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Mike Clark curates inaugural Ombagadu Fest, plus more festivals and local music

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Mike Clark & The Sugar Sounds, along with The River Arkansas and the Haunted Windchimes, will be among the performers at the debut Ombagadu music fest. - KEVIN IHLE
  • Kevin Ihle
  • Mike Clark & The Sugar Sounds, along with The River Arkansas and the Haunted Windchimes, will be among the performers at the debut Ombagadu music fest.
By mid-May, you might be finding yourself restless, spending sleepless nights staring at your MeadowGrass countdown clock. Or maybe you’re staring at the Doomsday Clock, instead? Hard to say these days. Either way, I have good news: There’s plenty of interesting musical events on the horizon to either distract or further excite, whichever your mental state requires.

Firstly, Mike Clark, who needs little introduction if you’re even tangentially familiar with the Haunted Windchimes, Mike Clark & The Sugar Sounds, The River Arkansas, or that one music video where he rides a bicycle and plays guitar, is unveiling a new one-day music festival on May 26 — in the middle of MeadowGrass, mind you — christened Ombagadu Fest. Tickets for the festival, which will be held at 607 Moffat Ave. in Pueblo, are limited to 150, so act quickly.

The lineup includes Desirae Garcia and Inaiah Lujan’s duo In/Planes, Aja Black of the Reminders, Dallas-based singer-songwriter Jacob Metcalf, Dallas-based folk-pop band Fox and the Bird and, of course, The River Arkansas. More information at theriverarkansas.com.

Elsewhere, the lineup for Loveland’s ARISE Festival has been finalized, and tickets are now available for the Aug. 3-5, Sunrise Ranch-based happening. Among the performers are long-running California outfit Slightly Stoopid, electronic duo Thievery Corporation, Northern California reggae act Stick Figure, singer-songwriter Trevor Hall, EDM arena-filler Opiuo, and many, many more. (Even Boulder-based outlaw country band Gasoline Lollipops and Portland-based folk duo Shook Twins, whom you may have caught recently at Stargazers Theatre, are in on the action!)

Full lineup details, along with ticket and logistical information, can be found at arisefestival.com. Previous years of the generally eclectic festival have seen Atmosphere, Ziggy Marley and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros take the stage.
On the weekend of May 19-20, meanwhile, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic is putting on a different sort of festival. The program comprises four works, culminating in Italian composer Ottorino Respighi’s “Roman Festivals.” While Respighi is not necessarily a household name, his trilogy of symphonic poems — which consists of 1916’s “Fountains of Rome,” 1924’s “Pines of Rome,” and 1928’s “Roman Festivals” — remains an exciting and beloved body of work. “Festivals” is considered the most demanding and longest of the trilogy, and features musical depictions of gladiators doing battle and Christian martyrs being eaten. Look, you’ll get your money’s worth, OK?

Along with “Roman Festivals,” the concerts will also feature Maurice Ravel’s work “Alborada del Gracioso (The Jester’s Dawn Song),” French composer Edouard Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole” and Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen.” Sarasate was considered in his time to be an astoundingly virtuosic violinist, one of the finest composers for the instrument, and a pretentious egomaniac. The performance of “Zigeunerweisen” will feature violinist Alexandre da Costa.

Attendees can also catch preconcert lectures, which begin one hour prior to the performances, for much more in-depth and reverent information than you’ve just read.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, May 16, Sunshine Studios welcomes back Northern California’s own post-grunge act Trapt, whose inescapable 2002 single “Headstrong” continues to get stuck in hearts and minds to this day. This particular appearance finds Trapt in the midst of an unplugged Acoustic Nights tour, which should showcase a different dimension to their sound. Opening acts include Cut-Throat Queens, Eraina Joy, Jeffrey Alan Byrd and Chadwick McIntire.

Also on May 16, the great white north invades the Triple Nickel Tavern! Saskatchewan hardcore act Stepping Stone will bring the blistering sound of their recent EP Unreal Form to the Nickel stage, joined by Montreal hardcore/thrash outfit Prowl.

Finally, before they quite impressively pull double-duty by making appearances at both MeadowGrass and Kansas City’s Westport Roots Festival over the same weekend, you can catch local “trashgrass” favorites Tejon Street Corner Thieves on May 18, along with Ponder the Albatross and Twelve Valve Diesel, playing Peak 31 @ Union Station. This could also be your last chance to catch Twelve Valve Diesel for the foreseeable future, as the band is bidding farewell to drummer Lee Schmitz (who is relocating to Texas) and going on an indefinite hiatus.

Send news, photos, and music to reverb@csindy.com.

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