Looks like Boyz II Men have reached the end of their road, at least if Colorado Springs' upstart KCMJ-FM 93.9 has any say in the matter.
"More Crosby, Stills & Nash, Less Boyz II Men" is the slogan found on a promotional piece for the community radio station, which is promising to expose listeners to "artists who are not being heard on commercial airwaves."
All of which is kind of weird, given the fact that commercial radio — and pretty much everyone else — gave up on the crooners of "I'll Make Love to You," "End of the Road" and other "new jack swing" hits by the mid-1990s.
So at this point, the idea of less Boyz II Men is pretty much inconceivable. Less Nicki Minaj, on the other hand, might be a more worthy goal — especially after the Anti-Defamation League released a statement Monday condemning the "unadulterated Nazi imagery" in her Leni Riefenstahl-style "Only" video.
But I digress. And I also admit to feeling a little guilty for making fun of a volunteer-run station that's embracing diversity and community, both of which are good things in a media environment that offers little of either.
In the weeks since the non-profit Colorado Media Justice Foundation brought KCMJ online, it's already done live broadcasts from the Catamount Institute's sustainability conference, Colorado Springs city budget hearings, and a day-long remote from Manitou's Manifest Colorado Festival.
Now, it's just a question of raising $20,000 through the station's indiegogo campaign in order to build a transmitter and tower, so that KCMJ can hit the actual FM airwaves licensed to it by the Federal Communications Commission last January.
Toward that end, the station is throwing a free launch party at Ivywild this Thursday, featuring performances by local favorites Woodshed Red, Barrel House String Band, and We Woke Up Like That.
You can also find some pretty interesting premiums, from Nikola Tesla books to co-hosting a music program — go easy on the Boyz II Men, OK? — to getting KCMJ's Dave Gardner to shave his head on the air. The campaign only runs through Thursday, so check it out at tiny.cc/l415ox.
Also this week, and also free, is a Friday night concert at Armstrong Theatre featuring Shining Soul, who claim to be "Arizona's premier hip-hop duo." That may or may not be true, but with political anthems like "Rising" and "Militant Move," this might just be the closest thing to a Dead Prez show we'll see around here for quite a while.
OK, one last recommendation: This one's an up-close-and-personal Friends House Concert featuring Richard Shindell, an ex-pat New Yorker — he and his family now live in Argentina — who started out in a band with John Gorka, recorded and toured as a trio with Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky, has artists like Richard Thompson and Eliza Gilkyson play on his albums, and writes songs about Confederate drummer-boys, men on death row, and Mary Magdalene.
After going to see Shindell play last Friday in New York, my brother got hold of me this week to make sure I don't miss this chance to see him here. And since he's got the whole singer-songwriter/acoustic-guitar-hero thing dialed in way better than I ever will, you probably shouldn't miss this, either. You'll need to act fast, though, since the show is this Wednesday, Nov. 12, and the guy has sold out plenty of sizable venues across the country. Find more info at tiny.cc/1715ox.