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Sun Fall on Echoes S/TSun Fall on Echoes

Sun Fall on Echoes = Black Tape for a Blue Girl + Charitona + Ataraxia

Doth thou hear a whisper or an ocean wave? Doth thou see a shadow or succubus? Sun Fall on Echoes self-titled debut album falls somewhere along the lines if Project records hosted a Ren Faire in Cedar City after hiking Mount Timpanogos. The Bury brothers, Robb and Jaa, create noodling guitar atmospheres using a simple acoustic/electric guitar combo with nature sounds in the background. The acoustic guitar keeps beat while the electric guitar troubadour’s ala the soundtrack to Diablo. The music reminds me of one of the last scenes in Errol Morris’ Gates of Heaven in which the pet cemetery’s owner’s son plays some psychedelic rifts on top of a hill facing LA. In this case, it would be on top of Memory Grove facing downtown rising. Technically proficient but at times a little fruitcake-ish, Sun Fall on Echoes has potential. DYNAMITE!

Local Review: Zu with Xabier Iriondo/Iceburn 10" - 9 Songs
Zu with Xabier Iriondo/Iceburn 10″
9 Songs

Wallace Records
Street: 09.2006
Zu/Iceburn = Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music + John Zorn Painkiller + Belly Button

Iceburn’s split 10″ with Italian outfit Zu is reminiscent of Iceburn’s early sound. Ironically enough, this is Iceburn’s last will and testament (five years after the fact) as they hand off their hardcore/free-jazz musical ideas and compositions to the like-minded Zu. Zu’s side consists of a wildly electric noise spasm of grinding exposed wire, electric guitar and a steady drum beat. Some screaming can be heard in the background. Their side progresses into a Torture Garden-esque dirge of sax, squeaks and again more noise that peters out into a Hella-like breakdown. Iceburn’s side, with its amazing title track “Odin’s Beard,” starts off with a liturgical heavy doom-laden intro and gradients back and forth between sludge metal and freak out brassy jazz drum and sax. Overall, 9 Songs, hand numbered 10″ (featuring artwork from SLC’s Sri Whipple), is an amazing finale to one of Salt Lake’s most technically fantastic, original sounding bands.

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Various Artists - Circus Brown's SnackboxVarious Artists
Circus Brown’s Snackbox

KRCL 90.9 FM
Street: 07.01
Circus Brown = KRCL DJ who spins on Saturday Nights, 10pm-1am

Circus Brown is a power player in the realm of local music and his self-released compilation of his favorite live cuts from his show, Not a Sideshow, on KRCL is added testament to that legacy. Circus Brown’s Snackbox begins with a driving early 90s rock track by the Silent Sevens and proceeds to continued higher ground by roaming through such notable Salt Lake bands such as The Rubes and Blackhole. What makes Circus’ comp such a strong showing of great local music is that it not only showcases his varied taste in music but he also arranges the songs on the disc for dynamic fluency. For instance, the Vile Blue Shades track starts off a four song deep, dancy and power-packed quatrain that includes the Paper Crane Collective and Spork, hence ending a fair sampling of poppy cuts, swinging selections and punk rock that started the album off. Finally, Brown adds nice bonuses such as a secret track (not so secret anymore…), an Elbo Finn track and to top it off its recorded and mastered by Matt Mateus! Take note City Weekly, you just can’t throw tracks in a bag and hope the whole CD turns out well. Make sure to check out Circus’ show on Saturday’s from 10pm to 1am. It’s highly entertaining.

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Nolens Volens
Fuck Imogen Heap

Billygoat Database
Street: 08.03
Nolens Volens = VCR Quintet + Tigerbeat6 + nonnon

In my last review I made intimations of Andrew being the love child of disco and kid606. In this latest release Andrew has grown up and produced a tighter but not altogether better record than previous releases. That isn’t to say that this is worse … it’s just different. From the moment it gets going, engines are revved and right out of the garage Andrew is pounding beats faster than a pre-teen popping Adderall. Each track is punctuated with a steady racing beat that is overlaid with what feels like the sick tumult of drinking ‘tussin laced washing machine swoops straight out of the bottle. The beats are big, the glitches are vibrant and in your face and it all points to a schizophrenic kid who wears bright colors, playing in the street. If you want to know what Andrew’s one man ADD-dance music is all about all you need to do is go to his myspace page and see this one line: andrew and a computer and a mixer and some speakers. Another brilliant release.

Last of the Breed: Live in Concert
Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price

A&E Video
Street: 09.25

Last of the Breed was filmed at a sold-out show in March of this year at the Rosemont Theatre in Chicago. Interesting in its scope and breadth of performance, this DVD showcases how intrepid these three legendary performers are. Like a 50-year-old cougar who still has it in the sack, Willie, Merle and Ray still put on a stunning live show. Being the first time all three have shared a stage, they invariably play off each other well, not upstaging or outdoing the other. The camera angles are conservative and point back to 1950s variety TV show techniques as the camera oscillates between wide shots and full body shots, occasionally using close-ups for guitar solos and panning around the other musicians for good measure. Diverse and entertaining, this DVD intertwines a valuable moment in country music history. -Erik Lopez

An Evening of Yes
Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe

Street: 08.28

Previous to getting this DVD I had no pretension of liking Yes. I have had several friends, who I respect but was skeptical about, who love Yes. Not knowing where to begin to re-access Yes, it was fortuitous that this came into the office. My final verdict after watching it? I still hate Yes and they are sillier than ever. Granted, Wakeman is intense as he switches effortlessly from keyboard, guitar and bass all without wrinkling his cape and because this was the late 80s, any film angle goes. The drummer, in a stroke of genius, taped a mini-cam to his drum sticks and there are several shots of him hitting ANYTHING with it (as well as a few nauseating twirls). This DVD is epic, yes, but if you weren’t a fan of Yes previously no amount of tight Space: 1999 outfits or laser light show will make you a fan. This DVD is for those already fortunate enough to understand Yes’ brilliance. -Erik Lopez

Hidden inside the Oquirrh Mountains and tucked away in the Summit County library lies the ugly step-cousin of official Utah history—ghostly folklore. With Halloween only a stone’s throw away, I started to uncover the stories and tales that color our great state. These stories are almost too bizarre NOT to be true. The first story is about a gravedigger who “digs” corpses, the next is about Utah’s own version of the Loch Ness monster and the last involves a small town in northeastern Utah that has been plagued by a religious curse for nearly 50 years.

Acts of Anatomy: The Story of Utah’s First Grave Digger

In the early months of 1862, three outlaws were on the run from the law for attacking Governor John W. Dawson and for stealing a cash box from the Overland Mail Company. The three wanted men, Lot Huntington, John P. Smith and Moroni Clawson, were headed to California when the legendary Mormon bodyguard Porter Rockwell caught up with them. Resisting arrest, Huntington was killed while Smith and Clawson were taken into custody without incident. The death of Huntington and the subsequent arrest and deaths of Smith and Clawson a few weeks later begins the bizarre and sordid tale of John Baptiste, the first gravedigger of Salt Lake City.

John Baptiste was hired as Salt Lake’s gravedigger three years prior to the 1862 incident, but Baptiste’s previous background is clouded and muddled. Utah Census records in 1860 list him as being born in Ireland while other records place his birth somewhere around 1814 in Italy. Still other sources claim he was French and came to America from Australia. Whatever the truth is, after both Smith and Clawson died, the city buried them while they waited for relatives to come from out of state and claim the bodies. Clawson’s family claimed his body a few days later and planned to bury him in a family plot in Draper. When they opened the coffin to transfer the body, what they discovered shocked them: Clawson’s body was stripped naked!

Immediately, an investigation was put into order, headed by Salt Lake policemen Henry Heath. The first person Heath talked to was the most obvious suspect: the gravedigger who buried Clawson, John Baptiste. Baptiste lived with his wife in a home on Third Avenue. When Heath knocked on the door, Baptiste’s wife answered, invited him in and gave the permission needed to search the house. Unsurprisingly, Heath found piles of clothing, jewelry, and other possessions in the house from deceased residents of the community buried in years previous. Heath immediately confronted Baptiste with the evidence and he begged for his life.

Word of Baptiste’s crime and subsequent arrest spread like wildfire and the townsfolk were up in arms with anger and disgust. Baptiste was forced to identify the graves he had looted. The authorities guessed that he had been looting graves for two years, but they were never certain. It was estimated that he had desecrated around 300 graves.

Baptiste’s punishment for crimes against the community was not death or dismemberment—as requested by the community—but banishment as recommended by the LDS president and prophet, Brigham Young. Baptiste was banished to Antelope Island, an island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake, where he was subsequently shackled with a ball and chain on his leg, branded with the words “Branded for Robbing The Dead” on his forehead and his ears cut off. From here, the story gets murky. Some reports say he made a raft out of the log cabin he was staying in, killed a two-year-old heifer for food and clothing and escaped the island. Others say he perished in the waters around the lake. To this day, John Baptiste still haunts the waters around Antelope Island, as recent eyewitnesses report that they have seen a man shackled roaming the outer edges of the island and have heard the groans and moans of a man in agony.

The Utah Nessie

On July 27, 1868, Joseph C. Rich, a Mormon colonizer of the Bear Lake region, submitted a story to the Deseret News describing how he first came to hear about a monster in the lake and subsequent eyewitness accounts from settlers in the area. His story recounted the stories Native Americans had told early Mormon settlers about a serpent-like monster in the lake. The monster had 18-foot-long legs and it could come on shore and shoot water upwards from its mouth. The monster was claimed to eat Indians while they swam in the lake.

The first reported sighting from a settler had the monster looking like a drowned man, but on closer inspection, it had distorted its body in the water. It had ears bunched to the side of its head that were the size of large pint cups.

On June 19, a family went to Bear Lake for some rest and relaxation. When they got to the lake, they decided to go for a swim. As they entered the water, a large commotion stirred the water around them, and large waves disturbed the tranquility of the lake. The monster then heaved his body, about as big as a few cars with a mouth just as huge, out of the water and proceeded onto the shoreline. The water in the lake receded until there wasn’t much water left. The monster opened its mouth, bellowed, and was about to make an aggressive move on the family when the family dog started barking, distracting the monster and driving him back into the lake.

Beauty Talk & Monsters
Masha Tupitsyn

Semiotext(e) Native Agents
Street: 05.25

Tupitsyn is no one’s fool when it comes to combining–in a po-mo blend of memoirs, astute observations witty one-liners, her life and love of her city. She combs the streets through the mitigating lens of the movies, and doesn’t question the visual dominance of culture. But while she is on one hand erudite as she talks about the class conflict of Dirty Dancing, there is something not quite right (or maybe forced) in the way cultural theory gets slipped in and out of the book like a drunk one-night stand. While I am usually turned off by what, on first encounter, seems to me as meaningless posturing running through some of the more bland spots (meditations on Susan Sarandon, Cher and Michelle Pfiffer, anyone?), Tupitsyn is a fine writer; a more expansive (and female) Nate Martin. –Erik Lopez

La Belle Captive
Alain Robbe-Grillet

Koch Lorber
Street: 03.13

Watch out movie fans, any distribution company with the word “Lorber” in it, is bound not to be technically up to par, and this DVD is no exception. La Belle Captive is one of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s later works that seems to recapitulate themes from some of his more famous movies, such as Last Year at Marienbad. Themes like reality, history and linearity are thrown into despair as Walter tries to figure out whether his one night of passion with Marie-Ange was a dream or not. Robbe-Grillet, who wrote and directed the film, beautifully encapsulates a surrealist sensibility ala Renee Margarite in his visual style. Unfortunately, Lorber has not spent the same amount of time trying to restore the picture quality. It seems like they just dumped the quickest, cheapest copy of the film onto DVD, didn’t care about restoration and left it with the original French theatrical trailer to entice buyers. In the words of worker’s banners around town: “Shame on you Koch Lorber” … for not making this a better digital product. The movie is great but the distribution company is not. -Erik Lopez

The Films of Kenneth Anger: Volume One
Kenneth Anger

Street: 01.23

Finally the films of Kenneth Anger are being restored, and restored beautifully at that. Forever (literally), Anger’s films have been out-of-print due to copyright issues concerning pop songs in his films. Anger’s influence stems from his idiosyncratic vision and inspiration to combine stylistic, bold content and color with pop culture and modern music … all the way back in the 40s. Anger single-handedly spawned the MTV generation and the music video. These masterfully restored films capture the pure dream-like artifice of Anger’s films in such classics such as Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Rabbit’s Moon and Fireworks. A superbly gay experience. -Erik Lopez