Thursday, 30 September 2010

LISTEN: The Duke & The King - Long Live the Duke & the King

I'm a HUGE fan of The Felice Brothers and loved The Duke & The King's debut album from last year, so it's pretty safe to say I like anything these guys touch.

Head over to their website and download 'Shine On You' and then watch the video below. Laid back country-soul that has been likened to that of Donovan, Graham Nash, Booby Charles, OV Wright, The Family Stone, Neil Young and Sam Cooke.

Read reviews, watch videos and more here

Listen to the album via Spotify.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

LISTEN: Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz (2010)

You can now listen to Sufjan Steven's 'The Age of Adz' over at NPR.

WATCH: Mounmental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America

From the moment David Brower first laid eyes on the beauty of the Yosemite Valley, he fought to preserve the American wilderness for future generations.

The story of a true American legend,
Monumental documents the life of this outdoorsman, filmmaker and environmental crusader, whose fiery dedication not only saved the Grand Canyon but also transformed the Sierra Club into a powerful national political force, giving birth to the modern environmental movement.

Seen through Brower’s own eyes - he was an accomplished filmmaker, and his stunning footage is included here - a 1956 raft trip down Glen Canyon, before its damming, evokes the awful sadness of losing public land we’ve failed to protect. And in period footage of Brower’s early rock-climbs (done in sneakers, with hemp ropes) and of his training in the 10th Mountain Division (who defeated the Nazis in the high Alps), Brower emerges as an unlikely and inspiring national hero.
Featuring music by The Beachwood Sparks, Fruit Bats, Yo La Tengo and more

Monday, 27 September 2010

LOOK: View from Vistas Valley to the Siehtagas, Sweden

(via Panoramio)

Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner in Glen Canyon, 1947 (5th from left, back row)

Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it. Without any remaining wilderness we are committed wholly, without chance for even momentary reflection and rest, to a headlong drive into our technological termite-life, the Brave New World of a completely man-controlled environment. We need wilderness preserved--as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds--because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed. The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health even if we never once in ten years set foot in it. It is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity it can bring briefly, as vacation and rest, into our insane lives. It is important to us when we are old simply because it is there--important, that is, simply as an idea.

Read the full letter here.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Thursday, 23 September 2010

LISTEN: The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Spacegirl (1993)

BOOK: Sarek - Vandringar i vår sista vildmark by Edwin Nilsson

Edvin 'Sarek' Nilsson was born in 1928 and has since his 20th birthday been working for the Swedish Forest Service within the national park municiplaity of Jokkmokk. In 1954 he also became supervisor for the Pärlälven reservoir, alongside his activities in Sarek National Park. During his time he acquired the name, 'parkvakten'/'Park Guardian', and nobody knew this magnificent  wilderness area and it's shy inhabitants like Edvin Nilsson. Here, in this book, with his short daybook style descriptions and fantastic photos, he describes his wanderings through the national park. 

(Roughly translated from the Swedish on the inside of the cover! I've only been here a year, so it might not be perfect, but you get the general idea!)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

PERSON: Tom Murphy

Tom’s interest in photography began in 1972. In 1978 he established a professional career in photography when he moved to Livingston, Montana and built a studio there. His photographic passion and specialty is Yellowstone National Park. Since 1975 he has traveled extensively within its 3400 square miles, hiking thousands of miles and skiing on hundreds of extended overnight trips in the backcountry. He has skied across the park twice, once on a 14 day solo trip.  Two things motivate him to travel carrying a heavy backpack, a desire to see Yellowstone’s wilderness backcountry, and to photograph the behaviors of free roaming wildlife and the colors, shapes, and textures of the land.


LOOK: National Geographic, July 1979

Photo via Strange-Eyes

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

WATCH: Edward Abbey on Vimeo

Abbey on NBC from Eric Temple on Vimeo.

See more here. Also worth checking out are these readings by Edward Abbey from 'Freedom & Wilderness.' Listen here and here.

LISTEN: Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest (2010)

Also now available on NPR is the new Deerhunter album! You can listen to it here. A perfect autumnal album, full of dreamy, shimmering sounds to daydream too. I'm pretty sure this is going to end up being a favourite of mine for 2010.

LISTEN: Neil Young - Le Noise (2010)

You can now listen to Neil Young's new album, 'Le Noise', for free over on NPR. The album is produced by Daniel Lanois, who gave Young an electro/acoustic guitar, with which he'd spent years working on it's electronics.

"I wanted to give him something he'd never heard before. He picked up that instrument, which had everything — an acoustic sound, electronica, bass sounds — and he knew when he played it that we had taken the acoustic guitar to a new level. It's hard to come up with a new sound at the back end of 50 years of rock 'n' roll, but I think we did it."

Monday, 20 September 2010

LOOK: Tors Nature Blog

LOOK: Autumnal

More fantastic autumnal photos courtesy of Log Cabineer.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

LISTEN: J.Tillman Sings Neil Young's 'Tonight's The Night'

More magic from Aquarium Drunkard! Listen to the whole album here.

WATCH: Wonderland (1977)

As usual, Aquarium Drunkard have brought something special to my attention. The documentary was made in 1977 by VARA, a Dutch broadcasting company and focused on the L.A. scene at that time and on artists like Warren Zevon, Linda Rondstadt, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt. I've only just started watching this, but there are already some amazing scenes! The first part is above. Enjoy!

LOOK: Photochrom Travel Views

Saturday, 18 September 2010

WATCH: Bill Mason's Wolf films

 This documentary film (Death of a Legend, 1971) by Bill Mason is about wolves and the negative myths surrounding the animal. Exceptional footage portrays the wolf's life cycle and the social organization of the pack, as well as other film of caribou, moose, deer and buffalo. Mason later made a feature documentary on wolves (Cry of the Wild, 1972) that played theatrically throughout North America and earned $5 million at the box office.

This feature-length documentary from Bill Mason imparts his affection for the big northern timber wolves and the pure-white Arctic wolves. Filmed over three years in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, the High Arctic and his home near the Gatineau Hills in Quebec, Mason sets out to dispel the myth of the bloodthirsty wolf. Going beyond the wolf's natural habitat, Mason relocated three young wolves to his own property and was able to film tribal customs, mating and birth. As a result, Cry of the Wild (1972) offers viewers access to moments in wildlife never before seen on film. 

Filmed by Bill Mason in caribou country, this nature film closely observes wolves through late winter into early spring. Wolf Pack (1974) shows this creature’s character, behavior and life cycle. What emerges is a portrait of the wolf as a disciplined hunter, respected leader and committed parent.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Out On The Weekend

Clear Lake Hikers 1975

DOCUMERICA: America's Desert Southwest in 1972 by David Hiser

Delicate Arch, the Most Famous Natural Arch in the Park. It Is in a Superb Raised and Isolated Location, Reached by a One - and - a - Half Mile Foot Trail. behind It, to the East, Are the Lasal Mountains, 05/1972n

For the DOCUMERICA Project (1971-1977), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s.

See more pics here & here. All the pictures on this page were taken in 1972 by David Hiser.
David Hiser chose his areas of coverage for his DOCUMERICA assignment, intentionally picking areas familiar to him. His photographs capture the striking landscape of America's Desert Southwest.
Backpackers on a Week - Long Hike through the Maze, a Remote and Rugged Region in the Heart of the Canyonlands, Camp Under the Shelter of a Towering Overhang. Because It Seldom Rains, Tents Are Not Necessary. Firewood Is Dry and Plentiful, 05/1972
Removing Live Plants from the Park Violates Federal Law, 05/1972
Frank Starbuck, Last of the Old Time Ranchers near Fairview Manages a Spread of 1300 Acres and 400 Head of Cattle. He Does It Alone Because It Is Too Difficult and Expensive to Get Help. Starbuck Finds It Easier to Feed His Livestock from a Horse Drawn Wagon or Sled than from a truck or tractor, 10/1972
Aspen Residents Help U.S. Forest Service Personnel Plant Seedlings at Marron Lake Campground, 12 Miles North of Aspen. The Native Aspen Trees in This Popular Camp Area Have Been Dying of a Root Disease. The USFS Didn't Have Enough People for the Replanting Job So Citizens Volunteered Their Services. Snow Covered Peaks in Background Are the 14,000 Foot Maroon Bells, 05/1972
River Trip Into Canyonlands National Park Conducted by Tag - Along - Tours of Moab. This Is a Short, Relatively Gentle Trip with a Few Small Rapids. Several Outfits in Moab Provide Such Trips. It Is through Them That Most Visitors to the Area Gain an Experience of Wilderness, 05/1972

Thursday, 16 September 2010

LOOK: Dick Proenneke

Proenneke's wilderness ethic was simple: Twin Lakes and the wildlife therein should not suffer for his presence. He reused almost everything, even carefully crafting buckets and storage boxes from used gas cans. This off-the-grid lifestyle resonated with people around the world.
(via NPS

LISTEN: Megafaun

Just came across these guys and they sound like my cup of tea. They also recently did a cover of a Gillian Welch song (who I like very much) with The Tallest Man On Earth, who I love, so it's hard not to like them!

LISTEN: Dungen - Skit i Allt (2010)

Skit I Allt is about a certain feeling: you’re with your friends and mates, all hanging out till 6 in the morning. You’re the last one left at the party and you call this person that you want to be with. They’re asleep, but they still say, ‘Ah, fuck it, come over.’ It’s that feeling.”

Picture yourself waking up late on a Sunday morning. Your apartment is cramped, but your bedroom is sunny, especially today. The bustling cymbal work of "Vara Snabb" accompanies your fluttering eyes as you wipe the crust away. As Louis CK would say, you're slowly rebooting the computer. The calm flute quickly transforms into a rumble of guitar, bass and toms as you try to process the night before. All abruptly stops when you realize, "Why remember? Look forward. It's a nice day."

Picture yourself in that suburban summer of '76. A teenager, a hi-fi in the basement living room and a stack of LPs. Cue "Högdalstoppen" as you make your daily trek down those steps. The drums break in at double-time, but the guitar moves to your slow motion scan of the familiar pastels and browns, velour and shag. The bass is working the upper register as you settle into the couch. That couch! So soft it swallows you whole. Facing a television that you have yet to outgrow. The guitar skronk is getting more complicated. Why is your hair so straight? Why are your corduroy bellbottoms so straight? Why are the stripes on your bodytight top so straight? Bass, drums and delayed organ loops -- what is that smell? Is that the room? Is that the factory-fresh LP sleeve? Is that the slightly sweat-stained canister headphones now pressed snugly against your ears? Is that fresh sweat slowly dripping down your pits as you air drum furiously to this increasingly godhead solo? Is that you?  

Read Prefix Mags great review here. 

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

LISTEN: The Fresh & Onlys - 2 new tracks

Two new songs from the prolific The Fresh & Onlys, which will be on their upcoming album, 'Play It Strange.'

(via RSTB)

WATCH: Pacific Crest Trail Documentary

Following on from the previous post, I just discovered this great documentary on You Tube about 2 guys who walked the PCT and decided to document it. Inspiring stuff!

ONE TO WALK: Pacific Crest Trail, USA

The Pacific Crest Trail (also known as the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail) is a long-distance mountain hiking and equestrian trail that runs in Washington, Oregon, and California between Mexico and Canada.

The trail follows the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range, which parallel the Pacific Ocean by 100 to 150 miles (160 to 240 km). The Pacific Crest Trail is 2,650 miles (4,260 km) long and ranges in elevation from just above sea level at the Oregon-Washington border to 13,153 feet (4,009 m) at Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada. The route passes through 25 national forests and 7 national parks.

Ritter Range, Ansel Adams Wilderness (via Flickr)

 Want to see more of the PCT? Click here.

LOOK: Sarek National Park

WATCH: Gillian Welch - My First Lover

Monday, 13 September 2010

LISTEN: Flower Orgy

<a href="">Flower Orgy by Flower Orgy</a>

LOOK: ACL Kodachromes

LISTEN: The Fresh & Onlys - Impending Doom 7"

Another total winner from the Agitated stable, and two blasts of wild pop from San Francisco's finest purveyors of said genre The Fresh & Onlys. It's their first UK release, and both tracks highlight the bands abilities in creating pop music thats skewed yet perfect. They blend in many sounds / influences,
immediate 'recommended if you like pointers' include Violent Femmes / 13th Floor Elevators / early 80s British indiepop / Australian underground singles from the 80s.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

READ: Wilderness Homes: A Book of the Log Cabin by Oliver Kemp (1908)

Also be sure to check out this arcticle on the book from the New York Times in 1908.

Building a Log Cabin in Alaska

I just discovered this website and it's absolutely perfect reading/dreaming for a lazy Sunday morning with a cup of tea.

One night in the spring of 2004, probably at 2am, Aaron and I were sitting at the computer, each drinking a beer, and looking for land in Alaska. We couldn't believe it when we found a piece that wasn't only affordable....VERY affordable, but was in our favorite area of Alaska. We bought our five acre parcel of land and started dreaming up what we were going to do on it. We told our folks we were going to build a cabin; I think my parents didn't believe me and thought I was a little crazy! Aaron and I were so excited we just started cutting trees, branches, anything....oh the feeling of owning your own piece of land! Over the course of five months Aaron and I drove every single weekend five hours to our land and gradually a cabin came together. Aaron's brother, Adam, joined us for 2.5 months; we'd never have done it without his help! Please take your time on these pages, click on the pictures to see the bigger view, and enjoy the building process of a log cabin by two people who have never built much of anything before! The links above will take you through each process of the building. Originally all the photos were on one page, but that was like 300 pictures, so I split the building process up into six pages. 

Read more here.

  Preparing the land

Nice pile accumulating of peeled logs.  For the whole weekend we moved 13 logs out of the woods and I peeled 15 logs.

The Log Walls

Finished the weekend with 16 logs put on the walls.  

 The Gables, Roof and Windows

Aaron & Adam working up the gables to the ridge pole. We are almost out of workable logs!  

Alaska Log Cabin In Winter

Caulking the gables on the front of the cabin  where the logs have checks or where they didn't fit tight.  The southern wind we get here tends to blow rain right up under the roof and against the logs.  

 Log Spiral Stairs

Lagging the stairs in place.  

 The Cabinets & Front Porch

We just need to finish the loft railing and the stair railing. We ran out of logs, so we had to cut a couple more trees and peel them.   

Return to Alaska & Our Log Cabin 
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