Music: Not just for the mountains anymore

by Ted Holteen

With the imminent arrival of Music in the Mountains, my mind set to wonderin’ what has happened to that mountain resort up the highway recently. Sure, last week Purgatory played host to the Iguanas, but other than that and until next week’s classical music festival, it almost seems like they’ve been hiding something. Turns out they have. It’s no secret that big changes are under way up there, but have any of you people actually seen what they’re trying to pull off? The planned $100 million base lodge being built is something to behold, and while it’s being built, the powers that be are apparently maintaining a low profile and seem to be content to work on their project away from the prying eyes of the masses. With many buildings being sacrificed to pave the way for a better element of people than those who would invest in a resort with a place like Purgy’s, the coming fortnight could be your last chance to see things the way they were. I’m rather curious myself. The new lodge is slated for completion winter after next (as in 2007-’08), and I imagine the next 18 months will be rather messy. If you’re planning on heading up Tuesday night, I suggest leaving those spiffy new shoes at home.

So that’s the logistical nightmare facing the organizers for this year’s festival, which starts Sunday. You can’t go to that – it’s sold out. It’s the 20th year, so I’m sure Mischa and his gang of hardened virtuosos have conquered worse than a little mud. And a well-traveled gang it is, especially this year. MITM is always a bit of a traveling road show, but this year it’s downright confusing. Setting up an orchestra every night, or even part of one, has to be trying, but the next couple of weeks will see classical music come to no fewer than 10 venues in the region, and rarely in two places on consecutive nights. And tickets seem to be going faster than the website can be updated, so if you’d like to catch a show or two, act quickly. The first concert in the big tent at the big dig is Tuesday, as I mentioned, and it should be very nice. “Dueling Violins” is the tongue-in-cheek moniker for the evening, and although I’d pay good money to watch Vadim Gluzman and Phillippe Quint bash each others’ heads in with their instruments, I don’t think that’s the idea. What it will be is a lovely evening of chamber music with a twist, as it’s just the two of them with a bit of accompaniment on the piano. It’ll probably also be sold out by the time you read this. Plan ahead for next week – I’d shoot for Saturday the 22nd or Sunday the 23rd, as the full Festival Orchestra will perform both nights. Hurry.

No offense intended to those who toil for our amusement, but other than the classical type there’s not a hell of a lot to see this week music-wise. The FLC Concert Hall will continue its free summer music series tonight with a free show by The Badly Bent, which is always a nice way to kill a couple of hours, but I was surprised to see that the venue will only host one MITM event this year, and that’s not until the 30th. Maybe they’re re-carpeting. The bulk of the festival performances here in town will take place at Roshong Recital Hall instead, which is also on campus but doesn’t hold as many people. I’ll investigate why this is and get back to you. (We both know I won’t, but I don’t have a better answer right now. Perhaps Gary Pennington is renting the Hall out to more of those damn Christian youth groups. If so, Gary, I want a cut.)

But in the interest of planning ahead, which I should try one of these years, ticket alerts are blinking red for a few big-time upcoming shows. Robert Earl Keen, Asleep at the Wheel, Kris Kristofferson and Dicky Betts are among those coming to the

But in the interest of planning ahead, which I should try one of these years, ticket alerts are blinking red for a few big-time upcoming shows. Robert Earl Keen, Asleep at the Wheel, Kris Kristofferson and Dicky Betts are among those coming to the Concert Hall in the next month. Unbeknownst to many of the hippies around town who will be begging for tickets on each show night, they put these things on sale ahead of time for our convenience. Well, your convenience anyway. I get into these things for free in exchange for pointing out dope smokers to the cops. Then I take their weed.

Seems someone tried to pull a fast one on ‘ol Ted last week. There I am, ingenuously sending my friends who are Hotmops off on their way to the big city, and what happens? They get invited back to the Summit for what, by my count, is their third farewell performance. That’s on Friday at the Summit, again. Jesus Christ, Morris. Someone had better die or something this time, or at least bite the head off of some live animal. Saturday’s Summit offering is one of my favorite twin bills, as the Lawn Chair Kings and The Freeman Social get together for the first time ever. I think. I also think that we can all agree the time has come for Bubba’s hot bass-playing wife to finally play an entire show in a bikini. It is summer, after all. And before anyone gets any funny ideas to play yet another trick on ‘ol Ted, no Bubba, it would not be funny for you to wear the bikini.

Finally, this week, radio listeners throughout the Four Corners should let out a collective “oh shucks.” Susan Davids, who has been a fixture at KSUT since the Coolidge Administration, is packing up and heading back to the land of cheese and beer. More likely it’s a Brett Favre-related pilgrimage to see him in his final season, unless he’s secretly a member of Hotmops and will likewise end the next three seasons with retirement announcements only to show up again for camp the next summer. A true-blue member of the Mohawk tribe, Susan has been making a liar out of James Fennimore Cooper for her entire life, most recently in Ignacio as a great DJ, producer of the Tribal Beat, and generally super groovy chick. But if she is in fact the last of the Mohicans, they saved the best for last. We’ll miss you much, Susan.

Any other farewell tours I’m missing? Turns out you can’t go home again after all. Touche, Monsieur Wolfe. •

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