Top Shelf

Orange Crush, Nappy Roots and Moetones


by Chris Aaland

The state of Colorado sports is a mixed bag right now. Peyton Manning has rejuvenated Orange Crush Nation and reminded everyone why he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to grip a pigskin’s laces. That’s a good thing, because big-time college football in Colorado doesn’t exist anymore. Air Force is plodding along at 5-5 this year, with Colorado State (3-7) and Colorado University (1-9) spewing more foulness into the air than Greeley’s meat packing industry.

The Rockies made waves by hiring Walt Weiss as their manager a few weeks back. Weiss once won me a six-pack in a home run bet by going yard on opening day in 2006. Weiss had all of 25 bombs during his career, eight of which came in 2006. It’s a good thing I can remember this because the only thing I remember about the 2012 Rockies is that they sucked.

Hockey? Why have you left me longing for bone-crushing checks yet again? As the latest NHL lockout nears two months, fans are left out in the cold. On Monday, the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted “Super Joe” Sakic – the greatest Colorado Avalanche player ever. Hall of Famers ranging from Brett Hull to Dino Ciccarelli called players and owners out, demanding a quick resolution. Word to the wise: Don’t mess with Dino.

The Nuggets have gotten off to a 4-4 start as of Tuesday. While .500 seems mediocre, consider that Denver opened with a three-game East Coast swing and followed that with four wins in four different barns in five days. But the real news at Pepsi Center is the retro alternate home uniform, featuring the gaudy mid-1980s “skyline” logo on a snazzy new yellow jersey. I hope Santa’s reading this. Daddy needs a Kenneth Faried top to show off his guns.

If you’re in the need for a quick basketball fix, head to Fort Lewis College’s Whalen Gymnasium at 7 p.m. tonight (Thur., Nov. 15) as the Skyhawk men’s team opens the new season by hosting Northern New Mexico. The sound of sneakers squeaking on the hardwood is sure to cure what ails you.

The alternative Southern rap quartet Nappy Roots has brought the noise since 1995. Best known for their singles “Po’ Folks,” “Awnaw,” “Roun’ the Globe” and “Good Day,” they were the best-selling hip-hop group of 2002. Since leaving Atlantic Records after 2003’s “Wooden Leather” album, they launched their own label. Their latest project, “Nappy Dot Org,” is a collaboration with the legendary Organized Noize collective. Nappy Roots return to the Abbey Theatre at 9 p.m. Saturday in an 18+ show.

The Church of Bass Tour brings Ill.Gates and Stephen Jacobs to the Abbey at 9 p.m. Friday in another 18+ affair. Ill.Gates is a highly skilled bass veteran with corporate support from Microsoft (yes, he’s both met and played for Bill Gates) and production from Bassnectar. The San Francisco-based producer has wowed crowds at Burning Man and has a special 3D projection mapping stage show and PK subs to add extra sound. Jacobs is a Los Angeles-based dance floor troublemaker.

Got tub? The Scrugglers play good-time, rowdy, mountain tubgrass and return to the Summit Friday night. They’ve taken their music to a wider audience this summer with appearances on the Cascadia Coffeehouse Stage and the 10th annual Northwest String Summit. They’ll also play their third straight Durango Bluegrass Meltdown later this spring.

The Great Funkiter gets down at the Summit on Saturday. Formed in 2010, they played their first gig at the Last Dollar Saloon just three weeks after they first jammed together. Two months into their career, they were headlining the historic Sheridan Opera House. They encourage the audience to bring their dancing shoes; they’ll bring the party.

Robby Overfield & The Breaks play Mancos’ Millwood Junction at 8 p.m. Saturday. A local songwriter, Overfield blends the art of storytelling and genuine lyrics with a powerful voice to compliment an encapsulating listening experience. He stretches his soulful Detroit roots all the way to the rocky skyline of the San Juan Mountains. His writing style has been compared to that of soulful folk lyricist Amos Lee.

Tonight’s Ska Chili Night boasts one of my favorite twangy rock bands from the Four Corners in the form of The Moetones, who travel all the way over from Cortez for this gig. The Moetones recently released a six-song EP that borders on brilliant. They call their brand of music “Hot Rod Rock,” and it’s a pretty good description. Basically, the Moetones blend the rock of the Sex Pistols and the Rolling Stones with countrified sounds by Steve Earle, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. The music is free, the chili is free and the beer is cheap. What more do you need?

Moe’s madness this week includes the usual suspects – tonight’s Salsa Night from 8 ‘til close and Sunday’s Jazz Church freeform jam from 6-9 p.m. – but also includes the Splatterdays urban art show with music by DJ Blanco, breakdancers and graffiti artists from 8 ‘til close Saturday.

Kirk James goes solo for a pair of dates this week. On Friday, you can catch him at Mountain Madness from 6-9 p.m. Then on Saturday, trek over to Pagosa Springs to see him at Nello’s Bistro from 6-9.

And Psychedelic Mojo rocks the Summit at 9:30 p.m. tonight.

In honor of the Nuggets’ new get-up, this week’s Top Shelf list recalls my five favorite Colorado sports uniforms:
1. Denver Broncos 1960 throwbacks. The Donks wore these twice in 2010 and won both times in the brown, yellow and white uniforms and vertical-striped socks … despite Josh McDaniels coaching them.
2. Colorado Rockies hockey unis, 1976-82. The Mountain logo that resembled the state flag was pure class. I sure miss Chico Resch and Lanny McDonald.
3. Denver Nuggets, final ABA uniforms from 1975-76. The road blues and the home whites both featured gold numbers and the iconic pick-axe logo.
4. Colorado Rockies sleeveless black jerseys, 2005-present. Rocktober reached its World Series zenith in 2007 when Colorado favored these uniforms.
5. Fort Lewis soccer’s Brazilians. From 2008 - 11, the Fort wore a kit of yellow jerseys with green numbers and blue shorts. Two national titles arrived in Durango during this era.

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January 26, 2024
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January 11, 2024
High and dry

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