Punk-rock reunions and resurrections. New venues and festivals. Hip-hop throwdowns and metal moshpits. Yes, it's another week in the land of Reverb.
Let me just begin by pointing out that, in my experience, traditional punk rock mosh pits are rarely as slippery as the one at last Friday night's Cannibal Corpse show. Maybe it's because death metal fans sweat, while punk rock fans glisten. Or maybe the Black Sheep's ventilation system was a little off that night. In any event, mosh-pit etiquette was actually pretty exemplary, resulting in no obvious face-plants, and that's always nice to see.
As for the performance, I'm pretty sure the first (and only) Cannibal Corpse guitar solo came at the 45-minute mark, and the first more-than-two-chord progression at 55 minutes. In other words, totally great.
And so was Kali Spear, who played earlier in the evening at Zodiac. Formed last year by the Nicotine Fits' Bert Maple, his Colonial Excess cohort Don Parkison, and former Against Tomorrow's Sky drummer Shawn Stafford, the band served up a set of bruising guitar-pop that might call to mind Sonic Youth or Mission of Burma, depending on where your mind happens to be at the time. Sharp songwriting and catchy vocal harmonies add to the appeal.
Between sets, I ran into Triple Nickel promoter Jacob Slann, who was beaming about having just booked the Mentors to play the club in June. You may remember them as the depraved West Coast punk/metal band whose penchant for songs like "Golden Showers" and "Turned You into a Lesbian" made them a favorite among parents and politicians alike.
In the late '90s, Mentors frontman El Duce became even more notorious than nature had intended by telling the media that Courtney Love had offered him $50,000 to kill Kurt Cobain, shortly after which he was mysteriously killed by a train. (Personally, I always thought it was ironic that the singer got his stage name from Mussolini, who was famously known for "making the trains run on time." But that's just me.)
All of which means El Duce won't be appearing, except in spirit, with his bandmates at the June 14 show. Should be a magical evening nonetheless.
In the meantime, a fully living version of the Nobodys — arguably Colorado Springs' closest thing to the Mentors — will play an exceedingly rare show at the Triple Nickel on May 5. Murder Hat, Pouch, and Antique Scream are also on the bill.
Not long after comes Llamapalooza, which takes place May 12 at Colorado College. This year's festival will feature the Kopecky Family Band, praised by NPR for their "sweet, swollen folk-rock songs" (which sounds kind of gross, but isn't). Other noteworthy acts include hip-hop artist Tayyib Ali and Pretty Lights act Paper Diamond, along with the Lonely Biscuits, Small Black, and others.
As for the weekend, Che Bong, Fidel Redstar, Milogic and other hip-hop acts will be playing an all-ages show this Friday at the LWB Event Center, a new venue at 2361 Platte Place. On Saturday, Western Jubilee hosts cowboy crooner Brenn Hill on a bill with Grass It Up, whose upcoming Alabama Tory album was recently recorded at Hideaway Studios and should be out in time for the MeadowGrass Music Festival.
Then on Sunday, Sound of Bass will present three Denver DJs, as well as a dozen locals, on two outdoor stages at Holy Cow Pub & Grill. Dubbed Summer Sessions 2012, the monthly electronic dance music series promises "bikinis, bass, bbq and booze." Fans of all the above can go to facebook.com/sobproductions for details.