Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Stand All Amazed (Remix)

I was born Mormon. When I was eight my head was gently cradled and lowered into the water, and I became an official member, fully absolved of all the sins I’d accumulated in those eights years, which was probably taking cherries from the grocery store and calling some random kid in the first grade an asshole because I’d told my friend I had to fill my swearing quota for the day.

Most of my family is Mormon. Most of my friends are/were Mormon. Yet, save for brief periods during my adolescence, I’ve never been truly active. At an early age I discovered there were many more enjoyable ways to spend a Sunday morning than going to church.

Don’t take me for a pre-teen atheist though; I was definitely god-fearing, perhaps to a ridiculous degree.

So, cut to present, here I am, done with all that, yet I find there a parts of Mormonism that have left an indelible mark on me. Even though I don’t pray, and find it worthless, I still find it awkward to begin a meal with my family without saying grace.

I can’t fully back tattoos

I have this odd sort of quixotism, this weird romantic streak that won’t die. I can’t seem to reconcile the physical with the spiritual. It doesn’t help that I’m fairly shy. This is a topic that shall be mined at a later date.

Do we get lazy and blame out environment on the things about us that we don’t want to or are unwilling to change?

Are a hundred years of tradition responsible for my inconsistencies and minor neuroses?

Monday, August 21, 2006

It's the Modern Revelation Book Club!

Remember on Reading Rainbow, when the kids would recommend books to you? Well if I were a charming 10 year old you could consider this mine. Only no pictures.

Just finished reading If on a Winters Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino and it is awesome in a way all good books, hell all good stories are. It wraps itself around yr head and keeps you from getting yr 8 hours. Multifaceted like a motherfucker. Multifaceted like a rappers grill.

Perfect combination of mystery, though not international intrigue, but you really want to know what’s going on, and romance. But it’s mostly about reading. How we read, why we read and our relationship with what we read or who wrote it.

I’ll spare you any dry literary analysis, but rest assured it’s not unworthy. I’ll also refrain from giving a cliff’s notes summary, cos that’s what wikipedia is for. Just go to the library or borrow it from me. But you should read it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Reality Post

I’ve had the idea for a blog for a long time, gestating in my brain like a stubborn fetus, refusing to come out. I always put it off., saying “I’ll wait until I move out, get a new job and my life gets more interesting.”

There were stories on the internet about how prospective employers would google you and read your blog, so I was going to wait. I did consider making a fake blog where I talked about my various charitable activities and other philanthropic feats. Maybe a miracle or two.

Another hold up was a name for the blog.

But, you see, internet friends, my life isn’t any more interesting than it was a few months ago. This isn’t any kind of pity-mongering or an attempt to illicit e-sympathy, just a statement of fact.

I graduated from college over a year ago. It was a bit of a surprise, I thought I had an extra semester or so. So without, any clue, or really any burning ambition in my field, I set about searching for that proverbial “real job”. I ended up working at retail giant Dillard’s, which made me fucking miserable, maybe I’m an asshole who’s not cut out for customer service, but I couldn’t help thinking, as I helped soccer moms and their spoiled sons pick out clothes, that I am way fucking smarter than these people, what the fuck am I doing here.

Living in my parent’s basement didn’t help either. And maybe I should’ve changed majors, but I’m young so such worries are a bit premature.

Now I have that real job, one tangentially related to my career. Did I expect things to get more exciting, like something hatching from a fucking egg or some other equally ridiculous nature metaphor. Probably not. I guess you have to make your own excitement, and I’m fucking lazy.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


If insipidity had a patron saint it would surely be Fergie.

First of, let me start by discussing a topic who’s boat has most certainly sailed, especially given the flashbulb memory of pop culture.

My Humps is quite possibly the worst song ever written, but I’ll say this for it, it's funny. Not in the way good things are funny, or things that mean to be funny, or even things that are so bad they’re funny. It’s indescribably funny, like watching something horrible. Horror is a good word for what My Humps inspires. Horror that someone could actually write the line “what’cha gonna do wit’ all that breast ? All that breast inside your shirt,” and not blush with embarrassment afterwards.

My Humps reduces almost all forms of human courtship into a bling-for-lumps (or is it humps?) exchange. Completely degrading, and insulting. Not to mention the fact that lumps are the most un-sexy descriptor for a woman’s body ever. It makes me think of gravy and my brother think of cancer. Both of which are decidedly un-sexy.

But no, Fergie seemed to feel the need to top this. Her new single, London Bridge, makes My Humps seem quaint by comparison. Atonal, amelodic, and banal to the point where it eradicates the concept of pop music having any meaning or redeeming qualities, and not in a good way.

If Fergie had talent, I would think that maybe she was trying to write the worst song ever, to see if it were possible to make something so bad that it makes people physically ill. No, bitch is a hack. She can’t dance, she can’t sing (London Bridge contains about three seconds of discernable melody), and she isn’t even that good looking. (Sorry to use appearance as an evaluator of someone, but in her line of work, pop-star/entertainer, looks are definitely part of the package.) London Bridge strives to ape Hollaback Girl. They both have junkyard beats and chanted lyrics, but Hollaback Girl was dumb fun. London Bridge is just dumb.

Does she think she’s being empowering? Coy? Coquettish?

I don’t know what the fuck she thinks. I could write a lengthy digression on how this song will most assuredly be embraced by stupid people everywhere. I don’t pray, but if I did, I would pray that young girls don’t look up to Fergie as inspiration or role model or whatever. Even godless heathens should pray that she get what she deserves and becomes a footnote in the history of popular culture.

But this song is an abortion.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sex and Dying in High Society

The first time I ever heard X was on a compilation called Punk University that I bought at Westwood Discount, which is this genius junk store in Pocatello. I also bought my Hammerman lunchbox there. The comp was all classic punk songs, but the one that hit me the hardest was Los Angeles by X. Lyrics that eschewed typical punk nihilism, and emo whiney boy histrionics for a kind of drunken poetic sensibility. Male and female harmonies that were just a little off, so you knew it was punk rock. John Doe and Excene Cervanka were the Sonny and Cher of early punk. But way cooler. X quickly became one of my favorite bands.

So why is this important?

Because, I got the infinite pleasure of seeing them live in person last Friday, that’s why. The Rollins Band, with everyone’s favorite VH1 talking head and occasional spoken work artist, Henry Rollins, opened. He came out wearing only black gym shorts, which is an outfit I fully endorse, though few, if any can pull it off.

The Rollins Band was a very manly band, but way better than I expected. It’s very easy to exceed expectations when they were astronomically low to begin with.

Anticipation building, I stood in the front, second row, close enough to see the sweat of the performers. An attractive older woman, 30’s maybe 40’s, asked how old I was. She was surprised that I was so young and liked X. She said I was really cool. The crowd was really old, lots of grey hairs.

Then X came onstage and proceeded to kick ass. I won’t bore you with a set list or any other details, but I will say that it was one of the best rock and roll shows I’ve seen. After the show, in a touching show of band-fan, punk-rock love, guitarist Billy Zoom, who looks much like Christopher Walken trapped in the 60’s took pictures of everyone in the front row (I’m in one) and also shook hands and got hugs from all the fans in the front row.

X is tragically underrated, but seeing them live gave me an idea of what it must've been like to be a part of those nacent punk days.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Starting Out

I’ve got it into my head that any blog should start with some kind of introduction. Not necessarily a statement of purpose or a manifesto, but the internet should have some idea who or what I am. My name is over there on the side. I live in Salt Lake City, the bastion of Mormonism. I’ll probably talk about that some. I like music, rock and roll, punk rock,indie shit, hip-hop, but I don’t plan on making this a blog just about music. I don’t have any one singular agenda for this. I’m generally optimistic, though somedays the news makes it hard. My mother refers to me as a “bleeding-heart liberal”. I’ve never been in a fight, and I haven’t really played a video game in many years. Expect something real, not this bullshit filler in a few days.