THURSDAY JUNE 13
Velour Summer Battle of the Bands
Velour’s Summer Battle of the Bands is under way, with the week’s last two showcases of local bands taking place Thursday and Friday. There’s more buzz-worthy talent popping up out of Provo than there are tall guys at a concert—how do I always end up behind these giants, seriously?—so it’s very possible that Utah’s next big musical thing could be discovered at this competition (past winners include Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons—ever heard of ’em?). On Thursday, fans of indie-rock and folk music will enjoy a lineup of Pändo, Postcard Reunion, Kitfox and Ice Hotel. Friday is sure to be an eclectic night of music with Mathom House (noisy experimental rock), Strange Family (indie-rock) and bluesy alt-rock bands BB Gun and Queenadilla. Finalists from the week’s showcases will go head to head on Saturday night.
Velour, 135 N. University Ave., also June 14 & 15, 8 p.m., $6
Poor Man’s Whiskey
When California-based bluegrass outfit Poor Man’s Whiskey started covering rock songs, it started out just as a way for the band members to return to the music of their youth—bands like Grateful Dead, the Beatles and Duran Duran. But they took it to a whole ’nother level when they decided to reinvent an entire album, namely, Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon. The result is Dark Side of the Moonshine, complete with banjo, mandolin, guitar and upright bass. Poor Man’s Whiskey also cleverly changes around some of the original lyrics to feel more bluegrass-y, such as switching “Money, get away,” with “Whiskey, get away.” Here’s hoping the band performs in its typical Wizard of Oz costumes, a nod to the urban legend that syncing up Dark Side of the Moon with the film will open a vortex of awesome.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $14
SATURDAY JUNE 15
According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. But local gypsy-folk band Hectic Hobo decreed 2013 to be the Year of the Hobo—I’m going with their reckoning. This seven-piece troupe of wanderers—led by Hasen Pfeffer—has been all over the place lately, at local shows like the Bob Dylan Birthday Bash at The Garage, and on a Wyoming/Colorado tour in support of their latest album, We Lost Our Legs in the War, We Just Can’t Remember Which War. The album’s 10 songs have a strong storytelling element as they explore the misadventures of down & out folks, and feature solid instrumentation of banjo, accordion, harmonica, violin and guitar, all tinged with the twang of the Wild West. Hectic Hobo will appeal to fans of DeVotchKa, Gogol Bordello and local band Folk Hogan, so pack some smokes and canned soup in your bindle, lace up your boots and come on out. The Insurgency and The Red on Black open the show.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $5
SUNDAY JUNE 16
New Orleans-based duo Generationals (vocalist/guitarist Ted Joyner and vocalist/guitarist Grant Wildmer) creates unique beats that are poppy, electronically upbeat and incredibly catchy. Their feel-good tracks have garnered them broad commercial appeal, and odds are you’ve heard one of their songs in a TV show (HBO’s Girls, NBC’s Chuck and USA’s Suits), movie or advertisement. Generationals’ newest album, Heza, features bright melodies with prominent guitar riffs, making for an original and funky sound. Young Empires open the show. (Renee Estrada)
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $8 in advance, $10 day of show
MONDAY JUNE 17
Here are a couple of things you might not know about Nekromantix frontman Kim Nekroman: 1. Before the ’50s-coiffed musician founded the Danish-American psychobilly (punk + rockabilly) trio in 1989 and took up his trademark upright coffin bass, he worked in a submarine for eight years for the Royal Danish Army. 2. He’s married to Patricia Day, the fiery vocalist and upright-bass player for HorrorPops, another popular psychobilly outfit. 3. He’s also a werewolf—arrooooo! OK, the validity of that last fact might be debatable, but it would be freaking awesome if it were true. After all, Nekroman & co.’s music—as heard on the band’s latest release, What Happens in Hell, Stays in Hell (2011, Hellcat)—has more classic monsters than a midnight double feature at a drive-in movie, as well as grin-worthy lyrics, face-melting guitar and, of course, plenty of high-octane coffin-bass shredding.
In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 6 p.m., $15 in advance, $17 day of show
TUESDAY JUNE 18
Finding inspiration for music can come from some pretty cerebral, connecting-with-your-third-eye
places, but sometimes, you instead need to just write a song about wandering around town as you look for something to fill your growling stomach, like on Brooklyn-based Parquet Courts’ “Stoned & Starving.” The track is one of 15 on the indie-rock/punk four-piece’s debut full-length album, Light Up Gold (Jan. 15, What’s Your Rupture), which showcases the band’s economical, straightforward music that’s full of stripped-down guitar, immediate vocals and rubber-band-tight drums. In the album’s liner notes, frontman Andrew Savage enigmatically says that Gold is for “oversocialized victims of the ’90’s ‘You can be anything you want,’ Nickelodeon-induced lethargy that ran away from home not out of any wide-eyed big-city daydream, but just out of a subconscious return to America’s scandalous origin.” Koala Temple and The Pentagraham Crackers get things started.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $8
WEDNESDAY JUNE 19
Who says dance music has to be happy? For gloomier sorts who still have the urge to move to the beat, Snowden’s sophomore release, No One in Control (May 14, Serpents & Snakes), will get you off the wall and onto the dance floor. Seven-piece shoegaze/electronic band Snowden—named after the character in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22—included remastered versions of some older songs on the album, which was six years in the making, but new singles like “Keep Quiet” and “The Beat Comes” will appeal to fans who are hungry for new material. As for the band’s sound, primary songwriter Jordan Jeffares’ droning voice floats over chilly synthesized beats that capture the bleakness of 3 a.m. Old Podrida gets the show started.
Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State, 8 p.m., $12
The Voodoo Organist
On The Voodoo Organist’s (usually solo keys-playing madman Scott Wexton, sometimes accompanied by Robin Kennon on drums) Facebook page, Wexton describes the outfit as a “one-man house band in Hell’s Tiki Lounge”—maybe Burt’s Tiki Lounge will consider a one-night name change in honor of this performance? His horror-themed music—created with a 1949 Hammond CV organ and vintage Moog Taurus bass pedals—sounds like what would be playing at a twisted backwoods revival where congregants sell their souls to the devil instead of the head honcho upstairs; or the soundtrack to being kidnapped, thrown into a van and taken to a creepy, run-down carnival. Wexton’s latest album, Vampire Empire, features distorted vocals in the same vein of The Legendary Shack Shakers and Tom Waits, and a hefty dose of monster-mash-worthy organ. Check out “Dance, Demons, Dance!” and “Vampire Empire.” The Glorious Bastards start the show.
Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 726 S. State, 9 p.m., $7