by Mike Sheahan

I know "The Goods" complains a lot. Faced with nothing nice to say, I usually just whine about something many people may consider unimportant. When Durango is packed with people and plenty of entertainment, I grouse about tourists and too much traffic. Then, when town is dead, I grumble about living in the styx where nothing big ever happens. The origin of this terrible affliction is unclear, but it seems incurable.

With that in mind, a grain of salt may be helpful with the following: Ahem, the coming week will be more boring than any week to precede it in Durango! Take up needlepoint; work on your novel; plot your insane revenge against the stupid world - anything to avoid noticing the lamest local week ever. All is not completely lost, though. Read on.

Saturday night, Sept. 13, flat-pick guitar virtuoso Brad Davis will take the stage at the newly renovated Abbey Theatre. Davis' most recent release, "I'm Not Going to Let My Blues Bring Me Down," is a solid record that finds him joined by some of the best names in bluegrass and newgrass. Among others, Sam Bush and Earl Scruggs take turns helping Davis get the job done. Davis currently plays guitar in Bush's band and has done stints with Scruggs as well as in Marty Stuart's road band. Running in circles like these, Davis can surely be expected to bring the goods, and if his new record is any indication, one can look forward to a blues- and bluegrass-informed night filled with plenty good picking. What more could one ask for?

Fans of all-ages punk shows have a reason to stop piercing body parts and get out of their parent's basement for a night. Punk rock bands too numerous to mention will invade the Extreme Room at Fort Lewis College starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12. One may wonder how "extreme" one can actually get on the Fort Lewis campus, but that's not the point. The point is that all-ages live music of any kind, in any venue, is extremely vital to a community. If, like me, you're too old to attend such an event without looking silly or like a narc, tell a kid. If you think there's not much going on at times in Durango, ask a teen-ager what he or she does for fun. The rocking starts at 7 p.m., and a mere five bucks will get you in.

If you've read this far, you've probably worked up a mean thirst and appetite. I know I have. If it's still Thursday, Sept. 11, you are in luck. Simply drive over to the Ska Brewery right now for the weekly Ska-B-Que which this week features a twist on the normal free food and cheap beer motif. This week's Ska-B-Que also will feature live music by Big Open Space , a new band I know nothing about but bills itself as "Southwestern progressive folk rock." As I mentioned last week, Ska-B-Ques, and things like them, are about to give way to colder weather. Take advantage while you can.

Listeners of KDUR radio are probably aware of the many tribute/cover nights the station has hosted at Storyville. For those unaware, an artist (this time David Bowie ) is chosen and local bands and musicians learn and play their favorites by the given artist. If you play music or are in a band, here is your chance to show the town what you can do. Learn a few of the Bowie classics, or sleepers, and show up at Storyville on Friday, Sept. 26. Participation from the entire community is encouraged, so if you have a concertina and kazoo version of "Major Tom" bring it.

This week's sign the end is near: Can Madonna really think that French kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on national TV will revive her waning career? Like Cher, it seems Madonna has been unable to connect with an older, more mature demographic and must constantly try to stay relevant with 16-year-old MTV addicts. Unlike Cher, Madonna can't rely on selling concert tickets to drag queens so she had to go "big." The most shocking part of that whole affair is that Madonna probably will sell a few extra records as a result. This, of course, just adds fuel to my belief that most people are dumb.

This week's album under review: "Greendale," by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, is yet another in a long line of Young-penned concept albums. This latest record follows a family coping with life in a small town after a family member, Cousin Jeb, kills a policeman. Sprawling and epic, "Greendale," like most of Young's other concepts, is challenging, confusing and probably brilliant.

The music has the warm, comfortable feel to be expected from Young and Crazy Horse. Laid-back, fuzzy guitars mix with simple bass and drums that give one the sense the album was recorded in Young's living room. The lo-fi, retro-sounding music plays perfectly into Young's storytelling. He uses the troubled Green family to rail against the evils of modern life as he yearns for simpler times. In Young's mind, today's drugs, TV news and even the Internet have all combined to ruin the quality of life in little Greendale and, one should assume, towns like it. Together, the music and lyrics get the point across nicely, but with Young's work with Crazy Horse being so infrequent, it'd be nice if the band didn't take such a back seat.

Neil Young can and should make records like this and it seems he does so with no eye on what happens after the making. Song times range from five to 12 minutes, virtually assuring no radio air play, excepting from the lazy college DJ. Besides, "Greendale" has nothing resembling a single. No, this record was made for other reasons. Is "Greendale" another "Rust Never Sleeps" or "Zuma?" Not even close. Is it a great record? Of course, anything Young does with Crazy Horse is better than great.

When given "Aguilera" my spell check suggests "uglier."




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