Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend in the high desert

This weekend I decided we needed a little get away before I become "on call" at work for the upcoming week. The weather was suppose to be awesome so we decided to head out to the "high desert" east of the cascades. I didn't know Oregon had deserts, but apparently it does. It's not a desert with cactuses and sand, but it was drier than Portland. We ended up driving out to Bend Oregon. This was our first stop at White River Falls. I really love waterfalls and insisted on seeing this. It was pretty far out into the middle of nowhere.

This was about as close as you could get to the falls without swimming. I ran into these guys that said they had hiked a couple miles into the canyon and camped. I thought that was pretty "Wild at Heart."

Here is Nibbles at the bottom of White River falls. Monty has turned into a nice travel campion ever since I drove with him out to Oregon. He likes the hikes, and I know if a savage grizzly bear ever attacks Monty will be right there defending me while I flee in terror.

This is Cove Palisades State Park were we stopped for a picnic. Lots of people swimming, fishing, and boating. Unfortuately we didn't want to take the time for a dip believing that the hotel pool was going to be awesome. We were sorely mistaken.

This is the Peter Skene Ogden Bridge. At the view point, you get a little veritgo looking down into the canyon. There is a big sign posted that dogs are not allowed at the view point. Apparently a lot of dogs have been lost to the canyon. Monty wouldn't even look into the canyon.

This is Detroit Lake up in the Cascades. I thought it was beautiful. Someone at work told me that I would love the drive from Bend to Portland, and they were right.

Here's the fam on a dock on Detroit Lake. Wish we had a boat.

After driving through the Cascades, Wah-Wah really wanted to stop at Silver Falls (which was out of the way). We had seen the southern falls but not the northern ones. Since I really dig waterfalls, I thought it was worth the extra miles.

This is the northern most falls of Silver Falls. It was a pretty easy hike back to it. Monty actually ventured into the water a little.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Broom Ball

This weekend I got to have my first experience playing Broom Ball with my Imago Dei home community. Ironically, I'm told that Broom Ball is a game that came from the Midwest but I never heard of it in the 15 years that I lived in the there. Broom Ball is played on ice, but you don't wear ice skates. This is a pretty good thing since I can't skate worth beans. Everything else is sort of like hockey accept you use a ball instead of a puck and broom sticks instead of hockey sticks. As the game went on, more balls were added which keep everyone pretty busy.
We played at the Lloyd Center which is a mall with an indoor ice rink. Our opponents were the Mt.Tabor home group (which used to be part of the group but split off). All together I'd say there were over 30 people out on the ice. I didn't find the ice too difficult to walk on and I only took a few spills. With that many people and 5 balls rolling over the place, I don't think anyone kept score. I made at least one shot, but no one noticed.
Over all, I had a good time but came to realize how out of shape I am. About an hour into it, I was pretty tired and sore. I thought all those weekends of working out at the gym and bike riding would help, but apparently I'm still pretty out of shape (or I'm just getting too old).

Friday, April 06, 2007

Mew in Portland

Surreal, avandte garde, art rock, prog rock, psychedelic, space rock, and dream pop where names I thought of to describe the sound of Mew who played Portland last Weds night. Mew is the most unique sounding band I heard since Sigur Ros. Their live show was what I expected--dream like images (such as cats playing fiddles, foxes on guitars, and flicking angels). Weird things. Lead singer Jonas Bjerres (from Denmark) says that his music and imagines comes from his frequent nightmares. Listen to the "Zookeeper's boy" on the band's myspace page and you'll wonder how he comes up with such a bizarre yet poppy songs. Also check out "Snow Brigade" and you'll be hooked on the catchy and haunting beautiful chorus.
Most of the concert leaned heavy on the band's debut album "Frengers" but they did play some on their gems from their newest album "And the glass kites." I've been wanting to post that album on my blog, but I find the album cover rather disturbing (it has the band member's heads cracking open with another head inside it). Frankly, the album cover kept me away from discovering this band a while ago, but it just goes to show you, you can't judge an album by it's cover.
Anyway, Portland continues to amaze me with all the shows that come to town. Already I've seen Keane, Violet Burning, Joy Electric, Snow Patrol, and Mew in the 5 months I've been here. We've got Laura Veirs and Placebo coming soon and David Bazon (Pedro the Lion) in May.

Monday, April 02, 2007

March music

March was sort of a slow month for music. Not a lot of new discoveries that I'm really excited about. Here's some stuff that I picked up however

The Church el momento siguiente The Church continue to amaze me with their vast collection of albums. El momento siguiente is their second "unplugged album". One of the things I love about The Church is that their music is amazing electric or acoustic. Electric they create a beautiful ethereal sound that transcends into haunting beautiful soundscapes, but acoustically they create a very intimate feel that is best listened with candlelight. This was actually a rare find. Previously the only way to get this album was through the band's website for $30. This was one those brilliant discoveries I made while looking through a local record store. I saved about $10.

Joy Electric The Otherly Opus I had heard Ronnie Martin stumble through some of these songs a few month's ago in Portland. I'd say they sound much better on the album, but that's because Ronnie wasn't familiar with them live. This is a vast improvement over his last album Ministry of Archers which I never cared for that much. It is along the same lines, but this time it just works better.

Peter Murphy aLive for Love The former led singer of Bauhaus brings a middle eastern feel to his solo catalog. Some of his more recent work has leaned heavy towards lots of middle eastern sound, but in this concert he changes the arrangements of such alternative gems "Indigo Eyes" and "Cuts You Up" to fit his current style. The album comes off as intimate candle light music.

U2 The Rare Collection Even the rabid U2 fan that I am, some tracks eluded me. No more. I have to admit, I didn't not obtain this album through conventional means. To due so, I would have had to spend $140 through itunes to get the 10 new songs I don't already have. Stand out tracks include "I Love You Like Mad" which could have been a decent B-side, "Leviatate" and "Flower Child" both outtakes from "All You Can't Leave Behind". "Beautiful Ghost" apparently didn't fit on the "The Joshua Tree". It's a beautiful opening song that could have taken the place of "Where the Streets Have No Name". It's a organ song with that builds with Bono speaking poetry. The high light for me is their cover of Cole Porter's "Night and Day". Previously this song was impossible to find except on the charity album "Red Hot and Blue". Bono puts so much passion into this song that comes across as pure bittersweet desperation. This song is really special to me since it marked a turn in musical direction for u2 while rumors of their break up floated around.

Innocence Mission Befriended Instead of buying their new album "We Walk in Song", I decided to take a chance on some older stuff. The opening song "Tomorrow On the Runway" is one of those songs that I can't get past. It's such a beautiful song about being left behind while someone else moves on to better things. The album got a lot of subtle keyboards which gives the album more of a organic feel than previous albums.