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Home / Articles / Music / Music Awards /  SLAMMys 2008 | 19 Things We’re Loving About Local Music Right Now Page all
Music Awards

SLAMMys 2008 | 19 Things We’re Loving About Local Music Right Now Page all

By Jamie Gadette, Ryan Bradford, Bill Frost & Jenny Poplar
Posted // February 13,2008 -
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No Hyperbole Here
Seventeen years ago, Bikini Kill called for Revolution Girl Style Now! And, while the concept of girl (or grrl) power has since been recycled, exploited and commodified by a string of wannabes (Spice Girls, anyone?), only a handful of artists continue to lead by example. Salt Lake City’s ¡Andale! match the sound and attitude of their fierce foremothers with smart, witty firecracker indie/punk that drones, pierces and, occasionally, coos Liz Phair-style (before she sold out and completely sucked). Get on the bus, bitches. (JG)

hspace=5Wherever They May Roam
The kids are more than alright—they’re raising the bar for Utah bands who could do worse than follow I Am the Ocean’s tireless lead. The local rockers traded dead-end day jobs and apartment leases for an impressive tour schedule, criss-crossing the United States to play shows—any shows—that will have the loud-as-hell “not metal” band now signed to California’s Uprising Records. With members’ ages topping out at 25, this grizzled group of promising artists have the luxury of no mortgages or kids to consider when the road calls. Adopt even an ounce of these kids’ DIY work ethic, and you will up the odds of getting bigger than your own back yard. (JG)

Undead Undead Undead
Rising Moon Productions launched just last year, but founder Kelly Ashkettle, a former City Weekly contributor, is no stranger to concert promotions, having worked Pittsburgh’s club circuit for a good five years. Her recent endeavor is responsible for bringing to Utah goth, industrial and dark-alternative heavyweights Bella Morte, Android Lust, Voltaire and Ego Likeness. Rising Moon also sheds light on local underground talent, attracting new audiences who might otherwise never know the humor, beauty and grace of an often maligned subculture. (JG)

hspace=5Test Of Time
You might actually learn something when you shop at Randy’s Records, like how to fix that turntable you purchased when vinyl first made a comeback, or that the clerk studied music with Flea—the only “redeeming member” of Anthony Kiedis’ wildly successful project. It’s a wonder emporium of slightly- to seriously-aged material—you’re more likely to find a used copy of Nick Cave’s Let Loved In than the new No Age release—Randy’s is pure heaven for crate-digging and memory-jogs. A celebrated companion to the modern loving indie-music stores in town. 157 E. 900 South, 532-4413 (JG)

Thank You, Sir; May I Have Another?
Don’t get us wrong—Exigent Records is far from a one-trick pony. Founder Colby Houghton is well on his way to achieving his desired goal of showcasing all that Salt Lake City’s music scene has to offer (see: Cosm, Ether). But, for now, we’re more than happy to get the shit rocked out of us by Exigent’s mostly heavy-as-hell roster. Nothing sounds better after a tough day at the office than ear-splitting sets by God’s Revolver, Loom, Top Dead Celebrity, Accidente, Xur, Novelists and Glacial. Repeat after me: “I’m about to lose control, and I think I like it.” (JG)

Come On, Get Happy
If you still think Provo is void of nightlife, think again. For two years now, Velour owner Corey Fox has maintained a stellar track record of hosting and promoting touring and local acts including Joshua James, The Autumn Defense, Neon Trees, Band of Annuals, Palomino, Marcus Bently and others. We were impressed when the SLAMMys indie-pop showcase at Velour attracted a sold-out crowd of 300-plus. Apparently, that kind of turnout is all in a day’s work for Fox. Does he know something you don’t? (JG)

hspace=5So What Night is That on Again?
Veteran Utah hip-hop group (yes, there is such a thing) Numbs have licensed their tracks to videogames and TV shows in the past, but in November 2007, they finally went prime time—well, sort of. “Dedication,” a killer cut from their latest release Nfinity, was featured on an episode of NBC’s critically beloved but low-rated football soap Friday Night Lights. Like the title says, it’s on Friday nights—not likely to be seen by many jocks or hip-hop fans. Still, Numbs emcee Mark Dago is aiming higher on the tube: “Now, if only we could land a song on Lost … feel me?” (BF)

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But They’re Huge in Sweden
Swedish metal label I Hate Records is home to such unpronounceable scary-dude sword-and-sorcery rockers as Jex Thoth, Nifelheim, Seibensunden and other heavyweight chain-mail thrashers; this year, they’ll be joined by four Salt Lake City women who’ve yet to even sacrifice their first goat: Subrosa. The local darkwave foursome’s 2007 self-released album Strega (with a heavily fortified remix by renowned Euro-metal engineer Magnus “Devo” Andersson) will be re-released internationally by I Hate Records on Feb. 29; Subrosa plans to tour Europe this summer in support. (BF)

hspace=5The Hits Keep Coming, and Coming, and Coming …
Ever notice how some local bands seem to only have about 10 (if they’re really ambitious) songs at their disposal? Not a problem with Cavedoll: Singer-songwriter-engineer Camden Ray’s mercurial band has 100 original tracks available at Cavedoll.com, with more on the way. Even more impressive, there’s nary a dog in the bunch, and Cavedoll’s newest CD No Vertigo is but one release for 2008. “All told, there will be 10 CDs coming out,” says Ray. “About 175 songs total. Half of that is my back catalog stuff that’s out of print, but a lot of it is new and has never been released.” (BF)

Ten Years, 10,000 Beers
Their trash-tastic debut album Barefoot & Pregnant in 1998 didn’t suggest that Thunderfist would last 10 minutes, let alone 10 years: Needles pegged, amps cranked, ashtrays full, livers screaming for mercy—a classic recipe for rock & roll burnout. Now, here they are in 2008, original members Jeremy Cardenas and Erik Stevens flanked by Mike Mayo, Jeff Haskins and Mike Sasich, readying to drop disc No. 6, tentatively titled The 70 lb. Muskie (following up last year’s tour de rawk Too Fat for Love). “It’s been a long, hard road to the bottom of the barrel,” says Cardenas. “The music in this town is phenomenal, and the people are crazy and talented. We hope that we can make another 10 years without killing ourselves—and thanks to Salt Lake City for giving us so much fodder for song material.” (BF)

hspace=5One-Hand Band
Park City blues-folk guitarist/singer Jeremiah Maxey has been performing around Utah for more than 10 years with little press or fanfare, despite his grasp of the genre for someone so young, his biting guitar skills and—most obviously—that he has no right arm below the elbow. Maxey, backed by his father Glenn on rhythm guitar, plays his acoustic flat on his lap, fretting open-tuned chords with his right stump while strumming furiously with the backside of his left hand. It’s a sight to behold, but it holds up musically, as well: Close your eyes and it’s just good music, not “special” music. (BF)

hspace=5Spirit of ’77
Oi! We’ve long lamented the decline in the quantity of punk in Salt Lake City over the last decade (don’t we at least want to try to live up to that certain movie’s reputation?). The Future of the Ghost must have felt the same way, because last year’s Freak Out!! was one of the most energetic albums in recent memory. In an age when taking your band seriously often equates to making boring music, it’s refreshing to listen to a band who strive for professionalism through fun music—evidenced by everything from Freak’s DIY/analogue recording to the band’s sweat/beer-soaked live performances. (RB)

AA(rt)
Kilby Court has always been a double-edge sword: You can see the most exciting/experimental acts there, but it’s dryer than my grandma’s house during prohibition. We’re not asking the all-ages gem to change its policies, but you don’t have to be an alcoholic to appreciate a drink with your art. Enter Club Orange (533 S. 500 West). Booking acts as diverse as jazz ensembles and noise rock, we finally have a place to knock back a few while indulging in “unprofitable” musical acts that are often relegated to coffee houses or recital halls. (RB)

Now If Only The Homegirls Would Step Up
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it again: Good hip-hop abounds in Salt Lake City. 2007 releases by MindState, Sinthesis and DeadBeats emphasize intelligent lyrics, experimental beats and production value that’s nothing to fuck with. Even Ogden producer Linus released an instrumental album whose slick beats and samples burgeoning emcees should downright salivate over. Before, the idea of a Utah rap scene was cute—any amateur could be revered as revolutionary. But, for the first time, we can discern between quality—and sucka—emcees. Let the hate mail roll in! (RB)

He Had a Point About Pain, But ...
Don’t get me wrong: I would “do” my iPod if it were physically possible (here’s to futuristic technology), but it would be just a dirty affair. In the back of my mind, I wouldn’t be able to shake the image of my loyal CDs waiting for me to come home. Despite some revolutionary breakthroughs in digital music (Radiohead much?), Salt Lake City’s Slowtrain has reported an “increase” in album-sales over the past year. There’s no doubt that digital music is the future, but you don’t need to watch High Fidelity to know that local record stores are microcosms of the musical community and genuine interest (plus, CDs are still better quality than anything you buy on iTunes). The CD is not dead yet, no matter what Trent Reznor says. (RB)

hspace=5Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
Ah, the great psychedelic rock & roll of the 1960s. It never gets old, does it? In case you’re searching for a slightly new spin on a vintage sound that keeps on giving, consider listening to Blue Sunshine Soul. BSS’s bluesy vocals, Stones-inspired guitar hooks and sweeping crescendos will inspire an MP3 downloading spree—all of the band’s music is available online, free of charge. Now that’s free love, 21st-century style. (JP)

Back from the Grave
Oh, the bitter tears I cried when local ambient/experimental group Ether disbanded, putting an end to multimedia performances replete with fire breathers and film projectors. In late 2007, I momentarily dried those bitter tears because a ghostly version of Ether came back from the grave and started performing again. For a minute. Rumor has it more Ether shows and possibly a new Ether album are in the works, so keep your eyes peeled for phantoms. (JP)

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads
Running an all-ages music venue requires boundless energy, business sense and an exhaustive knowledge of music. When Kilby Court founder Phil Sherburne decided his tenure had come to an end, he knew that Lance Saunders and Will Sartain were the only people in town up to the challenge. So far, Kilby’s future appears bright, with plenty of local acts and touring luminaries such as Brother Ali, Beach House and Helio Sequence slated to take the stage in 2008. (JP)

David Lynch Would Be Proud
There’s nothing quite like being bathed in unrelenting noise while surrounded by books with titles like Raw Deal: Horrible Ironic Stories. Red Light Books—a bookstore that specializes in informative fringe reading—has become the home of a record label (Red Light Sound), the epicenter of Salt Lake City’s burgeoning noise scene, and an event space that hosts innovative underground touring bands. Now, all the place needs is Michael J. Anderson talking backwards. (JP)

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