SATURDAY DEC. 28
Micky & the Motorcars
Usually, parents raise an eyebrow (and scream inside) if their child chooses to forgo a “traditional” career and become a musician, believing they’re doomed to a life of failure and poverty. But for brothers Micky and Gary Braun, making music and touring is in their genes: Their father’s parents were both full-time musicians, and their father had a band with his brothers. Then once their dad had four kids and they began to learn how to play as well, they formed a family band. Eventually, Micky and Gary struck out to make their own musical way, and created a harmony-driven alt-country sound. Austin, Texas-based five-piece Micky & the Motorcars’ most recent album, Raise My Glass—released a couple of years ago—is a collection of true-blue country tunes, full of twangy guitar and gorgeous lap steel. Tony Holiday & the Velvetones open.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $18, TheStateRoom.com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
If you need one final dose of Christmas music before the tree gets taken down and the decorations get packed away, this evening of swingin’ big-band music put on by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is just the ticket. This year was a big deal for the California jazz outfit: Not only did they celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, but they also released a Christmas-themed album, It Feels Like Christmas Time, just a year after the release of full-length album Rattle Them Bones. The holiday album features a mix of original material and covers of Christmas classics and will be the focus of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s set tonight, and it’s sure to be a rollicking good time. The band’s sound is wonderfully old-school—created with sizzling, sexy horns—like something you’d hear in a smoky, downstairs jazz club during the 1920s.
Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 7:30 p.m., $20-$69, EcclesCenter.org
Late Night Alumni
Sure, Late Night Alumni tours all over the world, and you can find their music on movie soundtracks, but the downtempo/house four-piece hails from right here in good ol’ Salt Lake City. Made up of Becky Jean Williams, Finn Bjarnson, John Hancock and Ryan Raddon (aka Kaskade), Late Night Alumni weave ambient, ethereal electronic music—centered around Williams’ delicate, trance-inducing vocals—that’s mellow enough to zone out to, but also has all the sleek, sophisticated beats needed to put club crowds under a spell. The Beat Becomes a Sound, Late Night Alumni’s new album (their fourth), released at the beginning of the year, shows the group really hitting their stride, with songs ranging from beautifully subdued (“In My Awake”) to upbeat dance-floor firecrackers (“Sapphire”).
The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 9 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 day of show, DepotSLC.com
For 25 years now, these Colorado “polyethnic Cajun slamgrass” pioneers have been wowing audiences with their rowdy, foot-stomping hootenanny of a live show. Apparently, they’re in such high demand in Utah that Leftover Salmon is playing two nights at Park City Live—lucky for fans who were devastated when they thought the band was breaking up forever in 2005. The two sets will probably span their long discography, including the band’s latest album, Aquatic Hitchhiker, released in 2012. And after the show, you don’t even have to choose between drinking and driving; for just a couple of bucks more than the price of a VIP ticket, you can get picked up from Rice-Eccles Stadium and dropped off at the same spot afterward. Bill Payne of Little Feat will also perform. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Park City Live, 427 Main, Park City, also Dec. 29, 9 p.m., $20 in advance, $30 VIP, $32 ticket and bus pickup from Rice-Eccles Stadium, ParkCityLive.net
SUNDAY DEC. 29
This three-piece rock band is originally from Salt Lake City, but they call Austin, Texas, home nowadays. And it’s a fitting home for the group, since their sound (self-described as “roadhouse soul rock”) is full of Southern swagger. Swampy, slightly groovy and built around a backbone of wailing guitar, Wisebird’s music pays homage to Southern mainstays like The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd without getting bogged down in dogma. The result is twangy and blues-y, as heard on songs like “Hell” and “Can’t Fake.” Wisebird is yet to release a full-length album, but this band is one to keep an eye on. Lady Legs and Triggers & Slips will start things off.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $10, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com
TUESDAY DEC. 31
Westward the Tide
The spectacular music created by this local folk/indie-rock band is hopeful and joyful, perfect for welcoming a shiny, brand-new year. The six members of Westward the Tide have only been making music together since 2012, but the sound they’ve built is incredibly polished, centered around the lead vocals of Kaitie Forbes and Jackson Larsen. And the instrumentation backing the two singers is rich and full, featuring acoustic guitar, strings and twinkles of piano. So far, Westward the Tide has only released an EP, titled Everything Is, and single “Stardust,” but if these smaller works are signs of what to come, the full-length album the band is developing with Joshua James is going to be unforgettable. Satur is also on the bill.
Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 8 p.m., $6, KilbyCourt.com
This mother of all New Year’s Eve parties will feature prizes, a cash drop and, most importantly, a bunch of live music. The lineup will include singer-songwriter Kenz Hall, Los Angeles pop-rock band Sleep for Sleepers, Erin Alvey O’Sullivan, Lucy Scholl, pop singer David Ottestad (whose solo project is called The Workday Release) and local reggae group Kids in Plain Sight. The eclectic bunch of music acts should provide a little something for everyone’s tastes as the expected 3,000-plus attendees dance their way into the new year. Sleep for Sleepers (pictured)also plays Kilby Court on Dec. 30. (Kolbie Stonehocker)
Utah Valley University, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem, Dec. 31, 9 p.m., $15, NewYearsUtah.com
WEDNESDAY JAN. 1
Fifth-Annual First Mistakes Party: I Am the Ocean, Breaux, Heartless Breakers
It’s no secret that most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned within a few weeks of Jan. 1, so this year, don’t kid yourself. Throw at least a couple of your goals—ones that involve not partying and staying out too late—out the window tonight by coming to this show. After all, New Year’s Day definitely still counts as part of the holiday season. The lineup includes three local bands: metal five-piece I Am the Ocean, Southern-rock party-metal band Breaux—made-up French for “bunch of bros”—and rock trio Heartless Breakers, whose EP Prescriptions is just killer. You can start getting rid of those bad habits tomorrow.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $5, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com