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Doors open for Kat

Tony Counts, aka Kat in tha Hat, our favorite artist/musician/ poet, found himself unexpectedly on stage last Thursday night at the Carlos Washington concert at Levelz. Halfway through the concert, Carlos Washington walked to the microphone and said, "All right. Tonight is open mic night."

"Up I go," Counts said. "I grabbed the mic, and Carlos started breaking it down, and I just started going off.

"Carlos loved it. He pulled me backstage and gave me a hug."

Washington invited Counts to join him for shows in Sundance and Boulder, but Kat in tha Hat had to say no.

Washington offered to keep in touch and to put Kat in tha Hat up as a new artist profile on his Web site.

"I was shaking," Counts said. "I was tongue tied. The next day I was in a daze."

As proof that the night happened, Counts captured a picture of Washington on his camera phone.

Musicians unite

Jesse Greene is trying to start a union for musicians in Steamboat Springs, and he's calling it the Benchmark Artists Guild or BAG. The 28-year-old moved to Steamboat last summer in a 35-foot converted school bus and with a vision to build a stage on top of the bus for "in the forest" concerts.

Greene is a singer, guitar player and percussionist in the slowly forming local band Pangea. He sees BAG as a matchmaking service for musicians.

"I've always been interested in the idea of the struggling artist," he said. " There are some people who have a lot of contribute to society, but they have to divert their energy to full-time jobs." Greene's ultimate vision for BAG is to form a school where musicians can teach music and spend their time playing music.

He also is looking for a venue to host a BAG open mic where musicians could showcase their talent and network. For more information, call Greene at 819-0768.

Whose Steamboat?

The Steamboat Ski Area apparently is airing a set of commercials across the country to draw people to our lovely valley. The commercials seem to be marketing Steamboat as a place to live as much as a place to ski. The footage of dog sledders, horseback riders and deep powder skiers is overdubbed with soothing music and a calming voiceover that says:

"No road rage."

"No cell phone drivers."

"Just pure mountain living."

"This is my Steamboat."

Apparently, their Steamboat is located in an alternate universe than the road rage, cell phone driving Lincoln Avenue where I live.

-- Autumn Phillips

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