Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Search for Inspirado

Alright, enough screwing around. After 13 years of playing the guitar, thousands of dollars invested in equipment, and *several* thousand hours plunking around on La Nina, La Pinta, and the Santa Maria (shown here at the right)...what do I have to show for it? Not a freaking thing, is the answer. Not one single tune of my own.

Every time I pick up one of the Three Amigos, I end up playing the same blues riff, the same reggae rhythm, or the same cheesey power ballad. But not anymore folks. The time has come to harness my inner Grammy-machine and put my cunning and creativity to work. I'll never be a Mayer, a Marley, or a Prince, but dammit I know there is at least one decent song floating around in my head somewhere. I just need a little help coaxing it out.

Maybe my inability to write a song comes from my lack of inspiration. A wise craftsman of tunes was asked about this very subject: "Where do songs come from? Inspirado. I mean, I could 23-skidoo you a song, I could zippity-doo-dah YOU, a song. But that would be false, it would be wrong. I mean, you can’t 'manufacture' inspirado. It rises from a stillness of quietude. When your heart mingles with your soul and… oh man they do the dance…"

Fair enough, but of the 5,000+ songs on my ipod, most of them are about love, oppression, politics, racism, or money/fame. So why don't I just write one about any of the aforementioned topics? Let's see:
  • Love- seeing as how that has never worked out for me, there aint much to say
  • Oppression- two words: caucasian, Salt Lake City
  • Politics- don't know enough to care, don't care enough to know
  • Racism- most of Utah monotone. besides, I don't have any racist issues
  • Money/Fame- don't have much of the former, and none of the latter.

So unless anybody else has any bright ideas, I am at a stalemate. Any suggestions are welcome. Until then, I am gonna rock nonstop til something materializes. You never know, maybe I will end up recording my epiphany onto the next EFY album. I can only aspire to such an accomplishment. Inspirado.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Do you remember the first time you saw Jurassic Park? Or if you are from an older generation, the first time you saw Alien? If you were anything like me, you were gripping onto the arm rests of the movie theater chair, white knuckle steeze, fighting the urge to piss your pants, and your eyes were as wide as you could possibly jam them open. Not many flicks have had that effect on me, but I saw one last night that had me fit-to-be-tied, as they say.

Sunshine is hands-down the raddest movie I have seen all year. It kind of snuck in this summer and opened quietly, in the shadow of would-be summer blockbusters like Transformers and Harry Potter 11 (or whatever number it was). Well, the joke is on those two films, as they blow in comparison to this masterpiece.

Ok, before I hype it up too much and ruin it, let me give you a *brief* idea of what you will behold when you see it. A crew of astronauts is on the way to the sun to give it a little jumpstart, and all hell breaks loose. Thats it. Thats all I'm telling.

Sunshine isn't playing in too many theaters (it's only at Trolley Square in SLC), but if you can find it, check it out. If nothing else, you will like the dope soundtrack and an insane visual display, that will mostly likely give you heart palpitations.

I will issue a solemn warning though... do not go see this movie unless you want your a$$es blown out. Still not sold? Peep the trailer here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Freedom of the road

Have you ever smelled the road? Have you ever felt it? I'm not talking about getting down on your hands and knees and taking a big whiff of the asphalt and then petting it like a kitten. I'm talking riding a motorcycle.

Its pretty incredible. In fact its one of my three most favorite things to do. There is nothing like hanging onto 800 pounds of steel, gas, and rubber, and letting the 1800 cc's of raw power shove you along the road effortlessly. The rumble of the V-twin+ the smell of the outdoors mixed with your exhaust+ the deafening sound of the wind beating on your ear drums+ the vibration from the piston strokes= chills up my spine/complete serenity.

You see, riding in car is a mostly uninvolved, mundane daily activity. You see whats in front of you, you hear the radio, you smell your air freshener or the leather seats, and you feel the artificial A/C blowing you in the face. Thats about it. Lame.

When I'm on the bike, there's no such thing as a blind spot. I see everything to the left, to the right, above, and below me. I smell the diesel exhaust from the truck in front of me, the smell of the freshly cut grass to the left, the cool scent of the creek to the right, and the freshly bloomed chamomile flowers up ahead. I feel the temperature change from warm to cool as I cross over the river, the heat coming off the car next to me, and the mist from the sprinklers on at the park. Awesome.

Its a 360-experience. You feel it. You remember what its like 3 days after a ride. You want to do it every day that the sun is out and the temperature is above freezing. Don't be surprised if one day you guys see me with a gnarly beard, a huge gut, a pony tail, and a plethora of black t- shirts with skulls on them. You will know what I have decided to do with my life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

So, there are two types of people in this world:

1.) Those who understand and embrace Prince
2.) Those who don’t.

In a recent discussion at the Dojo (the house I live in), we came to the above conclusion after some serious thought. The simple fact is, Prince is a musical genius and piece of American History.

So what if he dresses like a bullfighter or a figure skater on stage? So what if he changed his name to a symbol without pronunciation for a while? So what if he is only like, 5’5” and casually wears high heels like I wear sneakers?

I’m not gonna deny it… the guy is weird. But so are most musical virtuosos. Just a few things that are on his list of radness: he put Minneapolis on the map, has a color dedicated to him, SHREDS on a guitar, plays several other instruments proficiently, worked with Miles Davis (who actually was one of Prince’s biggest fans), sings just as well falsetto as he does baritone, and put on the best Superbowl half time show ever (yes, even better than Michael Jackson’s.)

Anybody who can seamlessly blend velour, lace, high heels, women, purple, motorcycles, jerry curls, and face-melting guitar solos to paint a masterpiece, is more than OK in my book. I wouldn’t exactly call Prince a man’s man, but you better believe he is more hetero than a hairy lumberjack, a truck mechanic, and a middle line backer combined.

So today, the background color of my blog is dedicated to none other than Prince Rogers Nelson.