Top Shelf

Can-psycho, Jelly Bread  and Nitro-vember

Even losers need heroes. Just like Munson in “Kingpin,” 50-year-old former home run king Jose Canseco lives the polar opposite of the charmed life. For a guy who swatted 462 dongs during his career, he’s turned out to be nothing but a wiener. This hot dog last played in the majors in 2001, but has since dabbled in reality TV, celebrity boxing, trash journalism and, most recently, gunsmithing, gambling and online sales … something of a Wyatt Earp-meets-Kenny Rogers-meets-Willy-Loman kind of character. Shoot off your finger? No problemo! Sew it back on and hit the casino, baby! Finger falls off while gripping your cards too tight? Like Vinnie Antonelli in “My Blue Heaven,” you see opportunity in each setback. Sell the stinky digit on eBay! Canseco’s post MLB carousel features one epic fail after another. Each time, the resilient bastard dusts himself off, chases another dream and awaits the next inevitable failure.

Thank you, Jose. When the entertainment gods took a pre-Thanksgiving holiday, you were there for me. You fell from the sky like an angel strapped to an anvil and gave me something to write about. I shall dig through the shoebox in the closet tonight, dust off your rookie card and give it a kiss.

For those of you whose entertainment needs require more than watching a pop fly bounce off No. 33’s head over the fence for a home run, Jelly Bread brings the funk to Crash Music at the Historic Aztec Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Jelly Bread’s musical alchemy blends a dash of alt-rock with soul and funk, with plenty of duet vocals, four-part harmonies, in-the-pocket drum and bass grooves, swampy lap steel, blue collar guitar licks and Gospel church organ.

 “The Met: Live in HD” continues its season at 10:55 a.m. Saturday in the Vallecito Room of the College Union with a classic: Rossini’s comedy, “”Il Barbiere di Siviglia” … or “The Barber of Seville” for those of you whose Italian might be a bit rusty. With 607 performances since the first Met season in 1883, “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” is the most popular comic opera in the company’s repertoire. It’s basically a “Three’s Company” episode gone awry: a rich dude, his feisty love interest and a barber that sets them up. Even if you’ve never seen an opera, you’ll recognize some of the music. Just don’t drink too much coffee beforehand: this behemoth clocks in at 3½ hours.

The Jeff Solon Jazz Group performs music from the American Song Book in Music in the Mountains’ “A Bite of Jazz” dinner and concert at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Thurs., Nov. 20) at St. Mark’s Chuck (910 E. 3rd Ave). Dinner starts at 6:15 and includes wine and beer donated by The Wine Merchant.

The Mountain Top Pocket Pickers host their official CD release party at Moe’s on Sunday. Buy a CD and get a free beer! Other Moe’s madness includes a hip-hop show with Ill Methods, Obi Won and Jbones on Friday and the Dirty Clothing Co. party with dancing to a special guest DJ on Saturday.

Here’s your science lesson for the week. You can thank me later. A new Durango beer tradition is born this month as BREW introduces Nitro-vember –  a celebration of nitrogenated beers. Nitrogenation is a reference to the type of gas used in the carbonation process. Typically, a nitro beer contains about 70 percent nitrogen and 30 percent carbon dioxide, and nitrogen beers (N2) tend to be smoother and creamier than their livelier, pricklier CO2 counterparts. Nitro beers also have cascading bubbles that are a beautiful sight to behold as the tiny effervescence makes its way up the glass. The month-long event features the new house beer, Phillip, a mild-mannered American pale ale with hints of citrus, along with several other Colorado-made beer offerings that are all nitrogenized.

And in other drinking and dining news, El Moro Spirits & Tavern was recently honored by the Colorado Tourism Office as the winner of the 2014 Roots Restaurant Challenge. The goal of the challenge was to discover and spotlight hidden culinary gems that feature local products; are green-minded and sustainable; incorporates the history, heritage or farming lineage of the area; and utilizes farm-to-table sourcing. “It was as if the challenge was designed specifically for us,” said Dave Woodruff, general manager of the restaurant that was created in the original El Moro Saloon (circa 1900).

Elsewhere: the Black Velvet duo is back at 6512 Restaurant & Lounge from 6-10 p.m. Friday; Pete Giuliani plays a solo, acoustic show at the Lake House at Vallecito from 6-10 p.m. Saturday; and Kirk James goes solo at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Sporting News Grill in the Holiday Inn.

This week’s Top Shelf list frowns at 10 lowlights from Jose Canseco’s life on the B List:

1. 1992: Charged with aggravated battery for allegedly ramming his then-wife Esther’s BMW with his Porsche.

2. 1993: Carlos Martinez hits a fly ball to right field that bounces off Canseco’s head and over the wall for a home run.

3. 1997: Arrested for hitting his then-wife, Jessica.

4. 2001: He and brother Ozzie beat up two tourists at a Miami Beach nightclub, leaving one man with 20 stitches and another with a broken nose.

5. 2005: Admitted to using anabolic steroids in his tell-all book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, outing former teammates Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmero, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzales.

6. 2008: Lost house in Encino, Calif., to foreclosure saying his two divorces cost him a total of $15 million.

7. 2008: Detained by immigration officials at a San Diego border crossing while attempting to smuggle fertility drugs from Mexico; he claimed the drug was to help with his hormone replacement therapy, which he needed due to his use of steroids.

8. 2008: Knocked out in first round of boxing match by former pro football player Vai Sikahema. Nevermind that Canseco had Sikahema by 8 inches and 50 pounds

9. 2009: Fought former child actor Danny Bonaduce to a draw in a three-round boxing match.

10. 2014: Shot off finger while cleaning his gun; reattached digit falls off onto poker table a few weeks later; threatens to sell it on eBay.

Bases are loaded and Casey’s at bat? Email me at

In this week's issue...

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January 26, 2024
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January 11, 2024
High and dry

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