, indefinitely, just stopping wherever we can and yelling at people to buy our stuff — that's about as close to a carnival barker as you're gonna get."
Later, on stage, the "salty and knotty" musicians displayed their high-pressure salesmanship, using an assortment of improvised instruments, or, more accurately speaking, implements (megaphones, trash cans, washboards, banjos, pots, pans, chimes, gongs and unusual old-timey guitars) to lure the audience toward their merch table. But it was more than mere snake oil for sale. Currently on the Smile. Life's Not As Long as You Think tour, the band was offering up copies of its infectious debut release, Uncanny Eyes, as well as promises of a return in March or April with new record in hand. For more information on these most peculiar pretzelmen, visit pretzelmen.com.
In a bit of local news, this Friday the 13th at the Triple Nickel Tavern marks the self-titled debut release from We Are All Destined to Fail, as well as the live debut of what will undoubtedly become one of the more controversial bands to form in Colorado in years, Dead on My Feet. Consisting of members of numerous well-known and highly regarded local and national punk, crust and hardcore bands, this already-contentious project should attract much interest.
In fact, I have already been contacted by no fewer than three members of said super-group as to what I should/should not say about their biographical history. (Note their identity-concealing death mask and bra in the accompanying promo pic.) Apparently, they want to be judged not by previous successes, but on the merits of their current project, or some shit.
Now, I would truly hate to breed any misplaced rumors, or wind up with some kind of death threat, so I won't mention any specific bands, and Christ himself could punch me in the catheter for three rounds before I'd burst. Like I promised, not a word ...
Smell you later!
Send news and pix, but no death threats, to email@example.com.