I managed to stuff a Sundance-related concert, party and movie screening into one night without leaving Salt Lake City. You can, too, and here's how.---
Granted, it won't be exactly the same as how I spent my Tuesday evening, but it's totally possible to get some of that Sundance action into life without driving to Park City.
Here's how I did it: Tuesday night I rolled over to The Depot, where an organization called TheHouse.org was hosting a launch party/concert. While not officially a Sundance event, it was definitely schedule to coincide with the fest, drawing ASCAP Music Cafe performers The Low Anthem, among others, to perform.
The Low Anthem performed a fine, if brief, set to an audience lounging around a slew of red couches that were covering the Depot dance floor, including a few songs from their upcoming album release, Smart Flesh. Among my favorites of the night (besides the stellar mustaches on two of the band members) were "Ghost Woman Blues," "Apothecary Love" and "Matter of Time," which featured one of the mustachioed gents playing the saw. Love that.
I'm still not exactly sure what TheHouse.org is. One of the organizers got up and mentioned that it was a group dedicated to "connecting artists and fans, transcending the venue," and would feature spoken-word and author talks. You can read their mission statement here.
From The Depot, I bounced over the Salt Lake Art Center, where Sundance's New Frontier program has set up shop with a slate of art installations that range from the undeniably cool (The Johnny Cash Project) to the head-scratchingly unusual (After Ghostcatching). Unfortunately, James Franco's Three's Company: The Drama project wasn't open to the public Tuesday night because it was a party, but it is now, and Franco himself will be on hand Thursday evening to talk about it.
So, one concert and one party down, and Sundance was screening Slacker at 10:30 p.m., a celebration of the Richard Linklater film's 20th anniversary of its first appearance at Sundance. The best part about the screening? Slacker's on video! No reason to wait-list when you can hit a video store and watch in the comfort of your own home. Which I did.
So, how can you enjoy the same experience? Easy.
First, you can get yourself a Sundance concert by dropping by the Beehive Tea Room nightly at 8 p.m. for some fine music. Wednesday's performer is Patrick Thomas & Friends; you can get a schedule for the rest of the week right here. Drop in the Salt Lake Art Center and take in some of the New Frontier projects at your convenience. Then go rent Slacker; if you've never seen it, it's an indie-film must-see. And if you have, it's a nice reminder of what an odd little film can do when it gets the attention of the film-geek nation.
TIPS FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT
The undeniably talented (and possibly insane) Lauryn Hill headlines a gig at Harry O's in Park City, while Possessed by Paul James, a one-man blues blues/folk/punk performer headlines at Cisero's.
Here in the Salt Lake Valley, reggae revolutionary Anthony B (pictured) headlines at Elevate, and City Weekly is hosting a free screening of Across the Universe at Brewvies.