California Guitar Trio, Chick Corea, The Strange Boys & Midlake 

Live: Music Picks March 4-10

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  • California Guitar Trio
Friday 3.5

CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO

Tonight presents audiences with the rare opportunity to yell “Freebird” without sounding like complete jackasses. California Guitar Trio recently covered the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd song on their album Echoes (2008), alongside tributes to Queen and Pink Floyd. Like everything they touch, the threesome’s skilled guitarists put a unique spin on the epic Southern-rock anthem, tacking on flashes of dub to its mellow intro before demonstrating that, while they might be refined artists, these cats still relish a good shred. CGT’s recording output is impressive, considering what it takes to get each member in one room for long enough to lay down tracks—Paul Richards lives in Salt Lake City, while his bandmates Bert Lams and Hideyo Moriya reside in Belgium and Tokyo, respectively. Don´t miss Mike Miller as a featured guest. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. Tickets: TheStateRoomSLC.com

Monday 3.8

CHICK COREA

More than 40 years into his career, Chick Corea continues to innovate with enviable zeal. What’s his secret to maintaining the creative flow? The answer—to borrow a phrase from ice-cream kings Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield—lies in the question, “If it’s not fun, why do it?” Corea approaches each of his many projects—including longtime supergroup Return to Forever, whose most recent lineup played Salt Lake City in 2008—with audible joy. “I’ve managed to avoid falling into the habit of doing the same thing over and over again, and it’s really proved to be a good thing for me,” he says. It helps, of course, when your job requires working with Mile Davis, for example, as Corea did in the ’70s. The prolific jazz multi-instrumentalist’s impressive resume now includes Five Peace Band, his latest collaboration with guitarist John McLaughlin. Their LP snagged a Grammy this year for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Experience the sound of award-winning genius, tonight as the Gam Foundation’s concert series rolls on. Sheraton City Center, 150 W. 500 South, 7:30 p.m. All-ages. Tickets: 24Tix.com

THE STRANGE BOYS

Something about The Strange Boys gets journalists tongue tied—at least, that’s the feeling you get reading about the Austin-based band whose interviews often take on an uncomfortable tone of deja vu all over again. From one piece to the next, they are repeatedly asked the same questions. Surely the writers aren’t intimidated—the group’s eldest is 22. Of course, they have shared the stage with such musical giants as Roky Erickson. Maybe The Strange Boys are simply no good on paper, best experienced through recordings or better yet, live. Their sound is classic and rough—straightforward rock & roll with a little bit of twang and, with recent addition of Jenna Thornwill-DeWitt (Mika Miko) to a traditionally in-flux lineup, loosey-goosey R&B saxophone. Hear the results of these changes on Be Brave (released Feb. 23) and live, tonight. Don’t miss openers Plastic Furs (who’ve finally locked down an ideal lineup) and City Weekly Music Award winners The Naked Eyes. Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m. Tickets: 24Tix.com

Wednesday 3.10

click to enlarge musiclive_100304_midlake.jpg
MIDLAKE

Midlake’s “Roscoe” is a hard act to follow—a slice of pop-music perfection whose timeless appeal sets a high bar for songs recorded in its wake. The sweeping, slightly psychedelic track is good enough to sustain an entire album, and perhaps that’s why Midlake took four years to follow the Trials of Van Occupanther with another full-length album. That’s a good guess, but the Texas rockers weren’t just sitting on their hands, plagued by performance anxiety. Between touring, writing new material and recording Courage of Others (2010), Midlake teamed with cult favorite John Grant (The Czars) for his solo debut, Queen of Denmark. The LP’s first single, “I Wanna Go to Marz” pairs Midlake’s orchestral/pastoral ’60s/’70s AM sound with lyrics so bizarre that at first you might think you’ve been spammed (or Rick Rolled, in a sense). After a few listens, it’s almost as good as “Roscoe”—so good it inspired me to revisit Courage of Others, which once fully absorbed reveals itself to be a gentle, epic masterpiece. No sloppy seconds in sight. The State Room, 638 S. State, 8 p.m. Tickets: TheStateRoomSLC.com (with Matthew and the Arrogant Sea)

Coming Up
Rocky Votolato
(Velour, March 11); Jaguar Love (Kilby Court, March 11); Leslie & The LYs (Urban Lounge, March 13); Grand Hallway (Kilby Court, March 14); Tommy Castro Band (The State Room, March 13); Heavyweight Dub Champion (Downstairs, March 15); Lukas Nelson (The State Room, March 15); Manchester Orchestra (In the Venue, March 16); St. Patrick’s Day Party (Piper Down, March 17); Vampire Weekend, The Blow (In the Venue, March 18)

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