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What Music looks like...

Christopher Laursen's picture

The fact that Aspen has such definitive seasons makes me a happy camper. Like my music and my stock portfolio I respect diversity. Music has been paramount for me through nearly all of my life and a career for my entire adult life. It seems to come full circle for me every five to ten years... One of my jobs is hosting the midday show on KSPN Radio here on the western slope. I have always been on the air in one facet or another but much of my career like my musical tastes have been more "searching" than "finding" and as I ski the mountains of Aspen, Mountain bike the single track or ride my motorcycle around the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond the mountains and the skies sing to me on many levels and in many tones. I woke last Saturday morning in my cosy little place in Mountain Valley on the East side of Aspen tucked just a short distance from Independence Pass (which incidentally will open to cars after the 15th annual ride for the Pass this weekend) to a chilling 34 degrees. I was STOKED! Because the skies were relatively clear after a long string of Rainy or snowy weekends for the last Month or so. I geared up, ironically, with most of the same stuff I usually wear to Ski. Including full long underwear, Ski goggles and Balaclava and set out through the now very quiet (thankfully) Aspen Main Street. When comparing music to the seasons here in Aspen I'd say the beginning of May would be either a steady dose of "Tempted" by Squeeze or maybe a slow rolling rendition of Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" Now, I'm not saying that the melancholy sounds of these love songs, happy or sad depending on how you take them. Are a perfect fit for anybody here in town. My point is that we all have a soundtrack to our lives and this area makes your internal jukebox work overtime. I may have had some banging Arcade Fire or some rippin' Sonic Youth stuck between my ears a couple months ago but for some reason it's just not "Screwdriver to Guitar Fret" season (something the Thurston from sonic Youth does masterfully) and neither is it Widespread Panic, Jummie Buffet or Jack Johnson season yet. Early May in Aspen is a pallet cleansing time for the spicy Appetisers that fill your head when we get consistent warmth and a shorter distance between High temps and Low Temps... Right now I need to Move my Tomato plant twice a day. When that's not the case... My internal iPod will get louder, clearer and happier. There's New Freddy Jones Band out this year for the first time in like 10 years! That's Quintessential Mountain Music (albeit not The Samples) for the months of June through August! By the way Freddy Jones Band will be playing the Belly Up here in Aspen July 29 go to www.bellyupaspen.com for your tickets.

As I made my way down valley on my bike I was able to shed the balaclava. The goggles turned to sun glasses and the air wasn't as tough to breathe from the cold and music entered my head Early Jane's Addiction's Mountain Song... "Comming Down The Mountain!!!!!!!!!" My bike got faster and I leaned back in the saddle in comfort and freedom... The rest of my day was spent racing through Redstone and on to Marble (where I had the best pulled pork sandwich at a little BBQ joint) Look for the Big Black Smoker you can't miss it! It's just past the 200 yard grass airfield? WTF? My ride up McClure Pass clicked over to Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture and the madness ensued... Roaring by field after field of baby lambs guarded by enormous sheep dogs just like the ones in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons! Racing the runoff next to the river I felt like I was on another planet! the sound of my bike was constant and the flow of the world around me felt familiar and safe...

Whatever your musical tastes, it doesn't matter. You have your internal "random" button and it will play for you exactly what you need to hear when you need to hear it. No iPod needed, just your mind's Eye. My hope for you is that you're "Finding" more than "Searching" Like I finally have here in Aspen and the surrounding landscapes...

Rock On!
Chris