Reunited and It Feels So Good

The ghost of Denver’s past pays us a visit, just in time for the holidays.

Looks like this may turn out to be a jolly season after all. Late last week, I got word that one of my all-time favorite hometown bands is getting back together. Sure, it's just for a few nights, but I'll take whatever I can get.

When Drag the River was toe-tagged earlier this year, we diehards felt like we'd had the rug pulled out from under us. Though some of the more astute had sensed a disturbance in the force, for the rest, there was no real warning. I mean, one minute we were happily going about our business, whistlin' "Medicine" and whatnot, and the next thing you knew — KAPAYA! — we were broadsided with the news that Drag was dead. Just like that. No farewell show. Nothing.

Well, now I can finally make my peace and get some much needed closure. To celebrate the release of what's presumably the act's swan song, You Can't Live This Way, Drag has set aside the last weekend in January for a string of shows, including one Friday, January 25, at 3 Kings Tavern, followed by gigs in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. According to Virgil Dickerson at Suburban Home Records, the specific details are still being ironed out, but we can expect Drag to be joined by a few noteworthy guests.

I don't know why Drag decided to give us a goodbye present. It's obvious why the geezers in Van Halen, the Police and Genesis have resurfaced: They've obviously burned through their 401(k)s. But for our local homeboys, maybe there's something about the holidays that inspires them to give it one more go for old time's sake.

If memory serves, wasn't it around this time a few years back that the Rocket Ajax cats were all reunited and feeling so good? Last holiday season, Lord of Word and the Disciples of Bass rediscovered their groove, and that was followed by the Psychodelic Zombiez, who reconvened this past summer for a night at the Walnut Room.

A couple of other notable reunions are coming right up, and another is rumored. On Friday, December 14, Hate Fuck Trio will stick it to us one more time at the Ogden (I'm assuming Jon DeStefano and company are doing it for the, um, kids and stuff — though it could also be because they're opening for Dinosaur Jr.); on Saturday, January 26, at the Soiled Dove, another dearly departed y'allternative band, the much-beloved Rexway, will be back in the saddle again. And there's also talk about a Baldo Rex reunion in the near future.

Back in the present, props to DeVotchKa, a band that's thankfully still with us, for being the latest group from the Mile High City to land a record deal. This past July, when Anti-Records announced that it would be issuing How It Ends in Europe, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the imprint would end up working with DeVotchKa here in the States. (Let's see: Grammy-nominated, universally lauded by fans and critics alike for its work on the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack...yep, a no-brainer.)

Four months later, guess which label just announced a new addition to its roster? If you answered "I'll take obvious crap for $300, Alex," you're a smartass just like me (nice work, but quit stealing my shit), and chances are you already know, ahem, how this ends.

For the uninitiated, along with Sub Pop, Merge and Matador, Anti- is one of the most venerable indie labels in the country. Home to such icons as Tom Waits, Bob Mould, Nick Cave and Neko Case, among others, the imprint seems like the perfect place for Nick Urata and the gang, whose music is some of the most gorgeous and enchanting to ever come out of Denver. Look for the band to make its Anti- debut next March. In the meantime, be sure to stop by www.gerber.com and take a gander at the company's most recent ad campaign, which uses "How It Ends" as a backdrop for the heartstring-pulling "Anything for Baby" spots. I discovered the ads last week (thanks to my man Dutch Seyfarth at the DMB), but evidently, they've been running for a while now.

 
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