Should all last week's gigs be forgot, and never brought to mind? Probably not, but we'll get to those later.
First, I want to alert you to the V Bar's ambitious Colorado DIY Showcase, which begins tonight — as in Thursday, Jan. 5 — and continues through Saturday. No fewer than 18 bands will play the downtown venue over the course of three evenings, for just $5 a night. What's more, each night features a totally impressive lineup.
Thursday, catch We Are Not a Glum Lot, the Flumps, Juliet Kerlin (not technically a band, but let's keep moving here), Briffaut (which began as Daniel James Eaton's solo project, but now includes Grant Sabin as well as the Flumps' Dino Belli and Alex Koshak), Kali Spear (a new band featuring Nicotine Fits guitarist/vocalist Bert Maple) and the much-lauded El Toro de la Muerte.
On Friday, the music continues with Melting Temple, Restless Leg Syndrome, Cougar Pants, BleachedBlonde, Remedios, Cat Color and the Conjugal Visits (featuring more members of the Nicotine Fits). Then on Saturday, Mobdividual, Recondite, Kastigation, Royal Talons and Blighter bring the event to a close.
Shows begin at 7 on Thursday and Friday, and 8 on Saturday. So get there early, 'cos that's a lot of bands, let alone fans, to fit into the relatively intimate venue. As Ishhod Collins, who puts together the V Bar's Kiowa Sessions, commented on the showcase's event page (on.fb.me/rz19k3), "we're still trying to convince the bigger venues to wise up and get with it."
If you want more Flumps, and don't mind taking a showcase break, they're also playing Friday at Lofty's with Conor Bourgal and Hopeful Heroines duo Xanthe Alexis and Harriett Landrum. While you're there, pick up a copy of the Heroines' Harvest for Your Hunger EP, sure to satisfy all your gypsy-folk-violin-singer-songwriterly cravings.
OK, so how were the last vestiges of your 2011? I celebrated mine up at the Bluebird Theater, where Slim Cessna's Auto Club did its great-as-always NYE show with Munly & the Lupercalians, and were also joined by Jello Biafra for a rousing rendition of "Auld Lang Syne."
Earlier in the week, I stopped by Chris Mandile's birthday celebration at Zodiac, which was festively decorated with his strung-up and suitably tattered punk-rock T-shirts, plus a couple hundred mounted photos chronicling two decades of local music history.
The evening opened with a set by Brian Parton, who moved here from Tulsa in August. Armed with a Chet Atkins-style Gretsch Country Gentleman, he offered up electrifying originals plus covers of Charlie Rich's "Who Will the Next Fool Be" and Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar," not as weird a juxtaposition as it sounds.
Brian has toured through town frequently, and even lived for a while at Tejon Street's scenic Albany residence hotel, which he immortalizes in his song, "Plush City." Sample lyric: "Around the block there's a rockin' soup kitchen / Them Catholics fry some mighty mean chicken." Parton will be back at Zodiac on the 14th, along with fellow Tulsa refugee Adam Lopez & His Mighty LoCasters.
As for Mandile himself, he took the stage for a G.G. Allin number and then had himself placed in stocks for a "good old fashioned birthday beating," at which point I took off to catch Mad Trees emcee Eric Radke's farewell show at the Black Sheep. While I'd hoped to see the Charlie Milo Trio backing a legion of local rappers, I got there too late for that. But I did catch Bullhead*ded along with a fine final performance — at least for now — of Mad Trees. Good luck in Iowa, Eric, and much luck to the rest of us, as well, in 2012.