What a way to wake up. I’ll never forget watching Levon at the Edmonton Folk Fest a few years ago. This would have been one of his final tours before punching his ticket to the Big River up in the sky. This man, he’s a man. Always will be.
A few years back, Krang played a house party in Strathcona. A hardcore band opened, then we played, and then, after exiting a limo parked in the back alley, the small white guy in the video above and his crew brought the party. I’ll never forget the first (and so far, only) time I saw Cashew perform a song of his called “Smoke and Drive”. As a band people often pigeonhole as “stoner rocker”, we felt right at home on the same bill with a crew that smoked and smoked and smoked and smoked….
Edmonton’s rap and hip-hop community has its ups and downs; sometimes there are a bunch of people making noise in the scene; other times, it’s more compartmentalized, more underground. A good place to get acquainted is on the local YouTube channel for Grapevine Entertainment. I don’t know why, but I always smile when I see rap videos that look like rap videos, but everyone’s wearing Oilers gear, drinking Pil and walking up and down the High Level or river valley. Oh, and frisbee golf. Don’t forget frisbee golf…
Just over a year ago, I stumbled across this YouTube channel. Caprice87 posts straight from VHS rips of Detroit and Detroit-area rap and dance parties from the 80s and 90s. Everything about these: the fashion, the music, the dance moves, the neon lights…funktastic!
Like Martin Schneider at Dangerous Minds revealed, when I think of Dennis Hopper I think of Easy Rider and Blue Velvet (which I just recently watched). And since I’ve been a “sports guy” from an early age, Hoosiers certainly stands out for me as well.
What I didn’t know was that along with being a real fucking badass in a world of faux badasses, Hopper also had a knack for photography (being part of a world with friendly access to some of America’s top artists didn’t hurt either). See some of his beautiful black and whites on Dangerous Minds.
ALSO: a nicely toasted Hopper waxes about the state of film and his career back in ’71.
There aren’t many times (or opportunities now that I think about it) when I get starstruck. One of those times was seeing Al Green perform at Bonnaroo outside Nashville a few years ago. Over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, the Reverend was dressed in a three-piece suit and spent the whole set throwing roses to the adoring throngs he was seducing. It’s this kinda day today…
I loved watching WWF when I was a kid. When we visited my grandparents in their tiny farming community in Manitoba, my grandpa and I would walk to the post office/video store in town and rent old Stampede Wrestling tapes to watch in his tiny living room. I had dreams of the Hitman choosing me from the audience to hand over his trademark wraparound shades. My god, I wanted that to happen.
Today, my view on the wrestling “entertainment” business is less glossy and more, uhm, disparate. Vince McMahon squeezed regional promoters to allow him dictatorial control over the industry. His talent (wrestlers, ring personas) are paid as “independent contractors” meaning they have no health insurance, among rights many other workers would receive. Bloodlust from fans and domination over the rights of workers is why this list keeps growing every year, with predictable patterns and unsurprising demises.
Money in the Bank (Jacobin)
The story of pro wrestling in the twentieth century is the story of American capitalism
The Rise of Beefcake Yoga (New York Times)
Once their careers end, pro wrestlers often fall into emotional and physical disrepair. One of their own, Diamond Dallas Page, has a fix.