An old friend, barbershop bliss and Relay for Life

by Ted Holteen

Remember Mike Sheahan? That’s OK, I didn’t either, until he said, “Remember me? I’m the guy whose column you’ve been plagiarizing for a year with your name where mine used to be.” Then it all came back to me. Oh, that Mike Sheahan. Well, Mike has re-settled in the Pacific Northwest and is at it again. After finding out the hard way that Starbucks doesn’t cost any less in Oregon just because it’s closer to Seattle, our hero has turned once again to the written word to bitch about the high price of coffee and laud the merits of bands you and I won’t hear of for another year. It’s called “Mike: The Magazine,” and seeing as how I’ve already co-opted Mike’s column, using his own words verbatim to describe the e-rag shouldn’t rile him too much: “Our idea is to provide a worthwhile read for the near mid-life punker/slacker of the ’80s and early-’90s. You know, regular folk like us. We still wear hip shoes but find ourselves just as concerned with real estate trends and the rising cost of health care as with the next cool band blowing through town … keep in mind that we are a web-based magazine, not a blog. The so-called blog society has one thing in mind: making the world seem to care about reading about some college sophomore’s breakfast or what Ann Coutler thinks. In a phrase, blogs are worthless. Nay, it is a web-based magazine. We will publish on a (nearly) monthly basis, we will have feature articles as well as regular departments and columns written by some of the most insightful and witty people I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking with.”

Contributors to the debut issue include former Durangoans Jason Repko, Dante Dominick and Matt Joyce, who now writes for a newspaper in Waco, Texas. And Liggett. In what must surely be Sheahan’s most embarrassing oversight, my work was not solicited for the initial publication. Shame, shame. But what’s there is, in fact, insightful and witty. Check it out at

Speaking of people who have shared libations with Mike Sheahan, a couple of them will be playing live music on Friday afternoon for your listening enjoyment. Erik Nordstrom and Dan Leek, of Lawn Chair Kings fame, have launched a renegade sect and are calling themselves The Sub-Bourbon Boys, which is rather clever, if not insightful and witty. They’ll be playing the greatest hits of the Kings in addition to any Jimmy Buffett cover you can name from 5-9 p.m. at El Patio. Please note that I did not write “the El Patio” or “der the el la patio.” For those of you (and it seems like there are a bunch) who skipped the first eight or 12 years of grammar instruction, that’s what those who have a working knowledge of their native language call a redundancy. But what can be expected of a vapid generation nannied by Matt LeBlanc and Courtney Cox and who think it’s fine to say “what’s up?” at a job interview?

After the Sub-Bourbons, make happy hour last as long as the workday and head into The Summit for Freewill Recovery. Since their winter re-tooling, the band has been polishing its sound in advance of its first CD, scheduled for release later this summer. Friday’s sets will be a mix of new songs for the CD as well as other originals and

what I’ve always found to be well-selected covers that are a nice break from the tired standards usually heard on the bar band circuit. They take the stage sometime after 9 p.m.


what I’ve always found to be well-selected covers that are a nice break from the tired standards usually heard on the bar band circuit. They take the stage sometime after 9 p.m.

The other day, I was struck with two unique thoughts: One, why don’t people paddle canoes on railroad tracks? And two, why aren’t there more barbershop quartets in Broadway productions? Of course I’m insane, but there’s more to it than that, believe it or not. Both questions may appear absurd upon first inspection, but the logical progressions are equally valid if one considers that both canoes and trains are modes of transportation, and both barbershop and show tunes are genres of music, however disparate. But one of my mad visions is about to become a reality, and as a hint, no paddlers will lose life or limb under the steel wheels of the D&SNGRR. That’s right – heaven awaits Saturday night at the FLC Concert Hall as “Barbershop Goes Broadway” begins at 7:01 p.m. (I don’t know the significance of the odd start time, but all media releases that I’ve seen are stressing the fact. Please pardon my ignorance, again.) The evening will be hosted by The Durango Barbershoppers, who have taken unheard-of liberties with the word “quartet” by forming a 25-member a cappella chorus. There will be five guest quartets, including A Woman’s Prerogative, which, as you may have guessed, is a woman’s barbershop group, the Queen Latifahs of the evening, if you will. Despite the impressive list of chefs, it is the menu itself that offers the most intrigue, as the harmonizers will tackle Broadway standards like “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and God knows what else. I’d be disappointed if the women didn’t do “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right out of My Hair,” but I’m rarely consulted on such decisions.

This last item comes from the “Do as I say, not as I do” department. Beginning Friday at noon, the American Cancer Society will hold its annual Relay for Life at Dennison Field on the FLC campus. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that cancer sucks. Anything that is intended to help eradicate it is good, and this event is one of the American Cancer Society’s biggest annual fund-raisers. The idea is that teams will run or walk, relay style, for 24 hours around the track, with campsites and pledge challenges and all kinds of fun surrounding a very serious cause. I never run, and while I enjoy walking from time to time, I will not be in town this weekend. My contribution is to implore others to participate in any way they can, which can be done by calling 247-0278.

About the not-in-town thing: I will be well on my way to Idaho in my new (to me) Winnebago (more on that to come) by the time you read this, and I will not have internet access next week in the Salmon River wilderness. Poor me. But Lindsay Nelson will return, calloused by the attacks from readers who simply can’t handle the truth and have little to no sense of humor. I hope she pisses someone else off in my absence. I’ll be back in two weeks with the first installment of the saga of my quest to be a pilot. Don’t laugh – it’s already started.

If you can’t keep your opinions to yourself, you can now send them to me at I rarely read it, but give it a shot. Pistons in six. •




In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows