MARK MOTHERSBAUGH: A B What will these become? F E An observer among us, Mothersbaugh writes down things that he overhears throughout the day ... Diary: Collected Evidence C G H D

COLLECTED EVIDENCE i J A. From the Postcard Diaries - May 12, 2018 B. Self-Portrait with First Pair of Glasses, 2015 C. After and Before, May 3rd 2020 D. From the Postcard Diaries - January 21, 2019 E. From the Postcard Diaries - April 5, 2018 F. From the Postcard Diaries - Feb 21, 2019 G. From the Postcard Diaries - February 20, 2019 H. Photo by Curtis Tucker, Raining Lights Postcards, From Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia | Best of Birdy 013, January 2015 I. From the Postcard Diaries - February 25, 2018 Daily drawings. Daily thoughts. Playing with composition and ideas. "I translate events into something on a postcard size piece of paper, that either literally or abstractly represents my response to life on planet earth." – Mark Mothersbaugh J. From the Postcard Diaries - From Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia K. From the Postcard Diaries - From Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia K


Despite the thin air and the cold, Pleven and Emma spent nearly the entire eight-hour flight across the Cauldron on the observation deck, talking together and looking eagerly at the roiling clouds below them, lit intermittently by flashes of red lightning. In eight hundred years only two parties previously had crossed that tormented expanse of magmatic sea; they would be the third. “Are you not worried they’ll kill us all?” “Still better than being stuck on the farm back home,” she laughed. “Look, look!” Through the clouds towers were rising, thousands of feet tall and white as bone. They had reached Organth, the city of the dead; but Pleven had eyes only for Emma, her hair whipping in the wind, her cheeks bright with the cold. The Eternal Emperor, Ral Goden, suffered from an affliction: he dreamed, and since the dead do not truly sleep, he dreamed while waking, screaming and thrashing in his bed. His own counselors were terrified — terrified enough that they roused the visiting human alchemist-doctor and brought him hooded and stumbling to the royal chambers, medical bag clutched to his chest. The Emperor reclined like an enormous maggot upon sheets of the finest red silk, his huge, round, hairless body riddled and crawling with actual maggots. His eyes were clouded, yellow and suppurating; his mouth dripped black fluid. The stench was sickening. He looked at Pleven with perfect madness and gurgled alien words in a voice like gas escaping a sewer pipe. Pleven trembled, terrified. “What did he say?” he whispered to the counselor who had brought him here, a hunched and eyeless crone named Gemmes. “He says he is not hungry right now,” she murmured. “He thinks you must be dinner. I will try to explain.” As Gemmes implored her emperor to allow an examination, Goden reached into a box by his bedside. With blackened fingers he drew forth a scarab beetle, legs wriggling, and stuffed it into his mouth. Orange light bloomed there. The dead imagine nothing new; but their hunger drove them to copy any innovation they saw. Those authorities who had organized the airship expeditions had been confident that so long as the ships themselves were kept safely out of reach — easy enough to do via rope lines — then their mechanisms would remain perpetually a mystery to the undead. They were mistaken. Thirty-three years after Pleven and Emma had visited the necropolis, an airship crossed the Cauldron to the port town of Nezen. It might have carried twenty undead in total. One year later, the Vulture Army threatened the entire continent. “We should head further inland,” Pleven argued. “Absolutely not,” Emma said, tending her garden. “This is our home. We have work here to do.” “What work?” he groused. “Looking at Gordon’s plantar’s warts? Helping him birth his calves?” “Healing the sick,” she answered. “Tending one’s flock. Seeing what’s needed.” “In six months they could kill us all.” She laughed. “Worth it to be at home on the farm. Besides, I can’t leave my research.” On the night he finally managed to meet with General Mather, not far from the front, Mather came to his tent. “I have to tell you something, and it’s not good news. One of our clerks tonight, Tom Calluser, is missing. We’ve been looking into it, and it seemed he passed through the pickets to the enemy encampment.” Pleven tried to clear his head of sleep. He was sixty-eight years old and exhausted. “I don’t understand.” “We believe now he was a spy. We need to assume that the enemy knows everything we discussed.” “But what … what can they even do with that?” “Not sure.” Something terrible occurred to him. “I told you all about us. About Emma and her garden.” He sat up. “I need to go home. Now.” As he approached the plaza gate, Pleven thanked the full moon for her silver light, without which he would have been unable to travel so long or far: two days and nights now without cease, sleeping fitfully in a host of jouncing carts and coaches. He walked on, passing through the arched portal, looking with anticipation toward home — and froze, seeing the light from the second-floor workshop window. For some long moments he stood, stomach sinking. Finally he knelt and opened his medical bag. Withdrawing a vial, he unstoppered it and shook its contents into his hand. The expensive lock on the door was shattered, confirming his suspicions. Inside, the cold rolled down the stairs in waves. He took the steps as quietly as he could, but there was no hiding here, and no attempt to hide. These invaders knew he was compelled to see the truth for himself. Emma was laid upon his work table in her nightgown near the center of the room. He saw no wounds upon her, but her mouth was slack, her eyes unblinking. Tears blurred his vision. Emma! I’m sorry! The creature that had murdered her rose from its seat behind the table. The lich was white as parchment, its bones thin as reeds. It wore the scarlet coat of the Vulture Army with the hook insignia of a captain upon the high collar. “Doctor Pleven, I assume. My name is Drost. Sit. We have much to discuss.” Pleven made no reply. He heard a noise behind him and saw two others come up the stairs behind him, their shapes distorted in the candlelight, hunched and clawed. The undead captain waited, then slowly spoke. “Your wife is dead, but this need not be the end. You can live forever in the paradise of the Eternal Empire. We can offer you wealth and position, servants, wine. Or you can have unending pain. It makes no real difference to me, but it would be easier for us both if you cooperate.” Before this moment, Pleven would have said he would have rejected such an offer out of hand. But now that he was here, he felt its temptation pulling him down like a sinkhole engulfing a house. “Good,” rumbled Drost, correctly interpreting his silence as reflection. “Your wife can rise again, more beautiful than before, stronger than before. She will never again be sick, never in pain. You will have all the time in the world. Think of the work you can do! In exchange … the weapon.” In all the necropolis, he had never seen a garden. “I can show you,” he said. Slowly he drew his clenched fist from his pocket. Drost waited, cautious but not alarmed. He opened his hand and revealed the scarab beetle there, an orange sunburst pattern on its back. Then he clapped his hand to his mouth and swallowed forcefully. There followed a truly distressing wriggling sensation, as the preserved beetle seemed to wake up, but he was distracted by the noises behind him, and the captain suddenly standing. “Stop,” he said, and his tongue was orange flame, its light flickering. The undead stopped. They froze entirely, unmoving and unblinking, bidden by the power of the scarab. It was the same power their very emperor used to command them; the same power used to raise them from the dead in the first place. He was not sure if he had condemned himself to their fate, if he did nothing, but he didn’t plan to wait to find out. “Stay here,” he commanded. “Do absolutely nothing until I return.” He descended to the kitchen and heated some water in a kettle. To it he added a generous half cup of a particular silver leaf from a jar on the shelf: a humble herb, rare but amenable to cultivation, that Emma had discovered and grown in her garden. He placed four cups on a platter and carried it back upstairs. “Sit around the table.” The other guardians joined their captain. He placed the platter on the table next to Emma’s body, poured from the kettle, and distributed the cups. “You asked to see the weapon. Well, here it is. Drink your tea.” By the time they finished drinking, all three had fallen to the ground, no longer undead but merely dead. He stood, not yet having drunk from his own cup. He was uncertain how it would interact with the scarab, whose power was the source of unlife. He stroked Emma’s hair. He kissed her forehead. He said goodbye. He drank his tea. 9

Color Me Nain Rouge Detroit. Motor City. The D. Motown if you’re nasty. The place you’re more likely to land than O’Hare due to weather. No matter how you refer to it, Detroit is as much an American establishment as New York, LA or the Bloomin’ Onion hatchery below every Outback Steakhouse, though its hardships outnumber the others at a record-breaking level. Some would attribute the rapid bubble and burst cycle of Detroit’s history to the travails of industry sin, wagging waving over the last century as labor movements attempted to put the screws to the thumbs of modern-day robber barons, who in turn offered a new global economy the opportunity for free trade of more cheaply manufactured motor vehicles. Others will tell tale of a pact the Tigers made whereby every base hit guaranteed a lost job during the ‘84 season. These are both completely reasonable answers to the question: “Why Detroit?” — but neither sufficiently positions the supernatural history accorded the city that birthed Gene Simmons’ tongue snake. But there is one legend that explains it all. The legend still resounds today of the Nain Rouge — the Red Dwarf of Detroit; a being as intertwined with the metropolis as the MC5 and rectangular pizza. In 1701 the land that would become the pistons of America’s engine was granted to Antoine Laumet de La Mothe-Cadillac for the construction of the French fort Pontchartrain. Before leaving to assume his post as commander of the fort, Cadillac threw a goodbye rager. He emptied a wine cellar and, if my recall of French history serves me correctly, definitely swung from a chandelier while sky fencing. At the close of the celebration, a party-crashing fortune teller arrived to issue a warning to the new commander. He was told that his endeavors upon the gifted land would be either greatly fortuitous or forever imperiled depending on how he reacted when he met the Nain Rouge, whom he’d know by its black fur, bright red face and glistening eyes. You know, dwarf stuff. Cadillac woke up the next day like: “Woah! What a party? There was apple punch and a dark omen, and Barry threw up in the aquarium.” He gave little thought to the portent as he left to assume his post at the proposed fort. But the Nain Rouge, would not be so easily ignored. In 1707 rumors about a red man spread throughout town. Both French and Indigenous Peoples alike spoke in low tones to beware of the Nain Rouge. And, as fated, Cadillac was met one night with the red dwarf. Perhaps forgetting the warning of the fortune teller or possibly believing himself beyond the purview of the spectral, he smacked the tiny man with his cane and berated him. The Nain Rouge laughed in Cadillac’s face, robbed him and disappeared. To put it plainly, Cadillac was roundly served. Shortly thereafter Cadillac’s luck took a steep downturn. His rule had apparently not been as genteel as promised and the people wanted him gone. He was alleviated of his post and charged with multiple counts of abuse of power. Sure, this could be the natural consequence of being a greedy bootlegger requiring local trappers and farmers to proffer a portion of their wares as an illegal tax but, a more likely reason is the curse of the Nain Rouge. Cadillac then helped found another American tradition by being hurried to a new precinct and appointed as Governor of Louisiana instead of being fired and jailed! Not even a supernatural dwarf can pierce the coddling bosom of nepotism! The Nain Rouge continues to be seen in the Detroit area, often a harbinger of disaster. He was seen the night before the Great Fire of 1805 that ravaged the city down to a single stone fort and several brick chimneys. His curse has been blamed for the loss of the fort in the War of 1812. Protesters said they spotted a red man during the 1967 12th Street Riot and it was seen again on the eve of a devastating ice storm in 1976. Through it all Detroit has persevered, but there’s no telling when next the Nain Rouge might come prancing through the darkness. But that won’t stop us from trying. Rest assured, our own group of Werewolf Radar approved fortune tellers have been working around the clock to predict the next appearance of the creature. Nothing so far … but they did predict a battle with the giant sized skeleton of Gordie Howe for gangland rights to HockeyTown in 2036. So … Watch out for that. Have questions about the paranormal? Send them to werewolfradarpod@gmail.com or on Twitter: @WerewolfRadar It’s a big, weird world. Don’t be scared. Be Prepared. No. 81



puddle fishing the multiverse BEST OF BIRDY PUBLISHED ISSUE 001, JANUARY 2014 puddle fishing the multiverse Drunk again at the puddle, fishing rod in one hand and beer in the other. The cigarette in my mouth has become an inch of ash, when a group of kids on their bikes come up to me. “Hey mister, what are you doing fishing there?” says the smallest, mousy looking one. I don’t respond. I can’t break my concentration. It is not easy willing a fish into existence. I roll the cigarette to the left of my mouth and take a pull from my beer. The kids get off their bikes and come closer, each looking into the shallow puddle, then at me and then back at the puddle. After a bit they leave with bewildered looks and just as they are about to ride off, I can hear them say that I’m crazy. The thing is, I’m not crazy. I just know how reality works, and if I can keep this drunk and my concentration on fish ... puddle fish ing the mul tiverse Now I haven’t had consistent success with this concept as I did in the anecdote I shared at the beginning. Remember, I’m pulling things out from different universes and if my concentration is not absolute, small errors can take place. Like packaged fish. Or drawings. Or even this one time, a 10-foot stuffed marlin came out of the puddle. Concentration is key! My recommendation to you, as an amateur Probable Multiverse Manipulation Puddle Fisher, is to study in great detail a fish that you find to be tasty. That way, you won’t bring something into this universe that you didn’t want, because I have yet to do the math on a catch-and-release strategy. Buy a good, sturdy fishing pole and above all else, at least a 12-pack of a beer you find tasty. Don’t feel disappointed if you don’t catch anything your first time. Results can vary and it may take 10 to 20 times before you catch anything larger than a goldfish. I wish you all the best of luck! puddle fis ing the mu tiverse My reel begins to spin, my pole is arching. I drop my beer and bring up a catfish. The kids run back and ask how I did that. I just smile, put the catfish into my cooler and tell them, “math.” Puddle fishing is one of the provable experiments in what is called Probable Multiverse Manipulation: the theory of which once you remove all the complicated math, becomes terribly simple. Basically, for every probable and improbable occurrence in a space timeline, there is a different universe. So, if you can focus on a particular idea on a fixed point in space for long enough, you end up pulling said idea across from one universe into yours. I’m not crazy, just really math and physics oriented. Just trust me. So why fishing into a puddle, drunk? Well, fishing requires patience, calm and a level of concentration that very few activities need. The puddle provides what scientific circles call a “control group,” and as for the drunkenness, that’s really simple. Have you ever been fishing? puddle fis ing the mu tiverse BY RICARDO FERNANDEZ

BY TOM MURPHY Blackcell – Burn the Ashes Denver-based EBM/IDM band Blackcell returns with its first full-length album since 2013's In the Key of Black. Matt Jones' processed, distorted vocals sound as ever like a dispossessed human resisting an everincreasing mechanization of life. These dark dance songs articulate so well the struggles of the human condition, and seem so resonant for today as meaningful choices and control over your own life are leeched away into increasing labor defined by a gig economy, subscription and streaming services in the modern equivalent of pay-per-view, and a failing political and economic system that has channeled all the world's wealth into fewer and fewer hands, nickel and dimed to death and expected to take it like it is or not to streamline the technocratic wealth pipeline. Blackcell offers no answers, but this time, its Gary Numan-esque end of the world techno feels particularly cathartic right now. H Lite – Green Youth Heattech Anton Kruger has been known for his inventive, hyperkinetic electronic and experimental music. But for this new EP, he took a deep dive into contemplative realms of sound. Elegant, heavenly strings, luminous swells of tone and crystalline percussion embody the title of the song “Light Language.” The spacious sound design aspect of all the songs on the album are reminiscent of Plaid in the enigmatic playfulness and the stretching consciousness to find inspiration through creative work. Every track brings forth a singular and imaginative portrait of tone, texture and rhythm that Night of the Living Shred – Return of the Living Shred The name of this album of course invokes the title of the 1985 horror comedy Return of the Living Dead. And the Colorado Springs-based metal group has taken the opportunity to give us an unusual and eclectic record takes you on a journey to alien spaces that strike one as familiar and ultimately comforting like a dream. It is post-glitchcore IDM that dispenses with the anxiety in favor of a soothing spirit. jOoHS UhP – Big This record is so irreverent and self-deprecating it uses the swagger language of much of hip-hop to make statements that are the opposite of anything some other artists would brag about. The irony runs so deep even the elements of the music sounds like swagger. There is a song called “NoWeDon'tWannaMakeGoodMusic. WeTriedAndIt'sBoring.” The glitchy, industrial beats are so unconventional and eccentric you would never confuse this duo with anything resembling traditional hip-hop. It all has more in common with Renaldo & The Loaf and The Residents than even a weirdo like Kanye. Though often confrontational and obnoxious there's no denying the relentless creativity of the production and glorious seeming lack of regard for how a song is supposed to sound. that not only reflects its members' broad taste in music but a deeply healthy sense of humor about the world and themselves. “Shred Shoppe Quartet” is a cappella song in the style of a barbershop quartet. There are rap, punk, death metal, doom and grindcore songs. All of it performed with a charming exuberance even though the entire track list reads like something out of a heavy metal version of Mad Magazine. “We Get it, Mike Patton Is a Musical Genius” with screaming like a cover of something by Naked City with lyrics mocking that? That's genius. Even though the record is largely put on in one way or another, the fact that it has so much variety makes it eminently listenable. Princess Dewclaw – Wild Sugar On the Wild Sugar EP Princess Dewclaw has reinvented itself as a gritty, industrial darkwave band. That element was there on its 2017 album Walk of Shame (in fact the songs “Walk of Shame” and “Into the Words” have carried over in a significantly different form), but there seems more of an edge here. The vocals come more directly from channeling anxiety and pain into catharsis. Rather than acoustic drums, the electronic and programmed drums sync more closely with the cutting synth work. The effect is like a caustic and politically charged take on a pop song For more see queencitysoundsandart.wordpress.com with mainstream appeal. In that way it has an appeal similar to that of Alice Glass's emotionally raw solo offerings.


BY HANA ZITTEL Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (2020) Poet, translator and essayist Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s newest book takes his enchanting and poetic language into the realm of memoir. Castillo details growing up undocumented in California after his family crosses to the United States from Zacatecas, Mexico. He opens his story with the shattering experience of an ICE raid in his home in 2006. Though ICE was looking for his father, who had already been deported, Castillo knew the destruction they could wreak on the family. He translates for his mother when they demand information, trying to stay calm, and so sharply conveys this terrorizing experience: “We stood there, frozen, unsure of what to do. The inner urge to flee was replaced with paralyzed submission — we were cemented in place. In that moment, if anyone wished to do so, they could have walked through our door, commanded us to cut ourselves open, and we would have probably listened.” Castillo’s memoir focuses on his ties to two places while concurrently not feeling tied to anywhere. Living most of his life in the United States, he strives to navigate a strained relationship with his father living in Mexico through a trip to visit him. Castillo tactfully flashes back and forth between memories of growing up, his time with his father, and traversing these complexities as a young adult. He dispels common misconceptions about his experience and details around getting DACA, a Green Card, and the naive, ignorant, and common questions around why his mother, “didn’t ‘just get papers if she had over thirty years combined in the U.S.,’ as if time alone was the remedy.” Castillo’s poetic skills shine so brightly in the lyrical pace of this story, the creative chapter divisions, and his ability to move between worlds. The effect and beauty of Children of the Land comes so deeply from his ties and complications with family and relationship, between his Apá and Amá, and his fluid connections to both the United States and Mexico. A Nail the Evening Hangs on by Monica Sok (2020) Visitors to Cambodia, who wander around with crushed limes in their sugarcane drinks, can say people of this country suffered so much but are happy. Monica Sok’s poetry collection is haunting and complex, working through generational trauma and memories of Cambodia, her family, and an identity that exists in two spaces. The poem Tuol Sleng, covers the twisted experience of visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school and site of Security Prison 21, where the Khmer Rouge tortured and murdered over 20,000 people. Sok juxtaposes this horror with the experience of visiting the museum among tourists without connection to the trauma, building on disgust and heartbreak radiating through her poems. One of the most beautiful in this collection is Ode to the Loom, a gentle dedication to her grandmother’s loom, loved and learned, used to weave and absorb emotion and quiet hours. On writing this poem, Sok explains in a Lithub interview: “this poem offers a different tone in the book, I think. I realized then how much my grandmother was a part of this book. Her loom, her grief, her joy and perseverance. My grandmother had been missing in the book. I believe that my ancestors had a hand in making the book. Talking to them and trusting their guidance throughout my creative process — that’s how I discovered a lot of my poems too.” Sok’s deep exploration of ancestry, home and duality of identity is covered with elegance and impeccably crafted imagery.

Mourning Poem By Sophie Cardin When death comes, again Cover the mirrors with colorful cloth Knit in the pattern, of many days In the hues, of many years Open the windows Sob into the sunlight When the day dwindles Light candles to resist the night When the flames flicker Do not revive them Embrace that good dark So often forgotten Remember, The good dark, brings things To their end Remember, The good dark has always Brought new dawns 17 KRYSTI JOMÉI, BEFORE BREAKFAST


DIRECTED by Joshua Viola STARRING: Bret & Jeanni Smith, Paul Campion, Warren Hammond, Angie Hodapp, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, Betty Rocksteady, Keith Ferrell, Gary onas, Mario Acevedo, Orrin Grey, Sean Eads, oshua Viola, K. Nicole Davis, Stephen Graham Jones, Steve Rasnic Tem, Kevin J. Anderson ARTWORK by AJ Nazzaro (covers), Xander Smith (black & white inside illustrations), Aaron Lovett (inside flipbook illustrations) A HEX PUBLISHERS BOOK, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE COLORADO FESTIVAL OF HORROR ticket stubs — and severed limbs; your comfort candy — and body bags. Kick back and scream as you settle into a fate worse than Hell with fourteen full features. Tonight's director's cut is guaranteed to slash you apart. [EXCERPT] ALIEN PARASITES FROM OUTER SPACE BY WARREN HAMMOND Moths swarm the hot-pink neon of the Meteor brought Welcome to tonight's feature presentation, to you by an unholy alliance of our spellcasters at Hex Publishers and movie-mages at the Colorado Festival of Horror. Please be advised that all emergency exits have been locked for this special nostalgia-curdled premiere of death. From crinkling celluloid to ferocious flesh — from the silver screen to your hammering heart — behold as a swarm of werewolves, serial killers, Satanists, Elder Gods, aliens, ghosts, and unclassifiable monsters are loosed upon your auditorium. Relax, and allow our ushers to help with your buckets of popcorn — and blood; your Drive-In marquee as Carl Cramer pedals past. The long driveway leads steeply downhill, and Carl lets the bike pick up speed, the rush of July air cooling his sweaty face. He brakes as the hill levels out and stops at the ticket booth. He pulls a five from the pocket of his no-name jeans and hands it to Scar-y Joe. Not scary, though most wouldn’t hesitate to use that word to describe Joe. It’s scar-y, as in burns all over his face. Joe hands back three singles. “It’s a good one tonight,” he says. “A classic.” Carl pockets his change. “Is it true about the director?” Joe nods. His head is a splotchy patchwork of hair and scar tissue. Some say he was in a fiery car crash. Others say it happened in Vietnam. Nobody seems to know which. “Directed by Jasper Ried,” he says. “Born and raised right here in Janesburg, Nebraska.” “Did you know him?” “I did. Best of friends for a time.” A car horn makes Carl jump. A Ford pickup has pulled in behind him, headlights blinding him. “Hurry up, Cramer,” shouts a male voice. Andy Demps. Carl raises a middle finger and mouths a silent fuck you. It’s not the smartest move, but at the moment, he doesn’t care how hard that twohundred-and-seventy-pound asshole can punch. The sooner Andy leaves town to play O-line for the Huskers, the better. He’s somewhat surprised and more than a little relieved to see the truck’s door stay closed. Carl shades his eyes, but the headlights are too bright to gauge Andy’s reaction. Scar-y Joe, though, he thinks this is hilarious. His laugh is more of a cackle, his shoulders bouncing up and down with each snicker. The truck lunges forward, and a startled Carl releases his ten-speed and jumps aside, though he knows immediately it’s a feint. The Ford has moved only a foot forward, and Carl hears laughter from inside. Feeling the flush in his cheeks, Carl snatches his bike and pedals through the gate into the flat-bottomed crater where the Meteor Drive-in resides. It was a big attraction thirty years ago, just like the Meteor Mini Putt, the Meteor Motel, and the Crater Slide. That was before I-80 was

built. Before all the cross-country traffic was drawn away from town. Only the drive-in still operates — in July and August — and based on the weed-chewed pavement, Carl isn’t sure it will survive to see ’87. He steers clear of potholes and broken glass until he finds space number fifty-three, the one with the ratty folding chair propped against the post. He drops the kickstand, positions the chair next to his bike, and grabs the speaker from its post to hang it from the Schwinn’s crossbar. Headlights approach, and he prays it’s not who he thinks it is. But of course, it’s Andy’s growling Ford. The truck backs into space fifty-four to share the same speaker pole. Andy gets out of the truck, and from the opposite side comes fellow offensive lineman Wade Spratt. A third person slides out from the middle seat: Becca Cline. She wears a tight pair of Jordaches, a green tee, and Andy’s well-worn Nebraska cap. She reaches back into the cab to grab a six-pack of Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers. She smiles at Carl, “Want one?” Carl shakes his head. “Are you sure? They’re Body Shot Lime flavor.” Again, he declines. The three of them climb up into the bed of the truck and sit facing the screen, backs against the cab. He should be glad she’s here. Her presence will have a dampening effect on Andy and Wade’s worst testosterone-jacked impulses. But seeing her wearing Andy’s cap still stings. Carl knows how stupid it is to feel that way. Despite being in the same classes all of their lives, Becca has never once showed the least bit of interest in him, but that hasn’t stopped him from imagining what could be if he wasn’t so … weird. He doesn’t like that word, especially when applying it to himself. But he can’t escape it. Might as well have it tattooed on his forehead, if it weren’t already so painfully obvious from the mom-cut hair and the generic Swoosh-free sneakers. He long since realized he couldn’t change the way he was, and he learned to accept it. What he can’t understand is why his classmates can’t accept it too. Why can’t they just leave him be? Is it really so strange that a person doesn’t like baseball or basketball or any other kind of ball? So what if he prefers to play Dungeons & Dragons all by himself? Why does anybody care if all of his notebooks are filled with sketches of swords and war hammers and labyrinthine dungeon plans? About the only normal thing he does is watch movies, though he knows his tastes run toward the, well, weird. The VCR he bought with his own money is his most prized possession, and the after-school job he works at Janesburg Videos gives him access to thousands of films. His favorites are the videotapes that don’t come in perfectly produced boxes. He likes the ones that show up in their original Memorex or Maxell sleeves and are only identifiable by crooked or peeling stickers on the black plastic spines. Ones with titles like Swamp Tramp of the Underworld and Fanged Hamster Slumber Party. That is what makes tonight’s feature so special. The movie never made it to TV or VHS or any other format beyond its initial release in the late 60s. Viewings are so rare many around town insist the movie never really existed. The projector fires up to bathe the screen in bright white light. Several of the screen’s panels are missing, and those that remain are warped badly enough to create a visible crosshatch of seams. Hundreds of moths dart and dance in the projector’s beam, casting dancing black dots on the blank screen. Carl sits forward as the first shot appears. It’s a crow sitting on a fence, a cornfield in the background. He thinks he recognizes the grain silo as the same one five miles north. The crow caws, and the movie’s title appears in big purple letters: Alien Parasites from Outer Space. Carl smiles and claps until he realizes he is the only one applauding. A Budweiser bottle cap lands near his feet. “Keep it down, Cramer.” Carl hears a banging sound and turns to see that Scar-y Joe has moved from the ticket booth to opening the concession window. Carl doubletimes for it before a line forms. If he’s fast, he can be back before the opening credits finish. By the time Carl arrives, Scar-y Joe has already filled a double-meteor-sized cup with root beer. He tops the soda with a plastic lid and hands over a king-size box of Junior Mints. Carl notices the Walkman headphones sitting askew on Scar-y Joe’s nubby ears but has no interest in asking what he’s listening to. Other than movie scores, music holds little interest to Carl. He pays up, then nabs a straw and a long plastic spoon before spinning back around to face the screen. The credits are over, and a pair of teenagers are walking through a cornfield. Carl hustles back to his spot and drops into his chair. The girl is wearing a poodle skirt, and the boy reminds Carl of the Fonz. They’re carrying a blanket and speaking in hushed tones about finding a quiet, secluded place near the creek. The scene makes a sudden cut. The background is now black but dotted with pinpricks of light. A starfield. The camera pans left to land on a planet the color of Welch’s Grape Juice. Another planet swings into view, and the two orbs collide like those Clackers toys. The view cuts to an explosion. A slo-mo spray of rocks, dirt and sparks hurls toward the lens. Next, the camera focuses on one particular flying rock that dangles from a barely visible wire. Andy is laughing now. “Holy shit, that is so fake!” Carl resists the urge to shush. The movie cuts to show Earth. Then the rock. The music picks up pace as the view switches back to Earth. Then the rock. Earth. Rock. Back to the teens in the cornfield. They look up at the sky, and the movie freezes on terrified faces for several seconds before the film becomes overexposed, the colors saturating into a blur. The speaker hanging on Carl’s ten-speed spits and crackles over the sound of a bomb going off. Carl is nodding his head. This movie kicks ass! As is his routine, he sucks his straw until he’s downed a third of his root beer and pulls the lid open. He sets the open cup on the ground before grabbing the box of Junior Mints in both fists so he can strangle the life out of it. He likes his mints mushy. He wrings the box a few more times, then opens it and uses the spoon to scoop the melty mash into his root beer. A moth bumps his forehead, and he swipes it away before digging the spoon into his cup. He fishes out a minty mass and gleefully gobbles it down. The movie is starting to drag now. It’s ten years later, and the town has rebuilt. Two high school seniors — Stan and Sam — hog the screen time. Stan’s parents are going out of town, and the boys scheme to throw the biggest, baddest party in the history of parties. Typical high school fare. A scream startles Carl, but it doesn’t come from the speaker. “Fuckin’ moths,” says Becca. “It flew in my ear.” Andy and Wade laugh, and another bottle cap arcs from the truck. On the screen, Stan is handing out invites to the party. He goes into the library and pins one to the bulletin board. He hears a sound. Spooky music starts as Stan creeps between the bookshelves. He rounds a corner, and his eyes go wide with shock. The librarian is there, looking how a movie librarian should look. Glasses. Pinned-up hair. Black ankle-length skirt. Except this librarian is completely topless. “Oh, Stan, I’m sorry I didn’t hear you come in,” she says with a flirty batting of the eyes. “Woohoo! Now we’re talking!” shouts Andy. “Why aren’t you clapping, Cramer?” This kind of random encounter happens in a lot of the movies Carl watches. He’s never been a fan of such scenes. Stuff like that just doesn’t seem as realistic as the rest of it.

Carl bobs for more mints, and more bottle caps bounce on the pavement until the movie finally advances to party night. Stan’s farmhouse sits dramatically on the edge of the crater. Carl recognizes the two-story wooden farmhouse as belonging to the Fullers. It was one of the many places his mother used to clean before her back got too bad. Stan and Sam are in the kitchen spiking a bowl of punch. It’s not the same kitchen Carl’s mother used to scrub. Based on the stucco walls and Spanish tile, the interior shots were done somewhere in southern California. That doesn’t bother Carl at all. He knows a movie as great as this one can’t be judged by such details. Something serious bubbles under the surface of the story. Something in the subtext. He knows it’s there, though he can’t quite put his finger on it. “How’s the summer treating you, Carl?” Carl is slow to notice the voice. When he pulls his eyes from the screen, Becca Cline is standing right next to him, a box of popcorn in her hand. He didn’t even notice her going to the concession window. “It’s a hot one,” he says. She tilts her head. “Hot one?” “The summer. You asked about the summer.” “I asked about you,” she says. “Still working at the video store?” He nods. He can’t remember the last time she’s talked to him. “I work in the back most days, but if you ask for me, I can find the best movies for you. Ever seen Trout Rodeo? It’s a good one.” Before she can respond, Wade shouts, “Show us your tits!” at the newest brunette on screen. Andy laughs hysterically. The shouts of keep it down accompanied by irritated honking only makes him laugh harder and louder. Becca shakes her head. “Classy, aren’t they?” Carl figures silence is enough of an answer. Becca takes off Andy’s cap, curls the bill, and shoves it in the back pocket of her Jordaches. “Some days, I really have to wonder what I’m doing. Hey, you’re friendly with Scar-y Joe, aren’t you?” Carl shrugs his shoulders. “I mean you come here every week, right? You probably know him better than anybody.” “Maybe,” admits Carl. “Did you see his headphones?” Carl nods. “They’re not plugged into anything. The cord is just dangling.” “So?” “Isn’t that weird? I was curious to see what he was listening to but I didn't see his Walkman. The cord runs to nowhere.” Carl swats at another moth. “I guess that is strange.” “Ever notice how nobody ever talks about him? My parents, they’ll talk about what a shame it is he turned out like he did, but they never say what actually happened.” “Maybe they don’t know.” She rolls her eyes. “Please. You can’t fart behind a tree without everybody in town knowing about it. Anyway, good talking to you.” “Same here,” he says, though what he wishes he could say is, “Don’t leave.” Using the back tire as a step-stool, she climbs into the truck. Carl’s eyes turn to the screen. The party is in full swing now. A reverbed guitar blares through the speakers, and the camera zooms in and out before turning upside down — the director’s way of saying, Rockin’ party. The view cuts to a girl, topless, of course, and in bed with Sam. Her name is Mimi, and she and Sam pass a joint back and forth while saying things like groovy and far out. Suddenly annoyed, Mimi jams a finger in her ear. A concerned Sam asks what’s the matter, and she whines that it itches. The camera zooms way in, so close all you can see is finger and ear and hair. A vaudevillian sound effect whistles through the speaker, and the view zooms back out. “It’s better now,” she says in a dull monotone. Somebody knocks on the door, and she answers it, naked. It’s another girl, a cheerleader who has shown up in several of the previous scenes. Mimi stabs her in the chest, and the cheerleader collapses. “No way!” shouts Andy. “You saw her, she didn’t have a knife a second ago.” Carl tunes Andy out. He’s starting to understand what’s going on. The teens in this movie, it’s like some of them are possessed. Not in control of themselves. The alien parasites that rode that meteor to Earth must enter through the ear. That itching sensation is them breaking through and latching onto the brain. One of the kids goes Van Gogh and slices off an ear. Another boy fires up a John Deere and runs over a pair of lovers. This movie is so awesome! Still, the party continues. Andy grumbles about how Sam and Stan seem oblivious to what’s going on. “He watched his girlfriend kill the cheerleader, and he’s acting like nothing happened,” he says. True to form, Sam keeps cranking the Hi-Fi and adding more spike to the punch. The scene cuts to town. The sheriff is at his desk, and the phone rings. He’s an actor, of course, but the police station is the real one on the corner of Walnut and Shade. The sheriff picks up and gets an earful from a panicked teen, but Carl doesn’t hear a word of it. His jaw is dropped and his root beer is in danger of slipping through his fingers. In the background is a maid. She empties a trash can and rests a hand on her belly. “Isn’t that your mom, Cramer?” calls Andy. It is, and inside the rounded belly is Carl himself. He can’t speak as a cold chill falls over him. This isn’t a coincidence. He knows it down in his core. Jasper Reid, the director, did this on purpose. He knew Carl would be watching one day. The message is unmistakable. Incontrovertible. That is his mom. That is him in her belly. On screen, more murders plague the house

party. The beheading by scythe would be Carl’s favorite, but he’s not paying attention. Instead, he sips absently at his fizzy, mint-chocolatey root beer, and scans the area. He sees dozens of cars and trucks. He sees Scar-y Joe refilling the popcorn popper. It’s too dark to see the crater walls, but he can see where their black shadows meet the stars above, and he shivers. All might look normal, but he knows the parasites are here. Right here in this very crater. Their home world was destroyed, and a piece of it slammed into Earth and is still buried somewhere under Carl’s chair. A pink projectile lands by his feet. He jumps from his seat before realizing it’s a piece of paper folded into a tight wad. He picks it up and unfolds the note. Meet me in the bathroom in ten minutes. Something weird is going on. –B He looks at her and mouths why me? She rolls her eyes and jerks a thumb at Andy, who is trying to open a Bud bottle with his eye socket. All he succeeds at is opening the skin over his eyelid. He nods. Okay, ten minutes. Turning back to the screen, Carl decides he better start paying attention or he might miss the message the moviemaker is trying to convey to him. He wonders for a moment if he might be crazy, but immediately dismisses it. If the Beatles sent messages to Charlie Manson on The White Album, then why can’t Jasper Reid be sending messages to Carl? Another girl on the screen scratches at her ear before the whistle lets us know she’s been taken. The scene cuts to a drunk Stan, but the sound of a chainsaw sobers him. He’s in a tool shed, and the buzz of the chainsaw is coming from somewhere outside. He slips under a bench as the shed door slides open. From his hiding place, he sees long legs and white go-go boots. “What the fuck?” asks Andy. “That girl was wearing overalls a minute ago.” Idiot. Ever occur to him that the farm girl might have go-go boots under her overalls? Clearly, Andy isn’t sophisticated enough to appreciate the art of a movie like this one. The chainsaw is visible, smoke drifting from its orange casing. Stan is shaking. He covers his mouth to keep from screaming. The go-go boots clop softly on the wood floor, little puffs of dust kicking up with each footfall. A gas can sits on the floor, and she tips it over. Gasoline puddles across the floor. “Convenient that the can wasn’t capped,” says Wade. Go-go chainsaw girl exits the shed and tosses a match before locking the door. The shed goes up quick, and Carl is riveted to find out how Stan will escape this one. Except he doesn’t escape. Not until the shed collapses. Only then does a figure run free, his entire body engulfed in flame. Carl looks at the concession stand. Scar-y Joe is there, but he’s covering his eyes so he can’t see the screen. Is that how it happened, Joe? Or should I say Stan? From the truck, Becca Cline is staring at him, her eyebrows raised as if to say, Are we meeting or what? Carl walks to the restroom, pushes open the door labeled Girls in Magic Marker. “Anybody in here?” he calls to make sure it’s vacant. He goes to the sink and opens the tap. He fills cupped hands with water and splashes his face. Becca Cline will be here any second, and he needs to be ready. He can’t believe she wants to talk to him. Of all people, she chose him. His heart should be soaring right now. Finally, after all these years, she can see Andy for the shallow, self-centered jerk he is. Her alarm bells are going off, and in this time of need, she is spurning the big, bad football player to run into the arms of the weird kid. But Carl knows deep down it’s all a ruse. A setup. He’s too weird for someone like her. It’s the way things are, and it’s never going to change. He hurries into one of the stalls and lifts the heavy porcelain lid from the toilet’s tank. Hugging the weighty ceramic slab, he posts himself alongside the bathroom door. His heart is chugging like a runaway train, and he’s sucking air like he’s just pedaled up the crater wall. The door cracks open. “Carl, are you in here?” His voice cracks, but he manages an affirmative. She pushes her way into the bathroom. Carl steps behind her. Her hair is pulled into a ponytail, and Andy’s cap sticks out from her back pocket. He wishes he didn’t have to do this, but he knows it has to be done. Alien parasites are serious business. Carl swings the porcelain lid as hard as he can. It thuds into her skull, and she drops. Her eyes are still open, but they’re lost. Swimming. “Sorry, Becca,” he says. “I know you’re one of them.” Blood pools on the floor. Becca’s mouth opens and closes soundlessly. Carl can’t tell if she understands what’s happening to her. Headlights peak through the cracked door, and Carl throws his body against it. The movie is over, and cars are leaving. Somebody might decide to stop at the restroom before departing. He watches Becca as he presses against the door. She’s trying but failing to sit up. He knows he has to finish the job, but he’s afraid to leave the door. He’s proven right when he feels somebody pushing from the other side. “Out of order!” he shouts. How long does he have before Andy and Wade come looking? He stays where he is. Becca is bleeding badly, and all he wants to do is hold her, tell her it will be okay. It’s not too late to race to a phone and call for help. But he doesn’t move. She’s been taken. She lured Carl in here so she could kill him. There’s no telling how many people she would’ve murdered next. Though nobody will Read the full behind-the-scenes interview with Multiplex co-founders Joshua Viola and Bret & Jeanni Smith at birdymagazine.com to learn more about the anthology, Colorado Festival of Horror and their love of all things terrifying. It Came From The Multiplex is available September 15 at hexpublishers.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Colorado Festival of Horror (COFOH) is an intimate fan experience and convention for all things horror featuring celebrity guests, artists, writers, vendors, performers and much more. Stay tuned for the fest kicking off September 2021 with Guests of Honor writer Steve Niles, actress Brinke Stevens and actor Brian Bonsall. In the meantime, tune into their online programming COFOH Presents, a series featuring panel discussions, script reads, demonstrations, workshops, and more, and the interview series COFOH: Live & Undead, hosted by Denver artist Daniel Crosier. For more information check out: cofohorror.com ever know it, he knows he’s a hero. He lets this fact buoy his spirit. He hears voices outside. It’s Andy and Wade, and they’re talking to somebody right outside the door. The third person tells them Becca left. He says she told him to tell them her Dad came to pick her up. Becca is lying flat now, her eyelids fluttering. A knock sounds behind him. “They’re gone,” says Joe. “You can open up.” Carl pulls open the door, and Scar-y Joe waits with an icepick in hand. Painted by red neon from the concession stand, his scars look fresh. “It went in her ear,” says Carl. “She thought it was a moth. It took control of her before she asked me to meet her here.” Joe adjusts his disconnected headphones. “That’s why I wear protection. Which ear did it go in?” “Not sure.” He drops on her quickly and stabs the icepick into her right ear. He jerks the handle around like it’s a gearshift before doing the other ear. “Fuckin’ parasites. They come out every ten years.” A tear comes to Carl’s eye as the last of her life drains onto the linoleum. “You get on home now,” says Joe. “I can take it from here.” Carl nabs Andy’s cap. He’s not sure why. “You done good, kid,” says Joe. “See you next week?” “What’s next week?” Joe washes the blade in the sink before going to the closet to roll out a mop bucket. “The sequel.”


BY CARSEN GREENE PHOTOS COURTESY OF QUINN TINCHER Quinn Tincher, founding member and Senior Artist at Meow Wolf, is still making and creating from his home. He’s been in quarantine, along with the rest of Meow Wolf’s employees, since March 13th. But he’s not letting that fact slow him down. The Sante Fe born and raised artist is still full steam ahead on art for one of our future exhibitions. He let us pick his brain a bit! What are you working on? I am creating 3D floating sculptures that collage reality into a glitchy conglomerate, an amalgam of motion and emotion trapped in time and displayed in still space. The sculptures themselves aren't very large and the detail gets quite small, so for the last month, I have been creating itty-bitty little worlds. The design I was able to create calls for an alleyway built into the inside of a geode. I went all in and made an abandoned German townhouse surrounded by brick and a fire escape, complete with a graffiti covered dumpster that is smaller than a nickel. I was able to teach myself how to make miniatures from scrap, using only sentra and paint. At the end of the week doing this, I had discovered a new super power and passion. What music are you listening to? At the moment, I am listening to Calypso as my five-year-old daughter shimmies around the room behind me in a Hawiian shirt; a change from yesterday's AC/DCfest in a sleeveless jean jacket. My lovely wife is also locked-down with us and so I get a good dose of early 90s hip-hop and a bunch of Billie Holiday. But, if left to my own devices, which is not a lot these days, I tend toward Explosions in the Sky, This Will Destroy You, when I need to get deep into what I am doing on the workbench. Is this the dystopian future you had expected? I grew up in a trailer park at the very edge of civilization. The sun set over the volcanic ridges to the northwest of town and there was nothing but rocks and plateau between us and the ancient mountains. I used to have a recurring nightmare of the volcano erupting again; lava surging into the trailer park and my whole world melting little by little into nothing. This is dystopia for me, the inability to escape a slowly moving, inevitable destruction. What I am experiencing now, what I see around me in not dystopia, it's a chance to see how capable we all are. I don't feel impending doom, I feel hope, because I see (for the first time in my life) a reason to care for each other, a reason to remember how important the health and happiness of others is, to each of us. No. 81 The Meow Wolf artist talks miniatures, mountains and making art through COVID-19

Check out more of Quinn’s work on Instagram: @quinnstagram505

SLOANS LAKE A FURWORLD FOR FURBABIES BY SHANGELA Flocks of geese peacefully float on Sloans Lake hunting for fish as the morning sun begins to shine his warmth on vast fields of green grass. My inner terrier suddenly awakens as I leap into the lake, moving dozens of geese with one jump. For a petite furgirl, this elevates my ego and feeling of fierceness. It is also the main reason I would love to live in Sloans Lake as it is like Disneyland for furbabies with all your favorite chaseable targets: geese, squirrels, birds, more geese, more squirrels and many other creatures. With Downtown Denver just minutes away, you forget you are in the city. As Denver’s second largest lake, Sloans offers a competitive alternative for green space, lakes and lush, leafy streets in the metro area. Nearly everyone seems “pro-fur” and has a cat or dog. Little do the owners know, behind all the leaves and trees, we run this show. I recently found this mid-1950s built half-duplex located at 2427 Grove Street which boasts a mid-century modern flair. This home is one of the more affordable price points in the highly desirable Sloans Lake neighborhood. GET YOUR FUR ON! SLOANS LAKE APPEALS TO THE MASSES Although the origin of today’s 177-acre Sloans Lake has never been confirmed, Thomas M. Sloan applied for a patent in 1869 to cultivate the valley for agricultural purposes, farming and cattle raising. Legend has it that in the process of digging a water well, he broke into an aquifer which flooded the valley. Since then, the area has been used for a variety of purposes such as the infamous Manhattan Park, a 1900s public amusement and swimming park. There is also a wide range of architectural design from Victorian villas to iconic 1920s Denver brick bungalows to new, postmodern builds. Over the last 20 years, Sloans Lake has undergone rapid revitalization with homes more than doubling in appreciation value. A thriving culinary and bar scene has also grown, many of which are furry-friendly! A FURRY PERSPECTIVE OF MY NEW SLOANS LAKE LISTING — 2427 GROVE STREET Vintage, mid-century modern and practical come to mind for this hidden gem located in the Witter-Cofield Historic District in Sloans Lake. This 4 bed / 2 bathroom half-duplex features a newly terraced front yard with sprinkler system, rear private flagstone patio and a fully fenced yard. I mean, hello?! This fur girl’s priorities come first and a yard is a must! The home boasts original, resurfaced hardwood floors and an open kitchen/dining room floor plan with an updated kitchen, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The basement also has two conforming bedrooms, threequarter bathroom, cozy living room and an oversize laundry room. This particular street is scattered with turn of the century Victorian mansions giving the environment a very noble flair with countless fellow furbabies and their owners taking to the sidewalks for their morning and afternoon walks. If you name-drop “Shangela,” all the dogs already know me. SHANGELA’S PICKS: BEST FURFRIENDLY SPOTS & BUSINESSES Rupert’s at the Edge is located just across Sheridan Boulevard from the lake. It features hearty, delectable portions for breakfast, lunch and brunch foodies, and welcomes furbabies like me. You will get your own bowl of water and a surprise treat! Just a few doors down is Ohana Grill, a trendy eatery that prides themselves on their South Pacific menu with yummy surf and turf. You can sit on the patio with your owners and are treated with fur-respect. 23rd Avenue Sculpture Studio founded by Denver-born artist Dennis West nearly 25 years ago is now run by his very furry-friendly daughter Amoreena Corbin and features the most beautiful and creative metal artwork. They also make custom metal fences, doors and much more – not to mention – the beautiful bike artwork in my listing on Grove Street (see photo!). See more at 23rdavesculpturestudio.com. If you are interested in this home, be sure to talk to “JJ” John Jeffrey who is my favorite lender with Westerra Credit Union with over 25 years experience. He is offering some excellent financing packages with interest rates below 3 percent! Reach out to me for more information. Home price: $529,000 MLS: 5048805 Chadwick V. R. Williams & Shangela | Your Denver Real Estate Concierge denverrealestatepro.com | (720) 666-9805 | chadwick@denverrealestatepro.com

No. 81

INDIE 102.3 LOCAL MUSIC DIRECTOR ALISHA SWEENEY TALKS ABOUT DENVER'S MUSIC SCENE, THIS YEAR'S B-SIDE, AND WHAT LED TO HER CAREER IN RADIO BY RACHEL GRAMMES | PHOTO BY SETH SHIMKONIS We recently asked Indie 102.3's Local Music Director, Alisha Sweeney, about the B-Side artists selected, Denver's music scene, and about her early musical experiences. Each Friday in July and August, Indie 102.3 and MCA Denver premiered an exclusive concert video filmed on the rooftop of the museum. These videos can be found on the Indie 102.3 Facebook page, NPR Music Live Sessions, and MCA Denver’s YouTube Channel. What was the first album you bought yourself? How old were you? When I was in elementary school I proudly bought the cassette tape to De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising at Kmart as a way to impress my older siblings so that I would be allowed to go into my brother's bedroom and use the cassette player. It worked for a short while; I still have the tape. What artists or albums influenced your desire to make a career in music? By the time I was a college DJ I was enamored by many obscure indie bands that I would play on the radio. I loved learning about bands and sharing that knowledge on-air; it was exciting to go and see them in concert too. College radio also gifted me with a voice to connect with local bands and early on The Apples in Stereo, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Dressy Bessy, and The Czars were the biggest local celebrities to me. What was your first music-related job? What was it like for you? My first music-related job was Morning Show Host at the University of Colorado's student-run radio station, Radio 1190, in Boulder. I was young and enthusiastic and I remember going to host my first shift and when I got back home, my roommates who were older than me and I looked up to so much were like, "You're pretty good, I thought you would be laughing or giggling the whole time." What’s your favorite part of Denver’s music scene? Good people. I am inspired by the creativity that comes from every aspect of our scene from songwriters, bandmates, composers, label owners, engineers, producers, venue operators, record store employees, luthiers, bouncers, videographers, photographers, DJs, graphic designers, dancers, managers, bartenders, fans; our scene is collaborative and brings so many wonderfully good people To read this full interview and find interviews with other artists, visit mcadenver.org/blog. To learn more about Denver’s local music scene and listen to live and recorded programming, visit cpr.org/indie. together and no matter what the genre is, we are all connected because of our love of music. Tell us about B-Side Music Fridays and why Colordao Public Radio partnered with MCA Denver this year. I have been wanting to collaborate with MCA Denver for years and am so happy this is happening. Specifically, B-Side Music Fridays, has been a summertime series I look forward to attending every year. At Indie 102.3 we felt it especially important to partner with MCA during this unprecedented time to make sure the series happened and safely. What is cool is that it's even more accessible for all to attend — both to watch on Facebook or listen to it on the radio. What kind of music can people expect to hear? We've helped curate some exciting voices out of Colorado including emerging acts like Latin electro-pop band Neoma, singersongwriter Ella Luna, indie rockers Orca Welles and exciting R&B performances from The Grand Alliance and Adiel Mitchell. You can also expect engaging sets from local powerhouses Esmé Patterson, Wildermiss, The Yawpers, and Ned Garthe Explosion. There's a little something for everyone. This summer, MCA Denver and Colorado Public Radio’s Indie 102.3 partnered to present B-Side Music Fridays virtually. This is an excerpt from a recent interview with Indie 102.3 Host and Local Music Director, Alisha Sweeney.

THE HEADLESS HERO RETURNS By Zac Dunn Godzilla on the mountaintop We bend the knee Stop Drop Roll Lose control Eyes fleshed over Red rover Red rover Put the gingivitis in order Sort the porn As I explore And endure Trials and tribulations and sinister revelations We cannot reach the mountain Top today ... Muthafucker I can’t quit you Stand and deliver Trump is a bitch ASS DECEIVER Gave poison to infants Tore kids from loving hands I demand you step the fuck down NOW NOW NOW Your empire smells like feces We never believed in YOU'RE FIRED YOU FUCKING LIAR We reject your fake news And hate AND DEMAND YOU Give back the nation SO WE CAN MAKE IT GREAT I command you By the power of grey skull We want the world and we want it NOW NOW NOW You fucking coward You stand for everything I refuse to abide by We will never bend the knee to You or your GRAND OLD ARMY OF LIZARDS WE SEE YOU CUZ YOUR EYES ARE FILLED WITH DOLLARS AND THE ANTITHESIS OF GREAT Beneath the greatest love LIES A HURRICANE OF HATE facebook friend won’t shut the fuck up about non-voting plans by brian polk SOCIAL MEDIA — For reasons that were unknown a mere week ago, one of your social media “friends” Henry Donaldson — a man you have never met in actual life — is not voting in the upcoming election. But instead of keeping this personal decision to himself, the Facebook user is spending an awful lot of his free time attempting to seek validation for his abstention and convincing others not to vote as well. “I never met this Henry guy,” said Jeremy Fisher, another one of your mutual e-friends during a group chat. “But holy shit, he won’t shut the fuck up about not voting for Biden for some reason. He’s been writing these overwrought posts that are like six paragraphs long. It’s like, ‘Dude, no one here is going to stop you from not voting. Knock yourself the fuck out.’ But I guess he’s embarked upon some sacred mission to proclaim to the entire world that he is one important non-voting motherfucker! Look out world: Henry is definitely NOT going to vote in the upcoming election. It’s just so fucking impressive, isn’t it?” Before last week, Henry hadn’t exactly been active on Facebook — his last post seeking recommendations for good Ethiopian food in the area appeared in mid-February. But since his first post about the election last Wednesday, Donaldson has let flow a torrent of increasingly unhinged proclamations about the stupidity of voting. “I’m not sure what’s gotten into Hank,” said ex-girlfriend and reluctant e-friend of Donaldson, Wendy McCarthy. “We were both super excited to vote for Obama in 2012 and I know he voted for Clinton in 2016. But now he keeps saying that Biden and Trump are exactly the same candidate and if you vote for Biden you’re just as dumb and racist as Trump supporters. But that’s just being willfully obtuse. He’s like that, you know? But even if he did believe all that nonsense, what’s his end goal? To get everyone not to vote for Biden? Is that what he really wants? I know for a fact he knows how the Supreme Court works ... It must be the whole COVID isolation that has gotten to him or something. I bet he’s really lonely.” While Henry’s behavior has a lot of his virtual friends shaking their heads, longtime Republican donor and former college roommate, Vinny Jacobsen, isn’t surprised by Donaldson’s outbursts — citing a long history of the non-voter’s often provocative, outspoken beliefs. “Hank’s always been a bit of an asshole,” Jacobsen said. “He’s the kind of guy who’s always trying to tell you how weak you are for not using the hottest hot sauce or how dumb you are because you don’t listen to Democracy Now! or CNN or whatever. He must have finally got a smartphone or something — even though he used to call smartphone users sheep-like sycophants. But yeah, he’s been posting all that election crap. Of course, as a Trump supporter, I agree with most of the non-condescending stuff. I mean, I don’t think people should vote for Biden either, because he won’t go after Europe or Antifa or public schools the way Trump has.” Added Jacobsen: “Oh yeah, and the Supreme Court. Hell, even if I didn’t like Trump, I’d still vote for him for that reason alone. You’d be a damned fool not to.” No. 81

BY SAM SCHIEL Artist: 999 Title: 999 Genre: Punk Released: 1977 Two signs of a great record are: if you purchased it when it was released and if it is still a part of your collection 42 years later. For me 999's selftitled debut is one of those records. I picked it up at Wax Trax when I was 14 years old during the original punk explosion. It is amazing to think back to those days when Denver was still considered a cowtown. Answering machines, calculators and VCRs were the state of the art in accessible technology. No cell phones, no CDs. A pre-digital paradise that would be so nice to return to. But alas, if if's and buts were candy and nuts, man would we have a party! Wax Trax was ground zero for all things punk and was a bustling energy hub and mosh pit for teenagers' hormones and pheromones. It felt like a bash when you were in the store. Without this world-class record shop Denver's music scene during this historic time in the latter 70s and early 80s would have been nothing to compare to what it ended up being. The new arrivals racks were like a waterfall of the most powerful artists and their early albums from the period. Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Clash, The Stranglers, The Undertones, Ramones and The Damned are just a sample of the goodies offered to the punk hungry masses. 999's first album was among these tempting titles. I sought out this band after listening to a compilation I purchased a few weeks earlier that featured 20 songs by various bands from the early English punk rock movement. The comp had a song titled “Emergency” by 999. On the first listen of this classic punk anthem, I had to hear more ASAP! 999 hailed from London and emerged on the burgeoning live club scene in 1976. Nick Cash (Keith Lucas) on lead vocals and guitar, Guy Days (Nick's brother) on lead guitar, Jon Watson on bass, and Pablo LaBrittain on drums made up the original lineup responsible for the first three incredible records. A slightly underrated band at that time, many critics and contemporaries saw them as a bunch of sillies and coattail riders trying to cash in on the punk rock phenomenon. No pun intended. 999 opens with “Me And My Desire,” a catchy number introducing the listener to the voice of Nick Cash, whose nasty, snotty, snarling vocals epitomized the whole “feck off!” attitude of early punk rock. “Chicane Destination” follows giving you the first glimpse of their legitimacy as a punk band to be reckoned with. The frenzied, sing-a-long chorus makes you think you're in the midst of a bunch of ravenous football hooligans cheering on Leeds or Manchester United. Fun stuff. “Crazy” slows things a bit and is more a straight-ahead rock 'n' roller. 999 had its roots in this and you can tell Days and Cash were well aware of the importance of Chuck Berry and company. Gears shift to a downbeat reggae-esque rhythm for “Your Number Is My Number,” taking us back full circle to all things punk for the last two killer tracks on side one. “Hit Me” is a blistering rocker that kicks into overdrive, slamming the listener's face into the epic “I'm Alive.” Side two starts with “Titanic, (My Over) Reaction.” Its subdued bassline intro makes way for Days' screeching, Les Paul Jr. and a hooky chorus line. Second is another straight-up rocker, “Pick It Up,” which brings the listener to the hit, “Emergency.” This song put 999 on the map. Days' simple, repetitive, single chord strike is joined by LaBrittain's brilliant tom-tom beat and Watson's swooping bass slides. Cash chimes in as they lay down the catchiest cut on the record. The final three tracks are an aggressive, chaotic whirlwind of high energy mayhem, giving this album an atomic ending. “No Pity” — which ended up as the b-side for Nasty, Nasty released as a single a few months later — is your classic hardcore mosh pit mover with Cash spewing his frantic rant with signature nasal delivery. “Direct Action Briefing” switches gears to a more herky-jerky rhythm reminiscent of T.Rex’s “Solid Gold Easy Action.” Killer catchy chorus 'ta boot. Last but not least, “Nobody Knows,” Days' Eddie Van Halen-esque hammer opening, blasts the entire band off like a sonic rocket heading for the stars. Two quiet instrumental breakdowns add major dynamics and show how truly talented these guys were as songwriters and musicians. 999: the perfect combo of punk and pop that sounds as good today as it did 42 years ago. Maybe better! Enjoy. 33


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