River days, the flea market and real-ass blues


Welcome to “The Goods,” the weekly entertainment look-see that cannot believe how many people are already complaining about how hot it is. It’s not even summer yet, and every day I hear about the sweltering heat. And mostly from people who were whining about how cold it was two months ago. I guess some people just gotta have something to moan about. Not me, I only get upset over important things, like stuff I see on TV. But the weather? Humph, just suck it up, and go jump in the river.

Speaking of jumping in the river, this weekend brings us the 21st annual Animas River Days, and for the first time since the summer I moved to Durango, there seems to be a reason to celebrate. The river is fast and large, and a great boating season is shaping up for our water-minded friends. Which is great because it means my river guide buddies might buy a round for a change. There’s lots to do during River Days, but I have picked out a couple of events that should be fun for participants and spectators alike.

On Friday night at 6 p.m. there will be a river parade down the Animas. I would expect to see the usual host of rafts and kayaks, but I’d also hope for some more wacky entries. Maybe there’ll be things like a barely water-worthy raft of Styrofoam and milk cartons piloted by drunken college kids or better yet, monkeys on inner tubes! I wonder what the Fallen Angel’s entry will be. That’s probably asking too much, and I should say that booze and rapids don’t mix, and it’s NEVER cool to abuse monkeys for nongambling fun. All that aside, I’m sure the parade is going to be something to see.

If I know anything, I know that river folk love their dogs. High noon on Saturday you have your chance to find out just who has the “baddest stick-retrieving dog in town.” Now is the time to find out if your pooch, “Zeppelin,” can out-fetch your neighbor’s dog, “Halen.” If I were a dog owner, I might be a bit wary of the current, as it looks like the Animas could carry a part of beautiful Bodo Park to New Mexico right now. Either way, I’ll join you all with “Mike,” my wife’s cat so he, too, can “fetch some sticks.”

If you are like me (30s, slightly to way overweight, 2-year-old kid, unhealthy desire to watch everything on TV at once) then the last thing you’re going to do is jump in a river. Plus, you sometimes find yourself at a loss for how to make meaningful with the family on the Lord’s Day, Sunday. It is possible that my experience last week could be helpful. After breakfast we all stopped by the Flea Market in the fairgrounds parking lot on North Main where I bought a visor with a Seattle Mariners logo that I’m sure violates both the Mariners’ and Major League Baseball’s copyrights. While at the market, one also can pick up used garden hoses, broken golf clubs and expired New Mexico license plates. All of this plus the promise of lengthy mullets and anti-Arab jingoism on T-shirts make this an at least one-time must.

After that, scoot the girls over to the Rec Center to check out the new splash pad, an interactive water playground for kids. If you have a child under 10, this will become a permanent fixture of your summer. It’d be nice for this to be a well-kept secret as space is limited, but by mid-July there’ll be a line outside as long as the line at Steamworks on a Friday night.

This week’s music “must see” comes in the form of blues man Tinsley Ellis at Storyville, Saturday, June 7. Over his nearly 30 year career, Ellis has released eight or more albums and has been compared in style to Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. He was originally captivated by the likes of those English guitarists but also studied American bluesmen such as Muddy Waters and BB King. If real-ass blues guitar is your thing, than look no further than Tinsley Ellis. Oh yeah, his next gig is in Valencia, Spain, so if you go to the show wish the man a Bon Voyage.

This week’s sign the end is near: I realize stupid TV commercials really seem to get more under my craw than anything, but this week can’t be an exception. During a recent bout of self-induced television stupor, I saw two offensive commercials within a few minutes of one another. The first featured The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” being used to peddle cell phones, of all things. Hmm, and not so long after Joey Ramone died; purely a coincidence I’m sure. The second offense features a song by Jonathan Richman, a personal favorite (among many other things he’s the guy randomly singing in the classic comedy “There’s Something About Mary.”) Here’s a legend who, since the mid-1970s, has steadfastly done things his own way without concern for commerce and is now selling shoes. Ick. On the plus side, Chuck D from Public Enemy, the smartest rap group ever, can be seen in commercials with his mother trying to raise money for under-funded school arts programs. Hold on people, all is not lost after all.

This week’s album review: The latest by teenybopper-faux-punker-irrelevant-haircut-havin’ pop star Pink is a stinker. Owning “Can’t Take Me Home” should be a crime punishable by a lifetime of ceaselessly having to listen to it.

Happy birthday Carol Ann. mpsheahan@yahoo.com





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