The rain and the sea and the hours.

April 26, 2014

Bernard Sumner stumbled into singing when his best friend killed himself. Its something he wasn’t ever particularly good at, despite becoming the iconic voice of New Order.

While he does a pretty good job on this one, its not his voice actually sounding more songlike for once that I appreciate most in this song.

What gets me is this beautiful sentiment out of Sumner that you’d never, ever get from Ian Curtis.

Could anyone see Joy Division doing a song like this? Not a chance. Yet, of course, it is kissed with that haunting legacy of Curtis hiding out underneath it all. There’s a great juxtaposition between those two things, here. The contrast of Sumner’s emotion against the minimalist backdrop the band provides, still true to their DNA as the band that was that other, less happier band, once upon a time.

The Village is a wonderful surprise and I think this is the song that Sumner probably actually sang best. At the onset, it’s a surprisingly optimistic, organic, and warm song for a group that really was at the forefront of minimalist electronic music and pioneering those kinds of cold, tin-like, sounds.

With The Village you’ve got the natural world overlapping with all kinds of sentiment about love and emotion. If you’re a transcendentalist or romanticist you’d know that these things are, of course, forever entwined. It’s a good ride, with a twist. The punch in this song is that all that bright and romantic set up is only there to be stripped away by the last two stanzas. The ghost of Ian Curtis, I assume, skulking in, black and nihilist and poo-pooing on all that warm fuzzy stuff.

When a new life turns towards you
And the night becomes a day
We shall remain forever
Everyone who meets his way
Oh, our love is like the flowers
The rain and the sea and the hours
Oh, our love is like the flowers
The rain and the sea and the hours 

When the rain falls to the sea
They’ll be waiting for you and for me
And the sky reflects our image
Trying to sleep right through our lives

Oh, our love is like the earth
The sun and the trees and the birth
Oh, our love is like the earth
The sun and the trees and the birth

I am still here two days later
Same place, same time
And I’m stuck here two years too long
Same place, the wrong time

Oh, our love is like the flowers
The rain and the sea and the hours
Oh, our love is like the flowers
The sun and the sea and the hours

Their love died three years ago
Spoken words I cannot show

Ode to a bike ride that took place one night in early April, 2014.

April 12, 2014

I did some brutal Functional Threshold to Maximum Aerobic Power intervals tonight, 5 of them, 30 seconds on and 2.5 minutes off, repeat 3 times.

Oh the pain.

They sucked. But they were very rewarding.

They occurred under a temperamentally cloudy sky with our crew fighting headlong into, or racing at our backs, a warm spring wind that had that kiss of promise that warm spring winds can have.

It whispered and then roared a declaration of renewal, rebirth, and of great things to come.


The heart of a great mystery…

March 4, 2014


The mountains smell sweet and wild, an incense compounded of wet stone, wet amber brush, wet moss, humus, generations of pine needles…and almost unbearable lovely smell; despite the cold I pull open the window to catch it all. The rain hisses down into the black heart of a great mystery that I am on the verge of discovering. Any moment now, I am sure, it will drift in on the mountain rain, into my life. Only it never ever quite arrives.

The National and our Rosie Minded Fuzz.

November 26, 2013

This is a great song by a great band. Matt Beringer’s velvety smooth vocals are like drinking a pint of Guinness with your ears. It’s got a perfect cadence for running but it’s also really nice to just listen to. The crooning smoothness lulls you into thinking it’s a super chill, lie on the couch track, but the tempo makes you do this aural double take, where you’re like, “hey wait a second…”

This video is great. I love the classy and unpretentious aesthetic; these are the people you’d want to be friends with. It’s music with storytelling. The filtered sound when the band first comes on over the din of conversation, people taking notice, getting up and participating, and the wonderful bit at 2:30 with the red shoes (and calves!) that are the catalyst that instigate the life, vitality, and what becomes the overall message of the piece.

To me the video, and song, speaks to what 30-something (or 40-something) is. People chatting. There’s kids. It’s nice. But its just nice. It’s a little passive. The lyrics are about hiding out, cocooning, slowing down. “Tired and wired, we ruin too easy.” But Red Shoes changes it. Red Shoes rolls out, shakes it, and reminds us all that life is to be actively experienced. The dude at 2:38 is thinking, “Yeah. Dancing. I used to do that. Man. That was good. That felt right. Wait a sec…I can still do that. I’m so doing that.” And he does. They all do.

I love that the couple grabs hands just as the lyric says, “so worry not, all things are well, we’ll be alright” and the guy lifting the baby just after pushes it home, conveying just how alright it is. This shows us there’s room for all things. That the new life is not necessarily the death of the old one. Go ahead, cocoon, nest, stay inside that ‘rosie minded fuzz’, but don’t forget to step out and dance every now and then ’cause that’s super important too. It makes me think of the couples I know that have kids and then, a week later, are back out at bike races and 10-k fun runs with this little human in tow, a little human that’s going to grow up into an interesting and engaging world. I can’t speak of these things first hand but I know that’s what I’d shoot for if that happens. A kid reared not just by parents but by the experiences of life itself. The world, curated by a guide, is a capable and wise teacher.

Maybe that’s a lot to pull out of a four minute song, but that’s art, people. That’s supposed to happen.

And the music pendulum swings

November 7, 2013

Nice, deep house out of Germany. This stuff is just great.

It seems like there’s been a real resurgence in deep, soulful house as of late.

Ten years ago this was the type of stuff we would go dance to, but, like a lot of things that were good, you had to make that scene yourself, or dig one up somewhere. And then, like a lot of things that were good, it got more and more popular and then, eventually, the whole scene seemed to just be full of drunk party people slutting out all over the place. I’m aware that sounds pretty elitist but I watched it happen. Every album cover was some nude bimbo and the whole movement seemed to collectively shift towards the most base human experience without keeping the love, man. Gone was anything profound, let alone any moment you could call soulful or spiritual. Dance floors were filled with Jersey Shore castoffs pumping their fist in the air when the drop came and the whole thing was fueled by Red Bull. To have known it before all that, then to witness that evolution, was pretty fucking sad.

Well, it looks like the counter-culture is here and its fresh, alive, and positive. I sure like it. Check out this guy, Marlon Hoffstadt, and also the Magician, from Belgium. All of this stuff can be found on SoundCloud and you can spend days following the thread of a particular track, seeing who else has it in their set and checking out their stuff while at it.

Housey on and on.

Your new warm up song. Your new intervals song.

May 23, 2013

This is a really nice, bright, optimistic piece of music courtesy of the Daft Punk boys along with some vocals courtesy of Panda Bear. Loving it.


If you do it right
Let it go all night
Shadows on you break
Out into the light

If you lose your way tonight
That’s how you know the magic’s right.

And this track is right after that one on the new album. After about 3:20 you’ll know what I mean. The last 20-seconds of this is pretty much how I feel every time I do a hard interval. That whole feeling of increasing, rising. overwhelming white noise and intensity as you try to not give up. What’s rad is that this was done with DJ. Falcon, old school French House in tha house. Kill-er.

Cross Crusade Wrap Up Party

December 16, 2012

“Ok, let’s do these kid’s awards fast so we can drink grain alcohol and watch adult movies.”

I just remembered why we were so fuzzy headed before racing the GPTB. It’s because what we did right after driving 15 hours, sleeping 6 hours, racing in Eugene,  and then arriving in Portland, was to immediately go connect with some friends and drink a bunch of microbrew craftbeer while dancing on tired bike racer legs for hours at the wrap party for the latest series.

I would guess that there was 400-500 people at this thing and many were dressed to kill. Justin and I rolled down in our road trip clothes, still haggard from the long drive the day before and the racing that morning. Looook out ladeeeeeeez. But 2-3 of those delicious beers set things straight right away.