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in this issue:

Reviews

shows

Finn Riggins 12/3 Jacob Smigel 12/21 Local Night 1/8

shops

Pablo’s Pizza Planet Earth

bands

Electric Jesus and the Flying Dream Machines

Stories

Sweaterfest Calendar The Zoo United North End Music “Princess” John Wayne


A Culinary Safe Haven by Rosalie Armijo and Johanna Black

(Enter obnoxious British accent.)

Pablo’s Pizza is a quaint establishment with all the delectable trimmings of a Christmas goose ready to be devoured by sticky-fingered children and parents ready to take a pistol to their temples. The ambiance is quirky, resembling the “angsty,” yet wholesome and entertaining family harmony depicted in Mystic Pizza. You half expect Julia Roberts to strut around

the corner, tying on an apron and sporting a fashionable headscarf.

(End obnoxious British accent.)

But truly, Pablo’s Pizza has proven in the last number of years to be a widely respected joint; one that brings in varying hoards of customers. Families are comfortable in the laidback atmosphere and all the hip youngsters are known


to flock there on their from popular brewerlunch break. ies and wine from local vineyards. A 9 inch The proprietors, Paul long slice of pizza norand Kaci Knaysi, have mally goes for around made Pabtwo dollars at lo’s walls a “A nine lunch, dependsafe haven inch long ing on the type. for local artslice of Not bad, eh? ists to display their pizza norAlthough work. That mally goes construction in addition for around has begun to the latest downtown in tunes and two dollars the area Pabthe heady at lunch.” lo’s occupies, aroma of they will respices wafting through main open. It is only the air makes this estab- half a block’s walk lishment a cultural hub from the nearest parkof sorts. ing. Thus weary masses, it doesn’t sound so There are over 25 bad to kick back with a different pizzas on the slice of pizza and a cold menu, as well as sand- brew does it? We don’t wiches, calzones, and think so. salads (to name a few.) Pablo’s also serves beer

Pablo’s Pizza is located at 319 Main Street. Its sister store is located on 456 Kokopelli Blvd in Fruita. Downtown store hours are 11am to 8:30pm. Sun. through Thur. and 11am to 9pm Fri. and Sat.


wealth of Jacob Smigel:Afound sound

two impressions by Jesse Gilmer and Sally Boyd

Jacob

magnetic personality and monologue jokes Smigel of Phoenix that would easily be fit played with his brother within a stand-up coJesse to a small but median’s bit. The Smigel Brothcozy audience Monday, the 21 of De- er’s repertoire is varied cember. Jacob per- to the point that the only formed the majority of connection between the act, which ranged the songs played was from singer-song- often the comedic diawriter styled songs logue of Jacob Smigel about state mottoes between them. Later on in the show and eclectic covers to found sound record- (though there would ings and half-sung raps be intermittent appearabout unusual spirit ances from the back animals. Jacob himself of the venue during was highly energetic: several earlier songs) pacing the stage dur- Jesse Smigel joined ing stories about his his brother on stage songs, standing in a to perform a recently ring of onlookers dur- released rap single ing his rap ballads or on iTunes and  CDotherwise enamor- Baby  called “I Stayed ing the room with his Up All Night”; a song

about a pair of friends the band lived with in Phoenix. Their mastery of different styles of music was apparent as they played their backing track though a floor amp and proceeded to deliver a mock hardcore rap show to the thinned crowd, who were curled up on couches with hot chocolate. Though different from the last round of bands that had played Le Giragge it was a supremely funny and entertaining evening for the handful of people who braved the cold and made it for what could only be called a musical talent show with actual talent, and


still defy such simple categorization. Opening for The Smigel Brothers was local musician William Pogany, who played a short set of acoustic covers consisting mainly of recent indie folk songs. His soft vocals and refined talents on guitar and harmonica feeling perfectly at home with the hot drinks and warm layers of the audience.

I

-Jesse Gilmer

wouldn’t say that I was skeptical walking into the Giragge Monday night, but I certainly wasn’t anticipating the “funcomfortable” musical stylings of Jacob  Smigel and his brother, Jesse, to be nearly as impressive.   My mind was changed almost immediately and I could easily

place this event among the top 5 Giragge shows. Upon entering the garage, cold ears (that weren’t fashionably late) were greeted by a digital recording of Longmont Potion Castle, an original prankster of the phone caller variety,  playing

over one of the amps (the PA was M.I.A. that evening). The crowd was mostly quiet and chilly, intent on listening to the hilarity but the  simultaneous  small fits of laughter, hot cocoa, and the single space heater seemed to break

the ice and warm things up  substantially.  Jacob Smigel is an avid thrift store scavenger. He has an affinity for ten-cent tapes and neat belt buckles that look like circular saws, which his brother, Jesse, the  freestyling  carpenter from Las Vegas, so proudly supported his pants with. Jacob played a few tracks from those mystery cassettes between catchy, sweet acoustic numbers  accompanied by beautiful vocals and the  occasional  hip-hopish song dedicated to pill  bugs. If you’ve ever felt as if you’ve misplaced or forgotten a moment or a memory, Jacob Smigel probably purchased it and played it for an audience, so please don’t be too sad, it’s out there somewhere, being appreciated and remembered by someone you’ve never met before. -Sally Boyd


you missed the first If Finn Riggins show fInn in Grand Junction on De-

riggins

cember 3 , you probably a night of nostalgia by Gabriel Smith should’ve caught them 10 days later. The Idahoan trio completely blew us away. My band, Dem Bones, opened for them, but who really cares; Finn Riggins stole the night. I’ve never seen three people make music like that. All three members sang, with Eric Gilbert on keys, Lisa Simpson (I thought see was joking about her name) on guitar, and Cameron Bouiss on drum-kit and steel drum. looking for more bands of sor, some DUDE-BEERThey broke that uncomfort- their caliber to book, and PONGers, and some golden able “I’m-too-shy-to-dance” then I got a text from a 208 oldies were all shaking it. vibe that is ever-present at (Idaho) number saying “hey That night I ran home to put any house show. By the Gabe, we cancelled our Fort together a package of our third song, almost everyone Collins show to rock it at first issue of The Midnight was dancing. Hard. Even I Cy’s house on Friday”. Special to be delivered to was flailing about. None of Glen of Mere Cat (playing us (especially the drunk couwas confused till I re- Sweaterfest!) who would be ple) wanted the show to end, alized it was the Finn, opening for them at a Boise but it had to so the neighbors and almost peed. I guess show the next week. We met wouldn’t complain. I spoke they must’ve really enjoyed at Roasted the next mornto the band after their set and Grand Junction to come ing for our farewell cups-offound out Eric grew up on back a week later. I went to joe and said our goodbyes. the same block in Boise that the show, which had an en- As that van drove off, Finn I did a decade earlier. I was tirely different crowd, a lot Riggins confirmed to me sad as I said what I thought older than myself, but the yet again that it is cool to be was goodbye. A week later band had the same effect on from Idaho. I was wracking my brain the crowd. A college profesrd

I


If

you build it, they will come. The night of January the 8 was witness to that. Originally, Zach Tipton from Denver’s Young Coyotes was scheduled to play that night in support of his new EP for his side project, I Am the Dot. I saw the Young Coyotes play with Saddle Creek’s Son, Ambulance in Denver in 2008 and fully suggest you give the Coyotes or the Dot an earnest listening-to. You can actually download some amazing Coyotes tracks for free from Daytrotter.com. Regardless, I Am the Dot had to cancel and I ended up making one of the openers for that show the headliner. I had never booked a show that was entirely local musicians, and I really have no idea why because the night turned out to be one of the most fun and stressless nights I’d had in the Giragge for a while. The night started with Dinosaur the Musical, a trio of young vaqueros that ripped the stage apart with their melodic, jazz-infused post rock. I was surprised when I found out these kids are only 15 and soon to be a regular fixture at future local nights at the Giragge. Dem Bones played second, and introduced us to a few new songs. I really like the direction they’re heading with the spaghetti western-folkgrass style and early 20th century jiggs they’ve been showing us lately. The final band that I was excited to hear all night went by the name of Polbot, which is a tastelessly clever spin on the infamous cambodian dictator, though it proved great inspiration for a friend, Logan, to help me design a poster for the night (Polpot’s head on a “Lost in Space” robot, shooting lightning out of its eyes). Polbot, however, proved to be everything I expected and more, especially having fully formed just two weeks prior to the show. Part psychedelic spaceship, part mechanical forest, part funk-infused sex bomb, Polbot quenched the thirsty crowd with a tasty palette of Parliamentary prowess and love-making (sexual or otherwise) sentimentality. Local night will come once a month, if you might be interested in playing, consult legiragge.net for contact information. Thanks.

a recollection of events by Lehi Cano


It’s been going on in Grand Junction for a couple years now, and has been hosted at The Bistro up until this point. Usually it has been just a one-day-deal where a bunch of people got together for music, sweaters, and food. When Lehi told me about this event, I didn’t see why it couldn’t be stepped up to the next level, and try to host our own independent music festival. Immediately both Lehi and I started contacting all the bands we could think of to try and get a good turnout. With the festival just three weeks away, the roster is looking pretty strong. I’m so stoked. This is a three day festival that will be happening at a couple of venues (see centerfold roster) across downtown Grand Junction. All events will be free of charge, but the cost for bands to get down here is not. So, if you like a band, don’t be afraid to spend a little of your beer money on some merchandise. Besides, if your’e underage, you shouldn’t be drinking at these shows anyways. Also, we will be running a canned food and winter clothes drive that we will donate to a local charity, because winter is cold and people are hungry. So mark February 12-14 on your calendars, and come to the shows to support both local and touring musicians, artists, and community. Just remember to bring a sweater. Below you will also see a map of the three Sweaterfest locations.


events calendar all dates subject to change. visit legiragge.net for updated calendar if you think your band would sound nice with any open date, contact for booking too.

february

mon tue

wed

thur

8

12

if you would like to open)

mon

tue

1

wed

Sissy Spacek

sat

13

thu

5

fri

6

sat

China i Love Cats! South w/ tba w/ tba

w/ geritt

wittner/paul knowles jones drones leatherbitch

19

20

Bad Hunger Weather Moon w/ California Dem Bones

24 30

Red Pony Clock w/ tba

Kevin Greenspon w/ guest

sun

14

sweaterfest!!!

Hermit Thrushes w/ TBA (let me know

march

fri

w/ tba

26

Peace, Loving w/ tba

sun


h a t W w e are try-

united

ing to do here at The Midn i g h t Special is to encourage local musicians, writers, and artists to build a community of people sharing their passions for each other. With Sweaterfest just around the corner, and us trying to figure out just what we want it to accomplish, I’ve been having a rough time trying to figure out just what our message is. Then it dawned on me. There needs to be proof that just a handful of people can do something really great for practically nothing at all.

north

end music a documentary about doing

things yourself presented I was able to talk a friend of mine, by Gabriel Smith Clarke Howell (Clarke and the Himself’s, Electric Jesus and The Flying Dream Machines), to come down here for Sweaterfest a couple of months ago. Then I remembered that he had been working on a documentary of the local scene when I was living in Boise. I asked him if he would be down to screen his project at the Giragge on Sunday of the fest. He willingly obliged. The documentary consists of three parts. “Gorilla Thund e r Goes to Grandma’s House” which follows Rob Smith, guitarman, on an average show-day in Boise. The second part “The Baby Sale Benefit” is about a local hotspot that had been putting on independent shows for more than a year. The third encompasses a wide array of Boise bands that had helped put shows on. I think there was some footage of my band Supersoaker that was cut for something like nudity. So, on Sunday at the Giragge (legiragge.net) we will be having a farewell potluck and show for the bands, along with a screening of the documentary. Please bring some mad snack-attacks and any donations (winter clothes and canned food for local shelters, and any change you can spare for the musicians) for a night of good friends, food, and community.


a vision by Jordan Lister art by Tony Via

here wasn’t a bang. Not that I can remember. A lot of weeping, screaming, whimpering. That’s all. That and the falling. There was a flash of sorrow and then I was falling. For how long I don’t know. I must have blacked out. Maybe I fell asleep. I don’t know where I was when I woke up. It was dark but there was a spot light on me. Blinding. There was another spot light on a group of children. Seven children standing in a semicircle . They were in rags. Rags that were all faded to a bluish gray color. They wore wraps that covered their bodies in sagging swoops.    “Show us how you used to be,” they said. I didn’t understand. “Show us how you used to be,” they repeated. “Were you obese with an undesirable BMI?” asked one.    “Show us how you were when you were pleasantly plump and bigboned with ample food stuffs like Big Macs to eat,” said another. “I was never fat,” I said. “How do you know about Big Macs?” “Show us how you used to be. How were you when you weren’t broken.” Broken? I didn’t understand this either. I stared, gaping. “Were you always in a chair with wheels on the side? Show us how you used to be. How people were.” I was in a wheelchair. I was strapped to it, tied. Each leg and arm bound with an old leather belt tethering me to the chair. I wasn’t crippled. I struggled against the constraints.

T

“Why am I tied up like this?” “It’s best that the disabled, or rather, differently-abled, are kept in a way that preserves their dignity. We wouldn’t want you to fall out of the chair, slip into a slouch, fall forward in a manner, in a pose, suggesting autofellatio.” I shook the chair. One came over to untie my hands and arms and then


quickly rejoined the others. I freed my legs and kicked the chair back. It rolled out of the spotlight and was lost in the shadows. It’s wheels made a slush as they ran through some liquid. The floor was cold, I could feel it on my bare feet. I looked down. It was smooth concrete. I had on shoes. I sat down to look at the soles. They had jagged borders along the bottom. Bulbous rims of melted rubber where the soles used to be. There was a wheezing and the sound of dragging metal. Another spotlight flicked on and there was an ape. A chimp. It was sick, emaciated, bound in chains with a muzzle on. “Show us how it happened. Show us how you, we, descended from apes. How did mutations occur?” This was insane. What were they talking about? “I don’t understand what it is you’re wanting.” Another child came forward and presented two books two me. One was Darwin’s Origin of Species and the other was a biology textbook. Both splotchy brown and brittle, waterlogged and old. “Did people used to mate and cross breed with ape like creatures? She’s a female. Show us how we came to be.” “No, no, you don’t understand. We didn’t… no.” These were children. Children. What were they talking about? Where were we? “What had happened to the world,” I asked. “We don’t know what happened. That’s why you’re here. To show us.” “We have books, like these, as remnants to help guide us.” “Yes, but we need to understand how people used to be. How they came to be. It’s imperative that we avoid the same mistakes that were made in the past.” I stood up from the floor. “I can’t  give you what you want.” I used to have a family. A wife. A daughter. She was four. What happened to them? “Where are the other people,” I asked. “We hypothesize that there are other people.” “However, there aren’t any others left in the town.” “Not alive, that is. The streets are full of petrified bodies.” There was a gurgle from the chimp and she slid onto her face. “Oh dear,” said one of the children, “that only leaves us with one specimen of adult primate that lived through it.”


PLANET

EARTH an exploration in doing whatever the fuck you want by Landon Bain

Grand Junction, isolated from major population centers and still populated by a frontier ethos, is the sort of place where, if you thirst for something of communal worth--say, a coffee shop, or a bookstore, or a music scene--you must build it yourself. Towards the end of 1995, Planet Earth opened along a "seedy and rundown" section of Colorado Avenue, the oft-forgotten street one-block south of Main, to a pre-energy boom Junction, when Red Lobster was still the hottest thing in town. People told the owner, Caole [surname], she "was out of [her] mind." But Caole, 45 at the time, was accustomed to uncommon ideas.  The daughter of a West Point graduate, she had spent most of her adult life on the east coast, mostly in

the Washington D.C. area, where she earned a master's degree in Studio Art and worked for various publications, crafting layout and illustrations. Always a "finder of things in people's trash," she began to find her calling in selling found objects at an international flea market in the D.C. area.  When her job was liquidated by the increasing use of computers in layout and design, she began to look elseware for new ideas. In Grand Junction, she found fertile ground for creative enterprise amidst the collective angst of the high desert.  Planet Earth was opened with more in mind than making money Caole saw a place to assert her own humanity in the open sky of the west. "I needed to find a path for my own


self-expression," she said in an interview. "I can be myself here." Planet Earth celebrates in being a part of the community. Every year, the gallery hosts two annual public exhibitions, the Dark Show and Gifts for the Goddess, intended to represent the duality of life; the Dark Show for works of sorrow and angst, the Gifts show for works of joy and reawakening.   According to Caole, the struggle between finding the balance of community and solitude is inherent in life, but "people coming together can create beautiful things. We have to put aside our ego, childhood want, and despair." That is partly why she is involved in Sweaterfest this year, which will be held over three nights and three venues, including Planet Earth, this February 12, 13, and 14.. "I'm very honored. . . It makes me want to be relevant to all forms of art," she said of the festival.


the princess john wayne

#1 “Princess” John Wayne lives down there beneath the grief-bestrewn 5th St. Bridge. Today I got a Billy-club bulge in me knickers: “I’m telling you I’ll stick it in a can of Spam I ain’t above it!”  Sweatin’ up the tent solo when “Princess” pops a steamer out on the fire plop-sizzle and out from it springs this magnificent monumental Mesopotamian gal sultrier than salted peanuts in Pakistan twirling her handsome caboose like a fifty dollar hanky and I’m screaming “Nanny! Nanny! Take me HOME!” We go back to her place to enact some erotic taboos but end up staring at The Never Ending Story all night long and by the time I get my belt unbuckled she’s crashed. But hey, I splash some cold water on her face and she scrambles to attention ready for deep space maneuvers. We pound it out for squealing milliseconds, next thing I know, it’s time for church and my dreamboat’s turned back into a smoldering heap of excrement. I scoop up the turd, take it down to Van Grungy’s, and he swaps me a vial of diphtheria cut with Peruvian gasoline coke and anthrax for it. I make my way back to camp where “Princess” is waiting for me with a bottle of valium and a deep fat fried turkey, tastes like the coochie cobbler mamma used to feed you in jail.

-Q

U

V


and The Flying ELECTRIC JESUs Dream Machines combines soul with a slacker rock-jive on the

album they just released through Tuck Nelson’s Boise record label, Panda Machine (The Donna Vulture, La Knots, John E. Combat and The Jungle Fucks). Tuck, along with Clarke Howell (Clarke and the Himselfs, director of United Northend Music) and Mary Kate McDonald did vocals, with Tuck on both guitar and drums, and Clarke on guitar and sitar. Also featured on this album is Michael Birkenshaw on saxophone, and Stephan Thompson (The Donna Vulture, Castrati) on bass. I was really impressed with the sound they were able to create when I first heard some of the tracks back in September of 2009, and now they are finished and available to the populace. It’s good for me to hear that local music is still kickin it in Boise.


this shit is free

Š 2010 Midnight Special


The Midnight Special 2