THURSDAY AUG. 1
It’s a tale of luxurious hair, tight leather pants and RAWK. What started out in the 1980s in England as a goth-rock outfit called The Southern Death Cult eventually became Death Cult, which was later revamped as the hard-rock/alt-metal band we know today as The Cult—and then all of their goth fans shed black tears of despair and hatred. It was the 1987 breakthrough release Electric that marked the band’s major stylistic change, and for fans who didn’t take the album out of their Walkman that year, you’re in luck. The Cult’s Electric 13 tour will feature them playing Electric live in its entirety for the first time ever (!), so you can hear “Love Removal Machine” and take a trip back to the days when a younger Ian Astbury wore ruffled shirts and leather vests and flipped his long black hair like a boss. White Hills are also on the bill.
The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 9 p.m., $36 in advance, $41 day of show
Twilight Concert Series: The National, Sharon Van Etten
At the beginning of Fight Club, when the film’s narrator is coping with crippling, chronic sleeplessness, he says, “When you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep, and you’re never really awake.” Aaron Dessner, guitarist for the Brooklyn-based indie-rock band The National, didn’t split into two personalities and attack himself Tyler Durden-style when he returned home after a 22-month tour and became severely sleep deprived because of his newborn daughter. However, he did capture the mood of the mysterious twilight state between the worlds of sleep and awake in the instrumentation for the band’s latest album, Trouble Will Find Me (4AD), released in May. The 13 tracks are as ambient, atmospheric and fuzzy-edged as a dream, especially “I Should Live in Salt.” Sharon Van Etten will get the night started.
Pioneer Park, 300 S. 300 West, 7 p.m., $5
Americanarama Festival of Music: Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket
After his ongoing five-decade career, it would probably be impossible to encapsulate the influence that singer, songwriter, writer, record producer and folk-blues legend Bob Dylan has had on American music. Echoes of gritty voice, guitar style and twisty, poetic lyrics can be heard in numerous contemporary musical acts, but his influence is especially strong in the music of Wilco, My Morning Jacket—whom The Boston Globe call “sons of Dylan”—as well as Ryan Bingham, who will all share the stage with Dylan at the Americanarama Festival of Music. It’s going to be one of the best shows of the summer; here’s hoping for some onstage collaboration between the four acts.
Usana Amphitheatre, 5150 S. 6055 West, 5:30 p.m., $33-$80
The latest release from these Georgia homeboys, 2012’s The Whippoorwill (Southern Ground), is yet another solid example of Atlanta-based Blackberry Smoke’s ability to create infectious country-rock. And, sure, they’ve garnered plenty of comparisons to one of their influences, Lynyrd Skynyrd—for more reasons than the band members’ serious hair—but Blackberry Smoke has their own whole thang goin’ on. With muscular guitar chords and arena-rock beats, their deep-fried sound is twangy, sunny and humid, combining blues, gospel and soul. The album’s 13 tracks dance between straight-up rowdy on “Crimson Moon” and ballad-worthy on “Up the Road.”
The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, 8 p.m., $15 in advance, $20 day of show
FRIDAY AUG. 2
Provo Rooftop Concert Series: Mindy Gledhill, Mideau, Scott Shepard
Attendees of this month’s Provo Rooftop Concert Series are in for an eclectic night of incredible local talent from a triple bill of Mindy Gledhill, Mideau and Scott Shepard. The candy-sweet voice of Californian songstress Mindy Gledhill effortlessly creates rosy, sun-dappled worlds on 2010’s Anchor; hopefully, she’ll play some tunes from her brand-new album, Pocketful of Poetry. The debut album from Mideau—made up of Libbie Linton and Spencer Harrison—will be released this fall, and track four, “Benny,” is a gorgeous indie-pop tune that combines boy/girl harmonies, delicate piano and mellow but driving percussion. Book on Tape Worm singer/guitarist Scott Shepard will play solo tonight, showcasing his smooth, powerful voice. Get there early to nab a primo spot.
Provo Town Square Parking Terrace Rooftop, 100 N. 100 West, Provo, 8 p.m., free
MONDAY AUG. 5
Led by mustachioed rock & roll tornado Eugene Hütz (Hütz-nado?), this Manhattan-based gypsy-punk band doesn’t play concerts. Gogol Bordello plays parties. When I saw them at the Murray Theater a few years ago, the raucous show ended only after three encores, which involved a huge dance pit of happy (and very sweaty) people, fire buckets played as percussion, stage dives and even more dancing onstage—because, according to the ethnically diverse eight-piece’s mission statement on their website, “With acts of music, theater, chaos and sorcery, Gogol Bordello confronts the jaded and irony-diseased.” On their sixth full-length album, Pure Vida Conspiracy (ATO Records), released July 23, Gogol Bordello’s trademark Eastern-European-influenced sound is still pumped full of crunchy, off-beat guitar chords and manic violin, but they’ve added in horns, mariachi guitar and even some tropical elements for a record that truly reflects the band’s “global familia.”
In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 6:30 p.m., $26.50 in advance, $30 day of show
WEDNESDAY AUG. 7
Twilight Concert Series: Grizzly Bear, Youth Lagoon
This quartet of indie-rockers from Brooklyn have always had a knack for creating richly textured fields of sound filled with serene vocals, as heard on their previous album, Veckatimest, which came out in 2009. But while fans could rest comfortably in the smooth, unoffensive feel of that album, they’ll encounter a lot more prickly moments in the vocals and lyrics on 2012’s Shields, the band’s most recent release. “[Shields] has a different energy behind it,” singer Ed Droste said in a press release. “Veckatimest was a little more of a polite album … [Shields] feels a bit more rough and exposed.” The visual elements even tilt into the territory of shocking, such as on the music video for “gun-shy”—watch only if you have a strong stomach. Gross-out close-ups of blood being drawn, toenails being clipped and hair getting plucked out of a scalp with tweezers (aaack) represent “extracting creativity,” as video director Kris Moyes told Vulture.com. Youth Lagoon opens the show.
Pioneer Park, 300 S. 300 West, 7 p.m., $5
The fast-paced, punchy sound produced by this California trio is usually referred to as “surf punk,” but it’s not like Wavves are playing Dick Dale-style guitar sizzles over one-two-three-four! drum beats. Instead, the surf influence is subtle, and cleverly woven through the band’s latest album, Afraid of Heights, released in July. When the guitar work does tilt into surf territory, it’s quickly sucked into a blender of reverb and obscured amid the hooky pop melodies, while strings create intriguing texture. But it’s the lyrics’—delivered with frontman Nathan Williams deadpan voice—dark-edged self-hatred, à la The Violent Femmes, that makes the album so strangely satisfying, with songs like the tripped-out “Everything Is My Fault” and “Beat Me Up.” If Afraid of Heights were actually the soundtrack for hitting the ocean on a surfboard, it would only work for surfing on the gloomiest, stupidest day ever.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $12 in advance, $15 day of show
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