first_img*UPDATED 9/26/17*: Following the passing of Charles Bradley, we look back at his most recent masterpiece, Changes, which came out in June of 2016.For his third album, Changes, Charles Bradley continued on the vintage soul path of previous efforts, but with some exciting updates to his presentation. Moving away from a focus on his hard-luck past, and infusing uplifting, positive messages of love amid the haunting memories, Bradley and his Daptone Records brethren open up new doors in storytelling, melody and rhythms alike.Discovered while fronting a James Brown tribute band (as Black Velvet) nearly seven years ago, Bradley joined the Daptone fold and began recording and touring with the amazing Menahan Street Band. His third album really capitalizes on this long-time collaboration, as they have become excellent songwriting partners that do not solely focus on the mining glories from stories past, but instead are burrowing upward and onward with a vision for what’s happening, what’s coming next, what is new, and what is hip.The title track, a cover of the timeless Black Sabbath ballad, was offered as a Record Store Day single a few years back; next week it will spearhead the first album of new Charles Bradley material since 2013. The recording still sounds very analog, but there is a modern twist to the material too. Chronicles of despair from the singer remain his calling card, but one can behold a beam of light shining through the voice and emotions of “The Screaming Eagle of Soul.”Changes finds Bradley singing from within his longing, but is no longer nostalgic for days of yesteryear. He gives his phrases resonance and conviction; and allows his brand of soul music to transcend style and period, in exchange for re-imagining life’s twists and turns with newfound clarity. The murky “Ain’t Gonna Give it Up” shows just how far Menahan and Bradley have traveled to get where they are today. The spiritually moving “Ain’t it a Sin” is among the most compelling songs the Screaming Eagle has ever delivered.Bradley has developed into a singer with focus and authority, the song showcasing his voice and authenticity. Several tunes find Bradley telling tales of a difficult road, but also the hope toward what may come next, be it love, light, smiles, or even just satisfaction: “Good to Be Back Home” celebrates a return to the US, after a grueling, if invigorating tour. The singer shows more range, more drama, and a diverse palette of timings and accents to unveil spirituality, positivity, depravity and desperation from his lyrics and emphatic delivery.More often than not, Changes pumps blood fused with an energy culled from the here and now, arriving at a conceptually interesting middle ground. It is a choice medium for this singer, one who is clearly energized and determined to make good on the promise he made to himself some years earlier. Bradley’s voice, his story, and the Changes he made in his now promising life are apparent on this record, and onstage too. Charles Bradley seizes the day, and transcends the limits of the vintage soul genre, blazing a new path, yet remaining rich in thrilling tradition.Listen to Changes below:last_img read more


first_imgHundreds of Cambridge and Allston-Brighton residents didn’t let Saturday’s weather dampen their spirits as they watched Harvard beat Cornell 24-7 as part of Community Football Day. The annual event, now closing in on 25 years, offered not only free admission to the stadium, but lunch, raffles, face painting, and more.“You could say it’s a tradition,” said Renal Jean, assistant coach of the Bengals at Brighton High School, who brought about 20 of his varsity high school players to see the game. “I played for Brighton High myself, and my coach brought us every year, so I felt it was important to continue that tradition,” he said. “We bring the team to a Harvard game every year. Harvard does a lot to support us, so we feel like it’s important that we come out to support them.”Before heading out into damp conditions, families gathered at the nearby community tent, which offered children’s activities, free hot dogs, and drinks. Members of the Harvard Dance Team were on hand, doing face painting and temporary tattoos for the kids.“We’re hoping they brave the rain for some fun,” said dance team member Halie LeSavage ’17.Selena Li ’15, co-captain of the team, said volunteering at events like Community Football Day is crucial to establish a strong sense of community.“That’s one of our goals as the dance team, to volunteer at events around Harvard and MIT and really build spirit for Harvard,” she said.Stepping out of the rain, Alana Fisher cradled her 10-month-old son, Isaac, while her other son, 4-year-old Toby, colored in a drawing of a football player nearby.“We thought we’d come check it out,” said Fisher. “My husband and I are from Australia, and we’d never seen a football game, so we wanted to see what it was all about.”Pierre Villard, a Cambridge resident and visiting scholar in materials science and mechanical engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and his wife were curious as well.“We thought it was a good opportunity to see a game — this will be our first one,” he said, smiling.“Community Football Day is a terrific way for Harvard to give back to our friends and neighbors, and for us all to enjoy a great game while we we’re at it,” said Kevin Casey, associate vice president for Harvard Public Affairs and Communications. “We were so glad to see so many folks come out, and we know the players and coaches who work so hard are inspired by the community support.”Brighton High coach Jean added that coming to the game was a good way for his players to decide if they wanted to play at the college level.“When they watch the game here at Harvard, they see what’s involved — how it’s at a whole other level,” he said. “It gives them a sense of what’s expected, and whether it’s something they want to pursue for themselves in the future.”Despite the gloomy outset, Harvard not only beat Cornell, but Harvard Athletics partnered with the Allston-Brighton Food Pantry to hold a canned food drive during the game. A win-win for all.last_img read more


first_imgBRO: Where did your first backpacking trip take place?CG: I car camped a lot with my family growing up, but the first real backpacking trip I can remember happened in my freshmen year of college when I joined an outdoor program trip to Joyce Kilmer forest in Western North Carolina. We hiked among the old growth trees and up onto a ridge that was shrouded in storm clouds. It rained on us all night, and we hid in our tents playing cards. There was a lot of misadventure on that trip, but it proved to me how quickly close friendships can form during those shared adventures. I came away from that trip with a couple of good friends who became my camping buddies during college.BRO: What was the main lesson you took away from the AT?CG: Whenever I go to the trail I feel like it’s teaching me to slow down and pay attention. I usually set out from the trail head over-loaded and at break-neck speed, but after a couple of days I begin to settle into the pace of the forest and walking the trail. Time on the trail always helps me to get in touch with what really matters in life, and it refreshes my imagination and creative capacity.BRO: What is the main lesson that you want viewers of this film to come away with?CG: I hope that people are inspired to get out and spend time on their local trails (and also to be invested in protecting and stewarding wild places in our communities). It’s easy to forget about and overlook the heritage of wild places that we’re blessed with as Americans–I need fairly constant reminding myself about how good the wild places are for us and how important it is for me to spend time in them. The legacy of wilderness in America is ongoing, and there are still so many important ways for people to get involved in stewarding and protecting our trails, forests, and streams. So that’s my hope: 1) that people watch the film and immediately want to go out and spend time on a trail or a river, and 2) that through that they are led to a deeper engagement with environmental conservation and stewardship in their community.Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.59.09 AMWhere & When: Saturday, May 30 – Asheville Community Theatre, 7:30PMTickets are $7 and available at the theater box office (35 East Walnut Street, Asheville, NC 28801), by phone (828-254-1320), and online http://qrs.ly/k74otdb.There will be a raffle of outdoor gear and prizes to benefit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in celebration of the ATC’s 90th anniversary. Facebook event page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/878363225571811/Online ticket sales link: www.tinyurl.com/ATmovie Photos Courtesy of Chris Gallaway Former BRO dispatcher Chris Gallaway has completed his long awaited documentary about the trials and tribulations of his Appalachian Trail thru-hike. The film is photographically stunning and emotionally compelling, but it also weaves in interesting tidbits about the long-standing history of the Appalachian Trail. Check out an exclusive, six minute sneak peak of the film below, and don’t miss Chris’ next screening at the Asheville Community Theater this Saturday at 7:30 p.m in Asheville, North Carolina.Chapin from Horizonline Pictures on Vimeo. We recently caught up with Chris to get an inside look at what drove him to complete this long-awaited project.BRO: When did you begin contemplating an AT Thru-hike?CG: I had casually toyed with the idea of doing a thru-hike for much of my 20’s, but I didn’t get serious about it until I met Sunshine, my then-girlfriend and now-wife. Sunshine had done two thru-hikes on the AT in 2004 and 2005, and hearing her stories really lit up my imagination and started me thinking about what it would be like to do it myself. A month after my 30th birthday in 2013 I started on the trail in Georgia with hopes of reaching Mount Katahdin in Maine.Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.58.54 AMBRO: What was the hardest thing about the journey?CG: There were plenty of physical challenges, from deep snow and sub-zero temperatures in the Smoky Mountains to horrible mosquito swarms in New England. One of the things I struggled with most on the trail was learning how to slow down and pace myself. I’m a fairly competitive person; so the challenge aspects of the trail easily get a hold of me. In Virginia, when the terrain leveled out some, I charged hard for two weeks walking long miles each day under a heavily-loaded pack, and I ended up with deep blisters and nerve damage in my feet. That pain was so depressing and defeating. I was determined to go on, but I was emotionally depleted and miserable as I limped down the trail each day. Thankfully, Sunshine met me on the trail for a few days near Daleville, Virginia and helped me to slow down and recover. My feet healed up, and I resumed my hike with a more patient, steady outlook.BRO: Tell us about your outdoor background. What kind of activities were you into growing up?CG: My parents had us out hiking, fishing, and camping as kids. Those early adventures in the woods developed an explorer’s imagination in me—I am happiest and most engaged when traveling a trail or a river and anticipating what will be revealed around the next bend. After college I delved into whitewater kayaking and spent several years exploring the class V rivers of the Southeast. Then in my later 20’s a backpacking trip with my older brother Ben reawakened me to the excitement of life on the trail (and also the intriguing culture of the AT). That trip put me back on a track towards many more hiking trips and eventually the AT thru-hike.Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 12.27.05 PMlast_img read more


first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Thanks to a just-announced overhaul plan, LaGuardia International Airport could be transformed from Third World to first rate. The impacts of this massively ambitious project could resonate well beyond Queens and those 680 worn-out acres between Flushing and Bowery Bays, because it marks the welcome return of large-scale thinking to our region.LaGuardia is notorious to travelers who have had the misfortune of navigating its cramped hallways and crowded gates. Speaking last Monday at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan where the plan was unveiled, Gov. Andrew Cuomo repeated the obvious when he said the airport “is a terrible front-door entranceway to New York. It is a lost opportunity.”For what it’s worth, LaGuardia has the distinction of being voted as the worst airport in the nation by Travel & Leisure, which wrote:“The airport has the dubious honor of ranking the worst for the check-in and security process, the worst for baggage handling, the worst when it comes to providing Wi-Fi, the worst at staff communication, and the worst design and cleanliness. If there was a ray of hope, its location, which ranked 16th, was considered superior to six other airports.”According to The New York Times, the airport is one of the busiest and tardiest for its size, having a 70 percent on-time departure rate, which ranks last out of the 29 largest American airports. Yet despite its many, many shortcomings, the airport is still an economic juggernaut. The current airport employs 11,000 workers and contributes more than $15.6 billion to our region’s economy.“Praise” of the airport reached its zenith last year when Vice President Joseph R. Biden remarked that a blindfolded passenger at LaGuardia might think he’d landed in “some Third World country,” as the Times reported in February 2014.Since then, it seems like the Vice President and the Governor have inspired private developers and the Port Authority of NY & NJ to create a workable plan that seeks to demolish the present Central Terminal Building and start anew. Instead of the four separate terminals today, a rebuilt airport would feature a unified passenger facility that is much closer to the Grand Central Parkway allowing for two miles of new taxiways to help clear up some of LaGuardia’s notorious congestion issues.The project also would improve access to LaGuardia, which is too heavily auto-centric. Talk of an AirTrain extension from Willets Point, finally linking the airport to New York City Transit and the Long Island Rail Road, is also being revisited, as is launching high-speed ferry service from the Marine Air Terminal to Manhattan. Also on the table is additional investment in John F. Kennedy International Airport: the T.W.A. Flight Center, a historic landmark considered by many to be the architectural embodiment of the spirit of air travel (and where the Beatles landed in America for their first tour here), is poised to become a first-class hotel.There is no doubt that Biden’s involvement helped usher the project past the many logistical and financial hurdles that normally hold back something of this scale and cost. It seems that once again large-scale capital investment is coming to New York – and it couldn’t have come soon enough.As a general rule of thumb in the planning world, a city that moves is a city that grows. Whether it be roads, rails or runways, any investment in New York’s decrepit infrastructure should be celebrated. Each day, our old, deteriorating systems bear additional burdens they simply weren’t designed for. Yet, to our shame, they’ve been neglected for decades. LaGuardia is currently providing a level of service that is well out of sync with the region’s needs.After the LaGuardia project was announced, many critics cried foul that the airport is the site of billions of dollars’ worth of new capital investment, citing the sorry state of the rail network.Although they are correct, that doesn’t mean investment shouldn’t be made in other vital components of the region’s transportation system, especially when a new airport is just as critical, if not more so, in driving economic activity for New York City and the tri-state area as a whole. And that certainly includes Long Island.Vice President Joe Biden previously compared LaGuardia International Airport to one you’d see in a “third-world country.”While transit advocates argue that the money should be put toward the city’s rail and subway systems, which are getting worse by the day, the fact of the matter is that if the state has the ability to rebuild LaGuardia, it is wise to pounce.The price of this ambitious project was first announced to be $4 billion, but shortly after the fanfare died down, analysts realistically assessed that figure to be $8 billion. They also cast doubt about the Governor’s target for completion in the year 2021, saying that 2026 is a more manageable timeframe for a project of this magnitude. The financing is to be sourced from a public-private partnership among the state, private developers and Delta Airlines. The costs are huge, but so is the project’s scope. Essentially, we’re poised to place a brand new airport a mere eight miles from Midtown Manhattan, one of the most expensive places in the world.The benefits of a new LaGuardia are likely to include much more than just adding to the convenience of tourists as some have claimed. The airport served 27 million passengers last year, and when the overhaul is finally completed, that number will definitely increase. And it will include millions of people doing business here as well as seeing the sights.On Long Island, the Town of Islip will come under even more pressure to attract flyers to its struggling Long Island MacArthur Airport. A reorientation may be in order so MacArthur doesn’t try to compete with LaGuardia, but rather complement its services. Both Nassau and Suffolk counties should actively step up their tourism campaigns to make our assets more attractive to visitors and draw additional economic activity that the new LaGuardia will surely bring.Our political leaders should lobby to streamline the LIRR’s operations to Willets Point so Long Islanders can easily get from points east to the eventual AirTrain. Policymakers and planners should also conduct an analysis of how increased transit ridership to LaGuardia might further justify the need for the LIRR’s proposed double-track from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma, and its triple track from Floral Park to Hicksville.This is the time for thinking big like Robert Moses did, and who better to put that notion into words than Robert A. Caro, his Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, who wrote The Power Broker about the master builder. Caro made a rare public comment about the creation of a new LaGuardia in the Governor’s press release on the overhaul project, which nicely sums up how much of a big deal the new airport will be upon completion.“To say we’re going to take it from being a ‘third-world airport’ to being one of the greatest and newest airports, if you think about it, that’s quite a heroic vision,” Caro said. “It’s not an improvement; it’s a transformation – and it’s a transformation that, of course, New York needs. Just as the first LaGuardia airport took New York into the modern age of the 1930s and ’40s, now we have this new airport which will take New York into the 21st century.”Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more