I'm a fighter, not a lover.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Clear Channel, definitely not corporate.

A co-worker sent me this little gem.

Publicity stunt?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Love, Drugs, Violence paired with good beer.

One of Salt Lake’s finest attractions -- as far as I’m concerned -- is Brewvies. As it name suggests, Brewvies combines two things I appreciate greatly: beer and film. And, it manages to do so cheaply. Tuesday nights, for instance, one can see a film and enjoy a liter of microbrew -- a liter! that's a Nalgene water-bottle’s worth -- for about seven or eight bucks.

One of the fine features at Brewvies this week: True Romance. Man, do I love that movie. A screenplay by Quentin Tarrantino, actors including Christian Slater (in his heyday), Patricia Arquette (before her TV series), Michael Rappaport, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt (in maybe, his best role ever), Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini, Samuel L. Jackson and “Balky” from Perfect Strangers. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Run, don’t walk to Brewvies. I’d recommend the Rooster’s Chocolate Stout to accompany True Romance.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Who writes things like that?

Sunday was M & K’s wedding shower, up on a fine, sunny deck near Park City.

I’m new to this mid-20s-everyone-gets-married-thing; remember, I’m not from Utah, where high school sweethearts marry prior to commencement to ensure proper prom relations.

I’ve only attended one “friend” wedding, a high school buddy, who since marriage, has fallen off of the edge of this flat earth and descended into a world of large HD TVs, mortgage payments and cleaning up after a small dog somewhere in southern New Hampshire. Now, though, it’s all exploding. The friends are lining up, two-by-two, ready to hop on this great ark of marriage and purchase property as quickly as possible. I didn’t get the memo. Apparently, now’s the time to be a grown-up.

Q: David, what do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Taller.

To be fair, I have married friends, particularly here in Salt Lake, where many of the people I spend time with are older, so really, I am referring to those friends that I grew up with or went to school with. M & K have their wedding this August at Alta – which I am truly looking forward to, actually – and already I have three college friends booking me for next year. Strangely, of the six people involved in the 2006 ceremonies, five live in New York City. Not one of the weddings takes place there; instead, I’ll be racking up the frequent flyer miles to Florida, Georgia and Maine.

With that first high school friend wedding, I was as uninvolved as one could be. I accepted the invitation, brought my friend Amanda, and together, mocked the traditional nature of it all. Now though, it’s like cutting through 401K forms for the first time - it's a thick, slow process. I used to live with M & K and while I am by no means involved, it sometimes feels like I am, just because I am much closer to them.

Before this weekend, I hadn’t attended a wedding shower. I was utterly confused when I received the invitation: I thought these were only for women. I have to buy them another gift? What does one wear to this type of event?

In the end, it was a great day. The food was excellent and I walked away with a sun-kissed (if not sunburned) nose, but in retrospect, I deserve to be mocked. While I feel good about my actual gift, I had no idea what to include in the card, or even which card to choose. It turns out that there’s a very limited pot of wedding shower cards and most seem to feature Precious Moments characters or set a couple of eight-year-old kids wearing mock dress and tux in faded color in front of a sepia backdrop. The idea of writing something about their life together also seemed a bit cliché and I’m glad that I didn’t include that — it seemed to be on every other card.

In the end though, mine was probably worse. I settled on a very cool blank card and wrote something like:

Congratulations! Enjoy the gifts. Enjoy the shower. Don’t get too wet.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Yesterday evening, driving home from work, heading east, it was perfect. Windows down, 75 degrees, dry air, clear skies and a backdrop of green foothills reaching up to the snowy canyons, tucked behind a sprawling city. It’s rare to see the foothills so green -- I suppose a month of rain will do that -- but it’s wonderful. My favorite, in fact.

Last night was the kind of Salt Lake City that I want to introduce to my East Coast friends convinced that America ends somewhere around mid-point over the Tappan Zee Bridge, with the exception of course, of the distant island of California. Perfect. And while I hardly expect them to understand why I live here, I think that even they could appreciate yesterday afternoon, if for no other reason than the warm breeze and a haze-free view of the Wasatch.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Another rambling music post

First off, a big thanks to my co-worker who has assisted me in two ways, one illegal, the other just as cool. He's provided me with a copy of the yet-to-be-released (and hardly announced) Sufjan Stevens record. I'm very excited to spend the next couple of days with this sucker. Sufjan’ll be round SLC towards the end of July. For those keeping score, this third full-length CD (Rough Trade, this time around) will get back to the promise of a theme-record for each of the 50 states. This one: Sufjan's new home, Illinois and his band has aptly changed its name to the Illinoisemakers. H-O-T.


The other favor that said co-worker provided me with was an invite to a snooty, members-only indie rock site, the likes of which features the occasional album leak, i.e. the new Sufjan record, along with plenty of other great content.

In other news, I’ve been busy writing to a handful of smaller labels; hopefully some interesting stuff makes its way to Salt Lake and KRCL.

Tonight mark’s Caribou’s (samples available here) passage through the City of Salt on their long tour. I've heard/read from various sources in other cities that it is a show not to be missed; sadly, funds and laziness may keep me from it all together. The live/electronic show goes down at Ego’s and also features The Junior Boys (who have a re-mix on the latest Verve re-vitalization of vocal jazz classics Verve: Remixed 3) and one-man-ensemble The Russian Futurists. (Do yourself a favor and search for the Futurists’ cut “Paul Simon” off of Our Thickness.)

Caribou, live tonight in SLC @ Ego's.

The Sun comes out in a few more weeks. June 7th to be exact. Not sure how sold I am on these guys yet, but nonetheless Ohio’s The Sun releases its first full-length album, Blame it on the Youth. It’s definitely poppy-fun -- particularly the single “Must be you,” which I am very tempted to include on the FBJ this Friday morning. Plus you have to love the line “Pathetic little hipsters gonna get punched in the face,” featured in “Waiting on high.”

You decide. Much of the album is available to stream at thesunwebsite.com, or simply click the fancy-pants banner.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Should I be concerned about how moving cubes has left me feeling so gleeful, especially given that this week was off to such a poor start?

Honestly, a month ago, when working from home, pants were optional. So, it just seems like a bit of a dramatic switch to get excited about the new cube. Nonetheless, it’s pretty hot. Here are the specs:

- I am among (most of) the other creative team (So long, Media Planners!)
- It's bigger and shaped for a better use of space
- It is a billion times more private
- I got a big, rocky chair instead of the last one, which looked like it had literally been chewed by its previous owner

And… drum roll please (Can I get a goddamned Timpani roll from you goddamned people?):

I no longer have to listen to my female co-workers use the restroom!


Sometimes, everyone needs a big ‘ole helping of Central Utah. Alfalfa fields and sage brush and mountains -- Oh my! Plus, the added bonus of the strange turkey farms. And the sheep. So many sheep.

Oh, and then there’s Maple Canyon.

Maple is an oddity. A desert gem, if you will. It can be vividly green, thanks to its namesake, and is constructed of some of the strangest rock around. It’s a conglomerate, essentially a cobblestone. Think the old streets of Boston, except in vertical wall form. Now get on that sucker and climb it. Maybe this photo will offer you a better perspective:

J offering up his monkey face on Redemption of Madonna.

Maple Canyon is one of those rare places that truly makes me happy. I’m content just being there. Sure, it’s home to some of the best climbing in Utah and is nationally-renowned, but that’s not it for me. I’ll float my boat by simply hanging out on the easy climbs, napping in the shattered sun below a maple and drinking warm beer at the close of the day.

me on Big Kahuna

This weekend was a bit different. Instead of camping in Maple Canyon, we moved on to J’s cabin, except “cabin” may not be the right word choice here. It’s what he likes to call it. “Dream home” may be a better fit. This place is vast. It sits atop a canyon, looking over the mixed forest and brush, and is complete with solarium, full kitchen, indoor plumbing (with hot water), pool table (I’m not lying), outdoor grill, outdoor fire pit, indoor fire stove, and his mom’s extra loom. Honestly, if it had electricity, I might squat there and learn to weave, although my Scion was not the No. One fan of the steep dirt/gravel road up to the cabin.

Haro chasing the Cattle

This last photo is taken at the base of the canyon where the cabin sits (which is about 40 minutes from Maple Canyon). This is Rob, doing what he does best: being unpredictable. While we were stopped waiting for the last vehicle to catch up, he decided it would be a great time to scare the hell out of some cattle, yelling “STAMPEDE!” and chasing after them. Luckily, there was no run-in with a cattleman and a 12-gauge. I love this photo though, because not only is it strange thanks to Rob, but it also highlights the odd beauty of Utah -- especially this area of it -- with the snowy mountain rising from the dry sage.

More photos available here, if you’re so inclined.

Friday, May 13, 2005

James and the lil guy

James and the lil guy.

In other news…. James (aka, Karl) was in the beehive state this week and I had the pleasure of joining him and other computer nerds for dinner and beers last night. James and wife are expecting (first week of August!); here’s hoping that the baby is as stunning as the xA, which he met for the first time last night.

Say Hi To Your Mom is saying hi to everyone.

Sometimes it’s great that an artist is blowing up. Now is one of those times. So, if you’re unfamiliar, get in now. It may be the third release of said artist, but there’s still time to climb aboard while he’s cool -- at least for the next 15 minutes or so.

Ferocious Mopes, available June 7th

Say Hi To Your Mom is a boy named Eric. So reads the introduction of the copyright info on each of his three albums. He writes splendidly clever lyrics to accompany his lofi recordings -- not lofi in the sense that it’s sparse and scaled back, but rather in that he crafts all of the music himself, allegedly in his Brooklyn boudoir on a computer and simplistic binary box.

Like any self-respecting male that has made his way past pre-school, Eric digs robots. And androids. And tractor beams. He writes songs about these sorts of things. These songs make me happy.

The new Say Hi record is entitled Ferocious Mopes; as always, it’s self-produced (Euphobia is the moniker for his label), but unlike the first two offerings (Discosadness and Numbers & Mumbles), it’s actually being distributed. As in, by a company. Ryko is spreading the love and seems to be doing an okay job of it. For instance, instead of having to write Say Hi directly and/or heading to NY to pick up the album, it was waiting at KRCL this morning, just begging to be featured on the FBJ. And so it was.

I’m listening to it in its entirety for the first time now, so I cannot offer any sort of a review just yet, but I do have to offer up a big fat congratulations to Eric. Things are happening here. In addition to not-so-media-giant KRCL, other good stations are picking up on Ferocious Mopes, most notably LA’s KCRW (Morning Becomes Eclectic even!) and INDIE 103 (commercial radio even!), as well as Seattle’s KEXP, among others. Also, “Let’s talk about spaceships” from the second record is currently featured in a MTV spot.

I’d like to think that I contributed roughly to 1/2169th of Say Hi’s success, mostly for egotistical reasons. I’m always gleeful when listeners request music that I actually want to hear during my show, so imagine how happy I was when a listener requested some Say Hi To Your Mom after I had been playing it for a month or so and was well aware that the first two records were not easily procured in SLC. Ferocious Mopes is available for purchase June 7th. Or, buy it now from the website.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Oh, Salt Lake City...

You're not helping yourself with posts like this on SLC Craigslist:

http://saltlakecity.craigslist.org/bar/72873618.html .

How am I expected to keep up with DMo?

Not a day goes by without hundreds of thousands of sophisticated readers clicking their way through Finding DMo or top-level advertisers begging me for the right to display their latest widget on this very site. While I haven’t given into the latter, I want to make this a better experience for you, dear reader. For you.

“So, self-sacrificing,” you say.
“Stop it,” I say. “You’re making me blush.”

So, how have I made it easier for you? I’ve added a subscription service. It’s free and entirely reputable (via Bloglet), will not produce a spam-filled inbox and will update you when a new post has been added. It’s a pretty cool service, really. Simply sign up below. If you miss the boat, you’ll find the link either in the sidebar to the right or on the very bottom of the page.

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Groupies and more

Guitar pop darlings, The Shins, rolled through SLC last night, playing at the University in what amounted to be a terrible venue, but decent show. But hey, it’s been a while since they’ve come through, so, I suppose we should all be grateful for that.

Except, they’re rock stars.

Hell, even they acknowledged it. Frontman James Mercer mentioned that every other time the band had passed through the City of Salt, they performed at Kilby Court, a venerable beacon in the intermountain independent music scene, but which holds roughly three and a half people simultaneously. Four, if you get familiar.

It’s not that I didn’t expect the rock-stardom. I know what’s happened to these guys since the release of Garden State and its accompanying soundtrack. I’ve taken the many, many requests during my radio show and all. But come on! I was not expecting to hear girls scream when Mercer makes eye contact with the crowd. I mean, we’re not dealing with Jonathan, Joey, Donnie, Jordan and Danny here. Or are we?

Oh, oh oh oh / The right stuff – er, sorry.

Anyway, what is most interesting to me about the Shins rise to success is it can really be traced to one song. Quite literally. I suppose this is not really atypical in the world of music – pop anyway – but when it comes to bands that have been together for eight years or so and have made their way via an independent label (albeit a large indie label), it just seems a little odd. See, the song “New Slang,” one of two on the Garden State SDTRK drove the masses to run out and purchase Chutes too narrow, a pretty good record all in all, but one that does not actually feature the song “New Slang.” Ironical? It gets better. That one song not only brought them to the screaming-girl/college-touring scene, but was also the reason the Shins were ever signed in the first place.

Five years back, when opening up for Modest Mouse, a SubPop records guru saw them and invited the band to submit a song for the label’s now defunct Singles Club. Which song did the Shins submit? You got it. “New Slang” went out, the SubPoppers enjoyed and a year later, the Portland outfit (originally from Albuquerque) had a full-length on the label called Oh Inverted World (a better record than Chutes too narrow).

In Garden State, Natalie Portman’s character, Sam, introduces “New Slang” by saying, “This one song, it’ll change your life.” Indeed it did for the Shins.

Incidentally, the show was pretty good, despite the strange venue and crowd mix. New Zealanders, The Brunettes, opened the night up and any band that makes that much use of brass and woodwind instruments in an indie pop set – not to mention face masks – is a friend of mine. Also, local artist Leia Bell has a poster for the evening and of course, it's lovely. Buy it here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Early lunch and the end

Attorneys eat lunch early. It’s my friend Eric’s birthday, so I met him and a co-worker for lunch to celebrate. At 11:30. Who eats then?

We all work outside of Salt Lake in an area called West Valley City, a strange place with -- quite frankly -- some strange people. Warehouse and office space are cheap here (like $.50/square foot), so several organizations make this their home. If it were ever my home, I’d be more than mildly depressed.

Eric and Lindsey, who joined us, are prosecutors for the city, which means they have the pleasure of spending far more time with the finest citizens that West Valley has to offer than I do. Mostly, my contact with West Valley City comes when I head to 3500 South during my lunch hour and complain about it; 3500 South, between Redwood Road and Bangerter Highway, looks like a scene out of my days in central Florida. Three-lane roads lined with every fast food establishment imaginable, decrepit cars featuring gaudy rims worth more than the rest of the vehicle, and flat, horizontal roads in each direction. If it weren’t for the snowy mountains in the distance, I’d swear it was Orlando.

Today also marks the end of an era, albeit a very brief one. A new friendship that I established during my last trip to New York is no more. Today is the agreed upon end date. Also agreed was a public humiliation of her via this weblog. I am supposed to write terrible things like, she kills puppies, solely for sport and then does not make efficient use of the meat or the skins. Or that she emits an odor reminiscent of formaldehyde. Or that she has such little control of her temper, I witnessed her push aside a small elderly woman who requested her seat on the subway. And then kept her cane. Unfortunately, none of these things are true. Instead, she is clever and engaging and a wonderful distraction from my work. Today though, it’s all over.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Super Secret Spy Cam

One of the great things about Blogger is of course, that it’s free. There’s no doubt that other weblog/journal sites beat the tar out of Blogger, but you have to pay for them. Another option to make a more effective blog page would be to set it up through my hosting company or via my armada of websites I could do more, but you have to be smart for that. So, for dumb, poor folks, such as myself, there’s Blogger, which has its share of oddities.

One of which is its lack of any statistics at all. I finally did something about that and added a free program to ye ole blog and although it’s been a very brief time, the results are in:

You people love. You really, really love me.

Or to be fair, several of you find me mildly amusing (which is good enough for me!) and a few of you love me, making several repeat visits in the last couple hours alone to this fine page. It’s true; acting like an internet spy cam, with Sitemeter, I can see your IP addresses. When will he update? When? I can’t live without Dave! -- that's what your repeat IP addys are screaming to me.

To which I respond with a line I picked up from years of after-school Charles in Charge and Saved by the Bell viewing: “Ladies, there’s plenty of me to go around.”

Friday, May 06, 2005

Somewhere about 5:37am and the intersection of 900 So. 200 East, an odd thing happened. On my way to my radio show, a pedestrian, a woman, was crossing the street very slowly and awkwardly. Turns out, she wasn’t trying to cross at all.

She approached my vehicle and I, thanks to years of training of driving in Boston (and in particular, Roxbury) and a brief trip to Los Angeles, proceeded to give her the double hand/head shake. Doing this, you have about a 50/50 shot of deterring the person from cleaning your windshield with a cloth that looks to have also been used as a diaper, or from selling you single roses that died four days ago. This woman was either not familiar with my signing or was damned persistent. I noticed she was crying and cracked the window.

“Please, sir, can you give me a ride? I need a ride. I’m barefoot and pregnant.” Both were clearly true, save the socks she wore, but I don’t generally enjoy driving strangers around town before 6am. I offered to call an ambulance for her; she repeated the above line (and I hate being called “sir” by strangers) and mentioned she only wanted to go to West Temple (Street), about four blocks away.

Quickly, I ran through what my Mom might say about the situation (WWMD?)… Never pick up strangers, but can I leave a pregnant woman in socks? I gave in. She got in, reeking of booze, and I drove her the four blocks and let her out at the 7-11. I am unsure where she was heading; she was visibly shaken, and the only destination I can think of is the Indian Walk-in Center, which provides free health care. However, I don’t believe it was open that early and anyway, she didn’t ask me to drop her there. Maybe she just needed a slurpee, but the four blocks seemed a long way without shoes.

In any case, it was an unsettling start to the day.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Fraidy Cat.

My roommate’s cat has no juevos (or insert other juvenile euphemism for male genitalia here), which, under normal circumstances, is a good thing, as she is a female. A young lady. A sweet, eccentric cat — and I am not a feline lover — although she is a bit on the husky side.

Back to the lack of juevos... I am cat-sitting this week, which generally consists of providing her with some food in the morning, emptying her poo box in the evening, and sometime between the two events, letting her lay and do that creepy, rub against your hand thing. If she’s really good, I’ll leave my bedroom door open to allow her to sneak in and hunt my feet while I sleep.

Last night, there was no feet hunting.

A stray cat has taken to the ‘hood. It’s lean and scrappy and has at least two tear drops tattooed below its left eye, presumably, one each for every other feline it’s destroyed. Grey and black, it’s striped like a tiger and moves sleekly, not unlike a shark. I have seen large children flee from it.

My roommate’s cat, Cleo, is orange and white, covered in a layer of fluff, which rests upon an impressive amount of body fat, and has left the house three times over the last month or so. She is not what you would call an “outdoor” cat.

Last night, while Cleo and I lay on the couch, enjoying an edited version of Sex and the City on poor-man’s cable (TBS), a very strange thing happened. Our couch sits in front of a large picture window, literally Cleo’s window to the world and she spends a large portion of the day staring out of it, perhaps wishing that she were more agile. Suddenly, she began making the I’m-in-a-cat-fight-and-about-to-tear-some-shit-up sound. You know the sound, because like the noise of a dentist’s drill, even if you’ve only heard it once, you remember it always. It is strange and shrill and ugly in every way.

So, I am trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I am pretty sure that there are no other cats in the house and start talking to Cleo, attempting to calm her down. Suddenly, TigerSharkStrayCat jumps up to the outside of the picture window (there’s a brick ledge on the outside) with a shank in paw and proceeds to attempt to take Cleo’s life. Cleo acts tough, holding her ground and raising the volume on her war call, but it is clear that even with a window separating them, Cleo has had her ass handed to her. This event goes on entirely too long until I am smart enough to draw the blinds and push Cleo aside.

Visibly shaken, I let her chill out on the floor, where she refuses to put her back to the window. I return my attention to my tiny television. About ten minutes later, I realize something stinks in the room. I also notice that my pants are damp.

It turns out that Cleo was so frightened, she actually wet her pants. Except of course, she wasn’t wearing any pants. She did however, wet mine via the couch cushion.

Needless to say, Cleo has lost all street cred in my book.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Get them some salt shakers! STAT!

In the brief time that I have held my new position, I’ve been privy to some entertaining things. One thing that I am infatuated with, for instance, is the number of women here who’ve caught the preggers. Our company is about 300 people deep (from what I understand) and I am convinced that if you were to take a random cross-section of the Salt Lake population and chose 300 people, you would not end up with as many pregnant women as I see within this facility. It just doesn’t add up. Plus, since I have the distinct pleasure of sitting immediately adjacent the Women’s room, another co-worker may be added to that list. Nope, turning the faucet on high did not cover up the grotesque sounds emitted from your body. Morning sickness? It was yesterday afternoon.

Now referring to actual funny things, imagine one of those pregnant women who is chronically distressed and has the mouth of a sailor to prove it. Now imagine that same woman having constant interaction with an office full of Mormons, as well as a healthy portion of direct client contact. Love it.

My favorite comical thing about the new gig thus far, however, is most definitely the strange, company-wide emails that are occasionally dispersed via the reception desk. Until today, my favorite was:

Subject: Chocolate Milk Sale....
Chocolate milk is now on sale for $0.30. (while supplies last)

Which was written in brown (chocolate) font and immediately followed up by:

Subject: RE: Chocolate Milk Sale....
Never mind… they have gone bad, and we’d prefer you all didn’t get sick...

Good stuff, but I think I enjoy today’s better:

Subject: If you borrowed the salt shakers....
from the main break room, please return them.

Should I be worried that they can only afford one set of salt shakers? I mean, this was a company-wide email!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Officer, please place my roommate in protective custody.

It's for his own good.

I consider myself to be a peaceful person. A pacifist even. However, if there’s one thing I value in my daily life, it’s a big ‘ole portion of sleep.

The last few nights, my downstairs, nocturnal roommate has not been allowing for a lot of it. So, I have spent many moments over the last few days thinking of terrible things to do to him. Is this wrong?

He is more a frustrating neighbor than a roommate, but by technicalities, he is definitely a roommate. We share the same entryway, but otherwise, little else. He has two rooms in the basement, his own bath, and a really beat/half-functioning kitchen, and hence he rarely visits the upstairs portion of the house (aka, “the day world”). In that sense, I suppose he is okay. In every other though…

He works overnights, four nights a week. I thought I would have gotten used to him coming into the house very late on a week night and softly turning on his television. To some extent, I have. The problem though is that I think he has also become more comfortable, so over the last three nights, he has had no concern with talking on the phone constantly with his booming voice, which the floor does nothing to muffle, or inviting friends over about 2:30 with the same vocal qualities.

Last night, he seemed to be participating in some phone dating service where he would call girls and have to introduce himself over the phone. It was very odd and sad. Through the floorboards, I'd hear the same jokes occasionally. I was home about 10:30 last night, in bed reading by 10:45. He was already on the phone (so who knows how long he had been prior?) and continued to make random calls until about three hours later, when finally I went downstairs to the land of the night people.

I just don’t get it. Why the change? It’s not 9am yet and I am already miserable and tired. Someone, please purchase all of his tie-dyed hippie sheet/robe things that he sews (his side business) so he can afford to live somewhere else.