As some of you may know, I was born and raised in the state of Colorado, in the USA. I recently came across this video for the song “San Luis”, by folk singer Gregory Alan Isakov, which was filmed mostly in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado.
The music and the images do a really great job of showing some of what makes this place so special.
I could write more about how this captures the essence of home so perfectly, but I think this is one of those instances where nothing more needs to be said.
Hope you enjoy the music.
P.S. GAI is one of those artists with such a small profile, that if you enjoy his music, you can make an actual, discernible difference by buying his albums.
Drinking tea, smoking hash and playing chess, our afternoon whiled away in the most pleasant fashion. We did nothing, worked towards nothing, and simply spent our afternoon enjoying the simple pleasures of drinks, conversation, and each other’s company. I had to agree with the Malaysian: I didn’t know what day of the week it was, but it certainly felt like a Sunday morning.
[this is an installment in an ongoing series about my travels in Nepal. The story starts here. It’ll make a good deal more sense if you start there, but feel free to make your own decisions]
Dusk fell, and a chill set in on the open-air cafe. The Spaniard had taken his leave late in the afternoon, off to enjoy a siesta. I was wearing only a t-shirt, all I had needed when I set forth that sunny morning. Now though, the cold was cutting at my bones, and my teeth were on the verge of chattering. I conceded the chess game—the hash was doing my play no favors— and bid the Malaysian adieu.
“Will you be here tomorrow?” I asked, as I settled my bill with the owner.
“Of course,” the Malaysian answered with a gracious smile. “I am here every day.”
“I’ll be back,” I promised with a pointed finger. “And I’m going to win some more games next time!”
I awoke with a sore throat and a cough — a common traveler’s affliction in Kathmandu.
The past two days had been exhausting; and without a trek to take, my motivation to go back and tangle with the shopkeepers and hustlers was low.
I strolled over to Himalayan Java, where I again purchased the big breakfast and two coffees. I brought along my computer and researched treks. Remembering the woman I had met in Himalayan Java yesterday, I expanded my search to include the Annapurna treks.
I saw “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” tonight (Only spent $54 at Cinebistro this time). The movie is mediocre. The only moment of strength or emotion comes courtesy of Jennifer Lawrence’s haunting performance of an original song “The Hanging Tree,” set over images of revolution.
The lyrics to the song were taken from the Mockingjay novel and set to music by the indie-folk band the Lumineers. There is no version of “The Hanging Tree” sung by the Lumineers, unfortunately (I bet it would be great). The song provides the movie with a much-needed emotional punch. While there is an interesting story to be told about war propaganda, Mockingjay Part 1 does not ever elevate beyond a boring semi-action movie. You’d have thought the split to two movies might have allowed the producers wider thematic latitude, but I guess you don’t take chances with a franchise as big as The Hunger Games. You don’t have something to say, you just have a good story to tell.
“The Hanging Tree” is the only place where “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” feels like it has something to say. It’s just making a musical statement, instead of a filmic one.
“The Hanging Tree” is quite a hit; it’s actually charted on the iTunes store, and has seen big popularity on the streaming sites as well. Curiously, it is NOT included on the Lorde-curated “Official Soundtrack,” a release from which only one song appears in the movie (Yellow Flicker Beat, over the credits). “The Hanging Tree” is included on the Official Score, a release credited to James Newton Howard (for the ID3 freaks like me out there).
Whenever I hear a catchy, understated song like this, my first thought is always “I can’t wait to hear some remixes!” “The Hanging Tree” is no exception— there are several quality remixes already on YouTube and Soundcloud. Below are a few of my favorites— please share in the comments if you know of some that I haven’t posted here, I would love to hear them.
The Smija rework adds instrumentation and a strong bass line
Moshy delivers a trippy, slow-paced and syncopated remix
AntonMcGeezus created a pulsing, dance-oriented track
There are more out there (definitely a fewer faster, bouncier dance tracks), but these three are my favorites so far. Take an hour and scour around YouTube and Soundcloud for some hidden gems— it will be a better use of your time than seeing “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.”