Most of us transplants knew
that when we opted to live in a town of Durango’s size
that there would be times when town is not very entertaining.
Really, we all moved here for other reasons anyway: to ski,
to bike, to kayak, to hide out from the law. Well, this is one
of those weeks to go skiing or work on getting that new Social
Security number.That isn’t to say there’s nothing
happening, just not that blockbuster event or two to be jazzed
about all week.
said, I have found a lot of perfectly good things to do. Tonight,
Thursday, March 6, Storyville hosts the Jewish folk/bluegrass
band Japonize Elephants. The term “Jewish folk/bluegrass”
doesn’t really do this band justice, as they are also
part French orchestra and part jam band. Thoroughly impossible
to describe, their show is very much worth seeing.Style and
ethnic derivation will often change mid song, leaving show-goers
wondering what exactly they are watching. I once did a radio
interview with these young lads and they spent the whole 15
minutes making inside jokes with each other. I think I only
had time to ask three questions. Maybe that will give you an
idea of what to expect.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again – I
don’t get the concept of tribute bands. I understand why
bands include covers with their original material, I even get
bands that do all covers of a variety of bands.But the tribute
thing strikes me as a little obsessive, I guess.I mean, it takes
a long time to learn all those songs. Having said that, Phix,
a Phish tribute band, will play at the Summit on Thursday, March
6 and Friday, March 7. Those of you who didn’t get a chance
to make Las Vegas or Denver for the real band or who went but
didn’t get enough, now have a chance to see the sorta-real
thing.According to the poster, “You won’t believe
It seems that Steamworks has decided to move away from the
Saturday night DJ thing and try live music for its fabled Ladies
Night. I applaud the decision. Durango can certainly use another
solid live venue.The switch kicks off this Saturday, March 8,
with a performance by local youngsters Freewill Recovery.A0If
you pay attention to this page, you’ll recognize this
band’s name.A large part of the reason is that these kids
don’t sneeze without informing the Goods. If you want
your group or event covered here, my e-mail is at the bottom
of this page. The cover on Saturday is free for the ladies and
four bucks for guys.
Sunday, March 9, the Fort Lewis Concert Hall hosts an afternoon
of fiddle- and violin-based jazz and swing with Mark O’Connor.
O’Connor, who has collaborated with the likes of Yo Yo
Ma and Wynton Marsalis, should put on a show to please young
and old. I expect the music to range effortlessly from concerto
violin to swinging hoe-down. The concert starts at 4 p.m. and
is expected to run until 7 p.m. If you dig the strings, this
one’s for you. Oh, the difference between a violin and
a fiddle? About four beers.
Speaking of the Concert Hall, they recently announced an event
that warrants discussion, as tickets will assuredly go fast
for an evening with Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain
Boys on Friday, March 21. Unfortunately, Stanley is probably
best known for his work on “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.”
The truth is, along with folks such as Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt,
and Earl Scruggs, Stanley is responsible for the early success
of, if not the creation of, bluegrass. Almost all modern bluegrass
musicians cite Stanley as a major influence in their music,
and the man will be in Durango. Even if you have only a passing
interest in bluegrass music, this show is a must-see. As I said,
tickets will move quickly and the ticket price is a steal.
This Week’s Sign that the End is Near: George W. Bush.
This Week’s Worst Album I’ve Heard in Months: Somewhere
along the line, tons of high-school kids told singer/songwriter
John Mayer that he was super-cool and forgot to mention his
blatant imitation of soft-rock radio hero Dave Matthews. The
result is a pair of albums (one a commercial hit) and Mayer’s
latest, a live, double disc called “Any Given Thursday.”
Like the long list of imitators inspired by the Nirvana craze
of the early 1990s, I guess it was only a matter of time before
the Dave Matthews Band knock-offs hit the airwaves. Mayer is
the most obvious and the hardest to listen to. The songs on
“Any Given Thursday” are saccharine-sweet and lack
any depth, although it seems Mayer is attempting heaviness.
Especially offensive is Mayer’s attempt at the Police’s
study of isolation and loneliness “Message in a Bottle.”
In Mayer’s hands the song abandons the pathos of the original
in favor of a more self-obsessed tone. If what you want is false
depth and self-obsession, then you are much better off buying
one of Madonna’s latest.