While Colorado Springs didn't bear the brunt of what's turning out to be the weirdest winter in recent memory, you'll be pleased to know that European scientists are already giving 3-to-1 odds that we'll soon experience the hottest summer on record.
Fortunately, the MeadowGrass Festival, which is now entering its sixth year, takes place on Memorial Day weekend. That means the area's biggest outdoor music event will be relatively unlikely to induce muscle cramps, dizziness and vomiting among the roots-music devotees who've supported the festival since its humble beginnings.
This week, MeadowGrass unveiled its 2014 lineup. While there will be more acts announced in the coming weeks — including a legion of locals and the still-to-be-determined opening-night headliner — here's the tentative schedule for your holiday planning:
Friday, May 23
4:45 p.m.: Steve Poltz
6:30 p.m.: The Duhks
8:30 p.m.: TBA
Saturday, May 24
3 p.m.: Cary Hudson
4 p.m.: Ark Life
5:45 p.m.: Grass It Up
7:45 p.m.: Chadwick Stokes
9:45 p.m.: Elephant Revival
Sunday, May 25
11 a.m.: TBA
1:30 p.m.: Taarka
3 p.m.: Willis Alan Ramsey
4:45 p.m.: Birds of Chicago
6:30 p.m.: Caitlin Rose
8 p.m.: The Mother Hips
For those of you who may be wondering who the hell some of these bands are, a bevy of links to artist websites will be posted on the event's website at rockymountainhighway.org/meadowgrass.
Saturday-night headliner Elephant Revival are of course no strangers to the area, having built a loyal following over the course of nearly a decade together. The Nederland-based "transcendental folk band" released its self-titled debut album back in 2008 with David Tiller at the production helm.
Tiller's own band Taarka, once described as a "collision of Django Reinhardt and David Grisman," will be taking the stage the following afternoon, while the San Francisco Bay Area's fairly legendary Mother Hips will close out the festival. Together for the better part of two decades, the indie-rock outfit released a four-CD retrospective a few years ago. Its eighth album, Behind Beyond, came out last summer.
This year also marks the first time the Black Forest event is being produced by Rocky Mountain Highway, a new organization run by long-time MeadowGrass executive director Steve Harris, who was also the long-time host of KRCC's popular Grass Roots Revival show.
As for the week ahead, every alcoholic's favorite holiday will kick into gear Monday at Jack Quinn's with a St. Patrick's Day celebration that begins at 10 a.m. with Ceol Ceili and continues long into the night with Blackthorn Ceili, The McDeviants, Raygunomics and Brian Clancy and Irish Row.
For those who prefer not to spend their Monday drowning in green beer, you can get a head start this Saturday at Oscar's, where Justus League will be toasting both the patron saint of vipers and bandmember Austin Johnson's birthday.
This Friday, meanwhile, you can catch the Black Sheep debut of psych-rock trio 4 Moons, who'll be on a bill with Sanguine Addiction, Lamb Bed and He Kill 3. The new band features Melting Temple members Jose Garcia and Jacob Carver (aka Gabe From The Future) as well as former Sanguine Addiction drummer Tom Desjardins. 4 Moons likens itself to "Melting Temple on steroids," or as Jacob/Gabe recently described it, "a mix of Muse, At the Drive In, and Rage Against the Machine, minus the rapping."