28 May 2011

At the Top of the World

Lee Hazlewood's last recording was a spoken word piece set to the music of the Icelandic band Amiina. It's a melancholy little song and Lee's grandfatherly, road-weary vocals are perfect. Not found on an official album, the song was released only as a single after Hazlewood's death and has subsequently gone out of print. Apparently, it was played in public for the first time at Lee Hazlewood's memorial service.

The video for the song is the real treat. It's beautifully filmed and mountain-y and snowy enough to be a permanent fixture at Home Is Where Your Skis Is.

The connection between the band and the man isn't quite clear. The original version of the song "Hilli" was recorded for Amiina's first album, Kurr. Hazlewood's lyrics to "At the Top of the World" somehow made it back to them where they re-recorded "Hilli" and added the vocals. In addition, Amiina recorded a version of Hazlewood's "Leather & Lace" from his 1970 album Cowboy in Sweden. All of it good, all of it deserves to be downloaded and put into constant rotation. Have at it and long live Lee Hazlewood!


17 May 2011

Literary Skiers 15

He couldn't pin down any specific reason, and didn't bother to repeat the official government line about preserving knowledge of ourselves. Instead, he offered: "It's something you can do where you can actually discover something. There aren't many ways to do that anymore." And that made sense to me. Alvin has fashioned a life that has supported his quest to climb new peaks, to plumb new caves, to ski new slopes no one else has tried before. It's his way of understanding the world, of ordering the universe. It's his religion, his science, his art, to orient himself bodily in places that reveal new views. Rock art sites provide him the opportunity to stand where others long past have been, and to see what they've seen in a time less obscured by civilization.

--William L. Fox, from The Void, the Grid, & the Sign, 2000

Photo credits:
Rock Carving Top
Rock Carving Bottom