Small-town charm, Smut Vendor and feeding bears


by Ted Holteen

Having just returned from the big city, or what passes for one west of the Mississippi and east of the Sierra Nevada (yes, it’s Denver), I come to you this week with a whole new set of observations regarding our small town. And it is still a small town, despite all the talk of skyrocketing real estate, a ballooning population and gridlock. Such woes exist in almost every municipality and suburb from coast to coast, as well as in the urban centers, so what is the missing ingredient that differentiates a town from a city? Is it pro sports teams? A vibrant arts community? Gays? No, no and no. The answer, of course, is hookers. Real cities offer sex for hire in four-color brochures and newsletters available to any child, housewife and deviant with the cojones to take one from the free racks found on damn near every street corner in the city limits. (Don’t even try to tell me you read The Oyster for the articles – there aren’t any) And the choices found therein, many though they are, don’t even scratch the surface when one considers the smorgasbord of streetwalkers. So again, I admonish those who are so quick to mourn the passing of Durango’s small town charm. Buildings can soar past 35 feet and dentists can be priced out of housing in the barrio, but until we can add a teen-aged, meth-addicted “model” working her way through FLC to our pizza delivery order, we’re still in Mayberry, Gomer. Give thanks.

Speaking of hookers, it’s not often I get the opportunity to cover events at the Wild Horse Saloon, which I believe is still for sale if you can figure out a way to make a profit after paying five grand a month in rent. (OK, so there aren’t actually any hookers at the Wild Horse – I was just really hurting for a segue.) I don’t believe anyone employed there reads my column, as I’ve gone over a year without being stripped, beaten and tied to a barbed wire fence or dragged behind a pickup truck. Also, they never tell me anything, though that’s likely because they don’t want to see their name included with bad jokes about whores.

But two events of note this week have popped onto my radar screen. The first takes place tonight, Thursday, as the Wild Horse welcomes back Cross Canadian Ragweed, a very good alt-country outfit from Texas. That’s a show more than worth the price of admission, but the real eye-opener takes place next Tuesday, the 9th. The marquee (if there was one) will announce 2 Live Crew, in concert. I have to believe that this is not the Luther Campbell version of 2 Live, but exhaustive research has yielded me no new information on any other band so named. So I’ll speculate to the best of my abilities and guess that it’s a cowboy tribute band to the Miami kings of Smut-Rap. At least I hope so. More responsible journalists might actually take the time to call the venue and see what they could find out, and I suggest you do just that. Let me know what you find out.

A quick roundup of the local music scene this week finds The Summit well prepared, with three straight nights of live music covering a range of tastes. Thursday brings something called Ethereal Plane, a Boulder-based outfit whose musical style I believe is explained in their name, if you’re into that sort of thing. Then on Friday, it’s punk night, with Gina Go Faster, Bold Type, The Ghosts of Old Bluesmen and the triumphant return of Smut Vendor. This show should be avoided by women who are pregnant and those with heart disease, as well as the generally meek. It’s going to be loud and you might get a drink spilled on you. San Diego’s Torpedo Betty rounds out the weekend with sounds in the jazz-rock-funk vein.

In the dog-eat-dog local music scene, how can a band be sure to get a big enough piece of the audience pie when there are other options awaiting concertgoers across or down the street? Easy – go somewhere you can eat the whole pie. That’s what my favorite local group of hacks is doing on Friday night. The Lawn Chair Kings are giving Durango a collective nose-thumbing and heading up to the Explorer’s Club in Silverton for a rare one-night-only appearance. As the only show in town, expect them to expand the repertoire for the evening to include both country and western, which should delight the 11 or so shopkeepers and prospectors hearty enough to leave the comfort of their wood stoves and brave the sub-70 degree temperatures.

 

And not that I think any of you have been paying attention anyway, but Music in the Mountains is wrapping up on Sunday. That’s the finale, which is probably sold out, so your best chance to display your cultural acumen is to attend Saturday’s “Piano Perfection” at the FLC Concert Hall. I’m getting the impression that wasting words on the content of these performances is an exercise in futility, so if you want to go, buy your tickets, be on time and don’t embarrass yourself by asking stupid questions.

Or just go to the Summit and forget the whole thing.

Finally, pack your pic-i-nic baskets and head to the Abbey Theatre on Tuesday night for an educational evening with author David Petersen and researcher Tom Beck. They’re with a group called Bear Smart Durango, and will be giving tips on the best way to confront a bear that’s in your driveway eating leftovers from the trash can. Both men are accomplished bear wrestlers, and they’ll put on a slide show and take inane questions from audience members who still believe there are alternatives to high-powered rifles when dealing with wayward wildlife. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The second issue of Mike: The Magazine is online now. Don’t miss Sheahan’s recipe for mango-lemon chutney. It’s awful. mikethemagazine.com.

Let’s talk small-town charm. egholteen@hotmail.com.

 

 

In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners
 

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale