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Describing Edith Makes a Paperchain, 2009 winners of the Pikes Peak Arts Council Award for Excellence in the broad category of popular music, as just another gypsy-inspired indie/folk pop band would be a great disservice to both the band and my readers.

That said, many, if not all, of these elements — as well as elements of Latin American folk, Dixieland, Ragtime and even a bit of Hymnal — are very much present and accounted for on their long-awaited debut full-length album, Beau and Arrow, which will have its release party this Saturday, Aug. 21, at Venue 515 in Manitou. The group employs these devices not as gimmick or shtick, but with a reverence and understanding that penetrates deep into the fabric of their new creation.

Beau and Arrow is produced by the talented Bourgal twins (Conor and Ian) of the Changing Colors, who are well-known for their grasp of the beautifully understated. The 11 tracks float like a dreamy mist across a rural, wooded landscape, like a small town somewhere near the water, in the time when tracks still carried trains, telephones needed wires, and the roads had no pavement. The album is wrapped in a hazy, melancholy contentment that has been all but lost in the modern world.

That's not to say it's in any way antiquated, or even that old-timey, just that it conveys a timeless and comfortable quality. It's the feeling of being tightly wrapped in a thick, hand-sewn quilt as the music slowly surrounds you.

Originally formed in 2006, the group features Sarah Hope (guitar and vocals), Hilary Studebaker (fiddle, viola, and vocals), Melissa Joy (upright bass and vocals), Matt Chmielarczyk (mandolin, ukulele, and electric guitar), Jeremy Van Hoy (brass) and Aimee Spillane (drums). Prior to this, they released one EP, last summer's Tunes for Tripping Down Stairs.

Opening for this weekend's release party is Sarah's sister, Alexandra Hope, an up-and-coming — and critically acclaimed — talent on the L.A. indie scene. Tickets are just $5 for KRCC members, $8 in advance, or $10 at the door.

For more information on both of these wonderful musical acts, why don't you go ahead and punch "Edith Makes a Paperchain" and "Alexandra Hope" into the old "Google" box?

In other news, I am saddened to report the imminent demise of a true Colorado Springs institution. Ladies and gentlemen, -itis is no more. That is to say, -itis won't be no more.

The hard-partying but road-worn pop-rockers have announced, after 16 years of dedicated service, they will play their final shows next weekend at Union Station. These "memorial services" will be held on the evenings of Aug. 26th, 27th, and 28th (with Larry Pierce on the 27th), so there will be ample opportunity to show your respects. R.I.P.!

Smell you later.

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