Good God, man! I can't believe what has happened in this town over the last three years or so.
What once felt like home to a daily struggle for art, culture and entertainment, wrought with conflict and feelings of frustration, is forming into an area quite conducive to the creative spirit like a cute little baby Portland, only with a little more sunshine. And fewer junkies, way fewer junkies. But what, pray tell, would have me spewing forth such nonsense? Maybe it was interviewing Gogol Bordellos Eugene Hutz last month. Or perhaps I'm still in shock after getting to hang out with Daniel Johnston and Jermaine Rogers the other night.
For the unenlightened, Johnston has defied his own physical limitations in order to create and inspire radically new and different realms of artistic and musical expression. And Rogers' fine-art silkscreen posters have promoted concerts by legitimate musical geniuses: David Bowie, The White Stripes, Radiohead, Morrissey and Public Enemy, just to drop a few names you might recognize. He is also quite possibly the coolest person since Nikola Tesla to have moved to the Pikes Peak region. (Stop by his studio/shoppette in the Manitou Spa Building, if you doubt my prognostication. Or reread Matthew Schniper's Mr. Rogers neighborhood, from the March 1, 2007 Independent.)
Anyhow, I am truly amazed at the progress that I see all over town. Le'ts keep this ball rolling, shall we?!
And it will be a ball, for sure, rolling into the Triple Nickel Tavern this Friday, April 11, when, fresh off the zany, madcap streets of Albuquerque, N.M., the Zoltan Orkestar will play songs rooted in South American folk, blended with Eastern European gypsy music, and twisted through the warped lenses of American life.
Kicking things off will be the return of Grant Sabin & the Revelators, featuring the prodigious quarter-pound blueshound Grant Sabin, with Andrew Koken on the upright bass, and, back from a brief hiatus, Lucian Rowland on various instruments of the olde tyme persuasion, including banjo, mandolin and lap steel. Oh yeah!
Trudging forward one day chronologically, we find ourselves at the Rocket Room once again. Now, imagine if you will, a fiery inferno of wreckless rock 'n roll abandonment (similar to, but far less fatal than, a Great White concert), burning unabashedly at the theoretical crossroads between Sun Records and Detroits Motown. Smoldering at the center of this blistering conflagration, you'll find the band known as Whiskey Throttle. And if that weren't enough, Brian Parton, a man so pure in his country-western ideals that he refuses to play a single note outside of the Colorado-Oklahoma corridor, will pump out a few of his rockabilly blasters. Burn, baby, burn!
And last, but certainly not least, Rick Derringer, one of Americas most prolific and under-credited guit-jammers, will be appearing next Thursday, April 17, at The Thirsty Parrot. Now, although his hit "Hang on Sloopy" knocked Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction," a powerfully gritty song of protest that is as relevant today as ever, out of the top chart position in 1965, he more than redeemed himself in the '80s by producing Weird Al Yankovic's Eat It and Fat. And like Homer Simpson said: He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life. I am no such man!
Be well, raise hell, smell you later!