Donkey doo, Futurebirds and a skankin' good time

Donkey doo, Futurebirds and a skankin' good time

Futurebirds bring contemporary Athens sounds to the Animas City Theatre at 9:30 p.m. Friday.

Chris Aaland - 09/05/2019

After suffering through a painful summer of Rockies baseball, Centennial State sports fans can finally embrace hope when their beloved Broncos take the field at 8:30 p.m. Monday night against the evil and insipid Oakland Raiders. The Donks are 0-0 and even flirted with mediocrity during a 2-3 pre-season. The good news? The defense looks solid – arguably as good as the Super Bowl 50-winning team’s No Fly Zone. The bad news? Joe Flacco is old, battered, bruised and teaching a young backfield and an even younger receiving corps. Setting a .500 bar for this team seems about right. My prediction is a 7-9 season – and that depends on a healthy Joe.

But recent news out of Denver is absolutely infuriating. Altitude Sports, the regional network owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment and home to the Avalanche, Nuggets, Rapids, Mammoth and Denver University Pioneers, has been dropped by DirecTV, Dish and Comcast. Their contract with these three major carriers has expired and negotiations have stalled. I’ve had Oct. 3 circled on my calendar for months. That’s the date that the Avs – one of the NHL’s darlings based on a deep playoff run last spring – open the regular season. The Nuggets pre-season begins five days later. Many experts are picking the Nugs to win the excruciatingly difficult West this year.

Who’s to blame? Altitude personalities are suggesting collusion on the part of the three providers. AT&T, owners of DirecTV, point the finger back at Kroenke Sports saying that their latest proposal is a bad deal for customers. In the end, We the People are the ones who suffer. Altitude is certainly a favorite of fans in the Rocky Mountain states, but we’re the least populated time zone by a long shot. Altitude simply lacks national pull. Don’t think Kroenke is losing much sleep over this. The shining stars in his sports empire are the Los Angeles Rams and Arsenal F.C. He covets a Super Bowl title and an English Premier League crown ... those, and money. You’d think someone who married into the Walmart empire wouldn’t need to haggle over a few bucks.

I feel like a teen-ager in the 1980s shouting “I want my MTV!” But here’s the kicker: DirecTV and the Kroenkes don’t give a rat’s ass what I want. They want the biggest pieces of the pie and don’t care how much it costs the Average Joe for a bite of crumbs.

If left without my Avs and Nugs, I guess I’ll just have to keep shouting “Roll Tide” and “Doooooook.” It’s enough to drive one to drink ... which is a nice transition into this week’s local highlights.

Happy birthday to Ska Brewing, which holds its 24th anniversary Brewers’ Invitational Party at 4 p.m. Saturday at the World Headquarters. One big note for the lucky ones who obtained tickets to this long sold-out soiree: there will be no parking available at the event (this includes the streets in Bodo), but round trip shuttles are available to and from the Durango Transit Center from 3:30-10 p.m. You can also bike or have a sober driver drop you off (thanks, Shelly!) You’ll also need to remember your 21+ ID (even old farts like me). Also, note that all bags are subject to search. Twenty-six brewers have already confirmed their participation, including all five Durango-based breweries and favorites from across Colorado and the West.

This time around, Ska czar Dave Thibodeau has booked a triple threat of punk and ska bands, including the Aggrolites, the Toasters and Mustard Plug. The Aggrolites have been around since 2002, releasing seven albums along the way, including their brand-new “Reggae Now!” The Toasters are seasoned  vets and were one of the first American groups in ska’s second wave in the early ’80s. They’re also veterans of the Ska Anniversary Bash. Mustard Plug is a ska/punk outfit from Grand Rapids, Mich., that’s been active since 1991, including a couple of Warped Tours. It’ll certainly be a skankin’ good time.

Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t stop Steamworks from embracing a final flavor for the season. They’ll roll out a barrel of Raspberry Limeade firkin at 3 p.m. Friday. “It’s the end of the summer season, so we wanted to do something light and refreshing to send off summer in style,” head brewer Ken Martin said. The Raspberry Limeade is brewed with a Colorado Kolsch base, which is already light and crisp with a hint of fruitiness. The kolsch was then fermented with raspberry puree, lime juice and lime zest.

Futurebirds bring contemporary rock to the Animas City Theatre at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Their  music is a patchwork of influences, including twangy Southern rock (they’ve opened for the Drive-By Truckers), reverb-soaked psychedelia reminiscent of early My Morning Jacket and fellow Athens residents Phosphorescent, the rhythmic jangle of that other Athens band, R.E.M., and soaring guitar solos a la Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Local jam band Red Eyed Djinn opens.

Cajun is the reason for the season up in Telluride as Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers appear at the Sheridan Opera House at 8 p.m. Saturday. The Dopsie family has been at the forefront of zydeco, Creole and Cajun music for the past half-century. The youngest of eight children of the legendary Rockin’ Dopsie Sr., Dwayne was nominated for a Grammy in 2018 in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category. He’s taken the music of his father, including the accordion and washboard, into the 21st century.

The 23rd annual United Way of Southwest Colorado’s Radiothon takes place from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday at Ska Brewing. Tune in to KRSJ, KIQX and KIUP all day long to find out about items up for bid in the live auction. Proceeds benefit United Way’s nonprofit partners in La Plata, San Juan, Dolores, Montezuma and Archuleta counties.

Elsewhere: the Wild Roses perform soul, blues, jazz and country at tonight’s (Thurs., Sept. 5) Ska-B-Q, which starts at 5 p.m.; 4 Finger Ring plays tonight’s Plursday at The Starlight from 9 ‘til close; DJ Hakan spins from 9 ‘til close Friday at The Starlight; and DJ Side Affex works The Starlight from 9 ‘til close Saturday.

Roll out the barrel and lend me your ears? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.

Top Shelf

Acoustic blues, rockin' at Ernie's  & smokin' that bluegrass
Acoustic blues, rockin' at Ernie's & smokin' that bluegrass
By Chris Aaland
10/17/2019

October is a busy time around the Aaland household. Annual highlights, including apple pressing, pumpkin gathering, wood splitting, chile cooking and leaf raking, and seem to take up every possible moment of the weekend.

Crescent City classics, wounded warriors & coming of the Scots
Crescent City classics, wounded warriors & coming of the Scots
By Chris Aaland
10/10/2019

For my 51st birthday last spring, my buddy Dirk Lang gave me a copy of the behemoth The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine.

Townies, Floydheads and gathering of the clans
Townies, Floydheads and gathering of the clans
By Chris Aaland
10/03/2019

Old friends are something we can all use more of. Musically speaking, this week is filled with many of them.

Silver beerware, Led tributes and a golden god
Silver beerware, Led tributes and a golden god
By Chris Aaland
09/26/2019

My wife, Shelly, just returned from five days in Nashville, where she attended a work conference.

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Total Slackers
Total Slackers
10/17/2019

What started out as a method for rock climbers to hone their balance and concentration (and remain entertained on rest days), slacklining has evolved into a full-blown sport, if not art.

Wandering on the Juan
Wandering on the Juan
By Stephen Eginoire
10/10/2019

Originating high in the alpine landscape of Colorado’s southern San Juan Mountains, the San Juan River carves its way 383 miles from mountain to desert, meandering into three states on its way to Lake Powell.

True Colors
True Colors
10/03/2019

Much to the delight of those who love the colors of autumn, this season is one for the books.

Leave Only Footprints
Leave Only Footprints
By Stephen Eginoire
09/26/2019

Perhaps one of the more curious details left behind by the original inhabitants that once roamed the western Colorado and southern Utah landscape are the ancient hand and toe trails known as moki steps.

Read All in Day on the Life