A visit to to the greatest nation ever


by Lindsay Nelson

We Americans wish to remind all citizens of the world that we – in a word – rock. When we declared ourselves to be independent of the colonial behemoth that was Great Britain, and even managed to beat them on the battlefield, America became the Greatest Nation Ever. On July 4 we celebrate and reiterate this fact, with the customary preparation of strawberry and blueberry Jell-O parfait with Cool Whip; the consumption of hot dogs, watermelon and beer; and the ritual dispatch of several tons of explosives.

In Durango, you can do all of these things and more; the City has planned a full day of family-friendly goings-on, complete with the all-American, small town parade and fireworks and a street dance on Main Ave. Short of little blond boys, puppies and apple pie, you can’t get much more Rockwellian than that. If rhubarb pie pleases your palate, consider the Silverton July 4th celebration. Their parade is in the morning, so nobody has to stay sober in the evening, and it’s followed by the famous International Rhubarb Festival, the world’s best bake sale to benefit the Silverton Public Library. And little Silverton boasts the largest fireworks display on the Western Slope. The percussive effect of all those explosives in a high-walled valley is truly awesome. Skittish dogs and traumatized children should be left at home lest we have an “accident.”

Before the big flag-waving day off of work, we have a weekend to blow. Seeing as how weekends in Durango seem to start on Thursday, if not sooner, you might as well celebrate with another free concert tonight at the Community Concert Hall. This time it’s local bluegrass band Rock and Rye, from 6:30 to 8:30. If you go, don’t let anyone tell the kids not to dance; if they do, kick them in the shins with your shit-kickers.

A disturbing poster has been spotted around town, depicting a truly frightening pig-monster with threats of a punishment known as “pig-blatting”. Don’t let this porcine devil near you; hide out in Steamworks tonight and let our favorite Swedish DJ Jonezy MEDicate the pain away. Come eat up – it’s all pork, no Cheez.

Suffocating crowds and tourist-driven road rage can be especially damaging this time of year; why not escape to the Taos Solar Music Festival? This Friday through Sunday, TSMF is celebrating its 9th year as the greenest festival this side of Humboldt County. Mainliners include Michael Franti and Spearhead, Los Lobos, Big Head Todd & The Monsters and Paula (“Dawson’s Creek” theme) Cole. The Taos Solar Music Festival “honors the unparalleled contributive power of the sun with three days of eclectic music, interactive exhibits and activities, and much more. Attracting over 5,000 people annually from all over the country, the festival’s main stage is powered through the use of photovoltaic panels.” For three days you can live free in the sun and kick back with organic earthy types and some great music. You might even run into Julia Roberts or the ghost of D.H. Lawrence.

Nostalgic tremors will be pouring forth from the Concert Hall stage on Friday night when Johnny Cash tribute artists Rusty Evans and Ring of Fire perform an 8 o’clock show. This is no Grateful Dead show re-creation type of thing; Evans performs a unique musical show featuring original songs alongside the country and rockabilly classics made famous by the Man in Black. Evans is no dilettante – throughout the span of a career that began in 1957, Evans has written music with Ersel Hickey, jammed with Bob Dylan in Greenwich Village, toured with the New Christy Minstrels, worked alongside Buddy Holly and worked with renowned producer Phil Spector producing/recording for CBS, Reprise and Folkways/Smithsonian record labels. Tickets are $20-$25 and can now be purchased in Bayfield!

Members of the puffy-hartt club could tell you that the annual KSUT Benefit Concert with the Iguanas at DMR is the coolest place to see and be seen. The Iguanas, a band with New Orleans roots and a style that combines Mexican conjunto, R&B, Latin and Caribbean rhythms will play at 7 p.m. on Saturday under the performance tent at the ski resort. Tickets are on sale now, and proceeds benefit the only NPR station in or around Ignacio, Colo. Bring your tote.

My faith in the good taste of Durango is being tested this week; I never thought I’d see Brad Paisley’s name on the top 10. Were it not for Bon Jovi and, to a lesser extent, the White Stripes, we’d be permanently lost in lame-o-land. Please don’t disappoint me like this people. • Love Paisley? Admit it: lindsay_damico@yahoo.com.