The name game, the Wailers and the return of the Reverend

The Wailers come to the Community Concert Hall this Friday night

by Chris Aaland

We had a girl’s name all picked out. Just as Otto was named after my grandpa, Rosie would be named after Shelly’s grandma. But last Friday’s sonogram changed those plans. Come early June, the Aaland clan will welcome another son; Rosie will be saved for our next puppy.

Thus, the chore of selecting a boy’s name has begun in earnest. Naming him after our dads would be difficult due to divorces. No need upsetting our moms. The names of my stepfathers are equally dicey – those would just piss off my biological Papa Jim.

I suggested Otis, thinking that Otto and Otis would make for imposing names for defensive ends some day. Shelly shot that one down quickly.

Otto chimed in, immediately naming his brother-to-be Rufus. For some reason, we can’t shake the image of George Carlin’s character in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Had then-sequel lived up to the original, then Rufus, like Rosie, might not be relegated to doggie-name status. But “Bogus Journey” was just that.

Willie is most certainly on the short list. My longhaired redneck musical tastes have always had a soft spot for outlaw country of the 1970s. Besides, I’ve set foot on Willie’s tour bus. But I tend to like family history, and since my roots lie in Norway, junior’s name will likely come from there, too. Shelly and I dug up a blue, three-ringed binder that my aunts put together nearly 20 years ago that traces the Aaland family tree back to Norway in the mid 1700s. Keep in mind this was right smack in the middle of the Denmark-Norway union that followed the Viking Age by a few centuries. We’re talking ancient history. Lots of guys called Lars and Ole and Knute.

On the more recent side of history, happy second anniversary to the Mancos Valley Distillery! Ian James’ rummery throws a huge bash at 7 p.m. Friday with three bands – the Discotays, Baby Toro and Old North State – playing live music for the Montezuma County masses. This diverse trio of acts covers everything from reservation disco to ambient alt-country to street huckster bluegrass.

Mancos Valley Distillery is known for its rum, and when I think of rum, I think of the Caribbean. The Wailers, who play the Community Concert Hall at 7 p.m. Friday, are obviously best known as Bob Marley’s backing band. Indeed, former Marley bassist Ashton Barrett remains. Nicknamed “Family Man” for fathering 42 children, Barrett was all in the family, so to speak, when it came to playing bass, guitar, keyboards and percussion for other reggae legends like Peter Tosh, Lee Perry, Burning Spear and King Tubby in the 1970s. Today’s Wailers also feature one of Jamaica’s most exciting new singers, Koolant, on lead vocals. The band plays “Uprising” in its entirety on this tour. Tomorrows Bad Seed opens.

Ailey II has, without doubt, reinvented American dance for more than a quarter century. Founded in 1974 by the legendary Alvin Ailey, Ailey II merges the country’s best young talent with the passion and creative vision of two of today’s outstanding choreographers: Silvia Waters and Troy Powell. Their current tour features a mixed repertory that spans three decades. The troupe performs at the Community Concert Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

I’m more likely to be slumming it Tuesday at the Abbey, though, as Rev. Horton Heat returns on the strength of last year’s excellent “Laughin’ and Cryin’” album. The Reverend, a.k.a. Jim Heath, plays psychobilly the way it should be: equal parts surf, hillbilly and punk. The guy’s a walking encyclopedia of American music, as evidenced by Reverend Organdrum, Heath’s jazzy trio in 2008 that used organ, drums and electric guitar to recreate sounds reminiscent of classic Booker T. & the MG’s. Doors open at 8 p.m. with Dirtfoot opening.

The Abbey also throws the “Snowdown Monster Whomp Party” with Kraddy and J. Wail featuring Chuck Morris at 9 p.m. Sunday. Sometimes an artist’s promo material says it with such poetic depth that it would be a disservice to you, music lovers and faithful readers, not to quote Kraddy’s rap sheet warmly and accurately. “At times his music is technical and frenetic and calls to mind images of genetically mutated earthworms, popping and locking deep underground to sub-atomic frequencies, causing minute shifts in the structure and alignment of the tectonic plates.” Wow. Nothing quite says “Snowdown Bites” so eloquently. This is serious electronic, glitch-hop and dance.

Life is good if you’re Ska Brewing. First, you’re named the Durango Business of the Year at the annual Chamber Awards Ceremony. Your One-Eyed Monster Black IPA is among your finest Snowdown efforts yet. And now you’re hosting yet another DIFF release party, set for Friday night and featuring local acoustic rockers Telekave. Proceeds benefit the Durango Independent Film Festival. The release of this traditional Belgian-style wit is a highlight on the beer calendar.

The Summit’s slate this week includes Durango Orquesta de Salsa at 10 p.m. tonight (Thurs., Jan. 27); a continuance of the reggae vibes with a post-Wailers party at 10 p.m. Friday featuring A Dub Rock Band; Peace Officer at 10 p.m. Saturday; and the usual weekly favorites.

Elsewhere: DJ Caliente spins at the Starlight’s Salsa Night tonight; Kirk James does solo blues at Vallecito’s Schank House at 7 p.m. Friday; The Tumblin’ Dice rock the Derailed Saloon at 9 p.m. Saturday; and Peter Robot DJ’s the Starlight at 10 p.m. Saturday.

This week’s Top Shelf list features some interesting names from the Aaland family archives:

- Knute Larssen Nesheim, my great-great-great grandfather, 1813-1888.

- Lars Olsson Nesheim, 1761-1831. Knute’s papa.

- Olav Nilson Grovom, died 1756. Great-great-great-great-great-great grandpa.

- Syver H. Bakken, 1834-1907. Another great-great-great gramps.

- Johan Syverson Billerud. Not sure when he was born, but know he changed his surname to Lovaasen when he bought a farm in Norway in 1839, then changed his name again to Johansen when he moved to America. Later changed it back to Lovaasen. Make up your mind!

- Ole Edmunds, 1860-1929. Sadly, grandpa’s grandpa wasn’t married to Lena. Think of the Norske jokes we could have had at family reunions!

- Tormod Nilssen. One of Anna and Nils’ boys, born in the early 1800s.

- Hjalmer Aaland. Grandpa’s cousin; Mons’ son. ï®

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