In a perfect world, all musicians should have good taste in music, perhaps inspired and influenced by the early Rolling Stones and Beatles, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Martin, Uncle Tupelo, Pavement, and, damn, so many more.
Regrettably, the world is far from perfect and getting farther and farther from perfection every second. Every time I think humans have achieved great strides toward the light marked “better,” there’s some dumbass blowing through a stop sign and cranking Florida Georgia Line.
Have you ventured out of Durango and gone to a random bar, listened to radio, or conversed with old friends still in your home town who still listen to the same old crap? I have. And every time I return home and acknowledge that Durango, or at least the crowd I run with, has some pretty exceptional taste in the important things: Friends’ cars are void of fast food wrappers and record collections are void of Sublime.
To examine those exceptional tastes around town, the series of grilling local musicians about their favorite shows seen in Durango rolls on, this time with Tracy and John Ford of the Crags recollecting their highlights.
Short history: The Fords’ first Durango band was Pinhead. Great band name, unfortunately already taken, resulting in changing their name to Jaki and the Joysticks. Jaki played some shows, made a great record of bratty punk, and broke up. The Crags rose out of those ashes, and continue a bratty-punk vibe while also exploring some indie-rock and surf. Here’s the Fords’ highlights of concerts past, followed by my thoughts as I was lucky to be at a lot of these shows, too.
Camper Van Beethoven Animas City Theatre
Fords: There is a great memory of seeing David Lowery sing “Happy Birthday” with the veins popping out of his neck.
Liggett: A great bill with a great folk-punk band and their more commercial-radio-friendly alter-ego.
Future BirdsAnimas City Theatre
Fords: As University of Georgia alum, it was great seeing Athens Boys, and their great harmonies.
Liggett: We all have shows that we regret missing. This is one for me, as I sadly was NOT on the bus for this band.
Leftover SalmonThe old Farquahrts
Liggett: Before the space was the Derailed Pour House, it was Farquahrts, a legendary venue that hosted Leftover Salmon dozens of times in their early days. These shows really helped hone the live show Leftover Salmon developed on their way to being crowned kings of Colorado jam-grass. Durango was an important stepping stone in their career.
The South By Southwest tour The Summit
Fords: It was three bands, Couches, Li Xi, and Ash Reiter. It was really something different for the Durango scene.
Liggett: This was a show booked by David Mitchell, leader of the San Francisco rock band Couches, and founder of the label 20-Sided Records, for which the aforementioned bands released records for. This show was booked as the trio of acts headed to the concert chaos of South By Southwest.
The SadiesAnimas City Theatre
Fords: November 2013. Sick guitarist.
Liggett: The Sadies on a Tuesday night in Durango. The band began playing promptly at 9 p.m., whipped through two sets of blistering rock ’n’ roll, and the crowd of aging Durango punk rockers were all better people by the end. Garage rock, punk, psychedelic and cosmic country from a bunch of classy Canadians.
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. [email protected].