Thursday, April 18, 2013

Record Store Day packs a heavy hit

It's like a kid in a candy store. 4.20.2013
It's almost Record Store Day and I can hardly wait, I've already ranked my personal list. One of my favorite days of the year happens to share this saturday with another counter culture event, 4/20. And, if you happen to live in the Bay area, San Francisco is hosting an event to celebrate Earth Day. Can it be, a day so filled with sensory overload, on multiple levels, recognizing different themes, that I can actually partake in each? Like the little engine that could, I think I can, I think I can...

This year's list is impressive and long. Some of the vinyl catching my eye ranges from east coast hip-hop legends, live folk recordings and reissues from rock 'n roll heavyweights. Here's a small sample of what's tickling my fancy.

Bob Dylan will be releasing a 7 inch with Wigwam and Thirsty Boots as the b side. Ready to Die gets a facelift with two 12 inch pieces of white vinyl. (R.I.P. B.I.G.) Meanwhile Public Enemy decided to drop a greatest hits on us, titled, Planet Earth. The White Stripes pay homage to Elephant, it's been ten years people, by giving each LP its own color variation. An EP by the Rolling Stones, a 7 inch Gram Parsons recording from 1973 with the Fallen Angels and a compilation of those who performed at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival are some of the other rarities on my radar. The Grateful Dead (rare cuts 1966), Fela Kuti and Patty Griffin also put out limited releases for record store day.

Go support your local record shop. See you in line at the Last Record Store. I think I can.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Feliz CumpleaƱos San Francisco

Happy Birthday San Francisco,

The City by the Bay
San Francisco may only be seven square miles but today it turned 163 years old. It's safe to say a lot has changed since April 15th, 1850. I for one am thankful to be a part of the greater bay area. I'm proud to call California home. San Francisco is blessed with both cultural and geographical diversity. It truly is one of the best cities in the world. So here's to you SF, may we always recognize and appreciate your grandeur. Cheers!
A happy resident, eightychoices.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to those impacted by the violence in Boston. My thoughts are with all of those who were affected.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Cardinal Rule

House of Cards
Congratulations Louisville, your play and perseverance were inspiring. In what was one of the most exciting championship games in recent years, hat's off to the Michigan Wolverines as well. Last night's final was immensely entertaining. We were treated to stellar play throughout on the grandest of stages. It was a game for the ages, in which everyone involved performed at such high levels with unbound intensity (sans Russ Smith, who played horribly). This was the game and the madness was in full effect.

Both teams had major contributions off the bench. When Trey Burke picked up his second personal in the first half, Shorty White (aka Spike Albrecht) went nuts and actually increased the Michigan lead. Not to be outdone, Luke Hancock (aka the bearded rain maker) came in and went bonkers, sinking his first four threes to bring the deficit to one. On the next Louisville possession the lead changed hands on what may have been the dunk of the year by Montrezl Harrel, served up by Siva (until Tim Hardaway Jr. unleashed one in the second half). By intermission the Wolverines recaptured a one point edge. Still my mind was buzzing with the two and half minute run in which the Cardinals rattled off 14 points.
Montrezl Harrel flying for the lob.

The second half had three primary characters, perhaps four. In my mind Peyton Siva and Chane Behanan were the difference in the final 20 minutes. The two of them were flat out playing man ball. Chane's effort on the glass epitomized the will to outwork everyone else down low, pure hustle. He was in beast mode and Peyton Siva was orchestrating both the team and the tempo. Not only does Siva work his ass off on both ends of the floor, he's also the calm within the Cardinal storm. He seemingly does what needs to be done, creating a frenzy while simultaneously staying under control. The guards of Louisville are absolutely relentless in their ball pressure. It's fun to watch and nice to know that some teams still get after it on the defensive end. Trey Burke had his game back on track too. The Naismith and Wooden award winner played his heart out. Time and time again Trey drilled clutch shots, in both half court sets and at the charity stripe. The sophomore point guard lead all scorers with 24. Let's not forget about Luuuuke... he ended up with an ultra efficient 22 points (5/5 from three, 7/10 from the line and only one missed field goal). Hell, Louisville might not have even made the title game without his clutch shooting against the Shockers of Wichita State. Hancock walked away with the M.O.P award. He registered 44 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 0 turnovers during the final four. Not bad for a transfer who comes off the bench.
 Notorious M.O.P.

What a year for the college basketball junkie, I thoroughly enjoyed this march through madness. The games and the story lines were superb. Congratulations to the Louisville Cardinals, they earned this national title. Coached by the hall-of-famer Rick Pitino, the Cardinals won a third national championship for their university. Pitino also became the first coach to win titles at two different schools. Mad props to both teams, it was one hell of a display in effort and skill. Dare I say it had the feel of an NBA game. In my dream world everyone would return for another year of college, yep only in my dreams.


Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools

Hotlanta = Hoops Heaven
What a tournament, madness is most definitely the best word to describe it. Wichita State is, at least for this year, the best team from Kansas. My pick, the Orange of Syracuse, are playing the 2-3 zone with an almost mutant amoeba type level of intensity and movement. Michigan is in the Final 4 for the first time since the good old days of the fab 5. The Wolverines played amazing ball down the stretch to pull off one of the greatest comebacks I've seen in recent memory. Trey Burke is the tournament's M.O.P. thus far. And then there's Louisville, who is making a return trip to the Final Four. My thoughts are with their young teammate, Mr. Ware, I wish him the best. It was nice to see the Cardinals prevail for their fallen comrade. I have Syracuse over Louisville in the championship - the Big East going out in style.

Congratulations to the Orange, the Shockers, the Wolverines and the Cardinals.
Final 4 teams: Syracuse, Wichita State, Michigan & Louisville
Thanks for making this one of the most chaotic marches through madness in quite some time. I'm pretty stoked to see what unfolds in the Michigan versus Syracuse game. It's going to be interesting to watch the number 9 seed Shockers, full of talent and heart, go up against the overall number 1 seeded Cardinals, who pride themselves on defensive pressure, tempo and strong guard play. Let the Madness continue.    


ps. Happy belated Easter. Happy Opening Day too.