For many people, living in Durango
means working at least a couple of jobs to pay the extreme rent.
Anyone who has rented in Durango for any length of time knows
what I mean. Rents and deposits are enormous, and landlords
will do their damnedest to make sure you get none of that gigantic
deposit back. The worst part about renting is that eventually
you must move. That is, you must pack up all the stuff you’ve
accumulated since you last relocated, add it to all the other
stuff you already own, and relocate your pile of stuff to some
other place you don’t own. Being in the middle of the
process myself, I know that moving from one rental to another
is tedious, exhausting, a little demeaning and carries the constant
reminder that you may have to do it all again in a mere 12 months.
Finding worthwhile entertainment in Durango this week will
be as challenging as finding decent housing and then moving,
but there are a few things to do while wondering if living in
a tent in Junction Creek or Horse Gulch is really such a bad
idea after all.
The South Austin Jug Band returns to Storyville on Saturday,
Aug. 23. Somebody in the band must have a relative or probation
officer that lives in town because the band seems to stop by
with great frequency, but whatever the reason, we win. The Jug
Band is a Bluegrass-based group of accomplished musicians that
will please purists and “newgrass” lovers alike,
which is a difficult task. For a group of somewhat youngsters,
they play like they have been together for a lot of years. That,
too, is not easy.
The area’s reggae fans will go crazy Irie-style this
weekend as Jamaican legend Burning Spear brings his act to the
Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College on Wednesday, Aug.
27 after playing a show at the Rico Theater the night before.
If forced to, I might compare Burning Spear to Public Enemy’s
Chuck D. That is, he is a musician with a strong political and
social message that may get overlooked by the hordes of kids
who just want to par-tay. The good thing is, if you miss the
point in Rico, you’ve got a second chance in Durango.
Sunday, Aug. 24, at the Abbey Theatre gives us the chance to
enjoy political satire delivered by Dave Lippman. Lippman claims
to be the world’s only singing CIA agent and does a character
named George Shrub that presumably stings George Bush. Get it?
If political satire is your thing, this probably is your only
chance so get it while you can. The fun starts at 7 p.m., and
the $10 ticket benefits the Southwest Colorado Peace and Justice
This week’s sign the end is near: This week’s sign
comes to us via an attractive young woman holding court at one
of our finer drinking establishments. Wearing a lily in her
hair, glitter on her face and four potential beaus on her arm,
the young lady was heard to exclaim in a voice loud enough for
all to hear “Omigod, my life is, like, such a soap opera,
and I don’t care. I’m, like, the superstar, and
everyone else is totally an extra!” The amused room looked
on, waiting for a punchline that never came. The four boys were
stunned by such a narcissistic display and soon split. Married
men would be well suited to remember that little scene when
complaining about the downfalls of married life.
This week’s best album: For a large part of the 1990s,
Danny Barnes was one-third of the Austin, Texas-based band The
Bad Livers. The group’s albums were wild, reckless affairs
centered around bluegrass but also largely featuring a tuba.
possibly obvious reasons, the band never grew past indie success
and eventually split up. Since the split, Barnes has spent his
time collaborating with other musicians to varied success. His
most recent release, a solo effort called “Dirt on the
Angel,” is one fun hour of bluegrass, guitar jazz and
techno-billy that still has me hitting the repeat button after
each song. Barnes handles much of the record’s instrumentation
but is joined by Darol Anger (fiddle), Bill Frisell (guitar)
and Dirk Powell (everything), who contribute just enough to
make this an exceptional but not overworked record.
The record opens with “Life in the Country” a missive
aimed at musicians who claim to be “country” but
probably never set foot outside Nashville or get their jeans
dirty. From there “Dirt on the Angel” never lets
go of that happy, outsider mentality. Barnes chooses two covers
that tell much of the record’s story. First we hear the
Small Faces pop sensation “Ooh La La,” and later
the album closes with Barnes’ take on Beck’s first
hit, “Loser.” Although both songs were chart-topping
hits in their day, they couldn’t be farther apart musically.
That is the essence of “Dirt on the Angel,” it is
a collection of great songs with one entirely unlike the one
Are you proud of your soap opera life? firstname.lastname@example.org