Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloweeeeeen!

The best part about Halloween is that you get Simpsons Halloween re-run episodes all week long. Last night was the episode where Kang and Kudos kidnap Bill Clin-ton and Bob Dole and run for president. My favorite line:

Kang [running for President]: Abortions for all! [crowd boos]
Very well, Abortions for none! [crowd boos]
Abortions for some, miniature American flags for the others! [crowd cheers]

Couldn't find that clip on YouTube, so this one will have to do.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Boe Zegt de Koe

Paige loves both animals and their associated noises. Often in the morning we’ll hear her in her crib saying “Horse. Nay. Nayyyy. Sheep. Baaaaaahhhh.”

My niece Meagan was born while I was on my mission. In the airport on the way home, I bought her a Dick Bruna t-shirt with a cartoon of a cow that says “Boe zegt de koe.” (The cow says “boo.” Dutch cows don’t say moo – “moe” in Dutch means “tired.” You can’t have a bunch of cows milling about saying “Tired! Tired!”)

Meagan has since outgrown the shirt and passed it on to Paige. I was very excited when Paige was big enough to start wearing it. And Paige was very, very excited to wear a shirt with a cow on it. So much so that it caused quite a problem.

Spencer: Paige, let’s put this shirt on you. Look, it has a cow on it. [I pull it over her head.]

Paige: [Looking down at the cow shirt] Cow. Moo. Cow. Moo. Moo. Moo. Cow. Cow. [She starts grabbing the shirt, pulling the image up to her face.] Cow! Cow! Cow! Cow! Cow! [Going into stimulation overload] Cow! COW! COW! COW!

I had to quickly take the shirt off before her head exploded. I can only imagine what’s going to happen in a couple of weeks when Traci gives her the Elmo shirt that she bought her for her birthday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Honk! Honk!

Traci's little sister Jillian just had a baby. Last night Paige was getting tended at Traci's mom's house (where the Jillian and new baby live). Paige picked up Jillian's breast pump and said "Horn. Honk! Honk! Honk!"

Sunday, October 21, 2007

JTL update

The band has basically been on hiatus all summer long. When Traci and I moved to Taylorsville, it kind of screwed up the practice schedule. The Murray house was central to the band as car-less Danny works down the street at the library and Aaron lived around the corner. Between all of the time spent moving and all of the usual summer stuff, we have only rehearsed sporadically and haven't played a show since June.

Things are finally starting to get back on track. This past week we put together the basis of a new song, the first new song in forever. I'm excited about the music, but it's still without lyrics. That means we now have three songs with no words. (We play them live, I just make up new lyrics each time.) It's a bit embarrassing that I write all day at work, but can't for the life of me write lyrics. Especially now that I'm neither teenage nor angsty.

The band recorded basically recorded all of the instrument tracks for our album at least a year ago. It's still sitting on my computer, needing mixing and some more vocals. How can I start on all of my other recording plans - my rap album, my techno career, my acoustic songs - until I get the Johnny Tightlips album done? I've been spending a lot of time planning drums with Paige. Maybe I can teach her how to use ProTools.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Morning at the Gynecologist

So I'm sitting at the gyn-o-cologist this morning just minding my own bid'ness watching my two favorite shows, Regis & Kelly and Good Things Utah, when out of nowhere the doctor comes in and tells us we're going to have another baby. (I don't even know where babies come from. I looked on the internet at work, but a red flashing firewall screen said I needed to ask my mom.)

Traci's 12 weeks pregnant with a little alien that I saw on the ultrasound. The nurse spun the Wheel o' Due Dates and it looks like April 29 is the blessed day.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Elton Paige

Paige modeling her new Elton John glasses

Recent Paige-isms:


At church on Sunday we were sitting in the first row of overflow chairs, right behind the last pew in the chapel, where all the old people sit. Paige walked up to the back of the pew and leaned up behind each old person and said softly, "boo." When the first person didn't react, she moved to the next old person, and then to the next. Her scare tactics were all in vain. None of the oldies even heard her.

Elmo's World

Also at church: During the quiet of the sacrament meeting Paige had to be singing a song in her highest pitched voice. Though I doubt anyone could other than Traci and I could identify the tune, she was doing her best to sing "La, la, la, la, this my song, Elmo's world."


Our little parrot now repeats everything we say. Last night, I hollered for "Trace," and within seconds my little friend had to be shouting, "Trace, Trace, Trace." She also yells "honey," and when I call her "sweetheart," she replies "babble, babble, babble, babble, sweethearrrrrt."

Baby's First Mass

Last night at Traci's parents, I showed Paige how to dump the assortment of toys out of the wire basket and put the basket on her head. She spent the rest of the night with it on her head, walking around saying "Hat, hat, hat, hat."

Today she was being babysat by Traci's mom. Cathie had left her in the other room watching an Elmo movie. When she came back to get her, Paige had changed the station and was now watching a Catholic mass on tv. And she was wearing the basket on her head. Cathie rushed to put in a primary movie before Paige had much time to change religions. She already hates nursery.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Dashboard Confessional

Dashboard Confession
The Shade of Poison Trees

After the slightly disappointing sales of Dashboard Confessional’s 2006 release Dusk and Summer, teenage heartbreak heartthrob Chris Carrabba has gone to great lengths to give the kids exactly what they want. The Shade of Poison Trees replaces Dusk’s overly produced, full band arrangements with the familiar acoustic sound of earlier releases. While he succeeds with the reproducing the format – even down to the screen print album cover art - the quality of the actual songs is a bit mixed.

The album’s opening track is also its best. The story of a celebrity whose friends disappear when the money does, “Where There’s Gold” finds Carrabba opening up without falling back on his usual first person narrative with lyrics like, “You throw yourself into their arms/Mistresses have all the fun, but no one's ever there to take you home.”

The next few tracks continue strong with acoustic strumming and pop sensibilities, most of which clock in under the three minute mark. Standouts include the up tempo “Thick as Thieves” and “The Rush,” a love letter that any girl would die to receive - “I'll love you tonight and tomorrow you may just feel the same.”

About thee-fourths of the way through the album, however, the momentum is lost. “Little Bombs” sounds like signature Dashboard until the forgettable chorus and “I Light My Own Fires Now” seems better suited for Carrabba’s early work with Further Seems Forever. The lowest point on Shade is “Matters of Blood and Connection,” the Dashboard version of a rap battle, where a spoiled Cambrige kid is dissed for faking street cred. Despite the lull, the album finishes nicely with “Clean Breaks” and the piano-driven “The Widow’s Peak.”

Regardless of Shade’s missteps, Dashboard was wise to pull back from its leanings toward big, athemic rock songs. Millions of screaming girls have already proven that Chris Carrabba can fill an arena with just an acoustic guitar and his shaky tenor.

Rating: Burn a friend's copy

Where There's Gold [MP3]

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

X96 Big Booty S(ho)w

Jimmy Eat World

Since when does rock and roll ever start on time? Perpetually annoyed by the lack of punctuality in concerts (see Thanksgiving Point Jamboree), I was shocked by the X96 BASH last weekend.

The show was supposed to start at 11 a.m. and feature The Starting Line, Sum 41, Cold War Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Social Distortion and The Used. Traci was working until 2, but I figured if I left right after she got home I would be able to see everything I wanted to. Wrong.

I arrived to the cavernous Salt Palace Convention Center (38 degrees and rain all day moved the festival indoors) at about 2:40 and Jimmy Eat World was already 10 minutes into their set. We had already missed all but three bands. Now that's punctual!

Their 50 minute set reverberated through the concrete hall and was mostly comprised of Bleed American material - Get it Faster, Bleed American, Authority Song, Sweetness, The Middle. They only played two tracks off of Futures - Futures, Pain - and three from Clarity - Lucky Denver Mint, Crush, Blister. They also threw in one new track. Though it definitely felt like a radio show, it was great to see them, and my comrade Tim and I happily bopped along with all of the 14-year-olds.

After their set we stopped by the VIP room where I learned we were also too late for the free pasta. I got a Sprite. Yipee.

I don't know who decided the band order, but Social Distortion played between Jimmy Eat World and headliners The Used. It was demographical night and day going from the JEW stage to Social D. Tim and I were no longer the oldest dudes in the crowd. In fact, most of the people could have been our dads. That is, if our dads still wore black t-shirts tucked into cut-off Levi shorts, complimented by sleeveless denim jackets. Lotsa hot chicks there, too. The 50-year-old lady standing in front of us was wearing a calf-length cheetah print coat with matching cheetah-print shoes.

Nothing gets a crowd going like some good old fashion onstage banter. Here's some from Social D frontman Mike Ness:

"We want to thank, uh, the radio station. (He apparently didn't think to look at the giant X96 banner behind him.) When we first started playing, radio stations didn't play punk rock. We were stuck with Fred Nugent...[applause]...Dead Zeppelin...[more applause]...and Guns 'n Roses! [wild applause]"

Yeah, radio sucked from 1970 to 1992!

Tim and I stuck around until we heard "Same Ol' Ball 'n Chain" and then figured we could go. [Note: X96 has played that song everyday for the past 15 years. Nothing makes Traci more mad.] Neither of us cared to see The Used. So that was it. We went home. I think we were there for about an hour an a half total. I was home in plenty of time not only to make it priesthood session, but to eat some dinner and take a little nap.

Though we didn't see Sum 41, I did see lead singer Derek Whibley at the autograph booth. He's probably 5'2" and 85 pounds. I kept looking around to see if wife Avril was around, but no luck.

October Consumption


Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
Dashboard Confession - The Shade of the Poison Tree
Ben Harper - Lifeline
Mum - Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy
Mum - Finally We Are No One
Mark Ronson - Version
Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
Matt Pond PA - Last Light