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Item two: The recent damage done to David Hesker, drummer for Skull Flux, was of a more personal (and painful) sort. Late on April 21, Hesker was riding his bike home from a Capitol Hill bar in a state of something other than sobriety (in his words, he was "totally loaded") when he landed on some uneven pavement and ruptured his spleen. Although the organ was removed in emergency surgery, Hesker is recovering nicely; the band's Greg Stretton reveals that "he already wants to do some light rehearsals as long as there are no Avalanche games on." The band will make its first live appearance since Hesker's injury at 3:30 p.m. on June 7, on the alternative stage at this year's People's Fair.

Item three: The Hate Fuck Trio, which ventures to the Bluebird Theater on Friday, May 23, in the company of Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Acrobat Down and Blast-Off Heads, is in the midst of completing a new EP for its Washington-based imprint, Shaky Records. The disc, which should be available for purchase by late summer, is tentatively titled Fully Orchestrated, and while it's difficult to know exactly what that means, I can tell you that the Trio's Jon DeStefano recently called me in order to get jazz trumpeter Ron Miles's phone number. Can a punk-rock epiphany be far behind?

Item four: Denver's own DJ-OK is looking for a partner with whom he can team up for a new music project. "Knowing how to play an instrument is not necessarily important," he elaborates. "We've got computers now." Interested musicians or adventurous folks with word-processing skills can reach DJ-OK at 693-9164.

Sounding off. On Thursday, May 22, My Blind Alley gets Soaked at Herman's Hideaway; Natty Nation, from the reggae stronghold of Madison, Wisconsin, begins a three-night run at Jimmy's Grille (the combo also goes to the Little Bear on Monday, May 26); and Hook 'Em Kow gets bossy at Armida's. On Friday, May 23, the Buzz, from Chicago, can be caught at Ziggie's; Wendy Woo travels to Acoustic Coffee in Nederland; the Novembers promise not to break anything at the 15th Street Tavern; and the teen rockers in Kindred take on New Country Boy and Ivy Pub at Area 39. On Saturday, May 24, Westword profile subject Moonshine Willy ("Over the Moon," October 24, 1996) headlines at the 15th Street Tavern, and Cabaret Diosa kicks up its collective heels at the Fox Theatre. On Sunday, May 25, Art Lande and Mark Miller duet at the Houston Fine Arts Center, and Vanaline prowls at the Lion's Lair. And on Tuesday, May 27, Offering74 counts at the Cricket on the Hill; Greazy Chicken is plucked at the Lion's Lair; the Keepers host their regular blues jam at the Little Bear; and Souls plays in support of Bush at Fiddler's Green. It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

--Michael Roberts

Backbeat's e-mail address is: Michael_Roberts@westword.com. While you're online, visit Michael Roberts's Jukebox at www.westword.com

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