31 May 2008

E-Center, Velour Presents 2 Awesome Bands

I’ve been convinced that I’m not cool if I don’t have a blog, so here it is. I think that if I had friends that went to jump off a cliff or drop some acid I just might do that too. Anyway, here’s my blog about The Cure and Tally Hall last week.

I’ve never not liked The Cure but I’ve never been an uberfan before. This concert changed that. I sat through Robert Smith’s two-hour set followed by three encores. The man is a genius. He is 49 and still play long sets with virtually no chit-chat. My favorite songs of the night were “Pictures of You” and “Friday I’m in Love” since those were the two songs that I really knew well. After experiencing The Cure I would go again… especially if the guitarist wore his four-inch heels on stage for the entire concert again.

Literally the next day I followed my friends to Provo, Utah of all places and witness another awesome display of musical talent.
As we arrived Carolina Liar was already playing on stage. Their brand of mellow, yet fun love songs caught my attention but their cute bassist caught my eye. With half of the band hailing from Stockholm and the other half from Los Angeles, it was interesting to purchase their CD and get the band to sign it. I felt a little like a 14-year-old girl when I said “Can you sign my CD?” But the band was really nice. The keyboardist wrote “Thanks Stacie” after several attempts to understand how to spell my name. (He really wanted to put a “y” somewhere in there). The lead singer also walked the CD over to the other band members for their autographs. When I returned to my four friends they all teased me like we were back in middle school. The teasing commenced when the lead singer saw me and stopped to chat. As he was telling me about some of the free stuff I could access with the CD, and my not-so-subtle friends were not only staring but leaning over hear what was going on.

After my brush with Carolina Liar I was ready for the headlining Tally Hall to appear. They immerged from the back wearing their color ties. This amazing Ann Arbor quintet to put on a great show which included all of their hits plus a cover and their witty banter with each other and fans, including Nate, the birdcall noise guy, and the girl who picked up something ‘moist’ from the stage.

It was a great, but busy weekend and I can't wait for another...

28 May 2008

The Return of the Tapered Jean

Originally Posted on MySpace on Sunday, April 27, 2008

Okay, maybe it's me. I am getting older and jumping off the fashion train is just one of those things that you do when you get out of high school, college and then just don't care that you're wearing last year's jeans and jewelry circa 1999. With this in mind, I am still baffled at the return of the tapered jean. This was a bad fashion statement in the 80s and it hasn't improved, in fact, it's gotten worse.

In the eighties many fashion blunders were displayed in film, TV and on some of my nearest and dearest, but the tapered leg pant was – in my opinion – the worst. Not only do they make the bottom half of your body look like an inverted triangle, but in the eighties they were often accompanied by baggie shirts with shoulder pads and synched off with a belt.

Now fast forward to today. This fashion mistake has returned in full force to the rock stage. Male guitarists, drummers and lead singers from bands like 30 Seconds to Mars and My Chemical Romance have begun to wear their pants in this unflattering style.

The side effect? The tapered style has filtered down to male teens, male adults, and up-and-coming bands who now have proudly taken up this horrifying trend.

The unfortunate part is that not only are the jeans tapered but they are also low-rise and made out of some sort of stretch material. Giving the tapered jean a snug fit, the stretch material gives everyone the opportunity to see your junk. I don't want to see your junk. You know it's there, I know it's there, can we just move on? Also, the low-rise feature combined with the stretch material just gives bigger guys the mushroom top. Fellas, this was not attractive on the ladies, so what makes you think it's a good look for you?

While I cannot make everyone see the ridiculousness of this re-emerging jean trend, I just hope that when you go to buy your next pair of pants you'll jump off the fashion train with me and grab a more flattering pair of jeans.

Reviewing 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'

Originally Posted on MySpace on Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fans of the Judd Apatow clan flocked to theaters this weekend to see the latest flick produced by the man who started it all – Apatow – and written by "How I Met Your Mother" star Jason Segel. The film begins and within about 10 minutes it goes from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" to trying to forget Segel's penis.

After the credits and a brief introduction into Segel's character, Peter, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" has the title character played by Kristen Bell breaking up with Peter. When he realizes what is happening and drops his towel, full-frontal male nudity makes a comeback to the R rated flick. Cries of shock and then laughter – at the cries of shock – were uttered throughout the crowd. But the film doesn't just want to unhinge the audience, there is an actual plot after all of Segel's nakedness which includes well-rounded characters, cameos by the Apatow gang, and plenty of laughs at realistic dating situations amp'd up for the big screen.

The film takes a humorous look at all the awful baggage that comes from a really bad break up. When Peter can't get away from Sarah – as the musical score writer for her "CSI"-esque show – his step brother, Brian (Bill Hader), encourages him to get away. Regrettably Peter picks the one place his ex has decided to go. And not only is she there but she's has her new Euro-trash pop singing boyfriend in tow.

In the first awkward Sarah-Peter meeting in Hawaii, Peter is saved by the hotel check-in girl, Rachel (Mila Kunis). In an attempt to cheer Peter up, Rachel invites him to parties and local bars, and in typical movie fashion they start to fall in love – much to Sarah's dismay.

Aside from about 20 minutes of male genitalia on display, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" showcases some of the truthful - and extremely awkward - moments of dealing with past relationships. The uncomfortable parts of dating and being alone are also comically examined as Jason Segel - who wrote the witty screenplay - affectively portrays Peter and his emotional rollercoaster. He's able to pull off the hilarious moments as well as the more toned down poignant points of the story.

Segel was also joined by two attractive leading ladies. Kristen Bell, notorious for being the cute and extremely likeable "Veronica Mars" successfully steps into the role of Sarah Marshall, which immediately showcases her comedic skills as well as her ability to portray different characters – including the bitchy ones. Mila Kunis was not just the adorable girl to mend Peter's heart. Her character was feisty and realistic giving her more creditability.

Aside from Segel's stand out performance as a leading man, one of the funniest performances came from British actor, Russell Brand. Virtually unknown, Brand was riveting as Aldous Snow, Sarah's new beau. He portrayed the sleazy and ultra-cheesy popstar to a T and at times was the most logically character in the bunch.

"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" didn't skimp on the cameos either. Paul Rudd made an appearance as the stoned surfing instructor and Jonah Hill portrays the obsessed Aldous Snow fan who works at the hotel.

Despite the full-frontal shock, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is a witty comedy with a romance, a strange puppet rock opera, and memorable characters that raunchy film fans will not want to miss.

Cellphone Etiquette

Originally Posted on MySpace on Sunday, April 27, 2008

I understand that not everyone thinks the same about political issues or that everyone will automatically agree on the best sports team. I have, however, become increasingly more irritable when I encounter individuals that continually interrupt my day with their inconsiderate cell phone usage.

While I go to school and write for The Globe, I also work for a company that has areas which closely resemble that of the "Office Space" or "The Office" with endless rows of cubicles. With this in mind I recently had a discussion at work about the proper business use of cell phones and how a few of my co-workers didn't understand "that whole text messaging thing." I don't mind text messaging I actually find it to be a convenient tool for contacting friends while in school. It's fast and can allow for an exchange of information or a conversation when one has a moment to check messages. So my dislike is not of the cell phone it's of the inconsiderate use by the cell phone owner.

The best feature about a cell phone is that anyone can be reached anywhere and this has become both a blessing and a curse. While I'm out with a friend it can become tiresome when they are continually texting someone on their phone. To the other person, namely me, this seems like the person would rather be somewhere else.

The movie theater experience has become a constant battle between the cell phone obsessed and the movie fanatics. Trouble in the theater started with the cell phone ringing. Most of the time it's someone who just forgot to turn off their phone and they feel completely embarrassed as they rummage in the dark to silence their ringtone. Unfortunately, theater goers frequently happen upon the person who doesn't care if their phone rings. These annoying souls believe that the movie theater is just like their home theater where it's okay to answer your cell phone as it blares out the latest Timberland tune and then precede to loudly discuss where they are and what they will be doing after the movie.

Now text messaging while is theater is the new fad. Movies are my form of therapy but when my eyes are continually drawn away from Gerard Butlers hot abs as he slaughters the Persians due to the extremely bright cell phone screen from the front row I get a little ill-tempered. My usual timid self turns into a psycho as I tell people to stop texting. It's like Jekyll and Hyde. If you insist on texting through a movie then sit in the back row. It's only obvious that stadium seating will allow everyone in the theater to track your texting habits and if I've paid $8 for a ticket, I want to enjoy a movie without interruptions.

My last rant about cell phone usage is, well, gross. On several occasions I have entered a restroom and found that someone is on their cell phone. I just wonder if people really think about the fact that cell phones have really good microphones. Their entire job is to pick up sound and send it to the person on the other end of the line – or in the case of the cell phone's a frequency.
With this in mind I just don't understand a person's need to pee or whatever else while talking on the phone because THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE CAN HEAR YOU. We can pass also along a variety of bacteria and viruses with out taking our cell phones into the restroom stalls. So please keep away from the toilet when on the phone.

With the many ways people use their phones without consideration for others it is accurate to say that etiquette was lost when cell phones entered the restroom stalls. My dream is to one day see theaters that block out electronic signals and people ending their conversations before entering the toilet.

The MINI vs. a foot of snow

Originally Posed on MySpace (Thursday, December 20, 2007)

Living in Utah it's inevitable that you will encounter snow during the winter months. Occasionally you can even find snow falling from the clouds clear into what normal cities consider Spring (like April). About two years ago I finished my AS degree and decided to buy a new car. I had some money saved up and wanted to buy my dream car... a MINI cooper (see "The Italian Job"). I love my car. It's fast and small and very fun to drive.

Last winter I timidly drove around in the snow wondering how well the car would handle. To my excitement my small car handles well in the wet and snowy weather. It doesn't slip or go too crazy so I felt very comfortable as the winter season approached.

The first big snow was, fortunately, on a Saturday so I didn't have to battle other cars trying to force their way down the road to work. My only task that day was to meet a friend to buy our Linkin Park concert tickets as they went on sale that Saturday morning at 10AM. I thought... my MINI was good in the snow and as long as I just got out of the driveway I'd be fine. So I got ready, jumped in the car (parked in the garage) and started the car. I looked back to check for neighbors shoveling the foot or so of snow on the sidewalks and saw no one outside. I put the car in reverse and rammed on the accelerator. As I flew back I sailed into the middle of the street and stopped. I made some tracks and pulled back in for my second try at getting out of my neighborhood. I paused and then, again, romped on the accelerator and reversed through my previous tracks this time turning when I made it to the street.

Unfortunately I became stuck. I'm not talking a little stuck, I'm talkin' a lot stuck. I had to stop the car, go back into the garage and find a shovel to dig myself out stuck.

After I dug all the snow out from under my small car's frame, my neighbor pushed my car as I drove the MINI back into the garage. Defeated in my attempt to leave the house in a car that resembles a go-kart, I began to shovel my driveway and call my friend to tell her she'd have to get the tickets with out me as the MINI-bot (yes, this is a Transformers reference) couldn't make it out of the neighborhood due to the foot of snow on the ground.

The Projekt Revolution Chronicles

Sunburns, sleep walking and dust devils...

Traveling to a different state to see a concert had always confused me until the Projekt Revolution Tour was, again, passing right over the state of Utah. So I convinced my friend Jen to drive to Denver to catch their last show on the 2007 tour. We had a great time as Linkin Park put on a great performance - like always. They also included an assortment of bands to open for them at the Coors Ampitheater. My Chemical Romance, H.I.M., Taking Back Sunday, Placebo, Julien-K, Mindless Self Indulgence, and Saosin were all there to perform under the blazing sun on Labor Day.

Without an itinerary we showed up at noon - to ensure we didn't miss any of the bands we'd driven 8 hours to see - only to find out that the main stage (AKA the stage with all the good bands) was not opening until 4 PM. After realizing that we had hours to wait we hung out under a pine tree with several other concert goers not interested in the torturous tunes of The Bled. We were also pleasantly surprised with M.S.I. and Saosin.

Once the main stage was open I was in heaven. Having never heard of Julien-K I was excited to realize that they were the product of several members of Orgy. They were the perfect band to open up the main stage. Julien-K was followed by Placebo and then one of my new favorite bands, H.I.M. Lead singer, Ville Vallo, smoked at least a pack of cigarettes during the band's entire performance. Vallo was also proposed to by concert goers over the Projekt Revolution tour's screens. (During intermissions, you could text a number and see your message on screens beside stage left and stage right). Finally TBS, MCR and LP went on stage and I'm now smitten with "Bleed it Out" and "Shadow of the Day" off LP's new album. TBS lead singer, Adam commented on the condom that someone had blown up like a balloon saying that the person will probably regret it when they need that later. MCR lead singer, Gerard Way, was as entertaining as Chester Bennington from LP. And both bands had the audience on their feet for the entire performance.

After the concert...

Exhausted we crashed at our awesome hotel where I proceeded to pass out only to sleep walk and move my beds decorative pillows to the door to block the light.

The excruciatingly long drive back home...

After we got back on the road to head home to Utah, we encountered several dust devils that were bigger than usual. With a scary sky in our path we got home just in time to learn about tornado warnings in areas near Salt Lake.

University vs. Community College

Originally Posted on MySpace (Wednesday, August 15, 2007)

University vs. Community College

Things that I don't like so far about University vs. Community College life...



Class Times (Hello, some of us have to work so why is the one class time on Thursday's from 2-5 PM).

Newspaper isn't as good (sorry I'm a preferred "Globe" subscriber).

Two Books for One Class... come on people, I'd like to eat AND go to school.