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 »


Looking back on a live music weekend

20 09 2011

I was just talking about this on my way home from the Carlos Santana show Sunday night — I’ve been to at least six live shows since moving to Phoenix 19 months ago.

This past weekend, I took a trip back in time to my favorite era of R&B to see Guy, Al B. Sure, and another band I didn’t really care for back then, H-Town. I’m glad they started the show with H-Town although one of the singers was kind enough to shake hands with me.

Guy. Tall bald guy is Aaron Hall.

Al B. Sure , who sang with his son and nephew (they needed to pull up their sagging pants!) was the best part of the show. And the I-Phone takes good video. Here’s one from my wife:

He also performed this one you might recognize. It’s shaky because I didn’t want the security guy near us to see what I was doing!

Al B. Sure

Then came Guy, known for many R&B jams and the forefathers of the New Jack Swing form of the genre.

That was Saturday night. A show for grown folks for sure, but I used to listen to Guy and Al B. Sure a lot in high school and college.

Sunday night, a real treat – Carlos Santana and his amazing band outdoors. Still a great performer with a powerful message of love and hope and unity and human rights for his audience.

Santana was great. A ton of songs old and new, great Latin percussion and singers.

Carlos Santana, living legend

Labor Day Weekend 2011 – Sade, College Football, Food & Film

5 09 2011

Let’s just take this one at a time.

Friday night was the Sade/John Legend concert in Phoenix. We went, and man that Sade put on a good show. I always kind of liked her music and took one for the team (aka wife) more than anything else in going, and I wish I could have heard the one song I wanted her to perform, but it was still quite a concert. Loved the mulitmedia action as the backdrop for the stage.

Video time:

Took a few photos with the Iphone too.

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.

Baseball, PowerDrive and exhaustion

8 03 2011

It’s a very busy and hectic life these days with all the work I’m doing in spring training, the three times a week I get up before dawn for workout and well, other stuff.

So I’ve slacked a little on my blog but that doesn’t mean I haven’t snapped a few photos. I share them here.

Sunday I covered the Giants-Mariners spring training game in Scottsdale. Saw a really bad mullet…

… a player with my last name…

…the Kung Fu Panda…

…the 2010 World Series Trophy…

…and when the day was over, live music at the St. Agnes School Mardi Gras. My nieces go to school there.

PowerDrive - Phoenix's old-school and Latin music party band. Good stuff.



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.