As the decades pass since the Grateful Dead’s inception in 1965, the group’s music lives on and thrives. Over the weekend, The Barton Hills Choir from Austin, Texas posted a heartwarming video that highlights exactly why this beloved music is not likely to fade away. The Barton Hills Choir is made up of 2nd through 6th graders from Austin, Texas’s Barton Hills Elementary School along with local musicians. In this latest video, during an end-of-year assembly, the choir performs the Dead’s legendary ballad, “Brokedown Palace” with their chorus with dozens of singers, a piano, drums, guitar, and bass. Ringing in at four minutes in length, the video highlights a number of young soloists as well as a musical interlude that lets the adult musicians show off their chops.EXCLUSIVE: How The Viral High School Cover Of Phish’s “Divided Sky” Came To BeThe Barton Hills Choir has a history of performing Dead tunes over the last year. Their angelic rendition of “Fire on the Mountain” was arranged by Mickey Hart himself and shared widely around the web. In September of last year, the group released a sixteen-track album featuring hits from David Bowie, The Foo Fighters, and the Dead, including numbers like “Touch Of Grey,” “Ripple,” and “Cassidy.” You can listen to their album here. In the comments of the video, the Barton Hills Choir noted that there’s more Grateful Dead on the way from this group of stellar young performers, stating that the choir will work on “Box of Rain” next and that it’s the “hardest song ever.” Videos of children singing the Grateful Dead and other bands we love inevitably hold a special place in many of our hearts, as it only underlines the point that the music has a voice with the next generation and that they’re just as eager to keep it alive. You can check out the video of the Barton Hills Choir’s rendition of “Brokedown Palace” below, courtesy of the group, and keep your eyes peeled for their version of “Box Of Rain” next school year!Brokedown Palace – The Barton Hills Choir
Smartwool is jumping into the running short game in the Spring of 2013. They will be offering a run short which has a 5” inseam as well as a long run short that have a 7” inseam. Smartwool sent me a pair of their Long Run Shorts to test, and over the course of this fall and winter I put them through their paces.Let’s start with the positives about these shorts. First they are incredibly comfortable. The internal brief is made of merino wool and not only provides excellent support; it is also comfortable and does not chafe or rub in any areas. You runners out there know that there is nothing worse than an uncomfortable pair of shorts. I was sent the Graphite colored shorts and they are quite attractive with a lime colored brief, which provides a great contrast to the gray.For Smartwool’s first offering they did a great job with a few of the more technical aspects of the shorts. First they managed to put a pocket on the shorts. A zippered back pocket that is just big enough for a set of keys or a gel. For a race day short sure you don’t need a pocket, but for all the runs out your door or those longer runs a little pocket is quite nice. I do most of my weekday runs in the evening. This is when my running partner is available, so I try to take precautions to be safe. Reflectors, lights, etc are a must and the Smartwool shorts have full 360-degree reflectivity plus a reflective logo on the right hem. I think this is great because even if you forget a blinkie you at least have a bit of flash to help make you visible.Now to move onto a few things that I think could be improved. First up is the drawstring. To get the short sufficiently snug I felt like I really had to crank down on the drawstring, which stretches a lot. I ended up with a lot of excess drawstring and think having a thicker less stretchy drawstring material could help. My next complaint, my last, is more of a preference than a complaint really. I ran cross-country and track in high school and am used to a shorter short. I had a tough time enjoying the length of the long run short. With a 7” inseam they came to my knees, and while I never had an issue with the material grabbing at my thigh, it just wasn’t what I am used to. I suggest going with the regular run short (5” inseam) and not the long version if you are used to shorter shorts. On the flip side of this I am sure there are an equal amount of people who are excited for the long option so they aren’t flashing their thighs to the general public.Overall I think these shorts are a great addition to Smartwool’s running gear quiver. A merino brief is amazing, and I think with a better drawstring and the regular model these would be a perfect pair of shorts. Get prepared for the Spring Running season and get yourself a pair.You can find these shorts here and they run $80.