When local high-school-age prodigies We Are Not a Glum Lot played one of the outdoor stages at the Indy Music Awards Festival earlier this month, their audience included members of the Flumps, the Lo-Fi Cowboys (R.I.P.) and the Haunted Windchimes. It was the kind of convergence of local music heroes that's been happening more and more lately, a development that can only help the Colorado Springs music scene.
So I was happy to learn about the latest cross-band partnership this past Sunday while meeting up with the Flumps' Alex Koshak at Lofty's. Turns out the Flumps spent a fair amount of the weekend holed up in a church down in Florence — St. Jude the Apostle, to be specific — helping produce tracks for We Are Not a Glum Lot's upcoming debut album. (The location was chosen in part because Koshak and Flumps singer/guitarist Dino Belli have spent the last year and a half playing at Sunday services there, mixing in Elliott Smith and John Lennon covers with the more conventional church-going fare.)
There's more: Flumps friend and filmmaker Devin Hume, whose Woebegone won the Grand Prize for Best Short Film at last year's Philadelphia Filmathon, has expressed interest in directing a short documentary about We Are Not a Glum Lot. The Flumps, who composed and performed the music for Woebegone, also collaborated with Hume on his latest film, Shiny Things, in which Alex has the role of "a Nazi who gets shot in the face." (These things happen.)
The musician also burned me a copy of the Flumps' own 20-track, Internet-only debut album, whose physical release will be celebrated on 11/11/11 at a venue yet to be announced. More on all that in an upcoming column.
Elsewhere on the local album-release front, there's When the Smoke Clears, the impressive debut collaboration from the talented Stephanie Pauline and Joe Uveges. The duo will play a CD release concert this Friday at Stargazers with opening acts Jason Miller and Chuck Snow (whose aforementioned Lo-Fi Cowboys were named "Best Original Band" by the Pikes Peak Arts Council last week).
After running the album through my patented Spurious Comparison Generator, I'd say songs like the title track and "Me and Johnny" would sit nicely alongside Darden Smith's best work, and could stand up against most anything coming out of Nashville right now. All in all, a can't-miss show.
As for this past week's events, I didn't manage to see Larry and His Flask at the Ancient Mariner, so I missed their frontman crowd-surfing all around the venue, which I'm guessing is a Mariner first. I did, however, get by on Saturday night in time to catch a few numbers by Joe Johnson, who didn't crowd-surf but did play some great songs from his A Time to Dance album, and was accompanied by his old Creating a Newsense cohort (and current J.Miller Band member) Jason Gilmore on mandolin and the Windchimes' Sean Fanning on upright bass. You can also catch Joe on Thursday nights at the Mariner, where he hosts a weekly open mic.
And lastly, as one of many who consider Cults' self-titled release to be the summer's best debut album, I want to recommend Chamberlin, who play the Triple Nickel on Friday. The Vermont-based Americana band just released an EP featuring a folk-rock version of Cults' "Go Outside" alongside un-ironic homages to Kanye, Vampire Weekend and Foster the People. Go listen to the EP at chamberlinband.com and prepare to call out your requests.