So, more than 1,000 first-week Indy Music Awards voters can't be wrong, right?

When we ran the ballot for our first-ever local music awards last Thursday, we had no idea what kind of response to expect. Of course, we were excited about it, as were the local promoters, club managers and radio insiders we consulted while putting the ballot together. But how long it would take for word to circulate through the Springs' music community was anyone's guess.

Not long, as it turns out. By Monday, the vote count exceeded a thousand. And with the ballot deadline still two weeks away, we're looking at some serious support from our local scene out there. Combine that with the inaugural Indy Music Awards Festival, a free event that will feature winners performing on multiple stages, and this promises to be just the best summer ever.

Get further details, plus your very own ballot, at csindy.com. Along with nominees in a dozen genres ranging from Americana to punk rock to hip-hop, you'll find a half-dozen local write-in categories and one Colorado-at-large category. Because musicians in the rest of the state need love, too, just not as much.

In other deadline news, if you've released an album of original music and are interested in playing next season's Showcase Series at the Pikes Peak Center's Studio Bee, you'll need to get your application postmarked by July 10. Find details at pikespeakcenter.com/showcaseatstudiobee.

Meanwhile, I'm sad to report that the downtown music community is about to become a little less hirsute, thanks to Triple Nickel Tavern booker Damian Burford heading a short drive east to become assistant general manager at the Black Sheep. While he's been training his successor, Jacob Slann, for a while now, don't be surprised to find Damian back at his old haunt from time to time. After all, man's gotta drink somewhere on nights when the Black Sheep's dark.

Moving on to this holiday weekend: Even if you're heading out of town, you should really stick around long enough to catch the Blank Tape Circus at the Zodiac this Friday. In addition to label founders the Haunted Windchimes, the evening will feature a set by Changing Colors as well as guest performances by Katey Sleeveless and Ian Cooke. (The circus returns to the same venue Saturday with the Jack Trades, Joe Johnson, It's True! and the Flumps.)

I should also add that, if you are going Friday, be sure to catch Ian Cooke's opening set. The Denver-based cellist follows in the tradition of experimental bow-slingers like Tom Cora and Arthur Russell, but with a little less moping and a lot more live looping. From the clips I've seen, Cooke can craft some beguilingly catchy art-pop, which is probably why he gets taken out on tour by artists like the Decemberists, the Dresden Dolls and Flaming Lips.

For an additional cello fix, you can hear Tim Ogilvie and mandolinist Mike Couillard backing local singer-songwriter Ben Knighten bright and early on the Fourth. The trio's 10 a.m. set will feature songs from Knighten's recently released All I Want CD as part of the Pikes Peak Arts Fest at America the Beautiful Park. (There's a full weekend schedule at pikespeakartsfest.com.)

Finally, you've got yourself two chances to see the Broken Spoke — Friday at Front Range Barbeque and Saturday at the Ancient Mariner — before they take a two-week tour of the Midwest. Happy trails, guys, and if you pass through Nebraska, don't forget your hazmat suits.

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


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