Kevin Zirfas' sound advice 

click to enlarge JACKI VITETTA
  • Jacki Vitetta
Kevin Zirfas is the new general manager at the Black Sheep. “I started out working security for a show and it stuck,” says the Colorado Springs native, who took over after previous manager Jeremy Grobsmith moved to North Carolina in February. Zirfas was also the vocalist in local metal-core band The Murder Formula. Following are some of his favorite recordings for your listening consideration.

First record I bought with my own money: I can’t specifically recall the first, but the one that stands out is From Here to Infirmary by Alkaline Trio. I was an angsty punk kid and that record was perfect for me. I still listen to it regularly and bask in my teenage heartbreak. It’s fantastic.

Essential Sunday morning listening: Leon Bridges. His debut record Coming Home came out a few years ago and I immediately became obsessed. I’m a giant Sam Cooke fan, and this is the closest to the Sam Cooke of my generation. His voice is just pure and calming. Perfect for a Sunday morning.

“Wish I’d written that” song: “Africa” by Toto. I don’t know if a more perfect song has ever been written. It hits you with every emotion. You can be happy and it gets you. You could be sad and it just does it. I don’t know how they did it, but goddamn, hats off to Toto.

“Wish I could unhear that” song: Working at The Sheep, we do a lot of hip-hop shows. Sometimes the DJ hosting the show will play music between sets, and I recently heard the song “Gucci Gang.” It’s literally just the rapper repeating “Gucci Gang” over and over. It’s the worst. I think this new craze of mumble rap is all just terrible. Also “Photograph” by Nickelback. I often belt the opening line as loud as possible at my co-workers. I’m sure they hate me.

Artist more people should know about: This is a toss-up between Tigerwine and Nightlove, who are both from Colorado. Tigerwine are from the Springs but constantly tour. They are honestly the nicest dudes on the planet, and they are insanely good. Nightlove is from Denver, fronted by Taylor MacNicholas. Taylor used to be in a good metal-core band called Forty Fathoms, which my old band used to play with. After they broke up, he started an ‘80s pop group and it’s insane.

Guilty pleasure: I have so many. I was raised with way too many musical tastes from my parents that I like some cringey shit. My dad grew up in Iowa and listened to country, and my mom is all about rock. She gave me her Clash and AC/DC records, and my dad gave me his Hank Williams records. So my guilty pleasures are cheesy ‘80s butt rock or country. I seriously love Randy Travis, though. Dude’s voice is awesome. But my ultimate guilty pleasure has to be Boyz II Men. Reminds me of going to the skating rink and trying to kiss some girl while “End of the Road” plays, then chickening out and still telling my friends I got to second base on Monday back at school.


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