Hello to all you Trax-riding, bus-cramping, transfer-holding, fare-hiking, ticket-writing, line-canceling, re-routing, detour-taking, money-grubbing, UTA-needs-a-new-hobby enthusiasts! --- I had plans today to write an entire rant on the Utah Transit Authority and its recent announcement of how it would like to get rid of the Free Fare Zone and implement new rate hikes based on distances traveled. But when I got to writing it, I realized I was writing more than your average rant that had nothing to do with entertainment, so we're gonna table that for a totally separate opinion post next week. In the trade, we call that a “teaser.” We'll stick to entertainment for this post, and in lieu of a 337 Memorial Wall update, here's some random downtown art.
So, a couple of sad business changes we need to talk about, the first being the impending shutdown of UtahFM. If you haven't been following the drama over the past few weeks (and we can't blame you if you haven't), there's been a brutal discourse between the station's heads and its roster of talent. It didn't help things any that last week Babs De Lay officially put herself in the column of “former supporter” by forbidding the Internet station to run beyond office hours and issuing a 30-Day notice to clear out of the space in her building. In response, the station honchos let all talent know that they'd be taking a hiatus after vacating to find new digs and possibly a new service agreement to keep the station running. What's more, the station's-social network feeds were hacked by a former talent, who put all the blame for the mess squarely on Daniel Swenson, the current station manager and co-host of Dungeon Crawlers Radio. (We tried to interview him in advance for this, but he had a family emergency and couldn't; we'll visit with him later.)
Weighing in as a former broadcaster and someone who doesn't really have a dog in this fight, I can tell you that no one person is ever to blame for the self-destruction of a radio station. I know firsthand from witnessing four, including one I was working for at the time. Granted, it is easier to criticize from the outside, but let's look at a couple of factors. First, the station stopped actively promoting itself after the first year due to funding problems, leaving all promotions in the hands of the hosts themselves, who generally would only promote their shows. Second, it ran reruns overnight. A community-run station is supposed to be the opposite of the other stations in town, so who really tuned in? Third, the station did almost nothing to actively seek out new talent from colleges or former hosts; the policy was simply open door via word of mouth from those already there. Fourth -- and probably the most damaging -- the station failed to grow online beyond creating an iPhone app, still using the outdated Website it's had since 2009. At this time, the station is looking into ways to get back online, including having people host from home or create podcasts, but only time will tell if it will ever return to having a physical location. We'll keep you updated on how this goes.
The second of the two woes revolves around Slowtrain, who officially announced last week that founding married co-owners Chris & Anna Broezek are not only expecting a new baby, but are looking to sell the store. Sent out in their weekly e-newsletter, Anna stated that because of the changes coming in November, they will no longer be able to fully run and operate day-to-day business and are looking for a buyer. The couple are asking for $75,000, which includes “inventory, furnishings, equipment, supplies, sponsorships/relationships, coalition memberships, the name and reputation, distributor connections, mailing lists, social marketing, logo/branding, Websites, record label and more.” If the store doesn't have a buyer in the next couple of months, it might be forced to close. Since the news broke, longtime counter jockey and music guide Vanessa Wardy has taken a position with the Sundance Film Festival, and the shop's hours have been reduced to Tues.-Sat., from 11a.m.-7p.m. An online campaign to purchase the store has been started by Adam Hamilton and Alana Boscan via Facebook, but beyond this there's been no rumblings of an official buyer. If the shop does indeed have to shut down, that's going to be one hell of a blow to downtown, and specifically, Broadway, as it was one of the primary shops responsible for resurrecting the area. We'll keep you up to date on this one, as well.
Moving onto events: Two weeks ago, we covered some of the Saturday events for today, but a few actually slipped through the cracks, so we'll start with the next installment of When She Speaks I Hear The Revolution. I had an interview about it last month, if you'd like the bigger details, but for tonight, they'll be holding an open-mic round followed by a round revolving around banned books. You can catch it at Jitterbug Coffee tonight at 7p.m. for free.
If that's not your your cup of coffee, then perhaps you'll enjoy the 3rd Annual Utah Battle Of The Improvs. The groups of And...Go!, HiJinks, Improvables, Jesters Royale, Quick Wits and ToySoup will all be competing on their feet while vying for the prize of top improve troupe in Utah. Tickets are just $7 for Generation A members; we're unable to find a price tag for nonmembers, so take $10 just in case. All proceeds will go to The Grand Theatre and the Utah Local Festival of Arts
Tomorrow night, we'll see Brewvies playing host to the next Geek Show Movie Night. The crew of podcasters take over the theater in honor of panelist Shannon Barnson's birthday and present two of his favorite films -- Superman and Superman II. The event is totally free; all you pay for is the food and drinks you consume, and remember to tip your staff well! (Speaking of which, I know for a fact some of you attending these Brewvies free-anything nights don't tip at all. Doesn't matter if it's Geek Show, City Weekly, KRCL, etc .-- people who don't tip are the lowest kind of shit in the cesspool, and you deserve ridicule by name! Tip for the services they provide you or I'm gonna start posting some!)
The rest of the month gets kinda dull, but picks back up next Sunday with the return of the Salty Streets Flea Market. The crew took last month off due to Labor Day, so they're going all out to make this event (which will probably be the last one of year due to weather) the best. Aside from the array of items for sale or trade, you'll have the Kilby ramp to skate on, good eats for cheap and music happening all day in the venue. This month, we'll see The Folkadots, Holy Water Buffalo and Night Sweats. The event is usually just $2 to attend, but check the poster below... this month is absolutely free from noon-6 p.m.
Then, Oct. 7 has a lot going on, starting off in Provo with the final show from the Rooftop Concert Series. We've posted about this event every month and even did an interview back in July, so there's little to explain. The final performcne will be The Lower Lights with Dustin Christensen -- completely free to the public, and every show has been packed beyond normal capacity. Go enjoy the last show of the year!
Meanwhile, up in SLC will be the second annual Artoberfest. Last year, it was at the Salt Shaker, but since that venue has been shut down, the new location is the Inferno Cantina. Aside from raffles and art exhibitions, there will be skate demos, music from Burnless Washburn and Max Pain & The Groovies, two skate films and much more being planned up until the night of. The event is all-ages and only costs $4.%uFFFD
Finally, on Oct. 8, we'll see the debut of a short film from movie guru and podcaster Adam Palcher of A Damn Movie Podcast. His film Harlan, a docu-drama based around a serial killer's last day of freedom (with singer Ryan Jensen in the lead role), will debut at Copper Palate Press for two screenings -- at 8 and 10 p.m.-- before it hits the festival circuit. The film itself is only 17 minutes, but all are encouraged to stay the whole evening as drinks and music will be provided by the film's cast and crew.%uFFFD
As for the blog ... over the next couple of weeks, we'll check out some robots, chat with the latest local label, explore the works at the latest downtown art gallery, preview the first new play of the theatre season, chat about one of the longest-running dance companies in Utah and preview the Big Ass Show with an interesting special guest. At least that's the plan -- who knows how that will go? As always, we'll see what happens.
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