The Experience and Sky Fest


by Ted Holteen

Call me a product of my generation, but I tend to get bored with things rather quickly. Sorting through myriad press releases from self-serving record promoters week after week extolling the virtues of the “next big thing” causes the words therein to lose their meaning after about the 20th one, and that’s being generous. Plus, we in the press corps need to be careful about just how much hype, and more importantly whose hype, we choose to forward on to the unsuspecting public. For example, what music journalist wants to admit today that she actually put her name on a byline that claimed Blink-182 “is a return to the roots of punk” (1997) or “Fiona’s (Apple) brand of heartache is a welcome, dark respite from the avalanche of popcrap.” (1999) See the problem? Sure, we know now that Fiona Apple is herself an avalanche of popcrap, and there aren’t enough editors at the Telegraph to find a reader-safe way for me to express my feelings about Blink-182. However, nothing in music journalism has changed in the past 10 years that would allow for an honest evaluation of either. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see the new Rolling Stone cover at a newsstand some month and instead of seeing “Gwen Stefani: A Rock Goddess With Major Issues,” we’d see “Coldplay – Why Do They Suck and How Did They Get on Our Cover?”

The above conundrum was the driving force behind the explosive growth of the independent record label movement of the past decade. How could actual artists, more concerned with the quality and message of their music than convincing 12-year old girls to buy it, compete against the fast-food world of big label record companies? Indie labels have given voice to thousands of these musicians, but just like “alternative” became “pop” in the ’90s, Indie is quickly turning mainstream in the new millennium. Need more proof? Rob Thomas actually calls himself an independent artist. Things are not good. But as with all lost causes, true heroes never stop fighting (reference that war happening in Iraq where “insurgents” inexplicably keep shooting at foreign troops on their home soil. How odd.), and we’ve got two bigwigs in town this weekend, unfortunately on the same night. The Tim Terry Experience comes to the Abbey Theatre on Saturday night, which is the same night Shemekia Copeland is at the FLC Community Concert Hall. Damn. The worst thing I can say about Tim Terry is that he used to play keyboards for Cameo (yes, the “Word Up” Cameo), but a brother’s got to pay the bills somehow, and it was the ’80s after all. We all have our skeletons. Tim now fronts a soul/funk bunch including vocalist LaTanya Lockett, horn player Jesse Molloy and former Denson drummer John Staten. The Experience and its members take the message of indie music to heart, caring not a lick for pop success, and taking it even a step further. Their label, New Century Soul Records, is donating 25 percent of all tour revenues from its collective acts to aid musicians in the New Orleans area not named Marsalis or Ruffins to rebuild their lives and careers. Right on. The Tim Terry Experience takes the stage sometime around 9 p.m., but you know how that works.

As to Ms. Copeland, I had forgotten just how young she still is, what with all the national acclaim and success and whatnot. None other than Robert Plant has called Shemekia “the next Tina Turner,” which doesn’t do her justice. I liked Tina just fine myself, but in all fairness she really couldn’t sing very well in the classic sense, although it worked for her. What does Robert Plant know anyway? At just 27 years old, the best of Copeland’s career likely lies ahead of her unless she signs with Virgin or some such record factory, but she has always targeted a more sophisticated audience, so the threat of that seems far-fetched. She may fire whatever manager jammed this show in between a night in Aspen and one in Beaver Creek, but she probably doesn’t have to do her own driving, so I’m sure she’ll be in a fine mood anyway. Shemekia takes the stage at 7 p.m. and she’s a pro, so don’t be late. It’s not the Abbey, you know. But I bet if you play it right, you could catch the whole show at the Concert Hall and still be on time for Tim Terry later on. It’s worth a try.

A few months back, many of you actually took my advice and checked out one of my personal favorites, Drag the River, at their Summit show. If you’re one of those people, I shouldn’t have to tell you to make time to catch one of the two shows the Fort Collins band is playing on Saturday. The first set happens as part of Fort Lewis College’s Sky Fest, going on all day in Buckley Park. DTR will be joined by Whiskey Blanket, the Hot Strings and Nick Motile for a full day of music in the park starting at 11 a.m., and I assume there will be food and beverages available as well, though with so many underage students wandering around, I’d be surprised if they were selling beer. But you never know. I think Drag comes on around 3 p.m., which is the middle of the night for a band that usually wakes up to the sound of Brian Williams and the “NBC Nightly News.”

Drag the River

A few months back, many of you actually took my advice and checked out one of my personal favorites, Drag the River, at their Summit show. If you’re one of those people, I shouldn’t have to tell you to make time to catch one of the two shows the Fort Collins band is playing on Saturday. The first set happens as part of Fort Lewis College’s Sky Fest, going on all day in Buckley Park. DTR will be joined by Whiskey Blanket, the Hot Strings and Nick Motile for a full day of music in the park starting at 11 a.m., and I assume there will be food and beverages available as well, though with so many underage students wandering around, I’d be surprised if they were selling beer. But you never know. I think Drag comes on around 3 p.m., which is the middle of the night for a band that usually wakes up to the sound of Brian Williams and the “NBC Nightly News.”

Later, Drag the River joins The Freeman Social at Ye Olde Schoolhouse for a night of absolute stupidity and alcohol-fueled childish behavior. Bubba & Co. should be a perfect compliment for the alt-country band with punk roots (Armchair Martian), all out of reach of the long arm of the Durango law. But watch out for those Colorado State Patrol guys – most of them are upset about not being in the Army shooting people in the Middle East, and they’d be all too happy to take out their frustrations on a punk like Liggett zipping down the mountain after having seven or eight too many. Please behave and make appropriate arrangements to avoid all paramilitary groups, sanctioned or otherwise.

Still going with UCLA to win it all, unless they lose. Then I’ll pick someone else. By the way, as I’ve mentioned before, I run a little pool among friends for this Madness time of year, and while it’ll still be a few weeks before we know the winner, I can say that Telegraph advertising and haiku goddess Lainie Lowndes is assured of finishing in last place. Just in case you were wondering. I think she picked Mesa State to edge out ITT Tech in the final.

I’m off to London next week, but rather than call Lindsay a half hour before deadline to fill in, I’ve decided to do a British version of “The Society Page” until my return. My guess is that it will be awful.

Tell me what I’ll be missing – egholteen@hotmail.com. Please force your children to play baseball or softball this summer. Our future depends on it. •

 

 

In this week's issue...

June 13, 2019
Haven't got time for the pain

In the words of the great Salt-N-Pepa, let’s talk about sex (baby.) There, we said it.

June 13, 2019
Scoping begins on Silverton travel plan

The plan to bring more singletrack to Silverton is rolling forward. Last week, the Bureau of Land Management announced the beginning of a 30-day public scoping period on its proposed Silverton Area Travel Management Plan.

June 10, 2019
2019 Hardrock taps out

Snow, avi debris, high flows force cancellation