Friday, May 31, 2013


Kickstarter. I love it as much as I hate it.

It's great for projects that deserve it, like the Robocop statue, or Greg Rucka's (who I haven't liked since he was a dick about Spidey making fun of Wonder Woman at Comic Con like 10 years ago, but still) Lady Sabre online comic. There are tons of others out there, too.

There are also a lot of projects on Kickstarter that shouldn't be. Like Shoshana from GIRLS (and daughter of the legendary David Mamet) asking for $32,000 to make a music video. Or like Zach Braff asking for millions of dollars to make a movie he could easily get traditional funding for (and eventually did anyway). Or Eisley asking for $100k to tour the US, UK and Australia - a tour that they're going to do do anyway and get paid handsomely for.

That's the kind of thing that's going to ruin Kickstarter for everyone that actually needs it for a cool project. Kickstarter wasn't intended to be used because everyone in your band had a kid or you want some ridiculous camera filter, gorgeous clothes and a fancy loft and don't think you should have to pay for those things yourself.

But since those projects actually exist and people are donating money to them, I'm going to go ahead and start my own Kickstarter campaign.

I would like $500,000 to quit my job and do awesome things all the time.

As a reward, I'll Tweet, Instagram and blog all the time. If you donate contribute more than $100 to this campaign, I'll use some of that money to take you to lunch. I'm thinking Cafe Rio or Noodles & Company, though. I can't be spending the money you donated contributed to me on you. I need it for other adventures.

This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. See those pictures below? That's the kind of fun your generous donation contribution will allow me to have on a much more regular basis.

And since my happiness is in all of our best interests, I expect the donations contributions to start flowing in immediately.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I remember the first punk rock show I ever went to. It was Goldfinger, it was at Bricks and I was 16. I'd only heard a few songs of theirs from a mixtape that my friend Trace had made for me. I didn't really go to shows before that because I didn't have a car and I was kind of on my own for finding music. The only older kids I knew had been way into bands like U2 and INXS.

Bricks was (and still is in a lot of ways) kind of a shit hole. Each time you saw a show there, the stage was in a different place. This was before it was Club Sound and had a roof over the stage or an upstairs, or a separate bar. It's fancy now compared to what it used to be. When I saw Goldfinger, the stage was merely a big concrete slab against the back wall and since it was summer, they could play outside and not worry about it raining. There was also nothing else down there - no Gateway Mall, no tattoo shops, clubs or apartments -  so they didn't have to worry about anyone complaining about the sound. They played with Voo Doo Glow Skulls and a couple of other ska bands that I don't remember because I don't like ska. Goldfinger was kind of a ska band, but mostly a punk band and that's what I was in to. It was a fun show and I enjoyed it a lot.

That started me on a path of going to as many shows as I possibly could and I was back at Bricks the very next weekend to see Lagwagon and No Use For A Name. In between bands, we went outside and sat around. It had rained that morning, so the stage was inside, basically in the middle of the room. Trace and I went outside to sit down and on the wall behind where the stage was the last week, Goldfinger's set list was still taped up. I thought it would be kind of cool to have, so I grabbed it and put it in my pocket.

After that, I decided that I should try to get the set list at every show I went to. A guy that I knew had a basement covered in set lists from bands like ICP (he tried to convince me they were amazing when they first came through, I didn't buy it), Ween and Marilyn Manson. I figured punk bands would be way easier to get than bigger bands, so I started doing it.

I couldn't get them all the time, but I managed to get quite a few. They hung on the wall of my bedroom for a long time before I took them down. I figured I'd thrown them out, but a few weeks ago I was looking for something for my friend Clark, I found them in a box in my closet. So naturally, I had to break them out, scan them and throw them up on the internet.

There are kind of a lot of them, but they're pretty cool to see. I put them after the break with a little bit on each one. It would have been way too long for the front page, but you should check them out.

Do it. Don't be shy.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


A few years ago, the mayor of Detroit was talking about rehabilitating the city's image. It hit some really, really rough times over the past few years and I've written about it before.

At one point, someone on the Internet sent a Tweet to Mayor Dave Bing that said since Philadelphia had a Rocky Balboa statue, Detroit should have a Robocop one. Bing Tweeted back to the fan that there were no plans for such a statue, but thanked him for the suggestion.

That caught some attention and someone started a Kickstarter Fund to do just that - build a huge bronze statue of Robocop for Detroit. Everyone kind of laughed about it. Then people started donating money. And then more money. And then more. Soon enough, they'd reached their goal.

Cut to a little over two years later and that statue is about ready to be bronzed. It should be ready to be put up by the end of next summer, but they just don't know where it's actually going to go.

On one hand, this is amazing. On the other hand, what does it mean for a large, metropolitan city that the mayor and the entire city government basically says, "Sure, I guess if you guys can get money together for a 10-foot bronze statue of a 25-year-old ultra-violent movie character we'll find a place for it in the city."

It means that Detroit is kind of fucked but still awesome.

I mean, look at this thing. It's goddamn amazing, right? You can see more photos of it here.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I love everything this kid says here. I don't want to blame the teacher, and I'm sure there's more to the story than we're seeing here, but she sounds so apathetic that it hurts.

It seems like he's taking his frustration out on the system more than the teacher herself. She probably has no room to work with and is forced to "teach the test" or whatever the hell they do now, and that's just sad.

But still. Good on you, kid.

This guy, Jeff Bliss, has turned into something of a minor celebrity since this whole thing happened a few weeks ago (I wanted to post it right after it happened, but had to wait until that damn contest ended). He's done a couple of interviews and started a Twitter account, but to his credit, it doesn't seem like he's milking it for attention and really trying to keep the focus on the problem that he addresses in his rant.

I can only hope that lasts and he actually follows through instead of cashing in, quitting school and doing reality TV, which would just negate this entire rant. Fingers crossed.

Friday, May 17, 2013


That's it. It's over.

I don't want to bore you with the numbers...

Actually, I kind of do. 3rd place got 172 unique views, 2nd place got 346 views and 1st place (me) ended yesterday with 702.

Everything worked out and I have most of you to thank for that. Now I can stop bothering you to go visit that site and instead you can stay here. I've still got a few posts backed up in the queue that I've been really dying to put up, but I needed to keep the one below this at the top until the contest was over.

Now that it is, it's back to irregularly scheduled posts about things you didn't think you wanted to know about.

I'll still be writing SEO/web-related posts for the Local Results blog every 3 weeks or so, and if that's something that interests you, keep that bookmarked. But most of the fun stuff will be here.

Thanks again to everyone that helped out by checking out the article, reading it and sharing it with your friends. I appreciate it.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


That's kind of what this feels like at this point, but I'm pressing on.

Here's the deal: I need your help.

It's as simple as that.

The company that I work for is having a contest. They had all three of the people on my "team" write a post for the company blog last month. We're supposed to promote it however we can, and after one month whoever has the most unique views wins. The prize is money. Money that I'll probably use to fund a few Old News Records projects because (fingers crossed) Craft Lake City announces who made the cut for this year's festival next weekend. I had a lot of fun last year and I want to do it again. if I'm accepted, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve that will be amazing if they pan out.

Also, there's a Salt Lake City Comic-Con in the works and I'm trying to get a booth there, too. Lots of stuff planned this summer.

But more importantly - I have a team now. I also have a cubicle and squeaky chair (that I didn't know about until yesterday because I can't hear it). I like the people that I work for/with and I'm pretty excited that I don't have to lie about how good Eggs Benedict is every day (that's down to just once or twice a week).

Back to the contest. It ends on May 15 (next Wednesday) and I really want to win. I'm ahead right now, but that doesn't matter. These other two might have a few tricks up their sleeve and I'm not taking any chances.

Here's the link:

The topic was incredibly broad, so I just sort of used the HIGH FIDELITY mixtape process and tried to apply it to building websites. Sure.

Here's where you come in.

Go to that link. Then share it. Spread it around via Twitter, Facebook, email, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Linkedin, MySpace (if that's still a thing), your blog or whatever other social media site you use that I don't know about and you're trying to keep a secret. There's a little menu to the left of the post. Use that and blow it up.

I honestly don't care if you actually read it or not. Open it in a new tab, ignore it for a few minutes then close it. As long as it registers as a click, I don't give a shit what happens at this point.

I'm really proud of it and all that, but at this point I just want to win.

Help me do that and I promise that when you come visit me at Craft Lake City or Salt Lake Comic Con (hopefully, fingers crossed) I'll give you a kick-ass pin or something. A hug. A kiss. Whatever the hell you want.

Just help me win this thing.

Thanks everyone. After this is over, I can get back to showing you a bunch of stuff you never knew you wanted to know. And bitching about movies. I tend to do that a lot.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Today is the birthday of Saul Bass. He's one of my favorite designers/artists of all time.

Google put up a little tribute to him (that will probably be gone by the end of the day) that you should look at.

But seriously. I've always loved his work and will take any excuse to post more of it. There's an awesome video that I've mentioned before and his work is all over the place. The book that his daughter put together is one of my favorite things that I own.

I want to make a movie just so I can have an awesome title sequence in it. I'd probably beg Dan Christofferson to do it for me until he reluctantly agreed. One day.

I grabbed a few of the title designs from over here, but you should really take a few minutes to look at them all. Amazing stuff.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


You know what gives the NBA a huge edge over MLB and the NFL, to an extent?

The NBA likes fun. They've embraced social media—especially YouTube.

Baseball is really boring to watch, but occasionally something fantastic happens. Whenever someone makes a great catch, hits a monster home run, charges the mound, the benches clear or something else like that, it makes for a great highlight. If someone puts in on YouTube? MLB gets it taken down in a matter of minutes. They want everyone to get highlights from sites they own and run, that way they control what's appropriate and what isn't. It's stupid.

The NFL is the same way.

The NBA though? They'll let pretty much anything live on YouTube. Even the Artest Melee is still there, for god's sake. The biggest black eye the league has suffered in a long time is available for you to watch on YouTube. That's one of the things I like best about the NBA.

That and they get talented people to make awesome commercials for them. Like this one—even though I hate the sight of Steve Nash in a Laker jersey.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Dez Cadena is now a member of the Keith Morris version, now simply called FLAG. You can see a video of that version over here.

Greg Ginn, whose version is claiming the name Black Flag said his version was "not to be confused with the 'fake' Flag band currently covering the songs of Black Flag in an embarrassingly weak 'mailing it in' fashion." also released a new song that you can listen to here.

The AV Club probably has my favorite line yet about these two: "And meanwhile, Henry Rollins remains at home waiting for the red phone of justice to ring and looking at his tattoos."

The battle lines have been drawn. Whose side are you on?

Original post continues below:

There was a conflicting news report on the Internet this morning.

Not conflicting in the way you're thinking of. It was more personally conflicting and I still don't know how I feel about it.

Greg Ginn is reforming Black Flag with the intent of writing new music and putting out a new record. He recruited Gregory Moore, who played drums on the brief Black Flag reunion in 2003, Dale Nixon, which is actually Ginn's pseudonym for when he writes and plays bass, meaning they don't actually have a bass player and Ron Reyes to provide vocals. Reyes was the second vocalist for Black Flag, but didn't last long. He quit the band mid-set in 1980 because of escalating crowd violence. The band finished their set by playing an extra long version of "Louie, Louie" and asking crowd members to take turns singing. Reyes did provide vocals on the band's EP "Jealous Again" but was credited as Chevo Pedarast—a Spanish term for "pedophile". So they split on great terms.

Reyes replaced original vocalist Keith Morris, who quit the band because he wasn't getting along with Ginn but was getting along very well with cocaine and speed.

Speaking of Keith Morris, he's also reforming Black Flag.

His version has a bunch of shows scheduled and includes Chuck Dukowski, who played bass as Black Flag was gaining a huge reputation in the early years. He's credited with being the so-called "leader" of the band, mainly because Ginn was quiet and usually avoided the spotlight. Dukowski gave the interviews, helped establish the band's sound—along with Ginn's unique guitar style, of course—and kept them working and even acted as the band's manager after he was no longer in it. They've also got Bill Stevenson on drums and Stephen Egerton playing guitar. Stevenson had filled in for Black Flag numerous times before finally joining full-time in the early 80s—pulling double duty with Descendents. Egerton (from Salt Lake City and a member of Utah's very own Massacre Guys) never played in Black Flag, but played in both Descendents and All.

Henry Rollins and Dez Cadena have yet to announce their respective versions of Black Flag, but at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if it happened.

Actually no, I would be surprised if Rollins formed a different version. He and Ginn don't get along and I don't think they've actually spoken in a long, long time. I've heard him talk about it and read things he's written and he's reached out to Ginn a few times over the years and it's never panned out. I think he's content to just let things lie where they are between them. He gets along great with pretty much everyone in Keith Morris' version, so if anything, I'd expect to see him at a few of their shows. Maybe not on vocals, but definitely hanging on the side of the stage, just watching. I feel like he'd be content with that.

I still don't know how I feel about reunion shows. I've seen a reunited Earth Crisis, which was terrible but I've also seen a reunited Descendents, which was awesome. This could really go either way. If both of these bands came through Salt Lake (which they absolutely will not, by the way) and I had to choose between them, Keith Morris' version would definitely win.

In fact, that's what they should do. Both versions of Black Flag should tour and play the same city each night. Only here's the catch: they each play a different venue. You, as the audience, have to choose which version you want to watch. Whichever band gets the least amount of people can't be Black Flag anymore. There. I settled it.

The thing that bums me out the most about this is that dueling versions of bands that existed in the 80s is something that I thought only happened with shitty glam rock bands like Poison and Ratt.

I don't want to see one of my favorite punk bands follow that path. If that's the case, shitty VH1 reality shows can't be far behind. In fact, I think I just pitched one. I'm claiming ownership of it right now.

* header image taken from Overnight Drive.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


In addition to the always delightful and informative, I also have another, far less frequented and even less updated blog.

I started it a long time ago as a home for all the writing I had done about touring and being in bands. It's called Until My Heart Stops. The goal was to update it a couple of times each week (ha) during and after all the touring I was going to do. That plan started somewhere around Valentine's Day in 2005 and I started cobbling together stuff I had already written and started fresh. Stories were pulled from various MySpace blogs, LiveJournal posts and my trusty notebook.

The goal was to write about every out of state show I played with either Cherem, Tamerlane, Cool Your Jets or whatever other band I was in at the time. I had decided to take a few years off of school and become a full-time touring musician.

It might have been the worst idea I'd had up to that point.

We never toured more than a few weeks at a time and there were months in between stints out on the road. And over time, I got lazier and lazier about updating or writing about any of the shows. There are huge gaps and lapses on the blog. I started out strong, with 36 posts in 2005, 1 in 2006, 1 in 2007 (when both Tamerlane, Cherem and Cool Your Jets stopped being real bands that ever did anything), 0 in 2008, 9 in 2009 (when the restaurant I worked at was closed for 3 months and I had nothing to do so I tried to get caught back up) and 1 in 2010. Hasn't been touched since.

Slowly, I've been working on compiling a lot of little miscellaneous tidbits and writings that have shown up elsewhere but it just hasn't been consistent. There's a file on my desktop with scanned fliers, notes, pictures and various writings and I've always meant to get back to it.

Last week, as I was sitting at work, I realized that I now have the perfect opportunity to do something with this. I pretty much always have something to do at work, but sometimes, I'll finish a project early and there won't be anything else ready to start right away. Instead of just refreshing Twitter every few minutes, I can work on Until My Heart Stops.

That night, I gathered everything I could find that was on the Internet in some form or another, took the word document out of the desktop folder and compiled it all into one place on my Google Drive so I can get to it whenever I have a few minutes.

Right now it's a text document that's 90 pages long. There are still 47 shows that have bullet point notes that I remember but haven't written about yet. I'm trying to make it a point to get through at least three a week when I have downtime either at work or at home.

Then once I've finished, I'll go back through and make it all consistent. I've grown a lot as a writer since I started doing this in 2005 and some of those older posts are hard to look at. I've almost gone back to them all in the past week, but stopped myself.

Finish the damn thing first, then toy with it. That's my 2013 goal. It was also my goal from 2010, 2011 and 2012, too. But whatever.

No one probably cares about any of these stories, but I'm going to do something with them anyway. Maybe by summertime next year I'll have my own version of Get In The Van where you get to read all about the weird places Cherem played and all the random stuff that happens on the poorly planned and borderline disastrous tours of a vegan straight edge band.

My uncle really wants it to be called The Junkyard Next to the Women's Prison, which is an actual place we played once. But I don't know. I'm getting ahead of myself again.

You can read one of my favorite tour stories in the post below. That's one that I'm still mildly happy with, but will definitely need to clean it up a bit later on. Still though. It's a good time.

Check it out.


The El Paso show ran late. Add that to the fact that it was a Saturday night, and by the time we left Taco Cabana, it was around two o’clock in the morning. Since I had driven the night before, it was my turn to sleep and Clint was ready to drive. Albuquerque was three and a half hours away, so we figured we’d get there with a little time to sleep in the van before the sun got high enough to make that impossible. Seemed like an easy enough drive, but there was one catch.

Everyone in El Paso, at various times through the night when they learned where we were headed next, told us to be extra careful on the drive through New Mexico. They said we had to drive through a town called, I kid you not, Truth or Consequences and that the town was the inspiration behind the movie Nothing But Trouble. In the movie, Chevy Chase runs a stop sign, gets arrested and detained in a junkyard prison. Apparently, this is really what it was like. They said that the road turns into a two lane highway that runs right through town, and that there’s cops waiting at every turn. They’ve got nothing better to do than pull people over for even going 2 miles over the speed limit. Another kid told us that the town itself is just a haven for degenerate drug addicts, and the way they support their habit is by hiding on the side of the highway, and waiting for passing vehicles. Once one gets close enough, they would throw bottles, cans, whatever they could find on the road to make the driver stop. Once they did, they would be ambushed and robbed.

Sounded like an old wives tale, but we were still half nervous/half excited to find out if they were telling the truth.

As we got in the van, I hung up front and gave Clint directions. “Right outside El Paso, look for the 25 North. That will take us all the way up to Albuquerque. It shouldn’t take long.” With that, I climbed on to the third bench, the best spot in the van, and immediately fell asleep.

When I woke up, we were pulled off to the side of the road and the dome light up front was on. I looked at my phone and the time was 4:52 am. I went up front and asked Clint what was going on. Then I noticed a highway sign that read 10 East a little ways ahead.

“I missed the 25.” Clint said, “And I think I missed it a while ago.”
“It’s like 15 miles outside of El Paso.”
“Then I missed it by about 100 miles. We’re about 80 miles from the Arizona border.”
“Fuck,” I said, “so we haven’t gone through Truth or Consequences yet?”
“Well, turn around. I’m going back to sleep.”

A couple of hours later we pulled over again because Clint was too tired to keep driving. Austin took over and I fell back asleep. At about 8:30 in the morning we pulled up in front of some building and parked. I sat up, still tired but awake, and asked if we had driven through Truth or Consequences. Austin told me we had, and that he didn’t see a single person or car the whole way through and should be glad I slept and missed it. It took us 7 hours to make a drive that should have been 3 at the most. The day was off to a good start.

It was too hot to sleep, so we got out of the van and proceeded to take part in our usual tour routine: Coffee shops, Whole Foods, K-Mart and the mall. We did find one area that had a bunch of little shops and whatnot, so we parked the van and walked around. We spotted a health food store and as we cut across towards it, a lady sitting at an outside table of the restaurant next to it started shouting, “Hey! Hey! I know you guys! You’re the guys that are playing tonight!”

We figured she was either making it up or had us confused, so we just said yes and continued into the store. “I want to talk to you about something when you come back out.”

We took care of business and left. Sure enough, she was waiting for us to come out and when we did, her first words were “I’ll pay you more to play at my club.”

Confused, we asked her what the hell she was talking about, because she obviously had no idea who we were.

“You guys are the fire dancers, right? The ones playing at (insert ridiculous club name) tonight? Because I own a gay club called (insert equally ridiculous, but more flamboyant club name) just up the street, and I think you guys would do much better there.”

We all looked at each other, then spent five minutes trying to convince some lady that we were neither gay nor fire dancers and that we had no intention of taking her up on her offer, not just playing hardball to get more money.

At one point she did say, “If you’re not the fire dancers, why are you all dressed the same?”

We all looked at each other again, even more confused. Each of us was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, most of which were black. But we weren’t dressed exactly the same, so that statement confused us.

Still not convinced that we weren’t gay fire dancers, she finally gave up and let us go. We walked away and started talking about how awesome it would have been to just say yes, ask for half the money up front and just never show up. She wouldn’t have known. But of course we didn’t think of that until the opportunity had passed.

 Punk Rock Matt had taken an interest in magic when we met Richard the Adequate on the streets of Orlando, so when we passed a magic shop he had to go in and learn a few tricks. Once back outside, he refused to show us anything he learned because he was afraid we’d give him shit. It’s true, we did then and we still do now. But he’s getting better at it, so we’re equally impressed as we are skeptical.

Around 6, we found the venue and hung out in the parking lot until the show started. We had jumped on tour with Winds of Plague and A Love Ends Suicide in Alabama, and told we were on all the shows. But no one had informed most of the club owners or promoters of that fact, so this was another case of us showing up and having to plead our case to get us on the show. The promoter said he couldn’t promise us any money, but we could play and sell merch and if he had any left over, he’d do what he could. We said fine, set up and played. It was a small show, but a few kids were into it, and that’s what it’s all about.

After the show, as I was sitting in the van ready to go, Austin came out and asked if I’d seen the microphone. I told him that I hadn’t, and that Bill brings his own mic and never uses the club’s. He said he knew that, but the promoter was accusing us of stealing his, and that if we didn’t find it, not only was he not going to pay us, but he was going to take $150 off whatever he was going to pay the other two bands. We were furious. Bill told him that he took their mic off, set it on the stage and used his and that was the last he ever saw of it. Austin argued with the promoter, Bill and Clint looked all around the venue and I took everything out of the trailer to prove to him that we didn’t take it. After 15 minutes of arguing, we got in the van to leave when the promoter stopped us. He and Austin talked, and he decided that we didn’t take it, apologized and gave us $45 for gas.

Still upset, we drove off in silence until all of a sudden Clint started laughing hysterically and said, “Are you fucking serious?”

I turned around from the passenger seat and saw Bill holding two microphones, his own and the one from the club.

“I didn’t realize I had it.”

It was in his fucking pocket. The whole time. He checked everywhere inside the venue, I checked the whole van and trailer, Austin argued that we weren’t fucking thieves, and the whole time, it was right in his goddamn pocket.

The mood lightened up after that and we started on our drive to Phoenix. Austin drove while I rode shotgun, and a few hours into the drive, I dozed off. I woke up when I heard Austin say, “Oh fuck.”

My eyes snapped open, I looked at him and he said, “We’re out of gas.”

“Are we all the way out, or did the fuel light just come on”
“We’re out. We’re coasting. And I passed a gas station like 5 or 10 miles ago.”

We both watched as the speedometer plummeted at a fairly rapid pace, and we went slower and slower. At about 8 mph, the road broke and we started rolling down hill and the needle began climbing higher. About that time we passed a sign for gas 1 mile away. Austin and I felt relieved, and we made it all the way up to 35 as we approached the off-ramp. We could see the gas station just to the right of the exit, but the problem was that it was up a small hill. We figured we could make it, so Austin got as far to the left as possible and was just going to use the momentum to make a wide turn and hopefully have just enough power to make it. As we got closer, we looked to make sure it was clear, but it wasn’t. The only car on the road was a huge semi truck coming up from our left, going just slow enough that it was timed to pass us the second we hit the end of the ramp. Austin held out as long as possible, but still had to brake at the end. We lost all momentum came to a dead stop at the bottom of the driveway of a gas station that was closed.

The pumps still worked, but there was no one around to help, so we were on our own. Six vegan kids pushing a van and trailer up a hill isn’t as easy as it sounds. It took all our energy, and we had to let it roll across the road in order to get a good running start, but after 15 minutes of trying we finally made it and filled up.

We pulled out of the gas station and headed down the hill to the freeway entrance, when we all saw the same thing. There, to the left of the freeway off-ramp and down hill, was an open gas station 30 cents a gallon cheaper.

“Well fuck,” I said, ”at least we can get drinks.”