Thirteen, careless smoking and fatsos

by Lindsay Nelson

Raise the threat level – it’s Thursday the 13th. Maybe not as scary as Friday the 13th, but definitely about as scary as John McCain’s skin. The roots of what some may call an irrational fear of bad luck attached to this number may go back to the earliest human civilization. Some say it’s because we couldn’t count past 12 without taking off our shoes. (And everyone knows that fingerless math is unnatural and wrong). The Scandinavians believed that the number 13 signified bad luck, springing from their mythological 12 demigods, who were joined by a 13th demigod, Loki, an evil cruel one, who brought upon humans great misfortune. Others theorize that Christians disavow the number thanks to Judas Iscariot sitting at the 13th table setting at the last supper. Even back in Before Christ times, 13 was anathema – The Code of Hammurabi doesn’t have a rule #13. In our supposedly more enlightened modern times, skyscrapers are still built without 13th floors, and venerable geek institution Microsoft will not be naming its next Office release the logical Office 13; they’re skipping straight to 14. Creepy. So beware, all ye tridecaphobians – the second-worst day of the year is here.

If you do survive to Friday, you’re in for a treat, because Dave Insley & His Careless Smokers are teaming up with our own Lawn Chair Kings for an all-out, rock ‘n’ roll and twang show at the Summit. Whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool fan of honky-tonk and rockabilly music or not, you’re bound to have a damned good time at this show. The Austin-based band boasts not only the brilliant songwriting and resonant, craggy baritone of Dave Insley – not to mention his party-happy charisma and cool hat – but also an incredibly tight and rocking group of musicians. And of course, The Lawn Chair Kings are one of Durango’s most favorite rock bands of all time, and they’re also good friends of the Insley clan, meaning you can except the boys onstage to party just as hard as you do. So head on up to the Summit on Friday night and exercise your heal-kicking muscles.

As if that weren’t enough, the abovementioned crew heads out to Dolores the next night for an intimate show at the historic Hollywood Bar, downtown at 417 Central Ave. It may be less crowded than the Summit, but the folks are almost certain to be three times wilder and a couple notches deeper into the whiskey bottle. And that, my friends, is how you have a good time in Dolores.

Once your hangover wears off (or to help it along with some hair of the dog), don’t miss the Saturday afternoon delight that is the Tour de Fat, a Ballyhoo of Bikes and Beer. Fort Collins brewery New Belgium’s philanthropic cycling circus hits the road for its eighth season this year. Costumes and decorated bikes reign supreme as the participants come for a casual ride, good music and entertainment, then stay, of course, for the beer. Amid the hoopla – this year’s slogan is “Salvation from Dumpnation” – Tour de Fat also raises money for local charities. Here in Durango, the beneficiary is the San Juan Mountains Association. Admission is free, and every biodegradable plastic cup of beer you buy helps pay for the work of the SJMA. Check it out from noon to 6 p.m. at 12th and Main. Throughout the day, there will be live performances by Handsome Little Devils, Circus Contraption and the Asylum Street Spankers. And, one lucky and committed citizen will hand over the keys to his or her car and receive a brand-new, custom made commuter bike and trailer as winner of the Bike Trade contest/challenge. Throw on your best circus costume and cruise down on whatever wheeled contraption you’ve got.

Dave Insley

This weekend is also the Telluride Blues and Brews festival, a post-Labor Day celebration of live music and pretending it’s not too cold to sit outside all day at high elevation. Some highlights of this year’s lineup are: Los Lonely Boys, Keb’ Mo’, The Black Crowes, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, JJ Gray & Mofro, and Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band. (Whew, that’s a lot of ampersands.) The music and beer start flowing on Friday and run through Sunday; one-day and three-day passes, with or without camping, are available online.

Attention all strummers, drummers and hummers – KDUR radio will hold another of its infamous Cover Nights this fall, and bands must sign up soon to get a coveted slot on the program. This year, we’re covering The Who oeuvre on Nov. 10 at the Summit. Get in touch with Liggett at KDUR to sign up and start learning those lyrics. It’ll be lame if everybody does “My Generation.” •

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