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Beware Local Women Who Want To Fuck Denver
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Last October 26, KTCL -- a Clear Channel property, as is KISS -- began airing prerecorded inserts touting the impending arrival of Jamie and Danny, and a couple of months later, the station went even further, declaring that White and Bonaduce would start dishing the dirt beginning January 2. The reason they didn't probably made some lawyers awfully happy. Emmis Communications, Alice's owner, filed suit against Clear Channel to block the broadcast, claiming that a six-month no-compete clause in the contracts of White and Bonaduce prevented them from appearing on another station until July. At first, Clear Channel seemed eager for a fight; in this space on December 21, director of FM programming Mike O'Connor said a court battle would be "a best-case scenario for us, because that would generate the kind of publicity that money couldn't buy. KISS played the same kinds of games during its introductory promotions, which were dominated by attacks on irony alert White and Bonaduce.

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It's somewhat awkward for Backwash -- a shy and humble scribe -- to point out that this week's most notable happening is one orchestrated by this very paper.

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Considering that the showcase begins at 3 p. That said, this year's ballot of showcase nominees reflects a couple of truths about local music.

Several names remain from years past, while others are completely new. The changes may reflect the evolving tastes and exposure levels of our nominating committee, but they also indicate, for better or worse, the ebb and flow of Denver's scene. Of course, our showcase is not the only barometer of the area's musical climate, but it's a pretty good one. When Backwash first landed in Denver and tried to assemble a composite of the scene, the Westword Music Awards Showcase compilation CDs first released in were a good starting point.

The discs provided clear examples of the ways in which local bands and musicians have a higher turnover rate than fry cooks at Burger King. The rest? Who knows.

Lots of stereotypes surround musicians. They are often portrayed as directionless, flaky, self-obsessed, drug-addled or difficult.

But even those who fit the description also work their asses off. It's an often thankless profession that inspires some to continue and sucks the life out of others. At any given moment, in Denver or Anytown, four things are usually happening simultaneously: Some acts are finding that their persistence is showing s of reward; some brave souls are just getting started and trying to find an audience; some musicians are giving up on the business, while some are giving up on everything; and some are still working, just like always.

In the past couple of years, 16 Horsepower has been around the music-industry block more times than an Arista Records coke dealer.

2. loyalty is not cool.

No matter: The band, which has always enjoyed a strong European audience, ed with Glitterhouse, a European imprint, and released its latest, Secret South recorded in Colorado with Bob Ferbrache to the Old World countries last month. For stateside Horsepower fans, it seemed the only way to snatch a copy of the recording was to import it or wait for one of the band's rare local appearances and hope Edwards and company had discs in tow.

Isaac Barajas isn't on the Westword Music Showcase ballot, nor is he a member of the nominating committee that selects the acts who are. But inside a tiny store on Denver's northwest side called Isaac's CDs and Tapes, which he's operated sinceBarajas is working to elevate the status of local music in general; specifically, he'd like to help bring local Latin hip-hop artists into the light. Area hip-hop he often complain about club owners' resistance to the genre, which is based on the fear that rap shows require heightened security measures or extra insurance.

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Many of the locally produced hip-hop albums his store carries a of them produced by Barajas himself as president of Ike Dog Records have provocative titles like "Don't Fuck With Denver" from Mile High Bomben -- its cover shows three men flipping off the camera and clinking together bottles of malt liquor. Yet even if some folks might question -- or fear -- Barajas's inventory, there's no denying that his promotional efforts are impressive.

Barajas's store carries more than thirty local releases, including singles and full-lengths from Hydro Bass and A-Trues and showcase nominees ApostleNyke Loc and Dez. So if Denver doesn't support hip-hop and rap, how has Barajas stayed in business for five years? He'll tell you it's a combination of niche marketing and sheer force of will.

They come in to look for locals, and they know that this is the spot. There's just not enough going on here, not enough support.

But I don't want to stop. Friends of Johnny Briggs packed into the Lion's Lair on Saturday, April 1, for a live show by the Derailersthe hard-driving hardcore outfit in which Briggs served as guitarist for eight months. It wasn't unusual for the Derailers and their fans to gather at the Lair -- Briggs and his bandmates were regulars at the club -- but on this night, the show had a special, solemn meaning.

Briggs committed suicide on Saturday, March 25, at the age of thirty, after what friends describe as a long battle with alcoholism and depression. The gig was a wake of sorts, a chance for friends to say goodbye, with Briggs in attendance -- symbolically, at least.

His bandmates hung his photograph on his guitar amp, where it remained throughout the night. Briggs was a longtime member of the area hardcore scene who played with a of bands, including Hell's Half-Acreand friends characterize him as a person to whom music meant the world. That's probably why his family thought it appropriate to bury him with his guitar. Fifteen-year-old pianist A. Organizers promise that the combined use of props, lighting and video footage of oceanic occurrences will have audiences swimming in funky vibes.

Also on May 6, 16 Horsepower alumnus Jeffrey-Paul offers another rare glimpse of his new performance and sexy project Hoitoitoi on at the Raven. And, oh, yes, did we mention the thirty bands that will be performing downtown on Thursday, May 4? I believe we did.

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