Feeling bookish, 'furnishart' and Boxcar

Kurt Vonnegut

by Lindsay Nelson

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’” – Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

The death last week of Kurt Vonnegut will no doubt bring renewed interest in the work of this fantastically cantankerous yet gentle humanist and iconoclast. It certainly bears a second look if his name only conjures unhappy memories of writing a two-page summary of Cat’s Cradle in the eighth grade. His elegists have pegged him as the countercultural voice of his time, capturing the unrest and future-shock of the Vietnam era; I’d argue that his insights and subtle repainting of our reality bears just as much truth today, if not more. We’ll miss the old guy.

It’s not exactly hot news, but you may have heard that Oprah chose a rather unlikely book to add to her Book Club collection. I’m conflicted about this; Cormac McCarthy is no Barbara Kingsolver, and The Road is a far cry from A Million Little Pieces. McCarthy, heretofore known for his dark journeying novels of the hard old West (All the Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian, etc.), just might have his masterpiece in the slim, black-covered Road, a devastating trip into a post-apocalyptic landscape devoid of hope, empty of life, and yet one of the most deeply human of books. Nearly a year later, I can still taste the ashes. So when Oprah announced her latest pick, I – a nonbeliever of the O – felt a little sad for this book, as though a stamp of crass, shallow commercialism was slapped on its cover (which, in a way, it was). But on the other hand, I can only applaud any effort that brings literature into the lives of your average American, for whom books may be a rather unaccustomed pursuit. And I must say, I was impressed when I took a moment to review some past books in the Oprah club. It’s not all a bare step above dimestore romances and diarrheal memoirs. Maybe there’s something to her efforts besides making another billion dollars; perhaps I’ve been arrogant. But I still can’t quite picture crusty old McCarthy chatting away on the infamous Oprah couch, can you?

But enough about boring old books – give us social entertainment! Take off your reading glasses and put your hair in a chignon, for the annual and ever-better Furniture as Art Auction. This creative fund-raising effort was born six years ago as a new way for community radio station KDUR to take in a few extra bucks for microphones and alternative news programming. At the beginning, old pieces of wooden furniture were scrounged up and farmed out to some local artists for improvement before hitting the auction block. Each year, the event has grown as more and more artists get involved, and now most pieces of “furnishart” are original creations on the theme of furniture, but most are still functional. This year,
a record 24 artists are participating. Found objects and unlikely materials (the old bowling alley, twists of paper) furnish the media for these cool, funky and completely unique pieces of art.

Come find that perfect addition to your home or dorm room – tickets cost $10 in advance from KDUR or $13 at the door, and each entrant gets two free drinks at the bar and complementary catered edibles. In addition to the big auction, conducted by a real, live, fast-talking auctioneer, there’s a vast and relatively affordable silent auction of many assorted goods and services donated to the station. The doors to the Durango Arts Center open at 5:30 p.m., and the bidding starts at 6:30.

piece of furnishart by Jules Mastterjohn

A bit later in the evening, just across the street at Steamworks, it’s time to take your medicine. Jonezy will be handing out the MEDS to go along with your Pint Night beers, starting at around 7-ish and lasting all the way until closing time. Spinning strictly underground and all vinyl, and just a tad gangsta, Jonezy says attendance is mandatory – or Nurse Ratched will be after you. Support one of KDUR’s dedicated DJs and celebrate free-form radio and the music it loves.

You, too, can be a part of the KDUR family and cool kids’ club of live DJs. Sign up for your very own music show on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., in the Blue & Gold Room of the College Union Building at FLC. Call 247-7628 for more info about applying and getting trained. It’s how I got started in the world of radio way back in the innocent summer of 2001. New music-loving personalities are always welcome.

Friday marks the debut of a new Durango band called Boxcar, formed just a few months ago by Rob Lawrence of Brown Brothers fame and several other talented young string musicians. It’s definitely not bluegrass, it’s more than folk, and not particularly country, but it has that creaky, backroad feeling that makes you crave whisky and a front-porch rocking chair. Boxcar plays its inaugural show on 4-20 at the Summit, starting at about 10 p.m. Cover is just $3. Check out their MySpace site, boxcardurango, to hear three of their new original songs. It’s good stuff.

Getting anxious to dip your paddle? Check out the best of today’s whitewater porn at the 2007 National Paddling Film Fest, Wednesday night at the Abbey. Brought to you by Four Corners River Sports and Southwest Whitewater, proceeds benefit Extreme Care, an organization whose mission is to “promote peace, health and goodwill among all peoples of the world through kayaking, rafting and mountaineering expeditions.” Sure beats smart-bombing and trade sanctions.

And what new music are we buying today? Go ahead, try something different. You might like it. Lindsay_damico@yahoo.com.

In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale