Archive for the ‘Ted Leo’ Category


This week’s Entertainment Weekly (hey, remember when I used to work there? That was fun) had an interview with the amazingly-talented Florence Welch (love her) called The Soundtrack of My Life.

As I read Mz. Welch’s picks for the songs that she carried with her I couldn’t help but start making a list of my own. AND, since I’ll never be famous, no one will ever interview ME about the soundtrack of my life so I’m forced to interview myself (if you want something done right…)

The first song I was obsessed with:

I come from a very musical family so I was breaking into song from a very young age. The first CD I ever owned, however, was Semisonic’s “Feeling Strangely Fine,” which showcased their one-hit-wonder single “Closing Time.” I was 12 or 13 so the fact that it was about picking up randos at a bar completely went over my head, much like how Eve 6’s “Here’s To the Night” ode to one night stands completely went over my head a few years later. 

The song that reminds me of my first kiss:

I think I’ve blogged this story before but my first kiss came during a viewing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Again, I was a teenager so I was weirded out of my mind so shortly after “Time Warp” I decided that I had better things to do with my time, lips and tongue. I had braces at the time, I will always hold that girl in my heart for being so charitable.

The song that reminds me of home:

My parents are Golden-Oldie fans so my childhood was a lot of early-era Beatles hits like “Money Can’t Buy Me Love” or Simon and Garfunckle tunes. If I had to pick one song, though, I’d probably go with “Henry the XIII” by Herman’s Hermans. Everytime I hear it I can see my mom seeing along in the kitchen while she mixes dough of some kind in the same old mixer that still sits in the lazy Susan. If I could pick 2, the second would be Suzie Q by CCR.

The song that reminds me of college:

Since I’m only one year out of college I’m going to answer the song that reminds me of Freshman year. I actually have a whole playlist devoted to my time in the dorms (Shiny Toy Guns, The Academy Is, All-American Rejects) but the one song that really backdrops the memories is “La La Lie” by Jack’s Mannequin. I saw him perform that year in the venue and when I play it on the piano the line that says “I’ve got friends who help me pull through” always brings the Alva Heights gang to mind.

The song that makes me cry:

I don’t cry, I may in fact be a robot. “Brick” by Ben Folds is really sad though.

The song that reminds me of my first love:

The entire (500) Days of Summer soundtrack reminds me of Katie but especially the cover of “Here Comes Your Man.” We listened to that soundtrack whenever we drove anywhere but would always rock out in the car to HCYM.

The song people might not expect me to love:

“Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground. That song is freaking awesome. Honorable mentions include “Don’t Lie” by the Black Eyed Peas and “Boys in the Hood” by Dynamite Hack.

My favorite song to perform:

I have quite a few that I always go back to (Straylight Run, Keane, the aforementioned Jack’s and Folds) but just about every time I sit down at the piano I find myself playing “Boston” by Augustana. It’s the perfect combination of a simple but solid piano line and fits pretty well in my range.

The song I wish I had written:

“Someone Like You” by Adele. It has one of the easiest piano parts in the world but it’s all you need when you pair it with the perfect voice (her’s, not mine). That song is the musical equivalent of the Greek ideal: simplicity, perfection and order.

The song I play when I’m getting ready to go out:

I don’t really have any ONE particular song but two come to mind. “Me and Mia” by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists always gets me pumped up and oddly enough, before a date I like to rock out to Julio Iglesias’ “Moonlight Lady.” That song is a freaking jam.

My karaoke song:

I love karaoke but I haven’t had many opportunities to do it because to do kareoke right you have to go to a bar and to go to a bar you have to have friends who drink. Now that I’m back in Utah… My quick answer is “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations but I’ve been thinking lately that if I auditioned for The Voice I’d singe “Change Your Mind” by the Killers.

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*Suggested audio accompaniment for this post. Click here.

My year began on the roof of The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas which, if I do say so myself, if a pretty decent way to ring in the new. As I write this, it is unseasonably warm in New York City which is ironic because exactly one year ago it was unseasonably cold in the city of sin. We sat by the side of the pools, enjoying the view of the Strip below, laughing and joking with revelers and huddling together for body warmth.

Six days later I turned 24, which I still have a hard time believing. For the longest time my residual self-image was a geeky 17-year-old kid with acne and while I have admitted to some aging, I still see myself as a 21-year-old in peak physical condition. *Sigh*

I hate birthdays, always have, but love that mine always happened to fall within Christmas Vacation because it allowed me to do exactly what I wanted to do during the day with as minimal human contact as possible. I decided that for 2011 I wanted to go snowboarding, eat Brazilian food and then watch Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I would post a picture here of me on a snowboard but despite my incessant nagging, Tyler Barlow (who purports to be technologically inclined) has YET to upload them. Fail.

2011, I expect, will be notable in my memory for two reasons: my quarter-life crisis and, similarly, my graduating year at Utah State University. It was the year that saw my transition from rabble-rousing student journalist at The Utah Statesman to starving journalist desperate for work in the daily grind. I went from the editor in chief of a publication, responsible for keeping a steady hand on objectivity while still shining a light on the conversations that the community at large had — and would try to — silence to an intern, scrambling to make any noticeable impression I could between shifts of sorting mail (*note, I never had to sort any mail at The Des, I was extremely well-treated there).

I think I’ll remember 2011 for the stories I wrote, as well. It was the year that I went to Sundance, declared war against the sense of social entitlement at USU, covered the sentencing of Brian David Mitchell, got a statement from the family of a murdered Salt Lake woman and interviewed Bruce Campbell. I stood in crime scenes and red carpets, press conferences and press screenings. I also saw Wood’s Stock hit 1,000 monthly readers, which makes me very proud.

In other student news, I returned to Vegas for to see The Aggies win the WAC championship and lost quite a bit of money on the roulette table (I would say the amount but my mom reads this blog and she hasn’t heard that story yet). No regrets, though. I relayed for life and helped raise thousands of dollars for Cancer research and finally scratched “crowd surf” off of my bucket list at the Hare Krishna festival of light.

Then I graduated, alongside some of my closest friends.

As far as personal growth, I kept my m.o. of falling out of contact with nearly everyone in my life during transitions periods. Admittedly Facebook makes keeping up the appearance of friendship easier, so thanks for that one Zuckie. So, to all of you out there who haven’t heard from me in a while, I’m sorry and just remember that even though I hate phone calls I’m still thinking about you, value our time together and hope you’re doing well.

Also, I’m either maturing — or becoming more introverted, funny how similar that can be sometimes — because most nights after I get home from work I just want to take it easy, read a book, watch some tv and fall asleep before midnight. I’ve managed to compartmentalize my need for diversion to the weekends which is, I think, a healthy thing to do. As a sidenote, I’m halfway through the book I’m writing that I planned on finishing during the summer, then during November, then by January and now by March. Progress, nonetheless.

I lived in 3 different cities this year. Three apartments for a combined total of 8 different roommates. In Logan it was Tony that didn’t wash his dishes, in Salt Lake it was everyone but me, Al and Will and in Queens it’s Jared who, by the way, blew his nose 30 times this morning. Yes, I counted and yes, it was an even 30. I’ve needed a reading lamp since May but I don’t want to buy anything until I’ve “settled.” Right now I don’t care where I live, I just want a reading lamp, a gym membership and some potted plants.

I hate to skim over the last half of the year but it’s too fresh. I’ve seen Broadway shows (best, How To Succeed, worst, Spiderman by a long shot) and concerts, (special shout out to Carbon Leaf, The Decemberists and Ted Leo) gone to world-famous museums (The Met, no contest) and landmarks. I’m working at my “dream” job where I watch endless amounts of movies and tv and interview celebrities but at the cost of my other dream of having enough living space to do pushups in the morning and a front lawn large enough to hose the mud off of my mountain bike (two more items missing from my life, the bike itself and the activity for which it attracts the mud), oh yeah and I really miss driving. And in theory, I’m supposed to meet someone and get married at some point and since my name isn’t Woodstein I’m not sure I’m in the right place. New York has been great, and it will be a fantastic memory looking back after I’ve moved on to whatever comes next.

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