THE BRADBURY PRESS
You can separate this Seattle band from the current trash-heap of country-fied rock bands by virtue of some nice songwriting and a tremendous lead vocalist by the name of Darren Golden. Golden sounds like some sort of alt-country Eddie Vedder leading a band that draws equal inspiration from Lucinda Williams and American Music Club. Catch them outside for free this month at Mizuna.
AMERICAN SCHOOL OF WARSAW
Principals of Combustion
Seattle is short on loud, true blue rock bands. SHIM is an exception, as is ASOW. The new disc was produced by Jack Endino. Sold yet? It’s filled with loud, raunchy riffs and wailing vocals. If you’ve forgotten what it feels like to rock out (too many frail, skinny boys in bands these days!?), then check out this latest effort from one of Seattle’s hard-rockin’ darlings.
Oh damn this album is so great. Whether frontman Peter Arcuni is busy sounding like he’s British, Australian, American, or Ryan Adams, Birdmonster is an absolute gem. This is really really (really!) charming music. Even better than the album? The frickin’ live show. Just wait. (Birdmonster and LA-based Division Day hit Spokane on September 21.)
The new cover of “Paint it Black” = pretty frickin’ rad. The rest? Worth checking out if you were intrigued before, though I think my own personal interest in Deadsy peaked at “Brand New Love” (refer to first album, Commencement).
A Plan Designed At Home
Promising, if not impossibly mellow, indie rock from a Pullman crew that sold themselves based on their “web-savviness.” Love it. It’s strong enough to make a mark in the scene … in Pullman? Maybe even in Spokane. Check them out. (Apologies to the Ether Hour crew, this disc has been sitting around for months.)
The Get My Balls Out of Your Gutter Mind EP
The Gutterballs seem determined to take me back to my high school years. In my day (oh, six or seven years ago) Spokane bred high school pop bands like Paradox and World Exempt, which gave way to screamers like Coney Island Pilot (yes, I was in the Mead School District). This band seems a great combination of the two. The vocals are unrefined and a bit undeveloped. The guitars and drums are riotous and often out of place. But high school bands are supposed to be a little out of tune and a little on the rash, abrupt side. And their ultimate aim? To refresh our jaded post-high school minds. Gutterballs-by way of songs, disc packaging, and EP title-accomplish just that. A hearty “thank you” is in order.
(Eleven Seven Music)
The world has had enough dapper gents and if you’re going to stand out at this stage in the game, you’ve gotta realllllly be offering up something interesting (see Jim Noir). This is pretty mediocre and boring. Nick Valensi from the Strokes makes an appearance on “Clich”, so it’s not all bad-but then again, it’s coming out on the indie label that’s about to expose the entire world to Art Alexakis again. So … just say “no.”
KELLY AND DAVID
As The Twilight Auguries
There whole lot of “quiet music” making the rounds these days. Seems every middle age alt-rocker out there is trying to convince you they’re more profound now that they’ve unplugged their amp. L.A.’s Kelly and David will convince you the past means nothing and that the time for beautiful music is now. Delicate but never precious, soft yet with emotional force, As the Twilight is filled with melodies that land inside your head and find a home. This gently flowing record draws as much from old time as art rock and makes a case for quiet music better than anything I’ve ever heard. Can’t get it out of the CD player.
Tower of Love
Looking for charm? How about a derby hat? How about a coy smirk? How about a British accent? Jim Noir is your guy. “My Patch” and “Key of C” are charm in song form. The video for the former involves Noir being pelted with eggs from above by a giant chicken (that he fights back against later!). Lyrics like “If you don’t give my football back, I’m gonna get my dad on you/I only kicked it over your fence and broke a silly gnome or two” only serve to sweeten the deal. Invest in this album because it will put a smile on your face.
The Birds in the Bushes
Close the door to your bedroom (or if you’re me, shut the main door to your smaller-than-a-bedroom-entire living space), turn out all the lights, crawl under the bed and/or lay down and pull the sheets and blankets over your head. Then crank this album up on the stereo (logistically this will have to happen in a different order). You will freak yourself right out. Inca Ore’s scratches, scrapes, bells, unnerving wails and other various quirky sounds sometimes remind me of things I used to hear on tapes my sister and I made when we were little-but other times they remind me of some otherworldly creation that is so creep-out-worthy that it’s absolutely mind-blowing.
SCISSORS FOR LEFTY
“Mama Your Boys Will Find A Home”
(from Underhanded Romance, Rough Trade)
A single review, you ask? Yes. Indeed. Scissors for Lefty are a crew from San Francisco with enough spunk and energy to win over any heart. Their electro-pop tunes are the happiest you’re likely to hear. Especially this one, which lead singer and lyricist Bryan Garza wrote about the frustrations mothers have as their boys grow up in the music business with no end to their flirtatious ways in sight. He sings halfway in, “Marriage, I’m sorry to kick you to the curb.” While I work to get them to Spokane, you should check out this single, and their others, on their MySpace page-they are teasers (annoyingly cut off three-quarters in) for their upcoming fall album, which will be released everywhere BUT the U.S. by Rough Trade.
THE SHARP EASE
Remain Instant EP
Art punk gets a face lift by the Sharp Ease. This takes from its past and carves its own niche with flavorings that vary from Blondie to Pretty Girls Make Graves, and maybe even a little Le Tigre-but don’t let that last one scare you from looking into it. Worth it, very worth it. Frontgal Paloma Parfrey’s scratchy voice is just perfect.
The Body, The Blood, The Machine
Hutch Harris goes all concept-y on us with this, the third release from that too-good-for-words trio from Portland, the Thermals. Harris takes on modern paranoia by alluding to Hitler-esque takeovers, a Christian-based society, and other tragedies, brought to life by the Thermals frantic, frenzied punk rock sound. They are ever-so-slightly less edgy this time around, but their characteristic awesomeness (you know it!) is still, like, way intact.
WHAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS
Trying to Never Catch Up
It’s not that WMMF are especially original or “new” in anything they are putting out there-it’s that they are putting whatever it is they are out there in a really, really great way. It’s not a huge surprise that Seattle’s indie rock label Barsuk nabbed these fellas. They were the only band in the history of Austin City Limits to play the show as an unsigned band. And, they shared the night with moment-madams Franz Ferdinand. They’ve come a long way from the want ads that lead singer Michael Kingcaid placed in the Austin Chronicle. Trying is a great first effort, and it’ll help the band gain fans far and wide … especially if they keep touring with cool cats like French Kicks.
Magazine Article, Music Reviews |
Bicycling The Lewis & Clark Trail
Michael McCoy & Adventure Cycling Association
Falcon, June 2003, 240 pages.
As the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial celebration enters its homestretch, one lasting contribution that will continue to roll on is the engaging book, Bicycling the Lewis & Clark Trail. Just as Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery to seek a passageway through North America to the Pacific Ocean, the Adventure Cycling Association accepted the challenge to create a bicyclist’s roadmap retracing the historic Corps’ path. Though the Corps traveled two hundred years ago over river and land by boat and foot to explore a frontier of many unknowns, today cyclists of the twenty-first century can use a planned, plotted and mapped trail-guide which covers the expedition from Hartford, Illinois to Astoria, Oregon.
Each chapter of the guide encapsulates information on a segment of the route, historical snippets, plus an easy-to-read map with mileage. For the cyclist who wants to trace any of the 3,200 miles of the incredible trek, this book offers well-researched directions for traveling along low-traffic roads while at the same time enjoying the privilege of viewing history first hand.
In my own travels, retracing some of the meanderings of the Corps, I have canoed the Missouri River, staked my tent in sites from Fort Benton, Montana to Fort Clatsop in Oregon, and trekked through Dayton and Walla Walla, Washington. With each excursion I couldn’t help but continually be fascinated by the astonishing journey taken two centuries ago. Now, Bicycling the Lewis & Clark Trail is calling me to explore the incredible expedition by road on my two wheels (and modern camping equipment!) Any history buff who likes to ride a bike and has the desire to take a trip back in time will find this book most satisfying with great information, exquisite photography and user-friendly maps. For the adventurous cyclist who has the undaunted courage to retrace and embrace history, Bicycling the Lewis & Clark Trail is a must.
Patricia Campbell Kowal
Planet of Slums
Verso 2006, 228 pages.
I recently saw the movie, City of God, and coming from an architectural background, I was fascinated with the progression throughout the movie of urban growth within the slum settlements of Rio de Janeiro. Small quaint-like villages in the late 1960s quickly became pulsing concrete jungles by the early ’80s. Mike Davis, in his new book, Planet of Slums has written about this global phenomenon, or catastrophe rather.
According to Davis, most of the world’s population now lives in urban conditions so squalid that they would barely be comprehensible to those of us accustomed to perusing the likes of Dwell magazine. Charles Dickens be damned. This is not just the overcrowded tenements of the Industrial Revolution. In Cairo’s City of the Dead, over one million people now live in adapted tombs. In Lima, it is common for 85 people to share a water tap and 93 to use the same toilet. In Buenos Aires over 100,000 squatters have occupied abandoned buildings. In Mumbai over one million now live on the streets, and “caged-men” in Hong Kong live in spaces on average that are only 19.4 square feet.
With exploding global populations and an agricultural revolution that requires fewer to work the fields, for the first time in the history of the world, the urban population now exceeds the rural. This urbanization, however, is not the walkable, cultural centers that we have come to love throughout Europe; here the poor are relegated to edge of the city. In fact, these are no longer even characterized as cities. Now we have the megacity with a population of over 8 million, or hypercities with populations over 20 million, or simply conurbations, agglomerations of megacities that have grown together over time.
In great detail Davis chronicles attempts over the years, both altruistic and otherwise, to address the planet of slums. The States themselves seem to have abandoned these areas years ago, providing no water, no sanitation, no schools and no hospitals. The current approach appears to be complete apathy toward the fate of these human beings on a global scale.
As we in developed nations turn a blind eye to this, Davis asks if there will be revolt or urban involutions? Like the slums depicted in the City of God, what kind of new world order have we created and where is our collective humanity? The devastation wracked on human lives is immeasurable when no one seems to care.
The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears
Doug Peacock, Andrea Peacock
Lyons Press, May 2006, 264 pages.
In The Essential Grizzly, Doug Peacock teams up with his wife, Andrea, to share their undying love of bears and examine the bear’s role and place in human society.
The Peacocks examine our relationship with bears, particularly grizzly bears, from biological, evolutionary, social, political, and at times, philosophical standpoints. By using these different perspectives they are able to paint a more complete portrait of the bear and our relationship to it.
The reader comes to understand the grizzly bear and its behavior in a very clear sense. These creatures begin to lose some of their mystique and become what they truly are: carnivores trying to find a way to survive in shrinking and dangerous habitats. As the reader comes to understand the bear, the reader comes to realize that many of the beliefs we hold of bears are simply wrong.
The author’s point out that bears are not cold-blooded killers. A bear may stalk a person in the woods, but this is less because the person is being hunted and more because the person is invading the bear’s territory. Wouldn’t you keep an eye on a bear if it was in your neighborhood? Bears can and have killed humans, but the blood-thirsty, man-eating bear is largely a myth created by the media.
Using this notion as a foundation, the author’s go on to depict the bear as a rational, fearful, and loving creature. They successfully dissect much of the fear that surrounds bears and replace it with appreciation and reverence. The reader is left with a genuine feeling of concern for the bear and a greater respect for the bear’s territory. It is hard for many of us to accept that there are places on this earth where we are not necessarily entitled to go, but the Peacock’s make it very clear that in the bear’s habitat we are not the alpha-creature.
The most profound argument made in the book is, somewhat expectedly, their philosophical contribution. They argue that despite our modernized society, bears still represent a very real and very terrifying threat to our fragile bodies. Knowing potential predators such as the grizzly bear are lurking in our forests is essential to our humility and thus, our humanity.
Book Reveiws, Magazine Article |
My brother and I were making preparations for our annual State of the Spokane River Float (this mostly involves getting my brother out of his home-detention ankle bracelet) when a Montana “friend” made a snarky comment about our beloved river. “Do you actually go in that water?” he sniffed, like a French wine snob over a box of Gallo. “Isn’t that, like, one of the most polluted rivers in the country?”
Damn you Montanans and your crystalline streams and poetic fly fishermen. Maybe if Ted Turner would buy up our whole state for emu farming, then our river would be undeveloped and gin-clear, too. (A side note: do you ever notice how many Montanans live here and pine for the Big Empty? So here’s a question: if Montana is so freaking perfect, why don’t any of you live there?)
So I said, “Sorry goat boy, but we have an urban river and if you think we’re going to apologize for the fact that our river foams like a poured Guinness and has more heavy metal than a 1988 record store, then you need to go back to Flathead Lake, rent a studio apartment for $1850 a month and get a job cleaning the back hair out of Sylvester Stallone’s hot tub.”
The truth is, the Spokane River gets a little cleaner every year-at least every year that the city doesn’t dump raw sewage into it. Although it’s counterintuitive, I think the recent and proposed development along the river canyon downtown could bode well for the river’s long-term health. Right now you’re more likely to see rusted Oly cans than fish, but if there’s one thing rich people hate, it’s litter in their front yards, so they’re at least going to keep the banks clean.
My brother and I got a good look at those banks on our annual state-of-the-river float. We put in below his house in Peaceful Valley and finally flopped out of the water beneath the T.J. Meenach Bridge, near my house. It was one of those 160-degree days and so the riverbank was packed with people standing up to the threads of their cutoffs, drinking cans of Keystone and huffing glue. Some days, floating the river is like being in a parade in the Ozarks. Yet even the toothless mountain people laugh at us.
My brother and I make the same mistake every year during the State of the River Float. We do a hurried count and then buy a “two-person” raft, which translated, means “one-person” unless you’re talking about two persons who have a level of intimacy that, frankly, my brother and I simply don’t have. (“I wish I could quit you,” I whispered as we snuggled in the raft like two fingers in a glove hole).
It really is a stunning river, alternately calm and roiling and you can find yourself in stretches that defy description. We were in one of those places, shaded by leaning firs, our raft barely above water level, my brother and I wedged into it like Scandinavians in a two-man luge, when we happened to float by a drunk guy holding a forty in one hand and his George W. in the other (perhaps figuring his piss just ends up in the river anyway, he was skipping the middle-man). He pointed at us with his big beer. “Rub-a-dub-dub,” he said, “two men in a tub.”
It was at that point my brother said, “Hey, your oar keeps poking me in the back.”
“That,” I said, “is not my oar.”
Jess Walter’s new novel The Zero is available in bookstores.
Jess Walters: The Urban Outdoors, Magazine Article |
Rock climbing is fast becoming one of the most popular activities available to all ages. Although climbing a near-vertical rock face while hanging by a rope and your fingertips may not be what you call “fun,” many find the challenges a great way to connect with nature and to challenge them both physically and mentally. And with indoor climbing walls available in our community (check out Wild Walls and the YMCA) and even some elementary schools, you and your family can explore the possibilities of this sport any time of the year. If you do take up climbing, it’s worthwhile to look at the physical preparation necessary to perform well and stay healthy.
We’ve previously talked about endurance training. Although cardiovascular endurance may be required for day-long climbs, climbing primarily demands another element of training, i.e., strength, and three specific aspects of strength training-power, power-endurance, and local endurance. Power is called upon to generate a burst of strength for a single or a few moves. Power-endurance is needed to perform a series of strenuous moves that are below your maximum effort. Local endurance stresses specific muscles and allows you to do longer climbs with low to moderate strength requirements. Strength workouts that progressively and repetitively overload muscles will improve your ability to exert maximum strength when you find yourself reaching for that hold.
Strength training causes muscles to get bigger (hypertrophy), but climbers depend on having a high strength:weight ratio. Depending upon your body type, the mixed blessing of bigger muscles and increased strength needs to be balanced with body weight (lighter individuals can afford to increase their overall strength; heavier people may want to only emphasize the specific muscles needed). As muscular training is sport-specific, there’s no better training than hitting the wall or bouldering. Complement this with free weight training and calisthenics to improve your strength. Gently stretch before and after your workouts, and warm up and warm down before and after all training.
Core strength training focuses on the muscles of the torso (abdominals, back and hips/pelvis) and develops dynamic stability. Good core strength enables you to make slower, more calculated moves, the benefit being you are less likely to come off the rock. Pilates and yoga are great ways to enhance trunk strength as well as improve your overall strength and flexibility. If unfamiliar with these practices, check out some of the great yoga studios or gyms in town and find an instructor and a style that works for you. Physioballs are a great piece of gear-do sit-ups, push-ups and bridges while attempting to balance yourself (no easy task). Do oblique twists using a broom handle while steadying yourself on the ball. You can also combine your core strengthening routine with weight training (e.g. forearm curls while sitting on the physioball). Focus on pulling your navel back towards your spine (abdominal bracing) while maintaining normal breathing when performing all exercises.
Plan on doing your supplemental weight training 2-3 times/week, preferably on non-climbing days. Two to three sets of 10-12 reps with good technique should be adequate. Muscle groups and exercise that you should work include:
- Shoulder & chest muscles. Pull-ups (wide and narrow grip), lat pull downs, shoulder shrugs, upright/bent rows, shoulder and chest presses with dumbbells, push-ups (normal, diamond and finger-tip), dips.
- Arm and forearm muscles. Wrist curls (normal and reverse), bicep curls, tricep extensions; and improve your grip strength by twisting a towel until tight, squeeze a ball of clay or a racquet ball, or use a hinged hand gripper.
- Hips, thighs and calf muscles. Squats, leg extensions and curls, calf raises.
Injuries can occur, both chronic overuse and acute, and most commonly affect the upper extremities. Rotator cuff sprains and strains, bicep and tricep tendonitis, epicondylitis (tendonitis of the forearm muscles with pain at the elbow), and a variety of finger injuries can all plague climbers and if they occur, will require you to back off your climbing and/or modify your training program. The acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is always a good treatment starter and a few days of Advil or Aleve may be sufficient to ease the pain. Muscle strains and bruises respond well to Arnica, an herbal remedy, and acupuncture is great to ease the inflammation associated with injury. Prolonged disability may require you to see a healthcare provider. Remember, prevention is always better than treatment, and look to avoid injuries by warming up and warming down, rest between training sessions, and increase your overall strength and flexibility.
For more information on training for rock climbing please see the following resources: http://www.bodyresults.com/S1Climb.as
Climbing Your Best by Heather Reynolds Sagar
Performance Rock Climbing by Dale Goddard
Rock Climbing by Don Mellor
Magazine Article |
She may not be a world-class competitive racer, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t take her gear seriously. “I really studied it,” says Cathy Harris. “I could tell you the weight of my fork.” Harris, who hadn’t ridden much since she was a kid, rediscovered cycling in her 30′s just five years ago because her brother and friends were big riders. Now she loves to ride the Palouse and does all the local charity rides and was the top pledge getter for 8 Lakes Leg Aches in August. She often rides with mostly men. Ms. Harris, what’s your gear?
Frame: Harris has three bikes. Her first was a Schwinn Supersport and her second was a Kestrel Talon. Her current ride is a Specialized Ruby Pro women’s specific frame size 48.
“It’s the second smallest size they make. Fully loaded it weighs 17 pounds. It’s not the lightest one out there, but it’s comfortable and stiff. It has really good power transfer because it’s stiff and steady. I’ve hit 47 on this bike. It has built-in dampeners-clear plastic hi-tech polymer blocks built right into the frame that dampens road vibration-making road riding less jarring.
Components: All Shimano Dura-Ace
“The whole build kit: brakes, shifters, derailleur, wheels, is Dura-Ace.”
Seat: San Marco carbon fiber seat
“Guys call it the ball buster. I had one guy borrow and say ‘Oh-my-God. This thing’s terrible!’ I probably have a dozen seats. I’ve had a tough time finding seats.”
Tires: Specialized Rubaix
“Smooth, steady, a very comfortable ride. Supposedly the closest thing you can get to a tube tire without being tubular.”
“I crashed the other day, but I got a foot out so I didn’t go down. I rear-ended the guy in front of me. They are nice because you can still float your feet so your ankles aren’t fixed and you can get out of them nice and quickly. The only disadvantaged is that you don’t want to get any dirt in them because they can jam up pretty easily.”
Water Bottles: Two carbon fiber water bottle cages.
“I barely fit them into this frame.”
Jersey and Shorts: Specialized and Pearl-Izumi
“I always wear my Wheelsport jersey!”
Shoes: Sidi and Specialized shoes with carbon fiber soles.
“I’m a carbon fiber freak.”
Helmet: Louis Garneau T-Bone
Energy Foods: Hammer Gel, Perpetuam, Hammer HEED (drink)
“No refined sugars so you don’t get the highs and lows-just nice steady energy. I always run with the drink in my back-up water bottle. I order my stuff every three months auto-ship from Montana.”
Sunglasses: Uvec, Bolle, Smith Sliders
“The Sliders come with multiple lenses.”
Magazine Article, What's Your Gear? |
I fashion myself the Daytrippin’ Dad (one of my many delusions), and I try to make it a rule to keep my daytrips within a two-hour drive from Spokane (saves answering the question, “when are we gonna get there,” more than twelve or thirteen times in a given day).
Stonerose, located in Republic, Washington is the only public center in the state dedicated to amateur paleontology, but it’s almost three and a half hours away (124 miles), so if I wanted to go fossil huntin’ with my kids, I’d either have to turn a day trip into an overnight trip (though Overnighttrippin’ Dad just doesn’t have the same ring to it), or bend my rules.
Somehow three and a half hours didn’t seem that long with the promise of finding fossils at the end of it, for me or for the kids, so I decided to risk it, and bring their best friends along to take some of the pressure off of Daytrippin’ Dad.
And it worked. The drive up was pleasant, with only one bathroom break, and when they eventually did ask, “how long until we get there,” and I answered, “twenty minutes”-even though we still had nearly an hour and a half left in our trip-nobody seemed to care. We were gonna hunt fossils, and that’s all that mattered.
At Stonerose Interpretive Center you register and receive your instructions. For a small fee ($5 adult, $3 kids 6-18, free under 6) you become a paleontologist. You can bring your own tools (which we did), or rent them at the site for $3 (which we ended up doing because my tools were more appropriate for chipping rather than opening rocks). The Boot Hill fossil bed is a short walk up the hill, so the five of us (ages 4, 5, 7, 8 and 39) checked in, grabbed our gear, and set out.
During the first hour and a half, we found exactly nothing, in part because of my hacker tools, and in part because-despite the very specific instructions given us at the interpretive center-we had no idea what we were doing. So we broke for an early picnic in the park across from the interpretive center, and gathered our strength for a second assault on Boot Hill. I rented new tools, including sharpened chisels, and we had a refreshed attitude.
I also reviewed our instructional materials (I like to equip myself with knowledge, even if I have to equip myself several times because I too often lose my equipment). We were searching a lakebed from the Eocene era (nearly fifty million years ago) for evidence of plants, fish and insects.
Good to know, yes, but this gave me a bit of a pause. Fifty million years ago? Heck, I can’t even find the library book I checked out four weeks ago, much less a pre-historic mosquito.
But, never mind. When I did find something, it would be fifty million years old. And that’s cool. Also, there are thousands of fossils here, and we know where to dig. That library book could be under the sofa for all I know. So I’d focus. On the rocks. Somewhere inside this stone is… is a… is a leaf, and all I have to do is allow the leaf to reveal itself. I’m no Michelangelo, but come on. It’s not David. It’s a leaf.
While I practiced Zen meditation over the largest slabs of shale I could carry, the kids were discovering their own methods. The oldest two found that if they overturned enough abandoned shale, they could find fossils. The four-year-old discovered (or exploited what he already knew) that pounding at stones with a hammer is great fun, whether he actually found anything or not. My five-year-old daughter used her leadership abilities and monitored the rest of the day, making sure everyone was doing what it was they were supposed to be doing. Everyone was having a good time. Even me.
And then it happened. One rock. One chisel. One mind. Beginner’s mind.
The rock opens and inside the leaf reveals itself.
This is a warning. Once you find your first fossil inside your first rock, you will go from “having a good time” to “gotta have one more fossil,” and likely have to be dragged out of a pile of your broken shale (Stonerose closes at 4 PM, even though there are something like, six hours of daylight left, and you still have half a canteen of water…and no those aren’t your kids …you didn’t bring any kids…why do you ask?).
When you’re finished, the Stonerose center gets to examine your work and keep anything they deem of scientific value or important to the Stonerose collection. Which means they kept my “possible rose leaf” and another “unusual leaf” and my son’s “possible insect.” That may be a bit of a bummer for some, but a point of pride as well. We still went home with fifteen fossils between the five of us that the kids simply couldn’t stop talking about and showing off, and our names will be attached to the fossils that Stonerose kept for the permanent collection.
So Daytrippin’ Dad says that fossil hunting, three and a half hour drive or no, is cool.
For more info on fossil diggin’ in Republic visit: http://www.stonerosefossil.org/visiting.htm. Terry Bain reads from his new book, We Are the Cat, at Auntie’s Bookstore on September 8 at 7:30 PM.
WHEN YOU GO:
From Spokane, head north on US-395 SOUTH, go 74.8 miles. Turn on WA-20, go 39.6 miles. WA-20 becomes CLARK AVE S., go 0.2 miles. Arrive at the center of REPUBLIC, WA.
Stonerose Interpretive Center is located at 15-1 N. Kean Street, on the corner of Kean Street and WA-20, across from the city park. The fossil site is just a short walk from the Interpretive Center.
Magazine Article |
Most hard-core rock climbers are good for a hair-raising story or two-that 100-foot fall on one piece of protection, the unexpected night spent hanging in a harness in zero-degree temps or the 36-hour death march with no water. While Timmy O’Neill has his own set of cliffhanging tales, he’s more likely give you something like this:
“As the recent emcee for the OIWC Drag Queen Fashion Show a sexagenarian dressed in a jog bra, came from under my legs, positioned his garishly colored face near my crotch and performed unsolicited faux fellatio.”
If you’ve seen O’Neill on stage before, you probably are not all that surprised.
While not behind the microphone, O’Neill is a professional rock climber who also slacklines over 1000-foot gaps, mountain bikes and kayaks Class V+ whitewater. He has set speed-climbing records in Patagonia and Yosemite-including a 3-hour-and-24-minute El Cap ascent (the time it takes many climbers to lead just one pitch). But while many armchair climbers have seen him on film and ogle enviously over his impressive tick-list, they almost certainly will be more excited to reference a memory from one of his outrageous comic performances that make Timmy O’Neill stick out sideways in the vertical world.
After seven years as a hitch-hiking, work-little-climb-lots dirt-bag, O’Neill teamed up with Peter Mortimer to make climbing films, a move he says allowed his creative side (and his bank account) more room to breathe. O’Neill climbed in and co-produced the popular films Return to Sender and Front Range Freaks, but playing the role of emcee at slideshows, fundraisers and film tours around the country are where his popularity and eccentricity are best defined. In an industry that traditionally brings images and stories in from the edge to elicit oohs and ahhs, he brings his own edge to the stage and throws in right in the audience’s face. As he proclaims himself, O’Neill has become the entertainer of the rock climbing world.
“I consider myself a very recalcitrant and unruly person,” O’Neill says. “People often like the stuff I do because it’s unexpected and fresh.”
O’Neill claims that “pissing off an audience” is what upsets him most in life, but he does anything but play it safe. Although most of his performances are filled with laughter and end with roaring applause, he has also been the bearer of the following adjectives: political, misogynist, selfish, egotistical and megalomaniac. He earned the title “sexist” after sliding under a female during a push-up contest during a presentation at-of all places-Harvard University. But O’Neill believes it’s worth the risk to spice up the outdoor entertainment industry’s traditionally straightforward tone.
“Just rock climbing bores you to death until you fall asleep or want to kill the presenter,” O’Neill says. “[My presentations] are more like stand-up comedy meets rock climbing.”
On September 22, O’Neill will make his first trip to Spokane with the Reel Rock Film Tour, a 43-stop show featuring two new climbing films-Dosage 4 and First Ascent. O’Neill, the executive producer of and a featured athlete in First Ascent, will be emceeing the event at The Met.
If past history is any indication, Spokanites might see O’Neill hanging off the side of the Riverfront Park clock tower while he’s in town. It’s no lie that O’Neill is something of a freak. His climbing career started as a kid in Philadelphia when he often went buildering at the tombstones and mausoleum walls of a local cemetery. These days O’Neill actually free solos hundreds of feet in the air on structures such as the Titan 1 Missile Silo in Colorado and the Pabst Brewery in Wisconsin, feats which have earned him the title “Urban Ape.” In First Ascent, O’Neill stars in a section he describes as “Urban Ape goes Hollywood.”
Though he may only monkey around Hollywood right now, O’Neill recently acted in a full-length Indie film that had nothing to do with climbing, playing a 37-year-old stoner, “which isn’t a very far stretch for me,” he says. Though he denies the possession of goals, it’s safe to say that O’Neill is progressing as an entertainer at-large.
Whether it be on a cliff face or a building, many of us would give anything to climb like O’Neill, but O’Neill has shown that climbing alone doesn’t satiate his spirit. He is of exceptional intelligence with a huge vocabulary and much more going on upstairs besides route beta. Combine that intellect with a knack for comedy and you’ve got a pretty inviting recipe-no matter what the topic.
When asked to describe the upcoming films, O’Neill’s response resembles a mantra for his life as a whole.
“The subject matter is climbing, but the storyline is human,” he says.
To reserve tickets for the Reel Rock Film Tour on September 22, contact Mountain Gear or visit TicketsWest.com. For more info on O’Neill or the Reel Rock Film Tour visit http://www.timmyoneill.com and http://www.reelrocktour.com.
After he presents the Reel Rock Film Tour show at the Met, Timmy O’Neill will be spending a couple of days recreating in the Spokane area. If you would like to hang out with Timmy, he asks that you call his cell phone at (303) 859-4111.
Magazine Article |
The Fish Lake Trail is an old railroad right-of-way between Cheney and Spokane that the City of Spokane controls. Right now about three miles of the trail are paved alongside Fish Lake itself. When stretches on either side of this paved portion are completed it will provide the final link for connecting The Centennial Trail to the Columbia Plateau Trail, and on to the John Wayne Trail. In addition to this amazing linkage the completion of the Fish Lake Trail would provide the perfect bike route between EWU and Spokane, not to mention a killer recreation route. Many years after the trail was first proposed David Evans and Associates is now hard at work researching the final phases of the trail.
Many obstacles stand in the way of the trail completion, old derelict train trestles, railroad crossings that might require expensive bridges, as well as grading and paving. But the biggest obstacle is getting the project to be a higher priority at City Hall and with it the aggressive pursuit of funding-likely more than four million dollars.
At a public meeting regarding the trail on August 23rd a healthy turnout of pro-trail citizens gave our attending city representatives, including Mayor Dennis Hession, Mike Stone and Taylor Bressler both of Spokane Parks, a polite earful in support of the project.
The best question of the night came from Jon Rascoff past president of the Spokane Bicycle Club and current Friends of the Centennial Trail Chairman odf the Board. Jon wanted to know why the Parks Board was moving so aggressively to secure over $5 million dollars to buy the Riverfront Park YMCA property-going so far as to float the idea of a bond issue-while a visionary project like the Fish Lake Trail languishes?
No one had a good answer for this question because there is none. The Fish Lake Trail, or another urban trail like the Centennial Trail West Link/SFCC connection, would serve more people and provide more benefit for the dollar than a small patch of asphalt in Riverfront Park. I can’t speak for the Park Board but Hession, Stone, and Bressler seemed to be genuinely looking for some guidance as to how high to prioritize the trail project. Good. Let’s give it to ‘em. Now is a great time to get involved in the Fish Lake Trail and to let the City know you support transportation and recreation over inflated real estate dealings.
P.S. Get involved at http://www.inlandnorthwesttrails.org
Send your letters to: email@example.com, or OTM, PO Box 559, Spokane WA 99210 or visit our discussion forum at www.outtheremonthly.com/otmbb
Editorial, Magazine Article |