Wednesday, December 21, 2005

December Consumption


The Promise Ring - Nothing Feels Good
Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
Chad van Gaalen - Infiniheart
Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
Madonna - Confessions on a Dance Floor


I Should be Dead By Now by Dennis Rodman
Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Regrettably "Ass" Free

When we arrived at the Circuit last night, we had no idea what other bands we were playing with. It's all good, because none of us had really high expectations anyway. But one look at the marquee changed all that. Johnny Tight Lips...Luck of the Draw...and...The Ass Assassinators. How could a night playing with the Ass Assassinators be bad?

The joy was short lived. The Assassinators had cancelled. We drowned our sorrows in rock and brought the house down.

Second Chance for Arrested Development?

Despite the fact that the idiots at Fox have cancelled Arrested Development, there may be hope for the Sutherlands' favorite show. Too bad we won't be able to see it. The rumor is that Showtime may pick up the show. That would mean that I would have to not only give up my cable boycott, but get the premium channels as well. Not bloody likely.

[thanks, Nilay, for the link]

Friday, December 09, 2005

Fatherhood First

I was peed on for the first time last night. Not the holding-the-baby-and-she-leaks type of pee. This was a direct hit, drenching my entire shirt - which is pretty impressive for a little girl.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Costco Caskets are to Die For!

When did the store famous for selling mega-sized toilet paper and ketchup become the preferred retailer of EVERYTHING? Are you in charge of burying someone tomorrow and just don't have time to run over to the mortuary to pick out a casket? Well heck, just go online and check out Costco's selection. You'll really impress folks with the "Kentucky Rose" model. With overnight shipping, you can procrastinate right up to the last second! Sweet.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Don't mess with the Dutch - When it Comes to Dominoes

Those dang Dutch, they love their dominoes. But be careful, you might just get shot.

Here's the story. [Thanks, RB, for the link.]

We're Home!

After nearly five days at the hospital, we've all arrived back home. To celebrate, I've posted a bunch of pictures. Hoorah.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Arrival

We're happy to announce that baby Paige was born November 15 at 2:15 p.m. She weighs 6 lbs 14 oz and is 19 inches long. We're not sure where she came from because she has very dark brown hair. She's absolutely beautiful!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Birthing Class #5: Give Me Back My Belly Fruit

I have officially graduated from Birthing Class. (Well, not really. It’s not like you get a certificate or anything. But I think you should.) Through four classes I did not raised my hand, did not ask questions, did not volunteer. I just sat in the back of the class and tried not to throw up. So I didn’t think it would be a big deal if I went to class wearing the t-shirt that I had just made in my screenprinting class an hour earlier. The shirt had a giant picture of my face on it. Traci said it was embarrassing. I said no one would even see it.

For class number 5 we had a new teacher. She was all about in-class participation and even made us wear nametags. When she asked for four dads to volunteer, I looked around and saw that there were only 5 men in the class. Well, I would be the one guy who wouldn’t volunteer. And if the teacher started calling on people, I’d still have a 20 percent chance of not being picked. I must have been emitting an odor of fear, because she looked right at me, identified my name tag, and called me to the front of the class.

The four of us were to have a diaper-changing competition. Wow, what pressure -especially since I was wearing a t-shirt with my face on it, just like a rock star. No worries. My skills prevailed, earning me a victory and a blue razz Super Pop. (Get it? I’m a super Pop. Clever.)

So we’re done with birthing class. Now there’s nothing left to do, but to birth. No problem.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Brotha Finally Gets Paid

A big "thank you" to everyone who came to see us at Burt's Tiki Lounge Wednesday night. For those who couldn't make it, you missed out. The opening band was a 40+ year-old, methed-out, emaciated version of Rod Stewart who, accompanied by a bass player and a laptop played more than an hour of cover songs.

I thought the laptop was just going to serve as a drum machine. Nope, it was more like karaoke. The backup tracks included drums, keyboards, backup vocals and guitar solos. They rocked Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel and the Rolling Stones. All the while, the singer's eyes bugged out and he had to keep sticking his tongue out. Frightening. When he finally spoke it was like, "Garble, garble, garble, more songs, garble, garble. "

Though we thought we were going to play around 9:30 p.m., we finally took the stage around 11:30. I am happy to report that it was our best show to date. Even more important, the show at Burt's marks a first - the first time I have ever gotten paid for playing music. The band earned $30. That's right - $10 per band member. I am now technically a professional musician. Sweet.

F&*# the Informer played last and put on a very entertaining show including props such as a female mannequin leg and a torso wearing a fur coat. After seeing them only one time, I dare say that they may be the best SLC punk band since Homesick.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Birthing Class #4: The Ultimate Fast Food

I am convinced that if people went to birthing class before they got pregnant, no one would ever get pregnant. I'm telling you, child birth is gross and extremely complicated. At class #4 we took a tour of the hospital. We went around the labor/delivery rooms, the c-section rooms and the postpartum rooms. Our tour guide even said we could look at a bunch of umbilical cords in a fridge if we wanted. I chose to stay out in the hall and one of the pregnant lady's "partners" (who was a 16-year-old girl) told me I was being a wuss. I gave her my coldest stare and stayed where I was.

After the tour we went into a classroom for a lesson on breast feeding. We watched a video from 1985 about "the most recent scientific studies." Talk about propaganda, not only is breast feeding like the best thing in the entire world ever, but one of the section headings was actually "Breastfeeding: The Ultimate Fast Food." One of the testimonial characters said, "My baby loves it. It's always the right flavor, the right tempature and the right amount. And I love it 'cause it's FREE!"

One more class to go.

Birthing Class #2: Soundtrack to Gross

This is the one I had feared. I knew sooner or later we were going to have to watch the live-birth video. I wasn't sure that my stomach would be able to take it.

We only watch videos in pregnancy class that were made before I was born. Apparently, either the medical world decided that making a pregnancy video after 1975 was superfluous, or the Cottonwood Hospital is just incredibly cheap.

Well, I did pretty good through the first 3/4 of the thing. I was strong despite the creepy lady with her arms wrapped around herself, swaying side to side like she was possessed as she had contractions in her rocking chair. I was strong despite her equally creepy-nice husband was comforting and loving. I wasn't so strong once her pants came off. I closed my eyes tight when that baby started coming out. Unfortunately, I forgot to plug my ears as well.

"Hear comes the baby," said the doctor. I thought the coast was clear, until I heard the SPLASH! of amniotic fluids hit the hospital floor. One of the pregnant girls in our class screamed. That made me feel better.

November Consumption


The Bruce Lee Band - Beautiful World
The OC: Mix 2
The OC: Mix 4
Radiohead - Kid A
MXPX - The Ever Passing Moment
Youth Group - Skeleton Jar
Common - Be
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
The Early November - This Room's Too Cold
Armor for Sleep - What To Do When You Are Dead


Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Birthing Class #3: Block Busters

At the start of class, our instructor gave each couple a pregnancy crossword puzzle to test how well we had been listening our previous sessions. After a few minutes we went over the answers as a class. The gentleman sitting next to me was very anxious to show the class how much he had learned.

Teacher: An incision sometimes made in the perineum-

Guy next to me: EPISIOTOMY!

Teacher: Good. The opening or "neck" of the uter-


Guy's wife (quietly): Shhh. Okay, you've answered some questions.

Teacher: Blood tinged dischar-


Guy's wife
(not so quietly): Alright, you need to chill. Seriously.

Mucous Plug! That's a hard one. Boy, this guy was good. He should be on Pregnancy Jeopardy, he'd be the next Ken Jennings.

October Consumption


Sufjan Stevens - Greetings from Michigan
Rise Against - Revolutions Per Minute
The Early November - The Room's Too Cold
Ok Go - Oh No
Iron & Wine/Calexico - In the Reins

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabees and the New Reality of Race in America by Bakari Bitwana

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Martha Stewart: Indestructible Robot

I've suspected it all along, but today it was proven -- Martha Stewart really is a robot! "“I have learned that I really cannot be destroyed," Stewart said in a recent article. Not only is she a robot, but she can't be destroyed!! Earth to mankind, Martha will be annihilating our race shortly!

It turns out Martha was pretty bummed because she thought that her Martha Stewart Apprentice was going to replace Donald Trump's, and that she was going to get to fire The Donald on her show. No such luck, robot.

Read the article here.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Birthing Class Number 1: Happy Uterus

Hightlights - Birthing Class #1

About two minutes into the class, the instructor asks for two male volunteers to come up to the front. Traci tries to jab me into volunteering - uh, I don't think so. Two suckers, however, do raise their hands. The lady gives each of them a marker and sends them to the white board.

"Okay," she says. "We're going to play Pictionary." I know this isn't going to be good. The men take their positions at the whiteboard. "Alright, on the count of three I want each of you to draw a uterus. One, two, three!"

Both men have the identical blank stare on their faces. After a few "uhs" and "ohs" they each make their attempt. The first guy draws a random pattern that's not really a circle and not really a square. The second guy starts with a circle, then adds two dots and a curve. That's right, a smiley face. Or as I like to call it, a happy uterus.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Axl Rose Named Coolest Old Person In Teen Mag Poll — Right After 'Grandparents'

Even with those stupid braids - the teens still love Axl Rose. But they also love Clint Eastwood, Elvis Costello and Mick Jagger. What's wrong with these stupid kids?

Read the story here.

Death Cab For Cutie Squash the Beef

First off, I apologize that all of my posts have been hopelessly outdated lately. That said, some news from a couple of weeks ago:

X96 got their little feelings hurt the other day when Death Cab came to town. The station started promoting an in-studio performance at AirWaves by the band and they were going to invite fans to come down and see it. I found this to be a bit strange because I have never heard a Death Cab song on X96.

You're a Boner!

Then all of the sudden I started hearing commercials on The End advertising a performance in their studio. Hmm, both stations? What's up with that? Apparently, Death Cab ditched their X96 to play at The End. X96 was so mad that they nominated DCFC to be "the boner of the week:"

"Death Cab For Cutie": The band "Death Cab For Cuties" was supposed to come into Airwaves to play a song or two for some X96 fans. When they arrived, they decided that they didn't want any of the fans there. When asked if they could play in a studio with a window, they refused. When asked if they could play in a studio without any windows, they refused. Finally they decided that they just weren't going to play, but told Todd Nukem to lie to the fans and tell them that one of the band members wasn't feeling well. Apparently realizing their mistake, they visited another radio station and played for a live audience.
No, You're the Boner!

DCFC guitarist Chris Walla [in picture, left of guy with ugly hair] didn't think that X96 was telling the whole story. Here's what he posted to X96's website:

This is Chris from Death Cab for Cutie. I don't particularly want to argue or be a very large part of this conversation, but clearly we've done some irreparable damage to our relationship with KXRK, and with a few of our fans, and some statement should be made on our behalf. I always prefer that such statements are personal, and not handed down from management or wherever, so here it is.

It's important to note that, since our first show in November of 1997, we have canceled exactly three scheduled engagements. One was in 1999 when Ben was violently ill with heat stroke in Austin. Another was in Houston last year when the electricity went out at the venue, and the roof was leaking onto the stage. The third cancelation was last week, at KXRK in Salt Lake City.

It's simply not in our nature to walk out on an obligation without reason - this should be obvious from our track record. We love performing, we enjoy talking with our fans, and we still freak out when we get to meet our favorite bands.

There are a few realities, as a successful-bordering-on-famous band, that we're having to learn. We've always prided ourselves on our approachability, but as the lights get brighter it becomes more difficult, and more uncomfortable, to negotiate uncontrolled situations. We've gotten stuck a few times now doing promotional things that went haywire; appearances that have gotten uncomfortable or even ugly.

The point of all this is that we'll do just about anything if we have all the information, if we know what we're getting ourselves into. We, by way of management and our label, agreed to a live, in-studio performance at KXRK. We did not agree to put on a show in the lobby of an office building. Those two things are not the same. The station told all its listeners, all of you, to come see a performance that we neither agreed to nor were we ready for. I apologize to anyone who made the trek to the station to see us play, and was disappointed by our no show. You were given false information. And really, all the station had to do to make it seamless was to let us know the score - we'd have brought different instruments; our engineer would have come along; we would have brought the silver Sharpies to sign our black record for you; I'd have made a concerted effort to brush my teeth. And most importantly, we'd have known we were going to meet you. It's like when your roommate throws a party when you thought it was going to be a nice, quiet evening at home. We simply weren't prepared.

By contrast, our engagement at the other station in town was spotless. They were clear, detailed and professional in their communication with us, and we knew exactly what to expect. It wasn't a public performance; there was no PA, and therefore, no need to have our engineer along.

Whatever you end up thinking about us as a result of all this is ultimately alright (actually, I encourage the homophobes to stay away, please). Just know - this goes for Todd Newcomb, as well as all the fans - that, in the course of nearly six hundred shows, a hundred radio performances and fifteen van tours, we've only bailed two other times: Once for illness and once for a power outage. Doesn't that imply that something actually went wrong?
Well, whoever was at fault, both parties have now kissed up made up. X96 did an on-air interview with Chris Walla and Radio From Hell team even rescinded their boner nomination. How sweet. For being the bad guys, I think DCFC ended up winning the celebrity battle, since now X96 is actually playing their music.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

R.I.P. Organ 2004 - 2005

It's official. I have traded in my organ to make room for a baby crib. What is this world coming to? For those of you out there who have always been jealous of my super rad organ, if you act fast you can probably still buy it from the Deseret Industries on 4500 South. Parenthood is imminent.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Donster vs. Ryan Seacrest

I had a very interesting dream last night. I was walking down through a street of dilapidated boardwalk-style shops with a friend of mine. He leaned over and said something to me about how my dad was a ways behind us. I said, “It’s all good. My dad’s cool. He’s got Ryan Seacrest with him.”

Sure enough, a few minutes later my dad and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest caught up with us. “Hello Ryan,” I said.

People tease Ryan Seacrest for being all straightening iron and no brains, and his response proved it, “Seacrest Out.” What? I thought. Isn’t that what he says at the end of American Idol, you know, the end?

I woke up right after talking to him and immediately thought to myself, I need to blog this. What is wrong with me?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Haunted by a Scary, Dead Japanese Boy

To celebrate the month of Halloween, we got together with our homeys the Bawdens last weekend. We carved pumpkins and watched “The Grudge.” For those of you who have not seen the movie, here is the plot:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is working in Japan as a nanny for the elderly. She goes to a house that is haunted by the ghost of an (un)dead little Japanese boy and his mom. For some reason they want to kill everyone who goes into the house. The plot doesn’t really make any sense at all, and all I could figure out was that all of the killing is preceded by a gurgling sound. If there’s gurgling, crazy stuff is going to go down. Luckily Buffy doesn’t die, so there can be a sequel.

Anyway, we go home and I wake up in the middle of the night. Traci is pregnant and can only get comfortable if she is sleeping on the couch. I’m all alone in the bedroom and I hear the gurgling. I look around. Is that dead Japanese kid in here? I don’t see him, so I guess he’s hiding under the bed. Why does the dead Japanese kid want to kill me? I ask myself. I can’t think of any valid reason, but I can still him gurgling. I listen more carefully. It’s close to the bed. Maybe it’s in the bed. I lean forward and it gets louder – as if it’s coming from my own stomach. I get up, get something to eat and the gurgling mysteriously stops. The kid doesn’t bother me for the rest of the night.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

But I Love 'The Chuck'

My dad has really stepped up his post-Priesthood Session game. Back in the day, I remember being treated to a shake at the Iceberg or Take 5. I don’t know what inspired the change, but the last few years we have started going to the Chuck-a-Rama after Conference.

I have previously expressed my love for The Chuck (I will soon be starring in a commercial called “But I Love ‘Chuck’”), but the Donster (previously My Dad vs. Email) upped his game again last weekend by taking my bro-in-law John and I to the Golden Corral.

Now, I’d never been to the Golden Corral before. Apparently, a requirement to be a successful buffet restaurant is to have an utterly unappealing name. Having just been at a corral at my grandpa’s ranch earlier that day, the idea of eating at a “Golden Corral” didn’t really seem appealing. Oh, but I was wrong. Very Swanky.

For you classy folk who are out on the buffet scene, here’s my comparison of The Chuck and the GC:

Beverages – The Chuck wins, hands down. Not only does the Chuck have a big ol’ selection including chocolate milk, exotic fruit drinks, and fake slurpees, but it is also self-serve. At the GC, you have to wait for the server to refill your drink with one of four boring flavors. However, the server does bring dinner rolls right to your table.

Meat – At the Chuck you get a choice of ham or roast beef. What else is there? I didn’t think there was anything else until I visited the GC. They’ll cook up some sirloin steak right there for you. I’ll take my steak medium-well, thanks! I also had some killer bourbon chicken.

Dessert-I was too full to eat dessert at the GC, after all of the steak and Brussel sprouts (that's right, Brussel sprouts!), but I’ll say this about the Chuck - any restaurant that serves Jell-O is okay by me.

Atmosphere – GC has better lighting and easier to get around. You don’t have to knock over 30 people to get from the salad to the soup like at the Chuck. The GC just feels classier.

Overall - The GC might be a bit nicer, but come on, we're talking about the Chuck here. How can you not love the Chuck?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Well kids, you missed a good show at the Circuit Tuesday night.

The Hightlights:
  • The Circuit was completely mohawk-free
  • Aaron's dad was there and he was packing heat (the show was in Midvale)
  • One of the high school-aged band's dad was very drunk and operating not only a big redneck truck, but also a video camera. I don't know which is scarier.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sutang Hearts Shaq

I was checking out for the first time today. I was quite impressed by the selection. Browsing through the "S" section, I found some unlikely hits including Saves the Day, Samiam, Saigon Kick and even Shaquille O'Neal.

Now, I must admit that I haven't paid much attention to Shaq's music career since he hit Yo! MTV Raps with his 1993 debut Shaq Diesel. But I must say that I was surprised today when I found out that the Man of Steel has 5 full-length albums. Who knew? You've got to hand it to the fella for not giving up on his dreams.

The video made me think about something that for whatever reason, I spend entirely too much time thinking about: Nate Dogg.

Odds are pretty good that if you have listened to 10 rap songs in the past 10 years, that 8 of them feature a chorus sung by Nate Dogg, a la "Regulators." Choruses - that's all the guy does. Talk about a niche market!

Snoop's cousin Nate (you know they're related, they have the same surname. Duh.) has made hits with Snoop, Warren G, Dre, 50 Cent, and even the dead version of Tupac. Songs featuring Nate Dogg have sold a total of 65 million copies. Are you kidding me?

Okay, music world. Are you ready for this? I have figured something out. These songs, er, choruses, they're all the same! They're all frickin' "Regulators!" No one cares. Everyone loved "Regulators."

I figure the average Nate Dogg day goes something like this:

10 am -- wake up.
noon -- write a one-line chorus
1 pm -- record that chorus
2 pm thru remainder of day -- lie on sacks of money

Check out a Shaq Video (ft. Nate Dogg OF COURSE!!)

Friday, September 16, 2005

But I Love "Chef"

The other day I was discussing my love for the accordian with a few of my co-workers. That led me to think about a Chef Boyardee commerical from a few months back - with the mom and little girl at the grocery store. If you haven't seen it, the mom says she's not buying the girl anymore Chef Boyardee and the girl says sadly, "But I love Chef." The can of Chef Boyardee then falls of the shelf, and to the girl's eventual bliss, follows her all the way home.

Well, I'm sucker for that little girl loving "Chef" so much, but the reason I was thinking about the commercial is because the coolest accordian song plays while the can is making the long journey from the grocery store the girl's house. I got so nostalgic for the commercial that I looked all over the internet to see if I could find it. I didn't have any luck, but I did find that some folks to had some VERY strong feelings about it.

The following story [from the workout diaries] just about killed me:

Exhibit #3,584,962 proving I might be sort of weird

This post about Chef Boyardee at the Donut made me think about something that's been bugging me for a while.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I HATE Chef Boyardee. It makes me gag. If I'm going to eat processed pasta, it's Spaghettios all the way.

That aside, you know that commercial? The one where the mom and the little girl are in the grocery store? No? Well, the plot goes a little something like this: Mom and Girl walking the processed pasta aisle at the supermarket, and Girl picks up a can of Chef Boyardee. Mom says, "No, honey, we've had Chef every night this week." Girl says, "But I love Chef." Being a obedient girl, though, she puts the can back on the shelf. After they have walked away, the can rolls off the shelf and follows them through the store...then into the parking lot and down the highway, and eventually into their house. Cut to the inside of the house, where Girl is sitting on the floor in the family/living room doing...something, and Mom calls from the kitchen, "What do you want for dinner?" Just then, the stalker can of "Chef" rolls into Girl's leg, she picks up the can, looks at it, and smiles knowingly. End of commercial.

Now, I have a few problems with this.

1. "We've had Chef every night this week." Seriously? Who's running that house? Because I'm telling must be a cold week in hell if I serve canned pasta every night for a week. Sure, I work all day, I'm not even all that fond of cooking, and Noah does have a deep and abiding love for Spaghettios...but EVERY NIGHT? Sure, it's got all those vitamins injected into it, so it's sort of quasi-healthy. But...every night?! Besides which, that mom doesn't have the sort of figure one would associate with someone who eats canned spaghetti regularly.

2. "Chef." "Chef?" I do not know a single person who calls Chef Boyardee "Chef". If it's nicknamed at all, we shorten to the type of mushy pasta that's actually in the can--"ravioli", "spaghetti", etc. Is this like UPS's moronic plan to make everyone call them "brown"? Because I hate that too.

3. "What do you want for dinner?" Okay, you were just at the grocery store, lady. That was probably a question you wanted to cover there. Didn't you go in with some kind of plan? At the very least, something looked good while you were there. Surely you bought ingredients that you could throw together into some semblance of a meal. Though maybe I'm projecting here...this is a woman who had "Chef" every night that week, after all.

4. The cliffhanger ending. So many unanswered questions. Okay, Girl's smiling at the can of "Chef", so presumably she is going to suggest to her decision-impaired mother that they should have Chef Boyardee again. Um, didn't Mom put the kibosh on that plan while they were at the store? That's going to go over well. Not. Especially since they didn't actually BUY the "Chef". This is how I like to imagine the resulting conversation would go:

Girl brings can of pasta into kitchen.

"How about this?"
Mom sighs. "No, I already told you at the sto--Wait! Where did you get that?! We didn't buy any! Did you steal it?!"
"Um, just bumped into my leg just now." Tears well up in her eyes.
"It bumped into your leg? From where?"
"In the living room. I don't was just there."
"What, it just followed us home all by itself, eh?! Don't lie to me!"

After that, Girl probably bursts into tears, and Mom sends her to her room to think about why it's wrong to steal a can of craptastic pasta from the supermarket. (If everyone stole "Chef", you see, the grocers would lose money and then have to raise their prices to compensate, and therefore it hurts us all.) And despite being completely innocent, Girl goes to her room as she's told, spending a miserable evening crying and wondering if she's crazy. The neighbors hear the yelling and the crying, call CPS...well, maybe I've gone a bit too far here.

At the very least, Girl has some serious 'splaining to do.

Hooray for Holland

In sports-that-are-only-popular-in-Europe news:

Here's something for Dutch folk to get excited about. Two Dutchies scored to high enough to qualify for the World Championship of Trampoline Jumping! The Chinese are the favorites to take the cup.

Not Disappointed

Streetlight was absolutely AMAZING! A full review to follow...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thug Life & Fake Death, R.I.P. Tupac

September 13 marked the 9 year anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur. Here's the thing about Tupac, not only was he the best rapper in the game when he was alive, he's still the best rapper in the game today. You have got to hand it to a guy who recorded so much material before he died that there have been more Tupac albums of new material released posthumously than humously (is that a word?).

One drawback of releasing records after you're dead, is that you do lose some creative rights. Since his death, Pac has been teamed up with the likes of Eminem, Nate Dogg, and, umm, Elton John. I had forgotten all about the Elton/Tupac track "Ghetto Gospel" until happened to be listening to "Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 61" today(that's right in the UK, they're up to volume 61). Normally I would said that this would cause Tupac to spin in his grave, but since I believe he faked his death, I guess that I should say he's in the Cayman Islands counting his bags of money.

R.I.P. Tupac!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

September Consumption


John Vanderslice - Pixel Revolution
Good Riddance - Ballads of the Revolution
Kanye West - Late Registration
Whole Wheat Bread - Minority Rules
Bayside - S/T
Fountains of Wayne - Out of State Plates
Screaming Trees - Ocean of Confusion


How to Be Good by Nick Hornby
From Pieces to Weight by 50 Cent
Persepolis 2 - Marjane Sartrapi

A World of Disillusion

My entire world view has been shaken. I was watching Saved by the Bell: The Miss Bliss Years the other day. Miss Bliss was talking to Milo, the school custodian, and he said something like, "We work at the best school in all of Indianapolis."

What? What about Bayside? Am I to believe that between junior high and high school, Zack, Lisa, Screech and Mr. Belding all moved from Indiana to California? Everything I know about life, I learned from Saved By the Bell. If they lied to me about where these kids were going to school, I don't really know what I can believe anymore.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dare I Get My Hopes Up?

I have my tickets for the Streetlight Manifesto show, but I am not sure that I should get my hopes up. Here's my recent history with the band:

Last summer, Streetlight booked their first-ever show in Salt Lake. I was out-of-my-mind excited for about two seconds until I realized the show was on a Sunday. Should I break my perfect streak of no Sunday concerts? I didn't have too much of a choice because Traci wouldn't let me go.

I was, of course, very blue. The day after the show I checked around the internet to see if I could find a review of the show. It turns out Streetlight's bus broke down somewhere between Denver and here and they never made it. I took this as a sign of the importance of Sabbath Day observance.

In February the band announced they would be playing the Ska is Dead tour. Here was the real Sabbath Day reward - not just Streetlight, but Streetlight opening for the Voodoo Glow Skulls! Yep, I had made the right decision to pass on the Sunday show.

In classic Voodoo Glow Skulls fashion - despite the fact that the SLC date was scheduled - the Ska is Dead tour made a last-minute decision to skip SLC entirely. Streetlight finished the tour, headed off to a European tour and I thought I had missed my chance. Their website said that after Europe they would stop touring and focus on a second album.

I guess I'm in luck. Recording plans have been postponed. They're scheduled for the Lo-Fi Cafe on September 14. Cross your fingers for me.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Dancing Nun, Thanks Belgium

Traci sent me a link to this story a few days ago with the comment, "This nun is still european and can't resist the techno beat."

The story was published all over the place, but it took me a really long time to track down the actual picture. I was hoping it would be more scandalous.

"Belgian sister Johanne Vertomme (L) 29, from Loppem, Belgium is seen dancing with Mark (no surname given), a missionary, during the Catholic World Youth Day, in Cologne Germany, August 20, 2005. The Belgian nun's acrobatic and indecorous dancing with the missionary during the Catholic World Youth Day in Germany over the weekend earned her a reprimand from her mother superior, a Belgian paper said August 22, 2005. "I wouldn't do this at home but at such occasions I get carried away by the enthusiasm of the group," the 29-year-old told the paper later. "My mother superior raised the issue today: she thinks I should watch out a bit and bear in mind that I represent our community," Vertommen said. Pope Benedict attended the celebration at the Marienfeld, outside Cologne, in the presence of some 700,000 people. Picture taken August 20, 2005. QUALITY FROM SOURCE BELGIUM OUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY NO THIRD PARTY SALES REUTERS/Stringer"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Spencer vs. George Bush

I was a bit disturbed when I read an article in Salt Lake Tribune about President Bush's visit to Utah today. I wasn't upset that the President was coming, nor was I upset that there were protests. I felt pretty much indifferent toward all of that. What bothered me, was the following:
"The president's schedule called for him to depart Utah immediately following his VFW Convention appearance and head to the tiny town of Donnelly, Idaho, where he was to spend a couple of days mountain biking and relaxing prior to a speech Wednesday before a National Guard group in Nampa, Idaho."

This is the third article that I've read this week about the President and his mountain biking. Now I admit, I am not always hangin' out with celebs like Shelley Osterloh, but my job still keeps me pretty busy. To complete my small number of responsibilities, I have to go to work basically everyday.

The President has a really important job. I would imagine that he has a lot more to worry about in his job than I do at mine. Why is it, though, he only has to go work maybe half of the time? I mean, he visits Veterans in Utah to promote Social Security reform for an hour and a half and then he needs to take two days off to go mountain biking in Idaho before he talks to Veterans there for an hour and a half? Something seems a little screwy here.


George Bush vs. Seth Cohen
Michael Moore Comes to UVSC

Friday, August 19, 2005

Jeffery "Scrotum Bag" Barnes

Maybe the reason we don't have cable tv is because we don't want to be called names.


Wed Aug 17, 8:30 PM ET

CHICAGO - LaChania Govan said she got bounced around by her cable company when she called to complain. She made dozens of calls and was even transferred to a person who spoke Spanish — a language she doesn't understand.

But when she got her August bill from Comcast she had no trouble understanding she'd made somebody mad. It was addressed to "Bitch Dog."

"I was like you got to be freaking kidding me," said Govan, 25. "I was so mad I couldn't even cuss."

Govan said the only thing she did to Comcast employees that might be considered rude came after a few dozen calls when she felt she was treated shabbily. "I did tell them, 'You know what, it has to be a qualification to work for your company that you have to be rude,'" she said.

Govan said she talked to a supervisor and he offered her two months free service, which she turned down.

Finally Wednesday, about two weeks after she got her bill, somebody from the company left a message on her answering machine in which the caller apologized.

Comcast officials said it shouldn't have happened.

"We only use the actual customers names on the bill," said Patricia Andrews-Keenan, a Comcast spokeswoman.

Company officials went through the records and identified two people who were involved with the name change and fired them, Andrews-Keenan said. It's unknown why the employees did it.

In another case, Peoples Energy customer Jefferoy Barnes started getting letters addressed to "Jeffery Scrotum Bag Barnes."

"I had no bad words at all. I guess the earliest letter is dated in May and from then on up until now my name has been listed as Jeffery Scrotum Bag Barnes and I have no idea why."

Barnes said he received an apologetic call from a company official. He also has contacted an attorney to determine if he can take legal action.

A Peoples Energy spokeswoman called the letter inexcusable.

Spencer Hearts TV

(George Bluth and Richard Simmons demonstrating the infamous Corn Baller)

Hooray for TV. In anticipation of the upcoming Fall season, Fox has decided to run an episode from the second season of Arrested Development every night at 11 p.m. for two weeks in place of the worse-than-awful Dharma and Greg. If you missed the first week, don't make the same mistake next week!

Favorite quote from last night's episode:

Buster: (holding stuffed animals) These are my awards, Mother. From Army. The seal is for marksmanship, and the gorilla is for sand racing. Now if you'll excuse me, they're putting me in something called Hero Squad.

If that's not exciting enough news, Dutch public TV has started streaming the soap opera Onderweg Naar Morgen! UITEINDELIJK! What more can a brother ask for?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Family Reunion Fun

Over the weekend I had the opportunity of attending the annual Aagard Family Reunion (my mom's side of the family) . My grandpa and his twin brother, Welby, are both sheep ranchers and the reunion is always held at Welby's ranch.

When you're going to a reunion on a ranch it makes perfect sense to arrive on a four wheeler, which I did. It also makes sense that there are horses around for the kids to ride once they get there.

However, the reunion had some unexpected twists as well. For example, I wasn't expecting a hula hoop competition where I would learn that my mother secretly has wicked hula skills. I was also unaware that one of Welby's sons is a polygamist with two wives and 19 children and that three of his daughters would want to entertain the reunion crowd by tap dancing to "Cotton-Eyed Joe" and three subsequent remixes of "Cotton-Eyed Joe." I guess reunions are all about getting to better know your family.

Monday, August 15, 2005

"Preserving the Integrity of American Idol"

Breathe a sigh of relief, everyone. The Fox network has completed their all-important probe into the Corey Clark/Paula Abdul scandal. Fox says, “This decision to begin an inquiry was motivated by a profound commitment to preserve the integrity of the ’American Idol’ competition.”

Thank you. I have enough stress in my life and I don't exactly know if I could handle also having to worry about the integrity of American Idol. That might have just pushed me right over the edge.

Full Story

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Midvale, Rock City

If you weren't at the Circuit last night, you missed the Johnny Tight Lips debut. Shame on you! The show was pretty rockin'. A full review will be posted on the Manifesto shortly. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

August Consumption


Relient K--MMHMM
Death Cab for Cutie--Plans
Matt Sharp - S/T
Pennywise - The Fuse
Fountains of Wayne - Out of State Plates
Nada Surf - The Weight is a Gift
Bayside - S/T
John Vanderslice - Life and Death of an American Fourtracker


A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Cluck Klosterman

Monday, August 08, 2005

Investors Wanted

Attention investors - Mike Neider has decided to buy the Utah Fun Dome, er, I mean the Salt Lake College, oops, I mean the Salt Lake Pavilion and return it to its original glory. That's right, Mike Neider is planning to return Murray's favorite gang-shootout to the Casey's Dugout, Blackbeard's Cove and Rollertown U.S.A. of yesteryear. That's right, he's going to bring back the 49th Street Galleria.

That's what he told me tonight, anyway, while we were celebrating Ty McHenry's imminent departure to Las Vegas at the run-down bowling alley at the Fun Dome. Mike's got big plans. Unfortunately, as he is waiting for his new career as an insurance salesman to start rollin', he will need some financial backing. So, for all of you nostalgic Murrayites out there, ya'll better back up your pride with some cash so Mike can make his dream come true. Come on, you know you want to.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Johnny Tight Lips vs. Metallica

So, Johnny Tight Lips has its first performance this week, playing with three other local bands (including one called Nocturnal Emissions). Aaron was the one responsible for booking the thing, and at band practice the other day he was filling Danny and me in on the details:

Aaron: There's three other bands and the tickets are $7.
Danny: SEVEN BUCKS!!! Who's the headling band, Metallica?!!!
Aaron: It's all local bands.
Danny: Who would pay seven bucks to hear four bands that suck?

Apparently, the maximum price that Danny would pay for a concert is $7.

Previously, Metallica vs. Oingo Boingo and Metallica Ruins Spencer's GMAT score

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Anyone Up for a Vinegar Bath?

Traci and I spent the weekend in St. George. Believe it or not, even with my always-super-tan complexion, I sometimes get sunburned. After about an hour at the pool my skin was niceley toasted.

Fortunately, I remembered my friend and bandmate Aaron mentioning how he had used vinegar as a sunburn remedy. I think he said, "It takes away the sting and helps prevent peeling." What a commercial.

So Saturday I found myself in the bathtub of the condo, rubbing vinegar all over myself, wondering if it was possible to die of vinegar inhalation, and feeling a strange craving for Lays Salt and Vinegar potato chips.

It actually worked pretty well. I didn't think to put any vinegar on my head, which was also pretty red, so the next night I took another vinegar bath. I thought I had showered off all of the vinegar smell until yesterday at band practice. We were rockin' down in the un-airconditioned basement and I started sweating. Sniff, sniff. Sniff, sniff. What's that vinegar smell? Apparently vinegar penetrates skin pretty good because I think I was sweating vinegar. Chips, anyone?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

How was Alkaline Trio? I wouldn't know.

Alkaline Trio played at In the Venue last night with Death by Stereo and Rise Against. I bet it was a pretty good show. I wasn't there because Traci put the hammer down and said that now that I am a soon-to-be father I am not allowed to go to concerts by myself anymore. (You know how the news is just FULL of kids getting killed at Alkaline Trio shows) Since my concert buddy Ty - living in Logan, and soon to be living in Las Vegas - is unreliable at best, I've got no one to go to shows with. I wanted to go so bad that I begged one of my 15-year-old scouts to go with me. He didn't think that his dad would let him go.

Let this be something to consider for all of you out there thinking about having children.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oingo Boingo is the New Metallica

If you have ever walked into a guitar store you know that one thing is inevitable: someone will be playing a Metallica guitar solo at full volume. I would imagine that any second of the day someone is playing the beginning of "Unforgiven" or massacring "One." That's how you impress people in a guitar store.

The other day I was at Guitar Center looking at tons of equipment that I'll never be able to afford when I saw a bespectacled fellow in his early 20's trying out a keyboard. What do you play when you try to impress people of your skills when you're playing the keyboard, the geekiest instrument in the band? "Da da-da da-da-da da." Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo. Oingo Boingo, it's the new Metallica.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

From Reuters:

"A military report presented before the Senate Armed Services Committee' Senate Armed Services Committee stated the Saudi man, described as the "20th hijacker" slated to have participated in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, was forced by interrogators to wear a bra and had women's thong underwear placed on his head.

U.S. interrogators also told him he was a homosexual, forced him to dance with a male interrogator, told him his mother and sister were whores, forced him to wear a leash and perform dog tricks, menaced him with a dog and subjected him to interrogations up to 20 hours a day for about two months, the report said."

Let me just say this - is this the best we can do? Somehow I don't really think that someone who is willing to blow up hundreds of people is going to break down and confess to crimes by these interrogation methods.

SUSPECT: Okay, okay, I admit it! Just don't make me wear a bra anymore! I'll tell you anything, I just can't take one more day of wearing underwear on my head!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Kurt Cobain is Spinning in His Grave

I watched Rock Star:INXS last night. INXS is trying to find a replacement for the dead Michael Hutchins by auditioning really young, (mostly creepy) singers. The show was actually pretty interesting - basically a less annoying version of American Idol.

While some of the performances were good, Mig, pictured above, completely massacred "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Kurt Cobain's commentary on Mig's performance: Yep, Beelzebub, this is hell. I can't handle this guy's scarf.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

"I'm a Self-Contained Unit."

Of all the sights we visited in Seattle, the ones we found by accident were some of my favorite. How could a grunge fan go to Seattle without visiting scenes from the movie "Singles?" The pic on the left is of the Coryell Apartments in the gay district, where a bunch of the movie was filmed. Believe it or not, Traci and I found this place without a map! When we got out of the car I squinted and said, "Is that really it?" It looked different than I remembered. Traci reminded that "Singles" did come out 14 years ago. (The first thing I did when we got home was watch the movie. It was the same place, just a bit overgrown.) The picture on the right is the view from Gasworks park, also shown in the movie.

We also spent hours and hours trying to find the Fremont Troll, an enormous concrete sculpture under a bridge. Apparently everyone knows where the troll is, but is unable to really explain how to get there. Despite all of the bridges we drove under during our search, we were unsuccessful. Here's what we missed:

I was also disappointed to find out after we got home that there is a full-size statue of Lenin in front of a taco joint. I guess we'll have to make another trip to Seattle.

Breakfast at the Emphysema Cafe

John recommded that we eat breakfast at Beth's Cafe. Founded in 1954, Beth's is (supposed to be) a hip, dive-style diner. When we walked in and inhaled the stale smoke and sat down in a really beat up booth, we realized that it was more real dive than faux dive.

The only redeeming quality was that the walls are decorated with crayon drawings, interesting only because they're done by adults instead of kids. Click on the picture to see that we are sitting at the booth with the "G Unit: Cash Money Ho" drawing as well as the illustration about "sucking face."

(Outside of Beth's, you'll notice that we're getting into our pimpin' Mustang rental car. )

Snoqualmie Falls

We decided to venture outside of the city one morning to visit Snoqualmie Falls, about 35 minutes outside of Seattle. The waterfall drops 270 feet. From up top it's a beautiful view, but what makes it even better is that you can hike down the bottom.

Heading down is easy, it's a nice stroll through beautifully green trees. The way back up, however, is not so easy. Sweaty, sweaty, sweaty. I'll spare you the "after" photo.

Dancing Queen

Seattle, home of music and fashion. Right around the corner from the Seattle Center, two aspiring artistes dance their way into our hearts. I went directly to the closest store to by the shorts this boy was wearing. [click on the photos for a closer look]

Rappin' with Missy Misdemeanor

One of the highlights of the trip was the Experience Music Project. It has elements of a rock musuem, combined with interactive exhibits. The tour begins, of course, with a room dedicated to music from the Northwest. To illustrate how overblown grunge had become by '94, they had Pearl Jam and Nirvana comic books on display. (Kurt Cobain's character even had big muscles)

Traci's favorite was the TRL room - highlighting more recent pop acts like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. There was a station in that room where you could put on headphones and get rapping lessons. The voice of what sounded like a 3rd grade teacher would say, "Now you'll notice here that Missy Misdemeanor Elliott is using several different rhyming techniques..." After you had the rap lesson you were able to rap, karaoke-style in a mic on the console.

There was also a room upstairs where you could learn to play different instruments - guitars, drums, keyboards, guitar pedals, etc. For a mere $10 you can have 10 minutes of practice time, followed by 8 minutes of recording time in a sound booth to record whatever you'd like. The only drawback is that it's a completely live recording, meaning just one track. If I'd a had my band with me, I figure we could've knocked out an entire EP for about $30 bucks! Next time we're all in Seattle, I guess.

The museum also had a very cool Jimi Hendrix exhibit (Jimi was a Seattle native), a interesting-as-it-could-be exhibit about the not-that-intersting Bob Dylan and a room dedicated to early rap pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa. Well worth the $20 entrance fee.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Smell of Seattle

Seattle has a very interesting smell. I think it's caused by the natural dankness of a wet climate, mixed with lots of fish. To cover up these two smells, every shop at Pike's Place Market burns a different flavor of incense. What a combination.

Despite the abundance of local restaurants all along the market and waterfront, Traci chose to eat lunch at Red Robin. We walked in the door and I thought, "Ugh, this place stinks like incense, too!" Upon further inspection, I realized it was me.