- Erin Moore
Idan Jene and B4nky's Radio Love
In the vein of this week's feature (p. tk), we've got another child of the emo Soundcloud realm to share with you—but this album runs in a different direction. The brief seven songs on Our Heart Radio are the work of two local emo rappers Idan Jene and B4nky, who have both been working in the tight-knit scene for a while. Their collaborative album delves into moody, sensual territory that's less "despondent depression" and more "tears and sex" as far as emo rap goes, and does a good job of it production-wise. The single "Skins" is definitely the most upbeat song on the album—as much as it can be while detailing lovesickness—building up on acoustics before plunging softly into something of a cathartic release. The single closes the album, but the opener, "Runnin' Around" is also notable with a feature from Rmoneysign. Its starry, zipping synth work runs through something of a lo-fi filter for a super compelling effect, as the two begin their dual laments of longing and romantic regret ("should have been more clear when I said I'd be runnin' round") and the repeated beg of "oh baby, please accept my apology, I can be your fantasy." It's kind of the bop on the record if you like moody pop, but the songs that make up the middle of the album hold their own, too. Our Heart Radio digs into the kind of heartbroken mood at the root of this genre, fleshing out the tales of woe that these two cool club boys feel even when they "See You at the Club"—one of the more delicate songs on the album, whose melancholic imagery couldn't seem further away from the club that leaks into imagery elsewhere on the album. Altogether, this is one damn catchy, cool production from two young locals, and well-worth a listen even for those outside the Soundcloud scene. Listen on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Music.
Twilite Tests a New Lounge
While most folks used to visiting the Smoker's Paradise may be used to the long, thin, front-facing patio at the Twilite Lounge—which necessitates much squishing—there's a new spot out back to enjoy open air entertainment that gets you away from both the dark cove of the inner bar and the crazy-small front patio. For the past little while, throughout the end of this summer, the Twilite Lounge has once again started to play host to musical guests, copying the form of the usual schedule, with the addition of the occasional Saturday set. The lounge used to play host to shows on off-nights of the week and weekend—Wednesdays and Sundays, to be exact—and they've taken that tradition back up. They'll be hosting Twilite fixtures The 8eat1ful5 out back under the big tent that is now a rather permanent feature at the bar, with potential space heaters for the makeshift patio perhaps in the works for the colder months ahead. In addition to spinning music that can also be streamed from their two new albums We Are Nature and We Are Nature 2 on Spotify, the band has been very cautious about performing each night, keeping in mind the crowdedness of the bar to decide if they'll play. The lounge is also hosting Saturday revelry, with different bands playing every other weekend from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Recent picks have included the smooth and grooving jazz of Umbels, who are like Utah's own little Unknown Mortal Orchestra. While the Saturday schedules are rotating and mostly spread by word of mouth—Twilite is the rare bar with basically no social media, besides a very funny parody account run by a regular—know that the always delightful experimental jazz rock of The 8eat1ful5 will be there for you once more, every Wednesday and Sunday under the pavilion from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Don't forget to bring your cash.
Aggie Radio Starts a New Season
It's easy to forget that community radio also includes those making it work on college campuses—and Aggie Radio is one of those local radio stations doing just that. A new season for the student-run radio station is afoot, too, which brings new voices to the fold as radio DJs with compelling shows like the refreshing No Algorithm, the more directly focused Thursdays Theme and of course sports talk on shows like The Curd. But Aggie Radio's staff this year is also churning out entertaining written content online, like creative essays ruminating on the phenomena of the "Kilby Girl" detailed in the song of the same name by local band The Backseat Lovers—which, while an interesting topic, doesn't talk much about or with actual girls in that particular part of the Utah indie scene. Other junior writers learning their craft, like Josie Rivera, spin out delightfully scathing reviews of local twee folk that she rightfully identifies as so over—a skill most music journalists have left behind in the name of politeness and keeping the peace. While the site stayed active over the summer, it will be interesting to keep track of how the station stays up on music news during the pandemic year, alongside folks like those at other college radio stations like The U's K-UTE. Listen in to their radio shows and number of podcasts, and browse the features and reviews over at radio.usu.edu.
- Justin Mousley
- Burnell Washburn
Upcoming Weekend Offerings at Urban
Another round of shows is about to grace the Urban Lounge backyard, providing not just opportunity to enjoy some great local bands, but to get nostalgic for hanging out on the back patio between sets at shows. This week's early kick-off to the weekend includes Racist Kramer, a local punk rock outfit who named themselves after an incident of racism exhibited by Michael Richards, the actor who played Kramer on Seinfeld. In June, the group made a timely address to their name in a Facebook post, stating that rather than celebrating that racist part of the legacy of a well-loved American sitcom character, their name is about inducing the discomfort of the "dissonance between the legacy of a brilliant actor and being profoundly disgusted by the things he said when his TV career ended." They'll play on Thursday with support from Draize Method and the Four07s starting at the usual time of 6 p.m. and running until 10 p.m. On Friday they're followed by 9021YO, and then by a stacked night of local hip hop with the headliner Burnell Washburn on Saturday. A longtime member of the local rap scene, Washburn will find support from other staples in the scene like Malev Da Shinobi, T-Mental, Mousley (who also dabbles in EDM), Wyoming-based Gentry Fox and DJ Right Star. All shows are $10, starting at 6 p.m. Visit sartainandsaunders.com for ticket purchase info and more upcoming shows this month.
An Aggressive Reminder to Wear Masks at These Shows
It has been a strange development indeed to start including live, in-person shows once again here in the City Weekly music section. But just as many folks have been forced back to work at their coffee shops and bakeries and bars and music venues, so too would it be glaringly weird if City Weekly were not to cover the developments in those areas, such as the uptick of shows in recent months, including those mentioned above. And while one likes to believe at least those in SLC are aware of the still very present dangers of COVID-19, and maybe even also that we're just trailing Provo in the recent case spikes that began in late September, it seems that that's just not true—because, you know, we're still just trailing the seemingly Accursed Land of Provo in case counts, and that's not a proximity anyone should feel comfortable with. So this is your reminder—after you've finished reading this whole section—that please, for the love of God: If you're going out to these shows, wear your mask at least most of the time. Stay far away from other people. Don't get too drunk and lean in too close to your friend who you are absolutely not close enough with to count as part of your pod. And remember that the band playing is also not part of your social pod. I speak also especially to those in more remote places, where (at least from folks I know) it still just doesn't really seem real there. While unfortunately the people and businesses of Utah have been left behind to figure out how to make ends meet during this pandemic, the least we can do while patronizing a band at a show at a venue we love is to wear a mask. Wear a mask! Stop hugging your friends—some of us have been refraining from that for seven months.