Friday, December 29, 2006

NEW Movie Reviews

In the past two weeks I’ve been to the movie theater twice – which is twice as many as in the year previous. So here comes some reviews of new movies. Crazy!

The Pursuit of Happyness

It was a really good movie if you like feeling like crap for two straight hours. I’m talking feeling horrible. The movie is very engaging, reflective and has a great message. It’s just also very depressing.

The funny thing about it is that I went there for a work Christmas party. I think the party planning committee (a la Angela on The Office) thought it was going to be a great feel-good movie for the team.

Rocky Balboa

Last night was “boys’ night” starring me, Traci’s dad and little brother, and Traci’s little sister’s boyfriend. We went to the 10 p.m. showing of Rocky Balboa, which caused me to think that I’m pretty sure I’ve only really seen Rocky IV and parts of most of the others. Huh, who knew? Anyway, though I am not a huge fan, I couldn’t help but get sucked in during the match at the end of the movie. “Come on, Rocky, you’re 60 years old, but I know you can still do it.” I swear, I was really thinking that. I’d tell you what happens next, but I don’t want to spoil the surprising ending.

The movie moved a bit slow, there wasn’t much boxing, but nevertheless a good ending (hopefully) to the series. You never know, maybe Rocky’s next fight will be against adult onset diabetes or something.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

No one likes to go back to work the day after Christmas. The Dutch avoid that problem by taking a second day off (it’s called Second Christmas Day) and even those pesky Canadians have Boxing Day. Since I have a new job, I don’t have any vacation time and have to work today. Plus I’m the new guy, so I don’t think I should be taking any time off just yet anyway.

I was having a rough go of it this morning, but was still doing my best to make it to work on time. Luckily, I made up some time on the road because there was no one on the freeways. As I rushed into the office, I was only about 10 minutes late. I was greeted by a ghost town. Of the 25 or so folks that work in my department only two were here – the other two new guys. Apparently, I needn’t have rushed.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Matt & Kim

They drove all the way from Seattle to play maybe 15 minutes in Salt Lake City. Oh, but did those 15 minutes rock!

I was ecstatic to see Matt & Kim play at Kilby Court last Friday night. Apparently during the Seattle show, Matt broke his keyboard and had to pick up a new one in Salt Lake. As a result, they only played the songs he knew how to play on the new keyboard. So it was short and sweet (I showed up at Kilby at 8:45 and was on my way back home by 10:00 - and I saw all three bands play), but mostly sweet.

Things that were excellent:

--They started the show off with the amazingly good "Yea Yeah."

--Kim drums harder than any girl I've ever seen, just using a kick drum, a floor tom, a snare, a tambourine and a crash cymbal. Plus she smiles the whole time.

--Matt was very funny in that nerdy, I wear glasses, so I need to put on my chums so I can still rock out properly, kind of way.

--Kim finds Matt (who I think is her husband) incredibly funny. She laughed at everything he said, and I don't think she was faking.

--For a final song, Matt said they were going to play a certain song if he could convince Kim to sing it. Well, he couldn't. He got the crowd all worked up, but by the time he turned to Kim she was already in the back of club, trying to sell some t-shirts.

Matt & Kim - Yea Yeah (MP3)
Matt & Kim- Silver Tiles (MP3)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ho, Ho, Ho Yourself

Paige’s first trip to Temple Square – yeah, complete disaster. We had originally talked about taking Trax downtown, but I figured “No one goes downtown anymore, and certainly no one will be Christmas shopping at the Mr. Mac or the other two stores still in the downtown malls.”

So we drove. Or should I say, so we sat. It took us 40 minutes to get from 600 S to South Temple. There was no way out, no turning around, no alternative routes. Apparently there was a Jazz game, a production at the Conference Center and all sorts of other stuff going on downtown. Boo. Paige was fine with the gridlock. She took advantage of the situation by sleeping the entire hour we were in the car. Thus she was very upset when we pulled her out of her warm, comfortable car seat and she was really upset when we made her wear her hat and gloves. (I love baby mittens – there’s no thumbs in ‘em.)

Once we got to Temple Square, Paige was underwhelmed by the Christmas lights, but her enjoyment was secondary to my ulterior motive of taking the best Christmas card photo ever (yes, I know it’s almost Christmas and that we should have sent the cards out weeks ago). However, in this I was also thwarted. The second I took Paige out of her stroller she started screaming and was not cooperating with any picture taking. Also not cooperating were the sister missionaries. Traci, Paige and I were standing there all cute-like in front of the lights when I asked the sisters to snap a quick picture for us. “Sorry, we’ve got to be somewhere,” one of them replied. Were they late for a date or something? In the end I don’t think it mattered much because Paige screamed until we put her back in her stroller. We didn’t get the Christmas card picture.

Though it took an hour to get there, we only spent about half that time outside of the car; it was too cold and too crowded to spend much time at Temple Square. When we stopped at the Sconecutter on the way home, Paige was as happy as could be. She loves fries and shakes. Her nap in the car gave her the terrible strength necessary to terrorize us until 11 p.m. We're never going to Temple Square again!

The one hightlight of the trip was that we got to see this Chinese Nativity Scene behind the Church Office Building:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

MySpace Withdrawal

I think my hands have started to shake a bit. I always thought I could give up my MySpace addiction, but to give it up cold turkey thanks to the company firewall, now that’s a bit rough. How I am supposed to know what crappy locals bands are playing crappy battle of the bands without us? I feel disconnected from the world – lost, lost, lost without it. Curse this cubicle life!

*For those of you who still have access to MySpace, I've posted a new Johnny Tightlips song "Sleep Deprived" on our site - Enjoy it without me.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dad vs. Lint

Last night, I went to a Jazz game with Traci's dad. I knew I wouldn't see Paige again before she went to bed so I tried to get her to give me a kiss before I left. I got her attention and she crawled across the room toward me. She was just about a foot away from me when something distracted her attention. She found a piece of lint a the floor and forgot all about me. How could I possibly compete with something as fun as a piece of lint? Needless to say, I didn't get my kiss.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Longest Week Ever...

One of my favorite moments from MTV’s reality soap, The Hills, was when Heidi, the spoiled, ditzy friend gets a full-time job, which she’s so sad about. Right before they cut to commercial the camera zooms in over her shoulder to her computer. It shows her Outlook email calendar and everyday she’s filled in 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. with just one word, “work.” Poor Heidi. I looked at my Outlook Calendar this morning and thought the exact same thing.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Grunge Lives On

After watching “Live! Tonight! Sold Out!” I got grunge fever again. I went out and rented the 1996 documentary “Hype!” about the Seattle music scene turning into a corporate marketing commodity. While it gives some insight on Seattle life before grunge broke, the story was mostly about, and told by, bands that never really took off. Fortunately, there was some commentary by bigger names like Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, Eddie Vedder, Mudhoney and the Sub Pop twins. It was interesting enough for big fans of the genre, but not a must-see for casual Nirvana or Pearl Jam fans.

The next grunge video I am going to re-watch is “The Year Punk Broke” if I can get my hands on it. Through all of this grunge nostalgia I keep asking myself, “When are we going to see an Alice in Chains documentary?" I’d even settle for a VH1 Behind the Music.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Live! Tonight! Sold Out!

For the first time in at least 10 years, I watched the Nirvana movie "Live! Tonight! Sold Out," which was recently re-released on DVD. It was even better than I remembered. It is just amazing to me how incredibly huge Nirvana was, all across the world. And though there have been bigger bands in terms of record sales - e.g. NSync, Britney Spears - since Nirvana, I don't think it's possible for a band to ever change the face of music the way Nirvana did. Thanks (?) to the internet, music is so accessible, so diverse and changes so fast, that no one artist can create a paradigm shift.

The DVD also reminded me of a few things. First of all, Kurt Cobain was so cool and hiis refusal to play by any of the celebrity rules made him even cooler. (One of my favorite parts of the movie is when the band plays on a British talk show. The host introduces "Nirvana playing their hit 'Lithium,'" but instead, the band comes out and blasts through 'Territorial Pissings,' before destroying their instruments.

Secondly, Nevermind was a great album. I listen to it very rarely, but watching the footage tonight reminded why the band got so huge. (I still think that In Utero is more enjoyable to listen to.)

Thirdly, Nirvana was much more punk than they get credit for. Thinking of the musical landscape of the time, combined with Kurt Cobain living in a very small town with very limited access to actual punk rock music, the band created great pop music with punk intensity and ethics.

Another thought was that Kurt Cobain was 27 when he died, the same age I'll be in a few months. I work in insurance.

Why haven't we seen a comprehensive Nirvana documentary, telling the band's story? I think it's because Courtney Love is crazy. Maybe instead of selling her share of the rights to the band's catalog to Rock Star INXS, she could let some independent film makers in on the material.

Do yourself a favor and check out this movie. You can get it at the Murray Library.

Pros & Cons

So I just found out (through failed attempt) that MySpace is a blocked website here at new job. On a positive note, however, I was just given a really nifty Rolodex. Yessss!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Best (& Worst) Music of 2006

Here are some of my favorite albums of 2006. Though I listened to a lot of good stuff this past year, these are some of the albums that have really been in heavy rotation in my life. (A few of these weren’t released in 2006, but made their way into my collection in 2006.)

Best Albums of the Year

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A – Girls Names EP Melanie Flury [MP3]
The Cardinal Sin - Hurry Up and Wait
The Format-Dog Problems The Compromise [Mp3]

Nicest Surprise
Reggie & the Full Effect—Songs Not to Get Married To Better For You [MP3]

Sweetest Indulgence
Aly & AJ - Into the Rush

Best Electronic
Hot Chip - The Warning Boy From School [MP3]

Best New Projects
Plus 44 (Blink 182) - When Your Heart Stops Beating
The Draft (Hot Water Music) - In a Million Pieces

Worst New Project
Angels & Airwaves (Blink 182) - We Don't Have to Whisper

Most Welcomed Comeback

Samiam - Whatever's Got You Down

Most Disappointing Comeback
Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) - An Other Cup

Honorable Mentions
David Bazan - Fewer Moving Parts Fewer Broken Pieces [MP3]
The Killers - Sam's Town
Jack's Mannequin-Everything in Transit
Mae - The Everglow
Matt Pond PA - Several Arrows Later
Hellogoodbye - EP

Welcome to Corporate Amerikkka

Today was my first day at new job. Hello cubicle, dress code, and corporate firewalls. Oh, and I wear one of those name badges you have to scan to get into the office. I have a grown-up job. How depressing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Birthday Baby

Can you believe we've had this kid for 365 days? We put these presents in front of Paige, thinking she'd at least want to tear the wrapping paper. Instead she just stared up at us like, 'what do you guys expect me to do here?'

She might not have thought much about her first birthday, but Traci and I are both pretty amazed that she's already a year old. I told Paige that now that she's one, she's no longer allowed to cry and that she has to change her own diapers. She agreed to the terms.

November Consumption


Waking Ashland - Composure
Plus 44 - When Your Heart Stops Beating
Nikola Sarcevic - Roll Roll and Flee
RX Bandits - ...And the Battle Begun
Say Hi to Your Mom - Impeccable Blahs
Heavens - Patent Pending
Blackpool Lights - This Town's Disaster
All Time Low - Put Up or Shut Up
Thom Yorke - The Eraser
The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Devil's Haircut in My Mind

Only having to get your hair cut once a year is a pretty sweet deal. Paige had her first haircut last week. Though she screamed through the whole thing, three snips later she was a brand new girl.

Here's the before and after:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Two Band-Aids, a Sticker, and a TB Poke

Yesterday was a big day for me. I got a band-aid on my left arm for my flu shot, a band-aid on my right arm for a drug test, a poke in my arm for a tuberculosis test and a sticker for voting. Am I an All-American or what? Unfortunately, my one little vote wasn't enough to keep Borin' Orrin Hatch from winning his sixth nomination to the Senate. Poor Pete Ashdown.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Halloween is SOOO Scary...

Though everyone at my work was planning to dress up for Halloween, I chose not to. Agency is great, but it does have it's consequences. I was awarded "crappiest costume" and forced to wear these lovely earrings, necklace and a pink sequined purse all afternoon. But at least I looked good.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

PR Nightmare

On Tuesday (Halloween), Governor Jon Huntsman and a bunch of other prominent Utah leaders held a press conference in support of Proposition 3, which would increase taxes to build more light rail and commuter rail.

As a public relations guy, it was fun to watch all of the miscues of the PR planning. When planning an event, here are some things one should avoid:

1. Doing something stupid, just for a nice backdrop. To prove his point that light rail is indeed the bomb, Gov. Huntsman rode TRAX to the press conference, which was held at the TRAX station on 13th South. It became apparent that the guv doesn't normally frequent the mass transportation sytem for which he lobbies, since the conference started late as a result of him getting on the wrong train. (There are only two train choices in Salt Lake, not really rocket science or anything.) Once he was there, the train stopped running and stayed motionless in order to serve as a backdrop to the speeches. While I'm sure it was intended to make the press conference visually appealing to TV cameras, it was a bit funny to watch people keep rushing to the train and pushing the door-open button, only to find the doors locked and the train stationary. Who cares if people can actually ride the train, we're holding a press conference up in here!

2. Planning a serious event outside on Halloween. As Homer Simpson says, "Mass transportation is for jerks and lesbians." TRAX is used by a fair share of weirdos. Throw Halloween into the mix and things get even more interesting. During the conference a train pulled up and a man exited, dressed in a drag, and kept walking back and forth behind the podium. Now, that's effect.

The highlight of the event, however, was when a second Halloween drag queen emerged from a train only to stand behind the speakers and loudly comment, "What's your take on medical marijuana, what's your take on medical marijuana, how do you feel about MEDICAL MARIJUANA?" Classic.

3. Allowing the Governor to act cool. In addition to wearing leather biker boots with his suit, the guv said TRAX is great for people - like him - who will be going to the Delta Center next month to see The Who. The audience collectively rolled their eyes.

4. Enough with the wristbands, already. It was fine when Lance Armstrong was raising money for cancer research or whatever, but handing out little plastic bracelets that say "Mass Transit in 2015" or something stupid like that? Are we 5 years old? As Gob Bluth would say, "Come on!"

The Best & Worst of Vegas

Though Traci and I are frequent visitors to Sin City, we're not really its biggest fans. Here's the highs and lows of our latest trip.

Best Thing About the Palace Station:
We weren't really sure what we were going to get when we booked our rooms at the Palace Station. Our overall rating was fair. Not great, not disgusting. It suited our needs just fine. The nice thing was that we had the swimming pool and hot tub all to ourselves all three nights. Hip people don't go to the Palace Station, so the only people that stay there are those interested in spending their entire trip in the casino.

The Worst Directions:

The Palace Station offers free shuttle service to and from the Strip. The shuttle drops you off at the Tropicana and then picks you up at the Fashion Show Mall. When we got to the mall, however, we realized we had no idea where we would be picked up, because the place is HUGE. Traci was smart and suggested that I call the hotel and ask, which I did. The women who answered the phone told me the pickup was right outside the Saks 5th Avenue. So we walked all the way across the mall and through Saks until we found the place she had told us. When we found a valet guy in the empty parking lot we asked where the pickup spot was. He told us it was on the otherside of the mall. We walked all the way back to where we had started, literally 10 yards from where I was standing when I made the phone call.

Best Purchase:
Despite Traci's protest, I bought some sweet white plastic sunglasses that look just like something Elton John would wear. Fake name-brand glasses were just 3 for $10. What a deal. Unfortunately, Traci didn't allow me to wear the glasses in public.

Best Reference to Mormons in the print media:

CityLife Magazine (the equivalent of Salt Lake's City Weekly) ran the following feature and Mormons ranked #10. Not Bad:

We at CityLife are not generally a superstitious lot, but we cannot help noticing at this time of year that there are plenty of downright spooky things in Sin City, and we're not just talking about the legions of zombie-like tourists fanny-packing their way from slot to slot along the Strip. As Halloween (coincidentally, the real Nevada Day) nears, we found ourselves making a list of these fright factors.

10. Mormon church influence

Since they were the first white people to settle the Las Vegas Valley, it shouldn't be surprising that Mormons have always been a big part of the city's history and population. And over the years, the church has made some compromises with the sin that envelops this city. But is the whispered-about "Mormon mafia" totally harmless? It did, after all, bring us the failing Las Vegas Monorail. While plenty of local elected officials -- maybe even including gubernatorial candidate Jim Gibbons -- profess Mormon faith, it doesn't appear theocracy is on the horizon. But the fact is, if the church had its way, there would be no gambling, drinking or racy material on the Strip at all. And Vegas without those things is - a desert.

It was a pretty good trip.

Halloween Howl

We only got about 15 minutes out of this costume, but Paige sure made a cute ladybug. The body of the costume was so fat that we had to take off to get her into her carseat. When we got the costume off her she was crawling around in her little black long-sleeved onesy and black tights. She looked like a beat poet or a European.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Baby Free Vacation

We have just returned from my friend Ty's wedding in Las Vegas. While it was probably a big deal for Ty to participate in holy matrimony and all, but the real story was that we had our first baby-free vacation.

Paige spent the weeknd with the Pearsons. Traci was in tears before we even made it to the freeway, but we continued on. It was weird to not have her around; everytime I looked behind me I expected to see her in the baby seat.

We had a good trip. We saw the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Bellagio. We slept in and took naps. I ate potato products at every meal. What more could we have asked for? Oh yeah, and we went shopping, but everything Traci bought ended up being for the baby.

On the drive home, we were both gettting pretty excited to see Junior. We were a little worried that she would be mad at us when we picked her up, (Paige: Horrible parents, ditching me while they go on vacation.) but she gave us an enormous smile when we walked in. We'll see how she does tomorrow when Traci takes her back over to the Pearson's while she goes to work.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Snoop Dogg Keepin' it Old School

Snoop, he's classy. He doesn't get busted for trying to sneak a gun, or even a knife, onto an airplane. Snoop, he rolls with a collapsible baton - security guard style. He had to keep it in his laptop case in case someone tries to mess with him while he's checking his MySpace account.

From MSN:

IRVINE, Calif. - Prosecutors are considering charges against Snoop Dogg after authorities discovered a 21-inch collapsible baton in his bags as he boarded a New York-bound flight, authorities said Monday.

The rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, had the baton in his laptop case as he went through a security checkpoint at John Wayne International Airport on Sept. 27, sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Snoop Dogg, 35, told sheriff’s deputies that the baton was a prop for a movie he was filming in New York, Amormino said.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Read the Manifesto, WEAR the Manifesto

I've finally got my garage screenprinting shop up and running. That means my Manifesto line of clothing is able for purchase. So if you love the Manifesto, you can show that love by buying and wearing a handprinted Manifesto or Johnny Tightlips shirt. Sa-weet!

Check out the current line here.

New JTL Download

A-ron and I sat on my front porch the other day and recorded an acoustic version of "Overdramatic Me" as people walked by and looked at us funny. Feel free to download and/or distribute as you please. Oh, and come to our show at Kilby Court on Friday, November 3 and sing along.

October Consumption


Samiam - Whatever's Got You Down
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
Guster - Ganging Up on The Sun
The Draft - In a Million Pieces
Matt Pond PA - Several Arrows Later
Spoon - Soft Effects EP

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Spencer for Hire

Who wouldn't hire this guy?

I had a job interview today. What's worse than a job interview, really? I interviewed for a job with Select Health, the insurance arm of Intermountain Healthcare. (Formerly known as IHC. The company changed its name when everyone decided they hated IHC.)

I am sure that they were impressed by my gray shirt. Now that I am seeing it in picture form, it kind of looks like a Jiffy Lube uniform. I am sure they totally would have offered me the job if I was wearing my classy belt from the WE in Amsterdam, but I couldn't find it anywhere this morning. Hopefully they didn't notice my ghetto Ethnies belt.

Bosses' Boss: So how was the interview?
Boss: The kid was okay, but I think he came straight here from his job at Jiffy Lube.
Bosses' Boss: Jiffy Lube? I hate that place.
Boss: Yeah, I hate that kid, too. Let's not hire him.

Taco Tuesday

I drove by Dell Taco the other night on my way to Wendy's. The marquee said: Taco Tuesday. 3 tacos for 99 cents after 3 p.m. 33 cents per taco?! That's amazing. Unfortunately, I'm not really a taco guy so I continued on to the Wendy's.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oh, You Better Bring It!

Not since “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” has there been such an impressive third installation to a trilogy. Okay, I’m being a bit overdramatic, but continuing on with my reviews of teenage girl movies [see “Stick It” and “She’s the Man”], here’s my thought on “Bring It On: All or Nothing.”

The first “Bring It On” equals best movie ever. Because “Bring It On Again,” the straight-to-DVD-not-really-a-sequel-just-a-way-to-make-money sequel was almost unwatchable (almost – I didn’t only watch it, I own it. But only because I got it as a gift combined with the original. Best. Birthday Present. Ever.) I didn’t have high hopes for part three. I was happily mistaken.

Now, “All or Nothing” has nothing on the Kirsten Dunst version, (because there was no Kirsten Dunst) but it did have some good stuff. The movie stars Hayden Panettiere [Britney] – the little girl from “Remember the Titans” and Solange Knowles [Camille] – Beyonce’s not attractive little sister.

Britney’s rich dad loses his job, so she and her family have to move to the ghetto high school, and thus giving up her position as cheerleading captain. Once at the new school, she meets tough black girl Camille and mayhem ensues. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but here’s some of the intense dialogue:

Britney: I didn't know you were a cheerleader.
[laughs] Camille: I'm the cheerleader. I'm captain.
Britney: So? I was captain at my old school.
Camille: And now you go to my school. So I guess that makes you... nothing.

Oh, snap!!! Sounds like y’all gotta movie you best rent this weekend.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Now 50% Less Wise!

Would you pay a guy $50 to punch you repeatedly in the jaw? Well, I did. I spent two hours on Friday having my face pulverized by Mark Arroyo, DDS. By the time Traci rescued me from my mugging, half of my face was swollen and I had blood all over my chin. Oh, but having two of wisdom teeth pulled out wasn't all bad.

Dr. Arroyo's office has TVs on the ceiling so you have something to distract you from the strangers who have their hands in your mouth. I watched six Taking Back Sunday videos on Fuse (who knew TBS even had six videos?), a preview of the weekend's matchups on the NFL network, and about 30 seconds of "Paris Hilton's 50 Most Outrageous Moments" on VH1. So other than teeth being stolen from my mouth, it wasn't a bad way to spend a few hours. I also got to suck down enough nitrous oxide to feel like my body was spinning inside out, which was alright as well.

Things I learned while in a druggy haze:

1. I can still think in Dutch while under the influence of Nitrous Oxide. About an hour into the ordeal, I suddenly found it absolutely and instantly necessary to find out if I could still think in Dutch. I could. Gelukkig maar.

2. There is no way to communicate with a swollen tongue and not feel like an idiot.

3. When you are the last appointment of the day on a Friday afternoon, no one in the dentist's office feels obliged to wash the blood off your face or even tell you that you have blood all over your face.

4. My Chemical Romance (whose video I saw twice while I was there) - even under the influence of chemicals - is the epitome of everything that sucks about fashion, film and modern music.

After we came home, Traci made me lots of wonderful jello and mashed potatoes and chocolate milk. I have a good wife.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Chris Wilson vs. Good Charlotte: The Rebuttal

In the name of journalistic integrity, here's Good Charlotte's response to Chris Wilson's recent complaints about the band:
A lot of you have seen the postings this week by our former drummer Chris Wilson, and we wanted to let you know what our feelings are and what the truth really is. Chris is saying that cheated him out of money that he felt he deserved, but that..s not true. Chris was well-paid for drumming for us but he did not write the songs with us, so he..s not included in the songwriting royalties-this is something he knew all along. We do feel badly if he mismanaged the money he made while playing with our band. He also posted that we tried to prevent the band Over It from being part of the Snakes On A Plane soundtrack. This makes no sense, as we have been friends with the guys in Over It for years now. Chris is also accusing us of withholding his gear, which is untrue. During the time Chris played with our band he was going through ..personal health problems.. and we insisted he go to rehab in the hope he would get better, so we made the arrangements and advanced him the money. We really don..t know what to make of this since we had a good conversation with Chris recently, even after he threatened to sue us earlier this summer. All of this really saddens us as we did our best to help him and to protect his reputation and privacy. --Benji, Billy, Paul and Joel

Saturday, September 30, 2006

LoveSacs & the Tabernacle

Editorial Cartoon from the Salt Lake Tribune 9/29

The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that with the seismically-necessary renovations of the Tabernacle at Temple Square, many of the original wooden benches (that were sized to fit midgets, mind you) will be replaced. This has some historians upsets, since the 1860's benches are precious antiques.

Luckily cartoonist Pat Bagley has a sense of humor about the whole thing. Bring on the LoveSacs!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nada Surf: Live at Club Suede 9/25/06

I heart Nada Surf. But generally, the only people that have any opinion on Nada Surf are those who remember their mid-90s mini-hit, “Popular.” And those people hate Nada Surf. If you fall into that category, I apologize. That was a crappy song, I agree. However, I extend to you an invitation to listen to their third album, Let Go, which I have deemed one of the best albums of all time.

I made the trip up to the PC [with Indian heartthrob Nilay and supercool Linda] to see the band’s first Utah performance in six years. If I could have had it my way, they would have just played Let Go cover to cover and then called it a night. The band apparently thought they also needed to consider the needs of the other 59 people in the crowd, so they mixed the bulk of Let Go with a couple of tracks from each of their first two records.

I was impressed that the songs – which are incredibly full on the albums – translated so well live, especially given they are just a three-piece band. A few songs sounded noticeably sparse – “Blizzard of ‘77” from Let Go and “In the Mirror” from The Weight is a Gift – but I was amazed by the ease with which they switched from narrow, mid-tempo tunes like “Blonde on Blonde” to rockers like “The Way You Wear Your Head.”

Surprisingly, they only played two or three tracks from the new album during the set; however, they came out and rifled through four or five more during the six-song encore, including an extended version of “The Blankest Year” as a finale.

There was no opener (despite the fact that we kept emailing Club Suede to see if we could open) so the band played for a full hour-and-a-half. It was so good, I had no choice but to buy a t-shirt.

Best Song: “Fruit Fly,” was absolutely amazing. The first verse immediately turned into a Dashboard Confessional-style sing-a-long and with the whole band kicked in - oh so good.

Worst Song: “What is Your Secret” from The Weight is a Gift. Sucked on the album, sucked live.

Best Merchandise: Who wouldn’t want a Nada Surf tote bag?

Coolest Move: Bassist Daniel Lorca looks like he walked right out of 1994. With his long blond dreadlocks and leather jacket, he could just as well have been playing for Soundgarden. Not only did he smoke a cigarette the whole time he was playing bass, but he actually sang backup vocals with the cigarette in his mouth.

Best “We’re Not Rockstars” Comment: After finishing their last song, singer Matthew Caws said,” Give us a few minutes and we’ll be at our merch table if you want to talk or have us sign something.” I love that after more than 10 years in the biz, they still want to hang out with their fans.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Chris Wilson Goes Crazy(?), Ends up on Stereogum

It's one thing to be the drummer for mega-unit-shifters Good Charlotte, but when you end up on Stereogum, well, that's big time. Chris decided that it was time for him to rant about his former bandmates on his MySpace page. The diatribe would have benefited from a bit of editing as it makes him sound a bit crazy. I've heard his Good Charlotte woes straight from his mouth and it sounds like they really screwed him over. Plus, he had to be involved in the whole Joel Madden, Hilary Duff throwup fest. That had to be taxing. So, for what it's worth, here's me saying that I don't think Chris is nuts.

Chris' Manifesto [Edited for my readers]:

So I've kept my mouth shut for long enough. It has been roughly a year and a half since my departure from GC, and all I can say is "what the$#@%?". What are you guys doing? How many times can I possibly get stabbed in the back? I know I #@$%ed up, and I'm sincerely sorry for what I put you through. But why are you guys acting as if everything is ok? Why don't you start telling the kids about how I never made one cent off of any merch, cd's, dvd's, royalties(of songs I played on), publishing(songs I played on) or TV performances(in which I signed contracts stating exactly how much I was supposed to recieve). Where did it go? Why do you still blow me off and never return phone calls? Why have I been trying for a year to get my gear back(4 drum sets,wardrobe case,cymbals,etc.) with no assistance from you at all ... The world does not revolve around you two. You can't keep blowing me off. How many times can you honestly turn your head and act like I don't exist? This is exactly what I've been dealing with for years. The reason why I lost my mind, was because I joined a band with two of the most egotisical, self centered, back stabbing, corrupted individual's who are filled with broken promises.

You guys were my best friends and yet I wasn't good enough. The money just meant more to you. I don't mean this to be an attack, or that I'm talking #$%$. I'm just not going to keep quiet any more...And I'm not the only one you've promised the world to and failed to follow through. Looks like your starting a trend of false hopes. Why don't you explain to Over It why they aren't on the snakes on a plane soundtrack ... You know what is crazy? I live in a #$%$ing van, you live in mansions! Where's the justification there? I was "in your band" for almost three years ...Billy and Paul, I love you guy's with all my heart and miss you so much it makes me sick. You were my best friends in the whole world. I don't know what to do anymore. I just can't hide my feeling about this and pretend everything is ok. Putting us in your top 24 or whatever, does not mean that everything is ok ... I worked really hard to get where I'm at, as did you. But your not better than me. I won't be ignored any longer. The music industry is #$%$ed, and your the perfect example.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Stick It Indeed

Who thought that a "comedy" about gymnastics by the writer's of "Bring It On" would end up being a scathing commentary on the hypocrisy of the sport's poor judging criteria. Wow, now that's comedy. Boring, boring, boring. And there weren't even any jokes about gymnasts farting - Traci is convinced that the real reason why the music plays so loud during the floor exercise is so they can cover up the sound of the gymnasts passing wind. My friend Rhett, who worked at U of U gymnastic meets for a couple of years could not verify this theory.

Anyhoo, it was no where near as good as "Bring It On." It wasn't even as good at "Bring It On Again," probably the worst movie in the history of the world. Well, at least you can enjoy the first scene of "Bring It On." Thanks for everything, YouTube.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Wait is Almost Over...

In just 20 hours I am finally going to watch "Stick It" for the first time. I have high expectations for the movie by the writers of the best movie in the history of the world. Duh, "Bring it On." For those of you who were able to resist seeing it in the theater, I promise to have a review up shortly.

September Consumption


The Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye
Justin Timberlake - Future Sex/Love Sounds
The Summer Obsession - This is Where You Belong
Snakes on Plane - Soundtrack
Lost Prophets - Liberation Transmission
David Bazan - Fewer Moving Parts


Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Apple: 2, Spencer: 0

Apple did it to me again. After holding off as long as I could, in the spring of 2004, I purchased a 15 GB iPod. I couldn't have been happier - for about one week. That's when Apple introduced the 20 GB iPod, with the new design, for the same price. My iPod was just fine, but I was a little bummed about my timing.

I decided to buy Traci an iPod Nano for her birthday. Of course, two days after I bought it I got word of the new and improved Nanos. Blast! I still feel okay about the purchase. The new Nanos have the same aluminum casing as the iPod mini, which I am not really a fan of. However, a new 80 GB iPod for just $350?! You guys can all pitch in and get me one for Christmas.

Back to Traci's birthday. What can I say, could these two be any cuter?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Baby Paige Updates

Paige is thoroughly entertained by this Wendy's Kids Meal toy.

The other day my friend Bert showed up unexpectedly with his wife and his 6-month-old baby, Mackenzie. While 10-month-old Paige was lying immobile on the floor, Mackenzie was crawling all over the place - crawling over Paige, stealing her toys and then quickly making her getaway. Paige was helpless to defend herself.

The doctor always says "don't compare your kid to other kids." Yeah, right. After Bert left, we got serious about this crawling thing. "Listen kid, it's time for you to start crawling," I say. She just looks at me like 'yeah right, dad. Whatev.' We both know who the boss is.

Check out the latest Paige photo album here.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Small World/Feel my Velvet Shoes

At noon yesterday my boss randomly asked me if I would fill in and teach her 2 o’clock Effective Communication class. Always up for a new adventure, I said sure. I drove out to the Jordan Applied Tech Center, which is a campus where high school students take college classes. When I arrived, I found out that I was going to be teaching effective communication to 20 cosmetology students – an adventure indeed.

Like a good little teacher, I stood at the front of the class and introduced myself. (It was a computer lab, so I didn’t have a blackboard to write “Mr. Sutherland.”) I started going down the roll when I reached “Rebecca Miller.” The name caught my attention and I looked up to see which girl raised her hand.

“Rebecca,” I asked, “What are the chances that you used to live in the Netherlands?”

I watched the light bulb go on above her head as well. Rebecca is an American girl whose LDS family lived in Holland for a few years. She was 12 when I last saw her. Her family is now living in Draper. Can you say random?

So that was a highlight. Other highlights included:

  • Me trying to get the girls logged onto the computer. I say, “you’ll just have to enter the last four digits of your social security number.” Immediate panic – none of them had any idea. Solution: of course they each had a cell phone and they all called their moms. Problem solved.
  • One girl asking me if I wanted to feel her shoes. “They’re pink velvet. They’re even velvet on the bottom.”
  • “What does compose an email mean?” On girl asked. “Compose means to write. An email is like an old-fashioned text message.” "Oh, cool. "

I think I want to become a teacher.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Nose that Knows and the Sticky Icky Icky

I pride myself on having “the nose that knows.” My outstanding sense of smell - combined with two years living in Holland - allows me to catch the scent of marijuana from a million miles away.

I wasn’t surprised when, about 15 minutes into the Red Hot Chili Peppers show, I started smelling the sticky-icky-icky.

I was extremely surprised, however, when I was sitting in the bleachers of the SLCC gym for our college-wide Welcome Back Day meeting yesterday and suddenly caught the same scent. Could my nose be wrong (not bloody likely), or was some faculty or staff member really making the event more enjoyable? We may never know…

Sunday, August 20, 2006

LoveSac Exits Bankruptcy, Shawn Nelson Still an Idiot

For you Arrested Development fans: this stupid picture of Shawn Nelson reminds me of all of episodes involving GOB's stripper policemen friends.

As a disgruntled former LoveSac intern, my overt smugness about their downfall, has been well documented. [Read rants here, here, here and here]

The latest news is that LoveSac is now out of bankruptcy. Apparently, some private investors paid $600,000 for all of the company's assets. LoveSac also downsized - from 78 stores to 20. Through it all, it seems that CEO and idiot Shawn Nelson continues to be just as jerky as ever. Though 58 stores worth of franchise owners and employees are now out of a job, there were still a lot of good things that came out of it. From the Salt Lake Tribune:

"We opened a lot of stores that weren't profitable, but at the same time we were able to build LoveSac into a national brand," Nelson said. "So that expansion really did have both a good and bad side to it."

I bet that's what the now franchise-less franchise owners are saying as well.

So LoveSac continues on, now sure that the company will be saved by its "sactionals." Yes, Nelson continues to believe that people what to go to a beanbag chair in the mall to buy expensive furniture.

While it's still up, I strongly recommend that you check out the following post on Shawn's LoveSac blog. I love that while he is trying his best sound sincere in his apology to all the many folks he's screwed over the years, he still takes the opportunity to plug new products:

"While I live with much regret and sadness for those injured by the Sac, I refuse to allow it to fade into oblivion. Not only are we about to launch some of the coolest new products we EVER have (the PlayerSac, the PillowSac Rocker, and G2 Sactionals-–oh, and also the very cool bar stool-–coming this fall), but more people are buying Sacs than ever."

Though it looks like he is clearly screening what comments are allowed to appear on the blog, I do give Shawn credit for letting a few angry comments slip through:

"Why not have the balls to post the ones that have people call you out for the way it is. Obviously this is an ego blog and a tool to market yourself and not really something that you use to truly reflect other peoples opinions. Also, your apology in the "‘comment section" without my post to let people see what you are responding to or without making it as a main page blog entry is worthless. Just so you know, no one accepts your half ass apologies!" The comment is by a user called "You Know Who," which is very ominous.

Even a LoveSac employee dared to call Shawn out on something I continuously saw during my time with the company, a complete lack of accountability:

"I’ve been working for this company for a little while now, and I’ve read through each and every one of these entries since I first started with the company. I thought it was nice to be able to hear firsthand what you thought about everything. Your prolific apologies and ‘thank you’s remind me of something. “There is luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has the right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.” - Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray. I’ve read your apologies and I listened to every conference call that thanked employees for their continued support. But I’ve never actually seen anyone take blame for everything that happened. I helped close stores. I went out and told staffs that their store was closing, saw managers cry as their store was torn apart and packed in boxes. The entire time, all we heard from you “Thanks, but keep selling or you’ll be next.” I’m well aware that you lost quite a bit in everything that happened. And I respect your dedication and determination. I’m not here to pretend that you aren’t grateful or sorry, I’m sure you are. But maybe it’s time that you started taking accountability and showing gratitude by working with the stores to make them better. You always told us that “We are the brand, we’re the ones making it happen.” I now know dozens of people who “were” the brand and “did” make it happen. I still talk to them. I’m still with the company, and I don’t hear anything from you anymore other than, “Corporate is doing everything right now, so if you aren’t making money, its your fault, fix it.” Where’s the real support and gratitude in that?"

Anyhoo, LoveSac sucked me in again. I've been reading blogs and articles about them for an hour now. I now I've forced it all on you. I offer my most since Shawn Nelson-style apologies. Ha!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Red Hot Chili Peppers @ the Delta Center

It's obligitory - especially when you're playing an area show - to make some comment to the audience to make them feel like you've got some sort of connection with the home crowd. Sometimes, however, rockstars have kind of a struggle relating to their Utah audiences. For example, in 1997, I witnessed Billy Corgan dedicate rock ballad "Disarm" to the "Utah Jazz's quest for their first NBA title. " Clever, but nothing compared to Anthony Kiedis name checking Utah cities - Ogden, Provo, and Hooper. Hooper! Now that's doing your homework.

(For those of you who are unfamiliar with the metropolis, Hooper is located in scenic Weber County, is home to just under 4,000 people and occupies 11.5 square miles. If you looking for a date, head to Hooper - 25 percent of the population is currently unmarried.)

If you want an exhaustive and uninteresting review of last night's Red Hot Chili Peppers show at the Delta Center, click here. If you want my unimportant observations, please read on.

1. People at concerts love beer. They get so excited, it's like they've never seen a beer before and will never see one again. That's why they are willing to wait in ridiculously long lines and pay ridiculous prices. After they finally get their two beers - one for each hand - they're so excited to get back to their friends (the loser friend always has to get the beer for everyone and is in huge a hurry to get back to their "friends," you know, so everyone will think they're cool) that they invariably spill about half of the beer by the time they reach their destination.

2. Even though Anthony Kiedis is the face of the RHCP, he was not the star of the show. Neither was Flea (Do you remember that Flea was in that Pauly Shore movie "Son in Law?"). All eyes were on guitarist John Frusciante. Even when his parts took a backseat, he was still driving the show.

Also, the real difference between the old Peppers (Bloodsugarsexmagik and earlier) and the new Peppers (Californication to current) is that Frusciante has decided to make RHCP his band. He's running that band, I guarantee it.

3. Flea is the best in the biz. Frusciante is even better.

4. Drummer Chad Smith chooses to wear a royal blue, one-piece jumpsuit on stage. He could wear anything and that's what he wears. What a rockstar! He looks like Will Farrell. As a drummer, he couldn't be more solid.

5. After RHCP basically disappeared after One Hot Minute thanks to everyone's drug habits, the band didn't even have a record deal. When they reunited with Frusciante they were just rehearsing in one of the guy's garage in California. Could you imagine walking your dog around the block and hearing "Scar Tissue" or "Other Side" blasting out of your neighbor's garage? (I bet it sounded even better than last night, which is hard to imagine.)

6. After playing for more than 2 straight hours, Flea and Frusciante looked like they would just get in the bus, pick up their instruments and keep playing.

7. It's pretty impressive when you can play to an audience that is equal part 20-year-fans and 15-year-old kids. To me, musically, that is the true definition of "still relevant."

Oh, and as far as a review of the show goes - it was great.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Beckham Bends It Like...uh, Beckham

Last night, along with 45,000 of my closest friends, I had the chance to watch the world's most famous footballer - David Beckham - as his club, Real Madrid, took on Real Salt Lake in a friendly match.

I went with Traci's little brother, Tim, who has an enormous man-crush on Beckham. We were ecstatic when we were able to catch a glimpse of him in suit and tie as he entered the field. However, we felt more than a little nervous when we didn't see him warming up with the team before the game. (He was injured during his last world cup match) He suited up, but didn't take the field during the first half.

Everyone was there to see Beckham, the huge superstar. The funny thing about it is that I don't think many people know why Beckham is famous. Everyone knows he, to quote Zoolander, is "really, really, really goodlooking." Everyone knows he's married to Posh Spice and that he's a great player. But is he a better player than anyone else? Why is he the international superstar? I checked out his career wikipedia. Sounds impressive, but clearly what makes him the superstar is that he is the face of world soccer. The very goodlooking face of soccer.

And while soccer critics say that these days Beckham is more looks than skills, it was impossible not to get caught up in watching him play. At the beginning of the second-half, Beckham took the field, greeting by deafening cheers.

Midway through the second half, the moment happened. Beckham was fouled just outside of the 18-yard box. He was awarded a free kick. We were about to watch Beckham bend it. In the few seconds between the foul and the kick, Rice Eccles Stadium turned into a lightning storm of flash bulbs. The air was absolutely electric. And then he kicked it.

The shot missed wide, but it didn't matter. Tim leaned over to me and said, "I can die happy now." It really wasn't that dramatic, but it was dramatic.

The home team lost 0-2 and no one cared. They had witnessed maybe not the best, but definitely the most famous athlete in the world play soccer for 45 minutes. After all the others had left the field, Beckham lingered. He stood in the middle of the field and turned, one-by-one, to each side of bleachers and clapped in thanks to the crowd. Absolute class act. Everyone went home happy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

See You Again Next Summer, Wendy Peffercorn

Thanks to Paige, Traci and I finally have a legitimate reason to go to the Murray City kids swimming pool. Two summers ago, I had made a goal to become tan. (It is most my well-kept secretly that I am actually quite a fair-skinned fellow.) So on my days off we tried to go swimming and do outside stuff. The public pool closest to us is basically a kiddie pool. We learned this when we went there and saw that we were the only adults not accompanying children. Not willing to be brought down by social conventions, we bravely waded out to the deep end of the pool - 3 feet deep - kid free. We also went to the kid pool at the Murray Rec Center quite a few times. We have no shame. (I never got tan.)

But now we have our very own kid so we can go to the pool all we want, guilt free. Today was my last day of summer - five-day workweek at SLCC starts again on Monday -so we figured we better swim one last time. Paige loves splashing herself in the pool and today we met up with my sisters and their kids, who are a little bit older, which means I have an excuse to go down the waterslide and do cannonballs off the diving board. Its a win-win situation for everyone.

But now summer's on its way out. No more Fridays off from the College. No more thinking, "I'm sooo glad it's Thursday." No more wearing flip-flops and t-shirts to work (the new SLCC president won't let us wear shorts to work in the summer anymore). It's a sad, sad life.

August Consumption


The Format-Dog Problems
Jack's Mannequin-Everything in Transit
Matt Park PA -Emblems
Greg Graffin-As Cold as Clay
Rise Against-The Sufferer and the Witness
Rogue Wave - Out of the Shadow


But Enough about Me by Jancee Dunn

A few thoughts from our show at Kilby last night...

I obviously have no idea what shows at Kilby are going to be “cool.” I booked the show with Get Him Eat Him for a couple of reasons. The first was that on the genre scale, we at least fall in the same realm as Get Him Eat Him. (We sound nothing like 95 percent of the bands that play Kilby.)

The second was that I thought people would actually come to the show. More people coming to see the headliner means a few more people milling around at the beginning of the show when we play. I like Get Him Eat Him, and even own their CD, so I figured there must be a lot of people out there who would also want to see them. Clearly I was wrong.

There were about 10 people there to see us, and about 10 to see the other local opener. Beyond that, there were probably four people there to see the two touring bands. Since all of the local supporters headed out after they had seen the band they had come for, the crowd for both of the touring bands was more or less the other bands on the bill.

I have always, always wanted to go on tour. It doesn’t need to be a world tour, it doesn’t even need to be a West Coast tour. I would settle for getting in a van and playing Cedar City, St. George and Vegas. Man, I can’t really think of anything cooler than that. However, nights like last night make me think about how bad it must suck to tour. Here were two bands that had driven from Denver to Salt Lake to show up and play to four fans. If my math is correct, Kilby probably only brought in $150 (and that’s the absolute max) in ticket sales. I don’t know how much the club kept for itself, but even if it was nothing, its hard to stretch $150 between two band and eight band members. The next stop on their tour was Boise, so all of the ticket money will probably be spent in gas before they get there.

Everyone knows that bands make their money on the road by selling CDs and t-shirts, but it’s hard to sell merchandise when no one comes to the show. I felt especially bad for the Evangelicals, who mentioned during their set that this was their first tour, and just their second show on the tour. I wonder if they have any doubts about what they’re doing…

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Return of David Hasselhoff & Ty Goes Crazy

Clearly, either Las Vegas or getting engaged, or both, has affected my friend Ty's taste in music. He just sent me a link to this HOTTT new video by David Hasselhoff. Below is the record label's description. I only include it because it includes the word "Hofficial."

"That's right, it's Hofficial... your favourite cult icon wants to take you home! The one and only David Hasselhoff of "Bay Watch" and "Knight Rider" fame returns with a cover of the
1975 classic 'Jump In My Car' and its a doozy. Recorded in Sydney last year with the legendary Harry Vanda (AC/DC, The Angels), the Ted Mulry Gang tune has been re-vamped with full Hoff gusto and this music video promises to rock the socks off all his Hofficial fans."

I especially love when he wears the devil horns. Best. Video. Ever.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Caution: "Retard's" on the Loose

There's nothing classier than picking fights with a 13-year-old autistic boy. But apparently some Nephi residents were so sick of their autistic neighbor bugging them and getting into their stuff that they decided the only way to address the problem was to spray paint a giant that says "CAUTION, RETARD'S IN AREA." (My favorite part is the incorrect use of an apostrophe.)

Here's the link to the whole story.

Though this is sad social commentary, it does make me think of one of my favorite tee shirts , which also uses incorrect grammar.

From the tee shirt's description:

"I guess this shirt is a booby trap for wannabe grammar police. "Hey", they'll whine, "did you know that your shirt uses the possessive 'your' when it should use the contraction 'you're'?" At which point you'll shake your head, mutter the words on your shirt, and walk away."

Which then makes me think of my favorite Napoleon Dynamite quote from Rex, owner of Rex Kwon Do, "Grab my arm. The other arm. My other arm. Okay, now watch this. I'm just gonna break the wrist and walk away. Break the wrist, walk away."

Mutter the words and walk away. Break the wrist, walk away. It's all the same.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"We're Country"

Cutest baby in the world? Hands down.

Last weekend, Paige rode on a four-wheeler for the first time. Yep, an eight-month-old baby on an ATV. It's no biggie, "we're country." Though this was Paige's second trip to my grandpa's ranch, it was her first real visit. She got to drive very slowly on the four-wheeler with grandma (she looked forward, emotionless; she may as well have been in the stroller), she got to the watch everyone play in the pond and she got to see her cousin Nathan get stung by a bee right on the mouth. His lip swelled up so big he looked like a little Angelina Jolie.

I, meanwhile, continued to struggle with my quest to conquer the barbecue. I thought I had really done a good job on the burgers this time. I had just taken them off the grill on the porch when I went to step inside of the cabin to grab some ketchup. A giant gust of wind came blowing through and the burgers went sailing into the air and then crash landed on the cement porch. All that work down the drain.

On a positive note, outdoor enthousiast Traci and I are getting more succesful in our inflatable raft paddling skills. I've got the picture to prove it (somewhere).

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hot Like a Robot

It's 12:48 a.m. and I just got home from our show at Todd's Bar & Grill. I think we redeemed ourselves after our mighty dive at Burt's on Tuesday night. Once again, Mike the dirty promoter didn't give us any money, but we did make $50 off of t-shirts sales. So, all y'all who bought shirts, many thanks. (For those of you who want shirts, email me and I can get you hooked up.)

I think we're done with the bar scene. Johnny Tightlips is going where the kids are - the all-ages shows. As long as we continue to make no money playing at crappy bars late at night we might as well be playing the early shows and not dying of second-hand smoke. I hope to see you guys at Kilby Court on August 9.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On My Way Home from the Rock Show...

It turns out that I was worried about all the wrong things. I didn't think that anyone was going to come, but quite a few Johnny Tightlips superfans showed up for a 10 p.m. show on a Tuesday night.

I was worried that we were going to screw up all of our new songs, which we did. However, I hadn't thought to worry about the other band deciding that they wanted to play first so they could get in and get out, but then not get around to starting until 11:15.

You can tell that I am rock and roll novice because last night was only the second time we've played past midnight (the other time was also at Burt's Tiki Lounge). We didn't go on until around 11:45. We felt really bad that our friends had all been sitting there, waiting two hours for us to start playing. We hurried to get set up and play as quickly as possible after the other band was finished and cut a few songs off our setlist to keep things moving along.

As we started our set I could feel that it was getting to be past my bedtime. (Poor Aaron had been up since 6 a.m. and would have to be getting up again for work in another few hours.) Everything seemed really rushed, out of tune and really scattered. We limped our way through the set, probably screwing up on 9 songs out of 10.

That's not to say that we didn't have a good time. The audience was great. There was a lot of interaction, including a drunken Burt's employee grabbing the mic and singing our cover of "Your Love" by The Outfield.

The highlight of the evening was when the drunken employees started dancing around with a giant fiberglass skull and then asked Danny to wear the skull (which had no eye holes) on his head while he played the drums. He accepted the challenge and somewhat successfully played one song with it on.

Despite the poor performance, I had a good time hanging out with everyone. I had a good time playing as well, we just sounded like crap. We hope to redeem ourselves on Friday night when we play at Todd's Bar & Grill.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

On My Way to the Rock Show...

I'll be heading home from work in a couple of minutes, then it's off to band practice. We're playing tonight at Burt's Tiki Lounge around 10 p.m. I've got the usual anxiety, wondering if we're going to suck, if anyone's going to show up, etc. We haven't played a show in three months and I'm worried we're going to be a bit rusty.

I was pretty excited when we booked the show because we would be opening for touring band Bang Sugar Bang - a band that actually falls into the same broad category of music that we play i.e. not metal, not avant garde/electro whatever, not sad, sad emo music. But we just found out that they cancelled their summer tour after their guitar player busted his hand. So we will be playing with another local band, Spork, who hopefully has a bit of a following.

I hope some folks show up since I've been frantically screenprinting a ton of new shirts and stickers, including my first-ever girlie tees. We're going to be debuting three new songs, hopefully not massacring them. We'll find out in a few hours....

July Consumption


The Bouncing Souls - The Gold Record
Frou Frou - Details
Tool - 10,000 Days
Mae - The Everglow
Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary
Dashboard Confessional - Dusk & Summer
Hot Chip - The Warning
Tegan and Sara - So Jealous
The Format - Interventions and Lullabies
Gym Class Heroes - As Cruel as School Children
Living End - State of Emergency
Good Riddance - My Republic


I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Thursday, June 29, 2006

George Bush on My Voicemail

Now, I thought it was cool when I had a voicemail from Thurl Bailey on my cell phone. Well, that's nothing comparing to getting a call from the Commander in Chief. That's right - George Dubya called me on the phone yesterday. If my dang cell phone wouldn't have been out of batteries I could have chatted it up with the guy, but instead he just had to leave me a heartfelt message about why he thinks I should vote for Chris Cannon. That sure was thoughtful of him to call and remind me to vote. What a sweetheart.

Other GWB-related posts:

Get Your Photo on w/ George W.
George Bush vs. Seth Cohen
Spencer vs. George Bush

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Baby's First Vacation

We survived our first post-baby vacation last weekend. We took Paige with us to St. George to the annual stay-at-a-condo-with-the-Pearsons trip. The first challenge was getting her there. She hates being in her car seat, so we didn’t know how well she’d do with the 4 ½ hour car ride. We debated whether to head out Wednesday night after Traci got off work and hope that she’d sleep the whole way there or go Thursday morning. We chose the former.

The car ride worked well. Because it was around her normal bedtime, Paige slept most of the ride. Unfortunately, the transition from the car to her pack-n-play crib was too much to ask. She woke up and was ready to party, which was fine. I’ll hang with Paige at 1 in the morning in St. George, right on. But her party meter ran out after about 20 minutes and then she was tired and crying. At about 4 a.m. she finally decided to go to sleep.

Fortunately for us, the Pearsons are madly in love with her and, I think, were all waiting outside of our bedroom for the first signs of her morning awaking. When Paige got up at 7:30 a.m. Traci and I just passed her off and went back to bed. It was our first chance to sleep-in in the past seven months.

The trip was pretty relaxing despite the 110 degree heat. I had a bit of stress when everyone was at the pool and I was alone in the condo. When I made my way over to the pool, I locked the door behind me – not realizing how the keyless entry worked – and successfully locked us all out of the house. Luckily we had the number of the condo owner, the only problem being that it was inside the locked condo. I would have single-handedly wrecked the whole trip if Makell’s friend Emily didn’t weigh 75 pounds and climb like a monkey. I boosted her up to the second floor and she grabbed the railing like a gymnast. She snuck quietly in through the balcony door. Hallelujah.

Paige loves being in the water, so she had fun at the pool. All she wants to do in the water is jump up and down, so it’s good that we had a lot of different hands that were willing to bounce her.

Traci loves going to the pool, so she was happy. I love watching cable. I watched the disappointing U.S. soccer match, a million of episode’s of Run’s House, The Hills and Pimp My Ride, so I was happy as well. We got to meet our friend Susie for lunch, Traci’s dad taught me how to play racquetball and we skipped church on Sunday. Huzzah for vacation!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Greetings from Southern Utah

Paige is already a regular fish at the swimming pool here in St. George. She woke up bright and cheery as ever this morning after keeping her mom and dad up until 4 a.m. this morning. Traci and I...well, not so cheery. But how could you stay mad at that face?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Sutherland's Residence: Now LoveSac Free

The Sutherlands are now LoveSac free. Because I was only paid in propane LoveSacs and propane LoveSac accessories during my six months interning at the company, our house was literally filled with LoveSacs and LoveSac accessories.

However, the novelty runs out quickly when you're trying to shove the 6-foot, 85-pound thing through the bedroom door every time you want to clean the carpets.

The LoveSac has found a new home in Traci's sister Jillian's bedroom. We only lent it to her. Since LoveSac filed bankruptcy they may become extinct, you know, and then maybe it'll be a collector's item.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Arena Football's Semi-Charmed Life

Today was ArenaBowl XX. You're right, "XX" does mean 20, which means that Arena Football has been around for 20 years. Who knew? Though Traci and I had a lot of fun a weeks ago when we went to see Utah's expansion team, The Blaze, somebody's got to talk to the marketing folks at the Arena Football League.

I turned on ArenaBowl just in time for the half-time show. The performance was by none other than Third Eye Blind. And the best part? Yes, they were playing "Semi-Charmed Life." Were all of the marketers and event planners sitting together, brainstorming, when someone said, "I've got it! We'll get Third Eye Blind for the half-time show of our biggest event. They were huge in 1997!" Did they completely overlook the fact that Jon Bon Jovi, who strangely enough still is a really big star (just ask my sisters), owns an Arena Football team? Couldn't they just ask him?

If the game wasn't exciting enought, ticketholders were also treated to a free Third Eye Blind concert after the show. Napoleon Dynamite says "lucky."

World Cup Fever (Hup Holland Hup)

(Oh the homoeroticism that is professional sports)

I've already got a mild case of World Cup Fever. I made the trip to my inlaws (we don't have cable) at 6:45 a.m. this morning to watch Holland take on Serbia & Montenegro. I even wore my Dutch jersey. Since the Pearsons were all still asleep when I got there, I tried to be very quiet. When Arjen Robben scored in the 18th minute, I whispered "Goaaaaaalllll!"

I'd like to call in sick to work tomorrow to watch the U.S. game, but I've got fire extinguisher training at work. It's a big day at work.

Not Without My(space) Daughter

In all of my job searching I guess I should look into working for MySpace. With all of the child predators and the like, I think they probably need a lot of PR work.

From Yahoo:
"A 16-year-old honor student from Michigan tricked her parents into getting her a passport and then flew off to the Mideast to be with a West Bank man she met on, authorities say."

Here's my thought about the whole thing. I don't think this story would be getting the amount of coverage that it has if she wasn't meeting a guy from the Middle East. No one would have cared if a girl went off to meet a dude in Canada or even Italy. Why? Because we in the U.S. think that all Middle Eastern men are swarthy, hairy-chested women smugglers who are going to take our women captive, never again to return.

That made me think back to a high school education highlight from my own life. Mr. Brian Hughes coached basketball and taught driver's ed at Murray High. I remember that during our driving lessons he would have us drive him on his personal errands - to the post office, to the Subway, to his mom's house. Very classy. He also taught World Civilizations.

I attribute the fact that I know nothing about world history to Mr. Hughes' class. When we got to the section about the Middle East, we watched "Not Without My Daughter," the movie where Sally Fields gets married to an Iranian. He takes her home for a vacation and then never lets her go back to the states. She then goes to crazy lengths to escape and get back home.

It took us like three days to watch the movie. That was our entire education on the Middle East. On behalf of the hundreds of sophomores that took your class, Mr. Hughes, I would like to thank you for contributing to our cultural ignorance. And thank you, Mr. Hughes' mom for the carrot cake that you gave us the day we stopped by your house on our driver's ed route.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Seve vs. Evan, the new Stretsch Armstronng?

“I could be most of these kids’ mom,” Traci said as we waited around Kilby Court for Seve vs. Evan show. I’d guess that most of the kids were between 14-17, so that would mean Traci would’ve given birth when she was 12. While the age difference wasn’t quite as dramatic as Traci made it seem, we did feel really old.

The evening was weird. Seve vs. Evan is a two-man band from Provo that I’ve been wanting to see live. Seve plays the keyboard and sings while Evan mans the drumkit. All of their songs sound like they were ripped from the soundtrack of 8-bit Nintendo games. The strangest part about the band, though, is that apparently kids can’t get enough of ‘em.

I wasn’t ready for the fanaticism surrounding the band. Seve vs. Evan was the opening act for a touring band, yet the place was packed with kids waiting to see them. The second the music started the kids all went absolutely nuts. Feet were a-dancin’ and everyone new every single word. When the band reached the bridge of their first song everyone started doing some choreographed dance where they did the underwater move –you know, when you plug your nose and pretend to be under the water. When everyone had boogied down to the floor I am sure that there were only two heads visible above the crowd – mine and Traci’s, because we didn’t know what was going on.

My first thought was all these kids were idiots, dancing around to this stupid music with the collars up on their polo shirts and their girl pants so incredibly tight. But then I had a flashback: a young Spencer and Ty skankin’ to Stretsch Armstronng every weekend, sometimes accompanied by Ryan MC in full Rude Boy motif.

Are Seve vs. Evan the new Stretsch Armstronng? There are a lot of similarities– quirky lyrics, danceable tunes, hugely popular with kids in Utah County. The polar opposite is the size of the presentation. There was something exciting about a small stage packed with musicians jumping around. Conversely, Seve vs. Evan are the epitome of minimalism. But keyboards are very comparable to horns, in that both are generally played by geeks.

So what’s a 26-year-old to do? I like the music, but I do feel a bit like a child predator hanging out with all these kids. I guess I’ll just have to listen to the CD at home and dance with Paige.

Check out Seve vs. Evan

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

June Consumption


AFI - Decemberunderground
The Bouncing Souls - The Gold Album
The Cardinal Sin - Hurry Up and Wait
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
Taking Back Sunday - Louder Now
Goo Goo Dolls - Let Love In


An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina and Tom Zoellner

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May Consumption


Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
Ben Harper - Both Sides of a Good
Eagles of Death Metal - Death by Sexy
Dannii Minogue
Catch 22 - Live
MC Lars - The Graduate
The Cardinal Sin - Demos
Pearl Jam - S/T
Paris Texas - Like You Like an Arsonist
Rob Zombie - Educated Horses


The Bill from My Father by Bernard Cooper

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Live Video: Johnny TL @ Todd's Bar & Grill

For the unfortunate few of you who missed our show at Todd's Bar & Grill with the infamous Rhett McCaughey, you're in luck - we recorded it! As a treat to you loyal Manifesto readers, here's a live clip of us performing our world-wide mega hit "Conceited Girl."

Monday, May 01, 2006

Alice in Chains Reunite

Bands replacing dead founding members is problematic at best. Strangely, though, I was happy [maybe not happy, but at least interested] when I heard that Alice in Chains is reuniting after the death of frontman Layne Staley. Staley, by far the coolest character from the grunge invasion, will be replaced by William DuVall from Comes With the Fall (a band I have never heard.)

Normally, this sort of thing would really bother me. But I think the fact that Alice in Chain's guitar player Jerry Cantrell wrote almost all of the music, half of the lyrics and even sang a bunch of the songs, it's probably tolerable to have a new singer. Unfortunately I never had the chance to see the band live, so maybe this will have to be the next best thing.

Ex-GnR man and current Velvet Revolver Duff McKagan will also be touring with the band on a few of the dates.