Holy World Cup season, June is absolutely flying! Apologies for missing last week's tunes, but waves with friends just got in the way. Worry not, we're back this week with another jam I hope you enjoy as much as I have over the past few days. Here's Coastal and Jackie Mendoza with "La Luz." Enjoy, gente.
The more new music that comes out, the more I realize how lucky we were to have Outkast for as long as we did (feel free to come back, guys). Here's a nice look back at Aquemini and one of my all-time favorites, "Slump." Adelante, gente.
We're kicking into June with a catchy beat and quirky, simple lyrics. Make the workday sweeter, and be good, gente.
While Madrid is a tour stop for just about every major international act, lately I've been feeling a significant lack of live hip-hop. Maybe that's because the scene is newer here and the options were so strong back in Seattle, but nevertheless, I was feeling the gap.
But a few weeks ago during the annual San Isidro street parties here in the city, I caught a multi-national group of rappers and singers that really just brought it all back. Combining instrumentals with a choir-blessed vocalist and smooth-delivering Brotha CJ, the act was exactly what I'd been looking for. Better yet, the group is based here in Madrid, meaning that I can scratch that hip-hop itch more often.
Here's a track off Brotha CJ's newest album titled, "Everybody Eats,'" reminding you all that we need to celebrate all that hard work once in a while.
TGI Tuesday, am I right? I've been sitting on this song for a whole week and now I can FINALLY spread the love. Drop in, tune out. Enjoy, gente.
Happy Wednesday, the perfect day for a Tuesday Tune! In between celebrating Madrid's San Isidro holidays and scrambling to get my final Masters project finished up, I slipped up this week. My apologies. Luckily, I'd like to make it up to you with this lively track from Otis Junior and Mr. Dundiff. Be good, gente.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to join an international team on a ski mission to Aneto, the highest peak in the Spanish Pyrenees. Basing out of the refugio at La Renclusa, we ran into just about every kind of weather you can imagine, and even scored some pow turns on the last day of April.
The real highlight was spending time in a foreign mountain range with new friends. It's amazing how many different ways the mountains can humble you, and our Aneto adventure was no exception. Excited to share more about the trip in the fall volume of The Ski Journal, my first longform piece with the legends out of Bellingham.
To give you a slice of what we were working with, here is a drone shot from the snowfield approaching our summit snapped by French photo extraordinaire, Guillame Arrieta. Not pictured, the wind whipping us from all sides and the clouds that would turn our ski down into a total whiteout. Ah, I shall get my redemption.
Not an underground hit, and thankfully so, this week's jam is a wakeup call. Childish Gambino dropped "This is America," a scathing social critique of gun violence and racial prejudice, and it's a music video that I just can't shake. Watch it, and then watch it again—three times.
It's been strange being in Europe during the last handful of major shootings in the U.S. People over here have written off moving to the U.S., many telling me that they, "Don't want to be shot." Is that the legacy we're passing the next generation?
Was able to check off an all-timer from my concert hit list last week here in Madrid, checking out Arcade Fire at the Wizink Center. Man, what a show. It's been a while since I've been fully enveloped by a performance, but those guys (and gals!) brought it. Just wanted to pass some of the vibes your way on this beautiful Tuesday. Here's one from the new album, enjoy, gente.
This year has been a little light on mountain time for me, but in no way, shape, or form have I forgotten about my alpine roots. Last week, I spent a chunk of time hanging out with skiing's enigma, Henrik Harlaut in his Andorran stomping grounds. It was a unique look inside the secret world of freeskiing's most dominant force, one that I'm stoked to be reporting for POWDER's next volume. That's all I've got for now, but stay tuned for a profile coming out sometime this fall.
I'd been sleeping on Joey Bada$$ for a while, I guess I just figured a rapper with a name like that was probably just polluting the rap game with more trap garbage. Well, I was very, very wrong. Finally spent some time with Sir Joey last week, and damn, this guy just jumped to the top of my list. Doesn't hurt that he laces intelligent lyrics over old school instrumentals. "LAND OF THE FREE" is this week's offering, be sure to listen into that chorus. We have work to do, gente!
A big congratulations to Kendrick Lamar for becoming the first non-classical or jazz artist to win a Pulitzer Prize for music for his 2017 album, "Damn.". Poetry comes in many forms, and Sir Kendrick speaks almost all of them. Take a taste of the final track on that album—it's a true story.
Syria on my mind today. Fetsum's "Letters from Damascus," seems an appropriate tune for this Tuesday. Enjoy, gente.
Well, look at that! Tuesday, with tunes. Now will someone please rap over this beat already? Steel drum, orchestra, and classic bass line, yup. Disfruta, gente.
Though my life and work often seems to revolve around ridge lines and coastlines, I actually grew up between touchlines. Soccer has always been a massive influence on my life, so when I recently got the chance to work with Eight by Eight, a soccer magazine out of New York City, on a story about Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, I was blown away.
Tied into the media day for the Spanish National Soccer Team ahead of this year's World Cup, myself and photographer Roger Neve got the chance at an exclusive interview and photoshoot with the team's starting keeper. Of course, it didn't go nearly as planned and instead of our allotted hour time slot, we got 30 minutes, but such is life when putting these things together. I also did the entire thing in Spanish, which was a nice little wrinkle, but one I'm pumped to improve upon moving forward.
In the meantime we got to check out the training facility, meet other players like Diego Costa and Koke, and spend way too much time adjusting flashes and looking over interview questions. Excited to bring this one to life ahead of the World Cup, stay tuned!
Oops! Semana Santa, the week holiday associated with the Easter season over here in Spain, snuck up on me and I let this one fall through the cracks. Please accept my apology in the form of Sylvan Esso's "Die Young," a twisted ode to young love everywhere. Enjoy, gente.
Churning out the playlist busters on a weekly basis, here's another tune that's been invading the earspace this week. Nick Leng brings us, "Drivers."
Though this year's focus is not on skiing, I was still able to steal away from Madrid for a couple of days for the Freeride World Tour stop in Ordino-Arcalís, Andorra, and of course, get a few turns in. This year was my third year covering the FWT, and my second year covering this stop, so I actually kind of had a lay of the land this time. Plus, I got to see a whole boatload of athletes and familiar faces from back in the States in a foreign country, which doesn't suck (bottle of wine and Barca game, anyone?). I definitely appreciated reconnecting with the scene, if only for a handful of days.
Even though I still haven't tapped into the Alps and the Dolomites, I'm starting to develop a soft-spot for the Pyrenees. Maybe it's something about the uncrowded skiing, or the three-course aprés meals, but the Euros seem to really get this skiing thing. Always missing my people back home, but nice to try something else on for a change.
Stay tuned for a few interviews I was able to put together during my time in the world's sixth smallest country for Adventure Sports Network (formerly GrindTV).
Okay, so Tuesday Tunes on Wednesday might become a theme, but hey, we're here, right? This week we turn to rap and a get-up-and-go jam from Phantom. Because who doesn't love a good hip-hop beat with horns?
While I've always enjoyed shooting photos, my camera has always been more drawn to capturing, and perhaps freezing, the real world around me. Whenever I listened to photographer's talk about "making" a photograph instead of "taking" a photograph, I was always a little turned off, especially when it came to shooting in the static confines of a studio.
However, as part of my Master's program this year, I have spent a lot more time in the studio, learning about artificial lighting, flash, and the importance of controlling your frame. I have to be honest, it's been incredibly frustrating, but also really, really fun. In addition to all of the technical factors, I'm also trying to give directions to models (in Spanish, no less). Some of the results have been pretty hilarious, but I'm actually starting to take to it all a bit.
While I don't see myself sitting in a studio anytime soon, I'm excited to bring this new lighting knowledge out into the world and see what I can do. Here's a couple of snaps from this week, and I may be adding a fuller compilation of studio work in the next few weeks. Here's to being uncomfortable and trying something new.