Safe As Milk

DJ Shadow – All Basses Covered, Jefferson Theater, Charlottesville VA


I don’t know how someone of Shadow’s stature ends up in a 250-seat central Virginia theater but Ronan grabbed 2 tickets, birthday-gifted me one, and we bounced out to C’ville to see the show. All Basses Covered is the same tour that had the infamous Miami date where the club shut down the set for being “too future”. You can stream or download that set here. A lot of the music at that link was on offer last night and it was great. Because the full set is evolving, Shadow said that there were some bits that were only a week or two old. “Fresh Beats”, indeed.

Since it was a grand tour through bass-heavy music in all kinds of genres (and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres) I recognized a couple of different breaks. He played a little of his “Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt” that set the crowd off and the first part of the Beatles’ “Come Together”. The house sound had the bass cranked to 12 so both of those shook the floor when they hit their low notes. It was terrific.

And then, after the show he set up at the merch table to sign stuff. Crazy. We waited in line for half an hour and he signed my ticket stub. I asked him about some ridiculously great break from the middle of the set which he told me the name of but I can’t find any reference to it online. He seemed like a cool guy who knows how good his gig is.

I got home later than I wanted to but it was totally worth it.

Devil’s Backbone Mountain Cross 2013

This was technically a cyclocross ride but I rolled it with my MTB since I don’t have a ‘cross bike.


Devil’s Backbone Brewery was the start/finish for this 27-mile ride up and over (and up and over and up and over) some tough 17%-20% climbs including a Category 1 summit up and across the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail. This was probably a top 3 most-difficult ride for me. I definitely rate it behind my first century ride but I’m having trouble coming up with another one in front of it.

I walked a decent bit but felt like I got into a good groove on the 5-mile(!) ascent in the middle of the ride. I was able to draw upon my meditation practice this year to keep focused on making circles (pedaling) while on that climb and really feel like it made a positive difference. That was very cool. Rather it was cold. So cold that there was a good bit of snow still on top of the mountain from a snowfall 10 days prior. The descents were a different fish. Miles and miles of paved downhill on a poorly maintained mountain bike are not the sort of thrills I generally go for. I spent the time trying to convince myself that my odds of survival were just fine. It all worked out in the end but goddamn it was scary through a couple of different sections. The cold, dusty air set me up with a hacking cough through Monday morning. Good times.

We followed up the ride with some pints and a sandwich. It’s rare that I come home from a tough ride and say “I’m not sure I’m doing that again”, but that’s where I was on Saturday night. I’m a little closer to being tempted to try it again next year now that I know what to expect. We’ll see.


Clever. Very clever. The extent that people push the munny/dunny platform is impressive.


M. Clancey will have these customs for sale soon in his store. I especially like the parrot.

[via SpankyStokes]

Trooper Lotus


There has been a glut of Stormtrooper-headed vinyls lately and some don’t look so good. I think this one works because the rest of the sculpt is so good. You can’t just stick a cool head on a lump and call it cool. You just can’t.

[via a href=””>Toys R Evil]

Jake Bugg, Lightning Bolt

The video isn’t very good but I can’t stop listening to the song. Holy cow it’s good.

RFTC, 1993

This is from around when I first saw Rocket From the Crypt. I’ve seen them in all kinds of different places and this video does a decent job of communicating the energy of how they played in a smaller venue. I wish the sound was better but it’s pretty damn good considering it was probably recorded onto video tape.

Young, skinny Speedo was the terrificest. The only other thing this show is missing is the coordinated costumes they’d wear. I can’t tell if the fight at the end is real or not. I’ve seen guys try to get cute on-stage and the band (sometimes violently) discouraged that. Punk rock shows could get like that sometimes.

[via the CHope, my RFTC buddy from way back]

All 6 Star Wars

There isn’t any way this stays up for long. Good effort, though. It sounds insane with all of the top-shelf sound effects rattling around.

Grabbed a screenshot too:


Onion AV Club interview with Prince Paul


This is a good read if you’re a fan. I didn’t dig on Gravediggaz but I bought just about everything else he put out. “A Prince Among Thieves” has some great songs on it if you’re ever looking for underappreciated 90’s hip hop.

Cold Cast Metal from Doktor A


Oh, boy. This Doktor A stuff has been in my head to get for a while but I’ve held off from a “wanting it is better than having it” point of view. These cold cast metal pieces are enough to make me reconsider. The form is much better suited to hanging on the wall and the smaller version would be most welcome on my own Little Art Wall (which has grown nicely since that photo so I’ll need to update that, too).

[via SpankyStokes]

Taylor Phinney inspires.

I don’t follow a ton of cycling news outside of le Tour (but I’m obnoxious enough to call it “le Tour”) but I know Taylor Phinney’s name from his place as a promising American rider. This WSJ article is about a stage in last week’s Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy. The course was, apparently, too much for even elite riders and half the peloton quit halfway through. Phinney was in the back-half of the race thanks to a mechanical problem but he didn’t quit with the rest of them. His goal was to finish the stage under the time limit so he could take a shot at winning the time trial on the next day. After the race, he said that he thought of his father, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease to motivate him through the 80 miles of cold rain he rode alone:

“I knew that if my dad could be in my shoes for one day—if all he had to do was struggle on a bike for six hours, but be healthy and fully functional—he would be me on that day in a heartbeat,” Taylor Phinney said. “Every time I wanted to quit, every time I wanted to cry, I just thought about that.”

I try to keep a similar thought in mind when I’m out on the course during the MS150 I ride every spring. I’ve found myself at 50 miles into the ride on the second day and my legs hurt and I’m tired and I just want to go home. I try then to remember why I’m riding. I’m riding to raise money and awareness for people who would swap seats with me in a second to be as leg-hurt and as tired as I am. It’s a powerful and humbling idea.

I’d be rooting for T Phinney anyway (USA! USA! USA!) but now I’m going to start keeping up with him outside the grand tours.

[via those Pants Richmond Guys who pass along good bike stuff]