If you are lucky enough to find someone or something that fills your life with light, frees you from your bonds and burdens, and gives you the inspiration to carry on, then you’d be a fool not to embrace it with all your heart. For eighteen years, from the first time I experienced the band called moe., to my recent magical 200th show at the revered Red Rocks Amphitheatre, I have done all I can to lose myself in the musical spell they cast. It’s safe to say you wouldn’t be reading these words if it wasn’t for the five friends from upstate New York and the wizardry they work.My name is Rex Thomson, and I’m a writer/photographer/videographer working for Live For Live Music. I’ve been given this opportunity to step out from behind the lens and the third person narrative voice, to get a bit personal on a topic that means the word to me: the band moe. For almost two decades, bassist Robert Derhak, guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey, percussionist Jim Loughlin and drummer Vinnie Amico have been performing the sound track of my life. Thanks to legendary guitar tech Frank Robbins, I even have some of the very tools they used to make that music during my 200th show!No one ends up seeing a band hundreds of times without a damn good reason, and I certainly have a few. First and foremost, the transformation I feel in myself during a show… it’s like being scrubbed clean of all of life’s cruddy residue on a spiritual level. I remember a swirling guitar crescendo at the tail end of a “Rebubula” that made me spread my arms wide to the waves of ringing perfection buffeting me in the crowd. It was completely involuntary, and I watched as if from beyond myself as it happened. It was bliss.Here’s an outstanding version of “Rebubula” from Mountain Jam, after it won a fan contest to pick a song for the set:Bliss is a pretty powerful concept, but until then it had been just that, a thought known but not understood. I’ve since learned of how powerful an effect your sense of hearing has on things like emotions and epiphanies through lots of science words. Long story short, humanity used to keep its collected knowledge and share its most basic concepts through song. We are programmed on a primal level to receive information on a mental and emotional level through music.Whatever subconscious burst of information I receive from those five minds fills me with a lasting inspiration that makes my every thought clearer and intention easier to form. Mixing laughter, fury and jaw dropping displays of musical skill and dexterity, moe. is sending out all the listener can handle and more. The rapport they share onstage makes it all the easier for fans to tune in and join the fun on the more ethereal planes.Without going to far into my final reason the band moe. means so much to me yet, I will say that some cognitive issues I face are all but gone after seeing the band, before slowly returning. Simply put, I am a better functioning, feeling human being after I spend some time seeing moe. play.I am here to tell you that not everyone finds perfect inspiration, but when it hits you, it changes everything. After first seeing the band in 1999, I made sure to catch them at any festival or show that came within striking distance. As the years flew by, the range I was willing to travel grew exponentially, all in an effort to plug into the white hot electric flow I first felt years ago. Saved ticket stubs piled up, and I continually had to find larger and larger receptacles for my treasures.In 2009, an opportunity to photograph the band’s annual Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois for a fly-by-night outlet gave me my first taste of life BEYOND the front row at a major event. My tendency to go on face melting mental adventures during their shows met the equally powerful experience of focusing on the visual spectacle of the lights and intense performances being laid down by the band and my fate was sealed. After three straight days of massive sets of music, all watched from about five feet away, I knew what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life.I quickly found out that I was nowhere near alone in my burgeoning devotion, emotional uplift or even willingness to travel. Though I was aware that moe., like many bands had a devoted traveling fan base, I hadn’t looked up long enough to learn the faces and names. My new gig changed all that, and the more moe. shows I went to across the nation, the more of the same faces I saw. The best part? They were all slipping into their own beatific trances as the music swept them away.There are a couple of terms used for diehard moe. fans. “moe.ron” is one of the most common, and part of the band and fans shared love of puns. The other, “famoe.ly.” The difference between them can blur, and in the end, the true meaning is love. These are people who share in something that is nearly beyond words, bonded not by race or creed but by mutual understanding and emotion and I was now a happy soldier in the army.Over the next five years, it would be fair to say I went a special kind of crazy in regards to moe. When the band hosted the annual moe.down festival for their most rabid fans in upstate New York, a tradition formed around a last day election for “Mayor of moe.down” or “Mayor of moe.ville,” depending on who you ask, time of day and sobriety levels. I decided that between my work as a pretend music journalist, my occasional working with bands and promoters, and my connection to the scene itself, I was the first actually qualified candidate for office.The details of my five and a half year campaign across the country are not only too long to go through here, honestly…it’s kinda scary to type. But behind my weird endorsements……full blown campaign commercials……and even the stupid sign I lugged across creation….…there was a secret plan. Wherever I went, whether I approached them or they approached me, I asked people, “Have you ever heard of a band named moe.?” And if they hadn’t, I either urged them to check them out or gave them some of the over two thousand burned CDs I have burned from their live shows and carry with me whenever I can.Through my… zeal… I have ended up interacting with the band on a personal level from time to time. I’ve gotten to request songs for acoustic performances……gotten the band to explain things like how they write set lists……even spent a half hour getting Jim Loughlin to go through his entire percussive toy repertoire!Basically, I’ve tried to make myself useful, and I think I’ve done a good job. Feels like the least I could do, really. I try not to let my crazy appreciation of what they do get too scary for them when I am around, but I am fairly certain they have a crew member in place to taser me into submission if I get out of hand. Can’t really say I blame them.Eventually I was appointed Mayor… but I didn’t stop spreading the love and I never will. When you stumble across something that resounds within you with such a positive, energizing level, all you want to do is bask in the magic and share the love, and that’s what I’ve done. You can read my review of the Red Rocks show that was my much ballyhoo’d 200th HERE. You can read my review of the spectacular follow up show the next night in Boulder HERE. Hell, you can read about the show they played with Yonder Mountain String Band a few days later in Wisconsin HERE.But just reading those reviews won’t tell you the real story. It doesn’t mention that, to see that Wisconsin show, I had to drive about 17 straight hours out of my way, or that I had to sleep in rest stops due to the remoteness of the location and my needing to get to the next event. I don’t do this for the money. I do this for the life and love moe., has inspired me to live. And seriously, when I say they gave me life, I mean it.My mom taught me to always have three reasons to do something, and my third reason for loving the music of moe. like I do is a dozy. My life, like most, has been fraught with obstacles, like most. Mine have taken the form of some rather bleak medical prognoses that hang over me like the sword of Damocles. I’ll say this bluntly: I would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the spark moe. ignited inside me. The litany of surgeries, crises and moments of pure terror I have faced would have crushed me if I didn’t have their song in my heart.To me, a moe. show isn’t a simple entertainment, though there is certainly nothing wrong with that. That’s why they play, after all. They want to share what they can do with the world, and, thanks to my job, I get to help them do just that. I blew past my 200th show and am already at 203, with three more lined up for next month. My next goal is to reach show number 365, so I can know I spent a year feeling that same magic I felt all those years ago, but in the end, numbers aren’t what matters to me.What matters to me is building the fire of love and hope inside me burning bright, to face the long and scary nights ahead. In our primitive days we sang around the fire and danced into the night. Those rituals live on today. Bands like moe. roam the land giving us all the chance to build the strength to face the dark and the joy to truly embrace the light.Special Bonus! As usual al. took a moe.ment to thank the fans and crew on the night of my 199th show, and sent a little love back my way before nailing a wicked weekend closing cover of Cream’s “White Room.” Dig it!
Loughlin has agreed to serve two months behind bars and Giannulli has accepted a five-month sentence under the deal, which must be approved by the judge. They will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss charges of money laundering and federal programs bribery that were added after the case was filed. An attorney for the couple declined to comment.Loughlin and Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew team recruits.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 May 21, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-NEWSUnion makes counterproposal to ownersUNDATED (AP) — The Major League Baseball Players Association has given management a wide-ranging response to a 67-page proposed set of protocols for a season to be played during the coronavirus pandemic. In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Some Louisville football and basketball players will return to campus Wednesday in a phased approach and begin voluntary workouts in early June. The first phase of 30 football players and 15 men’s and women’s basketball players will arrive next week after being instructed on safety protocols. Testing and physicals will begin June 3, with voluntary training not directed by coaching staffs to begin five days later.— Indiana University hopes to have some student-athletes back by mid-June. President Michael McRobbie posted a 22-page plan on his web site to reopen the university in stages, which includes the return of at least a percentage of all students this fall. The release comes one day after the NCAA approved a measure to lift the moratorium on voluntary workouts for football and men’s and women’s basketball players.— East Carolina University is eliminating its men’s and women’s tennis and swimming and diving programs to help reduce a $4.9 million budget deficit created by the pandemic. The move affects 68 student-athletes and nine coaches and reduces ECU’s sponsored sports from 20 to 16, including nine for women. The NCAA requires Division I FBS schools to carry minimums of 16 sports, eight for women.— IndyCar has altered its schedule again amid the coronavirus pandemic, cancelling the June 27 race at Richmond and the July 12 street course event in Toronto. The open-wheel series is slated to finally begin June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, but its next event won’t be held until July 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race scheduled for June 21 at Road America in Wisconsin has been changed to a doubleheader on July 11-12. — Tom Brady’s journey to each of his nine Super Bowls with the New England Patriots will be the subject of an ESPN series released in 2021. Titled “The Man in the Arena: Tom Brady,” the nine-episode series will include a look from Brady’s perspective at his six NFL titles and three Super Bowl defeats.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSBoxing aims for June 9 return in Las VegasUNDATED (AP) — Add boxing to the list of sports on the comeback trail. Promoter Bob Arum says he plans to stage a card of five fights on June 9 at the MGM Grand, the first of a series of fights over the next two months at the Las Vegas hotel. A second fight card will be held two nights later, kicking off twice weekly shows at the hotel in June and July.No fans will be allowed, and Arum said fighters and everyone else will be tested at least twice during fight week for the new coronavirus. The fights are pending approval of the Nevada Athletic Commission, which meets next week to consider the events along with two cards that UFC plans to stage at its facility in Las Vegas. They are also pending the reopening of the MGM and other Las Vegas hotels. Associated Press — English soccer club Manchester United says it believes it will miss out on $24 million because the Premier League will have to make refunds to broadcasters even if the season is completed. The league is in talks with its rights holders about rebates because of delays and changes to the broadcasting schedule. Empty stadiums will also change the TV product. The rebates will vary based on the final position in the standings and the number of games aired live.— Swimming’s governing body has postponed the short course world championships for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. FINA (FEE’-nuh) says the championships scheduled for December in Abu Dhabi will now be staged Dec. 13-18, 2021, in the United Arab Emirates because of the “the uncertainty related with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.”VANDERBILT-ATHLETIC DIRECTORVanderbilt’s Lee becomes 1st black woman AD in SECNASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt has removed the interim title and made Candice Storey Lee the first woman to run a Southeastern Conference athletics program. The union says it addressed protections for high-risk players, access to pre- and postgame therapies, testing frequency, protocols for positive tests, in-stadium medical personnel and sanitization procedures.Players viewed many of the concepts in the original draft submitted last week as over-the-top, such as arriving in uniform at the ballparks, a prohibition on them leaving without team permission and a ban on guests other than immediate family members.Players also objected to a ban on the use of showers and hydrotherapy.The union wants more frequent testing than management’s proposed “multiple times per week.”MLB is expected to make an economic proposal to the union within a few days. — Golf Digest is reporting the European Tour hopes to resume its season in England the first weekend in August as part of a four-tournament “bubble” in the UK. The magazine cited sources as saying the British Masters would be followed by two tournaments in England and one in Wales at Celtic Manor for 1 million euros ($1.1 million) in prize money. The European Tour has postponed nine tournaments and canceled eight others on its schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a memo, the European Tour says priority rankings will stay the same for 2021 and there will not be Q-school.— Little League has released a set of “best practice” guidelines it believes would allow baseball and softball to be played safely after local authorities give the groups the all-clear to return to play. The recommendations include eliminating all non-essential contact and banning the postgame handshake line in favor of lining up along the respective baselines and tipping your cap to the opponent. All players should wear masks while in the dugout and coaches and volunteers should wear masks and protective medical gloves at all times.— Horse racing’s National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has canceled its induction ceremony in August because of health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hall of Fame ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Aug. 7. This year’s class will be inducted with next year’s group.— Tokyo Olympic organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto spoke Thursday about the need to take “countermeasures” to combat the coronavirus at next year’s postponed games. Muto acknowledged in an online news conference that “there are some in Japan” talking about holding the games without fans. Muto did not say this was going to happen.— German soccer club Dynamo Dresden has reported another case of coronavirus. The already quarantined second-division club has now had four players test positive. Dresden says on its website that another “category one” close contact of its coaching staff has also tested positive for COVID-19. Dresden’s entire team was ordered by local health authorities into 14 days of quarantine on May 9 after two players tested positive. Also around the majors:— The Cubs and Pirates are making tough financial decisions concerning their front office staff with the major league season still on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. A person with direct knowledge of the situation says the Cubs are instituting pay cuts based on compensation, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. The Pirates announced today that they are instituting furloughs for several employees in business operations beginning on June 1. The Cardinals and Twins have informed their employees there won’t be any pays cuts or furloughs through the end of JuneNFL-NEWSNFL looks at adding “booth umpire” and tech adviser for refsUNDATED (AP) — The NFL is considering adding a “booth umpire” and a senior technology adviser to the referee to assist the officiating crew. Update on the latest sports The league also is looking at other rules changes, including an alternative to the onside kick.NFL clubs received a list of potential rules changes on Thursday. Owners will vote on the proposals at the upcoming league meeting to be held by video conference on May 28. If owners don’t approve adding a booth umpire and/or a senior technology adviser, the league could test a version of both rules in the preseason for possible future implementation.The proposal that would give teams another option instead of an onside kick permits a team to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play. The kicking team would attempt a fourth-and-15 from its 25-yard line. This could be done a maximum of two times per game. Onside kicks have become infrequent and rarely successful since the NFL changed rules on alignments for kickoffs.In other NFL news:— An NFL player is suing United Airlines, saying he was harassed and sexually assaulted by an intoxicated female passenger on a red-eye flight in February. The player said in a lawsuit that soon after boarding the cross-country flight, a woman sitting in the same row confronted him over a face mask that he was wearing as protection against the coronavirus. The player says the woman confronted him over his face mask, ripped off the mask and groped him. The NFL player and a companion who joined the lawsuit were not named. United confirms there was some sort of incident and a passenger was moved to a different seat but says it won’t comment further. Lee is one of only five women and the second black woman in charge of a Power Five program. Incoming chancellor Daniel Diermeier said Lee is the “living embodiment” of the university’s values and aspirations.The 41-year-old Lee is a former Commodores basketball captain. She took over as interim athletic director on Feb. 4 when Malcolm Turner resigned after one year on the job.COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERYLoughlin, Giannulli to serve prison time for college scamBOSTON (AP) — Court papers show actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have agreed to plead guilty to charges that will include prison time in the college admissions bribery case.
76ers center Joel Embiid may not have recognized Pacers assistant coach Dan Burke before Monday night. He knows exactly who Burke is now.Burke came out with a strong stance on the Sixers and Embiid after the Pacers’ loss in Philadelphia on Saturday. Embiid scored a game-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Sixers to a 119-116 victory, but apparently something about Embiid’s playing style annoyed Burke. MORE: Embiid mocked by Raptors fans, Drake during first scoreless game”I hate that team,” Burke said in an interview that aired during Fox Sports Indiana’s broadcast of Monday’s Pacers-Grizzlies contest. “I really wanted to win that game. I think Embiid gets away with a bunch of crap the league ignores, and it would have been a good one to just walk away from [with a win].” Dan Burke discusses the 76ers.We stan. pic.twitter.com/X7jHsFUA1t— The Fieldhouse (@FieldhouseEtc) December 3, 2019Those comments somehow earned Burke a seat at the Christmas table of Sixers coach Brett Brown.Brett Brown was asked whether he takes this as a compliment.”Absolutely…I would bring him to my house for Christmas, and he can share in the Christmas dinner.” https://t.co/W1U9RLmsde— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) December 3, 2019Embiid said he was done talking trash after his October fight with Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, but come on. Burke is throwing a pitch right down the middle to Embiid here. No one will be shocked if Embiid fires back on camera or through social media. (He hasn’t said anything as of Tuesday afternoon.)The 76ers and Pacers meet again Dec. 31. Happy New Year, basketball fans.