Thursday, May 16, 2013
Finally got around to updating the oft-neglected Cotten Club this week. There are brand spanking-new posts up for Bates Motel, Hannibal and the blog's namesake, Mr. Joseph Cotten. I also made a mix for Hannibal's Will Graham, because I am in love with the character.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Abrams Falls is a great little trail. We've hiked it several times but this was our first visit in almost a year. The trailhead is on the backend of the Cades Cove Loop Road, which can make it hard to access when the traffic is heavy on the Loop. This past Saturday was overcast, though, and we didn't want to risk a longer hike for fear of being caught out in a downpour. There were plenty of people out and about but not the kind of enormous numbers one encounters on days when the weather is more accommodating. All together the trail clocks in at five miles. It's not particularly strenuous but it climbs and dips enough to remain interesting. And it sticks close to the route of the Abrams Creek, which is lovely. We were lucky enough to see River Otters playing in the water last summer but, sadly, no sign of them this time around. Maybe on our next visit.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
Over the weekend the husband and I completed our first "grown-up" hike of 2013: The Rich Mountain Loop, an 8.5 mile hike that's made up of Rich Mountain Loop Trail and sections of Indian Grave Gap Trail and Crooked Arm Ridge Trail. The trailhead is located just inside the entrance to the Cades Cove Loop Road.
We hiked the loop clockwise and at 1.4 miles arrived at the John Oliver Cabin. The trail runs roughly parallel to the Loop Road up until this point but now it begins to climb...
The leaves have yet to come in on most of the trees so once we began our ascent we caught several glimpses of Cades Cove through the bare branches. It was neat to look down on the Cove from above, after having travelled around it by car so many times over the years. About halfway through our hike, on Indian Grave Gap trail, we had a ridgeline view of Cades Cove to our right and an impressive view of Townsend to our left.
Since this was our first big hike since last November we were worn out afterwards but I am excited that our 2013 season has finally begun in earnest. Already planning the next adventure.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
The temperature was pleasant in the lower elevations on Good Friday but it was an overcast, drizzly day and, since we had no raingear, we only ended up hiking half of Old Sugarlands Trail. Though I failed to document them the signs of spring were all around. However...
A few miles up the road at Newfound Gap it looked like this. We certainly weren't equipped for hiking in these conditions but it was fun to hop out of the car and snap a few quick pictures.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Last Saturday I had the opportunity to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Ryman and I am still reeling from the experience. I have been an admirer of Cave's since the mid-nineties when I was first introduced to his music. While I'm not as familiar with his more recent output (except for his exquisite work with Warren Ellis on the score for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) I continue to adore the stuff I listened to in college. There's a vivid brutality to many of his lyrics, which are oftentimes shot through with Old Testament imagery, but he is equally skilled at crafting achingly beautiful love songs. He has a deep, sonorous voice capable of crooning out a ballad or snarling through a raucous tale of debauchery and depravity. There's a feral, animalistic side to him but it is complimented but a side that is thoughtful, clever and deeply literate. There's something entirely timeless and otherworldly about the persona he projects. Sometimes sinister, sometimes gentle and almost always seductive.
I had high expectations going into Saturday's show even though I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I can honestly say that the intensity Cave brought to this concert was astonishing. The experience was overwhelming and cathartic and Cave is an incredible showman. He's built like a scarecrow and he is absolutely the sexiest beast I have ever seen. Strutting back and forth across the stage in a dark suit that accentuated his slim, long-limbed build (seriously, the man is all elbows and knees) he reminded me of the Fiddle Man in the short film Hannah and the Dog Ghost, a character that has stayed in my mind since my Montessori school days. There's something he taps into that's archetypal and universal, like something I've always been aware of peripherally but couldn't quite comprehend in the waking world. Something that both terrifies and beguiles.
Watching concert footage online does not provide an adequate approximation of what the live Nick Cave experience is like. There was this wild, witchy kind of energy in the auditorium for the entire show. And it was bolstered by the way that Cave engaged with his audience. I watched, awestruck, from the balcony as he stretched his long arms out into the crowd and beckoned them to come closer. At one point he plucked a woman out of her seat and pulled her to the edge of the stage so he could crouch down and caress her hair while he sang. It was sexually charged but also protective, like a father comforting his child or a pastor tending to a wayward member of his flock (he's great at stage banter, too, and one of the reasons his over-the-top persona works so well is because you know he doesn't always take himself seriously). Given the Ryman's history one could not ask for a better venue in which to see an artist like this. I have never been to a show where the performer, the setting and the crowd all seemed to be in perfect accord. Everything just came together beautifully. I feel honored that I was there to witness it.
Monday, March 11, 2013
I spent three days last week bedridden with a nasty cold. By the fourth day I was going stir crazy and had to have a hike. Despite the warmer temps there was quite a bit of snow on the Alum Cave trail, which is why we only opted to hike to Arch Rock and back. It was very beautiful but the shady parts of the trail were tricky. Kind of like a slippery slushy bobsled track. Will definitely be investing in some winter hiking gear between now and next year.