Sunday, January 24, 2010


On Friday I looked at my watch and was somewhat surprised to notice that it was January 22. Where has all the time gone? What have I accomplished?

Friday nights virtual concert was followed by a Saturday lounging around the house, working primarily on a new block print. The tedious task of carving individual blocks for each color, chipping away around odd shapes and lines that will eventually become part of a complete image. I'm very curious to see how this one turns out.

Saturday night found me driving up to Loveland Basin where it was snowing. I parked in a corner of the parking lot and turned up the music, listening to a mix of bands primarily from the 1980's. The Psychedelic Furs. The Cure. Killing Joke. Stiff Little Fingers. English Beat. There were also a few songs by Echo & The Bunnymen. What I noticed was that EATB's sound is somewhat unique, a style of lyric and performance that stands out from the rest. Ian was correct to claim that they were the best band in the world.

Wind howled outside all night as I slept in the back of the truck, a fine snow driven inside through gaps in the back hatch door, coating the sleeping bag and blankets with a fine layer of white. I was toasty warm, almost too warm, requiring that I open up the bag a bit to let some heat out. Up by 7AM and having breakfast in the lodge shortly thereafter. A blizzard raged outside, strong winds carrying snow sideways, creating periods of white out. I skied until about 1:30 PM and called it a day, the layers of clothing I wore no longer able to keep out the chill. Any skin that may have been exposed was quickly numbed with cold.

Scrape the stratosphere
Peaks gather their icy load
Lost in the storms white

Rock jutting skyward
Shrug off the storm's cold fury
Their silent slumber

Wind through the spruce trees
Sway while they whisper loudly
Speaking of the storm

Friday night found me outside with headphones on, a cigar in one hand and flask of tequila in the other. The quality of the recordings demanded that I use the portable CD player, not the truck stereo. First up was Coldplay performing live at the Gloria, a small (400 people) club in Cologne, Germany on April 7, 2005. Coldplay are an English alternative rock band, formed in London in 1998 who claim to have drawn influence from Echo & The Bunnymen, among other bands. This particular show preceded the release of their third studio album, X&Y, by a couple months and therefore they played a number of new songs this night off that soon to be released album. An excellent audience recording that captures the emotion of their sound.

Towards a destination
Lured by the hearts warm promise
Flying through the sky

Download it here:

Part 2:

The headliner this evening was Echo & The Bunnymen's live performance on December 7, 2005 in Anaheim, California. And excellent soundboard recording that was limited only by Ian's voice, noticeably deficient at the beginning of the performance, getting better as the show went on. This is the result of age and years of drinking and smoking, a behavior that alarms his fans who remember the shows in the 1980's where his voice was legendary. But it still was a good performance by the band, Will and the others playing flawlessly. Many of the songs were the same ones played during their Liverpool shows I attended 4 years later. Listening to this show dredged up fond memories of my time with them only a month ago.

Closes his wide eyes
Minds release to the music
Lost in the moment

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Saturday was spent skiing at Sunlight with the family, followed by an evening soaking several hours in the hot spring pool. A beautiful day to be on the slopes but more fresh snow would have been appreciated by all. I enjoyed the opportunity to ski with the family, a rare event considering how often I go out when everyone else prefers to stay home.

Several hours were spent in the pool again Sunday morning, although by then we were looking forward to the return trip home that afternoon. Snow was falling on the Divide, accidents snarling traffic, bringing us to a standstill. I had enough time to jump out of the car and smoke a cigar while standing on the highway. A car packed with women snow borders in an adjoining vehicle offered me a shot from their bottle of booze. I declined noting that I had my own bottle of tequila. The family did not appreciate the smell I brought back into the car. We were home by 5:30 PM.

That evening I took my music outside to the truck and cranked up the stereo. With cigar in hand I enjoyed Chickenfoot's August 8, 2009 show at the Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan. An excellent audience recording that captures the energy of their performance. Sammy chats with the audience between each song, more so than Dave ever did in his career. Dave raps with his audience following the same script each show while Sammy is spontaneous and sincere. He was joking all night with Chad and Joe, but virtually no chatter with Mike. A great performance.

Rises in the sky
Touch the lion's flowing mane
The stars burn brightly

Stands so far away
Staring up at the night sky
A view imagined

Monday, January 18, 2010


After the kids returned from school Friday afternoon, we jumped in the car and began driving west, our destination being Glenwood Springs for a couple days of soaking and skiing. We were in the hot spring pool by 9 PM, an hour relaxing in the water before they close at 10. It was very cold outside, thick clouds of steam rising off the water.

Back to the hotel, change into warm clothing and out I go for a cigar, flask and music. I walked down to the Colorado River but a cold wind coming down the canyon easily cut through the clothing and chilled me, forcing me to look for a more sheltered area. The sheriff patroling the area ensured I did not stand on the bridge overlooking the highway. I found a quiet spot near the hotel and rocked out.

First up was Electrafixion's live show at Sheperds Bush Empire in London on October 22, 1995. I like the hard edge to Ian's and Will's music from that era.

Download it here:

This was followed by my listening to Echo & The Bunnymen's Heavan Up Here studio album which included several bonus tracks. A really great album from a time they were making a name for themselves and rising in popularity.

Morning lasts so long
An afternoon in the sun
Then its time to go

Cruise by black and white
Notable odd behavior
Turns to red and blue

Sunday, January 10, 2010


The morning brought a hut filled with people packing up and cleaning in preparation for a departure, all the while a beautiful sunrise lit up the landscape all around us. Breakfast is followed by packing backpacks and dressing for the trip back to the trail head. Climbing skins are packed and we point ski tips downhill, following the same path we took to get to the hut. But now gravity was working with us, carrying us swiftly downhill. One needed to be very cautious because the descent was fast and the trail narrow, looking for every opportunity to cut fresh powder along the way for enjoyment and to slow the speed of ones descent. A beautiful sunny day with a pleasant air temperature added to the fun time down.

Back to our parked vehicles, load up and head out. I was back in Denver shortly after 3 PM. Unpack and attend to other unfinished business. By 10 PM I was ready to head outside for a virtual concert.

The unseen burden
Pushing down upon weighed chest
Shaking with black fear

Walls are closing in
Clawing at the pitch darkness
Alone in minds box

The music of choice for this evening was Echo & The Bunnymen performing live in Liverpoool on August 17/18, 2001. The edition I had was a scarce 2002 UK 17-track advance promotional CD featuring a great live recording of the Liverpool show, which high ligthed both Will's guitar and Ian's voice, both of whom performed splendidly. I was grooving to the music outside in the cold until shortly before midnight.

Caught in the whirlpool
Heart's emotion in their grip
Pulled under and drowns

Ascends to new heights
There's no logical limit
Falls over the wall