Saturday, March 29, 2014
Shoirtly after they began it bwas apparant that this wouild be an unusual show. They started late. The songs they played were generally a bit faster than usual, and shorter in nduration. The band seemed to be enjoying themselves, smiles on their faces. Most unusual was the fact that Dave Wakling said virtually nothing between the song, no banter with the audience. And thene there was no encore, no matter how long and enthusiastically the audiance cheered for them. They performed on stage for only a little over an hour. Was this the new English Beat??
We learned later that evening that there was a problem at the show in Fort Collins that prompted this cold reception at the Summit, both venues run by the same company, Soda Jerk. This is what the English Beat FaceBook page said regarding what happened the night before:
Thisd was their way of protesting the events of the previus evening: short show, few drinks sold, Soda Jerk gets a financial hit. Let's see if they perform at the Summit next time they come through .
And they are returning in August, one of the bands playing at the Raggea On The Rocks, at the Red Rocks Amphitheter. Should be a fun show!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Our destination was the Commissary Yurt on the backside of the Teton Range. It snowed the previous week and was snowing everyday were were up on the mountain. The entry was relatively easy, an ascent of about 1500 feet over five miles, but it is still difficult for someone out of shape. There's such a great feeling when one rounds the corner and there's our destination. Several of us went out and did some scouting that evening in preparation for the trip up Beard Mountain the following day. A glorious sunset with the snow covered trees and clouds brightly lit in the last rays of the sun!
Day two was spend ascending and skiing down the untracked powder on the west flank of Beard Mountain. Hours spent on the ascent for perhaps 15 -20 minutes of pure pleasure floating down the mountainside. Turn around and do it again. By mid afternoon there was no time to do another loop so it was time to return to the yurt for appetizers, beverages and my turn at dinner. It began snowing again after sunset. Just like the night before, when all went to bed, I went outside for a cigar with some tequila and a concert recording. No chance of my falling off the bunk bed since I had the cot that sat low to the yurt floor.
New powder blanketed the trail for our return trip to the vehicles. Once back on the access road, we had to pole and skate ski back to the vehicles. That's work too. We dropped our packs and loaded up the skis, heading over to Grand Targhee for a half day of skiing on powder covered runs. The snow was coming down hard, creating whiteout conditions on top of the mountain, feeling our way down until the appearance of trees gave us something to judge our movement by. Our legs were exhausted by the time 4 PM came around and we completed our last run of the day.
The next day and a half were spent at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. More snow, more powder runs, more fine dining, more drinking. The one guy on our crew who lived in Jackson knew where the secret stashes of fresher snow were located, often on the steeper slopes on the fringe of the ski area, often in the trees. A great time was had by all.
After a half day of skiing, I and one other boarded a plane and departed for home Sunday evening. We felt every bump and shift in the wind aboard our small aircraft. I was happy to touch ground back in Colorado. Discussion have begun as to where we might consider going for our next ski mancation in 2015.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
"The Boreas Pass Section House was built in 1882 to house the railroad men and their families who took care of a section of the Denver South Park and Pacific narrow gauge railway that ran from Denver to Leadville over Boreas Pass. Next to the Section House sits Ken's Cabin, also known as the historic Wagon Cabin, built in the 1860’s when Boreas Pass Road was a mere wagon trail over the Continental Divide."
The treed east facing slope had lots of good snow in an otherwise wind scoured landscape. That old railroad grade up to the hut made for an easy ascent, but we were wishing for a few more degrees of slope on the way down. The north wind howled at night, rattling the building loud enough to disturb peoples sleep. One person described the wind noise as "weird", sounding like someone was walking across the floor in the upstairs bedroom areas. Maybe it was the wind or the Italian section house chief's wife who passed away in the house decades ago. I missed it, having slept downstairs close to the fire where I would occasionally get up to drop another log in the fire.
On Sunday the people gathered around a small transistor radio to listen to the football game, while I enjoyed the powder in the trees. I don't recall anyone noticing the strange coincidence about the two teams going to the Superbowl, from Washington and Colorado, the two states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. I would have stayed out skiing until sunset but it was my turn to cook dinner that evening and I had to get back to cut bell peppers, onions and chicken and prepare side dishes for the burritos I was making. After a beautiful sunrise the following morning, it was time to load up and head back down the trail to our waiting vehicles.
On both Saturday and Sunday evenings, once everyone was preparing for bed, I would step outside for a cigar, some tequila and music, pacing the deck as I stood in the cold wind for an hour or two. The shows I listened to were: Tame Impala (Lollapalooza Festival, Chicago, 2012), Echo and the Bunnymen (Rotterdam 1893), Gene Loves Jezabel (Accept No Substitutes/Greatest Hits Disc 1), Broncho (Glasslands 2012) and Iggy Pop (Channel 1988). Fabulous moonrise when it crested the mountain behind us, watching its silent progress as it first lit up the mountainside opposite the hut.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
The Royal Norfolk Hotel at Paddington station is just as I remembered it, a funky, somewhat dilapidated hotel with tiny rooms. But it works considering it's only meant for sleeping.
Went to see Ranking Roger and The Beat that first night in London. Excellent.
The train ride through the English country side to Liverpool. We caught an earlier train than the one I reserved, so we got into Lime Street Station an hour earlier.
We toured the waterfront along the River Mersey, spending most of the time at the Liverpool Museum, with a required walk down Mathew Street.
Got to the theater early and stood near the head of the line, entertained by the crowd of girls who were waiting to get into the theater to see the Valentine Brothers. Pounding the doors to get in to be with their heart throbs.
The Probes were the opening act, with early 80's influences, including the Bunnymen. They sounded great and put me in the mood for what was to come.
The Bunnymen were phenomenal, rousing the crowd into one big sing along all night long. Two new songs off of an album to be released...soon? We had front row seat, the barricade offering an anchor against the swaying crowd pushing from behind. Loud, very loud audience.
Hanging out near the stage door exit. Before exiting the building I met Peasy and told him to have the band come to the US in 2014. Spent some time with The Probes, a local band hoping to release their first EP. Told them to make the trip to America. The Bunnymen came out one by one, greeting them with complements on their performance. Caught Ian as he hopped in a waiting vehicle, getting a smile out of him when I said his music put me in heaven. Very surprised when Gordy greeted me by name. Will was last to exit, informing me of the fact a few of them were heading over to the Grapes bar, "near the bombed out church." I've been in Liverpool long enough to know exactly where that was. I made the point very clear that they should tour in the US next year.
Spent a little time at the Grapes bar, speaking to Gordy and several fans of the band. Interesting conversation. While distracted, Will slipped out and was gone.
Another early train ride, but this time back to London, sitting in a car with a bunch of guys, one of whom walked on with a big plastic bag of bottled beer, cracking them open at 10:30 in the morning. Must have been a good game they watched the day before.
Time in London was limited, visiting a print/water color gallery and the TATE Modern along the River Thames. Dinner at an Indian food restaurant and then back to the hotel to repack our bags in anticipation of an early flight out of Heathrow the following morning.
Hanging out at the airport waiting for the flight. I felt like I was in a shopping mall with all the stores around.
Flew over Greenland, blue shadowed peaks rising above the smooth ice cap, yellow sunlight reflecting off the water in the fiord's on the west coast.
Frigid temps in Chicago, the snow just beginning to come down. Concerned as they deiced the plane while the snow only kept increasing in intensity. Visions of a skidding airplane as it attempted to climb off a slick runway.
We return home in Denver, the excitement is over, back to reality, resuming an ordinary life, but only after a good nights rest.