The Salt Lake Arts Council Proudly Presents
2021 Twilight Concert Series:
with STARFKER and Laserfang
Thursday, August 19th, 2021 @ 6:00 pm
Atlanta indisputably set the pace for modern hip-hop. However, Big Boi set the pace for Atlanta, and by proxy, the culture at large. If the genre of hip-hop ever gets its own “Rap Mount Rushmore,” a legacy as the region’s foremost wordsmith, funkiest gentleman, and resident ATLien certainly guarantees a place for the diamond selling artist, rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, philanthropist born Antwan André Patton. Big made history as the preeminent spitter of the Dungeon Family and one-half of OutKast. The legendary duo sold 25 million albums and garnered seven GRAMMY® Awards, becoming the first and only hip-hop artist in history to win the GRAMMY® for “Album of the Year” upon release of their 2003 RIAA Diamond-certified Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Big Boi made his proper introduction as a solo artist in 2010 with Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. A modern classic, it captured #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and landed on Pitchfork’s “100 Best Albums of the Decade ‘So Far.'” Following a succession of high-profile album releases, Big Boi released his most recent album Boomiverse in 2017. The smash single “All Night” sound tracked a high-profile Apple Animoji commercial, blew up radio, and clocked 40 million streams within a year. The song also hit the Top 30 on the pop chart and Top 10 at Rhythmic. In addition to his music career, the Hip-Hop legend recently announced that he will be the executive producer for a new crime series titled Government Records. He also signed a deal with Bread and Butter Content Studio to produce Big Boi’s Gotta Eat, an upcoming series to find the freshest seafood and unique food culture coast to coast, with an energy that only Big Boi can bring.
Being No One, Going Nowhere. The title of STRFKR’s fourth album may seem bleak at first. But hold it in your head a minute, feel its weight, and you may recognize the phrase for what it is: a goal. In the era of the personal brand — amid the FOMO Age — it’s increasingly hard to shed a stifling sense of self, or to just be in the moment that you’re in. Well, consider this an invitation to get blissfully insignificant. That’s what STRFKR founder Joshua Hodges aimed to do when he exiled himself to the desert to create this record, but he returned with his most significant work yet: a set of darkly glistening dance songs rife with sticky beats, earworming hooks, philosophical heft, and bittersweet beauty.
The album opens on “Tape Machine,” and the difference is readily apparent. On 2013’s Miracle Mile, STRFKR refined a full-band sound, but this doubles down on and completely reimagines the project’s electronic and pop roots. The initial synths could fuel a rave, and the ensuing groove could score a Drive sequel, but the song is richer still, with cosmic effects flying overhead and a psych-folk earthiness below. It isn’t that the band sat this LP out — drummer (etc.) Keil Corcoran penned the thick astral disco of “In the End,” and he and bassist (etc.) Shawn Glassford both pitch in throughout. But Being No One, Going Nowhere was born in Joshua Tree after Hodges packed up his Los Angeles apartment and moved to that tiny Mojave outpost under the great big sky. “It came together for me in the desert,” he says. “Out there, it’s easy to feel small and slow.”
When Hodges started STRFKR in 2007, it was designed to be success-proof. The name was both unfit for radio and a jab at fame-chasers. But the project was also meant to be bright, playful and brimming with energy. He stumbled upon a winning juxtaposition that’s a STRFKR staple to this day: dark (or heavy) lyrics set to happy music. Hodges credits that to Elliott Smith’s influence, although Being No One, Going Nowhere has closer sonic kin in Italo-disco, kosmische musik and Tony Hoffer’s work with Phoenix, Beck and M83. English thinker/writer Alan Watts, a scholar of Eastern philosophy, was another muse for Hodges — his voice appears on nearly every STRFKR release, including this one. That’s him on “interspace,” talking about sloughing off preconceived identity to find one’s place in the universe, which is the story of Hodges’ eventual career: stop trying — no, start not trying — and succeed.
This album’s name actually paraphrases the title of a book by Ayya Khema, a Buddhist nun, but the concept came to Hodges in a less chaste setting. “I had an experience at a BDSM club that was really freeing,” he says. “I realized that the appeal is letting go of your mind and stress. You can be super present with the pain, and then the pain isn’t even pain. It’s a gateway to freedom.” In a way, each song on Being No One, Going Nowhere seeks that end. There’s the reality-refracting fantasy of “Never Ever,” the hard truths about addiction’s ravages on “Tape Machine,” a death-defying coming of age tale on “Open Your Eyes,” and references to Hermann Hesse’s 1919 novel of self-realization, Demian, on “When I’m With You.” If the words don’t set you free, the music — exuberant, enveloping, incredibly catchy — should do so handily.
None of which is to imply that STRFKR is drifting along aimlessly. To the contrary, Hodges crafted this album’s dance bent with the stage in mind. The live setup these days includes a custom-made LED wall and a homemade light show that syncs with the rhythm of the songs (also, the occasional crowd-surfing astronaut and band-in-drag). Plus, he camped out at the house of producer Jeffrey Brodsky (Yacht, RAC) for a week and a half, working all hours to ensure Being No One, Going Nowhere sounds as crisply booming over PAs as it does in headphones. Even if Hodges is too busy pushing the future of indie dance-pop forward to possibly attain his goal of unplugging, his aspiration is everything: “Existing is it. This moment is enough.”
2021 Twilight Concert Series
For over 30 years the Twilight Concert Series has presented a wide range of nationally recognized and upcoming recording artists paired with local musicians and performers. The highly anticipated summer series continues to be dedicated to connecting audiences through live music by presenting musically diverse artists that represent strong artistic values and diverse social principles. This vibrant and beloved program is presented by the Salt Lake City Arts Council in partnership with S&S Presents.
Doors & Food Vendors Open at 6:00pm
All events are held rain or shine. Artists subject to change.
To provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all, please keep the following concert rules in mind. Check twilightconcerts.com for updated info. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
- Everyone entering the venue must have a ticket or pay at the gate
- For their well-being, we discourage infants and babes-in-arms
- No re-entry
- No weapons or firearms
- No backpacks or large purses
- No pets allowed – services animals only
- No coolers
- No drones
- No smoking – except in designated smoking areas
- No outside food
- No outside alcohol or liquids of any kind
- No glass
- Due to artist requests, no professional audio, video, or photography equipment
- No umbrellas
- No skateboards in the venue
- No blankets or chairs
- Security reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone at their discretion
- All concerts are rain or shine
- Artists subject to change
- No refunds
SECURITY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CONDUCT PAT DOWN SEARCHES AT THEIR DISCRETION.
COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS: The Twilight Concert Series will follow best practices as set forth by the state of Utah and the CDC.