JEREMIAH JAMES GANG
Jeremiah James didn’t design it this way. He picked up a guitar in his mid-20s and tapped into a natural talent without plans to cash in on a new generation of country appreciators. His chops just happened to blossom as young tastemakers ditched their whiny pop-punk albums for classic Johnny Cash and Whiskeytown. James’ take has an outlaw-swagger vibe that carries huge crossover appeal for long-time traditionalists and recent converts alike. Hell, you don’t even need to love his Idaho twang to dig the man live. It’s good boot-stompin’ fun that’s in no danger of going out of style. Piper Down, 1492 S. State, 10 p.m. Info: PiperDownPub.com
Celebrated and respected throughout the independent punk community, Los Angeles-based veterans Youth Brigade and BYO Records, the label founded by members Shawn and Mike Stern, are otherwise largely unrecognized for their role in helping to pioneer the DIY backbone of a thriving underground scene. Twenty-five years after the group’s inception, the Jeff Alulis-directed Let You Know: The Story of Youth Brigade, aims to school unwitting viewers on their importance through concert footage and interviews with peers/fans, including Ian MacKaye, himself no stranger to keeping it real. Tonight, check out Youth Brigade live, then head over to Spy Hop for a SLUG-sponsored screening of the film (available as a CD/DVD with 31 tracks and a coffee-table book) followed by a Q&A with the band. In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 6 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: SmithsTix.com
SUNSET RUBDOWN, TUNE-YARDS
As one half of Wolf Parade’s vocal section, Spencer Krug complements Dan Boeckner’s deep, steady delivery with an urgent, theatrical set of lungs. His pleading, wild-eyed yelps propel many of the Canadian band’s most memorable tracks (“I’ll Believe In Anything,” “Grounds for Divorce”). They also command Krug’s additional projects, Frog Eyes, Swan Lake and Sunset Rubdown, whose latest release Dragonslayer continues his love affair with intricate language and epic fantasies. The group’s third studio LP is arguably more instantly appealing and accessible, though, than their previous efforts—a medieval-lit dissertation you can dance to. Tune-Yards, aka Merrill Garbus, opens with a set of experimental lo-fi folk. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m.
JOAN OSBORNE, THE HOLMES BROTHERS, PAUL THORN
Joan Osborne hits Park City fresh off the Las Vegas strip where she, along with Cheap Trick, paid tribute to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with a live re-enactment of the seminal album. It should come as no surprise that the talented blues singer apparently does a chilling rendition of “Eleanor Rigby,” her gusty voice effectively conjuring the hand-wringing loneliness inherent in its characters. Though still widely known for her 1995 hit “One of Us,” Osborne has since released multiple critically acclaimed albums and performed with well-respected peers including Phil Lesh. Tonight, she shares the stage with current Alligator Records artists the Holmes Brothers, whose inspirational, lively sound offers a blend of secular and spiritual blues, and son-of-a-preacher-man Paul Thorn who once told City Weekly he prefers to get his “spiritual food, for the most part, out in the world.” Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: EcclesCenter.org
GREENSKY BLUEGRASS, WEINLAND
String Cheese Incident/Leftover Salmon-offshoot Emmitt Nershi Band might be a more recognizable name in bluegrass hitting town this week, but Greensky Bluegrass are well on their way to racking up a cult following of devoted “heads.” The relatively young up-and-comers have already shared the stage with notable predecessors Bela Fleck and Del McCoury, among others, holding their own with warm, generous harmonies that sound as good on traditional numbers as they do re-imagining Talking Heads’ “Road to Nowhere.” Portland’s largely unsung heroes Weinland are decidedly darker in tone, particularly on La Lamentor (2007), which to this day frontman Adam Shearer can’t listen to for long without feeling ill. The lushly orchestrated, yet beautifully understated folk album touches on his experiences working in a mental-health facility, a position he vacated after one-too-many nightmarish shifts. The Portland quintet’s latest LP, Breaks in the Sun, follows a brighter period for the largely unsung heroes (though they paid for it with their 401Ks), but Shearer’s voice still carries the weight of the world. Wise and melancholy, it’s both comforting and utterly cold. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. Tickets: TheStateRoomSLC.com
In a recent interview with NPR’s Tom Ashbrook, Robert Fitzgerald Diggs—aka, RZA—discussed The Tao of Wu, his new book and driving philosophy behind the influential hip-hop group, Wu-Tang Clan: “Shaolin was known as an external martial art but Wu-Tang would start from inside the self—sometimes through meditation you build up the same strength as a man out there lifting weights.” RZA’s band mate Ghostface Killah applies his mental and physical strengths to Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City, an album that reveals a somewhat softer side of the rugged emcee reflecting on relationships with surprising clarity. These Staten Islanders could teach us all a thing or two about tapping into our hidden strengths. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m.
The Damned (Club Vegas, Oct. 29); The Sounds, Foxy Shazam (In the Venue, Oct. 30); Strung Out (V2, Oct. 30); Dinosaur Jr. (Urban Lounge, Oct. 31); The Genitorturers (Club Vegas, Oct. 31); Voodoo Glowskulls (Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Nov. 1); Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (The State Room, Nov. 1); David Bazan, Say Hi (Kilby Court, Nov. 2); Emilie Autumn (Murray Theater, Nov. 2); Valient Thorr, Early Man (Club Vegas, Nov. 3); They Might Be Giants (The Depot, Nov. 6)