Silver screens and Liquid Cheese

by Lindsay Nelson

Willie and I thought now would be a good time to check in with you all about the campaign. Now I know it’s not conventional to announce your intention to run for president and then not start campaigning or even making any bumper stickers, but, well, you know Willie. I’ve been busy, and he has been pretty “out of it.” Anyway, it’s tough because we haven’t been getting much media attention, but all that will change when I announce my new tax cut plan. See, I believe that the men and women of the Fourth Estate are our nation’s unsung heroes, putting in the long hours every day and night to bring you up-to-the-minute news about Anna Nicole Smith’s corpse and Britney Spears’ bald head. And the poor newspaper reporters! Toiling in obscurity, attending boring meetings and midnight car wrecks, only to have readers skim their lede and say, “All this bad news is really putting me off my Corn Flakes™.” To these news slaves I say this: Life is better with the Nelsons. When I become president, VP Willie and I will ensure that Congress passes a new tax bill that will credit journalists (and TV newspeople) up to $50,000 per year in tax breaks. Because you deserve it. Keep up the good work.

The media may someday recognize that Durango is not only a keen place to stay while you go skiing at “Purg,” it’s also a center of arts and culture unparalleled in the Four Corners area. The opening of the Durango Independent Film Festival is evidence thereof. Sadly, I cannot advise you of which movies to see based on a sketchy single-paragraph synopsis because, well, there aren’t any. The DIFF website is missing that key element of promotion, an opportunity to read about the 70 films you are thinking of seeing so you can get psyched enough to buy a pass, and then of course forget which one was about starved Oklahoma homosexual child-models and which dealt with the forgotten struggles of the displaced yak-farmers of Burma. What’s a film buff to do? Go see them all, I guess. Come to a “real Colorado Western town” – while it lasts.

After seeing so many movies, your eyes begin to bleed, stumble downtown for some music that’ll make your ears follow suit. Saturday night at the Summit it’s the Freeman Social with Denver’s Gina Go Faster and In A Day. The Freeman Social are real Durango, and have been playing together and writing songs since the spring of 2005. It’s all-out rock and roll, which goes nicely with the post-punk sound of GGF. Sure to make you forget that yak scene.

David Grisman

If you get bored of it, or are in hot pursuit of a hot chick, go to Steamworks and see Liquid Cheese, which, despite its evocative processed-cheese-food sorta name, is actually an organic blend of real musical ingredients, including ska, reggae, funk, Latin and (they say) punk rock. This band is made in El Paso, Texas, where they know how to make salsa, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, where it’s hot and they have chiles. The part about the hot chick has to do with the extremely cheap drinks Steamworks likes to offer “ladies” on Saturday nights, and big old 20 oz. beers for the “gentlemen.” Liquid Cheese is only $5, which is almost exactly the price of a brick of Velveeta. Go figure.

Here I will mention the David Grisman Quartet performance on Tuesday night, mainly just so those of you whose memories aren’t working like they used to back before all the crazy hazy days of the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s and, OK, maybe even the aughts, will not forget that you have tickets and are going to the show at the Concert Hall. Very limited tickets were available Sunday but by now … who knows? If I need to tell you who David Grisman is, then you shouldn’t even bother trying to go. He is perhaps the world’s most famous mandolinist, inventor of his own genre, “dawg” music, and collaborator with the Dead’s Jerry Garcia and Old and in the Way. The David Grisman Quartet has been around for 25 years and serves as a sort of training ground for tomorrow’s bluegrass/roots music stars. Graduates include Tony Rice, Mark O’Connor, Mike Marshall and Darol Anger. The current David Grisman Quintet includes David on mandolin, Jim Kerwin on bass, George Marsh on percussion, Enrique Coria on guitar, and Matt Eakle on flute. Look out for these boys down the road.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, back to the campaign trail. Ladies and gentlemen, when I look out over Durango from the mesa’s rim at your Fort Lewis College campus, I am awed by the pristine beauty of the ridges and peaks that surround Durango in a comforting embrace. But beware the silent killer: growth. If we want to keep this town the way it was when we moved here, we must be proactive about controlling it. Impose a 10-household-per-year limit on new residents of the city. If someone wants to move here, they fill out a simple five-page application, detailing their ethnic and religious background, politics, procreation intentions, athletic ability, income and attractiveness. A special panel of Durango’s best growth-control specialists will review the applications, open them up to “Meaningful Public Participation”/public ridicule, and hand down its decisions each year in April. Approval depends also on the availability of existing housing and parking slots, as no new residences will be built here, ever again. Meanwhile, La Plata County explodes and mysteriously, Durango’s traffic problems get worse.

It all seemed so simple. What gives? Lindsay_damico@ •



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