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
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
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
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