Furniture as Art, decades of DBC and international hunks

by Chris Aaland

here’s no doubt that Durango’s social calendar is chock full of fund-raisers for educational, environmental and artistic causes. For an event to be long-running and successful (think Chocolate Fantasia, the Taste of Durango, TLC for FLC and Oktoberfest), it has to be unique while benefiting something the entire community can rally behind. While most succeed at the latter, finding a creative idea that can be sustained year after year is difficult.

KDUR’s ninth annual Furniture as Art is one that does both. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at the Durango Arts Center, more than 50 local artists will have their works sold to the highest bidder. The event also includes live jazz by Tom MacCluskey and Bob Newnam, hors d’ouevres from Norton’s Catering, beer from Ska Brewing and wine courtesy Wagon Wheel Liquors. Some art will be auctioned off live; some will be featured in a silent auction, along with an assortment of local products and services. The event typically raises $15,000 for Fort Lewis College’s community radio station, although expectations are higher this year.

If you haven’t purchased your ticket in advance, then drop everything and immediately head to the Durango Arts Center ticket office. “If you think you’re going to come up and by a ticket at the door, you’re mistaken,” said KDUR manager Bryant Liggett. “This event usually sells out.” He joked that we may someday see a scalper buy up all the tickets and hock them in front of Steamworks.

In all seriousness, Liggett is proud of the event that he’s been part of since its inception in 2002. “It’s grown from people making funky-looking furniture from things they found at the thrift store to fancy furnishings, sculptures and other art,” he said. You may bid on tables and chairs, things like mirrors, wall decorations and even a grandfather clock will also be featured.

Durango’s world renowned craft beer industry officially turns 20 this week! Lady Falconburgh’s hosts the 20th anniversary party for Durango Brewing Co. on Saturday. The first keg of DBC’s 20th anniversary honey-orange blossom Belgian ale will be tapped at 4:20 p.m. to kick off festivities. Throughout the night at the 20-minute mark of each hour, DBC souvenirs will be given away. An assortment of DBC beers will also be on tap for $2 a pint. DBC has long supported the local bluegrass scene, so it’s fitting that Waiting on Trial will be on hand to pick and sing its high and lonesome sounds. Established on March 20, 1990, DBC is Durango’s original, and Colorado’s third-oldest, microbrewery.

Back in the late 1800s, Durango had a red light district filled with “sporting houses,” as they were known, between Ninth and 10th streets, west of what was then known as Railroad Street. Flash forward some 125 years, and the red light district has moved a few blocks south … only this time around, it’s the men doing the entertaining. The Henry Strater Theatre takes Ladies Night to a whole new level this weekend with the International Hunks all-male revue on Friday and Saturday. The acclaimed seven-person troupe isn’t just pretty faces and ripped abs. These talented performers have appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance,” “The Late Show with

David Letterman” and MTV Puerto Rico, among other programs. Their 90-minute routine includes intricately choreographed dances, exotic costumes and muscle-laden performers. Show times are 9 p.m. Friday and 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Discounts (see this week’s ad in the Telegraph) and bachelorette party packages are available.

Although Spring Break and the return to Daylight Savings Time have come and gone, the vernal equinox officially occurs Saturday. The Summit kisses winter goodbye with a three-day Equinox Celefunktion starting Friday. Three-day passes (available at Southwest Sound) get you a host of music, including All Good (Friday’s 6-8:30 p.m. happy hour), J. Wail, Peter Robot and Smiley Coyote (10 p.m. Friday), Rupnow & friends (Saturday’s 6-8:30 p.m. happy hour), the Fort Know Five with Heavyweight Dub Champion (late night Saturday), and the Pimps of Joytime (Sunday). Spanning the R&B globe from hip-hop to guitar-driven funk to Latin, Afrobeat and classic soul, the lineup is heavily laden with national talent as well as a few local acts.

The Summit also welcomes rapper Louis Logic tonight. With three studio albums and an EP under his belt, Logic uses the singer/songwriter approach to crafting hip-hop records. He’s infamously hailed as the king of drinking anthems and quirky adult love songs. The bill also includes Type and Homeboy Sandman.

Rising blues star John Nemeth plays the Abbey at 8 p.m. Saturday. Known equally for his singing and harmonica playing, Nemeth has opened for the likes of Robert Cray, Keb’ Mo’ and Earl Thomas.

Jack Tallmadge and his fellow Miserabillies bring country to Ska Brewing World Headquarters from 5 ‘til 7 p.m. tonight. This crew dusts off classic country hits of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s from guys named Hank, Lefty and Merle.

Head south to the Aztec Civic/Senior Center for a fund-raiser for the Aztec Boys and Girls Club on Saturday afternoon. A Harley will be raffled at 3 p.m., with live music by the Kirk James Blues Band.

Elsewhere: the Kirk James Blues Band at Purgy’s Pub at Durango Mountain Resort from 2-5 p.m. today; the Jelly Belly Boogie Band at the Derailed Saloon at 9 p.m. Friday; the Diabolical Sound Platoon at the Starlight on Saturday; and the Daydreamers at the Starlight on Tuesday.

The Skyhawk women’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II Central Region championship Monday, earning a trip to the Elite Eight in St. Joseph, Mo. FLC plays Seattle Pacific on Tuesday in St. Joseph, Mo. Should they keep winning, semifinals are slated for Wednesday, with the national title bout on Fri., March 26. I hope to make the 14-hour pilgrimage.

Five things I’m looking forward to in the Kansas City area (30 miles from St. Joseph):

1. Ribs

2. Burnt ends

3. Brisket

4. Sausage

5. Steaks

Haulin’ a truckload full of hot avant-garde? E-mail me at



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