Somebody's got to be your conscience – why not me?

by Ted Holteen

I tell you, it doesn’t take much to get the rumor mill cranking in this town. To set the record straight, yes, we are in negotiations for a hostile takeover of Silverton’s only newspaper (that “we” does not include the Telegraph but is a less collective “we” pertaining only to myself and one other human.) If it terrifies you to attach the words “Editor in Chief” to my name, rest assured; there are only about 531 souls in the town in question, although most are gun owners. Oh, well. Further, even John-John was at one time the head of a publication, a national periodical, no less, and most of his credentials at the time all revolved around his having slept with Daryl Hannah. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. My closest brush with the cloaked world of celebrity sex involved a stripper in Vegas who loosely resembled the girl from “Growing Pains” and who wasn’t going anywhere with me, 12 bucks or no 12 bucks. And I thought money talked. Speaking of which, that’s the tricky part about becoming a non-Kennedy family-funded media mogul. If I could get my money to do anything more than whisper, I’d already be making plans to absorb this very paper into my empire of irrelevant publications catering to society’s extremist lunatic fringe. A fringe, I might add, made up of dirt poor liberals and right wingers who have nothing better to do than read leftist propaganda so they can send nasty e-mails to the authors. Maybe I’ll just buy a liquor store and a gun.

Anyway, until I’m The Man, I’ve got to keep slaving for The Man, and I’ll keep doing it in Durango until further notice. It’s a lean week again for nightlife that includes anything beyond $2 pints, but there is a highlight hiding out there. However, before I continue, some scolding is in order. Last week a hip hop performer by the name of FatLip played at the Abbey Theatre. Formerly a member of genre pioneers Pharcyde, it was just the type of show that people complain there aren’t enough of in Durango and we were lucky to have him and his entourage pop through town. Among the unlucky, however, were the staff and owners of the Abbey, who spent most of the next day repainting furniture and walls that had been tagged (I look forward to a chance meeting with some wannabe teeny-bopper Denverite with a spray can in the near future), cleaning up broken glass and spilled beer, and pulling glassware out of the nice leather couches that really make the place kind of unique. It’s a matter of self respect and awareness regarding your surroundings. Is the crowd at a hip-hop, punk or metal show in a club going to be vastly different from those attending a performance of the New York Philharmonic at the Met? Of course. But have some common sense and get a clue. This is Durango, Colorado. If you really want to live the hard core lifestyle – tagging your turf, wearing the colors and speaking the language – live where it’s at. Move to an actual city with urban blight, like L.A., or the East Coast, where the people dress like they’re poor because they’re poor. Just so y’all understand: Not only does nobody think you’re tough or hard, but most of us view you as really cheesy cartoon characters. Go away. You wonder why the Abbey has stopped hosting it’s popular DOWN nights? A hint – it’s not because the management is lame, or that Brian Ess is a bad DJ (he’s actually quite good) – it’s YOU and your deplorable sophomoric behavior. For a college with no frats, there sure are a lot of frat boys around. Hopefully, someday soon, you’ll become as ashamed of yourselves as the rest of us are of you.

Oh, yeah, I was going to promote a show, wasn’t I? I should mention that I, lily-white, middle-aged Durango resident that I am, really enjoy hip-hop. No, I don’t wear the clothes or live the lifestyle, and I certainly don’t spray graffiti in and around small independently owned cinemas, but I respect the music as an art form and like to listen to the good stuff. In fact, those who know me can attest that I will always regard Public Enemy as the greatest single musical group that has ever been. Along those lines, hip-hop has become one of the best channels for young, intelligent artists to send a message, be it political, social or just for the sake of letting everyone know they like to smoke weed. Whether or not I’ve made a point in all of this, I ask you to check out The Crown City Rockers, performing on Sunday night at the Abbey. The Rockers are truly artists in their chosen field, comprised of Berklee-trained musicians and fronted by a So-Cal MC. The closest I can come for purposes of comparison would be to say it’s a cross between The Roots and De La Soul. Their show promises to be high energy, the sounds are really sophisticated, and I’ve a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more from them in the months to come. So while we are again fortunate to have such rising stars in our midst, our local hosts are holding their breaths to see if all the profits will again need to be funneled back into capital improvements following the show. Here’s a novel idea: Imagine a sold-out show where people drink, enjoy the music, and then go home leaving the theater a bit messy but otherwise ready to entertain again on another day. That’s right – although many of you may only visit the Abbey for the occasional concert, it’s actually open seven days a week, and even grownups go there for fun sometimes. Have a wonderful evening, but please behave.

Crown City Rockers

See what happens when there’s nothing going on in town and I’m left to opine? Now I’ve barely left myself space to talk about the big Spotlight to Stardom thing going on at the FLC Concert Hall on Saturday. It’s the second annual, and if you think it’s just another Battle of the Bands thing, think again. Sure, there are bands, but also dancers, weird actors/actresses doing dramatic readings, and if we’re really lucky, a ventriloquist or two. It’s like” Star Search” meets “The Gong Show,” with Tim Sullivan playing the dual roles of Ed McMahon and Chuck Barris. And if anyone tags the Concert Hall, I’m moving to Silverton this week, newspaper or no newspaper. It starts at 7 p.m. Don’t be late – that’s rude.

A few notes on a notable past weekend in sports. John Daly and Joe Paterno are both probably still drunk, but for different reasons. Thank you, Colorado – Peter Forsberg is off to a rollicking start, albeit 14 years late for us Philadelphians. At least you don’t have to put up with Eric Lindros. And to the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves – good riddance and see you next year. We won’t talk about the Eagles this week, but my thanks to the Broncos for making it not hurt so badly.

May I join your gang? Bring the noise. •