Westword Music Showcase 2004

Fifty bands. Ten stages. Five bucks. Be there.

Funniest/strangest gig story -- local?
Look at the next answer.

Funniest/weirdest gig story -- on tour?
There was a time when we left Jeff in Elko, Nevada, and realized he wasn't in the back of the RV when the sheriff's department called.

Worst gig?
There was a show in the middle of the East Coast where a colorful local drunk showed up, and we also were facing threats of abuse by the staff. The music just didn't stand a chance after that.

What do you love about the local scene?
The local scene has supported us from the beginning. We wouldn't have made it if we had started any other place. It's the reason we all still live here. It's a great place to call home.

What bugs you about the local scene?
Nothing bothers me. All the bad times I've had have been somewhere else.

What's the biggest misconception about your band/act?
Often I see in print "Colorado Hippies: the Yonder Mountain String Band." I feel that someone is not doing his homework and is making a stereotype of our audience, which is not fair. We also reject the label of "jam grass," because it doesn't give enough credit for the original music we're writing -- and that, we feel, is making a contribution to acoustic music.

Avalanche or Broncos?
Whichever one had Ray Bourque on it.

Parting shot/final comments?
Thanks! We can't wait to be back in Colorado and play some more music in our home state.

ZEBRA JUNCTION
NOMINATED IN JAM

And you are...?
Zebra Junction, aka Zebra Junction.

Website?
www.zebrajunction.com

How long has your act been together?
About five years.

What are some of your noteworthy recent feats?
We made the top four at the Rock Harvest Battle of the Bands held at Cervantes'. And we started the Monthly Sessions at the Merc. (More on that later.)

Recent recordings of note?
Orange Porridge (2001), and we've been recording new material off and on since this past January.

How do you pay the bills? What are your day jobs?
Instrument repair guy, instrument teacher guy, piano-tuning guy, Supreme Court library guy.

What's the biggest crowd you've ever played for?
I believe it was over 500 people, at the Crested Butte Music Festival.

Favorite places to play?
Upstairs at the Mercury Cafe! Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom. And the Bluebird Theater.

Why music?
Why real jobs?

If not music, what else?
Gigolos.

What band names were left on the cutting-room floor in favor of your current one?
Sitting Zebra, Buck A Scoop, the Four Skins.

Funniest/strangest gig story -- local?
They're all funny/strange! People still don't know what to make of us. Neither do we. Can someone please pigeonhole us!

Funniest/weirdest gig story -- on tour?
We played a retirement home in St. Malo, France, soon after recording Orange Porridge because my mother-in-law worked there. The ones who could hear didn't get it. Neither did we.

Worst gig?
We got booked to play at an art-gallery opening. Got there and found out it was in the middle of an indoor mall. Luckily, it wasn't announced on our website. Old ladies kept sticking their phone numbers in the tip jar.

What do you love about the local scene?
There is a distinct Colorado sound, which fortunately includes accordion.

What bugs you about the local scene?
It's not united...yet. Venues rarely support bands financially, making it extremely difficult to do it full-time.

What's the biggest misconception about your band/act?
That we're just a jam band.

Any random facts we should know?
Lineup change in the works, so we won't be the same as we wuz before we wuz. Picture Zebra Junction playing banjo, uke and toy piano on steroids, man!!

Avalanche or Broncos?
Avalanche.

Parting shot/final comments?
We're making a daring attempt at unifying the Denver underground art scene by putting on shows that bring together cutting-edge painters, sculptors, architects, activists, comedians, musicians, filmmakers, photographers, dancers, graphic artists, etc., and getting them to interact with one another for an evening. People in the audience are welcome to partake in the show. No spectators! Last year we called it the Spin and Swirl Sessions, which started at the Bluebird Theater. This year it's called Monthly Sessions at the Merc. Come and participate in the creation on the second Saturday of every month, upstairs at the Mercury Cafe! Contact us to audition or share your ideas! We're honored to be nominated. Thank you. Now, get off your couches and create something!

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