Monday, May 31, 2010


The Memorial Day Holiday coupled with a mandatory budget balancing furlough day provided us with a long weekend that I insisted we take advantage of. The wife and kids were up for it.

First up was an early morning drive to A Basin for some great spring skiing. Blue skies, sun and air temps in the 70's yielded some of the easiest skiing this season, just the way the kids like it. Carving turns in the warm sun softened snow, enjoying the warmth on the skin. A herd of mountain goats sat on the ridge above the Lenawee Mountain lift, eating the grass, watching the skiers. Took some time off to enjoy the sun from the mid mountain lodge deck, drinking a good tasting beer. After lunch in the early afternoon, it was decided to pack it up and continue on down the road. By then the snow was becoming a heavy, ski sticking slush that was becoming more difficult to plow through.

Next stop was Princeton Hot Spring near Buena Vista, on Chalk Creek at the foot of the Sawatch Range. First we found a nice camp site 10 miles up the valley, at the Iron City campground, situated among the aspen trees. The snow melt flooded Chalk Creek only 200 feet away was all one heard in the campground. Iron City was a smelter town that lived for only about 2 years. The campsite is located at the original town site and a little further down the road is a cemetery. One of the most interesting epitaphs is for Sarah and Sadie Mullens - "Born a year apart, died a day apart, buried a hand apart"

A nice dinner at the Princeton Hot Spring Hotel. The next few hours were spent soaking in the two pools that sit alongside the raging creek, one pool too hot to stay in for a long time, the second the temperature of bath water. The newly built sauna was also something to be enjoyed, assuming one could endure the steam heat for more than 5 minutes!

Sometime after 10 PM we drove the unpaved road back to camp. Mira and the kids went to the tent to play some late night cards, I took the car to a secluded location up the road where I could crank up the stereo for a couple hours. Public Image Limited was going to perform their first show in Iron City this evening.

Public Image Ltd. at the O2 Academy, Brixton, review
By Tim BurrowsPublished: 5:32PM GMT 22 Dec 2009

Thirty minutes before John Lydon was due to appear on stage with his band, the reformed Public Image Ltd (PiL), the old Academy was not even half full.

The not-quite-sold-out show had fallen victim to sustained snow showers that wreaked the usual transport havoc in and around London. Yet the empty spaces seemed somehow apt: PiL was the vehicle that set Lydon free from the claustrophobia of the Sex Pistols and his Rotten persona, to wander dark, untended territory.

The group’s first line up started work 31 years ago when they played two sell out shows at the Rainbow Theatre in Lydon’s native Finsbury Park on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, 1978. Made up of Lydon and old friends Jah Wobble and Keith Levene on bass and guitar, they filtered punk paranoia through the techniques dub reggae and disco to create a post punk sound of ambient dread.

All those Christmases ago the crowd were a hostile mass — blood ran from Lydon’s face after a full can of beer was pelted at him. Not this time: “You are very quiet, London,” he said in his familiarly forbidding whine. “If I don’t receive applause in full and total appreciation I am never leaving this stage.” You feared Lydon might act upon this threat as he ploughed through a set that lasted over two hours, punctuating gaps between songs by glugging brandy from a bottle and showering it over the floor of the stage jet-like from his mouth.

Despite the legacy Lydon left to fashion, still evident today in his now traditional shock of hair and checked shirt and trousers, you could never accuse him of pandering to style over content. So it all went in. Tracks cherished by musos such as Death Disco, surely one of the only dancefloor-fillers around on the subject of terminal cancer, rubbed shoulders with later material such as the cheesey gospel rock of Disappointed.

Surprisingly, the finest moments came from PiL’s most difficult album, the paranoid Flowers of Romance. Both Four Enclosed Walls and the title track itself showcased the force of Lydon’s primal vibrato wail, to this day one of popular music’s true wonders, which filled the air over tribal drums.

The hall had been filling up steadily throughout the gig by those affected by transport. During Religion II, a monologue denouncing faith and corruption, the bass was turned up, shaking the venue. Ending with Rise and the techno collaboration with Leftfield, Open Up, what began as a chastened affair had swelled into something much greater. Even after two hours, Lydon, energised and bug-eyed, did not want to leave the stage.

Apple long forgotten
Blackened wave sweeps mankind's shore
Spoiling our Eden

Committed to sin
Hands reaching for the darkness
Bubbles up within

Lives are extinguished
The butchers hands are grasping
Oh no, not again

No comments: