A glut of CD release shows, brand-new festival bookings and 50-degree temperature fluctuations — all sure signs of springtime here in the Land of Live It Up.
But first, a special announcement from Reverb's generous sponsor: Beginning next week, the Indy will hit the racks on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays. That gives music fans an extra day to plan the weekend, while musicians get one less day to let us know about upcoming gigs. In the long run, we think all your lives will all be much better for it.
Right, then, on to those festival announcements. KRCC's Jeff Bieri has just informed me that this year's World Music Series will kick off June 11 with Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, a much-celebrated West African band-in-exile. The series continues in July with Peruvian electro-folk collective Novalima, while the following month brings Honduran bandleader Aurelio Martinez, who I'm pretty sure is the first and only Caribbean artist to sign with Sub Pop. All free, all at Armstrong Quad.
Then on July 21, get set for the return of Blues Under the Bridge. This year's rhythm 'n roots lineup will include Marcia Ball, Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials, Phat Cat Swinger, Zora Young, Marquise Knox and Molly Boyles & Lipstick Voodoo.
Meanwhile, let's not forget the Meadowgrass Festival, with nearly two dozen acts including previously announced headliners Son Volt and Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band. Get a full Memorial Day weekend camping pass, and you'll also be treated to campfire sets and jams featuring the J. Miller Band on Friday and Jack Ten High on Saturday.
Speaking of which, did you catch Jason Miller and his band's CD release concert at the Lon Chaney Theatre last Friday? It was an epic three-hour show, in spite of the fact that Jason Jackson smashed his thumb that afternoon and had to bail on his opening set. But he still managed to soldier on through acoustic and electric sets with the J. Miller Band, providing indispensable guitar, dobro and vocal accompaniment. Guest performers included cellist Aaron Fanning, Grass It Up's Jim Marsh, David Jeffrey and Shannon Carr, and the Haunted Windchimes' Inaiah Lujan and Desirae Garcia.
As for the coming weekend, the Windchimes have their own CD release show Friday at the Fine Arts Center. (It's sold out, but you can still read about the new album here.) That same night, Royal Dead will be at Zodiac, cranking out psychobilly from Go Bat Go, which the Denver band describes as its "first release in like 129 years or something."
As luck would have it, the next night brings us two more CD release gigs. Get Along will debut We Lit These Torches to See in the Dark with a headlining performance at the Black Sheep on Saturday; read an interview with the Monument duo here. Meanwhile, Melting Temple will be over at the Ancient Mariner celebrating its debut disc, Hunter's Moon, with opening sets from the Flumps, Smokestack Relics and Good Morning Accordion Terrorist. The group's EP covers a lot of musical terrain, from the punchy, under-three-minute anthem "Do It Right" — think MC5, Urge Overkill or, you know, someone else you might like — to the sprawling "Sea of Sorrow," a psych-rock opus that clocks in at more than 10 minutes.
Melting Temple bassist and fashion victim Gabe From the Future recommends that you listen to all the songs at top volume in order to "properly experience the magic." Live, of course, you won't have a choice.