If you're superstitious about Friday the 13th, and also sanctimonious about St. Valentine's Day, then being out on the cusp of the two may seem like tempting fate. Still, it could be worth the risk — assuming you've got anything to lose — to catch The Black Heart Ball, which will take place at the 2-month-old Flux Capacitor (3530 N. Chelton Loop) this Friday evening.
"While we are thrilled about performing on Friday the 13th, we are indifferent about Valentine's Day," says Yves Sturdevant, co-founder of tribal fusion belly dance troupe The Luddites, who will be performing alongside female-fronted favorites The Hopeful Heroines and Maxine & the Eskimo Brothers. "We like to keep things good-spirited, and celebrate just for the heck of it."
Billed as "A Pre-Valentine's Day Celebration of an Artistic Nature," the event is a fundraiser for Colorado Creators' Guild and will also feature an artist market, fashion, comedy and live art.
"We have our own brand of chemistry and jackassery that makes it pretty easy to dance and produce shows together," says Sturdevant of The Luddites, whose group made its debut at the Zoetrope festival back in the summer of 2012. (A second Zoetrope is being planned for this coming October.)
Please note that, in spite of the accordion in the accompanying photo, The Luddites will not be playing one. But squeezebox fans can still count on Chris Mandile to bust out his during the Eskimo Brothers set.
And here's more good news: Joe Johnson's benefit concert at the Ancient Mariner last Saturday turned out to be a pretty big success, both musically and financially. The show — which brought together Johnson's band with guest artists Conor Bourgal, The J. Miller Band, Grant Sabin, and Grass It Up members David Jeffrey and Shannon Carr — raised $2,500 on behalf of tornado victims in Columbia, Mississippi, the small town where the popular local singer-songwriter grew up.
So who out there wants to play Llamapalooza? The Colorado College music festival, whose past headliners have included the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Flying Lotus, has scheduled the first round of its Battle of the Bands for Feb. 26-28.
The most-voted-for bands will then go on to perform in a second round, which will in turn determine which local acts get to play the May festival.
The only catch is that you have to be a CC student to compete.
"You can almost cut the tension with a knife," smirks We Are Not A Glum Lot frontman and UCCS student Sam Erickson, "when the Allman Brothers cover band battles it out with the Grateful Dead cover band, who barely edged by after a really close one with the Phish cover band."
Sounds almost as suspenseful as Sunday's Grammy marathon, during which the inescapable Kanye West of course managed to steal the spotlight from the actual winners, most notably Sam Smith. The upstart Brit went home with an armful of Grammys, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and a fourth one no one cares about.
Personally, I haven't cared all that much for any teary, blue-eyed soul singer since Duffy released her "Rockferry" single back in 2008. But clearly a lot of people do, and especially now. So feel free to go back and read our Jan. 14 interview with Smith, in which he talks about, among other things, the heartbreak of spending holidays alone. Happy Valentine's Day!