Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Happy

I read tonight that Giles Peterson on his Radio 1 show said that the new Radiohead album is DONE. Thats according to Thom Yorke. All pretty good resources I'd say. This kind of news of a Friday night makes me a happy camper. Cold is slowly lifting. My knee is loving the rest. And I am listening to electro pop and drinking tea. Only thing missing is some taxi bars but that I can deal with. My lack of activity has left me feeling fat. Which leads me to beg the question, how the fuck do people not enjoy a little bit of exercise? If that sounded angry it didn't mean to be. I am just very excited at the news. Fortunately the Millrose Games are not even getting me down, but that has more to do with the fact that Tim Hutchings is commentating. He is vastly superior to Dwight and Lewis.

The Tune below might sound a bit cheesey but I could care less. Its lovely Friday night music when there is no wine to share. Sometimes the uplifting sounds hit the spot. Christoph Andersson is from New Orleans and even though his name and music suggest he is a mature French dude, he is in fact just turned 19 and making music thats catchy, sexy, and full of feel good vibes. Only in a world as tragic as the one we live does this guy not even factor and muppits like Justin Bieber are mainstream.

Love Kel

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nothing A Head Cold Won't Fix

Fortunately my desire (which boarders on insanity at times) to try and workout has been completely squashed due to a brutal head cold I came down with. I haven't had a cold in years. I usually get sick once a year and I'll get some allergy attacks during the spring but right now I have a good old fashioned head cold. The kind that makes your ears hurt and the skin beneath your nose raw from too much nose blowing. I hope its gone by the weekend. The good thing is the fact that I truly have no desire or energy to do anything. That said, the lack of desire to improve is rapidly disrupting my ice schedule. Who wants to put packs of ice on various body parts with a head that feels like its about to explode? Not this guy. I choose to listen to hours and hours of music.

Knee progress is slow. We have kind of figured out that at this stage the surgery was not necessary.  We also know that I should have been treating this like I am now, one year ago! The tendons are inflamed and in order for new collegen (sp.) to develop I need time off, and a lot of it. So far its been three weeks of zero activity. Starting tomorrow I will move into an eccentric loading routine for my calves and hammys. Even though it will hurt, or at least irritate my knee, it is the right thing to do. The pain is down significantly but if I don't do the strength work I'll be back where I started.

Whether or not I get back to running this spring is moot because I am going to focus on getting fit on the bike first. With some big races in the pipeline getting the legs used to riding again is certainly the first order of business. I am not attempting running until sometime in April. We'll see what happens then. I am not holding my breath. But I am accepting what ever happens. The thing is, I can't remember what it is like to be pain free. Thats when you know you've been chronically injured. I literally can't imagine running fast with an effortless stride and NO pain! So if it happens again it will be very welcome.

The snow in Providence has been off the charts. We get a solid foot of snow every other week. Last night the storm was "only" 13 inches and no one seemed really bothered. Thats the sign of a bad winter. I'll be braving what ever snow is around this weekend to check out the Friars run the annual Terrier Classic followed by a gathering at Tommy Macs place. Should be lovely.

Because they are touring NA again and because the quality is really good I need to share a few songs from the Interpol video footage shot at The Williamsburg Music Hall. It up on the Matador website. Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down, such a great tune. A couple other new ones too. Enjoy.

Love Kel

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We're Not Scaremongering, This Is Really Happening.

Its been 11 days since Surgery and I am no better. In fact, without being dramatic, I'm a lot worse. The swelling after surgery fueled the already damaged tendons in the back of my knee. Now everything hurts. My calf, my hammy, and my popliteus tendon are all screaming at me. I am trying to pull a Jens Voigt by screaming back at them to shut up but its not working. There is another underlying problem that I cannot get to the bottom of. Obviously there is the messed up pelvis and the leg length discrepancy but thats been part of my current make up for years. Another issue could be all the biking. I have not addressed all the biomechanical issues I have while riding the bike, rather I just use pain as a guide. Nothing hurts riding, everything hurts running. Right now after some treatments I should feel improvement. And yet all I feel is more pain and inflammation. I am seeing Dr. McKeon tomorrow but its in the hands of physiotherapy now. Being an orthopedic surgeon his job is to go in and look around. He said my tear was not bad and that the knee itself is in good shape. That means the tendinosis is worse than I thought and I am in for a long PT journey. I'm really trying to stay positive but over the last few days I've lost some hope. Being around running can be very difficult at times. Not that I'd change it but I can see why certain individuals I know have become bitter towards the sport. It does not reward on an even plane. Lots of luck is required. Some of the most talented and hardworking people I know get let down by their bodies while some of the most selfish runners I know (not to mention the drug cheats I don't know) seem to thrive. I don't believe in Karma so I shouldn't focus on this aspect of life but right now I am. Tomorrow I'll wake up and I won't be in a downer mood and I'll fight hard and stay positive, I'll be motivated to fix this knee. Until tomorrow all I have is some wonderful music to listen to, a healthy bag of ice, and an almost full heart.

Speaking of good music. I've been on a techno kick lately. All weekend I listened to minimal and very melodic electronic music. Its been a joy. A friend recommended the artist Oneohtrix Point Never, an ambient electronic music producer from Brooklyn who before Saturday I'd never heard of. His music is stunning. Despite me referring to him as ambient, the music is much more original than that. Synths and strings layered so deep and shrouded in random vocals. The opener is a big chaotic and terrifying but then the album reaches an equilibrium and truly takes me on a journey. My favorite song is below.

Peace and Much Love,


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Days

Some people love Snow Days. I can of course relate to this because I remember once too liking snow days. Maybe I still do, but given the fact that I've been laid low for the last week today really sucked. I am beyond bored. Liverpool got manhandled by Blackpool. My knee is sore from trying to move snow so I could get my car out to attend PT. In the end I didn't even go to PT because more snow came down this afternoon and I couldn't deal with more shoveling. Furthermore Mike was having his own issues keeping the parking lot clear at Foundation Performance. We thought it better for everyone if I put an ice pack on my knee. So I did, and I continue to. Boring. I need to start exercising or something.

I visit youtube more than any other website. Today I listened to about 50 songs, all live versions, all on youtube. I love how I can type in a song name and put live on the end to reveal an endless list of versions. Go to most viewed and more often than not its a great camera and great sound. What did we do before the internets? Read? We all know TV is shite so thats not an option. Although outside of watching the Reds embarrass themselves I also watched Obama speak on the campus of the University of Arizona. I thought he did a remarkable job. The cheering was a bit bizarre but by the end it was appropriate. I also youtubed Sarah Palins response to the shootings and I realized that its a mild form of torture to listen to her speak for 8 minutes. Hers was the opposite of Obama's, empty, insincere and all about herself.

Wolf Parade performed an in-studio session with CBC's Q Live. I posted the only available song here a few weeks ago but now the whole show is available. What Did My Lover Say was the song I was really looking forward to hearing/seeing. The performance is awesome and really displays the musicianship of the group. The video has 188 views right now and I think I contributed in a significant way........

Back to treatment on these tendons at the back of my knee. Tomorrow I will get more deep tissue work and hopefully some gentle spinning on the bike. I need to sweat, I'm literally bouncing off the walls here.

Peace and Love,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Strange Scene It Is

Good first day in with Mike Silva at Foundation Performance. Mike reckons my range of motion is way ahead of where it should be. I actually walked a brisk 10 minutes at 80% body weight on the Alter-G trainer. A lot of my issues come from some really bad binding up on the lateral side of my calf, right where it inserts into the back of the knee. I need a lot of deep tissue work. I am going to go as much as I can - so if anyone knows a trainee therapist who wants to work for tips, my calf and hammy is all yours.
When I complain of still feeling that familiar pain, Mike thinks its just the inflamed tendon but the root cause is taken care of so all I need to do is get my calf and hammy nice and long/loose, and get into a strengthening routine with minimal running. I'll do Alter-G this time. I kind of blew it off last time because I was on the road so much. Good first day of treatment. More of the same tomorrow. I am listening to The Radio Dept a lot tonight and Never Follow Suit has become a bit of a favorite right now. Its lovely.



The Radio Dept. "Never follow suit" from Labrador Records on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lets Sing A Song On The Way Back Home

I've been caning the Twin Shadow record Forget all day. And he did a daytrotter session that fills me with joy. You should check it out. Its been a tough weekend as I am not one who sits around doing nothing. In fact I struggle with it more than most. But it had to be done. I start PT tomorrow and I can't wait. The swelling has really subsided which for a notoriously slow healer like myself is a real positive. However the lingering and all to familiar pain I feel in the back of my knee is a big negative. I don't want to get down on this before I start rehab but being honest I can still feel the same ache. Dr. McKeon, in all fairness, did say that he is pretty sure that the tear was only one part of my pain and that the tendons behind my knee were inflamed and that tendinitis is another issue I need to sort out. So back to Mike and the crew at Foundation Performance for a gallant and committed effort to get this right. I am lucky to have Coxy as my boss because he is allowing me the freedom to get the therapy. Not that I'll be shirking my work duties.

Another huge positive is that Moonface (Spencer Krug) is touring this year with one date announced for May in Montreal. I bought a couple of tix and I am already beside myself with excitement. I have no idea how the show is going to work out. Is he going to have a band or is he going to be behind a bunch of looping keyboards? Whatever way he chooses to bring us the music I have no doubt it will be very special.

A nice live session from Twin Shadow below. Check it.

Love Kel

TWIN SHADOW "SHOOTING HOLES" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Small Tear, Big Pain

The operation was, at least according to the Dr., a success. The tear was small but very central and the flap was irritated during all weight baring activity. That explains why it was so sore during expo's or any long periods of standing. In fact it was worse when standing than running! The days prior to surgery I ran 5 miles on the treadmill and it explained a lot to me. Day one, 5 miles wasn't too bad. A dull pain that got worse when I stopped. Day 2 I made it to 4.5 and really hurt during the last .5 mile. Afterward my knee, calf and even my foot were all very sore. A minor tear can be dealt with but when irritated it can create a lot of pain. I just happen to keep irritating it so I'm happy its gone.

So the plan is to take it VERY easy over the next month. I am treating this like an ACL injury. I want to get better and the only way is to take it slow, do all the rehab and focus on biking as my primary exercise. I believe that by summer I'll have the top off and the split shorts on (or half tights more likely) and I'll be doing tempo runs around the Coogan loop on the east side. At least thats the small dream.

Might have to reward myself with a Burton Baton at the Colonial tonight. We'll see.

Peace and Love,


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

General Anesthetic

Tomorrow I am going under general anesthetic for the 5th time in 4 years. And once again I am getting more parts of my knee removed so that I can function and run occasionally. I developed another tear because I did not rehab correctly after my last surgery and decided that hammering on the bike was completely normal. I now have another tear near the center of my knee. Some people get nervous about surgery but I have actually had more knee surgery than visits to the dentist in the last 4 years. Its pretty easy and comfortable. Couple of celebrex first. A bed to chill out in and get wheeled around in. A quick chat with the doctor in the O.R. then you wake up thinking it hasn't started yet but in fact its been finished for an hour. No dreams just a blink.

What has me somewhat concerned is the question of whether or not I should bother with trying to be able to run. Obviously my body is telling me something. 12 stress fractures, 5 knee surgeries, a blocked nerve in my back that kept me out for a year? Maybe this machine is meant to do something else. But then there is the addiction. That is the challenge because none of the injuries I've sustained in  he last few years would have happened had I accepted that I no longer tolerate hard training and that I should just enjoy the running subculture for what it is. I should just run local races and dive headfirst into the craic afterward. That is what I intend on doing this time. If my knee is fixed its only one part of the problem because my left knee, as anyone who reads this knows, is forever cooked. BUT I can tolerate small running loads and my right knee is the one preventing me from even doing that.

So the plan of attack is to finally get my right knee fixed by removing the remaining meniscus. Take full recovery time, as in pretend I have no interest in running. Ride the bike and compete on the bike. Then as the summer approaches build up to running 40 miles a week in 5 runs and run local 5ks to show the new upstarts that it takes more than fancy running gear to drop the old folks.

It should be good but then again it could also be a big waste of time. Either way I am fired up to finally fix this knee because running aside its been a kick in the balls for the last year. Every expo, every event, and every time I wake up dehydrated it hurts bad. This shouldn't be the case. The doc will give me video of the surgery which I'll post here. Technology = awesome. They can stick a camera in to record the process, I love that stuff.

Peace and much love,


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Albums Of The Year

I've had this list done for a week now but laziness prevented me from putting it up here. Better late than ever. So, like the song list for the most part this list is very interchangeable. I read top 100 album lists and can't fathom how someone puts it into order. I have 15 albums with some honorable mentions. It is important to note that some of these albums are obvious but that my favorite album made hardly any lists this year. Music is exceptionally personal and can speak in many different ways. The live experience alone can take an album to new heights, something that happened me this year with many albums. It was a very good year  for music and with 2011 hopefully bringing a new Radiohead masterpiece to the world it looks like the good times are going to keep rolling.

Honorable Mention
Working For A Nuclear Free City - Jojo Burger Tempest
Stars - The Five Ghosts
Superpitcher - Kilimanjaro
Xiu Xiu - Dear God I Hate Myself

15. Beach House - Teen Dream

Beach House - NORWAY

I got into this album late in the year after so many people suggested it to me. I wish I listened more this summer because the lush vocals and arrangement are really bright and complex. Polished from start to finish. This album will take Beach House from opener to headliner in 2011.

14. Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise

Pantha Du Prince - STICK TO MY SIDE

I had to put an album full of the techno sound on my year end list. The turntables might be gathering dust and I don't hit the tiles like I once did but forever dance music, dark clubs, and hours rocking out to DJ's will be part of my life. I loved this album because it incorporates the minimal techno I've grown to love (thanks to the label - Kompakt)  but more than that it blends the classic techno sound with house music and layers upon layers of melodic strings and synths. An album that will appeal to a wider audience, and so it should. Fantastic.

13. The National - High Violet

The National - CONVERSATION 16

Lots of my friends don't understand why I don't LOVE The National. It can get annoying, and while I shouldn't take it out on the band it does at times make me not want to like The National. So in all honesty I listened to this album through a lot over the last few weeks to really give it a true opinion and the truth that I found was solid. Its a very good album and very immediate. One listen and the songs make sense and are memorable. The album is stripped bare and disjointed yet is huge in production. Infectious hooks are layered over thundering drums, sweet strings and keys, and the vocals carry it all. Matt Berninger does melancholy very well, his baritone lending itself to this style. But he can still come across warm and very sincere. I've read that he is America's Morrissey, a comparison I disagree with but I can see his uniqueness and even appreciate it. That said, The National will never be a favorite band of mine. The music reminds me of Coldplay in many ways. I can see The National continuing to make bigger sounding music and reaching stadium levels.  

12. The Radio Dept. - Clinging To A Scheme

The Radio Dept. - HEAVENS ON FIRE

A straight up romantic, bittersweet pop record. I never got bored of it and the twists and turns in music style kept me going back. Not to mention the lyrics which run like a social commentary on the loss of communication and increased corporate control laced with hypocrisy. The Swedes have been churning out fantastic music over the last few years and long may it last.

11. Glasser - Ring

Glasser - APPLY

Just like the first time I listened to Bat For Lashes, Glasser immediately made me stop what ever I was doing, take a deep breath and the find out more.  I listened to Ring straight through and loved it. There are no bad moments on the album. Tribal drums, chanting, swirling pads, and a magical vocal. The music is mysterious and for me very uplifting. A beautiful record.

10. Warpaint - The Fool

Warpaint - COMPOSURE

Apparently this band has been around for a long time but this is their first full length. The Exquisite Corpse EP had some highlights and I imagined that they had a few starters prior to that, I was wrong. I guess it was worth the wait however because The Fool is magnificent. I was hypnotized by the song Undertow when I listened to it on a blog a little while ago. I downloaded it and swiftly followed up with the album (who says blogs don't encourage the purchase of music?) The vocals are haunting and the music infectious. Mesmerizing.

09. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Arcade Fire - SPRAWL II

I really like the highlights on this album and only because they are so good does the album sit in the top 10. I believe that they could have removed 4 or 5 filler tracks and still got the concept/theme across in a more concise and immediate manner. When the British journos tried to tell me that this album was better than OK Computer I nearly lost it. In fact the suburban sprawl imagery with subdivisions and malls was already covered in the Ok Computer accompanying EP Airbag - How Am I Driving.  The theme is where the comparisons need to stop. Anyway, the album is still very good. I loved some of the songs and I get it, everyone will. This is a brilliant and very talented band that keep it real. Epic live show and to produce when the expectations are so great is a true testament to the song writing.

08. Four Tet - There Is Love In You


One of my most listened to albums this year. Kieran Hebden stripped his sound down, keeps the jazzy drum loops low and layers repetitive vocals and synths on top. He simplified the music and delivered for me an album that I can listen to while killing myself during a bike workout or while drinking a beer in a dark room. The production crisp and polished. The songs swirl and carry the mood. Even if house music is not your thing this album will strike a chord because it has so much more to it. You'll forget the mundane and travel to a place much more colorful.

 07. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

LCD Soundsystem - I CAN CHANGE

The last release by LCD Soundsystem so James Murphy decided to go out on a very high note. One of my big regrets was missing this album tour. Dates didn't work out but I imagine the performance was mighty. The opening track, my favorite Dance Yrself Clean encompasses the best of LCD Soundsystem, soft vocals roll along until a synth is looped in and the song turns into a rave. From here the album rolls along with highlight after highlight. It is very sad if this is indeed the last we'll see of LCD Soundsystem but if it is we have been left with great memories, and a final release thats simply a class apart.  

06. Interpol - Interpol

Interpol - ALL OF THE WAYS

This was a very unheralded release and I have no idea why. Maybe I love Paul Banks voice and it blinds me from the rest of the music. But that can't be it because I love the music, the arrangement, the lead guitar  and the dark swirling sounds.  This album explores those dark sounds better than the last release and harks back to the amazing first album. We are brought on a melodic journey through orchestral crescendos and hypnotic, looping lyrics. Moody rock music that lifts me up. And while I thought by now that Interpol would be huge it seems like Paul is content with their popularity.  His live performances were magical this year and he was more playful to the crowd than I'd seen on any of the previous album tours. I think this record should have fared a lot better.

05. Future Islands - In Evening Air

Future Islands - INCH OF DUST

This is from-the-heart post nu wave pop music at its very best. Despite the strong influence of 80's sounds this band has delivered a unique and very fresh record. Sam Herring has one of the original stand alone voices in pop music today. He cuts up the post wave synths with everything from heartfelt whispering to all out thunderous wailing. Emotive and inspiring this album may encourage dancing or thinking but for sure will encourage repeat plays.

04. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles 2

Crystal Castles - NOT IN LOVE

They might be difficult, they may have an unusual relationship with fans, and they may have been too lazy to name the second album but I don't care. In fact I am not sure where they will go next because they have mastered the 8-bit sound and at times on this album I can't imagine it getting any better. The sound of Alice Glass shrieking over pulsating synths and drums makes me so happy. And especially on songs like "Not In Love", we are seeing more of the vocal side of Alice Glass and it gives me hope that there is an evolving sound. Whether the sound be ferocious or deeply emotional it belongs to Crystal Castles, there is simply no one like them.  They have their style and its magic.

03. Twin Shadow - Forget

Twin Shadow - FORGET

This album took me by surprise. I never heard of Twin Shadow but read that it captures the nostalgia of the 80's high school dance better than M83's Saturday = Youth did. Big claims. So I listened and fell in love. There is certainly a part of me that regrets not listening to more music when I was growing up. Obviously I was too young to appreciate the 80's but by the time I got into music it was the Rave sound or Brit Pop. However, a lot of that music has become dull and I love the wave of 80's inspired music that has been hitting the shelves over the last few years. While many albums have hit the spot, this has hit the bullseye. Twin Shadow is George Lewis Jr. and he uses a difficult childhood and his inspirations from 80's nu wave pioneers to create his masterpiece. Because of how catchy the songs are its easy to overlook the depth of lyrics but don't. They are honest and very telling. He is the breakout star of 2010. Someone on a blog somewhere said this needs to be a soundtrack to a Brett Eston Ellis book, and I couldn't agree more.

02. Jonsi - Go


As each of the Sigur Ros albums evolved, more color was added. Its almost like Jonsi deliberately penned the albums in this way. Med Sud introduced the most color, it was Sigur Ros summertime album.  And then when it couldn't possibly get any sweeter Jonsi gave us this. To appreciate this album you have to let your guard down and accept that Jonsi does moody atmospherics brilliantly and does up beat, overly happy brilliantly as well. He literally tied a knot around the sun and brought it a little closer. However to further appreciate the album one needed to see the live concert. I was fortunate enough to witness the magic on 2 occasions. Coupled with the B-Sides Go is a collection of work that truly inspires. The tears of joy could be seen all throughout Terminal 5 in New York by the end of the show. I know that at times there is almost a cheesy element to the album, Animal Arithmetic for example, but thats ok. The album is supposed to be happy. Even on the atmospheric tracks, bliss over powers darkness. Everyone needs a little color and happiness. I certainly did and I found it here. I'm ready for some new Sigur Ros, but 2010 was the year of Go.

01. Wolf Parade - Expo 86

Another album that didn't make any of the lists I read and enjoy so much. I tend to become obsessive about bands and albums. I try to go to as many shows as I can and I listen relentlessly if it hits the spot. Wolf Parade were that band this year. I was lucky to see them in concert 7 times and I will forever regret missing the opportunity to sit on the tour bus and travel from Austin to Dallas to see them again.
Expo 86 is not a flawless album it just happens to be the album I listened to more than any other this year and the highlights are exceptional. The concept of the band is difficult with 2 singer/songwriters splitting up the duties. I prefer everything Spencer Krug does and on Expo 86 its no different. However, Dan's songs on the record are really strong too which gives the album a more complete feel. Wolf Parade embrace the big sound and it really packs a punch from start to finish. It's most likely not everyones cup of tea. Spencer takes a different approach to song writing with obscure lyrics and lots of layers that build and build, along with his wailing voice. Dan on the other hand builds his songs around infectious hooks and the songs play like straight forward rock songs. Together however it seems to work, at least for me it does. In a live setting its really joyful and they play off each other really positively. Expo 86 is catchy, extravagant, dancy, and full of drama. A listen straight through will leave you needing a nap. Much like the live shows they pour their heart and soul into the performance. So much emotion and power. One of the most underrated bands on the planet.