The local bandwagon, inflatables and virtual Grand

by Chris Aaland

Time to jump on the Durango bandwagon. First, our craft brewers brought home four medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last month. Steamworks garnered a pair of golds and a silver, while Ska won a bronze. The big winners were Steamworks’ What in the Helles?, best among 42 entries in the Munich Style Helles category, and Backside Stout, tops among 39 beers in the Oatmeal Stout category. Steamworks co-owner Brian McEachron told me that the Backside’s victory was extra-special, as it had frequently drawn rave reviews and positive comments at past GABFs but hadn’t medaled. Colorado Kölsch – long one of my favorite local brews and now available in cans – won silver in the German Style Kölsch category. Another longtime local favorite, Ska’s ESB, took bronze in the Classic English Style Pale Ale group. Pagosa Brewing also got into the mix, striking silver with its Coconut Porter in the Special Beer competition. Cheers to you, beer guys, for continuing to put our humble locale on the national craft brewing radar.

Then, last Thursday, Fort Lewis College women’s soccer player Hayley Hollenga appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd,” a weekly feature that shines the spotlight on top amateur athletes. Hollenga was recognized for scoring four game-winning goals (three of which were “golden goals,” which immediately end games in overtime) during a five-game span. Olé!

The Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater returns to the Community Concert Hall for a 3 p.m. matinee Saturday. Children of all ages are thrilled by the exploits of Garbo, his stage partner, ballerina Daielma Santos and an inflatable cast of characters. The production blends dance, gymnastics and theatrical genius, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and “Late Night with David Letterman,” among other venues worldwide.

Longtime regional favorite Eufórquestra returns to the Abbey at 9 p.m. Saturday. Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, and since relocated to Fort Collins, Eufórquestra plays its self-proclaimed “Afro-Caribbean-barnyard-funk,” which is essentially danceable world beat heavily dosed with funk.

By the time you read this, the Abbey’s two-night trip-hop and breakbeat fiesta (8:30 p.m. doors Sunday and Monday) featuring Mimosa, Two Fresh and Michael Menert will be sold out. Mimosa has played such festivals as Coachella and Burning Man and is widely considered one of the top West Coast exports.

Nick Moss & the Flip Tops bring Windy City blues to the Abbey on Wednesday (8 p.m. doors). With eight albums to his credit, Moss is schooled in the classic Chicago blues sound, with instruments layered on top of one another. “Listen to early Muddy Waters stuff with Jimmy and Otis Spann and Little Walter,” he says. “It almost sounds like they’re all soloing at the same time, but they’re staying out of each other’s way.” Special guest Robby Overfield is also on the bill.

Carver Brewing hosts “Let’s Go to the Grand Canyon,” presented by author and photographer Charly Heavenrich, from 6-8 p.m. Saturday. Heavenrich has been a raft guide in the Grand Canyon since 1978. The night includes a DVD slide show, stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and a Q&A session with the author. Be prepared to share your own tales about times in the canyon country.

Classical enthusiasts can take in the Metropolitan Opera’s “Das Rheingold” without having to shell out thousands for plane tickets, lodging and seats at The Met. In conjunction with Music in the Mountains, the Storyteller Theatre will simulcast the opera at 11 a.m. Saturday (doors open at 9:30).

The Summit’s slate of events for the week features History Of and The Formless tonight (Thurs., Oct. 7); Eric Keifer doing an acoustic happy hour from 5-9 p.m. Friday, DJ Bram at 10 p.m. Friday, DJ Niko and Peter Robot on Saturday, an open jam session hosted by Lucy Tuesday and DJ Daryll’s karaoke gong show Wednesday.

This week’s Starlight lineup includes Salsa Night with DJ Dario tonight, music and dancing with Double D Friday, Link Power on Saturday, Musica del Mundo Sunday and Kentucky Deluxe Tuesday.

Elsewhere: the Kirk James Blues Band plays Desperados Bar & Grill from 7-11 p.m. Friday and pianist Jonas Grushkin will be at the Durango Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning.

Sadly, I haven’t seen much live music lately as my days, nights and weekends are relegated to the friendly confines of Fort Lewis College athletic venues. Eight sports are in full swing right now — men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, football, men’s and women’s cross country, golf, and cycling. One of my duties is coordinating pre-game, halftime and in-game music. An argument that has raged for years is whether the music is to pump up the players or amuse the crowd. More succinctly, it’s a Battle Royale, pitting the hip-hop preferred by today’s athletes vs. the classic rock that folks my age were weaned on.

Over the years, some fads have come and, thankfully, gone. Think “Mambo No. 5,” “The Thong Song” and 3OH!3’s woefully catchy “Don’t Trust Me.”

This week’s Top Shelf list features 10 songs that make folks sway in their seats:

1. “Win Win Win,” Ludacris. As if nearly every team feels the need to put this one on their warm-up mix, our student intern, Adam, has it greeting callers on his cell phone.

2. “Build Me Up Buttercup,” the Foundations. I’m stumped as to how this became a stadium anthem.

3. “Highway to Hell,” AC/DC. Decorum calls for us to resist all urges to play this whenever Colorado Christian comes to town.

4. “Welcome to the Jungle,” Guns ‘n’ Roses. The opening guitar riff needs to be played at ear-splitting decibels.

5. “Enter Sandman,” Metallica. Ditto.

6. “Put Your Hands up in the Air!” Danzel. A quirky British club hit became the theme song for the national champion men’s soccer team. We play it every time the Skyhawks score a goal; I bounced it across Dirks Field six times in the second half Sunday.

7. “Crazy Train,” Ozzy Osbourne. I always think of Larry Walker whenever I hear it.

8. “Tequila,” the Champs. Good-time instrumental music.

9. “Breaking the Law,” Judas Priest. To be played whenever an opposing player gets a yellow card or technical foul.

10. “Another One Bites the Dust,” Queen. The proverbial victory cigar. •

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