Posts Tagged ‘Provo’

Garage Band

Blood, Sweat and Tears: How to Make It in Music

Written by Scott Manning on . Posted in Music

You just started a band.

You start small by gathering in someone’s garage or apartment clubhouse and writing some music. You score a gig opening for a semi-known local act on a Thursday night at the dumpiest venue around. Maybe a handful of your friends come, enjoy, and request a CD that you don’t yet have. You can’t afford the studio quite yet, but your bassist has a camera that records sound, so you set it down during practice and hope for the best.

You determine that the next best thing to a CD is a Myspace band page so — ignoring the poor recording quality — you don your page with all sorts of band branding and upload your tunes. Now you can tell potential fans where to find your music after shows. You book your second show, feeling a bit more prepared and ready to blow the crowd off their feet. You text everyone in your phone and wait for the inevitable throngs of people ready to support you, but by the time you strum your last note, there are two in the audience other than the other bands — and they’re sitting down in the back of the room rolling their eyes.

La Jolla Groves

Review: La Jolla Groves

Written by Kasey Yardley on . Posted in Food

Just a few interesting facts in the world that we may not have foreseen a year ago: A 16-year-old boy named Justin Bieber is the most popular human being on earth; Conan O’Brien has a show on TBS; Jimmer Fredette and the BYU men’s basketball team are ranked No. 3 in the nation (for now); Charlie Sheen is a crack addict (Okay, you saw that one coming — Two and a Half Men is awful, by the way); and finally, the Provo culinary scene is booming with new, delicious restaurants that are worth trying.

There seems to be a throng of fresh, creative restaurants springing up all over Utah County — places like Communal, Pizzeria 712, Station 22 and Rooster, just to name a few. I recently discovered a new restaurant that made me even more proud to be a Provo-ite: La Jolla Groves. Tucked in the newly enhanced and bustling Shops at Riverwoods, La Jolla Groves is using fresh, locally-grown ingredients to prepare their insanely delicious dishes. In fact, the restaurant’s slogan is “Insanely good food, healthier ingredients” — very appropriate, if you ask me.

Brandon Davies

Blame BYU for Davies’ Fall

Written by Jim Dalrymple on . Posted in Sports

Brigham Young University has shot itself in the foot — right in the middle of a race.

The Daily Herald (my daytime employer, though I had nothing to do with the story) broke the news Tuesday night that starting center Brandon Davies will not complete the season because he violated the school’s Honor Code. The news is a big blow. And though I can’t make a decent prediction about the consequences of the news, nothing good can come if it.

But while Davies obviously let down his team and community, an equal share of culpability goes to BYU for its opaque enforcement of a bizarre and arcane set of rules. In other words, Davies screwed up because he broke the rules, but BYU did the same when — by implementing and enforcing those rules — it set the stage for Davies’ failure.

Velour Live

In Defense of the Provo Scene

Written by Chance Clift on . Posted in Music

On Friday afternoon, I was shocked to see online buzz among the Provo music community over an article published in The Daily Universe about the “exclusiveness” of the Provo scene. At this point, I hadn’t even read the article — I was simply shocked over the fact that The Daily Universe, known for its sparse (if not bland) coverage of Provo music, had anyone talking at all. Then I actually read the article.

As a person who has been a participant, observer, and employee of Provo music for nearly a decade, I thought I would add my opinion to those floating around the 100Block-o-sphere over the contents of this article.

While I was at first amused by some of the biases and inaccuracies found in this piece, I soon realized it wasn’t so much the article that was flawed as it was the musicians who were quoted in it. The article actually represents a common misconception among many Provo musicians — that the Velour scene is a fiercely competitive popularity contest that can only be won by a combination of 1) being “indie-folk,” and 2) being “connected”/networking with the “right people.” (?) After a long and bitter fight, these Provo musicians become jaded and give up on their lifelong dream of headlining a Velour show (“I didn’t wanna play there anyway!”), turning instead to bashing Velour and any band who plays there.


Gawking at the Y: Taking BYU Seriously

Written by Jim Dalrymple on . Posted in Local

BYU has an image problem, but it doesn’t seem to know it. Or maybe it just doesn’t care.

On the university’s home page recently — as well as in the alumni email I got earlier this month — I read about a new study by professors Jason Carroll and Brian Willoughby that argues that waiting until marriage to have sex benefits couples later on. The study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

The study was probably legit. It was published in a reputable journal, and my experience as a student at BYU (for more years than I care to admit) was that professors genuinely try to do serious scholarly work.

But whatever the study actually included, the uber-popular news website Gawker discovered it and expressed suspicion over how the scientific research “hews so closely to the Mormon church’s position on sex before marriage.”

All organizations draw some flack from time to time, but the point Gawker makes is one worth taking seriously. After all, if BYU wants to be a top tier school, an example to other institutions, and a leader in the sciences, perception does matter. And Gawker, though not the biggest media portal out there, is a major news player. In reality, many more people have undoubtedly read the Gawker piece than have or will read the study itself.

Pizzeria 712

Review: Pizzeria 712

Written by Kasey Yardley on . Posted in Food

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to pizza. It’s just one of those foods that a lot of people are passionate about. And we all seem to know of our own place that makes “the best pizza.” Well, I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite pizza places. Let’s just put it this way: whatever your favorite is, mine punches it right in the face. I’m just saying, it’s delicious.

“When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is.” –Alice Waters

You’ll find this quote front and center on Pizzeria 712’s website. That’s because their food philosophy is well thought, yet simplistic. They use the very best local ingredients to create simple masterpieces. I was introduced by a good buddy a couple of years ago, I fell in love, and have been back a dozen times since.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Review: Bombay House

Written by Kasey Yardley on . Posted in Food

I’m just going to say it: Great food brings me joy unlike anything else in this world. I know, I know, that’s a big, dramatic statement. Besides, it’s just food, right?

No, my friends — it isn’t just food. And if you find yourself rolling your eyes with a similar sentiment, then you should probably stop reading here. But if you’re like me and find some of life’s greatest delights through your taste buds, then read on, young foodies…

I’ve decided to make my inaugural article in this glorious online publication about one of my current food obsessions: Bombay House.

If you’ve never been, then here’s the low down: With locations in Provo and Salt Lake, Bombay House is an authentic Indian-style restaurant with all of the classic dishes, including everything from vegetarian dishes to chicken, lamb and seafood. The chicken and lamb are cooked in large tandoori ovens, which are basically clay pots that generate heat using charcoal or wood. The clay used to make these ovens is found exclusively in India and they are well-seasoned on the inside before use. They cook at a very high temperature (900oº F) and give the meat a delicious, seared-in barbecue flavor.

The Next Best Thing (Part 2)

Written by Scott Manning on . Posted in Local, Music

You may have read my previous article dated several months back with a similar title. You may have even liked it and are ready for round two. But it’s far more likely that you have never seen the first part of this multi-article compendium and are jumping in right here, so here’s my little disclaimer:

Provo may seem quaint at times, but underneath it all there is talent that stretches far beyond these city walls. This series of articles aims to bring attention to all the musical good that’s been quickly growing, and even more quickly now that bands like Neon Trees have trailblazed the way to nationwide — if not worldwide — success.

So without further ado, I present to you two more of this town’s Next Best Things.


CULTURE: Provo-Bound Syndromes: The Many Culture-Bound Syndromes of BYU

Written by Kristin Clift on . Posted in Local

Culture-bound syndromes (CBS) are cultural-specific acute behavioral disorders that are familiar as a disease or a mental condition in that population, but are not typically recognized outside of that society. What is crazy in one culture is not necessarily crazy in another.

CBS’s often display neurophysiological symptoms — both psychiatric and somatic responses. Arctic hysteria is one that is frequently studied, or a more well-known example of a CBS in the United States is anorexia nervosa or bulimia.1 Culture-bound syndromes are reputed to be induced by stress that occurs when there is an incongruity between role expectations and how a person feels they measure up to those expectations.

As a participant-observer in the bizarre culture that is Provo, I’ve often heard people describe students at BYU as “the cream of the crop.” Granted, any student at any university probably feels pressure to excel from parents, peers and teachers — but BYU students have the added pressure of a common religion in which strict moral standards are known and enforced.

There are certain side effects resulting from this situation that spur a cultural epitome of lifestyle.2 In reality, fluctuations from the norm are bound to happen in such a population. However, the bar has already been set and many people find themselves falling short of rigid cultural envisages. Such high expectations are the perfect recipe for mass neuroses of cataclysmic proportions.

Now that we have some of the anthropological mumbo-jumbo out of the way, let’s examine a few of the syndemic nuances limited to the BYU/Provo culture , or Provo-bound syndromes:

Obsessive Dating Compulsion Disorder: If you observe Provo City itself, you will notice that many of the surrounding retail businesses are marketed towards facilitating courtship rituals. An outsider might consider Provo obsessed with dating and completely fixated on marriage as the end goal.

From my time as a participant-observer, I can’t remember a single BYU devotional in which dating/marriage was not mentioned. I’ve had professors encourage students to date and even offered extra credit to do so. The pressure to participate in courtship rituals is so palpable it’s impossible to ignore.

Old Maid Stigma: A product of the Obsessive Dating Compulsion Disorder, the Old Maid Stigma arises from feelings of inadequacy or guilt for not being married or not dating as frequently as expected. This stigma occurs in the young female population in Provo.

Typically the Old Maid Stigma is expressed at a comparatively young age — I’ve heard females as young as 19 express their feelings of insufficiency for being single. The Old Maid Stigma is sometimes self-inflicted, although informants discussed with me the interrogations they receive pertaining to their marital status on a constant basis.

Pedestrian Deviancies: Pedestrians at BYU have a reputation for being oblivious to traffic, so much so that they have been dubbed “Zoodestrians.” This behavior can mostly be attributed to general distractions and absent-mindedness; However, I’ve heard it conjectured that it comes from the feeling of invincibility — being protected by God.

RM Adjustment Syndrome: Adjusting to life after a mission can be extremely difficult for some people.  Essentially, missionaries are prescribed a certain role with rigorous duties to fulfill, and transitioning to another role (that of a returned missionary) is sometimes an arduous process. Returned missionaries cope with the adjustment in various ways. Some find laborious door-knocking reminiscent of their mission days and become salesmen.

BYU Big Brother Paranoia: Like unto Orwell’s 1984, students and professors are paranoid of BYU Big Brother. One line in the school’s Honor Code (“Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code”) certainly doesn’t help ease this paranoia. I’ve seen professors look around suspiciously while they whisper opinions to their class in fear of an eavesdropping institution. This paranoia is rumored to have come from the Wilkinson era where purported “spies” were placed in classrooms to ensure that professors were not teaching heretical ideas.

Suppressed Rage Against University Parking Enforcement: Here, here, here and here. Enough said.

The discordance between role performance and role expectations is the basis of these neuroses, which is subsequently compounded by the dialectal relationship of the religion, the institution, and the people. These are just some of the many culture-bound syndromes that inflict the idiosyncratic culture that is Provo. And that’s why I love it.


1 You wouldn’t find anyone in Ethiopia barfing up meals on purpose.
2 Quintessential checklist: go to BYU, go on a mission, get married immediately thereafter, and reproduce like rabbits.