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DENVER
"This is what we're meant to do." Miguel said to me as we started off. Godspeed You Black
Emperor, Modest Mouse, Elliot, Braid, Gish(smashing pumpkins), Tristeza. I had to listen to that second song on that
Firebird Band CD twice.

on the road to denver

I have to say driving to Colorado is somehow boring and beautiful. It is not directly to my
understanding how this might work so well, but it does. We stopped in Wagon Mound. Sean's sister
lives in Denver where we're headed. Sean's is presently piloting the car he's been borrowing back
to her in Denver. Her car. You get it. We had to pull over for matches somewhere past Wagon Mound,
and Sean about shat himself thinking that something was wrong with the van. The van is beautiful.
Despite our troubled lives, we are happy because we are on a one day tour to Denver. Lori Skaggs
set up the show, thanks Lori. Might I say Denver was a bit of a drag? well, it wasn't so bad. Some
guy said we were Fugazi influenced. He was sloshed. It wasn't so bad really. I was enjoying the
city proper, with its honest to god cityness. More so perhaps the foreigness of it, because Denver
is not as large as say Los Angeles, but its not a desert city like Albuquerque. It was pretty
novel for me. The color of the dirt matches the buildings. The downtown is big (to a kid like me).
Yeah mostly the buildings, fat and tall and wide, and their architecture obviously inspired by
something separate from my natural environment. One building per city block. Lots of 'em. Some
might take my awe as naivete. Fuck you, assholes.
Fifteenth street Tavern reminds one of all of the charm of Jack's, or the back room at Carraro's
in my Albuquerque. Foreboding to strangers, charming to regulars. The bar splits the room so
bartenders stand back to back, and sling drinks to opposite sides. The stage is on one side, and
the games are on the other. Karen worked the bar, and James worked the door. Karen was very sweet.
She plays in a band called Hemi Cuda. A Hemi Cuda is a Plymouth Barracuda with a Hemi 350, or so
I'm told. Apparently there has been a lot of trouble with bars downtown and minors, inspiring the
Denver city council to pass a more stringent set of regulations downtown. Bunch of kids od-ing on
ecstasy or some such sadness, anyway James was all on top of his doorman shit, and good for him.
The sound system there was great. The sound man John was totally competent. He came in at ten and
had everything set up in about ten minutes. And I mean everything. They miked the entire set for
this little club. Couldn't have held more than two fifty absolute max. Did a line check, in about
two minutes, and we were set. It sounded great for the half dozen people that were there. Five of
those guys were in the other band, Plank's Constant.
What can I say about Plank's Constant? They had this glam sans lipstick thing happening. It was
like Mick Ronson on guitar and Al Jorgensen on acid, in a band with an acolyte of Eno, and any one
of several prog rhythm sections of note. It was not what one expects to see out of Ft. Collins.
The highlite of the entire trip (although Sean will not agree with me on this) was when Jacob the
singer for Plank's Constant introduced the audience to his little friend, if you get my meaning.
Aggressive stage tactics, I love it. We stayed in Boulder which is lot like Colorado's version of
Santa Fe. Its full of scabby discontent rich folks. Ew. You might be there six months before you
met anyone. You'd have to live there a year before your first public conversation. It take your
whole life to feel comfortable. Then you would die, and wish you had just visited.
No not a tour. In order to qualify as a tour, from my perspective, there must be some circuitous
path contained therein, but not necessarily encompassing, the entire route. You can't just drive a
long way up one road and then drive a long way back down the other side. That doesn't count. When
you (try to) go on a tour and your van breaks down, on the next attempt you miss a lot of the fun
just worrying about the gages. We were happy the trip was uneventful, because sometimes (but not
all the time, despite what you might hear) no news is good news.
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