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MAY 2, 2019 | VOL. 35 N0. 49

Aiming for more equitable and affordable housing, local activists push for reform. BY KELAN LYONS


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CWCONTENTS COVER STORY HOME IS WHERE THE HARDSHIP IS

Local activists push to make housing in SLC more equitable and affordable. Cover photo by Ray Howze

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4 LETTERS 6 OPINION 13 NEWS 19 A&E 25 DINE 30 MUSIC 41 CINEMA 45 COMMUNITY

ERIN MOORE Music, p. 30

Shake hands with our new music editor. When not spending way too much time browsing grocery store aisles or thrift store racks, you can find the Southern Utahnative out and about catching shows. “I’m looking forward to getting to know all about the music going on in SLC again after having moved away for awhile,” she says.

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COMMENTS@CITYWEEKLY.NET

Cover story, April 18, Dining Guide Yes to aspic! @IMBBQ Via Instagram

Aspic is delicious. Totally gets a bad rap because it looks revolting—it’s not. KATE RISER Via Instagram My mom made tomato aspic with shrimp and other flotsam every holiday. As kids we were horrified and prayed it wasn’t forced onto our plates. It wasn’t until I was much older and had moved on from the kids table that I began to understand and appreciate this much maligned of side dishes. MISSY BADBERG Via Instagram

@BRONXTON Via Instagram “Hey, let’s put together a Dining Guide and make it weird and eclectic ...” TEE JAY Via Twitter I love it! Is there a mail subscription option for us (hopefully temporarily) out-of-towners? RANAE ZAUNER Via Twitter My aunt read my article and now she wants to give me my grandma’s vintage Pyrex. AMANDA ROCK Via Twitter

Naomi Clegg certainly deserves the Ted Scheffler Award for conspicuous food consumption for her article on avocado bread, which may still be an overpriced delight in Salt Lake City, but has ceased to be a coastal obsession. Let’s remember that it has been ordered explicitly on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which says it all. In addition, I would suggest the author try the glutenfree bread at the City Bakery. That loaf, a ripe avocado and some mayonnaise and/or ricotta cheese may satisfy her exquisite food sense; her need to indulge herself; and the importance of not wasting a moment of her precious day for the price of a slice of bread with avocado on it at some rip-off joint. Really, I would leave the food columns to some unpretentious soul like Alex Springer. STEVE IFSHIN, Salt Lake City

News, April 18, “Muddy Polls”

Polls do not work any longer. FRED A. SCHMAUCH Via Twitter

Dear Editor:

I understand that my anonymity may result in my words not being published. That’s OK, because I want to talk to you. I want to talk to the editor; the journalist; the human being charged with informing

@CITYWEEKLY

the public of what’s going on; the person on the front line of our nation’s information war. I want to talk to you because I have a request, a request that could (and should) come from any citizen of a democracy in this fake news age: This election season, ask the powerful, the pundits, and the people to think in plain sight. Last election season, no one was asked to think in plain sight. No one was required to share the thinking behind their viewpoints. Instead, the candidates, expert and the “people on the street” were tapped for sound bites. And, in the absence of a standard for exchanging their views, many of those people kept what they had to say short, nasty and brutish. The most unfortunate result of this? The public rarely got the information it needed to have actual discussions. For what is there to discuss about an unexplained opinion? You can only agree or disagree with it. Give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Choose the “side” that appears to have your values and distrust those who don’t. How would this not end in civil discord? And what else could this discord lead to than a divided country and a weakened democracy? So, this election season, I ask that you apply a standard to those who wish to give the public their point of view. A common sense standard that allows any person to espouse any

viewpoint, while ensuring that the public gets the information it needs to discuss that viewpoint. A standard that requires people to tell us: What they think the topic is, how they came to view it the way they do and why they’re sharing their view with the public. This standard ensures that the public gets the three things it needs to have a discussion: n  We need to know what they think the topic is so we can discuss their definition of it. n  We need to know how they came to view it the way they do so we can discuss their reasoning about it, and n  We need to know why they’re sharing their view with the public so we can discuss their intentions for it. Without this information we can only agree or disagree with their viewpoint, be for it or against it. But with their thinking in plain sight, we have what we need to examine, question and consider their point of view. We have what we need to talk to each other about it. We have what we need for discourse. But we will only have what we need for discourse if you—editor, journalist and human being—employ this standard. Is a candidate making a promise? Ask them to put it in plain sight. Is an expert weighing in? Put it in plain sight. Is a citizen “just sayin’ it like it is?” Plain sight.

If it’s a point of view and it’s in your paper, put the thinking behind it in plain sight. Any person with an honest viewpoint should welcome questions that help them share their thoughts with the public. Using thinking in plain sight as a standard for exchanging points of view will help honest people to inform us and make it harder for the dishonest to confuse and divide us. Sincerely, “CONVENIENT TREE”

Silly Rabbits

I’m on to your tricks! I’ve only recently started to read Salt Lake City Weekly, and I have come to realize that the most interesting articles

in the CW Contents (the LDS church’s change, the hate crimes bill, Elizabeth Warren, etc.) are only available on cityweekly.net. And, also, there is no hope that those pieces will be made available to those of us who are internet-challenged. (Having an email account is not the same as being on the net!) Is it possible that, now that I have mentioned this inequity, you will print those pieces and change your policy? R. MARK READ, Via email We encourage you to join the conversation. Sound off across our social media channels as well as on cityweekly.net for a chance to be featured in this section.


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OPINION

Mike Lee: Surely You Jest

A long, long time ago, the courts of kings were awash with lovely ladies—mostly in waiting (who knows for what), minstrels who sang and strummed their way into royal favor, valiant knights desperately wanting to scratch themselves—but prevented by their chain-mail jockey shorts—and, of course, an assortment of nobles all seeking to advance their statuses in the realm. Have I missed one? Oh, yes, there’s one more essential of every royal court. We mustn’t forget the jester—the man in the silly suit and floppy-horned hat who was given the ominous task of helping the king to forget the 300 men he lost in the day’s battle. Although many things have changed since those days of castles and knights, we still turn, at the end of a hard day, to some buffoonery to buoy our sagging spirits. Enter, Sen. Mike Lee. His recent Senate presentation about the Green New Deal and global warming was a misguided attempt to make other people look stupid. It was obvious that Lee believed himself clever, and that he had practiced his visual-aid-supported talk in front of his home shaving mirror—rehearsing his humble acceptance of the glowing accolades that would surely follow—even envisioning fellow senators and POTUS, giving him congratulatory slaps on the back. He could just hear their words: “Great job, Mike. Why don’t you join us for a drink?” He had perhaps polished his response—a conspicuous, but polite, refusal. “As a fledgling god, I am an abstainer.” Lee’s rehearsals had been perfect. But, oh, the bestlaid plans of mice, men—and nitwits. In a slow-moving,

BY MICHAEL S. ROBINSON SR. deliberate, carefully paced spectacle, Lee started out with the claim that the Green New Deal sought to end air travel. Much in the footsteps of his beloved president, he bent the truth and then sought to substantiate it. His assistant placed posters on an easel, all done on precision cue, that illustrated what he was saying. Even the poor lady mounting the posters fluctuated between expressions of hero worship and nausea. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth going to YouTube. Lee’s presentation included the following: 1. Ronald Reagan, firing his machine gun at the foes of American liberty— complete with a streaming, battle-torn Old Glory—from his perch on a winged dinosaur. 2. A furry white reptilemammal movie creature carrying a passenger over the frozen Arctic tundra. 3. A Hawaiian riding a seahorse from Waikiki to Seattle and 4. A large bovine census chart showing how the implementation of the Green New Deal would make 94 million cattle disappear, leaving us forever hungry for hamburgers, and eliminating the fear that the striking of a match could set a methane-rich world on fire. Lee had addressed the president as he began, mentioning, with a smile, that he might not be able to deliver his rant without breaking into laughter. He smiled a few times, beaming that he was as clever as Stephen Colbert—but he was the only one. No one else thought he was clever or even cute. And, had he been dressed in a jester’s mask and hose, complete with bells on his toes, any self-respecting legitimate king would have sent him directly to the gallows. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime spectacles that everyone wished they’d missed. As a mockery of the extreme weather caused by the global warming trend, Lee also showed a picture of Gov. Gary Herbert heroically fending off the sharks blowing through his office window. (I’m sure every Utahn who witnessed this show was inspired by the guv’s fearlessness.)

And, as all great showmen do, Lee was careful to save the best for last—his own brilliant take on how to save a rapidly warming Earth. He gave a lengthy explanation, asserting that the solution is to be found “in churches, wedding chapels and maternity wards across the country and around the world … falling in love, getting married and having kids.” I consider myself to be of, at least, average intelligence, but it was challenging to follow his logic. He expounded on how higher birth rates can save the planet. Hey, if plentiful babies are the key to a cooler world, perhaps the Chinese should be put in charge. Children certainly are a resource for the future, but Lee didn’t have to act like a 2-year-old in order to make his point. Lee’s global warming diatribe was probably the worst political speech I’ve ever witnessed. Someone remarked afterward, “If Mike Lee can be a senator, anyone can.” Senators on both sides of the aisle lambasted the presentation as a truly pathetic carnival show. Most Americans would rather endure the flatulence of 94 million cows than hear another word of Lee’s unmitigated BS. With the grace of an elephant in a tutu, Lee took a serious subject and turned it into a joke. Frankly, his popularity would probably soar if he simply forsook the podium, sullied his reputation with organized-crime buddies, grabbed a few pussies, and hired some sex workers for the simple joy of a golden shower. That would make Lee truly “presidential.” All I can say is, Mike, why don’t you go out and create a big, juicy scandal for yourself. It would work better than what you’re doing. CW

The author is a former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and one mongrel dog. Send feedback to comments@cityweekly.net


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CITIZEN REV LT IN ONE WEEK, YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

MAY DAY RALLY

Hey, you know what’s going on at the border, don’t you? “We have seen mass deportations, workplace raids by ICE, family separation at the border, detention of children, the attempt to overturn DACA, the longest government shutdown in history and the declaration of a state of emergency to pay for Trump’s monument to racism,” the May Day 2019’s Facebook page says. How do the people respond? There has been resistance through teacher strikes, airport security work stoppage, and of course, the widespread publicity about detention of immigrant children. So on the day often dubbed International Workers Day, you can join those in building the movement for freedom and liberation. Salt Lake City and County Building, 451 S. State, Saturday, May 4, 1-4 p.m., free, bit.ly/2W81c6r.

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VIGIL FOR MISSING INDIGENOUS WOMEN

The epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women has long been a crisis in the shadows. Research shows that native women are more likely to be sexually assaulted, stalked and preyed-upon by non-natives, and in Canada alone, it’s estimated some 4,000 women are unaccounted for. In the United States, tracking the problem has been more difficult, though urban communities report some 500 cases in the past eight years. Now, the Utah Legislature has passed HCR6, which designates May 5 as “Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and LGBT+ Awareness Day.” Join the vigil Healing the Heart—Utah MMIWG2S Day, and wear red to raise awareness. Public Safety Building, 455 S. 300 East, Sunday, May 5, 7-8 p.m., free, bit.ly/2UEaJk8.

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VENT ABOUT GREEN NEW DEAL

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee might think it’s clever to say more babies are the solution to our global environmental issues, but clever doesn’t make it. Come to the ongoing KRCL 90.9 FM, Marmalade Town Hall Series where this week they’ll be talking about the Green New Deal. “These gatherings will generate conversation, improve our community, and make a difference in the lives of all the individuals who call Salt Lake City home,” the event’s Facebook page says. Radioactive@krcl.org is always looking for panelists with expertise to join the discussion. But even if you just want to talk, this is the place. Marmalade Library, 280 W. 500 North, Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m., free, bit.ly/2PDB1C7.

—KATHARINE BIELE Send tips to revolt@cityweekly.net

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HITS&MISSES BY KATHARINE BIELE @kathybiele

People, People, People

Here we go again as Salt Lake County tries to herd the cats. It’s all about 32,000 acres of undeveloped land that, you know, everybody wants to develop their own way. The Deseret News laid out the complicated and terrifying scenario which, if you read between the lines, means messy gridlock, coincidental pollution and sky-high water rates. People. Right now, the county has a population of about 1.2 million. By 2065, 600,000 more are expected to pop up. The cities are none too happy about the idea of townhomes and apartments as we know when Herriman’s and other mayors got their panties in a bunch over an 8,800-unit Olympia Hills development. Now to make matters worse, there are competing and expensive studies. Why bother? We know what they want, we know what they need and we know there’s no middle ground.

10 | MAY 2, 2019

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The Air Among Us

Salt Lake City | kerby@epicpartyevents.com | 801.915.5481

Serving all of Utah!

We come to you!

It’s so sad that Utahns have to rejoice at the smallest and least effective ways of curbing pollution. We’re all about building high-rises to accommodate the masses coming to the state in the next years, but we’re not really addressing what those masses mean to the state. And we don’t mean revenue. The American Lung Association just gave nine Utah counties failing grades for pollution, and Salt Lake City was the 14th worst in the nation. Is it any wonder that aggressive environmentalists stormed a recent inland port board meeting to try to bring home the message—enough pollution! A recent study from the Huntsman Cancer Institute found childhood cancer survivors faced respiratory problems even on moderately healthy air quality days, KSL Channel 5 reported. What does one doc suggest? “I would also encourage them to advocate for cleaner air in Utah.” This is a crisis. Will politicians listen?

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We’re not sure why it was necessary, but Envision Utah conducted a study on statewide teacher pay. It’s not like we didn’t know education was underfunded, but you have to understand the common thinking—“we do more with less”—which keeps state dollars from the school system. This, of course, makes raising salaries a bit of a problem for school districts that have to penny-pinch. So, you have to hand it to the Canyons School District for raising the bar—and maybe starting a bidding war—by paying teachers $50,000, according to a Salt Lake Tribune report. The reason: money. Granite entered the fray with health benefits and $43,500. A Utah Foundation report showed that Utah’s average teacher pay of $47,604 is significantly lower than the national average of $60,483. Dig deep and ask yourself why.

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12 | MAY 2, 2019

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NEWS

DEVELOPMENT

Housing Headaches

Tough questions abound as city tries to balance increased housing and preservation.

H

MAY 2, 2019 | 13

When it comes to the RMF-30 zoning, which mostly includes properties on the eastside and some in Luke’s district, about one-third of the properties fall in a Local Historic District, a distinction Lynn Pershing, education director for local preservation group Keep Yalecrest knows too well.

with three to four times sized homes,” she says. “And they’re all $1-plus million— most of them are $1.2 to $2 million.” In an effort to slow the trend, the preservation advocate has already tried to get the area around her home designated as a Local Historic District, but wasn’t able to collect enough supporting votes. Residents like Pershing can create their own Local Historic District, but must get a certain number of neighborhood buy-in first through signatures and votes of approval from property owners. That recently became harder to do, though. Stop us if you’ve heard this before: After the city established a new process to make Local Historic Districts more available in 2012, the Legislature jumped in with House Bill 223 in 2016. The bill usurped the city’s code and required that 33% of property owners in a designated area have to sign a petition. Additionally, two-thirds of the returned ballots have to vote “yes” for the historic district designation and the yes votes have to represent more than half of property owners. The city’s ordinance required just 15% of property owners agree and only needed a simple majority of the voters participating to vote in favor. Luke says that whether it comes to affordable housing, historic preservation, new zoning, or lately, the inland port, the city and the council are “constantly walking a fine line between what’s in the best interest of Salt Lake City and what the political reality is.” “The state Legislature has a supermajority of Republican control and Salt Lake City is a progressive city,” Luke says. “We need to figure out how to work with the Legislature. Simply suing isn’t a solution … I wish the Legislature would leave us alone, but they don’t, and you see it with the historic districts.” CW

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Preservation Problems

Throughout the area, the scene of homeowners tearing down a one-story bungalow and replacing it with a larger two-story structure is nothing new. Pershing has been tracking those numbers and worries that with a lack of protections in some of the neighborhoods and ideas circulating to revamp zoning codes, “neighborhood cohesion” could be threatened. “One of the big issues with planning and neighborhood design is you don’t destroy neighborhood identity,” Pershing says, pointing to a diagram of various multi-family housing types. “If you put one of these in the middle of a block of single-family housing, that destroys the cohesion of a neighborhood because people in these multi-families, they don’t often integrate into the community—they’re not real neighbors.” Keep Yalecrest makes a distinction between demolitions and tear-downs—a demo includes the house above ground and its basement; a tear-down is just the part of the home above the earth—while the city’s website includes all of them under a “demolition” umbrella. As part of her involvement in Keep Yalecrest, Pershing has tracked demolition numbers from the city. She found that in the 84108 zip code—which runs from Emigration Canyon south to 2100 South and from 1700 East to the foothills—there were 81 demolitions from 2008-2018. Sixty of those instances came in the past five years. Meanwhile, in the 84102 zip code, which stretches from South Temple to 900 South and 500 East to 1400 East, 37 demolitions took place since 2008, 29 of which occurred in the past five years. In Pershing’s opinion, what’s being built in their place, is not something that increases the city’s housing stock. “What’s interesting is they’re tearing down contributing historic homes, but they’re not replacing them with multifamily housing, they’re replacing them

changes were to go through, at least 227 of the residential properties would be eligible to add another unit on the land, creating anywhere from 852 to 1,208 new housing units—“a modest, yet critical, gain to the city’s housing stock,” according to city documents. While the proposal hasn’t made it to the city council yet, District 6 Councilman Charlie Luke says people should view it as a part of a bigger picture. “Is it going to fix all of the affordable housing pieces?” Luke asks. “No, but it’s a piece of that and how we can look at increasing density and looking at affordability tools.” While single-family homeowners might not like to hear it, one problem lies with those types of units. It’s why the city is proposing incentives to add more units to those parcels as well as a historical preservation-motivated bonus that would allow the owner to keep an existing structure if they built another unit on the property. But that might not help much if other city development issues aren’t addressed as well, Luke says. “The reality is our single-family zoned areas have really bad public transit service,” he laments. “If you have very bad public transit service, you’re going to have to have a car and when you have a car, that means you have to have parking … what I don’t want to happen is we end up isolating folks and they’re basically stranded because UTA doesn’t have reliable public transit service to get them to and from work.”

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Zoning Barriers

In June, the city’s planning commission will evaluate proposed zoning changes to the first of its four multi-family residential housing codes (RMF-30). Dwellings in this zone can include duplexes, apartments, townhomes and multiplexes, to name a few. The idea, says Lauren Parisi, a principal planner with the city, is to incentivize the creation of this “missing middle housing.” “One of the city’s goals is to create more housing, but in particular, there are zoning barriers to housing development within our zoning code,” Parisi tells City Weekly. “The lot-area standards, the lot-width standards, large setbacks and things of that nature don’t really accommodate new multi-family development.” By changing these codes, the department thinks it could allow for more housing units on a property with a smaller footprint and “hopefully decrease their cost,” Parisi says, alluding to the vexing affordability crisis. According to city documents, 1,027 parcels of land are zoned RMF-30 (including the famed Hobbitville), 887 of which are residential properties. The rest consists of 35 nonresidential properties, 80 planned developments and 25 vacant lots. If the proposed zoning

“At the end of the day, a goal of our city is to have units that accomodate all walks of life,” Lauren Parisi, a principal planner for SLC, says.

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ousing, it’s all the rage. As detailed in this week’s cover story, from affordability to availability, it’s hard to miss a public official bringing up the H word ’round town. Nearly halfway through the city’s latest fiveyear housing plan, some proposals could alter the makeup of some of Salt Lake City’s long-established neighborhoods. Each day, the state welcomes new residents and last year, the U.S. Census Bureau even went as far as to say the state ranked No. 1 in its population growth rate this decade. That all, of course, raises the age-old question of where do they all live? Many settle in the capital city, leaving residents who are focused on historic preservation or affordability to worry if enough is being done.

RAY HOWZE

BY RAY HOWZE rhowze@cityweekly.net @rayhowze1


14 | MAY 2, 2019

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Aiming for more equitable and affordable housing, local activists push for reform. By Kelan Lyons | comments@cityweekly.net | @kelan_lyons Photos by Ray Howze | @rayhowze1

MAY 2, 2019 | 15

who identifies with “they” and “them” pronouns, mentions all the praying they did when they were homeless in Ogden for three years. Mendoza pleaded with God to not get kicked out of coffee shops; that no one would ask for an ID at local shelters—an undocumented Peruvian immigrant who has since become a Dreamer, Mendoza came to the U.S. at

profit from us just trying to live our life.” The demonstration is a kickoff to a multimonth movement calling for the city to do more to ensure citizens can access affordable housing. Among the demands are an expansion of where SROs can be built, a right to SLC-funded counsel for tenants facing eviction, a citywide inclusionary zoning policy and an end to the practice of ticketing of people who camp in public spaces. The goal, Villegas told City Weekly before the protest, is to push city planners and officials “into more just and equitable strategic planning.” Shortly before everyone relocates to the City and County Building’s third floor for the weekly council meeting, Villegas encourages the crowd to comment on the city changing the SRO ordinance. “Take up the space, make this night one of the longest nights of this year for them,” he says. “Let them know that we are here, and we are only beginning.”

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A handful of people echo Annsa’s fears and tell a crowd roughly four-dozen strong outside the venerable landmark about their own experience with homelessness. They talk about the trauma of not having a place to call home, their struggles with addiction and how they had to navigate homelessness while raising a child. Mariella Mendoza,

age 12—and that no one would hurt them when they slept on the floor of a homeless shelter. “I am telling you my story not because I want you to pity me, but because I want you to remember the next time you see a person without a home, that they did not deserve this path,” Mendoza says. “This is an unjust situation that is happening to the bodies of individuals across this world. This is not fair.” The people listening to Annsa and Mendoza are rallying for “housing justice.” Soon, the protesters and policy professionals will go inside City Hall and urge the City Council to broaden the zoning for single-room occupancy (SRO) units— small, low-cost college dorm-esque rentals people can use to transition out of homelessness. “At the end of the day, housing is a human right,” organizer Cristobal Villegas says into the mic. “People try to make

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mie Annsa stands in the shade of a setting sun and reflects on the year she spent living on the streets. “I’ve been homeless three times while being an adult,” she says from the bottom of the City and County Building’s east steps. She’s been living in an apartment in Murray with her wife and four kids for the past 18 months, but the memory of not knowing where she would sleep every night still haunts her. “I’m still really, really scared every day of being homeless again,” she says. “I just never know if it’s gonna happen again.”

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Home is Where the Hardship Is


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Left: Amie Annsa describes her experiences with homelessness to the crowd gathered outside the City and County Building ahead of a recent City Council meeting regarding single-room occupancy units. Opposite page: Cristobal Villegas encourages protesters to speak up and let the council know they aren’t going away. The goal, he says, is to encourage city leaders to adopt “more just and equitable strategic planning.”

The Fight for Equity

A More Livable City

Salt Lake City is in the throes of a housing crisis. According to a recent study, housing in the capital city is becoming more expensive for poorer families, exacerbating inequality. In the metro area, housing costs have decreased 2% for people who earn more than the national median. For people who earn less, costs have increased by 2%. The poorest quarter of households make 72% less than the median, but their housing costs are just 16% lower than more affluent residents. The city has not ignored this calamity. Enter a five-year plan that acknowledges the systemic problem and lays out a multitude of goals that include reforming city policies to support a high-opportunity housing market, increasing housing options and creating more equity. Since unveiling the plan last year, officials have dedicated money to making homebuying more affordable for certain professionals like teachers and firefighters, and the mayor has incentivized developers to build more affordable units. Villegas says the housing justice and equity campaign broadly endorses the city’s affordable housing plans, but the movement’s aim goes beyond a five-year plan by addressing the institutional causes. “For me, it’s more about the systemic changes,” he says. The goal, he adds, is to reform the system so it no longer prioritizes profits over people. In other words, to ensure the city grows in a responsible and equitable fashion. “We as a community need to make sure we have the infrastructure to respond to different injustices before we become like cities like Seattle, Portland.” Annsa moved to Utah from Portland. Oregon’s hipster haven priced her out of her home. Eventually, so did Utah’s. “Housing justice: It’s this idea that people should be able to live in comfortable, safe housing, no matter their background or their income,” Annsa says. “It comes down to dignity. And I don’t always feel like I’m able to feel dignified in my life.” The campaign’s ultimate goal, Mendoza says, is to widen the conversation about housing in Salt Lake City, and what it means to attain housing justice. “I want people to question, ‘Why should we settle for just housing affordability?’” they say. “Why shouldn’t we continue pushing for equitable housing for everybody?” Central to the campaign is the idea that housing is a human right, an indispensable part of life—just as essential as breathing air or drinking water. “A 3-year old could understand housing justice,” Mendoza says. “Who deserves to live on the street? Absolutely no one.” Having a place to live is foundational to all aspects of life, Nicholas Jackson, a staff attorney for the Disability Law Center, says. “It controls who you know, it controls who is available for a role model, what schools are nearby, what hospitals are nearby, green space and environmental hazards,” he says. “I can’t think of something that is as fundamental, other than housing, toward broader social equity.”

The demonstration at the council meeting was the campaign’s first step. In the coming months, Villegas says, there will be community building events, more demonstrations and attempts to drive conversations in the upcoming council and mayoral elections. The advocacy started with the end-of-April City Council meeting because officials were holding a public hearing on an ordinance that would allow SROs in more zoning districts throughout the city. Currently, SROs are only allowed along transit corridors like North Temple and 400 South. According to a city staff report on SRO text amendments, there are only 50 SRO rooms in Salt Lake City, all of which are in 300 South’s Rio Grande Hotel. The proposed ordinance would give the homeless a better chance of escaping poverty, Utah Housing Coalition Policy Director June Hiatt says. By putting SROs in prosperous neighborhoods like Sugar House, the formerly homeless will be able to live in mixed-income neighborhoods, which research suggests gives the poor the highest likelihood of staying out of poverty long term. Existing SRO zones, she notes, correspond to historically segregated parts of the city. By allowing the humble dwellings to be built in more neighborhoods, Hiatt says officials will start the process of undoing years of decisions that have kept poverty concentrated. “We have to make really hard political decisions to undo it or we’re going to see these economic injustices perpetuate year after year after decade,” she says. Tangential to the proliferation of SROs is the campaign’s push for an inclusionary zoning ordinance—which is also mentioned in the city’s five-year plan—that would require developers building multi-family housing to designate some of those units as “affordable.” A common setaside, Hiatt says, is making 20% of the units affordable. “Inclusionary zoning, SROs,” Hiatt says, “those are all methods that cities can use to increase the number of affordable units they can get on the ground.” Not everyone is in favor of the measures. Paul Smith, the executive director of the Utah Apartment Association, calls inclusionary zoning a tax because developers would have to either eat the cost associated with discounting market-rate units, or pass it along to renters who pay full price. “Somebody has to pay more or make less to set aside affordable housing units,” he says, predicting that such an ordinance would “hurt someone. It’s not just a well-intentioned policy that doesn’t have unintended consequences on people.” Smith says he has no qualms if inclusionary zoning were used as an incentive—if, as a condition of building additional units, developers were told they needed to designate some of them as affordable—but he’s leery of it being used to force developers to do something they otherwise wouldn’t do. “Incentives are helpful, and I think good public policy,” Smith says. “What’s bad public policy is the old Robin Hood: Take from the rich and give to the poor.” Housing costs go up for everyone when cities employ the fabled approach, Smith warns. “When government meddles in the market,” he says, “there are consequences.”


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MAY 2, 2019 | 17

Another housing justice and equity campaign tentacle involves a reforming of local judicial and justice systems. Utah Legal Services’ Managing Attorney Marty Blaustein says the odds of someone avoiding an eviction are much greater if they have an attorney. Landlords have lawyers who routinely argue in front of the same judges. Unlike most tenants, they know the law, which puts them in a more favorable position. “Without counsel, I suspect you’re going to lose,” Blaustein says matter-of-factly. “That’s just the way it is. You’re not going to do well.” The stakes are high. Those evicted are branded with a scarlet letter that makes it harder for them to secure housing. And in Utah, if a tenant loses their case, they’re on the hook for hefty fines, not to mention their landlord’s attorney fees and court costs. If the housing justice campaign gets its way, the city will provide counsel to people who need to appear in court. “It does give the tenant, perhaps in an eviction sense, perhaps additional time to work out a deal,” Blaustein says. “If you’re gonna lose your home, you should also have a right to have counsel.” The Utah Apartment Association’s Smith suggests this demand is somewhat moot. “I think tenants have the right to counsel already,” he says. “They just don’t have the right to free counsel.” Smith says he’s not entirely against the city using taxpayer money to pay for attorneys in eviction proceedings. “What I do oppose is delaying tactics,” he says. Property owners are losing money every day as they wait for a judge to rule whether an eviction is justified, Smith says. Lawyers frequently roam the halls on days dedicated to “possession hearings,” legal parlance for the times of the week that judges conduct hearings on evictions. Oftentimes, Smith says, tenants are trying to stall. “They want to live there three more weeks without paying rent.” The other demand from the campaign’s legal arm is ending the ticketing of people for camping in public spaces. “We’re talking about abolishing or getting rid of that city code,” Villegas says. “That’s one way to decriminalize homelessness.” There’s a reason cops ticket people for camping, Salt Lake City Police Detective Greg Wilking says. It’s a public health nuisance that can affect businesses by making shoppers uncomfortable and wary of stepping into that store. “I mean, I don’t want someone camping on my front lawn and pooping in my front yard,” he says. “The accumulation of garbage and the feces and the urination and the drug paraphernalia and the litter, that all adds up and causes people to be put off by their being there.” Still, Wilking says the ticketing isn’t intended to be punitive. It’s meant to change behavior. If someone racks up a dozen tickets, it sends a message to the judge that the person keeps coming into contact with law enforcement, placing a burden on the community. “Maybe we need to look at a different way of treating this problem,” the detective says, suggesting diverting them to a substance abuse program or mental health court.

Standing in the ornate City Council chambers below gold chandeliers and lamps, Villegas tells the elected officials he’ll be speaking for four minutes, not the allotted two, because someone at a previous council meeting had been given that luxury. “It really hurts that every time we go through downtown, there are individuals sleeping out there,” he says, his voice calm and measured despite the sobering, emotional topic. “I feel guilty because I have a roof over my head.” He launches into a diatribe about a $7 million loan the city is giving developers so they can build a hotel on Rio Grande Street, the site of the notorious local and state tag-team operation aimed at cleaning up the neighborhood and slashing its crime rate. “Time,” the city officials tell him, gently trying to nudge Villegas from the lectern. It doesn’t work. Villegas tells the council members he passed out informational fliers, noting that “we mean business” as he talks over the elected officials telling him to yield the floor. In a show of support, Villegas’ peers snap their fingers as he makes his points. “We will be coming back again and again and again,” Villegas vows just before he walks back to his seat. More than 30 people wind up registering their thoughts on SROs that night. Many give impassioned pleas for expanding the city’s affordable housing options, but some exhibit the predictable “not-in-my-back-yard” attitude common to well-off people wary of the homeless moving into their neighborhood. One city resident calls SROs “crime magnets.” A woman says other cities should step in to fill the affordable housing void. Eventually, Mendoza steps up to the mic. “You talk about us like we are a burden, and that’s disgusting to me. I don’t think that my people are a burden. I don’t think that my people even asked for this,” they say. Homelessness, Mendoza continues, is a condition that is imposed on individuals in a capitalist society. It’s forced on people just like poverty and displacement. “Now I know that might sound like a rant you might hear on Facebook, but I am here, in front of you, telling you this from my own experience,” Mendoza says. “I did not deserve to live on the streets, and neither do you.” Mendoza wraps up shortly after the buzzer sounds, indicating it’s time for them to yield. “I hope you take this with you,” Mendoza says. “We’re here. You can’t get rid of us.” After everyone speaks, Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall successfully proposes to close the SRO discussion and take action on the proposed ordinance in May. “I love the passion that you bring to equity, and housing in this city, to geographic equity in access to housing, and also to the elimination of the concentration of poverty that is systemic, that is historic, it continues in many regards,” Mendenhall tells the contingent. She adds that, “this is the least timid council in Salt Lake City’s history when it comes to affordable housing,” mentioning the more than $21 million they’ve allocated to address the crisis and the Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance they approved last October. “I think what you’re bringing to the conversation is really relevant,” Mendenhall tells the group. “I don’t think it’s falling on deaf ears.”

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A Legal Wishlist

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Here to Stay


Mariella Mendoza, left

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Belonging

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“Maybe there’s something the court can do to help this individual.” The citation is technically a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $750 fine and 90 days in jail. But Wilking says the punishment is typically at the lower end of the spectrum. “I have never in my career heard of an offender getting anywhere near to that, if they’re a person that is homeless,” he says, summing up his nearly 13 years on the Salt Lake City force. Ticketing is a relatively rare occurrence anyway, Wilking adds. More often, police informally tell campers they have to relocate. “That kind of shooing along is a constant, and it’s been there for as long as I can remember,” he says. “It takes a lot of effort to get cited by our officers.” Regardless of how often cops fine campers, Villegas says changing the city code could be a symbolic gesture that humanizes homeless people. “The problem isn’t with crime, it’s that we criminalize people,” he says. “The behavior is one thing, but existing and criminalizing an existence, that’s what ticketing people experiencing homelessness is.”

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Mendoza secured housing six years ago. They currently rent an apartment in Salt Lake City. The 29-year-old is taking classes at Salt Lake Community College, hoping to earn a degree in art, and works as an illustrator and at a fast-food restaurant to pay the bills. Mendoza isn’t just a housing advocate. They’re also an immigration and climate justice activist. The social justice demonstrator says those fights are all interconnected. “In order to really rescue a community, you need a more thorough plan, and you need to look at the intersection of not just the oppressors, but also the oppressed,” Mendoza says. “All of these powers are working together.” Those issues also exacerbate homelessness. It’s hard enough navigating the world as a queer person of color, Mendoza says. But dealing with that stress while also being homeless? “It’s devastating.” By fighting for social justice across multiple fronts, Mendoza has stayed busy since procuring a place, but they’ve also had to find ways to process the three years spent sleeping in shelters, on bus benches and in parks. “Since securing housing, I feel like all of my trauma has started catching up with me,” Mendoza says, explaining how things they tried to forget have begun to reemerge. “Home” is a confusing, alien concept that they’re still trying to define, though having a roof over one’s head makes it easier to recover. “The process of healing for a formerly houseless person cannot begin until they have a home,” Mendoza says. “Once it starts, it’s like a ripple effect. It transforms you.” Mendoza’s life is more stable than it once was. But the feeling of living on the streets still lingers. “Sometimes I wonder if the reason why I continue to find myself in unsafe situations is because I don’t know stability now,” they say. “And I have to be in unsafe situations in order to feel at home.” Mendoza was 19 when they first became homeless. Every month, Mendoza and a friend from the shelter would go to Ogden’s First Friday Art Stroll. They’d dress up, gawk at art, drink wine and eat cheese, pretending they were just like everyone else—like they had a home to go back to. When strangers asked where they were going after the navel-gazing, they’d tell them they were going back to their place. “Then we’d run back to the shelter like we were about to turn into a pumpkin,” Mendoza recalls, looking back on the frantic rush to get back to the shelter before it closed its doors for the night. Those simple evenings were a refuge from the desolateness that pierced Mendoza’s waking thoughts. “When you’re homeless, you treasure everything more; you hold things closer to your heart,” Mendoza says, adding that the cloak-and-dagger outings made them feel more alive than ever. “In that moment we weren’t homeless. We weren’t broken. We weren’t dirty. We were perfect,” Mendoza says. “We were part of society, and that’s something so dear.” CW


If an opera company’s usual venue is closed for renovations, one approach would be to simply end the season and tell everybody to come back after the renovations are completed. Or, you could take the show on the road and try something different. In this “when life gives you lemons…” scenario, Utah Opera chose the latter option. While the Capitol Theatre is under scaffolding, Utah Opera moves a couple of blocks north and takes over Abravanel Hall for a “semi-staged” concert version of Bellini’s Norma, with the Utah Symphony providing the accompaniment. Despite not having a full stage or sets, many of the usual pieces of the puzzle that make opera a thrilling visual spectacle are still present. Fashion designer Bradon McDonald, a former finalist on Project Runway, worked with the company’s production team to create a variety of costumes, including a show-stopping gown for the lead character. Behind McDonald’s couture pieces are image and video projections by Greg Emetaz that evoke the setting of the ancient city of Gaul. Marjorie Owens makes her Utah Opera debut in the title role, generally considered to be one of the most difficult roles for a soprano. All-time greats like Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland have tackled it, and Owens is excited for her turn. “One thing I love about this character is that she’s the one in charge of her own life,” Owens says. “She’s not a victim of circumstance.” And neither is Utah Opera in turning a difficult circumstance into an interesting opportunity. (Geoff Griffin) Utah Opera: Norma @ Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 801-355-2787, May 4, 7:30 p.m.; May 6, 7 p.m., $15-$108, utahopera.org

MAY 2, 2019 | 19

Technically speaking, Napoleon Dynamite is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its release. But the story of this oddball comedy actually begins with a 9-minute short called Peluca, which premiered at the 2003 Slamdance Film Festival and first introduced audiences to a curly-haired character played by Jon Heder—originally named Seth. “The first footage I saw was this super-grainy black-and-white,” says Jeremy Coon, a BYU classmate of director Jared Hess who served as editor on Peluca and Napoleon Dynamite. “My first reaction was confused, but after screening [Peluca], it was obvious audiences really responded to Jon and that character.” They responded strongly enough to inspire the feature, which emerged from the 2004 Sundance Film Festival to become a surprise hit. Utah Film Center’s anniversary celebration presents a screening followed by a Q&A reuniting Hess, Coon and cast members Heder, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Jon Gries and Aaron Ruell. It was no sure thing that the quirky comedy about a misfit Idaho high-school student would become a “Vote for Pedro” T-shirt-inspiring popculture phenomenon. But Coon recalls knowing that they were on to something at Napoleon’s first Sundance screening, during the climactic scene of Napoleon’s dance performance at a school assembly. “I was super nervous,” Coon says. “Those are all Jon’s moves, but it’s not like we had a choreographed dance. But when it played, then the crowd in the movie cheers, then the people in the theater are cheering as well, Jared turned around to me and said, ‘Dude, we got it.’” (Scott Renshaw) Napoleon Dynamite: 15th Anniversary @ East High School, 840 S. 1300 East, May 3, 5:30 p.m. VIP photo ops, 7:30 p.m. film screening, 9 p.m. Q&A, $50-$150, utahfilmcenter.org

SATURAY 5/4

Utah Opera: Norma

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People and politics are a combustible combination, often forcing those involved to take stock of the unforeseen costs and their own guarded reputations. In Pygmalion Productions’ world premiere of Sweetheart Come—written by Utah playwright Melissa Leilani Larson, a semifinalist at the 2016 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference—central character Emma Hauck finds her husband’s political ambitions lead to unsettling consequences for their marriage. Seeking a solution, she puts pencil to paper and forms a friendship with one of the couple’s newly hired domestic servants, then becomes increasingly entangled in a new web of reality as marriage, stability and despair become intertwined. “Sweetheart Come plays with expectations, and keeps making me think about what I am seeing,” director Mark Fossen says via email. “Pygmalion Productions creates performances that share the human experience through the eyes of women. Melissa has crafted a roller coaster of a play, where a woman’s complex experience is centered—but not defined—by her relationships with men.” It’s a fascinating character study, all the more insightful given the actual challenges that often befall the families of those who run for office. Problems and pitfalls loom as the candidacy takes its toll. “This play is the full package I look for,” Fossen adds. “Exciting, surprising, funny, visually fascinating, and ultimately a show that will prompt long conversations between you and the friends you see it with.” (Lee Zimmerman) Pygmalion Theatre Co.: Sweetheart Come @ Rose Wagner Black Box Theatre, 138 W. 300 South, May 3-18, Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays & May 18, 2 p.m., $15-$20, artsaltlake.org

Napoleon Dynamite: 15th Anniversary Celebration

FRIDAY 5/3

Pygmalion Theatre Co.: Sweetheart Come

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The Soldier Hollow Bike Festival invites riders of any skill level and age to compete in time trial, track, cross-country and marathon races. Racers must register in advance, although only Union Cycliste Internationale racers must qualify for the competition. Summit Bike Club Executive Director M.J. Turner calls the event “one of the top ranked races in North America.” Spectators attend for free, and vendors such as Cannondale and Kodiak Cakes exhibit products and allow attendees to test and buy gear. The event kicks off on Thursday with professional and amateur time trials throughout the day. During the evening, make your way to the Wasatch Trails Foundation Extravaganza and meet those responsible for building and sustaining Heber Valley’s trail system. The short track races on day two test cyclists’ sprint and strategy capabilities. Next, competitors navigate difficult terrain for the cross-country event. USA Cycling CEO Rob Demartini speaks at a May 4 banquet. And the festival’s first-ever marathon will be run on the final day, May 5. The Soldier Hollow venue, home to the Nordic events of the 2002 Olympics, features views of green, rolling hills set against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. Those arriving from out of town—or wanting to set up shop close to the festivities—can visit the website for hotel bookings and campground reservations. Event planners also urge community members to sign up to volunteer. (Colby Russo) Soldier Hollow Bike Festival @ Soldier Hollow, 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway, May 2, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; May 3, 11 a.m.7:30 p.m.; May 4, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; May 5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., $25-$310 registration; free for spectators, sohobikefest.com

FRIDAY 5/3

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Soldier Hollow Bike Festival

KATHLEEN SYKES

ROBERT HOLMAN

KENNY WEHN

THURSDAY 5/2

ENTERTAINMENT PICKS, MAY 2-8, 2019

Complete listings online at cityweekly.net

FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES

ESSENTIALS

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THEATER

Working on the Railroad

One simple tune evolves into the tale of Chinese railroad workers in Gold Mountain. BY SCOTT RENSHAW scottr@cityweekly.net @scottrenshaw

Rockwell Collins, Inc., manufacturer of avionics parts & systems in Salt Lake City, UT seeks Software Engineer for developing and documenting component and moderate changes to software requirements documentation, applying knowledge of processes; among other duties. Min. BS + 24 mos. exp. Apply to: resumeprocessing@ rockwellcollins.com Ref. #2049863

he story of Chinese immigrants building America’s railroads offers complex material about assimilation, exploitation and the quest of America’s newcomers to find a better life. You might expect that telling such a story would begin with a burning desire to explore this particular historical moment. For Jason Ma, it started with a tune. Gold Mountain—Ma’s musical production set during the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1866, focusing on a romance between a railroad worker named Lit and a brothel worker named Mei—comes to Utah from New York, co-produced by Spike 150 as part of the sesquicentennial of the driving of the Golden Spike connecting the transcontinental railroad lines in Promontory, Utah. Yet it originated when Ma was working as an actor in a production of Miss Saigon, with a snippet of an original song that started to turn around in his head. “I hadn’t really been writing,” Ma recalls. “But this interesting little lyric and melody fragment wouldn’t really leave me alone. It seemed to be about California, the mountains, and how they don’t look like the mountains back home in China. Basically, that weird manifestation of a song took me on a journey that summer.” What Ma didn’t initially know, however, was who the characters in that song—which became Gold Mountain’s “Your Eyes”— were, or what their story was. While he felt that they weren’t in modern-day America, the rest wasn’t clear until he started doing research into the Chinese railroad workers of the 1800s. “I don’t remember this being taught in history class,” Ma says. “I don’t think I found out about this piece of history until after I graduated from college. So I made a couple of trips to the library, … and found out about the Summit Tunnel, and how they drilled through during that winter. That was sort of the perfect two years during construction, and it seemed like the perfect place for these two people to express their agency.” Gold Mountain marks Ma’s first fulllength musical, but his experience as an actor told him how much stories like this one are needed. “As time passes, as an AsianAmerican performer, we come to realize that our opportunities have been quite limited,” Ma says. “Especially in the musi-

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A&E

cal theater canon, our Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt as Lit and Mei in the representation is very 2017 New York staging of Gold Mountain limited. But one of the things that has startdevastation reaching out for a connection. ed to happen is that people are writing their So it becomes universal very quickly. If you own stories. Instead of depending on Rodgwrite the right kind of characters, the rest ers and Hammerstein or Miss Saigon to tell is trappings.” our stories for us, there’s been this wave of That sense of universality, Ma believes, Asian American writers who have decided extends beyond the romantic story to Gold it’s time to take back our own narratives Mountain as just one representation of a and maybe fill in some of the gaps in stories broader immigrant experience in America. we’ve been telling over and over again. At a moment in the nation’s history where “Also,” he says with a laugh, “it’s just immigrants are particularly scapegoated, easier as you get older to sit down and write there’s value in understanding what morather than pounding the pavement going tivates people to come here, often risking to auditions.” their lives in the process. Part of what Ma realizes is that, as long “What I love about the timing of Spike as there are still relatively few stories fo150 and this musical is that we get to celcusing on the Asian American experience, ebrate the fact that the country was built there’s a certain pressure placed on new by immigrants in many different ways,” Ma stories when they do appear. He acknowlsays. “This is just one way that immigrants edges that he felt that sense of responsiparticipated in the literal building of our bility in creating Gold Mountain, the same country. It was so dangerous, and many of way other non-white actors sometimes feel them, if they didn’t literally sacrifice their pressure when creating roles that aren’t lives, they gave a lot for this to happen. Peowritten specifically about Asia or Asian ple from distressed circumstances come American culture. “Every time we walk here to survive, then somehow fold theminto an audition, you feel this pressure,” selves into the fabric of the country. It’s a Ma says: “If I screw this up, I screw it up for cycle that happens over and over again. I everyone. I read some of the press for Crazy wish we could just remember that.” CW Rich Asians, where every actor, everyone involved felt that pressure: If this tanks, GOLD MOUNTAIN it could be another 15 or 20 years before Regent Street Black Box someone takes a chance on us again.” 144 S. Regent St. The audience response to New York performances of Gold Mountain suggests it’s May 8-9, 8 p.m., sold out at press time not only Asian Americans who find this Peery’s Egyptian Theater tale satisfying. “Who doesn’t like a good 2415 S. Washington Blvd., Ogden young love story—especially one with high May 10, 7:30 p.m.; May 11, 2 p.m. stakes,” Ma says. “This isn’t two suburban $15-$20 kids falling in love in high school; it’s two people coming from the worst economic goldmountainthemusical.com


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Modern West Fine Art celebrates the grand opening of its new location (412 S. 700 West, modernwestfineart.com) with a group show, New West, of 30 artists, including Fidalis Buehler (“Wolf and Plants Seated at the Caution Table” is pictured), through June 15.

PERFORMANCE THEATER

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 South, Ogden, through June 1, Mondays, Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., terraceplayhouse.com A Lad ’n’ His Magic Lamp The Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, through June 1, Mondays & Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m., theobt.org Aida Scera, 745 S. State, Orem, through May 4, scera.org Aladdin Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, through May 12, artsaltlake.org The Children Good Company Theatre, 260 25th St., Ogden, through May 12, goodcotheatre.com The Dance and the Railroad Salt Lake Acting Co., 168 W. 500 North, May 6-7, 7 p.m., saltlakeactingcompany.org Enter the Hex The Hive Collaborative, 591 S. 300 West, Provo, through May 11, Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., thehivecollaborative.com Freezin’: Let It Go Already! Desert Star Theater, 4861 S. State, Murray, through June 8, desertstar.biz Glorious! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center

St., Provo, through May 25, provo.org Gold Mountain Regent Street Black Box, 144 S. Regent St., May 8-9, 8 p.m.; Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 S. Washington Blvd., Ogden, May 10, 7:30 p.m.; May 11, 2 p.m., goldmountainthemusical.com (see p. 20) King Lear Wasatch Theatre Co. Black Box, 124 S. Van Buren Ave., through May 4, newworldshakespeare.com Lighting Up Taiwan Puppet Theatre: Nan Xia, The Tramping Tiger Hillcrest Junior High School, 178 E. 5300 South, Murray, May 8, 7 p.m., brownpapertickets.com Matilda Hale Centre Theatre, 9900 S. Monroe St., Sandy, through June 15, hct.org Pan Asian Repertory Theatre: Citizen Wong Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave., Ogden, May 7, 6:30 p.m.; Noorda Center, UVU, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem, May 8, 7 p.m., citizenwong.com Park City Follies Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main, Park City, through May 5, parkcityshows.com The Rapture Happens at Midnight An Other Theatre Co., 1200 S. Towne Centre Blvd., Provo, Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., through May 4, anothertheatercompany.com Shen Yun Browning Center, 3950 W. Campus Drive, Ogden, May 2, 7:30 p.m.; May 3, 1:30 p.m., shenyun.com Silent Dancer Salt Lake Acting Co., 168 W. 500 North, through May 12, saltlakeactingcompany.org Singin’ in the Rain The Ziegfeld Theater, 3934 S. Washington Boulevard, Ogden, through May 18, theziegfeldtheater.com Steel Magnolias Hale Centre Theatre, 9900 S. Monroe St., Sandy, through June 1, hct.org Sweetheart Come Rose Wagner Center, 962 S. 425 East, May 3-18, artsaltlake.org (see p. 19) Tuck Everlasting Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, through May 30, haletheater.org Utah Opera: Norma Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, May 4, 7:30 p.m.; May 6, 7 p.m., utahopera.org (see p. 19)

DANCE

Aarambh: An Evening of Kathak Dance Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, May 4, 6:30 p.m., artsaltlake.org Dust. Breath. Place Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, May 2-4, 7:30 p.m., artsaltlake.org

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Alexander Kobrin Jeanne Wagner Theatre, 138 W. 300 South, May 3, 7:30 p.m., artsaltlake.org America’s Railroad: A Choral Concert State Capitol, 350 N. State, May 8, noon, spike150.org Good News! The Salt Lake Children’s Choir Spring Concert St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 1929 S. 2300 East, May 3-4, 7:30 p.m., childrensing.org Piano Area Monster Concert Libby Gardner Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, May 4, 7:30 p.m., tickets.utah.edu Matt Weissman Alpine Church, 254 W. 2675 North, Layton, May 3, 7 p.m., davisarts.org Té Azul Quartet Cathedral of the Madeleine, 331 E. South Temple, May 5, 8 p.m., utcotm.org Utah Chamber Artists: Everyday Sounds Libby Gardner Hall, 1375 E. Presidents Circle, May 6, 7:30 p.m., utahchamberartists.org

COMEDY & IMPROV

All-Women Comedy Show for Planned Parenthood Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, May 7, 7:30 p.m., crowdsourcedlive.com


Cory Michaelis Wiseguys Ogden, 269 25th St., May 3, 8 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com Greg Hahn Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, May 2, 7:30 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com Jason Mewes Wiseguys West Jordan, 3763 W. Center Park Drive, May 2, 7 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com Laughing Stock Improv Comedy The Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, Fridays & Saturdays, 10 p.m., theobt.org Open Mic Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, Wednesdays, 7 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com Random Tangent Improv Comedy Draper Historic Theatre, 12366 S. 900 East, Saturdays, 10 p.m., randomtangentimprov.org Rick Gutierrez Wiseguys West Jordan, 3763 W. Center Park Drive, May 3-4, 8 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com Trae Crowder Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, May 3-4, 7 & 9:30 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com

LITERATURE AUTHOR APPEARANCES

1 to 5 Club: Coffee Night Jitterbug Coffee Hop, 855 S. 700 East, second Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m., utahpridecenter.org 1 to 5 Club: Game Night Utah Pride Center, 1380 S. Main, first Mondays, 7:30-9:30 p.m., utahpridecenter.org Cinco de Mayo Celebration The Sun Trapp, 102 S. 600 West, May 5, 1 p.m.-midnight, thesuntrapp.com Kentucky Derby Watch Party The Sun Trapp, 102 S. 600 West, May 4, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., thesuntrapp.com Men’s Sack Lunch Group Utah Pride Center, 1380 S. Main, Wednesdays, 12-1:30 p.m., utahpridecenter.org Soju w/ Bianca Stephens, Aphrodeity, Terra Flesh, The Whore of ‘94, Agony Ray, Silver Vom Blosh Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, May 3, 9 p.m., metromusichall.com TransAction Weekly Meeting Utah Pride Center, 1380 S. Main, Sundays, 2-3:30 p.m., utahpridecenter.org

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TALKS & LECTURES

After #MeToo: A New Frontier Dorsey & Whitney, 111 S. Main, May 2, 6:30 p.m., utahwomensgivingcircle.com Dr. Barry McCarron: Irish Workers on the Transcontinental Railroad Rio Grande Depot, 300 S. Rio Grande St., May 7, 5:30 p.m., irishinutah.org Field Work: Aligning Poetry & ScienceMain Library, 210 E. 400 South, May 2, 6:30-9 p.m., slcpl.org Gordon H. Chang: Working on the Railroad Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, May 8, 7 p.m., umfa.utah.edu

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LGBTQ

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Cassy Joy Garcia in Conversation w/ Lexi Kornbloom Davidson & Juli Bauer: Cook Once, Eat all Week Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square, May 4, 2 p.m., wellerbookworks.com Gerald Elias: The Legend of William Grandstaff Urban Arts Gallery, 116 S. Rio Grande Street, May 2, 7:30 p.m., urbanartsgallery.org Ken Baker: How to Care for Your T-Rex Provo City Library, 550 N. University Ave., May 7, 7 p.m., kingsenglish.com Paula Longhurst: A Robust Revenge The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, May 8, 7 p.m., kingsenglish.com Shelf Queens Author Panel The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, May 2, 7 p.m., kingsenglish.com Sona Schmidt-Harris: Schpilker the Terrier Puppy The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, May 4, 2 p.m., kingsenglish.com

SPECIAL EVENTS

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moreESSENTIALS Infamous Ogden: Railroad Edition w/ Sarah Singh Alleged, 201 25th St., Ogden, May 3, 7 p.m., alleged25th.com

FESTIVALS & FAIRS

Beehive Bazaar: Handmade Art and Craft Fair The Bright Building, 33 W. 400 South, Provo, May 2-3 & 9-10, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; May 4 & 11, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., beehivebazaar.com Chithirai Thiruvizha Spring Festival LDS River Ridge Stake Center, 10168 S. 1000 West, South Jordan, May 4, 4:30-9 p.m., evite.me/Hd8u9UUzsr Dirt2Table Celebration of Spring and Community Plant Sale Northwest Community Center, 1255 W. 300 North, May 4, 10 a.m.2 p.m., dirt2table.org Golden Spike Sesquicentennial Horse Parade Main Street, Brigham City, May 4, 1-2 p.m., boxelderchamber.com Junior League of Salt Lake City: Kentucky Derby Party The Officers’ Club, University of Utah, 150 S. Fort Douglas Blvd., May 4, 2-5:30 p.m., jlslc.org The Leonardo da Vinci Days The Leonardo, 209 E. 500 South, May 3-5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., theleonardo.org May the 4th Star Wars Celebration Selected City Library Branches, May 4, 12-8 p.m., slcpl.org Soldier Hollow Bike Festival Soldier Hollow, 2002 Olympic Drive, Midvale, May 3-5, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., sohobikefest.com (see p. 19) Tulip Festival Thanksgiving Point, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, through May 4, thanksgivingpoint.org Tour de Brewtah The Gateway, 90 S. 400 West, May 4, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., tourdebrewtah.com Utah Latin Dance Festival DoubleTree by Hilton, 1800 Park Ave., Park City, May 3-5, 10 a.m.-midnight, utahlatindancefestival.com

CINCO DE MAYO

Cinco de Mayo Midvale City Park, 425 6th Ave., Midvale, May 3, 6-9 p.m.; May 4, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., midvalecincodemayo.net Cinco de Mayo Celebration The Family Place, 1525 N. 200 West, Logan, May 4, 4-8 p.m., thefamilyplaceutah.org

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Cinco de Mayo with WestSide Dance Sugar Space Arts Warehouse, 132 S. 800 West, May 5, noon-6 p.m., westsidedanceutah.org Telemundo Utah: Festival Cinco de Mayo Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main, May 4, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., thegallivancenter.com

VISUAL ART GALLERIES & MUSEUMS

All Set for the West: Railroads and the National Parks Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, through June 26, culturalcelebration.org Along the Line: Contemporary Explorations of the Transcontinental Railroad Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, through June 26, culturalcelebration.org Beauty, Brawn, Commerce & Travel: Photography of U.S. Railroads Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, through June 26, culturalcelebration.org Bill Reed: Emotionscapes Local Colors of Utah Gallery, 1054 E. 2100 South, through May 14, localcolorsart.com Bonnie Susec & Susan Beck: Landscapes Calm and Desperate Alice Gallery, 617 E. South Temple, through May 3, artsandmuseums.utah.gov Celebrate Utah! Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, through June 26, culturalcelebration.org Claire Taylor: Transcendence by Observation UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through May 25, utahmoca.org David LeCheminant: Icons Finch Lane Gallery, 54 S. Finch Lane, through June 7, saltlakearts.org Erika Cespedes: Unborn Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, through May 16, slcpl.org Following in the Footprints of Chinese Railroad Workers Marriott Library, 295 S. 1500 East, through Sept. 27, goldenspike150.org Heidi Jensen: Sit Comfortably in a Darkened Room and Think of Nothing UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through May 4, utahmoca.org Horacio Rodriguez: Un(Invited) Collaborations with My Ancestors Finch Lane Gallery, 54 S. Finch Lane, through June 7, saltlakearts.org

Intermountain Healthcare Art Therapy Young Artists: See Me UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through June 1, utahmoca.org Karen Millar Kendall: A Collective Tapestry Downtown Artist Collective, 258 E. 100 South, through May 19, downtownartistcollective.org Leekyung Kang: Almost Real Sugar Space Art Warehouse, 132 S. 800 West, through May 15, facebook.com/sugarspaceslc Lenka Clayton: Under These Conditions UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through May 11, utahmoca.org Michael Cooper & Terry Southern: Chicago 1968: The Whole World is Watching Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, through June 14, slcpl.org Mike Simi: Gettin’ By UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through May 11, utahmoca.org Move Over, Sir! Women Working on the Railroad Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, West Valley City, through June 26, culturalcelebration.org New West Modern West Fine Art, 412 S. 700 West, through June 8, modernwestfineart.com (see p. 22) Parker Jones: From My Seat in the Dirt Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Ave., Park City, through June 2, kimballartcenter.org Richard Gate: Anthology Granary Arts, 86 N. Main, Ephraim, through May 10, granaryarts.org The Race to Promontory Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, through May 26, umfa.utah.edu Shady Acres UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through May 25, utahmoca.org Sharon Alderman, Patricia Kimball & Jean Arnold Phillips Gallery, 444 E. 200 South, through May 10, phillips-gallery.com Star Wars/Heroes and Villains Urban Arts Gallery, 116 S. Rio Grande St., through June 2, urbanartsgallery.org Tatiana Varela: Batik Art Red Butte Garden, 300 S. Wakara Way, through May 26, redbuttegarden.org Tracing the Path State Capitol, 350 N. State, through June 26, goldenspike150.org Transcontinental: People, Place, Impact Rio Gallery, 300 S. Rio Grande, through June 16, artsandmuseums.utah.gov Treasures of the Transcontinental Railroad State Capitol, 350 N. State, through June 26, goldenspike150.org


ENRIQUE LIMÓN

BY ALEX SPRINGER comments@cityweekly.net @captainspringer

T

AT A GLANCE

Open: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Best bet: The zucchini blossom tacos Can’t miss: The mole negro chicken

MAY 2, 2019 | 25

cha libre. I’ve visited Taco Taco several times, but the way the place looks on the inside never ceases to impress. As it gets warmer, diners can take their meals al fresco on the patio and enjoy some prime peoplewatching near the corner of Second East and Fifth South. I’ve tried everything on the menu at least once, so on my

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Creating such a grand atmosphere can 100% be credited to the restaurant’s design scheme. Once you walk in, the exposed brick, strings of hanging lights, Mexican flags and overlapping wooden crucifixes have the uncanny ability to zap you to a Mexico City street corner—presumably outside Arena México, the cathedral of lu-

he Mexican pro-wrestling tradition of lucha libre has been a source of inspiration and mystique since it started to gain popularity in the mid-1900s. It’s one of Mexico’s most well-known forms of entertainment, and the lucha libre aesthetic—colorful masks, wrestling rings and burly luchadores— pairs nicely with the decor at taquerías like Taco Taco (208 E. 500 South, 801-428-2704, tacotacoslc.com). There’s something special about enjoying tacos al pastor and margaritas while being watched over by artistic renderings of mighty luchadores— eating here feels less like an everyday kind of taco trip and more like a battle royale between your carne asada and you.

rito menu. After all, burritos tend to take all that we love about tacos and present it on a larger scale. Every flavor on the menu can be incorporated into a burrito, but Taco2 adds a few flourishes that set their burritos apart—they’re more than just bigger tacos. For example, the chile verde one arrives smothered in the herbaceous green sauce and topped with slowly melting cotija cheese. If the burritos came stuffed with a more equitable ratio of meat, rice, black beans and corn, they might edge the tacos out, to be honest. However, the bulk of the burritos at Taco Taco is made of rice and beans, which means the tacos are your best bet pound for pound. We might have seen it coming, but tacos continue to hold the title. Even if you don’t treat your visit to Taco Taco as a high-stakes wrestling bout, it remains one of downtown Salt Lake’s favorite taquerías. Come for the mole negro, stay to watch the sunset over the SLC skyline while enjoying a cerveza on the patio. The experience is unmatched. CW

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With a menu chock-full of staples, which Taco Taco dish reigns supreme?

som taco. Without condiments, the cauliflower tacos get a little dry, and I’ve never had that problem with my flor de calabaza tacos. Round Two: Best Chicken Chicken tacos can be tricky to pull off. It’s a protein that lacks the natural flavor of pork and beef, so making it the centerpiece of a taco relies heavily on the sauce. At Taco Taco, the chicken contenders employ two heavy hitters out of the Latin American sauce playbook—mole negro and chile verde. I’ve occasionally hit a bit of inconsistency with both, though they’re overall so evenly matched that it’s hard to claim a victor. When the mole negro at Taco Taco is on its Agame, it’s a glimpse of rich, comfortfood heaven. I’ve had it run a little too salty or bitter before, but mixing this stuff with chicken and a bit of guac offers up a fine specimen of taco glory. The chile verde tends to be the weaker of the two. While I’ve had chile verde that can go toe to toe with mole in terms of richness and flavor, the one here doesn’t quite stack up to its mole negro counterpart. Round two goes to mole negro! Main Event: Burritos vs. Tacos Since the place is called Taco Taco and not Burrito Burrito, tacos definitely have the home court advantage—but let’s not overlook the bur-

| CITYWEEKLY.NET |

Taco Squared

most recent visit, I decide to take a cue from the luchadores who inspired the locale’s look and feel. The zucchini blossom taco ($2.75) goes head to head against the cauliflower taco ($2.50) for best vegetarian; the chicken chile verde ($3) butts heads with the chicken mole negro ($3) for best chicken; and our main event, a face-off between tacos and burritos, provides the veredicto final. ¿Listos? Let the battle begin! Round One: Best Vegetarian I favor the zucchini blossom tacos going into this match. They’ve been on the menu since Taco Taco opened, so I’ve devoted plenty of time to the faintly autumnal flavor of those tasty blossoms roasted up with smoky spices. The cauliflower goes through the same cooking process, and the cruciferous veggie packs all kinds of great flavor once you roast it up. This isn’t an easy battle. As is true for all the tacos here, customization at the salsa bar takes the initial flavor canvas and launches it to new and exciting heights. When seasoned with the right combination of cilantro and red or green salsa, both tacos can catapult their way off the ropes and clothesline the opposition. When it comes down to the basic foundation, however, the victory goes to the tried-and-true zucchini blos-


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BACK BURNER BY ALEX SPRINGER

Italian Village italianvillageslc.com

@captainspringer

It’s (velvet) curtains for The Five Alls

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

Serving American Comfort Food Since 1930 -CREEKSIDE PATIO-89 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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After a 50-year run, The Five Alls (1458 S. Foothill Drive) has closed. In a Facebook post, the Halliday family outlined a series of tragic events that resulted in their decision to close the restaurant for good. Those who visited this iconic Salt Lake eatery became enamored of its quirky charm—it was known for its Elizabethan vibe, complete with pewter mugs and corset-wearing servers. It might have gained a reputation for being slightly kitschy, but my experiences there were always positive. The staff was friendly, the chefs were passionate and there was something just a little badass about continuing to serve Filet Oscar years after it had become passé. I know I speak for a wide swath of local diners when I say The Five Alls will be missed.

Watchtower levels up

For years, the kindly nerd-baristas at Watchtower Café (1588 S. State, 801-477-7671, watchtower-cafe.com) have maintained a much-needed nexus between geek and coffee-shop culture in the Salt Lake area. Owners Mike Tuiasoa and Cori Christine recently announced plans to move their operation to a more modern building where they can continue to function as they always have while expanding to offer some cool new services. In order to help them with this monumental endeavor, the Watchtower team launches a Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday, May 7. Keep an eye on the café’s website and Facebook (facebook.com/watchtowerslc) for deets.

CupBop turns six

To celebrate six years as one of Utah’s most prolific food truck operations, CupBop (multiple locations, facebook.com/cupbop) is hosting a birthday party at The Hub Food Truck Park (982 W. South Jordan Parkway) on Saturday, May 4. According to the Facebook event, the celebration emphasizes Korean food and culture, featuring the Korean barbecue cups they’ve become famous for. With an army of food trucks and several brick-and-mortar restaurants across the state, CupBop has become a permanent fixture in Utah’s food truck scene—proof that solid recipes and social media savvy can turn a food truck into an empire. The event takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. and also features meal giveaways and traditional Korean treats.

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Contemporary Japanese Dining


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Familiar beer styles transform into something new and refreshing. BY MIKE RIEDEL comments@cityweekly.net @utahbeer

T

his week’s selections began their proud existence as normal, everyday beers, until creativity and madness morphed them into something completely new. The labels might say IPA and wheat ale, but the contents scream something else entirely. If you have an adventurous palate, these ales will invigorate—and remind you why you fell in love with craft beer in the first place. SaltFire Brewing Co. Gin Barrel-Aged IPA: The mere act of aging an IPA, even for the briefest of times, is considered by most beer nerds to be a crime against nature. If you truly want the best out of your IPA, freshness is key—or so we thought. The pour here reveals a typical-looking IPA full of honey

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MIKE RIEDEL

Altered States

and grain hues, with a moderate amount of slowly fading head. My nose is greeted by a big dose of juniper berry, spruce and citrus. It might not have the usual IPA aroma profile, but the fruity and boozy perfume is pleasing. As the sprucy tang of juniper and gin float just above a fluffy white cap, what waits below is the soft, sweet taste of toasty malt, laced with honeysuckle and light bread. Then, after the sweetness dissolves effortlessly on the tongue, an herbal and tea-like presence takes hold of the middle palate, teasing with zesty notes of citrus goodness similar to orange peel and tangy berry-like tartness from juniper. Sprucy, sappy and minty, the beer rounds into a lightly refreshing, bitter lemon-lime taste. Blurring the line between beer and cocktail, this 8.0% beer offers soft wood tannins as a dry finish ultimately takes charge. Overall: The SaltFire crew has managed to maintain fresh-beer qualities in this drink while allowing its time in the barrel to shine. Flavors like these tend to be suited for bigger Belgian styles; here, the selection of Beehive Distillery’s Jack Rabbit Gin provides a tasty dose of spruce and juniper that works better than I could have imagined with the hops used. Uinta Brewing Co. Valley Orchard Wheat: It says wheat ale on the can, but the purple-and-pink-hued beer staring at me looks more like a fancy soda, with some haze and prickly carbonation. Pure cherry

and raspberry are up front in the aroma; however, there’s not much in the way of the base beer’s wheat character. Upon first sip, I get a big punch of raspberry and cherry that immediately makes me think of Smarties candies. The fruitiness is pleasant, but feels artificial in its candy-like quality. The tart fruitiness is only mid-range in intensity, but the light wheat beer base has no ability to compete. Toward the end of the beer, it becomes difficult to separate the cherry and raspberry as they begin to meld into one designer fruit flavor—kind of like a Grapple. The finish has a minor citric tartness that manifests as a tingling in the jaw.

28 | MAY 2, 2019

Overall: This isn’t a bad beer. It delivers on what it was intended to be—a warmweather recreational beer with a broad reach to non-beer drinkers. Beer purists might knock it for its soda-like feel and the absence of real fruit’s jammy sugars, but this was never meant for them. Enjoy this 4% beer cold, straight from the can. Valley Orchard Wheat is already finding a wider market and should be popping up everywhere you can find Uinta products. SaltFire’s Gin IPA is at the brewery to enjoy there or to go; it can also be found at most beer pubs that serve SaltFire. As always, cheers! CW

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Pretty Bird Chef Viet Pham has left the sommeliers and white tablecloths of his fine-dining past behind to open a Nashville-inspired hot-chicken joint. The small Regent Street restaurant is efficient and modern in its all-white digs. The sparse menu offers fried chicken quarters and sandwiches, which can be ordered in four degrees of spicy, but the fried chicken sandwich with its acidic bite of pickles and slaw might be your next obsession. 146 S. Regent St., prettybirdchicken.com

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Café on First A meeting place and designated study joint, this Avenues café serves up a full coffee menu all day, every day in a large, dimly lit room with a variety of mismatched chairs and tables. In warmer weather, there’s a collection of sidewalk tables, too. But this place does more than coffee—they’re a takeout go-to for their breakfast sandwiches, bagels, paninis and curry, which are also great if you find yourself hangry mid-study session. 39 I St., 801-532-8488, cafeonfirst.com

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The Daily Salt Lake’s hottest lunch spot is The Daily. This place has everything—a wall of plants, matcha lattes, vegan salads, mood lighting. Millennials love it, and now you will, too. Try their chicken salad, which somehow manages to combine bread-and-butter pickles, guacamole, spiced cashews, chicken salad and an adobo dressing into a harmonious blend of flavors. Pick up a cup of Stumptown Coffee. Or grab and go from a selection of ready-made juice, overnight oats, salads and sandwiches. 222 S. Main, Ste. 140, 385-322-1270, thedailyslc.com

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Choir Boy reflects on wild life on the European road. BY ERIN MOORE music@cityweekly.net @errrands_

O

ne of the first things Choir Boy members Michael Paulsen and Jeff Kleinman insist that I include in my write-up of their latest activities doesn’t have much to do with their activities at all, but instead with their clothes. Certainly, all the members of this local dark-pop band have distinctive styles, but when I meet up with them at their Kilby Court practice space, Paulsen and Kleinman are wearing near-identical outfits and calling each other names. Kleinman wears a pink-washed, formerly white Gildan tee tucked into $10 Rustlers from Walmart. Paulsen sports fresh 501s, into which he’s tucked a white Christmas-gifted shirt that after a quick Google search, we find goes for $70 at Nordstrom. They both look like slightly different versions of someone’s suave-but-scruffy, cigarette-smoking dad. When they aren’t carefully crafting their outfits—or in frontman Adam Klopp’s case, dressing in campy vampire makeup for their music videos—Choir Boy is playing shows, and lots of them. After releasing full-length debut Passive With Desire in 2016, which came together with a slew of Provo and Salt Lake City musicians, the band’s lineup solidified to include Paulsen on bass, Kleinman on keyboard and saxophone, and Chaz Costello (of Fossil Arms and the now inactive, but well-loved, Sculpture Club) on guitar and vocals. In 2018, the foursome started spreading their bright goth-pop sounds all over North America and Europe in support of established darkwave band Cold Cave. After this, they bent westward for a winter West Coast tour, where they made an appearance with popular indie act Snail Mail. Glued as they are to constant touring, they’ve still had time to work on a few new songs that Klopp says will feel less morose and more self-reflective than those on the last album. It would be a feat to out-introspect an album that already feels so self-aware, but the new tunes won’t be released for some time, as Choir Boy set out once again for a North American tour starting in California on Thursday, May 2. This go-round finds them opening for another seasoned act, electro-post-punkers The Faint, whom Kleinman and Costello were each “obsessed” with at points in their younger days. Their progression to this life of near-constant touring feels

The Choir Boy members, from left: Michael Paulsen, Adam Klopp, Chaz Costello and Jeff Kleinman natural and earned after Passive With Desire, which features clean production and songs exploring nostalgia and catharsis against a compelling backdrop of dark, uniquely danceable pop. The album has steadily gained popularity all over North America and Europe. Klopp opens our conversation with the 2018 European tour, and at first, his description is predictable. “Europe was unique because on tours like that, you’re playing a lot of venues that feel the same. The U.S. tour with [Cold Cave] kind of felt like Groundhog Day, but in Europe there’d be different products in the gas stations and different languages and different coins to barter with.” Paulsen jumps in with a slightly different take, describing the instant fatigue they encountered at the start of the Europe tour. Their first three days were occupied by jumping on and off planes and hauling their gear on confusing, foreign public transit systems—all while jet-lagged and sleep-deprived. “It was the hardest and easiest tour in different ways. We didn’t have to drive ourselves, but we had to put up with our boy,” Paulsen recalls, “a real man, our driver, Adrian.” It’s through this introduction of Adrian—their rockabilly-esque driver who lived each day in a shirt labeled “dirtbag,” drank their beer and took them to his Belgian mother’s house to eat spaghetti and to meet her donkeys—that a picture of day-to-day life on a breakneck tour in a far-off land emerges. They regale me with tales: One of a much-needed break they took in Greece during Paulsen’s birthday, where a $4, two-gallon jug of white wine made for some interesting times in an escape room; of meeting a spooky fellow with a pale sidekick who, perhaps recognizing Klopp’s face from the campy, vampiric cover of Passive With Desire, intimated that he was a direct descendent of “Dracoon” and insisted that his blood donors were “consenting”; and of an open-till-wee-hours rockabilly bar called Teddy Boy in Athens that actually only played New Wave. While telling these stories, Kleinman remarks, “Background: We love horseplay.” But they also tell of playing a sold-out show in a Berlin warehouse, meeting fans who were there specifically to see Choir Boy, and finding and chasing the high of playing their best set. Costello points out the experience of being in so many different foreign spaces was survivable thanks to playing for Cold Cave’s built-in audience and the safety of traveling with his three best friends. “You have a task at hand that you have to do, so it’s different than traveling,” Costello says. “You get to a place and you have no idea how to assimilate into this culture—and you never really do when you’re on tour—but at least you get to interact with a large amount of people, and feel like you’re a part of it in a way.” CW


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THURSDAY 5/2

Taking Back Sunday, The Maine

Back in the early 2000s, Taking Back Sunday became the soundtrack to an entire generation’s teen years, borrowing enough sugary pop-punk hooks to win over the mainstream, while folding in enough rough post-hardcore influences to retain some degree of artistic credibility. Their 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends proved this to be such a winning formula that the next decade saw it endlessly copied and tweaked by dozens of like-minded acts to become one of the defining sounds of 2000s rock. The band finally managed to cash in on the sound they helped create with their 2006 major-label debut Louder Now and its hit single “MakeDamnSure.” Afterward, they released successful albums, but struggled to evolve their sound until 2016’s Tidal Wave, which completely upended their signature style in favor of a more mature and diverse sound that has drawn comparisons to everything from Bruce Springsteen to The Ramones. Taking Back Sunday is currently on tour in celebration of their 20th anniversary and are stopping by for two dates at The Complex. They are supported by The Maine, a band that followed in Taking Back Sunday’s footsteps to evolve an emo-pop sound that would become a pop-punk staple in the mid- and late-aughts. (Nic Renshaw) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 7:45 p.m., May 2-3, $35 presale, all ages, thecomplexslc.com

FRIDAY 5/3

Nick Waterhouse, Ben Pirani

Where many modern-day R&B revivalists rely on raucous energy and sweaty stage hysterics, Nick Waterhouse exudes studious sophistication. Across four full-length albums, the Southern California native has blended classic rock ’n’ roll, jazz, soul and swing to elegant effect. Sassy horn sections

Nick Waterhouse

ZACH LEWIS

32 | MAY 2, 2019

NATALIE ESCOBEDO

Saturday, May 4th

BY RACHELLE FERNANDEZ, NICK McGREGOR, NIC RENSHAW & LEE ZIMMERMAN

and propulsive percussion units fit organically alongside Waterhouse’s refined guitar strums. On the artist’s new self-titled album, released in March on taste-making label Innovative Leisure, analog warmth bleeds through thanks to production by Paul Butler and home-run contributions from collaborators steeped in everything from outsider indie rock to gypsy punk, traditional jazz and hip-hop. Waterhouse’s voice cracks with intensity on lead single “Song for Winners,” evoking the fiery classicism that ignites him and the modern-day cool he cloaks himself in. “Your experience of innocence has ended,” Waterhouse sings. “What a stately dance/ I look at you and wonder/ Conjurer or victim of circumstance?” Find out which path this Renaissance man will take at The Urban Lounge. (Nick McGregor) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $17 presale; $20 day of show, 21+, theurbanloungeslc.com

Monolord, The Ditch & The Delta, Sleeping Tigers

If any band dare cover Black Sabbath, they better do it right. And if said band are daring enough to take an axe-swing at a Black Sabbath song, the epic tune that is “Fairies Wear Boots” provides a fitting way to measure their sheer guts. What better go-to tune for smoking and tripping than a song about smoking and tripping? If we are being quite honest, it ain’t doom if there’s not at least one Black Sabbath cover somewhere. The band in question is Sweden’s retro sludgeheads Monolord. I will admit, there’s no Tony Iommi on the six-string, but their cover of the hazy classic is one of many Monolord tunes that have caught the attention of the stateside metal masses. The Gothenburg trio proves that Swedes can be just as loud and distorted as the rest of the NOLA-style

Taking Back Sunday sludge- and doom-metal world. Their success is not due just to Thomas V. Jäger’s reverbed monotone voice seeping through the mic on “Empress Rising,” or Esben Willems’ sledgehammer chops or Mika Häkki’s core-shaking bass. There’s something more that keeps drawing fans of today to Monolord’s sludge and doom. “We realized pretty quick that we are onto something and that our fanbase is growing,” Jäger explained to music journalist Steve Fallows about how Monolord came to rise on the scene just after the trio released Rust in 2017; “This makes us motivated!” Jäger might not know what the band’s secret sauce is either, but who cares? Monolord continues to securely fasten a spot for the new generation of sludge and doom metal in this high-speed world of online streaming and one-hit wonders. (Rachelle Fernandez) Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court, 7 p.m., $13 presale; $15 day of show, all ages, kilbycourt.com

Monolord

HANK OLSEN

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TUES

GOING GOING GOING GOING

Don’t let the cryptic band name fool you— Amber Bain’s sensual electronic pop might hide behind a moniker, but it’s about as personal and direct as music gets. Singing in a languid voice about the barbed intricacies of heartbreak, couplings, compromise and longing, the Brit and her debut album Good at Falling land squarely amid an audience hungry for realistic portrayals of queer relationships. Although the 23-yearold producer, songwriter, vocalist and guitarist continually references her crippling anxiety and introversion on songs like “Lilo” and “We Talk All the Time,” their devastating confidence is enhanced by details ripped right from Bain’s life. “Marika Is Sleeping,” for instance, is about Bain watching her ex-girlfriend, whose real name is Marika, sleep off a bout of alcohol poisoning while vacationing in Bulgaria. The song even presaged a breakup that eventually unfurled in real life. “I write prophetic shit,” Bain told GQ in March. “I don’t know if I’m making it happen because I’ve written it down. As a human, you sense the truth around you whether you believe it or not.” With rave reviews from The New York Times, Newsweek and Noisey under her belt and young fans across the globe pining for The Japanese House’s revelatory, romantic take on modern pop, don’t miss the opportunity to see Amber Bain bring Salt Lake City to tears for the first time. (NM) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., $18 presale; $20 day of show, all ages, thecomplexslc.com

The Japanese House

Vandoliers, Cory Branan, The Wayne Hoskins Band

Consider it an ideal double bill, this tagteam performance by insurgent Texas outfit known as Vandoliers, and Cory Branan, a singer-songwriter from the southerly environs of Oxford, Miss. Both boast a renegade reputation as rowdy raconteurs. Vandoliers’ latest album, tellingly titled Forever, bears that out, thanks to the explosive mix of sass and sway they imbue in each insurgent anthem and frenzy-fueled rocker. Their punk origins are obvious, but with hints of rowdy Celtic rock, Tejano trappings and an overall edge, it’s fitting that these so-called “Converse Cowboys” refer to their music as “Amerikinda.” That’s a product of their confidence and clarity, elements infused into each of the efforts they’ve parlayed throughout their relatively brief three years. It might be cowpunk by definition, but it’s far more riveting than anything from posers. For his part, Branan comes across as a man who’s simultaneously dour and downcast, and it’s that antagonistic attitude that informs the five albums he’s released over the course of his 20-year career. It ought to be apparent that their upcoming show isn’t geared for the faint of heart, but then again, listeners can expect the essence of authentic southern rock and Americana, albeit with a modern motif. (Lee Zimmerman) Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., $12 presale; $15 day of show, 21+, metromusichall.com

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SATURDAY 5/4

CONCERTS & CLUBS

SOPHIE GREEN

Tom Odell

THURSDAY 5/2

Libre (Liquid Joe’s)

LIVE MUSIC

Areaoke w/ DJ Kevin (Area 51) Cowboy Karaoke (The Cabin) Karaoke (Willie’s Lounge) Karaoke Night (Tinwell) Karaoke w/ DJ Benji (A Bar Named Sue) Karaoke That Doesn’t Suck w/ Mikey Danger (Chakra Lounge) Live Band Karaoke (Club 90)

KARAOKE

The Backyard Revival (Rye) CloZee + Axel Thesleff + Audiotreats (Metro Music Hall) Jeremy Enigk + Tomo Nakayama (Urban Lounge) Jim Fish (Lake Effect) Moonshine Bandits (Westerner) Osatia + Away at Lakeside + Esther Lane (Kilby Court) Simply B (Hog Wallow Pub) Taking Back Sunday + The Maine (The Complex) see p. 32

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

Dueling Pianos (The Spur) Dusty Grooves All Vinyl DJ (Twist) Dueling Pianos: Drew & JD (Tavernacle) Hot Noise + Guest DJ (The Red Door) Jazz Jam Session (Sugar House Coffee) Jazz Joint Thursday (Garage on Beck) Synthpop + Darkwave + Industrial + Goth w/ DJ Camille (Area 51) Therapy Thursdays feat. Firebeatz (Sky) Tropicana Thursdays feat. Rumba

FRIDAY 5/3 LIVE MUSIC

Bad Suns (The Depot) Buckcherry + Joyous Wolf (The Royal) Cherry Thomas (Harp and Hound) Cinders + Ritt Momney + Farr Gone (Velour) Crook & The Bluff (Hog Wallow Pub) Hooda Fugawi (Ice Haüs) Jagertown (Liquid Joes) Live Local Music (A Bar Named Sue) Los Hellcaminos (The Spur) Matt Calder + Matthew Bashaw & The Hope (Lake Effect) Monolord + The Ditch & The Delta + Sleeping Tigers (Kilby Court) see p. 32

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Had it not been for his string of successes, England’s Tom Odell could have been considered a hard-luck case. He hid his talent as a songwriter early on because he thought he would be considered uncool. His early experience at open-mic nights proved equally humiliating, given that he had to lug a portable keyboard and suffer the insults of uncaring crowds. Even after he was given a record contract, misfortune continued to follow him when his car was stolen only weeks after he bought it. Fortunately, his luck seemed to change once he started releasing records; his kudos include the Brit Award as Critics’ Choice, an Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year and numerous nominations from a number of other impressive institutions. Still, there’s an uncommon melancholia in Odell’s music, a sad and somber sound for someone who’s still just shy of 30. He says his songs are inspired by failed relationships, and yet the melodies soar, fueled by passion and emotion. The results make for a powerful set of songs, as illuminated by the trio of albums he’s released so far—Long Way Down, Wrong Crowd and Jubilee Road. Comparisons to Elton John, Billy Joel, David Bowie, Jeff Buckley and Tom Waits run rampant, but in truth this waif-like auteur is his own man, downcast demeanor included. (Lee Zimmerman) The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., $25, all ages, thecomplexslc.com

Nick Waterhouse + Ben Pirani (Urban Lounge) see p. 32 N-U-Endo (Club 90) Railtown (Outlaw Saloon) Satin Steel (State Road Tavern) Slushii + Z&Z + Obayashi (The Complex) Southbound (Westerner)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

All-Request Gothic + Industrial + EBM + and Dark Wave w/ DJ Vision (Area 51) Dance Music (Chakra Lounge) DJ E-Flexx (Downstairs) DJ Sneeky Long (Twist) Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) Funkin’ Friday w/ DJ Rude Boy & Bad Boy Brian (Johnny’s On Second) Funky Friday w/ DJ Godina (Gracie’s) Hot Noise (The Red Door) New Wave ’80s w/ DJ Courtney (Area 51) Top 40 All-Request w/ DJ Wees (Area 51)

KARAOKE

Areaoke w/ DJ Kevin (Area 51) Karaoke (Cheers to You SLC) Karaoke (Willie’s Lounge)

SATURDAY 5/4 LIVE MUSIC

Adam Faucett + William Blackart (The Heavy Metal Shop) Cinders + The Solarists + Dad Bod (Velour) Donner Pass (The Spur) Folk Hogan (Hog Wallow Pub) Jai Wolf (The Depot) Joy Spring Band (Sugar House Coffee) Kirk Dath (Harp and Hound) Leon + Morgan Saint (Urban Lounge) Live Local Music (A Bar Named Sue) Live Music (Lake Effect) Live Trio (The Red Door) Mindy Gledhill (The State Room) Michelle Moonshine & The Distillers (Johnny’s On Second) N-U-Endo (Club 90) Railtown (Outlaw Saloon) Southbound (The Westerner Club) Spazmatics (Liquid Joe’s) Steve Haines & Nick Stefanow (HandleBar) Sydnie Keddington + Joshy Soul & The Cool (Lake Effect)

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PINS & ALES

RACHELLE FERNANDEZ

BAR FLY

The Bouncing Souls + The Bronx + Skinny Lister + Sharp Shock (Metro Music Hall) Tom Odell (The Complex) see p. 36 Will Baxter Trio (The Yes Hell) Winter (Kilby Court)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE Dance Music (Chakra Lounge) DJ Latu (The Green Pig) DJ Soul Pause (Twist) Gothic + Industrial + Dark ’80s w/ DJ Courtney (Area 51) DJ Stario (Downstairs) Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) Scandalous Saturdays w/ DJ Logik (Lumpy’s Highland) Sky Saturdays w/ Craig Smoove (Sky) Top 40 + EDM + Alternative w/ DJ Twitch (Area 51)

KARAOKE

Areaoke DJ Kevin (Area 51) Karaoke (Willie’s Lounge) Karaoke w/ B-Rad (Club 90)

SUNDAY 5/5 LIVE MUSIC

Cinco De Mayo: El Festival de Musica (Kilby Court) Not So Cinco de Mayo Show (The State Room) Patrick Ryan (The Spur) Perfectamundo (Gracie’s) Tech N9ne + Krizz KaliKo + Dax + Mayday + Ubiquitous of Ces Cru (The Complex) The Japanese House + Art School

Girlfriend (The Complex) see p. 34 Vandoliers + Cory Branan + The Wayne Hoskins Band (Metro Music Hall) see p. 34 Wild Creature + La Calavera (Urban Lounge)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE Dueling Pianos (The Spur) Live Bluegrass (Club 90) Open Blues Jam (The Green Pig) Sunday Night Bluegrass Jam w/ Nick Greco & Blues on First (Gracie’s)

KARAOKE

Karaoke (Tavernacle) Karaoke (Willie’s Lounge) Karaoke w/ DJ Benji (A Bar Named Sue)

MONDAY 5/6 LIVE MUSIC

Amanda Johnson (The Spur) Bass Drum of Death + The Nods + Mortigi Tempo (Metro Music Hall) Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band + Voodoo Orchestra (Scera) Dance Gavin Dance + Don Bronco + Hail The Sun + Covet + Thousand Below (The Complex) Don Kiepp’s Crosstown Big Band (Peery’s Egyptian Theatre) Fareed Haque & The Flat Earth Ensemble (Gracie’s) Sarah Anne Degraw (Lake Effect) Slurge (In The Venue) Wild Belle (Urban Lounge)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

You won’t find Pins & Ales of West Jordan on Google. But then again, finding any place to drink and get decent bar food in this town of 113,905 people is a challenge in itself; shout-out to West Jordan for keeping that Zion Curtain on lock. But I say to that: Challenge accepted. Pins & Ales is a hidden little gem for those who want to take the kids out bowling and gaming but also might want to slip in a cocktail. The low lighting works in my favor; no one but my mom and brother can witness my gutter balls. I’m no Ernie McCracken, but I have my moments in between jalapeño poppers and Coronas—a strike here, a pin there. We are three games and a pitcher of Hefeweizen in when the intensity of the competition reaches its peak. My mom comes in with a big X on the last frame, and there’s a chance she might win the family competition—a first in our history of drunk bowling, so long as she doesn’t Munson it up. I talk to the pair of girls bowling next to us. It’s only their second time bowling, and their laughs and encouragement remind me that it’s just a game. The 12-pound ball slowly knocks over all 10 pins like dominos, and that’s the game. Although my Kingpin references might be going cold, Pins & Ales’ chicken tender baskets with crispy, crunchy fries aren’t. (Rachelle Fernandez) 1776 W. 7800 South, West Jordan, 801-572-1122, pinsandales.com

Industry Night Mondays w/ DJ Juggy (Trails) Monday Night Blues & More Jam hosted by Robby’s Blues Explosion (Hog Wallow Pub) Monday Night Open Jazz Session w/ David Halliday & The JVQ (Gracie’s) Motown on Mondays feat. J Godina + Street Jesus + Chaseone2 (Alibi) Open Blues Jam w/ West Temple Taildraggers (The Green Pig) Open Mic (The Cabin)

KARAOKE

Karaoke (Poplar Street Pub) Karaoke Bingo (Tavernacle) Karaoke w/ DJ Benji (A Bar Named Sue) Karaoke (Cheers To You)

TUESDAY 5/7 LIVE MUSIC

Daniel Torriente (The Spur) Dylan Clough (Lake Effect) I Prevail + Issues + Justin Stone (The Complex) Lolo Zouai + Jean Deaux (Kilby Court) My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult (Metro Music Hall) Vicious Rumors + Truce In Blood + Davidian (Urban Lounge)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

Groove Tuesdays (Johnny’s On Second) Locals Lounge (The Cabin) Open Jazz Jam (Bourbon House) Open Mic (The Wall at BYU) Open Mic Night (The Royal) Tuesday Night Bluegrass Jam w/ Pixie

& The Partygrass Boys (Gracie’s) Tuesday Night Jazz (Alibi)

KARAOKE

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

WEDNESDAY 5/8 LIVE MUSIC

Amanda Lynn Jones (Lake Effect) Bruno Major (Urban Lounge) J-Rad Cooley (Hog Wallow Pub) Red Rock Hot Club (Gallivan Center) Riley McDonald (The Spur) Silver Snakes + The Great Silence (Metro Music Hall) Snow Tha Product (The Complex)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

Dark NRG w/ DJ Nyx (Area 51) Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) Live Jazz (Club 90) Open Mic (Velour) Roaring Wednesdays: Swing Dance Lessons (Prohibition) Top 40 All-Request w/ DJ Wees (Area 51) The Freakout w/ DJ Nix Beat (Twist)

KARAOKE

Areaoke w/ DJ Casper (Area 51) Karaoke w/ B-Rad (Club 90) Karaoke (The Wall at BYU) Karaoke w/ Spotlight Entertainment (Johnny’s On Second)


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FILM REVIEW

The Banality of Evil

CINEMA

The Brink captures Steve Bannon as a depressingly familiar monster. BY MARYANN JOHANSON comments@cityweekly.net @maryannjohanson

Steve Bannon in The Brink

STORE

★★★★★

for him, but he seems beyond that. He appears devoid of personality and lacking in any human warmth. He’s an ugly, nasty, self-congratulatory, hypocritical pustule fomenting hatred and race war, and there’s literally nothing else to him. The best that might be said of Bannon is that he puts the banality in “the banality of evil”; he might be dangerous, but he isn’t even dangerous in an original way. He’s a depressingly familiar monster. The Brink is a deeply unpleasant film to watch, but it’s a vital one for appreciating just how big a mess we’re in. And it’s a film that we will be digesting for a while yet, for this is a dispatch from the present to the future, from the middle of a story that has not yet ended. If we’re lucky, this movie might help us end it well. CW

| CITY WEEKLY |

THE BRINK

BBB.5 Documentary NR

PAIRS WITH Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012) Documentary R

The Unknown Known (2013) Documentary PG-13

Trumped: Inside the Greatest Political Upset of All Time (2017) Documentary NR

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The War Room (1993) Documentary PG

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the Brexit vote in 2016, and his Brexit pal Nigel Farage appears here; I might have thrown something at the screen at that point. We see as The Brink ends that Bannon is focused on ensuring that the 2019 EU elections, now mere weeks away, will continue to fan the ultra-right-wing flames already burning across Europe. What would a portrait of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels have looked like in 1938? Would it have served as a call to action? Might the events to come have unfolded differently with an advance warning not only of the evil plans afoot, but of the political and cultural manipulations that would be deployed to enact them? This shit has got to be countered, somehow; can we use the evidence on display here to help? Or is it already too late? Lest you think Goebbels is too extreme a comparison, know that in The Brink Bannon calmly and with admiration talks about the design precision of Birkenau concentration camp, and also asks, as he ponders his work, “What would [Hitler’s filmmaker] Leni Riefenstahl do?” I feared Klayman might end up trying to humanize Bannon, might create some sympathy

| CITYWEEKLY.NET |

MAGNOLIA PICTURES

A

t which point in the political and cultural shitshow cycle do we stand right now? If it’s winding down, and we are about to begin the upswing back toward sanity (though I concede there is no specific evidence of this), then this film could be an essential chronicle of one piece of the mess—a cautionary tale of the kind of vile bastard to keep an eye out for next time. For The Brink is a documentary portrait of Donald Trump’s propagandist, chief strategist and architect of the Muslim ban, Steve Bannon—and, perhaps, a last-gasp attempt by its human-dumpster-fire subject to demonstrate his relevance and importance. That might explain why he gave director Alison Klayman (Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry) such free rein. She embedded herself as a one-woman filmmaking crew into Bannon’s life in the year leading up to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, with total access; Bannon had no creative input or control over the final product. Was his willingness to agree to such terms because he knew this might be his last opportunity to be the center of attention; because he knew he had nothing to lose? The other possibility is downright horrifying: What if things are still going to get much worse? What if we’re actually in the 1938 part of this particular cycle, and the 1940s are on the horizon? Maybe Bannon doesn’t care that Klayman had such an intimate view of his awfulness—his bigotry is on full parade here—because he is going to continue winning, and the triumph of his racist white-nationalism is going to spread even further. (His confidence in the correctness of his perspective might be the most terrifying thing Klayman captures.) Bannon is already an instrumental figure in the behind-the-scenes manufacturing of


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CINEMA CLIPS MOVIE TIMES AND LOCATIONS AT CITYWEEKLY.NET

NEW THIS WEEK Film release schedules are subject to change. Reviews online at cityweekly.net ASK DR. RUTH BBB The famed sex therapist with the much-caricatured persona becomes a flesh-and-blood person in this documentary profile by Ryan White (The Case Against 8). White follows Dr. Ruth Westheimer eading up to her 90th birthday, exploring how the diminutive German-born Jew and Holocaust survivor became America’s most trusted dispenser of sexual advice. Much of the running time is spent on Westheimer’s history, with animated segments bringing to life her years in a Swiss orphanage during World War II and pre-celebrity life. It’s straightforward and respectful, much like last year’s Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, though White draws clear connections between Westheimer’s biography and her role as advocate for not “other-ing” gay Americans during the peak of the AIDS crisis. Mostly, it’s a portrait of resilience, and a good explanation for why someone who endured so much turned into a cheerleader for enjoying life’s pleasures. Opens May 3 at Broadway Centre Cinemas. (R)—Scott Renshaw THE BRINK BBB.5 See review on p. 41. Opens May 3 at Broadway Centre Cinemas. (R)

THE INTRUDER [not yet reviewed] A young couple find that their new house’s previous owner (Dennis Quaid) is creepily resistant to giving up the old homestead. Opens May 3 at theaters valleywide. (PG-13) LONG SHOT BBB.5 Long Shot is not what you’re expecting: Another rom-com about a doofus pursuing a goddess because he’s deluded enough to think he has a chance with her—and then getting rewarded by being right about that. No, this is a politics-meets-pop-culture satire about a smart, principled journalist (Seth Rogen)—who isn’t a doofus, but probably could use some Queer Eye help with his fashion sense—getting hired by an Amazonian goddess (Charlize Theron) to be her [checks notes] speechwriter as she attempts to move up from her current job as [checks notes again] the U.S. Secretary of State to the big chair in the Oval Office. And then they embark on

an unlikely but-really-not-that-unlikely romance. Because they are both really cool and have a lot in common, like wanting to save the world from our terrible, terrible leaders. Bonus: This sweet, angrybut-gentle movie features perhaps the funniest, most realistic, most human sex scene ever. It’s truly a romantic comedy for our horriblebut-let’s-stay-hopeful times. Opens May 3 at theaters valleywide. (R)—MaryAnn Johanson SUNSET BBB.5 László Nemes (Son of Saul) certainly has a distinctive visual sensibility, but thus far he’s paired it with stories where that sensibility feels perfectly, disturbingly fitting. In 1913 Budapest, 20-year-old Irisz Leiter (Juli Jakab)—orphaned at the age of 2—returns home to the hat shop founded by her father, and discovers a mystery involving a brother she never knew she had. The unfolding of that mystery takes virtually the entire 142 minutes of Sunset, with a constantly shifting sense of whose perspective on events can be trusted. Nemes builds the tension in Irisz’s pursuit much as he did in Son of Saul, with a camera that often stalks behind Irisz or leaves potential threats just out-of-focus enough for them to seem even more threatening. Jakab’s performance provides a restrained kind of ferocity as she pushes past everyone standing in the way of her determination to understand the secrets being kept from her, and while Sunset’s final scene hits an unnecessarily literal note, the road to that moment is thrillingly unsettling. Opens May 3 at Broadway Centre Cinemas. (R)—SR UGLYDOLLS [not yet reviewed] Animated tale bringing to life the aesthetically unpleasant toys. Opens May 3 at theaters valleywide. (PG)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS GLORIA BELL At Park City Film Series, May 3-4, 8 p.m.; May 5, 6 p.m. (R)

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE: 15TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION See p. 19. At East High School, May 3, 7 p.m. (PG) THE WAR AT HOME At Main Library, May 7, 7 p.m. (NR)

CURRENT RELEASES AVENGERS: ENDGAME BBB Joe and Anthony Russo get to deliver what no other Marvel film has been able to offer: an actual ending. In the aftermath of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) big snap that erased half of all creation, the surviving Avengers—including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans)—are left to pick up the pieces and maybe even try to set things right. The first act shows an impressive willingness to let an elegiac tone settle in, before it’s time for the big action stuff. It’s an awfully busy center section, bouncing between characters and locations in a way that isn’t always graceful. Yes, there’s a climactic battle, but it’s really about what happens after that battle. Those satisfying epilogues are for viewers who have stuck with the franchise for 11 years. (PG-13)—SR THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA BB.5 Horror filmmaking can be so sloppy and predictable that it’s tempting to mistake competence for quality. In 1973 Los Angeles, widowed social worker Anna (Linda Cardellini) discovers that a centuries-old homicidal spirit has attached itself to her two children. The screenplay hints at a metaphor for the pressure on single mothers after an emotional trauma, but it’s quickly discarded. Fortunately, first-time feature director Michael Chaves handles his creepy set pieces with a great sense for drawing out audience tension past where you’d typically expect a jump scare. The third act turns into one extended supernatural siege, with a spiritual healer (Raymond Cruz) trying to protect Anna’s family. Your mileage might vary depending on whether you expect more from horror than a solid dose of booga-booga. (R)—SR

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OGDEN SHOWING: MAY 3RD - MAY 9TH B

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FILM • FOOD • NEIGHBORHOOD BAR

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EL CHICANO [not yet reviewed] Twin brothers from East L.A. wind up on opposite sides of the law. Opens May 3 at theaters valleywide. (R)

KNIFE+HEART BB.5 If you’re trying to grab an audience’s attention, one option certainly is to intercut vintage gay porn with a fatal stabbing by a masked assailant hiding a knife in a dildo. Thus begins Yann Gonzalez’s feature, set in 1979 Paris, where the producer of the aforementioned gay porn, Anne (Vanessa Paradis), gets caught up in the investigation of that murder—which involved one of her actors, and subsequently becomes a string of serial killings. Gonzalez evokes the milieu effectively enough, combining Anne’s makeshift filmmaking family with the violent material in a way that suggests Boogie Nights as directed by Brian De Palma, with occasional detours into David Lynch-ian dream sequences. It’s weird, lurid entertainment, except there’s also an attempt at centering Anne’s obsession with her editor and ex-lover (Kate Moran), as though there’s somehow a real emotional resonance to all the craziness. Paradis’ performance doesn’t evoke anything much more than dissolute chaos from her thinly written character, so you’re left with some stylish mayhem—which, admittedly, is at least something. Opens May 3 at Tower Theatre. (NR)—SR


Š 2019

TWITTER

BY DAVID LEVINSON WILK

ACROSS

1. Skin pic? 2. 1960 hit for Dion and the Belmonts 3. Cruising 4. "You're oversharing!" 5. "Fiddler on the Roof" matchmaker 6. "Teenage Dream" singer Perry 7. Benefit program giving workers a chance to

51. Busybody 52. Nickname for a seven-time NBA All-Star 53. One-____ (old ball game) 54. Anything-goes party 56. Morse "E" 57. Even a little 58. Plan, with "out" 59. ____ Beta Kappa 61. Commercial start for Balls or Caps 62. Gravel alternative

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

buy co. shares 8. Crowd 9. Dealer's query 10. Ilsa ____ ("Casablanca" character) 11. Class for U.S. newcomers 12. "Boyz n the Hood" actress Long 13. Toronto's province: Abbr. 14. Part of XL: Abbr. 19. Curious George creators Margret and H.A. 23. Pomade 25. Basil-based sauces 27. "____ pronounce you ..." 28. Secondary advantage 29. Oz capital 30. "Creed" actress Thompson and others 31. Janet Jackson's sister 32. The "A" of USDA: Abbr. 33. Having liberal political tendencies 34. Bless, in a way 37. Apt rhyme of "squeak" 38. Tour de France high point 40. Triple-A jobs 41. Worker at a hosp. 46. Longtime "Nightline" host 48. Honey Bunches of ____ 50. Dumplings at a Japanese restaurant

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

1. *Complement for a tango 4. *Kid 8. *"For what matters most" sloganeer 15. "Kung Fu" actor Philip 16. Gal. or oz. 17. Dormitories and apartments 18. Open like a kid on Christmas morning 20. Go over 21. Feel awful about 22. *Fever caused by salmonella bacteria 24. Classic Jaguar model 26. ____ Dunham, mother of Barack Obama 27. "The only time ____ the bar low is for limbo": Michael Scott of "The Office" 31. Like some screws and translations 32. TV character with the catchphrase "Booyakasha!" 34. Cartoon style 35. Duchamp contemporary 36. Bob with the Silver Bullet Band 38. Jumper cable connection points 39. Social media-savvy celebrities often have a lot of these ... or what the answers to this puzzle's starred clues are in the dictionary 42. Excited pointer's comment 43. Hedren of Hitchcock's "The Birds" 44. Cry of shear terror? 45. Cries of pain 46. Oven for pottery 47. Christmas carols 49. Army in the field? 50. Get-____ (starts) 51. Custer's "last" thing 52. *Weather event that's Pacific-specific 55. Sleuth, in old crime fiction 56. Swiffer WetJet, e.g. 60. Popular strength-training program 63. Confused 64. 1957 Stravinsky ballet 65. "Keep ____ secret" 66. *Representative 67. *An aye for an eye, say? 68. *Mars : Roman :: ____ : Norse

SUDOKU

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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): I invite you to explore the frontiers of what’s possible for you to experience and accomplish. One exercise that might help: visualize specific future adventures that excite you. Examples? Picture yourself parasailing over the Mediterranean Sea near Barcelona, or working to help endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica, or giving a speech to a crowded auditorium on a subject you will someday be an expert in. The more specific your fantasies, the better. Your homework is to generate at least five of these visions.

that commitment is to an intimate alliance, a noble quest or a promise to yourself. It’s time to reward yourself for how hard you’ve worked and how much you’ve given.

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SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio poet Sylvia Plath wrote, “I admit I desire,/ Occasionally, some backtalk/ From the mute sky.” You’ll be wise to borrow the spirit of that mischievous declaration. Now is a good time to solicit input from the sky, as well as from your allies and friends and favorite animals, and from every other source that might provide you with interesting feedback. I invite you to regard GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “We must choose between the pain of having to transcend the whole world as your mirror, your counselor, your informant. oppressive circumstances, or the pain of perpetual unfulfillment within those oppressive circumstances,” writes mental health SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): strategist Paul John Moscatello. We must opt for “the pain In January 1493, the notorious pirate and kidnapper Christopher of growth or the pain of decay,” he continues. We must either Columbus was sailing his ship near the land we now call the “embrace the tribulations of realizing our potential, or consent Dominican Republic. He spotted three creatures he assumed to the slow suicide in complacency.” That’s a bit melodramatic, were mermaids. Later he wrote in his log that they were “not in my opinion. Most of us do both; we might be successful for half as beautiful as they are painted [by artists].” We know now a while in transcending oppressive circumstances, but then that the “mermaids” were actually manatees, aquatic mammals temporarily lapse back into the pain of unfulfillment. However, with flippers and paddle-shaped tails. They are in fact quite there are times when it makes sense to think melodramatically. beautiful in their own way, and would only be judged as homely And I believe now is one of those times for you. In the coming by a person comparing them to mythical enchantresses. I trust weeks, I hope you will set in motion plans to transcend at least you won’t make a similar mistake, Sagittarius. Evaluate everything and everyone on their own merits, without comparing 30% of your oppressive circumstances. them to something they’re not. CANCER (June 21-July 22): You Cancerians can benefit from always having a fertility symbol CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): somewhere in your environment: an icon or image that reminds “I want what we all want,” writes novelist Jonathan Lethem. “To you to continually refresh your relationship with your own abun- move certain parts of the interior of myself into the exterior world, dant creativity; an inspiring talisman or toy that keeps you alert to see if they can be embraced.” Even if you haven’t passionately to the key role your fecund imagination can and should play in wanted that lately, Capricorn, I’m guessing you will soon. That’s a nourishing your quest to live a meaningful life; a provocative good thing, because life will be conspiring with you to accomplish work of art that spurs you to always ask for more help and it. Your ability to express yourself in ways that are meaningful to guidance from the primal source code that drives you to reinvent you and interesting to other people will be at a peak. yourself. So if you don’t have such a fertility symbol, I invite you AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): to get one. If you do, enhance it with a new accessory. Using algorithms to analyze 300 million facts, a British scientist concluded that April 11, 1954, was the most boring day in history. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In my horoscopes, I often speak to you about your personal A Turkish man who would later become a noteworthy engineer struggle for liberation and your efforts to express your soul’s was born that day, and Belgium staged a national election. code with ever-more ingenuity and completeness. It’s less com- But that’s all. With this non-eventful day as your inspiration, mon that I address your sacred obligation to give back to life for I encourage you to have fun reminiscing about the most boring all that life has given to you. I only infrequently discuss how you times in your own past. I think you need a prolonged respite from might engage in activities to help your community or work for the stimulating frenzy of your daily rhythm. It’s time to rest and the benefit of those less fortunate than you. But now is one of relax in the sweet luxury of nothingness and emptiness. those times when I feel moved to speak of these matters. You are in a phase of your astrological cycle when it’s crucial to perform PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): specific work on behalf of a greater good. Why crucial? Because The Blue Room is a famous Picasso painting from 1901. Saturated your personal well-being in the immediate future depends in part with blue hues, it depicts a naked woman taking a bath. More than a century after its creation, scientists used X-rays to discover that on your efforts to intensify your practical compassion. there was an earlier painting beneath The Blue Room and obscured by it. It shows a man leaning his head against his right hand. Piscean VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “We are whiplashed between an arrogant overestimation of poet Jane Hirshfield says that there are some people who are “like ourselves and a servile underestimation of ourselves,” writes a painting hidden beneath another painting.” More of you Pisceans educator Parker Palmer. That’s the bad news, Virgo. The good fit that description than any other sign of the zodiac. You might news is that you are in prime position to escape from the whip- even be like a painting beneath a painting beneath a painting—to a lash. Cosmic forces are conspiring with your eternal soul to depth of five or more paintings. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. coalesce a well-balanced vision of your true value that’s free of But it is important to be fully aware of the existence of all the layers. both vain misapprehensions and self-deprecating delusions. Now is a good time to have a check-in. Congrats! You’re empowered to understand yourself with a tender objectivity that could at least partially heal lingering ARIES (March 21-April 19): “How prompt we are to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our bodies,” wounds. See yourself truly! wrote Henry David Thoreau. “How slow to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our souls!” Your first assignment in the coming days, Aries, LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The country of Poland awards medals to couples that have is to devote yourself to quenching the hunger and thirst of your soul stayed married for 50 years. It also gives medals to members of with the same relentless passion that you normally spend on giving the armed forces who have served for at least 30 years. But the your body the food and drink it craves. This could be challenging. marriage medal is of higher rank and is more prestigious. In that You might be less knowledgeable about what your soul thrives spirit, I’d love for you to get a shiny badge or prize to acknowl- on than what your body loves. So your second assignment is to do edge your devoted commitment to a sacred task—whether extensive research to determine what your soul needs to thrive.

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Spring has sprung, fall has fell, and damn it’s nice as hell! When the tulips start to bloom, people look up from their screens, walk outside, look at the big blazing orange ball in the sky and yell, “Huzzah!” or ask, “WTF is that?” Then, they run to big open 2 0 2 1 S W i n d s o r S t . - U p s t a i r s ( n e x t t o Ta p R o o m ) spaces, such as Utah’s Mighty Five, by bike, 801.652.2384 | spa bisou.net MediaBids_190103_24.indd 1 12/28/2018 5:15:20 PM car or plane to get a good weekend dose of Vitamin D, exercise and fun. We Utahns love our parks and backwoods. They are one of the many reasons some of us stay in this politically odd state. Oh, to sit by a campfire after a river run or a day hike in a red rock canyon and look up at the night sky to see the stars we miss living along the Wasatch Permanent Cosmetics Front. The bigger the city, the fewer stars Microblading that can be seen, because there’s too much light pollution from streetlamps, buildings, Lash Extension illuminated signs and thousands of exterior To o t h B l i n g fixtures on homes. Facials, Skin Services My Navajo friend from high school once told me he looks at the night sky and sees Faux Freckles the stars as just “holes in the blanket.” I (check out our website for all svcs) remember watching Halley’s Comet slowly cross the sky in 1986 from the top of a houseboat on Lake Powell. Wow. That sight, with the bazillions of stars, planets and the Milky Way, was an image I will never forget. On a clear night—and in a dark sky—you can see star clusters, more than -overnight dog boarding80 constellations, spiral galaxies and the -cageless dog daycareInternational Space Station circling Earth. Finding dark skies, though, is getting hard-dog washing stationser and harder as cities grow. This isn’t just a Utah problem; it’s an international issue. As a result, concerned citizens have lobbied for, and helped create, Dark Sky Parks. Utah just got its latest Dark Sky Park designation at Dinosaur National Monument. Other Dark Sky parks include Antelope Island State Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, Weber County North Fork Park, 801-683-3647 • www.utahdogpark.com Capitol Reef National Park, Dead Horse Woods Cross: 596 W 1500 S (Woods Cross) | Airport Location: 1977 W. North Temple Point State Park, Goblin Valley State Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Canyonlands National Park. According to visitutah.com, more than 60 International Dark Sky parks and communities are certified or seeking a place among the finest dark skies in the world. Appallingly, 80% of Americans can’t see the Milky Way in their location due to light pollution. This means we are really lucky to have so many local opportunities for stargazing (when Mother Nature isn’t dumping record rains or snow on our heads). You can get more information at the Utah Office of Tourism (300 N. State, 1-800-200-1160) at the top of Capitol Hill, just below the capitol building.  n

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Entrepreneurial Spirit Scientists are aghast at an eBay listing offering a rare baby T-rex fossil for a $2.95 million buy-it-now price. Fossil hunter Alan Detrich, who discovered the fossil in 2013, is believed to have created the listing in February for the 68-million-year-old artifact, which until recently had been on loan to the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas. CNBC reported the specimen has a 15-foot-long body, 21-inch skull and serrated teeth, and Detrich estimates its age at death to be about 4 years. The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology issued a statement expressing concerns that “the fossil, which represents a unique part of life’s past, may be lost from the public trust. ... Only casts and other replicas of vertebrate fossils should be traded, not the fossils themselves.”

WEIRD

Another Day at Walmart At around 8:30 p.m. on April 10, things got interesting at an Eau Claire, Wis., Walmart store. Lisa Smith, 46, entered the store with her unleashed dog, Bo, according to police, and as Bo distracted shoppers and store staff, Smith pulled apart store displays, putting them in her cart. After being asked by workers to leave the store, Smith went out to the parking lot and started practicing karate moves. Bo grabbed a box of Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix and also attempted to leave the store. Meanwhile, Smith’s son, Benny Vann, 25, had made his way to the back of the store, where he completely undressed, exposing himself to other shoppers, and grabbed new clothes from store racks before attempting to run over police officers with his scooter. WHO TV reported Smith was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and misdemeanor bail jumping. Vann racked up charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, disorderly conduct and retail theft. Bo, police said, received only a warning for his theft of the muffin mix.

n  On April 13, a family in Newtown, Conn., returned home from a morning shopping trip to find Joseph Achenbach, 35, wandering around inside their home naked. The Watertown man had crashed his SUV in the homeowners’ backyard and moseyed inside through an unlocked glass door. Achenbach’s clothes could not be found at the scene, leading police to believe he had been naked when he crashed. FOX61 reported that he was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing and driving while intoxicated.

Suspicions Confirmed A concerned animal lover in Devon, England, contacted authorities on April 8 to report that a fox she had been watching hadn’t moved for several days, reported Fox News. In response, Ellie Burt, an officer with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, suggested trying the “broom test,” which didn’t make the fox stir, but Burt was told it “tracked them with its eyes and seemed to be breathing well.” When Burt arrived on the scene, she quickly diagnosed the problem: The fox was a fake, “stuffed by a taxidermist. He’d clearly been placed under a bush outside of the houses as a prank,” Burt said. “Someone had been moving it around the neighborhood.” Burt discarded the fox “to avoid any further calls.”

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Least Competent Criminal Brandon Cory Lecroy, 26, of Greenwood, S.C., really wanted to get rid of his neighbor. In March 2018, The New York Times reported, the FBI was tipped off that Lecroy had contacted an unidentified white supremacist group and asked them to kill his African American neighbor, hang him from a tree and leave a cross burning in his yard. An FBI agent posing as a hit man got in touch with Lecroy, who offered $500 for the killing and told the agent he was planning to take over the neighbor’s property. As soon as Lecroy made a $100 down payment, he was taken into custody. On April 12, Lecroy pleaded guilty to a murder-for-hire charge and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years of supervision. Send tips to weirdnewstips@amuniversal.com

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The Litigious Society An unnamed 40-year-old man in Muncie, Ind., is suing his parents for trashing his collection of porn videos and magazines, which he estimates was worth $29,000. According to the Associated Press, the man had been living with his parents for 10 months following a divorce, and after he bought a new house, his parents delivered his possessions—minus the 12 boxes of porn. His parents admitted dumping the collection; in an email quoted by the lawsuit, the father told his son, “I did you a big favor by getting rid of all this stuff.” The son is seeking $87,000 in financial damages. Cautionary Tale Paramedic Natalie Kuniciki, 23, was lying in bed watching a movie in her London flat when she stretched her neck and heard a loud crack. Thinking nothing of it, she went to sleep, but soon reawakened to realize she couldn’t move her left leg. “I got up and tried to walk to the bathroom and I was swaying everywhere. I looked down and realized I wasn’t moving my left leg at all, then I fell to the floor,” Kuniciki told The Sun. She called an ambulance, and a CT scan confirmed that she’d had a stroke. When her neck cracked, it had caused her vertebral artery to burst, sending a clot to her brain and triggering the stroke. Kuniciki spent a month in the hospital while she regained mobility on her left side. Doctors hope she can return to work in six to 12 months.

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Stay in School When the Wilkinson School in El Granada, Calif., received a bomb threat on the morning of April 11, it didn’t take long for administrators to empty the building of staff and students. But law officers searching the grounds found nothing—because the threatening phone call actually came from 2,100 miles away, in Woodville, Miss. That’s where a 15-year-old student intended to threaten her own Wilkinson County High School, reported

Ewwwww! We’ve all swatted at pesky sweat bees buzzing around our heads, but a Taiwanese woman suffered a more invasive form of irritation after participating in the Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, when Taiwanese people visit their families’ graves to spruce them up. The 29-year-old woman, identified by her surname, He, thought she had gotten dirt in her eye, but when the eye later swelled shut, she went to Fooyin University Hospital for help, The Washington Post reported. Hung Chi-ting, the hospital’s head of ophthalmology, looked in her eye through a microscope and was startled to see insect legs wiggling in her eye socket. The doctor eventually extracted four sweat bees from her eyelid. The bees, which crave salt, were feeding off of He’s tears, he explained. She is expected to fully recover, and the bees, still alive, were kept for further study.

GRADUATES

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The Continuing Crisis In Cary, N.C., Wake County Deputy J. Rattelade, responding to a report of a car crash on the evening of April 5, found one of the drivers, Derwood Johnson, 36, of Fort Worth, Texas, had gotten out of his car and removed all his clothes before starting to walk across the street. As Deputy Rattelade tried to arrest him, Johnson hit her on the head, reported WTVD. With the help of other first responders and some pepper spray, Rattelade was able to subdue Johnson, who was charged with assault on a government official. Rattelade was unhurt; Johnson was taken to an area hospital for further evaluation.

the San Jose Mercury News, but apparently didn’t check her Google search thoroughly enough before dialing.

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n  Crossville, Tenn., police officers pulled over Sally Selby, 45, at 5 a.m. on April 5 as she motored down Highway 127—in the slow lane—driving a Walmart mobility scooter. She was on her way to the Waffle House, she said, to buy a cup of coffee. WTVF reported that Selby initially told officers she had built the scooter, but Walmart confirmed it was one of theirs and had surveillance video of Selby driving the scooter out of the store to back up their story. She was arrested for theft.

BY T HE EDITO R S AT A ND RE WS M cMEEL


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Housing is a Human Right

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Housing is a Human Right