Had an amazing weekend with friends Joe Heitzeberg and Tom Romary. We met on Saturday evening in Rainier park. The campsite at Cougar Rock was full so we drove a few hundred feet down the road, parked at a trailhead, hiked in a bit and slept under the stars. We got up to paradise at about 7am and started hiking up to Muir on skis with skins. We hiked from about 5,500 ft to over 10,000 ft, took a break and had lunch and then skied down on a route we made up as we went along. At one point we had skied into a valley and had to climb a snowbank to get back on the trail (the alternative was skiing down the Nisqually river valley on top of the river and possibly falling through, so we decided against that). Joe has posted photos and video here. (Page 2 has the videos) The videos are a little large to download, so as soon as they’re up on youtube I’ll embed a few here.
Alan Steele just tagged me to write 7 songs I like and then tag 7 people I know to do the same – kind of a blog chain letter. I don’t actually know 7 bloggers – and yes, I don’t get out much at all – in fact I’m pretty much an uber nerd who just fishes and writes code and both don’t require much interaction with humans. But I’ll give it a shot….
Please note that the first song has explicit lyrics and is not safe for work or kids.
1. NWA – Straight outta Compton
This is the original gangsta rap song. Pretty much launched the entire genre. The album has special meaning to me. I was in high school in 1991 in South Africa during apartheid. The school I was in was a private one and therefore one of the very few multi-racial schools in the country. A black friend (Natasha) was into NWA and black culture at the time and gave me a tape of their music. We used to spend hours having political debates at school. I ended up dating her friend (Claudette) and a white boy dating a black girl in apartheid South Africa was an interesting time of my life. This album captures that time.
2. Pearl Jam – Alive (Ten album)
Right after high school I joined a band doing half covers and half originals. We used to gig to a packed room at the local lifesaving club in Milnerton. The first gig we ever did was at the University of Cape Town and I was scared shitless. We covered Alive and it has an almost 2 minute guitar solo at the end that I totally pulled off. Good times!
3. Mother Love Bone – Come Bite the Apple
I left South Africa when I was 23 and went to live in London for 5 years. I was working for Credit Suisse after 6 months for about 1.5 years and living in Canary Wharf. I would walk to work with a Sony Minidisc player (where did they go?!) and listen to this song repeatedly whenever I was having a bad day and it would cheer me up. The lead guitar work in this song is just unbelievable – I love the whiny slow sound he gets. I never got into Mother Love Bone until after Andrew Wood died and it kills me that I’ll never see them live. Ah well – at least we have Pearl Jam.
4. Massive Attack – Three (from the protection album and City of Industry soundtrack)
My good friend Antonio Separovic has an eye for the artful and he told me one day that the movie City of Industry has the most amazing opening scene and soundtrack. I have slow moral and aesthetic reflexes, so it took me a while to catch on, but one day I was watching it for the 2nd time and it clicked. I was still living in London and Massive Attack had finally gone mainstream and the visuals and the song captured London beautifully even though it’s set in LA. Massive attack’s music reminds me of London and I had the pleasure of seeing them live at the London Arena.
5. Paul van Dyk’s Ministry of Sound session on friday night on Radio1 in London
There’s a session that Paul van Dyk did that was rebroadcast on Radio1 (who I worked for in 2003 but this was recorded in 2000 I think) and that my friend Marco Stichini and I used to listen to before a workout or a cycle to get psyched. It’s the most incredible 1 hour of Trance/Techno you’ll ever hear. It’s still floating around on the peer to peer file sharing networks today.
6. Rammstein – Du Hast
One night at 4am in 2004 after a rather harrowing experience (Atlanta – my friends know what I’m referring to) I walked into a bar in Table View in Cape Town and they were blasting Du Hast over this amazing sound system. I ended up drinking tequila with the barman and blowing off some steam. Du Hast captures that time.
7. Heart – Crazy on You
My amazing wife introduced me to Heart and the song Crazy on You is a great one for the stage I’m at in my life right now. Nancy Wilson’s guitar gives me chills and Anne Wilson is IMHO one of the best vocalists in the history of history. Heart came out of Bellevue, Washington and I’m very much into their music right now so I’ll have them as my 7th choice. Here’s the video of Crazy on You. There’s a 2 and a half minute acoustic guitar solo at the beginning. Enjoy!!