In a review of John Herdt's CD Rip City, published in these pages back in 1995, I praised the main man's guitar playing but identified his singing as "an acquired taste" (which was an example of me being as kind as possible). Fortunately, Sidelong Glance, Herdt's latest, concentrates on his instrumental acumen as opposed to his pipes. Although it was recorded on a four-track, the disc boasts good sound quality and a wide range of styles, from the lively "Believe Me" to the atmospheric "Poudre Canyon." When Herdt opens his yap, as he does on "Serious Jones" and "Country Boy Gone to Town," he tests your patience quite severely, but his picking, plucking and shredding are consistently diverting (John Herdt, 753 South Union Boulevard, Denver, CO 80229). The demo by Boulder's Merry Madness made me think of the Police--and I'm betting that most other people who've heard it are behind me 100 percent. "Dinner With Myself" has a particularly Reggatta de Blanc flavor, and Ian Cramer's Stingy vocals on "Get It Right" and "Ox" don't do a lot to dispel this impression. The drumming of Christopher Wylie, the bass playing of Jeff DeWeese and Cramer's guitar leaps are accomplished; as for the songs, you've been there and done that (Christopher Wylie, 4800 Baseline Road, Suite E104-264, Boulder, CO 80303-4623).

Wacky name-change news: To reflect recent personnel changes, Filmstrip has altered its moniker to (ready for this?) The Filmstrip. The act joins San Francisco's Luxt (not the Luxt) at the 15th Street Tavern on Thursday, July 2.

In a Hit Pick that ran in last week's issue, I cheered the return of Nebula 9 and the reunion of the group's founding members, Jim Stout and Julian Bradley. As it turns out, I got it half right. Nebula 9 is indeed back, but this year's model is a one-man show starring Stout; Bradley is not participating. I regret the error--as well as so many other things that I'd need another twenty columns just to list them all.

Don't worry--I'm not going to try. On Thursday, July 2, Jinx Jones and the Tel Rays hit Herman's Hideaway, and the New Morty Show debuts at the Fox Theatre, with David Booker. On Friday, July 3, Jerry's Kids accept donations at the Boulder Theater, with JAKA, and Gas Huffer tanks up at the Bluebird Theater, with Whatever... and the Gain. On Saturday, July 4, the Wicked Farleys turn nasty at the 15th Street Tavern, with Blue Ontario. On Sunday, July 5, Man or Astro-man? takes a space odyssey at the Bluebird, and the Gluey Brothers inhale deeply at the Fox. And on Wednesday, July 8, Harry Tuft and Mag Hayden stage a picnic concert in the backyard at Swallow Hill. Bring your own condiments.

--Michael Roberts

Backbeat's e-mail address is: While you're online, visit Michael Roberts's Jukebox at

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