‘Society’s Child,’ Le Chat and a visit from Queen

by Chris Aaland

Mark your calendars: Thursday and Friday are unofficially known as “Call-in-Sick Day” for millions. This year, St. Patrick’s Day magically falls on the first day of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I, for one, won’t be filling out a bracket. Having done so for decades, I usually find myself pulling for the favorites rather than cheering the underdogs in hopes of preserving my conservative picks. Not this year. No money will be waged, thus allowing me to root for the Woffords and Belmonts of the world. Fortunately for me, my wife is out of town and my 4-year-old’s school is closed Friday for parent/teacher conferences. Daddy and junior get to take in all of Friday’s fun!

There are plenty of shenanigans for those of you not glued to the tube this week.

“Society’s Child” herself, Janis Ian, returns to the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Perhaps the most painfully honest of the “confessional” folkies of the 1960s, Ian’s songs have been covered by icons as diverse as Cher and Mel Torme. Tunes like “Stars,” “Jesse” and “At Seventeen” garnered huge sales, critical acclaim, Grammy nominations and cemented Ian as one of the most revered songwriters of her generation.

Le Chat Lunatique plays “filthy, mangy jazz” at the Hank at 8 p.m. Friday in an 18+ affair. Unpredictable and fearless, Le Chat Lunatique purveys an addictive sound that they promise will make you want to smoke and drink too much — if only you could get off the dance floor. Think Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli and you have a starting point as the group navigates through Western and Gypsy swing, classical, reggae, doo-wop and more.

The Abbey presents a big night of reggae, funk and world music at 9 p.m. Friday when it brings Indubious to town. Rising out of the fertile soil of Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, the self-proclaimed “intergalactic reggae revolutionaries” are a genre-bending power trio that pumps a positive message. Their “infectious reggae-driven sound” has spawned a mob of loyal fans dubbed “Indubians.” Alcyon Massive is also on the bill. The show is 18+.

Back by popular demand, Gary Mullen and his band, The Works, present “One Night of Queen” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Community Concert Hall. This acclaimed tribute band recreates the mastery of Queen, including dramatic staging, lighting and all the effects of Queen’s legendary live spectacle.

The Aquila Theatre Co. returns to the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to stage Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This classically trained, modernly hip troupe will also conduct a free, pre-show discussion about the production of this timeless work at 6:30 p.m. in the Vallecito Room of FLC’s Student Union.

Fifi & the Tommy Shantys play a big St. Patty’s Day gig at Steamworks tonight (Thurs., March 17) … and it’s pint night, no less, so bring in those Steamworks mugs for dollar brews. The band brings a fresh and underrepresented sound to Durango, playing Afro-beat, Latin funk and ska. West African drummers Bradley Hoessle (drums), Nicholas Foster (percussion), Fifi (vocals), Danny Quinlan (guitar) and Alexi Carey (bass) make up the group.

I don’t usually plug the Abbey’s free movie nights, limiting most of this space to blurbs about music and night life, but Wednesday’s twin bill is an epic one: “Easy Rider” followed by “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” The fact that some of the opening scenes of “Easy Rider” were shot near De Beque and Parachute, where my grandpa owned a large ranch at the time, takes me back to the day. I still remember the old I-70 corridor before I-70 existed. And, yes, I still occasionally see tracers when the moon illuminates the clouds. But that’s another story, from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Groove on over to Dolores on Friday night for some old school rock & roll as the Lawn Chair Kings and the Moe-Tones take over the Hollywood Bar. It’s Dan Leek’s first chance to tag Dolores with the new, fourth generation LCK stickers.

Steamworks, in partnership with Purgy’s Pub at Durango Mountain Resort, presents its annual slopeside clambake from 2-4 p.m. Friday. Benefitting La Plata County Search and Rescue, this event lets skiers and riders enjoy a fresh, hot bowl of steamed clams on the beach outside Purgy’s, plus corn on the cob, potatoes and a Steamworks pint for $7. The Kirk James Blues Band will be on hand to entertain (Thursday, too), while DJ DNA will spin tunes. Beach attire is encouraged.

This week’s Summit slate includes a rare Aftergrass sighting tonight for St. Patty’s Day (no cover!); Eric Kiefer’s usual acoustic happy hour at 6 p.m. Friday; DJ Benjamin K & Spark Madden at 10 p.m. Friday; Rupnow & friends’ weekly happy hour at 6 p.m. Saturday; Champagne with special guests at 10 p.m. Saturday; Tuesday’s open mic/jam session and DJ Double D’s weekly Gong Show Karaoke on Wednesday.

Gem Village’s fabled Billy Goat hosts live music Thursday through Saturday. St. Patty’s Day festivities include Irish fare, Guinness and Jameson specials and live music from the Sleeving Dregs at 7 p.m. The Jelly Belly Boogie Band will rip it up Friday night. Saturday is a Cowboy Luau, featuring Wild Country. Besides, the Billy Goat has the greatest T-shirts in the Four Corners. Sadly, I traded mine to an old college buddy named Billy last summer for his Luckenbach, Texas T-shirt.

The Starlight’s musical potpourri includes Salsa Night with free dance lessons tonight (nothing quite beckons St. Patty’s Day like Tito Puente – but at least you can slug a few green martinis), dancing with Ion at 9 p.m. Saturday and Musica del Mundo at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Elsewhere: Pagosa’s own BIG'Ns play traditional Irish tunes at tonight’s Ska-B-Q in Bodo Park; and Black Velvet plays the Derailed Saloon at 6 p.m. Friday.

This week’s Top Shelf list recounts my five favorite Queen rockers:

“Stone Cold Crazy,” from “Sheer Heart Attack,” 1974.

“Tie Your Mother Down,” from “A Day at the Races,” 1977.

“Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” from “The Game,” 1979.

“Fat Bottomed Girls,” from “Jazz,” 1978.

“The Prophet’s Song,” from “A Night at the Opera,” 1975.

Take me to them lardy ladies every time? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.



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