Earsiq, Xanthe, and the Windchimes step up to the mic 


click to enlarge Michael Christmas will bring his hilariously brilliant rhymes and untamable 'fro to this year's Llamapalooza.
  • Michael Christmas will bring his hilariously brilliant rhymes and untamable 'fro to this year's Llamapalooza.

We all know the cliché about April showers, and it's best left unsaid, considering rain showers tend to put a damper on live music (to say nothing of Mayflowers bringing smallpox). Although we haven't seen much rain over the past month, clearly there is something in the water inspiring plenty of creativity, since three prominent local artists have announced new albums in the works.

The much-beloved Pueblo Americana act The Haunted Windchimes recently announced and unveiled their new studio LP, Rattle Your Bones, on Blank Tape Records. It will become available May 13 and features eight unreleased tracks, recorded with producer Chandler Pratt in Modesto, California. One track from the forthcoming album, "Everybody's Talking," has already been showcased on Allmusic.com, and you can pick up a copy of your own when the Windchimes celebrate the release date with a show at Pueblo's Sangre de Cristo Arts Center.

In the realm of local hip-hop, emcee Earsiq, a member of the Indy Music Award-winning group Mad Trees, has released a solo album, Whiskey & Heartbreak. If you missed the album release show at the Black Sheep, you can still pick up a copy of your own on iTunes and Amazon Music.

Finally, singer-songwriter Xanthe Alexis, bandleader of the Electric Universe and one half of gypsy-folk fusion duo the Hopeful Heroines, has completed recording of her own debut solo album and is raising funds via a Kickstarter campaign through May 6 to assist with final mastering and distribution. You can catch Alexis at Stargazers Theatre along with Joe Johnson and Eros and the Eschaton's Kate Perdoni on May 26, and the reunited Hopeful Heroines play the Fine Arts Center on June 10.

Meanwhile, as music festival season kicks in, the 26th edition of Colorado College's annual music and arts festival, Llamapalooza, takes place on Saturday, May 7. Last year's edition of the festival was rained out, but, weather permitting, Llamapalooza is a good bet for music fans looking to discover new acts — past years have featured such prescient booking choices as a then-unknown Flying Lotus.

This year's Llamapalooza lineup features plenty of variety. CC student bands ToucHit and Promiscuous StepSister open the proceedings, and those who feel the urge to dance will appreciate the Nashville-based alt-pop quartet What Up English. Listeners who gravitate to guitar-based music will enjoy the punk-fueled Nashville rock band Bully (who have earned positive press from Rolling Stone and NPR) as well as the Orlando art pop group SALES, who verge into post-rock territory. Fans of alternative hip-hop, meanwhile, will be well-sated by the laconic delivery of the affably quirky Boston emcee Michael Christmas and San Francisco-born emcee Kool A.D., perhaps best known as a member of the New York rap group Das Racist.

As for other notable upcoming gigs, local country and Americana standout Jason Miller is making a rare downtown appearance, playing McCabe's Tavern on Saturday, May 7. Miller and his band also play the Crystola Roadhouse on May 14 and 15, and have a free show in the First and Main Concert Series at Cinemark Plaza later in the summer on July 22.

Rounding out a busy May 7, the Black Sheep hosts Bernstock, a multi-band festival in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. While Killer Mike probably won't be available to perform, you can still catch sets throughout the day from local favorites Blind the Thief, Hydrogen Skyline, We Are Not a Glum Lot, Dead Set, Altars, and more.

Send news, photos and music to reverb@csindy.com.


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