New Year Reflections Pt. 2 | Music | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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New Year Reflections Pt. 2

More notes from the SLC music scene on 2020 (and 2021).


  • Trevor Christensen

With 2020 behind us and 2021 now here, there's still a lot of reflecting going on in our music community. Read on for a few thoughts from a few more of its members below.

Ben Swisher, musician (Ben Swisher, Sen Wisher), music and art event organizer at SLCPL
How did 2020 change your relationship with music?
I guess the world obviously felt different, and I wanted to take time to figure out how I should be different, too. Jason [Rabb] and I have been trying to adapt at the library with HUM-TV, and now maybe a HUM podcast or radio show. In a more personal way, [at] the beginning of the pandemic and through the summer I only felt I could work on small ideas. It felt wrong to write about music the way I used to. Or be a person to speak and take up noise when more important things needed the microphone. I did work on some things I'm proud of remotely. I submitted music to an art show, had a dance score [featured in] a drive-in screening. So, learning again to be less precious with releasing or posting work. Always moving forward. "Now only."

What are your plans for 2021?
I have two albums of songs for Ben and Sen I want to record and release. Maybe some ephemeral ways of streaming by shortwave radio in places or recommended locations to play things that I release. Safe collaborations, remote or otherwise.

  • Allanah Beazley

Faye Barnhurst, former local booker at Sartain & Saunders
How did this year change your relationship with music?
I used to be one of the main bookers for S&S, and I'd usually attend around three shows a week. Since we had to shut down, I spent a lot of time trying to find new, safe ways for people to see live music. We did bike concerts, parking lot shows, and more—all totally new live music scenarios for us. Unfortunately, I was furloughed, so I'm not booking anymore. It sucks feeling disconnected from a community I was so active in, but I know things will start up again, and I hope I can be a part of that.

What did you miss most in 2020?
Obviously, I've missed live music, but I've also really missed the people I run into when seeing live music. I've made so many friends from going to shows, and this made me realize how incredibly valuable those relationships are for me. Going to a local show at Urban Lounge, then walking to Twilite for Doom Lounge and seeing all your same friends—it always gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

  • Hardell Media

Norbert Bueno, musician/producer and President at Social Antidote.
What do you anticipate for the New Year?
I'm excited to see new projects come to life. I know a lot of us musicians have been working on new content. It'll be a long time before we can experience what we used to, but we'll have a lot of new hybrid experiences, and that is what I'm excited and hopeful for.

Do you have plans for 2021?
I have a new project coming out called STAKX that I'm excited for. This project is a mix of everything I've done over the last 10 years, and is really true to myself.

  • Courtesy Photo

Mike Fuchs, musician (Goldie & the Guise, Fuck Light Disco, Passive Tourist), freelance recording engineer
How did 2020 change your relationship with music?
This year ... reaffirmed that I am in bands because I love the people in them. I love collaborating with them to help get the sounds out of their heads and into the speakers. I love spending time with them, and that is more important than whatever music we end up making. Being immunocompromised, everything I was writing and producing went on indefinite hold. It removed me from ... making music as an object for consumption by an audience. It made me realize that as a gigging musician, I have allowed myself to be exploited by clubs, bookers and people that want the product of a music community without wanting to put the effort into maintaining one. It made me realize that I had allowed the idea of being a producer of a good to get in the way of why I play music in the first place. And this time away has allowed me to reconnect with making music for myself.

  • Wes Johnson

Corey Fox, owner of Velour Live Music Gallery
What positives did you find from 2020?
It was short-lived, but I'll have to admit that when the shutdown first happened, it felt like the first time in 20-plus years that my mind was able to slow down and rest. I've run venues since 1997, so my mind is always thinking months in advance, piecing together the complicated booking puzzle. Although there has still been a lot of problem-solving to do, it has been nice to slow down and have time to look at the big picture.

What's your dream show to go to after the pandemic is over?
I think I could really use an intimate Velour show with Book On Tape Worm and our friend Shayla Smith (of Flannel Graph) from Montana. Both are magical artists that tend to bring a good portion of the crowd to tears (in a good way). I think we could all use that after the last year.