The Coathangers | The Devil You Know |Suicide Squeeze Records

The Coathangers
The Devil You Know

Suicide Squeeze Records
Street: 03.08
The Coathangers = Sleater-Kinney + Babes of Toyland + Savages

The Coathangers are beloved and embraced by their fans for their frantic and piercing riot grrrl anthems. Coathangers hits are built by beat-driving bass lines, from bassist Meredith Franco (Minnie Coathanger), that swing heavy like an iron pendulum paired with tempestuous vocals and biting lyrics thrown on a platter by guitarist Julia Kugel (Crook Kid Coathanger) and drummer Stephanie Luke (Rusty Coathanger). Albums and songs like Suck My Shirt’s “Adderall,” released in 2014, and Nosebleed Weekend’s “Squeeki Tiki,” released in 2016, shoulder-checked us all, and if there is any way to describe what behavior The Coathangers incite in fans, it’s to be pissed off with smile on your face and a hearty squeal to match.

After a long tease of a wait, fans are able to add another Coathangers album to their collection and once again have more Coathangers lyrics to growl and chant in their car/shower/house party … whatever. On March 8, The Coathangers jump back into the rancorous narrative of modern-day punk rock with the album The Devil You Know. Before pressing “play” on the first song, “Bimbo,” I buckled up, and took a deep, metaphorical cigarette drag ready to rock back and forth to another tried-n-true Coathangers banger I was about to meet.

The two-and-a-half-minute song starts with, dare a say it, a taste of surf rock—I thought I was listening to Habibi (I love Habibi; I just didn’t expect the tremolo effect). Quickly, Rusty Coathanger comes in with her classic vocal “rust” and the guitar switches to a familiar, distorted effect for the chorus. The song ends with the lyrics “The world’s got other plans.” Oh boy, did The Coathangers have other plans for me with that song. Totally thrown off, but still enjoyable.

“5 Farms” comes in second to comfort me with their classic, panic-stricken bass and guitar lines with an anthem-like chorus. I was home with my girls again. “5 Farms” tells a narrative story with the verse lyrics reading, “His father’s dead / With the money in hand / There’s nothing for you / He kept all of his land / Sister over here / She steals your chair.” The chorus follows with a rally cry: “Can’t take it with you / Nobody gets out alive”. This song is like a high, and like all highs—it has a come-down. It ends with a slower and reverb-drenched citation of the first verse to finish us off.

“Crimson Telephone” comes in third and sounds like a slow, tired prowl that snowballs with speed and weight throughout. The song bears classic Coathangers elements but almost feels like a reverse sink into quicksand, as it flexes psych-rock influences mixed in. The following eight songs in this 11-song tracklist continue to have a sense of variety, and having clearly been heavily curated to encapsulate the range The Coathangers are capable of. Initially unwilling to accept the change, it was songs like “Step Back” with Crook Kid Coathanger’s siren-like vocals driving the chorus and “Stranger Danger” with the multi-layered, doomy chorus that coaxed me back into the trio’s trance. There is something about the way Luke and Kugel mumble, “Stranger danger what do you see / Stranger danger looking at me / Yeah you’ve faded and rotten / Yeah you’re something forgotten” that makes me feel like they are licking those words on the side of my face and it is fucking sexy.

Needless to say I am “hooked” on The Coathanger’s The Devil You Know. It got me like a Little Ceasar’s pizza—hot n’ ready for more. I can’t wait to see what this trajectory leads them to in upcoming albums—I’m buckled up! –Bianca Velasquez (March 7, Kilby Court)

Plenty of greenery adorns the space. Photo: @clancycoop

With the luscious growth of Salt Lake City comes the entrepreneurial buzz from ambitious and unrestrained self-starters. Within this valuable group of people are locals—and business owners—Jacob Hall, Chase WorthenFernando Lazalde and Michael Askerlund. On the weekend of Sept. 4–6, these gentlemen kicked off their journey opening Downtown Salt Lake City’s latest watering hole, Alibi Bar and Place.

Attending on the Sunday of that weekend, I was able to take part in the fruit of their labor. Located on the corner Main Street and Fourth South in a classic Downtown brick-and-mortar within the New Grand Hotel, the presence of classic metropolitan characteristics—such as exposed brick walls and large windows providing a backdrop of a bustling Main Street—enrich the aesthetic of Alibi. It doesn’t overwhelm the space, setting it apart from being “just another Downtown bar.” The branding is clear. The main theme in the driver’s seat of Alibi’s branding is a bright aqua color present in all of their social media and the physical bar. Alibi’s logo, design and overall branding (designed by The Young Jerks) is a combination of an Art Deco temperament, cool-colored tones, a regal mural/wall hangings with an overall oasis-like feel.

After standing in an electric cloud of people clustering in front of the bar, I was able to finally order a refreshing beverage. Concocted by the creative bartenders/owners is a limited list of craft cocktails such as “Roller Derby” (gin, lime, raspberry and sugar) and more of a traditional cocktail like the “Paloma(tequila, lime, grapefruit, sugar, spicy salt rim and Grapefruit Jarritos). Almost anyone can find what they are looking for with—in addition to house cocktails—Alibi’s satisfying collection of red and white wines, canned house sparkling rosé, bottled and draft beers and a small selection of bar snacks. And of course, they are environmentally conscious by providing compostable straws.

The bar is low enough that you can see all the materials the bartenders use to build your drink, creating a source of entertainment. Behind the group of bartenders whipping around their arms as they make drinks is an appealing, soft, baby blue tile backing to the bar in a rhombus shape. The seating opportunities for patrons seems like a challenge Alibi will overcome. Some people took turns sitting down, and others were animated about saving the seats they could find for their friends. Considering that it was the opening weekend, it’s very possible to imagine that on a less busy night, the bar would be a comfortable place to linger in conversation with friends with enough seating for all.

The social aspect and overall “vibe” of the space was welcoming and unassuming—it doesn’t feel like you had to be categorized as a particular type of person to fit in. With the small list, drinks cover a large spectrum of flavors (it is about quality not quantity), and one does not feel overwhelmed by too many options. It is a simple, open space ready to provide a service for customers wanting to treat themselves to a nice cocktail. It is a place where you can meet with friends to start off your night, with the option of a quick walk to places such as Quarters Arcade Bar or Green Pig Pub.

Down a dimly lit, deep-sapphire hallway at the east end of the bar are two doors. Each of them lead to an important aspect of every bar—the bathroom. Y’all know that’s a trendy, social media–driven responsibility to take cute-ass selfies in the bathroom with all your friends. Alibi gives patrons a lot to work with for the self-sponsored photoshoot. The contrast between the dark hallway and the well-lit, red-floral wall-papered restroom will knock you back. It’s like a door from Hollister leading to Target. Beneath the wall paper about halfway down the wall lies a powder-blue tile, each tile different sizes of rectangles, adding to the eye candy of the bathroom. It’s clever and well planned move on Alibi’s part.

Every element of Alibi brings patrons into a lush boozy nook in the heart of Downtown. Yes, there are a lot of bars popping up all over the city, which I see as a sign of a growing and thriving city excited to cater to the ever growing Salt Lake City nightlife. Alibi provides a different world within that and is worth adding to your Main Street bar-hopping list. You can follow Alibi’s spirited expedition through their Instagram at @alibislc and their Facebook page www.facebook.com/alibislc.

Click images for captions

Photo (L–R): Daniel George, Carsten Meier
Edward Bateman
Portrait Courtesy of Edward Bateman

Creating a boundary is a powerful method of solidifying the definition of something as its own whole. Boundaries encapsulate, separate and clearly define the end of one thing and the beginning of another. In the Utah art scene, like in any region, boundaries exist. And like in any other circumstance, these lines that exist concurrently within the scene can produce both positives and negatives. The DE | MARCATION portfolio is a snapshot of what that looks like today within Utah art photography, all while combating boundaries that exist as walls.

“There are physical boundaries, in the sense that I think artists have a difficult time promoting and getting their work across state lines. It is easy to stay inside our own system, our own bubble, so I wanted to break down that boundary,” says Amy Jorgensen, Executive Director and Chief Curator at Granary Arts, Head of Photography and Associate Professor of Visual Art at Snow College and Co-Creator of the photography portfolio DE | MARCATION. “It’s also the conceptual boundaries that we have. What are the traditions of photography in the West? How is it going to work breaking those traditions and really reach beyond what we are accustomed to?”

The word “demarcation” means to fix the boundaries or limits to something. This is a perfectly fitting title, considering the mission Jorgensen has in mind with this project: To expand the audience and encapsulate what art photography exists now in Utah. Although, Jorgensen says, “DE | MARCATION came later—the title was the hardest thing. The title has to capture the essence of what you are trying to accomplish. All of those goals were rooted from the beginning of the project.”

“It is easy to stay inside our own system, our own bubble, so I wanted to break down that boundary.”

Amy Jorgensen
Portrait Courtesy of Amy Jorgensen

DE | MARCATION had its genesis in the archive section of the Center of Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona. Jorgensen discovered similar portfolios from the 1970s, which sparked the desire to bring this concept to Utah. As Jorgensen starting developing the concept of the portfolio, she brought in Edward Bateman, Head of the Photography and Digital Imaging area and Associate Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Utah, to help collect the right photographers to highlight in the portfolio. “I’ve participated in a lot of printmaking portfolios—I knew exactly what Amy was talking about and how portfolios build communities among artists,” says Bateman. “I knew that it would be a huge amount of work … but also that this was an important project.”

Now that the vision was in place, there were multiple goals that needed to be met to manifest this project into reality. One of them was the funding for DE | MARCATION. Soon after Jorgensen’s visit to Tucson in 2016, UMFA pre-purchased the portfolio. It was this milestone—and the generous financial support DE | MARCATION received along the way—that allowed the groundwork to begin, including the design and curation of the portfolio.

“We wanted this object that moved conversations forward, looking to the future. We wanted a design of a box that was very contemporary.”

Photo: Samuel Davis
Natalie Kirk
Portrait Courtesy of Natalie Kirk

When looking for artists, Bateman and Jorgensen initially wanted photographers to apply but quickly realized this wasn’t the best way to find the appropriate photographers. “We interviewed and met with many of the artists and debated for months and months on who to include,” says Bateman. That’s when they tapped into their network and contacts, and searched for artists who were dedicated to their practice. They also kept an eye out on a spectrum of makers—people from younger and older generations. The 20 photographers who are officially featured are: Kimberly Anderson, Christine Baczek, David Baddley, Edward Bateman, David Brothers, Van Chu, Samuel Davis, Daniel George, Haynes Goodsell, Mark Hedengren, Amy Jorgensen, Natalie Kirk, Karalee Kuchar, Carsten Meier, Bernard C. Meyers, Andrew Patteson, Kim Raff, Nancy E. Rivera, Fazilat Soukhakian and Josh Winegar. The work of photographers Carsten Meier, Daniel George, Kim Raff, Natalie Kirk and Samuel Davies are highlighted in this piece, as many of the other photographers have already been featured in past issues of SLUG.

Of the final project Jorgensen says, “The specific design of this box was a collaboration with myself, Ed and the amazing staff at Red Butte Press (Emily Tipps, Marnie Powers-Torrey, Crane Giamo). We sat down in their studio, and they listened to what the goals of the project were and what would be important to communicate—which was that we wanted this object that moved conversations forward, looking to the future. We wanted a design of a box that was very contemporary.” This concept was successfully executed with details like the slim and sleek presentation—the edges don’t hang over the sides, the corners are slightly beveled, and everything fits together perfectly. “We look at hundreds of swatches of color—we wanted something that grabbed your visual attention, there is a lot of red in Utah, politically and in the landscape. There is a gold inset and when you slant it, it turns gold and blue.”

“You have to look at any multi-year collaborative art project as a labor of love.”

Photo: Kimberly Anderson

In November of 2018, the design work, curation and vision to support the artists of Utah was complete, and DE | MARCATION was ready for its debut. “From the beginning, you have to look at any multi-year collaborative art project as a labor of love because it will take more time, energy and money that you will ever imagine,” says Bateman. The love for the project and what the project represents is deeply saturated in every crevice of the object, from the fine detail in design to the love each photographer poured into the creation of every image. Jorgensen made good on her inspiration when looking through those archived portfolios back in 2016, and approached this project from a place of love and pride for Utah and the artists whose work lives within its boundaries.

DE | MARCATION currently resides at Granary Arts at 86 N. Main St. in Ephraim, Utah, and will be up until Sept. 27, with plans to move to the UMFA in the Fall.


More on SLUGMag.com:

Amy Jorgensen and Justin Watson: Artists in Dialogue
Paint the Town: Murals Adorn Granary District and South Salt Lake

Photo: Eliot Lee Hazel

As Salt Lake celebrates Kilby Court’s 20th year, it is easy to reflect on how Kilby fosters a myriad of first-time moments. Some examples are the first time you and your middle school best friends get to go a concert without a parent chaperone, the first time you are inspired by the lights that spotlight the singer-songwriter performing on the stage—a catalyst to the first time you have an impulse to run home and write your first song. In some cases, it is the place you have your first date, your first breakup and, in my case, your first professional internship. These are the fleeting and magical moments that build character into a community and encourages it to have a voice. Salt Lake City is lucky to have an all-ages venue like Kilby that can offer the youth of our community opportunities to find, implement and refine their own voice.

Co-Owner Will Sartain echoes this sentiment, saying, “We love providing a space for people to perform. It is really important, and I think it affects a lot of young people as they try to find themselves. Hopefully, we are providing a place for people to grow.” Co-Owner Lance Saunders’ first-time experience at Kilby is similar to most visitors’: “My first show at Kilby was SUBTLE in February of 2005. I was enamored with their music and after the show we all hung out in the courtyard and started a conversation that would turn into a lifelong friendship with the band. That’s where the band/concert-attendee line blurred for me. It was special to realize we were all there for the same reason … our shared love for the art, music [and] culture … The venue facilitates all of that,” Saunders says.

Soon after Saunders and Sartain obtained Kilby Court as their own in 2008, this became the environment both Saunders and Sartain aim to maintain at the venue to this day. As far as the changes the venue has gone through in the last 20 years, Sartain feels that Kilby has remained consistent. One thing that particularly stays the same is the staff that Sartain and Saunders hire. Sartain says, “Our staff has been great. It’s really the staff that sets the tone. We try to have positive people who care about music, working and providing positivity as people enjoy music.”

Kilby is known to be a rite of passage for many musicians. It is a comfortable and approachable platform for local musicians and touring musicians even just passing through. Saunders says, “I love it when I hear people say, ‘I saw them at Kilby’ or when bands grow to play larger stages, for instance: SLC/Ogden Twilight, Red Butte, etc., and yell out to the crowd, ‘Our first time in SLC, we played Kilby Court!’ and everyone screams and claps. So cool.” One of these bands being the highly acclaimed and treasured Death Cab for Cutie, who is coming back to perform at the 20th Anniversary Block Party on May 11.

Like Kilby, Death Cab for Cutie pull one into a pool of catharsis with sentiment-inducing albums like Transatlanticism, Plans, The Photo Album and more. Nick Harmer, guitarist for Death Cab for Cutie, reflects on their first show at Kilby in 2001, saying, “When we started touring, it was a little bit like magic. It was a little before the internet was really as ubiquitous as it is. It was mysterious and magical to put a record out and go into a city that we have never known before.” Giving touring bands an intimate look into the aspects of Salt Lake’s artistic community is a trait and value Kilby holds tight. It has proven to keep enriching our town with great bands that love to come back. “Finding Kilby Court was really exciting. When we first came into SLC, we had heard that SLC is a really conservative and locked-down town … [that] there was not a lot of interesting things artistically or creatively. Then we found Kilby Court as this oasis where all the oddballs could show up and be who they wanted to be, and all of a sudden, it felt like we weren’t that far from home. Always driving down that alley, it never felt strange or out of place,” Harmer says.

There are many characteristics about Salt Lake’s longest-running all-ages venue, Kilby Court, that make visitors and performers erupt with a range of emotions. The red-picket fence surrounding it is a reminder of being star-struck and brimming with electricity while standing in the ticket line for a long-awaited show. The fire pit in the courtyard has served as a focal point where strangers, friends, fans and musicians can gather and connect in between sets. Adorned by a collection of local art, the green room at Kilby is oftentimes the first green room local starting musicians ever step foot in. And, most importantly, the stage—the stage at Kilby Court has been witness to the performances of successful national and local bands like STRFKR, My Morning Jacket, Pinback and returning band, Death Cab for Cutie.

In addition to Death Cab for Cutie, the block party’s lineup includes a long list of local musicians who have helped set the scene from the last 20 years to today. This lineup includes active and reunited bands (performing across three different stages, one curated by Spyhop): The National Parks, Joshua James, Ritt Momney, Picture This, Palace of Buddies, Breakfast In Silence, The Backseat Lovers and Drew Danbury. When not watching the performers, attendees can visit food trucks and enjoy craft beer in bar areas for those who are ages 21 and up. If you want to celebrate early, visit Urban Lounge on May 10 for the Kick-Off Party with Joshua James beginning at 8 p.m. Come see bands and feel the warmth 20 years of community cultivates for yourself on Saturday, May 11, at 3 p.m. See you there.

(L–R) Greyden Benz, Hugo Molina, Andy Steele and Braden Tipton change up their set every time they play, making each performance unique. Photo: LmSorenson.net

This May installment of SLUG Magazine’s Localized highlights an eclectic range of bands with a comparably unique range of history in Salt Lake City. Gracing the stage will be bands, Martian Cult, Umbels and Coolaid. The night will be filled with pop, psych and synth-driven post-punk themes that will have you bouncing from one musical land to another. Enjoy yourself on Thursday, May 16, for SLUG Localized at Urban Lounge, sponsored by High West, 90.9 FM KRCL and Spilt Ink SLC.


When Umbels guitarist/vocalist Greydon Benz was 17, he wrote the word “Umbels” on the surface of his guitar. Reflecting on that time, Benz feels that it was an embarrassing gesture but considers it the beginning of Umbels. This nostalgic sentiment is something that is a common theme throughout their music. There are songs that Umbels still play that Benz wrote 15 years ago, such as “Mothz,” which evolved just as much as Benz has as a musician.

“I wrote the song and concepts when I was 16, but since I’ve been exposed to a lot more music, it had changed the song three or four times,” Benz says. Umbels’ music is influenced by psychedelic tunes. “It is a good mix between rock and psych, especially world psych,” Benz says. “I take a lot of influence from psych from South America, Brazilian psych from the ’70s and ’60s.” Novos Baianos are a Brazilian-Portuguese band whom Benz uses as an influential example. Listening to “Mothz” confirms this—it gives off the sense of a “psychedelic jam band” but changes its tone when Benz’s vocals come in to lend the song structure. The bass is a funky ride between psychedelic, reverb-drenched gasps and dives that create the bridge and chorus, all sprinkled by Molina’s various instruments like shakers and bongos. Guitarist Andy Jack Steele says, “All of our stuff constantly changes. We can practice it one time, and the next time, it will be completely different.”

It’s rare to find band members who can be at the same speed as everyone else, but it seems that the members of Umbels enjoy the same reasons for being in the band. Drummer Braden Tipton says, “I play my tasiest stuff [music] when I can’t remember what I played last time—even if we play the same song two days in a row, it will never feel the same.” Benz and Steele had already been playing together since junior high when Umbels began. “He was the first person I have ever jammed with. It’s been a blossoming friendship ever since,” Benz says.

“I’m sick of buying drinks, so I’ve joined multiple bands—I get twice the drink tickets.”

Steele’s and Benz’s first show was when they were 15 in a band named after Benz, though they refused to disclose what the name specifically was. Steele and Benz have a playful relationship. This is evident from the energy in the room when they are together, which plays off well with Tipton’s carefree and giggly personality. Everyone in the band seems to dedicate themselves for a different reason. Tipton wants to play on the drums, Benz wants to write and Steele says,  “I’m sick of buying drinks, so I’ve joined multiple bands—I get twice the drink tickets,” he says.

Tipton and percussionist Hugo Molina Jr. (xylophone, triangle, congos, shakers, tambourine) have a similar, long-standing relationship to Benz’s and Steele’s. Seeing as they’ve been playing together for 10 years (starting out in band Samba Fogo), they joined Benz and Steele with ease. Molina add the world music elements that Benz aims to include into Umbels’ sound.

Molina achieves this with a range of instruments he efficiently includes in the set. Molina started drumming when he was a kid, after he naturally started getting into different music like metal and The Beatles. Coming from El Salvador, Molina is excited about his musical opportunity here in Utah with Umbels. He says, “Me and Tipton play in a different band; they invited me to play percussion for them for a show last year. Loved it, love the band, the music we’re creating. It’s pretty cool. all members are extremely kind and super talented, and I’m just glad I’m part of this fun project.”

“We just want to play house parties—we want to do a tour of our friends’ garages.”

The fifth and newest member of Umbels, Dravland Brown, plays bass. Many will recognize him from 90s TV and Twilite Lounge comedy nights, where he is the only comedian. He did not yet know he was part of the band at the time of this interview or the photoshoot. So obviously, the guys in Umbels are chill as fuck. Following suit, their sets are not as regimented or strict compared to other local bands. Benz writes the songs, but doesn’t hold the rest of the band to execute them perfectly—he gives them a lot of creative freedom. “A level of perfectionism that doesn’t bleed onto others [when writing music] takes a lot of courage and is hard to share,” Tipton says about Benz’s writing style. The same lax attitude applies when practicing or playing shows: “[The current members have] been jamming six times a year for two years,” Tipton says. Umbels don’t see playing music as a race to a finish line but more like a stroll in the park.

“We just want to play house parties—we want to do a tour of our friends’ garages,” Steele says, “and it is always better when all of our friends are there.” Umbels do eventually want to go on tour but are currently focusing on writing and recording music, along with integrating Brown as the new bassist. Benz says, “Part of the reason why we never discussed touring is because I think we just focused on recording music. I really enjoy recording music and prefer that over going on tour.” Umbels is not against touring nor do they believe that bands who tour frequently are doing it wrong. They just have had other “life things” taking priority at the moment. For example, Benz and Steele have been occupied with school, with Benz just recently receiving his bachelor’s degree in linguistics, even though Benz tried to convince me he has his PhD in drinking wine.

Steele says, “We do want to follow Martian Cult on tour, but … don’t tell Martian Cult.”

You can find Umbels’ music or what they call “palm rock” on Bandcamp at and information about their upcoming shows or a hypothetical tour on their Facebook page. And of course, come enjoy their set at the upcoming Localized on May 16 at Urban Lounge.

Photos: @clancycoop, John Barkiple

As we ease into May, the length of daytime in each day increases, and we awake from our long slumbers bright-eyed and thirsty for some vitamin D. What better way to fill that overdue sunshine depletion by hopping on our bikes and learning to love the outdoors again, sans snow and rain? Luckily, there are many bikeable local amenities to enhance your tour of downtown SLC. Marmalade’s cyclist-centric bar is the perfect stop for a beer and a bite, actors and performances are around the corner via our local acting company, and for the music lovers, an all-ages music venue is just a few blocks away. Local coffee and shopping are just a few blocks east, and to top off your long day of adventuring, pamper yourself at a spa that is a short ride south. Take a break. Winter was tough. Stay in town, but get out in the sun for this—your SLC Staycation!


 

Photo: John Barkiple

Skinworks

2211 Nowell C. • Tu: 9:30a-8p • W–Th: 9:30a-10p • F: 9:30a–5p • Sa: 9:30a–4:30p
801.530.0001 • skinworks.edu

Between the respectfulness of their students and the calming atmosphere, every visit to Skinworks feels like discovering a safe and cozy cocoon away from home. There’s a lot on tap: manis, pedis, waxes and luxury facials—no matter what you choose, a capable student will craft detailed feedback on how to treat your personal skin-care challenges. After a session, they may offer you specific products to handle your needs, but it’s no pressure. Located just off State Street and 2100 South, Skinworks is easy to find and low-hassle. It’s an affordable and easy go-to pampering spot for those low-energy days. Pictured: Owner Natalie Parkin. –Parker Mortensen
Photo: John Barkiple


Photo: @clancycoopKings Peak Coffee Roasters

412 S. 700 West Ste. 140    M–F: 7a–4p    Sa: 9a–2p
385.267.1890    kingspeakcoffeeroasters.com

Even the most seasoned SLC coffee aficionados are unlikely to know about the city’s newest entry to the scene, King’s Peak Coffee Roasters. They are located in a charming early-20th-century building that was the accounting office of a steel foundry, and even have the vintage vault on display. They offer baked goods from Honeycomb and Streusel, and also have Hans Kombucha and Mamacharie Kombucha, both local, all served in a cozy, exposed-brick and filament-light-bulb-adorned-environment. Modern West art gallery is right next door, which shows compelling original art that is always changing. Saltgrass Printmakers is on the other side, which makes the building a must-visit bohemian outpost. –Tyson Call
Photo: @clancycoop


City of Industry

209 E. Broadway • F-Sa: 11a–6p • Su: 11a–3p
385.419.1352 • cityofindustryshop.com

With bright baubles and crafty stationery creating the window display for City of Industry, it’s difficult to resist coming in to check out the eclectic offering. Stocking the shop with unique gifts for friends and family who prefer a more personalized touch, owner Sarah Anderson (pictured) chooses the curios in her inventory from women-owned and family-owned businesses, most of which use Salt Lake City locals. Anderson’s brand of charming kitchen and houseware-inspired pins are the hallmark of the shop, along with an area for crafting classes, which are offered about once a month. Once you’re drawn in by the tantalizing window display, you’ll want to stick around for the quirky, pop art–inspired treasures. –Ali Shimkus
Photo: John Barkiple


 

Photo: @clancycoopSLC Bicycle Collective

2312 S. West Temple    Tu: 2p–6p    Th: 2p–6p
Sa: 12p–6p    801.FAT.BIKE (801.328.2453)
bicyclecollective.org/salt-lake-city

The weather is warm and it’s time to dust off the bicycles—but during winter, the tires have gone flat and the chain has dried out—maybe that missing part is destined to keep it unused all year. That is where SLC Bicycle Collective comes in. They offer workbenches and tools to use at an affordable hourly rate, and they offer inclusive educational programming for those who don’t know a derailleur from a crank arm. The nonprofit has been in SLC for 17 years, and they seek to promote two-wheeled, human-powered transportation. They also receive donated bikes, refurbish them and donate them to people in the community who can’t afford bicycles. –Tyson Call
Photo: @clancycoop


The Beehive Social Club

666 S. State Street •  Hours: vary, depending on events
thebeehiveslc.com
Mark of the Beastro M–F: 6p–9p • Sa: 11a–2p • Su: 11a–2p, 6p–9p

The Beehive Social Club has established itself as a hub for Salt Lake City’s underground culture. From shows to flea markets, the Beehive is an essential destination for those who want to get in touch with what characterizes SLC’s punk culture. The front of the establishment is the brand-new vegan restaurant, Mark of the Beastro, and further in the back of the building is the performance space, featuring a stage, soundbooth and enough room to fit a decent-sized crowd. The Beehive Social Club is a staple for food and tunes on a bike ride around SLC. –Zaina Abujebarah
Photo: John Barkiple


Salt Lake Acting Company

168 W. 500 North    801.363.7522
saltlakeactingcompany.org

This year, the Salt Lake Acting Company (pictured) celebrates 49 seasons as a subversive addition to the Utah art scene. The 2019 season will include kid-friendly offerings and the 42nd of the famed Saturday’s Voyeur series. This year also marks the first all-woman directorial lineup. In its centrally located, repurposed church building, SLAC’s performance space and clever lineup is a must for locals and visitors—and an easy ride for cyclists. This season’s offerings are certain to whet your dramaturgic appetite, whether seeking humor, humanity or simply an entertaining and easy ride from your delicious Downtown dinner date. –Paige Zuckerman
Photo: John Barkiple


Photo: John Barkiple

Handlebar

751 N. 300 West • M-Su: 11a–1a • 801.953.0588
handlebarslc.com

Adorned by an array of nuts, bolts, tires and spokes, Handlebar provides a comfortable, low-key, bike-themed bar and restaurant. With karaoke on Monday nights and poker on Wednesday nights, Handlebar encourages a social atmosphere and healthy interactions between strangers and friends alike. Their food menu is vegan/omnivore-friendly, and their kitchen offers items like the Vegan Pig Candy ($8), which is brown-sugar caramelized “porkless” bites. They proudly offer a large selection of local beer from breweries like Bohemian, Wasatch, Squatters, Proper and many more. Hop on over to the Marmalade District’s cyclist hub and try out what they have to offer! Pictured: Bartender Chris Hooten. –Bianca Velasquez
Photo: John Barkiple


More on SLUGMag.com:

SLC Staycation (2018)
Salt Lake City Staycation (2017)

L–R) Blair Draper, Derek Clark, Justin Richardson, Elowyn LaPointe and Jared Asplund wax and wane their music styles through Martian Cult to provide a unique sound. Photo: LmSorenson.net

This May installment of SLUG Magazine’s Localized highlights an eclectic range of bands with a comparably unique range of history in Salt Lake City. Gracing the stage will be bands, Martian Cult, Umbels and Coolaid. The night will be filled with pop, psych and synth-driven post-punk themes that will have you bouncing from one musical land to another. Enjoy yourself on Thursday, May 16, for SLUG Localized at Urban Lounge, sponsored by High West, 90.9 FM KRCL and Spilt Ink SLC.


Followed by the remnants of former local band Daisy and the Moonshines, vocalist Jared Asplund and bassist Elowyn LaPointe were led down a path of synth-heavy music and dystopian storytelling to form what is now known as Martian Cult. LaPointe and Asplund are accompanied on this journey by guitarist Justin Richardson from the band Terra Cotta, synth player Derek Clark and drummer Blair Draper (also known as Milo, depending on the day).

This group forms a unique sound that incites a sense of adventure, nostalgia and frantic longing for a tragic love story we don’t know yet. Experiencing their music gives the same spike of adrenaline brought on by playing a game of Zelda or Fallout 76. As someone who has played many shows alongside Martian Cult and who is their friend (if they’ll have me), I wouldn’t hype them up if I didn’t mean it from an objective standpoint—I don’t think they would stand for that bullshit.

Like many bands, Martian Cult struggle with the definition of what their “sound” is. This elicits an internal conflict, as Asplund says, “You kinda go back and forth between being pigeonholed or having a place to fit.” Cheater’s Wave has a distinct sound that’s hard to put a finger on. It has rock n’ roll elements that Richardson provides with lead guitar that draws from garage and post-punk styles. The band also features a severely funky bass with a heavy lean on the synth for the melody, which provides an ominous/spooky vibe. Asplund almost plays a storyteller role as opposed to a singer. Songs like “Lonely Android” tell stories of a dystopian wasteland with political and social references that sit you down and buckle you up for a potential catastrophe in our future. Imagine a robot going through a breakup all the while trying to save the earth and human race from extinction. This is the weight of Cheater’s Wave.

“It is a totally different lifestyle with waking up and having to be in a different city, and you get to see friends that you only see a few times a year when you tour.”

As Daisy and the Moonshines decided to call it good, Asplund aspired to form a band with more defined objectives. “It had to do with wanting to start a band that was a little bit more regimented and strict with a purpose of touring,” Asplund says. However, there is residual love and appreciation for Daisy. They all remain close friends. “[Playing in Daisy] was really cool and really fun,” LaPointe says. “We played great shows.” Daisy provided LaPointe and Asplund a springboard that helped corner exactly what they want in a band—touring.

As has nearly every band in our generation, we’ve watched movies such as Almost Famous that romanticize touring. And for those of us who actually had to fork out the money, time and energy to pile into a van and survive off of Del Taco for a week, it’s easy for tour to discourage or break bands. Martian Cult have a different tone—and they clearly love it, seeing as how they’ve trekked around the country five times in the span of two-and-a-half years. Asplund says, “It is a totally different lifestyle with waking up and having to be in a different city, and you get to see friends that you only see a few times a year when you tour.”

“The intention is to make the songs easier to sing along to. We want to make it more universal.”

Martian Cult’s love for touring is more about the experiences and relationships cultivated while being able to see eye to eye with other touring bands. Hospitality is a core value for Martian Cult, and they see touring as more than going out there into the unknown—it’s also about what you can bring back home. Asplund says, “The most important thing with touring is getting bands to want to come here … It is really rewarding to have bands stay with you and take care of them.” This has proven to be the case, as bands like Ice Cream and Spooky Mansion, both from San Francisco, come to SLC and stay with Martian Cult often.

After this solid of run of back-to-back tours for Cheater’s Wave—which came out in 2017—Martian Cult has refocused on taking a different direction with a new album. “Simmer Down,” a single released late 2018, is the first step toward a different kind of sound. “The intention is to make the songs easier to sing along to,” Draper says. “We want to make it more universal.”

As Cheater’s Wave was more of a story to tell, the upcoming album will be much more personal for Asplund. Keep an eye and ear out for the next adventure Martian Cult embark on, whether that is the next tour or new album. In the meantime, you can see what they have to offer now at May’s Localized at Urban Lounge. You can find their music on Spotify and keep up on Instagram @martiancult.


More on SLUGMag.com:

Local Review: Martian Cult – Cheater’s Wave
SLUG Soundwaves #299 – Martian Cult

(L–R) Co-owner/brewer Kevin Templin, Brittany Watts and Jaron Anderson band together for the family feel of T.F. Brewing and its German-style lagers. Photo: LmSorenson.net

T.F. Brewing
tfbrewing.com

936 S. 300 West, SLC • 385.270.5972

Walking into Templin Family Brewing (T.F. Brewing) feels like walking into an old friend’s living room with your buddies behind the bar, ready to slide a frosty cold one across the bartop to quench your thirst after a long day. The floor of the bar is filled with rows of long, wooden biergarten tables. Different characters sit side by side talking, playing games and getting to know each other. A separate area is on the left side of the bar where one can sit on large, puffy couches that face a flat-screen TV that, at the time of my visit, was showing a hockey game. From any point of the bar, your eye can catch the meticulously clean and glimmering sight of the brewery. The distinct sets of brewing equipment “plants” stand tall, like trophies that the T.F. Brewing family team has certainly earned.

Kevin Templin, co-owner and Brewer of T.F. Brewing, based almost all elements of the bar and brewery—from the environment to the beer to the day-to-day inner workings of the brewery—on traditional German methods. “You never go into a German brewery and see it messy and unorganized—it is almost church-like,” he says. Kevin reiterates that you can taste the attention to detail and cleanliness of the brewery in the beer, which is one of the things that attracts him to these methods and attracts customers to their beer.

“German Lagers will always be our flagship beer,” Kevin says. However, T.F. Brewing offers a large variety of other beers. He says, “We do a ton of ales, we do a lot of barrel aging, IPAs, but where my heart is? German lagers.” As much as Kevin enjoys brewing and serving German lagers, however, “It is difficult to produce a lot of lager beers and keep them on draft because of the fermentation process,” Kevin says. This is clearer as we learn that primary fermentation takes two weeks and the lager process takes 28 days, making it a challenge to produce large amounts of lagers. As a form of respect toward the brewing process and his customers, Kevin won’t compromise the quality of the lager to produce more. He staunchly believes in quality over quantity. In a world where almost everything is mass-produced and half-assed, this is a valuable and refreshing tenet that Kevin holds.

Templin Family isn’t just blood; it’s all our friends, all of the brewmasters we’ve met, the managers—everyone is part of the Templin family.”

Separate from Kevin’s affinity for German lagers, their most popular beer currently is the Ferda Imperial IPA at 8.2 percent in a 16-ounce can. Recently reviewed as SLUG’s  January “Beer of the Month” by beloved beer writers Chris and Sylvia Hollands, the Ferda Imperial IPA touts its hoppy flavor with an additional citrus taste. Of the range of beers Kevin creates, he says, “A guy that owns a donut shop who loves glazed can’t just sell glazed donuts; you have to sell chocolate.” Their chocolate is definitely the Ferda IPA, as it’s everyone’s favorite. This speaks to Kevin’s talent for creating stellar beers across the spectrum.

Kevin’s wife, Britt Porter-Templin, is the co-owner and runs the accounting and management (the brewhouse mom). His brother Chris Templin runs the canning and is a bartender. The brewery is heavily focused on the element of family. Kevin says, “Templin Family isn’t just blood; it’s all our friends, all of the brewmasters we’ve met, the managers—everyone is part of the Templin family.” This includes Jaron Anderson, who brews with Kevin, Brittany Watts who manages the bar and Rita Behles, who works hard every day to learn more from Kevin and Anderson to become a brewmaster in her own right. This is reasonably the inspiration for the name of the brewery. “To me, all my favorite breweries in the world are all traditional family names,” Kevin says.

The staff doesn’t only comprise family—Kevin strives to make the environment feel like home. Every Wednesday, their “game guy,” Garrett Miller, comes in with 100 different games and encourages strangers to interact and play with each other. This is where the long biergarten tables come into play. Kevin loves how, in Europe—specifically in Germany—complete strangers can sit down and just get to know each other over a lager. He aspires for that dynamic in his bar.

“It is Ferda boys, Ferda girls, Ferda people.”

A few beers that the Templin team is “brewing” up are the Squirrel—a New England–style IPA that’s more of a juicy, hazy beer—and the exciting and innovative Terpene IPA, which has terpene oils extracted from cannabis. What is exciting about this beer is its progressive inclusion of cannabis, which normalizes the use of the substance in creative ways such as in brewing recipes. Cannabis also happens to complement hop aromas beautifully, making for a scrumptious beer. Their Dunkel Lager is a dark Bavarian beer that drinks soft and bready, which will be released in early April. The Schwartz beer is a German black lager that will also come out around that time.

Templin distributes their Keller (German-style unfiltered pilsner) and Ethereal Leichte Weisse beers at 30 Smith’s, Harmons and 7-Eleven locations throughout the state of Utah. Additionally, they carry their Ferda 4-percent beer at every liquor store around the state. Kevin says, “It is Ferda boys, Ferda girls, Ferda people.” To keep up with Templin Family Brewing, stay updated via their website for more information.

(L–R) Artist Maddie Mekkelson FICE owner and Corey Bullough both believe in FICE’s monthly galleries as a way to support and celebrate local artists. Photo: John Barkiple

Nestled into downtown Salt Lake City’s vibrant nightlife hotspot, FICE Gallery (160 E. 200 South) has been humming along to the beat of SLC for 10 years now. Much like its neighbors Este Pizzeria Co, Bar X and Diabolical Records, FICE has become a Downtown staple that has helped cultivate the scene into what it is today. The area is bustling, active in arts and music, and supportive to the locals who, in turn, add more culture and texture to our downtown area. FICE Gallery has been part of this narrative since it has opened, providing a space for artists to debut and display their work, as well as opportunities to collaborate with FICE itself. Every month, FICE hosts an art show that changes the space into one that the featured artist envisions. This month, FICE hosts local artist February Filth (Madi Mekkelson), a mixed-media artist who focuses on the manipulation of photographs to convey her visions, which are inspired by fashion and street art.

Owner Corey Bullough finds that these monthly shows are a way to enhance the aesthetic range of FICE. He says, “In my mind, they are the aesthetic of the store.” In the beginning, the art shows were not locally based, but “it slowly evolved to more and more local artists, and it became better and better.” From that point, the variety of artists selected has been an attempt to cover all the sides of the multidimensional landscape that is the SLC art scene. “The one thing that is cool about it is that it can go from oil paintings to sculptures,” Bullough says about the scope of art shows that have been hosted at the store. So far, FICE has hosted well-known local artists like Sri Whipple and Trent Call.

On Feb. 22, February Filth hosted her first solo–art show opening at FICE. Mekkelson has had pop-ups in the past at Goldblood, Converge at Utah Arts Alliance and the Urban Arts Fest, however, this show is the first in which Mekkelson has had full freedom to manifest all of her ideas. February Filth’s opening show consisted of an art installation that was a projection of Mekkelson’s recent stop-motion videos, something she hasn’t been able to previously show. She pieced together videos with images that she took of the city, and glitter paint drips down throughout the video. Available at the show—and throughout the month of March—are large posters of stills from these videos, displayed to show how the movement developed through the video.

Other items available are prints, stickers, her first zine and a limited run of shirts that are a collaboration between Mekkelson and FICE. The shirt includes a design with one of Mekkelson’s popular images, a sculpture of a person’s head along with the word “FICE” at the bottom of the design. The design of the shirt features Mekkelson’s trademark glittery, bleeding eyes on the sculpture, a motif that’s present in most of her artwork.

“Before I lived Downtown, this was the first store [where] I could find cool streetwear … I’ve always wanted to do a show here [at FICE,] but I didn’t know how to go about it,” Mekkelson says. She knew that she wanted to host her show in February to keep on brand with her art moniker. She says, “I’m very inspired by street art and stuff like that, so I felt FICE has a streetwear, hip-hop vibe. I’ve always been inspired by hip-hop and hip-hop culture, and I feel it goes hand in hand with streetwear.” Although, she didn’t know how to take the steps toward making the show a reality. She says, “I reached out to Corey and he said, ‘Yeah let’s do it!’ and here we are.”

Mekkelson works at the local business Phötage, a start-up that creates re-stickable stickers of all sizes. With this connection, Mekkelson is able to use Phötage as a way to print her artwork, and will have this product available at FICE through the month of March.

Another tradition that FICE has maintained since they have opened is their active service to the street population. Twice a year, which FICE conducts sneaker drives where participants can bring lightly used shoes, which FICE collects and donates—along with their own contribution—to homeless shelters like the VOA. Last Christmas, FICE donated $4,000 worth of shoes. Other recipients of FICE’s donated shoes are local youth basketball teams, specifically Junior Jazz, and cycling groups like Aevolo. “You are always welcome to drop off shoes that have a life in them—we are always collecting them,” Bullough says.

Meeting Bullough and hearing about FICE’s past and present solidifies the role they play in our community. Being familiar with how Mekkelson’s artwork derives from street art and hip-hop culture and FICE’s penchant for streetwear, the two make for a good pair and inherently celebrate each other through the collaboration. While listening to Mekkelson speak about what drives and inspires her, I could see through Bullough’s demeanor that he agrees. FICE is open 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday–Saturday and 12 p.m.–6 p.m. on Sundays. Stay updated with upcoming events and shows at ficegallery.com.

Behind The Bullet | Heidi Yewman | Photos courtesy of Big TIme PR

Behind the Bullet
Slamdance Film Festival

Director: Heidi Yewman

Behind The Bullet begins with a montage of news clips, narrated by a cluster of the unmistakable sound of news reporters announcing countless tales of gun violence. The mood that drapes over the introduction feels desensitized by the normalization of these tragedies. In the beginning of the film, as a viewer, one can assume that the stories Yewman assembles together are with the intention to educate audiences about the seriousness of gun violence. We soon learn that, in actuality, the film is about guilt and forgiveness. Behind the Bullet tells the stories of Christen McGinnes, Will Little, Kevin Leonard and Taylor Dwyer, four people who, throughout the film, tell us how they have lived with the consequences pulling the trigger.

From start to finish, the film cuts back and forth between the four characters as they unveil the details of their somber stories—some carry hope, some regret and all of them with the common denominator of desperation to forgive themselves and find peace. With the exception of Taylor, a teenager who shot and killed his brother by accident when he was 8. Taylor’s distance and disconnect from the obvious remorse his parents share (each in a completely different way) is unsettling. One soon learns that Taylor also plays drums in a Christian band, in which his father, Daron, is the frontman. Daron tells the details of their tragic story as Taylor remains on the stage, as his way of healing is leaning on “god’s will.” This scene sets a tone—it feels like there is a lack of accountability with statements like “It was his time” and “God knows best” when referring to Taylor’s brother’s (Matthew’s) death, instead of reflection of what could have been done to prevent the tragedy. This makes it difficult to feel sympathy in the same way a viewer does for the other three characters.

Taylor’s part is distracting from the other three stories, as Christen, Will and Kevin  actively work toward closure and redemption in a more obvious way. There’s a part where the film features aspects of Taylor’s Youtube channel, The Dynamo Bros, where he and his peers blow things up. The film’s intention could be to address Taylor’s healing process, through this creative outlet. However, it is almost sobering to watch scenes of teenagers violently blowing things up after scenes of  the other characters healing through support groups, surgeries and reflection. It seems while the film is trying to elicit sympathy for Taylor and his family, scenes like this feel ironic, as it goes to show that they are displacing the blame for gun violence and almost brush it off.

With the film’s narrative choice of moving from one character to another in short increments, it’s challenging to emotionally invest in Christen’s, Will’s, Kevin’s and Taylor’s stories as much as their experiences deserve. Each journey, however, does teach viewers about the consequences of gun violence, I believe this is what Yewman was aiming for with this documentary. Additionally, It is hard to figure out who the audience is supposed to be for this film. Where it was presumably meant to be educational, it falls short because all the issues in the film are answered with vague metaphors and spiritual beliefs that don’t bring tangible solutions, as is the case of Taylor. The film ends with a choir-like song, four statistics and no mention of a solution to gun violence—and does not suggest gun control. The ways gun violence could be prevented aside, the religious foundations the characters have is a big part of how they individually choose to cope. I believe the point is that all of the characters look for peace and closure in their own way. –Bianca Velasquez


Showtimes:

Jan. 29 // 5:45 PM // Ballroom