UO graduate music student Tony Glausi has written and produced this video in an effort to "bring hope to the many broken hearts and wounded souls that are suffering today."
Photos by Todd Cooper, words by Andy Valentine
I have seen, now, the eye of a storm — the perilous tremor of full-blast thrusters, the sound of 10,000 white hands clapping. I have witnessed a prophet addressing his subjects. I have seen an earthquake's living heart. The epicenter: A$AP Rocky.
Thursday night, Nov. 12, the Harlem-born rapper stepped onto the stage at Matt Knight Arena to a roar so deafening, so decibel-stretching, that a lesser man might have cowered in fear. Thankfully, hip-hop's latest success story is one of experience. After performing extensively with Drake and Kendrick, A$AP Rocky — born Rakim Mayers — is touring solo. Well, almost solo. He brought with him the ever-brilliant and magnanimous troll Tyler, The Creator. This decision was well advised. After a full-set's worth of Tyler's music (which I love, and forever will love), A$AP Rocky had a bar to reach. The crowd was so hot that a single flicked bic might have sent us up in a sweaty inferno.
Shit. He took the bar and curled it one-handed.
A$AP Rocky's sophomore release At. Long. Last. A$AP (RCA Records, 2015) is, at first glance, your average trap-heavy rap album. But the more you listen, the more you find the soul in its crannies. The record is brutal in all the right places. It's hard, sleek and bitterly honest. These aspects translate on stage to create a spectacle so far beyond what the average hip-hop show should accomplish that I was left, in the end, with a hole in my gut.
Perhaps the pile-driving bass was to blame. But I'm convinced, now, that greater forces were at work. A melding, let's call it, of potential and kinetic energies. An atmosphere of love and respect fostered over each dirty beat. Yes, the beats were dirty. But I have a penchant for language and word. Many factors make up a great show but, in the end, only one thing matters: the artist says what he means to say.
The set was really grooving along — a spitfire's pace — bangers and bangers of floor-shaking mayhem. But right there, at the crux of it all, with the crowd so alive in the palm of his hand that he physically moved the blood through our veins, Mayers decided to put things on pause. With mic poised, he laid bare his thoughts with a brief sermon about humanity. His message was this: Race, religion, color or creed, every human is striving, simply, just to exist. To feel alive. Also, let's be honest, smoking weed is pretty great. But more to the point, every one of us — male, female, blue, green or pink — deserves to be here, grasping this moment.
Shoulders back, chest protruding, arms flung wide in charged embrace, A$AP Rocky drew the arena into his heart from a spot some twenty feet in the air. Tier-two of his three-tiered stage — some kind of light-up hashtag, a tic-tac-toe of metal and lights. A hip-hop Fuck You to Hollywood Squares. Columns of steam rose into the rafters. My eyes twitched inside my skull. Then the lights went down.
When the lights go down, you feel for a second the gravitational pull of the earth. The soles of your shoes are held to the ground. Your knees buckle. The roar pitches up.
At long last, the bass returns.
Tyler, The Creator
The Union of Concerned Scientists has a new report out on their analysis of electric vehicles and how they perform over time in terms of pollution. This report deals with some questons that keep coming up, such as: What about the source of the electricity? Does it make sense to drive an electric vehicle powered by coal vs. solar or hydro power? The interactive website allows readers to make calculations depending on where they live. In all, it's good news for the electric vehicle industry.
In the latest update on the long-simmering debate over large events — think music concerts and Faerieworlds — at Lane County Parks, the County Commission has voted to approve all the recommendations of the Large Events Task Force. You can see the members of the task force and other information at the county website here. The full press release is below.
Board of Commissioners Approve All Recommendations of Large Events Task Force
Today, the Lane County Board of Commissioners voted to support all recommendations of the Large Events Task Force, which has spent the last year working to create guidelines for hosting large events of 1,000 or more attendees in Lane County parks.
“The work done by the Large Events Task Force is outstanding,” said Commissioner Faye Stewart. “These folks have taken on an issue that so many felt passionately about, listened to the feedback and created a set of recommendations meant to serve our community well now and into the future.”
The approved recommendations include guidelines for hosting events in Lane County’s Howard Buford Recreation Area – an aspect of the task force’s work that received much public interest and input.
John Helmer, chair of the Large Events Task Force, presented the recommendations and prefaced them by sharing some of the guiding principles used by the task force. “Appropriateness was a big area of consideration. A lot of what we’re talking about is what is appropriate in County parks,” said Helmer. He also listed safety as a “preeminent” principle in creating the recommendations while also balancing the particular setting, access and development level of each park.
“The majority vote [of the Parks Advisory Committee] was to endorse the Large Events Task Force recommendation as written,” said chairwoman of the County’s Parks Advisory Committee (PAC), Pat Hoover, during the public comment period. “The PAC is joining the County administrator, the Public Works director and the Parks division manager in wanting to have this report approved as written.”
Some of the key approved recommendations include:
· The purpose of a proposed large event must be compatible with the spirit of, and all specific provisions contained within any deed, lease, master plan or other approved guidance documents applicable to a given park.
· Prohibit the use of amplified sound, i.e., sound that is amplified electronically or by any other means, e.g., megaphones, air horns or explosive devices, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
· An impact assessment tool should be used to determine impacts from proposed events on the two environmental resources in each proposed park (strategy habitats and rare species). Habitat connectivity also should be considered.
· Limit camping to parks with developed campgrounds in order to manage the impacts that camping associated with large events may have on parks, other park users and adjacent neighborhoods. (The one recognized exception to this policy is the arrangement between Lane County and the City of Veneta which allows camping at Zumwalt Park during the Country Fair.)
· Create an event review and oversight group that includes stakeholders to review applications for large events to ensure they adhere to the recommendations and Parks policies.
The approved recommendations include specific considerations for the Howard Buford Recreation Area:
· Limit the frequency of large events to a maximum of four large events per year, with no more than two large events in any one calendar quarter.
· Large events should be limited to those with a primarily educational or nature-based theme.
· Limit the duration of large events to no more than 10 hours per day, between sunrise and 7:00 p.m.