What's On Your iPod?: SLC Councilman Luke J. Garrott | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

What's On Your iPod?: SLC Councilman Luke J. Garrott 

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Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott took office in January. At the time, he scored a seat representing District 4 based on his qualifications as a respected University of Utah political-science professor with a burning passion for soccer, preserving historic neighborhoods and planned, sustainable development. These days, however, he could easily run on the platform, “Luke Garrott—You Know This Guy,” because Garrott is, first and foremost, “someone who walks his neighborhood talk.”

On any given day, you might find him commiserating with salt-of-the-earth folks at Junior’s Tavern, or maybe jogging—not in some fancy sports club—but right past the homeless shelter several miles from his Trolley Square neighborhood. Garrott recently, and somewhat infamously, demonstrated to his constituents just how devoted he is to curbing crime by intervening in a knife fight. Should he have called the cops instead? That’s debatable. But, one thing is certain: Garrott is not afraid to take action.

At the U, he further connects with the children who, it turns out, really are our future.

“My students, especially the upper-division ones, are intelligent and engaged,” he says, adding that he is made hopeful by the next generation. Garrott is similarly optimistic about the 2008 presidential election, predicting an Obama landslide, “but only if we get our friends to register and vote!”

How does he stay motivated in these cynical times? Sly and the Family Stone makes him feel patriotic, but this audiophile has about 120GB worth of tunes to complement any mood.

We invited Garrott to submit to a game of chance—to see how far he’s willing to open up—by putting his iPod on shuffle and reporting the results. No skipping around. No hanging chads. No questioned ballots.

Turns out he had nothing to worry about. His reputation remains solid gold.

Flaming Lips, “In the Morning of the Magicians,” Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Where do the members of Flaming Lips reside? Oklahoma City?! This spaced-out foxtrot is proof that the provinces can be places of intense creativity. Anybody who’s been to a Lips’ show knows what I’m talking about—giant furry inflatables!

Swirlies, “Jeremy Parker,” Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
Nineties sonic indie rock—Sonic Youth meets My Bloody Valentine. I love the balance of the male and female vocals in this song: very democratic. Math rockers from Boston. I listened to this band a lot when I was in grad school. Their lushness evokes the soft-focus, Spanish-moss humidity of the sweet town of Gainesville, Fla.

Air, “Run,” Talkie Walkie
This electronic band of Frogs is weird. I get overwhelmed by their wicked sense of humor—a hyper-futuristic urban European irony. So hot. So cool. Welcome to hyperspace, mon ami.

Heatmiser, “Low Flying Jets,” Mic City Sons
That Elliot Smith’s last show was at the U. blows my mind. He committed suicide just two weeks later, literally stabbing himself in the heart. I kid you not. We lost a songwriter who might have been as great as any, ever. Him being sloppy drunk on a stage below the Union that autumn evening didn’t get in the way of a beautiful performance, but a lifetime of them got in the way of a musician that could have been in the class of Costello, Lennon and Dylan.

Aimee Mann, “All Over Now,” I’m With Stupid
You have to give it to her. Like Elliot Smith, she’s a pop artist who didn’t sell out, and was good enough to make it her own way. Indie-rock, indeed, and she’s still working it good! A true pop goddess. Seriously, with the exception of songwriters like the greats mentioned above, who can touch her? Did someone say touch Aimee Mann?

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