THURSDAY JAN. 23
Listening to the music created by California band Orgone—pronounced with a long second O—will transport you straight into the ’70s, when disco was king and everything was just funkier. The California group started out playing instrumental-only music—a sweet, sweet cocktail of soul, funk, acid jazz and Afro disco—and even though they did eventually add vocals, Orgone has also served as a backing band for other artists including Alicia Keys and Cee Lo Green. Orgone’s new album, New You—released in summer 2013—is lush and colorful, and will put a boogie in your step with sultry female vocals, sizzling horns and killer percussion. Check out the impossibly sexy “Anticipating” and the instrumental “Powerfeed,” which belongs on the soundtrack of the coolest action movie ever made. Salem will start things off.
The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m., $16, TheStateRoom.com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com
FRIDAY JAN. 24
With the head-banging, the black & red striped tie, running around the stage and the trademark spin on the floor, AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young has an instantly recognizable stage presence that—no, wait, that’s Adrian Conner, the dreadlocked guitarist for all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles. With a getup complete with schoolgirl skirt (instead of shorts) and red blazer, as well as the uncanny ability to imitate Young’s guitar style with precision, Conner not only looks the part but sounds exactly the part. Formed in 2000 in Seattle, Hell’s Belles—led by Australian vocalist Amber Saxon—put on a live show that pays homage to the titan hard-rock band while showcasing their own legitimate high-energy chops. They’re so convincing, in fact, that Young approves: “The best AC/DC cover I’ve heard? There was an all-girl band in America, Hell’s Belles.” (Blender, 2003). Thunderfist is also on the bill.
The State Room, 638 S. State, also Jan. 25, 9 p.m., $20, TheStateRoom.com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com
SATURDAY JAN. 25
It’s nice to have things you can always count on, like whiskey, cats being funny and, if you’re a ska fan, The Toasters. Founded in 1981 in New York City by British guitarist/frontman Rob “Bucket” Hingley, the band—which was largely responsible for ska’s export from the U.K. to America—celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011, proof of its longevity as well as immunity to changing music trends. The Toasters’ summery sound is classic 2 Tone ska (a blend of ska, punk, reggae and rocksteady invented in England in the ’70s), something to skank to in the pit or groove to while you’re chillin’ in the backyard with friends. The band’s latest release, The Toasters: 30th Anniversary, is a collection of songs from its extensive discography, as well as energetic live tracks recorded at performances. Fat Candace and local ska band Bombshell Academy will open.
Bar Deluxe, 668 S. State, 8 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show, BarDeluxeSLC.com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com
The Moth & the Flame
Provo-founded alt-rock band The Moth & the Flame might be rapidly rising to stardom, but they’re returning to Velour for a show even though they’re big and famous now. In the past year or so, they relocated to Los Angeles, came out with their first nationally released record—& (yes, just the symbol; it’s pronounced “ampersand”)— premiered a music video for “Sorry” on mtvU, scored numerous worldwide press mentions (London’s The Guardian called The Moth & the Flame “dour yet dazzling,” an apt description) and now are fresh off a European tour with Imagine Dragons. If you’re new to the hullabaloo, The Moth & the Flame’s music is slightly moody, atmospheric and intricately arranged, with mellow vocals and textured soundscapes of guitar and Radiohead-influenced synths. Toy Bombs and Apt are also on the bill.
Velour, 135 N. University Ave., Provo, 8 p.m., $10, VelourLive.com
SUNDAY JAN. 26
Into It. Over It.
For his fourth full-length album, Chicago musician and Into It. Over It. founder Evan Weiss dragged himself as far out of his comfort zone as possible, allowing the final product to be left largely up to chance. He wrote all of Intersections—released in fall 2013—without a guitar pick, and collaborator Nick Wakim purposefully eliminated some of the drums and cymbals from his drum kit to force him to think outside of the box while writing. The result is catchy indie rock that’s simultaneously biting and slightly ethereal, sounding a bit like early Death Cab for Cutie but without the twee preciousness. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Heartless Breakers will start things off.
The Shred Shed, 60 E. Exchange Place (360 South), 6:30 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show, ShredShedSLC.com
TUESDAY JAN. 28
Since first sharing the stage with artists like Matt Nathanson and Jason Mraz, folk-pop band Ryanhood has rapidly gained credibility as “a match made in radio heaven” (Arizona Daily Star). The Arizona duo, made up of Ryan Green and Cameron Hood, has received numerous Tucson Music Awards, including Best Folk Band and Best Rock Band, since their first album, After Night Came Sun, was released in 2011. And it’s not surprising: Green and Hood’s vocal harmonies and airtight guitar riffs—as heard on their newest album Start Somewhere, released in fall 2013—have the ability to jump effortlessly between breezy acoustic folk and catchy electrified pop rock. Hunter Harrison will start things off. (Ana Bentz)
The Shred Shed, 60 E. Exchange Place (360 South), 8 p.m., $8, TheShredShedSLC.com
WEDNESDAY JAN. 29
On Hopsin’s first single, “Hop Is Back,” from his 2013 release, Knock Madness, the California native calls out the Louis Vuitton Don, Kanye West, by basically saying his album was garbage: “I gotta problem yo, I was ecstatic to buy Yeezus. But I burned it first, heard it and snapped in five pieces.” He then goes into a rant about how Kendrick Lamar is “like 4 foot 3, the guy’s a fuckin’ midget/ his high is still really short to me.” This whirlwind of shit talk may seem absurd to some, but this is what Hopsin does best. Over the past few years, he’s made a name for himself as a skilled, technical rapper who’s not afraid to fire shots at anyone, even the guy responsible for “Control” (Let’s be honest, everyone rips on Kanye). Funk Volume label-mate Dizzy Wright is also on the bill. (Colin Wolf)
Murray Theater, 4959 S. State, 7:30 p.m., $25
With a sound as breezy as the island it’s named after, St. Lucia’s music has a calming effect on listeners—it’s like being rocked in a hammock (albeit a hammock inside of a disco club). There’s something subconscious about the songs Jean-Philip Grobler churns out. The South African crooner’s lyrics are like words from the mouth of a sleepwalker: nonsensical but at the same time conveying a dream-like image. In an interview with Death & Taxes, Grobler explained that most of his lyrics “are a train of thought, and come with the music” and that he’s “not trying to consciously tell a story or relay a message.” However, just as weird dreams occasionally turn out to be really perceptive, so also do Grobler’s lyrics take on new meaning. In the end, it doesn’t matter how Grobler made his songs, because the result is unadulterated electronic bliss. Sir Sly is also on the bill. (Hilary Packham)
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 day of show, TheUrbanLoungeSLC. com; limited no-fee tickets available at CityWeeklyStore.com