HB 477 Utah

The HB477 Disaster

Written by Randal Serr on . Posted in Politics

HB477 passed in about as much time as it took Charlie Sheen to break the Guinness Book of World Records for most followers on Twitter in the least amount of time — and before the public knew what hit them, they just got a heaping load of Sheen-style nuttiness in the Utah legislature.

HB477 is a borderline crazy bill — if you believe in open democracy, anyway. I cannot figure out why people in both mainstream parties or anybody of any political ideology for that matter is not completely outraged by this bill. I think we can all agree that transparency in government is an essential part of democracy, maybe a few national security issues aside.

The bill can be summed up like this: it restricts public access to government records. It paves the way for corruption and conflict of interest. In other words, it gives Utah legislators a way to communicate with each other and with rogue power players in secret. It vaguely allows the Utah government to charge an unrestricted amount of money for access to their records, putting the burden on the public and on the media (rather than on the government) to disclose information about the Utah legislature as they see fit.

Garage Band

Blood, Sweat and Tears: How to Make It in Music

Written by Scott Manning on . Posted in Music

You just started a band.

You start small by gathering in someone’s garage or apartment clubhouse and writing some music. You score a gig opening for a semi-known local act on a Thursday night at the dumpiest venue around. Maybe a handful of your friends come, enjoy, and request a CD that you don’t yet have. You can’t afford the studio quite yet, but your bassist has a camera that records sound, so you set it down during practice and hope for the best.

You determine that the next best thing to a CD is a Myspace band page so — ignoring the poor recording quality — you don your page with all sorts of band branding and upload your tunes. Now you can tell potential fans where to find your music after shows. You book your second show, feeling a bit more prepared and ready to blow the crowd off their feet. You text everyone in your phone and wait for the inevitable throngs of people ready to support you, but by the time you strum your last note, there are two in the audience other than the other bands — and they’re sitting down in the back of the room rolling their eyes.


The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll in 25 Songs: Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats – "Rocket 88"

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music


The history of rock ‘n’ roll could fill volumes. It isn’t neat, it isn’t tidy, and it didn’t arrive suddenly in the form of Bill Haley and His Comets or Elvis Presley. Instead, it evolved from a number of sources over time. It was created as the lines between blues, country and gospel music slowly blurred until, by the mid-1950s, a completely new form of music had been created. As rock ‘n’ roll progressed, it continued to grow and change, splintering into countless genres and sub-genres.

It is because of rock’s complexity that I was struck by an encounter between David Bowie and the Killers. According to a 2005 Rolling Stone interview, Bowie saw the Killers perform in New York City and went to meet them backstage after the show where he told them, “I felt like I just saw the history of rock & roll.”

I assume that Bowie was referring to all the different influences evident in the Killer’s music, but it got me thinking about taking something as vast and unmanageable as the history of rock and boiling it down to something bite-sized, like a show or a mixtape.

Brandon Davies 3

Respect BYU’s Principles — Even If You Don’t Like Them

Written by Brian Jorgensen on . Posted in Sports

The Honor Code is useless. It is archaic and completely unrelated to the obtaining of a degree of any kind. If you look the Honor Code statement up on BYU’s website, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and then click on a link to a new page to find anything related to academics. In fact, this entire paragraph is actually against the Honor Code altogether, as one must “encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code.”

However, despite my personal disdain for BYU’s Honor Code, I still understand — and, in fact, appreciate — what happened to leading rebounder and part-of-the-reason-why-BYU-lost-to-New-Mexico-at-home, Brandon Davies.

In the next few days you will hear the classic arguments for and against the Honor Code. You’ve already heard some on this very site. If you live (or have lived) around Provo, you are intimately familiar with these arguments:

Brandon Davies

Blame BYU for Davies’ Fall

Written by Jim Dalrymple on . Posted in Sports

Brigham Young University has shot itself in the foot — right in the middle of a race.

The Daily Herald (my daytime employer, though I had nothing to do with the story) broke the news Tuesday night that starting center Brandon Davies will not complete the season because he violated the school’s Honor Code. The news is a big blow. And though I can’t make a decent prediction about the consequences of the news, nothing good can come if it.

But while Davies obviously let down his team and community, an equal share of culpability goes to BYU for its opaque enforcement of a bizarre and arcane set of rules. In other words, Davies screwed up because he broke the rules, but BYU did the same when — by implementing and enforcing those rules — it set the stage for Davies’ failure.


TV: Sheen’s Antics Are Good for Men

Written by Jim Dalrymple on . Posted in TV

This week, CBS finally terminated its contract with Two and a Half Men lead Charlie Sheen. The move officially sends the Sheen cash cow to the slaughter house, but ultimately may prove to be the savviest way to end the show while taking it to a larger audience. In fact, the entire debacle may prove to be more beneficial to both Sheen and CBS than anything hatched by even the best celebrity handlers and PR reps out there.While the future of Two and a Half Men remains unclear — CBS may decide to replace Sheen — its glory days are now clearly behind it. Whether that would have been the case if Sheen hadn’t begun his strange, downward spiral, we’ll never know. But in any case, the time was probably right for a change. The show has aired for eight seasons, all the while dominating the ratings.And yet, neither I, nor anyone I know, ever watched it. In fact, most people I’ve talked to (not a scientific population sample by any means, but rather a bunch of twenty-somethings) were only vaguely aware the show even existed. Why is that?

Review: Catfish

Written by Jordan Petersen on . Posted in Film

The Social Network should have won Best Picture. It was the right movie at the right time done the right way. But that’s a different conversation.

This conversation is about Catfish, the other Facebook movie that came out last year and didn’t get nearly the attention it deserved. Presented as a documentary, it chronicles the story of a relationship between a boy and a girl, or rather a boy and an entire family, which happens to include a girl he falls for. The catch? Their whole relationship — Nev (the boy), Angela (the mother), Abby (the 8-year-old), and Megan (his huge crush) — all takes place over Facebook and phone calls. There are pictures, mailed packages, long conversations, and endless messaging, because Nev lives in New York and Megan’s family lives in Michigan.

But then Nev (and his filmmaker roommates) decide to fit a surprise visit to Michigan into a business trip. Nev wants to meet these people in person.

La Jolla Groves

Review: La Jolla Groves

Written by Kasey Yardley on . Posted in Food

Just a few interesting facts in the world that we may not have foreseen a year ago: A 16-year-old boy named Justin Bieber is the most popular human being on earth; Conan O’Brien has a show on TBS; Jimmer Fredette and the BYU men’s basketball team are ranked No. 3 in the nation (for now); Charlie Sheen is a crack addict (Okay, you saw that one coming — Two and a Half Men is awful, by the way); and finally, the Provo culinary scene is booming with new, delicious restaurants that are worth trying.

There seems to be a throng of fresh, creative restaurants springing up all over Utah County — places like Communal, Pizzeria 712, Station 22 and Rooster, just to name a few. I recently discovered a new restaurant that made me even more proud to be a Provo-ite: La Jolla Groves. Tucked in the newly enhanced and bustling Shops at Riverwoods, La Jolla Groves is using fresh, locally-grown ingredients to prepare their insanely delicious dishes. In fact, the restaurant’s slogan is “Insanely good food, healthier ingredients” — very appropriate, if you ask me.

Brandon Davies 2

SPORTS: Podcast: Brandon Davies' Suspension

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

Charles Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” — and for the BYU men’s basketball team, the last 24 hours have certainly been the latter. Starting center Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team Tuesday after he violated the school’s Honor Code. What happened? What does this say about BYU and its fairly stringent standards? And what does this mean for the Cougars’ chances as they head into the NCAA tournament later this month? All great questions. Thankfully, the boys from The PB&J Report are here with a new podcast, ready to analyze yesterday’s events and provide some perspective on what this means for the near future of BYU basketball. Enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 039 — The PB&J Report (2011.03.02)


CHART WATCH: Lady Gaga Leads Grammy Performer-Filled Top Ten

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Chart Watch is 17 Tracks’ weekly look at the happenings on the Billboard Hot 100 with chart expert Hunter Schwarz.

The 2011 Grammy awards drew more than 26 million viewers, its biggest audience in over a decade, and it shows on this week’s Hot 100. The entire top five is comprised of songs performed during the show, led by Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” The fact that “Born This Way” is No. 1 for a second week is significant, and we’ll get to that in a second.