So last Wednesday's World Arena benefit was quite the success, not least because it raised nearly $300,000 over the course of a single three-hour event. Donations raised during the concert — which came together in just one week and featured performances by the Fray's Isaac Slade, Michael Martin Murphey, Flash Cadillac, the Flying W Wranglers and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic — went directly to Pikes Peak United Way's Waldo Canyon Victim Assistance Fund.
If you missed out on that one, you can still get in the giving spirit this Sunday with a benefit featuring the Peter Karp and Sue Foley Band. Canadian singer/guitarist Foley is particularly worth your attention, having won a Juno Award for Best Blues Album. The outdoor concert (indoor, if it rains) will take place at Gold Hill Mesa (142 S. Raven Mine Drive, amusiccompanyinc.com), with proceeds going to the Red Cross and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation's Waldo Canyon Fire Fund. Big Jim Adam & John Stilwagen open the show, with reps from Care & Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado also on hand to collect non-perishable food items.
Also, with everything going on last week, I didn't have space to mention seeing the debut of Rifle, the promising new side project featuring El Toro de la Muerte's Mike Nipp backed by members of Cat Color and Kali Spear, when they played the Sweet Dudes Music Fest at Zodiac two Sundays ago. The musicians — whose freshly minted originals wouldn't have sounded out of place at an El Toro show, if they'd only had those rousing three-part vocal refrains — also bought shots of Jameson for all the folks who showed up on time to catch the band. "You have to pay people to like you," deadpanned bassist Ben Krause. Based on Rifle's first show, that shouldn't be the case for long.
And as long as we're on the subject of local festivals, let's have everyone here who's heard of the Gathering of the Shadows raise your hands. Not all that many, I'm guessing, given that this annual gathering of black-metal enthusiasts has managed to fly well under the radar for seven years. Until now, that is.
In the wake of wildfires, the idea of an invite-only, two-day music festival in a secret forest location "lit only by the full moon and flame of torches" no longer seemed like such a great idea. So while the Gathering of the Shadows was scheduled to take place an hour's drive along unpaved roads somewhere in the woods beyond Woodland Park, it has instead relocated to the relatively urban Colorado Springs.
Redubbed the Apocalpyse Fest, the no-longer-clandestine event will be held July 27 and 28 at the DIY Center (2361 E. Platte Place), which was home to last month's Front Range Punk Fest. The final lineup is still being tweaked, but you can get all the latest info at tinyurl.com/apocalypsefest.
Among currently committed performers, I can especially recommend Nachtmystium. The Chicago-based band's forthcoming Silencing Machine album is less keyboard-oriented than some previous works, but still occupies a middle ground between the progressive metal of Enslaved and the dirge-y goodness of "Careful With That Ax, Eugene"-era Pink Floyd. Fun stuff.
Meanwhile, the Procussions (interviewed last issue) have added a last-minute second local date. Catch them tonight (July 11) at the Black Sheep with Fidel RedStar and the Knux. Then on Sunday, it's the final installment of the V Bar's long-running Kiowa Sessions, with Funk Row Seats, the Heart-less and Melting Temple.
And finally, here's ONE LAST REMINDER that you only have until this Friday at 11:59 p.m. to CAST YOUR BALLOT for the 2012 INDY MUSIC AWARDS! (Emphatic enough for ya?) There's a physical ballot on p. 51, but most 21st-century denizens will find it easier to head to csindy.com and do it online. Vote now so you can avoid 12 months of misery and regret, all right?