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Westword Music Showcase 2006

Welcome to the twelfth annual Westword Music Showcase. Twelve -- the dirty dozen. Can you believe it? When we launched the first Showcase all those years ago on a rainy Sunday night in LoDo, who would've thought that it would grow to such a mammoth event?

Then again, did anyone ever imagine that Denver music would take such a quantum leap over the last decade, that our scene would become so high-profile? Heck, we still remember being blown away when we found the Fluid's albums mixed in with all those other "national" releases at the local record store. Back then, if you asked most musicians, they would have said that you just couldn't make it out of Denver -- that you had about as much of a chance of getting a record deal as you had of playing at Red Rocks.

How things have changed. These days, local bands are filling Red Rocks and signing deals like crazy. From Morning After Records entering into a partnership with Island Def/Jam, to the Fray climbing to the top of the Billboard charts and selling out nearly every show on its headlining tour, to Rose Hill Drive linking up with Megaforce Records, Denver has become a bona fide music town.

Thing is, we didn't need any record-label execs to validate our scene. The Mile High City has always possessed amazing talent. And we've followed that talent every step of the way. So even as the scene has grown, so has the Showcase. Think last year's lineup was great? Buckle up, pal. It's even better this year, with must-see performances on the Outdoor Stage (including one by Arrested Development), a funkalicious dance party at La Rumba, indie-centric outfits at the Acoma Center, an alt-country superbill at Shelter, a jazz-and-blues blowout at Dazzle, and singer-songwriters at the Bannock St. Garage. Oh, and don't forget about the rock extravaganza at Milk Bar, or the hip-hop hootenanny on Vinyl's rooftop, or the DJ dance party in Vinyl's main room. And if you dare, stop by the punk-and-metal throwdown at Two AM hosted by Maris the Great, which is guaranteed to rip your face off.

You'll wish you could clone yourself to catch all the acts. To help you prepare, we've compiled this Showcase guide. Every performer and group nominated this year was sent a survey; read the answers we received below. For updates, go to www.westword.com.

Enjoy, and we'll see you at the Showcase. -- Dave Herrera

BASHEBA EARTH (Portia Davis)
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- MC

Website: www.bashebaearth.com

Personnel: Timbuk cutz sharp on the 1's and 2's; Eitef (ee-tef) Hotep Vita from Moetavation is the fiery ampman/vocalz/afrikan drumz.

Native or transplant? I am a Pioneer descendant mixed with Blak and Cherokee.

Releases/discography: Just released the Mothership this past spring; have a song, Bladez of Tongue, featuring Chuck D., on DJ Phyre Presents Ghetto Manifesto; the song Undaground Railroad appears on SoulLovely; and Horizon appears on Tommy Tee's Beats, Bonds & Beliefs.

Describe your music in a sentence: Wavez uv galaktik luv waiting 2 bust ur head open.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? I have actually had the wonderful opportunity to travel; being my home town, I got out of here as fast as I could when I was twenty! New York had much luv for my art, as well as the East Coast and Down South, 2. Spent time in the ATL -- it was fly, fo' sho'! So I been gettin' luv 4 sumtym, grateful and honored 2 have blessed many a stage. Be my pleasure 2 rock plenty more!

What's your idea of "making it"? My idea uv making it is having the ability 2 travel and touch folkz with my galaktik flyness while making a decent living in order 2 have sumthing 2 pass on 2 my kidz, like a healthy planet with oxygen, 4 example.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? There is ALOT uv talent here in Colorado! I'm no good for competition; I like everybody. I believe in buildin' and not tryin' to battle. I'm feelin' Black P., and Yo, Flaco! and Future Jazz are both tight, and so are Flobots and 5 Style Fist. Dent got skillz, 2. Melissa Ivey is off the hook. DJ Lazy Eye be holdn' it down, and so do DJ Idiom. I'm just old-fashioned like that: I don't believe in being the best, I simply believe in doing ur best.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? KRS-1, Edutainment; Public Enemy, Yo Bum Rush the Show; Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon; Stevie Wonder (every album he has ever done); Alice Coltrane, Ptah; The El Daoud and A Tribe Called Quest, People's Instinctive Travels and The Paths of Rhythm.

 

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Sarah Vaughan, Bjrk and Tupac.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? I never have time 4 it, but it's a great marketing tool. www.myspace.com/bashebaearth.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? If I had an iPod, I would have Zap Mama's Ancestry in Progress bumpin'.

BLACK LAMB
NOMINATED IN METAL/HARD ROCK

Website: www.blacklambrocks.com, myspace.com/blacklamb

Personnel: Who knows anymore?

Native or transplant? Both.

Releases/discography: hang the moon; the low road; pillar of salt; high and mighty.

Describe your music in a sentence: "Commerce City soul music."

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yeah, if you lend us gas money.

What's your idea of "making it"? Making what?

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Weapons of Ass Destruction. Makeshift Vagina. Munimula. (loif)

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Cro-Mags, Age of Quarrel.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Jerry VanDyke.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Those dudes are on there? I wanna be their friend!

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? We rock a shoulder-full of boombox, bitch! Recognize...(?)

BLACK PEGASUS
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- MC
7 P.M., VINYL ROOFTOP

PETER BLACK
NOMINATED IN DJ: ELECTRONIC/NON-TRADITIONAL
7 P.M., VINYL MAIN

Website: www.myspace.com/rockstarsaredead

Native or transplant? Native.

Describe your music in a sentence: Basshead paradise, anti-everything.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes. It's all about attitude.

What's your idea of "making it"? Doing what you enjoy and getting paid for it.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Laylights, Swayback, Photo Atlas.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Anything on the Mo'Wax record label.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Fela Kuti and James Lavelle.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Mindwaste.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? VYBZ Cartel; Sound of Miami: Funk Compilation; Brazilica: Compilation; Baile Funk Compilation; Sounds of Young New York - '80s New Wave compilation; Massive Attack, Blue Lines; Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings; the BellRays; Mad Decent Mix, Diplo (Podcast); Cameo, Best Of compilation.

BOP SKIZZUM
NOMINATED IN FUNK/SOUL
7 P.M., LA RUMBA

Website: www.bop-skizzum.com

Personnel: Bop Skizzum is Andy Guerrero (lead vocals, guitar); Serafin Sanchez (tenor saxophone, keyboards); Joe Ferrone (trumpet); Jeff Valentine (trombone); Tohbias Juniel (drums); Chris Harris (bass). The Bop Skizzum extended family is made up of Simone Bracket and Monica Conway (aka The Simonica) and Mike Friesen (producer, backup vocals).

Native or transplant? Halfsies.

Releases/discography: Reverberating Funk (2001); Waiting For (2004); Propeller (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: Did you ever see the Funktion in 1996? Like that, but with Serafin.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Definitely can. Just waiting for a van and that Westword spread. Call me, Dave!

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Serafin Sanchez and Jeremy Jones Quintet, 8-trac, Hip-Triplet, Everyone's Pleasure, the U.S. Air Force Falconaires, the Flobots, Psychodelic Zombiez (reunion), Yo, Flaco!, Pure Soul, Tony Black Project, Chilly Willy, After 8, Funktion (circa '96), and we really love the Fray.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? All the Psychodelic Zombiez albums, Thriller, and Tower of Power's Back to Oakland.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Red Hot Chili Peppers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Fishbone, Parliament Funkadelic, Prince, Stevie Wonder.

Myspace: godsend or devil? It's a godsend, slowly eliminating all human-to-human contact. It's a great way to meet and communicate with people outside of Denver. We've got some fans in the U.K.! www.myspace.com/bopskizzum Thanks for the ad!

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Yeah, we got iPods; we've been spinning audio books like crazy. Also: Gnarls Barkley, Chili Peppers, Danger Doom, Charlie Hunter, Kneebody, the Coup and Muse.

BORN IN THE FLOOD
NOMINATED IN INDIE ROCK/POP
7 P.M., OUTDOOR STAGE

Website: www.bornintheflood.com

Personnel: Nathaniel Rateliff, Joseph Pope III, Matt Fox, Mike Hall.

Native or transplant? Transplants.

Releases/discography: The Fear That We May Not Be (Self-released, 2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: The pounding of heads on walls and smashing of vessels once filled. Rejoice.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? If the van keeps running.

What's your idea of "making it"? We've taken a vow of poverty, so in essence, we've already made it.

 

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Joe Samson, aka A Dog Paloma, Strangers Die Everyday, the Milkshakes, and a yet-unnamed project involving Jeff Lindsemeyer.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Leonard Cohen, Songs of Leonard Cohen; Minus Story, The King Is Dead, Let the Drum Corpse Dance.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? It comes in waves: I love it, then feel very dirty, end up hating it, yet fall back in love. Overall voyeurism is overrated but somewhat necessary.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? We fear change. Mix tapes all the way.

BREAK MECHANICS
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- GROUP

BUCKNER FUNKEN JAZZ
NOMINATED IN JAZZ/SWING

BUCKSKIN STALLION
NOMINATED IN COUNTRY/ALT COUNTRY

Website: www.buckskinstallionmusic.org

Personnel: Dave Shapiro (telecaster guitar, pianet, vox); Grammy winner John Macy (pedal steel guitar); Brian Schey (bass); Todd Moore (drums); Troy Schoenfelder (vox, acoustic guitar).

Native or transplant? Transplant -- from rural South Dakota to Minneapolis to Colorado.

Releases/discography: Blue Ribbon Buzz (2004). We're currently recording our sophomore effort, looking for an early fall release.

Describe your music in a sentence: Part salt of the earth, part fire in the belly, one hundred percent rousing ruralism!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Ah, hell, first we have to make it in Denver.

What's your idea of "making it"? 1) Opening for the Railbenders. 2) Making the money back from recording and distributing Blue Ribbon Buzz. FYI: Still working on the first one (Hey, Jim Dalton, you got my phone number?). According to my accountant, we can consider the second one as "mission accomplished," but we've heard that before.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? All the bands with the mettle to play the music they choose to play. By the way, have you heard Great American Taxi? Kickin' country rock!

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Harry Smith, Anthology of American Folk Music; Woody Guthrie, Library of Congress Recordings; Bob Dylan, Basement Tapes and Street Legal; Gram Parsons and the International Submarine Band, Safe at Home; Townes Van Zandt, High, Low and in Between; Neil Young, Ragged Glory; Uncle Tupelo, Still Feel Gone; Whiskeytown, Stranger's Almanac.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Uncle Tupelo.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Great networking tool for bands. I'll have to side with godsend on this one.

Do you have an iPod? Nope.

BUCKWILD
NOMINATED IN COUNTRY/ALT COUNTRY
4 P.M., SHELTER

Website: www.myspace.com/buckwilddenver

Personnel: Rex Moser, Susan Phelan, Carlos Newman -- two bad boys and one very, very bad girl!

Native or transplant? One native (Carlos), two transplants -- Rex is from New York, and Susan is from Indiana.

Releases/discography: We're recording at Module Overload as we speak!

Describe your music in a sentence: Cowboy rock!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Hell, yes -- they'll love us in Baghdad.

What's your idea of "making it"? Second base?

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Susan is excited about the Swanks, the Haggardies and the Blue Blooded Girls. Rex and Carlos are excited about Susan.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Rex: Green River, by CCR. Susan: Anything by KISS, Destroyer, Primus, Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles. Carlos: At Folsom Prison: Live, the Highwaymen, Appetite for Destruction.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Rex: John Fogerty, Hank Williams and Chuck Berry. Susan: her father, Gene Simmons, Shirley Horn, Junior Brown. Carlos: Johnny Cash, the Clash, the Eagles and Guns 'N Roses

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Not the devil -- just a good-lookin' guy!

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I what?

CAUSTIC SOUL
NOMINATED IN GOTHIC/INDUSTRIAL

COCKTAIL REVOLUTION
NOMINATED IN JAZZ/SWING
9 P.M., DAZZLE

Website: www.cocktailrevolution.net

Personnel: Chad Aman (keys); Artie Moore (bass); Zach Pietlock (drums); Jon Hegel (saxophone).

Native or transplant? We are natives.

Releases/discography: Cocktail Revolution.

Describe your music in a sentence: We play drum-and-bass-influenced urban improv -- music that has the power to grant eternal youth and winning Lotto numbers.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? So far, we've done quite well outside of Denver.

What's your idea of "making it"? We don't know. It'd be nice to quit our day jobs.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Not to sound too kiss-assy, but all the local artists are great (but actually we're the only band on the planet worth listening to).

 

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Roni Size, the New Deal, Led Zeppelin, the Streets and Fishbone.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Addictive as hell.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I have an iPod, and right now it has a folder icon with an exclamation point next to it -- I think that means it's broken. Damn.

JOHN COMMON
NOMINATED IN SINGER-SONGWRITER
7 P.M., BANNOCK ST. GARAGE

Website: www.johncommon.com

Personnel: John Common (vocals, guitars, keys, samples, songs); Tom Germain (drums, vocals); Kevin Meyer (bass, vocals); Jed Marrs (keys, vocals); various friends (various things).

Native or transplant? I'm a transplant from Pensacola, Florida. The cruel humidity drove me away.

Releases/discography: Good to Be Born (John Common, 2006), The Longest Street in America (Rainville, 2002), Collecting Empties (Rainville, 1999).

Describe your music in a sentence: Right before I grabbed the steering wheel and swerved to avoid the oncoming truck, everything got very quiet. I looked over at her, with her arm out the window, wind blowing her hair, watching miles of wheat stretch out, singing softly with Chet Baker -- she didn't know we were about to wreck. Or: All I want to do is write songs that make you feel everything all at once.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? This question brings three Chinese proverbs to mind: 1) Distant water won't quench your immediate thirst. 2) A dog won't forsake his master because of his poverty; a son never deserts his mother for her homely appearance. 3) Dream different dreams while on the same bed.

What's your idea of "making it"? I'll know I have made it when I have a beautiful-yet-oddly-strong roadie named Estelle who hauls my gear and tunes my guitars. Until then, I'm a complete failure.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Chris Eagleton, Joshua Novak, Ed Skibbe, Born in the Flood, Matt Kowal, Angie Stevens, DeVotchKa, Tom Zingaro, Meese, Drag The River, Red Cloud West, Zack Nichols, Starfuzz, Ten Cent Redemption, Astrophagus, Kettle Black and A Dog Paloma.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Beatles, Abbey Road and the "White Album"; Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps; Lynyrd Skynyrd, Second Helping; Chet Baker, My Funny Valentine; Velvet Underground, Vu; Tom Waits, Rain Dogs.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Bob Ross, Tom Waits, John Lennon, Jesus, Sparklehorse, Miles Davis, Yo La Tengo, Rufus Wainwright, Neil Young, David Lowery, Big Star, Beck, Jeff Tweedy, Robert Zimmerman, my brother Scott, Daniel Lanois, Robert Pollard, Mark Kozelek, Elliott Smith and Emma.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Myspace = digital high school. It all depends on how much you enjoyed high school.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Bonobo, Eels, Rogue Wave, William Shatner, a bunch of found audio stuff.

DENT
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- MC
6 P.M., VINYL ROOFTOP

Website: www.myspace.com/dentsmusicissaulgood

Native or transplant? C.O. NATIVE...that Northside love!!

Releases/discography: Make Yall Feel It (mix CD with DJ Chonz, 2006); Platinum in the Shower (2005); Low Budget Soul (2005); Hip-Hop Love Jazz (2005); The Revolushun (with Rraahh Foundashun, 2005). Peace to all the DJs playin' my music and showin' love on the mix CDs.

Describe your music in a sentence: Hmm...take some time out and come vibe out to some of my music. Y'all tell me.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? The way I see it, the place in the middle of the map is where it's at. There are many hip-hoppas worldwide who are on the grind in this industry, But being in the middle, I can network with people from both coasts. Create and build your own network, and let the music speak for itself. Form a game plan, stick to it and let your music spread like wildfire. The world is a lot bigger than Colorado. Let your light shine!

What's your idea of "making it"? Waking up every single day of your life, doing something you love, being able to pay your bills, doin' your passion... To me, that's the essence.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? I run with the Radio Bums and the Shunz, so there's some powerhouse krews. I love everything my peoples are rockin', but other than that, I'm feelin' Distrakt, D.O. ManeLine and Boostwell Camp. And I like Playalitical, just to name a few.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? We could probably talk about that all day. I study all kinds of music. For hip-hop albums, let's say Eric B. and Rakim, Paid in Full; Big Daddy Kane, Long Live the Kane; the D.O.C., The Formula; and all of Native Tongues.

 

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Big Daddy Kane, Kool Keith, Rakim, Chill and Afrika Sam.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? I use it; I think it's a great networking tool for your music, if you use it for all the right purposes. Look me up.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I don't have an iPod, but my music is on iTunes; buy my EP in the iTunes music store NOW! Platinum in the Shower. Support good music: It's SAUL GOOD!!!

DEVIANT
NOMINATED IN GOTHIC/INDUSTRIAL

Website: www.deviantmuse.com

Personnel: London (vocals); D' MacKinnon (guitar, synths, production); Marcus Wilkerson (bass, backing guitars).

Native or transplant? We are all from various parts of the globe, but we've lived in Colorado for the past ten years, some of us longer.

Releases/discography: We have an EP, Absenta, which was released in 2003, and we are recording a new album to be released at the end of 2006.

Describe your music in a sentence: Dark-edged electro-rock.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We've had label offers, but recently have decided to go with an independent record label, Kheperi Global Media, which has done a good job of exposing our music through TV and film.

What's your idea of "making it"? D' responds: Making it for me would be to be able to make a living writing and performing music and make enough money to have a car and a place to live. That's all I really need.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? D' responds: I really like DeVotchKa. I think they have a unique sound and look that works well for them, and I think they'll get far with it.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? D' responds: David Bowie's Low and Diamond Dogs, Ministry's A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste. London has been influenced a lot by artists like Tori Amos.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Tori Amos, Nine Inch Nails, early-'80s punk.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? I think it's a good way for bands to market to a wide audience and get around the system of corporate radio. Time will tell how effective it is in the long run.

Do you have an iPod? Nope, no iPods.

DEVOTCHKA
NOMINATED IN AVANT-GARDE/ECLECTIC

DJ IDIOM
NOMINATED IN DJ: HIP-HOP CLUB/TURNTABLISM

Website: www.djidiom.com

Native or transplant? Silicon implants.

Releases/discography: Thus far, I've only made mixtapes/cds. So, legally, and as far as most musicians are concerned, I haven't released anything.

Describe your music in a sentence: Basically, it's someone else's music stolen and then played with other stolen music, with my personal signature on every last detail.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes. The sooner the better.

What's your idea of "making it"? That's more of a day-to-day thing for me. I suppose waking up every day satisfied with who you are and what you are doing. I think that if making it becomes an ideal or goal and you believe someday it will all change and your life will suddenly become a fairy tale, you're going to be very disappointed and not find beauty in what you're doing on a day-to-day level.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? CACHEFLOWE!!!; The Yummies; An-ism; Drop Logik; Scaffolding; Ivy; 21 Dread; and Vajra.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? DJ Shadow, Endtroducing; Tricky, Pre-Millennium Tension; My Bloody Valentine, Loveless; Arto Lindsay, Prize; anything by Bjrk; Blackstar, Blackstar; anything by Boards of Canada; the Books, Lost and Safe, Lemon of Pink; Cacheflowe, Automate Everything; CocoRosie, Le Maison de Mon Reve; Digable Planets, Blowout Comb; KMD, Black Bastards; Pharcyde, Labcabincalifornia; Philip Glass, Mishima; Tribe Called Quest, Beats, Rhymes & Life; Prefuse 73, Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives; DJP, Manipulated Trax.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you?

The artists mentioned in the previous answer and DJ Nutter.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Santa Claus. So, technically, both.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? "Act Too (The Love of My Life)," from the Roots' Things Fall Apart.

DJ LAZY EYEZ
NOMINATED IN DJ: HIP-HOP CLUB/TURNTABLISM
3 P.M., VINYL ROOFTOP

Website: www.myspace.com/DJLazyEyez

Native or transplant? Born and raised in Colorado Springs; brainwashed in Boulder; now living in Denver.

 

Releases/discography: "I Ain't the One," D-Roccamus Rhyme featuring Jo-el (single, 2001).

Describe your music in a sentence: I'm a party-rocking DJ who tries to keep it real but ends up playing the songs requested by cute girls.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? I go to Boulder and Colorado Springs all the time.

What's your idea of "making it"? "Making it," to me, is being my own boss, controlling my destiny, being financially secure, loving what I do for a living, making a difference with my life and hanging out with my people that I grew up with.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Dent, 1865, Distrakt, Maneline, Rrahh Foundashun, Ground Zero Movement, Flobots, Herbin Tribe, Es-Nine, Black Pegasus, SP Double, Q-Burse, DJ Cysko Rokwel, DJ Thought, Crunk Brothers, DJ Vajra, St. Nick and D-Roccamus Rhyme.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Outkast, ATLiens; Akinyele, Aktapuss; Mission (Crown City Rockers) One; the Roots, Do You Want More.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Outkast, Tupac, DJ Shadow, Native Tongues, Dead Prez, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, the Roots, Bruce Lee, Jeff Smith (creator of the "Bone" comic books), Dent, the Procussions, and everyone at Radio1190 and Colorado Hip-Hop.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Reluctantly...godsend. I would say the devil, but even DJ Thought, who was the biggest myspace hater, just got one last week.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I did. It's broken. Which really sucks, since my CD player has duct tape holding in the batteries and I have to use one of those jacked-up cassette-player adapters. But the last thing I uploaded was the Go! Team's "College Sessions" and Showbiz & A.G.

DJ LOW KEY
NOMINATED IN DJ: HIP-HOP CLUB/TURNTABLISM

Website: myspace.com/djlowkey; djlowkey.com

Native or transplant? Transplant. I'm originally from Georgia.

Releases/discography: I've released countless unofficial tapes, but the last official joint I dropped was a tape called Mixing in Action #1 (you can download it for free at djlowkey.com). Later this month, me and DJ Amen are going to drop the Bar Luxe: Late Night Soundtrack mixtape. Later this summer, Mixing in Action #2 (hosted by Tanya Morgan) will be out.

Describe your music in a sentence: I play too much music to describe in a sentence.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Without a doubt. With that said, people need to start thinking about ways to "make it" in Denver rather than making it out. It's 2006, and you don't have to be in NYC or L.A. to do it big.

What's your idea of "making it"? Being comfortable doing what I like to do.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The Basementalism crew, Radio Bums, Dent and the Shunz, Amen and Sounds Supreme, DJ Vajra and Bumpy Chill (if he ever drops some new ish).

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? DJ Spinbad, Needle to the Groove; Vin Roc, Reconstruction; DJ Chonz, Chonz '97; Nas, Illmatic; A Tribe Called Quest, Low End Theory; Cru, Da Dirty 30; Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul; Biggie, Ready to Die; Pete Rock & CL Smooth, The Main Ingredient; and Slick Rick, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Jigga, Jay Dee (RIP Dilla), Pete Rock, Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinbad, Vin Roc, Radio Bums, Basementalism Crew, Primo, Prince and, over the last year, Median and Tanya Morgan.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Myspace is what you make it. That explains both the good side of it and the rest.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I have two iPods, and both are full of all sorts of random ish. Hundreds of mixtapes, classic and new hip-hop, some soul/R&B albums, a bunch of crazy live shows -- really, anything that's dope.

DJ SOUNDS SUPREME
NOMINATED IN DJ: HIP-HOP CLUB/TURNTABLISM

Website: myspace.com/soundssupreme1

Native or transplant? Born and raised.

Releases/discography: The "AnyQuality" mixtape series w/ DJ Amen.

Describe your music in a sentence: Drunk or not, that DJ's crushin'!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? YES! -- if my mom lets me.

What's your idea of "making it"? Free beer and no song requests.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? ManeLine, DJ Amen, DJ Deft, DJ Stretch and Whygee.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Gang Starr's Moment of Truth.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Revolution, A-Trak, Premier, P.N.M and Radio Bums.

 

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Neither -- it's just an ingenius business idea.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Yes -- hopefully nobody fat; they ain't cheap.

DJ VAJRA
NOMINATED IN DJ: HIP-HOP CLUB/TURNTABLISM
4 P.M., VINYL ROOFTOP

Website: www.myspace.com/djvajra; www.djvajra.com

Native or transplant? Transplant. Grew up in Indiana. Moved to Colorado when I was seventeen.

Releases/discography: Saul Good, the Mixtape (available for free download through my website, www.djvajra.com)

Describe your music in a sentence: I like good hip-hop, so that's what I try to make.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? I feel like I already am.

What's your idea of "making it"? Being able to support my family by doing what I love.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? I like them all!

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The ones I have listened to at Bart's CD Cellar in Boulder.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? All of the ones who have encouraged and inspired me, and the ones who will continue to do so.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? www.myspace.com/djvajra :)

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I haven't jumped on that bandwagon just yet.

DORK
NOMINATED IN PUNK/HARDCORE

Website: www.wearedork.com

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Rock Out With Your Cock Out (2001); One Up (2002); Furious George (2003); Dorkside of the Moon (2004); The K.R.O.D.Father (2005); Suck It! (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: We are the most hardcore pop-punk band on the planet (if there is such a thing).

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We have as good of a shot as anyone, I suppose.

What's your idea of "making it"? Being in a band and not working a day job.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The Photo Atlas and Love Me Destroyer.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Dookie made Green Day my first favorite band.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Green Day, Metallica, blink-182, Dave Matthews and Pink Floyd.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend, for sure.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I do, and right now, I am listening to the new Less Than Jake -- but waiting for the new Bouncing Souls and AFI.

DRAG THE RIVER
NOMINATED IN COUNTRY/ALT COUNTRY
7 P.M., SHELTER

Website: http://dragtheriver.com

Personnel: Chad Price, Jon Snodgrass, J.J. NOBODY, Spacey Casey Prestwood and Dave Barker.

Native or transplant? Transplants from Missouri, Alabama, New England and Wyoming.

Releases/discography: Five studio albums (Hobo's Demos, Chicken Demos, CLOSED, ...Hey Buddies, It's Crazy); Two live (recorded at the Starlight & at the Green Door in Oklahoma City) and three 7-inches.

Describe your music in a sentence: It's country and Midwestern music, which, to us, means country with a Midwestern indie-rock influence from bands like Hüsker Dü and the Replacements.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes. We have. We play between 100 and 150 shows a year, depending on the year.

What's your idea of "making it"? It's a little more than breaking even.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? We love Munly and are excited to see him play again.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? SST albums.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Willie, Waylon, Kris and Cash, Bocephus, SST bands.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? It's good for bands, but probably bad for the people it consumes at their workplace.

Do you have an iPod? Don't have one.

DRESSY BESSY
NOMINATED IN INDIE ROCK/POP

Website: www.dressybessy.com

Personnel: Tammy Ealom, John Hill, Rob Greene, Craig Gilbert.

Native or transplant? All but one transplant.

Releases/discography: Pink Hearts Yellow Moons (1999); the California EP (2000), the Powerpuff Girls Heroes & Villains soundtrack (2000), SoundGoRound (2001), Little Music (2003), Dressy Bessy (2003), Electrified (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: Dressy Bessy rOck!

Myspace: God send or the devil? Love the myspace.

DRUG UNDER
NOMINATED IN METAL/HARD ROCK
9 P.M., TWO A.M.

Website: www.myspace.com/drugunder

Personnel: Romero (vocals); Eric Greenwall (guitars); Ronnie Chavez (bass); Mark Tripensee (drums).

Native or transplant? Native, from Brighton. B-Town, baby!

Releases/discography: Drug Under (Fist Music, Hired Gun Ent. Records, 2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: Rock and roll -- although I guess that's more of a statement than a sentence.

 

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Hell, I can't even make it out of Brighton!

What's your idea of "making it"? Romero responds: Seriously, Eric and I have been around a long time. We've paid our dues and have had more drama than any episode of Behind the Music, and we're still doing our thing. Music is in our blood. We have been fortunate enough to play Red Rocks, World Arena, the Whisky and Roxy in Hollywood, Fiddler's. We've been on MTV, VH1 and have received lots of airplay locally and nationally. We just signed endorsement deals with Dean Guitars, Sik World Clothing and Jägermeister, as well. Some of my "idols" are now my friends. It's very surreal. As far as I'm concerned, our dreams came true. It's all good!

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Rose Hill Drive is pretty awesome. No Fair Fights have some rockin' tunes; they could be on the radio right now. Love.45 is still my personal fave.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Van Halen; Fair Warning; Shout at the Devil; Back in Black.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? As a group, we love Kings X, Mtley, VH, KISS, AC/DC, Alice in Chains, Pantera and Queensrche.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Both?

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? iPod? Shit, I'm still rockin' my Sony (cassette) Walkman. That's how I roll.

ELECTRIC SIDE DISH
NOMINATED IN JAM/IMPROV
9 P.M., LA RUMBA

Website: www.electricsidedish.com

Native or transplant? Transplant.

Releases/discography: Travelin'.

Describe your music in a sentence: A savory blend of rootsy rock and roll.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Definitely. Already have.

What's your idea of "making it"? To be doing what I truly love.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Harmonious Junk.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Can't say.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Grateful Dead.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend.

Do you have an iPod? No.

ERICA BROWN BAND
NOMINATED IN BLUES
5 P.M., OUTDOOR STAGE

Website: www.ericabrownband.com

Personnel: Erica Brown (vocals); Scott Rivera (drums, vocals); Rich Sallee (bass, vocals); Jim Ayers (keyboard, organ, vocals); and a stellar cast of star guitarists!

Native or Transplant: We're from all over! Rich Sallee is the native.

Releases/Discography: Body Work (2000); Rough Cut Stone (2003). We have a new CD in the works.

Describe your music in a sentence: If blues is whatcha need, we got a lil' somethin' fo' ya' a*#!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Anywhere Greyhound goes...

What's your ideal of "making it"? Candlelight, soft music...oh, wait -- making it! Well, touring, recording, playing in front of thousands...no, wait, we're doing that already...shoot! Guess we've made it! Ha!!

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? All of them!

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? You'd get a different answer from every one of us!

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Ditto!

Myspace: godsend or the devil? We haven't had time to delve into myspace much -- even though we started a profile that we haven't finished!

Do you have an iPod? I don't -- don't know about the guys, so I can't answer this question!

FIVE STYLE FIST
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- GROUP
9 P.M., VINYL ROOFTOP

Website: www.fivestylefist.com

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Five Style Fist (2002); Ambient Frequencies (2003); Left Right in the Middle (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: Five Style Fist makes you feel sexy on the inside.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Not sure we want to make it out. Denver just seems like the best place to be.

What's your idea of "making it"? When everywhere you go, everyone knows the words to your songs.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? P-Nuckle, Boondok Saints, Optimal Frequency and the Life Crew. These are the bands and artists that have supported FSF from the beginning.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? This could go on forever, but how about: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik; System of a Down, Mezmerize and Hypnotize; the Roots, Things Fall Apart; Incubus, Science; and most 311 albums.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Five Style Fist has a really wide scope of influences, but we would have to say that the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Tool, Incubus, the Roots and System of a Down have had the most impact on the band as a whole.

 

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Best free promotional tool we have found.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? RHCP, Stadium Arcadium.

FLOBOTS
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- GROUP
4 P.M., OUTDOOR STAGE

Website: www.myspace.com/flobots

(Note: This survey was completed by Jonny 5 on behalf of, but without the approval of, the other Flobots.)

Name: The name of our band is "the Flobots" or just "Flobots" for short. No "w."

Personnel: Brer Rabbit (vocals); Jonny 5 (vocals); Andy Guerrero (guitar, vocals); Mackenzie Roberts (viola); Kenny Ortiz (drums); Joe Ferrone (trumpet); Jesse Walker (bass).

Native or transplant? As a band, we are natives. As individuals, we are also natives. So I guess the answer is yes. Except we think the trumpet player is from Chicago.

Releases/discography: The Flobots crew has existed since time began in the spring of 1996. We reached bandhood in January 2005 and birthed an EP nine months later. We named it Flobots Present...Platypus. We thought that was a pretty good name.

Describe your music in a sentence: Seven strangers living in a band, that stop being nice and start getting real -- and then you get to find out what happens.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? One thing a band really needs in order to make it out of Denver is gasoline. This is the single most important factor. In our case, because there are seven of us, we will need a lot of gasoline. And we'll have to ration it carefully -- one gallon per person, per day.

What's your idea of "making it"? When I think of "making it," I think, "I Want to Make It With You," by Bread, because the Flobots also want to make it with you, and we also want to make bread. We want enough bread that we can spend all our time making music like Bread did. Also, a lot of times, at restaurants, you can just eat the bread, and it's free, and that's a good way to save money.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Ed Stein, Mike Keefe, Galen Shoe.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Albums thrown at me.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? It was actually just the case, though. I think it might have been one of Eminem's pre-"I don't-care-about-the-listener" albums. My roommate threw it at me because he thought I was awake, and it hit me in the eyelid.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? It's good for keeping up to date on which nineteen-year-old girls in Florida now have chat rooms.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? We own one iPod, with a seven-earpiece splitter. As we wrestle for control, it skips through songs by Outkast, Parliament, Tool, the Coup, Gnarls Barkely, Johann Sebastian Bach, MF Doom, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, weird German $#!+ and whatever Stephen -- er, I mean, "Brer Rabbit" -- listens to.

FREAK STREET PROJECT
NOMINATED IN FUNK/SOUL
6 P.M., DAZZLE

Website: www.myspace.com/freakstreetproject

Personnel: Matt Pitts (sax); Ryan Conway (keyboards); Imkong Yaden (guitars); Tenzing Shrestha (bass); Kaivon Tolooee (congas); Faisal Salahuddin (drums).

Native or transplant? Tenzing imported from Nepal; Imkong imported from India; Kaivon imported from Iran; Faisal imported from Pakistan; and the rest are all native!

Releases/discography: Cruzin (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: A combination of guitar- and horns-driven progressive funk and rock with Latin influences.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Of course!

What's your idea of "making it"? Playing music that we love and making money off it.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Us.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Parastesh, by Shamaizadeh; Stankonia, by Outkast; Live From Planet Groove, by Maceo Parker.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Miles Davis, Miguel Anga Diaz, Flea, Abou Sylla, John Scofield and Bob Marley.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Devil, definitely!

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Ozomatli.

FRIENDS IN STEREO
NOMINATED IN DJ: ELECTRONIC/NON-TRADITIONAL
8 P.M., VINYL MAIN

Website: www.friendsinstereo.com

Personnel: Colin Chapman, Reggie Lafaye & orange peel moses (vocalist).

Native or transplant? One native, one near-native (born in San Francisco) and one transplant.

Releases/discography: Beatport.com/Friends_in_Stereo

Describe your music in a sentence: Our music is primarily electronic breakbeats with an electro vibe.

 

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Beatport MP3s are already available to anyone in the world with web access. First out-of-state gigs tentatively set for August 12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

What's your idea of "making it"? Earning the freedom to write and produce music full-time.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Community Recordings, Grandpa Mojo, Melinda Dickson, DeVotchKa and Little Mike.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Pixies' Trompe le Monde; Radiohead's OK Computer; Beck's Odelay; Depeche Mode's Violator; Bassnectar's Motions of Mutation; The Faint's Dance Macabre; King Missile's Happy Hour; Ween's Chocolate & Cheese; Aphex Twin's Richard D James Album; Johnny Cash's American II.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Pixies, Radiohead, Beck, Bassnectar, Bjrk, Depeche Mode, the Faint, Soul Coughing, Ween, King Missile, King Crimson, Aphex Twin, Johnny Cash, Underworld, Miles Davis, A Tribe Called Quest, Chemical Brothers, CSN&Y and Plump DJs.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? All of the above. :) On the one hand, it's an exponentially viral promotional tool. On the other, the fine print says they own the rights to your soul (or, at the very least, all content you upload).

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Deep Dish, Beck, the Killers, Outkast, Bassnectar, Friends in Stereo, Chemical Brothers, Alice in Chains, Herbert, Cut Copy, Ladytron, Goldfrapp, Jimmy Edgar and so much more.

FUNKIPHINO
NOMINATED IN FUNK/SOUL
5 P.M., DAZZLE

Website: www.funkiphino.com

Personnel: Cathy Griffin (vocals); Jenn Butler (vocals); Chris Fischer (keyboards); Rich Benge (guitar); Chris Sutliff (bass); Kevin Lehman (drums); Jeremy Sandoval (percussion); Jessica Fischer (trumpet); Jason Uren (trumpet); Greg Warren (tenor sax); Pete Jeffryes (tenor sax); Scott Osborne (baritone sax).

Native or transplant? The band was born in Colorado and is made up of people from Colorado and all over the country.

Releases/discography: Lovin Life (2004); Rise Above (July, 2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: Great songs with big horns and slammin vocals.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We make it out of Denver once in a while -- to Boulder, Keystone and even Colorado Springs.

Whats your idea of making it? Making it is being successful at what you do, by achieving the goals you set for yourself and your band. What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Were excited about releasing our new disc, Rise Above, next month.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Brand New Heavies, Brother Sister; Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life ; Tower of Power, Live and in Living Color; and so many more...

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? In regard to our new album, Rise Above, the biggies would be Tower of Power, the Brand New Heavies, ABBA, Jamiroquai, Rufus and Journey.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Both.

Do you have an iPod? If so, whos on it right now? Tower of Power, Oakland Zone.

FUTURE JAZZ PROJECT
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- GROUP
8 P.M., VINYL ROOFTOP

GHOST BUFFALO
NOMINATED IN ROOTS/AMERICANA
8 P.M., SHELTER

Website: www.ghostbuffalo.com

Personnel: Matt Bellinger (guitar); Josh Coyle (acoustic guitar); Marie Litton (vocals, guitar); Andy Thomas (drums); Tom Ventura (bass).

Native or transplant? Our Coloradans are Marie (Pueblo) and Andy (Black Hawk). The rest of us are transplants from Central Illinois or the Chicago area.

Releases/discography: Ghost Buffalo (Suburban Home, 2006); Little Thunder EP download (Suburban Home, 2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: We would like to think that we mix up our influences -- like Emmylou and Neil Young with a little Siouxsie Sioux and the Cure -- but that's probably way off from what it actually sounds like.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We have this tour bus that goes 65 mph, tops. Making it out of Denver was no problem, but we kept breaking down all over the East Coast. So, really, the question is, "Can we make it out of Hoboken?" The answer is, "No."

What's your idea of "making it"? We work pretty hard ourselves, but thrive on the support of others. Virgil Dickerson and Suburban Home have been instrumental to us in that respect. As long as we remain interesting enough for people to keep coming to see us play, we've made it.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? American Relay, Big Timber, Drag the River, Munly, Peña, and the unbreakable Red Cloud West.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; Neil Young, Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere; Jawbreaker, Bivouac; the Cure, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me; Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Let Love In.

 

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Siouxsie Sioux, Neil Young, Madonna, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.

Myspace: God send or the devil? A godsend for bands; the devil for desk workers.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Neko Case. Actually, Marie, Matt and Josh do not have iPods; they are scared of the future.

HARMONIOUS JUNK
NOMINATED IN JAM/IMPROV
8 P.M., LA RUMBA

Website: www.harmoniousjunk.com

Personnel: Damon Wood (guitar); Sam Smith (bass); Dan Dever (drums).

Native or transplant? Everyone in the band is a transplant to Denver.

Releases/discography: Space Cadet (2004).

Describe your music in a sentence: Our music is like funked-up jazz rock with a psychedelic party vibe.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes, I think it's possible to make it out of Denver.

What's your idea of "making it"? Making it to me would just to be constantly progressing in the areas of songwriting, promoting, performing, etc., until you can both pay rent and tour and keep building.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Octopus Nebula is a new band with very young players and an artistic and fresh approach.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Axis: Bold As Love, by Hendrix, and What a Long Strange Trip It's Been, a collection of Grateful Dead songs. Those are two albums that had a tremendous impact on me.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Hendrix, Zappa, Garcia and James Brown.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? For music and bands, I think myspace is a godsend.

Do you have an iPod? Nope, no iPod.

HONKY TONK HANGOVERS
NOMINATED IN COUNTRY/ALT COUNTRY

Website: www.honkytonkhangovers.com

Personnel: Dave Hall, Scott Johnson, T. Elvin Thies, Doug Richards.

Native or transplant? We're all Midwestern transplants. You gotta love the Heartland, baby!!!

Releases/discography: Every Little Honky Tonk (2002), Giant Country (2003).

Describe your music in a sentence: The Hangovers play a unique brand of retro-country-inspired hillbilly twang, a mix of heartfelt originals and a tasty selection of old-school country covers.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? There is no doubt in our feeble minds.

What's your idea of "making it"? Being nominated for this award is certainly a step in that direction. Having shared a stage with the likes of Brian Setzer, the Derailers and the Blasters -- we'd say we've already done very well for ourselves.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? We really dig the sounds and shows of our fellow local country artists such as Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams, the Dalhart Imperials and the Railbenders.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? BR-549's Lost in the Pines and the Derailers' Jackpot.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? It was the retro-styled sounds of modern country bands such as BR-549 and the Derailers that got us interested in playing such music, but we can't deny the influence of the big 'uns such as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, and the list goes on and on...

Myspace: godsend or the devil? We've scored a few gigs from it, so I wouldn't call it altogether devilish. But you get what you pay for...

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? None of us are big technophiles, so we don't have iPods, but the concept is pretty cool. We probably wouldn't have the patience to sit around and load all our favorites into it, though.

HOT IQs
NOMINATED IN INDIE ROCK/POP
8 P.M., ACOMA CENTER

Website: www.hotiqs.com

Personnel: Eli Mishkin (vocals, guitar); Bryan Feuchtinger (bass); Elaine Acosta (drums).

Native or transplant? One native (Eli); one New yorker (Elaine); and one liver transplant (Bryan).

Releases/discography: An Argument Between the Brain & Feet (Morning After Records, 2005). New release Follow the Architecture due out in Fall/Winter 2006.

Describe your music in a sentence: It's kind of like when a music major dates his English Lit TA just to get a better grade.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Not with those pesky dancing aliens guarding our every move!

What's your idea of "making it"? Well, Billy, it all starts when a man and a woman really love each other...

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? DeVotchKa, Cowboy Curse, George & Caplin, Bright Channel and Lion Sized.

 

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Kinks, The Kink Kronicles; Archers of Loaf, Vee Vee; Pavement, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain; De La Soul, 3 Feet High & Rising; Pixies, Surfer Rosa.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Eggers, Hedberg and Yorke.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? As with everything, a little bit of both.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Destroyer, Supremes, Andrew Bird, Voxtrot, Lionel Richie, Wolfmother, Phoenix, Futureheads, Grandaddy, Bowie, Beck, Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, and Boyz II Men.

ION
NOMINATED IN METAL/HARD ROCK
10 P.M., TWO A.M.

Website: www.myspace.com/ion

Personnel: Noe DeLeon, Joe Sego, Lex Windle and Gef Gust.

Native or transplant? All of us are from out of state but reside in Colorado.

Releases/discography: Gross National Product (2004), ARMA (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: DigitalNewMetalEuphoriAmbiSonicCerebralFlux.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We are in other markets already, and continue to build on our momentum.

Whats your idea of making it? Obtaining and maintaining the capacity to sustain life under the financial obligations of our world -- in other words, the business of creating career longevity.

What local artists are you most excited about? Actually, ALL of them. As of late, there seems to be more national attention focusing on artists in Denver, and, moreover, an opportunity for everyone to capitalize on this.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Wow, uh, too many to list. Off the cuff: Dark Side of the Moon, Forever Night-Never Day, Aenima...

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Gef: Personally, I thought Aiden and 30 Secs were great to work with, but I have been definitely moved by Clint Lowerys new project, Dark New Day, and another up-and-comer, Flyleaf!

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Its a FREE marketing tool. Nuff said.

Do you have an iPod? If so, whos on it right now? Above mentioned.

MELISSA IVEY
NOMINATED IN SINGER-SONGWRITER
8 P.M., BANNOCK ST. GARAGE

Website: www.myspace.com/melissaivey

Personnel: Mike Whalen (guitar); James Han (keys); Sean Hodges (drums); Deseree' Davidson (assistant); The Ivey League (street team); John Bursell (graphic arts guru); Intrigue Entertainment (management/booking); Mike Farley at Michael J. Media (PR agency).

Native or transplant? I was born in Denver, but my boys and I are definitely gypsy gallivants.

Releases/discography: Melissa Ivey EP (2002); Live in Denver (2004); From The Inside Out (2005); Lovers and Stars EP (upcoming 2006 release).

Describe your music in a sentence: I play passionate rock and roll with a blues-driven pop edge.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? I have been touring out of Denver for two years now and am out to conquer new markets each time.

What's your idea of "making it"? My idea of making it is playing music every night while getting a great audience response consistently -- and not having to work a day job while doing that. I wish to make a good, honest living while spending time on my songwriting craft. I have been blessed to work with some great people this past year, and I feel it has made me a stronger writer and performer.

What local artists are you most excited about? BaSheBa Earth, because her energy and vibe is so genuine. Plus, the girl has mad skills, and nothing about her is egotistical or diva-ish. Tempa from Tempa and the Tantrums, because she is so embracing. Miss Jill Watkins, because she always puts on a good show. Denver has such a great pool of local talent right now, and there are just too many to list.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Pearl, by Janis Joplin; Blood on the Tracks, by Dylan, because it is just timeless music; and anything that Jenny Lewis (frontwoman for Rilo Kiley) has worked on.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Bitch & Animal (NYC), Drums & Tuba (NYC), Gogol Bordello, Felina (Portland), the Jealous Girl Friends (Detroit), Sista Otis (Detroit), Joe Rohan (Cincinnatti), Jenny Lewis, Coles Whalen, Misty Odell (L.A.), Vicci Martinez (Tacoma), just to name a few.

Myspace: godsend or devil? It's great when I am trying to meet new folks in other markets for when I hit the road, or discovering new music and networking with other independent artists. I also like the pure voyeuristic aspect. However, the devil when your old high school boyfriends can just come and find out all about you.

Do you have an iPod? if so, who's on it right now? I like borrowing iPods better than owning one, for now. That way I can listen to new music and songs that I haven't heard a million times already.

 

JOSH IVY
NOMINATED IN DJ: ELECTRONIC/NON-TRADITIONAL
9 P.M., VINYL MAIN

Website: www.blackbridge.tv

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Magnus Buchan (with Strawberry Fish, Om Records); Scumbucket (Dope Recordings).

Describe your music in a sentence: Booty junk funk.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Of course. If that's what I wanted to do, I would do it. That's how I operate.

What's your idea of "making it"? Being able to do what you love and being able to support yourself (whether that means barely scraping by or living comfortably).

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Grandpa Mojo, Mr. Anonymous and Bright Channel.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Beatles, "White Album."

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Lately, it's been All Good Funk Alliance, Inverse Cinematics and Mode Selektor.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Too much to deal with! I'd rather the world get back to good-looking websites. Being a design nerd, I don't like the myspace format -- it's very junky looking.

JILL WATKINS BAND
NOMINATED IN BLUES
3 P.M., DAZZLE

Website: www.jillwatkins.com

Personnel: Jill Watkins (vocals, trumpet, percussion); John Ragan (guitars, vocals); Walter Sorrentino (drums, percussion); Chris-Dax (bass guitar, guitar, harmonica, vocals).

Native or transplant? Chris-Dax and John Ragan are Colorado natives; Jill and Walt hail from Minneapolis and Chicago, respectively.

Releases/discography: Just One Good Man (Aspen Records).

Describe your music in a sentence: The Jill Watkins experience is best described as a homegrown roadhouse party with plenty of red-hot vocal dynamite.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Jill Watkins Band has been very well received wherever we play.

What's your idea of "making it"? One gig at a time. Come the end of the evening, if we've respected the music and musicians who have come before us and entertained the folks who have come out and spent their money, we've made it.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Erica Brown, Denver's true queen of the music scene, plus every musician who takes their vocation seriously and leaves it all on the stage at the end of the night. We are so often inspired by our fellow musicians -- not just by their music, but by the integrity and love which guide and inspire them to make each day count for something.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you?

Beatles, Rubber Soul; Redd Volkaert, Telewacker; Janis Joplin, Cheap Thrills; Koko Taylor, Koko Taylor.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Buck Owens/Don Rich, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, George Harrison and Delbert McClinton.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? www.myspace.com/jillwatkinsband. We're just going with the flow, even if myspace does flow like molasses.

Do you have an iPod? No.

JUDGE ROUGHNECK
NOMINATED IN REGGAE/SKA
5 P.M., LA RUMBA

Website: www.judgeroughneck.com

Personnel: Byron Shaw (vocals); Zach Pietlock (drums); Chris Reidy (guitar); Brian Handlos (bass); David Dinsmore (trombone); Rolf Reitzig (trumpet); Jon Hegel (saxophone).

Native or transplant? We are primarily natives.

Releases/discography: True (2003); Skankin' Naked (1999); Rude One's Money Making Scheme (1997).

Describe your music in a sentence: We are the sound of millions of voices crying out in terror and then suddenly silenced -- much like two-tone ska.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Judge Roughneck will be wherever we are needed. Whether it's Los Angeles, Sri Lanka or Englewood, we will be there...fighting for truth, and justice, and free drink tickets.

What's your idea of "making it"? "Making it"? Well, let's just say we recently played a local county fair, and Judge Roughneck received complimentary bottled water on stage. That's right -- free water for us. And a parking pass (good for the duration of our set). You ask the definition of "making it"? Oh, we've made it, baby!

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Local artists? I can't speak for the whole band, but all of the dancers at the Bare Essence are quite talented, and it would be unfair to pick just one.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The albums which have had the greatest impact on us are (damn...this is starting to be like one of those myspace surveys that plague my inbox all the time)...um, as a band, I think Fishbone's Truth & Soul, the Specials' self-titled album, Damian Marley's Halfway Tree, lots of Burning Spear, and Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Q.

 

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? See local artists answer.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? See myspace.com/judge-roughneckband for the answer to that question.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? On my iPod right now are the rantings of a lunatic.

KING RAT
NOMINATED IN PUNK/HARDCORE
8 P.M., TWO A.M.

Website: myspace.com/kingrat

Personnel: King Rat is the name, and breaking shit is our game. Luke Schmaltz (lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Mike Makkay (lead guitar, backing vocals); Anthony Delilli (bass guitar, backing vocals); Doug "Pockets" Hopper (drums, background hollering).

Native or transplant? We're all from other places far ranker than hell's bunghole. We'd rather not associate ourselves by naming such places.

Releases/discography: I Can't Get Laid (1996); Knockin' Up Heaven's Whore (1998); How to Make Your Boss Hang Himself (2000); Don't Make Me Spit in Your Food (2003); Duct Tape and Dreams (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: King Rat sounds like a hard, fast, melodic, smirking punch in the face.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Absolutely. We're huge in Pueblo, Trinidad and Yuma, Arizona.

What's your idea of "making it"? To us, "making it" is banging your girlfriend senseless in the back seat of her jerkoff father's Cadillac. And yes, we have all "made it."

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The local artist we are most excited about is none other than Denver Joe.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Albums by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass can bring any of us to tears in moments -- huge influence. Also, we would have been lost long ago without Back in Black, Rocket to Russia and Folsom Prison Blues.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Artists who have had the biggest influence on us are Bill Hicks, Denver Joe, Tom Waits, the creators of Family Guy, Jef Kopp, Montgomery Borror, Pink Floyd, Ian Mackaye, Troy Baxley, Frank Rich, the Hard-Ons, the Replacements and Charles Bukowski.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Myspace is neither godsend nor devil. We consider it a postcard from purgatory.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? No iPods. The four of us share an old broken Sony Walkman. Each of us gets it for a week at a time and can only listen to the same Thin Lizzy tape over and over again. Which actually isn't so bad considering all the simpering, sniveling crap out there today.

KIRWAN BROWN EXPERIENCE
NOMINATED IN JAZZ/SWING
7 P.M., DAZZLE

Website: www.myspace.com/kirwanbrownmusic

Personnel: Kirwan Brown, Henrique De Almeida and Dan Schwindt.

Native or transplant? Moved to Colorado after graduating from an American High School in Germany in 1979.

Releases/Discography: Cool Grooves, 1994, Fahrenheit Records, was listed on that year's Grammy Voter Ballot in three categories; Sightings, my second release; and newest, Deux, with Henrique De Almeida. On Opie Gone Bad's first self-titled release, I was producer and co-writer with Jake Schroeder, as well as bassist; this album was also listed on the Grammy Voter Ballot. Best CD I'm on as a sideman would be Curandero, on Silver Wave Records.

Describe your music in a sentence: I hope my music strikes the listener as a heartfelt, soulful, funky experience.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? I've tried living and playing music in bigger cities like L.A. and New York, and it did NOT work out. However, my CD releases have already sold worldwide, and I get regular feedback from folks around the world via the Internet, and that helps keep me going, even though there are weeks when I'm about to start selling used cars.

What's your idea of "making it"? When artists you really admire start calling YOU up because they want to work with YOU or want your sound or song ideas.

What local artists are you most excited about? Michael Bailey from Mercury Project, Ron Miles, Jeff Elliassen, Colin Stranahan, Dominic Lalli and Terrell Martin.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Ramda, by Mice Parade; Oceana, by Ben Monder; Ultravisitor, by Squarepusher; Jaco Pastorius's eponymous first release; all Sigur Rs releases and videos.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Tom Jenkinson, Jaco, Wayne Shorter, Joey Baron, Jim Black, Adam Pierce, Kaveh Rastagar, film directors P.T. Anderson, Robert Altman, Mike Nichols, Godard, Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, and Chris Cunningham and visual artist Randy Bowen.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Probably the devil, because it can really suck you in. But it has been a more enjoyable medium than a regular website.

 

Do you have an iPod? If so, whos on it right now? None -- would like to have one, can't afford it. Yet.

LANNIE GARRETT
NOMINATED IN JAZZ/SWING

LAYLIGHTS
NOMINATED IN INDIE ROCK/POP
6 P.M., ACOMA CENTER

Website: www.laylights.com

Personnel: Tyler Hayden (vocals, guitar): Ian McCumber (lead guitar); Chris Martucci (bass); Martin Baker (drums, percussion).

Native or transplant? Half and half.

Releases/discography: We released our first EP in April and will be releasing our full-length album within the next year.

Describe your music in a sentence: The manic marriage between the darkest of darks and the lightest of lights that we know in our lives.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Denver is where we choose to be. No band is stuck here. Besides, isn't it romantic to think that you can change people's misconceptions about this city? Too many good artists and musicians move away because of this thinking. Look inward and then branch out, good people.

What's your idea of "making it"? Being able to turn down any one of the major record labels that kill good bands and good people.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Monofog, Bright Channel, the Photo Atlas, Born in the Flood and MGB.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Martin loves Big Country's The Crossing. No one else has one.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Anyone who has collaborated with any of us in the past.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend because it spreads the word fast; devil because of all the advertising now.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? NO and NO.

LION SOULJAH
NOMINATED IN REGGAE/SKA

Website: www.denverreggae.com

Personnel: Wayne Rhymer, Jamie Adams, Chad Ferry, Marvin Brown, Kathryn Harris, Jah Son, Black Rhino.

Native or transplant? Personnel are from far and wide, but the band was formed in Denver.

Releases/discography: Upcoming CD release.

Describe your music in a sentence: Giving thanks and praise to the Highest.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? To be revealed.

What's your idea of "making it"? Not doing the day job.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Big up to all local reggae crew, Jus Goodie, P-Nuckle, Canon, Judge Roughneck, Irie Still, all who carry the flame.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? All of Bob's work.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? There are so many great, classic reggae artists, but Bob's lyrics go beyond artistry, attaining a prophetic dimension.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Really don't pay much attention.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? mYkid.

LOVE ME DESTROYER
NOMINATED IN PUNK/HARDCORE
7 P.M., TWO A.M.

Website: www.lovemedestroyer.net

Personnel: Scooter, Taylor, Ryan and Cody.

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Black Heart Affair came out in 2003. Our second CD will be out this fall.

Describe your music in a sentence: No-coast feel-good party jamz.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We already have, plenty of times. Our CD is out in Japan, and we're bigger than Dance Dance Revolution.

What's your idea of "making it"? Giving 60 percent at our shows and golfing on Mondays.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Scooter: Planes Mistaken for Stars, Blackout Pact, Signal to Noise. Taylor: Fear Before the March of Flames, Drop Dead, Gorgeous and Dork. Ryan: Signal to Noise, Blackout Pact, Blue Angels. Cody: Vaux, Murder of Crows and Drag the River.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Lately? Scooter: Danko Jones, Sleep Is the Enemy; The Bronx. Taylor: Dandy Warhols, Come Down; Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl. Ryan: Saosin, Translating the Name, The Bronx. Cody: A Wilhelm Scream, Ruiner; Tool, 10,000 Days.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Lately? Scooter: Ryan Adams, Josh Todd (Buckcherry). Taylor: Courtney Taylor-Taylor (Dandy Warhols), Adam Rupert (Fear Before). Ryan: Darrel "Dimebag" Abbott, Trevor Reilly (A Wilhelm Scream). Cody: Trent Reznor and Josh Freese.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Great for networking, bad for cheating on your girlfriend.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Scooter has a mini-disc player with Mars Volta and Thrice on it. Cody and Ryan have iPods with thirteen days' worth of music on them. Taylor has a walkman with Miami Sound Machine stuck in the cassette deck.

 

LOVE.45
NOMINATED IN POP
6 P.M., OUTDOOR STAGE

Website: www.love45.com

Personnel: Paul Trinidad (lead guitar); Mick Shivers (guitar, vocals); Danny Elster (lead vocals, bass), Jim Messina (drums).

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: love.45 (2004, Sixthman); The Seattle Sessions EP (2003); and we have new music on the way!

Describe your music in a sentence: It's rock music with a sense of space and monumental scope, along with raw power and energy that is heavy on melody and harmonies, yet kicks in plenty of guitar crunch and punch.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Non-stop hard work will always create positive momentum!

What's your idea of "making it"? Having no limitation as limitation.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? It's great to see many locals in a variety of genres doing so well!

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The theme to Monday Night Football, as well as Billy Joel, Elton John and Lionel Richie tunes to listen to while traveling.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Kiss, Shinedown, the Beatles, Journey, Mae, 3 Doors Down, Foo Fighters, Prince and Led Zeppelin.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Both!

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? We have everything from A to Z on the iPod right now, thanks to our drummer, Jim Messina!

MACHINE GUN BLUES
NOMINATED IN ROCK
4 P.M., ACOMA CENTER

Website: www.myspace.com/machinegunblues

Personnel: Joshua Terry (lead guitar); Aaron Collins (vocals); Holland Rock-Garden (organ); Jermaine Smith (bass); Everett Mansfield (drums).

Native or transplant? We are a native Denver band. Only two of us were born here, but we came together here, and we love Denver.

Releases/discography: High and Low Fi: Live at Ponchos Via, (self-released 2005); Machine Gun Blues EP (Not Bad Records, 2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: The Machine Gun Blues are a rock-and-roll band, a real rock-and-roll band.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We have no intention of ever leaving Denver, although in 2007 we will be touring for five months of the year.

What's your idea of "making it"? Making it, in my mind, is being able to make a living off of touring and having a good national fan base. We have received great support from people nationally and can only hope to continue and build that national support.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? We have such a great local scene here in Denver. Some of the most exiting bands are the Swayback, who are just awesome, and the Photo Atlas seem to just be unstoppable. We are very excited to see what Big Timber will accomplish coming up. The new Laylights lineup has really taken their sound to a new level. Red Cloud West, with the addition of Neil -- well, I didn't think they could get better, but I was wrong. The Horace Van Vaughn is creating a musical revolution that may soon take us all over. The Tarmints, since they have returned, have been on fire. Last but not least, the Reverend Deadeye gets better and better every time he plays.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers has had the biggest impact on me. I think it's different for everybody in the band, but that is the one we can come closest to agreeing on.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? There have been a lot of artists that have had a large impact on us. Just to name a few: the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Doors, Joe Walsh, Neil Young, Iggy Pop, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, the Sex Pistols, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Iron Maiden, the Jam, the Clash, the Animals, the James Gang, Cream, the Bluesbreakers, Alvin Lee and Ten Years After, Steppenwolf, John Lee Hooker, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? I think it's both.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? We are against iPods. We listen to music on vinyl; that's the only way it actually sounds right.

MACHINEGUN SYMPHONY
NOMINATED IN GOTHIC/INDUSTRIAL

MANE ROK
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- MC
5 P.M., VINYL ROOFTOP

Website:www.myspace.com/manerok; www.myspace. com/maneline; www.myspace.com/lifecrew

Personnel: Just me, myself and I...ohh, ohh, ohh...and on the beats, InkLine, Yonnas, Deca and Ichiban.

Native or transplant? I've been one of D-town's finest since birth! Swansea, raise up! Park Hill, raise up! Garfield Park, raise up!

Releases/discography: Ideal Ideologies (1999); LIFE Crew compilation (2005); Top of the Line Bottom Feeder (with Deca, 2004); and coming summer of 2006, ManeLine.

 

Describe your music in a sentence: It's a sweaty threesome with melody, harmony and myself, using my mouth to the best of its abilities while the beats bang the walls!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Hmm...good ol' Denver. I think it's possible, but being between a rock and a hard place always sucks when going uphill.

What's your idea of "making it"? Touring, selling, and having a PR person handle all these types of things.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Deca, the Pirate Signal, Ichiban, Paahs, Debajo Del Agua, Five Style Fist, WhyGee, Crunk Bros., Radio Bums and Funkiphino -- their vocalist excites me! Hehehe! Well, at least last year...

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Resurrection, by the artist formerly known as Common Sense; Do You Want More? by the Roots; Here Come the Lords, by Lords of the Underground; and Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, by the Pharcyde.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Those same mentioned, but more so the past, present and future artist I work with, as no one can teach me or has taught me more.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Both. It's e-crack, I tell you. But as you can see from above, I'm addicted, as well.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? My CD collection of over 300 CDs and hella beats, with other stuff I've jacked from other people's computers.

MATSON JONES
NOMINATED IN AVANT-GARDE/ECLECTIC

Website: www.matsonjones.net

Personnel: Martina Grbac, Anna Mascorella, Matt Regan, Ross Harada.

Native or transplant? We live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Releases/discography: Matson Jones (Sympathy Records); The Albatross Mates for Life, but Only After a Courtship That Lasts Up to Four Years (Sympathy Records); A Little Bit Of Arson (7-inch, Sympathy Records); Alright, This Time Just the Girls Volume 2 (compilation, Sympathy Records); Rough Trade: Counter Culture 2005 (compilation, V2 Records).

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Monofog, Munly & Lee Lewis Harlots.

MEESE
NOMINATED IN POP
5 P.M., ACOMA CENTER

Website: www.meesemusic.com

Personnel: Patrick Meese, Nathan Meese, Mike Ayars, David Vanderhamm, Ben Haley.

Native or transplant? One native (Ayars), four transplants, each with a Colorado driver's license.

Releases/discography: The Oh No EP (2005); Our Album Year (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: It sounds like a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant...mixed with Rufus.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes, we hope to start branching out this next year, all the way to Fort Collins, baby!

What's your idea of "making it"? Having loving fans, great shows, and enough support to play music for a living.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The Photo Atlas, Born in the Flood and Josh Novak.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Radiohead, OK Computer and Amnesiac; Postal Service, Give Up.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Rós and Death Cab for Cutie.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend if you're in a band, devil if you're 35, bald and lonely.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? A band called Phoenix and NPR podcasts.

THE MERCURY PROJECT
NOMINATED IN FUNK/SOUL

Website: www.themercuryproject.com

Personnel: Jason Duffy (vocals, guitar, keys); C. Vincent Plummer (vocals, guitar, percussion); Andy Bercaw (bass); Brandon Briese (DJ); Michael Bailey (sax); John-John Gardner (percussion); Michael Smith (drums).

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Soapbox Jive (2004); A World Exists (2002).

Describe your music in a sentence: We are a schizophrenic genre-masher.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Ummm...

What's your idea of "making it"? Ummm...

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Kirwan Brown, Dave Devine, Rudy Royston and Ron Miles.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? We collectively digest albums like Pacman.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? You can't be schizophrenic and have just a couple of artists that impact you. I would say in the top-ten category would be: Wilco, Nick Drake, Radiohead, D'Angelo, Sigur Rós, John Legend, Brazilian Girls, Jill Scott, Yerba Buena, the Notwist, Bjrk, Jon Brion, the Postal Service.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Are you kidding? Do you know how many cute girls are waiting to go to shows?

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Currently listening to Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.

 

MR. PACMAN
NOMINATED IN AVANT-GARDE/ECLECTIC
3 P.M., ACOMA CENTER

Website: www.mrpacman.com

Personnel: Mr. Pacman (VOX, Keytar); Silver Ghost (Commodore 64); White Tiger (drums); Anarchy Dragon (power chords).

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Star Hustler (2004).

Describe your music in a sentence: Video-game gangster rock.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Absolutely. We are taking the Pacfashion show on a national tour for summer 2007.

What's your idea of "making it"? Having action figures made of the band.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Team Awesome and Magicyclops.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Megaman 2.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Warlock Pinchers, Totally Radd!, I Hate You When You're Pregnant, and Friends Forever.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend. I can't remember how people booked or promoted shows without it; it seems impossible now.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? ELO, Exile and Zolar X.

MUNLY & THE LEE LEWIS HARLOTS
NOMINATED IN AVANT-GARDE/ECLECTIC
9 P.M., SHELTER

Website: myspace.com/munlytheleelewisharlots

Personnel: Paul Bradley (bass); Jeff Linsenmaier (drums); MunlyMunly (Munly); Elin Palmer (violin); Frieda Stalheim (violin); Rebecca Vera (cello).

Native or transplant? All.

Releases/discography: Blurry (De Dar He, 1996); Galvanized Yankee (1997); Jimmy Carter Syndrome (1999); Lee Lewis Harlots (2004).

Describe your music in a sentence: Jello Biafra says, "The thinking man's country, strings, big rhythm, and one of the best storytellers in America."

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Are we being asked to leave?

What's your idea of "making it"? An El Camino, a blanket and Zeppelin.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? David Zimmer.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? It's yet to be made.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Stuart Adamson (2001); Herman Brood (2001); Darby Crash (1980); Budd Dwyer (1987); Tom Evans (1983); Lolo Ferrari (2000); Spalding Gray (2004); Hannibal (182BC); Judas Iscariot (1?); Jim Jones (1978); Terry Kath (1978); Peter Llewelyn-Davies (1960); Billy Mackenzie (1996); Joachim Nielson (2000); Phil Ochs (1976); Felix Powell (1942); Robert Quine (2004); George Reeves (1959); Del Shannon (1990); Pytor Tchaikovsky (1893): Urmuz (1923); Publius Veras (9); Rozz Williams (1998); You (20??); Stefan Zweig (1942); sometimes it's best to give up.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? I imagine both have larger concerns.

Do you have an iPod? No.

ZACK NICHOLS
NOMINATED IN SINGER-SONGWRITER
5 P.M., BANNOCK ST. GARAGE

Website: www.zacknichols.com

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Elizabeth St. (2005); Next Time I'll Be the Heartbreaker (2004).

Describe your music in a sentence: My music is fronted with acoustic pop/rock, while blues and soul is the true heart that makes it all tick.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Denver has a great music scene right now. I think that it is definitely possible to break out of Denver. We've all seen it happen a lot recently. I'd like to keep that going!

What's your idea of "making it"? "Making it" is being able to make a living off of what we truly love to do: make music.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? I am completely hooked on Meese, Angie Stevens and John Common.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Sky Is Crying; Sam Cooke, Ain't That Good News; Jonny Lang, Wander This World; Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Jonny Lang, Marc Broussard, Martin Sexton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Sam Cooke.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Myspace is a godsend for music, but you have to hate the crack-like addiction!

Do you have an iPod? I think I'm one of two people in the country who does not have an iPod. I'll get one soon, I promise!

JOSHUA NOVAK
NOMINATED IN SINGER-SONGWRITER
6 P.M., BANNOCK ST. GARAGE

Website: myspace.com/joshuanovak

Personnel: Kit Peltzel, Giovanni Toninello, Gann Matthews.

Native or transplant? I love Denver!

Releases/discography: Metropolis Songs (2000), The Five Day Romance (2004), Dead Letters (out this fall).

Describe your music in a sentence: Sex, blood and spit put to the sounds of a boy choir. Still.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? If you can make it in, you can make it out. Whatever that means.

What's your idea of "making it"? All you can remember is that there was a bottle of Courvoisier, that new-car smell in your hair and some guy named Joe.

 

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Born in the Flood, DeVotchKa, Meese, Gann Matthews, etc.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Right now: PJ Harvey, Stories From the City; Michael Jackson, Thriller; Suede, Suede; Xiu Xiu, Knife Play; David Bowie, Hunky Dory.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? If it weren't for Simply Red, I'd have nothing to sing at karaoke.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Birdflu.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I have a VCR, records, a typewriter and a Polaroid camera. What's an iPod?

OAKHURST
NOMINATED IN ROOTS/AMERICANA

Website: www.porchmusic.com

Personnel: A.P. Hill (lead vocal, guitar); Johnny James Qualley (upright and sideways basses); Zach Daniels (banjo); Adam "Tarzano" Smith (mandolin, electric guitar); Chris "Cruller" Budín (drums).

Native or transplant? Three natives, two transplants.

Releases/discography: Dual Mono (Big Bender Records, 2005); Greenhorn (Big Bender Records, 2004); Loose and Prosperous (Independent Release, 2001).

Describe your music in a sentence: It is a hybrid of rock and roll and bluegrass, but we like to just call it Rocky Mountain guerilla grass.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We just got back from doing a 7,300-mile tour through sixteen states, and we are still breathing all right.

What's your idea of "making it"? Playing music every day instead of twisting the monkey's wrench.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Zebra Junction: D.I.Y. done right. Watch out for Angie Stevens. And let's not forget the legends like Pete Wernick of Hot Rize.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Wilco, A Ghost Is Born; Old Crow Medicine Show; and the Hackensaw Boys, Keep It Simple.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? I think we all wanted to be in the Muppet Band. However, we are influenced most by artists who have earned success and stuck to their guns, creatively. You know who they are.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? www.myspace.com/ oakhurst -- make your own judgment.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? The short list of what's not on there: Jessica Simpson and any American Idols.

OPIE GONE BAD
NOMINATED IN FUNK/SOUL
6 P.M., LA RUMBA

Website: www.opiegonebad.com

Personnel: Windall Armour (bass); Randy Chavez (guitar); Scott Davies (drums); Jake Schroeder (vocals).

Native or transplant? Natives.

Releases/discography: Opie Gone Bad I, Opie Gone Bad II and Live at Red Rocks.

Describe your music in a sentence: Rock with a driving funk edge.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We're trying!

What's your idea of "making it"? Hearing our music in cities other than Denver and being in control of our destiny and products. Not out-of-control selling out just to get famous.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The Fray.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, the Police and Rammstein.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Just another funhouse to get lost in.

PEACE OFFICER
NOMINATED IN REGGAE/SKA
4 P.M., LA RUMBA

Website: www.peaceofficermusic.com

Personnel: Jared Schereger (vocals, keyboards); Andy Kromarek (vocals, guitar); Brian Zeiger; (guitar, vocals); Matt Iadanza (bass, vocals); Joe Stoller (drums); Loren Jones (drums).

Native or transplant? All of the members of Peace Officer are Colorado transplants, but the band itself was formed in Fort Collins.

Releases/discography: Home EP (2005); More (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: Peace Officer plays a blend of reggae, rock, ska and punk. We are heavily influenced by roots reggae, but don't try to sound like we're from the islands. We hope to be on the forefront of a developing North American reggae sound.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We already have. We play constantly up and down the Front Range and in the Midwest. For us it's more of a question of making it into Denver.

What's your idea of "making it"? When the music and the band can support us, our families and our extended "family."

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? We're extremely excited about the entire Fort Collins scene: 12 Cents for Marvin, Whitewater Ramble, Wasabi, Prism and Caleb Riley, just to mention a few. There are a lot of talented and successful bands based out of Fort Collins, and they all work to help build a vibrant and friendly scene.

 

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Everything recorded by Bob Marley; 40 oz. to Freedom, by Sublime; Clandestino, by Manu Chao.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Bob Marley and the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Manu Chao, Sublime, Midnite, John Brown's Body and Cake, to mention a few.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Myspace is a godsend! There's no better way to keep in touch with bands and fans in our scene and all over the country.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Hours and hours of Fela Kuti and the Africa 70 and Egypt 80.

PHOTO ATLAS
NOMINATED IN INDIE ROCK/POP
9 P.M., ACOMA CENTER

Website: www.myspace.com/danceatlasdance or www.thephotoatlas.com

Personnel: Alan, Devon, Mark, Bill combine to form the atlas robot.

Native or transplant? We swing both ways.

Releases/discography: 2004 self-released EP; No, Not Me, Never (Morning After Records, 2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: "A happy marriage between Q and Not U -- hard, drum-driven rhythm and claps -- and At the Drive-In's screamy vocals." -- The Daily Californian, Berkeley, CA.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Only if we change our name to Fear Before the March of Atlas or possibly Rose Hill Atlas.

What's your idea of "making it"? Ten-hour drives and sleeping in a van.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Swayback, Born in the Flood, A Novel Form, Signals to Noise and Vaux.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Devon has a Cursive tattoo -- does that answer your question?

Myspace: godsend or the devil? We love the myspace and purevolume.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Little Brazil, Statistics and a bunch of favorites...oh, and TV shows.

PLAYALITICAL
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- MC

Website: www.playalitical.net

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: The FA.Q Album (2001); The Re-uP (2002); Catch the Buzz Volume One (2003); AmeriCon (2003); Catch the Buzz Volume Two (2004); Underground Bosses (2005); Code Green (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: The New West.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes.

What's your idea of "making it"? A gold record and/or a Top 20 Billboard hit!

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Spoke-In-Wordz, Duce Stabs and Dent.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Jay-Z's In My Lifetime Vol 1. and Tupac's All Eyes on Me.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Jay-Z, Nas and Eminem.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend.

Do you have an iPod? No.

P-NUCKLE
NOMINATED IN REGGAE/SKA
3 P.M., MILK BAR

Website: www.p-nuckle.com

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Colfax Satisfaction (2003); Resident 303 (Fall 2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: Reggae dub punk.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes.

What's your idea of "making it"? Touring full-time.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? P-Nuckle.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Sublime's 40 oz. to Freedom.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Slightly Stoopid and Pepper.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? N.W.A, Slightly Stoopid, Ween, Easy E, the Ziggens, Spice One, Primus and Psychedelic Zombiez.

POLYTOXIC
NOMINATED IN JAM/IMPROV
3 P.M., LA RUMBA

Website: www.polytoxic.biz

Personnel: CR GRUVER (keys); CHADZILLA (drums); TORI (geetar).

Native or transplant? I'm a transplanta from Atlanta.

Releases/discography: First Step, Three Sheets to the Wind (DVD).

Describe your music in a sentence: You bring the booty, we bring the party.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We've put 16,000 miles on our van so far in 2006, so I guess "Yes."

What's your idea of "making it"? Making it means not having to duck my landlord's phone calls.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? John Bukaty.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Personally, I only listen to live music recordings.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Led Zep, Widespread Panic, anyone who plays from the heart.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? God, the devil and myspace are all useless.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Twenty disco songs (mentally rehearsing for our July 7 All Disco show @ Cervantes').

POTCHEEN FOLK BAND
NOMINATED IN AVANT-GARDE/ECLECTIC
9 P.M., MILK BAR

 

Website: www.potcheenfolkband.com

Personnel: Christopher Shelby (lead vocals, guitar); Christian Blochinger (vocals, drums/percussion); Dave LaMothe (vocals, bass); Chris Field (fiddle, mandolin). Former members that appear on our CDs: Michele MacGregor (fiddle); Angela Kimber (cello).

Native or transplant? 50/50: Shelby and Dave are native Coloradans. Block and Field are from the East Coast.

Releases/discography: The Potcheen Folk Band (2004); Up She Rises (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: We are a high-energy Celtic-pirate-folk-punk-rock band that mixes traditional music with high-energy rhythms and a pirate's attitude for drinking, revelry and rebelry. YARRRRRRR!!!!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We have a tour bus and have already toured outside of Denver twice (fifteen cities in California, Phoenix and Vegas). We have a fifteen-city Midwest/East Coast tour planned for July (Nebraska, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, NJ, Boston and DC). So, yes, I think we can!

What's your idea of "making it"? It's about enjoying what you do, gaining a following, getting recognition for your craft by your peers and eventually embarking on a national tour with some label support.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Melissa Ivey, Step Short, Oakhurst, Opie Gone Bad, Ten Cent Redemption, P-Nuckle, Polytoxic, Yo Flaco!, Tempa and the Tantrums, Jill Watkins, Judge Roughneck, Ion and Rubber Planet.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Christian: Grateful Dead, Terrapin Station; Kiss, Rock and Roll Over; Pink Floyd, The Wall. Shelby: Bob Marley, Burnin'; The Pogues, Rum, Sodomy & the Lash; Seanchai & the Unity Squad, There Will Be Another Day. Dave: Nomeansno, Wrong; Nirvana, Nevermind; Operation Ivy, Unity.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? The Pogues, Chieftans, Derek Warfield & the Wolfe Tones, Nirvana, Tool, Flogging Molly, Grateful Dead, the Cure, Bob Marley, the Sex Pistols and the Clash.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Pretty Girls Make Graves.

PROJECT 12:01
NOMINATED IN GOTHIC/INDUSTRIAL

Website: www.project1201.com, myspace.com/project1201

Personnel: Melly London, Noel Johannes.

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Last Pharaoh (available at CDBaby.com).

Describe your music in a sentence: Sultry darkwave bliss.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Our fan base is very scattered about nationally and internationally, so in a sense, I think we already have.

What's your idea of "making it"? Paying the mortgage and buying nice cars with the profits from our music would be a good example of "making it."

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Munly & the Lee Lewis Harlots.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Melly London was never the same after receiving her first album as a little girl, Madonna's Like a Virgin.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Siouxsie and the Banshees, Madonna, KMFDM.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Assuming godsend, since Jesus added us as a friend. LOL.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Yes. The Bravery, "Honest Mistake."

RAILBENDERS
NOMINATED IN COUNTRY/ALT COUNTRY
3 P.M., OUTDOOR STAGE

Website: www.railbenders.com

Personnel: Jim Dalton, Tyson Murray, Graham Haworth and a revolving door of guitar/steel players.

Native or transplant? Two-thirds of us are natives. Graham is from Vashon Island, Washington.

Releases/discography: Southbound, Segundo and Showdown.

Describe your music in a sentence: We like to call our music "hard country."

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Not with gas prices the way they are.

What's your idea of "making it"? We just like to give people, including ourselves, a good time so they can forget about all their problems for a while and enjoy themselves. If we've managed to do that on any given night, we've "made it."

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? There are so many local artists kicking ass right now. It's pretty cool to see what the Fray is doing on such a huge level.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The album that has probably influenced us the most up to this point is Honky Tonk Heroes, by Waylon Jennings. That record is pure genius from start to finish.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? We draw from many sources, but Waylon, Willie and Johnny have to be at the top.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Both.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Son Volt.

RED CLOUD WEST
NOMINATED IN COUNTRY/ALT COUNTRY

Website: www.myspace.com/redcloudwest

 

Personnel: Ross Etherton on pig lung, Andrew Warner on seahorse, Neil Keener on kidney stone, Jason Heller on Neil Keener.

Native or transplant? We came here from ashes.

Releases/discography: The Red Cloud Condemnation Society and Its Panoply of Players Presents: The Word Comes From the Name of a Mythical Reptile Purported to Be the King of All Lizards. It Was Also Called a Cockatrice.

Describe your music in a sentence: Will you refuse your right to choose your type of execution?

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Scrivener's palsy is the devil's workshop.

What's your idea of "making it"? Bleeding to death to maintain sanctity.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The ones who aren't going to prom.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Maximillian Colby/Shotmaker split twelve-inch. The Boys Life/Christie Front Drive split ten-inch. The Cap'n Jazz/Friction split seven-inch.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? He turned up in St. Petersburg in 1904 and gained entry to the czar's inner circle through his success in relieving the suffering of the czar's young son, who was afflicted with hemophilia.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Satan laughing sends his links.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Cats. The animal, not the musical.

REDLINE DEFIANCE
NOMINATED IN ROCK
5 P.M., MILK BAR

Website: www.myspace.com/redlinedefiance

Personnel: Carlos Martin (bass); Emerson Willis (lead guitar/vocals); Mike Kellogg (lead singer/rhythm guitar); Seth Bennett (drums).

Native or transplant? Carlos is a transplant from Washington, D.C.; Emerson, Kellog and Bennett are natives.

Releases/discography: Last of the Cellophane (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: Emerson: Channeling tricky rhythms, shimmery soft parts and a metal-schooled dual-ax attack. Kellog: Vocal-driven, breaking rock experiment with a brilliant music backbone.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Hell, yes!

What's your idea of "making it"? Martin: To headline at the 9:30 Club in D.C. to a sold-out crowd. Willis: Being recognized as a national act, and being able to live comfortably from touring, playing shows, selling our music.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? No Fair Fights, no question.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Coheed & Cambria; the Chili Peppers, Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik; every Fugazi album; all Metallica; all U2; the Boys Night Out; Train Wreck. Willis: Incubus, Make Yourself; 311, Evolver.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Same as above.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend for us.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Martin: Ranges from Sly and the Family Stone to Funeral for a Friend!

RENO DIVORCE
NOMINATED IN PUNK/HARDCORE

Website:www.renodivorceonline.com, www.myspace.com/ renodivorceonline

Personnel: Brent Loveday (lead guitar, vocals); Tim Jadowski (bass, backing vocals); Andrew Eric (drums, Pure Evil); Johnny Smith (backing vocals, harmonies).

Native or Transplant? All four of us are from different states.

Releases/Discography: Naysayers and Yesmen/Laugh Now Cry Later ( 2005, Street Anthem Records ); Laugh Now Cry Later EP (2004, Boss Tuneage Records); You're Only Making It Worse (2003, Boss Tuneage Records); Naysayers and Yesmen (2002, Boss Tuneage Records); Web of Lies EP (1997, Bomb Records). Featured on several compilation albums over the years.

Describe your music in a sentence: Well, we have been told, "Loud, fast, dirty -- no, FILTHY -- punk rock and roll."

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We already have.

What is your idea of "making it"? When you look in the crowd and there's a good healthy pit going, and everyone is singing along to your songs, even in places you have never been before, and they ask, "When are you coming back?"

What local artists are you most excited about? Well, besides the longstanding bands in this town that we play with, like King Rat, Dr. Neptune, Bold Type, the Swanks, Whiskey Kiss and Frontside Five, there are several new up-and-comers that we feel are going to make a good impact on our genre. Bands like Alcoholiday, the Allergies, Red Stinger, Jett Black, the Susceptibles and Ghost Blood. We know there are a lot more great bands in Colorado; we just haven't had the pleasure of sharing the stage with them yet. Don't just wait for the Warped Tour to come to town once a year. Get out of the 'burbs and see the great bands we have right here in your own back yard. Yes, folks, Denver has a great punk-rock scene, but you'll never know sitting on the couch.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Not one single or even several albums can sum it all up. Guess you would have to ask each member of the band. Go to a show and ask!

 

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Again, it's hard to narrow it down, since there are so many, so we'll say this: all of the great bands that have come before us, especially the So Cal punk-rock bands from the early '80s.

MySpace: godsend or the devil ? Hahaha! Both! Everyone says they hate it, but they're on there all the time, right? We like it; it's a great way to communicate with our fans and let them know what's up with the band. Is that Tom guy a real person ?

Do you have an iPod ? If so, who's on it right now? Those things hold like a million songs or something crazy like that. Don't think Westword has enough space to list them all.

REVEREND DEADEYE
NOMINATED IN BLUES
5 P.M., SHELTER

Website: www.revdeadeye.com

Personnel: Reverend and my goddamn wife.

Native or transplant? Native American transplant.

Releases/discography: Singin' and Shoutin' in Yer Mama's Church (2005); Drinkin' With the Reverend (2003); Reverend Deadeye (2002).

Describe your music in a sentence: Punk-rock hillbilly gospel blues.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Nope, too drunk to drive.

What's your idea of "making it"? Jesus, whiskey and a soft feather bed.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The bands that make the Reverend's loins quiver are the Whiskey Pissin' Blues Band, Ghost Buffalo, Hexen, Monofog, Red Cloud West, American Relay and Machine Gun Blues.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The one that my wife done threw at me cuz she was all pissed awf.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Blind Willie Bukka Lemon Johnson Jefferson the III, my dad, Jesus and whiskey (oh, and that dirty ol' brother backslider).

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Nothin' made by human hands for financial gain could be anything but evil -- well, except for whiskey.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I got the Quadrajets on my fancy-ass record player right now.

ROSE HILL DRIVE
NOMINATED IN ROCK

RUBBER PLANET
NOMINATED IN POP
7 P.M., MILK BAR

Website: www.myspace.com/rubberplanet

Personnel: Brice (guitar); Silver (bass, vocals); Vitamin G (guitar); C9 (drums).

Native or transplant? 75% local, 25% transplant: Brice is originally from Baltimore.

Releases/discography: Lovejones 2000 (1999); Just Visiting (2000); Fun With Rubber (2002); Out There (2004); Cosmic (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: We are radio-ready pop/rock that makes you want to jump up and down.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Why would we want to make it out of Denver?

What's your idea of "making it"? Being able to play music for a living.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Born in the Flood, Epilogue, More Than Medium.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Cars, The Cars; Sonic Youth, Dirty; Led Zeppelin, IV.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Bob Marley, Depeche Mode, the Cars and Van Halen.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? The devil.

Do you have an iPod? Nope.

SAVAGE HENRY
NOMINATED IN ROCK
4 P.M., MILK BAR

Website: www.savagehenry.com

Personnel: Damon Guerrasio, Stuart Miller, Ryan Morrow, Mike Rice and Dave Wruck.

Native or transplant? Native band.

Releases/discography: All In.

Describe your music in a sentence: Good feel rock.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We believe persistence pays off -- and a huge briefcase of cash wouldn't hurt.

What's your idea of "making it"? Drinking with Hef at the Playboy Mansion while our mortgages are being paid by the band. (Ain't talking about some small studio apartment, either...)

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The Jars, Kevin Meleski, Jason Laroy & Friends, and the Fong Jones Band.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Everything! We're the melting pot (I know it sounds cliche, but it's true).

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Any touring act we meet on the road. These are the people we learn and grow from. Nothing happens sittin' on your butt at home.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? BOTH! It's got us!

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Yes, the new Umphrey's McGee.

THE SPUTTER
NOMINATED IN JAZZ/SWING
8 P.M., DAZZLE

 

Website: thesputter.com, myspace.com/thesputter

Personnel: Jon Wirtz (piano, keys); David Kurtz (drums, percussion); Jonathan Rakstang (upright bass).

Native or transplant? The Sputter was born in a Denver basement in Fall 2003.

Releases/discography: Great Unseen (Bocumast Records).

Describe your music in a sentence: Experimental independent jazz & electro-cosmic groove fusion.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We have played many a mountain town.

What's your idea of "making it"? Never having to answer a question like this one again.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Astrophagus (www.astrophagus.com), Nightshark, Born in the Flood, Dave Cieri, Mercury Project, Pat Bianche and Voices Underwater.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Miles Davis, In A Silent Way; Medeski, Martin and Wood, Combustication; Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Esbjorn Svennson Trio, Coltrane, Radiohead, Monk, Brad Mehldau, David Bowie, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Mike Clark and Beck.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? What would Mr. T say?

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Detachment Kit, Beirut, Fiery Furnaces, Brian Eno, the Books, Wayne Shorter Live!, Legendary Pink Dots, Calexico, Sam Prekop, Chad VanGaalen, Sufjan Stevens, Flotation Toy Warning, Hella, the Ills, Jenny Lewis, the Jolly Rogers, Bright Eyes, David Cross, Bob Moses, Sun Ra, Miroslav Vitous, the Flaming Lips, Sex Mob, Mingus, Wynton Marsalis, Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, Misfits, Turin Brakes, Swearing at Motorists, TV on the Radio, Art Blakey, Wolf Parade, Wolfmother, Bill Hicks and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

STARFUZZ
NOMINATED IN POP
6 P.M., MILK BAR

Website: www.starfuzzband.com

Personnel: Josh Skelton, Ryan Countryman, Jared Schiltz and Curtis Durham.

Native or transplant? Our band was raised in the hothouses of Indiana, Illinois, Florida and Colorado, and then transported here to the high desert climate of Denver for further growth and blossoming.

Releases/discography: You Are Food (2004); Product for American Radio (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: The music of Starfuzz makes you tingle all over like the anticipation of biting into a tart kosher dill pickle.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Without a doubt.

What's your idea of "making it"? Our idea of "making it" is being able to create music as a career, having the opportunity to leave our mark in the world of music and playing Stratego ALL DAY LONG.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? We are very happy for the success of bands such as the Fray, Born in the Flood, Rose Hill Drive and others. But in truth, we are mostly excited about our own band and the music we are creating.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Zip Zap Rap, by Devastatin' Dave the Turntable Slave, has influenced us greatly.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? I think Josh got in a fight with the guitar player from Flock of Seagulls and got punched pretty good in the eye. But Josh totally kicked his ass after that. Oh, do you mean musically?

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Myspace is a froo-eet of the dev-eel and some kind of wacky kitty-cat factory.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Stereolab is playing on Curtis's Creative Nano. Josh is probably listening to a kid trying to play a Green Day song on his guitar. Ryan and Jared are most likely listening to the mysterious beep-beeps of space-bound satellite equipment.

ANGIE STEVENS
NOMINATED IN SINGER-SONGWRITER
9 P.M., BANNOCK ST. GARAGE

Website: www.myspace.com/angiestevens

Personnel: Evan on bass, Damon Scott on drums.

Native or transplant? Transplant (Midwest girl).

Releases/discography: I'm Okay (2005), Stand Up Girl (Summer, 2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: Honest songwriting with a dash of country, a cup of rock sprinkled with Americana -- stir well.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? I stay focused on playing shows locally and nationally, connecting with people and building a successful business. I am incredibly honored to be where I'm at and feel hard work will always pay off.

What's your idea of "making it"? Making it, to me, is connecting with my audience -- anything from selling a single disc to selling out a venue.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? We have an amazing local music scene! To name a few: Railbenders, Oakhurst, John Common, Meese, Zack Nichols and Born in the Flood.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Jeff Buckley, Grace; Joni Mitchell, Blue; Patty Griffin, Living With Ghosts; Martin Sexton, Live Wide Open; Radiohead, The Bends; Dixie Chicks, Fly; Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life; Mason Jennings, Birds Flying Away.

 

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Any artists who bare their souls impact me greatly.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend! I've heard countless unsigned artists who have just floored me in every way.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I have over 2,000 songs, everything from Ray Charles to Joanna Newsome.

THE SWANKS
NOMINATED IN PUNK/HARDCORE
4 P.M., TWO A.M.

Website: www.theswanksrock.com

Personnel: Rex Burdick (guitar, vocals); Phillip Atencio (drums); Shanda Kolberg (guitar, vocals); Shay Moss (bass, vocals).

Native or transplant? We're all transplants. Shay came here from Texas, but has lived here for thirty years; Rex moved here from Hawaii, by way of Pennsylvania; Phillip's from Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Shanda hails from Iowa.

Releases/discography: The Swanks (1999); Keep America Rollin' (2003); The Swanks vs. The World (2005); appeared on Undead in Denver Vol. 1 and Vol.2; upcoming release: The Brides of Electric Frankenstein.

Describe your music in a sentence: Loud, angry, kick-you-in-the-nuts rock and roll.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Who knows? We've never sent any of our music out to anybody. The motivation just isn't there. We'd rather drink beer, I guess.

What's your idea of "making it"? In our eyes, we've already "made it." We get to do what we want, when we want to do it. We don't need some record exec mucking it all up.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? King Rat, Reno Divorce, Valio Mierda, Alcoholiday, the Swindlers, Black Lamb, Ghost Buffalo, Jett Black, Fallout Orphan, Cobra Kai and the Mansfields.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Slayer, Reign of Blood; The Ramones, Rocket to Russia; Betty Blowtorch, Get Off; Lars Friedrickson and the Bastards, Viking; Gluecifer, Atomic Thrill.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Slayer, the Ramones, Betty Blowtorch, Motrhead, etc.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Phillip says, "I like it! A trend in the electronic entertainment industry is user-created content. Developers create tools which enable users to create personalized content. The end result can be something as creative and diverse as user pages found in myspace. Great idea!"

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? None of us own an iPod.

SWAYBACK
NOMINATED IN ROCK
7 P.M., ACOMA CENTER

Website: www.myspace.com/theswayback

Personnel: Eric Halborg, Bill Murphy, Martijn Bolster.

Native or transplant? Transplants.

Releases/discography: Swayback (Too Bad You're Beautiful Recordings, 2004); Forewarned EP (What Are Records, May 2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: Equal parts completely enchanted/completely disgusted with everything.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? On the backs of the hounds of Denver go we.

What's your idea of "making it"? Some Muddy Waters on the phonograph, a little drunk on wine.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Jef Kopp and the people who make the Horndribbles (and most of the stuff at Andenken).

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Unknown pleasures /Kill 'em All.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Mudhoney, Love and Rockets, Death, Leonard Cohen, Bowie, My Bloody Ridedriver, Dungen, My Morning Jacket, Sonic Youth, Hendrix!, Bob Marley, Stooges, Smiths, Kraftwerk, Daramarama, Murder City Devils, Bukowski and Henry Miller.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Bit of both, I guess.

Do you have an iPod? If so, what's on it right now? Twenty gigs of the good stuff.

TEMPA AND THE TANTRUMS
NOMINATED IN BLUES
4 P.M., DAZZLE

Website: www.tempaandthetantrums.com

Personnel: Tempa (vocals, songwriter); Joseph Barton (guitar, songwriter); David Foret (bass); Phil Bassist (drums); JZ (guitar); Dave Camp (sax); Harold Rapp (sax).

Native or transplant? We are transplant/native hybrids.

Releases/discography: Tempa and the Tantrums, Foo Ya Live, and coming up: Holding on to the Blue.

Describe your music in a sentence: Wild-ass blues jazz zydefunk!!!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? All of the bandmembers have already. :)

What's your idea of "making it"? Being heard and being humble about it.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Melissa Ivey, Elizabeth Rose, Michael Hornbuckle, Brian Hornbuckle, Jen Fielder, Potcheen Folk Band, Steve Crenshaw, Mercury Project, Rubber Planet, Elana Rogers & the Reason, Jill Watkins Band, Erica Brown Band, Willie Houston, Bigga Digga, Uncle Monkey Band, Johnny O. Band, Rob Drabkin, Kirwan Brown, Lannie Garrett and Hazel Miller. These are just a handful of the people/bands we love, admire and are excited about!

 

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Joni Mitchell, Blue; Zappa, The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life; Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Cha's, Let's Go!; Koko Taylor, Live, Fleetwood Mac, Live, Earth Wind & Fire, Fantasy; Michael Brecker, Heavy Metal Bee Bop; Grover Washington, Inner City Blues; Beatles, the "White Album"; the Allman Brothers, Live at the Fillmore.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Grand Funk Railroad, The Beatles, Zappa, Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Mavis Staples, Ralph Stanley, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor, Blind Willie Johnson, Janis Joplin, James Taylor, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Robert Johnson, Patsy Cline, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Louis Jordan and KISS!

Myspace: godsend or the devil? How about DEVIL? Bwahahahaha!

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? No iPod, but Tempa has a really cool Grafonola that she cranks up and plays 78s at dinner parties!

TEN CENT REDEMPTION
NOMINATED IN ROOTS/AMERICANA
6 P.M., SHELTER

Website: www.tencentredemption.com

Personnel: Rhett, Tony, Johnny, Bill.

Native or transplant? Native, except for Tony.

Releases/discography: Worst Plan Ever (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: Sounds like a Mississipi clothesline being dried by a British breeze -- then we smashed our shit.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes.

What's your idea of "making it"? Not blinkin' at $240 worth of puddin'.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Vaux, Born in the Flood, the Fray and Slim Cessna's Auto Club.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Cure, Disintegration; Jeff Buckley, Grace; Jimmy Eat World, Clarity; the Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Uncle Tupelo, Ryan Adams, Cowboy Junkies, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Wilco, Afghan Whigs, DJ Sasha and NIN.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Ryan Adams, Vaux, Cracker, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, People in Planes, Led Zeppelin, Lots of Techno, the Real People, K's Choice, Solid Frog, Kanye West, Neil Diamond, Calexico, Neko Case, Hard-Fi, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Miles Davis, etc., etc., etc.

TEN TIERS
NOMINATED IN POP
4 P.M., BANNOCK ST. GARAGE

Website: www.myspace.com/tentiers

Personnel: Jonathan Tiersten, Mitch Dezwarte, Chris Childress, Paul Henry, Brion Neill and a whole slew of other people.

Native or transplant? Transplant from NYC.

Releases/discography: Tied Up (2004), Don's Club Tavern Part 1 (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: I write about things that move something in me emotionally. You gotta feel it! That being said, it's rock music with an acoustic guitar.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Gosh, I hope so. Actually, we have already toured the West Coast, and I have played all up and down the East Coast. It looks like we will have a song on the CBS show Numbers this fall.

What's your idea of "making it"? You mean this isn't it? It's funny, we spend so much time trying to "make it," that we don't enjoy where we already are. I want more, but I appreciate that every day I get to sing and write and eat. I guess we could ask Nietzsche how he defined success.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The Photo Atlas, Jimmie Austin, Rubber Planet, Lazy Face and Hot IQs.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? David Bowie's Space Oddity, Yes's Close to the Edge, Crosby Stills, Nash and Young's 4 Way Street and Joan Armatrading's Show Some Emotion.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Robert Smith, David Byrne, Peter Gabriel, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Joan Armatrading, Mike York and Gregg Allman.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Guilty pleasure. Valuable tool. That being said, probably anything associated with Rupert Murdoch...?!%&*

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I still listen to whole CDs. When did we criminalize attention spans? I am in the midst of a torrid affair with the band Yes. Who said retreads don't work?

THREE MILES WEST
NOMINATED IN ROOTS/AMERICANA
3 P.M., SHELTER

Website: www.threemileswest.com

Personnel:Russ, Mindi, Todd and John.

Native or transplant? Native.

Releases/discography: Dead Reckoning (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: Three Miles West plays a brand of Western, spacious alt country that is an intriguing companion for a nighttime drive in the desert.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? With GPS, it should be possible to get out of Denver.

 

What's your idea of "making it"? We have arrived once we a) have an actual fan; b) sell a CD for full price to non-family members.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Angie Stevens.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? U2's The Joshua Tree, since I waited all day in line to get a copy at midnight at a record store; Echo & the Bunnymen's Ocean Rain let me know you could be dark, psychedelic, and have hooks at the same time.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Josh Ritter. He can't play rhythm guitar, either, but the songs still say enough.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? The Final Solution in drag.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? A what? Vinyl, baby, vinyl.

TRISTRAUM
NOMINATED IN GOTHIC/INDUSTRIAL

Website: www.tristraum.com

Personnel: Randall Erkelens (keyboards); Pierre Norman (keyboards); Krystyna Eller (vocals/lyrics).

Native or transplant? Randall moved to Denver from San Francisco ten years ago. Pierre and Krystyna are natives.

Releases/discography: See: www.tristraum.com/disco.html

Describe your music in a sentence: Modern electronica with fiery female vocals and lush synth textures.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Most of our success is in other countries. The real question is, can we make it in Denver?

What's your idea of "making it"? Have one or more of our songs become a club anthem. The songs you hate hearing every week.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? DeVotchKa, the Dignity of Labour and Rhythmic Symphony.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Depeche Mode, Some Great Reward; Orbital, Insides; Neil Young, Harvest.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Depeche Mode, Yaz, Japan, VNV Nation and '80s synth pop.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? A great way to promote.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Dead Can Dance, Erasure, Assemblage 23.

MICHAEL TRUNDLE
NOMINATED IN DJ: ELECTRONIC/NON-TRADITIONAL
6 P.M., VINYL MAIN

Website: www.Denver3.com

Native or transplant? I was transplanted here from Ohio at five years old.

Describe your music in a sentence: Well, since I DJ, I play other people's music, so I can't really call it mine. But what I play is what I hope will make you dance -- some rock, some indie, some soul, some remixes. If it's good, it'll probably find its way into a set at some point.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? As long as I-70 doesn't close down for some reason, making it out of Denver shouldn't be a problem.

What's your idea of "making it"? Depends on what "it" is. If "it" is a drink, then my definition is Grey Goose vodka, tonic, and a squeeze of lime. Now go make "it," 'cause I'm thirsty.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Red Cloud, Ghost Buffalo. The Laylights rock pretty hard. Machine Gun Blues. The Tarmints. And Denver Joe -- that guy's a dick, but he's funny.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Bauhaus, The Sky's Gone Out; Muse, Origin of Symmetry; Joy Division, Closer; Pink Floyd, The Wall; Snort Attack, The Imitations.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Leonard Cohen, Joy Division, Sparklehorse, Muse, Diplo, MSTRKRFT and Grandaddy.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? For promotional purposes, Myspace is a godsend. For the sake of relationships and creating unnecessary drama, it's the devil.

Do you have an iPod? If so, what's on it right now? Hmmm...it's set to random. Let's see what comes up next: "Taschenrechner," by Kraftwerk. How very apropos and cliche for the hipsters. I totally cooked it that time.

12 CENTS FOR MARVIN
NOMINATED IN REGGAE/SKA
5 P.M., LA RUMBA

Website: www.12cents.com

Personnel: Tom Werge (vocals); Hilary Spriggs (bass); Nik Levinsky (guitar); Soren Daugaard (drums); Aaron Spriggs (theremin); Greta Cornett (trumpet); John Giordanengo (trombone); Dave Clapsaddle (sax).

Releases/discography: Yellow Raincoat (1998); King of the Ring (2000); The EP (2002); Change (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: Ska/reggae/rock.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? 12 Cents has persisted for the love of performing live shows and making records. Although we have gone out on many tours to the West Coast and other places, our goals continue to revolve around enjoying every minute of what we are doing more than making it out of Denver.

What's your idea of "making it"? We will never truly "make it," since the journey is the destination. Or should we say that we have already made it? For nearly ten years, we have been playing live shows and writing fun and entertaining music. If we continue to become better known to a larger audience base and start making enough money to quit our day jobs, that would be an accomplishment. However, making it is not what the band is about. The journey is the process, and the journey continues.

 

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? P-Nuckle, Filthy Children and Melissa Ivey: They all have what it takes to be successful in the conventional sense. They are talented, fresh and innovative with unique perspectives. They all have something worthwhile to contribute to music, art and the world in general.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Dub Side of the Moon, by Easy Star All-Stars; The Specials, by the Specials;White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean, by NOFX; 40 oz. to Freedom, by Sublime.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Chrix and Aaron Poland from Warsaw Poland Brothers have had some of the most influence on us: They tour constantly, performing 300 shows a year; they practically live in their van; and they always seek new levels of skill and talent in their music. They are living their dreams and stand as an example of how musicians can control their own destiny.

Myspace: Godsend or the devil? Myspace is wonderful. It is truly helping bands in their quest to network with their audience and other musicians, to book gigs in towns they've never played, and to get their music to the people.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Toots and the Maytals, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Frank Zappa and Hepcat -- not necessarily in that order, since its on shuffle.

UNDER THE DRONE
NOMINATED IN METAL/HARD ROCK
5 P.M., TWO A.M.

Website: www.myspace.com/underthedronecom

Personnel: Mike (drums); Dave (bass); Justin (lead guitar); Ben (vox and guitar).

Native or transplant? All native.

Releases/discography: Under the Drone EP (2004), Keep It Shred (2005), and in early 2007, we'll be releasing a new album.

Describe your music in a sentence: Some would say we have a thick, dynamic, soul-filled, intense punk-rock-metal-roll sound.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? If we make it out of Denver, we are going to try and conquer Ogallala, Nebraska, next.

What's your idea of "making it"? Our idea of "making it" is when her clothes are off and things start to get sweaty.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Dartanian (their CD release is June 23 at the Marquis Theatre).

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Metallica, Master of Puppets; Refused, Shape of Punk to Come; Ugly Kid Joe, America's Least Wanted.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Mike Patton, Eric Clapton and Wesley Willis.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Myspace works for us.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? Bella Donna, Peter North, and more music than you can listen to.

VALIOMIERDA
NOMINATED IN METAL/HARD ROCK
6 P.M., TWO A.M.

Website: www.valiomierda.com

Native or transplant? Val is from Texas; Bart grew up in Florida; Igor was born in Venezuela; and Lance is a Colorado native.

Releases/discography: Valiomierda (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: Fast, aggressive, punk-influenced metal that kicks ass!!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We have yet to tour, but that has not been our goal. We play for fun first. We started the band just to be ourselves and not to market the music to others. However, we are happy that people have taken to our band -- it just makes it more fun.

What's your idea of "making it"? We have no idea. Half the bands that make it blow chunks.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Under the Drone and Prescription are fun to see live.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The ones that don't suck.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? You have to filter through a lot of crap to find anything good. Now that the Fox Corporation owns it, we'd say it's evil. We have booked a few good gigs and networked pretty well with it, though.

Do you have an iPod? No.

WESLEY WAYNE
NOMINATED IN DJ: ELECTRONIC/NON-TRADITIONAL

Website: www.myspace.com/wesleywayne

Native or transplant? Springs Bridge (Colorado Springs)

Releases/discography: Various mix CDs currently, and cassette tapes back in the day.

 

Describe your music in a sentence: All quality music that rocks, is hot, soulful or bangin' -- old school to next school!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Already have: I used to DJ in SF as well as NYC, at Spa, Plaid, Mission, Black & White, Justice League, and for events by the likes of Surface Mag, Adidas, New Museum, L'Oreal, Garnier Fructis and KCDC Skateshop in Brooklyn.

What's your idea of "making it"? Any slot I got gets rocked! Making the Denver DJ scene more progressive by blending the unexpected.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Planes Mistaken for Stars, Out on Bail, Machine Gun Blues and Call Sign Cobra (R.I.P.)

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Recently: Gnarls Barkley, TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? B.I.G., Gang Starr, Digable Planets, the Clash, DJ Shadow and Diplo.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? It works for me, but the parents of high school students need to step off trying to come down on the site, as it wasn't intended for teenagers anyway. It is intended for young adults.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? It's fully loaded, from MF DOOM, to Joy Division, to Slayer, to Misfits, and on and on and on!

WHITE WATER RAMBLE
NOMINATED IN JAM/IMPROV
8 P.M., MILK BAR

Website: www.myspace.com/whitewaterramble

Personnel: Patrick Sites (mandolin); Brian Coddington (acoustic guitar); Howard Montgomery (upright bass); Joe Turman (fiddle); Alex Jacobson (drums).

Native or transplant? Both.

Releases/discography: Red Alert, Live (2005).

Describe your music in a sentence: High-octane jamgrass.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? We're out of Fort Collins, thank you. We always seem to be making it out of Denver really early in the morning.

What's your idea of "making it"? Record deal, quality road gigs. Buses instead of vans.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The Railbenders, Oakhurst and Peace Officer.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Phish, Sam Bush, David Grisman, Miles Davis and the Allman Brothers.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Good stuff!

THE LEGENDARY WILLIE HOUSTON & THE BLUES PROWLERS
NOMINATED IN BLUES

Website: www.williehouston.com

Personnel: Willie Houston, Hubert Blues Lawhorn, Jim Beckstein, Tim Mahoney and Mike Ray.

Native or transplant? Grande Cane, Louisiana.

Releases/discography: Bluesman Willie Houston (2003).

Describe your music in a sentence: Electric Delta seasoned blues.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Of course.

What's your idea of "making it"? National CD release, national appearances, festivals, etc.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Dan Treanor & African Wind.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker's recordings.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Same as above.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? What? We're old!

Do you have an iPod? No.

YO, FLACO!
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP -- GROUP
8 P.M., OUTDOOR STAGE

Website: www.yoflaco.com

Personnel: Brandon Martin (guitar); Ethan Raczka (sax); Jon Piazza (emcee); Matt Piazza (keys); Mike Stone (bass); Nate Graham (emcee); Neil McIntyre (emcee); Seth Murphy (drums); Steve Jones (trumpet).

Native or transplant? The band was originally formed here in Colorado, though many members are transplants from around the country.

Releases/discography: Yo, Flaco! (1998); Skeptimistic (2000); Goin' at It (2001); Bring the Battle On: Live (2001); The Skinny (2004).

Describe your music in a sentence: Take six formally trained jazz musicians, add three quick-witted MCs, sprinkle in some funk and soul, shake and serve, and you have the tasty sound of Yo, Flaco!

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Sure!

What's your idea of "making it"? Being able to live and work as a musician, without having to have the obligatory "day gig." Of course, playing to sell-out crowds in stadiums across the country would be nice, too!

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Kinetix.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Roots' Organix; Brand New Heavies' Heavy Rhyme, Vol. 1; D'Angelo's Voodoo.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Kanye West, Mars Volta and Grant Green.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? Godsend.

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? I have 1,500 artists on my iPod. Wanna take a listen?

ZEBRA JUNCTION
NOMINATED IN JAM/IMPROV

 

Website: www.zebrajunction.com, www.myspace.com/ zebrajunction

Personnel: Zeb, Flitz Alan, Micah Lundy.

Native or transplant? Band was first formed at the Olde Town Pickin' Parlor in Arvada. Micah grew up on a small town ranch in Washington State, where he spent most of his time as a recluse in the woods. Now he lives in the heart of Denver, carefully avoiding bum dung. Flitz is an ex-cow-tipper from the backwoods of New Hampshire, who's no longer avoiding cattle dung. With the money he's raised from playing music, he got a new pair of boots and will step in anything that's in front of him! Eat your heart out, Jessica Simpson!

Releases/discography: Orange Porridge (2001); the PeaceJam soundtrack (2002); Waterborne (2005); Oskar Blues/Marquee Magazine Singing 12-Pack (2006).

Describe your music in a sentence: From funked-up jamgrass to Tin Pan Alley ragtime to rootsy psychedelia, Zebra Junction is a duo of sextet proportions. Imagine Tom Waits fronting the White Stripes with Radiohead technology.

Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Yes. 2006 is the year we go global! Actually, we've been a traveling band from the start. Soon after releasing our debut CD Orange Porridge, we headed to Europe for a month, playing in the streets and a few pubs. Having already traveled to Texas, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, 2006 marks our first official touring outside of Colorado. We have plans to return to the Northwest twice this year, as well as New England and Europe tours in the fall.

What's your idea of "making it"? Supporting ourselves, families and road crew solely from our original music -- both live and recorded -- and traveling the world playing our music -- and maybe a solid-gold toilet seat for the bus.

What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Oakhurst, Nicole Torres and her Pet Alex, Lawhead, DeVotchKa, Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots, Wovenhand, the Clam Daddys, Melissa Ivey and the Gentlemen, Armando Zuppa and Josh Blue (you have got to see him play the lap steel guitar and toy piano!).

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The Beatles, Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; The Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God; Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense; Tom Waits, Small Change; Rick Wakeman, The Six Wives of Henry the VIII; Pink Floyd , Dark Side of the Moon; The O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. We'll think of many more as soon as this leaves our hands.

What artists have had the biggest impact on you? The Beatles, Tortoise, Leo Kottke, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nick Cave, Richard Thompson, Mark Lanegan, Phish, MMW, Manu Chau, Ben Harper, Ween, 16 Horsepower, Jim Henson and the Muppets, Cowboy Junkies, G Love and Special Sauce, Drums and Tuba, Leon Redbone and John Hartford, to name a few.

Myspace: godsend or the devil? It's been good to us so far, but who knows what it will turn into in a year? The dating ads are a drag. It feels a bit like a bathroom stall, but hooking up (with music lovers, that is) is great!

Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? We don't, but Zeb does. And being a world traveler, he has a ton of the best music you've never heard of. Vinyl and cassettes still rule!


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