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Say goodbye to the Hectics as you knew them. The group, a Westword profile subject ("Getting Pretty Hectic," April 25, 1996), called it quits shortly after a December 19 performance at the 15th Street Tavern and just before this very publication placed its debut full-length, Everything I Need (released by the 360 Twist! imprint), on our January 1 roster of 1997's twenty finest recordings by Colorado artists.

The reasons behind the schism that split this punky trio two and a half years after its birth are a bit unclear. The grapevine suggests that drummer Dan Tafoya (who could not be reached for comment) decided to ally himself with the straight-edge movement, which eschews drugging and drinking--and given that the three-piece once issued an EP called Come Booze Down With...the Hectics, you can guess how that might have gone over. As for guitarist Juli McClurg, she says that things fell apart when guitarist/vocalist Anika Zappe decided to move on--but she's dodgy when asked for specifics. "I'd rather say that Dan was a workaholic and couldn't show up to practice and I had fourteen dogs to attend to and Anika went to truck-driving school," she says.

Zappe, who has a long history in the Denver musical underground (she was once a member of Barbarella alongside future Spell bassist Chanin Floyd), is not much more forthcoming with details: "I kind of just decided that I wanted to try and go in a different direction." After a brief hesitation, she amends that: "Well, not really a different direction. I want to stick to punk rock. But I felt pretty satisfied with what we accomplished in the band, and I wanted to play with some other people. I liked the Hectics a lot, but I wanted to have a little more room to grow."

Neither woman has firm plans. McClurg implies that she intends to continue collaborating with Tafoya. "We're looking for a new guitar player right now," she says. "We're not in a hurry; we'll take our time. But we'd like to continue. Whether it's called the Hectics or something else is up in the air, and we don't even know if we'll have the same two-guitars-and-drums lineup that we did before. I'm just looking to do something that's fun again. It's not about knowing 'E' and 'A' and 'G'--it's about having fun and rocking out, man."

Likewise, Zappe is in no rush to get a new combo together; as she puts it, "I don't want to get into a rebound band." But, she goes on, "I'm talking to people and meeting people, and I'm looking forward to doing a lot of new things over the next six months." If there's any lingering bitterness over the Hectics' demise, she keeps it well disguised. "When we started the band, I thought it would be great to do a recording and do a tour, and that way I could experience what the whole thing was about. And that's what we did. I loved going on tour, and it was cool to see things on vinyl and to play the Treble Fest [a garage-rock celebration held at the Raven a couple of years back]. We got to play with a lot of my heroes, and I hope that doesn't end.

"I think Juli and Dan are really creative people. I'm not sure what they're wanting to do, but I think anything they do will be good. I'm excited to see what's on the horizon. Hopefully, what's going to come out of this is that instead of losing one good band, we'll be gaining three more."

Another victim of the breakup bug was Deuce Mob, a promising Denver rap outfit ("Join the Mob," February 14, 1996). Following a November 1996 appearance at the Denver Coliseum in support of the Westside Connection, an Ice Cube splinter group, the situation got nasty; according to the Mob's Big Pauli, aka Paul Lopez, things between him and his longtime cohort, DJ Fame, born Fabian Garcia, "almost got violent." Since then, Big Pauli has hooked up with a performer who goes by the name of Mr. V-Lo to form a crew, cleverly titled Big Pauli & Mr. V-Lo, that aims to pick up where Deuce Mob left off. In fact, the act is being subtitled The Deuce Mob Originalz because, Pauli says, "me and him truly are the originals. We're the ones who started Deuce Mob in the first place, and now we're going to keep it going with this project."

Nonetheless, Mr. V-Lo insists that the pairing's new sound is "much different" from Deuce Mob's, because "we're producing it ourselves. We just got all that funk that it was missing before."

"We put in all the ideas that we wanted to do before but that we didn't have a chance to," Pauli agrees. "This time we've got the funk, so it's 'clubable.' It'll put you on the dance floor, because it's got that flavor that people want.

"Before, Fabian wanted to run the whole show--we didn't have any say-so. So now it's all us, and it's five times better that it ever was. And we're really spicing it up for live shows. We've got Brother Victor--he's from Puerto Rico; he's a world-champion conga player--and DJ BASS-X and a couple of background singers, too."

Denverites will get a chance to see this extravaganza for themselves on Saturday, January 17, at the Paramount Theater, where Big Pauli & Mr. V-Lo will be appearing in support of the Nasty Boy Klick and Kid Frost, one of Deuce Mob's first mentors. (Mr. V-Lo calls him "my o.g.") After that, the duo will be entering the studio with an eye toward completing an album in time for a Cinco de Mayo release date. No contracts with record companies have been signed yet, but Denver-based Big Daddy Records is among the firms that have been sniffing around, and with good reason: Lopez says that Going Solo, a Deuce Mob CD issued in 1996 by California's Thump Records, has sold 60,000 units. About his partnership with Big Pauli, Mr. V-Lo emphasizes, "It's all for Denver. We want to start off '98 with a bang."

A guitar belonging to Paul Niemiec of the Trash Hawks has been stolen. It's a Fender Telecaster with a rosewood neck and George Lynch's autograph on the back of the headstock; its serial number is 114156. If you happen to spot this baby in an area pawn shop, Niemiec asks that you contact the nearest police officer.

Engineers David Glasser and Charlie Pilzer of Boulder's Airshow Mastering Inc. have been nominated for a Grammy for their work on the Anthology of American Folk Music, a six-CD collection on Smithsonian/Folkways that was cited in these pages as one of 1997's top boxed sets ("And the Winners Are...," December 25). Also honored with a nomination was Boulder's own Nick Forster (see Hit Pick, page 88), the producer of Kate McKenzie's Age of Innocence, which is in the running for bluegrass album of the year. Glasser, Pilzer and Forster will learn if they'll be taking baubles home during the February 25 Grammy telecast. Perhaps they'll also get an opportunity to meet the members of Hanson.

Minuscule KBVI-AM/1490, a Boulder radio station, continues to make a commitment to Colorado music, unlike so many of its better-known competitors. Its "Local Artist Spotlight," at 3:30 p.m. Fridays, is set to feature a slew of area talent over the next few weeks, including X-Lulu (January 16), Chip & the Chowderheads (January 23), Rebecca Folsom (January 30), Furious Howard Brown (February 6) and Fat Mama (February 13). In trying to catch these broadcasts, remember: The bigger your antenna, the better off you'll be.

Unfortunately, size does matter. On Thursday, January 15, Acrobat Down falls at the Bluebird Theater, with the Blast-Off Heads, and the Fuses, from Washington, D.C., spark at the 15th Street Tavern, with Electric Summer. On Friday, January 16, Turnsol twists at the Market Street Lounge; Slim Cessna's Auto Club parks at the Bluebird; and Money Plays 8 helps the Boulder Theater kick off a regular series of swing nights. On Saturday, January 17, David Olney, Julie Hoest and Bob Tyler participate in a "Writers in the Round" session at the Swallow Hill Music Hall. And on Sunday, January 18, Jazz West provides directions at the Mercury Cafe, and singer Katz Romero introduces selections from a new CD, Midnight Sun, at Maverick's, 4851 East Virginia Avenue. It'll be the Katz meow.

--Michael Roberts

Backbeat's e-mail address is: Michael_Roberts@westword.com. While you're online, visit Michael Roberts's Jukebox at www.westword.com