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Sleepy Slaying Village, a demo tape from Denver's Lucid Haze, doesn't feature what you'd call state-of-the-art sound; it was recorded on a four-track using one microphone. So it's an indication of the band's promise that the recording is actually pretty enjoyable. A few of the tunes, such as "Caverns of Dusk" and "Star Me! Me!," sport an agreeable, Velvets-esque surface; others, like "Gen X Jock," go punk to good effect. There's even proof of some primitive production smarts: For example, "How They Will Stick" includes a semi-processed vocal that makes the tune. The DIY ethic lives (Lucid Haze, 4930 Tennyson Street, Denver 80212). The self-titled four-song demo from LD-50 is enjoyably nasty and noisy. The opening track, "NYC," samples dialogue from Midnight Cowboy in a suitably creepy manner; "Twinky" clomps along nicely; "The Box" fiddles enjoyably with the White Zombie formula; and NO2 uses a deliberate tempo to create just the right degree of tension. A promising collective that bears watching (LD50@usa.pipeline.com or 830-1488).

If you don't already love the Hate Fuck Trio, the band's self-titled four-track demo should make you a convert. "Lizard Named Muffy," "Fucked Up Monkey," "Bob's Lawn Service" and "Trucker" are full-bore fun, and they represent a loony take on alterna-punk that freshens up the genre quite nicely, thanks. Start praying now that the act's upcoming long-player, made in conjunction with Seattle's Shaky Records and due in stores soon, is this swell (Greasy Chicken Records, P.O. Box 6698, Denver 80206). Nnett King would like to be thought of as zany: Why else would its members pose on the cover of their CD Magic Moon with their drawers to their knees and their cheeks to the camera? I could try to avoid using the term "neo-hippie" to describe the music, but it's perfectly appropriate. Tracks such as "Love Your Papa," "Peace" and "Genuine Southerness" stick to the pop-oriented, Spin Doctors side of this style and are generally more endurable for it; by contrast, "statement" songs like "Touch the Earth" ("Holy mother earth/the trees and all your nature/Are witness to your thoughts and deeds") go straight into the tank and stay there. Just thought you'd want to know (447-2581 or 650-3331). Beefcake, by Grimace, reached me many months after its early 1996 release, but I'm glad it finally arrived; it's a pretty damn strong piece of work. Since its days as the Nixons, the band has sometimes had a tough time establishing a sound of its own, but that's not a problem here. Andy Menconi and company roar through Kirby Orrick-produced numbers such as "Bouncing Ball," "Ha!" and "Splintered Soapbox" in a singular manner; you're unlikely to mistake the cuts for the work of anyone else. They're not getting older--they're getting better (available in area record stores).

On her demo tape, Follow Me There, Ashley Arrison comes across as just the type of vocalist that Nashville types embrace these days. Her singing is clear and crisp (and not very twangy), and her taste in material (exemplified by "Any Day Now," "All I Need" and "Stop the Train") waters down C&W conventions just enough to widen their appeal. The tape doesn't rate high on the authenticity scale, but it's so slick that it probably won't matter (Insync Productions, 683-1314). Playing Live at Akashic, the latest recording from eitherIgo, is like tuning into the Peak's new music file; the various tracks sound so much like something from the Gin Blossoms/Dog's Eye View branch of modern "rock" that you'll think you've heard them before. "Mama" includes some throaty emoting from Andrew Kavanaugh, and "Explain" contains the kind of guitar work that's often described as "tasty." But overall, Live is competent but generic (528-6998).

Chic Street Man, currently appearing at the Auditorium Theatre in the production called It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues, will celebrate the release of a new CD, beau-ti-ful, at the Mercury Cafe on Monday, November 4. Joining him will by Mary Flower and Chris Daniels. Thought you'd want to know.

Mark Steinhauser of Sparkie Sounds found a way to leap ahead of the hundred or so local performers who have submitted recordings for review ahead of him--by writing a tune that's time-sensitive. His new single, "Election Day," is a bouncy little ditty with a Soft Cell feel, and while it probably won't become an early November standard (it's a bit bland), you won't feel too guilty casting your vote for it--which is more than I can say for most of the people on this year's ballot. If you'd like a copy of your own, contact Steinhauser at 10920 Omaha Lane, Parker 80134.

It will no doubt startle you to discover that a number of acts are scheduled to perform live on Halloween. Try to see each of the following: DJ Keoki, hosting a special Disco 2000 night at Boulder's Club Mecca; the fabulous Ralph Gean at the Lion's Lair; another recent Westword profile subject, Denver Joe, with Grandma Jukes and Bobby Peru at Cricket on the Hill; Cold Blue Steel, continuing a multinight run at the Little Bear; the Vermicious Knids and Zeut at Herman's Hideaway; Kingpin, the Hate Fuck Trio, the Hectics, Acrobat Down and 3:5:7 at the 15th Street Tavern; World Separation at the Bug Theater; the Receders at GreenFields, 3355 S. Yarrow in Lakewood; the JGB Band at the Ogden Theatre; the Itals and Andrew Bees at the Fox Theatre; and the 'Vengers at Boulder's 'Round Midnight. Afterward, check yourself into the Betty Ford Clinic.

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