"Headbanger and Zombie Fag Extraordinaire" Maris the Great is up to his neck disemboweling Denver's heavy-metal finest -- a fiendish plot that the little ghoul expects will launch his own band to the forefront of the underground scene. As a contributing critic to Throat Culture Magazine (and the now-defunct Soundboard), His Greatness has already offed the likes of Drudgery, Black Lamb, 4 Head Scream, Rubber Planet, Rachel's Playpen and Malignari, among others. An endless splatterfest, this amusing, one-stop guide through the Queen City's willfully dark side also provides plenty of information about nu metal, old metal, death metal, grindcore, sludgecore, goth, punk and wee-wees.

When Ralph Stanley invited the sold-out crowd at the Paramount Theatre to hold hands and join him in a call-and-response version of "Amazing Grace," few in the audience declined the offer. When else does the average country-music lover have a chance to join in a chorus with Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss and Union Station, Norman Blake and Patty Loveless, not to mention the stately Stanley? That closing moment was one of many highlights of the Down from the Mountain concert, which brought to life music from the amazingly successful, Grammy-winning O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. It was an evening of stellar performances from artists both legendary and lesser known. How sweet the sound.
Both the business world and the music industry offered a slack-jawed response to the news that Nobody in Particular Presents, the tiny local promotional firm, had filed an anti-trust lawsuit against promotional behemoth Clear Channel Entertainment in federal district court last August. Full of nasty allegations of illegal power-mongering and plain old bad behavior in the Clear Channel camp, the suit made it clear that the Denver concert battles were now an all-out war. The story appeared in media outlets around the country, from Spin to Fortune to salon.com, with most pieces suggesting that NIPP was a little bit crazy to take on the most powerful promotional force on the planet -- but honoring the company with the sort of respect accorded underdogs the world over.

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