Vendettas & record release parties

by Ted Holteen

I’m a bitter and petty man at heart, make no mistake about it. As such, I often allow things that are completely out of my control to infuriate me to the point of an irrational and even infantile, knee-jerk reaction. Like last week. I was very excited and had planned for weeks in advance to reserve an RV spot for my little Winnebago for the big Telluride Blues and Brews festival in September. When the phone lines opened, there I was, dialing with two phones to make sure I got through in time – I know the drill and that people often get shut out if they delay even five minutes. But that wasn’t going to happen to me, not unless those elitist, nepotistic bastards employed a one-line phone that randomly disconnected people who weren’t “on the list.” Two disconnects and an hour-long busy signal later, I was finally informed that I missed the last spot by “five minutes,” according to the giggling trustafarian bubblehead who finally deigned to answer my call. Had my cell phone battery not been drained over the past hour’s dial-a-thon, I would’ve given the poor unsuspecting troll a piece of my violently deranged mind. Call it fate, but that dead battery probably kept me out of prison for at least another month, as my threats died on my own lips rather than her ears. None of this did anything to assuage my delusions of persecution, and so with apologies to my well-bred and well-grounded editor, I hereby declare open verbal war on the entire community of Telluride.

How do I hate thee, T-Ride? I’ll start counting:

1) You take pride in having the most expensive lift tickets in North America, and you’ve had as much snow this year as Ignacio.

2) KOTO is maybe the sixth best public radio station in Colorado. Sorry.

3) Your festivals are tired, repetitive and overpriced.

4) The only people who work for a living in your town have to live eight to a tent in Ridgway. Hence, your restaurants suck, your lodging is substandard, and I can only hope that it’s just a matter of time before the streets are flooded in sewage. I hope.

5) The Daily Planet provides just slightly more hard news than the Yale Alumni Magazine. But I guess they’ve got to save room to do another softball piece on some Realtor who donates .0005 percent of his sales to network executives.

6) You remind me of Gary’s Olde Towne Tavern on Cheers. Yes, you are successful, you’re the envy of every mountain town in the West and your property tax rolls read like a who’s who of the celebrity and business world when ownership isn’t shielded by an offshore holding company. And everyone hates you. Money can buy a lot of things, but class ain’t one of them. (See also: Michael Irvin)

I could go on, and I will all summer every time some self-important festival organizer decides to go slumming in La Plata County to dupe our hard-working, music-loving populace out of a few more bucks so he/she can put a new three-story addition on his/her $2.5 million studio apartment. Ooh-Ooh, how cool – Sam Bush and Bela Fleck are going to jam together to close Saturday night. Borr-ring. Who else is playing at Bluegrass this year – Korn? May your precious valley floor be developed with towering water slides and neon-gilded ferris wheels as far as the eye can see. And maybe some mini-golf. Go to Hell-U-Ride.

Now I feel much better. On to the business at hand, that which stays right here in our humble little town, where our millionaires at least have the decency to act like they worked to get where they are. On second thought, I don’t much care for ours either. For the most part, however, they do tend to stay out of our way, and therefore the Summit will be filled with hundredaires on Friday night, all of them having scrimped and saved to buy the first copies of the new CD from The Freeman Social. The band is holding its record release party, that night, with guest surf rockers Route 66 Killers from Flagstaff and the Dropskots out of Denver. This should be fun, as the evening is sponsored by Ska Brewing (= cheap beer) and their alter ego Goat Vodka. The latter has concocted a horrible potion called The Copper Cabra (Spanish for “goat”) combining the Olathe Corn elixir with ginger ale and limejuice in a copper mug that strikes me as a potential chemistry experiment gone wrong. I’m sure it’s delicious. And yes, Bubba’s hot wife will be there, too. (Author’s note: I’ve opted to not mention her name in this publication so as to minimize catcalls. You people disgust me.)

I just remembered we still need some of you millionaires after all. Friday seems to be the night for CD releases, and Tim Sullivan’s got his happening across the street from the Summit at the Diamond Circle Theatre. Tim’s fifth album is titled “Road to Paradise,” and he has opted to donate the $10 cover charge to the local chapter of the American Red Cross, which is very nice of him. I can attest firsthand that the recent criticism toward some of the national management of the Red Cross following the Katrina fiasco is in no way representative of the thousands of people who donate time and money to respond to local, regional and national disasters year-round, year after year. And you’ll be really glad there’s a local chapter this summer when the hills will likely be filled again with the flames of hell, evoking memories of 2002 when the Red Cross-provided emergency services for hundreds of evacuees in and around the county. Come out Friday beginning around 7:30 p.m., thank Tim in person, buy a CD, and enjoy yourself.

Warning, warning, Dr. Smith: Durango’s would-be Astromen still need your help to get into outer space, or at least Alabama, which is kind of the same thing. You may recall last week that we discussed Danny Jaques and his troupe of science superstars, a group of students participating in the Four Corners Space Camp Project this summer. They’re aiming to raise funds on Saturday with the help of Durango Dot Comedy at the Durango Arts Center. It’s not rocket science (sorry) – you buy a ticket for the show, and the kids get money for their trip. Millionaires are again encouraged to attend, unless you’re from Telluride. You people just send a check and stay where you are. And feel free to buy cast member Dre Pierre-Louis as many shots as you can afford, as I’ll be playing against his basketball team on Sunday and it would behoove our club to have Dre hung over for the contest. A dominating post presence as well as a talented performer is Dre. Ironically, Dre performs with DDC alongside Michael Jordan, also a talented performer but not quite the hoopster that his name would suggest. Showtime is 7 p.m. and tickets will be available at the door.

Good music again at the Concert Hall: On Sunday night the Subdudes are in town. They do good, upbeat, folksy kind of rock, but not the sleepy kind. You should have the next three days to check them out on KSUT or KDUR if you haven’t heard them before, so do your homework.

Give me one good reason not to hate Telluride. March Madness is just a week away – see me or one of my authorized agents if you’d like to get rich. •





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