Category Archives: Misc.

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Joe Strummer is dead. Long live Joe Strummer.

I was driving into work on Morrison road to Alameda, listening to talk radio. The CBS newscast was running through the top headlines – then the announcer said “They called him ‘Strummer’….” followed by an announcement of the death of Joe Strummer. A hero of mine and an icon of strength that this soft generation of religious, bearded pseudo folk singers will never adopt nor replace – because, as a generation, they aren’t in touch with what their own strength and anger can do when combined together. When they’ve been systematically degraded, they choose to accept a stipend from their parents or work for pennies rather than demanding jobs and wages and a future that rewards them for contributing. Rather than fighting, they’ve chosen passive acceptance. History is repeating but it’s a world where Joe Strummer is dead.

“Let fury have the hour. Anger can be power – to know that you can use it.”

Long live Joe Strummer!

(And let’s pretend he never worked with Long Beach Dub All-Stars.)

Festival Line-Up If I Was In Charge

GildedAgeFest copy

The festival is the current rage. Big paydays for aging acts (some still stellar, some ragged and worth dismissing) with hipsters and hook-ups a plenty.

I recently sighed deeply at the sight of my inherited Lollapalooza (1st tour) shirt and it’s inability to be donned due to being completely worn out. While I’m no huge fan of Nine Inch Nails (to say the least) or Ice-T, seeing the likes of Lush, Siouxsee and the Banshees, Jane’s Addiction, and the Violent Femmes makes me wonder if more than two great acts are ever going to make it into a one day festival TOUR again. Not these disgusting one-offs of 200,000, but a proper tour with bands becoming aggravated with one another, and bringing some serious punch to whatever counter-culture indie movement is out there.

Here’s my attempt at putting solid acts in a festival tour line-up. I’ll let the egos wage war for time slots as they are all my children. There are a couple things to note here: I left off Blur and The Stone Roses, because they don’t have the sack to go on tour in the US. Second, I took the liberty of dragging Lee Mavers out of seclusion long enough to do a few shows, and put Oasis back together during a long Man City win streak so they’re content enough to be around each other, but still pensive enough to leave it all on stage.

So what bands do you think are missing? Mind you, I tried to spice it up with established acts and newer ones. I also kept in mind that these bands are mostly active with the exception of The La’s and Oasis. I can hear the cries for Savages already, and maybe some people would want the one-trick-pony The National. What say you?

Gilded Age Festival: SULK, New Order, The Black Ryder, Happy Mondays, Johnny Marr, The Morning After Girls, Tame Impala, The Drums, The La’s, Oasis, Gliss, The Horrors, The History of Apple Pie, Airiel, The Kitchens of Distinction, Django Django, Shed Seven, Miniatures, The Dum Dum Girls, La Sera, Tamaryn, Ringo Deathstarr, TOY, Deep Sea Arcade, Splashh, Swim Deep, The Sleepover Disaster, Primal Scream, Gypsy Death and You

Hot to be the biggest dick at the club

How to be the Biggest Dick at the Club

You know how every club always has that one complete dick?  Well, follow these easy steps, and that dick can be you, my friend.  And ladies, you don’t have to be a dude to be the biggest dick at the club.  This simple guide can be applied to either gender for universal dickishness.

It’s Friday night.  You’ve put up with bullshit at your job all week, and tonight you’re going out and getting hammered.  You’re going to walk into that club like your daddy owns the place, get your dance on, and wake-up next to a poor judgment-call snoring in your bed.

1.) You’ll need to begin by suppressing all basic codes of social conduct. When you were a child, your mother worked hard to teach you manners.  She made sure you said “please” and “thank you” when asking for things, said “excuse me” when you bumped into someone, apologized when you’d done someone harm. You will want to disregard all this training.  Every proper dick at the club knows that when large numbers of people and alcohol are combined in a dark room with music, manners cease to exist.  It’s one of Newton’s lesser known laws.

2.) You’ll want to start it off right.  As soon as you walk up to the club, make sure you find some friends near the front of the line and join them.  You’re important.  You’re not just another peon who waits in line.  Don’t these people know who you are? If anyone complains that you’re cutting, blow them off, or better yet, make mocking baby noises at them as you argue with the bouncer about the cover charge.

3.) Once you’re in, you’ll need a drink.  Be sure to shove your way through the crowd at the bar like a bulldozer, check out the bartender’s tits, and order no less than 12 shots, and then round up your herd of foil-shirt future date rapists to swarm the bar like a team of locusts, crowding out everyone else in line.

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4.) When talking to a girl, make sure you look her up and down upon approach.  Also, you’ll want to call her “baby” or “sweetheart” in your opening line, and when she tells you her name, find a way to sound like her creepy uncle when you repeat it back.  As in “Aaal-y-sssa, lookin’ gooooood,” This is a fool-proof strategy that will always get you laid.

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 5.) If you’re tall, you’ll want to consider anyone below shoulder height invisible.  It doesn’t matter if they are hot girls, middle-aged moms, or the wheelchair bound.  Everyone knows short people aren’t really people.  Amiright?  You’ve spent far too much time making those shoulders bulky, and you shouldn’t have to work to see below them.  Feel free to barrel right into 5’ 2” women, knocking their drink down the front of their dresses, and keep walking as though you’ve just hit a squirrel in the road.  “Hey, did you guys feel a bump back there?”

6.) If you’re short, you’re going to need to start a fight, immediately.  That douche at the bar was looking at your property, aka-your girlfriend, and he’s going to need to be taught a lesson.  I mean, who does this guy think he is?  You are assistant manager at the bank for fuck’s sake & you drive a truck bigger than the Great Pyramid of Giza  . You’re important, damn it.  Look at this guy – drinking his beer with his eye on your property.  He’s going to learn some respect, and you’re going to teach him.

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7.) After 6 or 7 shots, if you haven’t been kicked out, it will be time to dance.  There are any number of ways to be a complete dick on the dance floor, so make sure you study carefully and choose which one is best for you.

The Spastic Dancer Dick:
You love this song!  Plus, you’ve got serious moves and the world needs to see them.  Sure the club is packed butt to nut, but your moves warrant a full eight-foot radius for their seizure-like awesomeness to be appreciated.  You’re going to flail about, eyes closed, limbs in complete disarray, singing the lyrics you barely know while sweat pours down your ironic unicorn t-shirt.  You are unconcerned about the destruction you leave in your wake: black eyes, spilled beverages, twisted ankles.  You’re dangerous, and when Morrissey’s on, you don’t give a fuck.
Sub category) Swing Dancer Dicks: Same as above, but you’ve taken 6 hours of lessons and you’re going to use them, goddamnit.  The DJ is playing a Sabbath remix? Perfect.

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The Dancing-as-a-Form-of-Masturbation Dick:
That’s right, you deserve it, and you’re going to get it.  You’re the kind of guy who texts photos of his junk to women in your office.  The kind of guy who brings a woman home to watch porn on a first date.  Ooooh yeah, you understand the subtle art of seduction, especially on the dance floor.  See that girl happily dancing with her friends?  You know she wants you to dance up on her, breathe down her neck, and rub Drakkar Noir all over her dress.  I mean, why else on earth would she even have an ass, if not for you to grab?  What other reason could she even exist, if not to fornicate with you?  Right fellas?  That’s just science and shit.

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The Too Drunk to Stand-Up Dancer Dick:
Dude!  It’s totally the 3-week anniversary of that sweet youtube video with the cats, let’s celebrate!  First you’ll need shots.  Then more shots.  Pee-break, then more shots.  Quick trip out to your cousin’s car for a bowl and a couple of bumps, just to make sure you’re both mellow and tweeked at the same time.  Then more shots.  Now it’s time to dance, bitches!  You’ve got moves like Beyonce.  You’re the hottest thing on the dance floor, for about 4 seconds.  Until you go tumbling into the crowd like so much felled timber, taking down any innocent strangers in your path.  Hope you remembered to wear underwear.

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8.) Finally, whatever you do, don’t apologize.  Apologies are for people who give a shit how their behavior affects other humans.  That’s not you. You don’t care what your mother taught you about manners, she didn’t mean at the club. As long as there’s loud music, booze, and girls in short skirts, manners don’t apply.  Everyone knows that.  You stepped on someone’s foot?  You spilled your drink down their back?  You stuck your hand up a stranger’s dress without permission?  Not your problem, bro.

So there you have it.  Whether your goal is to get punched, arrested, or just wake up with balls drawn on your face, employ these easy tips and you too can be the envy of all your friends and neighbors as the biggest dick at the club.

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Stuff I Hate About DJs: Musical Blue Balls

Stuff I Hate About DJs: Musical Blue Balls

 Preface: I DJ for a living, and have probably been guilty at one time or another of most of the things I will talk about in this ongoing series. Whether that gives me more or less right to bitch about them is not something I really give a shit about.

Stuff I Hate About DJs: Episode 1 “Musical Blue Balls”

Most of us have experienced it – you’re on the dance-floor getting down to a song you love, and right when it’s getting to the good part the DJ inexplicably mixes into a new song. You’re left standing there, the next words to the song you were dancing to a moment ago stillborn in your throat and that awesome dance move you were ready to make discarded like a two week old Top 40 hip-hop song. It’s as though the DJ gave you a bit of an old-fashioned, and right when you were ready to climax pulled his hand away because he just HAD to change the record. Fucking lame. You’re left there crouched over, clutching your musical blue balls, wishing the DJ hadn’t bothered if it was just going to be a tease.

“WHY???” you ask yourself, trying at the same time to get into whatever the new song is while knowing that as soon as the first chorus has passed it’s just going to be changed again anyway. “Why?” you ask yourself, “I was enjoying that song. I was in the middle of dancing & remembering when I used to blast this on the car stereo on my way to class in the morning.” It’s like the DJ is some asshole friend who’s intruded on your memory – sitting next to you in the car, changing the radio station every 15 seconds, leaving their fast food wrappers on the floor & never giving you gas money.

Why do DJs do this? What is it with this ADHD style of DJ’ing that has taken over so many clubs’ dance-floors & DJ sets? Why do DJs feel the need to change the song as often as possible & then post shit on facebook about how they “played 150 songs in 30 minutes”?

Now don’t get me wrong, when a great turntablist – someone like Chris Karns (the DMC World Champion winning artist formerly known as DJ Vajra) – creatively & aggressively mixes a set of songs in rapid succession, the mix itself is an art. People who go to see Karns & others like him are there to see someone who deftly handles the turntables, telling a story by intercutting melodies & lyrics like they were words in a story. There is purpose in Karns’ mixing the way he does, and that purpose is to show his immense skill in scratching, his well-thought out song choices & how they are mixed, his ability to make those records his bitch. This is not the kind of DJ I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the DJ who plays at your local club/concert/house-party/whatever who worries more about how many songs he can play than about whether it’s actually good for the set. The DJ who thinks that anyone is impressed when he plays a shit-ton of songs in 30 minutes. The DJ who thinks the more songs fragments they can cram into their time-slot the better DJ they are. I call bull-shit on that.

There’s nothing impressive to me about a DJ who can get two 128BPM tracks to almost match up, slam them together for 5 seconds, drop the volume on the first song before anyone realizes how shitty the mix actually was, and repeat ad nauseum until their set is mercifully over, leaving a dance-floor full of people who couldn’t really tell you more than a song or two that was played because all they got was 150 clips.

Why isn’t this impressive to me? Well, I believe in most cases it tells me a couple of things about that DJ.

Musically, it tells me they don’t really think about the songs they play. It tells me they’re either playing songs that aren’t worth playing in full – in which case why play it at all – or that they’re not giving great songs the time they deserve. David Bowie/MGMT/The Rolling Stones/Cut Copy, etc. wrote X # of verses in that song. Dear DJ, who the fuck are you to decide which verses are worth playing? And let’s be honest, you’re not really deciding, you’re just slamming in a verse & chorus that you know the crowd will recognize with no concern for whether the story of that song, the meaning of that song, that song’s purpose for being written is in any way being appreciated or met. That house/techno/nu-disco track you’re dropping 30 seconds of – if it was written well – is supposed to create a groove, a carefully constructed vibe, not have its hook cut off like a set of antlers while its carcass is left to rot.  It’s a disservice to the music itself to treat it like it’s a soundbite in a political ad, meant to excite emotion without the depth of context.

It also tells me they’re not that concerned about what the audience really wants. They’re far more concerned with proving how bad-ass they are at hitting Traktor‘s sync button or making sure the soundwaves on their Serato look like they’re almost lined up when they slam their next song in. There’s no time when mixing like this to pay true attention to the crowd; to look out there, read where the energy is, and try to take the crowd on a journey that leaves them with a real feeling at the end of the night instead of post-roller coaster exhaustion. It tells me they’re more concerned with impressing people with their “mad” DJ skills no one but them & their friends care about than they are about pleasing their crowd – which is supposed to be the whole reason they’re behind the decks in the first place.

I’d rather listen to someone’s iPod with a great selection of music than listen to a DJ who can’t let their songs live & breathe. I’d rather hear a DJ who train-crashes 15 seconds of every mix but who is clearly thinking about their song choices than one who is adept at mixing 30 seconds of one song into 30 seconds of another song with no real concern about why or about what people really want to hear. I’d rather listen to a DJ who loves songs as much as I do, rather than one who loves soundbites & their own speed-mixing.

I dunno, I guess I’m a guy who’d rather read the book than the Cliff Notes, eat a home-cooked meal rather than a Hot Pocket, drink a well-made cocktail rather than a PBR, and hear the whole fucking song the way the artist wrote it.

It’s time to stop giving people blue balls. They’ll never call you for a second date.

Barry Fey

Barry Fey, RIP: A love letter to what Denver has become.

RIP, Barry Fey.

Fey always struck me as a “rock” guy. “Rock” as a general noun where anything that could be rock was a good thing – in the way non-music fans romanticized the word rock without any true context or scrutiny. I abhor that idea of “rock” because it’s akin to walking into a museum with your pants down and getting high-fives from other people who also have their pants down. But Fey was a fan of music. We know this. His fandom led to his rise and fame. His fandom led him to risks that are well beyond most of our comfort zones. The fan experience was clearly a major motivator for Fey and he was not above putting artists in harm’s way to deliver on that promised experience. While he was a rock guy, he also had everything in common with those of us buying tickets. He had an appetite for music and he wanted it to occur in a place he called home.

Several years ago I was invited to attend an awards ceremony in honor of Barry Fey. It was an event that promised the attendance of big name stars. Barry was the first person to receive a star on the Rockbar wall of fame and the ceremony was to induct him. It was a strange marketing gimmick which never really went anywhere beyond this single event. As for the Rockbar, it was a bar with an endless amount of unrealized potential on the ground floor of a tweaker-ridden hotel. The bar is now justifiably entombed in plywood, gathering dust in the dark.

While the monolithic names that were used to lure me to the event never materialized there were indeed big names there, but none of them really at the status of a household name. The closest you’d get to true stardom, beyond the man of honor, was Robert Fleischman, the original frontman of Journey. It was a ceremony in which friends and colleagues of Fey toasted him for his career of which he’d been retired from for over a decade at that point. An affair where old men stood up at the podium and began each story with “After my open heart surgery….”. Of course many of the stories were jaw dropping and larger than life and almost surely retold by the man himself in his 2011 book, Backstage Past. Some of the stories were of a borderline abusive leader making unreasonable demands on his employees, all told with a ‘we can laugh about it now, since you didn’t follow through on your threat to shoot me’ tone.

The story that stuck more than any was played on a VHS after the ceremony on a TV next to the table. It was Barry’s retirement ceremony, a much more grand affair than the one I was attending at that moment, which featured a taped congratulatory statement from then President, Bill Clinton. Former Senator Pat Schroeder gave a roasting speech that punchlined with “Look at the gigantic prick on that horse.” Then the video showed U2‘s manager Paul McGuinness toasting Fey. McGuinness spoke of just how unrealistic it was to come to Denver to play shows, as it was a day’s drive in and a day’s drive out and it just didn’t make sense. He spoke of how Barry Fey made the trip to Denver viable for touring bands. Not just viable, though; he made it desirable.

There is an alternate universe where Barry Fey didn’t move to Colorado and become a promoter. In that universe, he and a young U2 didn’t gamble all of their money on making a concert film which ultimately led to Red Rocks becoming one of the most attractive stages in the country (an event that Bono spoke of on that same video.) There is a universe where it’s just not worth it to come through Denver. Perhaps, in that universe, someone has come to fill that void and Denver has ultimately fulfilled its destiny of becoming more than a United Airlines hub. Perhaps not.

Luckily, I don’t live in the universe where this may not have happened and neither do you. Barry Fey & his team paved that way a generation before me and laid the ground work for promoters who were more important to my generation, like Nobody In Particular Presents, who followed a similar arc on a smaller scale with “alternative” bands. Fey is due, and no doubt has taken, a large amount of indirect credit for where Denver is today.

I suspect these shows are part of what kept many of us anchored here in our youth. Many of us still have shoeboxes lined with ticket stubs to hold onto those memories. I met my first love in the balcony of a Pixies show. The concerts that came through our town were, at least for me, where I realized and was reminded that I was not alone in my tastes and passions. There are towns where that doesn’t happen; where youth feels alienated and alone because those opportunities to find people with aligning tastes simply don’t exist. Denver could quite easily be Boise, ID or Billings, MT in the absence of someone willing to take the financial risk to realize the opportunities that they see. Denver is no longer a dusty cow town and instead it’s become a petri dish of ideas and sounds and cultures that is no longer playing catch up to bigger cities with more notoriety.

I have an abundance of gripes with my hometown, but if I had to reflect on where we could be – a massive field of wheat at the foot of the Rockies, surrounded by farmers and meth labs and virtually no one around to share my tastes with (essentially, Kansas), I’d have to say we have it pretty good as far as culture goes. Its hard to deny that Barry Fey had a great deal to do with that.

In closing, I recognize that it’s easy to wax fondly of Fey’s life & contributions since I’ve never seen the business end of his handgun. Rest in peace, Mr. Fey. Who’s to say where we’d be without you?

Hey Kids, Grow a Pair: How Music Blogs Neutered Indie Rock

Donita Sparks of L7

Donita Sparks of L7 photo by Charles Peterson

For my birthday this past January, a friend bought me a book called Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm. It’s a collection of stories told through interviews with the folks involved in the creation of the Seattle scene all those years ago.  The stories come from band members, club owners, press members, booking agents, sound guys, and kids who just hung around the clubs.  Mostly anecdotal stuff, stories about rock shows and getting high in the parking lot before hand.

Having entered adolescence in the early 90’s, the music of Seattle and Olympia played a huge role in the development of my musical tastes, so the book felt like a great chance for a stroll down memory lane.  But as I got further into it, with its stories of how The U-Men once got shut down for setting fire to a lake in front of their stage at the Bumbershoot Festival or the time Mark Arm, singer of Green River, finished a set swinging from a fluorescent ceiling light over a crowd of sweaty kids, I began to get more and more pissed off.

I’ll explain.  Around the same time I got the book, I’d been trolling the blogs for the ubiquitous end-of-year top 10 albums, and time after time the lists I found would have made dry toast seem fucking electrifying.  Here’s an example from an actual blog that I won’t name to protect the utterly boring.

  • 01: Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Anima
  • 02: The Lumineers – The Lumineers
  • 03: John Samson – Provincial
  • 04: Mumford and Sons – Babel
  • 05: Sufjan Stevens – Silver and Gold
  • 06: The Walkmen – Heaven
  • 07: Beach House – Bloom
  • 08: Matt & Kim – Lightning
  • 09: fun. – Some Nights
  • 10: Jack White – Blunderbuss

Seriously?  This is the best 2012 had to offer?  Beach House? Mumford and Sons?  fun.?  Number 5 on the list is a Christmas album for Christ’s sake.  And this is from a reputable indie blog. (And yes, I know The Lumineers are a beloved Denver band made good, so don’t write me letters about it).  But honestly, when did all the skinny jeaned, fedora clad 20 somethings of the world decide to get together and completely fucking neuter music?  It’s like a whole movement of eunuchs out there walking around with synths and tambourines.

I’m so exhausted by this generation of watered-down, vaguely 60’s or vaguely folk, mid-tempo, non-offensive, cutesy indie music.  When I was 16 or 22 I wanted to break shit.  I was pissed off at an unjust world, at the indignities of high school, at my parents, at that ever-present dude who grabbed my ass at rock shows (I’m still pissed off at that dude, by the way).  I don’t get it, these kids grew up in a post 911, Patriot Act world where they will likely never make as much money as their parents or pay off their student debt and yet all they want to do is grow a beard, play the banjo, and hold hands.  What the fuck?

This can be blamed, to some degree, on the rise of the music blog.  I realize the irony of writing that on a music blog, but it is the reality all the same.  The Internet has created a space in which every journalism-major with an ironic t-shirt and a laptop has the power to shape popular culture.  It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know who Brian Jones is or that he’s never listened to a T-Rex album all the way through.  It makes no difference that he can’t identify anything in the Talking Heads’ catalogue besides Burning Down the House.  You can’t see this person, you’ve never met him, and you have no idea if he has any credibility whatsoever, and yet, you’re letting him dictate your musical tastes to you. For all you know this kid spent his high school years listening to Linkin Park while trolling the web for date-rape porn.  He may have been a Juggalo until he was 18 when he discovered The Postal Service through some girl he had the hots for.  You don’t know.

Blogs have created a structure in which the handful of kids writing for the elite establishment like Pitchfork or Stereogum choose whatever unoriginal crap they like that week and all the little blogs fall in line.  They are all so busy jumping on each other’s bandwagons, nobody has bothered to notice their wagon train has been driving in a circle for roughly a decade now.

I say fuck the blogs.  Stop reading them (except for this one).  Lets go back to doing what we used to do.  Hanging out at record stores, going to shows, talking to actual people about what they’re listening to.  And stop buying singles from bands who put more energy into their hair cuts than they put into their songwriting, for fuck’s sake.  (I’m looking at you fun.)

There is a reason why bands like Nirvana took over the world in 1991 and why the new generation hasn’t been able to recreate that energy.  Nirvana came out of a small, tight-knit community of people who went to each other’s shows, played in each other’s bands and created a sound though collaboration and an authentic desire to make art that mattered to them.  They did this for no one but themselves, with no hope of achieving fame in a city that didn’t even exist as far as the industry was concerned.

In 1992, when Donita Sparks of L7 pulled out her tampon and threw it at the crowd at the Reading Festival, she didn’t do it to create a YouTube sensation or to make a Pitchfork top 10 list.  She did it in a moment of genuine defiance and frustration at a crowd flinging mud onstage.  She knew what was between her legs and she wasn’t afraid to use it.  And by that, I don’t mean a bloody tampon; I mean a serious pair of balls.  She had more balls than the members of Fleet Foxes can ever hope to have.  And that kids, is what rock and roll is all about.

We’re nominated for best Podcast in Denver

Are you kidding me? Someone (ok, I guess several of someones) thought enough of our show to nominate it for the best Podcast in Denver? Is this some sort of Carrie thing? Is there a bucket of pig’s blood in the rafters?

On a lighter note, as if public humiliation weren’t light enough for you, if you’ve never been here before – we keep an online archive of the last 10 episodes. That should fill up your workday and then some. If you look to the right, you’ll find a link to subscribe to this podcast in iTunes so you can keep listening beyond this visit – or I could just link to it… Subscribe to the Danger Radio Podcast on iTunes

5 re-united bands we want to see come through Denver

1. Blur

Since they reunited with guitarist Graham Coxon to play London’s Hyde Park in 2009, we have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of a US Tour…. which still has yet to come. The release of  a new song. “Fool’s Day” for Record Store Day in 2010, hinted that Blur may be taking the idea of functioning like a band (studio albums, tours, etc.) seriously again.

Blur’s lead man, Damon Albarn, swung through Denver last year as part of the Gorillaz tour, which included Mick Jones (see Big Audio Dynamite below) and Paul Simonon of The Clash on guitar and bass, respectively. The show managed to put a lot of meat in the seats, showing that Albarn, at least in Gorillaz form, still has selling power in the Mile High.

Blur has always sold well in Denver’s medium venues, like The Ogden. It may be tough if they’re looking to fill a larger auditorium like The Filmore, where several legacy acts have failed to sell out – with some even moving to smaller venues (most notably, Jesus and Mary Chain‘s move from The Filmore (capacity 4,500) to The Gothic (capacity 999) .)

Likelihood they’ll come through Denver: Solid -  If Blur tours America again, I would be extremely surprised if they skipped Denver.

2. Pulp


Pulp announced last year that they would be playing a couple of festivals, it was awesome news, especially if you happen to live in England, for the Wireless Festival (again, in Hyde Park) and the Isle of Wight Festival, or Spain for the Primavera Sound Festival. They have expanded the notice to include a total of 17 (I think) dates throughout Great Britain and Europe. That’s all well and good unless you happen to live in the world’s largest consumer market – that’s right, the USA, a small country nestled between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, for which no dates have been announced.

While Pulp has never played Denver, they previously had scheduled a performance here on May 24, 1996 at The Bluebird. The show was canceled due to Jarvis Cocker being ill. It was the only show of the tour to be canceled. As the press release notes, it was only one of 2 shows to be canceled in a 3 year period. There’s a feather in our cap.

Likelihood they’ll come through Denver: Iffy – While the band sort of owes one to their Denver fans from 15 years ago, who knows if that’s enough to make the math work. One would assume that the show in 96 would’ve been rescheduled if ticket sales had been strong enough. The fact that it was never rescheduled isn’t a positive sign – especially for a band that was arguably at the height of their career. 15 years on… It would be a (greatly welcomed) shock to see Denver on the list of stops on a US tour.

3. Suede

September 19, 1993. This was the date that Suede was due to roll through Denver’s Ogden Theater. This was the date that never happened.  Long time listeners of Danger Radio Podcast know the story already; The Cranberries were slated to open for Suede on their US tour but just before the tour began… The Cranberries shot to the top of the American charts and into our collective hearts… unless you’re me, of course, in which case you had at that point developed a fine impression of Dolores O’Riordan’s ridiculous bark-singing from their song ‘Zombie.’ (Eyyah! Eyyah! Eyyah!)

Rumor has it, crowds would pack the theater for The Cranberries and then leave once the Cranberries were finished, leaving a handful of Suede fans in the audience by the time the headliners took stage. There’s also a rumor that the death of guitarist Bernard Butler’s father  caused cancellation of the US tour. I suspect all of the reasons as being contributing factors. The end result was… No Suede.

Likelihood they’ll come through Denver: Very Weak - Suede is huge in their native England while being off the radar to most here in the flyover states. I suspect the moment a Denver show is announced, you’d sell 300 tickets within the first couple of hours to the devoted and nothing more until the day of show. Panicky promoters would giveaway tickets in the weeks leading up to the shows, in hopes of recouping some of their money at the bar. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – if Suede books a Las Vegas date, I’m there. I suspect that’s the closest they’ll come to Denver.

4. Big Audio Dynamite

Big Audio Dynamite last graced our presence on May 4, 1992. An unknown band named Blind Melon opened the show at the CU Field House, followed by (ugh – fuckin’) Live. B.A.D. took stage to a cheering crowd, thanks in part to the success of their single “Rush”, and proceeded to put on an incredible set.

B.A.D.’s frontman and former guitarist/singer for The Clash, Mick Jones, came through in 2010 as a touring member of Gorillaz (as mentioned above), and showed up in 2008 with his band, Carbon/Silicon, for a horribly under promoted and poorly attended show at the Bluebird. I can only assume that was par for the course where Carbon/Silicon is concerned (also, I apologize now for using a golfing metaphor. No, I’m not a golfer.)

All things Clash only seem to grow in popularity and what’s more Clash than the guy who sang “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” Not to mention that B.A.D. has their own fan base and known hits. Sounds like the money is there – they just need to show up and collect it.

Likelihood they’ll come through Denver: Solid – With a single exception, Colorado seems to have a tradition of welcoming Mick with an eager audience.

5. P.I.L.

Speaking of May 4, 1992, after Big Audio Dyanmite left stage, Johnny Rotten Lydon took over with his hair spiked up, wearing shorts and a T-shirt, looking like some overgrown personification of Bart Simpson. In support of their last album to date, That What Is Not, PIL (with Mike Joyce of The Smiths on drums) made their last appearance in Colorado. Yes, it feels weird to write that the Sex Pistols have now played here (multiple times) more recently than Lydon’s post-Pistols project, Public Image Limited.

On April 24 2010, PIL was headed our way to play a show at the Ogden but a last minute snowstorm provided a great excuse to call the whole thing off. Free tickets to the show were abundant and a snow storm stopping Mr. Lydon at the border seemed to be just what the Dr. ordered. Remember this, Denver: Dave Matthews can sell out the 1st Bank Center, while they’re giving away tickets to see Johnny Rotten. Yay Team!

Likelihood they’ll come through Denver: Weak – If the show wasn’t selling in 2010, there’s not much hope for 2011 – 2012.

Who do you want to see play in Denver?

Proudly Afflicted With Irony Deficiency

One night as I was smoking just outside of Hi-Dive, I was approached by a drunk girl in a screen-print Clash T-shirt, ripped tights and one of those platinum blond, Tegan and Sara mullets. Struggling to focus, she read out loud the awesome advice my shirt presented to the world. “Listen to Brian Eno.” With a sarcastic, hiccup of a laugh she then asked me if I was being ironic wearing that shirt. Even though I should not have dignified such a stupid question with an answer, I looked at her with much disdain and replied “You really have no idea who Brian Eno is, do you?” I could see the sloshed, snobbery in her face slowly congeal into concern over having her limited appreciation of good music being called out. Did I relish in this come-uppance? Not at all. Instead, I was horrified to think people were still practicing this lame form of ironic expressionism. I was also annoyed with the realization that if I had been wearing a Ting Tings or Vampire Weekend T-shirt, she wouldn’t have batted an eye…because, ya know, for some reason people actually like them un-ironically.

You see, at one point it was considered fashionable to like things ironically and for a good while, people went out of their way to sarcastically wear Barry Manilow shirts and listen to Barry Manilow records all with the hopes that it would delight their douchebag pals because it was sooo cleverly unexpected. Ho, ho! These were probably the same kids in high school that cruelly nominated the outcasts or handicapped kids for homecoming king/queen all for a laugh among their friends. Now call me really square when it comes to keeping up with ridiculous trends, but I wasn’t aware it was actually still fashionable to like things ironically anymore. Then again I never comprehended why it even was to begin with. By the way, I’m fully aware that my last rant was also regarding my failure to understand these popular fads and hipster egregores. You see, I only seek understanding as I am writing a field guide to identifying douchebags. Until then I will only assume the way to fully understand these things is for a person to throw all sense out the window and spend a day marinating themselves in stupidity.

Why would these goofy bastards even feign to be in love with music (or pop culture in general) that had absolutely nothing to offer them? It’s not the same as being into widely accepted novelty acts like 3OH!3, Flight of the Conchords and Art Brut because they legitimately dig the humor. No. They are devoting their energies into seeking out stuff that is generally recognized as pop culture abortions to jokingly “pretend” to like them. Now I’ve been asked on a couple of occasions if my like of artists like E.L.O. or Carole King were out of irony. Well, they aren’t and as a matter of fact I think every true music aficionado should own “A New World Record” and “Tapestry.” See, there is what some people consider to be “terrible” music that you might actually like for various personal and honest reasons, but there is no shortage of wonderful music out there to justify liking something you find terrible simply for the sake of irony. It’s baffling. Now granted, when executed properly, irony can be incredibly clever and funny. However it seems anymore that this modern abuse of irony rises just below puns when it comes to wit. Honestly, most of the people out there wearing that damn Manilow shirt for comedic shock probably have an IQ score ranging somewhere between zero and pastry. Perhaps today’s kids have no true grasp of what is actually funny anymore? After all, people find Russell Brand and white-boy-novelty-rap hilarious. I guess I just need to look at this practice of irony for what it most likely really is: a witless Philistines failed attempt at performance art. Is it ironic that this “cool” form of irony has become the Ed Hardy of humor?