Off Limits

Boulder High students provoked a talk-radio frenzy, not to mention a visit from the Secret Service, when one of the acts at a school-sponsored talent show proposed to perform as the Taliband. To defuse this ludicrous controversy, the fledgling musicians ultimately changed their group's appellation to Coalition of the Willing, and on November 12, they played a punk-rock version of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" without provoking either widespread rioting or mass depression among the state's aging folk-music fans.

If the Taliband moniker made certain people uncomfortable, imagine how they'd deal with a slew of other band handles -- beginning with the Dead Kennedys, started by Boulder High's own Jello Biafra, born Eric Boucher in 1958. Twenty years later, Biafra left Boulder for San Francisco, where he ran for mayor in 1979 with the slogan "There's Always Room for Jello." But there wasn't always room for Boulder's prodigal son: An ardent opponent of Tipper Gore, he went on trial in 1985 for distributing "harmful matter" in the Dead Kennedys' album Frankenchrist. After the jury deadlocked, the judge declared a mistrial and dropped the charges. But the damage was done, and the band broke up soon after, with Biafra moving on to a solo career as a spoken-word artist. Had Jello become president -- some Green Party members nominated him at their 2000 convention in Denver -- the Secret Service would have had bigger fish to fry than a few Boulder teenagers.

Prudey pants certainly wouldn't enjoy Jello's work on If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve?, or as frontman with the group Lard on The Power of Lard. But then, listeners with especially tender dispositions wouldn't be pleased by the names of such lesser-known Colorado bands as the Damn Shambles, Hell Camino and God Rifle, either -- although the idea of the Creator packing heat might please the NRA. Dictator Tot's moniker should annoy both anti-fascists and haters of frozen potatoes, whereas World War II experts and drug-treatment advocates alike would have problems with Anne Frank on Crank. People who believe that certain body parts simply shouldn't be mentioned in mixed company would be up in arms over Sci-Fi Uterus and Foreskin 500, while those with below-average skills in the bedroom would feel ridiculed by the Legendary 4-Nikators.

For individuals with unusually small hat sizes and an exaggerated fear of clowns, Pinhead Circus would deliver a double whammy. Animal-lovers who take their affection to the next level would face the same dilemma with Whores, Pigs and Ponies, and the labels chosen by the Hate Fuck Trio and Fuck Yo Punk Ass are more than capable of making your mom's blood pressure rise. As for those observers with extremely twisted minds, they'd surely see references to both vomiting and defecation in the name of singer-songwriter Chuck Pyle. Of course, we may be the only ones who qualifyŠ

By these standards, the Taliband is kids' stuff -- especially since none of the combo's members changed his name to, say, Al Kida or Ben Laudin. There's no telling what talk radio could have done with that.

What a tangled web: Election commissions around the state were counting, counting, counting provisional ballots up until the last minute this week. And the results areŠ

Non-existent, if you check out the Colorado Secretary of State's website, where, on November 16, the Election Center homepage ( still trumpeted "new" by the link to the results for the August 10 primary. (FYI, Ken Salazar beat Mike Miles for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.) And when might we see something, anything, about the November 2 election?

By November 24, promises the Elections Division, which sent the relevant statutes along with that target date. First, according to 1-10-103, all county clerks must submit "the portion of the abstract of votes cast" to the secretary of state no later than the sixteenth day after an election.

Still, that doesn't explain why the secretary of state's office failed to put the non-official numbers up earlier. The Denver Election Commission, for example, had its unofficial results -- minus provisional ballots -- up within hours of the polls closing.

But then, who's counting?

No-tell hotel: After 92 years of Crowe family ownership, the Holiday Chalet changed hands last April, when local fashion designer and boutique owner Crystal Sharp bought the storied B&B at 1820 East Colfax Avenue.

The grandfather of Denver legend Margot Crowe bought the mansion in 1912 as an investment, but after he died several years later, her grandmother turned it into a boardinghouse for widows. Margot Crowe grew up in the house, and as she changed, so did the Holiday Chalet -- into what is now a ten-room, high-end guest house catering to tourists and conventioneers.

After spending most of her life at the Holiday Chalet -- she became an assistant manager at seven -- Crowe now lives in Boulder, where she reproduces and sells china that her grandmother, Ida Lindsey, created. And Holiday guests are greeted by Sharp, who is better known for her fashionable South Broadway shop, SheShe. "The Holiday Chalet is a legend that I have no plans on changing," Sharp says. "But it's kind of scary, because it's sort of a dying business. My goal and my job here is to make it thrive. I've put a lot of emphasis in the tea room, and, of course, I added a gift shop -- you know how I am."

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