Friday, December 28, 2007

Strange Bedfellows

[News] This week's City Weekly includes a news story updating the activities of several of 2007's cover feature profiles. Among the updates was cyber-squatter Robert Paisola. While doing research on Paisola's latest shenanigins, it transpired that he and another recent cover subject, Black Chandelier founder and designer Jared Gold, have something in common. Namely the apparently defunct fashion magazine Rene.

This free Salt Lake City-based glossy bi-monthly debuted in January, supposedly had a second issue, then vanished from sight. If you visit Rene's abandoned MySpace site you find Gold listed as a contributing writer. Paisola is featured under the executive team, listed as director of international operations. He's wearing an extraordinarily colorful shirt and a wide grin.

Quite how you interpret that grin is an intriguing question. Paisola loves the camera, no matter who's behind the lens. He's got a new sex offenders registry photo up on the state Website and it displays exactly, but exactly the same white-toothed grin. (Stephen Dark)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Turn Around. Go Home.

[Overpopulation] Somehow, stories like this always show up in the mainstream media underscored by a breathless quality. It's like, "hey we're first in something, right here in Utah! We're really somebody!"

To the contrary, every story about Utah gaining new population depresses the hell out of me. It's partly that I know our leaders throw their arms around this growth without ever really planning for it. Beyond that, though, there's an unsettling mirage at work here. We're always fooling ourselves into thinking the space in Utah--in the whole West for that matter--is endless. It's because we haven't yet devised a way to sweat every inch of land into development (Check out this Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance update to see how hard we're trying).

We have too many people here, and we live in a desert. We don't have enough water to accommodate all this growth. Never will. It's fascinating that the other two states with the biggest population gains are Arizona and Nevada. They don't have any water either. Let's see how breathless and excited these growth stories sound a month from now, when pea-soup pollution has enveloped the Wasatch Front. And when the state Legislature is tightening its fists against adequate funding for booming growth in public schools and the higher ed system. (Holly Mullen)

I Danced America & So Can You

[Local Music] Salt Lake City DJ crew Ted Dancin' (a trio that happens to feature my boyfriend but that in all honesty rocked my world long before we got together) played a special show last Friday with local pop-rockers Future of the Ghost who absolutely killed with the tightest set this writer has seen from them to date. Catch the band before they hit the road for a months-long tour this spring.

Ghost leader Will Sartain's old project The Tremula (which evolved from indie group Redd Tape) will also stage a reunion show of sorts tonight at The Urban Lounge. I saw Sartain along with fellow members Sean, John and Scotty packed together in a car last night and thought for moment that we'd flashed back to 2004. Don't miss this opportunity to trip down memory lane.

You can also get in on Ted Dancin' action this New Year's Eve (again at Urban) when the party gets real with Salt Lake City rockers The Wolfs. If the NYE shindig is anything like last Friday, prepare to sweat. In typical fashion, the packed crowd rocked hard all night, gaining speed on request hits including "We Built This City (On Rock & Roll" and, well, to be honest, it's all kind of a blur. Expect an eclectic mix of James Brown, Salt n' Pepa, Hall & Oates, LCD Soundsystem, Michael Jackson, etc. Also, this could be one of your last chances to see The Wolfs for a while as they plan to duck out and focus on recording a much-anticipated album until it's done, son. (Jamie Gadette)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What I Did on My Xmas Va-ca

[Lost Weekend] We actually got a couple of days off here at City Weekly for Xmas--of course, we had to pile in twice as much work ahead of time and we're now behind for next week, but who's complaining? Never mind. Here's how I spent my holly-jolly weekend:

Friday: Early evening, I went to SLUG's Death By Salt III album release (vinyl + digital download, both extremes covered). It was freezing outside, but Eagle Twin just sounds better from a distance. Then came Terrence DH's latest power trio, Danger Hailstorm, with some vintage '90s power rawk--vintage, as in technically competent. Then some homeless kids grabbed instruments and began bashing away like Ritalin-deprived monkeys ... oh, there were a featured band? Anyway ...

Then it was off to the debut of the Voodoo Darlings Burlesque troupe at the Wood Shed. The joint was jammed wall-to-wall, most maybe expecting a more sexed-up show than what they got: a somewhat musical-theater-y version of a burlesque show, with dancing and singing from a small group of women backed by a live band. More subtle and artsy than SLC's best-known troupe, the Slippery Kittens, but just as entertaining--and different enough to stave off any territorial catfights. Yeah, sorry.

Saturday: Plan-B Theatre Company's well-marketed Gutenberg! The Musical! is as funny as you've heard--and intimate. They don't stress that it's in Rose Wagner's Black Box Theatre, which is just as well: walking into the small dark room puts your senses off just enough to take in a musical about the inventor of the printing press, performed by just two men and several dozen character-defining ballcaps. I stared at two caps, "Rats" and "Feces," all night wondering how the hell are those coming into play? They did, and quite musically. See Gutenberg! before it ends this weekend, trust me.

Sunday: Wrapping presents and drinking. Multitasking.

Monday: Drinking, admiring wrapped presents, watching Bad Santa on a loop.

Tuesday: Xmas brunch and playing Wii Bowling, followed by Wii Snowboarding. I'd rather bowl for real, but did appreciate staying out of actual snow.

Then it was off to the Regency Theater for the opening day of Juno, the new indie "it" comedy of the season. It lives up to the hype and then some, but the Regency didn't seem to be expecting actual patrons on Xmas; maybe one employee runs back and forth between the concessions and the projector, couldn't tell. Go see Juno, though--don't waste your money on shit about zombies and chipmunks (if only they could combine the two ...). (Bill Frost)

Ditch that Rum Cake!

[Media] Salt Lake City's two daily newspapers have their own unique Food sections today--sort of a consumer help sheet on holiday desserts. See which version you find more to your liking--or at least representative of living in this actual universe:

At the Deseret Morning News:

And at The Salt Lake Tribune:

Bottoms Up! (Holly Mullen)

Declaration of Nothing

[Forced Patriotism] is reporting on a bill in the works for the 2008 state legislative session that would require all public school classrooms to display the United States flag and a copy of the Declaration of Independence on site. The Deseret Morning News is reporting a fuller version of the story.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Allen Christensen (R-North Ogden), is liste
d on the Utah State Legislature Web site as "in process." That can mean various things, including going through legal review.

Unfortunately, there is no process for weeding out dumb, time-wasti
ng bills (other than through House and Senate leadership, whose job it is to NOT waste taxpayer time and money by weeding out dumb bills before they ever reach committee). My brain is fairly musty with memories of going to public school in Utah, I remember every Utah public classroom I attended always had a U.S. flag on site.

As for the Declaration of Independence, what is that really supposed to teach a 10-year-old? If we're really going to mandate the exhibition of patriotic documents, it's the
U.S. Constitution that ought to be handily available for every kid in the state. But then it
is a radical document, filled with all sorts of threatening ideas. The First Amendment alone might teach the little rascals the power of a free mind, a free pen (or computer keyboard) and the freedom to protest and launch a petition against a governmental authority with which they disagree--our dumb Legislature, for instance. (Holly Mullen)

The Other May Tag ...

[Rocky Watch] The holidays remain in effect until after New Year's ... so, at the risk of contributing to the general Christmas hangover, I wanted to share an e-card sent by a friend of mine over the long weekend. Photoshop job? Cocktail party gone bad? True love? You be the judge. (Brandon Burt)

Salt Lake Tribune to Launch New Super Blog

[Media] In keeping with its constant battle for relevance and readership in this whiz-bang, on-line era, The Salt Lake Tribune will launch a whole new, uber-blog shortly after the first of the year.

Salt Blog has learned that longtime Tribune
staff writer Glen Warchol will assume the new post. Warchol, 55, has been with the paper for 10 years and has covered the general assignment, military affairs, legislative and state government beats.

Here at City Weekly, we also appreciate that Warchol has done his time in the alternative newspaper trenches. In previous lives, he was an editor at the defunct Twin Cities Reader in Minnesota and at the Village Voice Media-owned Dallas Observer

Warchol says he'll be responsible for posting constantly throughout the day, with peak production times coming between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.--when newspaper Web sites receive their heaviest on-line traffic. In establishing this position, the Trib
follows nearly every other major daily in the country. Most papers have set up full-time blogs to sort through and update news stories worldwide for local relevance and to link readers easily to other sites.

Currently, the Trib publishes several beat-specific blogs. Those will continue. Warchol's big bad blog will simply take readers to greater dimensions, and all day long. At least that's what publisher William Dean "Dinky" Singleton and Trib editor Nancy Conway hope. Conway is said to have embraced the super blog concept--going so far out on a limb that she'll support an "edgy" (daily newspapers love
that word) voice and Warchol's editorial freedom to be snarky, maybe even kinda-sorta profane (in a family newspaper way).

Oh, and in City Weekly's
time-honored obligation to full disclosure, Warchol is my ex-husband and cohort in many past journalistic pursuits.

The Trib
hasn't decided on a name for the blog. But the acerbic Warchol tells me he has his own suggestion: "I want to call it 'King Rat.'" (Holly Mullen)

Friday, December 21, 2007

... Don't we all?

[Unintentional Smut] Massage schools are so ubiquitous in Salt Lake City these days and the market so competitive, you know masseurs must always be looking for ways to provide a little something extra for their clients.

According to the
D-News headline, "syrupy touches" aren't the only things Ute fans like ...
(Brandon Burt)

Puttin' the X in Xmas

[Deadlines & Deadbeats] So we've been slacking on the blog this week--are you going to tell us that you've actually been productive around your office? Didn't think so.

We City Weekly folk are far too busy eating, drinking and slapping together two issues around ridiculous deadlines, so this the last you're going to get from us today. Merry Xmas, everybody!

So much for the sentiment below, huh? (Bill Frost)

Happy Everything

[Joy] We at City Weekly are winding down for Christmas, signing off on our last few pages for our Dec. 27 issue. It's late afternoon, the Winter Solstice is upon us. The light outside our Main Street window is shifting; the snow is glistening with the last bit of daylight.

We're just beginning to drink shots of cranberry vodka. Soon, we'll pop corks on the champagne.

We started this blog a couple of years ago. It was mostly up to Web master Bill Frost and a few plucky writers to feed it. They worked hard. Now we're all trying to keep it going. But we may take a fews day off for some holiday cheer. We'll be back.

Thanks for hitting on us. Oh, that didn't sound good. Thanks for reading us. All the better if you write a few comments in reaction to our posts. We like social intercourse.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. All. Of. It. (Holly Mullen)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jamie Lynn Spears Spawns

[Teen Spawning] Old fart that I am, I was listening to the news on KSL radio this morning. Some national entertainment reporter was all a go-go about Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney's 16-year-old sister. Jamie Lynn is pregnant. But you knew that.

This being a day-after the news broke story, the reporter had to put a consumer-friendly spin on it. She found a psychologist. The question was what should a parent tell a 10-year-old daughter who loves Jamie Lynn that her TV hero is knocked up? Teen idols being knocked off pedestals and all, I guess.

"It's a very difficult situation for parents..." said the shrink, and she psychobabbled on.

It's doesn't seem so hard. I'd try this: "Don't be acting like that fake-baked slut and go out getting pregnant at 16 and bringing a baby home for me to raise."

(Holly Mullen)

The Power of Advertising

[Vice Patrol] Local burlesque troupes like the Slippery Kittens and ... who else? ... slipped through several months worth of performances at local clubs before being asked/ordered by the Vice Squad to get licensed or cover up. Those were more innocent times.

Voodoo Darlings Burlesque, a new troupe that has yet to even debut onstage in SLC, has been advertising in City Weekly for the last two weeks--and got a call from the boys who work in blue just yesterday. Was it because of the ads? Let's say yes, and top it off with "Advertising in City Weekly really works!"

That fully-licensed XXXmas burlesque show takes place tomorrow night, Dec. 21, at the Wood Shed, 60 E. 800 South (private club for members, natch), 'round midnight after a night of music and, says here, "1,000 Santas." Let's hope those Clauses have their paperwork in order. (Bill Frost)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

PETA and Their Prison Partners

[Prison Food] Could there be stranger bedfellows than PETA and people doing time in prison?

Believe me, the animal-loving vegans at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals see the irony. Nonetheless, they have cheerfully aligned themselves with some of America's most violent people in recognizing several state prisons for the animal-friendly foods being served to inmates.

PETA, based in Norfolk, Va., recently surveyed state prisons in all 50 states to determine how animal-friendly their institutional menus are. Newsweek decided to write about the effort in the Dec. 17
issue. PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt says while not all corrections officials responded, "most were receptive." Utah's Division of Corrections ranks sixth in the animal-rights organization's survey for systems that offer the most vegetarian and vegan options to prisoners, says Rajt.

"Utah is very progressive in offering its prisoners delicious meat-free items," says Rajt. "It's pretty standard fare nowadays for most prisons to offer veggie burgers and dogs, but we gave extra points to states like Utah for being imaginative."

Well, who knew that the words "progressive" and "Utah" would land back-to-back on PETA's agenda--or anyone's agenda, for that matter?

At our own beloved Point of the Mountain, the Big House offers veggie meatballs, tofu and veggie chow mein, rice and tofu casseroles and other "delicious" options, Rajt says.

Guess what? Our own redneck neighbor to the north--Idaho (ironically, it's shaped like a pork chop)--ranked first in the PETA rankings. Massachusetts, Hawaii and yes, North Dakota also fall in the top 10.

I called state corrections spokesman Jack Ford for a comment on this big accolade, but he didn't phone back yet. He will. I know it's something our state prison would want to trumpet. My skepticism tells me it's much cheaper to feed the cons a starchy, soy-based diet (soy's shelf life, as most vegans know, is close to permament), and the vegan options have little to do with a sudden switch to holistic health in Bluffdale.

Still, Rajt tells me it's not so surprising that men and women doing time for various heinous crimes like murder, rape, armed robbery and child sex abuse would be going vegan and trying to eat more healthily.

"There are people in prison sincerely interested in changing from a more violent lifestyle to one that respects life, including animal life," she says. "We're happy to help people who want to make the transition to meat-free in any way we can."

Rajt says PETA has sent several prisoners the organization's vegetarian "starter kit," which includes free and tasty recipes--all of them vegan--for favorites like pot pies, casseroles, cakes and cookies. Go
here if you want one, too.

BTW, what effect do you think an all-vegan diet might have on the re-offender rate? Feel free to weigh in. (Holly Mullen)

It's Party Time

[Liquor Laws] Yee-haw, it's my favorite time of month. The agenda for the monthly meeting of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission just arrived.

Just for yucks, you can download the DABC winter 2007 newsletter and read all about those bad people who violated liquor laws (like maybe someone sold you an illicit sidecar with that watery margarita).

Well...let's just dig into the lil' ol' DABC's bag-o-tricks and see what's in store for this Thursday's meeting:

1. Looks like adherents of that annual exercise in shameless star sniffing, the Sundance Film Festival, will have plenty to whet their whistles! There are "single event permit applications" aplenty for all those temporary iniquity dens that help keep Park City on the map every year. Guzzling will go on at Park City lodges, and a mall, and at the Elks Lodge. There's a Park City yoga studio of a mind to party, too. E&J Gallo Winery will be doing business as Turning Leaf Vineyards, so they need a permit for "The Leaf Lounge at Sundance 2008."

Call me a cynic, but I don't expect there to be much friction surrounding the permit process for Gallo and the rest of the Sundance gang.

2. Meantime, everyone else scrambling to make money on serving libations looks pretty tame. Those crazy lounge lizards, Knights of Columbus Council #1129, want a temporary alcohol permit for their "Roaring 20s Night" at St. Mary's Church Parish Center in Park City on Feb. 2. And St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church in Holladay is doing the "Rat Pack at the Stardust," also Feb. 2.

3. My favorite permit request: Catering firm Western Food Services is seeking a temporary permit for Jan. 18 through Feb. 17 at downtown's Rose Wagner Theater for
Menopause, the Musical. Hmmm. Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Hand over the hormone supplements, DABC, and no one gets hurt!

(Holly Mullen)

God Bless Them Utah County Women

[Busted] I tell you Utah county women will never stop smiling--there's something reassuring in that ... and disturbing as well.

While it's pretty apparent that Lacey Plaisted, wife of BYU basketball center Trent Plaisted, who was picked up last weekend in Springville for DUI was just loopy from pain meds--you still gotta admit she's looking pretty damn peppy for a mugshot. (Eric S. Peterson)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Sugar House Siege: Day 1

[News-ish] The new Sugar House Blue Boutique has now been open for seven hours. The earth has yet to open and swallow the community into the depths of hell. We'll keep following this story as it develops. Courage. (Bill Frost)

Closer to Home

[Follow-Up] The current City Weekly cover story features two young Hispanic artists, Jesus Silva and Marisela Perez, finding their lives in a new dance by choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen. Friday night Silva and Perez went to see the dance, "Lost," at the Rose Wagner Theater. Their mentor Walt Hunter went with them. After the sold-out performance, Silva and Perez went to Ririe-Woodbury's Christmas party and mingled with the dancers and Ririe-Woodbury founder Joan Woodbury. "They were treated like celebrities," Hunter says.

Meanwhile, in Tijuana the next day, Jose Hernandez got off an aeroplane. Hernandez's idea for a club, a place where undocumented Hispanic kids--kids without a country--could go, was the genesis for what became the "Lost" project.

Hernandez landed in Tijuana having just been deported by the U.S. government after serving 11 months for a gun possession conviction. Deportees are not allowed to enter Mexico without money. Hernandez had $100. Within the hour, he and another deportee were arrested by local cops and robbed.

"The cops know who we are, they know what the deal is," a frightened Hernandez told Hunter on the phone. With no family in Tijuana and no money, quite how Hernandez will survive is open to question. (Stephen Dark)

Todd Herzog: Survivor!

[TV] Utah's own Todd Herzog won Survivor: China Sunday--now the local media has to cover a gay Mormon! You'd at least expect 'em to cover it accurately: Last night, KUTV 2's Brian Mullahy was taken aback by Herzog's admittance to having lied and cheated to win, which pretty much says Mullahy's never seen two seconds of Survivor. Today, The Deseret Morning News reported that, on Herzog being a gay Mormon, "neither topic came up even once during ... the series—at least not in anything that was seen by viewers at home." Also bullshit, as seen in this clip from Episode 7:

(Bill Frost)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wreck the Halls

[Xmas] Morning radio jock vids are usually, well, crap, but this from NYC's Scott & Todd borders on idiot genius. Unless Amy Winehouse turns up dead over the weekend. Then, not so much ...

(Bill Frost)

Oh, Those Wiccans!

[Hexed] A U.S. government official named Ginger Cruz disciplined her employees by threatening to curse them with magick. She does have a cool name--but she sounds like the boss from Hades.

It's odd to note that there are Wiccans in the State Department. On the other hand, it was always my impression that real Wiccans were not supposed to go running around hexing people willy-nilly. Kinda gives the whole broom business a bad name.

Incidentally, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction is located in a place called Crystal City. Now it's starting to make sense ... (Brandon Burt)

Friday Letters Round-Up

  • My name is Jerry Borrowman and I endorse Orrin Hatch.
  • Bing Crosby is a godless liberal plot. And "White Christmas" was written by a Jew! And "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is blasphemy. Blasphemy, I say!
(Brandon Burt)

New Year's Eve? Already?

[Party] Yes, the messages are coming in already: "What's going on New Year's Eve?" Sheesh, can't we at least get Christmas out of the way first?

Anyway, the list is by no means complete at this point, but here are a dozen Dec. 31 musical happenings in the area that we're aware of--if you have more, post 'em in a comment so we can include as many as possible:

Blackhole, Xur @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State

Die Monster Die @ Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State

DJ Matrix @ Tony’s, 3165 S. 1300 East

DJ Radar @ Area 51, 451 S. 400 West

DJ Rebel & Tallman @ Monk’s, 19 E. 200 South

DJ Ryan Powers & Electric Space Jihad @ The Depot, 400 W. South Temple

First Night SLC @ Downtown Salt Lake City

Massacre at the Wake, Cave of Roses @ Club Vegas, 445 S. 400 West

Patter Starts, Tolchock Trio, Future of the Ghost @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West

?uestlove @ Harry O’s, 427 Main, Park City

The Wolfs, Ted Dancin’ @ The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East

Tribute to Sinatra’s Rat Pack @ Rose Wagner Theater, 138 W. 300 South
(Bill Frost)

Damn Juicers

[Sports] I know that nothing in the Mitchell Report on drug use in pro baseball should shock me.

The only mystery to the 20-month investigation, whose results broke yesterday, was which big-league players would get caught in the net of corruption.
Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, blah, blah, blah. All of them looking like industrial-sized freezers with a set of arms and legs, and we're supposed to be somehow shocked at the revelations of regular steroid use?

I'm a lifetime lover of baseball, but I'm also a grownup. At some point I came to grasp the truly corrupting power of money in this and all pro sports. So I'm not going to lose a lot of sleep over this story.

But then there is my 16-year-old son. Sam is in love with baseball, has been since he wore a Onesie and could pitch a Nerf across the living room. He knows every team roster, every trade, can spit out player stats and trade rumors in his sleep. He played in Little League, Babe Ruth and on every rec team we could find. Sam's number on his last jersey was 10. He was a hot outfielder and his nickname was "Ten-acious."

And all Sam could say after hearing the names of players suspected of doping was this: "They're all just juicers."

I'm sorry. It's one thing for me, the jaded mom who's seen it all, to shrug my shoulders at this league-wide implosion. But hearing the tone of resignation in Sam's voice--the "they all do it" acceptance of the thing--pretty much tore me up. Add to this the constant "don't do drugs" messages pounding kids at every juncture, while their biggest sports heroes routinely shoot up in their trainer's office and nothing makes sense anymore.

I couldn't even tell my teenager the usual stock fallback answer of "oh no, they don't all do it." Because it looks like they do. I know Clemens, scrambling to spin his way out of this mess and angling for a way to worm into the Hall of Fame, will never know my lanky, goofy kid--who hung on every pitch he ever hurled. But I hate what message Clemens and the rest have left with him.

They're all just juicers. And I hope they all go down.

(Holly Mullen)

Fair & Balanced Radio

[Smut/Meth News] A KSL radio news broadcaster, announcing that Blue Boutique will open any day now, referred to its windows as featuring "Santa's helpers dressed rather provactively," as an example of the kind of lewd smut the Boutique's neighbors will have to endure, turn away from etc. Whatever the merits of the arguments on either side of the pro and con fence, let's inject a little reality into our coverage. Rather provocative? What the hell does that mean? Is this a sly dig at plunging cleavage, long legs, or thrusting bosoms on the mannequins? If we're talking T&A, then let's do it. Where's the glorious Lenny Bruce when you need him?

I also caught the radio ad campaign designed to get folks off meth this morning on KSL Newsradio. "My mom's on meth" some sweet young girl intones, then her mother talks about the hell of her life and we cut back and forth between addict and abandoned child. Mother disappears for a year, mother returns presumably after rehab, court dates, urine analyses, then we finish with a twee piano twinkle. For anyone who has sat through a few days of, for example, Judge Andrew Valdez's juvenile court, the agonisingly harsh reality of meth addiction and what it does to families is almost too painful to bear. This ad campaign with its Christmasy-like sickliness will have as much effect on getting meth-head moms to straighten out as "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" will impact on traffic accident deaths. (Stephen Dark)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pull Yer Head Out Lehi City

[News] KSL pointed out that Lehi is upping the costs for public record request of city documents. Indicating that they may even charge as much as $50 an hour to find documents for the public.

Who are you people? Is it wrong for me to assume that finding "records" is the not part of a city "recorder's" normal job description? That it is such a heinous task that they need to be paid extra money to do these searches?

Worst of all is further discouraging citizen activism. The public does not need to be discouraged from looking up dirt on their elected officials. In fact they should be encouraged to do it.

That's why I propose we bring market forces to bear on apathetic citizenry. I propose cities actually offer their citizens tax breaks for records requests they find that reveal heinous scandals about their elected officials. It could be the newest craze, like geocaching, and also serve a public good at the same time. (Eric S. Peterson)

Santa Claus Is Comin' ... Again and Again

[Holidays on Ice] Confusion over the Santa Pub Crawl has me deeply concerned.

The crawl splintered into various factions in 2006 when, after 10 years, Babs DeLay decided she'd had enough of trying to organize the 300-member event. In the interest of helping perpetuate a nice tradition, I've devoted my Lake Effect space to the pub crawl for the past two weeks. I called Babs for a quote--which may have ended up adding to the confusion:

Derek Meik finally discovered a flyer advertising a Santa Crawl Friday, Dec. 14. The same week, after I called, Babs decided to step into the fray and take out an ad--which said the crawl will be Saturday, Dec. 15. Unfortunately, Babs didn't think to notify me (and, really, why would she?) and, by chance, I stumbled across the ad moments before we went to publication Tuesday. There was no time to cross-check the information, so now my column in the same issue points toward the ad but pimps a different crawl. Confused readers are now asking which one is real.

Both are, apparently. You want to dress up like Santa and go bar-hopping, nothing's stopping you. I guess it's a testament to the grassroots, "coyote politics" nature of this event that nobody can get it together.

And then, today, I received this:(Brandon Burt)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Your New Favorite Band

[Music-ish] While the Morally Outraged Pinheads are going nuts over regular-size rubber penises in Sugar House, look what's flopping around at Monk's downtown:

That's SLC's Heathen Ass Worship. Start your protest group now; they'd love the publicity. (Bill Frost)

Pundits Gone Wild!

[Politics] MSNBC talking head Larry O'Donnell let loose on presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Mormons in general on PBS' McLaughlin Group recently. Since nobody watches The McLauglin Group, we've graciously posted the video for your convenience:

(Bill Frost)

Mess With The Oprah...

[Claymates Attack] A few years ago I wrote some back-handed blurb about Clay Aiken and proceeded to watch my inbox flood with hate mail. One woman literally wanted me to die for my atrocious sin.

Turns out someone posted the blurb on an Aiken fansite, which resolved the whole "why is every one of these letters from the deep South?" mystery. I never thought someone could inspire as much ire as the one-time Idol runner-up. Then I saw this. Hee hee. Talk about increasing web traffic. Maybe I should dig up that old Aiken blurb? (Jamie Gadette)

Religious Catfight Continues

[Politics] Mike Huckabee is said to be planning a rebuttal in the New York Times to Romney's faith speech for not addressing the more peculiar tenets of the faith. Today's DesNews article said the Huckabee editorial would pose the question "Do Mormons believe Jesus and the Devil Are Brothers?"

My prediction is that the editorial will not directly pose that question. My guess is that just as Romney hinted at addressing comprehensively the controversial elements of his faith and then just recited an eloquent "noneofyourdamnbusiness" faith speech, so too will Huckabee just throw out this teaser of assuming that Mormons consider Jesus and Satan as siblings to draw the most press from an article that will most likely not directly confront mormon beliefs or even make the assertion that Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are bros, but will rather attack Romney for not elaborating on said belief and how they affect his policies.

So the orthodox grudge match continues. The only thing I find amazing is that Utah pundits acted like Romney's faith speech was the last word in this debate. People really should've stopped patting themselves on the back and stepped outside of the beehive to see what the nation's reaction was to the speech.

While KSL Newsradio's Doug Wright proclaimed that "he knocked it out of the ballpark," southern evangelicals everywhere were still shaking their heads. While a very presidential Romney appeared on the cover of all the dailies 'round here with bold headlines like "Symphony of Faith" posing Mitt as the maestro, a gallup poll done right after the speech shows one in six americans won't vote a mormon president and that republicans were only one percentage point less likely to rule out voting in a Mormon candidate for their party.

Way to go Mitt, now you've really clinched the Mormon vote.

It's funny but you'd think these republican candidates would try and figure another way to win the south, like for example even pretending to court the african american vote. But I guess then they would have to show up for the events. (Eric S. Peterson)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

No Sleigh for You

[Santa Action] What is the Christmas season all about? Why, two things, of course: 1. Santa Claus, and 2. getting stuff for free.

The Canyons resort combines those two elements on Saturday, Dec. 15 for its "Santas Ski Free" day. Be one of the first 50 people to arrive at The Canyons between 8 and 9 a.m. dressed in full Santa regalia--not just a beard and hat, slackers--and you'll get to ski for free on all this wonderful fresh powder. It's like a Christmas miracle! (Scott Renshaw)

No, But Thanks For Asking

[Ink] People often ask me (usually in a disparaging tone) whether or not I will regret my tattoo, five, 10 or 50 years down the line. It's possible, but I will never regret it for the most frequently cited reason: ability to get a decent job. In fact, part of the reason I got inked in the first place was to remind myself to never, ever wind up in a dead-end cubicle job. Worst case scenario: I will (*gasp*) wear a long-sleeved shirt! I understand that tattoos are still somewhat shocking and subversive, but I really get tired of people questioning my intelligence and even morality based on their quick assessment of my colorful skin. I recently stumbled upon the following site dedicated to professionals with significant body art. Take a look:

While you're at it, get ready for the next
Salt Lake City International Tattoo Convention. Shall be a great time. (Jamie Gadette)

Made Our Lists, Check Them Twice

[Music] Just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping needs, we bring you our favorite albums of 2007:


White Denim - Let's Talk About It
One of the best bands to appear at South By Southwest last spring, this awesome Austin drum-bass-guitar trio proved you don't need a badge to rock. They played a killer unofficial, blogger-sponsored day party that left each and every lucky early riser craving more than just free BBQ. We had to wait a few months before WD committed anything to record and maybe three more weeks for Slowtrain to special order a few copies of the vinyl/CD release. It’s available on iTunes, but we prefer the real deal. Get. It. Now.

Handsome Furs – Plague Park
You might recognize Handsome Furs singer Dan Boeckner from his work with Wolf Parade (he's the voice that doesn't verge on a yodel). Plague Park refers to an actual place in Helsinki where 17th century plague victims are purportedly buried. The morbid reference informs Park's hollow, minimalist sound that aches with every fatalistic musing (“Life is long/and hollow) and tinny drum-machine crash (courtesy of Boeckner's fiance/writer/beatmaker Alexei Perry). Heavy stuff, but not too depressing if you've come to terms with post-industrialism and looming apocalyptic doom. Interestingly enough, Boeckner claims to have listened to a lot of Liars while writing and recording Park, which brings us to...

Liars – Liars
“Plaster Casts of Everything” is one of the year's best songs, hands down. I love Liars' primal energy, especially when they let loose with a tune that clocks in under ten minutes. It makes me want to drive off a cliff. In a good way. Too bad most of the kids at their SLC show deemed them too loud and abrasive for dancing. Waaaaaah. Go buy some jeans or something.

Miles Davis - The Complete on the Corner Sessions
This six-disc box set, the eighth and final installation in the deluxe Miles Davis Series, combines 1972’s On the Corner with 1974’s Big Fun and Get Up With It, including two hours of previously un-issued material. Those new or averse to traditional jazz might find this collection more accessible than Davis’ earlier, arguably more conventional releases, with its groundbreaking experiments that helped lay the foundation for contemporary rock and hip-hop. Each listen brings new revelations, from the first driving thump of Michael Henderson’s dammmnnn-that’s-funky bass to Davis’ discordant Vincent Price organ on the mind-blowing standout “Rated X.”

Music from the Motion Picture I’m Not There – Various Artists
I know—compilations and soundtracks have no place on a year-end list, but surely we can make an exception for Bob Dylan? I've never been a fan of the folk legend's voice, but after hearing 34 artists including Stephen Malkmus, Cat Power, Calexico, Sonic Youth, Karen O, Tom Verlaine and John Doe covering some of his less obvious songs, I have an even greater appreciation for him as a master songwriter. Nearly all of the contributors (save for Hold Steady and Willie Nelson) manage to evoke both Dylan’s style and their own signature deliveries.

Apostle of Hustle – National Anthem of Nowhere
Broken Social Scene guitarist Andrew Whiteman’s pet project combines Canadian indie-rock aesthetic with a longstanding passion for traditional Cuban rhythms. Smart and sensual, their second full-length album takes you on a journey to places both familiar and unexpected. Not a bad record to pair with a nice rioja.

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
This album came out just as I nearly tired of the group’s tremendous debut. One can only hear “Wake Up” so many times without turning to her old Bruce Springsteen records. Speaking of Springsteen, guess whose influence is felt on several Bible tracks? The band recently gave a nod to this uncanny comparison by inviting the Boss onstage to perform “Keep the Car Running” and Springsteen’s “State Trooper.” I love them even more now.

!!! – Myth Takes
The band with the best interpretive name since Prince’s symbol years scores again with more electronic disco-punk. Like the group’s previous efforts, this album kills on attitude alone. There’s something so deliciously naughty about Nic Offer’s crude narratives (“she said 'u just got me hot/ I finished off while you were snoring”). Now that’s something you can thrust your pelvis to!

Band of Annuals – Let Me Live
From their days as Annuals to their current incarnation, Band of Annuals has always impressed. In all honesty, they had me at pedal-steel. The instrument’s mournful tone, paired with gorgeous harmonies, really drives home Jay Henderson’s tales of whiskey and heartbreak, redemption and friends thicker than blood. This group is going places.

Low – Drums and Guns
Haunting and graceful, this album turned me on to a band I should have listened to long ago.


Deerhunter –Cryptograms LP, Fluorescent Grey EP
When I saw Deerhunter open for The Ponys on Easter Sunday of this year, I was not prepared for the visceral sonic downpour that bypassed my skin entirely and saturated my bones. I wish someone would have photographed my face the second Deerhunter stopped playing, because I’m sure my mouth was hanging wide open. My expression must have been similar to that of one who had just seen a ghost, or a glowing green alien, or a band as good The Velvet Underground in their prime. Until my dying day, I will remember the ferocious sheet of sound cascading from the stage at that show. It was bliss. Cryptograms and Fluorescent Grey continue to captivate and mesmerize me, and they are steadily becoming two of my favorite albums ever, anywhere, period.

Celebration - The Modern Tribe
The Modern Tribe is a joyful dirge. Bursting at the seams with relentless percussion, throaty female vocals, and a mournful organ, it is oddly danceable, dreamy, and somber all at once. The type of album you fall in love with over time, and love for all time.

Billie Holiday- Lady Day: The Master Tapes and Singles
French actress Jeanne Moreau said of Billie Holiday, “She could express more emotion in one chorus than most actresses can in three acts.” This four-disc collection brilliantly showcases the raw emotional spectrum of joy, pain, and longing that made Lady Day a legend. Jubilant “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” on disc one will make your hips swing, whereas achy “Night and Day” on disc four will cleave your heart into two lovesick pieces. These songs are steeped in the blissful intoxication of young love, and the bitter desolation of being double-crossed, overlooked, and broken-hearted. Billie Holiday’s uncanny voice is the ultimate tonic for those who have been smitten or slighted by love.

The Ponys – Turn The Lights Out
I developed this habit of listening to Turn the Lights Out while doing the dishes at the end of the day. I eventually had to listen to something else, because Turn The Lights Out always inspired me to abandon the dishes, shimmy across the kitchen floor iPod commercial style, and track dish soap all over the house. Quite simply, Turn The Lights Out will rock your socks off. It is the perfect marriage of reverb, dueling guitars, and distinctive vocals.

Black Lips –Good Bad Not Evil
I wish I could provide you with an eloquent summation of why I like Good Bad Not Evil so much, but it seems every time I talk about the Black Lips, I morph into a beer-swilling frat boy, and all I can say is “they rock man, Black Lips … WOO!!!” However, instantaneously morphing into a frat boy at the mention of one’s band is a sure sign of top notch rock music. I will say that these Georgia-based flower punks have a roguish Southern charm that reminds me of the rowdy cast of deviants in my own Southern family.

Neil Young—Live at Massey Hall 1971
Yes, I realize it’s 2007 and not 1971, but this devastating live disc from one of the most incisive singer/songwriters of the 20th century provides listeners with plenty of reasons to rejoice in the 21st century. Young’s stark rendition of “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” never fails to unabashedly induce tears in my eyes. Live at Massey Hall reminds us all why Neil Young is a legend.

Low – Drums and Guns
I’ve been a fan of Low since I was 15-years-old. They never cease to amaze me. With every new album, they skillfully add impossibly beautiful flourishes to their sparse sound. My heart skips a beat every time I hear that Low is in the studio, because I know something magnificent is on the way. If you’re searching for a blue hour of downtempo enchantment, Drums and Guns is your record.

St. Vincent – Marry Me
I was initially attracted to St. Vincent (a.k.a Annie Clark) because I thought her songs sparkled. St. Vincent’s fresh, inventive, luscious music is mind-blowingly impressive when you consider that virtually every vocal, sample, and instrument on Marry Me is the work of, well, Clark. Did I mention that this is her debut album, and she was 24-years-old when she recorded it? “Holy Shit,” you say? Yeah, I said the same thing.

Dirty Projectors – Rise Above
Rise Above initially gave me vertigo. My punk-loving ears didn’t know what the make of this vocally spastic collection of recalibrated Black Flags songs. But, after a few skeptical spins, it became a fixture in my CD player. Now I can’t imagine life without it.

Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala
Jens Lekman: latter-day blonde Swedish Morrissey meets Abba. You’ll either fall in love, or never stop throwing up. I fell in love.


10. Big Business - Here Comes the Waterworks
With only two people, the Biz kills it harder than most full metal bands. No use trying to intellectualize this, just lay down on the tracks and let it run over you.

9. Against Me! – New Wave
So what if they signed to a major, AM! are still making the most interesting straight-up punk nowadays. And even at their worst they're still better than the rest.

8. Black Lips – Los Valientes Del Mondo Nuevo
Despite two amazing releases this year from the Black Lips, no other recording has ever captured the drunken mayhem quite as well as Los Valientes. When they exclaim, “This is gonna be the best live record of all time!” you can't help but raise a tequila shot and agree.

7. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
You got no fear of the underdog, that's why you will not survive." No other band could sing a line like that and epitomize everything that's still right with rock and roll.

6. Jay Z – American Gangster
Forget "99 Problems," "Hello Brooklyn 2.0" is the best thing Hova's recorded. Ever.

5. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
What other band can be consistently dark, beautiful, haunting and anthemic? (Joy Division, right ... even though I heard you the first million times you said it)

4. White Stripes – Icky Thump
After the calculated rock he made as part of the Raconteurs, Jack White once again proves that, when let loose, he can be the most creative songwriter/accomplished guitar player in modern music. And whoever's still complaining about Meg White's drumming can keep on listening to the Raconteurs.

3. Radiohead – In Rainbows
Finally, Radiohead fans can breathe a sigh of relief and stop pretending that Hail to the Thief was a good album.

2.5. Black Kids – Wizard of Ahhs EP
Dreamy. Sexy. Pop. Dancey. Songs called "I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You." Free download. Get it.

2. Pharoahe Monch – Desire
It's kind of weird to think that some rappers have gone through their whole careers in the time period between Pharoahe Monch's two albums, but Desire is definitely worth the wait. Soulful, complex, intelligent, and fun, it may also be the most important thing to
happen in rap since his last album, 1999's Internal Affairs.

1. The National – Boxer
Every once in awhile, an album comes out that so selfless, so honest, so beautiful, so brutal, so tender--all at once—that it reaffirms why we listen to music in the first place. Boxer is that album. Listen to "Fake Empire," and let it out--don't even pretend you have something in your eye.


Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
She's a soulful, sexy mess--but the drama overshadowed a great album. It's called talent, Britney.

Arch Enemy - Rise of the Tyrant
Brutal, technical and melodic Euro-metal from hairy Swedes and a scary woman. Their finest hour.

Clutch - From Beale Street to Oblivion
America's smartest rock band goes balls-to-the-blues, grinding CNN through the Deep Purple filter.

The Hives - The Black & White Album
Not a hell of a lot different than its predecessors, but nobody does herky-jerk garage clang better.

MIA - Kala
She's brilliant and annoying, but her second album proved MIA still has plenty more of both in her.

Ministry - The Last Sucker
The "final" Ministry album isn't their best, but Al Jourgensen has enough Dubya hate for all of us.

Patton Oswalt - Werewolves & Lollipops
An instant, rare comedy classic that smokes the failure pile in sadness bowl that is Dane Cook.

Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet
Fuck Radiohead: Fearless prog-rock pushers Porcupine Tree are crazy for concept albums.

Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris
QOTSA's commercial curve continues, but the subversive guts and subliminal sleaze remain intact.

The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Remember when rock bands knew how to play real guitar instead of Guitar Hero? Jack does.


Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
I agree with Bill and my Mother on this one. You know as soon as she stops doing those drugs she will go all Stone Temple Pilots on us, and it's downhill from there.

Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
I like that this one is a bit more mellow than previous albums. They will always have a place in my boys-in-tight-girl-pants heart.

Gary Glitter - Touch Me
There is nothing wrong with new discoveries of old music. There is, however, something wrong with pursuing young boys. Oh Gary ...

Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Screw the video game; Nels Cline is my guitar hero.

Okkervil River - The Stage Names
A different sound from the previous records which will reduce sighs emitted of another alt-country band I love.

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
It punches the dance and dancibility right back into your life.

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Fine, I love it. It's better than all of the other ones put together. Leave me alone.

Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion
Sometimes you have to man up and admit that you like something that is blatantly crappy. For me, it is the song "Love Today."

Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
Stars are poptastic and sweet like honey. With no calories. And not sticky.

Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
OK, not one of his best, but it is worth some listens. Radiohead never sent my damned download key for their album, so I had to squeeze something in here.

See something missing? Let us know!


[Politics] The official Barack Obama campaign headquarters of Utah opened last Saturday (1747 S. 900 West)--yeah, we missed the media blitz, too. You'd think they'd want to alert their friendly neighborhood lefty-leaning weekly newspaper, but apparently not. We're even Friends on MySpace, fergawdsakes.

Obama had a good campaign weekend, inching up the polls as Hillary Clinton is dropping--and how about that Oprah stumping? Trumps Barbara Streisand, if not Tyra.

And now he has another powerful ally: Mormons for Obama, "a group dedicated to bringing together members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormon) who support Barack Obama." Sure, the group only has 103 members at the moment, but just imagine the number-jump when Obama's Utah HQ finally lets someone know they're here! (Bill Frost)

Tis the Season to Make Your Pets Wear Ridiculous Sweaters

[Xmas] Having recently spotted a couple of sweater-sporting dogs, I was hit by a quick flash of shame and embarrasment. Embarrasment mostly for the dogs. It seems only that tiny dogs happen to wear sweaters which must be so awful for them. Tiny dogs already have enough security issues as it is, but add a sweater to that? Just check out the look of dread and repugnance on the face of the little fella pictured here.

But in the interest of fairness, I do have to admit that pet economics happen to put some small hairless little dogs for sale in a climate such as ours that they were not meant for. Personally I don't understand the appeal of hairless animals like those bald cats--good god those are frightening, all skin and evil ... but take chihuahua's for example. Loveable, I suppose but not meant for these rocky mountain environs.

Interestingly enough the strong Mormon knitting culture has recognized this and has made it easy to fashionably clothe your pets. Check out this Utah Made gift for all you lazy knitters to buy, or for the more ambitious heres a fine blog tutorial on knitting your Mormon convert chihuahua a nice sweater for church.

I still believe pets on clothes are awful, but not as bad as letting your dog go cold this winter. (Eric S. Peterson)

What Matters

[Opinion] Wow. This letter to the editor nails it. Peace on Earth y'all. (Holly Mullen)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Come on Feel the Pulse

[Music] This just in: Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow died a couple of weeks ago of ... wait for it ... a cocaine overdose. How does one die of an "accidental" coke OD at the shoulda-been-more-wise age of 52? Hey, that's rock & roll, baby!

In tribute/cautionary tale of cocaine, here's Dr. Rockso from Metalocalypse:

Get Some Culture Damnit!

[Art] Cold winter days are ideal for grabbing a book and sitting next to a fire and a nice window of the December misery below at the Downtown City Library, but it's also a good month for some neat Japanese art on display.

The display running the rest of December, includes great wall hangings, and wood carvings of peaceful pagodas and japanese countryside. Theres a fine Hiroshige display there that struck a chord of uncanny recognition with me because the image of snowy Matsumoto hills and bridges reminded me of my most treasured pog.

That's right, I said pog. I was a member of the pog generation and my most prized one said "tranquility" on it and had nearly the same picture of eastern serenity on it.
Ahh, simpler times. (Eric S. Peterson)

Save Our Pool Boy!

[Real Estate] From California wine country and environs, tragic fallout from the nationwide mortgage mess and record number of home foreclosures.

Life is so unfair. (Holly Mullen)

Still Missing Your Brains & Eggs?

[Nostalgia] All-night diners are hard enough to come by in this town let alone finding one with flamboyance and character. A diner with cult-status? Now that's something to cherish.

Most people did cherish Bill & Nada's Cafe, once inhabiting the space at 479 South and 600 East by Trolley Square, up until it closed … when was it? 1999? They loved the 1950s time warp; the jukebox that played Patsy Cline and Marty Robbins; Bill behind the cash register—or if not there in person, on the wall mural and in photos and memorabilia around the joint; the restaurant’s motto: “We never close”; sassy waitresses donning ‘50s-era uniforms with white aprons; and paper mats featuring Bill and Nada in the center surrounded by U.S president from Washington to Clinton.

After the restaurant closed and was later was torn down, people wondered what happened to the cafe's distinctive sign. At a September 2002 Salt Lake City Historic Landmark Commission meeting, its sad demise was announced:
Mr. Knight said that the prospective owners at that time said they would remove it and install it on the interior of the new building. Mr. Littig said that the owners wanted $500 for it. An offer was made at $100 and the owners would not accept it, then it was found out that a bulldozer crushed the sign. Carmack’s was going to save the sign. Ms. Giraud said that if the corner becomes an office building or a bank, “I would not blame them for not wanting the sign.” The wall mural was destroyed with the building.
Bill & Nada's: Gone but not forgotten. If you miss it or never got to experience its unique charms, a photographer by the name of Bert Singleton has created a photo gallery with memories of the joint. (Jerre Wroble)