While Colorado's music industry rarely makes national news, the legalization of recreational marijuana has sent the media scrambling for any and all angles to explore in its quest for fresh headlines.
So it's only natural that Rolling Stone should run an article last week about the new law's potential impact on our state's concert and club industry.
Granted, it wasn't exactly a cover story, although it probably would have been back before Rolling Stone shunned potheads with its famous mid-'80s "perception/reality" campaign and classic tagline "Perception: a roach clip. Reality: a money clip."
Even so, reporter Steve Knopper did track down Umphrey's McGee manager Vincent Iwinski, AEG Live promoter Don Strasburg and Denver venue owner Jay Bianchi for their take on the law's likely impact. It was Bianchi — proprietor of Quixote's True Blue, the Dark Star Lounge and Sancho's Broken Arrow — who proved most interesting, as he longed for the day when he could install marijuana vending machines in all of his clubs.
"Some people have been asking me to start doing that," said the venue owner, whose clientele is much more likely to be found with roach clips than money clips. (What exactly is a money clip, anyway?) For the moment, though, Bianchi is waiting to see how things develop. Or, as he put it, "I don't want to deal with the ATF too much."
While we didn't make it into Rolling Stone, Colorado Springs music fans and bands have already begun gravitating to new pot-friendly social clubs like the Speak Easy Vape Lounge and Studio A64. The Vape Lounge, for instance, has been hosting numerous hip-hop shows — Ibe Hustles, Che Bong, Made Up Minds and others will be playing a "Cannabition Has Ended" show Jan. 23, complete with "super dank weed pimp raffle."
Switching gears, fans of indie-rock eclecticism can mark their calendars for Feb. 21, when We Are Not a Glum Lot will be playing a CD release show at Ivywild, with El Toro de la Muerte and I Sank Molly Brown opening.
The long-awaited debut record, which arrives some five years after the band's original formation, was produced by El Toro's Ryan Spradlin in his relatively new allneonlike studio. "That place is fucking sweet," enthuses WANAGL frontman Sam Erickson. "It's this huge warehouse that he turned into a recording studio. He had the resources and space for us to record the songs live."
Plus, Sam tells us, Ryan's an "awesome dude," which is always good to know. "All the songs sound really natural and real, they sound like us. It's the first time we've ever felt what we recorded actually represented how we sound."
Meanwhile, even at the risk of having to change this column's name to Re-MINDers-verb, I'd be remiss not to mention the local hip-hop duo's weekend trip to Washington, D.C., where they played an hour-long set at the ridiculously prestigious Kennedy Center on Sunday night. Find a link to the ReMINDERs' archived performance on the home page of kennedy-center.org, where it was Monday's featured video.
You can also go to tiny.cc/reminderschoir for an amazing clip of them performing "No Matter" last Friday with the hundred or so kids who comprise the Jefferson County Middle School Honor Choir.
And finally, since we've still got a couple hundred words before we run out of room here, let's devote them to the Haunted Windchimes' sold-out concert Saturday at the Fine Arts Center. The revelatory moment for me turned out to be co-founder Chela Lujan's beautifully austere performance of the yet-to-be recorded "I'm Sorry (But I'm in Love With Someone Else)," which she's also been playing with her country project, The Hardly Nevers.
Not surprisingly, the band's two sets included a lot of material from the 2012 album, Out With the Crow — bandleader Inaiah Lujan joked that its follow-up will be out in 2018 — including a version of "Searchin' for the Truth" that segued into Leadbelly's "Pick a Bale of Cotton." In most cases, Saturday's live arrangements improved upon the originals, a testament to the musical rapport the band continues to develop during its extensive touring.
Last but not in any way least was an encore performance of Mike Clark's unrecorded "Dead and Gone," a lengthy story-song about Willy Tea Taylor and bowling shoes and sleeping in vans and enough other stuff to make Ramblin' Jack Elliott sound concise by comparison, which is never an easy thing to do.