Northplatte Records co-founder Joshua James landed “Coal War”—the intro track on his album Build Me This—on the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy on Sept. 6. The tune starts off with James’ soft and raspy voice chanting, “Ain’t cuttin’ my hair till the good Lord comes,” in a gospel-y sort of way. It builds and hits its roots-rock climax just after the four-minute mark—a long gem of a track befitting the show’s notorious bike gang. JoshuaJames.tv
KRCL’s Music Meets Movies
KRCL’s Music Meets Movies series just hit its one-year anniversary, and to celebrate, the listener-supported station wrangled everyone up in a Yellow Submarine, so to speak, by screening the classic 1964 Beatles anime. The series started as a new medium for outreach, and, over the past year, KRCL has screened The Last Waltz, Futurism Written (Joe Strummer documentary), and the Rolling Stones’ Rock & Roll Circus and Exile on Main St., among others. The films are shown the second Thursday of each month, with a break during the summer, at Brewvies Cinema Pub (677 S. 200 West). KRCL.org
Utah Singers Take On Panic!
While many Panic! At the Disco fanatics were distraught with the news that frontman Brendon Urie was ill with malaria and couldn’t sing at X96’s Big Ass Show, it granted a great opportunity for a few locals to fill in. King Niko vocalist Ransom Wydner sang “Nine in the Afternoon,” up-and-comer Brogan Kelby piped “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” and Neon Trees’ Tyler Glenn sang on a few tunes, as well. National attention poured in via Billboard.com, AltPress.com and AmpMagazine.com, which let the world know, yet again, that Salt Lake City’s music scene ain’t so bad.
It’s no great secret that a lot of the big outdoor metal tours avoid Utah like the plague. (Seriously, think back to the last time you ever saw Ozzfest making its way to town.) Rather than wait around for the next big overpriced thing, if it ever were to happen, Exigent Records owner Jarom Bischoff set out to create his own festival. Eight shows over five days with over 50 of Salt Lake City’s finest thrashers, headbangers, screamers and intensely hard-rock and metal bands, all culminating with an all-day festival at Liberty Park. CrucialFest.tumblr.com
Local Music Studios
For the past five years, if not longer, the DIY movement has reigned supreme for anyone looking to make an album from nothing. However, good musicians eventually want quality, which has given a number of affordable Utah producers and recording spaces new life this past calendar year—over 250 local albums were released. Some studios and solo producers that saw success and praise with killer albums include Kitefishing, Andy Patterson, Black Pyramid, 29th Street, June Audio, Salt Lake Recording Service, David Payne, Midnight Records, Feral Frequency and Man vs. Music. Let’s hope this trend sticks around much longer than the other.
Joshua Payne Orchestra/Trio
For the past 10 years, the Joshua Payne Orchestra, and their performances on street corners and underpasses, has been one of the local jazz scene’s defining charms. Their alter ego, the Joshua Payne Trio, gigs nearly every night of the week, trumpeting a repertoire of unique cover songs that surpasses the bar set by the average lounge act. In 2011, between their onstage engagements, the orchestra recorded Zoom. Since the record’s September release, the nine-piece progressive-jazz outfit has come in from the cold to appear monthly at The Circle Lounge, among their other engagements. Fortunately, despite the orchestra’s now busier concert schedule, the other face of the group remains as visible as ever.
Passing of an Indie Legacy
After a five-year run during which Chris and Anna Brozek made their Slowtrain record store the go-to local shop for discerning indie-rock fans, they shut Slowtrain’s doors on Christmas Eve 2011, shortly after the arrival of their first child, daughter Iris. Slowtrain will be remembered for a lot of great in-store performances by the likes of Girls, Shearwater and in-house fave David Williams, but even more so for the Brozeks’ importance to the community in providing a gathering place and shopping spot that always felt like much more than just a record store.