Beer-B-Que, Dog Party and Wayne the Train

Another Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, taking with it 95-degree days, three-day summertime weekends and the roar of thousands of improperly muffled motorcycles. One of those three will be sorely missed. Last weekend found yours truly holed up in a three-bedroom midtown bungalow (described like that, it almost seems worth the rent), venturing into town solely for provisions. Not to say the events of last weekend were a little crazy, but during a short four-block walk up Main Avenue on Saturday night, I witnessed two fights, five acts of men behaving inappropriately toward women, and a possible racist epitaph. It’s hard to be certain about the last part due to deafening background noise, but suffice to say the rally’s “doctors and lawyers” must have turned in early that night. Ah, but The Goods is all about the future. Here we have a chance to put the messiness of last week behind us and look toward a brighter, less profanity-laden new day.

Your week of local-filled fun begins right now: Thursday, Sept. 4. Quietly fold this paper under your arm and head straight to the Ska Brewery for the weekly Ska-B-Que. As with all things related to the out of doors and warm weather, Ska-B-Ques will soon be drawing to an end, meaning you’ll have to go inside to hob knob with the Ska elite. This week’s free food will be provided by El Patio and, as always, pints are only two bucks. This is exactly the kind of thing we Durangoans could use to become reacquainted with one another as tourist season draws to an end. Ska is located at 545 Turner Drive in scenic and historic Bodo Park. Ska-B-Ques happen in the late afternoon, and you can call 247-5792 if you need more information.

Dog owners and lovers have their own chance to Rally in the Rockies this weekend at the Riverview Sports Complex with the second annual “Bark in the Park.” On Saturday, Sept. 6, at 11 a.m., dog enthusiasts can take part, with their pets, in various canine-related games and contests. The day’s events include a doggy fashion show and if there is anything cuter than a dressed up puppy dog, I just haven’t seen it.

Sure, there is nothing more annoying than people who treat and talk about their pets as if they are children (real parents can’t put their kids outside at night or leave them in the car for hours while they shop, OK?) But this week is all about returning to our small mountain-town reality, and what better way to do so than going to a dog party in a local park? The Riverview Sports Complex is located at 2900 Mesa Ave.

While many of our college kids were out of Durango this summer touring with Phish, working for the family dry cleaning biz or serving their community service, the boys of Freewill Recovery have been here honing their musical craft. On Friday, Sept. 5, the fruits of their labor will be on display at Storyville. They put on a great show, and this is yet another way to reunite with a community that, for the summer, has been on hiatus.

This week’s sign that all is well: Recently, I found myself in the position of having to pay for cable TV. Perhaps feeling a bit guilty about enjoying years of landlord-provided free cable, I decided to go nuts and subscribe to the whole enchilada. Television has always occupied a large part of my day, but now I now have four ESPN’s and four VH1’s with which to waste my time. Just before sitting down to write this, I watched an entire baseball playoff game from 1984. (It was a great game: Steve Garvey hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to force a game five for the Padres.) If the next time you see me I have a beard to my waist and am covered by Frito crumbs and bed sores, you’ll know why. Now I’ve got to run, “Fantasy Island’s” playing on TVLand.

This week’s most invaluable album: Plug in any album by Wayne Hancock and ask a friend to guess the decade in which it was recorded and most will guess the Texas country swing artist’s songs come from the 1940s or 1950s. Truth is, Wayne “The Train” Hancock didn’t begin releasing albums until 1995 but his work possesses a timeless sound that betrays its currency. “Swingtime,” a live album recorded at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas, is arguably his best to date.

Since his first release, “Thunderstorms and Neon Signs,” Hancock has been largely regarded as the “real deal” in the world of country swing, heir to the throne once occupied by the likes of Hank Williams Sr. and Bob Wills. “Swingtime” does right on both counts. Like the eldest Williams, Hancock can be heartbreakingly plaintive one moment (“Highway 54”) then turn up the hillbilly the next (“Big City Good Time Gal”). And, thanks largely to Dave Biller and Eddie Biebel on guitar and pedal steel, tunes like “Tag Along” or “Juke Joint Jumpin’” rival any of Wills’ jazzy swing.

Hancock is not motivated by fitting into some modern genre or even by selling tons of records, although he surely wouldn’t mind moving a few units. All he wants to do is play music. “Swingtime” is all the evidence one needs to know that he has made the right career choice.

Rebuttals are encouraged.




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