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Tuesday, June 5, 2007
The Paul Burnside Band and Other Local Notes

A band, an empty seat, and a long-awaited improvement in American Fork.

LBB has allowed little time or energy for blogging, of late, but here are some local notes of possible interest.

Concerts in the Park: The Paul Burnside Band

Last evening was the inaugural concert of American Fork's 2007 Concerts in the Park Series at the city's excellent outdoor amphitheater. An enthusiastic audience of about 200 enjoyed an excellent performance by the Paul Burnside Band, an eight-man, one-woman ensemble. This band sports some serious talent, has a good sound, and is very versatile. From jazz classics and standards like "Fly Me to the Moon," to rock classics ranging from Roy Orbison ("Pretty Woman") to Earth, Wind, and Fire ("September"), they did it all.

Except country, that is. The warmup act, vocalist Belinda Stockton, took care of that sufficiently.

Trumpeter Dave Faires does a respectable Louis Armstrong impression, gruff singing voice and all. But most of the vocals were by the very capable John Huff ("Fly Me to the Moon," "Brown-Eyed Girl," etc.) and Jenny McAllister ("At Last," "Save the Last Dance for Me," etc.). At no point did my ear wish it were listening to Frank Sinatra or Michael Buble albums instead.

It was good, it was fun, and it was a fine beginning for the series. And my compliments to whomever it was who ordered the weather.

Next Monday evening at 7 p.m., the second concert features the American Fork High School Steel Drum Line, which will surprise you, if you think percussion alone cannot be musically interesting or fun. Isaac Tolman opens. Future concerts include such noteworthy artists as M. Ryan Taylor and the Crescent Super Band, both of whom are mentioned occasionally here at the blog.

Vacant City Council Seat

Friday is the last day to submit your application for the American Fork City Council seat vacated by Jimmie Cates upon his death. Applicants will make brief presentations to the Council later this month, and one of them will be selected to fill the vacancy until the end of the year, when someone elected in November will take over the last two years of Cates' term.

This will be an interesting, if not completely reliable, indicator of who may run for City Council in November. The person appointed will have the advantage of incumbency. Moreover, some potential candidates are not crazy about campaigning, but would love to govern, and this is a route to governing which avoids the campaign -- at least for a while.

Here's the official announcement and details. City Councilors Heidi Rodeback and Shirl Lebaron have also posted some useful and interesting insights at their respective blogs.

One wonders: How many of the four remaining City Councilors will consider, in their deliberations, how capable an electoral opponent the appointee will be? And will this affect anyone's preferences?

American Fork City's Web Site

A recent, small administrative change at the City -- I won't describe it -- has had the happy effect of improving the City's Web site considerably. It doesn't look different; it's just more useful now. I'm adding a link to it from my pages as soon as I get a spare minute . . . because now there's a point. Good work, folks.

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