Friday, March 29, 2013


Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, right?

Well, the CIA and the mob teaming up for the assassination of JFK was half a century ago and 9/11 as an inside job has lost a lot of steam since George W. Bush stopped playing dress-up 5 years ago, so we’re in desperate need of something new and exciting to set the Internet on fire.

There are those loons that think Sandy Hook was a plot organized and staged by the government to take your/their/our guns, but those are just shitty people. JFK and 9/11 conspiracy nuts are kind of fun, because you can just smile and nod along with what they’re saying. The Sandy Hook Truther douchebags are just reprehensible people.

That’s why we’re here to celebrate a little bit of a lighter, somewhat outlandish yet not entirely impossible conspiracy theory that popped up a few days ago.

Ready for it?

Okay, an anonymous letter was delivered to the website Hip Hop Is Read a few days ago, supposedly written by a former “decision making” employee of one of the major record labels from the heyday of music. This was the late 80s/early90s, when record labels had more power than even they thought possible.

The gist of the letter was this:

Back in the early 90s, all the major record labels made huge investments in the privatization of prisons across America. The more inmates those prisons housed and the longer they stayed full, the more money the investors would get from the government. The labels, none of which were named, gathered together a group of 25-30 people, all high-level development execs at a private residence on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how they were going to be asked to start pushing gangster rap and other music that promoted criminal behavior.

If everyone that was present for this secret meeting – all of whom were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and did – helped make this plan into a reality, they would all be given the opportunity to invest in some of these prisons they were going to help fill. Essentially, “you put people in prison; we’ll put some money in your pocket.”

Not entirely impossible, right? Well, the guy that wrote the letter quit the record industry a few years later, because he was sick about what had transpired. He only knew a few other people at the meeting and never searched anyone else out. He stayed quiet all this time and refuses to name anyone else, but his hope is that everyone sees this letter, realizes what’s transpired over the past few years and does something about it.

Like, possibly building a time machine to go back and not let impressionable kids listen to N.W.A. and Ice T.

All in all, this makes total sense and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it turns out to be true. But come on, this guy is 25 years removed from having anything to do with the record industry and won’t own up to it? In the letter, he states that the confidentiality agreement he signed would result in termination if he broke it. Well, he quit the industry two years after the meeting and moved back to Europe.

Just spill the details already and let’s see what happens. I’m guessing that any and all record execs that had something to do with this plan are either out of work, dead, in jail or broke because very few of those guys actually survived the total collapse of the record industry a few years back.

Might as well call them on their shit and see what they have to say about it. They’ll probably admit the whole thing. Nothing they did was illegal, per se. It was merely frowned upon.

But I guess naming names would only lead to these same guys making more money with book deals and talk show appearances, so maybe he’s actually doing them more harm by not coming clean.

Either way, it’s a pretty good story, right?

I love a good conspiracy theory.

You can read the entire letter over here. I didn't read the comments, but I'm sure they're awful, so you probably shouldn't either.

*source - Hip Hop Is Read

*UPDATE* - A friend of mine—Dan Fletcher, the guy that lives on my couch—works with a guy at an ad agency here in SLC that, once upon a time, worked for one of the above mentioned record labels. Dan asked him about this and got a "definitely not true" response. That's not the end of this by any means, so let's keep spreading this and see what happens.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Remember how I was going to make sure and post way more stuff?

Well, I got a real job where I sit in front of the computer writing all day and it's kind of been hard to come home and sit in front of the computer all night, too.

But I still have a lot of stuff in the que, so maybe I'll get to that pretty soon.

Right now, I wanted to pass along episode 2 and 3 of OLD FRIENDS. We're getting more and more popular as the weeks roll on.

Episode 2 - Devices

Episode 3 - Casey

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Dan Fletcher moved back to town last week. You guys remember Dan, right? We played in Cherem together, worked at the Daily Utah Chronicle, started 6 or 10 bands that never made it past a late night drive conversation and ran GCA for a few years.

He and his wife have been living in New York for the past 4 or so years, but decided they'd had enough and headed back west. Well, he did anyway. His new job out here started well before hers, so he came out first. She's out there finishing up work and driving all their stuff back with her mom.

Since that's the case, he needed a place to stay for a few weeks. Luckily, I have a couch that's big enough for someone to sleep on, because who doesn't love a good nap? I sure do. But anyway, his brother was putting his condo on the market, he didn't want to look for a place until Kristin got out here, and needed to be somewhat close to work. So that's where my couch and I come in.

We've been living together for about a week and a half now, and it's been pretty damn easy. We started joking around about how life would be our own little sitcom for the next little while, so we just went ahead and made that a reality.

Here's the first episode - THE BAND. Keep an eye out for episode two. It's done and ready to go, so it shouldn't be long.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


There are a ton of social media sites out there. I'm on pretty much all of them, but I really only use two or three.

I have a thing about not wanting anyone else to have the username trevorhale, so whenever I hear about a new social media site I sign up immediately—even if I don't ever plan on using it. Maybe that's a dick move, but I've got a brand to protect here!

Two that I use on a regular basis are Instagram and Twitter. I like both of these far more than Facebook—mainly because I don't have to deal with bullshit, long-winded political discussions that go nowhere and repeat themselves every few days.

I still log on to Facebook every other day or so, but usually it's to repurpose a joke that I don't think got enough attention on Twitter and to accept friend requests from people that I'm probably never going to talk to in real life.

But anyway. You've got both of these things, right? Let's be Internet friends.

@trevorhale on both Instagram and Twitter.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Archive Revival is a new thing I'm trying this year. Every Friday, I'm going to pull out an old entry and repost it. It's basically because Friday is a pretty slow Internet day. Everyone either takes the day off, takes a half day or has to make up for all the time they wasted the other four days of the week. Few people actually have time to browse the Internet and learn things that they never knew they wanted to know.

Also, I didn't have anything new to post, but wanted to keep some pseudo-fresh content coming in (this week has been slow for no real reason).

So here it is! The music video my old/kind-of-current band Cherem made back in 2007. The original post is below.


I had totally forgotten about this video until earlier tonight, because I think I only saw it once. I have a DVD copy and all the raw footage, but never actually sat down and watched what Martin and his co-producers put together.

Let me tell you a little bit about it.

I was in a band called Cherem for about seven years, from late 2000 until I quit in the fall of 2007. We made two albums a couple compilations and toured a fair amount. It was a lot of fun but a lot of work. Martin used to live in Salt Lake City and moved to LA to go to film school. He heard we were coming through town on tour and told us he wanted to make a music video as a project for one of his classes. He told us that it wouldn't cost us anything and that all we had to do was show up. We gave ourselves a day off in the middle of a quick week-long tour through California and met up with him after we played at Chain Reaction in Anaheim.

On a side note, I have an entire separate blog dedicated to Cherem/band tour stories that I've updated exactly once this year. The problem is that I'm trying to go in chronological order, but haven't had time to fill in the blank spots. I have a word document with about 45,000 words in it and a lot of it is the later shows that I wrote about while gone instead of retroactively. My New Year's Resolution (I just decided this, and it may have been my resolution for 2010 also, but that's in the past) is to get a good chunk of that updated and finished. I don't think anyone else really cares, but it'll be fun for me to look back over years down the road.

Now, back on track, here's a few things I remember about the day we shot this video.

- I remember saying that I didn't want this to look like every other hardcore video, but understood that wasn't entirely possible given their budget (which was $0 aside from the equipment rental). Unfortunately, we ended up with a pretty basic music video and the exact kind I didn't want. Can't complain too much though. It was fun to do and I'm stoked they did it for us.

- For a music video to work, the track needs to be played loud enough for everyone to mimic what was going on while still playing their hardest. This didn't quite work because they had forgotten to bring something to play the song through. One of the guys had to drive his car on to the soundstage and play his stereo at full volume, which still didn't work because Clint's drums were so loud.

- Everything looks stiff in a video, you have to over exaggerate every little thing as much as possible before it even looks remotely real. And that's hard to do when you're trying to play along to a track that you can't really hear. Also, we're all terrible actors.

- The soundstage was in a parking garage off either Sunset or Hollywood Boulevard and since we had to start at 8am, it was still a little cold. I have poor circulation anyway, so I kept my hoodie on while we played the song probably 10 times for them to film it from different angles and get close ups of each of us. At about 10:30, it started getting really hot, but we'd already filmed about three runs through the song, so I was fucked. If I took the hoodie off, the whole thing would just look strange, because the takes wouldn't match up. By the time we broke for lunch I was dying.

- We didn't really have a bass player at that time. We'd had a fill-in for the two shows, but he was from Redlands and went home after we played the Anaheim show. Luckily, our friend DP was in town staying with his girlfriend. We made him come with us and stand in as our bass player. Also luckily, they didn't use much of the live footage from the show in Salt Lake because we had someone else playing at that point and that didn't line up either.

All in all, it was a fun thing to do and another experience I can break out at boring family dinner parties where I inevitably end up telling stories to entertain people. Which happens quite often.