Mesa Meltdown, getting the Led out & grape stomping

Mesa Meltdown, getting the Led out & grape stomping

The pants, hair and song (mostly) remain the same Wednesday night as GTLO returns to the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Chris Aaland - 09/22/2016

I sit and type tonight in a near empty dining room and living room. To make room for some furniture that arrives with Shelly’s father (who moves to Durango this week), we sold off our old sectional couch and the dining room table that I grew up eating on. That meant Monday Night Football, the World Cup of Hockey and other sporting fare on the idiot box was watched from a folding chair. Dinners were eaten at the coffee table. I felt like I was relegated to the kids’ table in another room at Thanksgiving Dinner.

The old wooden table had a lot of memories on it. When Gus died, it was covered with flowers and cards. Grandma’s lefse and Swedish meatballs were hits during the holidays. So were Mom’s huevos rancheros. I served the whole family a honey-basted, grilled 5-pound cutthroat trout that I’d caught at Spinney Mountain Reservoir on that table … a class project for my Creative Foods class as a senior in high school. Who’d have thought that a simple assignment would someday grow into my annual Wild Game Super Bowl at the Aaland house in D-West II.

There were games, too. The old table witnessed my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins play 500, Scrabble and Pictionary over the holidays. And I used to set up my fly-tying equipment on it in the ’80s when I was first learning to tie flies. Some of them rust away in an old fly box.

But just as Gus, Grandma, Mom and Peyton Manning are now gone, so is the table. All for 25 measly bucks, which is my spending money between paychecks. The table that Shelly grew up with will replace my old wooden table. I guess I’ll have to christen it with something special this weekend, especially since Friday is pay day.

Meltdown on the Mesa – the fall fundraiser for the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown – returns at noon Saturday on Ewing Mesa (just off Highway 3). This year, seven local bands play starting at 2 p.m. The bands will each play a 45-minute set, starting with Six Dollar String Band (2 p.m.), followed by Fellowship of Strings, Lawn Chair Kings, Lost Souls, Secondhand Strings, the Badly Bent and Running Out of Road. Feel free to bring your own grub, booze (no glass bottles, though) and camping gear. Advance tickets are available at Animas Trading Co. and durangomeltdown.com.

The greatest tribute band on Earth (at least according to KSUT’s Jim Belcher), Get the Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin (GTLO, as they’re commonly known) returns to the Community Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The folks aren’t just a cover band … they’re a tribute to the bombastic power of the Zep. While Led Zeppelin was a quartet, GTLO is a six-piece, which allows them to replicate the nuances of Jimmy Page’s multiple guitars and John Paul Jones’ multi-instrumental virtuosity. GTLO focuses on the early years and touches on the deeper cuts that were seldom, if ever, heard in concert. Their show includes a special acoustic set with favorites like “Tangerine” and “The Battle of Evermore,” the latter of which features guest singer Diana DeSantis. Critics have written, “Get the Led Out didn’t just pass Zeppelin 101 with flying colors … They’re working on their Ph.D. They didn’t just do their Zep homework, they’re teaching the class.”

Wines of the San Juan in Blanco, N.M., holds its 15th annual Harvest Wine Festival on Saturday and Sunday. The two-day event features plenty of music, food and, of course, plenty of wine. The Cannondolls perform at noon, while Todd & the Fox play immediately following the Great Grape Stomp (which starts at 2). Sunday’s musical guests include The Outskirts and Felix y Los Gatos.

Carver’s goes uber-local tonight (Thurs., Sept. 22) with the tapping of the Old Fort Fresh Hop Pale Ale at 5:30 p.m. in the back pub. The brew is crafted from Chinook hops grown locally at the Old Fort campus south of Hesperus. They also welcome the fall with the Black Grizz Imperial Stout, a behemoth at 13.7 percent ABV. Its aromas are alcohol and dark chocolate, featuring a sweet finish with dark chocolate and caramel notes.

The 39th annual Snowdown gets under way this week! Sort of. The Intergalactic Snowdown poster unveiling and kick-off party takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Palace Restaurant. The art was created by the Telegraph’s own Shan Wells, and the event features appetizers, a cash bar and what promises to be the most fun in the universe. Costumes are encouraged.

If you enjoy all of Durango’s happy trails, come on down to Buckley Park from 2-6 p.m. Sunday for the inaugural Happy Trails Festival. Featuring live music from The Afrobeatniks and Elder Grown, brews from Steamworks and Ska, kids activities, a group mountain bike ride and trail run, and more, the event benefits Trails 2000.

Elsewhere: Fire up the hookah! The Lawn Chair Kings return to the back patio at Moe’s from 6-9 p.m. Friday. And Kirk James goes solo at the Kennebec Café from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight.

This week’s Top 10 list recounts my favorite Led Zeppelin songs, in honor of Get the Led Out. Let’s be honest: Picking favorite Zeppelin songs is as tough as deciding which of your children you love the most. Somebody’s going to get their feelings hurt and give you an icy glare. With apologies to the entirety of “Physical Graffiti,” this is what I whittled it down to, in chronological order:

1. “Communication Breakdown,” from “Led Zeppelin,” 1969.

2. “Ramble On,” from “Led Zeppelin II,” 1969.

3. “Immigrant Song,” from “Led Zeppelin III,” 1970.

4. “Traveling Riverside Blues,” B-side to a Japanese single, 1970.

5. “Going to California,” from “Led Zeppelin IV (Zoso),” 1971.

6. “Over the Hills and Far Away,” from “Houses of the Holy,” 1973.

7. “No Quarter,” from “Houses of the Holy,” 1973.

8. “Kashmir,” from “Physical Graffiti,” 1975.

9. “Achilles Last Stand,” from “Presence,” 1976.

10. “Fool in the Rain,” from “In Through the Out Door,” 1979.

To fight the hordes and sing and cry? Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.

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