What a week.'The world's greatest
basketball team somehow lost to a
bunch oflessers. AnnArborhosted the
riot of ignorance-after the game (for
once, the cops were the good guys).
Cold Miser got pissed at what I said
about him last week, and decided to
pay us a return visit.
Then it hit me. It's my duty to do
something about this nasty turn of
events. So I lit my magic candle, some
tasty incense, and cued up Stevie
Wonder's "Innervisions".on endless
repeat. Sinking into a blissful trace, I
communed with the spirits, and this is
what they told me to tell you.
Aries - You've been watching that
special someone all semester, afraid to
make that fateful move. Guess what?
They've been watching you too. A
daisy and a smile, and they're yours.
Libra - The blue funk that follows
you to class is about to get stomped by
your fairy godmother-in-law. And she's
got a whole mess of deliciously sinful
sweets that you can gorge on without
an ounce of guilt. Enjoy.
Taurus - If you don't have the time
or money to take a trip, ride the Mind
Airways to wherever you want to go.
Whenyoureturn, thatnasty little"prob-
lem" will be gone and your favorite
pair of socks will suddenly reappear.
Scorpio - Ouch! You folks are too
hot to handle! You posses more magi-
cal powers than you're even aware of.
All I can tell you is to use them wisely.
You can get anything you want this
month; make sureit's exactly what you
desire, because when get it, it's yours
Gemini - Even Houdini couldn't
get out of the mess you've gotten into
thistime. Butllarry'sghosthas learned
some new tricks, and he's about to
show you the one that you need.
Sagittarius - When I dialed your
number, I somehow got Prince's
hotline. The Purple One himself told
me to give you this message: "Kiss
until your eyes cross and your lips
swell with passion. Let all of the desire
and love in your heart spill all over the
teddy bear of your choice. Bathe in
champagne and dine on that little spot
behind their left ear."
by last night. We drank Mai Tai's and
danced to Barry Manilow until dawn.
as she downed her second coney dog,
she said, "I wish I knew more Cancers.
They party like this all the time. If only
they got out more ..." Amen, Sandy.
Capricorn - I don't know how to
tell you this, but your entire reality is
about to turn inside-out with a double
backflip. It might be a little scary, but
holdon.Listen toBobMarley's "Three
Little Birds" three times and call me in
themorning. When theride stops, you'll
want to do it again.
Leo - Let it all hang out, baby.
Anthony Kiedis says there's nothing
like being naked. You wouldn't know.
It's time you learned. Nothing kinky,
just you getting in touch with yourself.
Some gaudy costume jewlery is al-
ways a nice touch, though.
Aquarius - The kitchen is where
your chakra longs to be. Get ahuge pot
and cook up a tasty batch of spicy
goodies, full of anything and every-
thing. Share it with someoneyoureally
like, and watch the sparks fly. Serves
six to eight generously.
Virgo - You're too good for your
own good. You mended that sick bird
back to health, and then it flew away.
Now it's your turn. Sit back, relax, and
let someone else to the coddling. You
The Samples, a.k.a. "the ultimate Boulder band," are psyched as hell they are not signed to a major record label. Monday night they play the Michigan Theater.
The hot Boulder, Colorado music scene
by Andrew J Cahn
A s a reaction to the grunge
culture, the next alter
native scene to break
will have to be some-
thing a bit quieter, which grooves much
harder. If that's what you're after, you'll
find it in Boulder, Colorado. What has
emerged is a scene that is as high alti-
tude as the town itself, with bands per-
fect for the area's nature and for sports
buffs who love to boogie. So slip on that
Patagonia pullover, and step into those
Rollerblades - crunch-rock is here.
Last month, a couple events turned
many heads toward a couple of
Boulder's mostpopular bands. Big Head
recording, "Sister Sweetly," was re-
leased. The album sold phenomenally
out of the box, and Billboard magazine
wrote that it was astounded that the disc
"came out of nowhere" to crack the Top
200 after its first week in stores. The
Samples closed out the month with a
spot on the Tonight Show, where they
jammed with Branford in front of mil-
lions of people. They even got that gig
without major label support.
Mark Bliesener, who manages Big
Head said, "It's great that so many local
acts have been making it recently, since
there really hasn't been anything since
Firefall." (You know - "You are the
woman I have always dreamed of / I
knew it from the start ...")
During the '70s theBoulder/Denver
area was the center of lite-country-pop
typified by John Denver, Poco and the
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Though some
mellow rock acts like Jackson Brown
recorded andrelaxed atNederland, CO's
Caribou Ranch studio, Bob Seger's"Get
Out of Denver" and Warren Zevon's
"Things to Do in Denver When You're
Dead" show the limited respect the area
was given back then.
Things have definitely changed, and
just like Ann Arbor's scene in the late
'60s, Boulder's music today is a by-
product of the city's youth culture. Ann
Arbor was America's center for radical
politics, and the bands who character-
ized its heyday, Iggy Pop and the Stooges
and the MC5, were definitely reflective
of the local atmosphere. Twenty-five
years later, the leading cause in student
radicalism has shifted from the Vietnam
War to environmental consciousness,
and the center of activity has moved out
west to the Rockies.
Boulder is a purely natural town,
Age centers per square foot than any-
where else. It is also the extreme terrain
sports capital of the world, and the
diverse climate of that area allows some-
one to snowboard, rock climb, moun-
tain bike and kayak all on the same day.
It has become a popular hangout for
people I like to call NUTS (Nonstudent
Unemployed Twentysomething Ston-
ers), who road trip out there to lead the
natural life for a few years before they
decide on their futures. In the middle of
this Republic of 85,000, is Colorado
University, which is very inexpensive
and checkbooks are not too burdened if
the students want to enjoy the Boulder
life for five or six or even seven years.
When all these factors come together,
the result is "crunch-rock."
The Samples are the ultimate Boul-
derband. I asked lead singer Sean Kelly
what he would do if he wasn't with the
band, and as if it was the closing sec-
onds of "This Is Spinal Tap," he said,
"I'd probably watch birds." Their folky
reggae tunes about natural settings, In-
dian mythology and ecological conse-
quences rock hard, and they know how
to present political issues without shov-
ing dogma down their fans throats.
Kelly and keyboardist Al Laughlin
areoriginally from Burlington, Vermont,
but Kelly said they came to Boulder
when they learnedhow great the weather
is, even in the doldrums of winter. Once
they gotthe band together, thingsweren't
so easy. Kelly said they went through a
period of "seven oreightmonths ofnear
starvation," and lived off free food
samples, which are readily available at
local markets - hence the name. As
rumor has it, that is not too hard to do in
Boulder. After a couple of years, they
put a tape together, and Arista Records
loved it. The company told the Samples
it was going to sign some other alterna-
tive bands and build a new department
The self-titled record sold a respect-
able 50,000 copies, and the group was
excited about their future with the label.
When they got back from the road and
recorded the new disc, they realized that
Arista had not signed any other alterna-
tive bands, and that the label wanted to
make them into a cheesy pop band.
"The music industry is a fuckin'
hoax," Kelly said. "Contracts are noth-
ing but glorified bank loans with shitty
Obviously dissatisfied with the ma-
jor label experience, they bailed out and
took the new tapes to the fledgling New
York-based indie What Are Records?
(W.A.R.). There they released the EP
"Underwater People" and the full-length
"NoRoom," whichhas soldover75,000
since last summer. Though the band is
happy with the indie life, Arista's "re-
venge" was that they discontinued the
band's self-titled debut, and it has since
become a collectors' item.
The Subdudes are another localband
with a similar "there and back" experi-
ence with the industry. Their two discs
on Atlantic, "The Subdudes" (1990)
and "Lucky" (1991), were critically
acclaimed projects that were not pro-
moted heavily. Like the Samples, their
latest proj ect was rejectedandthey have
since taken their tapes elsewhere. Both
discs, however, are still available, and
thV arm IiMAn, mmmen MThir
cover of their first record shows that. It
isaphotoof abriefcase filled with Steve
Amedee's tambourine collection (which
he plays instead of a full drum kit), an
accordion, a few vintage guitars and a
smashed pack of cigarettes. For fans of
the Radiators, Dave Malone's brother
Tommy is the guitarist for the Subdudes
and one of the most talented rhythm
Another band that mixes various
styles and is custom made for the town's
diverse population is Leftover Salmon.
They like tocalltheirmusic"Polyethnic
Cajun Slamgrass," and are often las
beled "The Subdudes on speed." Real-
izing the mosh-pit potential of high
speed Telluride-style bluegrass tunes,
their motto is "the older the tune, the
harder they slam." They are also known
around town as leading satirists of the
Boulder community. Theirregional hits
"Alfalfa's" and the Grateful Dead
parody, "Pasta on the Mountain" poke
fun at the natural types who are mellow
enough to get the jokes.
The only band currently on a big
label is Big Head Todd and the Mon-
sters, who are on Giant. Boulder Daily
Camera music critic Steve Knopper,
who graduated from Michigan in 1990,
believes they have the greatest chance
to break nationally. Bandleader Todd
Park Mohr is both a blistering blues
guitarist and a philosophical lyricist,
but one characteristic never overshad-
ows the other. The production on the
new disc, with former Prince sideman
David Z in charge, has a much funkier
edge than their last two self-released, -
produced and -recorded indie discs.
Their earlier material is fairly straight
forward, organic rock, but on the new
record they experimented a bit. Check
out the wah-wah heavy, "Sister
Sweetly," and "Groove Thing," which
sounds like a cross between Hendrix
and King Missile.
BrainNevin, drummer for Big Head,
described how the current scene began.
"Us and Samples started around the
same time ('86-'87)," he said, "but it
was -an older crowd then." After both
bands attracted big followings at Colo-
rado University frat parties, a friend of
theirs thought he could bring out the
college crowds if these bands had regu-
"At the time, JJ McCabe's was the
worst bar in town, but he convinced the
awner nhn1r n nnd the Samnpsmnd