Forsberg in the closet, Wailin’ Jennys and Boom Box

by Chris Aaland

The sports world buzzed last week with Peter Forsberg’s contract with the Colorado Avalanche for the remainder of the season. “Foppa,” as he is affectionately known, was truly a sight to behold in his prime: a gifted offensive player, among the best passers the NHL has ever seen who played with a mean streak that bordered dirty at times. In my eyes, the perfect mix of grit and greatness.

So when No. 21 skated in games at Columbus and Nashville last Friday and Saturday, I wasn’t even that concerned about the end result, both losses for an Avs team that has stretched its record losing streak to a franchise-worst eight games Monday. I was just happy that the youngest team in the NHL had a chance to learn from a guy with two Stanley Cups and two Olympic gold medals on his resume. Sure, he was rusty at times. Three years away from the NHL will do that. In the two games, Forsberg was a minus-4 and had four penalty minutes, but he should have fared better. Several teammates were snake-bitten by hot goalies, while others simply bungled great setups by the scruffy Swede.

I was shocked, then, on Monday to learn that Forsberg had called it quits, two games into his comeback. Citing the inability to protect himself on the ice and not wanting to add to the 25 surgeries he’s underwent during his career, the 37-year-old simply said he was thankful to retire in a Colorado jersey and on his own terms.

So my maroon Forsberg jersey will be hung again in the closet. I watched as the team was a step or two behind Calgary the entire night Monday, losing by an embarrassing, 9-1 score. In a way, it’s good that the legend won’t have to endure the next 2½ months of futility.

So my sights are set on music for entertainment.

The Community Concert Hall welcomes the Wailin’ Jennys, a Canadian folk trio that’s ready-made for the KSUT Music Blend crowd at 7 p.m. tonight (Thurs., Feb. 17). They’re favorites of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” are produced by dobro legend Jerry Douglas and are riding the critical waves of their new album, “Bright Morning Stars,” released just last week. The group’s sound revolves around sweeping three-part melodies that are both edgy and familiar.

The Abbey hosts a big hip-hop bill at 9 p.m. Sunday with Fashawn, Evidence (of Dilated Peoples) and special guest Jay Bird. A 20-year-old emcee, Fashawn was weaned on the golden age of ‘90s hip-hop — music robust with messages of political unrest, a hunger for knowledge, and self appreciation by acts like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, Public Enemy and NWA. Evidence formed Dilated Peoples in the mid ‘90s and achieved fame with that trio, as a solo artist and as a producer, winning a Grammy for his work on Kanye West’s “College Dropout.”

BoomBox brings its mix of electronic, jam-funk and dance to the Abbey at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Comprised of producer/engineer/DJ/drummer Russ Randolph and producer/DJ/vocalist/guitarist Zion Rock Godchaux, the duo uses its rich musical history and vision of music and popular culture to deliver a style of music distinctly different from the norm.

The Boulder Acoustic Society returns to the Hank at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday. Tough for critics to define, BAS calls its sound indie-folk that draws from Appalachian roots, gritty gospel and the contemporary urban sounds. Tight and entertaining, they favor vintage clothes, savor small batch bourbon and rock the ukulele.

The Lawn Chair Kings stole the show at KDUR’s AC/DC cover night last weekend. Now that their feet are firmly planted in the rock & roll universe, they’ll do a big ol’ rock show at El Rancho at 9 p.m. Friday. Old North State opens. Rumor has it the Nord and company are handing out new LCK stickers, version 4.0. Guess the red & black TV stickers must’ve violated some sort of White Stripes copyright or something. There’s bluegrass on the bill, too, in the form of Old North State.

Music in the Mountains presents its first-ever winter concert at the Community Concert Hall when it welcomes the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet at 7 p.m. Friday. The quartet – featuring two trumpets, a trombone, horn and tuba – opens each set with fanfare (common for brass musicians), and include works by Vivaldi, Bach, Wagner, Holst and Duke Ellington. 2011 marks the 25th anniversary for Music in the Mountains, so it’s fitting that they add this winter brass show to their mix.

This week’s Summit slate includes Thirsty Thursdays with Psychedelic Mojo at 9 p.m. tonight; an acoustic happy hour with Eric Kiefer at 6 p.m. Friday; a brand-new local act, the Steven Andrews Band, at 10 p.m. Friday; a 6 p.m. Saturday happy hour with Rupnow & friends; the Charlie Milo Trio at 10 p.m. Saturday; and DJ Double D’s karaoke/Gong Show on Wednesday.

The Starlight’s musical menu includes Salsa Night with DJ Caliente at 8 p.m. tonight; Peter Robot at 9 p.m. Friday; Musica del Mundo at 9 p.m. Sunday; and karaoke with DJ Double D Tuesday.

Local author Hans Christian Hollenbeck signs his recently published novel Highpoint at Bent Urban Sports Bar tonight. The event will also include music by Kentucky Deluxe and serve as a benefit for local women’s hockey team the High Country Hellcats.

Other stuff: Jack Ten High plays its jammy bluegrass-rock mix at the weekly Ska-B-Q tonight; the Jelly Belly Boogie Band plays the Schank House at Vallecito at 7 p.m. Friday; and The Hank presents its “Cabin Fever Comedy Series” featuring Jeff Wozer and Jason Keyes at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

This week’s Top Shelf recounts highlights from Foppa’s career:

1996 Stanley Cup finals, game two. Forsberg scored a hat trick in the first period, leading the Avs to an eventual four-game sweep over Florida.

- 1994 Olympics. The shootout goal vs. Canada that will forever be etched in Swedish postage stamp fame.

- 2003 Amp Line. Centering Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay, Foppa won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP.

- 2006 Olympics. A second gold, this time skating against professionals.

- 1995 rookie year. Playing for the Quebec Nordiques, Forsberg was the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. •

The goalie jumps and the players bump? E-mail me at



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