Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Horrors and Happiness is found...somewhere.

The Horrors

The Horrors are a band from the UK that have a new CD coming out May 4. They are a typical garage band with a dark, morbid dynamic to most of their songs. One of the creepiest music videos by any band I've seen is The Horrors "She Is The New Thing", which you can watch here at YouTube:

It is the best 3 1/2 minute 'horror' movie you will see. You have to stay till the end because that's when everyone dies. It's very cool. I've included some tunes from the Horrors in the Playlist. You'll probably hate them. I don't. They are scary good.


I read an article at The Huffington Post recently that said the one common denominator that people attribute to happiness in their lives is staying connected to your past. Primarily it starts with being connected to family, then friends, then past lovers, extended family and so on. And also remaining close to places you lived, major events in your life and the people that were a part of them. Obviously the most painful events in one's past life may have to be avoided but the point is clear: being an island and ignoring your past equals unhappiness (this is from the article).

While I can see the most obvious strength of this argument, staying close to family, it begs the question: what if you're not close to your family? I'm close with my family so I have no worries. But if you're not, if you're estranged, and alienated for whatever reason, where can you connect with your past that will somehow infuse the present with an elixir of joy? And what of the past, some of which should rightly stay in the past? Don't we need to move on from things? Get over them, forget them, sweep them under the rug and keep going?

Here is where I think the article and my own happiness intersect: I have certain family codes (picking up from a previous post) that I attempt to adhere to:
  • Jil and Gabe come first, no exceptions.
  • If some member of your family offends you, tell them, patch it up and move on quickly.
  • Don't be surprised at being offended by your family--it's their job. If we had our choice of people to hang with, we'd all be off living as closely as possible to the coolest people on the planet: Metallica, the Boston Red Sox, Neil Young, Lance Armstrong, the cast from Rescue Me and the people who made Brokeback Mountain, Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler. But, we are stuck with each other so get over your family offending you.
  • Important events need to be respected and so do family traditions. There is a reason two of my very favorite memories are: going to Willow Creek Country Club for the Christmas Party with Mom and Dad's friends and going to the cabin every summer. This is being connected to your past and keeping those activities alive.
  • Reed Tucker is gay. (Not to offend gay people; it's just that one of our traditions is a holiday party with the Tuckers and Reed called me out so I'm punking him back).
  • Oh, and Reed is also a little bitch.

One more note about whether being connected to your past equals happiness: in the movie Magnolia, a theme that runs through that movie is the saying: "You may be done with the past but the past is not done with you." I love to dwell on this saying from time to time because it always amazes me how not dealing effectively with the present can so often totally jack up your future and keep you seemingly forever rooted in a poor decision you made in the past (hello current financial mess).

Be careful what you connect to in the past and if it's good, it should make you happy.

At least this is what my therapist tells me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jil + Keith Urban = True Love; Gabe is mad (again!); Mott the Hoople

I Love Keith Urban by Jil Goorman

I never knew who Keith Urban was until Joanne gave us the Live 8 DVD at Christmas four years ago. The minute he came on, we had to keep playing it over and over. I thought, "Oh my hell, who is this guy?" And then we kept rewinding and watching it (note from the Editor: I watched it twice and then was over it. He is super dreamy though). And Gabe was excited too and loved to watch Keith play his guitar. I do not like country but Keith is the exception. He is rock-country and so beautiful. I want to be born again and be Nicole Kidman.

I also have his new album thanks to Shellie and Jeff and I am in love once again.

Gabe's 5th Grade Rant

There is a kid named Spencer who sits behind me in class and he is going to get his clock cleaned--this kid annoys me every day. Every one says its my fault and I shouldn't pay attention to him but it's hard not to. Today, he came up and he has anger issues and he got in my face and I said, "Next time you do that you're going to get your clock cleaned." And I guess we'll see what will happen tomorrow.

PS: I wouldn't really hit him or anything but I will get mad.

Lost Classic: Mott by Mott the Hoople
One CD I've been really enjoying this past month is Mott by Mott the Hoople. Made in 1974 and one year after they scored with the David Bowie hit "All the Young Dudes", Rolling Stone at one point said this album was "the best album of the early seventies made by one of the best bands of the early seventies." Take that for what it's worth because Rolling Stone also dissed every Led Zep album made. However, in this case, they are right on. This is straight ahead classic rock with tunes you will keep humming over and over. Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs, who would go on to help form Bad Company, penned most of the songs and they are full of rock star disappointment, fame regret and the brutal nature of making a living making music. Check the Playlist for more.

Mott the Hoople

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Be Nice?

So, I've been having these random conversations with a local recruiter. He is currently getting about 100 resumes a day and jobs are sorta scarce. A nice enough guy and we talk about every three weeks or so. Yesterday I called him at my lunch hour and he said, "Hey, Phil, call me back on your way home. I have something that is PERFECT for you." Sweet! I thought. I haven't had even a nibble on any new job prospects for four months and he sounded genuinely enthusiastic to have me call him. His normal tone is somewhat mellow so any kind of excitement must mean...he has some good news to share.

The afternoon dragged on like Paula Abdul rating the latest Idol contestant and finally, at 5:05pm, I rang up this recruiter dude. Let's call him...Paul. Cause that's his name. Paul. Paul the Recruiter. He sounds excited (again!) to hear from me and immediately launches into this new job opportunity. He asks me if I've heard of a company called Dubli. I say no. He then proceeds to tell me it's like Ebay but kind of a reverse auction deal where each time a person bids on an item, the item goes down in price. I had a hard time following this part because I always thought high demand equaled an ever escalating price, but, I'm no econ whiz so I just listened. He tells me how great the company is, that it started in October, that it's really "taking off" and all of a sudden, my network marketing/multi level marketing bullshit detector goes off.

"Is this guy really trying to sell me on a new multi level company? No. No way. He's a recruiter for shit sakes, he has to look for a job for me, find a company that wants someone like me and that can use my talents and pay me what I'm worth. It's now all about him. He is wrangling me in with this ridiculous pitch on some multi level company that is going to eventually require I buy in with a sizable monetary investment."

Such were my thoughts. I actually couldn't believe it. And he kept going on. How the founder made "$98,000 in six months! Can you believe that Phil?" No Paul, I can't believe that. Paul the Recruiter was quickly becoming Paul the D-Bag. I tried to steer him off the subject and back to other companies that were perhaps hiring and he kept brushing by it. I tried to be NICE. Like, no thanks Paul, not for me. And then, like a cold shot of vodka straight from the fridge but without the alcohol and subsequent happy, warm feeling, he hit me with this: "Phil, you can buy into this for only $3,000.00. Or, you could even start smaller, like in the $800 range and that could get you a nice supplemental income until it really started to take off." Oh gee, only Three Grand, eh Paul the Dumbfuck? Wow, sounds awesome. Let me say Paul the Penis Head, if I had Three Grand, I WOULD BUY A NEW FUCKING BIKE ASSHOLE!!!!. AND, I WOULDN'T NEED YOU BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE A JOB THAT PAID ME MORE THAN WHAT I MAKE NOW!!!!

But, I didn't say this. I was NICE. Polite. Mannered. Well mannered, just like I tell Gabe to be. Because, and this has mostly been proven, being nice gets you things. Anyone who has travelled even a little bit realizes quickly that you get much further with agents, baggage handlers, custom folk and all their ilk by being a nice person no matter how bad the situation. But Paul was pushing me. And I could feel an anger coming on. What to do?

I finally agreed to let him send me an email that described the company, Dubli, and what it does and the marketing program and blah blah, big whoop dee doo. He was stoked. "I'll send it right over Phil. Take a look at it. And, oh yeah, if a sales job comes up, I'll let you know." So what did I get for being nice?

Junk email from Paul the Cornhole.

Why be nice?????

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Marcie the Spin Instructor -- John C. Reilly -- Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon

These guys currently reside in Nashville where they spearheaded a rock revival in the early '00s, playing and writing music that deftly looked back to an era of southern rock and roots but making a distinct sound all their own. They are comprised of the three Followill brothers and a friend, with the brothers having been heavily influenced by the travelling childhood they spent with their Pentecostal preacher father as he dragged them all over the heartland setting up tent revivals. Excellent band with four albums and an EP to their credit--they are the featured band in the Playlist.

Movie Marathon Suggestion: The Movies of John C. Reilly

Here’s something fun to do while the weather totally sucks and keeps you captive: a movie marathon with John C. Reilly. I first saw him in Magnolia where he played Jim, an L.A. cop, who is looking for companionship and finally finds it with Melora Walters, cocaine snorting child abuse victim. He is also Mark Wahlberg’s wing man in Boogie Nights and has one of the best facial expressions ever caught on film—he does a front flip into a swimming pool and lands squarely on his back. The camera catches him underwater and that face is why I dig this guy. He is also in Ricky Bobby: Talladega Nights (“No Ricky Bobby, NOOOO!!!”), Hard Eight, Step Brothers, and my most recent favorite role, Dewey Cox in Walk Hard. I would suggest watching Walk Hard again if you haven’t seen it already. The best satirical movie in the past couple of years by far. His duet with that chick from The Office had me rolling. Reilly has the best clueless face of any actor and he can also play it straight when he chooses (Gangs of New York for one).

Marcie My New Spin Instructor

Robert, the spin instructor on Thursdays whom I’ve written about previously, got fired. I didn’t go to his class anymore anyway because he was terrible. My new instructor on Tuesday mornings (that’s 5:45 in the a.m.) is Marcie. Marcie weighs 90 lbs., has probably a negative body fat ratio and possesses a really loud voice. She is late twenties/early thirties and recently just upgraded her road bike to a newer model. This is a foreign concept for me since I haven’t had a bike upgrade since 2002 but the fact that she bikes outside is a very good sign. She is super nice and is always helping spin class newbies get situated with their set up. Her music selection is also passable: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks, Blue October and weird Brazilian stuff that’s fun when you’re pedaling.

I like Marcie. She says things to her class like, “You are stronger than you think you are!” and “This is your hour to be better than you’ve ever been!”, and “What you are on the inside makes what you are on the outside---and on the outside you’re beautiful!!” I usually hate this kind of cliché riddled rubbish during my workouts because it’s just distracting and unhelpful. But Marcie makes is work with the delivery. She says these platitudes with a loud, commanding voice and it keeps you going.

You could do worse than to hear personal philosophy from a spin instructor yet I find the fact that she is not afraid to say these things comforting. Why don’t we share our personal mottos or creeds with other people? There is real knowledge, and of the helpful kind, to be gained when you listen to someone discuss the guiding principles that steer their life. This is different than advice, most of which I consider to be poorly thought out and just as easily thrown out. A personal code is different: you have learned, through experience, these few things really work for you and increase your chances that living on this planet will be a more enjoyable endeavor.
My code would be these few items:

· No matter how dark the mood, how bad the day or how rotten the situation, I’ve always found a certain song, movie, or book will lighten it.
· Be a consistent parent with consequences. However, children are innocent and are constantly demanding justice; adults are flawed and seem to always be looking for mercy. In this dichotomy lies the prime paradox of parenthood.
· No excuse for ignorance.
· Working out is always a good use of time.
· Call your mom and dad.
· Tell your spouse she’s beautiful. And mean it.

I’m still working out my personal financial code and when that is figured out, I will be very happy. The financial code that is NOT working for me right now is:

· If you can’t afford it, charge it.
· If it’s shiny, buy it.
· If you’re sad, buy yourself something.
· Don’t tell your spouse about your financial shenanigans.
· What is this cash that you speak of?

Anyway, my spin instructor is top notch. Yay Marcie!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Masters: Golf Porn! Gabe Disses Phil Big Time! Band/Artist of the Week

The Masters: Take It All Off!

The introduction to the Masters on Thursday was done by Harry Connick Jr. It was filled with phrases like "renewal of rituals", "rites of spring" "magic in the magnolias" and very lusty words such as "verdant" "bountiful" and "lush". After watching it I felt kind of dirty, like I just watched someone do it on a golf course. A very beautiful golf course, no doubt, but all the same I couldn't help but laugh out loud as I watched images of flying bees, lifting off the stamen of pregnant, gorgeous flowers, their sweet nectar juices...see? I can't help it either, this tournament just makes you want to say really sexy things about it. And the super long, longing camera looks at blinding white sand and every angle imaginable of really tall pine trees. Listen, golf is as much in my blood as blood itself, and even I have to just chuckle at how heavy with TRADITION and how TIMELESS and UNBELIEVABLY GRAND this whole show is. Jim Nantz, one of my favorite sports reporters, just about shoots in his plaid pants every time some player walks down a fairway, crosses THE BRIDGE ON NO. 12 or leans mightily on their golf club and just takes in the complete atmosphere. He almost whispers every time he speaks during this tourney, as if the guys can hear him way up in his cozy broadcast booth. Such is THE MASTERS, golf porn at its best. And where will I be this Sunday? On my couch, staring at the most luscious golf course ever built, with a box of tissues at the ready.

Brought down low by my stepson

The opportunities that I have to look cool in front of my son and wife are very few and far between. Not that I go around looking uncool but a scenario rarely arises where I can show a different, more "take charge" side of personality. I'm usually just the worker bee making coffee, making lunch, taking out trash, washing a car or two, rearranging the garage and so forth. However, earlier this week, such a situation arose and it was perfect: I went outside to get the lawnmower started for Jil. She loves mowing the lawn and hey, more power to her. I checked the spark plug, the filter, the oil level and all was good. Full of gas it started up after just a few pulls. Feeling good I looked around for some other manly shit I could do when all of a sudden, we both heard a POP! I looked towards the street and a Ford Explorer has tried to make a u-turn on 13th East, right in front of our house. The tire hit our curb and basically blew apart. Driving this car was a 19-20 year old female who immediately backed up and tried to keep going. No way. Tire was toast.

"Ah hah!" I thought. "This is awesome. I'm going to make this girl's day by being a really good guy and getting that tire changed." I walked out to the curb and took charge: I directed her how to pull into the driveway to prevent further tire damage, I introduced myself as The Freakin' Stud of the Block (her name was Samantha) and she gazed at me like I was an angel sent from Pep Boy Heaven. Jil kind of looked over at me, figured I had it under control, and went back to mowing the lawn. At this point, Samantha decided to call her boyfriend to come help. Whatever my dear, I thought, this is going to get handled, THIS SHIT IS GOING TO GET WORKED BY COSTANZA!! I was in position, I had located her tire jack (oops, back to Masters porn, sorry, I'll stop now) and I was busy jacking up the front end. Just then her boyfriend shows up with his buddy and he proceeds to jump in to help. His name is Chase. "It's all good my man", I say. "I'm taking care of business so just hand me the tire iron and stay out of the way. This is a man's game bitch!" I didn't really say this but I really wanted to. Chase was really nice by the way.

So, the spare tire is extracted from under the Explorer, the jack is doing it's job, I am busy unscrewing lug nuts to get the shredded tire off, all my peeps are around me watching and even my wife is kind of looking on to see how cool this all is, when who should appear?


Just like Bart Simpson, he rolls up on his skateboard after being at his friend's house and surveys the whole scene in 2 seconds. With a voice loud enough for God to hear, he says:

"Phil! What are you doing? YOU CAN'T CHANGE A TIRE!"

The girl all of sudden looks at me, stunned. Chase looks at his feet. His buddy starts texting and Jil begins to chuckle. Gabe continues:

"Seriously, what is going on? Are you going to change that tire? What happened? How do you know how to do this? Are the police coming?"

Mortified, ashamed and beaten down, I sigh heavily and continue with my manly charade destroyed. 13 minutes later the tire is changed, the lawn is mowed, Gabe has forgotten the whole thing and I'm on the phone to my therapist.

Scoreboard: Phil O, Gabe 1

Artist of the Week/Band of the Week

Just like a hot Krispy Kreme donut, Robyn is all sugar, warmth and full of empty calories. I'm fatally attracted to this Abba-like rubbish but she has some very catchy tunes. She hails from Sweden and is currently in the throes of a pop makeover: she began at age 12, had her first album at 17, was going to tour with the Backstreet Boys but had some health issues. She's also had major label complications but that hasn't stopped her. Released in spring of '08, Robyn is full of three to four minute pop tunes that you cannot get out of your head. More minimalist than her girly counterparts, she has some grit to her tunes that keep you coming back for more. A guilty pleasure no doubt but that doesn't make her any less enjoyable.

She also had a no. 1 hit in the UK with "With Every Heartbeat" which is in the Playlist.

Weird cover art = cool sounds inside!!!

Mastodon is the Band of the Week and they come from Atlanta, GA. Founded by Brann Dailor, possibly the best heavy drummer around, Mastodon are exactly what the name implies: heavy, massive and punishing. They are stoner rock at its finest with a lot of Yes, Rush and Iron Maiden thrown in. And a little Slayer. This is the meat and potatoes you need after binging on Robyn. Their new CD is called Crack the Skye, which is a mystical tale revolving around Rasputin, astral time travel and other weird, proggy nonesense. But it works. They are in the second half of the Playlist.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

AC/DC vs The Eagles


Not so much!

AC/DC vs. The Eagles

On a recent trip to Moab, I made a comment to my travelling companions, Larry Tucker and Ryan Brooks, that I couldn’t imagine being friends with anyone who didn’t like AC/DC. Every one I know and associate with likes AC/DC. What’s not to like? They rock like no other, they’re funny, they have songs you can sing to and they are the ultimate party band. Both of them agreed but then they abruptly turned the tables on me. Brooks said: “Wait, you hate the Eagles, we like the Eagles, but both of us still hang around you. What’s the difference?”

You don’t have to question whether or not you like AC/DC. Once you hear one of their songs, you are all in. You know what kind of a ride you are in for. You are on the Highway to Hell or you are Back in Black or you are all about Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. It’s so simple and so good. My good friend and relative Steve Mitchell cites Powerage as his fave AC/DC album. That is a good one. My personal fave is Highway to Hell. A classic is a classic for a reason.

Now, when you hear The Eagles, you have a couple of responses. Apathy comes to mind. Boredom and sleep are common themes I hear from like minded Eagles-abstaining friends and neighbors. You have to try to like most Eagles songs. How many times do you have to hear Witchy Woman before you realize you just aren’t into the song? It doesn’t offend you because the Eagles could never be offensive. She’s a witchy woman. Wow, deep. She sucks. She’s evil. Nice insight Don Henley. You know these guys ruined Joe Walsh. Joe Walsh was The Man in 1974: James Gang and then right on to a perfect solo career. Rocky Mountain Way, But Seriously Folks and so many cool albums. He then joined the Eagles and they quickly tamed him into Adult Contemporary submission. Poor guy.

So, when you are down and out, when you need a hand, when life gets you down, where are you going to turn?


For Those About to Rock, We Effing Salute You.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Kurt Cobain put a bullet in his head 15 years ago today.


15 years ago today Kurt Cobain decided he'd had enough. He went up to the green house in his home, grabbed his 12 gauge and promptly took half of his head off with one shot.
Why? Why the hell would he do this? He had these things going for him, in no particular order: wife, baby, money, a great band (Dave Grohl is your drummer!!) and the adoration of millions. Along with this he had the tremendous pressure, perceived by Kurt or not, as the pied piper of the grunge movement but really, he became more like one of the pillars of music in its entirety. People talk about Kurt along with other icons such as Jimi, Jim, Janice and Bob (as in Marley). No doubt music would be different today if he hadn't come along. The quiet, loud, quiet pacing of his songs was basically set in template by Nirvana and has been copied countlessly since. His songwriting was excellent, his arranging skills were better and his band sold the whole thing perfectly. (Listen to Smells Like Teen Spirit again and imagine that song without Dave Grohl bringing in the whole first four measures with that drum intro).
Personally, I remember driving on 9th East and 53rd South, in 1992, a few weeks after Nevermind came out, and the first single came on the radio. It got my attention immediately and it was actually a little difficult to listen to, especially at the end, with Kurt yelling "oh denial" about 10 times at the top of his lungs. But I got the point. This guy had something to say. And as I bought all of Nirvana's music, I quickly became a lifelong fan.
Which brings me to the point: this guy's childhood was awful. Read this book and you will get an insight into a young kid's life filled with abuse, neglect, bad divorce, abandonment and intense loneliness.

Heavier Than Heaven by Charles Cross

However, he would not have made the kind of music that influenced countless millions without that childhood. His early pain equalled later genius. Do I wish he would have had a normal childhood and thus never made four classic albums? That he basically gave his life for music that will be listented to well beyond the day of his death?

Is there ever a sweet spot for artists like this? A point where they temper the fame and demands and still make music that brings about sea change? All I know is I will still play his songs and still sing along and wish he was still around. What else is there?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bike Trip to Moab; Wolf vs. Stoned Girl; Band of the Week

Angus, Wolf, Riley, Brooks, Crash Madsen

We had another epic Puppet Master Bike Trip last weekend to Moab. The usual suspects attended: Larry, Riley, Ryan, Dave, and Phil. We were missing one important and illustrious member. His initials are AP and he drives a 53' trailer around town, in which he keeps his wife and children captve. He has been warned by the Puppet Master (Larry) that if this kind of behavior continues, he will be going the way of former PM members such as Stretch Murdock.

Top of Pocupine Rim. We had to battle to the death with many UNICYCLISTS. They were having some kind of one-wheeled rally on the very trail we were riding on Saturday. Wolf gave them respect and told all of them they were winners as he rode by. Riley, Dave, Brooks and I sped past the uni-tards and called them out for what they really were: Circus Boys in Training. (With no disrespect to Circus Boy and Hurricane, whose unicycle skills are used appropriately and judiciously in the Manti 4th of July parade.)

This is the Happiest Club in Moab. Larry is showing off his battered and scarred knees to the sunshine while the rest of us are just maxin' and relaxin'. BTW: The Wolf's knees are heretofore known as The Monster Baby Heads.

Riley and Phil on a lovely ride in the slickrock desert. We both had moments of spiritual clarity on this ride. You really had to be there.

Dude with the camera: Dave Madsen

The Wolf vs. The Stoned Uranium Bicycle Girl

So, we had a funny episode in the life of the Wolf down in Moab. Why this is funny is because these kinds of stories always seem to involve the Puppet Master and the rest of us get to watch in amusement. Wolf gets himself into these dilemmas because he is the nicest guy in the world and also the one with the shortest patience. Now, having to battle these two conflicting behaviors his whole life, the Wolf has certain little tics and mannerisms that tip all of us off as to what kind of mood he in, once these traits begin to clash. Hence the tale of, Wolf and the Stoned Girl at the Bike Shop:

Scene: The Wolf (W) walks into this bike shop on Main Street in Moab and proceeds to ask the first person he sees about a trail we want to ride. This person happens to be Stoned Girl (SG):

W: Hi, how are you?

SG: Hi!....(she pauses, eyes very glassy and wide, and she looks at all of us and then attempts to focus on Larry).

W:, do you know if the Upper Porcupine Section is open to ride?

SG: Hi!.....Ummm....the Lower Porcupine Section is awesome! I rode it yesterday!

W: Oh cool, that's good to know. What about the Upper Section, you know, is there any snow on the trail?

SG: Hi!....(she proceeds to walk over to the counter, pick up a plastic jug of water and hastily takes a large gulp to curb the oncoming cotton mouth that will eventually render her almost unable to speak).

W: Okaaaay. (The Wolf has now gone from hands in his pockets to his arms folded and his stance has now widened. What this means is the Wolf is deciding on whether to keep talking to this person, who he is quickly perceiving to be kind of an idiot, and doing it in a way that doesn't hurt her feelings...too badly). Is there someone here who knows if the upper part can be ridden?

Bike Mechanic Guy with Bad Hair (he happens to be wheeling a bike by and overhears the last 10 seconds of this conversation): Uh, yeah, the Upper is just dusted with snow but should be ok to ride. No worries.

SG (as she now looks at Larry like she's seeing him for the first time): Oh, the Upper part, yeah, it has snow on it.

(Now, Bike Mechanic guy is off helping someone else clearly leaving no one for Wolf to talk to except Stoned Girl).

W: Ok, so, is it rideable on the upper part? He just said there was snow. How much snow? Did it snow there last night? Are people riding it this morning? Are you guys taking riders on your shuttle to the Upper Parking Area? (Folks, this is CLASSIC Wolf behavior. If he senses you don't understand him or didn't hear him, he rapid fires several questions at you to get your attention. If you can anwer one of them correctly, you will not get the Wolf Stare followed by the Half Wolf Laugh, the Wide Wolf Eyes and the Wolf Turning His Head to Look Around Him to Make Sure He's Not Getting Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher.)

SG: Um, yeah, that upper part is killer when the trail is good. Great descents and gnarly turns. (pause). Are you guys going up there?

W (clearly exasperated now, not knowing where to go from here, he looks around for his posse for back up. However, his posse want no part of the Stoned Girl's action and we are all in various parts of the store stifling laughs and smart ass comments): Okay, here is what I need to know: can we drive up to the Upper Parking area of Porcupine Rim and ride the UPS trail today? Right now?

SG: Oh yeah, all the snow is gone. You guys will have a killer time.

W (with the fakest smile known to man): Great. Thanks. Have a nice day.

Band of the Week

This feature was suggested to me by my main man Ryan Brooks as we were travelling down to Moab and we were all creating our On-The-Go playlists on the iPods. He said it would be nice to know of different bands from different genres that he had not heard of previously. This way, he doesn't have to do any of the research or legwork but can just download the tunes right from his computer knowing that if a band made Band of the Week, they must be good.

OK, here we go. Oh, and they will be in the Playlist so you can sample their music. This week's BOTW is:


These four guys from Birmingham, England, have had many comparisons to The Cure, Interpol, Echo & the Bunnymen and Joy Division. I love all the aforementioned bands but what makes Editors stand out is the immediate connection you can make with their songs. They formed in 2003 and put out their most recent album in 2007 called An End Has a Start. They are completely obsessed with the Big Themes of Life: living, dying, leaving loved ones behind and finding meaning in any of it. As dark as they appear, they are sublimely optimistic and tragic simultaneously. Have a listen and enjoy: Editors.

PS: they do covers of R.E.M and The Cure which I've included in the Playlist. If you want to try just one Editors song, skip to Smokers Outside Hospital Doors.