The Beatdown

Steve Albini is ready for Bright Channel, but is Bright Channel ready for him?

So Bright Channel couldn't have picked a better person to work with. It's no secret that Albini's been giving the world the finger for years.

Upbeats and beatdowns: Magic Cyclops (aka Scott Fuller) is moving at the end of June to be closer to his father, who's retiring in Arizona. Our loss is Flagstaff's gain. Jim Dalton and the Railbenders are competing against thirty other acts -- out of 300 from around the country -- to win "Merle's Music Search." The Merle, of course, is Haggard; the victor in the contest -- sponsored by Nashville's WSM radio -- will open for Haggard and Willie Nelson in Roswell, New Mexico, on July 3, and record a track with the country legend. And Ben Desoto, who's already busier than Donald Rumsfeld's press secretary, has a new gig. In addition to working at Twist & Shout, booking the hi-dive and pounding the skins for D Biddle, Desoto's been tapped as the new timekeeper for the Czars.

Don't forget the Denver Hip-Hop Festival and Summit this weekend. But listen up: The Denver Idol competition on Friday, May 14, at Club Bash isn't free, as I wrote in this space last week; it's $25, but that gets you performances by Frankie J and Baby Bash, as well as the town's best hip-hop talent. For complete festival details, go to www.denverhiphop.com.

Also on Saturday, May 15, Bongo Love gets percussive at the Mercury Cafe; Tyfoid Mary celebrates the release of its new disc, Quarantine, with Dig Six Down, October Episode and Aggressive Persuasion at the Ogden; and the Fairlanes, Call Sign Cobra and Magic Cyclops get one-eyed at the Bluebird.

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