Things I Learn From Working in Retail

Brandon is a twenty-something working at a nation-wide convenience and drug store that isn't CVS. He works mostly in their photo lab developing and laughing at pictures of the "common people", while people watching to avoid actual work. These letters are his deepest thoughts to those that he interacts with and observes, after being dragged through sarcasm and shi- I mean wit.

Dear Mom Who Doesn't Watch Your Kids,

I'm proposing a new tax. This tax is meant to help me personally recover the costs for the stress and labor that goes behind cleaning up after your kids. For the record, “cleaning up after... kids” refers to their [the kids] decision to treat the toy aisle like their personal playroom after eating Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. The whole factory.

The tax will be applied, without notice, from the moment you walk in the door as long as you have more than zero children accompanying your shopping experience; it will be minimal, accessed at a varying rate, and completely dependent on how I feel when you begin to check out. The tax has no guarantee to stay at a constant rate during checkout, as you and your kids' disrespectful behavior can dictate an always upward fluctuation at any given time.

Pick up a candy bar, admire and smell it, then put it in the wrong place? Tax increase.

Let your kid run behind the counter and play with the cigarettes? Tax increase.

Allow your youngest child to swipe your credit card because it’s “cute”? Tax increase.

Neglect to answer your child after they scream your name for a steady thirty seconds? Tax increase.

Tell your kid to go back to find that pair of sunglasses at the back of the store that you suddenly feel like purchasing? Tax increase, and a prompt slap to the face.

Upon your approach to our check-out counter, we will review the warpath made by you and your army of ankle-biters, and warn you of your applicable tax status. A final tax will be decided upon as you walk out the door, where a man with a large and loaded gun will be waiting to collect with a t-shirt on that reads “CASH ONLY”. Failure to pay will result in loss of your purchased and your kids’ stolen items.. and probably your life.

Thanks for shopping with us, and come back again soon!

The Guy from Behind the Counter

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Back 2 School: Party Down Edition

Did I not tell anybody I was taking a month off? Whoops! It kind of just happened. But rest assured: we are back with a vengeance. We'll be updating regularly, so expect a whole lot of new and returning features.

What else is new? Oh that's right.

We're welcoming you back to school. This Friday come out to the official Bare Bones House, The Parlour. Eat food, hear some good music, and meet your fellow Bare Bones!

Where: The Parlour (688 N 500 E, Brovo, UT 84606)
When: Friday, Sept. 3 @ 8PM

This is sort of an introductory party to the rest of our lives, so don't miss the official beginning of our reign of cultural terror.

Sign into Facebook and RSVP here.
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Hannah Dringenburg: Resident Mixologist

This is a monthly segment brought to you by me, the lovely and talented Hannah Dringenburg, a girl from the Bluegrass now living in the birthplace of the Blues. Here I will be saying whatever I feel like, as long as it’s about good tunes. New bands? Yes. Old favorites? Definitely. Awesome shows? Uh-huh. Mix tapes? You betcha. Reviews, ramblings, rants and other music miscellany? Yep! Things you should know: I love music. I love listening to it, talking about it, mixing it up with other awesome music, and spreading that musical love all over the place. Welcome.

As an introduction to this monthly slice of goodness, I made a mix. Just for you! And your friends. And that guy over there. For the masses, if you will. On it you will find some magical recording artists who have greatly improved my life. Will they improve yours? PROBABLY. I can guarantee that you will see some of these wonderful people come up month after month. I can’t help it; I just get a little obsessed sometimes. Just go with it:

1. Robert Francis/“Junebug”: You’ve maybe not heard of him. Guess what? I just changed that! And THANK GOD because this dude knows what’s up. When I was listening to his album I kept thinking how Doors-esque some of his stuff sounded. Turns out he recorded at the same place and on the same equipment The Doors did back in the 60s. Thus you can hear the leftover drugs and musical excellence. Anyway, anyway: Robert Francis. Go listen to “Junebug” and realize that your life has been missing something really, really important and you just found it.

2. The Bengsons/“Leatherhand”: Their website says “Theater. Cabaret. Vaudeville Indie Folk.” VAUDEVILLE INDIE FOLK? I don’t fully understand their act, but I don’t care because their album, Six Hours, is probably one of the best things I’ve heard in, well, years. Seriously, it is unbelievable. Out of this world. Blowing my mind. And it’s available from their website and iTunes. GO BUY IT.

3. J Roddy Walston & The Business/“Rock & Roll The Second”: This band makes me want to have about six beers, throw two of them at a wall while dancing, and just get down in general. I tried to think of what genre they would be a part of, and all I could come up with was “Barroom Piano Rock & Roll”. It’s just good ol’ down and dirty music. I saw them once and by the end of the show I was covered in sweat, beer, and awesomeness. See: me wanting to throw bottles of beer at a wall. Broken glass and J Roddy just go together, you know? Like peanut butter and jelly. You will totally understand this statement when you listen to this song. Seriously.

4. Those Darlins/“Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy”: Ok, this song is pretty amazing. That’s why it’s on this mix. But, they also have a song called “DUI or DIE”. COME ON THAT’S AWESOME. The good news: the song is almost a PSA for not drinking and driving. Almost.

5. Ryan Adams/“A Kiss Before I Go (Demo Version)”: If I started to talk about RA, I wouldn’t stop. So just know that he is my favorite of favorites. And that possibly the only person whose Ryan Adams music collection tops mine is Ryan Adams himself. And that...never mind I’ll just stop now. *

6. Walk the Moon/“Blue Dress”: The level of obsession I’ve been going through with this band is pretty epic. A couple of friends from Cincinnati gave me this band’s 4 song EP and I couldn’t get enough of it. “Blue Dress” is probably my new favorite song (for the next few days, anyway) and it’s probably your favorite song now, too. I got their B-sides and Rarities album pretty much immediately after the EP, which sounds completely different but is equally as excellent. Every song on it has the flavor of some other band (I mean this in a good way, not in a “they just ripped off like ten people” way.) One song sounds like both ELO and Elton John (circa the early 70s). Another song has the orchestration and vocals of a Queen song. Foreigner here. Muse there. Vampire Weekend. Joni Mitchell (oddly enough). At the same time they keep this interesting Walk the Moon-y flavor and it is all just a recipe for success, really. (Side note: I realize that the bands listed being put together makes no sense and may deter you from further exploring said Walk the Moon. Dearest Reader, press on! This band is worth it!)

You will also notice some of those glorious blues on this delicious mix. Since arriving in Memphis, I have embraced my new hometown and all that comes with it: barbecue and music. This town eats, drinks and breathes music. And I totally dig that, man. So, enjoy my favorite blues selections thus far: 7. T-Model Ford’s “Where You Been” and 8. John Lee Hooker’s ridiculously sexy “Solid Sender”.

9. Ray Wylie Hubbard/ “Snake Farm”: Listen to this song as many times as you can and bask in its glory.

10. Katie Herzig/“Hologram”: This chick is super cool and I saw her live with Brandi Carlile not too long ago. It was just three people, two on guitar and one playing upright bass. She. Rocked. The Live in the Studio: Acoustic Trio album is unbelievable. It’s like a stripped-down acoustic version of her albums Weightless and Apple Tree put together, and it just absolutely outshines those two. Holy crap it’s real good. Realllllllll good.

11. Hey Marseilles/“To Travels and Trunks”: This song makes me want to get lost in Europe. But not get kidnapped. I would only be OK with that if Liam Neeson was on my side and kicking ass, à la Taken.

12. Dan Managan/“Robots”: I’m convinced this song is about Wall-E.

13. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears/“Gunpowder”: It’s like the Blues Brothers plus J. Roddy. Got that blues and that rock & roll. Ohhhhh man do I dig it. Just listen and jam and eat some Chicago-style pizza.

14. Brandi Carlile/“Touching the Ground”: Another one of my all-time favorites. I’ve been with Brandi since her first album. Which is real good. Her second album is amazing. The album this song came from (Give Up the Ghost) is beyond outstanding. She’s just one of those artists, you know? The kind that continue to one-up themselves and you just don’t know how it could get any better. And let me tell you, she puts on one hell of a show. Her voice makes baby angels weep. She just opens her mouth and this SOUND comes out and it is unreal. THAT VOICE.

15. John Doe feat. Kathleen Edwards/“The Golden State”: I just like this song. A lot. Reasons why people should like True Blood even though they probably won’t: the soundtrack is awesome.

16. Rupa & The April Fishes/“C’est Moi”: This is one of those bands that I had to find out about because their name is so awesome. So, I found out. They do lots of Spanish stuff, sometimes French, sometimes with an Indian flavor, and occasionally you get snippets of reggae. It’s very strange and really intriguing. And, I’m not sure how, but based out of San Francisco. Anyway, I’m in love with it.

17. Griffin House/“The Way I Was Made”: One of my all-time favorite Cincinnatians. This guy just makes good clean music. You get lots of Johnny Cash influence with this guy, and I definitely dig that. I feel like this is one of his “staple” songs. It’s just so totally Griffin House-y. This and “Ah Me” and “The Guy That Says Goodbye to You is Out of His Mind” are so essentially him. You probably need to listen to them. Now. Go. Go on, google it.

18. Pearl & the Beard/“Voice in My Throat”: I have no idea where I found this album, but I love it. They’ve just got this good duet-y harmony-y thing and it’s just real nice to listen to. Plus, who doesn’t like beards?

19. Gregory Alan Isakov/“The Stable Song”: I have a thing for music that is heartbreaking. Sad music is just my jam, OK? And this song is all slow and sad and pretty. But still has that alt-country flair to it. This song is boss. Because people still say “boss”. Right?

20. Mama Rosin/“Bon Temps Roulet #3”: Now and then you just need some good nouveau zydeco.

21. The Ravenna Colt/“South of Ohio”: One of the guys from My Morning Jacket started this band. Need I say more? It’s one of those things where you’re just like, well I have to listen to it. The good news: it’s something you’ll want to listen to.

22. Over the Rhine/“Don’t Wait for Tom”: #1, this is Over the Rhine. We already know it’s going to be awesome. #2, this is one of the most awesome/creepy/hilarious songs ever. That is all.

Now, lovely readers, this concludes this month’s segment. Go forth and listen to these people. They will change your life. And if you have any life-changing musical suggestions, don’t hesitate to hit up Bare Bones via email.

I’ll be back next month with…something. About music.

Click this to download the mix! Otherwise, it's in the top right corner of this page, or available for streaming here.

Hannah Dringenburg is almost on food stamps.

*Ryan Adams fans: HAVE NO FEAR. I’m sure that Ryan Adams Month will come sooner or later. And that month will be wonderful.
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I Am An Idiot by Daxson Hale

I am an idiot.

That sums up my life right there.

I am an average human being. I’m a little smarter than some people, a little dumber than some people, taller than many but not the tallest, lazier than many but not yet fat. I would consider myself to be more cultured than most people, and some yogurts, but I am not by any means one of the elitist artsy folk who know how to stand when they look at an art display. I don’t even look at art displays. I don’t even know if that’s what you call them. My culture comes from two things: my upbringing in a musical family and my two years spent in Italy. Not exactly depth. However, I’ve always considered myself to be smarter and more knowledgeable than most people. That’s probably not even true. Actually most likely it’s not. Like I said, I’m an idiot.

I think, however, that I’ve recently had a kind of cultural rebirth. My brother Kyle is one of those people who know things. He’s smart. We’ve always clashed when it comes to music. He wears his hair and fingernails long (the nails for playing the guitar). He’s an independent music kind of guy, and I’ve always been more of a Top 40 man. Admitting that kind of hurts, actually. Kyle has spent the last five or six years trying to get me to listen to his music. He gave me a mixed CD entitled “Music you’d better like… or else.” I think I got to the third song before I gave up and put on the Black Eyed Peas. That’s how it’s been for a while. I’ve always thought of Kyle as kind of a music snob. Sorry, Kyle.

But in the last few months, Kyle has helped me see how much of an idiot I’ve been my whole life. Two conversations were pivotal in my recent change. Both happened in cars. That has nothing to do with anything; I just thought that was funny. Our first conversation had to do with Owl City; he told me he “reluctantly” likes them, but is frustrated because there are so many musicians who work in the synthesized electronic music world who nobody has ever heard of. He told me about something he had read. It was originally published in The Economist. The direct quote is this:

"A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better. An American who read just one book this year [2009] was disproportionately likely to have read ‘The Lost Symbol’, by Dan Brown. He almost certainly liked it."

It was in that moment that I realized I was an idiot. I loved “The Lost Symbol”.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with reading the New York Times bestsellers; there is nothing wrong with liking Top 40 music; however, at that moment I realized I was kind of hungry for something more.

The other conversation that changed me was only maybe a week or two after that. Kyle was bringing me home from somewhere, and trying to get me to listen to another band I’d never heard of, something with guitars probably, and lyrics that I didn’t get, and he could tell I was still resisting. He stopped the car outside my apartment and started trying to figure out why I am the way I am. I dismissed it as a matter of personal taste; I just happen to like the music on the radio, the music my friends know. He told me though that he thought it was because I was no longer creating. He said something like, once you start creating, once you have an outlet, you’ll be able to appreciate other people’s creations more. That hit me in the face. He was one hundred percent right and I knew it. I used to play music; piano, saxophone, trumpet, basically any instrument I picked up. I used to read five or six books every week. But now I was a stagnant and festering shallow pool of slime. I was a consumer. I needed to change, I needed to have water flowing into my intellectual pond and flowing out as well.

That night I went to the public library for the first time in a very long time and got six books. I read them in less than a week. I started a blog so I could start writing again. It was amazing how quickly my attitude changed, about life, about art, music, everything. My musical taste has changed so much in the past two or three months it surprises even me. I started discovering new music on my own. (Inspiration for this article also came from Kyle; I heard a friend play Fleet Foxes’ arrangement of “False Knight on the Road” and asked Kyle if he had ever heard of the band. He said, and I quote, “You are an idiot. I told you about them two weeks ago.”)

As I was contemplating how I wanted to contribute to this magazine, I felt stumped. I read other articles and felt like I didn’t fit in with the artistic community who share their ideas here because I still feel pretty shallow. I had an idea though that will help me satisfy my hunger for depth and change, and in a way that can eventually hopefully help others who share the Top 40 mentality. Each piece I write will be about a different facet of art, music, or literature that I recently have seen, read about, or participated in. I want to go to operas, concerts, international film screenings; I want to read thick books. I want to stand in front of a painting with my head sideways. I also want to try creating these things. I want to try my hand at writing poetry, fiction, non-fiction. I want to paint. Take pictures. I’ll perhaps even try composing music. Then I will write about my discoveries and report them to you.

Please help me. Feel free to make suggestions, comments, or condescending remarks. I am just tired of being a boring person. I don’t like being an idiot.

Daxson sometimes wonders what life is all about. And then he sees a commercial for a Dairy Queen product and remembers.
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Things of Note on the Internet!

Ah, the internet. Can we ever get enough of it? No. No we cannot. And that's why I'm here to dump a massive load of internet on you. Peruse and react. These are your important internets of late.

Antoine Dodson

Mr. Dodson was recently featured in a news interview that probably changed his life. He heroically rushed to his sister's aid as she was in the process of being assaulted and chased off the assailant. He then went onto the news and testified about his intentions to find the perpetrator. What's beautiful about this guy is that he's obviously the coolest dude in the world. He's like an Alabamian Duckie Dale. He's the coolest. And while the subject matter here is serious - I mean his sister almost got raped - it's still undeniably awesome when this guy gets auto-tuned.

James Franco Writes: American Nods

This guy is trying really hard not to look like a big dumb idiot guy. He just recently graduated from UCLA with a degree in English. He went to an MFA program at Columbia. He's about to start his PhD at Yale. He's just finished a biopic on Allen Ginsberg titled Howl. OH and he just got a piece in Esquire. First off: the header of the page and the preemptive title is "James Franco Fiction". Cool. Just so if you weren't clear on it and you'd decided to skip a short-fiction piece called "Just Before the Black"; this is written by James Franco. So slow down buddy.

A few gems:
The building is beige, but the shadows make it shadow-color.

His window is all the way down, and he breathes his smoke out the black gaping gap.

Who knows if Franco is really smart? Not me! Will someone tell me?!

Proposition 8 Ruled "Unconstitutional"

This is pretty big news huh? I won't say much on it, other than that I think it's interesting that about a month ago Argentina's government legalized gay marriage. The Church released a letter back in July concerning the Argentinian vote on the matter much like the one many of us will remember from 2008, however not urging so emphatically for action to be taken against the vote. Does this mean the Church has backed off on the matter, politically speaking? I mean, the LDS Church has over 380,000 members in Argentina. [source] Argentina has a rough population of over 40 million people. Could it be that we obviously didn't have the upper-hand here and thought it best not to rock the boat? Hey, who knows? Here's the Church's response to the ruling today.

Oh and one last thing:

Are you feeling hungry?

Because I made you a saxroll.
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In Which We Like Both Digital and Film Photography: Part Two

Bare Bones Magazine is proud to bring you two unique views on life, told through the medium of photography. We present to you a juxtaposition of film and digital storytelling. The arguments for either medium can be found across the internet. We're not making an argument either way. We're celebrating the beauty contained within the idiosyncratic nature of each respective format.

Part Two: Digital Photography

Digital photography allows anyone with a camera and a computer to begin to undertake the monumental process of conceptualizing and accomplishing their own personal brand of artistic genius. This is all I think I want to, or need to, say about digital photography. The rest speaks for itself.

Seth Wallen.


Dover Castle (Laura.)


Gina Prows.

Before Your Face

See Me


Seth Wallen lists Annie Liebovitz as an influence.

Gina Prows "strives to discard the persona and unmask the raw, real person or subject."

An additional note of interest: We've now created a Flickr page where you can check out all of the photography we've used here at Bare Bones, with requisite links back to the authors and artists.

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In Which We Like Both Digital and Film Photography: Part One

Bare Bones Magazine is proud to bring you two unique views on life, told through the medium of photography. We present to you a juxtaposition of film and digital storytelling. The arguments for either medium can be found across the internet. We're not making an argument. We're celebrating the beauty contained within the idiosyncratic nature of each respective format.

Part One: Film Photography

How does personal experience change your view of life? Is there an objective way to approach existence? Immanuel Kant might argue that. I, however, have a theory that everything we see, touch, say, or - most importantly - create is colored by our experiences, personalities, and all the rest that makes us absolutely human. Objective existence, as far as humanity is concerned, is a myth.

Film has a beautiful tendency to reflect this notion. You raise the camera to grab a moment in time and distill it into flat space. And yet, it seems to fade as soon as the shutter is snapped. So much is left to chance. It's a delicate and messy affair, often capturing moods, tones, and feelings in ways that no other artistic process can. Film feels, stresses, ages, and reacts. You feel, stress, age, and react. A medium that directly reflects the moody and distracted emotions inherent within the human body, all mixed with chance and skill.

It's extremely telling, what a person chooses to take a picture of. Anymore, it's somewhat pricey to take pictures with actual film. It's risky. All good art involves a little danger. We should pay attention to these costly experiments at capturing moments in time, if only because they show so wonderfully what it means to be young and observant.

Alison Donohue.


South of the Border


Stella Maris.




Please stay-tuned for our take on digital photography on Tuesday.

Alison Donohue has a Boston-based music 'zine she'd recommend you look at.

Stella Maris likes to keep things simple. Interpret as you see fit.
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