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Welcome to the 40th year of the ’80s 

click to enlarge Stevie Stone, who folds an array of hip-hop styles and trap into his sung and rapped vocals, comes to The Black Sheep on Jan. 11. - VIA STRANGE MUSIC
  • via Strange Music
  • Stevie Stone, who folds an array of hip-hop styles and trap into his sung and rapped vocals, comes to The Black Sheep on Jan. 11.
The start of a new year is a time for resolutions and prognostications, and while much of the new decade is up for grabs, one thing is certain... new wave and ’80s pop aren’t fading away anytime soon. Not even close.

This Saturday, Jan. 11, Legends Rock Bar will prove that we’re still living in the ’80s (the 40th year of the ‘80s, if you will) when Bow Wow Wow and When in Rome take the stage, with The Sleights and Eighty3 in support.

Bow Wow Wow, originally an enterprise of Sex Pistols and New York Dolls manager Malcolm McLaren, was formed in 1980 behind the propulsive drumming of Dave Barbarossa and vocalist Annabella Lwin, who was just 13 when the group was formed. Indeed, Lwin’s age, coupled with the band’s risqué lyrics and the cover photo for their debut LP See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy! proved to be a controversial gambit, even for the often-notorious McLaren.

Undeterred, however, the group found chart success with their irresistible cover of The Strangeloves’ “I Want Candy” and a slew of other singles, such as “Go Wild in the Country” and “Baby, Oh No.” Today, bassist Leigh Gorman is the group’s sole remaining original member, and vocal duties have been handled by Chloe Demetria since 2013.

As for When in Rome, well... I’m sorry, but I’m just thinking of the right words...

Yes, the British synth-pop trio is forever tied to their smash 1988 single “The Promise,” which was later given a stripped-down cover by alt-country exemplar Sturgill Simpson, exposing the track’s excellent “bones” even if you (incorrectly) don’t care for synths and drum machines.

Technically now touring as When in Rome II (vocalists Clive Farrington and Andrew Mann perform as When in Rome UK), the band consists of original keyboardist Michael Floreale, drummer Chris Willett and vocalist Tony Fennell, who has played guitar with Enuff Z’nuff and fronted Ultravox following Midge Ure’s tenure.

Elsewhere, you can also start off the new year by catching shows featuring some relatively new local acts, both on the evening of Friday, Jan. 10.

At the Triple Nickel Tavern, reigning trashgrass champs Tejon Street Corner Thieves will take the stage with Get the Axe, Sliver, Basic Coincidence and newcomers Yeah, Totally in tow. The latter act refers to itself in turn as “four disheveled degenerates,” “nauseatingly nostalgic” and “the worst band in Colorado,” so it goes without saying that I give them my full and resounding endorsement on principle alone.

Meanwhile, the same night, The Black Sheep hosts the debut of a new metal act featuring some well-established musicians. Planetary27, the new project of Anthony Welch, Jeff Stroessner, RJ Diaz, Tom Prose and Joe Vallejos, will play their first show with special guests We Are William, Demortifier, Cleanse the Destroyers and Pathos & Logos.

Finally, on Saturday, Jan. 11, Columbia, Missouri-raised emcee Stevie Stone makes his welcome return to The Black Sheep. Stone has long been affiliated with Tech N9ne’s Strange Music record label, a roster of artists who are likely becoming familiar faces, owing to their frequent stops in town.

Stone’s run of albums with Strange Music has made some impressive noise on the Rap and R&B charts, and the 2015 LP Malta Bend earned critical appreciation for its well-balanced and often thoughtful, personal storytelling — a complement to Stone’s eclectic musical style, which blends sung and rapped vocals and has commingled elements of trap and East Coast, West Coast and Dirty South hip-hop.

2019 saw the release of two new EPs from Stone: Set in Stone, which sports a guest appearance from Tech N9ne, and Black Lion Segment: 1, which finds Stone supported by Dawn P, Peetah Morgan and Spaide R.I.P.P.E.R.

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