Let's start with the good news: Memorial Day is just four months away. Yes, just four short months of gale-force winds, randomly occurring snowstorms and Republican candidates vying for the opportunity to dismantle what remains of our civil rights and social safety net.
Still, hope springs eternal. And along with it comes word from KRCC's Steve Harris that the MeadowGrass Music Festival has just booked Son Volt as a headliner for this year's three-day Memorial Day weekend event.
As anyone who's spent more than five minutes on the No Depression website knows, Son Volt rose from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, the '90s band that virtually defined what came to be known as Americana. When Jeff Tweedy took off to form Wilco, co-founder Jay Farrar put together Son Volt.
While Wilco has gotten kind of weird along the way, Farrar has stayed relatively true to his country rock/roots origins. (In fact, he's currently working with members of Varnaline and My Morning Jacket on an album of unfinished Woody Guthrie songs, much as Wilco and Billy Bragg did with the Mermaid Avenue releases.)
Alongside Blues Under the Bridge and the World Music Series, MeadowGrass has become an outdoor music mainstay thanks to three years of top-quality acts ranging from Magnolia Electric Company to Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band. Tickets for this year's festival are available at meadowgrass.org., and we'll keep you posted on additional artists as they're booked.
Meanwhile, back in the present, we can still bask in the warmth of Sunshine Studios. Last Friday, Sunshine became the first local venue to stream its shows live online. (You can find them at dyyno.com/sunshinestudioslive.) Based on what I've seen so far, it works a whole helluva lot better than U-Stream.
The primary aim, of course, is to help promote the venue and its bands. But that's not all. As owner Tony Korte drolly remarks, "Now Grandma and Grandpa can watch their grandchild perform from the East or West coast."
This weekend's grandfolks will be tuning in for a whole lot of metal, beginning with Friday performances by Till We Rise, Queen Anne's Revenge, Seeking Chaos, Omnyn and Hit the Ground Running. Then on Saturday, the venue hosts touring heavyweights A Hope Not Forgotten and Righteous Vendetta, along with Restore All Vengeance, History of Hope, Hero Kid and Life Not our Own.
Elsewhere this weekend, political Denver artist Sole, who cofounded the revered West Coast hip-hop collective Anticon, will be spieling righteous hope and indignation at the Triple Nickel on Friday, as part of an all-over-the-map bill that includes BullHead*ded, Blighter and Sonic Vomit.
The Black Sheep, meanwhile, will be bringing back Hermosa Beach heroes Tomorrows Bad Seeds on Saturday. Go early and you can catch a homecoming gig by Offbeat Revolution, the reggaefied rock band whose members met up as Trailblazer Elementary School students, joined the jazz band at Holmes Middle School, and then played around the Springs as Lifetime Warranty before relocating to Fort Collins.
And finally, don't forget about this Friday's debut of thwOnk, the monthly experimental music series at the Heart of Art Café that we previewed in last week's Reverb. In addition to sets by Mobdividual, Valoma, Moocah King, Gaia Experiment and aNiMuLO, the event gets additional music-geek points for the inclusion of a pre-performance Ableton Live software workshop by host Animus Invidious. Full details at on.fb.me/xLMZvw.