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"Not everything is mapped out, but I think we're going to be up and running fast," Carducci adds. "I just hope the business hasn't changed too much."

Closer to home, Ziggie's Saloon, a venerable joint located at 4923 West 38th Avenue, is in a transition stage. Joe Teitsworth, who's owned the club since 1986, sold it to the SNAVS Corporation, an Arvada concern, last month. Teitsworth made the move in order to spend more time with his family; he has two children--Katie, 15, and Kris, 13. But the decision also frees him up to compete on the rodeo circuit. He's won a neat pile of cash in the past few weeks, and he's hoping to add to that total when he competes in the Texas Circuit Finals in Waco at the end of the month.

Because Teitsworth had a great deal to do with his venue's friendly ambience and its concentration on live music (he's a diehard blues booster), Ziggie's regulars can be forgiven for fearing the worst. But Teitsworth has visited the property several times since turning it over, and he likes what he sees. "They're bringing new ideas to it, which is neat, but they want it to have the same feel," he says. As an example, he cites the regular Sunday jam session, which had been the domain of guitarist Bob Hornbuckle, who died last year. "Bobby's kids, Brian and Michael, are carrying on the tradition, and they sound great. It's a good opportunity for them, because it's giving them a chance to start a whole new era at Ziggie's."

Get out there and do something. On Friday, December 19, the Blue Satellite throws a neighborhood Christmas party featuring Junis Pond, Micah and the Soul Surfers; the 15th Street Tavern stages the "Holly Jolly Hectics Christmas Formal," starring the Hectics, Steerjockey and Gina Go Faster; Westword contributor Marty Jones brings his Pork Boilin' Po' Boys to the Lion's Lair; Fat Mama spreads out at the Moon Time Bar in Nederland; Big Jim Slade lives large at the Mercury Cafe; and the Damn Shambles tidy up at the Market Street Lounge. On Saturday, December 20, the Blast-Off Heads celebrate the release of their first CD, Making H Sounds, at a Bluebird Theater Christmas party also attended by the Hate Fuck Trio, Acrobat Down, the Foggy Mountain Fuckers and Gina Go Faster, and Brethren Fast speeds to the Skyline Cafe. And on Wednesday, December 24, the Spankers engage in corporal punishment at Cricket on the Hill. They know if you've been naughty or nice.

--Michael Roberts

Backbeat's e-mail address is: Michael_Roberts@westword.com. While you're online, visit Michael Roberts's Jukebox at www.westword.com

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