Hundred Year Flood and Air Guitar Nation

by Lindsay Nelson

Finally, a sigh of relief. No more name-calling, attack ads, corner-waving campaigners or yard sign wars. Until the presidential primary, that is. But for now, with City Council race over and won, we can get back to our usual business of paying very little attention to very big issues and getting exercised over the little ones, like leash length and those annoying plastic real estate flyer boxes on our Main Avenue sidewalks. Someone really ought to do something about those darned kids and their skate-shoes, too. It’s a menace, little kids racing around on their wheeled heels, careening headfirst into the old and infirm and the inattentive. There ought to be a law.

In order to get away from rampant lawmaking and the dirty so-and-so’s who do the making, it’s often nice to get out of your own town and into another, where you don’t know about all the things that annoy the locals, like the puffy-coat crowds at Carvers on Sunday mornings or the invisible-cell-phone talkers who don’t think it’s odd or the slightest bit rude to walk about as if talking to oneself about investments or the grocery list or last night’s hot date. But I digress.

Living out west, past the county line, out Mancos/Dolores way, just got a little more appealing. Besides the availability of modular homes for less than $300,000, the area now has going for it a neat little concert series at its genuine Old West bar, The Hollywood, in Dolores. Each month, a new show, and the first is this Saturday, featuring Hundred Year Flood. Hundred Year Flood is a roots rock band that splits its time between Austin and Santa Fe. According to this concert series’ promoter, Rosie Carter, “This powerhouse quartet boasts high-octane vocals, driving rhythms and bleeding-heart melodies. The band delivers its tunes with gut-wrenching honesty and has shared stages with Americana heavy-hitters such as Son Volt, Charlie Sexton, James McMurtry, Ozomatli, Dave Alvin and Joe Ely. Its powerful live shows are not to be missed.” Well, you heard her, folks. Don’t miss Hundred Year Flood out at the Hollywood Bar in Dolores.

On your way to Dolores, stop by the Mancos Opera House to catch Durango-ish Latin fusion band JuanaLaCapilla playing a benefit concert for the Mancos Skate Park. You may remember this local band from about four or five years ago, when they played frequently at the Summit and other, now-extinct venues. They are rumored to have recorded an album recently and appear to have returned in at least some form since their collective migration to South America. Hear some fun Latin-funk-dance music and help the kids of Mancos with their skate park.

Nostalgia brings us to this next bit of entertainment, as Cuckoo’s Chicken House and Waterin’ Hole celebrates is 8th anniversary Friday night. Folks thought it wouldn’t last, but after all these years, it’s still the place to go for all your poultry, fermented grain and sporting event needs. Could it be the Asian Persuasion wings? Or the free shots of Cuckoo’s Juice every time the Broncs or Avs score? The Wing Stop has got nothing on this place. Celebrate the memories and the extra pounds Friday night with music by the Lawn Chair Kings starting at 10 p.m.

While you wait for the party at Cuckoo’s, pop next door to the Abbey for opening night of “Air Guitar Nation.” Fueled by pure rock energy, this documentary chronicles the birth of the U.S. Air Guitar Championship and investigates the passions that drive its participants all the way to the world competition. Seriously. Apparently some people actually want to watch others pretend to play the guitar, a pastime that is arguably one of the most ridiculous but potentially hilarious wastes of energy since VW stuffing. Europeans have known about this for years, even though air guitar seems like it should have been invented and practiced only in America. The film’s creator, Alexandra Lipsitz, devotes her energies to capturing the “electricity” of the first American air guitar competition in Tribeca (NY), and the underdog-competes-against- slick-and-vaguely-effeminate-European-foes competitive sporting event movie takes off from there. All you need to know about this film is summarized in the following quote: “Those who blithely mock air guitar as a competitive event have yet to experience its power.” Yeah. Rock on, bro!

Tonight’s Keb’ Mo concert at the Concert Hall is sold out, a rare occurrence in this noncommittal town. If you’re not among the lucky 600, catch the Abbey’s current offering,  “The Lives of Others,” the German film that earned this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. “Das Leben der Anderen” examines the regime of surveillance that existed in East Germany prior to the fall of the Wall, back in 1984. An overzealous agent of the secret service, acting on the orders of the Minister of Culture, begins a program of observation on a famous couple that becomes increasingly intimate and obsessive. It’s like what the FBI has been doing since 2001, but with more nakedness and scary Teutonic bureaucracy.

This week, Modest Mouse remains on top of the local charts, with Neil Young making a great big leap to number 2 with his “Live at Massey Hall,” an incredible, previously unreleased solo set recorded in 1971. A treasure, indeed. Same goes for Tom Waits’ “Orphans,” and the triumvirate of Willie (Nelson/Nelson ’08!), Ray and Merle on “Last of the Breed.” Next week I predict the appearance of Nine Inch Nails, Alison Krauss and the perennial compilation of crapo pop music, Now! 24. Prove me wrong?