Thirty Imposters do battle with the Warlock Pinchers' past.

Mr. Pacman, Scott Baio Army, DJ Skunk and Bill Picket's Invitational Rodeo are among the many, many other bands that make contributions here. The players are not all local; the Melvins, who once shared a label, Boner Records, with the Pinchers, contribute a grinding take on "Arnie," while the Haters give up a "Pinchers Tribute" and Il Martello di Ester performs "Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse" -- in Italian. Former teen mall-popster Tiffany makes an appearance as well, though I doubt she knows it.

Several Imposters bands will perform on Saturday, May 25, at Monkey Mania (2126 Arapahoe Street) as part of a CD-release party where the album, as well as merchandise material from the Pinchers' back catalogue, will be available. Both the show and the album might well reawaken your nostalgia for the Pinchers, a band that clearly left an indelible gash on the psyche of Denver's creative front before disbanding a decade ago. Then again, they're also nice reminders that the city still claims as its own plenty of oddball kids who like to play with audio -- and who deconstruct songs just for the sheer joy of putting them back together again.

'Tis the season of shameless self-promotion. So let's get on with it, shall we?

The 2002 Westword Music Showcase is nearly upon us. We've moved the event to Sunday, June 9, to lessen the likelihood of interference from oh, say, a blizzard (such as the one that decided to show up an hour before last year's May event kicked off). This year's Showcase will feature more than thirty bands in venues along the 1900 block of Market Street, including an outdoor stage, where the Dudes (formerly the Subdudes) will cap the al fresco performances. (The Dudes are not included on the Music Showcase ballot, but sixty other bands are: Find yours elsewhere in this issue or through Backwash truly can't recall a better or more well-rounded group of Showcase acts than this year's: There are many new names, as well as plenty of familiar ones, thanks to the intrepid -- and expanded -- committee of people who helped us shape the 2002 list.

Also new is Music Lowdown 2002, a two-day seminar of music-industry news, information and advice taking place in the Auraria Campus's high-tech King Center facility on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9. A joint effort of Westword, the Colorado Music Association and the University of Colorado at Denver's College of Arts and Media, the Lowdown is our best shot at a SXSW-type industry conference and is, frankly, a swell opportunity for those who seriously hope to make a living out of this crazy business called show. You'll cry, you'll learn, you'll get a free lunch. You'll be able to ask Ani DiFranco's business partner what she thinks of your latest masterpiece. (A representative from Righteous Babe Records is among the professionals participating in the Lowdown, alongside delegates from TVT Records, College Music Journal, ASCAP, What Are Records? and Sci-Fidelity Records, to name a few.) The program includes a trade show, panel discussions on topics of interest to aspiring and established artists, songwriters, managers and agents, as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions and song critiques by panelists and assorted expert types. (Registrants over 21 years of age also receive a wristband to the Westword Music Showcase.)

Curious? Why don't you just sign up already? Visit for the lowdown.

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