Ear to the ground

“I came home and had to take a shot of whiskey.”

-Local shopper dealing with post-traumatic Wal-Mart overload syndrome

The Duchess of Coolsville

An icon of the 1970s will step onto a local stage later this fall. Rickie Lee Jones, “The Duchess of Coolsville,” will play the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College on Oct. 5.

Perhaps best known for her scat-flavored hit “Chuck E’s in Love,” Jones proved herself to be a premiere song-stylist and songwriter of her generation.

“Ms. Jones had learned how to suspend a song’s forward motion without losing its drama,” wrote Jon Parales in theNew York Times. “Using riffs that could circle themselves again and again and complex chords that can hang in the air, she found an audio equivalent of cinematic slow motion and freeze frame. It was as if the rhythmic flexibility of her singing had somehow infected her band and her songs.”

Jones achieved early success at the age of 19 when Lowell George, founder of the band Little Feat, recorded her song “Easy Money.” She went on to win a Grammy in 1979 for Best New Artist for her popular debut album.

Jones is also known as a trendsetter in lifestyle, a figure who, through her life and work, became a model for the new generation of hipster. Jones’ most recent endeavor is the anthology “Duchess of Coolsville,” which brings together 26 years and more than three hours of music newly re-mastered and compiled for the first time. Jones has been touring in promotion of the effort.

“Snowdown – Disco Do It!”

After Rickie Lee Jones came disco. And not long after her October concert, disco will take over Durango. Snowdown has announced its theme for 2006: “Snowdown – Disco Do It!”

Snowdown fans, event coordinators, volunteers and anyone with ideas for Snowdown 2006 are invited to get in the groove on Thurs., Sept. 15, when the Snowdown kickoff party takes place at 5:30 p.m. at the Palace. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, there will be a cash bar, and white polyester suits and gold chains are encouraged but optional.

Snowdown 2006 will be the 28th annual edition of the raucous winter celebration, with more than 60 events taking place Feb. 1-5. For more information, check out www.snowdown.org.