Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thought for Food

Two great quotes from David Foster Wallace's Everything and More, A Compact History of Infinity.

"The dreads and dangers of abstract thinking are a big reason why we now all like to stay so busy and bombarded with stimuli all the time."

"Never before have there been so many gaping chasms between what the world seems to be and what science tells us it is."

New Swedes

Well, I haven't been blogging for awhile. A local community tragedy has been consuming mind and body for the last two weeks, and, well, blogging just seemed a bit silly.

At any rate, I had a great time hanging out with the tall men in the Swedish band Vasen at the StringNation festival and have been listening nonstop to their new CD, Linnaeus Vasen, as well as the new CD by Olov Johannson (Vasen's nyckelharpist), I Lust Och Glod, and three Swedish CDs that arrived in the mail while I was gone: Lena Willemark's Alvdalens Elektriska, the Ale Moller Band's brilliant new CD Djef Djel and Sofia Karlsson's Visor Fran Vinden, all of which are highly recommended (available at CDRoots). More on the wonders of each of them soon.

Meanwhile, here's the first tune on Linnaeus Vasen.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

String Nation

The String Nation festival starts tomorrow, in Camden, New Jersey. This is Darol's brainchild, the first festival of contemporary world string band music. And while some festivals start small, Darol and festival director Joseph Milano decided to go all out in their first venture and get some of the best Irish, Swedish, Brazilian, and American string musicians in the world. Vasen, Tim O'Brien, Seamus Egan, Mike Marshall, Hamilton de Holanda, and of course Darol and me and the Republic of Strings, which will expand to twice or thrice its size for this gig. And from what I hear, every hot young string player on the East Coast (and beyond) who doesn't have a gig this weekend is going to be there. It should be too much fun.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

More Cat's Hill Photos

Anne put up a gallery of her Cat's Hill photos. They take a little while to load, but they're worth it. Wish I'd been there.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Cat's Hill

Well, I missed Cat's Hill again this year, but Anne just sent me this photo. I assume this is not the reason Joey finished off the Cat's Hill podium for the first time since he started racing. Just kidding, Joe. He said he felt good, but had trouble getting clipped in and by the time he did the group was gone and he was weaving between 10-12 kids to get going. At only three short (but brutal) laps, it's pretty much a sprint from the gun. Joey did end up riding most of the race with Katrina Howard, two-time National Champion at only age 11, which is who he rode with the first time he rode Cat's Hill two years ago.

Joey's teammate Brentley won the 13-14s, his second Junior Points Series win in a row. He's getting to be a pretty formidable rider (he also almost won a Cat 5 crit in Santa Rosa a couple weeks ago), and has got to be a good bet for a podium spot at Nationals for Team Swift. It apparently was a good day all around. Our friend Courtenay Brown was third in the Women's Pro race and another Swiftie, Ryan, was fourth in the 15-16s (I haven't seen results of the 17-18 race but I heard Ethan and Tyler were both very active at the front.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Indie Coffee

While Googling to doublecheck the name of the coffee shop I went to in downtown Charlottesville, VA, last weekend, Mudhouse, I came upon this great resource:

As I battle the increasingly milky Starbucks latte (you'd think a Triple Tall Latte would do the trick, but no) and discover that non-Bay Area Peets' drinks are weaker than the originals, Indie Coffeshops are about the only places left for real coffee.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tony Rice

My Tony Rice interview is now on the stands (and online) in the current issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine, with great photos by the miraculous Anne Hamersky.