OK, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that readers of this column include a number of professional musicians, aspiring musicians, ex-musicians and people musicians owe money to.
If you're in the fourth category, good luck with that. Meanwhile, the rest of you will want to know about this coming Sunday's Colorado Music Swap & Trade Show. If you don't mind driving to Denver, this could be the perfect way to buy or sell some unloved instruments in need of a good home. The annual event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cervantes, is the largest of its kind in Colorado, and it's free to the general public.
Event organizer Dutch Seyfarth — who writes for Westword, makes custom skull-shaped "Jett-Head" microphone covers, and called me "brother" three times in one phone conversation — says the swap meet is open to sellers on a first-come, first-served basis. He also encourages people to bring their own power strips if they're selling amps or anything else that plugs into a wall.
While the venue's upper level will be devoted to the general public swap meet, downstairs will house a vendor trade show featuring some three dozen companies ranging from the legendary Vox (amplifier of choice for the Beatles) to Colorado Springs' own Blindworm Guitars. A portion of the proceeds from booth rentals, which sold out a month ago, will benefit Denver's KUVO, which, as far as I know, is the best jazz station in the country. (Get more info at on.fb.me/JJQwPr or by e-mailing Dutch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
As for the coming week, there are plenty of reasons to get out of the house, beginning with Thursday's return of Denver émigrés Tango Red Tapestry to the V Bar. The artful indie-pop band has been playing some pretty high-profile gigs up north, and this will be a rare chance to see the group in its former hometown. Also on the bill are Waterbear (featuring Kellie Palmblad from Constellation of Cars), Juliet Kerlin and Men of Deep Throat.
Also on Thursday, you can head west to the Ancient Mariner to check out Yarn, a Brooklyn-based Americana band with catchy tunes and catchier electric mandolin solos. Or stop by SouthSide Johnny's on Thursday to catch Brian Parton performing with Mad Dog and the Smokin' Js. The rockabilly troubadour joined up with the Colorado Springs group — which he describes as "a real dandy and dancey band" — back in February, and immediately went off to play three weeks' worth of gigs in California. Expect plenty of reverb.
As for Friday, I'm partial enough to the Wombats to have done an interview with the "Let's Dance to Joy Division" purveyors, which you can read here. They've had six Top 40 hits in the U.K. over the last five years, so for the Black Sheep to score the only Colorado date on their U.S. tour is one of the club's most impressive booking coups since last summer's Fitz & the Tantrums gig. Of course, if you hate Britpop, you can always head over to Front Range Barbeque to hear Grant Sabin share a bill with Lonesome Shack, a Seattle blues-boogie duo whose music has been likened to that of Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside.
And finally, as noted in last week's column, the Nobodys emerge from semi-retirement this coming Saturday for a show at the Triple Nickel. True fans will also be able to catch J.J. Nobody and his punk-rock brethren at the Black Sheep on May 19 opening for Guttermouth and Pennywise.