Monday, December 8, 2014

TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2014

I wrote a little bit for SLUG Magazine again this year, which means I got to be a part of their annual Top 5 Albums issue (on news stands right now!) that they do every December. The main problem with this, as I laid out last year, is that since it's a monthly publication and they have so many freelancers, is that you have to submit your list super early. I think this was due right around the beginning of October, which means that there were a couple of albums released afterwards that I definitely would have added instead.

There were also a few that I just hadn't listened to

My Top 5 for this year (according to SLUG) were:

St. Vincent - S/T
Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
Mobb Deep - The Infamous Mobb Deep
Patton Oswalt - Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time

The first two are still on there, 100%. St. Vincent is my favorite record of this year by far, and it doesn't hurt that I have a little crush on Annie Clark—especially after her performance with Nirvana.



Against Me!, even though I'm still mad at their tour manager for being a complete dick to me in 2004 when I booked a show for them, put out a great punk/rock record that I listen to regularly as well.

The other three, I could go either way on.

Since then I've been really into the new Death From Above 1979 album, "The Physical World", and seeing them live a few weeks ago only increased my love of it. Same goes for the new Run The Jewels record—who I actually saw live three days before DFA. That was a good week. I'd probably put both of those on there, and take two of the bottom three off.



Hell, I may just remove the bottom three altogether and give Run the Jewels two spots. But I'm not sure. There's still 3 weeks left in the year.

Also, holy shit, there's only three weeks left in the year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

FUCK THE POLICE

As told by...

N.W.A


Bruce Springsteen


Black Flag


KRS One


Bob Dylan



Monday, December 1, 2014

OLD NEWS RECORDS

I don't really know how this Cyber Monday thing is supposed to work, but I'm trying anyway!

Over the weekend, I went down to the Old News Records office (i.e. the closet in my apartment where I keep everything) and updated all the inventory in there.

The holidays are here already—which is crazy because this year has gone by very quickly—and it's time to start buying gifts. So here are three things you may want to try getting for someone, and they're all in stock and ready to be ordered from the ONR Shop.

Visit the link above, or just type in OldNewsRecords.bigcartel.com and get busy ordering!

Tulip - A great novel written by a good friend of mine. I've written and talked about this before ad nauseam, but it's still worth it.


"Bogged down by the existential angst of the American Dream, Tulip has long since given up on any search for meaning—until a voice he's never heard sneaks into his head.

The small miracles of life, paired with the new voice, sets him on a path of moral awakenings and trials by the Devil's hand. Through it all, Tulip seeks love, fights back hoards of entitled masses and finds a new hope and respect for humanity.

At the same time, Tulip must decide if the voice in his head is real or if reality is just falling apart."

HP tank top - I made this tank top last year because I thought it was a clever idea. Apparently it was clever enough that someone else stole it from me. Either that, or great minds think alike. Probably the latter. Anyway. I've got plenty in stock, in all sizes, and they're ready to ship ASAP.


Long Live Sloan t-shirt - Last but not least, my tribute to the great Jerry Sloan. The Jazz are now on their second coach since the legendary Sloan stepped down, but we'll never forget Jerry.


Everything is available and ready to go. I'm going to say that if you want it by Christmas, you need to order by December 15. I don't trust the post office anyway, but I trust them far less on a time crunch.

LET'S ANALYZE THAT TRAILER, SHALL WE?

How much can we get out of a 96 second movie trailer? A lot.

As I was looking at Twitter after I woke up on Friday morning, I started seeing screencaps of a newly released movie trailer. I'm still trying really hard to only watch trailers at movie theaters, but sometimes I can't resist and watch them at home. I'd already seen so many stills and GIFS, that I gave in.

I've already watched this thing like 15 times, but let's go ahead and do a hard analysis of the trailer for Carmen Electra's new movie, LAP DANCE, and just try to figure out what everything means.



Now that you've had a chance to watch it, let's get right to it.

First, there's that iconic Texas sky that we all know and love—because it played a very important part in the FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS TV series.

Next, we get our first glimpse of the person we'll be spending this journey with: Ali Cobrin. Notice that Ali Cobrin is NOT Carmen Electra who, even though we've collectively forgotten about her since she's 15 years removed from popularity, gets top billing and is the face of the movie. Nope. Cobrin doesn't have a long history of acting credits, but you may recognize her from that one time you watched AMERICAN REUNION because you were bored.

Remember, this is a trailer and not a teaser, so we have to get a few actual plot details. This is where we find out that Cobrin and her boyfriend need money because he hasn't sold his script yet, her father is dying of cancer AND there's a dreaded yellow foreclosure notice on their front door. 

What's a girl to do in this situation? Well, start stripping of course! Because it's super easy, and as MAGIC MIKE taught us, strip clubs will pretty much hire anyone that wanders in off the street looking for money.

Now we're getting somewhere! Stripping is a great way to make money, and Monica's only going to try it for a week, so it'll be no problem. But as the trailer will soon tell us, "Fast money comes... At a dangerous price." Also, we're now exactly halfway through this thing and we haven't even seen Carmen Electra yet!

Oh. There she is. Okay. We're good. By the way, this movie is also based on a true story, which basically means that nothing nearly as dramatic happened. In reality, this girl probably got a job at a strip club, made pretty great money and went on living her life almost exactly the same as she had before. But that's not exciting. You know what is exciting?


A Ron Fucking Jeremy cameo! Now we're getting somewhere, and that somewhere is "generic trailer notes." At this point, the narrator tells us that "It's the money that brings girls in. It's the attention that keeps them coming back."


The rest pretty much hits all the beats it's supposed to. There's tension in the relationship, Monica admits that she's lost control, blah, blah, blah, swelling music, montage of possible girl-on-girl action, lens flares, and BAM! The title pops up and it's all over.

That was an intense minute and a half, wasn't it? Well don't worry, because we don't even have to wait that long to actually see this masterpiece.

It'll be released this coming Friday. Whether or not it will be in actual movie theaters remains to be seen. 

But in 4 months or so when it pops up on Showtime at 3 AM, just when you've just finished binge-watching HOMELAND for 6 hours, you can watch a few minutes of it. All the best parts were probably already in the trailer though. Except for maybe the nudity.

Wait. Did you think I was going to be writing about the new STAR WARS trailer? Oh. Well. Shit. Sorry everyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

HENRY ROLLINS FLIPS INTERVIEW

Well this is awkward.

I wish someone would track this kid down so we could see what he thinks about this whole thing 30 years later.

Monday, November 24, 2014

STILL HERE

Hi.

I kinda forgot about this thing for a while. Remember when I got laid off? Did I even tell you about that? Well, anyway, I got laid off two days before the World Cup started and decided that I'd pretend I was 19 all over again, wait tables part time and have summer vacation. So that's what I did.

I hung out all summer, went camping, took a few trips, generally just enjoyed life outside. Now that it's like 20 degrees around Salt Lake I'm getting back on the blogging train. I actually had a few posts written and ready to go up last week, but then the thing with Brad happened and I wanted to keep that post at the top for a little while.

Things are still moving along in a few different areas, but nothing incredibly exciting has happened lately.

So on that note, let's get to the posts! Up first (below) is a little thing about Andre the Giant. It's the first of three wrestling posts I have queued up (including the tale of how Hulk Hogan is an asshole in real life), so stay tuned for those.

And for other stuff. I may be getting back into the groove here. Or I may just put these two up and forget about it again. We'll just have to find out together, I guess.

THE GIANT

I was never truly infatuated with Andre the Giant the way some people were. He was the guy from the generation before, so by the time I was getting into wrestling he was on the decline. I was too young for his "passing of the torch" match with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania III and only knew him as the funny, big guy from THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

Over the past year there's been a bit of an Andre the Giant resurgence, and all these stories are popping up (like here and here). They're kind of great, so I've started to learn a little bit more about him.

A while back, I learned about this video of him on Letterman's show back in 1984—before Letterman wore a suit every night and was still just a young comedian from Indiana that somehow ended up with a talk show. It's not the greatest interview, because Andre seems a little shy, but it's still a lot of fun. I especially love the story about why he won't pick Dave up like he requested.

Monday, November 17, 2014

RIP BRAD BRICKS


Brad Hancock was shot and killed last Saturday night outside of a show in Salt Lake City.

The fact that something like this happened at a place where people would to go to blow off steam, see bands they loved, and get away from all the bullshit in their life is beyond depressing. Hardcore shows weren't always a sanctuary—there were always going to be disagreements and a fight every now and then—but 85% of the time, they were. Shows were always a place that you'd meet up and chat with friends you hadn't seen in a long time. You'd catch up and then bands would play some breakdowns and everyone would go nuts.

It was fun. Until it wasn't anymore. I've been out of it for a while, so I wasn't there the other night, but that doesn't mean it didn't have an effect on me.

I won’t pretend that Brad and I were close, because we weren’t. And I’m not going to try and convince anyone that I knew him the best, because I didn’t.

But we were friends. I met him as a young, punk kid that I liked because he gave a shit about something—even if it was the wrong thing sometimes. Whenever I'd book a show, or be at one with whatever band I was in at that time, he'd be there. Any time we'd make our way up to Ogden, Brad was there, ready and willing to help with anything we needed.

He changed a lot since I first met him, and I watched him go through the pains of growing up. We didn't hang out, and we barely ever spoke outside of shows, but I watched him get his shit together from a distance. He found a girl he adored and had a son that he loved more than anything in the world. It was nice to see. Now it's gone.

I never told him this, but I was proud of him.

I was, and still am, proud of the way he stepped up and changed course in his life. I'm proud of the way he shifted from that punk kid I met singing for Right on Track to an adult taking on serious responsibilities—especially the task of being a father. That's no easy job, and Brad was up for it.

It's sad for us that he's gone, and it's even worse for his fiancee and young son.

People have been stepping up over the past few days, raising money and trying to help out wherever possible. If you've got a few extra bucks, send it their way. They could really use the support.

There's a Go Fund Me page set up in his honor that you can find here: Go Fund Me for Brad Hancock and Family.

Also, my friends Troy and Gailon at King of Swords Tattoo here in Salt Lake City are getting into the spirit as well. On November 29, Thanksgiving weekend, they'll be doing walk-ins all day and donating the proceeds to Brad's family. Stop by the shop at 248 W. 900 S. in Salt Lake City that weekend, get tattooed and share your memories of Brad.

*UPDATE* Adam Gibson at Cathedral Tattoo will be doing walk-ins this weekend (11/22 & 11/23), donating all proceeds to Brad's family.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BE VERY AFRAID


Just like last year, City Weekly asked me to check out a few of the haunted houses around town and do a little write-up for them. So I did!

Luckily, this year I had company as I went through all four of the bigger ones around SLC. I planned ahead because I didn't want to get stuck with a bunch of teenagers after a high school dance. That was fun once, but I wasn't too interested in trying that again.

My friend Elsha went with me the first night to Castle of Chaos and Strangling Brothers, and the next night I roped my friend Andy (@pangeaspeed) and his GF Melissa (@moldiegoldie) into coming along with me to Nightmare on 13th and Fear Factory. It was pretty fun. I don't get scared at these things anymore, but I still love walking through them. It's fun to see what each one does differently and which ones quietly steal ideas from each other and tweak them a bit so no one really notices (that happens).

I still can't pick a favorite because they all have pros and cons. They're all fun in their own way. If you're bored any time over the next month, the four that I mentioned above are all worth checking out.

If you don't believe me, just check out the article!

Have you checked out any haunted houses this year? What is your favorite part of them?

City Weekly -- There's no better way to get in the spirit of Halloween than wandering through hordes of zombies, deranged clowns and lunatics with power tools while trying to pretend you're not terrified. Haunted house season is upon us, and Utah has its fair share of some of the best in the country.

Read the rest...

Friday, August 8, 2014

CRAFT LAKE CITY - 2014 EDITION


I was prepared this year.

Let's back up a bit. I was prepared before I got to the show, at least. Usually I'm still putting stuff together while I get set up and hope that no one actually comes by my table for the first hour so that I can get everything together.

This year, I spent the whole day holed up in my house folding mini-comics, making labels and painting my display rack. It's going to be good.

If you're coming down to the Gallivan Center any time today (Friday 8/8) or Saturday (8/9) stop by and see me. Instead of a table, this year I'm sharing a booth with my friend Lauren (@snackmastercandyblaster). She makes cat crafts and cool little trinkets. We're going to have fun

Our booth is under Old News Records and/or Lauren Mack. We're set up in one of the white tents that's actually on Gallivan Avenue, so come by and see us. We'll be there all weekend.

Feel free to bring treats for me and boxed wine for Lauren. You might have to sneak the wine in though.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ON THE ROAD AGAIN


Up until about a week ago, I'd never set a single foot in Colorado. I've driven through a few times while on tour, but we were never able to book a show and I didn't really have any other reason to head east.

I just got home from spending almost a week there (over the course of two trips) and it was pretty great. I had no idea what to expect, but I loved the city. If it didn't snow just as much, if not more, than Salt Lake City in the winter, it would be on the list of cities that I would actually consider moving to (but probably never actually will).

The first leg of the trip, I drove out in a rental car with my friends Casey and Oz. For the second half, I flew, but met up with Casey, who drove out again with Paddy and Justin.

I covered most of the trip here and here, but I've got a bunch of other pictures, too. Some of them showed up on Instagram, some showed up on Twitter (my own and The Fucking Reserves), but there were a lot more and I didn't want to clog everyone's feed.

If you're interested, head over to check them out at my Flickr account. There's a bunch of other stuff for you to root around in, too. You can lurk my life all the way back to 2004 if your little heart desires. I don't mind.

VIVA LA UNDERWATER BOAT DEVILS!

While I'm not the world's biggest soccer fan, it has grown on me a lot over the past couple of years. I had season tickets for Real Salt Lake for a season, still go to a few games each year and paid casual attention to British Premier League games (now that they're on NBC quite a bit).

Over the past year, I've started to get more and more into soccer and it's mostly due to that Manchester United podcast (we've been going strong for almost a full year, only missing one week) that I'm part of. I still don't know much about the intricacies of the game and I couldn't tell you why some players work where others don't, but I'm learning.

The other huge boost that I got was getting laid off just before the World Cup started. I was planning on catching as many games as I could, but figured I'd only be able to catch the Saturday games and daily recaps. That changed, and I took full advantage of my summer vacation and caught as many as I possibly could. Now I'm really starting to get the hang of things.

The Premier League starts up again in a couple of weeks (with the German and Spanish leagues starting soon after), and pretty much every club is in pre-season mode. A whole bunch of teams from Europe (including some of the big names like Manchester United, Man City and Real Madrid) came over the U.S. for a little preseason tournament called the International Champions Cup. It doesn't really mean a whole lot, and it's mostly for the teams to build their profile in the United States, but it's still pretty awesome.

Manchester United was scheduled to play in Denver against AS Roma a few days after the Nine Inch Nails/Soundgarden show, and there was no way that Casey was going to miss it. He bought a couple of tickets and my friend Paddy, who also does the podcast with us, bought a few as well. Casey was going to take his wife, and Paddy was going to take his wife and two kids, but as the game got closer, most of the family bailed. Oz had used up the last of his vacation time on the Soundgarden trip, and Byron couldn't get away, because he and his wife had just their second kid not long ago.

I was still unemployed (still am, more or less), so I took one of the tickets and headed back to the Mile High City for the second time in less than a week.

I flew out early Friday morning, and got into town about 10:30, while Casey, Paddy and our friend Justin drove out got to town about 4 PM. We met up at the hotel and headed to Sports Authority Field to watch an open training session. Roma backed out of theirs, so we waited around in the pouring rain and watched Manchester United run around cones and do ball drills for a couple of hours.

The next day, we headed to the Four Seasons and waited for the team to leave the hotel. Casey and Paddy had a bunch of stuff they were trying to get signed, but the crowd was too big and the only player that stopped to sign anything was Chicharito—and even he only got through a handful of things before he had to get on the bus.

Casey's seats were on the 11th row behind Roma's bench, while Paddy's seats were in the 3rd deck. We split up, and Justin went up with Paddy and his friend that just happened to be in town, while Casey and I went down to our seats. The  field-level corners of the stadium ended up being pretty empty, so eventually we all met up and moved over to some vacant seats and watched the game. For the first half, Casey and I stayed in his seats and we got a great look at a Wayne Rooney goal that was awesome, a Juan Mata goal off a beautiful assist from Rooney and another Rooney goal on a penalty.

Basically, the first half was all Rooney. Since these games don't really matter, the entire team was subbed off at halftime, and the second half was decidedly less exciting, with the exception of a killer Roma goal that was lobbed in from just over mid-field.

Casey and I both way over-prepared for the 20% chance of rain, but didn't prepare at all for the 80% chance of the 95-degree direct sunlight that ended up being the case for most of the first half. It was brutal, but luckily clouds moved in, gave us some shade and cooled things down for the second half. Manchester United ended up winning 3-2 and I've never seen Casey or Paddy in a better mood.

While I'm not really a huge fan of the team, I'm glad to say that I've seen a British Premier League team in action. The quality of play is way better than what I'm used to, and after seeing that in person and spending a month watching World Cup, it's going to be tough to watch an RSL match next time they're on.

But I'll still do it. The Jazz are going to be terrible again, baseball games are getting harder and harder to sit through (more on that later), and the NFL is a complete farce. So let's go soccer!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TWO DOWN, ONE TO GO.


I had three bands on my "bucket list" and I checked the second one off last week.

Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden and Bruce Springsteen (I once made noise about wanting to see the rumored Slayer/Anthrax/Megadeth/Metallica tour, but I don't actually care about any of those bands anymore) were the three bands I'd never seen live but always wanted to. I kind of figured that it would never happen, since Springsteen never comes anywhere near Salt Lake and neither Soundgarden or Nine Inch Nails were actually bands anymore.

Never say never, I guess.

I got the chance to see Nine Inch Nails last fall for the first time, and I got to see them again last week. They put on an amazing show last time I saw them, so I was looking forward to what they'd do this time. What they did this time was bring Soundgarden as their opening act.

Casey, Oz and I drove out to Denver last weekend to catch the show at Red Rocks Ampitheater, which is about half an hour outside of town. It's built into the side of the mountain and one of the coolest venues I've ever been to. The views are amazing and the sound is incredible (though it's a little bit of a hike to get to, and getting out afterwards takes far longer than I would have liked).

Before the show started, I had no idea what to expect from it. I'd never gotten confirmation on just whose tour it was: was NIN opening for Soundgarden? Was it the other way around? Were they co-headlining and trading off each night? I was a little stressed, because while I love Soundgarden, I wanted NIN to play for as long as possible. Turned out to be a Nine Inch Nails tour, with Soundgarden as support.

Casey, Oz and I hit up the cafe to eat French fries during the ambient DJ that was opening the show and we got back to our seats just as Soundgarden dropped the curtain in front of the stage and launched into "Searching with My Good Eye Closed" and didn't let up for over an hour. They didn't have as much time as they would have liked, so they stuck mostly to the hits, but threw in a few of the less popular tracks, which was awesome. They played "Like Suicide" and "The Day I Tried to Live" and closed their set with "Slaves & Bulldozers" which just left a huge smile on my face.

Soundgarden sounded perfect, but they're kind of boring to watch. It didn't lessen my enjoyment, but it was a little bit of a letdown. Kind of looked like they were just going through the motions at times, but at least I got to see them.

The beginning of NIN's set caught me by surprise because there was literally nothing on the stage until Trent Reznor walked out, stood next to a single light and hit a few buttons on a sequencer. "Copy of A" started, and one by one, the rest of his band joined him across the front of the stage. Huge, LED screens moved behind each of them and the show got underway.

The setlist was very similar to what they played last year when I saw them (with a few exceptions, like taking out "Reptile" which was a bummer, but adding in "Closer" and "1,000,000" so it was okay), but the stage show this time was much more involved and intricate. There was also a smaller band this time, which made it easier for the seven (!) screens to be moved around while everyone was playing their instruments.

Totally worth the trip out there (and I'd never been to Denver before, which is an awesome city that we'll talk about a little bit more), I've hit two out of three and now I'm just waiting on The Boss. Let's get to it, Bruce.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

SEE THESE NOW


Summertime means a lot of things. It means swimming, hiking, bbq, patio eating, iced coffee, road trips, World Cup games (this one has been great) and tons of other fun stuff. Most of that takes place outside, which is exactly where you're supposed to be during the summer months.

But sometimes it's just too hot for any of that. There are few things that are more enjoyable and give you a nice break from the sweltering heat than sitting inside a nice, air-conditioned theater and catching a movie. Plenty of great movies get released over the summer, but there are two playing right now that you should see immediately.

SNOWPIERCER - Seriously, if you like weird, character-driven, brilliantly made sci-fi movies like BLADE RUNNER, BRAZIL, or ALIENS, you'll want to see this immediately. Sometime in the future, an attempt at stopping global warming fails miserably and immediately freezes the entire planet. The only survivors were the people that were rich enough to afford a ticket on the Snowpiercer—a train with a perpetual-motion engine that travels around the world non-stop. At the last minute, others that couldn't afford the price rushed the platform and boarded the train before the doors started. For 17 years, the rich lived a life of luxury at the front of the train, while the poor languished at the back. Chris Evans is one of those stuck at the back and fed up with being fed only protein bars and decides to lead a revolution.

I don't want to say much else for fear of ruining it. I saw it last Saturday and loved every second of it. Evans is fantastic (as he is in everything he does lately), John Hurt plays a wounded veteran of past uprisings, Tilda Swinton is the spokesperson for those at the front of the train, including Wilford—the creator and operator of Snowpiercer. It's full of amazing, claustrophobic action, great character moments and stunning visuals. I haven't seen anything like it in a long, long time. It's out in theaters now and will be released for On Demand this weekend. Look for it.

EDGE OF TOMORROW - Look, I know what you're thinking because I had the same thought: I fucking hate Tom Cruise. He's not a bad actor, and he plays essentially the same character in every single movie he headlines. It's just that his personal life was so encompassing for a while that it made me sick of him. But he is FANTASTIC in this movie and Emily Blunt, who is always great, goes toe to toe with him every step of the way. I really thought it was going to be a dour, boring movie like so many futuristic war movies, but I was 100% wrong. It was directed by Doug Liman, a guy that I've always loved, and I always forget that he likes to make his movies fun.

Aliens have taken over most of the world and humanity is losing badly. Tom Cruise is a military PR guy that gets thrown into battle dying almost immediately because the aliens have anticipated the attack. As soon as he dies, he wakes up the previous morning, unsure of what's happened but remembering everything. He tries to convince his squadron that their demise is inevitable, but they won't listen. Each time he dies, he wakes up again in the same place. In one of his encounters, he tries to save another soldier (Blunt) who believes him and tells him to find her when he wakes up. She tries to teach him how to defend himself from the aliens long enough to stop them.

If you're thinking "that kind of sounds like a war version of GROUNDHOG DAY" you're right. But the similarities end there. It's a much, much better movie than I gave it credit for going in and I promise that you'll love it.

So there you go. Go see both of those movies. The only two other movies I'm looking forward to this summer are DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. If those are half as good as these two (and I think they'll both be great), we're in for a good summer at the movies.


Monday, June 23, 2014

THE MOUNTAIN AND THE VIPER


The fourth season of GAME OF THRONES ended last Sunday, with an awesome battle between The Hound and Brienne of Tarth. The week before that, there was an hourlong battle at Castle Black and The Wall.

THRONES has become the favorite show of many, many people and for damn good reason. It's really really good. It takes a bit of a commitment and you actually have to pay attention to it since there are so many characters and so many different story lines. It's a weekly soap opera with much more violence, magic and dragons. It's amazing and if you're not watching it, you should be.

Everyone spent most of yesterday (Sunday, 6/22) in withdrawals and counting down the days until season five premieres sometime next March. Luckily for us, the World Cup is on and the U.S. Men's National Team decided to re-enact the iconic battle from Episode 8 of this season, "The Mountain and the Viper."

Unfortunately, for everyone in this country, the United States decided to assume the role of Prince Oberyn Martell. It was heartbreaking.

The U.S. was up 2 - 1 going in to stoppage time, when 5 minutes (5 minutes!) was tacked on. The U.S. held on for most of it, but Ronaldo, arguably the greatest player in the world made an assist at the last minute–literally the last minute–to give Portugal a tie.

The United States was 30 seconds away from advancing to the round of 16. Now I know how Tyrion felt.