If the ego of a town is the economy and the landscape is the super ego, then local music is the id.
Listen to Dr. John or the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and you have heard the subconscious thoughts of New Orleans. Put the Grateful Dead in your stereo, close your eyes, and you are wandering through the memories of San Francisco.
Talk with Lou Reed or Sonic Youth and you have only begun to explore the particular neurosis of Manhattan.
On stage, the unconscious of any town is expressing itself. No chamber association or city government can control what happens after 10 p.m. when a musician plugs in his guitar. Late night is when we explore the recesses of our collective mind.
During tourist season, Steamboat stages are full of touring acts from elsewhere, hired to draw the aprÃs ski crowds. It's only during the off-season that the local scene gets a chance to be heard.
As soon as the leaves started to change, Worried Men found a regular gig at Mahogany Ridge. I've seen Bill Smith more than a couple of times in the past three weeks, and the Brew Glass Boys have been busy. Even the reclusive Buzz Cut Sheep have a gig scheduled tonight with the aforementioned two bands.
To someone just arriving in town, Steamboat will appear to have a lively and diverse local music scene at least until November.
I love to see big acts coming in from out of town, exposing me to the outside musical world, but it's easy to forget the importance of supporting the guitars and drums that live here.
A short list of local bands, brainstormed over coffee. (Sorry if I left you out):
Brew Glass Boys
Buzz Cut Sheep
Steamboat Jazz Quartet (if they can replace Andy)
Yampa Valley Boys
Alas, the monkeys rolled over and one fell off.
Bill Smith, which has become a local scene staple in just three short months, is leaving for the bigger and better.
I realize people don't move here for the music. Steamboat is not Austin, Texas, or Athens, Ga. It's a ski town, and musicians who want to "make it" have to leave. Still, I have a feeling akin to parental separation anxiety. I want them to be independent. I want them to pursue their dreams. But I'm not ready for them to grow up.
I want them to stay at home. I want them to entertain ME. Here.
Who will express the long drum solos, funky keyboards and trippy, swirly fractals of my iddiness? Tell me, Bill Smith. Who?