Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Best of Utah, er, the Beehive

[Uncanny Fluff Cloning] We'll be the first to admit that this kind of adver-journalism isn't exactly rocket surgery, but Salt Lake Magazine's latest Best of the Beehive edition looks so suspiciously familiar that we're watching the mail for a residual check. Below are but 10 Salt Lake Magazine "Best" picks released this week, paired with increasingly similar City Weekly picks from back in April--plus a bonus lift from our Best of Utah 2007. Please to enjoy ...

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Snug shorts welcome
If you don’t feel funny wearing lycra and a bike helmet in public, you’re the type who will appreciate Contender Bicycles. Seems like the entire staff—men and women alike—shave their legs (it’s a cyclist thing), and they’re a knowledgeable resource for the serious biker. But they’re not too cool to help fit a novice to a bike, either—even if there’s not a shred of lycra in your closet. 875 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-364-0344, contenderbicycles.com

City Weekly April 2008
Contender Bicycles

All the old-time bike shop accoutrements are there: Cyrus and Leo, the shop dogs, the casual tone, the human-powered bias. But don’t expect the typical ratty old bike store. Contender is definitely hot. The male and female sales reps are not hard on the eyes, and they know what they’re talking about. All are serious road and mountain cyclists; some are or have been serious team competitors. The bike and accessory inventory sounds like reading off a European menu: brands include Orbea, Time, Pinarello and Serotta. Top-of-the-line Spanish clothing company Etxeondo is pricey but helps you look fine. The shop offers sound advice on what to buy and fits you carefully to your new bike. Co-owners Dan Colangelo and Ryan Littlefield are always tinkering with new and brighter ways to display the merchandise. 875 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 364-0344, ContenderBicycles.com

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Edible what?

There’s no arguing with longevity, and while other stores have tried to replicate Blue Boutique’s mix of lingerie, shoes, jewelry, hipster duds and “adult toys” for the 18 and older crowd (and, yes, they do ID), no one has come close to surviving the 20 years Blue Boutique has. This year, the original store moved east along 2100 South after developers knocked down its previous location, but the spacious new location is even sweeter than the original. 1400 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-485-2072, blueboutique.com

City Weekly April 2008
Blue Boutique

After being nestled comfortably in the Sugar House district for many years, the Blue Boutique suddenly became a menace when it moved four blocks east, near Highland High School (1383 E. 2100 South). What parents don’t recognize, however, is that any exposure to sex information is probably better than the abstinence-emphasis lessons in our Utah schools. For, as bawdy as some of the items may be, their mere presence helps kids answer a few questions. Plus, the store sells safe-sex products lines and provides information about them. And have dildos really ever hurt anyone? (Not unless they’re used as a weapon … which is pretty hilarious.) Multiple locations, BlueBoutique.com

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
And the music when on

The digital age hasn’t been kind to indie record stores, but Slowtrain is an exception. Owners Chris and Anna Brozek keep the shop rollin’; besides the usual racks of music, you can pick up concert tickets, buy original, local art or catch one of their free in-store concerts. A tip: sign up for the Slowtrain e-newsletter and they’ll keep you wired on what’s going down around town, and what music you need to add to your collection. 221 E. Broadway, SLC, 801-364-2611, slowtrainmusic.com

City Weekly April 2008

As any music fanatic knows, Tuesday is not just any other day. Tuesday means new CDs, DVDs and vinyl releases. Only at Slowtrain, customers don’t expect to find the latest Rolling Stones collection or Rhianna single. Now in its second year, the compact Broadway record store has established itself as the place to score material by more obscure artists including Panda Bear, No Age and Thao Nguyen, not to mention one-of-a-kind rareties. We asked owners Anna and Chris Brozek to order in several EPs by then largely unknown White Denim and they happily complied. Now the Austin group is all over the place, but Utah, you heard them at Slowtrain first. 221 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-364-2611, SlowtrainMusic.com

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Let’s go to the movies

Yeah, you could rent City of God from Netflix. But why not pick it up from the Tower Theater’s video store, where a friendly and hip clerk will take your cash, and where pictures from magazines—with handwritten ironic taglines—line the walls? When it comes to foreign films, cult classics and long-forgotten masterpieces, including local gems you can’t find anywhere else, this is the place. 876 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-321-0310, saltlakefilmsociety.org

City Weekly April 2008

Tower Theatre The Tower Theatre is, of course, known for debuting independent and eclectic movies. It also has a unique film-rental concept. The theater has video collections with films organized by director as well as American and world cinema genres, so you can expand your horizons when it comes to less than mainstream films. The directors section is especially great. For example, you’re a Sam Peckinpah fan, but you’ve only seen The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid? Well, peruse the Peckinpah section, and you’ll be pleased to pick up his more obscure works like Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Collections run the gamut from Coppola’s gangster noir to the classic samurai films of Akira Kurasowa. 876 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310, SaltLakeFilmsociety.org

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Dog lover’s dream

There are two kinds of dog owners: Those who take their pets to Dogmode day care and those who don’t. And according to the first group, the second group obviously must hate their dogs. Dogmode’s customers are not ambivalent about their passion for this deluxe doggie day-care service. It must be the live webcams that allow them to watch Fluffy frolic live from their desk at work. 4030 S. 210 West, SLC, 801-261-2665, dogmode.com

City Weekly April 2008

Pet owners, we know you worry about leaving your special companion with just anyone, just like a parent wouldn’t trust a random babysitter. So wouldn’t you like to peek in on your pooch while taking that trip? This boarding spot offers all the amenities and a big off-leash common area. But it also provides a Webcam so you can check out that area and feel just a little closer to your animal friend in absentia. 4030 S. 210 West, Murray, 801-261-2665, DogMode.com

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Smoke up, Johnny
Far be it for us to encourage smoking; we’ll leave that to the hookah bars that popped up around Utah just in time for the Legislature to ban lighting up inside private clubs and taverns. But there is something about the smell of all the fine tobacco in Jeanie’s Smoke Shop that makes us want to sit down with one of granddad’s pipes and puff the night away. 156 S. State Street, SLC, 801-322-2817

City Weekly April 2008
Jeanie’s Smoke Shop

Jeanie’s might not be the best smoke shop if you’re looking to buy an ornate dragon-shaped crystal bong to smoke your “flavored” tobacco in—but if you are looking for a fine cigar or pouch of pipe tobacco, Jeanie’s Smoke Shop is your best bet. This downtown tobacco institution has been around since the 1940s purveying the city’s largest supply of fine cigars. From Romeo y Julietas to Retro Fuentes, Jeanie’s has something for every palette. Don’t be intimidated by the sprawling humidor, staff members are more than happy to match you with a cigar to fit your taste and budget. 156 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-322-2817

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
The Viral Marketer, Tom Dickson, Blendtec

Will it blend? That is the burning question posed in a series of YouTube videos starring Tom Dickson of Orem’s Blendtec. Will an iPhone blend? Yes. Golf balls, marbles and cubic zirconia? Yes, yes, yes. Raspberries, orange juice and ice cream? Duh, yes, but where’s the fun in that? willitblend.com

City Weekly April 2008
Tom Dickson’s Blendtec Blender
The Orem-based Blendtec corporation markets upscale blenders—and, by upscale, we mean that a home model can run from $400-$1,200. (Commercial models seem to be in the “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” category.) Still, before we saw Dickson cheerfully puréeing an iPhone on his WillItBlend.com Website, we had never wanted any blender so much. If Dickson’s high-powered machine can purée golf balls, glow-sticks, video cameras and Chuck Norris action figures, imagine what it could do for a banana daiquiri! WillItBlend.com

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
The Comedienne, Deena Marie Manzanares

If you saw Deena Marie Manzanares in her brave portrayal of a sexually abused young mother in Salt Lake Acting Company’s Skin in Flames earlier this year, you might not expect the actress’s comic streak. Check out her YouTube channel, The Deena Show, which is filled with sketches written, directed and performed by the Salt Laker. youtube.com/BeanerLaRue, myspace.com/deenaevanoff

City Weekly April 2008
Deena Marie Manzanares

At the current rate of exchange in entertainment, 15 minutes could actually be considered a long career in the biz. Thankfully, local actress Deena Marie Manzanares has only used up a portion of her allotted minutes with her short clip “The Joke,” a two-minute ditty that made the front page of YouTube and has since garnered about 250,000 views. Compared to most things that make it onto the Internet these days, Manzanares’ video is very well put-together and darkly comical. (For those who haven’t seen it, it involves cat humor.) Hopefully, Manzanares will continue to crank out her gems so she doesn’t go the way of the “don’t tase me, bro!” guy. YouTube.com/BeanerLarue

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
The Underground Historian
Angela Brown, SLUG Magazine

It’s natural that Angela Brown—owner/editor of the music- and sports-oriented SLUG Magazine and a talented photographer—would focus her eye and ear on moving pictures. This year marked the release of SLUG Magazine Presents: Making a Scene, a film about Salt Lake’s underground rock scene as documented by SLUG since 1989, and an important artifact for the SLC punks who are still standing. slugmag.com

City Weekly April 2008
Making a Scene, SLUG Magazine

The roots of Salt Lake City’s current music scene aren’t completely gone, much less forgotten. SLUG Magazine went the extra mile to ensure that the next generation of punks, rockers and free thinkers recognizes its predecessors with Making a Scene, a 30-minute documentary which only failed in its brevity. The film, shot around SLUG’s 18th anniversary show featuring four reunited SLC legends—Clear, Iceburn, The Stench, The Corleones—includes trips down memory lane with local musicians, fans, members of the media, and of course Brad Collins of now-defunct Raunch Records. Scene also features cool footage from old concerts and the Club Vegas reunion gig. It’s one lesson you don’t want to miss.SlugMag.com

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
What’s that name again?

The space has changed names more often than the Legislature has tweaked the liquor laws. It’s been Ichabod’s, Shaggy’s Living Room, Ego’s and Shaggy’s Living Room again, all in recent memory. Now it’s Bar Deluxe, and we dig it for the live music, cheap PBR, resident burlesque troupe the Slippery Kittens and especially for keeping the killer, classy sign out front. 666 S. State St., SLC, 801-521-5255, bardeluxe666.com

City Weekly April 2007
Bar Deluxe

Back in the day, there was The Annex. Then Club Six, The Green Guinea, Ichabob’s—none really left a mark on 666 S. State. Shaggy’s Livin’ Room (with the modified and less Satan-y 668 address) finally made a success of the place before moving downtown, and Ego’s enjoyed a storied run as an excellent live music venue before shutting down last year. Then came another Shaggy’s, which opened and closed before anyone could even dispute the name. As of last month, Bar Deluxe is the latest resident, and we’re happy to report that the owners (Big Deluxe Tattoo and Slippery Kittens Burlesque people—a good sign already) plan on restoring the joint to its rock & roll glory. Good luck to ’em—but will the address be evil again? 666 or 668 S. State, 521-5255

(Bill Frost)


  1. Just goes to show, Bill, that City Weekly doesn't have a lock on the concept of catering to advertisers with pseudo news to make a buck.

  2. Looks like they used your issue as a starting point.

  3. And everybody stole from Utah Holiday, which had the original idea and still did it better than any pub has since.

  4. It's a little hard to call City Weekly's annual publication "Best of UTAH" when the scope of discussion includes only 5/29 Utah counties. You should give it a more accurate name, "Best of the Wasatch Front".

    And. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

  5. Wow it is a little similar, isn't it? I would call it plagarism...but since Salt Lake Magazine was formerly Utah Holiday and the best of issue for Utah Holiday looked remarkably similar to what Salt Lake Weekly has done for many years, I guess one could say what goes around comes around.

  6. This goes back to what http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/ has been saying for some time now. The book coming out in July has my point in the subtitle:

    Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions.

  7. Grover makes a worthy point. Noted. After that....the first anonymous just hacks at the old "catering to advertisers" jive. Like all others, I invite him/her to come down and watch the process next year. The other anon's who think we stole Best of from Utah Holiday--nope. Utah Holiday did a grand job with what was called their Best and Worst issue. Utah Holiday was dying a slow death and Salt Lake Magazine bought what was left of it...like subscribers and little more since Salt Lake Magazine was already publishing before Utah Holiday died. So it could not be "formerly" Utah Holiday. No matter, we did steal the idea, just not from Utah Holiday. By the time we published our first one in 1990 or so, alternatives like ours in other cities had been doing Best of reader polls for years and it's they who should charge us with theft. Staff picks came much later to City Weekly. Like Bill said in the intro, it ain't rocket surgery--whatever that is.

  8. The difference as far as I can tell is that SL Magazine's picks were well-written ...

  9. "It's not rocket
    surgery" [is a service mark] of Steve Krug"

  10. Thanks for the RS tip. Went to the site and bought the book.

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