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  • Article

    Lighter Than Air - On its new long-player, Helium gets ethereal.

    A few years ago, when rage was all the rage, Mary Timony, singer and guitarist for the Boston-based band Helium, spread breathy layers of female angst over slabs of guitar sludge. But things have changed. While other artists formerly known as angry y...

    by Amy Kiser on October 30, 1997
  • Article

    Echo Bounces Back - Ian McCulloch on the surprisingly welcome return of Echo and the Bunnymen.

    At one point or another during the first half of the Nineties, virtually every minor band that had a lightweight MTV hit ten years earlier reunited--and for the most part, I didn't care. Book of Love, Suicidal Tendencies: Sure, I liked them, but it w...

    by Susan Dunlap on October 30, 1997
  • Article

    Feedback

    Regular perusers of Westword's Letters column may have noticed that I occasionally come in for criticism from a percentage of this publication's readers, each of whom I love and admire in a sincere and personal way. But I've never received abuse as e...

    by Michael Roberts on October 30, 1997
  • Article

    Guilty Pleasures - A list of the lousiest songs a guy ever loved.

    Seven years ago this month, Westword published my list of the 100 worst hit songs of the rock era ("The Scum Also Rises," October 24, 1990). But this countdown to mediocrity, which began with Andy Gibb's "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" and ended with ...

    by Michael Roberts on October 30, 1997
  • Article

    No Synthetics Allowed - The musical fabric of the Ray-Ons.

    "We're not a band for vegetarians, you know," says Kyle Loving, guitarist and frontman for Denver's Ray-Ons. "But if you like meat and potatoes, I think you can dig it." True enough, there are no frills on the Ray-Ons' menu--just the rocking rif...

    by James Mayo on October 30, 1997
  • Article

    Feedback

    Rumors. Without them, there might be a lot of empty space in this column every week. But, as even I have to acknowledge, they're not always true. Take the chatter surrounding City Spirit, a restaurant and nightspot at 1434 Blake Street that came...

    by Michael Roberts on October 23, 1997
  • Article

    Variety, Country Style - On two new reissues, a pair of C&W legends refuse to paint by the numbers.

    Folks trying to fathom commercial country music in 1997 need to look no further than this summer's presentation in New York City's Central Park by singer-songwriter Garth Brooks. The concert, televised live on HBO, drew a leviathan crowd of corn-fed ...

    by Michael Roberts on October 23, 1997
  • Article

    A Rainbow in Brown - Blue is only one of the musical colors produced by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.

    Over the fifty years he's been performing in public, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, 73, has earned seven Grammy nominations and numerous W.C. Handy awards, played alongside pupils such as Eric Clapton, Leon Russell and Ry Cooder, and developed a multi-g...

    by Marty Jones on October 23, 1997
  • Article

    Harp Attack

    "All harpists do not have long blond hair, and they aren't tall and willowy and quiet," declares Boston-based harp virtuoso Deborah Henson-Conant. "Not by a long shot." Henson-Conant is living proof of this claim. Not only is she a musical innova...

    by Linda Gruno on October 23, 1997
  • Article

    Cast of 1000

    Every musician has a story about gigs from hell, but few of these tales can compare with the one told by Michael Rains, bassist and vocalist for Denver's 1000 RPM. The band was booked to play a back-to-classes bash at the Colorado School of Mines, wh...

    by John Jesitus on October 23, 1997
  • Article

    Bishop Moves On - In the face of tragedy, Denver's L.L. Bishop keeps dancing.

    That Denver DJ Larry (L.L.) Bishop remains deeply involved in dance music is a tribute to his resilience. After all, his wife and constant companion, Wreath Rose Bishop, died in an automobile accident in Boulder a mere five months ago, and thoughts o...

    by Kelly Lemieux on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    Feedback

    Our hard-hitting media colleagues have spent the past several days eulogizing John Denver, who died in a plane crash last weekend at the age of 53, not as a drunk driver and a gasoline hoarder, but as an environmental activist and a boon to Colorado ...

    by Michael Roberts on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    Playlist

    Steve Earle El Corazon (Warner Bros.) When the country-music establishment turned its back on Earle, a reformed junkie and unrehabilitated loudmouth, he turned his back on the country-music establishment. For that reason and many others, yo...

    by Jack Jackson on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    Music That Registers

    According to Devon Rodgers, drummer for Register, "I think you'd become more famous starting your own sporting team than you would by becoming a musician in Denver." Fortunately, fame isn't the primary motivation for Rodgers and his married band...

    by James Mayo on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    System's Abnormal - K Records founder Calvin Johnson leads Dub Narcotic Sound System down the road less traveled.

    The musical explosion that took place in the Pacific Northwest during the late Eighties and early Nineties wasn't exactly a secret; if memory serves, a few million gallons of ink were spilled in telling the tale of the so-called grunge movement. But ...

    by Michael Roberts on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    Feedback

    A lot of observers out there still don't believe that the Denver-Boulder area has a dance scene, and Hardy Kalisher of Boulder's Sol Productions knows why. "I see us as having three separate music communities," he says. "One is the promoters, who spe...

    by Michael Roberts on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Good Prince, Bad Prince - Reports of Prince's creative death have been greatly exaggerated.

    Journalists like yours truly are fond of claiming that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but that's not always the case--and Prince Roger Nelson can prove it. He almost single-handedly made pop music in the Eighties tolerable, but as the decade...

    by Michael Roberts on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Total Control - The Olivia Tremor Control, part of Denver's Elephant 6 family, shakes up the underground.

    Many of the pop sounds that crowd the airwaves are not so much the spawn of earlier eras as they are slightly embellished clones of their forebears. Make no mistake--the many genres that are competing in this fin de siecle revue are valid, with rich ...

    by Amy Kiser on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Justin's Times

    Although numerous reggae lovers feel that 55-year-old Justin Hinds is one of the best vocalists in the music's history, only a handful of Americans are familiar with him--and many of them know him better as a hotelier than as a singer. "I have a...

    by Joshua Green on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Nichols for Your Thoughts

    Singer-songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols is flattered that many of those who've heard his new CD, Lover's Knot, feel that his writing is poetic. But that doesn't mean he does. "I don't write poetry; I write lyrics," he says. "And the lyrics that I writ...

    by Kelly Lemieux on October 9, 1997
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