Monday, March 31, 2008

Monson Blesses the Jazz

An amusing a little story in the dailies talked about new LDS Prophet Monson making an appearance at the jazz match last Friday against the L.A. Clippers. Apparently the church president is quite a fan, but usually, according to the D-news story, watches from a private box, but on this occasion decided to mingle with the people.

The jovial president seemed as happy as a little kid from his third row seat and caused quite a buzz in the crowd. But the most amazing thing was that during the end of the third quarter President Monson while returning to his seat walked past coach Jerry Sloan and gave the man a friendly pat on the back, or was it more than just a pat....? And no I'm not throwing in a sexual innuendo here folks, far from it, in fact this little excerpt from the D-News story leads me to think this "pat" may have been... a blessing in disguise!

According to the story "He [Sloan] said it was 'fine' after he found out who it was. The jazz even went on to a 27-11 run after his quick visit."

Coincidence eh? That the prophet touched Sloan and then the Jazz immediately took a 16 point run only to conclude the game 121-101 Jazz.

Even more curious in the story is that Sloan remembers feeling the sustaining "pat" turned around to not see anyone there. Sure Monson might have just gotten back to his seat by then, or...he might've teleported back to his seat. I'm just throwing that out there folks, and while I'm at it I'm also gonna throw this out there-- let's get this guy at every game, blessing the whole damn team! Where was Monson Sunday anyways when the jazz were being massacred by the Timberwolves huh? Oh he was probably at church or something, but every other day of the week when there's a game, Monson should be leading the opening of the game with a team "pat/blessing." It could be incorporated into the opening extravaganza, with heavenly laser lights marshaling the Prophet into the arena astride a Harley with the jazz bear in the sidecar, and an entourage of modestly dressed jazz girls bringing up the rear. (Eric S. Peterson)

Every Rose Has Its Horny

Just when you thought Bret Michaels was the sleaziest member of Poison.

CW's Bill Frost swears Rockett was framed.

This just weeks before Michaels is scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City, bringing good tidings of rock ... and, quite possibly, STDs. The aging, bloated and bandana-ed rocker will appear at Club 90 on April 13. CW raunch reporter Dominique will provide a full recap of all the action, from balladry and rawkin' anthems to projectile vomiting and crazed groupies.

"I will make sure and wear like five pairs of underwear so I don't catch anything," she said upon receiving word of her assignment. Dominique is also in talks to appear in the third installment of Michaels' popular reality TV series, Rock of Love Fit Club In Treatment.

Stay tuned. And, if you believe Frost, pray for Rocket.

(Jamie Gadette)

Another Shameless Promo

[Wet Kiss] Gavin Sheehan, who works in the control room at KUTV-channel 2, also keeps a lively blog where, dig this: He actually goes out and interviews live human beings. And he takes pictures, too.

Today, he posted an interview with yours truly, which also previews our big, fat Best of Utah issue scheduled to hit the street this Wednesday/Thursday. Plus, he shot photos of our extremely attractive Main Street offices, some staff members and other paraphernalia.

Don't worry. I gave nothing away about our BOU issue. You'll have to wait like everyone else.

BTW, the photo to your upper right is just a random shot of the City Weekly 2004 BOU cover that I like.

Read Gavin's post for yourself at "Gavin's Underground." (Holly Mullen)

Give Me Freedom or Give Me Spam

[Media] How exactly will complying with this pop-up keep it "free"? Just askin' ... (Bill Frost)

Drop that Remote

[The Great Outdoors] Jeff Osgood, a contributor to Writers on the Range, writes the most cogent essay I've seen yet on why Americans are shunning the great outdoors in record numbers. His points, published in today's Salt Lake Tribune, are original and thought-provoking.

Not too surprisingly, he mostly blames our fascination with all things video.

I watch more than my share of TV and Comcast On Demand movies, believe me. I'm as good a couch-sitter as anyone. But there is a whole wide world out there and--lucky for us--much of it is still within three to five hours driving distance for Utahns.

Depending on the weather, I'm planning on bicycling with two others from West Yellowstone, Mont., to Gardiner, Mont., this weekend through Yellowstone National Park. Cars and trucks are not allowed inside the park until mid-April, so this is our opportunity to see the grand place on two wheels and get close-up views of wildlife before the seasonal noise and traffic take hold. A high-pressure system is predicted to hover over the park. We'll pray for sun.

Besides the problems that Osgood lays out in his essay, I wonder about this: How long will it be before anti-environmental lawmakers start using declining visits to wild places as proof that drilling in these areas really won't hurt anyone? I mean, if people aren't recreating in these places as they once were, what damage will a bit of bulldozing do? Now it's true that national parks and forests are off-limits to that kind of exploration. But declining interest in parks can also lead to serious decreases in federal funding, as well. Think about it.

(Holly Mullen)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bike Porn

I know some people are completely obsessed with their bikes, but this takes things to a whole new level:

Next Friday, April 4, Point Six Percent Productions will host The Pornography of the Bicycle, a screening of 28 short films exploring the theme of bike porn. The works range from contemplative to inventive and, um, fully demonstrative.

"Pornography is difficult thing to define," says bicycle pornographer, Reverend Phil. "Often we use a community standard to decide what is obscene as opposed to just erotic. People often say, 'I know pornography when I see it.' I feel pornography is the visceral reaction we get from something that is so graphic that we must turn away, or is so graphic that we cannot turn away."

The Pornography of the Bicycle orginally screened at Portland's Underground Film Festival (PUFF) in June and is only hitting a few select cities. No DVDs will be available, so if this sounds nuts in the best way possible, get thee to 1130 South Richards Street. Movie starts at 9 p.m. Doors at 8 p.m.

(Jamie Gadette)

Ironically Delicious

With the trib reporting about Kennecott's little snafu in not warning people about an unsound tailings pond that could've ruptured and engulfed entire neighborhoods in Magna, and the decades plus cover-up that followed, most in the community agree that there's going to have to be a little bit of healing before Kennecott can recapture the local trust.

Ironically Kennecott Companies, along with the University of Utah's Office of Sustainability are hosting a two-day workshop called Fostering Sustainable Behavior. Certainly this event was planned before the scoop on Kennecott's incredibly derelict decisions in the 80s to conceal the likelihood of a potential catastrophe. But I sure as shit can't how any speaker is going to with a straight face thank their co-sponsor Kennecott for arranging such a workshop. I can sadly imagine the emcee, probably some poor undergrad introducing the workshop and giving the obligatory props to co-sponsor, Kennecott for social and eco-responsibility, rattling off some PR spin line like this one listed in the press release:

"The Kennecott Utah Companies, Inc. cites this workshop as part of its commitment to sustainable development and long-standing support for education at the University of Utah and in the community. "

*cough except for Magna, cough*

In reality the event looks to be very interesting and informative, but man, for the U's Office of Sustainability, that's one hell of a sponsor to pick in the first few years of a new program trying to encourage a greener citizenry. (Eric S. Peterson)

Christiansen: "You should see his baton!"

[Misheard in the News] What's this I hear about Mark Wahlberg becoming the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's new music director?

What? Mack who?


Never mind.

(Brandon Burt)

Saying Goodbye

[Update] Today's Salt Lake Tribune includes an obituary for Mary Canzater. She died Tuesday night at the age of 57, after a five-month battle with cancer.

Just before doctors informed her that the bowel cancer which had been successfully removed 10 years before had returned, she sat in on a discussion about her son, Chris Hutcherson's battle with cancer, which formed the climax of the City Weekly story, Dying to Live, published last summer.

Chris wanted to pursue a radical new chemo therapy treatment to continue his six-year-long battle with his rare form of cancer. Mary had her reservations about the new treatment, but she was always there, fighting in her son's corner.

Watching her downcast eyes, the sadness on her face as her son struggled to make sense of the medical opinions and the emotional arguments made by hospice employees he was then being advised by, it was striking how much the love she had for her son shone from her features that morning, even at what must have been one of her darker days.

Chris continues to battle his cancer, although it appears he has opted not to continue with chemo therapy. This Saturday his fight will be put aside as he buries his mother at Memorial Estates. (Stephen Dark)

What Would Jesus Blow?

[Easter 2008 Flashback] I am scared.

Two grown men are standing on a makeshift stage in Lone Peak Park, Sandy, huffing and puffing into red hot water bottles. The idea is to make them explode. The bottles resemble enormously swollen, hairless testicles.
What scares me is not the elephantitis of the nuts image, or waiting for the bottles to explode, but rather that something as apparently innocent as an Easter egg hunt—which is what this event was billed as in a local Sandy paper—is actually a stalking horse cum recruitment drive for what appears to be a religious group called, with suitable overtones of right-wing militarism, The Fellowship.

The blowhards are two members of the Strength Team, ex-pro football players and athletes. These self-proclaimed Christians go around the country and perform feats of strength. One of them is also a rapper with his new Christian cd coming out in July. They seek to demonstrate that while they maybe superb physical specimens of humanity, their true strength comes from the gift of Christ's love.

What struck me as odd, if not downright disturbing, was not only that Wal-Mart and Albertsons according to The Fellowship's leader had donated hot dogs and free coke and possibly also the expensive giveaways—bikes, even an iPod—but more that my two little girls, aged 5 and 7, were sucked into chanting, "Go Strength Team, Go!" This while one man broke baseball bats over his knee, another hammered nails through wood with the flat of his hand.

At the end The Strength Team leader, Mike Hagen, had us all bow our heads and pray. At one point he asked us to raise our hand if we needed Mike to intervene spiritually on our behalf if we had a troubled relationship with God. Meanwhile the Prayer Zone was available a few yards away where you could have recurring dreams interpreted.

I should have known the whole thing stank when I got there and they announced free hot dogs and Coke. Nothing's for free. Then there was a name like The Fellowship, the military-esque efficiency with which the quadrangles of Easter eggs [all containing raffle tickets so you had to then go and sit at the feet of the Strength Team while the winners were called out] were laid out. Could there be a more obvious and blatant set-up?

Of course Easter egg hunts come laden with their own symbolism and mainstream religious use. But if I go to a Catholic Easter egg hunt I know what to expect. This little community event left me reeling. As I walked away, many of the crowd were queuing up to meet The Strength Team. I could only wonder about The Fellowship. What kind of a church would have to act in so duplicitous a manner in order to get punters through its front door? (Stephen Dark)

Are you safe in bed?

... Well? Are you?

[Consumer Products] Every night, it's the same checklist: Did you check the closet? Did you look under the bed? Has your spouse
always had that mole, in just that location? Is that toy clown on the rocking chair really just a toy clown? Oh, God, is it moving?

Could it be ...
a terrorist?

If this reminds you of a typical night, the Quantum Sleeper is for you. The Quantum Sleeper's patented technology keeps you safe from all those monsters lurking in the--

--OK, I just can't do this chirpy, faux-ironic happy crap anymore. I'm just ... speechless.
What is wrong with you people? Have you all gone insane?

Why the fuck would a terrorist be interested in gassing
you, of all people? Is your smug existence in Daybreak--or whatever soul-deadening gated community built on hazardous waste you live in--really such a shining example of that happy and wholesome American way of life which supposedly is what makes the terrorists hate us?

Yeah, sure; they're just jealous, is all. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the terrorists have lived all their lives in some fucked-up, intolerant, ultrareligious society and that they're so gullible they actually listen to government flaks explaining why their country's economic competitors du jour are actually
evil incarnate who must be destroyed at all costs, could it?

Kind of like the fucked-up, intolerant, ultrareligious, gullible society this one has turned into thanks in large part to your inability to control your irrational fears? Don't you see how the more you allow fear to control your life, the easier it makes people to pull your strings? It's how Rumsfeld & Co. successfully got us to acquiesce to an untenable war with no realistic exit strategy. It's also how hucksters can get rich selling A-bomb shelters, 72-hour kits and, now, apparently, anti-terror beds.

May the magical hand of the free market direct your discretionary income toward people who sell fear-based products like these: If you're that scared, it's probably all for the best that you've got
a bed with a built-in "toiletry system."

(Brandon Burt)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Buyouts at Singelton's Newspapers

[Media Megalomania] Alternative weekly The San Francisco Bay Guardian reports regularly on the activities of Dean Singleton and his MediaNews Group, parent company of The Salt Lake Tribune. That's because MediaNews owns several newspapers in California and especially in the heavily unionized Bay Area--including The Contra Costa Times, The Oakland Tribune and The San Jose Mercury News.

Late last month, MediaNews offered buyouts to 1,100 employees across the Bay Area. Pressure is building from corporate managers for workers to take the offers or face certain layoffs. And keep reading, for a choice and sympathetic quote from Singleton urging employees to stop living in the past, dammit!

(That's Singleton, on the right in the photo. He's crooning with the Beach Boys' Al Jardine, at some publisher's confab in 2005.)

So far, no similar bad news of buyouts, job cuts or downsizing has reached the Tribune. But even if it had, you wouldn't read about it in agitpropist Connie Coyne's Reader Advocate column--where it's noted every week that the Trib is always trying really, really, really hard to be a good product. So readers, quit bitching about persistent typos. And get out to the ass-end of your driveway to pick up your paper. (Holly Mullen)

What Goes Up, Must Come Down...And Up Again

Next Saturday, April 5, the building that transformed into one of Salt Lake City's coolest art projects to date will be demolished. That's right folks, 337 is finally blowing up. The news comes as somewhat of a relief to most of the local artists involved whose intention from the get go was to create works that most certainly would crumble soon after they were fully formed. The temporary nature of 337 inspired participants to take risks they previously never considered. And while it will be sad to watch the colorful multi-media installation fall to pieces, with its ruin brings the promise of not only a promising exhibit at the Salt Lake Art Center this summer featuring new works by select artists who participated in 337, but also a seven-story structure made from shipping containers (pictured) housing eight residential condo units and an art gallery space on the main floor. Radical. The future is bright.
(Jamie Gadette)

No Love Lost on Jon Jr.

[Veep Wars] So. I'm driving along the freeway at 3:19 p.m. yesterday, and surfing the radio dial. I drift to the Sean Hannity Show on KSL-AM, where I hover briefly over a familiar voice.

It's Mitt Romney. He's yakking it up with Sean, who's doing his best "I believe you would make a fine running mate for John McCain" suck-up.

Anyway, after much mutual admiration between the two, Hannity finally asks Romney if he would accept an invitation from McCain to run for veep. Romney tap dances, and finally responds something to the effect that there are many qualified Republican governors who would do a fine job as vice president. To which Hannity follows up: "Name some."

Well, says Romney, there's Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. There's Mark Sanford of South Carolina, there's ... well, there are just a lot of fine governors out there.

You'd think with their shared Mormon/Utah/Scions of Capitalism roots, that Mitt would have had Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. on the tip of his tongue. But he didn't mention Jon--whose name has actually been tossed around seriously as a McCain running mate.

But then, people with an ounce of memory will recall there's no love lost between these two perfectly-coiffed sons of famous fathers. It's been rumored for years that Huntsman Jr. and Romney were bitter rivals to head up the 2002 Winter Olympics; Romney won that round and Huntsman trundled off to Singapore as a diplomat. Also, Jon Huntsman Sr. supported Romney in his failed presidential bid; Huntsman Jr. sidled up to McCain.

Political memories are l-o-o-n-g. (Holly Mullen)

High School Muse

I believe the children are our future. You should teach them well, but then you've got to let them lead the way. And perhaps they'll lead you to the Salt Lake City Main Library (210 E. 400 South) tonight (March 27) at 7 p.m., for the Poetry Out Loud state finals.

Representatives from 10 area high schools -- including Judge, Skyline, Lone Peak and Layton -- will recite memorized poetry for a chance to advance to the national finals in Washington, D.C. next month. There, around $50,000 in scholarships and prizes await. And you thought there was no money in poetry.

Alex Caldiero and 2007 state champ Amanda Fujiki will warm up the crowd for the competitors. Bring your snaps and support the idea that "high school" and "the arts" need not be contradictory terms. (Scott Renshaw)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dead Zephyr: Week 228

(Bill Frost)


So this week I wrote about Salt Lake City's glorious Purr Bats, but in the article's info box the computer failed to register the change of date from Saturday, March 28 (which doesn't exist this year) to Friday, March 28. I apologize for the error on behalf of InDesign.

And then...

I plugged These United States in Music Picks, leading readers to believe the band is playing Slowtrain and The Urban Lounge (as part of the aforementioned Purr Bats gig) on Thursday, March 27. This is not the case. They are playing both shows on Friday, March 28


You should go. It will be fun. Oh, and proceeds go to the Utah Pride Center. Yay!

(Jamie Gadette)

Baby 4 Cheap

[Ad Strategies] Based on this story KUTV ran last night, I can see a whole new promotional campaign for our City Weekly Classifieds:

Photo of a cute and wealthy young couple (think Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner in
Juno) sitting primly on an overstuffed sofa:

"We were looking for a previously owned Porsche Cayenne. Instead, we found an adorable and barely used baby! And now we're going to name her Porsche Cayenne! Thank you CWlistings. com!

City Weekly: NEED A BABY? YOU WANT IT ... WE'VE GOT IT! (Holly Mullen)

Un-Endangered Democrats

[Party Caucus Review] You know the old saw about the Democrats being an endangered species in Utah? Always the snail darter or Yellowstone cutthroat trout of politics, the precious few Demos in this state seem to always be dodging rocks and current in their regular swim upstream.

Well, for the first time in 10 years, it didn't look so depressing last night at my Democratic Party caucus. According to today's news accounts we had more than 400 people at the meeting at Salt Lake's Dillworth Elementary. Talk was floating around the Dillworth gym/lunchroom (where we met as a leg. district and then broke into our smaller precincts to elect delegates and other officers) that this was the largest Demo Caucus turnout in the city. Even more than the Avenues! Ha. Take that--you pinot noir sipping, cashmere and pearls-wearing Avenues-livers!

We had 22 people in our precinct group. By contrast, two years ago, we had six. At that time we had to beg someone to run for delegate to the county and state conventions. Last night, we had three candidates scrambling for the delegate post. And it wasn't some budget-basement effort, either. Each candidate had prepared an actual speech.

So we elected Katy Macey delegate. In comparison to her two opponents, who were longtime party water carriers, Katy is a relative newbie. She gave her pitch and described her growing interest in politics: She wants to see a change in the White House. She's a former intern from the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics. For the first time in her adult life, she can actively participate in politics because her kids are finally grown.

She won in a landslide.

This morning, a couple of radio talk show hosts were bleating on about the train wreck that has become the Democratic race for president. Hillary Clinton lying about her reception in Bosnia. Barack Obama struggling to distance himself from his vitriolic pastor. On the national front, the Demos look like their usual self-destructing gang.

But here in the Utah trenches--the place where real people live real lives--I'd offer what I saw last night at Dillworth School as exhibit A for this fall's election. Even in this blood-red state, the tide is shifting, if gradually. Rank and file Democrats are engaged and enthused. It's true that most of them have a favored candidate for president, but in the end ABAR (anyone but another Republican) will get their vote. They are determined to wipe out every last trace of Bush-politik come November. The national press can blather on about the in-fighting among Democrats, but I did not see Chris Matthews or Tim Russert reporting from Dillworth last night. And as always in America, what's happening in our own back yards is the real story anyway.

Did you go to your caucus meeting last night? Which party? Feel like sharing your report with the rest of the class? (Holly Mullen)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Protest Time

[protest news] Who will protest now that Rocky’s out of City Hall? The answer is George Muller, of Veterans for Peace.

Muller, retired Air Force and Vietnam veteran from Eden, Utah, will be in Salt Lake City Thursday to protest outside the Grand America Hotel where John McCain is holding a fundraising event.

Muller is easily recognized by the display he brings with him: a trailer covered with combat boots, one pair for every Utah soldier killed in Iraq. He’s been protesting since President Bush’s 2005 visit to Salt Lake City.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Get Older, They Stay The Same Age

Two consecutive nights at Kilby Court does weird things to you. Being surrounded by so much jailbait not only turns you into a resident Matthew McConaughey-from-Dazed-and-Confused, it affects your taste in music too. Cases in point: Beach House on Friday night and Tokyo Police Club on Saturday night.

Beach House is a pretty band. They have a pretty singer with a pretty voice who makes pretty sounds on her pretty keyboard–but it wasn’t beautiful. Now, I have no problem with slow music (shoegazing, dream pop, or however else you can euphemize it), but I am a firm believer in the notion of The Performer. If bands aren’t going to present their live show as a spectacle, then it should be incredibly moving—physically, mentally, etc. It seems that this should be no problem for a band like Beach House, whose new album, Devotion, is filled with lovely, haunting melodies. Despite some lovely moments from singer Victoria Lagrand (“enough of this Goth stuff, here’s a happy song”), I didn’t feel moved enough to endure standing in the sold-out Kilby crowd.

Afterwards, a friend and I were discussing the hype machine that produces a lot of buzz bands these days. He said that it felt like Beach House was peddled too aggressively to the indie crowd, that Pitchfork told us to like them. I can’t really argue because, as pretty as Beach House is, I can’t imagine the band would have garnered a sold-out crowd otherwise.

But then again, I like My Chemical Romance. Non-ironically.

Saturday night in SLC was the kick-off of Tokyo Police Club’s US tour, fresh from their abridged performances in SXSW—and they played like it. Feeding off the crowd (“I want to go around the room and write everyone’s name down” said singer Dave Monks, in polite-Canadian fashion), the band ripped through an hour set of New Wave/Strokes-inspired material from their two EPs and their forthcoming LP. They even had a synchronized light show on the small stage–a treat that’s rare for the lo-fi charm of Kilby.

Perhaps it’s a testament to my musical taste/intelligence (and a vague explanation for my reaction to the Beach House show) but I’m such a sucker for light shows.

The crowd’s enthusiasm was infectious, especially when their encore had Monks screaming “Hello operator? Give me the president of the world!” into the microphone—the floor began to tremble with people jumping/dancing. One cute, dancing girl accidentally bumped into me and mouthed “hi.” I weighed the odds of her being over 18 and figured that she probably wasn’t.

Don’t pull a McConaughey, Bradford. Keep focused on the light show.

(Ryan Bradford)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

State vs. Guyon--Chapter 1

[The Law] Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has been hopping around the radio talk show circuit today, trumpeting his views that the Republican Legislative Caucus and other elected officials should hold open meetings, even when the law doesn't require it.

We journalists can't argue with that.

But as chance might have it, over at 3rd District Court today in Salt Lake City, a hearing is underway on several pre-trial motions in the strange case of State of Utah vs. Rachel Guyon, on which City Weekly recently
reported. Shurtleff and his office have worked hard to downplay their part in the case case--including identifying the people in his office who are involved only by their initials on court documents.

Guyon, 25, is a former employee of an escort service and one-time criminal justice student at Salt Lake Community College. She faces 11 Class B misdemeanors related to her allegedly harassing nine of Shurtleff's deputy district attorneys with piles of sexually-oriented e-mails while the men were moonlighting at the college and taught Guyon's classes. Additionally, an attorney general's investigation into the case brought Shurtleff into the matter, as well. The state's top prosecutor is claiming Guyon harassed him with unsolicited e-mails from The Doll House, a Salt Lake City escort service.

Once the A.G.'s probe was complete, the Salt Lake District Attorney's office took over the case for prosecution.

In today's hearing, Guyon's defense attorney, Kristine Rogers, argued that the state cannot prove that nearly 200 e-mails entered into evidence originated with Guyon, and therefore, the documents should be inadmissible. Assistant District Attorney Greg Ferbrache produced Agent David White, an investigator with the attorney general's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, as an expert on e-mail and other forms of electronic communication. Febrache said he would confirm that the e-mails in evidence came from Guyon.

Rogers spent two full hours questioning White, who repeated dozens of times that he could not
confirm which "port," the e-mails came from. Nor could he tell what "protocol" the e-mailer used or whether the transmission was secure or not. It was slow going, and appeared to be going nowhere.

Rogers' point is to show how anyone, really, could have sent the e-mails, and simply looking at the header field is not sufficient to pinning the act on her client.

Meanwhile, the state withdrew evidence today that the attorney general's investigation uncovered with access as crime fighters through the Homeland Security Act. Guyon's lawyers have argued that the A.G. used the act inappropriately in gathering evidence against Guyon--sort of like wielding a sledgehammer when a flyswatter might have done fine.

But the finest moment of the morning took place before the proceeding even started. It was a heated exchange between defense attorney Rogers and Heidi Nestel, director of the Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic. Nestel is representing the victims--nine deputy a.g.'s with cell phones, leather brief cases and sharp wool gabardine suits--to make sure their rights in court are protected.

Nestel approached Rogers, arguing she would fight a defense motion for the A.G.'s office to give up personnel files of the men Guyon is accused of harassing. "They are public record," Rogers snapped back. The two women then argued over whether Nestel's victims had ever received notice of the motion for the personnel records. Rogers said she did, indeed, send copies of the motion to the deputy attorneys general and if Nestel wasn't satisfied, she could file a motion to quash the request with presiding Judge Vernice Trease.

Nestel wouldn't let it go. "Those records are private," she said. To which Rogers threw up her hands and exhaled, loudly. "Mark Shurtleff is all over the stinkin' radio this morning talking about opening meetings and records to the public, and you want to tell me these records from his office are closed?
"Take it up with the court," Rogers said. "Now go away, Heidi. Just go away."

The jury trial for Guyon--complete with a full parade of lawyers with their feelings hurt as witnesses--is set to begin in Trease's court March 27. (Holly Mullen)

Statement from DA Lohra Miller

[Follow-up] Salt Lake County District Attorney Lohra Miller did not respond to City Weekly’s requests for comment for a story that ran in the 3/20 paper, but issued the following statement to several other media outlets:

"I am very proud and honored to be elected by the people of Salt Lake County to be their District Attorney. My staff and I have made great progress in reorganizing and reforming this office, including our efforts in prosecuting domestic violence and alcohol-related offenses.

"Unfortunately, public officials are sometimes forced to face accusations that may be used to distort and misrepresent their lives. Those accusations, whether initiated for personal or political motives and regardless of the manner in which they are made, distract us all from continuing our important work. I will not let that happen. I will continue to ensure that criminals in our community are aggressively prosecuted."

(Ted McDonough)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Revelation: The Trib watches KSL

[Local Media] ... but the Trib obviously doesn't read City Weekly, or else it would have known that we were the ones who broke the Lohra Miller story -- hours before KSL did and in much greater detail.

We understand. It must be hard for a daily to admit it got scooped ... by a
weekly. (Brandon Burt)

Music at Main

Who says libraries have to be quiet all of the time? City Library employee Andrew Shaw, aka Chanticleer, the Clever Cowboy, certainly doesn't agree with the age-old sentiment. Passionate about his local music scene, Shaw recently developed a new series at the downtown library called Music at Main. Scheduled to run every third Wednesday, the series will feature various Utah-based artists performing and discussing their work with selected interviewers. Tonight, singer/songwriters Chaz Prymek and James Miska kick off the series with an intimate set of acoustic melodies showcasing their divergent styles. Shaw will host the gig which will also be broadcast live on KCPW. Come on down or stay home and listen in. You won't be disappointed. Oh, and mark your calendars for future Music at Main events including April with Bob Moss (hosted by Brandon Griggs) and May with Glinting Gems (hosted by moi).

(Jamie Gadette)

A Trip Down Sex-Scandal Memory Lane

You know back in the day when a politician wanted to have a good extra-marital romp, they had the common decency to challenge the press to come after them and then pick an inconspicuous spot for their said steamy action, on say, a yacht called Monkey Business. Ah Gary Hart, where have you gone now?

If you're like me and are feeling a little nostalgic about the sex scandals of yesterday, you'll wanna check out this nice little piece done by the folks at, chronicling some of our greatest public sex scandals--which politicians never recovered and who did surprisingly. Ahh the good ol' days...(Eric S. Peterson)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lohra Miller's Wild Parties

[ Exclusive] It's past midnight and all the house lights are dimmed in a faceless South Jordan neighborhood. All the houses, that is, except one. There's a party going on. Young people noisily come and go at this McMansion set in an otherwise sleepy cul-de-sac. Vehicles fill the home’s driveway and line the narrow streets. At 4 a.m., one neighbor, awakened by the sound of slamming car doors, has had enough and begins to call the police.

But she doesn't.

She's been down this path before. This party is taking place March 14, 2008, at the home of Lohra Miller, Salt Lake County district attorney. On Nov. 6, 2007, Miller angrily denounced as “lies” allegations she condoned underage drinking, operated a secret law firm and ran an unlicensed day care, all inside her home. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff cleared Miller of the allegations. Shurtleff must not have looked very hard.

The parties at Miller’s place died down after neighbors’ complaints attracted attention from the press and authorities late last year, next-door neighbor Jen Zielinski says. But now the neighbor claims it’s back to every weekend ...
Read the rest of the story here >>

But Where Was Bret?

[Celebrity Sightings] Or non-sightings: Last week, a film crew took over Sam Weller's Books downstairs from the City Weekly offices, shooting interiors for a 2009 feature called Gentlemen Broncos, by Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess.

No big deal; we didn't think too much of it. Until today, when someone in the office revealed that, on a java run to the Coffee Garden within Weller's, she was told that Flight of the Conchords co-star Jemaine Clement (the tall one with the glasses) was among those being filmed downstairs!

Deep-voiced and somewhat robotic, Clement is a geek-chic sex symbol 'round these parts--had the female (and some male) contingent of the City Weekly office known he was so near, there would have been a riot. Seriously. Crisis averted. (Bill Frost)

Dead Zephyr: Week 227

(Bill Frost)

SXSW Clips: It's ... Computers

[Music Festing] My friend Chris took a bunch of cool video footage of various SXSW performances with his fancy schmancy camera. He won the technology race, with me trailing a distant 3,092.

Check it

(Jamie Gadette)

Monday, March 17, 2008

What Women Want

[Talk Show Time] If you're not positively sick of every person with a pulse weighing in on Hillary and/or Barack, then tune in tomorrow (Tuesday, March 18) to KRCL (90.9 FM) and get an earful.

I will be yakking it up about the Democratic presidential candidates with frequent
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed columnist Barb Guy (Obama supporter) and Donald Dunn, chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign in Utah.

We'll be live with host Brandie Balken on the public affairs program RadioActive from noon to 1 p.m. Originally, we were asked to offer a female point of view on the two Democrats--afternoon chick talk. But then how would we explain the presence of Donald Dunn?

Just to put everything up front, I remain a Clinton supporter--though I'm starting to read the tea leaves on this deal. No matter how many lives Hillary has, the delegate count is not looking good for her. But I always love the scrappy underdog in a fight--so if you tune in, I promise to make a good case for Hills.

And the illustration I've included here about sums up the way the world feels about Clinton. Bitchy Devil or Dreamy Angel--nothing in between. (Holly Mullen)

The Useful World of Web

[Better Living Through Technology] has a feature that allows users to generate a map of the United States color-coded to represent the population density of people who have a particular name. Finally!

To demonstrate how the magic of color-coding can allow us to visualize data in new and interesting ways, I generated a map showing the distribution of Bill Frosts across this great nation of ours:

Bill Frost population by state

As you can see, it's impossible to swing a cat in Texas without hitting a Bill Frost; they're everywhere down there. (And they're big-'uns, too!) We understand there is also a sizable Bill Frost colony in Kentucky.

No telling why our own Bill Frost--the best Bill Frost--doesn't show up on the map. Utah is certainly not Frost-free.

Possibly, like most celebrities, he's glamorously unlisted. (Brandon Burt)

Honk For Tibet

[Protest] It's sometimes easy to forget about the troubles people suffer when they're on the other side of the world, that's why a band of local Tibetans here in Salt Lake have started taking their protest of the Chinese violence in their homeland, to the streets of SLC. Today a group chanted "Free Tibet Now!" outside of the KUTV 2 building on Main Street today, right next to the Gallivan Center Trax stop.

The groups bore signs protesting the violent crackdown on Tibet's recent protests of it's 57 year occupation by China. Violence in Lhasa, has forced a repressive curfew, and exact numbers of injured or dead haven't been determined, although Tibetan Association leaders in the United States have heard unverified claims that thousands of protesters have been arrested and that 70 have been killed.

Lob Sang, one of the Salt Lake City protesters admits that he has heard of draconian tactics in play back in Tibet. "When protesters would get hurt, they would go to the hospitals, so they [Chinese police] started arresting anyone coming into the hospitals."

In Salt Lake, the Tibetan community has staged this latest protest, of many, they hope will help bring more attention to the crisis. Young Tibetan children laid on the ground outside the Channel 2 News station, covered in fake blood and wearing cardboard cut-outs of the symbol of the Olympic Games (referencing China's sponsorship of the upcoming Summer Olympics) while the rest of the crowd waved Tibetan flags and shouted facts about the casualties of the more than half a century plus Chinese occupation of their home country.

There presence may be small in Utah, but they are loud "There may be only 150 or 200 of us here in Salt Lake," Sang says. "But we are part of a much wider demonstration. We may be small, but we must do our part." (Eric S. Peterson)

SXSW '08: Day 4

[Music Festing] I decided to wrap up my SXSW experience at Waterloo Park Saturday for the second annual Mess With Texas party, a free event open to the public featuring three stages of music, comedy and musical comedy. I stood, unwisely sunscreen-free, for three hours at the Super Deluxe stage to laugh my ass off with comedians Eugene Mirman, Brian Posehn (who lost his voice and had Mirman translate his set), Human Giant, Paul F. Tompkins, Leo Allen (whose vegan jokes received an icy reception. Come on! Baby Sauce is funny), Hard N' Phirm (who reminded us in a stirring power ballad that "anything is possible ... unless you're a girl") and others.

At Waterloo, I also caught Grand Ole Party, a San Diego trio with a killer female vocalist/drummer whose soul-punk delivery got half of the hungover, heat-stroked crowd to at least attempt to boogie. Atlas Sound followed shortly thereafter and though I was never a fan of Bradford Cox's former project Deerhunter (seeing him throw a hissy fit at last year's SXSW soured any interest I might have had in the experimental indie rockers), they absolutely entranced with cool atmospheric compositions that tempered the blazing afternoon sun.

I later ditched the windy Waterloo dustbowl, passing up a chance to see The Breeders (who are coming to The Depot May 27) and Thurston Moore to watch a deceased legend on the big screen. I joined SLUG's Angela Brown and Rebecca Vernon for a screening of the Joy Division documentary Closer at the Alamo Ritz, a former concert venue turned pool hall turned cinema pub (sort of a cross between Brewvies and The Tower). Angela's SXSW buddy Chase recounted stories of getting maced in the pit now outfitted with cushy front tier seats. Things change, he said with a shrug. At least it didn't meet the fate of another Austin venue which now operates as a credit union. And at least it's not just rotting like our dead Zephyr.

Closer helped put SXSW into perspective. "One of the last true stories in pop," the journey of Joy Division is absolutely rooted in context. Without the bleak, economically depressed confines of 70s-80s Manchester, the boys to men who formed the band might have simply ended up selling life insurance--or working at a credit union. Instead, they did the only thing that brought them any kind of vibrancy. They made music. At first badly, then well, then ground-breaking. Their sound enjoyed a completely organic evolution free of today's pressure to sell out and conform. Toward the end of Closer, the filmmakers toss in images of Joy Division's posthumous branding: the iconic cover art of Unknown Pleasures, for example, now affixed to skateboards for mass distribution.

At SXSW, no surface is safe from sponsorship logos. And the communities that informed featured acts' sounds are largely forgotten in the crazy kaleidescope of Sixth Street. Watching 1,500 groups perform at foreign venues lends a disjointed quality to the festival. Most of the time you walk into a bar not knowing the band's history. What's their hometown like? Is it industrial and depressed like Manchester? Wide open like the cornfields of Nebraska? Does each member play in five other bands like a typical Salt Lake City group? It might not seem important, but sometimes it helps to understand what a band is going for. It helps to read between the lines. Consider the fact the Joy Division's bi-polar, epileptic lead singer left pretty obvious clues about his clinical depression in his dark lyrics before he hung himself in May 1980.

Imagine seeing Joy Division as an unknown at SXSW. Would you stay or walk away (in silence) to catch the next group over?

Of course, like speed dating, there's something exhilarating about seeing 30-40 bands in four days. You get a good idea of what's out there. And who knows what might have become of Joy Division if they'd made their first U.S. tour and maybe heard something that changed the way they thought about music.

My night ended on a bittersweet note when a bartender gave my debit card to a woman named "Janine," which I suppose sounds very similar to "Jamie" in a loud, crowded bar. Sadly, "Janine" apparently skipped town. But I still had my ID and a coveted badge so I went across the street to see Jason Collett at the Parish. The Broken Social Scene guitarist did not disappoint. Turns out his band is equally talented, especially the lead guitar player. Wouldn't be surprised if he came out with his own project any day now. You can read my review of Collett's latest album

Oh, and I found this footage from the Muncipal Waste show on Day 3. Now you know what a Wall of Death looks like.

(Jamie Gadette)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

SXSW '08: Day 3

[Music Festing] Sometimes you have to travel out of state to discover what you missed you in your own backyard. Friday's SXSW experience reinforced my belief in Salt Lake City's music scene as local trio Iota emerged as one of the week's standout acts during a showcase for their label Small Stone Records.

While familiar with their recorded material, I’m now pretty embarrassed to admit I’d never seen them live before two-thirds of the group took the stage at Austin’s Room 710 for an 8 p.m. time slot. I say two-thirds because current drummer Andy Patterson ran into a bit of random legal trouble traveling back to Utah from a Denver show earlier this week. Unable to join the rest of his band mates in Texas, Patterson sent warm wishes via text while Iota’s Joey and Oz recruited label mate Sasquatch’s drummer to fill in at the last minute. He practiced with them for the first time about six hours before their SXSW gig, which in most scenarios would result in one hell of a sloppy set. Iota proved themselves to be pros, easily adapting to the unexpected lineup shift with impressive ease.

They ripped through a handful of extended stoner-rock jams with bluesy overtones while a crowd half-filled with Salt Lake City locals (it was a small audience—8 p.m. isn’t the most coveted time slot, unfortunately), cheered, nodded their heads and, in the case of one Xur member, raised his PBR can like a fist of solidarity. Iota succeeded largely by avoiding masturbatory noodling, showing off their killer skills without too much noodling around. In fact, Joey and Oz evidenced tremendous chemistry, playing off each other, at times facing off with dueling bass/guitar.

At the show, I met up with former SLC musician Mike Incze (Sherlock, Victrola, V-Vast) who now lives in Brooklyn. He came to SXSW to play pedal-steel with NY band The End of the World whose final showcase goes off tonight at BD Riley’s. Mike and I left Iota for Bourbon Rocks to check out the Sub Pop showcase. We arrived just in time for Pissed Jeans, a Portland trio with destructive and deconstructive punk leanings. The lead singer lived up to his reputation for not giving a good goddamn about appearances or socially appropriate behavior—a welcome stance after a long day of standing around with one too many pretentious, self-absorbed hipsters, heads up their asses and Blackberries.

Canada’s Handsome Furs performed next and made good on their stunning debut Plague Park. The husband-wife duo (Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner and wife/artist Alexei Perry) threw themselves into every pulsating number, with Perry navigating the sprawling mass of drum machinery and Boeckner reclaiming his throne as one of today’s most compelling vocalists. Sounding both hollow and passionate, he smeared a thick layer of romantic gloom over tales of decaying cities and greed (dedicating “Legal Tender” to current buzz band Vampire Weekend. Hmm …). Handsome Furs killed with cunning wit and searing passion, tossing out several new and improved songs off their forthcoming follow-up to Park.

After that rush, we ran to Red 7 for the tail-end of hyped underground emcee Dalek whose industrial beats carried the same eerie vibe of a Doomtree track. The night topped off at the Billions Booking showcase with Devotchka and Constantines. Devotchka, currently riding a wave of overdue critical acclaim, maintained the lively gypsy roots that have always helped them stand out. Only these days the multi-instrumentalists—several audience members marveled at what they now know is a theremin—are much more polished (though not at all too slick). Nick Urata rummaged through the depths of his soul—and an onstage bottle of wine—to deliver material off their new Anti release and a few older numbers including a hit off Little Miss Sunshine in his haunting, sometimes anguished voice.

Canada’s Constantines (what did I tell you about this country? Love ‘em!) absolutely brought down the house and for the remaining few who managed to stay standing for the 1 a.m. set managed to raise the bar even higher than the one they set on stellar albums. Looking quite a bit younger than I expected—especially the singer whose voice can be hoarse and gruff with traces of a long storied life hanging to the chords like tough bits of grit—they ripped through songs off Tournament of Hearts and Shine a Light plus a few new tunes from a highly anticipated forthcoming release. They finished up with a cover of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, which pretty much sums up how I felt as we cleared the bottle-strewn room. RAWK! (Jamie Gadette)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cancer claims J.J.

[Police Dog Obit] J.J., the first bloodhound to work for the Salt Lake City Police Department, died early Thursday after a year-long fight against cancer.

SLPD spokesman Det. Jeff Bedard announced J.J.'s death earlier today in a news release to local media. J.J. was diagnosed with a malignant cancerous growth in his mouth one year ago, and had undergone aggressive treatment in New York City.

J.J.'s handler was K9 Officer Mike Serio, who worked with the dog for almost nine years.

J.J. and Serio are responsible for the apprehension of nearly 300 suspects during the dog's long career. Even after his cancer diagnosis, J.J. apprehended some 50 suspects, Bedard said.

Serio, along with J.J. and two other bloodhounds, pioneered the bloodhound urban tracking program in Utah. Other Salt Lake Valley police agencies have since added bloodhounds to their established K9 programs.

J.J.'s superior record includes his longest track in following a supect: three miles.

Rest in peace, J.J. (Holly Mullen)

Hammond Making a Change (Really)

Gloria Hammond, co-founder of Sisterhood for Peace, has a commanding presence onstage. When she greeted the audience gathered recently at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts auditorium, she obviously was displeased with the lack of unified response. In Baptist preacher-style, she again said hello to the audience and this time was greeted in return with a rousing collective, “Hi, Dr. Hammond!” Hammond came to present a documentary film about humanitarian relief in Sudan's decimated Darfur region, efforts that included building new schools, medical facilities and homes for the displaced. Hammond’s take-charge approach is refreshing. There are still those willing to take the bull by the horns and truly fight for social justice. Finally, here's someone who preaches “change” and actually delivers. Check out Hammond's inspirational story here. (Tom Nelson)

SXSW '08: Day 2

[Musicfesting] "We are family!" Sister Sledge's hottest hit ran through my head last night as Doomtree brought the noise to SXSW. The Minneapolis hip-hop collective--entire crew assembled out of state for the first time ever—is the very definition of family. Watching them perform, you understand they’ve got each other’s backs. They’d throw down for each other. Die for each other. At Austin’s Marq Cocktail Lounge, they delivered beats and rhymes for each other. Fab Five Freddy (!) randomly stopped by and asked Doomtree if he could introduce them. What?! Like any self-respecting hip-hop head would turn him down!

Mike Mictlan (with Paper Tiger) then kicked things off a little after 7 p.m. with a lively set of tight tracks from his forthcoming album Hand Over Fist, trying his best to warm up the crowd—still frigid from too little liquid courage. Mictlan repeatedly encouraged his timid audience to show some love by flashing the Doomtree sign—hands spread, crossed like wings. Broken wings. Cecil Otter followed, looking all dapper in a black fedora and cuffed jeans. A smooth operator, no doubt, his flow had an enticing and unsettling effect—like you’d take him home but sleep with one eye open.

Dessa stepped up after Otter and absolutely blew away the now-ample Marq audience. Tall and striking with skills to burn, the sole female Doomtree member exercised impressive control and restraint with material that could very easily spin out of control and over the top. Her set proved that, above all else, Doomtree are survivors. They’ve clearly seen hard times and are all the stronger for it. Even though Dessa probably could have beat down any one in the crowd, she revealed past weaknesses and insecurities. She confessed a need to use the mic stand as crutch when singing (not rhyming or slamming poetry), and hopped up on the bar to sit down for an absolutely gorgeous ballad.
Sims successfully bridged the audience/performer gap by forming a circle around him in the middle of the room. Suddenly wallflowers found their groove, started to bounce and throw their hands in the air “like we don’t care anymore.” His best number was a little ditty he once wrote in 10 minutes and initially deemed sub par before friends proclaimed it solid gold. P.O.S. took Sims’ lead, reforming a circle. By now the crowd was pumped and completely stoked on Doomtree.

Since the showcase was open to the public and not well publicized (apparently added to the festival at the last minute), the majority of the crowd was made up of Austin locals who likely learned about the event on MySpace. Gotta love the Internet. Or not. It’s kind of a double-edged sword. P.O.S. started with a disclaimer: “Most of these songs are new ones” off the forthcoming album (highly anticipated follow up to 2005’s Audition) tentatively (hopefully) coming out this Fall. “So if these songs end up on YouTube tomorrow … ah, I probably won’t do anything.” But the implication was clear—leaking material is not cool, man.

P.O.S. (with Turbo Nemesis on beats) tossed in a fair share of older favorites including “Stand Up (Let’s Get Murdered),” “Paul Kersey to Jack Kimball” and “”Half-Cocked Concepts.” Staying true to his genre-bending style, P.O.S. just keeps getting faster, stronger—deftly manipulating whiplash tongue and wit. I checked out three hours into the showcase—hunger and metal called—but I can safely say Doomtree’s producers (including Lazerbeak and, I think, MK Larada) continued to blow away their diehard fans (old and new). Do yourself a favor and look them up.

I met up with SLUG queens Angela Brown and Rebecca Vernon for some metal action at Emo’s Annex. Richmond, Virginia’s Municipal Waste made good on nearly every metal cliché, with a man dressed as a wizard—pointy hat, fake long beard, wooden staff—who occasionally came onstage with the band’s “Inebriator”—a tricked-out beer bong with a grisly skull cup—to quench worthy fans’ thirst. Another member of the band’s entourage climbed up on a raised speaker, shimmied into a plastic garbage can and threw himself onto the crowd. But the thrashing mosh pit wasn’t enough for Municipal Waste’s lead singer who demanded the crowd form a “death wall” and charge at each other from both ends. They, of course, complied. Top that off with songs about terror sharks and “beer” pressure and what else do you need? The best part about metal—besides the noise—is its exaggerated theatrics. You’ve got to love the drama.

Oakland’s High on Fire wrapped up my evening with some of the loudest shit I’ve ever heard (besides, strangely, Jeff Beck at Kingsbury Hall!). The shirt-less lead singer/guitarist summoned Luficer for killer beastly vocals that sounded otherworldly from the sidelines. Then again, perhaps I wasn’t the best judge of sound quality at the point. I left before their last song and realized too late that I should have worn earplugs. It’s not a good sign when you can still hear the band loud and clear four blocks away from the venue.

Here’s to more metal (with Salt Lake City’s Iota!) and other assorted musical shenanigans today/tonight! Stay tuned … (Jamie Gadettte)

15 Seconds of Basic Cable Fame

[TV] This screen capture (courtesy of Gavin's Underground) is from a currently running Comedy Central promo for Lewis Black's Root of All Evil, which I reviewed in City Weekly's March 6 issue. A couple of years ago, I had a review quote on Spike for The Ultimate Fighter. Someday, Satan willing ... TNT!

(Bill Frost)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Color Me Impressed!

[Stuff We Get] Today we received a nice PR package for a Pittsburgh outfit known as Porter Paints.

It came in one of those LittleEarth photo albums made from recycled license plates, and contains materials promoting Porter's "personal home paint color selection system" called "The Voice of Color."

Normally, things called "personal [fill in the blank] systems" make my eyes roll back into my skull with great force, but when I realized what they were actually up to, I decided I
love it. Basically, they take combinations of five colors and establish an ethos for each one.

Now, for all I know, these combinations could be generated randomly. What do I know from modern decorating tastes?

I would never have dreamed, for instance, that
mint blue goes with dark brown before Martha Stewart declared that it is so.

So if someone were to tell me, for instance, that an acid green goes with slate-y gray if you mix it up with a little pink, red and white, I'd be saying, "Oh, go
on witcha." But, when confronted with the argument that those colors, in a precise 60-30-10 ratio, represent a "strong belief in the capacity of the human mind to create change," well, who could argue with that?

Suddenly, the combination, which The Voice of Color calls "Ecoloco," makes sense to me. Something about the adjectives "audacious," "humorous" and "exuberant at heart" make me realize that Auntie Mame would have had her apartment done in
precisely this color scheme after her Yul Ulu phase, but before her Maharajah kick. And, once I get my hands on some black, melty-looking surrealist sculpture, I could easily live with it for awhile.

The Voice of Color speaks with a near-supernatural authority and establishes an ethos--not merely a justification, but
authenticity and virtuousness--for the combinations it favors. And, suddenly, there are a whole lot of new ways to combine color. Very cool.

Jerre Wroble and I had fun calculating our own color personalities--it's kind of like Myers-Briggs, but for paint--by answering a series of questions online. And we feel that our combinations are, really, the very best two in the bunch.

Turns out Jerre's "Desert Spice." I'm "Al Fresco."

Hey, with names like those, we could put together a Flamenco act!

(Brandon Burt)

SXSW '08: Day 1

[Music Festing] Depending on whom you ask, City Weekly either came to its senses or lost its mind when the paper decided to send me to Austin, Texas for the annual South by Southwest music festival. Ace CW marketing director Annie Quan is here as well, scouting out the territory for reasons I’m not privy to disclose. Let your imagination run wild.

We arrived yesterday on Delta’s one direct flight to Austin. SLUG editor/publisher Angela Brown joined us on the cramped commuter plane as the ridiculously small vehicle floundered about through troubling turbulence. Paranoid and superstitious as always, I imagined the next day’s headlines describing the fiery plane crash that engulfed several young members of the Utah media. Fortunately, infamy escaped us and we landed just in time to grab a bite and hit downtown Austin for music, music and more music.

Wednesday was the only day I didn’t map out beforehand. With roughly 1,500 bands performing four days worth of showcases, it can be difficult to decide which one merits your attention. The sheer volume of festival-worthy acts necessitates a certain amount of humility on the part of featured musicians. Badge holders stand before the stage often with an almost confrontational look as if to say, “Show me why you matter.” This can be frustrating even to bystanders like myself who, during Hopewell’s set last night for example, have to put up with nerdy pricks leaning against the wall (arms folded of course) announcing that they are just “waiting for these guys to finish whacking off before Witch plays.” Of course, they were referring to the stoner metal band currently featuring J. Mascis on drums but judging by their posturing they probably only give a shit because some hip blogger told them that Dinosaur Jr. is God.

Hopewell ignored the crowd and got down to business. The seasoned Brooklyn professionals segued seamlessly from one Eastern-tinged rock number to the next, the guitarists thrusting their instruments in unison while the keyboardist tickled some classical shit on the ivories. Sure, the lead singer—dressed head to almost toe in bright white—looked like a tampon, but man he got killer tone out of his (what else) white guitar. And, dude knows how to work an effects pedal.

Speaking of effects, Wednesday’s absolute knockout, standout manipulated their instruments with a slew of pedals, boards and thingamabobs (hey, never claimed to be a techie). Brooklyn’s Dub Trio came to Salt Lake City on Feb. 19, but I missed them because I am lame. Someone up there must have my best interests in mind for a second live show to land in my lap—truly ear-splitting, mind-blowing greatness. Dub Trio is on Ipecac Recordings, home to the deliciously wicked musical misfit Mike Patton, and the next generation of forward-thinking label mates is doing him proud. Dub Trio is more metal, less dancehall reggae. They incorporate dub, using it to break up otherwise relentlessly driving riffs, letting it all hang out before snapping it shut, recoiling into precise rhythms. The band—robotic drummer and all—is a machine. A sex machine, that is. The whole experience honestly sort of turned me on.

The night ended with a set by San Francisco’s Von Iva, an all-female trio fusing organic and electronic elements into a—to copy a line from one of their songs—“soul-shaking, love-making, body-manipulating” blitz. Pulsing, throbbing, oozing sex, the lead singer Jillian Iva shimmied and strutted, climbed the walls and shouted to the rafters. It would have been a whole lot cooler without the pervy old dudes leering at her from the front row. One aqualung kept taking photos of the trio while they were setting up. Another almost lost his shit when Jillian stepped from the stage and straddled his shoulder, forcing him to carry her as long as his little limbs could hold up.

Tonight, I’ve got my sights set on Bon Iver, Black Mountain, El-P, Pink Nasty, Constantines, Ra Ra Riot…but who knows how the night will end? Stay tuned. (Jamie Gadette)