Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I wrote about wanting to make a digital mixtape a few weeks ago but never got around to it. I may do it eventually, but for now, I'm just going to do it through here.

Brook and I were talking about how we had no idea who the popular bands are anymore (A Day To Remember? Really?) and started throwing out all the awesome stuff we liked when we were younger. That led to both of us scouring YouTube later that night and posting great music videos.

I've taken the liberty of collecting the best ones here for your listening/viewing pleasure.

Hit the jump and re-live my youth.


Wrote this a little bit ago but it just showed up last week.

City Weekly -- Comics publishers trot out still more universe-changing —and wallet-lightening—plot developments.

Big, company-wide event comics have long been a standard of the industry. From Crisis on Infinite Earths to the original Secret Wars, DC and Marvel have always tried to stir things up, make their stories more exciting and maybe breathe a little life into flailing titles. But over the past few years, the two big companies have been lodged in a battle to constantly one-up each other by making the events bigger in scope and widening their sweep over the respective universes. This is the kind of thing that’s taking its toll on the casual reader and bringing on a serious case of event fatigue.

DC is kicking things off a little earlier than usual by releasing not one, but two big events this year. War of the Green Lanterns (pictured) begins in March and picks up threads that were planted in last year’s Blackest Night event. War is being relegated to only Green Lantern titles, but that means if you only read one Green Lantern title a month (as opposed to all of them), you’ll need to start paying attention to the others to keep up on what’s going on. This is also a bit of an extra push, since the Green Lantern movie opens in theaters this summer.

While the smaller Green Lantern event is going on in one corner of the DC Universe, writer Geoff Johns will also head up the much-bigger-in-scope Flashpoint, beginning in May. While Flashpoint itself is only a five-issue series, there are an additional 15 3-issue miniseries that will flesh out the story that begins in the main event. And if you don’t want to miss anything, it won’t come cheap. Even if DC holds the line at a $2.99 price point, the Flashpoint tie-in series alone will cost you an additional $45 a month on top of whatever you’re spending on your regular monthly comics anyway. That’s not even counting the mini itself, or the already monthly Flash title that will surely be affected. For a die-hard fan, that’s not too bad—but it’s a sure-fire way to scare off the casual reader.

Marvel isn’t an innocent bystander in this type of marketing, either. They’ll be trotting out the seven-issue Fear Itself series this spring, complete with a prologue issue and several tie-in series, as well. Historically, Marvel has been a little better at making their events relatively stand-alone, so you can read only the main title and won’t miss much else by avoiding the tie-ins. DC, on the other hand, has been known to throw out enormous plot points in one series and finish them in another, irritating some fans who are already weary of how much money they spend a month on comics.

For some, it’s easier (and cheaper) to avoid all of these problems by simply skipping the event books and catching up online. Comic book sites and message boards are notorious for spoiler-heavy reviews and discussions that may not be as fun, but at least you won’t be bogged down with extra homework to make the most of the one book you actually want. If one were to go that route, but still wanted their fix of capes and masks, this would be the perfect opportunity to check out some of the smaller, independent superhero books on the shelf. Invincible might be the best of them all over the past few years, so why not take a break from the mainstream and help out the little guys, instead?

Every writer probably dreams of the day he’s given the keys to an entire universe to have his way—and if the idea is good, more power to him. But for those who are tired of the promise that “nothing will ever be the same again,” only for it to be almost exactly the same a few short months later, these big events are sometimes just another distracting side effect of otherwise great serialized storytelling.


I picked up the new Rolling Stone magazine today from my parents (which I only have a subscription to because it kills a few minutes at work on slow days). It's a couple weeks old and is a dual sided affair with Snooki on one cover and on the back cover is the "New Faces of 2011."

Wiz Khalifa is on that cover and Rolling Stone makes a hard push to convince me that he's the hot, new rapper that I should be paying attention to this year.

I've never heard a Wiz Khalifa track but I do have both Tumblr and Twitter and I'm convinced that he's not actually a rapper, but instead a sixteen year old girl with self esteem issues.


I hardly ever post advertising stuff because most of it is only appealing to me for a small reason that I never think is good enough to share.

This on the other hand, I think is worth sharing and probably the only clever thing MTV has done in a decade.


I posted this on Tumblr this morning:

"I just ordered one of these from the breeders. Gwen and Harley need a friend and it says all they need is A/C (which I have), they eat bonsai tree leaves (which I can get) and they require a bubble bath once a week (which I do anyway).

So you know, win win.

Sadly, I’m number 396,847 on the waiting list so it might be a while."

And almost immediately I got a message telling me that these weren't actually real.

I was shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!

Some people really hate jokes, I guess. But if you want to get on the fake waiting list too, just go here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Let me tell you a little bit about this shirt.

The last band I was in was called Collapse. We quit playing about a year ago, but before that we had this idea. We'd planned to do a split 7" with our friends in Xibalba, who were from Los Angeles. It was going to be a Utah Jazz vs. L.A. Lakers themed split, with half the records either purple or gold and the other half either light or dark blue (since this was before they'd officially changed back to the color scheme they're wearing now) and the Xibalba side was going have a picture of Kobe (booo!) and the Collapse side was going to have a picture of D-Will.

We'd planned the layout and everything and while we were at it came up with an idea for a shirt. It was this design, but instead of LONG LIVE SLOAN, it was going to say "WHERE'S THE FUCKING FOUL?!" on the front and COLAPZZ on the back. Great idea, right?

Then none of us ever had any free time anymore, we all started doing our own thing and the band just kind of stopped. Didn't break up, nothing bad happened, we just never practiced again.

But I always liked that shirt idea.

Then, a few days after Sloan quit, it popped back in to my head. I called Candace (since I have no graphic design skills whatsoever) and she designed it for me that night. Then I found a guy willing to print a few for a reasonable price, so I went for it.

Took a couple of weeks longer than I would have liked and they're probably not as good as a few of the other Sloan shirts I've seen pop up since then, but I'm still pretty stoked on it.

If you're interested, I've got a few for sale over at my shop.

Long Live Sloan.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


There are tons of things that I love about the Internet, but probably a whole lot more that I absolutely hate.

This was made painfully clear yesterday as I did my usual browsing through and found the following.

  • Multiple sites advertising the first set photos from THE HOBBIT. I may not be the target audience here, but I've never cared for THE LORD OF THE RINGS (the books or the movies) and have absolutely no interest in another two (!) movies on the subject of Frodo or Bilbo or whoever is in this one.
  • Another film related one, but even more sites posting a one minute sneak preview of the new CAPTAIN AMERICA trailer. This new trailer will be maybe two minutes long and it will be available to see on Friday. You really can't wait two more days to see footage of a movie you can't see until July anyway?
  • A band called Touche Amore has a new album coming out sometime this year. I got at least two e-mails yesterday about when their album artwork is going to be revealed. Really? You're so desperate for a little bit of publicity that you're sending e-mails telling me that at some point in the future I'll be able to see the album artwork on your website? I will illegally download that album when it comes out and if the artwork is attached, great. If not, I'll search for it and add it then. Not a second before.
Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


These posters started popping up online recently. They're pretty clever and I was stoked to see The Smithsonian try something like this because it might make people a little more interested in learning some history.

History lessons in which we are desperately in need of. I asked 5 people last week when the Declaration of Independence was signed and got 5 different answers—none of them correct. These days no one knows anything about history but they can tell you exactly how many times Tumblr went down that week. And that's fucking depressing.

But I did a little more digging and it turns out that these ads were made by a college student strictly for a class assignment on how to get college kids interested in history. Last week after they hit the internet, she started getting phone calls from news outlets and eventually even reps from The Smithsonian got in touch with her. The papers wanted to talk about her ideas and such, The Smithsonian wanted them taken down immediately and their name removed.

That's even more depressing because I think these posters genuinely stirred up some interest in, God forbid, learning a fucking thing or two.

But anyway, the woman's name is Jenny Burrows and you can read her story about the posters here.

And read about the Teddy Roosevelt story here. Which is awesome.


I wrote movie reviews for the U of U newspaper once upon a time because it was something I'd always wanted to do. I thought being a film critic would be an awesome job. Who wouldn't? You get to see movies before they open and then write about them. And get paid for doing it. Didn't seem like there was any job that could be better.

Then I actually started doing it.

The more I did it, the less I liked it. My casual enjoyment of movies has already been ruined by years of film school but I started enjoying them even less when I had to start figuring out how to translate what I liked to a mass (sort of) audience.

I didn't like having to determine what worked about a movie and what didn't because what worked for me might not work for someone else and vice versa. At the end of the day, I felt like I wasn't going to convince anyone whether or not to see a movie. They can make up their own minds. They're (mostly) adults. Also, writing about movies brings out the absolute worst in internet trolls because they're all jealous that they don't get paid to do it but are thoroughly convinced that they can do it better than you. That was reinforced for me after I reviewed the new FRIDAY THE 13TH and basically said that it was an empty, paint by numbers remake. It had no heart, no grit and looked waaaaay too slick. Sure, it had some clever kills and solid nudity, which is what everyone wants from a horror movie, but they went for the sudden shock factor and cheap thrills instead of really trying to scare people. That was the crux of my review and one of the comments that I read basically said "this is the most classless review I've ever read and you have no future in journalism."

First of all, writing movie reviews is hardly journalism. Any idiot with Internet access can write movie reviews. Second, I felt I made a solid point about remakes and horror movies in general. And third, if you can show me what a "classy" review of FRIDAY THE 13TH looks like, please do. I'd love to see it.

You have to have pretty thick skin to write about anything for a mass audience, especially with the Internet. Internet comments are why the first guy writing film reviews when I was editor quit. He couldn't handle it. I just stopped looking at them and wrote stuff I was proud of and expected the EIC and managing editor to tell me if it was shit. They never did. But as soon as the year was over, I was over writing film reviews.

Ever since then, I've kind of looked at film critics differently. It used to be that everyone had a film critic that they trusted implicitly. If so and so said this movie was good, then by god they were going to see it. If they said it was the worst movie ever made, it was avoided like the plague. That's not the case any more.

Now that there are so many out there, it's a lot harder. I have a few that I read on a regular basis but I never trust them completely. I'll usually take what they've said and weigh it against my own opinion. Sometimes they line up and sometimes they don't. Rarely do I ever read a review and say, "Well fuck this guy. He doesn't know anything." Sometimes I do, but again, that's the writers opinion and I don't have to agree with it.

But then again, the Internet was invented for two reasons: To bitch about movies and share porn. And in that regard, it's done it's job remarkably well.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I'm re-posting this in its entirety because I think it's that good. I found it on and by all means check them out, but I wanted to make this as easy to get to as possible. The more people that read this, the better everyone's nightmares will be.

While there's a 50/50 chance of this being total bullshit, it's still a great, well written story so I'm just choosing to believe it. Also, there are some fucked up people in the world (NYC especially) so you never know.

I don't remember how I found this sordid tale, but I have never, ever forgotten it.

Keep this in mind the next time you're shopping for a roommate.


In the summer of 2005, I moved to New York to live with a girl I had been dating long distance. And—as "moving across the country to be with a girl" stories usually go—it didn't work out. Our reunion was short-lived, and I needed someplace to stay, quick.

In my experience, finding good housing in New York is largely based on luck, and I had that in low reserve. I tried all the usual avenues—Craigslist, friends, friends of friends, acquaintances of friends… and, after a few weeks of searching, I finally managed to be put in contact with a guy who had a spare room to sublet for a super-low price in the Lower East Side.

The owner of this apartment (we’ll call him Doug) was a heavy-drinking, chain-smoking freelance writer who had also recently split from his girlfriend. His ex-girlfriend's office space was in the apartment, which made the perfect bedroom to rent out. I was in a sort of headspace at the time that necessitated a lot of shut-door boozing and miscellany, and I found it highly attractive that Doug seemed to be into the same kind of mopery that I was. Plus, the room for rent was large (for the Lower East Side), seemed cloistered enough from Doug's area that I would have a decent amount of privacy, and—while it gave off the kind of "dude" funk smell that some might have shied away from—it wasn't that big of a deal considering it was also devoid of rats, mold, and water damage. It seemed perfect.

"This place seems perfect!" I said to Doug. And of course, the follow-up: "What's wrong with it?"

"Nothing's wrong with the room," he said a little too cautiously. "But you're talking about the price right? Why it's so low?"

"Ha," I joked. "Did someone die in here or what?"

"No, nothing like that. But something did happen, and I'd feel like an ass if I rented the place to you and didn't tell you what happened here a few months ago." …Ah, the words every subletter wants to hear. And with that, he launched into the best story I've ever heard about NYC housing.

After Doug's girlfriend left him a few months before I met him, he became unable to afford the rent by himself. He quickly found Jack via Craigslist, a recent Columbia journalism school graduate and fellow writer. Like Doug, Jack was also quiet and a loner, choosing to order Chinese food and chip away at his novel instead of getting drunk like the LES revelers on the sidewalks bellow. But he was courteous and stayed out of Doug's perma-sedated way, which is the exact kind of stranger you want to be living with.

After living with Jack for a few months, Doug was running home through the middle of a raging rainstorm, and noticed that Jack’s window was wide open, water pouring into the room. He rushed up the stairs, still dripping wet, and knocked on Jack’s door. Nobody answered, and Doug figured Jack was out. He found his master key, opened the door, and clicked on the light.

Neatly piled into stacks were Chinese food containers, some 10 boxes high, some already toppled, with their half-eaten contents strewn on the floor. The cartons covered all the available area on the floor except for a narrow walkway to the bed and the desk. Doug stood horrified at the doorway, then noticed the water flooding the floor by the window. He rushed over to close it.

Compulsive hoarders—as anyone who's spent a decent time watching TV will know—are not rare. There are between six to 15 million hoarders living in the United States, with many of them carrying on seemingly normal lives outside of their obsessive disorder. This fact didn't make Doug any more comfortable with the toy city of rotting Chinese food in his spare bedroom. He was going to kick Jack out when he got back to the apartment.

Then he saw the boot.

Doug leaned over to pick it up, knowing what the contents were before his fingers even made contact. Spilled out from the tops were strings of Lo Mein noodles, and hard pieces of dried rice. Doug was sure he could see crusted-over mounds of meat and hardened sauce. Sickened, Doug sat down the shoe, and as he did so, he noticed a shadow in the shape of a human body beneath the twin bed.

With absolute trepidation, Doug lifted the bed and slid it a few feet away, knocking over a pile of takeout boxes. What he uncovered wasn't—to his immediate relief—a real person. But it was a person's shape, with a hooded sweatshirt attached to gloves and a pair of jeans, with the other boot tucked into the leg. Coming out of the seams were remnants of noodles, rice, and meat, grease stains pooling through the fabric and onto the floor, spoiled scraps of food filling the hoodie to the brim. Doug scanned the body—and...yep, there it was. Noodles oozed out of the unzipped fly; a glory hole that Jack had ostensibly been taking advantage of all spring long.

Doug called an emergency locksmith who came and changed the locks within the hour. Jack arrived home not too long afterward and found it locked.

"I just need my laptop," he called through the door.

Doug slid the laptop through the mail slot. He could hear Jack's footsteps click down the hall, and the apartment entrance door slam shut. During the following days, Doug hired cleaners to remove all the food that Jack had left behind. Though the room had been cleared of all the takeout containers (along with the Meat Lover, which I've since started using to describe the effigy), the floors and walls scrubbed clean, and the room aired out for days, the smell still lingered.

Doug paused. "So, yeah. The room is cheap. What happened was fucked up." Doug looked ready to pass out, and I felt faint. "I'm sorry, dude. I can't," I muttered, and headed for the door. I regret leaving in such haste now, as the amount of questions I have are overwhelming—Didn't Doug smell something weird coming from Jack's room before he went in? Didn't he notice that Jack never took out any trash? What did he think was on his laptop? I've considered calling him to tie up those loose mental ends (which would lend this story that I've retold at least a hundred times much more credence), but really, I hate to bother the guy. That summer was an especially damaging one for me, and I wasn't the one who had to clean up a leaking sex toy my ex-roommate had constructed out of decomposing Chinese food.

Editor's Note: After reading your comments about the mail slot, we grilled Peter about that detail, and he admitted that he misremembered due to telling it incorrectly for so many years, and it was actually passed through the door crack with the chain lock fastened. So, there you go.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I wish I could do things like this. Great title sequences are always one of my favorite parts of a movie or TV show.

A Brief History of Title Design from Ian Albinson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Spring better be here for good. I've already shed my winter attire. Mostly.


Another thing that's been taking up my free/Internet time is Tumblr. I started using this more because sometimes I just wanted to post pictures and didn't want to use this site for random, silly photos I found on the web.

If you've never seen Tumblr before you're kind of missing out, but not really. No one actually reads or writes anything on there. It's all just pictures—mostly of cats, tattooed girls, fashion bullshit and Internet meme's.

I started using it more because I quit going to Facebook. I quit going to Facebook because a lot of the posts started making me hate people I genuinely like in real life. Also, I'd get sidetracked and start lurking around and next thing I know it would be an hour and a half later and I'd just be pissed at myself for wasting all that time.

I'm not deleting my FB because as stupid as it sounds, I still need it to get to the SLCFF page and some people send me messages on there that they won't send via regular e-mail. So it's still there, I just never look at it.

Twitter, on the other hand, has been my new favorite thing lately. At first lots of people were just using it like their status updates which was boring as shit. I don't care that you're driving down the canyon and that it's a beautiful day. That doesn't interest me.

But then some people, most notably comedians and journalists, started figuring out how they wanted to use it and it got amazing. My best example is the Jerry Sloan resignation (it all comes back to Jerry Sloan and the Jazz). Before anything was official, like the press conference, Brian T. Smith, the Jazz beat writer for the Tribune was with the team and things were a little off. He started poking around, talking to people and found out Sloan and Johnson were quitting. He didn't have time to sit down and file a report, but he could send little updates from his phone and keep the rest of us in the loop.

I'm not saying that he's the first person that did that. Far from it. But that's when I figured out that was what I loved about Twitter. Once you figure out your 'Twitter Voice' and what you want to get from it, it becomes a great thing.

So that's my breakdown of all my social media networks that you didn't actually care to learn about.

But if you're interested, check out my Twitter and Tumblr. I know it's all in the sidebar over there, but sometimes you forget.

Tumblr - Important Things

Do it.


Not that many people actually care, but I've been pretty slow to update this thing over the past month. I've been thinking about it a lot, but never actually doing it. Which is sad because I was on a roll for a while getting about 20-30 posts a month, but things kind of fell off. I think I know why, too. Let's look into those reasons, shall we? You have something better to do?

1) Winter Didn't Stop - I didn't think it was actually going to end any time soon back in February, but I just got so sick of it that it took a toll on me. I didn't want to do anything that might require leaving my house. You would think that by staying in, I'd be writing more, but instead I got into a pretty strict regiment of work then gym then nap then trying too hard to come up with interesting things for you to read.

2) Jerry Sloan Quit - Looking back, this is kind of where the wheels fell off (for me and the Jazz). Sloan quit, then two weeks later they shipped off D-Will and the whole team just went straight to shit. I wasted many nights after that watching the team on TV hoping they'd regain some type of form or identity but they just didn't. They just got worse and worse and I kept getting angrier and angrier watching the games. But I still watched them.

And since I didn't want to post nothing but sappy, emotional (for me, anyway) Jazz rants I stayed away. I wanted to do that several times, but there are enough bad sports blogs out there. The world doesn't need another one. But I've come to terms with the fact that the Jazz are now terrible and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. But since there's going to be a lockout next season anyway, it doesn't matter. Time to get excited about college hoops.

3) Work - This is the first time I've had more than one day off a week in nearly a month. Usually I spend Tuesday recovering and Internetting and just being lazy then getting all my errands and such done on Wednesday. With only one day to do those things, the errands and laundry took precedent.

There are probably more reasons than that, mainly wondering if anyone actually cares what or if I update and if it's worth it, but those are the three biggest.

Maybe I'm back on track. I hope so.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Is it bad that the only reason I want a girlfriend is so that I have someone to go to Disneyland with?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Two things about this video.

1) I edited out the history lesson. Six minutes was just too much, so I cut it out and we get right to the good stuff. If you want to watch that one, and see all the stuff that makes up a Bucket of Death, watch that one here.

2) I put this up on YouTube last week and within a day, the audio had been disabled. The reason was that I didn't have the authority to use Ride of the Valkyries. The funny thing about that is I used the exact same song (only more of it) in the longer version of the video that's been on YouTube since August. That video still has the audio intact. Not sure why they decided to only disable the audio on the short version, but oh well.

If you haven't seen this before, check it out. We're going to do another one this year and you'll want to be there for sure.

Bucket Of Death Returns (Redux) from Trevor Hale on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Have I ever mentioned that I hate when bands play encores?

Well, I do.

I was in bands for a long time and I always made sure we were putting everything we had into our set. We broke up our two best songs, played one of them first and one of them last. And since pretty much every worthwhile show I've ever played has been while in a hardcore band, we always had to factor in when the crowd needed a break from mosh-dancing. We didn't want to wear them out too much right up front because we didn't want to end flat.

Our ideal set list looked something like this:

Best New Song - The one that we're most proud of.
Older, Familiar Song - One that everyone recognizes to keep the energy going.
Newer Song
Newer Song - Stuff we'd written recently but no one had heard yet. Give the crowd a break.
Older Song That Everyone Loves We Don't Play Very Often - Gets everyone back on board.
Cover Song - Gets them even more excited.
Best Song We Have - Hopefully, shit gets nuts.

That's it. Seven songs. We were in and out of there in 20-25 minutes. Shows that we headlined were a little different, maybe another new one and a couple more old songs. I never liked playing longer than half an hour, though. My philosophy with live shows was that I always wanted to leave them wanting more rather than overstay our welcome. We wanted to hit that high note and say goodnight.

This is where not liking the encore comes in—and usually this only happened when we were the last band of the night.

After we'd played all those, we didn't really have anything else. We'd put every single one of our best, most energetic songs into our actual set. We never saved anything for an encore, because being in a local band, it's kind of a dick move to think you're going to get asked to play an encore. We'd always oblige and play, but I always felt that it was a let down because we ended up playing either a brand new song with unfinished lyrics or an older song we hadn't played for a long time and barely remembered. It just never felt right.

That's kind of the way I felt when I saw the Heartless Bastards the other night.

They played an awesome set, probably close to an hour long, and they played everything I wanted to hear and showcased a bunch of new stuff they'd written recently, too. They killed the entire night.

Except for the end.

I'm not sure what the song was called or if it was new or not, but they played this awesome, blues-y track that ended with this driving, heavy part that, while not typical of their style, fit perfectly with what they were doing. It was great. They just let it ride for a few minutes and had the whole crowd tearing it up—even caught a few people trying to crowd surf which was quickly shut down by security.

The song came to an awesome end with everyone nodding their heads and tapping their feet, the crowd went crazy and the band said thank you.

Then the singer switched to an acoustic guitar and they played their last song. It was a huge disappointment. After the song they'd just played, the crowd was eating out of their hand. Had that been my band, we would have been gone on that high note and called it good. But they stuck around for that one more slow track and all the air went out of the building. People started gathering their coats and heading for the door. The song ended, the band said goodnight and disappeared behind the curtain.

I stuck around while the hundred or so people congregating in front of the stage half-assedly cheered for more and sure enough a few minutes later, two of them came back out. They played a quiet acoustic number followed by one more average-at-best song with the whole band and were done for the night.

I didn't feel cheated because they'd played an awesome set that I'm glad I saw but at the same time I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. As a person that used to put so much thought into the ebb and flow of a live set, I wanted them to put a little more thought into things. Maybe this is the way they wanted it and maybe I'm over thinking this way too much, but that's what I do.

And as I walked to my car, I kept thinking about that one song that brought the house down. That's all I was thinking about during their last three songs, too.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I just found the Opened Up archives.

For those of you not from SLC, Opened Up was a band I was in way back in the early 2000s. We were way into Starkweather, Skycamefalling, and a slew of other bands you've probably not thought about in a hot minute.

I grabbed the box I keep all my old show flyers in and at the bottom was a manilla envelope of everything we used to put the CD layout together. Hand written thank you lists, the lyric sheet, the photos, everything was there. It was a nice little trip down memory lane.

If you're curious, I wrote a bit more about the band over at my other (pretty much now defunct) blog. It's even got the MediaFire link if you want to actually listen to it. Beware though, we were young and banged the entire recording out in a single day.

Opened Up - SLCHC Music Archives from

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I still use a clock radio.

Sure, my phone has an alarm that works perfectly fine but for all intents and purposes, I have a soft spot for my clock radio (which I've had since I was 15, by the way). The thing I like most about it though, is that it's extremely loud. And I need that. Everyone that knows me knows how bad my hearing is. If you didn't know me very well, then let me tell you that I'm about 30% deaf—so if you ever say something and I ignore you, chances are pretty good that I just didn't hear you.

But anyway, back to my clock radio. It has a dial on it to find the right station. The clock is digital, but the radio is not. I tune it to one station and three days later, it's shifted to a different one, but since most radio sucks now anyway, it doesn't really matter. As long as the music starts playing at the right time every morning, I don't really care what it is.

The other morning the radio went off and the song I woke up to was stuck in my head the rest of the day. The song was "Shine" by Collective Soul. The entire day I was walking around humming that song to myself and it got me thinking.

Back when I was 15, I was in my first band. None of us were very good, so we were pretty limited in what we could do. We tried writing our own stuff, but failed miserably at it. So we stuck to cover songs. This being 1995, you can probably only imagine the set list we were able to come up with. Collective Soul was on there. Along with that, Better Than Ezra, Everclear, Live and a ton of others, too. These were all songs they played on X96 or Q99 on a fairly regular basis. Since I didn't have cable and the Internet wasn't around yet (for me anyway) I was taping the radio every night when they played the Top 10 most requested songs of the day, just hoping to hear that one song I liked.

I never knew exactly who it was, and when you're 15 and your only source of income comes from babysitting once every other week, $18 is a lot of money to spend on a CD of a band that might have only that one good song. So I taped the radio. Every night. And the next day, my friends and I would listen to the songs and decide which ones we wanted to try playing. Try is the operative word there. Most of the ones we wanted to play were too complicated for us. You know, what with the solos and transitions and bridges and what not.

I started thinking back to all the songs we covered and I started wondering if I could still remember any of them. I grabbed my guitar, thought of a track and started playing. It's amazing how many of them I can still remember. Most of which I learned from reading Guitar World magazine religiously because I wasn't good enough to figure them out on my own (I'm still not). All I wanted back then was to have my long hair, wear flannel shirts and be a rock star. I basically wanted to live the life portrayed in SINGLES. Never quite happens the way you plan it though, right?

Cut to fifteen years later, and there I was, sitting on my couch one Thursday night playing songs that no one has thought about since the mid-90s (did I mention I was singing, too?). I was having so much fun trying to remember the words and the choruses that when I finally got one down, I decided to record it to see how it sounded.

And obviously it's terrible.

I'm a slightly above average guitar player and well below average singer, but it was still fun.

But you know what I decided? That since I had so much fun, I might keep doing it. I also might keep recording them and every once in a while I'll throw one up on here (or Tumblr, or YouTube, or Facebook) and let everyone see me make a fool of myself covering Tripping Daisy songs.

Everyone wants to see that, right? I guess we'll find out.

But first I need to track down a CITIZEN DICK t-shirt.