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It's never too early to start planning for the end of the world. And you'll be glad to know that, when the Mayan Calendar rings in the new armageddon on 12/21/12, there'll be a number of local Ragnarok 'n' Roll shows to send you out on a high note.

Let's begin with Melting Temple's "End of the World Meeting" at Zodiac. "We invite you to spend your final hours with us," says the show invite, which features a seasonally appropriate image of cult leader Jim Jones as well as the slogan "Drink the Kool-Aid."

When I point out to Melting Temple bassist Gabe from the Future that it was actually spiked Flavor Aid that sent Jonestown disciples to their demise, he is typically nonplussed. "Well, we are gonna have Kool-Aid at the Zodiac," says Gabe. "It will be KILLER."

Sharing the bill with Melting Temple will be the beautiful noise of Mobdividual and the newish garage-psych band Drug Flowers, as well as Algodon, a Jesse Cotton Stone side-project that finds the Denver emigre sounding a lot more Nine Inch Nails-influenced than he did back in his local blues prodigy days.

For those who can't wait until the midnight hour to have their faces melted, there's "The Last Headbang" at Manitou's Venue 515, featuring thrash metallions Another Shade of Hate and Pain Machine as well as InElements, whom we already raved about in last week's column. No word on whether there'll be sickeningly sweet powdered beverages, but there will be beer and wine, so that's something.

If all that doesn't satiate your Mayan death wish, there's also the "End of the World Party" at McCabe's, featuring Danny & the Fried Shrimp, whose frontman hails from New Orleans, so I guess the band name isn't as bad as it sounds. In addition to "bluesy, jazzy, rock 'n roll" originals, the group will indulge in British invasion hits and '70s folk-rock.

They'll also be doing what could be their last performance of Dr. Hook's "Cover of the Rolling Stone," during which we're told they routinely change it to "Cover of the Independent and the Rolling Stone." So there's that, too.

"The world was supposed to end quite a few times and it's a great excuse to party hardy," insists the band's frontman. "We're going to be playing from 5:30 to well past midnight to prove the Mayans wrong."

Actually, all this apocalyptic jesting is starting to make me wonder how we're all gonna feel if and when those ancient Mayans get the last laugh. Plus, there's the time zone thing. Do we really think the Mayans were talking about midnight Mountain Time? Folks might want to move these shows up a day.

Meanwhile, getting back to this whole "cover of the Independent and the Rolling Stone" thing, don't forget this week's CD release show featuring last week's cover story subject Grant Sabin. The Friday night concert will find his band sharing the stage at Stargazers with Chimney Choir and the Haunted Windchimes.

For those with somewhat more avant-garde dispositions, Indy Music Awards winner Animus Invidious is releasing a free three-song EP today, featuring "wacky tasty fat psychedelic thoughtful grooves, carefully mixed and professionally mastered for your listening/dancing/getting-nasty pleasure." It's called The Adventure of Applesauce Man, and there's also a severely limited-edition of a dozen "handmade" physical CDs.

You can find downloads and info at his Bandcamp site and also catch Animus live at the Ancient Mariner this Friday. He'll be sharing the bill with a severely augmented version of the Charlie Milo Trio, featuring special guests Joshua Duke on hand drums, Jim Jacobs on guitar, saxophonists Amanda Salazar and Benito Vena, and Hopeful Heroines' Harriett Landrum on violin. It's being billed as an "all-improv" show, so if you hear anything that sounds remotely rehearsed, be sure to call them on it.

And finally, hats off to Briffaut frontman Daniel James Eaton, who took on the project of posting a song every day for a full year and will finally be completing the task on Dec. 15. Rather than let 366 perfectly good songs linger in semi-obscurity, he's re-recording the best of the lot as an album to be produced by El Toro de la Muerte's Ryan Spradlin at the band's new ALLNEONLIKE STUDIO. (Which, Ryan points out, should be printed in all-caps "like it's being screamed over the Internet.")

Check out "Briffaut's Year of Songs on Vinyl" on Kickstarter for a host of pledge incentives, including an exclusive Xmas release. And while you're at it, pay a visit to his Soundcloud page, where you can experience the entirety of Daniel James Eaton's ethereal output.

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