By Isa Jones
By Mary Willson
By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
Even if the worst happens, Drumm is confident he'll survive. He's a regular freelancer for numerous national labels, and lately he's been doing better than ever: Hot on the heels of a video shoot in San Francisco for the alterna-band Eve 6, he was contracted by Atlantic Records to document a July 6 concert in Chicago starring singer/sitcom star Brandy. "The budget is twice what we've ever had to work with before," Drumm says. Meanwhile, Bernson says that Teletunes producer Justin Kennedy and Rich Italiano, who's served as music director for the show since 1986, "have every intention of regrouping and having the show back on the air before long--and I hope they do it. I'd like to see Teletunes come back and be more eclectic and tied more into the local music scene."
Still, Bernson acknowledges, there are no guarantees. "We haven't ever had a strong sales force behind the show, ever, and stations like ours have to watch the bottom line. There's no free lunch anymore--not even for public broadcasting."
Local discs to discover, local tapes to tape.
Today's Nebula Nine is a one-man show: With Julian Bradley out of the picture, Jim Stout does it for himself on Live From My Sampler--and the disc demonstrates that he hasn't lost a step. The fourteen songs are blended into a seamless, nonstop barrage of dance mayhem that's on a level very few of his peers across the globe hit consistently. (Why he remains one of the dance world's best-kept secrets is totally beyond me.) Everything's impressive, but I most enjoyed the tempo-twisting "Flip the Track," the don't-stop-till-you-get-enough joy of "Get Down," the persuasive "Siren," which uses one, and an orgasmatron of a song called, suitably enough, "I Like It." Me, too (DaBoom Records, 214 East 13th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203). Denver's Mark Shumate formed Bohemia Beat Records several years ago mainly because he really, really likes Texas-based singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave, recently profiled in these pages ("A LaFave Rave," June 10). His latest demonstration of fandom is his release of Trail, a two-CD live offering back-loaded with covers, including a dozen Bob Dylan compositions. As a career move, it's a non-starter, but it shows off a fine concert performer: LaFave's balls-out heartland style is as effective on the mournful "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" as it is on "If You Want to See Me Rock," a party-timer he wrote himself. A lot of you will like this--although probably not as much as Mark Shumate does (available in area music stores).
Like Bradford Robinson's previous CD, It's Ironic...But So Is This, the new disc Enthusiastically Lost boasts sound quality that's far above the local-artist norm: Robinson's voice and the various instruments that surround it stand out as plainly as the chin on Jay Leno's face. But he falls somewhat short of accomplishing his apparent goal--to become the next Bruce Cockburn. The songs are solid but samey (one tempo pretty much fits all), and Robinson's lines often show some strain: I was particularly thunderstruck when he delivered the daffy couplet "She claimed she smelled like Elvis/It explained why she looked so scared" (from "Red Flag") without his tongue in his cheek. Then again, maybe I'm the only one who thinks that's more funny than profound. Back to the books again (firstname.lastname@example.org). In all likelihood, the members of Moore are convinced that the Scorpions and Iron Maiden remain the only bands that matter. How else to explain American Vampire, a disc on Nightwing Records that's aimed straight at the metal-forever crowd. Typical are "Dr. Jack," which tells the tale of a murderer who's half-Ripper/half-Kevorkian over ye olde chugging riffs, and "The Killing Zone," a supposedly disturbing rocker chock-a-block with images like "Evil lives behind my eyes" and "Blood is freedom's stain." I know of a good cleanser that can get that out (Nightwing Records, P.O. Box 470277, Aurora, CO 80047-0277).
KBCO's World Class Rockfest, July 10 and 11 at Winter Park, has a more intriguing lineup than usual. Participants on day one include the aforementioned Ziggy Marley, Jamiroquai, Galactic and Ozomatli; day two includes Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Los Lobos and Westword profile subject Susan Tedeschi ("Suddenly Susan," March 25).
Kurt Ohlen left the Dalhart Imperials earlier this year because he wanted to tour, but his bandmates didn't. He's spent most of his time since then playing bass behind well-traveled Texas rockabilly legend Ronnie Dawson. As a bonus, he's set to appear with Dawson on Tuesday, July 13, on The Conan O'Brien Show.
And you aren't. On Thursday, July 8, Karrin Allyson, hyped as "a blond Edith Piaf," plays the chanteuse at the Denver Botanic Gardens Outdoor Amphitheater, and Five Iron Frenzy joins Face to Face and No Motiv at the Snake Pit. On Friday, July 9, Cunning Linguist licks the competition at Cricket on the Hill, with Babafats and Product 626, and Westword contributor Marty Jones and his Pork Boilin' Po' Boys open for Slim Cessna's Auto Club at the 15th Street Tavern. On Saturday, July 10, the Melvins, mentioned in this space last week, play a free show at 1:30 p.m. at the Wax Trax vinyl store. On Sunday, July 11, Loudon Wainwright III ambles to an E-Town taping at the Boulder Theater co-starring blues duo Cephas and Wiggins. On Tuesday, July 13, Boy Sets Fire plays with matches at the Raven, with Still Left Standing, Knowital and Los Terribles, and Los Angeles-based Big Bang Theory makes sense of the universe at the Cricket. And on Wednesday, July 14, the Cadillac Angels, visiting the Mercury Cafe, play selections from the instrumental CD Nobody Sings or the Guitar Gets It! Shut up and dance.
Backbeat's e-mail address is: Michael_Roberts@westword.com.