by Mike Sheahan
T he official start of the 2004 Major
League Baseball season is still weeks away, but already the game
has experienced several great losses. First, Reds owner Marge
Schott hauls off and dies, then the son of baseball great Ted
Williams follows suit. John Henry Williams is the guy who, based on
a contract written on not much more than a cocktail napkin, had the
baseball legend's head removed and body cryogenically frozen. This
is a very disturbing trend. Really, who knows what could be next.
Maybe George Steinbrenner loses all his money in a crooked Bunco
scheme or Tim McCarver develops permanent laryngitis? The baseball
world can only hope for both.
The days leading up to
St. Patrick's Day are filled with so many options for entertainment
diversions, that one might just be tempted to observe this year's
holiday by staying home and watching "Finnegan's Rainbow." Surely
that won't happen, even if Van Halen and Def Leppard played a
double bill the night before St. Patty's, plenty of us would find
enough reason to pretend to be Irish on Wednesday to warrant yet
another boycotting of the pointless holiday.
|Halden Wofford and the Hi Beams
The week really heats up on Saturday, March 13, with the return
of Halden Wofford and the Hi Beams to Storyville. Last fall
the band played to a very enthusiastic crowd, and it's probably
safe to say that most everyone in the crowd that night will
be back for more Saturday. Halden and the Hi Beams play authentic,
real deal honky tonk and country music in and around Denver,
and the group's show is the first in a line of many that will
culminate in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest music
conference. Among the folks the Hi Beams cite as influences
are pioneers Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams and Bob Wills, and
they mean it. Their mix of high lonesome twang and tasteful
guitar, steel and mandolin sound just as right on the stage
of a smoky bar today as they would have in your grandpa's barn
50 years ago. Even if you think you don't like country music,
go see this band. Truth is, the real deal is hard to come by,
and these guys are it.
After a night of honky tonkin' and carousing, the best idea is to scoop up
the kids (borrow some if you don't have your own) and do something
wholesome and productive. On Sunday, March 14, The Community
Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College has the solution for redeeming
your late night self. The duet of Regan
Patno and Julia Snyder, better known as The Tweaksters , will
present their acrobatic juggling act at 3 p.m. The Tweaksters
seem to be partly jugglers, partly acrobats and partly comics.
The result should be solid entertainment for the entire family,
even your over-partied self. The Tweaksters should make for
a relatively affordable afternoon of family togetherness.
An afternoon such as the
above, coupled with (finally) a good night's sleep should leave you
ready for another night of fun and unbridled wackiness. On Monday,
March 15, head to the Abbey Theatre for a night of said fun
Lindley and Wally Ingram . Ingram's expert drumming coupled
with Lindley's guitar, steel guitar, banjo and a host of
instruments I can't even identify, have led some people to call
them the best two-person group there is. "Mr. Dave" constantly wins
awards for his lap steel ability and is equally adept at the other
instruments. His music travels the world in terms of style. I
describe his stage presence as what one might expect if Weird Al
were a supremely talented musician. Hackish descriptions aside, one
should just know that the Lindley/Ingram ticket is the perfect
bookend to what should be a wild weekend.
Website of the Week: www.toiletwisdom.com/"
is a site that explores the world of bathroom graffiti. Something
about relieving oneself in public areas inspires the inner poet
in all of us. From the relevant: "God is dead' Nietzsche" and,
in someone else's hand "Nietzsche is dead' God", to the bewildering:
"Read The Goods,'" bathroom graffiti has touched us all in some
way. The toilet wisdom site gives one a chance to reflect on
the ways such misspelled scrawling, often done with car keys,
has touched all of us.
This Week's Album to Drop
Everything and Buy: The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet
(NRBQ) has been turning out
superb pop rock for 35 years now, and some geniuses finally got
around to putting out a tribute album. Credit the folks at
SpiritHouse records for eventually picking up the dropped ball and,
as the label's first ever endeavor, releasing "The Q People." Yo la
Tengo, Steve Earle and Widespread Panic are bands all joined by one
thing, a professed love for NRBQ. The Q has always been about the
good times, and the bands involved on this tribute play right into
that hand. On his version of "A Girl Like That," Steve Earle sounds
more joyful and relaxed than he has in a couple years. The truth is
that NRBQ's songs are so good that an album of me snoring them in
my sleep would probably sound alright.
Tribute albums show up
all too frequently and often with no good reason, but "The Q
People" is a tribute that is not only deserved but also very well
done. Widespread Panic's version of "Ain't No Horse," while going
on too long, is quite tolerable all the way through, and the
album's strangest entry, a 15-plus minute SpongeBob SquarePants
entry called "Little Floaters Wild Weekend," is worth the time.
True NRBQ fans will have fun counting the Q references during the
As the members of NRBQ
age and their records go out of print, I can only hope this tribute
will encourage a new generation of music fans to explore the band's
history and discover some truly historic music.
Long live the Q.