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The signs of happiness

Special to the Daily Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra, with singer-guitarist John Kadlecik, plays 8150 Thursday at 10 p.m.
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There’s a “Simpsons” episode where Homer finds a new purpose in life by erecting signs all over Springfield to warn of dangers and alert members of the public to no-go areas. The “Simpsons” being the “Simpsons,” it all gets out of hand providing an amusing 22-minute-long story satirizing America’s obsession with the road sign.Skiing and snowboarding is not exempt from this aspect of life. With ever greater numbers taking up the snow sports and technology, crowded groomers push riders farther a-field, and sign makers have had to push themselves to keep up. When you go up on the hill these days, you are instantly assailed on all sides by triangles, rectangles, flapping banners and spinning circles. Some of them are useful and others less so. A look to the left and you can read the name of the run, below it a color indicating its difficulty level. A look to the right and you can see a rope with a no-pass symbol fluttering in the wind. A glance below reveals a yellow, rhyming-slogan emblazoned banner with instructions to: “Slow it or blow it,” or some such nonsense.Every week when it comes to writing this article, I think of all the signs up on the mountain. Most of us are simply too busy to check out all the music that tours through the Vail Valley, and we need snap references to guide us much in the same way that we need a simple bold color to tell us whether the run we’re about to drop is a nice, cruisy blue or death-dealing, mogul-coated double-black diamond.My aim is to provide something that can be quickly scanned but will lead to the right place. Rock? Follow Rose Hill Drive to 8150 on Saturday. Tie-dye T-shirt and hemp pants? You want Dark Star Orchestra Thursday in Vail. You want something for apres ski, not too expensive? Try Golden Peak today for the Gin Blossoms are playing for free.You should always remember those moments, though, when you sit atop a new run; it’s a double black but it looks intriguing, maybe even enjoyable. Or it’s a green and way below your level, but doesn’t that roller look fun, and you could 100 percent jib that log stump. It’s always worth checking everything out. Just In case you like it.

There’s no such thing as a bad time for a funk band. Especially one as highly regarded as Greyhounds. A relentless touring machine, Greyhounds believes that you make your name live and unscripted. Credited with having a fresh sound, the band swaps instruments and vocal duties that creates a dynamic atmosphere and keeps the audience entertained and enthralled as they try to second guess the band while being driven to dance by their relentless groove.The L.A. natives have played all across the U.S. and used the time playing as a band to tune each other into the collective movement, which has resulted in an all powerful, all funking, party machine. The funk descends on 8150 today at 10 p.m.Gin Blossoms brings spring to the streetsCheckpoint Charlie moves to Golden Peak tonight for a heavy dose of pop and rock with the Gin Blossoms. There’s simply no better way of enjoying the hours after the lifts close than rolling down to Golden Peak and taking in the free concert. That is unless I get that call from the women’s Swedish Massage team saying they need another trainee body. I’m still waiting for the call, and until I get it, I’ll be heading to check out the pop-rock offerings from these Tempe, Ariz., boys.Big in the ’90s before the band members drifted separate ways for a few years, they regrouped and are touring and reportedly recording a new album as well.

When the Beatles broke up and then started popping their little talented clogs, the fans also went their separate ways. No more screaming at airports, no more sold-out concerts night after night. The fans grew a little older, they got jobs in banks and insurance firms, they got married, had kids and left their Beatles LPs in the cupboard, collecting dust. This was not the fate for Grateful Dead followers. Deadheads continued with their love and formed a huge sub-culture of people with a love for jamband and good times. They still got married, got jobs and had kids, but now the kids are getting into the Dead, and cover bands make a brisk trade in recreating moments from Garcia and company’s work.Dark Star Orchestra takes it one step further and plays note-for-note set lists – a complete copy of a Grateful Dead concert. A reincarnation if you will. Deadheads sway and move all the while trying to guess which night they are listening to, plucked from time and played live just for them. These cover masters tour to 8150 Thursday at 10.



Technically not a band as a whole, Hieroglyphics act much like the Wu-Tang did. A hip-hop collective from Oakland, Hieroglyphics comprise of Del the Funky Homosapien, Souls of Mischief, Domino, Pep Love and Casual, the last three of which will be turning up for the show at 8150 on Friday.The weekend looks to be kicking off in style when these boys come to bust out their moves on stage.

If you like System of a Down, Metallica or Lamb of God, there’s a fairly good chance you won’t be going to this show. All acoustic and all bluegrass, The Arkamo Rangers are breezing through town on their tour. A quintet armed with banjos, mandolins, guitar, dobro and bass, lovers of this genre of quiet but powerful music will be packing their pipes and sauntering over to Sandbar in West Vail on Friday to start swaying to the Rangers.



Rose Hill Drive is a Colorado three-piece who like to rock pure and simple. The band is steadily building a fan base from which to fill stadiums and ultimately conquer the world. Brothers Jake and Daniel form the guitar, vocal and bass section of the band, while friend Nate provides the drive on the skins. Shying well away from fashions and trends, Rose Hill Drive has a vision of where it wants to go and believes that people who like rootsy, genuine rock will share that vision and follow the band all the way.A young band, Rose Hill Drive has the energy and is quickly developing the maturity and experience that will take them everywhere.Special guests Slip support at the Saturday night show at 8150.

San Diego rockers are creating such a storm in their Californian hometown, the authorities first tried to use their energy they created to alleviate the state’s power-problems by having the band play next to giant turbines. When the turbines refused to generate any electricity, instead of cracking open cans of cold beer and joining in the crowd and dancing to The Fryday Band’s infectious rock, the authorities instantly regretted both their hair-brained scheme and dropping all that acid in the ’60s.Their next move was to send the group out on the road in the hope that the power from their music will be evenly distributed all over America.It is Vail’s turn to hear the original, new sounds of The Fryday Band on Tuesday in Vail at 8150.Today – Greyhounds at 8150 at 10 p.m. / Gin Blossoms at Golden Peak at 6 p.m.Thursday -Dark Star Orchestra at 8150 at 10 p.m. / Mike Dillon at the Sandbar at 10 p.m.Friday – Hieroglyphics at 8150 at 10 p.m. / The Arkamo Rangers at Sandbar at 10 p.m.Saturday – Rose Hill Drive with Slip at 8150 at 10 p.m.Tuesday -The Fryday Band at Sandbar at 10 p.m.Vail, Colorado


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