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Welcome to Ratchet Town: Symbiosis Gathering 2016~Family Tree

first_imgJust before retiring for the morning nap, we heard the faint throb of bass rumbling within the RV campgrounds.  We stumbled upon the unthinkable, a mobile nightclub in full effect at 7am. I followed the sound of thunder, until we embarked upon the renegade Venus Tour Bus. What transpired played out like a dream; a crunkalogic surround-soundsystem thumping beneath the vessel, as the steeziest individuals on the festival grounds raged a bamboo dancefloor, outfitted with a stripper pole, crawling with beautiful bodies, all of whom strutted the sunrise up over the horizon. DJ Guidance was purveyor of the tectonic soundtrack, ushering in the haziest shade of morning beneath a warm California sun. In what might be my single favorite forward of the weekend, dude dropped Buju Banton’s “Champion” atop some brutal booms n’ claps, the natives were once again restless; and I had to tip my Kangol to Rich Cruz and the Venus Tour Bus crew, for they had heroically harvested the truly epic. Photography courtesy of Jacob AvanzatoGoing back to its embryonic 2005 incarnation, Symbiosis Gathering has evolved exponentially in scope, attendance, and celebration. Over fifteen thousand participants flocked to the picturesque Woodward Reserve in Oakdale, California to revel in a carnival of music, art, community and debauched fun. Surrounded by  this breathtaking natural expanse, the people of Symbiosis became an afghan of electric and organic styles, this Mad Max reality born of an ancient tribe, with frenetic fireworks of unabashed artistic expression exploding into the stratosphere. Symbiosis marks the end of the long and winding summer festival season that, by the end of four days on the lake, almost forgets where it might have began.The beginning of the event could be described as a nightmare, with disorganized infrastructure, and entry lines up to ten hours, causing this writer and his team to miss a considerable amount of Thursday’s daytime activities. Getting things started has never been this event’s forte, but this year it seemed particularly difficult. That said, throwing an affair of this magnitude is an ambitious endeavor, and the producers should be commended for focusing on the art and the experience, even if it means a struggle to turn the engine over. Because once the motor started purring, this festival revealed itself to be an ensorcelled expedition deep into the annals of this counter-culture and its ceremony. The many tentacles of this musical community diaspora seemed to coalesce in a beautiful symmetry. Artists, builders, producers, movers, shakers and shamans  from Bass Coast to Envision Festival and all points between, united the clans to erect and ignite this grandiose gathering.Like any “transformational” event worth its coconut oil, Symbiosis is so much more than the tunes. In addition to an eclectic, gargantuan musical menu, several hulking art installations from Burning Man reappeared on the sprawling festival grounds in stupendous grandeur, as well as art cars like The Front Porch, and baby dragon Hssiss, of Abraxas lineage.  The marvelous music stages were galaxies all their own, massive displays of imagination and empirical execution. There was education, inspiration, and a more than a bit of indigenous appropriation strewn in any direction, the mark of Burner tradition was an indelible imprint. For the final year at Woodward, it was again the festival’s landscape that was the diamond in the rough, a choking dust and its desert environs combined with a freshwater lake to create a definitive juxtaposition, and beneath the illuminating moonlight and within jubilant sunwater could be found the apex in West Coast festivaling. There was anarchy, there was spirituality, psychedelic adventuring, and high-brow dialogues, all amidst some good, old fashioned rabble rousing. Symbiosis showed the world that it is among the best in arenas of revelry, celebration, and shenanigans.Outside of the music programming and big art, the jewels abound were innumerable and nearly impossible to catalogue. The Village was dedicated to progressive workshops and education, every Yoga practice imaginable, discussions on sustainability, community building, and pertinent global issues. With areas like The Hub, Nourishment Lab, The Parlor, Hacktivist Village, Movement Shala, Placemakers Teahouse, Elemental Altars, and Permaculture Plaza, the opportunity to level up was ubiquitous. Entire worlds of culture and participation were created and then enchanted. From Ayurvedic consultation to a vibroacoustic sound lounge, Cranialsacral Therapy to womb massage, The Village left nary a stepping stone unturned.  We learned of “Music as Medicine of Our Time“, or about “Re-inhabiting the Village“,  of “Conserving Biodiversity” or “Drugs, Sex, and Arachnids.” These type of offerings often prompt the use of the term “transformational” when discussing West Coast festival culture, much to the chagrin of Symbiosis organizers, yet this event offered myriad options for self-improvement, self-awareness, and there is no shame in the game of bettering one’s self, and our planet. It would be naive not to acknowledge the immense influence that Burning Man has on this so-called transformational festival culture. Both Lightning in a Bottle and Symbiosis Gathering espouse the ideas, ideals, values and ethos of That Thing in the Desert, but it is the latter, which normally takes place in the weeks after the Burn, that feels like the truest extension of Burner civilization. At Symbiosis, you bring your own food, booze and supplies en masse, self-reliance is crucial, especially given this disorganization and chaotic energy that permeated the event.As for the inevitable waste created at such a gathering, the idea is to pack it out – and leave the land as it were upon arrival. Sadly, like LIB, the Symbiosis massive let the garbage get away from them, and the grounds were often in disgusting conditions from the refuse that lay about. Too many people left too much behind, despite the fact that there was a sorting facility set up on the way out of the event. Many participants were disappointed in the disaffected approach some took to the “pack it out” directive. It goes to show that despite it’s best intentions, this community has a long ways to go as it pertains to “walkin’ it like they talkin’ it.” Saturday was bright and beautiful weather, with a breeze coursing through the dusty air.  It was astonishing to take in all of the visual stimulation and art on display in the glorious sunshine. Among my favorite creators were The Wood Vibe Tribe, located at Silk Road, represented by Brad Rhadwood, and hailing from British Columbia. Their progressive form, called intarsia, uses reclaimed or salvaged wood to create paintings without using any ink, paint or stain.  Android Jones‘ digital art galaxy dome hosted his transcendental project Samskara, which wowed folks with virtual reality and fractalizations that dwarf anything most of us had ever seen. But the most impressive works of art for this writer were the jaw-dropping music stages: headliner area The Fringe, created by Vita Motus, the floating Lighthouse on Atoll, by Drift Crew, and the astro-turfed dance rage Juke Lagoon by Dalabil. Sensational installations like The Luminescent by Hybycozo, and Empire of Love by Brent Allen Spears consistently stopped people in their tracks.Early Saturday afternoon, as rays glistened the scantily clad, we ventured down to The Other Stage, a different floating art-boat, while Bay Area producer on-the-rise Aabo delivered a tasty set of future sounds, before giving way to his pal, the enigmatic Lafa Taylor, who DJ’d a set of  classic golden-era hip-hop joints. From there we did about as big of a 180* as possible and returned to Silk Road for the fantastic Fanna Fi Allah. The Sufi Qawwali devotional music was majestic at midday, the most authentically spiritual songcraft we encountered underneath the family tree.Random Rab is among the most revered and celebrated artists in this festival’s storied history, an integral part of its fabric and family; his Saturday sunset serenade at Swimbiosis was yet another scintillating journey for the ages. Pulling out classics like the now-elusive “The Reflections” while a goddess mermaid, naughty princess, and yoga empress pranced the stage; the sun raced over the horizon, and Rab delivered a mammoth set of mystical proportions, a harbinger of the magic by moon to come.  At about 2am, he reappeared in the Family Circus tent, soundtracking the Vau de Vire performance troupe while they left jaws agape. Mr. Clinton blessed the dancers and the gawkers with “Transmissions from the Moon,” and a MOUR track satiated even the most jaded West Coast vets.As night fell on Saturday, globalized swashbucklers Delhi 2 Dublin went head to head with Rising Appalachia (who’s first engagement featured a choice sit-in from members of Dirtwire). At The Fringe, Perth, Australia’s post-trip hop autuer Ta-ku dropped an astonishing set, eschewing the traditional DJ setup for a live-band transmission system, a welcome respite from the norm. Regan Matthews built some of his set around the (m)edian EP, employing a sparse yet effective keyboardist, drummer, and vocalist; Ta-ku himself was no slouch on the singing either. After a brief-but-enthralling run of seminal Go-Go funk that played over the PA, Santigold took the stage in full regalia and surrounded by bumping live band. She came out of the gates with a fury, unleashing a riotious “Chasing Shadows” that was gurgling Bhangra-crunk, yet from there her satirical blend of indie-rock and model-shtick lost more than a few. Young NorCal lion CharlestheFirst was sizzling at Silk Road, and our krewe was forced to double-back for a few psychedelic, hip-hop inspired jams from this kid, who is now definitely on the vibrational radar.Oakland masked mavens Dimond Saints commandeered the Family Circus tent at the stroke of midnight, and what transpired was positively phantasmagorical. Continuing the development of their enrapturing live-instrumentation, in concert with the duo’s magnetizing, occultish, future-moon music, Releece and an-ten-nae cemented their meteoric ascent to the pantheon of avant-garde with a demonic ritual. Tuba, trombone, Sica drum, and haunting violin (courtesy of HÄANA) were lavish layers to the Prism in the Dark, embellishing the dark magus duet. Vocalist Yaarrohs, full time magician/part time panther, induced the spells in matrimonial white, coalescing with the stygian aura that hovers above the Saints. Later she returned sans bridal veil, and blessed the assembly with an impassioned “IDGAF.”  This evening would be yet another dose of pure, unrivaled, intravenous sexy in what is quickly becoming the Dimond District tradition, and the Symbiosis dance-massive responded in biblical fashion.After the brief, secret Rab set blew our minds and infused our wearying souls, we mosied on back over to Silk Road for a rollicking live-band performance from Dirtwire. Beats Antique’s David Satori, Stellamara’s Evan Fraser have combined to deliver a fresh take on electro-folk, and the wild wild West never felt so much like home. The squad they assembled for this pair of performances at Symbiosis only furthered the buzz that has surrounded Dirtwire for the past couple of years, and we lapped up the gris-gris they served from the back porch of Americana’s future. At the stroke of 4am, there was only one game on our minds, and that was BOGL; the venerable Soundpieces bossman is among the most thorough and forward-thinking artists in bass music today. Despite the Funktion-One volume being turned down a bit in the circus tent, Griffin March will not lose, ever. Piling on heaping portions of high-falutin’ womp, the underground dance community showed and proved en masse, while BOGL put heads to bed with domineering authority.Bed? This posse was nowhere near ready to rest, and instead it would be British wizard-king OTT who would broadcast atypically over-the-top content to bring in the Silk Road morning. The jolly giant’s mix of psybient dub, ethnic electronica, and rotund, elastic grooves were squishy lily pads for the multitude of cosmonauts looking rest their wings. Still not satiated, at about 7am our now-swollen squadron again arrived at the infamous Venus Tour Bus, where Oaktown’s dread necromancer TreyZilla was conjuring up the renegade rage, as he’s guaranteed to do whenever he steps on the set. Putting nails in the Trap coffin, and banging it shut with galactivated rebar, Trey Martinez danced on the grave of what’s tired and played, and cracked a window open to new and alien galaxies. After glorious morning spent tip toeing in some Jordans, mad spunions running through the six with no woes, it finally dawned on me: Venus is life.Somehow, the dancehall gods delivered me to Swimbiosis minutes after high noon on Sunday; just in time for the rugged yardie sermons of Portland soundbwoy du jour, PRSN. Mixing bangin’ hip hop drums and samples with rudie swagger, at once something serious and sincere, Bryce Howell ushered in the final day of Symbiosis in proper hot-skull style. There was no shortage of strong music options on Sunday afternoon, no matter what your flavor palette or funky preference. Women ruled the roost at The Other Stage as HÄANA shared her  Nordic femtronica elixirs, while Tara Brooks and Rachel Torro pumped the beach full of sweltering, divine deep house.  The Fringe welcomed New French House phenomenon FKJ, who dripped his scrumptious juices all over the keyboards, saxophone, and electro drums, the silky smooth, luscious grooves went down the hatch. Next up on this main stage was A Hundred Waters, an eclectic band from Gainesville, Florida that combined organic and electronic elements for an ethereal sound, their vibe wrought with a tangible emotional quotient. The audience danced in a hushed reverence, as Nicole Miglis‘s charming flute melodies and saccharine vocals were spectacular.Late in the hottest afternoon of the festival, Rising Appalachia appeared in the circus tent, and it was at once revelation and revolution. Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith, and their trusted compadres Biko Casini and David Brown led the congregation on yet another Second Line parade through the filthiest and dirtiest of Southern hymns and harmonies. Anthony Flowers Ward crafted his usual kaleidoscopic visual accompaniment with a vast array of floral splendor, as flow artists and dancers atop aerial silks enraptured an awestruck audience. By the time Rising Appalachia had concluded a Bayou romp through the gospel traditional “I’ll Fly Away,” there was nary a dry eye in the circus. The closest thing to jamband vibes were found within the guitar-driven, rubber-band jams of OTT & the All-Seeing I, while over at Juke Lagoon, Gaslamp Killer was bringing a gritty and aggressive brand of psychedelic dance energy to a raging contingent of night owls.Among the most discussed headliners booked this year, FKA Twigs did not disappoint in her Sunday night slot. At times meticulously choreographed, others wild theatrics with reckless abandon, the vocalist, soothsayeress, and movement icon pranced around The Fringe stage with prismatic grace. Her music could be somber, plodding, and also electrifying and excitable. Almost as impressive as her musical art was the visual stimulation that dominated her performance. Meanwhile, at the Family Circus, another epochal artist was leading a veritable séance of sorts. The Desert Dwellers Live Experience was a prodigious display of spirituality through sound, song, synchronicity and emotion. Meditative, palpitating beats from Treavor Moontribe and Amani Friend were augmented by the breathtaking Marlowe Bassett (of Metamorphosis Ballet),  HAANA,  Tammy Firefly and Soul Fire, among other collaborators. The result was nothing short of spine-tingling, as many shared in a final dance shwirl to close out the festival.This krewe was in need of a soft landing, so we dragged a horde of blankets, pillows, and juicy vibes up to Silk Road. We chose to collapse in an enormous cuddle puddle, as the psychedelic soundscapes of Tropo, led by Tyson Leonard, assisted us in circling the runway. To bring it on home, Silk Road was blessed appropriately enough by Vir Jam, a vigorous, spiritualized world music session that employed the talents of Hamsa Lila frontman Vir McCoy and beloved Santos y Zurdo/Patterns bassist Luigi Jimenez. After a weekend spent swimming in a freshwater lakes of Funktion-One thump, it was only right to shut it down with an organic sound, and these boys brought it, from faraway funk-to-table by way of our hearts.And so comes to a close the 2016 West Coast festival season, another one for the history books, and apparently the music blogs, too. Symbiosis Gathering 2016, despite the hiccups and frustrations at the start, remains the stardog champion of this festival scene and culture. Clearly, the producers are not motivated by profit, but instead empowered by the epic, and for better or worse, it shows. It is abundantly clear that this community remains vibrant, and the event is still very relevant to the movement and its missions. We can only daydream as to what may happen next summer when Symbiosis pulls up stakes and hops a northbound train, all aboard for Oregon Eclipse 2017.Thank you Symbiosis Gathering. Your intent is our delight.words: B.Getzphotos: Jacob Avanzatovideos: Dan LaDue, Galactic Seabass, WRD Media, Dr. Bruce Damer, jJice Early in the evening, we ventured over to the Movement Shala, where the Boss-of-Bosses [Clever Alias] was holding court. From dubstep to the dancehall, Dan Laureano blessed up the masses with his bracketology, a potent and primordial blend, sending us off into the night with ample pep in our step. Headlining sets from Gramatik and Beats Antique at the magnificent The Fringe drew enormous crowds, and served to release the festival’s aready pent-up energies. Festival-wide, it was a clash of the titans, as Claude Von Stroke went head to head with Ivy Lab, before Atish hijacked the concupiscent whip with deep housequake into the night.Just before the clock struck midnight, Baltimore’s super heady spiritual gangster SOOHAN dropped a Silk Road set that will not soon be forgotten. Mashing up two decades of pop music culture atop a bombastic blend of 808s and ancient sounds, the rising star laced a libidinous dance session that sent the teaming masses into a maniacal tizzy. Morillo hit at Silk Road late Friday after 4am, and the charred remains of SOOHAN’s seismic slaying were still smoking. The Miami based producer soaked the people in drippy, glitchy, galloping movements, gurgling basslines beneath patios mantras and obscure samples, tribalizing riddims amidst snake-charming melodies. Anytime there is a new-agey, “transformational”, Burner-centric event, some comic relief is certainly in order; Symbiosis had no shortage of such hilarity, places like The Living Room were central to such shenanigans. Elsewhere, exploring the guru phenomenon with some tongue-in-cheek humor, JP Sears and Kumare had people in stitches with their convoluted yogi-isms and pseudo-spiritualized rhetoric. “Man-Tease”, a mobile stripping container, was Magic Mike on acid, brought to you by the folks who delivered Psychedelic Friendship Bingo in years passed. Fed up with the flat-earth nonsense? Dr. Bruce Damer hosted a panel discussion that belittled this silly scientific detour, a controversy that has prompted much derision and made for great guffaws aross the globe. Despite the plethora of non-music options at our fingertips, for the final festival of this season, I consciously broke from the usual modus operandi, and focused my experience almost solely on music and dancing, making space for human connection and conversation, but little else. Every so often I reminded myself to hydrate, and for nourishment, as we strategically planned naps as to maximize the opportunities to achieve dance Zen one last time this Indian summer bloom. I recognize that this reflection is in no way a complete rundown of this titanic event; instead, here is a small sampling of the music enjoyed at Symbiosis Gathering 2016: Family Tree.Thursday was a wash for a large portion of the festival, as many people were stuck in the snaking traffic lines for the entire day. With the music ending at midnight, we were lucky to catch a portion of world renowned deep house champions Bedouin at Silk Road, a real life anachronism built by the folks behind LIB’s The Grand Artique. In lieu of Frontierville, the creators manifested a Middle Eastern bazaar of sorts, with merchants serving tea, elixirs, and period specific art and aesthetics. Silk Road would be the site of several remarkable music performances over the course of the four days. From Bedouin’s pulsing Persian rumblings  it was on to The Grotto for a set of primarily new music from an-ten-nae. The Oakland bass-boss delivered a series of slow, throbbing jams from his forthcoming solo album Medicine.Friday afternoon saw a Desert Hearts takeover at Swimbiosis, and it was a whirlwind wave of color, dance rage, and undeniable untz, as the entire crew of Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Deep Jesus, Marbs, and Porkchop showed up; the mission was to move the crowd, and it appeared accomplished by day’s end. Imagine relentless, swanky deep house grooves, trippy Playa-tech jams, and some four-on-the-beach beatscience; this was a five hour tour of non-stop pulsating beats and beautiful people frolicking in the water, while an in-the-round stage incorporated a beach landscape and shady grove. All day everyday, the lakefront playground of Swimbiosis went off! Across the way, at the astonishing Atoll lighthouse art boat, British Columbia bass mistress The Librarian was setting things off, and for a moment, the floating stage had to be evacuated. The chaos was apparently due to Ms. Andrea Graham‘s ratio of bounce-to-the-ounce, which had the people going way too hard; this ancient lighthouse structure could not host such a level of rager. Thankfully, shortly thereafter, the boat got things (relatively) together; Andreilien took to the Atoll decks and delivered a hair-raising hour of boom-bap thump. Post-dubstep glitch buried in golden-era hip hop drums, evidence of an exciting new direction for this legend.last_img read more


Update on the latest in sports:

first_img May 12, 2020 Tailback is the sixth horse to die on the main track since Dec. 26. A required necropsy is pending. Four others died on the turf course and three on the training track.The track in Arcadia has been closed for racing since March 27 by order of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, horses are allowed to train.A string of horse deaths at Santa Anita last year led to sweeping changes involving medication and safety.OLY-TOKYO STORES CLOSINGTokyo Olympics closing 5 souvenir shops; downsizing another The Ravens announced Monday that Fluker signed a one-year contract. He has 88 career starts, the last 57 of them at guard. The 6-foot-5, 342-pound Fluker started in 14 regular-season games and had two playoff starts for Seattle at right guard last season.In other NFL news:—The Las Vegas Raiders have agreed to a deal with former Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker. The 5-foot-11, 219-pound Booker was a fourth-round pick by Denver in 2016 and played four seasons with the Broncos. Booker rushed for 1,103 yards in 61 games over his career. He wasn’t re-signed by Denver in the offseason. The Raiders also waived linebacker Derrick Moncrief.— Longtime NFL assistant coach John Teerlinck has died. He was 69. Colts owner Jim Irsay made the announcement in a Twitter post Sunday night. Team officials confirmed it was from Irsay’s account. Teerlinck spent 24 seasons coaching NFL defensive linemen, the last 12 with the Indianapolis Colts, and developed a reputation as one of the top pass-rushing coaches in league history. Hall of Famers Chris Doleman, John Randle and Kevin Greene were among Teerlinck’s top pupils.— Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung says he’s appealing a decision that denied a claim he brought against the National Football League Players Association alleging unfair labor practices. The National Labor Relations Board last week dismissed Okung’s claim against the NFLPA. Okung has been outspoken against the new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA that was ratified in March by players. He says union voting procedures were not handled correctly and that the union tried to silence his right to speak on the matter. Associated Press NHL-GOLDEN KNIGHTS-DUGANNCAA leading scorer Dugan agrees to join Golden KnightsLAS VEGAS (AP) — NCAA leading scorer Jack Dugan agreed Monday to turn pro and join the Vegas Golden Knights.Dugan was a fifth-round pick of the Golden Knights during their first draft in 2017. Because of his age, his NHL entry-level contract beginning next season would be for two years.The 6-foot-2, 185-pound forward from Pittsburgh had 10 goals and 42 assists for 52 points during his sophomore season at Providence College. Dugan was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the nation’s top college player. Incoming president and CEO Scott Howson, who will take over for David Andrews this summer, said the AHL is still planning for a full 2020-21 regular season running from Oct. 9-April 18. But it also is working on schedules that start in November, December or January.PGA-RYDER CUP-ASSISTANTSStricker appoints Love, Zach Johnson as Ryder Cup assistantsPALM BEACH GARDEN, Fla. (AP) — Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker has asked two-time U.S. captain Davis Love III and Zach Johnson to be his assistants for the upcoming matches at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.Stricker previously appointed the last captain, Jim Furyk, to be one of his assistants. The Ryder Cup is still on schedule to be played Sept. 25-27 — one week after the rescheduled U.S. Open. — Major League Baseball may be weeks away from playing again, but the factory that supplies bats to many of its players resumed production Monday in Kentucky. The Hillerich & Bradsby plant that makes Louisville Slugger bats had been idled for nearly two months because of the coronavirus outbreak. Workers started filling orders for some big leaguers as parts of Kentucky’s economy reopened Monday after weeks of shutdowns.VIRUS OUTBREAK-THE LATEST—The coronavirus pandemic is impacting how college athletic programs make their travel plans as they budget for the upcoming year. The cancellation of the NCAA Tournament has produced a budget crunch that leaves colleges looking for cost-saving measures. One simple step is to cut back on travel. Chattanooga took a creative approach by announcing that any 2020-21 away games that hadn’t already been scheduled must be played within 150 miles of its campus. Other schools also are trying to make their trips as short as possible without instituting any specific limits.— Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ is using his love of coffee to help raise money for COVID-19 relief charities. The 25-year-old Happ is partnering with Connect Roasters for Quarantine Coffee. It costs $15 per bag, and $3 from every sale goes to virus-related causes.— The Big Sky Conference is leaving the decision of when to return to sports up to its member schools. The Big Sky’s President’s Council voted to allow schools in one of the nation’s largest geographical conferences to make decisions based on NCAA and state guidelines. The conference also adjusted the schedule of volleyball, track, women’s soccer, softball and tennis for the 2020-21 school year in an effort to limit travel as schools face mounting budget issues. Update on the latest in sports: Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-BASEBALLAP source: MLB owners approve plan to start season in JulyNEW YORK (AP) — It’s the players’ union turn at the plate. Dugan, 21, led the NCAA this season with 1.53 points a game, 1.24 assists a game, 22 power-play points and 30 even-strength points.AHL-VIRUS OUTBREAK-AHL CANCELEDAmerican Hockey League cancels rest of season, playoffsThe American Hockey League canceled the rest of its season Monday because of the coronavirus pandemic, shifting its focus toward an uncertain future.While the Calder Cup will not be handed out for the first time since 1936, the 31-team AHL hopes to return next season. That remains uncertain; one possibility is that no fans would be allowed in arenas. — Canada’s National Bank is offering cash grants to each of 23 tennis players from the country who are facing financial issues because of the coronavirus pandemic. Tennis Canada announced the grants of $10,000 to $20,000 in Canadian dollars, or about $7,000 to $14,000 in U.S. dollars, from National Bank on Monday, saying the amounts will depend on a player’s ranking.NFL-RAVENS-FLUKERRavens sign Fluker, who will seek to replace Yanda at guardOWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) —The Baltimore Ravens have signed free agent guard D.J. Fluker, who is expected to compete for the opening on the offensive line created by the retirement of Marshal Yanda.Fluker has 92 games of NFL experience over seven years with three teams, most recently the Seattle Seahawks. He has played primarily at right guard, the position Yanda manned for the majority of his 13 seasons before retiring in March. Teams would prefer to play at their regular-season ballparks but would switch to spring training stadiums or neutral sites if medical and government approvals can’t be obtained for games at home. Toronto might have to play home games in Dunedin, Florida.The All-Star Game, scheduled for Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 14, likely would be called off.In other MLB news:— Under 1% of Major League Baseball employees tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19. Results were based on 5,603 completed records from employees of 26 clubs. The total testing positive was 0.7%. Samples were obtained on April 14 and 15. Stanford University, the University of Southern California and the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City led the study. Data for players was not broken out. The study was not representative of the overall population, given 95% of the participants were under 65 and few reported underlying medical conditions.— A person familiar with the planning tells The Associated Press that the World Baseball Classic will be postponed from 2021 to 2023 because of the new coronavirus. The decision must be approved by the WBC board of directors, which is expected. The fifth edition of the tournament was scheduled for next March in Taiwan, Tokyo, Phoenix and Miami. The decision to postpone was first reported by ESPN Deportes (day-POHR’-tays). Love was captain at Medinah in Illinois in 2012 when Europe rallied from a 10-6 deficit on the final day, the largest comeback by a visiting team in Ryder Cup history. He was appointed captain again for the 2016 matches at Hazeltine in Minnesota, the first Ryder Cup since players were given more control over decisions. The Americans won for only the second time in eight matches.SANTA ANITA-FATALITIESHorse dies at Santa Anita after workout; 13th since DecemberARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A 13th horse has died at Santa Anita since late December.Tailback, a 4-year-old gelding, broke down after a workout Sunday. Tailback (trained by Mike Puype) had no wins in two career starts and earnings of $4,340, according to Equibase. Major League Baseball owners gave the go-ahead Monday to making a proposal to the union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans, a plan that envisions expanding the designated hitter to the National League for 2020.A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that spring training would start in early to mid-June.MLB officials are slated to make a presentation to the union on Tuesday. An agreement with the players’ association is needed, and talks are expected to be difficult — especially over a proposal for a revenue split that would be unprecedented for baseball.Each team would play about 82 regular-season games: against opponents in its own division plus interleague matchups limited to AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West.Postseason play would be expanded from 10 clubs to 14 by doubling wild cards in each league to four. TOKYO (AP) — Olympic organizers say five official merchandise shops in Tokyo will close by early June with business hindered by the coronavirus pandemic and the games being postponed until next year.It’s not clear if they will reopen.Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya says a sixth store in Osaka will also be downsized by early June. Organizers say 89 stores were operating in Japan at the end of April.Takaya could not rule out more closures. He says, “we don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three weeks.” Organizers hope for income of about $100 million from merchandise sales.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more


Ward aiming for historic triple in boxing championships

first_imgJoe Ward aims to make history this afternoon by becoming the first Irish man to win three gold medals at the European Boxing Championships.The Westmeath man is due through the ropes in the afternoon session for the light-heavyweight final against a Russian opponent- Muslim GadzhimagomedovTeam Ireland will bring home three medals from the tournament – with Kyle Walker and Brendan Irvine winning bronze.last_img


Dustin Johnson Looks to Retain Title at Erin Hills

first_imgWorld number one and defending champion Dustin Johnson heads the field in Wisconsin, where knee-high rough has dominated the pre-tournament debate.The first tee shot was fired at 12:45 BST thursday.American defending champion Johnson missed the Masters in April after slipping on steps and hurting his back on the eve of the tournament.Fit again, the big-hitting 32-year-old is bidding to become the first player to win back-to-back US Opens since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989.Johnson had said he would not travel to Erin Hills until the birth of his second child with his expectant partner Paulina Gretzky.But after arriving in Wisconsin on Tuesday evening following the birth of his son, the world number one says he is ready for the course’s challenge.“I like really tough golf courses,” said Johnson, who won by three shots at Oakmont last year.“I tend to focus more and play better. It’s just a very, very difficult tournament to win.”Johnson will be grouped with previous US Open winners Jordan Spieth and Martin Kaymer in Thursday’s opening round.Spieth beat fellow American Johnson to the title in 2015 and was in contention until the final round last year.“It’s always a physical test,” said the world number five. “It’s a big golf course. It’s a tough one to walk.”The 23-year-old Texan has failed to add to his major tally since 2015, when he also won the Masters, and has just one PGA Tour victory to his name this season.But he is one of the few players in this week’s field to have competitive experience of Erin Hills, having played at the venue in the 2011 US Amateur Championship.“Most of all it certainly tests the mental game more than any other place in golf,” added Spieth. “And I’ve witnessed that on both sides of things.“If you came for a stress-free tournament you didn’t come to the right place. And we know that going in.”World number two Rory McIlroy has insisted he is “totally fine” and ready to challenge this week as he returns to action after a month out because of injury.The Northern Irishman believes the Erin Hills course is one he can thrive on.“I don’t think it’s a secret that I feel like my driver is one of the biggest weapons in my bag,” he said.“If I can get that in my hands more regularly, and I think if the field has to hit driver more, that plays into my hands too.”Spaniard Sergio Garcia heads into the tournament on the back of his first major win, claiming the Green Jacket at Augusta in April.The 37-year-old world number seven hopes to draw on his Masters win in the season’s second major.“Every tournament is tough to win and majors are even tougher,” he said. “And a US Open, we all know how difficult they are.”In the modern era, only two players have won multiple majors after claiming their first aged 37 or older, with Angel Cabrera winning his first of two at that age and Mark O’Meara winning twice in 1998 aged 41.“I still feel in good shape and my game feels nice. I’m still working hard on it,” added Garcia.Debate around the cut of the rough at Erin Hills has divided opinion among those set to play the longest course in major history this weekend.The striking aspect of this venue is the distance – the par-five 18th can stretch to 675 yards – but the United States Golf Association (USGA) has faced questions over knee-high grass that lurks a few feet off the fairways.Fescue was cut from holes four, 12, 14 and 18 on Tuesday as organisers believed wet weather made the areas unplayable – especially with more rain forecast for the tournament days.Many holes feature blind or semi-blind tee-shots, while the course’s mid-section runs on an outward-inward path that will ensure players face variable winds.Spain’s Jon Rahm said the US Open venue was “like a links golf course on steroids”.“But I think it’s US Open, they expect our best,” added the 22-year-old.England’s Lee Westwood posted a video of his caddie crawling through the rough, while American Kevin Na was more scathing of the set-up.But McIlroy and Spieth both dismissed claims there was anything wrong with the lie.The Northern Irishman said: “If we can’t hit within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson said earlier this month he was likely to miss the tournament to attend daughter Amanda’s high school graduation in California yesterday.Mickelson retains a tee-time, but unless the weather conspires in the 46-year-old’s favour he will not return in time for the first round.Amanda was born a day after the championship in 1999 when Mickelson finished second to Payne Stewart, with the US Open the only major still to elude the American.With Tiger Woods also absent, this year’s US Open could be the first time since 1994 that neither player has featured in the first round.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram US OPEN 2017Billed as one of golf’s toughest tests, the 2017 US Open looks set to push the world’s best to their limits as Erin Hills prepares for its first major.At nearly 8,000 yards, the 11-year-old links-style layout will be the longest course in the championship’s history.last_img read more