Pauline Hale, public-relations director at CU-Boulder, doesn't confirm Dunaway's theory, but she lists several other reasons for Byyny's ruling. "My understanding is that the promoters were expecting 15,000 people for the first concert," she says. "And the chancellor's position is that such a large number of people would take an enormous toll on the area in terms of physical damage. It would also create problems with noise, being so close to the library, and it was not consistent with university policies, which recommend that such concerts should be held indoors."

This last tenet is not set in stone. For example, the Warped Tour, a punk-and-ska traveling circus, has made stops at CU-Boulder before and will do so again this year on July 12 at the university's Franklin Field (a practice field near Folsom Stadium that's not quite large enough to accommodate the Big Adventure). Nevertheless, Dunaway, the program-council head, isn't surprised by Byyny's ruling. "When an administration changes--and Chancellor Byyny started in January of last year--some of the ideas about what is and what isn't quality programming change, too," says Dunaway. "And since the riots on the Hill last year, the questions about alcohol on campus and the attitudes regarding the safety of the student population, I think everybody's being very, very careful. And that can definitely present problems for us."

Hale denies that the university has suddenly become anti-rock and says future outdoor concerts may indeed be approved. Dunaway agrees, adding that he looks forward to working with area promoters on indoor and outdoor shows. But Jacor's Buswell isn't so sure he'll be one of them. At press time he was still scrambling to find a home for the shows, which don't seem controversial to him in the slightest. (The dates are part of Jacor's Concerts for the Cure series; a portion of the proceeds are earmarked for breast-cancer prevention and research.) When asked if CU's moves have made him leery about bringing another outdoor festival to the university, his answer is simple. "Yes," he says.

Upon further (local) review.
Sonar's...TranceTour '97 is the name stamped on a demo by TranceMission, created by a performer who calls himself Mingo. Song titles are absent from the package, but that's understandable, because what's on hand is thirty uninterrupted minutes of techno with plenty of beats per minute but not much personality. This stuff would likely get you going on the dance floor, but it doesn't inspire sitting and listening, as today's best electronica does. Still, there's promise here (C. Wilson, Sonar Productions, 1340 Emerson Street, #6, Denver, CO 80218). Sliding Reins, by Telluride's Sarah Spelsberg, is as folkie-retro as anything by Jewel, but the lack of a pop sensibility makes it an even more difficult listen. Lyrics that practically shout "Aren't I poetic?" don't help matters much, either. ("Come to invade my small space with her void/Loudly fleeting butterfly/Here to lie/And to alight in the smallness of me," from "Barbi's March," should give you an idea of what I mean.) It's all terribly sincere, and Spelsberg can certainly sing, but that's not enough in this case (Sarah Spelsberg, P.O. Box 1772, Telluride, CO 81435).

Coy Kindred's self-titled CD is built around the vocal cords of Lauren Cuggino, whose singing occasionally put me in mind of (seriously) Bonnie Tyler. Backing musicians Monte Thorin, Alec William Sims and Paul Rogalski provide a sufficiently bluesy sonic bed over which Cuggino wails and exhorts. It has its hokey moments, but a couple of numbers, "Dusk" and "Rough Face Girl," are fairly effective. Folks who still can't believe that Janis Joplin is dead should be suitably stimulated by fadeout time. Now, there's a scary thought (Coy Kindred, P.O. Box 7206, Boulder, CO 80306). Keith Rosenhagen, whose album The Other Side comes to us courtesy of Fort Collins-based Hapi Skratch Records, is a singer-songwriter who bares his soul on a regular basis. Because his soul has a lot in common with David Wilcox's, his revelations are often maudlin. But he benefits from the strong production of guitarist Dave Beegle, the virtuosic bass playing of Michael Olson and his own earnestness. It's not my bag, but it could be yours (Hapi Skratch, 2100 West Drake Road, Suite 280, Fort Collins, CO 80526).

Chief Broom, a Westword profile subject ("Hail to the Chief," March 27, 1997), has earned kudos in certain quarters for being a jam band that's not quite as lame as all those other jam bands out there--which, in my view, is a rather backhanded compliment. However, after listening to the group's self-titled CD, I came to the conclusion that faint praise is what the combo deserves. The guitar playing of Bruce Chester Bell and the rolling pianistics of Dave Cieri are certainly solid, but they're also thoroughly predictable: Anyone familiar with Widespread Panic and the like has heard all of this many times before. The musicians' competence and a few lonely sparks of inspiration (such as the comely vocals of Jessica Goodkin on the bluesy "101 Knights") may be enough for some people, but not for me. I'd rather hear an awkward player struggling to come up with something fresh than to listen to a better instrumentalist churning out the same old shit in an extremely professional fashion. But that's just me (available in area record stores).

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