Reverb readers may have noticed that we cover children's music in this column only slightly more frequently than we do Tuvan throat singing. Still, we'd be remiss not to remind you that local jazzman Steve Barta has a record in the running for Best Children's Album at this Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony.
The Colorado College music instructor and composer's JumpinJazz Kids: A Swinging Jungle Tale will go up against four other finalists for the music industry's biggest award.
With Grammy-decorated guest artists Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws and Dee Dee Bridgewater in their camp, Barta and cohort Mark Oblinger should see Jungle Tale garner more Grammy votes than the Okee Dokee Brothers' Can You Canoe? and the Pop Ups' Radio Jungle. (Not sure what the award program's obsession with jungle-themed albums is this year. These things happen.)
The category's other two finalists look more formidable. Bill Harley, nominated for his High Dive and Other Things That Could Have Happened... album, has six prior nominations and two wins under his belt. In a category filled with first-time nominees, it's worth noting that Grammy voters tend to be loyal to artists they've actually heard of.
Still, the stiffest competition is likely to come from Elizabeth Mitchell's Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie. Last year, the Grammy Museum partnered with the late singer-songwriter's family to create a year-long series of Woody Guthrie Centennial celebrations that were held all around the country. And while the much-revered folk legend may not have been graced with a Grammy during his lifetime, the organization has been making up for it ever since, with a Lifetime Achievement Award as well as one Grammy and various nominatons for posthumous collections.
Moving on to the coming week's live music offerings, Drug Flowers are making serious headway in their apparent attempt to play every local venue in as short a time as possible. Following shows last Saturday at both Zodiac and Deep Space, the band will open for SoCal "beach goth" band the Growlers this Thursday at the Black Sheep, then move to the Triple Nickel on Friday, and return to Deep Space on Saturday. (You can find out more about the relatively new Deep Space Collective, by the way, at on.fb.me/YPsY7H.)
Later this month, Drug Flowers will begin work on their first EP, affectionately titled Acid Sluts. Frontman Jesse Allan Rozell says the goal is to develop a "timeless and absorbing wall of strung-out sound that evokes the feelings of rock and roll." The band is currently aiming for a mid-March release.
Also this week, look for the resurrection of the Lazy Spacemen, a band founded by Alan Stiles and Chuck Snow back in the late '90s that survived in various incarnations well into the 21st century. The new version actually made its live debut during last Halloween's Monsters of Mock shows, where it performed as Replacements tribute band Bastards of Young. You can catch the Spacemen playing themselves this Friday at Zodiac, with the Wild Hares and Rough Age rounding out the bill.
If you're in more of a hip-hop mood, the Black Sheep will have half the emcees in town playing a "Rap Roulette" show with live backing by the Charlie Milo Trio on Friday. There'll be full sets by Stoney Bertz, Mad Trees and Bullhead*ded side-project Made Up Minds, plus dueling deejay sets from Indy Music Award honorees Animus Invidious and DJ Gravity. Also look for guest appearances by Chuck City, Ibe Hustles, Big Ro and a half-dozen other local rappers.
Meanwhile, since you really can't have enough Friday night entertainment options, here are two more: Indie-folk fans will not want to miss singer/songwriter/guitar genius Willy Porter at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts. And while seminal techno band Daft Punk will not be playing at your house — or in your town, for that matter — anytime soon, you can still go to Rawkus to see well-received tribute duo Daft Punk'd blast out techno favorites like "One More Time" and "Around the World," complete with obligatory space helmets and glowing pyramid stage set. In a town perpetually visited by Led Zeppelin, Beatles and Sublime tribute bands, this one should at least be a good change of pace.