By Isa Jones
By Mary Willson
By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
The primary reason that KRRF, which is part of the Chancellor Broadcasting empire, picked up CPR is its grassroots popularity. KKYD was barely on life support during Trip's tenure there, but thanks to word of mouth, he says, "I'd get between 75 and 150 phone calls from around town every time I was on. The phones were so crazy that I actually had to get a phone screener to help me keep up with them." To ensure that CPR survived, Trip began negotiating with KRRF's Mason Lewis about two months ago, and eventually an agreement was struck. "It's really a great deal," says Trip. "The other studio that I had was falling apart, but the one at Ralph is beautiful--a nice, new, digital studio that has the power of Chancellor behind it. It's really exciting how far we're going to be able to reach now and how many new listeners we're going to be picking up. Now kids in Fort Collins and the Springs will be able to check out what's going on, too."
As before, Trip will dedicate approximately 25 percent of his program to local acts, and he'll also invite bands from Colorado and beyond to appear live in-studio. And although the length of the show is half of what it was on KKYD (a situation he hopes to rectify eventually), he's planning to branch out on other fronts. "We have a CPR skate deck coming out soon, and a whole new line of T-shirts, and we're also going to do some 21-and-over shows at Cricket on the Hill," he says. "We're just trying to keep this punk-rock radio thing alive for all the kids to listen to."
Toni Cook also has a program on KRRF; it runs from noon to 1 p.m. Sundays. But she's no punk-rocker. Instead, she's the pastor of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, at 1615 Ogden Street--and she's a controversial one at that. Her church is currently embroiled in a conflict with United Methodist's national leadership over the issue of same-gender marriages, which are sometimes called "holy union" ceremonies. "They say we can't continue to do it, even though they've been doing it at St. Paul's since probably 1980, and I've been doing it for the whole nine and a half years I've been there," she notes. "And we're saying we're not going to stop doing this. We think all relationships of healthy, committed love are blessed."
As these comments imply, Cook is hardly a religious traditionalist: "I grew up in the Sixties," she says. "I know what fun is." To that end, she's come up with a new-to-Denver concept in church services that's kicking off at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 8--and music is an important part of it. Dubbed "Wild Worship," the session will spotlight what Cook describes as "techno DJ sounds--and Hazel Miller will be there live. There's going to be a light show, too, and lots of dancing."
The theme of the first "Wild Worship"--"Rave, Rage, Reconnect"--offers a clue to Cook's goals. "People are looking for meaning, but they're turned off by old-fashioned worship, because it's boring," she says. "And even if we have a great message--an expansive message about healing and love--if it's presented in a deadening way, then it's not relating to the average person, or at least not to young people or the young at heart. It's a message that people aren't getting. That's why when a lot of people think of churches, they think of the ones that are filled with hate-mongers who are trying to squash the rights of gays and lesbians and promoting oppressive laws about abortion. They're not hearing the alternative voice that we're trying to get out.
"That's why we've come up with this experiment--an experiment to make the medium part of the message. We believe that life is vibrant and full of meaning and intensity, and we want to get that across in a worship setting--but not in any dogmatic way. This is open, it's in your face, it's multicultural."
Obviously, Cook has a lot to say, and she does so in a provocative way: The topic she'll be discussing on her KRRF program on Sunday, September 6, is, "Do all Christians have to believe in God?" But she promises that those who come to "Wild Worship" won't feel like they're at a debate: "There won't be any long-winded sermons. There'll be less words and more music."
A.J. Salas (see page 74) isn't the only local musician who'll be gigging at this year's Taste of Colorado, which runs downtown from Friday, September 4, through Sunday, September 7: Sketch, the Emergency Broadcast Players and plenty of others are also playing for your pleasure.
Herman's Hideaway is sponsoring its annual "Rock Out AIDS" benefit from Thursday, September 3, through Saturday, September 5. Over the course of these three nights, you'll have an opportunity to bid on goods up for auction, sign up for a September 13 AIDS walk and hear music by a boatload of local groups. Among those in the spotlight on September 3 are Tequila Mockingbird and Opie Gone Bad; Turnsol and Carolyn's Mother are part of the bill on September 4; and September 5 includes Matthew Moon, Yo, Flaco! and more, more, more. By the way, Herman's is also the site of a September 13 pre-party for the Westword Music Awards Showcase, a week to the day prior to the big event itself (turn to the Showcase ballot on page 110 for more details and your opportunity to vote). The appetite-whetting bash at Herman's features Showcase nominee Nina Storey, several other acts to be named later, and Showcase-oriented giveaways.