The Maestros, Meltdown and Lucinda's back

Welcome back to the Goods, the weekly entertainment patrol that couldn’t be more excited that one of the greatest weekends in professional golf is upon us. Not only will this year’s Masters Tournament answer many questions such as “Will Tiger Woods win an unprecedented third Masters title in a row?” or “Is Phil Mickelson really that bad of a Sunday golfer?” but it provides a glimmer of hope that Martha Burk may ride off into the sunset for a while. Even if you are not a golf fan, you may want to tune in to see Burk’s organization protesting Augusta National alongside such other “respectable” groups as the Ku Klux Klan. It should make for funny TV even though humor is not intended.

Those not into televised golf have plenty of other options for weekend entertainment, as this week brings us the ninth annual Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, a three-day extravaganza that features seemingly round-the-clock authentic live bluegrass music.

Before I moved to Durango, I was very excited to be coming into what I supposed was a thriving bluegrass world. I figured, from my sea level world of punk rock and cigarettes, that the Colorado high-altitude lifestyle coupled with our proximity to the various western music meccas would result in a banjo or mandolin player in every house.

I was close, but I was saddened when I realized that what is often called bluegrass in these parts is often far from it. That’s why I’m so glad we have such a thing as the Meltdown each year. Most of the bands who perform at the festival play a traditional style of bluegrass that will provide sweet relief for our “newgrass” saturated ears. Sure, some band might break out an electric bass here or there, but the odds of seeing a drum kit are slim to none.

Besides concerts, other events will be happening all over downtown. Look for workshops, showcases and star-studded jam sessions. This is truly THE weekend in Durango for acoustic music lovers. Passes can be purchased for the whole weekend or for Saturday only or Sunday only. Check out to fill in the blanks.

There is plenty of bluegrass fun to be had outside the official Meltdown world this weekend as well. Here is my quick guide for that kind of fun. On Friday, April 11, the local bluegrass band Badly Bent will be playing at Steamworks at 9 p.m. O.K., I realize they play at Steamworks once a month, but in my mind they’re the best local thing going and why not start the weekend with a sure bet.

On Saturday, from 1 p.m.. to 7 p.m., Storyville hosts the Meltdown-related bluegrass Band Competition. It seems that six to eight bands will perform and compete for the grand prize of a headlining gig in next year’s Meltdown. This is a good chance to turn out and see the big fish in the small pond of tomorrow. Later that same night, the Denver bluegrass act Fret Knot takes the stage at the Summit. This is a band that tends to blur the line between blue and “new” grass but maintains enough of the traditional elements to keep me interested. Oh yeah, recent Durango expatriate J.J. will be in the crowd folks, and that’s worth the five bucks alone.

If, by the end of the weekend, all this live music doesn’t leave you wondering if you aren’t watching enough TV, then you’re doing something wrong; get out and get it while you can.

If you follow this column, then you know how I feel about tribute bands. The act is best left to the cartoon bands like KISS, where the actual members take a back seat to the spectacle, or the truly great. The Beatles, obviously, fall into the latter category. On Wednesday, April 26, Beatles fans will have a chance to see for themselves when The Fab Four bring their show to the concert hall at Fort Lewis. From the looks of their Web site, it seems the band’s persona is of the early lovable mop tops and not the drug-addled hippies of late, which leaves me wondering if they do any post “Revolver” songs. That would be weird. I can only guess there is a costume change, but see for yourself.

This Week’s Sign the End is Near: If K.U. had made only 50 percent of their free throws (a paltry number by high-school standards) in the NCAA national championship, the game would’ve been a blow-out in Kansas’ favor. Instead, they chose to miss nearly every shot from the line in the second half.

It has been said that the big games are won or lost from the line but I never gave that thought much credence. In this case though, it seems to be true.

This Week’s Album to Add To Your Collection: Lucinda Williams has been on a tear of late. As someone known for putting out an album every four years or so, her third release in five years is cause for celebration. Her latest, “World Without Tears,” is far superior to last year’s disappointing release, “Essence.”

“Essence” was monotonous and lacked the teeth or sweetness that her best recordings possess. “World Without Tears” has it all—from the stomping blues of “Atonement,” a song about driving out demons real or imagined, to the incredibly sexy “Righteously.” I dare any one with a pulse to not be excited by this record. The only problem is the record might be three songs too long. The last three (one of which gives the record its unfortunate title) seem tossed on and unfinished. Don’t let that stop you from buying this record-the first ten songs are easily worth your 18 bucks.

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