|The DSCPA brings Mark Stuart and Stacey
Earle to the DAC Friday.
Memorial Day weekend has come
and gone, and we Durangoans who lived through the weekend now
have a new challenge – tourist season. If this is your
first summer as a local, here are a couple words of advice.
First, don’t bother trying to cross town via Main Avenue.
The back way on College Drive will probably be faster. Second,
if you find yourself downtown, feed the meter! Cars with Texas,
New Mexico or Oklahoma plates won’t get parking tickets
but your Colorado Subaru (or Four Runner or Mobile-Penis, I
mean Humvee), with nary a five-minute lapse, will get busted.
Have a great summer locals! See you at Falconburgh’s in
a couple of months.
Last week, I called the entertainment options in Durango “as
dead as Tim Allen’s career.” I stand behind those
words. But if that was true, then this week is a total Rosie
O’Donnell. No fear, though, there’s enough happening
to put off contemplating that move to Farmington for another
week. Part of the Big Easy, or at least Louisiana blues rock,
comes to Storyville tonight, May 29, in the form of Tyrin Benoit
and the Shuckers. Astute Durango music fans will fondly recall
brother bandmate Tab Benoit’s performances at Storyville
as classics. This show shapes up to be more of the same. This
is your chance to bring some of that bayou-fried, Mardi Gras-feeling
blues home without having to look out for cops on horses or
dealing with some drunk who thinks he’s in a bathroom.
All the same, bring some beads in case things get nutty.
The week’s big deal comes on Friday, May 30, when the
DSCPA brings Stacey Earle to the Durango Arts Center. The first
time I saw Stacey Earle was in Olympia, Wash., when she warmed
the crowd up for folk singer/storyteller Greg Brown. Someone
had told me she was the sister of country rock superman Steve
Earle, so I bought a couple of tickets to see what Steve’s
sister could do. Halfway through the first song of her solo
set in this enormous theater, I completely forgot about her
relations and was drawn wholly into her performance. She filled
that gigantic space so keenly with just her voice and guitar
that my date laughed and cried several times, and I didn’t
need to stick around for Greg Brown.
The second time I saw Earle was at a much more intimate show
at the Diamond Circle Theatre, and she didn’t let down
the show for the smaller crowd. Stacey Earle is at ease, and
as personable in a room full of hundreds as in a saloon. If
you only go out once per millennium, go see Stacey Earle and
husband, Mark Stuart, play. Call the Durango Arts Center for
all the specifics. But remember that this is the show everyone
else will be talking about Monday.
This week’s signs the end is near: In Norway, the BBC
is broadcasting a TV show that features a family of birds (the
birds are called blue tits) living in a birdhouse made to look
like a living room.A0Apparently, it’s a hit – there
are eggs and feedings and, I assume, bird droppings. As I’ve
said before, if Reality TV doesn’t bring the locusts and
hell fire, then God (He, She or They) doesn’t exist.
Recently a guy named Jayson Blair, who once worked for the
New York Times, got caught faking facts, stealing stories and
fabricating interviews and then getting them printed. His biggest
crime was writing lies about last winter’s D.C. sniper,
things that might have thrown off the investigation. That’s
just great, Blair pulls down big bucks making crap up while
I bust my onions for a paper that pays me off in kittens...Oh
wait, it seems I made that up. Or, I guess I didn’t, I
stole it from a MASH episode. Wait, the truth is, I stole that
kitten line from a friend who told me about that MASH episode.
Damn you, Jayson Blair, damn you and your delicious, truth-bending
This week’s pretty good record: A band’s sophomore
album is always the most scrutinized. Fans and critics alike
will always compare the old to the new, track for track. Its
predecessor will be the benchmark the new album, like the Second
Son, can’t (or won’t) live up to. Knowing this,
I went into the new release by power pop supergroup The New
Pornographers with as open a mind as I could have. Like “Mass
Romantic” (the group’s brilliant first release),
“Electric Version” finds its home halfway between
Cheap Trick and the Canadian version of the B52s. Without a
doubt, the New Pornographers are best when Neko Case is left
to go wild and belt out the pop music she wanted to sing before
she went country. This doesn’t happen enough on “Electric
Version” as you might like.
I’ll say this, when a second album lets you down, it
may not be that the music is bad, it’s probably that you’ve
heard it all before. “Electric Version,” I assume,
laid off vocals by the popular Neko Case for a reason, wanting
not to be overshadowed by the obvious star, but the record might’ve
been better served by more of her presence.
Who’s the bigger fraud: Jayson Blair or the dude who
double parks his Humveefirstname.lastname@example.org