Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink St. John’s Terminal, 498 Seventh Avenue and 666 West End Avenue (COOKFOX Architects, Google Maps)The 10 largest Manhattan loans recorded in May totaled $1.37 billion, an 85 percent increase from April but less than half of March’s total.About 45 percent of that sum came from the largest deal, a massive syndicated construction loan for Oxford Properties Group’s St. John’s Terminal that had been in the works since February.Here are the borough’s largest real estate loans for May:1) Terminal turnaround | $604 million (senior portion of $973 million package)The syndication of nearly $1 billion in construction financing for Oxford Properties Group’s redevelopment of St. John’s Terminal, which kicked off in February when Wells Fargo was selected to lead the deal, closed in early May. TD Bank, J.P. Morgan and four other banks also participated in the deal. Google, the sole tenant, selected the site in 2018 as part of an expansion plan and is set to move in in 2022.2) MetLife mortgage | $400 millionMetLife refinanced the 960,000-square-foot office building at 498 Seventh Avenue in the Garment District, which is owned by George Comfort & Sons, Loeb Partners Realty and J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The new debt replaces a $200 million CMBS loan provided by Deutsche Bank in 2011.3) Stellar performance | $119 millionStellar Management secured this loan from Signature Bank to refinance the 23-story, 355-unit rental building at 666 West End Avenue, also known as the Windermere. The new loan replaced $110 million in debt first provided by New York Community Bank in 2014.4) Legion loan | $70 millionACORE Capital provided this loan to Legion Investment Group for a planned condo project at 109 East 79th Street on the Upper East Side. The developer, led by former Naftali Group CIO Victor Sigoura, filed plans last year for a 19-story, 145,000-square-foot development on the site with 36 condo units. The new debt replaces a $55.5 million acquisition loan Seven Valleys provided last year.5) Penthouse payday | $50 millionHedge-fund billionaire Daniel Och received this 30-year mortgage from Citibank for a penthouse unit at 220 Central Park South acquired for $92.7 million in December. The four-bedroom apartment spans about 9,800 square feet. Och founded Och-Ziff Capital Management — now rebranded as Sculptor Capital Management — and stepped down as CEO in 2018.6) Windsor and lender | $41 millionJohn Hancock Life Insurance provided a $40.7 million refinancing to Windsor Tower, a 799-unit co-op at 5 Tudor City Place. The 25-story building was built in 1929 and is one of the largest towers in the 13-building Tudor City apartment complex in Turtle Bay.7) Zuck from State Farm | $30 millionThe Zucker Organization landed a $30.2 million refinancing from State Farm Realty Mortgage for 520 Broome Street (a.k.a. 55 Sullivan Street), a nine-story, 39-unit rental building with retail and storage condominium units. The retail space at the building is home to a Janovic Paint & Decorating Center.8) K-Town collateral | $21 millionThe owner of the Hotel Stanford at 43 West 32nd Street in Koreatown, Joong Gab Kwon, secured a $20.5 million refinancing for the property from KEB Hana Bank. The new debt replaced prior financing provided by Bank Hapoalim in 2015. The 12-floor, 124-key hotel has been owned by the Kwon family since at least the 1980s, according to property records.9) Uptown edge | $18 millionSterling National Bank provided an $18.3 million refinancing for Edge Property Group’s Edge Hotel at 514 West 168th Street in Washington Heights, replacing prior financing provided by Signature Bank. The 11-story, 54-key hotel was built in 2014.10) Forty-Fifty financing | $18 millionThe 40-50 East 10th Street cooperative secured this financing from Bank of New York Mellon for its 10-story, 111-unit building. The Greenwich Village co-op building was constructed in 1929 and converted in 1963. Share via Shortlink TagsManhattanReal Estate Loans
Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. SIGN UP Germany’s Daniel Deusser produced a fabulous performance from Cornet d’Amour to win the sixth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League series at Mechelen, Belgium today. From a starting field of 40, only four horse-and-rider combinations found the key to Lucien Somers’ tough first-round track. But the 32-year-old rider and his graceful grey gelding were smooth as silk when earning their spot in the jump-off, and they went on to clinch victory in the finest style with a thrilling run against the clock.Runner-up was Sweden’s Jens Fredricson with his veteran partner, Lunatic, while Spain’s Pilar Cordon finished third with Nuage Bleu. Last to go against the clock, 2000 Olympic champion Jeroen Dubbeldam from The Netherlands retired after lowering a fence with Zenith, but this nine-year-old gelding is clearly one for the future. Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander did well to play the percentage game with Ego van Orti whose single first-round time penalty was good enough for fifth place ahead of the fastest of the four-faulters – Great Britain’s Joe Clee and Diablesse de Muze.Today’s competition was one in which every inch of the arena had to be ridden to perfection in order to be successful. “I expected more clears, but it was a long, tough course and the time was tight. It was the kind of course where you had to totally concentrate from the first fence to the very last” said the winning rider this evening.Particular challengeThe arena at the Nekkerhalle in Mechelen is long and narrow, thus presenting a particular challenge to both course designers and horse-and-rider combinations alike.Starting out over an oxer, several horses had already lost their concentration by the time they took the bending line to the vertical at fence two, while even more lowered the oxer at fence three after the turn-back there. Another vertical at four followed by an oxer at five and then a right-handed turn to the vertical at six led to the influential line from the oxer at seven to the double – vertical to oxer – at fence eight. Every fence took its toll, and the following oxer at nine was followed by the triple combination before another right-handed swing to the last three fences.The triple-bar at eleven put many horses on the forehand, so riders often had a handful of horse coming down to the penultimate oxer along the ringside. And with five short strides to the final planks, control of pace and balance was critical at the very end.Great cheerIt took quite a while for the first clear to be recorded by Fredricson and his 15-year-old gelding whose success, when eleventh to go, was greeted by a great cheer from the big crowd. And then, as so often happens, another followed just two horses later when Spain’s Pilar Cordon and Nuage Bleu also got it all just right. However there was a long wait for the final two to join them on the jump-off start-list, Deusser and Cornet d’Amour looking in a class of their own with their foot-perfect round when fourth-last into the ring, and Dubbeldam most impressively steering Zenith home without incident when second-last to go.The 72-seconds time-allowed was all that denied Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and Ego van Orti the opportunity to contest for maximum points, but her fifth place finish has boosted her points tally to 47 and she is now comfortably qualified for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final next April. She lies third on the Western European League table after today’s result, four points behind Olympic champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland in runner-up spot and just five points behind Longines No. 1 rider Britain’s Scott Brash who remains at the head of affairs going into the next leg in Leipzig, Germany in three weeks’ time.Against the clockFredricson led the way against the clock today and really threw down the gauntlet when galloping through the finish clear in 36.43 seconds. Cordon also left the new seven-fence course intact to slot temporarily into runner-up spot when just over a second slower, and Deusser admitted afterwards that he wasn’t sure he could better the target set by the super-competitive Swedish partnership.“When you have only four clear you think – well that’s not so bad. I had a good feeling about just four, but Jens was very fast and clear. I saw him on the screen and my alarm button was already on. I thought, Oh no! now it’s going to be really hard work to beat that! But I know my horse and he can do fantastic things. I was lucky on the double vertical and I knew my horse could jump the combination very fast. There was a long run to the double of verticals and I knew he could do one stride less to that, so I think that’s where we picked up the time” he later explained.Shaving more than a second off that posted by the Swedish pair he crossed the line in 35.66 seconds. And when Dubbeldam’s up-and-coming prospect left one on the floor, the Dutch rider sensibly retired to finish fourth.Coming into his primeThe German winner talked about his eye-catching gelding son of the great Cornet Obolensky who, at 10 years of age, is still only coming into his prime. “I’ve been riding Cornet d’Amour since June 2012, I took a couple of months to get to know him before we went to our first big show together in Calgary (CAN) where he jumped double-clear in the Nations Cup. But then he got an injury in November so we had to stop for two months, and in the end the break was maybe good for him because he came back out in February to win the Grand Prix at Wellington in Florida. We’ve had a great year in 2013 including finishing fourth in the Grand Prix of Aachen!” the rider happily pointed out. The elegant pair also claimed the German Championship title at Balve this year before taking team silver and fifth place individually at the PSI FEI European Jumping Championships in Herning, Denmark in August.Describing Cornet d’Amour, Deusser said, “he likes to present himself in front of the crowd. In the warm-up he is totally relaxed, but he loves to know that people are watching him and when he comes into the arena he always grows a little – he likes to show off!” He was particularly pleased about today’s win because it was on home ground. He lives in Mechelen with his girlfriend, Caroline Wauters who is part of the organising team for the Belgian fixture and a daughter of the late Belgian jumping star Eric Wauters in whose memory the hugely popular annual fixture is staged.Deusser recognised today’s victory as an important watershed in his career and said it has influenced his plans for 2014. “At the beginning it was not my goal to go to every World Cup show and try to qualify for the Final, but my other horse has grown so well in the last few months and this horse is in great form. So now I must consider whether I should try to get to the Final. I’m planning to go to the US in February – this has always been part of my plan. We went last year and it worked out really well” he explained.And he commented on how lucky he is to have the horse with which he won today.“Cornet d’Amour is jointly owned by Stephan Conter of Stephex Stables and Hunter Harrison from America. Stephex Stables is a very big sales centre for horses so it is great that, thanks to these two people, I now have two great horses for myself to ride so I can really make a plan and get to the good shows. It costs a lot to have horses on the road, and grooms and show expenses so, once in a while, it is great to get to keep some good ones!” he said appreciatively.Today’s result has moved Deusser into ninth place on the Western European League leaderboard from which the top-18 will qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2013/2014 in April. The next leg of the series takes place in Leipzig, Germany on January 19.Results1, Cornet d’Amour (Daniel Deusser) GER 0/0 35.66; 2, Lunatic (Jens Fredricson) SWE 0/0 36.43; 3, Nuage Bleu (Pilar Cordon) ESP 0/0 37.94; 4, Zenith (Jeroen Dubbeldam) NED 0/Ret; 5, Ego van Orti (Edwina Tops-Alexander) AUS 1/73.87; 6, Diablesse de Muze (Joe Clee) GBR 4/67.76; 7, Silvana HDC (K Staut) FRA 4/68.07; 8, Louis IV (Beat Mandli) SUI 4/68.19; 9, Castlefield Eclipse (Paul Estermann) SUI 4/69.17; 10, Bufero van het Panishof (Dirk Demeersman) BEL 4/69.20.Full results here Email* We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding.
The Department of English at Whittier College seeks anAfrican-Americanist to fill the inaugural Bayard Rustin TeachingFellowship. The Rustin Fellowship is designed to recruit and retainfaculty from historically underrepresented groups to WhittierCollege. Applicants may be either recent Ph.D.s or in the writingstage of the dissertation. Rustin Fellows enjoy ample time forresearch and writing while teaching a reduced load andcollaborating with colleagues to develop high impact-pedagogies anddeepen the department’s curricular investments in equity andinclusion. Fellows will teach three courses during the year (in aFall//Spring calendar), at a salary of $67,000 with a small fundfor research & professional development. The Fellowship is forone year and renewable for a second, pending favorable review.Rustin Fellows are also eligible for tenure-track consideration,pending budgetary and administrative approval.Founded by Quakers in 1887, Whittier is an independent,four-year liberal arts college with about 1,700 undergraduates,ideally situated in the scenic hills 18 miles southeast of downtownLos Angeles.The liberal arts experience at Whittier College isdistinguished by small classes and high-impact pedagogies thatencourage students to embrace diversity and act withintegrity.Whittier faculty have a passion for teaching and advisingundergraduate students and are committed to weaving issues ofequity and inclusion into their work. The student body at Whittiermirrors the diversity of greater Los Angeles. As anHispanic-serving and Asian American Native American PacificIslander-serving institution, Whittier is one of the most diverseliberal arts colleges in the country. We are an AA/EOEemployer. We invite applicants to submit by April 15, 2021 a letterof application focused on the candidate’s teaching aspirations, aswell as a graduate transcript, CV, two letters of reference and a10-15 page sample of scholarship to the Chair of the EnglishDepartment, Jonathan Burton. All materials should besubmitted to Interfolio at https://apply.interfolio.com/16625/positionsPreliminary interviews will be conducted by telephone in lateApril.
Creatively excludedIn early April, Texas-based movie theater and restaurant operator SCGM, Inc. sued its insurer over coronavirus coverage after its venues were forced to close.The suit was one of many that have been filed across the U.S. in recent weeks, but SCGM’s was special in one particular way. Instead of the general business-interruption insurance that most other plaintiffs claimed, SCGM had actually gone through the trouble of securing a pandemic-specific policy.SCGM’s pandemic insurance was provided by underwriter PLIS Inc. through the Lloyd’s of London insurance marketplace, and came in the form of a “Pandemic Endorsement” attached to a product known as “Trade Name Restoration,” which primarily covered risks from food-borne illnesses.“This type of policy will fill in the gaps that others creatively exclude or do not address,” promotional material for the insurance product declares. In addition, it will cover “business interruption along with extra expenses with crisis management that is crucial during pandemic and food borne illness events.”But once the novel coronavirus arrived on American shores in late January, it turned out that the PLIS policy had gaps and creative exclusions of its own, the lawsuit alleges. After filing a claim in mid-March, SCGM says it received this response: “[Covid-19] is not covered under the Pandemic Event Endorsement as it is not a named disease on that endorsement.”Of course, Covid-19 could not have been named in the insurance policy, because the disease did not yet exist at the time that the policy was written. SARS, however, is named — and SCGM’s complaint goes to considerable lengths to demonstrate that Covid-19 is a “mutation or variation” of SARS, in order to prove that it should still be covered.PLIS did not respond to requests for comment.Do Insurance YourselfWith most insurers reluctant to deal with the risks surrounding pandemic events, some businesses have decided to take on the risks themselves through a structure known as “captive” insurance — in which the entity that is providing the insurance is fully owned by the insured business itself.Due to the potential for abuse and tax evasion, the Internal Revenue Service began ramping up scrutiny of captive insurance schemes earlier this year, the New York Times reported. But the coronavirus crisis has given the arrangement an opportunity to prove its worth, as a way of insuring against “black swan” events.A lot of the captive insurance policies are underwritten for events that are “low-frequency, high-severity risks,” Kacie Dillon of law firm Woolston & Tarter told the Times. “It’s not great that we have the coronavirus, but it does show how captives can be a useful tool for business.”Traditional insurers can also help with the process of setting up a captive policy, through an arrangement known as “fronting.” The insurer will issue a policy, but the captive will take on the risk.Insurance firm AIG, for example, has provided such services to hotel clients. A presentation from the company’s alternative risk solutions group describes a deal in which the firm provided fronting for a hospitality client. In that case, the client was looking to protect itself from a business interruption loss “arising from a pandemic event” that would “cause potentially significant reduction in revenue if customers avoided the business due to health concerns.”Already on fireSilicon Valley, unsurprisingly, has also tried its hand at providing insurance for pandemics. San Francisco-based startup Metabiota, which had worked with the West African government of Sierra Leone to fight ebola in 2015, pivoted to the insurance business in 2018.The startup teamed up with insurance brokerage Marsh, and German reinsurer Munich RE to launch PathogenRX, “an innovative solution for pandemic and epidemic risks.” The companies envisioned real estate as one of its key markets.“Shopping malls, entertainment venues, and mixed-use properties rely on consumer confidence and the ability of people to move about without fear for their safety and health,” according to now eerily prescient promotional material.But not a single company bought this insurance, according to Insurance Journal. Now, Marsh is receiving a barrage of inquiries.“Unfortunately, it’s too late,” Marsh’s Peter Lacovara told the publication earlier this month. “The coronavirus is excluded from coverage. That would not have been the case as recently as last November. But you can’t buy insurance for your house when it’s already on fire.”The private sector appears unable to provide affordable pandemic insurance on its own, said NMHC’s Donnelly.“We do believe the government needs to be there to ease the private sector insurance market into this space, so that the coverage that does exist can be attainable to businesses that ultimately need it,” Donnelly said.The next big oneWhile disputes continue to rage over whether pre-existing insurance policies might be required to pay claims on coronavirus-related losses, business groups are also considering how they will be able to protect themselves against similar events in the future.On April 20, a coalition of business organizations directed an open letter to leaders of Congress, expressing support for the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020. It would set up a federal “backstop” for pandemic and epidemic insurance claims. The program is modeled after the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 which was adopted after the 9/11 attacks.Several real estate trade organizations are signatories to the letter, including the National Multifamily Housing Council, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Building Owners and Managers Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.Donnelly added that his organization is also backing another initiative that would establish a Recovery Fund for businesses, modelled after the Victim Compensation Fund established after 9/11.A backstop is needed urgently, the letter’s authors say: “The vanishingly few businesses who have been able to obtain pandemic coverage endorsements to their policies will not be covered for Covid-19, or any mutation of it, if the virus returns this winter.” This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now The interior of Lloyd’s of London (Credit: Leon NealL/AFP via Getty Images, CDC)Hotel owners nationwide have likely deployed teams of lawyers to scour their insurance policies, hoping to find a clause that covers a portion of the monumental damages inflicted as a result of Covid-19. Most of them have been sorely disappointed.But a very small number may be holding a trump card. In New York City, Rotem Rosen’s Hotel Indigo Lower East Side appears to be one of the lucky ones, or one of the more strategic.The boutique hotel is among the very few whose insurance policy covers business losses caused by “diseases and epidemics.” The property — which remains open — is losing money and Rosen’s MRR Development recently landed a $1.7 million small business loan to cover payroll and other expenses. But it could stand to receive a much bigger payout.Rosen’s firm has “informed the insurance company of its intention to file a claim,” according to a recent public filing. The payout remains uncertain, and Rosen declined to provide specifics about the Hotel Indigo’s policy.ADVERTISEMENTIf MRR does get reimbursed for coronavirus-related losses, it would be a rarity in the real estate world. And just as the September 11 terrorist attacks led to major changes in how terrorism risk is insured-against in the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic is set to have long-lasting effects on pandemic insurance. The devastation has led several real estate trade groups to join other business leaders in support of a push to create a federal backstop for pandemic and epidemic insurance claims.Ever since the SARS epidemic of the early 2000s, insurers have generally excluded virus- and bacteria-related losses from their coverage because it would be too costly — one hotel chain, Mandarin Oriental International, received a $16 million payout after SARS.In recent years, a handful of providers have attempted to offer insurance specifically to cover risks associated with pandemics, but none has gained widespread acceptance — and some have even failed to pay out now that a pandemic is actually here.“What we’ve heard from our partners in the insurance industry is that from their perspective, it’s just extremely hard to model pandemic risk, and we certainly understand that,” said Kevin Donnelly, vice president for government affairs at the National Multifamily Housing Council. “And many folks said the same exact thing about modeling terrorism risk after 9/11. ”Already, a flurry of lawsuits and lobbying initiatives across the country provides a sense of what may be to come.Read moreIn bid for relief, restaurants wage lobbying war against insurersFlorida’s risky real-estate game is protected by a billion-dollar insurance industry — but that could soon change Rotem Rosen lands SBA loan on Hotel Indigo to keep lights on
Geoffrey Pridham is professor of European politics at Bristol University and author of Designing Democracy: EU enlargement and regime change in post-Communist Europe. Romania and Bulgaria are both to join the EU in 2007-08. Integrating the Balkans, on the face of it one of the thorniest issues on the EU agenda, is moving ahead rather quickly.But there are signs that actual EU accession is becoming a more arduous process, something reflected in Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn’s strict approach to conditionality compared to that of his predecessor Günter Verheugen. Both Romania and Bulgaria are now being subjected to stricter procedures in the final stage before joining. A new safeguard clause has been written into the accession treaties, allowing for a year’s delay to membership if certain conditions are not met. The Commission isconsidering applying this final-stage procedure to future accession states. Its latest monitoring reports lists requirements Bulgaria and Romania must meet over the coming months. There is a growing realisation in Brussels that the next enlargements will place a more serious burden on the EU to bring about systemic change in candidate countries. Or as one observer has it: “Enlargement is coming to be seen not as a way of exporting stability, but of importing instability.” It has long been recognised that democratic consolidation in the post-Communist world beyond Eastern and Central Europe was going to be more arduous, if not a more dubious proposition. But any decline in the EU’s commitment to further enlargement will weaken the motivation to democratise, in the Western Balkans and also in Ukraine and Georgia. The principal lesson from the 2004 enlargement process is the all-importance of movement and optimism. In their absence, or with delays, things get more complicated. There is an essential relationship between achieving conditionality and the dynamics of accession. The EU’s strategic dilemma is whether member states are prepared to think long-term. Will they be driven by more immediate concerns? Or simply procrastinate, as has happened at recent summits? Not just regional security, but perhaps the eventual borders of the EU depend on how the balance is struck. Further political conditions have been added to those applied during the 2004 enlargement process. These include the arrest of war criminals in Serbia-Montenegro and Croatia. For Bosnia there was insistence on a radical and contentious police reform: parliamentary endorsement finally opened the way for the SAA talks. The experience of the big-bang enlargement of 2004 has brought a shift to demanding concrete implementation of EU conditions rather than merely formal or legislative commitments. Some of the class of 2004 proved less than rigorous in implementing judicial reform, anti-corruption policy and better treatment of the Roma. Another of the lessons learned from the big bang has been to adopt a less top-down approach and a more intense involvement of NGOs.The new applicant states also face a new procedure allowing for negotiations to be interrupted on a chapter-by-chapter basis. This new approach is strongly influenced by the Turkish case. Doubts about starting negotiations with Turkey were neutralised by insisting that talks would be “open-ended”; there was no guarantee of eventual EU membership. Inevitably, other accession states like Croatia have been linked with this line. The new approach to conditionality is also a reflection of the difficulty of integrating, or democratising, applicant states from the WesternBalkans and, perhaps, former Soviet republics. Stressing ‘stabilisation’ alongside ‘association’ in the Western Balkans carries its own challenge for future democratic conditionality.
My Morning Jacket returned triumphantly earlier in 2015, bringing some of the year’s best music on their new release, The Waterfall. With Jim James and company perpetually touring in support of the new album, the band has fine tuned their new music and performed it to perfection.An Exclusive Look Into ‘The Waterfall,’ My Morning Jacket’s First Album In Four YearsOne of those new songs was “Compound Fracture”, and one of those tour dates was at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. The National Landmark hosted MMJ last month, on August 14th, and the band pieced together Danny Clinch’s footage from the show to produce this exciting new video. Watch below:My Morning Jacket kicks off their fall tour tonight, September 30th, at the Keller Auditorium in Portland, OR. Stay tuned for coverage from this exciting tour opener!My Morning Jacket West Coast Dates9/30 – Portland, OR @ Keller Auditorium* 10/2 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre* 10/3 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre* 10/6 – Boise, ID @ Revolution Event Center* 10/7 – Magna, UT @ The Great Saltair* 10/9 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas* 10/10 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas* 10/11 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl+ 10/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Auditorium# 10/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Nob Hill Masonic Center+ 10/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Nob Hill Masonic Center+ 10/17 – San Francisco, CA @ Nob Hill Masonic Center+ 10/19 – San Diego, CA @ SDSU Open Air Theater+ 10/20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre+ 10/22 – Austin, TX @ Austin Music Hall+ 10/23 – Austin, TX @ Austin Music Hall+ 10/24 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie+*With Strand of Oaks +With Fruit Bats #With Fruit Bats & Dr. Dog
Nine teams. Sixteen drivers. One Monster Energy NASCAR Cup.The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs start now, and the postseason field that resulted from a memorable regular season under an enhanced points structure is one of intrigue.Of the 16 drivers, there are six past champions — including seven-time champ Jimmie Johnson — mixed with millennials like Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing are represented, but so, too, are the resurgent Roush Fenway Racing and Wood Brothers Racing teams.It’s a playoffs field with a little bit of everything.“It’s really incredible,” NASCAR President Brent Dewar told NASCAR.com. “You have a seven-time champion going for history. We also have drivers like Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott, and you see their genuine excitement that they’re racing for a championship. And at the other end, Jimmie’s excited like a little kid, wanting to win his eighth.“We’ve worked hard on the competitive balance on the series. The current format is win and advance, and it’s gratifying to see the diversity of the organizations that are in, and the number of different types of wins.”RELATED: Lifelong love of cars, racing fueled DewarSome of those wins have been dominant — top seed Martin Truex Jr. comes to mind, with his performances at Kentucky and Las Vegas. Some have been last-second, like Kurt Busch’s last-lap pass to win the Daytona 500, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. swiping the lead from Kyle Busch at Talladega after the white flag dropped.“Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch had the best regular season, but they still have to perform well in the playoffs,” Dewar said. “We think we’ve landed on a really compelling format that rewards success throughout the regular season. One of the things I love about our teams and our drivers is that they’ll adjust and make it even more compelling next year.”Other topics Dewar discussed in the NASCAR.com interview include:• The evolving role of the driver council: “The driver council started with a really simple concept: ‘Let’s fix these things.’ Now it’s moved into very strategic discussions. When we talked to the drivers last year, they never set out to say, ‘Gee, we’d like to have stages.’ But we asked them what made them really get up on the wheel and they began talking about the race within the race. The outcome of that was stages.”• Evolution of stage racing: “We’re happy with the format, but there’s no question the race teams are very innovative. There’s very much a learned science approach they take to stage racing. I think this year we learned a lot about if the stages are the right length, how does it interact with the tire strategy and the fuel strategy. If anything, those will be the only tweaks. What’s a key part of the stage racing is not just the driver, but it’s the driver with the crew chief and the driver with the car chief.”• The series’ first regular-season champion, Martin Truex Jr.: “The drivers said, ‘We would like to crown a regular-season champion.’ They were concerned a driver could have the most incredible season, but could be eliminated by something outside the driver’s control in that first round. It wasn’t an easy solve, but we thought about it as an industry and it led to a really exciting, compelling format that rewards success throughout the season.”• The role of iRacing: “There’s many different pathways to get to the national series. Many drivers will start in go-karting and midgets, and we have a great HomeTracks program across the country. Those are the natural ways people will follow. But it’s 2017, and we have an incredible product in iRacing where, with the math data we can pull off the tracks today, you can race just like you can on tracks with some of the same simulation activities. It’s a big opportunity for our future.”• Drivers having a variety of platforms (social media, radio, podcasts) with which to reach fans: “We want them to have a personality. We don’t want them to be robotic. If someone hasn’t listened to the Glass Case of Emotion with Ryan (Blaney) and Kim (Coon), it’s incredible. It’s authentic. It’s them.’Happy Hours’ on SiriusXM Radio, that’s a perfect venue for Kevin Harvick. He’s very thoughtful. He’s seen the sport from every angle, and he has a sports management company. We think we’re onto something really special here.”
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have released a pair of live albums to benefit relief efforts in response to devastating wildfires in their native Australia.Related: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Unleash Rock Fury At Central Park SummerStage [Photos]The Melbourne-bred psych outfit released two live albums on Bandcamp, one of which was recorded in Adelaide, Australia last year. Proceeds from Live In Adelaide ’19 go to Wildlife Victoria, an Australian wildlife emergency response program that operates shelters throughout Victoria. The second live album comes from a 2019 concert in Paris, and the earnings from that release go to benefit Animals Australia, an organization that fights against animal cruelty.The albums are available for a minimum of $10 Australian (AUD), roughly $6.88 USD, or more, as there is a name your price option which allows users to donate additional funds.Stream the live albums from King Gizzard, Live In Adelaide ’19 and Live In Paris ’19, below.King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Live In Adelaide ’19 (Full album)<a href=”http://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-adelaide-19″>Live In Adelaide ’19 by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard</a>King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Live In Paris ’19 (Full album)<a href=”http://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-paris-19″>Live In Paris ’19 by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard</a>These humanitarian efforts follow a 12-month period of what would be considered extreme productivity for any band other than King Gizzard. The group released two full-length albums, Fishing For Fishies and Infest the Rat’s Nest. The Lizard Wizards show no signs of slowing down in 2020 as they have announced literal “marathon shows” at the Greek Theatre in Berkley, CA and Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Morrison, CO. As if that wasn’t enough, the band also announced a spring tour of the United States and Canada between the “marathon shows.”Tickets for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s upcoming concerts are available through their website.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took an important step forward in reopening the state’s artistic communities on Monday with the announcement of NY PopsUp. The statewide arts festival will see over 300 performances from a variety of artists over 100 days. NY PopsUp is set to begin on February 20th and run through Labor Day.The festivities will begin on February 20th in New York City with a free performance at the Javits Center by Jon Batiste, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and Ayodele Casel who will then travel across the city’s five boroughs to perform in parks, street corners, and outside Elmhurst Hospital and St. Barnabas Hospital.These free events will take place throughout the spring and summer primarily at outdoor locations such as parks, street corners, parking lots, museums, subway platforms, and even fire escapes. Governor Cuomo also stated that some shows will take place at venues without fixed seats that could therefore be readjusted to accommodate social distancing such as The Shed, The Apollo Theater, Harlem Stage, La MaMa, and The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater.Related: COVID-19 Concert Cancellation Tracker: Gauging How Long The Event Shutdown Will Last [Updates]Film producers Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men, Lady Bird) and Jane Rosenthal (Tribeca Film Festival) have been selected to run NY PopsUp. The series of events will serve as a “pilot program” to determine how to best reintroduce live events across the state. In an effort to limit the size of the crowds, many of the shows will not be announced in advance. Though the full lineup has not been revealed, future performances have been announced from Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Patti Smith, Q-Tip, Aparna Nancherla, Dev Hynes, Mandy Patkin, and Renée Fleming.“We’re trying to thread the needle,” Cuomo told The New York Times. “We want the performances. We don’t want mass gatherings, we don’t want large crowds.”The state has set up new Twitter and Instagram accounts, @NYPopsUp, that will reveal details about upcoming performances. Many will also be shown online.This announcement came on the same day that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the city’s “Open Culture” initiative. Beginning on March 1st, the city will open up to 115 designated public spaces for live, ticketed performances. Entertainers will be able to apply for a performance permit ahead of time and the city will assign an area best suited for the act.“It will bring stages to our neighborhoods, and culture to the heart of our neighbors, and [will] give artists, cultural institutions, and creatives a place to showcase their talents as they recover from the pandemic,” NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals said during the press conference.[H/T Billboard]
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) – Authorities say multiple ambulances have taken injured people, including children, from the scene of a head-on collision between a school bus and a pickup truck in southwest Ohio.There was no immediate word on their conditions, but police say they driver of the pickup truck appeared to have the most serious injuries. Several children were injured, but none was believed to be hurt seriously.The bus was a Middletown City Schools bus. The accident happened around 8 a.m. Wednesday in Franklin Township, which neighbors the city. School officials say the bus was providing shuttle service for students attending a private Christian school.