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Some of the area's oddest balls are in Cherry Bomb Club, including Dave Moore and Miss Erika Brown (two veterans of Foreskin 500) and former Warlock Pincher/current Wild Canadian Dan Wanush. The act's demo is swell faux soul brightened by "Taste of My Body," in which Brown commands, "Drop to your knees/And worship me"; the ultra-catchy "Lull-A-Bye"; and a pair of dance-floor-ready concoctions--"Pilly Pop Drop" and "Carnal Connection"--that recall Madonna before she got in touch with her spiritual side. All four tracks are great fun and invite a single question: When can we hear more? (Dave Moore, 1570 Grape Street, Denver, CO 80220.) Unspoken Words is a showcase for Jim Cohn, a Boulder poet with three published books of verse to his credit (including his latest, The Dance of Yellow Lightning Over the Ridge, available from Rochester, New York's Writers & Books). Cohn is an unabashed disciple of the Beats: He studied at the Naropa Institute, and his song "Lay Down Yr Mountain" features contributions from Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, among others. As a result, several of these offerings (such as "When Robots Cry" and "Meditation at a Stoplight in the Rain") are less songs than readings with musical accompaniment. Catchier by comparison are mostly acoustic songs such as "Rewrote the Book," "Kootenai Ferry" and "Unspoken Words," during which Cohn doesn't exactly hide his fondness for Bob Dylan under a basket. Unspoken Words is unfailingly literate, but it only occasionally comes to life (MUSEX, 3000 Colorado Avenue, #E219, Boulder, CO 80303).

Sketch's latest, Superhero, contains fourteen good-time rockers aimed at the twenty-something demographic: "Captain Kirk" has obvious baby-boomer appeal, and the first line of "Stupid Love Song" mentions Seinfeld. "La De Da" and "American Pool" don't wear out their welcome, and "Secret Agent Dad" displays a goofy sense of humor that probably works live, but the production and performances are adequate at best and fail to distinguish these guys from the ever-growing pack. Although it's likable, you probably won't remember it in the morning (Sketch, 17897 East Oxford Place, Aurora, CO 80013). Rock doesn't get much more generic than Get Lit, by the Candles. The quartet occasionally tries to roughen things up, as on the ZZ Top-like "Coming Apart at the Seams" and the strikingly lame "Bite Your Tongue," but the players mostly stick with medium-tempo songs ("All Directions" and "Thinking of You" are typical) that could hardly be more anonymous. They're probably nice fellas, though (The Candles, 4653 South Hoyt Street, Littleton, CO 80213).

Communique is a project that features Justin Hardison and Dave Soto, two of the more stimulating electronic-music practitioners in these parts. This judgment is confirmed by Kinetic, a cassette produced by Jim Stout that allows the partners to demonstrate that drum-and-bass needn't be monochromatic. "The Fifth Level of Lofi" is a warm and inviting lead track (an anonymous voice keeps intoning "happy blastoff" throughout it), "Joshua" is mutedly funky, and "The Last Years" skitters along with aplomb. For your listening or dancing pleasure (Careful Productions, 129 West Second Avenue, Denver 80223). Can you say Paula Cole? You'll definitely be able to do so after spinning The World, by Dawn of Humans, a CD that's dedicated in part to "the mothers of all humans." (My own personal mom thanks you for the recognition.) Lead singer Dawn Ritchie emotes with a vengeance on "Shocked" ("When a child is born a grown man/His mother may die at his hands") and "Without You" ("Press my fists into my eyes/Trying to hold in every last ounce of you"). Other tunes, like "Where Are You," don't require a listener to slog through quite so much psychodrama, but the differences aren't large enough to matter much. I'm going to confession immediately after work. Really (Bigg Ritchie Productions, 303-642-0487).

The third annual Bella Ball takes place on Friday, December 18, at Seven South. The production, which includes appearances by Product 626, Bella Coyote, Tequila Mockingbird, Nobodaddy and Comedy Helper, is a benefit for a local charity, Santa's Toy Bag. For further information, call 303-446-9448.

Tony Mohr, corresponding via e-mail, sent an irate message informing me that I'd erred in claiming that no songs from the album October had been included in U2's The Best of 1980-1990/The B-Sides, a double-album set I recently reviewed ("The Major and the Minor," December 3). As it turns out, Mohr is correct: The title cut from the 1981 effort is an uncredited "hidden" track that appears after approximately one minute's worth of silence at the end of the first disc. According to Mohr, my decision to remove the staggeringly predictable CD from my player after the last listed tune played means that he can no longer respect anything I say. But on the off chance that I can change his mind, I make this solemn pledge: From now on, I'll listen closely for a minimum of thirty minutes after any recording has seemingly ended to make absolutely certain that it's truly over.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts