Two dance-oriented twelve-inches that have come my way are just as meritorious. Dyonis, the brainstorm of producer Justin Hardison, utilizes drum-and-bass techniques but avoids many of the cliches that have come to typify this subgenre. "New Day" supplements brittle rhythms with synthesized riffing, vocal sampling and other sonic curveballs, "Tropic" has one of the more unconventional sonic foundations you'll hear, and "Camouflage" provides straight-up techno/disco for the happy-feet crowd. Strong stuff (available in area record stores). A venture from Terraform, the namesake act of Terraform Records, the imprint run by John Chamie, is more deliberate. "Vandal" and "Nickel-Plated" are slow-builders that use dub and drum-and-bass in a minimalist manner that bridges the gap between ambient and dance. An intriguing experiment (784-4841).

Nobodys vs. Pinhead Circus, a split single that pairs (honest) the Nobodys and Pinhead Circus, won't shock you with its freshness, but punk loyalists will approve. The former excels on "Headache," a weighty riff orgy, and sticks to formula on "I Don't Need Your Love" and "I Don't Like You"; the latter packs "You Don't Say" and "No Time at All" with just enough spontaneity and snottiness (Soda Jerk Records, P.O. Box 4056, Boulder 80306). Also sharing a 45 are Acrobat Down and the Blast-Off Heads, and both acts acquit themselves well. The Heads add a bongo beat to modern rock on "Waxed," go in a tuneful direction on the fragmentary "Blizzak," and chant like drunken soccer buffs on "Fraidy Cat." Acrobat Down, meanwhile, gets ambitious on "#12--The Rumbleseat Dream" and "#7--Pissboy anti-boss song," a complex pop suite that fills several minutes with glorious racket (Stact Musicalities, P.O. Box 104, Denver 80201-0104).

The Minders' Paper Plane platter is another strong offering from Denver's Elephant 6 Records. Singer-songwriter Martyn Leaper is in top form on the title track, which is accentuated by appropriate sound effects, ringing guitar and a heavenly hook. Just as impressive are "Sally," a gem that would do Ray Davies proud, and "Big Machine," a flimsy but delectable confection. To hear them is to love them (The Elephant 6 Recording Co., P.O. Box 18326, Denver 80218). In the same mode is Dressy Bessy, a promising act that includes former 40th Day vocalist Tamee Ealom and John Hill of the Apples. "Ultra Vivid Color," "Fuzzy" and "Said You Would" are jangly and beguiling--the opposite of slick. It's not music that will reach out and grab you by the throat, but who would want that to happen? Not me (Little Dipper Records, P.O. Box 18652, Denver 80218).

Finally, "Luminous Crush"/"Helios," by Space Team Electra, produced by Keith Cleversley and issued by Cleversley's Luminous Records firm, begs this question: Why the hell isn't this group signed to a major label yet? The A-side is a beautiful mood piece that's drenched in feedback and shot through with intensity; it builds to a stirring conclusion. The flip, for its part, is considerably more psychedelic and not nearly as accessible, but the emoting of Myshel Prasad and her associates does more than reward repeated listens: It demands them. Guess that means I liked it (Luminous Records, 2044 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612).

Speaking of Space Team Electra (which I think I was doing in the previous paragraph), the group's Greg Fowkes is now running the Blue Satellite, at 3242 East Colfax. The venue (formerly Across the Street) will be featuring live music that falls into the acoustic or jazz camps. Interested performers are encouraged to ring the Satellite at 377-6300 to learn more.

Greater knowledge is only a phone call away. On Friday, October 31, Concentrated Evil visits the dark side at the Cricket, with Blister and Suffer Structure; Mosh Pit Records brings together Last Supper, Godless Promise Mechanism, Victory Boy and many others for its seventh annual Halloween bash, at Pure Energy in Colorado Springs; Fatal Erection wilts at the Bug Theater in support of San Francisco's Subarachnoid Space and the aforementioned Terraform; Brethren Fast and the Vermicious Knids run roughshod at Herman's Hideaway; David Mallett hammers at Cameron Church; Big Town Seven plays for the first of two nights at 9th Avenue West; Preacherman and the Congregation worship at the Moontime, in Nederland; and Jorge Santana (brother of Carlos) headlines at the Mammoth Events Center. On Saturday, November 1, Herman's celebrates its fifteenth anniversary with the help of the Dogs of Pleasure and Wendy Woo; the Colorado Players for Peace Band, featuring Westword profile subject Jeffrey Marshall, stops by the Tivoli Student Union (details can be had at 322-2521); Freak Hungre chows down at the Dickens Opera House in Longmont, with the Girls; Zeut visits the Market Street Lounge; and the Colorado Friends of Old Time Music and Dance present a swing night at the Mercury Cafe. On Monday, November 3, the Mighty Blue Kings get mighty blue at the Bluebird. And on Tuesday, November 4, Shankis introduces a new CD, Tales From Lonvernia, at the Fox Theatre, and the Offspring are joined at the Mammoth by Good Riddance and One Hit Wonder. Who are just asking for trouble with a name like that.

--Michael Roberts

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

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