Westword Music Showcase 2004

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

What do you love about the local scene?
Dulcinea's, particularly. I like the fact that there's grit in that place, and there's not a lot of grit in this town. It seems to be a football and computer town and not a lot else. In there, it tends to be a little grittier and more like real life.

What bugs you about the local scene?
A lot of people are getting recognition for not being able to play. I think it can be a little too friendly sometimes. And a good dose of judgment would go a long way. Everything seems to be a little too equal. I feel like the scene could use a little more active decisiveness -- what's good and what's not.

What's the biggest misconception about your band/act?
Probably that were a straightahead jazz band, because the instrumentation tends to look like that. We love the tradition of jazz, but we're trying to move it forward instead of getting caught in a cul-de-sac.

Love .45
Love .45
DJ Vajra
DJ Vajra

Avalanche or Broncos?
Neither.

DEVOTCHKA
NOMINATED IN AVANT-GARDE

And you are...?
Nick Urata, DeVotchKa

Website?
www.devotchka.net

How long has your act been together?
Since 1997.

Recent recordings of note?
Una Volta (second full-length).

How do you pay the bills? What are your day jobs?
We teach music and Spanish, do taxes and menial labor.

What's the biggest crowd you've ever played for?
1,000.

Favorite places to play?
The Bluebird, Larimer Lounge.

What do you love about the local scene?
There are a lot of great bands. Radio 1190 is the best thing to happen to local music.

Any random facts we should know?
A Russian record label found our first record and actually released it in Russia.

Parting shot/final comments?
I'm sorry these responses are soo boring. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

DJ BEDZ
NOMINATED IN DJ: TURNTABLIST/HIP-HOP
5 P.M., OPAL

And you are...?
Cassidy Bednark, aka DJ Bedz, aka the White Shadow.

Website?
www.djbedz.com

How long has your act been together?
I started back in 1995.

What are some of your noteworthy recent feats?
Performed at KS-107.5's Summer Jam; finished first season as team DJ of the Denver Nuggets; locked up 23rd affiliate on Zeo Radio's nationally syndicated Old School and Urban mix shows; and, of course, my biggest honor, the Best Hip-Hop Mix CD award in Westword's Best of Denver 2004.

Recent recordings of note?
June 2004 Radio Bums monthly mix CD: We put out about 6,000 copies of that particular mix.

How do you pay the bills? What is your day job?
Believe it or not, deejaying pays the bills.

What's the biggest crowd you've ever played for?
I think a sold-out Pepsi Center has 19,000 people in it or so; that would have to be the largest crowd.

Favorite places to play?
There's nothing better than sitting around with a couple of geeky DJ friends at home playing breaks and old school hip-hop.

Why music?
Music moves the soul.

If not music, what else?
Well, I was almost a math major in college before deciding on music composition as my major instead. So who knows where that would have led?

What band names were left on the cutting-room floor in favor of your current one?
I've always been DJ Bedz, the White Shadow. Although I must admit "the Pale Rider" has a nice ring to it.

Funniest/strangest gig story -- local?
I've worked too many drunken, chickenhead, wanna-be thug extravaganzas. To even try to narrow down the list would be ridiculous. Although I did witness a young woman and her special relationship with a beer bottle in the basement of a local nightclub. That will, no doubt, scar me for life.

Worst gig?
Wow, when I first started deejaying, I played to a packed club of like 400 to 500 people every week, and I only got paid $75. (Yeah, I'm calling you out, Tulagi.) Check that -- it was only like $63.58, because I was on the payroll and they deducted taxes.

What do you love about the local scene?
I love the fact that Denver isn't so overwhelmingly big like L.A. or New York. If you work hard, you can achieve the big-fish-in-the-small-pond phenomenon and have almost everybody know who you are and what you do.

What bugs you about the local scene?
People view one another as competition rather than trying to build bridges and form alliances.

What's the biggest misconception about your band/act?
I run into a good amount of people who dismiss me as the "white guy who thinks he's black." But usually that only comes from idiots and people that don't know me, so it doesn't bother me all that much.

Avalanche or Broncos?
Nuggets!!!!!!!

Parting shot/final comments?
Shout-outs to my family, Dad, Mom and Cam, and my crew, the Radio Bums. Thank you to everyone who supports me and allows me to play rap music and get paid for it. Thank you to Westword for all the love; I really appreciate what you guys give back. Peace!

DJ CYSKO ROKWEL
NOMINATED IN DJ: TURNTABLIST/HIP-HOP
3 P.M., OUTDOOR STAGE

And you are...?
DJ Cysko Rokwel, Crunk Brothers.

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