Yours in orange and blue, Panama Red & All Hallows Eve

by Chris Aaland

I have something to get off my chest:

Dear Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen,

 As a lifelong Broncos fan, I’m compelled to write to you about the embarrassment that has become your football team. Last Sunday’s 59-14 debacle proved to be the lowlight in an otherwise forgettable decade-plus run of futility. Hindsight being 20-20, the storybook should have closed for your franchise on Feb. 1, 1999 — the day after John Elway capped a Canton-worthy career with a 34-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.

Halloween surely came early this year, as it appeared that 45 ordinary Joes masqueraded as Broncos players last Sunday. It’s only fitting, when you think about it: For two years, you’ve allowed a bratty pipsqueak to impersonate a head coach.

In the post-Elway years, the Broncos have slowly slipped beneath the Avalanche, Rockies and Nuggets on my radar. This year alone, I’m finding myself wanting to rake leaves, cook dinner or even clean house on Sundays instead of watching the Donkeys. A bad first half? That’s OK. Time to do the dishes.

In reality, I was rooting for the Silver & Black to put up 70 points on Denver in the second half last Sunday so that the denizens of the South Stands could tar and feather head coach Josh McDaniel on his way to the locker room.

For the love of all things holy, Mr. Bowlen, please give me back my God-given right as a red-blooded American male to enjoy Sundays filled with red meat, cheap beer and a winning football team. I’m sickened by this display. Since a misleading 6-0 start to his career as an NFL coach, McDaniel is 3-14. This is unacceptable.

–Yours in orange and blue, A disgruntled Sunday dishwasher in Durango

Thankfully, there’s more to my life than just the Broncos. Like music, beer and the new Keith Richards autobiography, Life. And it’s Halloween week!

It’s been awhile since Peter Rowan graced our little burg, but he’s back at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Durango Arts Center, playing a benefit for the Tara Mandala Buddhist Retreat Center. The recently-released “Legacy” album by the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band ranks among his finest, be they bluegrass, folk, country-rock or reggae. Rowan’s Halloween fiesta includes a live auction and an opening set by Wild Mountain.

An album that is gunning for my record of the year is the unsung gem “Corn Money” by the Defibulators, a Brooklyn outfit that goes back and forth between honky-tonk, bluegrass, jug band and countless other genres not unlike Austin’s Asylum Street Spankers. Its chock full of banjos, steel guitar, fiddles, junkyard percussion, Jew’s harp, washboard and lyrics that alternate between cynical and hilarious. See for yourself when they play the Dolores River Brewery at 8 p.m. tonight (Thurs., Oct. 28).

One of Cuba’s most prestigious and popular dance ensembles, Lizt Alfonso Danza Cuba, will grace the stage at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College at 7 p.m. on Mon., Nov. 1. Established in 1991 by renowned Cuban choreographer Lizt Alfonso, the outfit combines the folkloric dance traditions of Spain and Cuba, creating what the company calls “a new dance vocabulary.” There’s also modern dance at the Concert Hall at 7 p.m. tonight, Oct. 28, featuring ODC of San Francisco. It has been said that if dance were edible, a performance by ODC would be a decadent feast. Yum.

The grand-daddy of Durango Halloween parties is KDUR’s 18th annual Transvestite Ball, which takes place Saturday at the Abbey Theatre. You know the drill: boys dress like girls and vice-versa, groove to music by the likes of Jonezy’s Ghost, Smiley Coyote, Benjamin K. and Mr. Anderson, and generally misbehave for a good cause. Doors at 8 p.m.. Questions? Visit

Do the Time Warp at the Hank as “The Rocky Horror Show” is staged live for your bewilderment. With five curtains (8 p.m. Thursday & Friday; 6 & 9:30 p.m. Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Sunday) and an all-ages early show Saturday, there’s fun for the whole family.

Carvers’ Halloween Bash takes place at 9 p.m. Saturday with bluegrass prodigies Waiting on Trial performing, plus a costume contest and keg giveaway. Waiting on Trial recently released their debut CD, which shows a band on the brink of something big.

The Durango Bootleggers Society hosts its annual Pint for Pint blood drive from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday at the American Legion. Donate a pint of the red stuff and get a coupon good for a pint of suds at your favorite Durango brewery.

Get into the Zombie spirit at the Starlight this weekend with the Transylvania Ball, featuring DJs Peter Robot, Marcus and Niko from 9 ‘til close Saturday and a Halloween bash with live music and dancing Sunday.

Ska gets spooky with a pumpkin carving contest from 5-7 p.m. Friday. The $5 entry fee includes a pumpkin and tools to carve. Patrons will judge the contest, with the first-, second- and third-place winners receiving a 5-gallon keg, case of Ska beer and 12-pack, respectively.

Children’s theatre returns to the Concert Hall at 3 p.m. Saturday in the form of “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.” Based on the children’s book by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond, it’s tailored for children ages 4-7.

Elsewhere: 1,000 Rogues bring hard rock to Thursday’s Ska-B-Q; Black Velvet plays Desperado’s Bar & Grill at 7 p.m. Friday; Durango Orquesta de Salsa gets festive at the Abbey at 8 p.m. Friday; Katrina Blair & friends do A-Bun-Dance at Saturday’s Durango Farmer’s Market; Thorn of Gethsemane brings experimental and progressive metal to the Abbey Sunday night; and Robbie plays blues and rock guitar and harmonica at Lady Falconburgh’s at 8 p.m. each Wednesday.

This week’s Top Shelf list marks my five favorite Peter Rowan albums:

1. “Dust Bowl Children,” 1990. A folk album that Townes Van Zandt would’ve been proud of.

2. “A Potpourri of Bluegrass Jam,” Muleskinner, 1973. Featuring Rowan, David Grisman, Richard Greene and Clarence White, who died shortly after its release.

3. “Old and in the Way,” 1975. Jerry Garcia’s foray into bluegrass.

4. Self-titled, 1979. Rowan’s solo debut was a cosmic mix of bluegrass and honky-tonk.

5. “Reggaebilly,” 2001. Don’t dis it. Rowan’s reggae-done-bluegrass-style works.

Run for your life, surrender or stand up and fight? Email me at



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