- Interdimensional Clown Collective
Keep on HUMing
One avenue of discovery we often take for granted is the public library. SLC has a great one, and though physical branches are closed now to the public, there are still resources online for tons of free entertainment for all of us stuck at home—like The Hearing Utah Music program, known as HUM.
The program is relatively new, launched in 2015, but has amassed a large collection of local artists both vintage and current. It is, after all, an archive, and a valuable one, providing an evolving snapshot of all the musical sounds of SLC. HUM calls twice a year for artist submissions, accepting anything made in the last five years, which both keeps the collection current and provides artists with frequent opportunities to submit new work.
Submissions are listened to, approved and curated by a rotating panel of judges made up of locals involved in the music scene in some way or another; this year, yours truly was lucky enough to join the panel. The newest round of additions, which will drop soon, features a few more artists than usual, as the library decided generously to buy albums from a few more artists in response to the financial hit they have suffered due to Covid-19.
Free downloads of all this music are available to any library card holder. Check out the archive—plus a sick collection of show posters, and a resource page for ways to support artists during this crisis—at hum.slcpl.org.
The Doom Lounge Must Go On
For those who miss the zany nights to be had at the back of the Twilite Lounge, fear not. A few virtual "bars" are popping up on Facebook and Twitch, where attendees can "hang out" in chats while watching the same thing. This is perfect for those who used to do just that at the Twilite Lounge—sit around and watch the same performance from the comfort of those dark booths.
All that's missing is that attendees of the new Virtual Doom Lounge on Facebook won't be drinking the same $3 beers. While the Doom Lounge nights—every Sunday and Wednesday—have always been home to experimental musical fare, the virtual version has played host mostly, so far, to the Interdimensional Clown Collective.
The troupe of truly avant artists—who sing/chant/holler their discordant songs while dressed in the most outlandish things one can think of—have also released a COVID-19-inspired album up on thegreakthonking.bandcamp.com. Once at the Twilite Lounge, their performance involved making each audience-member hold and trail a long rainbow string around the bar while they performed.
While fun quirks like that are unlikely to occur online, past live performances—now saved as videos on Facebook—still include signature moments like when one of the clowns, Meli Goose, rapidly cranked an FM radio to create a surprisingly intriguing tapestry of spotty sound. A multi-use fan page at its heart, though, it has also featured performances from local musicians like Jeremy Mathews and Jake Larsen, plus links to rest30records.com, where one can find recordings from actual Doom Lounge nights past.
KRCL Adjusts to Studio-less Listening
Anyone who's lived in Salt Lake City for any amount of time knows that KRCL is one key showcase for all things that make our city great. Not only do they provide the soundtrack to our local commutes, but they report on and give voice to people and issues all around the valley.
With an investment in listeners staying safe at home, KRCL has also made the decision to keep their own DJs and other employees safe at home, too. Tuning in to the station at 90.9 will still turn up good tunes, though, with the usual DJs for both the daytime and evening shows still curating mixes for KRCL audiences to enjoy, both over the airwaves and online. They're also taking the time to keep track of virtual shows by local musicians, with easy-to-access links to those events on their website krcl.org.
Artists are encouraged to send info on live-streaming shows to KRCL, with links to where to purchase their music online. The Radioactive show is keeping tabs on COVID-19 during their usual 6 p.m. hour, and is encouraging folks to call in for quarantine check-ins, with coping advice or anything else related to our new way of life. There's nothing like the rabble of radio in the background to help you feel like you're not alone, so tune into KRCL on your home stereo or online, and get in touch with their famous community connection.
Zooming in on Spy Hop
The transition from real life to life on Zoom (the video conference application that is pretty much keeping the world running right now) has been challenging for some, especially students and teachers. But leave it to Salt Lake City music scene pillar Spy Hop to make a space where Zoom classes can be fun, and restore some normalcy and entertainment to the everyday.
For more than 20 years Spy Hop has helped develop and support the talents and musical interests of SLC youth, and apparently no global pandemic is going to get in the way of them continuing to do just that. At spyhop.org, you can find their new Rewired Online Workshops, which include three-day block classes not only in music-related things, but in film and design as well. The best part? It's all free, and just requires any participant (between the ages of 10-19, no certain skill level required) to sit down, watch the videos and, of course, practice.
They're also still hosting their famous concerts, though naturally those are online now, too. Anyone can log onto their Twitch server and sit in on their Music Monday live stream, which kicked off earlier this month with a young local named Hannah Williams. Don't have a Twitch? Just wait until they upload each performance on their Facebook (facebook.com/spyhop) and YouTube (youtube.com/channel/UCDg_DJ4EV36y4K5Z0EL4Wxw) pages. SpyHop really hasn't skipped a beat in this chaotic time, which is great for our city's youth. After all, they're probably feeling more stir-crazy than anyone.
- Courtesy Photo
- Michelle Moonshine
Concerts from the Crib
One SLC venue providing a window into the big music world is The Depot. Partnered with nation-wide booking giant Live Nation, the venue has the kind of resources to be the spot for up-and-coming touring artists to stop in for a show. But now that the road is cancelled, many artists and venues are transitioning to live-stream shows, which is exactly what The Depot is doing now. They're also doing the good deed of pivoting entirely to supporting local talent on their streaming showcases, called Concerts from the Crib. Kicking off on April 4 with Pixie and the Partygrass Boys and Mitokandrea, the virtual event has continued every other day for the past few weeks, and has included other local favorites like Michelle Moonshine, Talia Keys, Tiffany Roe, Bo York and Idan Jene.
The Depot uses their Instagram page for the live streaming, with events mostly scheduled for evenings. Next up on the lineup are a set by dance-party staples Flash & Flare (Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m.) and the funky, soulful electronic stylings of Marqueza (Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m., pictured). Follow the depot online at @thedepotslc and log on at those times—and follow for upcoming yet-to-be-scheduled events—to catch a glimpse of some much-missed local music.