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Crawling for dollars




I've never been a regular reader of Priceonomics, mainly because I'd never heard of it before last week. But the "data crawling service" deserves music fans' attention for a May 16 story revealing the concert fees charged by a thousand or so nationally known artists. It may even offer clues as to what levels of acts are likely to find their way to Colorado in the not-too-distant future, especially now that the rechristened Broadmoor World Arena has entered into a 10-year agreement with concert mega-promoter AEG Live.

For instance, did you know that the Lumineers — who played a local house show a few years ago for $5 donations — are now commanding $150,000 to $250,000-plus?

Or that Macklemore, who performed at the Black Sheep back in 2011, is now charging $300,000 or more?

Meanwhile, '80s superstars Madonna and Bruce Springsteen still command more than $1 million per appearance, as do Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake and, yes, Justin Bieber.

And then there are the downward trajectories, former Next Big Things and One-Hit Wonders who never quite made it to the next level. How many of us were aware that Presidents of the United States of America, Arrested Development, The Bravery, Stone Temple Pilots or Billy Ray Cyrus still even exist?

You can find all that and a whole lot more at Just remember that these kinds of lists, especially if they're anonymously passed along from a booking agency, can be outdated or simply unreliable. And this one definitely has its share of "yeah, right" claims, not least of all Pharrell Williams being available for as little as $125,000.

Still, it's an interesting way to tap into the overall gestalt of the music industry, or maybe to hunt down the perfect band for your next barbecue.

One act I don't see on the list, by the way, is Steve Earle & the Dukes. Fortunately for the Colorado Springs area, the Chico Basin Ranch just announced that the Americana icon and three-time Grammy winner will be performing June 14 at its annual outdoor fundraiser. This definitely qualifies as one of the year's biggest booking coups, and you can grab tickets at Watch this column for more info.

Meanwhile, you may have heard that Blues Under the Bridge has announced its own lineup, with Caron "Sugaray" Rayford doing headlining honors. Described last year by Jazz & Blues Report as "a big man with a big voice and plenty of personality," the Texas-born bluesman also has been hailed by Living Blues Magazine as "a first-rate blues artist with a deep-running, church honed soulfulness." The July 19 event's other out-of-town bookings include Australian blueswoman Kara Grainger, Grammy winner Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Wichita bluesmen Moreland and Arbuckle.

As for the week ahead, Joe Johnson will be joined by Cary Hudson — as well as Willy Tea Taylor and members of his Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit band — this Wednesday, May 28. You can catch them all at Manitou's Red Room, which Joe describes as "possibly the best, most seldom-used small venue in town."

On Friday, music and poetry will be competing for your attention as Curtis Boucher, Miette Hope, Josh Kennard and others perform at Urban Steam Coffee Bar.

Then on Saturday, you can find Cañon City's Fighting the Phoenix celebrating the release of their Ballad of the Broken debut CD at Sunshine Studios.

The five bandmates collectively cite a hundred or so "influences," including Pantera, Enya and Young Jeezy. But I'm thinking their alternating guttural and clean vocals fall squarely into the metal camp, as do lyrics like "What a sad excuse for a human / A liar, cheat and thief fucking up lives for fun / Pray we never meet 'cause death is on my mind / You're going to pay."

The band also likes "women, shredding, headbanging and breakdowns." Goatsilk, Vaalbara, Stories Untold and Crown-Magnetar will all be on hand to share the magic.

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