Backwash

The Down-N-Outs call it quits, while Turnsol turns over a new CD.

The great dot.com crash proved that the Internet is not the pot of entrepreneurial gold that start-up types had hoped. But for some of us, the evaporation of so many e-commerce sites is a welcome development, as it leaves more time for discovering the Web's true gems -- like biblical reenactments done in Legos (thereverend.combrick_testament/) or scary photographs of the country's only known Bob Dylan cover band (highway61revisited.com). Or Buddyhead.com -- an irreverent, sarcasm-laden music site run by a couple of guys from Southern California who like to address their readers as "brah."

Buddyhead has gotten some ink outside of the digital realm for its muckraking antics, most of which are aimed directly at musicians that the 'Head contingent despises. The site's completely adolescent but totally hilarious campaign against Limp Bizkit has escalated to the point that frontman Fred Durst has challenged its operators to a fistfight. (Durst was a little upset that the Buddy boys printed his cell-phone number, a trick they have enjoyed playing on lots of people, including Courtney Love and the lads from Drowningman.) And while Buddyhead devotes a sizable portion of its "Gossip" section to ripping apart bands that suck for one reason or another, it also sometimes reads like an audiophile's Drudge Report -- debunking hype (the writers love to make fun of current it-band the Strokes by pointing out that lead singer Julian Casablancas was in the movie Big) while breaking news. Buddyhead's Travis and Aaron are slated to be at Boulder's Tulagi on Friday, November 9, where they'll serve as roving smartasses/makeshift merch men for the Icarus Line. Cave In headlines the show, which should make for an intense evening of some mighty fine rock and roll. Can we all say "Brah" together?

Something is really bringing me Down: The Down-N-Outs are the latest Denver musicians to throw in the sweaty towel, officially making 2001 the Year of the Unfortunate Breakup. Singer/guitarist Jim Chandler is moving to rainy ol' Seattle, leaving his fellow players and fans to long for the days when the band's clever, rambunctious and stupefying garage rock was among the city's more consistent staples. The Down-N-Outs' show this week -- Friday, November 9, at the 15th Street Tavern -- will be its last. New York's Toilet Boys, L.A.'s Lazy Cowgirls and locals Hemi Cuda will help to make it a memorable sendoff. Ah, Jim, you told us that you loved us, but it just wasn't true.

Turnsol
Turnsol

If the karmic wheel spins in such a way that one band springs back to life as another one fades away, Turnsol may be the act to keep things in balance. The Denver-based rock outfit called it quits more than two years ago, despite the fact that its highly accessible pop sound translated into a large local following and seemed well suited to wider success. Led by singer/guitarist Fred Gilmore, Turnsol perfected the kind of adult-contemporary rock in which stations such as KBCO specialize: well played, emotionally driven, hooky, and safe as milk. The band's material was largely crafted by guitarist Scott Willhite, an eclectically minded player whose countrified solo projects suggested a depth of strangeness never realized in Turnsol's mainstream offerings. During its three-year run, the band recorded two albums -- 1996's In the Sun and 1986's Carry Me This -- before saying farewell in a final show at the Soiled Dove in August of 1999. Fitting, then, that the band has chosen the Dove as the site for its reunion show on Saturday, November 10. The show is a CD-release party for Unheard Of, a new, from-the-vaults kind of Turnsol record that includes recordings culled from live performances as well as studio sessions and rehearsals. And though band manager Tom Lord says Saturday's show is a one-night-only kind of gig, we wouldn't be surprised to see this act stick around for a while. It wouldn't be unheard of, at least.

Backwash (and a lot of other people, too) has seen the light of a bright new band that is suddenly turning up everywhere. Since the Sparkles -- who claim former members of the Felt Pilotes, Koala, Why Planes Go Down and the Jet Star Project -- got together just under a year ago, they've generated more buzz than an electric toothbrush. Could it be the Sparkles' matching outfits, accented by luminescent neckwear, that make the kiddies swoon? Or is it their kooky combination of a campy performance aesthetic and solid, goofball rocking? It really is difficult to say. Perhaps some further evidence will turn up when the band lights up the Tavern on Monday, November 12, with Les Savy Fav and Mr. Pacman.

Can you wish a radio show a happy birthday? I suppose so. E-town, the Boulder-beamed NPR performance program, continues to celebrate its tenth anniversary with an extra-special edition, to be held at Macky Auditorium (on the CU/Boulder campus) rather than the show's usual Boulder Theater digs. Lyle Lovett, the endearingly quaffed crooner who appeared on e-town's very first broadcast, will appear alongside Bruce Cockburn and gospel greats the Fairfield Four. According to e-town host Nick Forster, he and Lovett established a friendship back when Forster was with Boulder's bluegrass forefather, Hot Rize. Fortunately, the relationship has endured, which is why audiences can look forward to seeing Lovett in a more intimate configuration than usual: The songwriter will appear with only a handful of backing musicians, not his full Large Band. Lyle and the rest of the acts on this large bill will appear at Macky on Friday, November 9. Don't touch that dial.

 
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