All right amigos, I am back. Did you miss me? Well, I missed you all, but no one more than my friend Marty Harper, whom you may remember took offense at my use of the colloquialism "emcee" a while ago. Anywho, he was first to welcome me home with a big "Rocky Mountain High" — well, actually it was rockymountainhighway.com.
Unsatisfied with merely chastising local media, Harper created "your complete guide to Americana, alt-country, blues, bluegrass, folk and roots music on the Front Range." You may forgive the exaggeration, since the site has comprehensive listings of shows, venues and festivals, updated by Steve Harris from KRCC's Grass Roots Revival radio show (8 to 10 p.m., Wednesdays). Most impressive is the list of Colorado blues fests, with an event nearly every weekend from May through September!
Ben Gilbert, everyone's favorite rare-wax-peddling, cab-driving, socialist-hating, black-sock-wearing weirdo, surprised me with a copy of Rocky Mountain Low, an absurdly awesome double vinyl (with bonus CD!) set of rare late '70s Denver/Boulder punk rock. I've only even heard of two of the 17 featured bands: the retro-surf-wave Corvairs and the pre-Jello, pre-Dead, pre-Kennedys project, the Healers. With 31 cuts — including the first-ever recording of "California Uber Alles" as performed in the CU-Boulder campus Pizza Hut on Feb. 9, 1978, by the Healers vs. the Dancing Assholes (my new favorite band name of all time), two all-girl punk and power-pop groups (the Guys and the Profalactics) and a 24-page magazine insert — it's an absolute steal for $28.
Good news for fans of the Ancient Mariner's Sunday Acid Jazz Jam ... it's back! The popular weekly free-form acid-jazz blowout returns to Manitou beginning Sunday, June 7, at 8:30 p.m. It'll be hosted by renowned bassist Kim Stone (Spyro Gyra/the Rippingtons) and his latest group of miscreants, A New Brain for Arnie, featuring L.A. Music Award-winning guitarist Michael Reese, keyboardist Bryant Jones (Shakedown Street), guitarists Wayne Hammerstadt and Tommy Gallagher and Capitol Records session player Dewey Steele on drums. The evening starts with a set from the core band, followed by randomly grouped musicians, percussionists, poets, spoken-word artists and singers, all governed by the following rules: no covers, and no memorized songs. I assure you, it isn't as easy as these players would have you believe.
And, as always, the first weekend in June is the Peak Scooter Club's Movin' On Up Rally weekend. Now in its 10th year, this is the "longest-running scooter rally in Colorado." The MOU rally will spread hijinks, shenanigans, tomfoolery and various amounts of monkey business all through the town, including a Friday night dance party at the Rocket Room with DJs Gazzy Geoff, AdamXYL and Muggy Lovins; a "Party for the People" at the Piano Warehouse (120 W. Cucharras St.) on Saturday, featuring live rock and/or roll with the Nicotine Fits, 99 Bottles and the Brixton Automatics; and Sunday afternoon's capstone at Meadow Muffins, where they'll give away a somewhat completely restored vintage Vespa!
Ah, it's good to be home, smell you next time!