Worried parents of antisocial black-eyeliner teens should breathe sighs of relief if their embittered seed asks for a
night out and the car to check out local ska band SOB.
Let them go. They'll be in good hands with Timmy, Danny, Robby, Cliffy, Cookie and James - four Fort Lewis College
music students and two friends who got together a year ago to do something about Durango's lack of a ska band.
Everything mainstream today just sounds so canned," said SOB tuba player Robby Chrisman.
Chrisman said ska sounds like freedom" to him.
Ska's pretty simple," said keyboardist Chris Cookie" Cooke, who slams his head while playing original songs like
Colorado" and Encore" on busy nights at the Starlight Lounge and the Summit. Everybody can get into it. Young people
like it. Old people dig our music - I don't know what it is."
A style of music that's never mentioned in school shooters' diaries, or heard in the murmurs of church folk at
emergency meetings, ska is tuneful and upbeat, mildly
annoying, with a go-for-broke punk-rock sensibility - when it's done right. Otherwise, it sounds like what you'd expect
swirls through the head of
a high school band director moments before deciding to jump.
SOB's three-piece horn section is the loudest and most precise part of its sound. The tuba and keyboard do well to
cover for the absent electric bass. The band says the bass isn't missing, and that you don't miss it is stubborn proof
they might be right.
It might have to do with the band's passion for sweaty practice sessions. Twice a week they coordinate their schedules
and meet for pitch-matching and woah-oh-oh-ing at the trombone player's house in Grandview. With no neighbors, they
play as late as they like.
In just a little more than a year and a half, the band has written more than 20 songs and played more than 40
Ska Brewing Co.'s Dave
Thibodeau said he's A-OK with SOB, it being hard to book any ska bands at his Bodo Park venue. He couldn't remember the
last time Durango had a decent homegrown ska act.
There aren't a lot of ska bands from rural areas," he said. There just isn't the same musical knowledge as in big
At first, people here were like, 'What does s-k-a beer stand for?' They didn't know it was a word."
SOB members say they saw an acceptance of their music at their first show, a fundraiser at the Elks Lodge, the mention
of which elicits groans today. Members said they played terribly on an unlucky night. But they remember getting more
people dancing than any other act.
Ralph Dinosaur came up to us after the show and told us we kicked (expletive), and then I heard we made Dave Mensch
jealous," said trombonist Cliffy Fowler, speaking about the local frontman of Formula 151. So I guess it was good on
And apparently, it's been good on other ends, as well.
It's nice now that girls come to my shows," said guitarist James Estelle, who played in metal bands before joining
Estelle can show the proper head-banging technique to avoid injury and has seen Lamb of God in concert like eight
times." He still loves metal but said his musical tastes were too narrowly focused" before.
I love seeing people enjoy the music I play."
SOB will play a free show at 9 p.m. today at the Starlight Lounge.