Michael, gods and goddesses, and Hot Mops

by Ted Holteen

I’ve just taken a trip down memory lane via the Telegraph archives, as I wanted to make sure that I didn’t re-use material from last year’s Halloween column this week. Remember October 2004? Looking back, you’d think we were on the verge of political Armageddon, with the very real possibility of Dubya getting another four years in the Big House. This writer had even gone so far as to predict that some Frankenstein look-alike from Massachusetts named John Kerry(?) would lead the populist rebellion and unseat the incumbent regime. I’m also the one who thought the Eagles would win the last 37 Super Bowls. My next web stop was the CNN archives, which confirmed my inability to predict even the simplest of contests – I had a 50/50 chance on both picks and was wrong twice. And yet you people read on. The winners? George W. Bush and his Patriots. God bless us, everyone. (Oops – wrong holiday)

Oh, yes – back to my keyword search – “Halloween.” After 10 years in Durango, I’ve come to the realization that people in this town need no prodding to get into the spirit of the season. Throw on a hockey mask, don a wig or some novelty teeth, and you’re in. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a gathering place this weekend, public or private, that won’t be catering to our irresistible urge to just be someone else, if for even a day or night. Being that I’ll be out of town, I have absolutely no vested interest in where anyone who is not me chooses to spend their time between now and Tuesday morning. I care even less about the costumes that will be chosen. But I’ve been asked (see also, “harassed”) to mention enough of what I leave behind to fill the requisite space on this page, my repeated pleas to Sands & Votel that this would be the perfect week to debut “The Family Circus” falling again on deaf ears. Some people just aren’t visionaries. Keep in mind, this list is VERY abbreviated. But, squeaky wheels being what they are, and having only so much grease, here’s what’s what, as I see it.

Tonight (Thursday), at the Abbey Theatre, a really long Halloween weekend kicks off with the weirdest offering that you’ll see this year from Durango Acoustic Music. The Motet, no strangers to our local stages, has a long-standing tradition of playing Halloween cover shows, and for the first time ever, Durango gets to witness it firsthand, albeit five days early. The band has chosen Michael Jackson as its honoree, and they are quick to clarify that their show pays homage to the King of Pop, and is not a parody of him. Good luck. Attendees are strongly encouraged to dress in the spirit of Jacko, and I’d be disappointed if at least one grown man didn’t show up in an 8-year-old’s footed pajamas. The rest of you can do the “Thriller” thing or try to squeeze 30 years of cosmetic surgery into one night and switch noses every five songs or so.

Good news regarding Friday night’s lineup of Halloween parties – there aren’t any! Not that the town’s shut down or anything so drastic, but three cheers to all for not making an interminably long weekend even longer. Taking advantage of the momentary calm is Lacey Black and Red Rhapsody, who will hold a release party for their debut CD, “Patient Enough” at the Concert Hall Friday at 7 p.m. Lacey is a pianist, the band is local, and that’s all I know save for the fact that they write their own songs and don’t require their audience to dress in costume. Further, I haven’t seen a photo of Lacey, which I assume to be an oversight in the marketing department, and so am left to promote the show strictly on the merits of the music, which coincidentally I have not heard. So I’m right back in my comfort zone of cultural ignorance, making bold predictions about things blindly and hoping for the best. Let me know what you think.

It wouldn’t be Halloween in Durango without a campy fund-raiser courtesy of KDUR, and once again they haven’t disappointed. At least not yet. This year, it’s called “Gods & Goddesses,” which I assume to be a twist of sorts on the traditional Transvestite Ball. I don’t know who names these things, but it’s probably Liggett. Costume prizes will be awarded for Best God, Best Goddess and Most Omnipresent. I’m serious, that’s what it says. Now, while I agree that the god/goddess theme is one that hasn’t yet been beaten to death and should foster some creative and even unique costumes, I still fear that imitation and repetition could rear their ugly heads. Just imagine a room full of Zeuses and Aphrodites. If I may, a couple of unique suggestions to get you started and keep things fresh: Guys, try Deldeaux – a god of unknown origin who concerned himself primarily with sticky thighs and inappropriate bed clothes. Ladies, I leave it to you to interpret and personify the goddess Mulm. She was the goddess of jelly donuts and bath cubes, and her worshippers were asked to make sacrifices of food items shaped like sexual organs. Just a thought. For more ideas, go to www.godchecker.com and use your imagination.

On Monday, bar owners will again collectively hold their breaths while waiting to see if the public still has any Halloween left in it after a long weekend. That damn calendar says Monday is actually Halloween, and I refer you to the aforementioned Telegraph archives dated 10/28/04 to see how men of reason would handle this annual conundrum. Until that is solved, I give you the ultra sexual love rock party band, Hotmops. Not “the” Hotmops, just Hotmops. They’ll be at the Abbey on Monday night, with a keg raffle, costume contest, and the band will be throwing random pumpkins into the audience which can be exchanged at the bar for a free beer. It’s cheap (3 bucks) and fun for the whole family, except the kids. But they’ll have enough to do that night anyway, right?

As for yours truly, I’ll be attending the Eagles-Broncos game in Denver this weekend. It should be easy to spot me on the TV – I’ll be the mace-soaked jackass in green being escorted out by storm troopers in the second quarter. In light of my recent record regarding bold predictions, I’m going to take a wait-and-see approach to this game as I’ll need to keep my feet out my mouth for the long drive home Monday.

Keep those wheels squeaking – I’m full of grease. egholteen@hotmail.com. And remember, unless you want all the children in Colorado to die, vote “yes” on C & D.

You don’t hate children, do you? •



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