Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Day the Nutella Died

Five friends on the trip of a lifetime. With nothing more than a backpack full of camping equipment and a return ticket home four and a half weeks later, we arrived in Paris France, ready to conquer the world, or at least Europe. We had no plans and no reservations. Rather we put our faith in a little book called Let’s Go Europe. We saw 13 countries in a little over 30 days. Mostly we slept on trains, with the occasional back yard, and park (Versailles) to mix things up. The first thing we would do upon arriving in a new city was to find out where the nearest McDonalds was. That is where we ate, and no where else. After about 20 straight meals at the Golden Arches, we set a pattern of only eating at McDonalds for lunch and dinner, and adopted a hearty meal of bread and Nutella for breakfast. As the days went on the Nutella staple began to replace the McDonalds. Yes, it was that good.

As the days passed, five sweaty, stinky young men began to wear on each others nerves. It was really nothing new since we had all been on missions and had dealt with the 24/7 companion. Only rarely did tempers flare and words exchange to the point of someone getting really upset. And then it happened.

Three weeks into the journey, we were in Stockholm Sweden, the land of Milk and Honeys. We were having a great time in one of the greatest cities in the world. As was customary, one of us was put in charge of caring for and transporting the Nutella. Our financial circumstances had come to the point of all five us sharing a single jar of Nutella for almost every meal. In Stockholm the Nutella was saddled to the side of someone’s back pack (the bearer will remain anonymous.) As we were dashing across a busy road in down town Stockholm, it happened. Almost in slow motion. We all turned in unison just to watch our food source come flying off the carrier and smash against the concrete.

We just stood there. In the middle of the road, speechless. At that moment, everything changed. Nobody spoke for the rest of the day. We retired to our camping spot, rolled out our sleeping bags and went to sleep. The next morning we woke up, rolled up our bags, and slit up. Two groups going their separate ways. Two would head to Norway, two would head to Switzerland, and one would end up going home early, broke and defeated. That day changed our trip. The day the Nutella died.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

From our family to yours...

So I was just reading a favorite bloggers latest post, and was reminded that I have yet to send out a family Christmas card – EVER. I am terrible at things like this. I always have the best intentions, but when it comes down to actually doing it, I drop the ball. Hopefully my better half has something in the works. If not, FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS – MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If I fall back down…

Last Friday, I was reminded of what it is like to be a living, breathing human being. Spending most of my time in a shirt and tie and behind a desk, I had started to forget who I really was, and what had defined me for the past 5 or 6 years. These days it’s all business up front with very little party in the back.

My rock and roll brother had hooked me up (as he always does) with an all-access backstage pass, to see Rancid at the Henry Fonda Theatre in L.A. Not only was I reminded that I used to be the guy who rocked, but I was also reminded that Rancid are amazing. It was the perfect rock show. Consequently the 3 Rancid albums on my Ipod received heavy rotation over the weekend, specifically on the long drive home.

The weekend was full of ups and downs and I had about 12 hours to digest what all had happened, and reflect on my life as I drove that slow moving truck across the desert. As I reflected, I realized that during the good and the bad times, there was always one constant variable: my friends were always there for me. Call me corny, cheesy, whatever, but I couldn’t help but listen to the Rancid track “Fall Back Down” and think of the individuals in my life who always “helped me back up again.”

So here it is, my shout out to all those who’ve braved life’s storms, and stuck with me through the hard times. You know who you are.

To the one who always makes me feel cooler than I really am and helped me find my wife when I thought I was destined to die alone. To the ones who gave me a place to live when my own family would not offer. To my #1 dawgg who keeps me laughing and on my toes. To the ones who let me talk their ears off until the wee hours of the night about my favorite conspiracy theories. And last but not least, to the one who’s committed to the long haul, and has stuck through think and thin. I salute you all and I know “If I fall back down, you’re gonna be my friend.”

False Alarm

I’m back. After a whopping 6 days of being dead, by blog is back from the grave. You got to trust me when I tell you I wasn’t pulling an attention stunt, or fishing for blog-compliments. Although I will not deny the warm fuzzies I got from some of the responses. I just felt like I had nothing to say.

Being a music critic was too much pressure and responsibility for this small town boy, so my blog will include other topics of conversation. There will still be a heavy music influence on the Full Denim Jacket, but the readers can also expect such politically charged topics as “Utah Drivers”. Ooh! Just kidding. Well not really. I’m sure I will have a blog about driving. To prove I am back I am including my first real blog in over 8 months. Oh by the way, this new blog is not much of a blog, just a shout out to my homies.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My blog is dead.

My blog is dead. I am old, my vocabulary gets worse with every episode of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, and I’m far too sensitive for this blogger lifestyle. Each day I find myself turning more and more into Hank Hill. The bottom line is that I really don’t have anything important to say. Until that changes, my blog is dead.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Sigur Ros

Yesterday I came home to an instant message on my computer from BA asking me about my favorite Sigur Ros album. I could talk about Sigur Ros all day. They’re one of my favorite bands. The answer to BA’s question is today’s album of the day.

February 17, 2006

Band: Sigur Ros

Album: Ágætis Byrjun

Favorite Track: Without question, my favorite track on this album is “Vidrar Vel Til Loftarasa.” This song is incredibly powerful. Clocking in at over 10 minutes, the song starts slow, but if that bothered you, you wouldn’t be listening to Sigur Ros. At 7:34 the song begins to build and swell until at 7:57 it literally explodes into a sonic masterpiece. The closest thing I can compare it to is like watching the sun rise. I STILL get goose bumps every time I hear it. I recommend you listen to this song for the first time with headphones. It will change your life. At least, it did mine.

Comment: Basically there are two types in this world: 1. Those who love Sigur Ros, and 2. Those who think it’s awful. In other words, this album might not be your cup of tea. However, if you want to enjoy an ambient masterpiece, I recommend it. It’s great for long drives.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My New Axe

This has nothing to do with the album of the day, but I picked up a new guitar this week. A 2005 Gibson Flying V. Nothing screams rock and roll more than a Flying V through an old Marshall. It sounds great. I hope to lay down some tracks with it this weekend, for all to hear.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

The Hellacopters

I need to give credit where credit is due. Probably half of all the music I am listening to these days comes from either Ian’s Ipod or his recommendation. Ian has had the good fortune of touring the world with different bands, and being exposed to a lot of different music. He always has something new for me. I got a care package from Ian last week full of swag from this year’s NAMM show. Included was a copy of today’s album of the day.

January 30, 2006

Band: The Hellacopters

Album: By the Grace of God

Favorite Track: "Rainy Days Revisited". This track not only offers amazing tone (I’m guessing Tele + Vox), but it feels so nostalgic. It gives me the same feeling I get when I listen to “Maggie May” and think: “man, Skip from Dogtown really got screwed!”

Comment: Scandinavians rock. Some of my favorite bands are from Scandinavia (Sigur Ros, Refused, Him, Turbonegro, to name a few.) This album is a great mesh of garage rock and classic rock. They pull it off nicely. Not to mention those vintage tones!