So, did you make it out to last week's Go Skateboarding Day festival at Memorial Park? I actually only managed to catch Inelements' set, which deftly combined songs from 2011's Post Stress album with material from their excellent upcoming EP, The Warning, which they'll be celebrating at the Black Sheep on July 13.
I'd been planning to stick around for Bullhead*ded, until I realized there were 40-minute DJ sets between each act. With wildfire smoke blowing in from the southwest, it just felt like a good time to take off.
Anyway, if you're still in the mood for festivals, there are two coming up this weekend. Granted, they bear virtually no resemblance to last week's event or to each other, but each has its own charms.
The Foothills Gutfest, for instance, has become a cherished summer frolic for fans of grindcore, extreme metal and other forms of aural brutality. Now in its fifth year, the Sunshine Studios event will feature nearly three dozen bands performing Friday and Saturday, including local favorites like Tree of Woe (who'll be recording a full-length debut next month) and Try Redemption (who are promising to "slay some cereal face meat," so keep an eye out for that).
The sheer number of acts means that daytime performers will be racing through 20-minute sets, but look for longer performances once the sun has been cast out of the evening sky. Cleveland death metal band Embalmer, who unexpectedly returned from an eight-year hiatus with mostly new members, will close out Friday's bill, while Saturday's lineup culminates in a set by Shawn Whitaker of Insidious Decrepancy fame. Hit up Gutfest's Facebook page for more info.
For those with somewhat less guttural inclinations, there's the Mountain of the Sun Music Festival, which returns to Woodland Park's Aspen Valley Ranch this Saturday. You can click here to read our interview with performer Emily Earle, a Colorado Springs native whose résumé includes an appearance on The Voice and co-writing credits with her uncle Steve Earle.
Other highlights this year include the banjo and slide-guitar virtuosity of the Tony Furtado Band, the neo-vaudevillian SHEL, the Springs' much-loved Flying W Wranglers, and the Farewell Drifters, whom the Nashville Review likened to a young Simon & Garfunkel hooking up with a youthful Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys to start a Nashville string band.
Mountain of the Sun also minimizes downtime and enables you to see every band by alternating sets between two stages. Main Stage entertainment kicks off with the Flying W Wranglers at 11 a.m., followed by a Waldo Canyon Fire Remembrance at 11:45, SHEL at 12:30, Farewell Drifters at 2:15, Abrams Brothers at 4, and the Tony Furtado Band at 6:15. Over on the Mobile Music Project Stage, look for A Positive Note at 10:15 a.m., Wielands of Mass Destruction at noon, Key of Joy at 1:45, Brendan Hannigan at 3:30, and Emily Earle at 5:30.
And finally, don't forget to pick up our July 3 issue, where you'll find the ballot for this year's Indy Music Awards. More on that, as well as some big changes coming to this year's IMA festival, in next week's column.