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Sugar House Journal

City Library launches 'Hear Utah Music,' offering free local music streaming

Jul 20, 2018 15h09 ● By Spencer Belnap

Ghost of a Giant is a Salt Lake City based rock band with hopes of getting onto City Library's HUM streaming site for local artists. (Courtesy Dago Marino)

By Spencer W. Belnap | [email protected] 

There’s a surging local music scene in Salt Lake City. Bands and artists are playing venues across the valley nightly and hope to get their music out through online resources, too. The City Library has just launched a new free streaming service that will help boost the blooming musicscape. It is called Hear Utah Music, or HUM, and is now up and running at The site has a built-in music player, so users won’t need to download any extra software or programs. All you need are your ears and an internet connection to hear some of the latest tunes from local musicians. City Library cards allow users to even download the music.

“Utah is home to passionate and committed musicians in a diverse array of musical styles,” said Jason Rabb, the local librarian and musician who developed the service. “Sometimes Utah artists get national attention which is great, but so many artists are doing interesting work right here — making music specific to this place — and we wanted to do our part to help as many people as possible hear this music.”

There are currently 40 different albums and EPs on the website. After a call for submissions earlier in the year, a panel of local jurors helped select the first batch of artists. Rabb is on the jury and helped select a panel of music professionals and advocates. The HUM jurors include musician and SLUG Magazine editor Alexander Ortega; teacher and head of Studio Studio Dada in Provo Stephen Cope; co-owner of Diabolical Records Alana Boscan; and musician and radio DJ “Bad” Brad Wheeler. They have the fun duty of listening to the varied submissions and selecting the albums to feature. The next submission period will run August 1-22.

“This site looks rad,” Salt Lake City musician Dago Marino said. He plays guitar for local rock bands King Niko and Ghost of a Giant. “King Niko is just about to release some new music in the next couple weeks. Ghost of a Giant is getting close to releasing a whole album, too. We’ll have to hit them up and try to get on there. What a cool service.”

The streaming site offers a user-friendly interface and is organized into both artist and album categories. The artist pages feature links to their personal website, a bio, and often an accompanying music video. While the music is the main spotlight of HUM, it also offers an extensive archive of concert posters as well. This is a growing collection that provides a historical element of the local music scene. Interested parties can browse live show info and concert artwork dating back nearly two decades.

Organizers and musicians hope HUM is successful and draws many local listeners, but also hope to attract fans from outside Utah.

“A few decades ago, public libraries were touted as a way for people in your community to connect with a world of information,” City Library Executive Director Peter Bromberg said. “But today’s public library flips that idea on its head. Now, in addition to bringing the world to Salt Lake City, we’re bringing Salt Lake City to the world. Services like HUM are designed to help the world discover the immense musical talent coming out of this state.”