To the Top, With a Bullet
When the Denver Botanic Gardens released its summer concert schedule last week, one name was conspicuous in its absence.
Marc Cohn, fresh from a performance at that outdoor venue, was shot on August 7, 2005, at 14th and Stout streets. According to police, Cohn ran afoul of a carjacking -- but maybe the singer, who seems to have recovered (wife Elizabeth Vargas is pregnant), was targeted because he was a snitching-ass bitch. That type of behavior has been known to irk Denver hip-hop/rap/Christian artist Lebanon Joe, aka Joseph Yacteen, the 26-year-old man charged with shooting Cohn.
Don't believe us? Check out his myspace profile at http://profile.myspace.com/lebanonjoe. In a track called "Lebanon Bombs," Yacteen asserts that he's been known to "kill those who turn stool pigeons." He also raps, "Put that bitch on all fours/After I bust, the bitch is all yours" -- but fortunately for Cohn, the evening never veered in that direction.
"It was kind of interesting in the studio," says Curious Emcee, a local jungle luminary who produced that Yacteen track. "I had heard Joe free-flow a lot, and he was on point, but he never did anything in the studio. I was working with some cat on a track I produced, and Lebanon came in, took his shirt off and free-flowed for like 45 minutes. He had a gun in his hand that he was waving the whole time; it was nuts. From that, I was able to record some tidbits, do some magic on it, and the song was done."
The track, which is actually called "Give It to Me Baby," found its way onto Curious's second album, My Team (he's releasing a more hip-hop-oriented album this summer under the moniker Bobby Hook), and Lebanon Joe was so pleased that he discussed hiring Curious to produce a full-length album. (Yacteen's extracurricular activities clearly produced plenty of cash.) But the two never got the chance to collaborate again, because a few weeks later, Yacteen was nabbed for shooting Cohn. A motions hearing in that case is set for June 6. But, hey, a little prison time never hurt a rap career.
And as Magic Cyclops, one of Lebanon Joe's four myspace friends, says: "If I heard that 'Walking in Memphis' song one more time, hell, I would have shot Marc Cohn, too!"
The naked truth: On April 5, staffers of Buzz Magazine arrived at the escort-infused entertainment rag's Thornton office and made a very un-sexy discovery. All of the computer hard drives had been ripped off, along with the disks that stored the entire (and just completed) April issue. But this theft was apparently an inside job.
As it turned out, Buzz publisher and owner Jeremy Buskirk, who co-founded the glossy distributed in both Denver and Phoenix with editor Matthew Wagner in 2002, had skipped town with all the money from advertisers for the issue -- and all the writers' pay. Wagner managed to avoid the big screw, since he'd resigned as editor in January. He and Buskirk "just didn't see eye to eye," Wagner says. "And I just didn't like some of the things that were going on."
Wagner's departure left associate editor Rob Williams in charge of Buzz's content. Williams, who is better known as "Dr. Rob," is no stranger to having the rug pulled out from under him -- he was a writer at Go-Go when it bottomed out in 2003 -- but Buskirk's move was "completely flabbergasting," he says. Booking it with all the cash was one thing, but did he have to steal all the content, too? "Seriously, I was thinking about how to update my portfolio, and I don't even have PDFs of my past work to hand off to a potential employer," Williams laments. "I have to rescan back issues."
The buzz is that Williams and others are looking into possible legal action against their former boss -- wherever he may be.
Scene and herd: On Sunday night, a gaggle of screaming, fainting, crying girls stood outside the Pepsi Center, waving their arms and anything else they could find at two figures on a second-story balcony, presumably members of the group RBD (a band that could be the Latino offspring of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys), whose concert they had just cried and screamed and fainted through. But the two were actually Pepsi Center workers -- one a twenty-year-old food runner and the other an employee who's also the lead singer of the Photo Atlas -- who were just having a smoke.
A far more solid celebrity sighting: Frank Kelly Rich, founder/editor of Modern Drunkard, on the cover of the Sunday New York Times Style section, looking dapper and talking about how the Internet has helped "fratire" -- the male equivalent of chick lit -- take off. "The publishing houses filtered out anything politically incorrect or offensive," Rich told the Times. "It took the Internet to show them what was popular, and now they're going after it." We'll drink to that.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.