Photos courtesy of Tyson Heder
If one were to choose to walk through the layered depths of the punk rock community, they should strive to find themselves wallowing in the heat of the Punk Rock Bowling Festival. The festival is held on a parking lot adjacent to Fremont, and its largely open space lacks cover from the blistering heat of the sun. One can always purchase a $2 water to stay hydrated, although I’d wager that more money is probably spent on pints and whiskey cokes. The festival attendees are as diverse as the variety of punky hair colors, though there is the fascinating commonality of wearing all black, as if to tempt the wrath of heat exhaustion. The unforgiving heat aside, this gathering serves to inspire community and camaraderie under the banner of all things punk rock. The festival is a space where one can feel at home and comfortable while surrounded by those who celebrate the varied degrees of a storied subculture. Here, one can get all the applicable accessories from clothing, pins, hats and rare records from stalls like that of Anaheim, California’s Radiation Records. Unlike years past which have been largely apolitical, this year’s Punk Rock Bowling has an unofficial theme of denouncing Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump—a sentiment that is easy and popular to get behind.
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The Hidden Garden Tour celebrates its 20th anniversary. The tour was originally organized in 1996 by Intermountain Healthcare in Provo. “They started the Hidden Garden Tour as a way to raise money for their volunteer programs,” says USU Extension Horticulturist Michael Caron. “Then several years ago… they asked Utah County Master Gardener Volunteers if they wanted to organize and take over that tour and use it as a fundraiser for their education programs.
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The last group of the evening, Gif Set, comprises Korey Daniel Martin (Foster Body), Travis Michael (The Nods), Cathy Foy, Michael Wright and Jared T. Soper (Swamp Ravens). Photo: Andy Cvar
On Dec. 12, 2014, over 70 individuals—from different spectrums of the SLC/Utah music scene—signed up to be randomly selected to play in bands for Diabolical Record’s BANDEMONIUM. These new groups would be given two weeks to practice and strut their stuff for 10–15 minute sets of improvisation, music or whatever. Before setting foot down the dark, black-iced Edison Street, I got the word from record shop owner Adam Tye several hours prior to the gig on what to expect from what is sure to be one of the most impressive examples of Salt Lake’s musical talent in practice. Tye says, “It was an idea Alana [Boscan] and I had a few months ago. Our show for the 26th fell through, so we decided to give it a try. We thought it would be a fun way to get people from different music circles to get together and create something unique.”
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The Clash (Problem Daughter) brought a lot of energy into the room. Photo: Gilbert Cisneros
The month of October is a 31-day-long endurance test of sin and debauchery. Every party or night of heavy partaking prior to All Hallows’ Eve is a stepping stone to build the tolerance of the faithful for the ultimate celebration of horror-filled thrills and chills. By this, I mean the traditional celebration of paying respect to the great punk bands of years before by playing the devil’s music for Punk Rock Halloween. This year’s bands chose to emulate The Clash (Problem Daughter), Nirvana (Chalk), Devo (Foster Body) and Beat Happening as performed by various members of Prince Polo. Making my way to the center of the city, my depraved senses gravitated toward the heart of downtown, to where the music surely will be—Diabolical Records……
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Ben Weasel’s barrage of snotty pop punk riled up the loyal punk crowd. Photo: Brian van der Brug
Opening up tonight’s festivities, Gwendolyn Giles (Dog Party) shouts out “We are Dog Party from California and we are here to party!” This is perhaps the most appropriate thing to say to the hundreds (with still many more piling in) of punk rockers, many of whom have braved long journeys and the intense Utah heat to come be a part of movie history. The popularity of director James Merendino’s cult classic SLC Punk! is more than evident, as more than three quarters of the crowd appears to be from out of town. The filming of this new movie is not without some criticism. Local punk rocker and concert-goer who goes under the name Goblin says “It’s cool seeing this many people at the show, but it’s a bummer because of the circumstances. I’d say that 70% here are not from here and they’re supporting a movie about our town, our home.”
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Peter Bywaters of Peter and the Test Tube Babies Photo: Lindsay Beaumont
Anti-Nowhere League’s Animal. Photo: sqerl
Keith “Monkey” Warren of The Adicts. Photo: sqerl
Traveling to Las Vegas while nursing the effects of a broken heart, I am all too aware that the romantic appeal of this colorful hellhole is a bit lost on me. This place quite literally represents the euphoria of broken dreams. Even the bright lights can’t eclipse the desperate smiling faces that fail to shine through the scum and filth of the streets. I’ve always loved punk, as it seemed to provide a moral backbone to rock n’ roll, giving it a philosophy filled with romantic notions while critiquing the very fabrics of the society it resides in. Though, I confess that the spirit of this musically led agitation seems to overcasted by the overwhelming hedonistic atmosphere that only Las Vegas can contain. This is, no doubt, extenuated by the fact that one can experience a sense of freedom by opening up a beer and drinking in the streets with nobody really giving a shit. The feeling of irony regarding this whiskey-fueled rebellion is not lost on me, however, as the first thing I do after checking into the hotel is running off in search some Newcastle Brown Ales…
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