Let's face it, ubiquity is overrated. So when the anything-but-ubiquitous but nevertheless talented Wild Hares release a debut album, it's worth paying attention to. The self-titled CD may be one small hop for mankind, but it's a giant leap forward for the local garage-pop duo, which consists of former 84 Rooms guitarist/vocalist Tracy Santa and No Trend/United Mutation/Egamufin drummer Michael Salkind.

Santa's lo-fi indie-rock originals have reportedly earned compliments from the likes of Posies bandleader Ken Stringfellow and British music magazine Melody Maker, who likened them to "R.E.M. phoned in from a telephone kiosk in the Nevada desert." Of course, since Melody Maker's now defunct and Stringfellow's a stranger, I'm taking them at their word. (Salkind is an attorney by day, so I'm sure he wouldn't lie.)

In any case, I can definitely vouch for the fact that Wild Hares' debut has plenty of entirely engaging originals that fit nicely alongside covers of Big Star's "I'm in Love With a Girl" and Nick Drake's "Pink Moon."

"I like to think that the Drake song was played as if channeled through the Minutemen," says Salkind, who also informs me that the album technically "trickled slowly into existence" back in March without any of us noticing. "Very few were printed in anticipation of the certain doom that was to occur this past Saturday."

While the Rapture was kind of a wash, Salkind figures that with the outcome of our mayoral runoff, it's "six of one, half dozen of the other." (Uh-oh, hope our new mayor doesn't have much sway with local judges!)

Wild Hares will be celebrating all the above in the flesh or fur or whatever at Marmalade at Smokebrush's Trestle Building (219 W. Colorado Ave., #210) on June 3. The performance is for the opening of an exhibition by Sarah Milteer, who says she painted most of its works while listening to the Wild Hares album. You can also buy CDs there, assuming they haven't all trickled out of existence by then.

And as long as we're making introductions, you might also want to say hello to Denver-based hip-hop band Wheelchair Sports Camp, who'll headline the Black Sheep on Thursday, May 26. The group is fronted by Kalyn Heffernan, who does indeed rap from her wheelchair while accompanied by bandmates Abi on vocals and saxophone (!) and Isaac on live drums.

Rounding out the band is DJ B*Money, one of the dozen turntablists who made it to the DMC US Finals DJ Battle in New York City last year. (Amazingly, five of the 12 finalists turned out to be from Colorado, so maybe we can finally live down that John Denver thing after all.)

As for the weekend proper, the big game in town is the MeadowGrass Music Festival at Black Forest's La Foret Conference & Retreat Center. You can start the weekend off right on Friday evening with Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, interviewed in these pages just last issue. Saturday's heavy hitters include John Doe, who will sing "Hey baby, it's the Fourth of July," even though it isn't. And on Sunday, don't miss ultra-talented Vancouver songstress Frazey Ford, who co-founded the Be Good Tanyas and sounds better than ever on Obadiah, her solo debut album.

There's more, of course, ranging from touring talents Damien Jurado and Hot Buttered Rum to local heroes Haunted Windchimes and Broken Spoke. So go to meadowgrassmusicfestival.org and plan your life accordingly.

Send news, photos and music to reverb@csindy.com; follow our updates at tinyurl.com/indyreverb.


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