Early in May, Hope Woodside of Fox 13 did a story about how Club Velour is the “center of the scene.” Now, no offense to the owners and employees of Velour—I’m sure that they invest a lot of effort into what they do, and Provo is undoubtedly fortunate to have them around to a degree … But what the fuck does Hope Woodside know about “the scene?” The story boasted that four LOCAL bands have made it to major-label fame through the help of Velour, which is great, but the footage of their local shows just showed a bunch of white kids standing around listening to some other white kids strum guitars gently like they’re at a goddamn Ben Kweller concert. I’m sorry, but if the club’s owner, Corey Fox, is looking at new bands as “starters” (as he said in this story) to tailor them to sound like Neon Trees, that’s not local music: That’s pop-culture bureaucracy that doesn’t generate any sort of character or “sound,” so to speak, for Utah.
The story also said that this “center of the scene” is not Salt Lake City. Granted, there is a definite dearth of all-ages venues in our capital, with Kilby taking on a huge load to carry, but if I can’t go see something aside from singer-songwriter-indie hogwash that’s not pushing the envelope, I’d rather hit the stinky dive bar. And not to hate on Neon Trees—I like them the same way I like, er, Taio Cruz. If you want the real Provo scene, go see a Despite Despair house show.
Hope Woodside may have won City Weekly’s “Best Of” award for Best Anchorwoman 15 times in a row, but no offense Ernie, you’re a fucking moron if you’re going to trust any anchor man or woman from a Fox station to give you a balanced and unbiased dish on any “local scene.”
That said, Provo is lucky to have a venue like Velour for the same reasons that Salt Lake is lucky to have a venue like Kilby. Venues like this encourage people to start bands by giving them a place to play—which will ultimately encourage a scene to keep moving forward. As I’m sure you know, any “scene” is multifaceted. A kid who is interested in standing quietly and bobbing his head to some acoustic folk pop is not the same kid with the bright pink mohawk and too much metal shit hanging off his face. Consider the diversity of Utah’s music scene a blessing. I’m sure the bands and fans do.