Author: Ryan Whitecar

This is the place (where we will see bread dough sculptures)

Most outsiders perceive Utah as without art. People who have never been here may shrug off this state as some philistine wasteland, governed by religious dominance and marred by homogeneity. Those in the know, however, realize that the glorious Beehive State actually has a thriving art culture. Moreover, no one can deny that Utah has quite an unusual history. Especially not artist and sculptor Robert Fontenot. Fontenot, whose new exhibit showcases a body of work geared almost exclusively for Utahans, was obviously drawn to Utah’s unique and sometimes checkered past. The Los Angeles-based artist offers bread-dough sculpture, needlework and watercolors – domestic handicraft techniques that may resonate with Utah natives – in pieces that blend both beauty and cynicism to reflect what becomes inculcated into our culture and history. Titled “The Place This Is,” the solo exhibit will be on display at Salt Lake Art Center through June 1, 2011. “The exhibition seeks to create a portrait of Utah from the perspective of an outsider in Los Angeles researching the symbols, myths, landmarks and complex political and religious ideologies that help define this complicated state,” said Micol Hebron, Senior Curator of Exhibitions of Salt Lake Art Center, in a press release. The title of the Fontenot’s show is an obvious spinoff from that famous quip often attributed to Brigham Young, “This is the place.”  There are, however, still doubts as...

Read More

Arcade Fire Gives Enchanting Performance

Montreal’s indie-rock pioneers Arcade Fire gave a stunning performance to a nearly sold-out audience at the UCCU Events Center on Monday, April 11, along with their openers, the Los Angeles-based psych-folk band Local Natives. Fans of the Grammy award-winning band started lining up for their performance around noon and by 4:00 p.m., the line wrapped down the steps of the Events Center into the parking lot. Hundreds of fans poured through the doors at 6:00 p.m., eagerly pushing towards the front of the stage. The lights dimmed and a familiar projection, made to resemble a drive-in movie, illuminated the stage. The trailer for the 1979 movie Over the Edge started the performance. The film about a suburban community full of neglected children who create their own entertainment through rowdiness, vandalism and disorder has a plot that perfectly compliments themes of teenage rebellion prevalent in Arcade Fire’s 2010 album The Suburbs. Win Butler and his wife Regine Chassagne led the band in their seventeen-song performance, which featured selections from all three of their albums. The performance never dragged for a moment; the show was intensely energetic, an almost spiritual experience for the nearly 4,000 fans that came from all over the state. The eight-piece band burst into the explosive “Month of May,” a heavy driving, art-punk track off of The Suburbs, to a screaming crowd crashing against the front of...

Read More

Victoria wins Battle of the Bands

Victoria wins Battle of the Bands Orem’s progressive-rock band, Victoria, took first place at Battle of the Bands on Wednesday, March 30. The competition, hosted by UVUSA, saw performances by seven different acts. The judges, whose identities weren’t revealed until the day of the performance, were some of Utah’s musical elite: Justin Johnson (Salt City Sound), Cory Mon (Cory Mon & the Starlight Gospel), Michale Killian (Kite Theory), McKay Stevens (Vibrant Sound, North Platte Records co-owner), Adam Kaiser (the Neighbors) and Drew Kapener (Parlor Hawk). The Second Round performed first, followed by Goodnight Annabelle. Both bands had obvious pop-punk influences, swinging anywhere between Brand New and Thrice to New Found Glory and Green Day. The next band, Endon, had incredible stage presence. Bassist “Muerte” jumped offstage mid-performance, running through the crowd to roaring applause. Victoria performed fourth while the judges exchanged affirmation that they had outperformed the first bands. Victoria has an exciting, spacey sound very similar to Muse, heavily influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin with a much more driven sound. Between the menacing keyboards and the psychedelic-rock guitar solos, anyone could tell that these guys have been practicing their scales. Next, The Hideout performed and the girls went wild. Their acoustic-rock sound is reminiscent of early Saves the Day, but incorporating a cajon for their percussion and powerful vocal harmonies. Kiss Me Kill...

Read More

Indie-rock kings Arcade Fire to perform

The 2004 release of the critically acclaimed Funeral marked Arcade Fire as one of the most exciting and ambitious bands of the decade. Their debut studio album was released to almost unanimous critical acclaim, as well as receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Album. Stylistically, the album blends a broad range of musical styles, from its use of chamber-pop melodies to its driven, art-rock guitar riffs. Funeral is also a lyrical masterpiece. It’s cathartic and uplifting, even while evoking the feelings of sickness and mourning from which the album derives its name. This album effortlessly swings between the simple and the theatrical – it’s warming and nostalgic and its lush soundscapes are simply mesmerizing. In other words, it deserves every ounce of gushing praise offered it. Neon Bible, the band’s sophomore studio release, is just as monolithic. While some criticize the album as being excessively grandiose, the album’s extravagant nature is a necessary complement to the band’s inspired attempt to reflect the darkness and turmoil of our times. The lyrics of Neon Bible are much more pointed and hostile than Funeral, criticizing mass-produced Christianity and mega-churches. Sonically, the album represents a more experimental attempt at songwriting. The album was recorded in a remodeled church in Canada, incorporating instruments from hurdy-gurdies to Hungarian orchestras, a military choir to a Mormon Tabernacle-style pipe organ. With its stabbing social commentary,...

Read More

Battle of the Bands: The Contenders

UVUSA will be hosting a battle of the bands competition on Wednesday, March 30. The event, which will be held in the Courtyard, will see performances from seven different artists.   Over 30 bands auditioned to compete in the competition on Monday and Wednesday of last week and only a select few made the cut. During the audition process, the bands were selected on a number of criteria. Preparedness, originality, ability, musicianship and presence were all taken into consideration as these performers battled for the chance to compete. The jury for Wednesday’s competition, an undisclosed board of fairly well-known musicians, will decide on the university’s most talented act while Adam Kaiser of Orem’s pianorock band The Neighbors MC’s the performance. Sara Rosenborough, UVUSA’s Fine Arts Chair, explained the process by which the winner will be selected. Beyond the aforementioned criteria, “student vote will account for 40 percent of the bands’ final score. Students will receive a ticket upon entering the show. During the judging process, students will show their support for the band by putting the ticket in their favorite artist’s bucket.” Six bands will be competing in the competition. During the judging process, there will be a special performance by solo artist Benji Xechimitl. Admission will be $3 with a UVU ID and $5 dollars without one. The performance begins at 6:00 p.m. In the case of inclement...

Read More