Should old acquaintances be forgot, get new ones

by Ted Holteen

Mi amore 2005. It started with a tsunami and got worse from there. Along the way the Eagles lost the Super Bowl, Nick & Jessica split up, there was no hockey season, then it rained a lot in Louisiana and points south. And I think we can all agree by now that the Colbert Report is an unmitigated failure. If we weren’t winning the big war, you’d think the year was a total loss. Personally, I had a great year, as I long ago learned to turn both a blind eye and a deaf ear to the cries of the downtrodden and less fortunate. We call them suckers. But as VH1, CNN, ESPN and Comedy Central have spent the past week wrapping up the year for us, and rather often at that, we’ll take this opportunity to look ahead. As far as Saturday, anyway. Then we’ll just take it one week at a time for 2006 and see what happens. I do know that the Eagles’ chances of losing the Super Bowl again are on a par with Suriname losing the war in Iraq, so my new year is already off to a great start.

After a December as snowless as, well, Durango in December, woe to those who live by the credo of moderation and have the brace to go out in public this New Year’s Eve. For not only will a frustrated populace have more steam than usual to blow off on Amateur Night, but the final sundown of 2005 had to go and fall on a Saturday. From the (San Juan) Mountains to the prairies (of Oxford), the party is, as the kids say, on. I’ll just present this in a user-friendly outline format, as it’s easiest for me:

• The Berliner, Oxford (I told you) – Authentic German food & music featuring the velvety-smooth sounds of Die Alten Kameraden. This is the good, green hat/lederhosen-bratwurst type of authentic German, not that Third Reich stuff that gets all the bad press.

• The Buffalo Gap, Vallecito – Red meat & blues with Jeff Strahan. This one’s extra cool ‘cuz the buffet starts at midnight.

• The Summit, Durango – From Denver, Kinetix performs original compositions in the rock/pop vein. Conveniently adjacent to the Summit dance floor is a bar.

• Scoot ’n Blues, Durango – Ralph Dinosaur. Says here that he performs while wearing women’s clothing, but that doesn’t make any sense at all. I’m sure he’s just a good American like you and I.

• Diamond Circle Theatre, Durango – The hobnail boot and inbreeding crowd will have a regular ‘ol hoedown with the Wayword Sons and special (?) guests The Colorado Playboys. The Sons include the likes of Benny Galloway as well as members of Broke Mountain Bluegrass and Umphree’s McGee. Invited guests are asked not to spit tabacky juice in the Victorian playhouse.

• The Abbey Theatre, Durango – DJ Brian Ess makes his triumphant return to the Abbey, teaming up with the oddly brilliant minds of Penumbra to create a night they’re calling PLUG. Attendees are being asked to wear white clothing, not for cult purposes but rather because of a complex experiment they’re trying involving lights and turntables and lasers and slaughtering goats. I kid about the goats (sorry), but seriously, they want you to wear white. I think you’ll like it.

• Hamilton Chophouse, Tamarron – Bluegrassers who can’t or won’t make it to town can still get a taste of Appalachia as The Badly Bent perform for the post-dinner crowd.

• Olde Schoolhouse, Needles – This is where yours truly will raise a glass at midnight, because ever since Dick Clark proved that he really isn’t a mannequin after all with his near-death thing, I can and will not sing Auld Lang Syne unless John Lynch is pouring the champagne. Fortunately, no one would hear me sing anyway as the room will be filled with the deafening sounds of The Freemens Social Club, Gina Go Faster and The Virginia Sisters. Until Tuesday or Wednesday, the Social Club was known as The Cuffs, which leads to another long story which I’ll skip for the time being. It’s music in the mountains, punk style.

• Purgatory at Durango Ski Corporation Resort Area Happy Family Fun Place – New Year’s is always fun at the mountain, what with the Torchlight Parade and a live band in Purgy’s. This year it’s Civitas, and if you don’t like’em, what are you going to do, leave? Plus, unless the weather changes, it could be the bloodiest torchlight parade in years.

• Pride of the West, Silverton – In case you hadn’t heard, Silverton is back in the San Juan Skyway live music loop, and the Pride presents a double bill from Durango of Aftergrass and Dialogue. And only in Silverton can you still fire your six-shooter in the air at midnight, although I may just be imagining that that’s OK. You should probably check first, but it would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Responsible journalism prevents me from using this forum for personal gain. I would never think of promoting any venture in which I had a stake or interest outside of my benevolent and genuine concern for the public good. You could say I was a public servant. You could. Which is why it pains me so to announce the grand opening of my used bookstore next to Mill Street Brews in Bayfield on Mon., Jan. 2. What really pains me about the announcement is the fact that I have no idea how to run a bookstore or feed myself on a daily basis, but the world needs ditch diggers, too. As my name is Ted, and my store will be primarily one of books, I have named my new enterprise Ted’s Books. Please don’t come to my store, as I have a general dislike for people, especially uppity book readin’ types. Thank you.

Your New Year’s resolutions printed here, free. I still love you, Mom. •



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