Motorcycle shows are nothing new to Utah, and neither are custom bike builders, but it is safe to say that there has never been anything quite like Salty Bike Revival in Utah. Transparently modeled after other motorcycle shows such as Austin, TX’s Handbuilt Show and Portland’s The One Motorcycle Show, organizers Juan Coles of Loco Lobo and Rev Clark of Salt City Builds tried to bring something they had seen in other states to Salt Lake City, and they seem to have succeeded.
Over 6000 people came through the doors over a 12 hour period. On display were custom motorcycles from local builders, vendor booths with motorcycle parts and lifestyle accessories, as well as live music by Breakers and Mad Max and the Wild Ones. Painted helmets and motorcycle gas tanks were on display, as well as large photographic prints by Utah photographers. Salty Bike Revival was staffed by countless volunteers from the local motorcycle community, who put in hours of setup and take-down time.
Any place where countless motorcyclists gather can be a lightning rod for mayhem, though there were no arrests or grievous bodily injuries—at least within the direct proximity of the event. Drinks were served and motorcyclists of all ages and backgrounds attended. There were also some non-motorcyclists present at Salty Bike Revival, some riding in strollers, no doubt forming impressions and ideas for later life decisions.
On Sunday, March 27, The Garage on Beck hosted Jesse Walker’s 6th annual Bunny Hop, a day-long event benefitting the Volunteers of America, Utah – Homeless Youth Resource Center.
Festivities included vinyl-spinning DJs, a raffle, hat contest, performances, dancing, special drink offerings as well as a Garage on Beck buffet, including their signature fried funeral potatoes! The venue was packed both inside and out on the patio with people eager to participate in the yearly event which heralds in the arrival of Spring—all while helping others. The sun was shining, the Easter Bunny made an appearance and a wonderful time was had by all.
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On October 9th, 2015 Big Cartel threw a big birthday bash to celebrate 10 years of existence. It was held at Publik Coffee Roasters, and beer from local brewery Squatters and wine was provided to partiers eager to celebrate the Utah startup’s 10 years of success (an eternity in Internet business years ). Local band Color Animal provided the tunes, playing a tight set of their brand of fuzzy mellow rock. Attendees watched a video presentation which featured owners of Big Cartel stores proclaiming their love for the service, wishing Big Cartel many more years of success.
Started in Salt Lake City by Matt Wigham, Big Cartel provides bands, artists and others an easy way to put their goods online to be purchased by fans.
The UMOCA (Utah Museum of Contemporary Art) gala is one of the best yearly parties in Salt Lake City. The theme this year was “unprohibited”—1931 prohibition, in tribute to the year the institution was founded—and The Fallout was the perfect venue to channel a Chicago-basement speakeasy. Jazz hounds from across SLC might have arrived in Duesenbergs and Rolls (valet of course). Decked out in boas and boaters, feathers and fedoras, attendees chased the green light like they were Gatsby, gazing across the bay. Liquor and beer flowed from two bars while guys and dolls mingled and mock cigarette girls walked around with trays of peppermint stick candy called “Lucky Lights” and “Stallions.” Attendees were encouraged to attend wearing “ritzy underground” dress.
Bill Allred of X96‘s Radio From Hell emceed the proceedings, which included a silent auction on artwork, live auction for trips to Montreal, Los Angeles, Miami and New York—as well as excellent food catered by Blended Table, which was splendid as always, including baby lettuce salad, spring peas with browned butter and prosciutto garnish, scalloped potatoes, meatloaf with demi-glace and a dessert of berry and whipped cream trifle.
During what is UMOCA‘s largest annual fundraiser, attendees had a chance to support local artists, enjoy a meal and drinks from local distillery Beehive Distilling and meet local tastemakers and business owners who help make Salt Lake City a thriving post–Volstead Act metropolis.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Punk Rock Halloween is annual event wherein bands dress up as their favorite artists and play their songs like they are the artists themselves. This year attendees had a chance to hear The Go-Go’s (Foster Body), New Order (Fossil Arms), Husker Dü (Chalk), Rage Against the Machine (Wild Moth), My Chemical Romance (Baby Ghosts) and Amy Winehouse (Show Me Island). Most attendees came in costume, some elaborate and silly, some stark and scary.
Punk Rock Halloween was held at Super Top Secret, with their mini ramp halfpipe serving as the stage, which was surrounded by spooky artwork and decoration by Robin Banks of Foster Body—who started off the show with The Go-Go’s enduringly catchy “We Got The Beat.” Banks was adorned as a bright red strawberry with green eye shadow to match their chlorophyll. Their set was quick and energetic, including other fan favorite “Vacation.” After a brief break to check out costumes, Fossil Arms brought the dance-y synth-pop of New Order with electronic drum backing which had everyone dancing. Chalk took the stage as Hüsker Dü, playing their ferocious and fast “New Day Rising” which got the crowd moshing, which was the beginning of the end for much of the Halloween decorations which began to be knocked over as the crowd spilled into the small stage.
Wild Moth started their set as Rage Against the Machine with a recorded speech of vocalist Zach de la Rocha speaking to a crowd at one of their shows, after which they blasted into “Killing in the Name” which turned the crowd to a frothing mass, nearly everyone singing along. Baby Ghosts started their set as My Chemical Romance with “I’m Not Okay” which had everyone remembering their 2004-era angst, as well as every lyric. Every song was energetic and well-performed, with band members switching instruments each song. Show Me Island brought a different mood, with the smooth bluesy sound of Amy Winehouse, backed by brass. Punk Rock Halloween was a huge success, with countless interesting things to see and hear.
[Correction: We referred to Robin Banks by the incorrect pronouns, which are now corrected in the body of the piece. We’re really sorry about the error! –Ed.]
The first of two record release parties for Death by Salt V was held at the Urban Lounge on June 12. It featured music by Dark Seas, Breakers and Albino Father—all three of which have an exclusive track on the new compilation album which was available in vinyl for a special price of $10. Only 1000 copies of the greenish yellow record were pressed, making them a hot commodity to those who seek an eclectic record shelf.
The bands played to a house full of enthusiastic music fans. All three come from a background of some sort of garage rock, and there was definitely a surf rock vibe to the entire night, with plenty of reverb, tremolo picking and guitar-centric crunch and heavy rumbling bass.
Albino Father opened the evening, with a goes-down-easy California feel comprising steady, head-boppin’ snare and echoing chords. Breakers came in loud and fast, sounding like an apt soundtrack to footage of Dogtown skateboarders in Venice surfing pavement. The crowd got wild, spilling beer as long hair thrashed up and down with their music. Dark Seas brought a psych-surf feel to the close of the evening—appropriately past midnight—with organ warbling along with the graveyard-esque vocals.
Death By Salt V is the fifth installment of SLUG Magazine’s local band compilation series. Featuring exclusive tracks by Swamp Ravens, Breakers, The Troubles, Foster Body, JAWWZZ, The Nods, Albino Father, The Pentagraham Crackers, Beat Hotel, Koala Temple, Dark Seas, Super 78 and Color Animal.
Tyson Call // @clancycoop:
Jake Vivori // @snakesphoto:
The 2015 Craft Lake City DIY Fest Day One got off to an incredible start on Friday, Aug. 8. This year’s festival features over 250 artisans, craft foodies, vintage vendors and nonprofit organizations, as well as a replete offering of stage performers, buskers, DIY engineers, commercial food vendors and food trucks over two days at the Gallivan Plaza, and you can find everything from locally made cocktail bitters to leather fringe. Attendees perused artists booths that lined the plaza, interacting with many from Utah’s DIY creative community. Inclement weather closed down the facilities early, but the festival continues Saturday, Aug. 8 for a full day of festivities, from noon to 10 p.m.
Read about some of this year’s artisans in our August issue!
The work of an artist who died over a decade ago has been installed in the Utah Museum of Fine Art (UMFA). This may not sound uncommon, except the piece on display was created February 2019 yet is an original. How is this possible? Lewitt is primarily known for his wall drawings. These drawings were conceived as a set of instructions and often carried out by people other than the artist himself. The instructions leave room for variation, such as using the word “or,” which leads to an end result led by the artist, but not explicitly.
UMFA recently acquired LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #33, created in 1970. But instead of receiving a canvas and installing it, an authorized draftsperson from his estate came to Utah to oversee other draftspeople—chosen from local student applicants—install it. UMFA Senior Curator Whitney Tassie says of the significance, “It’s one of the earliest examples where the artist was courting that level of variability and empowering the draftspeople … so the draftsperson gets to do one [colored-pencil line], or three of them or two of them.”
This may be confusing to many people who think an artist has to put paint to canvas or a chisel to stone. LeWitt and his work repositioned the role of the artist. It can be explained by his dictum, “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” This conceptual practice is what allows the creation of the art to transcend even the artist’s death, with the artist still receiving attribution to the work. Veronica Roberts, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas, says, “Conceptual art opened so many doors. So much of the great feminist art produced in the 1970s by Adrian Piper, Eleanor Antin and others borrowed strategies of conceptual art. Because conceptual art is about ideas and systems rather than a look or style (like abstract expressionism or minimal art), it continues to be useful to artists of every generation.” Roberts gave a free talk about LeWitt at the U of U after the installation. Regarding this specific drawing, Roberts says, “I think that there is something fundamentally appealing about working within a set of rules or parameters. Limitations can be liberating. I think all of us can relate to this. When I go to a restaurant and there’s a 12-page menu, I get overwhelmed and order a hamburger. Having constraints helps spur creativity.”
The piece itself is relatively simple, with lines drawn on a series of squares according to LeWitt’s instructions. This allowed for drafters to be from a variety of backgrounds, not just drawing students. “We have some printmaking [student drafters]. We have some animation, some film, and media arts students. We have a master’s student from environmental humanities, and we have an architecture student, so it’s a good range and certainly [indicates LeWitt’s influence] beyond just the art world. It was fun to read the student applications,” says Tassie. Applicants were selected by Tassie and Alison (Al) Denyer, a painter and art professor at the U of U.
The piece was installed over a 13-day period. The exhibit was roped off, and drafters worked in three-hour chunks, with Sundays off. The museum remained open during this process, so patrons could observe the creation of the reproduction, which will remain on display for some time in the contemporary gallery. “We’ve been dying to install this drawing since we bought it in 2014,” Tassie says. “We didn’t want to do it [earlier than now] because we knew that we were doing the big construction, and many of the walls were getting torn down and rebuilt.”
Having this drawing in the UMFA is special not just because it represents a significant period in the history of conceptual art, but because the piece was produced right here in Utah, where it will be viewed. UMFA understands that a piece such as this might be a little hard to understand at first. Tassie says, “The UMFA welcomes all visitors and strives to hit an approachable tone with installations and didactic material. We hope to spark critical dialogue and to inspire visitors to find connections with their own lives. Because Wall Drawing #33’s instructions can be interpreted in so many ways, it’s a great example of how visitors, rather than artists, can determine meaning in artwork.” Visit this piece at the UMFA (410 Campus Center Dr) open Mon–Sun 10 a.m.–5p.m.