School’s out, heavy metal and No River City

by Mike Sheahan

For good enough reason, it is easy to forget how important the FLC student body is to the local community. Individually, the local college students are among some of the nicest and smartest people I've ever met. En masse, however, they can be an exceedingly loud, juvenile bunch with a propensity for drinking outside their budgetary and biological means. Usually, such behavior ends, in mild cases, with the tipping over of trash cans or, in more extreme cases, actual gun play.

Whatever the case, the end of the school year is generally met by non-FLC students with a collective sigh of relief. For the next couple of weeks Durango will seem a lot like a regular town. The late night sidewalks have been cleared of most of the foul mouthed college kids who are now home trying to keep a straight face while telling their parents about their meaningful and expensive personal journeys. Meanwhile, the daytime streets are still largely free of the lumbering RVs and creeping SUVs that will soon crowd them and turn a quick trip across town into a finger-flipping 40-minute affair.

The downside to such a slow time is that, well, time is slow. This is the week to see if you can fire up the lawn mower with last year's gas still in it or, if that doesn't work, hang the hammock so high that the grass still won't be touching it by mid-July. The point is that there ain't a lot going on this week, but here are three worthy ideas that'd hold their own in an action-packed week.

The Friday Night Supper Club at Storyville is always a great chance to get an early jump on your weekend by catching up with some friends you haven't seen for some time while hearing some good music and enjoying food that Storyville's own Dave Thibodeau once joked, "won't kill ya."

If you are a Durango High School student, this Friday's supper club (May 7) might be of particular appeal as all the members of the early evening music entertainment, The Erasers , also moonlight as DHS teachers. As a high school student you may, like I did, think your teachers, and adults in general, are pretty dorky. Here is an opportunity to prove yourself wrong. The Supper Club and live music begin at 5:30 p.m.

When finished with the Supper Club, one should have plenty of time to drop the kids at the sitters, put on your Dr. Martens and a leather jacket, and head to the Abbey Theatre for a night of punk and metal music. The punk will be provided by the local group, Suitcase . I have yet to see the band, but I hear the singer is above reproach in all ways. Next the metal will be provided by the band once known as Sacred Sun, now known as Satyrica , which will use the party to celebrate the release of its new CD.

When it comes to things metal, I am about as out of my element as our president seems to be when discussing domestic economic policies. As G. Dub should when confronted with such a dilemma, I consulted an expert. Enter Durango's resident metal head Jon Leonard. Jon was nice enough to entertain my inane metal questions for a few minutes before hanging up on me. This is our conversation:

Me (the dummy): "What are the two best metal bands ever?"

Jon (the smart one): "Whew, I'd have to go with Black Sabbath and Metallica.

Me: What is the worst?"

Jon: "I guess Stryper, but they're not really metal."

Me: "So, like, what separates a good metal band from a bad metal band?"

Jon: "Three things, the lead guitar must (rip), the message or lyrical content must be powerful and the band must avoid the typical metal clich`E9. "

Me: "Which is?"

Jon: "Satan and Drugs are cool."

Me: "In that order? What did you have for lunch?"

Jon: "Skipped it."

Me: "Is that a metal thing to do?"

Jon: "Yes, can I hang up now?"

Me: "One more thing, what category does Satyrica fall under?"

Jon: "They go under kick-ass, do we have that one yet?"

Me: "We do now, thanks Jon."

Jon: "Whatever." (click)

All too-often, we Durangoans lay back on our haunches and pass on an upcoming night of live music either because it's a work night or the band doesn't have a name as immediately recognizable as Leftover Salmon or Quiet Riot. That said, if you miss the stop by No River City at Storyville on Tuesday, May 11, it's your own fault and not mine. This Atlanta, Georgia, duo is touring behind the release of its debut album, "This is our North Dakota."

Largely punctuated by acoustic guitar and cello, the sound is dark and introspective but also inviting. Guitar player Drew de Man was once quoted as describing the band's sound as the combination of Country and Emo or as he dubbed it "Cremo."

As a working stiff, I know how hard it is to drag oneself out on a Tuesday night, but if you only head out for one off night this week this is the one. Based solely on hearing "This is our North Dakota" and the amount of press I've read, this is a sleeper akin to Will Oldham's visit last year. See you there.

If you don't like that, Ozzfest will pollute the Four Corners soon.




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