MAY 2009, E.V.

Knowing that Tool are scheduled to perform at “Energy Solutions Arena” in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 19, 2009, and being very aware that the 19th happens to be a SUNDAY, on behalf of the band, I would like to reassure all those Tool enthusiasts who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or those who are thinking about converting to Mormonism) that they need not worry about any judgment, punishment or other repercussions from breaking the strict rules and attending the show.

Having graduated from Miskatonic University (Go Black Goats!) with a degree in comparative religion, trust me when I tell you that I am well acquainted with the unique beliefs of the so-called “restored church”, and how LDS doctrine urges those to abstain from certain activities on SUNDAYS, including drinking hot beverages, watching R-rated movies, driving to the nearest “Sonic” for a cherry limeade, listening to rock music, and going out to see one’s friends. Therefore, I understand your trepidation about doing NyQuil shots before jumping in dad’s Prius and going to see a Hollywood-based prog-metal band with song titles like “Hooker With A Penis.” Sounds like a good way to end up on the wrong side of the tracks in the Telestial Kingdom, doesn’t it? Well, what if I told you that you could get floor seats for $93.00, sneak in goldfish crackers and/or Nilla wafers, enjoy the entire show, lights and all (on the Sabbath), and still get a Group A boarding pass for the indescribably beautiful realm that could only be Celestial Kingdom!

How are my pre-spousal units and I going to go to a SUNDAY night Tool show without any retribution from a vengeful God, you ask? And how can we be so sure that after being judged we won’t be awarded the worst of the Three Degrees of Glory, where we’re forced to have spirit prison sex? I’ll tell you how, but first let’s not forget about a little hymn and a prayer…

Okay, a sip of non-caffeinated soda (yep, a friendly root beer made in a church basement is fine) and we’ll proceed. Because of the date, July 19, I participated in a séance in order to contact the 10th president of the LDS church, Joseph Fielding Smith (born on July 19, 1876, becoming a prophet from January 23, 1970 to July 2, 1972). At the height of the ceremony, a dazzling pillar of milky golden light appeared, in the middle of which could be seen a mysterious personage garbed in lustrous white raiment. With its basel ganglia working overtime, for several hours the apparition repeated exactly the same words, instructing me to follow the paw tracks of a black cat named “Midnight Meringue” (named so, because the mischievous feline had devoured grandma’s lemon meringue pie at that hour) to an antique game of “Fanorona.” Once there, I was to properly interpret the pleasing pattern formed by the remaining pieces at the end of the game (having already seen the same pattern in cracks of dried-up mud and from spilled “Ranch-Style” beans while viewed through Herkimer ‘diamond’ spectacles). While in a state of heightened awareness (with my anja chakra activated), I was informed how to win an eBay auction for a particular vintage box of Cracker Jack (circa 1910), whereupon I would be permitted to find a much sought after paper mechanical prize known (paradoxically enough) as “Boy Eating Cracker Jack.”

As sure as Jesus and his wives had once visited America, by moving a little mechanical tab sideways, the mouth of the boy eating Cracker Jack would form words (again, as perceived with focused consciousness) that would reveal the exact secret location where (more) golden plates were buried, along with a silver box that contained the special seer stones necessary to decipher them. However, because these treasure digging endeavors to unearth resplendent discs containing a sacred revelation inscribed on them (a mixture of Egyptian, Chaldaic, and Assyrian records) seemed like the bullshit of a bullshitter, I quickly pulled the plug on the effulgent presence with its bad receptivity, annoying glitches, and battery-draining pomposity. (The ‘spirit of the prophet’ as a revelatory catalyst summoned from some parallel perception of reality undoubtedly being a trickster of the highest order – the luniverse being filled with such bullshitters - as was evident by its repeated claim that Brigham Young’s horse-drawn hearse is currently parked in front of Disneyland’s “Haunted Mansion.”)

So how was I now going to convince all those faithful Mormon Tool fans out there that they could go to SUNDAY night’s show at “Energy Solutions Arena” on JULY 19 without being in fear of God’s wrath? Obviously, attending the gig wouldn’t qualify those as one of the Sons of Perdition cast into the Outer Darkness with Lucifer (if that makes sense). I mean, c’mon, a Tool concert isn’t exactly a confirming vision from heaven! No, if anything, the penalty for such nitpicky sins (such as ignoring Section 89 in “Doctrine and Covenants” – having herbal tea with the leaves in it) would be the afterlife ‘hell’ of knowing that one could have had a better reward. Kind of like watching (or smelling) one munching on gourmet blue cheese and Buffalo-wing flavored popcorn while all you’ve got is some burnt Jiffy Pop (although, ironically, there’s a lesser chance of getting afterlife “popcorn lung” with the latter). Still, there must be some loophole – some way for a temple worthy Mormon and his pre-spousal units to go see Keenan and company on SUNDAY night, and still end up in the Celestial Kingdom in time for split-pea soup with meatballs and sunshine glazed carrots.

And then a thought occurred to me: what about the “Second Coming” in Mormon theology? God is infinitely forgiving of nearly any sin BEFORE the “Second Coming.” That’s the real ‘word of wisdom’ here (besides you’ve got a year’s supply of canned food squirreled away). So, knowing that even the directive of a vengeful God doesn’t amount to a hill of jellybeans before the “Second Coming” (keep in mind, here I’m talking about Mormons, not Mongolian herdsmen), and that seeing Tool is not an unpardonable sin, why not attend SUNDAY’s extravaganza at “ENERGY SOLUTIONS ARENA?” Adhering to the precepts of the gospel is fine, but for those who’d rather live a day as a lion than a lifetime as a lamb, I’m not suggesting huffing diacetyl fumes in some popcorn den, but don’t be afraid to push the liver before the show with something harder than Diet Sprite (just as long as you’ll be able to recover in time for “Pioneer Day” on July 24th or whenever it is). Heck, even with thunderbolts and condemnation, those of you who truly believe that Jesus was born on April’s Fool Day will in all likeliness make it to at least one of the average Joe heavens filled with liars, cheaters, sorcerers, adulterers, and whoremongers. And there are bound to be games and refreshments, so what have you got to lose (other than knowing that there might be better games and refreshments elsewhere)?



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