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From the week of August 4, 2005

The Vinyl Solution

On the edge:In the July 28 "Art Attack," Ernie Tucker did a pretty good job profiling Jack Jensen and his new venture at the old Ichabod's, may it rest in peace. However, it seems Tucker was hypnotized by Jensen's Buddy Holly cool -- enough so that he missed some big points.

Jensen is not a "hated artist," as he so proudly states; he's simply an asshole. He took over a unique situation, fired the sweet old guys who made it that way, supplanted the good energy there with his arrogant negativity, and walks around beaming about it. He's no anarchist -- he's a blueblood capitalist, cloaking a mean-spirited take on life with his so-called edginess.

I can only dream that instead of ducking Vietnam, this dude should have gone there, gone somewhere, and learned about humility and human value. There's still hope for him -- and if he ever gets it, I'd bet the vinyl would go back to a buck, where it belongs.

Dan Waltz
Englewood


Flood Zone

All wet:Enough with the gushing over Born in the Flood! Last week's letters sound like the band wrote them for shameless self-promotion. Didn't this band win the ManiaTV! battle of the bands? Doesn't the singer's girlfriend work for ManiaTV? (Yes, and yes.) In addition, the band sounds exactly like Coldplay. The only thing halfway interesting about them is their over-the-top light show.

When will Denver start supporting a band with originality instead of rallying behind yet another corporate-sounding (boring) band? Come on, Denver!

Karen Ruthenbeck
Denver


Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow

To Heller and back:Jason Heller, you write about music with one of the most colorful and knowledgeable attitudes I have ever encountered. Any more, I pick up Westword only to read your stuff.

Well, and to find out where the free beer is...

Ben Makinen
Denver


Stung by a W.A.S.P.

Cheap trick:I just read The Beatdown in the July 21 issue. It's hard to take it seriously when it appears that Dave Herrera has a huge agenda -- and I'm not even a W.A.S.P. fan.

First, if he thinks a guy spent 150K to renovate a club for two shows, Herrera shouldn't be writing articles for a school newspaper.

Second, the problem with the soundman happens at many venues (although not the bullet-to-the-head comment). From what I've read, the bands on this tour contract with the venue to supply a professional soundman; this is part of the negotiation process. From my reading on metalsludge.tv, this club promised a pro, then refused to pay for one, and instead got some local goof to run the sound. He admits he wasn't paid and didn't know what he was doing.

So, you mean to tell me a guy spends 150K to get ready for a show and then is too cheap to hire a soundman as he's contractually obligated to? Do your homework, Herrera. Really.

Benjamin Wernett
Yucaipa, California

That's showbiz:Thank you for the great article on the W.A.S.P. show. Herrera pretty much summed it up.

Jim Moore
via the Internet

Blackie mark:As a diehard W.A.S.P. fan, I can find no way to defend Blackie Lawless's behavior. It would be easy to make excuses and say that Blackie was having an off night, but as much as I love this band that I grew up listening to, the truth is that Blackie's actions were simply bullshit.

The thing I find most annoying about fans' accounts on metalsludge.tv is that no one defends the other bands that gave 110 percent. Indeed, Metal Church (the opening band and the MVPs of the night) were the ones who apologized for the fact that two local units got bumped from the show -- something that Blackie should really have done. These bands deserve notice for keeping the night from being a total disaster.

I guess the one thing Denver fans can say is that we're a lot luckier than a friend of mine who caught a W.A.S.P. show in Vegas and was treated to a 35-minute concert because there were problems with the sound system. (Sound familiar?) Blackie got on the mike and told the audience the sound system in the room sucked and he wasn't about to cheat the fans out of their hard-earned money by giving them a bad show. He then left the venue without refunding any of the ticket money, and I'm sure he treated the promoters and venue staff as nicely as he did the Oriental staff.

It is truly a shame that it panned out that way for the promoters who were trying to bring some fun and happiness to the Denver area. I certainly hope this is not the end of concerts at the Oriental, as I have fond memories of this particular venue (I used to watch movies there as a kid in the '80s -- Blackie's era, no less), and Asia did an amazing job there on July 17. As for W.A.S.P., well, as much as I love the band, at this point I don't think I'll be looking forward to another show anytime soon. I think Blackie just shot himself in the foot.

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