Let's start with a salute to John and Cindy Hooton, the husband-wife team who brought the Ol' Colorado Opry House back from the grave, put it in a fresh suit and tie, named it Stargazers, and got it back on the scene and looking for action. Against my original prognostications, they have made one hell of a run, hooking and reeling some big-name national acts, hosting scores of rising talents, and buffering the historic "concert hall turned movie theater turned concert hall turned church turned concert hall" with a plethora of profitable goings-on, including comedy acts, film festivals and corporate events.

Now, it looks as though all that hard work has attracted some notice, as the Hootons have been selected to receive the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce "American Dream" Award, given to "extraordinary small business owners who invest their time, passion, energy, money, sacrifice and other resources to create and build their businesses."

Well done, kids, on the award, but even more so, congratulations for taking an absolutely wonderfully unique and bizarre chasm of a seemingly purposeless building and turning it into a successful and bustling destination for events of all persuasions! For more information, including a full list of events planned in celebration of their two-year anniversary this February, visit stargazerstheatre.com.

Meanwhile, ColoRado is sending a few of its finest down to Memphis, Tenn., next weekend. Thanks to the indefatigable vocal cords and finger-flinging skills of Big Jim Adam and John Stilwagen (the old guard), and Grant Sabin (the new[er] kid on the block), the "Raddest" state in the union will be repping and ripping it up at the 27th annual International Blues Challenge, held Feb. 1 through 5 in the Mecca of the Blues. Good luck, boys, and bring me back some barbecue!

And while I am on the subject of "Rad" bands transporting awesomeness across state lines, how about a little punk rock love slap for the legendary DEN/COS hybrid, Catheter, which is taking its face-pounding grind/thrash on the road next week for a fast and furious Midwest tour. The boys are playing some sick shows, including a couple big-time second-header slots with 3 Inches of Blood in Lincoln, Neb., and with thrash gods D.R.I. in Des Moines, Iowa. And on Friday, Feb. 4, you can welcome them home during a gig at the Triple Nickel Tavern. For the full list of dates, slap myspace.com/catheter.

Now I suppose you want me to suggest a show for this week? Well, all right then. How about checking out a new band of generally happy dudes called We Are Not a Glum Lot? These kids drop some damn fine jazzed-up (indie/pop)² + ([math] x rock), kinda like a (Mars Volta – 10 yrs x LSD), with a more palatable vocal theory that just screams out '80s art/punk/wave. But like I said, these kids are young — in fact, the best line from their bio reads, "each member is legally not an adult" — so they aren't quite as polished up as the Mars Volta ... yet! Anywho, catch them in their first headlining slot tonight, Jan. 27, at the Black Sheep with Foster, Galaxies and the Merry Mammoth Gang, or take a listen at myspace.com/wearenotaglumlotband.

Smell y'all next week!

Send news, pics and blues licks to adam@csindy.com.


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