Time to party. Photo: Randy Roberts

When one thinks of Scranton, Pennsylvania, not much comes to mind except maybe The Office. But trust me, there is much more from that small city in the northeast. There is a 19thcentury mill, a coal mine and The Menzingers. The Menzingers have been around for a little while now, and the Pennsylvania punk four-piece continues to bring original and influential music. Whether you want to relive your teen angst, get drunk in a bar by yourself or maybe remember the old days, this band has a song for you, no matter the occasion.

I have had the privilege of seeing this band live half a dozen times, and each time, they get better and better. June 19, when The Menzingers and Lucero played at Metro Music Hall, was no exception. With a well-mixed bag of songs on their setlist, they did not disappoint. As soon as they opened with the title track off of their newest record, After the Party, you knew instantly that you were in for a treat. From there it just got better: The Menzingers served up a fine selection of their classics from Casey to a Bouncing Souls cover of “Kate is Great.”

After the punks had their fair share of fun, there was a bit of a change up when Lucero took the stage. I have listened to Lucero on a few different occasions, and I cannot find the words to describe them. Are they rock n’ roll? Folk? Country? Maybe rockabilly? Who knows. All I know though is that they absolutely killed it. This Memphis powerhouse may not have brought barbecue, but they sure did bring one hell of a good time.

From electric to acoustic and then back again, one could not help but dance around and tap their feet to the sounds of Lucero. Just like The Menzingers, these guys had a song for just about every occasion.

If you haven’t had the chance to listen to either of these bands, do yourself a favor and check them out. Maybe buy a record or two—you won’t regret it.

Who doesn't love a photo booth? Photo: Randy Roberts

As someone who is fairly new to Salt Lake City, I can’t help but notice how rad this town is, from the architecture and food to the music scene and so much more. To be honest, this place is one of the coolest places I have ever been.  So, what could make Salt Lake City greater?

Well, this past Friday, July 13, I had the opportunity to attend THE BLOCKS‘ Downtown SLC Block Party at Exchange Place. Now, although I came to this event not knowing what to expect, I found myself pleasantly surprised. If you haven’t heard about what THE BLOCKS is, it is going to be Salt Lake’s premier arts, entertainment and cultural melting pot.

The main objective for THE BLOCKS is to make it easier for people to more fully embrace the arts and diversity that this town has to offer and to put Salt Lake on the map as a place for artists of all types.

At this particular event, there was an amazing variety of acts that performed, from ballet to rock n’ roll. Starting out the night were some summertime jams provided by DJ Finale Grande, followed by modern dance from Repertory Dance Theater and a performance by Pygmalion Theater.

The festivities continued with Artes de México, giving us a language lesson and dropping some knowledge about culture. To add to the atmosphere, Red Rock Brewing provided some drinks—and to make things even better, there were free tacos.

As the night progressed and more people showed up, the entertainment and activities continued, including a photo-booth setup and local juggler Christopher Haaser. To wrap up the night, Color Animal took the stage to give a great end to a fantastic event.

I definitely recommend that you check out THE BLOCKS (theblocksslc.com) and what they are all about.

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John Quezada – Front Pivot – SoJo, Utah

There are two reasons why I enjoy this photo. First, South Jordan is my all-time favorite skate park in the valley. There’s something special about that crusty pool and the endless lines that make this place magical. Secondly (and more importantly), John Quezada. This guy rips so hard, from his ability to find lines that few could, to his finesse in making simple tricks into works of art. This front pivot is only a small window into what he can do.

John Quezada – Front Pivot – SoJo, Utah

More on SLUGMag.com:
Skate Photo Feature: Britton Larsen
Skate Photo Feature: Colton Woods

Colton Woods – Andrecht Invert – Lehi, Utah. Photo: Randy Roberts

Colton Woods is a prime example of someone who lets their skateboard do the talking. He doesn’t say much, but when he drops in, you are in for a treat. Whenever I get a chance to watch Colt skate, I am always astonished at his ability to go higher and faster than anyone else at the park—always one to shut down a session. If you ever get the chance to watch this guy skate, consider it a privilege.

Colton Woods – Andrecht Invert – Lehi, Utah. Photo: Randy Roberts
Colton Woods – Andrecht Invert – Lehi, Utah. Photo: Randy Roberts