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Climbing the stairway to Queerdom




Since their 1982 inception in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the long-running punk band The Queers have earned many descriptors: witty, inane, juvenile, abrasive, goofy, genial and controversial, just to name a few. But, not least of all, the band is also highly beloved. The Queers have won a dedicated fan following and critical praise for their Ramones-meet-the-Beach Boys brand of bubblegum punk, immortalized on such records as Move Back Home, Love Songs for the Retarded, and Don't Back Down.

While the band has had a revolving-door lineup that has included members of Screeching Weasel and early GG Allin vehicle The Jabbers, the central figure of the group remains lead singer/guitarist Joe King, aka Joe Queer, who has navigated the band through an ambitious touring schedule and well over 30 record releases.

While there might not be an immediately obvious Colorado connection, The Queers have made several stops in Colorado Springs and Denver over the past few years, including a February 2015 show at Zodiac. The band was also joined by local horror-punk standouts The Mansfields on a 2009 tour.

On Thursday, March 31, a reunion of sorts will take place at the Black Sheep, as The Queers take the stage joined by Dave Mansfield's current glam-punk project, The Röxy Suicide, Nobodys and The Sleights.

"Joe's a down-to-earth, stick-to-his-guns kind of guy," says Sleights drummer Phil Dezellem, who played a number of shows alongside the Queers while performing with The Mansfields. "He could be playing less and doing bigger, higher-capacity shows, but Joe likes to be out giving his all at the smaller venues night after night. The man's a machine."

Springs native John McDaniel will bow down at the altar of Jimmy Page when Led Zeppelin tribute band Zoso plays Stargazers this week.
  • Springs native John McDaniel will bow down at the altar of Jimmy Page when Led Zeppelin tribute band Zoso plays Stargazers this week.

As for an even more explicit local connection, the California-based Led Zeppelin tribute act Zoso is considered one of the premiere examples of a tribute band, garnering acclaim for their musicianship, engaging stage presence and attention to detail, down to each vintage instrument used.

The band, currently in the midst of an extensive national tour, plays two dates at Stargazers Theatre on Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2, which will allow locals to catch the wild guitar heroism of Colorado Springs native John McDaniel, who plays Jimmy Page in the band's recreation of classic Zep. And if you're particularly inspired by catching Zoso live — which you most likely will be —you'll be pleased to know that McDaniel lives and teaches music in Briargate when not on tour.

Meanwhile, here's a brief overview of some of the other notable local gigs this week:

Indiana-based indie rock quintet Murder by Death plays the Black Sheep on Wednesday, March 30, joined by singer-songwriter Tim Barry, former frontman for punk act Avail.

The same night at Flux Capacitor, Denver's Call of the Void, who combine hardcore punk and sludge metal, hit the stage along with Piojos and Alone.

Also on March 30, a full night of hip-hop at Sunshine Studios, featuring YRS Jerzy, Eli Kelly, The Mad Hatter, YaBoiMileHigh and Herban Poison.

On Thursday, March 31, Rawkus hosts R&B/neo soul vocalist Slim, lead singer of 112. Rounding out the support is Steve Frazier, Phewturama, Tonio Armani and KT.

On Friday, April 1, local indie-folk favorites Edith Makes a Paperchain play Front Range Barbeque.

Also on April 1, you can catch Austin rockers The Blind Pets at Flux Capacitor, with A Dirty Few, Au Revoir and The Youthful Nothings in tow.

If you're feeling like hearing a symphonic-prog rock crossover, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic has you covered, performing The Music of Pink Floyd on Saturday, April 2, at the Pikes Peak Center.

Finally, with a lineup of some of the best band names I've seen in town in a while, you'll want to check out Flux Capacitor on April 2 to catch Chad Hates George, Stufy the Sidekick, Chatterbox and the Latter Day Satanists and Johnny NoCash.

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