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So, dear readers, in the previous couple of weeks I outlined a few of the more mentionable venues about town, neglecting to mention more than a good few. (Can I get a little "whoot-whoot" for the Pikes Peak Center hooking up with a real cougar — Blondie — this coming Tuesday night!?)

Well, in addition to quality venues and dedicated promoters, an equal part of this whole "good scene" vs. "bad scene" problem is, well, good bands. And everybody knows no matter how totally f'n brilliant they can wail and shred, a band is only as good as its songwriter/s. Bad songs = bad band.

And so, you have it that four of the Pikes Peak region's best songwriters — Inaiah Lujan of the Haunted Windchimes, Joe Johnson of Creating a Newsense, Mike Clark of the Ghost of/The Jack Trades, and Jason (J.) Miller of the Genuwines — will once again join forces, all Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young style, to pound down a few rounds ... of songs that is, both time-tested and unproven.

You can catch one of these rare, intimate, and unrehearsed "Lujan, Johnson, Clark, Miller" performances this Friday, Aug. 21, at a special songwriters circle at Kinfolks in Manitou. Can you guess which one of them is Crosby? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

It's punk rock fun this week at the Black Sheep for punk rock kids from 15 to 50. First up, on Sunday, Aug. 23, is the relatively new "old-school" punk of NYC's crustiest street punk institution, the Casualties, whose most recent album, We Are All We Have, is set to drop Aug. 25 on Side One Dummy Records, home to Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello. Although often derided as the scapegoat for inspiring many a fashion punk, the Casualties, founded in New York City circa 1990, continue to produce some of the most snotty and blistering sing-along punk rock anthems on the market today.

Still not content with the "new" old school, just days later (Tuesday, Aug. 25, to be precise) the Black Sheep will host a true, classic, "old" old-school punk band (from the actual '80s, even!) ... the legendary MDC! Formed in Austin, Texas in the year I was born, 1979, Millions of Dead Cops, as the acronym has been used most commonly, soon relocated to San Francisco. And with the help of frequent and clever name changes (Multi-Death Corporation, Millions of Dead Children, Millions of Dead Christians, Millions of Dead Congressmen, Millions of Damn Christians, Millions of Dead Contractors, Metal Devil Cokes, and Magnus Dominus Corpus, just to name a few favorites), plus a well-known association with Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys, they became one of the most infamous socio-political punk rock bands in history.

It is rumored, in fact, that Kurt Cobain had an MDC cassette tape in his pocket when he was arrested for painting the phrase "Ain't got no how watchamacallit" on the side of a bank in 1985. A band, quite simply, just can't get more influential or legendary than that!

And speaking of influential and legendary, it's time for a Reverb Reader Poll! What local band has had the most impact on your life? Who, when, and why, baby, and I want details!

Review and analysis in the coming weeks! Smell you then, love.

Send those Reverb Reader Poll responses, along with your hi-res pics and sordid news, to

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