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Reddmen join the prodigal Nicotine Fits at the Rocket - Room.
  • Reddmen join the prodigal Nicotine Fits at the Rocket Room.

So, last week I preached the gospel of variety, displaying the vast array of options for your Friday evening pleasure. Well, this week, with a massive outbreak of free shows, it's all about value.

Celebrating their recent appearance at Red Rocks Amphitheater's Punk Rocks 2008 festival (hell, yeah!), which, correct me if I am wrong, is a first for a C. Springs band, the Nicotine Fits will give you a freebie Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Rocket Room. Joining the Fits will be the Reddmen of Rapid City, S.D., with their trashed-out, fuzzed-up, garage-pop static ... the Infections, the Bloody Hollies, or for a more conventional reference, the Hives. High energy, low cost!

There will be no cover at Kinfolks when local blues channeler Grant Sabin and alt-country progenitor Cory Branan get down the evening of Friday, July 29. Branan's indie-rock Americana songwriting was recently compared (by Rolling Stone no less) to that of Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst, which is totally fair, but seeing as how they both bore me to death, I would have to throw in a dash of legendary country/punk icon, Eddie Spaghetti, the most super of suckers, and, for better or worse, the freakin' Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. Regardless, Branan's hard-hitting, but often humorous, lyrics flow seamlessly into his classic, American rock 'n roll chord progressions. The show starts early, with Grant at 7 and Cory at 8.

Also free and also Friday, the V Bar (19 E. Kiowa St.) will host a good old-fashioned 1990s, big-city-style album-listening party for the long-anticipated debut album from secretive local alterna-rockers Aria Tari. Promising cheap drink, repeated album spins and the announcement of their first-ever live gig, the group has the hype machine in full swing, and I, for one, am intrigued. More info can be found at

If you miss him at Kinfolks on Friday, Branan, whom you may remember from two paragraphs back, will be joined by Chad Price and Jon Snodgrass, of Drag the River notoriety, at the Triple Nickel Tavern on Saturday, Aug. 30. Also slated to appear are Minneapolis' snot-pop ambassadors, Banner Pilot. Although this one ain't free ($7), it's cheap enough.

Despite me having it on high authority that they voted Republican in the last election, the Mansfields are going to join in DNC-type festivities this Friday, Aug. 29, at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (1101 13th St.). Thrown by Rock the Vote 2008, this free concert event will also feature ALL, Rose Hill Drive, the Heyday, Kinetix, Animo, the Photo Atlas, Meniskus, American Relay, Spools of Dark Thread and more. The show is set to run from noon until midnight in the sculpture park, on Speer Boulevard.

And last, but not least in any way, next Thursday, Sept. 4, the appropriately named Peculiar Pretzelmen and the unclearly named Edith Makes a Paperchain will grace the stage of the Rocket Room once again, and again there is no cover charge. If you have yet to witness the Pretzelmen's hysteric ragtime blues show, mashing Squirrel Nut Zippers energy with Tom Waits twisted psyche and vocal chords, you'd do well to stop by.

Well, there you have it, you cheap bastards. What's your excuse now, eh? Yeah, that's what I thought. Smell you later.

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