Posted January 26, 2006 in

By Erik Lopez and Dave Madden

Thursday, Jan 19 - Day One

ROLL OUT, ROLL CALL! By 9 am, we (Angela, Erik, Me–Dave Madden) did more than the Marines, the Army and the local soup kitchen put together. Braving a potential storm (when isn't there a "potential storm" in this valley?), we scurried up the canyon at 7 am to pick up our press credentials. By 8 am, we were at Sundance after a lackluster jaunt through the snow and past an army of Hummers and SUVs. By the time we accomplished our initial mission and sat down to figure out our next Sundance-related action, we needed coffee. To our grave disappointment we realized that the coffee supplied by Starbucks, a dubious batch at that, wasn't accompanied by any real sugar or crème of any type. This caused such a surprising stir in the other press people (I admit, I was upset for a second), one woman even tried to get the Marriot staff to give her brown sugar for her coffee (sitting next to the $3 oatmeal). Needless to say, they took away the brown sugar so harmlessly perched on the table before trouble could erupt. What could this all mean? Was this an omen for future tribulations for the future? We forged ahead, coffee unwilling, and made plans for the rest of the week and then headed over to Slamdance for some respite from the high and mighty turmoil of Sundance.

The Slamdance headquarters were a different story. We were greeted by a terrific crew of people, made introductions (via Angela who already knew them, which is a serious plus), picked up bags of free stuff (more on this in a minute) and got all our paperwork in order. Erik set his sights on a couple of shorty's (much more on his libidinal star power later throughout the week). Peter Baxter, the founder of Slamdance, was courteous and kind enough to humor our requests for Polaroid shots of him with us, us with us, us with our swag. Met more people, took more Polaroids with Howie – including one of us making gang signs that we signed and left in Larry Clark's mailbox. I can't say enough about this great crew.

So the free stuff. It's 2 pm, and I have more swag than I've ever received in one sitting. Big gaudy purple bags (gross) full of DVDs, magazines, bottle openers, CDs and assorted snacks. My favorite marketing tool is the toque (or beanie for y'all). Such a Park City Winter-centric plan; it's fucking freezing out, we're all wishing we would have packed another hat...oh right on, thank you Sony/ASCAP/xx! I snagged two free ones, but it didn't matter, as my special purple bags (one for Slamdance, one for merchant-related) contained at least six from various sponsors. Now I can show my love for these products with a big patch on my forehead... anyone have a seam-ripper?

Our most exciting run-in so far turned into a deep-seeded moral from Angela. As we were about to pull away from the curb, a dolled-up boy asks if we've seen "Todd." "I was supposed to meet him here at nine." Angela: "No, I haven't seen him yet". We surmised that he was referencing the fashion mogul "Todd" Oldham who is working for the Volkswagon party – we're driving a Volkswagon SUV, so go figure. Oh, the moral: fake it at every chance. Pretend you know who everyone is talking about and you'll go far in this life.

Now after a lunch over at Trails (that's all I will say about that), I'm already exhausted and we have an evening of Larry Clark and parties ahead of us. I feel it closing in...

Here are a few goals for the week:
A new nick-name for each of us, each day, every day. E-lo, Buck Fifty Brown and Maddawg aren't cutting it. I'm trying out D'allreet and Dtekwon at some point – if I can pull them off without laughing.

More gratis gear, duh. That G-Love line about living off another man's wine rings true.

Liken song lyrics to each day. Here is some Ry Cooder:

I got mine, I got mine
I grabbed my hat and through the window
I went flying
I ran as fast as I could run
But I didn't get there in time
Because the rascal grabbed a shotgun, Lord
And I got mine

After a brief jaunt back to the office to do some real work we decided to head back up to Sundance to catch the premiere of Larry Clark's Wassup Rockers. The plan was to meet up at the SLUG offices at 5pm so we could leave at 5:30pm, get a parking space and catch said flick.

We planned on seeing Wassup Rockers at 7 pm, however with snow banks being what they are and adverse cellular phone technology being what it is...well, we never leave a man behind, especially when it is Angela stuck in a ditch at her mom's house up Emigration Canyon. Angela was 30 minutes late to our suggested rendezvous so we decided, in the interest of movie-making to leave and hopefully run into her later. After about 20 minutes of driving we find out what really happened to Angela: she got stuck in a snow ditch and needed rescuing. Time was of the essence and two forces were pulling Erik, our trust and crafty driver—forget Angela and make the movie or go back, pick her up and wait for the party to start...but which to choose? Angela opted for the former but our courageous, lovable and yes, ladies, very attractive driver knew better...we never leave a man behind. Noble and honest, he maneuvered his car with cat like reflexes into the right decision.

We managed to miss the movie, but had some great pizza at a place in Park City called "Park City Pizza" that let us leave a bunch of SLUGs on their flyers table. Then, of course, we walked around (lots of that), froze a little (or a lot) and settled in at the Slamdance building where the Larry Clark partay was supposed to explode at 9pm. Due to technical difficulties, however, his movie was delayed (blown bulb) and so was the party.

Steeped in Americana and bath and body lotions (um, from the shops on the first and second floor of the Slam-D building), our fearless entourage explored the many wonderful shops -- an Western Frontier art store that sold, among its vast array of bear-catching-trout-in-mouth real-time sculptures and motorcycles, high couture intimate apparel as well as a higher end bath and body works store tailored for the Greenpeace member inside your soul. At said art store, however, was a slot machine where, if you can win, will spit out amazing underwear. Erik, after hearing this, played and played his little heart out trying to win. Lori, our new found acquaintance and long time friend of Angela's, took over the reins of this satisfying slot machine, only to hear the exaggerated cries of Erik as he proclaimed, "If anyone wins the underwear, I will model and wear it around!" Try as they might, no one won and Erik was free....for now.

Nine o'clock rolls around and it is now time to rub shoulders, shake hands and exchange business cards with those "industry" people at Slamdance. Erik and Dave end up leaving for a quick second to arrange for the forthcoming day's screenings, and upon their arrival back to the Slamdance HQ for said party are denied access because "this party is for filmmakers must wait a few hours to see if there is occupancy left for you." Thinking fast on their toes, the two daring devils of delight make up a quick lie about how Angela and the rest of the SLUG gang are downstairs shopping and that we wanted to meet them and nothing else – really only a fib. After quick skepticism, the door man lets us in—success! We quickly find an elevator that takes people up to the third floor where the party is held and gain entry through this devious sleight of hand. We had found the bathroom previous as Erik was playing "panty slots" and customers were using the elevator to use the secret bathroom. Call this our Ocean's 11, subterfuge.

Upon arrival to the Slamdance party everyone has a stamp on their hands—except us. We are informed that in order to get a stamp we must go back downstairs and get it from the door guy—the one and the same door guy that denied us entry the first time around. He gave us a stamp. I don't get it, I really don't. I'm harping on this because it's a great example of Night at the Roxbury, Viper Room kind of stuff where...well, you get it, right? The guy hates us, then loves us, we're in the door... Surreal.

So this party is special, as you have no idea who any of these people are: all of them are young filmmakers, sponsors and otherwise in-your-face press people. We are the latter. Supposedly all really fun, exciting and interesting people, right? But that doesn't stop the fronting. Mad fronting. For example, this dick from Memphis totally side-busts our conversation with extraneous, mumbling chatter about nothing. He's dressed like – and physically resembles – Vincent Gallo, even down to the patchy beard and posture. After he realizes we have nothing to offer him, this asshole pulls a great move, one that would normally work if the room weren't 15'x15': he pulls out his phone and mentions, "Oh, I think my ride is here, excuse me". Hahahahahaha, what a douche! We see him five minutes later, twenty minutes later, two hours later and so on! Oh man, it was good. We took a Lloyd-Daubler-behind-Diane photo so you can mock this kid if he ever makes it out of his little world.

After we drank more free beer, we took the pictures, we talked the talk, passed out business cards, promised to send each other product, shamelessly promoted ourselves and then quickly gossiped about these people when we were done – only the jerks, we aren't haters...really we aren't! As the night progressed, this happened more and more, everyone became friendlier and friendlier. We moved from one group to the next trying to continue old conversations, invent new things to talk about and, all in all, work the room like Hefner in the '40s.

On the other side of this madcapped coin are those people you meet at such parties that are refreshing and completely down to earth. For example, this guy Troy and his fiancé are out from L.A. to promote his animated short, Dragon. To my, "Don't you consider this place a lot like high school?", he replies, "Well, after L.A., anything is refreshing and I kind of enjoy it". We talked for some time, just chatting about artistry and sieving all the bullshit in this world to find something great and meaningful. Sounds boring, but it's nice to meet real people at any event in this world.

In opposition to the real characters are the mimetic juxtapositions that look like they just jumped out of a Vice magazine "do" column. As we photographed and enjoyed the outlandish and surreal nature of the party, all of a sudden walks in this Benicio del Toro guy with huge sunglasses. He walks – no, struts – in like he owns the place and makes a quick beeline for the cutest girl in the room. Me and Laurie spot him and decide "motherfucker needs and action shot!" We quickly corner him, ask for a photo, and he, with cool diffidence and a "fuck you guys, I am too cool to take a picture with you 'tude" (and sans glasses) starts to eat my hair. We politely ask for another picture, this time with glasses on, and he just rubs my head. What a wild and crazy Benicio clone!

By the time midnight rolls around and the repetitive nature of taking pictures, greetings, introductions and business cards (as well as alcohol) starts to wear off, we roll out. But before we go, as a professional courtesy to show us that Slamdance still has the best parties, some old , drunk "couple" decide to makeout all gross – like hearing your parents having sex while you're playing motocross with your friends on your 8-bit Nintendo. He tries to pull her pants down and we decide to exit, stage left.

All's well that ends well. We didn't see any movies (yet), we went to a party, laughed and made merry but most importantly we learned the lesson of solidarity—a friend in need is a friend indeed.

------------->Friday, Jan 20 - Day Two Erik Lopez writes....<-------------
It's already day two and the pace of the festival is frantic. We arrived at Sundance later than expected and had some time to kill at around 11am in the morning. We stopped by a Taco Maker restaurant to eat, regroup and plan the days activities. As we sat and ate, it became quite clear that already the festival was starting to take its toll on us. Dave and I were snappy, irritable and just plain tired from moving and shaking. To lighten the mood, I decided to play some songs to warm us up and to get the Taco Maker to "shake its badonkadonk." The first song in our amazing three song set was "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones followed by "Baracuda" by Heart and then finally, to round it all out, "Holler Back Girl" by Gwen Stefani. All in all, I could tell that the Taco Maker was in no mood to boogie down as I stared into the vapid faces of those resigned to eat grease by the gallon.

The biggest discovery we made as we started to map out our route for the day was the big difference between being a "movie goer" and being a "press person." For the past couple years I had just been a movie goer. All that this entailed was going to movies, walking around with in a dazed stupor and occasionally looking and finding movie stars to stand by and make small talk. If I was lucky, I could sometimes meet a fellow movie goer that shared my same tastes and we could pair up and do these fun things together. Lather, wash, rinse and repeat when necessary. Being a movie goer is a pretty exciting irresponsible job. But to be a press person required more vigilence, fortitude and responsibility. On top of the usual hustle and bustle of movie goer status, I had to go to press screening, press conferences and had to talk to other press people. I also have to attend parties, write in my spare time and generally go from one thing to the next. While you may be wondering "what the hell is all the fuss?--you are having a great time!" you may not necessarily know the dark seedy underbelly of such activities. There is plenty of frustration as you hear the inane chatter of "industry people" as they try to sell you on everything from nasal spray, their movie and detached cool. But I digress. Needless to say, the experience between the two categories of movie fans here is quite enormous. Try to sit in a press conference or edge your way through a bunch of press people to politely talk with someone and you'll see what I am talking about.

There were two surreal standout moments. The first moment was fanagaling a photo pass for Slamdances red carpet gala. We were able to talk to many awesome people, snag a Larry Clark photo and talk and take pictures with Crispin Glover--always a treat. The next moment, after several bad screw-ups on the part of Sundance's volunteers, we were able to be at the premeire of the Destricted shorts. The cool thing about that was twofold: 1) Kelly and Jack Osbourne were led in with their entrouge of French speaking groupies 2) Kevin Bacon was turned away but Erik Lopez and Dave Madden were not. After this, and around 3am with massive sleep deprivation, we went home dreaming in 3D.

------------->Friday, Jan 20 - Day Two Dave Madden writes........<----------
So many things I saw today. So many! I stood on a Red Carpet and took pictures of filmmakers – turns out the Benicio Del Toro look-alike is in this film called B.I.K.E., I have a bunch of pics of him on the Red Carpet to prove it – saw Wassup Rockers, mentally reinforced the fact that this festival is not necessarily about seeing movies and again met a lot of great people and a lot of dinks.

At the Stella tent, we met some rich kids out from San Francisco for the party. Literally, just the party. Nothing wrong with that unless they're fucking with people to accomplish their mission – which they are. First they tried to fuck with us, guilt-tripping us and "hey, come on, just get us in to shit" because of our credentials – I don't know how they got into the party where we were (Stella Artois) without any sort of badge, so obviously they don't need to mess with us – Rick (really sweet kid) who does sound for all kinds of local clubs and events with talk of...well, let's just say these are the jerks who steal your press release and your hotel key...

Anyway, not seeing any movies is a very easy thing to do on the first few days, as it's all about the business, all kinds of "the business". For example, at the Matthew Barney/Larry Clark/Gaspar Noé/ et al. film, Destricted, we had the preview copy in our hands, a call from publicists with an "okay, you are in", but the door said differently: no ticket equals not even Kevin Bacon gets in, period (this purportedly happened a few minutes before we got there). We had to beg, borrow and almost steal, but we finally swung a deal – thank you so much to Mia!!! So take the "period" off the end of that sentence.

The one thing that I will remember from this day – one of those little soul lessons – is Crispin Glover's comments on the "mainstream" versus "indie". When asked the...okay, yes Crispin Glover was there on the Red Carpet. Yes, I was actually star stuck! Anyway, the first reporter asked him about these two entities and which is better, that kind of ish. He said something to the extent of, "I am fortunate enough to work in mainstream film and the money affords me my other projects". Think of the last time Crispin Glover compromised in a movie, any movie. Never, none. You can live in both spaces at once, and you don't have to sell your soul for either. Someone once told me, "Anyone who says you've sold out hasn't done anything with his life", or something like that. Anyway, I already knew this, but it's good to hear one of the indie kings say this.

Tomorrow, the Beastie Boys!

------------->Friday, Jan 20 - Day Two Angela Brown writes........<----------
I ditched my crew today and worked at the SLUG HQ in SLC. After digging my car out of a snowbank and hitting gallery stroll, Amy Spencer (Modus Operandi Columnist) and I went to the 9pm SLC screening of Nick Cave and John Hillcoat's film, The Proposition. Highly recommended by both of us, this full-length film features several brilliantly orchestrated and violent scenes that will rattle your bones in your movie seat. A creative take on the western genre, The Proposition is set in the 1880s, pre-colonial Australia, and was filmed in the140 degree Outback town of Winton. Talk about Bloody fucking hot! I don't want to disclose too much about the plot, as the film will be released nationally in May of this year. I will however mention that there were a lot of flies swallowed in the making of this film.

There was no Q & A after the film but we did score with an introduction by John Hillcoat himself and several members of the cast and crew (including Mr. Cave) lurked in the shadows to show their support.

-------------->Saturday, Jan 21 - Day Three Dave Madden writes........<------
At the Slamdance office, using wi-fi.

There are plenty of strange sights for the day, but I'll stick to one.

Saw the Beastie Boys new movie. It's...sooooooo good. Holy crap. if you care about concert films, you will obsess over it. It's all the Final Cut Pro tricks in the book, but they work. All super 8 film stuff recorded by the crowd.

Went to the Beastie Boys' press conference -- situated in this little plastic igloo on the ski slope so the band could pop in and out without hassle (on snowmobiles, no less). For this next issue, I will write an article on what not to ask during press conferences. I don't think 90% of those jerks knew song one of the B-Boys, but whatever – I'm sure it's people who are there to "cover a story", and probably the same fools who left the screening five songs in.

Note: it's not The Beastie Boys, just Beastie Boys. And it's not "Beasties", but B-Boys. This is from the press release. Don't make this mistake (like "90's" instead of the correct "'90s"), got it?!)

Anyway, I asked questions about Mix Master Mike, MMM's choice of "Tom Sawyer" to open the Hello Nasty tour (totally sick), Lady Sovereign remixes (Adrock just finished one), while other people posed, "What is your ultimate goal in this world, where do you see yourself going from here". Holy shit the group were bugged by the latter. And so many questions were repeated like three times (i.e. "So did everyone return the cameras?"). I know that most of mine don't make for great press outside of music mags, but I wanted to put them at ease with all the bullcrap interrogation. And no one adapted to the band's vibe, ya know? Like no one got that they don't want to answer really dumb, metaphysical questions like, "If you released your first album now, how would it do?/do you think this film is going to break down ethnic and racist issues?/You guys are dope, you never used sexuality in your music..." (that last one was greeted with Adrock's smarmy grin like, "Oh, we didn't?" I remember seeing them with damned Oscar Meyers hanging out of their pants back in the day). Holy fucking shit, how stupid is that?!?!? Are you straight out of journalism school? And the band didn't even get pissed about them; they just sort of stared into space.

FYI: I fucking adore the Beastie Boys. Erik Lopez was not the biggest fan, but he's now a convert after seeing the film. He says so!

--------------->Day Three Erik Lopez writes.....<----------
The only things worth mentioning that we did today were the Beasties Boys new movie "Awesome, I fuckin' shot that!" and then attending their press conference.

The movie was fuckin' amazing! First off, I am not that huge of a Beastie Boys fan. Actually, I was not particuarly wow'd by anything they have ever done previous to seeing this movie. The thing that struck me about this movie were the reinvention of the concert film by removing the subject/object divide, the creative editing and real full flavor of the Beastie Boys music. By providing 50 cameras to selected audience members, Adam Yarouch edited and corollated all the footage to match the music--what then happens is the real deal with Bill McNeil. It felt like you were at the actual show! There were times when the bass was so heavy at the show that the cameras was little nuances like that, that made the concert movie entertaining and engaging.

To top off the creativity of the actual concept of the "rockumentary", MCA let the bats loose with some creative editing. It was like a freshman film student run amok among final cut pro's many amazing production features. But what separates MCA's cutting from the traditional film student is that a) he had unlimited time to make it awesome b) he knows what he is doing c) he was NOT trying to become the next Quintin Tarantino with a dash of Speilberg and the potty humor of John Waters. Even though there were many production tricks, such as stop motion, color inversion, quick cuts, and circles and squibbles they were not overwhelming, misplaced or mismanaged. For all its little quirks, its many visual delights and guest appearances--this movie will quickly make you a Beastie Boy fan as you hear the beat.........................DROP!

If the Beastie Boys movie was fuckin' Awesome the press release was less than stellar. First, it was packed inside a small igloo that held about 30 press people and a handful of cameras. Second, the sound was awful because you could hear everything that was going on outside and the sound system in general was piss poor. Third, the actual press people were uninformed and just plain silly. They would ask questions that made it seem that they had never heard the Beastie Boys and on top of that like they didn't listen to what was being asked in the first place. Questions about race and rap, about sexuality in hip-hop and general irresponsible questions ruled the day. The only people who asked interesting questions were Jamie Gadette from the City Weekly and our own Dave Madden. The Beastie Boys responded well to the press conference with sarcastic comments, inside jokes and general wise ass humor. When I came out I vowed never to be "press" ever again.

The last thing we did before we called it a night was a party at the Sidecar for X-Dance. Parties are parties, people are people and whiskey is whiskey.

--------------->Day Three Dave Madden writes.....<----------
Day Four (Sunday, January 22nd), Sundance/Slamdance '06

Early, early, once again. I went to the office, gave Angela some moral support for the Nick Cave interview – just so you know when you read the interview in May's issue of SLUG, "Vegemite Western" is my term!

Dropped off Angela at a secret location where she was shuttled off to another secret location for the interview. Erik and I spoke to a UK director named Matt Palmer (his short film is Daylight Hole) who posed, "Are all Americans this crazy?" If this week was my first visit to the States, I would ask the same thing. "No, it's just Sundance". Again, another niceperson – they all are connected with "Shorts" films...hmmm...

Angela calls to tell me, "Those were the best fifteen minutes of my life!!" I guess Mr. Cave and director John Hillcoat were a terrific pair, very forthcoming with answers, made lots of jokes and even allowed Angela a picture of them reading SLUG. Nice! It's funny to watch someone who is not particularly star-struck (Ms. Brown) be starstruck.

Our best free stuff yet came from the Onitsuka Tiger house. I got a manicure from a "Brooklyn, through and through", which, honey, I really needed =) Jokes. Anyway, it was nice to relax (we walk about 75% of the time we're up here), enjoy a DJ spin some interesting choices (Go! Team back-to-back with Boston?) and listen to someone tell me all kind of stories about Jehovah's Witnesses and a rockstar ex-boyfriend of eight years. Plus, there was no manicure table, so we sat on bar chairs with my hands on her knee. I forgot her card on the table (my nails were wet so I had people doing everything from carrying my coat to lacing up my shoes), so Millocent, if you are reading, thank you so much, and sorry I had to scoot. FYI: hand massages cause me to drool and my eyes to roll back into my skull. Just saying...

Oh, the free stuff. Yeah, bad-ass Onitsuka shoes (mine are black and silver, Erik's are like a cross between old school Adidas and Puma, Angela got these nearly knee-high pink and purple numbers), shirts, a cool bowling hangbag, CD's, hats and son on. Thank you to Celeste for making this happen!

Angela managed to get us into the Nick Cave party later that night. Gaspar Noé was there...oh that name-dropping is boring, but I saw Maggie Gyllenhall earlier that afternoon...she's tall! I didn't know anyone, really, but there was a nice creative energy, like something was about to happen, and the décor is something that should be in every home (i.e. white veils, red ceramic suspension lamps, an Absolut bar). I will let Lopez tell all about his conversation with Nick Cave. You'll see the pics, regardless. Please note the old-ass headphones around Nick's neck. I thought that was adorable!

Well, I cut my hair into a really tall Mohawk this morning (Monday), put on my Atari Teenage Riot shirt and thrashed jeans and I'm ready for...Tommy Lee's house party!!! This is the holy grail of parties, I hear. Not the caliber of people, but...well, you know what I mean. I'm sure I will have fun, see lots of people doing silly things and knock over something really expensive. I promise to wash my hands throughout the evening, mom! Perhaps I should wear a body condom?

Dave Madden

----------->Day Four Erik Lopez writes....<--------------
Today, I am told from the veteran press people, will be the last hectic day of festival. Why? Because all the celebrities will be gone and it will just be moving watching and a few stray press things here and there.

Today was our party day. Dave, Angela and I scrambled to make it to Park City in time so Angela could make it to her Nick Cave interview on time. Considering our time crunch and constraint, I have never seen anyone drive as quickly as Angela. We swerved and veered and made it to Park City in 15 minutes...I swear! Or at least it seemed that way considering the excitement that was in the air.

By the time we reached Park City we got Angela prepped and ready for her interview. It almost seemed like we were her personal assistance. This was how the day started for what became the most surreal day ever.

After the interview, Angela met us at the Slamdance office eyes and aura a blazing. She looked like she was in a daze. She then proceeded to show us pictures and autographed ephemera of Nick Cave—all the while showing no signs of coming back down to earth.

The next thing we did was to hurry it up and make it quickly to the Tiger Party. The Tiger Party was a condo tucked away not to far from the festival activities. We were there to say hello to Celeste from Solid PR (who was amazing in every respect—she was nice, gracious and could talk a mean talk). The house itself was kind of decked out in the mismatch ensemble of frat boy décor—a few stray band posters, a banner of some sort over a railing and some art neuveau posters to round out the eclectic mix. Dave then got this amazing manicure while Angela and I picked out some free shoes. These shoes, to say the least, are amazing. We mingled around the house for a while longer taking in the nice scenery, drinking and eating. Iron and wine was supposed to play at 3pm with the Fruit Bats and some other band from Sub Pop but we had to leave to go on to our next destination.

The next party after was the Levi Party where we were supposed to get some free high end jeans. When we go there we were informed (and all too politely with a mild-to-medium snub) that we were not allowed in. Hey, it happens. It didn't ruin anyone spirits because we were going, Angela informed us, to the Propositions opening party where a certain Nick Cave was going to be.

We arrived at the party a little early in anticipation that it was going to fill up. It was hosted at the Queer Lounge which had a nice set up. The furniture was sparse but the interior still ended up looking like a space age Bailey's commercial. We mulled around looking at the celebrities (Gasper Noe and the director for the Propositions showed up early). Then Nick Cave came and I started to sweat. What are you supposed to say to a celebrity of his stature and notoriety? While I thought that I had out grown my "fan boy" stage, I couldn't help but be star struck by his presence and the way he carried himself. After a wee bit of freaking out, I decided, with carefully selected CD in hand, to talk to him. Surprisingly, he was soft spoken and invited me out for a smoke. We talked on the patio outside of the Queer Lounge and I tried not to take up too much of his time considering that he had been at Sundance doing press stuff all week long and looked pretty tired. He signed my CD and took a picture with me and there my night was complete.

------------->Day Five Erik Lopez writes....<------------
Nothing really happened today (unless you want me to write about work and school which I thoroughly enjoyed). The only thing that did go on was Sony/BMG press work for five hours starting around 5pm. I had to meet up with this girl Aly and her friend Kelsie to pass out fliers, stickers and other random promotional items for the Switchfoot and Augustana show.

We arrived there, got ourselves together and were fortunate enough to be invited to a special VIP show of acoustic Switchfoot. When we got into the "special location" I was surprised at how many girls, ages 14-17, there were. I knew something was "a foot." As we assembled our little promo bombs to give out to the kids, the main man from Switchfoot was telling a story about South Africa, how this song was related to that and how it will "always hold a special place in my heart." Give me a break! Just play your damn song and dispense with the feel good moments after. Luckily this special acoustic performance was only two songs. Unlucky for us, we had to stay for the whole show.

We ended up meeting the band and I gave everyone some SLUGs to take with them as reading material. They seem pretty into it considering that it was local and all and that they needed to feel