Remember smart-ass punk? You know, the Dickies, Vandals, Adicts, Aquabats, Toy Dolls and Mentors of the world, bands who place absurdity and irony above all else?
OK, maybe you don't. But if you did, you would have even greater appreciation for the Springs' own Mostly Don'ts, who'll be shooting a live concert DVD at Zodiac this Saturday.
With a dress code that combines the most tasteful elements of the New York Dolls, Cramps and Teletubbies, the theatrically inclined group specializes in narrative-driven songs like "Zombie Babes," "Girls in Cages" (which the band will be releasing as a separate music video), and, of course, the much-loved "Tyrannosaurus Sex Bot (T.S.B.)"
"If you ever wanted to come see a show by the Mostly Don'ts, this is gonna be the one to see," warns Dean Dunston. "We're a nerdy band and our songs are character-based, so were adding those subjects to the show."
The bassist is promising girls in cages, confetti cannons and an over-the-top light show. And yes, there will be a Tyrannosaurus sex bot.
"Our most popular song is the epic T.S.B, but if I were to pick a favorite, it would have to be 'The Vacuum Cleaner Song,'" he says of the latest Don'ts creation. "It has a lot of dimension and tight three-part harmonies. For a song about making friends with a Hoover, it's truly moving."
Also listen for the densely metaphorical "Something Down My Pants." "It's about a guy who gets screwed by thinking with his jimmy. What can I say? We're poets."
For those who prefer a little less makeup and a lot more denim, this is also a big week for Americana, albeit of a more recent vintage, over at the Black Sheep. Sunday will bring the ever-popular Lucero, who'll be showing off tracks from their recently released Texas & Tennessee CD. Then on Tuesday, the club will host 2012 MeadowGrass headliners Son Volt, whose bandleader Jay Farrar will forever be reminded of his role in seminal Americana outfit Uncle Tupelo, even when it's just a little one-sentence write-up like this one.
Friday, meanwhile, finds former Broken Spoke frontman Tom Skora debuting his Many Machines project in a big way with a concert at the Lon Chaney Theater. The singer-songwriter and his backing band — which includes Grant Sabin, Alex Koshak and Andres Romero — will headline a bill that includes Edith Makes a Paper Chain as well as Chauncy Crandall & the Rocket Flies.
Speaking of Koshak, his "I play more gigs in a single week than any other human" track record is about to be challenged by Second Best Sunset, who'll be playing nine area dates over a 10-day period. The fusioned-out jam band includes Colorado Springs keyboardist Dylan Teifer and a bunch of his college friends who slipped off to Nashville and New York City. Dylan, who also plays in the local band Blue Frog, says the reunited crew hopes to get into the studio to record tracks with El Toro de la Muerte's Jeff Fuller while in town.
And just in case you don't stumble upon Second Best Sunset by chance, here are those nine dates: this Wednesday at Front Range Barbeque, Thursday at Venue 515 and then again at Kinfolks, Friday at the Keg, Saturday at the Ancient Mariner, Sunday at Zodiac, next Wednesday at Rico's, next Thursday at Meadow Muffins, and Saturday the 20th at Quixote's in Denver.
Fans of post-grunge alt-rock, meanwhile, can check out Oleander next Wednesday, July 17, not least because the Sacramento band features former Colorado Springsian Rich Mouser on lead guitar. The band scored several chart hits in the late '90s and early Aughts, most notably "Why I'm Here" and the Top 20 "Champion." Like most everyone else, they're back in the indie world these days.
Mouser is also something of a Southern California studio rat, having racked up mixing and production credits for artists ranging from Chris Cornell to Weezer.
And while the '80s may not have had much in the way of Americana, grunge or alt-anything, it did have the Fixx, who just happen to be playing Rawkus this Sunday. New Wave and VH-1 fans can no doubt rattle off their hits, including "Red Skies" and "Saved by Zero." They also do "One Thing Leads to Another," which I could swear is INXS, but isn't. Miss them, and you won't get another dose of '80s hits until the English Beat returns to Rawkus in September.
Unless, that is, you count Bullet Head, who'll be making a rare appearance at Union Station this Friday. Colorado Springs' best and only Van Halen cover band is, of course, fronted by Mike Stephens of Men of Deep Throat fame, who promises a night of "utter debauchery." Sure to be an unforgettable evening for those who can remember any of it.