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.