The Salty Horror International Film Festival was conceived by Mario DeAngelis four years ago as an avenue for local and international horror filmmakers to bring their dark and deranged ideas to cinematic life.
Nowhere else will you see local legends like Dr. John and Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform on the same stages as worldwide phenomena such as The Cure, Nine Inch Nails and Pearl Jam, all the while catering to a younger culture of music lovers with headliners like Bassnectar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Calvin Harris and Paramore at the Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans.
The last panel I went to was “Mega Man: Powered Up!” and was by far the most heated panel of the three. Things got a little out of control when a man dressed in a full-on My Little Pony jumpsuit stated that Mega Man would always be superior to Zero, because supposedly they keep bringing Zero back, while Mega Man is a constant, which caused the other members of the audience to simultaneously start yelling that they agreed or disagreed with this guy’s theory, and why he was right or wrong.
Unless you just flew in from the darkest reaches of Romulan space, you may have heard about a little convention our fair city had last week, a convention that shattered records and expectations and huffed new life into the suffocating lungs of local geekdom. Dan Farr Productions’ Salt Lake Comic Con was a blazing fucking success by all accounts—especially financially—and has set the stage for Salt Lake to become a new mecca for the culture.
Typically anchored by fairly recognizable and boring headlining acts like Disturbed or Shinedown, this year those acts consisted of the strange combination of Circa Survive, Coheed & Cambria, Jane's Addiction and the legendary Alice In Chains – strange mix, but finally compelling enough for me to begrudgingly make it to an Uproar date. Make no mistake, though, I've got a lot of generic bullshit to tear apart before we get to the good stuff.
It's Year Three, Day Four of SLC's amazing musical orgasm CrucialFest, and I step off the Trax stop at Courthouse to get myself some delicious pizza and beer from The Pie Hole before the festivities start. Heat's in the triple digits, and I pity the poor fools even more who chose Warped Tour over CF.
On the second day of Crucialfest 3, the music gods looked upon Kilby Court and decided, “This is where the rock shall be.” A little slice of all-ages paradise, Kilby Court is a great venue tucked away in the back of an alley. The only downside is a serious lack of air conditioning, but fantastic lighting and sound makes up for it. Besides, it's the summer—if you're not sweating, then you're not trying hard enough. One of the most fun things about Kilby Court that doesn't really translate to a lot of venues is also the easygoing, casual vibe. “Casual” is the best way to describe Kilby all the way around, with the open garage door in back and courtyard full of stickers with a firepit flanked by park benches. Not a half bad way to catch some tunes and make some new friends.
On a warm and muggy Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to cover the first night of Crucialfest 3 at the Wood Shed. While technically starting at Kilby Court earlier that day, I was stoked to get in and get some of that sweet Crucialfest vibe. If you've never heard of Crucialfest, now is a good time to catch up before next year. A huge, local festival, getting bigger and bigger every year, Crucialfest is literally a crucial part of the Utah music scene in a big way. Taking place over several days and several different venues, with mostly local acts peppered with a few touring bands, it's a great way to dive in and get a grab bag of new tunes.
On June 21 to 25, I headed to Las Vegas for one of the biggest parties/festivals of the year, Insomniac’s 17th Electric Daisy Carnival! Once again, for three days straight, some of the best DJs in the world would all be in one place for another sold-out crowd at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the biggest all-night party, literally. From 7 p.m. to sunrise, there would be nonstop music. Las Vegas is already known as the city to party in, but during EDC weekend, something magical happens: It’s party level of 10 doubles and by two and multiplies to infinity.
People have considered “Utah beer” to be an oxymoron for many years, yet the craft-brewing scene here has evolved into a multi-faceted marketplace. Leading the charge are the home brewers. Jamie Burnham, manager of Salt Lake City’s The Beer Nut, saw a break in the clouds as an opportunity to capitalize on the uniting power of beer—in August of 2009, the first annual Beehive Brew-off was held, with over 300 entries being judged. It was a testament to the pent-up creativity that had been lying in wait, ready to be released upon the world.