If you go

What: A. Tom Collins "Stick & Poke" Release Parties

When: 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: hi-dive, 7 S. Broadyway, Denver, 303-733-0230

Cost: $10

More info: hi-dive

A. Tom Collins is going international, but the band hasn't forgotten about its hometown.

In July, the alt-country rockers will release Stick & Poke nationwide. Before that, in May, the guys will jet off for a month of shows Europe. But, before that they'll play two release shows at the hi-dive -- this Friday and Saturday. That's right. Denver gets the record well before anyone else.

Aaron Collins -- full name Aaron Thomas Collins, hence the clever, drink-based band name -- said they were ready for a full release now, but some good performances at South By Southwest earned them some attention and offers. While they're talking with publicits and radio promoters, the full release will have to wait.

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Speaking of radio: "So, we've actually been playing on some Dutch radio right now," Collins said.

It's somewhat unexpected, but a solid following overseas (and some connections drummer Alex Hebert has) is part of the reason A. Tom Collins can spend a month touring there. 

"The nice thing about Europe is that they really appreciate live music on any scale," Collins said. "Sometimes in North America you're one of a lot of different bands coming through and unless you have a lot of hype behind you, it can be kind of hard."

Right now, the band is focused on getting the record out at home. And, also, millions of other things.

"I'm excited. There's so much fucking shit to do. Sometimes you don't actually realize something happens until you walk on stage and you're like, 'Oh, there's nothing left to do but play a show,'" Collins said. "Except there's 8 millions thing I need to do."

Well, at least the album is finished. A. Tom Collins started recording Stick & Poke a little over a year ago, and Collins said it turned out just the way they wanted: a collections of songs that varies from "pretty dark, shoegazey" to an acoutic, one-take song of just him and his upright piano.

"That's one of my pet peeves, when it just basically sounds like just 10 tracks of the same song," he said. "We said we're gonna approach every song differently and we're not going to make any rules about what we're going to sound like."

The band also took the time to build songs from the bottom up, rather than go in and just lay them down, Collins said. Unlike past recordings, there was more time and money, and Collins could have more of a hand in producing.

"I'm really excited. It's definitely been the best thing I've ever done in my life, as far as recording," he said.

It's hard to say more about Stick & Poke than he's already said except, yes, it sounds very good. Go find out for yourself Friday or Saturday night at the hi-dive.