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Xanthe Alexis (and mystery guest) coming to Manitou 

click to enlarge Catch Xanthe Alexis at Armadillo Ranch on Jan. 16, before she hits the road again. - DENNIS NEJTEK
  • Dennis Nejtek
  • Catch Xanthe Alexis at Armadillo Ranch on Jan. 16, before she hits the road again.
Local music fans will still have to wait a little while before the next LP from local singer-songwriter Xanthe Alexis, but here’s a great consolation prize in the meantime — Alexis is bringing her accomplished folk stylings home for a local show at Manitou Springs’ Armadillo Ranch this Thursday, Jan. 16.

To sweeten the deal, the show comes with a bit of intrigue... a mystery guest. Interest piqued? Well, you’ll just have to attend the show to find out more.

“I have a special guest for the show, a gal I met in Montreal last year at Folk Alliance, then later played with in Nashville and Memphis,” says Alexis. “A fellow folk musician and now very dear friend. It’s been a while since I have played a show here in town, and it might be nice to share about traveling and my new album.”

After her Armadillo Ranch appearance, Alexis will be heading back on the road, first to the New Orleans-based Folk Alliance, and then to New York to perform at the 15th anniversary celebration of Rockwood Music Hall.
Elsewhere, while January is often a pretty slow month for live music — as everyone shakes off the holiday hangover — this week is shaping up to be one of the most efficient times to catch a variety of local and regional talent.

Things kick off at Lulu’s Downstairs on Friday, Jan. 17, with a bill featuring Denver’s Wildermiss, the Fort Collins-based trio Slow Caves, and local favorites We Are Not a Glum Lot. The latter should certainly need little introduction, though you’d do very well to give their latest LP, 2019’s excellent The Price of Simply Existing, another spin.

Wildermiss made a splash with their debut EP Lost With You in 2017, and since then they can list selling out the Bluebird Theater and appearing on Last Call with Carson Daly among their many accomplishments. The quartet released a new EP, In My Mind, in late 2019, and it’s a compelling listen — seven tracks of polished guitar pop, out of which tracks like the explosive, cinematic “Girl” and the ebullient “Hell or High Water” have a canny way of sticking in a listener’s memory.

click to enlarge Wildermiss will be playing Lulu’s Downstairs on Jan. 17, with some familiar faces.
  • Wildermiss will be playing Lulu’s Downstairs on Jan. 17, with some familiar faces.

Slow Caves also dropped an LP last year, Falling, which was released through Old Flame Records. It’s an exceedingly impressive debut effort — Grammy-nominated producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith captures the trio’s ethereal take on garage rock to great effect. The band’s gift for engaging melody shines throughout, even as the sonic texture of dreamy tracks such as “Follow Up” and “Falling Through the Clouds” borders on classic shoegaze.

(Smith also helmed the boards for Little Dan’s latest EP, Enemies or Lovers, if you happened to pick up a copy at his November Black Sheep appearance.)

The following night, Saturday, Jan. 18, Lulu’s plays host to what is perhaps the first music festival of the young year, Tri Lakes Radio’s Beast’s Favorites Festival. Starting at 1 p.m., the day will feature 11 bands hailing from Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and Woodland Park. Denverites Float Like a Buffalo act as the headliner, joined by Graham Good & The Painters, Post Paradise, Dream Feed (fronted by Miguel Dakota), Two Faces West, Silver and Smoke, Family Elephant, Ghost Tapes, Instant Empire, Ozonic and Barefoot Family Caravan.

The weekend also offers the opportunity to catch packed showcases of local hip-hop and metal, respectively. Friday, Jan. 17, the Triple Nickel Tavern plays host to Chain Store Collective, Che Bong, Earsiq and Observe23, and on Saturday, Jan. 18, things will get loud in Bar-K’s basement with a lineup of death metal and doom metal, featuring Crotalus, Dust Lord and Pueblo’s Oathkeeper and Burns Like Hell.

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