Yes, indie record stores still live and breathe and, in the case of the ones that share space with prescription pot dispensaries, inhale.

What's more, you'll have extra incentives to visit them this Saturday, with free live performances and a ton of exclusive releases in celebration of Record Store Day.

As the band Was (Not Was) has noted, indie record stores remain "a holy repository of the culture's most sacred beats and rhymes," while the Internet is "a clean room in a hospital."

You can read what Nate Query of the Decemberists — who'll be playing Colorado Springs that evening — has to say about the importance of indie record stores on p. 40. I also tracked down Independent Records & Video's Mandy Christensen, who tells me all locations will be carrying most of the bigger collectible releases, including those from Gorillaz, the Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons, the Decemberists (them again), Rise Against, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, AC/DC, Adele, etc.

"If someone is looking for something from an artist that's not widely known," she adds, "they'll have the best luck at our Platte and Bijou stores in the Springs, and our Colfax location in Denver."

Christensen says those branches will also feature live performances, with the Platte megastore focusing on hip-hop — including the ReMINDers, SoCo, Earsiq Radkeys and L-ION — while the downtown Bijou location offers rock from the likes of Myth of Modern Medicine, Foster and the Wild Hares.

As for set times, the Pikes Peak Arts Council Award-winning ReMINDers — always a must-see — are slated for 3 p.m. And the rest?

"I'm still waiting to hear from a few acts in regards to their work schedules," says Christensen. "Silly day jobs!"

Other participating stores this year include the Leechpit (howdy, Adam), Pueblo's Beat Pharm and Pueblo Records & Tapes.

Meanwhile, as long as you're buying, could you pick me up a copy of the Subpop sampler, the one with the embossed, die-cut case, the sampler of 18 art prints, the folded poster, and tracks by Low, Mogwai, Fleet Foxes and Dum Dum Girls? Thanks.

So, what else do you need to know? Oh right, if you like the Runaways, you'll probably want to catch Hellcat recording artists Civet at the Triple Nickel Tavern this Saturday. That way, you can sing along to "Cherie," their charmingly off-key ode to Cherie Currie: "Cherie you're pretty / I want to be part of your family!" (It's not as creepy as Mott the Hoople's Ian Hunter crooning, "I wish I was your mother," but it's close.)

Also on the bill is Continental, featuring original Dropkick Murphys guitarist Rick Barton, whose new band is way more punk than Celtic, so let's drop the whole river-dance thing, can we? And for those who like their punk more ska-inflected, the Springs' own Murder Hat takes the opening slot.

This week's best free show, meanwhile, has got to be the Real Nasty, a San Francisco Bay Area band formed by a couple of former Afrobeat guys who decided to twang it up but keep the cajón, a crate-like percussion instrument from Peru. They're at the west side Front Range Barbeque on Friday, and their song "No Big Deal" (video at therealnasty.com) is pretty catchy in a Cracker kinda way.

And finally: Unlike Douglas Bruce, you can celebrate tax season on Friday the 15th with a "Positively Pikes Peak" concert featuring (deep breath) Lindsay Weidmann, Rick Stahl, Jason Bennett, Heidi and Deanna Cooper, Randy Ruebsamen, Jeremy Hodges, Heather Gunn, Barry Beard, Bill W. and Misti Walker, Andrew de Naray, and Chuck and Katie Haas. They're all at the Black Forest Community Center, with album proceeds going to COPPeR.

Send your news, photos and vinyl fetishes to reverb@csindy.com.


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