is over, and that can only mean that New Year’s is right
around the corner. Those of you who read the Halloween edition
of “The Goods” know exactly how I feel about New
Year’s. It is an amateur night that brings wildly inexperienced
people to the bars and restaurants where they drink way more
booze than they should. The streets are littered with drunk
drivers, and people pretend to be so happy that they want to
kiss everyone they see. I’d rather watch my car’s
odometer roll over. Man, am I grumpy. As with Halloween, I’m
sure I can’t convince you to stay home so I’ve prepared
a list of ways to amuse yourself on Jan. 31.
Scoot ‘n Blues is offering live music and champagne and
food at midnight for the low price of $15. The music will be
provided by Hues of Blues and the folks at Scoots will be raffling
off a trip to Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe.
As a reprise of the now infamous Punk Rock Breakfast of a few
weeks ago, Storyville will be hosting a Punk Rock New Year’s
featuring The Thirteens and Gina Go Faster. If the New Year’s
bash is even remotely like the breakfast, this is probably the
place to be. The Thirteens are fun, energetic and a little dangerous.
All of Durango’s Japanese businessmen and American Idol
wannabes will be happy to know that Pongas is reviving the ancient
art of karaoke for its New Year’s celebration. This is
your chance to show the world just how badly you can butcher
“New York, New York” or “Love Shack.”
In honor of Joe Strummer’s death, I will not be doing
my pitiful version of “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”
On the rural side of things, the Billy Goat Saloon in downtown
Gem Village has the group the Crawdaddies performing for no
cover. The guy I just got off the phone with said that at midnight
“I guess we’re gonna blow the horns or somethin’.”
The Strater Hotel will be hosting a benefit for the Durango
Arts Center at the Diamond Circle Theater on New Year’s.
This ritzy affair will feature funny-money gambling, a four-course
meal and a performance by Durango Dot Comedy. The $100 price
tag is bit steep but this is your chance to hob nob with Durango’s
elite, and there will be a tarot card reader. Plus there will
be a drawing for a trip to Cabo San Lucas, which is where Sammy
Hagar lives. This sounds like a lot of fun if you can afford
The truth is I can’t think off a better way to spend
this cheesy holiday than seeing one of the cheesiest performers
there is. Neil Diamond will bring his travelin’ road show
to the Pepsi Center in Denver on New Year’s Eve. If I
had my druthers, that’s just what I’d do –
pack up some friends and get a room across from the Pepsi Center.
In my mind, Neil Diamond is the perfect match for New Year’s
Eve. He’s much bigger than he should be and full of false
If you’re going to take my advice and stay home next
Tuesday, be sure to catch The Cartoon Network New Year’s
celebration starting at 10 p.m., featuring four solid hours
of “The Brak Show,” “Sealab,” “Birdman”
and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” Those of you who are
familiar with these cartoons know exactly what I am talking
about; those who aren’t have a great chance to get to
know them. They are all incredibly funny adult oriented shows.
This is by far the best thing happening on TV that night.
This Week’s Sign That the End Is Near: Another year has
gone by in Durango, and I am left with one burning question.
Why the hell doesn’t anybody support live music in this
town? It seems like if you’re not a hippie jam band or
the grandson of someone wildly famous, then your shows are sure
to tank. 2002 saw some great music come through (The Hot Club
of Cowtown and The Damnations on back-to-back nights is a perfect
example), and 2003 will prove the same. If we don’t go,
they’ll stop coming, and then we’ll all be stuck
with the club DJs we deserve.
The Ten Best Albums of 2002: Instead of reviewing one album
this week I have compiled, with the help of Bryant Liggett,
a list of the year’s best albums. This list is thorough
and definitive and is by no means open for debate.
Paul Westerberg, “Stereo/Mono” – This is a
two-disc release from the former leader of the Replacements.
The first disc “Stereo” features standard Westerberg
solo material but is better than his two previous efforts. The
“Mono” disc, recorded under the alias Grandpaboy,
features Westerberg turning up the volume and the distortion
again. And that’s a good thing.
9. Jay Bennett and Edward Burch, “The Palace (at 4 a.m.)”
– After being dumped by his former band, Wilco, Bennett
and his buddy Edward Burch immediately produced this pop masterpiece.
8. James Luther Dickinson, “Free Beer Tomorrow”
– Legendary Memphis producer/sideman releases first solo
project in 30 years, and it’s spectacular.
7. The White Stripes, “White Blood Cells” –
This is a loud, reckless record that you will not believe was
made by a duo. Heavy one second, then soft and touching the
6. Los Lobos, “Good Morning Aztlan” – Easily
their best since their debut “How Will the Wolf Survive.”
Hard rockers, Mexican folk and stripped-down production make
this a must-have.
5. Jason Lowenstein, “At Sixes and Sevens” –
This is the first solo release from the one-time member of Sebadoh.
The most interesting record of the year, this is one of those
rock records you have to hear several times before you get it.
4. The Hives, “Veni Vidi Vicious” – Technically
not allowed on this list as it’s a reissue from last year,
I’m putting it on because no one noticed it until it’s
re-release. Part of the so-called “garage rock”
revival, it best listened to with the volume at eleven.
3. Jorma Kaukonen, “Blue Country Heart” –
A collection of blues and country standards and features Jerry
Douglas and Sam Bush, Jorma somehow takes songs I have heard
a million times before and makes them interesting.
2. Original Sinners, self-titled – Fans of the legendary
punk/country group X will love Exene Cervenka returning to her
punkabilly roots. Almost as good as X itself.
1. Wilco, “Yankee Foxtrot Hotel” – Collaborator
Liggett disagrees, and my friends will say I’m just voting
the party line, but I really think this is the year’s
best. It’s dense and lush and sometimes downright hard
to listen to. It features some of Jeff Tweedy’s best lyrical
work and is probably the only record on this list that I’ll
be listening to in 10 years. That’s saying something.
Remember, only an ignoramus drives drunk. email@example.com