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XOXO SLC 

An affectionate farewell from our departing music editor.

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ERIN MOORE
  • Erin Moore

With Valentine's Day soon upon us, there's no better way really to frame the end of my time at City Weekly. It's been almost three years since I started writing and curating the music section at the paper, and it's been a lot of fun—but also very hard to see the scene and musicians I love struggling through the pandemic that has eaten up more than half of my time at City Weekly.

So, speaking of love, why not share my whole SLC music love affair with you? It is, after all, the season of love, even if there's heartbreak, too.

First Love. Like a 90-year-old telling her life story, I must wonder, where do I start? I think the first time I saw the local band Fossil Arms—who are still active—was when I realized that '80s-style synth pop was still alive and well in a thing called "the subculture." It was one of the first local shows I ever saw in Salt Lake, and after that, I became a show fiend—sneaking into small local shows I was not legally allowed to be at, acquainting myself with both locals and an interest in wider indie, DIY and punk music at the same time. Favorite shows of this period—when I was also learning to write about this stuff—included sweaty, throbbing Foster Body shows (they don't exist anymore), spare and bristly post-punk crammed into Diabolical Records' small space, and Punk Rock Halloween, where every cool musician in town covered some legend or another—like Nirvana, one time, by also extinct locals Chalk.

More than any one experience, though, I worshiped the show—the feeling of a bass guitar hitting your chest, the sweat of a drummer humidifying the air, the wonderful immediacy of seeing brilliant and passionate musicians close up at any number of SLC's excellent, intimate venues. Many of the local bands I loved first aren't around anymore, and I try to open myself up to enthusiasm for their young new replacements, but you can't ever replicate the magic of first love.

Heartbreak. I've had a few, including a silly stint moving away from my beloved SLC to Minnesota to moon about doing nothing, and not seeing music. But the worst heartbreak, for certain, has been this damn pandemic. Imagine the horror of being a music writer who makes money writing about upcoming shows, only to have pretty much all of them suspended for the better part of two years?

I can say it now that I'm leaving the music-writing game, but writing about live stream shows as a replacement was incredibly hard, and I never actually could bring myself to watch any during those first long months of the pandemic in 2020. What a confession—sorry for feigning enthusiasm in the countless picks I wrote about those virtual shows. I had to write about something, you see. I do, however, still think they're a powerful tool for accessibility, and I hope that there continue to be some on offer even after the pandemic.

More than my own sadness, though, it was so hard to see friends cancel tours, putting out albums with no release shows, unable to enjoy their music in a live setting at all. The closest I got to seeing live music in summer 2020 was watching from the lawn while my friend Dave and his musician friends played behind a weeping willow (ha!) on top of the roof of his house every week. I'm honestly still heartbroken, because this stuff is still going on in stops and starts.

New Love. As the music editor at City Weekly, it's been very important to me to serve all the different scenes and genres and fans in the city, so as I've attempted to cover all the bases, I've also made some great discoveries I wouldn't have made otherwise. Some of my favorite local artists I've discovered over the last three years have included Sophie Blair, Rachel Jenkins, Vincent Draper and the Culls, Cop Kid and World's Worst, to name just a few. I've also made a lot of great connections with wonderful people who care about music just as much as I do, and do important things for it all the time in the scene. Consider this the confession of a secret admirer—you know who you are! You're celebrating new music and old, continuing traditions, starting new labels, booking incredible shows and changing what music looks like in this city.

True Love. It's a very strange thing to say goodbye to an old relationship, but that's what I'm doing here in leaving City Weekly. What was once a dream job has become very ordinary, just like can happen with a relationship that's gotten a little too comfortable, a little too familiar. I'll always love music, and especially local music—but when it's your job, you can't always appreciate it on your own terms. It's incredibly surreal to leave behind a job as cool as this one, but I take comfort in knowing the scene is still there, and I'm still here to be part of it, any way I choose. You can reach out to music@cityweekly.net to get acquainted with the new editor, and find me online if you know me, or catch me out at my favorite venues. Thanks for reading!

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About The Author

Erin Moore

Erin Moore

Bio:
Erin Moore is City Weekly's music editor. Email tips to: music@cityweekly.net.

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