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  • Article

    Hey, Denver Joe - How'd you get that drink in your hand--and that incredible way with a song?

    It's a rainy Monday night in Denver, but a small crowd has braved the elements to hear a local legend. Denver Joe Vasquez, wearing a black broad-brimmed hat, black shirt, blue jeans and boots, steps to the microphone and delivers his trademark greeti...

    by Marty Jones on October 10, 1996
  • Article

    Seeing Red - Red House Painter Mark Kozelek wants you to know that he isn't suicidal.

    Midway through a telephone interview, Mark Kozelek, the artisan behind Red House Painters, says, "If I haven't been articulate, maybe you could edit me a little. I sound like a retard when I blab. So try to make me sound like I know what I'm talking ...

    by Michael Roberts on October 10, 1996
  • Article

    The Shed Spread - This summer's outdoor-concert season was the weakest in years. Doesn't anyone want to hear music outside anymore?

    In early June, on the cusp of the summer concert season, I received an e-mail message from a reader, Bryan Matheny, who had a terrifying anecdote to relate. "I usually have my radio dialed in to the benign KVOD when I wake up in the morning," he wrot...

    by Michael Roberts on October 3, 1996
  • Article

    Dirty Work - The Dirty Three make instrumental music with plenty to say.

    "I'm in Boston, in bed with a fucked knee, drinking cold coffee," laments Warren Ellis, violinist extraordinaire for Australia's Dirty Three. But in describing how he earned his wound, a hint of pride seeps through the cloud-cover of his exasperation...

    by Amy Kiser on October 3, 1996
  • Article

    Feedback

    On the surface, it seemed to be a fairly benign, straightforward press release. Dated September 17 and sent from the offices of Fey Concerts, the announcement (headlined "The Cranberries Forced to Cancel Remaining Dates of Their 1996 U.S. Tour") stat...

    by Michael Roberts on October 3, 1996
  • Article

    Twisted Sisters

    "We're a very high-maintenance band," confesses Christina Ortega, singer and guitarist for the Front Range's Velveeta Sisters. "When we get gigs, we tell them, 'We really need a big dressing room with electrical outlets, okay? Trust me--when you see ...

    by John Jesitus on October 3, 1996
  • Article

    Low Profile

    "We like to see how little we can get away with," says Zak Sally, bassist for Duluth, Minnesota's Low. "If there's too much in a song, we try to pare away as much as is completely possible. We like to keep it as minimal as we can." And minimal i...

    by Brad Jones on October 3, 1996
  • Article

    The New Traditionalists

    The New York-based sextet called the Klezmatics is known for playing "in the tradition." But Klezmatics trumpeter/keyboardist/arranger Frank London denies that this reputation means the band is unadventurous. "We make informed choices," he says. "We ...

    by Linda Gruno on October 3, 1996
  • Article

    Minders Over Matter

    Keeping track of who plays what in the Minders is comparable to following the trysts in a typical episode of Melrose Place. In other words, everyone plays everything. The music made by this Denver-based band results from instrument-swapping and idea-...

    by Susan Dunlap on September 26, 1996
  • Article

    Not-So-Young Turks - The New Bomb Turks are hitting harder because they're hitting slower.

    During his interview with Westword, New Bomb Turks vocalist Eric Davidson interrupts his frenetic monologues only long enough to take quick slurps from what must be his twentieth cup of joe that day. But caffeine isn't the only explanation for the fr...

    by Amy Kiser on September 26, 1996
  • Article

    Playlist

    R.E.M. New Adventures in Hi-Fi (Warner Bros.) Pearl Jam No Code (Epic) By most standards, these albums have been as highly anticipated as any released this season, and why not? After all, they come from two of the most critica...

    by James Mayo on September 26, 1996
  • Article

    Positive Vibrations

    Stay Positive is more than just the title of reggae star Pato Banton's new album. It's become something of a life philosophy for the Birmingham, England, native--and that, he believes, has everything to do with his success as a performer. "For m...

    by Joshua Green on September 26, 1996
  • Article

    Soul Woman - Me'Shell Ndegeocello fights the powers that be.

    At a time when most music-industry powers view artistic ambition with suspicion, Me'Shell Ndegeocello is among the most mistrusted performers in show business. Her new album, Peace Beyond Passion, is a musically persuasive, lyrically devastating look...

    by Michael Roberts on September 26, 1996
  • Article

    Feedback

    The Westword Music Awards Showcase--an on-site report. At 6 p.m. Sunday evening, September 22, I strolled into a room adjacent to McCormick's Fish House & Bar and found Johnny Long peeling off blues licks from his trusty guitar while a drummer wh...

    by Michael Roberts on September 26, 1996
  • Article

    Not-So-Mellow Yellowman

    Dancehall reggae champion Yellowman was first motivated to make music by a couple of admittedly unlikely heroes. "From my growing up, I loved Elvis," he reveals. "I grew up listening to him and Neil Diamond on the radio from when I was twelve years o...

    by Joshua Green on September 19, 1996
  • Article

    Feedback

    Many folks outside the music scene were startled last week when Al Laughlin, longtime keyboard player for the Samples, was arrested in connection with the burglary of a Boulder apartment building. But fans who closely follow the combo weren't surpris...

    by Michael Roberts on September 19, 1996
  • Article

    Take Them to Your Leaders - Man or Astro-man? announces plans for world domination.

    Somewhere in the heartland of this great nation of ours, Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard, one of the masterminds behind the intergalactic surf-rock foursome called Man or Astro-man?, is doing what he does every night--plotting to take over the worl...

    by Brad Jones on September 19, 1996
  • Article

    Amazing Feet - Bassist Jeffrey Marshall hasn't found an obstacle yet that he couldn't overcome.

    "I play keyboards, guitar, harmonica and bass," mentions Jeffrey Marshall from the balcony of his downtown Denver apartment. This in itself is impressive but hardly unparalleled; many musicians can lay claim to multi-instrumental talents. But it's un...

    by Marty Jones on September 19, 1996
  • Article

    Westword Music '96 Awards Showcase - 1 night, 5 bucks, 7 venues, 39 bands Sunday, September 22 6 P.M.-1A.M. in LoDo

    Last October, the first annual Westword Music Awards Showcase treated listeners to the most successful local-music festival in recent memory. Over thirty Colorado bands, specializing in music ranging from rockabilly and jazz to country and funk, ent...

    by Michael Roberts on September 19, 1996
  • Article

    Material Grrrls - The women of Cub aren't as cuddly as you think.

    Early this decade, feminism birthed the riot grrrl, a bastard child whose foster home was the punk-rock stage. This new generation of women fought not only to reintegrate sugar-and-spice girlishness into music, but to give expression to the dirty sid...

    by Amy Kiser on September 19, 1996
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