Well, when Old Man Winter finally got his show to Colorado earlier this week, it was just in time for me to catch the mother of all head colds. So, if my ramblings seem even more confused and incoherent than usual, I apologize — it's just the "DayQuil on the Rocks," I promise.
Anywho ... the good news is that the City of Angels' finest, Mini Mansions, will make a triumphant return to the Triple Nickel Tavern this Friday, Dec. 3, for another "merry go 'round" of kaleidoscopic, '60s-soaked, American bedroom pop. The band, probably best known for its decisively unsuccessful attempts to live down its association with the Queens of the Stone Age — MM frontman Michael Shuman just so happens to play the bass guitar for QOTSA — not to mention the overpowering aroma of the Beatles' later years, recently released its self-titled debut full-length album (preceded by a small series of excellent singles) on Josh Homme's Rekords Rekords label. Opening the 21-plus show will be SoCo favorites Dear Rabbit and Six Generals.
If you have yet to achieve legal drinking status, Mini Mansions will also be playing a free all-ages set earlier in the day at Independent Records and Video on Bijou Street. You can find more information, and a couple of free downloads, at minimansionsmusic.com.
Moving on to the subject of more local folks, or "fokels," if you will, our very own Joe Johnson will be singing and strumming a few of his devastatingly beautiful country folk ballads at the Ancient Mariner on Saturday, Dec. 4. He hopes to raise enough dough to release his Blank Tape Records debut, A Time to Dance, early next spring.
The 12-track album, which I've yet to hear, was recorded live on an old-timey reel-to-reel by the increasingly powerful Bourgal Brothers home-recording team. It includes a "who's who" of southern Colorado guest musicians, including Jason Gilmore (Creating a Newsense), Inaiah Lujan and Mike Clark (the Haunted Windchimes), Conor Bourgal (the Changing Colors) and Josh DeSmidt (the Broken Spoke). Opening the evening's festivities will be solo sets by Clark, Thomas Evans and many special Blank Tape family guests. More info, and teaser tracks, can be found at blanktaperecords.org.
One local album I did get my hands on, however — and I apologize for not mentioning it sooner — is Day After Yesterday, from 2010 Indy "Best Original Band" winners Grass It Up. As the name suggests, Grass It Up (which includes Indy staffer David Jeffrey) takes its original compositions and carefully selected covers into a realm where the grass is nearly always blue. Anyhow, I will be enjoying the band live this Thursday at the Indy's "Best Of" party, but Dec. 15 will also bring its return to Front Range Barbeque. To get yourself a taste, and your own copy of the disc, just visit grassitup.com.
Well, that wasn't so bad, was it? I'd say smell you later, but I can't smell jack.
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