THURSDAY JAN. 9
In his 15-year career, this groundbreaking emcee has compiled a lengthy and stellar résumé. Since being one of the leaders of the West Coast underground hip-hop scene in the early ’90s, Jason Green—aka Planet Asia and King Medallions—collaborated and released albums with numerous influential rappers, but he’s probably best-known as being one half of the hip-hop duo Cali Agents, along with Rasco. After releasing Fire & Ice in 2006, the two seemingly went their separate ways, but according to Asia’s Twitter in July, Cali Agents are back in the studio together and working on an LP, which will be released sometime this year. But Asia will be working solo at tonight’s show, drawing from his vast amount of material with intricate, hard-hitting delivery. Bayliens, ZMan, Black Lion, Burnell Washburn, Melvin Junko, DJ Battleship and True Justice are also in the lineup.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $12, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com
Fans of Talking Heads who didn’t discover the new-wave pioneers until after the band broke up in the ’90s will sadly never get the chance to catch them live. Luckily, tribute band Naive Melodies’ raison d’Ítre is re-creating the Talking Heads experience. Formed in Arcata, Calif., in 2011, Naive Melodies utilize three-part harmonies, synths and dance-friendly guitar to pay homage to the Talking Heads’ varied discography, including songs like “Stay Hungry” and “Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town.” As the band says on their Facebook bio, “We like to make you dance.” The No-Nation Orchestra will start things off.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $12, TheStateRoom.com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com
FRIDAY JAN. 10
The North Valley CD Release
Since coming together in 2011, The North Valley have reinvented their sound, replacing subdued alt-country with good old-fashioned rock & roll, and that new style is showcased on the band’s debut full-length album, Patterns in Retrospect. The Southern-rock/Americana-influenced album includes a mix of revamped older songs (“Drink Alone”) and brand-new tunes such as “Never Had the Money” and “Barbed Wire Tongue.” The dark track “There’s Something About Murder” stands out with its down & dirty beat, gritty vocals and wailing guitar. With a live show that’s a gloriously loud and high-energy good time, this quintet is rapidly becoming a must-see local act. Breakers and Golden Sun will start things off at Kilby Court, and Holy Water Buffalo and Dark Seas will open at The Urban Lounge.
Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 8 p.m., $6, KilbyCourt.com; The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 8 p.m., $5, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com
Baby Gurl, Yaktooth, Die Off
During the bleak winter months, it’s easy to get lulled into the mindset that the only things that matter are fried foods and sleeping. So if you’re in need of a jolt to your system, this night of heavy rock is just what the doctor ordered. Baby Gurl is a noise-rock duo whose mostly instrumental debut album, A Name & a Blessing, is simultaneously mind-bendingly intricate and fun to listen to—check out the headbang-friendly “Tweaker Time.” An entertaining introduction to Yaktooth’s weird experimental-rock style is the music video for their song “Meat South”; the combination of screamy vocals, riff-driven guitar, baby dolls, spinning carousel horses and a platter piled high with hot dogs is dissonant and slightly repulsive, yet somehow awesome. Rounding out the lineup is Die Off, a trio that plays sludgy metal/hardcore and is probably the heaviest of the three.
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $5, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com
SATURDAY JAN. 11
The Dusty 45s
Images of long-forgotten records in lonely boxes might come to mind when hearing the phrase “dusty 45s,” but this Seattle-based rockabilly quartet is anything but some sad relic of the past. Instead, trumpet-blasting frontman Billy Joe Huels and company bring back those classic styles pioneered by the likes of Elvis and Buddy Holly, blending rock, honky-tonk, blues and surf into a high-energy sound that’s utterly American. As heard on the Dusty 45s albums Fortunate Man (2010) and Shackin’ Up (2011), the band knows how to nod to the past while experimenting with their own style. And nowhere is that playfulness more apparent than in a live Dusty 45s performance, as the band members pound the keys, slap the bass and surprise the audience with borderline-dangerous pyrotechnics: In past shows, Huels has gone as far as to light the end of his trumpet on fire(!) as he whips out a sizzling solo. Honey Pine will start things off.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $12, TheStateRoom.com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com
TUESDAY JAN. 14
The Front Bottoms
Every once in a while, a band comes along that feels like a missing piece, something I needed all along but just hadn’t found yet. New Jersey-based The Front Bottoms—go ask your mom what the name means—is one of those bands. I’m not going to label them with a weird hyphenated music genre, but core members Brian Sella (vocals/guitar) and Matt Uychich (drums) create lo-fi music that’s a little rock and a little punk, and ultimately cathartic. The songs off The Front Bottoms’ latest album, Talon of the Hawk—released summer 2013—is funny, sad, honest, revealing and human, with lyrical jewels like “I see a tattoo on my right thigh that I will probably regret one day …/ But now, I am happy to be bonding in a kitchen with my friends/ A spool of thread, a few more good vibes, a safety pin and a ballpoint pen,” from “Backflip.” You Blew It! and The Wild are also on the bill.
In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West, 7 p.m., $12 in advance, $14 day of show, InTheVenueSLC.com
At first, a ska band playing covers of Disney songs probably sounds like a gimmick. But in the early 2000s, Orange County, Calif., seven-piece Suburban Legends were regular performers at the Happiest Place on Earth, where they played their own material, as well as put a ska spin on classic Disney songs. The band’s latest album, Dreams Aren’t Real, But These Songs Are—released in the fall—features covers of Disney favorites as magical as “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella, “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas, and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story. The new versions are fun and plenty silly, but stay far away if you’re a purist who believes “Kiss the Girl” should be sung by the one and only Sebastian. Reel Big Fish, Mighty Mongo and The Maxies are also on the bill.
Murray Theater, 4959 S. State, 6:30 p.m., $18, Facebook.com/MurrayTheater; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com