From the week of June 4, 2009

The New Westword Cover

Under Cover

Under that cool, slick cover, I found the same down-and-dirty Westword inside. Nice move!

Heather Vigil

Denver

Wrapping Westword in the new, super-hip 5280-style cover is like wrapping a fish with a cashmere scarf. I prefer the old rag.

Rumaldo Ulibarri

Arvada

How much smaller are you going to get? I like the new slick cover, but at this rate, Westword is going to be the size of a paperback. Anyway, still love Denver's best rag. Keep up the great work.

Mario Acevedo

Denver

Time to fold. Really.

Sean McManus

Denver

I picked up the latest issue of Westword last night, and frankly, I'm still hyperventilating over the new glossy cover. Wow! Is this a temporary, experimental, collectible issue or for reals?

Kim D.

Centennial

Editor's note: It's real, all right — and for keeps. By the way, when we added the glossy cover, the only shrinkage came from trimming the edge of the newsprint as the publication was stapled; the image size is the same.

"Classic Wonk," Ben Westhoff, May 21

Classical Gas

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ben. I couldn't have said it better myself. With 485 radio stations playing the classic-rock format (about 435 too many, IMHO), I have more than ample opportunity to be nauseated many times over the course of any given day, as the radio is always on at work and the classic-rock stations are unavoidable.

I am 47 years old and grew up listening to most of this stuff. Great music, some of it, and not to be discounted or forgotten, by any stretch of the imagination. But let's evolve a little bit, shall we? Gone are the days when you could tune in to a local radio station like KFML Denver and learn what's new and cutting-edge. What is an old fart like me to do? Troll the Internet endlessly looking for new music, I guess. Even my seventeen-year-old daughter is a classic-rock junkie.

There is no escape from the monotony. Please make it stop; I've had enough.

Nate Butler

Wheat Ridge

I agree with the fact that rock stations play way too many classic-rock "hits," but there is a bigger reason why you don't hear more new rock on the radio. Simply put, new music is not as good because it does not require the type of talent that innovative classic-rock groups had. I mean, if Radiohead is the best you have...give me a break. There will never be another Elvis Presley or the Beatles. There will, however, be many more Coldplays and Wolf Parades in the future.

Look at the facts: Alan Hovhaness or Michael Bublé haven't replaced Beethoven or Sinatra on the radio stations that use those formats. Great music will always be great music. Even if you think you love newer bands, if someone gives a listen to Abbey Road or Sticky Fingers, they'll probably further explore classic rock. The greatness of classic rock doesn't lie within Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," but instead inside of their albums like Sabotage or Technical Ecstasy. Greatest-hits packages are for grandmothers who don't love music, so I'd love to see all radio stations stop playing only hits (what happened to the Mountain?); that is something I can agree with Ben on. Also, kids who love music will always listen to their parents' music as long as what the folks play is great and everlasting. I listen to many bands that were around before I was born because of my parents. You know why? Because they were Sabbath and the Beach Boys and not Chris Cornell or Neko Case.

Ed Barcas

Northglenn

I am extremely sympathetic to the opinions that Ben Westhoff put forth. It makes no sense to me why many radio stations have effectively frozen their playlists somewhere around 1980, as if no music of any value was released after that. So whose fault is it? Unimaginative radio programmers? Corporate moguls? Or the lazy listening public? I suspect it's in the relationship between all three. Maybe if people stopped requesting "Hotel California," radio stations would finally give the song a much-needed rest (or maybe they could play a slightly more obscure song by the Eagles). People in their twenties don't seem as trapped by genre restrictions as I was growing up. I'd like to think listeners could handle a radio station that plays a mix of classic rock, a bit of funk, a little indie, etc. It's weird to think that if movie theaters followed the same pattern as radio stations, we'd all be watching movies from the '60s and '70s, over and over again.

Neville Harson

Denver

"The Art of Craft," Off Limits, May 14

Coors, of Course

"Independent craft breweries have always had a brittle relationship with the big boys of Bud, Miller and Coors," says Westword to open its Off Limits item about Coors's arrangement to distribute New Belgium's brews.

Not so.

Back when craft brewers were just getting going, Bill Coors called his tech guys together and told them something like this: "You're going to be getting a lot of calls from guys who are starting up little breweries, and here's what I want you to do: Help them."

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