One Hit Wonder, Redbone and the Brown Brothers

by Mike Sheahan

N ow that the Durango Film Festival has ended and local thermometers have been tipping the mid-60s, there is hardly an excuse to not crawl out of the darkness, rub the winterlong sleep from our eyes and embrace the coming of spring. It must be true because the crocuses are up and my trash man is wearing a tank top. So grab a Frisbee and call some friends, hit the driving range or take a bike ride. It doesn't matter. The long dullish wait through winter may be nearing its end. Embrace it.

Oh wait, the NCAA basketball tournament begins today. Forget all that flowery, rebirth of a season crap. Go back inside and pour over your brackets with shades drawn and bloodshot eyes while simultaneously watching four games three times a day. Don't worry, spring will still be there with the flowers and whatnot after the second greatest sports month of the year is over. Meanwhile, enjoy the excuse to spend another couple of weeks on your couch while pretending to wish there was something better to do.

The coming week is virtually bursting with nonbasketball related indoor fun beginning Saturday, March 20. First that wild place known as the Xtreme room at Fort Lewis College will host yet another night of all-ages rock starting at 7 p.m. Anybody can play punk rock: All it takes is a few pairs of Converse All Stars, a little attitude and the ability to play an A, D and E chord really fast. That said, what is really hard to do is play punk rock well. At that speed, all the band members must have their timing perfectly down or the result will drive deaf rats from the room. Durango's own best kept secret, Amazing Larry , sports all those abilities. The band has the right shoes, the drummer has no shirt and their two-minute bursts of high octane musical energy never miss a beat while seeming as if the whole thing could fall apart at any moment.

The drawbacks are obvious. Punk fans are by and large an odious group not afraid to scream some unasked for inanity in your ear or whack you with an elbow during the mating ritual known as "slam dancing." Plus, shows on the campus are largely devoid of beer, but none of this should stop you from going Saturday. Amazing Larry is worth all those sacrifices. The bands Blackfire and Suitcase round out the bill. After a few hours of rockin' fun at the Campus in the Sky, your thirst for more music and even more beer can be sated at one place.

At long last, Storyville hosts "One Hit Wonder Night," March 20. The bi-annual KDUR benefit will feature local musicians and bands (and a few non musicians) presenting the fruits of several weeks' labor in the form of their favorite one hitters. Expect some earnest renditions of your favorite solo shots, but really the night should be full of well-intended musical sarcasm and irony. After all, the main reason we enjoy these songs, apart from a secret love for them, is that they make us laugh. Come prepared to laugh heartily. Plus I hear Storyville serves beer, something you'll surely need after three long, dry hours in the Xtreme room. The big fun gets going around 9:30 p.m.

Leon Redbone

A large part of my childhood consisted of taking road trips. Whether it was a massive cross country endeavor or a weekend statewide antique hunt, my family spent a lot of hours inside a 1978 Volkswagon Dasher hatchback. These trips were mostly agreeable and, to a large part, helped form my own love for the road trip. The rare exception, however, is that it seemed my father only owned, or would listen to, one of two cassettes. The first, a live piece of crap by Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band, was the car's crowd pleaser. The other, an album by Leon Redbone called "Double Time" was the Old Man's favorite. Secretly it was mine also. Although I'd moan as loud as anyone at the prospect of hearing "Shine on Harvest Moon" for the umpteenth time, it was still miles better than hearing Seger brag on about "Her Strut." As I grew up I began to realize that Redbone's assortment of originals and jazz/folk standards were far more interesting than anything I heard on AM radio, and later an affection for such music led me to the likes of Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones. All of which brings me to this: Mr. Leon Redbone will grace Durango with his presence at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College on March 21. Now and again the concert hall books the sleeper show of the season, and this is that show. Leon Redbone will please many longtime fans, create some new ones and allow me the chance to exercise some deep-seated musical demons. Ticket prices range across the board depending on seating, but remember there is not a bad seat in that house.

Website of the Week: Will return next week

Album of the Week: As much as I complain about the state of local music in Durango, the truth is that there is a vast pool of talented musicians playing all manner of music, and for such a small community we should be grateful for the music we have. The Brown Brothers proved this idea last week with the release of "Songs from the Lost Generation." The band, based around the songwriting, guitar and voice of local troubadour Greg Oldson, is an album that shows the depth of talent that lives in our town.

Oldson's acoustic guitar is paired with, at varying times, lap steel, piano, banjo and accordion. That, along with a snap rhythm section and Oldson's Dylan and Young-like vocal delivery, ultimately culminates in a recording that I hardly believe was made by people I know. After three days of listening, "Songs From the Lost Generation" sounds as familiar as John Prine's "Sweet Revenge" or any acoustic Dylan. Walk into Southwest Sound, buy yourself a copy and try to prove me wrong. I dare you.

My pick for it all? N.C. State kills a worn-out Gonzaga.




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