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Music » Music Picks


On the Arena Screen, Get Down with Our Streets SLC, Violin Making School Makes Do


  • Ashley Love
  • Our Streets SLC

On the Arena Screen
While the drive-in concert format picks up steam on a local level, big celebs in both the country and pop realms are using it, too, to solve the problem of lost tour opportunities and provide fans with some summertime entertainment. While recorded concerts have mostly been popular among young fans of big pops acts like Taylor Swift and her Reputation: Stadium Tour or Lady Gaga and her Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: Madison Square Garden, and released on platforms like Netflix, now the cross-genre Hollywood power couple of Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are teaming up with Trace Adkins for a country-meets-pop concert of their own. Instead of being released for streaming, this concert is viewable in CDC-approved social distancing-capable spaces—i.e. drive-in theaters. The concert was filmed specifically for the format, and maintains the sense of a one-time viewable experience. Launched by Encore Live, this is the first in a wave of concerts to hit the summertime screens, and three Utah theaters will play host to the films (other offerings TBA), which also feature interviews and stories from the artists. All showings are on July 25, and attendees can snag tickets at $114.99 per car, which means up to six people for what might usually be the price of a ticket for one normal concert. Fans can find screenings at the Basin Drive-In in Mt. Pleasant at 9:15 p.m., Motor Vu Theater in Tooele at 9:20 p.m. and at the Redwood Drive-In in West Valley at 9:30 p.m. If it's big-time entertainment you're missing, don't miss this chance to see such a rare and exciting film. Visit encorelive.com for ticket info.

Get Down with Our Streets SLC
SLC, like many other cities all over the country right now, is peppered weekly with protests, addressing both those who have been killed locally by police and also in solidarity with those who have been murdered in other cities. In addition to tracking protests by Justice for Bernardo and others for their followers, and sharing events and educational opportunities from the likes of Utah Against Police Brutality, Our Streets SLC uses their Instagram (@ourstreetsslc) to share their own events, too. These community-led events are a little less demands-driven than other local groups that have led protests, but their efforts keep people out on the streets, in a way that's a little easier-going than other protests have been. If some of them have felt intimidating, or you have a job and can't afford to get arrested, or if you just miss going out and dancing with friends, Our Streets SLC has a solution that lets folks get out on the streets while also getting to enjoy good music with their community. Every Sunday, Our Streets and their truck bump jams and lead a march around the city for one of the liveliest (and most fun) protest activities around. Their marches often veer into spontaneous dance parties, and videos on Instagram even document Electric Slide excellence. The group maintains that the events are family-friendly, which is good for people with small kids who still want to do their part to disrupt the city streets. Recently, though, the family-friendly atmosphere didn't stop riot cops from showing up to strong-man the group's path. Luckily, organizers diffused the situation and moved along, but it only goes to show how valuable it is to keep getting out there to march, dance or just yell a little. Let Our Streets SLC show you—in the grooviest way—how to keep the streets our own.

  • @ivolinmakingusa on Instagram
  • Violin School of America

Violin Making School Makes Do
One corner of the local music scene that's been affected rather uniquely by the pandemic is Utah's Violin Making School of America. The small space at 304 E. 200 South is a distinct hub for the musical arts, because they house a number of students who, through the course of their program, learn the specialty that is making violins. Though small, the classes had to pause in the way they existed before, since as Director Charles Woolf says, "Violin making requires in-person instruction and evaluation, so studies during the lockdown consisted of online lectures only." In May, when the state shifted to orange status, they resumed classes, pushing the graduation of last year's students from that month into July to allow for making up lost time. Luckily, the school is not open to the public, which is a boon for them right now as they work to create a social-distancing-friendly classroom. Features like a touch-free wall with a hand sanitizing station, multiple hand-washing sinks, constant disinfection of high-touch surfaces and a new project involving screens to place between benches are all ensuring safety for the students as they continue their luthier-ship. But Woolf is keeping a historical mind towards the problem of pandemic, as only a violin maker could: "Violin making has been around since the early 1500's, and has survived plagues, famines and wars over the centuries. I think the school will make it through this pandemic, and we are looking forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2022." Maybe they can give the rest of us some advice on how best to cope in the meantime.

  • HUM Website screenshot

HUM Calls for New Submissions
It seems like just yesterday that the Salt Lake City Public Library's local music project, Hearing Utah Music (HUM for short), released its round-up of local music for streaming on their site; now it's already time for this year's second and last call for submissions. It's also the last time for this specific panel of judges to make their choices, before another judging panel is selected from Salt Lake's music-lovers and music-makers. The call for artists runs Aug. 1 - 22, and asks local musicians to submit any work made in the last five years. For those who may have felt hesitant about submitting in the past, there's a $200 payout for any album selected, and $100 for EPs, which will surely help at least a little for any artist who has been struggling during the corona-time. HUM accepts and seeks out many different genres from artists around the state, so this is a great opportunity for those who live both near Salt Lake itself and farther afield to show their stuff and have it secured in the library's archive. Visit hum.slcpl.org to see what sort of stuff is already up, try out their streamers and check out their complementary collection of old show posters, too. Any submissions can be sent in at hum.slcpl.org/submit on Aug. 1.

Local Binge: SLUG Magazine's Local Reviews Section
City Weekly has something of a sister in SLUG Magazine, our match in reporting all things SLC. While we follow different beats, SLUG has a dedication to the local in the same way CW does, and in particular their local reviews section offers up a deep archive of local music from the past several years. Churned out by their group of volunteer writers, the locals review section offers something CW doesn't really have within our own music section: regularly-scheduled and critical reviews of these local albums. The space offers a jumping-off point for young writers in the city looking to test the waters of getting published, but more importantly, the section is a great resource for anyone who wants an expansive list of local artists to investigate. Their famous "equation" at the top of the review makes it easy to reference if the artist in question is for you: equations like "Rose Colored Roots = Franz Ferdinand + STRFKR" help readers know right off the bat if this is something they might like, based on who the artist in question is immediately compared to. SLUG's also been busying themselves with other particularly local issues lately, just like CW, and their coverage of fashion, art and other happenings have taken a particularly local bent as they strive to amplify the voices of some of SLC's busiest and best Black creators.