Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer's Ending

This is my very first summer mix:

Summer Hymns

1.) My Rights Versus Yours, The New Pornographers
2.) Thinking, The Hippos
3.) Your English Is Good, Tokyo Police Club
4.) Stuck For The Summer, Two Hours Traffic
5.) Catch The Wind, Donovan
6.) Wonderwall, Oasis
7.) The Thanks I Get, Wilco
8.) Jaime, weezer
9.) 7 Stars, Apples In Stereo
10) This Magic Moment, The Drifters
11.) Take Me Out To The Ballgame, The Hold Steady
12.) Better, Regina Spector
13.) Having A Party, Sam Cooke
14.) The Difference, The Wallflowers
15.) When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through Her Eyes, The Zombies
16.) Heavy Hearts Brigade, The Little Ones
17.) My Summer Girl, The Rentals
18.) The Sweet Escape vs. Jimmy Mack, Gwen Stefani/ Martha & The Vandellas
19.) Mmmbop, Hanson
20.) A Praise Chorus, Jimmy Eat World
21.) Gyasi Went Home, Bedouin Soundclash
22.) (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay, Otis Redding
23.) Summertime, The Sundays

Monday, August 20, 2007

Our band could be your life

Band Names

  • Hypewriter

  • Pool Honey's

  • The Shire

  • Peradventure

  • True Ants

  • The X's

  • The Favorites

  • Momo's

  • Patronus

  • Hate Club

  • Sherpa

  • Peachee

  • Austenesque

  • Mufasa

  • Perdittle

  • Hers

  • The Darcies

  • Randall Poster

  • Heartfire

  • Frenemy

  • Evangelical Physicists

  • Lovejoy

  • Schrutebuck

  • Easy

  • Backhanded

  • Ben Teusch

  • Very Emergency

  • The Young Alumni

  • Woo

  • The Fudiuk's

  • Reckon

  • Harold And The Cricks
  • The Zimmerman's
  • The Dundies
  • Michael Scott
  • Reveille
  • Pocket Sensai
  • Pam pong
  • The Candy Growers of America
  • The New Hotness
  • The Mulberry's
  • Hypertrophic
  • Summer Days
  • Seer stone
  • The Halpert's
  • Sway
  • Gentleman and Scholar
  • Wellsville
  • Anawanna
  • The Wrigley's
  • Enders
  • Ending
  • McLovin
  • Ocean
  • Loveography
  • Shake Your Heart
  • Gold Stars
  • Robot Boy
  • Hawaii
  • Primary Sources
  • Luster
  • Bus Club
  • Torpedo
  • Structure
  • Intervention
  • The Quiet Dignity
  • Thinking Cap
  • Young Human
  • Bobsledders
  • Encore
  • Truth Bombs
  • The Blume's
  • Monticello
  • Quaid
  • York Shades
  • Cashbasket
  • Mushmind
  • Time-like
  • Shoeshine Division
  • The 9.0 Club
  • Phenomology
  • Voyager
  • The Potentials
  • Pulver
  • Monkeyshine
  • Checkrein
  • Awesome Lessons
  • Watch Me Jumpstart
  • Who We Be
  • The Taurvettes
  • Your World
  • Second Best
  • Mind Grapes
  • Squints
  • The Hop-ons
  • Shirley
  • Cello
  • Plan B
  • Leap
  • Tambourine
  • Genius Club
  • The Sunset Limited
  • Things Have Changed
  • The Preakness
  • Boomlet
  • Pose
  • Bomb Bach
  • Snow Day Dedication
  • The Wayne
  • The They
  • The Perfect Day
  • The Spaces
  • White Villains
  • Compose
  • Trust Fall
  • Eva
  • Demarcation
  • The Springsteens
  • The Coolies
  • Revolution Summer
  • Super Classic
  • Super Kindergarten
  • Hornacek
  • Adaptation
  • Sweetness
  • Permanent Dream
  • Argyle Welcome Mat
  • Prime
  • August
  • Election Day
  • The New New Thing
  • The New War
  • The New Roma
  • Welcome
  • Gerta Rauss
  • Angus
  • Seals
  • I Love Lisa
  • Composure
  • Unmanned
  • Sticky Bomb
  • The Human Project
  • English Department Decoder Ring
  • Infinites
  • Our Mom's and Teachers
  • Inglorious Miltons
  • The Economy
  • Catchy
  • Groupling
  • Car Test
  • Chill Pill
  • Capitol City
  • Blush
  • Furious George
  • Soul Twin
  • Blond Fro
  • Hello
  • Phantom Babies
  • The New Geezers
  • Excitable Boy
  • Prodigality
  • Fan Club
  • Makemost
  • Ferris Wheel
  • Things Have Changed

Which stand out to you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007



41.) Baptize someone
42.) Go on a date with a black girl
43.) Learn to skateboard
44.) Say a prayer in the Sacred Grove
45.) Go cliff jumping
46.) See a genuine Iowan demolition derby
47.) Learn to crochet
48.) Go to the Iowa State Fair
49.) Learn to surf
50.) Discover my mission in life

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Oh, sister


31.) Copy out a dictionary
32.) Write a book about Jesus Christ
33.) Learn to love math
34.) Go camping in the mountains alone
35.) Meet Elder Bednar
36.) Visit Israel
37.) Run 800 meters in 1:59.9
38.) Adopt an at risk child
39.) Ski/snowboard
40.) Read the complete works of Shakespeare

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Don't think twice, just speak nice


21.) Read the entire set of the Journal of Discourses
22.) Trace my family history back 500 years
23.) See the northern lights
24.) Visit Mexico
25.) Learn to play piano
26.) Serve a couples mission with my wife
27.) Become a decent cook
28.) Publish a photography book about Iowa
29.) Visit the Library of Congress
30.) See a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Top 5

I have never made a top 5 favorite songs list. When ever I was asked, I shrugged and said "that's a tough one. I'll have to get back to you." I was afraid of the utter finality of such a list. Also, the songs I play in heavy rotation change every few weeks. Because of that, it seemed like the list would be so ephemeral, it would morph within two weeks! The thing I didn't quite get, is that it's your top 5 favorites of all time. It doesn't have to be songs you rock every day. Here comes my list:

5.) When You Come Back Down, Nickel Creek
4.) Buddy Holly, weezer
3.) Misunderstood, Wilco
2.) God Only Knows, The Beach Boys
1.) Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, The BYU Combined Choirs and Philharmonic Orchestra

(If you're wondering if I may have had a few existential struggles as of late, the answer is "yes.")

(And no, I don't think too much. I think too much, too late. There's a difference.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Telestial Homesick Blues


11.) Grow a full beard
12.) Learn Spanish
13.) Read the Old Testament all the way through
14.) See the Grand Canyon
15.) Run a marathon
16.) Get a doctorate
17.) Have a six pack
18.) Meet the President of the Church
19.) Be a school crossing guard
20.) Start a clothing company with Brandon and Beka Lowe

P.S. Some thoughts from President Faust from the CES fireside last night: 1.) "Nobody is nobody." 2.) "I testify that [God] knows each of our names."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

To Have and to Eat Cake

A sister in one of the wards I served in on my mission told my companion, Elder Steven K. Larson and myself over dinner how she had a list of 50 things she wanted to do before she died. As she would do something from her list, she would add another item to accomplish, so that the number never changed. Hearing this, being inspired (enamoured) by it, I started my own list. It took me quite a while to finish it (more than a year). I started telling my companions and other missionaries about the idea, trying to convince them to join in the fun. And it was a lot of fun. Especially sharing the lists with others, because 1.) you'd get good ideas to add to your own list. 2.) you got a better/broader sense of the person. 3.) people would personalize the title. Elder Geoff Belliston entitled his something like, "50 Things I Want to do Before They Put Me in the Ground" And, 4.) they were always joyfully hilarious.

I went out to eat with my buddy, Darren Bateman, last night. He is not a member of my faith, but something he mentioned he admired about Mormons is that they know what to do in and with their lives, because of their religion. Thinking about that, I remembered how important the Restoration really is, to everyone! This post is the first in a series, about things I want to do before I die. But as much fun as doing a lot of these things will be, I know that to do them will not constitute a successful life. My life will be a success based on the contribution I make to my family, which includes my Heavenly Family (my God, and His sons and daughters), the family of my parents, and the family of my own I will Someday have. I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father that He has sent prophets in the land again, to show us how to find Him, to teach us the purpose of life, and what we are to do. I'm grateful to Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ, for making the only way back Home, for you and for me.

(Darren, thanks for pointing me in the right direction!)

Here goes, in no particular order.


1.) Get Sealed in the Temple
2.) Start an all Beatles radio station
3.) Go fishing
4.) Read Moby Dick
5.) Make out in the rain
6.) Drive around Rome on a Vespa with my wife
7.) Publish a novel
8.) Mow a yard on a riding lawn mower
9.) Have children
10.) Be in a band

Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm Sorry, Orson Scott Card

I have a new favorite book: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. It's about a father and a son. It's about a world gone mad and bad. It's about personal fidelity in a time of prolonged crisis. It's about growing up. It's about transmitting sure and certain ideals down the ages, one child at a time. It's about hope, and it's about goodness. What do you do when all the trappings of your life have been stripped away? What do you do when it's just your family, against, seemingly, the entire world? What are you willing to do simply to survive? These are all questions that are answered by the lives of the protagonists in The Road.

The plot: A Father and his Son travel on a road through postapocalyptic America, heading for the coast, and they know not what else. And their road is not safe.

This book begs you to ask yourself the question, "Am I carrying the fire?"

I don't want to give away what this means, so I won't. You'll just have to read the book for yourself. But, I will say, it's pretty important to know whether we are or not.

On a personal note, I learned through reading this book that when I have sons, I want (and need) to teach them what it means to be a man. I need to teach them who we are, and why we do what we do. I need to teach how and why I became what I am. And how they can do the same for themselves. I can think of few things more powerful than a father teaching his son. Of course, I don't have any sons, so if there are any interested parties out there, you know where to find me. *Wink, wink*

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Love is a Mix Tape

My junior year in high school, there was a girl named Marilyn Murphy in my English class. I had been in a class with her before, but we hadn't talked much, just a little about music. It's because of her, really, that I now enjoy making (and RECEIVING) mix tapes. She made a tape for me before school started, but she liked it so much she kept it for a while to listen to. When she finally gave it to me, I was pretty excited to investigate and listen. And I knew I had to return the favor, and make her a tape.

Before M.J. got my mix tape ball rolling, I had only made mixes for myself, with two exceptions. One, for a girl I had a crush on, Stephanie Schreiber (now Brown). Her younger brother, Andrew, later taped over it. The other was for a dear friend, Mary Warren (now Jordan). We had been friends, dated for a short time, been best friends, then dated some more, then she dumped me (for the second time, ha ha), and we drifted apart. I made her tape during our "best friends" period. She didn't listen to it a lot because her car didn't have a tape player, but then for about a month, she drove a Chrysler Le Baron, which did have a tape player, so she made good use of it. I remember cruising around in the Arizona heat the summer of 2001, with Mary and her Irish friend, Sara, blasting my tape and feeling the happy glow that comes from creating something people enjoy. Mary was glad to have the tape. She said, "now I know what kind of music you listen to".

In that English class, I also met a girl named Susan Scholl. M.J. and Susan were good friends, and quite the music historians. Over the course of my friendship with M.J. I've made her about six mixes. I would tell Susan that I had made a new tape for M.J. and her response would usually be, "where's mine?" The thing is, she intimidated me with her music knowledge and taste! M.J. didn't, and I think the reason is because she made me a tape first! Around the time I was getting ready to leave on my mission, I started getting more serious about sucking it up and getting Susan a mix. So I started my potential song list. The idea for her mix was to, basically, psychoanalyze her, and make a story out of songs about who I thought she really was, which I felt was very different from what she presented to the world, most times. That tape never got made (probably for a good reason).

When I returned from my mission in November 2005, I started another potential list for her. I even made a CD of songs I was considering (in no particular order). Then last summer I saw Paul Simon perform on a morning show. He sang
"Graceland". I had heard the song before, but it hadn't impressed me much. But the lyrics about driving down the highway with his nine year old son, seeing the Mississippi river shining, just gave me the inkling for an idea. That inkling, mixed with the meaning of a few of the songs I had thought would go on the mix, became a loose plot of a movie. I had already experimented with mixes as soundtrack, so it was logical that Susan's mix would evolve into the soundtrack for this small idea I had.

The plot is pretty simple: a man and his son (somewhere around 9-12 years old) are driving to the Mid-West to visit the grave of their wife and mother. She had some sort of breakdown, and ran away a few months prior. She passed away in the mean time. Most of the film is about their trip, and whether or not they will choose to move on or not, and how one does that after such a traumatic thing happens. With all that being said, I have scenes and images for all the songs on this "soundtrack". I'm indebted for Susan for inspiring the emotional content of this mix, and the films of Wes Anderson for some of the songs and the imaginary cinematography of the imaginary film. So, here's the mix I made for Susan:

The Signs of Life

  1. Graceland, Paul Simon

  2. These Days, Nico

  3. Running on Empty, Jackson Browne

  4. Sugar Dumpling (original version), Sam Cooke

  5. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul Simon

  6. Imagine, John Lennon

  7. One of Us, Joan Osborne

  8. Revelation, Jason Faulkner

  9. Oh! Darling, The Beatles

  10. Kiss from a Rose, Seal

  11. Sweet Thing, Van Morrison

  12. Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen

  13. The Village Green Preservation Society, The Kinks

  14. We're Going to be Friends, The White Stripes

  15. I'm Coming Out, Diana Ross

  16. Different Drum, Stone Ponys

  17. Hey Ya! Mat Weddle

  18. God Only Knows, Switchfoot

  19. Ooh La La, The Faces

  20. Reservations (demo), Wilco

P.S. Read "Love is a Mix Tape", by Rob Sheffield.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007