Live Wombats, dead Ramones, Abigail Washburn's bladder ... lots to talk about this week, so let's get to it.
I won't spend forever telling you about this past Friday's Wombats show at the Black Sheep, since we did a story on them last issue and you were either there or you weren't. Suffice it to say the U.K. hitmakers nearly sold the place out, with tracks like "Tokyo" and "Let's Dance to Joy Division" stirring up a sing-along frenzy. Opening act the Static Jacks, on the other hand, pretty much sucked in that "Jersey band whose singer wants to be epic like Bono but is a little too pitch-challenged to pull it off" kinda way. Painful, really.
As are vocal cord nodules, which forced the cancellation of last year's Joey Ramone birthday bash when Dave Mansfield was diagnosed with them and had to lay off performing for a month. But this coming Friday at Zodiac, the decade-old tradition resumes as his band the Röxy Suicide plays the hits of the Ramones. The punk-rock quartet is just finishing up a video for its cover of "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker," so expect to hear that one for sure. The event will also feature Dave and cohort Mike Steckley deejaying CBGB-era tracks, and Chris Mandile doing an opening set of God-only-knows-what.
Saturday's options include the Black Sheep's highly recommended "Rock the Hoodie" benefit for Justice for Trayvon Martin, featuring Denver acts Wheelchair Sports Camp and the Wandering Monks. (See our cover story here.) Also on the bill are local luminaries Bullhead*ded, JayOin (from Mad Trees), Mane Rok and Dj Tense, Fidel Redstar, Audible, Milogic, Con & Booger, Ibe Hustles and No Frequency.
If you want to get an even earlier start on the day, head to Colorado College at noon for the annual Llamapalooza Festival. Sadly, there are no artists on the level of Flying Lotus or Toots & the Maytals this year, but acts like Paper Diamond, Tayyib Ali and the Kopecky Family Band might still be interesting, especially if you're of the overalls-wearing, face-painting, hacky-sack-playing persuasion.
And as long as we're talking about Colorado College, let's get back to Abigail Washburn's bladder, a topic the acclaimed banjo goddess addressed in a recent Facebook post and may revisit when delivering her alma mater's commencement speech on May 21. Washburn — who once admitted in an Indy interview that she had yet to play "Dueling Banjos" with husband Bela Fleck — is a 1999 graduate of CC. One of the first students in the Asian studies program, she's developed an eclectic body of work that includes groundbreaking fusions of Chinese folk with Appalachian bluegrass.
All well and good, you say, but what about her bladder? Earlier this month, the musician publicly mused about what message she should convey to the youth: "I think I might talk about doing things even though you're afraid, and seeing that your inhibitions are ultimately of your own making," she wrote. "I know a lot about this. I had such bad stage fright in the beginning that I would pee myself onstage."
Among the post's commenters was one Chenoa Seigenthaler, who "voted" for the musician to include her tales of incontinence in the commencement address: "Wow, just hearing about you peeing yourself from stage fright is inspiring, because you kept at it anyway and have become quite successful!"
I think there's a lesson, of some sort, here for all of us. The Armstrong Quad event, by the way, begins at 8:30 a.m., which seems kind of cruel, but Washburn only has to be onstage for 20 minutes of it, which under the circumstances may be for the best.