Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Mixtape Vol. III - When KG Met Wheels

First off, my apologies for leaving you all hanging this week. I had some other great ideas for mixtapes but life is busy and sometimes doesn't work out how you wish it would. Oh well, there is always next year or perhaps I'll share some mixtape fun when my anniversary draws near.

So this is the mixtape that I have been making in my head all week. In fact, it's quite late and Wheels is already asleep in bed but at least she'll have this little surprise when she wakes up in the morning. I have added and removed about 20 songs from this little mixtape. Here is exactly how I feel right about now:

I made a mixtape for Wheels when we were dating. I was driving out to visit her over Christmas break at her family's home in NV and we were then going to road trip to St. George to spend a few days with my family. I figured a nice mixtape was in order. I honestly feel like that little trip sealed the deal for both of us and my stupid little mixtape entitled Now That's What I Call Cheese Vol I. was the sunshine that nurtured our little love fern. (That last sentence was entitled Now That's What I Call Cheese Vol. II - sorry it's late and my brain isn't as sharp as it might be...)

So without further ado I present to Wheels and the World - Now That's What I Call Cheese Vol. III.

Yo La Tengo - Our Way to Fall
This little number was on Vol I. I apologize for the redunancy (there will be a few more) but this song best captures the first time I saw Wheels. I was working at a company with a friend and we were hiring for customer service positions. As I sat in my office on a hot July morning, I saw an even hotter girl walk past my door looking semi-lost. I made a beeline for the hallway and introduced myself and asked what I could do to help this maiden in distress. She was there for an interview and perhaps seeing my interest, my friend hired her and she started working about 30 minutes later, much to my pleasure.

White Stripes - I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends
Every Friday at the office we had a little company meeting and would introduce the new workers, etc and I learned that Wheels was attending BYU studying film. So she was hot and she was a film student. I had hit the jackpot. However, probably because of the fact that I was a big wuss and also recovering from a kidney stone it took a little while until Wheels and I had an actual conversation. One day I walked around the corner to use the copy machine and to my surprise (I was truly surprised, I wasn't stalking or hadn't planned it) there was Wheels making some copies. We had a little chat about movies - our favorites, what we had recently seen and shortly thereafter we were spending the entire day chatting on instant messenger about movies and life in general. I knew from the beginning that we had a similar sense of humor and I looked forward to our daily chats with great enthusiasm.

Tom Waits - I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
Wheels may or may not have known that in the customer service area I had a spy. Nick, the brother of Herms, was my buddy and knew that I had some interest in Wheels. Nick informed me that Wheels was actually involved with a gentleman (I use the term loosely) and so being the class act that I am I figured I shouldn't be trying to still another guy's lady.

(Note - this was the best version on youtube that I could find of this song. The video contains a second song that although is a fine song is not included on NTIWICC III.)

Michael Jackson featuring Paul McCartney - The Girls Is Mine
Wheels and I continued to develop our friendship and like Miyagi and Daniel in that Karate Kid clip that I posted a few days ago, the tension was nearing its boiling point. I figured, screw that stupid guy, Wheels was meant for me. So I did what any normal person would do - I left my stupid work Halloween party (that she had failed to attend), took the company Porsche and went to visit Wheels while dressed as Scooby Doo. She loved it. At this point I must give thanks to Big Al for the use of said Scooby costume (that costume has been so lucky that it deserves its own column some day) and to Nick for coming along dressed as Space Travelin' Man, hands down the worst costume ever made - low on quality craftsmanship but big on laughs.

Fun Fact - I also chose this song because Wheels was a huge MJ freak in her day.

Neil Diamond - Hello Again
I don't think I need to discuss the significance of Neil and our relationship. I have already blogged about this in depth. For the Skog Blog newcomers, Wheels and I finally had our first date on November 1, 2001 when we attended the Neil Diamond concert at the e-Center. This song also reminds me of the many times I had to call Wheels at 2 AM after driving home from Provo to Sandy in a blizzard to let her know I arrived safely (this was pre-text messaging so back off you youngsters...)

Ben Folds - The Luckiest
Well I am pleased to say that our little tale this evening has a happy ending. Wheels dumped the DB she was dating and just like the Rumble in the film Anchorman, things escalated quickly and Wheels and I were never apart after that concert. I would hope that most couples have their 'song.' I don't think Wheels and I have ever specifically said, "Hey Luckiest is our song..." but I am certain that if we were ever on a gameshow that required us to declare our favorite song and match up our answers - this would be it.

I love you Wheels. Happy Valentine's Day. You're my best friend, a fantastic mother and the love of my life. Like Mr. Folds and Mr. Gehrig, I truly am the luckiest man on the face of the Earth - (dang it there goes Cheese Vol IV.)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day Mixtape Vol II.

I would like to express much appreciation for all of the mixtape enthusiasm. In fact, before I start tonight I will throw out the offer that any Skog Blog reader who would like to compose a mixtape and post it can do so as a Guest Blogger. The tapes don't necessarily have to be your favorite love songs, just something that has to do with Valentine's Day. Favorite break up songs, songs to win over or seduce a lover - be creative. Here is some advice from John Cusack's character in the classic film High Fidelity:

To me, making a tape is like writing a letter — there's a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You've got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with "Got to Get You Off My Mind", but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you've got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can't have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can't have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you've done the whole thing in pairs and...oh, there are loads of rules.

I tried to find a nice video clip of that to no avail. Anyway, no pressure - just wanted to get some reader participation.

So perhaps you now have the desire to create a mixtape but the only love songs you can think of are those that have been extremely overplayed on the radio and wedding videos. KG is here to help. I have compiled my list of the Top 10 Love Songs that should no longer be used and would like to offer a replacement for each. Here are the songs in no particular order:

1. U2 - With or Without You
My love for U2 or lack there of has been a staple of the Skog Blog since my debut post. In fact I think part of my dislike of U2 stems from hearing this song somewhere in the range of 1,000,031 times and not one of these times has it been instigated by me. Go figure. If you want a moody, dramatic love song try Lost In Time by Stellastarr*.

2. Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
This might come as a shock but I am not really a Celine Dion fan. Unless you lived somewhere in space for the past 15 years you might have have heard of this song and a little movie called Titanic. I think that film made approximately 13 billion dollars***. In place of Celine's over produced monstrosity I would like to offer a song from a tiny movie that in a just world would have also made 13 billion dollars. Falling Slowly from the film Once. Now this isn't an obscure song, it did win the Oscar for Best Song last year, but it deserves to be heard again. Also, if you haven't seen Once yet, you are missing the best film of the past few years.

***This is an estimate by KG and not an official box office tally.

3. Edwin McCain - I'll Be
Thanks to American Idol and 98.2% of every wedding videos produced in the state of Utah over the past 10 years, I cringe every time I hear this song. In its place use Arms of a Woman by Amos Lee, a man who needs no introduction on the Skog Blog.

4. K-Ci and Jojo - All My Life
Scroll up and read the description for Edwin McCain. I'll wait. Ok. Welcome back. Instead of these wannabes stick with a master Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder.

5. Whitney Houston (not Dolly) - I Will Always Love You
I am a fan of Whitney Houston. I have four sisters so what do you expect? If you want me to I'll sing Saving All My Love as an encore at your Valentine's dinner after More Than Words. However, if I didn't hear this song for 10 years it would be too soon. Rather than an oversung, overproduced song such as this, stick with The Promise by Ms. Tracy Chapman.

6. Depeche Mode - Somebody
Settle down. I like this song. Save your hatred and mean comments. I'm just saying that it is a bit played out. For my money I will take something a bit newer and go with I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab For Cutie.

7. Multiple Country Gals - How Do I Live Without You?
This song just sucks. If you want an overly earnest song about longing to be with someone then choose High and Low by Greg Laswell.

8. Aerosmith - I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing
I am a fan of Steven Tyler and the boys. I can't say I blame them for deciding that at the age of 93 they should stop rocking and start catering to the old folks crowd. The fact that this is the only Aerosmith song that ever hit #1 on the charts makes me terribly sad. Give me a minute... While I choke back my tears please enjoy another rock band that wrote a song about wanting to be home with their loved ones that doesn't induce projectile vomiting. Home by the Foo Fighters.

9. Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody

I might catch some heat for this one. Of course this song is an all time classic. However, thanks to Patrick and Demi this song has been ruined. When was the last time you saw Ghost? Let's just say that it has aged worse than Meg Ryan. If you are looking for a V-Day rental this ain't it folks. So instead of this number while slinging pottery with your lover try out the criminally underrated band The Zombies and their version of the tune Goin' Out of My Head.

10. Sixpence None the Richer - Kiss Me
This song is such sickly sweet Pop perfection that they could bottle it and possibly cure diseases in third world countries. I'm sure I'm not the only person who is tired of hearing this charming little ditty. So to finish up tonight I'll leave you with a lesser known slice of pure goodness - Ben Lee singing Catch My Disease.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Day Mix Tape Vol I.

Valentine's Day 2009 is coming. The economy is in the crapper. What are we to do for our significant others this year? No worries, Skog Blog readers. KG has an inexpensive idea for you. The Mixtape. When is the last time you made one? In 8th grade? Maybe in college for that girl you really thought was the one? Frankly I think it has been too long and it is time to bring back the mixtape. The rest of the week I will bring you ideas or themes to help you impress your lover with a nice selection of love songs and ballads.

Tonight - Butt Rock. Hair Metal. Call it what you want, once upon a time we all loved it. Here is a fine group of songs that are sure to please the Rocker in your life. In fact, if we all look hard enough through our old junk boxes from middle school we would probably find a cassette labeled 'Andy Loves Chrissy' or something similar with these exact songs.

Journey - Faithfully
If you don't own Journey's Greatest Hits then you are either a liar or you don't own any albums at all. It was really a toss up between this tune and Open Arms but I feel in this little number Steve Perry teaches us all about unconditional love.

Warrant - Heaven
Listening to this song tonight I realized that perhaps it is about having a child rather than a true 'love song.' Well let's all pretend that it's about a 'Love Child' and cozy up with your lover and enjoy.

Van Halen - Love Walks In
I have not come here tonight to debate David vs. Sammy. I have come here to share love. David was the wild party guy but Sammy was the poet and the lover.

Damn Yankees - High Enough
Sorry Big J, this isn't a song from the hit musical of the same name. This is the 90's super group that consisted of Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, and Ted Nugent. Back in the day I didn't actually like this song but this list wouldn't be complete without it.

PS - I have no idea why someone made a Karate Kid tribute with this song but it was perfect. The sexual tension between Daniel and Miyagi is palpable.

REO Speedwagon - Can't Fight This Feeling
The first fight I ever had with Wheels was about the lyrics to this song. Since a child I could have sworn that he sings, 'you're a candle in the window on a cold dark forest night.' Wheels mocked me and to prove it she went and busted out her piano sheet music to show me that he actually sings, 'a cold dark winter's night.' My question is this - who is lamer (more lame?) KG for singing 'forest night' or Wheels for actually owning the sheet music to Can't Fight This Feeling in the year 2002? By the way, I had to ask Wheels just now what the lyrics were because forest night is engraved in my brain. Wheels may or may not have peed the bed when I asked her.

Nelson - (Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection
The two chicks in this video are so freaking hot that they will spice the love life of even the coldest heart. I realize that was dumb but not all of my intros can be winners.

Extreme - More Than Words
This song is awesome. No love song mixtape would be complete without this classic. For an extra $5 Flanksteak and I will come to your Valentine's dinner and karaoke it for you. You will shed a tear. Trust me.

Skid Row - I Remember You
My girlfriend in 8th grade gave me this cassette single and a pair of Chicago Bulls boxer shorts for Valentine's Day. This one is for you Capece, wherever you may be.

PS - Nice of them to include the lyrics for this song. My lyric comprehension for this song makes 'forest night' seem plausible.

Mr. Big - To Be With You
Theme song to the 1992 JHS Sweethearts Dance. Not our finest hour.

Tesla - Love Song
Tesla has always been there to teach us lessons about life. Signs block up the scenery and love is all around us. And in reality any song that has the balls to call itself 'Love Song' deserves to be on a Valentine's day mixtape. Unless it's by the Cure, then you are out of luck.

Firehouse - Love of A Lifetime
If you never had the opportunity to slowdance to this bad boy then you haven't lived. Or you probably didn't attend a stomp or stake dance in the early 90's. Do yourself a favor and slowdance with your lover tonight. Hopefully it won't be as, uh, 'uncomfortable' as it was to slowdance as a teen.

Steelheart - I'll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)
I have truly saved the best for last. If this song doesn't bring you love then nothing will. Please listen to the song in its entirety or if not, at least fast forward to the end of the song because the finale will blow your mind. Come back tomorrow for more mixtape fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Emergency Band Meeting! SECOND UPDATE!!

Tix were basically sold out in less than 10 min! Good grief. I was online clicking refresh with one hand and on my phone pushing redial with the other from 9:50 AM. I finally got through online at 10:06 and ended up in the 2nd balcony. Just glad to be in the building. Vanwarmer was also successful - anyone else??

I just tried again and there are a few random seats here and there if you only try for 2 or less...

Update on the tix for the Flight of the Conchords. Price is $37.50 + Fees and go on sale tomorrow morning at 10AM at this link here:

or at the box offices of Capitol Theatre, Rose Wagner or Abravanel Hall. If there is enough interest we will try and put together a Skog Blog Meet n Greet for the day of the show.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You Better Watch Out...

Dalyn D$ Brohammas is coming to town this weekend. We are having a reception in his honor this Saturday night, 7pm at the Westminster Institute building (yep that's how we roll). I'm sure there will be some pizza, ping pong, billiards and yerba mate involved.

Address to the building is 1950 South 1200 East in SLC.

Feel free to join us.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Emergency Band Meeting!

This morning started out like most mornings. I did the '3 S's,' made some Yerba, drove to work, fired up the computer, logged into MSN Messenger and got ready for another day of fun on the job. I was immediately messaged by plugged in Skog Blog Reader, Vanwarmer, a guy who 'knows people that know things' and he shared the most beautiful news that mine ears had heard since the Ben Folds Five reunion - The Flight of the Conchords are coming to town! Here is some sort of proof:

Tix go on sale this Friday. Stay tuned for more developments.