If Jacor has a commercial stake in a concert, the incentive to hype it will increase--and radio is a mighty effective way to promote musical events. As Buswell states, "Having the stations at our disposal is a nice tool, and it's something that the other promoters in the market don't have to work with. I don't really go to artists or managers or agents and say, 'If you play this show for us versus Universal, you'll get more spins for your record.' That's not really what we're all about. But by the same token, when we have an artist we're promoting, they'll get a lot of on-air support."

Jacor seems willing to give the Denver experiment every opportunity to succeed. In addition to hiring Krump, the concern is using the publicity skills of Gibson--who worked in a similar capacity at Fey Concerts before being swept away in a Universal purge--on a show-by-show basis. Moreover, Buswell isn't tiptoeing around the other Denver-area heavyweights. "I don't want to get into a bidding war with anyone, and it's certainly possible that we'll end up partnering shows with Chuck Morris or Universal, who I sort of see right now as an out-of-town promoter," he allows. "But what's most important is that we're passionate about music and about the local scene. And we're going to be a part of it."

A postmortem to last week's article about the Beach Boys. Group co-founder Carl Wilson, whose voice was a primary color in the musical palette utilized by his brother, Brian Wilson, died last week of lung cancer. He was 51.

Thought you'd like to know about a benefit concert for Oumar Dia and Jeannie VanVelkinburgh, who were victims of hate crimes last year. Sponsored by the African Awareness Expos Inc., the spectacle is set to take place on Sunday, February 15, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1750 Welton Street, and will incorporate performances by Bobby Wells, the Healers and many other acts. To RSVP, call 750-8514--and if you'd like to make an additional donation, send it to the Oumar & Jeannie Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 471631, Aurora 80047-1631.

Most folks don't think of Littleton as a great place to see live hip-hop, and with good reason. But on Friday, February 13, at the Ascot Theater, 9136 West Bowles, rap will indeed be visiting this suburb. Stress Crew Productions is scheduled to put on "Hip-Hop Jam '98," featuring a performance by the Stress Crew plus rapping and break-dancing contests, with prizes for the winners. Call 234-1274 to learn more. Also off the beaten path is "Hsing I," a performance on February 13 at the Tivoli Turnhalle on the Auraria campus. Put together by University of Colorado-Denver professor Gregory Walker, it's touted as a "montage of techno music, MTV-style videography and sound bites." Dial 556-2523 if you want specifics. And on Thursday, February 12, Rebis Galleries, at 1930 South Broadway, presents the first of a twice-monthly series of "bizarre music" offerings boldly titled "Philip Glass Is an Ass." God, I miss junior high.

In a recent edition of this column, 16 Horsepower's David Eugene Edwards announced that his band would be appearing on E-Town, the National Public Radio program taped at the Boulder Theater, on Sunday, February 15. Wrong. An E-Town rep reveals that 16 Horsepower will be featured on a future broadcast; the February 15 show stars the Klezmatics and singer-songwriter Martin Sexton, a performer who'll be all over the area this week (he's also at the Swallow Hill Music Hall on Friday, February 13, and the Acoustic Coffeehouse in Nederland on Saturday, February 14). Strangely, I feel more confused than ever.

My beloved dismisses Valentine's Day as a Hallmark holiday. For those of you less besmirched by cynicism, here are some ways to commemorate it: On Saturday, February 14, catch the Crystal Swing Band at the Mercury Cafe; Cabaret Diosa and friends at the Boulder Theater; Mary Flower at Sherman's Coffeehouse; singer-songwriter Andrew Holbrook at the Loveland Museum and Gallery (the info number is 970-962-2410); and Lynn Grasberg and Ira Liss at the Armadillo Restaurant, 2401 15th Street, as part of a musical comedy called Breaking Open. Sounds painful.

The upcoming South by Southwest music conference (March 18-22 in Austin) is growing. In 1997 a record-setting 790 acts were invited to showcase before the nation's record-label reps, band managers, journalists and so on; this year approximately 1,000 are expected to perform. We won't know for a while yet whether the expansion of an already behemoth institution will turn out to be good or bad, but at least Colorado will be well-represented. Five combos from the state are set to appear at the next SXSW, the same number as during the previous edition--and that number would have been higher if Wojo ("Tales of Wojo," September 25, 1997) and the aforementioned 16 Horsepower hadn't declined invitations from the organization. Those locals whom the SXSW minions expect to visit Texas next month are Sherri Jackson, Five Iron Frenzy, Fat Mama, the Apples and the Minders. (The Minders are in the lineup under the auspices of Westword, a longtime co-sponsor of SXSW.)

The other afternoon, I turned on my television and immediately gravitated toward the most intellectual programming I could find--which in this instance turned out to be a half-hour's worth of Scooby Doo. The plot involved an attempt by Scooby and his teen crime-solver pals--such as Shaggy, a dizzy hippie voiced by Casey Kasem--to unmask three mysterious phantoms. The enigma deepened when the trio of Fred, Daphne and Velma happened upon a room with an enormous split in its floor. They debated for a moment about what this clue could mean before Fred announced, "Well, like Shaggy would say, let's follow that crack."

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