South Korea Weighs Shift From Coal-Fired Power

first_imgSouth Korea Weighs Shift From Coal-Fired Power FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Seerat Chabba for the International Business Times:The South Korean government announced Wednesday that the country was considering closing aged coal-fired power plants in a bid to curb fine dust emissions. The move comes in light of worsening air pollution.The Office for Government Policy Coordination under the Prime Minister’s Office has been preparing a set of comprehensive measures to address the rising environmental concerns. It aims to work jointly with the ministries of environment, energy and finance in this endeavor, Yonhap News Agency reported.At the December 2015 global climate deal in Paris, South Korea scrapped plans for four coal-fired power plants as part of its pledge to the summit. However, 20 new plants are still planned by 2021.Out of 53 coal power plants in South Korea, 11 are over 30 years old, and three have been in operation for more than 40 years.The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has been drafting a plan to close the plants over 40 years of age. These are blamed as the main culprits of fine dust, along with old diesel vehicles.Yonhap also reported that policymakers have been making efforts to step up regional cooperation with neighboring countries to fight air pollution and to improve air quality. Replacement of the coal plants with liquefied natural gas facilities has also been suggested.Full Article: South Korea Considers Shutdown Of Old Coal Power Plants To Reduce Emissionslast_img read more

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Commentary: ‘The Economics of Dirty Old Men’

first_imgCommentary: ‘The Economics of Dirty Old Men’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York Times:Over the past decade or so there has been a remarkable technological revolution in energy production. Part of that revolution has involved the rise of fracking, which has made natural gas cheap and abundant. But there have also been stunning reductions in the cost of solar and wind power.Some people still think of these alternative energy sources as hippy-dippy stuff that can’t survive without big government subsidies, but the reality is that they’ve become cost-competitive with conventional energy, and their cost is still falling fast. And they also employ a lot of people: Over all, there are around five times as many people working, in one way or another, for the solar energy sector as there are coal miners.But solar gets no love from Trump officials, who desperately want the country to stay with dirty old power sources, especially coal. (Wait — when I called them dirty old men, did you think I was talking about payoffs to porn stars? Shame on you.) They’ve even rewritten Energy Department reports in an attempt to make renewable energy look bad.They’ve tried to turn their preference for dirty energy into concrete policy, too. Last fall, Rick Perry, the energy secretary, tried to impose a rule that would in effect have forced electricity grids to subsidize coal and nuclear plants. The rule was shot down, but it showed what these guys want. From their point of view, destroying solar jobs is probably a good thing.Why do Trump and company love dirty energy? Partly it’s about the money: what’s good for the Koch brothers may not be good for America (or the world), but it’s good for G.O.P. campaign finance. Partly it’s about blue-collar voters, who still imagine that Trump can bring back coal jobs. (In 2017 the coal industry added 500, that’s right, 500 jobs. That’s 0.0003 percent of total U.S. employment.)It’s also partly about cultural nostalgia: Trump and others recall the heyday of fossil fuels as a golden age, forgetting how ghastly air and water pollution used to be. But I suspect that it’s also about a kind of machismo, a sense that real men don’t soak up solar energy; they burn stuff instead.More: The Economics of Dirty Old Menlast_img read more

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PG&E, Vistra plan world’s largest battery storage unit

first_imgPG&E, Vistra plan world’s largest battery storage unit FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renewables Now:Texas-based Vistra Energy Corp will install a 300 MW/1,200 MWh battery storage facility in California, planned to be the largest one of its kind globally, under a deal with local utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E).Vistra Energy said on Friday it will develop the project under a 20-year resource adequacy contract with PG&E, which was filed last week for approval with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). A decision on the application is expected to be issued within 90 days.The proposed energy storage system will be located at the site of PG&E’s Moss Landing natural gas power station in California’s Monterey County. If CPUC approval is secured, Vistra expects to launch commercial operations at the facility by the closing quarter of 2020.The storage facility will be interconnected through an existing link from mothballed units of the natural gas plant. The batteries, themselves, will be accommodated in an existing turbine building at the site.The project was part of a larger solicitation for energy storage capacity under which PG&E selected a total of four projects with a combined capacity of 567.5 MW. PG&E expects all of the facilities to be commissioned by end-2020. The first one will be put on stream by the end of next year.More: Vistra Energy, PG&E awaiting nod for 300 MW battery storage project in Californialast_img read more

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Honda signs large renewable energy deal to offset emissions at three U.S. automobile factories

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Honda Motor Co. agreed to buy 320 megawatts of electricity from wind and solar farms in Texas and Oklahoma, marking the biggest clean-power purchase ever by an automaker.The Tokyo-based company will use the electricity to offset emissions from its factories in Ohio, Indiana and Alabama, according to a statement Monday. It will enable Honda to cut its greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing by 60% in North America.Honda is among a growing number of big companies turning to renewables as wind and solar become two of the cheapest sources of power available and as customers and investors push them to fight global warming. Corporate clean-energy purchases hit an all-time high of 13.4 gigawatts in 2018, according to BloombergNEF. They’re on track to break that record this year.“Within the last couple of years, we’ve begun to realize that there’s only so far that energy efficiency can take you,” Ryan Harty, manager for connected and environmental business development at American Honda, said in an interview. “If you want to make tremendous reductions in CO2 from energy use, you really need to delve into adopting renewable energy.”As part of the deal announced Thursday, Honda will begin buying power in the fall of 2020 from the Boiling Springs Wind Farm in Oklahoma. The following year, it will start buying power from an undisclosed solar farm in Texas. Honda currently sources about 20% of power for its North American operations from low- or zero-emission power sources.More: Honda strikes biggest deal ever by automaker to buy clean power Honda signs large renewable energy deal to offset emissions at three U.S. automobile factorieslast_img read more

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Offshore wind leader Ørsted takes first step into solar-plus-storage market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Denmark’s Ørsted is the leading developer of U.S. offshore wind projects and, thanks to its acquisition of Lincoln Clean Energy last year, a major player in onshore wind. Next on the agenda: utility-scale solar and storage.Ørsted on Wednesday announced plans to build a 460-megawatt solar-plus-storage project in West Texas, near existing oil and gas infrastructure in the Permian Basin. Ørsted said the Permian Energy Center, due for completion in mid-2021, will make it the first developer to own the “full spectrum” of renewable technologies at utility scale in the U.S. — onshore and offshore wind, solar PV and storage.The storage facility will be relatively modest in size by the standards of the latest projects, at 40 megawatts with one hour of capacity, running alongside a 420 MW AC solar array.The solar plant itself will crack the top 10 for size in the U.S. market, according to Wood Mackenzie data. The combined project will be built across a 3,600-acre site in Andrews County.In terms of the batteries, “It’s worth noting that this is a one-hour system, while many solar-plus-storage systems are longer in duration,” said Dan Finn-Foley, WoodMac’s head of energy storage. “This shows again how value for storage varies dramatically by region.”State-backed Ørsted — known until two years ago as Danish Oil and Natural Gas — is at the vanguard of old energy companies transitioning rapidly toward renewables. Ørsted is the world’s leading developer and operator of offshore wind farms, and its acquisition last year of Deepwater Wind for more than $500 million has made it the most important player in the burgeoning U.S. market, a position it has continued to build on.More: Ørsted brings 460MW solar-plus-storage project to Texas oil country Offshore wind leader Ørsted takes first step into solar-plus-storage marketlast_img read more

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India’s JSW Energy changes course, now aiming for renewable energy-based expansion

first_imgIndia’s JSW Energy changes course, now aiming for renewable energy-based expansion FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ETEnergyWorld.com:Sajjan Jindal led-JSW Energy, one of the only private power utilities in India which was looking to expand its thermal power capacity through acquisitions has pulled the plug on the plan and aims to focus on renewable energy only, after calling off the deal to buy an asset from GMR.The company has a stated plan of scaling up its capacity to 10 megawatts in the next 3-5 years from 4,559 mw now. While the capacity addition plan does not change, the company will now focus on renewable energy projects to add renewable energy projects.The company aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, said Prashant Jain, joint managing director and chief executive officer, told ET. “We have realised that many of these existing thermal assets have ongoing litigations and the government is increasing taxes on polluting industries, so it will be a continuous struggle for the next 15-20 years for the balance life of the plant. Given all this, renewable is a better option,” he said.Jain said that the company was keen to acquire thermal power assets for the low cost of generation and firm power purchase agreements. Now with the renewable energy tariff declining to levels that are competitive with thermal power units, power distribution companies will not give preference to thermal power going ahead.On Friday, JSW Energy called off its deal to the 1,050 mw-GMR Kamalanga Energy project in Odisha, after five months of announcing the deal, citing uncertainties in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Two years ago, the company had to terminate its proposed acquisition of the 500 mw-Bina Power from Jaiprakash Power Ventures after months of delay in getting necessary approvals from lenders.[Rachita Prasad]More: JSW Energy pulls the plug on thermal asset expansion, focus on green energy nowlast_img read more

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Winter Gear Guide 2009: Skiing and Snowboarding

first_imgRome Machine A board designed for one thing and one thing only: the terrain park. Rome loaded the Machine with a suite of impact technology (thicker edges, anti-compression plates, durable compounds) creating a workhorse for park rats. This board is designed to withstand season upon season of jib, rail, and pipe abuse. $400. Romesnowboards.com.Rossignol Works One Mag A lightweight, all mountain board with patented Magne-Traction technology that puts more control between the snowboarder’s feet. Instead of relying solely on standard edge grip, this Rossi board features “Mag bumps” that grip better on icy conditions while allowing you to maneuver more effectively in all kinds of snow. $499. Rossignol.com.rossignolworksonemag_clip_FIXBolle Scream The streamlined look keeps you from looking like a dork and the Air Booster system keeps air moving over the lenses for maximum anti-fog performance. $109.99. bolle.combollescream_FIXPatagonia Powder Bowl A classic hard shell with 21st century characteristics. The Powder Bowl has a 100% recycled polyester shell that’s completely waterproof, as well as a recycled mesh liner. Our wear-tester liked the padded iPod pocket, but fell in love with the exaggerated collar, which eliminates the need for a cumbersome gator on the coldest days on the slopes. $350. Patagonia.com.Pat_30090_684_clip_FIXK2 Hawk Solid construction is paired with a user-friendly binding to create a ski package that is forgiving and easy to maneuver. The Hawk builds confidence in beginners just starting to explore the greens and blues. And the price is right too. $500 (with bindings). K2skis.com.K2Hawk_clip_FIXNordica Speedmachine Mach 3 Power A high performance ski built for expert skiers who like to suck the most life out of steep, groomed runs. The exaggerated sidecut grips well on firm conditions (East Coast ice and packed powder) and the faster you go, the more stable the skis become (think Porsche on the Audubon). The performance-oriented package allows you to carve aggressively down the fall line. $1435 (with bindings). Nordica.com. 1 2 3last_img read more

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Japanese Tsunami Debris

first_imgSome 1.5 million tons of debris is afloat in the Pacific Ocean as a result of Japan’s March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Pictured: A 66-foot long dock from Japan that made landfall in Oregon in June 2012. It contained an estimated 100 tons of living matter, including numerous species native to Japan but considered invasive here in th U.S. Photo cred: Wolfram Burner, courtesy FlickrDear EarthTalk: Is there any environmental risk from all that Japanese tsunami debris that is starting to wash up on the U.S. west coast?                                           — Bailey Thigerson, Seattle, WAThe Japanese government estimates that some 1.5 million tons of debris is afloat in the Pacific Ocean as a result of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. No one knows exactly how much of this debris will wash up on American shores or end up absorbed by the water column or trapped in mid-ocean gyres, but state coastal authorities from California to Alaska are readying response plans.One certain threat is invasive species. Scientists from Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center confirmed the presence of dozens of species native to Japanese coastal waters—including barnacles, starfish, urchins, anemones, amphipods, worms, mussels, limpets, snails, solitary tunicates and algae—that were on a large floating dock in Japan that washed ashore at Agate Beach near Newport, Oregon in June 2012. According to researchers, the 66 foot long dock contained some 13 pounds of organisms per square foot, and an estimated 100 tons of living matter overall. While there is no evidence to date that anything from the float has established on U.S. shores, researchers fearing the worst but hoping for the best are continuing to monitor the situation.Of course, what worries researchers more is that the dock may just be the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, in regard to what else might wash ashore. “I think that the dock is a forerunner of all the heavier stuff that’s coming later, and amongst that heavier stuff are going to be a lot of drums full of chemicals that we won’t be able to identify,” says Chris Pallister, president of the non-profit Gulf of Alaska Keeper, a group dedicated to cleaning marine debris from Alaska’s coastline. He worries that the onslaught of debris will be “far worse than any oil spill … or any other environmental disaster we’ve faced on the West Coast” as a result of the sheer amount and variety of debris and the wide geographic scope it is likely to affect.Officials at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believe the Japanese tsunami debris has already spread over an area of the Pacific Ocean roughly three times the size of the contiguous United States. While some of the debris has already made landfall in the U.S., the bulk of it will take several more months to make it across the Pacific. Seattle-based oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who has been tracking huge gyres of trash in the ocean for two decades and runs the Beachcombers’ Alert website, thinks the majority of tsunami debris will reach U.S. shores as early as October 2012.Another concern: Researchers were “startled” to find detectable levels of radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in bluefin tuna, a favorite sushi fish, off the coast of California. While the levels of radioactive cesium were some 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off California in previous years, it is still below safe-to-eat limits in both Japan and the U.S. The researchers are continuing to study more bluefin tissue samples to see if elevated radiation levels persist, and are also looking into radiation levels in other long distance migratory species including sea turtles, sharks and seabirds.CONTACTS: Hatfield Marine Science Center, www.hmsc.oregonstate.edu; NOAA, www.noaa.gov; Beachcombers’ Alert, www.beachcombersalert.org.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more

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The Outdoor Candidates

first_imgThis political season, it seems as if someone says or does something outrageous pretty much every day, often before breakfast. Amid all the noise and rancor and (according to polls) the general unlikability of both of the main candidates for president, apathy is understandable. But for those of us who care about conservation issues, it would also be a mistake. Not only do Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump differ substantially on this score, there are a host of down-ballot races that matter as well. Fortunately, lots of candidates stand out as environmental champions. We’ve put together a guide to a few who have demonstrated through both their votes and their professional lives a deep personal and professional commitment to protecting the outdoor places we love.U.S. SenateChris Van Hollen (D-MD)Background: Has represented Maryland’s 8th district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003. Environmental concerns include stopping drilling the Chesapeake Bay and fighting climate change.chris_van_hollen_official_portrait_2010Outdoor Highlights: Authored the law that banned drilling in parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, cosponsored the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act, introduced the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act, and helped lead support in Congress for the Clean Power Plan and the Green Climate Fund.Voting Concerns: Has voted to delay flood insurance reform, which would help prevent destruction of floodplains.Statement: “Marylanders can count on Chris Van Hollen to be a champion for the environment. It’s something he believes in deeply, and he’ll continue to be a tireless advocate for sound, effective, and science-based solutions as Maryland’s next U.S. Senator.”Deborah Ross (D-NC)Background: A former member of the North Carolina General Assembly and N.C. House of Representatives. Environmental concerns include supporting clean energy, opposing fracking, addressing climate change, and protecting N.C.’s land, air, and water.rossOutdoor Highlights: Opposed state legislation to roll back years of energy conservation work and supported legislation preventing manufacturers from deceiving customers about the biodegradability of their products. As an attorney, Ross worked with renewable energy companies to get certified by the Utilities Commission, and advocated for light rail and commuter rail.Voting Concerns: Voted to establish a committee tasked with lifting “burdensome” regulations, some of which arguably protected the environment.Statement: “Our mountains and coasts are not just national treasures, they are a part of North Carolina’s vital tourism industry. To protect these national treasures and bolster our tourism economy, we need to slow the harmful effects of climate change. The best ways to do this are to invest in renewable energy and clean technology.”Kathleen McGinty (D-PA)Background: Former Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Environmental concerns include investing in clean energy and fighting climate change.mcgintyOutdoor Highlights: Worked with then-Senator Al Gore to reauthorize the Clean Air Act, helped make Pennsylvania a leader in solar and wind energy, helped stop new drilling in state parks and forests, and supported important new efforts to protect Pennsylvanians from methane leaks.Voting Concerns: Unclear—has never served as a legislator.Statement: “Climate change presents a serious global threat to our health, economic well-being and national security. In the Senate, I will lead the way to a healthier and safer environment by working to pass commonsense climate protections with investments in energy efficiency and clean energy.”U.S. House of RepresentativesFrederica Wilson (D-FL)Background: Member of the House since 2011. Environmental priorities include restoring the Everglades, opposing offshore drilling, slowing climate change, and enforcing the Endangered Species Act.frederica_wilson_official_house_portraitOutdoor Highlights: Voted to support the Clean Power Plan and clean energy intiatives.Voting Concerns: Has voted for bills that undermine flood insurance reform and against bills that would reduce funding for nuclear energy and fossil fuel research.Statement: “I pledge to promote efforts to address both natural and man-made changes occurring in the climate and initiatives like solar and wind power that will protect the environment and create jobs.”Anthony Brown (D-MD)Background: Served as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015, and previously served two four-year terms in the Maryland House of Delegates. Environmental priorities include curbing the effects of climate change, protecting Maryland’s natural resources, and ensuring the quality of our air, water, and land for future generations.anthony_g-_brown_official_state_photoOutdoor Highlights: Helped pass the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013, supported Maryland’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, assisted efforts to source more of the state’s energy from solar facilities, and supported upgrading wastewater treatment plants to help protect the Chesapeake Bay.Voting Concerns: Has not served as a legislator at the federal level.Statement: “We need leaders who will focus on accountability and expand the environmental coalition, leaders who understand that environmental preservation and job creation are not mutually exclusive. We need leaders who believe that investments in a healthy and sustainable environment is a moral imperative.”Alma Adams (D-NC)Background: Appointed to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1994 and won a special election for North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District in 2014. Environmental priorities include strong drinking water standards, protecting endangered species, protecting public lands, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting clean energy.alma_adams_official_portraitOutdoor Highlights: Helped push for federal policies to combat climate change, voted against attacks on the Clean Power Plan, and fought for N.C. legislation that would have funded loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.Voting Concerns: Voted for a bill that would have prohibited states from being able to require labeling of genetically modified organisms in food as well as rolled back other state laws to promote accurate food labeling.Statement: “Environmental issues tend to have the greatest impact on poor and minority communities, so that’s why it’s important that we never stop fighting to combat climate change, curb pollution, invest in renewable energy, and promote sustainable development solutions.”Donald McEachin (D-VA)Background: Served in the Virginia House of Delegates 1996–2002 and 2006–2008, and in the Virginia Senate since 2008. Environmental priorities include reducing carbon emissions, investing in green energy technologies, and addressing public health threats from pollution.mceachin_smilingOutdoor Highlights: Co-founded the bipartisan Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus, which focuses on advancing green policies in the state legislature; sought to enroll Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and to create a mandatory statewide renewable energy standard.Voting Concerns: Minimal. The Virginia League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has given him a score of 100 percent in recent years.Statement: “The next generation deserves to inherit a greener, more sustainable world. That work begins with strict limits on carbon emissions, which will radically re-shape our environment if left unchecked. We should also work to protect fragile ecosystems, preserve open spaces, and responsibly manage natural resources.”Steve Santarsiero (D-PA)Background: Has served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 2009. Environmental priorities include promoting renewable energy, investing in green jobs, and opposing oil and gas extraction on public lands.steve_santarsiero_pa_house_portraitOutdoor Highlights: Introduced legislation to put Pennsylvania on course for a 50 percent reduction in global warming pollution by 2030. This bill would put the state among those helping to deliver on the global climate goals agreed to in the Paris climate agreement reached last December.Voting Concerns: Minimal. The Pennsylvania LCV gave him a score of 100 percent on its 2013-2014 scorecard.Statement: “I’m proud to stand… in the fight to protect our air and water and battle catastrophic climate change. In Congress, I’ll continue the work I’ve started in the State House and push to grow a new renewable energy economy in Pennsylvania-—to protect our planet and put people back to work.”North Carolina General AssemblySusan Fisher (D)Background: Has been a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives since 2004. Environmental priorities include clean energy, farmland preservation, and curtailing mountaintop removal coal mining.463Outdoor Highlights: Voted to continue growing North Carolina’s renewable energy sector and voted against the “Polluter Protection Act,” which eliminated air quality monitors and allows companies to “self-report” environmental damage. Sponsored the Appalachian Mountains Preservation Act, which would prohibit electric public utilities that operate coal-fired generating units in North Carolina from purchasing or using coal extracted with mountaintop removal mining.Voting Concerns: None.Statement: “I support strong environmental legislation for the sake of public health, the health of North Carolina ecosystems, and our children’s future. I will continue to support legislation that promotes clean air, water, and soil. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and we need to work together to make sure it remains beautiful for generations to come.”Terry Van Duyn (D)Background: Was appointed to the North Carolina Senate in 2014 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Sen. Martin L. Nesbitt, and won election to a full term in November 2014. Environmental priorities include clean water and renewable energy.385Outdoor Highlights: Has introduced several bills promoting renewable energy and opposed the recent bill allowing fracking in North Carolina.Voting Concerns: None; she has a perfect lifetime score from the North Carolina LCV.Statement: “Water is one of our most precious resources and protecting it is one of the most urgent environmental issues we face. One of the first votes I cast was to vote against the recent fracking law. I voted against this law because it serves as a huge boon to energy corporations at the expense of safe drinking water for our families.”last_img read more

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Trail Mix – 6 String Drag Song Premiere!

first_imgNothing makes you feel like you have been around the block more than a couple times than hearing a band you knew in your college days referred to as “Americana pioneers.”That very term was used to describe 6 String Drag, a roots rock outfit out of North Carolina who, along with artists like Uncle Tupelo, Grant Lee Buffalo, Jason & The Scorchers, and Whiskeytown, established the alt-country sound at the heart of the Americana movement in the late 80s and early 90s.Despite a fifteen year break and some changes in personnel, 6 String Drag is still writing and playing as well as they ever have. This has been an especially eventful couple of months for the band, as January saw them celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their seminal album High Hat by releasing it on vinyl, and the band’s newest record, Top Of The World, drops March 9th.I recently caught up with singer Kenny Roby to chat about the new record, paranormal experiences, putting out music the way it was intended to be, and “Jennifer Wren & The Crow I Know,” a song from the band’s new record that Trail Mix is happy to premiere this week.BRO – In the span of a couple months, you experienced both the re-release of a twenty year old record and the release of a brand new record. I think that offers a pretty cool perspective on where you have been and where you are heading, yes?KR – Yeah, I think so, too. It’s been interesting to look at High Hat after all of these of these years. I really appreciate the energy of it and I think most of the songs hold up pretty well, too. It is very different in some ways from the new record, but there are some similarities, too. You pick up a lot on the side of the road after twenty years of hunting road kill.BRO – What’s the secret to maintaining the spirit of a band through a fifteen year hiatus and line up changes?KR – It can be tough, since most of us live in different towns, and we are older now and have families. So we’ve more set in our ways as individuals than when we were in our twenties, of course. The line up changes can actually keep things fresh and focused on the present and the future. We also try to make sure we have a good time recording, playing live, and hanging out with each other. Everyone seems like they want to be there. You would that think that would be a given, but it isn’t always the case. I think humor is also key. If you can’t laugh at yourself and each other after years of pushing rocks up hills, you might actually feel it when they roll back over you. Rock pushing is a tough business to be in. Being immature helps immensely, too.BRO – Trail Mix features “Ghost,” off of High Hat, this month. Ever had an experience with the paranormal?KR – Well, there was this one time when I was a teenager and we were lying on a rock on the side of the mountain in Cashiers, North Carolina, listening to Black Sabbath really loud on a jam box. I think I saw some paranormal activity in the sky circling above us, but I’ll just leave it at that. Most of the paranormal activity has been in my head. Ghosts of Christmases past, etc. . . . . . .BRO – We are premiering “Jennifer Wren & The Crow I Know” on this week’s blog post. What’s the story behind the song?KR – The lyrics are based on the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence.” My mom used to sing it to me when I was little. I did a little reading on it and discovered it was a rhyme about peasants and their relationship to the king in 18th century England. So I used some of the images for my take on things that are happening sociopolitically in our lives these days and the growing pains of being in the middle of some of these changes as a society. I didn’t know this when I started to write it. It was actually about something else, from what I can tell. It just morphed into this over a short period of time and some of the images started to pull me towards “Sing a Song of Sixpence” and I just shaped it here and there.BRO – High Hat sounds like a record that should have always been on vinyl. Cool to see it pressed for the first time twenty years after you released it?KR – For sure. Even the cover always seemed like it should be on an LP to me. A larger piece of art compared to a CD cover. We always had letter press and screen printed posters back in the 90s. Our drummer, Ray Duffey, worked in print making and was also a visual artist, so we were always conscious of how we presented things on posters and covers. He did the High Hat cover based on a poster he made previously. So it feels right to have it on a larger format. And, musically, we always wanted it on vinyl, but almost nobody was putting out vinyl in 1997. Hell, I didn’t have a CD player until I was nineteen in 1990 or so, and I didn’t record digitally until 2004, so everything for me is usually through an analog filter. I love different aspects of the CD format, but vinyl and cassettes are what I grew up with, so it’s really cool when things come out on vinyl, too.And now, for the first time ever, here’s you chance to take that first listen to “Jennifer Wren & The Crow I Know.”You can celebrate the release of Top Of The World with 6 String Drag on Friday at The Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh, North Carolina. The band will also be in Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville later this month. For more dates and to find out how you can grab the new record, head on over to the band’s website.Be sure to check out “Ghost,” along with new tracks from Parsonsfield, Courtney Marie Andrews, The Barons, and more on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

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