Thursday, August 16, 2018

Music: Young Ladies, and a Polish Master, the RIFFS this Week

THE RIFF’ 8/17/18 : Bassist Robbie Shakespeare debuts as a vocalist on the album “Nordub”. “Poor Man In Love” by Gregory Isaacs
The beautiful harmonies of New Zealand’ House Of Shem. Radioman Patrick Lafayette sings Bob Marley’ “Is This Love.” “ River Jordan”
a Burning Spear dubplate. Sting and Shaggy’ mutually beneficial collaboration. FEMALE VOICES: The young; the tested and the proven.
Sevena; Lila Ike; Zosia McGregor; Naomi Cowan; Juliet Nelson and Yemi Alade.

‘THE SUNDAY RIFF” : Virtuoso female musicians—‘SHEROES’ led by pianist/composer Monica Herzig. A salute to modern painters
Monet and Matisse, by the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra. Singer Cecile McLorin Savant “Live’ at the Vanguard. A salute to the
Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko.

Hear the RIFF


Poetry: COCOON

A rat had become
roadkill not 20 feet
from where she lay
two cardboard panels
one above
one underneath
a cocoon for her from
the steady whizz
of cars up and down the
She was almost perfectly
Closed eyes shielding passersby
from the life
and death strugglewithin
the faintest
nib of self preservation desperately
fending off
addiction's ravaging
air deftly navigating
the passages of her
body holding form for
the moment but
not likely durable
enough to avoid going
unflinching sun
cold concrete

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Auto: "Float Like A Butterfly, Drive Like A Spider" in Ali's Alfa

Widely regarded as one of the top athletes of all time, the late, great Muhammad
Ali could probably have had just about any car he wanted. Heck, he even owned an automaker at one point, but more on that later. What we’re looking at today is a classic Alfa Romeo that was once his, and that’s now coming up for auction.

Ali bought this 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider new at European Imports in Lake Forest, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He owned it for just a short time before he gave it to his friend – the current owner – who was with him at the time of purchase.
We can’t say for sure who that friend and consigning owner is, but the Alfa is said to have featured in the book “Running with the Champ: My Forty-Year Friendship with Muhammad Ali” by Tim Shanahan – a copy of which comes with the car. So we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the author’s.
Whoever it belongs to has put over 80,000 miles on the car. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter straight four with a five-speed manual, decked out in silver with a handsome red coachline and a black interior, and wears a California vanity plate reading “ALIBEE2.”
The Alfa wasn’t Ali’s only encounter with small Latin-flavored roadsters. As Jalopnikdocumented shortly after his death just two years ago, Ali was once part owner in a small Brazilian manufacturer called Puma, which made little fiberglass-bodied barchettas powered (ironically enough) by “boxer” engines from the Volkswagen Beetle

Rugby: Jamaica Crocs Being Propelled by Weir's Speed

Jamaica's athletes have long established themselves among the fastest in global track athletics.
To become another all-conquering force, the country's rugby seven men's outfit is looking to strike a parallel by infiltrating it ranks with more speed.

This follows their crowning as undisputed kings of Caribbean rugby with a bronze-medal finish at the just-concluded Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, after defeating Trinidad and Tobago 26-5 in the third-place play-off match on Thursday, August 2.

According to Bruce Martin, the coach who describes himself as “head cook and bottle washer”, a large part of that success owes itself to the addition of Warren Weir, a high-class sprinter who has won Olympic bronze at 200m and sprint relay gold, plus World Championships and Commonwealth Games 200m silver.

“The addition of Warren Weir is great. He saved us in so many ways; tackling, we didn't know that his tackling skills was on par like that. He rose to the occasion,” said Martin. “His speed is excellent for where we're going and I'm excited to see how far we'll reach coming onto the qualifications leading to the 2020 Olympics.”

“His contribution — the entire world of rugby is already raving about him, already crowning him as the fastest rugby player in the world and so far he's opened up space for us … we saw [at] the CAC Games what he can contribute to Team Jamaica and we're excited to see what he'll do moving on,” Martin said.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Coca-Cola "tries On" Body Armor

Coca-Cola is buying a stake in BodyArmor. The move marks the latest attempt by the beverage giant to break Gatorade’s lock on the sports-drink market. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
  • Coca-Cola would become BodyArmor’s second-largest shareholder, eclipsing a stake held by soda rival Keurig Dr Pepper, which also has a distribution deal.
  • Gatorade still dominates the market, capturing about three-quarters of the $8 billion in U.S. sports-drinks sales. BodyArmor has grown quickly in the past year but is still a distant third, behind Powerade, with less than 6% of the market, according to a Wells Fargo analysis of Nielsen data.

Music: Marley Albums for Independence Time Capsule

Cedella Marley, eldest daughter of reggae singer Bob Marley, donated a rare set of her father's albums to the Jamaica50 Time Capsule which will be sealed at the Bank of Jamaica at the end of August.

It is scheduled to be opened in 2062 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jamaican Independence.

The gift of Bob Marley's complete Island Recordings comprises nine studio albums as well as two live albums, including Catch A Fire, Burnin', Rastaman Vibration and Exodus, which was declared the Best Album of the Twentieth Century in 2001 by Time magazine.

“This notable body of work represents a significant period of my father's life and musical career and has helped to establish Jamaica and reggae on the world stage. Through his music, my father fearlessly shone light on the injustices and inequalities of the world even as he implored us to come together in love through an acceptance of all,” said Marley. “It is my hope that when the capsule is opened in 2062, the melody and message of my father's music will captivate and inspire its audience just as much as it does today.”

Among the items donated to the Time Capsule commemorating the first 50 years of Jamaican Independence are a Maroon abeng, relics unearthed from the TaĆ­no archaeological excavation at White Marl in St Catherine; photos of Jamaican prime ministers and governors general, posters featuring Jamaica's UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Blue & John Crow Mountains, Jamaican art and craft, as well as items of popular culture such as a poster of Dancehall queen Carlene.

Sports: Baseball Signed By Legends Hits "Home Run" at Auction

A baseball signed by Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, reports from L.A.
George Sisler, Walter Johnson, Connie Mack, Nap Lajoie, Eddie Collins and Pete Alexander — in 1939, at their induction ceremony into the Baseball Hall of Fame — just sold for $623,369, AP's Andrew Dalton
  • "That crushes the record of $345,000 for a signed baseball, set in 2013 for a Ruth-Gehrig ball."
  • The only original inductee who was living at the time "who didn't sign the ball was Lou Gehrig, who on that day was headed to the Mayo Clinic ... [H]e'd been diagnosed with ALS, the disease that would end his career, take his life and unofficially bear his name."