Local. Independent. Alternative.

Staff/Blogs

Staff

Kerry Jackson
Radio From Hell

Bill Allred
Radio From Hell

Gina Barberi
Radio From Hell

Richie T Steadman
RFH Program Director

Jon Smith
Mid Day

Todd Nuke 'Em
Afternoons

Corey OBrien
Evenings

Jordan De La Cruz
X96 Promotions Director

Jake Stone
Bathroom Attendant

Andrew Johnson
Digital Director

Time Wasters at Work

X96

Todd Nuke 'Em's Top 5 Summer Books todd | Program Director
05/30/2014 | Filed In: Stephen King | John Steinbeck | Chuck Palahniuk | Harper Lee | Andrew Smith | Unstoppable Corn | Blogs of Wrath | Rated F

Todd Nuke 'Em's Top 5 Summer Books

There is nothing better than spending the summer sitting in the shade with a great novel in your hands. I read all the time, and I wanted to share some of my all-time favorites as we approach the summer. Perhaps one of these books will strike your fancy and you can disappear into a great story. Here are my top five summer books.

5. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

I somehow made it through high school and college without having to read this, but when I picked it up on my own, I was hooked. This book follows the struggles of the Joad family as they journey across the country seeking a better life in California during depression-era America. If you think you have it rough, this book will definitely sober you up. Steinbeck is one of our finest writers, and this is a book you’ll want to read more than once.

4. It by Stephen King

People like to discount Stephen King as just a horror writer with no literary merit, but nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there are monsters and terrifying plot twists in this book, but it is about the friendship of a group of kids that helps them defeat a cyclical evil that descends on the town of Derry, Maine. It turns out that their childhood work wasn’t finished, and they have to return as adults to end it once and for all. Strong themes of friendship—the kinds of friends you have when you are a kid—made this one of my favorites. Warner Brothers recently announced two motion pictures are in production from this book. Even though it is one of King’s longest works, you’ll be sad when it is over.

3. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

The first rule of fight club is don’t talk about fight club. I guess I’m breaking that rule by telling you that the book is amazing. Yes, there is a film version of this that you have likely seen, and you probably already know the surprise ending. But getting there is a fine journey through the printed pages of Palahniuk’s breakout hit novel. I particularly loved the smart-ass tone of the book, and the way he describes everything slowly spinning out of control.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Here’s one I did have to read in high school, and I was so hooked that I finished it ahead of our prescribed reading schedule. This book is beautiful in every possible way. If you haven’t read it yet, just do it. I can’t do it justice with a simple synopsis…other than by sharing my favorite line: “Pass the damn ham, please.”

1. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

I found this by complete accident when it was released back in February, and I bought it on a whim. I was immediately hooked with Smith’s writing style and the honest way in which he portrayed teenage awkwardness, hormones, and friendship. All of this goes on while giant praying mantis-like insects are hell bent on eating all of mankind. The bugs also like to screw their brains out. At the heart of it is the friendship of Austin and Robbie, and that is what the book is ultimately about. Don’t be misled by the publisher’s categorization of this as a young adult novel. This book is so much more in many ways. There is profanity, vulgarity, violence, and some of the most heartwarming situations in this brilliant coming of age novel. The author said in an interview that he wrote this for him and really didn’t want to share it; I’m glad he did. It is one of the most unique books of all time. I seems to encapsulate all of my favorite elements of every book on this list. Since I read it, I bought four of Andrew Smith’s other novels and I loved all of them. This guy is one hell of a talented writer and he deserves to become a household name. There is also a movie in the works based on this novel.

And there you have it. Hopefully, one of these books strikes your fancy. I also won’t argue with you if you choose to read Rated F or Blogs of Wrath.  

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Coachella Day Three: Beck and Arcade Fire Close Out An Amazing Weekend cobrien |
04/15/2014 | Filed In: Coachella | Coachella 2014 | The 1975 | Beck | Arcade Fire | Blood Orange | AlunaGeorge | Calvin Harris | Corey O'Brien | California

Coachella Day Three: Beck and Arcade Fire Close Out An Amazing Weekend

Day 3 was about a perfect a day one can have at a music festival.  The desert was not angry. Rather than dust, a nice, cool breeze kept things from getting too hot and it was a day of amazing performances.  A nice clip poolside in the morning at the compound and the group was off to catch The 1975.  The thing The 1975 they could fit in many contexts.  You could put them in matching suits with some choreography and they'd be a boy band.  Acoustically, a coffee shop quartet.  I don't mean this in a negative way.  Their songs are truly catchy. Lead singer, Matthew Healy, is a cross between Aldous Snow and Christopher Martin of Coldplay. His voice is great live and he has the swagger it takes to sell it.  I could tell because every hot lady around me was belting out the lyrics like gospel. Mr. Healy is tattooed and leather clad, playing up the rockstar persona, which may have been lacking otherwise at this year's fest (aside from Queens of the Stone Age, which I only caught a glimpse of). Leather pants in 90 degrees, no problem. Accompanied with a brunch of pizza and beer The 1975 was a great way to start the day on the Outdoor Stage (clever name, I know). 

I stuck it out in the beer garden (the last day, you've gotta go big) for the artist I who was at the top of my list, Blood Orange. I've had their album playing non-stop since I discovered it in February.  Blood Orange is the brainchild of Dev Hynes, who was also in the short-lived, but grandiose Test-Icicles then went under Lightspeed Champion for a spell.  Very different sounding projects from one another, but all great in their own right.  The best breakdown to describe Blood Orange is Prince meets Frank Ocean. This is baby-makin' music. 

Before planting our flag at the main stage the group was lured to the adjacent Gobi Tent by the a familiar groove.  A familiar sound, know to us from junior high parties.  The sound of Montell Jordan, but it wasn't Montell Jordan.  It was AlunaGeorge singing Jordan's "This Is How We Do It."  Dancing, we hung out and watched the sexy AlunaGeorge while admired the final sunset we would witness over Empire Polo Field.

Calvin Harris took the main stage and did the opposite of what Fatboy Slim did the day before: he played the hits.  Opening with, "Feel So Close" to "We Found Love" to Icona Pop's "I Love It." He demanded the audience show their hands and not miss a beat.  He kept the hits coming and no once seemed to mind.

Finally, another must-see, Beck this the stage opening with "Devil's Haircut" and, like Calvin Harris, the hits kept coming.  A highlight for me was the surprise selection, "Debra" from "Midnight Vultures" - a song touting the benefits of picking up women at JC Penny and driving a Hyundai.  Beck was on a role, telling stories about playing the first Coachella between songs and reminding the audience why he is so revered by those who really love music and live performance.  Therefore, it was quite disappointing when Goldenvoice cut him off during "High 5" for going over his allotted time.  I know these things need to run like trains and not airplanes, but come on!  It's a headliner and one with Coachella tenure. Beck shrugged it off, danced a bit and then was disappeared by his band as they surrounded him and shuffled him off stage, forcing smirks and chuckles from the crowd.

 

It was now meat and potatoes time. We bumped and hustled as close as all 11 in my group could get to the mainstage to see what Arcade Fire would finish the weekend off with. They did not disappoint. A thing, covered from head to toe in mirrors announced himself as Fred, then announced the band who promptly opened with the title track from their latest, "Reflektor." I can say this song paces better live. All the songs they performed from "Reflektor" paced better live including my favorite, "It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)."  

Many would say, including myself, the highlight of the show was Debbie Harry, looking amazing, joining the band on stage for her own "Heart of Glass" and the epic "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains). The set was passionate, defiant (Win Butler calling the VIP section "bullshit" to the pleasure of the crowd. Well, those not in VIP, anyway) and at times heart-breaking. The set and the show ended with warnings the sound may be cut off again, just as it was with Beck. 

Luckily, they made it through the closer, "Wake Up" with a few folks around me actually tearing up. As the rise of whatever was left of the 90,000 plus in attendance singing, "Whooooaaa ohhhhh, ohhh, ohhhhh, ohhh, oh, ohhhhhhwhooaaa..." the sound was eventually cut, the band pulled together some acoustic instruments and, accompanied by a small brass section, leapt into the crowd, marching band style. The crowd chanting for as long as everyone realized the weekend was over. We would all be leaving Coachella on this bittersweet note and back to real life until next April.

READ MORE | COMMENTS

Sponsors

Useful Links:
Utah Car Deals

X96 (KXRK)
50 W. Broadway, Suite 200
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Terms of Use | EEO Report | Jobs | Copyright Policy | Privacy Policy | General Contest Rules  |  Copyright © 2010 - 2014 KXRK & Broadway Media