A TWILIGHT ZONE: Belle Jewel / Phoebe Bridgers / Cat Power

A Twilight Zone, the chronicling of Salt Lake City denizens looking for music, adventure, & life at the Twilight Concert Series

Sarah

I’ll admit, I wasn’t too excited for this week’s Twilight Concert. I didn’t know many of the acts, and the rest of my colleagues and I had been racing across military level obstacle courses since 7 am that morning (a compelling story for another time). However, this concert turned out to be one of my favorite Twilight experiences so far.

The first act was a girl named Belle Jewel. The first thing I noticed was her striking resemblance to the indie-pop singer, Bishop BriggsBelle sported circular glasses, space buns, and white overalls over a black shirt. The set was pretty simple; vocals and an acoustic guitar or keyboard, but her voice was extremely relaxing and beautiful.

Up next was Phoebe Bridgersa female indie-folk singer from California. Her set was nice, and like Belle Jewel, the songs were relaxed and helped to set the tone for Cat Power. However, I noticed thatthis Twilight concert had a much different feel compared to the previous show where Solange headlined. All of the acts had a maximum of 2 people on stage, and the songs seemed to be more focused lyrically compared to instrumentally. While it certainly wasn’t the concert to go crazy at, it was a nice change of pace for the Twilight concerts and provided a calm atmosphere to sit down and listen to some good music.

Finally, Cat Power took the stage to play a solo set with her piano and guitar. My friend and lovely DJ here at K-UTE, Tristan, and I sat down to talk and enjoy the show. We both immediately fell in love with her voice. It was heartfelt, vulnerable, and powerful all at the same time. Occasionally she would stop to apologize to the crowd for a technical difficulty or if she thought her vocals sounded off, but the crowd wasn’t having it. They applauded and begged her to keep going regardless of any mishaps because she sounded beautiful either way.

Martyn

And suddenly, it was another Thursday night speeding across the city to one of the most unexpected Twilight concerts. Cat Powers appearance was being touted as “(solo)” for weeks now and it piqued the interest of more than a few concert goers beforehand as to how Charlyn Marie Marshall (aka Cat Power) would fare filling up the usual park. It wasn’t so much a question of audible loudness, but the energy that came from the previous acts.

I arrived more than a few minutes late, missing out on Utah native Belle Jewel although hearing that she performed a nice acoustic set minutes before my estimated time of arrival. Apologies to her performance. I meandered inconspicuously, wondering about the previous few Thursdays, how they began becoming this culmination of the week’s events. It was also taco night in the sponsor tent, and again, lanyards grant immeasurable access. Events seemed fleeting, the sun set earlier than usual, and I readied myself for the processing of thought whilst watching a performing act.

Minutes after this awfully meta cognition covering some tired questions, Phoebe Bridgers came out onstage accompanied by her self-named friend from Los Angeles (he had recently moved). Phoebe was predominantly playing an acoustic while her newly-planted LA friend played electric guitar. It gave her a fuller sound than the regular acoustic pieces the crowd had heard with Belle Jewel. The songs were a genuinely nice fit for the rest of the evening. Only because the music was quieter, in this sense of instrumentation, the set does not disregard the level of affection from the crowd. Belle Jewel’s set went through endearingly nice banter with the crowd and this created a sense of intimacy that went beyond the usual venue accommodations for the distance between performer and audience. While many of the songs had a similar appeal, the performance managed to help set the mood for the headliner. It was also her birthday, but that could have been self-proclaimed hearsay.

Cat Power came out quietly under the purple lights and immediately began playing. Her soulful voice carried around the park, now late-night summer dark, creating a new Twilight Concert atmosphere. It was quiet, and it was less rushed than previous concerts. Cat Power played song after song, without the need or apparent want to elicit cheers from the crowd with banter or anecdotes. The whole solo aspect was immediately apparent, but Cat Power held the attention of onlookers by her talent for guitar playing and lyrics. Not necessarily lethargic but inherently laid back was the theme of the night. A break from the heat and rushing crowd of past weeks. I found myself walking out of the park, greeted by night and noise awash the background voice of this singer.

Photos by Morgan Parent 

Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016

The acoustic picks of classic songs from Jack White and his bands The White Stripes and The Raconteurs are featured on the new album, Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016, released earlier this month. The twenty-six tracks featured on the two-disc album take us through moments of their recording history; beginning with the 1998 “Sugar Never Tasted So Good” song that was written on the porch of Jack’s parent’s home.

Jack and Meg White are the singers, songwriters and musicians in The White Stripes, a rock band formed in Detroit, Michigan. The new acoustic album has a song from their 2000 album De Stijl called “I’m Bound to Pack It Up” that showcases an awesome command of the electric violin. “We Are Going to Be Friends” from the 2001 White Blood Cells album is a sweet song about a schoolyard friendship with a catchy picking pattern. Some songs from their 2003 album Elephant were included in the new album as well as a song Jack White created later that year called “Never Far Away” for the movie Cold Mountain.

Songs from the 2005 album Get Behind Me Satan are in the album including “As Ugly As I Seem” in which Meg White plays hand drums. “Love Is The Truth” is a lesser known song that was created for a Coca-Cola commercial in 2006 and has made its way into the album along with songs from the 2007 Icky Thump album like “Honey, We Can’t Afford to Look This Cheap” inspired by the prominent music scene in Nashville, TN where Jack was living at the time. “Carolina Drama” and “Top Yourself” from The Raconteurs album Consolers of the Lonely have their own acoustic and bluegrass interpretations too.

In 2012 Jack White’s song “Love Interruption” featuring Ruby Amanfu appeared on the GRAMMY nominated album Blunderbuss, Jack’s debut solo album. That track and a number of others from that album were added in, like “On and on and on” whose lyrics are not present until nearly a minute into the song and the title track which got its name from a 17th century European firearm. “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy” is also on the album, as is “I Guess I Should Go to Sleep” featuring Pokey Lafarge and the South City Three band. “Machine Gun Silhouette” is in the mix too but it came from the album Love Interruption and was apparently composed by emails Jack received from his visual art collaborator whom he’s never met.

White’s 2014 album Lazaretto contributed a few songs to the new album including “Want and Able”, “Entitlement” and “Just One Drink”. “City Lights” is the previously unreleased track that was actually written and recorded 10 years prior during the Get Behind Me Satan recording sessions. It was finished in 2016 and was included as part of this acoustic set. It has all come back full circle in Acoustic Recordings which is exemplary of the rock and blues roots that Jack White has possessed since the beginning whether on his own projects or in his other endeavors. There’s no denying Jack White is a true artist through and through.