By Isa Jones
By Mary Willson
By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
Why has Mark set up an imprint of his own when Foreskin 500 could probably have scored a contract with any number of nationally known indies? Part of the answer is rooted in last year's collapse of Priority Records. Foreskin was signed to the firm through Basura, a Priority spinoff. But shortly after the appearance of Starbent But Superfreaked, Foreskin's latest and grooviest recording, the powers at Priority decided to shut down its rock division and concentrate on hip-hop, its original forte. This sudden move screwed a number of acts: Congo Norvell's new disc never hit stores and remains in corporate limbo to this day, while Magnapop, the rock act Priority pushed the hardest, is facing a monstrous debt that will be exceedingly difficult to recoup. By comparison, Foreskin was fortunate: The combo owed Priority only $6,500, which Mark agreed to repay. But actually winning Foreskin's freedom has proven to be trickier than it initially seemed. "I talked to their main lawyer last October," Mark says, "and he told me everything should be resolved in a month or so. But it wasn't--and every time I've talked to him since then, he's like, 'Sorry, I haven't gotten to it this week, but I will. Everything's fine.'" He adds, "Nobody has told me we're fucked yet, so hopefully we're not. But it's real obvious that finishing this up isn't at the top of their list."
Because of these experiences, Mark chose not to link Boom-Boom up with Noise, a California outfit whose directors had expressed interest in a deal. "After the Priority thing, I was too scared to do it," he admits. "So I'm going to go through distributors like Caroline and Cargo. I know enough of those people so it won't be completely starting over."
The first Boom-Boom platter is a vinyl version of Starbent, complete with a gatefold design that's already in finer record stores; Mark was able to put it out prior to wrapping the Priority negotiations because the band had been savvy enough to retain vinyl rights. "It's definitely not the smartest thing to have done from a business standpoint," he says. "But I wanted to do it because I thought it would be cool--and it is. I'd like to do a Foreskin remix album, too, but that'll have to wait for everything else to be worked out."
In the meantime, Mark is wrapping up Boom-Boom's first offering by another act--the full-length CD debut by Denver's premier electronic group, Nebula 9. "It's a very 'live' record--like a live mix," he reveals. "I guess I'd describe the songs as trance with a little trip-hop and some spacy, Kraftwerk-y, tweaky analog stuff in there." Also coming soon are recordings of LD-50 and Space Mountain Sound System, who appear together on Saturday, March 15, at Seven South (see page 74). The date will mark the club debut of Space Mountain, which consists of Mark and former Warlock Pincher wildman King Scratchie, who's now referring to himself as Mr. Legendary. "We've been playing parties and trying to get it together," Mark says. "We were the two guys who started Warlock Pinchers ten years ago, but we haven't done anything since that band broke up. So when we got together again, I was just totally blown away by his ability. And the recordings we've done rule. It's definitely on the pop\R&B\dancehall tip, but it's fucked up at the same time."
In addition, Mark is planning to release some of his solo work under the name Le Pimp ("It's dance-oriented beat-box hip-hop--a real weird amalgamation"), as well as a smattering of material by Shok, whom he describes as "this guy from Philadelphia who does remixes for a lot of bands." He notes, "I don't want Boom-Boom to just be a Denver thing. I'm looking at anybody else from around the country who's into the kind of shit that I'm into. That way, I think this can turn into a real label, you know?"
All this activity suggests that Foreskin 500 is now on the back burner, but Mark insists that's not true. The bandmates continue to gig regularly (they'll be at the Bluebird Theater on Friday, March 28, with Shag and Critters Buggin'), and Mark hopes that a new album will be completed within the next year or so. In the meantime, the Foreskinners are particularly proud of the, er, exposure they get in the February issue of Dirty, a California skin mag that placed the boys on the back cover alongside porn starlet Stephanie Swift (for photographic evidence, check the Westword Web edition, at www.westword.com). According to Mark, "She's the one who always plays the underage girl--like the fourteen- or fifteen-year-old just getting initiated, if you know what I mean. One of her movies is called Barely Legal. At first we weren't going to pose with her, but I think the first person they picked got thrown in jail the night before, so they called her. And she turned out to be really great. We did the shoot, and then she came to a show we were doing in L.A. that night and she brought along some of her porn-star friends. Like Michael J. Coxx--he's this little short guy who's got this Michael J. Fox thing going on." Upon seeing the issue itself, he says, "We were really excited--because Dirty is like the perfect place for Foreskin 500."