Ka-pow – wow! What a wonderful way to wrap up the season, with plenty of pearly powder over this past week, and dazzling musical goodies glittering on the musical horizon to top it all off.
While there's still a week to go before the ski area closes, it's time to think pink and prepare to party in the streets with The KOTO Pink Flamingo End of the Season Party this Friday afternoon. The annual bash sees the return of longtime favorites, Ralph Dinosaur and the Fabulous Volcanoes, plus what sure to be a scorching set by The Strolling Scones, the retro-rockers out of Paonia.
Guitarist Rick Stockton, AKA T. Malcolm Oxford, says the Scones are a five-piece band dedicated to the summer of love, with Helen Highwater on bass and vocals, Justin Hess on drums, Ellen Ensley, aka Rainbow Sunshine, on vocals, sax and flute, and new member, John White on alto sax and bass.
If some of the aliases sound a bit psychedelic, well, that's the intention.
"The Strolling Scones have a definite vibe,” says Stockton. “There is a whole story about the band’s origin on our website, which talks about the band being frozen in 1969 and thawed in 2004. We are a band from the 1960s in sound, dress, and attitude, still working our way into the 21st century!"
Freakin’ far-out, The Scones have two CDs, including their debut, Well Thawed Out, plus last year's Introretrospective.
"We are presently working on a project that focuses on tunes from 1967, which was a very groovy year for music," muses Stockton. "Also we have been writing charts for a full horn section which we will be performing with at several events this summer.”
Ralph Dinosaur and the Fabulous Volcanoes will kick off the bash at 3 o’clock on Friday, with their classic covers and good-time vibes, and you can be sure that the wildly colorful Dinosaur will be wearing his most outrageous finery. Not to be missed; break out your best pink plumage, and prepare to party your pants off at the KOTO End of the Season Street dance on Friday.
You know it, The Fly Me to the Moon Saloon will be blowing out the season in a big way, and the energy will begin to escalate, starting Thursday night with Animate Objects, the hot hip-hop stars of El Dorado fame, with Emcee Czar leading the charge. The hip-hop heroes have gotten big, with rave reviews in such publications as the Chicago Tribune and Billboard Magazine, and picked up a bunch of awards to boot. DJ Essential will open the show, and the place will pump on Thursday night, setting the tone for the weekend.
Friday night sees the return of the phenomenal Elizabethan Report to the Moon. The Utah rockers gained steam last year, sharing a bill with Bob Dylan at Anthony Kiedis's New American Music Union (NAMU) festival in Pittsburgh, where their hard-driving alt-sound turned a few heads.
“It's kind of a crazy mix of music which has evolved, because we all come from different influences from hip-hop to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I'm heavy into the Strokes and Tony is a big Talking Heads and Morrissey fan,” says guitarist Spencer Petersen. “I guess you could say that the style is high-energy rock with some poppy hooks, but actually we're still trying to define what it is. Some guy in Pittsburgh called us afro-punk. The one main thing I want is for people to come out and dance and create a ruckus; that's what energizes us!"
The Moon guys hailed ER as one of their favorite bands last year, and Petersen says the band has just unleashed their debut studio recording.
"In February we finished our full length album, Are You a Murderer? Having engineered it ourselves, the process dragged on a little longer than we'd hoped, but we've extremely confident in the songs and recordings. We've actually started building works for what will make up the next album as well."
Look for a boatload of new tunes from the band, and Petersen says fans can get a taste of the new record on the Elizabethan Report’s myspace page, where the song, Soy Sauce Sailor has just been posted.
Petersen says the band is ready to pay some dues in support of the effort. "We're planning on doing a lot of touring to push the new album. We just returned from a west coast tour, which included shows at the legendary Whisky a Go-Go. That was an interesting experience! After playing in Colorado, we'll run around in Utah for a month before heading to the Midwest and East Coast to do a few stretches with some friends of ours that are playing out there. There are tentative plans to head overseas in July."
Petersen adds that the band may be popping up at some regional festivals. "We're still firming up things for summer, but this fall we are planning to play the SEGO Festival here in Provo which showcases the thriving scene that has accumulated over the past four years. We played last year and it was one of the best shows that I've played or attended. I think that people will soon be finding out just how incredible the music scene is here in Utah!"
Fortunately for local fans, that's right next door.
"Telluride is such a cool, beautiful place and the Moon is nicely nestled right in the middle," he beams. "The Moon guys are the best. They understand what bands are trying to do and are very helpful. They are trying to build a scene and make a difference, which is rare in this industry where most venues are more concerned with the money first," he says, and adds that bizarre attire will be welcome at their show. "We'll be ready to give it our all. I'm not sure if Tony will be sporting the unitard this time, but who knows!"
Crazy costumes will surely be de rigueur following the KOTO bash on Friday night, and look for the Moon to go off with the Elizabethan Report.
Saturday night, it's time to launch some of the region's favorite prodigies on their way to the Front Range, when Sons of the Addicted roar into the Moon, ready to rage for their final show on the Western Slope, at least for awhile. The band, formerly known as Fractalia, grew up in the San Juan Mountains, and now is ready to make the leap to a larger scene, packing their tremendous Fractal World CD along for ammunition. Give them a good old Telluride send-off, and prepare to rock out the season, Saturday night at the Moon with the hard-edged Sons of the Addicted.
The prolific Mike Pale has been pounding it hard, both on and off the mountain throughout the season, as his involvement in multiple projects keeps the guitarist plenty busy. Pale says his funky soul-jazz outfit, BluOrbit plans to blast out the final week of the ski season in a big way. "Yes sirree, bob! We've got BluOrbit shows galore including at Gorrono Saturday and Sunday, plus we have lots of Bubble Lounge gigs for BluOrbit and Taylor/Pale Acoustic Duo," he says, noting that the Bubble Lounge is expected to be open until Easter. "It's definitely where the party is this week. Oh, and check out Giuseppe's on the mountain. There'll be live music there every day too!"
Pale, is of course, also a member of the Turkey Creek Ramblers, who saw fiddler Chuck Hugenberg departing for the Front Range a little while ago.
A note from Hugenberg says, we may be seeing him in another configuration in the near future. "I thought I'd let you know that I will be touring – and playing NightGrass – with Oakhurst, a great group of guys and musicians from Denver. They had me fly to Chicago a few weeks ago to play two sold out shows opening for Gaelic Storm at the House of Blues, then finish their tour of the mid west. We enjoyed each other well enough that they have asked me to join them for the foreseeable future in order to add a new aspect to their sound. I hope to continue to play in Telluride as often as is possible with my new friends and look forward to seeing you at the solstice, when the plan is to join the boys from TCR on Sunday night of the Festival to close out the weekend at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon – can't wait! "
Yep, the cat is out of the bag on the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Nightgrass shows with this week's announcement from Planet Bluegrass that Yonder Mountain String Band will perform two shows, with Railroad Earth and the Punch Brothers also on tap for the late-night performances at various venues. Tickets for NightGrass go on sale April 8. Get the full scoop at bluegrass.com.
Indeed, it's only a couple of months until festival season, and announcements continue to fly almost daily, including the recent news on the Mile High Music Festival line-up a week or so ago. The fat fest in Denver in mid-July is poised to host some big-time acts, including Tool, Widespread Panic and The Fray, along with numerous artists who have graced Telluride stages, like John Butler, G. Love, Gov't Mule, Buddy Guy, Ani DiFranco, Paolo Nutini and the Wailers. Get details at milehighmusicfestival.com
In the meantime, get out and celebrate another magical season in Telluride.