So here are a few really good reasons to go out on a winter's evening, specifically this coming Friday. That's when not one but three very different local bands will be making their debuts.
Let's begin with the War Parts. After relocating to Denver with Tango Red Tapestry, frontman Brian Eastin is back in his native Colorado Springs with a new band that'll be playing its first show Friday at the Black Sheep. In addition to Eastin, War Parts features guitarist Shane Cahn and drummer Reggie Thompson, both from the band Foster; bassist Clayton Hull-Crew from Nobody's Home; and keyboardist-about-town Andy Rusk. All five musicians also contribute vocals.
So how will the new band's sound differ from Tango Red Tapestry's?
"Well, it's a lot more collaborative and more musical, I guess," says Eastin. "You can't really change my voice or guitar-playing, so that part is very similar. But overall we've got a more focused sound. More accessible, I guess."
The War Parts will be sharing Friday's Black Sheep bill with Autumn Creatures and Utah's indie-pop road warriors Desert Noises, who were interviewed in these pages back in August.
Also on Friday, you can head downtown to hear Inaiah Lujan's new Dog Days side-project at Modbo. The band takes its name from the title of Lujan's heavily George Harrison-influenced solo recordings, which you can check out on his ReverbNation page. Basically Dog Days is the Haunted Windchimes frontman backed by members of Briffaut, who will also be performing their own set, as will Chela Lujan.
Between sets, you'll have an opportunity to stroke your chin and demonstrate your command of art-school jargon while perusing installations by Logan Bartlett and Monique Viger, as well as new works by Cole Bennett and Shannon Dunn at the S.P.Q.R. gallery next door. You can also slip around the corner to grab a falafel at one of three late-night pita joints.
Our third and final debut is that of Justus League, who will be bringing blues-rock originals and covers to Stargazers this Friday. While Austin Johnson, Matt Taylor, Dean Woodward and Sean Pyrtle performed together under that name at Meadow Muffins a few weeks back, this will be their first show with multiple Indy Music Award winner Jake Loggins onboard. (By the way, you can also catch the monthly "Jam with Jake Loggins" at Stargazers this Thursday.)
Also this weekend, the Silver Tongue Devil Saloon — which went dark right before Christmas — is back in business, although it's been rechristened as the Blue Moose Tavern by new proprietress Karla Penner. While the scenic Ute Pass institution held its soft opening for drinkers and diners two weeks ago, the full-on opening celebration takes place Saturday, with singer-songwriter par excellence Chauncy Crandall breaking in the resurrected venue's stage.
And last but possibly not least, it's time for our ...
Stupid Letter of the Month: "I walked into the Yukon Tavern the other day for an after-work beer, and what do my ears hear? Hip-hop. The sign on the building says Rock & Roll Tavern. I instantly damn myself for once again I have been taken in by false advertisements. I think, feel, know! That this is an insult to all Rockers and I ask for a boycott from all who feel the same. — Concerned Rocker
Dear Concerned Rocker: Relax your mind, let your conscience be free, and get down to the sounds of your local emcee.