In case you hadn't noticed, your local record store has been filling up with fresh new product lately. Spring and fall are the two big new-release periods on the corporate calendars, and locals seem to follow the same schedule. Makes sense. A lot of bands hole up in the studio during the winter, and by the time the blooms hit the saguaros, they're ready to tout their new material in handy 5-inch disc form. Which brings us to the fact that three new local CDs will be released this week, with the odd footnote that not one of them is a regular-old studio album.

Just back from playing an official showcase at South By Southwest, Black Sun Ensemble will perform a rare local show to celebrate the release of Live at KXCI Volume II (SlowBurn) this week. Led by near-legendary guitar virtuoso Jesus Acedo, the band these days also includes Sun Zoom Spark's Eric Johnson (banjo, drums, bass), Brian Maloney (tenor sax) and John Paul Marchand (percussion). The set documented here is from a Locals Only session which took place in March of last year, and it finds the band in typically fine form. Between Acedo's guitar work, which often sounds like a sitar (in the liner notes, Acedo is credited with playing "Eye of Horus Sitar Guitar"), Maloney's skronking sax playing, Johnson's banjo work (which provides an excellent foil to Acedo's guitar), and the various percussion sounds from Marchand, BSE are now an all-instrumental combo that merge Eastern influences, elements of folk and good ol' psychedelic rock to fantastic effect. Next time you want to bliss-out on some trance-tastic tunes, I highly recommend this over that Ibiza comp you always reach for. (One minor complaint: The disc is completely unedited, which means that in between the tunes, there are interview segments with Locals Only host Don Jennings. As much as I appreciate their shout-out to me in the first interview segment, I wish they'd tacked the talking onto the end of the CD, to not interrupt the musical flow.)

Black Sun Ensemble celebrate the release of Live at KXCI Volume II with an all-ages show at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 1 at the Boardwalk Cafe, 47 N. Sixth Ave. Openers include Caliche Con Carne, Urban Legend and Michael Henderson; and bellydancing troupe Midriff Crisis will perform with BSE, as well. CDs will be available for sale at the show. Cover is $2. For more information, call 622-6996.

If you've seen Creosote listed in these pages recently, you might have assumed there's a new band under that name in town (and this town ain't big enough for two Creosotes)--but you would be mistaken. The country-rock band's singer/guitarist/songwriter, Jason Steed, has been performing under his own name lately, eschewing the Creosote moniker, but has more recently decided to call his band Creosote once again. Part of the reason is down to the fact that the band's only full-length album, Blacksmoke, which was initially recorded in 2001, and was once available only as a free download at their Web site (, is getting an official release this week. Dan Burke of Now Publishing Now had plans to release Steed's first solo album, but decided to put out Blacksmoke first, once he heard it. The CD differs from the (now unavailable) download version fairly significantly; the running order of the songs has been resequenced; there are some previously unreleased tracks; and best of all, it has been remixed and remastered. On the band's site, Steed writes that "the results are nothing short of amazing as far as I am concerned." That's mighty good news to those of us who were fans of the original version.

Creosote celebrate the release of Blacksmoke next Thursday, April 7 at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. with opening sets by Cathy Rivers and Ken Andree. Copies of the revamped Blacksmoke will be available for $10. Cover is $3. For further details, call 798-1298.

If you haven't yet stopped into the Monkey Box, a relatively recent addition to downtown that serves as a combination restaurant/full bar/performance space, this week brings the perfect opportunity to do so. Local photographer Chod McClintock has been snapping photos of musicians performing at the Box over the last several months, while proprietor Bill Mackey has been recording the performances. This Saturday night, it all comes together, as McClintock unveils his black-and white-photographs, and the venue releases a CD of live performances captured there. Catalogue One--Live at the Monkey Box includes live tracks by Tom Walbank, Jimmy Carr, the Nick Luca Trio, Amor/Grubic Duo (with John Convertino), Maggie Golston, the Fashionistas, Jazz Trio, the Rosano Brothers, Jim Kuemmerle and others. Photos and CDs will be available to purchase at the opening, which will also include many of the performers on the disc playing songs in an open mic fashion.

It all goes down from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 2. The Monkey Box is located at 100 N. Stone. Admission is free. The photos will be on display through May 14. For more info, call 623-3500.


Performances from local supergroup X-Old Ladies are extremely rare these days, but the boys bring the madness back to Che's Lounge this weekend. The band specializes in '70s-influenced riff-rock, but add lyrics that are an exercise in juvenile hilarity (song titles include "Fuckin' in the Hallway," "Beaver on My Mind" and "Fuck Texas"). Cross a funky jam band, King Crimson, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Ween, and this is sorta like what you'd end up with.

The X-Old Ladies perform at Che's Lounge, 346 N. Fourth Ave., at about 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 7. As always, admission is free. For more information, call 623-2008.


The closest I've ever come to falling asleep at a show was several years ago, when Duluth, Minn.'s Low performed at the now-defunct Theater Congress. Back then, the band's M.O. was performing hushed songs as slowly as possible--so slowly they made the band Codeine sound like Slayer. But beginning with 2001's Things We Lost in the Fire (Kranky), they finally realized that those amps had volume-control knobs and that their appendages moved quicker than they ever previously realized. Listen to one of Low's early releases, then check out their new album, The Great Destroyer (Sub Pop), and you'd swear it couldn't possibly be the same band. There is no longer the gimmick of seeing how slow they can play; they just play--and at times, rock mightily.

Low perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Saturday, April 2. Loveland open at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $8 at the front desk of Hotel Congress or online at They'll be $10 on the day of the show. Questions? Call 622-8848.


Since I barely touched on shows by touring bands hitting town this week, I implore you to check out the club listings for complete info on the tasty goodness coming our way (including shows from Clem Snide, the BellRays, That1Guy, and the BoDeans, among others). Also, if you slacked on getting tickets to the Atmosphere show, you're out of luck: as we go to print, it's already sold out.