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FIRESTORM New technology allows scientists to see the forces behind the flames. By Douglas Fox ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: NEWS >> Rare Tour of Dugway Proving Ground p.12 // MUSIC >> Big in Japan p.32


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CWCONTENTS COVER STORY FLAMING HOT HEROES

Inside modern firefighting technology and its humble Utah start. Cover photo by Mike Toa

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4 LETTERS 6 OPINION 8 NEWS 18 A&E 23 DINE 29 CINEMA 31 TRUE TV 32 MUSIC 45 COMMUNITY

DOUGLAS FOX

Cover story, p. 14 When not obsessing over fire, Fox, a science and environmental writer, calls Northern California home. His stories have appeared in Scientific American, The Atlantic, Esquire, Virginia Quarterly Review, National Geographic and The Best American Science and Nature Writing.

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JIM WICKSON

News, April 20, “Keep on Truckin’”

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I love a good roach coach. But the tacos on 800 South and Main are the best.

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JAMES DUBIN JR.

CITYWEEKLY.NET APRIL 20, 2017 | VOL. 33 N0. 50

Cover story, April 20, Dining Guide 2017

Blog, April 26, “Monumental Order”

So horribly embarrassed by our governor. Over and over again.

MIKE SCHMAUCH Via Facebook

@GovHerbert needs to take a cue from future jailbird @jasoninthehouse and step down. Hasn’t even asked Utah residents what we want!

@BANANASANDJOE Via Twitter

Well if Utah’s elected leaders have a “Jekyll and Hyde” relationship with the Antiquities Act (one of the weirdest metaphors I’ve ever heard, btw) then we know who the monster is. Huh, Governor Gary “Mr. Hyde” Herbert?

JENNY CORNWALL Via Facebook

Sad that Herbert was there.

Via Facebook Up Your Food Game!

which are still popular today mostly in European countries. It would be good if our popular media would educate folks about how to play games with the Tarot instead of always reporting on card readings and other applications for which evidence tells us the deck was not originally designed. Google “French Tarot,” “Jeu de Tarot,” “Tarock,” “Knigrufen,” or “Slovenian Tarok” for examples. Given how popular tabletop games, including trick taking games, have become in recent years, it is a disservice to the public when the media focus only on card readings when doing Tarot-related stories.

SHARON WENDT Via Facebook

News, April 20, “‘A Tailor of Skis’”

What a great write-up!

I’ll take a mouthful.

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So great. Nice work, Todd!

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Tator tot art! Love it!

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Tarot is actually a type of trick taking game created because a clever Italian back in the 15th century wanted to have a trump suit in card games. There is no evidence that the Tarot was intended for card readings or for any other purpose than for playing games,

STAFF Publisher JOHN SALTAS Editorial

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Editorial Interns SULAIMAN ALFADHLI, DAVID MILLER Contributors CECIL ADAMS, KATHARINE BIELE, ROB BREZSNY, BABS DE LAY, KYLEE EHMANN, DOUGLAS FOX, BILL FROST, MARYANN JOHANSON, ASPEN PERRY, TED SCHEFFLER, GAVIN SHEEHAN, CHUCK SHEPHERD, ALEX SPRINGER, BRIAN STAKER, ANDREA WALL

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HITS&MISSES BY KATHARINE BIELE @kathybiele

Constitutional Election

Don’t think too long about how to replace little Jason Chaffetz. Montana, as it looks at replacing former Rep. Ryan Zinke, is wrestling with that pesky U.S. Constitution right now. The state must hold an election because its election law—rewritten in 2015 to allow a gubernatorial appointment—is unconstitutional, notes the Missoulian. Of course, governors tend to appoint members of their own party, and once in office, incumbents are hard to beat. Montana’s Courthouse News Service reported on efforts to ensure a Republican takes office. Now that they must hold an election, GOP chairman Jeff Essmann is railing against a Senate bill to allow a mail-in special election, which would save the state a lot of money. He believes that mail-in ballots favor Democrats, saying “vote-by-mail is designed to increase participation rates of lower-propensity voters.”

No Lessons Learned

Mayor Jackie Biskupski learned nothing from the recent Huntsman Cancer Institute debacle. Instead, she’s probably taking a page from @realDonaldTrump. Last week, her spokesman Matthew Rojas sounded a lot like Sean Spicer as he fecklessly argued that UTA trustee Keith Bartholomew was dumped only because he’d served so dang long. Indeed, Bartholomew, an associate professor of city and metropolitan planning at the University of Utah, has served for 13 years because, you know, he’s competent. However, he doesn’t like Biskupski’s expensive idea of putting a transit station on pylons. He recently received an ovation from Clearfield citizens when he bucked UTA itself, speaking against a manufacturing plan around a transitoriented development there, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. But UTA likely only wants friendly members on its board— developers, perhaps. And Biskupski has helped them out by canning more than 30 employees, including longtime public utilities director Jeff Niermeyer.

Wild Ride

Anyone who drives I-80 up Parley’s Canyon knows it’s a wild ride. What the Trib calls a “Bridge over Troubled Corridor,” a UDOT plan could reduce traffic accidents and wildlife deaths. A $5 million project would erect a 45-by-345-foot bridge across the freeway just west of the Parley’s Summit interchange. The Park City nonprofit Save People, Save Wildlife got the ball rolling by raising money to lengthen a wildlife fence. UDOT is also planning a semitrailer lane and fresh asphalt in other areas of the interstate. That’s $17 million of other improvements. Now, if UTA would just extend Trax up the canyon, the drive might not be so knuckle-biting.

GUEST

OPINION

Shadow Men

The gender inequality gap widens, in a nation where men are both defended and awarded for sexual harassment. High powered and perverted, these men are allowed to lurk through the office, groping as they see fit, then retreat to the shadows, leaving the company to answer for the transgressions of its shadow men. As The New York Times reported, a whopping $65 million has gone to Fox News male staff accused of sexual harassment in the form of exit packages—including the $25 million Bill O’Reilly was recently awarded after being fired—with a mere $20 million going to victims in settlements. Sending a clear message to women nationwide, the days of big bosses chasing female colleagues around the office to cop a feel is alive and well. Sure, these predators might get canned—once the company deems the mounting allegations a fiscal liability, that is—but they are sent packing with much more than their half-dead office plant. Repercussions lacking at this magnitude are certain to leave the sexual-harassment door wide open for other misogynistic men lurking in the office or out in society. Will there come a time when our culture develops a no-tolerance policy in regards to shadow men? Or are women doomed to forever be on guard, looking over their shoulder, both in their professional and in their private life? During a recent evening out, a girlfriend and I were confronted with a situation that left us puzzled, annoyed and disgusted. We decided to meet at a casual drinking establishment I frequent to write or do research, in the Millrock area of Holladay— preferred due to the low-key nature during a weekday evening with other patrons who are either on business out of town, also clacking away on laptops, or locals who stop in to chat with the two regular bartenders. On the evening in question, I began packing up my work items shortly before my friend was due to arrive, when one of the locals offered to buy me and one of the bartenders drinks. I had heard this man chatting up community projects with another local patron and he seemed to have a good rapport with the bar staff, so I accepted. Before writing the previous sentence, it never occurred to me the analytic process I go through before I

BY ASPEN PERRY

decide to speak with people I do not already know. I found myself curious how often men size up a situation with the intent of deducing risk vs. safety. For females this act is mandatory—especially when out alone—a concept I frankly find annoying to admit. In addition to women analyzing our surroundings when alone, we often field inquiries on why we’re are alone. In fact, earlier in the evening, the bartender commented on how he thought I was one of the business travelers because I was working alone, which he said was “very independent,” especially for someone who looked like me. It’s a comment that, despite being well-intentioned, comes off as absurd, as I have yet to receive the memo stating how women are suppose to look when they plan to leave the house without a chaperone. But I digress. I relocated to the bar and my friend joined us when she arrived. Our conversation mixed between group bar chat and her and I catching up. During that time in the group discussion, nothing seemed out of the ordinary from the typical shooting-the-shit. So when the man started to show photos from a recent vacation, after the off-duty bartender went to chat with another group, we didn’t think anything of it. That is until he decided to show us a photo of a large spider he found in his toilet one morning. At first glance, all I noticed was the spider. It was not until a disgusted look washed over my friend’s face that I did a double-take and noticed that the shadow underneath the spider appeared to be that of an erect penis. The image was so far out of left field; I was sure my eyes were deceiving me. During the group conversation, my friend and I had established we were both married, with small kids, and in professional careers. To be shown a shadow dick pic of a man twice our age whom we had just met, didn’t make sense. Perhaps he didn’t realize what he showed us, I tried to reason. However, this justification was squashed when he then attempted damage control by sharing a meme about alcohol making people do stupid things. Realizing this man had indeed purposefully showed us a shadow dick pic, I felt both baffled and pity for the giant spider, clearly having a real rock-bottom moment. I hoped, for the spider’s sake, the man was

just happy to see him, instead of the alternative scenario of all eight eyes being forced to watch while this man stroked … his ego for the ideal photo op. Needless to say, my friend and I cut him out of our conversation, paid our tab and proceeded outside to openly discuss if that really just happened. We later discovered, the dick pic he showed us was not his own, but a viral photo that had been making the rounds. Unfortunately, since the man had tried to pass it off as his own, this discovery added little to no comfort. Had our discussion been about viral internet happenings, it would have been different, still creepy to be shown by a stranger, but not with the same sexual harassment undertones. As I drove home that evening, I become infuriated by what happened with the bartender’s comment repeating in my mind. When a man goes out alone to have a beer, he’s getting a beer. When a woman goes out alone to have a beer, she is bold to do so with no one to accompany her. Perhaps what angers me the most about this is given our current gender dynamic, this structure will not change by the time my offspring are navigating the world, boldly on their own. Despite my best efforts, in teaching them how to deductively navigate their surroundings, there could come a time when some creepy, insecure, ego-driven asshole will feel it within his rights to demean them. In addition to the realization of the world not making much progress since the days when a male bosses happiness ranked higher than his female secretary being mauled, as Megan McArdle so cleverly described in her article for Bloomberg. My annoyance with the situation was also in how I handled it. After all, my friend and I said nothing. We simply wrote him off and went about our night with zero reprimand. Which led me to ponder what I would do or say the next time I see Merv the Perv (obviously not his real name). What is the protocol for unwanted dick pic shares? While there is no real way to know my exact reaction the next time I see him propped up on his barstool, as I make my way to my favorite table, I’m contemplating saying, “Well, if it isn’t the shadow man.” CW

WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL FOR UNWANTED DICK PIC SHARES?

Aspen Perry is a Salt Lake City-based aspiring children’s book writer and self-proclaimed “philosophical genius.”

ON W US M O L L FO TAGRA INS

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WEEK

@SLC


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Hannah Farr is the founder and creative director of the newly formed West Side Theatre Co. After a fundraiser premiere event last month, they are set to start producing shows in Eagle Mountain.

How did you get started in theater?

Get your message to over 400,000 locals, tourists and newcomers!

I did theater in middle school and in high school, then went on to get a BFA in acting from Southern Oregon University. I got an internship at Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival, and was in their shows for a year. Then I decided that I was going to move to New York to pursue acting, but I needed to save up some money first, so I moved in with my grandparents in Utah. Then I met my husband, got married and had a kid.

ALL THE NEWS THAT WON’T FIT IN PRINT

Deadline is May 26th!

How did the idea for West Side Theatre Co. come about?

We’re kind of in our own world on the west side of the range; there aren’t so many opportunities for people [to do theater]. It’s quite a drive to West Valley Hale, or Orem Hale. So for people who don’t want to commit five hours a night, it’s hard. We need an outlet for people, because there’s a lot of talent. And I need something to do as well, if I’m going to stay here or I’m going to have to move. I just started asking on our neighborhood Facebook page—asking someone to draw up a business plan, etc. I just kind of put it out there, and they slowly came to me.

What are the unique challenges of producing theater in your area?

We want to be able to provide opportunities for new types of shows, without picking things that are edgy and offensive. So the challenge is to find ways to work on productions that have a lot of truth about the human experience … that have valuable, emotional stories and lessons. Those kinds of shows often come with exploring darker areas of the human experience. We’re going to make sure that we tell the truth on the stage, not sugarcoat things, or ignore the darker side of what it means to be human, but we aren’t going to ever do anything that would be considered inappropriate. There’s a difference between showing someone you know struggling with addiction, and showing somebody swearing a ton. We need to gain trust with our audience, so we’ll be doing things pretty traditional for the first couple of years, then maybe trying something from a new playwright, or doing something a little avant-garde-ish.

To reserve your space call 801-575-7003 or sales @copperfieldpublishing.com

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What’s next for the company?

Our first production, in August, will be Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day: The Musical. It’s important to know that we are planning on building our own theater facility in the next few years, as we try to get funding. Not sure if it’s going to be in Eagle Mountain area or Saratoga; it depends on where we can get sponsors or land. We want to make this part of the community.

—SCOTT RENSHAW comments@cityweekly.net


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How crazy must the President of the United States be before it’s considered cool to refuse an order? If the president orders an all-out nuclear attack on Canada, is the proper response “Yes, Mr. President,” or to throw the lunatic in a cell? —Knut Borge, Oslo

What does it take to remove a sitting president who is obviously mentally ill? I don’t think I need to say any more than that. —George D. I’m starting to see a pattern to the questions I’ve been receiving lately: It’s almost as though, for some reason, readers have suddenly become preoccupied with the notion of a president being psychologically unfit to serve. The good news is that a president’s civilian and military underlings can certainly refuse to carry out illegal orders, and we likely have a constitutional procedure in place for removing a chief executive who’s no longer quite all there. The bad news? None of it is likely to help much. The question of how the military might respond to an unlawful order from President Trump first arose before candidate Trump had sewn up the nomination. At a February 2016 campaign stop, the C-in-Cto-be promised the crowd that to fight terrorism he’d bring back waterboarding and “much worse.” Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden countered that if Trump gave the order for torture “the American armed forces would refuse to act.” Could refuse, sure. Soldiers can reject such a command—and in fact, law and ethics experts say, have a duty to disobey a plainly illegal order. But would refuse? Questionable orders tend to fall in a gray area. The recent attack on Syria, for instance, made without congressional authorization, could conceivably have been an unconstitutional exercise of presidential power, but who’s going to take a stand on such shaky ground? Disobeying a duly elected commander might look a bit like a coup, for starters, and any good soldier has to at least consider there might be some legit reason for a decision made above their pay grade. When the Bush White House wanted to get into the torture business—i.e., do stuff that really was plainly illegal—the Justice Department simply reinterpreted the law to provide requisite cover. It’s hard to imagine a serviceperson mustering an alternate legal analysis while the clock is ticking. Civilians might have more room to question their instructions, and more security: Under the Whistleblower Protection Act, it is illegal to fire a civil servant “for refusing to obey an order that would require the individual to violate a law.” That doesn’t mean the Trump administration couldn’t find a subtler way to clean house or reward more loyal staffers. And they might prefer to deal with a stack of lawsuits from fired employees rather than back down. But let’s say the prez becomes really

BY CECIL ADAMS

SLUG SIGNORINO

STRAIGHT DOPE Veto Protocol

erratic—i.e., in some way distinguishable from his SOP. How do we get him out of the driver’s seat? Impeachment is of course the best-known method, but its high-crimesand-misdemeanors standard doesn’t apply in a case of mental incapacity. Immediately after the election, though, talk began of somehow invoking the 25th Amendment. The primary function of that amendment, adopted in 1967, is to ensure the presidential succession in case of death, but the fine print gets more interesting. Section 4 empowers the vice president, with the approval of a majority of the cabinet, to make a written declaration to the Speaker of the House and the president pro tem of the Senate that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” upon which the VP can take over. This provision was written to cover situations, like the one following Woodrow Wilson’s stroke in 1919, where the president is out of commission but not actually dead. Here the language is broad enough to include severe mental illness. If Trump became utterly disconnected from reality, Mike Pence and eight cabinet members could send a note to Paul Ryan and Orrin Hatch, and Pence would become acting president. The amendment’s machinery, however, gives Trump an opportunity to assert in writing that no, he’s fine (presumably a tweet would count), and retake the reins of office. Assuming the VP et al. persist, Congress has 21 days to vote on the matter; if two-thirds of each house see it the vice president’s way, the acting-president arrangement continues. This procedure was considered at least once, in 1987. White House aide Jim Cannon, shocked at the disarray of the Reagan White House and the president’s listlessness (“All he wanted to do was to watch movies and television,” he later told reporters), prepared a memo for Chief of Staff Howard Baker suggesting the 25th Amendment should be on the table. Baker didn’t laugh Cannon out of the room, but he didn’t buy the recommendation either. And though we’ll never know for sure, Reagan may well have been suffering from early stage dementia at the time. So I suspect we’ll be stuck with the current fellow—whose persistently outrageous behavior, I’ll note, hasn’t thus far proven disqualifying—for another 44 months minimum. Then again, if the ascent of Trump teaches us anything, it’s that predicting the future is a textbook mug’s game. n Send questions to via straightdope.com or snail mail c/o Chicago Reader, 350 N. Orleans, Chicago 60654.


THE

OCHO

THE LIST OF EIGHT

BY BILL FROST

@Bill _ Frost

Eight ways to tell if you’re in a Utah bar, not a restaurant:

guilt, shame and making Jesus cry.

7. They won’t serve your baby a beer and a shot.

interested in your rant about how California’s liquor laws are better.

5. They ask your baby for a second form of ID.

4. You don’t need to order a shitty basket of chips to justify your shitty beer.

3. They suggest leaving your

below the “Must Be 21+ to Enter” and “Drink GuzzleBird Whiskey®” signs.

1. They won’t let you in with a

UNITED WE STAND (UP!)

If the current political climate has you feeling tense, you might want to blow off some steam at this comedy fundraiser. We have plenty to deride in Utah, where the supermajority includes not only the GOP, but also a particular church. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams invites everyone—Democrats, Republicans, comedians, elected officials and normal folks, too—to come together and let loose at United We Stand (Up!). He’s asking you to suffer through standup comedy routines by him and some other sorry elected officials at their fifth annual event. Rail Event Center on 235 N. 500 West, 801-419-0320, Thursday, May 11, 6:30-9 p.m., $50, bit.ly/2p9rLdv

The Science of Brewing...

BREATHE UTAH

While the EPA is busy writing up a plan to trash the Obama-era greenhouse gas rules, you might have a chance to speak out. The president (you know, of the United States) wrote one of his many, many executive orders telling EPAbuster Scott Pruitt to “seek input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement or modification.” So the only question is: Do you like to breathe? The federal comment period for Executive Order 13777 ends on Monday, May 15. The new rules are supposed to promote energy independence and economic growth. There’s nothing about promoting life. You may submit comments via email, docket or snail mail. Office of Policy Regulatory Reform, Mail Code 1803A, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 20460; laws-regs@epa.gov, Monday, May 15, bit.ly/2ptRWvY

—KATHARINE BIELE Send tips to revolt@cityweekly.net

1200 S State St. 801-531-8182 / beernut.com www.facebook.com/thebeernut

Beer & Wine brewing supplies

Hours: Sun 10-5pm M-Sat 10am-6:30pm

MAY 4, 2017 | 11

baby even though you’re just there for dinner and you don’t even drink and that rule is dumb and you drove all the way from Sandy and it’s little Brayyden’s birthday and they’re being so mean right now and gosh, already!

The Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) hosts the 2017 Fearless 5K recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Stunning statistics show that one in eight women, and one in 50 men, will be raped in Utah in their lifetimes. In its third year, the 5K raises critical funds to support the life-changing work of UCASA and serves as a source of inspiration and hope for advocates and survivors of sexual assault. If you care about ending sexual violence, you can run the 5K in-person or virtually. Memory Grove Park, 300 North Canyon Road, 801746-0404, Saturday, May 6, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., $35, ucasa.org

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2. The state-legislated sign just

SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS 5K

baby in the car with a cracked window and Radio Disney.

CHANGE THE WORLD

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6. The waitress is totally

In a week, you can

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8. Overwhelming feelings of

CITIZEN REVOLT


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12 | MAY 4, 2017

NEWS

GOV’T TESTING

Inside Dugway

A rare tour of Utah’s expansive and secretive Army testing facility. BY DYLAN WOOLF HARRIS dwharris@cityweekly.net @dylantheharris

DW HARRIS

I

n Utah’s West Desert, toxic chemicals are stored beyond a doublelocked door inside a fortified lab. The lab, surrounded by a razor wire fence, is on the Dugway Proving Ground, an 800-acre U.S. Army testing site. Roughly the size of Rhode Island, the complex lies in a sea of sagebrush and cheatgrass about 90 miles southwest of Salt Lake City where pronghorn antelope and wild mustangs are known to graze. Dugway opened in 1942, giving the military a place to test chemical and biological weapons in the remote desert. In its 75-year history, the testing site has endured its share of controversy. In the ’60s, for example, the death of thousands of sheep were linked to Dugway. And as recently as 2015, the Army mistakenly mailed live anthrax samples to dozens of laboratories in the U.S. and abroad. Conspiracy junkies point to the site’s insulation—particularly the secretive Michael Army Airfield—as evidence that the government is hiding something extraordinary; outer space aliens seems to be the preferred theory. For the Army and its contractors, the site is home to a meteorological lab, a small town with a school, a community center that screens movies and a Subway restaurant. Drone pilots train in its unrestricted airspace. Then there’s the section of the site that tests biological and chemical defense and detection equipment. The first line of defense is forged in a chemical lab. The horror of a chemical attack was highlighted this year, when ghastly video footage showing the victims of a purported chemical attack in Syria surfaced. In the hyper-controlled lab, chemicals are used to test the efficacy of lifesaving gear such as face masks. To determine whether a particular piece of equipment is going to perform the way it’s intended, the Army subjects each item type to rigorous testing. “We don’t take the manufacturer’s word that their mask is going to do all that the manufacturer says it is. That

Clockwise: A cylindrical tunnel in the Active Standoff Chamber, the Smartman test dummy is prepped for chemical testing, the outside of the Active Standoff Chamber, Engineer Branch Chief Gary Millar stands in the Joint Ambient Breeze Tunnel. needs to be proven out,” test officer Andrew Neafsey says, hence the “proving ground” name. Neafsey works on the lab’s Smartman program, which entails a hollowed zinc bust inside a glass case that serves as a chemical test dummy. From Smartman’s mouth, air is pumped through an artificial esophagus hose. “One of the main operationally relevant aspects to the Smartman test is that the masks respire, or breathe, while they’re being tested,” Neafsey says. On a recent tour, the lab is preparing to test a mask’s resistance to a blistering and noxious mustard agent known as HD. The face has test tubes sticking out from two sample locations in the nostril and eye socket. In mask testing, the Army determines how well it will protect against chemical vapor. The Smartman system challenges it with vapor and liquid, then scientists measure what is able to penetrate to the the mask’s interior. Dave Rose is one of the scientists tasked with preparing Smartman. “The chemical agents are stored under a security system and no one person has access to them,” he says. “There’s always got to be at least two. We have different locks and keys and combinations to get them out.” Safeguarding themselves with masks, rubber smocks and gloves, a pair of scientists will retrieve the desired chemical and load it into a programmable syringe that doles out drops. Tests typically run for 24 hours. By that time, most of the agent has evaporated. The entire building is designed so that the air pressure flows from the out-

er portion inward toward the Smartman testing rooms, and then is sucked upward through carbon and HEPA filters on the roof. While testing equipment in a “chemlab” is controlled and confined, “the battlefield is huge,” says Gary Millar, engineer branch chief in the test support division. To get a better sense of how chemicals would function in combat, Dugway runs tests inside two spacious dissemination warehouse buildings, the Active Standoff Chamber and the Joint Ambient Breeze Tunnel. Millar sees these testing centers as a continuation of the chemical lab. The Smartman test, he says, is one step in a grand testing system, the likes of which exist only in Utah. The Active Standoff Chamber (ASC) and Joint Ambient Breeze Tunnel (JABT) allow the Army to take what they’ve learned from the lab, then simulate chemical clouds in an open area to observe how that might alter defense and detection equipment. “When you get out to the field, you’ve got wind blowing, you’ve got grass, you’ve got dust in the air,” he says. “That affects what gets detected and you need to understand all that.” When it’s not being utilized for testing, the ASC Chamber—a 360 grade stainless steel rectangular box—is empty save for several white fans. At each end, cylindrical tunnels large enough to walk through protrude outward. The floor is made of 4-inch steel slats, covering an airflow cavity underneath. The entire contraption is inside a warehouse room with exhaust pipes that lead outside to a massive bank of carbon and HEPA filters that block sim-

ulants from spilling out into the air. Because ASC and JABT aren’t controlled to the degree the Smartman test is, officers who run tests in these two facilities don’t use chemical agents, but rather simulant substitutes. These simulants allow the researchers to document how equipment and detectors stand up in an environment that is both unrestricted, yet contained. The base utilizes LiDAR technology— a light beam shot into the distance that scatters when it hits a chemical or biological agent. “From that you detect, yes, there is a chemical agent out there and— as accurate as your system can be—what the concentration is,” Millar says. The JABT is a larger and more barren warehouse with an adjustable ceiling where Dugway conducts simulant tests. Dugway will implement a new electronic test system at the beginning of next year. The system reads sensors out in a testing field and consolidates the data in a single management system. Information gathered from electronic equipment is funneled through a computer system that timestamps and logs the figures, and stores the data in one location. The computerized system also produces a map where analysts can view a field test in real time and adjust it swiftly. Improving the tests, Millar says, is essential to ensure that, if the worst were to happen, soldiers have equipment that will protect their lungs and eyes and detection devices that alert them to danger. “Everything we do here is for the war fighters,” he says. “Should our folks have to get out in the field somewhere, they have the proper equipment to protect them to the maximum extent possible.” CW


NEWS Queen of Fire

TRAILBLAZER

A Millcreek resident advising the city on a wildfire plan, draws on a wealth of experience. BY STEPHEN DARK sdark@cityweekly.net @stephenpdark

COURTESY U.S. FOREST SERVICE

W

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MAY 4, 2017 | 13

feel sure and confident about myself.” Grace’s nickname was “Hell bitch,” taken from Larry McMurtry’s classic novel, Lonesome Dove. “You had to earn the right to say it to my face.” She says she had “a savant relationship with fire,” something she shared to some degree with her supervisor, legendary firefighter Paul Gleason, whom she married in 1987. “We were both in love with fire. Nobody else would talk to me like that, nobody else would hear what I have to say, my ideas. I was insatiable to understand how does fire really behave.” While there were seven women on her crew—“BMWs, burly mountain women,” she says—Grace was tough on them as squad boss; too tough, Gleason told her. “I ran off more women than men who didn’t belong on the hotshot crew. I wasn’t going to lower the bar for boobs. If you’re going to come on my hotshot crew, it’s not going to be because of boobs. I kept the bar as high as it can possibly be for everybody who wanted to wear a ZigZag Hotshots T-shirt. I didn’t think we could afford to have women there who were noticeably less capable.” Grace went on to develop other careers in occupational therapy and fire consulting, but her passion for fire remains unbowed. Even beyond that, though, she says, there is one fundamental that never changes in fighting wildland fires, be it in Oregon or Utah: “I just want everybody to go home for dinner,” she says. CW

If initial attack crews are akin to the first responders of wildland fires, interagency hotshot ones are among the elite of wildland firefighters, ready to be dispatched anywhere in the country. Grace set her cap at joining such a crew. The U.S. Forest Service was embroiled in a discrimination lawsuit filed in 1973, which ultimately led to a consent decree mandating that there had to be more women on federal wildland crews. When she and the initial attack crew were dispatched to a late season fire in Northern California, she applied to join the local virtuoso team. “They told me I had to hire a girl and a n-----,” a supervisor informed her. She didn’t get the job. She then signed up with the Mt. Hood, Oregon-based ZigZag Hotshots as a late season fill-in in 1980 and was rehired in 1981. Already a record-setting marathon swimmer, Grace trained even harder before joining ZigZag, to make sure she was just as fit as any of her counterparts. Being a peak endurance athlete, however, inevitably put her in conflict with men who questioned having women in their ranks. “If a guy is going to define himself doing something a girl can’t do, what does that mean about him as a man if a woman comes along who can do it the same or better?” Grace asks. “That’s where the rage— the contempt—comes from.” She learned how much animosity there could be working at another hotshot crew when she was made squad boss in the middle of a fire, six weeks after she joined. Three men, she says, walked off the fire, refusing to work for a woman. Juli Bradley, who lives near Portland, fought wildland fires with Grace as her squad boss for a year in 1986. “She took me under her wing,” she says. “I learned how tough I could be.” While she only did two years fighting wildland fires, “I know who I am because of fire. Because of that job, I

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the state and federal level, the efforts haven’t shifted the historic levels of approximately 10 percent women on crews. Jason Curry, the state’s public information officer for Forestry, Fire & State Lands, says they’ve seen more female hires and applicants in recent years for seasonal work. But the backbreaking, physically demanding nature of the job, he speculates, “makes it a hard environment to work in if you’re a female.” Out of three 20-person crews and one eight-person crew, each has one or two women at most. Since 2006, to Curry’s knowledge, there have been no sexual harassment or Equal Employment Opportunity complaints filed relating to wildland fire crews. UFA’s Pilgrim, who met his wife fighting wildland fires, acknowledges that it’s a male-dominated career with many “Type A male personalities who tend to be reluctant when it comes to trusting females.” He’s been involved in firefighting since 2000, and says the treatment of women as well as opportunities available for them have improved, with male resistance much less common than it used to be. Grace’s career was built on the idea that gender was irrelevant. It was simply about who could do the job best. A child abuse survivor, she believes fire picked her in some primal way. “I had something to prove to myself, to my father, to my perpetrators. I make a poor victim; I fight back.” At the same time, she says, “You’ve got to stay humble in the face of fire, but that humility I lent to fire I did not lend to my male counterparts.” Grace started as a firefighter in rural Oregon in 1977 when she was 19, joining an initial attack crew in the Barlow Ranger District. “They were paying a dollar more an hour than the Payless drug store,” where she sold cosmetics. When Grace attended a week of fire school training, she walked into a room of “250 guys, and then there’s me.” She worked with a small group of Vietnam vets, whom she recalls as mostly “tolerant and protective.”

STEPHEN DARK

Former federal firefighter Eileen Grace in her Milcreek home, and in a 1982 ZigZag Hotshots group photo.

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hen Eileen Grace looks out the office window in her home overlooking the Wasatch Mountains, she doesn’t so much admire the steep slopes, with their rich green lines of trees and meadows climbing up the east benches, as view them with trepidation. To her eyes, they represent, “a very high wildland-urban interface,” meaning that nature and homes are smacked up against each other and the potential for a wildland fire engulfing the fledgling city’s houses is all too apparent. One of the early female federal wildland firefighters in the late 1970s, based primarily in the Pacific West, she breaks down fire’s behavior into simple elements: “Fire has a tendency to go uphill, a tendency to go the way the wind is blowing, and it will get big if it has enough to burn. To a wildfire, a housing development looks like 9,000 tons [of fuel] per acre.” With Millcreek incorporated as a city this past January, one responsibility it will take from Salt Lake County is developing a community-protection plan for wildland fires—a lengthy process involving public education, preparation and mitigation of potential wildland fire threats. Unified Fire Authority Battalion Chief Riley Pilgrim says Grace, as an adviser, brings a “unique perspective. She understands fire behavior; she understands the risks present in Millcreek.” Grace’s 14-year wildland firefighting career at the U.S. Forest Service underscores both her fascination with the seasonal, uninsured occupation, and how gender discrimination dogged some women in the field. The problem has continued since she quit federal wildland firefighting, she says, pointing to a December 2016 survey by nonprofit education group Association for Fire Ecology. Out of 342 respondents, 54 percent reported observing gender discrimination, while 44 percent reported experiencing it firsthand. The majority of respondents who experienced sexual harassment didn’t report it. “The report was horrifying to me, but what is more horrifying to me, after all this work, all this time, [women] are not standing up for themselves, not taking it upon themselves,” Grace says. “They want to create this gender-neutralized bureaucracy, but it’s not realistic. Let knowing how to get along with wildfire be the driver.” The Utah divisions of Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Forestry, Fire & State Lands provide 75 percent of the wildland firefighters on call each season. While more emphasis has been put on hiring women to fight wildland fires both at


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14 | MAY 4, 2017

INSIDE THE

FIRESTORM New technology allows scientists to see the forces behind the flames.

By Douglas Fox High Country News comments@cityweekly.net

A

ircraft N2UW has flown through all kinds of weather. The sleek twin-propeller plane is so packed with scientific gear for studying the atmosphere that there’s barely room for two passengers to squeeze into its back seats. Monitors show radar reflections, gas concentrations and the sizes of cloud droplets. The plane has flown through tropical rainstorms in the Caribbean, through the gusting fronts of thunderheads over the Great Plains, and through turbulent down-slope winds that spawn dust storms in the lee of the Sierra Nevadas. But the four people on board on Aug. 29, 2016, will never forget their flight over Idaho. The plane took off from Boise at 4 p.m., veering toward the Salmon River Mountains, 40 miles northeast. There, the Pioneer Fire had devoured 29,000 acres and rolled 10 miles up Clear Creek Canyon in just a few hours. Its 100-foot flames leaned hungrily into the slope as they surged uphill in erratic bursts and ignited entire stands of trees at once. But to David Kingsmill, in the plane’s front passenger seat, the flames on the ground 2 miles below were almost invisible—dwarfed by the dark smoke that towered above. The fire’s plume of gray smoke billowed 35,000 feet into the sky, punching into the stratosphere with such force that a downy white pileus cloud coalesced on its underside like a bruise. The plume rotated slowly, seeming to pulse on its own, like a chthonic spirit rising over the ashes of a forest that no longer imprisoned it. “It looked like a nuclear bomb,” Kingsmill says. Undaunted, Kingsmill and the pilot decided to do what no research aircraft had done: Fly directly through the smoke. Orange haze closed around them, then darkened to black, blotting out the world. Kingsmill felt his seat press hard against his back as the plane lifted suddenly, like a leaf in the wind. Then the black turned orange. The plane jolted and fell. Pens, cameras and notebooks leaped into the air and clattered against windows. A technician slammed headlong into the ceiling. A moment later, N2UW glided back into daylight.

According to the plane’s instruments, it had been seized by an 80 mph updraft of hot, buoyant air, followed by a turbulent downdraft. It was “the strongest updraft I’ve ever flown through,” Kingsmill, a precipitation and radar scientist at the University of Colorado-Boulder, says. Even stronger forces were at work several-thousand feet below: The plane’s radar waves, reflecting off rising smoke particles, had registered updrafts exceeding 100 mph. Hundreds of miles away, Kingsmill’s research partner, Craig Clements, a fire meteorologist at San José State University, watched the plane’s flight path creep across a map on his laptop screen. The unfolding drama offered a tantalizingly detailed glimpse into the anatomy of an extreme wildfire. “It’s amazing,” Clements says. “We’ve never seen this kind of structure in a fire plume, ever.” For decades, scientists have focused on the ways that topography and fuels, such as the trees, grass or houses consumed by flames, shape fire behavior, in part because these things can be studied even when a fire isn’t burning. But this line of inquiry has offered only partial answers to why certain blazes, like the Pioneer Fire, lash out in dangerous and unexpected ways—a problem magnified by severe drought, heat and decades of fire suppression. A mere 1 percent of wildfires accounts for roughly 90 percent of the land burned each year in the western United States. Some of these fires “really are unprecedented,” Mark Finney of the U.S. Forest Service’s Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, says. Their behavior “is particularly threatening because we don’t have a good way to anticipate or predict [it].” So Finney, Clements and a handful of others are increasingly turning their gaze to fire’s invisible incarnations: the hot, roiling gases and smoke swirling among the flames, and the rising plumes they coalesce to form. There, they believe, lies the key to understanding the way a wildfire breathes—roaring into conflagration with bigger gulps of oxygen or sputtering along more slowly on little sips. How it moves, spawning lethal fireballs or hurling burning logs ahead of the flames. The way it grapples with the upper layers of the at-

mosphere, sending embers in unexpected directions to propagate itself across the land. Even, perhaps, the role its elemental opposite—water—plays in driving its explosive growth. Nailing those connections could provide new tools for monitoring fires and predicting their behavior. This could give firefighters precious minutes of advance warning before potential catastrophes, and better inform the difficult decision to order an evacuation. But it won’t be easy. “The plume is orders of magnitude harder to study than the stuff on the ground,” says Brian Potter, a meteorologist with the Seattle-based Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory who sometimes works with Clements. Indeed, it took a global conflagration much darker than any forest fire to even begin laying the foundations of this work. Kingsmill’s comparison of the Pioneer Fire to a bomb, it turns out, isn’t far off. The evening of July 27, 1943, was stiflingly hot in Hamburg, Germany. The leaves of oak and poplar trees hung still in the air as women and teenagers finished factory shifts and boarded streetcars. They returned home to six-story flats that lined the narrow streets of the city’s working-class neighborhoods. They opened windows to let in cooler air, and folded themselves into bed. It was nearly 1 a.m. when British planes arrived over their target. Searing yellow flares drifted down over the city, and dropped to mark the city’s eastern quadrant. Bombs followed, tearing open buildings and exposing their flammable contents to a rain of incendiary canisters that hissed as they fell. Thousands of small fires sprang up. Families retreated into basements. The buildings above them roared into flame, and these growing fires greedily sucked air from their surroundings. Their collective inhalation drew winds through the narrow urban canyons, pulling along embers that ignited even more buildings. Within minutes, the fires were merging. The winds swirled into flaming tornadoes that swept people up and turned them into human torches. Balls of fire shot out of buildings. Within 60 minutes, a spiraling pillar


MAY 4, 2017 | 15

U.S. ARMY

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Test of M-69 incendiary bomb at Dugway Proving Ground. The village reproduction was constructed in 1943 in order to perfect firebombing of German residential areas.

the naked eye about what the fire is doing.” If firefighters had access to similar technology, they could potentially recognize an impending whirl in real time before it forms, and escape. A month after Fort Hunter Liggett, Clements and Lareau stumbled onto another discovery at the 17,000-acre-andgrowing Bald Fire, north of Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. On a warm, hazy morning, the pair sped in their pickup truck along State Route 44, south of the fire, looking for a good vantage point for seeing the plume. From the bed of the truck, their lidar and radar wind profiler pointed straight up at the sky, recording the smoke, winds and clouds directly overhead. Then the highway began to gradually descend down the slope of the volcanic plateau where the fire burned, and they noticed something strange. Even as the winds thousands of feet up blew north, the smoke just below those winds was drifting steadily south. They spent the rest of the day following the broad mass of smoke as it oozed 20 miles downhill, like a gauzy, viscous lava flow in the sky. During that drive, they downloaded weather and satellite images of the broader smoke plume from both the Bald Fire and the similar-sized Eiler Fire, 10 miles to the southwest of it. A surprising picture emerged. Smoke from the Bald Fire had shaded broad swaths of the landscape—cooling the ground, and several thousand feet of air above it, by a few degrees. Even as the winds blew north, this cool, dense air was rolling downhill like molasses, pushing under the winds as it followed the contours of the land— carrying a layer of smoke 6,000 feet thick along with it. “We had no idea we were going to see things like that,” says Lareau, who now holds a faculty position at San José State. “It seems like every time we go, we end up with new perspectives.” The team’s insight about the Bald and Eiler fires has implications for predicting smoke and air quality—a constant concern for communities near large fires. It also impacted the fires themselves. Even though both fires existed in the same atmospheric environment of pressures and winds, and burned across similar terrain, they were spreading in opposite directions that day—Bald to the south, and Eiler to the north. This denser current of cold air and smoke was actually pulling the Bald Fire in the opposite direction of what was predicted based on wind alone. Clements imagines a future in which lidar is not simply a tool of research, but also standard equipment mounted with automatic weather stations on firetrucks. This device would theoretically be much smaller and cheaper than current technology. It scans the plume continuously to obtain real-time data, which “is then uploaded into a mainframe computer that’s running a fire-weather model,” Clements says, “and boom, problem solved.” The fire crew would receive a fire-behavior forecast that reflects detailed information about a plume’s evolving structure— something not currently possible. That forecast could warn about impending events, such as a strengthening updraft that might conspire with winds higher up to toss embers into unburnt areas, or an incipient plume collapse that might splash the fire and hot gases in unexpected directions.

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real fire. When Clements showed his work at a conference several months later, scientists there implored him to do more experiments. “It rescued my life, my academic career,” Clements says. “Totally.” Clements abandoned his previous line of study and landed a faculty job at San José State University in 2007, where he continued his research. His instrument towers, deployed in carefully controlled fires, provided yet more unprecedented and precise measurements: how winds accelerate and draft into an advancing flame front, the heat and turbulence above the flames, and the speed of the rising hot air. Still, dangerous behaviors like fire tornadoes, or lofting of embers, usually happen in fires much larger than experiments can replicate. And the plumes of those fires rise thousands of feet. Clements was capturing the action only within a few feet of the ground. He was just getting point measurements—like following a single bird to understand the movement of an entire flock wheeling in the sky. Clements wanted to capture the whole phenomenon—to look inside the opaque mass of an entire fire plume from a distance, and see all of its parts swirling at once. In 2011, he found his lens: a technology called Doppler lidar. Unlike the Doppler radar that police use to measure the speed of passing cars, lidar is tuned to detect reflections of its low-powered laser off particles smaller than red blood cells. It actually scans the sky, collecting thousands of pinpoint measurements per second, which can be reassembled into a picture of both the plume’s surface and its internal air currents. Clements and his postdoctoral student, Neil Lareau, mounted this television-sized gadget in the back of a pickup truck and hit the road in search of wildfires. In June 2014, live ammunition fired during an Army training exercise afforded them the chance to watch a fire roll through 4,800 acres of grass and oak hills at the Fort Hunter Liggett training ground in California. They watched through lidar as a rotating column of smoke stretched, narrowed and accelerated into a fire tornado two football fields across, with winds swirling 30 mph. These tornadoes, or “whirls,” can pose sudden dangers in wildfires. During a 1989 blaze near Susanville, Calif., a powerful whirl raced out of a flame front, with winds estimated at 100 mph. Three fire engines retreated just in time to escape being torched, but four crewmembers were hurled into the air—all of them seriously burned. For now, fire whirls are nearly impossible to predict. But that afternoon at Fort Hunter Liggett, Clements and Lareau began to get a sense of how they form. It was an eerie and beautiful process, hidden deep inside the smoke column. First, an embryonic disturbance in the fabric of the plume: Hot rising gases began to rotate with the motion of an air current coming from the side. This vague motion coalesced into two small, separate whirls. They circled around one another like dancing, swaying cobras preparing to mate, then merged into a single powerful vortex. “The laser is seeing through a lot of the smoke,” Lareau says. “It’s showing you something that you can’t necessarily see by

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of smoke had swelled into an anvil-shaped thunderhead that towered 30,000 feet over the city. At least 42,000 people died, and another 37,000 were injured. Sometime during the night, someone scribbled a word for the unspeakable destruction into the logbook of the Hamburg fire department: “feuersturm”—in English, “firestorm.” Such cataclysms had occurred before. Fires destroyed London in 1666; Peshtigo, Wis., in 1871; and San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake. But Hamburg might have been the first time that people intentionally created a firestorm, with chilling calculation. The British chose to bomb that section of the city, not just to demoralize the workers in Germany’s critical U-boat industry, but also because of the tightly packed buildings that covered 45 percent of its ground area. And their tactics were almost certainly influenced by experiments begun four months earlier, across an ocean and half a continent, on a remote desert playa in northwestern Utah. There, at the Dugway Proving Ground, the U.S. Army’s Chemical Warfare Service had commissioned Standard Oil Development Co. to construct a row of steep-roofed European-style apartment buildings. Erich Mendelsohn, an architect who had fled Nazi Germany, specified every detail: 1.25-by-2inch wood battens, spaced 5.875 inches apart, to hold the roof tiles; 1-inch wood flooring underlain by 3.5-inch cinder blocks, and so on—all to replicate the dwellings of German industrial workers. The wood was maintained at 10 percent moisture to mimic the German climate. Rooms were outfitted with authentic German curtains, cabinets, dressers, beds and cribs— complete with bedding—laid out in traditional floor plans. Then, military planes dropped various combinations of charges on the buildings, seeking the most efficient way to penetrate the roofs and engulf the structures in flames. Those experiments offered clues on what factors could cause firestorms. In the years following World War II, scientists would study Hamburg and other bombing raids to derive basic numbers for predicting when a firestorm might form: the tons of munitions dropped per square-mile, the number of fires ignited per square-mile and the minimum area that must burn. They concluded that Hamburg’s unusually hot weather set the stage for the firestorm by making the atmospheric layers above the city more unstable and thus easier for a smoke plume to punch through. Scientists theorized that this powerful rise had drawn in the winds that whipped the flames into even greater fury. Later, scientists studying urban fires during the Cold War noticed something that underscored this finding: When a fire plume rotated, the rate of burning seemed to increase on the ground. It suggested that rotation lessened the drag between the plume and its surrounding air, allowing it to rise more strongly and pull in fresh oxygen more effectively on the ground. Fire is so universally familiar that we take for granted our understanding of how it works. Yet these old experiments, finished by 1970, are still a key source of knowledge about extreme fire behavior. Until recently, technology was simply too limited to reveal much more about the specific mechanisms by which a fire plume might feed a firestorm, let alone how beasts like fire tornadoes and fireballs form. Scientists needed new ways to see within the smoke and turbulent flames—to make the invisible visible. As it happens, they began finding them almost by accident. One morning in February 2005, Craig Clements watched as a 6-foot wall of flame crept across a prairie a few miles outside Galveston, Texas. He was not yet a fire scientist; in fact, he was slogging through his seventh year of graduate school, studying a completely unrelated topic—mountain winds. This was just a side project, a favor he was doing for his Ph.D. advisor at the University of Houston, who had a steel weather tower in the field. A prescribed fire had been planned there to prevent fuel buildup that could cause a more serious blaze. What would happen, they wondered, if they mounted extra instruments on the tower to measure the winds, heat and gases released by the fire passing directly beneath it? The results were startling: Clements’ sensors showed that the flames produced a surprisingly strong pulse of water vapor. Scientists knew, theoretically, that the combustion of dry plant matter would release water vapor along with carbon dioxide, but it had never been measured this carefully in a


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16 | MAY 4, 2017

ROBERT BALDWIN

THE PATCH SPRINGS FIRE BURNED OVER 10,000 ACRES NEAR TERRA, UTAH, WHEN IT WAS IGNITED BY A LIGHTNING STRIKE IN AUGUST 2013.

Yet, even in its ideal form, that bit of technology wouldn’t be able to forecast everything: Some extreme fire behaviors are driven by smaller-scale forces that even lidar can’t capture. Scientists suspect these might be responsible for some of the more tragic firefighter deaths in recent years. The South Canyon Fire hardly seemed threatening at first. Lightning started it on July 2, 1994, atop a ridge overlooking Interstate 70, a few miles west of Glenwood Springs, Colo. It crept at a civil pace down the mountain’s slopes, through dry grass and Gambel oak. Then, around 3 p.m. on July 6, a cold front swept over the area, spawning winds that pushed the lower part of the fire across the mountain’s southern face—igniting the base of an unburned drainage. The fire crew working there might not have realized their peril until too late. Fourteen firefighters were crossing the drainage as the fire entered its lower reaches. The flames quickly gained on them as they hurried diagonally across it, toward the ridge top, following a firebreak through the dense vegetation that they had cleared the day before. Firefighter Kevin Erickson, a couple hundred feet in front of the others, glanced back to see a wall of flame advancing up the sides of the gully before he crested the ridge and scrambled down its other side. Firefighter Eric Hipke was 45 seconds behind him. His pace quickened as the heat grew unbearable. Several steps short of the ridge top, a blast of searing air struck him from behind. He slammed to the ground with a yell, then scurried to his feet, shielding his face from a maelstrom of smoke and flying embers, and sprinted over the top. Hipke was the last person to reach the ridgeline alive. He later realized that his backpack’s shoulder straps had melted through, leaving it bobbing from his waist belt. He sustained third-degree burns across the back of his arms, legs, torso and head. The bodies of the 12 remaining crewmembers were found that evening. (Two from another party, who died in a separate part of the blaze at the same time, were found July 8.) Hipke’s crew was strung out along the path they’d been following, some with their backpacks still on—as though overcome, simultaneously, by a sudden force. Observers have speculated for years about what, exactly, killed them. The fire might have overtaken them or a gust of wind might

have pushed the hot gases of the plume down onto them. In the years since, however, scientists have uncovered another possibility—a type of blowup that might have caused multiple fatalities over the years, but left no survivors to describe what happened. Like Clements, Janice Coen stumbled onto these questions by accident. Coen works at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., where she studies fire’s inner workings. In September 1998, she spent several hours aboard a Hercules C-130 aircraft as it circled over Glacier National Park. The McDonald Creek Fire was marching up a steep slope at roughly 3 feet per second. Its smoke obscured the advancing flames, but infrared video cameras mounted outside the plane recorded what was happening underneath. It was only later, as Coen looked through individual frames of that video, that she noticed something strange: At one point, a jet of flame seemed to shoot ahead of the fire. It lasted only a second or two, but left a trail of newly ignited vegetation in front of the fire. Not until Coen calculated the size of the pixels and the time between frames could she appreciate its true significance. The jet had surged 100 yards ahead of the fire’s front, advancing 100 mph—“like a flamethrower,” she says. It was 10 times faster than the local wind—generated, somehow, by the fire’s own internal tumult. Coen called it the “finger of death,” and for her it brought to mind the unconfirmed reports of fireballs that occasionally circulated among firefighters. She had never seen such a thing, but as she examined footage of other fires, she was surprised to find fire jets again and again. Her infrared videos were in some ways akin to those classic blurry clips of Sasquatch walking in a forest—a strange and fleeting embodiment of fire’s turbulence, without clear explanation for its existence. When you think about turbulence, what comes to mind is something felt but not seen—like a bumpy airplane ride, where the air currents themselves are invisible. Only in the special case of fire is it possible to see turbulence with the naked eye—sort of. The flames are composed of hot, glowing gases; their flickers and licks are the roiling movements of those gases. That movement unfolds too quickly for the eye to comprehend. So Finney has spent years slowing down videos of fire in experiments at his Missoula

laboratory, rewinding and replaying them, exposing the secret details that have long hidden in plain view. An advancing flame front seems chaotic. “But there is organization in there,” he says. There are “flame structures that [are] very repeatable.” In his lab experiments, Finney used highspeed cameras to watch what amounted to miniature forest fires: walls of flame advancing through hundreds of cardboard “trees” the size of matchsticks. The advancing flame front resembles a jagged-toothed saw blade at any given instant, with interspersed high and low points, flickering several times per second. But slow it down, watch a single one of these high points, and you begin to perceive something more complex. The flickering peak of flame repeatedly curls over on its side, like a surfing wave in Hawaii, viewed edge-on as it rolls into a pipe and crashes on itself. This churning wave of flame rolls over and over, staying in roughly the same place. It is a horizontal, rolling current, driven by the constant push and pull of gases within the fire. Combustion gases heated to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit are only one-quarter as dense as ambient air—a difference that makes them more buoyant and causes them to rise, creating the flickering peaks of flame. Cooler, denser gases rush downward to fill the void, driving the downward side of the rolling current and pressing down on the fire to create low spots in the flame front. Finney’s slow-motion videos show that these rolling eddies exist in pairs within the fire. They roll in opposite directions, coupled like interlocking gears. Their combined motion periodically pushes down on the advancing front of the fire, causing flames to lick downward and forward, ahead of the fire. Finney believes that these forward flamelicks are scaled-down versions of the “fingers of death” that Coen has seen in wildfires—possibly even related to the fireballs said to have shot out of buildings during the 1943 Hamburg firestorm. Coen has actually documented similar flame-rollers in real wildfires using infrared video. But she believes that the “finger of death” also requires another factor. As bushes and trees are heated by an approaching fire, their decomposing cellulose releases hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide and other

flammable gases in a process called pyrolysis. Coen and Shankar Mahalingam, a fluiddynamics engineer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, believe that rolling currents can mix these flammable gases with oxygen-rich air. “The dangerous situation is when the fire is going up on a hill,” Mahalingam says. “Maybe there are pyrolysis products that have accumulated” in front of the fire and mixed with fire-boosting oxygen. As the flame licks forward into this invisible tinderbox, it ignites a blowtorch. Reflecting back on the South Canyon Fire in 1994, it is tempting to wonder whether the same blast that killed Hipke near the ridge top also killed the 12 firefighters behind him—one of them just 40 yards back. Some have even speculated that Hipke would have died along with them—his lungs seared by hot combustion gases—had he inhaled rather than yelled as he fell to the ground. Coen sees the South Canyon tragedy as one of several likely caused by the “finger of death”—a monster created by the turbulent respiration of the fire itself and the violent rise of its hot, buoyant gases. These same buoyant gases also supply the momentum that drives a fire whirl to spin once it is triggered. On a much larger scale, they are what pushes a fire plume ever higher in the sky, powering the in-drafts that keep the fire burning below. But the source of the speed and energy with which these gases rise is still the subject of intense speculation. Potter, of the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, has found some surprising possible answers. They arise, in part, from some of those old military fire experiments—these particular ones conducted in the aftermath of World War II by a U.S. government that feared the devastation of Hamburg might represent the future of modern warfare. In the wrinkled, sage-covered mountains of Nevada near the California border, 30 miles east of Mono Lake, there is a meadow that seems to lie in shadow even on sunny days. Spread across it are hundreds of dark patches, where the soil is mixed with charcoal. These spots lie row upon row, like the ghostly foundations of a dead city. In a sense, that is exactly what they are. In 1967, workers with the Forest Service and the Department of Defense stacked 342 piles of juniper and piñon logs in this


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MAY 4, 2017 | 17

This story was originally published by High Country News on April 3.

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question is: How do you get that much moisture over eastern Australia during drought conditions?” Combustion provides a plausible source for it. Reeder estimates that the fire incinerated over 2 million tons of wood and vegetation that day, liberating at least a million tons of water vapor into the sky. The temperature and density differences that drive such cataclysmic power can seem deceptively minuscule. When N2UW flew through the plume of the Pioneer Fire in 2016, its instruments registered updrafts of 80 to 100 mph. Yet at that elevation, 8,000 feet above the flames, the interior of the plume was only 3 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the surrounding air, meaning that its buoyant stampede through the atmosphere was powered by a density difference of just about 1 percent. In other words, given the right atmospheric conditions, a few degrees of warmth and extra buoyancy could spell the difference between a plume that pushes 40,000 feet up into the stratosphere, powering a vicious blaze on the ground—as Pioneer did— and one whose smoke never escapes the top of the boundary layer at 3,000 feet, leaving the fire stunted, like a weather-beaten dwarf tree gasping for life at timberline. N2UW made two more passes through the plume of the Pioneer Fire on Aug. 29. During that third and final pass, static electricity roared through the cockpit radio. Concerned that lightning from the plume might strike the plane, the pilot turned off his antenna. That flight yielded far more than the first direct measurement of a plume’s updraft. Days later, Clements found himself looking at a portrait of the fire’s plume unlike any that has existed before: a vertical MRI slice of sorts cut along the path of the plane— captured by its fine-tuned scientific radar, aimed straight down. Color-coded by the velocity of its air currents, the blotchy mass resembled a hovering spirit—large-headed, legless and deformed. Clements’ trained eye began to pick out some basic structures: a 40 mph downdraft next to a 60 mph updraft signified a turbulent eddy on the edge of the plume. Hot air pushing up past cooler, stationary air had set in motion a tumbling, horizontal vortex—the sort of thing that could easily have accounted for the plane’s brief freefall. Those blotchy radar pictures might finally allow us to see through wildfire’s impulsive, chaotic veneer—and perceive the more predictable, underlying forces that guide its behavior. “We didn’t even know this would work,” Clements says. “This is the most exciting thing I think I’ve ever seen in my career.” Simply seeing can be transformative. Not until people saw microbes could they comprehend and fight diseases like malaria— once blamed on foul spirits or miasmas. And not until Earth’s colorless, odorless magnetic field became visible could people appreciate how it shaped the planet’s environment. While the smoke plume of the Pioneer Fire was apparent to the naked eye, the violent forces within it were also deceptively invisible. As the plane first approached it on Aug. 29, the pilot’s standard weather console showed the plume as nothing but a swath of cool blue—a seemingly gentle updraft, with no hint of what lay in wait. CW

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place—20 tons of wood per pile, spaced 25 feet apart. Then, at 8 a.m. on Sept. 29, they set them ablaze. Project Flambeau comprised some twodozen experiments like this one, meant to simulate an American suburb under nuclear attack—specifically, the many small fires that would merge into a storm, as happened not only in Hamburg, but also Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Lengthy reports describe how helium balloons released near the experimental fire here rose several hundred feet, then swooped down into the flames, revealing strong downdrafts feeding the fire from its sides. But what drew Potter’s interest was the water. Concentrations of water vapor rose 10 to 20 times higher than the surrounding air. Water is a major product of combustion, second only to carbon dioxide. It forms as oxygen binds to the hydrogen atoms in wood, gasoline or just about any other fuel— creating hydrogen oxide, otherwise known as H2O. Burning 4 pounds of perfectly dry wood releases 1-2 pounds of water. Exhale onto a car window and you will see another form of the same phenomenon, fogging the glass: water produced from the oxidation of food you have eaten. This vapor is familiar and mundane; it hardly seems like a violent force. Yet water vapor fuels the strongest updrafts in nature, Potter says, from thunderstorms to tornadoes to hurricanes. As moist air rises during these storms, the water vapor condenses into cloud droplets, releasing a small amount of heat that keeps the air slightly warmer than its surroundings, so it continues to rise. “Water,” he says, “is the difference between a weak updraft and a really powerful updraft.” Potter wondered if the water vapor released from combustion might infuse extra energy into wildfire plumes. By condensing and giving off heat, it might allow some plumes to rise higher and faster, accelerating the fire on the ground. Through a bit of serendipity, this theory led to Clements’ first fire experiment—the prescribed prairie burn back in 2005. It was Potter, who happened to know Clements’ Ph.D. advisor, who suggested it. Neither the results of Clements’ experiment nor those of Flambeau were conclusive about the importance of this pulse of water vapor. Still, some people have latched onto the theory. Michael Reeder, a meteorologist at Monash University in Australia, is one of them. He believes that water was pivotal in fueling the firestorm that swept through the suburbs of Canberra, the Australian capital, on Jan. 18, 2003. The fire consumed 200,000 acres of drought-stricken territory that day, isolating the city under a glowing haze of Halloween orange. Remote infrared scans suggest that during a single 10-minute period, it released heat equivalent to 22,000 tons of TNT—50 percent more than the energy unleashed by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. A series of four pyrocumulonimbus clouds rose into the stratosphere that afternoon. These fire-fueled, anvil-shaped thunderheads lofted black, sooty hail up to 6 miles away. One of them spawned a tornado that snapped the tops off pine trees as it plowed a path of destruction 12 miles long and a quarter-mile wide. The tornado and the height of the clouds “point to something extraordinary,” Reeder says. “[They] require moisture—and the


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18 | MAY 4, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT PICKS, MAY 4-10, 2017

TODD KEITH

TIM ODLAND

GEORGE GRANTHAM BAIN COLLECTION, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Complete listings online at cityweekly.net

NEIL JACOBS

ESSENTIALS

the

THURSDAY 5/4

FRIDAY 5/5

FRIDAY 5/5

MONDAY 5/8

Get your eye rolls out of the way: The concept might be based on a groan-worthy pun, but May 4 has still become Star Wars Day for millions of fans. For the fifth year, Urban Arts Gallery looks to the galaxy far, far away—and other pop-culture figures—as inspiration for an annual exhibition. More than 100 artists submitted work— according to the gallery’s assistant manager, Lisa Greenhalgh—filling the walls with around 70 pieces capturing images of iconic characters like Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Admiral Ackbar and even the Tusken raiders set against the arches of southern Utah (in Tim Odland’s “Welcome to Utah,” detail pictured). As the saga added female protagonists like The Force Awakens’ Rey and Rogue One’s Jyn, additional inspiration for artists emerged—part of what has given an enduring life to the Star Wars universe, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. “Star Wars has all the classic elements of stories that everyone can relate to and love,” Greenhalgh says in an email interview. “I think they’ve done a nice job expanding the universe and making new movies that have brought in younger audiences.” In addition to the hung artwork, the celebration features a costume contest with prizes, and special character cosplay appearances. As part of a partnership with Salt Lake Comic Con, the May 19 Gallery Stroll offers another opportunity to explore “Heroes and Villains” through art and a costume contest. The fourth is strong in them. (Scott Renshaw) May the Fourth Be With You @ Urban Arts Gallery, 137 S. Rio Grande St., through June 4; Star Wars Day Celebration May 4, 6-9 p.m., urbanartsgallery.org

The first few bars of George Gershwin’s timeless Rhapsody in Blue are instantly recognizable by almost anybody who hears them—from the beautiful opening scenes of Woody Allen’s Manhattan, or even vintage airline commercials. Inspired by the rhythmic sound of the train during a trip to Boston, Gershwin (pictured) originally composed Rhapsody in Blue for two pianos. The opening glissando was then tailored specifically for clarinetist Russ Gorman, giving the piece the classic sound that we recognize today. This is the title piece for the Utah Symphony’s upcoming performance featuring award-winning pianist Benyamin Nuss and guest conductor Kazuki Yamada. The evening begins with Aaron Copland’s El Salón México set in an imaginary dance hall. It’s Copland’s “souvenir” of a trip he took to Mexico—a condensation of the time that he spent and his experiences there. The performance concludes with RimskyKoraskov’s Scheherezade, which is based on One Thousand and One Nights and largely considered his most popular work. Fascinated by East Asian themes, Rimsky-Koraskov incorporated them throughout his 1887 symphonic suite. The composer avoided titles for individual movements that clearly linked to specific stories, opting instead to focus on a more general theme of adventure and wonder. A pre-concert lecture is scheduled 45 minutes prior to the performance in Abravanel Hall’s First Tier Room, and is free to all ticket-holders. (Andrea Wall) Utah Symphony: Rhapsody in Blue @ Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 801-533-6683, May 5-6, 7:30 p.m., $15-$82, utahsymphony.org

At the end of Will Rogers’ life in 1935, he had thrice traveled the globe, was a theater and film star and was a famed humorist and columnist. But like many entertainment greats, his fame slowly faded out of public memory. With its upcoming run of the Tony Awardwinning The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue, Pioneer Theater Co. ushers Rogers back into the limelight. This large production introduces Utahns to the man’s life and wit. It also places his well-documented love of humanity centerstage, turning his famous sayings like, “I never met a man I didn’t like” into centerpiece songs. Chryssie Whitehead, who plays Ziegfeld’s Favorite and performed in a previous production 15 years ago, says it’s a testament to Rogers’ persona that the show is still being performed 26 years after its debut. “It was a pretty beautiful idea to make a show about him because he was so well-loved back in the day,” she says. “You fall in love with him all over again in this time, in every time period.” The production also taps into the over-the-top theatricality that made the Ziegfeld Follies popular in the early 20th century. The production’s costume designer, Patrick Holt, says this show is perfect for those who are unfamiliar with classic musicals and might want a crash course in the genre. “It has all the elements you would expect from this sort of Broadway-style production: Big dance numbers, beautiful ballads and lots of theatricality,” he says. (Kylee Ehmann) The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue @ Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, 801-581-6961, May 5-20, MondayThursday, 7 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m., $40-$62, pioneertheatre.org

When I was younger, I would have thought that Val Kilmer’s decision to write, direct, produce and star in a one-man play about American author Mark Twain had “mid-life crisis” written all over it. Now that I’m a bit closer to my own mid-life crisis, I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to throw around a stigma like that. I mean, it’s not like Hollywood is going to greenlight a period piece about Mark Twain and his love/ hate relationship with Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science movement. You want something like that done, then by damn, you do it yourself. Spurred by the seven years of research that he invested in a film that wouldn’t get made, Kilmer created Citizen Twain, a 90-minute character study in which he immerses himself in the persona of Mark Twain. His stop in Salt Lake City is part of “Cinema Twain,” a nationwide tour that includes a screening of Kilmer’s original play, followed by a Q&A session. Kilmer’s choice to screen his play primarily at comedy clubs should give you a bit of an idea as to what to expect from this exercise in historical performance art. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kilmer referred to Twain as one of the earliest stand-up comedians. Let’s also not forget the part about how attendees can hang out with Val Kilmer while watching Val Kilmer play Mark Twain—and special VIP meetand-greet opportunities are available. (Alex Springer) Val Kilmer Presents Cinema Twain @ Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, 801-532-5233, May 8, 7:30 p.m., $30, wiseguyscomedy.com

Urban Arts Gallery: May the Fourth Be With You

Utah Symphony: Rhapsody in Blue

Pioneer Theatre Co.: The Will Rogers Follies

Val Kilmer Presents Cinema Twain


VISUAL ART

A&E

Their Big Moment

Downtown Ogden uses art to inspire a sense of community. BY BRIAN STAKER comments@cityweekly.net @stakerized

A still from Molly Morin’s “_Catch Me_”

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tal art is necessary in creating a space for diversity and overall exposure for Ogden,” Buxton says. “This city is moving so rapidly toward a more inviting and creative environment, and this encouragement for these types of expression is so incredibly important.” The organizers want Moments to inspire other individuals and groups beyond Ogden and demonstrate that the arts can provide innovative solutions to complex challenges. If you don’t get to Ogden often, or don’t think of it as an “art town,” the festival might dispel stereotypes about a city that is sometimes thought of as a “poor sibling” to the metropolises of Salt Lake City and Provo. “Moments is not just about showcasing interesting art,” Buxton says. “It’s also about uniting community, increasing public safety, connecting organizations like Weber State University to downtown, prototyping long-term infrastructure improvements and laying the groundwork for a vibrant creative district.” CW

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MOMENTS ART FESTIVAL

Various downtown Ogden locations Friday, May 5 6-10 p.m. free momentsfest.com

MAY 4, 2017 | 19

as well as to shed light on unique sides of downtown. The Polkadots Community Art Installation, inspired by paintings and installations of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, covers an area on 25th Street between Washington Boulevard and Ogden Avenue. Tic-Tac-Glow is a massive session of the game using illuminated tubes. On the east side of the 455 Building, Molly Morin’s “_Catch Me_” projection is an interactive computer program that lets participants construct a generative drawing. Cara Krebs’ students at WSU install a fluorescent drawing in the window on 455 25th St. that resembles a jellyfish floating in liquid. At Platforms, Ike Bushman constructs a temporary installation of ice blocks, suspended by ropes and twine; McIntire’s WSU 3-D design students create sculptures that incorporate light as a design element. Live performances include dance, poetry readings and music—with headliners Vincent Draper and the Culls, Escher Case, Sydney Goodwill and Scott Ferrin. “The entire event could be considered participatory,” Buxton emphasizes. “Everyone who comes to Moments strolls the galleries, comes to 25th Street for dinner or is wandering the street becomes part of the ephemeral tapestry that will make this event unique. We are even encouraging guests to wear glowing or light-up clothing to bring their own vibrancy.” This snapshot of a “moment” sounds like a metaphor, a collective visualization of their hopes and dreams for their city, full of light and activity. “I believe experimen-

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COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

C

an art be a force for change? A group of Ogdenites has launched a festival that celebrates their city, while focusing on solutions to some of the problems the area faces. The Moments Art Festival—scheduled for May 5 in conjunction with the city’s First Friday Art Stroll, is part of a larger effort involving Ogden City, the nonprofit Ogden First (O1Arts) and Union Creative Agency, to form a creative district connecting downtown Ogden with nearby residential neighborhoods. The event is curated by Eden Buxton (a freelance urban curator for Ogden City and other nonprofit organizations), Jake McIntire (Union Creative Agency) and D. Scott Patria (Ogden First), with support from Weber State University and Ogden City Arts and Community Economic Development. “We all learned that lighting and evening activity were critical to making the area between downtown and the neighborhoods feel safe and vibrant,” Buxton says in an email interview. “Together, we worked to structure Moments in a way that it would not only be interesting, but it would also bring vibrancy to the district, as well.” The creative district, in turn, has been part of larger attempts to redevelop and revitalize the city. Among Ogden’s problems are economic inequality and crime. McIntire explains over the phone that 20-plus Moments sites were strategically chosen to “breadcrumb” spectators from some of the more highly trafficked areas into those where they might be less comfortable. “We were looking for ways to activate a part of town that’s been dormant,” McIntire says, referring to a stretch of 25th Street from Grant to Jefferson. “Moments is a short-term solution that’s part of a longterm strategy, requiring infrastructure and funding, to bring light and activity and connect neighborhoods.” “Overall, we hope to present art projects which are not only different from the usual Art Stroll in content, but in presentation as well,” Ogden First’s Patria adds. “We are treating all of downtown Ogden as a gallery and performance space, which delights, surprises and engages audiences who may not normally think of themselves as art consumers.” Festival activities are designed for fun,


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20 | MAY 4, 2017

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COMPLETE LISTINGS ONLINE AT CITYWEEKLY.NET

Artist Rosalie Winard explores the transitory experience of birds on the landscape in the photography and video exhibition Birds Don’t Pay Taxes at Finch Lane Gallery (1340 E. 100 South, 801-596-500, saltlakearts.org) through June 9.

PERFORMANCE THEATER

Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr. Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem, 801-830-0701, May 4-12, 4:30p.m., haletheater.org Pirates of The Carabeener Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, 801-355-4628, May 5-June 10, 7:30 p.m., theobt.org Betty Blue Eyes Hale Center Theatre, 225 W. 400 North, Orem, 801-226-8600, through May 27, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., haletheater.org Captain AmericanFORK Desert Star Theatre, 4861 S. State, Murray, 801-266-2600, through June 3, times vary, desertstar.biz Dinner Rose Wagner Studio Theatre, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, through May 7, FridaySaturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m., arttix.org Disney’s Beauty and the Beast The Ziegfeld Theater, 3934 S. Washington Blvd., Ogden, 855-944-2787, through May 20, theziegfeldtheater.com Hand to God Salt Lake Acting Co., 168 W. 500 North, 801-363-7522, through May 14, WednesdayFriday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. & 6 p.m., saltlakeactingcompany.org Kiss of the Spider Woman Sorenson Unity Center, 1383 S. 900 West, 801-535-6533, through May 7, Friday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday matinee, 2 p.m.; Sunday matinee, May 7, 3 p.m., utahrep.org Lionel Bart’s Oliver Center Point Legacy Theatre, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, 801-298-1302, through May 13; Monday-Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., centerpointtheatre.org Oklahoma! Heritage Theatre, 2505 S. Highway 89, Perry, 435-723-8392, through May 13, Friday-Saturday & Monday, 7:30 p.m., heritagetheatreutah.com To Kill a Mockingbird Hale Center Theatre, 3333 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, 801-984-9000, through May 22; 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., hct.org Silent Sky Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, through May 13, 7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. matinees Sunday and May 13, arttix.org

The Will Rogers Follies Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, 801-581-6961, May 5-21, Tuesday-Thursday, 7 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m., pioneertheatre.org (see p. 18)

DANCE

Press Start! Tanner Dance, 1721 Campus Center Drive, 801-581-7374, May 6, 1 p.m. & 7 p.m., tannerdance.utah.edu

CLASSICAL & SYMPHONY

AWS: Pictures at an Exhibition Mount Jordan Middle School, 9351 S. 300 East, Sandy, 801-523-7084, May 6, 7:30 p.m., americanwestsymphony.com Rhapsody in Blue Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 801-355-2787, May 5-6, 7:30 p.m., artsaltlake.org (see p. 18)

COMEDY & IMPROV

ImprovBroadway 496 N. 900 East, Provo, 909260-2509, Saturdays, 8 p.m., improvbroadway.com Improv Comedy Ziegfeld Theater, 3934 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 435-327-8273, Saturdays, 9:30 p.m., ogdencomedyloft.com Joey Diaz Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, 801-532-5233, May 5-6, 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Wiseguyscomedy.com Laughing Stock Improv The Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, 801-355-4628, Fridays & Saturdays, 10 p.m., laughingstock.us Off the Wall Comedy Improv Draper Historic Theatre, 12366 S. 900 East, 801-572-4144, Saturdays, 10:30 p.m., drapertheatre.org Open-Mic Night Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, 801-532-5233, every Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com Quick Wits Comedy 695 W. Center St., Midvale, 801-824-0523, Saturdays, 10 p.m., qwcomedy.com Sasquatch Cowboy The Comedy Loft, 3934 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 435-327-8273, Saturdays, 9:30 p.m., ogdencomedyloft.com Stewart Huff & Greg Warren Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main, Park City, 435-649-9371, May 5-6, 8 p.m., egyptiantheatrecompany.org Mary Mack Wiseguys Ogden, 269 25th St., Ogden, 801-622-5588, May 5-6, 8 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com


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Val Kilmer presents Cinema Twain Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, 801-532-5233, May 8, 7:30 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com (see p. 18)

Sand and Sky: Poems from Utah Marmalade Library, 280 W. 500 North, 801-594-8680, May 6, 2-4 p.m., slcpl.org

LITERATURE

SPECIAL EVENTS

AUTHOR APPEARANCES

FESTIVALS & FAIRS

Moments Art Festival Various downtown locations, Ogden, May 5, 6-9 p.m., free, momentsfest.com (see p. 19) Thanksgiving Point’s 13th annual Tulip Festival The Ashton Gardens, 3900 Garden Drive, Lehi, 801-768-2300, through May 6, MondaySaturday, thanksgivingpoint.org Urban Bird Festival Tracy Aviary, 589 E. 1300 South, 801-596-8500, May 6-7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., tracyaviary.org

TALKS & LECTURES

1 Million Cups Impact Hub, 150 S. State, Ste.1, 385-202-6008, through June 14, 9-10 a.m., hubsaltlake.com Medicare for All: Why We Need Single Payer Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 801-524-8200, May 6, 3-5 p.m., slcpl.org

VISUAL ART GALLERIES & MUSEUMS

April Gallery Stroll Exhibit Art Access Gallery, 230 S. 500 West, 801-328-0703, through May 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., accessart.org Art Behind the Zion Curtain Modern West Fine Art, 177 E. 200 South, 801-355-3383, through May 13, modernwestfineart.com

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Brian McClellan: Sins of Empire Barnes & Noble, 330 E. 1300 South, Orem, 801-229-1611, May 6, 2 p.m., barnesandnoble.com Christopher Paolini: The Official Eragon Coloring Book The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, May 5, 7 p.m., kingsenglish.com Dave J. Butler: Witchy Eye Barnes & Noble, 7157 Plaza Center Drive, West Jordan, 801-2821324, May 6, 1 p.m., barnesandnoble.com Diane Guerrero: In The Country We Love: My Family Divided Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center, 210 E. 400 South Ste. 8, 801-957-2192, May 4, 6 p.m., slcc.edu/cwc Dorena Rode: Developing Awareness Barnes & Noble, 7157 Plaza Center Drive, West Jordan, 801282-1324, May 5, 4 p.m., barnesandnoble.com Janice Sargent Wiemeyer: Loving Again The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801484-9100, May 4, 7 p.m., kingsenglish.com Richard Paul Evans: The Broken Road Sam’s Club, 11278 South Jordan Gateway, South Jordan, 801-545-9801, May 6, 2 p.m., richardpaulevans.com Richard Paul Evans: The Broken Road Costco, 5201 S. Intermountain Drive, Murray, 801-2904203, May 6, 11 a.m., richardpaulevans.com

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Brad Teare Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, 801-581-6961, May 5-20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., pioneertheatre.org/loge-gallery Barbara Ellard Finch Lane Gallery, 1340 E. 100 South, 801-596-5000, through June 9, 8 a.m.5 p.m., saltlakearts.org Bill Lee Gallery at Library Square, 210 E. 400 South, 801-524-8200, through June 9, slcpl.org Céline Downen: Matchbox Art Public Workshop Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, May 10, 6-8 p.m., utahmoca.org Denae Shanidiin: I Honor You Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts, 631 W. North Temple, Ste. 700, through May 12, 6-9 p.m., facebook.com/mestizoarts The Future Isn’t What it Used to Be UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, through May 13, utahmoca.org Gary Jacobson: Some Thoughts UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, through May 6, utahmoca.org Gemma Joon Bae: When I Called You By Name You Came to Me and Became a Flower Anderson-Foothill Library, 1135 S. 2100 East, 801-594-8611, through May 25, slcpl.org James Stewart Art at the Main, 210 E. 400 South, 801-363-4088, through May 13, 10 a.m.7 p.m., artatthemain.com Joseph Cipro: Cosmic Musings Gallery 814, 814 E. 100 South, 801-533-0204, through July 31 Kelly O’Neill: rend/er UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, through June 3, utahmoca.org

COMPLETE LISTINGS ONLINE AT CITYWEEKLY.NET

Kendra Hitchcock: Ubiquitous Sprague Library, 2131 S. 1100 East, 801-594-8640, through May 6, slcpl.org Laura Hope Mason: Abstract Landscapes Art Barn/Finch Lane Gallery, 1340 E. 100 South, 801-596-5000, through June 9, saltlakearts.org Mapping & Unpacking: Mixed Media and Sculpture by Bret Hanson Gallery at Library Square, 210 E. 400 South, 801-524-8200, through June 9, slcpl.org May the Fourth: Heroes and Villains Urban Arts Gallery, 137 S. Rio Grande St., 801-2300820, through June 4, urbanartsgallery.org (see p. 18) Rona Pondick & Robert Feintuch: Heads, Hands, Feet; Sleeping, Holding, Dreaming, Dying UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, 801-3284201, through July 15, utahmoca.org Rosalie Winard Art Barn/Finch Lane Galleries, 1340 E. 100 South, 801-596-5000, through June 9, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., saltlakearts.org (see p. 20) Sam Wilson: Poor Traits of a Terminal Art Major God Hates Robots, 314 W. 300 South, through May 12, Monday-Friday, godhatesrobots.com Subject Abject Rio Gallery, 300 S. Rio Grande St., 801-245-7272, through May 12, heritage.utah.gov Utah Watercolor Society Spring Exhibition Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, 801-965-5100, May 4-June 28, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., culturalcelebration.org Whitney Horrocks paintings: Personae Marmalade Library, 280 W. 500 North, 801-5948680, through May 26, slcpl.org


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23 | MAY 4, 2017

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Comida a la Oaxaqueña

DINE

TED SCHEFFLER

G

TO THE GR EE

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BY TED SCHEFFLER tscheffler@cityweekly.net @Critic1

A

s Mexicans—but not all Americans— know, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which falls on Sept. 16. May 5 commemorates the Mexican Army’s against-all-odds defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo—like so many holidays—has largely turned into an excuse to party and overindulge. I’d rather use the holiday to remind ourselves of the abundant breadth of regional Mexican cuisine that local restaurants serve, and to salute the many immigrants who keep those restaurants running. During my time in college and graduate school, I spent a fair amount of time in Mexico, especially in Oaxaca. Some of my favorite memories are of walking out of bars or clubs late at night and buying tlayudas from the women whose cooking carts lined the streets. A tlayuda is a regional treat—a crunchy, thin, pizzasized tortilla that’s been toasted or fried, usually over coal or wood, smeared with a base of refried black beans, lard, shredded chicken, beef or pork, and topped with cabbage or lettuce, avocado, Oaxacan cheese and salsa. Resembling a tostada, it’s perfect for late-night noshing. Until recently, I’d never found one in a Utah restaurant. I have come across tlacoyos, but that’s a different animal altogether—a thick, stuffed, toasted cake made from masa. Who’d have thought my quest for tlayudas in America would end in mid-town SLC? La Oaxaqueña is a small, inexpensive eatery that serves up not only tlayudas, but other specialties from southern Mexico such as mole. Here is an excellent spot to visit on Cinco de Mayo, or anytime. The most expensive item on the menu is a grilled carne asada steak ($13.75), which comes with rice, refried beans, salad and two housemade tortillas. About those tortillas: They are other-worldly. Thick, piping hot and hearty, they’re among the best I’ve ever eaten. House specials include a cheese-covered cactus dish called nopal Zapoteco ($12.99) and molotes ($7.99), which are croquette-shaped, corn-based pastries stuffed with potatoes and chorizo. A plate of Oaxacan-style tamales is a mere $5. The restaurant also serves breakfast, with dishes like chilaquiles, entomatadas, eggs with ham, chorizo or sausage, and enfrijoladas—a type of enchilada smoth-

ered in creamy black bean sauce and Mexican queso fresco. You get the idea: This is the real deal. The tlayudas ($9.99) brought me back to my college days, and the love of biting into those crisp, smoky tortillas. There are several topping options, but I like the most traditional, which comes with the aforementioned standard toppings, plus thin strips of cecina (dried beef). On the table are bottles of fresh green and red salsas. The m0le is another reminder of my days spent in Oaxaca. The eatery offers five classic takes: negro, rojo, Coloradito, amarillo and verde. I haven’t worked my way through all of them yet, but based on initial impressions, the moles here are as delectable as you’ll find anywhere. Mole negro is the prototypical Oaxacan mole, a blend of rich, dark chiles such as ancho, pasilla, guajillo and chipotle, plus a slew of additional ingredients that typically include raisins, Mexican chocolate, dried avocado leaves, cinnamon, plantains, onion, garlic, nuts and cloves. It’s an incredibly complex and layered taste experience, and the mole negro here, sprinkled with sesame seeds, is wonderful—two mole-smothered chicken leg-and-thigh quarters served with rice and those heavenly tortillas. I defy you to find another dish for $12.99 that is so satisfying. Small piñatas hang from the ceiling, and Mexican foodstuffs and imported goods are for sale at La Oaxaqueña—everything from huaraches and serving vessels to cheese-bread and toys. Sadly, no beer is available, but beverages range from Mexican Coca-Cola to milkshakes, sweet corn with milk (atole de elote), horchata and fruit drinks with flavors like guava, passion fruit, mango and tamarind. But wait, there’s more! This is actually two restaurants in one. Adjacent to La Oaxaqueña—and separated only by a

La Oaxaqueña’s tlayudas. doorway—is a Salvadoran eatery called Café Guanaco. Pupusas are the main draw here: Traditional thick corn tortillas are prepared with any number of stuffings— such as chicharron (fried pork), revuelta (pork, beans and cheese), chicken, shrimp and steak, among others—and range from $1.99-$2.99. Tempting appetizers include chicken, pork or corn tamels (similar to tamales), fried yucca with pork ($7.50), empanadas (three for $6.50) and fried plantains ($3.50). The woman who runs the restaurants and does most of the cooking is from Oaxaca, but it’s not surprising that she would also excel in Salvadoran food, given southern Mexico’s proximity to El Salvador. She is also super friendly and can help out with any language barriers you might encounter. Bonus: The recently opened Taco’s Blanquita in Layton (55 N. Fort Lane, 801544-5741) is so new that I’m not ready to fully review it yet, but it looks very promising. The restaurant grew from a taco cart that resided outside the La Favorita Mexican market in Layton. In the new digs, the menu is expanding to include tortas, quesadillas and full meals in a well-lit, sit-down eatery complete with a salsa bar. The tacos ($1.50 each) are among the best I’ve had anywhere, and include carne asada, carnitas, pescado, cabeza, al pastor, tongue, fish and chicken. Stay tuned for more on Taco’s Blanquita, and until then, ¡felíz Cinco de Mayo! CW

LA OAXAQUEÑA

493 E. 2700 South 801-484-6584


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18 MARKET STREET 801.519.9595

MAY 4, 2017 | 24

LUNCH • DINNER • COCKTAILS

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Contemporary Japanese


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Serving American Comfort Food Since 1930 -CREEKSIDE PATIO-87 YEARS AND GOING STRONG-BREAKFAST SERVED DAILY UNTIL 4PM-DELICIOUS MIMOSAS & BLOODY MARY’S-LIVE MUSIC ON THE PATIO-SCHEDULE AT RUTHSDINER.COM“In a perfect world, every town would have a diner just like Ruth’s” -CityWeekly

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4160 EMIGRATION CANYON ROAD | 801 582-5807 | WWW.RUTHSDINER.COM

FOOD MATTERS BY TED SCHEFFLER

@Critic1

JOHN TAYLOR

AS SEEN ON “ DINERS, DRIVE-INS AND DIVES”

Current’s crab benedict

Meals for Mom

Looking to treat Mom to a nice meal in SLC this Mother’s Day? You’re in luck. Fleming’s (flemingssteakhouse.com) offers a three-course brunch with entrées like New Zealand salmon cobb salad and California-style steak and eggs. Brunch at Caffé Niche (caffeniche.com) features salmon cakes with avocado, mini quiches and more, including mimosas and bloody marys. If poached lobster salad sounds good, check out the brunch menu at Current (currentfishandoyster.com). Stanza (stanzaslc.com), on the other hand, boasts a four-course menu with bigeye tuna carpaccio and grilled rack of lamb. You can celebrate with brunch or dinner at Tuscany (tuscanyslc.com), or do it Brazilian-style at Tucanos (tucanos.com) with prime rib and grilled shrimp. At Oasis Café (oasiscafeslc.com) brunch buffet includes a prime rib carving station, fresh seafood, pastries and a slew of other tempting items. Last but not least, Rodizio Grill (rodiziogrill.com) adds grilled salmon and a special dessert to their Mother’s Day buffet, plus a coupon for Mom to use on her next visit.

Ogden’s Own Score in Berlin

Congrats to Ogden’s Own Distillery (ogdensown.com) for earning prestigious medals in the 2017 Berlin International Spirits Competition. Their Underground Herbal Spirit was given one of only three gold medals awarded to liqueurs this year—and in the home country of Jägermeister. Five Wives Vodka won a silver medal, and Ogden’s Own was recognized as the USA Liqueur Distillery of the Year. The 2017 event included some 400 spirits from more than 20 countries.

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I recently wrote on the impending opening of Alamexo Cantina (alamexo.com) in the 9th & 9th neighborhood, which was slated for early May. The Cantina will feature family-style regional Mexican food and drink in a comfy, informal setting. Due to construction complications, however, the restaurant is now shooting for a July opening. Stay tuned for more details, and in the meantime, visit Alamexo Mexican Kitchen in downtown SLC. Quote of the week: “Success to me is like having 10 honeydew melons and eating only the top half of each one.” —Barbra Streisand

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Rock the Rosé Finally, pink wine is fashionable. BY TED SCHEFFLER tscheffler@cityweekly.net @Critic1

M

more—heft as white. Katherine Cole, wine columnist for The Oregonian, is a fellow reveler in rosé. Her new book, Rosé All Day: The Essential Guide to Your New Favorite Wine ($24.95) is hot off the presses and makes a strong case for the charms of pink vino. It’s not the standard dull wine-book read. In it, Cole suggests that its recent popularity is a pop-culture phenomenon. According to Nielsen and the Wine Marker Council, rosé sales and value soared some 60 percent in 2015—a trend not seen since the days when Sideways made pinot popular. Cole namechecks hip-hopper Flo Rida, who sings, “2 in the morning I’m zoned in / Them rosé bottles foaming,” and Wiz Khalifa requesting “rosé in my Champagne glass.” “And then there is Rick Ross with his black bottle,” Cole writes. “Rozay’s rosé entered 66 international markets in its first three years of existence, becoming the top-selling sparkling wine on Amazon. Between 2013 and 2014 alone, its sales grew by 340 percent.” It’s true that it used to be considered crap, but now it’s cool. Yet that’s not why you should drink it. I love rosé for its versatility. There are higher- and lower-alcohol rosés, lighter- and heavier-bodied ones, sweeter and drier. They range from nearly raspberry in color to faint creamy pink, resembling white zin. They are wonderful

DRINK pairing partners for a wide range of foods—from delicate sushi to brawny barbecue. Rosé can be slightly sweet, bone-dry or in-between. After years of bombarding my palate with tannins, oak and alcohol, they come on like a summer breeze. They’re also relatively inexpensive, although with the recent surge in popularity, prices are creeping upward. Since it’s rosé season, I’ve been tasting my way through a roster of them. Here are some standouts: Château Minuty is a family estate in Provence on the Saint Tropez peninsula (wouldn’t suck to work there, right?). Jean-Etienne and François Matton produce top-notch wine there, utilizing chemical-free, sustainable practices, and 2016 “M” de Minuty Rosé ($19) is a good example. It’s light-salmon in color and bone-dry with bold orange and

currant fragrances and fresh acidity. I’d enjoy it with spring pea soup and grilled shrimp. A pair of organic, sustainable and Fair Trade rosés recently knocked me out: De Bos Walker Bay 47 Varietal Rosé ($17) from South Africa, and Spain’s Raimat 2015 Rosé ($12). Both are luscious and affordable. I also love the 2016 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($14)—one of the meatier new examples I tried. Meiomi Rosé 2016 ($25) is delicate, dry and delightful. But my favorite so far this season has been Kim Crawford Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2016 ($18) from New Zealand. It’s gorgeous and well worth tracking down. You’ll want to rder a case or two to get you through summer. CW

| CITYWEEKLY.NET |

uch to my surprise, having flown its flag for decades, rosé has suddenly become hip and trendy. Increasingly, people are learning that they aren’t typically sweet; fewer and fewer are confusing them with white zinfandel. Whereas production in France led the way to its popularity—followed by Spain, Italy and the U.S.—pink wines are now being made in places as far flung as Morocco, Austria, Hungary, Lebanon, India, Bulgaria, Slovenia, the U.K., Greece, Israel, Chile, the Republic of Georgia and Brazil. I usually take the opportunity to write about rosé this time of year, since it is such a compelling spring and summer wine—although I hope you don’t limit your intake to only warm-weather drinking, since it tastes great in the fall and winter as well. After all, you don’t abandon white wines in winter, do you? Most rosé has as much—or

BEER, WINE & SPIRITS

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MAY 4, 2017 | 26


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GOODEATS Complete listings at cityweekly.net

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The concept here is all about fresh, regional, casual cuisine. Former NYC chef Ryan Lowder has racked up impressive stars as Chef de Partie at Jean-Georges in NYC, a line cook at Casa Mono, Mario Batali’s Manhattan Spanish tapas lounge and at the sexy Mercat, where, as executive chef, he turned out Catalan-inspired tapas on Bond Street. Specialties include a small plate of sautéed chanterelles topped with crisp shoestring potatoes and a farm-fresh lightly fried egg—yolk properly quivering and ready to coat the savory flavors below. Other highlights are a perfectly balanced arugula salad with sherry vinegar, olives and Parmesan. The sautéed cod with a pale (but intensely flavored) lemon jam on kale and a side of sautéed pea shoots with golden raisins and pine nuts hits all the right notes—balance, texture and color. 111 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3282, thecopperonion.com

Lone Star Taquería

Everything is fresh at this inexpensive, funky eatery, from the tortillas and salsas to the tamales and tacos. It’s been around longer than most local restaurants, and looks like someone transported a taco shack from a Baja beach right into Cottonwood Heights. This cool and kitschy place features cold Mexican cervezas served in glass cowboy boots, and a rockin’ house sound system. The only thing missing is sand. The mahi-mahi fish tacos with cilantro aioli are wildly popular, and the zippy jalapeño-spiked guacamole is addictive. The burritos are good, too, but it’s really all about the tacos here. Flip-flops are optional. 2265 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-944-2300

Shabu

“Freestyle Asian cuisine” is what Shabu restaurant owners and brothers Kevin and Bob Valaika call what they do. There’s a lively bar scene where sushi and sake are consumed by happy patrons, and in the dining room, Shabu Shabu is a popular favorite, where customers have the opportunity to play chef: It’s a sort of Asian-style fondue, where patrons dip ingredients (meat, seafood, veggies) from a bento box into an assortment of hot, freshly made broths (Thai coconut or traditional). Effectively, you cook your dinner yourself at your table. It’s a fun way to dine, not to mention delicious. If you’d prefer to have the chef cook for you, try the citrus-plum sea scallops, coconutcrusted tofu or macadamia-crusted mahi-mahi. If you’re so inclined, be sure to try one of Shabu’s signature saketinis. 442 Main, Park City, 435-645-7253, shabupc.com

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The Copper Onion

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20 W. 200 S. • (801) 355-3891 Open Mon-Wed: 9am-6pm Thu-Sat: 9am-9pm

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This classic, friendly restaurant specializing in Greek and American comfort food has a bevy of longtime loyal customers who come in for the renowned marinated steak and eggs and the seasoned, knowledgeable service team. Generous portions are standard here, whether you’re in the mood for a savory lamb dish, a platter of Greek mezedakia, soup, pasta, a sandwich or a sweet serving of housemade baklava or rice pudding. There are also tasty gyros and kebabs to be had, and breakfast is served anytime. 469 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-6567

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JOHN TAYLOR

REVIEW BITES A sampler of Ted Scheffler’s reviews

vol.

Hell’s Backbone Grill p. 18 Marvelous Mint p. 34 Absinthe Cocktails p. 42

2 no. 5 • July

2016 • Get

Tradition... Tradition

Fresh

It’s time to

FreGseth Floral Flav

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ors p. 28 Devour

Utah • July

2016 1

Covering local food for every season. On stands now!

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Azekusa at Takashi Takashi

AWARD WINNING INDIAN CUISINE

Chakra Lounge and Bar

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ChakraLounge.net 364 S State St. Salt Lake City

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INDIAPALACEUTAH.COM 1086 WEST SOUTH JORDAN PARKWAY (10500 S.) #111 | 801.302.0777

The

| CITYWEEKLY.NET |

Checking in to discover how the 13-year-old business is faring, I found that many of the menu items I love are still great: ankimo (monkfish liver), the T&T roll and steamed clams in Thai-style coconut-curry broth with glass noodles, for example. Why abandon tried-and-true customer faves simply for the sake of newness? If you can’t be seated immediately at the popular restaurant, take solace in knowing that there’s a great bar where you can whet your whistle while you wait. Then put yourself into the capable hands of your sushi chef and eat omakase style, meaning he or she will choose what to feed you (with your input, of course). Takashi always has a chalkboard full of nightly specials in addition to the staple menu. Bigeye tuna belly nigiri was deliciously tender, almost creamy; even more stunning was kinmedai, a white-flesh fish with tender meat and a slightly sweet flavor. Whole-fish fried trout was gutted, scored, deep-fried and sprinkled with sea salt, a simple preparation that accentuated its fantastic flavor. Whether you come to celebrate or not, Takashi still manages to turn every meal into a special occasion. Reviewed April 6. 18 W. Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-519-9595

801 • 413 • 0929

2005 E. 2700 SOUTH, SLC Best of Utah FELDMANSDELI.COM 2015 FELDMANSDELI OPEN TUES - SAT TO GO ORDERS: (801) 906-0369

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MAY 4, 2017 | 28


FILM REVIEW

Playing the Hits

CINEMA CHECK US

FIRST!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 isn’t as uniquely edgy as it thinks it is.

Special Limited Quantity

cityweeklytix.com

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BY MARYANN JOHANSON comments@cityweekly.net @maryannjohanson

MARVEL STUDIOS

“Y

Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista (with Groot and Rocket) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. the droids never felt the need to keep telling one another how they were just one big family.) It starts to sound a bit ominous and creepy, like when Don Corleone says “family.” Family—except for Peter’s dead Earth mom. She’s still dead. The trying-too-hard extends to the five— count ’em—mid- and postcredits scenes. If having one or two is good, five must be better, right? Of course, mega-budget blockbuster movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are carefully calculated and constructed, but they shouldn’t feel like they are. We shouldn’t see the puppet strings tugging on all the characters. We don’t need to have the themes explained to us. For all the monster ichor and alien gardens and quite a bit of human(oid) blood flying around, nothing here feels very organic. CW

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

draper

ter - june city ampithea

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dates

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Thor: The Dark World (2013) Chris Hemsworth Natalie Portman PG-13

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Chris Pratt Zoe Saldana PG-13

Upcoming: Saturday’s Voyeur - June 25 Monophonics- June 3 VISIT CITYWEEKLYTIX.COM FOR MORE SHOWS & DETAILS!

MAY 4, 2017 | 29

Super (2011) Rainn Wilson Ellen Page R

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frank caliend

BB Chris Pratt Zoe Saldana Kurt Russell PG-13

TRY THESE Big Trouble in Little China (1986) Kurt Russell Kim Cattrall PG-13

sal

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just more of the same-old space battles, ravenous monsters, ’splosions, ironic posturing and monologuing villains. It’s got poop jokes. It has sexy sexbots; and women (or woman-coded androids) as commodities is so unexpected. As a flight of fancy, Vol. 2 is shockingly limited in its imagination. It also seems to think it’s a comedy, but it just isn’t funny. It wants Fleetwood Mac songs scoring space battles to be amusing, or a Cat Stevens song behind a sentimental moment to be touching, but that just feels like a way to sell a compilation soundtrack. It’s got geeky cameos that are intended to be surprising and clever but feel like stunts. All the snarky references to cheesy ’80s TV shows and retro technology feel like eating the pop-culture seed corn; if we don’t start telling some new stories that can become tomorrow’s nostalgia, what the hell will we ironically allude to in the 2040s? “I am Groot” is only going to take us so far. But another major issue with Vol. 2 is how writer-director James Gunn has gone overboard in attempting to remedy the “it’s not about anything” problem of the first film. This one is all about family, and in case you missed the idea that Peter and his team—Gamora, Rocket the cyborg raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), muscleman Drax (Dave Bautista) and tree-creature Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)—are an ad hoc family, someone will be there to remind us. (Funny how Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie and

th

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ou were insufferable to start with,” groans Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the badass green chick who should be the hero of the Guardians of the Galaxy series. She says this, rolling her eyes, about “hero” Star-Lord, aka doofy Earthling Peter Quill, after a revelation about his parentage that’s at the center of the tedious, been-there-bought-the-Tshirt plot of Vol. 2. See, Peter (Chris Pratt) already had been living the fulfillment of a fantasy that lots of kids have: that they don’t belong in whatever dull place where they’re stuck, that nobody understands them, and that clearly they are destined for greatness, etc. Born on 1980s Earth, his father a mysterious spaceman, Peter now lives and works out in the big wide galaxy, the vindication of that childhood escapism: “See? My dad was from another planet!” But that’s never enough, is it? Luke Skywalker was never just a bored farmboy, Neo was never just an unappreciated hacker, and Peter, it turns out, is not just any old ordinary doofus with a spaceman for a dad. I won’t spoil the big secret of Peter’s space dad (Kurt Russell), except to say that while it has nothing to do with Peter’s backstory in the GotG comics, it’s something dragged in from elsewhere in the Marvel universe. It’s also a ridiculous ego boost for Peter, and an even more insufferable and—what’s worse—very familiar male fantasy. The overarching problem with Guardians of the Galaxy was somewhat true of the first movie but is really a problem with Vol. 2: The series thinks it’s weird, edgy and transgressive—something like the punk little brother of all those other stodgy comic-book movies—but it isn’t. It might be slightly more candy-colored, but it’s

ay 7 m . o c ting t lake ac


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NEW THIS WEEK Information is correct at press time. Film release schedules are subject to change. THE DINNER BBB Writer/director Oren Moverman builds a dense adaptation of Howard Koch’s novel that teeters precariously between brilliant and overwrought before landing squarely on “pretty good.” The meal in question is at a fancy restaurant meeting between congressman Stan Lohman (Richard Gere), his history-scholar brother Paul (Steve Coogan) and their respective wives (Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall) to address a potentially life-changing incident involving the teenage sons of each couple. Moverman darts back and forth in time and place to build the story’s context, effectively shifting sympathies between characters with each subsequent revelation. It’s an effectively disorienting experience, especially when combined with a magnificently multilayered sound design and the attempt to get inside the head of someone with a mental illness. That’s merely one of the ideas in play, as the story also digs into parental anxieties and upper-class privilege—represented by the dinner’s haute-cuisine menu—all while invoking Gettysburg as a fairly on-the-nose backdrop for brother-vs-brother conflict. Coogan’s weirdly magnetic performance keeps the narrative anchored, even as Moverman wrestles with perhaps too many themes for any one of them to land perfectly. Opens May 5 at Broadway Centre Cinemas. (R)—Scott Renshaw GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 BB See review on p. 44. Opens May 5 at theaters valleywide. (PG-13) A QUIET PASSION BBB.5 Few contemporary male filmmakers are more reliably great at creating complex female protagonists than Terence Davies, so it’s no shock that he nails his dramatization of the life of Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon). Davies bypasses a cradle-to-grave profile in favor of a more impressionistic look at the poet and the 19th-century society that kept her even more sequestered than her self-imposed isolation in her Amherst home. The dialogue often sparkles with sharp wit—most notably when Emily is chatting with her scandalously independent-minded friend Vryling (Catherine Bailey)—and Davies employs some beautiful filmmaking to convey the passage of time, whether it’s the movement of light across a room or the morphing of younger versions of characters into their older selves during a photo sitting. But at the center there’s Nixon’s striking performance as Emily, who dares to express contrarian thinking about God, the role of women and even her own ambition. Davies guides her to a depiction of the accumulating frustrations of existing in a man’s world, making it easy to wonder about how many other women’s beautiful words were never found. Opens May 5 at Broadway Centre Cinemas. (PG-13)—SR

STOP MAKING SENSE BBBB The recent passing of director Jonathan Demme offered a chance to reflect on his unique gifts—including overseeing the most extraordinary concert film in the history of the genre. This compilation of several 1983 L.A. performances by Talking Heads is one of the few rock docs that takes the time to be truly cinematic, refusing to fall back on the editing rhythms of singer-other musician-crowd reaction shot-repeat. Instead, Demme and head Head David Byrne—who conceived the unique structure of these performances, in which members of the touring band are added more or less one at a time for each successive song—turn it into a glorious, joy-filled chronicle of music as collaborative, communal event, even as it keeps turning corners visually into an experimental art project. At the center is Byrne’s magnetic performance, beginning from the herky-jerky solo version of “Psycho Killer” through the iconic loose-limbed “big suit” dance in “Girlfriend is Better”; with all respect to F. Murray Abraham, Byrne should have been the 1984 Oscar-winner. Opens May 5 at Tower Theatre. (NR)—SR

SPECIAL SCREENINGS FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE At Edison Street Events, May 4-5, 7:30 p.m. (NR) MINUSCULE: VALLEY OF THE LOST ANTS At Main Library, May 9, 7 p.m. (NR) SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE At Main Library, May 6, 11 a.m. (G) SILVER STREAK At Main Library, May 10, 1 p.m. (PG) THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC At Park City Film Series, May 5-6, 8 p.m. & May 7, 6 p.m. (PG)

CURRENT RELEASES THE CIRCLE B.5 Of all the developments in the Web 2.0 era, I never expected one of them would be nostalgia for the cheesy paranoia of The Net. Adapting the Dave Eggers novel, director James Ponsoldt follows Mae (Emma Watson), a new employee at a social media

company attempting to build a one-stop-for-all-your-life-needs online account. “Gradually” is the operative word—it’s less slowbuild menace than sleepy—in a cautionary tale that’s cautioning us about things everybody is already plenty concerned about. Ponsoldt hits a few easy targets in the company’s “voluntary” corporate culture and the alternately banal/bitchy comment bubbles that surround Watson as she becomes an online celebrity. It’s simply too unfocused in its examination of data-mining and social-media self-exposure to provide any insight, and too self-serious to even consider allowing us the simple pleasures of a big, dangerous corporate conspiracy thriller. (PG-13)—SR

CINEMA CLIPS MOVIE TIMES AND LOCATIONS AT CITYWEEKLY.NET

GRADUATION BBB Director Cristian Mungiu continues his exploration of a postCeausescu Romania’s institutional corruption in the story of surgeon Romeo (Adrian Titieni), who explores, um, ethically creative ways of ensuring that his daughter receives high marks on crucial pre-university exams after she is assaulted the day before those exams begin. Mungiu builds Romeo as a fascinating protagonist who considers himself an honest man despite the many ways he has already compromised his integrity, part of an equally intriguing peek into a Romanian society built on handshake deals, bribes and gaming the system. If there’s a frustration here, it’s that Mungiu is better at establishing the broad strokes of his scenario than at filling in the details. Yet, there’s ultimately a powerful notion embedded in the naturalistic filmmaking: What are parents really teaching their children about how to be a “good person”? (NR)—SR SLEIGHT BB.5 Bo Wolfe (Jacob Latimore) is such a singular character—an intelligent young black man whose sleight-of-hand skills have made him a valuable distributor for local drug dealer—that it’s hard not to wish JD Dillard had found a better story for him. The thriller that emerges from that character—as Bo tries to find an exit strategy after a turf war turns violent—keeps grabbing at bits and pieces from far less interesting genre fare, introducing obligatory love interest, sophisticated-yet-abruptly-vicious crime boss and set pieces lacking visceral intensity. Most surprisingly, Sleight takes an abrupt turn toward becoming a de facto super-hero origin story, which might sound weirdly appealing, but Latimore’s charismatic work can’t overcome the sense of a filmmaker pushing too hard to make his movie awesome, when he hadn’t yet figured out how to make it good. (R)—SR

more than just movies at brewvies FILM • FOOD • NEIGHBORHOOD BAR SHOWING: MAY 5TH - MAY 11TH MONDAY 8TH

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TRUE BY B I L L F RO S T @bill_frost

911 Is a Joke

TV

Watch It DVR It Screw It

Live PD is the worst; MTV integrates movie and TV awards. Live PD Fridays & Saturdays (A&E)

New Series: Well, new-ish. A&E (the “Anything & Everything” network) has aired Live PD—which is essentially Cops meets Facebook Live in hell—since October 2016, much to the delight of slackjawed homebodies who can no longer get it up for Duck Dynasty. The “action” unfolds as a real-time ride-along, with ex-cops providing stilted commentary from a studio desk like a low-rent SportsCenter; “action” is in quotes because Live PD captures a whole lotta nothin’ for hours on end—except for that one time when they scored footage of a guy who’d just been shot and killed over a drug deal, and A&E execs probably scored a quarterly bonus. Now, I’m not saying that viewers of Live PD are immoral, brainless dirtbags for watching shakedowns of drunk college coeds. I am heavily implying it, though.

Truth & Iliza Tuesdays (Freeform)

New Series: Comedian Iliza Shlesinger won NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2008, which, like being an American Idol victor, was a consistent ticket to obscurity and/or the state fair. But she’s built up a solid body of work since then, including three Netflix stand-up specials and—as required

Nobodies Wednesdays (TV Land)

New Series: Oh, TV Land—what does it want to be? The Jim Gaffigan Show seemed like a perfect beacon, but Gaffigan canceled himself, leaving a hodgepodge of network sitcom reruns, edgy-adjacent originals (Younger, Teachers) and George Lopez’ latest in a long line of laughers (more on him in a moment). And then there’s Nobodies, the kind of behind-the-scenes Hollywood-biz comedy that Showtime couldn’t get enough of in a previous century. Comics Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras play versions of themselves, toiling as writers for a kids’ cartoon (The Fartlemans, yep) while pitching a script for a potential bigbudget comedy for Melissa McCarthy (who appears frequently and hilariously). Ramras’ borderline-filthy jokes hint that maybe this should have been on Showtime.

Live PD (A&E)

Lopez Wednesdays (TV Land)

New Season: Now in Season 2, Lopez continues to be the funniest of all—what? 50?—George Lopez-related TV comedies, but not necessarily because of Lopez himself. Like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louie, Maron and others before it, Lopez is about the daily life and career speedbumps (and severe social-media confusion) of a veteran standup comedian; more so than those did, Lopez makes great use of its supporting characters. George’s driver Manolo (Anthony “Citric” Campos), as well as comic friend/squatter Maronzio (Maronzio Vance), juice every scene they’re in, but it’s indefatigable 20-something manager Olly (Hayley Huntley) who’s arguably the real star of Lopez, a caffeinated firehose of positive-ish support and neon fashion sense. I’d like to pitch an Olly spin-off … to a different network.

Listen to Frost Mondays at 8 a.m. on X96 Radio From Hell, and on the TV Tan podcast via Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play and billfrost.tv.

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Special: TV critics are considered lesser lifeforms than film critics—just ask any film critic. Likewise, movie awards shows are more highly vaunted than television-awards shows, even though TV programing is currently destroying film in terms of quality, quantity and viewership. Which is why MTV has finally tacked TV onto its long-running Movie Awards, with small-screeners mixing it up with theatrical releases in categories such as Best Villain, Best Hero, Best Kiss, Best Fight Against the System(?) and Best American Story, which has TV sitcoms like Blackish and Fresh Off the Boat going up against heavy film drama Moonlight (confused voters will probably play it safe and vote Transparent). At least the MTV Movie & TV Awards are live, of which host Adam Devine will take full advantage.

by current entertainment law—a podcast, Truth & Iliza. Now it’s a weekly late-night talk show, making Shlesinger one of the few women in a bro-crowded field (there’s Samantha Bee, there’s Chelsea Handler … and that’s about it). Unlike TV Land’s recent crash-and-burn attempt to turn a pop-cultural podcast into the late-night cable series Throwing Shade, Truth & Iliza is a smart mix of social commentary, conversational politics and Shlesinger’s “casual feminism”—maybe too smart for Freeform, even.

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2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards Sunday, May 7 (MTV)

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CONCERT PREVIEW

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 Bar | Nightclub | Music | Sports 

CHECK OUT OUR GREAT menu

KARAOKE & pick-a-prize bingo

wednesday 5/3

karaoke @ 9:00 i bingo @ 9:30, 10:30, 11:30 Reggae Thursday 5/4 at the Royal

MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU PARTY...

newborn slaves tribe of i star wars themed drinks all night

1/2 off nachos & Free pool friDAY 5/5

cinco de mayo new wave dance party featuring dj jason lowe taco & tequila specials saturday 5/6

2nd annual ken "ducky" derby 3:30 rubber

ducky river race for charity 4:30 kentucky derby viewing kentucky bourbon | food & drink specials

saturday 5/6

Live Music

transit cast i citizen hypocracy i the elders

Tuesday 5/9

open mic night

YOU Never KNow WHO WILL SHOW UP TO PERFORM

Coming soon 5/13

fortunate youth

5/20

mo pitney

6/9

fuel

6/10

marcy playground

2nd annual royal fest ALL SHOW TICKETS AVAILABLE AT SMITHSTIX OR AT THE ROYAL

Taking many forms, Acid Mothers Temple is all things. BY BRIAN STAKER comments@cityweekly.net @stakerized

O

saka, Japan’s Acid Mothers Temple is more than a rock ’n’ roll band; it’s an immense, free-floating, mindblowing mothership of psychedelic sound, filtered through the sensibilities of Makoto Kawabata. When time and space are bent to the point of fracture, and split into a thousand glistening, crystalline shards, you wonder if he’s channeling alien inspiration. Yet, in an email interview, Kawabata says it’s not some extraterrestrial entity, but the cosmos itself, that’s flapping its gums at him. In a sense, Kawabata is the Japanese J. Mascis, with his long gray hair and beard, as well as his laconic tendencies. His replies are short and sometimes feel like non-answers that basically amount to, “the music speaks for itself.” This is due partly to the language barrier, for which Makoto is, true to polite Japanese form, apologetic. “Sorry my bad English,” he writes. “You can fix to right English.” Saying the music speaks for itself is fair enough, actually, with AMT’s long history, extensive catalog and massive performances, such as those heard on the band’s 2015 album Live in Castleton (Discos Mascarpone). Their sound morphs from free-jazz to psych-rock to acid jams to dreamy space sonospheres to electronic noise, giving the band an air of mystery—a fog-machine cloud that veils as much as reveals the compositions. Oddly, Kawabata’s explanation of his music isn’t as miasmic. “I receive music from my cosmos, that’s all,” he says. “It’s never changed.” But it’s not inaccessible; there’s humor and reverence in it. This manifests on Castleton tracks like “Kick Your Ass in the Sky” and musical tributes to Pink Floyd and Miles Davis: “Shine on You Crazy Dynamite” and “Pink Lady Lemonade—Son of a Bitches Brew Theme,” respectively. It’s like they’ve combined all the tropes, visuals and verbals of the acid rock genre in a blender, with a smidgen of Kawabata’s rural Japanese upbringing listening to radio, absorbing all that circulated through his auditory canal. Additionally, his aim isn’t as esoteric as you’d think. In spite of AMT’s apparent proclivity for weirdness, he wants the same audience rapport as any other band. “If we play as best as possible,” he says, “people can feel and receive something from us, even if they are not interested in our music.” Kawabata founded the Acid Mothers Temple Soul Collective in 1995. They released their self-titled debut on the Japanese label PSF Records and made the influential U.K. publication The Wire’s list of 1998’s best albums. From there, the ensemble became a musical family—as in the Source Family, only without the cult. It evolved into a variety of configurations and side projects producing variations on the AMT theme. Kawabata says the band’s motto is, “Do whatever you want; don’t do whatever you don’t want!” That’s how he wound up with umpteen iterations of AMT, including Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno, Acid Mothers Temple & Space Paranoid, Acid Mothers Gong, Acid Mothers Guru Guru and Acid Mothers of Invasion. Last but far from least is Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., the main mothership of the Collective, which lands in Salt Lake City on May 7. The combined discography of AMT and its offshoots numbers more than

MAKOTO KAWABATA

4760 S 900 E, SLC

Nothing Is Everything

MUSIC

Left to right: Makoto Kawabata, Satoshima Nani, Mitsuko Tabata, S/T “Wolf” and Higashi Hiroshi 80 releases. If you count the band’s live albums, compilations and Kawabata’s side- and solo projects, that number is much higher. Kawabata keeps busy, always touring at least one of these projects. He says the key to such prolific output is letting the music flow. “Music should be improvised because with different times, places and people, it’s impossible to see the same situation,” he says. “Music is in the moment. When I play music, my mind and head are totally nothing. Nothing is everything.” Acid Mothers Temple is a trip and a half; their inventiveness and sheer musicianship is reminiscent of the Mothers of Invention under Frank Zappa’s leadership. Their shows have a ritualistic aspect, like entering the temple of an arcane religion whose actual beliefs are coded in some secret language comprised of vibrations and spherical mathematics. You really don’t know where you’re going with an AMT song. A guitar melody begins with a delicate and varied arpeggio pattern, evoking pastoral scenes, then gradually increases in tempo, adding instruments in layers until the song almost levitates you. It’s a kind of alien invasion—non-threatening but still scary, like a conduit to a higher dimension ought to be. The danger with Acid Mothers Temple isn’t that you’ll try to take in so much of their musical cosmos that it becomes overwhelming; it’s that you might try to read too much into it, from all the glyphs and totems and hints the music provides. Kawabata prefers his listeners take his music simply. “It’s just music,” he says. “We wanna make people happy—that’s all.” CW

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE

w/ Babylon Sunday, May 7 8 p.m. The Urban Lounge 241 S. 500 East 801-746-0557 $10 presale; $12 day of show 21+ theurbanloungeslc.com


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Free ticket Tuesday at Rye! 1 entree = 1 ticket at Urban Lounge (while supplies last) www.ryeslc.com

MAY 04: ANDREW GOLDRING 8PM DOORS FREE SHOW

SWANS OF NEVER MOUNTAINS OF MIRRORS WESTING

MAY 05: MOON BOOTS 9PM DOORS

CHOICE

MAY 06: DREAM OF THE 90S NIGHT 8PM DOORS

THE HOUND MYSTIC FUTURE OF THE GHOST 90S TELEVISION COLOR ANIMAL FLASH & FLARE

MAY 07: ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE 8PM DOORS

BABYLON

MAY 09: KIEFER SUTHERLAND 8PM DOORS

RICK BRANTLEY

MAY 10: OKILLY DOKILLY 8PM DOORS

BEATALLICA

MAY 11: SCENIC BYWAY 8PM DOORS FREE SHOW

TBA TBA

MAY 12: EAGLE TWIN 8PM DOORS INVDRS

MAY 13: IVY LOCAL ORANGE PARTY 8PM DOORS

DJ SERGE DU PREEA

COMING SOON May 16: Le Voir May 17: SLUG Localized May 18: MONO

May 19: Dirt First Takeover May 20: The Honeypot Festival

The pride of Provo, Joshua James evolves through My Spirit Sister. BY GAVIN SHEEHAN comments@cityweekly.net @thegavinsheehan

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he places that Joshua James’ music takes you can have a profound and lasting effect. To this day, I still feel “Cold War”—a powerful folk anthem from his 2009 album Build Me This (Northplatte)—beat through my chest, and recall the echoing sadness of “Mystic” from 2012’s From The Top of Willamette Mountain. Now, after a nearly four-year gap between records, James is back delivering emotional haymakers on My Spirit Sister. He’s achieved what other folk artists only dream of over a 12-year career—like rising to acclaim through NPR airplay, or having three of his six albums make national ripples, including raves from Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. He launched Northplatte Records (co-founded with McKay Stevens), to release his own music and that of other local artists like Desert Noises, Parlor Hawk and Timmy the Teeth, and received huge exposure after landing songs on the massively popular FX show Sons Of Anarchy. But to James, it’s not a big deal. “I don’t feel any difference,” he says in an interview that finds us corresponding through email, Facebook Messenger and phone as he juggles family, music and goatherding responsibilities. “Playing music as a career is a strange and amazing thing.” Although performing for a living means being in a “constant condition of vulnerability,” he says, “I suppose my take on it all is one of positivity.”

Enjoy the Best Patio in SLC

MUSIC

JAKE BUNTJER

New Expanded Hours for Rye: Monday-Friday from 9am-2pm Saturday and Sunday from 9am-3pm Friday and Sunday from 6pm-11pm

Bleed and Become

The last time James unveiled new music was in 2013, when he and Evan Coulombe recorded several Modest Mouse songs, giving them a much more somber tone. Released as Well, Then, I’ll Go to Hell, the collection was popular with the Provo crowd, but James calls it a “hodgepodge project” he didn’t plan to release. Since then, he’s been writing new material and sporadically touring with fellow Provo-based musicians Coulombe, Isaac Russell and Timmy George as his backing band. Touring took a toll on James, who describes a “blossoming and decaying mental meltdown” as he came to view his career as selfish and second to fatherhood, an experience he says outweighs his musical success many times over. “I suppose that’s where my mind has been more than anywhere else.” Those emotions prompted James to start recording My Spirit Sister. The album itself feels cathartic, as though he were through years of contemplation and revelation. Dressed in melodic piano and back-porch guitar riffs, his voice floats through songs like “Backbone Bend” with heartfelt lyrics and an amazing hook that speaks directly to the listener. “Say it if you mean it/ But mean it if you say it/ If you say you’re gonna get it all out now/ Screaming like you’re dyin’/ It’s funny how it all works out.” There’s an unsettling passion within his music that binds itself to your heart. Tracks like “Millie” dig deep into a father’s feelings for his newborn, while “Blackbird Sorrow” describes how a loved one’s mere presence brings a new light into a dark world. The songs reverberate with vulnerability, confusion, power, anger and truth. James, even more than on his other albums, has no issue making a deeply personal album that anyone can walk into and feel at home among his pain and pleasures. From the title to the last lyrics, the album opens up James’ life for all to see. “Spirit Sister was meant as an extension of myself, in spirit form. A shade of who I am, who I’ve been, who I might become,” he says. To mark the release, James performs two shows at Velour Live Music Gallery this weekend. The first one is an intimate, solo acoustic, living-room style event with

Joshua James

seating for all. For the second, a full band accompanies him in a standing room so as many people as possible can witness his personal transformation. CW

JOSHUA JAMES ALBUM RELEASE SHOW

Friday, May 5, 6 p.m. Saturday, May 6, 8 p.m. Velour Live Music Gallery 135 N. University Ave., Provo 801-818-2263 $10 (per night, plus fees) All ages velourlive.com

INTRODUCING! ‘APPY HOUR! 1/2 off Appetizers* M o n - T h u rs 2 - 6 P M *Yes. Even our nachos.

Saturday Brunch 11-3 Sunday Brunch 10-3 Monday Jazz Sessions 7pm w/ David Halliday & the JVQ

326 S. West Temple • Open 11-2am, M-F 10-2am Sat & Sun • graciesslc.com • 801-819-7565


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MAY 4, 2017 | 35


Much more than just “the albino rapper,” Brother Ali is bringing The Own Light Tour to Salt Lake City, coinciding with the release of his latest album All the Beauty in This Whole Life (Rhymesayers), the eighth in his prestigious 17-year career. Known for his socially conscious and uplifting hip-hop style, the Minneapolitan MC has paved the way for rappers wanting to create more than just catchy tunes. True to its title, Ali’s newest album describes the gloriousness of everyday existence. Ali is joined on tour by fellow Atlanta-based artists Sa-Roc, Last Word and Sol Messiah. Sa-Roc has made a particularly large splash in the hiphop scene with her passionate, spiritual lyrics and empowering message, while DJs Last Word and Sol Messiah have done likewise with their beats. (David Miller) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 7 p.m., $20 presale; $25 day of show, thecomplexslc.com

SUNDAY 5/7

Testament, Sepultura, Prong

Heavy metal geeks often debate whether the Big Four of thrash metal (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax) should be expanded to the Big Six or Eight. The Bay Area thrashers of Testament always come up in these discussions, and often make the expanded lists. The band is one of the true greats of the genre,

Prong

NEIL ZLOZOWER

COLLEEN EVERSMAN

Brother Ali, Sa-Roc, Last Word, DJ Sol Messiah

owing to their tight, frantic songs the burlier-than-Hetfield vocals of Chuck Billy and the guitar wizardry of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, supported by the litany of thrash luminaries who’ve played in the band over the years. Their first singer was Steve Souza of Exodus (another perennial Big Six/Eight candidate); Skolnick’s original replacement was Gene Alvelais of Forbidden; and all three of Slayer’s drummers have manned the kit in Testament. Brazilian thrash group Sepultura also often enters the “Big [X]” debate, attributable to their musicianship and their interpolation of traditional music from their homeland. But while we’re discussing great unsung metal bands, Prong is one that’s respected, but not nearly as popular as they oughta be. Their first three albums are metal classics—and the first two, 1989’s Force Fed (Spigot/In-Effect) and 1990’s Beg to Differ (Epic), feature Salt Lake City’s own Mike Kirkland (Bob Moss, Jeff Crosby & the Refugees, Nate Padley). “Lost and Found” from Beg was the theme song to MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, which played the hell out of tracks from the band’s breakthrough third album, 1991’s Prove You Wrong (Epic). And many MMA fights, as well as some hockey and football games, have used the band’s irresistible stomper “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” from the band’s 1994 album Cleansing, which marked a detour into a more industrial strain of thrash. Since then, singer-guitarist Tommy Victor—himself possessed of a singular voice and guitar style—has kept Prong sharp while playing guitar with Danzig. Any way you slice it, this bill is a Big Three. (Randy Harward) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 6:30 p.m., $25 presale, $30 day of show, depotslc.com

Brother Ali

TUESDAY 5/9

Kiefer Sutherland, Rick Brantley

Given his popularity, actor Kiefer Sutherland could’ve dropped an album long ago. Instead, the longtime musician scratched his musical itch by working with his good friend, singer-songwriterproducer Jude Cole, at their label and studio Ironworks. The label’s first release could easily have been Sutherland’s debut, but they instead signed esteemed Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. That record eventually came out via V2, making Ironworks’ flagship release. The 2006 blues-rock act Rocco Deluca & the Burden’s debut album and documentary,

Kiefer Sutherland

BETH ELLIOTT

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BY RANDY HARWARD, DAVID MILLER & BRIAN STAKER

SATURDAY 5/6

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MAY 4, 2017 | 37

EAT AT SUE’S! YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD BAR · FREE GAME ROOM, AS ALWAYS!

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SUN &

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AMAZING $8 LUNCH EVERY WEEKDAY! New menu additions! Saturday & Sunday Brunch, Mimosa, and Mary THURSDAY:

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JT Draper @7:00, followed by VJ Birdman on the Big Screen

AS ALWAYS, NO COVER! Vieux Farka Touré, The Weekenders

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Vieux Farka Touré I Trust You to Kill Me. Then, in 2008, Ironworks issued acclaimed debuts by folk-rock duo HoneyHoney and garage rock buzz band Billy Boy on Poison and, more recently, Lifehouse’s 2015 album Out of the Wasteland. Finally, 15 years after inception, the label released Sutherland’s first album, Down in a Hole. Although he calls it a country album, it’s influenced as much by classic rock, and that hybrid seems to be a favorite of so-called “actor bands” (lookin’ at you, Kevin Costner, David Duchovny and Kevin Bacon). Sutherland, however, is well-suited to this sound, with a boozy, cig-scorched rasp (go figure) and 11 deeply personal songs—co-written with ace tunesmith Cole—that range from better-than-average to damned good. Now touring with a band that features dada guitarist Michael Gurley as musical director, Sutherland is proving he’s as good in front of an audience as he is on screen. Singer-songwriter Rick Brantley opens. (RH) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $25, 21+, theurbanloungeslc.com

32 Exchange Place • 801-322-3200 www.twistslc.com • 11:00am - 1:00am

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38 | MAY 4, 2017

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Military service often runs in families. Ali Farka Touré came from a long line of soldiers in the African nation of Mali, but instead became a guitar legend, and a Grammy honoree. So when his son, Vieux, wanted to travel that same musical mile, Ali preferred his son would have enlisted, citing the stresses of a musical career Touré père had experienced. Vieux eventually convinced his old man, and the master appeared on his son’s eponymous debut album, recorded shortly before Ali’s death from cancer in 2006. A noted guitarist in his own right, Vieux is known as the Hendrix of the Sahara (rivaling Tuareg nomads Tinariwen) for his mixture of rock and blues tonalities with music of the region, and fluid style that make it look effortless. Also on the bill: Special guest The Weekenders, a local band known for guitar heroics and the studio wizardry of six-stringer/producer Mike Sasich. Their second album, Bright Silence of Night was released in 2016. (Brian Staker) The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $18, 21+, thestateroomslc.com

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SHOTS IN THE DARK

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DJ LATU

OUR FAMOUS OPEN BLUES JAM WITH WEST TEMPLE TAILDRAGGERS

SATURDAY, MAY 6

Donath Picardo, Krystal Mancini, Alexis Catherine, Thom Jacques

saturday, may 6

monday

SHOT & A BEER


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40 | MAY 4, 2017

SATURDAY 5/6

CONCERTS & CLUBS

KATIE HOVLAND

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, Together Pangea

Before covers and tribute acts were almost nauseatingly ubiquitous, there was this band of punk rock all-stars including members of Lagwagon (rhythm guitarist Joey Cape and drummer Dave Raun), NOFX (bass player Fat Mike), Swingin’ Utters/Re-Volts (vocalist Spike Slawson) and Foo Fighters/No Use for a Name (lead guitarist Chris Shiflett). As soon as they debuted in 1997, they became as popular as their other bands for their pop-punk covers of oldies, lite-FM songs, diva balladry, showtunes, folk music, CB-radio country, opera, classic rock and Jewish standards (among other things). Live, they generally enjoy acting the fools, as pop-punk manchildren are wont to do (not that there’s anything wrong with that), performing in crazy lounge-band costumes—and, at least on one Warped Tour, serving drinks backstage at their portable Tiki bar (of course they checked IDs). Disclaimer: Since some of their members are busy with their main gigs, they often can’t tour with Me First. On this tour, Fat Mike is replaced by Bad Religion’s Jay Bentley, while Chris Shiflett is covered by his brother Scott (of Face to Face and Viva Death). Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, the current project by rock ’n’ roll legend Kid Congo Powers is touring behind their fourth album, La Araña Es La Vida (In the Red) which, as with everything powered by Powers, is electrifying. Together Pangea opens. (Randy Harward) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 7 p.m., $20 presale; $22 day of show, all ages ($2 surcharge for under 21), depotslc.com

THURSDAY 5/04 LIVE MUSIC

Patio Time has arrived!

Andrew Goldring + Swans of Never (Urban Lounge) Joe McQueen Quartet (Garage on Beck) Kehlani + Ella Mai + Jahkoy + Noodles (The Depot) King Lil G (The Complex) Lorin Walker Madsen (Donkey Tails Cantina) Matt Bradford (D and R Spirits) Static Nostalgia + Say Hey + City Of Vermin + Doctor to Doctor (Kilby Court)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE Dueling Pianos (The Spur) Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) Hot Noise + Guest DJ (The Red Door) Jazz Jam Session (Sugar House Coffee) The New Wave (’80s Night) (Area 51) The Skeleton Dance feat. 90’s Television + Civil Lust + DJ Flash & Flare (Metro Music Hall) Therapy Thursdays feat. Pegboard Nerds + Unlike Pluto (Sky)

KARAOKE

SPIRITS • FOOD • GOOD COMPANY 5.4 SIMPLY B 5.5 RED DOG REVIVAL 5.6 PIG EON 5.8 OPEN BLUES JAM

5.10 MICHELLE MOONSHINE 5.11 MORGAN SNOW 5.12 CORY MON 5.13 THE POUR

3200 E BIG COTTONWOOD RD. | 801.733.5567 THEHOGWALLOW.COM

Cowboy Karaoke (The Cabin) Karaoke with DJ Benji (A Bar Named Sue) Karaoke (Willie’s Lounge) Live Band Karaoke (Club 90)

FRIDAY 5/05 LIVE MUSIC

The Alkaholiks (Metro Music Hall) Après Ski (The Cabin) Capture + My Enemies & I + Dayseeker + Kingdom of Giants + Storm Tide Horizon + Classic Jack (In the Venue) Dawn of Ashes + Projekt F + DJ Reverend 23 (Club X) Joshua James (Velour) see p. 34 Kawehi + Magic Mint (Kilby Court)

Kid Frost & Kinto Sol + Gee Related + Trippy G + Ortega Omega (Liquid Joe’s) Live Local Music (A Bar Named Sue) Live Music on the Plaza Deck (Snowbird) Metal Dogs (The Spur Bar and Grill) Moon Boots + Choice (The Urban Lounge) Panthermilk (Funk ’n’ Dive Bar) Pile + Gnarwhal + Detour (The Loading Dock) Real Friends + Have Mercy + Tiny Moving Parts + Broadside + nothing,nowhere (The Complex) Sage Junction (Outlaw Saloon) Tony Holiday & The Velvetones (ABG’s Bar) Trapdoor Social (Alleged) Vicetone (Sky) The 1975 (The Great Saltair)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

All-Request Gothic + Industrial + EBM + and Dark Wave w/ DJ Vision (Area 51) Chaseone2 (Twist) Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) Friday Night Fun (All-Request Dance) w/ DJ Twitch (Area 51) Funkin’ Friday w/ DJ Rude Boy & Bad Boy Brian (Johnny’s on Second) Hot Noise (The Red Door)

KARAOKE

Karaoke (Cheers to You SLC) Karaoke (Willie’s Lounge)

SATURDAY 5/06 LIVE MUSIC

Aimee Mann (The State Room) Après Ski (The Cabin) Bar J Wranglers (Weber State University) Bass Breakers + ClearKut + Decent + IN2GR8 + Provoke (In the Venue) Brother Ali + Sa-Roc + Last Word + DJ Sol Messiah (The Complex) see p. 36 The Divide (Area 51)


COMPLETE LISTINGS ONLINE AT CITYWEEKLY.NET

CONCERTS & CLUBS Flexx Feat Flexxtonix (In the Venue) Ghostowne (Snowbird Resort) Los Hellcaminos (The Spur) Icon for Hire + Assuming We Survive + Imalive (Liquid Joe’s) Johnny Azari (Alleged) Joshua James (Velour) see p. 34 Joy Spring Band (Sugar House Coffee) Live Local Music (A Bar Named Sue) Live Music on the Plaza Deck (Snowbird) Live Trio (The Red Door) Me First and the Gimme Gimmes + Together Pangea (The Depot) see p. 40 Natural Causes (Club 90) Reaper the Storyteller (Funk ‘n’ Dive Bar) Rougarou + Breezeway (The Loading Dock) Sage Junction (Outlaw Saloon) Sorority Noise + The Obsessives + Sunsleeper (Kilby Court) Spazmatics (Liquid Joe’s) Transmit + Dada Life (The Great Saltair) Trinidad James (Elevate Nightclub) You Topple Over (Johnny’s on Second)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

Red Desert Ramblers (Gracie’s) Testament + Sepultura + Prong (The Depot) see p. 36

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

Dueling Pianos (The Spur) DJ Curtis Strange (Willie’s Lounge) Open Blues Jam (The Green Pig Pub) Red Cup Event w/ DJ Juggy (Downstairs)

KARAOKE

Karaoke (Tavernacle) Karaoke w/ DJ Benji (A Bar Named Sue) Karaoke Church w/ DJ Ducky (Jam)

MONDAY 5/08 LIVE MUSIC

Alicia Stockman (The Spur)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE Monday Night Open Jazz Session w/ David Halliday & the JVQ (Gracie’s) Open Blues Jam (The Green Pig) Open Blues Jam hosted by Robby’s Blues Explosion (Hog Wallow Pub) Open Mic (The Cabin)

KARAOKE

SUNDAY 5/07

TUESDAY 5/09

LIVE MUSIC

LIVE MUSIC

Acid Mothers Temple + Babylon (The Urban Lounge) see p. 32 Après Ski (The Cabin) As it Is (The Complex) A-Plus + Knobody + J Lately + J Morgan + DJ Nocturnal (Metro Music Hall) Leif Vollebekk (Kilby Court) Live Bluegrass (Club 90) Live Music on the Plaza Deck (Snowbird) Patrick Ryan (The Spur)

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MAY 4, 2017 | 41

GREAT

SATURDAY, MAY 6TH

with host

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GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE at

AT THE DOOR DAY OF SHOW

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will receive OVER $1000 in cash and prizes including VIP access to the Utah Pride Festival weekend and VIP badges to the 2017 Twilight Concert Series!

Inkjar Showcase + Farewell Party Beachmen + Osiria + Sese + Sulane + DJ/DC (Metro Music Hall) Kiefer Sutherland + Rick Brantley (The Urban Lounge) see p. 36 Scott Klismith (The Spur) VadaWave + Kathleen Frewin + Branson Anderson + Caitlin Thompson + Aubrey Auclair (Kilby Court) Vieux Farka Touré (The State Room) see p. 38

ONE EYED DOG BONE

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Karaoke (Willie’s Lounge) Karaoke w/ B-RAD (Club 90)

Karaoke (Poplar Street Pub) Karaoke Bingo (Tavernacle) Karaoke with DJ Benji (A Bar Named Sue)

KARAOKE

DRAG CALL FOR NTS CONTESTA PAGEANT

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Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) DJ Latu (The Green Pig) DJ Sneeky Long (Twist)

THE OFFICIAL KICK-OFF PARTY FOR UTAH PRIDE WEEKEND!


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42 | MAY 4, 2017

THURSDAYS

BAR FLY

RANDY HARWARD

Matty Herrington and his students at The Royal’s Paint Nite.

Paint Nite and Reggae Thursdays @ The Royal

If there was ever a night made for a particular crowd, this is it. That doesn’t mean you need the devil’s crabgrass to dig reggae. Or painting. Or free pool. Or discount nachos and booze. But come on. If modified flower vases didn’t make that cool bubbly-bubbly sound, they’d broadcast the irie, syncopated sounds of Jamaica. And “they” say that marijuana makes you more creative, so why wouldn’t you enjoy putting pretty colors to canvas— especially when someone holds your nacho cheese-sticky hand through the process? Now, the discounts are offset by the cost of admission and/or supplies. Paint Nite, which happens at a variety of bars almost every night of the week, entails buying a rather pricey ticket. It’s usually $45, but there are discounts. The cost covers a canvas, paints and two hours of guided creativity. There’s also a cover charge for Reggae Thursday (which The Royal took over when The Woodshed shuttered in late 2015), but it varies depending on whether a local or national act is performing that night. With the $3 Budweiser tallboys, $5 Long Island iced teas, AMF’s and Liquid Mary Janes (which do not include THC), you’ll also need cab/Lyft money. But you’ll be too happy to care on what we’ll just go ahead and call the best Thursday night, ever. (RH) The Royal, 4760 S. 900 East, Paint Nite runs from 6:45-8:45 p.m., music starts at 9 p.m., 21+, theroyalslc.com

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

Cabin Fever & Miss DJ Lux (The Cabin) Open Mic (The Wall at BYU)

KARAOKE

Karaoke (Tavernacle) Karaoke w/ DJ Thom (A Bar Named Sue) Karaoke That Doesn’t Suck (Twist) Karaoke w/ Zim Zam Ent. (Club 90)

WEDNESDAY 5/10

Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) Open Mic (Velour) Temple (Gothic and Industrial) w/ DJ Mistress Nancy (Area 51)

KARAOKE

Areaoke w/ KJ Ruby (Area 51) Karaoke w/ B-RAD (Club 90) Karaoke (The Wall at BYU) Karaoke w/ Spotlight Entertainment (Johnny’s on Second) Superstar Karaoke w/ DJ Ducky (Jam)

LIVE MUSIC

Boondox + Blaze + Lex the Hex Master (The Complex) The Dip + Kitfox + Su Grand + Branson Anderson (Metro Music Hall) E-40 + Kool John (The Depot) Live Jazz (Club 90) Okilly Dokilly + Beatallica (Urban Lounge) Son Volt + Sera Cahoone (The State Room) The Wednesday People + Fairpark Twins + Phat Jester + Vagrant Mystics (Kilby Court)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE DJ Birdman (Twist)

LIVE MUSIC

KARAOKE (THURS) PHOENIX SOFT TIP DARTS

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MAY 4, 2017 | 43


© 2017

PASSWORD

BY DAVID LEVINSON WILK

ACROSS

1. Sign of neglect 2. Big and muscular 3. Nicole Kidman’s role in “Moulin Rouge” 4. Automotive plural selected in a 2011 promotion 5. Coffee order: Abbr. 6. Org. that calls itself “the high IQ society” 7. To no ____ (fruitlessly) 8. Harper Lee’s given name

49. “The Prophet” author Kahlil 50. Relative of euchre 51. “No problem here” 54. More bizarre 55. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” spinoff 56. What Montana was in the ‘80s 59. Big name in plastic 60. Olympic skater Michelle 61. Parapsychologist’s study 62. Goat’s cry 64. “More than I needed to know!”

Last week’s answers

No math is involved. The grid has numbers, but nothing has to add up to anything else. Solve the puzzle with reasoning and logic. Solving time is typically 10 to 30 minutes, depending on your skill and experience.

DOWN

9. Dry country whose name is an anagram of wet weather 10. “Stay!” 11. Doctor’s diagnosis 12. High/low card 13. “Damn right!” 18. Tuscan tourist city 22. Sports-themed restaurant chain since 1998 24. Bug 26. Hefty refs. 27. MacLachlan of “Twin Peaks” 29. Actor Edward James ____ 31. Evil animal in “The Lion King” 33. The “A” of USDA: Abbr. 34. It’s mostly nitrogen 36. Newswoman Spencer or Logan 37. NYC’s 5th and Park 38. A strong one includes a special character (see 17-Across), a number (see 63-Across) and a capital (see 11-Down?! Not THAT kind of capital. Look at the grid’s center ... THAT kind of capital ...) 45. Pope with a Nov. 10 feast day 47. Stuck

Complete the grid so that each row, column, diagonal and 3x3 square contain all of the numbers 1 to 9.

1. “The Price Is Right” airer 4. Spin doctor 9. “In my view ...” 14. “... ____ lack thereof” 15. 1978 Superman portrayer 16. Rolls-____ 17. Searchlight in comics 19. Queen ____ lace 20. What many feared 1962’s Cuban Missile Crisis would lead to, for short 21. Feature of Wednesday but not Thursday? 23. Cousin of -trix 24. Areas between hills 25. Understand, slangily 28. “Ta-ta” 30. “Rats!” 32. Actress Jessica 34. No one in particular 35. The year 1550 36. Swimming unit 39. Ryan of “Sleepless in Seattle” 40. Suffix with winter 41. Opposite of WNW 42. “Selma” director DuVernay 43. “____ the ramparts ...” 44. Pitchers Darling and Guidry 46. Be part of the opposition 48. “Explorer” channel 52. NAACP part: Abbr. 53. TV producer Michaels 57. Defeat 58. Greeted silently from afar 60. Shish ____ 61. Nontext part of a text 63. “Relax!” 65. Bareilles and Gilbert 66. Plant swelling 67. You can bank on it 68. “Top Chef” host Lakshmi 69. Eager as heck 70. Amal Clooney ____ Alamuddin

SUDOKU

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44 | MAY 4, 2017

CROSSWORD PUZZLE


FREE WILL ASTROLOGY B Y R O B

B R E Z S N Y

Go to realastrology.com for Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes and daily text-message horoscopes. Audio horoscopes also available by phone at 877-873-4888 or 900-950-7700.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) When poet Wislawa Szymborska delivered her speech for winning the Nobel Prize, she said that “whatever else we might think of this world—it is astonishing.” She added that for a poet, there really is no such thing as the “ordinary world,” “ordinary life” and “the ordinary course of events.” In fact, “Nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone’s existence in this world.” I offer you her thoughts, Taurus, because I believe that in the next two weeks you will have an extraordinary potential to feel and act on these truths. You are hereby granted a license to be astonished on a regular basis. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Would you consider enrolling in my Self-Pity Seminar? If so, you would learn that obsessing on self-pity is a means to an end, not a morass to get lost in. You would feel sorry for yourself for brief, intense periods so that you could feel proud and brave the rest of the time. For a given period—let’s say three days—you would indulge and indulge and indulge in self-pity until you entirely exhausted that emotion. Then you’d be free to engage in an orgy of selfhealing, self-nurturing and self-celebration. Ready to get started? Ruminate about the ways that people don’t fully appreciate you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Just this once, and for a limited time only, you have cosmic clearance to load up on sugary treats, leave an empty beer can in the woods, watch stupid TV shows and act uncool in front of the Beautiful People. Why? Because being totally well-behaved and perfectly composed and strictly pure would compromise your mental health more than being naughty. Besides, if you want to figure out what you are on the road to becoming, you will need to know more about what you’re not.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) In what ways do you most resemble your mother? Now is a good time to take inventory. Once you identify any mom-like qualities that tend to limit your freedom or lead you away from your dreams, devise a plan to transform them. You might never be able to defuse them entirely, but there’s a lot you can do to minimize the mischief they cause. Be calm but calculating in setting your intention, Aquarius! P.S.: In the course of your inventory, you might also find there are ways you are like your mother that are of great value to you. Is there anything you could do to more fully develop their potential? PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) “We are what we imagine,” Piscean author N. Scott Momaday writes. “Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves. Our best destiny is to imagine who and what we are. The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined.” Let’s make this passage your inspirational keynote for the coming weeks. It’s a perfect time to realize how much power you have to create yourself through the intelligent and purposeful use of your vivid imagination. (P.S. Here’s a further tip, this time from Cher: “All of us invent ourselves. Some of us just have more imagination than others.”) ARIES (March 21-April 19) Beware of feeling sorry for sharks that yell for help. Beware of trusting coyotes that act like sheep and sheep that act like coyotes. Beware of nibbling food from jars whose contents are different from what their labels suggest. But wait! “Beware” is not my only message for you. I have these additional announcements: Welcome interlopers if they’re humble and look you in the eyes. Learn all you can from predators and pretenders without imitating them. Take advantage of any change that’s set in motion by agitators who shake up the status quo, even if you don’t like them.

ENERGY BUSINESS! OWNER OPERATORS NEEDED

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LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) In addition to fashion tips, advice for the broken-hearted, midlife-crisis support and career counseling, I sometimes provide you with more mystical help. Like now. So if you need nuts-and-bolts guidance, I hope you’ll have the sense to read a more down-to-Earth horoscope. What I want to tell you is that the metaphor of resurrection is your featured theme. You should assume that it’s somehow the answer to every question. Rejoice in the knowledge that although a part of you has died, it will be reborn in a fresh guise.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) The versatile artist Melvin Van Peebles has enjoyed working as a filmmaker, screenwriter, actor, composer and novelist. One of his more recent efforts was a collaboration with the experimental band The Heliocentrics. Together they created a science-fiction-themed spoken-word poetry album titled The Last Transmission. Peebles told NPR, “I haven’t had so much fun with clothes on in years.” If I’m reading the planetary omens correctly Capricorn, you’re either experiencing that level of fun, or will soon be doing so.

GROWING IN THE

| COMMUNITY |

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) In 1668, England named John Dryden its first poet laureate. His literary influence was so monumental that the era in which he published was known as the Age of Dryden. Twentieth-century poetry great T. S. Eliot said he was “the ancestor of nearly all that is best in the poetry of the 18th century.” Curiously, Dryden had a low opinion of Shakespeare. “Scarcely intelligible,” he called the Bard, adding, “His whole style is so pestered with figurative expressions that it is as affected as it is coarse.” I foresee a comparable clash of titans in your sphere, Leo. Two major influences might fight it out for supremacy. One embodiment of beauty might be in competition with another. One powerful and persuasive force could oppose another. What will your role be? Mediator? Judge? Neutral observer? Whatever it is, be cagey.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) You might have heard the exhortation “Follow your bliss!” which was popularized by mythologist Joseph Campbell. After studying the archetypal stories of many cultures throughout history, he concluded that it was the most important principle driving the success of most heroes. Here’s another way to say it: Identify the job or activity that deeply excites you, and find a way to make it the center of your life. In his later years, Campbell worried that too many people had misinterpreted “Follow your bliss” to mean “Do what comes easily.” That’s all wrong, he said. Anything worth doing takes work and struggle. “Maybe I should have said, ‘Follow your blisters,’” he laughed. I bring this up, Sagittarius, because you are now in an intense “Follow your blisters” phase of following your bliss.

STABLE AND

| CITYWEEKLY.NET |

CANCER (June 21-July 22) In a typical conversation, most of us utter too many “uhs,” “likes,” “I means” and “you knows.” I mean, I’m sure that … uh … you’ll agree that, like, what’s the purpose of, you know, all that pointless noise? But I have some good news to deliver about your personal use of language in the coming weeks, Cancerian. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’ll have the potential to dramatically lower your reliance on needless filler. But wait, there’s more: Clear thinking and precise speech just might be your superpowers. As a result, your powers of persuasion should intensify. Your ability to advocate for your favorite causes might zoom.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) “Are you ready for the genie’s favors? Don’t rub the magic lamp unless you are.” That’s the message I saw on an Instagram meme. I immediately thought of you. The truth is that up until recently, you have not been fully prepared for the useful but demanding gifts the genie could offer you. You haven’t had the self-mastery necessary to use the gifts as they’re meant to be used, and therefore they were a bit dangerous to you. But that situation has changed. Although you might still not be fully primed, you’re as ready as you can be. That’s why I say: Rub the magic lamp!

Assurance Sr Assoc @ BDO USA, LLP (SLC, UT) F/T. Asst mngrs & prtnrs w/ resltn of acctng issues. Apply GAAP & GAAS to asst in cmplx situations. Document, validate, test & assess various fin’l rprtng ctrl systms. Resp for planning, fldwrk & end stges of audit engagemnt. Reqs Bachelor’s or foreign equiv in Acctng, BusAdmin or rltd & 3 yrs of exp in job offrd, as Tax Assoc, Audit Assoc, Acctnt or rltd. Exp must incl: Applying GAAS, GAAP, & SEC regulations; Auditing both public & pvt companies under PCAOB & AICPA stndrds; Reviewing fin’l statements w/ disclsres; Rsrchng intermediate areas of acctng; & Prvdng spprt for cnclsns w/ authoritative literature. Emp will accpt any suitable comb of edu, training or exp. Send resume to: T. Brown, BDO USA, LLP; 1001 Morehead Sq Dr, Ste 300, Charlotte, NC 28203. Indicate job title & code “BDO-PC” in cvr ltr. EOE.


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46 | MAY 4, 2017

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Shangri-La La Land

You probably are too young to know the Shangri-La reference unless you studied lit or are an old movie buff. Shangri-La is a mythical place in the mountains of Tibet imagined by James Hilton in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon. It was a perfect paradise cut off from the world, with no violence, no protests and no famines. Many Tibetans today believe it exists, and even the present Dalai Lama thinks it might be hidden in an astral plain. Bali Hai is real (a mountain in Hawaii) but also a mythical island in the South Pacific where only good things happen. Glocca Morra is a dreamy, but fake, place in Ireland where everyone is in love and dances the day away. All three places are featured in great old movies—check ’em out if you want to experience utopia. Utah is becoming, for some, the paradise only Mormons could envision long ago when Joseph Smith told his fold to head West. For today’s techies, Salt Lake City has just been named No. 8 on the realtor. com list of potential Silicon Valley 2.0 cities. That list looks at other cities known for big tech companies and trends, and it’s finding that workers in many traditional tech locales are being priced out of housing and are seeking better areas to live in the U.S.—and we’re looking good in their eyes. That research is backed up by another report from SmartAsset, a financial tech company that studies which markets are best for home buyers. Salt Lake County ranked among the best places in their recent report. DK Eyewitness Travel in April named Salt Lake City No. 5 and Provo No. 16 in their list of the “20 Best U.S. Cities for Making a Fresh Start.” And for senior citizens, the Beehive ranks No. 2 among all the states with the lowest proportion of “senior isolation,” with 22.5 percent of seniors living alone (as opposed to places like North Dakota, where 32 percent of seniors live alone). This is according to seniorcare.com. For those of us already living here, this garden of Eden is still a pretty idyllic place. The skiing is fantastic, the red rocks and opportunities for employment are seemingly endless. Yet, the veil is lifting and the smoky mist hiding us from the rest of the world is making us sick. Our Shangri-La is bursting at the seams with traffic congestion, housing issues and too many lowwage jobs. I’m afraid our secret is out; and the masses are coming. n

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Mother of Invention Robotic models of living organisms are useful to scientists, who can study the effects of stimuli without risk to actual people. Northwestern University researchers announced in March that its laboratory model of the female reproductive system has reached a milestone: its first menstrual period. The ovary, using mouse tissue, had produced hormones that stimulated the system—uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes and liver—for 28 days, reaching the predictable result. Chief researcher Teresa Woodruff said she imagines eventually growing a model from tissue provided by the patient undergoing treatment.

BY CHUCK SHEPHERD

Ewwww! Luu Cong Huyen, 58, in Yen Giao, Vietnam, is the most recent to attract reporters’ attention with disturbingly long fingernails. A March odditycentral.com report, with cringeinducing photos, failed to disclose their precise length, but Huyen said he has not clipped them since a 2013 report on VietnamNet revealed that each measured up to 19.7 inches. He says his nail obsession started as a hobby and that he is not yet over it. The Guinness Book record is not exactly within fingertip reach: 73.5 inches long, by Shridhar Chillal of India.

WEIRD

Chutzpah! Henry Wachtel, 24, continues in legal limbo after being found “not criminally responsible” for the death of his mother in 2014, despite having beaten her in the head and elsewhere up to 100 times—because he was having an epileptic seizure at that moment and has no memory of the attack. A judge must still decide the terms of Wachtel’s psychiatric hospitalization, but Wachtel’s mind is clear enough now that, in March, he demanded, as sole heir, payoff on his mother’s life insurance policy—which, under New York law, is still technically feasible. Epic Smugglers In February, federal customs agents seized 22 pounds of various illegal animal meats at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Among the tasty items were raw chicken, pig and cow meat, brains, hearts, heads, tongues and feet—in addition to “other body parts,” a reporter wrote. In a typical day nationwide, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seizes about 4,600 smuggled plant or animal products.

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree In February, a pet welfare organization complained of a raid on a home near Lockhart, Texas, that housed more than 400 animals—and, of course, reeked “overpowering[ly]” of urine. The inventory: 86 snakes, 56 guinea pigs, 28 dogs, 26 rabbits, 15 goats, nine doves, eight skinks, seven pigs, six pigeons, four gerbils, three bearded dragons, two ducks and one tarantula— plus about 150 rats and mice (to feed the menagerie) and 20 other animals whose numbers did not fit the above lyric pattern. Updates For more than a decade, an editor has been roaming the streets at night in Bristol, England, correcting violations of standard grammar, lately being described as “The Apostrophiser.” On April 3, the BBC at last portrayed the vigilante in action, in a ridealong documentary that featured him using the special marking and climbing tools that facilitate his work. His first mission, in 2003, involved a government sign that read “Monday’s to Friday’s,” and he recalled an even more cloying store sign— “Amys Nail’s”—as “so loud and in your face.”

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n New York City health officials have convinced most ultraOrthodox Jewish “mohels” to perform their ritual circumcisions with sterile tools and gauze, but still, according to a March New York Post report, a few holdouts insist on the old-fashioned way of removing the blood from an incision—by sucking it up with their mouths. Some local temples are so protective of their customs that they refuse to name the offenders (who aren’t licensed medical professionals), limiting parents’ ability to choose safe practitioners. n A locked cellphone (tied to a particular carrier) is often only a several-hundred-dollar nuisance. A more serious crisis arises, as News of the Weird noted in 2015, when farmers buy $500,000 combines, but then find that the John Deere company has “locked” the machines’ sophisticated software, preventing even small repairs or upgrades until a service rep shows up to enter the secret password (and, of course, leaves a bill). Deere’s business model has driven some farmers recently to a black market of fearless Ukrainian hackers (some of the same risky dark-net outlaws believed to pose online dangers), who help put the farmers back on track. Eight state legislatures are presently considering overriding Deere’s contract to create a “right to repair.”

Thanks this week to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

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| COMMUNITY |

Too Easy Yet another intimate accessory with weak security drew attention when hackers broke down a $249 Svakom Siime Eye personal vibrator in April, revealing a lazily created default password (“88888888”) and Wi-Fi network name (“Siime Eye”). Since the Eye’s camera and internet access facilitate livestream video of a user’s most personal body parts, anyone within Wi-Fi range can break in by just driving around a city looking for the Siime Eye network.

DOG WALKERS

| CITYWEEKLY.NET |

New Human Rights Over the years, News of the Weird has covered the long-standing campaign by animal-rights activists to bestow human rights upon animals (begun, of course, with intelligent orangutans and gorillas). In March, the New Zealand parliament gave human rights to a river—the Whanganui, long revered by the country’s indigenous Maori. (One Maori and one civil servant were appointed as the river’s representatives.) Within a week, activists in India, scouring court rulings, found two of that country’s waterways deserved similar status—the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, which were then so designated by judges in Uttarakhand state. The Ganges’ rights seem hollow, however, as an estimated one billion gallons of waste still enters it every day despite its being a holy bathing spot for Hindus.

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Poets Corner 15 LINES OF HERE AND NOW

Ruling out the sonnet: there are still things I want to say about mountain, valley, desert which the slow movement of the day and your limit cannot possibly subvert.

There are words beyond two syllables in every manner of speech, just hoping local masses will not consider criminal or refuse to hear and prefer moping. All great awakening needn’t be history written down for anyone to memorize; so, open your dust-rimmed eyes to mystery, you’ll see it here and now, be merzmerized. In between the ads and little information, we could use some intellectual hydration.

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City Weekly May 4, 2017  

Inside the Firestorm

City Weekly May 4, 2017  

Inside the Firestorm