My year in review, adios 2011

30 12 2011

Another great year in “mi vida deportiva,” but not just in my life of sports, but life in general. I’ll skip the worst of the year and focus on the best moments. Because I can.

Year 2 in Arizona is coming to a close, but it began with the BCS national championship game here in Glendale, and I was fortunate enough to cover it. Even though my beloved Oregon Ducks lost, I was pretty proud of their effort and I can say that I was there. 

Later in January 2011 I took my first trip to the new Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore., new home for Oregon basketball. Awesome place. I’ll always cherish old McArthur Court though.

In February my wife bought me an I-phone for Valentine’s Day. She keeps wanting me to say that the device has made my life better and easier, so I’ll say it: she’s right. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty sweet.

February and March were spent covering Major League Soccer training and baseball spring training. I was very busy, needless to say.

After celebrating the end of spring training with dinner at Morton’s — ooh, swanky! — baseball season began. I went home to Portland in April for my birthday and attended the inaugural Portland Timbers match at Jeld-Wen Field. It poured rain all night, but I was under the overhang and stayed dry and the Timbers thrilled the sellout crowd with the win.

Later in April I went to the two Phoenix Coyotes NHL playoff games against Detroit. The Coyotes got dominated but the atmosphere in Arena was fun. It’s cool to have an NHL team right in my own back yard.

At the end of the month I took my wife to see my favorite rap artist ever, DJ Quik. And we met Mr. Blake in person! Great night.

Then, it was off to see the world. Read the rest of this entry »


Photos/video from Saturday night’s DJ Quik show

3 05 2011

It has been a busy week getting ready to go out of town, out of country actually, and so I am just getting around to this from last weekend.

All I can say is, what a show. DJ Quik has been my favorite rapper since I bought “Quik is the Name” back in 1990, and I have every one of his albums (CDs). The most recent one, The Book of David, I got off of Itunes. Sign of the times, right?

He autographed the poster for me.

My favorite Quik album is “Rhythm-a-lism.” But really they are all good. The latest one kind of goes back to the old beats and style he was known for.

Obviously I wish he would have performed for longer than an hour or so, but this was the one show I wanted to see most. And finally, now closer to hitting the 40s, I got to. See if you recognize this one (explicit lyrics!) I was center stage only a few feet away when I tool it, maybe too congested in there but the angle was awesome.

There was a group of young cats called “Kurrency Motivated” that was one of the opening acts. I liked them. No doubt most in the crowd were younger than I, but at least I got to see hip-hop the way I like it!
Photos below…

Read the rest of this entry »

(Live) Music Monday

4 04 2011

I can’t recall the last time I ever waited in line for tickets to a concert or show, at least not a line more than a couple of people deep.

Today at the U.S. Airways Center in downtown Phoenix I waited a solid 20 minutes to buy four tickets to Sade with John Legend. I can’t call myself a super fan of either but I’m told Sade puts on great show. It’s Sept. 2… man it will be hot that day for sure.

In honor of my major ticket purchase of today, here’s what qualifies as my favorite song by Sade.

That show is five months away. In less then four weeks I’m going to see my favorite rap artist of all-time, DJ Quik. Too many favorite Quik tracks to pick a No. 1, so I’ll go with “Jus’ Like Compton” from 91-92. Quik does it right with the funk, live instruments, talkbox, lyrics. I got into him in 1990 and have every CD of his. Had to keep it West Coast!

I mentioned that John Legend is touring with Sade. Well, I don’t have a favorite Legend song yet but I do have a favorite live performance of his. It’s from the weekend of the Obama inauguration in D.C. Classic song made better by Legend’s vocals.

Christmastime in the Valley of the Sun

14 12 2010

I’ve been here before around this time of year but never so close to Christmas. So these high-70s temperatures are a bit strange. Very nice, but different than what I’m used to.

The countdown to the three bowl games in the Phoenix area is on, and I’m hoping to attend at least two of them if not all three. I’ll keep you posted. We got the Insight, Fiesta and BCS national championship.

Went to the post office today and the line was long, but it got longer after I was already in it. And I actually did do some freelance work today.

Saw a small real Christmas tree outside a store today and wish I would have gotten a real one. I miss that pine scent I knew as a kid in Oregon. Oh well, at least I have a tree.

Almost all of my ornaments are sports-related. Charlotte Hornets (yup Charlotte), Seahawks, Super Bowl XLII, Dodgers candy canes and about four different Oregon Ducks decorations.

Speaking of the Ducks, how about those new uniforms for the BCS championship game? They’ll do. Hope they win in those. That yellow is bright but looking good counts, right? Auburn’s are just so blah.

Got one of these.

Because you know I gotta represent. If you see me in Scottsdale the week before the game I might be wearing it.

OK let’s wrap this up with a trip back in time to when music was better. For all the poppers and break dancers from back in the day – man I remember how amazed I was when I heard this music and saw backspins and all that — this one’s for you.

Back in the day…

30 11 2010

…I used to listen to this one by Compton’s Most Wanted ALL THE TIME. These guys were like a poor man’s NWA (they probably wouldn’t appreciate that).

I would argue that some of their backbeats were even better than NWA’s. I mean, using Sugar Free in the background for this track, “It’s a Compton Thang”? Genius move. If you turned up the bass for this one, it came through real nice on good speakers.

Listen for the similarities between above and the sampled song. For me, hip-hop was a way to find out more about older music and R&B.

CMW’s MC Eiht appeared in movies not long after he made a few albums. (“Who got the snaps on the petrol?” was one of his lines from  “Menace II Society”). Don’t know what became of Chill. Anyway, good memories with this tape/CD. I remember the tape was blue in color.

Compton produced some talent. CMW, D.J. Quik, some NWA guys, man, I remember when I went there and it was like I was in awe to be at the Compton Swap Meet that I’d heard about in raps.

Old-school baby!


Wall-to-wall basketball, and Erick & Parrish Making Dollars

15 11 2010

It’s Monday. Just watched Mike Vick rip up and rewrite records and tear up the Washington Politically Incorrect Term for Native Americans. Vick was my fantasy team QB this week… called it like Tecmo Bowl defense!

Now one of the best sports programming events of every year, ESPN’s 24 hours of college hoops, the annual Tip0ff Marathon. I’m not a devout college basketball fan per se, but you gotta love Memphis vs. Miami at 11 p.m. Central time. Then a West Coast game at 11 Pacific in Moraga with St. Mary’s vs. St. John’s. Think the Red Storm from NYC are going to be feeling a little tired?

Then comes a game in Honolulu featuring Hawai’i, and it just goes on. They will be playing at the crack of dawn on the East Coast in the morning.

More on the week ahead for me later. I exit with some EPMD (acronym for the title of the post) from 1988. These guys made a lot of great albums and jams, and this one is at the top for me. For Jason Baseden way out there in Belgium doing his thing. Enjoy the beat.

Back in the Day

19 10 2010

This week, we stay in Southern California for a song from 1989.

This rap act broke a lot of stereotypes and was indeed groundbreaking. It’s a group of Samoan brothers from Carson, today perhaps best known for being the city near L.A. in which the Home Depot Center (stadium of the L.A. Galaxy and Chivas USA of Major League Soccer) is located.

The brothers are the Boo-Yaa Tribe, and they played live instruments on their debut album, “New Funky Nation.” They still perform – I saw them on TV about a year ago one late night in Seattle.

Aside from the trip into my CD collection, the weather in Phoenix today was perfect. In the 80s. I could actually roll down my window and crack the sunroof. First time in five months or so. Welcome cooler temps!