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Tag Archives: salt lake

Upcoming Concerts: Jolie Holland, Kenny Chesney, Sound Team, Yonder Mountain String Band

Jolie Holland plays the Urban Lounge on Wednesday, June 21 (photo: Randy Harward)

Yonder Mountain String Band Though in their first decade, Yonder Mountain String Band harks back to classic folk/bluegrass sounds, and when I say ‘classic,’ I mean the early sixties folk revival, since those well-worn genres could both technically be traced back to the 1800’s. Both in their wistful melodicism and faux naïve cover art, they are really reminiscent of early sixties folk groups, yet also sharing an indie pop sensibility not unlike, say, the Shins. This is what makes them more than just another retro combo, talented musicians though they may be. It’s the conflict between the experienced voice of the typical pop song protagonist of a song like “Sidewalk Stars,” the opener of their new self-titled release and the innocence portrayed in the eyes of an angst-ridden innocent in “I Ain’t Been Myself In Years.” Perhaps tellingly, the former is in more typical pop instrumentation of guitar, drum and bass, while the latter is firmly anchored in sad yet somehow joyous banjo picking. Then at times the two combine on “How Bout You,” that could have come from a Golden Smog session outtake, with banjo picking and electric guitar solo simultaneously. And their ragged harmonies could be the Band itself. Oh yes, cause to rejoice. June 21, Port O' Call

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On Mitt Romney’s Chances in 2008

By all accounts, Mitt Romney is a whip-smart man of integrity with unique skills and qualities that would seem a perfect fit for the presidency. He is well liked and respected on both sides of the aisle and is widely considered a good man, but his potential bid for the presidency in 2008 just might force the GOP to deal with some major underlying tension between its devoted Mormon and evangelical bases.

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Upcoming Concerts: And 1 Mix Tape Tour, Jerry Joseph, Mike Andrews, Biirdie, Tesla, Gregory Isaacs

Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons

Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons Local son turned Portland music scenester (that could describe a lot of people, no?) Jerry Joseph returns with his crowd-pleasing jam band-influenced singer/songwritering. Aside from a captivating live show, Joseph has been no slouch in the studio either, with last year’s Into the Lovely (Cosmo Sex School) the last in a long line of releases. One odd thing about the group: bassist Jr. Ruppell founded Salt Lake punk magazine SLUG in the late 80’s, so he’s seemingly the least likely musician to join a band anywhere near jam territory. San Francisco jam band Zero has added Joseph to their lineup again for their tour. June 15-16, Ego’s Also appearing: June 14: Denver, CO (Quixote’s True Blue) June 18: Victor, ID (Knotty Pine) June 19: Boise, ID (Neurolux)

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Works Every Time: LDS Leaders and Utah Senators Fall for Tawdry Gay Marriage Tactic

“Any country that would deny a gay man the right to bridal registry is a fascist state.” - Margaret Cho This weekend LDS church leaders urged members to lobby their senators in support of President Bush’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. As if Orrin Hatch was going to vote any other way, but okay. With gas prices and the Iraq war looming large in the minds of most Americans, is it any wonder that the Bush administration is reverting to its old standby brand of “Hey—look over there!” politics. This proposed ban was nothing more than a desperate and transparent move by a worried man, losing his Svengali grip on the American mind. So, why were LDS church leaders and Utah’s senators so eager to take the bait?

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Upcoming Concerts: Vaux, The Walkmen, Eels, INXS, Les Claypool, Danielson, Lovin’ Spoonful

Vaux

Vaux Denver metal act, which has in the past often been pinch-hitters, steps to the plate on their own this time. It’s about time, as they have earned it, paid their dues and all the applicable clichés. Who does a metal band pay dues to; and who collects them? At any rate, they maintain snarling vocals and jagged rhythms with more than a nod to punk; if they have to keep up membership in two genres of music they’d better get out there and hit the streets. And then ”Cones” from their latest, Are You With Me, sounds a hell of a lot like Radiohead with its somber synths, faux (rhymes with “Vaux?”)-British accent and ominous lyric “What’s the worst that can happen?” Sometimes there’s a fine line between musical diversity and stylistic confusion, and it’s treading that thread narrow as a kite string that makes this band fascinating. June 6, Club Boomva (Ogden)

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Upcoming Concerts: DJ Quik, Matt Wertz, Gretchen Wilson, Bullets and Octane, Blind Boys of Alabama

Matt Wertz

Matt Wertz Kansas City native Matt Wertz left behind a yen to design sneakers to join the recent parade of singer-songwriters. To be more exact, slightly disheveled guys who write sensitive songs the chicks dig, lyrics in a scrawl across the album cover as though they came to him spontaneously on his newest EP, Today & Tomorrow. He brings some novelty to a genre populated by Jason Mraz and Gavin DeGraw. June 3, Kilby Court Also appearing: June 2: Denver, CO (Bluebird Theater)

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Upcoming Concerts: The Fall, Matt Costa, D.R.I., Cute Is What We Aim For, Lateef the Speaker

The Fall

The Fall The Fall is one of the most storied British bands of the last 30 years, and their longevity, lineup turbulence and difficulty to categorize makes it justly so. But they have also been one of the most incredibly influential groups, if moreso on the Brits than on this side of the musical seas, but indie rock of any stripe wouldn’t be the same without them. The one constant is acerbic, often alcohol-laden frontman Mark E. Smith, whose thick North England accent is one reason they haven’t been a huge hit stateside. Coming out of the artsy post-punk movement in the late 70’s that produced Wire and XTC, the Fall has always been far darker and angrier than either of those, in accordance with Smith’s distrust of art as well as other institutions. The paranoia put him right in line with the punk movement, though punk audiences sometimes didn’t know how to react to his experimental ‘noise rock’ tendencies, the specter of chaos always lurking in a Fall show. The armfuls of albums released since that time have as a whole created a remarkable body of work, not least because of his lyrical interests, ranging from European history (Live at the Salem Witch Trials), rants against the mendacity of everyday British life, from truck drivers to football fans, to literature, from the out-there sci-fi of Philip K. Dick to existentialists like Albert Camus, after whose novel The Fall the band was named. Once the band was discovered by American audiences it was enormously influential on bands like Pavement, to the point that their label Matador signed the Fall for US releases in the mid-nineties, and Pavement’s singer Stephen Malkmus adopted some of Smith’s vocal snarl, to the latter’s consternation. The Fall is a bit like the Velvet Underground; in America, at least, they haven’t been heard by that many people, but everyone who did started a band. They were garage rock, if your garage is in the industrial din of Manchester, and you rehearse in a shack constantly threatening to collapse into the ground. Smith is one of those singularly British eccentrics like Genesis P. Orridge that come along every once in a while and change our entire conception of a given art form. To even attempt a comprehensive catalog of all their releases and labels, not to mention personnel, is a foolhardy and intimidating endeavor for the space we have here; suffice to say their latest, last year’s Fall Heads Roll (Narnack) is a good a place to start as any. As the British say, Mind your head. May 25, The Depot

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The Making of Brigham Young, Part IV: Film Historian Saves Brigham Young from Obscurity

By Clint Wardlow, UtahGothic.com Film Historian Saves Brigham Young from Obscurity Enter BYU film historian James D'Arc. In 2002 he persuaded 20th Century Fox to give the film a deluxe DVD release. Considering the number of Fox classics still unreleased on disc, this was a pretty amazing feat for a lackluster performer like Brigham Young. Maybe it helped that D'Arc brought a copious amount of supplemental stuff to the table, including a Movietone reel of the Salt Lake premiere. Fox might have also had its eye on the modest success of the new wave of Mormon cinema such as God’s Army and Brigham City. The question remains whether the retooling of Brigham Young will reach wide acceptance among the home video crowd. With 12 million Mormons worldwide, maybe Brigham Young will finally become a moneymaker 60 years after its release.

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The Making of Brigham Young, Part III: Big Budget Film About Utah Not Shot In Utah

brigham_young_porter_3

By Clint Wardlow, UtahGothic.com Big Budget Film about Utah Not Shot in Utah Surprisingly, considering how many western were made in Southern Utah, none of the principal photography of Brigham Young was shot in Utah. It was lensed almost entirely in the studio and at California locations. The Sierra Nevadas stand in for the Wasatch Mountains during the famous "This Is the Place" scene. Most of the wagon train footage was stolen from a couple of Hollywood westerns. The famous Mormon handcarts are conspicuously absent, replaced instead by traditional covered wagons, probably so Hathaway could match his shots with the stock footage. In contrast, the scenes of Nauvoo and early Salt Lake City are lovingly recreated. Zanuck spent a lot of cash to build these sets. To add to the authenticity, composer Alfred Newman used real Mormon hymns to underscore the music he wrote for the movie. In particular, "The Spirit of God Like A Fire Burns" by Mormon composer William W. Phelps is an important motif in Newman's score. An odd footnote is that Jagger, whose acting career was pretty much launched by Brigham Young (he later would win a Best Supporting Oscar for Twelve O'clock High), married a Mormon and converted in 1972.

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The Making of Brigham Young, Part II: Brigham Young Gets the Royal Treatment

By Clint Wardlow, UtahGothic.com Brigham Young gets the Royal Treatment Brigham Young was budgeted at a lavish $1.4 million. Producer Darryl F. Zanuck also took a personal interest in the film. He saw it as a parallel to the modern day plight of the Jews in Nazi Germany. At the time of release many reviewers commented the story was more "about the 1940s than the 1840s." To get the most bang for his buck, Zanuck brought on Henry Hathaway to direct and Lamar Trotti to turn Louis Broomfield's story into a script. Zanuck cast his biggest stars, Tyrone Powers and Linda Darnell, to play the romantic leads. For the role of Brigham Young, unknown Dean Jagger was selected.

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