Springs music community wraps its arms around Mike Elmore 

click to enlarge Well-known local musician Mike Elmore suffered numerous major injuries and had to have a leg amputated after being struck by a car July 9 outside Benny’s. - MO OROSCO
  • Mo Orosco
  • Well-known local musician Mike Elmore suffered numerous major injuries and had to have a leg amputated after being struck by a car July 9 outside Benny’s.
In compiling our overview of weekly local music happenings, we’d be remiss if we didn’t address the terrible injuries recently suffered by Mike Elmore, a local bass player and sound engineer beloved by many in the Colorado Springs music scene.

On July 9, Elmore was unloading equipment for a show at Benny’s when he was struck by a car, resulting in a broken back, broken left leg, broken right arm, several broken ribs, and ultimately having his right leg amputated.

The extent of his injuries is harrowing, and I’m sure the incident inspired many local musicians to pause and consider how frequently they have found themselves in the same situation — unloading their equipment from the streets outside venues. It could have happened to any one of us.

It’s heartening, then, to witness how the local music scene has generated an outpouring of support for one of its own. Elmore’s longtime friends and bandmates Richard Rifkin and Levi Maez organized a benefit jam at Johnny’s Navajo Hogan, which raised $5,000 for Elmore’s recovery. Also, an emergency GoFundMe account organized by Vinny Luciani, as of this writing, has raised more than $21,500 in a mere 11 days.

Music scenes, like any groups of people, have the capacity for good and ill. The clear love and consideration shown to Elmore is a good reminder of what our community is capable of, and indeed, the human element behind our artistic pursuits — the thing that actually matters. We at the Indy wish Mike Elmore all the best and a speedy, abundant recovery.

Turning to the happenings of the week, Austin-formed and now Portland-based hardcore pioneers MDC unfortunately had to cancel their planned appearance at last year’s 71Grind IV, but Dave Dictor’s ensemble at last will make their way to the Black Sheep on Thursday, July 25.

While an enthusiastic favorite of the late Kurt Cobain and having shared stages with the Dead Kennedys, Ian MacKaye and Green Day over the years, MDC has remained dedicated to the punk underground.

Over the years this has been reflected in their multi-purpose, acronymic name, which over the years has stood for, among other iterations: Millions of Damn Christians, Missile Destroyed Civilization, Multi-Death Corporation and, most famously, Millions of Dead Cops.

That said, a listen to their classic LP Smoke Signals shows a furious appeal and righteous anger behind MDC’s music that has proven influential far beyond the fringes. Joining MDC are long-running Oakland-based hardcore act Verbal Abuse and Shanghai’s own “experimental freak punk” outfit Round Eye.

The following night, July 26, the Triple Nickel plays host to the prolific and creative emcee, Awol One.

In addition to being a member of the Los Angeles-based underground hip-hop collective the Shape Shifters, Awol One recently added the 15th solo LP to his personal discography, which stands amid a dizzying number of collaborations and guest appearances. (He’s worked with Aesop Rock, KRS-One and members of Cypress Hill, just for starters). Primer, which dropped in January 2019 on Alpha Pup Records, boasts a heavy, hard-edged and experimental sound.

Awol One’s solo work has received critical notice from the likes of Vice, URB Magazine and Spin, with the latter calling him “one of the premier voices of emo-rap.” Joining him at the Nickel are DJ Oliver Guthrie, Bullhead*ded and Observe23.

Finally, here’s something a bit different to close out the week. The Gridlife festival, founded in 2013, is a combination of motorsports and music, and this year marks its inaugural appearance at the Pikes Peak International Raceway the weekend of July 26 to 28.

Along with all the high-octane drifting you can possibly handle, musical duties will be handled by a bevy of EDM artists, including Israeli DJ and producer Borgore; Miami-based electro house/trap duo GTA; Los Angeles-based hard trap pioneer SAYMYNAME; Baauer, the producer behind “Harlem Shake” (say, remember that?); Hex Cougar; and Tails.


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