Monday, February 27, 2006

Sasquatch Music Festival

I was just online checking out some music festivals for this summer, and came across the lineup for the Sasquatch Music Festival (May 26-28) at the Gorge Amphitheatre. Check it out:

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, The Flaming Lips, The Shins, The Tragically Hip, Neko Case, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Gomez, Rogue Wave, Sam Roberts, Constantines, Architecture In Helsinki

And this is just the Saturday lineup. I went to quite a few shows at the Gorge in George back in the day, great venue, wish I could make it.

Listening to: Ernest Ranglin- Below the Bassline

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Olympic Rants & Raves

I love me some Winter Olympics, in fact it is one of the few sporting events I actually follow closely. I've been watching the Olympics the past few weeks and for the most part I have really enjoyed the games, there have been some great races, upsets, and drama. Below are a few rants and raves from this year's games:

Back in the day I remember the Olympics being on all day, everyday. I understand there is a time difference, but I would love to be seeing more live coverage, especially on the weekends. If there is ANY event going on, no matter what time of day it is, they should be showing it live. I would watch cross-country skiing or the biathlon if they showed it. It seems NBC has given in to their advertisers and has limited the coverage to prime-time hours only, after announcing the medal winners earlier in the day. Show it live, then replay it during prime-time.

Last weekend I was hoping to catch some of the men's combined downhill, but I couldn't watch it because NBC was showing the Daytona 500 instead. Are you telling me more Americans would rather tune-in to some rednecks driving around in a big circle than watch men bomb down an icy mountain at 70 mph on skis? NASCAR blows.

I don't think the Olympics should allow professional athletes into the games. One of the great things about the Olympics is seeing the young, up and coming athletes. If you sign an endorsement deal with some sunglass company, or play in the NHL, sorry. I'd rather watch college kids who are still passionate about their sport and want to win. Sorry Bode, I like your DIY ethos and live and let live attitude, but you got outskiied this time, stop making excuses.

I am not sure ice dancing should be an actual event in the winter games. Talented skaters? Check. Entertaining? Check. Olympic event? Not in my opinion. I'm not sure about any event that relies on judges to determine a winner. I suppose you could say the same thing about most judged events (figure skating, freestyle skiing, half pipe, etc.), but there is something about ice dancing that doesn't do it for me. Are we going to see ballroom dancing in the summer games? I like the events where there is a clear winner; whoever crosses the finish line the fastest, or scores the most points.

Two events I totally got into this year were the snowboard boardercross and cross-country skiing. The Olympics needs more events like the boardercross, it went over really well and was a blast to watch. It's funny how the snowboarders turned out to be some of the classiest athletes at the games, you could tell they were just psyched to be riding in the Olympics, very little attitude. I also enjoyed watching the cross-country skiing, those guys are some hardcore athletes, thirty plus miles, mostly uphill. It wasn't as exciting as the boardercross but there was some definite strategy to what they were doing, almost like a game of chess.
Overall, I have enjoyed watching the games this year, and I will be looking forward to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Stock up on the Molsons.

In other Olympic news, if you haven't seen "Murderball" yet, check it out. Those guys are badass, and an inspiration to get off your butt and do something. Great movie.

Listening to: Thievery Corporation- The Richest Man in Babylon

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Neil Young's "Freedom"

I've been listening to a lot of Neil Young lately, can't get enough it seems. Neil is the real deal. I read an article in Rolling Stone recently about Young, and it got me thinking about how I first started listening to his music. My first introduction was in 1989, when I stumbled across Young's album "Freedom" quite by accident. I was a senior in high school and I was mainly listening to The Cure, Concrete Blond, and anything else that I thought the cute, artsy girl in my creative writing class would think was cool. That didn't work out, but it was also during this time that my friend Roger asked his older brother to buy him Young M.C.'s "Stone Cold Rhymin" for his birthday. Turns out Roger's brother was stoned when he went to the mall, and couldn't remember the name of the tape. All he could remember was it was "Young something", so he came home with Neil Young's "Freedom", which must have been on the "Just Released" rack. My buddy opened the cassette tape on his birthday, and having never heard of Neil Young announced he was going to throw it away. I had heard some CSNY tunes before and had recently seen Neil on SNL (performing "Rocking in the Free World", with a fury I had never seen before) so I asked Rog if I could listen to it before he tossed it. Long story short, I ended up with it and will never forget sitting in my bedroom that night, alone, listening to the entire album. "Rocking in the Free World" opens the album, and I remember thinking that I was on to something that none of my friends at the time would understand. By the time "Crime In The City" came on, with it's epic story of gangs, drugs, and corrupt cops, I was hooked. I knew I was on to something big, and I had to get more.

It was also during this time that I started buying CD's, and most of my tapes went into a shoebox. I went on to buy most of Neil Young's CD's, and especially dig the stuff Neil did with Crazy Horse. In college I dated this woman who also loved Neil Young, and we were driving to southern Utah for spring break that year, and since I didn't have a CD player in my car, I packed the few cassettes I still owned. We must have listened to "Freedom" a hundred times that week. Whenever I hear the songs "Eldorado" or "Wrecking Ball" today, it always brings me back to that trip to the desert.

I have never replaced my original "Freedom" cassette with a CD, I really should. It is still in my car after all these years, in fact, it is the only tape I still own from high school. The sound quality isn't what it was, but I can't get rid of it. Like "Freedom", I am sure we all have albums that defined moments in our lives and forever burned memories into our minds. Phish's "Rift" comes to mind, I'll never forget where I was when I first heard it, as do albums by The Grateful Dead, Son Volt, and Ben Harper, just to name a few, but "Freedom" was the first.