Vote for music
New Year’s is one of those times when you get loads of great ideas swimming about in your head. As the booze kicks in, midnight approaches and your friends gather round you with big beaming smiles pinned to their faces. It seems to be a time of year that simply lends itself to making big decisions. It is, of course, over-commercialized and generally way too hectic an evening, but even the most cynical among us can take the time to look back over the preceding 365 days and take them apart with a view to making the next 12 months a year without the same mistakes. Live and learn, as they say.The trick is to make your resolution something that you actually want to happen. You can talk about giving up smoking as much as you want, but most people’s resolutions of this nature are founded upon the simple fact that smokers love smoking, and they couldn’t think of anything else to resolve to give up. My resolutions are simple: Spend more time with my friends in what will probably be my last season here. Ride harder than my last two seasons and take in as much of this beautiful valley has to offer in the short time I have here. This means a careful blend of riding, working and partying, and when it comes to the latter, there are few better places to party than in a music venue with a live band playing in front of you and a cheeky grin haphazardly attached to your face. I hope I’ll see you there.Moonshine Still’s lunar lunacyThough its name suggests gentle strings playing softly upon the ear and peace pipes being passed from henna-tattooed hand to henna-tattooed hand, Moonshine Still’s music is far from the obvious. Held together by distinctive lyrics, its music shifts quickly from one style to the next crossing paths with metal, techno, soul and reggae. Here is a band that is quietly going about the business of making a name for itself without fuss or hype. A slow but solid burning future awaits, and those who venture out to 8150 to take them in will probably be chatting about it for quite a while.
John McKay Band plays from a seasoned heartWhen you’ve been playing music for 25 years, it’s pretty much a given that you’ve got skills. John McKay has been doing exactly that, and his skills are recognized far and wide by fans and peers alike. He’s a down-to-earth musician who sings about man’s place in nature and protest songs all wrapped in his folk-blues style. McKay has seen a lot, and every time he plays, he opens a window onto those experiences.Mission 19 takes control of The ClubWhen you go to the The Club in Vail on Thursday and Friday, be sure to watch where you tread because Mission 19 takes no prisoners. Full of energy and armed to the teeth with deadly tunes and party attitude, Mission 19 intends to carry out a full-on hit-and-run on us innocent snow-lovers. Venture out if you dare, but don’t be under any illusion that you’ll come back in one piece. Make your peace with God now.Black Sheep teach old school to new kids
It’s been a while since Black Sheep released its debut “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,'” but for those who remember the popular hip-hop album, Friday at 8150 is a date to be slipped into the mental diary. Black Sheep plays hip-hop the way it’s supposed to be played. Psychonaut trips into SamanaAlthough truthfully only one half of Psychonaut, DJ Ben Bussard rocks into Vail on Friday, and behind him trails a big record box full of psychedelic treats to delight the brain, ears and body all at the same time. There is no better place in Vail to hear a great DJ than Samana, which is handy because that’s exactly where he’ll be playing.Oakhurst lean back into rockOakhurst is a Denver-based band that takes a step back from extended jams and overlong instrumental sections that can dog less-accomplished bands, and the group leans into a more rock groove while still retaining its bluegrass roots and sensibilities. Raw and rustic, this is a band that will have you nodding, tapping, swaying and dancing without you knowing anything about it.
Super Diamond is nearly flawlessIt must be a strange life being a tribute band, to spend so much of your time pretending to be someone else. Super Diamond is a Neil Diamond tribute band that’s playing the Vilar Center on Saturday. I imagine it’s one of those shows where people deny all knowledge of what’s going on and make up elaborate stories to their neighbors only to bump into them on the front row all wearing Neil Diamond T-shirts.Vote for Pedro TourEfren Ramirez will probably be forever known as Napoleon Dynamite’s friend and the quiet school-presidential aspirant Pedro, but on Saturday at 8150, he will show off different skills from sweet bikes, hooking up with chicks and being the only kid in school with a mustache when he spins the wheels of steel at 8150. Although it’s unclear what music he plays, the chance for hundreds of fans to go and boogie with one of the all time anti-heroes of the silver screen is a precious one indeed. What are your skills?Tunes for the week
ThursdayMoonshine Still at 8150 at 10 p.m.John McKay Band at Sandbar at 10 p.m.Mission 19 at The Club at 10 p.m.FridayBlack Sheep at 8150 at 10 p.m. Oakhurst at Sandbar at 10 p.m.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Psychonaut at Samana at 10 p.m.SaturdaySuper Diamond at Vilar Center at 7:30 p.m.Vote for Pedro Tour at 8150 at 10 p.m.TuesdayCarlos Washington and Russell Batiste at Sandbar at 10 p.m.