Welcome to "The Goods," where mere moments ago the members of my household were treated to a viewing of the latest Gap commercial, this one starring Madonna. In it she is lip synching the words to a song of her own except the lyrics are rewritten. Now the song's about buying pants. At first, such a sell out seemed criminal since there is no way she can need the money. Soon, though, I realized that one cannot expect too much from a person who goes on a three-year spiritual quest and comes back with nothing but a fake English accent. Ah, but there is enough happening in our own back yard to not waste too much time grousing about the career of some pop diva.

Fans of the jam band Widespread Panic who have not already done so must now drop everything and split for Telluride. Tonight, Aug. 14, is the second night of a two-day stand put on by the 'Spread at Telluride's scenic Town Park. It is quite likely that all the Spread Heads are already in Telluride twirling to their heart's content as, amongst the band's fans, missing a show is akin to bogarting a joint. That is to say, it just isn't done. But this column is a public service, so if you are reading this and forgot to go, feel free to feel serviced.

Along the same lines but farther away in Lyons this weekend plays host to the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival . A three-day affair that begins Friday, Aug. 15, and runs through Sunday, the festival features such luminaries as Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes, Utah Phillips, Patty Griffin and the Indigo Girls. If, like me, this point in the summer finds you tiring of the outdoor mega music festival, it's OK. Even though you will miss Richard Thompson and Norah Jones, you won't have to sit through sets by the aforementioned artists. And at nearly 200 bucks for admission and camping, you have to be one huge Indigo Girls fan to make the trip. Besides, there is a much less populated festival coming up in Pagosa Springs next week.

Maybe folk music, peace and love aren't your ideals but you still think the idea of following a musician around to various venues is cool--I have the perfect plan.

Song parody master "Weird" Al Yankovic is beginning his three-city tour of our neck on Friday at Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque. He then plays the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo on Aug. 16 and somewhere in Denver on Aug. 17. Astute readers may remember last week when this column poked fun at the hip hop version of Weird Al, Puff Daddy. The difference is that Yankovic is the original modern song thief and he's funny. Who can forget "Like a Surgeon" (the second best rewriting of a Madonna song after that Gap commercial) or "I'm Fat" from the perspective of a chubby Michael Jackson? Hardy har, that's rich stuff. If, for some crazy reason you can only attend one show, by all means make it the State Fair in Pueblo. It's outdoors, and the odor-rich air will lend a classy touch of irony to a song like "Eat It," another Jacko parody.

There are a couple of bands playing in town for people inadequately enticed by the above. One of Durango's best bluegrass acts, The Badly Bent , holds court at Steamworks on Friday, Aug. 15, and the following night at Haggard's Black Dog Tavern. Local favorite jam guys Freewill Recovery play the Summit on Saturday. Both groups are worth the cover if you've never seen them before, and if you have seen them you know what both offer. The Badly Bent offers traditional bluegrass tunes by some of the most seasoned musicians in town. Conversely, Freewill Recovery is a group of youngsters who can cover Phish or Grand Funk Railroad with equal alacrity. For those of us who will be in town all weekend, this is the perfect one-two punch.

This week's sign that the end is near: We all know by now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is running for governor of California. It's an idea that's funny until one realizes that in some polls, nearly 45 percent of voters say they would vote for The Terminator/ Kindergarten Cop. That isn't funny; it's just plain scary. What is funny is the list of people running with him. Among the nearly 150 candidates, there are a couple of ex-porn stars, someone's dog and Gary Coleman.

This week's greatest hits package: Earlier this week Elektra records released "Legacy: The Absolute Best of the Doors" to an unsuspecting public. It is a two-disc collection of the drug-addled 1960s group's best known songs, which is fine. Greatest hits collections serve a real purpose, but the Doors is a band that already has 19 greatest hits packages including five(!) box sets. Nobody, excepting the Beatles maybe, deserves that much tribute. The Doors only released six studio albums after all. Here is an idea: Take the 30 bucks this album will cost you and go see someone that is vital today. During the day listen to the local classic rock radio station, you'll hear "Light my Fire" several times.

Who will win if Gary Coleman debates the dog?





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