By Spencer Flanagan
The lights go out as the heat of anticipation intensifies. The crowd cheers as Desert Noises takes the stage. Immediately following the performance, the now anxious crowd sits on the floor and prepares for a full-length independent film to round out the evening.
Local band Desert Noises will play Saturday at Velour in conjunction with the release of their first EP. Opening the show will be Spencer Russell and his brother Isaac, more commonly known as Ruru.
McKay Stevens, who is pursuing a doctoral degree at BYU, owns North Platte Records in Provo along with musician Joshua James.
“A couple months ago we signed a new artist called the Desert Noises,” Stevens said. “We produced their record and it”s finally done, all pressed out and so this Saturday we”re having a CD release party for the Desert Noises.”
Desert Noises mixes a variety of genres on their first EP.
“Some people that have listened to it compare it slightly to Fleet Foxes because they have a lot of rad harmonies,” Stevens said. “But then their music a lot of times is a little bit more Band of Horses or something. It has kind of this dance-y edge to it, but it”s definitely in that kind of indie genre.”
To finish out the evening, an independent film by Tom Russell, BYU professor and father of Spencer and Isaac, will be shown. The film is entitled “Mr. Dungbeetle.”
“It”s about a group of mental patients that wander off from the facility,” Russell said. “There”s a fellow among them who has this exceptional capacity to heal and help. It”s kind of about them growing up and having to face their fears. It turns out that as each turn outside of themselves and try to help the other guys, that”s what kind of releases them from their fears.”
Many BYU faculty and students were involved in the making of the film, which has been shown in about a dozen festivals. Saturday will be a special opportunity for students to be able to view the film.
“The people who actually own the movie are pretty guarded,” Russell said. “They”ve let us show it a few times outside of festivals, but not often.”
The doors will open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning shortly thereafter. The cost is $6. Desert Noises” EP will be available for sale for $7 as well as Ruru”s album “Elizabeth,” a themed album for his mother, who died of cancer a few years ago.
“It”s just a great evening of the arts, music and film and independent arts,” Stevens said. “[They] capture real life stories from emotions of Ruru and ”Elizabeth” … to Deseret Noises, which is a little bit more upbeat but still very emotional music and the independent film, Mr. Dungbeetle.”