I hate to get all Andy Rooney on you, but would somebody please tell me why anyone thinks it's a good idea to dress up in an animal costume?
In fashion, there are those faux-fur SpiritHoods — you know, the things with the ears that make you look like you just emerged from a '90s rave, a baby carriage or a prehistoric cave.
Then there's music, from the Deadmau5 costumes that came out in force this Halloween to the animal suits that have been virtually synonymous with Flaming Lips and Die Antwoord stage shows. Meanwhile, music videos by artists ranging from the Drones to Dessa are overrun by anthropomorphic creatures doing insidious things.
There's more, of course. This Friday, the Triple Nickel will host a full band of furries by the name of Extreme Turbo Smash. The Denver thrash-metal outfit consists of guttural vocalist Torre-Panda, guitarist Drew-Bear, bassist Eric-Bunny and drummer Blaine-Reindeer.
Outside the club Friday night, promoter Jacob Slann told me about the last show he booked with Extreme Turbo Smash, during which the lead panda fell off the stage so many times that Slann and a couple friends had to stand in front, ready to catch him.
Coincidentally, last Friday's headliners, the ridiculously talented Gringo Star, just released their own contribution to the scary-animal music-video genre. "Shadow" features a girl in a negligee being beckoned from her bedroom by a human-sized chipmunk. Near the end, he hands her some balloons that send her floating up into the air, then he shoots them one at a time with a rifle. She floats down to earth holding one last balloon, whereupon the chipmunk aims directly at her. The camera cuts away before the final shot, so it's not clear whether he shoots the girl or the balloon. (Spoiler: Gringo Star's singer told me he thought it was the balloon, and the bassist thinks it's all a dream, but only the director knows for sure.)
So what else did y'all do last weekend? Me, I went to see Murs at the Black Sheep, where the L.A. rapper was backed by a four-piece live band, including producer Ski Beatz, as they whipped the crowd into a frenzy — never an easy thing to do on a Sunday night in Colorado Springs. (In sadder news, Murs' critique of the Oakland Police Department in last issue's Indy interview proved all too prescient, as the protest-busting OPD sent a second military veteran to the emergency ward last Friday.)
Looking forward, Zodiac is inviting local venue owners, promoters and musicians to a "Music Industry Meeting of the Minds" at 3 p.m. this Sunday. "We are in an up-curve in music right now," notes the venue on its Facebook event page (on.fb.me/sZbNMo), "we want all of us to take advantage of this momentum and put colorado springs on the map. we at zodiac are putting our money where our mouth is, and as a gesture of community will be offering an 'industry card' that entitles you to free admission to shows at the zodiac. all you have to do to is be an active member of the performance community." Cards will be handed out at the meeting.
Finally, if you're going to see City and Color at the Ogden Saturday, be sure to catch opening act Hacienda. Four Mexican-American kids from San Antonio who revere the Sir Douglas Quintet — and play the shit out of their guitar, bass, drums and vintage Farfisa — they were easily one of the best bands I saw at this year's SXSW. So don't miss them.