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Right then. Let's start out with a promising new band that'll be making its debut later this month at Zodiac's SOCO Sweet Dudes Music Festival ("Three Nights of Bands. Booze. And Beards.")

Rifle brings together musicians from El Toro de la Muerte and Cat Color, bands who've been sharing a warehouse rehearsal space on a somewhat desolate strip of North Nevada Avenue. The new group is fronted by El Toro bassist Mike Nipp — who switches over to lead vocals and guitar for Rifle — along with Cat Color's Wyatt Perkins and Ben Krause on guitar and bass respectively. Rifle's rounded out by Shawn Stafford, whom Ben refers to as "the drummer of Colorado Springs for the past 20 years."

For those who haven't been taking notes, Shawn is currently keeping time in Kali Spear, with past résumé entries ranging from the L.A.M.F.'s to Against Tomorrow's Sky — a band that happened to include Mike and his El Toro mate Jeff Fuller. (Can you spell incestuous? Yes, you can.)

According to Ben, Rifle songs start out as 45-second Garage Band demos from Mike, which then evolve into something entirely different. He also says that Cat Color has called it a day, sadly, without ever completing any recordings. Then again, you never know.

Meanwhile, El Toro fans need not worry, since the group will also be playing the aforementioned festival, which, by the way, is the first big production by Brian Early's RCH Presents. Look for the full 15-band lineup and schedule in next week's column.

In fact, you can also catch everyone's favorite bull of death at this Saturday's free Acacia Park summer show, which features Grant Sabin at 6, El Toro at 7, and the Flumps at 8.

Now speaking of rifles, which I believe we were earlier in this column, you should know that frequent Black P collaborator Liquid Assassin is back in town for two shows this month. He'll be joined by DJ Shevy for a headlining set this Thursday at Union Station on a bill with Young Ghost & Adrenaline, A.D., Left E, and other local hip-hop acts. After that, you can catch him opening for Brotha Lynch Hung July 1 at the Black Sheep.

Segueing from hip-hop to country, as so often happens around here, a locally produced documentary called The Happiest Festival has entered its final days of fundraising on Kickstarter. The film will showcase area artists — Spring Creek Bluegrass, The Ackermans, Marianne Louise, Jason Miller, Acme Bluegrass, the Florissant Fossils, Bruce Hayes, Creating a Newsense, John Wise, the Murder Ballads, OTC Varmints and Grass It Up — all performing at past Happy Ass Ranch Music Festivals. You can check out the promo trailer, which caters to those with an aversion to donkeys by not once mentioning the festival's real name, at kck.st/MO0g01. Then make a pledge, if you're so moved, by this coming Sunday afternoon.

A few additional upcoming gigs I should mention before you go: Neo-glam band Foxy Shazam bring their arena-level antics to the relatively intimate Black Sheep this Wednesday, as in June 20, as in the day this issue hits the stands, as in you may already have missed it. (We ran an interview with the band in last week's Indy, so you can't blame us.)

Also recommended are two Malakai appearances. For details on those, see the interview here and the Go Skateboard Day listing here.

And, if you're up in Denver this weekend, there's much to recommend at Saturday's Westword Music Showcase, not least of which is the official after party at City Hall featuring a deejay set from Q-Tip, the rightfully legendary co-founder of A Tribe Called Quest.

And now, here's Tom with the weather ...

Send news, photos and music to reverb@csindy.com; follow our updates at tinyurl.com/Indyreverb.

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