The Electric Beethoven album Beathoven came out last week, treating fans to jammed out interpretations of the 3rd and 6th Symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven. Spearheaded by bassist Reed Mathis, the foundations of these interpretations were certainly laid down on the album, but they truly come to life in the live setting.The band has spent the last several months debuting this “classical dance music” material to the live setting, with a recent show at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. Thanks to Reed Mathis and Electric Beethoven, we can listen to the opening segment, a 17-minute “Finale” from Symphony No.3, remastered from the night’s soundboard audio.We recently sat down with Mathis to discuss the project.”I honestly think that this is the beginning of the most exciting and rewarding music of my life so far,” he explained. Read the full interview here.You can catch Reed Mathis and Electric Beethoven at this year’s Brooklyn Comes Alive event on Saturday, October 22nd, alongside 50+ artists at three beloved Brooklyn venues. With members of Dead & Company, The String Cheese Incident, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lettuce, Snarky Puppy, The Disco Biscuits and more all performing, we can’t wait for this festival! All information about Brooklyn Comes Alive can be found here.
Free Fallin’, BASE jumpers highlight Bridge Day in the Gorge.In October of 1980, something incredible happened in West Virginia. Five men donning parachutes walked to the edge of the newly constructed 876-foot-tall New River Gorge Bridge. With policemen, Park Service, and safety professionals looking on in approval, they stepped into oblivion.From these humble beginnings, Bridge Day has grown to over 800 jumps per year and 100,000+ spectators who all come to participate in a celebration of the sport, spectacular fall scenery, and the local community. Although originally started as a way for the general public to walk on the bridge, BASE jumping has taken center stage.Jumpers plunge from diving boards and platforms on the side of the bridge and land in the Fayette Station river access area far below. Safety boats patrol the waters, and spectators can view the whole show from the bridge itself, trails along the rim, or the National Park observation deck at the New River Gorge Visitor Center. It remains one of the most popular legal options for BASE jumping in the U.S., and it shines as an example of how fringe sport enthusiasts and authorities can work together towards a mutually beneficial solution.Summersville local jumper Marcus Ellison has witnessed the spectacle many times since he was a child. There was something about watching people submit to the forces of gravity that resonated with him. At the age of 23, Ellison began skydiving with the intention of moving to the BASE side of the sport. Before he knew it, Bridge Day 2008 had arrived, and he was standing on a platform looking over the chasm with friends and family watching. It was his turn to jump.“It’s a moment of clarity and relaxation,” Ellison explains. “When your feet disconnect from what you are on, there is an unbelievable feeling of release and freedom. That is what I’m after: that instant when you disconnect.”Marcus has disconnected across the country, and has over 300 skydives and nearly 200 BASE jumps to his name. He is drawn to the sport for many reasons, but in no small part because of the dramatic places that it brings him to. His favorite jumps are in massive alpine environments, and are sometimes combined with skiing. This focus on the beauty of the surroundings makes BASE jumping a soulful sport that is more similar to other outdoors pursuits than many think. It doesn’t require the manpower, airline fuel, and permits that skydiving does, and it is almost always a quiet, under-the-radar activity with just a friend or two. Due to the infancy of the sport, the rules of BASE are still being written.Bridge Day is hardly a normal day for these jumpers. In spite of the fanfare, lines, and spectators, it is often the only opportunity every year to reconnect with friends from across the planet. It’s a perfect chance for first-time jumpers to meet and learn from the legends of the sport. Personalities like Red Bull athlete Miles Daisher, oil rig lifestyler Chris McDougall, and wildman Jeb Corliss can be seen in the lineup, and are quick to give high fives and trade stories with aspiring young athletes.Jason Bell, BASE Coordinator for Bridge Day, says that it is without a doubt the best day for skydivers to make their first BASE jump. “We have over 100 first-timers every year, and due to setting, the system that we have developed, and the safety measures in place, it is a perfect way to get into the sport.”Rookies feel confident at Bridge Day for several reasons. First of all, it is the third tallest bridge in the U.S., and the more time that jumpers have to deal with the unexpected, the better. Jumping from a bridge also eliminates the danger of colliding with a cliff or other standing structures should the jumper spin and open the chute the wrong way. The primary landing area is a deep river, and rescue boats are constantly fishing jumpers out of the water. Finally, there are ambulances and other safety personnel and technology at the bottom, ready to deal with injury. On the logistical side, Bell and his team vet applicants through interview questions, and there are two gear checks for all jumpers before they are allowed to queue up for freefall.While it’s appealing to beginners, advanced athletes can also get excited about Bridge Day 2012, and its newest creation: The Human Catapult. A mechanical engineer by trade, Bell envisioned and designed a mechanism that is capable of launching jumpers 20 feet vertically and 50 feet horizontally over the edge of the bridge during Bridge Day. This addition will augment the already classic launch platform and diving board options for jumpers, and will be mixed in to the other two as participants jump on 20-25 second intervals.BASE jumpers often struggle with being labeled as adrenaline junkies and daredevils. Just like any sport, there are those who take it to its limits, but the vast majority are there for the experience and the camaraderie. “BASE jumping is what you want it to be,” says Ellison. “It can be the craziest, scariest, most sketchball thing you could ever do, or it can be the foundation for some of the most joyful moments of your life.”Jason describes his personal fascination with the sport, and touches on the fact that it is still an incredible and vivid experience, even after over 500 jumps. “From the powerful acceleration of the jump, to the peacefulness of flying the chute, and finally the satisfaction of landing back on earth, there is nothing else like it. You realize that it is an experience that very few people will have, and it’s almost as if you are privy to a secret.” •DateOCTOBER 20, 2012Hours9:00 AM – 3:00 PMLocationNew River Gorge Bridge,Fayetteville, W.Va.Website [email protected]/TjhUfiOther ActivitiesRappelling, highlining, car show, music, chili/cornbread cookoff
A 34-year-old Palm Beach County resident plead guilty earlier this week to a one-count indictment for mail theft, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.Marchello Wilbon entered his plea on Wednesday for stealing mail with over $170,00 worth of checks from a Lantana home, the U.S. Attorney’s Office states.Court documents show that on July 15 at around 8:30 a.m., a resident on southeast Atlantic Drive placed letters containing 39 checks with a total value of about $171,599 in the mailbox outside the home.Wilbon is charged with stealing the mail. He is facing up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, and will be sentenced on December 13.
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoOn the heels of an inspired performance in all aspects of the game, Wisconsin will work to keep momentum in its favor when Indiana comes to town Saturday.The Badgers (7-2, 2-2 Big Ten) are set to face the Hoosiers (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) on Homecoming and Halloween weekend. In last year’s game against Illinois on “Freakfest,” the relevant boos and scares were on hand as Wisconsin stumbled out to a 21-3 defeat. Rest assured, according to linebacker Jonathan Casillas, it shouldn’t happen again.“If we play our technique and play the ball we’re supposed to play, I think we’re going to come out with a win,” Casillas said. Gone are the days of uncertainty and hesitant play, and here to stay is newfound swagger, freshman cornerback Aaron Henry said. “We’re not worried about mistakes anymore,” Henry said.Like a tiring boxer against a faster opponent, the Badgers were down and out after the two consecutive losses. “The team was down morally,” senior receiver Paul Hubbard said. “The guys weren’t expecting to lose a game this season, let alone two, so a lot of guys were down. … Last week was the first step that we took to get back on the horse — taking accountability and responsibility and changing what was going on.”Entering last year’s matchup against Indiana, Wisconsin was coming off a tough loss to Michigan. Following the game, several players, including Hubbard, were called out for their lackluster play. The players responded. The result: a 52-0 lead after three quarters against the Hoosiers and nine straight wins to end the season.“Coach Paul Chryst called us out after the game. … He said, ‘you know what Hubs, I’m going to call you out, the first play is going to you. If you make it you keep getting them.’ I made it and kept going,” Hubbard said. Execution and consistency on both offense and defense will be vital if Wisconsin is going to come away with its 13th consecutive home victory. The defense will try and build on its two forced turnovers last weekend against Northern Illinois. “Turnovers — coaches say all the time — are basically based on the passion we bring on the defensive side of the ball and we saw that last week,” Casillas said. “If we can play like that against Indiana I think we can definitely force some turnovers.”The combination of IU’s sophomore gunslinger Kellen Lewis and junior freak-of-nature James Hardy who, at 6-foot-7-inches, can run, catch and jump will prove to be a grave task for the Badger secondary. “He’s a four-inch-taller version of Travis Beckum, and he’s a former basketball player,” UW defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz said. “He utilizes his size and body well.“So we know we have a challenge, but we have to make plays.”Hardy, whose 14-catch, 142-yard performance last weekend versus Penn State was a personal best, has a Big Ten-leading 11 touchdown receptions to go with 748 yards. “If you’re a competitor you’re thinking, ‘I’m going to beat him.’ It doesn’t matter how tall he is,” Henry said. Badgers senior receiver Paul Hubbard, who listed himself at “90 percent” Tuesday following practice, admits that even though he and Hardy aren’t on the field at the same time, there will be some competition.“There is pride involved,” Hubbard said. “James Hardy is an excellent receiver; he’s a beast as I call it — that guy’s a monster. The ball goes up, he’s going to come down with it somehow, some way.“Just seeing that, you don’t want to have a receiver out on the field on the other end outplaying you, so that’s the competition that always comes with every game with two good receivers out there.”As good as Hardy is, he’s only as good as Lewis’ arm. The sophomore quarterback has improved significantly from a year ago, passing for 1,952 yards and 19 touchdowns, and his ability to run the ball will give the Badger defense some challenges. “He’s been able to throw the ball with a great amount of success,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said. “He has also been very effective when he’s on the move, and I think that creates some issues [there] as well.”No matter how good Hardy or Lewis have been for the Hoosiers, or how bad the Badger defense was for the first seven weeks of the season, the team is finally playing with energy and showing glimpses of life. Above all, Wisconsin is finally learning how to have fun again.
Michigan has the nation’s No. 8 recruiting class. More importantly, it has the top class in the Big Ten for the first time since 2007.Now, it’s on fifth-year coach Jim Harbaugh to use this class to get the Wolverines back to the top of the conference for the first time since 2004. As far as a timetable to deliver those expectations, you can start that four-year clock now. The Wolverines can’t be expected to do all that in the next five years, but a Big Ten championship and CFP appearance aren’t out of the question for a program with expectations of getting back to the top. That starts with closing that gap with Ohio State, and landing the top class in the Big Ten is a start.When will you know if Harbaugh has done that?Check back here in four years. MORE: Zach Harrison to OSU shows Michigan still has ground to coverIs that fair? Shouldn’t Harbaugh be on the hot seat now? After all, the Wolverines are 0-4 against rival Ohio State under his tenure, the last loss an embarrassing 62-39 blowout at Ohio Stadium that preceded another flop in the Peach Bowl against Florida. Harbaugh is 1-9 against top-10 teams. You will hear that all day, every day until the opener against Middle Tennessee State on Aug. 31 — and probably after that, too.What do the last four years mean for Harbaugh’s job security and the direction of the program? Not much.Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel continues to support Harbaugh at every opportunity. Harbaugh has not interviewed for NFL jobs since coming to Michigan, despite constant speculation he might head in that direction. Those four years were spent trying to bridge the gap with Ohio State, which had the top recruiting class in the Big Ten every under Urban Meyer from 2012-18.There is still a talent gap between the Buckeyes and Wolverines, and that was the reason for the freakout after Michigan hauled in the nation’s No. 22 class — according to 247Sports’ Composite rankings — in 2018.Harbaugh has elevated Michigan’s talent with the last four cycles, which have produced an average national ranking of 10.8 and Big Ten ranking of 2.0. That’s better than the four cycles under Brady Hoke from 2012-15, which produced average ranks of 16.8 nationally and 2.8 in the Big Ten. From 2009-11, Rich Rodriguez’s classes had average ranks of 19 nationally and 3.0 in the Big Ten.Harbaugh has brought the recruiting back to where Lloyd Carr had it. Michigan had the No. 1 class in the Big Ten in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.The 2001 class — led by Braylon Edwards — were were part of a run that included back-to-back Big Ten championships in 2003-04.The 2003 class featured five-stars LaMarr Woodley and Prescott Burgess. The 2004 class featured five-star quarterback Chad Henne. They were part of teams that were Big Ten contenders, but couldn’t beat Ohio State on the field. Carr’s last No. 1 class featured five-star quarterback Ryan Mallett, who transferred to Arkansas when Rodriguez took over.The recruiting wasn’t the same again until Harbaugh arrived. Harbaugh has brought that kind of talent back to Michigan. Devin Bush, Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich will be part of a strong 2019 NFL Draft class. This year’s recruiting class features defensive end Chris Hinton and safety Daxton Hill.There’s less fanfare, too. The days of the Signing of the Stars are over. Other than a social media video that played off the old sitcom “Family Matters,” there wasn’t much promotion for this class — Harbaugh’s most important class to date.MORE: Michigan ‘has to win’ for next chapter of OSU rivalry to startWhat do the next four years mean for Harbaugh’s job security and the direction of the program? Everything.Meyer retired and was replaced by first-year coach Ryan Day. The Wolverines have lost seven in a row and 14 of the last 15 meetings to the Buckeyes. Michigan last beat a ranked Ohio State team 35-21 in Ann Arbor on Nov. 22, 2003. It’s not a coincidence that came after two No. 1 Big Ten recruiting classes in three years.This is the breakthrough Harbaugh must make with the help of this class. Michigan is 38-14 under Harbaugh, which is the eighth-best record among Power 5 schools, behind only Alabama (55-4), Clemson (55-4), Ohio State (48-6), Oklahoma (46-8), Wisconsin (42-12), Georgia (42-13) and Stanford (40-14).Michigan is still looking for a breakthrough that would change its big-game reputation. It’s the same breakthrough Clemson made under Dabo Swinney, who was 47-20 from 2009-13 and had to break a five-game losing streak to South Carolina. The Tigers are 65-7 with two national championships in the last five years — and have a five-game win streak over the rival Gamecocks.