Thursday, July 31, 2008

Armageddon Alert

[Marriage] Well, now Mittland has gone and done it ...

... and yet the Earth continues to rotate on its axis, and all my heterosexual married friends somehow remain married (and heterosexual for that matter).

I'm starting to think that all those hysterical people who say marriage equality will destroy the country might be (gasp!) lying. (Brandon Burt)

Salt Lake Shakespeare's Twelfth Night A Hit!

"If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it." So begins one of the opening scenes in Shakepeare's comedy Twelfth Night, one of my favorite of the bard's for its liberal use of ribald humor and clever hijinks.
Salt Lake Shakespeare's modern take on the original script is refreshing and entertaining, and the production (which runs Wed-Sat through Aug. 9) incorporates a hefty musical element that helped keep things running smoothly throughout the lengthy acts, part I and II, with a brief intermission to check out the cast's impressive head shots/resumes.
Chris Johnston, who also plays Feste, put together all of the evening's music, from one original song that streamed softly through Babcock Theatre before, after and between acts, to understated interludes that set the tone for each scene, to hilarious musical breakdowns that touched on Run DMC-style raps and a Twisted Sister's biggest hit. If you've never pictured Malvolio reciting sweet nothings from a fake love letter while playing a mean air guitar and screaming old English to "We're Not Going to Take It," then you're really missing out. Malvolio, played by Whit Hertford (a Provo native, Upright Citizens Brigade alumn and voice behind several cartoons including Tiny Toons and TailSpin) delivered one of the night's standout performances. In fact, all of the actors responsible for the play's comic relief were downright hysterical. Sir Toby Belch and Andrew Auguecheek, for example, took the swarmy drunk role to a whole new level. Dressed in various tacky outfits with loud shirts, gold chains and mismatched suits, they shouted and cajolled their way from one scheme to the next like a couple of wiseguys (who aren't so wise).
The entire cast really brought to life the somewhat complicated comedy of mistaken identity, creating unique identities for each of the characters so that suddenly you weren't just watching one of Shakespeare's send-ups--you were watching a funny play. Period.
The entire cast is spot on. Amanda Fulks turns fair Olivia into a powerful drama queen in black and tattoos, Eric McGraw's Fabian is a wisecracking hick...
Salt Lake Shakespeare's modern updates are fairly subtle, and at times a little ingenious. The scene where Malvolio is being tricked into thinking Olivia loves him takes place with him in the living room and the comedic fools watching him from a kitchen via webcam as he scrolls through the correspondence via cell phone.
The play ends with Johnston singing the closing lines in a clear, beautiful voice. The rest of the cast joins in and though your stomach might be rumbling because you missed dinner, you will be tempted to shout, "Play on."
Here's a clip from the 1996 film version depicting one of the funniest scenes in Salt Lake Shakespeare's production:

(Jamie Gadette)

Hot Sounds In Provo Tonight

Leslie and the Badgers hit Provo tonight to kick off the first of two Utah shows (they play again Friday at Urban Lounge with Band of Annuals and Cub Country). The Southern California band's classic, romantic folk/country sound at times evokes Patsy Cline and 50s-era luaus with grass-skirt-clad revelers gathering 'round the pedal steel while the bonfire burns all by its lonesome. Leslie Stevens' voice sure is dreamy, so don't worry if you find yourself getting all teary eyed and sentimental when the group headlines Velour.
Also on the bill: Salt Lake City's The Devil Whale. It really is, for real this time, Marcus Bently's last gig with the band. He's off to pursue his solo electronic career. If you still haven't checked out this promising young group, do it now.
RuRu, aka, Isaac Russell opens. It's the eve of his big tour with Joshua James, and I'm going to find out what the heck is up with his pseudonym.

Jon Voight on Barack Obama

[Parenting Expert] Check this out. The last time we heard much about Jon Voight was for his un-stellar performance as a fictional Mormon bishop in September Dawn. Thanks to the blog 23/6 for a post that reads between the lines, literally. (Holly Mullen)

Spoiler Alert

You will never be able to convince some people that Ralph Nader was not the reason we ended up with eight years of George W. Bush. Is the crusading consumer advocate-turned-politician a hero, or a villain? Or some tragic combination of the two?

The documentary An Unreasonable Man took a fascinating -- though unabashedly pro-Nader -- look at his life, and Nader himself will be attending a screening today at the Salt Lake City Main Library Auditorium. See the movie at 3:30, then stick around as Doug Fabrizio chats with Nader at 6 p.m. for tomorrow's Radio West broadcast. (Scott Renshaw)

Uh, I'll Have To Get Back To You On That

I saw this on Feministing a couple of days ago and think it's worth sharing. Pretty hilarious, and sad. What's your take?

(Jamie Gadette)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Adopt-a-Blue Dog

[Politics] Not that I'm totally barking up the wrong tree here by rebutting my boss's Bob Barker-esque call to spay and neuter blue dogs everywhere, but I think a rebuttal article here to the one Holly referenced here is also worth a look. The author makes some good points namely that if you're critical of conservative blue-dog democrats for being Bush lap-dogs, why not wait a few months for the reign of Obama to begin?

That really makes worrying about blue-dog democrats kind of a moot issue. The point I personally have to bring up is that do we really want to eliminate Intra-party diversity? Do we just want our politics to come in two flavors: straight up republican and democrat? I wonder how the author of the Salon article would respond if he had heard that the GOP was trying to stamp out the voice of log-cabin republicans had (in the rare case) they started to become a prominent voice in the GOP?
Now don't get me wrong there are good blue dogs and bad and ones perhaps like our very own who could use a good whomp from a rolled up newspaper, but on the whole I don't think this pack of dogs needs to be put down.

For having grown up with a retired sheet metal working dad who was very much pro-labor and who used to write "IMPEACH REAGAN" on dollar bills but now still supports the war on terror, I have to say there is diversity within the party that some tend to forget too easily. If you ask me, the blue we democrats represent comes from a blue collar and I think its unfortunate that for some liberals the only blue-collar they know of is the upturned one they wear on their Ralph Lauren Polo shirts while they bitch over iced-lattes about all the boorish states inbetween the coasts. (Eric S. Peterson)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bert IS Cool

[Amusing] M.O.P. it up!

(Brandon Burt)

Neuter the Blue Dogs

[Pseudo-Democrats] Next time you hear Utah's 2nd District Congressman Jim Matheson bragging about his place in the pack of Blue Dog Democrats back in D.C., read this and be reminded why it's a bad thing. (Holly Mullen)

Where Dem Kittens?

[Locals on Reality TV] It's been over a month since Salt Lake City's Slippery Kittens Burlesque made the first cut on NBC's America's Got Talent. Since then, it's been nothin' but week after week of auditions--we're pretty sure that America's talent (such as it is) has been sufficiently gotten.

Will Miss Lorrie and the ladies finally be back on the TV box tonight? Dunno. David Hasselhoff and his fellow American Idol-knockoff judges might still be in the audition stages. According to NBC, it's "week seven of this hit variety competition series, which features contestants who submitted their auditions online via MySpace." Oh, great.

Maybe an NBC/Universal/SLC convergence is in order: Get the Kittens together with Last Comic Standing's Marcus and Project Runway's Keith Bryce--it'll be a good ol' Vaudeville show, and Bryce can make the costumes! This idea is mine, Hollywood! (Bill Frost)

Welcome to L.A.

[Earthquake] My 20-year-old daughter has at last become a true Angelino.

She called a couple of hours ago to tell me all was well, after a 5.4 earthquake rattled Los Angeles and environs just after 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time today. She attends Occidental College in the L.A. neighborhood of Eagle Rock. She stayed there this summer to work at the college library. No big damage, she reported by phone, just rumbling of the floor beneath her and several books dumped from the shelves to the floor.

I asked her if, now that she's been through her first California quake, was she ready to come back to Zion? Silly me. After all, we're still waiting for the Big One here.

Above: Damage from the whopper 1989 Loma Prieta, Calif., quake. (Holly Mullen)

Obligatory American Idol Audition Coverage

Name: Skyler "Wigga Killa" Christensen
Age: 18
Hometown: South Jordan ("SoJo--holla!")
Why she's--sorry, cut & paste--he's here: "I gotta represent my skillz, son! Simon ain't ready for my flow! Also, since High School Musical filming is over, mom says I have to get another job or move out of the house. I was Background Baller #67--it was dope!"
Audition song: "Where the Hood At" by DMX. Or maybe "Proud to Be an American."

(Bill Frost)

Dead Zephyr: Week 246

(Bill Frost)

Free Yr Radio Coming To SLC

Free Yr Radio, a campaign designed to generate awareness and support for independent radio stations, will hold a concert at Urban Outfitters in the Gateway on September 24 with Canadian indie rockers Tokyo Police Club scheduled to perform. The time of show is TBD. Proceeds will benefit KRCL.

Free Yr Radio will also release a benefit compilation album with tracks by all participating artists (other cities featured performances by Dan Deacon, White Williams, !!!, Mudhoney, No Age, Secret Machines and Yeasayer), and all proceeds will be divided evenly by the participating stations.

There's hope for the future of independent voices, even if it means involving corporate tie-ins.

(Jamie Gadette)

James McMurtry Live Onstage & In Studio Tonight

Singer-songwriter James McMurtry will be in Salt Lake City tonight, headlining at Bar Deluxe and performing an intimate set on KRCL's Live @ 5 concert/interview series. McMurtry's latest release, Just Us Kids, is a collection of powerful songs with rich narratives that uphold the literary tradition set forth by his father Larry ("Last Picture Show," "Lonesome Dove," etc)--in his own voice, of course. James McMurtry is a legend in his own right whose recent accolades include several nominations for the 2008 Americana Honors & Awards, including a nod for "Best Artist," "Best Album," and "Best Song."
Tune in and head to the show.

(Jamie Gadette)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Republican Legislator Carl Wimmer Joins the Wu-Tang Clan

[Politics..kinda] Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman one of the legislature's "Fab Five" go-to- guys for conservative politics in Utah has made a bold statement with a new campaign logo on his election website.

I could be wrong, but if you just color in some of the lines there that 'W' looks awfully close to the trademark insignia of the Wu-Tang clan. My investigative journalist instincts lead me to believe that either Wimmer has joined the clan as their first and only white, burly, republican, Mormon emcee and the RZA has yet to make the announcement to the world or Wimmer is just on the borderline of copyright infringement with a symbol he probably subliminally observed from a CD in his son's bedroom.

If that's the case Wimmer I recommend you best protect ya neck. The Wu Tang don't play like that, especially when they find out about your new soon to be released campaign slogan:

Wimmer in district 52 ain't nothing to fuck with

(Eric S. Peterson)

Fave Pic

[Photo] Every time I come across this memetic photo, I imagine what it would be like to drive on the freeway behind this trailer. Of course, it would make anybody's day. But, for me, it might be dangerous, because I'm so fascinated by incongruities that I would quickly become hypnotized by the sight of a giant Eddie Murphy head. (Brandon Burt)

Stupid, Stupid Bicyclists

[Two-wheeled Boneheads] It happened again this morning. I witnessed yet another close call on the road between a motorist and a bike rider. This is becoming a near-daily occurrence. Depending on the length of time I travel, I sometimes note three or four idiotic cycling infractions in one trip.

In today's case, a car turning left, legally, from westbound 1700 South onto southbound 1300 East (Westminster College intersection) nearly took out a middle-aged guy, with no helmet, on a fat-tired cruiser bike. The cyclist, who also wanted to turn left onto 1300 East, pedaled into the left turn lane and up to the passenger side of the car in question. That meant when the light changed, and the car turned left, dumbass cyclist turned in tandem with the car. The driver apparently didn't see the guy on the bike, and when she swung a bit wide on her turn, nearly took the bike rider out of commission.

Then came the best part: The cyclist cussed her out!

The right way for the cyclist to make that turn was to pull up in the lane behind the car--just as another vehicle would do it. He was supposed to make his own left turn, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear.

Other common observations in bike riding idiocy:

1. Riding on the sidewalk. It's illegal and stupid, to boot. Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks. A cyclist risks running over a pedestrian as well as running into objects like planter boxes, signs, trash cans, sleeping homeless guys, etc.

2. Riding without a helmet. Sorry, words pretty much fail me here. If you can't figure out why you should wear a helmet while bike riding--even for a short distance--your brain probably isn't worth preserving anyway. Just make sure you've filled out your organ donor pledge before hopping on your bike, ok? (BTW, this applies to all you cutie pies on shiny new scooters, too. Because scooters lack the engine power of a motorcycle, you have far less ability than a big hog to quickly escape a dangerous traffic situation . )

3. Riding in crosswalks. Stop it. Utah law says bicycles must observe all the same laws as a motorized vehicle. Yes, it's hard for people who are riding bikes again for the first time since third grade, but you're running with the big dogs now people, so stop pissing like a puppy. Riding a bike in traffic can be scary, but the more you do it, the more nerve you grow and cars will begin to respect you. Grow a nut.

Ok. Are we all on the same page?

You all get mad props for using your human power to get around town. You're saving money on gas and you're shrinking our carbon footprint. Just learn the rules of the bike world, all right?

Last point: Please don't go all bongo calling me a bike-hating bitch. I'm one of you! I'm a mad road cyclist--I spend every free moment I can riding up and down the canyons in SL County. I'm a regular bike commuter, too. I stop for lights. I ride in bike lanes or in traffic. Just like a car or truck.

I'm sick of you knuckleheads who can't figure the game out. Ride big and brave or get off the road. (Holly Mullen)

P.S. Love that Einstein fellow, above. But he's a dumbass for riding without a helmet.

Marcus Is the Man

[Locals on Reality TV] Salt Lake City comedian Marcus is not only still in the Last Comic Standing game, he's nailed down a Final 5 spot for the finale in Las Vegas--meaning, he can't be voted off before Aug. 7. But, even better, he got to go to the Playboy Mansion.

In last night's episode, the comics' challenge was to impress Hugh Hefner's girlfriends with a bedtime story (rough gig). Marcus pulled out the big guns: His celebrity voices. The girls decided that "Tattoos" (they couldn't recall his name) told the best tale and awarded him LCS immunity.

Here's the recap; the Last Comic finale airs Aug. 7 on NBC, and you still won't read a damn thing about this in the Deseret News:

(Bill Frost)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The UVU Library and Me

[Philanthropic Opportunity] According the the Trib, Utah Valley University still doesn't know what to call its library ("The UVU Library," apparently, doesn't have the proper ring to it), so they're looking around for some Eccles, Marriott or Huntsman with $10 million who doesn't yet have his or her name on a major public structure. (That's how the elders at those Croesian family reunions torture members of younger generations: "So, Spence; still no library, I see.")

These days, however, most of the world's wealth has been sucked into the corporate realm where it will never be seen nor heard from again, so odds are UVU will end up with something like "PepsiCo Library." It horrifies as it refreshes!

As for those Eccleses, et al, if you're a little short on dough, I can offer a bargain: For a mere $5 million--that's half what UVU wants--you can give me a middle name. Yep, it'll appear legally on my drivers license and everything. Imagine how proud you'll be to see these blog entries signed by, say, Brandon "Oliver Eccles-Caine III is kewl" Burt.

High impact for your dollar!

(Brandon Burt)

What Would You Do With $50,000 In Cash & Prizes?

Maybe you should ask Salt Lake City's Kid Theodore cause they just got paaiiid! The local indie-poppers recently traveled to the City of Angels to compete in the Disc Makers Independent Music World Series, west coast edition. Theodore was one of six finalists selected by Billboard to participate in the event, performing before a panel of 12 "in-the-know" judges. The band's prize package included recording gear, instruments, CD manufacturing services, and more--or as keyboardist Austin McBride summed it up outside a sushi booth at last Saturday's downtown farmers market, "basically, we won an entire recording studio." McBride is headed off to Tokyo to just L-I-V-E, while the rest of the promising young musicians put their riches to good use. Send them a message on MySpace, why dontcha? And support them at their next local show, just like you support all your favorite local bands, right?
(Jamie Gadette)

He is a Berliner

[Obama-ized] We're here in the City Weekly offices today, working. No yee-haw Pioneer Day holiday for us.

I was late getting in today. I'd like to say it was because I got stuck in Days of '47 Parade traffic, or was mesmerized by all those shiny while simultaneously kinda creepy floats.


I got caught up watching Barack Obama's speech to residents of Berlin. The candidate, on the campaign stump in Iraq and now in Europe, was masterful.

I wondered much earlier in the campaign season if Americans were so taken with Obama because, George W. Bush--with his horribly failed policies and his idiotic public persona--had set the bar so dismally low. Not any more. Read the Obama speech. It's meaningful.

(Holly Mullen)

Carry On, Keith

[Locals on Reality TV] SLC's Keith Bryce survived another round of Bravo's Project Runway last night, despite designing a hideous "green" dress (as in, environmentally green) from materials selected by his model. So far, Bryce hasn't had much screen time, probably because he's just not as flamboyantly obnoxious as, say, Suede (yes, that's his name) or the 80-year-old rocker chick who only wants to work with leather (much like her face). Here's Bryce--he's the one in the blue bandana and black tank:

(Bill Frost)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Anyone for Hardtack?

[Pioneer Day Prattle] Uh, no thanks. I'd just as soon commemorate July 24 with a cold beer and a pile of illegal Wyoming fireworks. (Holly Mullen)

Holy Douchebag, Batman!

[Morons in the News] And now we present, the argument against inbreeding (and, perhaps, universal Internet access): Batman baby baker David Farnham:

(Bill Frost)

Fleet Foxes Canceled

Fucking vans

(Jamie Gadette)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Future!

Jesse Walker posted this "conceptual tour" of the proposed City Creek development, though it comes across more like a Sims-guided tour of the Gateway, complete with Hitchcock-worthy strings. Is this exciting or creepy?
(Jamie Gadette)

Hell Kitchen

[WTF Promo Item] The following e-mail message made its way to City Weekly today; apparently, someone has no sense of what we might find entertaining ... or tolerable:

We would like to extend an invitation to you and a guest to come be a memberof the studio audience for the Cooking Delight television show!

We tape the show at a studio in SLC from 10:45AM -12:15PM. This week we are taping Wed. the 23rd, Fri., the 25th and next Wed. we tape on the 30th! Check out the show at!

All studio audience members will most likely be on camera because the set is designed like a cafe with tables and chairs. We need smiling faces and excited audience members! The show is a party in the kitchen with celebrity guests and live music!

This Wed., July 23rd, we have musical artist Peter Breinholt! This Friday, July 25th the mania starts in the Cooking Delight kitchen with screaming fans for the Beatles, well ok, Imagine, the Tribute Band, but you will not be able to tell the difference! As always, Jennifer Burns, the host, will share a few original recipes and keep the party going in the kitchen! We have a few seats left for both shows - so hurry and email us for a request to come to the taping!

Good god. Peter Breinholt? A fake Beatles? I'd rather have my scrotum kicked in repeatedly by Gordon Ramsay, but that's just me. Check out the show Saturdays and Sundays on KJZZ 14! Promo accomplished. (Bill Frost)

Want To See Fleet Foxes Tomorrow?

Better score yourself a set of tickets because the Kilby Court show is nearly sold out. Despite certain local press reports describing Fleet Foxes as a Vampire Weekend-type hype machine, the Washington-based band has serious staying power and talent to burn. The lead singer's voice is otherworldly in a Jim James howling down a tunnel type of way and I can't wait to hear what it sounds like in such intimate quarters. There's nothing like seeing a band play Kilby before they outgrow smaller venues. And with Fleet Foxes opening for Wilco in August (sold out), it's likely they've already reached that next level.
Here's a beyond-intimate set, courtesy of Black Cab Sessions

and here's Jim James (let it play a bit, then press pause cause it takes forever to load):

(Jamie Gadette)

Dead Zephyr: Week 245

(Bill Frost)

David Sedaris Crashes

[Breathless Celebrity Gossip!!!] Steven Blum's interview in The Stranger with storyteller (and personal idol) David Sedaris is all too brief*, but well worth reading.

In the interview, Sedaris mentions a Website about actor Matt Damon which features a "When I Met Matt" comment board. Sedaris says that he is capable of dreaming up better adjectives for Damon than "cute"--perhaps implying that he may have left a comment on the site.

Now, I'm not implying causality here. These could be completely independent events. But, the first time I noticed Blum's story rotating to the top of The Stranger's Website, I also noticed that Matt Damon's site went down. (To tell the truth, there was some causality, in that I would never have thought to visit in a million years if I hadn't read about it in a Sedaris interview.)

Could hordes of bloggers have taken Sedaris' cue and started combing the site for possible quotes about Damon's rogueish charm (as I was attempting to do)? Did a sudden surge in site traffic cause an unintentional Denial-of-Service (traffic overload) situation? If so, then, by the definition of the Slashdot Effect, does this mean that is a larger, more powerful site even than the mighty

It's a pleasing idea. Go indie media!

(Brandon Burt)

*Granted, the print-edition newshole must have been limited to 700 words but, I mean, come on--according to Blum, they talked for, like, an hour and a half. I'd have been over the moon had he transcribed an extra few hundred words for the online edition.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Live! Lita! Luchagors!

[Live Music] Actually, her name's Amy Dumas--"Lita" was her rasslin' name when she was with the WWE. God and Vince McMahon forbid us from calling her by her old corporate-held handle.

Dumas' band the Luchagors are an Atlanta punk-metal band with furious hooks and energy to burn, evidenced by tracks like "White Boy" and, well, "Burn," from their self-titled indie release. Tonight, they make their first-ever Salt Lake City stop on one of Utah's notoriously difficult Monday nights, tearing up Burt's Tiki Lounge, with local openers the Swamp Donkeys.

If wrestling/punk/sweaty rawk grrrls fans don't come to this show, bartender/molder of young minds Barndogg says that we're all a sorry-ass lot who may as well just give up and go to John Mayer and Colbie Calliat. Fightin' words, for sure. (Bill Frost)

A Recession Is No Excuse

[Scold] Now, see here: Just because there's a recession on, it's no excuse to act like animals. Yes, nobody has any money, and we're all even more afraid than usual, but that doesn't mean the world is your own personal hootenanny.

Remember The Waltons? That plucky clan of Depression-era Virginians didn't have much, but they always had one important thing: their dignity. Well, OK, they had four things: compound first names, a really big farmhouse, impressive fertility ... and their dignity.

The Waltons did not hang around downtown taking their clothing off and spitting their chewing gum onto the sidewalk where a City Weekly employee is bound to step in it. I'm not even sure the Waltons had chewing gum; I think they had to chew pine sap or something. Pine sap with wild huckleberries; that sounds right. Also it was rich in antioxidants, and when they were finished chewing, they would spit it out into spitoons, which were ubiquitous in those days. Dignity!

Grandma and Ma Walton always buttoned up their gingham pinafores, wore hats and gloves and clutched their distressingly light coin purses firmly in front when they went into town; they did not go shirtless and fling hippie sticks and smoke crack on the street while demanding money from passersby.

Even on those days that Grampa Walton went on a bender, he did not piss all over himself and then fall asleep in the nearest petunia patch. He collapsed into bed with Grandma and tried to get frisky until she beat him into submission with an orthopedic shoe; then he slept on the rocking chair downstairs. You see? Dignity!

In these troubling times, we simply cannot afford to fall into the depths of depravity. It is every American's duty to pull up his or her socks, stand up straight, and face the future bravely, however uncertain it may seem. For, if we allow them to take away our dignity, the greedy bastard capitalists have already won.

(Brandon Burt)

It's Spelled "Edumacation"

[Corporate Media] Looks like high gas prices--or something--has already affected Brett Baier's production assistant. Good thnig we never run any typos hear!

(Brandon Burt)

EnergySolutions + U of U = BFF!

[Nukes and U] This just landed in my e-mail box: The University of Utah announced today a $1.5 million gift from the EnergySolutions Foundation to establish a Presidential Endowed Chair in Nuclear Engineering in its College of Engineering.

The gift will also help underwrite expanded curriculum and a new minor in nuclear engineering at the U.

Well, great. It's tough to turn down that kind of money--even from creepy and mendacious EnergySolutions CEO Steve Creamer. But perhaps, just maybe, some of that endowment money for the training of budding nuke engineers could go toward finding a way to safely dispose of nuclear waste. Because so far, no country in the world or any city in America has come up with a solution to that messy little problem. Oh, except for dumping it at Yucca Mountain, Nev. In our own little western back yard.

Meanwhile, in the middle of our growing energy crisis, it's full-speed ahead for nuclear power, because say its advocates, its clean and plentiful.

U. President Michael K. Young apparently has no qualms about nuclear energy or its costs, choosing to all but hand over the keys to the university to Energy Solutions: “We are committed to improving the available supply of clean, efficient and environmentally responsible energy, "said Young in today's announcement. “The EnergySolutions Foundation Presidential Endowed Chair will enable us to bring to bear the University’s resources and talents in helping to solve the nation’s energy challenges and increase the supply of professionals for all nuclear industries.”

According to the U.'s news release:

The goal of the U’s program expansion is to help address the critical shortfall in qualified professionals for nuclear industries including, power generation, extraction and storage of nuclear materials, health care and related industries. The U.S. currently uses more than 780 billion kilowatt hours per year of electricity generated by nuclear power plants--about one fifth of the total amount (4 trillion kilowatt hours) consumed in the U.S.

And again, just sayin'--does anyone want to talk about practical and safe disposal of nuclear waste? Or will the U. treat that topic as everyone else does--as an unpleasant and nagging afterthought we'd just as soon pass on to our great-grandkids.

(Holly Mullen)

Local Band's Gear Stolen

Last weekend, someone broke into Uzi and Ari/Nolens Volens' house and stole most of their equipment ... while they slept. Creepy and outrageous. Please keep your eyes peeled for the gear at pawn shops, Craigslist, etc.

Roland Juno 106 Synthesizer (black in color)
Nord Electro-2 keyboard (red in color)
Fender Twin Reverb amplifierFender Mustang bass guitar (white in color)
Boss DD-5 Digital DelayBoss DD-6 Digital DelayDell Inspiron Notebook Laptop (black in color)Behringer 1204 FX mixer (dark gray in color)
Tascam 4 Track (light gray)
Korg Electribe ESX1 drum machine (red in color)
Ludwig Acrolyte snare drum (matte silver in color)
and various power cords, guitar cables, etc., totalling about 4500 dollars worth of equipment.

(Jamie Gadette)

My Alt-Weekly Sitcom Stolen!

[TV News] According to a recent Variety report, 20th Century Fox TV has greenlighted (greenlit?) a sitcom about "a dishy alternative weekly publication." Just in time for the death of print, of not FX's Dirt.

Me, I'm curious because I wrote a sitcom pilot script about an alt-weekly newspaper office four years ago and submitted it to Bravo's reality-competition show Situation: Comedy. It didn't make the cut, but nothing ever happened with the ultimate winner, either, so I wasn't all that broken up about it. Not after crying myself to sleep for a few weeks, wondering aloud "Why does Sean Hayes hate me so?!" But now ... how close will this be to my cleverly-titled City Weekly? Should I lawyer up? After getting screwed by TimeWarner and Tru TV, this could be my ticket out!

Sure, my script sucked--but it was still better than any Fox comedy of the last decade or so. The late, great Action excluded, or course. Maybe I'd better dust that dog off and submit it to The CW ... while they're still in business. (Bill Frost)

Roller Derby Report: Babes Bomb Dealers 105-89

[Alt-Sports] In a fast and brutal roller-derby grudge match (these same two Salt City Derby Girls teams faced off in the 2007 Championship bout), reigning champs The Bomber Babes defeated The Death Dealers 105-89 in front of 800-ish screaming fans Saturday night. The Dealers were out for blood (or at least bruises), even pulling points ahead in the first half, but were derailed by the Bombers' scoring machine of vet NOS and newbie Salt Lick--or maybe just hypnotized by the latter's micro-hotpants.

Next bout: Saturday, Aug. 16 at the Utah Olympic Oval. And now, some photos from last Saturday's bout by Mark Alston:

(Bill Frost)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The New Math... for Environmentalists!

[Environ-mental Patients]

Is it me, or does the idea of moving the polar bears to the Antarctic as a last-ditch effort to save them seem like nothing less than desperate arrogance? ("Some species have to be written off..." WTF???) A few articles recently seem to think it's not only a good idea, but it's the only option left to save the cuddly things.

Now, I'm no Greenpeace-belongin', tree-huggin' hippie (just the boring, run-of-the-mill doobie-smokin' hippie), but I too would love to make sure we do anything we can to ensure their survival. But this? Really? I don't like it one biota!

Yet, there is a certain magical charm about the penguins and polar bears meeting for the first time. Maybe the politicos and talking heads had planned this all along: that the whole purpose of letting the Arctic melt from all this CO2 is so ig'nunt Americans everywhere can finally be right about these animals sharing a frozen habitat.

(David Alder)

Emmylou Harris Is One Classy Lady

The new bathrooms at Red Butte Garden are nice, but to truly maximize the outdoor concert series experience, better pack an umbrella, bottled water, some serious SPF and, possibly, a nice plate of chips and guac. Such was the lesson learned as we embarked on our first 2008 Red Butte journey Sunday night.
We thought we had it all figured out, arriving at 5:15 -- a good 45 minutes before 6 p.m. doors-- and packing a bag of homemade treats and wine. Our first concern as we trekked up from the dorm-area parking to will call: is wine really allowed here? Should we have brought an actual sealed cooler instead of this crafty tote? We should have been thinking: man, we've got 45 minutes to go and everyone else who arrived first is already camped out with their camping chairs, beer and snacks and here we are standing in the sun without sunscreen, without food ... it was a long wait, friends. So if you're planning on making the hike up to Red Butte, be prepared. The rest of the evening went off without a hook. Once we passed the gates and took in the newly remodeled surroundings -- gorgeous and accommodating for all general access concert goers -- we settled down in a complementary folding chair and settled in for the night. The air was cool and the folks were friendly, offering us wine and making sure they weren't blocking our sight lines. Quite a change from your average bar scene. Yes, we were living large. Opening act Jimmy Gaudreau & Moondi Klein sped through a pleasant set of bluegrass, full of speedy mandolin-picking and witty banter. We were slightly distracted by the constant flow of people walking to and from the bathrooms, entrance, food stands (FYI, if you want to drink alcohol, you have to bring your own. Apparently the trade-off for BYOA is no beer and wine sales on premises)... which continued throughout the night, perhaps the only downside to the Red Butte experience.
Once headliner Emmylou Harris took the stage, the constantly chatting gentleman behind us commented, "These country chicks always dress so tacky," but the legendary artist looked downright stunning in a colorful silk dress with high-heeled western boots, her looks matched only be that distinct, uncomparable voice. Her backing band was incredibly tight, almost to a fault. Listening to the bass lines, we noted how strange it was to simply hear the chords without feeling them in our bones. Harris rolled through a solid set that pretty well covered her prolific career, from new material off her new album on Nonesuch to songs written for Mark Knopfler (on parenthood and the hope for a promising, peaceful future), one with Tracy Chapman, and covers of Merle Haggard and the Louvin Brothers. Harris said she loved the Haggard song because it's so damned sad, then noted how challenging it is, as the product of a well-adjusted family, to write the type of tearjerkers she prefers to perform.
Harris soon after launched into a killer version of "Evangeline" made famous by The Band on The Last Waltz. Toward the end of the evening, as the relentless sun finally set and the clouds finally released a few droplets of water, the more high-maintenance crowd members picked up their REI gear and fled! They scurried out as just a few droplets fell. Their loss. Harris played several additional numbers, including an encore that inspired the audience to jump up and boogie. Many revelers compensated for zero rhythm with passion to burn. Harris thanked the crowd for a wonderful, fun evening and we returned the gratitude with a toast of our neighbor's last droplets of Spanish wine.

(Jamie Gadette)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The More You Know: There's a 3rd District Race Going On!

[Politics] OK, I'll admit I cheered when Jason Chaffetz bested Chris Cannon in Utah's 3rd District Republican primary. To be honest, I was mostly just tired of the same old eternal Bennett-Bishop-Cannon-Hatch congressional coven. Chaffetz seemed like he might shake things up a bit, bring some fresh blood into the mix.

Later, it became clear that Chaffetz, far from being a breath of fresh air, was running as the ultrastale candidate who is even more hidebound to failed, Bush-era neocon policies--whose supporters went so far as to accuse Cannon as being too liberal, if such a thing can be imagined.

I despaired that the 3rd District would ever escape representation by fiscally and ethically bankrupt neocon policymakers. After all, it's 2008, and the era of Karl "Bush's Brain" Rove is coming to its ignominious end. Don't the good people of Utah deserve better than a warmed-over neocon?

Of course they do, and (despite the fact that the Trib has already crowned Chaffetz as Cannon's "successor"), as it so happens, there is another major-party candidate running for the open 3rd District seat.

In case you're curious, his name is Bennion Spencer. He's running on a fiscal responsibility plank, which would be a refreshing change from the disasterous borrow-and-spend policies of his predecessor (and which policies, presumably, would be exacerbated by Cannon's presumptive GOP "successor.") A major highlight from the prof's platform is the fact that his policies are well thought-out and clearly explained, as opposed to Chaffetz's passion for "earmark reform," Reaganomics, and continuing to entrust our health care to the tender mercies of profit-driven insurers.

Yes, Spencer's a Democrat. (Gasp!) Still, in 2008, that's not looking like such a bad bet.

Spencer's campaign Website has a link to an Alexander Nibley opinion piece which ran in City Weekly Nov. 2, 2000. He's got solid LDS cred, which should play well in the 3rd District. But he's hip enough to list CSI: Miami as a favorite show--and I defy anybody not to love David Caruso's smooth, low-key performance as Horatio Caine.

Any candidate who has the balls to link to City Weekly is a friend of mine. How many candidates do you know who are willing to fearlessly speak their minds? (Plus, Spencer is endorsed by possibly the only man on Earth cooler than Horatio Caine: venerable retired TV news anchor Dick Nourse.)

Bravo, Bennion Spencer, bravo!

This campaign has everything going for it--except for the fact that mainstream media is ignoring it in lockstep. How much noise will it take for the Trib to take notice? For 2News? KSL? The D-News?

How much noise do we have to make?

Who wants to find out?

(Brandon Burt)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fly Fishers Heart the Utah Supremes

[River of Joy] Right on, Utah Supreme Court! Grab your rafts and fly rods, friends--and pay no mind to those old tires hanging from fence posts that read a cantankerous NO TRESSPASSING!

(Holly Mullen)

Utah cherries + Pioneer Day = two peas in a pod

For those green-thumb-challenged folk who haven't quite got growing seasons down (you know who you are, CW letter writers), the Downtown Farmers Market has alerted us to the arrival of fresh local produce. Starting tomorrow, you can expect:
Sweet, tart, and Rainier cherries; raspberries; strawberries; melons from southern Utah; apricots; carrots; green beans; early tomatoes; corn; salad greens; beets; spinach; chard; bok choy; rhubarb; leeks; onions; and herbs.
Begin your foraging Saturday mornings at Historic Pioneer Park (300 West and 300 South) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 18. Oh, and enjoy the experimental folky tunes of Calico beginning at 11 a.m. (Jerre Wroble)

Friday Letters Round-Up

(Brandon Burt)

Buh-Bye, Blair?

[Radio] As reported today, KPCW/KCPW talker Blair Feulner has walked away from his morning microphone and may or may not return. In case you don't remember, he's the guy who came under fire years ago for raking in a $150,000 per year salary at a public radio station. But, more importantly, that news brought us (for better or worse) the introduction of City Weekly staple/irritant The Ocho. The prototype big 8 from 2005:

Eight reasons Blair Feulner makes mad bling:

1. Feulner’s smooth, sexy radio voice makes rich women drop their pledge checks [edited: and panties] instantly.

2. Can translate the BBC’s British-language radio broadcasts to American.

3. Knows that All Things Considered doesn’t actually consider all things, and he’ll talk if the money’s cut off.

4. Can beat any of those hippies at KUER in arm wrestling.

5. Writes all of This American Life host Ira Glass’ jokes, which Feulner first road tests on the stand-up comedy circuit.

6. An extensive collection of tweed jackets with leather elbow patches that isn’t cheap to maintain.

7. Doesn’t write a blog. That alone is worth $150,000.

8. At the flip of a secret switch, can make KCPW “All Skynyrd, All the Time”—don’t push him!

(Bill Frost)

Bug Delivery!

Never a dull moment around CW headquarters. Our lovely office administrator/occasional cover model Chelsie received a shipment of ladybugs this morning. Apparently the cute little insects are ideal gardening aids, eating up nasty aphids and other pests. According to Hirt's Gardens in Wadsworth, Oklahoma (the origin of Chelsie's shipment), if ladybugs settle down each adult can eat 5,000 aphids, then lay up to 1,500 tiny yellow eggs! The eggs then hatch into "black alligator-like larvae," which can eat another 400 aphids!

Shortly after photographing the ladybugs, we learned that after purchase ladybugs must be bathed in cold water and refrigerated. We're happy to announce the ladybugs are safe, sound and ready to get down to business.

And that's your insect lesson of the day.

(Jamie Gadette)

Trib Still Hedging Its Global Warming Bets

[So-called Objectivity] Dear Salt Lake Tribune:

Will there come a day when you publish a global warming story that doesn't mince words about the facts of global warming? Will we ever see a piece about climate change that doesn't pose the matter as still up for debate?

Are readers, seriously, supposed to look at hayseed nut-job Rep. Mike Noel (R-Kanab) as any kind of authority on the issue?

Aren't there some topics that really, truly don't have two sides?

Coming next week in the Trib: Is a round Earth fad, fiction or fact?

(Holly Mullen)

Clothing Stores: The New All-Ages Venue

It might seem strange to see a band at Urban Outfitters, but the hipster clothing chain's bigger stores have been hosting live music for years. Salt Lake City's Gateway location started testing the waters as a venue a few months back with Band of Annuals, a show that looked amazing and sounded surprisingly good. With that, I give you a hearty endorsement for the next UB gig: Calico! The local experimental folk group will perform on Saturday, July 19 at 8 p.m. (following an 11 a.m. Farmers Market show). It's the last time you'll get to experience Calico's magic before singer/guitarist Brady Gunnell heads off to Rhode Island to hit the grad school books.

Come on down. Try on some skinny jeans and some neon ray bans. Then groove to the music

(Jamie Gadette)


King Khan & The Shrines Show Review:

I know it’s hard to get out of the house on a Wednesday night, but July 16th’s King Khan & the Shrines show was so worth being a zombie on Thursday. How often does one get to see a 10-piece soul band with a horn section perform live?
The Jacuzzi Boys did an excellent job warming up the crowd. I had several bruises from the spastic dancers grooving closest to the stage before their set was finished. Bruises are a small price to pay for such a pure shock of rock ‘n roll.
There are some shows that are a quasi-ritualistic experience. You find yourself in the midst of a sweaty crowd of people completely lost in the primal rhythms reverberating from the stage, and you almost expect the person dancing next to you to fall on the floor and start speaking in tongues. The atmosphere is so charged, you feel like you’re in an altered state, regardless of how many drinks or other intoxicants you have or have not downed.
Such was the King Khan & The Shrines Show. Soul music is an apt title for sounds Khan and his Shrines produce. It’s the type of music that draws you in, disarms you, and causes you to move in ways your earliest ancestors probably did when they were worshipping the sun on the first day of spring.
Khan’s brand of soul has an irreverent punk rock edge, but the essence—the joy, pain, and longing which bursts from every song—dates back to the birth of soul music.
So, despite the fact that I considered popping NoDoz to stay awake on Thursday, I am so grateful that I attended Wednesday night’s show. I anticipated it for 4 months, and it will stay with me for much longer than that.

(Jenny Poplar)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Evidence That Life Is Nicer in Britain

[Politics] While we're at each others' throats fighting over issues such as whether or not political prisoners should be tortured (as long as we feel really, really scared), or why we should continue to deny equal protection to gays and lesbians (since loudmouthed Christians can't help but spend hours obsessing over the mechanics of sex), our friends across the pond are dealing with pubs that don't fill beer glasses all the way to the top.

It's real beer, too! I say, fill those glasses, gentlemen! (Brandon Burt)

Dreamdungeon Sold Separately

[Moral Outrage] Mattel's perennial ├╝bertart Barbie is sending shockwaves throughout the tongue-clucking community by donning a classic dominatrix uniform featuring "signature black 'leather' bodysuit and jacket, patterned tights, and black boots with 'golden' details. Long honey blond hair with bangs and black gloves with 'golden' details complete the look."

The "patterned" tights look like fishnet to me, and those "golden" details must come in handy whenever Black Canary Barbie needs make a big impression on some disobedient, whimpering slaveboi.

Some "concerned Christian" group in Britain reportedly is characterizing the doll as "filth." (Brandon Burt)

One More Thursday Show

I forgot to mention, after Twilight head to The Urban Lounge for a local hip-hop showcase. Featured artists include Mindstate, Blue Collar Theory, Adverse, The Knoitalls, and Sick Sense & Skinwalker. Show starts at 10 p.m.
(Jamie Gadette)

Pick And Choose

What's on tap tonight? Well, you can either head up the canyon for Feist at Deer Valley (which requires a bit of heft in your wallet) or stay downtown for the second installment in the Twilight Concert Series with Andrew Bird and Josh Ritter. The two indie artists probably won't attract quite as many people as last week's Roots madness, but just in case better show up early. Here's a taste of Bird and some Feist with Broken Social Scene (coming Aug. 21)

(Jamie Gadette)

This Boy Scout Rescue Has Been Made Possible by Promotional and Other Considerations From Frito-Lay

[Media] Is it just me, or has product-placement mania gotten out of hand? This is the first time I remember a lost-and-found Boy Scout story being sponsored by CheetosTM brand cheese-flavored snacks. TV stations and newspapers have been reporting the brand name of the scout's junk food like it was a vital part of the story. ("Oh, who cares whether they found the kid alive or not—our readers want to know: Was he eating the crunchy or the puffy kind? Get the story!")

Of course, the way multinational corporations are, I wouldn't put it past them to have orchestrated the whole thing. Some droid in a suit lurks in the bushes waiting for a lone scout to separate from the herd: "Psst! C'mere, kid. Wanna make a thousand bucks? All ya gotta do is get lost for a little while. Here, take this bag of Cheetos. There's another G in it for ya if you manage to get that bag on camera in time for the 6 o'clock news."

Will the Hostess division or M&M-Mars be the next to follow suit? My bet is on Hostess:

10-Year-Old Boy Plummets Down Mine Shaft
Timmy Johnson's Potentially Fatal Fall Broken by Delicious Twinkies

"Lucky Kid," Says Fire Chief; Rescue Teams Gather at Old Hendricks Farmhouse

(Brandon Burt)

Good Reason to Watch Ute Football

[Suiting Up] Members of the University of Utah football team modeled new uniforms today, provided by Under Armour Inc. in a five-year contract with the Utes.

Sounds like the new attire won't be hard on the eyes.

"They're tighter and lighter, so I can run faster," said safety Robert Johnson, who took a few turns on the runway for local sports reporters today.

No promise though, that the sleek "technologically advanced" uniforms (as Under Armour describes them) will help the Utes win their season opener against big, bad Michigan on Aug. 30.

(Holly Mullen)

The Randy Rabbi

Anyone read the July Catalyst's "Trial by Internet"/Marc Gafni piece? It's about a New Agey defrocked rabbi with a long history of sexual peccadilloes ("unconventional" and "bohemian" is how he prefers to describe his personal life). Two years ago, he "retreated" to Utah and lately managed to enlist editor/publisher Greta deJong, blogger Jeff Bell and even former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson to rise to his defense and explain how how he isn't a sexual predator.

He claims that Internet bloggers of questionable character have placed him in their cross hairs and ruined his life.

Sexual improprieties have dogged Gafni since he was 19, when he allegedly became involved with a 13 year old. The Catalyst article characterizes the relationship as no more than "petting," and "mutually engaged." However, in a 2004 Jewish Week article by editor Gary Rosenblatt, Gafni explained his involvement by essentially blaming the girl: "I was a stupid kid and we were in love. She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her."

Sorry, Rabbi, but had that played out in Utah, you'd have likely done time and then had yet another Internet headache to contend with: the state's sex offender registry.

Gafni’s not the first guru to grope nor is he the first high-profile guy to admit guilt and then try to wrestle his way out of the hornet's nest, claiming he was set up (Larry Craig, anyone?). That Rocky, a ladies' man himself, would speak up for a guy like Gafni in some ways is not surprising, but on a larger plane, it is.

I found myself wondering how the rabbi ended up here, in Salt Lake City, a land where even Jews are considered gentiles. Then a light bulb came on: our culture's begrudging tolerance of "Big Love." Here, we don't arrest guys with more than one wife. And the women, a few anyway, will even go along with it. Would seem to work well with his M.O.

Moral of the story: don't "do" the women you work or church with, and then only one at a time. And the old "hell hath no fury ..." Hey, even "powerful" women—evolved and spiritual feminists—get jealous. Guess you know that now. (Jerre Wroble)

Make It Happen, People

[Locals on Reality TV] The latest season of Bravo's Project Runway, one of the very few reality TV shows that actually produce anything, premiered last night--and Salt Lake City designer Keith Bryce (of Filthy Gorgeous) didn't get cut! He also didn't get a lot of screen time; the clip below (Keith in the white wife-beater) is pretty much the most you saw of him. But, there's always next week!

(Bill Frost)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Banned is Beautiful

[Free Speech] For a good time, come here next Monday night.

Plan-B Theatre Company's annual benefit show, And the Banned Played On is always a memorable event, and a donation to a great cause: Local theater with a cutting cultural and political edge in a city that can always use it.

City Weekly's Scott Renshaw previews the 2008 version of Banned here. The evening features performances of scenes, songs and readings from professional actors/musicians that for whatever reason, have been banned from audiences at various times. It's a big, fat celebration of the First Amendment, and who can't love that? (It's the first amendment for a reason, eh?) Besides, there's a reception with a cash bar. Giddyup!

Jerry Rapier, producing director of Plan-B, says he didn't know what to expect with the first Banned in 2002. "Six years later," Rapier says, "I get regular emails from people sending me links to articles about bannings and censorship. I think it speaks to the intimate relationships people have with the books they read, the music they listen to and the plays they see. Somehow, such relationships can trump politics and religion. It's exciting to see that. And it's a helluva good time."

Also, a whole bevy of media types (including yours truly) and former Salt Lake City mayors and the current Salt Lake City mayor will be on hand to introduce the banned works. I actually get to introduce a scene by the late, great sex symbol Mae West.

Reserve seats through artTix. (Holly Mullen)