By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
If you want to get technical, the Westword Music Awards Showcase guide at the center of this issue is an advertising supplement. But it's also the most extensive overview of the Denver-Boulder music scene that any area publication will print this year. In addition to a map and a complete schedule for the Showcase, which takes place on Sunday, September 20, at seven lower downtown venues, it includes profiles of all 64 nominees. Members from every act were interviewed, and the conversations yielded a torrent of news, opinions and sometimes intriguing, sometimes humorous takes on music and life in general. What follows are teasers from these sessions. Turn to the guide for the complete picture.
"I guess it's our fault. We thought he was going to die the day we put the CD out, but it turned out to be a slow death."
"We've gotten the go-ahead to do one, and we'd like to have it out in October. We've been really busting it trying to get it done, but we're psyched. There's tons of great stuff to choose from."
--Rob Squires of Big Head Todd and the Monsters talking about the group's forthcoming live CD
"Bumpy Chill, why ask why?/I'm the paparazzi who crashed Princess Di/I know I'm sittin' next to the devil in hell/That's why I pushed baby Jessica down the well/One day I got drunk off scotch/Shot Phil Hartman and his wife and made the children watch..."
--Rapper Bumpy Chill reciting the first rhymes on his forthcoming album
"They said that Elephant 6's home base is in Athens, Georgia, but it's still run from Denver. Athens is part of it, but a lot of the moods and aesthetics of our albums come from here. So that kind of irked me."
--The Apples' Robert Schneider discussing an article about his label, Elephant 6, that appeared in Rolling Stone
"A lot of us got into the jazz genre because there's more room for exploration and for expressing yourself in different ways. And now you turn on a smooth-jazz station and you hear Phil Collins or Luther Vandross, and you think, 'Whoa, is that the competition now?'"
--Dotsero saxophonist Steve Watts on the rise of smooth jazz
"I don't care if I never play with Herman again."
--Drummer Evan Eisentrager making plain why the reggae band Preacherman and the Congregation is on the verge of breaking up
"We still get groupies and some of the women like we used to, but none of us are into that anymore. When we first got back together, we tried it for a couple nights, and it took us about two weeks to recover."
--Marvin "Henchi" Graves of the Freddi-Henchi Band giving new meaning to the term "comeback"
"If everything goes well, things could work out pretty good for us. If it doesn't, we'll stay in local-music obscurity."
"We don't know whether they're going to let us pursue a third record or drop us. And nobody at A&M can tell us what's going on, because they don't know whether they're even going to have their jobs. They don't even know if there's going to be an A&M at all anymore."
--David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower on the chaos at his label, A&M Records
"It's in the scene where Cameron Diaz is talking with all her other women friends. It plays for a long time, but it's not very loud, so you have to listen pretty close to hear it."
--Zuba's Liza Oxnard about the sequence in the hit film There's Something About Mary that features the act's song "Speed Queen"
"When the whole Gramavision thing went down, I just reminded myself that I'm a musician and that all I want to do is keep writing music and putting it out. And as long as people can find it, that's all that matters."
--Jazz trumpeter Ron Miles explaining his approach following the closing of his national label, Gramavision
"[John Elway] threw himself up in the air, landed on his back and spun around like he was breakdancing. The band was stunned. He seems so quiet, but he was going like a madman. And that wasn't all of it. Mike Shanahan tried spinning on his back, too. I was really upset, because I ran out of film just as he was doing it. I wanted that picture--the sedate Mike Shanahan spinning around on the floor."
--Hazel Miller providing a peek into the Denver Broncos' Super Bowl victory party
"The scene in Denver is fickle and a grotesque example of a junior-high-type popularity contest."
--Skull Flux bassist Steve Millin giving one reason why his heavy-rocking quartet nearly called it quits.
"Aren't you impressed with Denver lately? It's starting to feel like a real city."
--Judge Roughneck's Byron Shaw.
Like the aforementioned artists, Adrian Romero is also a nominee for the 1998 Westword Music Awards Showcase--but he probably won't be repeating this achievement in 1999. Why not? Because within a matter of months, he and Ron Voller, the bassist for Romero's band, Love Supreme, are leaving Denver for the bright lights and newly cleaned-up porn palaces of New York City.