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C I T Y W E E K LY . N E T

Unfair acts

BY CARTER MOORE, KAT WEBB & MATTHEW D. LAPLANTE

AUG. 29, 2019 | VOL. 36

Why is any public school still playing football against BYU?

N0. 14


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Given its problematic policies, why is any public school still playing against BYU?

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Alongside her coauthors, Webb secured contracts and game sharing agreements for this week’s cover story. “It was interesting to me that there weren’t many people willing to comment— especially from schools that are more inclusive and protective of their LGBTQ population,” the USU journalism student says.

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Cover story, Aug. 15, “Almost Ales”

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You men need to keep your noses out of our vaginas. Unless you want us to start cutting off your testicles. We do still outnumber men.

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Wouldn’t that just be apple-flavored soda?

CODY EARNSHAW Via Facebook No.

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Fuck this guy. Broken Lizard is amazing. Sucks comedy makes you sad.

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Why can’t we all just get along and allow people to have their own beliefs and opinions?

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Via cityweekly.net Ah yes. Give her press time. Brilliant. She obviously needs new wigs. Le sigh.

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This is gross. Why are you guys giving this person a platform for hate?

CHRIS MARTIN

Via cityweekly.net Why would any LGBTQ American support Trump or the GOP? I’m not saying you just support the Democrats, but why would you support a party that literally hates you? Trump and the GOP are trying to legalize discrimination against our community.

BLAKE WARREN Via Facebook Meh.

@TOLIKAN2 Via Twitter

Lol. Had she been a Democrat y’all would be jumping for joy.

Editor’s note: You can read Lady MAGA’s manifesto on p. 8.

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OPINION

All Hands on Deck

When the Twin Towers were hit on 9/11 and America reeled from the very notion that it could be attacked on its own soil, we all faced a shared reality: Vast oceans and thousands of miles were not the formidable barriers we had believed them to be. Even Utahns, living in their isolated pocket of clueless bliss were confronted with the realization that we live in an unsafe world. More horrifying was the understanding that Americans were not defending against armies, but against something that the best killing machines can’t vanquish—a religious ideology twisted into a philosophy of hate. Of course, we’ve since had our quiet lulls. But there is no question that, like in A Christmas Story, the yellow-eyed Scut Farkus will punch us in the gut when he feels like it. The prayers of the “righteous” won’t prevent it. It will happen again. The assertion has been made that true character is best revealed by how a person acts when things aren’t going well. For instance, some say you never really know a spouse’s character until divorce. Similarly, how our country behaves when things are rough determines its stature in the world. Frankly put, our nation’s recent behavior—in national and international affairs—has been deplorable, but Utahns simply shut their eyes. America has descended from its untouchable status of world leadership to one where its traditional friends cringe at the idiotic blunders of its leaders. Unfortunately, GOP sheep wearing MAGA hats can’t stall the country’s precipitous slide from grace. Our country was once the unquestionable world leader— but that was only until fear drove Washington to suspend

BY MICHAEL S. ROBINSON SR. certain civil rights, create self-serving intelligence fables, institute renditions and torture, and engage in multiple undeclared wars. Sadly, we the people, the ones who could have made a difference, have remained a bleating bunch of wooly chumps. Getting to the bottom of it, just how did a group of Islamic extremists pull off 9/11? One thing was sure: Iraq was just an unlucky, innocent bystander against whom President George W. Bush held a grudge. He allowed his intelligence people to fabricate a story about weapons of mass destruction and duped allies into the fray. Utahns heartily supported W.—whose dishonesty was quickly forgiven— and he survived his presidency donning the well-deserved cloak of a congenial fool, rather than appearing at the Hague as one of history’s worst mass-murderers. Here we are, 17 years later; the Islamic Jihadists are anything but eradicated. W.’s banner waving “mission accomplished,” was kindly attributed to his personality, and despite the gargantuan monetary cost and hundreds-ofthousands of lives, the world is no safer. America’s misplaced retaliative aggression accomplished one thing— the destruction of a previously prosperous Iraq. Remarkably, the country which actually spawned the attack (supplying 15 of the 19 attackers) remains a highly favored ally and trading partner. Despite a long list of human rights violations—including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last October—President Donald Trump has delivered billions of U.S. dollars to the Saudi kingdom. Instead of censure, Trump has lavished Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with compliments, declaring recently he was “doing an incredible job.” (If Trump’s use of the word “incredible” referred to the 19 meat saw-toting Saudi “tourists” who attacked, sliced and dissolved journalist Khashoggi in acid, I guess you could say that the compliment was well-deserved.) Not a

single hair of the award-winning Washington Post opinion columnist—a vocal critic of the Saudi regime—has ever been found and U.S. intelligence has concluded that bin Salman’s to blame. Trump couldn’t give a damn. As a raging pathological narcissist, Trump’s only concern is to keep the smiles and accolades coming; his predictable response to flattery is well documented. Consider these: Vladimir Putin assassinates with impunity; Kim Jong-un has murdered his own uncle and half-brother; Benjamin Netanyahu’s hands are covered with Palestinian blood; and Trump loves them all—they appeal to his ego. His mantra is simply, “Feed me.” If birds of a feather flock together, POTUS fits nicely into that band of tyrant brothers. Somehow, Utahns avoid the fact that Trump worships the world’s worst thugs and does business-asusual with countries condemned by most of the world community. Now, I realize that Trump claims to be a Christian, though his canine teeth show he’s not really one of the flock. Interestingly, there’s a passage in the Bible that reads, “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness.” Obviously, that scripture caught Trump’s eye, but hasn’t he gone just a little too far? One thing is crystal clear: The ship of state is all but capsized. Despite Trump’s new title of “The Chosen One,” we must make the choice whether to allow him to continue tweeting his chaotic, knee-jerk decisions, or insist that our leader charts a moral, ethical and educated course through a troubled sea. It’s time, folks, to either man the lifeboats or toss the captain overboard. 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


HITS&MISSES BY KATHARINE BIELE @kathybiele

A Nail in the Coffin

This is a lesson in how to make you feel hopeless. The Salt Lake Tribune’s front-page story on homes adding to bad air is one more nail in the coffin. Earlier, Brian Moench, the president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, told the world that he, too, has become a victim of pollution and is now facing a choice of moving from the Wasatch Front or possibly nailing his own coffin. The Trib found that homes are a big contributor. OK, how many people can move into a net-zero home? Yes, new homes can make a difference, but government inaction will likely make changes to building codes negligible. Studies, including one from The New England Journal of Medicine, make it clear: There’s “a consistent increase in daily mortality with increasing PM [particulate matter] concentration.” Sadly, governments—Utah and Brazil— seem to care only about making a buck.

Something in the Air

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AUGUST 29, 2019 | 7

Utah has to be thankful for columnists like Robert Gehrke of the Trib. Gehrke tends to focus on the immoralities that underpin government. On a recent KCPW 88.3 FM show and in a less-than-presidential tweet, he said, “Utah’s ethics rules are a joke.” He was talking about a Trib story on retiring Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, the darling of wilderness privateers, and how he’ll be benefitting from a $700,000 state contract he helped make happen. But that’s the least of it. He created the American Lands Council and paid himself a handsome salary, mostly from taxpayer dollars. On the Inland Port, Gehrke tweeted, “If I was running the inland port, I’d rebrand it as the largest dirty soda shop in the West. Then every Utahn would support it.” So, even if he makes no headway on government change, he gives the public a hard look at their choices in elected officials.

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Tell it Like it Is

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If it weren’t so weird and emblematic of our conservative country today, the storybook tale of Patrick Byrne would be funny. Byrne, if you don’t know, was the CEO of Midvalebased Overstock.com, and was a Utahn with deeply held libertarian and conspiratorial beliefs that ultimately caused him to resign. Oh, and there was the purported affair with Russian operative Maria Butina, whom he thinks should take Vladimir Putin’s job, according to The New York Times. The Deep State was one of his favorite targets. But then, it still is a favorite of former U.S. Rep. “Little” Jason Chaffetz. Byrne made his fortune hawking stuff like rugs and furniture until he got behind cryptocurrencies. It looks like interim Overstock chief Jonathan Johnson, a failed GOP candidate for governor, likes Bitcoin, too, and perhaps conspiracy theories. It’s the way we roll in Utah.


Second Coming

How a gay kid who loves Disney princesses became Utah’s most divisive drag queen. BY PETER HOLSLIN pholslin@cityweekly.net @peterholslin

R

yanna Woods has not been sleeping well lately. Her inbox is flooded with angry messages and comments. People have sent her threats of violence, she says. Now, she’s worried for her and her family’s safety. But this is her “personal sacrifice,” she says, for “coming out” as a drag queen who supports President Donald Trump. Two weeks ago, Woods drew a fierce backlash when she unveiled a new drag persona—a handgun-toting, Trumploving, “trailer park chic” queen dubbed Lady MAGA. In model shots posted on social media, she poses in beauty pageant gowns and star-spangled bikinis, a bejeweled “Make America Great Again” cap perched atop her flowing blond wig. In other posts, Lady MAGA labels the LGBTQ community a “cult” and mocks the terminology of transgender people and recent civil rights movements. “This is my way of serving my country as a patriot,” the performer says, looking like a bundle of contradictions in her Britney Spears T-shirt and trademark red MAGA hat during a recent sitdown interview with City Weekly. “It’s discouraging, it’s exhausting, it’s frustrating,” she adds. “But I was raised to believe that we should defend our Constitution, and I truly believe that Democrats are attacking our free speech and especially our Second Amendment right now.” Other queens in Salt Lake have responded with a mix of emotions. Many are furious about what they see as a vicious attack on drag culture’s core values, but some are also wary of giving Lady MAGA too much attention when they could promote more positive values instead. “Anybody can put on a dress. Anybody can put on makeup. Anybody can throw on a wig. What it takes to be a true queen and a true example is what you do with the notoriety that you get,” Vega Starr, a Salt Lake-based drag queen, says. “As a drag queen, you have a responsibility to kind of light the way.”

LGBTQ ISSUES Politics have been closely intertwined with drag performance for decades. Self-identifying drag queen Marsha P. Johnson and trans rights activist Sylvia Rivera were on the front lines of the Stonewall riots in 1969 and established grassroots organizations during the following decade to support homeless queer youth and challenge gender norms. Performers like Crystal LaBeija of the famed House of Labeija kicked open the door for black and Latinx queens, while New York’s Wigstock and other festivals provided spaces for people to celebrate themselves in the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic and in a society often built against them. Woods (who asked that City Weekly not use her real name) has also found liberation through drag. Before unveiling her trailer-park “twin,” she was performing cosplay as Disney princesses, channeling the joys of fantasy and magic that were denied to her as a child. Growing up in small-town Nevada, she was raised in a family of devout Mormons. Her dad, she says, was a prominent anti-gay activist. One of her earliest childhood memories is a relative punishing her for collecting girloriented toys by torching them in the fireplace. Woods, who’s in her 30s, says she’s struggled her whole life with accepting the fact she’s gay. The pain got so intense that she ended up in an intensive care unit four years ago, suffering from a mental breakdown. She then came through thanks in part to Disney’s Frozen, finding a kindred spirit in snow queen Elsa, who was forced to keep her magic powers a secret. “The moment in the film with her father telling her, ‘Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know that you’re different,’ I was like, ‘That’s me,’” Woods recalls, breaking into tears at the memory as she sits and talks in a café at City Creek Center. “She went up to the mountain by herself, and that was me in those moments of suicidal agony,” she adds. “Like, ‘I just wanna die. I’m wrong, I’m bad, I can never be the perfect Mormon.’” Woods started performing while living in Boston, Mass. Later, back in Utah, she started navigating the local drag scene, performing as Rapunzel and Britney Spears on local stages. But her Mormon-bred modesty and conservative values made it hard to fit in. While many peers consider Trump hateful and against marginalized communities, Woods finds his public statements empowering, and was offended by progressive backlash to Trump and his right-wing media supporters. “I would prefer a president with a messy tweet history than a polished politician who I don’t really know what

VIA TWITTER/@LADYMAGAUSA

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NEWS

Liberals never bothered her anyway. “This is my way of serving my country as a patriot,” drag queen Ryanna Wood’s says of new Lady MAGA persona. they’re thinking or saying,” Woods says. “He comes out and says, ‘Shithole country,’ and yes, obviously, he could’ve said that differently. I just feel like he’s not a politician. He’s just this hardcore businessman who’s like, ‘This is what needs to be done.’ His flaws and imperfections are actually part of what have transformed politics.” Lady MAGA seems to have little to do with drag tradition. In a now-infamous blog post on her website, she deploys the rhetoric of the likes of Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopolous as she blasts the supposed “cult”-like political correctness of the LGBTQ community. In another post on Instagram, Woods poses as a parody of a liberal “Social Justice Warrior,” wearing a top-knot and pretending to smoke a joint while rattling off an absurdly long list of causes and labels. It’s posts like these that make other Utah queens roll their eyes at MAGA’s claims of victimhood. If she’s going to dish it out, surely she could’ve anticipated a backlash. “On some surface level, she may have a point—that if you don’t have similar

values, you kinda get blacklisted or kinda get shoved to the side,” Starr acknowledges about the drag scene. “But I don’t think that’s necessarily, in our community, a bad thing. We fought to get the rights that we have. We fought to get to where we’re at. We still have such a long way to go. And so when people believe these hateful things that she believes and support these hateful things that Trump actively promotes, that’s a very big challenge to what progress we have made.” Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie, a Republican and Latter-day Saint who came out as gay earlier this year, originally agreed to speak at an LGBT conservatives forum organized by Lady MAGA. In an email statement to City Weekly, Ivie says he decided to drop out because the event “turned into something far beyond what I was told.” Ivie later elaborated during a phone interview. “It kind of transformed into this really pro-Trump rally type of thing that I just wasn’t comfortable with,” he said. “If Lady MAGA wants to do drag shows and voice her support for the president, more power to her.


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The same power afforded to her gives people the power to voice opposition. … What we can’t be is divisive.” Woods is now raising funds to fly in two other conservative queens, Ariel and Zane DMaaj, to speak and perform at the event, which is scheduled on Friday, Sept. 6, at Murray’s Desert Star Playhouse. Frederick Luchycky, president of the Utah chapter of the conservative LGBTQ group Log Cabin Republicans, has also come on board. Ariel and Zane DMaaj are based—of all places—in the progressive bastion of the San Francisco Bay Area, and they operate a YouTube channel where they discuss what Ariel characterizes as their “pro-America” political views. Ariel says she’s excited to connect with Woods with hopes of building something bigger. “We found her through social media and absolutely loved what she’s doing. We were just so impressed and proud and relieved to know that there’s others with similar views to us,” she enthuses. Still processing the backlash she’s experienced over the past couple of weeks, Woods insists her original goal was not to provoke anger. The fact that Trump banned trans people from the U.S. military has given her a lot to think about and discuss. In an Instagram video posted after her interview with City Weekly, she talks about wearing her MAGA hat in public for the first time—a move she framed as potentially risky, but which turned out to be not a big deal as she walks through City Creek. “We need to just make our Make America Great Again hats, and be kind and loving and people will not freak out,” she says, under the hashtag #ComingOutConservative. Still, in this age of internet-fueled chaos, she seems prepared to raise herself up as yet another lightning rod. “I need people to remember that anyone commenting on my social media, if it is not me directly, does not speak for Lady MAGA. Because I know a lot of hurtful things have been said to people who disagree with me, and that is just as wrong as the threat of violence,” she says. “Don’t attack hate with hate.” Positive message aside, Starr, who is coorganizing “Fuck Hate,” a protest outside the conservatives forum, hopes Woods does better. “We as modern-day drag entertainers have to decide what we’re putting our weight behind. I firmly believe that when it comes to messages of racism or transphobia or hatred and bigotry toward any marginalized people, that we need to stand up and do the right thing and defend them,” Starr says. “I particularly have an incredibly soft spot—and it’s a very, very sensitive spot for me—with people being transphobic, because I’m married to a trans man,” Starr continues. “Hearing some of the rhetoric she spouts against trans people and against gender identity on that blog, it’s like, we’re supposed to be one community. We’re supposed to support each other.” CW


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Unfair Acts

Why is any public school still playing football against BYU?

H

BY CARTER MOORE, KAT WEBB AND MATTHEW D. LAPLANTE | COMMENTS@CITYWEEKLY.NET

istory hasn’t been kind to Lloyd Eaton. In nine seasons as head football coach of the University of Wyoming, Eaton led the Cowboys to eight consecutive winning seasons and three conference championships. But when Eaton is rememberd these days—if he’s thought of at all— it’s not for his record as a gridiron innovator who knew how to make teams win. Rather, it’s for his complicity in prejudice. On Oct. 17, 1969, 14 of Eaton’s African-American players came to his office with a concern. The all-white team they were scheduled to play the next day was Brigham Young University—a school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which actively and openly discriminated against blacks, barring them from equal participation in church rites and relegating them to second-class status. The Black 14, as they came to be known, sought Eaton’s permission to speak out against BYU’s policies. He didn’t even entertain the conversation. Protests were against team rules, he declared—and summarily kicked the players off the team.

Everything that’s old …

Ready for some football?

Money ball

This year marks the 100th playing of the “Holy War” between BYU and Utah, and the 89th meeting between BYU and USU, a game played for the honor of hoisting “the Old Wagon Wheel” trophy. While the inertia of history is strong, both Utah and Utah State have had BYU-free football schedules in recent decades. Most

AUGUST 29, 2019 | 11

Being gay isn’t a choice. Playing football against BYU is. While both Utah and Utah State have a long tradition of competing against BYU on the gridiron, neither is bound to do so. BYU isn’t in the Pac-12, like Utah, or the Mountain West Conference, like Utah State. In fact, BYU football isn’t in an athletic conference at all. It has been independent since the 2011-12 season. And although it has openly sought to join a conference since then, the university’s record on gay

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A complicity of choice

rights is one of the factors that seems to have prevented the major conferences from asking BYU to join. In 2016, when the Big 12 appeared to be entertaining the idea of inviting BYU into its ranks, 25 LGBTQ advocacy organizations signed onto a joint letter urging the conference to think twice. “As organizations committed to ending homophobia, biphobia and transphobia both on and off the field of play, we are deeply troubled by this possibility,” the letter stated. “We feel it would be extremely problematic to include BYU in your conference expansion.” The invite from the Big 12 never came, and no other major conference has shown any public interest in BYU. That means that BYU can’t rely on a conference to set its schedule. When universities do compete against that school in football, they do so as the result of a voluntary and independent negotiation for revenue sharing. Those universities could do what the Big 12 did, simply declining to do business with a university that discriminates. In doing so, in many cases, such schools would simply be following the rules they have set for doing business with any other entity. But that’s not happening. Hudson Taylor, the executive director of Athlete Ally, an LGBTQ advocacy organization that helped push the Big 12 to reject BYU, isn’t surprised by the disconnect between the stated principles of individual institutions and their practices. “There are a lot of schools within the NCA A that are supportive of their LGBTQ athletes and fans, but that isn’t necessarily evident through their actions, such as who they play,” he says. “There is still a culture of looking the other way.”

Utah plays BYU on Thursday, Aug. 29. Utah’s non-discrimination policy commits the Salt Lake City-based school to “providing and fostering an environment that is safe and free from prohibited discrimination.” Utah State faces the Cougars on Nov. 2. “In its programs and activities,” USU promises in its policy that it “does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.” No school can make rules for another, of course. But institutions of higher education can choose the conditions under which they will do business with others. Indeed, Utah’s standard independent contractor service agreement commits anyone doing business with the U to adhere to the school’s nondiscrimination policy. Under that standard contract, the University of Utah likely could not hire a janitorial company to sanitize Rice-Eccles Stadium if it refused to employ people who are in gay relationships. Following similar rules, Utah State couldn’t hire a concessionaire to sell hotdogs at Maverick Stadium if that company fired people for getting married to someone of the same sex. If either school tried to staff its football games with a security firm that maintained the same policies as BYU, the contract would, under the terms of both schools’ policies, likely be turned down. But the contracts with BYU don’t include a non-discriminiation clause. Thus, the state’s two most prominent public universi-

ties can do business with a school that encourages students, faculty and staff members to report on members of the college community who are suspected of homosexual behavior and other honor code violations. (There’s even a convenient web form to make things easy for snitches.) “I’ve had friends kicked out of BYU for being queer,” says Christa Cannell, a board member at Logan Pride, which advocates for LGBTQ students and other community members in Logan, the town where Utah State University’s flagship campus is located. “That’s a very real and very harmful practice.” Cannell laments a social environment that allows discriminatory organizations of all sorts to continue doing business as usual without fear of repercussions. “Unfortunately, being anti-queer in America isn’t a ‘bad enough’ thing yet to, say, justify turning down an organization or turning down money,” she says. “A lot of organizations actively donate to anti-queer causes and other organizations do business with them all the time.” In the midst of all of the problems faced by queer students at universities across the nation, Cannell says, a football game against BYU probably isn’t on a lot of people’s radar. “Non-allies don’t likely care. Allies probably don’t see it unless it’s pointed out,” she says. “The priority is football and entertainment. That’s the status quo. I’m not sure what would need to happen to change that.”

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As the 2019 college football season begins, University of Utah and Utah State University players, coaches, athletics officials and fans once again have an opportunity to take a stand against prejudice. And at the center of the issue, just as it was 40 years ago, is BYU. The LDS church—often called the Mormon church, although its leaders have recently abandoned that nickname—officially ended its racist policy in 1978 when black men were allowed in its priesthood. But the church and its flagship university weren’t done with discrimination. At BYU today, a so-called “honor code” specifically bans from the university students who engage in acts of physical intimacy with people of the same sex, even when those acts are completely non-sexual. Gay students worry they can be expelled for things that heterosexual students don’t have to think twice about, like holding hands in the quad, cuddling in the student center or sharing a kiss at the campus duck pond. And although same-sex marriage has been legal in Utah since 2013, two years before it was federally legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court, even students in legally sanctioned same-sex marriages are banned from studying at BYU. Such marriages, the school argues, are “sinful and undermine the divinely created institution of the family.” Straight students, meanwhile, can marry at will, and they do so in droves. Under current U.S. law, private institutions that receive federal funding can claim a “religious faith” exemption to Title IX, which famously provides women with equal access to educational services but has been expanded in recent years to protect LGBTQ students. BYU has a legal right to discriminate.

But some LGBTQ rights advocates believe other universities should be grappling with the same questions that faced their predecessors after the Black 14 story put the LDS church’s racial prejudice into the national spotlight 40 years ago. Instead of answering those questions—or even asking them—universities across the nation are lining up to do business with BYU. A review of dozens of contracts between BYU and the schools it has contracted to compete against on the gridion shows millions of dollars changing hands between institutions with strict non-discrimination rules and a university that openly and actively discriminates against LGBTQ individuals.

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News of Eaton’s action ignited a national conversation about whether upstanding universities should engage in sports competitions against schools that discriminate. In the following months, university sports programs across the nation were pushed to boycott BYU. Some did so publicly, others tacitly. Many simply ignored the criticism, reasoning that the football field wasn’t the right place to take a stand against racism.


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non-discrimination but also to “take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.” That doesn’t sit well with Liz Sauer, the communications manager at the LGBTQ advocacy organization Basic Rights Oregon. “It’s really curious and, frankly, disappointing that the University of Oregon, which has generally done quite a good job of supporting LGBT equality, has gone out of its way to support and play BYU when it has such discriminatory policies,” she says. “I would hope the university is open to criticism and open to discussion with the community on its policies.” Sauer wants Oregon to answer some basic questions about the contract it signed. “Like, why is this the case? Why is it important? Since BYU is not in the same conference as the University of Oregon, and they’re not required to play them, what is the point? What’s their purpose here?” she asks. “I would hope they listen to students and the community on why BYU’s policy is problematic to students.” She hopes Oregon students, faculty and staff consider how to respond. When people “come together as a community and say, ‘No. No more. Not on my watch,’ it’s one of the most powerful actions you can take,” she says. If that were to happen, maybe athletics directors would think twice before signing contracts like the one Oregon athletics director Rob Mullens put his signature on in 2015, committing to a game seven years in the future against a school with a long history of discrimination. Mullen’s top spokesman, Jimmy Stanton, declined to address the seeming hypocrisy that exists when a school refuses to sign contracts with institutions that aren’t actively committed to non-discrimination, but ignores that policy when it comes to football. He notes that BYU has scheduled games with other Pac-12 opponents, too, “as they are a strong non-conference opponent within the region.” Oregon, Stanton says, has “a strong culture of inclusivity and diversity,” including the BEOREGON campaign, which “encourages all Ducks to be their most authentic selves.” He declined, however, to address the fact that his university has agreed to pay more than $1 million to a school where student-athletes can’t be their authentic selves. But at least a representative from Oregon said something. Officials from Utah and Utah State refused to comment on the issue at all.

Playing dumb

With a devoted national following of members of the LDS church and a long-term television contract with cable sports giant ESPN, BYU is an enticing opponent for athletics directors looking for a chance to raise their program’s profile. “When we compete against BYU, it’s not an everyday matchup so I think it’s going to help with our brand,” says Tom Kleinlein, the athletics director at Georgia Southern Univer-

“I wonder about the decisionmaking, because the decision to play BYU indicates that the schools’ officials believe LGBT representation is not important.” —Utah Pride Center Executive Director Rob Moolman

sity, which will trade payments of $100,000 with BYU for games in 2021 and 2024. “People are going to pay attention to us.” As for BYU’s discriminatory practices? “I’ve never really had an issue with it,” Kleinlein says. “I don’t live in a world where I am very judgemental of other people’s policies.” The University of Toledo’s athletics director, Mike O’Brien, called BYU “a great name.” Does a “great” school treat straight and gay students differently? “I am not going to go down that route,” O’Brien says. “We signed a contract … That has several parameters. We are abiding by what is in the contract, as is BYU.” O’Brien argues the contract was “done many years ago.” It was, in fact, signed in 2015—and he was the person who signed it. Pressed to explain why he would sign a contract with a school that openly and actively discriminates, O’Brien hung up the phone. Taylor, the Athlete Ally executive director, says “football, not politics” is a recurrent excuse for not standing up to prejudice. “I think one of the first things you hear is, ‘Stick to sports,’” he says “There is a common response to diminish or ignore how culpable an individual or institution is when it comes to LGBTQ bias, bullying and discrimination.” Not every official is resistant to introspection, however. Ryan Bamford, the athletics director at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which ends a four-year, $250,000-per-game contract with BYU this season, says such a deal “is about trying to fill a schedule. We try to get two what we call ‘Power Five’ teams, so those are usually on the road, one-for-ones, basically to make money.” (Although BYU isn’t in one of the Power Five conferences, universities from several conferences count the Provo school as a Power Five opponent for the purposes of scheduling.)

RAY HOWZE

notably, Utah refused to play BYU in 2014 and 2015, showing a willingness to snub its long-term archrival when it was in its competitive and financial interests to do so. Utah fans were divided on that decision. Some cheered the brush-off as the ultimate spiking of the football over an inferior opponent. Others lamented the end of a long tradition. Few entertained the question of whether, as a public institution of higher education committed to non-discrimination, Utah should be playing BYU at all. Rob Moolman, the executive director of the Utah Pride Center, thinks it’s time to have those conversations. “I understand the history and the importance of BYU in Utah, particularly, but I wonder about the choice to play BYU,” he says. “I wonder about the decision-making, because the decision to play BYU indicates that the schools’ officials believe LGBT representation is not important. It seems like it’s a secondary or minor issue that they don’t want to consider.” The state’s two most prominent public universities have spoken forcefully in favor of LGBTQ rights on campus. But Moolman says actions will speak louder than words. “I’m not sure if these schools understand the message they’re sending to our community, to our members, when it looks like they’re ignoring these issues entirely,” he says. “The message is that the games are so important to our culture, to our way of life, that they’re willing to look the other way about the impact it’s having on a marginalized community … it looks like their university is celebrating the decision to play BYU, when BYU is minimizing queer identities.” While Utah and Utah State are the two teams with the longest history of competition against BYU, they aren’t the only institutions that have roundly ignored that school’s anti-gay policies. It takes a lot of schools to fill out a football schedule, after all. And it takes a lot of dough to make that happen. For coming to Provo to play football at BYU, other schools usually get a check for $250,000. BYU generally gets a similar part of the take when it goes on the road, according to contracts. That quarter-million payout is the same deal BYU has with Utah. At Utah State, the teams forego the exchange of payments, covering all their own expenses one year while reaping all of the rewards the next year. Such home-and-home contracts are typical between schools of similar sporting merit. But, like many large sports programs scheduling non-conference opponents, BYU pays larger “body bag” fees to schools that agree to come to Provo for a likely whooping. It has agreed, for instance, to pay Utah’s Dixie State University, another public university, $425,000 for a game scheduled for 2022. Such arrangements work the other way, too. The University of Oregon will put $1.1 million into a BYU account to get the Cougars to come play football in Eugene in 2022. That’s despite the fact that Oregon typically requires both contractors and subcontractors to not only commit to

Bamford compared the decision to play against BYU with a long-term contract UMass had for football games against Liberty University. That school’s founder, Jerry Falwell Sr., and its current president, Jerry Falwell Jr., share a history of homophobic and transphobic rhetoric. “The values of a school don’t really weigh in,” Bamford explains. “Unfortunately, we don’t take those things into account when we are building our football schedule.” Bamford says he would explore the legal ramifications of the contract. “It could be an issue going forward,” he says, “if it flies in the face of Massachusetts state policy.” But what if it’s not a legal issue? What if it’s just a moral one? “It is certainly food for thought,” Bamford says. “That’s something we have not yet considered, but something we should consider in the future.” That might be easy for UMass; its fourgame contract with BYU ends this season. For other schools, getting out of a game could be more complicated, and more costly. When the University of Missouri entered into a contract with BYU in 2014, it agreed to not only exchange payments for a home-and-home series of games, but to underwrite the costs for a hapless football program from Wagner College, in New York, to travel to Provo for a body bag game in 2015. That essentially guaranteed that BYU would have an extra win on its schedule when it faced off against Missouri a few weeks later—a bit of system gaming that is increasingly common in college football schedule making. (Indeed, Wagner lost 70-6 in its mismatch against BYU.) Since BYU played in Kansas City in 2015, “we owe them a game,” Nicholas Joos, Missouri’s deputy athletics director for communications, points out. “It would cost us a lot to get out of that game.” How much is a lot? The cost of breaking up with BYU, as dictated in the terms of most of the contracts, is a million bucks.


Big cover

AUGUST 29, 2019 | 13

Carter Moore and Kat Webb are students at Utah State University, where Matthew D. LaPlante is an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Communication. Versions of this article are scheduled to appear this week in Oregon and Florida.

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equality for LGBTQ individuals, it’s clear to Athlete Ally’s Taylor that they need to hear from their fellow humans. “It is incredibly frustrating,” he says. “There is still a very reactive state of mind. Institutions will do the right thing when there is enough public pressure, but to actually invest in that proactive solution, I think there are far fewer institutions actually leading the way.” Moolman says he would like to see that leadership come from the Beehive State. “I wonder if BYU was choosing to treat people of color, or women, or our Native American population, a more visibly marginalized group, this way, I wonder would these schools still play them?” he says. “Maybe we’re on path to look at protests at BYU, or boycotts on games for universities with discriminatory practices,” Moolman explains. “I hope we’re beginning to see some of that mentality emerge … I hope we’re moving to a time where people will start to reassess why they continue to foster these relationships.” But with little time to go before the Holy War, Moolman has another thought. “I wonder what if everyone at the University of Utah walked into the next BYU game with a rainbow flag?” Moolman says. “It just might change the emphasis on how communities and universities could be seen supporting the LGBT community at these events. I think the pressure universities could place on BYU is important.” CW

BYU associate athletics director for communications Duff Tittle says that, at his school, “we strive to treat all members of our campus community and those who visit the school with respect, dignity and love.” That’s all he would offer in response to the notion that his school has been signing a lot of contracts with institutions that maintain strict non-discrimination policies. BYU certainly isn’t the only institution of higher education with discriminatory policies in place. LeTourneau University in Texas has banned LGBTQ student-athletes from dating. Azusa Pacific University in California pushed out its former chair of theology and philosophy after he came out

Members of the Wyoming 14.

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Bad actors

as transgender. And Liberty, which is by far the lowest-profile of any school BYU plays this year, has a long and well-documented history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination—including pushing gay students toward so-called “conversion therapy” and denying equal treatment to the same-sex and trans spouses of military personel, according to the nonprofit advocacy organization Campus Pride. But BYU is unquestionably the highest profile school in that group when it comes to college sports, and the only one competing in Division 1 athletics. At least one BYU student athlete believes that makes her school a legitimate target for protest. Like other LGBTQ students at BYU, Emma Gee, an openly bisexual cross-country and track runner, is bound by the school’s honor code to avoid engaging in “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.” Gee loves her team. Fellow student-athletes, she says, have been nothing but supportive. But she pulls no punches about her school’s anti-gay policy: It contributes to an atmosphere of paranoia for LGBTQ students—especially student-athletes. “Many student athletes here are very prominent in BYU’s culture, so there’s a lot of eyes on them,” she notes. What should other schools do to stand up to such discrimination? “I think any school that recognizes the homophobia that it is, has every right to protest against that,” Gee says. “If schools were to choose to do that, it would make sense to me. Any time there are things that are unfair and not right, people need to speak up.” That pressure can come from within the school, as it has with Gee. But, she stresses, “in some people’s situations, it’s not safe to come out.” “As someone who is here and I see a lot of the pain, I wish things would be better,” she continues. “If that is what it took—people breaking contracts with BYU, or not signing at all—that would be great.” Could that really make a difference? Not if you take LDS leaders at their word. BYU’s policies stem from church dogma, and “central to God’s plan,” the church’s website proclaims, “the doctrine of marriage between a man and woman is an integral teaching” of the church and “will not change.” Regardless of whether BYU and LDS brass ever hear from heaven on the issue of

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The National Collegiate Athletics Association scored a significant public relations victory in 2016, when it threatened to pull its championship events from North Carolina over that state’s infamous anti-trans “bathroom bill.” And yet, as Cyd Zeigler of Outsports pointed out at the time, the NCA A continued to turn a blind eye to the “far more sinister and discriminatory” policies affecting LGBTQ athletes and other students at BYU. NCA A officials can’t argue, as many athletics directors did, that they simply didn’t know about BYU’s discriminatory policies. In 2017, the director of the NCA A’s inclusion office, Amy Wilson, visited BYU “to discuss ways to create more inclusive and respectful environments and experiences for NCA A student-athletes and staff of all sexual orientations, gender identities and religious beliefs.” Even then, Wilson avoided direct criticism. And since then, the NCA A has remained silent about BYU’s treatment of LGBTQ students and faculty. But if the NCA A is looking for cover for its habitual turning of blind eyes, it doesn’t have to look far. When Nike’s new corporate code of conduct was released in May, the company’s chief ethics and compliance officer, Ann MIller, wrote that all Nike employees should be “guided by both the letter and the spirit” of a code that expressly prohibits discrimination, not just among Nike employees, but also “colleagues, visitors and partners.” A slide presentation created to publicize the code proclaimed “we choose who we do business with carefully.” A few months later, the athletic giant won widespread praise for its pro-equality “Be True” campaign, including a commercial with a voiceover from triathlete Chris Mosier. “None of us can truly win,” Mosier said in the video, “until the rules are the same for everyone.” Yet when Nike signed its latest licens-

ing agreement with BYU, the company was silent about the fact that, at BYU, the rules are absolutely not the same for everyone. Rather than speaking out against discrimination, the company’s famous founder, Phil Knight, slathered praise on BYU. “We don’t have a better relationship in the country than the one we have with BYU,” Knight said in a statement. “We are very proud of it. We love the relationship and the program.” Nike spokesman Josh Benedek repeatedly declined to explain how a company that markets itself as a supporter of LGBTQ athletes could be proud of a relationship with a university that openly and actively discriminates against gay athletes. But Nike isn’t alone in that sort of duality. ESPN makes it clear to advertisers that it won’t permit discriminatory messages to be broadcast on its networks. The Walt Disney Company-owned sports network has also taken action to punish discriminatory language on its channels; in 2016, it fired commentator Curt Schilling over transphobic comments. But in 2010, the powerful cable network inked a muti-year contract to broadcast BYU football games—not only putting that school in the national spotlight but giving other teams a powerful incentve to ignore BYU’s discrimination in exchange for a piece of the exposure. In a statement during his school’s annual football media day, athletic director Tom Holmoe credited the ESPN contract for BYU’s ability to line up a strong home schedule, according to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune. ESPN has also played a hand in getting BYU into bowl games that the school would otherwise have been passed over for—making arrangements, for instance, for 6-win-and-6-loss BYU to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2018, even as other teams with similar records were left out of postseason play. Holmoe says an extension to the school’s contract with the network, originally set to run from 2010 to 2018, is being negotiated. “We plan to be with ESPN for a long time,” he says. ESPN officials declined to address their network’s role in providing exposure to a school where a gay football player would risk expulsion for celebrating a win with a kiss from his boyfriend.

UW AMERICAN HERITAGE CENTER

BYU’s schedule this season includes Utah, Utah State, Toledo, UMass, Liberty, the University of South Florida, the University of Tennessee, the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, Boise State University, Idaho State University and San Diego State University. Of those schools, Utah, USC, Boise State, Utah State and Idaho State have multi-year contracts with BYU. So do Arizona State University and Stanford University, which are scheduled to start squaring off against BYU in 2020, and Baylor University, which has a home-and-home agreement with BYU that starts in 2021. The Washington, Arizona State, and Stanford games are particularly ironic. Those universities were part of the coalition of institutions where students and faculty protested against their schools’ decisions to enter into contracts to play against BYU in the 1960s and 1970s. Some schools continued to ignore BYU. Despite the fact that both universities are private schools in the western United States with storied football programs, Stanford didn’t play BYU in football until 2003.


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Utah/BYU football

There are many intense college football rivalries throughout America, but only one rises to the level of being called, “The Holy War.” Many fan bases have bad feelings about each other, but when it comes to Utah vs. BYU, each side feels the Beehive State would be a better place to live if only those blue or red people would leave. The rivalry is such that the two sides can’t even agree on how many times they’ve played each other. The Utes claim they first beat Brigham Young Academy back in 1896 and the red team leads the rivalry 61-34-4, making this the 100th meeting of the two. BYU claims the six games played before 1922, involved Brigham Young Academy and not Brigham Young University, so they don’t count, and this is merely the 94th game in the series. What’s not in dispute is that this game is the season opener for both schools and the Utes have an 8-0 record against the Cougs dating back to 2010. Utah is coming off a 2018 season where it won the Pac-12 South Division for the first time and finished 9-5 overall, and are a favorite to be playing for the Pac-12 championship again. BYU, playing as an independent, finished off the season at 7-6, with their final win coming in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Also scheduled for the upcoming weekend are Utah State and Weber State, with both teams coming off 11-win seasons. The Aggies travel cross country to open at Wake Forest on Friday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. The Wildcats open at San Diego State on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. (Geoff Griffin) Utah/BYU football @ LaVell Edwards Stadium, 1700 N. Canyon Road, Provo, Aug. 29, 8:15 p.m., $70-$250, TV: ESPN, byucougars.com

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There’s a difference between innovative theater and experimental theater. A Brief Waltz in a Little Room— the current production from the Sackerson theater company—provides an ideal example. Described as a “pop-up immersive theatre piece” by Morag Shepherd, one of the producers of the project, it begins when 10 audience members enter a hallway lined with 10 doors. Behind each door, they experience a scene with an actor, film, art installation or audio recording forming a portrait of a fractured individual, Walter Eyer (Robert Scott Smith, pictured). Co-creator Alex Ungerman shares via email, “Three years ago, we created an experience called The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done, which consisted of a mobile theater booth just large enough for one actor and one audience member at a time. Our latest work draws heavily on what we learned with that.” “We wanted to tell a story of living a double existence,” Shepherd adds. “I have close friends who are, or were, in a mixed-orientation marriage, and the idea seemed relevant and pertinent.” Ungerman calls it “a story about identity, family, love and deeply-held secrets.” Because each audience member experiences the rooms in a different order, it allows for interpreting the story in different ways. “We have tried to include as many senses as possible to put the audience in the role of Walter,” Shepherd continues. “It allows for a more intimate and empathetic view and experience.” (Lee Zimmerman) A Brief Waltz in a Little Room: 23 Short Plays About Walter Eyer @ Urban Arts Gallery, 116 S. Rio Grande St., 801-6130582, through Sept. 14, Thursday-Saturday, 7-8:30 p.m., $25-$35, sackerson.org

The dog days of summer are here—bringing the heat and the dozens of very cute and very skilled herding dogs of the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Classic. Roughly 28,000 people make their way to Midway annually for this four-day showcase of human and animal talent. The herder teams travel in from all over North America, Europe, South America and Africa for the dogs to gather up wild range Rocky Mountain ewes, bring them down the mountainside on a designed course—all in 13 minutes. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs, umbrellas and other canopies for sun protection as they watch the runs. This year also offers a host of other activities. These include more animal-centric options like the Earthwings Raptor Show and the Wild Wonders and Exotic Animal Show. The festival also hosts cultural celebrations; events like the Utah State Highland Games Championship, Navajo Weaving Demo, bagpipe performances and various kids’ crafts take place throughout each day of the competition. The event features dozens of food vendors from around the state—including Park City Coffee Roasters, Rosemary’s Navajo Tacos and Lola’s Street Kitchen. The main dish of the event itself is American lamb, but visitors can also eat beef, poultry and plenty of vegetarian entrées. While this is an event for and by dog-lovers, the only canines allowed onsite are those in the competition and service dogs. A rowdy spectator dog could ruin a competitor’s run. (Kylee Ehmann) Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship @ Soldier Hollow, 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway, 801-5569229, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 7:45 a.m.-6 p.m., $6-$50, soldierhollowclassic.com

We all love a hero, but sometimes a villain makes such an impression that it’s hard not to gravitate toward them. Such has been the case in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Loki, the trickster-god adopted brother of Thor who—largely thanks to the charismatic performance by Tom Hiddleston—became the blockbuster Marvel films’ most popular recurring antagonist (and possibly-redeemed misunderstood good guy). Not surprisingly, Marvel is looking to capitalize on the character’s appeal, with a planned series on the soon-to-launch Disney+ streaming service and in new stories. Loki: Where Mischief Lies—by best-selling young adult author Mackenzi Lee (The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue)—begins a planned trilogy of origin/prequel stories by Lee focusing on some of the more morally complex Marvel characters. This tale focuses on a young Loki at a time when many other Asgardians suspect him of the potential for villainy, but the sorceress-in-training Amora sees the potential for good in him. Amora’s banishment to earth, and a subsequent string of earthly murders that appear connected to Asgardian magic, sends Loki to 19th-century London on a journey that might determine his destiny. Join the author for a special reading and signing event that includes a ticketed option through Eventbrite that guarantees admission along with a copy of the book. Learn some of the back story that helps explore how every villain once thought of themselves as a hero. (Scott Renshaw) Mackenzi Lee: Loki: Where Mischief Lies @ The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, Sept. 3, 7 p.m., reserved seating and copy of book with $20 online ticket or free on a space-available basis with doors opening at 6:30 p.m., kingsenglish.com

A Brief Waltz in a Little Room: 23 Short Plays About Walter Eyer

Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship

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A peek behind the scenes at what it takes to get ready for a drag performance. BY COLETTE A. FINNEY comments@cityweekly.net @cooliedance13

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rag queens at the top of their game don’t slay the runway without tucking, ta-tas and a face painted for the gods, as witnessed behind the scenes at Manila Luzon’s recent show at Metro Music Hall. With Luzon as the headliner for the evening, the JRC Events production was hosted by local drag superstar Gia Bianca Stephens, and included a supporting cast of performers and a couple of DJs. One of the most popular queens to appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race, three-time competitor Luzon has polished her persona to the point that she can take on any role thrown at her. “A lot of planning goes into a show before you can even perform,” Luzon says. “I like to do a lot of conceptualizing with coordinating what I am going to wear and what number I am going to do, so I can pack the bare minimum.” This night, however, there’s little opportunity to pack in “pre-show” rituals aside from a shave and a shower. The majority of leftover time is devoted to layering on the

sharing her mantra, “Being a queen is all about owning your own shit.” While the physical transformations at Metro are fierce and special, green room requests are few. Promoter Jordan Clements reports there generally are few secrets backstage. “People think any backstage location is some glamorous destination, but that’s often not the case unless you’re into looking like a disco ball from the hefty amount of glitter being thrown around,” he says. “It’s just a bunch of queens painting on a face, getting into their ‘geish,’ and rushing to make it to the stage on time.” Working alongside Clements, Kelly Sandberg, unofficial “Drag Momma” to all the queens, often tackles the most challenging tasks in dealing with a wide array of personalities. With backstage roles including assisting the talent while policing the off-limits area to keep overzealous fans from sneaking into dressing rooms, she’s filled with funny stories of scandalous moments. Yet, Sandberg states the atmosphere offstage is very different than reality television, and decidedly not catty. “The queens help each other get ready, loan costumes and jewelry and compliment each other constantly,” Sandberg says. “You will see banter onstage, but also a fierce love and loyalty. We are all just a distorted family of misfits here.” However, being a professional queen is one of the most expensive professions out there. Besides a unique stage personality and lip-syncing realness, hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars can be funneled into perfecting a diva who is intent on working it. For a multi-talented iconic queen such as Luzon, who turned the party up with slithering moves and sickening songs, the dedication is well worth it. “My

A&E

COLETTE A. FINNEY

Backstage Fierce

make-up and custom couture in order to leave packed audiences gagging with glee. Passing on “weird characters and accents” in creating Manila, Luzon is known for successfully straddling the line between glamour and camp with customthemed gowns and signature whitestreaked wigs, yet remains modest and joyful despite a shocking elimination from RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Season 4 earlier this year. “I am full spectrum when it comes to being nice or being a diva bitch,” Luzon confesses between makeup pats. “It is so easy to be negative, but you want to spread positivity, and I am up for the challenge to push past the negativity.” Performing professionally for seven years, Stephens, reigning Miss Gay Utah, is quick to concur as she pulls on her sixth pair of tights and applies the final touches to her mug. “You don’t do it because it feels good. You do it because it looks good,” she says. “You gotta have big balls to do drag.” But it takes more than charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to fully embody the ultimate stage presence—it helps to have a trick or two hidden underneath the padding. While shablams and dancing skills come in handy, having a wealth of creativity can transform an average queen into a glamazon, while still allowing her to cross over into other avenues like recording music and selling merchandise. “The crazy thing about Drag Race is that it was a really amazing medium for me to express my artistic side,” Luzon says. “From my background in arts and graphic design, it channels all through my drag now.” All the queens prepping for the show seem to have one trait in common: an endless vat of self-confidence. Fellow cast member Electra Jones sums it up best when

Manila Luzon drag to me is like a selfish experience in putting outfits together and getting all dressed up,” she says. “One of the best experiences to come out of it is inspiring other people.” CW


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moreESSENTIALS

COMPLETE LISTINGS ONLINE AT CITYWEEKLY.NET

City, Sundays through Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., parksillysundaymarket.com Sugar House Farmers Market Farimont Park, 1040 E. Sugarmont Drive, second Sundays through September, 8:30 a.m.-noon, sugarhousefarmersmarket.org Tuesday Farmers Market Pioneer Park, 350 W. 300 South, Tuesdays, through Sept. 14, 4 p.m.dusk, slcfarmersmarket.org Wheeler Sunday Market Wheeler Farm, 6351 S. 900 East, Murray, Sundays through Oct. 27, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., slco.org/wheeler-farm

FESTIVALS & FAIRS

Provo-based artist Amy Bennion, making use of conversations and shared memories with her siblings, explores issues of trauma related to mental illness, divorce and fear of death in I, your glass at Finch Lane Gallery (1340 E. 100 South, 801-596-5000, saltlakearts.org), through Sept. 20.

PERFORMANCE THEATER

42nd Street Empress Theatre, 9104 W. 2700 South, Magna, Aug. 30-Sept. 14, dates vary, 7:30 p.m., empresstheatre.com Addams Family Reunion Desert Star Theatre, 4861 S. State, Murray, Aug. 29-Nov. 9, desertstar.biz Behind the Zion Curtain Cabaret The Beehive, 666 S. State, Sept. 4, 7 p.m., thebeehive.com A Brief Waltz in a Little Room: 23 Short Plays About Walter Eyer Urban Arts Gallery, 116 S. Rio Grande St., through Aug. 31, dates and times vary, sackerson.org (see p. 14) Charley’s Aunt Hale Center Theater, 225 W. 400 North, Orem, through Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m., haletheater.org Cinderella Hale Centre Theatre, 9900 S. Monroe St., Sandy, through Sept. 7, showtimes vary, hct.org Hamleton: To Be or Not to Be The Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, through Sept. 7, Friday, Saturday & Monday, 7:30 p.m., theobt.org Matilda The Ziegfield Theater, 3934 Washington Blvd., Ogden, through Aug. 31, times vary, theziegfeldtheater.com A Midsummer Night’s Dream Utah Children’s Theatre, 3605 S. State, through Sept. 28, Saturdays, 10:30 a.m., uctheatre.org Saturday’s Voyeur Salt Lake Acting Co., 168 W. 500 North, through Sept. 15, dates and times vary, saltlakeactingcompany.org Sister Act Draper Amphitheater, 944 E. Vestry Road, Draper, Aug. 30-Sept. 7, 8 p.m., draper.ut.us Utah Shakespeare Festival Southern Utah University, 195 W. Center St., Cedar City, through Oct. 12, times and prices vary, bard.org A Wall Apart The Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State, through Sept. 7, times vary, grandtheatrecompany.com

DANCE

They Reminisce Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, Aug. 30-31, times vary, theyrem.com

CLASSICAL & SYMPHONY

Sting w/ the Utah Symphony Usana Amphitheatre, 5150 S. 6055 West, Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m., utahsymphony.org

COMEDY & IMPROV

Andy Gold Wiseguys West Jordan, 3763 W. Center Park Drive, West Jordan, Aug. 30-31, 8 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com Emo Philips, Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, Aug. 30-31, 7 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com Laughing Stock Improv Comedy The Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, through Oct. 12, 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 Shawn Paulsen Wiseguys Ogden, 269 25th St., Ogden, Aug. 30-31, 8 p.m., wiseguyscomedy.com

SPECIAL EVENTS FARMERS MARKETS

9th West Farmers Market Jordan Park, 1000 S. 900 West, Sundays through Oct. 13, 10 a.m.2 p.m., 9thwestfarmersmarket.org Big Cottonwood Canyon Market Brighton Resort, 8302 S. Brighton Loop Road, every Sunday, 10 a.m., bccflea.com Downtown Farmers Market Pioneer Park, 350 W. 300 South, Saturdays through Oct. 19, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., slcfarmersmarket.org Fleet Nights, Little City, 855 S. 400 West, every Saturday, 4 p.m., littlecityinc.com New Roots of Utah Neighborhood Farm Stand Valley Regional Park, 4013 S. 700 West, Saturdays through mid-October, 1-3 p.m., slco.org Ogden Farmers Market 25th Street, Ogden, Saturdays through Sept. 15, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., farmersmarketogden.com Park City Farmers Market Silver King Resort, 1845 Empire Ave., Park City, Wednesdays through mid-October, noon-5 p.m., parkcityfarmersmarket.com Park Silly Sunday Market Main Street, Park

Chalk the Walk Festival Viridian Event Center, 8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan, Aug. 31, 9 a.m., viridiancenter.org Midway Swiss Days Town Hall, 140 W. Main, Midway, Aug. 30-31, 8 a.m., gohebervalley.com Oktoberfest Snowbird Resort, Highway 210 Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird, through Oct. 20, snowbird.com Polynesian Days Electric Park, 3003 Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, Aug. 30-31, 5 p.m., polynesiandaysutah.com Soldier Hollow Classic Soldier Hollow, 2002 Olympic Drive, Midway, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 8 a.m.6 p.m., soldierhallowclassic.com (see p. 14)

LGBTQ

Beyond a Night of Music Encircle Salt Lake, 331 S. 600 East, every Thursday, 6:30-8 p.m., encircletogether.org Men’s Sack Lunch Group Utah Pride Center, 1380 S. Main, Wednesdays, noon-1:30 p.m., utahpridecenter.org TransAction Weekly Meeting Utah Pride Center, 1380 S. Main, Sundays, 2-3:30 p.m., utahpridecenter.org Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Utah Pride Center, 1380 S. Main, third Thursdays, 7:30-9 a.m., utahgaychamber.com

LITERATURE AUTHOR APPEARANCES

Lori Qian University Crossings Plaza, 330 E. 1300 South, Orem, Aug. 31, 2 p.m., barnesandnoble.com Mackenzi Lee: Loki: Where Mischief Lies The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Sept. 3, 7 p.m., kingsenglish.com (see p. 14) Noam Dorr: Love Drones The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Sept. 4, 7 p.m. kingsenglish.com Summer Rayne Oakes Thyme & Place, 362 E. 900 South, Sept. 4, 7 p.m., kingsenglish.com

TALKS & LECTURES

Collector’s Book Salon Weller Bookworks, 607 S. Trolley Square, last Friday of every month, 6:30 p.m., wellerbookworks.com

VISUAL ART GALLERIES & MUSEUMS

3SMITHS Alice Gallery, 617 E. South Temple, through Sept. 6, artandmuseums.utah.g 45th Annual Statewide Competition Bountiful Davis Art Center, 90 N. Main, Bountiful, through Sept. 14, bdac.org Abstraction Is Just a Word, But I Use It UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through Jan. 4, utahmoca.org Ancient Mesoamerica Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 S. Campus Center Drive, ongoing, umfa.utah.edu Andrew Dadson: Roof Gap UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through Sept. 7, utahmoca.org

Animalia Urban Arts Gallery, 116 S. Rio Grande St., through Sept. 1, utaharts.org Anne Fudyma: Synchronistic Space UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through Oct. 12, 11 a.m.6 p.m., utahmoca.org The Art of Painting and Truth of Mind Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, through Sept. 10, events.slcpl.org Children’s Expression Through Painting Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, through Oct. 25, events.slcpl.org De | Marcation Granary Arts, 86 N. Main, Ephraim, through Sept. 27, granaryarts.org Deanna & Ed Templeton: Contemporary Suburbium UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through Sept. 7, utahmoca.org [DIS]PLACED Downtown Artist Collective, 258 E. 100 South, through Sept. 15, downtownartistcollective.com Emily Robison: Collections A Gallery, 1321 S. 2100 East, Sept. 3-Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., agalleryonline.com Following in the Footprints of Chinese Railroad Workers Marriott Library, 295 S. 1500 East, through Sept. 27, goldenspike150.org Form, Line and Color: Modernism and Abstraction David Dee Fine Art, 1709 E. 1300 South, Ste. 201, Aug. 30, daviddeefinearts.com Greater Merit: The Temple and Image in South Asia Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 S. Campus Center Drive, ongoing, umfa.utah.edu I, your glass Finch Lane Gallery, 1340 E. 100 South, through Sept. 20, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., saltlakearts.org (see this page) League of Reluctant Bicyclists UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through Nov. 2, utahmoca.org Love Letters The Gateway, 24 S. Rio Grande St., through Sept. 1, lovelettersmuseum.com Madison Donnelly: Bathhouse UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, Aug. 30-Sept. 14, utahmoca.org The Medium is the Message Marmalade Branch, 280 W. 500 North, through Oct. 4, events.slcpl.org Paper & Thread Modern West Fine Art, 412 S. 700 West, Aug. 31, modernwestfineart.com Power Couples Utah Museum of Fine Art, 410 Campus Center Drive, through Dec. 8, umfa.utah.edu Portraits of Courage: Shane Sato Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, through Sept. 20, utahhumanities.org Remembrances: WWI & WWII Art at the Main, Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, through Sept. 14, artatthemain.com Role Call: Fearless Females in Utah History Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, through Oct. 21, events.slcpl.org Ryan Lauderdale: Glazed Atrium UMOCA, 20 S. West Temple, through Nov. 2, utahmoca.org Spencer Finch: Great Salt Lake and Vicinity Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 S. Campus Center Drive, through Nov. 28, umfa.utah.edu Time + Materials Rio Gallery, 300 S. Rio Grande St., Aug. 30, artsandmuseums.utah.gov Tiny Portraits, Big Connections Holladay City Hall, 4580 S. 2300 East, Holladay, Aug. 30, holladayarts.org Ummah Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, through Dec. 15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., umma.utah.edu Untold Aftermath, Finch Lane Gallery, 54 Finch Lane, through Sept. 20, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., saltlakearts.org Yellowstone: Invisible Boundries Natural History Museum of Utah, 301 Wakara Way, through Sept. 15, nhmu.utah.edu Vaha’a Oe Ongo Fonua / Between Two Shores Art Access Gallery, 230 S. 500 West, Ste. 125, through Sept. 13, accessart.org


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readers choice MEDIA & POLITICS Best elected official ————————————— Best local podcast ————————————— Best nonprofit organization ————————————— Best political scandal ————————————— Best radio show ————————————— Best radio station ————————————— Best social cause ————————————— Best sports reporter ————————————— Best TV anchor ————————————— Best TV news reporter ————————————— Best TV news station ————————————— Best Utahn ————————————— Best weathercaster ————————————— Worst Utahn ————————————— ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Best all-ages venue ————————————— Best concert of the year ————————————— Best dance company ————————————— Best DJ ————————————— Best drag entertainer ————————————— Best friend of the arts ————————————— Best gallery ————————————— Best Instagram feed ————————————— Best live music venue ————————————— Best local band/group ————————————— Best museum ————————————— Best music festival ————————————— Best piece of public art —————————————

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#bestofutah Best bar menu ————————————— Best bar patio ————————————— Best beer selection ————————————— Best craft cocktails ————————————— Best dance club ————————————— Best dive bar ————————————— Best gentleman’s club ————————————— Best karaoke ————————————— Best late-night grub ————————————— Best LGBTQ bar ————————————— Best liquor selection ————————————— Best live music ————————————— Best neighborhood bar ————————————— Best new bar ————————————— Best non-downtown bar ————————————— Best Ogden bar ————————————— Best Park City bar ————————————— Best Salt Lake City bar ————————————— Best sports bar ————————————— Best theme night ————————————— COMMERCE (NEW IN 2019!) Best bank for small businesses ————————————— Best business school ————————————— Best company to work for ————————————— Best company that gives back ————————————— Best family-owned business ————————————— Best local manufacturer ————————————— Best made-in-Utah product ————————————— Best minority-owned business ————————————— Best tech company ————————————— Best trade school ————————————— Best Utah retailer —————————————

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GRAND OPENING SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY LOCATION

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Greece Is the Word

With a crowd-pleasing menu and traditional technique, it’s easy to go mad for Mad Greek. BY ALEX SPRINGER comments@cityweekly.net @captainspringer

DEREK CARLISLE

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substantial, the dinner platter ($10.95) is a helluva bang for your buck. With 15 different options at that fixed price of almost 11 bucks, this is a meal that comes with your choice of entrée, salad, rice pilaf, a drink and a dessert of tapioca or rice pudding. It’s a fantastic amount of food, and surprisingly well-balanced for a fast food joint. If you’re in a committed relationship with the gyro, that can be your entrée. Steak more your thing? Consider it done—or well-done, if you like. I tend to stick with the chicken souvlaki platter because I enjoy the savagery of ripping my meat from charred wooden skewers. You’d also be hard-pressed to find a better rendition of marinated and grilled chicken. The kabobs look like they’re just going to taste like plain old chicken, but there’s some behind-the-scenes magic that happens to this poultry that makes them dance a hasapiko with your taste buds. Entrées aside, one of the most unexpectedly pleasant parts of my visit were the dolmathes over rice ($6.45). This traditional dish consists of boiled grape leaves stuffed with ground meat, and it’s a must-have for any Greek food novitiate. Most of my encounters with these little beauties has

been characterized by a sharp spike of citrus that cuts through the earthier flavors, but the dolmathes at Mad Greek threw me for a bit of a loop. The citrus flavor is downplayed in favor of letting the rich, slightly bitter flavor of the grape leaves stand out. Mixed with the ground beef and rice, the flavors adopt notes more like sultana raisins, and it’s delightful. A common theme among the offerings at Mad Greek—and with Greek food as a whole—is that it looks deceptively simple on the outside while retaining centuries of flavors and spice blends just below the surface. The fact that this is a place that can turn out consistently good food at completely reasonable price points, in the same amount of time that you can order yourself a Big Mac, means that there is hope for balance and—I dare say—sophistication in a fast-food menu. Just check out one of Mad Greek’s locations to see what I’m talking about. CW

AT A GLANCE

Open: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Best bet: Any of the dinner platters Can’t miss: The classic gyro is a classic for a reason

11:00am - 9:30pm 11:00am - 10:30pm 12:00pm - 9:00pm

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LUNCH - $11.99 DINNER - $19.99

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meat hanging out backstage sizzling in its own juices that was filling me with prelunch glee. Diners are in no way limited to this protein, so if meat strips shaved from a monolithic chunk of lamb or beef aren’t your thing, you can also get chicken, falafel and their pork sirloin steak gyro, which veers into cheesesteak territory with its grilled onions and mushrooms. I’m all for experimentation when it comes to this part of the menu, but the classic gyro is the one that will always fill that marinated-meat-cone-shaped hole in your heart. Freshly sliced tomato and onion spike the salty-savory meat with just the right hit of acidity, and the tremendous gobs of tzatziki mellow everything out. I’ve had gyros that pile on the sauce only to have the yogurt be too tart, but here it provides just the right amount of contrast. The whole party is couched in a warm pillow of flatbread that doesn’t strain against the sheer volume of food stuffed inside. If you’re after a vegetarian option, I’d stick with the falafel over the veggie gyro, because those great balls of chickpeas make for a more filling endeavor and are much better suited to that tasty tzatziki. When you’re after something a bit more

| CITYWEEKLY.NET |

lthough there are several exclusively Greek and Mediterranean restaurants in town, I’ve always been fascinated with those places that combine a traditional Greek menu with classic American diner food, like bacon cheeseburgers and eggs sunny-side up. It’s fascinating to think about how one of the world’s most ancient and established cuisines can blend in so easily with its surroundings, and even surpass them in some cases. Is it because the gyro is essentially the hamburger’s great grandfather? Or is it simply because Greek food is known for embracing new ideas and influences wholeheartedly? Whatever the answer, a visit to Mad Greek is one of the best places to ruminate on the relationship between Greece and greasy spoon. Both of Mad Greek’s locations—one in Millcreek (4504 S. 900 East) and Mad Greek Too in South Salt Lake (50 E. 2100 South)—boast a gigantic menu that features a full roster of classic American diner staples, and their breakfast menu is one of the most cost-effective ways for a hungry diner to start the day. It’s a safe bet to order anything from the American side of the menu, but if you’re going to a place called Mad Greek and you don’t indulge in a bit of tzatziki-slathered gyros ($6.95, pictured) or dolmathes over rice ($6.45), you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. I had built up a healthy craving for the gyro that I was inevitably going to order once I got there. I like to switch up my protein choice from time to time, but there is something about that huge shank of pressed


Want to know more about a local brew? Send in your requests. BY MIKE RIEDEL comments@cityweekly.net @utahbeer

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’ve always said that I have the best gig at City Weekly. Enjoying all that Utah’s craft beer scene has to offer is, well, intoxicating to say the least. The beer selections are generally mine, and my familiarity with the market’s players is always being challenged. To get me outside of my comfort zone, I’d like to give you beer nerds the opportunity to submit local suds to review. Is there something you’re interested in, but don’t want to waste your hardearned coin experimenting with? Use my stunt tongue to do the good deed (or dirty work). Send your requests to comments@cityweekly.net or tweet me @utahbeer. Now let’s get on with this week’s selections. Level Crossing Brewing Co. Das Lehrling Pilsner: This new Pilsner from South Salt Lake City’s newest brewery pours a fairly standard transparent straw color. I’m getting some serious noble hop aroma—herbal, lemon and apple. Pilsner malt is on display as well in the form of a characteristic that’s more biscuit-like than cracker-y. As this was the first

MIKE RIEDEL

Time to Help a Beer Nerd Out

beer of the day, the initial swig was deep and filling. Das Lehrling jumps out with a fairly big hop bitterness that is full of grape, apple skin and an herbal zap that takes a turn to the astringent before the wave of malts intercepts and softens things, giving it a nice firm foundation from which to play. The malt falls off toward the end and the refreshing bitterness finishes strong. The body is light, though it might be slightly too round for the style. The carbonation plays upon the malt and keeps this thing from being too flabby. Overall: While not as straight hop-forward as some of Utah’s other Pilsners, this 4% Pilsner doesn’t hold back on the IBUs. However, unlike some, it’s got a robust malt profile. This is a good brew, and I will likely have another. Shades Brewing Hogshead Reserve (Gin BarrelAged Belgian Strong Ale): Gin barrel-aged beers are enjoying a quiet reign as the barrel-aged beers for summer, mainly due to the availability of locally-made Beehive Jack Rabbit gin. Without this resource, we probably wouldn’t have this wonderful toolbox of flavors to pull from. This new beer has a hazy golden turbulence that seems Belgianesque upon first pour. The nose is greeted with the spicy floral fragrance of juniper—very cocktail-like. These Belgian notes really begin to take hold in the mouth as the sprucey tang of juniper and gin float just above the soft, sweet taste of Pilsner malt. Honeysuckle, bubble gum and light bread emerge as the barrel influence fades. Once the sweetness dissolves effortlessly on the tongue, an herbal and tea-like presence takes hold of the middle palate, teasing with prickling peppery goodness of ginger and the tangy berry-like tartness from juniper. Sprucey, sappy and minty, the beer rounds into a lightly bitter lemonlime refreshing taste. Winey and malty in finish, this full bodied Belgian strong ale is thick with soft wood tannins, berry tartness and the pungent evergreen perfume of gin.

Overall: Although the barrel elements are quite potent, the base beer’s bubble gum and honey sweetness are up to the task of reining in the gin profile, keeping it from drifting too far into cocktail territory. There is no ABV listed on the bottle for this beer; rest assured that it’s big, falling somewhere in the 10% range. Although it’s a seasonal lager, Das Lehrling has the luxury of being a large batch offering and should be around for a few weeks. However, the same cannot be said for Shades’ newest Hogshead release. Barrel-aged beers are often limited in availability and should be jumped on sooner rather than later. Both are available at their respective breweries. As always, cheers! CW

24 | AUGUST 29, 2019

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Serving American Comfort Food Since 1930

“In a perfect world, every town would have a diner just like Ruth’s” -CityWeekly

“Like having dinner at Mom’s in the mountains”

150 South 400 East, SLC | 801-322-3733 www.freewheelerpizza.com

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-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-

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the

BACK BURNER BY ALEX SPRINGER @captainspringer

Fillings & Emulsions Raises $45k

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NOW OPEN

Chef Adalberto Diaz and his team at Fillings & Emulsions (fillingsandemulsions.com) recently hosted a bake sale to help RAICES and the Texas Civil Rights Project in their efforts to protect and reunite families who have been separated at our southern border. Last year’s effort raised more than $30,000, and the team pulled out all the stops to make a bigger impact this year. My family and I managed to snag one of the final remaining boxes of chocolate chip cookies while the F&E team tallied up their donations. This year’s bake sale raised a grand total of $45,000, all of which went to help these two organizations look out for families shattered by immigration policy along the Mexican border. Not only was this a huge undertaking for Chef Diaz and his team, but it showed just how many people among us were willing to pitch in.

italianvillageslc.com 5370 S. 900 E. 801.266.4182 MON - THU 11A - 11P FRI - SAT 11A - 12A SUN 3P - 10P

The Store Opens Gateway Location

SO GRILL KOREAN BBQ AND SUSHI 111 W. 9000 S. Sandy, Ut | 801.566.0721

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Hot on the heels of opening its Central 9th location, the local grocers at The Store recently opened another location (90 S. Rio Grande St.) in The Gateway shopping center. Boasting a wide selection of local brands such as V Chocolates, Publik Coffee, Leatherby’s ice cream and Cutler’s Cookies, The Store has been a proud proponent of our local craftspeople for years—plus, it’s one of the only places this side of Heber City where you can get pie from June Pies. To celebrate this new location, The Store hosts a “Meet the Maker” event on Saturday, Sept. 7, from noon to 4 p.m., where shoppers can meet the people behind some of their favorite local products.

Utah Restaurants Honored by Wine Spectator

The August issue of Wine Spectator has included several Utah restaurants among the winners of their 2019 Restaurant Awards, which are worldwide accolades bestowed upon restaurants with outstanding wine selections. More than 20 Utah restaurants were recognized with Awards of Excellence and Best Awards of Excellence, including BTG Wine Bar, Veneto, Bangkok Thai and Aerie at Snowbird ski resort. The full list is available at restaurants.winespectator.com, and will keep those wine aficionados among you busy for the rest of the year. The wine scene continues to remain strong in Utah—and now the rest of the world knows about it. Quote of the Week: “If baking is any labor at all, it’s a labor of love.” —Regina Brett Back Burner tips: comments@cityweekly.net

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Summer’s Last Dance

MUSIC

Options to get your groove on before a chill is in the air. BY ERIN MOORE music@cityweekly.net @errrands_

H

ave you gone dancing this summer? Have you gone enough? I know I certainly haven’t—and if you’re like me, you know what a shame that is. Here are four great places to get in one more night of dancing before summer ends, and you don’t have to worry about checking your coat everywhere you go.

AUGUST 29, 2019 | 27

The Westerner is pretty much SLC’s sole “themed” bar, devoted to all things country and, well, Western. It’s a valuable thing, and makes one hope that other bars might one day follow suit—it would

I’ve mentioned the largest dance floor in Utah; now it’s time to mention what might be the smallest. The handsome, grotto-like space of Alibi is an exciting, albeit tight, place to dance your ass off on a Friday night to anything but top 40 standards. Well-known and -loved local DJs spin less-than-conventional tunes that still make you wanna shake everything—including, sometimes, some of your drink onto the ground. After I brought an out-of-state friend there a while back, she wondered out loud about the ratio of her drink that she actually drank compared to how much she spilled. Not the fault of the bar, of course, but of the all-too-danceable music—which, at the time we were there, went from funk to disco to rap to a remix of “Feel Good Inc.,” all provided by the DJs of the night—Laker Girls, who are also known separately as Bo York and Concise Kilgore. Catch similar acts every Friday night, but watch their Instagram @alibislc for postings about other dance nights on Thursdays and Saturdays. The DJ or DJs of the night are usually posted there the day of as well, but no matter who it is, you’re guaranteed to have a groovy-ass night if you stop by. 369 S. Main, 385-259-0616, 21+, facebook.com/alibislc CW

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Free line-dancing lessons + live country at The Westerner

Funky, fresh DJ nights at Alibi

Sky SLC is one of Salt Lake’s definitive nightclubs, a spot that dependably delivers EDM and electro pop on the regular in their three stories-tall club. This is the club for those who mourn the end of Das Energi season, but are avowed to keep the party going. Founded in 2013 with Burning Man on the mind, the club has succeeded in bringing wild and electric vibes to SLC with DJ nights and touring artists alike. Since they’re booked with local and international DJs most nights, including the obvious Friday and Saturday but also “Energi Wednesdays” and “Therapy Thursdays,” I’ll pinpoint one upcoming event: Loud Luxury, a Canadian duo, stops in for Therapy Thursday on Aug. 29 to deliver their brand of restless, sexy electro pop that has fast gained popularity in the dance music world. They also kick off their first ever headlining North American tour that evening, so catch them here before they blow up. Find more info about the show, including tickets, at skyslc.com 149 Pierpont Ave., 801-883-8714, 21+, skyslc.com

be very cool to have a funk bar, a disco bar, etc. But, for now, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a specific culture, sound and carefree, old-fashioned vibe, The Westerner is here for you. How and when to get your groove—or rather, your 10 Step—on? Wednesday and Friday nights at The Westerner are your chance to learn line dancing for free, which is definitely a great way to get out of your comfort zone. It’s worth a try, since it starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m., giving dancers the chance to choose if they wanna move on to a top 40 club for the rest of the night or, if they’re feeling it, stay for the live music that happens on Fridays (and Saturdays) after the line dancing has concluded. One such act is local group Fox Brother’s Band, who plays on Friday, Aug. 30. Make use of their large dance floor—which they claim to be the largest in the state— whether you’re good at line dancing or not. After all, if you just have a drink about it, it doesn’t matter how slick your steps are. 3360 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-972-5447, 21+, westernerslc.com

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Loud Luxury at Sky SLC

DJ Fell Swoop at Good Grammar

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If you’ve bar-hopped at all this summer, here’s hoping you made it down Gallivan Avenue, toward the corner where Good Grammar beckons—a cool refuge with good cocktails by day and a spectacle of dance music revelry by night. One Thursday a month (the next being Sept. 12) features DJ Finale Grande accompanied by various guest artists for a night of music you’ve never heard but still has heavy grooving potential. Wanting something more conventional? Swing by on a Friday or Saturday for the trendiest of songs mixed in with classic dance tracks from the early millennium, and a dance floor filled with an excited crush of bodies. As the summer has worn on, Grammar seems to have become something of a trendy, dependable weekend stop that sits outside of, but just close enough, to the frenzied Main Street scene. (Disclaimer: I also work at Good Grammar so I have it on good authority.) Get in early to enjoy a cocktail and watch the transformation from chill, funk-fueled bar in the early evening into what it is as the hours grow late and wee—a truly wild time. Keep up with Critical Beatdown dates and guests on Instagram @criticalbeatdown801. 69 E. Gallivan Ave., 385-415-5002, goodgrammar.bar

KORI LAUREL

Critical Beatdown Thursdays & bopfilled weekends at Good Grammar


NFL Sunday Ticket Lofte’s Bar and Grill

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10% off for military, firefighters and law enforcement

BY NICK McGREGOR, PARKER S. MORTENSEN & LEE ZIMMERMAN

THURSDAY 8/29

Amos Lee, Madison Cunningham

Amos Lee has always managed to pursue his own muse. After landing a major label recording contract early on, he was tapped to open on tour for Norah Jones, raising his profile almost immediately. Now, seven critically acclaimed albums later, he touts an ever-growing audience of ardent admirers who are drawn to his rich, rugged narratives from the perspective of an observer with a genuine affection for the people and places described in his songs. His tattered tales celebrate the human spirit and its determination to overcome adversity. Much like The Band, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Van Morrison and John Prine, Lee pulls no punches. His weathered and weary descriptions of ordinary folks forced to come to grips with life’s difficulties strike a universal chord. “When I’m performing, I like to communicate through songs, because it feels more like a distillation of clearer ideas for me,” Lee once told this writer for the Maryville Daily Times. “That’s why I mostly like to speak through my music.” He does that well, and it’s hard not to be affected by the stories he shares. His melodies and metaphors are evocative and inspired; as a former schoolteacher, he acquired his literary prowess as the result of teaching that skill. “I’m working for the audience,” he said. “I want to make that experience human and real.” That’s not only an ideal way of summing up his sentiments, but also a very real measure of success. (Lee Zimmerman) Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, 300 Wakara Way, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, $45, all ages, redbuttegarden.org

FRIDAY 8/30

Molly Burch, Jackie Cohen

The first thing most people notice about Molly Burch is her voice. Smoky, effortless and ineffably cool, Burch honed her instru-

Molly Burch

MICHAEL LAVINE

Sat Aug 31st 8-12pm

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ment in the University of North CarolinaAsheville’s Jazz Vocal Performance program. But it’s Burch’s way of modernizing lounge jazz and romantic balladry that has deepened fans’ affection for her. On her 2017 debut album Please Be Mine, she and her backing band delivered a minor miracle, turning hushed, fingerpicked songs about unrequited love into emotional powerhouses full of roiling energy. On the 2018 follow-up First Flower, Burch reaches even deeper into her own psyche, navigating fractured friendships and debilitating anxiety while embracing her own withdrawn personality. “I don’t need to scream to get my point across/ I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss,” Burch purrs on “To the Boys.” “Ain’t it a shame/ That I’m the only one to blame,” she exhaustedly sings on “Every Little Thing.” “It’s in my nature to be guarded/ I wish I was a wilder soul,” she admits on “Wild.” On record and on stage, Burch demands close listening, and not just because of her angelic voice and her backing band’s texturally perfect mélange of sparse jazz mixed with a vintage rock ’n’ roll sound. Instead, it’s the raw substance baked into that sound that really resonates. “I wanted to reveal my own struggles with fear and anxiety,” Burch told The Fader about First Flower in October 2018. “I do not have the answers by any means, but I wanted to talk about those imperfections.” (Nick McGregor) Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court, 7 p.m., $13 presale; $15 day of show, all ages, kilbycourt.com

Amos Lee ing degrees of invention. The Fixx ranked among the more successful of that lot, and their steady string of hits—“One Thing Leads to Another,” “Saved By Zero,” “Red Skies,” “Deeper and Deeper” and “Stand Or Fall”—made them mainstays on mainstream charts. Initially known as Portraits, they later changed their name to The Fix, causing some initial trepidation for their record label due to the decided drug implications. Adding the extra “x” solved the problem, and 40 years later, they’ve never looked back. The band’s five core musicians are Fixx-tures of sorts themselves, all members of the group during its early ’80s heyday. Trivia seekers might note that Cy Curnin and Jamie West-Oram had cameos on Tina Turner’s break-out album Private Dancer, appearing on “I Might Have Been Queen” and “Better Be Good To Me.” The Fixx can certainly be credited with not just staying power, but with the creativity to work well with others. In their case, one thing did indeed lead to another along the path to prosperity. (LZ) The Commonwealth Room, 195 W. 2100 South, 9 p.m., $32–$50, 21+, thestateroompresents.com

The Fixx

The Fixx, DJ Birdman

Nowadays, New Wave might seem somewhat outdated, the product of an era that was home for those with energy, exuberance and just the right hairstyle—tempering the early insurgency of punk with newfound drive and determination. As the 1970s came to a close, any number of bands opted to take that tack—Simple Minds, Talking Heads, The Cars, Talk Talk, INXS and Squeeze among them—delivering their efforts with vary-

LIZ LINDER

Harry Lee Blues Band

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AUGUST 29

SEPTEMBER 2

UTAH VS BYU KICKOFF 8:15PM THURSDAY NIGHT PATIO CHILL WITH ROBOT DREAM 10PM

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SATURDAY BRUNCH 10AM-3PM COLLEGE FOOTBALL ALL DAY CHASEONE2 10PM

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TUESDAY NIGHT BLUEGRASS JAM WITH PIXIE AND THE PARTYGRASS BOYS

SEPTEMBER 4

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9/11 NATE ROBINSON TRIO 9/12 WILL BAXTER 9/13 FAT APOLLO AND THE CELLUITES

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

JOE CALIXTO

CATCH ALL FOOTBALL GAMES @ GRACIE’S

SUNDAY 9/1

Glacier Veins, Rejoin the Team, Fairmont

If you’re into emotional punk, put Portland band Glacier Veins on your radar. They gained steam playing 2016’s Warped Tour and Treefort in 2017, and you can hear why. The “dreamy” label gets thrown around a lot to describe anything from music to lyrics to ethos, and Glacier Veins filters all of these elements through a punk veneer that breathes some life into the descriptor. The breakdowns are swift and sometimes even slow, though still percussive, and at a punk show, you sometimes need that kind of respite from your own energy—dreamy, right? If it’s not your thing, no worries; SLC band Rejoin the Team brings the classic poppunk energy. Songs like “Lights off” offers the emo goods with lyrics like this: “You only kiss me with the lights off/ You only kiss me when you’re drunk and the bottle’s gone/ You said you’d be there for me.” Meanwhile, songs like “Knife Fights” and “Young & Bitter” smack entirely of moshful, post-high school angst. Much of their discography is made of second servings of their tracks in acoustic or differently-mixed versions, but these contrast enough to be worthwhile. Finally, we’ve got Fairmont, a new SLC joint whose April release Emerson Ave. was a striking foray into the self-appointed lo-fi, divorcecore genre. Although the D-core of late-last-millennium seems like a far cry from what Fairmont is serving in Emerson or July’s A Rough Couple of Months, there’s a wailing pain in each release that seems to modernize the idea, and maybe it’s time for just such a modernization. (Parker S. Mortensen) Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court, 7 p.m., $10, all ages, kilbycourt.com

Choir Boy

Glacier Veins

Choir Boy, Gamma World, Kneeling in Piss, Big Baby

Although this local-packed show’s opener, Big Baby, haven’t released an album since 2016, that’s no reason to overlook them. The duo of Dyana and Madison create a constant, chaotic energy that’s loud and demanding, specifically demanding that you embrace your yelling, vulnerable inner baby. “Babycore,” they bill themselves, constantly reminding fans to “never stop being a baby, unless you’re too old!” This was years before 2019’s obsession with baby, being baby, “I’m baby,” etc., and the group’s 2016 album still holds up in the wake of this meme. As for Kneeling in Piss, conveniently the first and most important thing you should know about them is that they are named Kneeling in Piss. “If your body is a temple, your piss is holy water,” their website says in an earnest essay written earlier this year. This is practice-space punk, the kind of music that’s rough and lovable and seemingly out the door as soon as it’s in its second draft. The Columbus, Ohio, band is touring for their July release, Tour De Force, alongside SLC’s own Choir Boy. I suspect hearing them live will communicate the ethos of piss much better than anything you’ll hear recorded. Joining them will be a local band within a local band—the new side project of Choir Boy members Michael Paulson and Jeff Kleinman, Gamma World. The pair just released their debut, fittingly named Demo, on Aug. 5. Choir Boy soon embarks on a cross-country tour opening for other indie acts. Needless to say, this might be one of the last times to catch a Choir Boy show before they’re truly a household name (at least in the indie world). If anything, it’s the last you’ll see of these busy boys for a while. (PSM) The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $7, 21+, theurbanloungeslc.com

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$1.50 MIMOSAS & BLOODY MARY BAR

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TUES. SEP. 3RD ASHBERRY JAM

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WEDNESDAY 9/4

CONCERTS & CLUBS

GRAHAM TOLBERT AND CRYSTAL QUINN

Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten

THURSDAY 8/29 LIVE MUSIC

Amos Lee + Madison Cunningham (Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre) see p. 28 Arrival (Sandy Amphitheater) Beach Dead + My Boyfriends Terrible Band + Mortigi Tempo + The Terry Burden Project (Urban Lounge) Black Flag + The Linecutters (Metro Music Hall) Driftwood (Canyons Village) First Daze (Rye) Garon Brett + Riahpaan + John Goodman (Velour) Gordy Vietas + Electroacoustic Night + Los Hellcaminos (Lake Effect) Michelle Moonshine (Hog Wallow Pub) Outersite & Zenith (Gallivan Center) The Palms (Kilby Court) Pillars + Trembler + Spirit Prison + Benson Hedges (The Underground) Skinlab (Liquid Joes) The Turbos (Lighthouse Lounge)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE Dueling Piano (Keys On Main) Dueling Pianos (The Spur)

Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) Dusty Grooves All Vinyl DJ (Twist) Reggae at the Royal (The Royal) Synthpop + Darkwave + Industrial + Goth w/ DJ Camille (Area 51) Therapy Thursdays feat. Loud Luxury (Sky) Twist Jam Band Jazz On The Patio (Twist)

FRIDAY 8/30 LIVE MUSIC

Andrew Cole (Snowbird) Bone Diggers (The Cabin) The Damn Liars (The Yes Hell) Evergrey + Shattered Sun + Tulip + Davidian (Metro Music Hall) The Fixx + DJ Birdman (The Commonwealth Room) see p. 28 Fox Brothers Band (The Westerner) see p. 27 Heart + Joan Jett & the Blackhearts + Elle King (Usana Amphitheatre) Heart by Heart (SoDa Row) Jeff Magestic (Gallivan Center) The Lettermen (Egyptian Theatre) Mark Dee (HandleBar) Molly Burch + Jackie Cohen

At this point, talking about Bon Iver transcends simple musical discussions. Yes, Justin Vernon started the band with the release of an achingly personal folk album (2007’s For Emma, Forever Ago) recorded in a desolate winter cabin, laying the template for every Americana copycat to follow. But since then, Vernon has taken Bon Iver in wildly divergent directions. In 2011, he pulled a bursting-at-the-seams full band into his surrealist orbit on the chamber-pop masterpiece Bon Iver. In 2016, Vernon spun a brutalist electronic fantasia on 22, A Million, an experimental album full of vacillating synthesizer riffs and disembodied, auto-tuned lyrical narratives. Now comes i,i, another stop on Bon Iver’s long road to creative transcendence. It’s got acoustic guitars and heavenly harmonies, skittish keyboards and blasts of sonic whiplash and song titles that read like cryptic encodings; among them, “U (Man Like),” “Jelmore” and “RABi.” Bon Iver no longer represents just a band, or even a genre—instead, Pitchfork describes it as “a creative sanctuary, a battle against ego, a collective catharsis.” On top of that, the band always captures a feeling, no matter what sound it’s cloaked in. Across all of his stylistic explorations, Vernon still sounds rooted in human foibles, offering up his own vulnerabilities as a way of sniffing out the ones we hide. “I like you/ And that ain’t nothing new,” he sings with a mix of sorrow and satisfaction on “iMi,” perhaps reflecting on the peaks and valleys of life as a Bon Iver fan. Don’t sleep on opener Sharon Van Etten, who’s followed a similar path from folkie singer-songwriter to multi-disciplinary Renaissance woman. (Nick McGregor) Maverik Center, 3200 Decker Lake Drive, 7:30 p.m., $42–$102, all ages, maverikcenter.com (Kilby Court) see p. 28 Otherwise + Berlin Breaks + Ghost of a Giant + Veronica Blue (The Royal) Santigold + Sudan Archives + Madge (Gallivan Center) Santigold + Flash & Flare + Typefunk + Thoroughbred + Andy Doors (Urban Lounge) Shuffle (The Spur) Tanglewood (Garage on Beck) Tora Tora (Liquid Joes) When You Were Bigger (Ice Haüs) Whistling Rufus (Sugar House Coffee) Will Baxter Band (Lighthouse Lounge)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

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Dueling Piano (Keys On Main) Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) New Wave 80s w/ DJ Courtney (Area 51) Ryan Innes + DJ Chaseone2 + Lounge 40 (Lake Effect) Top 40 All-Request w/ DJ Wees (Area 51)

SATURDAY 8/31 LIVE MUSIC

Brad Wells (HandleBar) Clandestine (Garage on Beck) Corduroy (The Depot) Dead Zephyrs (Big Willies) The Fabulous Flynnstones (Park City Mountain) Folk Gold + Mantis Jackson (Urban Lounge) Fox Brothers Band (The Westerner) see p. 27 Holy Grove + Done + Sleeping Tigers (Kilby Court) Jordan Young (The Yes Hell) Kenz Waldo (Harp and Hound) The Lettermen (Egyptian Theatre) Shannon Runyon (Snowbird) Spazmatics (Liquid Joe’s)


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34 | AUGUST 29, 2019

KIITOS BREWING

ERIN MOORE

BAR FLY

Spock Block (The Spur) Sting + the Utah Symphony (Usana Amphitheatre) Sydnie Keddington + DJ Mr. Ramirez + Matthew Bashaw & the Hope (Lake Effect) Tara Lipsyncki + Mona Diet + The Whore of ’94 + Terra Flesh + Roary Hollace + Cesar Chavez + Schade The Queen + Sam D’Antuono + Skittish and Bus (Metro Music Hall) Tiffany (SoDa Row) Upon A Burning Body + Of Virtue + Speaking With Ghosts + Liar’s tongue + Crow Killer (Kilby Court) Yng Sol + 6thGen + CherrypopsX + J.R. Trill O.T.T.$ (Loading Dock)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE Dueling Piano (Keys On Main) Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) DJ Chaseone2 (Gracie’s) DJ Dance Party (Club 90) DJ Jskee (The Spur) DJ Juggy (Bourbon House) DJ Latu (Green Pig) DJ Request (Outlaw Saloon) Gothic + Industrial + Dark ’80s w/ DJ

Courtney (Area 51) Sky Saturdays w/ JPan (Sky) Top 40 + EDM + Alternative w/ DJ Twitch (Area 51)

SUNDAY 9/1 LIVE MUSIC

B.D. Howes Band (Park Silly Sunday Market) Choir Boy + Kneeling In Plss + Gamma World + Big Baby (Urban Lounge) see p. 30 Glacier Veins + Rejoin the Team + Fairmont (Kilby Court) see p. 30 Grace Vanderwaal (The Depot) The Lettermen (Egyptian Theatre) Live Bluegrass (Club 90) Mike Oregano (Gracie’s) Patrick Ryan (The Spur)

MONDAY 9/2

I’ve been meaning to come back to the Kiitos Brewing’s taproom since the first two times I visited. My first visit was when I was living out of state and I was back in SLC around Christmas to see family and friends. Some such friends decided to take me on a “brewery bounce” so I could experience all the breweries that had recently opened since I’d been gone; it had been about a year at that point, and there were like, five new ones. Hurray for our growing scene! Kiitos was a stop after we’d already gotten a little tipsy elsewhere, and the bright, golden lighting of Kiitos’ dive-bar decorated bar space made the room seem like it was spinning, if I recall. The second time I went was after I’d moved back, with the same friends, and I was able to better appreciate the low-key vibe of this brewery—including those bare yellow bulbs that line the exposed rafters. Located in an industrial area around the freeway entrances (be careful not to get on the freeway on your way over), the bar has loads of arcade games and tall, simple tables and stools dotting the room. It’s all utterly humble—a rare trait in the craft brewery world, where taprooms are often styled out to the max. On this hot day, I’m craving something fruity. I notice a beer I haven’t tried on their menu, the Vanilla Nut Cream Ale, but that sounds too warm for a day when sweat is making my T-shirt cling to my back. I tell the bartender this, omitting the sweat detail, and he offers to mix it up with their Blackberry Sour, which earns him an immediate, “Yes, please!” It tastes like a blackberry cream soda, but with alcohol instead of loads of sugar. Unfortunately, the Vanilla Nut Cream Ale isn’t available in stores, so next time I need this particular fix, I’ll be back to enjoy this taproom once more. (Erin Moore) Kiitos Brewing, 608 W. 700 South, 801-215-9165, kiitosbrewing.com Lynn Jones (The Spur)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE Monday Night Open Jazz Session w/ David Halliday & the JVQ (Gracie’s)

TUESDAY 9/3 LIVE MUSIC

AJR + Tessa Violet (The Saltair) Daniel Torriente (The Spur) Despite Despair + PSO + Mandalore + Anonymous + Violent Unrest (The Beehive) Tad Calcara &. New Deal Swing (Gallivan Center) Tony Oros + Scott Foster (Lake Effect) The Viciouz Villainz + Lyrical Assailant + N.O.S.R.A.C + Doc Demonic + Young Pagan + U4B + Wally Havoc (Liquid Joes)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

LIVE MUSIC

Blink 182 + Lil Wayne (Usana Amphitheatre) Christian Mills Band (Lake Effect) Holy Grove + Done (Kilby Court)

Open Mic Night (The Royal) Tuesday Night Bluegrass Jam w/ Pixie & The Partygrass Boys (Gracie’s)

WEDNESDAY 9/4 LIVE MUSIC

Bon Iver + Sharon Van Etten (Maverik Center) see p. 32 Burly University (Prohibition) Elliot and Gabriel (The Spur) Elton John (Vivint Smart Home Arena) Gov’t Mule (Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre) Kirko Bangz (Liquid Joes) The Killer Queens (Metro Music Hall) Lord Vox + Umbels + Wish (Urban Lounge) The Real Doug Lane + Nick Ailes (ABG’s) Scarlxrd (The Complex)

DJ, OPEN MIC, SESSION, PIANO LOUNGE

Dark NRG w/ DJ Nyx (Area 51) Dueling Piano (Keys On Main) Dueling Pianos (Tavernacle) Energi Wednesday ft. Champagne Drip & Luzcid (Sky) Open Mic (Velour) Terrance Hansen + DJ Chaseone2 (Lake Effect)

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Fall Movie Preview

brings back Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong? In the Disney wave of live-action reinterpretations of its animated canon, will Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Oct. 18) continue to mine the rare unique perspective that its predecessor did? All it takes to find out is buying a ticket, and hoping for the best. (SR)

O

nce upon a time, there was summer at the movies, and there was the rest of the year at the movies. Summer at the movies was all about big-budget franchises and other breezy entertainment; the rest of the year was for the other stuff. But that was before the era of consolidation, and streaming services turning into one of the only places to find mid-budget stories. In theory, fall began the season when cinephiles anticipated the movies that would be on awards short-lists. Now, as multiplexes look to an eternal summer, what do we look forward to? It’s easy to lament the fact that the sky is falling in theatrical distribution, but there are always things worth anticipating, if you know where to look. Several talented directors bring new work to theaters before the end of 2019. Terrence Malick might be a polarizing figure for his stylized cinematic reveries, but I’m curious to see what he brings to the story of a World War II-era Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter in A Hidden Life (Dec. 13 limited/January wide). James Mangold—whose work includes the well-regarded Wolverine tale Logan—offers a different kind of factbased drama, with Christian Bale and Matt Damon starring in the story of an attempt to create a revolutionary racing car for the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in Ford v Ferrari (Nov. 15). Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) ventures into the World War I trenches for the drama of 1917 (Dec. 25). Martin Scorsese serves up the acting murderer’s row of DeNiro, Pacino, Keitel and a taking-a-break from retirement Joe Pesci in a look at the Jimmy Hoffa murder in The Irishman (TBD). And that’s saying nothing of new offerings from James Gray, Greta Gerwig and Rian Johnson (as you’ll read later). But the thing about the eternal summer is that it still presents stuff that inspires curiosity. Can Todd Phillips—director of the Hangover movies—find something new and interesting to do with an iconic villain like Joker (Oct. 4) in an origin story starring Joaquin Phoenix? Is there still life to be found in the Terminator franchise as Tim Miller’s (Deadpool) Terminator: Dark Fate (Nov. 1)

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhod

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Little Women

SONY PICTURES

20th CENTURY FOX

20th CENTURY FOX

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

FOX SEARCH LIGHT

A Hidden Life

Terminator: Dark Fate

WARNER BROS.

Ad Astra

LUCAS FILM

BY SCOTT RENSHAW AND MARYANN JOHANSON comments@cityweekly.net @scottrenshaw @maryannjohanson

There is a new Star Wars movie this Christmas, and for film fans of a certain age—I was 8 when the original blew my little mind back in 1977—there is no other film coming before year’s end. The Rise of Skywalker (Dec. 20) is, in fact, the end of the Skywalker saga (or so Lucasfilm informs us), and I am ready for my geeky little heart to get smashed in the most wonderful way. A quick glance down the rest of the fall schedule reveals a few films I might let distract me while I wait for the Force to be with me again. I’m hoping Ad Astra (Sept. 20) pans out as the contemplative yet exciting mashup of Gravity and Interstellar that it looks to be. Brad Pitt as an astronaut on a secret mission to save his father would seem to have lots of potential for dramatic adventure; writerdirector Gray’s track record of solemn yet impassioned drama does bode well. In other genre news, Zombieland 2: Double Tap (Oct. 18) promises more undead-bashing fun; maybe this time they’ll find some (in)edible Twinkies. And the genre-adjacent The Current War (Oct. 4) pits Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) against George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) in a based-on-fact historical drama about their competing attempts to electrify America; cult figure and legendary geek Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) plays a small yet essential role. This should be fun: Looper writer-director Johnson riffs on Agatha Christie with Knives Out (Nov. 27), in which Daniel Craig’s detective investigates an all-star cast—Chris Evans, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon (again)—in the murder of Christopher Plummer. And I’m hoping that Last Christmas (Nov. 8)— from writer Emma Thompson and director Paul Feig (the brilliantly dark A Simple Favor)—offers a snarky spin on holiday romantic comedy. If nothing else, mismatched lovebirds Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding should prove to be a pleasure to spend time with. Awards season is getting into full swing, and a few contenders are on my can’t-wait-to-see list. Can You Ever Forgive Me? director Marielle Heller returns with her Fred Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Nov. 22); Tom Hanks in the starring role is a huge treat, and Rogers philosophy of kindness a soothing balm for angry times. And while we’re certainly not short of adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, director Gerwig and co-writer Sarah Polley are sure to add a lovely new feminist spin to their Little Women (Dec. 25). (MAJ) CW

PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Awards fodder and franchise fare share theater screens through the end of 2019.

SONY PICTURES

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36 | AUGUST 29, 2019

CINEMA

FILM PREVIEW


FREE WILL ASTROLOGY B Y R O B

SLC B R E Z S N Y

READY OR NOT

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.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Shogun is a best-selling novel about an Englishman who transforms himself into a samurai warrior in 17th-century Japan. Written by James Clavell, it’s more than 1,100 pages long. Clavell testified that the idea for the story sprang up in him when he read one line in his daughter’s school book: “In 1600 an Englishman went to Japan and became a samurai.” I suspect it’s highly likely you will soon encounter a seed like that, Virgo: a bare inspiration that will eventually bloom into a Big Thing. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran athlete Mickey Mantle is in Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. He had a spectacular 18-year career, winning the Most Valuable Player Award three times, playing in 12 World Series, and being selected to the All-Star team 16 times. So it’s astounding that he played with a torn ligament in his knee for 17 years, according to his biographer Jane Leavy. She quoted an orthopedic surgeon who said that Mantle compensated for his injury with “neuromuscular genius.” I’m thinking that in the next few weeks you’re in a position to accomplish an equivalent of Mantle’s heroic adjustment.

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AUGUST 29, 2019 | 37

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Here are examples of activities I recommend you try in the coming days. 1. Build a campfire on the beach with friends and regale each other with stories of your most interesting successes. 2. Buy eccentric treasures at a flea market and ever thereafter refer to them as your holy icons. 3. Climb a hill and sit on the grass as you sing your favorite songs and watch the moon slowly rise over the eastern horizon. 4. Take naps when you’re “not supposed to.” 5. Sneak into an orchard at night and eat fruit SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Most people who belong to the Church of Satan neither believe plucked just moments before. 6. Tell a beloved person a fairy in nor worship Satan. (They’re atheists, and don’t believe in the tale in which he or she is the hero. supernatural.) I think a comparable principle is true for many rightwing fundamentalist Christians. Their actions and words TAURUS (April 20-May 20): are replete with bigotry, hard-heartedness, materialism and The hardiest creature on the planet might be the bacterium selfishness: so contrary to what the real Jesus Christ taught known as Deinococcus radiodurans. It can endure exposure to that they in effect don’t believe in or worship Jesus Christ. I radiation, intense cold, dehydration, acid and vacuum. I propose mention this, Scorpio, in hope of inspiring you to take inven- we make it your power creature for the coming weeks. Why? tory of whether your stated ideals are reflected in the practical Not because I expect you’ll have to deal with a lot of extreme details of how you live your life. That’s always an interesting conditions, but rather because I think you’ll be exceptionally and important task, of course, but it’s especially so for you right robust, physically and psychologically. If you’ve been waiting for now. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to purge any the right time to succeed at demanding challenges that require hypocrisy from your system and get your actual behavior in close you to be in top form, now is a good time to do it. P.S. Deinococcus radiodurans is colloquially referred to as Conan the Bacterium, alignment with your deepest values. borrowing from the spirit of the fictional character Conan the Barbarian, who is renowned for his strength and agility. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It’s the right time for you to create a fresh mission statement and promotional campaign. For inspiration, read mine: “My column GEMINI (May 21-June 20): ‘Free Will Astrology’ offers you a wide selection of realities to In the yearly cycle of many Geminis, retreating into a state akin choose from. With 4,212 years of dedication to customer service to hibernation makes sense during the end of August and the (over the course of my last 13 incarnations), I’m a reliable ally sup- first three weeks of September. But since many of you are highporting your efforts to escape your oppressive conditioning and energy sophisticates, you often override your body’s signals. other people’s hells. My horoscopes come with an ironclad guar- And then nature pushes back by compelling you to slow down. antee: If the advice you read is wrong, you’re under no obligation to The result might be a rhythm that feels like constantly taking believe it. And remember: a panel of 531 experts has determined three steps forward and two steps backward. May I suggest a that ‘Free Will Astrology’ is an effective therapy for your chronic different approach this year? Would you consider surrendering, wounds and primordial pain. It is also dramatic proof that there is even slightly, to the invitation to relax and recharge? no good reason to be afraid of life.” CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you decide to travel to a particular place via hot air balloon, you CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Here are good questions for you to meditate on during the next must be prepared for the possibility that your route will be indirect. four weeks. 1. How can you attract resources that will expand At different altitudes, the wind might be blowing in different your mind and your world? 2. Are you bold enough to reach out directions: toward the east at 100 feet, but toward the southwest to wise sources and provocative influences that could connect you at 200 feet. The trick for the pilot is to jockey up and down until with useful tricks and practical treasures? 3. What interesting finding a layer that’s headed toward the desired destination. I lessons can you stir up as you explore the mercurial edges, skirt the see your life right now as having a metaphorical resemblance to changeable boundaries, journey to catalytic frontiers, and make this riddle. You have not yet discovered the layer that will take you pilgrimages to holy hubbubs? 4. How best can you encourage lyri- where you want to go. But I bet you will soon. cal emotion over polished sentimentality? Joyous idealism over astringent zealotry? Exuberant integrity over formulaic kindness? LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Considering how bright you have been burning since the Flame Angels designated you as the Hottest Cool Person of the Month, AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognize that the best I hesitate to urge you to simmer down. But I must. Before there’s you can do is choose which rules you want to live by,” wrote author a meltdown in your vicinity, please lower your thermostat. Not a Wallace Stegner, “and it’s persistent and aggravated imbecility to lot. Just a little. If you do that, everyone will continue to see your pretend you can live without any.” That will be an excellent medita- gleaming charisma in the best possible light. But don’t you dare tion for you during the coming weeks. I trust you are long past the extinguish your blaze. Don’t apologize for your brilliant shimmer. time of fantasizing you can live without any rules. Your challenge The rest of us need your magical radiance.

READY OR NOT

GOOD BOYS

now is to adjust some of the rules you have been living by, or even dare to align yourself with some new rules—and then completely commit yourself to being loyal to them and enjoying them. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Given the astrological omens that will symbolize your personal story in the coming weeks and months, I think Piscean author Nikos Kazantzakis articulated the perfect prescription for you. I invite you to interpret his thoughts to fit your circumstances. “We’re going to start with small, easy things,” he wrote. “Then, little by little we shall try our hand at the big things. And after that, after we finish the big things, we shall undertake the impossible.” Here’s an additional prod from Kazantzakis: “Reach what you cannot.”

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lmt# 5832053-4701 You might have heard of the report by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute about tech jobs in Utah from one of your fellow techies. Why? Because one out of seven jobs in this state is tech related. A hundred years ago, the only tech was more “mech,” which was either operating heavy equipment in Utah mines or working on the railroads … and all of those jobs were held by men with the exception when soldiers went off to war. Careertrend.com notes that in the 1900s, women increasingly took over clerical work and it was their only acceptable job unless they owned or were owners in a company or farm. Tech for women back then was pounding on typewriters and ringing up sales on cash registers. MediaBids_190103_24.indd 1 12/28/2018 5:15:20 Although studies show that Utah tech company jobs are predominantly filled by white or Asian males, there are plenty of women working for the “Big 6”: Adobe, eBay, Overstock, L3 Technologies, IM Flash and Clearlink. The website Comparably found that Adobe was one of the best companies for women to work for in 2017. The Gardner report counts 6,711 companies in the state’s tech sector, with most of the jobs and firms located along the Wasatch Front. And there were 118,600 high-paying jobs in our tech industry. Interestingly, from 2008-18, Utah’s tech industry job growth was almost THIS WEEK’S FEATURED 5% per year, ending up as third-highest in PARTLOW RENTALS: the country. Salt Lake City had the most tech companies in the state last year (916) with 3,738 in Salt Lake County. Compare that with St. George (a new growth area for tech) which had 134 tech companies with 238 total in Washington County. TAYLORSVILLE DOWNTOWN Yet, tech is only the third-largest emDarling Duplex! 2 bdrm. 1 bath, ployer in Utah. What are No. 1 and No. 2? Delightful 1 bdrm Vintage Charmer! central A/C, custom tilework, Leisure and hospitality (fitness, travel, Hardwood floors, on-site laundry, next hook-ups, multi-level decks & to TRAX, window A/C! $845 outdoor living areas! PRICE DROP! sports, hotels, resorts) and construction $900/$1295 take the first two slots. What jobs make the most money? In culling different websites, it appears that the average Utahn makes $58,500 to $67,741 annually, but the average tech job brings in more than $100,000 per year, according to the Utah Department of HOLLADAY DOWNTOWN Workforce Services. The report’s most astounding figure is Charming 2 bdrm Single family Dreamy 1+ bdrm w/ A/C! On-site that 1.5% of employed women in the state home! Hardwood floors, central air, laundry, covered parking, hardwood hold tech jobs vs. 6.6% of men. “Tech occuwasher dryer include, garage! $1595 floors, stinkin’ cute! $945 pations nationwide attract more than three times as many men as women. In 2017, 22.5% of U.S. tech workers were female,” according to the report. But in Utah, during that same year, “women made up only 15.2% of Utah workers in the industry.” I saw a television report that some prisons HIGHLAND PARK are training female inmates to do coding. Perfect 1 bdrm. duplex! Central Air! The Utah State Prison offers inmates voWasher/Dryer included, shared patio & yard, eclectic detail work! $995 cational training and female inmates can earn certificates in business technology. VIEW OUR RENTALS ONLINE AT Want to make more money? Time to sign PARTLOWRENTS.COM up for classes at a nearby school!  n

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9. Cost of membership 10. Arnaz and Ball’s production company 11. Shining 12. “You must let me!” 13. “Anyway, after that ...” 18. Angle iron 23. Proust’s “À la Recherche du Temps ____” 28. Magnavox competitor 29. In ____ (unborn) 30. Get-up-and-go 31. Coffee alternative 35. Actress Watts of “Birdman” 36. Broadcaster of “Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!” 37. “The Hurt Locker” menace, briefly 38. “Tosh.0” segment, briefly 39. Agatha Christie’s “Peril at ____” 42. Alternately 43. Blushed 44. Cry from a balcony, maybe 45. Where the accordion was first patented 46. Blew hard 47. Sartre play with the

line “Hell is other people” 48. Arrive at hastily, as a conclusion 49. “____ Anything” (“Oliver!” song) 53. Decides to leave in the manuscript 55. Drainage pit 56. Half a matched set 60. Letter-shaped neckline 61. First roomie, often

Last week’s answers

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SUDOKU

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S NEofW the

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

WEIRD

Recent Alarming Headlines Singer Wayne Newton was sued in District Court on Aug. 6 by a mother and daughter over an incident involving a monkey that took place in October 2017 at Newton’s home in Las Vegas, where the daughter was an invited guest, according to court documents. Genevieve Urena, a minor, was touring the home when Newton’s pet monkey, Boo, “without any provocation ... attacked and bit Ms. Urena, causing injury to her body as well as emotional distress,” the suit claims, according to KVVU TV. The Urenas assert that Newton “had a duty to exercise due care” and should have known that Boo had a tendency to attack. They are seeking $15,000 in damages. n  In Perth, Australia, two pig farmers face jail time after illegally importing Danish pig semen in shampoo bottles. The Guardian reported that Torben Soerensen and Henning Laue, of GD Pork, were sentenced to three years and two years in prison, respectively, after pleading guilty to breaching quarantine and biosecurity laws by bringing in the contraband numerous times between 2009 and 2017 to be used in GD Pork’s artificial breeding program. Australian agriculture minister Bridget McKenzie said, “GD Pork imported the semen illegally in an attempt to get an unfair advantage over its competitors, through new genetics.” Western Australian Farmers Federation spokesperson Jessica Wallace called the acts “selfish”: “How extremely disappointing.” GD Pork also was fined $500,000.

Scary Cambodian farmer Sum Bora, 28, is lucky to be alive after spending almost four days wedged between boulders in the jungle northwest of Phnom Penh. On Aug. 4, as Bora was collecting bat guano for use as fertilizer, he slipped while trying to retrieve the flashlight he had dropped down a crevice, The Washington Post reported. After three days, his brother found him and alerted authorities, who worked about 10 hours to free Bora from the hollow where he was trapped. He was transported to a local hospital.

True Love For 68 years, Francis and Rosemary Klontz of Sacramento, Calif., have not just shared the ups and downs of marriage and family. They’ve cemented their bond by coordinating their outfits—every day!—for almost seven decades. Francis lets his wife pick out his clothes each morning: “She just lays it out for me, and I don’t have to worry about a thing!” he told KOVR TV. The couple also sing together, performing at church, hospitals and around the house. They started dating in junior high school in Auburn, Washington, and the dressing alike custom started when Rosemary’s mother bought them matching shirts. “We’ve been matching ever since,” Rosemary said. Government in Action What a relief! The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Aug. 8 that miniature horses are cleared to fly in all cabins of commercial planes as emotional support and service animals. The agency called “dogs, cats and miniature horses” the “most commonly recognized service animals,” Fox News reported. However, other organizations, including the Association of Flight Attendants, have urged a tightening of rules about the animals because of “rampant abuse” of service animal designations. Apparently, the DOT said “neiiiighhhh” to that.

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Oops! A Gwinnett County (Georgia) medical examiner has resigned after wildly misinterpreting the cause of death for 61-year-old Ray Neal of Lawrenceville, who died on July 21. Despite reports by police and witnesses of large amounts of blood on the floor and walls at scene, investigator Shannon Byers initially ruled Neal had died of natural causes. But when his body arrived at the funeral home, employees discovered a hole in his neck, Fox 5 News reported, and Neal was returned to the morgue for an autopsy, which revealed he had been stabbed several times. Police are now investigating the death as a murder. The Devil Is in the Details Was there or was there not a clown? And what exactly is “fancy dress”? In the early hours of July 26, The Guardian reported, a “mass brawl” broke out in a buffet area of the P&O cruise ship Britannia, which was bound from Bergen, Norway, to Southampton, England. Witnesses told staff that the fight started when one passenger became angry that another was wearing a clown outfit, because they had specifically booked a cruise with no fancy dress. Another witness said the clown had crashed a black-tie party. But P&O later said in a statement there was no clown, and Hampshire police confirmed: “There is no information to suggest that a clown or anyone wearing fancy dress was involved in this incident.” A number of passengers were injured in the brawl by flying furniture and plates, and two passengers were arrested, then later released. Compelling Explanation Fanny Alida Beerepoot and her brother, Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot, Christian missionaries in Tasmania, were ordered by the supreme court there to pay $2.3 million to the Australian Taxation Office on July 17 after failing to remit the estimated $930,000 in income taxes and other charges they owed in 2017. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported the dispute stems from the Beerepoots’ contention that taxation “goes against God’s will.” Representing themselves, the siblings explained they had paid income taxes prior to 2011, but then came to realize that “the law of Almighty God is the supreme law of this land,” and “transferring our allegiance from God to the Commonwealth would mean rebelling against God.” Also in 2017, the family’s property in Mole Creek was seized after they refused to pay property taxes on it for seven years. Send tips to weirdnewstips@amuniversal.com

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Least Competent Criminal Larry Adams, 61, of Daytona Beach, Fla., came out swinging late on Aug. 12, complaining that neighbors were playing their music too loudly in the parking lot of their apartment complex. Adams emerged from his apartment threatening to shoot them and brandishing nunchucks, which he then hit himself in the head with. Police officers responding to a 911 call told WOLFFox 35 that Adams also sprayed everyone with roach repellent, causing them to cough and their skin to burn. “We not even

roaches, so why are we getting sprayed with roach spray for?” wondered neighbor Cici Sylvester. Adams, sporting a goose egg on his forehead, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

| COMMUNITY |

Bright Idea A Twitter user known only as “Dorothy,” 15, was banned from her phone by her mom in early August after becoming distracted while cooking and starting a fire, but that didn’t stop her, reported The Guardian. First she tweeted from a Nintendo 3DS gaming device, but Mom caught on quickly and posted that the account would be shut down. The next day, Dorothy tweeted from her Wii U, assuring followers that while Mom was at work, she’d be looking for her phone. Finally, on Aug. 8, with no other options left, Dorothy reached out to Twitter from an unlikely source: her family’s LG smart refrigerator. “I am talking to my fridge what the heck my Mom confiscated all of my electronics again,” she posted. The post went viral, even prompting LG to tweet about it with the hashtag #FreeDorothy.

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Thank You, I Think? The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on Aug. 11 that in the overnight hours, more than 50 old-style television sets had been deposited on the front porches of homes in Henrico County, Va. Henrico Police Lt. Matt Pecka said the culprits were caught on several doorbell cameras, with one of the videos showing a person wearing TV-shaped headgear while dropping off the TV. Even more puzzling, a similar phenomenon happened last year in nearby Glen Allen, where 20 sets were left on porches. Pecka said the only crime that might have been committed is illegal dumping: “We don’t believe there’s any reason for the community to be alarmed.”

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Unfair Acts

City Weekly August 29, 2019  

Unfair Acts