Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Long Live the KING

Dr. King 50 years ago today.
This is a 50th anniversary everyone can be proud of. Here's to the man who sought out that which was right. I'm so proud to be an American on a day the recognizes and pays homage to a true leader with a just moral compass. Thanks for helping to blaze the trail toward equality. We still have work to do. Rest in peace Dr. King. This country will never forget your Dream. 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chula Vista did US right...

Chula Vista California, Little League World Series
South Williamsport, PA plays host to one of the best examples of TEAM sports, at any level.
This year the tournament showcased an already proven international champion from Tokyo and a US champion from Chula Vista. Japan was playing in its fourth straight title game. Two perennial little league baseball powers, California and Japan, played a competitive game.

Chula Vista did well and had an early 2-0 lead. Japan would later tie the game at 2 runs apiece. Finding themselves trailing again (4-3), Tokyo homered to knot the game at 4. The final was 6-4 in Favor of the Champions from Tokyo, who scored two runs off of a double to take the lead for good. Big ups to both squads, congratulations Tokyo. Obviously the youngsters from California deserve to be celebrated as well. They played some exciting baseball in reaching the title game. They're all champs in my book.

Early on in the tournament Chula Vista had great performances on the mound and heroics at the plate to advance through a feisty US bracket. Grant Holman threw a no hitter and blasted a walk off grand slam and would go on to hit another game winning bomb. That second winning shot came in an extra-innings nail biter against Westport, Connecticut, whom they would face again in the USA championship. Chad Night is a gamer (CT). But it was the young athlete playing second base and leading it off for Chula Vista, Micah Pietila-Wiggs, that had the quiet swagger. Kid had it on lock down. He's a tremendous lead-off hitter who possess speed, even for his age, while also playing impressive defense. His game is just correct, he knows what to do, like breaking up double plays and taking away extra base hits. I'm interested to know what his batting average and on base percentage were throughout the little league world series. He seemed to have multi hit games every time out.

Lamade Stadium, Center Field

Congratulations to all of the young teams that were able to compete at Howard J. Lamade Stadium. It's always great to watch the youth promote sportsmanship. Well done.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

So Far So Good

Art by: David Ellis
It's August and like so many others I'm trying to navigate through the busiest summer ever. I know, it's my own damn fault. Regardless of why we over-inundate ourselves with hectic schedules, we hopefully find some time to tune out, or rather, tune in. So with the end of summer approaching, Labor Day is September 2nd, here's a quick list of the five or so albums that have grabbed my ear and held it. I will revisit this topic at the end of the year. Thanks to those artists that help us wade through the seasons. This list of fire spitters is in no particular order.
* Phosphorescent - Muchacho was released on the Dead Oceans label this year and has been one of those records that I cannot wear out. It continues to sooth again and again. Matthew Houck is the man behind the moniker. This southerner based in Brooklyn summons the stories he has endured.

* Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City dropped this year and within a few listens had won me over. This album has many great tracks, however I recommend just letting the record play. 

* Jim James - Regions of Light and Sound of God was Mr. James' debut solo album. Having seen the corresponding tour I can confirm its legitimacy. Jim is one of the most active men in rock and roll today. After completing the initial leg of his solo tour he went into Americana mode touring with Wilco and Bob Dylan. Making a pit stop at Newport reinforced his unofficial title of ambassador to the folk festival. He'll be back on the road soon in support of Regions.

* Thao and the Get Down Stay Down - We the Common was an album that entered into my consciousness immediately. Thao and the Get Down were that something new I had been waiting for. With a kaleidoscope of sounds whirling into one coherent theme, her simplistic allure is deeper than the initial bliss she's created. Having seen her perform at the Buddy Holly tribute in San Francisco was a total treat. Not only did she cover the late great, she also lit up the audience with three original tracks, Kindness Be Confused, Holly Roller and We the Common.

Three other albums are vying for the fifth spot. They are, Random Access Memories by Daft Punk; the Foxygen release We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic; and Mosquito from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Have fun with the rest of summer.